Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 30

PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

VII. DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS

A. Nature and Characteristics of Disciplinary Actions against Lawyers

1. Sui Generis

#1 YLAYA v. GACOTT Adm. Case No. 6475 January 30, 2013 PONENTE

PETITIONER: FE A. YLAYA RESPONDENT: ATTY. GLENN CARLOS GACOTT

DOCTRINE: On sui generis: The complainant in disbarment cases is not a direct party to the case but a witness who
brought the matter to the attention of the Court. Flowing from its sui generis character, it is not mandatory to have a formal
hearing in which the complainant must adduce evidence.

FACTS: The registered owners of two (2) parcels of land. Prior to the acquisition of these properties, it was already the subject of
expropriation proceedings filed by the City Government of Puerto Princesa (City Government) against its former registered owner,
Cirilo Arellano in RTC, which fixed the price of P6,000,000 as just compensation.

The respondent briefly represented the complainant and her late husband in the expropriation case as intervenors for being the new
registered owners of the property. The complainant alleged that the respondent convinced them to sign a "preparatory deed of sale"
for the sale of the property, but he left blank the space for the name of the buyer and for the amount of consideration. The
respondent further alleged that the deed would be used in the sale to the City Government when the RTC issues the order to
transfer the titles. The respondent then fraudulently – without their knowledge and consent, and contrary to their understanding –
converted the "preparatory deed of sale" into a Deed of Absolute Sale, selling the subject property to Reynold So and Sylvia Carlos
So for ₱200,000.00 (his uncle and aunt, respectively).

Complainant denied being paid the P200,000 or that they would sell the properly ―for such measly sum.‖

The respondent denied the allegations and argued that the complainant’s greed to get the just Compensation caused her to file this
"baseless, unfounded and malicious" disbarment case, claiming that the the sale was their voluntary transaction and that he "simply
ratified the document." He also claimed that Reynold and Laurentino (petitioner’s husband) had originally jointly purchased the
properties from Cirilo Arellano; that they were co-owners for some time; and that Laurentino subsequently sold his share to Reynold
under a Deed of Absolute Sale.

Complainant filed an Ex Parte Motion to Withdraw the Verified Complaint and To Dismiss the Case. The complainant executed an
Affidavit affirming and confirming the existence, genuineness and due execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized on March 6,
2000; the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) dated April 19, 2000; and the Deed of Absolute Sale notarized in 2001. The
respondent submitted this Affidavit to the IBP as an attachment to his Motion for Reconsideration.

IBP found respondent administratively liable for violating Canon 1, Rule 1.01 (A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct) and Canon 16 ("A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into
his possession) of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and Section 3(c), Rule IV of A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC (2004 Rules on
Notarial Practice), and recommended his suspension from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. IBP Board of Governors
adopted the IBP Commissioner’s finding, but increased the penalty imposed to two (2) years suspension.

ISSUE/S: (1) Whether or not the IBP violated the respondent’s right to due process; and
(2) Whether or not the evidence presented supports a finding that the respondent is administratively liable for violating Canon 1,
Rule 1.01 and Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and Section 3(c), Rule IV of A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC.

HELD: 1. No. The complainant in disbarment cases is not a direct party to the case but a witness who brought the matter to the
attention of the Court. Flowing from its sui generis character, it is not mandatory to have a formal hearing in which the complainant
must adduce evidence.

From all these, we find it clear that the complainant is not indispensable to the disciplinary proceedings and her failure to appear for
cross-examination or to provide corroborative evidence of her allegations is of no merit. What is important is whether, upon due
investigation, the IBP Board of Governors finds sufficient evidence of the respondent’s misconduct to warrant the exercise of its
disciplinary powers.

2. We set aside the findings and recommendations of the IBP Commissioner and those of the IBP Board of Governors finding the
respondent liable for violating Canon 1, Rules 1.01 and Section 3(c), Rule IV of A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC.

We however hold the respondent liable for violating Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for being remiss in his
obligation to hold in trust his client’s properties. We likewise find him liable for violation of (1) Canon 15, Rule 15.03 for representing
conflicting interests without the written consent of the represented parties, thus, violating the rule on conflict of interests; and (2)
Canon 18, Rule 18.03 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him.

a. Reynold, in his Affidavit dated October 11, 2004, confirms that there was a co-ownership between him and Laurentino; that
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

Laurentino decided to sell his half of the property to Reynold because he (Laurentino) had been sickly and in dire need of money to
pay for his medical bills; that Laurentino agreed to the price of ₱200,000.00 as this was almost the same value of his investment
when he and Reynold jointly acquired the property; and that the sale to Reynold was with the agreement and consent of the
complainant who voluntarily signed the Deed of Sale.

After examining the whole record of the case, we agree with the respondent and find the evidence insufficient to prove the charge
that he violated Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Section 3(c), Rule IV of A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC.
Specifically, (1) the evidence against the respondent fails to show the alleged fraudulent and deceitful acts he has taken to mislead
the complainant and her husband into signing a "preparatory deed of sale" and the conversion into a Deed of Absolute Sale dated
June 4, 2001 in favor of Reynold; and (2) no prohibition exists against the notarization of a document in which any of the parties
interested is the notary’s relative within the 4th civil degree, by affinity or consanguinity, at that time the respondent notarized the
documents.

In her Report and Recommendation,61 the IBP Commissioner concluded that the respondent is liable for deceit and fraud because
he failed to prove the existence of a co-ownership between Laurentino and Reynold; in her opinion, the signatures of the
complainant and of her husband on the MOA "are not the same with their signatures in other documents."

We do not agree with this finding. While the facts of this case may raise some questions regarding the respondent’s legal practice,
we nevertheless found nothing constituting clear evidence of the respondent’s specific acts of fraud and deceit. His failure to prove
the existence of a co-ownership does not lead us to the conclusion that the MOA and the Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 4, 2001
are spurious and that the respondent was responsible for creating these spurious documents. We are further persuaded, after
noting that in disregarding the MOA, the IBP Commissioner failed to specify what differences she observed in the spouses Ylaya’s
signatures in the MOA and what documents were used in comparison.

b. We find the respondent liable under Canon 15, Rule 15.03 for representing conflicting interests without the written consent of all
concerned, particularly the complainant; under Canon 16 for being remiss in his obligation to hold in trust his client’s properties; and
under Canon 18, Rule 18.03 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him.

Canon 15, Rule 15.03 states:


A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.

The facts of this case show that the respondent retained clients who had close dealings with each other. The respondent admits to
acting as legal counsel for Cirilo Arellano, the spouses Ylaya and Reynold at one point during the proceedings in Civil Case No.
2902.80 Subsequently, he represented only Reynold in the same proceedings,81 asserting Reynold’s ownership over the property
against all other claims, including that of the spouses Ylaya.

We affirm the IBP Commissioner’s finding that the respondent violated Canon 16. The respondent admits to losing certificates of
land titles that were entrusted to his care by Reynold.83 According to the respondent, the complainant "maliciously retained" the
TCTs over the properties sold by Laurentino to Reynold after she borrowed them from his office.84 Reynold confirms that the TCTs
were taken by the complainant from the respondent’s law office. The respondent is reminded that his duty under Canon 16 is to
"hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession." Allowing a party to take the original TCTs of
properties owned by another – an act that could result in damage – should merit a finding of legal malpractice.

We likewise find the respondent liable for violating Canon 18, Rule 18.03 for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him. Despite the
respondent’s admission that he represented the complainant and her late husband in Civil Case No. 2902 and that he purportedly
filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene in their behalf, the records show that he never filed such a motion for the spouses Ylaya. The
complainant herself states that she and her late husband were forced to file the Motion for Leave to Intervene on their own behalf.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

#2 BERNALDEZ v. ANQUILO-GARCIA A.C. No. 8698 August 31, 2016 Reyes, J.

PETITIONER: Manuel B. Bernaldez RESPONDENT: Atty. Wilma Donna C. Anquilo-Garcia

DOCTRINE: It must be stressed that administrative proceedings against lawyers are sui generis and they belong to a class
of their own. They are neither civil nor criminal actions but rather investigations by the Court into the conduct of its
officers.

FACTS: The complainant alleges that during the 2010 National and Local Elections, Atty. Anquilo-Garcia coerced and threatened
registered voters in the Municipality of Biri, Northern Samar to sign blank and ready-made affidavits stating that they were
illiterate/disabled voters when in fact, they were not and that they needed assistors in voting.

According to the complainant, the scheme was employed by Atty. Anquilo-Garcia to ensure the victory of her husband,' Jaime
Garcia, Jr. (Garcia Jr.), who was running for Mayor in Biri, Northern Samar.

Moreover, the complainant avers that the affiants never appeared before Atty. Anquilo-Garcia nor was it possible for her to go to
Catarman, Northern Samar which is 50 kilometers away by land and sea from Biri, Northern Samar to execute the affidavits on the
election day itself.

Atty. Anquilo-Garcia denied having prepared ready-made affidavits and contended that what she prepared and notarized were
affidavits of affiants who sought her help and services as notary public so that they may be allowed to vote with assistors because of
difficulty in reading and/or some physical disability.

Moreover, she asserted that the affiants personally appeared before her on May 10, 2010 in Biri, Northern Samar and voluntarily
executed the affidavits without being threatened, intimidated and paid. She alleged that the affidavits attached to the complaint were
manufactured and/or falsified in order to suit the allegations of the complainant, her husband Garcia Jr.'s opposing candidate for the
mayoralty. The same affidavits were also used as exhibits in the election protest filed by the complainant against Garcia Jr. before
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Catarman, Northern Samar, docketed as Election Protest (E.P.) Case No. 38.

The Court referred the instant case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Before the case was resolved, the complainant
filed his Affidavit of Withdrawal of the complaint stating that he is desisting from pursuing the instant disbarment case. He stated that
the filing of the instant case was merely due to misapprehension of facts and misunderstanding of the incidents.

Commissioner Giovanne T. Lim recommended that the instant case be dismissed without prejudice. As to the withdrawal of the
complaint, Commissioner Lim held that in disbarment cases, the desistance or withdrawal on the part of the complainant is not
sufficient to terminate the administrative proceedings.

The IBP Board of Governors issued a Notice of Resolution adopting and approving the Report and Recommendation of
Commissioner Lim.

ISSUE: Whether or not the withdrawal of the complaint is a sufficient ground to terminate the disbarment case against Atty. Anquilo-
Garcia

HELD: NO. To begin with, it must be stressed that administrative proceedings against lawyers are sui generis and they belong to a
class of their own. They are neither civil nor criminal actions but rather investigations by the Court into the conduct of its officers.
The instant administrative case is, thus, distinct from and may proceed independently of the election case. E.P. Case No. 38 refers
to an election contest involving fraud or irregularities committed in the conduct of the elections, while the present disbarment case
seeks to discipline Atty. Anquilo-Garcia as a lawyer for her alleged gross misconduct, deceit, violation of her oath as a lawyer, and
abuse of authority as notary public. Thus, there is no need to await the final resolution of the election protest filed by the complainant
before the instant disbarment case may be acted upon.

Likewise, the fact that the complainant filed a withdrawal of the complaint during the pendency of this case is of no moment. In
Ventura v. Atty. Samson, the Court held that the complainant's affidavit of desistance cannot have the effect of abating the
administrative proceedings in view of the public service character of the practice of law and the nature of disbarment proceedings as
a public interest concern.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

2. Confidential

#1 TAN v. CARPIO MORALES G.R. No. 173940 September 5, 2006 Tinga, J.

PETITIONER: TOMAS G. TAN & CST ENTERPRISES, RESPONDENT: IBP COMMISSION ON BAR DISCIPLINE and
INC., represented by NELSON G. TAN, ATTY. JAIME N. SORIANO

DOCTRINE: Disciplinary proceedings against a lawyer are private and confidential until its final determination. The
confidential nature of the proceedings has a threefold purpose, to wit:
(i) to enable the court and the investigator to make the investigation free from any extraneous influence or
interference;
(ii) to protect the personal and professional reputation of attorneys from baseless charges of disgruntled, vindictive and
irresponsible persons or clients by prohibiting the publication of such charges pending their resolution; and
(iii) to deter the press from publishing the charges or proceedings based thereon.

FACTS: Petitioner Tomas Tan, stockholder and director of co-petitioner CST Enterprises, Inc. (CST), discovered that 2 parcels of
land owned by the corporation were used to obtain loans from Philippine Business Bankk (PBB), with the real estate mortgage
annotated at the back of the titles covering the properties. Upon verification, he learned that a certain John Chua, representing CST,
mortgaged the properties. Chua was purportedly authorized by the Board of Directors of the corporation as shown by the Corporate
Secretary’s Certificate dated 04 April 2001 signed by Atty. Jaime N. Soriano (respondent).

Later on, petitioner filed in his personal capacity and as minority stockholder of CST under a derivative action, a letter-complaint with
the IBP charging respondent of deceit, malpractice, falsification of public documents, gross misconduct and violation of oath of
office. Petitioner alleged that respondent has never been elected as corporate secretary nor acted as such for CST, and in fact no
board meeting was held to so authorize John Chua because on the said date two of three directors, petitioner Tan and Felipe Chua,
were out of the country. Furthermore, John Dennis Chua has never been connected in any capacity with CST, petitioners aver. In
addition, Petitioners filed a civil case captioned as ―Notes and Mortgage, Nullity of Secretary’s Certificate, Injunction,‖ Damages, etc.
with Prayer for Issuance of TRO/ Preliminary Injunction, against respondent, Atty. Stephen Z. Taala and PBB, along with other
persons.

