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Republic oI the Philippines


G.R. No. L-36138 January 31, 1974
appellants; ATTY. GREGORIO B. ESTACIO, respondent.

FERNANDO, J..1wph1.t
Every now and then, although there seems to be more oI such cases oI late, a member oI the bar
is proceeded against Ior Iailure to live up to the responsibility owed to a client as well as to this
Court. This is another such instance. In our resolution oI May 25, 1973, we required respondent
Gregorio B. Estacio, counsel de parte Ior appellants to show cause why disciplinary action
should not be taken against him Ior Iailure to Iile the brieI Ior appellants within the period which
expired on March 30, 1973. He Iailed to show cause as thus required, and on September 7, 1973,
we issued a resolution suspending him Irom the practice oI law except Ior the purpose oI Iiling
the brieI which should be done within thirty days Irom receipt oI notice. Then on October 22,
1973, he Iiled a motion Ior reconsideration wherein it appeared that he did seek to explain his
Iailure to Iile the brieI on time, but he leIt it to be mailed on June 9, 1973 with Antonio
Rosqueta, Sr., Iather oI appellants Antonio Rosqueta, Jr. and Eusebio Rosqueta, who, however,
was unable to do so as on the 10th oI June, his house caught Iire. He would impress on this Court
that he was not inIormed oI such occurrence until the preparation oI his motion Ior
reconsideration. At any rate, he would stress that both Antonio Rosqueta, Sr. and Salvador
Labariento, Iather-in-law oI the third appellant, Citong Bringas, inIormed him they would
withdraw the appeal as they could not raise the money needed Ior pursuing it. He had a
supplement to such motion Ior reconsideration Iiled on October 25, 1973 wherein he stated that
he could not secure the aIIidavits oI appellants themselves as two oI them were in the Penal
Colony in Davao and the third in the Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan. On November 5, 1973,
this Court required appellants to comment on a motion Ior reconsideration oI respondent
concerning speciIically their alleged desire to withdraw appeal.
Then on December 27, 1973, there was a motion oI respondent submitting two aIIidavits, one
Irom Antonio Rosqueta, Jr. and the aIoresaid Citong Bringas and the other Irom Eusebio
Rosqueta wherein they indicated their consent and approval to respondent's motion to withdraw
appeal. The joint aIIidavit oI the Iirst two appellants reads as Iollows: "1. That we are the same
persons named above who have been charged in Criminal Case No. L-36138 entitled People v.
Antonio Rosqueta, Jr., et al. pending on appeal beIore the Supreme Court oI the Philippines; 2.
That we hereby consent and approve the motion to withdraw the appeal Iiled by our counsel,
Atty. Gregorio B. Estacio beIore the Supreme Court oI the Philippines on that Criminal Case No.
L-36138 their pending in said Court;
3. That we have given our consent and approval oI our own will voluntarily, without duress,
Iorce, threat or Iraud or deceit; |In witness whereoI|, we have hereunto set our signatures this 4th
day oI December 1973 in the Municipality oI Panabo, Davao."
The aIIidavit oI Eusebio
Rosqueta Iollows: "1. That I am one oI the accused in that case entitled People v. Antonio
Rosqueta, Jr., et al. under G.R. No. L-36138 now pending beIore the Supreme Court oI the

Philippines; 2. That I hereby give my consent and approval to the otion to Withdraw the
Appeal which has been Iiled by our counsel Atty. Gregorio B. Estacio beIore the Supreme Court
on the above-stated case; 3. That I have reached this conclusion aIter I have conIerred with our
counsel Atty. Gregorio B. Estacio and this statement hereby revokes and nulliIies the statement
signed by me on December 5, 1973 at the Central Sub-Colony, Iwahig Penal Colony, Palawan
beIore witnesses, namely, Mr. Abencio B. Gabayan and Miss Merle J. Jopida; 4. That I have
executed this aIIidavit oI my own Iree will, without intimidation, threat, Iraud, deceit, duress or
Iorce; |In witness whereoI|, I have hereunto set my hand this 13th day oI December, 1973 in the
City oI Puerto Princesa."

Respondent's liability is thus mitigated but he cannot be absolved Irom the irresponsible conduct
oI which he is guilty. Respondent should be aware that even in those cases where counsel de
parte is unable to secure Irom appellants or Irom their near relatives the amount necessary to
pursue the appeal, that does not necessarily conclude his connection with the case. It has been a
commendable practice oI some members oI the bar under such circumstances, to be designated
as counsel de oficio. That way the interest oI justice is best served. Appellants will then continue
to receive the beneIits oI advocacy Irom one who is Iamiliar with the Iacts oI the case. What is
more, there is no undue delay in the administration oI justice. Lawyers oI such category are
entitled to commendation.re,,an1aw~ They maniIest Iidelity to the concept that law is a
proIession and not a mere trade with those engaged in it being motivated solely by the desire to
make money. Respondent's conduct yields a diIIerent impression. What has earned a reprooI
however is his irresponsibility. He should be aware that in the pursuance oI the duty owed this
Court as well as to a client, he cannot be too casual and unconcerned about the Iiling oI
pleadings. It is not enough that he prepares them; he must see to it that they are duly mailed.
Such inattention as shown in this case is inexcusable. At any rate, the suspension meted on him
under the circumstances is more than justiIied. It seems, however, that well-nigh Iive months had
elapsed. That would suIIice to atone Ior his misdeed.
WHEREFORE, the suspension oI Atty. Gregorio B. Estacio is liIted. The requirement to Iile the
brieI is dispensed with but Atty. Gregorio B. Estacio is censured Ior negligence and inattention
to duty. Likewise, as prayed Ior by appellants themselves, their appeal is dismissed.
Zaldivar (Chairman), Barredo, Antonio, Fernande:. and Aquino, JJ., concur.

Republic oI the Philippines

A.M. No. L-363 1uly 31, 1962
GUTIERREZ, respondent.
'ictoriano A. Savellano for complaint.
Nestor . Andrada for respondent.
Respondent Diosdado Q. Gutierrez is a member oI the Philippine Bar, admitted to it on October
5, 1945. In criminal case No. R-793 oI the Court oI First Instance oI Oriental Mindoro he was
convicted oI the murder oI Filemon Samaco, Iormer municipal mayor oI Calapan, and together
with his co-conspirators was sentenced to the penalty oI death. Upon review by this Court the
judgment oI conviction was aIIirmed on June 30, 1956 (G.R. No. L-17101), but the penalty was
changed to reclusion perpetua. AIter serving a portion oI the sentence respondent was granted a
conditional pardon by the President on August 19, 1958. The unexecuted portion oI the prison
term was remitted "on condition that he shall not again violate any oI the penal laws oI the
On October 9, 1958 the widow oI the deceased Filemon Samaco, victim in the murder case, Iiled
a veriIied complaint beIore this Court praying that respondent be removed Irom the roll oI
lawyers pursuant to Rule 127, section 5. Respondent presented his answer in due time, admitting
the Iacts alleged by complainant regarding pardon in deIense, on the authority oI the decision oI
this Court in the case oI In re Lontok, 43 Phil. 293.
Under section 5 oI Rule 127, a member oI the bar may be removed suspended Irom his oIIice as
attorney by the Supreme Court by reason oI his conviction oI a crime insolving moral turpitude.
Murder is, without doubt, such a crime. The term "moral turpitude" includes everything which is
done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals. In re Carlos S. Basa, 41 Phil. 275. As
used in disbarment statutes, it means an act oI baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and
social duties which a man owes to his Iellowmen or to society in general, contrary to the
accepted rule oI right and duty between man and man. State ex rel. Conklin v. Buckingham, 84 P.
2nd 49; 5 Am. Jur. Sec. 279. pp. 428-429.
The only question to be resolved is whether or not the conditional pardon extended to respondent
places him beyond the scope oI the rule on disbarment aIorecited. Reliance is placed by him
squarely on the Lontok case. The respondent therein was convicted oI bigamy and thereaIter
pardoned by the Governor-General. In a subsequent viction, this Court decided in his Iavor and
held: "When proceedings to strike an attorney's name Irom the rolls the Iact oI a conviction Ior a
Ielony ground Ior disbarment, it has been held that a pardon operates to wipe out the conviction
and is a bar to any proceeding Ior the disbarment oI the attorney aIter the pardon has been
It is our view that the ruling does not govern the question now beIore us. In making it the Court
proceeded on the assumption that the pardon granted to respondent Lontok was absolute. This is
implicit in the ratio decidendi oI the case, particularly in the citations to support it, namely. In Re
Emmons, 29 Cal. App. 121; Scott vs. State, 6 Tex. Civ. App. 343; and Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall,
380. Thus in Scott vs. State the court said:

We are oI opinion that aIter received an unconditional pardon the record oI the Ielony
conviction could no longer be used as a basis Ior the proceeding provided Ior in article
226. The record, when oIIered in evidence, was met with an unconditional pardon, and
could not, thereIore, properly be said to aIIord "prooI oI a conviction oI any Ielony."
Having been thus cancelled, all its Iorce as a Ielony conviction was taken away. A pardon
Ialling short oI this would not be a pardon, according to the judicial construction which
that act oI executive grace was received. Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall, 344; Knote v. U.S., 95
U.S. 149, and cases there cited; Young v. Young, 61 Tex. 191.
And the portion oI the decision in Ex parte Garland quoted with approval in the Lontok case is as
A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed Ior the oIIense and the guilt oI the
oIIender; and when the pardon is Iull, it releases the punishment and blots out the
existence oI guilt, so that in the eye oI the law the oIIender is as innocent as iI he had
never committed the oIIense. It granted beIore conviction, it prevents any oI the penalties
and disabilities, consequent upon conviction, Irom attaching; iI granted aIter conviction,
it removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights it makes
him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity.
The pardon granted to respondent here is not absolute but conditional, and merely remitted the
unexecuted portion oI his term. It does not reach the oIIense itselI, unlike that in Ex parte
Garland, which was "a Iull pardon and amnesty Ior all oIIense by him committed in connection
with rebellion (civil war) against government oI the United States."
The Ioregoing considerations rendered In re Lontok are inapplicable here. Respondent Gutierrez
must be judged upon the Iact oI his conviction Ior murder without regard to the pardon he
invokes in deIense. The crime was qualiIied by treachery and aggravated by its having been
committed in hand, by taking advantage oI his oIIicial position (respondent being municipal
mayor at the time) and with the use oI motor vehicle. People vs. Diosdado Gutierrez, supra. The
degree oI moral turpitude involved is such as to justiIy his being purged Irom the proIession.
The practice oI law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to certain rigid
standards oI mental and moral Iitness. For the admission oI a candidate to the bar the Rules oI
Court not only prescribe a test oI academic preparation but require satisIactory testimonials oI
good moral character. These standards are neither dispensed with nor lowered aIter admission:
the lawyer must continue to adhere to them or else incur the risk oI suspension or removal. As
stated in Ex parte Wall, 107 U.S. 263, 27 Law ed., 552, 556: "OI all classes and proIessions, the
lawyer is most sacredly bound to uphold the laws. He is their sworn servant; and Ior him, oI all
men in the world, to repudiate and override the laws, to trample them under Ioot and to ignore
the very bonds oI society, argues recreancy to his position and oIIice and sets a pernicious
example to the insubordinate and dangerous elements oI the body politic.
WHEREFORE, pursuant to Rule 127, Section 5, and considering the nature oI the crime Ior
which respondent Diosdado Q. Gutierrez has been convicted, he is ordered disbarred and his
name stricken Irom the roll oI lawyers.
Beng:on, C.J., Labrador, Concepcion, Barrera, Paredes, Di:on and Regala, JJ., concur.
Padilla, J., took no part.

|G.R. No. 128364. February 4, 1999|

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. NESTOR 1IMENEZ, accused-
A love aIIair does not justiIy rape, Ior the beloved cannot be sexually violated against her will.
On the other hand, it is pointless to question on appeal the admissibility oI documentary exhibits
that were not used by the trial court as bases Ior convicting the accused.
The Case

Nestor Jimenez seeks the reversal oI the November 27, 1996 Decision oI the Regional Trial
Court oI Puerto Princesa City, Branch 51, which convicted him oI rape and sentenced him to liIe
The Criminal Complaint dated May 26, 1993, signed by Complainant May Linga and certiIied
by City Prosecutor Alberto R. Trinidad charged appellant with rape allegedly committed as
'That on or about the 16th day oI April, 1993, at Barangay Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa City,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction oI this Honorable Court, the said accused and by means
oI Iorce, violence and intimidation, did then and there wilIully, unlawIully and Ieloniously have
carnal knowledge with one MAY LINGA, against her will and without her consent.
During his arraignment on August 3, 1993, the accused, with the assistance oI Counsel de Parte
PerIecto de los Reyes, pleaded not guilty. Trial on the merits ensued. On November 27, 1996,
the trial court rendered its assailed Decision, the dispositive portion oI which reads as Iollows:
'WHEREFORE, in view oI all the Ioregoing considerations, JUDGMENT is hereby rendered
Iinding the herein accused, NESTOR JIMENEZ|,| guilty beyond reasonable doubt oI the crime
oI |r|ape as principal|,| deIined and penalized under Article 335 oI the Revised Penal Code and
sentences him to |the| penalty oI |l|iIe |i|mprisonment and to indemniIy the oIIended party, May
Linga|,| the sum oI FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS and to pay the costs.
Hence, this appeal Iiled directly with this Court.
The Facts

