Free Legal Assistance Act of 2010 REPUBLIC ACT NO.

9999 AN ACT PROVIDING A MECHANISM FOR FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Free Legal Assistance Act of 2010". Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - It is the declared policy of the State to value the dignity of every human person and guarantee the rights of every individual, particularly those who cannot afford the services of legal counsel. Furthermore, it is the policy of the State to promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies and programs that provide adequate social services and improve the quality of life for all. In addition, the State shall guarantee free legal assistance to the poor and ensure that every person who cannot afford the services of a counsel is provided with a competent and independent counsel preferably of his/her own choice, if upon determination it appears that the party cannot afford the services of a counsel, and that services of a counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and protect of the party. Section 3. Definition of Terms. - As provided for in this Act, the term legal services to be performed by a lawyer refers to any activity which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experiences which shall include, among others, legal advice and counsel, and the preparation of instruments and contracts, including appearance before the administrative and quasi-judicial offices, bodies and tribunals handling cases in court, and other similar services as may be defined by the Supreme Court. Section 4. Requirements for Availment. - For purposes of availing of the benefits and services as envisioned in this Act, a lawyer or professional partnership shall secure a certification from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), the Department of Justice (DOJ) or accredited association of the Supreme Court indicating that the said legal services to be provided are within the services defined by the Supreme Court, and that the agencies cannot provide the legal services to be provided by the private counsel. For purpose of determining the number of hours actually provided by the lawyer and/or professional firm in the provision of legal services, the association and/or organization duly accredited by the Supreme Court shall issue the necessary certification that said legal services were actually undertaken. The certification issued by, among others, the PAO, the DOJ and other accredited association by the Supreme Court shall be submitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for purposes of availing the tax deductions as provided for in this Act and to the DOJ for purposes of monitoring. Section 5. Incentives to Lawyers. - For purposes of this Act, a lawyer or professional partnerships rendering actual free legal services, as defined by the Supreme Court, shall be entitled to an allowable deduction from the gross income, the amount that could have been collected for the actual free legal services rendered or up to ten percent (10%) of the gross income derived from the actual performance of the legal profession, whichever is lower: Provided, That the actual free legal services herein contemplated shall be exclusive of the minimum sixty (60)-hour mandatory legal aid services rendered to indigent litigants as required under the Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Services for Practicing Lawyers, under BAR Matter No. 2012, issued by the Supreme Court. Section 6. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign. - The DOJ, in cooperation with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), is hereby mandated to conduct an annual IEC campaign in order to inform the lawyers of the procedures and guidelines in availing tax deductions and inform the general public that a free legal assistance to those who cannot afford counsel is being provided by the State.1avvph!1 Section 7. Reportorial Requirement. - For purposes of determining the effectiveness and social impact of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall submit an annual report to both Houses of Congress indicating therewith the number of parties who benefited from this Act. The report shall state in detail, among others, the geographic location, demographic characteristics and socioeconomic profile of the beneficiaries of this Act. Section 8. Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). - Within ninety (90) days from the date effectivity of this Act, the BIR shall formulate the necessary revenue regulations for the proper implementation of the tax component as envisioned in this Act. The Supreme Court shall formulate the necessary implementing rules and regulations with respect to the legal services covered under this Act and the process of accreditation of organizations and/or associations which will provide free legal assistance. Section 9. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other provisions not affected by such declaration shall remain in full force and effect. Section 10. Repealing Clause. - Any law, decree, ordinance or administrative circular not consistent with any provision of this Act is hereby amended, repealed or modified accordingly. Section 11. Effectivity Clause. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE Rule 138-A SECTION 1. Conditions for Student Practice. - A law student who has successfully completed 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school. chan robles virtual law library SEC. 2. Appearance. - The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic. chan robles virtual law library SEC. 3. Privileged communications. - The Rules safeguarding privileged communications between attorney and client shall apply to similar communications made to or received by the law student, acting for the legal clinic. SEC. 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. - The law student shall comply with the standards of professional conduct governing members of the Bar. Failure of an attorney to provide adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for disciplinary action. (SC Circular No. 19, prom. Dec. 19, 1986).

ATTORNEYS & ADMISSION TO BAR Rule 138 Section 1. Who may practice law. Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.chanrobles virtualawlibrary Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines. chan robles virtual law library Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of America. Citizens of the United States of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after taking the following oath of office:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary "I, _________________________, having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do

9. false or unlawful suit. history and economics. labor and social legislation. and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients. in a law school or university. . and who can show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five years in any of said courts. and that they have never been suspended or disbarred. he had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college. Labor and Social Legislation. Examination. public and private international law. English and Spanish. medical jurisprudence. nor consent to the doing of any in court.Applicants. requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course. the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science." Sec. chan robles virtual law library Sec. . or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States. 8.Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in Pilipino.All applicants for admission other than those referred to in the two preceding sections shall. for at least ten (10) days before the beginning of the examination. Mercantile Law. No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law. before being admitted to the examination. may. If not embraced within sections 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same period the affidavit and certificate required by section 5. I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless. in the discretion of the Court. 1946. not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule. be admitted without examination. Additional requirements for other applicants. . 4. officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. satisfactorily show that they have regularly studied law for four years. and certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to their age. Political Law . Sec.chanrobles virtualawlibrary Sec. . satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked. So help me God. english. Criminal Law. Sec. accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law. Sec. commercial law. Applicants for admission who. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. taxation and legal ethics. remedial law.All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of the examination. and further evidence may be required by the court. political law. residence. I will delay no man for money or malice. logic. The affidavit of the candidate. shall be filed as evidence of such facts. being Filipino citizens.no falsehood. 7. spanish. are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeals or district court therein. and citizenship. and successfully completed all prescribed courses. and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of their admission to practice. that such practice began before July 4. subjects. Time for filing proof of qualifications.No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that. shall be subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law. Notice of applications. and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. 6. . criminal law. nor give aid nor consent to the same. 5. before he began the study of law. Pre-Law.

by questions and answers. the subjects in the examination shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law. and further disciplinary action. Sec. Disciplinary measures. Mercantile Law. . filing of examination papers. .(Constitutional Law. Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone. Third day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon). and in writing. Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon). The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon). Taxation. International Law (Private and Public). Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to read his answers without much loss of time. 15 per cent. the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in answering the questions. 10 per cent. Report of the committee. Passing average. 15 per cent. Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (in Pleading and Conveyancing). Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. and Evidence).No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee. he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects. In determining the average. chan robles virtual law library Sec. Sec. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a copy thereof. and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year. 15 per cent. Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. Persons taking the examination shall not bring papers. Sec. The candidate who violates this provision. who shall act as chairman. 14. 10 per cent. In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully. may be taken in the discretion of the court. Remedial Law. Committee of examiners. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used. the committee shall file its reports on the result of such examination. 10. 11. Political and International Law. shall be given to each examinee. Sec. Taxation. or any other provision of this rule. Criminal Law. books or notes into the examination rooms. without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. The names of the members of this committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports. Bar examination. 10 per cent. including permanent disqualification. 12. 5 per cent. 15. and eight members of the bar of the Philippines. in English or Spanish. Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon). who shall hold office for a period of one year. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court. and the same to count as a failure against him. Sec. 20 per cent. Remedial Law (Civil Procedure. Annual examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be fixed with the clerk and may there be examined by the . and Public Officers). or as soon thereafter as may be practicable. Criminal Procedure. and during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance. shall be barred from the examination. No oral examination shall be given. They shall be held in four days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners.Not later than February 15th after the examination. 13. chan robles virtual law library The committee of bar examiners shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers or commission of other frauds. Public Corporations. Labor and Social Legislation.

chan robles virtual law library Sec. (g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding.Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show to the satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school. and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. Sec. Duties of attorneys. (d) To employ. from any corrupt motive or interest. such means only as are consistent with truth and honor. which roll shall be signed by the person admitted when he receives his certificate. and that a certificate of such record be given to him by the clerk of court. An applicant who has passed the required examination. (e) To maintain inviolate the confidence.parties in interest. 19. which certificate shall be his authority to practice. Admission and oath of successful applicants. (b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers. 16. . to preserve the secrets of his client. and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law. Sec. Failing candidates to take review course. 17. Certificate. or delay any man's cause. The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule shall certify under oath that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject. (c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just.The clerk of the Supreme Court shall keep a roll of all attorneys admitted to practice.The Supreme Court shall thereupon admit the applicant as a member of the bar for all the courts of the Philippines. after the court has approved the report. for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him. the cause of the defenseless or oppressed. for any consideration personal to himself.It is the duty of an attorney:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary (a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines. and at every peril to himself. Sec. shall take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office. or has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar. Sec. . . (f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness. 18. and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge and approval. . . (h) Never to reject. 20. and shall direct an order to be entered to that effect upon its records. Attorneys' roll. unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged.

