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JUDICIAL CLEMENCY AND REINSTATEMENT IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW

SUBMITTED TO: ATTY. EVER ROSE Y. HIGUIT

SUBMITTED BY: BALBERAN,GERMARIE CADAG,DONNABELLE 3 OCTOBER 2013

Court laid down the following guidelines in resolving requests for judicial clemency, to wit: (a) There must be proof of remorse and reformation. These shall include but should not be limited to certifications or testimonials of the officer(s) or chapter(s) of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, judges or judges associations and prominent members of the community with proven integrity and probity. A subsequent finding of guilt in an administrative case for the same or similar misconduct will give rise to a strong presumption of nonreformation. (b) Sufficient time must have lapsed from the imposition of the penalty to ensure a period of reform. (c) The age of the person asking for clemency must show that he still has productive years ahead of him that can be put to good use by giving him a chance to redeem himself. (d) There must be a showing of promise (such as intellectual aptitude, learning or legal acumen or contribution to legal scholarship and the development of the legal system or administrative and other relevant skills), as well as potential for public service. (e) There must be other relevant factors and circumstances that may justify clemency. Moreover, to be reinstated to the practice of law, the applicant must, like any other candidate for admission to

the bar, satisfy the Court that he is a person of good moral character. Florence Teves Macarubbo vs. Atty. Edmundo L. Macarubbo; Re: Petition (for Extraordinary Mercy) of Edmundo L. Macarubbo. A.C. No. 6148. January 22, 2013 JUDICIAL CLEMENCY IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW RE: 2003 BAR EXAMINATIONS, ATTY. DANILO DE GUZMAN, Petitioner, En Banc, B.M. No. 1222, April 24, 2009 FACTS: A Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion dated November 10, 2008 filed by petitioner Danilo de Guzman. He prays that The Honorable Court in the exercise of equity and compassion, grant petitioners plea for judicial clemency, and thereupon, order his reinstatement as a member in good standing of the Philippine Bar on February 4, 2004, the Court promulgated a Resolution, B.M. No. 1222, the dispositive portion of which reads in part: DISBAR Atty. DANILO DE GUZMAN from the practice of law effective upon his receipt of this RESOLUTION The subject of the Resolution is the leakage of questions in Mercantile Law during the 2003 Bar Examinations. Petitioner at that time was employed as an assistant lawyer in the law firm of Balgos & Perez, one of whose partners, Marcial Balgos, was the examiner for Mercantile Law during the said bar

examinations. Petitioner narrated that he had labored to become a lawyer to fulfill his fathers childhood dream to become one. This task was not particularly easy for him and his family but he willed to endure the same in order to pay tribute to his parents. Petitioner added that even at a very young age, he already imposed upon himself the duty of rendering service to his fellowmen. At 19 years of age, he started his exposure to public service when he was elected Chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of Barangay Tuktukan, Taguig City. Took up Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and eventually pursuing Bachelor of Laws. In his second year in law school, he was elected as the President of the Student Council of the Institute of Law of the Far Eastern University (FEU). Here, he spearheaded various activities including the conduct of seminars for law students as well as the holding of bar operations for bar examinees. Despite his many extra-curricular activities as a youth and student leader, petitioner still managed to excel in his studies. Thus, he was conferred an Academic Excellence Award upon his graduation in Bachelor of Laws. Upon admission to the bar in April 1999, petitioner immediately entered government service as a Legal Officer assigned at the Sangguniang Bayan of Taguig. Simultaneously, he also rendered free legal services to less fortunate residents of Taguig City who were then in need of legal assistance. In March 2000, petitioner was hired as one of the Associate Lawyers at the Balgos and Perez Law Offices. It was during his stay with this firm when his craft as a lawyer was polished and developed. Despite having entered private practice,

he continued to render free legal services to his fellow Taguigeos. February 2004, by a sudden twist of fate, petitioners flourishing career was cut short as he was stripped of his license to practice law for his alleged involvement in the leakage in the 2003 Bar Examinations. Devastated, petitioner then practically locked himself inside his house to avoid the rather unavoidable consequences of his disbarment. . On March 2004, however, petitioner was given a new lease in life when he was taken as a consultant by the City Government of Taguig. Later, he was designated as a member of the Secretariat of the Peoples Law Enforcement Board (PLEB). For the next five (5) years, petitioner concentrated mainly on rendering public service. January 6,2009 The Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) has favorably recommended the reinstatement of petitioner in the Philippine Bar. Petitioner humbly acknowledged the damaging impact of his act which unfortunately, compromised the integrity of the bar examinations. As could be borne from the records of the investigation, he cooperated fully in the investigation conducted and took personal responsibility for his actions. Also, he has offered his sincerest apologies to Atty. Balgos, to the Court as well as to all the 2003 bar examinees for the unforeseen and unintended effects of his actions. ISSUE: Whether or not the Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion dated November 10, 2008 filed by petitioner Danilo de Guzman should be granted?