Evidence for the Prosecution

In the Appellee`s BrieI, the OIIice oI the Solicitor General presents the Iollowing narration oI the
'On April 16, 1993, complainant May Linga was at her boarding house in Brgy. Tiniguiban,
Puerto Princesa City (TSN, Sept. 8, 1994, p.3). During that period, her sister Socorro, the latter`s
husband who is the appellant herein, their two (2) children and their housemaid (Fely Gonzales)
were staying with her. Socorro`s Iamily lived in Quezon, Palawan but they were in Tiniguiban
because Socorro was looking Ior a job while appellant |was| hiding Irom the relatives oI the
victim in a murder case |in| which he was charged xxx and |was| Iacing trial (Ibid., at p.5).
'That day, Socorro was in Quezon while her other sister Gina who lived with May in the
boarding house, went to Iloilo City (TSN, Sept. 15, 1994, p. 3). Appellant, the two (2) children,
the maid and a visitor went to the beach but May declined to go with them as she ha|d| to teach
at PVS (TSN, Sept. 8, 1994, p. 6). At about 9:30 o`clock in the morning, she was inside the
bathroom when she noticed that someone was inside the house closing the door and windows.
She called out the names oI her companions in the house but nobody answered. Thinking that a

thieI had entered the house, she hurriedly went out |oI| the bathroom clad in just a polo shirt,
skirt and panty. She saw her Kuya Nestor who immediately embraced her and covered her
mouth. He pulled her in a lying position, but she struggled, shouting at every possible
opportunity (Ibid., at pp. 7-8). Because oI appellant`s greater strength, he was able to drag May
inside the bedroom where she was pushed to the Iloor. Appellant Iorcibly undressed May and
|he| also removed his shorts (Ibid., at p. 9). Despite May`s struggles and pleas Ior appellant to
stop, appellant succeeded in placing himselI on top oI May and tried to put his penis inside her
vagina. May continued with her struggles until appellant boxed her leIt thigh which weakened
her, thus enabling appellant to consummate the bestial act (Ibid., at pp. 11-12).
'AIterwards, appellant threatened to kill May and himselI as allegedly, his liIe was already
worthless because oI the murder charges he was Iacing. As May was still naked, he repeated his
sexual assault, which lasted Ior about ten (10) minutes. Appellant repeated his threats to kill
May and himselI aIterwards (Ibid., at pp. 13-14).
'There was a knock on the door so May was able to run to the bathroom. ThereaIter, she went to
a neighbor who noticed her bruises on the Iace. She just cried but kept silent about what really
happened to her Ior Iear oI appellant (Ibid., at pp. 14-15).
'It was only when Gina arrived Irom Iloilo and a brother came home Irom Manila that May was
emboldened to complain about her plight and submitted herselI to medical examination on May
24, 1993 (TSN, Sept. 15, 1994, pp. 6-7).
'Dr. Jesselito De Lara oI the Provincial Hospital in Puerto Princesa City, conducted the
examination on May. He Iound that there was penetration oI her private part. Thus, he testiIied
that there was gaping labia majora and minora|;| in the external examination there |was| an
evidence oI external physical injury|;| there |was a| whitish discharge|, a| gaping hymen with
non coapted boarder |sic| and there |was| healed laceration at 3: o`clock and 6: o`clock
positions|;| and when I inserted my Iinger it admit|ted| one Iinger with ease and without
resistance.` (TSN, Dec. 6, 1994, pp. 24-25; Exh. C`, Medico Legal CertiIicate).
'May`s testimony was substantially corroborated by Fely Gonzales, the housemaid oI the
accused. Gonzales testiIied that appellant, who boarded the tricycle with them going to the
beach, alighted Irom the tricycle beIore it reached the beach claiming that he |would| pass by a
Iriend and get Iood (TSN, Dec. 6, 1994, p. 6). Appellant, however, did not Iollow them to the
beach so she had to go back to the boarding house as the children were already hungry (Ibid., at
pp. 7-8). She saw May with hematoma on her Iace and scratch wounds on the right arm and
eyes, and Iresh Irom crying.` When she asked May what happened, May just cried (Ibid., at p.
9). Later on, however, May told her that she was raped by appellant (Ibid., at p. 14).
Evidence for the Defense

In his BrieI, appellant admitted to having had sexual intercourse with complainant, but claimed
that the latter consented to the sexual act and that the two oI them were in Iact lovers.
'DeIense witness, Socorro Jimenez (wiIe oI the accused) testiIied in substance that she |was| 33
years old, married, |a| teacher|,| and a resident oI Quezon, Palawan. She is the wiIe oI accused
Nestor Jimenez. She knows May Linga because she is her sister. |I|n April|,| 1993, she and her
husband, Nestor Jimenez|,| were in the boarding house oI her sister May Linga because they
were staying with her at that time. While her husband was taking a bath that morning oI April 16,
1993|,| he asked her to hand him a towel. She was not able to hand him a towel because, her
sister was the one who handed a towel to her husband. Everytime her husband |would leave|,
she (May Linga) asked Ior pasalubong.` On April 15, 1993|,| in the morning, her husband
Nestor Jimenez, their children, their maid|,| and Iriends oI her sister went to the White Beach.
She herselI was still in Quezon, Palawan|.| |H|owever, when she arrived Irom Quezon, nobody
was in the house. She was just inIormed by her sister May Linga that they |were| in the White
Beach and that was already 11:00 o`clock in the morning oI that day oI April 15, 1993. It was on
April 16, 1993 when she came back to Puerto Princesa City. She|, together| with her husband
and children stayed with May Linga at the latter`s boarding house at Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa
up to May 19, 1993 only as they went home to Quezon, Palawan|,| thereaIter. She claims that
her husband|,| Nestor Jimenez|,| was in the business oI buy and sell oI palay and corn at that

'Presented next was deIense witness Ruel Demegillo who testiIied that he |was| 35 years old,
married, |a| civil engineer|,| and residing at Poblacion, Quezon, Palawan. Purposely presented
to establish the relationship oI |A|ccused Nestor Jimenez and |C|omplainant May Linga as
lovers, he testiIied that he came to know Nestor Jimenez because they had a joint venture in
palay and corn both in Narra, Palawan|,| and Puerto Princesa City. He came also to know May
Linga because he used to be with Nestor Jimenez and they used to drop |by| at the house oI May
Linga at Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa City. Accused Nestor Jimenez and his Iamily permanently
reside at Quezon, Palawan. During those occasions when he and Nestor Jimenez dropped |by| at
the house oI complainant May Linga, he observed some closeness between Nestor and May in
that May used to meet them at the gate and eat together with Nestor|;| and May sometimes,
nagsusubu-an` at naglalambingan.` Aside Irom that, he saw one time May holding the arms oI
Nestor Jimenez.
'TestiIying next Ior the deIense was Visidro Songcay|a|on, 35 years old, married, a police
oIIicer and resident oI Bagong Sikat, Narra, Palawan. He declared that he was Iormerly assigned
as a police oIIicer oI Quezon, Palawan in June, 1988 and it was during that assignment that he
came to know oI Nestor Jimenez. He also came to know May Linga when she was crowned as
Queen in 1990 during the celebration oI the Flores de Mayo. He recall|ed| that it was during
the last canvassing when he was assigned as security that he had to be roving around the area. It
was then that he allegedly saw Nestor Jimenez at the back oI the stage with May Linga having
been Iocused |on| b|y| his Ilashlight|,| with May Linga`s arms at the back oI Nestor Jimenez.
Nestor Jimenez dropped an amount oI P40,000.00 as votes Ior May Linga which eventually
made May Linga win the said Beauty Contest.
'As the last witness Ior the deIense, accused Nestor Jimenez testiIied as Iollows: that he |was|
33 years old, married, a businessman and a resident oI Poblacion, Quezon, Palawan. He is the
same Nestor Jimenez the accused in this case. His wiIe is Maria Socorro Jimenez the sister oI
May Linga the private complainant in this case. While |he| was yet courting his wiIe, he used
xxx as his bridge or go between May Linga the private complainant in this case. In the course oI
his courtship, he noticed that May Linga like|d| him. He did not mind her though, because his
interest was |in| Socorro Linga th|e| sister oI May Linga. AIter his marriage to Socorro Linga,
May Linga lived with them Ior sometime because they were the ones who sent her to school up
to third year high school. While he noticed May Linga to be sweet to him, he did not tell this to
his wiIe because she might get jealous. In 1990, May Linga stayed in Puerto Princesa City while
he and his wiIe stayed in Quezon, Palawan. However, during the year 1990, a beauty contest
was held in Quezon, Palawan in connection with the celebration oI the Ieast oI Flores de
Mayo`. Since May Linga became one oI the candidates she asked him to help her win in said
beauty contest so he told her he |would| try to borrow money Irom his Iriend Emertan and,
indeed, he was able to borrow Irom Emertan P110,000.00.
Ruling oI the Trial Court

The trial court held that May Linga was raped by Nestor Jimenez in the morning oI April 16,
1993, when she was alone in her boarding house. May Linga`s testimony was strongly
corroborated by that oI Fely Gonzales, maid oI the accused, who testiIied that Nestor Jimenez
did not go with them to the White Beach on April 16, 1993. When they arrived home, she
noticed the hematoma on May`s Iace and the scratches on her arms. On the verge oI crying, May
Linga later revealed the sexual assault perpetrated by the accused on that IateIul day.
The trial court rejected the 'sweetheart deIense put up by the accused. While the latter admitted
having had sexual intercourse with complainant, he Iailed to present substantial prooI that she
had given her consent. In Iact, he Iound it necessary to punch her. Moreover, the testimonies oI
the deIense witnesses seeking to prove the supposed love aIIair were not credible. On the other
hand, the lower court Iound May to be simple, decent and educated a young lady who would
not willingly expose herselI to extreme embarrassment and public ridicule by reporting her
deIilement iI it were not true. The court was suIIiciently convinced oI her credibility and the
truthIulness oI her testimony.
Assignment oI Errors

In assailing the trial court`s Decision, appellant alleges the Iollowing errors:
"I. The lower court erred in giving weight and credence to the exhibits oI the prosecution
namely Exhibits A, B, C and D with their respective submarking notwithstanding the Iact that
they were not Iormally oIIered in evidence
II. The lower court erred in not holding that herein appellant and complaining witness were
III. The lower court erred in not holding that the sexual act between herein appellant that took
place in the early morning oI April 15, 1993 (not in the morning oI April 16, 1993) |was| done
voluntarily and with their express consent as lovers
IV. The lower court erred in Iinding the herein appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt oI the
crime oI rape and in imposing |upon| him the penalty oI liIe imprisonment
The Court`s Ruling

We aIIirm the conviction oI appellant. However, we modiIy the penalty which should be
reclusion perpetua, not liIe imprisonment.
First Issue:

Sufficiency of Prosecution Evidence

Appellant assails the Iollowing pieces oI documentary evidence: (1) Exhibit A - aIIidavit oI
May Linga; (2) Exhibit B - Criminal Complaint oI May Linga; (3) Exhibit C - medical
certiIicate issued by Dr. Joselito de Lara; and (4) Exhibit D - letter oI Socorro Jimenez to May
Linga oIIering P100,000 so she would withdraw her Complaint.
Although the above-mentioned documents were not Iormally oIIered as evidence, the trial court
did not err in convicting the accused. The trial court based its judgment, not on the questioned
documentary exhibits, but on the testimonies oI the prosecution witnesses, who were Iound to be
both truthIul and credible. Unlike the said documents, these testimonies were Iormally oIIered,
in accordance with the Rules oI Court. More important, the aIorementioned witnesses testiIied
on the contents oI the said exhibits, thereby making such documents themselves merely
secondary in weight and value.
May Linga`s testimony that she was attacked and raped by the accused on April 16, 1993 was
detailed, truthIul and credible, thus, making the presentation oI her aIIidavit unnecessary. Her
Complaint, on the other hand, was conIirmed by her presence and testimony during the trial.
Likewise, Dr. Joselito de Lara testiIied on the contents oI the assailed medical certiIicate which
he himselI had issued. Finally, the alleged letter Irom Socorro to May was not even taken up by
the trial court in arriving at its conclusion. Clearly, there is no point to appellant`s argument that
Exhibits A to D had not been Iormally oIIered as evidence, Ior the said documents were not used
by the trial court in arriving at its Decision.
Appellant Iurther argues that the prosecution Iailed to prove that the Complaint Ior rape was
initiated by the complainant or by her parents, grandparents or guardian, as required by Article
344 (3) oI the Revised Penal Code, which states:
'The oIIenses oI seduction, abduction, rape, or acts oI lasciviousness, shall not be prosecuted
except upon a complaint Iiled by the oIIended party or her parents, grandparents, or guardian,
nor, in any case, iI the oIIender has been expressly pardoned by the above-named persons, as the
case may be.
This argument is unpersuasive. May Linga was no longer a minor when the crime was
committed. Thus, she herselI was authorized by law to Iile the Complaint against the accused in
compliance with Article 344 (3) oI the Revised Penal Code. The Iact oI its Iiling was proven by
her testimony, as Iollows:
'Q: In relation to this case have you remember|ed| having Iiled a criminal complaint against the
A: Yes, sir.

