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A.M. No.

2385 March 8, 1989

JOSE TOLOSA, complainant,
ALFREDO CARGO, respondent.
Complainant Jose Tolosa filed a complaint for the disbarment of respondent District Citizens' Attorney
Alfredo Cargo for immorality. Complainant claimed that respondent had been seeing his (complainant's)
wife Priscilla M. Tolosa in his house and elsewhere. Complainant further alleged tha t his wife left his
conjugal home and went to live with respondent in Malabon, Metro Manila.
Respondent denied the allegations of complainant. Respondent acknowledged that complainant's wife had
been seeing him but that she bad done so in the course of seeking advice from respondent (in view of the
continuous cruelty and unwarranted marital accusations of affiant [complainant] against her), much as
complainant's mother-in-law had also frequently sought the advice of respondent and of his wife and
mother as to what to do about the" continuous quarrels between affiant and his wife and the beatings and
physical injuries (sometimes less serious) that the latter sustained from the former."
Complainant filed a Reply. Respondent filed a Rejoinder.
The Court referred this case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation.
The Solicitor General then submitted the following
1. That complainant and Priscilla are spouses residing at No.1 Lopez Jaena St., Galas, Quezon City.
2. That respondent's wife was their 'ninang' at their marriage, and they (complainant and Priscilla)
considered respondent also their 'ninong'.
3. That respondent and complainant are neighbors, their residences being one house away from each other.
4. That respondent admitted that Priscilla used to see him for advice, because of her differences with
5. That Priscilla, in fact, left their conjugal house and lived at No. 45 Sisa St., Barrio Tenejeros, Malabon,
Metro Manila; that the owner of the house where Priscilla lived in Malabon is a friend and former client of
6. That Priscilla indeed acquired appliances while she was staying in Malabon.
7. That incidents involving respondent and complainant had indeed happened.
8. That Priscilla returned to her mother's house later in 1983 at No. 1 Lopez Jaena St., Galas, Quezon City;
but complainant was staying two or three houses away in his mother's house.
9. That complainant filed an administrative case for immorality against respondent in CLAO, where
respondent was found guilty and suspended for one year. (Rollo, pp. 37-39).
The Solicitor General recommended that respondent Atty. Alfredo Cargo be suspended from the practice of
law for three (3) months and be severely reprimanded.
ISSUE: Whther or not Atty. Cargo is guilty of acts of immorality?
HELD: No. The record does not contain sufficient evidence to show that respondent had indeed been
cohabiting with complainant's wife or was otherwise guilty of acts of immorality. For this very reason, we
do not believe that the penalty of suspension from the practice of law may be properly imposed upon
At the same time, the Court agrees that respondent should be reprimanded for failure to comply with the
rigorous standards of conduct appropriately required from the members of the Bar and officers of the court.
As officers of the court, lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral character but must also be seen to
be of good moral character and leading lives in accordance with the highest moral standards of the
community. More specifically, a member of the Bar and officer of the court is not only required to refrain

from adulterous relationships or the keeping of mistresses 1 but must also so behave himself as to avoid
scandalizing the public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to REPRIMAND respondent attorney for conduct
unbecoming a member of the Bar and an officer of the court, and to WARN him that continuation of
the same or similar conduct will be dealt with more severely in the future.

A.M. No. 1334 November 28, 1989

ROSARIO DELOS REYES, complainant, vs. ATTY. JOSE B. AZNAR, respondent.
Federico A. Blay for complainant. Luciano Babiera for respondent.
This is a complaint for disbarment filed against respondent on the ground of gross immorality.
Complainant, a second year medical student of the Southwestern University (Cebu), alleged in her verified
complaint that respondent Atty. Jose B. Aznar, then chairman of said university, had carnal knowledge of
her for several times under threat that she would fail in her Pathology subject if she would not submit to
respondent's lustful desires. Complainant further alleged that when she became pregnant, respondent,
through a certain Dr. Gil Ramas, had her undergo forced abortion.
Respondent filed his Answer denying any personal knowledge of complainant as well as all the allegations
contained in the complaint and by way of special defense, averred that complainant is a woman of loose
Complainant Rosario delos Reyes testified that:
1) she was a second year medical student of the Southwestern University, the Chairman of the Board of
which was respondent Jose B. Aznar (pp. 11, 15, tsn, June 6, 1975);
2) she however failed in her Pathology subject which prompted her to approach respondent in the latter's
house who assured her that she would pass the said subject (pp. 15,16, 26, 33, tsn, June 6, 1975);
3) despite this assurance, however, she failed (p. 33, tsn, June 6, 1975);
4) sometime in February, 1973, respondent told her that she should go with him to Manila, otherwise, she
would flunk in all her subjects (pp. 42, 50, tsn, June 6, 1975); ... ... ... ;
5) on February 12, 1973, both respondent and complainant boarded the same plane (Exh. "A") for Manila;
from the Manila Domestic Airport, they proceeded to Room 905, 9th Floor of the Ambassador Hotel where
they stayed for three days (Exhs. "K", "K-1" to "K-6"; p. 55, tsn, June 6, 1 975);
6) after arriving at the Ambassador Hotel, they dined at a Spanish restaurant at San Marcelino, Malate,
Manila for around three hours (pp 56-57, tsn, June 6, 1975);
7) they returned to the hotel at around twelve o'clock midnight, where respondent had carnal knowledge of
her twice and then thrice the next morning (p. 59, tsn, June 6, 1975; pp. 154, 155 & 157, tsn, July 18,
8) complainant consented to the sexual desires of respondent because for her, she would sacrifice her
personal honor rather than fail in her subjects (p.6l, tsn, June 6, 1975); ... ... ...;
9) sometime in March, 1973, complainant told respondent that she was suspecting pregnancy because she
missed her menstruation (p. 76, tsn, July 17, 1975); ... ... ...;
10) later, she was informed by Dr. Monsanto (an instructor in the college of medicine) that respondent
wanted that an abortion be performed upon her (p.82, tsn, July l7, 1975); ... ... ... ;
11) thereafter, Ruben Cruz, a confidant of respondent, and Dr. Monsato fetched her at her boarding house
on the pretext that she would be examined by Dr. Gil Ramas (pp. 87-88, tsn, July 17, 1975);
12) upon reaching the clinic of Dr. Ramas she was given an injection and an inhalation mask was placed on
her mouth and nose (pp. 88-90, tsn, July 17, 1 975);
13) as a result, she lost consciousness and when she woke up, an abortion had already been performed upon
her and she was weak, bleeding and felt pain all over her body (pp. 90-91, tsn, July 17, 1975); ... ... ...
(Rollo, pp. 38-40)