Petitioners also filed with IBP-CBD (Commission) a motion to amend/supplement the complaint with motion to admit the same,
claiming that respondent and Atty. Taala had facilitated and recommended the approval of the allegedly spurious loans and
mortgage entered into by John Dennis Chua. The Commission denied the motion on the ground that amendments/ supplements
involve proceedings pending before the trial courts and that the determination of the matters presented belong to said courts which
have already acquired jurisdiction over them. In the denial of the MR, Commission ruled that, it cannot make a premature finding on
and/or investigation of the alleged acts of Atty. Taala since the same are the subject of a pending civil case. Thus, the petitioners
filed a petition for certiorari. One of the claims of the petitioners is that respondent’s allegations in his Verified Answer are untruthful
and perjurious as he knowingly cited untruthful testimonies and affidavits from the records of the civil case with the RTC of Makati.

In respondent’s comment, he claims that petitioners breached the rule that proceedings against attorneys should be kept private and
confidential, when the latter disclosed in Civil Case No. 02-299 the contents of his Verified Answer filed before the Commission,
quoting almost verbatim said contents. This is a violation of Section 18, Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court. He alleges that petitioners
even made the basis of his amended complaint in the civil case the allegations contained in respondent’s Verified Answer before the
Commission.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner breached the rule that proceedings against attorneys should be kept private and confidential.

HELD: Yes. Petitioners violated the rule because they divulged what is essentially confidential information. Thus, they violated
Section 18, Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court.
Sec. 18. Confidentiality.—Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. However, the final order of the Supreme
Court shall be published like its decision in other cases.
Disciplinary proceedings against a lawyer are private and confidential until its final determination. The confidential
nature of the proceedings has a threefold purpose, to wit:
(i) to enable the court and the investigator to make the investigation free from any extraneous influence or interference;
(ii) to protect the personal and professional reputation of attorneys from baseless charges of disgruntled, vindictive and irresponsible
persons or clients by prohibiting the publication of such charges pending their resolution; and
(iii) to deter the press from publishing the charges or proceedings based thereon.

A review of the records disclose that petitioners lifted and cited most of the amendatory averments in respondent’s Verified Answer
in the administrative case as the core of their Amended Complaint in the civil case. In fact, petitioners even identified the Verified
Answer and the disbarment proceedings itself as the sources of the averments in the Amended Complaint before the trial court.
Petitioners had in effect announced to the world the pending disbarment case against respondent. Not only did they disclose the
ongoing proceedings, they also divulged most, if not all of the contents of respondent’s Verified Answer. Clearly, petitioners’ acts
impinged on the confidential nature of the disbarment proceedings against Atty. Soriano.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Petitioners are REMINDED to preserve the confidentiality of the administrative
proceedings.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

3. Prescription

#1 CALO v. DE GAMO G.R. No. 516 June 27, 1967 JBL Reyes

PETITIONER: Tranquilino Calo Jr. RESPONDENT: Esteban De Gamo

DOCTRINE: The ordinary statutes of limitation have no application to disbarment proceedings, nor does the circumstance
that the facts set up as a ground for disbarment constitute a crime, prosecution for which in a criminal proceeding is
barred by limitation, affect the disbarment proceeding.

FACTS: Disbarment proceedings against the respondent Esteban Degamo upon a verified letter-complaint of the petitioner,
Tranquilino O. Calo, Jr., filed with this Court on 2 March 1962, and charging the former with "having committed false statement
under oath or perjury" in connection with his appointment as Chief of Police of Carmen, Agusan.

On 12 March 1962, this Court required the respondent to file "an answer (not a motion to dismiss.) After interposing an unsuccessful
motion for a bill of particulars, he filed his answer on 29 May 1962 and this Court accordingly referred the case to the Solicitor-
General for investigation, report and recommendation. In turn, the Solicitor General referred the case to the Provincial Fiscal of
Agusan. The fiscal conducted an investigation. The petitioner adduced evidence, but not the respondent, because on the date set
for hearing, on 25 July 1964, following several postponements, the respondent failed to attend, despite due notice, for which reason
the investigating fiscal considered the respondent as having waived his right to present evidence. Thereafter, the fiscal forwarded
the record of the investigation to the Solicitor General. On the basis thereof, the Solicitor General filed his report and a complaint
with this Court, recommending the disbarment of the respondent, for gross misconduct.

No evidence having been submitted by the respondent, the following facts are either unrebutted or admitted: On 17 January 1959,
respondent Esteban Degamo, as an applicant to the position of Chief of Police of Carmen, Agusan, subscribed and swore to a filled-
out "Information Sheet" before Mayor Jose Malimit of the same municipality. The sheet called for answers about name, personal
circumstances, educational attainment, civil service eligibility and so forth. One item required to be filled out reads:

Criminal or police record, if any, including those which did not reach the Court. (State the details of case and the final outcome.)" —
to which respondent answered, "None."

Having accomplished the form, the respondent was appointed by the mayor to the position applied for. However, on the day the
respondent swore to the information sheet, there was pending against him, and two (2) other co-accused, a criminal case in the
Court of First Instance of Bohol (No. 2646) for illegal possession of explosive powder.

Prior to the commencement of this administrative case, the respondent was also charged in an information, dated 23 September
1960, for perjury, in the Court of First Instance of Agusan, docketed as Criminal Case No. 2194, on the same facts upon which he is
now proceeded against as a member of the Philippine bar.

In his defense, the respondent claims that his answer "None" to the aforequoted questionnaire was made in good faith, it being his
honest interpretation of the particular question (heretofore quoted) that it referred to a final judgment or conviction and that Criminal
Case No. 2646 was not a criminal or police record.

The defense is plainly untenable. The questionnaire was simple, couched in ordinary terms and devoid of legalism hence, it needed
no interpretation. It only called for simple information. That it asked for records "which did not reach the Court" entirely disproves
respondent's technical twist to the question as referring to final judgments or convictions.

Petitioner's letter-complaint was filed on 2 March 1962 while the act of the respondent complained of was committed on 17 January
1959. Without explaining how and upon what authority, respondent invokes the defense of prescription.

ISSUE: Whether or not the cause of action of Calo against DeGamo has prescribed

HELD: This defense does not lie; the rule is that — The ordinary statutes of limitation have no application to disbarment
proceedings, nor does the circumstance that the facts set up as a ground for disbarment constitute a crime, prosecution for which in
a criminal proceeding is barred by limitation, affect the disbarment proceeding. Nor is the pendency of Criminal Case No. 2194 (for
perjury) a prejudicial question, since the ground for disbarment in the present proceeding is not for conviction of a crime involving
moral turpitude but for gross misconduct. A violation of a criminal law is not a bar to, and an acquittal is no obstacle to cancellation
of the lawyer's license.

Respondent Degamo stresses that there is no cause of action against him because the information sheet is not required by law but
only by the Civil Service Commission. This argument is beside the point. The issue is whether or not he acted honestly when he
denied under oath the existence against him of any criminal or police record, including those that did not reach the court. In this, he
did not tell the truth. He deliberately concealed it in order to secure an appointment in his own favor. He, therefore, failed to maintain
that high degree of morality expected and required of a member of the bar, and he has violated his oath as a lawyer to "do no
falsehood". It needs no reiteration that the ethical standards applicable to a member of the bar, who thereby automatically becomes
a court officer, must necessarily be one higher than that of the market place. The facts being clear and undisputed, respondent's
insistence upon patent technical excuses disentitle him to leniency from his Court. For the foregoing reasons, respondent Esteban
Degamo is hereby disbarred, and his name ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys. So ordered.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

4. Res Ipsa Loquitur

#1 THE CHRISTIAN SPIRITISTS IN THE PHILIPPINES A.C. No. 10483 March 18, 2016 BERSAMIN, J
v. MANGALLAY

PETITIONER: THE CHRISTIAN SPIRITISTS IN THE RESPONDENT: ATTY. DANIEL D. MANGALLAY


PHILIPPINES, INC., PICO LOCAL CENTER (CSP-
PLC), REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-
FACT, EDWIN A. PANTE

DOCTRINE: Disciplinary proceedings of attorneys may be taken by the SC, motu proprio, or by the IBP itself upon the
verified complaint of any person. Should the complaint be filed directly with the SC, the same is referred to the IBP for
investigation, report and recommendation. The reference to the IBP is resorted to whenever the factual basis for the
charge may be contested or disputed, or may require the reception of the evidence of the complainant and the respondent
attorney. After the referral and hearings, the IBP renders its findings and recommendations on the complaint, subject to
the review by the Court. Yet, the Court may dispense with the referral to the IBP and resolve the charge without delay. This
happens particularly when the charge is patently frivolous, or insincere, or unwarranted, or intended only to harass and
spite the respondent attorney.

NOTE: Doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (Latin, ‘the thing speaks for itself’) was not expressly mentioned in this case.
Nevertheless, the doctrine (in my opinion) was applied, thus:

The referral to the IBP (for formal investigation) is not compulsory when the administrative complaint, as in this case, can
be decided on the basis of the pleadings filed with the SC, or when the referral to the IBP for the conduct of formal
investigation would be redundant or unnecessary, such as when the protraction of the investigation equates to undue
delay. Dismissal of the case may even be directed at the outset should the SC find the complaint to be clearly wanting in
merit.

FACTS: Atty. Mangallay, respondent herein, filed an unlawful detainer case before the MTC against, among others, Christian
Spiritists in the Philippines, Inc., Pico Local Center (CSP-PLC) and its local Minister Edwin Pante. Atty. Mangallay claimed
ownership of the land where the church of the CSP-PLC had been erected, attaching a copy of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT)
and the deed of absolute sale executed between him and one Pedro Loy. MTC ruled in favor of Atty. Mangallay, declaring him to
have the better right of possession, and the CSP-PLC as a builder in good faith, without prejudice to the former exercising his option
to appropriate the building in accordance with Article 448 of the Civil Code. After the defendants in the civil action filed their notice of
appeal, the parties agreed to settle among themselves, with the defendants withdrawing the notice of appeal and agreeing to
voluntarily vacate and remove their structures in consideration of the respondent's financial assistance of P300,000. The said
defendants reneged on their promise despite receipt of money from Atty. Mangallay, prompting the latter to seek and consequently
obtain the writs of execution and of demolition from MTC. Two sheriffs, accompanied by Atty. Mangallay and elements of the PNP,
implemented both writs, demolishing the church building and the pastoral house of the CSP-PLC.

Pante filed the present administrative complaint, insisting that: 1) the demolition was done without a demolition order from the MTC;
2) the dismantled materials were forcibly taken away by Atty. Mangallay, who had taken advantage of his legal knowledge to cause
the premature demolition of the structures sans the demolition order; 3) such taking away of the dismantled materials constituted
robbery and malicious mischief; and, 4) the foregoing acts warranted his disbarment. Atty. Mangallay, on the other hand, avers that
it was not he but the sheriffs who implemented the writ of demolition; that the sheriffs’ report stated that the conduct of the
implementation was peaceful -- Pante and the other members of the church personally observed the conduct of the demolition; and,
that Pante showed no defiance of the lawful order of the court. Respondent further submits that there was nothing wrong in his
appropriating the dismantled materials to ensure compensation for the expenses incurred in the demolition.

ISSUE/S:
Should the present administrative complaint be referred first by the SC to the IBP for formal investigation?
W/N Atty. Mangallay is guilty of gross misconduct and deceit in causing the demolition of the structures allegedly without a
demolition order from the court and with abuse of his legal knowledge, and in appropriating the dismantled materials

HELD: NO. The documents Atty. Mangallay submitted to substantiate his denial of professional wrongdoing are part of the records
of the trial court, and, as such, are sufficient to establish the unworthiness of the complaint as well as his lawful entitlement to the
demolition of the structures of the defendants in the Civil Case.

The SC had the occasion to discuss how disbarment, suspension or disciplinary proceedings of attorneys are instituted. Under Rule
139-B of the Rules of Court, the proceedings may be taken by the SC, motu proprio, or by the IBP itself upon the verified complaint
of any person. Should the disciplinary complaint against the attorney be filed directly with the SC, the complaint is referred to the
IBP for investigation, report and recommendation. The reference to the IBP is resorted to whenever the factual basis for the charge
may be contested or disputed, or may require the reception of the evidence of the complainant and the respondent attorney. After
the referral and hearings, the IBP renders its findings and recommendations on the complaint, subject to the review by the Court.
Yet, the Court may dispense with the referral to the IBP and resolve the charge without delay. This happens particularly when the
charge is patently frivolous, or insincere, or unwarranted, or intended only to harass and spite the respondent attorney.

The SC has not enunciated any rule that prohibits the direct filing with it of administrative complaints against attorneys in order to
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

emphasize its role as the guardian of the legal profession with the ultimate disciplinary power over attorneys. The disciplinary power
of the Court is both a right and a duty. Quite recently, however, the SC has revised Rule 139-B to eliminate any ambiguity about the
authority of the SC to directly receive administrative complaints against attorneys, thus:

Section 1. How Instituted. - Proceedings for the disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme
Court motu proprio, or upon the filing of a verified complaint of any person before the Supreme Court or the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP). The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of
persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts.

The IBP shall forward to the Supreme Court for appropriate disposition all complaints for disbarment, suspension and discipline filed
against incumbent Justices of the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals and judges of lower courts, or against
lawyers in the government service, whether or not they are charged singly or jointly with other respondents, and whether or not such
complaint deals with acts unrelated to the discharge of their official functions. If the complaint is filed before the IBP. Six (6) copies
of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapter who shall forthwith transmit
the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator.

x x x x

B. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPREME COURT

Section 13. Investigation of complaints. - In proceedings initiated by the Supreme Court, or in other proceedings when the interest of
justice so requires, the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Office of the Bar Confidant, or to any officer of the
Supreme Court or judge of a lower court, in which case the investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in sections 6 to
11 hereof, save that the review of the report of investigation shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court.

The complaint may also be referred to the IBP for investigation, report, and recommendation.

