Joseph Samala v.

Antonuitti Palana April 15, 2005 Facts: Complainant Joseph Samala was looking for a company where he could invest his dollar savings. He was introduced to Taino, a trader-employee of First Imperial Resources. Taino introduced him to the FIRI manager Agustin, the chief trader, and to Palana, the company's legal officer. Respondent assured the complainant that FIRI would be directly putting his investment with Eastern Vanguard Forex Limited, a company based in the Virgin Islands. Complainant was convinced by the respondent and other officers of the company to invest his dollar savings with FIRI. Subsequently, complainant decided to pull out his investments. Complainant went to the office of Thomas Yiu of Eastern Vanguard. The latter was surprised when he saw the documents involving complainant's investment. Agustin delivered a check to the complainant but the same was dishonored as it was drawn against insufficient funds. Complainant informed respondent of the dishonor of the check. Respondent assured the complainant that the check would be replaced. Later on, the respondent gave the complainant 250 thousand in cash and a check in the amounting of 329, 045. 09. The check was also dishonored. The check was signed by FIRI's president, Desiderio. Complainant charged Desiderio of Estafa and violation of BP 22. The MTC of Makati issued a warrant of arrest against Paul Desiderio. It was discovered that the address in FIRI's documents of Desiderio's address was fake. Complainant alleged that respondent s act of representing himself to be the legal officer of FIRI and his assurance that the check he personally delivered to him was signed in his presence by FIRI Officer Paul Desiderio, when no such person appears to exist, is clearly fraudulent and violative of the Canons of Professional Ethics. The Director for Bar Discipline required respondent to submit his answer to the complaint filed by Samala but respondent did not submit an answer. The respondent also failed to appear when the case was set for hearing. Respondent was found to have violated Rule 7. 03 of Canon 7.

Ruling: Lawyer guilty. The Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession.[3] To this end, nothing should be done by any member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of the profession. In this case, respondent assured complainant that by investing his dollar savings with FIRI, his investment was in a stable company, even if, as it was later discovered, the by-laws of FIRI prohibited it from engaging in investment or foreign exchange business and its primary purpose is to act as consultant in providing professional expertise and reliable data analysis related to partnership and so on. It is clear that the representations of respondent as legal officer of FIRI caused material damage to complainant. In so doing, respondent failed to uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and lessened the confidence of the public in the honesty and integrity of the same.

Penalty: Suspended for 3 years.


