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Rule 3. 01: No false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, selflaudatory or unfair statement or claim
25 KHAN VS SIMBILLO
FACTS
A paid advertisement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer was published which
reads: Annulment of Marriage Specialist [contact number]. Espeleta, a staff of the
Supreme Court, called up the number but it was Mrs. Simbillo who answered. She
claims that her husband, Atty. Simbillo was an expert in handling annulment cases
and can guarantee a court decree within 4-6mos provided the case will not involve
separation of property and custody of children. It appears that similar advertisements
were also published.
An administrative complaint was filed which was referred to the IBP for
investigation and recommendation. The IBP resolved to suspend Atty. Simbillo for
1year. Note that although the name of Atty. Simbillo did not appear in the
advertisement, he admitted the acts imputed against him but argued that he should
not be charged. He said that it was time to lift the absolute prohibition against
advertisement because the interest of the public isnt served in any way by the
prohibition.
ISSUE
Whether or not Simbillo violated Rule2.03 & Rule3.01.
HELD
Yes!
The practice of law is not a business --- it is a profession in which the
primary duty is public service and money. Gaining livelihood is a secondary
consideration while duty to public service and administration of justice should be
primary. Lawyers should subordinate their primary interest.
Worse, advertising himself as an annulment of marriage specialist he
erodes and undermines the sanctity of an institution still considered as sacrosanct --he in fact encourages people otherwise disinclined to dissolve their marriage bond.
Solicitation of business is not altogether proscribed but for it to be proper it
must be compatible with the dignity of the legal profession. Note that the law list
where the lawyers name appears must be a reputable law list only for that purpose
--- a lawyer may not properly publish in a daily paper, magazineetc., nor may a
lawyer permit his name to be published the contents of which are likely to deceive or
injure the public or the bar.
26. ULEP VS LEGAL CLINIC
FACTS:
This is a petition praying for an order to the respondent to cease and desist
from issuing certain advertisements pertaining to the exercise of the law profession
other than those allowed by law.
The said advertisement of the Legal Clinic invites potential clients to inquire
about secret marriage and divorce in Guam and annulment, and the like. It also says
that they are giving free books on Guam Divorce.
Ulep claims that such advertisements are unethical and destructive of the
confidence of the community in the integrity of lawyers. He, being a member of the
bar, is ashamed and offended by the said advertisements. On the other hand, the
respondent, while admitting of the fact of the publication of the advertisements, claims
that it is not engaged in the practice of law but is merely rendering legal support
services through paralegals. It also contends that such advertisements should be
allowed based on certain US cases decided.

ISSUE:
W/N the Legal Clinic Inc is engaged in the practice of law.
W/N the same can properly be the subject of the
advertisements
complained of.
HELD/RATIO:
Yes, it constitutes practice of law. No, the ads should be enjoined.
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the
application of law, legal procedures, knowledge, training and experience. To engage
in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristic of the
profession. Generally, to practice law is to give advice or render any kind of service
that involves legal knowledge or skill.
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes
legal advice and counsel, and the preparation of legal instruments and contract by
which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may not be pending in a
court. When a person participates in a trial and advertises himself as a lawyer, he is in
the practice of law. One who confers with clients, advises them as to their legal rights
and then takes the business to an attorney and asks the latter to look after the case in
court, is also practicing law. Giving advice for compensation regarding the legal status
and rights of another and the conduct with respect thereto constitutes a practice of
law. The practice of law, therefore, covers a wide range of activities in and out of
court. And applying the criteria, respondent Legal Clinic Inc. is, as advertised,
engaged in the practice of law.
What is palpably clear is that respondent corporation gives out legal
information to laymen and lawyers. With its attorneys and so called paralegals, it will
necessarily have to explain to the client the intricacies of the law and advise him or
her on the proper course of action to be taken as may be provided for by said law.
That is what its advertisements represent and for the which services it will
consequently charge and be paid. That activity falls squarely within the jurisprudential
definition of "practice of law."
The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement
of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession advertise
his talents or skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The
only exceptions are when he appears in a reputable law list and use of an ordinary,
simple professional card.
The advertisements do not fall under these exceptions. To allow the
publication of advertisements of the kind used by respondent would only serve to
aggravate what is already a deteriorating public opinion of the legal profession whose
integrity has consistently been under attack. Hence, it should be enjoined.
27. DACANAY VS. BAKER MCKENZIE
In November 1979, Atty. Vicente Torres sent a letter to one Rosie Clurman,
represented by Atty. Adriano Dacanay, asking Clurman to release some shares to
Torres client. The letterhead contained the name Baker & McKenzie. Dacanay
denied Clurmans liability and at the same time he asked why is Torres using the
letterhead Baker & McKenzie, a foreign partnership established in Chicago, Illinois.
No reply was received so Dacanay filed an administrative complaint enjoining Torres
from using Baker & McKenzie.
Later, Torres said that he is an associate of the law firm Guerrero & Torres; that their
law firm is a member of Baker & McKenzie; that the said foreign firm has members in
30 cities all over the world; that they associated with them in order to make a

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representation that they can render legal services of the highest quality to
multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade and
investment.
ISSUE: Whether or not the use of a foreign law office name is allowed.
HELD: No. Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the
Philippines. Such use of foreign law firm name is unethical therefore Torres and his
law firm are enjoined from using Baker & McKenzie in their practice of law.
28. IN RE SYCIP
FACTS:
- This is a consolidated petition. The first one filed by the surviving partners of atty.
Alexander Sycip and the otherfiled by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio
Ovaepa. They pray that they be allowed to continue using thenames of partners who
had passed away.
- Petitioners based their petitions on the following arguments:
- Art. 1840 of the Civil Code,
- in regulating other professions, the legislature has authorized the adoption
of firm names without anyrestriction as to the use of the name of a deceased partner,
- the Canons of Professional Ethics allows the continued use of a deceased
partner when permissible bylocal custom.
ISSUE:
W/N law firms may continue to use the names o deceased partners in their firm
names
HELD: NO!

Art. 1840 primarily deals with the exception of liability on cases of a dissolved
partnership, of the individualproperty of the deceased partner for debts contracted by
the person who continues the business using thepartnership name. what the law
contemplates is a hold over situation preparatory to formal reorganization. Art.1840
treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than a
professional partnershipwhose reputation depends on the personal qualifications of
its individual members.

A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other
professionals or forbusiness. a partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity.
It is not a partnership formed for thenpurpose of carrying on trade or business or of
holding property. Thus, assumed or trade name in law practice isimproper. The right
to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege
orfranchise.

It must be considered that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the
continued use of a deceasedvpartners name. Therefore, the cited provision on
Canons of Professional Ethics is not applicable.
DISSENTING OPINION:

Petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in the letterheads of the
2 firms that Sycip andvOvaepa are dead or the period when they served as partners
sould be stated therein.
29. SAMONTE VS GATDULA (full text)

GONZAGA-REYES, J.:
The complaint filed by Julieta Borromeo Samonte charges Rolando R. Gatdula, RTC,
Branch 220, Quezon City with grave misconduct consisting in the alleged engaging in
the private practice of law which is in conflict with his official functions as Branch
Clerk of Court.
Complainant alleges that she is the authorized representative of her sister Flor
Borromeo de Leon, the plaintiff in Civil Case No. 37-14552 for ejectment filed with the
Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 37. A typographical error was
committed in the complaint which stated that the address of defendant is No. 63-C
instead of 63-B, P. Tuazon Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City. The mistake was rectified by
the filing of an amended complaint which was admitted by the Court. A decision was
rendered in favor of the plaintiff who subsequently filed a motion for execution.
Complainant however, was surprised to receive a temporary restraining order signed
by Judge Prudencio Castillo of Branch 220, RTC, Quezon City, where Atty. Rolando
Gatdula is the Branch Clerk of Court, enjoining the execution of the decision of the
Metropolitan Trial Court. Complainant alleges that the issuance of the temporary
restraining order was hasty and irregular as she was never notified of the application
for preliminary injunction.
Complainant further alleges that when she went to Branch 220, RTC, Quezon City, to
inquire about the reason for the issuance of the temporary restraining order,
respondent Atty. Rolando Gatdula, blamed her lawyer for writing the wrong address in
the complaint for ejectment and told her that if she wanted the execution to proceed,
she should change her lawyer and retain the law office of respondent at the same
time giving his calling card with the name "Baligod, Gatdula, Tacardon, Dimailig and
Celera" with office at Rm. 220 Mariwasa Bldg., 717 Aurora Blvd., Cubao, Quezon
City; otherwise she will not be able to eject the defendant Dave Knope. Complainant
told respondent that she could not decide because she was only representing her
sister. To her consternation, the RTC Branch 220 issued an order granting the
preliminary injunction as threatened by respondent despite the fact that the MTC,
Branch 37 had issued an Order directing the execution of the Decision in Civil Case
No. 37-14552.
Asked to comment, respondent Atty. Gatdula recited the antecedents in the ejectment
case and the issuance of the restraining order by the Regional Trial Court, and
claimed that contrary to complainant Samonte's allegation that she was not notified of
the raffle and the hearing, the Notice of Hearing on the motion for the issuance of a
Temporary Restraining Order was duly served upon the parties, and that the
application for injunctive relief was heard before the temporary restraining order was
issued. The preliminary injunction was also set for hearing on August 7, 1996.
The respondent's version of the incident is that sometime before the hearing of the
motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order, complainant Samonte went
to court "very mad" because of the issuance of the order stopping the execution of the
decision in the ejectment case. Respondent tried to calm her down, and assured her
that the restraining order was only temporary and that the application for preliminary
injunction would still be heard. Later the Regional Trial Court granted the application
for a writ of preliminary injunction. The complainant went back to court "fuming mad"
because of the alleged unreasonableness of the court in issuing the injunction.

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Respondent Gatdula claims that thereafter complainant returned to his office, and
informed him that she wanted to change counsel and that a friend of hers
recommended the Law Finn of "Baligod, Gatdula, Tacardon, Dimailig and Celera," at
the same time showing a calling card, and asking if he could handle her case.
Respondent refused as he was not connected with the law firm, although he was
invited to join but he chose to remain in the judiciary. Complainant returned to court a
few days later and told him that if he cannot convince the judge to recall the writ of
preliminary injunction, she will file an administrative case against respondent and the
judge. The threat was repeated but the respondent refused to be pressured.
Meanwhile, the Complainant's Motion to Dissolve the Writ of Preliminary Injunction
was denied. Respondent Gatdula claims that the complainant must have filed this
administrative charge because of her frustration in procuring the ejectment of the
defendant lessee from the premises. Respondent prays for the dismissal of the
complaint against him.
The case was referred to Executive Judge Estrella Estrada, RTC, Quezon City, for
investigation, report and recommendation.
In her report Judge Estrada states that the case was set for hearing three times, on
September 7, 1997, on September 17, and on September 24, 1997, but neither
complainant nor her counsel appeared, despite due notice. The return of service of
the Order setting the last hearing stated that complainant is still abroad. There being
no definite time conveyed to the court for the return of the complainant, the
investigating Judge proceeded with the investigation by "conducting searching
questions" upon respondent based on the allegations in the complaint and asked for
the record of Civil Case No. Q-96-28187 for evaluation. The case was set for hearing
for the last time on October 22, 1997, to give complainant a last chance to appear, but
there was again no appearance despite notice.
The respondent testified in his own behalf to affirm the statements in his Comment
and submitted documentary evidence consisting mainly of the pleadings in MTC Civil
Case No. 37-14552, and in RTC Civil Case No. Q96-28187 to show that the
questioned orders of the court were not improperly issued.
The investigating judge made the following findings:
"For failure of the complainant to appear at the several hearings despite notice, she
failed to substantiate her allegations in the complaint particularly that herein
respondent gave her his calling card and tried to convince her to change her lawyer.
This being the case, it cannot be established with certainty that respondent indeed
gave her his calling card and even convinced her to change her lawyer. Moreover, as
borne by the records of Civil Case No. Q-96-28187, complainant was duly notified of
all the proceedings leading to the issuance of the TRO and the subsequent orders of
Judge Prudencio Altre Castillo, Jr. of RTC, Branch 220. Complainant's lack of interest
in prosecuting this administrative case could be an indication that her filing of the
charge against the respondent is only intended to harass the respondent for her
failure to obtain a favorable decision from the Court.
However, based on the record of this administrative case, the calling card attached as
Annex "B" of complainant's affidavit dated September 25, 1996 allegedly given by
respondent to complainant would show that the name of herein respondent was

indeed included in the BALIGOD, GATDULA, TACARDON, DIMAILIG& CELERA LAW


OFFICES. While respondent denied having assumed any position in said office, the
fact remains that his name is included therein which may therefore tend to show that
he has dealings with said office. Thus, while he may not be actually and directly
employed with the firm, the fact that his name appears on the calling card as a
partner in the Baligod, Gatdula, Tacardon, Dimailig & Celera Law Offices give the
impression that he is connected therein and may constitute an act of solicitation and
private practice which is declared unlawful under Republic Act No. 6713. It is to be
noted, however, that complainant failed to establish by convincing evidence that
respondent actually offered to her the services of their law office. Thus, the violation
committed by respondent in having his name included/retained in the calling card may
only be considered as a minor infraction for which he must also be administratively
sanctioned."
and recommended that Atty. Gatdula be admonished and censured for the minor
infraction he has committed.
Finding:
We agree with the investigating judge that the respondent is guilty of an
infraction. The complainant by her failure to appear at the hearings, failed to
substantiate her allegation that it was the respondent who gave her the calling card of
"Baligod, Gatdula, Tacardon, Dimailig and Celera Law Offices" and that he tried to
convince her to change counsels. We find however, that while the respondent
vehemently denies the complainant's allegations, he does not deny that his name
appears on the calling card attached to the complaint which admittedly came into the
hands of the complainant. The respondent testified before the Investigating Judge as
follows:
"Q:
How about your statement that you even gave her a calling card of the
"Baligod, Gatdula, Pardo, Dimailig and Celera law Offices at Room 220 Mariwasa
building?
A: I vehemently deny the allegation of the complainant that I gave her a calling card. I
was surprised when she presented (it) to me during one of her follow-ups of the case
before the court. She told me that a friend of hers recommended such firm and she
found out that my name is included in that firm. I told her that I have not assumed
any position in that law firm. And I am with the Judiciary. since I passed the bar. It is
impossible for me to enter an appearance as her counsel in the very same court
where I am the Branch Clerk of Court."
The above explanation tendered by the Respondent is an admission that it is his
name which appears on the calling card, a permissible form of advertising or
solicitation of legal services.[1] Respondent does not claim that the calling card was
printed without his knowledge or consent and the calling card[2] carries his name
primarily and the name of "Baligod, Gatdula, Tacardon, Dimailig and Celera with
address at 220 Mariwasa Bldg., 717 Aurora Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City" in the left
comer. The card clearly gives the impression that he is connected with the said law
firm. The inclusion/retention of his name in the professional card constitutes an act of
solicitation which violates Section 7 sub-par. (b)(2) of Republic Act No. 6713,
otherwise known as "Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and
Employees" which declares it unlawful for a public official or employee to, among
others:

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"(2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the
Constitution or law, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with
official functions."
Time and again this Court has said that the conduct and behavior of every one
connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, from the presiding
judge to the lowliest clerk. should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of
responsibility. His conduct, at all times must not only be characterized by proprietor
and decorum but above all else must be above suspicion.[3]
WHEREFORE, respondent Rolando R. Gatdula. Branch Clerk of Court, RTC,
Branch 220, Quezon City is hereby reprimanded for engaging in the private
practice of law with the warning that a repetition of the same offense will be
dealt with more severely. He is further ordered to cause the exclusion of his
name in the firm name of any office engaged in the private practice of law.
SO ORDERED.
Canon 6: Lawyers in Government Service
30. COLLANTES VS RENOMERON
Facts: This complaint for disbarment is relative to the administrative case filed by
Atty. Collantes, house counsel for V& G Better Homes Subdivision, Inc. (V&G),
against Atty. Renomeron, Register of Deeds of Tacloban City, for the latters irregular
actuations with regard to the application of V&G for registration of 163 pro forma
Deed of Absolute Sale with Assignment (in favor of GSIS) of lots in its subdivision.
Although V&G complied with the desired requirements, respondent suspended the
registration of the documents with certain special conditions between them, which
was that V&G should provide him with weekly round trip ticket from Tacloban to
Manila plus P2,000.00 as pocket money per trip, or, in lieu thereof, the sale of
respondents Quezon City house and lot by V&G or GSIS representatives.
Eventually, respondent formally denied the registration of the documents. He himself
elevated the question on the registrability of the said documents to Administrator
Bonifacio (of the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration AdministrationNLTDRA). The Administrator then resolved in favor of the registrability of the
documents. Despite the resolution of the Administrator, the respondent still refused
the registration thereof but demanded from the parties interested the submission of
additional requirements not adverted in his previous denial.
Issues: (1) WON the respondent, as a lawyer, may also be disciplined by the Court
for his malfeasance as a public official, and (2) WON the Code of Professional
Responsibility applies to government service in the discharge of official tasks.
Held: (1) Yes, a lawyers misconduct as a public official also constitutes a violation of
his oath as a lawyer. The lawyers oath imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay
no man for money or malice. The lawyers oath is a source of obligations and its
violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action.
(2) Yes, the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to government service in the
discharge of their official tasks (Canon 6). The Code forbids a lawyer to engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1.01, Code of Professional