Q: I am showing to you a criminal complaint|;| what relation has this to the criminal complaint
which you have Iiled?
A: This is the same criminal complaint that I have Iiled, sir.
Second Issue:

Sweetheart Theory` Not Proven

Appellant`s sweetheart theory must Iail. First, the deIense Iailed to establish the existence oI
such a relationship. Complainant May Linga speciIically denied that appellant was her
sweetheart. Although appellant presented Socorro Jimenez, Ruel Demegillo and Visidro
Songcayaon to support his claim, the corroborating testimonies were selI-serving and were
neither credible nor convincing. Appellant ascribes too much meaning to Songcayaon`s claim
that he saw 'May Linga whose arms were at the back oI Nestor Jimenez. Moreover, the
testimonies oI (1) both Jimenezes, that May handed a towel to Nestor Jimenez when he Iinished
taking a bath; and (2) Demegillo, that Nestor used to drop by May`s house and that they oIten ate
together, merely indicated a brother-sister relationship not uncommon between a man and his
Verily, appellant Iailed to substantiate his sweetheart theory. There were no letters or notes, no
photos or mementos, nothing at all to evidence their alleged love relationship. It is clear that the
alleged aIIair was merely concocted by appellant in order to exculpate him Irom any criminal
liability. Indeed, appellant`s claim is dubious.
Second, granting arguendo that appellant and the victim were indeed sweethearts, such
relationship could not by itselI exonerate appellant. In People v. Gecomo, the Court declared
that 'love is not a license Ior carnal intercourse through Iorce or intimidation. x x x A
sweetheart cannot be Iorced to have sex against her will. From a mere Iiancee, deIinitely a man
cannot demand sexual submission and, worse, employ violence upon her on a mere justiIication
oI love.
Force and Intimidation Proven

Rape is deIined by Article 335 oI the Revised Penal Code in this wise:
'Art. 335. When and how rape is committed. - Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge oI
a woman under any oI the Iollowing circumstances.
1. By using Iorce or intimidation;
2. When the woman is deprived oI reason or otherwise unconscious; and
3. When the woman is under twelve years oI age, even though neither oI the circumstances
mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present.
The evidence shows that appellant succeeded in having carnal knowledge oI the victim by using
Iorce and intimidation. During her testimony, May Linga clearly described how appellant
suddenly put his arms around her, Iorcibly dragged her inside the bedroom, removed her clothes
and even boxed her when he had diIIiculty inserting his penis into her vagina. She testiIied thus:
'Q: What happened next, Madam Witness, when you went out oI the bathroom?
A: When I went out oI the bathroom, it was he who|m| I saw.
Q: Who was the person, Madam Witness?
A: Nestor Jimenez.
x x x
Q: Now, aIter you saw him, Madam Witness, what happened next, iI any?
A: He immediately embraced me and covered my mouth.
Q: How did he embrace you?
A: He embraced me with his right hand holding my two hands and his leIt hand covering my

x x x
Q: Now Madam Witness, aIter he held your mouth and your two hands, covered your mouth and
held your two hands, will you tell us what happened next?
A: He tried to push me down on a lying position.
x x x
Q: And what happened next iI any, Madam Witness?
A: He was not satisIied, he dragged me towards the bedroom.
x x x
Q: And what happened aIter he dragged you, Madam Witness?
A: He pushed me to lie down on the Iloor.
Q: And what did you do, iI any, at that time?
A: I tried to rise and escape but he blocked me at the door.
Q: And what happened next, Madam Witness, when he as you said blocked you at the door?
A: He Iorcibly undressed me.
Q: And while he was Iorcibly undressing you, Madam Witness, what did you do, iI any?
A: I tried to push him but I was |i|n the lying position and he placed weight on my two arms.
x x x
Q: What happened next aIter that, Madam Witness?
A: He went on top oI me.
x x x
Q: You said he went on top oI you, what happened next?
A: He tried to put his private part into my private organ but he could not do so because I continued
to resist him.
x x x
Q: And aIter that, Madam Witness, what happened to you?
A: When he |could| not penetrate he boxed my leIt thigh.
Q: And aIter hitting you in the leIt thigh, what did he do?
A: I was really hurt because it was really painIul and Irom then on I started to weaken because
also oI my long struggle.
Q: You said that you weakened|;| what happened to you at the time you |were| weakening?
A: That was the time he succeeded in inserting his organ into mine.
Q: And aIter inserting his organ into yours, Madam Witness, what did he do?
A: That was the time he started the push and pull motion.
The hematoma on her Iace and the scratches on her arms were eloquent testimonies oI the Iorce
employed by the appellant.
Third Issue:

Credibility of Prosecution Witnesses

As Iound by the trial court, May Linga appeared to be a simple and truthIul young woman,
without any motive to Ialsely accuse her brother-in-law oI such a grave oIIense. Her testimony
was corroborated by appellant`s maid, who testiIied that appellant did not accompany them to
White Beach on April 16, 1993; and that when she returned, she noticed the hematoma on May`s
Iace as well as the scratches on her arms.

The trial judge, who had the opportunity oI observing the manner and demeanor oI the
complainant on the witness stand, was convinced oI her credibility. We Iind no reason to reverse
or alter the holding oI the trial court. 'It is a time tested doctrine that a trial court`s assessment
oI the credibility oI a witness is entitled to great weight -- even conclusive and binding iI not
tainted with arbitrariness or oversight oI some Iact or circumstance oI weight and inIluence.
Crime and Punishment

We have pored over the records and we Iind no reason to reverse the trial court`s conclusion
Iinding Nestor Jimenez guilty oI rape. However, the said court erred in sentencing appellant to
'liIe imprisonment. The Revised Penal Code clearly states that the penalty Ior rape is reclusion
perpetua, which is diIIerent Irom liIe imprisonment. As explained by the Court in People v.
'x x x LiIe imprisonment and reclusion perpetua are two distinct penalties and are not
interchangeable, Ior the latter carries with it the accessory penalties enumerated in Article 41 oI
the Revised Penal Code. Furthermore, reclusion perpetua entails imprisonment Ior at least thirty
(30) years aIter which the convict becomes eligible Ior pardon; whereas liIe imprisonment does
not appear to have any deIinite extent or duration.
EREFORE, the assailed Decision is hereby AFFIRED with the DIFICATIN that the
accused is sentenced to reclusion perpetua. Costs against appellant.
Romero, (Chairman), Vitug, Purisima, and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

Republic oI the Philippines

G.R. No. 111682 February 6, 1997
ZENAIDA REYES, petitioner,

This is a motion Ior reconsideration oI the resolution dated November 29, 1995, oI the Court,
denying the petition Ior review oI the decision, dated May 28, 1993, and the resolution, dated
August 30, 1993, oI the Court oI Appeals
in CA-G.R. CR. No. 08410, aIIirming the conviction
oI petitioner Zenaida P. Reyes oI IalsiIication oI public document. Petitioner's motion is based
on her contention that because oI her counsel's unexplained absences at the trial she was
prevented Irom presenting evidence in her deIense and thereIore denied the due process oI law.
The Iacts are as Iollows:
In an inIormation Iiled on April 7, 1986 with the Regional Trial Court oI Bulacan and later
assigned to Branch 22 thereoI as Criminal Case No. 9252-M, petitioner Zenaida Reyes was
accused oI IalsiIying a deed oI sale oI Iour (4) parcels oI land "by Ieigning and signing the name
oI Pablo Floro, who could not aIIix his signature anymore due to age inIirmity, on the said
document as seller and causing it to appear that said Pablo Floro |had| participated in the
execution oI the said document when in truth and in Iact, as said accused well knew, said deed oI
sale was not executed and signed by the said Pablo Floro, nor did he ever appear beIore any
notary public Ior the purpose oI acknowledging the deed above mentioned."

Upon being arraigned, petitioner pleaded not guilty. Trial on the merits then Iollowed. AIter the
prosecution had rested its case, the presentation oI the deIense evidence was scheduled on
February 6, 1989, which, however, was reset "Ior the last time" to March 10, 1989 due to
petitioner's illness.
The hearing on March 10, 1989 was, however, cancelled also because oI the
absence oI both the private prosecutor and deIense counsel, Atty. Analuz Cristal-Tenorio. The
new schedule was April 12, 1989.
However, Atty. Tenorio was again absent on April 12, 1989.
Petitioner was also absent, but her husband appeared and submitted to the court a medical
certiIicate that she was sick. The hearing on that date was thereIore postponed to May 17, 1989
"|I|or the last time. "

On May 11, 1989, Atty. Tenorio moved Ior the postponement oI the hearing Irom May 17, 1989
to June 5, 1989, allegedly because she had to leave Ior Malaybalay, Bukidnon to assist in the
prosecution oI her brother-in-law's killers. The trial court, while noting that the hearing on May
17, 1989 was "intransIerrable in character," nonetheless granted Atty. Tenorio's motion and
postponed the hearing to June 5, 1989 over the objection oI the private prosecutor. Petitioner was

warned that iI she did not present her evidence on that date, she would be considered to have
waived her right to do so.
But the hearing on June 5, 1989 had to be rescheduled again because
petitioner's counsel, Atty. Tenorio, was absent.

On July 10, 1989, the new date oI hearing, both petitioner and Atty. Tenorio were absent, so that
on motion oI private prosecutor, the court declared petitioner to have waived the right to present
her evidence.
Four days later (on July 14, 1989), petitioner gave a medical certiIicate
that she was suIIering Irom hypertension and rheumatism which required bed rest Ior at least 5-7
days. The court merely noted the medical certiIicate but maintained its previous order, on the
ground that "the same is not a motion and |as| counsel was also not in Court during the last
hearing, the Order oI the Court dated July 10, 1989 to the eIIect that the presentation oI deIense
evidence is considered waived, stands. "

Petitioner by herselI moved Ior reconsideration, alleging that she Iailed to appear in court on July
10, 1989 because she was indisposed and had been unable to contact Atty. Tenorio. She asked
Ior permission to present her evidence. Her motion, however, was denied by the court in its order
oI August 29, 1989
in which it also scheduled the promulgation oI judgment on September 29,
On September 29, 1989, the court rendered its decision
Iinding petitioner guilty oI IalsiIication
and sentencing her to 4 months oI arresto mayor, as minimum, to 4 years and 2 months oI
prision correccional, as maximum, and to pay a Iine oI P5,000.00.
Petitioner through a new counsel, Atty. RonolIo S. Pasamba, Iiled a notice oI appeal.
On May
9, 1990, petitioner by herselI Iiled a motion in the Court oI Appeals Ior extension oI 30 days to
Iile her brieI as appellant.
About the same time Atty. Pasamba also Iiled a motion Ior an
extension oI 45 days Ior the same purpose, but later asked to be relieved as petitioner's counsel
on the ground that despite his request, petitioner did not give him the records oI the case and
conIer with him but instead acted as her own counsel by Iiling her own motion Ior time to Iile
The Court oI Appeals granted Atty. Pasamba's motion and required petitioner to submit the name
and address oI her new counsel within ten (10) days Irom notice. Petitioner instead Iiled a
motion Ior new trial in lieu oI appellant's brieI, claiming that because oI the negligence oI her
counsel, she had been deprived oI her right to present evidence on her behalI in the trial court.
AIter the Solicitor General Iiled his comment, the Court oI Appeals in its resolution dated
January 15, 1992 denied petitioner's motion Ior new trial and gave her 30 days within which to
Iile her appellant's brieI.
The appellate court held:
All that appellant is invoking as ground Ior new trial is the policy oI liberality in
the application oI the rules and the alleged negligence oI her counsel.
Appellant, who has, in Iact, prepared the motion herselI, without the assistance oI
counsel, is probably a member oI the Bar. II she is not, she must have gone
through law school as her handiwork is written in Iorensic style and is even better
than the pleadings oI some licensed advocates who are handling appealed cases or
original special civil actions beIore this Court.
Under the Rules the grounds Ior new trial are
(a) That errors oI law or irregularities have been
committed during the trial prejudicial to the
substantial nights oI the accused; and
(b) That new and material evidence has been
discovered which the accused could not with

reasonable diligence have discovered and produced

at the trial, and which iI introduced and admitted,
would probably change the judgment. (Rule 121,
Section 2)
There is not even a wee bit oI a hint about the second ground.
So, in eIIect, what the accused would want oI Us is to bend over backwards and in
a gesture oI liberality consider as an error oI law or as an irregularity the trial
court's conclusion that she was deemed to have waived her right to present
evidence in her deIense. In connection with this course oI action she already Iiled
beIore the trial court a motion Ior reconsideration: this was denied, whereupon the
trial court proceeded to rendition oI the judgment appealed Irom by the accused to
this court.
We have meticulously gone over the entire record, and We Iind that accused
appellant was not at all deprived oI her day in court or denied due process. She
was aIIorded ample opportunity to present evidence in her deIense.
Regardless oI the nature oI the oIIense charged, a criminal case, even iI it
involves only a light oIIense, the penalty Ior which might be mere censure, is a
serious matter that deserves equally serious attention by the one accused. The
appellant, it seems never gave to this case while it was still at the lower court the
serious attention that it deserves. For good reason repeated absences oI the
accused and her counsel the trial court was eventually constrained to consider
the accused to have waived the presentation oI evidence in her deIense. As
pointed out by the Solicitor General, it is settled in our jurisprudence that dilatory
moves by the accused that tend to deIeat the expeditious termination oI a criminal
case is tantamount to triIling with the administration oI justice that certainly can
not and should not be condoned. (PP vs. Angco, 103 Phil. 33; PP vs. Dichoso, 96
SCRA 957)
Petitioner Iiled a "very urgent motion" Ior 90 days Irom February 22, 1992 to secure services oI
counsel to Iile her appellant's brieI. The Court oI Appeals gave petitioner 15 days Irom February
22, 1992, the last day oI the extension previously granted her. The Court oI Appeals stated that it
had given petitioner notice to Iile brieI as early as March 27, 1990, but "petitioner has been
triIling with our judicial processes long enough."
On March 6, 1992, without the assistance oI counsel, accused-appellant Iiled an appellant's brieI.
ThereaIter the Solicitor General Iiled the appellee's brieI to which petitioner Iiled a reply brieI.
On May 28, 1993, the Court oI Appeals rendered its decision, aIIirming the trial court's ruling.
On August 30, 1993 it denied reconsideration.
Petitioner Iiled this case Ior review on certiorari, claiming that her conviction by the trial court
was void because she was denied due process, since she was denied the opportunity to present
evidence in her behalI. The Solicitor General Iiled his comment to which petitioner Iiled a reply.
On November 29, 1995 this Court denied the petition Ior lack oI merit. Hence this motion Ior
AIter due consideration oI the motion and its supplement and the separate comments thereto by
the respondents as well as petitioner's replies and private respondent's consolidated rejoinder, the
Court now resolves to grant petitioner's motion Ior reconsideration.
First. The issue in this case is whether the trial court properly held petitioner to have waived the
right to present evidence because oI her Iailure to proceed despite several postponements granted
to her. To be sure, the postponement oI the trial oI a case to allow the presentation oI evidence oI
a party is a matter which lies in the discretion oI the trial court, but it is a discretion which must