HELD: YES,We are convinced, however, that petitioner has since reformed and has sincerely reflected on his transgressions. Thus, in view of the circumstances and likewise for humanitarian considerations, the penalty of disbarment may now be commuted to suspension. Penalties, such as disbarment, are imposed not to punish but to correct offenders. While the Court is ever mindful of its duty to discipline its erring officers, it also knows how to show compassion when the penalty imposed has already served its purpose. In cases where we have deigned to lift or commute the supreme penalty of disbarment imposed on the lawyer, we have taken into account the remorse of the disbarred lawyerand the conduct of his public life during his years outside of the bar. Petitioner has sufficiently demonstrated the remorse expected of him considering the gravity of his transgressions. Even more to his favor, petitioner has redirected focus since his disbarment towards public service, particularly with the Peoples Law Enforcement Board. The attestations submitted by his peers in the community and other esteemed members of the legal profession, such as retired Court of Appeals Associate Justice Oscar Herrera, Judge Hilario Laqui, Professor Edwin Sandoval and Atty. Lorenzo Ata, and the ecclesiastical community such as Rev. Fr. Paul Balagtas testify to his positive impact on society at large since the unfortunate events of 2003. Petitioners subsequent track record in public service affords the Court some hope that if he were to reacquire membership in the Philippine bar, his achievements as a lawyer would redound to the general good and more than mitigate the stain on his record. Compassion to the petitioner is warranted.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion is hereby GRANTED IN PART. The disbarment of DANILO G. DE GUZMAN from the practice of law is hereby COMMUTED to SEVEN (7) YEARS SUSPENSION FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW, reckoned from February 4, 2004.

REINSTATEMENT

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PRUDENTIAL BANK vs. GRECIA FACTS: In a Decision, dated 12 November 1987, the Court, upon finding that respondent Benjamin Grecia had "proven himself unfit to continue in the pursuit of his profession," ordered his disbarment. A "Motion for Leave to File Testimonials to Support Petition for Reinstatement" was then filed which Motion was accompanied by various testimonials from prominent members of the Bar urging the Court to grant his plea for reinstatement. All their testimonials attest to respondent&# 39;s good moral character and to the fact that he has mended his ways towards the rehabilitation of his character such that his reinstatement "will not only be an act of compassion but also of justice" . Unrelenting in his efforts, Grecia filed a motion for permission to reiterate his petition for reinstatement, stating that he humbly begs permission to plead again for the Court's forgiveness and

clemency; ---that he has suffered the harsh and supreme sanction of disbarment for two long years; ---that he solemnly declares that he has fully realized his mistake and the gravity of his offense for which he is fully repentant and learned the most bitter lesson of his life to such an extent that he solemnly vows never to commit any offense again. The Motion was denied with finality by the Court. Mrs. Maria Luisa B. Grecia, wife of respondent wrote a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Court, pleading them to forgive her husband and permit him to practice his profession. She further affirms that her husband has already deeply repented and is now very humble and prayerful and has reformed for the better. The Quezon City Chapter of the Integrated Bar also submitted to the Bar Confidant for the Court's consideration a resolution praying that the Court extend its judicial clemency to respondent Grecia and reinstate him as a member of the Philippine Bar, reasoning among others, that he has been "sufficiently punished," has reformed and rehabilitated himself, and can again be entrusted with the exercise of the noble profession of law.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Benjamin M. Grecia is hereby ordered READMITTED to membership in the Bar HELD: The criterion for reinstatement has been stated as follows: ---Whether or not the applicant shall be reinstated rests to a great extent in the sound discretion of the court. ---The court action will depend, generally speaking, on whether or not it decides that the

public interest in the orderly and impartial administration of justice will be conserved by the applicant' s participation therein in the capacity of an attorney and counselor at law. ---The applicant must, like a candidate for admission to the Bar, satisfy the Court that he is a person of good moral character a fit and proper person to practice law. ---The Court will take into consideration the applicant' s character and standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and character of the charge for which he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time that has elapsed between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement. " Cognizant, therefore, "that the power to discipline, especially if amounting to disbarment, should be exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle," we heed respondent&# 39;s plea for reinstatement. His expiation subsequent to his disbarment; his realization of his mistake and the gravity of his offense; the testimonials from exemplary members of the Bar as to his fitness to resume the practice of law; and his solemn pledge to the Court, that if his disbarment is lifted, he will always closely and faithfully abide by the ideals, canons and ethics of the legal profession, call for this affirmative response. ACCORDINGLY, respondent Benjamin M. Grecia is hereby ordered READMITTED to membership in the Bar. CUI vs CUI Plaintiff Jesus Ma. Cui and defendant Antonio Ma. Cui are brothers, being the sons of one of the nephews of the deceased spouses who established the Hospicio de San Jose de Barili. As between Jesus and Antonio the main issue turns upon their respective qualifications to the position of administrator of Hospicio. Jesus is the older of the two and therefore under equal

circumstances would be preferred pursuant to section 2 of the deed of donation. However, before the test of age may be applied, the deed gives preference to the one, among the legitimate descendants of the nephews therein named, who holds the "titulo de abugado" . The founder-spouses have also provided in the deed of donation that if not a lawyer, the administrator should be a doctor or a civil engineer or a pharmacist, in that order; or failing all these, should be the one who pays the highest taxes among those otherwise qualified. Jesus Ma. Cui holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws from the University of Santo Tomas but is not a member of the Bar, not having passed the examinations to qualify him as one. Antonio Ma. Cui, on the other hand, is a member of the Bar and although disbarred, was thereafter reinstated about two weeks before he assumed the position of administrator of the Hospicio. The Court decided that the term "titulo de abogado" means not mere possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but membership in the Bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice of law. Under this particular criterion the Court hold that Jesus is not entitled, as against the defendant, to the office of administrator. But it is argued that although the latter is a member of the Bar he is nevertheless disqualified by virtue of paragraph 3 of the deed of donation, which provides that the administrator may be removed on the ground, among others, of ineptitude in the discharge of his office or lack of evident sound moral character.

HELD: Reference is made to the fact that the defendant was disbarred by the Court for immorality and unprofessional conduct. It is also a fact, however, that he was reinstated before he

assumed the office of administrator. His reinstatement is a recognition of his moral rehabilitation, upon proof no less than that required for his admission to the Bar in the first place. When the defendant was restored to the roll of lawyers the restrictions and disabilities resulting from his previous disbarment were wiped out.