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A. SUPERVISION AND CONTROL
ARTICLE 8 SECTION 5 (5)
Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights,
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the
integrated bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified
and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of
the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of
procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved
by the Supreme Court.
ARTICLE 12, SECTION 14.
Section 14. The sustained development of a reservoir of national talents consisting of Filipino
scientists, entrepreneurs, professionals, managers, high-level technical manpower and skilled
workers and craftsmen in all fields shall be promoted by the State. The State shall encourage
appropriate technology and regulate its transfer for the national benefit.
The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases
prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 18 SECTION 10
Section 10. All courts existing at the time of the ratification of this Constitution shall continue to
exercise their jurisdiction, until otherwise provided by law. The provisions of the existing Rules
of Court, judiciary acts, and procedural laws not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain
operative unless amended or repealed by the Supreme Court or the Congress.






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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

January 9, 1973
IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES.
R E S O L U T I O N

PER CURIAM:
On December 1, 1972, the Commission on Bar Integration
1
submitted its Report dated
November 30, 1972, with the "earnest recommendation" on the basis of the said Report and
the proceedings had in Administrative Case No. 526
2
of the Court, and "consistently with the
views and counsel received from its [the Commission's] Board of Consultants, as well as the
overwhelming nationwide sentiment of the Philippine Bench and Bar" that "this Honorable
Court ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as soon as possible through the adoption and
promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule."
The petition in Adm. Case No. 526 formally prays the Court to order the integration of the
Philippine Bar, after due hearing, giving recognition as far as possible and practicable to existing
provincial and other local Bar associations. On August 16, 1962, arguments in favor of as well as
in opposition to the petition were orally expounded before the Court. Written oppositions were
admitted,
3
and all parties were thereafter granted leave to file written memoranda.
4

Since then, the Court has closely observed and followed significant developments relative to
the matter of the integration of the Bar in this jurisdiction.
In 1970, convinced from preliminary surveys that there had grown a strong nationwide
sentiment in favor of Bar integration, the Court created the Commission on Bar Integration for
the purpose of ascertaining the advisability of unifying the Philippine Bar.
In September, 1971, Congress passed House Bill No. 3277 entitled "An Act Providing for the
Integration of the Philippine Bar, and Appropriating Funds Therefor." The measure was signed
by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 17, 1971 and took effect on the same day as
Rep. Act 6397. This law provides as follows:
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SECTION 1. Within two years from the approval of this Act, the Supreme Court
may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar under
such conditions as it shall see fit in order to raise the standards of the legal
profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to
discharge its public responsibility more effectively.
SEC. 2. The sum of five hundred thousand pesos is hereby appropriated, out of
any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to carry out the
purposes of this Act. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for the same
purpose shall be included in the annual appropriations for the Supreme Court.
SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
The Report of the Commission abounds with argument on the constitutionality of Bar
integration and contains all necessary factual data bearing on the advisability (practicability and
necessity) of Bar integration. Also embodied therein are the views, opinions, sentiments,
comments and observations of the rank and file of the Philippine lawyer population relative to
Bar integration, as well as a proposed integration Court Rule drafted by the Commission and
presented to them by that body in a national Bar plebiscite. There is thus sufficient basis as well
as ample material upon which the Court may decide whether or not to integrate the Philippine
Bar at this time.
The following are the pertinent issues:
(1) Does the Court have the power to integrate the Philippine Bar?
(2) Would the integration of the Bar be constitutional?
(3) Should the Court ordain the integration of the Bar at this time?
A resolution of these issues requires, at the outset, a statement of the meaning of Bar
integration. It will suffice, for this purpose, to adopt the concept given by the Commission on
Bar Integration on pages 3 to 5 of its Report, thus:
Integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification of the entire
lawyer population of the Philippines. This requires membership and financial
support (in reasonable amount) of every attorney as conditions sine qua non to
the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the
Supreme Court.
The term "Bar" refers to the collectivity of all persons whose names appear in
the Roll of Attorneys. An Integrated Bar (or Unified Bar) perforce must include all
lawyers.
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Complete unification is not possible unless it is decreed by an entity with power
to do so: the State. Bar integration, therefore, signifies the setting up by
Government authority of a national organization of the legal profession based on
the recognition of the lawyer as an officer of the court.
Designed to improve the position of the Bar as an instrumentality of justice and
the Rule of Law, integration fosters cohesion among lawyers, and ensures,
through their own organized action and participation, the promotion of the
objectives of the legal profession, pursuant to the principle of maximum Bar
autonomy with minimum supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court.
The purposes of an integrated Bar, in general, are:
(1) Assist in the administration of justice;
(2) Foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity,
learning, professional competence, public service and conduct;
(3) Safeguard the professional interests of its members;
(4) Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood;
(5) Provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform,
pleading, practice and procedure, and the relations of the Bar to the Bench and
to the public, and publish information relating thereto;
(6) Encourage and foster legal education;
(7) Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective
law, and make reports and recommendations thereon; and
(8) Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility effectively.
Integration of the Bar will, among other things, make it possible for the legal
profession to:
(1) Render more effective assistance in maintaining the Rule of Law;
(2) Protect lawyers and litigants against the abuse of tyrannical judges and
prosecuting officers;
(3) Discharge, fully and properly, its responsibility in the disciplining and/or
removal of incompetent and unworthy judges and prosecuting officers;
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(4) Shield the judiciary, which traditionally cannot defend itself except within its
own forum, from the assaults that politics and self-interest may level at it, and
assist it to maintain its integrity, impartiality and independence;
(5) Have an effective voice in the selection of judges and prosecuting officers;
(6) Prevent the unauthorized practice of law, and break up any monopoly of local
practice maintained through influence or position;
(7) Establish welfare funds for families of disabled and deceased lawyers;
(8) Provide placement services, and establish legal aid offices and set up lawyer
reference services throughout the country so that the poor may not lack
competent legal service;
(9) Distribute educational and informational materials that are difficult to obtain
in many of our provinces;
(10) Devise and maintain a program of continuing legal education for practising
attorneys in order to elevate the standards of the profession throughout the
country;
(11) Enforce rigid ethical standards, and promulgate minimum fees schedules;
(12) Create law centers and establish law libraries for legal research;
(13) Conduct campaigns to educate the people on their legal rights and
obligations, on the importance of preventive legal advice, and on the functions
and duties of the Filipino lawyer; and
(14) Generate and maintain pervasive and meaningful country-wide involvement
of the lawyer population in the solution of the multifarious problems that afflict
the nation.
Anent the first issue, the Court is of the view that it may integrate the Philippine Bar in the
exercise of its power, under Article VIII, Sec. 13 of the Constitution, "to promulgate rules
concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of
law." Indeed, the power to integrate is an inherent part of the Court's constitutional authority
over the Bar. In providing that "the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the
integration of the Philippine Bar," Republic Act 6397 neither confers a new power nor restricts
the Court's inherent power, but is a mere legislative declaration that the integration of the Bar
will promote public interest or, more specifically, will "raise the standards of the legal
profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public
responsibility more effectively."
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Resolution of the second issue whether the unification of the Bar would be constitutional
hinges on the effects of Bar integration on the lawyer's constitutional rights of freedom of
association and freedom of speech, and on the nature of the dues exacted from him.
The Court approvingly quotes the following pertinent discussion made by the Commission on
Bar Integration pages 44 to 49 of its Report:
Constitutionality of Bar Integration
Judicial Pronouncements.
In all cases where the validity of Bar integration measures has been put in issue,
the Courts have upheld their constitutionality.
The judicial pronouncements support this reasoning:
Courts have inherent power to supervise and regulate the practice of law.
The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege; a privilege, moreover,
clothed with public interest, because a lawyer owes duties not only to his client,
but also to his brethren in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation; and
takes part in one of the most important functions of the State, the
administration of justice, as an officer of the court.
Because the practice of law is privilege clothed with public interest, it is far
and just that the exercise of that privilege be regulated to assure compliance
with the lawyer's public responsibilities.
These public responsibilities can best be discharged through collective action;
but there can be no collective action without an organized body; no organized
body can operate effectively without incurring expenses; therefore, it is fair and
just that all attorneys be required to contribute to the support of such organized
body; and, given existing Bar conditions, the most efficient means of doing so is
by integrating the Bar through a rule of court that requires all lawyers to pay
annual dues to the Integrated Bar.
1. Freedom of Association.
To compel a lawyer to be a member of an integrated Bar is not violative of his
constitutional freedom to associate (or the corollary right not to associate).
Integration does not make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not
already a member. He became a member of the Bar when he passed the Bar
examinations. All that integration actually does is to provide an official national
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organization for the well-defined but unorganized and incohesive group of which
every lawyer is already a member.
Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free
to attend or not attend the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or
refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The body compulsion to which he is
subjected is the payment of annual dues.
Otherwise stated, membership in the Unified Bar imposes only the duty to pay
dues in reasonable amount. The issue therefore, is a question of compelled
financial support of group activities, not involuntary membership in any other
aspect.
The greater part of Unified Bar activities serves the function of elevating the
educational and ethical standards of the Bar to the end of improving the quality
of the legal service available to the people. The Supreme Court, in order to
further the State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional
services, may require that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be
shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of the regulatory program the
lawyers.
Assuming that Bar integration does compel a lawyer to be a member of the
Integrated Bar, such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of
the State. The legal profession has long been regarded as a proper subject of
legislative regulation and control. Moreover, the inherent power of the Supreme
Court to regulate the Bar includes the authority to integrate the Bar.
2. Regulatory Fee.
For the Court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean that
the Court levies a tax.
A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is an exaction for regulation, while the
purpose of a tax is revenue. If the Court has inherent power to regulate the Bar,
it follows that as an incident to regulation, it may impose a membership fee for
that purpose. It would not be possible to push through an Integrated Bar
program without means to defray the concomitant expenses. The doctrine of
implied powers necessarily includes the power to impose such an exaction.
The only limitation upon the State's power to regulate the Bar is that the
regulation does not impose an unconstitutional burden. The public interest
promoted by the integration of the Bar far outweighs the inconsequential
inconvenience to a member that might result from his required payment of
annual dues.
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3. Freedom of Speech.
A lawyer is free, as he has always been, to voice his views on any subject in any
manner he wishes, even though such views be opposed to positions taken by the
Unified Bar.
For the Integrated Bar to use a member's due to promote measures to which
said member is opposed, would not nullify or adversely affect his freedom of
speech.
Since a State may constitutionally condition the right to practice law upon
membership in the Integrated Bar, it is difficult to understand why it should
become unconstitutional for the Bar to use the member's dues to fulfill the very
purposes for which it was established.
The objection would make every Governmental exaction the material of a "free
speech" issue. Even the income tax would be suspect. The objection would carry
us to lengths that have never been dreamed of. The conscientious objector, if his
liberties were to be thus extended, might refuse to contribute taxes in
furtherance of war or of any other end condemned by his conscience as
irreligious or immoral. The right of private judgment has never yet been exalted
above the powers and the compulsion of the agencies of Government.
4. Fair to All Lawyers.
Bar integration is not unfair to lawyers already practising because although the
requirement to pay annual dues is a new regulation, it will give the members of
the Bar a new system which they hitherto have not had and through which, by
proper work, they will receive benefits they have not heretofore enjoyed, and
discharge their public responsibilities in a more effective manner than they have
been able to do in the past. Because the requirement to pay dues is a valid
exercise of regulatory power by the Court, because it will apply equally to all
lawyers, young and old, at the time Bar integration takes effect, and because it is
a new regulation in exchange for new benefits, it is not retroactive, it is not
unequal, it is not unfair.
To resolve the third and final issue whether the Court should ordain the integration of the
Bar at this time requires a careful overview of the practicability and necessity as well as the
advantages and disadvantages of Bar integration.
In many other jurisdictions, notably in England, Canada and the United States, Bar integration
has yielded the following benefits: (1) improved discipline among the members of the Bar; (2)
greater influence and ascendancy of the Bar; (3) better and more meaningful participation of
the individual lawyer in the activities of the Integrated Bar; (4) greater Bar facilities and
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services; (5) elimination of unauthorized practice; (6) avoidance of costly membership
campaigns; (7) establishment of an official status for the Bar; (8) more cohesive profession; and
(9) better and more effective discharge by the Bar of its obligations and responsibilities to its
members, to the courts, and to the public. No less than these salutary consequences are
envisioned and in fact expected from the unification of the Philippine Bar.
Upon the other hand, it has been variously argued that in the event of integration, Government
authority will dominate the Bar; local Bar associations will be weakened; cliquism will be the
inevitable result; effective lobbying will not be possible; the Bar will become an impersonal Bar;
and politics will intrude into its affairs.
It is noteworthy, however, that these and other evils prophesied by opponents of Bar
integration have failed to materialize in over fifty years of Bar integration experience in
England, Canada and the United States. In all the jurisdictions where the Integrated Bar has
been tried, none of the abuses or evils feared has arisen; on the other hand, it has restored
public confidence in the Bar, enlarged professional consciousness, energized the Bar's
responsibilities to the public, and vastly improved the administration of justice.
How do the Filipino lawyers themselves regard Bar integration? The official statistics compiled
by the Commission on Bar integration show that in the national poll recently conducted by the
Commission in the matter of the integration of the Philippine Bar, of a total of 15,090 lawyers
from all over the archipelago who have turned in their individual responses, 14,555 (or 96.45
per cent) voted in favor of Bar integration, while only 378 (or 2.51 per cent) voted against it,
and 157 (or 1.04 per cent) are non-commital. In addition, a total of eighty (80) local Bar
association and lawyers' groups all over the Philippines have submitted resolutions and other
expressions of unqualified endorsement and/or support for Bar integration, while not a single
local Bar association or lawyers' group has expressed opposed position thereto. Finally, of the
13,802 individual lawyers who cast their plebiscite ballots on the proposed integration Court
Rule drafted by the Commission, 12,855 (or 93.14 per cent) voted in favor thereof, 662 (or 4.80
per cent) vote against it, and 285 (or 2.06 per cent) are non-committal.
5
All these clearly
indicate an overwhelming nationwide demand for Bar integration at this time.
The Court is fully convinced, after a thoroughgoing conscientious study of all the arguments
adduced in Adm. Case No. 526 and the authoritative materials and the mass of factual data
contained in the exhaustive Report of the Commission on Bar Integration, that the integration
of the Philippine Bar is "perfectly constitutional and legally unobjectionable," within the context
of contemporary conditions in the Philippines, has become an imperative means to raise the
standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to
discharge its public responsibility fully and effectively.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court, by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the
Constitution, hereby ordains the integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the
attached COURT RULE, effective on January 16, 1973.
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Concepcion, C.J., Makalintal, Zaldivar, Castillo, Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar,
Antonio and Esguerra, JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1 Created by Supreme Court Resolution of October 5, 1970 "for the purpose of
ascertaining the advisability of the integration of the Bar in this jurisdiction," the
Commission is composed of Supreme Court Associate Justice Fred Ruiz Castro
(Chairman), Senator Jose J. Roy, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice
Conrado V. Sanchez, Supreme Court Associate Justice (then Court of Appeals
Presiding Justice) Salvador V. Esguerra, U. P. Law Center Director Crisolito
Pascual, Ex-Senator Tecla San Andres Ziga, and San Beda Law Dean and
Constitutional Convention Delegate Feliciano Jover Ledesma (Members).
2 Filed on July 11, 1962 (by a Committee composed of Jose W. Diokno, Roman
Ozaeta, Jose P. Carag, Eugenio Villanueva, Jr. and Leo A. Panuncialman), the
petition represented the unanimous consensus of 53 Bar Associations (from all
over the Philippines) reached in convention at the Far Eastern University
Auditorium in Manila on June 23, 1962.
3 Written oppositions were submitted by Attys. Cesar Fajardo and Vicente L.
Arcega, the Camarines Norte Lawyers League, Atty. Fructuoso S. Villarin, the
Camarines Sur Bar Association and the Manila Bar Association.
4 The Petitioners and the Negros Occidental Bar Association submitted
memoranda in favor of Bar integration, while the Manila Bar Association
submitted a memoranda opposing Bar integration.
5 All figures are as of January 8, 1973.








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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
Resolution March 18, 1954
In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to
1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL., petitioners.
Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo, and Antonio Enrile Inton for petitioners.
Office of the Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag for respondent.
DIOKNO, J.:
In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as
Republic Act No. 972, popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953." Under the Rules of
Court governing admission to the bar, "in order that a candidate (for admission to the Bar) may
be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general
average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject." (Rule
127, sec. 14, Rules of Court). Nevertheless, considering the varying difficulties of the different
bar examinations held since 1946 and the varying degree of strictness with which the
examination papers were graded, this court passed and admitted to the bar those candidates
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who had obtained an average of only 72 per cent in 1946, 69 per cent in 1947, 70 per cent in
1948, and 74 per cent in 1949. In 1950 to 1953, the 74 per cent was raised to 75 per cent.
Believing themselves as fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by this
court, and feeling conscious of having been discriminated against (See Explanatory Note to R.A.
No. 972), unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a few percentage lower than those
admitted to the Bar agitated in Congress for, and secured in 1951 the passage of Senate Bill No.
12 which, among others, reduced the passing general average in bar examinations to 70 per
cent effective since 1946. The President requested the views of this court on the bill. Complying
with that request, seven members of the court subscribed to and submitted written comments
adverse thereto, and shortly thereafter the President vetoed it. Congress did not override the
veto. Instead, it approved Senate Bill No. 371, embodying substantially the provisions of the
vetoed bill. Although the members of this court reiterated their unfavorable views on the
matter, the President allowed the bill to become a law on June 21, 1953 without his signature.
The law, which incidentally was enacted in an election year, reads in full as follows:
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM NINETEEN
HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX UP TO AND INCLUDING NINETEEN HUNDRED AND
FIFTY-FIVE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in
Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section fourteen, Rule numbered one
hundred twenty-seven of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate who obtained a general
average of seventy per cent in any bar examinations after July fourth, nineteen hundred
and forty-six up to the August nineteen hundred and fifty-one bar examinations;
seventy-one per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-two bar examinations; seventy-
two per cent in the in the nineteen hundred and fifty-three bar examinations; seventy-
three per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-four bar examinations; seventy-four
per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-five bar examinations without a candidate
obtaining a grade below fifty per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and
subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar: Provided,
however, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall
be considered as one and included as part of the next whole number.
SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of seventy-five per cent in any subject
in any bar examination after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six shall be
deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be
included in computing the passing general average that said candidate may obtain in
any subsequent examinations that he may take.
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SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Enacted on June 21, 1953, without the Executive approval.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to
the bar invoking its provisions, while others whose motions for the revision of their
examination papers were still pending also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional ground
for admission. There are also others who have sought simply the reconsideration of their
grades without, however, invoking the law in question. To avoid injustice to individual
petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of whether or
not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972. Unfortunately, the court has found no reason to
revise their grades. If they are to be admitted to the bar, it must be pursuant to Republic Act
No. 972 which, if declared valid, should be applied equally to all concerned whether they have
filed petitions or not. A complete list of the petitioners, properly classified, affected by this
decision, as well as a more detailed account of the history of Republic Act No. 972, are
appended to this decision as Annexes I and II. And to realize more readily the effects of the law,
the following statistical data are set forth:
(1) The unsuccessful bar candidates who are to be benefited by section 1 of Republic Act No.
972 total 1,168, classified as follows:
1946 (August) 206 121 18
1946 (November) 477 228 43
1947 749 340 0
1948 899 409 11
1949 1,218 532 164
1950 1,316 893 26
1951 2,068 879 196
1952 2,738 1,033 426
1953 2,555
968

284
TOTAL 12,230 5,421 1,168
Of the total 1,168 candidates, 92 have passed in subsequent examination, and only 586 have
filed either motions for admission to the bar pursuant to said Republic Act, or mere motions for
reconsideration.
(2) In addition, some other 10 unsuccessful candidates are to be benefited by section 2 of said
Republic Act. These candidates had each taken from two to five different examinations, but
failed to obtain a passing average in any of them. Consolidating, however, their highest grades
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in different subjects in previous examinations, with their latest marks, they would be sufficient
to reach the passing average as provided for by Republic Act No. 972.
(3) The total number of candidates to be benefited by this Republic Acts is therefore 1,094, of
which only 604 have filed petitions. Of these 604 petitioners, 33 who failed in 1946 to 1951 had
individually presented motions for reconsideration which were denied, while 125 unsuccessful
candidates of 1952, and 56 of 1953, had presented similar motions, which are still pending
because they could be favorably affected by Republic Act No. 972, although as has been
already stated, this tribunal finds no sufficient reasons to reconsider their grades
UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
Having been called upon to enforce a law of far-reaching effects on the practice of the legal
profession and the administration of justice, and because some doubts have been expressed as
to its validity, the court set the hearing of the afore-mentioned petitions for admission on the
sole question of whether or not Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional.
We have been enlightened in the study of this question by the brilliant assistance of the
members of the bar who have amply argued, orally an in writing, on the various aspects in
which the question may be gleaned. The valuable studies of Messrs. E. Voltaire Garcia, Vicente
J. Francisco, Vicente Pelaez and Buenaventura Evangelista, in favor of the validity of the law,
and of the U.P. Women's Lawyers' Circle, the Solicitor General, Messrs. Arturo A. Alafriz,
Enrique M. Fernando, Vicente Abad Santos, Carlos A. Barrios, Vicente del Rosario, Juan de
Blancaflor, Mamerto V. Gonzales, and Roman Ozaeta against it, aside from the memoranda of
counsel for petitioners, Messrs. Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo and Antonio
Enrile Inton, and of petitioners Cabrera, Macasaet and Galema themselves, has greatly helped
us in this task. The legal researchers of the court have exhausted almost all Philippine and
American jurisprudence on the matter. The question has been the object of intense
deliberation for a long time by the Tribunal, and finally, after the voting, the preparation of the
majority opinion was assigned to a new member in order to place it as humanly as possible
above all suspicion of prejudice or partiality.
Republic Act No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those
candidates who suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation.
Quoting a portion of the Explanatory Note of the proposed bill, its author Honorable Senator
Pablo Angeles David stated:
The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade is the tremendous
handicap which students during the years immediately after the Japanese occupation
has to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of
the preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation.
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Of the 9,675 candidates who took the examinations from 1946 to 1952, 5,236 passed. And now
it is claimed that in addition 604 candidates be admitted (which in reality total 1,094), because
they suffered from "insufficiency of reading materials" and of "inadequacy of preparation."
By its declared objective, the law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law
graduates who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as
was exactly found by this Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. The public interest demands
of legal profession adequate preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problem
evolved by the times become more difficult. An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital
requisites for the practice of law that should be developed constantly and maintained firmly. To
the legal profession is entrusted the protection of property, life, honor and civil liberties. To
approve officially of those inadequately prepared individuals to dedicate themselves to such a
delicate mission is to create a serious social danger. Moreover, the statement that there was an
insufficiency of legal reading materials is grossly exaggerated. There were abundant materials.
Decisions of this court alone in mimeographed copies were made available to the public during
those years and private enterprises had also published them in monthly magazines and annual
digests. The Official Gazette had been published continuously. Books and magazines published
abroad have entered without restriction since 1945. Many law books, some even with revised
and enlarged editions have been printed locally during those periods. A new set of Philippine
Reports began to be published since 1946, which continued to be supplemented by the
addition of new volumes. Those are facts of public knowledge.
Notwithstanding all these, if the law in question is valid, it has to be enforced.
The question is not new in its fundamental aspect or from the point of view of applicable
principles, but the resolution of the question would have been easier had an identical case of
similar background been picked out from the jurisprudence we daily consult. Is there any
precedent in the long Anglo-Saxon legal history, from which has been directly derived the
judicial system established here with its lofty ideals by the Congress of the United States, and
which we have preserved and attempted to improve, or in our contemporaneous judicial
history of more than half a century? From the citations of those defending the law, we can not
find a case in which the validity of a similar law had been sustained, while those against its
validity cite, among others, the cases of Day (In re Day, 54 NE 646), of Cannon (State vs.
Cannon, 240 NW, 441), the opinion of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1932 (81 ALR
1061), of Guaria (24 Phil., 37), aside from the opinion of the President which is expressed in
his vote of the original bill and which the postponement of the contested law respects.
This law has no precedent in its favor. When similar laws in other countries had been
promulgated, the judiciary immediately declared them without force or effect. It is not within
our power to offer a precedent to uphold the disputed law.
To be exact, we ought to state here that we have examined carefully the case that has been
cited to us as a favorable precedent of the law that of Cooper (22 NY, 81), where the Court of
Appeals of New York revoked the decision of the Supreme court of that State, denying the
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petition of Cooper to be admitted to the practice of law under the provisions of a statute
concerning the school of law of Columbia College promulgated on April 7, 1860, which was
declared by the Court of Appeals to be consistent with the Constitution of the state of New
York.
It appears that the Constitution of New York at that time provided:
They (i.e., the judges) shall not hold any other office of public trust. All votes for either
of them for any elective office except that of the Court of Appeals, given by the
Legislature or the people, shall be void. They shall not exercise any power of
appointment to public office. Any male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, of good
moral character, and who possesses the requisite qualifications of learning and ability,
shall be entitled to admission to practice in all the courts of this State. (p. 93).
According to the Court of Appeals, the object of the constitutional precept is as follows:
Attorneys, solicitors, etc., were public officers; the power of appointing them had
previously rested with the judges, and this was the principal appointing power which
they possessed. The convention was evidently dissatisfied with the manner in which this
power had been exercised, and with the restrictions which the judges had imposed
upon admission to practice before them. The prohibitory clause in the section quoted
was aimed directly at this power, and the insertion of the provision" expecting the
admission of attorneys, in this particular section of the Constitution, evidently arose
from its connection with the object of this prohibitory clause. There is nothing indicative
of confidence in the courts or of a disposition to preserve any portion of their power
over this subject, unless the Supreme Court is right in the inference it draws from the
use of the word `admission' in the action referred to. It is urged that the admission
spoken of must be by the court; that to admit means to grant leave, and that the power
of granting necessarily implies the power of refusing, and of course the right of
determining whether the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications to entitle him
to admission.
These positions may all be conceded, without affecting the validity of the act. (p. 93.)
Now, with respect to the law of April 7, 1860, the decision seems to indicate that it provided
that the possession of a diploma of the school of law of Columbia College conferring the degree
of Bachelor of Laws was evidence of the legal qualifications that the constitution required of
applicants for admission to the Bar. The decision does not however quote the text of the law,
which we cannot find in any public or accessible private library in the country.
In the case of Cooper, supra, to make the law consistent with the Constitution of New York, the
Court of Appeals said of the object of the law:
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The motive for passing the act in question is apparent. Columbia College being an
institution of established reputation, and having a law department under the charge of
able professors, the students in which department were not only subjected to a formal
examination by the law committee of the institution, but to a certain definite period of
study before being entitled to a diploma of being graduates, the Legislature evidently,
and no doubt justly, considered this examination, together with the preliminary study
required by the act, as fully equivalent as a test of legal requirements, to the ordinary
examination by the court; and as rendering the latter examination, to which no definite
period of preliminary study was essential, unnecessary and burdensome.
The act was obviously passed with reference to the learning and ability of the applicant,
and for the mere purpose of substituting the examination by the law committee of the
college for that of the court. It could have had no other object, and hence no greater
scope should be given to its provisions. We cannot suppose that the Legislature
designed entirely to dispense with the plain and explicit requirements of the
Constitution; and the act contains nothing whatever to indicate an intention that the
authorities of the college should inquire as to the age, citizenship, etc., of the students
before granting a diploma. The only rational interpretation of which the act admits is,
that it was intended to make the college diploma competent evidence as to the legal
attainments of the applicant, and nothing else. To this extent alone it operates as a
modification of pre-existing statutes, and it is to be read in connection with these
statutes and with the Constitution itself in order to determine the present condition of
the law on the subject. (p.89)
x x x x x x x x x
The Legislature has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of
admission, that has simply prescribed what shall be competent evidence in certain cases
upon that question. (p.93)
From the foregoing, the complete inapplicability of the case of Cooper with that at bar may be
clearly seen. Please note only the following distinctions:
(1) The law of New York does not require that any candidate of Columbia College who failed in
the bar examinations be admitted to the practice of law.
(2) The law of New York according to the very decision of Cooper, has not taken from the court
its jurisdiction over the question of admission of attorney at law; in effect, it does not decree
the admission of any lawyer.
(3) The Constitution of New York at that time and that of the Philippines are entirely different
on the matter of admission of the practice of law.
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In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension,
disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their
supervision have been disputably a judicial function and responsibility. Because of this
attribute, its continuous and zealous possession and exercise by the judicial power have been
demonstrated during more than six centuries, which certainly "constitutes the most solid of
titles." Even considering the power granted to Congress by our Constitution to repeal, alter
supplement the rules promulgated by this Court regarding the admission to the practice of law,
to our judgment and proposition that the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of the attorneys at law is a legislative function, properly belonging to Congress, is
unacceptable. The function requires (1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete
facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals. and (3) decision as to whether
these facts are governed by the rules and principles; in effect, a judicial function of the highest
degree. And it becomes more undisputably judicial, and not legislative, if previous judicial
resolutions on the petitions of these same individuals are attempted to be revoked or modified.
We have said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting,
suspending, disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is
concededly judicial. A comprehensive and conscientious study of this matter had been
undertaken in the case of State vs. Cannon (1932) 240 NW 441, in which the validity of a
legislative enactment providing that Cannon be permitted to practice before the courts was
discussed. From the text of this decision we quote the following paragraphs:
This statute presents an assertion of legislative power without parallel in the history of
the English speaking people so far as we have been able to ascertain. There has been
much uncertainty as to the extent of the power of the Legislature to prescribe the
ultimate qualifications of attorney at law has been expressly committed to the courts,
and the act of admission has always been regarded as a judicial function. This act
purports to constitute Mr. Cannon an attorney at law, and in this respect it stands alone
as an assertion of legislative power. (p. 444)
Under the Constitution all legislative power is vested in a Senate and Assembly. (Section
1, art. 4.) In so far as the prescribing of qualifications for admission to the bar are
legislative in character, the Legislature is acting within its constitutional authority when
it sets up and prescribes such qualifications. (p. 444)
But when the Legislature has prescribed those qualifications which in its judgment will
serve the purpose of legitimate legislative solicitude, is the power of the court to impose
other and further exactions and qualifications foreclosed or exhausted? (p. 444)
Under our Constitution the judicial and legislative departments are distinct,
independent, and coordinate branches of the government. Neither branch enjoys all the
powers of sovereignty which properly belongs to its department. Neither department
should so act as to embarrass the other in the discharge of its respective functions. That
was the scheme and thought of the people setting upon the form of government under
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which we exist. State vs. Hastings, 10 Wis., 525; Attorney General ex rel. Bashford vs.
Barstow, 4 Wis., 567. (p. 445)
The judicial department of government is responsible for the plane upon which the
administration of justice is maintained. Its responsibility in this respect is exclusive. By
committing a portion of the powers of sovereignty to the judicial department of our
state government, under 42a scheme which it was supposed rendered it immune from
embarrassment or interference by any other department of government, the courts
cannot escape responsibility fir the manner in which the powers of sovereignty thus
committed to the judicial department are exercised. (p. 445)
The relation at the bar to the courts is a peculiar and intimate relationship. The bar is an
attache of the courts. The quality of justice dispense by the courts depends in no small
degree upon the integrity of its bar. An unfaithful bar may easily bring scandal and
reproach to the administration of justice and bring the courts themselves into disrepute.
(p.445)
Through all time courts have exercised a direct and severe supervision over their bars, at
least in the English speaking countries. (p. 445)
After explaining the history of the case, the Court ends thus:
Our conclusion may be epitomized as follows: For more than six centuries prior to the
adoption of our Constitution, the courts of England, concededly subordinate to
Parliament since the Revolution of 1688, had exercise the right of determining who
should be admitted to the practice of law, which, as was said in Matter of the Sergeant's
at Law, 6 Bingham's New Cases 235, "constitutes the most solid of all titles." If the
courts and judicial power be regarded as an entity, the power to determine who should
be admitted to practice law is a constituent element of that entity. It may be difficult to
isolate that element and say with assurance that it is either a part of the inherent power
of the court, or an essential element of the judicial power exercised by the court, but
that it is a power belonging to the judicial entity and made of not only a sovereign
institution, but made of it a separate independent, and coordinate branch of the
government. They took this institution along with the power traditionally exercise to
determine who should constitute its attorney at law. There is no express provision in the
Constitution which indicates an intent that this traditional power of the judicial
department should in any manner be subject to legislative control. Perhaps the
dominant thought of the framers of our constitution was to make the three great
departments of government separate and independent of one another. The idea that
the Legislature might embarrass the judicial department by prescribing inadequate
qualifications for attorneys at law is inconsistent with the dominant purpose of making
the judicial independent of the legislative department, and such a purpose should not
be inferred in the absence of express constitutional provisions. While the legislature
may legislate with respect to the qualifications of attorneys, but is incidental merely to
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its general and unquestioned power to protect the public interest. When it does
legislate a fixing a standard of qualifications required of attorneys at law in order that
public interests may be protected, such qualifications do not constitute only a minimum
standard and limit the class from which the court must make its selection. Such
legislative qualifications do not constitute the ultimate qualifications beyond which the
court cannot go in fixing additional qualifications deemed necessary by the course of the
proper administration of judicial functions. There is no legislative power to compel
courts to admit to their bars persons deemed by them unfit to exercise the prerogatives
of an attorney at law. (p. 450)
Furthermore, it is an unlawful attempt to exercise the power of appointment. It is quite
likely true that the legislature may exercise the power of appointment when it is in
pursuance of a legislative functions. However, the authorities are well-nigh unanimous
that the power to admit attorneys to the practice of law is a judicial function. In all of
the states, except New Jersey (In re Reisch, 83 N.J. Eq. 82, 90 A. 12), so far as our
investigation reveals, attorneys receive their formal license to practice law by their
admission as members of the bar of the court so admitting. Cor. Jur. 572; Ex
parte Secombre, 19 How. 9,15 L. Ed. 565; Ex parteGarland, 4 Wall. 333, 18 L. Ed. 366;
Randall vs. Brigham, 7 Wall. 53, 19 L. Ed. 285; Hanson vs. Grattan, 48 Kan, 843, 115 P.
646, 34 L.R.A. 519; Danforth vs. Egan, 23 S. D. 43, 119 N.W. 1021, 130 Am. St. Rep. 1030,
20 Ann. Cas. 413.
The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by
the courts, it having been so generally held that the act of the court in admitting an
attorney to practice is the judgment of the court, and an attempt as this on the part of
the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most exceedingly uncommon, it
seems clear that the licensing of an attorney is and always has been a purely judicial
function, no matter where the power to determine the qualifications may reside. (p.
451)
In that same year of 1932, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, in answering a consultation of
the Senate of that State, 180 NE 725, said:
It is indispensible to the administration of justice and to interpretation of the laws that
there be members of the bar of sufficient ability, adequate learning and sound moral
character. This arises from the need of enlightened assistance to the honest, and
restraining authority over the knavish, litigant. It is highly important, also that the public
be protected from incompetent and vicious practitioners, whose opportunity for doing
mischief is wide. It was said by Cardoz, C.L., in People ex rel. Karlin vs. Culkin, 242 N.Y.
456, 470, 471, 162 N.E. 487, 489, 60 A.L.R. 851: "Membership in the bar is a privilege
burden with conditions." One is admitted to the bar "for something more than private
gain." He becomes an "officer of the court", and ,like the court itself, an instrument or
agency to advance the end of justice. His cooperation with the court is due "whenever
justice would be imperiled if cooperation was withheld." Without such attorneys at law
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the judicial department of government would be hampered in the performance of its
duties. That has been the history of attorneys under the common law, both in this
country and England. Admission to practice as an attorney at law is almost without
exception conceded to be a judicial function. Petition to that end is filed in courts, as are
other proceedings invoking judicial action. Admission to the bar is accomplish and made
open and notorious by a decision of the court entered upon its records. The
establishment by the Constitution of the judicial department conferred authority
necessary to the exercise of its powers as a coordinate department of government. It is
an inherent power of such a department of government ultimately to determine the
qualifications of those to be admitted to practice in its courts, for assisting in its work,
and to protect itself in this respect from the unfit, those lacking in sufficient learning,
and those not possessing good moral character. Chief Justice Taney stated succinctly
and with finality in Ex parte Secombe, 19 How. 9, 13, 15 L. Ed. 565, "It has been well
settled, by the rules and practice of common-law courts, that it rests exclusively with
the court to determine who is qualified to become one of its officers, as an attorney and
counselor, and for what cause he ought to be removed." (p.727)
In the case of Day and others who collectively filed a petition to secure license to practice the
legal profession by virtue of a law of state (In re Day, 54 NE 646), the court said in part:
In the case of Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall, 333, 18 L. Ed. 366, the court, holding the test
oath for attorneys to be unconstitutional, explained the nature of the attorney's office
as follows: "They are officers of the court, admitted as such by its order, upon evidence
of their possessing sufficient legal learning and fair private character. It has always been
the general practice in this country to obtain this evidence by an examination of the
parties. In this court the fact of the admission of such officers in the highest court of the
states to which they, respectively, belong for, three years preceding their application, is
regarded as sufficient evidence of the possession of the requisite legal learning, and the
statement of counsel moving their admission sufficient evidence that their private and
professional character is fair. The order of admission is the judgment of the court that
the parties possess the requisite qualifications as attorneys and counselors, and are
entitled to appear as such and conduct causes therein. From its entry the parties
become officers of the court, and are responsible to it for professional misconduct. They
hold their office during good behavior, and can only be deprived of it for misconduct
ascertained and declared by the judgment of the court after opportunity to be heard
has been afforded. Ex parte Hoyfron, admission or their exclusion is not the exercise of a
mere ministerial power. It is the exercise of judicial power, and has been so held in
numerous cases. It was so held by the court of appeals of New York in the matter of the
application of Cooper for admission. Re Cooper 22 N. Y. 81. "Attorneys and Counselors",
said that court, "are not only officers of the court, but officers whose duties relate
almost exclusively to proceedings of a judicial nature; and hence their appointment
may, with propriety, be entrusted to the court, and the latter, in performing his duty,
may very justly considered as engaged in the exercise of their appropriate judicial
functions." (pp. 650-651).
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We quote from other cases, the following pertinent portions:
Admission to practice of law is almost without exception conceded everywhere to be
the exercise of a judicial function, and this opinion need not be burdened with citations
in this point. Admission to practice have also been held to be the exercise of one of the
inherent powers of the court. Re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 Pac. 906.
Admission to the practice of law is the exercise of a judicial function, and is an inherent
power of the court. A.C. Brydonjack, vs. State Bar of California, 281 Pac. 1018; See
Annotation on Power of Legislature respecting admission to bar, 65, A.L. R. 1512.
On this matter there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and
legislative departments of the government.
The distinction between the functions of the legislative and the judicial departments is
that it is the province of the legislature to establish rules that shall regulate and govern
in matters of transactions occurring subsequent to the legislative action, while the
judiciary determines rights and obligations with reference to transactions that are past
or conditions that exist at the time of the exercise of judicial power, and the distinction
is a vital one and not subject to alteration or change either by legislative action or by
judicial decree.
The judiciary cannot consent that its province shall be invaded by either of the other
departments of the government. 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, p. 229.
If the legislature cannot thus indirectly control the action of the courts by requiring of
them construction of the law according to its own views, it is very plain it cannot do so
directly, by settling aside their judgments, compelling them to grant new trials, ordering
the discharge of offenders, or directing what particular steps shall be taken in the
progress of a judicial inquiry. Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 192.
In decreeing the bar candidates who obtained in the bar examinations of 1946 to 1952, a
general average of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject, be admitted in
mass to the practice of law, the disputed law is not a legislation; it is a judgment a judgment
revoking those promulgated by this Court during the aforecited year affecting the bar
candidates concerned; and although this Court certainly can revoke these judgments even now,
for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this Court, and not the legislative nor
executive department, that may be so. Any attempt on the part of any of these departments
would be a clear usurpation of its functions, as is the case with the law in question.
That the Constitution has conferred on Congress the power to repeal, alter or supplement the
rule promulgated by this Tribunal, concerning the admission to the practice of law, is no valid
argument. Section 13, article VIII of the Constitution provides:
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Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law.
Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish,
increase or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice and
procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared Rules of Court, subject to
the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have
the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. Constitution of
the Philippines, Art. VIII, sec. 13.
It will be noted that the Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal
responsibilities concerning the admission to the practice of law. the primary power and
responsibility which the Constitution recognizes continue to reside in this Court. Had Congress
found that this Court has not promulgated any rule on the matter, it would have nothing over
which to exercise the power granted to it. Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules
promulgated by this Court, but the authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension,
disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law and their supervision remain vested in the
Supreme Court. The power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules does not signify nor
permit that Congress substitute or take the place of this Tribunal in the exercise of its primary
power on the matter. The Constitution does not say nor mean that Congress may admit,
suspend, disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to
the practice of law. Its power is limited to repeal, modify or supplement the existing rules on
the matter, if according to its judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession
requires it. But this power does not relieve this Court of its responsibility to admit, suspend,
disbar and reinstate attorneys at law and supervise the practice of the legal profession.
Being coordinate and independent branches, the power to promulgate and enforce rules for
the admission to the practice of law and the concurrent power to repeal, alter and supplement
them may and should be exercised with the respect that each owes to the other, giving careful
consideration to the responsibility which the nature of each department requires. These
powers have existed together for centuries without diminution on each part; the harmonious
delimitation being found in that the legislature may and should examine if the existing rules on
the admission to the Bar respond to the demands which public interest requires of a Bar
endowed with high virtues, culture, training and responsibility. The legislature may, by means
of appeal, amendment or supplemental rules, fill up any deficiency that it may find, and the
judicial power, which has the inherent responsibility for a good and efficient administration of
justice and the supervision of the practice of the legal profession, should consider these
reforms as the minimum standards for the elevation of the profession, and see to it that with
these reforms the lofty objective that is desired in the exercise of its traditional duty of
admitting, suspending, disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law is realized. They are powers
which, exercise within their proper constitutional limits, are not repugnant, but rather
complementary to each other in attaining the establishment of a Bar that would respond to the
increasing and exacting necessities of the administration of justice.
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The case of Guaria (1913) 24 Phil., 37, illustrates our criterion. Guaria took examination and
failed by a few points to obtain the general average. A recently enacted law provided that one
who had been appointed to the position of Fiscal may be admitted to the practice of law
without a previous examination. The Government appointed Guaria and he discharged the
duties of Fiscal in a remote province. This tribunal refused to give his license without previous
examinations. The court said:
Relying upon the provisions of section 2 of Act No. 1597, the applicant in this case seeks
admission to the bar, without taking the prescribed examination, on the ground that he
holds the office of provincial fiscal for the Province of Batanes.
Section 2 of Act No. 1597, enacted February 28, 1907, is as follows:
Sec. 2. Paragraph one of section thirteen of Act Numbered One Hundred and ninety,
entitled "An Act providing a Code of Procedure in Civil Actions and Special Proceedings
in the Philippine Islands," is hereby amended to read as follows:
1. Those who have been duly licensed under the laws and orders of the Islands under
the sovereignty of Spain or of the United States and are in good and regular standing as
members of the bar of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this
code; Provided, That any person who, prior to the passage of this act, or at any time
thereafter, shall have held, under the authority of the United States, the position of
justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of First Instance, or judge or associate
judge of the Court of Land Registration, of the Philippine Islands, or the position of
Attorney General, Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, assistant attorney in the
office of the Attorney General, prosecuting attorney for the City of Manila, city attorney
of Manila, assistant city attorney of Manila, provincial fiscal, attorney for the Moro
Province, or assistant attorney for the Moro Province, may be licensed to practice law in
the courts of the Philippine Islands without an examination, upon motion before the
Supreme Court and establishing such fact to the satisfaction of said court.
The records of this court disclose that on a former occasion this appellant took, and
failed to pass the prescribed examination. The report of the examining board, dated
March 23, 1907, shows that he received an average of only 71 per cent in the various
branches of legal learning upon which he was examined, thus falling four points short of
the required percentage of 75. We would be delinquent in the performance of our duty
to the public and to the bar, if, in the face of this affirmative indication of the deficiency
of the applicant in the required qualifications of learning in the law at the time when he
presented his former application for admission to the bar, we should grant him license
to practice law in the courts of these Islands, without first satisfying ourselves that
despite his failure to pass the examination on that occasion, he now "possesses the
necessary qualifications of learning and ability."
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But it is contented that under the provisions of the above-cited statute the applicant is
entitled as of right to be admitted to the bar without taking the prescribed examination
"upon motion before the Supreme Court" accompanied by satisfactory proof that he has
held and now holds the office of provincial fiscal of the Province of Batanes. It is urged
that having in mind the object which the legislator apparently sought to attain in
enacting the above-cited amendment to the earlier statute, and in view of the context
generally and especially of the fact that the amendment was inserted as a proviso in
that section of the original Act which specifically provides for the admission of certain
candidates without examination. It is contented that this mandatory construction is
imperatively required in order to give effect to the apparent intention of the legislator,
and to the candidate's claim de jure to have the power exercised.
And after copying article 9 of Act of July 1, 1902 of the Congress of the United States, articles 2,
16 and 17 of Act No. 136, and articles 13 to 16 of Act 190, the Court continued:
Manifestly, the jurisdiction thus conferred upon this court by the commission and
confirmed to it by the Act of Congress would be limited and restricted, and in a case
such as that under consideration wholly destroyed, by giving the word "may," as used in
the above citation from Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, or of any Act of Congress
prescribing, defining or limiting the power conferred upon the commission is to that
extent invalid and void, as transcending its rightful limits and authority.
Speaking on the application of the law to those who were appointed to the positions
enumerated, and with particular emphasis in the case of Guaria, the Court held:
In the various cases wherein applications for the admission to the bar under the
provisions of this statute have been considered heretofore, we have accepted the fact
that such appointments had been made as satisfactory evidence of the qualifications of
the applicant. But in all of those cases we had reason to believe that the applicants had
been practicing attorneys prior to the date of their appointment.
In the case under consideration, however, it affirmatively appears that the applicant
was not and never had been practicing attorney in this or any other jurisdiction prior to
the date of his appointment as provincial fiscal, and it further affirmatively appears that
he was deficient in the required qualifications at the time when he last applied for
admission to the bar.
In the light of this affirmative proof of his defieciency on that occasion, we do not think
that his appointment to the office of provincial fiscal is in itself satisfactory proof if his
possession of the necessary qualifications of learning and ability. We conclude therefore
that this application for license to practice in the courts of the Philippines, should be
denied.
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In view, however, of the fact that when he took the examination he fell only four points
short of the necessary grade to entitle him to a license to practice; and in view also of
the fact that since that time he has held the responsible office of the governor of the
Province of Sorsogon and presumably gave evidence of such marked ability in the
performance of the duties of that office that the Chief Executive, with the consent and
approval of the Philippine Commission, sought to retain him in the Government service
by appointing him to the office of provincial fiscal, we think we would be justified under
the above-cited provisions of Act No. 1597 in waiving in his case the ordinary
examination prescribed by general rule, provided he offers satisfactory evidence of his
proficiency in a special examination which will be given him by a committee of the court
upon his application therefor, without prejudice to his right, if he desires so to do, to
present himself at any of the ordinary examinations prescribed by general rule. (In
re Guaria, pp. 48-49.)
It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs
exclusively to this Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive
character, or as other authorities say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license.
The law in question, like those in the case of Day and Cannon, has been found also to suffer
from the fatal defect of being a class legislation, and that if it has intended to make a
classification, it is arbitrary and unreasonable.
In the case of Day, a law enacted on February 21, 1899 required of the Supreme Court, until
December 31 of that year, to grant license for the practice of law to those students who began
studying before November 4, 1897, and had studied for two years and presented a diploma
issued by a school of law, or to those who had studied in a law office and would pass an
examination, or to those who had studied for three years if they commenced their studies after
the aforementioned date. The Supreme Court declared that this law was unconstitutional
being, among others, a class legislation. The Court said:
This is an application to this court for admission to the bar of this state by virtue of
diplomas from law schools issued to the applicants. The act of the general assembly
passed in 1899, under which the application is made, is entitled "An act to amend
section 1 of an act entitled "An act to revise the law in relation to attorneys and
counselors," approved March 28, 1884, in force July 1, 1874." The amendment, so far as
it appears in the enacting clause, consists in the addition to the section of the following:
"And every application for a license who shall comply with the rules of the supreme
court in regard to admission to the bar in force at the time such applicant commend the
study of law, either in a law or office or a law school or college, shall be granted a
license under this act notwithstanding any subsequent changes in said rules". In
re Day et al, 54 N.Y., p. 646.
. . . After said provision there is a double proviso, one branch of which is that up to
December 31, 1899, this court shall grant a license of admittance to the bar to the
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holder of every diploma regularly issued by any law school regularly organized under the
laws of this state, whose regular course of law studies is two years, and requiring an
attendance by the student of at least 36 weeks in each of such years, and showing that
the student began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897, and accompanied with
the usual proofs of good moral character. The other branch of the proviso is that any
student who has studied law for two years in a law office, or part of such time in a law
office, "and part in the aforesaid law school," and whose course of study began prior to
November 4, 1897, shall be admitted upon a satisfactory examination by the examining
board in the branches now required by the rules of this court. If the right to admission
exists at all, it is by virtue of the proviso, which, it is claimed, confers substantial rights
and privileges upon the persons named therein, and establishes rules of legislative
creation for their admission to the bar. (p. 647.)
Considering the proviso, however, as an enactment, it is clearly a special legislation,
prohibited by the constitution, and invalid as such. If the legislature had any right to
admit attorneys to practice in the courts and take part in the administration of justice,
and could prescribe the character of evidence which should be received by the court as
conclusive of the requisite learning and ability of persons to practice law, it could only
be done by a general law, persons or classes of persons. Const. art 4, section 2. The right
to practice law is a privilege, and a license for that purpose makes the holder an officer
of the court, and confers upon him the right to appear for litigants, to argue causes, and
to collect fees therefor, and creates certain exemptions, such as from jury services and
arrest on civil process while attending court. The law conferring such privileges must be
general in its operation. No doubt the legislature, in framing an enactment for that
purpose, may classify persons so long as the law establishing classes in general, and has
some reasonable relation to the end sought. There must be some difference which
furnishes a reasonable basis for different one, having no just relation to the subject of
the legislation. Braceville Coal Co. vs. People, 147 Ill. 66, 35 N.E. 62; Ritchie vs. People,
155 Ill. 98, 40 N.E. 454; Railroad Co. vs. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 17 Sup. Ct. 255.
The length of time a physician has practiced, and the skill acquired by experience, may
furnish a basis for classification (Williams vs. People 121 Ill. 48, II N.E. 881); but the place
where such physician has resided and practiced his profession cannot furnish such basis,
and is an arbitrary discrimination, making an enactment based upon it void (State vs.
Pennyeor, 65 N.E. 113, 18 Atl. 878). Here the legislature undertakes to say what shall
serve as a test of fitness for the profession of the law, and plainly, any classification
must have some reference to learning, character, or ability to engage in such practice.
The proviso is limited, first, to a class of persons who began the study of law prior to
November 4, 1897. This class is subdivided into two classes First, those presenting
diplomas issued by any law school of this state before December 31, 1899; and, second,
those who studied law for the period of two years in a law office, or part of the time in a
law school and part in a law office, who are to be admitted upon examination in the
subjects specified in the present rules of this court, and as to this latter subdivision
there seems to be no limit of time for making application for admission. As to both
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classes, the conditions of the rules are dispensed with, and as between the two different
conditions and limits of time are fixed. No course of study is prescribed for the law
school, but a diploma granted upon the completion of any sort of course its managers
may prescribe is made all-sufficient. Can there be anything with relation to the
qualifications or fitness of persons to practice law resting upon the mere date of
November 4, 1897, which will furnish a basis of classification. Plainly not. Those who
began the study of law November 4th could qualify themselves to practice in two years
as well as those who began on the 3rd. The classes named in the proviso need spend
only two years in study, while those who commenced the next day must spend three
years, although they would complete two years before the time limit. The one who
commenced on the 3rd. If possessed of a diploma, is to be admitted without
examination before December 31, 1899, and without any prescribed course of study,
while as to the other the prescribed course must be pursued, and the diploma is utterly
useless. Such classification cannot rest upon any natural reason, or bear any just relation
to the subject sought, and none is suggested. The proviso is for the sole purpose of
bestowing privileges upon certain defined persons. (pp. 647-648.)
In the case of Cannon above cited, State vs. Cannon, 240 N.W. 441, where the legislature
attempted by law to reinstate Cannon to the practice of law, the court also held with regards to
its aspect of being a class legislation:
But the statute is invalid for another reason. If it be granted that the legislature has
power to prescribe ultimately and definitely the qualifications upon which courts must
admit and license those applying as attorneys at law, that power can not be exercised in
the manner here attempted. That power must be exercised through general laws which
will apply to all alike and accord equal opportunity to all. Speaking of the right of the
Legislature to exact qualifications of those desiring to pursue chosen callings, Mr. Justice
Field in the case of Dent. vs. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 121, 9 S. Ct. 232, 233, 32 L. Ed.
626, said: "It is undoubtedly the right of every citizen of the United States to follow any
lawful calling, business or profession he may choose, subject only to such restrictions as
are imposed upon all persons of like age, sex, and condition." This right may in many
respects be considered as a distinguishing feature of our republican institutions. Here all
vocations are all open to every one on like conditions. All may be pursued as sources of
livelihood, some requiring years of study and great learning for their successful
prosecution. The interest, or, as it is sometimes termed, the "estate" acquired in them
that is, the right to continue their prosecution is often of great value to the
possessors and cannot be arbitrarily taken from them, any more than their real or
personal property can be thus taken. It is fundamental under our system of government
that all similarly situated and possessing equal qualifications shall enjoy equal
opportunities. Even statutes regulating the practice of medicine, requiring medications
to establish the possession on the part of the application of his proper qualifications
before he may be licensed to practice, have been challenged, and courts have seriously
considered whether the exemption from such examinations of those practicing in the
state at the time of the enactment of the law rendered such law unconstitutional
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because of infringement upon this general principle. State vs. Thomas Call, 121 N.C. 643,
28 S.E. 517; see, also, The State ex rel. Winkler vs. Rosenberg, 101 Wis. 172, 76 N.W.
345; State vs. Whitcom, 122 Wis. 110, 99 N.W. 468.
This law singles out Mr. Cannon and assumes to confer upon him the right to practice
law and to constitute him an officer of this Court as a mere matter of legislative grace or
favor. It is not material that he had once established his right to practice law and that
one time he possessed the requisite learning and other qualifications to entitle him to
that right. That fact in no matter affect the power of the Legislature to select from the
great body of the public an individual upon whom it would confer its favors.
A statute of the state of Minnesota (Laws 1929, c. 424) commanded the Supreme Court
to admit to the practice of law without examination, all who had served in the military
or naval forces of the United States during the World War and received a honorable
discharge therefrom and who (were disabled therein or thereby within the purview of
the Act of Congress approved June 7th, 1924, known as "World War Veteran's Act, 1924
and whose disability is rated at least ten per cent thereunder at the time of the passage
of this Act." This Act was held |unconstitutional on the ground that it clearly violated
the quality clauses of the constitution of that state. In re Application of George W.
Humphrey, 178 Minn. 331, 227 N.W. 179.
A good summary of a classification constitutionally acceptable is explained in 12 Am. Jur. 151-
153 as follows:
The general rule is well settled by unanimity of the authorities that a classification to be
valid must rest upon material differences between the person included in it and those
excluded and, furthermore, must be based upon substantial distinctions. As the rule has
sometimes avoided the constitutional prohibition, must be founded upon pertinent and
real differences, as distinguished from irrelevant and artificial ones. Therefore, any law
that is made applicable to one class of citizens only must be based on some substantial
difference between the situation of that class and other individuals to which it does not
apply and must rest on some reason on which it can be defended. In other words, there
must be such a difference between the situation and circumstances of all the members
of the class and the situation and circumstances of all other members of the state in
relation to the subjects of the discriminatory legislation as presents a just and natural
cause for the difference made in their liabilities and burdens and in their rights and
privileges. A law is not general because it operates on all within a clause unless there is a
substantial reason why it is made to operate on that class only, and not generally on all.
(12 Am. Jur. pp. 151-153.)
Pursuant to the law in question, those who, without a grade below 50 per cent in any subject,
have obtained a general average of 69.5 per cent in the bar examinations in 1946 to 1951, 70.5
per cent in 1952, 71.5 per cent in 1953, and those will obtain 72.5 per cent in 1954, and 73.5
per cent in 1955, will be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as
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members of the Bar, notwithstanding that the rules require a minimum general average of 75
per cent, which has been invariably followed since 1950. Is there any motive of the nature
indicated by the abovementioned authorities, for this classification ? If there is none, and none
has been given, then the classification is fatally defective.
It was indicated that those who failed in 1944, 1941 or the years before, with the general
average indicated, were not included because the Tribunal has no record of the unsuccessful
candidates of those years. This fact does not justify the unexplained classification of
unsuccessful candidates by years, from 1946-1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955. Neither is the
exclusion of those who failed before said years under the same conditions justified. The fact
that this Court has no record of examinations prior to 1946 does not signify that no one
concerned may prove by some other means his right to an equal consideration.
To defend the disputed law from being declared unconstitutional on account of its retroactivity,
it is argued that it is curative, and that in such form it is constitutional. What does Rep. Act 972
intend to cure ? Only from 1946 to 1949 were there cases in which the Tribunal permitted
admission to the bar of candidates who did not obtain the general average of 75 per cent: in
1946 those who obtained only 72 per cent; in the 1947 and those who had 69 per cent or more;
in 1948, 70 per cent and in 1949, 74 per cent; and in 1950 to 1953, those who obtained 74 per
cent, which was considered by the Court as equivalent to 75 per cent as prescribed by the
Rules, by reason of circumstances deemed to be sufficiently justifiable. These changes in the
passing averages during those years were all that could be objected to or criticized. Now, it is
desired to undo what had been done cancel the license that was issued to those who did not
obtain the prescribed 75 per cent ? Certainly not. The disputed law clearly does not propose to
do so. Concededly, it approves what has been done by this Tribunal. What Congress lamented is
that the Court did not consider 69.5 per cent obtained by those candidates who failed in 1946
to 1952 as sufficient to qualify them to practice law. Hence, it is the lack of will or defect of
judgment of the Court that is being cured, and to complete the cure of this infirmity, the
effectivity of the disputed law is being extended up to the years 1953, 1954 and 1955,
increasing each year the general average by one per cent, with the order that said candidates
be admitted to the Bar. This purpose, manifest in the said law, is the best proof that what the
law attempts to amend and correct are not the rules promulgated, but the will or judgment of
the Court, by means of simply taking its place. This is doing directly what the Tribunal should
have done during those years according to the judgment of Congress. In other words, the
power exercised was not to repeal, alter or supplement the rules, which continue in force.
What was done was to stop or suspend them. And this power is not included in what the
Constitution has granted to Congress, because it falls within the power to apply the rules. This
power corresponds to the judiciary, to which such duty been confided.
Article 2 of the law in question permits partial passing of examinations, at indefinite intervals.
The grave defect of this system is that it does not take into account that the laws and
jurisprudence are not stationary, and when a candidate finally receives his certificate, it may
happen that the existing laws and jurisprudence are already different, seriously affecting in this
manner his usefulness. The system that the said law prescribes was used in the first bar
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examinations of this country, but was abandoned for this and other disadvantages. In this case,
however, the fatal defect is that the article is not expressed in the title will have temporary
effect only from 1946 to 1955, the text of article 2 establishes a permanent system for an
indefinite time. This is contrary to Section 21 (1), article VI of the Constitution, which vitiates
and annuls article 2 completely; and because it is inseparable from article 1, it is obvious that its
nullity affect the entire law.
Laws are unconstitutional on the following grounds: first, because they are not within the
legislative powers of Congress to enact, or Congress has exceeded its powers; second, because
they create or establish arbitrary methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; and
third, because their purposes or effects violate the Constitution or its basic principles. As has
already been seen, the contested law suffers from these fatal defects.
Summarizing, we are of the opinion and hereby declare that Republic Act No. 972 is
unconstitutional and therefore, void, and without any force nor effect for the following
reasons, to wit:
1. Because its declared purpose is to admit 810 candidates who failed in the bar examinations
of 1946-1952, and who, it admits, are certainly inadequately prepared to practice law, as was
exactly found by this Court in the aforesaid years. It decrees the admission to the Bar of these
candidates, depriving this Tribunal of the opportunity to determine if they are at present
already prepared to become members of the Bar. It obliges the Tribunal to perform something
contrary to reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a manifest encroachment on the
constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court.
2. Because it is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of this Court on the petitions of
these 810 candidates, without having examined their respective examination papers, and
although it is admitted that this Tribunal may reconsider said resolution at any time for
justifiable reasons, only this Court and no other may revise and alter them. In attempting to do
it directly Republic Act No. 972 violated the Constitution.
3. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and
supplement the rules on admission to the Bar. Such additional or amendatory rules are, as they
ought to be, intended to regulate acts subsequent to its promulgation and should tend to
improve and elevate the practice of law, and this Tribunal shall consider these rules as
minimum norms towards that end in the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement
of lawyers to the Bar, inasmuch as a good bar assists immensely in the daily performance of
judicial functions and is essential to a worthy administration of justice. It is therefore the
primary and inherent prerogative of the Supreme Court to render the ultimate decision on who
may be admitted and may continue in the practice of law according to existing rules.
4. The reason advanced for the pretended classification of candidates, which the law makes, is
contrary to facts which are of general knowledge and does not justify the admission to the Bar
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of law students inadequately prepared. The pretended classification is arbitrary. It is
undoubtedly a class legislation.
5. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the
Constitution enjoins, and being inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the entire law is
void.
6. Lacking in eight votes to declare the nullity of that part of article 1 referring to the
examinations of 1953 to 1955, said part of article 1, insofar as it concerns the examinations in
those years, shall continue in force.