The administrative complaints against attorneys are generally not dismissed outright but are instead referred for investigation, report
and recommendation either to the IBP, or the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC), or any office of the Court or even a judge of a lower
court. Such referral ensures that the parties' right to due process is respected as to matters that require further inquiry and which
cannot be resolved by the mere evaluation of the documents attached to the pleadings. Consequently, whenever the referral is
made by the SC, the IBP, the OBC or other authorized office or individual must conduct the formal investigation of the administrative
complaint, and this investigation is a mandatory requirement that cannot be dispensed with except for valid and compelling reasons
because it serves the purpose of threshing out all the factual issues that no cursory evaluation of the pleadings can determine.

The referral to the IBP, however, is not compulsory when the administrative complaint, as in this case, can be decided on the basis
of the pleadings filed with the SC, or when the referral to the IBP for the conduct of formal investigation would be redundant or
unnecessary, such as when the protraction of the investigation equates to undue delay. Dismissal of the case may even be directed
at the outset should the SC find the complaint to be clearly wanting in merit. Indeed, the Rules of Court should not be read as
preventing the giving of speedy relief whenever such speedy relief is warranted. It is upon this that SC dispensed with the need to
refer the complaint against the respondent Atty. Mangallay to the IBP for the conduct of the formal investigation. As aforestated, the
documents Atty. Mangallay submitted are sufficient to establish the unworthiness of the administrative complaint as well as his
lawful entitlement to the demolition of the structures in question.

2) NO. The demolition was authorized by an order issued by the MTC. The presence of the respondent during the execution
proceedings was by no means irregular or improper, for he was the plaintiff in the unlawful detainer case. The CSP-PCL, then
represented by Pante and some other members of the congregation, did not manifest any resistance or objection to any irregularity
in the conduct of the execution. After all, elements of the PNP were also present to ensure the peaceful implementation of the writ of
execution. Neither is there anything wrong or criminal in the act of the respondent of taking away the materials of the demolished
structures. It is notable that the MTC judgment expressly directed Atty. Mangallay to exercise his option pursuant to the provisions of
Article 448 of the New Civil Code. This granted to him as the owner of the premises, among others, "the right to appropriate as his
own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548." His act of taking the
materials of the demolished structures was undoubtedly the exercise of the right of appropriating them in light of the fact that the
P300,000 earlier delivered as financial assistance was most likely meant to indemnify the supposed builders in good faith.

Furthermore, respondent presented the letter of the Christian Spiritists in the Philippines, Inc., the mother organization to which the
CSP-PLC belonged, to the effect that it was disavowing knowledge of or participation in the present disbarment complaint. The
complaint had been filed by Edwin Pante only for his personal interest at the expense of the congregation. The sentiments
expressed in the letter manifested the inanity of the complaint, and the ill motives behind Pante's filing of the complaint against the
respondent. WHEREFORE, the case was dismissed for utter lack of merit.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

5. It may be initiated Motu Proprio

#1 BORRES v. ABELA G.R. Nos. 131023, 131505, 131768 July, 17, 2007 YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.

PETITIONER: BORRES HEIRS RESPONDENT: HON. JULIUS L. ABELA

DOCTRINE: 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.. 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.

FACTS: In 1929, CFI of Capiz adjudicated Lot No. 3376 in favor of Faustina, Segundina, Felisa, Micaela, Maria, and Sixto, all
surnamed Borres. It appears that Faustina and her siblings mortgaged the subject property in favor of Navitas Fishing Company but
failed to redeem the same. Faustina's granddaughter Victoria Radjaie (Mrs. Radjaie) claims sole ownership over the property which
she allegedly inherited from her father who redeemed the same. The Borres heirs represented by Atty. Alberto Villarruz, filed a
complaint for partition alleging that Jose fraudulently issuance of the title exclusively in his name. The case was raffled to RTC
presided by Judge Alovera.

Allegedly, Mrs. Radjaie failed to answer and was declared in default. The Borres heirs presented their evidence ex-parte. In a
Decision allegedly promulgated on January 30, 1995, Judge Alovera declared the subject property as commonly owned by Mrs.
Radjaie and the Borres heirs. On January 31, 1995, Judge Alovera retired from the judiciary.

Acting Judge Villarruz, issued a writ of execution to enforce the January 30, 1995 Decision and the subject property was turned over
to the Borres heirs.

Mrs. Radjaie filed a petition for relief assailing the Jan 30, 1995 Decision and alleged that she was never served with summons, so
RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over her person and that the January 30, 1995 Decision was penned by Judge Alovera after his
retirement.

Mrs. Radjaie likewise filed a disbarment complaint against Judge Alovera before the SC.

Judge Abela was appointed as the new Presiding Judge. He nullified the Decision dated January 30, 1995 and the Order dated
January 9, 1996. Judge Abela ultimately found for Mrs. Radjaie and issued two orders, viz:

Order dated October 14, 1997, directing Atty. Villaruz to show cause as to why he should not be suspended for deceit, malpractice
or gross misconduct. Atty. Villaruz made it appear that a hearing was held in December 10, 1993 when in fact no hearing was
conducted on that day and for making it appear that he filed his Offer of Exhibits on January 30, 1995, when in fact no pleading had
been actually filed; and

Order dated November 6, 1997, directing Judge Alovera to show cause as to why he should not be suspended for Admitting the
Offer of Exhibits of Atty. Villaruz, when in fact no such pleading had been filed, and for submitting the Decision dated January 30,
1995 on August 1, 1995 when he was already retired and no longer had any authority to decide the case.

Both Judge Alovera and Atty. Villaruz did not file their responses to the Show-Cause Orders, and, in an Order dated November 28,
1997, both were eventually suspended by Judge Abela. Hence this Petition, by Judge Alovera and Atty. Villaruz as Petitioners,
assailing the Order dated November 28, 1997. Judge Alovera and Atty. Villaruz contend that they had been denied due process and
that Judge Abela had no authority to suspend them.

ISSUE: Whether Judge Abela committed grave abuse of discretion in suspending petitioners Atty. Villarruz and Judge Alovera from
the practice of law.

HELD: NO. The Office of the Bar Confidant found more than sufficient evidence to sustain the charge against respondent that the
January 30, 1995 decision was penned by respondent after his retirement from the judiciary on January 31, 1995. Evidence show
that he wrote the decision sometime in February and submitted the same in August 1, 1995 or 7 months after his retirement.

Judge Abela did not gravely abuse his discretion in suspending Atty. Villarruz and Judge Alovera from the practice of law. He acted
pursuant to Section 28 of Rule 138 and Section 16, Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court which provide that the Court of Appeals or a
Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office,
grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the lawyer’s oath,
or for a willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to
a case without authority to do so.

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.. 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. Indeed it is not only the right but the duty of the Court to
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

institute upon its own motion, proper proceedings for the suspension or 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.

In this case, Mrs. Radjaie sought an investigation on the alleged anomalies in the proceedings of Civil Case No. V-6186. Such
constitutes sufficient ground for Judge Abela to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The contention that they had been denied due
process cannot stand since they had been duly notified of the Show Cause Orders and the Hearings thereon, but the never filed
their responses thereto.
and instead filed their respective petitions for certiorari directly before this Court.

The propriety or impropriety of the suspension against Judge Alovera is already moot since he had nevertheless been disbarred in
Administrative Case No. 4748. In so far as the propriety or impropriety of the suspension of Atty. Villaruz, the suspension had been
ordered to be held in abeyance until further orders from the Supreme Court.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

B. Grounds for Disbarment

1. Rule 138, Sec. 27 of the ROC: (DM2C-GOW)


a. Deceit;
b. Malpractice or other Gross Misconduct in Office;
c. Grossly Immoral Conduct;
d. Conviction of a Crime involving Moral Turpitude;
e. Violation of Oath of Office;
f. Willful Disobedience of any Lawful Order of a Superior Court; and
g. Corrupt or Willful Appearance for a Client without Authority to do so.

2. Other Statutory Grounds: (BAR)


a. Acquisition of an interest in the subject matter of litigation, either through purchase or assignment (CIVIL
CODE, Art. 1491);
b. Breach of professional duty, inexcusable negligence, or ignorance, or for the revelation of the client’s
secrets (REVISED PENAL CODE, Art. 208); and
c. Representing conflicting interests (REVISED PENAL CODE, Art. 209).

3. Lawyer’s Misconduct in His Private Capacity


4. Misconduct Before or Incident to Admission
5. Misconduct committed outside Philippine jurisdiction

(MEMORY AID 2017, pp. 66-67)


PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

C. Proceedings

#1 AGNO v. CAGATAN A.C. NO. 4515 JULY 14, 2008 LEONARDO-DE CASTR, J.

PETITIONER: CEICILIA AGNO RESPONDENT: ATTY. MARCIANO J. CAGATAN

DOCTRINE: [The] rule is premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment
is not in any sense a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer 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 attorneys 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.

FACTS: The record shows that respondent, Atty. Marciano J. Cagatan, was the President of International Services Recruitment
Corporation (ISRC), a corporation engaged in the recruitment of Filipino workers for overseas employment. Said respondent entered
into a Memorandum of Agreement with a United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) national, Mr. Khalifa H. Juma, the husband of herein
complainant, Cecilia A. Agno.

On December 26, 1995, which was more than three (3) years after the execution of the aforesaid agreement, a Complaint-Affidavit
for disbarment was filed with this Court by the complainant against the respondent claiming that the latter used fraud, deceit and
misrepresentation, in enticing her husband, Khalifa, to join ISRC and invest therein the amount of P500,000.00 and that although
the respondent received the aforesaid amount, the complainant learned from her inquiries with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) and the POEA that the respondent failed to comply with the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement. The
complainant found out that the said Memorandum of Agreement could not be validated without the approval of the Board of
Directors of ISRC. While respondent even had the complainant sign an affidavit stating that she was then the acting Treasurer of
ISRC, her appointment as Treasurer was not submitted to the SEC. The records of the SEC showed that the Board of Directors,
officers and stockholders of ISRC remained unchanged and her name and that of her husband did not appear as officers and/or
stockholders thereof. From the POEA, on the other hand, the complainant learned that ISRCs recruitment license was yet to be
reinstated.

The complainant claimed that respondent used for his own personal benefit the P500,000.00 that she and her husband invested in
ISRC. When she demanded that respondent return the said sum of money, respondent issued a bank check dated March 30, 1994
in favor of the complainant in the amount of P500,000.00 which was dishonored for being drawn against a closed account. Despite
repeated demands by complainant, the respondent failed to settle his obligation or redeem his dishonored check, prompting the
complainant to file a case for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 against the respondent. An information was filed before the
Municipal Trial Court of Cainta, Rizal, charging the respondent with the said offense and a warrant of arrest was issued against
respondent after the latter failed several times to attend his arraignment. The complainant prayed for the disbarment of the
respondent for issuing a bouncing check and for his act of dishonesty in assuring her and her husband that the Memorandum of
Agreement would suffice to install them as stockholders and officers of ISRC which induced them to invest in said corporation the
amount of P500,000.00.

In his Comment, respondent denied the charges against him and averred that while ISRCs recruitment license was cancelled by the
DOLE in 1988, such cancellation was lifted by the Office of the President on March 30, 1993, on appeal. During the pendency of the
said appeal, he and complainants husband Khalifa entered into a Memorandum of Agreement because the latter offered to buy
shares of stock of ISRC in order to finance the then pending appeal for the reinstatement of the ISRC license and for Khalifa and the
complainant to undertake the full management and operation of the corporation. The respondent further alleged that Khalifa H.
Juma, through the complainant, paid on various dates the total amount of P500,000.00, which respondent claimed he used to
reimburse borrowed sums of money to pursue the appeal with the Office of the President. According to the respondent, while there
were still legal procedures to be observed before the sale of shares of ISRC to non-stockholders, Khalifa and complainant were in a
hurry to start the business operation of ISRC. Consequently, respondent sold and assigned his own shareholdings in ISRC for
P500,000.00 to Khalifa as evidenced by a Deed of Assignment dated April 26, 1993. The respondent, in turn, issued a check in the
amount of P500,000.00, which was not intended to be encashed but only to guarantee the reimbursement of the money to Khalifa
and the complainant in case the appeal would be decided adversely against ISRC. Conversely, the check would be returned to
respondent if the appeal is resolved in favor of ISRC. The respondent denied employing fraud or misrepresentation since allegedly,
Khalifa and the complainant decided to buy his shares after being told, upon inquiry in Malacanang, that ISRC had a good case. The
respondent averred that complainant was motivated by bad faith and malice in allegedly fabricating criminal charges against him
instead of seeking rescission of the Deed of Assignment and refund of the consideration for the sale of the shares of stock.

In a Resolution dated May 22, 1996, this Court referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation,
report and recommendation.

Thus, the Commissioners recommendation:

Given all the foregoing, it is submitted that respondent manifested lack of candor, when he knowingly failed to provide the
complainant with accurate and complete information due her under the circumstances. It is respectfully recommended that
respondent be SUSPENDED from the practice of law in the maximum period prescribed by law and to return the money received
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

from the complainant.

On October 22, 2005, the Board of Governors of the IBP passed Resolution No. XVII-2005-102 adopting and approving, with
modification, the afore-quoted report and recommendation of the investigating commissioner, to wit:

RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED, with modification, the Report and
Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case, herein made part of this Resolution as Annex A,
and finding, the Recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules, and considering
Respondents lack of candor when he knowingly failed to provide complainant with the accurate and complete information due her,
Atty. Marciano J. Cagatan is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two (2) years and Restitution of the money received
from complainant.

In his Motion for Reconsideration of the IBP Investigating Commissioners Report and Recommendation of October 12, 2004,
respondent contends that complainant, not being a party-in-interest in the agreement between respondent and Mr. Khalifa H. Juma,
has no legal standing to file the instant complaint.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not Agno has no legal standing to file the complaint.
2. Whether or not Atty. Cagatan employed fraud, deceit or misrepresentation when he entered into the Memorandum of Agreement
with Khalifa and received from the latter a sum of money in the amount of P500,000.00.