Responsibility), or delay any mans cause for any corrupt motive or interest (Rule
1.03).
31. RAMOS V. IMBANG
FACTS
In 1992, the complainant Diana Ramos sought the assistance of respondent Atty.
Jose R. Imbang in filing civil and criminal actions against the spouses Roque and
Elenita Jovellanos. She gave respondent P8,500 as attorney's fees but the latter
issued a receipt for P5,000 only.
The complainant tried to attend the scheduled hearings of her cases against
the Jovellanoses. Oddly, respondent never allowed her to enter the courtroom and
always told her to wait outside. He would then come out after several hours to inform
her that the hearing had been cancelled and rescheduled. This happened six times
and for each appearance in court, respondent charged her P350.
After six consecutive postponements, the complainant became suspicious. She
personally inquired about the status of her cases in the trial courts of Bian and San
Pedro, Laguna. She was shocked to learn that respondent never filed any case
against the Jovellanoses and that he was in fact employed in the Public Attorney's
Office (PAO).
HELD
Attorney Imbang is disbarred and his name stricken from the roll of
attorneys.
Lawyers are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity. More
specifically, lawyers in government service are expected to be more conscientious of
their actuations as they are subject to public scrutiny. They are not only members of
the bar but also public servants who owe utmost fidelity to public service.
Government employees are expected to devote themselves completely to public
service. For this reason, the private practice of profession is prohibited. Section 7(b)
(2) of the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees provides:
Section 7.Prohibited Acts and Transactions. -- In addition to acts and omissions of
public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws,
the following constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and
employee and are hereby declared unlawful:
(b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto, public officials and
employees during their incumbency shall not:
(1) Engage in the private practice of profession unless authorized by the Constitution
or law, provided that such practice will not conflict with their official function.
Thus, lawyers in government service cannot handle private cases for they
are expected to devote themselves full-time to the work of their respective offices.
In this instance, respondent received P5,000 from the complainant and
issued a receipt on July 15, 1992 while he was still connected with the PAO.
Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney-client relationship.
Respondent's admission that he accepted money from the complainant and the
receipt confirmed the presence of an attorney-client relationship between him and the
complainant. Moreover, the receipt showed that he accepted the complainant's case
while he was still a government lawyer. Respondent clearly violated the prohibition on
private practice of profession.
Aggravating respondent's wrongdoing was his receipt of attorney's fees. The PAO
was created for the purpose of providing free legal assistance to indigent litigants.
Section 14(3), Chapter 5, Title III, Book V of the Revised Administrative Code
provides:
Sec. 14.xxx

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The PAO shall be the principal law office of the Government in extending free legal
assistance to indigent persons in criminal, civil, labor, administrative and other quasijudicial cases.
As a PAO lawyer, respondent should not have accepted attorney's fees from
the complainant as this was inconsistent with the office's mission. Respondent
violated the prohibition against accepting legal fees other than his salary.
Every lawyer is obligated to uphold the law. This undertaking includes the observance
of the above-mentioned prohibitions blatantly violated by respondent when he
accepted the complainant's cases and received attorney's fees in consideration of his
legal services. Consequently, respondent's acceptance of the cases was also a
breach of Rule 18.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility because the
prohibition on the private practice of profession disqualified him from acting as the
complainant's counsel.
Aside from disregarding the prohibitions against handling private cases and
accepting attorney's fees, respondent also surreptitiously deceived the complainant.
Not only did he fail to file a complaint against the Jovellanoses (which in the first place
he should not have done), respondent also led the complainant to believe that he
really filed an action against the Jovellanoses. He even made it appear that the
cases were being tried and asked the complainant to pay his appearance fees for
hearings that never took place. These acts constituted dishonesty, a violation of the
lawyer's oath not to do any falsehood.
Respondent's conduct in office fell short of the integrity and good moral
character required of all lawyers, specially one occupying a public office. Lawyers in
public office are expected not only to refrain from any act or omission which tend to
lessen the trust and confidence of the citizenry in government but also uphold the
dignity of the legal profession at all times and observe a high standard of honesty and
fair dealing. A government lawyer is a keeper of public faith and is burdened with a
high degree of social responsibility, higher than his brethren in private practice.
There is, however, insufficient basis to find respondent guilty of violating Rule 16.01 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent did not hold the money for the
benefit of the complainant but accepted it as his attorney's fees. He neither held the
amount in trust for the complainant (such as an amount delivered by the sheriff in
satisfaction of a judgment obligation in favor of the client) nor was it given to him for a
specific purpose (such as amounts given for filing fees and bail bond). Nevertheless,
respondent should return the P5,000 as he, a government lawyer, was not entitled to
attorney's fees and not allowed to accept them.
Rule 6.Duty of Public Prosecutor
32. SUAREZ VS PLATON
In May 1935, Atty. Fortunato Suarez was riding a train on his way to Calauag,
Tayabas. Apparently he was very vocal and he was despising the abuses made by
government officers. Incidentally, Lieutenant Vivencio Orais was aboard the train.
Orais arrested Suarez and charged him with sedition. Orais however later moved for
the dismissal of the case upon the instruction of his superior. Thereafter, Suarez filed
a case against Orais for arbitrary detention. Provincial Fiscal Ramon Valdez moved
for the dismissal of the case due to insufficiency of evidence. Suarez asked Valdez to
inhibit and later asked for a special prosecutor to take his place as he alleged that
Valdez does not have the courage to prosecute the case. Valdez was then replaced
by special prosecutor Jacinto Yamzon who also found that there is insufficient
evidence to prosecute the case. Eventually, the case was dismissed by Judge
Servillano Platon on the ground that there is insufficiency of evidence. Suarez

appealed the dismissal of the case but his appeal was denied on the ground that
mandamus is the proper remedy. Hence, Suarez filed this Mandamus case to compel
Platon to reinstate the case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the case should be reinstated.
HELD: No. The fiscals are well within their rights not to push through with the case if
they find the evidence to be insufficient. The prosecuting officer is the representative
not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to
govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose
interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that
justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant
of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence shall
suffer.
33. CUENCA VS CA (full text)
FRANCISCO, J.:
After his petition for review of the Court of Appeals' judgment 1 affirming his
conviction for violation of the "Trust Receipts Law" (Presidential Decree No. 115) was
denied by this Court in a Resolution dated February 9, 1994, 2 petitioner filed on July
6, 1994 a pleading entitled "SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL WITH MOTION FOR
LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL" 3 setting forth, in relation to the motion
for new trial:
6.
The Motion for New Trial shall be grounded on newly discovered evidence
and excusible (sic) negligence, and shall be supported by affidavits of:
(i)

an officer of private complainant corporation who will exculpate petitioner;

(ii)
an admission against interest by a former officer of the owner of Ultra
Corporation (the Corporation that employed petitioner), which actually exercised
control over the affairs of Ultra; and
(iii)
the petitioner wherein he will assert innocence for the first time and explain
why he was unable to do so earlier.
The Court in its July 27, 1994 Resolution, 4 among other things, granted the
substitution but denied the motion for leave to file motion for new trial, "the petition
having been already denied on February 9, 1994."
Notwithstanding, petitioner on August 8, 1994 filed a "MOTION TO ADMIT
ATTACHED MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL", 5 and a "MANIFESTATION AND SECOND
MOTION TO ADMIT" on August 17, 1994. 6 The Court thereafter required the
Solicitor General to comment on said motion and manifestation within ten (10) days
from notice, in a Resolution dated September 7, 1994. 7
In the Comment filed after three (3) extensions of time were given by the Court, 8 the
Solicitor General himself recommends that petitioner be entitled to a new trial,
proceeding from the same impression that a certain Rodolfo Cuenca's (petitioner's
brother) sworn statement is an admission against interest which may ultimately
exonerate petitioner from criminal liability. The full text of Mr. Rodolfo Cuenca's
"Affidavit" 9 reads:

6
RODOLFO M. CUENCA, Filipino, of legal age, with the residence at Urdaneta Village,
Makati, Metro Manila, after being duly sworn and (sic) state that:

(Sgd.)

1.
During the years 1967 until February 1983, I was the President and Chief
Executive Officer of Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines
(CDCP).

RODOLFO M. CUENCA

2.
During that period, I controlled an effective majority of the voting shares of
stock of CDCP.

And the Solicitor General had this to say:

Affiant

Ordinarily, it is too late at this stage to ask for a new trial.


3.
Sometime in 1974, upon my initiative, CDCP together with its affiliated
companies, organized a number of wholly-owned service corporations. One of these
was Ultra International Trading Corporation, whose purpose was to serve and supply
the needs of CDCP and its other subsidiaries with lower value goods and using
Ultra's financial resources.

However, the sworn statement of Rodolfo Cuenca is a declaration against his own
interests under Section 38, Rule 130, Revised Rules of Court and it casts doubt on
the culpability of his brother Edilberto Cuenca, the petitioner. Hence, the alleged
confession of guilt should be given a hard look by the Court.

4.
The directors in Ultra Corporation were nominees of CDCP, and received the
instructions directly from me and or Mr. Pedro Valdez, Chairman of CDCP.

The People is inclined to allow petitioner to establish the genuineness and due
execution of his brother's affidavit in the interest of justice and fair play.

5.
From Ultra's inception, my brother, Mr. Edilberto M. Cuenca was appointed
President and Chief Executive Officer. On March, 1979, I instructed Ultra through my
brother, Mr. Edilberto Cuenca to purchase for CDCP various steel materials. These
materials were received by CDCP and are covered by the trust receipts which are the
subject of this case.

Under Rule 6.01 of Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, prosecutors


who represent the People of the Philippines in a criminal case are not duty bound to
seek conviction of the accused but to see that justice is done. Said Rule 6.01 of
Canon 6 states:

6.
In 1980, CDCP suffered cashflow problems, and consciously omitted
payment to Ultra for the delivery of the said steel materials. As a nominee of CDCP,
Mr. Edilberto M. Cuenca merely acted as agent for CDCP. As such, CDCP provided
him with the guarantees needed to persuade China Bank to issue the said trust
receipts. On the basis of such guarantees, along with informal assurances issued by
CDCP to China Bank that the transactions of Ultra were undertaken for and on behalf
of CDCP and CDCP Mining Corporation, Ultra was able to obtain credit facilities,
among which included the trust receipts subject of this case.
7.
However, Mr. Edilberto M. Cuenca had no power to cause the payment of
said trust receipts because the common Treasurer and controller of both CDCP and
Ultra, Ms. Nora Vinluan, acted under my control and I did not allow her to make the
appropriate payments.
8.
To my knowledge, CDCP has not paid Ultra the amounts corresponding to
the materials covered by the trust receipts subject of this case.
9.
By the time final demand to pay on the trust receipts were (sic) served in
1984, Mr. Edilberto Cuenca was no longer president of Ultra Corporation and could
not have possibly cause (sic) Ultra Corporation to pay.
10.
I have executed this affidavit in order to accept personal responsibility for the
trust receipts subject of this case and to exculpate Mr. Edilberto Cuenca of the
criminal charges which he has asked this Honorable Court to review.
11.
Accordingly, I also undertake to pay the civil obligations arising from the
subject trust receipts.

Canon 6 These canons shall apply to lawyers in government service in the


discharge of their official tasks.
Rule 6.01 The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to
convict but to see that justice is done. The suppression of facts or the concealment of
witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused is highly
reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary action. (Emphasis supplied.)
The above duty is well founded on the instruction of the U.S. Supreme Court in
Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78 (1935) that prosecutors represent a sovereign
"whose obligation to govern impartially is compelling as its obligation to govern at all;
and whose interest, therefore in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case,
but that justice shall be done (Time to Rein in the Prosecution, by Atty. Bruce Fein,
published on p. 11, The Lawyers Review, July 31, 1994). (Emphasis supplied.) 10
Although in "Goduco v. CA" (14 SCRA 282 [1965]) decided some twenty (20) years
ago, this Court ruled that it is not authorized to entertain a motion for reconsideration
and/or new trial predicated on allegedly newly discovered evidence the rationale of
which being:
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is conclusive as to the facts, and cannot be
reviewed by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, in an appeal by certiorari to the
Supreme Court, the latter has no jurisdiction to entertain a motion for new trial on the
ground of newly discovered evidence, for only questions of fact are involved therein.
the rule now appears to have been relaxed, if not abandoned, in subsequent cases
like "Helmuth, Jr. v. People" 11 and "People v. Amparado". 12

7
In both cases, the Court, opting to brush aside technicalities and despite the
opposition of the Solicitor General, granted new trial to the convicted accused
concerned on the basis of proposed testimonies or affidavits of persons which the
Court considered as newly discovered and probably sufficient evidence to reverse the
judgment of conviction. Being similarly circumstanced, there is no nagging reason
why herein petitioner should be denied the same benefit. It becomes all the more
plausible under the circumstances considering that the "People" does not raise any
objection to a new trial, for which reason the Solicitor General ought to be specially
commended for displaying once again such statesmanlike gesture of impartiality. The
Solicitor General's finest hour, indeed.
WHEREFORE, petitioner's Motion For New Trial is hereby GRANTED. Let the
case be RE-OPENED and REMANDED to the court of origin for reception of
petitioner's evidence.
Rule 6.02: Using Public Office to promote private interests
34. CATU VS RELLOSA
FACTS
Catu co-owns a lot and building and contested the possession of one of the
units in the said building by Elizabeth (sister in law of Catu) and Pastor, who ignored
demands to vacate the place. The parties went to the Lupon Tagapamayapa to try to
settle the issue amicably. Respodent Rellosa as Punong Barangay presided over the
conciliation proceedings. The parties failed to settle their case, and the petitioner
brought the case to court.
Surprisingly, Rellosa appeared in court as counsel for Elizabeth and Pastor.
This prompted Catu to file an administrative complaint against Rellosa for his act of
impropriety.
IBP committee on bar discipline, after investigation, ruled that Rellosa
violated Rule 6.031 and RA 67132.
The committee recommended Rellosas
suspension from practice for 1 month.
ISSUE
W/N Rellosa violated Rule 6.03
HELD
No.
Rule 6.03 applies only to a lawyer who has left government service. Rellosa was
an incumbent punong barangay at the time he committed the act complained of.
As such incumbent, the proper law that governs him is RA 7160 3, which
actually allows him to practice his profession. However, being a public official, he is