R E S O L U T I O N
Upon mature deliberation by this Court, after hearing and availing of the magnificent and
impassioned discussion of the contested law by our Chief Justice at the opening and close of
the debate among the members of the Court, and after hearing the judicious observations of
two of our beloved colleagues who since the beginning have announced their decision not to
take part in voting, we, the eight members of the Court who subscribed to this decision have
voted and resolved, and have decided for the Court, and under the authority of the same:
1. That (a) the portion of article 1 of Republic Act No. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946
to 1952, and (b) all of article 2 of said law are unconstitutional and, therefore, void and without
force and effect.
2. That, for lack of unanimity in the eight Justices, that part of article 1 which refers to the
examinations subsequent to the approval of the law, that is from 1953 to 1955 inclusive, is valid
and shall continue to be in force, in conformity with section 10, article VII of the Constitution.
Consequently, (1) all the above-mentioned petitions of the candidates who failed in the
examinations of 1946 to 1952 inclusive are denied, and (2) all candidates who in the
examinations of 1953 obtained a general average of 71.5 per cent or more, without having a
grade below 50 per cent in any subject, are considered as having passed, whether they have
filed petitions for admission or not. After this decision has become final, they shall be permitted
to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar on the date or
dates that the chief Justice may set. So ordered.
Bengzon, Montemayor, Jugo, Labrador, Pablo, Padilla, and Reyes, JJ., concur.

ANNEX I
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PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
A resume of pertinent facts concerning the bar examinations of 1946 to 1953 inclusive follows:
August, 1946
1

Board of Examiners: Hon. Pedro Tuason, Chairman, Prof. Gerardo
Florendo, Atty. Bernardino Guerrero, Atty. Joaquin Ramirez, Atty.
Crispin Oben, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty. Jose
Perez Cardenas, and Hon. Bienvenido A. Tan, members.
Number of candidates 206
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 12
73'S 6
72'S 6
Number of candidates who passed 85
Number of candidates who failed 121
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 18
Percentage of success (per cent) 41.62
Percentage of failure (per cent) 58.74
Passing grade (per cent) 72
November, 1946
Board of Examiners: The same as that of August, 1946, except Hon. Jose
Teodoro who was substituted by Atty. Honesto K. Bausan.
Number of candidates 481
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 19
(72 per cent and above 73 per cent ---
Minutes of March 31, 1947)

Number of candidates who passed 249
Number of candidates who failed 228
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 43
Percentage of success (per cent) 52.20
Percentage of failure (per cent) 47.80
Passing grade
(By resolution of the Court).
(per cent) 72
October, 1947
Board of Examiners: Hon. Cesar Bengzon, Chairman, Hon. Guillermo B.
Guevara, Atty. Antonio Araneta, Atty. Simon Cruz, Hon. Sixto de la
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Costa, Atty. Celso B. Jamora, Hon. Emilio Pea, Atty. Federico Agrava,
Atty. Carlos B. Hilado, Members.
Number of candidates 749
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 43
70.55 per cent with 2 subject below 50 per
cent
1
69 per cent 40
68 per cent 2
Number of candidates who passed 409
Number of candidates who failed 340
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 972
Percentage of success (per cent) 54.59
Percentage of failure (per cent) 45.41
Passing grade (per cent) 69
(by resolution of the Court).
Note.--In passing the 2 whose grades were 68.95 per cent and
68.1 per cent respectively, the Court found out that they were
not benefited at all by the bonus of 12 points given by the
Examiner in Civil Law.
August, 1948
Board of Examiners: Hon. Marceliano R. Montemayor, Chairman Hon.
Luis P. Torres, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Sr., Atty.
Federico Agrava, Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Hon. Jesus G. Barrera, Hon.
Rafael Amparo, Atty. Alfonso Ponce Enrile, Members.
Number of candidates 899
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 64
71's 29
70's 35
Number of candidates who passed 490
Number of candidates who failed 409
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 11
Percentage of success (per cent) 62.40
Percentage of failure (per cent) 37.60
Passing grade (per cent) 70
(by resolution of the Court).
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August, 1949
Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Fernando
Jugo, Hon. Enrique Filamor, Atty. Salvador Araneta, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Atty. Federico Agrava, Hon. Mariano H. de Joya, Hon. Felipe
Natividad, Atty. Emeterio Barcelon, Members.
Number of candidates 1,218
Number of candidates whose grades were raised
(74's)
55
Number of candidates who passed 686
Number of candidates who failed 532
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 164
Percentage of success (per cent) 56.28
Percentage of failure (per cent) 43.72
Passing grade (per cent) 74
(by resolution of the Court).
August, 1950
Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo,
2
Chairman, Hon. Guillermo B.
Guevara, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Marcial P. Lichauco, Atty. Carlos B.
Hilado, Atty. J. Antonio Araneta, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Hon.
Francisco A. Delgado, Hon. Antonio Horrilleno, Members.
Number of candidates 1,316
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 38
(The grade of 74 was raised to 75 per cent by recommendation
and authority
of the examiner in Remedial Law, Atty. Francisco Delgado).
Number of candidates who passed 432
Number of candidates who failed 894
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 26
Percentage of success (per cent) 32.14
Percentage of failure (per cent) 67.86
Passing grade (per cent) 75
August, 1951
Board of Examiners: Hon. Guillermo F. Pablo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Hon. Manuel Lim, Hon. Felipe
Natividad, Hon. Vicente Albert, Atty. Arturo Alafriz, Hon. Enrique V.
Filamor, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Members.
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Number of candidates 2,068
Number of candidates whose grades were raised
(74's)
112
Number of candidates who passed 1,189
Number of candidates who failed 879
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 196
Percentage of success (per cent) 57.49
Percentage of failure (per cent) 42.51
Passing grade (per cent) 75
August, 1952
Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Hon. Emilio
Pea, Atty. Emilio P. Virata, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad,
Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Members.
Number of candidates 2,738
Number of candidates whose grades were raised
(74's)
163
Number of candidates who passed 1,705
Number of candidates who failed 1,033
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 426
Percentage of success (per cent) 62.27
Percentage of failure (per cent) 37.73
Passing grade (per cent) 75
August, 1953
Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Jr., Hon. Emilio
Pea, Atty. Jose S. de la Cruz, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad,
Hon. Mariano L. de la Rosa, Members.
Number of candidates 2,555
Number of candidates whose grades were raised
(74's)
100
Number of candidates who passed 1,570
Number of candidates who failed 986
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 284
Percentage of success (per cent) 61.04
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Percentage of failure (per cent) 38.96
Passing grade (per cent) 75
A list of petitioners for admission to the Bar under Republic Act No. 972, grouped by the years
in which they took the bar examinations, with annotations as to who had presented motions
for reconsideration which were denied (MRD), and who filed mere motions for reconsideration
without invoking said law, which are still pending, follows:
PETITIONER UNDER THE BAR FLUNKERS' LAW
Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.
Av.
MRD- 1. Agunod, Filemon L. 66 71 61 76 80 83 73 75 71.4
MRD- 2. Cunanan, Albino 76 72 74 75 70 70 65 72 71.45
MRD- 3. Mejia, Flaviano V. 64 64 65 68 83 74 68 80 69.85
1948
MRD- 4. Orlina, Soledad R. 71 68 66 75 63 75 70 88 69.9
MRD- 5. Vivero, Antonio Lu. 75 73 73 65 63 66 65 80 69.95
MRD- 6. Gatchalian, Salud 72 66 71 75 78 68 65 50 69.65
1949
7. Abaya, Jesus A. 69 79 75 75 71 89 55 75 70.8
MRD- 8. Advincula, David D. 76 80 62 86 81 72 60 65 70.5
9. Agraviador, Alfredo L. 63 85 70 77 80 81 65 80 71.8
10. Alacar, Pascual C. 61 63 83 79 71 85 65 80 72.05
11. Amog, Pedro M. 75 66 76 78 81 74 55 85 72.2
12. Apolinario, Miguel S. 75 84 78 78 70 70 60 75 71.95
13. Aquino, Maximo G. 82 77 71 77 76 77 60 75 73.15
14. Asinas, Candido D. 75 83 69 80 81 83 55 85 72.65
15. Baldivino, Jose B. 75 65 72 82 82 69 60 80 71.95
16. Balintona, Bernardo 75 80 64 78 74 67 65 70 70
17. Banawa, Angel L. 78 70 70 75 81 83 60 60 72.3
18. Bandala, Anacleto A. 66 80 66 71 93 72 55 70 69.6
19. Bandon, Alawadin L. 74 79 69 77 91 73 60 80 73.35
20. Baquero, Benjamin 76 79 64 77 85 72 65 75 72.5
21. Blanco, Jose 75 75 70 75 77 76 60 90 72.5
22. Buenaluz, Victoriano T. 75 71 72 78 67 82 60 75 70.85
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23. Canda, Benjamin S. 75 72 75 82 76 77 65 75 73.55
24. Canon, Guillermo 77 86 67 88 75 69 70 85 73.9
25. Carlos, Estela S. 75 81 81 79 72 73 65 70 73.8
26. Cerezo, Gregorio O. 69 76 76 79 71 80 55 80 70.4
27. Clarin, Manuel L. 75 82 76 81 73 69 70 75 73.95
28. Claudo, Conrado O. 76 62 78 77 73 72 60 70 71.4
29. Condevillamar, Antonio
V.
68 65 74 80 85 75 60 75 71.65
MRD-
30.
Cornejo, Crisanto R. 72 75 69 82 83 79 65 80 73.4
31. Corona, Olvido D. 68 76 73 81 81 72 60 75 71.15
32. Dizon, Marcial C. 76 86 69 83 75 74 65 80 73.1
33. Enriquez, Agustin P. 75 77 70 81 81 77 65 80 73.75
34. Espiritu, Irineo E. 80 88 69 75 76 77 65 75 73.8
35. Fernandez, Macario J. 63 82 76 75 81 84 65 75 72.95
36. Gallardo, Amando C. 78 79 67 77 76 75 60 65 70.95
37. Garcia, Freidrich M. 76 80 66 75 72 70 60 75 69.7
38. Garcia, Julian L. 64 77 68 82 89 77 65 75 72.15
39. Garcia, Leon Mo. 77 86 71 80 60 82 65 75 71.85
40. Garcia, Pedro V. 76 82 73 81 74 83 60 85 73.6
41. Garcia, Santiago C. 62 91 79 75 72 75 65 80 71.8
42. Genoves, Pedro 75 83 70 78 87 76 55 80 72.7
43. Gonzales, Amado P. 75 71 71 75 86 75 60 75 72.65
44. Guia, Odon R. de 77 76 66 81 74 76 60 75 70.9
45. Fernandez, Simeon 62 68 71 80 74 90 65 75 70.85
46. Jakosalem, Filoteo 82 83 73 82 61 87 65 70 73.6
47. Jesus, Felipe D. de 75 83 67 79 78 85 60 75 72.45
48. Jocom, Jacobo M. 77 77 74 77 74 64 55 85 70.65
49. Juares, Nicolas 77 84 56 76 73 82 60 85 70
50. Kalalang, Remigio 65 75 74 80 70 70 65 85 70.3
51. Layumas, Vicente L. 67 84 65 75 89 66 60 80 70.3
52. Leyson, Amancio F. 69 83 75 76 81 75 65 75 73.15
53. Libanan, Marcelino 71 83 61 77 80 81 65 85 71.75
54. Lim, Jose E. 77 77 72 76 72 64 65 70 71.15
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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55. Lim, Jose F. 70 75 62 83 80 71 65 80 70.4
56. Linao, Mariano M. 66 84 76 78 80 75 60 75 71.75
57. Lopez, Angelo P. 67 81 75 72 79 81 55 80 71
58. Lopez, Eliezar M. 77 75 60 75 77 85 60 75 70.7
59. Lopez, Nicanor S. 72 71 70 78 77 84 60 75 71.55
60. Manoleto, Proceso D. 72 70 65 78 81 90 60 80 71.95
61. Mancao, Alfredo P. 67 64 71 83 76 76 65 80 70.95
62. Manera, Mariano A. 75 78 75 75 68 79 60 65 71
63. Mercado, Arsenio N. 67 64 71 83 76 76 65 80 70.95
64. Miranda, Benjamin G. 76 81 67 82 74 77 65 80 72.55
65. Manad, Andres B. 77 75 68 82 69 72 65 75 71.15
1948
66. Orosco, Casimiro P. 72 84 69 81 70 82 65 75 71.9
67. Padua, Manuel C. 76 76 68 80 79 79 50 75 70.1
68. Palang, Basilio S. 71 75 82 71 55 87 55 75 69.6
69. Palma, Cuadrato 62 75 69 93 80 79 55 80 69.5
70. Paganiban, Jose V. 67 83 61 81 91 74 60 75 70.6
71. Pareja, Felipe 66 71 75 81 67 74 60 70 68.75
72. Patalinjug, Eriberto 73 77 78 73 78 71 55 75 71.25
73. Paulin, Jose C. 66 69 71 77 83 82 65 75 72.1
74. Pido, Serafin C. 72 78 63 80 71 85 70 80 72.05
75. Pimentel, Luis P. 77 75 76 81 76 68 55 80 71.6
76. Plantilla, Rodrigo C. 72 78 68 89 79 81 65 85 73.55
77. Regalario, Benito B. 72 80 64 80 75 81 55 80 69.55
78. Robis, Casto P. 62 77 74 73 68 80 70 80 70.9
79. Rodil, Francisco C. 68 69 70 81 76 75 65 75 70.75
80. Rodriguez, Mariano I. 80 75 69 80 72 80 65 80 73.35
81. Romero, Crispulo P. 78 75 66 77 76 83 65 75 72.85
82. Saez, Porfirio D. 75 75 72 81 69 77 60 75 71
83. Saliguma, Crisogono D. 79 79 74 78 69 65 65 70 71.8
84. Samano, Fortunato A. 75 84 72 77 70 82 60 75 71.9
85. Santos, Faustina C. 71 68 68 76 75 85 55 75 69.5
86. Santos, Josefina R. 68 69 76 71 77 82 65 75 72.3
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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87. Seludo, Ananias G. 75 80 69 79 77 82 65 75 73.25
88. Semilia, Rafael I. 68 85 55 83 89 79 65 80 71.25
89. Telan, Gaudencio 77 79 70 75 70 75 60 75 70.85
90. Tesorero, Leocadio T. 75 71 63 75 82 62 65 63 69.65
91. Torre, Valentin S. de la 85 81 71 76 69 65 55 70 70.4
92. Torres, Ariston L. 78 71 72 81 61 84 55 85 70.4
93. Veyra, Zosimo C. de 70 75 71 79 65 80 65 80 70.65
94. Viado, Jose 67 70 74 75 75 90 55 80 70.7
95. Villacarlos, Delfin A. 73 87 71 82 69 70 75 85 73.85
96. Villamil, Leonor S. 73 81 76 86 86 73 55 85 73.6
97. Zabala, Amando A. 76 70 67 75 76 76 60 75 70.6
1950
MRD-
98.
Cruz, Filomeno de la 70 71 78 81 76 72 64 96 73.4
99. Espaola, Pablo S. 71 78 55 76 85 69 65 93 70.2
100. Foronda, Clarencio J. 60 78 68 79 84 88 62 93 71.9
101. Hechanova, Vicente 59 76 75 75 69 68 75 96 71.3
MRD-
102.
Pealosa, Osias R. 80 78 61 76 61 77 66 85 70.2
103. Sarmiento, Floro A. 65 86 63 82 89 72 60 72 70.15
MRD-
104.
Torre, Catalino P. 75 85 68 78 69 67 65 69 70.25
105. Ungson, Fernando S. 61 87 75 70 57 85 83 82 72.8
1951
106. Abasolo, Romulo 77 70 64 65 76 70 76 64 71.7
107. Adeva, Daniel G. 75 59 74 65 69 51 78 67 70.4
108. Aguilar, Vicente Z. 73 63 68 75 70 69 75 75 71.25
109. Amodia, Juan T. 75 76 66 75 76 60 77 76 72.35
MRD-
110.
Aosa, Pablo S. 76 78 63 75 74 61 75 79 71.6
111. Antiola, Anastacio R. 68 76 75 70 71 70 81 66 73.05
112. Aquino, S. Rey A. 70 71 71 60 74 62 76 77 71.1
113. Atienza, Manuel G. 71 78 68 80 86 51 82 75 73.85
114. Avancea, Alfonso 71 71 65 75 70 72 78 80 71.8
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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MRD-
115.
Balacuit, Camilo N. 75 73 75 70 72 65 75 76 73.25
116. Barinaga, Jeremias L. 68 69 73 70 74 50 80 79 71.2
MRD-
117.
Barrientos, Ambrosio
D.
76 60 67 55 74 63 77 62 70.25
MRD-
118.
Benitez, Tomas P. 67 75 75 60 73 72 75 78 72.2
119. Biason, Sixto F. 73 82 67 65 66 72 77 68 71.25
MRD-
120.
Brias, Isagani A. 71 69 74 70 76 52 79 72 71.95
121. Buela, Arcadio P. 72 77 61 70 71 58 79 71 69.75
122. Cabilao, Leonardo S. 73 50 75 75 75 60 71 79 71.25
123. Cabrera, Ireneo M. 75 66 70 65 72 81 70 79 72.4
124. Cacacho, Emilio V.
125. Calilung, Soledad C. 64 73 73 80 73 57 75 59 69.65
MRD-
126.
Calimlim, Jose B. 64 73 73 80 73 57 75 59 69.65
127. Calimlim, Pedro B. 66 82 69 60 69 52 83 75 70
128. Camello, Sotero H. 70 77 63 65 75 66 84 64 71.55
129. Campos, Juan A. 71 88 70 75 64 69 71 62 70.15
130. Castillo, Antonio del 78 78 70 60 79 67 69 76 72.65
MRD-
131.
Castillo, Dominador Ad. 75 61 72 75 74 71 67 66 71.1
MRD-
132.
Castro, Jesus B. 72 86 72 75 65 75 76 71 72.85
133. Casuga, Bienvenido B. 75 72 72 70 69 61 75 60 70.95
134. Cabangbang, Santiago
B.
77 67 61 80 73 59 83 76 72.2
135. Cruz, Federico S. 69 74 75 75 68 65 76 70 71.65
136. Dacanay, Eufemio P. 70 73 62 75 72 69 85 71 72.05
137. Deysolong, Felisberto 66 62 72 75 70 62 83 62 70.85
MRD-
138.
Dimaano, Jr., Jose N. 78 79 63 75 73 75 81 59 73.5
139. Espinosa, Domingo L. 78 63 58 70 70 67 87 63 71.6
MRD-
140.
Farol, Evencia C. 80 78 66 75 81 72 62 73 72.25
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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141. Felix, Conrado S. 71 71 75 65 70 58 75 69 70.75
142. Fernan, Pablo L. 67 88 66 85 73 68 78 75 72.35
143. Gandioco, Salvador G. 64 58 66 65 76 70 89 75 72.1
144. Gastardo, Crispin B. 70 69 68 75 78 66 86 72 73.9
145. Genson, Angelo B. 75 57 73 65 67 54 78 56 69.55
146. Guiani, Guinald M. 68 60 75 65 74 67 75 77 71.5
147. Guina, Graciano P. 66 69 67 60 78 52 83 61 69.6
MRD-
148.
Homeres, Praxedes P. 74 74 75 75 71 69 75 71 73.35
149. Ibarra, Venancio M. 60 75 74 70 74 70 80 75 71.9
150. Imperial, Monico L. 72 78 75 75 72 56 82 77 73.7
MRD-
151.
Ibasco, Jr., Emiliano M. 71 70 63 85 71 60 85 53 70.85
152. Inandan, Fortunato C. 77 77 67 53 73 75 79 57 72.5
153. Jimenez, Florencio C. 75 70 70 75 72 61 75 78 72.05
154. Kintanar, Woodrow M. 70 83 72 65 76 73 75 69 72.95
155. Languido, Cesar V. 63 71 63 85 70 61 85 79 70.55
156. Lavilles, Cesar L. 61 89 75 55 73 63 75 78 70.55
157. Llenos, Francisco U. 64 70 65 60 72 65 92 75 71.75
158. Leon, Marcelo D. de 63 73 60 85 75 75 90 70 72.75
159. Llanto, Priscilla 72 68 60 65 76 67 84 68 71.35
160. Machachor, Oscar 68 59 78 70 67 57 75 75 70.15
MRD-
161.
Magsino, Encarnacion 77 66 70 70 76 71 75 61 72.75
MRD-
162.
Maligaya, Demetrio M. 70 61 75 65 75 50 91 51 72.3
163. Manio, Gregorio 67 67 69 80 71 67 75 75 70.65
164. Puzon, Eduardo S. 72 82 60 60 69 70 68 72 62.05
MRD-
165.
Marcial, Meynardo R. 66 75 74 70 75 67 81 75 73.15
166. Martin, Benjamin S. 68 72 63 75 69 63 84 62 70.1
MRD-
167.
Monterroyo, Catalina S. 70 80 75 80 76 66 82 51 73.95
MRD-
168.
Montero, Leodegario C. 73 67 66 80 81 65 81 75 73.75
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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169. Monzon, Candido T. 70 72 74 75 67 70 77 69 72.05
170. Natividad, Alberto M. 73 79 68 65 73 69 75 79 72.2
MRD-
171.
Navallo, Capistrano C. 70 72 68 85 81 66 71 74 72.1
172. Nisce, Camilo Z. 66 66 75 65 79 68 85 62 73.5
MRD-
173.
Ocampo, Antonio F. de 75 81 76 65 74 67 75 69 73.75
174. Olaviar, Jose O. 72 70 69 55 66 70 77 75 70.5
MRD-
175.
Perez, Cesario Z. 75 76 66 80 72 63 82 69 72.95
176. Pogado, Causin O. 70 66 65 70 75 64 75 70 69.95
177. Ramos-Balmori,
Manuela
75 73 62 65 78 59 75 66 70.2
178. Recinto, Ireneo I. 73 76 68 75 74 68 80 53 72.3
MRD-
179.
Redor, Francisco K. 62 77 73 75 69 64 76 69 70
MRD-
180.
Regis, Deogracias A. 76 74 68 65 65 65 88 75 73.35
181. Rigor, Estelita C. 67 78 61 80 71 77 79 65 70.9
MRD-
182.
Rimorin-Gordo, Estela 70 72 62 60 88 66 67 79 70.15
183. Rosario, Prisco del 70 64 70 70 72 73 85 57 72.65
184. Rosario, Vicente D. del 75 91 65 75 68 68 79 62 72.2
185. Saavedra, Felipe 73 80 63 75 76 73 68 62 70.35
186. Salazar, Alfredo N. 66 72 73 75 67 68 77 69 70.85
187. Salem, Romulo R. 77 81 72 65 73 60 76 75 73
188. Foz, Julita A. 75 72 75 75 65 70 76 64 72.5
189. Santa Ana, Candido T. 77 69 65 75 81 75 70 75 73
190. Santos, Aquilino 72 66 69 65 68 70 81 71 71.7
191. Santos, Valeriano V. 76 72 75 75 68 62 76 79 73.1
192. Suico, Samuel 73 79 72 75 71 59 84 65 73.3
193. Suson, Teodorico 74 68 66 80 66 59 79 67 70.35
194. Tado, Florentino P. 64 76 67 65 76 72 76 53 69.7
195. Tapayan, Domingo A. 69 72 69 70 76 73 82 79 73.75
MRD- Tiausas, Miguel V. 67 60 71 75 79 67 84 60 72.7
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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196.
197. Torres, Carlos P. 68 71 71 70 70 63 82 71 71.6
198. Tria, Hipolito 69 72 75 60 69 54 78 66 70.05
199. Velasco, Avelino A. 65 72 75 75 71 67 78 76 72.1
200. Villa, Francisco C. 65 80 73 75 68 79 65 75 70.2
201. Villagonzalo, Job R. 78 67 74 65 72 51 69 71 70.25
202. Villarama, Jr., Pedro 75 74 75 55 75 66 67 75 71.45
1952
203. Abacon, Pablo 75 72 78 81 78 72 64 55 72.7
MRP-
204.
Abad, Agapito 73 76 73 85 75 63 62 75 70.95
MRP-
205.
Abella, Ludovico B. 70 81 76 81 70 66 77 58 72.7
MRP-
206.
Abellera, Geronimo F. 75 79 79 87 76 51 63 70 71.7
MRP-
207.
Abenojar, Agapito N. 71 72 78 84 70 75 69 70 72.9
208. Alandy, Doroteo R. 64 83 93 91 68 59 60 60 71.2
209. Alano, Fabian T. 70 83 61 83 72 87 72 70 71.9
MRP-
210.
Alcantara, Pablo V. 71 79 80 81 73 70 72 62 73.65
211. Arcangel, Agustin Ag. 75 85 71 73 76 65 68 65 71.85
212. Acosta, Dionisio N. 75 81 78 87 56 65 77 70 72.8
MRP-
213.
Abinguna, Agapito C. 66 85 80 84 75 58 76 75 73.65
214. Adove, Nehemias C. 76 86 78 77 66 78 69 62 73.55
215. Adrias, Inocencio C. 75 83 61 88 76 67 79 75 73.4
216. Aglugub, Andres R. 75 83 73 88 72 62 72 62 72.65
217. Andrada, Mariano L. 76 85 66 87 63 77 75 77 73.
MRP-
218.
Almeda, Serafin V. 72 72 75 81 61 67 73 65 70.75
219. Almonte-Peralta,
Felicidad
73 71 72 91 75 67 65 53 70.7
MRP-
220.
Amodia, Juan T. 75 79 68 85 62 64 75 78 71.4
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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MRP-
221.
Antonio, Felino A. 71 76 81 83 79 52 72 70 73.3
MRP-
222.
Antonio, Jose S. 75 92 90 68 65 64 68 60 73.75
223. Aonuevo, Ramos B. 71 87 78 81 64 63 74 76 72.7
224. Aquino, S. Rey A. 67 77 57 78 69 70 69 80 67.7
225. Arteche, Filomeno D. 78 83 50 89 76 77 70 70 70.8
MRP-
226.
Arribas, Isaac M. 75 78 70 81 73 70 67 78 72.2
MRP-
227.
Azucena, Ceferino D. 72 67 78 89 72 67 77 65 73.95
228. Atienza, Ricardo 72 87 70 79 66 55 75 75 70.85
229. Balacuit, Camilo N. 75 78 89 75 70 54 66 75 73.3
MRP-
230.
Baclig, Cayetano S. 77 84 83 80 69 70 61 65 73
231. Balcita, Oscar C. 75 77 79 90 64 60 67 50 70.65
232. Barilea, Dominador Z. 71 67 82 77 64 61 65 80 70.5
MRP-
233.
Banta, Jose Y. 75 80 77 81 75 63 71 75 73.95
MRP-
234.
Barrientos, Ambrosio
D.
76 70 67 80 67 65 70 81 70.7
235. Batucan, Jose M. 66 76 78 88 62 76 67 78 71.2
236. Bautista, Atilano C. 70 82 84 85 58 61 71 62 71.25
237. Bautista, Celso J. 71 68 63 87 80 67 80 70 72.75
238. Belderon, Jose 76 81 76 92 70 66 67 62 72.65
MRP-
239.
Belo, Victor B. 76 77 64 73 75 71 76 76 72.85
MRP-
240.
Bejec, Conceso D. 79 80 73 82 63 77 75 50 73.15
MRP-
241.
Beltran, Gervasio M. 72 75 81 73 75 57 75 80 73.95
MRP-
242.
Benaojan, Robustiano
O.
74 84 77 84 75 63 68 62 72.85
MRP-
243.
Beria, Roger C. 70 80 79 79 68 72 64 78 71.85
MRP- Bihis, Marcelo M. 75 86 65 92 64 64 84 75 73.45
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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244.
MRP-
245.
Binaoro, Vicente M. 73 69 78 83 73 59 70 82 72.75
MRP-
246.
Bobila, Rosalio B. 76 86 76 83 68 59 71 78 73.05
247. Buenafe, Avelina R. 78 80 75 75 70 55 72 80 72.75
248. Bueno, Anastacio F. 73 78 71 78 71 67 71 60 71.15
249. Borres, Maximino L. 67 85 62 91 72 63 76 80 70.9
MRP-
250.
Cabegin, Cesar V. 72 71 76 75 74 70 71 60 72.2
MRP-
251.
Cabello, Melecio F. 72 78 78 89 58 70 67 71 70.5
MRP-
252.
Cabrera, Irineo M. 79 88 53 91 71 85 75 76 73.3
253. Cabreros, Paulino N. 71 79 83 84 60 62 71 50 70.85
254. Calayag, Florentino R. 69 79 66 88 69 75 68 76 70.6
MRP-
255.
Calzada, Cesar de la 76 72 80 67 62 71 66 62 70.85
256. Canabal, Isabel 70 82 81 77 78 51 75 75 73.7
MRP-
257.
Cabugao, Pablo N. 76 87 69 80 58 64 78 75 71.8
258. Calagi, Mateo C. 73 93 71 87 70 66 69 62 71.8
259. Canda, Benjamin S. 72 71 77 90 62 75 66 82 71.95
260. Cantoria, Eulogio 71 80 71 89 70 55 72 75 71
261. Capacio, Jr., Conrado 67 78 71 90 65 75 72 60 70.65
262. Capitulo, Alejandro P. 75 70 53 87 78 63 76 91 71.2
MRP-
263.
Calupitan, Jr., Alfredo 75 93 81 76 64 75 68 56 73.15
MRP-
264.
Caluya, Arsenio V. 75 86 70 87 77 52 77 82 73.9
MRP-
265.
Campanilla, Mariano B. 80 75 78 77 73 71 63 76 73.65
MRP-
266.
Campos, Juan A. 66 85 83 84 67 61 80 57 73.25
267. Cardoso, Angelita G. 78 71 73 76 79 56 69 60 71.8
268. Cartagena, Herminio R. 71 72 65 89 64 73 80 70 71.65
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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MRP-
269.
Castro, Daniel T. 65 75 77 76 85 60 75 69 73.15
270. Cauntay, Gaudencio V. 70 78 72 73 77 69 64 80 71.2
271. Castro, Pedro L. de 70 68 69 87 76 75 72 70 73.35
272. Cerio, Juan A. 75 82 75 86 60 54 76 75 71.75
273. Colorado, Alfonso R. 68 75 80 74 77 66 67 80 72.6
274. Chavez, Doroteo M. 73 65 79 84 73 69 66 84 73.1
275. Chavez, Honorato A. 77 76 79 86 74 53 71 75 73.65
MRP-
276.
Cobangbang, Orlando
B.
69 81 74 82 76 61 78 80 73.85
277. Cortez, Armando R. 78 60 88 86 60 66 69 64 73.1
278. Crisostomo, Jesus L. 76 87 74 76 62 55 76 66 71.45
MRP-
279.
Cornejo, Crisanto R. 68 87 78 86 79 50 80 60 73.7
MRP-
280.
Cruz, Raymundo 75 81 79 85 72 57 68 75 72.95
MRP-
281.
Cunanan, Jose C. 78 92 63 83 76 72 68 65 72.4
282. Cunanan, Salvador F. 70 82 64 92 67 75 73 76 71.45
283. Cimafranca, Agustin B. 71 76 76 80 70 71 75 71 73.35
284. Crisol, Getulio R. 70 91 78 85 68 55 71 50 70.8
MRP-
285.
Dusi, Felicisimo R. 76 82 69 82 66 62 80 71 72.85
MRP-
286.
Datu, Alfredo J. 70 75 72 86 80 55 68 79 71.5
287. Dacuma, Luis B. 71 67 87 83 71 50 65 70 71.25
MRP-
288.
Degamo, Pedro R. 73 80 82 74 80 67 67 57 73.65
289. Delgado, Vicente N. 70 84 82 84 77 52 73 50 72.65
MRP-
290.
Diolazo, Ernesto A. 75 83 86 73 54 54 75 75 72.25
291. Dionisio, Jr., Guillermo 73 84 64 89 71 78 75 66 72.8
MRP-
292.
Dichoso, Alberto M. 71 77 71 81 69 75 80 70 73.65
MRP-
293.
Dipasupil, Claudio R. 70 76 82 73 79 70 72 56 73.9
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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MRP-
294.
Delgado, Abner 75 84 63 67 64 60 70 72 68.35
MRP-
295.
Domingo, Dominador
T.
70 69 81 82 68 63 71 75 72.2
296. Ducusin, Agapito B. 70 78 53 88 75 77 62 76 68.05
MRP-
297.
Duque, Antonio S. 75 77 78 86 76 72 64 75 73.9
298. Duque, Castulo 75 80 73 83 66 67 65 66 70.65
299. Ebbah, Percival B. 70 80 85 76 66 63 76 75 73.95
300. Edisa, Sulpicio 65 77 75 89 75 62 75 65 72
301. Edradan, Rosa C. 70 75 84 84 71 59 69 86 73.4
MRP-
302.
Enage, Jacinto N. 66 70 88 93 72 67 65 75 73.2
MRP-
303.
Encarnacion, Alfonso B. 75 86 73 81 63 77 69 75 72.65
304. Encarnacion, Cesar 65 78 58 68 66 64 75 78 67.1
305. Estoista, Agustin A. 78 76 74 86 58 67 70 76 71.7
MRP-
306.
Fabros, Jose B. 66 75 80 82 80 71 67 70 73.05
MRP-
307.
Fajardo, Balbino P. 77 69 82 83 65 60 75 75 73.9
308. Fajardo, Genaro P. 70 79 77 79 79 50 73 75 72.5
309. Evangelista, Felicidad P. 75 75 72 87 63 63 77 70 72.15
310. Familara, Raymundo Z. 68 75 87 83 64 65 68 65 71.85
311. Farias, Dionisio 70 78 89 66 65 75 70 50 72.75
312. Favila, Hilario B. 71 84 74 70 75 67 73 59 72.2
MRP-
313.
Feliciano, Alberto I. 71 69 70 85 69 81 72 70 72.25
MRP-
314.
Fernando, Lope F. 73 77 86 79 70 76 64 50 73
MRP-
315.
Flores, Dionisio S. 78 72 77 83 67 60 68 73 72.05
MRP-
316.
Fortich, Benjamin B. 70 82 70 70 78 65 64 75 70.35
MRP-
317.
Fuente, Jose S. de la 76 88 72 74 60 71 79 79 73.55
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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318. Fohmantes, Nazario S. 72 79 71 77 68 61 76 60 70.9
MRP-
319.
Fuggan, Lorenzo B. 76 81 74 69 71 71 73 60 72.85
320. Gabuya, Jesus S. 70 83 82 83 70 63 75 65 73.75
321. Galang, Victor N. 69 83 84 76 70 57 71 60 71.95
322. Gaerlan, Manuel L. 73 87 77 90 67 61 72 75 73.15
323. Galem, Nestor R. 72 79 86 78 60 61 75 70 73.05
324. Gallardo, Jose Pe B. 75 88 75 75 63 70 70 65 71.85
MRP-
325.
Gallos, Cirilo B. 70 78 84 91 80 51 65 70 72.85
326. Galindo, Eulalio D. 70 89 87 65 78 71 62 62 73.4
327. Galman, Patrocinio G. 72 72 80 85 71 56 70 53 71.15
328. Gamalinda, Carlos S. 76 79 81 86 67 63 69 55 72.55
329. Gamboa, Antonio G. 71 67 70 72 76 60 75 68 70.95
330. Gannod, Jose A. 69 80 75 81 68 62 73 68 71.25
MRP-
331.
Garcia, Matias N. 67 78 74 90 79 59 76 65 72.8
MRP-
332.
Ganete, Carmelo 75 87 77 82 74 57 68 81 73.3
333. Gilbang, Gaudioso R. 75 67 80 82 67 57 64 70 70.5
334. Gofredo, Claro C. 68 78 72 86 78 52 70 76 70.9
335. Gomez, Jose S. 71 76 71 81 76 63 69 62 70.85
MRP-
336.
Gosiaoco, Lorenzo V. 68 93 85 78 64 69 70 54 72.35
MRP-
337.
Gonzales, Rafael C. 77 75 71 89 55 70 70 60 70.05
MRP-
338.
Gracia, Eulalia L. de 66 68 90 84 77 59 69 65 73.3
339. Grageda, Jose M. A. 70 85 72 67 70 60 73 73 70.75
340. Guzman, Juan de 75 86 69 84 64 79 75 76 73.6
MRP-
341.
Guzman, Mateo de 76 79 79 73 72 69 68 80 73.9
342. Guzman, Salvador B. 71 61 74 72 61 66 78 75 70.75
343. Guzman, Salvador T. de 75 84 64 81 74 61 78 58 71.75
344. Habelito, Geronimo E. 71 76 71 87 73 60 67 55 69.65
LEGAL PROFESSION: FULL TEXT CASES & LAWS

