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Lantoria vs. Bunyi Facts:  Cesar Lantoria sought disciplinary action against Bunyi, counsel for Mrs.

Constancia Mascarinas in certain civil cases  Allegedly committed acts of "graft and corruption, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and corruption of the judge (Vicente Galicia of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur) and bribery  in cases for ejectment of squatters in Mascarinas͛ land, Bunyi allegedly was the o one who prepared the decisions and judge simply signed them Issue: WON Bunyi is guilty of unethical conduct Held: YES Ratio:  letters show that he indeed prepared draft decisions for the judge to sign does not matter if it was clearly shown that the judge consented to such act or even asked for it  violated canon 3: attempts to exert personal influence on the court  violated: o CANON 13 Ͷ A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of influencing the court.  Rule 13.01 Ͷ A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for, cultivating familiarity with judges. SUSPENDED FOR A YEAR.

PRESIDENT JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN Facts:  -Attorney Alan F. Paguia, as counsel for Estrada, averred that the respondent justices have violated Rule 5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct by attending the ͚EDSA 2 Rally͛ and by authorizing the assumption of Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the Presidency in violation of the 1987 Constitution. o ͞Rule 5.10. A judge is entitled to entertain personal views on political questions. But to avoid suspicion of political partisanship, a judge shall not make political speeches, contribute to party funds, publicly endorse candidates for political office or participate in other partisan political activities.͟  Also, petitioner contended that the justices have prejudged a case that would assail the legality of the act taken by President Arroyo. The subsequent decision of the C ourt in Estrada v. Arroyo (353 SCRA 452 and 356 SCRA 108) is, petitioner states, a patent mockery of justice and due process.  According to Atty. Paguia, during the hearing of his ͚Mosyong Pangrekonsiderasyon͛ on 11 June 2003, the three justices of the Special Division of the Sandiganbayan made manifest their bias and partiality against his client.  Thus, he averred, Presiding Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario supposedly employed foul and disrespectful language when she blurted out, ͚Magmumukha naman kaming gago,͛ (Rollo, p. 13.) and Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro characterized the motion as insignificant even before the prosecution could file its comments or opposition thereto, (Rollo, p. 12.) remarking in open court that to grant Estrada͛s motion would result in chaos and disorder. (Ibid.) Prompted by the alleged ͚bias and partial attitude͛ of the Sandiganbayan justices, Attorney Paguia filed, on 14 July 2003, a motion for their disqualification.  The petitioner also asked the Court to include in its Joint Resolution the TRUTH of the acts of Chief Justice Davide, et al., last January 20, 2001 in: a. going to EDSA 2;


b. authorizing the proclamation of Vice-President Arroyo as President on the ground of permanent disability͛ even without proof of compliance with the corresponding constitutional conditions, e.g., written declaration by either the President or majority of his cabinet; and c. actually proclaiming Vice-President Arroyo on that same ground of permanent disability. In a letter, dated 30 June 2003, addressed to Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., and Associate Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, he has demanded, in a clearly disguised form of forum shopping, for several advisory opinions on matters pending before the Sandiganbayan. Subsequently, the court ruled that the instant petition assailing the foregoing orders must be DISMISSED for gross insufficiency in substance and for utter lack of merit. The Sandiganbayan committed no grave abuse of discretion, an indispensable requirement to warrant a recourse to the extraordinary relief of etition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure. In a resolution, dated 08 July 2003, the Court strongly warned Attorney Alan Paguia, on pain of disciplinary sanction, to desist from further making, directly or indirectly, similar submissions to this Court or to its Members. Unmindful of the well-meant admonition to him by the Court, Attorney Paguia appears to persist on end. o In fact, on the 7th September 2003 issue of the Daily Tribune, Atty. Paguia wrote to say - ͞What is the legal effect of that violation of President Estrada͛s right to due process of law? It renders the decision in Estrada vs. Arroyo unconstitutional and void. The rudiments of fair play were not observed. There was no fair play since it appears that when President Estrada filed his petition, Chief Justice Davide and his fellow justices had already committed to the other party - GMA - with a judgment already made and waiting to be formalized after the litigants shall have undergone the charade of a formal hearing. After the justices had authorized the proclamation of GMA as president, can they be expected to voluntarily admit the unconstitutionality of their own act?͟

Issue: WON Atty. Paguia committed a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Held:     

Criticism or comment made in good faith on the correctness or wrongness, soundness or unsoundness, of a decision of the Court would be welcome for, if well-founded, such reaction can enlighten the court and contribute to the correction of an error if committed. (In Re Sotto, 82 Phil 595.) However, Attorney Paguia has not limited his discussions to the merits of his client͛s case within the judicial forum. Indeed, he has repeated his assault on the Court in both broadcast and print media. o ͞Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prohibits a member of the bar from making such public statements on any pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party. By his acts, Attorney Paguia may have stoked the fires of public dissension and posed a potentially dangerous threat to the administration of justice.͟ It should be clear that the phrase ͞partisan political activities,͟ in its statutory context, relates to acts designed to cause the success or the defeat of a particular candidate or candidates who have filed certificates of candidacy to a public office in an election. The taking of an oath of office by any incoming President of the Republic before the Chief Justice of the Philippines is a traditional official function of the Highest Magistrate. The assailed presence of other justices of the Court at such an event could be no different from their appearance in such other official functions as attending the Annual State of the Nation Address by the President of the Philippines before the Legislative Department. The Supreme Court does not claim infallibility; but it will not countenance any wrongdoing nor allow the erosion of our people͛s faith in the judicial system, let alone, by those who have been privileged by it to practice law in the Philippines. Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that the lawyer should observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and judicial officers and, indeed, should insist on similar conduct by others. In liberally imputing sinister and devious motives and questioning the impartiality, integrity, and authority of the members of the Court, Atty. Paguia has only succeeded in seeking to impede, obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice. The Court has already warned Atty. Paguia, on pain of disciplinary sanction, to become mindful of his grave responsibilities as a lawyer and as an officer of the Court. Apparently, he has chosen not to at all take heed.

3526-V-91 was a "losing cause" for the complainants because it was based on the expulsion of the plaintiff therein from the Far Eastern University Faculty Association (FEUFA) which was declared unlawful in the final decision in NCR-OD-M-90-10-050. Only to disclose later that he never answered it after all because according to him he was a very busy man. the respondent admits his "mistake" in failing to file the complainants' answer in Civil Case No. failed to act accordingly. They allegedly expelled from the union Paulino Salvador. 3526-V-91 Val. The latter then commenced with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) a complaint (NCR-OD-M-90-10-050) to declare illegal his expulsion from the union. 3. Attorney Alan Paguia is hereby indefinitely suspended from the practice of law. it cannot warrant his disbarment or suspension from the practice of the law profession. That we are Defendants-Appellates [sic] in the Court of Appeals Case No. That because of Atty. SOCORRO F. pray that the latter be disbarred for "malpractice." They attached thereto an Affidavit of Merit wherein they specifically allege: 1. Amado Foja's neglect and malpractice of law we lost the Judge Capulong case and our appeal to the Court of Appeals. vs. So that it is only proper that Atty. Issues having been joined. respectively. BENJAMIN Q. and Trinidad Nordista were the President. CV No." He further claims that the complainants filed this case to harass him because he refused to share his attorney's fees in the main labor case he had handled for them. Atty. .: In their letter of 8 September 1993. 38153 of which to our surprise lost unnecessarily the aforesaid Petition [sic].e. but he alleges that it was cured by his filing of a motion for reconsideration. That he had already answered the complaint so that in spite of the incessant demand for him to give us a copy he continued to deny same to us. In his Comment. FOJAS DAVIDE JR. 3526-V-91. the decision in the Expulsion case wherein defendants (complainants herein) illegally removed from the union (FEUFA) membership Mr. Amado Fojas tantamount to malpractice and negligence in the performance of his duty obligation to us. we required the parties to inform us whether they were willing to submit this case for decision on the basis of the pleadings they have filed. J. .N. to defend us in the aforesaid case. CA-G. effective upon his receipt hereof. 1993. 2. the complainants. Ma. even granting for the sake of argument that such failure amounted to negligence. The respondent then prays for the dismissal of this complaint for utter lack of merit.. In their separate compliance. both manifested in the affirmative. for conduct unbecoming a lawyer and an officer of the Court. former clients of the respondent. Benjamin Hontiveros. since his failure to file the answer was cured and. WHEREFORE. ATTY. AMADO R. Paulino Salvador. VicePresident. and TRINIDAD NORDISTA.. Metro Manila so that we were deduced [sic] in default. of the FEUFA. Please refer to Court of Appeals decision dated August 17. The facts in this case are not disputed. Socorro Manas. A close perusal of the case reveals the serious misconduct of our attorney on record. Complainants Veronica Santiago. The complainants filed a Reply to the respondent's Comment. or seriously neglected to answer the civil complaint against us in the sala of Judge Teresita Capulong Case No. That under false pretenses Atty. and Auditor. Treasurer. He asserts that Civil Case No. That the said attorney without informing us the reason why and riding high on the trust and confidence we repose on him either abandoned. "[t]he unfavorable judgment in the Regional Trial Court is not imputable to [his] mistake but rather imputable to the merits of the case. MR. neglect and other offenses which may be discovered during the actual investigation of this complaint. Fojas assured us that everything was in order. VERONICA S. . which was unfortunately denied by the court. . Thus. i. SANTIAGO. MANAS. Fojas be disciplined and disbarred in the practice of his profession. HONTIVEROS.

R. upon plaintiff Salvador's motion. and 21 of the Civil Code. the complainants were declared in default. however. 3526-V-91. 5 This simply means that his client is entitled to the benefit of any and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land and he may expect his lawyer to assert every such remedy or defense. 4Elsewise stated. the trial court rendered a decision ordering the complainants herein to pay. 1 subject. The respondent then filed a motion to set aside the order of default and to stop the ex-parte reception of evidence before the Clerk of Court. 25834. Med-Arbiter Tomas Falconitin declared illegal Salvador's expulsion and directed the union and all its officers to reinstate Salvador's name in the roll of union members with all the rights and privileges appurtenant thereto. This motion having been denied.000. still assisted by the respondent. under Articles 19. Metro Manila. a complaint against the complainants herein for actual. The trial court.000. The respondent asserts that he was about to appeal the said decision to this Court. Thereafter. SP No. As the complainants' counsel. in failing to file for the complainants an answer in Civil Case No. he also serves the ends of justice. but to no avail. and required the complainants herein to file their answer within a nonextendible period of fifteen days from notice. He has the right to decline employment. however. Hence. the respondent still did not file the complainants' answer in Civil Case No. however. 3526-V-91. Once he agrees to take up the cause of a client.00 as moral damages. and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. since what was involved was an intra-union issue cognizable by the DOLE. reinstated the case.00 as exemplary damages or corrective damages. to the bar. as would warrant disciplinary action. 6 If much is demanded from an attorney. legally applied. care. This resolution was affirmed in toto by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. which was received ex-parte. and P65. which. plus cost of suit. It is axiomatic that no lawyer is obliged to act either as adviser or advocate for every person who may wish to become his client. save by the rules of law. 3 and champion the latter's cause with wholehearted fidelity. 20. The core issue that presents itself is whether the respondent committed culpable negligence. 7 .000. does honor to the bar. affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court. Paulino Salvador filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Valenzuela. 3526-V-91 for which reason the latter were declared in default and judgment was rendered against them on the basis of the plaintiff's evidence.00 as attorney's fees. Subsequently.In his resolution of 22 November 1990. to Canon 14 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. moral. Instead of filing an answer. the lawyer owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. The complainants. which was later referred to the Court of Appeals and docketed therein as CA-G. Upon Salvador's motion for reconsideration. and Salvador was authorized to present his evidence ex-parte. and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability to the end that nothing be taken or withheld from his client. jointly and severally. granted the motion and ordered the dismissal of the case. the respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and dismissal of the case. and to the public. it reconsidered the order of dismissal. plaintiff Salvador the amounts of P200. Although that petition and his subsequent motion for reconsideration were both denied. per Judge Teresita Dizon-Capulong. he owes entire devotion to the interest of the client. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. he filed a supplemental motion to dismiss. Branch 172. elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. 2 He must serve the client with competence and diligence. the respondent filed with this Court a petition for certiorari. and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession. Later. warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his client's rights. it is because the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it the correlative duties not only to the client but also to the court. P50. the respondent filed a motion to dismiss the said case on grounds of (1) res judicataby virtue of the final decision of the Med-Arbiter in NCR-OD-M-90-10-050 and (2) lack of jurisdiction. and devotion. but his services as counsel for the complainants and for the union were illegally and unilaterally terminated by complainant Veronica Santiago. A lawyer who performs his duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interest of his client.