be exercised wisely, considering the peculiar circumstances obtaining in each case and with a
view to doing substantial justice.
In the case at bar, hearings were scheduled Ior die
presentation oI petitioner's evidence on six diIIerent dates, to wit: (1) February 6, 1989; (2)
March 10, 1989; (3) April 12, 1989; (4) May 17, 1989; (5) June 5, 1989; and (6) July 10, 1989.
Petitioner was absent thrice, i.e., on February 6, 1989, April 12, 1989, and July 10, 1989. On the
Iirst date, petitioner could not come because she was sick and her counsel so inIormed the court.
She was absent also on June 5, 1989 and July 10, 1989 because oI illness (hypertension and
rheumatism). Thus, while petitioner's absences were explained, those oI her counsel were not.
Atty. Tenorio simply disappeared without a trace, despite warning to counsel that her Iailure to
present evidence Ior her client on June 5, 1989 would be considered a waiver oI the latter's right
to present her evidence. But counsel Iailed to heed the warning. Petitioner had to soldier on and,
by herselI, had to plead with the court Ior a chance to present her evidence. Contrary to what the
appellate court thought in aIIirming petitioner's conviction, this was not the case oI a woman
who treated the criminal proceedings against her with cavalier disdain. Indeed, we do not think
that petitioner's absences were so many, capricious, or egregious as to indubitably indicate an
attempt to stall the proceedings oI the criminal case as was the case in People v. Angco
People v. Dichoso.
Petitioner might have tried to delay the Iiling oI her appellant's brieI, but
her eIIort can be attributed to an understandable desire to be allowed to present her evidence.
Hence, the Iiling oI a motion Ior new trial. Even in her present petition beIore this Court
petitioner's prayer is not that she be exonerated but only that she be given the chance to prove her
innocence by being allowed to present her evidence.
Respondent People and the counsel Ior the private respondent oppose petitioner's motion. They
point out that, unlike the cases
which petitioner cites in support oI her motion, petitioner
herselI was negligent. They contend that she could not have been unaware oI the absences oI her
lawyer but despite that she did nothing to protect her interests. Private respondent argues that "iI
granted a second chance to present her side, nothing will stop the petitioner Irom once again
engaging the services oI her erstwhile absentee counsel. Anyway, aIter another 10 years oI
litigation, she can easily sound her reliable reIrain: 'I was denied due process! I was ready to
present my evidence, but my lawyer was absent Ior Iive consecutive times'. . . ."
Private respondent's contention is exaggerated. OI course there is a limit to petitioner's credibility
should she repeat what had happened here just Ior delay, not to mention that she would be taking
a big risk oI losing her deIense. As Ior the private respondent's argument that petitioner should
have gotten another lawyer, only with the beneIit oI hindsight does this course appear to be the
only tenable one to take. Petitioner might have thought that her counsel would be more sedulous
in her behalI. Or perhaps petitioner tried to get another counsel, but Iailed and, leIt with no
choice, stuck it out with Atty. Tenorio and simply hoped Ior the best rather than be leIt without a
counsel. In any case, the Iact that on May 17, 1989 and June 5, 1989 petitioner was present even
when counsel was absent tends to negate an intention to delay the criminal proceedings.
It was Atty. Tenorio's absences, then, rather than petitioner's, which appear to be the cause Ior
the deIense's Iailure to present its evidence. Atty. Tenorio's negligence did not consist in error oI
procedure or even a lapse in strategy but something as basic as Iailing to appear in court despite
clear warning that such Iailure would amount to waiver oI her client's right to present evidence in
her deIense.
Keeping in mind that this case involves personal liberty, the negligence oI counsel was certainly
so gross that it should not be allowed to prejudice petitioner's constitutional right to be heard.
The judicial conscience certainly cannot rest easy on a conviction based solely on the evidence
oI the prosecution just because the presentation oI the deIense evidence had been barred by
technicality. Rigid application oI rules must yield to the duty oI courts to render justice where
justice is due to secure to every individual all possible legal means to prove his innocence oI a
crime with which he or she might be

Only last year, this Court set aside its decision aIter Iinding that the right oI the accused to due
process had been violated. In De Gu:man v. Sandiganbayan,
this Court set aside its decision
aIIirming petitioner's conviction by the Sandiganbayan and its resolution denying
reconsideration, aIter being shown that petitioner's conviction had been brought about by his
counsel's gross ignorance oI law and procedure. The Court held:
Petitioner's present dilemma is certainly not something reducible to pesos and
centavos. No less than his liberty is at stake here. And he is just about to lose it
simply because his Iormer lawyers pursued a carelessly contrived procedural
strategy oI insisting on what has already become an imprudent remedy, which
thus Iorbade petitioner Irom oIIering his evidence all the while available Ior
presentation beIore the Sandiganbayan. Under the circumstances, higher interests
oI justice and equity demand that petitioner be not penalized Ior the costly
importunings oI his previous lawyers based on the same principles why this Court
had, on many occasions where it granted new trial, excused parties Irom the
negligence or mistakes oI counsel. To cling to the general rule in this case is only
to condone rather than rectiIy a serious injustice to petitioners whose only Iault
was to repose his Iaith and entrust his innocence to his previous lawyers. . . .
The Court remanded the case to the Sandiganbayan Ior reception and appreciation oI petitioner's
In another case, People v. Del undo,
in which the accused was convicted oI rape in six cases
and sentenced to reclusion perpetua on Iive oI them and to death on the sixth, this Court ordered
a new trial aIter it was shown that complainant had executed prior to accused's conviction an
aIIidavit oI desistance, while an NBI medico-legal report given aIter such conviction Iound that
complainant's "physical virginity preserved." The report belied the contrary Iinding oI the city
health oIIicer on which the trial court relied in convicting the accused. Although the NBI report
did not constitute newly-discovered evidence, a new trial was nonetheless ordered "on the
broader ground oI substantial justice |as| the rule Ior granting a motion Ior new trial, among
others, should be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a just and speedy
determination oI their rights. . . . Court litigations are primarily Ior the search Ior truth, and a
liberal interpretation oI the rules by which both parties are given the Iullest opportunity to
adduce prooIs is the best way to Ierret out such truth."
Reconsideration oI the resolution in this case is compelled by these precedents. Indeed, to deny
petitioner the opportunity to present her evidence on the merest chance that she might be
innocent would be to disregard the wisdom that it is better to acquit ten guilty individuals than to
convict one innocent person. The Court is as aware as anyone oI the need Ior the speedy
disposition oI cases. At the same time, however, it has ever been mindIul oI its responsibility as
the highest tribunal oI justice to see to it that the paramount interests oI justice are not sacriIiced
Ior the sake oI speed and eIIiciency. As Justice Teehankee wrote:

The Court has consistently maintained that although a speedy determination oI an
action implies a speedy trial, speed is not the chieI objective oI a trial. CareIul and
deliberate consideration Ior the administration oI justice, a genuine respect Ior the
rights oI all parties and the requirements oI procedural due process and an
adherence to the Court's standing admonition that the discretion granted judges in
the granting or denial oI motions Ior postponement and the setting aside oI denial
orders previously issued "should always be predicated on the consideration that
more than the mere convenience oI the courts or oI the parties in the case, the
ends oI fustice and fairness would be served thereby" are more important than a
race to end the trial.
Second. In denying petitioner's plea Ior a chance to present her evidence, the Court oI Appeals
observed that petitioner has more than a layman's acquaintance with the law, having been able to
prepare and Iile her own motion Ior new trial and appellant's brieI, to be given the beneIit oI the

doubt. But even lawyers, who are parties in a case, need the guiding hand oI counsel. Skill in
draIting pleadings (which is practically the only "lawyerly" thing petitioner did) is vastly
diIIerent Irom skill needed in the courtroom. Preparing pleadings can be done at leisure with the
luxury oI consultation, either oI books or oI people. Trial work, however, demands more. It
requires the ability to think Iast on one's Ieet and the psychologist's Ieel Ior the witness' mood
and motive. As then ChieI Justice Moran said Ior the Court in People v. Holgado:

Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science oI the
law, particularly in the rules oI procedure, and, without counsel, he may be
convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish
his innocence.
It is entirely probable that, Iorced to be her own lawyer, petitioner nonetheless Ielt some
inadequacy and experienced some moments oI doubt whether she could go through the ordeal oI
presenting her evidence by her lonesome, and that could be the reason why she hesitated Irom
doing so when she Iound herselI without the assistance oI counsel and not because petitioner
tried to delay the proceedings and obstruct the course oI justice.
In sum, it is better to allow petitioner another chance to present her evidence than to let her
conviction stand based solely on the evidence oI the prosecution. In accordance with Rule 121,
the evidence oI the prosecution shall be understood preserved, subject to the right oI the
prosecution to supplement it and/or to rebut the evidence which petitioner may present.
WHEREFORE, the motion Ior reconsideration oI the resolution oI November 29, 1995 is
GRANTED and the decision dated May 28, 1993 oI the Court oI Appeals and that oI the
Regional Trial Court oI Bulacan, Branch 22 dated September 29, 1989 in Criminal Case No.
9252-M are SET ASIDE and this case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court oI Bulacan
Ior a new trial Ior the purpose oI allowing petitioner to present evidence in her deIense with
directive to the court thereaIter to decide the case with all deliberate speed.
Regalado, Romero, Puno and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

Republic oI the Philippines
G.R. No. L-22320 1uly 29, 1968
ON. GREGORIO LANTIN, 1udge of the Court of First Instance of Manila,
Crispin D. Bai:as and Associates for petitioners.
Isidro T. Almeda for respondents.
This is a motion Ior partial reconsideration oI this Court's decision oI May 22, 1968, speciIically
directed against the Iollowing observation therein made:
We Ieel compelled to observe that during the protracted litigation below, the petitioners
resorted to a series oI actions and petitions, at some stages alternatingly, abetted by their
counsel, Ior the sole purpose oI thwarting the execution oI a simple money judgment
which has long become Iinal and executory. Some oI the actions were Iiled, only to be
abandoned or withdrawn. The petitioners and their counsel, Iar Irom viewing courts as
sanctuaries Ior those who seek justice, have tried to use them to subvert the very ends oI
Corollarily, this Court assessed treble costs against the petitioners, to "be paid by their counsel.".
The herein movants, Attys. Crispin D. Baizas and A. N. Bolinas, counsels Ior the petitioners,
while submitting to the judgment on the merits, seek reconsideration oI the decision in so Iar as it
reIlects adversely upon their "proIessional conduct" and condemns them to pay the treble costs
adjudged against their clients.
At Iirst blush, the motion Ior reconsideration presents a semblance oI merit. AIter mature
deliberation and patient reprobing into the records oI the case, however, we are oI the Iirmer
conviction that the protracted litigation, alluded to in the above-quoted portion oI our decision,
was designed to cause delay, and the active participation oI the petitioners' counsels in this
adventure is patent.
AIter November 15, 1962 when the Court oI Appeals rendered judgment sustaining Damaso
Perez' position with respect to the extent oI the levy, the subsequent proceedings interposed
alternatingly by the petitioner spouses were obviously quixotic maneuvers expected to be
overthrown by the courts but calculated to delay an execution long overdue.
Had the petitioners and their counsels seriously believed that the levied shares oI stock were
conjugal property, why did they not adopt this position Irom the very start, or, at the latest, in
CA-G.R. 29962-R, wherein Damaso Perez challenged the legality oI the levy's coverage, in order
to end the litigation with reasonable dispatch? They chose, however, to attack the execution in a
piecemeal Iashion, causing the postponement oI the projected execution sale six times. More

