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CANON 9

CAMBALIZA v. ATTY. CRISTAL-TENORIO


(A.C. No. 6290, July 14, 2004)

FACTS:
A complaint for disbarment filed with the Committee on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines. Complainant Cambaliza, a former employee of respondent Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-
Tenorio in her law office, charged the latter with deceit, grossly immoral conduct, and malpractice or
other gross misconduct in office. Complainant alleged that the respondent has been falsely representing
herself to be married to Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., who has a prior and subsisting marriage with another
woman. Furthermore, Respondent caused the dissemination to the public of a libelous affidavit
derogatory to Makati City; cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her husband, who is not a member
of the Philippine Bar; converted her client's money to her own use and benefit, which led to the filing of
an estafa case against her; and threatened the complainant and her family on 24 January 2000 with the
statement "Isang bala ka lang" to deter them from divulging respondent's illegal activities and
transactions. Respondent denied all the allegations against her. The Case referred to this case to
Investigating Commissioner as the complainant bolstered her claim that the respondent cooperated in the
illegal practice of law by her husband by submitting: (1) the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office
where the name of Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is listed as a senior partner; and (2) a Sagip Communication
Radio Group identification card signed by the respondent as Chairperson where her husband is identified
as "Atty. Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr." She added that respondent's husband even appeared in court
hearings. Respondent averred that she neither formed a law partnership with her husband nor allowed her
husband to appear in court on her behalf. If there was an instance that her husband appeared in court, he
did so as a representative of her law firm. The letterhead submitted by the complainant was a false
reproduction to show that her husband is one of her law partners. But upon cross-examination, when
confronted with the letterhead ofCristal-Tenorio Law Office bearing her signature, she admitted that
Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he and a certain Gerardo A. Panghulan, who is also not a
lawyer, are named as senior partners because they have investments in her law office

ISSUE:
Whether or not Respondent violated Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

HELD:
The Court held Respondent failed to live up to the exacting standards expected of him as a
vanguard of law and justice. for culpable violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months with a
warning that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.

In line with jurisprudence, he is held liable for gross misconduct and is suspended from the
practice of law. The lawyer's duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in, the unauthorized practice
of law is founded on public interest and policy. Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited
to those individuals found duly qualified in education and character. The purpose is to protect the public,
the court, the client, and the bar from the incompetence or dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law
and not subject to the disciplinary control of the Court. It devolves upon a lawyer to see that this purpose
is attained. Thus, the canons and ethics of the profession enjoin him not to permit his professional
services or his name to be used in aid of, or to make possible the unauthorized practice of law by, any
agency, personal or corporate. And, the law makes it misbehavior on his part, subject to disciplinary
action, to aid a layman in the unauthorized practice of law.


CANON 9

PLUS BUILDERS, INC. & GARCIA v. ATTY. REVILLA, JR.
(A.C. No. 7056, February 11, 2009)

FACTS:
A Petition for Disbarment was filed by Plus Builders Inc. and Edgardo C. Garcia before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) against Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. for committing a willful and
intentional falsehood before the court; misusing court procedure and processes to delay the execution of a
judgment; and collaborating with non-lawyers in the illegal practice of law.

On November 15, 1999, a decision was rendered by the Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite
(PARAD) in favor of complainant, Plus Builders, Inc. and against the tenants/farmers Leopoldo de
Guzman, et. al., who were the clients of respondent Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. The PARAD found
that respondents clients were mere tenants and not rightful possessors/owners of the subject land. The
case was elevated all the way up to the Supreme Court, with this Court sustaining complainants rights
over the land. Continuing to pursue his clients lost cause, respondent was found to have committed
intentional falsehood; and misused court processes with the intention to delay the execution of the
decision through the filing of several motions, petitions for temporary restraining orders, and the last, an
action to quiet title despite the finality of the decision. Furthermore, he allowed non-lawyers to engage in
the unauthorized practice of law holding themselves out as his partners/associates in the law firm.