HELD:
1. YES. Section 1, Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court explicitly provides that proceedings for disbarment, suspension or discipline of
attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio, or by the IBP upon the verified complaint of any person. Accordingly,
we held in Navarro v. Meneses III, as reiterated in Ilusorio-Bildner v. Lokin, that:

The argument of respondent that complainant has no legal personality to sue him is unavailing. Section 1, Rule 139-B of the Rules
of Court provides that proceedings for the disbarment, suspension or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court
motu propio or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. The right to institute a
disbarment proceeding is not confined to clients nor is it necessary that the person complaining suffered injury from the alleged
wrongdoing. Disbarment proceedings are matters of public interest and the only basis for judgment is the proof or failure of proof of
the charges. The evidence submitted by complainant before the Commission on Bar Discipline sufficed to sustain its resolution and
recommended sanctions. (Emphasis ours)

The rationale was explained by us in Rayos-Ombac v. Rayos, viz:


[The] rule is premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in any sense a
civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer 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 attorneys 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. (Word in brackets ours)

Prescinding therefrom, it is, therefore, immaterial whether or not complainant herein was a party to the subject transaction. In any
event, complainant is actually a party-in-interest thereto because she is mentioned as the treasurer of ISRC in the Memorandum of
Agreement; as well as one of the assignees in the Deed of Assignment of shares of ISRC stocks which respondent alleged to have
executed; and as the payee in the bank check issued by the respondent for the amount of P500,000.00.

2. YES. The complainant contends that pursuant to their agreement, she gave the amount of P500,000.00 to the respondent to be
used for the reinstatement of ISRCs recruitment license as well as to start the business operation of the corporation. The
respondent, however, claims that complainant misinterpreted their agreement because the P500,000.00 the latter gave him was in
payment of his personal shares of ISRC stock, as evidenced by a Deed of Assignment.

We are constrained to give credence to the complainant’s contention. The due execution and authenticity of the Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) between the parties are undisputed. Moreover, the terms thereof are clear and explicit that for and in
consideration of the joint ownership of ISRC, the husband of the complainant, Mr. Khalifa Juma, would pay the amount of
P500,000.00, P250,000.00 of which would be used for the reinstatement of ISRCs license, while the other P250,000.00 was for the
start of the operation of the corporation and to liquidate pending government and other obligations, if any. Nowhere in said MOA is
the alleged assignment of shares mentioned. The testimony of the complainant on this score is more credible than that of the
respondent because it conforms with the written stipulations in the MOA. In contrast, the respondent’s explanations with respect to
the P500,000.00 in question had been inconsistent.

Indeed, the deceit and misrepresentation employed by the respondent was seemingly evident right at the outset when he entered
into the MOA concerning the joint ownership and operation of ISRC with the complainant’s husband, knowing fully well that he could
not do so without the consent of and/or authority from the corporation’s Board of Directors. The unilateral execution by respondent
of the Deed of Assignment is a lame excuse offered by the respondent. We agree with the observation of Commissioner San Juan
that the said deed, which was not at all mentioned in the MOA, was executed by the respondent after the complainant had
conducted her investigation of the true condition of the corporation. The so-called guarantee check appears to have also been
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

issued by respondent for the same reason.

Moreover, while the respondent made it appear in the MOA that the complainant would be appointed treasurer and her husband
Chairman of the Board of ISRC, the respondent had not complied with the said undertaking as per the Certification dated October
13, 1995 of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The respondent could not justify his non-compliance with the terms of
the MOA by citing ISRCs inability to comply with other governmental requirements for the reinstatement of its license for various
reasons, since the respondent failed to disclose the same to the complainant and her husband.

Particularly, the respondent failed to apprise the complainant as to the true state of ISRCs affairs that the reinstatement of the
corporation’s recruitment license would require not only a favorable action by the Office of the President on ISRCs appeal and the
payment of a surety bond, but also ISRCs clearance or exoneration in its other cases for recruitment violations pending with the
POEA. The respondent could not pass the blame to the complainant because of his belated excuse that complainant failed to infuse
an additional amount of P500,000.00. This new defense is clearly an afterthought and not supported by evidence.

In view of the foregoing, the Court holds that respondent has violated the Code of Professional Responsibility as well as his
attorney’s oath.

The Code of Professional Responsibility specifically mandates the following:


Canon 1. A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes.
Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
Canon 7. A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and support the activities of the Integrated
Bar.
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on 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.

The afore-cited canons emphasize the high standard of honesty and fairness expected of a lawyer not only in the practice of the
legal profession but in his personal dealings as well. [ A lawyer must conduct himself with great propriety, and his behavior should be
beyond reproach anywhere and at all times. For, as officers of the courts and keepers of the publics faith, they are burdened with
the highest degree of social responsibility and are thus mandated to behave at all times in a manner consistent with truth and
honor. Likewise, the oath that lawyers swear to impresses upon them the duty of exhibiting the highest degree of good faith,
fairness and candor in their relationships with others. Thus, lawyers may be disciplined for any conduct, whether in their professional
or in their private capacity, if such conduct renders them unfit to continue to be officers of the court.

Hence, in this case, we are in accord with the findings of the IBP Commissioner, as affirmed by the IBP Board of Governors. What is
more, we find respondent to be guilty of gross misconduct for issuing a worthless check.

In Sanchez v. Somoso, the Court ruled that a lawyer who paid another with a personal check from a bank account which he knew
has already been closed exhibited an extremely low regard to his commitment to the oath he took when he joined his peers, thereby
seriously tarnishing the image of the profession which he should hold in high esteem. In Moreno v. Araneta, we held that the
issuance of worthless checks constitutes gross misconduct, as the effect transcends the private interests of the parties directly
involved in the transaction and touches the interests of the community at large.

Respondent herein admitted having issued a check but claimed that it was only to guarantee the reimbursement of the P500,000.00
given to him by the complainant in case of an adverse decision in ISRCs appeal with the Office of the President. We note, however,
that said check was issued on March 30, 1994 or one year after the appeal adverted to had already been favorably acted upon on
March 30, 1993. Hence, our conclusion is that the check was issued only after the complainant demanded the return of their
P500,000.00 investment in ISRC. In any event, respondents act of issuing a guarantee check for P500,000.00, when he was
presumably aware that at the time of his issuance thereof his bank account against which the check was drawn was already closed,
clearly constitutes gross misconduct for which he should be penalized.

In sum, the amount of P500,000.00 was received by the respondent for the reinstatement of the license, but there is no showing that
it was used for such purpose, as the respondent failed to give any credible accounting or explanation as to the disbursement of the
said amount in accordance with the stipulations in the MOA. Respondent failed to disclose all the existing hindrances to the renewal
of ISRCs recruitment license, which enticed complainant and her husband to part with the aforesaid sum of money. He also
admittedly issued a check drawn against a closed account, which evinced his lack of intention to return the money to the
complainant pursuant to his supposed guarantee. It is thus proper for the Court to order its restitution as recommended by the IBP.
We find the recommended penalty of suspension from the practice of law for two (2) years by the IBP Board of Governors to be too
harsh considering that this is respondents first administrative offense. It is settled that the appropriate penalty which the Court may
impose on an errant lawyer depends on the exercise of sound judicial discretion based on the surrounding facts. Accordingly, for
employing deceit and misrepresentation in his personal dealings as well as for issuing a worthless check, we rule and so hold that
the penalty of suspension for one (1) year and one (1) month from the practice of law is sufficient to be meted out to respondent.

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Marciano J. Cagatan is SUSPENDED FOR ONE (1) YEAR and ONE (1) MONTH from the practice
of law with warning that repetition of the same or similar acts will merit a more severe penalty; and ordered to RESTITUTE the
amount of P500,000.00 to the complainant.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

#2 TAMARAY v. DAQUIS A.C. No. 10868 January 26, 2016 PONENTE

PETITIONER: Cheryl E. Vasco-Tamaray RESPONDENT: Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis

DOCTRINE: Pretending to be counsel for a party in a case and using a forged signature in a pleading merit the penalty of
disbarment.

FACTS: Cheryl E. Vasco-Tamaray (Cheryl) filed a complaint affidavit against herein respondent, Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis for
allegedly filing a petition on her behalf, without her consent and forged her signature on the petition. Vasco-Tamaray stated that
Atty. Daquis was not her counsel but that of her husband, Leomarte Regala Tamaray. She averred that, sometime in October 2006,
Cherly along with her friend, Marquez-Guerrero went to the East Café at Rustans Makati in order to meet the formers husband.
Leomarte introduced herein respondent as his lawyer and that he will be filling a case for the annulment of their marriage. Cheryl
was shocked and just cried.

Vasco-Tamaray narrated that in December 2006, Atty. Daquis informed her "that a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage was
filed before the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City.‖ On March 5, 2007, Vasco-Tamaray appeared before the City Prosecutor's
Office and met Atty. Daquis. She asked Atty. Daquis to give her a copy of the Petition but Atty. Daquis refused. Vasco-Tamaray
stated that she obtained a copy of the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage from Branch 207 of the Regional Trial Court of
Muntinlupa City. She was surprised to see that the Petition was allegedly signed and filed by her. Vasco-Tamaray alleged that she
did not file the Petition, that her signature was forged by Atty. Daquis, and that her purported community tax certificate appearing on
the jurat was not hers because she never resided in Muntinlupa City. She further alleged that she had never received any court
process. This is because the indicated address therein was the address of the Family of Leomarte Tamaray.

As a defense, Atty. Daquis argued that the complainant was her client and not the husband. The respondent explained that the
community tax certificate number was supplied by Vasco-Tamaray. This was supported by the affidavits issued by Atty. Daquis’
staff. They alleged that they knew Vasco-Tamaray to be a client of Atty. Daquis and that they never saw Atty. Daquis forge Vasco-
Tamaray's signature.

The Commission on Bar Discipline recommended the dismissal of the Complaint because Vasco-Tamaray failed to prove her
allegations. The Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines adopted and approved the Report and
Recommendation of the Commission on Bar Discipline in the Resolution dated September 27, 2014.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis should be held administratively liable for making it appear that she
is counsel for complainant Cheryl Vasco-Tamaray and for the alleged use of a forged signature on the Petition for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage. – YES

HELD: The Supreme Court ruled that the respondent violated Canons 1, 7, 10, and 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
By pretending to be counsel for complainant, respondent violated Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and
failed to uphold her duty of doing no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any falsehood in court as stated in the Lawyer's Oath. In
this case, the respondent merely denied the complainant’s allegations but failed to rebut the said allegations against her.
Respondent admitted that she met complainant in October 2006, but did not refute the statement in Maritess Marquez-Guerrero's
Affidavit that Leomarte Tamaray introduced her as his lawyer. Likewise, respondent admitted that she met with complainant
subsequently, but did not refute Maritess Marquez-Guerrero's statement that in one of the meetings, she tried to convince
complainant not to oppose Leomarte Tamaray's decision to annul their marriage. Based on this, it seems Leomarte Tamaray
intended to file the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage. However, respondent made it appear that complainant, not her client
Leomarte Tamaray, was the petitioner. There is a probability that respondent did not want Leomarte Tamaray to be the petitioner
because he would have to admit that he entered into a bigamous marriage, the admission of which may subject him to criminal
liability.

Furthermore, the Court ruled that the respondent violated Canon 7, Rule 7.03 and Canon 10, Rule 10.01 when she allowed the use
of a forged signature on a petition she prepared and notarized. In this case, there was a discrepancy with the signature of herein
complainant appearing on the petitioner and the identification cards issued by the University of the East. It seemed that the
signature of the complainant on the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage was forged. While there is no evidence to prove
that respondent forged complainant's signature, the fact remains that respondent allowed a forged signature to be used on a petition
she prepared and notarized.

Lastly, the respondent violated the proscription of representing conflicting interests. In this case, she acted as a lawyer for both the
husband and the wife.

On a final note, Rule 139-B has been amended by Bar Matter No. 1645 dated October 13, 2015. Section 12 of Rule 139-B now
provides that:
Rule 139-B. Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys
(a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted
to it by the Investigator with his report.
(b) After its review, the Board, by the vote of a majority of its total membership, shall recommend to the Supreme Court the
dismissal of the complaint or the imposition of disciplinary action against the respondent. The Board shall issue a resolution setting
forth its findings and recommendations, clearly and distinctly stating the facts and the reasons on which it is based. The resolution
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

shall be issued within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the next meeting of the Board following the submission of the
Investigator's report.
(c) The Board's resolution, together with the entire records and all evidence presented and submitted, shall be transmitted to the
Supreme Court for final action within ten (10) days from issuance of the resolution.
(d) Notice of the resolution shall be given to all parties through their counsel, if any.
Base from the foregoing it is only the Court which has the power to impose disciplinary action on members of the bar. The factual
findings and recommendations of the Commission on Bar Discipline and the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines are mere recommendations, subject to review by the Supreme Court.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

D. Discipline of Filipino Lawyer’s Practice in Foreign Jurisdiction

E. Contempt

#1 MONTECILLO v. GICA G.R. No. L-36800 October 21, 1974 PONENTE

PETITIONER: JORGE MONTECILLO RESPONDENT: FRANCISCO M. GICA, et. al.

DOCTRINE: 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.

FACTS: As a result of an alleged slander committed by Jorge Montecillo on Francisco Gica (the former
allegedly calling the latter "stupid" or a "fool'), Gica filed a criminal complaint for oral defamation against Montecillo. He was
acquitted. On appeal to the CA, it ruled that the preponderance thereof favored Gica."