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345. Hedriana, Naterno G. 75 68 84 76 66 58 76 60 72.9
346. Hernandez, Quintin B. 67 75 72 81 72 72 66 76 70.6
1952
347. Homeres, Agustin R. 73 84 65 86 70 77 63 76 70.7
348. Ines, Leonilo F. 65 88 71 88 77 73 61 70 70.55
349. Jamer, Alipio S. 68 75 83 89 80 61 65 50 72
MRP-
350.
Ibasco, Jr., Emiliano M. 75 65 68 85 76 70 83 54 73.8
MRP-
351.
Jardinico, Jr., Emilio 73 86 72 78 82 67 67 64 72.8
MRP-
352.
Jaen, Justiniano F. 76 75 78 84 71 66 70 77 73.85
353. Jaring, Antonio S. 72 77 79 70 72 57 71 50 70.75
MRP-
354.
Javier, Aquilino M. 75 84 79 78 77 61 66 66 73.05
355. Jomuad, Francisco 75 75 72 88 78 58 76 43 72.4
MRP-
356.
Jose, Nestor L. 78 61 64 73 68 76 64 80 69.7
357. La Q, Jose M. 75 71 75 72 70 67 81 59 73.5
358. Leon, Brigido C. de 67 75 78 91 78 51 72 80 72.55
359. Leones, Constante B. 68 81 79 84 73 60 77 60 73
360. Liboro, Horacio T. 72 69 80 87 73 62 70 61 72.4
361. Llanera, Cesar L. 77 81 80 78 64 59 75 63 73
362. Lomontod, Jose P. 75 76 69 70 73 76 74 75 73.2
363. Luna, Lucito 70 75 69 83 59 53 74 75 68.4
MRP-
364.
Luz, Lauro L. 76 90 78 88 64 58 75 77 73.95
MRP-
365.
Macasaet, Tomas S. 73 81 72 83 66 75 72 70 72.5
366. Magbiray, Godofredo
V.
80 67 84 76 70 62 65 68 73.05
367. Majarais, Rodolfo P. 70 62 64 82 88 75 71 79 72.85
MRP-
368.
Makabenta, Eduardo 75 90 77 83 59 71 72 78 73.3
MRP-
369.
Malapit, Justiniano S. 74 83 74 89 58 60 72 76 71.1
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370. Maloles, Iluminado M. 70 87 73 76 77 50 76 76 72.3
371. Maniquis, Daniel R. 75 80 73 91 69 71 65 70 72.1
372. Maraa, Arsenio 65 79 60 72 73 51 75 86 67.9
373. Marasigan, Napoleon 75 71 83 75 69 62 69 70 72.75
MRP-
374.
Marco, Jaime P. 75 67 74 76 64 75 75 57 71.9
MRP-
375.
Martir, Osmundo P. 70 86 76 78 72 71 75 53 72.95
MRP-
376.
Masancay, Amando E. 73 87 75 77 72 50 78 80 73.2
MRP-
377.
Mati-ong, Ignacio T. 62 87 72 79 73 76 69 77 71.3
378. Mara, Guillermo L. 70 78 78 89 75 67 66 65 72.35
MRP-
379.
Mercado, Felipe A. 73 77 82 82 78 52 69 85 73.9
MRP-
380.
Miculob, Eugenio P. 70 82 73 86 77 52 79 65 72.8
381. Mison, Rafael M. Jr., 79 78 73 75 71 68 69 53 71.95
MRP-
382.
Monponbanua,
Antonio D.
79 79 68 88 64 78 69 83 73.1
MRP-
383.
Montero, Leodegario C. 72 89 69 89 70 68 70 75 72.15
384. Morada, Servillano S. 75 76 67 71 65 66 75 76 70.9
385. Mocorro, Generoso 78 84 78 84 60 73 68 70 73
MRP-
386.
Mosquera, Estanislao L. 75 78 75 85 72 55 77 66 73.15
387. Motus, Rodentor P. 80 78 70 94 72 75 70 57 73.75
388. Macario, Pedro R. 70 67 74 86 78 63 72 66 72.15
MRP-
389.
Nadela, Geredion T. 72 64 64 81 73 50 75 75 69.15
MRP-
390.
Nazareno, Romeo P. 67 70 71 76 76 79 75 57 72.05
391. Nieto, Benedicto S. 69 79 77 77 72 62 76 76 72.9
MRP-
392.
Noguera, Raymundo 71 86 81 80 73 56 72 70 73.15
MRP- Nodado, Domiciano R. 70 70 69 73 57 37 64 72 63.6
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393.
394. Nono, Pacifico G. 67 77 78 67 75 59 71 76 71.35
MRP-
395.
Nuval, Manuel R. 78 72 67 90 72 68 78 67 73.65
396. Ocampo, Augusto 75 90 77 72 69 55 65 67 60.7
397. Oliveros, Amado A. 72 75 68 72 84 50 75 79 71.9
398. Opia, Jr., Pedro 76 77 74 67 73 66 68 70 71.85
MRP-
399.
Olaviar, Jose O. 70 62 85 81 74 50 68 79 71.8
MRP-
400.
Olandesca, Per O. 70 91 76 87 72 66 70 79 73.45
401. Orden, Apolonio J. 72 65 84 86 66 50 72 68 71.45
402. Ortiz, Melencio T. 71 75 78 81 66 67 70 78 72.1
MRP-
403.
Pablo, Fedelino S. 72 64 76 86 72 61 76 75 72.95
404. Pacifico, Vicente V. 76 79 69 80 76 52 72 80 71.95
MRP-
405.
Paderna, Perfecto D. 75 69 72 75 78 58 75 70 72.6
406. Padlan, Crispin M. 71 66 76 79 68 67 74 66 71.65
407. Padilla, Jose C. 70 65 67 82 78 75 78 75 73.3
408. Padilla, Jr., Estanislao E. 71 88 78 86 59 75 78 50 72.95
MRP-
409.
Palma, Bartolome 67 81 80 82 71 75 69 75 73.25
MRP-
410.
Papa, Angel A. 75 72 85 85 77 59 63 71 73.45
MRP-
411.
Parayno, Mario V. 71 88 74 89 69 66 76 73 73.65
412. Paria, Santos L. 70 87 85 77 64 67 63 76 71.85
MRP-
413.
Pasion, Anastacio 63 80 68 81 82 79 76 58 72.55
414. Pastrana, Rizal R. 69 76 71 76 68 63 77 83 71.65
MRP-
415.
Paulin, Jose O. 70 66 80 87 75 50 65 80 70.9
MRP-
416.
Pelaez, Jr., Vicente C. 79 87 73 83 69 71 68 65 73.2
417. Pea, Jesus 75 75 75 62 75 70 60 66 70.4
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418. Perez, Toribio R. 71 64 81 92 69 58 67 70 71.25
419. Pestao, Melquiades 77 81 74 87 59 68 76 75 73.2
MRP-
420.
Pido, Serafin C. 77 81 72 82 69 71 60 75 71.15
421. Pinlac, Filemon 67 76 74 86 65 79 65 72 70.55
422. Poblete, Celso B. 72 79 82 76 66 64 74 50 72.15
MRP-
423.
Piza, Luz 68 70 75 87 74 67 64 75 70.8
424. Puzon, Eduardo S. 72 80 81 69 72 53 67 70 71.05
425. Quetulio, Josefina D. 75 90 60 93 64 78 76 83 72.9
MRP-
426.
Quipanes, Melchor V. 69 88 79 82 65 62 71 66 71.55
MRP-
427.
Quietson, Bayani R. 73 75 76 77 70 81 71 53 72.85
428. Racho, Macario D. 68 75 81 82 78 53 66 54 70.55
429. Ramirez, Sabas P. 71 80 73 87 62 62 75 80 71.65
MRP-
430.
Raffian, Jose A. 80 83 79 79 62 72 68 65 73.25
MRP-
431.
Ramos, Patricio S. 75 87 76 75 72 72 61 75 72.25
MRP-
432.
Ramos-Balmori,
Manuela
78 84 76 90 48 75 80 65 73.45
MRP-
433.
Raro, Celso 75 81 76 67 75 77 55 77 71.4
MRP-
434.
Rayos, Victor S. 75 86 79 91 71 67 67 70 73.9
435. Revilla, Mariano S. 75 78 81 90 70 54 69 81 73.35
436. Reyes, Abdon L. 72 64 81 78 76 73 69 53 72.85
437. Reyes, Domingo B. 72 87 78 83 72 75 62 70 72.7
438. Reyes, Francisco M. 75 85 84 68 75 71 68 50 73.9
439. Reyes, Lozano M. 80 57 78 79 78 65 64 79 73.35
MRP-
440.
Reyes, Oscar R. 75 75 82 82 76 64 68 60 73.65
441. Rigonan, Cesar V. 71 85 65 86 75 70 76 70 72.7
442. Rivera, Honorio 71 56 70 90 71 65 75 71 71.2
MRP- Rivero, Buenaventura 72 88 72 94 68 73 66 80 72.6
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443. A.
MRP-
444.
Robles, Enrique 75 77 75 77 82 64 69 70 73.7
445. Rodriguez, Orestes
Arellano
76 75 76 63 69 77 65 78 72.25
446. Roldan, Jose V. 67 80 79 83 73 71 75 70 73.9
447. Rosario, Adelaida R. del 80 75 65 70 68 72 80 70 73.15
448. Rosario, Restituto F. del 75 75 79 90 68 65 66 63 72.1
MRP-
449.
Sabelino, Conrado S. 71 81 69 75 77 71 75 70 72.95
450. San Juan, Damaso 77 86 72 89 59 76 65 72 71.6
451. Saiel, Felix L. 72 93 76 80 67 75 66 62 72.1
452. Samaniego, Jesus B. 75 80 76 72 60 67 68 70 70.6
MRP-
453.
Sandoval, Emmanuel
M.
75 83 70 83 77 67 77 60 73.95
MRP-
454.
Sanidad, Emmanuel Q. 71 75 81 90 62 64 76 68 72.95
455. Santiago, Jr., Cristobal 75 76 84 93 63 65 59 70 71.8
456. Santillan, Juanito Ll. 76 89 83 83 63 58 65 52 71.25
MRP-
457.
Santos, Rodolfo C. 75 75 78 82 73 76 66 70 73.7
MRP-
458.
Santos, Ruperto M. 67 54 69 76 63 64 71 60 66.75
MRP-
459.
Santos, Aquilino C. 72 71 73 79 73 79 71 85 73.8
MRP-
460.
Santos, Rufino A. 75 81 79 85 74 72 66 54 73.3
461. Suanding, Bantas 75 67 67 92 79 59 76 76 73.1
MRP-
462.
Sulit, Feliz M. 76 79 76 78 72 75 68 67 73.5
463. Songco, Felicisimo G. 70 68 82 84 60 69 76 65 73.35
464. Soriano, Aniceto S. 64 79 77 80 80 53 70 65 70.7
465. Suarez, Pablo D. 73 85 70 87 76 70 64 70 71.9
MRP-
466.
Sybico, Jesus L. 79 70 70 72 75 75 72 60 73.05
467. Tabaque, Benjamin R. 69 68 77 79 74 68 72 60 71.85
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MRP-
468.
Tan Kiang, Clarita 81 79 72 80 62 75 73 80 73.95
MRP-
469.
Tando, Amado T. 71 82 78 83 71 61 71 60 72
470. Tasico, Severo E. 71 69 75 89 70 75 67 63 71.65
471. Tiburcio, Ismael P. 73 82 72 93 76 57 68 54 71.15
MRP-
472.
Tiongson, Federico T. 70 70 76 84 77 75 75 50 73.45
MRP-
473.
Tolentino, Jesus C. 75 89 63 84 85 73 73 50 73.4
474. Torrijas, Alfredo A. 77 66 67 83 68 75 71 63 71.3
MRP-
475.
Tobias, Artemio M. 69 58 74 81 71 55 65 57 67.55
MRP-
476.
Trillana, Jr., Apolonio 76 86 76 86 70 68 75 50 73.8
MRP-
477.
Trinidad, Manuel O. 66 91 83 75 63 66 67 65 70.8
478. Trinidad, Pedro O. 66 78 78 85 78 51 64 75 70.8
MRP-
479.
Udarbe, Flavio J. 80 82 77 82 67 56 68 75 72.6
480. Umali, Osmundo C. 68 75 81 80 71 69 68 60 71.7
481. Umayam, Juanito C. 77 75 87 85 56 56 66 60 71
MRP-
482.
Usita, Gelacio U. 75 72 75 74 73 76 71 70 73.55
483. Valino, Francisco M. 72 81 80 84 62 78 71 75 73.7
484. Varela, Dominador M. 67 75 81 86 72 57 81 70 73.85
485. Vega, Macairog L. de 78 62 79 87 70 70 71 65 73.8
MRP-
486.
Velasco, Emmanuel D. 71 80 74 85 60 66 76 76 71.85
487. Velez, Maria E. 73 70 89 80 56 50 72 67 71.05
MRP-
488.
Venal, Artemio V. 78 91 58 67 76 55 75 73 73.65
489. Venus, Conrado B. 69 81 74 85 62 66 72 77 77.05
MRP-
490.
Verzosa, Federico B. 75 79 72 88 76 68 74 59 73.7
MRP- Villafuerte, Eduardo V. 75 83 70 76 64 64 75 65 71.2
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491.
MRP-
492.
Villanueva, Cecilio C. 75 85 79 88 66 77 67 70 73.95
493. Villar, Custodio R. 73 69 70 88 76 66 69 50 70.75
MRP-
494.
Villaseor, Leonidas F. 80 85 67 77 62 75 76 73 73.15
495. Viterbo, Jose H. 80 77 65 93 70 65 65 65 70.65
496. Yaranon, Pedro 70 77 76 85 72 50 75 75 71.85
MRP-
497.
Yasay, Mariano R. 75 75 72 76 63 77 70 60 71.1
MRP-
498.
Ygay, Venancio M. 73 80 83 84 62 59 72 77 72.65
499. Yulo, Jr., Teodoro 73 82 78 75 60 81 75 75 73.95
500. Zamora, Alberto 70 65 76 79 62 77 69 82 71.3
501. Rigonan, Felipe C. 70 79 69 89 76 62 71 64 71.2
A list of those who petitioned for the consolidation of their grades in subjects passed in
previous examinations, showing the years in which they took the examinations together
with their grades and averages, and those who had filed motions for reconsideration
which were denied, indicated by the initials MRD, follows:
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 72
Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.
Av.
1. Amao, Sulpicio M.
1946 68 67 76 76 73 73 49 50 66.5
1950 59 80 67 77 62 80 71 57 67.4
2. Baldo, Olegario Ga.
1951 65 76 58 55 59 63 75 72 64.9
1952 65 68 75 84 72 59 73 57 69.75
1953 57 74 68 68 76 52 71 76 66.7
3. Blanco, Jose B.
MRD-1949 75 75 70 75 77 76 60 90 72.15
1951 64 71 58 65 68 70 75 71 66.95
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4. Condeno, Mateo
1950 71 80 62 75 75 81 55 92 69.3
1951 70 60 61 65 77 64 67 81 67.85
5. Ducusin, Agapito B.
MRD-1949 69 70 76 73 76 71 55 60 68.65
1950 60 71 55 67 67 75 56 89 68.1
6. Garcia, Manuel N.
MRD-1949 60 70 82 79 70 69 60 80 69.25
1950 57 65 51 69 54 85 56 84 60.3
7. Luna, Lucito A.
1946 63 53 69 76 75 76 57 69 66.55
1952 70 75 69 83 59 53 74 75 68.4
8. Maraa, Arsenio s.
1949 72 68 68 75 75 72 60 75 69.35
1952 65 79 60 72 73 51 75 86 67.9
9. Montano, Manuel M.
1951 61 60 58 60 70 63 75 64 64.8
1952 70 77 65 79 66 52 70 50 66.4
1953 78 64 66 68 81 50 71 78 70.65
10. Pea, Jesus S.
1950 25 75 45 75 45 52 46 71 46.2
1951 70 77 65 79 66 52 70 50 66.4
1952 75 75 75 62 75 70 60 66 70.4
11. Placido, Sr., Isidro
1950 68 78 70 75 69 70 58 69 67.75
1951 65 62 75 60 73 57 75 71 66.8
12. Rementizo, Filemon S.
1949 65 75 72 75 60 75 55 85 66.65
1951 68 57 48 60 91 66 55 75 64.05
1952 68 53 68 67 58 56 75 64 65.7
13. Amao, Sulpicio M.
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1952 67 80 51 69 69 77 73 53 66.35
1953 65 67 78 74 75 62 69 80 70.9
14. Rodulfa, Juan T.
1951 67 60 70 65 68 56 75 66 67.75
1952 70 71 67 78 67 75 71 70 70.1
15. Sanchez, Juan J.
1948 39 69 82 75 76 72 55 50 63.5
MRD-1949 67 56 69 75 72 77 60 75 68
1951 70 59 55 60 68 57 78 67 65.8
16. Santos, Constantino
1952 62 76 54 82 72 77 66 65 66.65
1953 73 71 70 65 78 64 65 78 70.4
17. Santos, Salvador H.
1951 60 64 55 70 68 52 70 75 62.85
1952 75 64 70 81 76 55 61 75 69.1
1953 70 71 79 65 72 54 66 80 70
18. Sevilla, Macario C.
MRD-1948 50 64 76 66 66 69 60 52 63.1
MRD-1949 47 66 78 64 71 86 65 85 68
1950 35 65 40 75 63 57 27 49 45
MRD-1951 68 59 72 55 69 65 75 75 69.3
1953 70 73 74 70 81 56 69 71 71.05
Finally, with regards to the examinations of 1953, while some candidates--85 in all--presented
motions for reconsideration of their grades, others invoked the provisions of Republic Act No.
972. A list of those candidates separating those who filed mere motions for reconsideration
(56) from those who invoked the aforesaid Republic act, is as follows:
1953 PETITIONERS FOR RECONSIDERATION
Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.
Av.
1. Acenas, Calixto R. 73 70 68 62 82 51 67 77 73.45
2. Alcantara, Pedro N. 67 70 75 85 87 54 71 80 72.8
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3. Alejandro, Exequiel 67 72 71 75 80 76 75 77 73.4
4. Andres, Gregorio M. 70 73 86 58 79 50 71 78 72.7
5. Arnaiz, Antonio E. 66 80 76 58 79 68 77 81 73.4
6. Asis, Floriano U. de 66 78 75 81 77 55 73 69 71.25
7. Bacaiso, Celestino M. 71 65 76 68 76 50 75 70 70.95
8. Bala, Florencio F. 64 82 47 70 82 58 75 82 67
9. Baldo, Olegario A. 57 74 68 68 76 52 71 76 66.7
10. Barrios, Benjamin O. 65 71 76 75 80 62 83 73 73.95
11. Buhay, Eduardo L. 73 76 71 91 76 61 74 78 73.35
12. Burgos, Dominador C. 72 80 89 61 66 37 69 68 70.05
13. Cario, Eldo J. 79 81 60 75 74 74 76 74 73
14. Casar, Dimapuro 67 73 84 79 77 61 71 74 73.35
15. Castaeda, Gregorio 70 73 80 71 75 70 73 78 73.95
16. Estrellado, Benjamin R. 67 79 64 73 82 62 71 74 70.2
17. Fabunan, Edilberto C. 70 72 68 69 77 60 76 74 71.1
18. Feril, Domingo B. 75 71 84 65 70 60 65 70 71.6
19. Fernandez, Alejandro G. 65 75 87 80 81 63 61 80 72.8
20. Gapus, Rosita S. (Miss) 76 80 86 77 64 74 66 69 73.9
21. Garcia, Rafael B. 70 86 70 75 73 63 73 75 71.65
22. Gracia, Miguel L. de 73 68 75 59 80 51 72 71 71
23. Gungon, Armando G. 68 76 76 84 77 57 77 83 73.6
24. Gutierrez, Antonio S. 68 77 66 70 72 59 71 74 69.1
25. Ilejay, Abraham I. 77 70 76 77 81 62 70 68 73.7
26. Leon, Benjamin La. De 66 66 75 70 77 55 71 82 70.35
27. Lugtu, Felipe L. 62 70 78 65 78 56 69 81 69.9
28. Lukman, Abdul-Hamid 76 64 67 69 73 59 73 75 70.45
29. Maloles, Jr., Benjamin G. 77 76 68 68 71 51 75 78 70.85
30. Maloles, Julius G. 77 71 60 71 79 62 68 72 69.75
31. Mandi, Santiago P. 65 76 70 61 79 68 75 72 71.1
32. Margete, Rufino C. 70 76 66 75 85 73 71 75 72.75
33. Melocoton, Nestorio B. 70 81 73 78 83 52 72 75 72.35
34. Molina, Manuel C. 75 78 70 61 75 63 66 85 70.95
35. Muoz, Mariano A. 75 80 86 67 74 57 68 76 73.75
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36. Navarro, Buenaventura
M.
80 75 65 75 83 55 73 79 73
37. Nodado, Domiciano R. 60 67 67 50 70 50 56 75 61.7
38. Papas, Sisenando B. 65 62 71 61 70 56 66 67 66
39. Pagulayan-Sy, Fernando 63 75 71 62 83 67 70 72 70.4
40. Padula, Benjamin C. 70 77 54 62 74 78 75 68 69.05
41. Pasno, Enrique M. 78 72 66 54 71 58 72 78 69.85
42. Pea, Jr., Narciso 70 95 81 78 67 66 67 73 72.55
43. Peralta, Rodolfo P. 70 70 52 81 68 63 59 69 63.7
44. Pigar, Leopoldo R. 76 75 78 61 72 72 71 79 73.75
45. Publico, Paciano L. 68 69 76 76 70 59 74 67 70.6
46. Radaza, Leovigildo 75 78 76 61 77 50 71 86 72.2
47. Ramos, Bernardo M. 64 62 75 93 81 52 66 80 70.1
48. Rabaino, Andres D. 68 72 75 73 78 55 69 76 70.65
49. Ravanera, Oscar N. 70 77 80 71 82 62 69 78 73.6
50. Renovilla, Jose M. 65 75 80 68 79 52 62 78 69.5
51. Sabaot, Solomon B. 69 73 80 69 82 69 69 79 73.85
52. Sumaway, Ricardo S. 66 76 69 76 74 56 72 68 69.1
53. Torrefiel, Sofronio O. 70 77 74 75 73 50 68 72 69.55
54. Vera, Federico V. de 60 61 47 77 69 50 67 77 60.9
55. Viray, Venancio Bustos 65 67 67 52 73 64 71 65 67.15
56. Ylaya, Angela P. (Miss) 63 70 56 75 68 54 70 77 64.5
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.
Av.
1. Ala, Narciso 70 71 73 59 73 74 81 77 73.5
2. Alcantara, Pedro N. 67 70 75 85 87 54 71 80 72.8
3. Arellano, Antonio L. 74 66 73 60 78 63 78 72 72.9
4. Buhay, Eduardo L. 73 76 71 91 76 61 74 78 73.35
5. Calautit, Celestino R. 71 78 84 75 75 61 68 72 73.2
6. Casuncad, Sulvio P. 61 73 82 69 81 68 71 84 73.05
7. Enriquez, Pelagio y 84 69 76 75 82 50 58 79 72.05
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Concepcion
8. Estonina, Severino 80 74 64 89 81 56 68 82 72.4
9. Fernandez, Alejandro Q. 65 75 87 80 81 63 61 80 72.8
10. Fernandez, Luis N. 70 75 77 75 78 67 72 73 73.35
11. Figueroa, Alfredo A. 70 75 87 78 75 50 68 68 72.3
12. Formilleza, Pedro 65 75 89 68 83 51 70 75 73.25
13. Garcia, Manuel M. 69 68 83 83 73 62 62 70 71
14. Grospe, Vicente E. 68 75 78 66 79 61 69 82 71.6
15. Galema, Nestor R. (1952) 72 79 86 78 60 61 75 70 73.05
16. Jacobo, Rafael F. 76 76 75 74 76 50 72 76 72.3
17. Macalindong, Reinerio L. 67 77 79 79 74 72 68 77 72.75
18. Mangubat, Antonio M. 70 70 78 61 80 74 62 70 71.45
19. Montano, Manuel M. 78 64 66 68 81 50 71 78 70.65
20. Plomantes, Marcos 73 67 74 58 68 70 76 71 71.6
21. Ramos, Eugenio R. 70 80 76 67 72 69 72 79 72.6
22. Reyes, Juan R. 71 73 77 76 81 59 72 74 73.2
23. Reyes, Santiago R. 65 78 83 60 76 75 70 70 72.9
24. Rivera, Eulogio J. 65 67 78 74 75 62 69 80 70.9
25. Santos, Constantino P. 73 71 70 65 78 64 65 78 70.4
26. Santos, Salvador H. 70 71 79 65 72 54 66 80 70
27. Sevilla, Macario C. 70 73 74 70 81 56 69 71 71.05
28. Villavicencio, Jose A. 78 75 70 67 69 77 64 77 73.2
29. Viray, Ruperto G. 76 73 76 73 80 58 68 83 73.25
There are the unsuccessful candidates totaling 604 directly affected by this resolution. Adding
490 candidates who have not presented any petition, they reach a total of 1,094.
The Enactment of Republic Act No. 972
As will be observed from Annex I, this Court reduced to 72 per cent the passing general average
in the bar examination of august and November of 1946; 69 per cent in 1947; 70 per cent in
1948; 74 per cent in 1949; maintaining the prescribed 75 per cent since 1950, but raising to 75
per cent those who obtained 74 per cent since 1950. This caused the introduction in 1951, in
the Senate of the Philippines of Bill No. 12 which was intended to amend Sections 5, 9, 12, 14
and 16 of Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, concerning the admission of attorneys-at-law to the
practice of the profession. The amendments embrace many interesting matters, but those
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referring to sections 14 and 16 immediately concern us. The proposed amendment is as
follows:
SEC. 14. Passing average. In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed
the examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 70 per cent
without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the average, the
foregoing subjects shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 20 per cent;
Land Registration and Mortgages, 5 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law,
10 per cent; Political Law, 10 per cent; International Law, 5 per cent; Remedial Law, 20
per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent; Social Legislation, 5 per cent;
Taxation, 5 per cent. Unsuccessful candidates shall not be required to take another
examination in any subject in which they have obtained a rating of 70 per cent or higher
and such rating shall be taken into account in determining their general average in any
subsequent examinations: Provided, however, That if the candidate fails to get a general
average of 70 per cent in his third examination, he shall lose the benefit of having
already passed some subjects and shall be required to the examination in all the
subjects.
SEC. 16. Admission and oath of successful applicants. Any applicant who has obtained
a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without falling below 50 per cent in any
examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, or who has been otherwise found to be
entitled to admission to the bar, shall be allowed to take and subscribe before the
Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office. (Arts. 4 and 5, 8, No. 12).
With the bill was an Explanatory Note, the portion pertinent to the matter before us being:
It seems to be unfair that unsuccessful candidates at bar examinations should be
compelled to repeat even those subjects which they have previously passed. This is not
the case in any other government examination. The Rules of Court have therefore been
amended in this measure to give a candidate due credit for any subject which he has
previously passed with a rating of 75 per cent or higher."
Senate Bill No. 12 having been approved by Congress on May 3, 1951, the President requested
the comments of this Tribunal before acting on the same. The comment was signed by seven
Justices while three chose to refrain from making any and one took no part. With regards to the
matter that interests us, the Court said:
The next amendment is of section 14 of Rule 127. One part of this amendment provides
that if a bar candidate obtains 70 per cent or higher in any subject, although failing to
pass the examination, he need not be examined in said subject in his next examination.
This is a sort of passing the Bar Examination on the installment plan, one or two or three
subjects at a time. The trouble with this proposed system is that although it makes it
easier and more convenient for the candidate because he may in an examination
prepare himself on only one or two subjects so as to insure passing them, by the time
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that he has passed the last required subjects, which may be several years away from the
time that he reviewed and passed the firs subjects, he shall have forgotten the
principles and theories contained in those subjects and remembers only those of the
one or two subjects that he had last reviewed and passed. This is highly possible
because there is nothing in the law which requires a candidate to continue taking the
Bar examinations every year in succession. The only condition imposed is that a
candidate, on this plan, must pass the examination in no more that three installments;
but there is no limitation as to the time or number of years intervening between each
examination taken. This would defeat the object and the requirements of the law and
the Court in admitting persons to the practice of law. When a person is so admitted, it is
to be presumed and presupposed that he possesses the knowledge and proficiency in
the law and the knowledge of all law subjects required in bar examinations, so as
presently to be able to practice the legal profession and adequately render the legal
service required by prospective clients. But this would not hold true of the candidates
who may have obtained a passing grade on any five subjects eight years ago, another
three subjects one year later, and the last two subjects the present year. We believe
that the present system of requiring a candidate to obtain a passing general average
with no grade in any subject below 50 per cent is more desirable and satisfactory. It
requires one to be all around, and prepared in all required legal subjects at the time of
admission to the practice of law.
x x x x x x x x x
We now come to the last amendment, that of section 16 of Rule 127. This amendment
provides that any application who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all
subjects without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after
the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath
of office. In other words, Bar candidates who obtained not less than 70 per cent in any
examination since the year 1946 without failing below 50 per cent in any subject,
despite their non-admission to the Bar by the Supreme Court because they failed to
obtain a passing general average in any of those years, will be admitted to the Bar. This
provision is not only prospective but retroactive in its effects.
We have already stated in our comment on the next preceding amendment that we are
not exactly in favor of reducing the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per
cent to govern even in the future. As to the validity of making such reduction
retroactive, we have serious legal doubts. We should not lose sight of the fact that after
every bar examinations, the Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not
only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general average grade, but
also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed.
The present amendment would have the effect of repudiating, reversing and revoking
the Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may
have obtained an average of 70 per cent or more but less than the general passing
average fixed for that year. It is clear that this question involves legal implications, and
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this phase of the amendment if finally enacted into law might have to go thru a legal
test. As one member of the Court remarked during the discussion, when a court renders
a decision or promulgate a resolution or order on the basis of and in accordance with a
certain law or rule then in force, the subsequent amendment or even repeal of said law
or rule may not affect the final decision, order, or resolution already promulgated, in the
sense of revoking or rendering it void and of no effect.
Another aspect of this question to be considered is the fact that members of the bar are
officers of the courts, including the Supreme Court. When a Bar candidate is admitted to
the Bar, the Supreme Court impliedly regards him as a person fit, competent and
qualified to be its officer. Conversely, when it refused and denied admission to the Bar
to a candidate who in any year since 1946 may have obtained a general average of 70
per cent but less than that required for that year in order to pass, the Supreme Court
equally and impliedly considered and declared that he was not prepared, ready,
competent and qualified to be its officer. The present amendment giving retroactivity to
the reduction of the passing general average runs counter to all these acts and
resolutions of the Supreme Court and practically and in effect says that a candidate not
accepted, and even rejected by the Court to be its officer because he was unprepared,
undeserving and unqualified, nevertheless and in spite of all, must be admitted and
allowed by this Court to serve as its officer. We repeat, that this is another important
aspect of the question to be carefully and seriously considered.
The President vetoed the bill on June 16, 1951, stating the following:
I am fully in accord with the avowed objection of the bill, namely, to elevate the
standard of the legal profession and maintain it on a high level. This is not achieved,
however, by admitting to practice precisely a special class who have failed in the bar
examination, Moreover, the bill contains provisions to which I find serious fundamental
objections.
Section 5 provides that any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent
in all subjects without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held
after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribed the
corresponding oath of office. This provision constitutes class legislation, benefiting as it
does specifically one group of persons, namely, the unsuccessful candidates in the 1946,
1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 bar examinations.
The same provision undertakes to revoke or set aside final resolutions of the Supreme
Court made in accordance with the law then in force. It should be noted that after every
bar examination the Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not only
admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general average but also
rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed. The
provision under consideration would have the effect of revoking the Supreme Court's
resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may have failed to obtain
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the passing average fixed for that year. Said provision also sets a bad precedent in that
the Government would be morally obliged to grant a similar privilege to those who have
failed in the examinations for admission to other professions such as medicine,
engineering, architecture and certified public accountancy.
Consequently, the bill was returned to the Congress of the Philippines, but it was not repassed
by 2/3 vote of each House as prescribed by section 20, article VI of the Constitution. Instead Bill
No. 371 was presented in the Senate. It reads as follows:
AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM 1946 UP TO AND
INCLUDING 1953
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
assembled:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court,
any bar candidate who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any bar
examinations after July 4, 1946 up to the August 1951 Bar examinations; 71 per cent in
the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in the 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the
1954 bar examinations; 74 per cent in 1955 bar examinations without a candidate
obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and
subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar; Provided,
however, That 75 per cent passing general average shall be restored in all succeeding
examinations; and Provided, finally, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact one-half
or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the next whole
number.
SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any bar
examination after July 4, 1945 shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or
subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing general
average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may
take.
SEC. 3. This bill shall take effect upon its approval.
With the following explanatory note:
This is a revised Bar bill to meet the objections of the President and to afford another
opportunity to those who feel themselves discriminated by the Supreme Court from
1946 to 1951 when those who would otherwise have passed the bar examination but
were arbitrarily not so considered by altering its previous decisions of the passing mark.
The Supreme Court has been altering the passing mark from 69 in 1947 to 74 in 1951. In
order to cure the apparent arbitrary fixing of passing grades and to give satisfaction to
all parties concerned, it is proposed in this bill a gradual increase in the general averages
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for passing the bar examinations as follows; For 1946 to 1951 bar examinations, 70 per
cent; for 1952 bar examination, 71 per cent; for 1953 bar examination, 72 per cent; for
1954 bar examination, 73 percent; and for 1955 bar examination, 74 per cent. Thus in
1956 the passing mark will be restored with the condition that the candidate shall not
obtain in any subject a grade of below 50 per cent. The reason for relaxing the standard
75 per cent passing grade, is the tremendous handicap which students during the years
immediately after the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the insufficiency of
reading materials and the inadequacy of the preparation of students who took up law
soon after the liberation. It is believed that by 1956 the preparation of our students as
well as the available reading materials will be under normal conditions, if not improved
from those years preceding the last world war.
In this will we eliminated altogether the idea of having our Supreme Court assumed the
supervision as well as the administration of the study of law which was objected to by
the President in the Bar Bill of 1951.
The President in vetoing the Bar Bill last year stated among his objections that the bill
would admit to the practice of law "a special class who failed in the bar examination".
He considered the bill a class legislation. This contention, however, is not, in good
conscience, correct because Congress is merely supplementing what the Supreme Court
have already established as precedent by making as low as 69 per cent the passing mark
of those who took the Bar examination in 1947. These bar candidates for who this bill
should be enacted, considered themselves as having passed the bar examination on the
strength of the established precedent of our Supreme Court and were fully aware of the
insurmountable difficulties and handicaps which they were unavoidably placed. We
believe that such precedent cannot or could not have been altered, constitutionally, by
the Supreme Court, without giving due consideration to the rights already accrued or
vested in the bar candidates who took the examination when the precedent was not yet
altered, or in effect, was still enforced and without being inconsistent with the principles
of their previous resolutions.
If this bill would be enacted, it shall be considered as a simple curative act or corrective
statute which Congress has the power to enact. The requirement of a "valid
classification" as against class legislation, is very expressed in the following American
Jurisprudence:
A valid classification must include all who naturally belong to the class, all who possess a
common disability, attribute, or classification, and there must be a "natural" and
substantial differentiation between those included in the class and those it leaves
untouched. When a class is accepted by the Court as "natural" it cannot be again split
and then have the dissevered factions of the original unit designated with different rules
established for each. (Fountain Park Co. vs. Rensier, 199 Ind. 95, N. E. 465 (1926).
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Another case penned by Justice Cardozo: "Time with its tides brings new conditions
which must be cared for by new laws. Sometimes the new conditions affect the
members of a class. If so, the correcting statute must apply to all alike. Sometimes the
condition affect only a few. If so, the correcting statute may be as narrow as the
mischief. The constitution does not prohibit special laws inflexibly and always. It permits
them when there are special evils with which the general laws are incompetent to cope.
The special public purpose will sustain the special form. . . . The problem in the last
analysis is one of legislative policy, with a wide margin of discretion conceded to the
lawmakers. Only in the case of plain abuse will there be revision by the court. (In
Williams vs. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 286 U. S. 36, 77 L. Ed. 1015, 53 Sup. Ct.
431). (1932)
This bill has all the earmarks of a corrective statute which always retroacts to the extent
of the care of correction only as in this case from 1946 when the Supreme Court first
deviated from the rule of 75 per cent in the Rules of Court.
For the foregoing purposes the approval of this bill is earnestly recommended.
(Sgd.) PABLO ANGELES DAVID
Senator
Without much debate, the revised bill was passed by Congress as above transcribed. The
President again asked the comments of this Court, which endorsed the following:
Respectfully returned to the Honorable, the Acting Executive Secretary, Manila, with the
information that, with respect to Senate Bill No. 371, the members of the Court are
taking the same views they expressed on Senate Bill No. 12 passed by Congress in May,
1951, contained in the first indorsement of the undersigned dated June 5, 1951, to the
Assistant Executive Secretary.
(Sgd.) RICARDO PARAS
The President allowed the period within which the bill should be signed to pass without vetoing
it, by virtue of which it became a law on June 21, 1953 (Sec. 20, Art. VI, Constitution) numbered
972 (many times erroneously cited as No. 974).
It may be mentioned in passing that 1953 was an election year, and that both the President and
the author of the Bill were candidates for re-election, together, however, they lost in the polls.


Separate Opinions
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LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:
The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this
Court, because lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to
determine admission thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The
power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should
be distinguished from the power to promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this
power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the Constitution to the
Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the
holding of examination, the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the
scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when a candidate has made or has
not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court.
I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond
the scope of the congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who
obtain a general average of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955
should be considered as having passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and
discretion judged in this Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different
years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is necessary to show that it is an
arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as
discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed
to have the privilege of a lower passing grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?
I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the
rule-making power of Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this
Court to admit members thereof, and because it is discriminatory.


PARAS, C.J., dissenting:
Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to
have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per
cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has
always been adhered to, with certain exception presently to be specified.
With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful
candidates included only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon
motion for reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to
73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations
of November, 1946 the list first released containing the names of successful candidates covered
only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion for
reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent
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by resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful
candidates those having a general average of 73 per cent or more but below 75 per cent were
included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been released, and on
motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were allowed
to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August,
1948, in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a
general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and
irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by
resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect made 69 per cent as the
passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being noticed
perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.
Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages
mostly ranged from 69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the
precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.
In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising
attorneys, presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued
lengthily pro or con, approved a bill providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing
general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after
July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of
Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo. In 1953, the Congress passed
another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference
that in the later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by
the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as
new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the
examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by
bar applicants, were eliminated. This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No.
972, by the President by merely not signing it within the required period; and in doing so the
President gave due respect to the will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to
repass the bill first vetoed by him.
Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent
in any examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar
examinations; 72 per cent in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations;
and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in
any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar candidate who
obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination after July 4, 1946, shall be
deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in
computing the passing in any subsequent examinations.
Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic
Act No. 972 and failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or
separate petitions, praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of
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said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein.
In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said
petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized representatives of bar associations,
were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing
being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in
so far as it affects past bar examinations and the matter" involved "a new question of public
interest."
All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the
practice of law is inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by
the Constitution which in Article VII, section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules
shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or
modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are
hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the
Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to
repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and
the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate
rules concerning the admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal,
alter or supplement said rules. Little intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the
Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to the practice of law is concurrent.
The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar
examinations held prior to its approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final
resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the practice of law the various
petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my
opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates
do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court expressly fix
certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar
matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject
to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the motion were
filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations
and admission to the practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said
matters happen to be entrusted, under the Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme
Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word,
because bar examinations and the admission to the practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do
not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other examining boards. In the
second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only when they
would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny
due process and equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post
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facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no
one the right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere
curative statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by
this Court of different passing general averages in certain years.
Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against,
because we no longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart
from the circumstance that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during said period. It
may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by
Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the matter of classification, the reasonableness must be
determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the Congress held public hearings,
and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative
judgment derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.
As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the
Legislative Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one
expressly sanctioned by the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication
prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have
already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for the empty
purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three branches of the
Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided
by the Court in favor of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect
the previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained the general average
prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for
instance, it would provide that those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946,
whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be allowed to practice law, because said
statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court,
namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent.
Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making
power conferred by the Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by
reducing the passing average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the date of the
resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who
obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a
general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed petitions for
reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the
examinations held in August 1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at
75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we are to admit that the
Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the
practice of law, that the latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general
average.
Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or
capricious, since this Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947
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bar examinations and 70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire
into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the
legislators. This Court in many instances had doubted the propriety of legislative enactments,
and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that ground.
To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against
public interest, is to assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the
general public was not considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public
hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this
Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the circumstances into account before passing the
Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress, representing the
people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to
accept Republic Act No. 972 as an expression of the will of the people through their duly
elected representatives.
I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its
concurrent power to repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to
the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same way that this
Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can
and should only hope that the right men are put in the right places in our Government.
Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given
effect in its entirety.


Separate Opinions
LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:
The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this
Court, because lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to
determine admission thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The
power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should
be distinguished from the power to promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this
power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the Constitution to the
Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the
holding of examination, the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the
scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when a candidate has made or has
not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court.
I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond
the scope of the congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who
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obtain a general average of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955
should be considered as having passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and
discretion judged in this Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different
years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is necessary to show that it is an
arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as
discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed
to have the privilege of a lower passing grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?
I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the
rule-making power of Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this
Court to admit members thereof, and because it is discriminatory.


PARAS, C.J., dissenting:
Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to
have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per
cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has
always been adhered to, with certain exception presently to be specified.
With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful
candidates included only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon
motion for reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to
73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations
of November, 1946 the list first released containing the names of successful candidates covered
only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion for
reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent
by resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful
candidates those having a general average of 73 per cent or more but below 75 per cent were
included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been released, and on
motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were allowed
to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August,
1948, in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a
general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and
irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by
resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect made 69 per cent as the
passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being noticed
perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.
Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages
mostly ranged from 69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the
precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.
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In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising
attorneys, presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued
lengthily pro or con, approved a bill providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing
general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after
July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of
Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo. In 1953, the Congress passed
another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference
that in the later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by
the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as
new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the
examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by
bar applicants, were eliminated. This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No.
972, by the President by merely not signing it within the required period; and in doing so the
President gave due respect to the will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to
repass the bill first vetoed by him.
Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent
in any examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar
examinations; 72 per cent in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations;
and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in
any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar candidate who
obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination after July 4, 1946, shall be
deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in
computing the passing in any subsequent examinations.
Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic
Act No. 972 and failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or
separate petitions, praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of
said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein.
In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said
petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized representatives of bar associations,
were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing
being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in
so far as it affects past bar examinations and the matter" involved "a new question of public
interest."
All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the
practice of law is inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by
the Constitution which in Article VII, section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules
shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or
modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are
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hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the
Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to
repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and
the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate
rules concerning the admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal,
alter or supplement said rules. Little intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the
Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to the practice of law is concurrent.
The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar
examinations held prior to its approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final
resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the practice of law the various
petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my
opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates
do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court expressly fix
certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar
matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject
to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the motion were
filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations
and admission to the practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said
matters happen to be entrusted, under the Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme
Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word,
because bar examinations and the admission to the practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do
not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other examining boards. In the
second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only when they
would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny
due process and equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post
facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no
one the right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere
curative statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by
this Court of different passing general averages in certain years.
Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against,
because we no longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart
from the circumstance that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during said period. It
may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by
Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the matter of classification, the reasonableness must be
determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the Congress held public hearings,
and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative
judgment derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.
As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the
Legislative Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one
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expressly sanctioned by the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication
prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have
already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for the empty
purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three branches of the
Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided
by the Court in favor of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect
the previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained the general average
prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for
instance, it would provide that those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946,
whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be allowed to practice law, because said
statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court,
namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent.
Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making
power conferred by the Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by
reducing the passing average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the date of the
resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who
obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a
general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed petitions for
reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the
examinations held in August 1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at
75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we are to admit that the
Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the
practice of law, that the latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general
average.
Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or
capricious, since this Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947
bar examinations and 70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire
into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the
legislators. This Court in many instances had doubted the propriety of legislative enactments,
and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that ground.
To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against
public interest, is to assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the
general public was not considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public
hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this
Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the circumstances into account before passing the
Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress, representing the
people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to
accept Republic Act No. 972 as an expression of the will of the people through their duly
elected representatives.
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I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its
concurrent power to repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to
the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same way that this
Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can
and should only hope that the right men are put in the right places in our Government.
Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given
effect in its entirety.


Footnotes
1
Designed as Chairman of the Committee of Bar Examiners vice Mr. Justice Roman
Ozaeta, resigned.
2
In 1946 and 1947, the members of the Supreme Court were Hon. Manuel V. Moran,
Chief Justice, Ho. Ricardo Paras, Hon. Felicisimo Feria, Hon. Guillermo F. Pablo, Hon.
Gregorio Perfecto, Ho. Carlos Hilado, Hon. Cesar Bengzon, Hon. Manuel C. Briones, Hon.
Jose Hontiveros, Hon. Sabino Padilla, and Hon. Pedro Tuason, Associate Justices. In
1948, Justices Marcelino R. Montemayor and Alex. Reyes took the place of Justice
Hilado, resigned, and Hontiveros, retired. Justice Roman Ozaeta was returned to the
Court and Justice Sabino Padilla was appointed Secretary of Justice. In June, 1949,
Justice Padilla was returned to the Tribunal, as Justice Briones resigned. In October,
1950, Justices Fernando Jugo and Felix Bautista Angelo were appointed to t he Court, as
Justice Perfecto Jugo and Felix Bautista Angelo were appointed to the Court, as Justice
Perfecto had died, and Justice Ozaeta had resigned. In 1951, Chief Justice Manuel V.
Moran resigned and Justice Ricardo Paras was appointed Chief Justice. In 1953, Justice
Felicisimo R. Feria retired.







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B. PRACTICE OF LAW
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991
RENATO CAYETANO, petitioner,
vs.
CHRISTIAN MONSOD, HON. JOVITO R. SALONGA, COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENT, and HON.
GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management, respondents.
Renato L. Cayetano for and in his own behalf.
Sabina E. Acut, Jr. and Mylene Garcia-Albano co-counsel for petitioner.
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PARAS, J.:p
We are faced here with a controversy of far-reaching proportions. While ostensibly only legal
issues are involved, the Court's decision in this case would indubitably have a profound effect
on the political aspect of our national existence.
The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:
There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six
Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the
time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college
degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the
immediately preceding -elections. However, a majority thereof, including the
Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten years. (Emphasis supplied)
The aforequoted provision is patterned after Section l(l), Article XII-C of the 1973 Constitution
which similarly provides:
There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and eight
Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their
appointment, at least thirty-five years of age and holders of a college degree. However, a
majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.' (Emphasis supplied)
Regrettably, however, there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice of
law as a legal qualification to an appointive office.
Black defines "practice of law" as:
The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal
principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is
not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of
litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident
to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal
instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces
all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the
law. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where
he is held out to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an
attorney, counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel
about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by
his associate. (Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd ed.)
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The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. (Land Title Abstract and Trust
Co. v. Dworken,129 Ohio St. 23, 193 N.E. 650) A person is also considered to be in the practice
of law when he:
... for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms,
associations or corporations as to their rights under the law, or appears in a
representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings pending or prospective,
before any court, commissioner, referee, board, body, committee, or
commission constituted by law or authorized to settle controversies and there,
in such representative capacity performs any act or acts for the purpose of
obtaining or defending the rights of their clients under the law. Otherwise
stated, one who, in a representative capacity, engages in the business of advising
clients as to their rights under the law, or while so engaged performs any act or
acts either in court or outside of court for that purpose, is engaged in the
practice of law. (State ex. rel. Mckittrick v..C.S. Dudley and Co., 102 S.W. 2d 895,
340 Mo. 852)
This Court in the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v.Agrava, (105 Phil. 173,176-177)
stated:
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it
embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and
special proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf
of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general,
all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in mattersconnected with the
law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services
contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a
mortgage, enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency
proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of
estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice, as do the
preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves the
determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and
conditions. (5 Am. Jr. p. 262, 263). (Emphasis supplied)
Practice of law under modem conditions consists in no small part of work
performed outside of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings
in court. It embraces conveyancing, the giving of legal advice on a large variety of
subjects, and the preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an
extensive field of business and trust relations and other affairs. Although these
transactions may have no direct connection with court proceedings, they are
always subject to become involved in litigation. They require in many aspects a
high degree of legal skill, a wide experience with men and affairs, and great
capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations. These customary
functions of an attorney or counselor at law bear an intimate relation to the
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administration of justice by the courts. No valid distinction, so far as concerns
the question set forth in the order, can be drawn between that part of the work
of the lawyer which involves appearance in court and that part which involves
advice and drafting of instruments in his office. It is of importance to the welfare
of the public that these manifold customary functions be performed by persons
possessed of adequate learning and skill, of sound moral character, and acting at
all times under the heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all
attorneys. (Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. 3 [1953 ed.] , p. 665-
666, citing In re Opinion of the Justices [Mass.], 194 N.E. 313, quoted in Rhode Is.
Bar Assoc. v. Automobile Service Assoc. [R.I.] 179 A. 139,144). (Emphasis ours)
The University of the Philippines Law Center in conducting orientation briefing for new lawyers
(1974-1975) listed the dimensions of the practice of law in even broader terms as advocacy,
counselling and public service.
One may be a practicing attorney in following any line of employment in the
profession. If what he does exacts knowledge of the law and is of a kind usual for
attorneys engaging in the active practice of their profession, and he follows
some one or more lines of employment such as this he is a practicing attorney at
law within the meaning of the statute. (Barr v. Cardell, 155 NW 312)
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law,
legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to
perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to
give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree
of legal knowledge or skill." (111 ALR 23)
The following records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that it has adopted a liberal
interpretation of the term "practice of law."
MR. FOZ. Before we suspend the session, may I make a
manifestation which I forgot to do during our review of the
provisions on the Commission on Audit. May I be allowed to make
a very brief statement?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir).
The Commissioner will please proceed.
MR. FOZ. This has to do with the qualifications of the members of
the Commission on Audit. Among others, the qualifications
provided for by Section I is that "They must be Members of the
Philippine Bar" I am quoting from the provision "who have
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years".
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To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the
Bar who are now employed in the COA or Commission on Audit, we would like to
make the clarification that this provision on qualifications regarding members of
the Bar does not necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law outside the
COA We have to interpret this to mean that as long as the lawyers who are
employed in the COA are using their legal knowledge or legal talent in their
respective work within COA, then they are qualified to be considered for
appointment as members or commissioners, even chairman, of the Commission
on Audit.
This has been discussed by the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and
Agencies and we deem it important to take it up on the floor so that this
interpretation may be made available whenever this provision on the
qualifications as regards members of the Philippine Bar engaging in the practice
of law for at least ten years is taken up.
MR. OPLE. Will Commissioner Foz yield to just one question.
MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.
MR. OPLE. Is he, in effect, saying that service in the COA by a
lawyer is equivalent to the requirement of a law practice that is
set forth in the Article on the Commission on Audit?
MR. FOZ. We must consider the fact that the work of COA,
although it is auditing, will necessarily involve legal work; it will
involve legal work. And, therefore, lawyers who are employed in
COA now would have the necessary qualifications in accordance
with the Provision on qualifications under our provisions on the
Commission on Audit. And, therefore, the answer is yes.
MR. OPLE. Yes. So that the construction given to this is that this is
equivalent to the practice of law.
MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.
MR. OPLE. Thank you.
... ( Emphasis supplied)
Section 1(1), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution, provides, among others, that the Chairman
and two Commissioners of the Commission on Audit (COA) should either be certified public
accountants with not less than ten years of auditing practice, or members of the Philippine Bar
who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (emphasis supplied)
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Corollary to this is the term "private practitioner" and which is in many ways synonymous with
the word "lawyer." Today, although many lawyers do not engage in private practice, it is still a
fact that the majority of lawyers are private practitioners. (Gary Munneke, Opportunities in Law
Careers [VGM Career Horizons: Illinois], [1986], p. 15).
At this point, it might be helpful to define private practice. The term, as commonly understood,
means "an individual or organization engaged in the business of delivering legal services."
(Ibid.). Lawyers who practice alone are often called "sole practitioners." Groups of lawyers are
called "firms." The firm is usually a partnership and members of the firm are the partners. Some
firms may be organized as professional corporations and the members called shareholders. In
either case, the members of the firm are the experienced attorneys. In most firms, there are
younger or more inexperienced salaried attorneyscalled "associates." (Ibid.).
The test that defines law practice by looking to traditional areas of law practice is essentially
tautologous, unhelpful defining the practice of law as that which lawyers do. (Charles W.
Wolfram, Modern Legal Ethics [West Publishing Co.: Minnesota, 1986], p. 593). The practice of
law is defined as the performance of any acts . . . in or out of court, commonly understood to
be the practice of law. (State Bar Ass'n v. Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., 145 Conn. 222, 140 A.2d
863, 870 [1958] [quoting Grievance Comm. v. Payne, 128 Conn. 325, 22 A.2d 623, 626 [1941]).
Because lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental
realm, such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable.(Wolfram, op. cit.).
The appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly familiar
role for lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer. Most lawyers spend little
time in courtrooms, and a large percentage spend their entire practice without litigating a case.
(Ibid., p. 593). Nonetheless, many lawyers do continue to litigate and the litigating lawyer's role
colors much of both the public image and the self perception of the legal profession. (Ibid.).
In this regard thus, the dominance of litigation in the public mind reflects history, not reality.
(Ibid.). Why is this so? Recall that the late Alexander SyCip, a corporate lawyer, once articulated
on the importance of a lawyer as a business counselor in this wise: "Even today, there are still
uninformed laymen whose concept of an attorney is one who principally tries cases before the
courts. The members of the bench and bar and the informed laymen such as businessmen,
know that in most developed societies today, substantially more legal work is transacted in law
offices than in the courtrooms. General practitioners of law who do both litigation and non-
litigation work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more time doing
what [is] loosely desccribe[d] as business counseling than in trying cases. The business lawyer
has been described as the planner, the diagnostician and the trial lawyer, the surgeon. I[t] need
not [be] stress[ed] that in law, as in medicine, surgery should be avoided where internal
medicine can be effective." (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).
In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number of legal
tasks, each involving different legal doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions,
clients, and other interested parties. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers in specialized
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practice wig usually perform at least some legal services outside their specialty. And even
within a narrow specialty such as tax practice, a lawyer will shift from one legal task or role such
as advice-giving to an importantly different one such as representing a client before an
administrative agency. (Wolfram, supra, p. 687).
By no means will most of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively
rare types a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the
work will require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of client
counselling, advice-giving, document drafting, and negotiation. And increasingly lawyers find
that the new skills of evaluation and mediation are both effective for many clients and a source
of employment. (Ibid.).
Most lawyers will engage in non-litigation legal work or in litigation work that is constrained in
very important ways, at least theoretically, so as to remove from it some of the salient features
of adversarial litigation. Of these special roles, the most prominent is that of prosecutor. In
some lawyers' work the constraints are imposed both by the nature of the client and by the
way in which the lawyer is organized into a social unit to perform that work. The most common
of these roles are those of corporate practice and government legal service. (Ibid.).
In several issues of the Business Star, a business daily, herein below quoted are emerging trends
in corporate law practice, a departure from the traditional concept of practice of law.
We are experiencing today what truly may be called a revolutionary
transformation in corporate law practice. Lawyers and other professional groups,
in particular those members participating in various legal-policy decisional
contexts, are finding that understanding the major emerging trends in
corporation law is indispensable to intelligent decision-making.
Constructive adjustment to major corporate problems of today requires an
accurate understanding of the nature and implications of the corporate law
research function accompanied by an accelerating rate of information
accumulation. The recognition of the need for such improved corporate legal
policy formulation, particularly "model-making" and "contingency planning," has
impressed upon us the inadequacy of traditional procedures in many decisional
contexts.
In a complex legal problem the mass of information to be processed, the sorting
and weighing of significant conditional factors, the appraisal of major trends, the
necessity of estimating the consequences of given courses of action, and the
need for fast decision and response in situations of acute danger have prompted
the use of sophisticated concepts of information flow theory, operational
analysis, automatic data processing, and electronic computing equipment.
Understandably, an improved decisional structure must stress the predictive
component of the policy-making process, wherein a "model", of the decisional
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context or a segment thereof is developed to test projected alternative courses
of action in terms of futuristic effects flowing therefrom.
Although members of the legal profession are regularly engaged in predicting
and projecting the trends of the law, the subject of corporate finance law has
received relatively little organized and formalized attention in the philosophy of
advancing corporate legal education. Nonetheless, a cross-disciplinary approach
to legal research has become a vital necessity.
Certainly, the general orientation for productive contributions by those trained
primarily in the law can be improved through an early introduction to multi-
variable decisional context and the various approaches for handling such
problems. Lawyers, particularly with either a master's or doctorate degree in
business administration or management, functioning at the legal policy level of
decision-making now have some appreciation for the concepts and analytical
techniques of other professions which are currently engaged in similar types of
complex decision-making.
Truth to tell, many situations involving corporate finance problems would
require the services of an astute attorney because of the complex legal
implications that arise from each and every necessary step in securing and
maintaining the business issue raised. (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law,"
Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).
In our litigation-prone country, a corporate lawyer is assiduously referred to as
the "abogado de campanilla." He is the "big-time" lawyer, earning big money and
with a clientele composed of the tycoons and magnates of business and industry.
Despite the growing number of corporate lawyers, many people could not
explain what it is that a corporate lawyer does. For one, the number of attorneys
employed by a single corporation will vary with the size and type of the
corporation. Many smaller and some large corporations farm out all their legal
problems to private law firms. Many others have in-house counsel only for
certain matters. Other corporation have a staff large enough to handle most
legal problems in-house.
A corporate lawyer, for all intents and purposes, is a lawyer who handles the
legal affairs of a corporation. His areas of concern or jurisdiction may
include, inter alia: corporate legal research, tax laws research, acting out as
corporate secretary (in board meetings), appearances in both courts and other
adjudicatory agencies (including the Securities and Exchange Commission), and
in other capacities which require an ability to deal with the law.
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At any rate, a corporate lawyer may assume responsibilities other than the legal
affairs of the business of the corporation he is representing. These include such
matters as determining policy and becoming involved in management. (
Emphasis supplied.)
In a big company, for example, one may have a feeling of being isolated from the
action, or not understanding how one's work actually fits into the work of the
orgarnization. This can be frustrating to someone who needs to see the results of
his work first hand. In short, a corporate lawyer is sometimes offered this
fortune to be more closely involved in the running of the business.
Moreover, a corporate lawyer's services may sometimes be engaged by a
multinational corporation (MNC). Some large MNCs provide one of the few
opportunities available to corporate lawyers to enter the international law field.
After all, international law is practiced in a relatively small number of companies
and law firms. Because working in a foreign country is perceived by many as
glamorous, tills is an area coveted by corporate lawyers. In most cases, however,
the overseas jobs go to experienced attorneys while the younger attorneys do
their "international practice" in law libraries. (Business Star, "Corporate Law
Practice," May 25,1990, p. 4).
This brings us to the inevitable, i.e., the role of the lawyer in the realm of
finance. To borrow the lines of Harvard-educated lawyer Bruce Wassertein, to
wit: "A bad lawyer is one who fails to spot problems, a good lawyer is one who
perceives the difficulties, and the excellent lawyer is one who surmounts them."
(Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).
Today, the study of corporate law practice direly needs a "shot in the arm," so to
speak. No longer are we talking of the traditional law teaching method of
confining the subject study to the Corporation Code and the Securities Code but
an incursion as well into the intertwining modern management issues.
Such corporate legal management issues deal primarily with three (3) types of
learning: (1) acquisition of insights into current advances which are of particular
significance to the corporate counsel; (2) an introduction to usable disciplinary
skins applicable to a corporate counsel's management responsibilities; and (3) a
devotion to the organization and management of the legal function itself.
These three subject areas may be thought of as intersecting circles, with a
shared area linking them. Otherwise known as "intersecting managerial
jurisprudence," it forms a unifying theme for the corporate counsel's total
learning.
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Some current advances in behavior and policy sciences affect the counsel's role.
For that matter, the corporate lawyer reviews the globalization process,
including the resulting strategic repositioning that the firms he provides counsel
for are required to make, and the need to think about a corporation's; strategy
at multiple levels. The salience of the nation-state is being reduced as firms deal
both with global multinational entities and simultaneously with sub-national
governmental units. Firms increasingly collaborate not only with public entities
but with each other often with those who are competitors in other arenas.
Also, the nature of the lawyer's participation in decision-making within the
corporation is rapidly changing. The modem corporate lawyer has gained a new
role as a stakeholder in some cases participating in the organization and
operations of governance through participation on boards and other decision-
making roles. Often these new patterns develop alongside existing legal
institutions and laws are perceived as barriers. These trends are complicated as
corporations organize for global operations. ( Emphasis supplied)
The practising lawyer of today is familiar as well with governmental policies
toward the promotion and management of technology. New collaborative
arrangements for promoting specific technologies or competitiveness more
generally require approaches from industry that differ from older, more
adversarial relationships and traditional forms of seeking to influence
governmental policies. And there are lessons to be learned from other countries.
In Europe, Esprit, Eureka and Race are examples of collaborative efforts between
governmental and business Japan's MITI is world famous. (Emphasis supplied)
Following the concept of boundary spanning, the office of the Corporate Counsel
comprises a distinct group within the managerial structure of all kinds of
organizations. Effectiveness of both long-term and temporary groups within
organizations has been found to be related to indentifiable factors in the group-
context interaction such as the groups actively revising their knowledge of the
environment coordinating work with outsiders, promoting team achievements
within the organization. In general, such external activities are better predictors
of team performance than internal group processes.
In a crisis situation, the legal managerial capabilities of the corporate lawyer vis-
a-vis the managerial mettle of corporations are challenged. Current research is
seeking ways both to anticipate effective managerial procedures and to
understand relationships of financial liability and insurance considerations.
(Emphasis supplied)
Regarding the skills to apply by the corporate counsel, three factors are apropos:
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First System Dynamics. The field of systems dynamics has been found an
effective tool for new managerial thinking regarding both planning and pressing
immediate problems. An understanding of the role of feedback loops, inventory
levels, and rates of flow, enable users to simulate all sorts of systematic
problems physical, economic, managerial, social, and psychological. New
programming techniques now make the system dynamics principles more
accessible to managers including corporate counsels. (Emphasis supplied)
Second Decision Analysis. This enables users to make better decisions involving
complexity and uncertainty. In the context of a law department, it can be used to
appraise the settlement value of litigation, aid in negotiation settlement, and
minimize the cost and risk involved in managing a portfolio of cases. (Emphasis
supplied)
Third Modeling for Negotiation Management. Computer-based models can be
used directly by parties and mediators in all lands of negotiations. All integrated
set of such tools provide coherent and effective negotiation support, including
hands-on on instruction in these techniques. A simulation case of an
international joint venture may be used to illustrate the point.
[Be this as it may,] the organization and management of the legal function,
concern three pointed areas of consideration, thus:
Preventive Lawyering. Planning by lawyers requires special skills that comprise a
major part of the general counsel's responsibilities. They differ from those of
remedial law. Preventive lawyering is concerned with minimizing the risks of
legal trouble and maximizing legal rights for such legal entities at that time when
transactional or similar facts are being considered and made.
Managerial Jurisprudence. This is the framework within which are undertaken
those activities of the firm to which legal consequences attach. It needs to be
directly supportive of this nation's evolving economic and organizational fabric
as firms change to stay competitive in a global, interdependent environment.
The practice and theory of "law" is not adequate today to facilitate the
relationships needed in trying to make a global economy work.
Organization and Functioning of the Corporate Counsel's Office. The general
counsel has emerged in the last decade as one of the most vibrant subsets of the
legal profession. The corporate counsel hear responsibility for key aspects of the
firm's strategic issues, including structuring its global operations, managing
improved relationships with an increasingly diversified body of employees,
managing expanded liability exposure, creating new and varied interactions with
public decision-makers, coping internally with more complex make or by
decisions.
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This whole exercise drives home the thesis that knowing corporate law is not
enough to make one a good general corporate counsel nor to give him a full
sense of how the legal system shapes corporate activities. And even if the
corporate lawyer's aim is not the understand all of the law's effects on corporate
activities, he must, at the very least, also gain a working knowledge of the
management issues if only to be able to grasp not only the basic legal
"constitution' or makeup of the modem corporation. "Business Star", "The
Corporate Counsel," April 10, 1991, p. 4).
The challenge for lawyers (both of the bar and the bench) is to have more than a
passing knowledge of financial law affecting each aspect of their work. Yet, many
would admit to ignorance of vast tracts of the financial law territory. What
transpires next is a dilemma of professional security: Will the lawyer admit
ignorance and risk opprobrium?; or will he feign understanding and risk
exposure? (Business Star, "Corporate Finance law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).
Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position
of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on
Appointments on April 25, 1991. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod
does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years.
On June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as
Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office. On the same day, he
assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC.
Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Monsod's
nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for certiorari and
Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent appointment of Monsod as
Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared null and void.
Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar examinations
of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. He has also been paying his professional license
fees as lawyer for more than ten years. (p. 124, Rollo)
After graduating from the College of Law (U.P.) and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod
worked in the law office of his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-
1970), Monsod worked as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and Panama,
which involved getting acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating loans and
coordinating legal, economic, and project work of the Bank. Upon returning to the Philippines in
1970, he worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief executive officer of an investment
bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate, and since 1986, has rendered services to
various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer. As former
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Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL. Monsod's work involved
being knowledgeable in election law. He appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings
before the Comelec. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as former Co-
Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's Conference for Human Development, has worked with
the under privileged sectors, such as the farmer and urban poor groups, in initiating, lobbying
for and engaging in affirmative action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land
reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal knowledge as a member of the Davide
Commission, a quast judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a
member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987), and Chairman of its Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers, for which he was cited by the President of the Commission,
Justice Cecilia Muoz-Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions
with individual freedoms and public accountability and the party-list system for the House of
Representative. (pp. 128-129 Rollo) ( Emphasis supplied)
Just a word about the work of a negotiating team of which Atty. Monsod used to be a member.
In a loan agreement, for instance, a negotiating panel acts as a team, and which
is adequately constituted to meet the various contingencies that arise during a
negotiation. Besides top officials of the Borrower concerned, there are the legal
officer (such as the legal counsel), the finance manager, and an operations
officer (such as an official involved in negotiating the contracts) who comprise
the members of the team. (Guillermo V. Soliven, "Loan Negotiating Strategies for
Developing Country Borrowers," Staff Paper No. 2, Central Bank of the
Philippines, Manila, 1982, p. 11). (Emphasis supplied)
After a fashion, the loan agreement is like a country's Constitution; it lays down
the law as far as the loan transaction is concerned. Thus, the meat of any Loan
Agreement can be compartmentalized into five (5) fundamental parts: (1)
business terms; (2) borrower's representation; (3) conditions of closing; (4)
covenants; and (5) events of default. (Ibid., p. 13).
In the same vein, lawyers play an important role in any debt restructuring
program. For aside from performing the tasks of legislative drafting and legal
advising, they score national development policies as key factors in maintaining
their countries' sovereignty. (Condensed from the work paper, entitled "Wanted:
Development Lawyers for Developing Nations," submitted by L. Michael Hager,
regional legal adviser of the United States Agency for International
Development, during the Session on Law for the Development of Nations at the
Abidjan World Conference in Ivory Coast, sponsored by the World Peace
Through Law Center on August 26-31, 1973). ( Emphasis supplied)
Loan concessions and compromises, perhaps even more so than purely
renegotiation policies, demand expertise in the law of contracts, in legislation
and agreement drafting and in renegotiation. Necessarily, a sovereign lawyer
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may work with an international business specialist or an economist in the
formulation of a model loan agreement. Debt restructuring contract agreements
contain such a mixture of technical language that they should be carefully
drafted and signed only with the advise of competent counsel in conjunction
with the guidance of adequate technical support personnel. (See International
Law Aspects of the Philippine External Debts, an unpublished dissertation, U.S.T.
Graduate School of Law, 1987, p. 321). ( Emphasis supplied)
A critical aspect of sovereign debt restructuring/contract construction is the set
of terms and conditions which determines the contractual remedies for a failure
to perform one or more elements of the contract. A good agreement must not
only define the responsibilities of both parties, but must also state the recourse
open to either party when the other fails to discharge an obligation. For a
compleat debt restructuring represents a devotion to that principle which in the
ultimate analysis is sine qua non for foreign loan agreements-an adherence to
the rule of law in domestic and international affairs of whose kind U.S. Supreme
Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said: "They carry no banners, they
beat no drums; but where they are, men learn that bustle and bush are not the
equal of quiet genius and serene mastery." (See Ricardo J. Romulo, "The Role of
Lawyers in Foreign Investments," Integrated Bar of the Philippine Journal, Vol.
15, Nos. 3 and 4, Third and Fourth Quarters, 1977, p. 265).
Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". particularly the
modern concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended
by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist,
a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a
lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional
requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
Besides in the leading case of Luego v. Civil Service Commission, 143 SCRA 327, the Court said:
Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the
officer in which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being
that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. If he does,
then the appointment cannot be faulted on the ground that there are others
better qualified who should have been preferred. This is a political question
involving considerations of wisdom which only the appointing authority can
decide. (emphasis supplied)
No less emphatic was the Court in the case of (Central Bank v. Civil Service Commission, 171
SCRA 744) where it stated:
It is well-settled that when the appointee is qualified, as in this case, and all the
other legal requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no alternative but to
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attest to the appointment in accordance with the Civil Service Law. The
Commission has no authority to revoke an appointment on the ground that
another person is more qualified for a particular position. It also has no authority
to direct the appointment of a substitute of its choice. To do so would be an
encroachment on the discretion vested upon the appointing authority. An
appointment is essentially within the discretionary power of whomsoever it is
vested, subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess the
qualifications required by law. ( Emphasis supplied)
The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar, consists of four (4)
stages: (1) nomination; (2) confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; (3) issuance of a
commission (in the Philippines, upon submission by the Commission on Appointments of its
certificate of confirmation, the President issues the permanent appointment; and (4)
acceptance e.g., oath-taking, posting of bond, etc. . . . (Lacson v. Romero, No. L-3081, October
14, 1949; Gonzales, Law on Public Officers, p. 200)
The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of
Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) Sub-Article C,
Article IX of the Constitution which provides:
The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with
the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years
without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold
office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for
three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only
for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be
appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion, suffice it to say that his
definition of the practice of law is the traditional or stereotyped notion of law
practice, as distinguished from the modern concept of the practice of law, which
modern connotation is exactly what was intended by the eminent framers of the
1987 Constitution. Moreover, Justice Padilla's definition would require generally
a habitual law practice, perhaps practised two or three times a week and would
outlaw say, law practice once or twice a year for ten consecutive years. Clearly,
this is far from the constitutional intent.
Upon the other hand, the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my written
opinion, I made use of a definition of law practice which really means nothing because the
definition says that law practice " . . . is what people ordinarily mean by the practice of law."
True I cited the definition but only by way of sarcasm as evident from my statement that the
definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous" or
defining a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being defined.
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Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations, most
individuals, in making use of the law, or in advising others on what the law means, are actually
practicing law. In that sense, perhaps, but we should not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Monsod
is a lawyer, a member of the Philippine Bar, who has been practising law for over ten years. This
is different from the acts of persons practising law, without first becoming lawyers.
Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of the
Philippines, say, on the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. This matter, I greatly
doubt. For one thing, how can an action or petition be brought against the President? And even
assuming that he is indeed disqualified, how can the action be entertained since he is the
incumbent President?
We now proceed:
The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsod's
confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required
by law. The judgment rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged
power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only
where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the
Commission's judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court's
corrective power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to
lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for has been
clearly shown.
Additionally, consider the following:
(1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President, may
the Supreme Court reverse the Commission, and thus in effect confirm the
appointment? Clearly, the answer is in the negative.
(2) In the same vein, may the Court reject the nominee, whom the Commission
has confirmed? The answer is likewise clear.
(3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U.S.
Congress) decides to confirma Presidential nominee, it would be incredible that
the U.S. Supreme Court would still reverse the U.S. Senate.
Finally, one significant legal maxim is:
We must interpret not by the letter that killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life.
Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah. Once, the procurator of Judea asked Delilah
(who was Samson's beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Delilah agreed on condition that
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No blade shall touch his skin;
No blood shall flow from his veins.
When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured, the procurator placed an iron rod
burning white-hot two or three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. This blinded the
man. Upon hearing of what had happened to her beloved, Delilah was beside herself with
anger, and fuming with righteous fury, accused the procurator of reneging on his word. The
procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his skin? Did any blood flow from his veins?"
The procurator was clearly relying on the letter, not the spirit of the agreement.
In view of the foregoing, this petition is hereby DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
Fernan, C.J., Grio-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.
Feliciano, J., I certify that he voted to dismiss the petition. (Fernan, C.J.)
Sarmiento, J., is on leave.
Regalado, and Davide, Jr., J., took no part.