Monica Gutierrez Tan testified that she met complainant and a man whom complainant introduced as Atty.
Aznar in front of the Ambassador Hotel (pp. 183-184, tsn, Sept. 10, 1975; Rollo, p. 41).
Dr. Rebecca Gucor and Dr. Artemio Ingco, witnesses for the complainant, testified that abdominal
examinations and x-ray examination of the lumbro-sacral region of complainant showed no signs of
abnormality (Rollo, p. 42).
The evidence for the respondent as reported by the Solicitor General is summarized as follows:
Edilberto Caban testified that:
1. In December, 1972, respondent Atty. Aznar stayed at Ambassador Hotel with his wife and children;
respondent never came to Manila except in December, 1972; (pp. 8-9,. tsn, Nov. 24, 1977);
2. He usually slept with respondent everytime the latter comes to Manila (p. 13, tsn, Nov. 24, 1977; Rollo,
pp. 42-43).
Oscar Salangsang, another witness for the respondent stated that:
1. In February, 1973, he went to Ambassador Hotel to meet respondent; the latter had male companions at
the hotel but he did not see any woman companion of respondent Aznar;
2. He usually slept with respondent at the Ambassador Hotel and ate with him outside the hotel together
with Caban (pp. 8-9, 13-15, tsn, Jan. 13, 1978; Rollo, p. 43).
As special defense, respondent further alleged that the charge levelled against him is in furtherance of
complainant's vow to wreck vengeance against respondent by reason of the latter's approval of the
recommendation of the Board of Trustees barring complainant from enrollment for the school year 19731974 because she failed in most of her subjects. It is likewise contended that the defense did not bother to
present respondent in the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General because nothing has been shown
in the hearing to prove that respondent had carnal knowledge of the complainant.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Aznar is guilty of "grossly immoral conduct"?
HELD: Yes.
The Court agrees with the finding of the Solicitor General that respondent Aznar is guilty of "grossly
immoral conduct" and may therefore be removed or suspended by the Supreme Court for conduct
unbecoming a member of the Bar (Sec. 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court).
Respondent failed to adduce evidence sufficient to engender doubt as to his culpability of the offense
imputed upon him. With the exception of the self-serving testimonies of two witnesses presented on
respondent's behalf, the records are bereft of evidence to exonerate respondent of the act complained of,
much less contradict, on material points, the testimonies of complainant herself.
It is the duty of a lawyer, whenever his moral character is put in issue, to satisfy this Court that he is a fit
and proper person to enjoy continued membership in the Bar. He cannot dispense with nor downgrade the
high and exacting moral standards of the law profession
When his integrity is challenged by evidence, it is not enough that he denies the charges against him; he
must meet the issue and overcome the evidence for the relator and show proofs that he still maintains the
highest degree of morality and integrity, which at all times is expected of him.
A lawyer may be disbarred for grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving
moral turpitude. A member of the bar should have moral integrity in addition to professional probity.
It is difficult to state with precision and to fix an inflexible standard as to what is grossly immoral conduct
or to specify the moral delinquency and obliquity which render a lawyer unworthy of continuing as a
member of the bar. The rule implies that what appears to be unconventional behavior to the straight-laced
may not be the immoral conduct that warrants disbarment.
Immoral conduct has been defined as 'that which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a
moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community'.