Respondent denied all allegations and believes that the courses of action he took were valid and
proper legal theory designed to protect the rights and interests of Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al. The lawyer-
client relationship with the former lawyer was terminated because Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al. felt that
their former counsel did not explain/argue their position very well, refused to listen to them and, in fact,
even castigated them. As the new counsel, respondent relied on what the tenants/farmers told him in the
course of his interview. He avers that he merely exhausted all possible remedies and defenses to which his
clients were entitled under the law. He submitted that if he was indeed guilty of violating the rules in the
courses of action he took in behalf of his clients, he apologizes and supplicates the Court for kind
consideration, pardon and forgiveness.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent guilty of violating the attorneys oath, Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
The Court held that Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. is hereby found guilty of gross misconduct. Taking
the cudgels from the former lawyer in this case is rather commendable, but respondent should not forget
his first and foremost responsibility as an officer of the court. In support of the cause of their clients,
lawyers have the duty to present every remedy or defense within the authority of the law. This obligation,
however, is not to be performed at the expense of truth and justice. This is the criterion that must be borne
in mind in every exertion a lawyer gives to his case. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a
lawyer has the duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice, and is enjoined from
unduly delaying a case by impeding execution of a judgment or by misusing court processes. After a
careful consideration of herein respondents motion for reconsideration and humble acknowledgment of
his misfeasance, the Court was persuaded to extend a degree of leniency towards the respondent by
reducing his suspension period from two years to six months.

PLUS BUILDERS, INC. & GARCIA v. ATTY. REVILLA, JR.


NACHURA, J .

Before us is a motion for reconsideration of our Decision dated September 13, 2006, finding
respondent guilty of gross misconduct for committing a willful and intentional falsehood before the court,
misusing court procedure and processes to delay the execution of a judgment and collaborating with non-
lawyers in the illegal practice of law.

To recall, the antecedents of the case are as follows:

On November 15, 1999, a decision was rendered by the Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite
(PARAD) in favor of herein complainant, Plus Builders, Inc. and against the tenants/farmers Leopoldo de
Guzman, Heirs of Bienvenido de Guzman, Apolonio Ilas and Gloria Martirez Siongco, Heirs of Faustino
Siongco, Serafin Santarin, Benigno Alvarez and Maria Esguerra, who were the clients of respondent,
Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. The PARAD found that respondents clients were mere tenants and not
rightful possessors/owners of the subject land. The case was elevated all the way up to the Supreme
Court, with this Court sustaining complainants rights over the land. Continuing to pursue his clients lost
cause, respondent was found to have committed intentional falsehood; and misused court processes with
the intention to delay the execution of the decision through the filing of several motions, petitions for
temporary restraining orders, and the last, an action to quiet title despite the finality of the
decision. Furthermore, he allowed non-lawyers to engage in the unauthorized practice of law holding
themselves out as his partners/associates in the law firm.

The dispositive portion of the decision thus reads:

WHEREFORE, Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr. is hereby found guilty of gross
misconduct and is SUSPENDED for two years from the practice of law, effective upon
his receipt of this Decision. He is warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will
be dealt with more severely.

Let copies of this Decision be entered in the record of respondent as attorney and
served on the IBP, as well as on the court administrator who shall circulate it to all courts
for their information and guidance.
[1]


Respondent duly filed a motion for reconsideration within the reglementary period, appealing to
the Court to take a second look at his case and praying that the penalty of suspension of two years be
reduced to mere reprimand or admonition for the sake of his family and the poor clients he was
defending.
[2]


