Problem Areas in Legal Ethics

Contents
The Practice of Law ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 2
Source: ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 2
Cases: ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2
Cayetano vs. Monsod............................................................................................................................................................................ 2
In re: Argosino ......................................................................................................................................................................................23
People vs. Maceda ...............................................................................................................................................................................28
Admission to the Practice of Law ...........................................................................................................................................................30
Sources: .........................................................................................................................................................................................................30
Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar ...................................................................................30
Sec. 5. Additional requirements for other applicants ..........................................................................................................30
Sec. 6. Pre-Law ......................................................................................................................................................................................30
Cases: .............................................................................................................................................................................................................30
IN RE: ALMACEN (31 SCRA 562 2/18/70) .............................................................................................................................30
In re: Cunanan .......................................................................................................................................................................................46
In re: Vicente Ching ............................................................................................................................................................................59
Petition for Leave to Resume Practice of Benjamin Dacanay ..........................................................................................64
In the Matter of the Disqualification of Bar Examinee Haron S. Meling .....................................................................66
Diao vs Martinez ..................................................................................................................................................................................69
In re: Pedro Amparo ...........................................................................................................................................................................71
In re: Victorio Lanuevo .....................................................................................................................................................................77
In re: Ramon Galang ...........................................................................................................................................................................77
Payment of IBP Dues ................................................................................................................................................................................. 105
Cases: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 105
Santos Jr vs Atty. Llamas ............................................................................................................................................................... 105
In Re: Letter of Atty. Arevalo Jr. ................................................................................................................................................. 109
In the Matter of IBP Membership Dues of Atty. Marcial Edillon.................................................................................. 112

The Practice of Law
Source:
Section 1. Who may practice law. - Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter
admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is
entitled to practice law.

Cases:
Cayetano vs. Monsod
CAYETANO vs MONSOD
G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991
FACTS: Atty. Christian Monsod passed the bar in 1960. He worked in the law office of his father and with the
World Bank Group from 1963 to 1970. He then worked for an investment bank, became a member of the
Constitutional Commission in 1986 and also a member of Davide Commission in 1990.
Respondent Monsod was nominated by Pres. Cory Aquino as chairman of the COMELEC. The Commission on
Appointments confirmed the nomination. Monsod took his oath and assumed office.
Petitioner filed the petition for certiorari and prohibition challenging the validity of the confirmation by the
Commission on Appointments. He alleged that Monsod did not possess the required qualification of having
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
ISSUE: WON Monsod has been in the practice of law for at least ten years
HELD: Yes. 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. All advice to
clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law, and other works where the work done
involves the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions.
The records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission showed a liberal interpretation of the term “practice of
law” as to include lawyers employed in the Commission of Audit as engaged in the practice of law as long as
they used their knowledge or legal talent in their respective work. The court also cited several issues of the
Business Star on emerging trends in corporate law practice.
Therefore, 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, satisfied the
constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
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.
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 naturalborn 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.)
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 matters connected 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 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".
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)
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 attorneys called "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 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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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 Muñoz-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 2631, 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 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 lawyerentrepreneur 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 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.
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 —
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., Griño-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.
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.
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 Paño, 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.
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.
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 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?
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:
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.
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

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 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 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
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."
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).
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 Paño, 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.
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.
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 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?
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:
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.
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
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 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 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.
In re: Argosino
In Re: Argosino B.M. No. 712 July 13, 1995

FACTS: This is a matter for admission to the bar and oath taking of a successful bar applicant. Argosino was
previously involved with hazing that caused the death of Raul Camaligan but was sentenced with homicide
through reckless imprudence after he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced with 2 years imprisonment where he
applied for a probation thereafter which was granted by the court with a 2 yr probation. He took the bar exam
and passed but was not allowed to take oath. He filed a petition to allow him to take the attorney’s oath of office
averring that his probation was already terminated. The court note that he spent only 10 months of the
probation period before it was terminated.
ISSUE: WON Argosino may take oath of office.
RULING: The court upheld the principle of maintaining the good morals of all Bar members, keeping in mind
that such is of greater importance so far as the general public and the proper administration of justice are
concerned, than the possession of legal learning. Hence he was asked by the court to produce evidence that
would certify that he has reformed and have become a responsible member of the community through sworn
statements of individuals who have a good reputation for truth and who have actually known Mr. Argosino for
a significant period of time to certify he is morally fit to the admission of the law profession. The court also
ordered that said a copy of the proceeding be furnished to the family/relatives of Raul Camaligan.

Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
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.
RESOLUTION
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.
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 of unbounded 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 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):
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 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
consider de 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.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
B.M. No. 712 March 19, 1997
RE: PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYERS OATH
RESOLUTION
PADILLA, J.:
Petitioner Al Caparros Argosino passed the bar examinations held in 1993. The Court however deferred his
oath-taking due to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide.
The criminal case which resulted in petitioner's conviction, arose from the death of a neophyte during fraternity
initiation rites sometime in September 1991. Petitioner and seven (7) other accused initially entered pleas of
not guilty to homicide charges. The eight (8) accused later withdrew their initial pleas and upon re-arraignment
all pleaded guilty to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
On the basis of such pleas, the trial court rendered judgment dated 11 February 1993 imposing on each of the
accused a sentence of imprisonment of from two (2) years four (4) months :and one (1) day to four (4) years.
On 18 June 1993, the trial court granted herein petitioner's application for probation.
On 11 April 1994, the trial court issued an order approving a report dated 6 April 1994 submitted by the
Probation Officer recommending petitioner's discharge from probation.
On 14 April 1994, petitioner filed before this Court a petition to be allowed to take the lawyer's oath based on
the order of his discharge from probation.
On 13 July 1995, the Court through then Senior Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano issued a resolution
requiring petitioner Al C. Argosino to submit to the Court evidence that he may now be regarded as complying
with the requirement of good moral character imposed upon those seeking admission to the bar.
In compliance with the above resolution, petitioner submitted no less than fifteen (15) certifications/letters
executed by among others two (2) senators, five (5) trial court judges, and six (6) members of religious orders.
Petitioner likewise submitted evidence that a scholarship foundation had been established in honor of Raul
Camaligan, the hazing victim, through joint efforts of the latter's family and the eight (8) accused in the criminal
case.