The second ground is purely based on forgetfulness because of his other commitments. . No. while in his Comment in this case he attributes it to honest mistake and excusable neglect due to his overzealousness to question the denial order of the trial court. to their damage and prejudice" for." The respondent's negligence is not excused by his claim that Civil Case No. . . 10 And. Rule 15. The first presupposes the respondent's full and continuing awareness of his duty to file an answer which. he should have seasonably informed the complainants thereof. . Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility expressly provides: A lawyer. the fact remains that the respondent did not comply with his duty to file an answer in Civil Case No. the complainants herein. 3526-V-91. Every case a lawyer accepts deserves his full attention. No. . when advising his client.05. malicious and calculated to place them on the legal disadvantage. . Certainly. and competence. in his appeal from the judgment by default. docketed as G." 9 In short. skill. the respondent committed a breach of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which requires him to serve his clients. This claim is a mere afterthought which hardly persuades us. he again "inadvertently" failed to file an answer "[d]ue to honest mistake and because of his overzealousness as stated earlier. Pressure and large volume of legal work provide no excuse for the respondent's inability to exercise due diligence in the performance of his duty to file an answer. filed a PETITION FOR CERTIORARI with the Honorable Court. " In their Reply. diligence. regardless of its importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. 8 [he] instead. as admitted by him in his motion to set aside the order of default. thru honest mistake and excusable neglect. And.03 thereof which provides: "A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him.R. In his motion for reconsideration of the default order. the respondent explained his nonfiling of the required answer by impliedly invoking forgetfulness occasioned by a large volume and pressure of legal work. "overzealousness" on the one hand and "volume and pressure of legal work" on the other are two distinct and separate causes or grounds. he did not even raise as one of the errors of the trial court either the impropriety of the order of default or the court's grave abuse of discretion in denying his motion to lift that order. when the Court of Appeals. the complainants allege that his failure to file an answer was not an honest mistake but was "deliberate. If indeed the respondent was so convinced of the futility of any defense therein. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.R. Whether it be the first or the second ground. 100983. We agree with the complainants. All told.The respondent admits that it was his duty to file an answer in Civil Case No. shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client's case. His lack of diligence was compounded by his erroneous belief that the trial court committed such error or grave abuse of discretion and by his continued refusal to file an answer even after he received the Court of Appeals' decision in the certiorari case. He justifies his failure to do so in this wise: [I]n his overzealousness to question the Denial Order of the trial court. dismissed the petition. the complainants want to impress upon this Court that the respondent has given inconsistent reasons to justify his failure to file an answer. with diligence and. he subordinated to his conviction that the trial court had committed a reversible error or grave abuse of discretion in issuing an order reconsidering its previous order of dismissal of Salvador's complaint and in denying the motion to reconsider the said order. to which G. his failure to do so was "due to volume and pressure of legal work. Neither was it shown that he alleged in his motion to lift the order of default that the complainants had a meritorious defense. Rule 18. There is no showing whatsoever that he further assailed the said decision before this Court in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to prove his claim of overzealousness to challenge the trial court's order. . 3526-V-91 was in fact a "losing cause" for the complainants since the claims therein for damages were based on the final decision of the Med-Arbiter declaring the complainants' act of expelling Salvador from the union to be illegal. neither overstating nor understanding the prospects of the case. 100983 was referred. 3526-V-91. more specifically. nevertheless.

complainants accuse Atty. An attorney cannot represent adverse interests. the complainants were not entirely without any valid or justifiable defense. No. lawyers shall not represent conflicting interests. malpractice. The governors of the IBP increased the penalty for 2 years. to use against the first one any knowledge acquired through their professional connection. if he were unconvinced of any defense. We do not therefore hesitate to rule that the respondent is not free from any blame for the sad fate of the complainants. a lawyer is required to fight for an issue or claim. of course. August 2. more careful in the performance of his duty to his clients. 2002 Facts: Artezuela filed before the Supreme Court a verified complaint for disbarment against the respondent. respondent did not do anything to keep the case moving. . NO. Arquillo guilty of the charge and recommended a penalty of suspension for 6 months. He is liable for inexcusable negligence. gross misconduct and/or violation of his oath as attorney by representing conflicting interests. AMADO R. Macatrio D. Arquillo is suspended for 1 year from the practice of law. According to her.C. however slight such conflict may be. He withdrew as counsel without obtaining complainant͛s consent. The proscription applies when the conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter. 2005 Facts: Atty. When a lawyer represents two or more opposing parties. 6632. or (3) when the acceptance of a new relation would prevent the full discharge of an attorney͛s duty to give undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or would invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance of that duty. Finally. Held: The Code of Professional Responsibility requires lawyers to observe candor. NICOLAS vs. Notwithstanding complainant͛s persistent and repeated follow-up. The case was filed with the IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline which found Atty. RICARTE B. they could ask for a reduction of the amounts thereof. FOJAS is hereby REPRIMANDED and ADMONISHED to be. MADERAZO A. APRIL 22. unless. in representation of one client. the existence of which is determined by three separate tests: (1) when. (2) when the acceptance of the new retainer will require an attorney to perform an act that may injuriously affect the first client or. ATTY. and BEN A.. fairness and loyalty in all their dealings and transactions with their clients. but is also duty-bound to oppose it for another client. ATTY. Corollary to this duty. henceforth. when called upon in a new relation. respondent asked for its postponement although all the parties were present. ARQUILLO A.C. given after a full disclosure of the facts. Regional Arbitration Branch in San Fernando. They could prove that the plaintiff was not entitled to all the damages sought by him or that if he were so. It is a hornbook doctrine grounded on public policy that a lawyer͛s representation of both sides of an issue is highly improper. 4354. he meant all of these to simply delay the disposition of the civil case. when her case was scheduled for pre-trial conference. LOLITA ARTEZUELA VS. It applies even when the attorney acts from honest intentions or in good faith. WHEREFORE.Then too. La Union. there is a conflict of interests. INC. Atty. Issue: Whether or not the acts of Arquillo merits his suspension from the practice of law. Arquillo represented opposing parties in one a case before the before the National Labor Relations Commission. She alleged that respondent grossly neglected his duties her lawyer in a damage suit and failed to represent her interests with zeal and enthusiasm. MACARIO D. Arquillo of deceit. except with all the concerned clients͛ written consent. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY. In accordance with previous rulings from this court Atty. Herein. SO ORDERED. we are unable to understand why he took all the trouble of filing a motion to dismiss on the grounds of res judicata and lack of jurisdiction and of questioning the adverse ruling thereon initially with this Court and then with the Court of Appeals.

respondent prepared Echavia͛s Answer to the Amended Complaint.   Issue: WON Cedo violated the aforesaid Canons and Rules of CPR&CPE  YES. Rule 6. Ferrer what to say and argue before the court in the Almeda case. Cedo. appeared as one of Ong Siy͛s counsels in a civil action bet Ong Siy & PNB w/c arose from the pull-out transaction o while being the Asst. al. Issue: Whether or not the lawyer should be disbarred. Held: Yes. the highest form of disloyalty. with impunity. the latter were represented by the law firm ͞Cedo. And when a civil action ensued bet. Telesforo S. The said document was even printed in respondent͛s office. in favor of Ong Siy authorizing pull-out of steel sheets o who had since left the employ of PNB.although these circumstances are the most obvious and satisfactory proof of the charge. Cedo: o Had participated in arranging the sale of steel sheets in favor of Milagros Ong Siy for P200K o ͞Noted͟ the gate passes issued by his subordinate. He also impliedly admitted being the partner of Atty. Group. et. IBP found: o that Cedo was previously fined for forum shopping Milagros Ong Siy v. contending that the case was only handled by Atty. with violation of Canon 6. o That assuming the alleged set-up of the firm were true. Rule 6. he was practically dictating to Atty. Maynigo & Assocs͟ of w/c Cedo is one of the Senior Partners Cedo admitted he appeared as counsel of Ong Siy but only w/ respect to the execution pending appeal. Salvador Tensuan. To be guilty of representing conflicting interests. o that charges made by PNB are fully substantiated o that his averment that their firm is not really a partnership cannot be entertained given that although he did not enter his appearance. that Cedo deliberately devised ways and means to attracts as clientformer borrowers of PNB since he was in the best position to see the legal weaknesses of his former employer. PNB vs Cedo   Administrative Matter in the SC. . Ferrer. claiming adverse and conflicting interests with that of his original client. Hon. Pedro Ferrer and that their law firm is not really a partnership since they handle their own cases independently. a counsel-of-record of one party need not also be counsel-of-record of the adverse party. The case was referred to IBP for investigation. He is guilty of representing conflicting interests prohibited by Rule 15. misleading the trial court into thinking that the dismissal was with her consent.03 of Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Emmanuel Elefan. Ferrer. While the SC agreed with the findings of the IBP. To require that he also be counsel-of-record of the adverse party would punish only the most obvious form of deceit and reward. PNB and the spouses. Group. He does not have to publicly hold himself as the counsel of the adverse party. report and recommendation. While acting as her counsel. it is in itself a violation ofCPR (Rule 15. He denied ever appearing as counsel for the Almeda͛s.Complainant also claimed that respondent engaged in activities inimical to her interests.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility Complainant PNB charged respondent Atty.02) since the client͛s secrets and confidential records andinformation are exposed to the other lawyers and staff members at all times o In sum. VP of the Asset Mgt. Particularly.03 CPR by appearing as counsel for individuals who had transactions w/ complainant bank in w/c Cedo during his employment w/ aforesaid bank. nor make his efforts to advance the adverse party͛s conflicting interests of record--. had intervened. intervened in the handling of a loan account of the spouses Ponciano and Eufemia Almeda w/ complainant bank by writing demand letters to the couple. Violation of Canon 6. It is enough that the counsel of one party had a hand in the preparation of the pleading of the other party. The IBP thus recommended a 3-yr suspension. it also emphasized the importance of avoiding representation of conflicting interests. Complainant further averred that it was respondent who sought the dismissal of the case. former Asst. VP of PNB͛s Asset Mgt.

through the use of coconut levy funds.. and c. UNICOM. in PCGG Case No. et al. As members of the ACCRA Law Firm. Abello. Through insidious means & machinations. Roco. filed a separate answer denying the allegations in the complaint implicating him in the alleged ill-gotten wealth.  PCGG filed a "Motion to Admit 3rd Amended Complaint" & "3rd Amended Complaint" w/c excluded Roco from the complaint in PCGG Case No. Roco didn͛t refute petitioners' contention that he did actually not reveal the identity of the client involved in PCGG Case No. v. . who had separated from ACCRA law firm. was in furtherance of legitimate lawyering  Petitioner Paraja Hayudini. but as to whether the attorney has adhered to proper professional standard. precedent for the exclusion of petitioners: a. devised. shares & its institutionalization through presidential directives of the coconut monopoly. SANDIGANBAYAN [1996]  Special Civil Action in the SC.  Consequently. Hernandez: o Whatever may be said as to whether or not respondent utilized against his former client information given to him in a professional capacity. nor had he undertaken to reveal the identity of the client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder. petitioners alleged that their participation in the acts w/ w/c their co-defendants are charged. schemed. and in keeping with the office practice. 33 as party defendant. ACCRA lawyers acted as nomineesstockholders of the said corporations involved in sequestration proceedings. submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship. which includes shares of stocks in the named corps. for the recovery of alleged illgotten wealth. COCOMARK. 0033. 33 (CC No. However. Concepcion. & more than 20 other coconut levy funded corps. Paz w/c cited Nombrado v. through the Presidential Commission on Good Gov͛t (PCGG) against Eduardo M. ACCRA Investments Corp. the members of the law firm acquire information relative to the assets of clients as well as their personal and business circumstances.  Petitioners then filed their "Comment &/or Opposition" w/ Counter-Motion that PCGG exclude them as partiesdefendants like Roco. PCGG presented supposed proof to substantiate compliance by Roco of the same conditions precedent. Cojuangco. but as well to protect the honest lawyer from unfounded suspicion of unprofessional practice͙the question is not necessarily one of the rights of the parties. COCOLIFE. the members of the law firm delivered to its client documents which substantiate the client's equity holdings. conspired & confederated w/each other in setting up. during said proceedings.  In their answer to the Expanded Amended Complaint. Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices. who all were then partners of the law firm Angara. Certiorari  RP instituted a Complaint before the Sandiganbayan (SB).  It cited the case of Pasay Law and Conscience Union. as one of the principal defendants. the financial & corporate framework & structures that led to establishment of UCPB.. including the acquisition of San Miguel Corp. the mere fact of their previous relationship should have precluded him from appearing as counsel for the other side͙ o This stern rule is designed not alone to prevent the dishonest practitioner from fraudulent conduct. He is also in violation of Canon 6. Inc. b. the submission of the deeds of assignments petitioners executed in favor of its clients covering their respective shareholdings. 33. the disclosure of the identity of its clients. CIC. Eduardo Cojuangco. became the holder of roughly 3.  PCGG set the ff. Roco having promised he͛ll reveal the identity of the principal/s for whom he acted as nominee/stockholder in the companies involved in PCGG Case # 33  Petitioners were included in 3rd Amended Complaint for having plotted.  In the course of their dealings with their clients. petitioners and private respondent Raul Roco admit that they assisted in the organization and acquisition of the companies included in CC No. Jr. CPE on adverse influence and conflicting interests Holding: Suspended for 3 years REGALA vs. 0033) entitled "RP vs."  Among the defendants named in the case are herein petitioners and herein private respondent Raul S. ACCRA Law Firm performed legal services for its clients and in the performance of these services.3% of the total outstanding capital stock of UCPB.