1 A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service,


accept engagement or employment in connection with any
matter in which he intervened while in service
2 Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officers
and Employees
3 Local Government Code of 1991

also governed by Revised Civil Service Rules, which requires him first to obtain a
written permission from his department head who is the Sec. of DILG. This he failed
to do.
SC ruled that Rellosa violated the lawyers oath (to uphold and obey law),
Rule 1.01 (lawyer shall not engage in unlawful conduct), and Canon 7 (lawyer shall
uphold integrity and dignity of the profession), for a lawyer who disobeys law
disgraces the dignity of the legal profession.
SC punished Rellosa with 6 months suspension and strongly advised him to
look up and take to heart the meaning of the word delicadeza.
Hofilena question: under RA 6713, are lawyers allowed to practice their profession?
Answer: Yes, RA 6713 says if the constitution or law allows it Public officers
however are subject to Civil Service Rules which state that should they engage in
private practice of their profession, they should first secure a written permission from
their department head.
35. ALI VS ATTY BUBONG
Facts: It appears that this disbarment proceeding is an off-shoot of the administrative
caseearlier filed by complainant against respondent. In said case, which was
initiallyinvestigated by the Land Registration Authority (LRA), complainant charged
respondent withillegal exaction; indiscriminate issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. T-2821 inthe names of Lawan Bauduli Datu, Mona Abdullah, Ambobae
Bauduli Datu, Matabae BauduliDatu, Mooamadali Bauduli Datu, and Amenola Bauduli
Datu; and manipulating the criminalcomplaint filed against Hadji Serad Bauduli Datu
and others for violation of the Anti-Squatting Law. It appears from the records that the
Baudali Datus are relatives of respondent.
Issue: did atty. Bubong violate Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?
Held: yes , he did.In the case at bar, respondents grave misconduct, as established
by the Office of thePresident and subsequently affirmed by this Court, deals with his
qualification as a lawyer.By taking advantage of his office as the Register of Deeds of
Marawi City and employing hisknowledge of the rules governing land registration for
the benefit of his relatives,respondent had clearly demonstrated his unfitness not only
to perform the functions of acivil servant but also to retain his membership in the bar.
Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is explicit on this matter. It
reads:Rule 6.02 A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position
to promoteor advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his
public duties.Respondents conduct manifestly undermined the peoples confidence in
the public office heused to occupy and cast doubt on the integrity of the legal
profession. The ill-conceived useof his knowledge of the intricacies of the law calls for
nothing less than the withdrawal of hisprivilege to practice law.As for the letter sent by
Bainar Ali, the deceased complainants daughter, requesting forthe withdrawal of this
case, we cannot possibly favorably act on the same as proceedings of this nature
cannot be interrupted or terminated by reason of desistance, settlement,compromise,
restitution, withdrawal of the charges or failure of the complainant toprosecute the
same. As we have previously explained in the case of
Irene Rayos-Ombac v. Atty. Orlando A. Rayos
A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of
interestof the complainant. What matters is whether, on the basis of the facts borne
out by therecord, the charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct has been duly
proven. This rule ispremised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding
for suspension ordisbarment is not in any sense a civil action where the complainant
is a plaintiff and therespondent lawyer is a defendant. Disciplinary proceedings

8
involve no private interest andafford no redress for private grievance. They are
undertaken and prosecuted solely for thepublic welfare. They are undertaken for the
purpose of preserving courts of justice from theofficial ministration of persons unfit to
practice in them. The attorney is called to answer tothe court for his conduct as an
officer of the court. The complainant or the person whocalled the attention of the court
to the attorneys alleged misconduct is in no sense a party,
36. OLAZO VS JUSTICE TINGA (full text)
BRION, J.:
Before us is the disbarment case against retired Supreme Court Associate Justice
Dante O. Tinga (respondent) filed by Mr. Jovito S. Olazo (complainant). The
respondent is charged of violating Rule 6.02,1 Rule 6.032 and Rule 1.013 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility for representing conflicting interests.
Factual Background
In March 1990, the complainant filed a sales application covering a parcel of land
situated in Barangay Lower Bicutan in the Municipality of Taguig. The land (subject
land) was previously part of Fort Andres Bonifacio that was segregated and declared
open for disposition pursuant to Proclamation No. 2476,4 issued on January 7, 1986,
and Proclamation No. 172,5 issued on October 16, 1987.
To implement Proclamation No. 172, Memorandum No. 119 was issued by then
Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, creating a Committee on Awards whose duty
was to study, evaluate, and make a recommendation on the applications to purchase
the lands declared open for disposition. The Committee on Awards was headed by
the Director of Lands and the respondent was one of the Committee members, in his
official capacity as the Congressman of Taguig and Pateros (from 1987 to 1998); the
respondents district includes the areas covered by the proclamations.
The First Charge: Violation of Rule 6.02
In the complaint,6 the complainant claimed that the respondent abused his position
as Congressman and as a member of the Committee on Awards when he unduly
interfered with the complainants sales application because of his personal interest
over the subject land. The complainant alleged that the respondent exerted undue
pressure and influence over the complainants father, Miguel P. Olazo, for the latter to
contest the complainants sales application and claim the subject land for himself. The
complainant also alleged that the respondent prevailed upon Miguel Olazo to accept,
on various dates, sums of money as payment of the latters alleged rights over the
subject land. The complainant further claimed that the respondent brokered the
transfer of rights of the subject land between Miguel Olazo and Joseph Jeffrey
Rodriguez, who is the nephew of the respondents deceased wife.

The second charge involves another parcel of land within the proclaimed areas
belonging to Manuel Olazo, the complainants brother. The complainant alleged that
the respondent persuaded Miguel Olazo to direct Manuel to convey his rights over the
land to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez. As a result of the respondents promptings, the
rights to the land were transferred to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez.
In addition, the complainant alleged that in May 1999, the respondent met with
Manuel for the purpose of nullifying the conveyance of rights over the land to Joseph
Jeffrey Rodriguez. The complainant claimed that the respondent wanted the rights
over the land transferred to one Rolando Olazo, the Barangay Chairman of Hagonoy,
Taguig. The respondent in this regard executed an "Assurance" where he stated that
he was the lawyer of Ramon Lee and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez.
The Third Charge: Violation of Rule 1.01
The complainant alleged that the respondent engaged in unlawful conduct
considering his knowledge that Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez was not a qualified
beneficiary under Memorandum No. 119. The complainant averred that Joseph
Jeffrey Rodriguez is not a bona fide resident of the proclaimed areas and does not
qualify for an award. Thus, the approval of his sales application by the Committee on
Awards amounted to a violation of the objectives of Proclamation No. 172 and
Memorandum No. 119.
The complainant also alleged that the respondent violated Section 7(b)(2) of the Code
of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees or Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 6713 since he engaged in the practice of law, within the one-year
prohibition period, when he appeared as a lawyer for Ramon Lee and Joseph Jeffrey
Rodriguez before the Committee on Awards.
In his Comment,7 the respondent claimed that the present complaint is the third
malicious charge filed against him by the complainant. The first one was submitted
before the Judicial and Bar Council when he was nominated as an Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court; the second complaint is now pending with the Office of the
Ombudsman, for alleged violation of Section 3(e) and (i) of R.A. No. 3019, as
amended.
With his own supporting documents, the respondent presented a different version of
the antecedent events.

As a result of the respondents abuse of his official functions, the complainants sales
application was denied. The conveyance of rights to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez and
his sales application were subsequently given due course by the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The respondent asserted that Miguel Olazo owned the rights over the subject land
and he later conveyed these rights to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez. Miguel Olazos rights
over the subject land and the transfer of his rights to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez were
duly recognized by the Secretary of the DENR before whom the conflict of rights over
the subject land (between Miguel Olazo and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez, on one hand,
and the complainant on the other hand) was brought. In its decision, the DENR found
Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez a qualified applicant, and his application over the subject
land was given due course. The respondent emphasized that the DENR decision is
now final and executory. It was affirmed by the Office of the President, by the Court of
Appeals and by the Supreme Court.

The Second Charge: Violation of Rule 6.03

The respondent also advanced the following defenses:

9
(1) He denied the complainants allegation that Miguel Olazo told him (complainant)
that the respondent had been orchestrating to get the subject land. The respondent
argued that this allegation was without corroboration and was debunked by the
affidavits of Miguel Olazo and Francisca Olazo, the complainants sister.
(2) He denied the complainants allegation that he offered the complainant
P50,000.00 for the subject land and that he (the respondent) had exerted undue
pressure and influence on Miguel Olazo to claim the rights over the subject land. The
respondent also denied that he had an inordinate interest in the subject land.

Committee on Awards when he represented Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez on May 24,


1999.
Lastly, the respondent claimed that he cannot be held liable under Rule 6.03 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility since he did not intervene in the disposition of the
conflicting applications of the complainant and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez because the
applications were not submitted to the Committee on Awards when he was still a
member.
The Courts Ruling

(3) He claimed that there was nothing wrong in signing as a witness in Miguel Olazos
affidavit where the latter asserted his rights over the subject land. The affidavit merely
attested to the truth.
(4) He asserted that he and Miguel Olazo were cousins and that the latter decided to
sell his rights over the subject land for the medical treatment of his heart condition
and the illness of his daughter, Francisca Olazo. The respondent insisted that the
money he extended to them was a form of loan.
(5) The respondents participation in the transaction between Miguel Olazo and
Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez involved the payment of the loan that the respondent
extended to Miguel Olazo.
(6) Manuels belated and secondhand allegation in his Sinumpaang Salaysay, dated
January 20, 2000, regarding what his father told him, cannot prevail over his earlier
Sinumpaang Salaysay with Francisca Olazo, dated August 2, 1997. In the said
Sinumpaang Salaysay, Manuel categorically asserted that his father Miguel Olazo,
not the complainant, was the farmer-beneficiary. Manuel also expressed his
agreement to the transfer of rights (Pagpapatibay Sa Paglilipat Ng Karapatan) in favor
of Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez, and the withdrawal of his fathers application to give way
to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguezs application.
(7) The complainants allegation that the respondent had pressured and influenced
Miguel Olazo to sell the subject land was not sufficient as it was lacking in specificity
and corroboration. The DENR decision was clear that the complainant had no rights
over the subject land.
The respondent additionally denied violating Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. He alleged that during his third term as Congressman from 1995 to
1997, the conflicting applications of the complainant, Miguel Olazo and Joseph
Jeffrey Rodriguez were not included in the agenda for deliberation of the Committee
on Awards. Rather, their conflicting claims and their respective supporting documents
were before the Office of the Regional Director, NCR of the DENR. This office ruled
over the conflicting claims only on August 2, 2000. This ruling became the basis of the
decision of the Secretary of the DENR.
Similarly, the respondent cannot be held liable under Rule 6.02 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility since the provision applies to lawyers in the government
service who are allowed by law to engage in private law practice and to those who,
though prohibited from engaging in the practice of law, have friends, former
associates and relatives who are in the active practice of law.8 In this regard, the
respondent had already completed his third term in Congress and his stint in the

Generally, a lawyer who holds a government office may not be disciplined as a


member of the Bar for misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a government
official.9 He may be disciplined by this Court as a member of the Bar only when his
misconduct also constitutes a violation of his oath as a lawyer.10
The issue in this case calls for a determination of whether the respondents actions
constitute a breach of the standard ethical conduct first, while the respondent was
still an elective public official and a member of the Committee on Awards; and
second, when he was no longer a public official, but a private lawyer who represented
a client before the office he was previously connected with.
After a careful evaluation of the pleadings filed by both parties and their respective
pieces of evidence, we resolve to dismiss the administrative complaint.
Accountability of a government lawyer in public office
Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility highlights the continuing standard
of ethical conduct to be observed by government lawyers in the discharge of their
official tasks. In addition to the standard of conduct laid down under R.A. No. 6713 for
government employees, a lawyer in the government service is obliged to observe the
standard of conduct under the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Since public office is a public trust, the ethical conduct demanded upon lawyers in the
government service is more exacting than the standards for those in private practice.
Lawyers in the government service are subject to constant public scrutiny under
norms of public accountability. They also bear the heavy burden of having to put
aside their private interest in favor of the interest of the public; their private activities
should not interfere with the discharge of their official functions.11
The first charge involves a violation of Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. It imposes the following restrictions in the conduct of a government
lawyer:
A lawyer in the government service shall not use his public position to promote or
advance his private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his public duties.
The above provision prohibits a lawyer from using his or her public position to: (1)
promote private interests; (2) advance private interests; or (3) allow private interest to
interfere with his or her public duties. We previously held that the restriction extends
to all government lawyers who use their public offices to promote their private
interests.12

10
In Huyssen v. Gutierrez,13 we defined promotion of private interest to include
soliciting gifts or anything of monetary value in any transaction requiring the approval
of his or her office, or may be affected by the functions of his or her office. In Ali v.
Bubong,14 we recognized that private interest is not limited to direct interest, but
extends to advancing the interest of relatives. We also ruled that private interest
interferes with public duty when the respondent uses the office and his or her
knowledge of the intricacies of the law to benefit relatives.15
In Vitriolo v. Dasig,16 we found the act of the respondent (an official of the
Commission on Higher Education) of extorting money from persons with applications
or requests pending before her office to be a serious breach of Rule 6.02 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.17 We reached the same conclusion in Huyssen, where
we found the respondent (an employee of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation)
liable under Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, based on the
evidence showing that he demanded money from the complainant who had a pending
application for visas before his office.18
Similarly, in Igoy v. Soriano19 we found the respondent (a Court Attorney of this
Court) liable for violating Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, after
considering the evidence showing that he demanded and received money from the
complainant who had a pending case before this Court.
Applying these legal precepts to the facts of the case, we find the absence of any
concrete proof that the respondent abused his position as a Congressman and as a
member of the Committee on Awards in the manner defined under Rule 6.02 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.
First, the records do not clearly show if the complainants sales application was ever
brought before the Committee on Awards. By the complaints own account, the
complainant filed a sales application in March 1990 before the Land Management
Bureau. By 1996, the complainants sales application was pending before the Office
of the Regional Director, NCR of the DENR due to the conflicting claims of Miguel
Olazo, and, subsequently, of Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez. The records show that it was
only on August 2, 2000 that the Office of the Regional Director, NCR of the DENR
rendered its decision, or after the term of the respondents elective public office and
membership to the Committee on Awards, which expired in 1997.
These circumstances do not show that the respondent did in any way promote,
advance or use his private interests in the discharge of his official duties. To repeat,
since the sales application was not brought before the Committee on Awards when
the respondent was still a member, no sufficient basis exists to conclude that he used
his position to obtain personal benefits. We note in this regard that the denial of the
complainants sales application over the subject land was made by the DENR, not by
the Committee on Awards.

disclaimer is the nearest relevant statement on the respondents alleged participation,


and we find it to be in the respondents favor.
Third, the other documents executed by Miguel Olazo, that the complainant
presented to support his claim that the respondent exerted undue pressure and
influence over his father (namely: the letter, dated June 22, 1996, to the DENR
Regional Director-NCR;21 the Sinumpaang Salaysay dated July 12, 1996;22 and the
Sinumpaang Salaysay dated July 17, 199623), do not contain any reference to the
alleged pressure or force exerted by the respondent over Miguel Olazo. The
documents merely showed that the respondent helped Miguel Olazo in having his
farm lots (covered by the proclaimed areas) surveyed. They also showed that the
respondent merely acted as a witness in the Sinumpaang Salaysay dated July 17,
1996. To our mind, there are neutral acts that may be rendered by one relative to
another, and do not show how the respondent could have influenced the decision of
Miguel Olazo to contest the complainants sales application. At the same time, we
cannot give any credit to the Sinumpaang Salaysay, dated January 20, 2000, of
Manuel. They are not only hearsay but are contrary to what Miguel Olazo states on
the record. We note that Manuel had no personal knowledge, other than what Miguel
Olazo told him, of the force allegedly exerted by the respondent against Miguel Olazo.
In turn, the respondent was able to provide a satisfactory explanation - backed by
corroborating evidence - of the nature of the transaction in which he gave the various
sums of money to Miguel Olazo and Francisca Olazo in the year 1995. In her
affidavits dated May 25, 200324 and July 21, 2010,25 Francisca Olazo corroborated
the respondents claim that the sums of money he extended to her and Miguel Olazo
were loans used for their medical treatment. Miguel Olazo, in his Sinumpaang
Salaysay dated May 25, 2003, asserted that some of the money borrowed from the
respondent was used for his medical treatment and hospitalization expenses.
The affidavit of Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez further corroborated the respondents claim
that the latters involvement was limited to being paid the loans he gave to Miguel
Olazo and Francisca Olazo. According to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez, he and Miguel
Olazo agreed that a portion of the loan would be directly paid by Joseph Jeffrey
Rodriguez to the respondent and the amount paid would be considered as part of the
purchase price of the subject land.26
It also bears stressing that a facial comparison of the documentary evidence,
specifically the dates when the sums of money were extended by the respondent on
February 21, 1995, September 2, 1995 and October 17, 1995, and the date when the
Deed of Conveyance27 over the subject land was executed or on October 25, 1995,
showed that the sums of money were extended prior to the transfer of rights over the
subject land. These pieces of evidence are consistent with the respondents allegation
that Miguel Olazo decided to sell his rights over the subject land to pay the loans he
obtained from the respondent and, also, to finance his continuing medical treatment.
Private practice of law after separation from public office

Second, the complainants allegation that the respondent "orchestrated" the efforts to
get the subject land does not specify how the orchestration was undertaken. What
appears clear in the records is the uncorroborated Sinumpaang Salaysay of Miguel
Olazo, dated May 25, 2003,20 categorically stating that the respondent had no
interest in the subject land, and neither was he a contracting party in the transfer of
his rights over the subject land. In the absence of any specific charge, Olazos

As proof that the respondent was engaged in an unauthorized practice of law after his
separation from the government service, the complainant presented the Sinumpaang
Salaysay, dated January 20, 2000, of Manuel and the document entitled "Assurance"
where the respondent legally represented Ramon Lee and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez.