On 26 September 1995, the Court required Atty. Gilbert Camaligan, father of Raul, to comment on petitioner's
prayer to be allowed to take the lawyer's oath.
In his comment dated 4 December 1995, Atty. Camaligan states that:
a. He still believes that the infliction of severe physical injuries which led to the death of his son was deliberate
rather than accidental. The offense therefore was not only homicide but murder since the accused took
advantage of the neophyte's helplessness implying abuse of confidence, taking advantage of superior strength
and treachery.
b. He consented to the accused's plea of guilt to the lesser offense of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide
only out of pity for the mothers of the accused and a pregnant wife of one of the accused who went to their
house on Christmas day 1991 and Maundy Thursday 1992, literally on their knees, crying and begging for
forgiveness and compassion. They also told him that the father of one of the accused had died of a heart attack
upon learning of his son's involvement in the incident.
c. As a Christian, he has forgiven petitioner and his co-accused for the death of his son. However, as a loving
father who had lost a son whom he had hoped would succeed him in his law practice, he still feels the pain of
an untimely demise and the stigma of the gruesome manner of his death.
d. He is not in a position to say whether petitioner is now morally fit for admission to the bar. He therefore
submits the matter to the sound discretion of the Court.
The practice of law is a privilege granted only to those who possess the strict intellectual and moral
qualifications required of lawyers who are instruments in the effective and efficient administration of justice.
It is the sworn duty of this Court not only to "weed out" lawyers who have become a disgrace to the noble
profession of the law but, also of equal importance, to prevent "misfits" from taking the lawyer's oath, thereby
further tarnishing the public image of lawyers which in recent years has undoubtedly become less than
irreproachable.
The resolution of the issue before us required weighing and reweighing of the reasons for allowing or
disallowing petitioner's admission to the practice of law. The senseless beatings inflicted upon Raul Camaligan
constituted evident absence of that moral fitness required for admission to the bar since they were totally
irresponsible, irrelevant and uncalled for.
In the 13 July 1995 resolution in this case we stated:
. . . participation in the prolonged and mindless physical behavior, [which] makes impossible a finding that the
participant [herein petitioner] was then possessed of good moral character. 1
In the same resolution, however, we stated that the Court is prepared to consider de novo the question of
whether petitioner has purged himself of the obvious deficiency in moral character referred to above.
Before anything else, the Court understands and shares the sentiment of Atty. Gilbert Camaligan. The death of
one's child is, for a parent, a most traumatic experience. The suffering becomes even more pronounced and
profound in cases where the death is due to causes other than natural or accidental but due to the reckless
imprudence of third parties. The feeling then becomes a struggle between grief and anger directed at the cause
of death.
Atty. Camaligan's statement before the Court- manifesting his having forgiven the accused is no less than
praiseworthy and commendable. It is exceptional for a parent, given the circumstances in this case, to find room
for forgiveness.
However, Atty. Camaligan admits that he is still not in a position to state if petitioner is now morally fit to be a
lawyer.
After a very careful evaluation of this case, we resolve to allow petitioner Al Caparros Argosino to take the
lawyer's oath, sign the Roll of Attorneys and practice the legal profession with the following admonition:
In allowing Mr. Argosino to take the lawyer's oath, the Court recognizes that Mr. Argosino is not inherently of
bad moral fiber. On the contrary, the various certifications show that he is a devout Catholic with a genuine
concern for civic duties and public service.
The Court is persuaded that Mr. Argosino has exerted all efforts to atone for the death of Raul Camaligan. We
are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general tendency of youth to be
rash, temerarious and uncalculating.
We stress to Mr. Argosino that the lawyer's oath is NOT a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law. Every
lawyer should at ALL TIMES weigh his actions according to the sworn promises he makes when taking the
lawyer's oath. If all lawyers conducted themselves strictly according to the lawyer's oath and the Code of
Professional Responsibility, the administration of justice will undoubtedly be faster, fairer and easier for
everyone concerned.

The Court sincerely hopes that Mr. Argosino will continue with the assistance he has been giving to his
community. As a lawyer he will now be in a better position to render legal and other services to the more
unfortunate members of society.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, petitioner Al Caparros Argosino is hereby ALLOWED to take the lawyer's oath on a
date to be set by the Court, to sign the Roll of Attorneys and, thereafter, to practice the legal profession.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, C.J., Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Francisco,
Hermosisima, Jr., Panganiban and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1 Resolution, p. 8.

People vs. Maceda
No digest
THIRD DIVISION
[G.R. Nos. 89591-96. January 24, 2000]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA, Presiding Judge of Branch 12,
Regional Trial Court of Antique, and AVELINO T. JAVELLANA, respondents. ULANDU
RESOLUTION
PARDO, J.:
On September 8, 1999, we denied the People’s motion seeking reconsideration of our August 13, 1990 decision
in these cases. In said resolution, we held that respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda committed no grave
abuse of discretion in issuing the order of August 8, 1989 giving custody over private respondent Avelino T.
Javellana to the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, Atty. Deogracias del
Rosario, during the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At that time, sufficient reason was shown why
private respondent Javellana should not be detained at the Antique Provincial Jail. The trial court’s order
specifically provided for private respondent’s detention at the residence of Atty. del Rosario. However, private
respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam around but was to be held as detention prisoner in said
residence.
This order of the trial court was not strictly complied with because private respondent was not detained in the
residence of Atty. Del Rosario. He went about his normal activities as if he were a free man, including engaging
in the practice of law. Despite our resolution of July 30, 1990 prohibiting private respondent to appear as
counsel in Criminal Case No. 4262,[1] the latter accepted cases and continued practicing law.
On April 7, 1997, Senior State Prosecutor Henrick F. Guingoyon filed with the Supreme Court a motion seeking
clarification on the following questions: "(1) Does the resolution of this Honorable Court dated July 30, 1990,
prohibiting Atty. Javellana from appearing as counsel refer only to Criminal Case No. 4262? (2) Is Atty. now
(Judge) Deogracias del Rosario still the custodian of Atty. Javellana? and (3) Since it appears that Atty. (now
Judge) del Rosario never really held and detained Atty. Javellana as prisoner in his residence, is not Atty.
Javellana considered an escapee or a fugitive of justice for which warrant for his arrest should forthwith be
issued?"[2] MisÓ spped
In a resolution dated June 18, 1997, we "noted" the above motion.
After we denied the motion for reconsideration on September 8, 1999, the trial court resumed hearing Criminal
Cases Nos. 3350-3355. Earlier, on August 2, 1999, Rolando Mijares filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch

12, San Jose, Antique, a motion seeking the revocation of the trial court’s custody order and the imprisonment
of private respondent Javellana in the provincial jail.
On November 15, 1999, private respondent Javellana filed with the Supreme Court an urgent motion seeking
to clarify whether the June 18, 1997 resolution finally terminated or resolved the motion for clarification filed
by the State Prosecutor on April 7, 1997.
Private respondent Javellana has been arrested based on the filing of criminal cases against him. By such arrest,
he is deemed to be under the custody of the law. The trial court gave Atty. Deogracias del Rosario the custody
of private respondent Javellana with the obligation "to hold and detain" him in Atty. del Rosario’s residence in
his official capacity as the clerk of court of the regional trial court. Hence, when Atty. del Rosario was appointed
judge, he ceased to be the personal custodian of accused Javellana and the succeeding clerk of court must be
deemed the custodian under the same undertaking.
In our mind, the perceived threats to private respondent Javelana’s life no longer exist. Thus, the trial court’s
order dated August 8, 1989 giving custody over him to the clerk of court must be recalled, and he shall be
detained at the Provincial Jail of Antique at San Jose, Antique.
Regarding his continued practice of law, as a detention prisoner private respondent Javellana is not allowed to
practice his profession as a necessary consequence of his status as a detention prisoner. The trial court’s order
was clear that private respondent "is not to be allowed liberty to roam around but is to be held as a detention
prisoner." The prohibition to practice law referred not only to Criminal Case No. 4262, but to all other cases as
well, except in cases where private respondent would appear in court to defend himself. Sppedâ
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for an offense is arrested, he is deemed placed under the custody of
the law. He is placed in actual restraint of liberty in jail so that he may be bound to answer for the commission
of the offense.[3] He must be detained in jail during the pendency of the case against him, unless he is
authorized by the court to be released on bail or on recognizance.[4] Let it be stressed that all prisoners
whether under preventive detention or serving final sentence can not practice their profession nor engage in
any business or occupation, or hold office, elective or appointive, while in detention. This is a necessary
consequence of arrest and detention. Consequently, all the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355 must be
confined in the Provincial Jail of Antique.
Considering that the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355 has dragged on for more than ten (10) years,
the presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, is ordered to continue with the
trial of said criminal cases with all deliberate dispatch and to avoid further delay.
WHEREFORE, the August 8, 1989 order of the trial court is hereby SET ASIDE. All accused in Criminal Cases
Nos. 3350-3355, including Avelino T. Javellana and Arturo F. Pacificador are ordered detained at the Provincial
Jail of Antique, San Jose, Antique, effective immediately, and shall not be allowed to go out of the jail for any
reason or guise, except upon prior written permission of the trial court for a lawful purpose.
Let copies of this resolution be given to the Provincial Director, PNP Antique Provincial Police Office, San Jose,
Antique and to the Provincial Jail Warden, Provincial Jail of Antique, San Jose, Antique.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Puno, Kapunan, and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.2/17/00 9:54 AM

[1] During the pendency of G. R. No. 89591-96, on July 16, 1990, private respondent Avelino T. Javellana filed a
motion seeking permission from this Court to be allowed to appear as counsel for accused Norberto Patino in
Criminal Case No. 4262, then pending before Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique. This Court
denied his motion and ruled that being a detention prisoner, he cannot be allowed to appear as counsel for the
aforesaid accused. Rollo, p. 510.

Admission to the Practice of Law
Sources:
Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. - Every applicant for admission as a
member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character,
and a resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good
moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in
any court in the Philippines.
Sec. 5. Additional requirements 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 regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law
school or university, officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the
candidate, accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such
facts, and further evidence may be required by the court.
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the following
courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial
law, criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical
jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics
Sec. 6. Pre-Law. - No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a
certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of law, he 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 bachelor's
degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science,
logic, english, spanish, history and economics.

Cases:
IN RE: ALMACEN (31 SCRA 562 2/18/70)
FACTS:
Atty. Almecen is the counsel of Calero in the case of Yaptinchay vs. Calero. The trial court, after the hearing
rendered judgment against his client he moved for reconsideration (MR) and served copy of the motion to the
adverse party but failed to notify the latter of the date and place of the hearing. In the CA, the court moved to
also dismiss the case for the reason that the MR does not contain a notice of time and place of hearing and is
nothing but a useless piece of paper. The SC refused to take the case and in a minute resolution denied the
appeal.
Then, he filed the “Petition to Surrender Lawyer’s Certificate of Title,” filed on Sept. 26, 1967, in protest against
what he therein asserts is “a great injustice committed against his client by Supreme Court”. He indicts SC, in
his own phrase, as a tribunal “peopled by men who are calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without
reasons their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity.” His
client’s he continues, who was deeply aggrieved by this Court’s “unjust judgment,” has become one of the
sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy.”
He ridicules the members of the Court, saying “that justice as administered by the present members of the
Supreme Court is not only blind, but also deaf and dumb.” He then vows to argue the cause of his client”in the
people’s forum,” so that “people may know of the silent injustices committed by this court’ and that “whatever
mistakes, wrongs and injustices that were committed must never be repeated.” He ends his petition with a
prayer that:
“………a resolution issue ordering the Clerk of Court to receive the certificate of the undersigned attorney that
at any time in the future and in the event we regain our faith and confidence, we may retrieve our title to assume
the practice of the noblest profession.”

The court asked Atty. Almacen to show cause why no disciplinary actions must be taken against him. Atty.
Almacen asked that he be given permission to give his answer in an open and public hearing. He reasoned that
since the court is the complainant, prosecutor and judge, he preferred that he answer and be heard in an open
and public hearing so that the court could observe its sincerity and candor.
The court allowed Atty. Almacen to file a written answer and thereafter be heard in an oral argument. But his
written answer offers no apology but is full of sarcasm and innuendo.
ISSUE:
W/N Atty Almacen is guilty
HELD:
YES. He is indefinitely suspended until further order form the SC.
Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as citizen, to criticize in properly
respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges. The decisions of the court a
public property and the press and the people have the undoubted right to comment on them, criticize and
censure them as they see fit. BUT it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide and
shall not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the one
hand, and abuse and slander of courts and justices thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a
gross violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is such misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary
action.
In his relations with the court, a lawyer may not divide his personality so as to be an attorney at one time and
a mere citizen at another. Statements made by an attorney in a private conversation or in the course of political
campaign, if couched in insulting language as to bring scorn and disrepute to the administration of justice may
subject the attorney to disciplinary action. Post-litigation utterances or publication made by lawyers, critical of
the courts and their judicial actions, whether amounting to a crime or not, which transcends the permissible
bounds of fair comments and legitimate criticism constitute grave professional misconduct.
There is no comfort in the argument of Atty. Almacen that his utterances were made after the judgments against
his client attained finality. He could still be liable for contempt as if it had been perpetrated during the pendency
of the said appeal. The pendency or non-pendency of a case in court is of no consequence. The sole objective of
the proceeding is to preserve the purity of the legal profession.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-27654 February 18, 1970
IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ATTY. VICENTE RAUL ALMACEN In
L-27654, ANTONIO H. CALERO,
vs.
VIRGINIA Y. YAPTINCHAY.
RESOLUTION
CASTRO, J.:
Before us is Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen's "Petition to Surrender Lawyer's Certificate of Title," filed on
September 25, 1967, in protest against what he therein asserts is "a great injustice committed against his client
by this Supreme Court." He indicts this Court, in his own phrase, as a tribunal "peopled by men who are
calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without reasons their own applicable decisions and commit
culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity." His client's he continues, who was deeply aggrieved by
this Court's "unjust judgment," has become "one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy." In the
same breath that he alludes to the classic symbol of justice, he ridicules the members of this Court, saying "that