Disqualification by reason of privileged communication.  Further.  An attorney is more than a mere agent or servant. thus. deserving equal treatment o SB gravely abused its discretion in not holding that. because he possesses special powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. PCGG has no valid cause of action as against petitioners and should exclude them from the 3rd Amended Complaint. under the facts of this case. the fiduciary duty to his client which is of a very delicate.   In a Resolution. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states: Sec. Such being the case. but gives up all that he gained by the contract to the person who requested him. wherein lawyers' services may be compensated by honorarium or for hire. and mandato (contract of agency) wherein a friend on whom reliance could be placed makes a contract in his name. assailing SB͛s resolution on essentially same grounds averred by petitioners. exacting and confidential character. 20. requiring a very high degree of fidelity and good faith. is worded in Rules of Court. likewise. WON PCGG has a valid cause of action as against the petitioners  NO. Petitioners are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities and services performed in the course of their duties as lawyers. ethical conduct and duties that breathe life into it. o SB gravely abused its discretion in not requiring that dropping of party defendants be based on reasonable & just grounds. filed his own MFR w/c was also denied thus. It is quite apparent from the PCGG's willingness to cut a deal with petitioners that petitioners were impleaded by the PCGG as co-defendants to force them to disclose the identity of their clients. SB denied the exclusion of petitioners. Hence. there are rules. nor are the documents it required (deeds of assignment) protected. WON attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of their client(s) & the other information requested by the PCGG  YES. The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases: xxx An attorney cannot. stenographer. professional employment. 24. be examined as to any communication made by the client to him. without the consent of his client. Quite obviously. that is required by reason of necessity and public interest based on the hypothesis that abstinence from seeking legal advice in a good cause is an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice. through its counsel. the existence and identity of the client. or with a view to. or clerk be examined. But the lawyer-client relationship is more than that of the principal-agent and lessor-lessee. Rule 130: Sec. among those. o SB gravely abused its discretion in not considering petitioners & Roco similarly situated &. ͞ACCRA lawyers cannot excuse themselves from the consequences of their acts until they have begun to establish the basis for recognizing the privilege. concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity. namely: o SB gravely abused its discretion in subjecting petitioners to the strict application of the law of agency. Nature of lawyer-client relationship is premised on the Roman Law concepts of locatio conductio operarum (contract of lease of services) where one person lets his services and another hires them without reference to the object of which the services are to be performed.  It would seem that petitioners are merely standing in for their clients as defendants in the complaint. for their refusal to comply w/ the conditions required by PCGG. petitioners' inclusion as co-defendants in the complaint is merely being used as leverage to compel them to name their clients and consequently to enable the PCGG to nail these clients.  Attorney-client privilege. in the creation of lawyer-client relationship. can an attorney's secretary. Petitioner Hayudini. because they are evidence of nominee status. ACCRA lawyers filed the petition for certiorari.͟ ACCRA lawyers filed MFR w/c was denied. It held. alleging that the revelation of the identity of the client is not w/in the ambit of the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege. It is the duty of an attorney: . An attorney occupies a "quasi-judicial office" since he is in fact an officer of the Court & exercises his judgment in the choice of courses of action to be taken favorable to his client. or his advice given thereon in the course of. the attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of their client(s) and the other information requested by the PCGG.  Thus. he filed a separate petition for certiorari. refutes petitioners' contention. w/ due consideration to constitutional rights of petitioners PCGG. without the consent of the client and his employer.

Instant case falls under at least 2 exceptions to the general rule.: couldn͛t reveal name of his client as this would expose the latter to civil litigation. . to disclose not only his retainer.Ex-Parte Enzor and U. Exceptions to the gen. First.S. and at every peril to himself. & w/ no gov͛t audit or investigation into that client's income tax liability pending Apart from these principal exceptions. . which is privileged information. the identity of the client has been held to be privileged. there exist other situations which could qualify as exceptions to the general rule: o if the content of any client communication to a lawyer is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which the client seeks legal assistance o where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously disclosed & it is the identity w/c is intended to be confidential.Matter of Shawmut Mining Company: ͞We feel sure that under such conditions no case has ever gone to the length of compelling an attorney. since such revelation would otherwise result in disclosure of the entire transaction. o Privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has been established. rule: o Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the client's name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyer's advice. the said name would furnish the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime. o Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability. o Privilege generally pertains to subject matter of relationship o Due process considerations require that the opposing party should. information relating to the identity of a client may fall within the ambit of the privilege when the client's name itself has an independent significance. protects the subject matter or the substance (without which there would be no attorney-client relationship). An effective lawyer-client relationship is largely dependent upon the degree of confidence which exists between lawyer and client which in turn requires a situation which encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and flow of information. Korner: a lawyer could not be forced to reveal the names of clients who employed him to pay sums of money to gov͛t voluntarily in settlement of undetermined income taxes. disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case. Hodge and Zweig: The subject matter of the relationship was so closely related to the issue of the client's identity that the privilege actually attached to both. the Court held that this duty may be asserted in refusing to disclose the name of petitioners' client(s) in the case at bar. his identity is privileged. CPR (͞A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.Baird vs. because the privilege. . at the instance of a hostile litigant. the client's name is privileged. v. by revealing the client's name. Terminal Cab Corp. but the nature of the transactions to w/c it related. as a general rule. as stated earlier. The general rule is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of his client. to preserve the secrets of his client. and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge and approval.͟) Canon 15.          (e) to maintain inviolate the confidence. Reasons advanced for the general rule: o Court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected is flesh and blood. . CPE also demands a lawyer's fidelity to client. such that disclosure would then reveal client confidences. unsued on.͟ o Where the government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client unless.Neugass v. . know his adversary. when such information could be made the basis of a suit against his client. Summarizing these exceptions. This duty is explicitly mandated in Canon 17. Thus.

We have no choice but to uphold petitioners' right not to reveal the identity of their clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to their clients. the alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations. the invocation by petitioners of the privilege of attorney-client confidentiality at this stage of the proceedings is not premature and that they should not have to wait until they are called to testify and examine as witnesses as to matters learned in confidence before they can raise their objections. particularly the third. framework and set-up of the corporations in question. the latter's case should be built upon evidence painstakingly gathered by them from their own sources and not from compelled testimony requiring them to reveal the name of their clients.  Thus. not only in violation of the attorney-client privilege but also of the constitutional right against self-incrimination.e. which exists not only during the relationship. by no less than the PCGG itself as can be seen in the 3 specific conditions laid down by the PCGG which constitutes petitioners' ticket to non-prosecution should they accede thereto. revelation of the client's name would obviously provide the necessary link for the prosecution to build its case. among others. information which unavoidably reveals much about the nature of the transaction which may or may not be illegal. an undertaking which is so material as to have justified PCGG's special treatment exempting the private respondent from prosecution.that private respondent actually revealed the identity of his client(s) to the PCGG. 33 violates the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege & constitutes a transgression by SB & PCGG of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. where none otherwise exists.and absolutely nothing exists in the records of the case at bar .. the aforementioned deeds of assignment covering their client's shareholdings. we can readily deduce that the clients indeed consulted the petitioners. Since the undertaking happens to be the leitmotif of the entire arrangement between Mr. In fine. Secondly.e. While the privilege may not be invoked for illegal purposes such as in a case where a client takes on the services of an attorney. petitioners gave their professional advice in the form of. The Baird exception.         The link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice or legal service sought was duly established in the case at bar. Whichever way one looks at it. which might lead to possible action against him. under the third main exception. not yet in the hands of the prosecution. i. is consonant with the principal policy behind the privilege. this is a fishing expedition. regarding the financial and corporate structure. Otherwise. i. Roco and the PCGG. From these conditions. apprehension of compelled disclosure from attorneys must be eliminated. it would expose the lawyers themselves to possible litigation by their clients in view of the strict fiduciary responsibility imposed on them in exercise of their duties WON PCGG͛s exclusion violates equal protection  YES.  Lastly. What is sought to be avoided then is the exploitation of the general rule in what may amount to a fishing expedition by the prosecution. In turn. applicable to the instant case. SB should have required proof of the undertaking more substantial than a "bare assertion" that private respondent did indeed comply with the undertaking. that for the purpose of promoting freedom of consultation of legal advisors by clients. Petitioners have a legitimate fear that identifying their clients would implicate them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought. Respondents failed to show . in their capacity as lawyers. the crux of petitioner's objections ultimately hinges on their expectation that if the prosecution has a case against their clients. Whether or not the act for which the client sought advice turns out to be illegal. for illicit purposes. The utmost zeal given by Courts to the protection of the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege and lawyer's loyalty to his client is evident in the duration of the protection. as the facts of the instant case clearly fall w/in recognized exceptions to the rule that the client's name is not privileged information.. the Court held that the condition precedent required by the respondent PCGG of the petitioners for their exclusion as parties-defendants in PCGG Case No. The petitioners are not mere witnesses but are co-principals in the case for recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth. it may be invoked in a case where a client thinks he might have previously committed something illegal and consults his attorney. but extends even after the termination of the relationship. The case against . a free ride at the expense of such rights.  The PCGG's demand not only touches upon the question of the identity of their clients but also on documents related to the suspected transactions. his name cannot be used or disclosed if the disclosure leads to evidence.

the legal profession will suffer by the loss of the confidence of the people. Rosacia.. Phils. by filing a complaint before the National Labor Relations Commission. was severed as shown by another agreement of even date (Exh. that he has fully realized his mistake and the gravity of his offense for which he is fully repentant. 2 As found by the IBP. Phils. On July. 1990 at the age of 46 when the complained conduct was committed on August 1991.. 7 A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. to wit: 1. or after almost nine (9) months from the date respondent's retainer agreement with Tacma. 3 The sole issue to be addressed is whether or not respondent breached his oath of office for representing the employees of his former client. 1990. Having just hurdl ed the bar examinations which included an examination in legal ethics. the lawyer-client relationship between the respondent and Tacma Phils. LORENZANA FOOD CORPORATION vs. Benjamin B. 2 . CYNTHIA B. Francisco L. if not outright violation of his attorney's oath". ACCORDINGLY. Tacma. Petitioners should not be made to suffer the effects of further litigation when it is obvious that their inclusion in the complaint arose from a privileged attorney-client relationship and as a means of coercing them to disclose the identities of their clients. Inc. 1985 was filed by Lorenzana Food Corporation LFC. Phils. "3-a"). Daria. is administratively charged 1 on two counts.. 1985. resolved to refer the case to the Int egrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. Otherwise. BULALACAO Complainant Cynthia B. the IBP investigating commissioner. Inc. Bulalacao. 1990. but also learns from his client the weak and strong points of the case. This will ineluctably redound to his benefit and to the upliftment of the legal profession as well. Phils. ATTY. when the breach of his oath of office occurred more than a year after. found that respondent breached his oath of office and accordingly recommended respondent's suspension from the practice of law for three (3) months. On October 31. 1991. ATTY. and appearing in their behalf. by virtue of a written Agreement (Exh. against herein respondent Atty. No opportunity must be given attorneys to take advantage of the secrets of clients obtained while the confidential relation of attorney and client exists.petitioners should never be allowed to take its full course in the SB. Let this resolution be attached to respondent's record in the Office of the Bar Confidant and copies thereof furnished to all courts and to the Int egrated Bar of the Philippines.. 9 Respondent's plea for leniency cannot be granted. DARIA The respondent lawyer. president of Tacma. Inc. and that he pledges not to commit the same mistake and to henceforth strictly adhere to the professional standards set forth by the Code of Professional Responsibility. We note that respondent is new in the profession as he was just admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10. Acting on the complaint. BENJAMIN B. 1992. and received by the Court on February 25. Benjamin B. 6 The relation of attorney and client is one of confidence and trust in the highest degree. The Court reiterates that an attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also after the relation of attorney and client has terminated as it is not good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case other person against his former client under the pret ext that the case is distinct from.. respondent admitted that he "did commit an act bordering on grave misconduct. report and recommendation. A verified complaint dated February 22. In fact. Inc. respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three months. respondent Atty. the undisputed facts are as follows: On June 1.. We agree with the findings of the IBP that respondent breached his oath of office. FRANCISCO L. that he is of humble beginnings and his suspension will deprive his family of its only source of livelihood he being the sole bread winner in the family. A lawyer starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must start right and dutifully abide by the norms of conduct of the profession. 5 It behooves respondent not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence. the Court in a resolution dated February 24. 1991. he agreed to handle the case for the said employees as against Tacma. Holding: SB Resolutions ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. 1 In a resolution dated July 30. ROSACIA vs. by inhibiting himself and withdrawing his appearance as counsel in the labor case against Tacma. petitioners excluded as parties defendants in SB CC No.. Inc. but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. in his motion for reconsideration. a duly registered corporation. Inc. Commissioner Victor C. Thereafter... 4 However. Phils. after the t ermination of their attorney-client relationship. was terminated. Phils. Atty. Negligence and 2. Fernandez. the IBP Board of Governors resolved to adopt and approve the commissioner's report and recommendation. Betrayal of his former client's confidences. 1994. Inc. hereinafter). 1990. 8 An attorney not only becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client's cause. "3-b"). several employees of the corporation consulted the respondent for the purpose of filing an action for illegal dismissal. filed a complaint for disbarment dated October 25.. respondent is pleading for the Court's compassion and leni ency to reduce the IBP recommended three months suspension to either fine or admonition with the following proffered grounds: that he is relatively new in the profession having been admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10. surely the precepts of the Code of Professional Responsibility to keep inviolate the client's trust and confidence even after the attorney-client relation is terminated 10 must have been still fresh in his mind. Inc. that he has severed his attorney-client relationship with the employees of Tacma.. Bulalacao was hired as retained counsel of a corporation by the name of Tacma Phils. Respondent does not now dispute this. and independent of the former case.