11
Nevertheless, the foregoing pieces of evidence fail to persuade us to conclude that
there was a violation of Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
In Cayetano v. Monsod,28 we defined the practice of law as any activity, in and out of
court, that requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience. Moreover, we ruled that to engage in the practice of law is to perform
those acts which are characteristics of the profession; to practice law is to give notice
or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree
of legal knowledge or skill.
Under the circumstances, the foregoing definition should be correlated with R.A. No.
6713 and Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which impose certain
restrictions on government lawyers to engage in private practice after their separation
from the service.
Section 7(b)(2) of R.A. No. 6713 reads:

employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in the
said service. The keyword in Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is
the term "intervene" which we previously interpreted to include an act of a person who
has the power to influence the proceedings.31 Otherwise stated, to fall within the
ambit of Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the respondent must
have accepted engagement or employment in a matter which, by virtue of his public
office, he had previously exercised power to influence the outcome of the
proceedings.1avvphi1
As the records show, no evidence exists showing that the respondent previously
interfered with the sales application covering Manuels land when the former was still
a member of the Committee on Awards. The complainant, too, failed to sufficiently
establish that the respondent was engaged in the practice of law. At face value, the
legal service rendered by the respondent was limited only in the preparation of a
single document. In Borja, Sr. v. Sulyap, Inc.,32 we specifically described private
practice of law as one that contemplates a succession of acts of the same nature
habitually or customarily holding ones self to the public as a lawyer.

Section 7.Prohibited Acts and Transactions. In addition to acts and


omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and
existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any
public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
xxxx
(b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto. Public officials and
employees during their incumbency shall not:
xxxx
(2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the
Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with
their official functions; x x x
These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one (1) year after
resignation, retirement, or separation from public office, except in the case of
subparagraph (b) (2) above, but the professional concerned cannot practice his
profession in connection with any matter before the office he used to be with, in which
case the one-year prohibition shall likewise apply.
As a rule, government lawyers are not allowed to engage in the private practice of
their profession during their incumbency.29 By way of exception, a government
lawyer can engage in the practice of his or her profession under the following
conditions: first, the private practice is authorized by the Constitution or by the law;
and second, the practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with his or her official
functions.30 The last paragraph of Section 7 provides an exception to the exception.
In case of lawyers separated from the government service who are covered under
subparagraph (b) (2) of Section 7 of R.A. No. 6713, a one-year prohibition is imposed
to practice law in connection with any matter before the office he used to be with.
Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility echoes this restriction and
prohibits lawyers, after leaving the government service, to accept engagement or

In any event, even granting that respondents act fell within the definition of practice of
law, the available pieces of evidence are insufficient to show that the legal
representation was made before the Committee on Awards, or that the Assurance
was intended to be presented before it. These are matters for the complainant to
prove and we cannot consider any uncertainty in this regard against the respondents
favor.
Violation of Rule 1.01
Rule 1.01 prohibits a lawyer from engaging in unlawful, immoral or deceitful conduct.
From the above discussion, we already struck down the complainants allegation that
respondent engaged in an unauthorized practice of law when he appeared as a
lawyer for Ramon Lee and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez before the Committee on
Awards.
We find that a similar treatment should be given to the complainants claim that the
respondent violated paragraph 4(1)33 of Memorandum No. 119 when he encouraged
the sales application of Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez despite his knowledge that his
nephew was not a qualified applicant. The matter of Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguezs
qualifications to apply for a sales application over lots covered by the proclaimed
areas has been resolved in the affirmative by the Secretary of the DENR in the
decision dated April 3, 2004,34 when the DENR gave due course to his sales
application over the subject land. We are, at this point, bound by this finding.
As pointed out by the respondent, the DENR decision was affirmed by the Office of
the President, the Court of Appeals35 and, finally, the Court, per our Minute
Resolution, dated October 11, 2006, in G.R. No. 173453. In our Resolution, we
dismissed the petition for review on certiorari filed by the complainant after finding,
among others, that no reversible error was committed by the Court of Appeals in its
decision.36
All told, considering the serious consequences of the penalty of disbarment or
suspension of a member of the Bar, the burden rests on the complainant to present
clear, convincing and satisfactory proof for the Court to exercise its disciplinary

12
powers.37 The respondent generally is under no obligation to prove his/her
defense,38 until the burden shifts to him/her because of what the complainant has
proven. Where no case has in the first place been proven, nothing has to be rebutted
in defense.39
With this in mind, we resolve to dismiss the administrative case against the
respondent for the complainants failure to prove by clear and convincing evidence
that the former committed unethical infractions warranting the exercise of the Courts
disciplinary power.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DISMISS the administrative case for
violation of Rule 6.02, Rule 6.03 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, filed against retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Dante O. Tinga,
for lack of merit.

In a letter (March 9, 1999), respondent promised to release the amount not later than
9 March 1999. But he failed to do so.
World Mission for Jesus sent another demand letter
In a letter explaining the alleged reasons for the delay in the release of deposited
amount (19 March 1999), he enclosed two blank checks postdated to 6 April and 20
April 1999 and authorized complainant to fill in the amounts.
-

SO ORDERED.

When complainant deposited the postdated checks on their due dates, the same
were dishonored because respondent had stopped payment on the same.
-

Rule 6.03: Former Officials not to accept Engagement


37. Gisela Huyssen v. Atty. Fred L. Gutierrez
Facts:
A.

In a letter (25 April 1999) respondent explained again for stopping payments and
gave complainant five postdated checks with the assurance that said checks would
be honoured
-

A Complaint for disbarment was filed by Huyssen against respondent Atty. Fred L.
Gutierrez. Allegations are as follows:
-

Complainant deposited the five postdated checks on their due dates but they were all
dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds or payment thereon was
ordered stopped by respondent.
-

that in 1995, while respondent was still connected with the Bureau of Immigration and
Deportation (BID), she (petitioner herein) and her three sons, who are all American
citizens, applied for Philippine Visas under Section 13[g] of the Immigration Law
Respondent told the petitioner that their visa applications will be acted favourably if
they deposit a certain sum of money for a period of one year which could be
withdrawn after one year.
Complainant deposited with respondent on six different occasions from April 1995 to
April 1996 the total amount of US$20,000, believing it was required by law.
Respondent prepared receipts/vouchers as proofs that he received the amounts
deposited by the complainant but refused to give her copies of official receipts despite
her demands
Complainant demanded the deposited sum after a year but respondent failed to
return.
Thus, the World Mission for Jesus (of which complainant was a member) sent a
demand letter to respondent for the immediate return of the money
-

Hence, complainant referred the matter to a lawyer who sent two demand letters to
respondent, which remained unheeded. B.
Complaint disbarment was filed by Huyssen in the Commission on Bar Discipline of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). On 15 November 2000, Victor C.
Fernandez, Director for Bar Discipline, required respondent to submit his answer
within 15 days from receipt thereof C.
Counter-Affidavit dated 2 July 2001, respondent denied the allegations in the
complaint claiming that having never physically received the money mentioned in the
complaint, he could not have appropriated or pocketed the same. He said the amount
was used as payment for services rendered for obtaining the permanent visas in the
Philippines. Read defense below:
a)Through a close-friend, Jovie Galaraga, a Pastor and likewise a friend of the
complainant, the latter was introduced to me at my office at the Bureau of Immigration
with a big problem concerning their stay in the Philippines, herself and three sons,
one of which is already of major age while the two others were still minors then. Their
problem was the fact that since they have been staying in the Philippines for almost
ten (10) years as holders of missionary visas (9G) they could no longer extend their
said status as under the law and related polic[i]es of the government, missionary visa
holders could only remain as such for ten (10) years after which they could no longer
extend their said status and have to leave the country. b)Studying their case and
being U.S. Citizen (sic), I advised them that they better secure a permanent visa
under Section 3 of the Philippine Immigration Law otherwise known as Quota Visa
and thereafter, provided them with list of the requirements in obtaining the said visa,

13
one of which is that the applicant must have a $40,000 deposited in the bank. I also
inform that her son Marcus Huyssen, who was already of major age, has to have the
same amount of show money separate of her money as he would be issued separate
visa, while her two minor children would be included as her dependents in her said
visa application. I advised them to get a lawyer (sic), complainant further requested
me to refer to her to a lawyer to work for their application, which I did and contacted
the late Atty. Mendoza, an Immigration lawyer, to do the job for the complainant and
her family. c)The application was filed, processed and followed-up by the said Atty.
Mendoza until the same was finished and the corresponding permanent visa were
obtained by the complainant and her family. Her son Marcus Huyssen was given an
independent permanent visa while the other two were made as dependents of the
complainant. In between the processing of the papers and becoming very close to the
complainant, I became the intermediary between complainant and their counsel so
much that every amount that the latter would request for whatever purpose was
coursed through me which request were then transmitted to the complainant and
every amount of money given by the complainant to their counsel were coursed thru
me which is the very reason why my signature appears in the vouchers attached in
the complaint-affidavit; d)That as time goes by, I noticed that the amount appeared to
be huge for services of a lawyer that I myself began to wonder why and, to satisfy my
curiosity, I met Atty. Mendoza and inquired from him regarding the matter and the
following facts were revealed to me: 1)That what was used by the complainant as her
show money from the bank is not really her money but money of World Mission for
Jesus, which therefore is a serious violation of the Immigration Law as there was a
misrepresentation. This fact was confirmed later when the said entity sent their
demand letter to the undersigned affiant and which is attached to the complaintaffidavit; ECISAD 2)That worst, the same amount used by the complainant, was the
very same amount used by her son Marcus Huyssen, in obtaining his separate
permanent visa. These acts of the complainant and her son could have been a
ground for deportation and likewise constitute criminal offense under the Immigration
Law and the Revised Penal Code. These could have been the possible reason why
complainant was made to pay for quite huge amount. e)That after they have secured
their visas, complainant and her family became very close to undersigned and my
family that I was even invited to their residence several times; f)However after three
years, complainant demanded the return of their money given and surprisingly they
want to recover the same from me. By twist of fate, Atty. Mendoza is no longer
around, he died sometime 1997; g)That it is unfortunate that the real facts of the
matter is now being hidden and that the amount of money is now being sought to be
recovered from me; h)That the fact is I signed the vouchers and being a lawyer I
know the consequences of having signed the same and therefore I had to answer for
it and pay. I tried to raised the fund needed but up to the present my standby loan
application has not been released and was informed that the same would only be
forthcoming second week of August. The same should have been released last March
but was aborted due to prevalent condition. The amount to be paid, according to the
complainant has now become doubled plus attorney's fees of P200,000.00.

Complainant filed her Formal Offer of Evidence F.


11 settings of hearings were all rest by respondent, who was allegedly out of the
country to attend to his client's needs. The last, on 28 September 2004, respondent
failed to appear, despite due notice and without just cause. G.
5 November 2004

Investigating Commissioner Milagros V. San


recommending the disbarment of respondent
a.

Juan submitted her

report

Basis: From the letters sent by respondent, he made it appear that the US$20,000
was officially deposited with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. However, if
this is true, how come only Petty Cash Vouchers were issued by respondent to
complainant to prove his receipt of the said sum and official receipts therefore were
never issued by the said Bureau? Also, why would respondent issue his personal
checks to cover the return of the money to complainant if said amount was really
officially deposited with the Bureau of Immigration? All these actions of respondent
point to the inescapable conclusion that respondent received the money from
complainant and appropriated the same for his personal use. It should also be noted
that respondent has failed to establish that the "late Atty. Mendoza" referred to in his
Counter-Affidavit really exists. There is not one correspondence from Atty. Mendoza
regarding the visa application of complainant and his family, and complainant has
also testified that she never met this Atty. Mendoza referred to by respondent.
Considering that respondent was able to perpetrate the fraud by taking advantage of
his position with the Board of Special Inquiry of the Bureau of Immigration and
Deportation, makes it more reprehensible as it has caused damage to the reputation
and integrity of said office. It is submitted that respondent has violated Rule 6.02 of
Canon 6 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
H.
4 November 2004

IBP Board of Governors approved the Investigating Commissioner's report with


modification. Atty. Fred L. Gutierrez was
DISBARRED
from the practice of law and
ordered to return
the amount with legal interest from receipt of the money until payment. a.
The case was also referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for prosecution for
violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts and to the Department of Justice for
appropriate administrative action

D.
4 September 2002 and April 2003

Complainant submitted her evidence E.


25 August 2003

Issue:
WON respondent has violated Rule 6.02 of Canon 6 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and must severely penalized.
Held: YES.

14
SC explained that:
A.
Lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official task have more
restrictions than lawyers in private practice. Want of moral integrity is to be more
severely condemned in a lawyer who holds a responsible public office. B.
Defense of respondent remains unsubstantiated as he failed to submit evidence on
the matter. While he claims that Atty. Mendoza already died, he did not present the
death certificate of said Atty. Mendoza. Worse, the action of respondent in shifting the
blame to someone who has been naturally silenced by fate, is not only impudent but
downright ignominious. When the integrity of a member of the bar is challenged, it is
not enough that he deny the charges against him; he must meet the issue and
overcome the evidence against him. He must show proof that he still maintains that
degree of morality and integrity which at all times is expected of him. In the case at
bar, respondent clearly fell short of his duty. Records show that even though he was
given the opportunity to answer the charges and controvert the evidence against him
in a formal investigation, he failed, without any plausible reason, to appear several
times whenever the case was set for reception of his evidence despite due notice.
The defense of denial proferred by respondent is, thus, not convincing. It is settled
that denial is inherently a weak defense. To be believed, it must be buttressed by a
strong evidence of non-culpability; otherwise, such denial is purely self-serving and is
with nil evidentiary value.
C.
When respondent issued the postdated checks as his moral obligation, he indirectly
admitted the charge. Such admissions were also apparent in the letters of respondent
to complainant. (lifted parts of the letter were quoted by SC decision) D.
Normally, this is not the actuation of one who is falsely accused of appropriating the
money of another. As correctly observed by the Investigating Commissioner,
respondent would not have issued his personal checks if said amount were officially
deposited with the BID. This is an admission of misconduct. E.
WHAT WAS VIOLATED IN THE CPR?
a.
Respondent's act of asking money from complainant in consideration of the latter's
pending application for visas is violative of Rule 1.01, which prohibits members of the
Bar from engaging or participating in any unlawful, dishonest, or deceitful acts. b.
Moreover, said acts constitute a breach of Rule 6.02 of the Code which bars lawyers
in government service from promoting their private interest. Promotion of private
interest includes soliciting gifts or anything of monetary value in any transaction
requiring the approval of his office or which may be affected by the functions of his
office.
i.
Respondent's conduct in office betrays the integrity and good moral character
required from all lawyers, especially from one occupying a high public office. A lawyer
in public office is expected not only to refrain from any act or omission which might
tend to lessen the trust and confidence of the citizenry in government; he must also
uphold the dignity of the legal profession at all times and observe a high standard of
honesty and fair dealing. Otherwise said, a lawyer in government service is a keeper

of the public faith and is burdened with high degree of social responsibility, perhaps
higher than his brethren in private practice.
ii.
In a desperate attempt to put up a smoke or to camouflage his misdeed, he went on
committing another by issuing several worthless checks, thereby compounding his
case.
iii.
Respondent's acts are more despicable. Not only did he misappropriate the money of
complainant; worse, he had the gall to prepare receipts with the letterhead of the BID
and issued checks to cover up his misdeeds. Clearly, he does not deserve to
continue, being a member of the bar.
iv.
Time and again, we have declared that the practice of law is a noble profession. It is a
special privilege bestowed only upon those who are competent intellectually,
academically and morally. A lawyer must at all times conduct himself, especially in his
dealings with his clients and the public at large, with honesty and integrity in a manner
beyond reproach. He must faithfully perform his duties to society, to the bar, to the
courts and to his clients. A violation of the high standards of the legal profession
subjects the lawyer to administrative sanctions which includes suspension and
disbarment. More importantly, possession of good moral character must be
continuous as a requirement to the enjoyment of the privilege of law practice;
otherwise, the loss thereof is a ground for the revocation of such privilege. v.
Indeed, the primary objective of administrative cases against lawyers is not only to
punish and discipline the erring individual lawyers but also to safeguard the
administration of justice by protecting the courts and the public from the misconduct
of lawyers, and to remove from the legal profession persons whose utter disregard of
their lawyer's oath have proven them unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed in
them as members of the bar. These pronouncement gain practical significance in the
case at bar considering that respondent was a former member of the Board of Special
Inquiry of the BID. It bears stressing also that government lawyers who are public
servants owe fidelity to the public service, a public trust. As such, government lawyers
should be more sensitive to their professional obligations as their disreputable
conduct is more likely to be magnified in the public eye. As a lawyer, who was also a
public officer, respondent miserably failed to cope with the strict demands and high
standards of the legal profession. vi.
Respondent's acts constitute gross misconduct; and consistent with the need to
maintain the high standards of the Bar and thus preserve the faith of the public in the
legal profession, respondent deserves the ultimate penalty of expulsion from the
esteemed brotherhood of lawyers F.
Atty. Fred L. Gutierrez is hereby DISBARRED from the practice of law and ordered to
return the amount he received from the complainant with legal interest from his
receipt of the money until payment. a.
This case shall be referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for criminal prosecution
for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acts and to the Department of Justice
for appropriate administrative action.