Atty. Quirico del Mar, as counsel for Montecillo, moved for a reconsideration of the CA's decision with a veiled threat by mentioning
the provisions of the RPC on "Knowingly rendering unjust judgment" and "judgment rendered through negligence", and the
innuendo that the CA allowed itself to be deceived.

The CA denied the MR and admonished Atty. del Mar to remember that threats and abusive language cannot compel any court of
justice to grant reconsideration. Del Mar filed a second MR and made another threat 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 CA asked del Mar to explain why he should not be cited for contempt. In his explanation, he claimed that he was not making
any threat but only informing the court of the course of action he would follow. Before the SC, he stated that the justices are corrupt
and committing injustices.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Del Mar should be cited in contempt.

HELD: YES. 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. 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.

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 SC and the CA. 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.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

#2 SILVA v. LEE A.M. No. R-225-RTJ January 26, 1989 PONENTE

PETITIONER: ATTY. HIMINIANO D. SILVA RESPONDENT: HON. JUDGE GERMAN G. LEE, JR.

DOCTRINE: Direct contempt is conduct directed against or assailing the authority and dignity of the court or a judge, or in
the doing of a forbidden act, while indirect contempt is the failure to do something ordered done by the court or judge,
such as failure to appear at a hearing or in the use of disrespectful language in a pleading. A direct contempt may be
punished summarily while an indirect contempt can be punished only after charge and hearing. (Rule 71, Rules of Court)
Clearly, the acts of complainant do not constitute direct contempt.

FACTS: For citing him in direct contempt of court and having him suffer imprisonment for five (5) days, Atty. Himiniano D. Silva of
Dumaguete City commenced a formal administrative complaint against respondent Judge German G. Lee, Jr. of the Regional Trial
Court of Negros Oriental, Branch XXXV for oppression conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the judiciary, violation of the anti-
graft law and ignorance of the law.

This administrative case stemmed from Civil Case No. 8338 before the sala of the respondent Judge and where the complainant
Atty. Himiniano D. Silva was counsel for the plaintiffs. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the case. Judge Lee set the same for
hearing on April 13, 1984, notice of which was duly received by Atty. Silva as counsel.

On April 9, 1984, Atty. Silva filed a Motion for Inhibition, stating that he could not appear before the court because of the following
reason:

a) By reason of complainant's radio broadcast over DYRM of Dumaguete City not long ago — the Presiding Judge of the Court
allegedly felt strongly alluded to, got so hurt about it and even revealed his adverse reactions to the President of the IBP of Negros
Oriental and the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court Of Negros Oriental, and

b) A previous unwholesome atmosphere between the Presiding Judge of the Court and the complainant triggered by the alleged
uncalled for, unjustified, and unnecessary threat by the former to hold the latter in contempt of Court prejudices the Plaintiffs'
interests in the case.

He therein prayed that the respondent Judge inhibit himself from trying the case or "in the alternative, should this motion not be
granted, that the undersigned be relieved as counsel."

On April 10, 1984, Judge Lee denied the motion for inhibition, after finding the same "to be unfounded and patently unmeritorious,
there being no valid and legal reason for his disqualification to try the case pursuant to Rule 137 of the Rules of Court. However,
Atty. Himiniano D. Silva may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, file his formal withdrawal with the conformity of his clients to
enable the latter to engage the services of new counsel."

At the scheduled hearing of the Motion to Dismiss on April 13, 1984, Atty. Silva did not appear. This prompted Judge Lee to dictate
in open court an order citing Atty. Silva for direct contempt of court, ordering his arrest and sentencing him to five (5) days
imprisonment. Atty. Silva was arrested and jailed that same afternoon. He was in jail for five (5) days.

With his Motion to Quash the Warrant of Arrest denied and his Motion for Reconsideration similarly denied, Atty. Silva filed the
instant administrative case.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Silva’s non-appearance on the scheduled hearing constitutes a direct contempt.

HELD: NO. As is apparent from the tenor of the Motion for Inhibition and the categorical statement and intention of Atty. Silva not to
appear, there was a willful display of disrespectful language and attitude towards the court which tended to provoke and could be
considered to border on contempt, or to be contemptuous themselves. But can such behavior be considered a direct contempt
which would warrant an outright order to immediately arrest and jail complainant?

Direct contempt is conduct directed against or assailing the authority and dignity of the court or a judge, or in the doing of a
forbidden act, while indirect contempt is the failure to do something ordered done by the court or judge, such as failure to appear at
a hearing or in the use of disrespectful language in a pleading. A direct contempt may be punished summarily while an indirect
contempt can be punished only after charge and hearing. (Rule 71, Rules of Court) Clearly, the acts of complainant do not constitute
direct contempt.

Be that as it may, the mistake of respondent Judge Lee in the appreciation of his prerogative to charge and punish for contempt
does not make out a case of oppression, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the judiciary, violation of the anti-graft law and
ignorance of the law. Considering the circumstances of this case — the complainant aired a vehement broadcast unduly critical of
the RTC judge in Dumaguete City, filed a Motion for Inhibition intemperately written stating that he cannot appear in the hearing if
respondent judge will not inhibit himself, his subsequent expected non-appearance — respondent Judge might have equated
complainant's actuations with an orchestrated assault against the authority and dignity of the court.

WHEREFORE, for having ordered the arrest and imprisonment of complainant without affording him the requisite notice and hearing
(under the above-mentioned circumstances) respondent Judge Lee is ordered REPRIMANDED with warning that a repetition of this
mistake would draw sterner disciplinary action.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

#3 LAUREL v. FRANCISCO A.M. RTJ-06-1992 July 6, 2010 De Castro, J.

PETITIONER: OLIVIA LAUREL, Court Stenographer III, DIANA RESPONDENT: Judge Pablo B. Francisco
RAMOS, Utility Worker, both of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 25, Bian, Laguna and HERMINIA JAVIER, Clerk III,
RTC-Office of the Clerk of Court, Bian, Laguna, and ALBERTO
R. NOFUENTE, 3rd Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Laguna

DOCTRINE: It is well-settled that the power to punish a person in contempt of court is inherent in all courts to preserve
order in judicial proceedings and to uphold the orderly administration of justice. However, judges are enjoined to exercise
the power judiciously and sparingly, with utmost restraint, and with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and
preservation of the dignity of the court, and not for retaliation or vindictiveness. It bears stressing that the power to
declare for contempt must be exercised on the preservative, not vindictive principle, and on the corrective and not
retaliatory idea of punishment.

FACTS: While Judge Pablo B. Francisco (Judge Francisco) was detailed as acting Presiding Judge of Branch 25, and later on, of
Branch 24, of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Biñan, Laguna, he instituted nine administrative complaints against officers and rank
personnel of the RTC of the RTC of Biñan, Laguna.

The two other administrative cases at bar were filed against Judge Francisco: (1) A.M. No. RTJ-06-1992, by Javier, Laurel, and
Ramos, together with Prosecutor Alberto R. Nofuente (Pros. Nofuente); and (2) A.M. No. RTJ-10-2214, by Magat and one Joel O.
Arellano (Arellano).

The 11 administrative cases were consolidated and upon recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator, the cases were
referred to the Court of Appeals for investigation, report, and recommendation. The cases were raffled to Associate Justice Roberto
A. Barrios.

All other cases were dismissed except for one which is the subject matter of this case, A.M. No. RTJ-06-1992.

FACTUAL ANTECEDENTS
Judge Francisco was originally assigned as the Presiding Judge of RTC-Branch 26 of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. After encountering a
disconcerting problem in an election case, Judge Francisco requested that he be detailed elsewhere. He was thereafter detailed as
the acting Presiding Judge of RTC-Branch 25 of Biñan, Laguna from January 1996 to January 1998, and then of RTC-Branch 24,
also of Biñan, Laguna, from February 1998 to September 1998.

At first, the relations between Judge Francisco and the personnel of the RTC of Biñan, Laguna, were friendly and harmonious, but
animosity crept in after some time.

Two separate letters addressed to the OCA, one from several court personnel and the other from some members of the IBP
practicing their profession in Biñan, Laguna, expressed their sentiments against Judge Francisco, and demanded that said judge be
relieved of his detail at the RTC of Biñan, Laguna and be ordered to return to his permanent post at the RTC of Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

After consideration of the two letters, the Supreme Court issued Administrative Order No. 113-98 on August 27, 1998 revoking the
designation of Judge Francisco as acting Presiding Judge of RTC-Branch 24 of Biñan, Laguna.

Despite Judge Francisco’s return to the RTC of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, the administrative charges and counter-charges between Judge
Francisco and the personnel of RTC of Biñan, Laguna, still subsist and await resolution.

In a Resolution dated August 19, 2003, the Court En Banc accepted the resignation of Judge Francisco upon the recommendation
of the Office of the Court Administrator without prejudice to the continuation and outcome of the proceedings of the administrative
complaints filed against him.

A.M. No. RTJ-06-1992


As the acting Presiding Judge of RTC-Branch 24 of Biñan, Laguna, Judge Francisco issued an Order dated July 14, 1998
(Contempt Order) holding Javier, Laurel, Ramos, and Prosecutor Nofuente guilty of Direct Contempt, for supposedly disrupting the
court proceedings in Sp. Proc. No. B-2433 held on July 14, 1998, and sentencing them to nine days imprisonment at the Biñan
Municipal Jail.

Javier, Laurel, Ramos and Pros. Nofuente filed before the Court of Appeals a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with a prayer for
the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. The Court of Appeals issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the
implementation of Judge Francisco’s Contempt Order. Subsequently, the CA set aside the Direct Contempt Order for having been
issued by Judge Francisco with grave abuse of discretion. Judge Francisco appealed to the Court of Appeals, which was denied.

Because of the issuance of the Contempt Order against them, Javier, Laurel, Ramos, and Pros. Nofuente filed a Complaint for
Gross Ignorance of the Law and Incompetence against Judge Francisco. According to the Complaint, Judge Francisco’s Direct
Contempt Order was issued in violation of due process and Rule 71, Section 1 of the Rules of Court. Said Complaint was docketed
as A.M. No. RTJ-06-1992.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

Prosecutor Nofuente’s defense


Pros. Nofuente narrated that around 10:00 a.m. on said date, he was with Zenaida Manansala (Manansala), a complainant in one of
the cases he was handling at the RTC-Branch 25 of Bian, Laguna, to request Process Server Sevilla to subpoena the next witness
in Manansala’s case. Pros. Nofuente maintained that his voice was in the ordinary conversational volume which could not have
disrupted the court proceedings, if there was any at all. He was just one or two meters away from the courtroom and, at that time,
Judge Francisco was not wearing his robe and was seated at the lawyers table. Pros. Nofuente denied he was conversing with
Laurel and Ramos for the latter two were inside the staff room, busily doing their assigned tasks. They were all within the sight of
Judge Francisco, but they were not aware that Judge Francisco was already throwing dagger looks at them. When Pros. Nofuente
left, Judge Francisco shouted Mga tarantado kayo. Three days after the incident, Judge Francisco released the Order declaring, not
only Laurel, Ramos, and Pros. Nofuente, but also Javier, guilty of Direct Contempt.

Laurel and Ramos’ defense


Laurel and Ramos also denied that they disrupted the court proceedings in Sp. Proc. No. B-2433 on July 14, 1998. Both of them
could not remember talking to each other or to anybody or making noise at that time. Judge Francisco did not call their attention for
the supposed disruption although his sala was just one or two meters away from their office.

Javier, for her part, argued that she was cited of direct contempt in absencia. She was not within the court premises at 10:00 a.m. of
July 14, 1998, as she was in Landbank, Calamba, Laguna to encash her check. She presented her Daily Time Record (DTR) for the
month of July, showing that on July 14, 1998, she reported for work only for half a day, particularly, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Javier
also asserted that she had not even once disrupted court proceedings by boisterous conversation or laughter or by making any
noise within the court premises.

Judge Francisco’s explanation


In his Answer, Judge Francisco explained that his Direct Contempt Order was not the result of a single disrespectful act, but the
culmination of a series of discourteous acts of Javier, Laurel, Ramos, and Pros. Nofuente, which impeded the administration of
justice, particularly, causing the disruption of the court proceedings in Sp. Proc. No. B-2433 on July 14, 1998. Judge Francisco
recounted Pros. Nofuente, Laurel, Ramos, and Javier have subjected him to spite and ridicule.

Judge Francisco averred that the group would frequently engage themselves even during office hours in raucous laughter within the
presence and hearing of the Presiding Judge with nothing funny to laugh about and that the group has been disturbing proceedings
in Branch 24 by creating noise through boisterous conversations punctuated by laughters inside the court premises.

Judge Francisco’s allegations are reproduced as follows:


“For several months now, after the undersigned Presiding Judge vacated Branch 25 of this Court, a group of persons composed of
Assistant Public Prosecutor Alberto R. Nofuente of the Department of Justice, and Olivia Laurel, Diana Ramos and Herminia Javier,
court employees, has subjected the undersigned to spite and ridicule. Prosecutor Nofuente, in more than a dozen times, while within
the court premises and upon sensing the presence of the Presiding Judge anywhere near him, would evidently blurt unsavory
remarks aimed at the Presiding Judge although most of the time he would make them appear to be directed at Mayet, the food
caterer of court employees. At one time, Prosecutor Nofuente even spit on the floor to show his ill will for the Presiding Judge who
was passing by. The group also would frequently engage themselves even during office hours in raucous laughter within the
presence and hearing of the Presiding Judge with nothing funny to laugh about. At one time, the Presiding Judge caught Diana
Ramos acting like a cheerleader, egging on Prosecutor Nofuente, Olivia Laurel and Herminia Javier to laugh harder simultaneously,
which prompted the Presiding Judge to call the attention of Olivia Laurel about her groups uncanny behavior. Even during court
sessions of Branch 24, Olivia Laurel and Herminia Javier would throw sharp glances and make faces at the Presiding Judge. Almost
every member of this group has an axe to grind against the Presiding Judge for events which transpired during his incumbency in
Branch 25. Olivia Laurel was eased out of [her] position as OIC-Branch Clerk of Court after the undersigned recommended a
lawyer, a qualified one, in her place. Diana Ramos was caught by the undersigned tearing certain pages of case records and was
publicly rebuked for it. The Presiding Judge had refused to drop charges against a relative of Herminia Javier arising out of the
implementation of a search warrant. Of course, Herminias unwavering loyalty to her group knows no bounds.Prosecutor Nofuente
had on several occasions asked from the undersigned for the dismissal of certain criminal cases but which request were all refused
on the ground that the evidence of guilt was strong. The prosecutor was also criticized severely by the Presiding Judge in several
court decisions for filing about twenty (20) faulty informations in incestuous rape cases which absolved the accused from the death
penalty.