no one appeared for complainant. During the initial hearing on June 13. Atty. The Constancia clearly states: "By agreement of the parties. 1985). pp. On the pretext that Hanopol was supposed to go to his office on that date respondent failed to appear for the second setting (tsn. 1984. the Labor Arbiter had already revived his earlier Decision dated July 29. complainant sent a demand letter to San Juan requiring him to restitute the amount of P9. 1984. In the meantime. 1981 as its legal counsel and was designated as its personnel manager six months later (tsn. Udarbe (tsn. 1985). The following facts are in connection with the charge of negligence: Respondent was hired by complainant Lorenzana Food Corporation (LFC) on January 8. issued a memorandum dated February 28. After proper proceedings. So. E). p. However. he considered the case submitted for decision on the basis of Hanopol's complaint and affidavit (Exh.351. the Solicitor General argues that the respondent's explanation is manifestly unsatisfactory. setting the hearing therein also on June 28. 1983. 3 xxx xxx xxx For failure to appear in two consecutive hearings and to submit a position paper in the Hanopol case which resulted in complainant LFC's default and judgment against it by the Labor Arbiter. as previously scheduled. on July 29. the effective date of his resignation (Exh. 3). a complaint for estafa was lodged against him before the Office of the Provincial Fiscal. case reset to June 17. pp. 1984 (Exh. 1983. Respondent prepared San Juan's counteraffidavit and signed it (Exh. 9. Respondent was furnished a copy of this memorandum (Exh. C) to its employee.15 (Exh. 4). Faced with a conflicting schedul e. the Office of the Labor Arbiter to move for postponement (Exh. Jose Loy. the NLRC ordered anew the remand of the case for further proceedings (Exh. Nov. LFC employee. San Juan then submitted his counteraffidavit to the Office of the Provincial Fiscal (tsn. Rogelio Udarbe to take his place on July 16. Loy to appeal the latter Decision (Exh. 1985). 8). Respondent had not submitted a position paper. 1983 the Order for the resetting to June 1983 (Exh.The Court. on June 20. Since no agreement was reached the hearing was reset to June 17. the pertinent facts may be summarized as follows: Respondent Francisco L. 1984." 6 Since it was signed by both Hanopol and the respondent. G-1). investigated San Juan on his unliquidated advances. 1983.469. H-5. On September 1. Sebastian Cortes. 1983 in another Decision dat ed September 4. Dec. 23-25. Jr. to which respondent belongs. summing up San Juan's unliquidated advances amounting to P9. However. resolved to refer this case to the Office of the Solicitor General for investigation. Respondent's telephone message apparently failed to reach the Labor Arbiter. 35. 1985. 1984 and August 8. on the scheduled day of the second hearing. Daria is charged with negligence and betrayal of his former client's confidences. The Labor Arbiter set two more dates for hearing: July 27. the Labor Arbiter was constrained to further reset the hearing to June 28. In the meantime. 7). Dec. p. Hanopol filed a "Manifestation and Motion" praying that the earlier Decision of the Labor Arbiter dated July 29. on the basis of Hanopol's evidence alone. and on September 19. 9. 9. Respondent endorsed the cases of complainant to Atty. p. 9. he followed this up with a position paper for LFC (Exh.15." dated February 21. Bernardo. pp. on August 15. the middle of June 1984. 42. F). 1984 (Exh. Violeta Hanopol. 2). thereby prompting Atty. On September 5. and recommendation. Respondent Daria appealed the Decision to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on August 23. 1983 at 2:00 p. 1984. the respondent is faulted for negligence. 1985). On September 20. management hired Atty. requiring him to submit a written explanation for his alleged double liquidation and unliquidated cash advances. The respondent avers that Hanopol should have seen him in his office to work out a compromise agreement. 1983 (Exh. summons was served on the parties with the requirement that position papers be submitted (Exh. On May 30. 1984. G). The case was remanded to the Labor Arbiter for further proceedings. 1983 (Exh. During the hearings in the Hanopol case on July 27. 1984 and July 12. was hired by complainant LFC vice Atty. The executive committee. 16. the following facts appear on record: While respondent was still connected with complainant. filed a complaint for illegal dismissal and other monetary claims against complainant before the Ministry (now Department) of Labor and Employment (MOLE). respondent decided to move to postpone the hearing in the Hanopol case. because at the hearing on June 28. 1984 (Exh. H-6). 1985). Respondent received on June 23. Roberto San Juan. tsn. 1983. D-3). D) was issued this time by complainant's internal auditor. The case was set for hearing on June 25. 1973 * (sic) Hanopol and respondent tried to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement. From the findings made by the Solicitor General.m. After a month. inst ead of filing a written motion for postponement. 1984 and August 8. 4 It is the finding of the Solicitor General that this excuse by the respondent is not borne by the Constancia 5 setting the case for hearing. respondent placed San Juan under preventive suspension. Dec. Another memorandum dated March 15. 1983 be revived. Dec. 1984 wherein attempts for an amicable settlement still proved futile. 14-15. 1990. respondent received an Order in another labor case. Since he failed to pay the amount demanded. 9. 1990 and received by the Court on February 26. he opted to call. the Office of the Solicitor General submitted its "Report and Recommendation. Nov. respondent signified to management his intention to resign. In a resolution dated May 9. (Exh. San Juan thereafter resigned and sought the assistance of respondent in the preparation of his counteraffidavit in January 1985 (tsn. 5. In connection with the other charge of betrayal by respondent of his former client's confidences. per his letter to him dated April 25. 1984. 1984 (tsn. but did not. Rosario L. through his secretary. 6) thereto. June 17.351. its general manager. On May 23. J). 1984. So. 21-22. Udarbe and he immediately came across the abovementioned "Manifestation and Motion". 1985. the Labor Arbiter issued a Decision directing LFC to pay Hanopol the total sum of P6. on June 10. 1983. 1985). In the light of this development. On account of the gravity of the charge. he filed an Opposition (Exh. 1985).60 in labor benefits. 6-7. 1983. 1984. 5. pp. 5). 1983. N-2). 1983. Dec. report. when respondent had already resigned. . addressed to complainant's president.

The setting aside of the adverse Decision of the Labor Arbiter cannot obliterate the effects of respondent's negligence. . was prejudicial to complainant because it deprived successor-counsel Atty. . the respondent signed the jurat of the San Juan count er-affidavit he (respondent) helped prepare. . . Respondent. his former client. but San Juan did not obey him. perhaps. A lawyer should not continue employment when he discovers that this obligation prevents the performance of his full duty to his former or to his new client. to wit: It is the duty of a lawyer to preserve his client's confidences. Dec. which. 7). either for the private advantages of the client. 10 From the foregoing. and extends as well to his employee's and neither of them should accept employment which involves or may involve the disclosure or use of these confidences. pp. who had his (respondent's) name typed on it. in violation of Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. the appropriate Canon now is: CANON 17 Ͷ A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. the respondent is found guilty of both the charge of negligence. Joselito R. would have been in favor of complainant. 12 submitted in defense of the latter in the accusation of estafa filed against San Juan by LFC As a matter of fact. Atty. His foregoing testimony is not reflected in his comment on the complaint . An attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also after the relation of attorney and client has terminated. . that after reading it. . premises considered. and that San Juan filed the count eraffidavit with the office of the Provincial Fiscal with his name and signature still on it (tsn. respondent's explanation is incredible.03. we concur with the findings and evaluation of the Office of the Solicitor General: .With regard to his second non-appearance for the hearing on June 2. The Solicitor General further found that the respondent assisted Roberto San Juan in the preparation of the counter-affidavit. 47-51. and even though there are other available sources of such information. apart from being a mere afterthought. . . 1983. Enriquez so that he will delete his name and signature thereon. had respondent attended the two scheduled hearings and filed the required position paper. a transgression of Rule 18. it is manifest that the respondent is indeed guilty of negligence. Instead. Enriquez. It is submitted that respondent's actuation was not warranted by the circumstances. then the charge of negligence should be considered moot and academic already. a clear violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility: 11 CANON 18 Ͷ A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE Rule 18. and it is not a good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case other persons against his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct from and independent of the former case. The delay. Indeed. In fact he had to prepare complainant's position paper which respondent should have done earlier (Exh. the respondent submits that since he was abl e to persuade the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on appeal to set aside the Decision of the Labor Arbiter and to remand the case for further proceedings. 1985). 9 We find this submission not meritorious. It is also a fact that the respondent investigated this same charge of estafa while he was still the lawyer of the complainant and San Juan still likewise an employee of LFC Again. Enriquez so that he will delete his name and signature. there would have been no delay in the resolution of the case. 7 The Solicitor General avers: . by itself. 8 In an effort to extricate himself from this charge. As it turned out. tried to extricate himself from his predicament by testifying that the counteraffidavit was prepared by a lawyer-friend. he called up Atty. Loy of time which he should be devoting to other cases of complainant. then at least. without his knowledge and consent.with the position of the Solicitor General: Respondent's plea is untenable. the respondent justified his absence by claiming that he had another hearing on the same dat e and that he told his secretary to call up the Office of the Labor Arbiter to have the hearing of the Hanopol case postponed. The respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. the telephone request apparently did not reach the Labor Arbiter. Canon 18. . This duty outlasts the lawyer's employment. that he instructed San Juan to bring the counteraffidavit to Atty. thereby constraining him to declare complainant in default and render judgment against it. and the charge of betrayal of his former client's confidences. 13 We are convinced that the respondent had betrayed the confidences of the complainant. however. we agree . xxx xxx xxx Superseded by the Code of Professional Responsibility. . 9. It is submitted that. 14 WHEREFORE. The other accusation against the respondent by the Solicitor General was that he had betrayed complainant LFC's confidences in violation of the then Canon 37 of the old Canons of Professional Ethics.03 Ͷ A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