Separate Opinions

NARVASA, J., concurring:
I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. Justice Paras, albeit only in the result;
it does not appear to me that there has been an adequate showing that the challenged
determination by the Commission on Appointments-that the appointment of respondent
Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections should, on the basis of his stated
qualifications and after due assessment thereof, be confirmed-was attended by error so gross
as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently merits nullification by this Court in
accordance with the second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution. I therefore
vote to DENY the petition.
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PADILLA, J., dissenting:
The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at bar, I
voted not only to require the respondents to comment on the Petition, but I was the sole vote
for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent Monsod from assuming
the position of COMELEC Chairman, while the Court deliberated on his constitutional
qualification for the office. My purpose in voting for a TRO was to prevent the inconvenience
and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the Court to finally decide for
respondent Monsod's disqualification. Moreover, a reading of the Petition then in relation to
established jurisprudence already showed prima facie that respondent Monsod did not possess
the needed qualification, that is, he had not engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10)
years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment, I am even more convinced that the
constitutional requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not been met.
The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because,
ultimately, the core issue to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the
constitutional provision requiring a majority of the membership of COMELEC, including the
Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." (Art.
IX(C), Section 1(1), 1987 Constitution). Questions involving the construction of constitutional
provisions are best left to judicial resolution. As declared in Angara v. Electoral Commission, (63
Phil. 139) "upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of
interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries."
The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Among
these are that he must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." It
is the bounden duty of this Court to ensure that such standard is met and complied with.
What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood, "practice" refers to the actual
performance or application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of knowledge;
it connotes an active, habitual,repeated or customary action.
1
To "practice" law, or any
profession for that matter, means, to exercise or pursue an employment or profession actively,
habitually, repeatedly or customarily.
Therefore, a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks of a
nursing aide, cannot be said to be in the "practice of medicine." A certified public accountant
who works as a clerk, cannot be said to practice his profession as an accountant. In the same
way, a lawyer who is employed as a business executive or a corporate manager, other than as
head or attorney of a Legal Department of a corporation or a governmental agency, cannot be
said to be in the practice of law.
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As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. Villanueva:
2

Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or
customary actions, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is
frequent habitual exercise (State vs- Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S.
768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted
as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer and
demanding payment for such services (State vs. Bryan, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C.
644,647.) ... (emphasis supplied).
It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Memorandum it
prepared, enumerated several factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes
"practice of law." It states:
1. Habituality. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually
holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA
109 citing State v. Boyen, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a
circular announcing the establishment of a law office for the general practice of
law (U.S. v. Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the oath of office as a
lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court
informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v.
De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or
customary action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a
habitual exercise (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127,
p. 1, 87 Kan, 864).
2. Compensation. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself
to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his
professional services are available to the public for compensation, as a service of
his livelihood or in consideration of his said services. (People v. Villanueva,
supra). Hence, charging for services such as preparation of documents involving
the use of legal knowledge and skill is within the term "practice of law" (Ernani
Pao, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988 ed., p. 8 citing People v.
People's Stockyards State Bank, 176 N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion
as to the proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is to that
extent, practicing law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing Mendelaun v. Gilbert and
Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If compensation is expected, all advice to clients
and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law; are practicing
law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor, 94A-L.R. 356-359)
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3. Application of law legal principle practice or procedure which calls for legal
knowledge, training and experience is within the term "practice of law".
(Martin supra)
4. Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the
existence of lawyer-client relationship. Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an
activity which requires knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client
relationship, such as teaching law or writing law books or articles, he cannot be
said to be engaged in the practice of his profession or a lawyer (Agpalo, Legal
Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30).
3

The above-enumerated factors would, I believe, be useful aids in determining whether or not
respondent Monsod meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at least ten
(10) years at the time of his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
The following relevant questions may be asked:
1. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of law?
2. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually?
3. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually, did he do so HABITUALLY FOR AT
LEAST TEN (10) YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman?
Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the records, I am
persuaded that if ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the practice of law,
he did not do so HABITUALLY for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC
Chairman.
While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be latitudinarianly
considered activities peculiar to the practice of law, like the drafting of legal documents and the
rendering of legal opinion or advice, such were isolated transactions or activities which do not
qualify his past endeavors as "practice of law." To become engaged in the practice of law, there
must be a continuity, or a succession of acts. As observed by the Solicitor General in People vs.
Villanueva:
4

Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have
presented himself to be in theactive and continued practice of the legal
profession and that his professional services are available to the public for a
compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said
services.
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ACCORDINGLY, my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as not
qualified for the position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the practice of law
for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment to such position.
CRUZ, J., dissenting:
I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just the
same. There are certain points on which I must differ with him while of course respecting
hisviewpoint.
To begin with, I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the
respondent simply because his nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on
Appointments. In my view, this is not a political question that we are barred from resolving.
Determination of the appointee's credentials is made on the basis of the established facts, not
the discretion of that body. Even if it were, the exercise of that discretion would still be subject
to our review.
In Luego, which is cited in the ponencia, what was involved was the discretion of the appointing
authority to choosebetween two claimants to the same office who both possessed the required
qualifications. It was that kind of discretion that we said could not be reviewed.
If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for lack of
the required qualifications, I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an appointee simply
because he has passed the Commission on Appointments.
Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an appropriate
proceeding notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less than the
enfranchised citizenry. The reason is that what we would be examining is not the wisdom of his
election but whether or not he was qualified to be elected in the first place.
Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent, I fear that the ponencia may have
been too sweeping in its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the qualification
practically toothless. From the numerous activities accepted as embraced in the term, I have
the uncomfortable feeling that one does not even have to be a lawyer to be engaged in the
practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of some law, however
peripherally. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the realtor could come under the
definition as they deal with or give advice on matters that are likely "to become involved in
litigation."
The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is another
business and he interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such business. That
covers every company organized under the Corporation Code and regulated by the SEC under
P.D. 902-A. Considering the ramifications of the modern society, there is hardly any activity that
is not affected by some law or government regulation the businessman must know about and
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observe. In fact, again going by the definition, a lawyer does not even have to be part of a
business concern to be considered a practitioner. He can be so deemed when, on his own, he
rents a house or buys a car or consults a doctor as these acts involve his knowledge and
application of the laws regulating such transactions. If he operates a public utility vehicle as his
main source of livelihood, he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of law because he
must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory Board.
The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the "performance of
any acts ... in or out of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law," which tells us
absolutely nothing. The decision goes on to say that "because lawyers perform almost every
function known in the commercial and governmental realm, such a definition would obviously
be too global to be workable."
The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to be
engaged in the practice of law even if he does not earn his living, or at least part of it, as a
lawyer. It is enough that his activities are incidentally (even if only remotely) connected with
some law, ordinance, or regulation. The possible exception is the lawyer whose income is
derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting wrinkled ladies with pubescent
pretensions.
The respondent's credentials are impressive, to be sure, but they do not persuade me that he
has been engaged in the practice of law for ten years as required by the Constitution. It is
conceded that he has been engaged in business and finance, in which areas he has
distinguished himself, but as an executive and economist and not as a practicing lawyer. The
plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions listed in his resume by virtue of his
experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an attorney-at-law whose principal
attention is focused on the law. Even if it be argued that he was acting as a lawyer when he
lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform, served in the NAMFREL and the
Constitutional Commission (together with non-lawyers like farmers and priests) and was a
member of the Davide Commission, he has not proved that his activities in these capacities
extended over the prescribed 10-year period of actual practice of the law. He is doubtless
eminently qualified for many other positions worthy of his abundant talents but not as
Chairman of the Commission on Elections.
I have much admiration for respondent Monsod, no less than for Mr. Justice Paras, but I must
regretfully vote to grant the petition.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:
When this petition was filed, there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a
qualification for public office would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive terms.
Unfortunately, this was not the result.
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Of the fourteen (14) member Court, 5 are of the view that Mr. Christian Monsod engaged in the
practice of law (with one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave but not
expressing his clear stand on the matter); 4 categorically stating that he did not practice law; 2
voting in the result because there was no error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of
discretion; one of official leave with no instructions left behind on how he viewed the issue; and
2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision.
There are two key factors that make our task difficult. First is our reviewing the work of a
constitutional Commission on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the
qualifications of persons appointed to high office. Even if the Commission errs, we have no
power to set aside error. We can look only into grave abuse of discretion or whimsically and
arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. Monsod possesses superior qualifications in terms of
executive ability, proficiency in management, educational background, experience in
international banking and finance, and instant recognition by the public. His integrity and
competence are not questioned by the petitioner. What is before us is compliance with a
specific requirement written into the Constitution.
Inspite of my high regard for Mr. Monsod, I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. He has never
engaged in the practice of law for even one year. He is a member of the bar but to say that he
has practiced law is stretching the term beyond rational limits.
A person may have passed the bar examinations. But if he has not dedicated his life to the law,
if he has not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail to see
how he can claim to have been engaged in the practice of law.
Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also for
appointment to the Supreme Court and all lower courts. What kind of Judges or Justices will we
have if there main occupation is selling real estate, managing a business corporation, serving in
fact-finding committee, working in media, or operating a farm with no active involvement in
the law, whether in Government or private practice, except that in one joyful moment in the
distant past, they happened to pass the bar examinations?
The Constitution uses the phrase "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." The
deliberate choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is active and regular, not
isolated, occasional, accidental, intermittent, incidental, seasonal, or extemporaneous. To be
"engaged" in an activity for ten years requires committed participation in something which is
the result of one's decisive choice. It means that one is occupied and involved in the enterprise;
one is obliged or pledged to carry it out with intent and attention during the ten-year period.
I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod to the
Commission on Appointments, the latter has not been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years. In fact, if appears that Mr. Monsod has never practiced law except for an
alleged one year period after passing the bar examinations when he worked in his father's law
firm. Even then his law practice must have been extremely limited because he was also working
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for M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania during that period.
How could he practice law in the United States while not a member of the Bar there?
The professional life of the respondent follows:
1.15.1. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in
1961 consist of the following:
1. 1961-1963: M.A. in Economics (Ph. D. candidate), University of Pennsylvania
2. 1963-1970: World Bank Group Economist, Industry Department;
Operations, Latin American Department; Division Chief, South Asia and Middle
East, International Finance Corporation
3. 1970-1973: Meralco Group Executive of various companies, i.e., Meralco
Securities Corporation, Philippine Petroleum Corporation, Philippine Electric
Corporation
4. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group President, Fil-Capital Development Corporation
and affiliated companies
5. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila Chief Executive Officer
6. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer
7. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission Member
8. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup
Attempt Member
9. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following
companies:
a. ACE Container Philippines, Inc.
b. Dataprep, Philippines
c. Philippine SUNsystems Products, Inc.
d. Semirara Coal Corporation
e. CBL Timber Corporation
Member of the Board of the Following:
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a. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines
b. First Philippine Energy Corporation
c. First Philippine Holdings Corporation
d. First Philippine Industrial Corporation
e. Graphic Atelier
f. Manila Electric Company
g. Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc.
h. Philippine Electric Corporation
i. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises
j. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation
k. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation
l. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo, pp. 21-22)
There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent Monsod
has given the lawenough attention or a certain degree of commitment and participation as
would support in all sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in its practice for at least
ten years. Instead of working as a lawyer, he has lawyers working for him. Instead of giving
receiving that legal advice of legal services, he was the oneadvice and those services as an
executive but not as a lawyer.
The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate "engaged
in the practice of law" with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor such as
commerce, industry, civic work, blue ribbon investigations, agrarian reform, etc. where such
knowledge would be helpful.
I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term, which even an ordinary layman
accepts as having a familiar and customary well-defined meaning. Every resident of this country
who has reached the age of discernment has to know, follow, or apply the law at various times
in his life. Legal knowledge is useful if not necessary for the business executive, legislator,
mayor, barangay captain, teacher, policeman, farmer, fisherman, market vendor, and student
to name only a few. And yet, can these people honestly assert that as such, they are engaged in
the practice of law?
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The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." It
is not satisfied with having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least ten years."
Some American courts have defined the practice of law, as follows:
The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with
litigation but also services rendered out of court, and it includes the giving of
advice or the rendering of any services requiring the use of legal skill or
knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract or other instrument, the legal
effect of which, under the facts and conditions involved, must be carefully
determined. People ex rel. Chicago Bar Ass'n v. Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d
693; People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344
Ill. 462,176 N.E. 901, and cases cited.
It would be difficult, if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what
constitutes the practice of law. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing
as an attorney or counselor at law according to the laws and customs of our
courts, is the giving of advice or rendition of any sort of service by any person,
firm or corporation when the giving of such advice or rendition of such service
requires the use of any degree of legal knowledge or skill." Without adopting
that definition, we referred to it as being substantially correct in People ex rel.
Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176 N.E.
901. (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773, 776)
For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be
activities peculiar to the work of a lawyer, they should also be performed, habitually, frequently
or customarily, to wit:
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. He
was asked whether or not he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-
estate transactions where he was not the procuring agent. He answered: "Very
seldom." In answer to the question as to how many times he had prepared
contracts for the parties during the twenty-one years of his business, he said: "I
have no Idea." When asked if it would be more than half a dozen times his
answer was I suppose. Asked if he did not recall making the statement to several
parties that he had prepared contracts in a large number of instances, he
answered: "I don't recall exactly what was said." When asked if he did not
remember saying that he had made a practice of preparing deeds, mortgages
and contracts and charging a fee to the parties therefor in instances where he
was not the broker in the deal, he answered: "Well, I don't believe so, that is not
a practice." Pressed further for an answer as to his practice in preparing
contracts and deeds for parties where he was not the broker, he finally
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answered: "I have done about everything that is on the books as far as real
estate is concerned."
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a
lawful right to do any legal work in connection with real-estate transactions,
especially in drawing of real-estate contracts, deeds, mortgages, notes and the
like. There is no doubt but that he has engaged in these practices over the years
and has charged for his services in that connection. ... (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E.
2d 773)
xxx xxx xxx
... An attorney, in the most general sense, is a person designated or employed by
another to act in his stead; an agent; more especially, one of a class of persons
authorized to appear and act for suitors or defendants in legal proceedings.
Strictly, these professional persons are attorneys at law, and non-professional
agents are properly styled "attorney's in fact;" but the single word is much used
as meaning an attorney at law. A person may be an attorney in facto for another,
without being an attorney at law. Abb. Law Dict. "Attorney." A public attorney,
or attorney at law, says Webster, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified
to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainerof clients. "The
principal duties of an attorney are (1) to be true to the court and to his client; (2)
to manage the business of his client with care, skill, and integrity; (3) to keep his
client informed as to the state of his business; (4) to keep his secrets confided to
him as such. ... His rights are to be justly compensated for his services." Bouv.
Law Dict. tit. "Attorney." The transitive verb "practice," as defined by Webster,
means 'to do or perform frequently, customarily, or habitually; to perform by a
succession of acts, as, to practice gaming, ... to carry on in practice, or repeated
action; to apply, as a theory, to real life; to exercise, as a profession, trade, art.
etc.; as, to practice law or medicine,' etc...." (State v. Bryan, S.E. 522, 523;
Emphasis supplied)
In this jurisdiction, we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a succession of
acts. Thus, we stated in the case of People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 [1965]):
xxx xxx xxx
... Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State v.
Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of
statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public, as
a lawyer and demanding payment for such services. ... . (at p. 112)
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It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a required
component of the meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and issued by it, to
wit:
l. Habituality. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding
one's self out to the public as a lawyer (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing
State v. Bryan, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular
announcing the establishment of a law office for the general practice of law (U.S.
v. Noy Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the oath of office as a lawyer
before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court
informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v.
De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or
customary action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a
habitual exercise (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 1 09 citing State v. Cotner, 1 27,
p. 1, 87 Kan, 864)." (Rollo, p. 115)
xxx xxx xxx
While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his legal
knowledge, the use of such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated activities
which do not fall under the denomination of practice of law. Admission to the practice of law
was not required for membership in the Constitutional Commission or in the Fact-Finding
Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Any specific legal activities which may have been
assigned to Mr. Monsod while a member may be likened to isolated transactions of foreign
corporations in the Philippines which do not categorize the foreign corporations as doing
business in the Philippines. As in the practice of law, doing business also should be active and
continuous. Isolated business transactions or occasional, incidental and casual transactions are
not within the context of doing business. This was our ruling in the case of Antam Consolidated,
Inc. v. Court of appeals, 143 SCRA 288 [1986]).
Respondent Monsod, corporate executive, civic leader, and member of the Constitutional
Commission may possess the background, competence, integrity, and dedication, to qualify for
such high offices as President, Vice-President, Senator, Congressman or Governor but the
Constitution in prescribing the specific qualification of having engaged in the practice of law for
at least ten (10) years for the position of COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be
confirmed for that office. The Constitution charges the public respondents no less than this
Court to obey its mandate.
I, therefore, believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of
discretion in confirming the nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.
I vote to GRANT the petition.
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Bidin, J., dissent

Separate Opinions
NARVASA, J., concurring:
I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. Justice Paras, albeit only in the result;
it does not appear to me that there has been an adequate showing that the challenged
determination by the Commission on Appointments-that the appointment of respondent
Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections should, on the basis of his stated
qualifications and after due assessment thereof, be confirmed-was attended by error so gross
as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently merits nullification by this Court in
accordance with the second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution. I therefore
vote to DENY the petition.
Melencio-Herrera, J., concur.
PADILLA, J., dissenting:
The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at bar, I
voted not only to require the respondents to comment on the Petition, but I was the sole vote
for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent Monsod from assuming
the position of COMELEC Chairman, while the Court deliberated on his constitutional
qualification for the office. My purpose in voting for a TRO was to prevent the inconvenience
and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the Court to finally decide for
respondent Monsod's disqualification. Moreover, a reading of the Petition then in relation to
established jurisprudence already showed prima facie that respondent Monsod did not possess
the needed qualification, that is, he had not engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10)
years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment, I am even more convinced that the
constitutional requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not been met.
The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because,
ultimately, the core issue to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the
constitutional provision requiring a majority of the membership of COMELEC, including the
Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." (Art.
IX(C), Section 1(1), 1987 Constitution). Questions involving the construction of constitutional
provisions are best left to judicial resolution. As declared in Angara v. Electoral Commission, (63
Phil. 139) "upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of
interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries."
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The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Among
these are that he must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." It
is the bounden duty of this Court to ensure that such standard is met and complied with.
What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood, "practice" refers to the actual
performance or application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of knowledge;
it connotes an active, habitual,repeated or customary action.
1
To "practice" law, or any
profession for that matter, means, to exercise or pursue an employment or profession actively,
habitually, repeatedly or customarily.
Therefore, a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks of a
nursing aide, cannot be said to be in the "practice of medicine." A certified public accountant
who works as a clerk, cannot be said to practice his profession as an accountant. In the same
way, a lawyer who is employed as a business executive or a corporate manager, other than as
head or attorney of a Legal Department of a corporation or a governmental agency, cannot be
said to be in the practice of law.
As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. Villanueva:
2

Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or
customary actions, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is
frequent habitual exercise (State vs- Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S.
768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted
as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer and
demanding payment for such services (State vs. Bryan, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C.
644,647.) ... (emphasis supplied).
It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Memorandum it
prepared, enumerated several factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes
"practice of law." It states:
1. Habituality. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually
holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA
109 citing State v. Boyen, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a
circular announcing the establishment of a law office for the general practice of
law (U.S. v. Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the oath of office as a
lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court
informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v.
De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or
customary action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a
habitual exercise (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127,
p. 1, 87 Kan, 864).
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2. Compensation. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself
to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his
professional services are available to the public for compensation, as a service of
his livelihood or in consideration of his said services. (People v. Villanueva,
supra). Hence, charging for services such as preparation of documents involving
the use of legal knowledge and skill is within the term "practice of law" (Ernani
Pao, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988 ed., p. 8 citing People v.
People's Stockyards State Bank, 176 N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion
as to the proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is to that
extent, practicing law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing Mendelaun v. Gilbert and
Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If compensation is expected, all advice to clients
and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law; are practicing
law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor, 94A-L.R. 356-359)
3. Application of law legal principle practice or procedure which calls for legal
knowledge, training and experience is within the term "practice of law".
(Martin supra)
4. Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the
existence of lawyer-client relationship. Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an
activity which requires knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client
relationship, such as teaching law or writing law books or articles, he cannot be
said to be engaged in the practice of his profession or a lawyer (Agpalo, Legal
Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30).
3

The above-enumerated factors would, I believe, be useful aids in determining whether or not
respondent Monsod meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at least ten
(10) years at the time of his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
The following relevant questions may be asked:
1. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of law?
2. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually?
3. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually, did he do so HABITUALLY FOR AT
LEAST TEN (10) YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman?
Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the records, I am
persuaded that if ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the practice of law,
he did not do so HABITUALLY for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC
Chairman.
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While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be latitudinarianly
considered activities peculiar to the practice of law, like the drafting of legal documents and the
rendering of legal opinion or advice, such were isolated transactions or activities which do not
qualify his past endeavors as "practice of law." To become engaged in the practice of law, there
must be a continuity, or a succession of acts. As observed by the Solicitor General in People vs.
Villanueva:
4

Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have
presented himself to be in theactive and continued practice of the legal
profession and that his professional services are available to the public for a
compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said
services.
ACCORDINGLY, my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as not
qualified for the position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the practice of law
for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment to such position.
CRUZ, J., dissenting:
I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just the
same. There are certain points on which I must differ with him while of course respecting
hisviewpoint.
To begin with, I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the
respondent simply because his nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on
Appointments. In my view, this is not a political question that we are barred from resolving.
Determination of the appointee's credentials is made on the basis of the established facts, not
the discretion of that body. Even if it were, the exercise of that discretion would still be subject
to our review.
In Luego, which is cited in the ponencia, what was involved was the discretion of the appointing
authority to choosebetween two claimants to the same office who both possessed the required
qualifications. It was that kind of discretion that we said could not be reviewed.
If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for lack of
the required qualifications, I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an appointee simply
because he has passed the Commission on Appointments.
Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an appropriate
proceeding notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less than the
enfranchised citizenry. The reason is that what we would be examining is not the wisdom of his
election but whether or not he was qualified to be elected in the first place.
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Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent, I fear that the ponencia may have
been too sweeping in its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the qualification
practically toothless. From the numerous activities accepted as embraced in the term, I have
the uncomfortable feeling that one does not even have to be a lawyer to be engaged in the
practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of some law, however
peripherally. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the realtor could come under the
definition as they deal with or give advice on matters that are likely "to become involved in
litigation."
The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is another
business and he interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such business. That
covers every company organized under the Corporation Code and regulated by the SEC under
P.D. 902-A. Considering the ramifications of the modern society, there is hardly any activity that
is not affected by some law or government regulation the businessman must know about and
observe. In fact, again going by the definition, a lawyer does not even have to be part of a
business concern to be considered a practitioner. He can be so deemed when, on his own, he
rents a house or buys a car or consults a doctor as these acts involve his knowledge and
application of the laws regulating such transactions. If he operates a public utility vehicle as his
main source of livelihood, he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of law because he
must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory Board.
The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the "performance of
any acts . . . in or out of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law," which tells us
absolutely nothing. The decision goes on to say that "because lawyers perform almost every
function known in the commercial and governmental realm, such a definition would obviously
be too global to be workable."
The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to be
engaged in the practice of law even if he does not earn his living, or at least part of it, as a
lawyer. It is enough that his activities are incidentally (even if only remotely) connected with
some law, ordinance, or regulation. The possible exception is the lawyer whose income is
derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting wrinkled ladies with pubescent
pretensions.
The respondent's credentials are impressive, to be sure, but they do not persuade me that he
has been engaged in the practice of law for ten years as required by the Constitution. It is
conceded that he has been engaged in business and finance, in which areas he has
distinguished himself, but as an executive and economist and not as a practicing lawyer. The
plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions listed in his resume by virtue of his
experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an attorney-at-law whose principal
attention is focused on the law. Even if it be argued that he was acting as a lawyer when he
lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform, served in the NAMFREL and the
Constitutional Commission (together with non-lawyers like farmers and priests) and was a
member of the Davide Commission, he has not proved that his activities in these capacities
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extended over the prescribed 10-year period of actual practice of the law. He is doubtless
eminently qualified for many other positions worthy of his abundant talents but not as
Chairman of the Commission on Elections.
I have much admiration for respondent Monsod, no less than for Mr. Justice Paras, but I must
regretfully vote to grant the petition.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:
When this petition was filed, there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a
qualification for public office would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive terms.
Unfortunately, this was not the result.
Of the fourteen (14) member Court, 5 are of the view that Mr. Christian Monsod engaged in the
practice of law (with one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave but not
expressing his clear stand on the matter); 4 categorically stating that he did not practice law; 2
voting in the result because there was no error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of
discretion; one of official leave with no instructions left behind on how he viewed the issue; and
2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision.
There are two key factors that make our task difficult. First is our reviewing the work of a
constitutional Commission on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the
qualifications of persons appointed to high office. Even if the Commission errs, we have no
power to set aside error. We can look only into grave abuse of discretion or whimsically and
arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. Monsod possesses superior qualifications in terms of
executive ability, proficiency in management, educational background, experience in
international banking and finance, and instant recognition by the public. His integrity and
competence are not questioned by the petitioner. What is before us is compliance with a
specific requirement written into the Constitution.
Inspite of my high regard for Mr. Monsod, I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. He has never
engaged in the practice of law for even one year. He is a member of the bar but to say that he
has practiced law is stretching the term beyond rational limits.
A person may have passed the bar examinations. But if he has not dedicated his life to the law,
if he has not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail to see
how he can claim to have been engaged in the practice of law.
Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also for
appointment to the Supreme Court and all lower courts. What kind of Judges or Justices will we
have if there main occupation is selling real estate, managing a business corporation, serving in
fact-finding committee, working in media, or operating a farm with no active involvement in
the law, whether in Government or private practice, except that in one joyful moment in the
distant past, they happened to pass the bar examinations?
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The Constitution uses the phrase "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." The
deliberate choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is active and regular, not
isolated, occasional, accidental, intermittent, incidental, seasonal, or extemporaneous. To be
"engaged" in an activity for ten years requires committed participation in something which is
the result of one's decisive choice. It means that one is occupied and involved in the enterprise;
one is obliged or pledged to carry it out with intent and attention during the ten-year period.
I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod to the
Commission on Appointments, the latter has not been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years. In fact, if appears that Mr. Monsod has never practiced law except for an
alleged one year period after passing the bar examinations when he worked in his father's law
firm. Even then his law practice must have been extremely limited because he was also working
for M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania during that period.
How could he practice law in the United States while not a member of the Bar there?
The professional life of the respondent follows:
1.15.1. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in
1961 consist of the following:
1. 1961-1963: M.A. in Economics (Ph. D. candidate), University of Pennsylvania
2. 1963-1970: World Bank Group Economist, Industry Department;
Operations, Latin American Department; Division Chief, South Asia and Middle
East, International Finance Corporation
3. 1970-1973: Meralco Group Executive of various companies, i.e., Meralco
Securities Corporation, Philippine Petroleum Corporation, Philippine Electric
Corporation
4. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group President, Fil-Capital Development Corporation
and affiliated companies
5. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila Chief Executive Officer
6. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer
7. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission Member
8. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup
Attempt Member
9. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following
companies:
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a. ACE Container Philippines, Inc.
b. Dataprep, Philippines
c. Philippine SUNsystems Products, Inc.
d. Semirara Coal Corporation
e. CBL Timber Corporation
Member of the Board of the Following:
a. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines
b. First Philippine Energy Corporation
c. First Philippine Holdings Corporation
d. First Philippine Industrial Corporation
e. Graphic Atelier
f. Manila Electric Company
g. Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc.
h. Philippine Electric Corporation
i. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises
j. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation
k. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation
l. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo, pp. 21-22)
There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent Monsod
has given the lawenough attention or a certain degree of commitment and participation as
would support in all sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in its practice for at least
ten years. Instead of working as a lawyer, he has lawyers working for him. Instead of giving
receiving that legal advice of legal services, he was the oneadvice and those services as an
executive but not as a lawyer.
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The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate "engaged
in the practice of law" with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor such as
commerce, industry, civic work, blue ribbon investigations, agrarian reform, etc. where such
knowledge would be helpful.
I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term, which even an ordinary layman
accepts as having a familiar and customary well-defined meaning. Every resident of this country
who has reached the age of discernment has to know, follow, or apply the law at various times
in his life. Legal knowledge is useful if not necessary for the business executive, legislator,
mayor, barangay captain, teacher, policeman, farmer, fisherman, market vendor, and student
to name only a few. And yet, can these people honestly assert that as such, they are engaged in
the practice of law?
The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." It
is not satisfied with having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least ten years."
Some American courts have defined the practice of law, as follows:
The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with
litigation but also services rendered out of court, and it includes the giving of
advice or the rendering of any services requiring the use of legal skill or
knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract or other instrument, the legal
effect of which, under the facts and conditions involved, must be carefully
determined. People ex rel. Chicago Bar Ass'n v. Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d
693; People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344
Ill. 462,176 N.E. 901, and cases cited.
It would be difficult, if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what
constitutes the practice of law. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing
as an attorney or counselor at law according to the laws and customs of our
courts, is the giving of advice or rendition of any sort of service by any person,
firm or corporation when the giving of such advice or rendition of such service
requires the use of any degree of legal knowledge or skill." Without adopting
that definition, we referred to it as being substantially correct in People ex rel.
Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176 N.E.
901. (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773, 776)
For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be
activities peculiar to the work of a lawyer, they should also be performed, habitually, frequently
or customarily, to wit:
xxx xxx xxx
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Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. He
was asked whether or not he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-
estate transactions where he was not the procuring agent. He answered: "Very
seldom." In answer to the question as to how many times he had prepared
contracts for the parties during the twenty-one years of his business, he said: "I
have no Idea." When asked if it would be more than half a dozen times his
answer was I suppose. Asked if he did not recall making the statement to several
parties that he had prepared contracts in a large number of instances, he
answered: "I don't recall exactly what was said." When asked if he did not
remember saying that he had made a practice of preparing deeds, mortgages
and contracts and charging a fee to the parties therefor in instances where he
was not the broker in the deal, he answered: "Well, I don't believe so, that is not
a practice." Pressed further for an answer as to his practice in preparing
contracts and deeds for parties where he was not the broker, he finally
answered: "I have done about everything that is on the books as far as real
estate is concerned."
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a
lawful right to do any legal work in connection with real-estate transactions,
especially in drawing of real-estate contracts, deeds, mortgages, notes and the
like. There is no doubt but that he has engaged in these practices over the years
and has charged for his services in that connection. ... (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E.
2d 773)
xxx xxx xxx
... An attorney, in the most general sense, is a person designated or employed by
another to act in his stead; an agent; more especially, one of a class of persons
authorized to appear and act for suitors or defendants in legal proceedings.
Strictly, these professional persons are attorneys at law, and non-professional
agents are properly styled "attorney's in fact;" but the single word is much used
as meaning an attorney at law. A person may be an attorney in facto for another,
without being an attorney at law. Abb. Law Dict. "Attorney." A public attorney,
or attorney at law, says Webster, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified
to prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainerof clients. "The
principal duties of an attorney are (1) to be true to the court and to his client; (2)
to manage the business of his client with care, skill, and integrity; (3) to keep his
client informed as to the state of his business; (4) to keep his secrets confided to
him as such. ... His rights are to be justly compensated for his services." Bouv.
Law Dict. tit. "Attorney." The transitive verb "practice," as defined by Webster,
means 'to do or perform frequently, customarily, or habitually; to perform by a
succession of acts, as, to practice gaming, ... to carry on in practice, or repeated
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action; to apply, as a theory, to real life; to exercise, as a profession, trade, art.
etc.; as, to practice law or medicine,' etc...." (State v. Bryan, S.E. 522, 523;
Emphasis supplied)
In this jurisdiction, we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a succession of
acts. Thus, we stated in the case of People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 [1965]):
xxx xxx xxx
... Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State v.
Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of
statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public, as
a lawyer and demanding payment for such services. ... . (at p. 112)
It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a required
component of the meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and issued by it, to
wit:
l. Habituality. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding
one's self out to the public as a lawyer (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing
State v. Bryan, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular
announcing the establishment of a law office for the general practice of law (U.S.
v. Noy Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the oath of office as a lawyer
before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court
informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v.
De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or
customary action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a
habitual exercise (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 1 09 citing State v. Cotner, 1 27,
p. 1, 87 Kan, 864)." (Rollo, p. 115)
xxx xxx xxx
While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his legal
knowledge, the use of such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated activities
which do not fall under the denomination of practice of law. Admission to the practice of law
was not required for membership in the Constitutional Commission or in the Fact-Finding
Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Any specific legal activities which may have been
assigned to Mr. Monsod while a member may be likened to isolated transactions of foreign
corporations in the Philippines which do not categorize the foreign corporations as doing
business in the Philippines. As in the practice of law, doing business also should be active and
continuous. Isolated business transactions or occasional, incidental and casual transactions are
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not within the context of doing business. This was our ruling in the case of Antam Consolidated,
Inc. v. Court of appeals, 143 SCRA 288 [1986]).
Respondent Monsod, corporate executive, civic leader, and member of the Constitutional
Commission may possess the background, competence, integrity, and dedication, to qualify for
such high offices as President, Vice-President, Senator, Congressman or Governor but the
Constitution in prescribing the specific qualification of having engaged in the practice of law for
at least ten (10) years for the position of COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be
confirmed for that office. The Constitution charges the public respondents no less than this
Court to obey its mandate.
I, therefore, believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of
discretion in confirming the nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.
I vote to GRANT the petition.
Bidin, J., dissent
Footnotes
1 Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary.
2 14 SCRA 109
3 Commission on Appointments' Memorandum dated 25 June 1991 RE: WHAT
CONSTITUTES PRACTICE OF LAW, pp. 6-7.
4 14 SCRA 109.








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REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW
A. LEGAL EDUCATION
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7662
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR REFORMS IN THE LEGAL EDUCATION, CREATING FOR THE PURPOSE,
A LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Legal Education Reform Act of 1993."
Section 2. Declaration of Policies. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to uplift the
standards of legal education in order to prepare law students for advocacy, counselling,
problem-solving, and decision-making, to infuse in them the ethics of the legal profession; to
impress on them the importance, nobility and dignity of the legal profession as an equal and
indispensable partner of the Bench in the administration of justice and to develop social
competence.
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Towards this end, the State shall undertake appropriate reforms in the legal education system,
require proper selection of law students, maintain quality among law schools, and require legal
apprenticeship and continuing legal education.
Section 3. General and Specific Objective of Legal Education. - (a) Legal education in the
Philippines is geared to attain the following objectives:
(1) to prepare students for the practice of law;
(2) to increase awareness among members of the legal profession of the needs
of the poor, deprived and oppressed sectors of society;
(3) to train persons for leadership;
(4) to contribute towards the promotion and advancement of justice and the
improvement of its administration, the legal system and legal institutions in the
light of the historical and contemporary development of law in the Philippines
and in other countries.
(b) Legal education shall aim to accomplish the following specific objectives:
(1) to impart among law students a broad knowledge of law and its various fields
and of legal institutions;
(2) to enhance their legal research abilities to enable them to analyze, articulate
and apply the law effectively, as well as to allowthem to have a holistic approach
to legal problems and issues;
(3) to prepare law students for advocacy, counselling, problem-solving and
decision-making, and to develop their ability to deal with recognized legal
problems of the present and the future;
(4) to develop competence in any field of law as is necessary for gainful
employment or sufficient as a foundation for future training beyond the basic
professional degree, and to develop in them the desire and capacity for
continuing study and self-improvement;
(5) to inculcate in them the ethics and responsibilities of the legal profession;
and
(6) to produce lawyers who conscientiously pursue the lofty goals of their
profession and to fully adhere to its ethical norms.
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Section 4. Legal Education Board; Creation and Composition. - To carry out the purpose of this
Act, there is hereby created the Legal Education Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board,
attached solely for budgetary purposes and administrative support to the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports.
The Board shall be composed of a Chairman, who shall preferably be a former justice of the
Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, and the following as regular members: a representative of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP); a representative of the Philippine Association of Law
Schools (PALS); a representative from the ranks of active law practitioners; and, a
representative from the law students' sector. The Secretary of the Department of Education,
Culture and Sports, or his representative, shall be an ex officio member of the Board.
With the exception of the representative of the law students' sector, the Chairman and regular
members of the Board must be natural-born citizen of the Philippines and members of the
Philippine Bar, who have been engaged for at least ten (10) years in the practice of law, as well
as in the teaching of law in a duly authorized or recognized law school.
Section 5. Term of Office; Compensation. - The Chairman and regular members of the Board
shall be appointed by the President for a term of five (5) years without reappointment from a
list of at least three (3) nominees prepared, with prior authorization from the Supreme Court,
by the Judicial and Bar Council, for every position or vacancy, and no such appointment shall
need confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Of those first appointed, the Chairman
and the representative of the IBP shall hold office for five (5) years, the representatives of the
PALS and the PALP, for three (3) years; and the representative from the ranks of active law
practitioners and the representative of the law students' sector, for one (1) year, without
reappointment. Appointments to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpire portion of the term
of the predecessor.
The Chairman and regular members of the Board shall have the same salary and rank as the
Chairman and members, respectively, of the Constitutional Commissions: Provided, That their
salaries shall not be diminished during their term of office.
Section 6. Office and Staff Support. - The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall
provide the necessary office and staff support to the Board, with a principal office to be located
in Metropolitan Manila.
The Board may appoint such other officers and employees it may deem necessary in the
performanceof its powers and functions.
Section 7. Powers and Functions. - For the purpose of achieving the objectives of this Act, the
Board shall havethe following powers and functions:
(a) to administer the legal education system in the country in a manner consistent with
the provisions of this Act;
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(b) to supervise the law schools in the country, consistent with its powers and functions
as herein enumerated;
(c) to set the standards of accreditation for law schools taking into account, among
others, the size of enrollment, the qualifications of the members of the faculty, the
library and other facilities, without encroaching upon the academic freedom of
institutions of higher learning;
(d) to accredit law schools that meet the standards of accreditation;
(e) to prescribe minimum standards for law admission and minimum qualifications and
compensation of faculty members;
(f) to prescribe the basic curricula for the course of study aligned to the requirements
for admission to the Bar, law practice and social consciousness, and such other courses
of study as may be prescribed by the law schools and colleges under the different levels
of accreditation status;
(g) to establish a law practice internship as a requirement for taking the Bar which a law
student shall undergo with any duly accredited private or public law office or firm or
legal assistance group anytime during the law course for a specific period that the Board
may decide, but not to exceed a total of twelve (12) months. For this purpose, the Board
shall prescribe the necessary guidelines for such accreditation and the specifications of
such internship which shall include the actual work of a new member of the Bar.
(h) to adopt a system of continuing legal education. For this purpose, the Board may
provide for the mandatory attendance of practicing lawyers in such courses and for such
duration as the Board may deem necessary; and
(i) to perform such other functions and prescribe such rules and regulations necessary
for the attainment of the policies and objectives of this Act.
Section 8. Accreditation of Law Schools. - Educational institutions may not operate a law school
unless accredited by the Board. Accreditation of law schools may be granted only to
educational institutions recognized by the Government.
Section 9. Withdrawal or Downgrading of Accreditation. - The Board may withdraw or
downgrade the accreditation status of a law school if it fails to maintain the standards set for its
accreditation status.
Section 10. Effectivity of Withdrawal or Downgrading of Accreditation. - The withdrawal or
downgrading of accreditation status shall be effetive after the lapse ofthe semester or trimester
following the receipt by the school of the notice of withdrawal or downgrading unless, in the
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meantime, the school meets and/or upgrades the standards or corrects the deficiencies upon
which the withdrawal or downgrading of the accreditation status is based.
Section 11. Legal Education Fund. - There is hereby created a special endowment fund, to be
known as the Legal Education Fund, which shall be under the control of the Board, and
administered as a separate fund by the Social Security System (SSS) which shall invest the same
with due and prudent regard to its solvency, safety and liquidity.
The Legal Education Fund shall be established out of, and maintained from, the amounts
appropriated pursuant to paragraph 2, Section 13 hereof, and from sixty percent (60%) of the
privilege tax paid by every lawyer effective Fiscal Year 1994; and from such donations, legacies,
grant-in-aid and other forms of contributions received by the Board for the purposes of this Act.
Being a special endowment fund, only the interests earned on the Legal Education Fund shall be
used exclusively for the purposes of this Act, including support for faculty development grants,
professorial chairs, library improvements and similar programs for the advancement of law
teaching and education in accredited law schools.
The Fund shall also be used for the operation of the Board. For this purpose, an amount not
exceeding ten percent (10%) of the interest on the Fund shall be utilized.
The Board, in consultation with the SSS, shall issue the necessary rules and regulations for the
collection, administration and utilization of the Fund.
Section 12. Coverage. - The provisions of this Act shall apply to all schools and colleges of law
which are presently under the supervision of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.
Hereafter, said supervision shall be transferred to the Board. Law schools and colleges which
shall be established following the approval of this Act shall likewise be covered.
Section 13. Appropriation. - The amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) is hereby
authorized to be charged against the current year's appropriation of the Contingent Fund for
the initial expenses of the Board.
To form part of the Legal Education Fund, there shall be appropriated annually, under the
budget of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the amount of Ten Million Pesos
(P10,000,000.00) for a period of ten (10) years effective Fiscal Year 1994.
Section 14. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or the
application thereof to any person, circumstance or transaction is held invalid, the validity of the
remaining provisions of this Act and the applicability of such provisions to other persons,
circumstances and transactions shall not be affected thereby.
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Section 15. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executie orders, rules and regulations,
issuances or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act is hereby repealed or amended
accordingly.
Section 16. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the
completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two (2) newspapers of general
circulation.

B. CITIZENSHIP
Republic Act No. 9225
August 29, 2003
AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE FOREIGN
CITIZENSHIP PERMANENT.
AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE COMMONWEALTH ACT. NO. 63, AS AMENDED 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 "Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition
Act of 2003."
Section 2. Declaration of Policy - It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippine
citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under
the conditions of this Act.
Section 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship - Any provision of law to the contrary
notwithstanding, natural-born citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a
foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the
following oath of allegiance to the Republic:
"I _____________________, solemny swear (or affrim) that I will support and defend
the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders
promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby declare
that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will maintain
true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I imposed this obligation upon myself
voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion."
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Natural born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become citizens of
a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath.
Section 4. Derivative Citizenship - The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or
adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon
effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizenship of the Philippines.
Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities - Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine
citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant
liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines and the following
conditions:
(1) Those intending to exercise their right of surffrage must Meet the requirements
under Section 1, Article V of the Constitution, Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known
as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003" and other existing laws;
(2) Those seeking elective public in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for
holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the
time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to
administer an oath;
(3) Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to
their assumption of office: Provided, That they renounce their oath of allegiance to the
country where they took that oath;
(4) Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the
proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice; and
(5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines
cannot be exercised by, or extended to, those who:
(a) are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which
they are naturalized citizens; and/or
(b) are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the
armed forces of the country which they are naturalized citizens.
Section 6. Separability Clause - If any section or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or
invalid, any other section or provision not affected thereby shall remain valid and effective.
Section 7. Repealing Clause - All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with
the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
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Section 8. Effectivity Clause This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its
publication in theOfficial Gazette or two (2) newspaper of general circulation.


Approved,
FRANKLIN DRILON
President of the Senate
JOSE DE VENECIA JR.
Speaker of the House of
Representatives
This Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2130 and House Bill No. 4720 was finally
passed by the the House of Representatives and Senate on August 25, 2003 and August 26,
2003, respectively.
OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of Senate
ROBERTO P. NAZARENO
Secretary General
House of Represenatives
Approved: August 29, 2003
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
President of the Philippines


EN BANC

PETITION FOR LEAVE TO B.M. No. 1678
RESUME PRACTICE OF LAW,

BENJAMIN M. DACANAY,
Petitioner,
Present:
PUNO, C.J.,
QUISUMBING,
*

YNARES-SANTIAGO,
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ,
CARPIO,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
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CORONA,
CARPIO MORALES,
AZCUNA,
TINGA,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
GARCIA,
VELASCO, JR.
NACHURA,
REYES and
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, JJ.