Lately, the group has been disrupting proceedings in Branch 24 by creating noise through boisterous conversations punctuated by
laughters inside the court premises.

In the hearing of Special Proceedings No. B-2433, on July 14, 1998, at about 10:00 oclock a.m., the session was disrupted lengthily
because Prosecutor Nofuente engaged in a monologue at the top of his voice so near the place where the proceedings are going on
and drowning out in the process the examination being conducted by the Presiding Judge on William Martinez.

When the Presiding Judge was about to confront him, Prosecutor Nofuente hastily entered his nearby office. At lunch time, the
group of Prosecutor Nofuente was heard by the Presiding Judge laughing heartily over the incident.

The Court expected Prosecutor Nofuente to explain at least why he committed those acts which disrupted the proceedings in
Special Proceedings No. B-2433, but up to now he has not done so, which arrogance led the Court to conclude that he did disrupt
said session deliberately.”

Judge Francisco presented as evidence the transcript of stenographic notes (TSN) of the hearing of Sp. Proc. No. B-2433 on July
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

14, 1998, taken down by Lopez, showing that during the hearing, Judge Francisco manifested behavior of irritation due to the noise
outside caused by Pros. Nofuente.

Judge Francisco added that Pros. Nofuente’s story that he was simply requesting for the issuance of subpoena from Process Server
Sevilla was hypocritical since a process server has no authority to issue a subpoena, a request for subpoena cannot be made orally,
and RTC-Branch 25 of Biñan, Laguna was not in session at that time.

ISSUE: Whether Judge Francisco abused his authority in issuing the Contempt Order with grave abuse of discretion

HELD: Yes.

Definition
Contempt of court is defined as some act or conduct which tends to interfere with the business of the court, by a refusal to obey
some lawful order of the court, or some act of disrespect to the dignity of the court which in some way tends to interfere with or
hamper the orderly proceedings of the court and thus lessens the general efficiency of the same. It has also been described as a
defiance of the authority, justice or dignity of the court; such conduct as tends to bring the authority and administration of the law into
disrespect or to interfere with or prejudice parties litigants or their witnesses during litigation. Simply put, it is despising of the
authority, justice, or dignity of the court.

Direct contempt is one done in the presence of or so near the court or judge as to obstruct the administration of justice. It is a
contumacious act done facie curiae and may be punished summarily without hearing. In other words, one may be summarily
adjudged in direct contempt at the very moment or at the very instance of the commission of the act of contumely. It is governed by
Rule 71, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, as amended by Administrative Circular No. 22-95, which reads:

Section 1. Direct contempt punished summarily. - A person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to
obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same, including disrespect toward the court or judge, offensive personalities toward
others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as witness, or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so, may
be summarily adjudged in contempt by such court or judge and punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand pesos or
imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) days, or both, if it be a superior court, or a judge thereof, or by a fine not exceeding two
hundred pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) day, or both, if it be an inferior court.

Judge Francisco is guilty of abuse of authority


As previously mentioned, the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R. SP No. 48356, granted the Petition for Certiorari of Javier, Laurel,
Ramos, and Pros. Nofuente, and set aside Judge Francisco’s Direct Contempt Order for having been issued in grave abuse of
discretion. The Court of Appeals adjudged that the acts alluded to as the basis for the issuance of the Contempt Order are neither
constitutive of direct nor indirect contempt

The Court of Appeals already settled in the aforementioned certiorari proceedings that Judge Francisco’s issuance of the Direct
Contempt Order was in grave abuse of his discretion. We are now called upon to determine in the present administrative
proceedings whether the same act constitutes an administrative offense by Judge Francisco. A review of the records of the case
leads us to rule affirmatively.

Judge Francisco’s issuance of the Direct Contempt Order is completely baseless and unjustified. There is utter lack of evidence that
Javier, Laurel, Ramos, and Pros. Nofuente committed any contemptuous act.

Other than his own allegations, Judge Francisco’s only evidence to prove that Pros. Nofuente disrupted the hearing of Sp. Proc. No.
B-2433 on July 14, 1998 was the TSN for said proceedings, taken down by Lopez. However, serious doubts as to the truthfulness of
the said TSN arose after Lopez herself assailed the transcript. According to Lopez, she included the lines alluding to the disruption
of the proceedings by Pros. Nofuente into the TSN upon Judge Francisco’s order. Lopez explained that she complied out of fear that
she might be subjected to a suit just as the other employees of the RTC of Biñan, Laguna

Lopez’s testimony was corroborated by Sevilla who declared during cross-examination and re-direct examination that Judge
Francisco went out of the session hall only after the hearing to find out who was making the noise. At such time, Pros. Nofuente was
no longer around. Judge Francisco did not mention then that Pros. Nofuente was the one being noisy.

The testimonies of Lopez and Sevilla prove that although distracted by the outside noise, Judge Francisco was still able to proceed
with and finish the hearing of Spec. Proc. No. B-2433 on July 14, 1998.Moreover, during and immediately after said hearing, Judge
Francisco was unaware of who made the noise, so he could not have summarily cited anyone for direct contempt.

The lack of basis for the issuance by Judge Francisco of the Direct Contempt Order is even more evident when it comes to Javier,
Laurel, and Ramos, who were not mentioned at all in the TSN of the hearing of Spec. Proc. No. B-2433 on July 14, 1988. By Judge
Francisco’s own allegations in his Complaint, the purportedly contemptuous acts of the three court personnel were not particularly
committed on July 14, 1998 nor the cause of the disruption of the proceedings at RTC-Branch 24 of Biñan, Laguna, on said date.

Furthermore, Judge Francisco’s averments that Pros. Nofuente’s group, which included Javier, Laurel, and Ramos, engaged in
raucous laughter in the judge’s presence even with nothing funny to laugh about, threw sharp glances and made faces at Judge
Francisco, and engaged in boisterous conversation punctuated by laughter inside the court premises, are insufficient to constitute
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

contumacious behavior. Contempt of court presupposes a contumacious attitude, a flouting or arrogant belligerence, a defiance of
the court, something that is not evident in this case. There is absolute lack of proof that the laughter, conversations, and glances of
Pros. Nofuente’s group were about or directed at Judge Francisco and they disrupted or obstructed proceedings before the judge.

It is well-settled that the power to punish a person in contempt of court is inherent in all courts to preserve order in judicial
proceedings and to uphold the orderly administration of justice. However, judges are enjoined to exercise the power judiciously and
sparingly, with utmost restraint, and with the end in view of utilizing the same for correction and preservation of the dignity of the
court, and not for retaliation or vindictiveness. It bears stressing that the power to declare for contempt must be exercised on the
preservative, not vindictive principle, and on the corrective and not retaliatory idea of punishment.

Nevertheless, in issuing the Direct Contempt Order without legal basis, Judge Francisco is more appropriately guilty of the
administrative offense of grave abuse of authority, rather than gross ignorance of the law and incompetence.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

#4 RE VERIFIED COMPLAINT OF THOMAS I.P.I. No. 12-205-CA- December 10, 2013 BRION, J.
MERDEGIA J.

PETITIONER: RESPONDENT:

DOCTRINE: The Supreme Court, in exercising its power of contempt, exercises an implied and inherent power granted to
courts in general; A judgment dismissing the charge of contempt may no longer be appealed in the same manner that the
prohibition against double jeopardy bars the appeal of an accused’s acquittal. - Its existence is essential to the
preservation of order in judicial proceedings; to the enforcement of judgments, orders and mandates of courts; and,
consequently, in the administration of justice; thus, it may be instituted against any person guilty of acts that constitute
contempt of court. Further, jurisprudence describes a contempt proceeding as penal and summary in nature; hence, legal
principles applicable to criminal proceedings also apply to contempt proceedings.

FACTS: On October 8, 2013, the SC issued a Resolution dismissing the administrative complaint of Tomas S. Merdegia against
Court of Appeals Associate Justice Vicente S.E. Veloso. In this same Resolution, Atty. Homobono Adaza II, Merdegia’s counsel,
was also directed to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt.
After considering Atty. Adaza’s explanation the SC found his account insufficient, and find him guilty of indirect contempt.
According to Atty. Adaza, he should not be punished for indirect contempt as he was merely performing his duty as Merdegia’s
counsel when he assisted him in preparing the administrative complaint against Justice Veloso. Atty. Adaza asserted that both he
and his client observed Justice Veloso’s partiality during the oral arguments, but instead of immediately filing an administrative
complaint against him, he counseled Merdegia to first file a Motion to Inhibit Justice Veloso from the case. However, upon finding
that Justice Veloso refused to inhibit himself, Merdegia repeated his request to file an administrative complaint against Justice
Veloso, to which Atty. Adaza acceded. Thus, Atty. Adaza pleaded that he should not be faulted for assisting his client, especially
when he also believes in the merits of his client’s case.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Adaza is guilty of indirect contempt for filing frivolous cases against Justice Veloso

HELD: The settled rule is that administrative complaints against justices cannot and should not substitute for appeal and other
judicial remedies against an assailed decision or ruling. - As Atty. Adaza himself admitted, he prepared the administrative complaint
after Justice Veloso refused to inhibit himself from a case he was handling. The complaint and the motion for inhibition were both
based on the same main cause: the alleged partiality of Justice Veloso during the oral arguments of Merdegia’s case. The resolution
dismissing the motion for inhibition should have disposed of the issue of Justice Veloso’s bias. While we do not discount the fact that
it was Justice Veloso who penned the resolution denying the motion for inhibition, we note that he was allowed to do this under the
2009 Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals. Had Merdegia and Atty. Adaza doubted the legality of this resolution, the proper
remedy would have been to file a petition for certiorari assailing the order denying the motion for inhibition. The settled rule is that
administrative complaints against justices cannot and should not substitute for appeal and other judicial remedies against an
assailed decision or ruling.

While a lawyer has a duty to represent his client with zeal, he must do so within the bounds provided by law. He is also duty-bound
to impress upon his client the propriety of the legal action the latter wants to undertake, and to encourage compliance with the law
and legal processes. A reading of Merdegia’s administrative complaint shows an apparent failure to understand that cases are not
always decided in one’s favor, and that an allegation of bias must stem from an extrajudicial source other than those attendant to
the merits and the developments in the case. We cannot but attribute to Atty. Adaza the failure to impress upon his client the
features of our adversarial system, the substance of the law on ethics and respect for the judicial system, and his own failure to
heed what his duties as a professional and as an officer of the Court demand of him in acting for his client before our courts.

Courts should not be made to bow down to the wiles of litigants who bully judges into inhibiting from cases or deciding cases in their
favor, but neither should we shut our doors from litigants brave enough to call out the corrupt practices of people who decide the
outcome of their cases. -To be sure, deciding administrative cases against erring judges is not an easy task. We have to strike a
balance between the need for accountability and integrity in the Judiciary, on the one hand, with the need to protect the
independence and efficiency of the Judiciary from vindictive and enterprising litigants, on the other. Indeed, litigants who feel
unjustly injured by malicious and corrupt acts of erring judges and officials should not be punished for filing administrative cases
against them; neither should these litigants be unjustly deterred from doing so by a wrong signal from this Court that they would be
made to explain why they should not be cited for contempt when the complaints they filed prove to be without sufficient cause.

Atty. Adaza has a penchant for filing motions for inhibition throughout the case: first, against Judge Ma. Theresa Dolores C. Gomez
Estoesta of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, who issued an order unfavorable to his client; and second, against all the justices of
the Court of Appeals division hearing his appeal, for alleged bias during the oral arguments on his case. These indicators, taken
together with the baseless administrative complaint against Justice Veloso after he penned an order adverse to Atty. Adaza’s client,
disclose that there was more to the administrative complaint than the report of legitimate grievances against members of the
Judiciary.

The Supreme Court cited a litigant in indirect contempt of court for his predisposition to indiscriminately file administrative complaints
against members of the Judiciary. (In Re: Verified Complaint of Engr. Oscar L. Ongjoco, etc., 664 SCRA 465 (2012)) - This conduct
degrades the judicial office, interferes with the due performance of their work for the Judiciary, and thus constitutes indirect
contempt of court. Applying this principle to the present case, we hold that Atty. Adaza’s acts constitute an improper conduct that
tends to degrade the administration of justice, and is thus punishable for indirect contempt under Section 3(d), Rule 71 of the Rules
of Court.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

Atty. Adaza’s contemptuous conduct may also be subject to disciplinary sanction as a member of the bar. If we do not now proceed
at all against Atty. Adaza to discipline him, we are prevented from doing so by our concern for his due process rights. Our
Resolution of October 8, 2013 only asked him to show cause why he should not be cited in contempt, and not why he should not be
administratively penalized. To our mind, imposing a disciplinary sanction against Atty. Adaza through a contempt proceeding
violates the basic tenets of due process as a disciplinary action is independent and separate from a proceeding for contempt. A
person charged of an offense, whether in an administrative or criminal proceeding, must be informed of the nature of the charge
against him, and given ample opportunity to explain his side. While the two proceedings can proceed simultaneously with each
other, a contempt proceeding cannot substitute for a disciplinary proceeding for erring lawyers, and vice versa. There can be no
substitution between the two proceedings, as contempt proceedings against lawyers, as officers of the Court, are different in nature
and purpose from the discipline of lawyers as legal professionals. The two proceedings spring from two different powers of the
Court.