justice as administered by the present members of the Supreme Court is not only blind, but also deaf and
dumb." He then vows to argue the cause of his client "in the people's forum," so that "the people may know of
the silent injustice's committed by this Court," and that "whatever mistakes, wrongs and injustices that were
committed must never be repeated." He ends his petition with a prayer that
... a resolution issue ordering the Clerk of Court to receive the certificate of the undersigned attorney and
counsellor-at-law IN TRUST with reservation that at any time in the future and in the event we regain our faith
and confidence, we may retrieve our title to assume the practice of the noblest profession.
He reiterated and disclosed to the press the contents of the aforementioned petition. Thus, on September 26,
1967, the Manila Times published statements attributed to him, as follows:
Vicente Raul Almacen, in an unprecedented petition, said he did it to expose the tribunal's "unconstitutional
and obnoxious" practice of arbitrarily denying petitions or appeals without any reason.
Because of the tribunal's "short-cut justice," Almacen deplored, his client was condemned to pay P120,000,
without knowing why he lost the case.
xxx xxx xxx
There is no use continuing his law practice, Almacen said in this petition, "where our Supreme Court is
composed of men who are calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without reason their own applicable
decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity.
xxx xxx xxx
He expressed the hope that by divesting himself of his title by which he earns his living, the present members
of the Supreme Court "will become responsive to all cases brought to its attention without discrimination, and
will purge itself of those unconstitutional and obnoxious "lack of merit" or "denied resolutions. (Emphasis
supplied)
Atty. Almacen's statement that
... our own Supreme Court is composed of men who are calloused to our pleas of [sic] justice, who ignore their
own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity
was quoted by columnist Vicente Albano Pacis in the issue of the Manila Chronicle of September 28, 1967. In
connection therewith, Pacis commented that Atty. Almacen had "accused the high tribunal of offenses so
serious that the Court must clear itself," and that "his charge is one of the constitutional bases for
impeachment."
The genesis of this unfortunate incident was a civil case entitled Virginia Y. Yaptinchay vs. Antonio H. Calero,1
in which Atty. Almacen was counsel for the defendant. The trial court, after due hearing, rendered judgment
against his client. On June 15, 1966 Atty. Almacen received a copy of the decision. Twenty days later, or on July
5, 1966, he moved for its reconsideration. He served on the adverse counsel a copy of the motion, but did not
notify the latter of the time and place of hearing on said motion. Meanwhile, on July 18, 1966, the plaintiff moved
for execution of the judgment. For "lack of proof of service," the trial court denied both motions. To prove that
he did serve on the adverse party a copy of his first motion for reconsideration, Atty. Almacen filed on August
17, 1966 a second motion for reconsideration to which he attached the required registry return card. This
second motion for reconsideration, however, was ordered withdrawn by the trial court on August 30, 1966,
upon verbal motion of Atty. Almacen himself, who, earlier, that is, on August 22, 1966, had already perfected
the appeal. Because the plaintiff interposed no objection to the record on appeal and appeal bond, the trial court
elevated the case to the Court of Appeals.
But the Court of Appeals, on the authority of this Court's decision in Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Batu
Construction & Co., L-16636, June 24, 1965, dismissed the appeal, in the following words:
Upon consideration of the motion dated March 27, 1967, filed by plaintiff-appellee praying that the appeal be
dismissed, and of the opposition thereto filed by defendant-appellant; the Court RESOLVED TO DISMISS, as it
hereby dismisses, the appeal, for the reason that the motion for reconsideration dated July 5, 1966 (pp. 90-113,
printed record on appeal) does not contain a notice of time and place of hearing thereof and is, therefore, a
useless piece of paper (Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Batu Construction & Co., G.R. No. L-16636, June 24,
1965), which did not interrupt the running of the period to appeal, and, consequently, the appeal was perfected
out of time.
Atty. Almacen moved to reconsider this resolution, urging that Manila Surety & Fidelity Co. is not decisive. At
the same time he filed a pleading entitled "Latest decision of the Supreme Court in Support of Motion for
Reconsideration," citing Republic of the Philippines vs. Gregorio A. Venturanza, L-20417, decided by this Court
on May 30, 1966, as the applicable case. Again, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration,
thus:

Before this Court for resolution are the motion dated May 9, 1967 and the supplement thereto of the same date
filed by defendant- appellant, praying for reconsideration of the resolution of May 8, 1967, dismissing the
appeal.
Appellant contends that there are some important distinctions between this case and that of Manila Surety and
Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Batu Construction & Co., G.R. No. L- 16636, June 24, 1965, relied upon by this Court in its
resolution of May 8, 1967. Appellant further states that in the latest case, Republic vs. Venturanza, L-20417,
May 30, 1966, decided by the Supreme Court concerning the question raised by appellant's motion, the ruling
is contrary to the doctrine laid down in the Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. case.
There is no substantial distinction between this case and that of Manila Surety & Fidelity Co.
In the case of Republic vs. Venturanza, the resolution denying the motion to dismiss the appeal, based on
grounds similar to those raised herein was issued on November 26, 1962, which was much earlier than the
date of promulgation of the decision in the Manila Surety Case, which was June 24, 1965. Further, the resolution
in the Venturanza case was interlocutory and the Supreme Court issued it "without prejudice to appellee's
restoring the point in the brief." In the main decision in said case (Rep. vs. Venturanza the Supreme Court
passed upon the issue sub silencio presumably because of its prior decisions contrary to the resolution of
November 26, 1962, one of which is that in the Manila Surety and Fidelity case. Therefore Republic vs.
Venturanza is no authority on the matter in issue.
Atty. Almacen then appealed to this Court by certiorari. We refused to take the case, and by minute resolution
denied the appeal. Denied shortly thereafter was his motion for reconsideration as well as his petition for leave
to file a second motion for reconsideration and for extension of time. Entry of judgment was made on
September 8, 1967. Hence, the second motion for reconsideration filed by him after the Said date was ordered
expunged from the records.
It was at this juncture that Atty. Almacen gave vent to his disappointment by filing his "Petition to Surrender
Lawyer's Certificate of Title," already adverted to — a pleading that is interspersed from beginning to end with
the insolent contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and derogatory remarks hereinbefore reproduced, against
this Court as well as its individual members, a behavior that is as unprecedented as it is unprofessional.
Nonetheless we decided by resolution dated September 28, 1967 to withhold action on his petition until he
shall have actually surrendered his certificate. Patiently, we waited for him to make good his proffer. No word
came from him. So he was reminded to turn over his certificate, which he had earlier vociferously offered to
surrender, so that this Court could act on his petition. To said reminder he manifested "that he has no pending
petition in connection with Case G.R. No. L-27654, Calero vs. Yaptinchay, said case is now final and executory;"
that this Court's September 28, 1967 resolution did not require him to do either a positive or negative act; and
that since his offer was not accepted, he "chose to pursue the negative act."
In the exercise of its inherent power to discipline a member of the bar for contumely and gross misconduct,
this Court on November 17, 1967 resolved to require Atty. Almacen to show cause "why no disciplinary action
should be taken against him." Denying the charges contained in the November 17 resolution, he asked for
permission "to give reasons and cause why no disciplinary action should be taken against him ... in an open and
public hearing." This Court resolved (on December 7) "to require Atty. Almacen to state, within five days from
notice hereof, his reasons for such request, otherwise, oral argument shall be deemed waived and incident
submitted for decision." To this resolution he manifested that since this Court is "the complainant, prosecutor
and Judge," he preferred to be heard and to answer questions "in person and in an open and public hearing" so
that this Court could observe his sincerity and candor. He also asked for leave to file a written explanation "in
the event this Court has no time to hear him in person." To give him the ampliest latitude for his defense, he
was allowed to file a written explanation and thereafter was heard in oral argument.
His written answer, as undignified and cynical as it is unchastened, offers -no apology. Far from being contrite
Atty. Almacen unremittingly repeats his jeremiad of lamentations, this time embellishing it with abundant
sarcasm and innuendo. Thus:
At the start, let me quote passages from the Holy Bible, Chapter 7, St. Matthew: —
"Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with
what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you. But why dost thou see the speck in thy brother's eye,
and yet dost not consider the beam in thy own eye? Or how can thou say to thy brother, "Let me cast out the
speck from thy eye"; and behold, there is a beam in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam from
thy own eye, and then thou wilt see clearly to cast out the speck from thy brother's eyes."
"Therefore all that you wish men to do to you, even to do you also to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets."
xxx xxx xxx

Your respondent has no intention of disavowing the statements mentioned in his petition. On the contrary, he
refirms the truth of what he stated, compatible with his lawyer's oath that he will do no falsehood, nor consent
to the doing of any in court. But he vigorously DENY under oath that the underscored statements contained in
the CHARGE are insolent, contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and derogatory to the individual members of the
Court; that they tend to bring the entire Court, without justification, into disrepute; and constitute conduct
unbecoming of a member of the noble profession of law.
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent stands four-square that his statement is borne by TRUTH and has been asserted with NO MALICE
BEFORE AND AFTER THOUGHT but mainly motivated with the highest interest of justice that in the particular
case of our client, the members have shown callousness to our various pleas for JUSTICE, our pleadings will
bear us on this matter, ...
xxx xxx xxx
To all these beggings, supplications, words of humility, appeals for charity, generosity, fairness, understanding,
sympathy and above all in the highest interest of JUSTICE, — what did we get from this COURT? One word,
DENIED, with all its hardiness and insensibility. That was the unfeeling of the Court towards our pleas and
prayers, in simple word, it is plain callousness towards our particular case.
xxx xxx xxx
Now that your respondent has the guts to tell the members of the Court that notwithstanding the violation of
the Constitution, you remained unpunished, this Court in the reverse order of natural things, is now in the
attempt to inflict punishment on your respondent for acts he said in good faith.
Did His Honors care to listen to our pleadings and supplications for JUSTICE, CHARITY, GENEROSITY and
FAIRNESS? Did His Honors attempt to justify their stubborn denial with any semblance of reason, NEVER. Now
that your respondent is given the opportunity to face you, he reiterates the same statement with emphasis, DID
YOU? Sir. Is this. the way of life in the Philippines today, that even our own President, said: — "the story is
current, though nebulous ,is to its truth, it is still being circulated that justice in the Philippines today is not
what it is used to be before the war. There are those who have told me frankly and brutally that justice is a
commodity, a marketable commodity in the Philippines."
xxx xxx xxx
We condemn the SIN, not the SINNER. We detest the ACTS, not the ACTOR. We attack the decision of this Court,
not the members. ... We were provoked. We were compelled by force of necessity. We were angry but we waited
for the finality of the decision. We waited until this Court has performed its duties. We never interfered nor
obstruct in the performance of their duties. But in the end, after seeing that the Constitution has placed finality
on your judgment against our client and sensing that you have not performed your duties with "circumspection,
carefulness, confidence and wisdom", your Respondent rise to claim his God given right to speak the truth and
his Constitutional right of free speech.
xxx xxx xxx
The INJUSTICES which we have attributed to this Court and the further violations we sought to be prevented is
impliedly shared by our President. ... .
xxx xxx xxx
What has been abhored and condemned, are the very things that were applied to us. Recalling Madam Roland's
famous apostrophe during the French revolution, "O Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name", we may
dare say, "O JUSTICE, what technicalities are committed in thy name' or more appropriately, 'O JUSTICE, what
injustices are committed in thy name."
xxx xxx xxx
We must admit that this Court is not free from commission of any abuses, but who would correct such abuses
considering that yours is a court of last resort. A strong public opinion must be generated so as to curtail these
abuses.
xxx xxx xxx
The phrase, Justice is blind is symbolize in paintings that can be found in all courts and government offices. We
have added only two more symbols, that it is also deaf and dumb. Deaf in the sense that no members of this
Court has ever heard our cries for charity, generosity, fairness, understanding sympathy and for justice; dumb
in the sense, that inspite of our beggings, supplications, and pleadings to give us reasons why our appeal has
been DENIED, not one word was spoken or given ... We refer to no human defect or ailment in the above
statement. We only describe the. impersonal state of things and nothing more.
xxx xxx xxx