Respondent maintains that he did not commit the acts complained of. The courses of action he
took were not meant to unduly delay the execution of the DARAB Decision dated November 19, 1999,
but were based on his serious study, research and experience as a litigation lawyer for more than 20 years
and on the facts given to him by his clients in the DARAB case. He believes that the courses of action he
took were valid and proper legal theory designed to protect the rights and interests of Leopoldo de
Guzman, et. al.
[3]
He stresses that he was not the original lawyer in this case. The lawyer-client
relationship with the former lawyer was terminated because Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al. felt that their
former counsel did not explain/argue their position very well, refused to listen to them and, in fact, even
castigated them. As the new counsel, respondent candidly relied on what the tenants/farmers told him in
the course of his interview. They maintained that they had been in open, adverse, continuous and
notorious possession of the land in the concept of an owner for more than 50 years. Thus, the filing of the
action to quiet title was resorted to in order to determine the rights of his clients respecting the subject
property. He avers that he merely exhausted all possible remedies and defenses to which his clients were
entitled under the law, considering that his clients were subjected to harassment and threats of physical
harm and summary eviction by the complainant.
[4]
He posits that he was only being protective of the
interest of his clients as a good father would be protective of his own family,
[5]
and that his services to
Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al were almost pro bono.
[6]


Anent the issue that he permitted his name to be used for unauthorized practice of law, he humbly
submits that there was actually no sufficient evidence to prove the same or did he fail to dispute this,
contrary to the findings of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). He was counsel of Leopoldo de
Guzman, et al. only and not of the cooperative Kalayaan Development Cooperative (KDC). He was just
holding his office in this cooperative, together with Attys. Dominador Ferrer, Efren Ambrocio, the late
Alfredo Caloico and Marciano Villavert. He signed the retainer agreement with Atty. Dominador to
formalize their lawyer-client relationship, and the complainants were fully aware of such arrangement.
[7]


Finally, he submits that if he is indeed guilty of violating the rules in the courses of action he took
in behalf of his clients, he apologizes and supplicates the Court for kind consideration, pardon and
forgiveness. He reiterates that he does not deserve the penalty of two years suspension, considering that
the complaint fails to show him wanting in character, honesty, and probity; in fact, he has been a member
of the bar for more than 20 years, served as former president of the IBP Marinduque Chapter, a legal aide
lawyer of IBP Quezon City handling detention prisoners and pro bono cases, and is also a member of the
Couples for Christ, and has had strict training in the law school he graduated from and the law offices he
worked with.
[8]
He is the sole breadwinner in the family with a wife who is jobless, four (4) children who
are in school, a mother who is bedridden and a sick sister to support. The familys only source of income
is respondents private practice of law, a work he has been engaged in for more than twenty-five (25)
years up to the present.
[9]


On August 15, 2008, the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) received a letter from respondent,
requesting that he be issued a clearance for the renewal of his notarial commission. Respondent stated
therein that he was aware of the pendency of the administrative cases
[10]
against him, but pointed out that
said cases had not yet been resolved with finality. Respondent sought consideration and compassion for
the issuance of the clearance -- considering present economic/financial difficulties -- and reiterating the
fact that he was the sole breadwinner in the family.

It is the rule that when a lawyer accepts a case, he is expected to give his full attention, diligence,
skill and competence to the case, regardless of its importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or for
free.
[11]
A lawyers devotion to his clients cause not only requires but also entitles him to deploy every
honorable means to secure for the client what is justly due him or to present every defense provided by
law to enable the latters cause to succeed.
[12]
In this case, respondent may not be wanting in this
regard. On the contrary, it is apparent that the respondents acts complained of were committed out of his
over-zealousness and misguided desire to protect the interests of his clients who were poor and
uneducated. We are not unmindful of his dedication and conviction in defending the less
fortunate. Taking the cudgels from the former lawyer in this case is rather commendable, but respondent
should not forget his first and foremost responsibility as an officer of the court. We stress what we have
stated in our decision that, in support of the cause of their clients, lawyers have the duty to present every
remedy or defense within the authority of the law. This obligation, however, is not to be performed at the
expense of truth and justice.
[13]
This is the criterion that must be borne in mind in every exertion a lawyer
gives to his case.
[14]
Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer has the duty to assist in the
speedy and efficient administration of justice, and is enjoined from unduly delaying a case by impeding
execution of a judgment or by misusing court processes.
[15]