15
38. PNB v. CEDO (full text)
BIDIN, J.:
In a verified letter-complaint dated August 15, 1991, complainant Philippine National
Bank charged respondent Atty. Telesforo S. Cedo, former Asst. Vice-President of the
Asset Management Group of complainant bank with violation of Canon 6, Rule 6.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility, thus:
A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said
service.
by appearing as counsel for individuals who had transactions with complainant bank
in which respondent during his employment with aforesaid bank, had intervened.
Complainant averred that while respondent was still in its employ, he participated in
arranging the sale of steel sheets (denominated as Lots 54-M and 55-M) in favor of
Milagros Ong Siy for P200,000. He even "noted" the gate passes issued by his
subordinate, Mr. Emmanuel Elefan, in favor of Mrs. Ong Siy authorizing the pull-out of
the steel sheets from the DMC Man Division Compound. When a civil action arose
out of this transaction between Mrs. Ong Siy and complainant bank before the
Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 146, respondent who had since left the employ
of complainant bank, appeared as one of the counsels of Mrs. Ong Siy.
Similarly, when the same transaction became the subject of an administrative case
filed by complainant bank against his former subordinate Emmanuel Elefan, for grave
misconduct and dishonesty, respondent appeared as counsel for Elefan only to be
later disqualified by the Civil Service Commission.
Moreover, while respondent was still the Asst. Vice President of complainants Asset
Management Group, he intervened in the handling of the loan account of the spouses
Ponciano and Eufemia Almeda with complainant bank by writing demand letters to
the couple. When a civil action ensued between complainant bank and the Almeda
spouses as a result of this loan account, the latter were represented by the law firm
"Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates" of which respondent is one of the Senior
Partners.
In his Comment on the complaint, respondent admitted that he appeared as counsel
for Mrs. Ong Siy but only with respect to the execution pending appeal of the RTC
decision. He alleged that he did not participate in the litigation of the case before the
trial court. With respect to the case of the Almeda spouses, respondent alleged that
he never appeared as counsel for them. He contended that while the law firm "Cedo
Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates" is designated as counsel of record, the case is actually
handled only by Atty. Pedro Ferrer. Respondent averred that he did not enter into a
general partnership with Atty. Pedro Ferrer nor with the other lawyers named therein.
They are only using the aforesaid name to designate a law firm maintained by
lawyers, who although not partners, maintain one office as well as one clerical and
supporting staff. Each one of them handles their own cases independently and
individually receives the revenues therefrom which are not shared among them.
In the resolution of this Court dated January 27, 1992, this case was referred to the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), for investigation, report and recommendation.

During the investigation conducted by the IBP, it was discovered that respondent was
previously fined by this Court in the amount of P1,000.00 in connection with G.R. No.
94456 entitled "Milagros Ong Siy vs. Hon. Salvador Tensuan, et al." for forum
shopping, where respondent appeared as counsel for petitioner Milagros Ong Siy
"through the law firm of Cedo Ferrer Maynigo and Associates."
The IBP further found that the charges herein against respondent were fully
substantiated. Respondent's averment that the law firm handling the case of the
Almeda spouses is not a partnership deserves scant consideration in the light of the
attestation of complainant's counsel, Atty. Pedro Singson, that in one of the hearings
of the Almeda spouses' case, respondent attended the same with his partner Atty.
Ferrer, and although he did not enter his appearance, he was practically dictating to
Atty. Ferrer what to say and argue before the court. Furthermore, during the hearing
of the application for a writ of injunction in the same case, respondent impliedly
admitted being the partner of Atty. Ferrer, when it was made of record that respondent
was working in the same office as Atty. Ferrer.
Moreover, the IBP noted that assuming the alleged set-up of the firm is true, it is in
itself a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule 15.02) since the
clients secrets and confidential records and information are exposed to the other
lawyers and staff members at all times.
From the foregoing, the IBP found a deliberate intent on the part of respondent to
devise ways and means to attract as clients former borrowers of complainant bank
since he was in the best position to see the legal weaknesses of his former employer,
a convincing factor for the said clients to seek his professional service. In sum, the
IBP saw a deliberate sacrifice by respondent of his ethics in consideration of the
money he expected to earn.
The IBP thus recommended the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for
3 years.
The records show that after the Board of Governors of the IBP had, on October 4,
1994, submitted to this Court its Report and recommendation in this case, respondent
filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated October 25, 1994 of the recommendation
contained in the said Report with the IBP Board of Governors. On December 12,
1994, respondent also filed another "Motion to Set Hearing" before this Court, the
aforesaid Motion for Reconsideration. In resolving this case, the Court took into
consideration the aforesaid pleadings.
In addition to the findings of the IBP, this Court finds this occasion appropriate to
emphasize the paramount importance of avoiding the representation of conflicting
interests. In the similar case of Pasay Law and Conscience Union, Inc. vs. Paz, (95
SCRA 24 [1980]) where a former Legal Officer and Legal Prosecutor of PARGO who
participated in the investigation of the Anti-Graft case against Mayor Pablo Cuneta
later on acted as counsel for the said Mayor in the same anti-graft case, this Court,
citing Nombrado vs. Hernandez (26 SCRA 13 119681) ruled:
The Solicitor General is of the opinion, and we find no reason to disagree with him,
that even if respondent did not use against his client any information or evidence
acquired by him as counsel it cannot be denied that he did become privy to

16
information regarding the ownership of the parcel of land which was later litigated in
the forcible entry case, for it was the dispute over the land that triggered the mauling
incident which gave rise to the criminal action for physical injuries. This Court's
remarks in Hilado vs. David, 84 Phil. 571, are apropos:

Rule 7.03: No Engage in Adverse Conduct nor Behave in Scandalous Manner


39. ZAGUIRRE VS. CASTILLO

"Communications between attorney and client are, in a great number of litigations, a


complicated affair, consisting of entangled relevant and irrelevant, secret and wellknown facts. In the complexity of what is said in the course of dealings between an
attorney and client, inquiry of the nature suggested would lead to the revelation, in
advance of the trial, of other matters that might only further prejudice the
complainant's cause."

Complainant and respondent had their illicit relationship while the latter was
preparing to take the bar examinations. After the admission of the respondent to the
Philippine Bar, complainant learned that he was already married. Respondent, who by
now is a lawyer, executed an affidavit, admitting his relationship with the complainant
and recognizing the unborn child she was carrying as his. After the birth of the baby,
however, respondent had started to refuse recognizing the child and giving her any
form of support. After due hearing, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline found Atty.
Castillo guilty of gross immoral conduct and recommends that he be meted the
penalty of indefinite suspension from the practice of law.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the penalty imposed is proper.
HELD:
YES. Respondent violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility; Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the same Code.
The conduct must not only be immoral, but grossly immoral. That is, it must be
so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a
high degree or committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to
shock the common sense of decency.
Siring a child with a woman other than his wife is a conduct way below the
standards of morality required of every lawyer. Moreover, the attempt of respondent to
renege on his notarized statement recognizing and undertaking to support his child by
Carmelita demonstrates a certain unscrupulousness on his part which is highly
censurable, unbecoming a member of a noble profession, tantamount to selfstultification.
The rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for any
misconduct, even if it pertains to his private activities, as long as it shows him to be
wanting in moral character, honesty, probity or good demeanor.

Whatever may be said as to whether or not respondent utilized against his former
client information given to him in a professional capacity, the mere fact of their
previous relationship should have precluded him from appearing as counsel for the
other side in the forcible entry case. In the case of Hilado vs. David, supra, this
Tribunal further said:
Hence the necessity of setting the existence of the bare relationship of attorney and
client as the yardstick for testing incompatibility of interests. This stern rule is
designed not alone to prevent the dishonest practitioner from fraudulent conduct, but
as well to protect the honest lawyer from unfounded suspicion of unprofessional
practice. . . . It is founded on principles of public policy, of good taste. As has been
said in another case, the question is not necessarily one of the rights of the parties,
but as to whether the attorney has adhered to proper professional standard. With
these thoughts in mind, it behooves attorney, like Caesar's wife, not only to keep
inviolate the client's confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and
double dealing. Only thus can litigants. be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their
attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.
The foregoing disquisition on conflicting interest applies with equal force and effect to
respondent in the case at bar. Having been an executive of complainant bank,
respondent now seeks to litigate as counsel for the opposite side, a case against his
former employer involving a transaction which he formerly handled while still an
employee of complainant, in violation of Canon 6 of the Canons of Professional Ethics
on adverse influence and conflicting interests, to wit:
It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests, except by express conflicting
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Within the meaning
of this canon, a lawyer represents conflicting interest when, in behalf on one client, it
is his duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires him to oppose.
ACCORDINGLY, this Court resolves to SUSPEND respondent ATTY.
TELESFORO S. CEDO from the practice of law for THREE (3) YEARS, effective
immediately.

FACTS:

40. IN RE GALANG
Doctrine:
That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar
examinations of the fact that he had been with, or indicted for an alleged crime, as a
ground for revocation of his license to practice law, is well settled.
(full text on separate file)
41. IN RE ARTHUR M CUEVAS
FACTS

Petitioner Arthur Cuevas Jr. recently passed the bar examinations, but was
precluded from taking the lawyers 1996 oath, pending approval from the
Supreme Court

This stems from petitioners participation in the initiation rites of the Lex
Talionis Fraternitas of Sand Beda where neophyte Raul Camaligan died as a
result of hazing.

Cuevas was charged with Imprudence Resulting in Homicide.

He applied for and was granted probation, then was discharged on May
1995

17

May 1997, he applied to Court that he may take the lawyers oath and
attached to his petition certifications attesting to his righteous, peaceful and
law abiding character.

ISSUE
May Cuevas take the lawyers oath, taking in consideration the certifications
attesting to his righteous, peaceful and law abiding character?
HELD
Yes.
Though his deliberate participation in the initiation rites indicates absence of
that moral fitness required for admission into the bar, the court is willing to give the
petitioner a chance based on the various certifications: they sufficiently show that he
has a righteous, peaceful and civil oriented character; and he has proven that he has
taken steps to purge himself of his deficiency in moral character and atone for the
death of Raul Camaligan.
42. SAMANIEGO VS FERRER
(Complaint for immorality, abandonment and willful refusal to give support to an
illegitimate child)
Facts:
Samaniego was a client of Atty. Ferrer and their lawyer-client relationship
became intimate, when Atty. Ferrer courted her and she fell in love. They lived
together as "husband and wife" from 96-97 and their daughter was born. The affair
ended in 2000and since then he failed to give support to their daughter.
Before the IBP Samaniego testified that she knew that Atty. Ferrer was in a
relationship but did not think he was already married. Atty. Ferrer refused to appear
during the hearing since he did not want to see Samaniego.
Atty. Ferrer manifested his willingness to support their daughter in a position
paper. He also reasoned that he found it unconscionable to abandon his wife and 10
children to cohabit with Samaniego.
IBP Board of Governors imposed upon Atty. Ferrer the penalty of 6 months
suspension for his refusal to support his daughter.
Atty. Ferrer filed MR with prayer for to reduce the penalty because it will
further cause extreme hardship to his family of 10 children. Upon finding that Atty.
Ferrer lacked the degree of morality required of a member of the bar, his prayer for
reduced
penalty
was
denied.
Held:
SC finds Atty. Ferrer guilty of gross immorality and he is ordered suspended
for 6 months.
Atty. Ferrer admitted his extra-marital affair and SC considers such illicit
relation as a disgraceful and immoral conduct subject to disciplinary action. Although
it is true that Samaniego was not entirely blameless for knowing about Atty. Ferrers
wife, it does not make this case less serious since it is immaterial whether both are
in pari delicto.
Atty. Ferrer was held to have violated Rule 1.01, Canon 7 and Rule 7.03.

43. ARNOBIT VS ARNOBIT


Facts:
Rebecca B. Arnobit, filed an affidavit-complaint, praying that the Court exercise its
disciplinary power over her husband, respondent Atty. Ponciano Arnobit, on the
grounds of Immorality and Abandonment.
Complainant and respondent were married with 12 children. Several years after
passing the bar, respondent left the conjugal dwelling and cohabited with Benita
Buenafe, a married woman, who bore him 4 more children. Rebecca filed a complaint
for legal separation and support. A criminal case of adultery against respondent and
Benita later followed.
Respondent denied the allegation that he cohabited with Benita. Instead, he alleged
that it was Rebecca who was the cause of their separation due to her frequent travels
around the country without his consent and thereby neglecting her obligations toward
her family.
Hearings were conducted before the Office of the Solicitor General and subsequently,
before the IBP-CBD. Complainant presented both oral and documentary evidence to
support her allegations of abandonment and immorality, 2 witnesses and affidavits
from NBI agents to show the existence of prima facie case for adultery. Respondent,
however, failed to present evidence to support his claim and failed to personally
attend hearings.
The Commission found respondent liable for abandonment and recommended his
suspension from the practice of law to the IBP Board Governors for 3 months. It was
accepted and adopted by the IBP Board of Governors.
Issues:
Does leaving the conjugal home and cohabiting with a married woman a ground for
disbarment?
Ruling:
The Code of Professional Responsibility provides:
Rule 1.01- A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct: CANON 7 A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the
legal profession and support the activities of the Integrated Bar.
Rule 7.03- A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness
to practice law, nor should he, whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
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. A member of the bar and an officer of
the court is not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or keeping a
mistress but must also so behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the public by
creating the impression that he is flouting those moral standards.
The fact that respondents philandering ways are far removed from the exercise of his
profession would not save the day for him. For a lawyer may be suspended or
disbarred for any misconduct which, albeit unrelated to the actual practice of his

18
profession, would show him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges
with which his license and the law invest him. To borrow from Orbe v. Adaza, "[t]he
grounds expressed in Section 27, Rule 138,9 of the Rules of Court are not limitative
and are broad enough to cover any misconduct x x x of a lawyer in his professional or
private capacity." To reiterate, possession of good
moral character is not only a condition precedent to the practice of law, but a
continuing qualification for all members of the bar.
Undoubtedly, respondents act of leaving his wife and 12 children to cohabit and have
children with another woman constitutes grossly immoral conduct. And to add insult to
injury, there seems to be little attempt on the part of respondent to be discreet about
his liaison with the other woman.As we have already ruled, disbarment is warranted
against a lawyer who abandons his lawful wife to maintain an illicit relationship with
another woman who had borne him a child.

(d)

Since then up to now, respondent remained celibate.

Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. On the contrary, it is invested


with substantive public interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized
may act as notaries public. Notarization of a private document converts the document
into a public one making it admissible in court without further proof of its authenticity.
A notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face and, for this
reason, notaries public must observe with the utmost care the basic requirements in
the performance of their duties.
DECISION: 4 YEARS SUSPENSION ONLY.

Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court cites grossly immoral conduct as a ground
for disbarment. Immoral conduct is that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or
shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and
respectable members of the community and what is grossly immoral, that is, it must
be so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be
reprehensible to a high degree.

45. ADVINCULA VS MACABATA


Facts:
The complainant, Cynthia Advincula filed a disbarment case Atty. Ernesto
Macabataon the grounds of Gross Immorality.The complainant sought for legal advice
from the respondent regarding her collectibles from Queensway Travel and Tours
which later failed to settle its accounts with the complainant. Thus, the possibility of
filing a case against Queensway Traveland Tours was discussed. After the meeting
on February 10, 2005, the respondent gave the complainant a ride home. As the
complainant gets off the car, the respondent allegedly held her arm, kissed her cheek
and embraced her tightly.Again, after another meeting on March 06 2005, the
respondent offered a ride. On the road, the complainant felt sleepy for no obvious
reason. The respondent suddenly stopped the car in the vicinity of San Francisco del
Monte, Quezon City. This time, the respondent forcefully held her face, kissed her lips
and held her breast. The complainant managed to escape and decided to hire
another lawyer for her case. They had exchange of messages thru sms where the
respondent apologized. The respondent admitted kissing the complainant on the lips
however countered that there was no harassment, intimidation or lewdness instead
everything was spontaneous.
Issues:
Whether or not the respondent committed acts are grossly immoral, or which
constitute serious moral depravity that would warrant disbarment or suspension from
the practice of law
Decision:
The acts of kissing or beso-beso on the cheeks are mere gestures of friendship and
camaraderie, form of greetings, casual and customary. The acts of the respondent,
though, in turning the head of the complainant towards him and kissing her on the lips
are distasteful. However, such act, even if considered offensive and undesirable,
cannot be considered grossly immoral. The complainant miserably failed to establish
the burden of proof required of her. However, her efforts are lauded to stand up for
her honor. The complaint for disbarment against the respondent, Atty. Ernesto
Macabata, for alleged immorality is dismissed. However, he is reprimanded to be
more prudent and cautious in dealing with his clients.

Yes, there was immoral conduct. But, it was not as gross as to warrant his disbarment
because:
(a)
His second marriage was a show of his noble intentions and total love for his
wife
(b)
He never absconded from his obligations to support his wife and child
(c)
After his first failed marriage and prior to his second marriage or for a period
of almost seven (7) years, he has not been romantically involved with any woman

Canon 8: Courtesy, Fairness, Candor towards Professional Colleagues


46. QUE VS ATTY. REVILLA
Conrado Que filed a disbarment case for Atty. Anastacio Revilla Jr. before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) of committing various violations on the Code of
Professional Responsibility and Rule 138 of the Rules of Court as stated in the
following
ISSUE

WHEREFORE, Atty. Ponciano P. Arnobit is hereby DISBARRED.


44. ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY VS. DELA CRUZ
Facts:
This is a disbarment case filed by the Faculty members and Staff of the Saint Louis
University-Laboratory High School (SLU-LHS) against Atty. Rolando C. Dela Cruz,
principal of SLU-LHS, for:
(a)
pending criminal case for child abuse and a labor case against him in the
NLRC
(b)
contracting a second marriage despite the existence of his first marriage
(c)
notarizing documents despite the expiration of his commission
Issue:
WON Atty. Dela Cruz must be disbarred? NO, SUSPENSION ONLY
Held:
A disbarment case is sui generis for it is neither purely civil nor purely criminal but is
rather an investigation by the court into the conduct of its officers. Thus, if the
acquittal of a lawyer in a criminal action is not determinative of an administrative case
against him, or if an affidavit of withdrawal of a disbarment case does not affect its
course, then neither will the judgment of annulment of respondents second marriage
also exonerate him from a wrongdoing actually committed. So long as the quantum of
proof clear preponderance of evidence in disciplinary proceedings against
members of the Bar is met, then liability attaches.

19
Monday, February 28, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
The respondents abuse courts remedies and processes by filing petition for certiorari
before the Court of Appeals (CA), two petitions for annulment of title at the Regional
Trial Court (RTC), a petition for annulment of judgment in the RTC and lastly, a
petition for declaratory relief before the RTC (collectively, subject cases)to assail and
overturn the final judgments of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) and RTC in the
unlawful detainer case rendered against the respondent clients.
Facts
The respondent also committed forum shopping by filing the subject cases in order
to obstruct, impede, and frustrate the efficient administration of justice for his own
personal gain and to defeat the right of the complainant and his siblings to execute
the MeTC and RTC judgments in the unlawful detainer case.
RULING
The respondents willful and revolting falsehood is also alleged by the complainant
that unjustly maligned and defamed the good name and reputation of the late Atty.
Alfredo Catolico (Atty. Catolico) who is the previous counsel of the respondents
clients.
Atty. Revilla fabricated an imaginary order issued by the presiding judge in open court
which allegedly denied the motion to dismiss filed by the respondents in the said case
where the respondent asserted the falsehood.
The complainant alleged that the respondent did this to cover up his lack of
preparation. Thus, the respondent also deceived his clients (who were all squatters)
in supporting the above falsehood.
Under the circumstances of abuse of court and processes, the respondents repeated
attempts go beyond the legitimate means allowed by professional ethical rules in
defending the interests of his client. The respondent violated Rule 10.03, Canon 10 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility which makes it obligatory for a lawyer to
observe the rules of procedure and. . . not [to] misuse them to defeat the ends of
justice.
The respondent also violated Rule 12.02 and Rule 12.04, Canon 12 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility as well as the rule against forum shopping, both of which
are directed against the filing of multiple actions to attain the same objective. Both
violations constitute abuse of court processes; they tend to degrade the
administration of justice; wreak havoc on orderly judicial procedure and add to the
congestion of the heavily burdened dockets of the courts.
The respondent continually argued and challenged the court for lack of jurisdiction by
the MeTC and RTC even knowing fully well that the competent courts have
jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer case.
Yes. The respondent committed violations in the code of Professional Responsility
and the Rules of Court
The respondents also deliberate, fraudulent and unauthorized appeared in court in
the petition for annulment of judgment for 15 litigants, three of whom are already
deceased
Conrado Que vs Atty. Anastacio Revilla Jr
Likewise, the respondent violated his duty as an attorney and his oath as a lawyer
never to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of
fact or law.
In defending his clients interest, the respondent also failed to observe Rule 19.01,
Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which reads:

CANON 19 A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN


THE BOUNDS OF LAW
Rule 19.01 A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful
objectives of his clients x x x
Furthermore, the respondent also repeatedly attacked the complainants and his
siblings titles over the property subject of the unlawful detainer case.
The respondent willfully and fraudulently appeared in the second petition for
annulment of title as counsel for the Republic of the Philippines without being
authorized to do so.
Atty. Revilla was accused of representing fifty-two (52) litigants in Civil Case No. Q03-48762 when no such authority was ever given to him.
The respondent answered the complaint and mostly denied all the allegations.
Whether or not the respondent can be held liable for the imputed unethical infractions
and professional misconduct, and the penalty these transgressions should carry.
The respondent violated Sections 21 and 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court when he
undertook the unauthorized appearances. The settled rule is that a lawyer may not
represent a litigant without authority from the latter or from the latters representative
or, in the absence thereof, without leave of court.
Due to Atty. Revilla's multiple violations on the Conduct of Professional Responsibility,
and is found liable for professional misconduct for violations of the Lawyers Oath;
Canon 8; Rules 10.01 and 10.03, Canon 10; Rules 12.02 and 12.04, Canon 12; Rule
19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility; and Sections 20(d), 21
and 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. However, we modify the penalty the IBP
imposed, and hold that the respondent should beDISBARRED from the practice of
law.
47. CAMACHO VS. PAGULAYAN
FACTS
AMA Computer College (AMACC) had a pending case in the RTC for
expelling some students due to having published objectionable features or articles in
the school paper. Thereafter, Atty. Camacho who is the counsel for the expelled
students filed a complaint against Atty. Pangulayan, counsel for AMACC, for violation
of Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Ethics which provides that "A lawyer should
not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented
by counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter
with him, but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most
particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not represented by
counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law." The complaint was
based on the fact that Atty. Pangulayan procured and effected from the expelled
students and their parents compromise agreements in which the students waived all
kinds of claims they may have against AMACC and to terminate all civil, criminal and
administrative proceedings filed against it. The compromise agreements were
procured by Atty. Pangulayan without the consent and knowledge of Atty. Camacho
given that he was already the counsel for the students at that time. It was averred that
the acts of Atty. Pangulayan was unbecoming of any member of the legal profession
warranting either disbarment or suspension from the practice of law.
ISSUE
Whether or not Atty. Pangulayan violated Canon 9 of the Code of
Professional Ethics

20
HELD
YES! Atty. Pangulayan is suspended for 3 months from the practice of law
for having ciolated the Code of Professional Ethics.
In this case, when the compromise agreements were formalized and
effected by Atty. Pangulayan, Atty. Camacho was already the retained counsel for the
students in the pending case filed by the students against AMACC and Atty.
Pangulayan had full knowledge of such fact. However, Atty. Pangulayan still
proceeded to negotiate with the students and the parents without at least
communicating the matter with their lawyer even being aware that the students were
being represented by counsel.
Such failure of Atty. Pangulayan, whether by design or oversight, is an
inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics and in utter disregard of a
duty owing to a colleague. Atty. Pangulayan in this case fell short of the demands
required of him as a lawyer and as a member of the Bar.
*In relation to our topic (not stated in case), such act of Atty. Pangulayan is
also in violation of Canon 8.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states
that "A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional
employment of another lawyer, however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or
favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or
neglectful counsel."
Rule 8.02: Not to encroach on Professional Employment
48. Reyes vs Chiong
FACTS
Two Chinese-Taiwanese businessmen (Xu and Pan) entered into a business
venture to set up a factory for seafood products. Xu invested P300,000. Eventually,
Xu discovered that Pan had not established the factory and asked for his money
back. Pan became hostile and ignored Xu. Xu engaged the services of Atty. Reyes,
who filed a complaint for estafa against Pan (represented by Atty. Chiong). The
complaint was assigned to Asst. Manila City Prosecutor Pedro Salanga, who issued a
subpoena for Pan to appear for preliminary investigation. For failure to appear and
submit a counter-affidavit, Salanga filed a criminal complaint for estafa against Pan in
the RTC of Manila. The RTC issued a warrant of arrest against Pan. In response, Atty.
Chiong filed a motion to quash the warrant of arrest. He also filed with the RTC of
Zamboanga a civil complaint for the collection of a sum of money, damages, and for
the dissolution of the business venture against Xu, Atty. Reyes and Salanga. Atty.
Reyes then filed a disbarment case against Atty. Chiong for filing a groundless suit,
alleging that it was instituted to exact vengeance. Atty. Chiong alleges that Atty. Reyes
was impleaded for conniving with Xu in filing the estafa case. Salanga was impleaded
because of the supposed irregularities in conducting the investigation. The SC
referred the case to the IBP.
ISSUE
W/N the civil complaint was groundless
W/N is was proper to implead Atty. Reyes and Prosecutor Salanga in the
civil complaint
HELD
Yes, civil complaint was groundless and it was improper to implead Atty.
Reyes and Prosecutor Salanga in said civil complaint.
IBP: civil complaint was filed purposely to obtain leverage against the estafa
case. There was no need to implead Atty. Reyes and Prosecutor Salanga since they

were not parties in the business venture. Their inclusion in the complaint was
improper and highly questionable and the suit was filed to harass both of them. In
filing the civil suit, Atty. Chiong violated his oath of office and Canon 8 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. IBP recommended 2 years suspension
SC: affirmed IBPs recommendation. In addition, the Court mentioned some
alternative remedies Atty. Chiong could have taken if his allegations were indeed true.
Chiong could have filed a motion for reinvestigation or motion for reconsideration of
Salangas decision to file the information for estafa. Motion to Dismiss the estafa case
was also available if it was indeed filed without basis.
Relevant Provisions:
Canon 8 A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness, and candor towards
his professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing
counsel.
Lawyers Oath not to wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or
unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same.
49. GALICIANO VS CASTRO
Facts:
Atty. Dallong-Galicinao is the Clerk of Court of RTC and Atty. Castro was a
private practitioner and VP of IBP-Nueva Vizcaya. Respondent went to complainants
office to inquire whether the records of Civil Case No. 784 had already been
remanded to the MCTC. Respondent was not the counsel of either party in that
case.
Complainant replied that the record had not yet been transmitted since a
certified true copy of the CA decision should first be presented. To this respondent
retorted, You mean to say, I would have to go to Manila to get a copy? Complainant
replied that respondent may show instead the copy sent to the party he represents.
Respondent then replied that complainant shouldve notified him. Complainant
explained that it is not her duty to notify the respondent of such duty. Angered,
respondent yelled stuff in Ilocano and left the office, banging the door so loud. He
then returned to the office and shouted, Ukinnam nga babai! (Vulva of your mother,
you woman!)
Later, complainant filed a manifestation that she wont appear in the hearing
of the case in view of the respondents public apology, and that the latter was forgiven
already.
Held:
Respondent is fined the amount of 10k with a warning.
Respondent was not the counsel of record of Civil Case No. 784. His
explanation that he will enter his appearance in the case when its records were
already transmitted to the MCTC is unacceptable. Not being the counsel of record
respondent had no right to impose his will on the clerk of court. He violated Rule 8.02,
because this was an act of encroachment. It matters not that he did so in good faith.
His act of raising his voice and uttering vulgar invectives to the clerk of court
was not only ill-mannered but also unbecoming considering that he did these in front
of the complainants subordinates. For these, he violated Rules 7.03 and 8.01 and
Canon 8.
The penalty was tempered because respondent apologized to the
complainant and the latter accepted it. This is not to say, however, that
respondent should be absolved from his actuations. People are accountable for the
consequences of the things they say and do even if they repent afterwards.

21
50. ALCANTARA VS PEFIANCO
Facts:
Atty. Alcantara (incumbent District Pubic Attorney of PAO in Anitque) filed a
complaint against Atty. Pefianco for conduct unbecoming of the bar for using improper
and offensive language and threatening and attempting to assault complainant. This
happened when Atty, Salvani was conferring with his client in the PAO office when the
wife of the murdered victim, in tears, came and askef for a settlement. Moved by the
plight of the woman, Pefianco, who was standing nearby, scolded and shouted at
Salvani to not settle the case and to have his client imprisoned so that he would
realize his mistake. As head of the office, Alcantara reproached Pefianco, but this
ended up with Pefianco saying that Alcantara was an idiot for sending him out of the
PAO. Also, Pefianco tried to attack Alcantara and even shouted at him, Gago ka!
The IBP Committee on Bar Discipline found that Pefianco violated Canon 8
of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Issue:
W/N Pefianco is guilty of violating Canon 8
Held:
Yes. Canon 8 admonishes lawyers to conduct themselves with courtesy,
fairness and candor toward their fellow lawyers. Pefiancos meddling in a matter in
which he had no right to do so caused the incident. And although Pefianco was
moved by the womans plight, what he thought was righteous did not give him the
right to scold Salvani and insult and berate those who tried to calm him down.
Whatever moral righteousness he had was negated by the way he chose to express
his indignation.
51. CAMACHO VS PAGULAYAN
FACTS
AMA Computer College (AMACC) had a pending case in the RTC for
expelling some students due to having published objectionable features or articles in
the school paper. Thereafter, Atty. Camacho who is the counsel for the expelled
students filed a complaint against Atty. Pangulayan, counsel for AMACC, for violation
of Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Ethics which provides that "A lawyer should
not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented
by counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter
with him, but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most
particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not represented by
counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law." The complaint was
based on the fact that Atty. Pangulayan procured and effected from the expelled
students and their parents compromise agreements in which the students waived all
kinds of claims they may have against AMACC and to terminate all civil, criminal and
administrative proceedings filed against it. The compromise agreements were
procured by Atty. Pangulayan without the consent and knowledge of Atty. Camacho
given that he was already the counsel for the students at that time. It was averred that
the acts of Atty. Pangulayan was unbecoming of any member of the legal profession
warranting either disbarment or suspension from the practice of law.
ISSUE
Whether or not Atty. Pangulayan violated Canon 9 of the Code of
Professional Ethics
HELD
YES! Atty. Pangulayan is suspended for 3 months from the practice of law
for having ciolated the Code of Professional Ethics.