Promulgated:

December 17, 2007

x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

R E S O L U T I O N
CORONA, J.:


This bar matter concerns the petition of petitioner Benjamin M. Dacanay for leave to
resume the practice of law.
Petitioner was admitted to the Philippine bar in March 1960. He practiced law until he
migrated to Canada in December 1998 to seek medical attention for his ailments. He
subsequently applied for Canadian citizenship to avail of Canadas free medical aid program. His
application was approved and he became a Canadian citizen in May 2004.

On July 14, 2006, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-
Acquisition Act of 2003), petitioner reacquired his Philippine citizenship.
[1]
On that day, he took
his oath of allegiance as a Filipino citizen before the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto,
Canada. Thereafter, he returned to the Philippines and now intends to resume his law practice.
There is a question, however, whether petitioner Benjamin M. Dacanay lost his membership in
the Philippine bar when he gave up his Philippine citizenship in May 2004. Thus, this petition.
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In a report dated October 16, 2007, the Office of the Bar Confidant cites Section 2, Rule
138 (Attorneys and Admission to Bar) of the Rules of Court:

SECTION 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.

Applying the provision, the Office of the Bar Confidant opines that, by virtue of his reacquisition
of Philippine citizenship, in 2006, petitioner has again met all the qualifications and has none of
the disqualifications for membership in the bar. It recommends that he be allowed to resume
the practice of law in the Philippines, conditioned on his retaking the lawyers oath to remind
him of his duties and responsibilities as a member of the Philippine bar.

We approve the recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant with certain
modifications.

The practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions.
[2]
It is so delicately affected
with public interest that it is both a power and a duty of the State (through this Court) to
control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare.
[3]


Adherence to rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree of
morality, faithful observance of the rules of the legal profession, compliance with the
mandatory continuing legal education requirement and payment of membership fees to the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) are the conditions required for membership in good
standing in the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law. Any breach by a lawyer of any
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of these conditions makes him unworthy of the trust and confidence which the courts and
clients repose in him for the continued exercise of his professional privilege.
[4]


Section 1, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court provides:

SECTION 1. Who may practice law. Any person heretofore duly
admitted as a member of the bar, or thereafter admitted as such in accordance
with the provisions of this Rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is
entitled to practice law.


Pursuant thereto, any person admitted as a member of the Philippine bar in accordance
with the statutory requirements and who is in good and regular standing is entitled to practice
law.

Admission to the bar requires certain qualifications. The Rules of Court mandates that
an applicant for admission to the bar be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of
age, of good moral character and a resident of the Philippines.
[5]
He must also produce before
this 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.
[6]


Moreover, admission to the bar involves various phases such as furnishing satisfactory
proof of educational, moral and other qualifications;
[7]
passing the bar examinations;
[8]
taking
the lawyers oath
[9]
and signing the roll of attorneys and receiving from the clerk of court of this
Court a certificate of the license to practice.
[10]


The second requisite for the practice of law membership in good standing is a
continuing requirement. This means continued membership and, concomitantly, payment of
annual membership dues in the IBP;
[11]
payment of the annual professional tax;
[12]
compliance
with the mandatory continuing legal education requirement;
[13]
faithful observance of the rules
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and ethics of the legal profession and being continually subject to judicial disciplinary
control.
[14]


Given the foregoing, may a lawyer who has lost his Filipino citizenship still practice law in
the Philippines? No.

The Constitution provides that the practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be
limited to Filipino citizens save in cases prescribed by law.
[15]
Since Filipino citizenship is a
requirement for admission to the bar, loss thereof terminates membership in the Philippine bar
and, consequently, the privilege to engage in the practice of law. In other words, the loss of
Filipino citizenship ipso jure terminates the privilege to practice law in the Philippines. The
practice of law is a privilege denied to foreigners.
[16]


The exception is when Filipino citizenship is lost by reason of naturalization as a citizen
of another country but subsequently reacquired pursuant to RA 9225. This is because all
Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost
their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of [RA 9225].
[17]
Therefore, a Filipino lawyer
who becomes a citizen of another country is deemed never to have lost his Philippine
citizenship if he reacquires it in accordance with RA 9225. Although he is also deemed never to
have terminated his membership in the Philippine bar, no automatic right to resume law
practice accrues.

Under RA 9225, if a person intends to practice the legal profession in the Philippines and
he reacquires his Filipino citizenship pursuant to its provisions (he) shall apply with the proper
authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice.
[18]
Stated otherwise, before a
lawyer who reacquires Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 can resume his law practice, he
must first secure from this Court the authority to do so, conditioned on:
(a) the updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in the IBP;
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(b) the payment of professional tax;
(c) the completion of at least 36 credit hours of mandatory continuing legal education;
this is specially significant to refresh the applicant/petitioners knowledge of
Philippine laws and update him of legal developments and
(d) the retaking of the lawyers oath which will not only remind him of his duties and
responsibilities as a lawyer and as an officer of the Court, but also renew his
pledge to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

Compliance with these conditions will restore his good standing as a member of the
Philippine bar.

WHEREFORE, the petition of Attorney Benjamin M. Dacanay is
hereby GRANTED, subject to compliance with the conditions stated above and submission of
proof of such compliance to the Bar Confidant, after which he may retake his oath as a member
of the Philippine bar.




SO ORDERED.


RENATO C. CORONA
Associate Justice


W E C O N C U R:



REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice
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(On Leave)
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING
Associate Justice

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice




ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ
Associate Justice




ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice




MA. ALICIA M. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
Associate Justice




CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
Associate Justice




ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
Associate Justice




DANTE O. TINGA
Associate Justice




MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice




PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
Associate Justice


ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate Justice


RUBEN T. REYES
Associate Justice





TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
Associate Justice



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*
On Leave.
[1]
As evidence thereof, he submitted a copy of his Identification Certificate No. 07-
16912 duly signed by Immigration Commissioner Marcelino C. Libanan.
[2]
In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Deliquency of Atty. Marcial A. Edillon, A.C.
No. 1928, 19 December 1980, 101 SCRA 612.
[3]
Heck v. Santos, A.M. No. RTJ-01-1657, 23 February 2004, 423 SCRA 329.
[4]
In re Atty. Marcial Edillon, A.C. No. 1928, 03 August 1978, 84 SCRA 554.
[5]
Section 2, Rule 138, Rules of Court.
[6]
Id.
[7]
Sections 2, 5 and 6, id.
[8]
Sections 8 to 11 and 14, id.
[9]
Section 17, id.
[10]
Sections 18 and 19, id.
[11]
In re Integration of the Bar of the Philippines, 09 January 1973, 49 SCRA 22; In re Atty.
Marcial Edillon, supra note 3.
[12]
Section 139, RA 7160.
[13]
Resolution dated August 8, 2000 in Bar Matter No. 850 (Rules on Mandatory
Continuing Legal Education for Members of the IBP).
[14]
Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions v. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., G.R. No.
L-23959, 29 November 1971, 42 SCRA 302.
[15]
See last paragraph of Section 14, Article XII.
[16]
In re Bosque, 1 Phil. 88 (1902).
[17]
Section 2, RA 9225. Emphasis supplied.
[18]
Section 5(4), id.









C. BAR EXAMINATIONS
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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
BAR MATTER No. 1161
RE: PROPOSED REFORMS IN THE BAR EXAMINATIONS
RESOLUTION
ON
REFORM IN THE BAR EXAMINANTIONS
WHEREAS, pursuant to its Constitutional authority to promulgate rules concerning the
admission to the practice of law, the Supreme Court en banc item in its Resolution of
21 March 2000, created a "Special Study Group on Bar Examination Reforms" to
conduct studies on steps to further safeguard the integrity of the Bar Examinations
and to make them effective tools in measuring the adequacy of the law curriculum
and the quality of the instruction given by law schools";
WHEREAS, the Special Study Group, with Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA)
Chancellor Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera as a chairperson and retired Justice
Jose Y. Feria and retired Justice Camilo D. Quiason as members, submitted to the
Supreme Court its Final Report, dated 18 September 2000, containing its findings and
recommendations;
WHEREAS, on 21 August 2001, the Supreme Court en banc referred, for further study,
report and recommendation, the Final Report of the Special Study Group to the
Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters (CLEBM) headed by Justice Jose C.
Vitug;
WHEREAS, in connection with the discussion on the proposed reforms in the bar
examinations, Justice Vicente V. Mendoza, then a Member of the CLEBM, submitted a
Paper, entitled"Toward Meaningful Reforms in the Bar Examination" with a Primer,
proposing structural and administrative reforms, changes in the design and
construction of questions, and the methodological reforms concerning the marking
anf grading of the essay questions in the bar examination;
WHEREAS, proposals and comments were likewise received from the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines, the Philippine Association of Law Schools, the Philippine
Association of Law Professors, the Commission on Higher Education, the University of
the Philippines College of Law, Arellano Law Foundation, the Philippine Lawyers
Association, the Philippine Bar Association and other prominent personalities from
the Bench and the Bar;
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WHEREAS, considering her Memorandum to the Chief Justice on "Proposed Technical
Assistance Project on Legal Education," dated 27 February 2003, Program Director
Evelyn Toledo-Dumdum of the Program Management Office (PMO) was invited to a
meeting of the CLEBM;
WHEREAS, under the auspices of the PMO, the CLEBM conducted fur (4) regional
round-table discussions with the law deans, professors, the students and members of
the Integrated Bar of he Philippines for (a) the National Capital Region, at Manila
Diamond Hotel on 19 November 2003; (b) Mindanao, at the Grand Regal Hotel Davao
City on 23 January 2004; (c) the Visayas, at the Montebello Hotel in Cebu City on
January 2004; and (d) Luzon, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila on 6 February 2004.
WHEREAS, in a Special Meeting of the CLEBM at the Pan Pacific Hotel on 23 April
2004, the Committee heard the views of Ms. Erica Moeser, the Chief Executive Officer
and President of the National Conference of Board Examiners in the United States of
America on a number of proposed bar reforms;
WHEREAS, the CLEBM, after extensive deliberation and consultation, has arived at
certain recommendations for consideration by the Supreme Court and submitted its
report , dated 21 May 2004, to the Court en banc;
NOW, THEREFORE, the Court, sitting en banc, hereby RESOLVES to approve and adopt
the following Bar Examination Reforms:
A. For implementation within one (1) up to two (2) years:
1. Initial determination by the Chairman of admission to the bar
examinations of candidates (on the merits of the each case) to be
passed upon by the Court en banc.
2. Submission by law deans of a certification that a candidate has no
derogatory record in school and, if any, the details and status thereof.
3. Disqualification of a candidate after failing in three(3) examinations,
provided, that he may take a fourth and fifth examination if he
successful completes a one (1) year refresher course for each
examination; provided, further, that upon the effectivity of this
Resolution, those who have already failed in five(5) or more bar
examinations shall be allowed to take only one (1) more bar
examination after copleting (1) year refresher course.
4. Promulgation of disciplinary measures for those involved in (a)
attempts to violate or vitiate the integrity and confidentiality of the bar
examination process; (b) improper conduct during the bar
examination; and (c) improper conduct of "bar examinations."
5. Disqualification of a Bar Examination Chairperson:
a. kinship with an examinee who if his or her spouse or relative
within the third civil degree of consanguinity;
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b. having a member of his or her office staff as an examinee, or
when the spouse or child of such staff member is an examinee;
and
c. being a member of the governing board, faculty or
administration of a law school.
6. Desirable qualifications of Examiners:
a. membership in good standing in the Philippine Bar;
b. competence in the assigned subject;
c. a teacher of the subject or familiarity with the principles of test
construction; and
d. commitment to check test papers personally and promptly
pending the creation and organization of the readership panels
provided for in item B(6) below
7. Disqualifications of Examiners:
a. kinship with an examinee who is his or her spouse or relative
within the third civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;
b. having a member of his or her office staff as an examinee; or
when the spouse or child of such staff member is an examinee;
c. being a member of the governing board, faculty or
administration of a law school
d. teaching or lecturing in any law school, institution or review
center during the particular semester following the bar
examinations;
e. having any interest or involvement in any law school, bar
review center or group; and
f. suspension or disbarment from the practice of law or the
imposition of any other serious disciplinary sanction.
8. Personal preparation, by handwriting or using a typewriter, of fifty (50)
main questions, excluding subdivisions, and their submission to the
Chairperson in sealed envelope at least forty-five (45) days before the
schedule examination on any particular subject; examiners should not
use computers in preparing questions;
9. Apportionment of examination questions among the various topics
covered by the subject;
10. Burning and shredding of rough drafts and carbon papers used in the
preparation of questions or in any other act connected with such
preparation;
11. Publication of names candidates admitted to take the bar
examinations;
12. Disqualification of a candidate who obtains a grade below 50% in any
subject;
13. Fixing at June 30 of the immediately preceding year as the cut-off date
for laws and Supreme Court decisions and resolutions to be included in
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the bar examinations; and
14. Consideration of suggested answers to bar examinations questions
prepared by the U.P. Law Center and submitted to the Chairperson.
B. For implementation within two (2) years up to five (5) years:
1. Adoption of objective multiple-choice questions for 30% to 40% of the
total number of questions;
2. Formulation of essay test questions and "model answers" as part of the
calibration of test papers;
3. Introduction of performance testing by way of revising and improving
the essay examination;1awphil.net
4. Designation of two(2) examiners per subject depending on the number
of examinees ;
5. Appointment of a tenured Board of Examiners with an incumbent
Supreme Court Justice as Chairperson;
6. Creation and organization of readership panels for each subject area to
address the issue of bias or subjectivity and facilitate the formulation
of test questions and the correction of examination booklets; and
7. Adoption of the calibration method in the corrections of essay
questions to correct variations in the level of test
standards.1awph!l.t
C. For implementation within five(5) years and beyond is the further
computerization or automation of the bar examinations to facilitate
application, testing, and reporting procedures.
D. Items not covered by this resolution, such as those that pertain to a possible
review of the coverage and relative weights of the subjects of the bar
examinations, are maintained.
E. For referral to the Legal education Boards:
1. Accreditation and supervision of law schools.
2. Inclusion of a subject on clinical legal education in the law curriculum,
including an apprenticeship program in the Judiciary, prosecution
service, and law offices.
3. Imposition of sanctions on law schools that fail to meet the standards
as may be prescribed by the Legal Education Board.
4. Mandatory Law School Admission Test.
This resolution shall take effect on the fifteenth day of July 2004, and shall be
published in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
Promulgated this 8th day of June 2004.
(Sgd.) HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.
Chief. Justice
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(Sgd.) REYNATO S. PUNO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) JOSE C. VITUG
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ARTEMIO V.
PNGANIBAN
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) LEONARDO A
QUISUMBING
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) CONSUELO YNARES-
SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ANGELINA SANDOVAL-
GUTIERREZ
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-
MARTINEZ
Associate Justice
(On leave) RENATO C.
CORONA
Associate Justice>
(Sgd.) CONCHITA CARPIO-
MORALES
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ROMEO J. CALLEJO,
SR.
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
Associate Justice
(Sgd.) DANTE O. TINGA
Associate Justice



Republic of the Phil
Supreme Court
Manila


Sirs/Mesdames:

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Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated
March 9, 2010.

Bar Matter No. 1153 (Re: Letter of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza Proposing Reforms in the
Bar Examinations Through Amendments to Rule 138 of the Rules of Court). The Court
Resolved to APPROVE the proposed amendments to Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138, to wit:

SEC. 5. Additional requirement for other applicants. All applicants for
admission other than those referred to in the two preceding sections shall, before being
admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have successfully completed
all the prescribed courses for the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree, in
a law school or university officially recognized by the Philippine Government or by the
proper authority in the foreign jurisdiction where the degree has been granted.

No applicant who obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in this jurisdiction shall
be admitted to the bar examination unless he or she has satisfactorily completed the
following course in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil
law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law,
political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal
ethics.

A Filipino citizen who graduated from a foreign law school shall be admitted to
the bar examination only upon submission to the Supreme Court of certifications
showing: (a) completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its
equivalent degree; (b) recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper
authority; and (c) completion of all the fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws
academic program in a law school duly recognized by the Philippine Government.
SEC. 6. Pre-Law. An applicant for admission to the bar examination shall
present a certificate issued by the proper government agency that, before commencing
the study of law, he or she had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized
and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of
a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelors
degree in arts or sciences.

A Filipino citizen who completed and obtained his or her Bachelor of Laws
degree or its equivalent in a foreign law school must present proof of having completed
a separate bachelors degree course.


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The Clerk of Court, through the Office of the Bar Confidant, is hereby directed to
CIRCULARIZE this resolution among all law schools in the country."

Very truly yours,
(signed)
MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
Clerk of Court










D. GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
EN BANC
[B.M. No. 1154. June 8, 2004]
IN THE MATTER OF THE DISQUALIFICATION OF BAR EXAMINEE HARON S. MELING IN THE
2002 BAR EXAMINATIONS AND FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AS MEMBER OF THE
PHILIPPINE SHARIA BAR,
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ATTY. FROILAN R. MELENDREZ, petitioner,
R E S O L U T I O N
TINGA, J.:
The Court is here confronted with a Petition that seeks twin reliefs, one of which is ripe
while the other has been rendered moot by a supervening event.
The antecedents follow.
On October 14, 2002, Atty. Froilan R. Melendrez (Melendrez) filed with the Office of the
Bar Confidant (OBC) a Petition
[1]
to disqualify Haron S. Meling (Meling) from taking the 2002 Bar
Examinations and to impose on him the appropriate disciplinary penalty as a member of the
Philippine Sharia Bar.
In the Petition, Melendrez alleges that Meling did not disclose in his Petition to take the
2002 Bar Examinations that he has three (3) pending criminal cases before the Municipal Trial
Court in Cities (MTCC), Cotabato City, namely: Criminal Cases Noa. 15685 and 15686, both for
Grave Oral Defamation, and Criminal Case No. 15687 for Less Serious Physical Injuries.
The above-mentioned cases arose from an incident which occurred on May 21, 2001, when
Meling allegedly uttered defamatory words against Melendrez and his wife in front of media
practitioners and other people. Meling also purportedly attacked and hit the face of
Melendrez wife causing the injuries to the latter.
Furthermore, Melendrez alleges that Meling has been using the title Attorney in his
communications, as Secretary to the Mayor of Cotabato City, despite the fact that he is not a
member of the Bar. Attached to the Petition is an indorsement letter which shows that Meling
used the appellation and appears on its face to have been received by the Sangguniang
Panglungsod ofCotabato City on November 27, 2001.
Pursuant to this Courts Resolution
[2]
dated December 3, 2002, Meling filed his Answer with
the OBC.
In his Answer,
[3]
Meling explains that he did not disclose the criminal cases filed against him
by Melendrez because retired Judge Corocoy Moson, their former professor, advised him to
settle his misunderstanding with Melendrez. Believing in good faith that the case would be
settled because the said Judge has moral ascendancy over them, he being their former
professor in theCollege of Law, Meling considered the three cases that actually arose from a
single incident and involving the same parties as closed and terminated. Moreover, Meling
denies the charges and adds that the acts complained of do not involve moral turpitude.
As regards the use of the title Attorney, Meling admits that some of his communications
really contained the word Attorney as they were, according to him, typed by the office clerk.
In its Report and Recommendation
[4]
dated December 8, 2003, the OBC disposed of the
charge of non-disclosure against Meling in this wise:
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The reasons of Meling in not disclosing the criminal cases filed against him in his petition to
take the Bar Examinations are ludicrous. He should have known that only the court of
competent jurisdiction can dismiss cases, not a retired judge nor a law professor. In fact, the
cases filed against Meling are still pending. Furthermore, granting arguendo that these cases
were already dismissed, he is still required to disclose the same for the Court to ascertain his
good moral character. Petitions to take the Bar Examinations are made under oath, and should
not be taken lightly by an applicant.
The merit of the cases against Meling is not material in this case. What matters is his act of
concealing them which constitutes dishonesty.
In Bar Matter 1209, the Court stated, thus:
It has been held that good moral character is what a person really is, as distinguished from good
reputation or from the opinion generally entertained of him, the estimate in which he is held by
the public in the place where he is known. Moral character is not a subjective term but one
which corresponds to objective reality. The standard of personal and professional integrity is
not satisfied by such conduct as it merely enables a person to escape the penalty of criminal
law. Good moral character includes at least common honesty.
The non-disclosure of Meling of the criminal cases filed against him makes him also answerable
under Rule 7.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states that a lawyer shall be
answerable for knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact in connection
with his application for admission to the bar.
[5]

As regards Melings use of the title Attorney, the OBC had this to say:
Anent the issue of the use of the appellation Attorney in his letters, the explanation of Meling
is not acceptable. Aware that he is not a member of the Bar, there was no valid reason why he
signed as attorney whoever may have typed the letters.
Although there is no showing that Meling is engaged in the practice of law, the fact is, he is
signing his communications as Atty. Haron S. Meling knowing fully well that he is not entitled
thereto. As held by the Court in Bar Matter 1209, the unauthorized use of the appellation
attorney may render a person liable for indirect contempt of court.
[6]

Consequently, the OBC recommended that Meling not be allowed to take the Lawyers
Oath and sign the Roll of Attorneys in the event that he passes the Bar Examinations. Further, it
recommended that Melings membership in the Sharia Bar be suspended until further orders
from the Court.
[7]

We fully concur with the findings and recommendation of the OBC. Meling, however, did
not pass the 2003 Bar Examinations. This renders the Petition, insofar as it seeks to prevent
Meling from taking the Lawyers Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys, moot and academic.
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On the other hand, the prayer in the same Petition for the Court to impose the appropriate
sanctions upon him as a member of the Sharia Bar is ripe for resolution and has to be acted
upon.
Practice of law, whether under the regular or the Sharia Court, is not a matter of right but
merely a privilege bestowed upon individuals who are not only learned in the law but who are
also known to possess good moral character.
[8]
The requirement of good moral character is not
only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law, its continued possession is also
essential for remaining in the practice of law.
[9]

The standard form issued in connection with the application to take the 2002 Bar
Examinations requires the applicant to aver that he or she has not been charged with any act
or omission punishable by law, rule or regulation before a fiscal, judge, officer or administrative
body, or indicted for, or accused or convicted by any court or tribunal of, any offense or crime
involving moral turpitude; nor is there any pending case or charge against him/her. Despite
the declaration required by the form, Meling did not reveal that he has three pending criminal
cases. His deliberate silence constitutes concealment, done under oath at that.
The disclosure requirement is imposed by the Court to determine whether there is
satisfactory evidence of good moral character of the applicant.
[10]
The nature of whatever cases
are pending against the applicant would aid the Court in determining whether he is endowed
with the moral fitness demanded of a lawyer. By concealing the existence of such cases, the
applicant then flunks the test of fitness even if the cases are ultimately proven to be
unwarranted or insufficient to impugn or affect the good moral character of the applicant.
Melings concealment of the fact that there are three (3) pending criminal cases against
him speaks of his lack of the requisite good moral character and results in the forfeiture of the
privilege bestowed upon him as a member of the Sharia Bar.
Moreover, his use of the appellation Attorney, knowing fully well that he is not entitled
to its use, cannot go unchecked. In Alawi v. Alauya,
[11]
the Court had the occasion to discuss
the impropriety of the use of the title Attorney by members of the Sharia Bar who are not
likewise members of the Philippine Bar. The respondent therein, an executive clerk of court of
the 4
th
Judicial Sharia District in Marawi City, used the title Attorney in several
correspondence in connection with the rescission of a contract entered into by him in his
private capacity. The Court declared that:
persons who pass the Sharia Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar, hence,
may only practice law before Sharia courts. While one who has been admitted to the Sharia
Bar, and one who has been admitted to the Philippine Bar, may both be considered
counselors, in the sense that they give counsel or advice in a professional capacity, only the
latter is an attorney. The title attorney is reserved to those who, having obtained the
necessary degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been
admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in good
standing; and it is they only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction.
[12]

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The judiciary has no place for dishonest officers of the court, such as Meling in this
case. The solemn task of administering justice demands that those who are privileged to be
part of service therein, from the highest official to the lowliest employee, must not only be
competent and dedicated, but likewise live and practice the virtues of honesty and
integrity. Anything short of this standard would diminish the public's faith in the Judiciary and
constitutes infidelity to the constitutional tenet that a public office is a public trust.
In Leda v. Tabang, supra, the respondent concealed the fact of his marriage in his
application to take the Bar examinations and made conflicting submissions before the
Court. As a result, we found the respondent grossly unfit and unworthy to continue in the
practice of law and suspended him therefrom until further orders from the Court.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED insofar as it seeks the imposition of appropriate
sanctions upon Haron S. Meling as a member of the Philippine Sharia Bar. Accordingly, the
membership of Haron S. Meling in the Philippine Sharia Bar is hereby SUSPENDED until further
orders from the Court, the suspension to take effect immediately. Insofar as the Petition seeks
to prevent Haron S. Meling from taking the Lawyers Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys as a
member of the Philippine Bar, the same is DISMISSED for having become moot and academic.
Copies of this Decision shall be circulated to all the Sharia Courts in the country for their
information and guidance.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-
Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna,
JJ., concur.



[1]
Rollo, pp. 2-25, with Annexes.
[2]
Id. at 27.
[3]
Id. at 28-32.
[4]
Supra, note 1 at 34-38.
[5]
Id. at 35-36, citing Bar Matter 1209, Petition to take the Lawyers Oath of Caesar Distrito and
Royong v. Oblena, 7 SCRA 859.
[6]
Id. at 36-37, citing Section 3, Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court and Bar Matter
1209, supra.
[7]
Id. at 38.
[8]
Tan v. Sabandal, Bar Matter No. 44, February 24, 1992, 206 SCRA 473.
[9]
Leda v. Tabang, Adm. Case No. 2505, February 21, 1992, 206 SCRA 395.
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[10]
See In Re: Victorio D. Lanuevo, Adm. Cases No. 1162-1164, 29 August 1975, 66 SCRA 245,
281.
[11]
A.M. No. SDC-97-2-P, February 24, 1997, 268 SCRA 628.
[12]
Id. at 638-639.


















D. ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT
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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
A.C. 1928 December 19, 1980
In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. MARCIAL A. EDILLION (IBP
Administrative Case No. MDD-1), petitioner,

FERNANDO, C.J.:
The full and plenary discretion in the exercise of its competence to reinstate a disbarred
member of the bar admits of no doubt. All the relevant factors bearing on the specific case,
public interest, the integrity of the profession and the welfare of the recreant who had purged
himself of his guilt are given their due weight. Respondent Marcial A. Edillon was disbarred on
August 3, 1978,
1
the vote being unanimous with the late.
Chief Justice Castro ponente. From June 5, 1979, he had repeatedly pleaded that he be
reinstated. The minute resolution dated October 23, 1980, granted such prayer. It was there
made clear that it "is without prejudice to issuing an extended opinion."
2

Before doing so, a recital of the background facts that led to the disbarment of respondent may
not be amiss. As set forth in the resolution penned by the late Chief Justice Castro: "On
November 29. 1975, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP for short) Board of Governors,
unanimously adopted Resolution No. 75-65 in Administrative case No. MDD-1 (In the Matter of
the Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. Marcial A. Edillon) recommending to the Court the
removal of the name of the respondent from its Roll of Attorneys for 'stubborn refusal to pay
his membership dues' to the IBP since the latter's constitution notwithstanding due notice. On
January 21, 1976, the IBP, through its then President Liliano B. Neri, submitted the said
resolution to the Court for consideration and approval,. Pursuant to paragraph 2, Section 24,
Article III of the By-Laws of the IBP, which. reads: ... Should the delinquency further continue
until the following June 29, the Board shall promptly inquire into the cause or causes of the
continued delinquency and take whatever action it shall deem appropriate, including a
recommendation to the Supreme Court for the removal of the delinquent member's name from
the Roll of Attorneys. Notice of the action taken should be submit by registered mail to the
member and to the Secretary of the Chapter concerned.' On January 27, 1976, the Court
required the respondent to comment on the resolution and letter adverted to above he
submitted his comment on February 23, 1976, reiterating his refusal to pay the membership
fees due from him. On March 2, 1976, the Court required the IBP President and the IBP Board
of Governors to reply to Edillon's comment: On March 24, 1976, they submitted a joint reply.
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Thereafter, the case was set for hearing on June 3, 1976. After the hearing, the parties were
required to submit memoranda in amplification of their oral arguments. The matter was
thenceforth submitted for resolution."
3

Reference was then made to the authority of the IBP Board of Governors to recommend to the
Supreme Court the removal of a delinquent member's name from the Roll of Attorneys as
found in Rules of Court: 'Effect of non-payment of dues. Subject to the provisions of Section
12 of this Rule, default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension
of membership in the Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a
ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys.
4

The submission of respondent Edillion as summarized in the aforesaid resolution "is that the
above provisions constitute an invasion of his constitutional rights in the sense that he is being
compelled, as a pre-condition to maintaining his status as a lawyer in good standing, to be a
member of the IBP and to pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this
compelled financial support of the said organization to which he is admittedly personally
antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to liberty and property guaranteed to him by the
Constitution. Hence, the respondent concludes, the above provisions of the Court Rule and of
the IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force and effect.
5
It was pointed out in the resolution
that such issues was raised on a previous case before the Court, entitled 'Administrative Case
No. 526, In the Matter of the Petition for the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines, Roman
Ozaeta, et al., Petitioners.' The Court exhaustively considered all these matters in that case in
its Resolution ordaining the integration of the Bar of the Philippines, promulgated on January 9,
1973.
6
The unanimous conclusion reached by the Court was that the integration of the
Philippine Bar raises no constitutional question and is therefore legally unobjectionable, "and,
within the context of contemporary conditions in the Philippine, has become an imperative
means to raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and
enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility fully and effectively."
7

As mentioned at the outset, the vote was unanimous. From the time the decision was
rendered, there were various pleadings filed by respondent for reinstatement starting with a
motion for reconsideration dated August 19, 1978. Characterized as it was by persistence in his
adamantine refusal to admit the full competence of the Court on the matter, it was not
unexpected that it would be denied. So it turned out.
8
It was the consensus that he continued
to be oblivious to certain balic juridical concepts, the appreciation of which does not even
require great depth of intellect. Since respondent could not be said to be that deficient in legal
knowledge and since his pleadings in other cases coming before this Tribunal were quite
literate, even if rather generously sprinkled with invective for which he had been duly taken to
task, there was the impression that his recalcitrance arose from and sheer obstinacy.
Necessary, the extreme penalty of disbarment visited on him was more than justified.
Since then, however, there were other communications to this Court where a different attitude
on his part was discernible.
9
The tone of defiance was gone and circumstances of a mitigating
character invoked the state of his health and his advanced age. He likewise spoke of the
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welfare of former clients who still rely on him for counsel, their confidence apparently
undiminished. For he had in his career been a valiant, if at times unreasonable, defender of the
causes entrusted to him.
This Court, in the light of the above, felt that reinstatement could be ordered and so it did in
the resolution of October 23, 1980. It made certain that there was full acceptance on his part of
the competence of this Tribunal in the exercise of its plenary power to regulate the legal
profession and can integrate the bar and that the dues were duly paid. Moreover, the fact that
more than two years had elapsed during which he war. barred from exercising his profession
was likewise taken into account. It may likewise be said that as in the case of the inherent
power to punish for contempt and paraphrasing the dictum of Justice Malcolm in Villavicencio
v. Lukban,
10
the power to discipline, especially if amounting to disbarment, should be exercised
on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle.
11

One last word. It has been pertinently observed that there is no irretrievable finality as far as
admission to the bar is concerned. So it is likewise as to loss of membership. What must ever be
borne in mind is that membership in the bar, to follow Cardozo, is a privilege burdened with
conditions. Failure to abide by any of them entails the loss of such privilege if the gravity
thereof warrant such drastic move. Thereafter a sufficient time having elapsed and after
actuations evidencing that there was due contrition on the part of the transgressor, he may
once again be considered for the restoration of such a privilege. Hence, our resolution of
October 23, 1980.
The Court restores to membership to the bar Marcial A. Edillon.
Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez, Guerrero, Abad Santos, De Castro
and Melencio-Herrera, JJ., concur.
Aquino, J., concurs in the result.

Footnotes
1 In re Atty, Marcial A. Edillon, AC-1928, August 3, 1978, 84 SCRA 554.
2 The minute resolution reads in full:- "Acting on the petition of Mr. Marcial
Edillon for reinstatement to the Roll of Attorneys and it appearing that he had
fully paid his delinquant membership fees due the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines and submitted to the IBP Board of Governors a verified application
for reinstatement together with an undertaking to abide by all By-laws and
resolutions by said Board in the event of reinstatement, the Court Resolved to
GRANT the petition of Mr. Marcial A. Edillon for as member of the Philippine Bar.
He is hereby allowed to take anew the lawyer's oath and sign the Roll of
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Attorneys after payment of the required fees. This resolution is without
prejudice to is an extended opinion.
3 84 SCRA 559.
4 Section 10, Rule of Court 139-A.
5 84 SCRA 561.
6 Ibid, 561. The reference is to Administrative Case No. 526. In ,he Matter of the
Petition for the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines, January 9, 1973, 49
SCRA 22.
7 In re Integration of the Bar of the Philippines, January 9, 1973, 49 SCRA 22, 33.
8 The resolution denying the motion was issued on November 13, 1978.
9 Letters dated June 5, 1979, August 7, 1979, November 13, 1979, April 12, 1980.
10 39 Phil. 778 (1919).
11 People v. Estenzo. L-24522, May 29, 1975, 64 SCRA 211; Fontelera v. Amores,
L-41361. March 8, 1976, 70 SCRA 37; Royeca v., Animas, L-39584, May 3, 1976,
71 SCRA 1; Blancaflor v. Laya, L-31399, March 17, 1978, 82 SCRA 148; Calo v.
Tapucar, L-47244, January 16, 1979, 88 SCRA 78.

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. L-23815 June 28, 1974
ADELINO H. LEDESMA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. RAFAEL C. CLIMACO, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental,
Branch I, Silay City, respondent.
Adelino H. Ledesma in his own behalf.
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Hon. Rafael C. Climaco in his own behalf.

FERNANDO, J.: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.
1
One of the grounds for such
a motion was his allegation that with his appointment as Election Registrar by the Commission
on Elections, he was not in a position to devote full time to the defense of the two accused. The
denial by respondent Judge of such a plea, notwithstanding the conformity of the defendants,
was due "its principal effect [being] to delay this case."
2
It was likewise noted that the
prosecution had already rested and that petitioner was previously counsel de parte, his
designation in the former category being precisely to protect him in his new position without
prejudicing the accused. 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. There is, however, the overriding concern for the right to counsel of the accused
that must be taken seriously into consideration. In appropriate cases, it should tilt the balance.
This is not one of them. What is easily discernible was the obvious reluctance of petitioner to
comply with the responsibilities incumbent on the counsel de oficio. Then, too, even on the
assumption that he continues in his position, his volume of work is likely to be very much less at
present. There is not now the slightest pretext for him to shirk an obligation a member of the
bar, who expects to remain in good standing, should fulfill. The petition is clearly without merit.
According to the undisputed facts, petitioner, on October 13, 1964, was appointed Election
Registrar for the Municipality of Cadiz, Province of Negros Occidental. Then and there, he
commenced to discharge its duties. As he was counsel de parte for one of the accused in a case
pending in the sala of respondent Judge, he filed a motion to withdraw as such. Not only did
respondent Judge deny such motion, but he also appointed him counselde oficio for the two
defendants. Subsequently, on November 3, 1964, petitioner filed an urgent motion to be
allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio, 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,
which could prevent him from handling adequately the defense. Respondent Judge, in the
challenged order of November 6, 1964, denied said motion. A motion for reconsideration
having proved futile, he instituted this certiorari proceeding.
3

As noted at the outset, the petition must fail.
1. The assailed order of November 6, 1964 denying the urgent motion of petitioner to withdraw
as counsel de oficio speaks for itself. It began with a reminder that a crime was allegedly
committed on February 17, 1962, with the proceedings having started in the municipal court of
Cadiz on July 11, 1962. Then respondent Judge spoke of his order of October 16, 1964 which
reads thus: "In view of the objection of the prosecution to the motion for postponement of
October 15, 1964 (alleging that counsel for the accused cannot continue appearing in this case
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without the express authority of the Commission on Elections); and since according to the
prosecution there are two witnesses who are ready to take the stand, after which the
government would rest, the motion for postponement is denied. When counsel for the accused
assumed office as Election Registrar on October 13, 1964, he knew since October 2, 1964 that
the trial would be resumed today. Nevertheless, in order not to prejudice the civil service status
of counsel for the accused, he is hereby designated counsel de oficio for the accused. The
defense obtained postponements on May 17, 1963, June 13, 1963, June 14, 1963, October 28,
1963, November 27, 1963, February 11, 1964, March 9, 1964, June 8, 1964 July 26, 1964, and
September 7, 1964."
4
Reference was then made to another order of February 11, 1964: "Upon
petition of Atty. Adelino H. Ledesma, alleging indisposition, the continuation of the trial of this
case is hereby transferred to March 9, 1964 at 8:30 in the morning. The defense is reminded
that at its instance, this case has been postponed at least eight (8) times, and that the
government witnesses have to come all the way from Manapala."
5
After which, 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. Ledesma
to continue as counsel de oficio, since the prosecution has already rested its case."
6

2. What is readily apparent therefore, is that petitioner was less than duly mindful of his
obligation as counsel de oficio. He ought to have known that membership in the bar is a
privilege burdened with conditions. It could be that for some lawyers, especially the neophytes
in the profession, being appointed counsel de oficio is an irksome chore. For those holding such
belief, it may come as a surprise that counsel of repute and of eminence welcome such an
opportunity. It makes even more manifest that law is indeed a profession dedicated to the ideal
of service and not a mere trade. It is understandable then why a high degree of fidelity to duty
is required of one so designated. A recent statement of the doctrine is found in People v.
Daban:
7
"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. The law is a profession, not a trade or a craft. Those enrolled in its ranks are called
upon to aid in the performance of one of the basic purposes of the State, the administration of
justice. To avoid any frustration thereof, especially in the case of an indigent defendant, a
lawyer may be required to act as counsel de oficio. The fact that his services are rendered
without remuneration should not occasion a diminution in his zeal. Rather the contrary. This is
not, of course, to ignore that other pressing matters do compete for his attention. After all, he
has his practice to attend to. That circumstance possesses a high degree of relevance since a
lawyer has to live; certainly he cannot afford either to neglect his paying cases. Nonetheless,
what is incumbent upon him as counsel de oficio must be fulfilled."
8

So it has been from the 1905 decision of In re Robles Lahesa,
9
where respondent was de
oficio counsel, 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,
especially when negligence in the performance of those duties necessarily results in delays in
the prosecution of criminal cases ...."
10
Justice Sanchez in People v. Estebia
11
reiterated such a
view in these words: "It is true that he is a court-appointed counsel. But we do say that as such
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counsel de oficio, he has as high a duty to the accused as one employed and paid by defendant
himself. Because, as in the case of the latter, he must exercise his best efforts and professional
ability in behalf of the person assigned to his care. He is to render effective assistance. The
accused-defendant expects of him due diligence, not mere perfunctory representation. For,
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."
12

The weakness of the petition is thus quite evident.
3. If respondent Judge were required to answer the petition, it was only due to the
apprehension that considering the frame of mind of a counsel loath and reluctant to fulfill his
obligation, the welfare of the accused could be prejudiced. His right to counsel could in effect
be rendered nugatory. Its importance was rightfully stressed by Chief Justice Moran in People v.
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. The right to be heard would be of little avail if it
does not include the right to be heard by counsel. Even the most intelligent or educated man
may have no skill in the science of law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and; without
counsel, he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to
establish his innocence. And this can happen more easily to persons who are ignorant or
uneducated. 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, it is not
enough to ask him whether he desires the aid of an attorney, but it is essential that the court
should assign one de oficio for him if he so desires and he is poor or grant him a reasonable
time to procure an attorney of his
own."
13
So it was under the previous Organic Acts.
14
The present Constitution is even more
emphatic. For, in addition to reiterating that the accused "shall enjoy the right to be heard by
himself and counsel,"
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, and to be
informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which
vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this
section shall be inadmissible in evidence."
16

Thus is made manifest the indispensable role of a member of the Bar in the defense of an
accused. Such a consideration could have sufficed for petitioner not being allowed to withdraw
as counsel de oficio. For he did betray by his moves his lack of enthusiasm for the task
entrusted to him, to put matters mildly. He did point though to his responsibility as an election
registrar. Assuming his good faith, no such excuse could be availed now. There is not likely at
present, and in the immediate future, an exorbitant demand on his time. It may likewise be
assumed, considering what has been set forth above, that petitioner would exert himself
sufficiently to perform his task as defense counsel with competence, if not with zeal, if only to
erase doubts as to his fitness to remain a member of the profession in good standing. The
admonition is ever timely for those enrolled in the ranks of legal practitioners that there are
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times, and this is one of them, when duty to court and to client takes precedence over the
promptings of self-interest.
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is dismissed. Costs against petitioner.
Zaldivar (Chairman), Antonio, Fernandez and Aquino, JJ., concur.
Barredo, J., took no part.

Footnotes
1 Petition, Annex B.
2 Ibid, Annex C.
3 Petition, pars. 3-9.
4 Petition, Annex C.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid..
7 L-31429, January 31, 1972, 43 SCRA 185.
8 Ibid, 186. Cf. People v. Apduhan, L-19491, Aug. 30, 1968, 24 SCRA 798; People
v. Solacito, L-29209, Aug. 25, 1969, 29 SCRA 61; People v. Serafica, L-29092-93,
Aug. 28, 1969, 29 SCRA 123; People v. Englatera, L-30820, July 31, 1970, 34 SCRA
245; People v. Aguilar, L-30932, Jan. 29, 1971, 37 SCRA 115; People v. Estebia, L-
26868, July 29, 1971, 40 SCRA 90; People v. Flores, L-32692, July 30, 1971, 40
SCRA 230; People v. Alincastre, L-29891, Aug. 30, 1971, 40 SCRA 391; People v.
Valera, L-30039; Feb. 8, 1972, 43 SCRA 207; People v. Francisco, L-30763, June
29, 1972, 45 SCRA 451; People v. Espia, L-33028, June 30, 1972, 45 SCRA 614;
People v. Esteves, L-34811, Aug. 18, 1972, 46 SCRA 680; People v. Simeon, L-
33730, Sept. 28, 1972, 47 SCRA 129; People v. Daeng, L-34091, Jan. 30, 1973, 49
SCRA 221; People v. Ricalde, L-34673, Jan. 30, 1973, 49 SCRA 228; People v.
Martinez, L-35353, April 30, 1973, 50 SCRA 509; People v. Silvestre, L-33821,
June 22, 1973, 51 SCRA 286; People v. Busa, L-32047, June 25, 1973, 51 SCRA
317; People v. Alamada, L-34594, July 13, 1973, 52 SCRA 103; People v. Andaya,
L-29644, July 25, 1973, 52 SCRA 137; People v. Duque, L-33267, Sept. 27, 1973,
53 SCRA 132; People v. Saligan, L-35792, Nov. 29, 1973, 54 SCRA 190; People v.
Bacong, L-36161, Dec. 19, 1973, 54 SCRA 288.
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9 4 Phil. 298.
10 Ibid, 300.
11 L-26868, February 27, 1969, 27 SCRA 106.
12 Ibid, 109-110, Cf. Javellana v. Lutero, L-23956, July 21, 1967, 20 SCRA 717;
Blanza v. Arcangel, Adm. Case No. 492, Sept. 5, 1967, 21 SCRA 1.
13 85 Phil. 752, 756-757 (1950).
14 Cf. United States v. Gimeno, 1 Phil. 236 (1902); United States v. Palisoc, 4 Phil.
207 (1905); United States v. Go-Leng, 21 Phil. 426 (1912); United States v.
Laranja, 21 Phil. 500 (1912); United States v. Ramirez, 26 Phil. 616 (1914); United
States v. Labial, 27 Phil. 82 (1914); United States v. Custan, 28 Phil. 19 (1914);
United States v. Kilayco, 31 Phil. 371 (1915); United States v. Escalante, 36 Phil.
743 (1917); People v. Abuyen, 52 Phil. 722 (1929).
15 Cf. Article IV, Section 19.
16 Section 20.

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975
IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO, former Bar Confidant and Deputy Clerk of Court, respondent.
A.C. No. 1163 August 29, 1975
IN RE: RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E. GALANG, 1971 Bar Examinee, respondent.
A.M. No. 1164 August 29, 1975
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IN RE: HON. BERNARDO PARDO, HON. RAMON PAMATIAN, ATTY. MANUEL TOMACRUZ,
ATTY. FIDEL MANALO and ATTY. GUILLERMO PABLO, JR., Members, 1971 Bar Examining
Committee, respondent.