Certainly, violations of these canons cannot be countenanced, as respondent must have realized
with the sanction he received from this Court. However, the Court also knows how to show compassion
and will not hesitate to refrain from imposing the appropriate penalties in the presence of mitigating
factors, such as the respondents length of service, acknowledgment of his or her infractions and feeling
of remorse, family circumstances, humanitarian and equitable considerations, and respondents advanced
age, among other things, which have varying significance in the Courts determination of the imposable
penalty. Thus, after a careful consideration of herein respondents motion for reconsideration
and humble acknowledgment of his misfeasance, we are persuaded to extend a degree of leniency
towards him.
[16]
We find the suspension of six (6) months from the practice of law sufficient in this case


IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the letter-request dated August 15, 2008 is NOTED.
Respondents Motion for Reconsideration is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Decision dated September
13, 2006 is hereby MODIFIED in that respondent is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period
of six (6) months, effective upon receipt of this Resolution. Respondent is DIRECTED to inform the
Court of the date of his receipt of said Resolution within ten (10) days from receipt thereof.

Let copies of this Decision be entered in the record of respondent as attorney and served on
the IBP, as well as on the Court Administrator, who shall circulate it to all courts for their information
and guidance.















CAMBALIZA v. ATTY. CRISTAL-TENORIO
DAVIDE, JR., C.J .:

In a verified complaint for disbarment filed with the Committee on Bar Discipline of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on 30 May 2000, complainant Ana Marie Cambaliza, a former
employee of respondent Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-Tenorio in her law office, charged the latter with deceit,
grossly immoral conduct, and malpractice or other gross misconduct in office.

On deceit, the complainant alleged that the respondent has been falsely representing herself to be
married to Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., who has a prior and subsisting marriage with another
woman. However, through spurious means, the respondent and Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., were able to
obtain a false marriage contract,
[1]
which states that they were married on 10 February 1980 in
Manila. Certifications from the Civil Registry of Manila
[2]
and the National Statistics Office
(NSO)
[3]
prove that no record of marriage exists between them. The false date and place of marriage
between the two are stated in the birth certificates of their two children, Donnabel Tenorio
[4]
and
Felicisimo Tenorio III.
[5]
But in the birth certificates of their two other children, Oliver Tenorio
[6]
and
John Cedric Tenorio,
[7]
another date and place of marriage are indicated, namely, 12 February 1980 in
Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

As to grossly immoral conduct, the complainant alleged that the respondent caused the
dissemination to the public of a libelous affidavit derogatory to Makati City Councilor Divina Alora
Jacome. The respondent would often openly and sarcastically declare to the complainant and her co-
employees the alleged immorality of Councilor Jacome.

On malpractice or other gross misconduct in office, the complainant alleged that the respondent
(1) cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her husband, who is not a member of the Philippine Bar;
(2) converted her clients money to her own use and benefit, which led to the filing of an estafa case
against her; and (3) threatened the complainant and her family on 24 January 2000 with the statement
Isang bala ka lang to deter them from divulging respondents illegal activities and transactions.

In her answer, the respondent denied all the allegations against her. As to the charge of deceit,
she declared that she is legally married to Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr. They were married on 12 February
1980 as shown by their Certificate of Marriage, Registry No. 2000-9108 of the Civil Registry of Quezon
City.
[8]
Her husband has no prior and subsisting marriage with another woman.

As to the charge of grossly immoral conduct, the respondent denied that she caused the
dissemination of a libelous and defamatory affidavit against Councilor Jacome. On the contrary, it was
Councilor Jacome who caused the execution of said document. Additionally, the complainant and her
cohorts are the rumormongers who went around the city of Makati on the pretext of conducting a survey
but did so to besmirch respondents good name and reputation.

The charge of malpractice or other gross misconduct in office was likewise denied by the
respondent. She claimed that her Cristal-Tenorio Law Office is registered with the Department of Trade
and Industry as a single proprietorship, as shown by its Certificate of Registration of
Business Name.
[9]
Hence, she has no partners in her law office. As to the estafa case, the same had
already been dropped pursuant to the Order of 14 June 1996 issued by Branch 103 of the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City.
[10]
The respondent likewise denied that she threatened the complainant with the
words Isang bala ka lang on 24 January 2000.