On January 7. report and recommendation. DANILO G. Petitioner was substituted in lieu of Frabal in the formers lawsuit with Wheels. complainant. Inc. On November 5.[7] Unfortunately. Respond ent was absent. assigning and transferring all its business assets and liabilities to the latter. on September 19.[11] Thereafter. filed on March 23. . MB350288 dated March 8. 1998. 1999. and taking note of complainants Motion to Conduct Further Proceedings. On December 14. 1999 and the hearing of the case was reset to Decemb er 9. Respondent advised Petition er to sever e all contractual relationship with Wheels as a step towards eventually evicting the latter from the property they were occupying. Frabal) was the owner of a parcel of land located along Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard. 1988 for the amount of P50. Since the respond ent has not filed his answer as required by the Honorable Supreme Court and th e Commission. Again.[8] the Court. in its resolution of April 27.000. (Annex A). upon advice of Respondent. 1996. Danilo G. this was granted by the Courtvia its resolution of November 27. 1998 to file his Answer. thus: Frabal Fishing and Ice Plant Corporation (hereinafter. Cesar R.00 to Wheels. 1998 to file answer. only counsel for complainant appeared and moved that respond ents right to file answer be deemed waived and that complainant be allowed to file Memorandum after which. Frabal merged and was absorbed by Petitioner corporation on February 12. 1999. respondent filed six (6) motions for extension of time to file Answer and up to this time. On said date. A dispute arose betw een Frabal and Wh eels regarding the terms and conditions of th e lease contract. Petitioner prepared Metrobank Check No. Records also show that respond ent has not filed his answer and again he was given a last chance to file his answer within ten (10) days from receipt of the Order dated Novemb er 9. Respondent. On November 9. 1996. 1996.000. Wheels). Mesa.[1] On July 26. 1996.[4] The motion was similarly granted by the Court in its resolution of October 7. MACALINO. an authorized dealer of cars and motor vehicles of various make. respondent asked for fifteen days from October 8. respondent again filed an urgent motion for last extension of time or a period of fifteen (15) days from November 15. 1988. The check was crossed and made payable to the Wh eels Distributors.[6] Again. the Court required respondent to comment on th e complaint within ten (10) days from notice. Manila which was leased to Wheels Distributors. 1998. Complainant also asked the same period within which to file his reply. including all judicial and extrajudicial claims. Dated January 20. (hereinafter. 2000. Danilo Macalino for having violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. the case was again set for hearing on November 9. 1996. UNITY FISHING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.[10] on account of which the investigating commissioner considered the case as now ready for resolution.[2] which motion was granted by the Court in its resolution of August 21. the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline designated Atty. only the counsel for complainant appeared. this time for an additional period of fifteen (15) days. 1998. 1999. ATTY.Let this Decision be entered in the personal records of the respondent and copies thereof furnished to all courts and IBP chapters. Under consideration is this petition by way of a complaint for disbarment filed by Unity Fishing Development Corporation against Atty.[9] referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). However. Respondent likewise advised Petitioner to return the guarantee deposit equivalent to two (2) months rental or th e amount of P50. Macalino as counsel for the purpose of representing its interest in the said lawsuit. with the former conveying. which was granted by the Commission. however. Frabal hired the s ervices of respondent Atty. Sta. 1999 within which to file his answer. Hence. On March 2. 1999. As reported by Atty. the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. Hence. As Petitioners legal counsel. In its resolution of June 26.[12] the Report recites the factual background of the case and the commissioners discussion and findings thereon. that even while the case was already under formal investigation. respondent filed another motion for extension. Dulay as investigating commissioner. respondent filed a motion for extension of thirty (30) days within which to file comment. which is almost seven (7) years from the time the Honorable Supreme Court required respondent to file his answer to the complaint.00. records show the notice sent to him was returned unserved with the annotation Mov ed. respondent filed an urgent motion for extension of time to file answer. Inc. 2003. Hence. 1991. On December 9. SO ORDERED. for investigation. respondent again filed an Urgent Motion for Extension of fifteen (15) days from December 4. All told. respondent displayed the same attitude of lack of concern. respondent has not filed any answer. no comment was ever filed by respondent. Dulay: The Commission issued a notice setting the case for hearing on October 8. the complainant filed a Memorandum. It appears. 1996. respondent filed a third and last extension of time to file comment. Th e dispute eventually led to a lawsuit. vs.[5] Still. the contract of lease between Frabal and Wheels was terminated. 1998. th e investigating commissioner submitted his Report. 1998.[3] On August 26. a copy of which was furnished to respondent and which was not controverted by respond ent. Acting on the referral. at which hearing complainant represented by its legal counsel and respondent appeared. 1996.

Regrettably.000. Danilo G. p. CA-483-3.00. Petitioner searched its files for the subj ect check. United Savings Bank has since been acquired by the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) and is now known as UCPB Savings Bank. The Metrobank Ch eck No. 1995. replacing Respondent with someone else. now the UCPB Savings Bank. In the meantime. 24. the IBP Board of Governors passed Resolution No.A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. 1988.02 . It is designed to remove all such temptation and to prevent everything of that kind from being done for the protection of the client.[14] adopting and approving the report and recommendation of the investigating commissioner with a modification as to the penalty. th e Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitl ed case. Petitioner checked with Wh eels Distributors from whom it later learned that the latter never maintained an account with the United Savings Bank. and considering respondents failure to account for the funds received by him in trust from complainant in gross violation of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. as proof of which he signed Check Voucher No. CA-483-37 at UCPB. sometime in May 1994. to wit: RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. 3-012 (Annex B). After locating the check. giving notice promptly ther eafter to his client.03 .00. on March 3. Macalino is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year and Ordered to account to complainant the amount of P50. Petitioner wrote to Respond ent on May 19. Hence. 2382-MN. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. Wheels informed Petitioner that it never received therefund (sic) guarantee deposit in the amount of P50. to which the crossed check payable to Wheels was deposited (TSN. That Respondent misappropriated the amount of P50. Respondent never responded nor attempted to explain his side to what strongly appears to be a gross misappropriation of the money for his own personal use.000.00. Petition er was constrained to institute an action for damages against Respondent Danilo G. Respond ent repres ented to Petition er that he was able to deliver the check to Wh eels Distributors. Danilo G. respondent has not reacted nor made any move to protect himself and answer the complaint. Rule 16. An employee of UCPB in the person of Eduardo Estremadura testified in the aforestated case for damages that Respondent Atty. 1988 for the amount of P50.000. th e records show that despite th e orders of the Suprem e Court and this Commission respondent has not taken any step to verify and inquire as to the status of the complaint against him. Almost three years since the submission of the complainants memorandum. Respondents representative duly received th e said check from Petitioner. The relationship b etween a lawyer and a client is highly fiduciary. P etition er noted that at the back of th e check was a rubber stamp marking indicating that it was deposited with the United Savings Bank Head Office on May 13. Hence. herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex A.[15] So it is that the Code of Professional Responsibility provides: CANON 16 . Branch 72 where th e same is now docketed as Civil Case No.00 with a Warning that a similar offense will merit a more severe penalty. however. Despite receipt of said letter. XV-2003-341. it requires a high degree of fidelity and good faith. The suit between Petition er and Wheels continued for several years. Macalino was given all the opportunity to answer and present his defenses to the complaint.000. 1988 to Account No. On the basis of the above. Atty.000.A lawyer shall deliver the funds and prop erty of his client when due or upon d emand.A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. remiss and untroubled attitude in this case. and finding the recommendation fully supported by th e evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules. as it is hereby ADOPTED. Danilo G. DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS: Respondent Atty. Rule 16. 1994 to explain why the check in issue never reached Wheels Distributors and how it was endorsed and encashed d espite the fact that it was a crossed check (Copy of said letter is Annex C). copy of the TSN is Annex D).00 was deposited to Respondents account is further shown in United Savings Bank Current Account Deposit Slip accomplished by Respondent when he deposited said check with United Savings Bank on May 13. 1988 (Copy of said deposit slip is Annex E). Respondent sent his representative to Petitioners office to get the said check. as well as for respondents lax.A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION. h e shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be n ecessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements.00 for his own personal use cannot be denied. Due process consists in being given the opportunity to be heard and we believe that in this case respondent has been given all the opportunity to be heard. MB350288 dated March 8. Rule 16. Macalino was the one maintaining Account No. Inc. 2003. the suit ended in amicable settlement. The Canon of Professional Ethics is even more explicit when it states: The lawyer should refrain from any action whereby for his personal benefit or gain he abuses or takes advantages of the confidence reposed in him by his client.[13] On June 21. Thereafter.. Petitioner was shocked to learn this piece of information from Wheels Distributors as all along Respondent had repres ented to Petition er that Wh eels has already received the guarantee deposit of P50. Respondent should be warned that a similar offense will merit a more severe penalty. Aug. In the process of negotiating the terms and conditions of the settlement. However. Finally. th e investigating commissioner concluded his Report with the following - RECOMMENDATION WHEREFORE.01 .000.Respondent volunteered to bring the check to the office of Wheels himself and to make them accept it. with modification as to th e penalty to conform to the evidence. . Petitioner changed counsels. it is respectfully recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for two (2) years and be ordered to account to complainant the amount of P50. This resolution is now before us for confirmation. 8. Macalino as well as UCPB Savings Bank with the Regional Trial Court of Malabon.

a copy of which is being hereto attached as Annex A. that Metrobank Check No. with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more severely. Because of respondents failure to redeem the prop erty. 1988 (page 9 of Annex D. by depositing the check in his own account and subsequently deceiving his client into believing that h e delivered the same to Wh eels is undoubtedly guilty of deceit.000. the investigating commissioner made the following conclusions: 1. Metro Manila docketed as Civil Case No.00 caused by Metrobank Check No. CA-483-3 of the UCPB Savings Bank. Let copies of the Resolution be entered into respondents record as an attorney and be furnished the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and all the courts in the country for their information and guidance.000 to complainant within ten (10) hereof. As aptly found by Commissioner Dulay. TSN of hearing). Junio alleged that 3. 1995. that the said Metrobank Check No. and is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year effective immediately. 1994 (Annex C-3 of Petition) and the records do not show that respondent replied to th e latter requiring him to explain. 2382-MN)[16]. malpractice. 2382-MN) and that Check No. in Espiritu vs. gross misconduct and unethical behavior. 350288 in the amount of P50. complainant. Notwithstanding the foregoing and for no valid reason. 6. respondents repeated failures to comply with the orders of the Court requiring him to comment on the complaint indicate a high degree of irresponsibility on his part. [she] engaged the services of [respondent]. and located at Concepcion. 0110004833 under Account Name Danilo G. not m erely to himself but to th e noble profession to which he belongs. 7. Loay. TSN of hearing of Civil Case No. it is our sentiment that th e recommended p enalty serves the purpose of protecting the interest of the public and the legal profession. lawyers must not only be clean. petitioner admitted receiving the amount in question for the purpose for which it was given. TSN of hearing of Civil Case No. therefore. that respond ent. a bookeep er of UCPB Bank positively testified that Danilo G. and was credited to the account of Danilo G. Cabredo. This is a complaint for disbarment filed against Atty. SALVADOR M. After all. 2382-MN (Annex D of Petition) and at th e hearing of said case on August 24.00 in cash to be used in the redemption of the aforesaid property.00 payable to Wheels Distributors (Annex A of Petition) was prepared by Frabal Fishing & Ice Plant Corporation (Annex B Petition) and released to respondents repres entative. 5. v. we are in full accord with the findings. that Metrobank Ch eck No. respondent has continuously refused to refund the money entrusted to him. His repeated failure without any valid reason to comply with the orders of the Court requiring him to comment on th e complaint lends credence to the allegations thereof and manifests his tacit admission of the same. and Danilo Macalino before th e Regional Trial Court of Malabon. We have no hesitance. the peoples faith in the justice system remains undisturbed. On 21 August 1995.000. Macalino with the UCPB Savings Bank. for the redemption of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 350288 was deposited to the Account of Danilo G.000. complainant had demand ed [the] return of the money which she entrusted to the former for the above-stated purpose. [MB350288] was deposited to Account No. but considering that he has no prior administrative record. MB350288 in the amount of P50. he alleged that . that on 19 May 1994 complainant wrote a letter to respond ent (Ann ex C of Petition) advising the latter that the Metrobank Check intended for Wheel Distributors. Grupo for malpractice and gross misconduct. Despite repeated demands made by the complainant and without justifiable cause.[20] Like judges. it cannot b e deni ed that the resp ect of litigants to the profession is inexorably diminished whenever a member of the Bar betrays their trust and confidence. Respondent was therefore requ ested to explain how the particular check was encashed. as a result of which the right of redemption was lost and the property was eventually forfeited. under his oath.[1 ] In his Answer. We could have taken a more drastic action against respondent.[22] we imposed the same penalty on an attorn ey who similarly failed to account the mon ey received from his client and to restitute it without any reason. they must also appear clean. Atty. Salvador M. then a private practitioner. Inc. Respondents failure to rebut complainants evidence clearly reveals his failure to live up to his duties as a lawyer in consonance with th e lawyers oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. His act of holding on to complainants money without its acquiescence is conduct indicative of lack of integrity and propriety. 2. Respondent received th e letter on May 23. [complainant] entrusted to [respondent] th e amount of P25. SO ORDERED. the following uncontroverted facts as supported by the annexes of the complaint had been established: 1. Macalino is hereby declared guilty of violation of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. witness Eduardo Estremadura. Inc.[21] What is more. Macalino under CA-483-3 on May 13. pledges himself not to delay any man for money and is bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his client. ATTY. and should not under any circumstances be commingled with his own or be used by him. spouses Rogelio and Rufina Nietes. and 4. Macalino (page 12 of Annex D. Complainant Rosario N. GRUPO. respondent did not redeem the prop erty. was deposited and th e amount credited to Account No. ROSARIO JUNIO. 3. from which established facts. He is likewise ordered to return the sum of P50. Respond ent received the said amount as evidenced by an acknowledgment receipt. Danilo G. For. Respondent. in confirming the resolution passed by the IBP Board of Governors suspending respondent from the practice of law for one (1) year. This way. Sometime in 1995. 350288 which was not intended for him failed to reply and give any accounting of such funds to complainant. in violation of th e trust and confidence reposed on him. th en. However. for his failure to immediately return and deliver th e funds of his former client upon demand.00 which was intended for Wheels Distributors. 11) Here. 20394 registered in the name of her parents. was not received by them (Wh eels Distributors) yet it was endorsed and encashed. Legaspi Branch (page 8 & 9 Annex D. 483-3 of respondent Danilo G. (par. Bohol.000.[18] A lawyer. Macalino was the maintainer of Account No. 4.[17] Respondents wanton failure to make an accounting and to return to his client the amount entrusted to him upon demand give rise to th e presumption that he misappropriated it. that respondent when required by the complainant to explain and account for the amount of P50. WHEREFORE. conclusion and recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors that respond ent misappropriated th e money entrusted to him and which he failed to account for to his client despite demand therefor.Money of th e client or collected for the client or other trust property coming into the possession of the lawyer should be reported and accounted for promptly. Macalino at the United Savings Bank (Annex E of Petition). that complainant filed a civil case against UCPB Savings Bank.[19] It is clear. 2. He caused dishonor.