than eight years aIter the Iinality oI the judgment have passed, and the same has yet to be
In a determined eIIort to prolong the litigation, the Perez spouses, as represented by their
counsels, sought the issuance oI preliminary injunctions to restrain the execution oI the Iinal
judgment in civil case 39407 Irom courts which did not have jurisdiction and which would, as
expected, initially or ultimately deny their prayer. For instance, aIter Damaso Perez bowed out
temporarily Irom the scene Iollowing the rendition oI the aIorementioned Court oI Appeals
decision, his wiIe, Mercedez, Ruth Cobb-Perez, intruded into the controversy and asked Ior an ex
parte writ oI preliminary injunction Irom the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal in connection with
civil case 7532 which she Iiled with the said court, knowing Iully well that the basic civil case
39407 was decided by the Court oI First Instance oI Manila (Branch VII presided by the
respondent Judge Lantin), which latter court was the proper Iorum Ior any action relative to the
execution. Judge Eulogio Mencias oI the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal, looking to Acosta vs.
Alvendia (L-14598, October 31, 1960), which held that courts oI Iirst instance have no power to
restrain acts outside their territorial jurisdictions, liIted on October 4, 1963 the ex parte writ
which he previously issued enjoining the respondent sheriII Irom carrying out the execution sale.
It is clear, however, that Mrs. Perez and her counsels, the movants, knew or ought to have known
beIorehand that the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal did not have jurisdiction to issue the writ
which Mrs. Perez herselI sought, and, anticipating the recall oI the writ improvidently issued, on
September 3, 1963, a month beIore the said writ was actually liIted, Iiled in the basic civil case
39407 an urgent motion to liIt the writ oI execution issued on August 15, 1961, alleging as
justiIication the conjugal nature oI the levied shares oI stock and the personal nature oI Damaso
Perez' judgment debt, the very same reasons advanced in civil case 7532 which was then still
pending in the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal. Incidentally, Mrs. Perez Iailed to adduce any
evidence in support oI her aIoresaid urgent motion, as in Iact neither she nor her counsels
appeared during the scheduled hearing, prompting the respondent judge to issue the Iollowing
When the urgent motion to recall or liIt writ oI execution was called this morning Ior
hearing, counsel Ior the movant did not appear despite the Iact that he had been duly
notiIied oI the motion Ior hearing. In view thereoI the court assumes that he is waiving
his right to present evidence in support oI his urgent motion to recall or liIt writ oI
execution. Said urgent motion is thereIore deemed submitted Ior resolution.
Despite the recall oI the aIorementioned writ oI injunction by Judge Mencias on a disclaimer oI
jurisdiction (since the execution sought to be enjoined was ordered by another tribunal), Mrs.
Perez, now assisted by her husband who had staged a comeback, prayed Ior the issuance oI
another injunction, this time Irom Branch XXII oI the Court oI First Instance oI Manila (not the
same Branch which issued the controverted writ oI execution), in connection with civil case
7532, then still pending in the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal. As most probably anticipated
anew by the Perez spouses and their counsels, Judge Alikpala, presiding judge oI Branch XXII,
on November 8, 1963 denied the preliminary injunction sought, on the ground, among others,
that he had no power to interIere by injunction with the judgment or decree oI a court oI
concurrent or coordinate jurisdiction. On the very day the injunction was denied, Damaso Perez,
as iI expecting the reversal Irom Judge Alikpala, was already prepared with another "remedy," as
in Iact on that day, November 8, 1963, he Iiled in the basic civil case 39407 an "Urgent Motion
Ior Reconsideration" oI the order oI October 19, 1963, which denied his wiIe's above-mentioned
motion to recall the controverted writ oI execution.
The Ioregoing motion, Iar Irom seriously seeking the reconsideration oI the order oI October 19,
1963, which in the Iirst place Damaso Perez could not legally do Ior he was not even a party to
the denied "Urgent Motion to Recall Writ oI Execution" (Iiled by his wiIe alone), was merely an
oIIer to replace the levied stocks with supposed cash dividends due to the Perez spouses as
stockholders in the Republic Bank.
As a matter oI Iact, when the motion was set Ior hearing on
December 21, 1963, the counsels Ior Damaso Perez promised to produce the said cash dividends

within Iive days, but the promise was never IulIilled.

Consequently, the respondent Judge on
January 4, 1964, denied the said motion Ior reconsideration.
The above exposition oI the circumstances relative to the protracted litigation clearly negates the
avowal oI the movants that "in none oI the various incidents in the case at bar has any particular
counsel oI petitioners acted with deliberate aIorethought to delay the enIorcement oI the
judgment in Civil Case No. 39407." From the chronology oI antecedent events, the Iact becomes
inescapable that the Perez spouses, coached by their counsels, had sallied Iorth on a strategem oI
"remedies" projected to Ioil the lawIul execution oI a simple money judgment. It is equally
obvious that they Ioreshadowed their own reversals in the "remedies" they ventured to adopt,
such that even beIore, one remedy had been exhausted, they interposed another until the case
reached this Court Ior the second time. 3 Meanwhile, justice was delayed, and more than one
member oI this Court are persuaded that justice was practically waylaid.
The movants also contend that even this Court sanctions the aIoresaid civil cases 7532 and
55292 as the "proper remedy" when we said that.
In reality, what they attacked is not the writ oI execution, the validity and regularity oI
which are unchallenged, but the levy made by the respondent SheriII. In this regard, the
remedy is not the recall oI the writ, but an independent action to enjoin the SheriII Irom
proceeding with the projected sale, in which action the confugal nature of the levied
stocks should be established as a basis for the subsequent issuance of a permanent
infunction, in the event of a successful claim. Incidentally, in the course of the protracted
litigation, the petitioners had already availed of this remedy in civil cases 7532 and
55292, only to abandon it as they incessantly sought other, and oIten simultaneous,
devices oI thwarting satisIaction oI the judgment debt. (Emphasis supplied) .
And because oI this statement, they now counter that the said cases could not be branded as
having been instituted Ior delay.
The reIerence we made to civil cases 7532 and 55292 in the above-quoted statement must not be
considered out oI context. We said that the petitioners incidentally had already availed oI the
suggested remedy only in the sense that said civil cases 7532 and 55292 were apparently
instituted to prove the conjugal nature oI the levied shares oI stocks in question. We used the
word incidentally advisedly to show that in their incessant search Ior devices to thwart the
controverted execution, they accidentally stumbled on the suggested remedy. But the said civil
cases were deIinitely not the "proper remedy" in so Iar as they sought the issuance oI writs oI
preliminary injunction Irom the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal and the Court oI First Instance oI
Manila (Branch XXII) where civil cases 7532 and 55292 were Iiled respectively, Ior the said
courts did not have jurisdiction to restrain the enIorcement oI the writ oI execution issued by the
Court oI First Instance oI Manila (Branch VII) under the settled doctrines that Courts are without
power to restrain acts outside oI their territorial jurisdiction 4 or interIere with the judgment or
decree oI a court oI concurrent or coordinate jurisdiction. 5 However, the recall and the denial oI
the writs oI preliminary injunction in civil cases 7532 and 55292 did not amount to the
termination or dismissal oI the principal action in each case. Had the Perez spouses desired in
earnest to continue with the said cases they could have done so. But the Iact is that Mrs. Perez
practically abandoned civil case 7532 when she instituted the above mentioned urgent motion to
recall writ oI execution in the basic civil case 39407, anchored on the same grounds which she
advanced in the Iormer case, until the said civil case 7532 was dismissed on November 9, 1963,
upon her own motion. Anent civil case 55292, the Perez spouses virtually deserted the same
when they instituted the herein petition Ior certiorari with urgent writ oI preliminary injunction
based on the same grounds proIIered in the said civil case until the latter was also dismissed
on March 20, 1964, with the consent oI the parties because oI the pendency then oI the aIoresaid
petition Ior certiorari.
The movants Iurther contend that "II there was delay, it was because petitioners' counsel
happened to be more assertive ... a quality oI the lawyers (which) is not to be condemned."

A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candour and honesty his client's cause must be
encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot countenance is a lawyer's
insistence despite the patent Iutility oI his client's position, as in the case at bar.
It is the duty oI a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and vagaries
oI the law, on the merit or lack oI merit oI his case. II he Iinds that his client's cause is
deIenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than
traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices oI his client, and
temper his client's propensity to litigate. A lawyer's oath to uphold the cause oI justice is superior
to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable.
The movants Iinally state that the "Petitioners have several counsel in this case but the
participation oI each counsel was rather limited implying that the decision oI this Court ordering
that "treble costs are assessed against the petitioners, which shall be paid by their counsel" is not
clear. The word "counsel" may be either singular or plural in construction, so that when we said
"counsel" we meant the counsels on record of the petitioners who were responsible Ior the
inordinate delay in the execution oI the Iinal judgment in the basic civil case 39407, aIter the
Court oI Appeals had rendered its aIorementioned decision oI November 15, 1962. And it is on
record that the movants are such counsels. Atty. Bolinas, upon his own admission, "entered his
appearance in the case at bar about the time the Court oI First Instance oI Manila dismissed the
petitioners' Petition Ior RelieI in Civil Case No. 39407," or about August 3, 1961 and even prior
to the Court oI Appeals decision above-mentioned. Atty. Baizas claims that he "became
petitioners' counsel only in October, 1963 when he Iiled, with Atty. A.N. Bolinao, Jr. Civil Case
No. 55292 beIore the Court oI First Instance oI Manila presided by the Hon. Judge Alikpala
although it appears on record that the urgent motion to recall writ oI execution Iiled by Mrs.
Perez in the basic civil case 39407 on September 3, 1963, was over the signature oI one Ruby
Zaida oI the law Iirm oI "Crispin Baizas & Associates" as counsel Ior Mrs. Perez. It is to be
recalled that the said urgent motion is the same motion discussed above, which, curiously
enough, antedated by at least one month the liIting oI the writ oI preliminary injunction issued in
civil case 7532.
ACCORDINGLY, the motion Ior partial reconsideration is denied. Our decision oI May 22,
1968 is hereby modiIied in the sense that Attys. Crispin D. Baizas and A.N. Bolinao, Jr. shall
pay jointly and severally the treble costs assessed against the petitioners.
Reyes, J.B.L., Di:on, akalintal, Zaldivar, Sanche:, and Angeles, JJ., concur.
Concepcion C.J., voted for denial of the motion for reconsideration.
Fernando, J., took no part.

Republic oI the Philippines

A.M. No. SDC-97-2-P February 24, 1997
SOPIA ALAI, complainant,
ASARY M. ALAUYA, Clerk of Court VI, Shari'a District Court, Marawi City, respondent.

Sophia Alawi was (and presumably still is) a sales representative (or coordinator) oI E.B.
Villarosa & Partners Co., Ltd. oI Davao City, a real estate and housing company. Ashari M.
Alauya is the incumbent executive clerk oI court oI the 4th Judicial Shari'a District in Marawi
City, They were classmates, and used to be Iriends.
It appears that through Alawi's agency, a contract was executed Ior the purchase on installments
by Alauya oI one oI the housing units belonging to the above mentioned Iirm (hereaIter, simply
Villarosa & Co.); and in connection therewith, a housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the
National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).
Not long aIterwards, or more precisely on December 15, 1995, Alauya addressed a letter to the
President oI Villarosa & Co. advising oI the termination oI his contract with the company. He
. . I am Iormally and oIIicially withdrawing Irom and notiIying you oI my intent
to terminate the Contract/Agreement entered into between me and your company,
as represented by your Sales Agent/Coordinator, SOPHIA ALAWI, oI your
company's branch oIIice here in Cagayan de Oro City, on the grounds that my
consent was vitiated by gross misrepresentation, deceit, Iraud, dishonesty and
abuse oI conIidence by the aIoresaid sales agent which made said contract void ab
initio. Said sales agent acting in bad Iaith perpetrated such illegal and
unauthorized acts which made said contract an Onerous Contract prejudicial to
my rights and interests. He then proceeded to expound in considerable detail and
quite acerbic language on the "grounds which could evidence the bad Iaith. deceit,
Iraud, misrepresentation, dishonesty and abuse oI conIidence by the unscrupulous
sales agent . . .;" and closed with the plea that Villarosa & Co. "agree Ior the
mutual rescission oI our contract, even as I inIorm you that I categorically state on
record that I am terminating the contract . . . I hope I do not have to resort to any
legal action beIore said onerous and manipulated contract against my interest be
annulled. I was actually Iooled by your sales agent, hence the need to annul the
controversial contract."
Alauya sent a copy oI the letter to the Vice-President oI Villarosa & Co. at San
Pedro, Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City. The envelope containing it, and which

actually went through the post, bore no stamps. Instead at the right hand corner
above the description oI the addressee, the words, "Free Postage - PD 26," had
been typed.
On the same date, December 15, 1995, Alauya also wrote to Mr. Fermin T.
Arzaga, Vice-President, Credit & Collection Group oI the National Home
Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) at Salcedo Village, Makati City,
repudiating as Iraudulent and void his contract with Villarosa & Co.; and asking
Ior cancellation oI his housing loan in connection therewith, which was payable
Irom salary deductions at the rate oI P4,338.00 a month. Among other things, he
. . . (T)hrough this written notice, I am terminating, as I hereby
annul, cancel, rescind and voided, the "manipulated contract"
entered into between me and the E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co.,
Ltd., as represented by its sales agent/coordinator, SOPHIA
ALAWI, who maliciously and Iraudulently manipulated said
contract and unlawIully secured and pursued the housing loan
without my authority and against my will. Thus, the contract itselI
is deemed to be void ab initio in view oI the attending
circumstances, that my consent was vitiated by misrepresentation,
Iraud, deceit, dishonesty, and abuse oI conIidence; and that there
was no meeting oI the minds between me and the swindling sales
agent who concealed the real Iacts Irom me.
And, as in his letter to Villarosa & Co., he narrated in some detail what he took to be the
anomalous actuations oI Sophia Alawi.
Alauya wrote three other letters to Mr. Arzaga oI the NHMFC, dated February 21, 1996, April
15, 1996, and May 3, 1996, in all oI which, Ior the same reasons already cited, he insisted on the
cancellation oI his housing loan and discontinuance oI deductions Irom his salary on account
thereoI. a He also wrote on January 18, 1996 to Ms. Corazon M. Ordoez, Head oI the Fiscal
Management & Budget OIIice, and to the ChieI, Finance Division, both oI this Court, to stop
deductions Irom his salary in relation to the loan in question, again asserting the anomalous
manner by which he was allegedly duped into entering into the contracts by "the scheming sales
agent." b
The upshot was that in May, 1996, the NHMFC wrote to the Supreme Court requesting it to stop
deductions on Alauya's UHLP loan "eIIective May 1996." and began negotiating with Villarosa
& Co. " Ior the buy-back oI . . . (Alauya's) mortgage. and . . the reIund oI . . (his) payments." c
On learning oI Alauya's letter to Villarosa & Co. oI December 15, 1995, Sophia Alawi Iiled with
this Court a veriIied complaint dated January 25, 1996 to which she appended a copy oI the
letter, and oI the above mentioned envelope bearing the typewritten words, "Free Postage - PD
In that complaint, she accused Alauya oI:
1. "Imputation oI malicious and libelous charges with no solid grounds through
maniIest ignorance and evident bad Iaith;"
2. "Causing undue injury to, and blemishing her honor and established
3. "Unauthorized enjoyment oI the privilege oI Iree postage . . .;" and
4. Usurpation oI the title oI "attorney," which only regular members oI the
Philippine Bar may properly use.