(i) In the defense of a person accused of crime. determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. contempt. he shall be entitled to . A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his place. Sec.An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding. should the court. 23. the name of the person who employed him. Sec. He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding. on notice to the client and attorney. chan robles virtual law library Sec. Authority of attorney to appear. by the written consent of his client filed in court. but the presiding judge may. . . regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused. without the consent of his client. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. In case of substitution. compromise their client's litigation. Sec. to present every defense that the law permits. and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for his client.An attorney who appears de parte in a case before a lower court shall be presumed to continue representing his client on appeal. unless he files a formal petition withdrawing his appearance in the appellate court. 22. No court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation. the name of the attorney newly employed shall be entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one. and in taking appeals. Attorney who appears in lower court presumed to represent client on appeal. 24. . by all fair and honorable means. and on hearing.When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded. But they cannot. but by due process of law. unless by leave of the court. . without special authority. and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. Sec. Change of attorneys. Compensation of attorneys. whenever pertinent to any issue. 21. he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable. with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy.Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing. agreement as to fees. the extent of the services rendered. An attorney wilfully appearing in court for a person without being employed. but may disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own professional knowledge. and the professional standing of the attorney. 26. and written notice of the change shall be given to the adverse party. on motion of either party and on reasonable grounds therefor being shown. may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions. but if the contract between client and attorney has been reduced to writing and the dismissal of the attorney was without justifiable cause. require any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the authority under which he appears. 25. or receive anything in discharge of a client's claim but the full amount in cash. Sec. . but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. . to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty. and to disclose. Unlawful retention of client's funds.An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears.An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services. and may thereupon make such order as justice requires.

32. Attorneys for destitute litigants. it shall not be less than thirty pesos (P30. the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte. or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.00) in capital offenses. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension. (3) Two hundred pesos (P200. . or other gross misconduct in such office. until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him. as the facts warrant. order an attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be compensated in such sum as the court may fix in accordance with section 24 of this rule. the Court of Appeals or the Court of First Instance shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order or suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. either personally or through paid agents or brokers.A court may assign an attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case. (2) One hundred pesos (P100. constitutes malpractice.recover from the client the full compensation stipulated in the contract. . the attorney may.Any official or other person . 29.00) in light felonies. the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. and executions issued in pursuance of such judgment. further proceedings in Supreme Court. and that the services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. However. rendered in the case wherein his services had been retained by the client. Standing in court of persons authorized to appear for Government. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Court of First Instance. nor more than the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50. (4) Five hundred pesos (P500. in the discretion of the court. . if upon investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an attorney. in its discretion. Compensation for attorneys de oficio. . 33. and to be heard by himself or counsel. and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. 31. grossly immoral conduct.The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding section. Whenever such compensation is allowed. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement. or removing the attorney from his office as such. Subject to availability of funds as may be provided by law the court may.Upon such suspension. No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession. Sec. .A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit. 30. or for corruptly or wilfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. Sec. chan robles virtual law library Sec.00) in grave felonies other than capital offenses. It shall be the duty of the attorney so assigned to render the required service. Sec. For the payment of his compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money. unless he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown. Sec. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation. to produce witnesses in his own behalf. or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice.00) in less grave felonies. intervene in the case to protect his rights.00) in any case. chan robles virtual law library Sec. 28. Sec. or for a wilfull disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme Court on what grounds. malpractice.

in special cases. documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid. or with the aid of an attorney. or at the instance of any person.chanrobles virtua law library . Amicus curiae. The IBP Board of Governors may. Sec. as amici curiae. DISBARMENT & DISCIPLINE OF ATTORNEYS Rule 139-B Section 1. In the court of a justice of the peace a party may conduct his litigation in person. further. a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney. Attorneys' liens. that charges filed against Justices and Judges before the IBP. even if lawyers are jointly charged with them. By whom litigation conducted. and shall have caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the adverse party. permit the appearance. and he shall have the same right and power over such judgments and executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure the payment of his just fees and disbursements. shall immediately be forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and adjudication. and Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals and lower courts. invite prominent attorneys to appear as amici curiae in such special cases. or it may. and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar. motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers. on its own initiative. Provided. He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments for the payment of money. In any other court. of those lawyers who in its opinion can help in the disposition of the matter before it. and upon proper application. including those filed prior to their appointment in the Judiciary. . from and after the time when he shall have caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court rendering such judgment. or by theIntegrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose. The court may. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts. suspension or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio. initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government service.appointed or designated in accordance with law to appear for the Government of the Philippines shall have all the rights of a duly authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in which said government has an interest direct or indirect. however. that all charges against Justices of the Court of Tax Appeals and theSandiganbayan. and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. Provided. or issuing such execution. and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments. 36. shall be filed with the Supreme Court. which he has secured in a litigation of his client.Proceedings for disbarment. Sec. Sec. How instituted. An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds. shall engage in private practice as a member of the bar or give professional advice to clients. Sec. Certain attorneys not to practice. 34. No judge or other official or employee of the superior courts or of the Office of the Solicitor General. 37. 35. .

the Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served upon the respondent. A. unless the parties sign and enter upon the record their written consent to his acting as such Investigator. withdrawal of the charges. compromise. He shall have the power to issue subpoenas and .The proper IBP Chapter may assist the complainant(s) in the preparation and filing of his complaint(s). Chapter assistance to complainant. .The answer shall be verified. Where the Investigator does not disqualify himself. after due hearing. 5. Duties of the National Grievance Investigator. pecuniary interest. . . . the same may be dismissed by the Board of Governors upon his recommendation. 2. A copy of the resolution of dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Supreme Court which may review the case motu proprio or upon timely appeal of the complainant filed within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the complainant. restitution. there being a quorum. proceed with the investigation of the case. Administrative counsel.If the complaint appears to be meritorious. Verification and service of answer. 1960).The Board of Governors shall appoint from among IBP members an Investigator or. If the complaint does not merit action. or his having acted as counsel for either party. 7. a party may appeal to the IBP Board of Governors. Sec. when special circumstances so warrant. 8. Sec. The original and five (5) legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the Investigator. Sec. Any Investigator may also be removed for cause.Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapters who shall forthwith transmit the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator. . PROCEEDINGS IN THE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES Sec. . (As amended by Bar Matter No.The National Grievance Investigators shall investigate all complaint against members of the Integrated Bar referred to them by the IBP Board of Governors. the Investigator shall. with deliberate speed. Sec. The decision of the Board of Governors in all cases of disqualification or removal shall be final. which by majority vote of the members present. . Investigation. chanrobles virtua law library Sec. Sec. or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious.Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the respondent to answer. may order his disqualification. National Grievance Investigator. a panel of three(3) investigators to investigate the complaint All Investigators shall take an oath of office in the form prescribed by the Board of Governors. 3. 6.The IBP Board of Governors shall appoint a suitable member of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the complainant or the respondent during the investigation in case of need for such assistance. by the vote of at least six (6) members of the IBP Board Governors. or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same. An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity to any of the parties or their counsel. personal bias. settlement. with proof of service of a copy thereof on the complainant or his counsel. No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance. A copy of the Investigator's appointment and oath shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court. requiring him to answer the same within fifteen (15) days from the date of service. 4. Service or dismissal.

However. Defects. Depositions. which `shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action and if warranted. including invalidation of the . . notice. upon considering the whole record. answer.administer oaths. if upon reasonable notice. The corresponding charge shall be filed by the Investigator before the IBP Board of Governors which shall require the alleged contemnor to show cause within ten (10) days from notice. Sec. the respondent fails to appear. The Investigator shall terminate the investigation within three (3) months from the date of its commencement unless extended for good cause by the Board of Governors upon prior application. . together with the stenographic notes and the transcripts thereof and all the evidence presented during the investigation. 11.Not later than thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation. The submission of the report need not await the transcription of the stenographic notes. The IBP Board of Governors may thereafter conduct hearings. in which event the Board shall take such remedial action as the circumstance may warrant. the imposition of penalty. the President of any Chapter. if necessary. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself. depositions may be taken before any member of the Board of Governors. it being sufficient that the report reproduce substantially from the Investigator's personal notes any relevant and pertinent testimonies. Such hearing shall. in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Rule for hearings before the Investigator. the investigation shall proceed ex parte. Thereafter. to present witnesses on his behalf and be heard by himself and counsel. Any suitable members of the Integrated Bar in the place where a deposition shall be taken may be designated by the Investigator to assist the complainant or the respondent in taking a deposition. finds that such defect has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice. 9. the IBP Board of Governors shall within like period fifteen (15) days issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations. Report of Investigator. be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its commencement.No defect in a complaint. as far as practicable. Willfull failure or refusal to obey a subpoena or any other lawful order issued by the Investigator shall be dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. Sec.Depositions may be taken in accordance with the Rules of Court with leave of the investigator(s). the Investigator shall submit a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations to the IBP Board of Governors. . Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines before a diplomatic or consular representative of the Philippine Government or before any person agreed upon by the parties or designated by the Board of Governors. 10. Sec. or any officer authorized by law to administer oaths. or in the proceeding or the Investigator's Report shall be considered as substantial unless the Board of Governors. chanrobles virtua law library Within the Philippines.

14. C. 15. Report of the Solicitor General or other Court designated investigator. chanrobles virtua law library Sec. it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPREME COURT Sec. together with the whole record of the case.entire proceedings. COMMON PROVISIONS Sec. the Solicitor General or other Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a resolution containing his findings of fact and recommendations together the record and all the evidence presented in the investigation for the final action of the Supreme Court. may suspend an attorney from the practice of his profession for any of the causes specified in Rule 138. determines that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred. in which case. Section 27. Supreme Court Investigators. View and decision by the Board of Governors. 16. A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court. . The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing and shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is based.The Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in Rule 138. It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the Investigator's Report (b) If the Board. the Supreme Court orders otherwise.Based upon the evidence adduced at the investigation. Suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court. the investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in Sections 6 to 11 hereof. 13. until further action of the Supreme Court in the . shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action. . the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court. . or fine) it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing such sanction. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court . chanrobles virtua law library Sec. motu proprio.After receipt of respondent's answer or lapse of the period therefor. reprimand.chanrobles virtualawlibrary Sec. (a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator with his report. by the vote of a majority of its total membership. B. (d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties through their counsel. or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Investigator. .In proceedings initiated motu proprio by the Supreme Court in other proceedings when the interest of justice so requires. 12. the Supreme Court. save that the review report of the investigation shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court. during the pendency of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme Court. (c) If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition. The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Board’s resolution. Section 27.