In this case, when the compromise agreements were formalized and


effected by Atty. Pangulayan, Atty. Camacho was already the retained counsel for the
students in the pending case filed by the students against AMACC and Atty.
Pangulayan had full knowledge of such fact. However, Atty. Pangulayan still
proceeded to negotiate with the students and the parents without at least
communicating the matter with their lawyer even being aware that the students were
being represented by counsel.
Such failure of Atty. Pangulayan, whether by design or oversight, is an
inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics and in utter disregard of a
duty owing to a colleague. Atty. Pangulayan in this case fell short of the demands
required of him as a lawyer and as a member of the Bar.
*In relation to our topic (not stated in case), such act of Atty. Pangulayan is
also in violation of Canon 8.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states
that "A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional
employment of another lawyer, however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or
favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or
neglectful counsel."
52. TORRES VS JAVIER
Facts:
Atty. Torres and Mrs. Celestino charge Atty. Javier for malpractice, gross
misconduct in office as an attorney an/or violation of the lawyers oath. This stemmed
from the remarks made by Javier in the pleadings he filed in a petition for audit of all
funds of the University of the East Faculty Assoc. (UEFA) as counsel: 1. Motion to
Expedite contained false statements with malicious imputation of robbery and theft of
UEFAs funds upon their persons; and 2. In the atty.s fees case, Javier in his Reply
used abusive and improper language, and made a statement demeaning to the
integrity of the profession (not uncommon for trial lawyers to hear notaries asking
their family members to sign for them).
Javier explained that he was angry because Torres had been spreading
reports and rumors implicating his clients including his wife to the burglary. With
respect to the atty.s fess case, he alleged that Torres, in his Answer, did not confront
the issues but mocked and made malicious accusations against his wife.
The IBP found Javier guilty of violating the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
Issue:
W/N Javier is guilty of violation of the Code
Held:
Yes. For reasons of public policy, utterances made in the course of judicial
proceedings, including all kinds of pleadings, petitions and motion, are absolutely
privileged so long as they are pertinent and relevant to the subject inquiry, however
false or malicious they may be (must be material and relevant). This privilege does
not extend to those matters not related to the controversy.
The allegations in the Motion to Expedite fall under this privilege, but not
those in the Reply. The SC does not countenance Torres incorporation of criticisms
against Javiers wife as past president of UEFA, but this does not justify Javiers
retaliating statements (What kind of lawyer is Torres? He lies through his teeth).
Canon 8 instructs that a lawyers arguments in his pleadings should be
gracious to both the court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be
properly addressed by one gentleman to another.
53. LINSANGAN VS. TOLENTINO

22
Facts:
A complaint of disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan of the Linsangan, Linsangan
& Linsangan Law Office against Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for solicitation of clients &
encroachment of professional services. Linsangan alleges that Tolentino with the help
of paralegal Labiano convinced his clients to transfer legal representation by
promising financial assistance and expeditious collection of their claims. To induce
them, Tolentino allegedly texted and called them persistently. To support his
allegation, Linsangan presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio attesting that
Labiano tried to prevail over him to sever his client-atty relationship with Linsangan.
Also, he attached respondents calling card:
Front
NICOMEDES TOLENTINO
LAW OFFFICE
CONSULTANCY & MARITIME SERVICES
W/ FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Fe Marie L. Labiano
Paralegal
1st MIJI Mansion, 2nd Flr. Rm. M-01
Tel: 362-7820
6th Ave., cor M.H. Del Pilar
Fax: (632) 362-7821
Grace Park, Caloocan City
Cel.: (0926) 2701719
Back
SERVICES OFFERED:
CONSULTATION AND ASSISTANCE
TO OVERSEAS SEAMEN
REPATRIATED DUE TO ACCIDENT,
INJURY, ILLNESS, SICKNESS, DEATH
AND INSURANCE BENEFIT CLAIMS
ABROAD.
In his defense, Tolentino denies knowing Labiano and authorizing the printing and
circulating of said calling card.
Issue:
W/N Atty. Tolentino is guilty of advertising his services
Held:
Yes. Atty. Tolentino suspended for violating Rules 1.03, 2.03, 8.02 and 16.04 and
Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
With regard to Canon 3, the practice of law is a profession and not a business. Thus,
lawyers should not advertise their talents as merchants advertise their wares. To
allow lawyers to advertise their talents/skill is a commercialization of the practice of
law (degrading the profession in the publics estimation).
With regard to Rule 2.03, lawyers are prohibited from soliciting cases for purpose of
gain, either personally or through an agent. In relation to Rule 1.03, which proscribes
ambulance chasing (involving solicitation personally or through an agent/broker) as
a measure to protect community from barratry and champertry.

As a final note regarding the calling card presented as evidence by Linsangan, a


lawyers best advertisement is a well-merited. reputation for professional capacity and
fidelity to trust based on his character and conduct. For this reason, lawyers are only
allowed to announce their services by publication in reputable law lists or use of
simple professional cards.
Professional calling cards may only contain the following details:
(a) lawyers name;
(b) name of the law firm with which he is connected;
(c) address;
(d) telephone number and
(e) special branch of law practiced.
Labianos calling card contained the phrase with financial assistance. The phrase
was clearly used to entice clients (who already had representation) to change
counsels with a promise of loans to finance their legal actions. Money was dangled to
lure clients away from their original lawyers, thereby taking advantage of their
financial distress and emotional vulnerability. This crass commercialism degraded the
integrity of the bar and deserves no place in the legal profession.
Canon 9: Unauthorized Practice of Law
54. PP VS. HON. MACEDA (full text)
PARDO, J.:
On September 8, 1999, we denied the Peoples motion seeking reconsideration of our
August 13, 1990 decision in these cases. In said resolution, we held that respondent
Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda committed no grave abuse of discretion in issuing the
order of August 8, 1989 giving custody over private respondent Avelino T. Javellana to
the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, Atty.
Deogracias del Rosario, during the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At
that time, sufficient reason was shown why private respondent Javellana should not
be detained at the Antique Provincial Jail. The trial courts order specifically provided
for private respondents detention at the residence of Atty. del Rosario. However,
private respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam around but was to be held as
detention prisoner in said residence.
This order of the trial court was not strictly complied with because private respondent
was not detained in the residence of Atty. Del Rosario. He went about his normal
activities as if he were a free man, including engaging in the practice of law. Despite
our resolution of July 30, 1990 prohibiting private respondent to appear as counsel in
Criminal Case No. 4262,[1] the latter accepted cases and continued practicing law.
On April 7, 1997, Senior State Prosecutor Henrick F. Guingoyon filed with the
Supreme Court a motion seeking clarification on the following questions: "(1) Does
the resolution of this Honorable Court dated July 30, 1990, prohibiting Atty. Javellana
from appearing as counsel refer only to Criminal Case No. 4262? (2) Is Atty. now
(Judge) Deogracias del Rosario still the custodian of Atty. Javellana? and (3) Since it
appears that Atty. (now Judge) del Rosario never really held and detained Atty.
Javellana as prisoner in his residence, is not Atty. Javellana considered an escapee
or a fugitive of justice for which warrant for his arrest should forthwith be issued?"[2]
Mis spped
In a resolution dated June 18, 1997, we "noted" the above motion.

23
After we denied the motion for reconsideration on September 8, 1999, the trial court
resumed hearing Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. Earlier, on August 2, 1999,
Rolando Mijares filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, a
motion seeking the revocation of the trial courts custody order and the imprisonment
of private respondent Javellana in the provincial jail.
On November 15, 1999, private respondent Javellana filed with the Supreme Court
an urgent motion seeking to clarify whether the June 18, 1997 resolution finally
terminated or resolved the motion for clarification filed by the State Prosecutor on
April 7, 1997.
Private respondent Javellana has been arrested based on the filing of criminal cases
against him. By such arrest, he is deemed to be under the custody of the law. The
trial court gave Atty. Deogracias del Rosario the custody of private respondent
Javellana with the obligation "to hold and detain" him in Atty. del Rosarios residence
in his official capacity as the clerk of court of the regional trial court. Hence, when Atty.
del Rosario was appointed judge, he ceased to be the personal custodian of accused
Javellana and the succeeding clerk of court must be deemed the custodian under the
same undertaking.
In our mind, the perceived threats to private respondent Javelanas life no longer
exist. Thus, the trial courts order dated August 8, 1989 giving custody over him to the
clerk of court must be recalled, and he shall be detained at the Provincial Jail of
Antique at San Jose, Antique.
Regarding his continued practice of law, as a detention prisoner private respondent
Javellana is not allowed to practice his profession as a necessary consequence of his
status as a detention prisoner. The trial courts order was clear that private
respondent "is not to be allowed liberty to roam around but is to be held as a
detention prisoner." The prohibition to practice law referred not only to Criminal Case
No. 4262, but to all other cases as well, except in cases where private respondent
would appear in court to defend himself. Spped
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for an offense is arrested, he is deemed
placed under the custody of the law. He is placed in actual restraint of liberty in jail so
that he may be bound to answer for the commission of the offense.[3] He must be
detained in jail during the pendency of the case against him, unless he is authorized
by the court to be released on bail or on recognizance.[4] Let it be stressed that all
prisoners whether under preventive detention or serving final sentence can not
practice their profession nor engage in any business or occupation, or hold office,
elective or appointive, while in detention. This is a necessary consequence of arrest
and detention. Consequently, all the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355 must
be confined in the Provincial Jail of Antique.
Considering that the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355 has dragged on for
more than ten (10) years, the presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12,
San Jose, Antique, is ordered to continue with the trial of said criminal cases with all
deliberate dispatch and to avoid further delay.
WHEREFORE, the August 8, 1989 order of the trial court is hereby SET ASIDE.
All accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355, including Avelino T. Javellana
and Arturo F. Pacificador are ordered detained at the Provincial Jail of Antique,

San Jose, Antique, effective immediately, and shall not be allowed to go out of
the jail for any reason or guise, except upon prior written permission of the trial
court for a lawful purpose.
55. ZETA VS. MALINAO (full text)
BARREDO, J.:
Administrative complaint against Felicisimo Malinao court interpreter of the Court of
First Instance of Catbalogan, Samar charging as follows:
l ILLEGALLY APPEARING IN COURT. MR. Malinao has been appearing in the
municipal court of this town for parties like attorney when he is not an attorney.
Reliable information also says he has been appearing in the municipal courts of
Daram, Zumarraga, Talalora and even Sta. Rita. He is not authorized to do so we
believe. He makes it his means of livelihood as he collects fees from his clients. He
competes with attorneys but does not pay anything. We believe that his doing so
should be stopped for a good government. These facts can be checked with records
of those municipal courts.
2 GRAVE MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE. Being employed in the Court of First
Instance he would instigate persons, especially in his barrio to grab land rob or
coerce. In fact he has cases in the municipal court in this town involving himself and
his men. He incite them telling them not to be afraid as he is a court employee and
has influence over the judges. Those persons being ignorant would believe him and
so would commit crimes. This act of Mr. Malinao is contrary to good order and peace
as he is using his supposed influences to urge persons to commit crimes.
3 CRIME OF FALSIFICATION. Information has it that he is unfaithfully filing his
time record in the CFI. Even he has been out practicing in the municipal courts
sometimes he would fill his time record as present. He receives salary for those
absent days. This can be checked with time record he has submitted and if he has
any application for leave. He may try to cure it by submitting application for leave but
this should not be allowed as he has already committed crime.
4 VIOLATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER AND CIVIL SERVICE LAW.-WE have
reliable information it is prohibited for a civil service employee to engage in private
practice any profession or business without permission from the Department Head.
Mr. Malinao we are sure has not secured that permission because he should not be
allowed to practice as he is not an attorney. If that were so, he violated that Executive
Order and Civil Service Law and we are urgently and earnestly requesting the
Commissioner of Civil Service to investigate him on this. If warranted he should be
given the corresponding penalty as dismissal because we believe he deserve it.
(Page 2, Record.)
After respondent filed the following 3rd indorsement relative to the above complaint:
Respectfully returned to the Honorable, the Secretary of Justice, Manila, thru the
Honorable District Judge, Court of First Instance, Branch I, Catbalogan, Samar, and
thru the Honorable Judicial Superintendent, Department of Justice, Manila, the
undersigned's reply to the preceding endorsements, to wit: That the alleged lettercomplaint of one Julio Zeta is not inclosed in the first indorsement, which absence
has also been noticed and noted on the right hand corner of the said first indorsement

24
by the Clerk of Court, of this Court; that despite this absence, and without waiving,
however, his right to any pertinent provision of law, but for respect and courtesy to a
Superior, he hereby states that he has not violated any rule or law, much less Sec.
12, Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules; that his participation for defendants' cause
was gratuitous as they could not engage the services of counsel by reason of poverty
and the absence of one in the locality, said assistance has also checked the
miscarriage of justice by the Presiding Municipal Judge, now resigned; that he is
attaching herewith a carbon-original of a pleading submitted by Atty. Simeon
Quiachon the attorney of record for the defendants in Civil Case No. 24, entitled 'Jose
Kiskisan versus Fidel Pacate, et al. for Forcible Entry, in the Municipal Court of
Talalora, Samar, which is a 'Motion To Withdraw Exhibits', as Annex 'A', as part of this
reply. (Page 5, Rec.)
the Department of Justice that had jurisdiction over the matter then, referred the said
complaint and answer to District Judge Segundo Zosa, Court of First Instance,
Catbalogan, Western Samar, for investigation, report and recommendation, and after
due hearing, Judge Zosa submitted his report pertinent parts of which read thus:
Inspite of diligent efforts exerted by the Court to subpoena the complainant, Julio
Zeta, who is said to be a resident of Zumarraga, Samar the same had failed because
the said Julio Zeta appears to be a fictitious person
Inspite of the failure of the complainant to appear in the investigation in connection
with his complaint against Felicisimo Malinao, the Court nevertheless proceeded to
investigate the case against him by calling Judge Restituto Duran of Sta. Rita, Samar,
Judge Juanito Reyes of Zumarraga, Samar and Judge Miguel Avestruz of Daram,
Samar.
Judge Restituto Duran of Sta. Rita, Samar, declared that according to his docket
books the respondent appeared as counsel for Vicente Baculanlan in criminal case
No. 1247 in the Municipal Court of Sta. Rita, Samar, for grave threats and in criminal
case No. 1249 for the same accused and Romulo Villagracia for illegal possession of
firearm on August 5, 1960 and on September 17, 1970.
Judge Miguel Avestruz of Daram, Samar, declared that the respondent appeared as
counsel in civil case No. 39 in the Municipal Court of Daram, Samar, entitled Felix
Versoza versus Victor Payao, et al., for forcible entry on December 15, 1962, January
26, 1963, February 18, 1963 and on March 1, 1963.
Judge Juanito Reyes declared that on March 27, 1969, the respondent appeared as
counsel for the defendant in civil case No. 318 of the Municipal Court of Zumarraga
entitled Restituto Centino versus Jesus Tizon for forcible entry and again on June 17,
1970 in the same case.
From the certification of the Clerk of this Court, it appears that the respondent had the
following entries in his daily time record:
1.

Was on leave from office on August 5, 1960 and September 17, 1960;

2. Was present in office on December l5, 1962;

3. Was present in office on January 26, 1963, and present also on February 18, 1963
but undertime by 1 hour;
4. Was on leave from office on March 1, 1963;
5.

