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government lawyers to engage inprivate practice after their separationfrom the service.Section 7(b)(2) of R.A. No. 6713 reads:
Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions.
In addition to acts andomissions of public officials and employeesnow prescribed in the Constitution and existinglaws, the following shall constitute prohibitedacts and transactions of any public official andemployee and are hereby declared to beunlawful:x x x x(b)
Outside employment and other activities related thereto
Public officials andemployees during their incumbency shall not:x x x x(2) Engage in the private practice of theirprofession unless authorized by theConstitution or law, provided, that suchpractice will not conflict or tend to conflict withtheir official functions; x x x
These prohibitions shall continue toapply for a period of one (1) year afterresignation, retirement, or separationfrom public office, except in the case ofsubparagraph (b) (2) above, but theprofessional concerned cannot practicehis profession in connection with anymatter before the office he used to bewith, in which case the one-yearprohibition shall likewise apply.
As a rule, government lawyers are notallowed to engage in the private practiceof their profession during theirincumbency.
By way of exception, agovernment lawyer can engage in thepractice of his or her profession underthe following conditions:
, the privatepractice is authorized by theConstitution or by the law; and
,the practice will not conflict or tend toconflict with his or her officialfunctions.
The last paragraph of Section 7provides an exception to the exception.In case of lawyers separated from thegovernment service who are coveredunder subparagraph (b) (2) of Section 7of R.A. No. 6713, a one-year prohibitionis imposed to practice law in connectionwith any matter before the office heused to be with.
Rule 6.03 of the Code of ProfessionalResponsibility echoes this restrictionand prohibits lawyers, after leaving thegovernment service, to acceptengagement or employment inconnection with any matter in which hehad intervened while in the said service.
The keyword in Rule 6.03 of the Code ofProfessional Responsibility is the term"intervene" which we previouslyinterpreted to include an act of a personwho has the power to influence theproceedings.
Otherwise stated, to fallwithin the ambit of Rule 6.03 of theCode of Professional Responsibility, therespondent must have acceptedengagement or employment in a matterwhich, by virtue of his public office, hehad previously exercised power toinfluence the outcome of theproceedings.
As the records show, no evidence existsshowing that the respondent previouslyinterfered with the sales application
covering Manuel’s land when the former
was still a member of the Committee onAwards.
In any event, even granting that
respondent’s act fell within the definition
of practice of law, the available pieces ofevidence are insufficient to show thatthe legal representation was madebefore the Committee on Awards, orthat the Assurance was intended to be