(Bar Matter No. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts. the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases. Upon receipt of such certified copy and statement. . Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court to read as follows:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary “SECTION 1.Proceedings for disbarment. . 17. Provided. and Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals and lower courts. Sec. however. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court. pursuant to its rule-making power under Section 5(5) of Article VIII of the Constitution in relation to its power to administratively supervise courts under Section 8 and to discipline judges of lower courts under Section 11 of the same Article. shorten or extend the suspension. resolved to AMEND Section 1. The Clerk of Court is directed to furnish all lower courts. . the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. or at the instance of any person. shall immediately be forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and adjudication. Effectivity and Transitory Provision . further. Sec. chanrobles virtua law library Sec. BAR MATTER NO. 20. or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)upon the verified complaint of any person. the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the case and may revoke. Provided.This Rule shall take effect on June 1. 18. even if lawyers are jointly charged with them. How instituted. . However. . suspension or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio. that all charges against Justices of the Court of Tax Appeals and the Sandiganbayan. 1988 and shall supersede the present Rule 139 entitled "DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF ATTORNEYS". 1988). shall be filed with the Supreme Court. 1960 AMENDMENT OF SECTION 1.” The foregoing amendment shall take effect on 01 May 2000 after publication of this Resolution in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation not later than 15 March 2000.Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. "The IBP Board of Governors may.Upon such suspension. Expenses. including those filed prior to their appointment in the Judiciary.case. "Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapters who shall forthwith transmit the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator. 19. RULE 139-B OF THE REVISED RULES OF COURT The Court. initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government service. Sec.All reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in relation to disciplinary and disbarment proceedings are lawful charges forthwith the parties may be taxed as costs. all government and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines with copies of this Resolution . or disbar the attorney as the facts may warrant. Resolution dated April 13. that charges filed against Justices and Judges before the IBP. 356. motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers. Confidentiality. All cases pending investigation by the Office of the Solicitor General shall be transferred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors for investigation and disposition as provided in this Rule except those cases where the investigation has been substantially completed. further proceedings in Supreme Court.

Title. Corona re: Comment of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on our Suggested Revisions to the Proposed Rule of Mandatory Legal Aid Service for Practicing Lawyers. February 10. . Purpose. 2009 following publication of the said Rule and its implementing regulations in at least two (2) newpapers of general circulation. the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same. . 2009 RULE ON MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE SECTION 1. 2012 February 10. Mandatory free legal service by members of the bar and their active support thereof will aid the efficient and effective administration of . 2009 of Justice Renato C.This Rule seeks to enhance the duty of lawyers to society as agents of social change and to the courts as officers thereof by helping improve access to justice by the less privileged members of society and expedite the resolution of cases involving them. No.This Rule shall be known as "The Rule on Mandatory Legal Aid Service. 2009 PROPOSED RULE ON MANDATORY LEGAL AID SERVICE FOR PRACTICING LAWYERS RESOLUTION Acting on the Memorandum dated January 27.M.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila B." SECTION 2. This Resolution shall take effect on July 1.

It shall also govern the duty of other members of the legal profession to support the legal aid program of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. or an accredited mediator who conducted the court-annexed mediation proceeding. 30 October 2006. SECTION 4. including but not limited to the National Labor Relations Commission. (h) IBP Chapters are those chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines located in the different geographical areas of the country as defined in Rule 139-A and (i) Clerk of Court is the Clerk of Court of the court where the practicing lawyer rendered free legal aid services. civil. The term shall also include an officer holding a similar position in agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions. a practicing lawyer shall coordinate with the Clerk of Court for cases where he may render free legal aid service. Said 60 hours shall be spread within a period of twelve (12) months. (b) A practicing lawyer shall be required to secure and obtain a certificate from the Clerk of Court attesting to the number of hours spent rendering free legal aid services in a case. The certificate shall contain the following information: (i) The case or cases where the legal aid service was rendered. He may also coordinate with the IBP Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP Chapter to inquire about cases where he may render free legal aid service.This Rule shall govern the mandatory requirement for practicing lawyers to render free legal aid services in all cases (whether. where it is necessary for the practicing lawyer to render legal aid service for more than five (5) hours in one month.justice especially in cases involving indigent and pauper litigants. The practicing lawyer shall report compliance with the requirement within ten (10) days of the last month of each quarter of the year. . National Conciliation and Mediation Board. (ii) Lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in court. it refers to an officer holding an equivalent or similar position. with a minimum of five (5) hours of free legal aid services each month. and controversies that are criminal. Services rendered when a practicing lawyer is appointed counsel de oficio shall also be considered as free legal aid services and credited as compliance under this Rule. Scope. The term "practicing lawyers" shall exclude: (i) Government employees and incumbent elective officials not allowed by law to practice. (b) Indigent and pauper litigants are those defined under Rule 141. SECTION 5.R. It shall also cover assistance by a practicing lawyer to indigent or poor litigants in court-annexed mediation and in other modes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).For purposes of this Rule: (a) Practicing lawyers are members of the Philippine Bar who appear for and in behalf of parties in courts of law and quasijudicial agencies. (g) Committee on Bar Discipline (CBD) is the committee of the IBP which is specifically tasked with disciplining members of the Bar. For this purpose. civil and administrative in nature in whatever stage wherein indigent and pauper litigants need legal representation. In the case of quasi-judicial bodies. the IBP Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP Chapter shall regularly and actively coordinate with the Clerk of Court. Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices. The Local Government Unit of the City of Naga (G. (c) Legal aid cases are those actions. In this connection. (iii) Supervising lawyers of students enrolled in law student practice in duly accredited legal clinics of law schools and lawyers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and peoples’ organizations (POs) like the Free Legal Assistance Group who by the nature of their work already render free legal aid to indigent and pauper litigants and (iv) Lawyers not covered under subparagraphs (i) to (iii) including those who are employed in the private sector but do not appear for and in behalf of parties in courts of law and quasi-judicial agencies. Definition of Terms. criminal or administrative) involving indigent and pauper litigants where the assistance of a lawyer is needed. . Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board and National Commission for Indigenous Peoples. No. or a responsible officer of an accredited PO or NGO. SECTION 3. 506 SCRA 81). Requirements. the docket number of the said case(s) and the date(s) the service was rendered. Section 19 of the Rules of Court and Algura v.150135. (d) Free legal aid services refer to appearance in court or quasi-judicial body for and in behalf of an indigent or pauper litigant and the preparation of pleadings or motions. However. (a) Every practicing lawyer is required to render a minimum of sixty (60) hours of free legal aid services to indigent litigants in a year. the party or parties in the said case(s) for whom the service was rendered. . (f) National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) is the committee of the IBP which is specifically tasked with handling legal aid cases. disputes. (e) Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is the official national organization of lawyers in the country. the excess hours may be credited to the said lawyer for the succeeding periods.

during that year. to explain why he was unable to render the minimum prescribed number of hours.000). it shall annually submit an accounting to the IBP Board of Governors. (g) Before the end of a particular year. The form shall be sworn to and submitted to the IBP Chapter or IBP National Office together with the payment of an annual contribution of Four Thousand Pesos (P4. (i) Failure to pay the annual contribution shall subject the lawyer to a penalty of Two Thousand Pesos (P2. during that year. the IBP Board of Governors shall declare the erring lawyer as a member not in good standing. Failure to disclose the required information would cause the dismissal of the case and the expunction of the pleadings from the records. NCLA.000) by way of support for the efforts of practicing lawyers who render mandatory free legal aid services. (b) The NCLA shall monitor the activities of the Chapter of the Legal Aid Office with respect to the coordination with Clerks of Court on legal aid cases and the collation of certificates submitted by practicing lawyers. Said contribution shall accrue to a special fund of the IBP for the support of its legal aid program. For this purpose. (c) Said compliance report shall be submitted to the Legal Aid Chairperson of the IBP Chapter within the court’s jurisdiction. (d) The NCLA shall prepare the following forms: certificate to be issued by the Clerk of Court and forms mentioned in Section 5(e) and (g). during that year. (a) The NCLA shall coordinate with the various legal aid committees of the IBP local chapters for the proper handling and accounting of legal aid cases which practicing lawyers can represent. they are neither practicing lawyers nor covered by Section (4)(a)(i) to (iii). The Clerk of Court shall issue the certificate in triplicate. (c) The NCLA shall act as the national repository of records in compliance with this Rule. issue a compliance certificate to the concerned lawyer. one (1) copy to be retained by the practicing lawyer. (d) The IBP Chapter shall.(ii) The number of hours actually spent attending a hearing or conducting trial on a particular case in the court or quasijudicial body. (iv) A motion (except a motion for extension of time to file a pleading or for postponement of hearing or conference) or pleading filed on a particular case shall be considered as one (1) hour of service. The form shall be sworn to and submitted to the IBP Chapter or IBP National Office together with the payment of an annual contribution of Two Thousand Pesos (P2. The Legal Aid Chairperson shall then be tasked with immediately verifying the contents of the certificate with the issuing Clerk of Court by comparing the copy of the certificate attached to the compliance report with the copy retained by the Clerk of Court. the NCLA shall make a report and recommendation to the IBP Board of Governors that the erring lawyer be declared a member of the IBP who is not in good standing. (f) Before the end of a particular year. conciliation or any other mode of ADR on a particular case. The certification shall be submitted to the IBP Chapter or IBP National Office. any practicing lawyer who fails to meet the minimum prescribed 60 hours of legal aid service each year shall be required by the IBP. SECTION 6. The accounting shall be included by the IBP in its report to the Supreme Court in connection with its request for the release of the subsidy for its legal aid program. through the NCLA. (e) Practicing lawyers shall indicate in all pleadings filed before the courts or quasi-judicial bodies the number and date of issue of their certificate of compliance for the immediately preceding compliance period. they have served as supervising lawyers in a legal clinic or actively participated in the NGO’s or PO’s free legal aid activities. shall fill up a form prepared by the NCLA which states that. manage and utilize the contributions and penalties that will be paid by lawyers pursuant to this Rule to effectively carry out the provisions of this Rule. The submission shall be made within fortyfive (45) days after the mandatory submission of compliance reports by the practicing lawyers. Notice thereof shall be furnished the erring lawyer and the IBP Chapter which submitted the . (iii) The number of hours actually spent attending mediation.000) for that year which amount shall also accrue to the special fund for the legal aid program of the IBP. Penalties. lawyers covered by the category under Section 4(a)(iii) shall secure a certification from the director of the legal clinic or of the concerned NGO or PO to the effect that. If no explanation has been given or if the NCLA finds the explanation unsatisfactory. (h) Before the end of a particular year. Upon approval of the NCLA’s recommendation. lawyers covered by the category under Section 4(a)(i) and (ii). (e) The NCLA shall hold in trust. SECTION 7. lawyers covered by the category under Section 4(a)(iv) shall fill up a form prepared by the NCLA which states that. they are employed with the government or incumbent elective officials not allowed by law to practice or lawyers who by law are not allowed to appear in court. after verification. one (1) copy to be retained by the Clerk of Court and one (1) copy to be attached to the lawyer's compliance report. The IBP Chapter shall also submit the compliance reports to the IBP’s NCLA for recording and documentation. (a) At the end of every calendar year. Said contribution shall accrue to a special fund of the IBP for the support of its legal aid program.

