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RENATO CAYETANO VS CHRISTIAN MONSOD

G.R. NO 100113 SEPTEMBER 3, 1991

FACTS:

Christian Monsod, the respondent, was nominated by President Cory Aquino as the chairman of
COMELEC. The said nomination was confirmed by Commission on Appointment on June 5, 1991. Then,
Monsod assumed office as the chairman on June 18, 1991. However, Renato Cayetano, the petitioner,
opposed the nomination because allegedly the respondent does not possess the required qualification of
having been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years as stated in Article IX-C, Section 1(1).

It was presented in the case that Monsod, after passing the bar, worked in his father’s law office.
For about two years, Monsod worked as an operations officer in the World Bank Group. In 1970, upon
returning, he worked with MERALCO group as chief executive officer and subsequently rendered services
to various companies either as a legal and economic consultant, and chief executive officer. He served
also as Secretary General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL, as a co-Chairman of Bishops
Businessman’s Conference for Human Development, as a member of Constitutional Commission (1986-
1987) and Davide Commission (1990), and as Chairman of Committee on Accountability of Public Officers.

ISSUE:

Whether or Not the respondent does not possess the required qualification of having
been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years as stated in Article IX-C, Section 1(1).

RULING:

No. The court, through the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v Agrava (105 Phil.
173,176-177), stated: The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court;
it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special
proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges
and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for
them in matters connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation
services contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a mortgage,
enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting
proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute
law practice, as do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done
involves the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions.

The contention made by the petitioner that Atty. Monsod does not possess the required
qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years is invalid. Atty.
Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-
entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich
and the poor — verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been
engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Hence, the petition is dismissed.