Thus complainant was likewise an owner thereof and was also complaining against herself. Justo Paras February 14. Respondent alleged that none of the Yaps. this Court holds that the instant case is not the proper forum to address such issue. as evidenced no less by respondent s own statements in the pleadings filed before the IBP.C. In the instant case. Considering the serious nature of the instant offense and in light of respondent s prior misdemeanors for which he was penalized with a six (6) month and one (1) year suspension from the practice of law. Respondent has been deplorably lacking in the candor required of him as a member of the Bar and an officer of the court in his acts of applying for the issuance of a free patent over the properties in Facts: complainant alleged that the children of Ledesma de Jesus-Paras executed a SPA prepared by respondent to sell parcels of land located in Matobato. in our Decision in A. Ruling: Lawyer guilty. issue despite his knowledge that the same had already been sold by his mother to complainant s sister. Respondent averred that the land was declared into public agricultural land by the BOL and the latter made a public announcement that the land was available for private ownership to native settlers or natural born Filipinos. Furthermore. No. Complainant alleged that respondent surreptitiously obtained a free patent title over real properties which had been previously sold by his own mother to Aurora D. a free patent title to the aforesaid property was issued in respondent s name. CBD-371. it is clear to the Court that respondent violated his lawyer s oath as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates upon each lawyer. we take note that on 18 October 2000. any other action which the parties may make against each other has no material bearing in this case. Ledesma sold the property to Aurora DyYap which was with respondent's full knowledge since he was residing at the house of Soledad Dy-Yap at that time and from that time. Justo de Jesus Paras. entitled Rosa Yap Paras v. 5333 formerly A. as correctly held by the Investigating Commissioner. including complainant was a native or natural born Filipino as they were already American citizens. Moreover. respondent was previously meted with suspension from the practice of law for six (6) months on the charge of falsifying his wife s signature in bank documents and other related loan instruments. [i]t is immaterial as to who instituted the complaint for as long as there was a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility . Negros Oriental giving authority to their mother to sell the subject real properties previously registered in the name of the heirs of Vicente Paras wherein respondent was one of the signatories therein.Rosa Yap-Paras v. Likewise. The IBP Board of Governors adopted the recommendation. Yap and now still under the control and possession of complainant s natural family Respondent alleged that the complainant was not the owner of the properties and that the free patent was applied for during their marital union and prior to its breakage. After due hearing. Atty. At this juncture. respondent committed deceit and falsehood in his application for free patent over the said properties when he manifested under oath that he had been in the actual possession and occupation of the said lands despite the fact that these were continuously in the possession and occupation of complainant s family. Complainant alleged that on the basis of the SPA. the Investigating Commissioner made a recommendation wherein the respondent was found guilty of committing deceit and falsehood in having applied for free patent of a land over which he had no actual physical possession being aware that the same was transferred in the name of Aurora Yap. as his duty to society and to the courts. respondent even admitted in the comment that he filed before this Court when he alleged that the said properties were public land under the Forestal Zone when the mother of the respondent ceded to Aurora Yap some portions of entire occupancy of the Parases . his deplorable behavior in the present case which grossly degrades the legal profession warrants the imposition of a much graver penalty. This fact. They are distinct from and may proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. No. For. the obligation to obey the laws of the land Octaviano Penalty: 1 yr suspension . Bindoy. 2005 and to do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court. Anent his argument questioning the status of complainant and her family as natural born citizens . Atty. Complainant alleged that sometime in 1998 (sale was made on 1966). it must be remembered that administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their own.C. It is alleged that the application was made without the complainant's knowledge and consent. and for one (1) year from the practice of law on the charges of immorality and abandonment of his own family.

he represented his clients as tenants and acknowledged that complainants were the owners of the subject land. Octaviano that the charge that respondent had been engaged in the unlawful practice of law was neither satisfactorily explained nor specifically denied by the latter. Law Officers and Associates which included KDC as law partners in violation of the Rules on the practice of law with non-lawyers. His motion failed to give him beneficial monetary gain so he filed a Petition for Preliminary Injunction with prayer for issuance of a TRO and to quash alias writ of execution with demolition plus damages was filed by respondent before the DARAB central office. We note that complainants successfully substantiated their claim that respondent. Consequently. that his course of legal action was obviously a stratagem. It must be noted that when the Court of Appeals and this Court upheld that Decision. respondent claims good faith in pursuing the cause of his clients. The failure of Ruling: Lawyer guilty. we agree with the finding of IBP Commissioner Espina that the silence or failure of respondent to challenge the allegation that he allowed non-lawyers to engage in the unauthorized practice of law may be deemed an admission of the truth of the accusation. the CA declared the DARAB order as null and void for having been issued without jurisdiction. In the action to quiet title. he was able to obtain a temporary restraining order preventing the execution of the provincial adjudicator s Decision. found the respondent guilty of violation the A. he was able to delay the execution of the provincial adjudicator s Decision. By way of a Pet for certiorari filed by the petitioners. In the present case. . respondent to do so led to the presumption that the allegation was true. filed a manifestation stating that he is representing the farmers and alleged that they were bona fide members of the Kalayaan Development Cooperative. Law Offices and Associates. respondent resorted to a different forum to pursue his clients lost cause. PARAD did not give due course to the same. A TRO was issued by the DARAB. however. Cavite. The farmers filed several verified pleadings alleging that they were "Magsasakang Namumuwisan" of the subject properties. Thereafter. in order to secure a temporary restraining order from the RTC of Imus. but said petition was dismissed with finality. In the disturbance compensation case. 2006 before the PARAD of Cavite and the higher courts. the commiss. The RTC of Imus quashed the earlier issued TRO and dismissed the case for being res judicata. Counsel for the farmers. Respondent filed a verified "Action to Quiet Title" before the RTC of Imus. knowing that there was a monetary judgment by way of Disturbance Compensation granted to the farmers filed a Motion to allow correction of caption and amendment of judgment with prayer to include the name of Kalayaan Development Corp. Willy Roxas. Moreover. who held himself out as a law partner of the KDC Legal Services. representing the respondents in the caption of the pleading. At a hearing scheduled by the commissioner of the IBP-CBD. The PARAD rendered a decision in favor of complainant. As a result. respondent had maliciously concealed the defeat of his clients in the case Plus Builders v. acknowledging the rights of the registered owners at that time. he filed a Notice of Appeal. Damian Vellaseca. Another counsel. who represented himself as counself for the farmers. Atty. A contract of retainership was also attached to the motion to make KDC represented by the respondent. filed a proforma Motion for Recon and Manifestation. he conveniently repudiated his previous admission by falsely alleging that his clients were adverse possessors claiming bona fide ownership. The respondent elevated the case to the SC. His silence on this accusation is deemed an admission. Commissioner Espina opined Facts: Complainant Plus Builders filed a case before the DAR/PARAD of Cavite against De Guzman etc (herein called tenants/farmers). The respondent signed his pleading under a group of non-lawyers joining him in the practice of law as KDC Legal Services. however. oath and CPR. It was meant to delay unduly the execution of the provincial adjudicator s Decision.Allegedly. Anastacio Revilla September 13. (See Canon 9) Penalty: Suspended for 2 yrs. The records show. was rendering legal services together with persons not licensed to practice law. The respondent. especially because he had every chance to deny it. Moreover.