As we have stated, we have lost our faith and confidence in the members of this Court and for which reason we
offered to surrender our lawyer's certificate, IN TRUST ONLY. Because what has been lost today may be
regained tomorrow. As the offer was intended as our self-imposed sacrifice, then we alone may decide as to
when we must end our self-sacrifice. If we have to choose between forcing ourselves to have faith and
confidence in the members of the Court but disregard our Constitution and to uphold the Constitution and be
condemned by the members of this Court, there is no choice, we must uphold the latter.
But overlooking, for the nonce, the vituperative chaff which he claims is not intended as a studied disrespect to
this Court, let us examine the grain of his grievances.
He chafes at the minute resolution denial of his petition for review. We are quite aware of the criticisms2
expressed against this Court's practice of rejecting petitions by minute resolutions. We have been asked to do
away with it, to state the facts and the law, and to spell out the reasons for denial. We have given this suggestion
very careful thought. For we know the abject frustration of a lawyer who tediously collates the facts and for
many weary hours meticulously marshalls his arguments, only to have his efforts rebuffed with a terse
unadorned denial. Truth to tell, however, most petitions rejected by this Court are utterly frivolous and ought
never to have been lodged at all.3 The rest do exhibit a first-impression cogency, but fail to, withstand critical
scrutiny. By and large, this Court has been generous in giving due course to petitions for certiorari.
Be this as it may, were we to accept every case or write a full opinion for every petition we reject, we would be
unable to carry out effectively the burden placed upon us by the Constitution. The proper role of the Supreme
Court, as Mr. Chief Justice Vinson of the U.S. Supreme Court has defined it, is to decide "only those cases which
present questions whose resolutions will have immediate importance beyond the particular facts and parties
involved." Pertinent here is the observation of Mr. Justice Frankfurter in Maryland vs. Baltimore Radio Show,
94 L. ed 562, 566:
A variety of considerations underlie denials of the writ, and as to the same petition different reasons may read
different justices to the same result ... .
Since there are these conflicting, and, to the uninformed, even confusing reasons for denying petitions for
certiorari, it has been suggested from time to time that the Court indicate its reasons for denial. Practical
considerations preclude. In order that the Court may be enabled to discharge its indispensable duties, Congress
has placed the control of the Court's business, in effect, within the Court's discretion. During the last three terms
the Court disposed of 260, 217, 224 cases, respectively, on their merits. For the same three terms the Court
denied, respectively, 1,260, 1,105,1,189 petitions calling for discretionary review. If the Court is to do its work
it would not be feasible to give reasons, however brief, for refusing to take these cases. The tune that would be
required is prohibitive. Apart from the fact that as already indicated different reasons not infrequently move
different members of the Court in concluding that a particular case at a particular time makes review
undesirable.
Six years ago, in Novino, et al., vs. Court of Appeals, et al., 1,21098, May 31, 1963 (60 O.G. 8099), this Court,
through the then Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon, articulated its considered view on this matter. There, the
petitioners counsel urged that a "lack of merit" resolution violates Section 12 of Article VIII of the Constitution.
Said Chief Justice Bengzon:
In connection with identical short resolutions, the same question has been raised before; and we held that these
"resolutions" are not "decisions" within the above constitutional requirement. They merely hold that the
petition for review should not be entertained in view of the provisions of Rule 46 of the Rules of Court; and
even ordinary lawyers have all this time so understood it. It should be remembered that a petition to review
the decision of the Court of Appeals is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion; and so there is no
need to fully explain the court's denial. For one thing, the facts and the law are already mentioned in the Court
of Appeals' opinion.
By the way, this mode of disposal has — as intended — helped the Court in alleviating its heavy docket; it was
patterned after the practice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wherein petitions for review are often merely ordered
"dismissed".
We underscore the fact that cases taken to this Court on petitions for certiorari from the Court of Appeals have
had the benefit of appellate review. Hence, the need for compelling reasons to buttress such petitions if this
Court is to be moved into accepting them. For it is axiomatic that the supervisory jurisdiction vested upon this
Court over the Court of Appeals is not intended to give every losing party another hearing. This axiom is implied
in sec. 4 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which recites:
Review of Court of Appeals' decision discretionary.—A review is not a matter of right but of sound judicial
discretion, and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor. The following, while

neither controlling nor fully measuring the court's discretion, indicate the character of reasons which will be
considered:
(a) When the Court of Appeals has decided a question of substance, not theretofore determined by the Supreme
Court, nor has decided it in a way probably not in accord with law or with the applicable decisions of the
Supreme Court;
(b) When the Court of Appeals has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings,
or so far sanctioned such departure by the lower court, as to call for the exercise of the power of supervision.
Recalling Atty. Almacen's petition for review, we found, upon a thoroughgoing examination of the pleadings.
and records, that the Court of Appeals had fully and correctly considered the dismissal of his appeal in the light
of the law and applicable decisions of this Court. Far from straying away from the "accepted and usual course
of judicial proceedings," it traced the procedural lines etched by this Court in a number of decisions. There was,
therefore, no need for this Court to exercise its supervisory power.
As a law practitioner who was admitted to the Bar as far back as 1941, Atty. Almacen knew — or ought to have
known — that for a motion for reconsideration to stay the running of the period of appeal, the movant must
not only serve a copy of the motion upon the adverse party (which he did), but also notify the adverse party of
the time and place of hearing (which admittedly he did not). This rule was unequivocally articulated in Manila
Surety & Fidelity vs. Batu Construction & Co., supra:
The written notice referred to evidently is prescribed for motions in general by Rule 15, Sections 4 and 5
(formerly Rule 26), which provides that such notice shall state the time, and place of hearing and shall be served
upon all the Parties concerned at least three days in advance. And according to Section 6 of the same Rule no
motion shall be acted upon by the court without proof of such notice. Indeed it has been held that in such a case
the motion is nothing but a useless piece of paper (Philippine National Bank v. Damasco, I,18638, Feb. 28, 1963;
citing Manakil v. Revilla, 42 Phil. 81; Roman Catholic Bishop of Lipa v. Municipality of Unisan, 41 Phil. 866; and
Director of Lands vs. Sanz, 45 Phil. 117). The reason is obvious: Unless the movant sets the time and place of
hearing the Court would have no way to determine whether that party agrees to or objects to the motion, and
if he objects, to hear him on his objection, since the Rules themselves do not fix any period within which he may
file his reply or opposition.
If Atty. Almacen failed to move the appellate court to review the lower court's judgment, he has only himself to
blame. His own negligence caused the forfeiture of the remedy of appeal, which, incidentally, is not a matter of
right. To shift away from himself the consequences of his carelessness, he looked for a "whipping boy." But he
made sure that he assumed the posture of a martyr, and, in offering to surrender his professional certificate, he
took the liberty of vilifying this Court and inflicting his exacerbating rancor on the members thereof. It would
thus appear that there is no justification for his scurrilous and scandalous outbursts.
Nonetheless we gave this unprecedented act of Atty. Almacen the most circumspect consideration. We know
that it is natural for a lawyer to express his dissatisfaction each time he loses what he sanguinely believes to be
a meritorious case. That is why lawyers are given 'wide latitude to differ with, and voice their disapproval of,
not only the courts' rulings but, also the manner in which they are handed down.
Moreover, every citizen has the right to comment upon and criticize the actuations of public officers. This right
is not diminished by the fact that the criticism is aimed at a judicial authority,4 or that it is articulated by a
lawyer.5 Such right is especially recognized where the criticism concerns a concluded litigation,6 because then
the court's actuations are thrown open to public consumption.7 "Our decisions and all our official actions," said
the Supreme Court of Nebraska,8 "are public property, and the press and the people have the undoubted right
to comment on them, criticize and censure them as they see fit. Judicial officers, like other public servants, must
answer for their official actions before the chancery of public opinion."
The likely danger of confusing the fury of human reaction to an attack on one's integrity, competence and
honesty, with "imminent danger to the administration of justice," is the reason why courts have been loath to
inflict punishment on those who assail their actuations.9 This danger lurks especially in such a case as this
where those who Sit as members of an entire Court are themselves collectively the aggrieved parties.
Courts thus treat with forbearance and restraint a lawyer who vigorously assails their actuations. 10 For
courageous and fearless advocates are the strands that weave durability into the tapestry of justice. Hence, as
citizen and officer of the court, every lawyer is expected not only to exercise the right, but also to consider it
his duty to expose the shortcomings and indiscretions of courts and judges. 11
Courts and judges are not sacrosanct. 12 They should and expect critical evaluation of their performance. 13
For like the executive and the legislative branches, the judiciary is rooted in the soil of democratic society,
nourished by the periodic appraisal of the citizens whom it is expected to serve.