She deplored Alauya's reIerences to her as "unscrupulous swindler, Iorger, manipulator, etc."
without "even a bit oI evidence to cloth (sic) his allegations with the essence oI truth,"
denouncing his imputations as irresponsible, "all concoctions, lies, baseless and coupled with
maniIest ignorance and evident bad Iaith," and asserting that all her dealings with Alauya had
been regular and completely transparent. She closed with the plea that Alauya "be dismissed
Irom the senice, or be appropriately desciplined (sic) . . ."
The Court resolved to order Alauya to comment on the complaint, ConIormably with established
usage that notices of resolutions emanate Irom the corresponding OIIice oI the Clerk oI Court,
the notice of resolution in this case was signed by Atty. AlIredo P. Marasigan, Assistant Division
Clerk oI Court.

Alauya Iirst submitted a "Preliminary Comment"
in which he questioned the authority oI Atty.
Marasigan to require an explanation oI him, this power pertaining, according to him, not to "a
mere Asst. Div. Clerk oI Court investigating an Executive Clerk oI Court." but only to the
District Judge, the Court Administrator or the ChieI Justice, and voiced the suspicion that the
Resolution was the result oI a "strong link" between Ms. Alawi and Atty. Marasigan's oIIice. He
also averred that the complaint had no Iactual basis; Alawi was envious oI him Ior being not only
"the Executive Clerk oI Court and ex-oIIicio Provincial SheriII and District Registrar." but also
"a scion of a Royal Family . . ."

In a subsequent letter to Atty. Marasigan, but this time in much less aggressive, even obsequious
Alauya requested the Iormer to give him a copy oI the complaint in order that he might
comment thereon.
He stated that his acts as clerk oI court were done in good Iaith and within
the conIines oI the law; and that Sophia Alawi, as sales agent oI Villarosa & Co. had, by
IalsiIying his signature, Iraudulently bound him to a housing loan contract entailing monthly
deductions oI P4,333.10 Irom his salary.
And in his comment thereaIter submitted under date oI June 5, 1996, Alauya contended that it
was he who had suIIered "undue injury, mental anguish, sleepless nights, wounded Ieelings and
untold Iinancial suIIering," considering that in six months, a total oI P26,028.60 had been
deducted Irom his salary.
He declared that there was no basis Ior the complaint; in
communicating with Villarosa & Co. he had merely acted in deIense oI his rights. He denied any
abuse oI the Iranking privilege, saying that he gave P20.00 plus transportation Iare to a
subordinate whom he entrusted with the mailing oI certain letters; that the words: "Free Postage
- PD 26," were typewritten on the envelope by some other person, an averment corroborated by
the aIIidavit oI Absamen C. Domocao, Clerk IV (subscribed and sworn to beIore respondent
himselI, and attached to the comment as Annex J);
and as Iar as he knew, his subordinate
mailed the letters with the use oI the money he had given Ior postage, and iI those letters were
indeed mixed with the oIIicial mail oI the court, this had occurred inadvertently and because oI
an honest mistake.

Alauya justiIied his use oI the title, "attorney," by the assertion that it is "lexically synonymous"
with "Counsellors-at-law." a title to which Shari'a lawyers have a rightIul claim, adding that he
preIers the title oI "attorney" because "counsellor" is oIten mistaken Ior "councilor," "konsehal"
or the Maranao term "consial," connoting a local legislator beholden to the mayor. Withal, he
does not consider himselI a lawyer.
He pleads Ior the Court's compassion, alleging that what he did "is expected oI any man unduly
prejudiced and injured."
He claims he was manipulated into reposing his trust in Alawi, a
classmate and Iriend.
He was induced to sign a blank contract on Alawi's assurance that she
would show the completed document to him later Ior correction, but she had since avoided him;
despite "numerous letters and Iollow-ups" he still does not know where the property subject
oI his supposed agreement with Alawi's principal, Villarosa & Co. is situated;
He says
Alawi somehow got his GSIS policy Irom his wiIe, and although she promised to return it the
next day, she did not do so until aIter several months. He also claims that in connection with his
contract with Villarosa & Co., Alawi Iorged his signature on such pertinent documents as those

regarding the down payment, clearance, lay-out, receipt oI the key oI the house, salary
deduction, none oI which he ever saw.

Averring in Iine that his acts in question were done without malice, Alauya prays Ior the
dismissal oI the complaint Ior lack oI merit, it consisting oI "Iallacious, malicious and baseless
allegations." and complainant Alawi having come to the Court with unclean hands, her
complicity in the Iraudulent housing loan being apparent and demonstrable.
It may be mentioned that in contrast to his two (2) letters to Assistant Clerk oI Court Marasigan
(dated April 19, 1996 and April 22, 1996), and his two (2) earlier letters both dated December
15, 1996 all oI which he signed as "Atty. Ashary M. Alauya" in his Comment oI June 5,
1996, he does not use the title but reIers to himselI as "DATU ASHARY M. ALAUYA."
The Court reIerred the case to the OIIice oI the Court Administrator Ior evaluation, report and

The Iirst accusation against Alauya is that in his aIoresaid letters, he made "malicious and
libelous charges (against Alawi) with no solid grounds through maniIest ignorance and evident
bad Iaith, resulting in "undue injury to (her) and blemishing her honor and established
reputation." In those letters, Alauya had written inter alia that:
1) Alawi obtained his consent to the contracts in question "by gross misrepresentation, deceit,
Iraud, dishonesty and abuse oI conIidence;"
2) Alawi acted in bad Iaith and perpetrated . . . illegal and unauthorized acts . . . prejudicial to . .
(his) rights and interests;"
3) Alawi was an "unscrupulous (and "swindling") sales agent" who had Iooled him by "deceit,
Iraud, misrepresentation, dishonesty and abuse oI conIidence;" and
4) Alawi had maliciously and Iraudulently manipulated the contract with Villarosa & Co., and
unlawIully secured and pursued the housing loan without . . (his) authority and against . . (his)
will," and "concealed the real Iacts . . ."
Alauya's deIense essentially is that in making these statements, he was merely acting in deIense
oI his rights, and doing only what "is expected oI any man unduly prejudiced and injured," who
had suIIered "mental anguish, sleepless nights, wounded Ieelings and untold Iinancial suIIering,
considering that in six months, a total oI P26,028.60 had been deducted Irom his salary.

The Code oI Conduct and Ethical Standards Ior Public OIIicials and Employees (RA 6713) inter
alia enunciates the State policy oI promoting a high standard oI ethics and utmost responsibility
in the public service.
Section 4 oI the Code commands that "(p)ublic oIIicials and employees .
. at all times respect the rights oI others, and . . reIrain Irom doing acts contrary to law, good
morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public saIety and public interest."
than once has this Court emphasized that "the conduct and behavior oI every oIIicial and
employee oI an agency involved in the administration oI justice, Irom the presiding judge to the
most junior clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden oI responsibility. Their
conduct must at all times be characterized by, among others, strict propriety and decorum so as
to earn and keep the respect oI the public Ior the judiciary."

Now, it does not appear to the Court consistent with good morals, good customs or public policy,
or respect Ior the rights oI others, to couch denunciations oI acts believed however sincerely
to be deceitIul, Iraudulent or malicious, in excessively intemperate, insulting or virulent
language. Alauya is evidently convinced that he has a right oI action against Sophia Alawi. The
law requires that he exercise that right with propriety, without malice or vindictiveness, or undue
harm to anyone; in a manner consistent with good morals, good customs, public policy, public
order, supra; or otherwise stated, that he "act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe

honesty and good

Righteous indignation, or vindication oI right cannot justiIy resort to vituperative
language, or downright name-calling. As a member oI the Shari'a Bar and an oIIicer oI a Court,
Alawi is subject to a standard oI conduct more stringent than Ior most other government workers.
As a man oI the law, he may not use language which is abusive, oIIensive, scandalous,
menacing, or otherwise improper.
As a judicial employee, it is expected that he accord respect
Ior the person and the rights oI others at all times, and that his every act and word should be
characterized by prudence, restraint, courtesy, dignity. His radical deviation Irom these salutary
norms might perhaps be mitigated, but cannot be excused, by his strongly held conviction that he
had been grievously wronged.
As regards Alauya's use oI the title oI "Attorney," this Court has already had occasion to declare
that persons who pass the Shari'a Bar are not Iull-Iledged members oI the Philippine Bar, hence
may only practice law beIore Shari'a courts.
While one who has been admitted to the Shari'a
Bar, and one who has been admitted to the Philippine Bar, may both be considered "counsellors,"
in the sense that they give counsel or advice in a proIessional capacity, only the latter is an
"attorney." The title oI "attorney" is reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary degree
in the study oI law and successIully taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted to the
Integrated Bar oI the Philippines and remain members thereoI in good standing; and it is they
only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction.
Alauya says he does not wish to use the title, "counsellor" or "counsellor-at-law, " because in his
region, there are pejorative connotations to the term, or it is conIusingly similar to that given to
local legislators. The ratiocination, valid or not, is oI no moment. His disinclination to use the
title oI "counsellor" does not warrant his use oI the title oI attorney.
Finally, respecting Alauya's alleged unauthorized use oI the Iranking privilege,
the record
contains no evidence adequately establishing the accusation.
WHEREFORE, respondent Ashari M. Alauya is hereby REPRIMANDED Ior the use oI
excessively intemperate, insulting or virulent language, i.e., language unbecoming a judicial
oIIicer, and Ior usurping the title oI attorney; and he is warned that any similar or other
impropriety or misconduct in the Iuture will be dealt with more severely.
Davide, Jr., elo, Francisco and Panganiban, Jr., JJ., concur.

Republic oI the Philippines
A.C. No. 3056 August 16, 1991

This complaint Ior disbarment is related to the administrative case which complainant Attorney
Fernando T. Collantes, house counsel Ior V & G Better Homes Subdivision, Inc. (V & G Ior
short), Iiled against Attorney Vicente C. Renomeron, Register oI Deeds oI Tacloban City, Ior the
latter's irregular actuations with regard to the application oI V & G Ior registration oI 163 pro
forma Deeds oI Absolute Sale with Assignment oI lots in its subdivision. The present complaint
charges the respondent with the Iollowing oIIenses:
1. Neglecting or reIusing inspite (sic) repeated requests and without suIIicient
justiIication, to act within reasonable time (sic) the registration oI 163 Deeds oI
Absolute Sale with Assignment and the eventual issuance and transIer oI the
corresponding 163 transIer certiIicates oI titles to the GSIS, Ior the purpose oI
obtaining some pecuniary or material beneIit Irom the person or persons
interested therein.
2. Conduct unbecoming oI public oIIicial.
3. Dishonesty.
4. Extortion.
5. Directly receiving pecuniary or material beneIit Ior himselI in connection with
pending oIIicial transaction beIore him.
6. Causing undue injury to a party, the GSIS |or| Government through maniIest
partiality, evident bad Iaith or gross inexcusable negligence.
7. Gross ignorance oI the law and procedure. (p. 10, Rollo.)
As early as January 15, 1987, V & G had requested the respondent Register oI Deeds to register
some 163 deeds oI sale with assignment (in Iavor oI the GSIS) oI lots oI the V & G mortgaged to
GSIS by the lot buyers. There was no action Irom the respondent.
Another request was made on February 16, 1987 Ior him to approve or deny registration oI the
uniIorm deeds oI absolute sale with assignment. Still no action except to require V & G to
submit prooI oI real estate tax payment and to clariIy certain details about the transactions.