The Supreme Court, in exercising its power of contempt, exercises an implied and inherent power granted to courts in general; A
judgment dismissing the charge of contempt may no longer be appealed in the same manner that the prohibition against double
jeopardy bars the appeal of an accused’s acquittal. - Its existence is essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings; to
the enforcement of judgments, orders and mandates of courts; and, consequently, in the administration of justice; thus, it may be
instituted against any person guilty of acts that constitute contempt of court. Further, jurisprudence describes a contempt proceeding
as penal and summary in nature; hence, legal principles applicable to criminal proceedings also apply to contempt proceedings.

A disciplinary proceeding against an erring lawyer is sui generis in nature; it is neither purely civil nor purely criminal. - A disciplinary
proceeding against an erring lawyer is sui generis in nature; it is neither purely civil nor purely criminal. Unlike a criminal
prosecution, a disciplinary proceeding is not intended to inflict punishment, but to determine whether a lawyer is still fit to be allowed
the privilege of practicing law. It involves an investigation by the Court of the conduct of its officers, and has, for its primary objective,
public interest. Thus, unlike a contempt proceeding, the acquittal of the lawyer from a disciplinary proceeding cannot bar an
interested party from seeking reconsideration of the ruling. Neither does the imposition of a penalty for contempt operate as res
judicata to a subsequent charge for unprofessional conduct. Contempt proceedings and disciplinary actions are also governed by
different procedures. Contempt of court is governed by the procedures under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, whereas disciplinary
actions in the practice of law are governed by Rules 138 and 139 thereof.

The Court finds Atty. Homobono Adaza II GUILTY OF INDIRECT CONTEMPT for filing a frivolous suit against Court of Appeals
Associate Justice Vicente S.E. Veloso, and hereby sentences him to pay, within the period of fifteen days from the promulgation of
this judgment, a fine of P5,000.00. The respondent is also WARNED that further similar misbehavior on his part may be a ground for
the institution of disciplinary proceedings against him.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

#5 PHILCOMSAT VS LOKIN & LABASTILLA AC NO. 11139 April 19, 2016 Perlas-Bernabe

PETITIONER: PHILCOMSAT* HOLDINGS CORPORATION, DULY RESPONDENT: ATTY. LUIS K. LOKIN, JR. AND ATTY.
REPRESENTED BY ERLINDA I. BILDNER SIKINI C. LABASTILLA

DOCTRINE: Administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their own. They are distinct from and they may
proceed independently of criminal cases. A criminal prosecution will not constitute a prejudicial question even if the same
facts and circumstances are attendant in the administrative proceedings. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private
interest and afford no redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare and
for preserving courts of justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice law.

FACTS: Sometime in June 2007, the Senate, through its Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises,
conducted an investigation concerning the anomalies that plagued the PHILCOMSAT group of companies, particularly in its huge
disbursements of monies and/or assets. In the course of the said investigation, it examined various financial records and documents
of the company, which at that time, were under the control and management of Atty. Lokin, Jr. and his co-directors. Among the
records examined by the Senate was an entry in complainant's checkbook stub which reads "Cash for Sandiganbayan, tro, potc-
philcomsat case - P2,000,000" (subject checkbook entry). It was then discovered that the check was issued in connection with
complainant's injunction case against Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC) before the Sandiganbayan,
which was filed by Atty. Lokin, Jr.'s group, as its representatives, with Atty. Labastilla as its external counsel (POTC case). As the
investigation was publicized by the media, the Sandiganbayan learned about the subject checkbook entry and, accordingly, motu
proprio initiated indirect contempt proceedings against respondents, along several others.

The Sandiganbayan found respondents guilty of indirect contempt and, accordingly, sentenced each of them to pay a fine in the
amount of P30,000.00 and to suffer imprisonment for a period of six (6) months. It Sandiganbayan opined that: (a) any person
reading the subject checkbook entry would come to the conclusion that a check in the amount of P2,000,000.00 was issued to the
Sandiganbayan in exchange for the latter's issuance of a TRO, thereby degrading its integrity and honor; (b) Atty. Lokin, Jr. caused
the creation of the said entry in complainant's checkbook which as testified upon by complainant's bookkeeper, Desideria D. Casas,
was the proximate cause thereof; and (c) circumstantial evidence showed that Atty. Labastilla conspired with Atty. Lokin, Jr. in
causing such contemptuous entry, considering, inter alia, that the former was the counsel who applied for a TRO and that he
admitted receipt of the proceeds of the check, although allegedly for legal feesand that Sheriffs Manuel Gregorio Mendoza Torio and
Romulo C. Barrozo of the Sandiganbayan similarly testified that such TRO was only effected/served upon payment of the
corresponding fees.

Following said Sandiganbayan's Resolution, the Complainan HILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation, represented by Erlinda I. Bildner
filed a complaint against respondents Atty. Luis K. Lokin, Jr. (Atty. Lokin, Jr.) and Atty. Sikini C. Labastilla (Atty. Labastilla;
collectively, respondents) before the IBP-CBD, praying for the disbarment of respondents for insinuating that the Sandiganbayan
received the amount of P2,000,000.00 in exchange for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO).

In his defense, Atty. Lokin, Jr. maintained that he did not perform acts violative of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR),
insisting that the Sandiganbayan's findings in the indirect contempt case were erroneous and contrary to the pertinent evidence and
records. He likewise pointed out that the Sandiganbayan ruling was appealed - albeit not by him but by Atty. Labastilla - to the
Court, which appeal remains unresolved. Therefore, it cannot be the basis for his administrative liability.

For his part, Atty. Labastilla harped on the fact that an appeal questioning the Sandiganbayan ruling is still pending before the Court;
thus, it was premature to file an administrative complaint against him. He further maintained that he had no participation in the
creation of the subject checkbook entry and, even if he had any such participation, there was nothing contemptuous about it.

In a Report and Recommendation, the IBP Investigating Commissioner found Atty. Lokin, Jr. administratively liable and, accordingly,
recommended that he be meted the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year. However, Atty.
Labastilla was absolved from any administrative liability.

In a Resolution, the IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the aforesaid report and recommendation. Atty. Lokin, Jr.
moved for reconsideration, but the same was denied with modification increasing the recommended period of suspension from the
practice of law to three (3) years.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents should be held administratively liable for contempt.

HELD: YES. The Court: (a) concurs with the IBP's findings as to Atty. Lokin, Jr.'s administrative liability; and (b) disagrees with the
IBP's recommendation to absolve Atty. Labastilla from administrative liability.

At the outset, the Court notes that the indirect contempt case originally filed before the Sandiganbayan is in the nature of a criminal
contempt. "[C]riminal contempt is 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 disrespute or disrespect.‖

Since the indirect contempt case is criminal in nature, respondents cannot insist that the filing of an administrative case against
them on the basis of the Sandiganbayan's ruling in the aforesaid case is premature on the premise that their conviction has not
attained finality. It is well-settled that a disbarment proceeding is separate and distinct from a criminal action filed against a lawyer
despite being involved in the same set of facts. Case law instructs that a finding of guilt in the criminal case will not necessarily
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

result in a finding of liability in the administrative case. Conversely, the lawyer's acquittal does not necessarily exculpate them
administratively.

To note, records are bereft of any showing that Atty. Lokin, Jr. joined Atty. Labastilla in the appeal or that he separately filed an
appeal on his own. Thus, the Sandiganbayan ruling had long become deemed final and executory as to him. Moreover, Atty.
Labastilla's appeal before the Court was already denied with finality.. In light of the foregoing, the Sandiganbayan's ruling that
respondents committed contumacious acts which tend to undermine and/or denigrate the integrity of such court has become final
and executory and, thus, conclusive as to them, at least in the indirect contempt case.

As members of the Bar, respondents should not perform acts that would tend to undermine and/or denigrate the integrity of the
courts, such as the subject checkbook entry which contumaciously imputed corruption against the Sandiganbayan. It is their sworn
duty as lawyers and officers of the court to uphold the dignity and authority of the courts. Respect for the courts guarantees the
stability of the judicial institution; without this guarantee, the institution would be resting on very shaky foundation. This is the very
thrust of Canon 11 of the CPR, which provides that "[a] lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to
judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others." Hence, lawyers who are remiss in performing such sworn duty
violate the aforesaid Canon 11, and as such, should be held administratively liable and penalized accordingly, as in this case.

Furthermore, Canon 7 of the CPR commands every lawyer to "at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession" for
the strength of the legal profession lies in the dignity and integrity of its members. It is every lawyer's duty to maintain the high
regard to the profession by staying true to his oath and keeping his actions beyond reproach. It must be reiterated that as an officer
of the court, it is a lawyer's sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards
the courts so essential to the proper administration of justice; as acts and/or omissions emanating from lawyers which tend to
undermine the judicial edifice is disastrous to the continuity of the government and to the attainment of the liberties of the people.
Thus, all lawyers should be bound not only to safeguard the good name of the legal profession, but also to keep inviolable the
honor, prestige, and reputation of the judiciary. In this case, respondents compromised the integrity of the judiciary by maliciously
imputing corrupt motives against the Sandiganbayan through the subject checkbook entry. Clearly, respondents also violated Canon
7 of the CPR and, thus, should be held administratively liable therefor.

Under the foregoing circumstances, the Court imposes upon Atty. Labastilla the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a
period of one (1) year for his complicity in the making of the subject checkbook entry. On the other hand, since Atty. Lokin, Jr. was
the one directly responsible for the making of the subject checkbook entry, the Court deems it appropriate to impose upon him the
graver penalty of suspension from the practice of law for a period of three (3) years, as recommended by the IBP.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

F. Effect of Pardon

#1 IN RE ATTY. TRANQUILINO ROVERO A.C. No. 126 October 24, 1952 PARAS, C.J

PETITIONER: Atty. Tranquilino Rovero RESPONDENT:

DOCTRINE: Under section 25, Rule 127, of the Rules of court, a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his
office as attorney for a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, and this ground is apart from any deceit,
malpractice or other gross misconduct in office as lawyer. Moral turpitude includes any act done contrary to justice,
honesty, modesty or good morals.

FACTS: The Solicitor General has filed the present complaint for disbarment against Atty. Tranquilino Rovero, on the grounds that
on March 31, 1947, "respondent Tranquilino Rovero, having been found in a final decision rendered by then Insular Collector of
Customs to have violated the customs law by fraudulently concealing a dutiable importation, was fined in an amount equal to three
times the customs duty due on a piece of jewelry which he omitted to declare and which was subsequently found to be concealed in
his wallet", and that on October 28, 1948, "respondent Tranquilino Rovero was convicted of smuggling by final decision of the Court
of Appeals in Criminal Case No. CA-G.R. No. 2214-R, affirming a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila sentencing him
to pay a fine of P2,500 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, said case involving a fraudulent practice against customs
revenue, as defined and penalized by Section 2703 of the Revised Administrative Code." The respondents admits the existence of
the of the decision of the Collector of Customs, and his conviction by the Court of Appeals, but sets up the defense that they are not
sufficient to disqualify him from the practice of law, especially because the acts of which he was found guilty, while at most merely
discreditable, had been committed by him as an individual and not in pursuance or in the exercise of his legal profession.

ISSUE: Whether or not disbarment is proper?

HELD: Under section 25, Rule 127, of the Rules of court, a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as
attorney for a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, and this ground is apart from any deceit, malpractice or other gross
misconduct in office as lawyer. Moral turpitude includes any act done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals. (In re
Basa, 41 Phil., 275.)

Respondent's conviction of smuggling by final decision of the Court of Appeals certainly involves an act done contrary at least to
honesty or good morals. The ground invoked by the Solicitor General is aggravated by the fact that the respondent sought to
defraud, not merely a private person, but the Government.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

VIII. READMISSION TO THE BAR

A. Lawyers who have been suspended

#1 MANIAGO v. DE DIOS A.C. No. 7472 March 30, 2010 PONENTE

PETITIONER: RESPONDENT:

DOCTRINE: Whenever it is made to appear that an attorney is no longer worthy of the trust and confidence of his clients
and of the public, it becomes not only the right but also the duty of the SC, which made him one of its officers and gave
him the privilege of ministering within its Bar, to withdraw that privilege. However, as much as the Court will not hesitate to
discipline an erring lawyer, it should, at the same time, also ensure that a lawyer may not be deprived of the freedom and
right to exercise his profession unreasonably.

FACTS: Ligaya Maniago alleged that she filed a criminal case against Hiroshi Miyata, who was represented by Atty. Lourdes De
Dios. Complainant then learned from the RTC staff that Atty. De Dios had an outstanding suspension order from the SC since 2001,
and was, therefore, prohibited from appearing in court. Complainant further alleges that there is a civil case and another case filed
against Miyata where Atty. De Dios appeared as his counsel. Complainant averred that Atty. De Dios ought to be disbarred from the
practice of law for her flagrant violation and deliberate disobedience of a lawful order of the SC.
In her Comment, Atty. De Dios denied that she was under suspension when she appeared as his counsel in the cases. Respondent
explained that an administrative case was indeed filed against her, where she was meted the penalty of 6-month suspension. She
served the suspension on May 16, 2001 up to November 16, 2001. In a Manifestation filed on October 19, 2001, respondent
formally informed the Court that she was resuming her practice of law on November 17, 2001, which she actually did.