A lawyer who renders mandatory legal aid service for the required number of hours in a year for at least two consecutive years within the three year-period covered by a compliance period under the Rules on MCLE shall be credited the following: one (1) credit unit for legal ethics. LEDESMA. It shall coordinate with the various legal chapters in the crafting of the proposed implementing regulations and.This Rule and its implementing rules shall take effect on July 1. There is. It cannot be plausibly asserted that such failure to allow withdrawal of de oficio counsel could ordinarily be characterized as a grave abuse of discretion correctible by certiorari. This is without prejudice to the filing of the criminal and administrative charges against the malfeasor. petitioner. Provided. SECTION 10.A lawyer who renders mandatory legal aid service for the required number of hours in a year for the three year-period covered by a compliance period under the Rules on MCLE shall be credited the following: two (2) credit units for legal ethics. however. G. Rafael C. Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental.lawyer’s compliance report or the IBP Chapter where the lawyer is registered. Implementing Rules. J. in case he did not submit a compliance report. that the "not in good standing" status shall subsist even after the lapse of the three-month period until and unless the penalty shall have been paid. Credit for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). (e) The falsification of a certificate or any contents thereof by any Clerk of Court or by any Chairperson of the Legal Aid Committee of the IBP local chapter where the case is pending or by the Director of a legal clinic or responsible officer of an NGO or PO shall be a ground for an administrative case against the said Clerk of Court or Chairperson. If found administratively liable. (b) The "not in good standing" declaration shall be effective for a period of three (3) months from the receipt of the erring lawyer of the notice from the IBP Board of Governors. one (1) credit unit for trial and pretrial skills. four (4) credit units for substantive and procedural laws and jurisprudence and six (6) credit units for such subjects as may be prescribed by the MCLE Committee under Section 2(9). is hereby given authority to recommend implementing regulations in determining who are "practicing lawyers. Adelino H. One of the grounds for such a motion was his allegation that with his appointment as Election Registrar by the Commission on Elections. Effectivity. . through the NCLA. two (2) credit units for alternative dispute resolution. The denial by respondent Judge of such a plea. No. (d) Any lawyer who falsifies a certificate or any form required to be submitted under this Rule or any contents thereof shall be administratively charged with falsification and dishonesty and shall be subject to disciplinary action by the CBD. Rule 2 of the Rules on MCLE. 1974 ADELINO H.2009 after they have been published in two (2) newspapers of general circulation. notwithstanding the conformity of the defendants. RAFAEL C. Ledesma in his own behalf. . This is without prejudice to the filing of criminal charges against the lawyer." It was likewise noted that the prosecution had already rested and that petitioner was previously counsel de parte. In appropriate cases. the overriding concern for the right to counsel of the accused that must be taken seriously into consideration. Then." what constitute "legal aid cases" and what administrative procedures and financial safeguards which may be necessary and proper in the implementation of this rule may be prescribed. two (2) credit units for substantive and procedural laws and jurisprudence and three (3) credit units for such subjects as may be prescribed by the MCLE Committee under Section 2(g). two (2) credit units for legal writing and oral advocacy. L-23815 June 28. the said implementing regulations shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final approval. . Silay City. two (2) credit units for trial and pretrial skills.:p What is assailed in this certiorari proceeding is an order of respondent Judge denying a motion filed by petitioner to be allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio. one (1) credit unit for alternative dispute resolution. too. This is not one of them. SECTION 8.R. Branch I. vs. What is easily discernible was the obvious reluctance of petitioner to comply with the responsibilities incumbent on the counsel de oficio. SECTION 9. . respondent. however. CLIMACO. During the said period. FERNANDO. Rule 2 of the Rules on MCLE. Climaco in his own behalf.The IBP. Hon. The notice to the lawyer shall include a directive to pay Four Thousand Pesos (P4. was due "its principal effect [being] to delay this case. HON. the penalty of suspension in the practice of law for one (1) year shall be imposed upon him. it should tilt the balance. upon approval by the IBP Board of Governors. his designation in the former category being precisely to protect him in his new position without prejudicing the accused. The said proceedings shall afford the erring lawyer due process in accordance with the rules of the CBD and Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court. even on the assumption that he continues in his position. (c) Any lawyer who fails to comply with his duties under this Rule for at least three (3) consecutive years shall be the subject of disciplinary proceedings to be instituted motu proprio by the CBD. he was not in a position to devote full time to the defense of the two accused. the lawyer cannot appear in court or any quasi-judicial body as counsel.000) penalty which shall accrue to the special fund for the legal aid program of the IBP. four (4) credit units for legal writing and oral advocacy.

he commenced to discharge its duties. The law is a profession. this case has been postponed at least eight (8) times. 1964.." 2. denied said motion. It makes even more manifest that law is indeed a profession dedicated to the ideal of service and not a mere trade. Ledesma to continue as counsel de oficio. on October 13. Then respondent Judge spoke of his order of October 16. 1963. but it is essential that the court should assign one de oficio for him if he so desires and he is poor or grant . 1964." The weakness of the petition is thus quite evident. 1964. what is incumbent upon him as counsel de oficio must be fulfilled. especially in the case of an indigent defendant. the continuation of the trial of this case is hereby transferred to March 9. It could be that for some lawyers. he instituted this certiorari proceeding. he must exercise his best efforts and professional ability in behalf of the person assigned to his care. particularly in the rules of procedure." After which. especially when negligence in the performance of those duties necessarily results in delays in the prosecution of criminal cases . 1962. of course. The fact that his services are rendered without remuneration should not occasion a diminution in his zeal. and that the government witnesses have to come all the way from Manapala. The accused-defendant expects of him due diligence. premised on the policy of the Commission on Elections to require full time service as well as on the volume or pressure of work of petitioner. Nevertheless. But we do say that as such counsel de oficio. not mere perfunctory representation. That circumstance possesses a high degree of relevance since a lawyer has to live. To avoid any frustration thereof. There is not now the slightest pretext for him to shirk an obligation a member of the bar. 1964. June 8. the administration of justice. should fulfill. Subsequently. 1963. 1964 that the trial would be resumed today. alleging indisposition. which could prevent him from handling adequately the defense. on November 3. And this can happen more easily to persons who are ignorant or uneducated. For those holding such belief. being appointed counsel de oficio is an irksome chore. 1964 at 8:30 in the morning. March 9. Estebia reiterated such a view in these words: "It is true that he is a court-appointed counsel. 1964 which reads thus: "In view of the objection of the prosecution to the motion for postponement of October 15. after which the government would rest. 1964. Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of law. Ledesma. A recent statement of the doctrine is found in People v. His right to counsel could in effect be rendered nugatory. it is not enough to ask him whether he desires the aid of an attorney. and. The right to be heard would be of little avail if it does not include the right to be heard by counsel. Not only did respondent Judge deny such motion. The assailed order of November 6.. Because. the petition must fail. is that petitioner was less than duly mindful of his obligation as counsel de oficio. Respondent Judge. 1964 July 26. a lawyer may be required to act as counsel de oficio. As noted at the outset. For. The defense is reminded that at its instance. He is to render effective assistance. After all. petitioner. October 28. Rather the contrary. he knew since October 2. 1963. If respondent Judge were required to answer the petition. As he was counsel de partefor one of the accused in a case pending in the sala of respondent Judge.his volume of work is likely to be very much less at present. 1963. in order not to prejudice the civil service status of counsel for the accused. the motion for postponement is denied. as in the case of the latter. not a trade or a craft. 1964: "Upon petition of Atty. It began with a reminder that a crime was allegedly committed on February 17. 1964. A motion for reconsideration having proved futile. June 13. he filed a motion to withdraw as such. Those enrolled in its ranks are called upon to aid in the performance of one of the basic purposes of the State. where respondent was de oficio counsel. the welfare of the accused could be prejudiced. but he also appointed him counsel de oficio for the two defendants. he has his practice to attend to. to ignore that other pressing matters do compete for his attention. who expects to remain in good standing. he has as high a duty to the accused as one employed and paid by defendant himself. he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. November 27. According to the undisputed facts. Daban: "There is need anew in this disciplinary proceeding to lay stress on the fundamental postulate that membership in the bar carries with it a responsibility to live up to its exacting standard. June 14. 1963. 1964. 1. was appointed Election Registrar for the Municipality of Cadiz. it was noted in such order that there was no incompatibility between the duty of petitioner to the accused and to the court and the performance of his task as an election registrar of the Commission on Elections and that the ends of justice "would be served by allowing and requiring Mr. and since according to the prosecution there are two witnesses who are ready to take the stand." Reference was then made to another order of February 11. 1964 denying the urgent motion of petitioner to withdraw as counsel de oficio speaks for itself. Holgado in these words: "In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel. It is for this reason that the right to be assisted by counsel is deemed so important that it has become a constitutional right and it is so implemented that under rules of procedure it is not enough for the Court to apprise an accused of his right to have an attorney. certainly he cannot afford either to neglect his paying cases. It is understandable then why a high degree of fidelity to duty is required of one so designated." So it has been from the 1905 decision of In re Robles Lahesa. Province of Negros Occidental. He ought to have known that membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. Nonetheless. it may come as a surprise that counsel of repute and of eminence welcome such an opportunity. This is not. What is readily apparent therefore." Justice Sanchez in People v. 1964. with the proceedings having started in the municipal court of Cadiz on July 11. the opinion penned by Justice Carson making clear: "This Court should exact from its officers and subordinates the most scrupulous performance of their official duties. Adelino H. February 11. since the prosecution has already rested its case. 1964 (alleging that counsel for the accused cannot continue appearing in this case without the express authority of the Commission on Elections). The defense obtained postponements on May 17. it was only due to the apprehension that considering the frame of mind of a counsel loath and reluctant to fulfill his obligation. he is hereby designated counsel de oficio for the accused. The petition is clearly without merit. When counsel for the accused assumed office as Election Registrar on October 13. in the challenged order of November 6. petitioner filed an urgent motion to be allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio. especially the neophytes in the profession. Then and there. Its importance was rightfully stressed by Chief Justice Moran in People v. without counsel. and September 7. indeed a lawyer who is a vanguard in the bastion of justice is expected to have a bigger dose of social conscience and a little less of self-interest. 3.. 1962.

Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence. and this is one of them. in addition to reiterating that the accused "shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel. the petition for certiorari is dismissed. RESOLUTION PER CURIAM: In a sworn complaint filed with this Court on August 20. that petitioner would exert himself sufficiently to perform his task as defense counsel with competence. It may likewise be assumed. an exorbitant demand on his time. respondent. 1975. vs. He did point though to his responsibility as an election registrar. on grounds of deceit and grossly immoral conduct. After respondent filed his answer ( Rollo. Barrientos seeks the disbarment of respondent Transfiguracion Daarol. Costs against petitioner. Such a consideration could have sufficed for petitioner not being allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio. 18). For. p." Thus is made manifest the indispensable role of a member of the Bar in the defense of an accused.him a reasonable time to procure an attorney of his own. violence." 15 there is this new provision: "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel. report and recommendation (Rollo. No. The admonition is ever timely for those enrolled in the ranks of legal practitioners that there are times. and in the immediate future. considering what has been set forth above. intimidation. if only to erase doubts as to his fitness to remain a member of the profession in good standing. complainant Victoria C. threat. or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. 1993 VICTORIA BARRIENTOS.C. no such excuse could be availed now. 1512 January 29. WHEREFORE. TRANSFIGURACION DAAROL. the Court Resolved to refer the case to the Solicitor General for investigation. There is not likely at present. No force. For he did betray by his moves his lack of enthusiasm for the task entrusted to him. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A. when duty to court and to client takes precedence over the promptings of self-interest. . to put matters mildly. The present Constitution is even more emphatic. ** a member of the Philippine Bar. if not with zeal. p. 12). Assuming his good faith. and to be informed of such right." So it was under the previous Organic Acts. complainant.

"Day. tsn. 121-122. . that he was the General Manager of Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative. Manila. 1976). tsn. just give this to me.). Dipolog City. 122-124.). id. that when she was still a teenager and first year in college she came to know respondent Transfiguracion Daarol in 1969 as he used to go to their house being a friend of her sister Norma. tsn. the month we have been waiting for" ([p]. 1973. respondent came to their house and asked her to be one of the usherettes in the Mason's convention in Sicayab. Dipolog City (pp. she finally accepted respondent's offer of love and respondent continued his usual visitations almost every night thereafter. On October 20. 132-135. to a party at the Lopez Skyroom. with the consent of her father. 1973. 109-111. 1973. that at 7:00 p. 139. together with transcripts of stenographic notes and exhibits submitted by the parties. id. After August 20. September 30. That on June 27. she submitted to a pregnancy test and the result was positive. but because she loved him she finally agreed to have sexual intercourse with him at the back seat of the jeep. id. and in the course of which respondent proposed his love to her.). complainant Victoria Barrientos was single and a resident of Bonifacio St.As per recommendation of the Solicitor General and for the convenience of the parties and their witnesses who were residing in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.: Evidence of the complainant: . at Del Pilar St.. 125-127. 20). that on July 7. 122.). tsn. 1973 while respondent would follow by plane. id. tsn. 1987. 1973 complainant noticed that her menstruation which usually occurred during the second week of each month did not come. Inc. they agreed to get married in December 1973 (pp. Manila. tsn. then he pleaded. she informed respondent and respondent suggested to have the fetus aborted but she objected and respondent did not insist. the Provincial Fiscal of said province was authorized to conduct the investigation and to submit a report. subsequently marry complainant (p. and at about 12:00 midnight they went home (pp. that they had this sexual intercourse from August to October 1973 at the frequency of two or three times a week. December is very near. from June 28 to 30. complainant and her mother left for Manila by boat on October 22. respondent then told her not to worry because they would get married within one month and he would talk to her parents about their marriage (pp. and again reiterated his promise and assurances. Dipolog City. respondent came to complainant's house and invited her for a joy ride with the permission of her mother who was a former classmate of respondent.). of that evening they left the party at the Lopez Skyroom. and she knew the respondent as being single and living alone in Galas. when respondent came to see complainant and her mother at Singalong. p. 1973. . and her father consented. respondent invited her. 129-132. id). tsn. id. but he answered: "Day. tsn. I will marry you" and reminded her also that "anyway.). That in the morning of August 20.. he would marry her within six (6) months from her acceptance. she waited until the end of the month and still there was no menstruation. and he kept on courting her and pressed her to make her decision on respondent's proposal.m. (ZANECO) and subsequently transferred his residence to the ZANECO compound at Laguna Blvd. respondent parked the jeep by the beach where there were no houses around. do not be afraid" ( ibid). and they agreed to meet in Singalong. that at about 10:00 p. if any ( Rollo.). complainant's mother got mad and said: "Trans. that she then said: "What is this Trans?". tsn. which respondent did. tsn. 115-119. That in the afternoon of July 1. Sometime in the middle part of September. id.m. after which he would take her to the airport where they would have sexual intercourse. tsn. Dipolog City. 1973. however. id. and she consented to all these things because she loved him and believed in all his promises (pp. that after the intercourse she wept and respondent again reiterated his promises and assurances not to worry because anyway he would marry her. that in the course of their conversation inside the jeep. viz. of that day respondent fetched her from her house and went to the Lopez Skyroom (pp. 138. id. do not be afraid of me. that respondent took her to Sicayab in his jeep and then they strolled along the beach. id. 112-114. respondent continued to invite her to eat outside usually at the Honeycomb Restaurant in Dipolog City about twice or three times a week. that from then on respondent used to visit her in their house almost every night. the Office of the Solicitor General submitted its Report and Recommendation. it was agreed that the marriage would be celebrated in Manila so as not to create a scandal as complainant was already pregnant. 1973 and. but before taking her home respondent invited her for a joy ride and took her to the airport at Sicayab. 1973. that for three whole days she served as usherette in the convention and respondent picked her up from her residence every morning and took her home from the convention site at the end of each day (pp. respondent reassured complainant not to worry because respondent had been separated from his wife for 16 years and he would work for the annulment of his marriage and. Dipolog City. 119121. at the same time pulling down her panty. in the house of complainant's sister Delia who is married to Ernesto Serrano (pp. tsn. so you fooled my daughter and why did you let us come here in Manila?" (p. 1973. complainant told respondent that she would think it over first. respondent reiterated his promise to marry her and then started caressing her downward and his hand kept on moving to her panty and down to her private parts (pp. she told respondent to ask the permission of her parents.). 137. that respondent told her that if she would accept him. On October 26. id. On November 9. tsn. respondent told them that he could not marry complainant because he was already married (p.).). that she told him that she was afraid because they were not yet married. id. Later on. .). respondent came to complainant's house and talked to her parents about their marriage. that they also became friends.