Although V & G complied with the desired requirements, respondent Renomeron suspended the
registration oI the documents pending compliance by V & G with a certain "special
arrangement" between them, which was that V & G should provide him with a weekly round trip
ticket Irom Tacloban to Manila plus P2,000.00 as pocket money per trip, or, in lieu thereoI, the
sale oI respondent's Quezon City house and lot by V & G or GSIS representatives.
On May 19, 1987, respondent conIided to the complainant that he would act Iavorably on the
163 registrable documents oI V & G iI the latter would execute clariIicatory aIIidavits and send
money Ior a round trip plane ticket Ior him.
The plane Iare amounting to P800 (without the pocket money oI P2,000) was sent to respondent
through his niece.
Because oI V & G's Iailure to give him pocket money in addition to plane Iare, respondent
imposed additional registration requirements. Fed up with the respondent's extortionate tactics,
the complainant wrote him a letter on May 20, 1987 challenging him to act on all pending
applications Ior registration oI V & G within twenty-Iour (24) hours.
On May 22, 1987, respondent Iormally denied registration oI the transIer oI 163 certiIicates oI
title to the GSIS on the uniIorm ground that the deeds oI absolute sale with assignment were
ambiguous as to parties and subject matter. On May 26, 1987, Attorney Collantes moved Ior a
reconsideration oI said denial, stressing that:
... since the year 1973 continuously up to December 1986 Ior a period oI nearly
IiIteen (15) years or Ior a sum total oI more than 2,000 same set oI documents
which have been repeatedly and uniIormly registered in the OIIice oI the Register
oI Deeds oI Tacloban City under Attys. Modesto Garcia and Pablo Amascual Jr.,
it is only during the incumbency oI Atty. Vicente C. Renomeron, that the very
same documents oI the same tenor have been reIused or denied registration ... (p.
15, Rollo.)
On May 27, 1987, respondent elevated the matter en consulta to the Administrator, National
Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration (NLTDRA) (now the Land Registration
Authority |LRA|). In a Resolution dated July 27,1987 (Consulta No. 1579), the NLTDRA ruled
that the questioned documents were registrable. Heedless oI the NLTDRA's opinion, respondent
continued to sit on V & Gs 163 deeds oI sale with assignment.
Exasperated by respondent's conduct, the complainant Iiled with the NLTDRA on June 4, 1987
administrative charges (docketed as Adm. Case No. 87-15), against respondent Register oI
Upon receipt oI the charges, NLTDRA Administrator Teodoro G. BoniIacio directed respondent
to explain in writing why no administrative disciplinary action should be taken against him.
Respondent was Iurther asked whether he would submit his case on the basis oI his answer, or be
heard in a Iormal investigation.
In his answer dated July 9, 1987, respondent denied the charges oI extortion and oI directly
receiving pecuniary or material beneIit Ior himselI in connection with the oIIicial transactions
awaiting his action.
Although an investigator was appointed by NLTDRA Administrator BoniIacio to hear Attorney
Collantes' charges against him, Attorney Renomeron waived his right to a Iormal investigation.
Both parties submitted the case Ior resolution based on the pleadings.
The investigator, Attorney Leonardo Da Jose, recommended dropping the charges oI: (1)
dishonesty; (2) causing undue injury to a party through maniIest partiality, evident bad Iaith or
gross inexcusable negligence; and (3) gross ignorance oI the law and procedure. He opined that

the charge oI neglecting or reIusing, in spite repeated requests and without suIIicient
justiIication, to act within a reasonable time on the registration oI the documents involved, in
order to extort some pecuniary or material beneIit Irom the interested party, absorbed the charges
oI conduct unbecoming oI a public oIIicial, extortion, and directly receiving some pecuniary or
material beneIit Ior himselI in connection with pending oIIicial transactions beIore him.
Brushing aside the investigator's recommendation, NLTDRA Administrator Teodoro G.
BoniIacio on February 22, 1988, recommended to Secretary oI Justice SedIrey A. Ordoez that
the respondent: (1) be Iound guilty oI simple neglect oI duty: (2) be reprimanded to act with
dispatch on documents presented to him Ior registration; and (3) be warned that a repetition oI
similar inIraction will be dealt with more severely.
AIter due investigation oI the charges, Secretary Ordoez Iound respondent guilty oI grave
Our study and consideration oI the records oI the case indicate that ample
evidence supports the Investigating OIIicer's Iindings that the respondent
committed grave misconduct.
The respondent unreasonably delayed action on the documents presented to him
Ior registration and, notwithstanding representations by the parties interested Ior
expeditious action on the said documents, he continued with his inaction.
The records indicate that the respondent eventually Iormally denied the
registration oI the documents involved; that he himselI elevated the question on
the registrability oI the said documents to Administrator BoniIacio aIter he
Iormally denied the registration thereoI, that the Administrator then resolved in
Iavor oI the registrability oI the said documents in question; and that, such
resolution oI the Administrator notwithstanding, the respondent still reIused the
registration thereoI but demanded Irom the parties interested the submission oI
additional requirements not adverted to in his previous denial.
xxx xxx xxx
In relation to the alleged 'special arrangement,' although the respondent claims
that he neither touched nor received the money sent to him, on record remains
uncontroverted the circumstance that his niece, Ms. de la Cruz, retrieved Irom
him the amount oI P800.00 earlier sent to him as plane Iare, not in the original
denomination oI P100.00 bills but in P50.00 bills. The respondent had ample
opportunity to clariIy or to countervail this related incident in his letter dated 5
September 1987 to Administrator BoniIacio but he never did so.
... We believe that, in this case, the respondent's being new in oIIice cannot serve
to mitigate his liability. His being so should have motivated him to be more aware
oI applicable laws, rules and regulations and should have prompted him to do his
best in the discharge oI his duties. (pp. 17-18, Rollo.)
Secretary Ordoez recommended to President Corazon C. Aquino that Renomeron be dismissed
Irom the service, with IorIeiture oI leave credits and retirement beneIits, and with prejudice to re-
employment in the government service, eIIective immediately.
As recommended by the Secretary oI Justice, the President oI the Philippines, by Adm. Order
No. 165 dated May 3, 1990, dismissed the respondent Irom the government service (pp. 1419,

Less than two weeks aIter Iiling his complaint against Renomeron in the NLTDRA, Attorney
Collantes also Iiled in this Court on June 16, 1987, a disbarment complaint against said
The issue in this disbarment proceeding is whether the respondent register oI deeds, as a lawyer,
may also be disciplined by this Court Ior his malIeasances as a public oIIicial. The answer is yes,
Ior his misconduct as a public oIIicial also constituted a violation oI his oath as a lawyer.
The lawyer's oath (Rule 138, Section 17, Rules oI Court; People vs. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968),
imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no man Ior money or malice. The lawyer's oath is a
source oI his obligations and its violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other
disciplinary action (Legal Ethics, Ruben E. Agpalo, 1983 Edition, pp. 66-67).
As the late ChieI Justice Fred Ruiz Castro said:
A person takes an oath when he is admitted to the Bar which is designed to
impress upon him his responsibilities. He thereby becomes an "oIIicer oI the
court" on whose shoulders rests the grave responsibility oI assisting the courts in
the proper. Iair, speedy, and eIIicient administration oI justice. As an oIIicer oI
the court he is subject to a rigid discipline that demands that in his every exertion
the only criterion he that truth and justice triumph. This discipline is what as
given the law proIession its nobility, its prestige, its exalted place. From a lawyer,
to paraphrase Justice Felix Frankfurter, are expected those qualities of truth-
speaking, a high sense of honor, full candor, intellectual honesty, and the strictest
observance of fiduciary responsibility all of which, throughout the centuries,
have been compendiously described as moral character.
embership in the Bar is in the category of a mandate to public service of the
highest order. A lawyer is an oath-bound servant oI society whose conduct is
clearly circumscribed by inIlexible norms oI law and ethics, and whose primary
duty is the advancement oI the quest oI truth and justice, Ior which he has sworn
to be a Iearless crusader. (Apostacy in the Legal ProIession, 64 SCRA 784, 789-
790; emphasis supplied.)
The Code oI ProIessional Responsibility applies to lawyers in government service in the
discharge oI their oIIicial tasks (Canon 6). Just as the Code oI Conduct and Ethical Standards Ior
Public OIIicials requires public oIIicials and employees to process documents and papers
expeditiously (Sec. 5, subpars. |c| and |d| and prohibits them Irom directly or indirectly having a
Iinancial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval oI their oIIice, and
likewise bars them Irom soliciting giIts or anything oI monetary value in the course oI any
transaction which may be aIIected by the Iunctions oI their oIIice (See. 7, subpars. |a| and |d|),
the Code oI ProIessional Responsibility Iorbids a lawyer to engage in unlawIul, dishonest,
immoral or deceitIul conduct (Rule 1.01, Code oI ProIessional Responsibility), or delay any
man's cause "Ior any corrupt motive or interest" (Rule 103).
A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reIlects on his Iitness to
practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. (Rule 7.03, Code oI
ProIessional Responsibility.)
This Court has ordered that only those who are "competent, honorable, and reliable" may
practice the proIession oI law (Noriega vs. Sison, 125 SCRA 293) Ior every lawyer must pursue
"only the highest standards in the practice oI his calling" (Court Administrator vs. Hermoso, 150
SCRA 269, 278).
The acts oI dishonesty and oppression which Attorney Renomeron committed as a public oIIicial
have demonstrated his unIitness to practice the high and noble calling oI the law (Bautista vs.

Judge Guevarra, 142 SCRA 632; Court Administrator vs. RodolIo G. Hermoso, 150 SCRA 269).
He should thereIore be disbarred.
WHEREFORE, it is hereby ordered that Attorney Vicente C. Renomeron be disbarred Irom the
practice oI law in the Philippines, and that his name be stricken oII the Roll oI Attorneys
Fernan, C.J., Narvasa, elencio-Herrera, Gutierre:, Jr., Cru:, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco,
Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Grio-Aquino, edialdea, Regalado and Davide, Jr., JJ., concur.

Republic oI the Philippines

G.R. No. L-28546 1uly 30, 1975
"uifano and Arroyo for petitioners.
Jose . Luison for respondents.

The parties in this case, except Lourdes Yu Ago, have been commuting to this Court Ior more
than a decade.
In 1955 the petitioners Venancio Castaeda and Nicetas Henson Iiled a replevin suit against
Pastor Ago in the Court oI First Instance oI Manila to recover certain machineries (civil case
27251). In 1957 judgment was rendered in Iavor oI the plaintiIIs, ordering Ago to return the
machineries or pay deIinite sums oI money. Ago appealed, and on June 30, 1961 this Court, in
Ago vs. Castaeda, L-14066, aIIirmed the judgment. AIter remand, the trial court issued on
August 25, 1961 a writ oI execution Ior the sum oI P172,923.87. Ago moved Ior a stay oI
execution but his motion was denied, and levy was made on Ago's house and lots located in
Quezon City. The sheriII then advertised them Ior auction sale on October 25, 1961. Ago moved
to stop the auction sale, Iailing in which he Iiled a petition Ior certiorari with the Court oI
Appeals. The appellate court dismissed the petition and Ago appealed. On January 31,1966 this
Court, in Ago vs. Court of Appeals, et al., L-19718, aIIirmed the dismissal. Ago thrice attempted
to obtain a writ oI preliminary injunction to restrain the sheriII Irom enIorcing the writ oI
execution "to save his Iamily house and lot;" his motions were denied, and the sheriII sold the
house and lots on March 9, 1963 to the highest bidders, the petitioners Castaeda and Henson.
Ago Iailed to redeem, and on April 17, 1964 the sheriII executed the Iinal deed oI sale in Iavor oI
the vendees Castaeda and Henson. Upon their petition, the Court oI First Instance oI anila
issued a writ oI possession to the properties.

However, on May 2, 1964 Pastor Ago, now joined by his wiIe, Lourdes Yu Ago, as his co-
plaintiII, Iiled a complaint in the Court oI First Instance oI "ue:on City (civil case Q-7986) to
annul the sheriII's sale on the ground that the obligation oI Pastor Ago upon which judgment was
rendered against him in the replevin suit was his personal obligation, and that Lourdes Yu Ago's
one-halI share in their conjugal residential house and lots which were levied upon and sold by
the sheriII could not legally be reached Ior the satisIaction oI the judgment. They alleged in their
complaint that wiIe Lourdes was not a party in the replevin suit, that the judgment was rendered
and the writ oI execution was issued only against husband Pastor, and that wiIe Lourdes was not
a party to her husband's venture in the logging business which Iailed and resulted in the replevin
suit and which did not beneIit the conjugal partnership.
The Court oI First Instance oI Quezon City issued an ex parte writ oI preliminary injunction
restraining the petitioners, the Register oI Deeds and the sheriII oI Quezon City, Irom registering
the latter's Iinal deed oI sale, Irom cancelling the respondents' certiIicates oI title and issuing new
ones to the petitioners and Irom carrying out any writ oI possession. A situation thus arose where
what the anila court had ordered to be done, the "ue:on City court countermanded. On
November 1, 1965, however, the latter court liIted the preliminary injunction it had previously
issued, and the Register oI deeds oI Quezon City cancelled the respondents' certiIicates oI title
and issued new ones in Iavor oI the petitioners. But enIorcement oI the writ oI possession was
again thwarted as the Quezon City court again issued a temporary restraining order which it later
liIted but then re-restored. On May 3, 1967 the court Iinally, and Ior the third time, liIted the
restraining order.
While the battle on the matter oI the liIting and restoring oI the restraining order was being
Iought in the Quezon City court, the Agos Iiled a petition Ior certiorari and prohibition with this
Court under date oI May 26, 1966, docketed as L-26116, praying Ior a writ oI preliminary
injunction to enjoin the sheriII Irom enIorcing the writ oI possession. This Court Iound no merit
in the petition and dismissed it in a minute resolution on June 3, 1966; reconsideration was
denied on July 18, 1966. The respondents then Iiled on August 2, 1966 a similar petition Ior
certiorari and prohibition with the Court oI Appeals (CA-G.R. 37830-R), praying Ior the same
preliminary injunction. The Court oI Appeals also dismissed the petition. The respondents then
appealed to this Court (L-27140).1wph1.t We dismissed the petition in a minute resolution
on February 8, 1967.
The Ago spouses repaired once more to the Court oI Appeals where they Iiled another petition
Ior certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction (CA-G.R. 39438-R). The said court
gave due course to the petition and granted preliminary injunction. AIter hearing, it rendered
decision, the dispositive portion oI which reads:
WHEREFORE, writ oI preliminary injunction Irom enIorcement oI the writ oI
possession on and ejectment Irom the one-halI share in the properties involved
belonging to Lourdes Yu Ago dated June 15, 1967 is made permanent pending
decision on the merits in Civil Case No. Q-7986 and ordering respondent Court to
proceed with the trial oI Civil Case No. Q-7986 on the merits without unnecessary
delay. No pronouncement as to costs.
Failing to obtain reconsideration, the petitioners Castaeda and Henson Iiled the present petition
Ior review oI the aIoresaid decision.
1. We do not see how the doctrine that a court may not interIere with the orders oI a co-equal
court can apply in the case at bar. The Court oI First Instance oI Manila, which issued the writ oI
possession, ultimately was not interIered with by its co-equal court, the Court oI First Instance oI
Quezon City as the latter liIted the restraining order it had previously issued against the
enIorcement oI the Manila court's writ oI possession; it is the Court oI Appeals that enjoined, in
part, the enIorcement oI the writ.