MAKASIAR, J.:
Administrative proceedings against Victorio D. Lanuevo for disbarment; Ramon E. Galang,
alias Roman E. Galang for disbarment; Hon. Bernardo Pardo, Hon. Ramon Pamatian, Atty.
Manuel C. Tomacruz; Atty. Manuel G. Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo and Atty. Guillermo Pablo,
Jr. for disciplinary action for their acts and omissions during the 1971 Bar Examinations.
In his request dated March 29, 1972 contained in a confidential letter to the Court for re-
correction and re-evaluation of his answer to the 1971 Bar Examinations question, Oscar
Landicho who flunked in the 1971, 1968 and 1967 Bar Examinations with a grade of 70.5%,
65.35% and 67.55%, respectively invited the attention of the Court to "The starling fact that
the grade in one examination (Civil Law) of at least one bar candidate was raised for one reason
or another, before the bar results were released this year" (Confidential Letter, p. 2. Vol. I, rec.).
This was confirmed, according to him, by the Civil Law Examiner himself (Hon. Ramon C.
Pamatian) as well as by Bar Confidant Victorio D. Lanuevo. He further therein stated "that there
are strong reasons to believe that the grades in other examination notebooks in other subjects
also underwent alternations to raise the grades prior to the release of the results. Note
that this was without any formal motion or request from the proper parties, i.e., the bar
candidates concerned. If the examiners concerned reconsidered their grades without formal
motion, there is no reason why they may not do so now when proper request answer motion
therefor is made. It would be contrary to due process postulates. Might not one say that some
candidates got unfair and unjust treatment, for their grades were not asked to be reconsidered
'unofficially'? Why the discrimination? Does this not afford sufficient reason for the Court en
banc to go into these matters by its conceded power to ultimately decide the matter of
admission to the bar?" (p. 2, Confidential Letter, Vol. I, rec.).
Acting on the aforesaid confidential letter, the Court checked the records of the 1971 Bar
Examinations and found that the grades in five subjects Political Law and Public International
Law, Civil Law, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law and Remedial Law of a successful bar candidate
with office code No. 954 underwent some changes which, however, were duly initialed and
authenticated by the respective examiner concerned. Further check of the records revealed
that the bar candidate with office code No. 954 is one Ramon E. Galang, a perennial bar
candidate, who flunked in the 1969, 1966, 1964, 1963, and 1962 bar examinations with a grade
of 67.55%, 68.65%, 72.75%, 68.2%, 56.45% and 57.3%, respectively. He passed in the 1971 bar
examinations with a grade of 74.15%, which was considered as 75% by virtue of a Court of
74.15%, which was considered as 75% as the passing mark for the 1971 bar examinations.
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Upon the direction of the Court, the 1971 Bar Examination Chairman requested Bar Confidant
Victorio D. Lanuevo and the five (5) bar examiners concerned to submit their sworn statements
on the matter, with which request they complied.
In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, said Bar Confidant admitted having brought the
five examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang, alias Ramon E. Galang, back to the respective
examiners for re-evaluation and/or re-checking, stating the circumstances under which the
same was done and his reasons for doing the same.
Each of the five (5) examiners in his individual sworn statement admitted having re-evaluated
and/or re-checked the notebook involved pertaining to his subject upon the representation to
him by Bar Confidant Lanuevo that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee
concerned failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing.
Finding a prima facie case against the respondents warranting a formal investigation, the Court
required, in a resolution dated March 5, 1973, Bar Confidant Victorio Lanuevo "to show cause
within ten (10) days from noticewhy his name should not be stricken from the Roll of
Attorneys" (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 34, rec.). Considering that the re-evaluation of the
examination papers of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, was unauthorized, and
therefore he did not obtain a passing average in the 1971 bar examinations, the Court likewise
resolved on March 5, 1971 to requires him "to show cause within ten (10) days from notice why
his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys" (Adm. Case No. 1163, p. 99, rec.).
The five examiners concerned were also required by the Court "to show cause within ten (10)
days from notice why no disciplinary action should be taken against them" (Adm. Case No.
1164, p. 31, rec.).
Respondent Tomacruz filed his answer on March 12, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.).
while respondents Pardo, Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Lanuevo filed theirs on March 19,
1973 (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 60-63, 32-35, 40-41, 36-39 and 35-38, rec.). At the hearing on
August 27, 1973, respondent Lanuevo filed another sworn statement in addition to, and in
amplication of, his answer filed on March 19, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.).
Respondent Galang filed his unverified answer on March 16, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp.
100-104, rec.). He was required by the Court to verify the same and complaince came on May
18, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 106-110,) rec.).
In the course of the investigation, it was found that it was not respondent Bernardo Pardo who
re-evaluated and/or re-checked examination booklet with Office Code No. 954 in Political Law
and Public International Law of examinee Ramon Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, but Guillermo
Pablo, Jr., examiner in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercise, who was asked to help in the
correction of a number of examination notebooks in Political Law and Public International Law
to meet the deadline for submission (pp. 17-24, Vol. V, rec.). Because of this development, Atty.
Guillermo Pablo, Jr. was likewise included as respondent in Administrative Case No. 1164. Hon.
Bernardo Pardo remainded as a respondent for it was also discovered that another paper in
Political Law and Public International Law also underwent re-evaluation and/or re-checking.
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This notebook with Office Code No. 1662 turned out to be owned by another successful
candidate by the name of Ernesto Quitaleg. Further investigation resulted in the discovery of
another re-evaluation and/or re-checking of a notebook in the subject of Mercantile Law
resulting in the change of the grade from 4% to 50% This notebook bearing Office Code No. 110
is owned by another successful candidate by the name of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. Quitaleg and Ty
dela Cruz and the latter's father were summoned to testify in the investigation.
An investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation upon request of the
Chairman of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee as Investigation Officer, showed that one
Romy Galang y Esguerra, alias Ramon E. Galang, a student in the School of Law of Manuel L.
Quezon University, was, on September 8, 1959, charged with the crime of slight physical
injuries in the Municipal Court of Manila committed on Eufrosino F. de Vera, another student of
the same university. Confronted with this information at the hearing of August 13, 1973 (Vol. V,
pp. 20-21, 32, rec.), respondent Galang declared that he does not remember having been
charged with the crime of slight physical injuries in that case. (Vol. VI, pp. 45-60, rec.).
Respondent Galang, in all his application to take the bar examinations, did not make mention of
this fact which he is required under the rules to do.
The joint investigation of all the cases commenced on July 17, 1973 and was terminated on
October 2, 1973. Thereafter, parties-respondents were required to submit their memoranda.
Respondents Lanuevo, Galang and Pardo submitted their respective memorandum on
November 14, 1973.
Before the joint hearing commenced, Oscar Landicho took up permanent residence in Australia,
where he is believed to be gainfully employed. Hence, he was not summoned to testify.
At the joint investigation, all respondents, except respondent Pablo, who offered as evidence
only his oral testimony, submitted as their direct evidence only his oral testimony, submitted as
their direct evidence the affidavits and answers earlier submitted by them to the Court. The
same became the basis for their cross-examination.
In their individual sworn statements and answer, which they offered as their direct testimony in
the investigation conducted by the Court, the respondent-examiners recounted the
circumstances under which they re-evaluated and/or re-checked the examination notebooks in
question.
In His affidavit dated April 11, 1972, respondent Judge (later Associate Justice of the Court of
Appeals) Ramon C. Pamatian, examiner in Civil Law, affirmed:
2. That one evening sometime in December last year, while I was correcting the
examination notebooks, Atty. Lanuevo, Bar Confidant, explained to me that it is
the practice and the policy in bar examinations that he (Atty. Lanuevo) make a
review of the grades obtained in all subjects and if he finds that candidate
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obtained an extraordinary high grade in one subject and a rather low one in
another, he will bring back the latter to the examiner concerned for re-evaluation
and change of grade;
3. That sometime in the latter part of January of this year, he brought back to me
an examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation, because according to him
the owner of the paper is on the borderline and if I could reconsider his grade to
75% the candidate concerned will get passing mark;
4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was really the practice
and policy of the Supreme Court to do so in the further belief that I was just
manifesting cooperation in doing so, I re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered
the grade to 75%;
5. That only one notebook in Civil Law was brought back to me for such re-
evaluation and upon verifying my files I found that the notebook is numbered
'95;
6. That the original grade was 64% and my re-evaluation of the answers were
based on the same standard used in the correction and evaluation of all others;
thus, Nos. 3 and 4 with original grades of 7% each was reconsidered to 10%; No.
5 with 4% to 5%; No. 7 with 3% to 5%; and No. 8 with 8% to 10% (emphasis
supplied).
His answer dated March 19, 1973 substantially reiterated his allegations in his April 11, 1972
affidavit with following additional statements:
xxx xxx xxx
3. ... However the grades in Nos. 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10, were not reconsidered as it is
no longer to make the reconsideration of these answers because of the same
evaluation and standard; hence, Nos. 1, 2 and 10 remainded at 5% and Nos. 6
and 9 at 10%;
4. That at the time I made the reconsideration of examination booklet No. 951 I
did not know the identity of its owner until I received this resolution of the
Honorable Supreme Court nor the identities of the examiners in other subjects;
5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and under the belief that
I am authorized to do so in view of the misrepresentation of said Atty. Lanuevo,
based on the following circumstances:
a) Since I started correcting the papers on or about October 16,
1971, relationship between Atty. Lanuevo and myself had
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developed to the point that with respect to the correction of the
examination booklets of bar candidates I have always followed
him and considered his instructions as reflecting the rules and
policy of the Honorable Supreme Court with respect to the same;
that I have no alternative but to take his words;
b) That considering this relationship and considering his
misrepresentation to me as reflecting the real and policy of the
Honorable Supreme Court, I did not bother any more to get the
consent and permission of the Chairman of the Bar Committee.
Besides, at that time, I was isolating myself from all members of
the Supreme Court and specially the chairman of the Bar
Committee for fear that I might be identified as a bar examiner;
xxx xxx xxx
e) That no consideration whatsoever has been received by me in return for such
recorrection, and as proof of it, I declined to consider and evaluate one booklet
in Remedial Law aforesaid because I was not the one who made the original
correction of the same (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-35, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Then Assistant Solicitor General, now CFI Judge, Bernardo Pardo, examiner in Political Law and
Public International Law, confirmed in his affidavit of April 8, 1972 that:
On a day or two after the Bar Confidant went to my residence to obtain from me
the last bag of two hundred notebooks (bearing examiner's code numbers 1200
to 1400) which according to my record was on February 5, 1972, he came to my
residence at about 7:30 p.m. riding in a Vokswagen panel of the Supreme Court,
with at least two companions. The bar confidant had with him an examinee's
notebook bearing code number 661, and, after the usual amenties, he requested
me if it was possible for me to review and re-examine the said notebook because
it appears that the examinee obtained a grade of 57, whereas, according to the
Bar Confidant, the said examinee had obtained higher grades in other subjects,
the highest of which was 84, if I recall correctly, in remedial law.
I asked the Bar Confidant if I was allowed to receive or re-examinee the notebook
as I had submitted the same beforehand, and he told me that I was authorized to
do so because the same was still within my control and authority as long as the
particular examinee's name had not been identified or that the code number
decode and the examinee's name was revealed. The Bar Confidant told me that
the name of the examinee in the case present bearing code number 661 had not
been identified or revealed; and that it might have been possible that I had given
a particularly low grade to said examinee.
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Accepting at face value the truth of the Bar Confidant's representations to me,
and as it was humanly possible that I might have erred in the grading of the said
notebook, I re-examined the same, carefully read the answer, and graded it in
accordance with the same standards I had used throughout the grading of the
entire notebooks, with the result that the examinee deserved an increased grade
of 66. After again clearing with the Bar Confidant my authority to correct the
grades, and as he had assured me that the code number of the examinee in
question had not been decoded and his name known, ... I therefore corrected the
total grade in the notebook and the grade card attached thereto, and properly
initia(l)ed the same. I also corrected the itemized grades (from item No. 1 to
item No. 10) on the two sets of grading sheets, my personal copy thereof, and
the Bar Confidant brought with him the other copy thereof, and the Bar
Confidant brought with him the other copy the grading sheet" (Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 58-59; rec.; emphasis supplied)
In his answer dated March 17, 1973 which he denominated as "Explanation", respondent
Bernardo P. Pardo adopted and replaced therein by reference the facts stated in his earlier
sworn statement and in additional alleged that:
xxx xxx xxx
3. At the time I reviewed the examinee's notebook in political and international
law, code numbered 661, I did know the name of the examinee. In fact, I came to
know his name only upon receipt of the resolution of March 5, 1973; now
knowing his name, I wish to state that I do not know him personally, and that I
have never met him even up to the present;
4. At that time, I acted under the impression that I was authorized to make such
review, and had repeatedly asked the Bar Confidant whether I was authorized to
make such revision and was so assured of my authority as the name of the
examinee had not yet been decoded or his identity revealed. The Bar Confidant's
assurance was apparently regular and so appeared to be in the regular course of
express prohibition in the rules and guidelines given to me as an examiner, and
the Bar Confidant was my official liaison with the Chairman, as, unless called, I
refrained as much as possible from frequent personal contact with the Chairman
lest I be identified as an examiner. ...;
5. At the time the Bar Confidant came to see me at about 7:30 o'clock in the
evening at my residence, I felt it inappropriate to verify his authority with the
Chairman. It did not appear to me that his representations were unauthorized or
suspicious. Indeed, the Bar Confidant was riding in the official vehicle of the
Supreme Court, a Volkswagen panel, accompanied by two companions, which
was usual, and thus looked like a regular visit to me of the Bar Confidant, as it
was about the same hour that he used to see me:
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xxx xxx xxx
7. Indeed, the notebook code numbered 661 was still in the same condition as
when I submitted the same. In agreeing to review the said notebook code
numbered 661, my aim was to see if I committed an error in the correction, not to
make the examinee pass the subject. I considered it entirely humanly possible to
have erred, because I corrected that particular notebook on December 31,
1971,considering especially the representation of the Bar Confidant that the said
examinee had obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of which was
84% in remedial law, if I recall correctly. Of course, it did not strike me as unusual
that the Bar Confidant knew the grades of the examinee in the position to know
and that there was nothing irregular in that:
8. In political and international law, the original grade obtained by the examinee
with notebook code numbered 661 was 57%. After review, it was increased by 9
points, resulting in a final grade of 66%. Still, the examinee did not pass the
subject, and, as heretofore stated, my aim was not to make the examinee pass,
notwithstanding the representation that he had passed the other subjects. ...
9. I quite recall that during the first meeting of the Bar Examiners' Committee
consensus was that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed the
rest, the examiner in said subject would review the notebook. Nobody objected
to it as irregular. At the time of the Committee's first meeting, we still did not
know the names of the candidates.
10. In fine, I was a victim of deception, not a party to it. It had absolutely no
knowledge of the motives of the Bar Confidant or his malfeasance in office, and
did not know the examinee concerned nor had I any kind of contract with him
before or rather the review and even up to the present (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp.
60-63; rec.; emphasis supplied).
Atty. Manuel Tomacruz, examiner in Criminal Law, affirmed in his affidavit dated April 12, 1972:
1. xxx xxx xxx
2. That about weekly, the Bar Confidant would deliver and collect examination
books to my residence at 951 Luna Mencias, Mandaluyong, Rizal.
3. That towards the end when I had already completed correction of the books in
Criminal Law and was helping in the correction of some of the papers in another
subject, the Bar Confidant brought back to me one (1) paper in Criminal Law
saying that that particular examinee had missed the passing grade by only a
fraction of a percent and that if his paper in Criminal Law would be raised a few
points to 75% then he would make the general passing average.
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4. That seeing the jurisdiction, I raised the grade to 75%, that is, giving a raise of,
if I remember correctly, 2 or 3 points, initialled the revised mark and revised also
the mark and revised also the mark in the general list.
5. That I do not recall the number of the book of the examinee concerned" (Adm.
Case No. 1164, p. 69, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 12, 1973, respondent Tomacruz stated that "I accepted the word of
the Bar Confidant in good faith and without the slightest inkling as to the identity of the
examinee in question who up to now remains a total stranger and without expectation of nor
did I derive any personal benefit" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Atty. Fidel Manalo, examiner in Remedial Law, stated in his affidavit dated April 14, 1972, that:
xxx xxx xxx
2. Sometime about the late part of January or early part of February 1972,
Attorney Lanuevo, Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court, saw me in my house at
No. 1854 Asuncion Street, Makati, Rizal. He produced to me an examinee's
notebook in Remedial Law which I had previously graded and submitted to him.
He informed me that he and others (he used the words "we") had reviewed the
said notebook. He requested me to review the said notebook and possibly
reconsider the grade that I had previously given. He explained that the examine
concerned had done well in other subjects, but that because of the comparatively
low grade that I had given him in Remedial Law his general average was short of
passing. Mr. Lanuevo remarked that he thought that if the paper were reviewed
I might find the examinee deserving of being admitted to the Bar. As far as I can
recall, Mr. Lanuevo particularly called my attention to the fact in his answers the
examinee expressed himself clearly and in good enough English. Mr. Lanuevo
however informed me that whether I would reconsider the grades I had
previously given and submitted was entirely within my discretion.
3. Believing fully that it was within Mr. Lanuevo's authority as Bar Confidant to
address such a request to me and that the said request was in order, I, in the
presence of Mr. Lanuevo, proceeded tore-read and re-evaluate each and every
item of the paper in question. I recall that in my re-evaluation of the answers, I
increased the grades in some items, made deductions in other items, and
maintained the same grades in other items. However, I recall that after Mr.
Lanuevo and I had totalled the new grades that I had given after re-evaluation,
the total grade increased by a few points, but still short of the passing mark of
75% in my subject.
xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 74-75, rec.; emphasis supplied).
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In his answer (response) dated March 18, 1973, respondent Manalo reiterated the contents of
his sworn statement, adding the following:
xxx xxx xxx
5. In agreeing to re-evaluate the notebook, with resulted in increasing the total
grade of the examinee-concerned in Remedial Law from 63.75% to 74.5%, herein
respondent acted in good faith. It may well be that he could be faulted for not
having verified from the Chairman of the Committee of Bar Examiners the
legitimacy of the request made by Mr. Lanuevo. Herein respondent, however,
pleads in attenuation of such omission, that
a) Having been appointed an Examiner for the first time, he was
not aware, not having been apprised otherwise, that it was not
within the authority of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court to
request or suggest that the grade of a particular examination
notebook be revised or reconsidered. He had every right to
presume, owing to the highly fiduciary nature of the position of
the Bar Confidant, that the request was legitimate.
xxx xxx xxx
c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee concerned,
herein respondent carefully evaluated each and every answer
written in the notebook. Testing the answers by the criteria laid
down by the Court, and giving the said examinee the benefit of
doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevo's representation that it was only in
that particular subject that the said examine failed, herein
respondent became convinced that the said examinee deserved a
higher grade than that previously given to him, but that he did not
deserve, in herein respondent's honest appraisal, to be given the
passing grade of 75%. It should also be mentioned that, in
reappraising the answers, herein respondent downgraded a
previous rating of an answer written by the examinee, from 9.25%
to 9% (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 36-39, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Atty. Manuel Montecillo, examiner in Mercantile Law, affirmed in his affidavit dated April 17,
1972:
xxx xxx xxx
That during one of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners' Committee after the
Bar Examinations were held, I was informed that one Bar examinee passed all
other subjects except Mercantile Law;
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That I informed the Bar Examiners' Committee that I would be willing to re-
evaluate the paper of this particular Bar candidate;.
That the next day, the Bar Confidant handed to me a Bar candidate's notebook
(No. 1613) showing a grade of 61%;
That I reviewed the whole paper and after re-evaluating the answers of this
particular Bar candidate I decided to increase his final grade to 71%;
That consequently, I amended my report and duly initialed the changes in the
grade sheet (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 72, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Montecillo restated the contents of his sworn
statement of April 17, 1972, and
xxx xxx xxx
2. Supplementary to the foregoing sworn statement, I hereby state that I re-
evaluated the examination notebook of Bar Candidate No. 1613 in Mercantile
Law in absolute good faith and in direct compliance with the agreement made
during one of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners Committee that where a
candidate fails in only one subject, the Examiner concerned should make a re-
evaluation of the answers of the candidate concerned, which I did.
3. Finally, I hereby state that I did not know at the time I made the
aforementioned re-evaluation that notebook No. 1613 in Mercantile Law
pertained to bar examine Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, and that I
have never met up to this time this particular bar examinee (Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 40-41, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, Bar Confidant Lanuevo stated:
xxx xxx xxx
As I was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in the grading sheets
and the posting on the record of ratings, I was impressed of the writing and the
answers on the first notebook. This led me to scrutinize all the set of notebooks.
Believing that those five merited re-evalation on the basis of the memorandum
circularized to the examiners shortly earlier to the effect that
... in the correction of the papers, substantial weight should then
be given to clarify of language and soundness of reasoning' (par.
4),
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I took it upon myself to bring them back to the respective examiners for re-
evaluation and/or re-checking.
It is our experience in the Bar Division that immediately after the release of the
results of the examinations, we are usually swarmed with requests of the
examinees that they be shown their notebooks. Many of them would copy their
answers and have them checked by their professors. Eventually some of them
would file motions or requests for re-correction and/or re-evaluation. Right now,
we have some 19 of such motions or requests which we are reading for
submission to the Honorable Court.
Often we feel that a few of them are meritorious, but just the same they have to
be denied because the result of the examinations when released is final and
irrevocable.
It was to at least minimize the occurrence of such instances that motivated me
to bring those notebooks back to the respective examiners for re-evaluation"
(Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 24, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Lanuevo avers:
That he submitted the notebooks in question to the examiners concerned in his
hotest belief that the same merited re-evaluation; that in so doing, it was not his
intention to forsake or betray the trust reposed in him as bar confidant but on
the contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned; that neither did he act in a
presumptuous manner, because the matter of whether or not re-evaluation was
inorder was left alone to the examiners' decision; and that, to his knowledge, he
does not remember having made the alleged misrepresentation but that he
remembers having brought to the attention of the Committee during the
meeting a matter concerning another examinee who obtained a passing general
average but with a grade below 50% in Mercantile Law. As the Committee
agreed to remove the disqualification by way of raising the grade in said subject,
respondent brought the notebook in question to the Examiner concerned who
thereby raised the grade thus enabling the said examinee to pass. If he
remembers right, the examinee concerned is one surnamed "de la Cruz" or "Ty-
de la Cruz".
Your Honors, respondent never entertained a notion that his act would stir such
serious charges as would tend to undermine his integrity because he did it in all
good faith.
xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 35, rec.; emphasis supplied).
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On August 27, 1973, during the course of the investigation, respondent Lanuevo filed another
sworn statement in addition to, and in amplification of, his answer, stating:
xxx xxx xxx
1. That I vehemently deny having deceived the examiners concerned into
believing that the examinee involved failed only in their respective subjects, the
fact of the matter being that the notebooks in question were submitted to the
respective examiners for re-evaluation believing in all good faith that they so
merited on the basis of the Confidential Memorandum (identified and marked as
Exh. 1-Lanuevo, particularly that portion marked as Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo)which was
circulated to all the examiners earlier, leaving to them entirely the matter of
whether or not re-evaluation was in order,
2. That the following coincidence prompted me to pry into the notebooks in
question:
Sometime during the latter part of January and the early part of
February, 1972, on my way back to the office (Bar Division) after
lunch, I though of buying a sweepstake ticket. I have always made
it a point that the moment I think of so buying, I pick a number
from any object and the first number that comes into my sight
becomes the basis of the ticket that I buy. At that moment, the
first number that I saw was "954" boldly printed on an electrical
contribance (evidently belonging to the MERALCO) attached to a
post standing along the right sidewalk of P. Faura street towards
the Supreme Court building from San Marcelino street and almost
adjacent to the south-eastern corner of the fence of the Araullo
High School(photograph of the number '954', the contrivance on
which it is printed and a portion of the post to which it is attached
is identified and marked as Exhibit 4-Lanuevo and the number
"954" as Exh. 4-a-Lanuevo).
With this number (954) in mind, I proceeded to Plaza Sta. Cruz to
look for a ticket that would contain such number. Eventually, I
found a ticket, which I then bought, whose last three digits
corresponded to "954". This number became doubly impressive to
me because the sum of all the six digits of the ticket number was
"27", a number that is so significant to me that everything I do I
try somewhat instinctively to link or connect it with said number
whenever possible. Thus even in assigning code numbers on the
Master List of examinees from 1968 when I first took charge of
the examinations as Bar Confidant up to 1971, I either started
with the number "27" (or "227") or end with said number. (1968
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Master List is identified and marked as Exh. 5-Lanuevo and the
figure "27" at the beginning of the list, as Exh. 5-a Lanuevo; 1969
Master List as Exh. 6-Lanuevo and the figure "227" at the
beginning of the list, as Exh. 6-a-Lanuevo; 1970 Master List as Exh.
7-Lanuevo and the figure "227" at the beginning of the list as Exh.
7-a-Lanuevo; and the 1971 Master List as Exh. 8-Lanuevo and the
figure "227" at the end of the list as Exh. 8-a-Lanuevo).
The significance to me of this number (27) was born out of these
incidents in my life, to wit: (a) On November 27, 1941 while with
the Philippine Army stationed at Camp Manacnac, Cabanatuan,
Nueva Ecija, I was stricken with pneumonia and was hospitalized
at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result. As will be
recalled, the last Pacific War broke out on December 8, 1941.
While I was still confined at the hospital, our camp was bombed
and strafed by Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 resulting in
many casualties. From then on, I regarded November 27, 1941 as
the beginning of a new life for me having been saved from the
possibility of being among the casualties;(b) On February 27,
1946, I was able to get out of the army byway of honorable
discharge; and (c) on February 27, 1947, I got married and since
then we begot children the youngest of whom was born on
February 27, 1957.
Returning to the office that same afternoon after buying the
ticket, I resumed my work which at the time was on the checking
of the notebooks. While thus checking, I came upon the
notebooks bearing the office code number "954". As the number
was still fresh in my mind, it aroused my curiosity prompting me
to pry into the contents of the notebooks. Impressed by the
clarity of the writing and language and the apparent soundness of
the answers and, thereby, believing in all good faith on the basis
of the aforementioned Confidential Memorandum (Exh. 1-
Lanuevo and Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo) that they merited re-evaluation, I
set them aside and later on took them back to the respective
examiners for possible review recalling to them the said
Confidential Memorandum but leaving absolutely the matter to
their discretion and judgment.
3. That the alleged misrepresentation or deception could have reference to
either of the two cases which I brought to the attention of the committee during
the meeting and which the Committee agreed to refer back to the respective
examines, namely:
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(a) That of an examinee who obtained a passing general average
but with a grade below 50% (47%) in Mercantile Law(the
notebooks of this examinee bear the Office Code No. 110,
identified and marked as Exh. 9-Lanuevo and the notebook in
Mercantile Law bearing the Examiner's Code No. 951 with the
original grade of 4% increased to 50% after re-evaluation as Exh.
9-a-Lanuevo); and
(b) That of an examinee who obtained a borderline general
average of 73.15% with a grade below 60% (57%) in one subject
which, at the time, I could not pinpoint having inadvertently left in
the office the data thereon. It turned out that the subject was
Political and International Law under Asst. Solicitor General
Bernardo Pardo (The notebooks of this examinee bear the Office
Code No. 1622 identified and marked as Exh. 10-Lanuevo and the
notebook in Political and International Law bearing the Examiner's
Code No. 661 with the original grade of 57% increased to 66%
after re-evaluation, as Exh. 10-a-Lanuevo). This notebook in
Political and International Law is precisely the same notebook
mentioned in the sworn statement of Asst. Solicitor General
Bernardo Pardo(Exh. ------- Pardo).
4. That in each of the two cases mentioned in the next preceding paragraph, only
one (1) subject or notebook was reviewed or re-evaluated, that is, only
Mercantile Law in the former; and only Political and International Law in the
latter, under the facts and circumstances I made known to the Committee and
pursuant to which the Committee authorized the referral of the notebooks
involved to the examiners concerned;
5. That at that juncture, the examiner in Taxation even volunteered to review or
re-check some 19, or so, notebooks in his subject but that I told the Committee
that there was very little time left and that the increase in grade after re-
evaluation, unless very highly substantial, may not alter the outcome since the
subject carries the weight of only 10% (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.).
The foregoing last-minute embellishment only serves to accentuate the fact that Lanuevo's
story is devoid of truth. In his sworn statement of April 12, 1972, he was "led to scrutinize all
the set of notebooks" of respondent Galang, because he "was impressed of the writing and the
answers on the first notebook "as he "was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in
the grading sheets and the posting on the record of ratings." In his affidavit of August 27, 1973,
he stated that the number 954 on a Meralco post provoked him "to pry into the contents of the
notebooks" of respondent Galang "bearing office code number '954."
Respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, asserted, among others;
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1. That herein respondent is not acquainted with former BarConfidant Victorio
Lanuevo and never met him before except once when, as required by the latter
respondent submitted certain papers necessary for taking the bar examinations.
xxx xxx xxx
4. That it has been the consistent policy of the Supreme Court not to reconsider
"failure" cases; after the official release thereof; why should it now reconsider a
"passing" case, especially in a situation where the respondent and the bar
confidant do not know each other and, indeed, met only once in the ordinary
course of official business?
It is not inevitable, then, to conclude that the entire situation clearly manifests a
reasonable doubt to which respondent is richly entitled?
5. That respondent, before reading a copy of this Honorable Court's resolution
dated March 5, 1973, had no knowledge whatsoever of former Bar Confidant
Victorio Lanuevo's actuations which are stated in particular in the resolution. In
fact, the respondent never knew this man intimately nor, had the herein
respondent utilized anyone to contact the Bar Confidant Lanuevo in his behalf.
But, assuming as true, the said actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as stated in
the Resolution, which are evidently purported to show as having redounded to
the benefit of herein respondent, these questions arise: First, was the re-
evaluation of Respondent's examination papers by the Bar Examination
Committee done only or especially for him and not done generally as regards the
paper of the other bar candidates who are supposed to have failed? If the re-
evaluation of Respondent's grades was done among those of others, then it must
have been done as a matter of policy of the Committee to increase the
percentage of passing in that year's examination and, therefore, the insinuation
that only respondent's papers were re-evaluated upon the influence of Bar
Confidant Lanuevo would be unjustifiable, if not far fetched. Secondly, is the fact
that BarConfidant Lanuevo's actuations resulted in herein Respondent's benefit
an evidence per se of Respondent's having caused actuations of Bar confidant
Lanuevo to be done in former's behalf? To assume this could be disastrous in
effect because that would be presuming all the members of the Bar Examination
Committee as devoid of integrity, unfit for the bar themselves and the result of
their work that year, as also unworthy of anything. All of these inferences are
deductible from the narration of facts in the resolution, and which only goes to
show said narration of facts an unworthy of credence, or consideration.
xxx xxx xxx
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7. This Honorable Tribunal's Resolution of March 5, 1973 would make this
Respondent Account or answer for the actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as
well as for the actuations of the Bar Examiners implying the existence of some
conspiracy between them and the Respondent. The evident imputation is denied
and it is contended that the Bar Examiners were in the performance of their
duties and that they should be regarded as such in the consideration of this case.
xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.).
I
The evidence thus disclosed clearly demonstrates how respondent Lanuevo systematically and
cleverly initiated and prepared the stage leading to the re-evalation and/or recorrection of the
answers of respondent Galang by deceiving separately and individually the respondents-
examiners to make the desired revision without prior authority from the Supreme Court after
the corrected notebooks had been submitted to the Court through the respondent Bar
Confidant, who is simply the custodian thereof for and in behalf of the Court.
It appears that one evening, sometime around the middle part of December, 1971, just before
Christmas day, respondent Lanuevo approached Civil Law examiner Pamatian while the latter
was in the process of correcting examination booklets, and then and there made the
representations that as BarConfidant, he makes a review of the grades obtained in all subjects
of the examinees and if he finds that a candidate obtains an extraordinarily high grade in one
subject and a rather low one on another, he will bring back to the examiner concerned the
notebook for re-evaluation and change of grade(Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 55-
56; Vol. V, pp. 3-4, rec.).
Sometime in the latter part of January, 1972, respondent Lanuevo brought back to respondent-
examiner Pamatian an examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation, representing that the
examinee who owned the particular notebook is on the borderline of passing and if his grade in
said subject could be reconsidered to 75%, the said examine will get a passing average.
Respondent-examiner Pamatian took respondent Lanuevo's word and under the belief that was
really the practice and policy of the Supreme Court and in his further belief that he was just
manifesting cooperation in doing so, he re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered the
examinee's grade in said subject to 75% from 64%. The particular notebook belonged to an
examinee with Examiner's Code Number 95 and with Office Code Number 954. This examinee is
Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang. Respondent Pamatian did not know the identity of the
examinee at the time he re-evaluated the said booklet (Exhs. 1-Pamatian, 2-Pamatian, and 3-
Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-33, 55-56, 57; Vol. V, pp. 3-4, rec.).
Before Justice Pamatian made the revision, Examinee Galang failed in seven subjects including
Civil Law. After such revision, examinee Galang still failed in six subjects and could not obtain
the passing average of 75% for admission to the Bar.
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Thereafter, about the latter part of January, 1972 or early part of February, 1972, respondent
Lanuevo went to the residence of respondent-examiner Fidel Manalo at 1854 Asuncion Street,
Makati, Rizal, with an examinee's notebook in Remedial Law, which respondent Manalo and
previously corrected and graded. Respondent Lanuevo then requested respondent Manalo to
review the said notebook and possibly to reconsider the grade given, explaining and
representing that "they" has reviewed the said notebook and that the examinee concerned had
done well in other subjects, but that because of the comparatively low grade given said
examinee by respondent Manalo in Remedial Law, the general average of said examinee was
short of passing. Respondent Lanuevo likewise made the remark and observation that he
thought that if the notebook were reviewed, respondent Manalo might yet find the examinee
deserving of being admitted to the Bar. Respondent Lanuevo also particularly called the
attention of respondent Manalo to the fact that in his answers, the examinee expressed himself
clearly and in good English. Furthermore, respondent Lanuevo called the attention of
respondent Manalo to Paragraph 4 of the Confidential Memorandum that read as follows:
4. Examination questions should be more a test of logic, knowledge of legal
fundamentals, and ability to analyze and solve legal problems rather than a test
of memory; in the correction of papers, substantial weight should be given to
clarify of language and soundness of reasoning.
Respondent Manalo was, however, informed by respondent Lanuevo that the matter of
reconsideration was entirely within his (Manalo's) discretion. Respondent Manalo, believing
that respondent Lanuevo, as Bar Confidant, had the authority to make such request and further
believing that such request was in order, proceeded to re-evaluate the examinee's answers in
the presence of Lanuevo, resulting in an increase of the examinee's grade in that particular
subject, Remedial Law, from 63.25% to 74.5%. Respondent Manalo authenticated with his
signature the changes made by him in the notebook and in the grading sheet. The said
notebook examiner's code number is 136, instead of 310 as earlier mentioned by him in his
affidavit, and belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1 & 2- Manalo, Adm.
Case No. 1164, pp. 36-39, 74-75; Vol. V, pp. 50-53, rec.).
But even after the re-evaluation by Atty. Manalo, Examinee Galang could not make the passing
grade due to his failing marks in five subjects.
Likewise, in the latter part of January, 1972, on one occasion when respondent Lanuevo went
to deliver to respondent Guillermo Pablo, Jr. in the latter's house a new batch of examination
papers in Political Law and Public International Law to be corrected, respondent Lanuevo
brought out a notebook in Political Law bearing Examiner's Code Number 1752 (Exh. 5-Pardo,
Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 66, rec.), informing respondent Pablo that particular examinee who
owns the said notebook seems to have passed in all other subjects except in Political Law and
Public International Law; and that if the said notebook would be re-evaluated and the mark be
increased to at least 75%, said examinee will pass the bar examinations. After satisfying himself
from respondent that this is possible the respondent Bar Confidant informing him that this is
the practice of the Court to help out examinees who are failing in just one subject respondent
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Pablo acceded to the request and thereby told the Bar Confidant to just leave the said
notebook. Respondent Pablo thereafter re-evaluated the answers, this time with leniency. After
the re-evaluation, the grade was increased to 78% from 68%, or an increase of 10%.
Respondent Pablo then made the corresponding corrections in the grading sheet and
accordingly initialed the charges made. This notebook with Office Code Number 954 also
belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Vol. V, pp. 43-46, rec.).
After the re-evaluation by Atty. Pablo, Jr., examinee Galang's general average was still below
the passing grade, because of his failing marks in four subjects.
Towards the end of the correction of examination notebooks, respondent Lanuevo brought
back to respondent Tomacruz one examination booklet in Criminal Law, with the former
informing the latter, who was then helping in the correction of papers in Political Law and
Public International Law, as he had already finished correcting the examination notebooks in his
assigned subject Criminal Law that the examinee who owns that particular notebook had
missed the passing grade by only a fraction of a percent and that if his grade in Criminal Law
would be raised a few points to 75%, then the examinee would make the passing grade.
Accepting the words of respondent Lanuevo, and seeing the justification and because he did
not want to be the one causing the failure of the examinee, respondent Tomacruz raised the
grade from 64% to 75% and thereafter, he initialed the revised mark and also revised the mark
in the general list and likewise initialed the same. The examinee's Examiner Code Number is
746 while his Office Code Number is 954. This examinee is Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.
Galang (Exhs. 1, 2 & 3-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 65, 66 and 71; Vol. V, pp. 24-25, 60-
61, rec.).
Respondent Tomacruz does not recall having been shown any memo by respondent Lanuevo
when the latter approached him for this particular re-evaluation; but he remembers Lanuevo
declaring to him that where a candidate had almost made the passing average but had failed in
one subject, as a matter of policy of the Court, leniency is applied in reviewing the examinee's
notebook in the failing subject. He recalls, however, that he was provided a copy of the
Confidential Memorandum but this was long before the re-evaluation requested by respondent
Lanuevo as the same was received by him before the examination period (Vol. V, p. 61, rec.).
However, such revision by Atty. Tomacruz could not raise Galang's general average to a passing
grade because of his failing mark in three more subjects, including Mercantile Law. For the
revision of examinee Galang's notebook in Mercantile Law, respondent Lanuevo neatly set the
last phase of his quite ingenious scheme by securing authorization from the Bar Examination
Committee for the examiner in Mercantile Law tore-evaluate said notebook.
At the first meeting of the Bar Examination Committee on February 8, 1972, respondent
Lanuevo suggested that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed the rest, the
examiner concerned would review the notebook. Nobody objected to it as irregular and the
Committee adopted the suggestion (Exhs. A & B-Montecillo, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164,
pp. 41, 72, 63; Vol. Vi, p. 16, rec.).
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At a subsequent meeting of the Bar Examination Committee, respondent Montecillo was
informed by respondent Lanuevo that a candidate passed all other subjects except Mercantile
Law. This information was made during the meeting within hearing of the order members, who
were all closely seated together. Respondent Montecillo made known his willingness tore-
evaluate the particular paper. The next day, respondent Lanuevo handed to respondent
Montecillo a bar candidate's notebook with Examiner's Code Number 1613 with a grade of
61%. Respondent Montecillo then reviewed the whole paper and after re-evaluating the
answers, decided to increase the final grade to 71%. The matter was not however thereafter
officially brought to the Committee for consideration or decision (Exhs. A& B-Montecillo, Adm.
Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, 70-71; Vol. V, pp. 33-34, rec.).
Respondent Montecillo declared that without being given the information that the particular
examinee failed only in his subject and passed all the others, he would not have consented to
make the re-evaluation of the said paper(Vol. V, p. 33, rec.).Respondent Montecillo likewise
added that there was only one instance he remembers, which is substantiated by his personal
records, that he had to change the grade of an examinee after he had submitted his report,
referring to the notebook of examinee Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, with
Examiner's Code Number 1613 and with Office Code Number 954 (Vol. V, pp. 34-35, rec.).
A day or two after February 5, 1972, when respondent Lanuevo went to the residence of
respondent-examiner Pardo to obtain the last bag of 200 notebooks, respondent Lanuevo
returned to the residence of respondent Pardo riding in a Volkswagen panel of the Supreme
Court of the Philippines with two companions. According to respondent Lanuevo, this was
around the second week of February, 1972, after the first meeting of the Bar Examination
Committee. respondent Lanuevo had with him on that occasion an examinee's notebook
bearing Examiner's Code No. 661. Respondent Lanuevo, after the usual amenities, requested
respondent Pardo to review and re-examine, if possible, the said notebook because, according
to respondent Lanuevo, the examine who owns that particular notebook obtained higher
grades in other subjects, the highest of which is 84% in Remedial Law. After clearing with
respondent Lanuevo his authority to reconsider the grades, respondent Pardo re-evaluated the
answers of the examine concerned, resulting in an increase of grade from 57% of 66%. Said
notebook has number 1622 as office code number. It belonged to examinee Ernesto Quitaleg
(Exhs. 1 & 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 58-63; Vol. V, pp. 12-24, 29-30, rec.).
II
Re: Administrative Case No. 1162, Victorio D. Lanuevo, respondent.
A
UNAUTHORIZED RE-EVALUATION OF THE ANSWERS OF EXAMINE RAMON E. GALANG, alias
ROMAN E. GALANG, IN ALL FIVE (5) MAJOR SUBJECTS.
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Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having requested on his own initiative the five
examiners concerned to re-evaluate the five notebooks of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.
Galang, that eventually resulted in the increase of Galang's average from 66.25% to the passing
grade 74.15%, or a total increase of eight (8) weighted points, more or less, that enabled Galang
to hurdle the 1971 Bar examinations via a resolution of the Court making 74% the passing
average for that year's examination without any grade below fifty percent (50%) in any subject.
Galang thereafter took his lawyer's oath. It is likewise beyond dispute that he had no authority
from the Court or the Committee to initiate such steps towards the said re-evaluation of the
answers of Galang or of other examinees.
Denying that he made representations to the examiners concerned that respondent Galang
failed only in their respective subjects and/or was on the borderline of passing, Respondent
Lanuevo sought to justify his actuations on the authority of the aforequoted paragraph 4 of the
Confidential Memorandum(Exhs. 1 and 1-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Cases Nos. 1162 & 1164, p. 51,
Adm. Case No. 1162; Vol. VII, p. 4, rec.) distributed to the members of the Bar Examination
Committee. He maintains that he acted in good faith and "in his honest belief that the same
merited re-evaluation; that in doing so, it was not his intention to forsake or betray the trust
reposed in him as BarConfidant but on the contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned;
and that neither did he act in a presumptuous manner because the matter of whether or not
re-evaluation was in order was left alone to the examiners' decision ..." (Exh. 2-Lanuevo, Adm.
Case No. 1162, pp. 35-37, rec.).
But as openly admitted by him in the course of the investigation, the said confidential
memorandum was intended solely for the examiners to guide them in the initial correction of
the examination papers and never as a basis for him to even suggest to the examiners the re-
evaluation of the examination papers of the examinees (Vol. VII, p. 23, rec.). Any such
suggestion or request is not only presumptuous but also offensive to the norms of delicacy.
We believe the Examiners Pablo, Manalo, Montecillo, Tomacruz, Pardo and Pamatian
whose declarations on the matter of the misrepresentations and deceptions committed by
respondent Lanuevo, are clear and consistent as well as corroborate each other.
For indeed the facts unfolded by the declarations of the respondents-examiners (Adm. Case No.
1164) and clarified by extensive cross-examination conducted during the investigation and
hearing of the cases show how respondent Lanuevo adroitly maneuvered the passing of
examinee Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang in the 1971 Bar Examinations. It is patent
likewise from the records that respondent Lanuevo too undue advantage of the trust and
confidence reposed in him by the Court and the Examiners implicit in his position as
BarConfidant as well as the trust and confidence that prevailed in and characterized his
relationship with the five members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee, who were thus
deceived and induced into re-evaluating the answers of onlyrespondent Galang in five subjects
that resulted in the increase of his grades therein, ultimately enabling him to be admitted a
member of the Philippine Bar.
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It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent Lanuevo's well-
studied and well-calculated moves in successively representing separately to each of the five
examiners concerned to the effect that the examinee failed only in his particular subject and/or
was on the borderline of passing. To repeat, the before the unauthorized re-evaluations were
made, Galang failed in the five (5) major subjects and in two (2) minor subjects while his
general average was only 66.25% which under no circumstances or standard could it be
honestly claimed that the examinee failed only in one, or he was on the borderline of passing.
In fact, before the first notebook of Galang was referred back to the examiner concerned for re-
evaluation, Galang had only one passing mark and this was in Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises, a minor subject, with grade of 81%. The averages and individual grades of Galang
before and after the unauthorized re-evaluation are as follows:
B A I
1. Political Law Public
International Law 68% 78% = 10 pts.
or 30 weighted points
B A I
Labor Laws and Social
Legislations 67% 67% = no re-
evaluation made.
2. Civil Law 64% 75% = 1 points
or 33 weighted points.
Taxation 74% 74% = no re-
evaluation made.
3. Mercantile Law 61% 71% = 10 pts.
or 30 weighted points.
4. Criminal Law 64% 75% = 11 pts. or
22 weighted points.
5. Remedial Law 63.75% (64) 75.5% (75%) =
11 pts. or 44 weighted points.
Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises 81% 81% = no re-
evaluation made.

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General Weighted Averages 66.25% 74.15%
Hence, by the simple expedient of initiating the re-evaluation of the answers of Galang in the
five (5) subjects under the circumstances already narrated, Galang's original average of 66.25%
was increased to 74.15% or an increase of 7.9 weighted points, to the great damage and
prejudice of the integrity of the Bar examinations and to the disadvantage of the other
examinees. He did this in favor only of examinee Galang, with the possible addition of
examinees Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. But only one notebook was re-evaluated
for each of the latter who Political Law and Public International Law for Quitaleg and
Mercantile Law for Ty dela Cruz.
The Office of the Bar Confidant, it must be stressed, has absolutely nothing to do in the re-
evaluation or reconsideration of the grades of examinees who fail to make the passing mark
before or after their notebooks are submitted to it by the Examiners. After the corrected
notebooks are submitted to him by the Examiners, his only function is to tally the individual
grades of every examinee in all subjects taken and thereafter compute the general average.
That done, he will then prepare a comparative data showing the percentage of passing and
failing in relation to a certain average to be submitted to the Committee and to the Court and
on the basis of which the Court will determine the passing average, whether 75 or 74 or 73, etc.
The Bar Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of the examinees and cannot assume
the functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the Examiners concerned. He is not the
over-all Examiner. He cannot presume to know better than the examiner. Any request for re-
evaluation should be done by the examinee and the same should be addressed to the Court,
which alone can validly act thereon. A Bar Confidant who takes such initiative, exposes himself
to suspicion and thereby compromises his position as well as the image of the Court.
Respondent Lanuevo's claim that he was merely doing justice to Galang without any intention
of betraying the trust and confidence reposed in him by the Court as Bar Confidant, can hardly
invite belief in the fact of the incontrovertible fact that he singled out Galang's papers for re-
evaluation, leaving out the papers of more than ninety (90) examinees with far better averages
ranging from 70% to 73.9% of which he was fully aware (Vol. VI, pp. 46-47, 101, rec.), which
could be more properly claimed as borderline cases. This fact further betrays respondent
Lanuevo's claim of absolute good faith in referring back the papers of Galang to the Examiners
for re-evaluation. For certainly, as against the original weighted average of 66.25% of Galang,
there can hardly be any dispute that the cases of the aforesaid more than ninety (90)
examinees were more deserving of reconsideration. Hence, in trying to do justice to Galang, as
claimed by respondent Lanuevo, grave injustice was inflicted on the other examinees of the
1971 Bar examinations, especially the said more than ninety candidates. And the unexplained
failure of respondent Lanuevo to apprise the Court or the Committee or even the Bar Chairman
of the fact of re-evaluation before or after the said re-evaluation and increase of grades,
precludes, as the same is inconsistent with, any pretension of good faith.
His request for the re-evaluation of the notebook in Political Law and International Law of
Ernesto Quitaleg and the notebook in Mercantile Law of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz to give his
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actuations in the case of Galang a semblance of impartiality, hoping that the over ninety
examinees who were far better situated than Galang would not give him away. Even the re-
evaluation of one notebook of Quitaleg and one notebook of Ty dela Cruz violated the
agreement of the members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee to re-evaluate when the
examinee concerned fails only in one subject. Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz failed in four (4) and
three (3) subjects respectively as hereinafter shown.
The strange story concerning the figures 954, the office code number given to Galang's
notebook, unveiled for the first time by respondent Lanuevo in his suplemental sworn
statement(Exh. 3- Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47. rec.) filed during the investigation
with this Court as to why he pried into the papers of Galang deserves scant consideration. It
only serves to picture a man desperately clutching at straws in the wind for support.
Furthermore, it was revealed by respondent Lanuevo for the first time only on August 27, 1973
or a period of more than five 95) months after he filed his answer on March 19, 1973(Exh. 2-
Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 35-36, rec.), showing that it was just an after-thought.
B
REFERRAL OF EXAMINEE ALFREDO TY DELA CRUZ NOTEBOOK IN MERCHANTILE LAW TO RAISE
HIS GRADE OF 47% TO 50% TO EXAMINER MANUEL MONTECILLO AND OF EXAMINEE ERNESTO
QUITALEG'S NOTEBOOK IN POLITICAL LAW TO EXAMINER BERNARDO PARDO FOR RE-
EVALUATION, RESULTING IN THE INCREASE OF HIS GRADE IN THAT SUBJECT FROM 57% TO
66%.
Likewise, respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having referred back the aforesaid
notebooks on Mercantile Law and Political Law respectively of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz and Ernesto
Quitaleg to the Examiners concerned.
The records are not clear, however, under what circumstances the notebooks of Ty dela Cruz
and Quitaleg were referred back to the Examiners concerned. Respondent Lanuevo claimed
that these two cases were officially brought to the Bar Examination Committee during its first
meeting (Vol. VI, pp. 50-51, rec.) and the latter decided to refer them back to the Examiners
concerned for re-evaluation with respect to the case of Quitaleg and to remove the
disqualification in the case of Ty dela Cruz(Vol. VI, pp. 33-39, 84-86, rec.). Respondent Lanuevo
further claimed that the date of these two cases were contained in a sheet of paper which was
presented at the said first meeting of the Committee (Vol. VI, pp. 39-43, 49-51, rec.). Likewise a
record of the dates of every meeting of the Committee was made by respondent Lanuevo (Vol.
VI, p. 28, rec.). The alleged sheet containing the date of the two examinees and record of the
dates of the meeting of the Committee were not presented by respondent Lanuevo as,
according to him, he left them inadvertently in his desk in the Confidential Room when he went
on leave after the release of the Bar results (Vol. VI, pp. 28, 41-45, rec.). It appears, however,
that the inventory conducted by officials of the Court in the Confidential Room of respondent
Lanuevo did not yield any such sheet of record (Exh. X, Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 74, rec.; Vol. VIII,
pp. 11-13, 20-22, 29-31, rec.).
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Respondent Examiner Montecillo, Mercantile Law, maintained that there was only one
notebook in Mercantile Law which was officially brought to him and this is substantiated by his
personal file and record (Vol. VI, pp. 34-35, rec.). According to him, this notebook's examiner
code number is 1613 (Vol. V, p.35, rec.) and is owned by Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.
Galang. It appears, however, that the original grade of 47% in Mercantile Law of Ty dela Cruz
was changed to 50% as appearing in the cover of the notebook of said examinee and the
change is authenticated with the initial of Examiner Montecillo. He was present when
respondent Lanuevo presented in evidence the notebook of Ty dela Cruz bearing Examiner
code number 951 and Office Code Number 110 as Exhibit 9-Lanuevo in Administrative Case No.
1162, and the figures 47 crossed out, replaced by the figures 50 bearing the initial of Examiner
Montecillo as Exhibit 9-a-Lanuevo (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 48, rec.; Vol. VI, pp. 23-24, Vol. VIII,
p. 4, rec.); but Atty. Montecillo did not interpose any objection to their admission in evidence.
In this connection, respondent Examiner Pardo testified that he remembers a case of an
examinee presented to the Committee, who obtained passing marks in all subjects except in
one and the Committee agreed to refer back to the Examiner concerned the notebook in the
subject in which the examinee failed (Vol. V, pp. 15-16, rec.). He cannot recall the subject, but
he is certain that it was not Political Law (Vol. V, p. 16, rec.).Further, Pardo declared that he is
not aware of any case of an examinee who was on the borderline of passing but who got a
grade below 50% in one subject that was taken up by the Committee (Vol. V, pp. 16-17, rec.).
Examiner Montecillo testified that it was the notebook with Examiner Code Number 1613
(belonging to Galang) which was referred to the Committee and the Committee agreed to
return it to the Examiner concerned. The day following the meeting in which the case of an
examinee with Code Number 1613 was taken up, respondent Lanuevo handed him said
notebook and he accordingly re-evaluated it. This particular notebook with Office Code Number
954 belongs to Galang.
Examiner Tomacruz recalled a case of an examinee whose problem was Mercantile Law that
was taken up by the Committee. He is not certain of any other case brought to the Committee
(Vol. V, pp. 59-61, rec.). Pardo declared that there was no case of an examinee that was
referred to the Committee that involved Political Law. He re-evaluated the answers of Ernesto
Quitaleg in Political Law upon the representation made by respondent Lanuevo to him.
As heretofore stated, it was this consensus at the meeting on February 8, 1972 of the members
of the Committee that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed all the others,
the Examiner in whose subject the examinee failed should re-evaluate or recheck the notebook
(Vol. V, p. 16, rec.: Exh. 2-Pardo, allegation No. 9, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 60-63, Exh. A-
Montecillo, Allegation No. 2, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, and Exh. B-Montecillo, Adm. Case
No. 1164, p. 72, rec.).
At the time the notebook of Ernesto Quitaleg in Political Law with a grade of 57% was referred
back to Examiner Pardo, said examinee had other failing grades in three (3) subjects, as follows:
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Labor Laws 3%
Taxation 69%
Mercantile Law 68%
Ernesto Quitaleg's grades and averages before and after the re-evaluation of his grade in
Political Law are as follows:
B A
Political Law 57% 66% = 9 pts. or 27
weighted points
Labor Laws 73% 73% = No reevaluation
Civil Law 75% 75% = "
Taxation 69% 69% = "
Mercantile Law 68% 68% = "
Criminal Law 78% 78% = "
Remedial Law 85% 85% = "
Legal Ethics 83% 83% = "

Average (weighted) 73.15% 74.5%
(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27; Exhs. 10 and 10-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, rec.)
Alfredo Ty dela Cruz, at the time his notebook in Mercantile Law was referred to Examiner
Montecillo to remove the disqualification grade of 47% in said subject, had two (2) other failing
grades. These are:
Political Law 70%
Taxation 72%
His grades and averages before and after the disqualifying grade was removed are as follows:
B A
Political Law 70% 70% = No reevaluation
Labor Laws 75% 75% = "
Civil Law 89% 89% = "
Taxation 72% 72% = "
Mercantile Law 47% 50% = 3 pts. or 9
weighted points
Criminal Law 78% 78% = no reevaluation
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Remedial Law 88% 88% = "
Legal Ethics 79% 79% = "