Well-recognized therefore is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as a citizen, to criticize in
properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges. The reason is that
An attorney does not surrender, in assuming the important place accorded to him in the administration of
justice, his right as a citizen to criticize the decisions of the courts in a fair and respectful manner, and the
independence of the bar, as well as of the judiciary, has always been encouraged by the courts. (In re Ades, 6 F
Supp. 487) .
Criticism of the courts has, indeed, been an important part of the traditional work of the bar. In the prosecution
of appeals, he points out the errors of lower courts. In written for law journals he dissects with detachment the
doctrinal pronouncements of courts and fearlessly lays bare for -all to see that flaws and inconsistence" of the
doctrines (Hill v. Lyman, 126 NYS 2d 286). As aptly stated by Chief Justice Sharswood in Ex Parte Steinman, 40
Am. Rep. 641:
No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expansion or publication of opinions as to the
capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities for
observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. ... To say that an
attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his
profession and livelihood, by the judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a
position too monstrous to be
entertained. ... .
Hence, as a citizen and as Officer of the court a lawyer is expected not only to exercise the right, but also to
consider it his duty to avail of such right. No law may abridge this right. Nor is he "professionally answerable
for a scrutiny into the official conduct of the judges, which would not expose him to legal animadversion as a
citizen." (Case of Austin, 28 Am. Dee. 657, 665).
Above all others, the members of the bar have the beat Opportunity to become conversant with the character
and efficiency of our judges. No class is less likely to abuse the privilege, as no other class has as great an interest
in the preservation of an able and upright bench. (State Board of Examiners in Law v. Hart, 116 N.W. 212, 216)
To curtail the right of a lawyer to be critical of the foibles of courts and judges is to seal the lips of those in the
best position to give advice and who might consider it their duty to speak disparagingly. "Under such a rule,"
so far as the bar is concerned, "the merits of a sitting judge may be rehearsed, but as to his demerits there must
be profound silence." (State v. Circuit Court, 72 N.W. 196)
But it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of
decency and propriety. A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the One hand, and abuse and slander of
courts and the judges thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross violation of the duty of
respect to courts. It is Such a misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action.
For, membership in the Bar imposes upon a person obligations and duties which are not mere flux and ferment.
His investiture into the legal profession places upon his shoulders no burden more basic, more exacting and
more imperative than that of respectful behavior toward the courts. He vows solemnly to conduct himself "with
all good fidelity ... to the courts; 14 and the Rules of Court constantly remind him "to observe and maintain the
respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers." 15 The first canon of legal ethics enjoins him "to maintain
towards the courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but
for the maintenance of its supreme importance."
As Mr. Justice Field puts it:
... the obligation which attorneys impliedly assume, if they do not by express declaration take upon themselves,
when they are admitted to the Bar, is not merely to be obedient to the Constitution and laws, but to maintain
at all times the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers. This obligation is not discharged by merely
observing the rules of courteous demeanor in open court, but includes abstaining out of court from all insulting
language and offensive conduct toward judges personally for their judicial acts. (Bradley, v. Fisher, 20 Law. 4d.
647, 652)
The lawyer's duty to render respectful subordination to the courts is essential to the orderly administration of
justice. Hence, in the — assertion of their clients' rights, lawyers — even those gifted with superior intellect are
enjoined to rein up their tempers.
The counsel in any case may or may not be an abler or more learned lawyer than the judge, and it may tax his
patience and temper to submit to rulings which he regards as incorrect, but discipline and self-respect are as
necessary to the orderly administration of justice as they are to the effectiveness of an army. The decisions of
the judge must be obeyed, because he is the tribunal appointed to decide, and the bar should at all times be the
foremost in rendering respectful submission. (In Re Scouten, 40 Atl. 481)