They were considered practically part of respondents own family.000. Complainant. and what respondent was trying to do was a sort of [a] desperate. Investigating Commissioner Magpayo. had served respondents family as household helpers for many years when they were still in Manila. 20394 registered in the name of complainants parents located at Concepcion. while two hearings were set for this purpose. made the following findings: In his Answer. when transaction failed. 2001. provided that the total suspension shall be at least one (1) year from the date of said full payment. did not produce the desired result because the mortgagee would not budge anymore and would not accept the sum offered. XIV-2001-183. it was not even for charity. the respond ent concluded that th ere was. Loay. . but he failed to do so. Complainant knew th e mortgage agreement between h er parents and th e mortgage-owner had already expired.] to which request th e complainant allegedly acceded and respondent even executed a promissory note (please s ee 4th par. However. (c) that the factual circumstances attending the matter which gave rise to the complaint were not rightly or fairly appreciated. the Investigating Commissioner found respondent liable for violation of Rule 16. . In his report and recommendation. It was really a personal request. ordered [him] to return to the complainant the amount of P25. in the meantime. Pedro Magpayo. and recommendation. [T]he family of the complainant and that of the respondent were very close and intimate with each other. In her comment. of Ann ex B of complaint). respondent executed a promissory note for the amount. Consequ ently. complainant asked the Investigating Commissioner [4] to consider the case submitted for decision on the basis of the pleadings theretofore filed. because. in view of respondents admission of liability and plea for magnanimity. Respondent was required to comment on complainants motion. .000. 2001.] everything was sort of personal. 8. complainant states that her primary interest is to recover the amount of P25. . Respondent takes further refuge in the intimate and close relationship existing between himself and the complainants family on the basis of which his legal services were purely gratuitous or simply an act of a friend for a friend with no consideration involved. . there were occasions when complainants sisters came to respondent to ask for the payment in behalf of complainant.. such that the resultant sanctions that are ordered impos ed are too leonine. the mortgagee simply would not budge anymore. By the time that complainant was to return to Manila. 7. .04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which forbids lawyers from borrowing money from their clients unless the latters inter ests are protected by the nature of the case or by ind epend ent advice. respondent filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that (a) there was no actual hearing of the case wherein respondent could have fully ventilated and defended his position. . and he could not produce the money because the circumstances somehow.000. 2001. it was already a foregone matter that respondents efforts did not succeed. Respondent received the said amount as evidenced by an acknowledgment receipt (Annex A). when complainant requested . . to avail of the money because h e had an urgent n eed for some mon ey himself to help defray his childrens educational expenses. as well as two of her sisters. unjust and cruel. the Court resolved to treat respondents motion for reconsideration as a petition for review of IBP Resolution No.00 loan plus interest at the legal rate. Hon. the Investigating Commissioner recommended that respondent be simply reprimanded and ordered to pay th e amount of P25. and during all those times they were treated with respect. . it was simply an act of a friend for a friend.000. 2001. he added.[2] Complainant filed a reply denying that respondent informed her of his failure to redeem the prop erty and that respondent requested her to instead lend the money to him. assistance regarding the problem of the mortgaged property which complainant wanted to redeem. respondent accepts his fault. . For one reason or another.. And so. strictly speaking. That is why. (b) the subject Resolution gravely modified the Report and Recommendation of th e Trial Commissioner. Jr. suspend ed indefinitely from th e practice of law for the commission of an act which falls short of the standard of the norm of conduct required of every attorney and . For this reason. respondent requested the complainant that he be allowed. thus.00 with interest and that she is leaving it to the Court to decide whether respondent deserves the penalty recommended by the IBP. 9. or that he is that morally depraved as to wilfully and deliberately re[nege] in his obligation towards the complainant. dated April 29. [6] The Court resolves to partially grant the petition. no attorney-client [relationship] existing between th em. . report. However. The subject land for which the money of complainant was initially intended to b e applied could really not be redeem ed anymore . . right from the start[. In his report.6. but at this point. indeed. The Investigating Commissioner found that respondent failed to pay his clients money. his acts [were] on his own and by his own. affection. On 21 August 1995. In its Resolution No. the case was considered submitted for resolution. the respondent ADMITS all the allegations in paragraph 4 of the complaint which avers: 4. on August 28. respondent had no second-thoughts in extending a lending hand . . [3] The case was thereafter referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. . however. It was more than pro bono. and equality. . h e requested th e complainant to allow him in the meantime to use the mon ey for his childrens educational expenses[. Respondent did not ask for any fee. a private matter betw een respondent and complainant. both were postponed at the instance of respondent. last-ditch attempt to persuade th e said mortgagee to relent and give back the land to the mortgagors with the tender of redemption. XIV 2001-183 and required complainant to comment on the petition. . On July 4. Bohol). a copy of which is probably still in the possession of the complainant. Thus. it ordered [R]espondent .00 in cash to be used in the red emption of the aforesaid property (parcel of land covered by TCT No. [I]t does not mean that respondent will not pay. 2000..00 plus interest at the legal rate from the time the said amount was misappropriated.[5] He argues that the Court should adopt th e report and recommendation of the IBP Investigating Commissioner. . he would no longer accept the sum offered. as already stated.. dated January 5. his efforts to redeem the foreclosed property. . . Jr. . . By way of confession and avoidance. It was just lamentably unfortunate that his efforts failed. the respond ent. His services were purely gratuitous. did not allow it. Of course. Rather. until full payment. the IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the Investigating Commissioners findings. contend ed that when th e mortgagee refused to accept th e sum tender ed as the period of redemption had already expired. In its resolution of August 15. complainant entrusted to respond ent th e amount of P25. . However. Unfortunately.

respondent has committed an act which falls short of the standard of the norm of conduct required of every attorney. In effect. DIAZ. Sr. entitled Eustacio Nepomuceno. th e Court is constrained to give credence to respondents claims that the mon ey previously entrusted to him by complainant was later converted into a loan. we shall assume that th ere was in reality a loan in the amount of P25. A lawyer is bound to observe candor. . the penalty of indefinite suspension with restitution imposed by th e IBP Board of Governors is too harsh in view of respondents apparent lack of intent to defraud complainant and of the fact that this appears to be his first administrative transgression. th e Court finds petitioner guilty of violation of Rule 16. On the other hand. Under the circumstances and in view of complainants failure to deny the promissory note. The charge against Judge Diaz is for gross ignorance of the law and judicial proceedings.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and orders him suspended from the practice of law for a period of one (1) month and to pay to respond ent. . 279-G. computed from December 12. the respondent took advantage of his influence by not returning the money entrusted to him. She only mention ed it in her demand letter of March 12. FELIX T.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which forbids lawyers from borrowing money from their clients unless the latters interests are protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. did not give adequate security for the loan and subsequently failed to settle his obligation. Although complainant denied having loaned th e money to respondent. Instead. Pelmoka charged Judge Felix T. PELMOKA vs. et al. it is more so in the case of a lawyer whose conduct serves as an example. consults with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view to obtaining professional advice or assistance. 1996. the fact is that complainant accepted the promissory note given her by respond ent on December 12.[7] It would indeed app ear from the records of the case that respondent was allowed to borrow the money previously entrusted to him by complainant for the purpose of securing the redemption of th e property belonging to complainants parents. . JR. or charged for. . ABAD SANTOS. in respect to his business affairs or troubles of any kind. The answer denies the allegations of the complaint with a prayer that it be dismissed. This rule is intended to prevent the lawyer from taking advantage of his influence over the client. It is the penalty imposed in Igual v. This rule is especially significant in the instant case where the respond ent enjoys an immense ascendancy over th e complainant who. the following: .. suffice it to say that he waived such right when he failed to comment on petitioners motion to submit the case for resolution on the basis of the pleadings theretofore filed despite due notice to him. this Court ordered the respondent suspended for one month from the practice of law and directed him to pay the amount given him by his clients within 30 days from notice for his failure to return th e money in qu estion notwithstanding his admission that h e did not use the money for the filing of the appellees brief. vs.00 on or before January 1997. had served respondents family as household helpers for many years. the Investigating Commissioners recommendation to impose on respondent the penalty of reprimand and restitution of the amount loaned by him is clearly inadequate. with serious misconduct in connection with Civil Case No.Granting to the respond ent the b enefit of th e doubt. not to mention the fact that it was he who had requested th e postpon ement of the two hearings scheduled by the Investigating Commissioner. Moreover. 1998 (Annex B). This decision concerns Judge Diaz only who was required to file an answer to the complaint. In this case. It is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid. th e demand l etter of 12 March 1998 (Annex B) mentions of reimbursement of the sum r eceived and interest of 24% per annum until fully paid giving the impression that the funds previously intended to be used for the repurchase of a certain property (Annex A of complaint) was converted into a loan with the consent of the complainant who gave way to the request of the respond ent to h elp defray his childrens educational expenses (par. then th e professional employment must be regarded as established . Anent petition ers allegation regarding the lack of hearing during the IBP investigation. . . bias prejudice or malicious motive. th e duty and obligation to repay the loan remains unshaken. failure to protect the complainant's charging lien as one of the lawyers who intervened in the aforementioned civil case. This contention has no merit. however. he did not act as a lawyer but as a friend. David. . as well as two of his sisters.000.000. 8 of Answer). FLAVIANO A. Ester Garampil. Bautista and Inocencio B. His claim that he could not pay the loan because circumstances .00 with interest at the legal rate. of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija and Attorneys Facundo T. promised. SO ORDERED. Be that as it may. respondents liability is compounded by the fact that not only did he not give any security for the payment of the amount loaned to him but that h e has also refused to pay the said amount. In that case. b ecause of an alleged quarrel with his clients.: In a verified complaint dated December 4. it is but just and prop er that he return th e amount borrowed togeth er with interest. Junio on or before January 1997 he has not demonstrated any volition to settle his obligation to his creditor[. he imposed his will on the complainant and borrowed her funds without giving adequate security therefor and mindless of the interest of the complainant. within 30 days from notice. worse. Having gained dominance over the complainant by virtue of such long relation of master and servant. et al.] although admittedly there w[ere] occasions when complainants sister came to respondent to ask for the payment in behalf of complainant. A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the clients interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice (Rule 16.04. 1996. The Rollo of the case reveals. This is likewise confirmed by the execution of a promissory note on 12 December 1996 by the respond ent who undertook to pay Mrs. Jr. Junio on or b efore January 1997 (Annex B of complaint). . If an ordinary borrower of money is required by the law to repay the loan failing which he may be subjected to court action. Considering the foregoing. [9] To constitute professional employment it is not essential that th e client should have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion . Javier [10] which applies to this case. neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake th e case about which the consultation was had. . in which she referred to respondents undertaking to pay her the P25. In the light of the foregoing. . and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his client. he somehow forgot about his obligation only underscores his blatant disregard of his obligation which reflects on his honesty and candor. the passage of time made respondent somehow forgot about the obligation. Mendoza.000. and partiality.00. J. The complainant filed a reply to the answer and issues having been joined. Code of Professional Responsibility). If a person. Having utilized the sum to fulfill his urgent need for some money. the amount of P25. It is noteworthy that complainant did not attach this promissory note to her complaint nor explain the circumstances surrounding its execution. hence there is no client-attorney relationship between them. did not allow it and that. and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces in such consultation. Respondent. Respondents liability is thus not for misappropriation or embezzlement but for violation of Rule 16. as agreed by them. Flaviano A. Garampil. it was ascertained that the case could be decided on the basis of the documentary evidence submitted without resorting to a formal hearing. fairness. because of the passage of time. 1981. Diaz. But notwithstanding the same and his firm promise to pay Mrs. WHEREFORE. As explained in Hilado v. Five (5) years had already passed since respondent retained the cash for his own personal use. according to Deputy Court Administrator Romeo D. [8] Respondent claims that complainant is a close personal friend and that in helping redeem the property of complainants parents. complainant consented to and ratified respondents use of the money.