Weighted Averages 74.95% 75.4%
(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27, rec.).
The re-evaluation of the answers of Quitaleg in Political Law and the answers of Ty dela Cruz in
Mercantile Law, violated the consensus of the Bar Examination Committee in February, 1971,
which violation was due to the misrepresentation of respondent Lanuevo.
It must be stated that the referral of the notebook of Galang in Mercantile Law to Examiner
Montecillo can hardly be said to be covered by the consensus of the Bar Examination
Committee because even at the time of said referral, which was after the unauthorized re-
evaluation of his answers of four (4) subjects, Galang had still failing grades in Taxation and
Labor Laws. His re-evaluated grade of 74.5% in Remedial Law was considered 75% under the
Confidential Memorandum and was so entered in the record. His grade in Mercantile Law as
subsequently re-evaluated by Examiner Montecillo was 71%.
Respondent Lanuevo is therefore guilty of serious misconduct of having betrayed the trust
and confidence reposed in him as Bar Confidant, thereby impairing the integrity of the Bar
examinations and undermining public faith in the Supreme Court. He should be disbarred.
As to whether Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz should be disbarred or their names
stricken from the Roll of Attorneys, it is believed that they should be required to show cause
and the corresponding investigation conducted.
III
Re: Administrative Case No. 1163, Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, respondent.
A
The name of respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, should likewise be stricken
off the Roll of Attorneys. This is a necessary consequence of the un-authorized re-evaluation of
his answers in five(5) major subjects Civil Law, Political and International Law, Criminal Law,
Remedial Law, and Mercantile Law.
The judicial function of the Supreme Court in admitting candidates to the legal profession,
which necessarily involves the exercise of discretion, requires: (1) previous established rules
and principles; (2) concrete facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals;
and (3) a decision as to whether these facts are governed by the rules and principles (In re:
Cunanan Flunkers' Petition for Admission to the Bar -- 94 Phil. 534, 544-545). The
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determination of whether a bar candidate has obtained the required passing grade certainly
involves discretion (Legal and Judicial Ethics, Justice Martin, 1969 ed., p. 13).
In the exercise of this function, the Court acts through a Bar Examination Committee,
composed of a member of the Court who acts as Chairman and eight (8) members of the Bar
who act as examiners in the eight (8) bar subjects with one subject assigned to each. Acting as a
sort of liaison officer between the Court and the Bar Chairman, on one hand, and the individual
members of the Committee, on the other, is the Bar Confidant who is at the same time a
deputy clerk of the Court. Necessarily, every act of the Committee in connection with the
exercise of discretion in the admission of examinees to membership of the Bar must be in
accordance with the established rules of the Court and must always be subject to the final
approval of the Court. With respect to the Bar Confidant, whose position is primarily
confidential as the designation indicates, his functions in connection with the conduct of the
Bar examinations are defined and circumscribed by the Court and must be strictly adhered to.
The re-evaluation by the Examiners concerned of the examination answers of respondent
Galang in five (5) subjects, as already clearly established, was initiated by Respondent Lanuevo
without any authority from the Court, a serious breach of the trust and confidence reposed by
the Court in him as Bar Confidant. Consequently, the re-evaluation that enabled respondent
Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations and to be admitted to the Bar is a complete nullity.
The Bar Confidant does not possess any discretion with respect to the matter of admission of
examinees to the Bar. He is not clothed with authority to determine whether or not an
examinee's answers merit re-evaluation or re-evaluation or whether the Examiner's appraisal of
such answers is correct. And whether or not the examinee benefited was in connivance or a
privy thereto is immaterial. What is decisive is whether the proceedings or incidents that led to
the candidate's admission to the Bar were in accordance with the rules.
B
Section 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964, in connection, among others, with
the character requirement of candidates for admission to the Bar, provides that "every
applicant for admission as a member of the Bar must be ... of good moral
character ... 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." Prior to 1964, or under the old Rules of Court, a bar
applicant was required to produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory testimonials of good
moral character (Sec. 2, Rule 127). Under both rules, every applicant is duty bound to lay before
the Court all his involvement in any criminal case, pending or otherwise terminated, to enable
the Court to fully ascertain or determine applicant's moral character. Furthermore, as to what
crime involves moral turpitude, is for the supreme Court to determine. Hence, the necessity of
laying before or informing the Court of one's personal record whether he was criminally
indicted, acquitted, convicted or the case dismissed or is still pending becomes more
compelling. The forms for application to take the Bar examinations provided by the Supreme
Court beginning the year 1965 require the disclosure not only of criminal cases involving moral
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turpitude filed or pending against the applicant but also of all other criminal cases of which he
has been accused. It is of course true that the application form used by respondent Galang
when he took the Bar for the first time in 1962 did not expressly require the disclosure of the
applicant's criminal records, if any. But as already intimated, implicit in his task to show
satisfactory evidence or proof of good moral character is his obligation to reveal to the Court all
his involvement in any criminal case so that the Court can consider them in the ascertainment
and determination of his moral character. And undeniably, with the applicant's criminal records
before it, the Court will be in a better position to consider the applicant's moral character; for it
could not be gainsaid that an applicant's involvement in any criminal case, whether pending or
terminated by its dismissal or applicant's acquittal or conviction, has a bearing upon his
character or fitness for admission to the Bar. In 1963 and 1964, when respondent Galang took
the Bar for the second and third time, respectively, the application form provided by the Court
for use of applicants already required the applicant to declare under oath that "he has not been
accused of, indicted for or convicted by any court or tribunal of any offense involving moral
turpitude; and that there is no pending case of that nature against him." By 1966, when Galang
took the Bar examinations for the fourth time, the application form prepared by the Court for
use of applicants required the applicant to reveal all his criminal cases whether involving moral
turpitude or not. In paragraph 4 of that form, the applicant is required under oath to declare
that "he has not been charged with any offense before a Fiscal, Municipal Judge, or other
officer; or accused of, indicted for or convicted by any court or tribunal of any crime involving
moral turpitude; nor is there a pending case against him" (Adm. Case No. 1163, p. 56, rec.). Yet,
respondent Galang continued to intentionally withhold or conceal from the Court his criminal
case of slight physical injuries which was then and until now is pending in the City Court of
Manila; and thereafter repeatedly omitted to make mention of the same in his applications to
take the Bar examinations in 1967, 1969 and 1971.
All told, respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, is guilty of fraudulently concealing
and withholding from the Court his pending criminal case for physical injuries in 1962, 1963,
1964, 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971; and in 1966, 1967,1969 and 1971, he committed perjury
when he declared under oath that he had no pending criminal case in court. By falsely
representing to the Court that he had no criminal case pending in court, respondent Galang was
allowed unconditionally to take the Bar examinations seven (7) times and in 1972 was allowed
to take his oath.
That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar examinations of the fact
that he had been charged with, or indicted for, an alleged crime, is a ground for revocation of
his license to practice law is well settled (see 165 ALR 1151, 7 CJS 741). Thus:
[1] It requires no argument to reach the conclusion that the respondent, in
withholding from the board of law examiners and from the justice of this court,
to whom he applied for admission, information respecting so serious a matter as
an indictment for a felony, was guilty of fraud upon the court (cases cited).
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[2] It is equally clear that, had the board of law examiners, or the judge to whom
he applied for admission, been apprised of the true situation, neither the
certificate of the board nor of the judge would have been forthcoming (State ex
rel. Board of Law Examiners v. Podell, 207 N W 709 710).
The license of respondent Podell was revoke and annulled, and he was required to surrender to
the clerk of court the license issued to him, and his name was stricken from the roll of attorneys
(p. 710).
Likewise in Re Carpel, it was declared that:
[1] The power to admit to the bar on motion is conferred in the discretion of the
Appellate Division.' In the exercise of the discretion, the court should be
informed truthfully and frankly of matters tending to show the character of the
applicant and his standing at the bar of the state from which he comes. The
finding of indictments against him, one of which was still outstanding at the time
of his motion, were facts which should have been submitted to the court, with
such explanations as were available. Silence respecting them was reprehensible,
as tending to deceive the court (165 NYS, 102, 104; emphasis supplied).
Carpel's admission to the bar was revoked (p. 105).
Furthermore, respondent's persistent denial of his involvement in any criminal case despite his
having been apprised by the Investigation of some of the circumstances of the criminal case
including the very name of the victim in that case(he finally admitted it when he was
confronted by the victim himself, who was called to testify thereon), and his continued failure
for about thirteen years to clear his name in that criminal case up to the present time, indicate
his lack of the requisite attributes of honesty, probity and good demeanor. He is therefore
unworthy of becoming a member of the noble profession of law.
While this aspect of the investigation was not part of the formal resolution of the Court
requiring him to explain why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys,
respondent Galang was, as early as August, 1973, apprised of his omission to reveal to the
Court his pending criminal case. Yet he did not offer any explanation for such omission.
Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, was
allowed to take the Bar examinations and the highly irregular manner in which he passed the
Bar, WE have no other alternative but to order the surrender of his attorney's certificate and
the striking out of his name from the Roll of Attorneys. For as WE said in Re Felipe del Rosario:
The practice of the law is not an absolute right to be granted every one who
demands it, but is a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of sound
discretion. The standards of the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct
which merely enables one to escape the penalties of the criminal law. It would
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be a disgrace to the Judiciary to receive one whose integrity is questionable as
an officer of the court, to clothe him with all the prestige of its confidence, and
then to permit him to hold himself as a duly authorized member of the bar
(citing American cases) [52 Phil. 399-401].
What WE now do with respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, in this present case
is not without any precedent in this jurisdiction. WE had on several occasions in the past
nullified the admission of successful bar candidates to the membership of the Bar on the
grounds, among others, of (a)misrepresentations of, or false pretenses relative to, the
requirement on applicant's educational attainment [Tapel vs. Publico, resolution of the
Supreme Court striking off the name of Juan T. Publico from the Roll of Attorneys on the basis
of the findings of the Court Investigators contained in their report and recommendation, Feb.
23, 1962; In re: Telesforo A. Diao, 7 SCRA 475-478; (b) lack of good moral character [In re:
Peralta, 101 Phil. 313-314]; and (c) fraudulent passing of the Bar examinations [People vs.
Romualdez -- re: Luis Mabunay, 57 Phil. 151; In re: Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399 and People vs.
Castro and Doe, 54 Phil. 42]. In the cases of Romualdez (Mabunay) and Castro, the Court found
that the grades of Mabunay and Castro were falsified and they were convicted of the crime of
falsification of public documents.
IV
RE: Administrative Case No. 1164, Assistant Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo (now CFI Judge),
Judge Ramon Pamatian(Later Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, now deceased)Atty.
Manuel G. Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo, Atty. Manuel Tomacruz and Atty. Guillermo Pablo,
Jr., respondents.
All respondents Bar examiners candidly admitted having made the re-evaluation and/or re-
correction of the papers in question upon the misrepresentation of respondent BarConfidant
Lanuevo. All, however, professed good faith; and that they re-evaluated or increased the grades
of the notebooks without knowing the identity of the examinee who owned the said
notebooks; and that they did the same without any consideration or expectation of any. These
the records clearly demonstrate and WE are of the opinion and WE so declare that indeed the
respondents-examiners made the re-evaluation or re-correcion in good faith and without any
consideration whatsoever.
Considering however the vital public interest involved in the matter of admission of members
to the Bar, the respondents bar examiners, under the circumstances, should have exercised
greater care and caution and should have been more inquisitive before acceding to the request
of respondent Bar Confidant Lanuevo. They could have asked the Chairman of the Bar
Examination Committee, who would have referred the matter to the Supreme Court. At least
the respondents-examiners should have required respondent Lanuevo to produce or show
them the complete grades and/or the average of the examinee represented by respondent
Lanuevo to have failed only in their respective and particular subject and/or was on the
borderline of passing to fully satisfy themselves that the examinee concerned was really so
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circumstances. This they could have easily done and the stain on the Bar examinations could
have been avoided.
Respondent Bar examiners Montecillo, Pamatian, and Manalo claimed and so declared under
oath that the answers of respondent Galang really deserved or merited the increased grades;
and so with respondent Pardo in connection with the re-evaluation of Ernesto Quitaleg's
answers in Political Law. With respect to respondents Tomacruz and Pablo, it would appear that
they increased the grades of Galang in their respective subject solely because of the
misrepresentations of Respondent Lanuevo. Hence, in the words of respondent Tomacruz: "You
brought to me one paper and you said that this particular examinee had almost passed,
however, in my subject he received 60 something, I cannot remember the exact average and if
he would get a few points higher, he would get a passing average. I agreed to do that because I
did not wish to be the one causing his failure. ..." (Vol. V, pp. 60-61, rec.; see also allegations 3
and 4, Exh. 1-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 69, rec.; emphasis ours). And respondent
Pablo: "... he told me that this particular examinee seems to have passed in allot her subject
except this subject and that if I can re-evaluate this examination notebook and increase the
mark to at least 75, this particular examinee will pass the bar examinations so I believe I asked
him 'Is this being done?' and he said 'Yes, that is the practice used to be done before to help out
examinees who are failing in just one subject' so I readily acceded to his request and said 'Just
leave it with me and I will try to re-evaluate' and he left it with me and what i did was to go
over the book and tried to be as lenient as I could. While I did not mark correct the answers
which were wrong, what I did was to be more lenient and if the answers was correct although it
was not complete I raise the grade so I had a total of 78 instead of 68 and what I did was to
correct the grading sheet accordingly and initial the changes" (Vol. V, pp. 44-45, rec.; emphasis
supplied).
It could not be seriously denied, however, that the favorable re-evaluations made by
respondents Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Pardo notwithstanding their declarations that
the increases in grades they gave were deserved by the examinee concerned, were to a certain
extent influenced by the misrepresentation and deception committed by respondent Lanuevo.
Thus in their own words:
Montecillo
Q And by reason of that information you made the re-evaluation
of the paper?
A Yeas, your Honor.
Q Would you have re-evaluated the paper of your own accord in
the absence of such information?
A No, your Honor, because I have submitted my report at that
time" (Vol. V, p. 33, rec.; see also allegations in paragraphs 2, 3, 4
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& 5, Affidavit of April 17, 1972, Exh. B-Montecillo; allegation No.
2, Answer dated march 19, 1973, Exh. A-Montecillo, Adm. Case
No. 1164, pp. 40-41, and 72, rec.).
Pamatian
3. That sometime in the later part of January of this year, he brought back to me
an examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation because according to him
the owner of the paper is on the borderline and if I could reconsider his grade to
75% the candidate concerned will get passing mark;
4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was really the practice
and policy of the Supreme Court to do so and in the further belief that I was just
manifesting cooperation in doing so, I re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered
the grade to 75%; ..." (Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 55, rec.); and
5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and under the belief that
I am authorized to do so in view of them is representation of said Atty. Victorio
Lanuevo, ..." (Exh. 1-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 33-34, rec.).
Manalo
(c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee concerned, herein
respondent carefully evaluated each and every answer written in the notebook.
Testing the answer by the criteria laid down by the Court, and giving the said
examinee the benefit of the doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevo's representation that
it was only in that particular subject that said examinee failed, herein respondent
became convinced that the said examinee deserved a higher grade than that
previously given him, but he did not deserve, in herein respondent's honest
appraisal, to be given the passing grade of
75%. ..."(allegation 5-c, p. 38, Exh. 1-Manalo, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Pardo
... I considered it entirely humanly possible to have erred, because I corrected
that particular notebook on December 31,1971, considering especially the
representation of the Bar Confidant that the said examinee had obtained higher
grades in other subjects, the highest of which was 84% in Remedial Law, if I
recall
correctly. ... (allegation 7, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 62, rec.;
emphasis supplied).
With the misrepresentations and the circumstances utilized by respondent Lanuevo to induce
the herein examiners to make the re-evaluation adverted to, no one among them can truly
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claim that the re-evaluation effected by them was impartial or free from any improper
influence, their conceded integrity, honesty and competence notwithstanding.
Consequently, Galang cannot justifiably claim that he deserved the increased grades given after
the said re-evaluations(Galang's memo attached to the records, Adm. Case No. 1163).
At any rate, WE are convinced, in the light of the explanations of the respondents-examiners,
which were earlier quoted in full, that their actuations in connection with the re-evaluation of
the answers of Galang in five (5) subjects do not warrant or deserve the imposition of any
disciplinary action. WE find their explanations satisfactory. Nevertheless, WE are constrained to
remind herein respondents-examiners that their participation in the admission of members to
the Bar is one impressed with the highest consideration of public interest absolute purity of
the proceedings and so are required to exercise the greatest or utmost case and vigilance in
the performance of their duties relative thereto.
V
Respondent Atty. Victorio D. Lanuevo, in his memorandum filed on November 14, 1973,
claimed that respondent-examiner Pamatian "in bringing up this unfounded cause, or lending
undue assistance or support thereto ... was motivated with vindictiveness due to respondent's
refusal to be pressured into helping his (examiner's) alleged friend a participant in the 1971
Bar Examinations whom said examiner named as Oscar Landicho and who, the records will
show, did not pass said examinations (p. 9, Lanuevo's memo, Adm. Case No. 1162).
It must be stated that this is a very serious charge against the honor and integrity of the late
Justice Ramon Pamatian, who passed away on October 18, 1973 and therefore cannot refute
Lanuevo's insinuations. Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo did not bring this out during the
investigation which in his words is "essential to his defense. "His pretension that he did not
make this charge during the investigation when Justice Pamatian was still alive, and deferred
the filing of such charge against Justice Pamatian and possibly also against Oscar Landicho
before the latter departed for Australia "until this case shall have been terminated lest it be
misread or misinterpreted as being intended as a leverage for a favorable outcome of this case
on the part of respondent or an act of reprisal", does not invite belief; because he does not
impugn the motives of the five other members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee, who
also affirmed that he deceived them into re-evaluating or revising the grades of respondent
Galang in their respective subjects.
It appears, however, that after the release of the results of the 1971 Bar examinations, Oscar
Landicho, who failed in that examinations, went to see and did see Civil Law examiner Pamatian
for the purpose of seeking his help in connection with the 1971 Bar Examinations. Examiner
Pamatian advised Landicho to see the Chairman of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee.
Examiner Pamatian mentioned in passing to Landicho that an examination booklet was re-
evaluated by him (Pamatian) before the release of the said bar results (Vol. V, pp. 6-7, rec).
Even though such information was divulged by respondent Pamatian after the official release of
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the bar results, it remains an indecorous act, hardly expected of a member of the Judiciary who
should exhibit restraint in his actuations demanded by resolute adherence to the rules of
delicacy. His unseemly act tended to undermine the integrity of the bar examinations and to
impair public faith in the Supreme Court.
VI
The investigation failed to unearth direct evidence that the illegal machination of respondent
Lanuevo to enable Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations was committed for valuable
consideration.
A
There are, however, acquisitions made by Respondent Lanuevo immediately after the official
release of the 1971 Bar examinations in February, 1972, which may be out of proportion to his
salary as Bar Confidant and Deputy Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.
1. On April 5, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife acquired from the BF
Homes, Inc. a house and lot with an area of 374 square meters, more or less, for
the amount of P84,114.00. The deed of sale was dated March 5, 1972 but was
notarized only on April 5, 1972. On the same date, however, respondent
Lanuevo and his wife executed two (2)mortgages covering the said house and lot
in favor of BF Homes, Inc. in the total amount of P67,291.20 (First mortgage
P58,879.80, Entry No. 90913: date of instrument April 5, 1972, date of
inscription April 20, 1972: Second mortgage P8,411.40, Entry No. 90914:
date of instrument April 5, 1972, date of inscription April 20, 1972). [D-2 to
D-4, Vol. III, rec.]. Respondent Lanuevo paid as down payment the amount of
only P17,000.00, which according to him is equivalent to 20%, more or less, of
the purchase price of P84,114.00. Respondent Lanuevo claimed that P5,000.00
of the P17,000.00 was his savings while the remaining the P12,000.00 came from
his sister in Okinawa in the form of a loan and received by him through a niece
before Christmas of 1971 in dollars ($2000) [Vol. VII, pp. 41-48; Vol. VIII, pp. 2-3,
rec.]
It appears, however, that his alleged P5,000.00 savings and P12,000.00 loan
from his sister; are not fully reflected and accounted for in respondent's 1971
Statement of Assets and Liabilities which hefiled on January 17, 1972.
In said 1971 statement, respondent Lanuevo listed under Assets a bank deposit
in the amount of only P2,000.00. In his 1972 statement, his bank deposit listed
under Assets was in the amount of P1,011.00, which shows therefore that of the
P2,000.00 bank deposit listed in his 1971 statement under Assets, only the
amount of P989.00 was used or withdrawn. The amount of P18,000.00
receivable listed under Assets in his 1971 statement was not realized because
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the transaction therein involved did not push through (Statement of Assets and
Liabilities of respondent Lanuevo from 1965 to 1972; Vol. VIII, pp. 47-48, rec.).
Likewise, the alleged December, 1971 $2000 loan of respondent from his
married sister in Okinawa is extremely doubtful. In the first place, said amount of
$2000 (P12,000.00) is not reflected in his 1971Statement of Assets and
Liabilities filed on January 17, 1972. Secondly, the alleged note which he
allegedly received from his sister at the time he received the $200 was not even
presented by respondent during the investigation. And according to Respondent
Lanuevo himself, while he considered this a loan, his sister did not seriously
consider it as one. In fact, no mode or time of payment was agreed upon by
them. And furthermore, during the investigation, respondent Lanuevo promised
to furnish the Investigator the address of his sister in Okinawa. Said promise was
not fulfilled as borne out by the records. Considering that there is no showing
that his sister, who has a family of her own, is among the top earners in Okinawa
or has saved a lot of money to give to him, the conclusion, therefore, that
the P17,000.00 of respondent Lanuevo was either an ill-gotten or undeclared
income is inevitable under the foregoing circumstances.
On August 14, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife mortgaged their BF
Homes house and lot to the GSIS for the amount of P65,000.00 (Entry No.
4992: August 14, 1972 date of instrument;August 23, 1972 date of
inscription). On February 28, 1973, the second mortgage in favor of BF Homes,
Entry No. 90914, was redeemed by respondent and was subsequently cancelled
on March 20,1973, Entry No. 30143. Subsequently, or on March 2, 1973 the first
mortgage in favor of BF Homes, Entry No. 90913 was also redeemed by
respondent Lanuevo and thereafter cancelled onMarch 20, 1973, (See D-2 to D-
4, Vol. III, rec.). Hence, only the mortgage in favor of GSIS remains as the
encumbrance of respondent's house and lot. According to respondent Lanuevo,
the monthly amortization of the GSIS mortgage is P778.00 a month, but that
since May of 1973, he was unable to pay the same. In his 1972 Statement of
Assets and Liabilities, which he filed in connection with his resignation and
retirement (filed October 13, 1972), the house and lot declared as part of his
assets, were valued at P75,756.90. Listed, however, as an item in his liabilities in
the same statement was the GSIS real estate loan in the amount
of P64,200.00 (1972 Statement of Assets and Liabilities).
2. Listed as an asset in his 1972 Statement of Assets and Liabilities is a 1956
VW car valued atP5,200.00. That he acquired this car sometime between
January, 1972 and November, 1972 could be inferred from the fact that no such
car or any car was listed in his statement of assets and liabilities of 1971 or in the
years previous to 1965. It appears, however, that his listed total assets, excluding
receivables in his 1971 Statement was P19,000.00, while in his 1972 (as of
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November, 1972) Statement, his listed total assets, excluding the house and lot
was P18,211.00, including the said 1956 VW car worth P5,200.00.
The proximity in point of time between the official release of the 1971 Bar
examinations and the acquisition of the above-mentioned properties, tends to
link or tie up the said acquisitions with the illegal machination committed by
respondent Lanuevo with respect to respondent Galang's examination papers or
to show that the money used by respondent Lanuevo in the acquisition of the
above properties came from respondent Galang in consideration of his passing
the Bar.
During the early stage of this investigation but after the Court had informed respondent
Lanuevo of the serious irregularities in the 1971 Bar examinations alleged in Oscar Landicho's
Confidential Letter and in fact, after Respondent Lanuevo had filed on April 12, 1972 his sworn
statement on the matter, as ordered by the Court, respondent Lanuevo surprisingly filed his
letter or resignation on October 13, 1972 with the end in view of retiring from the Court. His
resignation before he was required to show cause on March 5, 1973 but after he was informed
of the said irregularities, is indicative of a consciousness of guilt.
It must be noted that immediately after the official release of the results of the 1971 Bar
examinations, respondent Lanuevo went on vacation and sick leave from March 16, 1972 to
January 15, 1973, obtaining the case value thereof in lump sum in the amount of P11,000.00.
He initially claimed at the investigation that h e used a part thereof as a down payment for his
BF Homes house and lot (Vol. VII, pp. 40-48, rec.), which he bought on April 5, 1972.
Criminal proceedings may be instituted against respondent Lanuevo under Section 3 (a & e) in
relation to Section 9 of Republic Act No. 1379 (Anti-Graft Law) for:
(a) Persuading inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act
constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent
authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or
allowing himself to be presented, induced, or influenced to commit such
violation or offense.
xxx xxx xxx
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving
any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the
discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest
partiality, evidence bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall
apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged
with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.
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Section 8 of said Republic Act No. 3019 authorizes the dismissal or removal of a public officer
once it is determined that his property or money "is manifestly out of proportion to his salary
as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from
legitimately acquired property ... " (Sec. 2, Rep. Act 1379; Sec. 8, Rep. Act 3019).
It should be stressed, however, that respondent Lanuevo's aforementioned Statements of
Assets and Liabilities were not presented or taken up during the investigation; but they were
examined as they are part of the records of this Court.
B
There are likewise circumstances indicating possible contacts between respondent Ramon E.
Galang and/or his father and respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo before the latter become the bar
Confidant.
1. Respondent Ramon E. Galang was a beneficiary of the G.I Bill of Rights educational program
of the Philippine Veterans Board from his high school days 1951 to 1955 up to his pre-law
studies at the MLQ Educational Institution (now MLQ University) 1955 to 1958. From 1948 to
1958, respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo was connected with the Philippine Veterans Board which
is the governmental agency entrusted with the affairs of our veterans including the
implementation of the Veterans Bill of Rights. From 1955 to 1958, Respondent Lanuevo
successively held the position of Junior Investigator, Veterans Claims Investigator, Supervising
Veterans Investigator and Veterans Claims Investigator (Service Record, p. 9, Adm. Case No.
1162). During that period of time, therefore, respondent Lanuevo had direct contacts with
applicants and beneficiaries of the Veterans Bill of Rights. Galang's educational benefits was
approved on March 16, 1954, retroactive as of the date of waiver July 31, 1951, which is also
the date of filing (A, Vol. IV, rec.).
It is alleged by respondent Ramon E. Galang that it was his father who all the time attended to
the availment of the said educational benefits and even when he was already in Manila taking
up his pre-law at MLQ Educational Institution from 1955 to 1958. In 1955, respondent Galang
was already 19 years old, and from 1957 to 1958, he was employed as a technical assistant in
the office of Senator Roy (Vol. V, pp. 79-80, 86-87, rec.).[Subsequently, during the investigation,
he claimed that he was the private secretary of Senator Puyat in 1957 (Vol. VI, pp. 12-13, rec.)].
It appears, however, that a copy of the notice-letter dated June 28, 1955 of the Philippine
Veterans Board to the MLQ Educational Institution on the approval of the transfer of
respondent Galang from Sta. Rita Institute to the MLQ Educational Institution effective the first
semester of the school year 1955-56 was directly addressed and furnished to respondent
Ramon E. Galang at 2292 Int. 8 Banal St., Tondo, Manila (A-12, Vol. IV, rec.).
Respondent Ramon E. Galang further declared that he never went to the Office of the
Philippine Veterans to follow up his educational benefits and claimed that he does not even
know the location of the said office. He does not also know whether beneficiaries of the G.I. Bill
of Rights educational benefits are required to go to the Philippine Veterans Board every
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semester to submit their ratings (Vol. V, p. 86, rec.). But respondent Galang admits that he had
gone to the GSIS and City Court of Manila, although he insists that he never bothered to take a
look at the neighboring buildings (Vol. V, pp. 93-94, rec.). The huge and imposing Philippine
Veterans Building is beside the GSIS building and is obliquely across the City Court building.
2. Respondent Lanuevo stated that as an investigator in the Philippine Veterans Board, he
investigated claims for the several benefits given to veterans like educational benefits and
disability benefits; that he does not remember, however, whether in the course of his duties as
veterans investigator, he came across the application of Ramon E. Galang for educational
benefits; and that he does not know the father of Mr. Ramon E. Galang and has never met him
(Vol. VII, pp. 28, 49, rec.).
3. Respondent Lanuevo, as a member of the USAFEE, belonged to the 91st Infantry operating at
Zambales and then Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, shortly before the war (Vol. VII, pp. 48-49, rec.).
Later he joined the guerrilla movement in Samar.
He used to be a member of the Philippine Veterans Legion especially while working with the
Philippine Veterans Board(Vol. VII, p. 49, rec.).
He does not know the Banal Regiment of the guerrillas, to which Galang's father belonged.
During the Japanese occupation, his guerrilla outfit was operating in Samar only and he had no
communications with other guerrilla organization in other parts of the country.
He attended meetings of the Philippine Veterans Legion in his chapter in Samar only and does
not remember having attended its meeting here in Manila, even while he was employed with
the Philippine Veterans Board. He is not a member of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor
(Vol. VII, p.51, rec.).
On November 27, 1941, while respondent Lanuevo was with the Philippine Army stationed at
Camp Manacnac, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, he was stricken with pneumonia and was
hospitalized at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result and was still confined there when
their camp was bombed and strafed by Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 (Sworn
statement of respondent Lanuevo dated August 27, 1973, Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 46, rec.).
German Galang, father of respondent Galang, was a member of the Banal Guerilla Forces,
otherwise known as the Banal Regiment. He was commissioned and inducted as a member
thereof on January 16, 1942 and was given the rank of first lieutenant. His unit "was attached
and served into the XI-Corps, US Army; XIII-C US Army, 43rd Div., US Army, stationed
headquarters at Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija and with the 38th Division, US army stationed at
Corregidor in the mopping-up operations against the enemies, from 9 May 1945 date of
recognition to 31 December 1945, date of demobilization"(Affidavit of Jose Banal dated
December 22, 1947, Vol. IV, A-3, rec.).
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It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected notebooks to the
Bar Confidant, the same cannot be withdrawn for any purpose whatsoever without prior
authority from the Court. Consequently, this Court expresses herein its strong disapproval of
the actuations of the bar examiners in Administrative Case No. 1164 as above delineated.
WHEREFORE, IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1162, RESPONDENT VICTORIO D. LANUEVO IS
HEREBY DISBARRED AND HIS NAME ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS; AND
IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1163, RESPONDENT RAMON E. GALANG, alias Roman E.
GALANG, IS HEREBY LIKEWISE DISBARRED AND HIS NAME ALSO ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE
ROLL OF ATTORNEYS.
Makalintal, C.J., Castro, Fernando, Barredo, Esguerra, Muoz Palma and Aquino, JJ., concur.
Teehankee, J., concurs in the result.
Antonio, J., is on official leave.
Concepcion and Martin, JJ., took no part.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
December 7, 1928
In re FELIPE DEL ROSARIO
Felipe del Rosario in his own behalf.
City Fiscal Guevara for the Government.

MALCOLM, J.:
The supplementary report on bar examination irregularities of the fiscal of the City of Manila,
dealing with the case of Felipe del Rosario, has been laid before the court for consideration and
action. It is recommended by the city fiscal that Felipe del Rosario be ordered to surrender his
certificate of attorney and that he be forever prohibited from taking the bar examination. An
answer to the report has been permitted to be made, in which the court is asked to disapprove
the report and to direct the setting aside of the suspension to practice law by the respondent,
heretofore ordered by the court.
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Felipe del Rosario was a candidate in the bar examination who failed for the second time in
1925. He presented himself for the succeeding bar examination in 1926 and again was unable
to obtain the required rating. Then on March 29, 1927, he authorized the filing of a motion for
the revision of his papers for 1925 based on an alleged mistake in the computation of his
grades. The court, acting in good faith, granted this motion, and admitted Felipe del Rosario to
the bar, but with justices dissenting. Subsequently, during the general investigation of bar
examination matters being conducted by the city fiscal, this case was taken up, with the result
that a criminal charge was lodged in the Court of First Instance of Manila against Juan Villaflor,
a former employee of the court and Felipe del Rosario. Villaflor pleaded guilty to the
information and was sentenced accordingly. Del Rosario pleaded not guilty, and at the
conclusion of the trial was acquitted for lack of evidence.
The acquittal of Felipe del Rosario upon the criminal charge is not a bar to these proceedings.
The court is now acting in an entirely different capacity from that which courts assume in trying
criminal cases. It is asking a great deal of the members of the court to have them believe that
Felipe del Rosario was totally unaware of the illegal machinations culminating in the
falsification of public documents, of which he was the sole beneficiary. Indeed, the conviction
of Juan Villaflor in itself demonstrates that Felipe del Rosario has no legal right to his attorney's
certificate. While to admit Felipe del Rosario again to the bar examination would be
tantamount to a declaration of professional purity which we are totally unable to pronounce.
The practice of the law is not an absolute right to be granted every one who demands it, but is
a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of a sound discretion. The standards of
the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to escape the
penalties of the criminal law. It would be a disgrace to the Judiciary to receive one whose
integrity is questionable as an officer of the court, to clothe him with all the prestige of its
confidence, and then to permit him to hold himself out as a duly authorized member of the bar.
(In re Terrell [1903], 2 Phil., 266; People ex rel. Colorado Bar Association vs. Thomas [1906], 36
Colo., 126; 10 Ann. Cas., 886 and note; People vs. Macauley [1907], 230 Ill., 208; Ex parte Wall
[1882], 107 U. S., 265.)1awphi1.net
The recommendation contained in the special report pertaining to Felipe del Rosario is
approved, and within a period of ten days from receipt of notice, the respondent shall
surrender his attorney's certificate to the clerk of this court.
Avancea, C. J., Johnson, Street, Villamor, Ostrand, Romualdez and Villa-Real, JJ., concur.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
Bar Matter No. 139 October 11, 1984
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RE: ELMO S. ABAD, 1978 Successful Bar Examinee, ATTY. PROCOPIO S. BELTRAN, JR.,
President of the Philippine Trial Lawyers Association. Inc., complainant,
vs.
ELMO S. ABAD, respondent.

ABAD SANTOS, J.:
On March 28, 1983, this Court held respondent ELMO S. ABAD in contempt of court for
unauthorized practice of law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case he
failed to pay the fine. (121 SCRA 217.) He paid the fine.
On May 5, 1983, Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE
TO ALL METRO MANILA COURTS THE FACT THAT ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO
PRACTICE LAW.
Asked to comment on the Motion, Mr. Abad opposed it. He denied the allegations in the
Motion that he had been practicing law even after our Decision of March 28, 1983.
Because the Motion and the Opposition raised a question of fact, in Our resolution of April 10,
1984, We directed "the Clerk of Court to conduct an investigation in the premises and submit a
report thereon with appropriate recommendation."
In a comprehensive and well-documented Report which is hereby made a part of this
Resolution, the Clerk of Court concluded:
The aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above
report of the NBI, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law
despite the decision of this Court of March 28, 1983.
The Clerk of Court makes the following recommendations:
a. imposed a fine of P2,000.00 payable within ten (10) days from
receipt of this resolution or an imprisonment of twenty (20) days
in case of non-payment thereof, with warning of drastic
disciplinary action of imprisonment in case of any further practice
of law after receipt of this resolution; and
b. debarred from admission to the Philippine Bar until such time
that the Court finds him fit to become such a member.
It is further recommended that a circular be issued to all courts in the Philippines
through the Office of the Court Administrator that respondent Elmo S. Abad has
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not been admitted to the Philippine Bar and is therefore not authorized to
practice law.
We find the Report to be in order and its recommendations to be well-taken. However, the
latter are not sufficiently adequate in dealing with the improper activities of the respondent.
The Report has found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed
Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts. This aspect opens
the respondent to a charge for perjury.
The Report also reveals that Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as
counsels for Antonio S. Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and
26086 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to
account for his association with the respondent.
WHEREFORE, Elmo S. Abad is hereby ordered to pay a fine of P12,000.00 within ten (10) days
from notice, failing which he shall be imprisoned for twenty (20) days. He is also warned that if
he persists in the unauthorized practice of law he shall be dealt with more severely.
The Court Administrator is directed to circularize all courts in the country that the respondent
has not been authorized to practice law. A copy of the circular should be sent to the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines.
The Clerk of Court is directed to file with the City Fiscal of Manila an appropriate complaint for
false testimony against the respondent.
Finally, Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe is required to explain within ten (10) days from notice why he
should not be disciplined for collaborating and associating in the practice of the law with the
respondent who is not a member of the bar.
SO ORDERED.
Teehankee, Actg. C.J., Makasiar, Aquino, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Relova, Gutierrez, Jr.,
De la Fuente and Cuevas, JJ., concur.
Guerrero, J., took no part.
Fernando, C.J. and Concepcion, Jr., JJ., are on leave.
Concepcion, Jr., J., on leave.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
RE: Bar Matter No. 139
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Elmo S. Abad, 1978 Successful
Bar Examinees
This report is submitted in compliance with the resolution of April 10, 1984.
In the En Banc decision of March 28, 1983 in the above-entitled case, the Court found
respondent Elmo S. Abad, who passed the 1978 Bar examinations but has not been admitted to
the Philippine Bar, in contempt of Court for illegal practice of law, and imposed upon him a fine
of P500.00. Respondent paid the fine on May 2, 1983.
On May 5, 1983 complainant filed a motion to circularize to all Metro Manila courts the fact
that respondent is not authorized to practice law. The Court in its resolution of May 26, 1983
required respondent to comment on the said motion. Respondent filed "Opposition to Motion
and Manifestation" which was noted in the resolution of June 30, 1983.
The complainant on March 14, 1984 reiterated his motion to circularize to all Metro Manila
courts that respondent is not authorized to practice law, with prayer that the latter be punished
with greater severity. He stated that "Mr. Abad is still practicing law as evidenced by the fact
that last December 8, 1983 at about 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Abad appeared before
the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Branch 100 located at the 11th Floor,
City Hall, Quezon City presided by the Honorable Judge Jorge C. Macli-ing that Mr. Abad
appeared as counsel for a certain Caroline T. Velez in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and
26086 entitled People of the Philippines vs. Maravilla, et al. Mr. Abad even cited in the pleading
his Professional Tax Receipt to prove that he is a licensed legal practitioner which is utterly
false. Mr. Abad gave his address as Ruben A. Jacobe & Associates, Ground Floor, ADC Building,
Ayala Avenue, Makati, Metro Manila."
Respondent filed an "Opposition to Motion" denying the complainant's allegation, to wit:
4. ... respondent is not presenting himself to the general public as a Practicing
Lawyer like what Atty. Procopio S. Beltran insists to the Honorable Court;
5. That this motion is motivated by Atty. Beltran's personal desire to inflict
malice and oppression upon the respondent who even until now does not
accede to the terms and conditions of the former in connection with several
cases filed against him by the said Atty. Beltran;
6. Respondent respectfully submits that Atty. Beltran is trying his very best to
harass the respondent under the guise of conducting a Crusade personally with
the end in view that respondent submit to his ill-desires and veiled threats and
finally come into terms with him.
In the hearings conducted by the undersigned, to prove the allegations in his motion,
complainant presented the records in Criminal Cases Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086, entitled
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"People of the Philippines vs. Antonio S. Maravilla, Jr., et al." of Branch 100, Regional Trial Court,
Quezon City, which were brought to this Court and Identified by Atty. Candido A. Domingo,
Clerk of Court of said trial court, and marked by the undersigned as the following exhibits:
1. Transcript of stenographic notes taken down during the initial trial of the aforesaid criminal
cases on December 8, 1983, at 1:30 in the afternoon (Exhibit "A") where it is stated that Atty.
Elmo Abad was counsel for Juan del Gallego III (Exhibit "A-1");
2. Urgent motion for withdrawal from custody of motor vehicle filed for Caroline T. Velez by
Elmo Abad (Exhibit "B") with his name and signature appearing therein as counsel for the said
movant (E exhibit "B-1");
3. Page 4 of aforesaid motion (Exhibit "C") with the name and signature of Elmo Abad appearing
therein as submitting the aforesaid motion for consideration of the trial court (Exhibit "C-1");
4. Urgent motion for deferment of arraignment and trial filed for accused Antonio S. Maravilla,
assisted by counsel Ruben A. Jacobe with Elmo Abad (Exhibit "D"), with the names and
signatures of Elmo Abad and Ruben A. Jacobe appearing as counsel for the accused movant
Antonio S. Maravilla (Exhibit "D-1");
5. Also page 3 of the aforesaid motion for deferment of arraignment and trial where the name
and signature of Elmo Abad, together with those of Ruben A. Jacobe, appear as submitting the
aforesaid motion for the consideration and approval of the trial court (Exhibit "D-2"); and
6. Order of Judge Jorge C. Macli-ing dated July 26, 1983 Exhibit "E") wherein on page 1 thereof
appears the statement that the urgent motion for deferment of arraignment and trial and the
urgent motion for withdrawal from court of motor vehicle were filed by "Atty. Elmo Abad
(Exhibit "E-1").
Complainant also presented Exhibit "F", his letter to the branch Clerk of Court, Branch 100,
Regional Trial Court, Quezon City requesting for certification that Mr. Abad had appeared as
counsel for a certain Ma. Caroline T. Velez in the case entitled People vs. Maravilla, et al., with
Exhibit "F-1" to indicate that said Clerk of Court was the addressee of the said letter.
After the original of the above records were presented to and marked as exhibits by the
Investigator, the same were xeroxed and the xerox copies were certified by Atty. Candido
Domingo, Clerk of Court of Branch 100, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City.
Complainant also testified that on December 8, 1983 he was at the 11th floor of the Quezon
City Regional Trial Court NCJR, Branch 100, Quezon City and saw respondent Abad pass by in
coat and tie and because he knew that Mr. Abad is a respondent in a case before the Supreme
Court and had been declared as a non-lawyer in its decision of March 28, 1983, he
(complainant) got curious and followed respondent and saw the latter enter the sala of Branch
100 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City; that he saw him there and after about twenty
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minutes when he went back to the same sala, he saw respondent in the place of the said court
where the lawyers were supposed to be seated; that some days after, he went back to the said
sala and inspected the records of the criminal cases numbered 26084, 26085 and 26086,*
which are the subject matters of the certification of the Clerk of Court, Atty. Domingo, before
the Investigator (TSN, May 26, 1984, pp. 24-26).
Mrs. Eufrocina B. Ison the Court Reporter who took down and transcribed the stenographic
notes of the proceedings in the afternoon of December 8, 1983 in the said criminal cases in the
aforesaid trial court, appeared before the undersigned Investigator and positively Identified
respondent Elmo Abad as the Atty. Elmo Abad who appeared as counsel for Juan del Gallego III
in the aforesaid proceedings that afternoon of December 8, 1983 (pp. 1 & 2, TSN, May 11,
1984). She furthermore testified that she has no reason to be interested in this case in
Identifying respondent Abad as the one who appeared in said court on said afternoon of
December 8, 1983 (pp. 19-20, TSN, May 11, 1984).
Respondent, when asked about the aforesaid motions, Exhibits "B" and "D", and the signatures
therein, denied that he filed the same and that the signatures therein are his. He also denied
that he appeared in the hearing in the afternoon of December 8, 1983 in the said trial court.
According to him, he was in Batangas at the time. He also testified that the only explanation he
could give regarding the signatures in the aforesaid exhibits is that the same could have been
effected by Atty. Beltran to show the Supreme Court that he (respondent) was still illegally
practicing law.
In connection with his defense, he filed
(1) a motion to present the video tape to show his whereabouts at the time of the said hearing
in the afternoon of December 8, 1983 in Branch 100, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City; and
(2) a motion that his signature in the aforesaid motions filed in the said trial court in said
criminal cases be compared with his genuine signature.
The Investigator orally denied respondent's motion to present the video tape for the reason
that the matter intended to be proved thereby, that is the time of day, cannot be accurately
determined from the film as the same could be doctored by lighting effects (p. 16, TSN, May 11,
1984).
As to the motion for examination and analysis of respondent's signature, the Investigator, to
afford respondent full opportunity to prove his defense, sought the assistance of the National
Bureau of Investigation to compare respondent's signature in the aforesaid exhibits with the
signatures appearing in the pleadings that he filed in the Supreme Court, which latter signature
he admits as genuine and as his own.
On August 7, 1984, the National Bureau of Investigation submitted its report regarding the
questioned signatures of respondent. Quoted hereunder are its findings and conclusion:
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Findings: Comparative examination of the specimens, under magnification and
stereoscopic microscope, with the aid of photographic enlargements, reveals
that there exist fundamental, significant similarities in writing characteristics and
Identifying details between the questioned and the standard signatures ELMO S.
ABAD, such as in:
1. Structural formation of the elements of the signatures
2. Proportion characteristics
3. Movement impulses
4. Direction of strokes
5. Manner of execution which is free, spontaneous and coordinated.
CONCLUSION: The questioned and the standard signatures ELMO S. ABAD were
written by one and the same person.
The aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI,
have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of this
Court of March 28, 1983.
Moreover, the Investigator, thru the Office of the Court Administrator, requested the Metro
Manila courts to inform said Office if a certain Atty. Elmo Abad is appearing or has appeared in
their courts. In response to said query, the Branch Clerk of Court, Branch XCIV, Quezon City sent
to the undersigned certified xerox copies of the following that showed that Elmo Abad is
appearing in Civil Case No. 36501: **
Certifi
ed
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Xerox
Copies
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by
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signed
by
Elmo
Abad
2.
Transc
ript of
hearin
g of
above
motio
n in
the
morni
ng
(9:00
A.M.)
on
Septe
mber
22,
1983
shows
his
appea
rance
for
said
party.
3.
Minut
es of
said
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hearin
g
signed
by
Elmo
Abad
There was likewise received a certification dated May 9, 1984 from the Branch Clerk of Court of
the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, Pasig, Branch CLIII, stating that Elmo
Abad y Sanchez is appearing before said court as accused in Criminal Case No. 50651, ***
entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Atty. Elmo Abad y Sanchez" for Qualified Theft
(Carnapping).
The actuations of respondent as shown from the foregoing constitute contempt of court that
should be punished more severely considering his temerity in still continuing the practice of law
despite the decision of March 28, 1983.
It is thus respectfully recommended that respondent be:
a. imposed a fine of P2,000.00 payable within ten (10) days from receipt of this
resolution or an imprisonment of twenty (20) days in case of non-payment
thereof, with warning of drastic disciplinary action of imprisonment in case of
any further practice of law after receipt of this resolution; and
b. debarred from admission to the Philippine Bar until such time that the Court
finds him fit to become such a member.
It is further recommended that a circular be issued to all courts in the Philippines through the
Office of the Court Administrator that respondent Elmo S. Abad has not been admitted to the
Philippine Bar, and is therefore not authorized to practice law.
Respectfully
submitted:
(SGD.) GLORIA C.
PARAS
Clerk of Court
Respondent fined P2,000.00.

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Footnotes
* Still pending in said RTC; last appearance of respondent Abad was on
December 8, 1983 per information of Atty. Candido Domingo, Clerk of Court in
said court concerned.
** Still pending in said RTC; last appearance of respondent Abad was on October
28, 1983 per information of the clerk in said court concerned.
*** Still pending in said RTC per information of the Clerk of Court in said court
concerned.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
February 20, 1981
IN RE: PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT IN THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS, JUAN T.
PUBLICO, petitioner.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
Three Petitions for the reinstatement of Juan T. Publico in the Roll of Attorneys, have been
filed: (1) by Juan T. Publico himself dated May 28, 1979; 2) by the President and twelve
members of the faculty of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa, Manila,
where Juan T. Publico is also a faculty member, filed on June 1, 1979; and 3) by the San Page
723 Miguel (Catanduanes) Civic Association in Metro Manila through its President, Vice-
President and Directors on April 23, 1979.
The records disclose that Juan Tapel Publico filed a petition to take the Bar Examination in 1960
after failing in the 1959 Bar Examination. His uncle, Dulcisimo B. Tapel opposed the petition
alleging that his nephew is not a person of good moral character for having misrepresented,
sometime in 1950, when he was sixteen (16) years of age, that he was eligible for Third Year
High School, University of Manila, by utilizing the school records of his cousin and name-sake,
Juan M. Publico when, in actual fact, petitioner had not completed Grade VI of his elementary
schooling, much less, First and Second Year High School. When required to file a formal
Complaint, Dulcisimo Tapel instituted an administrative case against his nephew for falsification
of school records or credentials.
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In the meantime, Juan T. Publico took the 1960 Bar Examination, passed it, took the lawyer's
oath, and signed the Roll of Attorneys.
The administrative case was referred to the Court's Legal Officer-Investigator, Ricardo Paras, Jr.,
for investigation and report. On September 10, 1961, Dulcisimo Tapel moved to drop the
complaint on the ground that his witnesses had turned hostile. The Motion was denied,
however, as the complainant's witnesses had already testified. Upon the termination of the
hearing, the Legal Officer-Investigator submitted a Report with the following findings and
recommendation:
To recapitulate, respondent Juan Tapel Publico (son of Francisco Publico) studied
at Buhi Elementary School, Bato, Catanduanes, until Grade VI, but finished only
Grade V in said school, because on February 1, 1950, or before the end of the
school year 1949-1950, he left said school and came to Manila. Once in Manila,
he enrolled in Third Year high school at the University of Manila. Required by the
school authorities to submit his school records for Grade VI elementary and First
and Second Year high school, he sent for the records of his cousin Juan Marino
Publico (son of Gabriel Publico).
For all the foregoing, we find and so hold that respondent falsified his school
records, by making it appear that he had finished or completed Grade VI
elementary and First and Second Year high school, when in truth and in fact he
had not, thereby violating the provisions of Sections 5 and 6, Rule 127 of the
Rules of Court, which require completion by a bar examinee or candidate of the
prescribed courses in elementary, high, pre-law and law school, prior to his
admission to the practice of law.
Wherefore, the undersigned Investigators hereby recommend that respondent's
name be stricken from the Rollo of Attorneys.
In this Court's Resolution of February 23, 1962, the name of Juan T. Publico was stricken off the
Roll of Attorneys.
Approximately eleven years later, or on June 28, 1973, Juan T. Publico filed a Petition for
Reinstatement alleging that he had never received, for had he been informed, nor did he have
any knowledge of the Resolution of the Court ordering the Bar Division to strike his name from
the Roll of Attorneys until March 1969, when after taking his oath of office as Municipal Judge
of Gigmoto, Catanduanes, he was advised to inquire into the outcome of the disbarment case
against him; that he was shocked and humiliated upon learning of the said Resolution; that he
resigned from all his positions in public and private offices, and transferred to Manila. He then
prayed that the Court allow his reinstatement taking into consideration his exemplary conduct
from the time he became a lawyer, his services to the community the numerous awards,
resolutions and/'or commendations he received, which were incorporated in the Petition, and
particularly, for the sake of his children. The Court denied the Petition. Petitioner moved for
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reconsideration claiming that he had been sufficiently punished already, but again this was
denied by the Court for lack of merit.
On April 17, 1974, Juan T. Publico filed his second Petition for Reinstatement stating that the
Complaint for disbarment against him had been withdrawn by the complainant, but that the
Legal Officer-Investigator proceeded with the hearing ex parte; that he was unable to cross-
examine the witnesses against him as he was unaware of the ex-parte proceedings until he was
informed by the Legal Officer-Investigator about the same; that he had suffered so much
already and to let him suffer perpetual disqualification would not be in consonance with the
program of the New Society. He prayed that his name be reinstated in the Roll of Attorneys, or
that the case be reopened so that he could cross-examine the witnesses against him and clear
himself of the charges. This Court denied his Petition in its Resolution of April 23, 1974.
On November 17, 1975, Juan T. Publico wrote to the Chief Justice imploring his assistance that
he may be given another opportunity to enjoy the privileges of a lawyer, and requesting that a
hearing be held where he could personally plead for his reinstatement in the Roll of Attorneys.
Again, this Court denied the aforesaid letter-petition.
Petitioner filed a fourth petition for reinstatement on July 8, 1976 stating that he had remained
a person of good moral character and had an exemplary social standing in the community
where he resides, as shown by his election to various positions in different associations: as
peace officer of Barangay 593, Zone 58 of the City of Manila (Annex A of the petition), President
of the Stallholders and Vendors Association of Pamilihang Sentral ng Sta. Mesa, Inc. (Annex B),
re-elected President of the Altura Elementary School General Parents-Teachers Association
(Annex C), and re-elected President of the San Miguel (Catanduanes) Civic Association in Metro
Manila (Annex D). He also alleged that his moral character and integrity had remained
irreproachable, that he had been more than sufficiently punished and had been undergoing
economic difficulties because of his disbarment. In its Resolution of August 3, 1976, this Court
denied the Petition with finality.
For consideration now is petitioner's fifth plea for reinstatement filed on June 1, 1979 in
addition to a letter-petition addressed to Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando dated November 3,
1979. In his Petition, Juan T. Publico avers that his enrollment in Third Year High School in
Manila was through the initiative of his uncle, Dulcisimo B. Tapel who accompanied him to
school and enrolled him in a grade level above his qualifications in spite of his demonstrations;
that the misrepresentation committed about his academic records was not his own fault alone,
but was precipitated by his uncle, who as member of the faculty of the Catanduanes Institute
had access to the records of the school; that being merely sixteen years of age, he could not be
expected to act with discernment as he was still under the influence of his uncle, who later on
caused his disbarment; that he had conducted himself in a manner befitting a member of the
bar; that he had striven to serve the people and the government as shown by the positions he
held as Municipal Attorney of San Miguel, Catanduanes, Deputy Register of Deed of
Catanduanes, Election Registrar of the Commission on Elections, and Editorial Assistant in the
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Editorial Staff of the defunct House of Representatives, and presently as faculty member of the
Polytechnic university of the Philippines, a State University.
Additionally, petitioner submitted evidence purporting to show his honesty and integrity and
other manifestations of his good moral character, particularly, the Resolution dated March 30,
1979 of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Catanduanes Chapter (Annex A); the Resolution
dated April 16, 1979 of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Miguel, Catanduanes (Annex B); the
letter of the Municipal Mayor of San Miguel, Alejandro T. Tatel addressed to the late Chief
Justice Castro dated April 17, 1979 (Annex B-1), all attesting to his good character and standing
in the community and his capability as a lawyer. Further submitted are certifications issued by
the different government offices Court of First Instance of Catanduanes (Annex C); Catanduanes
Integrated National Police Command (Annex F should be D); Office of the Provincial Fiscal at
Virac, Catanduanes (Annex F), and First Municipal Circuit Court, Bato-San Miguel, Bato,
Catanduanes (Annex E), certifying that petitioner has not been accused nor convicted of any
crime.
The petition filed by the President and Faculty of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines
reiterated the same circumstances as those stated by Juan T. Publico in his own Petition and
further professed that Atty. Publico is a competent and proficient teacher; that his moral
integrity and honesty are beyond reproach; that to require him to comply with what he missed
in the steps of the educational ladder would be meaningless and without any value as it is not
intended to benefit him nor the system of education; and that non-formal education has
already been recognized and given its equivalence in the scheme of formal education. The
petition also mentioned the names of some great men who had been school dropouts, but who
did not let this fact deter them from attaining success in their respective fields.
The petition filed by the San Miguel (Catanduanes) Civic Association in Metro Manila is
substantially of the same tenor and added that petitioner was re-elected President of that
Association for four years from 1972 to 1975 inclusive.
No opposition has been filed to any of the petitions.
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
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between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement. (5 Am. Jur., Sec.
301, p. 443).
1

Almost nineteen (19) years, by February 23, 1981, shall have elapsed since petitioner was
barred from exercising his profession. Cognizant that the power to discipline, especially if
amounting to disbarment, should be exercised on the preservative and not on the indicative
principle,
2
we find that the evidence submitted by petitioner, particularly, the testimonials
presented on his behalf, as listed heretofore, his good conduct and honorable dealings
subsequent to his disbarment, his active involvement in civic, educational, and religious
organizations, render him fit to be restored to membership in the Bar, and that petitioner has
been sufficiently punished and disciplined.
3

WHEREFORE, petitioner Juan T. Publico is hereby ordered reinstated in the Roll of Attorneys.
SO ORDERED.
Teehankee, Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez, Guerrero, Abad Santos and De Castro, JJ.,
concur.
Aquino J., took no part.


Separate Opinions

BARREDO, J., concurring:
I concur because there have been cases in the past where persons who had not attended any
law school were admitted to practice the law profession.
FERNANDO, C.J., concurring:
There is no question to my mind that, as so ably put in the opinion of Justice Melencio-Herrera,
reinstatement is warranted. This is not to overlook the offense which caused his disbarment. It
certainly was not in conformity with the high standard membership in the legal profession
entails. Nonetheless, it could be said that he had expiated long enough for this particular lapse
from rectitude, one, moreover, committed at a time when he was barely sixteen years of age.
His youthful years while certainly not constituting a justification may be considered as
impressed with a mitigating character. Moreover, from the recitals appearing in resolutions of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Catanduanes Chapter, and the Sangguniang Bayan of San
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Miguel Catanduanes, as well as certifications of different government offices, it would appear
that his conduct subsequent to his disbarment can stand a rigorous appraisal. At least, no other
misdeed has been attributed to him. There is pertinence therefore to this excerpt from Barba v.
Pedro: "There is no affront to reason then in ruling that the punishment, while deserved, has
lasted long enough. He has sufficiently rehabilitated himself."
1

The same approach to my mind is reflected in the opinion of the Court. Why this brief
concurrence then? While there is no clear necessity for it, it may not be amiss to say a few
words on the implications of the preservative and not vindictive principle as the test, the
satisfaction of which warrants an affirmative response to a plea for reinstatement. As in the
case contempt proceedings where such a doctrine has held sway, and justifiably so, what is
sought to be guarded zealously is that justice be properly administered. Membership in the bar,
as aptly pointed out by Justice Cardozo, is a privilege burdened with conditions. One of them,
and by far the most important, is fidelity to the concept that a lawyer is an officer of the court.
That he should never forget. He is expected to aid not to hinder or obstruct the cause of truth
so that justice may be dispened with according to law. In that sense, the mere lapse of time, to
my mind, while justifying the view that there has been retribution, is not decisive. It is my
belief, that, of itself alone, it does not suffice to call indubitably for reinstatement. Far more
important is a showing that his conduct after disbarment is such that there can be a reasonable
expectation of his being able to comply with a lawyer's oath. As with my brethren, I am
convinced that respondent in this case has given sufficient proof that he would not be lacking in
that respect. Hence my vote to readmit him to membership in the bar.


Separate Opinions
BARREDO, J., concurring:
I concur, because there have been cases in the past where persons who had not attended any
law school were admitted to practice the law profession.
FERNANDO, C.J., concurring:
There is no question to my mind that, as so ably put in the opinion of Justice Melencio-Herrera,
reinstatement is warranted. This is not to overlook the offense which caused his disbarment. It
certainly was not in conformity with the high standard membership in the legal profession
entails. Nonetheless, it could be said that he had expiated long enough for this particular lapse
from rectitude, one, moreover, committed at a time when he was barely sixteen years of age.
His youthful years while certainly not constituting a justification may be considered as
impressed with a mitigating character. Moreover, from the recitals appearing in resolutions of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Catanduanes Chapter, and the Sangguniang Bayan of San
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Miguel Catanduanes, as well as certifications of different government offices, it would appear
that his conduct subsequent to his disbarment can stand a rigorous appraisal. At least, no other
misdeed has been attributed to him. There is pertinence therefore to this excerpt from Barba v.
Pedro: "There is no affront to reason then in ruling that the punishment, while deserved, has
lasted long enough. He has sufficiently rehabilitated himself."
1

The same approach to my mind is reflected in the opinion of the Court. Why this brief
concurrence then? While there is no clear necessity for it, it may not be amiss to say a few
words on the implications of the preservative and not vindictive principle as the test, the
satisfaction of which warrants an affirmative response to a plea for reinstatement. As in the
case contempt proceedings where such a doctrine has held sway, and justifiably so, what is
sought to be guarded zealously is that justice be properly administered. Membership in the bar,
as aptly pointed out by Justice Cardozo, is a privilege burdened with conditions. One of them,
and by far the most important, is fidelity to the concept that a lawyer is an officer of the court.
That he should never forget. He is expected to aid not to hinder or obstruct the cause of truth
so that justice may be dispened with according to law. In that sense, the mere lapse of time, to
my mind, while justifying the view that there has been retribution, is not decisive. It is my
belief, that, of itself alone, it does not suffice to call indubitably for reinstatement. Far more
important is a showing that his conduct after disbarment is such that there can be a reasonable
expectation of his being able to comply with a lawyer's oath. As with my brethren, I am
convinced that respondent in this case has given sufficient proof that he would not be lacking in
that respect. Hence my vote to readmit him to membership in the bar.
Footnotes
1 Cui vs. Cui, 11 SCRA 755, 761 (1964).
2 In re Edillon, AC 1928, December, 1980.
3 Royo vs. Oliva, 107 Phil. 313 (1960).
Fernando, C.J., concurring:
1 Administrative Case No. 545-SBC, December 26, 1974, 61 SCRA 484, 487.