perverts or impedes the administration of justice constitutes misconduct.Renerio Sambajon et al v. neither is reprimand as recommended by the IBP. the labor arbiter dismissed said case insofar as the seven complainants were concerned. the respondent lawyer was found guilty of gross Facts: Herein complainants are the complainants in a NLRC case entitled Microplast Inc. In the interest of justice. Jr. He is an instrument to advance its cause. the SC gave the petition due course notwithstanding the fact that it was filed out of time. 2006 of a judicial proceeding. 4 of the 7 who allegedly executed the quitclaims. misconduct for his attempts to delay and obstruct the investigation being conducted by the IBP. denied having signed and sworn to before the arbiter the documents or having received the considerations therefor. Respondent was the counsel for the respondents in the case. While the Commission on Bar Discipline is not a court. Jose Suing September 26. the proceedings therein are nonetheless part Octaviano . The labor arbiter dismissed the illegal strike case and declared the employer-clients of respondent guilty of ULP. Ruling: Yes. a lawyer is called upon to assist in the administration of justice. Workers Union v. On the basis of individual Release Waiver and Quitclaims purpotedly signed and sworn to by 7 complainants. this Court found that a suspension of one month from the practice of law was enough to give him the opportunity to retrace his steps back to the virtuous path of the legal profession. In Bantolo v. Nonetheless. This Court finds that respondent s suspension from the practice of law for six months is in order. Penalty: Suspended for 6 mos. not reasonable. Issue: WON the repondent can be disbarred for his alleged manipulation of 4 alleged release waiver and quitclaim by herein complainants. for ULP and illegal dismissal. under the facts and circumstances attendant to the case. The petition was filed 3 days after the 15 day period to assail the resolution. While the disbarment of respondent is. As an officer of the court. Any act on his part that tends to obstruct. Castillon. One of the complainants assailed the IBP resolution. Complainants also filed a criminal complaint for Falsification against respondent. The IBP Board of Governors approved and adopted the recommendation of the commissioner. Microplast Inc. Herein complainants. The IBP Commissioner recommended that respondent be faulted for negligence and that he be reprimanded with warning. a disciplinary action being in reality an investigation by the Court into the misconduct of its officers or an examination into his character.

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