Further, the respondent averred that this disbarment complaint was filed by the complainant to get
even with her. She terminated complainants employment after receiving numerous complaints that the
complainant extorted money from different people with the promise of processing their passports and
marriages to foreigners, but she reneged on her promise. Likewise, this disbarment complaint is
politically motivated: some politicians offered to re-hire the complainant and her cohorts should they
initiate this complaint, which they did and for which they were re-hired. The respondent also flaunted the
fact that she had received numerous awards and citations for civic works and exemplary service to the
community. She then prayed for the dismissal of the disbarment case for being baseless.

The IBP referred this case to Investigating Commissioner Atty. Kenny H. Tantuico.

During the hearing on 30 August 2000, the parties agreed that the complainant would submit a
Reply to respondents Answer, while the respondent would submit a Rejoinder to the Reply. The parties
also agreed that the Complaint, Answer, and the attached affidavits would constitute as the respective
direct testimonies of the parties and the affiants.
[11]


In her Reply, the complainant bolstered her claim that the respondent cooperated in the illegal
practice of law by her husband by submitting (1) the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office
[12]
where
the name of Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is listed as a senior partner; and (2) a Sagip Communication Radio
Group identification card
[13]
signed by the respondent as Chairperson where her husband is identified as
Atty. Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr. She added that respondents husband even appeared in court hearings.

In her Rejoinder, respondent averred that she neither formed a law partnership with her husband
nor allowed her husband to appear in court on her behalf. If there was an instance that her husband
appeared in court, he did so as a representative of her law firm. The letterhead submitted by the
complainant was a false reproduction to show that her husband is one of her law partners. But upon
cross-examination, when confronted with the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office bearing her
signature, she admitted that Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he and a certain Gerardo A.
Panghulan, who is also not a lawyer, are named as senior partners because they have investments in her
law office.
[14]


The respondent further declared that she married Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., on 12 February 1980
in Quezon City, but when she later discovered that their marriage contract was not registered she applied
for late registration on 5 April 2000. She then presented as evidence a certified copy of the marriage
contract issued by the Office of the Civil Registrar General and authenticated by the NSO. The erroneous
entries in the birth certificates of her children as to the place and date of her marriage were merely an
oversight.
[15]


Sometime after the parties submitted their respective Offer of Evidence and Memoranda, the
complainant filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint on 13 November 2002 after allegedly realizing that
this disbarment complaint arose out of a misunderstanding and misappreciation of facts. Thus, she is no
longer interested in pursuing the case. This motion was not acted upon by the IBP.

In her Report and Recommendation dated 30 September 2003, IBP Commissioner on Bar
Discipline Milagros V. San Juan found that the complainant failed to substantiate the charges of deceit
and grossly immoral conduct. However, she found the respondent guilty of the charge of cooperating in
the illegal practice of law by Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., in violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility based on the following evidence: (1) the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law
Office, which lists Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., as a senior partner; (2) the Sagip Communication Radio
Group identification card of Atty. Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., signed by respondent as Chairperson; (3)
and the Order dated 18 June 1997 issued by the Metropolitan Trial Court in Criminal Cases Nos. 20729
20734, wherein Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., entered his appearance as counsel and even moved for the
provisional dismissal of the cases for failure of the private complainants to appear and for lack of interest
to prosecute the said cases. Thus, Commissioner San Juan recommended that the respondent be
reprimanded.

In its Resolution No. XVI-2003-228 dated 25 October 2003, the IBP Board of Governors adopted
and approved with modification the Report and Recommendation of Commissioner San Juan. The
modification consisted in increasing the penalty from reprimand to suspension from the practice of law
for six months with a warning that a similar offense in the future would be dealt with more severely.

We agree with the findings and conclusion of Commissioner San Juan as approved and adopted
with modification by the Board of Governors of the IBP.