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

2. In regulating other professions, such as accountancy and engineering, the legislature has
authorized the adoption of firm names without any restriction as to the use, in such firm name,
of the name of a deceased partner;
2
the legislative authorization given to those engaged in the
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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, 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, at least where such firm name has acquired the characteristics of a "trade name."
3

3. 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: t.hqw
... The continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner when
permissible by local custom, is not unethical but care should be taken that no
imposition or deception is practiced through this use. ...
4

4. 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; the stationeries now being used by them carry new letterheads indicating the years when
their respective deceased partners were connected with the firm; petitioners will notify all
leading national and international law directories of the fact of their respective deceased
partners' deaths.
5

5. No local custom prohibits the continued use of a deceased partner's name in a professional
firm's name;
6
there is no custom or usage in the Philippines, or at least in the Greater Manila
Area, which recognizes that the name of a law firm necessarily Identifies the individual
members of the firm.
7

6. The continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships has
been consistently allowed by U.S. Courts and is an accepted practice in the legal profession of
most countries in the world.
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, C.D. Johnston. The matter was resolved with this Court advising the firm
to desist from including in their firm designation the name of C. D. Johnston, who has long been
dead."
The same issue was raised before this Court in 1958 as an incident in G. R. No. L-11964, entitled
Register of Deeds of Manila vs. China Banking Corporation. The law firm of Perkins & Ponce
Enrile moved to intervene asamicus curiae. Before acting thereon, the Court, in a Resolution of
April 15, 1957, stated that it "would like to be informed why the name of Perkins is still being
used although Atty. E. A. Perkins is already dead." In a Manifestation dated May 21, 1957, the
law firm of Perkins and Ponce Enrile, raising substantially the same arguments as those now
being raised by petitioners, prayed that the continued use of the firm name "Perkins & Ponce
Enrile" be held proper.
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On June 16, 1958, this Court resolved: t.hqw
After carefully considering the reasons given by Attorneys Alfonso Ponce Enrile
and Associates for their continued use of the name of the deceased E. G. Perkins,
the Court found no reason to depart from the policy it adopted in June 1953
when it required Attorneys Alfred P. Deen and Eddy A. Deen of Cebu City to
desist from including in their firm designation, the name of C. D. Johnston,
deceased. The Court believes that, in view of the personal and confidential
nature of the relations between attorney and client, and the high standards
demanded in the canons of professional ethics, no practice should be allowed
which even in a remote degree could give rise to the possibility of deception.
Said attorneys are accordingly advised to drop the name "PERKINS" from their
firm name.
Petitioners herein now seek a re-examination of the policy thus far enunciated by the Court.
The Court finds no sufficient reason to depart from the rulings thus laid down.
A. Inasmuch as "Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez and Castillo" and "Ozaeta, Romulo, De
Leon, Mabanta and Reyes" are partnerships, the use in their partnership names of the names of
deceased partners will run counter to Article 1815 of the Civil Code which
provides: t.hqw
Art. 1815. Every partnership shall operate under a firm name, which may or may
not include the name of one or more of the partners.
Those who, not being members of the partnership, include their names in the
firm name, shall be subject to the liability, of a partner.
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. in the case of non-partners, should be living persons who can be
subjected to liability. In fact, 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. 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. Thus, 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, either gross or net, of the fees received from the future business of the deceased
lawyer's clients, 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. " Accordingly,
neither the widow nor the heirs can be held liable for transactions entered into after the death
of their lawyer-predecessor. There being no benefits accruing, there ran be no corresponding
liability.
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Prescinding the law, there could be practical objections to allowing the use by law firms of the
names of deceased partners. 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. An able lawyer
without connections will have to make a name for himself starting from scratch. Another able
lawyer, who can join an old firm, can initially ride on that old firm's reputation established by
deceased partners.
B. In regards to the last paragraph of Article 1840 of the Civil Code cited by
petitioners, supra, the first factor to consider is that it is within Chapter 3 of Title IX of the Code
entitled "Dissolution and Winding Up." The Article primarily deals with the exemption from
liability in cases of a dissolved partnership, 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. What the law
contemplates therein is a hold-over situation preparatory to formal reorganization.
Secondly, Article 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect
rather than of aprofessional partnership, with no saleable good will but whose reputation
depends on the personal qualifications of its individual members. Thus, 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.
9
t.hqw
As a general rule, upon the dissolution of a commercial partnership the
succeeding partners or parties have the right to carry on the business under the
old name, in the absence of a stipulation forbidding it, (s)ince the name of a
commercial partnership is a partnership asset inseparable from the good will of
the firm. ... (60 Am Jur 2d, s 204, p. 115) (Emphasis supplied)
On the other hand, t.hqw
... a professional partnership the reputation of which depends or; the individual
skill of the members, such as partnerships of attorneys or physicians, has no
good win to be distributed as a firm asset on its dissolution, however intrinsically
valuable such skill and reputation may be, especially where there is no provision
in the partnership agreement relating to good will as an asset. ... (ibid, s 203, p.
115) (Emphasis supplied)
C. A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other
professionals or for business. For one thing, the law on accountancy specifically allows the use
of a trade name in connection with the practice of accountancy.
10
t.hqw
A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. It is a mere relationship
or association for a particular purpose. ... It is not a partnership formed for the
purpose of carrying on trade or business or of holding property."
11
Thus, it has
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been stated that "the use of a nom de plume, assumed or trade name in law
practice is improper.
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.
Dean Pound, in his recently published contribution to the Survey of the Legal
Profession, (The Lawyer from Antiquity to Modern Times, p. 5) defines a
profession as "a group of men pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the
spirit of public service, no less a public service because it may incidentally be a
means of livelihood."
xxx xxx xxx
Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from business are:
1. A duty of public service, of which the emolument is a byproduct, and in which
one may attain the highest eminence without making much money.
2. A relation as an "officer of court" to the administration of justice involving
thorough sincerity, integrity, and reliability.
3. A relation to clients in the highest degree fiduciary.
4. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness, and
unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and
encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly with their clients.
13

"The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a
privilege or franchise.
14
It is limited to persons of good moral character with special
qualifications duly ascertained and certified.
15
The right does not only presuppose in its
possessor integrity, legal standing and attainment, but also the exercise of a special
privilege, highly personal and partaking of the nature of a public trust."
16

D. Petitioners cited Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar
Association" in support of their petitions.
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.
It must be conceded that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the continued
use of a deceased or former partner's name in the firm names of law partnerships. Firm names,
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under our custom, Identify the more active and/or more senior members or partners of the law
firm. 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. t.hqw
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. ...
There would seem to be a question, under the working of the Canon, 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. (H.S.
Drinker, op. cit., supra, at pp. 207208) (Emphasis supplied).
The possibility of deception upon the public, real or consequential, where the name of a
deceased partner continues to be used cannot be ruled out. A person in search of legal counsel
might be guided by the familiar ring of a distinguished name appearing in a firm title.
E. Petitioners argue that U.S. Courts have consistently allowed the continued use of a deceased
partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships. But that is so because it is sanctioned by
custom.
In the case of Mendelsohn v. Equitable Life Assurance Society (33 N.Y.S. 2d 733) which
petitioners Salazar, et al. quoted in their memorandum, 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. The Court
stated therein: t.hqw
The practice sought to be proscribed has the sanction of custom and offends no
statutory provision or legislative policy. 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, when permissible by local custom is not unethical,
but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through
this use." There is no question as to local custom. Many firms in the city use the
names of deceased members with the approval of other attorneys, bar
associations and the courts. The Appellate Division of the First Department has
considered the matter and reached The conclusion that such practice should not
be prohibited. (Emphasis supplied)
xxx xxx xxx
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Neither the Partnership Law nor the Penal Law prohibits the practice in question.
The use of the firm name herein is also sustainable by reason of agreement
between the partners.
18

Not so in this jurisdiction where there is no local custom that sanctions the practice. Custom
has been defined as a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts, uniformly observed
(practiced) as a social rule, legally binding and obligatory.
19
Courts take no judicial notice of
custom. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence.
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.
21
We find such proof of the
existence of a local custom, and of the elements requisite to constitute the same, wanting
herein. 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. Juridical custom must
be differentiated from social custom. The former can supplement statutory law or be applied in
the absence of such statute. Not so with the latter.
Moreover, judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws form part of the legal
system.
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, it laid down a legal rule against which no custom or practice to the contrary, even
if proven, can prevail. This is not to speak of our civil law which clearly ordains that a
partnership is dissolved by the death of any partner.
23
Custom which are contrary to law, public
order or public policy shall not be countenanced.
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." t.hqw
... It is of the essence of a profession that it is practiced in a spirit of public
service. A trade ... aims primarily at personal gain; a profession at the exercise of
powers beneficial to mankind. If, as in the era of wide free opportunity, we think
of free competitive self assertion as the highest good, 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. But the member of a profession does not regard himself as in
competition with his professional brethren. 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. There should be no such thing as a lawyers' or physicians'
strike. 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, 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. The other
two elements of a profession, namely, organization and pursuit of a learned art
have their justification in that they secure and maintain that spirit.
25

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In fine, petitioners' desire to preserve the Identity of their firms in the eyes of the public must
bow to legal and ethical impediment.
ACCORDINGLY, the petitions filed herein are denied and petitioners advised to drop the names
"SYCIP" and "OZAETA" from their respective firm names. Those names may, however, be
included in the listing of individuals who have been partners in their firms indicating the years
during which they served as such.
SO ORDERED.
Teehankee, Concepcion, Jr., Santos, Fernandez, Guerrero and De Castro, JJ., concur
Fernando, C.J. and Abad Santos, J., took no part.

Separate Opinions

FERNANDO, C.J., concurring:
The petitions are denied, as there are only four votes for granting them, seven of the Justices
being of the contrary view, as explained in the plurality opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-
Herrera. It is out of delicadeza that the undersigned did not participate in the disposition of
these petitions, as the law office of Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez and Castillo started with
the partnership of Quisumbing, Sycip, and Quisumbing, the senior partner, the late Ramon
Quisumbing, being the father-in-law of the undersigned, and the most junior partner then,
Norberto J. Quisumbing, being his brother- in-law. For the record, the undersigned wishes to
invite the attention of all concerned, and not only of petitioners, to the last sentence of the
opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera: 'Those names [Sycip and Ozaeta] may,
however, be included in the listing of individuals wtes
AQUINO, J., dissenting:
I dissent. The fourteen members of the law firm, Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez & Castillo,
in their petition of June 10, 1975, prayed for authority to continue the use of that firm name,
notwithstanding the death of Attorney Alexander Sycip on May 5, 1975 (May he rest in peace).
He was the founder of the firm which was originally known as the Sycip Law Office.
On the other hand, the seven surviving partners of the law firm, Ozaeta, Romulo, De Leon,
Mabanta & Reyes, in their petition of August 13, 1976, prayed that they be allowed to continue
using the said firm name notwithstanding the death of two partners, former Justice Roman
Ozaeta and his son, Herminio, on May 1, 1972 and February 14, 1976, respectively.
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They alleged that the said law firm was a continuation of the Ozaeta Law Office which was
established in 1957 by Justice Ozaeta and his son and that, as to the said law firm, the name
Ozaeta has acquired an institutional and secondary connotation.
Article 1840 of the Civil Code, which speaks of the use by the partnership of the name of a
deceased partner as part of the partnership name, is cited to justify the petitions. Also invoked
is the canon that the continued use by a law firm of the name of a deceased partner, "when
permissible by local custom, is not unethical" as long as "no imposition or deception is practised
through this use" (Canon 33 of the Canons of Legal Ethics).
I am of the opinion that the petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in
the letterheads of the two firms (as the case may be) that Alexander Sycip, former Justice
Ozaeta and Herminio Ozaeta are dead or the period when they served as partners should be
stated therein.
Obviously, the purpose of the two firms in continuing the use of the names of their deceased
founders is to retain the clients who had customarily sought the legal services of Attorneys
Sycip and Ozaeta and to benefit from the goodwill attached to the names of those respected
and esteemed law practitioners. That is a legitimate motivation.
The retention of their names is not illegal per se. That practice was followed before the war by
the law firm of James Ross. Notwithstanding the death of Judge Ross the founder of the law
firm of Ross, Lawrence, Selph and Carrascoso, his name was retained in the firm name with an
indication of the year when he died. No one complained that the retention of the name of
Judge Ross in the firm name was illegal or unethical.

# Separate Opinions
FERNANDO, C.J., concurring:
The petitions are denied, as there are only four votes for granting them, seven of the Justices
being of the contrary view, as explained in the plurality opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-
Herrera. It is out of delicadeza that the undersigned did not participate in the disposition of
these petitions, as the law office of Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez and Castillo started with
the partnership of Quisumbing, Sycip, and Quisumbing, the senior partner, the late Ramon
Quisumbing, being the father-in-law of the undersigned, and the most junior partner then,
Norberto J. Quisumbing, being his brother- in-law. For the record, the undersigned wishes to
invite the attention of all concerned, and not only of petitioners, to the last sentence of the
opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera: 'Those names [Sycip and Ozaeta] may,
however, be included in the listing of individuals wtes
AQUINO, J., dissenting:
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I dissent. The fourteen members of the law firm, Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez & Castillo,
in their petition of June 10, 1975, prayed for authority to continue the use of that firm name,
notwithstanding the death of Attorney Alexander Sycip on May 5, 1975 (May he rest in peace).
He was the founder of the firm which was originally known as the Sycip Law Office.
On the other hand, the seven surviving partners of the law firm, Ozaeta, Romulo, De Leon,
Mabanta & Reyes, in their petition of August 13, 1976, prayed that they be allowed to continue
using the said firm name notwithstanding the death of two partners, former Justice Roman
Ozaeta and his son, Herminio, on May 1, 1972 and February 14, 1976, respectively.
They alleged that the said law firm was a continuation of the Ozaeta Law Office which was
established in 1957 by Justice Ozaeta and his son and that, as to the said law firm, the name
Ozaeta has acquired an institutional and secondary connotation.
Article 1840 of the Civil Code, which speaks of the use by the partnership of the name of a
deceased partner as part of the partnership name, is cited to justify the petitions. Also invoked
is the canon that the continued use by a law firm of the name of a deceased partner, "when
permissible by local custom, is not unethical" as long as "no imposition or deception is practised
through this use" (Canon 33 of the Canons of Legal Ethics).
I am of the opinion that the petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in
the letterheads of the two firms (as the case may be) that Alexander Sycip, former Justice
Ozaeta and Herminio Ozaeta are dead or the period when they served as partners should be
stated therein.
Obviously, the purpose of the two firms in continuing the use of the names of their deceased
founders is to retain the clients who had customarily sought the legal services of Attorneys
Sycip and Ozaeta and to benefit from the goodwill attached to the names of those respected
and esteemed law practitioners. That is a legitimate motivation.
The retention of their names is not illegal per se. That practice was followed before the war by
the law firm of James Ross. Notwithstanding the death of Judge Ross the founder of the law
firm of Ross, Lawrence, Selph and Carrascoso, his name was retained in the firm name with an
indication of the year when he died. No one complained that the retention of the name of
Judge Ross in the firm name was illegal or unethical.
#Footnotest.hqw
1 See Memorandum of Salazar, et al., p. 5: see also Petition of Romulo, et al., p.
3.
2 Citing Sec, 16-A, Public Act No. 3105, as amended by Commonwealth Act No.
342; Sec. 39, Commonwealth Act No. 294; Sec. 23, Republic Act No. 318; Sec. 39,
Republic Act No. 184.
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3 Memorandum of Salazar, et al., pp. 7-8.
4 Memorandum of Salazar, et al., pp. 8-10; Petition of Romulo, et al., pp. 3- 4.
5 Memorandum of Salazar, et al., p. 13; Petition of Romulo, et al., p. 4.
6 Petition of Romulo, et al., p. 4.
7 Memorandum of Salazar, et al., p. 11.
8 Memorandum of Salazar, et al., pp. 6-7 and pp. 16-18; Petition of Romulo. et
al., p, 5.
9 Seddal vs. Keating, 8 App. Div. 2d 44, 185 NYS 2d 630, affd 7 NY 2d 846, 196
NYS 2d 986, 164 NE 2d 860.
10 Section 16-A, Commonwealth Act No. 342.
11 In re Crawford's Estate, 184 NE 2d 779, 783.
12 H.S. Drinker, Legal Ethics (1953), p. 206; see also Canon 33, par. 2, Canons of
Professional Ethics.
13 H.S, Drinker, Legal Ethics (1953) pp. 4-5.
14 7 C.J.S. 708.
15 Am Jur 270.
16 In re Lavine, 41 P2d 161, all cited in Martin, Legal and Judicial Ethics, Fifth Ed.,
p. 8.
17 Canons 1 to 32 which were adopted by the American Bar Association in 1908
were also adopted by the Philippine Bar Association in 1917. The American Bar
Association adopted Canons 33 to 45 in 1928, Canon 46 in 1933 and Canon 47 in
1937. On April 20, 1946, when Canons 33 to 47 where already in effect, the
Revised Constitution of the Philippine Bar Association was approved and it
provided that the Association "adopts and makes its own the Code of Ethics of
the American Bar Association." (Martin, Legal and Judicial Ethics, Fifth Ed. p,
341).
18 33 N.Y.S. 2d 733, 734.
19 JBL Reyes & RC Puno, Outline of Philippine Civil Law. Fourth Ed., Vol. I, p. 7
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20 Article 12, Civil Code.
21 Patriarca vs. Orate, 7 Phil. 390, 395 (1907).
22 Art. 8, Civil Code
23 Art. 1830, Civil Code.
24 Art. 11, Civil Code.
25 Roscoe Pound, The Lawyer From Antiquity To Modern Times, (1953), pp. 9-
10.
























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The Lawyer's Oath

By J. Jose L. Sabio, Jr.
The Oath: The Lawyer's Ideal
What is an oath? Webster defines it as: A solemn appeal to God, or in a wider sense, to any
sacred or revered person or sanction for the truth of an affirmation or declaration or in witness
of the inviolability of a promise or undertaking. As early as Alvarez vs. CFI, the Supreme Court
explained its meaning in this wise:
In its broadest sense, an oath includes any form of attestation by which a party signifies that he
is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully. It is an outward pledge given
by the person taking it, that his attestation or promise is made under an immediate sense of his
responsibility to God.
Section 17 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states that an applicant who has passed the
required examination, or has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall
take and subscribed before the Supreme Court an oath of office. The new lawyer swears before
a duly constituted authority as an attestation that he/she takes on the duties and
responsibilities proper of a lawyer. More particularly, form 28 of the judicial standard forms
prescribes the following oath to be taken by the applicant:
I___________ of ___________ do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic
of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey laws as well as the legal orders of the
duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any
court; I will not wittingly nor willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, or
give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, 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; and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligations without
any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.
The taking of this oath is a condition to the admission to practice law and may only be taken
before the Supreme Court by a person authorized by the high court to engage in the practice of
law. And what is the nature of a lawyer's oath? In the case of Sebastian vs. Calis the Supreme
Court held that: A lawyer's oath are not mere facile words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust
that must be upheld and kept inviolable. The substance and gravity behind these words may
be understood in the light of the substance and gravity behind the oath being taken. In a sense,
the oath embodies the ideals by which a lawyer lives by in the practice of the legal profession.
This is why the lawyer's oath has been likened to a condensed version of the canons of
professional responsibility. This seems to have been confirmed in Endaya vs. Oca, where it was
held that: the lawyer's oath embodies the fundamental principles that guide every member of
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the legal fraternity. From it springs the lawyer's duties and responsibilities that any
infringement thereof can cause his disbarment, suspension or other disciplinary actions.
In the words of the Supreme Court, an oath is any form of attestation by which a party signifies
that he is bound in conscience to perform an act faithfully and truthfully. What then does a
lawyer promise to perform faithfully and truthfully when he takes on the oath upon being
admitted to the practice of law? It is the very practice of his duties and responsibilities as a
lawyer. The gravity of the oath is grounded on two important things: on the gravity of a
lawyer's duties and on the fact that he makes a solemn promise before God to undertake these
duties faithfully. When a great amount of trust is placed on such an office, then a corresponding
sense of integrity and responsibility is expected of those who have taken on that office. The
legal profession is one such office laden with a great amount of trust. In the hands of the lawyer
is entrusted not only the power to steer the course of some client's personal or business future
but more importantly, the very nature of the legal profession presupposes a certain moral
burden that demands personal integrity. As stated by the Supreme Court:
Lawyers are expected to abide by the tenets of morality, not only upon admission to the Bar
but also throughout their legal career, in order to maintain one's good standing in that
exclusive and honored fraternity. Good moral character is more than just the absence of bad
character. Such character expresses itself in the will to do the unpleasant thing if it is right and
the resolve not to do the pleasant thing if it is wrong. This must be so because vast interests are
committed to his care; he is the recipient of unbounded trust and confidence; he deals with his
client' s property, reputation, his life, his all.
A lawyer is said to be the servant of the law and belongs to a profession to which society has
entrusted the administration of law and the dispensing of justice. For this reason, a lawyer's
oath impresses upon him the responsibilities of an officer of the court upon whose shoulders
rest the grave responsibility of assisting courts in the proper, fair, speedy and efficient
administration of justice.
In fact, it may be understood that the words contained in the oath of office summarize the
main duties and responsibilities a lawyer is supposed to take on in the practice of law. In other
words, every time an oath of office is taken, the person making the statement in effect states
that in taking on the oath he/she promises to conscientiously fulfill the duties entrusted to his
office. Section 20 of Rule 138 enumerates what these duties are. It is the duty of an attorney -
(a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and
obey the laws of the Philippines;
(b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers;
(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appearing to him to be just, and
such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law;
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(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as
are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer
by an artifice or false statement of fact or law;
(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of
his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his clients' business except from
him or with his knowledge and approval;
(f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or
reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is
charged;
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding,
or delay any man's cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or
oppressed;
(i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of
his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law
permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.
In order to fulfill these duties, every lawyer is expected to live by a certain mode of behavior
now distilled in what is known as the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Code mandates
upon each lawyer, as his duty to society, the obligation to obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for law and legal processes. Specifically, he is forbidden to engage in unlawful,
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. In essence, all that is contained in this Code is
succinctly summarized in the oath of office taken by every lawyer. It is of little surprise to find
that inMagdaluyo vs. Nace the Supreme Court declares that the lawyer's oath is a source of
obligations and violation thereof is a ground for suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary
action. In the case of Businos vs. Ricafort, the Supreme Court also held that:
By swearing the lawyer's oath, an attorney becomes a guardian of truth and the rule of law, and
an indispensable instrument in the fair and impartial administration of justice a vital function
of democracy, a failure of which is disastrous to society. While the duty to uphold the
constitution and obey the laws is an obligation imposed upon every citizen, a lawyer assumes
responsibilities over and beyond the basic requirements of good citizenship. As servant of the
law, a lawyer ought to make himself an example for others to emulate. He should be possessed
of and must continue to possess good moral character.
In Brion Jr. vs. Brillantes, Jr., the Supreme Court also ruled: the lawyer's primary duty as
enunciated in the attorney's oath is to uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for the law and legal processes. That duty in its irreducible minimum entails
obedience to the legal orders of the court. The importance and significance in upholding the
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sanctity of a lawyer's oath have been highlighted by the Supreme Court in the various rulings it
made involving disciplinary actions against members of the legal fraternity.
The Real World Of The Legal Practice
While it is true that these ideals by which every lawyer swears to live by remain sublime, the
same ideals often hardly motivate some lawyers in the real world of legal practice. Instead of
high ideals, less honorable reasons and more pragmatic considerations often financial and
material in nature take hold of many a cynical and hardened lawyer. This has been the cause
of lament and expressions of grave concern by honorable individuals, among them the late
Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro. In an address before members of the legal
profession, he said:
Many a legal practitioner, forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his
exalted position as an officer of the court, has allowed himself to become:
An instigator of controversy, instead of a mediator for concord and a conciliator for
compromise;
A virtuoso of technicality in the conduct of litigation, instead of a true exponent of the primacy
of truth and moral justice;
A mercenary purveying the benefits of his enlightened advocacy in direct proportion to a
litigant's financial posture, instead of a faithful friend of the courts in the dispensation of equal
justice to rich and poor alike.
Though these words were expressed some time ago, yet is is sad to note that Chief Justice
Ruiz's words still ring loud and true today. The goal of remaining true to the ideals of the legal
profession is hampered by the seemingly irresistible influence and pressures of modern day
commercialism in almost every facet of human activity and endeavor. In various cases, the
Supreme Court has denied applicant's petition to take the lawyer's oath for grave misconduct
or for any serious violation of the canons of professional responsibility which puts in question
the applicant's moral character. Moreover, a reading of the latest rulings of the highest tribunal
would reveal the lawyer's utter disregard, if not disdain, for the lawyer's oath.
In Vitriola vs. Dasig, a case for disbarment against an official of the commission on higher
education charged with gross misconduct in violation of the attorney's oath for having used her
public office to secure financial spoils, the Supreme Court, in ordering respondent's disbarment,
held:
The attorney's oath is the source of the obligations and duties of every lawyer and any violation
thereof is a ground for disbarment, suspension, or other disciplinary action. The attorney's oath
imposes upon every member of the bar the duty to delay no man for money or malice.
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Said duty is further stressed in Rule 1.03 of the code of professional responsibility.
Respondent's demands for sums of money to facilitate the processing of pending applications
or requests before her office violates such duty, and runs afoul of the oath she took when
admitted to the bar.
The affirmation by a lawyer to uphold the law was the subject in De Guzman vs. De Dios. In this
case where respondent was charged for representing conflicting interest, found guilty and
suspended for six months, with a warning, the highest tribunal held:
To say that lawyers must at all times uphold and respect the law is to state the obvious, but
such statement can never be over-emphasized. Considering that, 'of all classes and professions,
(lawyers are) most sacredly bound to uphold and respect the law', it is imperative that they live
by the law.
Accordingly, lawyers who violate their oath and engage in deceitful conduct have no place in
the legal profession. As a lawyer, respondent is bound by her oath to do no falsehood or
consent to its commission and to conduct herself as a lawyer to the best of her knowledge and
discretion. The lawyer's oath is a source of obligation and violation thereof is a ground for
suspension, disbarment, or other disciplinary action. The acts of respondent Atty. De Dios are
clearly in violation of her solemn oath as a lawyer that this court will not tolerate.
In Sevillano Batac, Jr., et al. vs. Atty. P. Cruz, Jr., the Supreme Court in ordering the suspension
of respondent, quoted Sec. 27 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court, thus:
Section 27. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by supreme court; grounds therefor: A
member of the bar may be disbarred orsuspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme
Court for any deceit, malpractice, or, other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral
conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation
of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a willful
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willfully appearing as an
attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do.
The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid
agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. A lawyer, under his oath, pledges himself not to
delay any man for money or malice and is bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his
client. Such was the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in ordering the disbarment of
lawyer who converted the money of his client to his own personal use without her consent. The
lawyer's oath exhorts law practitioners not to wittingly or willingly promote or sue any
groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same. In Young vs. Batuegas,
where respondent was suspended for six months for knowingly alleging an untrue statement of
fact in his pleading, the Supreme Court said, thus:
A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. He swore upon his admission to the bar that he will 'do no
falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court' and he shall conduct himself as a lawyer
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according to the best of his knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts
as to his clients. He should bear in mind that as an officer of the court his high vocation is to
correctly inform the court upon the law and the facts of the case and to aid it in doing justice
and arriving at a correct conclusion.
The courts, on the other hand, are entitled to expect only complete honesty from lawyers
appearing and pleading before them. While a lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his client's
rights and is expected to display the utmost zeal in defense of his client's cause, his conduct
must never be at the expense of truth.
That a lawyer's oath are not mere facile words, drift and hollow, was applied by the Supreme
Court in Vda. De Rosales vs. Ramos, where a notary public commission was revoked and
respondent disqualified from being a notary public, in this manner: where the notary public is
a lawyer, a graver responsibility is placed upon him by reason of his solemn oath to obey the
laws and to do no falsehood or consent to the doing of any.
Indeed when an office entrusted with great responsibility and trust by society is violated and
abused, one finds truth in the expression corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is
the worst). The words of former Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals Pompeyo Dias cannot
find a more relevant application:
There are men in any society who are so self-serving that they try to make law serve their
selfish ends. In this group of men, the most dangerous is the man of the law who has no
conscience. He has, in the arsenal of his knowledge, the very tools by which he can poison and
disrupt society and bring it to an ignoble end.
A Return to Basic Ideals
With the glaring reality of legal practice evidenced by the increasing numbers of administrative
cases filed against lawyers in the Courts, it is no surprise therefore that legal ethics has been
prescribed as a subject under the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). Moreover, of
the 36 units prescribed under the MCLE, six units pertain to legal ethics. There is clearly a
perceived need to instill legal ethics in the practice of the legal profession. The pressing need
for legal ethics was highlighted by the Supreme Court in Endaya vs. Oca:
For practical purposes, the lawyers not only represent the law; they are the law. With their
ubiquitous presence in the social milieu, lawyers have to be responsible. The problems they
create in lawyering become public difficulties. To keep lawyers responsible underlies the worth
of the ethics of lawyering. Indeed, legal ethics is simply the aesthetic term for professional
responsibility.
Undoubtedly, faithful compliance and observance of the canons of the Code of Professional
Responsibility is the main object of the MCLE. And to ensure success thereof, the Supreme
Court, in its various pronouncements in administrative cases filed against lawyers, has
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emphasized the lawyer's basic duties and responsibilities. In a more recent ruling, the Supreme
Court recapitulated the significance and importance of the oath in this wise: This oath to which
all lawyers have subscribed in solemn agreement to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of
justice is not a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law to be forgotten afterwards; nor is
it mere words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust that lawyers must uphold and keep inviolable
at all times. By swearing the lawyer's oath, they become guardians of truth and the rule of law,
as well as instruments in the fair and impartial dispensation of justice.
Indeed, if the legal profession is to achieve its basic ideal to render public service and serve the
ends of justice, there is a need to unceasingly and constantly inculcate professional standards
among lawyers. As the Supreme Court in Cordon vs. Balicanta (supra), said: If the practice of
law is to remain an honorable profession and attain its basic ideal, those enrolled in its ranks
should not only master its tenets and principles, but should also in their lives accord continuing
fidelity to them.















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EN BANC

B.M. No. 712 July 13, 1995
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMISSION TO THE BAR AND OATH-TAKING OF SUCCESSFUL BAR
APPLICANT AL C. ARGOSINO, petitioner.
R E S O L U T I O N

FELICIANO, J.:
A criminal information was filed on 4 February 1992 with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City, Branch 101, charging Mr. A.C. Argosino along with thirteen (13) other individuals, with the
crime of homicide in connection with the death of one Raul Camaligan on 8 September 1991.
The death of Raul Camaligan stemmed from the infliction of severe physical injuries upon him
in the course of "hazing" conducted as part of university fraternity initiation rites. Mr. Argosino
and his co-accused then entered into plea bargaining with the prosecution and as a result of
such bargaining, pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of homicide through reckless imprudence.
This plea was accepted by the trial court. In a judgment dated 11 February 1993, each of the
fourteen (14) accused individuals was sentenced to suffer imprisonment for a period ranging
from two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years.
Eleven (11) days later, Mr. Argosino and his colleagues filed an application for probation with
the lower court. The application for probation was granted in an Order dated 18 June 1993
issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Pedro T. Santiago. The period of probation was set at two
(2) years, counted from the probationer's initial report to the probation officer assigned to
supervise him.
Less than a month later, on 13 July 1993, Mr. Argosino filed a Petition for Admission to Take the
1993 Bar Examinations. In this Petition, he disclosed the fact of his criminal conviction and his
then probation status. He was allowed to take the 1993 Bar Examinations in this Court's En
Banc Resolution dated 14 August 1993.
1
He passed the Bar Examination. He was not, however,
allowed to take the lawyer's oath of office.
On 15 April 1994, Mr. Argosino filed a Petition with this Court to allow him to take the
attorney's oath of office and to admit him to the practice of law, averring that Judge Pedro T.
Santiago had terminated his probation period by virtue of an Order dated 11 April 1994. We
note that his probation period did not last for more than ten (10) months from the time of the
Order of Judge Santiago granting him probation dated 18 June 1993. Since then, Mr. Argosino
has filed three (3) Motions for Early Resolution of his Petition for Admission to the Bar.
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The practice of law is not a natural, absolute or constitutional right to be granted to everyone
who demands it. Rather, it is a high personal privilege limited to citizens of good moral
character, with special educational qualifications, duly ascertained and certified.
2
The
essentiality of good moral character in those who would be lawyers is stressed in the following
excerpts which we quote with approval and which we regard as having persuasive effect:
In Re Farmer:
3

xxx xxx xxx
This "upright character" prescribed by the statute, as a condition precedent to
the applicant's right to receive a license to practice law in North Carolina, and of
which he must, in addition to other requisites, satisfy the court, includes all the
elements necessary to make up such a character. It is something more than an
absence of bad character. It is the good name which the applicant has acquired,
or should have acquired, through association with his fellows. It means that he
must have conducted himself as a man of upright character ordinarily would, or
should, or does. Such character expresses itself, not in negatives nor in following
the line of least resistance, but quite often, in the will to do the unpleasant thing
if it is right, and the resolve not to do the pleasant thing if it is wrong. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
And we may pause to say that this requirement of the statute is eminently
proper. Consider for a moment the duties of a lawyer. He is sought as counsellor,
and his advice comes home, in its ultimate effect, to every man's fireside. Vast
interests are committed to his care; he is the recipient ofunbounded trust and
confidence; he deals with is client's property, reputation, his life, his all. An
attorney at law is a sworn officer of the Court, whose chief concern, as such, is to
aid the administration of justice. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
4

In Re Application of Kaufman,
5
citing Re Law Examination of 1926 (1926) 191 Wis
359, 210 NW 710:
It can also be truthfully said that there exists nowhere greater temptations to
deviate from the straight and narrow path than in the multiplicity of
circumstances that arise in the practice of profession. For these reasons the
wisdom of requiring an applicant for admission to the bar to possess a high
moral standard therefore becomes clearly apparent, and the board of bar
examiners as an arm of the court, is required to cause a minute examination to
be made of the moral standard of each candidate for admission to practice. . . . It
needs no further argument, therefore, to arrive at the conclusion that the
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highest degree of scrutiny must be exercised as to the moral character of a
candidate who presents himself for admission to the bar. The evil must, if
possible, be successfully met at its very source, and prevented, for, after a lawyer
has once been admitted, and has pursued his profession, and has established
himself therein, a far more difficult situation is presented to the court when
proceedings are instituted for disbarment and for the recalling and annulment of
his license.
In Re Keenan:
6

The right to practice law is not one of the inherent rights of every citizen, as in
the right to carry on an ordinary trade or business. It is a peculiar privilege
granted and continued only to those who demonstrate special fitness in
intellectual attainment and in moral character. All may aspire to it on an
absolutely equal basis, but not all will attain it. Elaborate machinery has been set
up to test applicants by standards fair to all and to separate the fit from the
unfit. Only those who pass the test are allowed to enter the profession, and only
those who maintain the standards are allowed to remain in it.
Re Rouss:
7

Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions, and a fair private
and professional character is one of them; to refuse admission to an unworthy
applicant is not to punish him for past offense: an examination into character,
like the examination into learning, is merely a test of fitness.
Cobb vs. Judge of Superior Court:
8

Attorney's are licensed because of their learning and ability, so that they may not
only protect the rights and interests of their clients, but be able to assist court in
the trial of the cause. Yet what protection to clients or assistance to courts could
such agents give? They are required to be of good moral character, so that the
agents and officers of the court, which they are, may not bring discredit upon the
due administration of the law, and it is of the highest possible consequence that
both those who have not such qualifications in the first instance, or who, having
had them, have fallen therefrom, shall not be permitted to appear in courts to
aid in the administration of justice.
It has also been stressed that the requirement of good moral character is, in fact, of greater
importance so far as the general public and the proper administration of justice are concerned,
than the possession of legal learning:
. . . (In re Applicants for License, 55 S.E. 635, 143 N.C. 1, 10 L.R.A. [N.S.] 288, 10
Ann./Cas. 187):
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The public policy of our state has always been to admit no person
to the practice of the law unless he covered an upright moral
character. The possession of this by the attorney is more
important, if anything, to the public and to the proper
administration of justice than legal learning. Legal learning may
be acquired in after years, but if the applicant passes the
threshold of the bar with a bad moral character the chances are
that his character will remain bad, and that he will become a
disgrace instead of an ornament to his great calling a curse
instead of a benefit to his community a Quirk, a Gammon or a
Snap, instead of a Davis, a Smith or a Ruffin.
9

All aspects of moral character and behavior may be inquired into in respect of those seeking
admission to the Bar. The scope of such inquiry is, indeed, said to be properly broader than
inquiry into the moral proceedings for disbarment:
Re Stepsay:
10

The inquiry as to the moral character of an attorney in a proceeding for his
admission to practice is broader in scope than in a disbarment proceeding.
Re Wells:
11

. . . that an applicant's contention that upon application for admission to the
California Bar the court cannot reject him for want of good moral character
unless it appears that he has been guilty of acts which would be cause for his
disbarment or suspension, could not be sustained; that the inquiry is broader in
its scope than that in a disbarment proceeding, and the court may receive any
evidence which tends to show the applicant's character as respects honesty,
integrity, and general morality, and may no doubt refuse admission upon proofs
that might not establish his guilt of any of the acts declared to be causes for
disbarment.
The requirement of good moral character to be satisfied by those who would seek admission to
the bar must of necessity be more stringent than the norm of conduct expected from members
of the general public. There is a very real need to prevent a general perception that entry into
the legal profession is open to individuals with inadequate moral qualifications. The growth of
such a perception would signal the progressive destruction of our people's confidence in their
courts of law and in our legal system as we know it.
12

Mr. Argosino's participation in the deplorable "hazing" activities certainly fell far short of the
required standard of good moral character. The deliberate (rather than merely accidental or
inadvertent) infliction of severe physical injuries which proximately led to the death of the
unfortunate Raul Camaligan, certainly indicated serious character flaws on the part of those
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who inflicted such injuries. Mr. Argosino and his co-accused had failed to discharge their moral
duty to protect the life and well-being of a "neophyte" who had, by seeking admission to the
fraternity involved, reposed trust and confidence in all of them that, at the very least, he would
not be beaten and kicked to death like a useless stray dog. Thus, participation in the prolonged
and mindless physical beatings inflicted upon Raul Camaligan constituted evident rejection of
that moral duty and was totally irresponsible behavior, which makes impossible a finding that
the participant was then possessed of good moral character.
Now that the original period of probation granted by the trial court has expired, the Court is
prepared to considerde novo the question of whether applicant A.C. Argosino has purged
himself of the obvious deficiency in moral character referred to above. We stress that good
moral character is a requirement possession of which must be demonstrated not only at the
time of application for permission to take the bar examinations but also, and more importantly,
at the time of application for admission to the bar and to take the attorney's oath of office.
Mr. Argosino must, therefore, submit to this Court, for its examination and consideration,
evidence that he may be now regarded as complying with the requirement of good moral
character imposed upon those seeking admission to the bar. His evidence may consist, inter
alia, of sworn certifications from responsible members of the community who have a good
reputation for truth and who have actually known Mr. Argosino for a significant period of time,
particularly since the judgment of conviction was rendered by Judge Santiago. He should show
to the Court how he has tried to make up for the senseless killing of a helpless student to the
family of the deceased student and to the community at large. Mr. Argosino must, in other
words, submit relevant evidence to show that he is a different person now, that he has become
morally fit for admission to the ancient and learned profession of the law.
Finally, Mr. Argosino is hereby DIRECTED to inform this Court, by appropriate written
manifestation, of the names and addresses of the father and mother (in default thereof,
brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul Camaligan), within ten (10) day from notice hereof. Let a
copy of this Resolution be furnished to the parents or brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul
Camaligan.
Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero and Melo, JJ., concur.
Bellosillo, J. is on leave.

Footnotes
1 There is some indication that clerical error attended the grant of permission to
take the 1993 Bar Examinations. The En Banc Resolution of this Court dated 24
August 1993 entitled "Re: Applications to Take the 1993 Bar Examinations,"
stated on page 2 thereof:
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"The Court further Resolved to ALLOW the following candidates
with dismissed charges or complaints, to take the 1993 Bar
Examinations:

xxx xxx xxx
3349. Al C. Argosino

xxx xxx xxx
(Emphasis supplied)
In fact, applicant Argosino had been convicted and sentenced and then paroled.
2 G.A. Malcolm, Legal and Judicial Ethics (1949), at p. 13; In Re Parazo, 82 Phil.
230, 242 (1948), reiterated in Tan v. Sabandal, 206 SCRA 473, 481 (1992).
3 131 S.E. 661 (1926).
4 131 S.E. at 663.
5 69 Idaho 297, 206 P2d 528 (1949).
6 314 Mass 544, 50 NE 2d 785 (1943).
7 221 NY 81, 116 NE 782 (1917).
8 43 Mich 289, 5 NW 309 (1880).
9 In Re Farmer, supra at 663.
10 15 Cal 2d 71, 98 P2d 489 (1940).
11 174 Cal 467, 163 P 657 (1917).
12 See generally, Ulep v. Legal Clinic, Inc. (En Banc), 223 SCRA 378, 409 (1993).


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EN BANC
[SBC-585. February 29, 1984.]
EMILIA E. ANDRES, complainant, vs. STANLEY
R. CABRERA, respondent.
[SBC-571. February 29, 1984.]
LOURDES C. PEREA, complainant, vs. STANLEY
R. CABRERA, respondent.
SYLLABUS
1.CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; SUPREME COURT; POWER TO ADMIT,
SUSPEND, DISBAR AND REINSTATE LAWYERS; NATURE. The authority
and responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement
of attorneys-at-law is vested in the Supreme Court by the Constitution. (Art. X,
Sec. 5(5). This power is indisputably a judicial function and responsibility. It is
judicial in the sense that discretion is used in its exercise. The function requires
(1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete facts, whether past or
present, affecting determinate individuals, and (3) decision as to whether these
facts are governed by the rules and principles; in effect, a judicial function of the
highest degree. (In re: Cunanan, et al., 94 Phil. 534).
2.ID.; ID.; POWER TO ADMIT ATTORNEYS TO THE BAR; REQUIRES
EXERCISE OF SOUND JUDICIAL DISCRETION. This power to admit
attorneys to the Bar is not, however, an arbitrary and despotic one, to be
exercised at the pleasure of the Court, or from passion, prejudice or personal
hostility, but it is the duty of the court to exercise and regulate it by a sound and
judicial discretion.
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3.LEGAL AND JUDICIAL ETHICS; POWER TO PUNISH FOR CONTEMPT,
INHERENT IN ALL COURTS. The power to punish persons for contempt is
inherent in all courts and essential to the preservation of order in judicial
proceedings and to the enforcement of their lawful orders and decisions
(Montalban vs. Canonoy, 38 SCRA 1). A lawyer who uses intemperate, abusive,
abrasive or threatening language betrays disrespect to the court, disgraces the
Bar and invites the exercise by the court of its disciplinary power. (Surigao
Mineral Reservation Board vs. Cloribel, L-27072, Jan. 9, 1970, 31 SCRA 1; In re
Almacen, 31 SCRA 562; Montecillo vs. Gica, 6Q SCRA 234). Such power,
however, should be exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive
principle and on the corrective and not on the retaliatory idea of punishment.
(Weigal vs. Shuster, 11 Phil. 340; Villavicencio vs. Lucban, 39 Phil. 778; People
vs. Marcos, 70 Phil. 468, 480; Victorino vs. Espiritu, 5 SCRA 653; Reliance
Procoma, Inc. vs. Phil-Asia Tobacco Corp., 57 SCRA 370, Fontelera vs. Amores,
70 SCRA 37). Furthermore, contempt power should not be utilized for mere
satisfaction of natural inclination to strike back at a party who has shown lesser
respect to the dignity of the court. (Royeca vs. Animas, 71 SCRA 1).
4.ID.; PURPOSE THEREFOR; ACCOMPLISHED IN THE CASE AT BAR. The
dignity and authority of the Court has been maintained and preserved when the
Court punished respondent for his contumacious conduct and he willingly and
promptly paid the penalty therefor. The preservative and corrective purpose of
the contempt power of this Court has already been accomplished and achieved
that to continue denying his plea for forgiveness and mercy in his behalf and his
family is not only to prolong the agony of his misconduct which he has suffered
for seven long years since 1977 when he passed the Bar examinations but also
would appear to be despotic and arbitrary. We hold that respondent has expiated
enough for his misdeed and may now be allowed to take the lawyer's oath and
thus become a more useful member of society and of the law profession.
R E S O L U T I O N
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GUERRERO, J p:
In Our Resolution promulgated December 14, 1979 in the first above-entitled
case, respondent Stanley R. Cabrera, a successful Bar examinee in 1977
against whom petition had been filed for denial of his admission as member of
the Bar for lack of good moral character and for his proclivity to filing baseless,
malicious, and unfounded cases, was found guilty of contempt of this Court for
"(b)y his improper conduct in the use of highly disrespectful, insolent language,
respondent has tended to degrade the administration of justice; he has
disparaged the dignity and brought to disrepute the integrity and authority of the
Court" and was sentenced to pay within ten days from notice a fine of P600.00 or
imprisonment of 50 days. (See 94 SCRA 512.) LLphil
Respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated January 9, 1980 which We
denied on March 6, 1980 and further required respondent to pay within five (5)
days from notice the aforesaid fine of P500.00.
The fine was thereafter paid on March 14, 1980 under SC Official Receipt No.
5369050X. On July 16, 1980, respondent submitted an Urgent Motion for
Admission to the Bar "in view of the foregoing (payment) and for mercy" which
We denied on August 12, 1980 since the investigation against the said
respondent was still pending before the Legal Investigator of the Court, Atty.
Victor J. Sevilla.
Another Urgent Motion for Early Resolution dated August 29, 1980 was again
filed with the Court by respondent, calling attention to the fact that the case has
been pending since April, 1977. We noted said motion on September 16, 1980.
Meanwhile, respondent manifested to the Court in still another Urgent Motion for
Admission to the Bar dated September 25, 1981 that "respondent has amended
his ways and has conformed to the use of polite, courteous, and civil language as
can be gleaned from (his) urgent motion for admission to the Bar dated July 16,
1980 and (his) urgent motion for early resolution dated August 29, 1980 filed with
this Honorable Court; and that undersigned respondent reiterates his sincere
apologies to this Honorable Court and its Legal Investigator for all his actuations
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since this case was filed in 1977; . . . that undersigned respondent was acquitted
by Judge Priscilla Mijares of the City Court of Manila for estafa wherein Lourdes
C. Perea was the complaining witness as hereto authenticated by Annexes A, A-
1, A-2, A-3, A-4, A-5, A-6 and made an integral part of this motion. Respondent
prayed that "for humanitarian considerations, considering that undersigned
respondent has seven children, a wife and a widowed mother to support," he be
allowed to take his oath of office as a lawyer and be admitted to the Bar. cdll
Respondent then wrote a letter dated August 25, 1982 to the Chief Justice,
reiterating his sincere apologies to the Court for all his actions which culminated
in his conviction for contempt and prayed for help to enable him "to uplift the
living conditions of (his) seven children considering that up to this date (he is) a
squatter beside the railroad tracks living in abject poverty." The aforementioned
letter was noted by this Court on September 16, 1982.
In the meantime, the second case, "SBC-571 (Lourdes C. Perea vs. Stanley
R. Cabrera) " was ordered archived in view of the resolutions in the first case
"SBC-586 (Emilia E.Andres vs. Stanley R. Cabrera)" denying, among others,
respondent's admission to the Bar, as per Our Resolution dated September 13,
1979 in SBC-571.
On February 21, 1983, respondent wrote a second letter to the Chief Justice,
once more reiterating his sincere apologies to the Court and begged for mercy
"to the end that he be allowed to take his oath of office as a lawyer and enable
him to give his children a bright future." In Our Resolution of June 14, 1983, We
resolved to deny the aforesaid letter/petition.
On July 5, 1983, there was received in this Court a letter from one
Nerida V. Cabrera with address at 732 Int. 4, Bagumbayan, Bacood, Sta. Mesa,
M.M., wife of the respondent herein, addressed to the Chief Justice, appealing
for kindness and humanitarian consideration to allow her husband to take his
oath as a lawyer so that he can provide food and shelter for their eight children
because he is unemployed. She also apologized for her husband for his
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disrespectful language to the Court and prayed that she be allowed to apologize
personally to the Chief Justice and to the Supreme Court for her husband. cdphil
We noted the said letter of Nerida V. Cabrera and required said respondent to
appear personally before this Court on Tuesday, August 23, 1983 at 11:00
o'clock a.m. The records further disclose that a handwritten letter by
Nerida Cabrera dated August 1, 1983 attaching a picture of the family of
respondent and their eight children and a similar handwritten letter by
Presentacion Vda. de Cabrera, mother of the respondent, were sent to the Chief
Justice. Notices of the hearing set for August 23, 1983 were given to the parties.
At the said hearing, Atty. Rhodora Javier appeared and argued for the
complainant Emilia E. Andres in SBC-585 (Emilia E. Andres vs. Stanley
R. Cabrera). Stanley Cabreraappeared in his own behalf and answered the
questions asked by the Court. Atty. Victor Sevilla, Legal Investigator of this Court,
who investigated SBC-585, also answered the questions asked by the Court. The
Court then resolved to require respondent Cabrera to submit within five (5) days
from date (1) letters of apology to the Court, to Atty. Victor Sevilla, to complainant
Emilia E. Andres, and to Fiscal Leonardo Arguelles for the contumacious and vile
language contained in his pleadings, and (2) certifications of good behavior and
exemplary conduct from the Parish Priest and from the Barangay Captain of the
place where he resides. Thereafter, the petition to take the lawyer's oath shall be
considered submitted for resolution.
On August 25, 1983, respondent forwarded to the Chief Justice his letter of
apology and through him to all the Associate Justices of the Court "for all (his)
disrespectful acts and utterances thru (his) pleadings against the Honorable
Supreme Court" and promised never to commit the same. He enclosed therewith
the Letter of Apology to Atty. Victor Sevilla, Legal Investigator of the Court, Letter
of Apology to Atty. Emilia E. Andres, Legal Division, MOLE, complainant in SBC-
585, Letter of Apology to Fiscal Leonardo Arguelles, Manila City Hall,
Certification of Good Moral Character from Rev. Fr. Eduardo A. Cruz, Parish
Priest, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Fatima Village, Bacood, Lubiran St., Sta.
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Mesa, Manila, and Certification of Good Moral Character from Barangay Captain
Emiliano C. Masilungan of Barangay 604, Zone 60, Sta. Mesa, Manila. prcd

The authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of attorneys-at-law is vested in the Supreme Court by the
Constitution. (Art. X, Sec. 5(5). This power is indisputably a judicial function and
responsibility. It is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in its exercise. The
function requires (1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete
facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals, and (3) decision
as to whether these facts are governed by the rules and principles; in effect, a
judicial function of the highest degree. (In re: Cunanan, et al., 94 Phil. 534).
This power to admit attorneys to the Bar is not, however, an arbitrary and
despotic one, to be exercised at the pleasure of the Court, or from passion,
prejudice or personal hostility, but it is the duty of the court to exercise and
regulate it by a sound and judicial discretion. (In re: Crum, 204 Pac. 948, 103
Ore. 297; 1 Thornton on Attorneys-at-Law, Sec. 2, cited in Moran, Comments on
the Rules of Court, Vol. 6, pp. 204, 205).
On the other hand, the power to punish persons for contempt is inherent in all
courts and essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings and to
the enforcement of their lawful orders and decisions (Montalban vs. Canonoy, 38
SCRA 1). A lawyer who uses intemperate, abusive, abrasive or threatening
language betrays disrespect to the court, disgraces the Bar and invites the
exercise by the court of its disciplinary power. (Surigao Mineral Reservation
Board vs. Cloribel, L-27072, Jan. 9, 1970, 31 SCRA 1; In re Almacen, 31 SCRA
562; Montecillo vs. Gica, 6Q SCRA 234). Such power, however, should be
exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle and on the
corrective and not on the retaliatory idea of punishment. (Weigal vs. Shuster, 11
Phil. 340; Villavicencio vs. Lucban, 39 Phil. 778; People vs. Marcos, 70 Phil. 468,
480; Victorino vs. Espiritu, 5 SCRA 653; Reliance Procoma, Inc. vs. Phil-Asia
Tobacco Corp., 57 SCRA 370, Fontelera vs. Amores, 70 SCRA 37).
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Furthermore, contempt power should not be utilized for mere satisfaction of
natural inclination to strike back at a party who has shown lesser respect to the
dignity of the court. (Royeca vs. Animas, 71 SCRA 1). LibLex
In the case at bar, respondent having paid the fine imposed upon him for direct
contempt against the integrity and dignity of this Court, having apologized in
repeated motions filed before this Court for his disrespectful language and
personally reiterated at the hearing conducted herein, and has furthermore
complied with the Court's directives contained in Our Resolution dated August
23, 1983 by submitting his letters of apology to the Chief Justice and to the
members of this Court, to Atty. Victor Sevilla, Legal Investigator of the Court, to
complainant Atty. Emilia E. Andres, to Fiscal Leonardo Arguelles, and
Certifications of Good Moral Character from his parish priest, Rev. Fr. Eduardo
A. Cruz, and his Barangay Captain, Emiliano C. Masilungan of Barangay 604,
Zone 60, Sta. Mesa, Manila where respondent resides, We are convinced by
these actions that he has become respectful, sincere and honest, thereby
evincing that good moral character required of a person who may be admitted to
the practice of law.
The pleas of his mother and wife for the sake and the future of respondent's
family with eight young children, altho self-serving, are strong human factors in
considering, judiciously and wisely the motion of respondent which in effect
would allow him to start on a professional career as a lawyer that would certainly
mean a bright future for himself and his family, for otherwise the discretion with
which the Court may admit qualified persons to the practice of law may be
clouded with vindictiveness and retaliation which is not the basic purpose of the
Court's inherent power to punish for contempt.
The dignity and authority of the Court has been maintained and preserved when
the Court punished respondent for his contumacious conduct and he willingly and
promptly paid the penalty therefor. The preservative and corrective purpose of
the contempt power of this Court has already been accomplished and achieved
that to continue denying his plea for forgiveness and mercy in his behalf and his
family is not only to prolong the agony of his misconduct which he has suffered
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for seven long years since 1977 when he passed the Bar examinations but also
would appear to be despotic and arbitrary. We hold that respondent has expiated
enough for his misdeed and may now be allowed to take the lawyer's oath and
thus become a more useful member of society and of the law profession. cdphil
In SBC-571, since the charge against respondent for estafa which is the basis of
the petition for disqualification filed by complainant Lourdes C. Perea, has been
dismissed and respondent acquitted in Criminal Case No. 015429-CV by the City
Court of Manila, Branch VII, the same is hereby dismissed.
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING respondent Stanley
R. Cabrera is hereby allowed to take the lawyer's oath.
SO ORDERED.
Fernando, C.J., Teehankee, Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Abad Santos,
De Castro, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin and Relova, JJ., concur.
Gutierrez, Jr., J., I entertain some reservations about the respondent's ability or
willingness to maintain his changed disposition and conduct but I concur in the
decision to give him a chance to be a member of the bar in good standing.
||| (Andres v. Cabrera, SBC-585, February 29, 1984)