respondent judge's predecessor.) and the Order dated November 20. 1981.) On October 22. complainant charged respondent judge with gross ignorance of the law and judicial proceedings committed in the following manner: (a) unduly delaying the disposition of Civil Case No. respondent judge even suspended the trial of the case until after the Court of Appeals shall have resolved the issue pending before it which involved the same parties and the same properties being litigated. Complainant then filed a motion for the payment of his professional fee in the amount of P57. including defendant Ester Garampil who is not a compulsory heir. defendant Ester Garampil filed a motion for the withdrawal of the sum of P20. The complainant further alleged that the respondent judge failed to protect his charging lien for his attorney's fees when he allowed plaintiffs to withdraw their share from the said deposit. Since the plaintiffs (complainant's clients).) The other parties thereafter moved to withdraw their respective shares in the cash deposit with the court.120. The respondent judge alleged that Civil Case No. The respondent judge was likewise justified in granting the motion of the parties to withdraw their respective shares from the cash portion of the estate. and on the basis of the said motions. (p. With respect to the charge of the complainant that the respondent judge failed to protect his charging lien or f& attorney's fees. long before respondent judge was appointed to the Bench. namely. to withdraw their respective shares from the cash portion of the estate in order to implement the compromise agreement entered into by all the parties and their respective lawyers. Deputy Court Administrator Mendoza has assessed the charges against Judge Diaz in the light of the record as follows: The respondent judge cannot be faulted for dismissing complainant's motion for appointment of commissioners as well as his motion to exclude defendant Ester Garampil as an heir. (p. 1981. Judge Serapio. is the very issue to be resolved. (b) not resolving plaintiffs' motion to exclude defendant Ester Garampil as heir of deceased Leon Arguelles despite early pronouncement of Judge Placido Ramos. When the respondent judge inherited the case in 1976. 1980. (p. granting the request of the other parties for the withdrawal of their respective shares. This error was compounded by his order allowing even Ester Garampil to withdraw her share when she did not sign the compromise agreement of July 1. was then pending before the Court of Appeals. and (e) ignoring complainant's motion for payment of his fees out of the money deposited with the court. The respondent judge had to dismiss the said motions to avoid piecemeal adjudication of the issues raised before him.060.) from the amount deposited with the court. a Motion to set the case for conference among the parties. (pp.Civil Case No. considering that his claim of P79. After a hearing on the aforesaid motion was held. refused to pay complainant's claim for attorney's fee in the amount of P79. or were done in persistent disregard of well known legal rules.00 was contested by the plaintiffs as being exorbitant. 1981. representing the defendants. the complaint should be dismissed for lack of merit. Respondent judge also stated that he allowed the parties. which motion was granted by the respondent judge. representing defendant Ester Garampil. Respondent judge issued an order denying the motion of the plaintiffs for exclusion of defendant Ester Garampil as heir so as to avoid the piecemeal adjudication of the issues raised in the case. The respondent should not have allowed the clients of the complainant to withdraw their shares from the cash deposit without extending ample protection to the latter's claim. was filed by defendants Serranos.00 in two subsequent motions of the complainant. the respondent judge issued a decision approving the said compromise agreement on July 1. 1981. (Adm. Facundo T. 1972. 75. the respondent judge explained that he did not grant complainant's motion for payment of his professional fees because he could not ascertain the exact amount of complainant's just.) The motion of the plaintiffs for the appointment of commissioners was likewise denied by respondent judge for the reason that there was then pending before the Court of Appeals. an appeal involving the same parties and the same properties being litigated. respondent judge issued the Order dated October 30. the defendants moved for the approval of the "Compromise Agreement" dated July 1. 89-94.109. allowing the defendants to withdraw their shares.) Defendant Ester Garampil thereafter filed a motion to deposit in court. on March 4. there were many side issues and/or incidents pending to be resolved.186.00 from the cash deposit.00 on the ground that the same is exorbitant. which was signed by all the parties to the case (except defendant Ester Garampil). He likewise charged respondent judge with bias and partiality when he allowed all the parties to withdraw their respective shares while the complainant was not allowed to do the same in so far as his charging lien is concerned. and Atty. It was for this reason that the respondent judge denied complainant's motion for appointment of a commissioner as well as his motion to exclude defendant Ester Garampil as an heir. 1804-CAR. Matter No. the remedy of the complainant is to file a separate action for recovery of his fees where the parties win be afforded the chance to prove their respective claims and defenses. 279-G was a case for partition and reconveyance filed with the CFI of Nueva Ecija. In the case of Bongco vs. Bautista. The assessment is well taken except in respect of the failure of the respondent to protect the complainant's right to collect his professional fees. Rigors and Garcias who were represented by Atty.186. 113-119. reasonable and fair fee. 62-71. 1981. (pp. the purchase price of a commercial property in the amount of P250. both filed by herein complainant. and (b) Motion for appointment of commissioners to partition the properties. representing partial payment of her share in the estate pursuant to the expressed agreement of the heirs of the deceased contained in the compromise agreement. On September 21. Inocencio Garampil. it was specified in the compromise agreement that the parties would be separately responsible for the payment of the fees of their respective lawyers. 104-105. Respondent judge. (pp.) The parties agreed that they would partition the properties being litigated in the manner specified in the "Compromise Agreement" and that they would be separately responsible for the payment of the fees of their respective lawyers.00. 1981. 279-G when respondent judge denied plaintiffs' motion for the appointment of commissioners to partition the properties.00 in order that the proceeds thereof may be disposed of in accordance with the approved compromise agreement. complainant himself. Branch IV. Feb.00 (p. (pp. 1982. among which were: (a) Motion to exclude defendant Ester Garampil as an heir of the late Leon Arguelles.) On May 4. that Ester Garampil is not an heir of the deceased. . The respondent judge only implemented the compromise agreement entered into by all the parties and signed by all their respective lawyers including complainant herein. representing the plaintiffs. With respect to complainant's professional fees.) which was later raised to P79.) In his complaint. (p.186. (c) approving the compromise agreement of partition entered into by all the parties. 279-G pending termination of the appeal before the Court of Appeals.) It was for this reason that respondent judge held in abeyance the trial of Civil Case No. When he inherited the case in 1976. (p. (pp. as well as by all the lawyers of the said parties. 74. 1981.) this Court held that where it does not appear from the facts in an administrative complaint that the assailed judicial acts of respondent judge were corrupt or inspired by an intention to violate the law. in his Answer dated January 13.) denied all the charges in the complaint. 135-137. with the court. 28. (d) allowing Ester Garampil to withdraw the amount of P20. 279-G was a case for reconveyance and partition of the estate of deceased Leon Arguelles which had been heard and tried by no less than four (4) judges before him. considering that she is not an heir of the deceased.519.000. 1981.000. (pp. 97-100. an appeal involving the same parties and the same properties whereby the legality of a Deed of Donation concerning the same properties being litigated. 80.110. Facundo Bautista. In fact. Atty. there were several side issues and/or incidents pending to be resolved and while all these side issues were pending before the court a quo.

. respondent advised complainant. compromise[.000.[8] On inquiry about the status of his claim. Amadeo E. Jr. he not having agreed therewith. True it is that the compromise agreement stipulates that the parties shall be separately responsible for the payment of the fees for their respective lawyers. 1999 that the claim was still pending with Metropolitan Insurance and that it was still subject of negotiations in which Metropolitan Insurance offered to settle it for P350. an advance payment of P50. Respondent winded up his letter as follows. ATTY.000. 1998 check given to respondent the year before. WHEREFORE.[11] Respondent thereupon faxed to complainant a December 7. a certain Jesus Jess Garcia (Garcia).00) PESOS. that for his legal services he was charging 25% of the actual amount being recovered. we will not hesitate to make a proper representation with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation for the authenticity of your visa. In the same letter.] encash and receive payment from it. a French national. respondent confirmed his acceptance of its offer to settle the claim of complainant in an ex-gratia basis of 75% of his policy coverage which is therefore FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND (P525. to be charged to complainants account which would be reimbursed upon presentation of statement of account. Daniel Lemoine. and legal expenses such as but not limited to filing fee. but whom he was able to talk by telephone during which he demanded that he turn over the proceeds of his claim. docketed as CBD Case No. ATTN: Mr. conferences outside our law office and meetings before the Office of the Insurance Commission which will be also charged to our 25% recovery fee. On December 6. sign.. The case. Inc. 841172 payable to complainant in the amount of P525. Balon. and set for hearing the disputed difference between the claim of the complainant and the amount considered reasonable by the plaintiffs. A day or a few days before December 23. quoted verbatim: We would like to make it clear that we cannot give you the aforesaid amount until and unless our attorneys fees will be forthwith agreed and settled. 1999. vs.00 to be charged [to complainant] to be deducted from whatever amount [would] be successfully collected. A lawyer has the right to claim the fruits of his labor. but and/or AMADEO BALON was therein intercalated after his (complainants) name.000. complainant returned to the Philippines in early January 1999 but left again on the 24th of the same month.. filed a verified complaint[1] against respondent Atty. under whose care complainant could be reached. and other miscellaneous but related expenses. he was informed that his claim had long been settled via a December 23. The Special Power of Attorney was later dated December 23. after he had rendered his professional services as counsel to the plaintiffs. It appears that Metropolitan Insurance finally offered to settle complainants claim. . signed an already prepared undated Special Power of Attorney[6] authorizing respondent and/or Garcia to bring any action against Metropolitan Insurance for the satisfaction of complainants claim as well as to negotiate. it is also our prerogative to file a case against you. We will rather suggest if you could request your lawyer to just confer with us for the peaceful settlement of this matter. 1998 on which same date Metropolitan Insurance issued a Chinabank Check No. While it [is your] prerogative to file a legal action against us. for by letter[4] of December 9. AMADEO E. the respondent should not have improvidently allowed the clients of the complainant to withdraw their shares without first determining his reasonable fees. for estafa and misconduct before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.[13] respondent refused to turn over the proceeds of the insurance claim and to acknowledge the unreasonableness of the attorneys fees he was demanding. on the advice of respondent. respondentsuggested the acceptance of the offer of settlement to avoid a protracted litigation. P1. direct the payment of such "reasonable amount" as partial payment of his attorney's fees. on complainants personal visit to the office of Metropolitan Insurance.[10] Complainant lost no time in going to the law office of respondent who was not around. messengerial and postage expenses . In his Complaint-Affidavit. In the same manner.[2] his friend. arranged for the engagement of respondents services.. complainant instituted the administrative action at bar on December 17. Garcia echoed to complainant what respondent had written him (Garcia) in respondents letter[9] ofMarch 26.. Bureau of Internal Revenue for your taxation compliance and the National Bureau of Investigation [with] which we have a good network.[7] The check was received by respondent.[5] he. for his failure to protect the complainant's charging lien. 1999. complainant Daniel Lemoine. As complainant encountered problems in pursuing his claim which was initially rejected. respondent.000. JR. payable upon successful recovery. BALON. as attorneys lien pending complainants payment of his attorneys fee. complainant. The facts that spawned the filing of the complaint are as follows: In early 1998. . the insurer of his vehicle which was lost. 99-679. complainant filed a car insurance claim with the Metropolitan Insurance Company (Metropolitan Insurance).00 as appearance and conference fee for each and every court hearings. Or the respondent could have inquired from the plaintiffs what they considered as reasonable attorney's fees for the services of complainant. SO ORDERED. (Underscoring and emphasis supplied) As despite written demands. Department of Labor and Employment for your working status. report and recommendation. 1998 addressed to it. 1999. however. equivalent to fifty percent (50%) of entire amount collected.00 as full settlement of the claim. The letter-proposal of respondent regarding attorneys fees does not bear complainants conformity. so to speak. 1998 when complainant left for France. 1998 addressed to Elde Management.000. In the same letter to Garcia.00 representing fifty percent thereof. should you be barbaric and uncivilized with your approached. was referred by the Commission on Bar Discipline to an Investigator for investigation.[14] . whom he had not before met. the respondent is hereby reprimanded.It was grossly unfair for the respondent to leave the complainant holding an empty bag. He has the equitable right to be paid his fees out of the judgment which he has obtained from a court of justice. . nevertheless. By letter[3] of October 21. it having been issued payable to him. complainant alleged that [i]t appears that there was irregularity with the check. however. respondent protested what he branded as the uncivilized and unprofessional behavior complainant reportedly demonstrated at respondents office. DANIEL LEMOINE. 1999 letter[12] wherein he acknowledged having in his possession the proceeds of the encashed check which he retained. Any allegation of exorbitant or excessive fees should have been resolved by the respondent Judge on the basis of quantum meruit. On December 17. . In the meantime.