.respondent told complainant to deliver their child in Manila and assured her of a monthly support of P250. that (sic) a week of courtship. likewise he knew complainant's mother because they were former classmates in high school. the birth certificate of the child (Exh. tsn. trickery. he told complainant that it would soon be approved (pp. that in 1953 he was baptized as a moslem and thereby embraced the Islam Religion (pp. they gradually became friends and often talked with each other. and that said respondent had been separated from his wife for about 16 years at the time of his relationship with complainant. that when complainant was already in Manila. 1952. that at about 10:00 p. Evidence for the Respondent The evidence of the respondent consists of his sole testimony and one exhibit. he came back in February and in March 1974 and told complainant the same thing (p. and was about 20 years and 7 months old during the time (July-October 1975) of her relationship with respondent. the case was referred to the Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative (ZANECO) and it was dismissed and thus she filed the present administrative case (pp. id. when asked about the annulment of his previous marriage. 195. he proposed his love to her on July 7. while respondent Transfiguracion Daarol is married. that he mentioned to her his being estranged from his wife. is single. and that the present case was filed against him by complainant because of his failure to give the money to support complainant while in Cebu waiting for the delivery of the child and. she got sick and her father sent her to Zamboanga City for medical treatment. id. 173-180 tsn. That respondent is married to Romualda A. tsn. 1932. Norma. she asked him if he was willing to marry her. the following facts are not disputed: 1. that before midnight he took her home. tsn.). id. id. thru her brother. That the complainant. In the last week of June 1974 complainant came to Dipolog City and tried to contact respondent by phone and.). and even talked about their personal problems. she consulted a lawyer and filed an administrative case against respondent with the National Electrification Administration. Fr. 193-194. that because of incompatibility he had been estranged from his wife for 16 years.). 1973 (pp. that the arrangement was for him to fetch her from her residence and take her home from the convention site.). 140.). Respondent declared substantially as follows: that he was born on August 6. 1932 in Liloy. only two of them. tsn. that he became acquainted with complainant when he used to visit her sister. tsn. having been born on August 6. 1955 at Liloy. That it was sometime in the later part of October 1973 that complainant told him of her pregnancy. tsn. he would be charged with bigamy but he promised to file an annulment of his marriage as he had been separated from his wife for 16 years. Parish Priest thereat. tsn. a college student. he came back to Manila in January 1974 and went to see complainant.00 (p. that during respondent's talk with the parents of complainant regarding the latter's pregnancy. she wanted to have a joy ride. 13. General Manager of Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative. 198-207. That in the evening of August 20. also to meet complainant's medical expenses when she went to Zamboanga City for medical check-up (pp. she delivered a baby girl on June 14. 1973. that they agreed that the child be delivered in Manila to avoid scandal and respondent would take care of expenses.m. complainant complained to him of a headache. Dipolog City held on June 28-30. 2. 141-142. tsn. 185-192. complainant went to Cebu City in April 1974 and. that thereafter they indulged in sexual intercourse many times whenever they went on joy riding in the evening and ended up in the airport which was the only place they could be alone (p. deceit or cajolery. he answered he could not marry again. id. 48-150. that he married Romualda Sumaylo in Liloy in 1955. so he decided to take her home but once inside the jeep. but to no avail. id. Jan. respondent invited complainant to be his partner during the Chamber of Commerce affair at the Lopez Skyroom. id. 1973. they forgot themselves and they made love. id. Rev. she came back after two weeks but still respondent did not come to see her (tsn. Anacleto Pellamo. she accepted his proposal and since then he used to invite her (pp.). 1977). having been born on December 23. as she was ashamed she just stayed in their house. Zamboanga del Norte by a catholic priest.). but her mother answered her that she cannot come as nobody would be left in their house in Dipolog and instead suggested that complainant go to Cebu City which is nearer. 150-151. that with the consent of her parents he invited her to be one of the usherettes in the Masonic Convention in Sicayab. complainant wrote her mother to come to Manila when she delivers the child. FINDING OF FACTS From the evidence adduced by the parties. id. tsn. that he came to know complainant's father since 1952 because he was his teacher. 143-148. and the child was registered as "Dureza Barrientos" (pp. Zamboanga del Norte. 1). otherwise. her sister Norma took her to the Good Shepherd Convent at Banawa Hill. so he drove around the city and proceeded to the airport. that it was during this occasion that they became close to each other and after the convention. Victoria Barrientos. Sumaylo with whom be has a son. 142. 1974 at the Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City. respondent returned to Dipolog City and actually sent the promised support.). that when they were at the airport. that the marriage ceremony was solemnized on September 24. of that evening after the affair. that he had a son who is now 20 years old. id. and 41 years old at the time of the said relationship.). that complainant consented to have sexual intercourse with him because of her love to him and he did not resort to force. they started the usual kisses and they were carried by their passion. in their house. tsn.). he told him he was married but estranged from his wife.

if . 209. 4. If he were a moslem convert entitled to four (4) wives. and then she instituted the present disbarment proceedings against respondent. they left the place but before going home. Norma in 1963 and eventually with her other sisters. Interestingly enough. and he used to fetch her at her residence in the morning and took her home from the convention site after each day's activities. they consummated the sexual act and at about midnight they went home. however. however. p. respondent Transfiguracion Daarol be disbarred as a lawyer. 47) Worse. (Rollo. having been a former student of complainant's father in 1952 and. complainant with her parents' permission was respondent's partner during the Chamber of Commerce affair at the Lopez Skyroom in the Dipolog City. p. 27th and 28th of October 1973. That respondent courted complainant. In this regard. as he is now claiming. 1973. a former classmate of complainant's mother at the Andres Bonifacio College in Dipolog City." (TSN. Dipolog City and parked the jeep at the beach. 1977). that later on complainant decided to deliver the child in Cebu City in order to be nearer to Dipolog City. which complainant's family is. her father being the Assistant Principal of the local public high school. Even then. her brother. they went to the airport at Sicayab. 28-51). tsn. that he became acquainted with complainant's sister. which complaint. it was agreed that complainant would deliver her child in Manila. with her parents' consent. 200. that about the last week of June 1974 she went home to Dipolog City. where she went with her mother on October 22. that after the usual preliminaries. But what surprises this Court even more is the perverted sense of respondent's moral values when he said that: "I see nothing wrong with this relationship despite my being married. xxx xxx xxx In view of the foregoing. the Court finds itself in full accord with the findings and recommendation of the Solicitor General. why did he not marry complainant? The answer is supplied by respondent himself.3. respondent misrepresented himself as being eligible to re-marry for having been estranged from his wife for 16 years and dangled a marriage proposal on the assurance that he would work for the annulment of his first marriage. Manila. Boy. From the records. that during her stay here in Manila and later in Cebu City. where there were no houses around. justice. that on June 14. respondent used to have joy ride with complainant which usually ended at the airport where they used to make love twice or three times a week. respondent even had the temerity to allege that he is a Moslem convert and as such. January 13. That after a conference among respondent. to be one of the usherettes during the Masonic Convention in Sicayab. respondent's moral sense is so seriously impaired that we cannot maintain his membership in the Bar. Cebu City. and again in February and March 1974. Respondent made a mockery of marriage which is a sacred institution demanding respect and dignity. In Pangan v. could enter into multiple marriages and has inquired into the possibility of marrying complainant ( Rollo. January 13. It was a deception after all as it turned out that respondent never bothered to annul said marriage. cultured and respectable. 242. 15). was dismissed. to allow a daughter to have an affair with a married man. The Court is therefore inclined to believe that respondent resorted to deceit in the satisfaction of his sexual desires at the expense of the gullible complainant. After a thorough review of the case. arriving in Manila on the 25th and. Truly. Finally. Ramos (107 SCRA 1 [1981]). that she filed an administrative case against respondent with the National Electrification Administration. complainant accepted respondent's love on July 7. 1973 by boat. who was also studying in Dipolog City. we need only to quote the finding of the Office of the Solicitor General. Rollo. 1974. and she went there in April 1974 and her sister took her to the Good Shepherd Convent at Banawa Hill. 5. 1973. The fact of his previous marriage was disclosed by respondent only after the complainant became pregnant. his claim of having embraced the Islam religion is not supported by any evidence save that of his self-serving testimony. but. It is not in accordance with the nature of the educated. he could no longer validly enter into another civil ceremony without committing bigamy because the complainant is a christian (p. He said while he was a moslem. he even suggested abortion. 1977). Consequently. January 13. and after a week of courtship. respondent knew all along that the mere fact of separation alone is not a ground for annulment of marriage and does not vest him legal capacity to contract another marriage. As records indicate. that in the evening of August 20. the respondent defrayed some of her expenses. to wit: When respondent was asked to marry complainant he said he could not because he was already married and would open him to a charge of bigamy (p. the undersigned respectfully recommend that after hearing. as he used to visit Norma at her residence. This circumstance alone belies respondent's claim that complainant and her family were aware of his previous marriage at the very start of his courtship. 1977. named her "Dureza Barrientos". we held that: (E)ven his act in making love to another woman while his first wife is still alive and their marriage still valid and existing is contrary to honesty. it appears indubitable that complainant was never informed by respondent attorney of his real status as a married individual. complainant became pregnant. decency and morality. lived separately from him. Dipolog City from June 28 to 30. complainant and complainant's parents. and at about 10:00 o'clock that evening. stayed with her brother-in-law Ernesto Serrano in Singalong. respondent lived alone in Dipolog City though his son. having been married in a civil ceremony. that respondent visited her there on the 26th. Baby and Delia and. she delivered a baby girl at the Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City and. tsn. pp. that after the first sexual act. He never introduced his son and went around with friends as though he was never married much less had a child in the same locality. More importantly. That respondent had been known by the Barrientos family for quite sometime. p. 1973. that he also befriended complainant and who became a close friend when he invited her. that as a result of her intimate relations.