Where an unmarried female dwarf possessing the intellect of a child became pregnant by reason of
intimacy with a married lawyer who was the father of six children, disbarment of the attorney on the
ground of immoral conduct was justified.
In the present case, it was highly immoral of respondent, a married man with children, to have taken
advantage of his position as chairman of the college of medicine in asking complainant, a student in said
college, to go with him to Manila where he had carnal knowledge of her under the threat that she would
flunk in all her subjects in case she refused.
WHEREFORE, respondent Jose B. Aznar is hereby DISBARRED and his name is ordered stricken
off from the Roll of Attorneys.
A.M. No. RTJ-93-1033 October 10, 1995
LABAYEN, Presiding Judge, Branch 54, RTC, 6th Judicial Region, Bacolod City; HON. BETHEL
KATALBAS-MOSCARDON, former Presiding Judge of Branch 54, RTC, 6th Judicial Region,
Bacolod City; GIA L. ARINDAY, Branch Clerk of Court, and MARIO P. LAMERA, Court Sheriff,
Branch 54, RTC, Bacolod City; ARMANDO N. ESO, Court Sheriff, and EDGAR DEPAMAYLO,
Subpoena Server, Branch 50, RTC, Bacolod City, respondents.
For consideration by the Court is the matter of the order we issued on November 23, 1994, 1 requiring Atty.
Salvador T. Sabio, counsel for herein complainants, to show cause and explain why he should not be
administratively dealt with for violation of Canon I, Rules 1.02 and 1.03 of the Code of Professional
The present incident is an offshoot of an administrative complaint 5 filed by complainants Maribeth and
Christopher Cordova, through their aforesaid counsel, Atty. Sabio, against herein respondents for
disbarment, dismissal from office and disqualification to hold public office with forfeiture of employment
benefits for their involvement in Civil Case in RTC Bacolod. The administrative complaint, however, was
The main bulk of Atty. Sabio's contentions were premised on the issue of whether the writs of execution
were issued and implemented by herein respondents in gross violation of Sections 8 and 10, Rule 70 of the
Rules of Court, with manifest partiality and breach of judicial trust, and with grave abuse of discretion in
excess of jurisdiction.
The administrative complaint now filed before us by herein complainants, as heirs and successors in
interest of the late Luz Cordova, revolves around the validity of the writ of execution issued by Judge
Moscardon and the alias writ of execution issued by Judge Labayen.
ISSUE: whether or not Atty Sabion violates the Code of Professional Ethics, particularly Canon I, Rule
1.02 (A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law . . .) and Rule 1.03 (A
lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any man's
HELD: Yes.
It is worth noting that the administrative complaint was filed against herein respondents only after the Court
of Appeals had rendered a decision in favor of plaintiffs. This in itself is already a clear indication that the
acts of respondents are valid and legal. Yet, Atty. Sabio persisted in instituting these baseless charges
against respondents to their proven prejudice. 14 As correctly observed by the Bar Confidant, under the
given circumstances, it is apparent that complainants decided to institute the present case only on the advice
and/or upon the urging of Atty. Sabio. It also bears stressing that respondent Judge Labayen even waited for

the Court of Appeals' decision before acting on the motion for analias writ of execution of plaintiffs, if only
to obviate any imputation of bias or partiality.
We are fully convinced that, despite the misleading assertions of Atty. Sabio, the issuance of the writ of
execution was done in the valid and judicious exercise of the functions and duties of respondent judges. We
have carefully examined and analyzed the procedure adopted by respondents in the issuance and
enforcement of the questioned writs. It would be the height of injustice were we to impose any sanction on
them for complying faithfully with the procedural mandate of the rules governing the matter.
The Court would like to call attention again to the reprehensible propensity of disgruntled litigants, most
especially their counsel, of filing totally baseless and unfounded charges against judges and court personnel
in a vain attempt to escape the dire consequences of their own negligence or in an effort to transgress the
lawful orders of the court. Judges and court personnel should be protected from unjust accusations of
dissatisfied litigants, abetted by counsel who seek thereby to camouflage their shortcomings. Besides, it
goes without saying that mere suspicion that a judge is partial to one of the parties to the case is not enough.
There should be evidence to prove the charge, 15which is obviously absent in the case at bar.
As an officer of the court, a lawyer has the sworn duty to assist in, not to impede or pervert, the
administration of justice. The present administrative charge seeks to cast doubt on the integrity of
respondent judges, the judicial personnel and the court which they represent, in flagrant abdication
of the bounden responsibility of a lawyer to observe and maintain the respect due to courts of justice.
Atty. Sabio thus deserves to be punished for instigating the filing of an administrative complaint by his
clients, in the guise of upholding their rights but actually to frustrate the enforcement of lawful court orders
and consequently obstruct the desirable norms and course of justice.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Salvador T. Sabio is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period
of SIX (6) MONTHS, effective upon his receipt of a copy of this decision. He is warned that a more
severe sanction shall be imposed should he commit another administrative offense. Let copies hereof
be attached to his record and served on the Bar Confidant, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and
on all courts of the land.