and. the amount of P20.00. incurred representation expenses of P35.00 insurance claim less respondents professional fees of P50.2002.00 onMay 31. respondent declared that it was made upon Garcias request. 1998 letter that he be paid 25% of the actual amount collected for his legal services.00. and several other payments at Dulcinea.A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official. immoral or deceitful conduct.[29] Respondent furthermore declared that he rejected complainants offer to pay him P50. reading: RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. The Board of Govenors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.[23] Respondent later submitted a June 13. on the representation of Garcia that he had talked to complainant about respondents retention of fifty percent (50%) of the insurance proceeds for professional fees less expenses. assails the Investigating Commissioners Report and Recommendation as not supported by clear. the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case. acting on the Investigators Report. He went on to assert that his inability to contact complainant whose whereabouts he did not know prompted him to encash the check and keep the proceeds thereof in conformity with the Special Power of Attorney executed in his favor. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his clients. 1999 at Dulcinea Restaurant in Greenbelt. not merely to respondent but the noble profession to which he belongs. might leave the country anytime without settling his professional fees.000.Maintaining that respondent was entitled to only P50. respondent claimed that he gave Garcia the amount of P30. and at Manila Intercontinental Hotels coffee shop sometime in October 1999. P20. Leonardo. 2001. 1998.[32] The Investigating Commissioner. 1999 letter to Garcia came about.[20] Respondent also highlighted the value of the time and efforts he extended in pursuing complainants claim and the expenses he incurred in connection therewith. intended for a certain Joel Ramiscal (Ramiscal) who was said to be Garcias business partner. including the March 26. insisting that since there had been no clear-cut agreement on his professional fees and it was through him that Metropolitan Insurance favorably reconsidered its initial rejection of complainants claim. so respondent averred. the latter having rejected respondents letter-proposal of October 21.000. The facts material to its resolution are either admitted or documented.00) Pesos to the complainant without prejudice to respondents right to claim attorneys fees which he may collect in the proper forum. being an alien without a valid working permit in the Philippines.[27] Respondent submitted the separate sworn statements of Leonardo and Roxas.000. Roxas.000. 1999 letter. respondent declared that he. dishonest. Additionally.00 at the office of his (respondents) former employer Commonwealth Insurance Company through his subordinate Glen V. respondent asserted that his continued retention of the proceeds of complainants claim is in lawful exercise of his lien for unpaid attorneys fees. Respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months with the directive to turn over the amount of Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand (P525. on a staggered basis. with modification.000.000.A lawyer shall observe candor. in connection with his follow-up of the insurance claim.000.000. Makati.000.000. This Court is in full accord with the findings of the IBP Investigator that respondent violated the following provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility. to account for and turn them over once he got paid fifty percent (50%) thereof. and transportation and gasoline expenses and parking fees of P5. XV-2002-401[34] on August 3.[28] Explaining why no written memorandum of the turn over of various payments to Garcia was made.00. 2001 Supplement[24] to his Counter-Affidavit reiterating his explanation that it was on Garcias express request that he wrote the March 26. to wit: RULE 1.00 which. he is entitled to a contingent fee of 50% of the net proceeds thereof. he citing the so called contingent fee billing method of no cure. He prays for the reopening of the case and its remand to the Investigator so that Garcia can personally appear for his (respondents) confrontation.[30] Finally. respondent alleged that there was no need therefor since he very well knew Garcia who is a co-Rotarian and co-attorney-in-fact and whom he really dealt with regarding complainants claim. 1999 letter of respondent informing his co-attorney-in-fact Garcia of the supposedly still unrecovered claim and suggesting acceptance of the purported offer of Metropolitan Insurance to settle complainants claim at P350. issued Resolution No. herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex A.[26] Thus.A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. by Report and Recommendation[33] of October 26. by a Motion for Reconsideration[35] filed with this Court.[31] and that his retention of complainants money was justified in light of his apprehension that complainant. the total amount of P233. is the amount of insurance claim complainant is entitled to receive less attorneys fees and expenses.[22] And he presented documentary evidence.000. found respondent guilty of misconduct and recommended that he be disbarred and directed to immediately turn over to complainant the sum of P475.00.00 representing the amount of the P525. RULE 15.00.[19] which to him was justified in the absence of an attorney-client contract between him and complainant.000.000. (Underscoring supplied) The records of the case are before this Court for final action. respondent declared that in the first week of May 1999.01 . There is no need for a reopening of the case.00 for his services. finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules. no pay adopted by practicing lawyers in the insurance industry as the basis of the amount of his attorneys fees. 2000.000.06 . complainant echoed his allegations in his Complaint-Affidavit and stressed that he turned down as unreasonable respondents proposal in his October 21.[25] he gave Garcia. He expressed readiness. entertainment and other representation expenses on various occasions of P10. the amounts of P50. as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED.00 in attorneys fees.000. convincing and satisfactory proof. tribunal or legislative body. as proposed by complainant.[21] During the hearings conducted by the IBP Investigator.00 on different occasions at his (respondents) former address through his executive secretary Sally I. which was directed to the fax number of Ramiscal. Explaining how his above-mentioned March 26. .[17] In his Counter-Affidavit[18] of February 18. and considering respondents dishonesty which amounted to grave misconduct and grossly unethical behavior which caused dishonor. however.00 and P30.000. xxx CANON 15 .[15] complainant decried respondents continued possession of the proceeds of his claim[16]and his misrepresentations that the recovery thereof was fraught with difficulties.00. Respondent.

A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence in him. until its discovery by complainant after about a year. by respondents turnaround in his Supplement to his Counter-Affidavit that he already delivered to complainants friend Garcia the amount of . he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements.000. if he still deems it desirable. respondent stubbornly and in bad faith held on to complainants funds with the obvious aim of forcing complainant to agree to the amount of attorneys fees sought.A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to the clients request for information.A lawyer shall not.00 are thus highly suspect and merit no consideration. By respondents failure to promptly account for the funds he received and held for the benefit of his client. The proven ancillary charges against respondent reinforce the gravity of his professional misconduct. on the mere request of a friend.00 he. This is an appalling abuse by respondent of the exercise of an attorneys retaining lien which by no means is an absolute right and cannot at all justify inordinate delay in the delivery of money and property to his client when due or upon demand. After he received the check and after complainant had discovered its release to him. At any rate. .000.[40] The lawyers continuing exercise of his retaining lien presupposes that the client agrees with the amount of attorneys fees to be charged. and justness. This commandment entails certain specific acts to be done by a lawyer such as rendering an accounting of all money or property received for or from the client[36] as well as delivery of the funds or property to the client when due or upon demand.A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession. this does not persuade. 1998 check for P525.02 . Respondents threat in his December 7.A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. he and Garcia were not in good terms. or to his co-attorney-in-fact Garcia who was his contact with respect to complainant. acting allegedly for him. he never had the slightest attempt to bring the matter of his compensation for judicial determination so that his and complainants sharp disagreement thereon could have been put to an end.000. RULE 16. xxx RULE 21. as respondent alleged.000. respondents Counter-Affidavit of February 18. proposing a 25% attorneys fees. who had a given address in Makati. it smacks of opportunism.[42] In respondents case.[41] He can file. However. self-respect.01 .[39] That respondent had a lien on complainants funds for his attorneys fees did not relieve him of his duty to account for it. purportedly gave Garcia some amounts forming part of the P233. had even the temerity to state that the claim was still pending and recommend acceptance of the 50% offer . the affidavits of Leonardo and Roxas CANON 16 .[37] Respondent breached this Canon when after he received the proceeds of complainants insurance claim. Worse. objection to which complainant communicated to him.03 . his receipt of the funds and his tenacious custody thereof in a grossly oppressive manner point to his lack of good moral character. 2000 and his December 7. In fact. nor shall he use the same to his advantage or that of a third person. 1999 letter to expose complainant to possible sanctions from certain government agencies with which he bragged to have a good network reflects lack of character. 1999 to Garcia. It is difficult to believe that a lawyer like respondent could have entrusted such total amount of money to Garcia without documenting it. RULE 16. for it is bereft of any written memorandum thereof.04 . he did not report it to complainant. like respondent. a lawyer must hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that he may come to possess. however. RULE 16.His explanation that he prepared and sent this letter on Garcias express request is nauseating. by his letter of March 26. which is P350. In case of disagreement or when the client contests that amount for being unconscionable. the Filipino lawyers principal source of ethical rules. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.[38] Such misconduct is reprehensible at a greater degree.00 was in his custody. especially at a time when. A lawyer who practices or utilizes deceit in his dealings with his client not only violates his duty of fidelity. Why respondent had to doubly increase his fees after the lapse of about one year when all the while he has been in custody of the proceeds of the check defies comprehension. It bears noting that for close to five long years respondent has been in possession of complainants funds in the amount of over half a million pesos. until he himself discovered the same. to say the least.000. for it was obviously done on purpose through the employment of deceit to the prejudice of complainant who was kept in the dark about the release of the check. he was already asking for 50%. futile attempt to exculpate himself only aggravates his misconduct.00 pesos.[43] Not only that. use information acquired in the course of employment. Respondent was. long after respondent received the December 23. to the disadvantage of his client.02 . Instead.A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. A lawyer.A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. As for respondents claim in his June 2001 Supplement to his Counter-Affidavit that he had on several occasions from May 1999 to October1999 already delivered a total of P233.00 out of the insurance proceeds to Garcia in trust for complainant. As stated earlier. the necessary action or proper motion with the proper court to fix the amount of such fees. Respondents claim discredited. Specifically with respect to above-quoted provision of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. xxx RULE 18. loyalty and devotion to the clients cause but also degrades himself and besmirches the fair name of an honorable profession. xxx CANON 17 . . and has to date been deprived of the use of the proceeds thereof. documented at that. 1999 letter to complainant unequivocally contained his express admission that the total amount of P525. the lawyer must not arbitrarily apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees. The deceptions and lies that he peddled to conceal. which Canon 16 bears on the principal complaint of complainant. Such illogical. before receiving the check. would not and should not commit prevarication. unless the client with full knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto. giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. The intercalation of respondents name to the Chinabank check that was issued payable solely in favor of complainant as twice certifiedby Metropolitan Insurance[44] is clearly a brazen act of falsification of a commercial document which respondent resorted to in order to encash the check. he committed professional misconduct.

000. WHEREFORE. Amadeo E.00 within thirty (30) days from notice. is all that complainant is entitled to. The Office of the Clerk of Court is directed to strike out his name from the Roll of Attorneys and to inform all courts and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines of this Decision. Balon. without prejudice to whatever judicial action he may take to recover his attorneys fees and purported expenses incurred in securing the release thereof from Metropolitan Insurance. Such incredible position is tantamount to a refusal to remit complainants funds. so respondent claims. Daniel Lemoine. by respondents questioned acts. Respondent is ordered to turn over to complainant. Jr. and gives rise to the conclusion that he has misappropriated them.000. is found GUILTY of malpractice.[45] In fine. respondent Atty. the amount of P525. .P233. SO ORDERED. he in effect has declared that he has nothing more to turn over to complainant.00 which.. he has shown that he is no longer fit to remain a member of the noble profession that is the law. deceit and gross misconduct in the practice of his profession as a lawyer and he is hereby DISBARRED.