ISSUE: WON the lifting of a lawyer’s suspension order is automatic

HELD: NO. According to the OBC, a suspended lawyer must first present proofs of his compliance by submitting certifications from
the IBP and from the Executive Judge that he has indeed desisted from the practice of law during the period of suspension.
Thereafter, the Court, after evaluation, and upon a favorable recommendation from the OBC, will issue a resolution lifting the order
of suspension and thus allow him to resume the practice of law.
The practice of law is not a right but a mere privilege and, as such, must bow to the inherent regulatory power of the SC to exact
compliance with the lawyer’s public responsibilities. Whenever it is made to appear that an attorney is no longer worthy of the trust
and confidence of his clients and of the public, it becomes not only the right but also the duty of the SC, which made him one of its
officers and gave him the privilege of ministering within its Bar, to withdraw that privilege. However, as much as the Court will not
hesitate to discipline an erring lawyer, it should, at the same time, also ensure that a lawyer may not be deprived of the freedom and
right to exercise his profession unreasonably. The following guidelines be observed in the matter of the lifting of an order
suspending a lawyer from the practice of law:
1)After a finding that respondent lawyer must be suspended from the practice of law, the Court shall render a decision imposing the
penalty;
2) Unless the Court explicitly states that the decision is immediately executory upon receipt thereof, respondent has 15 days within
which to file a motion for reconsideration thereof. The denial of said motion shall render the decision final and executory;
3) Upon the expiration of the period of suspension, respondent shall file a Sworn Statement with the Court, through the Office of the
Bar Confidant, stating therein that he or she has desisted from the practice of law and has not appeared in any court during the
period of his or her suspension;
4) Copies of the Sworn Statement shall be furnished to the Local Chapter of the IBP and to the Executive Judge of the courts where
respondent has pending cases handled by him or her, and/or where he or she has appeared as counsel;
5) The Sworn Statement shall be considered as proof of respondent’s compliance with the order of suspension;
6) Any finding or report contrary to the statements made by the lawyer under oath shall be a ground for the imposition of a more
severe punishment, or disbarment, as may be warranted.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

B. Lawyers who have been disbarred

#1 CUI v. CUI G.R. No. L-18727 August 31, 1964 MAKALINTAL, J.

PETITIONER: JESUS MA. CUI RESPONDENT: ANTONIO MA. CUI

DOCTRINE: The term "titulo de abogado" means not mere possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but
membership in the Bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice of law.

FACTS: The Hospicio is a charitable institution established by the spouses Don Pedro Cui and Doña Benigna Cui, now deceased,
"for the care and support, free of charge, of indigent invalids, and incapacitated and helpless persons." It acquired corporate
existence by legislation (Act No. 3239 of the Philippine Legislature passed 27 November 1925) and endowed with extensive
properties by the said spouses through a series of donations, principally the deed of donation executed on 2 January 1926.
Don Pedro Cui died in 1926, and his widow continued to administer the Hospicio until her death in 1929. Thereupon the
administration passed to Mauricio Cui and Dionisio Jakosalem. The first died on 8 May 1931 and the second on 1 July 1931. On 2
July 1931 Dr. Teodoro Cui, only son of Mauricio Cui, became the administrator. Thereafter, beginning in 1932, a series of
controversies and court litigations ensued concerning the position of administrator, to which, in so far as they are pertinent to the
present case, reference will be made later in this decision.

Plaintiff Jesus Ma. Cui and defendant Antonio Ma. Cui are brothers, being the sons of Mariano Cui, one of the nephews of the
spouses Don Pedro Cui and Doña Benigna Cui. On 27 February 1960 the then incumbent administrator, Dr. Teodoro Cui, resigned
in favor of Antonio Ma. Cui pursuant to a "convenio" entered into between them and embodied in a notarial document. The next day,
28 February, Antonio Ma. Cui took his oath of office. Jesus Ma. Cui, however, had no prior notice of either the "convenio" or of his
brother's assumption of the position.

Dr. Teodoro Cui died on 27 August 1960; on 5 September 1960 the plaintiff wrote a letter to the defendant demanding that the office
be turned over to him; and on 13 September 1960, the demand not having been complied with the plaintiff filed the complaint in this
case. Romulo Cui later on intervened, claiming a right to the same office, being a grandson of Vicente Cui, another one of the
nephews mentioned by the founders of the Hospicio in their deed of donation.

As between Jesus and Antonio the main issue turns upon their respective qualifications to the position of administrator. Jesus is the
older of the two and therefore under equal circumstances would be preferred pursuant to section 2 of the deed of donation.
However, before the test of age may be, applied the deed gives preference to the one, among the legitimate descendants of the
nephews therein named, "que posea titulo de abogado, o medico, o ingeniero civil, o farmaceutico, o a falta de estos titulos el que
pague al estado mayor impuesto o contribucion."

The specific point in dispute is the mealing of the term "titulo de abogado." Jesus Ma. Cui holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws from
the University of Santo Tomas (Class 1926) but is not a member of the Bar, not having passed the examinations to qualify him as
one. Antonio Ma. Cui, on the other hand, is a member of the Bar and although disbarred by this Court on 29 March 1957
(administrative case No. 141), was reinstated by resolution promulgated on 10 February 1960, about two weeks before he assumed
the position of administrator of the Hospicio de Barili.

ISSUE: Whether or not the term ―titulo de abogado‖ shall be construed as membership in the Bar

HELD: YES. We are of the opinion, that whether taken alone or in context the term "titulo de abogado" means not mere possession
of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but membership in the Bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice
of law. In Spanish the word "titulo" is defined as "testimonies o instrumento dado para ejercer un empleo, dignidad o profesion"
(Diccionario de la Lengua Española, Real Academia Espanola, 1947 ed., p. 1224) and the word "abogado," as follows: "Perito en el
derecho positivo que se dedica a defender en juicio, por escrito o de palabra, los derechos o intereses de los litigantes, y tambien a
dar dictmen sobre las cuestiones o puntos legales que se le consultan (Id., p.5) A Bachelor's degree alone, conferred by a law
school upon completion of certain academic requirements, does not entitle its holder to exercise the legal profession. The English
equivalent of "abogado" is lawyer or attorney-at-law. This term has a fixed and general signification, and has reference to that class
of persons who are by license officers of the courts, empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and upon whom peculiar duties,
responsibilities and liabilities are devolved by law as a consequence.

In this jurisdiction admission to the Bar and to the practice of law is under the authority of the Supreme Court. According to Rule 138
such admission requires passing the Bar examinations, taking the lawyer's oath and receiving a certificate from the Clerk of Court,
this certificate being his license to practice the profession. The academic degree of Bachelor of Laws in itself has little to do with
admission to the Bar, except as evidence of compliance with the requirements that an applicant to the examinations has
"successfully completed all the prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially approved by the Secretary of Education."
For this purpose, however, possession of the degree itself is not indispensable: completion of the prescribed courses may be shown
in some other way. Indeed there are instances, particularly under the former Code of Civil Procedure, where persons who had not
gone through any formal legal education in college were allowed to take the Bar examinations and to qualify as lawyers. (Section 14
of that code required possession of "the necessary qualifications of learning ability.") Yet certainly it would be incorrect to say that
such persons do not possess the "titulo de abogado" because they lack the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws from some law
school or university.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

The founders of the Hospicio de San Jose de Barili must have established the foregoing test advisely, and provided in the deed of
donation that if not a lawyer, the administrator should be a doctor or a civil engineer or a pharmacist, in that order; or failing all
these, should be the one who pays the highest taxes among those otherwise qualified. A lawyer, first of all, because under Act No.
3239 the managers or trustees of the Hospicio shall "make regulations for the government of said institution (Sec. 3, b); shall
"prescribe the conditions subject to which invalids and incapacitated and destitute persons may be admitted to the institute" (Sec. 3,
d); shall see to it that the rules and conditions promulgated for admission are not in conflict with the provisions of the Act; and shall
administer properties of considerable value — for all of which work, it is to be presumed, a working knowledge of the law and a
license to practice the profession would be a distinct asset.

Under this particular criterion we hold that the plaintiff is not entitled, as against the defendant, to the office of administrator. But it is
argued that although the latter is a member of the Bar he is nevertheless disqualified by virtue of paragraph 3 of the deed of
donation, which provides that the administrator may be removed on the ground, among others, of ineptitude in the discharge of his
office or lack of evident sound moral character. Reference is made to the fact that the defendant was disbarred by this Court on 29
March 1957 for immorality and unprofessional conduct. It is also a fact, however, that he was reinstated on 10 February 1960,
before he assumed the office of administrator. His reinstatement is a recognition of his moral rehabilitation, upon proof no less than
that required for his admission to the Bar in the first place.

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. 1äwphï1.ñët
Whether or not the applicant shall be reinstated rests to a great extent in the sound discretion of the court. The court action will
depend, generally speaking, on whether or not it decides that the public interest in the orderly and impartial administration of justice
will be conserved by the applicant's participation therein in the capacity of an attorney and counselor at law. The applicant must, like
a candidate for admission to the bar, satisfy the court that he is a person of good moral character — a fit and proper person to
practice law. The court will take into consideration the applicant's character and standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and
character of the charge for which he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time that has elapsed
between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement. (5 Am. Jur., Sec. 301, p. 443)

Evidence of reformation is required before applicant is entitled to reinstatement, notwithstanding the attorney has received a pardon
following his conviction, and the requirements for reinstatement have been held to be the same as for original admission to the bar,
except that the court may require a greater degree of proof than in an original admission. (7 C.J.S., Attorney & Client, Sec. 41, p.
815.)

The decisive questions on an application for reinstatement are whether applicant is "of good moral character" in the sense in which
that phrase is used when applied to attorneys-at-law and is a fit and proper person to be entrusted with the privileges of the office of
an attorney, and whether his mental qualifications are such as to enable him to discharge efficiently his duty to the public, and the
moral attributes are to be regarded as a separate and distinct from his mental qualifications. (7 C.J.S., Attorney & Client, Sec. 41, p.
816).
As far as moral character is concerned, the standard required of one seeking reinstatement to the office of attorney cannot be less
exacting than that implied in paragraph 3 of the deed of donation as a requisite for the office which is disputed in this case. When
the defendant was restored to the roll of lawyers the restrictions and disabilities resulting from his previous disbarment were wiped
out.
PALE Case Digests 3B, 2017-2018

C. Lawyers who have been repatriated

#1 IN RE DACANAY B.M. No. 1678 December 17, 2007 CORONA, J.

PETITIONER: BENJAMIN M. DACANAY RESPONDENT:

DOCTRINE: Since Filipino citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar, loss thereof terminates membership in the
Philippine bar and, consequently, the privilege to engage in the practice of law. In other words, the loss of Filipino
citizenship ipso jure terminates the privilege to practice law in the Philippines. The exception is when Filipino citizenship
is lost by reason of naturalization as a citizen of another country but subsequently reacquired pursuant to RA 9225.

FACTS: Benjamin Dacanay was admitted to the Philippine bar in March 1960. He practiced law until he migrated to Canada in
December 1998 to seek medical attention for his ailments. He subsequently applied for Canadian citizenship to avail of Canada’s
free medical aid program. His application was approved and he became a Canadian citizen in May 2004.

Pursuant to RA 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003), Dacanay reacquired his Philippine citizenship. On the
same day, he took his oath of allegiance as a Filipino citizen before the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, Canada.
Thereafter, he returned to the Philippines and now intends to resume his law practice. There is a question, however, whether
Benjamin M. Dacanay lost his membership in the Philippine bar when he gave up his Philippine citizenship in May 2004. Thus, this
petition.

In a report, the Office of the Bar Confidant cites Section 2, Rule 138 (Attorneys and Admission to Bar) of the Rules of Court:
SECTION 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. – Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must
be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of the Philippines; 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.

Applying the provision, the Office of the Bar Confidant opines that, by virtue of his reacquisition of Philippine citizenship, in 2006,
Dacanay has again met all the qualifications and has none of the disqualifications for membership in the bar. It recommends that he
be allowed to resume the practice of law in the Philippines, conditioned on his retaking the lawyer’s oath to remind him of his duties
and responsibilities as a member of the Philippine bar.

ISSUE: Whether or not Dacanay may be allowed to resume the practice of law in the Philippines by virtue of his reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship

HELD: YES. The Constitution provides that the practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens save
in cases prescribed by law. Since Filipino citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar, loss thereof terminates membership
in the Philippine bar and, consequently, the privilege to engage in the practice of law. In other words, the loss of Filipino citizenship
ipso jure terminates the privilege to practice law in the Philippines. The practice of law is a privilege denied to foreigners. The
exception is when Filipino citizenship is lost by reason of naturalization as a citizen of another country but subsequently reacquired
pursuant to RA 9225. This is because "all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have
lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of [RA 9225]." Therefore, a Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another
country is deemed never to have lost his Philippine citizenship if he reacquires it in accordance with RA 9225. Although he is also
deemed never to have terminated his membership in the Philippine bar, no automatic right to resume law practice accrues.

Under RA 9225, if a person intends to practice the legal profession in the Philippines and he reacquires his Filipino citizenship
pursuant to its provisions "(he) shall apply with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice." Stated
otherwise, before a lawyer who reacquires Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 can resume his law practice, he must first secure
from this Court the authority to do so, conditioned on:

(a) the updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in the IBP;
(b) the payment of professional tax;
(c) the completion of at least 36 credit hours of mandatory continuing legal education; this is specially significant to refresh the
applicant/petitioner’s knowledge of Philippine laws and update him of legal developments and
(d) the retaking of the lawyer’s oath which will not only remind him of his duties and responsibilities as a lawyer and as an officer of
the Court, but also renew his pledge to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

Compliance with these conditions will restore his good standing as a member of the Philippine bar.
WHEREFORE, the petition of Attorney Benjamin M. Dacanay is hereby GRANTED, subject to compliance with the conditions stated
above and submission of proof of such compliance to the Bar Confidant, after which he may retake his oath as a member of the
Philippine bar.