the Court is constrained to impose upon him the most severe disciplinary action — disbarment. 26 [1989]. when the attorney's character is bad in such respects as to show that he is unsafe and unfit to be entrusted with the powers of an attorney. 179 SCRA 653 [1989]). p. More specifically. a member of the Bar and an officer of the Court is not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or the keeping of mistresses but must also behave himself in such a manner as to avoid scandalizing the public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards (Tolosa vs. should not be allowed continued membership in the ancient and learned profession of law (Quingwa v. The practice of law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to the exacting standards of mental and moral fitness. he cannot marry complainant. begot a child with her. 2. enjoined to aid in guarding the Bar against the admission of candidates unfit or unqualified because deficient either moral character or education (In re Puno. otherwise. 19 SCRA 439 [1967]). another disbarment proceeding was resolved by this Court against a lawyer who convinced a woman that her prior marriage to another man was null and void ab initio and she was still legally single and free to marry him (the lawyer). (Rollo. The members are. the Office of the Bar Confidant and spread on the personal record of respondent Daarol. Here. In brief. the court retains the power to discipline him (Piatt v. 181 SCRA 682 [1990]. As officers of the court. As aptly put by Mr. made her pregnant. Puno. Rule 138. breached his promise to marry her. that notwithstanding his being a moslem convert. its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law (People v. Let copies of this Resolution be furnished to all courts of the land. and then deserted her and the child. was supported by her in his studies. Terre. 27. 181 SCRA 692). [1967]. 1992). Respondent is therefore guilty of deceit and grossly immoral conduct. Delos Reyes v. It is a continuing qualification which all lawyers must possess (People v. 7 SCRA 757 [1963] and Royong vs. Abordo (58 Phil. suggested abortion. Rules of Court) is in order. a lawyer may either be suspended or disbarred. Abordo. The ancient and learned profession of law exacts from its members the highest standard of morality. Tuanda. 58 Phil. Case No. then it was grossly immoral for him to have sexual intercourse with complainant because he knew the existence of a legal impediment. married her. citing Toledo vs. Toledo. 350 [1933]. Adm.respondent knew. Pangan vs. proposed love and marriage to complainant. By his acts of deceit and immoral tendencies to appease his sexual desires. Justice George A. respondent Daarol has amply demonstrated his moral delinquency. escape responsibility thru his dubious claim that he has embraced the Islam religion. 30 January 1990. Tuanda. Cargo. cited in Leda v. Tabang. Respondent may not. 49). Respondent then succeeded in having carnal relations with complainant by deception. Malcolm: "As good character is an essential qualification for admission of an attorney to practice. Oblena. 171 SCRA 21. Respondent having exhibited debased morality. already a married man and about 41 years old. July 3. Case No. As we have held in Piatt v. Ramos. then still a 20-year-old minor. abandoned her and the child. Adm. ACCORDINGLY. Good moral character is a condition which precedes admission to the Bar (Sec. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. 2349. in fact. We find respondent Transfiguracion Daarol guilty of grossly immoral conduct unworthy of being a member of the Bar and is hereby ordered DISBARRED and his name stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys. SO ORDERED . and married another woman (Terre vs. Rules of Court) and is not dispensed with upon admission thereto. 7 SCRA 859 [1963]). Aznar. Only recently. Rule 138. 19 SCRA 439. lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral character but must also be seen to be of good moral character and must lead a life in accordance with the highest moral standards of the community. 350 [1933]). Hence. respondent. therefore. knowing that he did not have the required legal capacity. his removal for conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar on the grounds of deceit and grossly immoral conduct (Sec. 107 SCRA 1 [1981]). 3360. We find respondent Daarol morally delinquent and as such. 206 SCRA 395 [1992]): It cannot be overemphasized that the requirement of good character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law.

Petitioners base their petitions on the following arguments: 1. HERNANDEZ & CASTILLO. who died on February 14. Alexander Sycip. BENJAMIN M. GREGORIO R. ROMAN MABANTA. Herminio Ozaeta. JR. GATMAITAN. CASTILLO. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE USE OF THE FIRM NAME "OZAETA. TRISTAN A." RICARDO J. SALAZAR. PESIGAN. praying that they be allowed to continue using. and JOSE F.. HERNANDEZ. EDUARDO DE LOS ANGELES. Article 1840 of the Civil Code explicitly sanctions the practice when it provides in the last paragraph that: . BENILDO G." LUCIANO E. RESOLUTION MELENCIO-HERRERA.. FELICIANO. SAN JUAN. SAYOC. FELICIANO. ALBERTO P. a partnership is not prohibited from continuing its business under a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner. SALAZAR. FERNANDEZ. petitioners. in fact. and 2) by the surviving partners of Atty. ROMULO. EDUARDO R. DE LEON. Under the law. ANCHETA K. ANDRES G. CACANINDIN. J. FLORENTINO P. ANGELITO C.£ªwph!1 Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. REYES. NOEL A. 1976. BUENAVENTURA. in the names of their firms. and ALICE V. DE LEON. CATINDIG. both Petitions were ordered consolidated. IMPERIO. CENIZA. REYES. JR. 1975. 1976. who died on May 5.July 30. JUAN C. 1979 PETITION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE USE OF THE FIRM NAME "SYCIP. J. In the Court's Resolution of September 2. the names of partners who had passed away. LAMAN. JESUS S. ETHELWOLDO E. MABANTA & REYES.:ñé+. ROMULO. JUSTINO H. petitioners. TAN. JOSE MA.

Petitioners herein now seek a re-examination of the policy thus far enunciated by the Court. of a partner. 1957. Those who. E. 1958.. the law firm of Perkins and Ponce Enrile. It is clearly tacit in the above provision that names in a firm name of a partnership must either be those of living partners and. entitled Register of Deeds of Manila vs. prayed that the continued use of the firm name "Perkins & Ponce Enrile" be held proper. petitioners will notify all leading national and international law directories of the fact of their respective deceased partners' deaths. The law firm of Perkins & Ponce Enrile moved to intervene as amicus curiae." The same issue was raised before this Court in 1958 as an incident in G. C.S. There being no benefits . R. D. Johnston. No local custom prohibits the continued use of a deceased partner's name in a professional firm's name. not being members of the partnership. Hernandez and Castillo" and "Ozaeta. and the high standards demanded in the canons of professional ethics. shall not of itself make the individual property of the deceased partner liable for any debts contracted by such person or partnership. Canon 34 of the Canons of Professional Ethics "prohibits an agreement for the payment to the widow and heirs of a deceased lawyer of a percentage. raising substantially the same arguments as those now being raised by petitioners. L-11964. 5 5. A. of the fees received from the future business of the deceased lawyer's clients. Feliciano. G. neither the widow nor the heirs can be held liable for transactions entered into after the death of their lawyer-predecessor..The use by the person or partnership continuing the business of the partnership name. or the name of a deceased partner as part thereof. D. A. No. " Accordingly. who has long been dead. The matter was resolved with this Court advising the firm to desist from including in their firm designation the name of C. in such firm name. the legislature has authorized the adoption of firm names without any restriction as to the use. should be living persons who can be subjected to liability. 4 4. 2 the legislative authorization given to those engaged in the practice of accountancy — a profession requiring the same degree of trust and confidence in respect of clients as that implicit in the relationship of attorney and client — to acquire and use a trade name. shall be subject to the liability. In regulating other professions. The Canons of Professional Ethics are not transgressed by the continued use of the name of a deceased partner in the firm name of a law partnership because Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association declares that: . which recognizes that the name of a law firm necessarily Identifies the individual members of the firm. Said attorneys are accordingly advised to drop the name "PERKINS" from their firm name. Perkins. Article 1825 of the Civil Code prohibits a third person from including his name in the firm name under pain of assuming the liability of a partner. Johnston. 1815. the Court found no reason to depart from the policy it adopted in June 1953 when it required Attorneys Alfred P. 8 The question involved in these Petitions first came under consideration by this Court in 1953 when a law firm in Cebu (the Deen case) continued its practice of including in its firm name that of a deceased partner.. in view of the personal and confidential nature of the relations between attorney and client. strongly indicates that there is no fundamental policy that is offended by the continued use by a firm of professionals of a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner. Deen and Eddy A. both because the recipients of such division are not lawyers and because such payments will not represent service or responsibility on the part of the recipient. Deen of Cebu City to desist from including in their firm designation. the use in their partnership names of the names of deceased partners will run counter to Article 1815 of the Civil Code which provides: Art. is not unethical but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. in the case of non-partners. in a Resolution of April 15. 1957. Mabanta and Reyes" are partnerships. the name of C. De Leon. The heirs of a deceased partner in a law firm cannot be held liable as the old members to the creditors of a firm particularly where they are non-lawyers. 7 6. In fact." 3 3. Inasmuch as "Sycip." In a Manifestation dated May 21. The Court finds no sufficient reason to depart from the rulings thus laid down. The continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner when permissible by local custom. the Court. Romulo.D.. either gross or net. such as accountancy and engineering. Perkins is already dead. 1 2. On June 16. or at least in the Greater Manila Area. include their names in the firm name. There is no possibility of imposition or deception because the deaths of their respective deceased partners were well-publicized in all newspapers of general circulation for several days. which may or may not include the name of one or more of the partners. Thus. deceased. stated that it "would like to be informed why the name of Perkins is still being used although Atty. the stationeries now being used by them carry new letterheads indicating the years when their respective deceased partners were connected with the firm. Salazar. Before acting thereon. 6 there is no custom or usage in the Philippines. China Banking Corporation. Courts and is an accepted practice in the legal profession of most countries in the world. Johnston. at least where such firm name has acquired the characteristics of a "trade name. this Court resolved: After carefully considering the reasons given by Attorneys Alfonso Ponce Enrile and Associates for their continued use of the name of the deceased E. . The continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships has been consistently allowed by U. no practice should be allowed which even in a remote degree could give rise to the possibility of deception. The Court believes that. Every partnership shall operate under a firm name. of the name of a deceased partner.