2. Invoking Comilang vs. Buendia, et al.,

where the wiIe was a party in one case and the
husband was a party in another case and a levy on their conjugal properties was upheld, the
petitioners would have Lourdes Yu Ago similarly bound by the replevin judgment against her
husband Ior which their conjugal properties would be answerable. The case invoked is not at par
with the present case. In Comilang the actions were admittedly instituted Ior the protection oI the
common interest oI the spouses; in the present case, the Agos deny that their conjugal
partnership beneIited Irom the husband's business venture.
3. Relying upon mnas vs. Rivera, 67 Phil. 419, the Court oI Appeals held that a writ oI
possession may not issue until the claim oI a third person to halI-interest in the property is
adversely determined, the said appellate court assuming that Lourdes Yu Ago was a "stranger" or
a "third-party" to her husband. The assumption is oI course obviously wrong, Ior, besides living
with her husband Pastor, she does not claim ignorance oI his business that Iailed, oI the relevant
cases in which he got embroiled, and oI the auction sale made by the sheriII oI their conjugal
properties. Even then, the ruling in mnas is not that a writ oI possession may not issue until the
claim oI a third person is adversely determined, but that the writ oI possession being a
complement oI the writ oI execution, a judge with jurisdiction to issue the latter also has
jurisdiction to issue the Iormer, unless in the interval between the judicial sale and the issuance
oI the writ oI possession, the rights oI third parties to the property sold have supervened. The
ruling in mnas is clearly inapplicable in the present case, Ior, here, there has been no change in
the ownership oI the properties or oI any interest therein Irom the time the writ oI execution was
issued up to the time writ oI possession was issued, and even up to the present.
4. We agree with the trial court (then presided by Judge Lourdes P. San Diego) that it is much
too late in the day Ior the respondents Agos to raise the question that part oI the property is
unleviable because it belongs to Lourdes Yu Ago, considering that (1) a wiIe is normally privy to
her husband's activities; (2) the levy was made and the properties advertised Ior auction sale in
1961; (3) she lives in the very properties in question; (4) her husband had moved to stop the
auction sale; (5) the properties were sold at auction in 1963; (6) her husband had thrice attempted
to obtain a preliminary injunction to restrain the sheriII Irom enIorcing the writ oI execution; (7)
the sheriII executed the deed oI Iinal sale on April 17, 1964 when Pastor Iailed to redeem; (8)
Pastor had impliedly admitted that the conjugal properties could be levied upon by his pleas "to
save his Iamily house and lot" in his eIIorts to prevent execution; and (9) it was only on May 2,
1964 when he and his wiIe Iiled the complaint Ior annulment oI the sheriII's sale upon the issue
that the wiIe's share in the properties cannot be levied upon on the ground that she was not a
party to the logging business and not a party to the replevin suit. The spouses Ago had every
opportunity to raise the issue in the various proceedings hereinbeIore discussed but did not;
laches now eIIectively bars them Irom raising it.
Laches, in a general sense, is Iailure or neglect, Ior an unreasonable and
unexplained length oI time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or
should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a right within
a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it
either has abandoned it or declined to assert it.

5. The decision oI the appellate court under review suIIers Irom two Iatal inIirmities.
(a) It enjoined the enIorcement oI the writ oI possession to and ejectment Irom the one-halI share
in the properties involved belonging to Lourdes Yu Ago. This halI-share is not in esse, but is
merely an inchoate interest, a mere expectancy, constituting neither legal nor equitable estate,
and will ripen into title when only upon liquidation and settlement there appears to be assets oI
the community.
The decision sets at naught the well-settled rule that injunction does not issue to
protect a right not in esse and which may never arise.

(b) The decision did not Ioresee the absurdity, or even the impossibility, oI its enIorcement. The
Ago spouses admittedly live together in the same house
which is conjugal property. By the
Manila court's writ oI possession Pastor could be ousted Irom the house, but the decision under

review would prevent the ejectment oI Lourdes. Now, which part oI the house would be vacated
by Pastor and which part would Lourdes continue to stay in? The absurdity does not stop here;
the decision would actually separate husband and wiIe, prevent them Irom living together, and in
eIIect divide their conjugal properties during coverture and beIore the dissolution oI the conjugal
6. Despite the pendency in the trial court oI the complaint Ior the annulment oI the sheriII's sale
(civil case Q-7986), elementary justice demands that the petitioners, long denied the Iruits oI
their victory in the replevin suit, must now enjoy them, Ior, the respondents Agos, abetted by
their lawyer Jose M. Luison, have misused legal remedies and prostituted the judicial process to
thwart the satisIaction oI the judgment, to the extended prejudice oI the petitioners. The
respondents, with the assistance oI counsel, maneuvered Ior Iourteen (14) years to doggedly
resist execution oI the judgment thru maniIold tactics in and Irom one court to another (5 times
in the Supreme Court).
We condemn the attitude oI the respondents and their counsel who,
Iar Irom viewing courts as sanctuaries Ior those who seek justice, have tried to use
them to subvert the very ends oI justice.

Forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his exalted position as an oIIicer oI
the court, Atty. Luison has allowed himselI to become an instigator oI controversy and a predator
oI conIlict instead oI a mediator Ior concord and a conciliator Ior compromise, a virtuoso oI
technicality in the conduct oI litigation instead oI a true exponent oI the primacy oI truth and
moral justice.
A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candour and honesty his client's cause
must be encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot
countenance is a lawyer's insistence despite the patent Iutility oI his client's
position, as in the case at bar.
It is the duty oI a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the
intricacies and vagaries oI the law, on the merit or lack oI merit oI his case. II he
Iinds that his client's cause is deIenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the
latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer
must resist the whims and caprices oI his client, and temper his clients propensity
to litigate. A lawyer's oath to uphold the cause oI justice is superior to his duty to
his client; its primacy is indisputable.

7. In view oI the private respondents' propensity to use the courts Ior purposes other than to seek
justice, and in order to obviate Iurther delay in the disposition oI the case below which might
again come up to the appellate courts but only to Iail in the end, we have motu proprio examined
the record oI civil case Q-7986 (the mother case oI the present case). We Iind that
(a) the complaint was Iiled on May 2, 1964 (more than 11 years ago) but trial on the merits has
not even started;
(b) aIter the deIendants Castaedas had Iiled their answer with a counterclaim, the plaintiIIs
Agos Iiled a supplemental complaint where they impleaded new parties-deIendants;
(c) aIter the admission oI the supplemental complaint, the Agos Iiled a motion to admit an
amended supplemental complaint, which impleads an additional new party-deIendant (no action
has yet been taken on this motion);
(d) the deIendants have not Iiled an answer to the admitted supplemental complaint; and

(e) the last order oI the Court oI First Instance, dated April 20, 1974, grants an extension to the
suspension oI time to Iile answer. (Expediente, p. 815)
We also Iind that the alleged causes oI action in the complaint, supplemental complaint and
amended supplemental complaint are all untenable, Ior the reasons hereunder stated. The
Upon the first cause of action, it is alleged that the sheriII levied upon conjugal properties oI the
spouses Ago despite the Iact that the judgment to be satisIied was personal only to Pastor Ago,
and the business venture that he entered into, which resulted in the replevin suit, did not redound
to the beneIit oI the conjugal partnership. The issue here, which is whether or not the wiIe's
inchoate share in the conjugal property is leviable, is the same issue that we have already
resolved, as barred by laches, in striking down the decision oI the Court oI Appeals granting
preliminary injunction, the dispositive portion oI which was herein-beIore quoted. This ruling
applies as well to the Iirst cause oI action oI the complaint.
Upon the second cause of action, the Agos allege that on January 5, 1959 the Castaedas and the
sheriII, pursuant to an alias writ oI seizure, seized and took possession oI certain machineries,
depriving the Agos oI the use thereoI, to their damage in the sum oI P256,000 up to May 5,
1964. This second cause oI action Iails to state a valid cause oI action Ior it Iails to allege that the
order oI seizure is invalid or illegal.
It is averred as a third cause of action that the sheriII's sale oI the conjugal properties was
irregular, illegal and unlawIul because the sheriII did not require the Castaeda spouses to pay or
liquidate the sum oI P141,750 (the amount Ior which they bought the properties at the auction
sale) despite the Iact that there was annotated at the back oI the certiIicates oI title a mortgage oI
P75,000 in Iavor oI the Philippine National Bank; moreover, the sheriII sold the properties Ior
P141,750 despite the pendency oI L-19718 where Pastor Ago contested the amount oI
P99,877.08 out oI the judgment value oI P172,923.37 in civil case 27251; and because oI said
acts, the Agos suIIered P174,877.08 in damages.
Anent this third cause oI action, the sheriII was under no obligation to require payment oI the
purchase price in the auction sale because "when the purchaser is the judgment creditor, and no
third-party claim has been Iiled, he need not pay the amount oI the bid iI it does not exceed the
amount oI his judgment." (Sec. 23, Rule 39, Rules oI Court)
The annotated mortgage in Iavor oI the PNB is the concern oI the vendees Castaedas but did
not aIIect the sheriII's sale; the cancellation oI the annotation is oI no moment to the Agoo.
Case L-19718 where Pastor Ago contested the sum oI P99,877.08 out oI the amount oI the
judgment was dismissed by this Court on January 31, 1966.
This third cause oI action, thereIore, actually states no valid cause oI action and is moreover
barred by prior judgment.
The fourth cause of action pertains to moral damages allegedly suIIered by the Agos on account
oI the acts complained oI in the preceding causes oI action. As the Iourth cause oI action derives
its liIe Irom the preceding causes oI action, which, as shown, are baseless, the said Iourth cause
oI action must necessarily Iail.
The Counterclaim
As a counterclaim against the Agos, the Castaedas aver that the action was unIounded and as a
consequence oI its Iiling they were compelled to retain the services oI counsel Ior not less than
P7,500; that because the Agos obtained a preliminary injunction enjoining the transIer oI titles
and possession oI the properties to the Castaedas, they were unlawIully deprived oI the use oI
the properties Irom April 17, 1964, the value oI such deprived use being 20 annually oI their

actual value; and that the Iiling oI the unIounded action besmirched their Ieelings, the pecuniary
worth oI which is Ior the court to assess.
The Supplemental Complaint
Upon the first cause of action, it is alleged that aIter the Iiling oI the complaint, the deIendants,
taking advantage oI the dissolution oI the preliminary injunction, in conspiracy and with gross
bad Iaith and evident intent to cause damage to the plaintiIIs, caused the registration oI the
sheriII's Iinal deed oI sale; that, to cause more damage, the deIendants sold to their lawyer and
his wiIe two oI the parcels oI land in question; that the purchasers acquired the properties in bad
Iaith; that the deIendants mortgaged the two other parcels to the Rizal Commercial Banking
Corporation while the deIendants' lawyer and his wiIe also mortgaged the parcels bought by
them to the Rizal Commercial Bank; and that the bank also acted in bad Iaith.
The second cause of action consists oI an allegation oI additional damages caused by the
deIendants' bad Iaith in entering into the aIoresaid agreements and transactions.
The Amended Supplemental Complaint
The amendment made pertains to the Iirst cause oI action oI the supplemental complaint, which
is, the inclusion oI a paragraph averring that, still to cause damage and prejudice to the plaintiIIs,
Atty. & Mrs. Juan Quijano, in bad Iaith sold the two parcels oI land they had previously bought
to Eloy Ocampo who acquired them also in bad Iaith, while Venancio Castaeda and Nicetas
Henson in bad Iaith sold the two other parcels to Juan Quijano (60) and Eloy Ocampo (40)
who acquired them in bad Iaith and with knowledge that the properties are the subject oI a
pending litigation.
Discussion on The Causes of Action
of The Supplemental Complaint And
The Amended Supplemental Complaint
Assuming hypothetically as true the allegations in the Iirst cause oI action oI the supplemental
complaint and the amended supplemental complaint, the validity oI the cause oI action would
depend upon the validity oI the Iirst cause oI action oI the original complaint, Ior, the Agos
would suIIer no transgression upon their rights oI ownership and possession oI the properties by
reason oI the agreements subsequently entered into by the Castaedas and their lawyer iI the
sheriII's levy and sale are valid. The reverse is also true: iI the sheriII's levy and sale are invalid
on the ground that the conjugal properties could not be levied upon, then the transactions would
perhaps prejudice the Agos, but, we have already indicated that the issue in the Iirst cause oI
action oI the original complaint is barred by laches, and it must thereIore Iollow that the Iirst
cause oI action oI the supplemental complaint and the amended supplemental complaint is also
For the same reason, the same holding applies to the remaining cause oI action in the
supplemental complaint and the amended supplemental complaint.
ACCORDINGLY, the decision oI the Court oI Appeals under review is set aside. Civil case Q-
7986 oI the Court oI First Instance oI Rizal is ordered dismissed, without prejudice to the re-
Iiling oI the petitioners' counterclaim in a new and independent action. Treble costs are assessed
against the spouses Pastor Ago and Lourdes Yu Ago, which shall be paid by their lawyer, Atty.
Jose M. Luison. Let a copy oI this decision be made a part oI the personal Iile oI Atty. Luison in
the custody oI the Clerk oI Court.
akasiar, Esguerra, uo: Palma and artin, JJ., concur.
Teehankee, J., is on leave.