At the outset, we find that the IBP was correct in not acting on the Motion to Withdraw
Complaint filed by complainant Cambaliza. In Rayos-Ombac vs. Rayos,
[16]
we declared:

The affidavit of withdrawal of the disbarment case allegedly executed by
complainant does not, in any way, exonerate the respondent. A case of suspension or
disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the
complainant. What matters is whether, on the basis of the facts borne out by the record,
the charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct has been duly proven. This rule is
premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for suspension or
disbarment is not in any sense a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the
respondent lawyer is a defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest
and afford no redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely
for the public welfare. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of
justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. The attorney
is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. The
complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's alleged
misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the outcome except as
all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. Hence, if the
evidence on record warrants, the respondent may be suspended or disbarred despite the
desistance of complainant or his withdrawal of the charges.

Hence, notwithstanding the Motion to Withdraw Complaint, this disbarment case should proceed
accordingly.

The IBP correctly found that the charges of deceit and grossly immoral conduct were not
substantiated. In disbarment proceedings, the complainant has the burden of proving his case by
convincing evidence.
[17]
With respect to the estafa case which is the basis for the charge of malpractice or
other gross misconduct in office, the respondent is not yet convicted thereof. In Gerona vs.
Datingaling,
[18]
we held that when the criminal prosecution based on the same act charged is still pending
in court, any administrative disciplinary proceedings for the same act must await the outcome of the
criminal case to avoid contradictory findings.

We, however, affirm the IBPs finding that the respondent is guilty of assisting in the
unauthorized practice of law. A lawyer who allows a non-member of the Bar to misrepresent himself as a
lawyer and to practice law is guilty of violating Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, which read as follows:

Canon 9 A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized
practice of law.

Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the
performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the Bar
in good standing.

The term practice of law implies customarily or habitually holding oneself out to the public as a
lawyer for compensation as a source of livelihood or in consideration of his services. Holding ones self
out as a lawyer may be shown by acts indicative of that purpose like identifying oneself as attorney,
appearing in court in representation of a client, or associating oneself as a partner of a law office for the
general practice of law.
[19]
Such acts constitute unauthorized practice of law.

In this case, Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he holds himself out as one. His wife,
the respondent herein, abetted and aided him in the unauthorized practice of the legal profession.

At the hearing, the respondent admitted that the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office listed
Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., Gerardo A. Panghulan, and Maricris D. Battung as senior partners. She
admitted that the first two are not lawyers but paralegals. They are listed in the letterhead of her law
office as senior partners because they have investments in her law office.
[20]
That is a blatant
misrepresentation.

The Sagip Communication Radio Group identification card is another proof that the respondent
assisted Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., in misrepresenting to the public that he is a lawyer. Notably, the
identification card stating that he is Atty. Felicisimo Tenorio, Jr., bears the signature of the respondent
as Chairperson of the Group.

The lawyers duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in, the unauthorized practice of law
is founded on public interest and policy. Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to those
individuals found duly qualified in education and character. The permissive right conferred on the lawyer
is an individual and limited privilege subject to withdrawal if he fails to maintain proper standards of
moral and professional conduct. The purpose is to protect the public, the court, the client, and the bar
from the incompetence or dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law and not subject to the
disciplinary control of the Court. It devolves upon a lawyer to see that this purpose is attained. Thus, the
canons and ethics of the profession enjoin him not to permit his professional services or his name to be
used in aid of, or to make possible the unauthorized practice of law by, any agency, personal or
corporate. And, the law makes it a misbehavior on his part, subject to disciplinary action, to aid a layman
in the unauthorized practice of law.
[21]


WHEREFORE, for culpable violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, respondent Atty. Ana Luz B. Cristal-Tenorio is herebySUSPENDED from the practice of
law for a period of six (6) months effective immediately, with a warning that a repetition of the same or
similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.

Let copies of this Resolution be attached to respondent Cristal-Tenorios record as attorney in this
Court and furnished to the IBP and the Office of the Court Administrator for circulation to all courts.

SO ORDERED.