Article 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than of a professionalpartnership. has no good win to be distributed as a firm asset on its dissolution." 11Thus.." 16 D.. 9 As a general rule. highly personal and partaking of the nature of a public trust. 3.. upon the dissolution of a commercial partnership the succeeding partners or parties have the right to carry on the business under the old name. . A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for business. 12 The usual reason given for different standards of conduct being applicable to the practice of law from those pertaining to business is that the law is a profession. An able lawyer without connections will have to make a name for himself starting from scratch. with no saleable good will but whose reputation depends on the personal qualifications of its individual members. no local custom permits or allows the continued use of a deceased or former partner's name in the firm names of law partnerships. who can join an old firm. (ibid. especially where there is no provision in the partnership agreement relating to good will as an asset. A relation to clients in the highest degree fiduciary. the law on accountancy specifically allows the use of a trade name in connection with the practice of accountancy. Id entify the more active and/or more senior members or partners of the law firm. supra. 2. 15 The right does not only presuppose in its possessor integrity. A relation as an "officer of court" to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity. Prescinding the law. of the individual property of the deceased partner for debts contracted by the person or partnership which continues the business using the partnership name or the name of the deceased partner as part thereof. It is not a partnership formed for the purpose of carrying on trade or business or of holding property. Thus. fairness. there could be practical objections to allowing the use by law firms of the names of deceased partners. and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice. Firm names. it has been stated that "the use of a nom de plume.accruing. Dean Pound. however intrinsically valuable such skill and reputation may be. A glimpse at the history of the firms of petitioners and of other law firms in this country would show how their firm names have evolved and changed from time to time as the composition of the partnership changed. the individual skill of the members. 115) (Emphasis supplied) C.. can initially ride on that old firm's reputation established by deceased partners. of which the emolument is a byproduct. (s)ince the name of a commercial partnership is a partnership asset inseparable from the good will of the firm. in the absence of a stipulation forbidding it. Petitioners cited Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association" in support of their petitions. The public relations value of the use of an old firm name can tend to create undue advantages and disadvantages in the practice of the profession. such as partnerships of attorneys or physicians. B. integrity." xxx xxx xxx Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from business are: 1. under our custom.. p. there ran be no corresponding liability. In regards to the last paragraph of Article 1840 of the Civil Code cited by petitioners. 115) (Emphasis supplied) On the other hand. Secondly. It is true that Canon 33 does not consider as unethical the continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner in the firm name of a law partnership when such a practice is permissible by local custom but the Canon warns that care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. and in which one may attain the highest eminence without making much money. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor. 4. 5) defines a profession as "a group of men pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service. in his recently published contribution to the Survey of the Legal Profession. a professional partnership the reputation of which depends or. assumed or trade name in law practice is improper.. p. . and reliability. s 203. It must be conceded that in the Philippines." The Article primarily deals with the exemption from liability in cases of a dissolved partnership.. it has been held that a saleable goodwill can exist only in a commercial partnership and cannot arise in a professional partnership consisting of lawyers. What the law contemplates therein is a hold-over situation preparatory to formal reorganization. Another able lawyer. (60 Am Jur 2d. or dealing directly with their clients. 10 A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. p. ( The Lawyer from Antiquity to Modern Times. . 13 "The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. A duty of public service. but also the exercise of a special privilege. — no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood. . legal standing and attainment. . It is a mere relationship or association for a particular purpose. s 204. For one thing. the first factor to consider is that it is within Chapter 3 of Title IX of the Code entitled "Dissolution and Winding Up. 14 It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified..

legally binding and obligatory. 25 In fine.. as in the era of wide free opportunity. 18 Not so in this jurisdiction where there is no local custom that sanctions the practice. 23 Custom which are contrary to law. 22 When the Supreme Court in the Deen and Perkins cases issued its Resolutions directing lawyers to desist from including the names of deceased partners in their firm designation. op. but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. according to the rules of evidence. Petitioners argue that U. Merely because something is done as a matter of practice does not mean that Courts can rely on the same for purposes of adjudication as a juridical custom.. uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule. Not so with the latter. There would seem to be a question. organization and pursuit of a learned art have their justification in that they secure and maintain that spirit. lawyer and grocer and farmer may seem to be freely competing with their fellows in their calling in order each to acquire as much of the world's good as he may within the allowed him by law. be included in the listing of individuals who have been partners in their firms indicating the years during which they served as such. But that is so because it is sanctioned by custom. .. Courts have consistently allowed the continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships. and of the elements requisite to constitute the same. The other two elements of a profession.Y. E. real or consequential.. Custom has been defined as a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts. et al. Equitable Life Assurance Society (33 N. Those names may. 20 A local custom as a source of right cannot be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is properly established by competent evidence like any other fact. A trade ." There is no question as to local custom. The best service of the professional man is often rendered for no equivalent or for a trifling equivalent and it is his pride to do what he does in a way worthy of his profession even if done with no expectation of reward. wanting herein. This spirit of public service in which the profession of law is and ought to be exercised is a prerequisite of sound administration of justice according to law.. There should be no such thing as a lawyers' or physicians' strike. supra. even if proven. This is not to speak of our civil law which clearly ordains that a partnership is dissolved by the death of any partner. The possibility of deception upon the public. But the member of a profession does not regard himself as in competition with his professional brethren. If. Drinker. at pp. A person in search of legal counsel might be guided by the familiar ring of a distinguished name appearing in a firm title. judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws form part of the legal system. the New York Supreme Court sustained the use of the firm name Alexander & Green even if none of the present ten partners of the firm bears either name because the practice was sanctioned by custom and did not offend any statutory provision or legislative policy and was adopted by agreement of the parties. ACCORDINGLY. It is of the essence of a profession that it is practiced in a spirit of public service. Many firms in the city use the names of deceased members with the approval of other attorneys. The use of the firm name herein is also sustainable by reason of agreement between the partners. The former can supplement statutory law or be applied in the absence of such statute. The Appellate Division of the First Department has considered the matter and reached The conclusion that such practice should not be prohibited. under the working of the Canon. SO ORDERED. Juridical custom must be differentiated from social custom." . . it laid down a legal rule against which no custom or practice to the contrary. the petitions filed herein are denied and petitioners advised to drop the names "SYCIP" and "OZAETA" from their respective firm names. 21 We find such proof of the existence of a local custom. 24 The practice of law is intimately and peculiarly related to the administration of justice and should not be considered like an ordinary "money-making trade. public order or public policy shall not be countenanced.The continued use of a firm name after the death of one or more of the partners designated by it is proper only where sustained by local custom and not where by custom this purports to Identify the active members. a profession at the exercise of powers beneficial to mankind. The Court stated therein: The practice sought to be proscribed has the sanction of custom and offends no statutory provision or legislative policy. 2d 733) which petitioners Salazar.. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx Neither the Partnership Law nor the Penal Law prohibits the practice in question. Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of both the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association provides in part as follows: "The continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner. A custom must be proved as a fact. where the name of a deceased partner continues to be used cannot be ruled out. when permissible by local custom is not unethical. Moreover. He is not bartering his services as is the artisan nor exchanging the products of his skill and learning as the farmer sells wheat or corn. can prevail. however. 207208) (Emphasis supplied). quoted in their memorandum.S. In the case of Mendelsohn v. we think of free competitive self assertion as the highest good. petitioners' desire to preserve the Identity of their firms in the eyes of the public must bow to legal and ethical impediment. aims primarily at personal gain. 19Courts take no judicial notice of custom.S. bar associations and the courts. namely. cit.S.. (H. as to the propriety of adding the name of a new partner and at the same time retaining that of a deceased partner who was never a partner with the new one.

clearly. and shall be accompanied with copies of documents which may substantiate said facts. Sec. requiring him to answer within ten (10) days from the date of service. hearing. and shall be sworn to and supported by affidavits of persons who have personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged. Action.Upon the filing of respondent's answer. 2.All charges against judges of first instance shall be in writing and shall set out distinctly.After the hearing.If the charges appear to merit action. the same shall be dismissed. a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent.After the filing of the report. . . 4. a Justice of the Court of Appeals or a judge of first instance to conduct the hearing of the charges. Service or dismissal. 5. and concisely the facts complained of as constituting the alleged serious misconduct or inefficiency of the respondent. and notice thereof shall be served on both parties. . Answer. or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the court that the charges are not meritorious. . Sec. the court will take such action as the facts and the law may warrant. 3. . the court shall assign one of its members. Complaint. Confidential. Sec. accompanied by the evidence presented by the parties and the other parties in the case. chanrobles virtua law library Sec. or upon the expiration of the time for its filing. the Justice or judge shall file with the Supreme Court a report of his findings of facts and conclusions of law. . 6. . chanrobles virtua law library Sec.CHARGES AGAINST JUDGES OF FIRST INSTANCE Rule 140 Section 1. At such hearing the parties may present oral or written evidence. If the charges do not merit action. The Justice or judge so assigned shall set a day for the hearing.Proceedings against judges of first instance shall be private and confidential. Report.

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