Was on leave from office on March 27, 1969; and

6. Was present in office on June 17, 1970 but undertime by 5 hours.


Comparing the dates when the respondent appeared before the aforementioned
Municipal Courts with his daily time records, he made it appear that on December 15,
1962 and February 18, 1963 he was present in his office although according to the
testimony of Judge Miguel Avestruz he was before his Court on December 15, 1962
as well as on February 18, 1963. Again according to Judge Juanito Reyes the
respondent appeared in his Court on June 17, 1970. The respondent again made it
appear in his daily time record that he was present with an undertime of five hours.
The respondent did not offer any plausible explanation for this irregularity.
xxx

xxx

xxx

With respect to the crime of falsification of his daily time record as shown by the
evidence, he had made it appear that he was present in his office on December 15,
1962, February 18, 1963 and June 17, 1970 when as a matter of fact he was in the
Municipal Court of Daram attending to a case entitled Felix Versoza versus Victor
Payao, et al., for forcible entry as well as in the Municipal Court of Zumarraga
attending to Civil Case No. 318 entitled Restituto Centino versus Jesus Tizon for
forcible entry. The Inquest Judge respectfully recommends that he be given stern
warning and severe reprimand for this irregularity.
With respect to the fourth charge, for violation of Section 12, Rule XVIII, Republic Act
2260, as amended, again the evidence shows that respondent had been appearing
as counsel in the municipal courts of Sta. Rita, Daram and Zumarraga in violation of
the rules of the Civil Service Law. (Pp. 28-31, Record.)
We have carefully reviewed the record, and We find the conclusions of fact of the
Investigator to be amply supported by the evidence, particularly the documents
consisting of public records and the declarations of the judges before whom
respondent had appeared. It is clear to Us that respondent, apart from appearing as
counsel in various municipal courts without prior permission of his superiors in
violation of civil service rules and regulations, falsified his time record of service by
making it appear therein that he was present in his office on occasions when in fact
he was in the municipal courts appearing as counsel, without being a member of the
bar, which, furthermore, constitutes illegal practice of law. We, therefore, adopt the
above findings of fact of the Investigator.
The defense of respondent that "his participation (sic) for defendants' cause was
gratuitous as they could not engage the services of counsel by reason of poverty and
the absence of one in the locality" cannot, even if true, carry the day for him,
considering that in appearing as counsel in court, he did so without permission from
his superiors and, worse, he falsified his time record of service to conceal his
absence from his office on the dates in question. Indeed, the number of times that
respondent acted as counsel under the above circumstances would indicate that he

25
was doing it as a regular practice obviously for considerations other than pure love of
justice.
In the premises, it is quite obvious that the offense committed by respondent is grave,
hence it warrants a more drastic sanction than that of reprimand recommended by
Judge Zosa. We find no alternative than to separate him from the service, with the
admonition that he desist from appearing in any court or investigative body wherein
Only members of the bar are allowed to practice.
WHEREFORE, respondent Felicisimo Malinao is hereby ordered dismissed
from his position as interpreter in the Court of First Instance, CFI, Zumarraga,
Western Samar with prejudice to reemployment in the judicial branch of the
government.

Liza Laconsay, Atty. Aquinos secretary, executed an affidavit8 admitting the mistake
in the preparation of the complaint-affidavit. Respondent alleged that he did not read
the complaint-affidavit because he assumed that the two complaint-affidavits
contained the same allegations with respect to his occupation and office address.
Respondent claims that he had no intention of misrepresenting himself as a practicing
lawyer.
In their Reply,9 petitioners reiterate that respondent should be made liable for indirect
contempt for having made untruthful statements in the complaint-affidavit and that he
cannot shift the blame to Atty. Aquinos secretary.
The sole issue for resolution is whether respondent is liable for indirect contempt.
Section 3(e), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court provides:

56. TAN AND PAGAYOKAN VS. BALAJADIA (full text)


YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
Before us is an original petition1 for contempt filed by petitioners Rogelio Tan, Norma
Tan and Maliyawao Pagayokan against respondent Benedicto Balajadia.
Petitioners allege that on May 8, 2005, respondent filed a criminal case against them
with the Office of the City of Prosecutor of Baguio City for usurpation of authority,
grave coercion and violation of city tax ordinance due to the alleged illegal collection
of parking fees by petitioners from respondent. In paragraph 5 of the complaintaffidavit, respondent asserted that he is a "practicing lawyer based in Baguio City with
office address at Room B-207, 2/F Lopez Building, Session Road, Baguio City."2
However, certifications issued by the Office of the Bar Confidant3 and the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines4 showed that respondent has never been admitted to the
Philippine Bar. Hence, petitioners claim that respondent is liable for indirect contempt
for misrepresenting himself as a lawyer.
In his Comment,5 respondent avers that the allegation in paragraph 5 of the
complaint-affidavit that he is a practicing lawyer was an honest mistake. He claims
that the secretary of Atty. Paterno Aquino prepared the subject complaint-affidavit
which was patterned after Atty. Aquinos complaint-affidavit.6 It appears that Atty.
Aquino had previously filed a complaint-affidavit against petitioners involving the
same subject matter.
Respondent claims that two complaint-affidavits were drafted by the same secretary;
one for the May 5, 2005 parking incident at 10:00 oclock in the morning and another
for the parking incident on the same date but which occurred at 1:00 oclock in the
afternoon. Respondent insists that the complaint-affidavit regarding the 1:00 oclock
parking incident correctly alleged that he is "a businessman with office address at
Room B-204, 2/F Lopez Building, Session Road, Baguio City."7 However, the
complaint-affidavit regarding the 10:00 oclock parking incident, which is the subject of
the instant petition, erroneously referred to him as a practicing lawyer because Atty.
Aquinos secretary copied verbatim paragraph 5 of Atty. Aquinos complaint-affidavit.
Hence, it was inadvertently alleged that respondent is a "practicing lawyer based in
Baguio City with office address at Room B-207, 2/F Lopez Building, Session Road,
Baguio City," which statement referred to the person of Atty. Aquino and his law office
address.

Section 3.Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and hearing. After a charge
in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the respondent to comment
thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court and to be heard by himself or
counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect
contempt:
xxxx
(e) Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such without
authority;
x x x x.
In several cases,10 we have ruled that the unauthorized practice of law by assuming
to be an attorney and acting as such without authority constitutes indirect contempt
which is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. The liability for the unauthorized
practice of law under Section 3(e), Rule 71 of the Rules of Court is in the nature of
criminal contempt and the acts are punished because they are an affront to the
dignity and authority of the court, and obstruct the orderly administration of justice. In
determining liability for criminal contempt, well-settled is the rule that intent is a
necessary element, and no one can be punished unless the evidence makes it clear
that he intended to commit it.11
In the case at bar, a review of the records supports respondents claim that he never
intended to project himself as a lawyer to the public. It was a clear inadvertence on
the part of the secretary of Atty Aquino. The affidavit of Liza Laconsay attesting to the
circumstances that gave rise to the mistake in the drafting of the complaint-affidavit
conforms to the documentary evidence on record. Taken together, these
circumstances show that the allegation in paragraph 5 of respondents complaintaffidavit was, indeed, the result of inadvertence.
Respondent has satisfactorily shown that the allegation that he is a practicing lawyer
was the result of inadvertence and cannot, by itself, establish intent as to make him
liable for indirect contempt. In the cases where we found a party liable for the
unauthorized practice of law, the party was guilty of some overt act like signing court
pleadings on behalf of his client;12 appearing before court hearings as an attorney;13
manifesting before the court that he will practice law despite being previously denied

26
admission to the bar;14 or deliberately attempting to practice law and holding out
himself as an attorney through circulars with full knowledge that he is not licensed to
do so.15
In the case at bar, no evidence was presented to show that respondent acted as an
attorney or that he intended to practice law. Consequently, he cannot be made liable
for indirect contempt considering his lack of intent to illegally practice law.
However, while the evidence on record failed to prove respondents deliberate intent
to misrepresent himself as an attorney and act as such without authority, he is hereby
warned to be more careful and circumspect in his future actions.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Respondent is WARNED to be more
careful and circumspect in his future actions.
57. AGUIRRE VS RAMA
FACTS
Respondent Edwin L. Rana was among those who passed the 2000 Bar
Examinations. On 21 May 2001, one day before the scheduled mass oath-taking of
successful bar examinees as members of the Philippine Bar, complainant Donna
Marie Aguirre filed against respondent a Petition for Denial of Admission to the Bar,
charging respondent with unauthorized practice of law, grave misconduct, violation of
law, and grave misrepresentation.
The Court allowed respondent to take his oath as a member of the Bar
during the scheduled oath-taking on 22 May 2001 but ruled that he cannot sign the
Roll of Attorneys pending the resolution of the charge against him.
Complainant charged respondent for unauthorized practice of law and grave
misconduct, alleging that respondent, while not yet a lawyer, appeared as counsel for
Vice Mayoralty candidate George Bunan in the May 2001 elections before the
Municipal Board of Election Canvassers (MBEC) of Mandaon, Masbate, andfiled
with the MBEC a pleading as counsel entitled Formal Objection to the Inclusion in the
Canvassing of Votes in Some Precincts for the Office of Vice-Mayor. Respondent also
signed as counsel for Estipona-Hao in her petition to be declared the winning
mayoralty candidate.
On the charge of violation of law, respondent is not allowed by law to act as
counsel for a client in any court or administrative body, respondent being a municipal
government employee (Secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mandaon, Masbate).
The Court referred the case to the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) for
evaluation, report and recommendation.
OBCs Report and Recommendation
The OBC found that respondent indeed appeared before the MBEC as counsel for
Bunan in the May 2001 elections. The minutes of the MBEC proceedings show that
respondent actively participated in the proceedings. The OBC likewise found that
respondent appeared in the MBEC proceedings even before he took the lawyers
oath on 22 May 2001. Respondents misconduct casts a serious doubt on his moral
fitness to be a member of the Bar. Such unauthorized practice of law is a ground to
deny his admission to the practice of law.
HELD
Respondent is guilty of unauthorized practice of law and was thus denied
admission to the Philippine bar.

1. SC agreed with the finding of the OBC that respondent engaged in the
unauthorized practice of law and thus does not deserve admission to the Philippine
Bar.
- Respondent appeared as counsel for Bunan and signed as counsel in the
pleadings
- was also retained as counsel of mayoralty candidate Emily Estipona-Hao
and of party REFORMA LM-PPC
*all these took place before Respondent took his oath and signed the Roll of
Attorneys
2. What constitutes the practice of law
- The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in
court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to
actions and special proceedings, the management of such actions and
proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts
- all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with
the law, incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services
contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a
mortgage, enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency
proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of
estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice, as do the
preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves
the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and
conditions.
- any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
procedure, knowledge, training and experience.
- perform acts which are usually performed by members of the legal
profession.
- render any kind of service which requires the use of legal knowledge or
skill.
* respondent was engaged in the practice of law when he appeared in the
proceedings before the MBEC and filed various pleadings, without license to
do so.
3. The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a
privilege.
- limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly
ascertained and certified.
- A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by passing
the bar examinations.
- although respondent passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the lawyers oath,
it is the signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one a full-fledged lawyer.
Rule 9.01: Not to Delegate work
58. CAMBALIZA VS CRISTOBAL-TENORIO
FACTS
Cabliza, a former employee of Cristal-Tenorio in her law office, filed a
disbarment complaint on the grounds of deceit, grossly immoral conduct and
malpractice or other gross misconduct in office.
Deceit: represented herself to be married to Felicisimo Tenorio Jr, who has a
prior existing marriage
Grossly immoral conduct: disseminated libellous affidavits against a
Makati City counselor.
Malpractice: allowed her husband, a non-lawyer, to practice by making him
a senior partner in her law office. This is evidenced by 1) the law office letterhead

27
which included the husband as a senior partner, 2) an id wherein he signed as an
atty, 3) appearance in court as counsel.
HELD
Guilty of malpractice. Violated Canon 9 and Rule 9.01
Canon 9: a lawyer shall not assist in unauthorized practice of law
Rule 9.01: a lawyer shall not delated to any unqualified person the
performance of a task that may only be performed by members of the bar in good
standing
Even though Cabliza later on withdrew her complaint, IBP still pushed
through with the investigation because such is a disciplinary proceeding. There is no
private interest affected such that desistance of the complainant will terminate the
proceedings. The purpose is to protect the bar from those unfit to practice law.
59. AMALGAMATED LABORERS ASSOCIATION VS. CIR
FACTS
This case involves a controversy over Attorneys Fees for legal services in
the CIR.
On 1956, Arceo + 47 other members of their UNION, ALA and Javier lodged
a complaint agains Binalbagan Sugar Central Company (BISCOM) for unfair labor
practices, as specified in the Industrial Peace Act.
On Nov 1962, the CIR rendered judgement in favor of the workers and it
became final on March 1963.
On June 1963, the CIR directed the Chief Examiner to go to BISCOM to
compute the backwages of the complainant workers
Atty. Fernandez filed a Notice of Atty.s lien amounting to 25% of their
money claim (PhP79, 755.22). He explained that it was supposed to be 30% but
Arsenio Reyes requested him to 25% to satisfy Atty. Carbonells lien of 5%.
Atty. Carbonell disputed this claim and even said that the verbal agreement
entered into by the UNION and its officers is that the 30% Atty.s Fees shall be divided
equally by him, Atty. Fernandez & Felisberto Javier, the UNIONs president.
There are other matters in this case regarding Jurisdiction but the one
related to Legal Ethics is on the issue on Atty.s Fees
ISSUE
W/N IT MAY BE STIPULATED THAT THE UNION PRESIDENT MAY
SHARE IN THE ATTORNEYS FEES.

Laguna as well. It was also alleged that he only appeared as counsel for the petitioner
for the recovery of the bank deposit and did not appear in the hearing of the Writ of
Possession of the lot in Laguna. In his denial, the respondent claims that the amount
he collected was only for the recovery of deposit and not for the recovery of the
foreclosed lot. He claimed further that the amount was not excessive for it was the
referral fees for two other individuals who were non-lawyers. Upon investigation, it
was found that he was involved in the release of the foreclosed Laguna lot because
he was the one who made the Compromise Agreement in favor of the client. The IBPCommission on Discipline found his acts violative of the Code of Professional
responsibility.
ISSUE:
Whether or not he indeed violated the Code of Professional responsibility.
HELD:
The Supreme Court approved the decision of the Commission on discipline that he
violated the Code of Professional responsibility specifically Canon 9.2. By openly
admitting he divided the Php 70,000.00 to other individuals as commission/referral
fees respondent violated Rule 9.02, Canon 9 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee
for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law. The practice of law is a
privilege bestowed on those who show that they possessed and continue to possess
the legal qualifications for it. Indeed, lawyers are expected to maintain at all times a
high standard of legal proficiency and morality, including honesty, integrity and fair
dealing. Respondents claim that the attorneys fee pertains only to the recovery of
complainants savings deposit from Planters Development Bank cannot be sustained.
Records show that he acted as complainants counsel in the
drafting of the compromise agreement between the latter and the bank relative to
LRCCase No. B-2610. Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorneyclient relationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to the clients cause. The
canons of the legal profession require that once an attorney agrees to handle a case,
he should undertake the task with zeal, care and utmost devotion.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Rogelio P. Terrado is found GUILTY of violating Rules 1.01,
9.02, 18.02 and 20.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months effective from notice,
and STERNLY WARNED that any similar infraction will be dealt with more
severely. He is further ordered to RETURN, within thirty (30) days from notice,
the sum of P70,000.00 to complainant Luzviminda C. Lijauco and to submit to
this Court proof of his compliance within three (3) days therefrom.

HELD
NO. The court struck down the alleged oral agreement that the UNION
President should share in the Atty.s Fees. The UNION President is not the attorney
for the laborers. He may seek compensation only as such president. An agreement
whereby a UNION President is allowed to share in Atty.s Fees is immoral. Such a
contract we emphatically reject. It cannot be justified. Note Rule 9.02.
Rule 9.02: Not to Divide Legal Fees
60. Lijuaco vs Atty. Terrado
FACTS:
The present was complaint was prompted by the alleged inability of the
respondent lawyer to meet his end of the bargain after collecting excessive lawyers
fees. He was the counsel of the petitioner who gave him P 70,000 for the recovery of
P 180,000 from the Planters Bank and the release of the petitioners foreclosed lot in

61. PLUS BUILDERS INC VS. ATTY REVILLA JR.


FACTS
In the case of PLUS BUILDERS, INC., and EDGARDO C. GARCIA vs.
ATTY. ANASTACIO E. REVILLA, JR., , En Banc, A.C. No. 7056, February 11, 2009,
the respondent lawyer filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the
Philippine Supreme Court, 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.
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

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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 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. 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. He posited that he was only being protective of the interest of his clients
as a good father would be protective of his own family, and that his services to
Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al were almost pro bono.
HELD
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. 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. 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. 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.