We concede that a lawyer may think highly of his intellectual endowment That is his privilege. And he may
suffer frustration at what he feels is others' lack of it. That is his misfortune. Some such frame of mind, however,
should not be allowed to harden into a belief that he may attack a court's decision in words calculated to jettison
the time-honored aphorism that courts are the temples of right. (Per Justice Sanchez in Rheem of the
Philippines vs. Ferrer, L-22979. June 26, 1967)
In his relations with the courts, a lawyer may not divide his personality so as to be an attorney at one time and
a mere citizen at another. Thus, statements made by an attorney in private conversations or communications
16 or in the course of a political, campaign, 17 if couched in insulting language as to bring into scorn and
disrepute the administration of justice, may subject the attorney to disciplinary action.
Of fundamental pertinence at this juncture is an examination of relevant parallel precedents.
1. Admitting that a "judge as a public official is neither sacrosanct nor immune to public criticism of his conduct
in office," the Supreme Court of Florida in State v. Calhoon, 102 So. 2d 604, 608, nevertheless declared that "any
conduct of a lawyer which brings into scorn and disrepute the administration of justice demands condemnation
and the application of appropriate penalties," adding that:
It would be contrary to, every democratic theory to hold that a judge or a court is beyond bona fide comments
and criticisms which do not exceed the bounds of decency and truth or which are not aimed at. the destruction
of public confidence in the judicial system as such. However, when the likely impairment of the administration
of justice the direct product of false and scandalous accusations then the rule is otherwise.
2. In In Re Glenn, 130 N.W. 2d 672, an attorney was suspended for putting out and circulating a leaflet entitled
"JUSTICE??? IN OTUMWA," which accused a municipal judge of having committed judicial error, of being so
prejudiced as to deny his clients a fair trial on appeal and of being subject to the control of a group of city
officials. As a prefatory statement he wrote: "They say that Justice is BLIND, but it took Municipal Judge Willard
to prove that it is also DEAF and DUMB!" The court did not hesitate to find that the leaflet went much further
than the accused, as a lawyer, had a right to do.
The entire publication evidences a desire on the part Of the accused to belittle and besmirch the court and to
bring it into disrepute with the general public.
3. In In Re Humphrey, 163 Pac. 60, the Supreme Court of California affirmed the two-year suspension of an
attorney who published a circular assailing a judge who at that time was a candidate for re-election to a judicial
office. The circular which referred to two decisions of the judge concluded with a statement that the judge "used
his judicial office to enable -said bank to keep that money." Said the court:
We are aware that there is a line of authorities which place no limit to the criticism members of the bar may
make regarding the capacity, impartiality, or integrity of the courts, even though it extends to the deliberate
publication by the attorney capable of correct reasoning of baseless insinuations against the intelligence and
integrity of the highest courts. See State Board, etc. v. Hart. 116 N.W. 212, 17 LRA (N.S.) 585, 15 Ann Cas 197
and note: Ex parte Steinman 95 Pac. 220, 40 Am. Rep. 637. In the first case mentioned it was observed, for
instance:
"It may be (although we do not so decide) that a libelous publication by an attorney, directed against a judicial
officer, could be so vile and of such a nature as to justify the disbarment of its author."
Yet the false charges made by an attorney in that case were of graver character than those made by the
respondent here. But, in our view, the better rule is that which requires of those who are permitted to enjoy
the privilege of practicing law the strictest observance at all times of the principles of truth, honesty and
fairness, especially in their criticism of the courts, to the end that the public confidence in the due
administration of justice be upheld, and the dignity and usefulness of the courts be maintained. In re Collins,
81 Pac. 220.
4. In People ex rel Chicago Bar Asso. v. Metzen, 123 N.E. 734, an attorney, representing a woman who had been
granted a divorce, attacked the judge who set aside the decree on bill of review. He wrote the judge a
threatening letter and gave the press the story of a proposed libel suit against the judge and others. The letter
began:
Unless the record in In re Petersen v. Petersen is cleared up so that my name is protected from the libel, lies,
and perjury committed in the cases involved, I shall be compelled to resort to such drastic action as the law
allows and the case warrants.
Further, he said: "However let me assure you I do not intend to allow such dastardly work to go unchallenged,"
and said that he was engaged in dealing with men and not irresponsible political manikins or appearances of
men. Ordering the attorney's disbarment, the Supreme Court of Illinois declared:

... Judges are not exempt from just criticism, and whenever there is proper ground for serious complaint against
a judge, it is the right and duty of a lawyer to submit his grievances to the proper authorities, but the public
interest and the administration of the law demand that the courts should have the confidence and respect of
the people. Unjust criticism, insulting language, and offensive conduct toward the judges personally by
attorneys, who are officers of the court, which tend to bring the courts and the law into disrepute and to destroy
public confidence in their integrity, cannot be permitted. The letter written to the judge was plainly an attempt
to intimidate and influence him in the discharge of judicial functions, and the bringing of the unauthorized suit,
together with the write-up in the Sunday papers, was intended and calculated to bring the court into disrepute
with the public.
5. In a public speech, a Rhode Island lawyer accused the courts of the state of being influenced by corruption
and greed, saying that the seats of the Supreme Court were bartered. It does not appear that the attorney had
criticized any of the opinions or decisions of the Court. The lawyer was charged with unprofessional conduct,
and was ordered suspended for a period of two years. The Court said:
A calumny of that character, if believed, would tend to weaken the authority of the court against whose
members it was made, bring its judgments into contempt, undermine its influence as an unbiased arbiter of the
people's right, and interfere with the administration of justice. ...
Because a man is a member of the bar the court will not, under the guise of disciplinary proceedings, deprive
him of any part of that freedom of speech which he possesses as a citizen. The acts and decisions of the courts
of this state, in cases that have reached final determination, are not exempt from fair and honest comment and
criticism. It is only when an attorney transcends the limits of legitimate criticism that he will be held
responsible for an abuse of his liberty of speech. We well understand that an independent bar, as well as
independent court, is always a vigilant defender of civil rights. In Re Troy, 111 Atl. 723. 725.
6. In In Re Rockmore, 111 NYS 879, an attorney was suspended for six months for submitting to an appellate
court an affidavit reflecting upon the judicial integrity of the court from which the appeal was taken. Such
action, the Court said, constitutes unprofessional conduct justifying suspension from practice, notwithstanding
that he fully retracted and withdrew the statements, and asserted that the affidavit was the result of an impulse
caused by what he considered grave injustice. The Court said:
We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that there is a growing habit in the profession of criticising the motives and
integrity of judicial officers in the discharge of their duties, and thereby reflecting on the administration of
justice and creating the impression that judicial action is influenced by corrupt or improper motives. Every
attorney of this court, as well as every other citizen, has the right and it is his duty, to submit charges to the
authorities in whom is vested the power to remove judicial officers for any conduct or act of a judicial officer
that tends to show a violation of his duties, or would justify an inference that he is false to his trust, or has
improperly administered the duties devolved upon him; and such charges to the tribunal, if based upon
reasonable inferences, will be encouraged, and the person making them
protected. ... While we recognize the inherent right of an attorney in a case decided against him, or the right of
the Public generally, to criticise the decisions of the courts, or the reasons announced for them, the habit of
criticising the motives of judicial officers in the performance of their official duties, when the proceeding is not
against the officers whose acts or motives are criticised, tends to subvert the confidence of the community in
the courts of justice and in the administration of justice; and when such charges are made by officers of the
courts, who are bound by their duty to protect the administration of justice, the attorney making such charges
is guilty of professional misconduct.
7. In In Re Mitchell, 71 So. 467, a lawyer published this statement:
I accepted the decision in this case, however, with patience, barring possible temporary observations more or
less vituperative and finally concluded, that, as my clients were foreigners, it might have been expecting too
much to look for a decision in their favor against a widow residing here.
The Supreme Court of Alabama declared that:
... the expressions above set out, not only transcend the bounds of propriety and privileged criticism, but are
an unwarranted attack, direct, or by insinuation and innuendo, upon the motives and integrity of this court,
and make out a prima facie case of improper conduct upon the part of a lawyer who holds a license from this
court and who is under oath to demean himself with all good fidelity to the court as well as to his client.
The charges, however, were dismissed after the attorney apologized to the Court.
8. In State ex rel. Dabney v. Breckenridge, 258 Pac. 747, an attorney published in a newspaper an article in
which he impugned the motives of the court and its members to try a case, charging the court of having

arbitrarily and for a sinister purpose undertaken to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The Court suspended
the respondent for 30 days, saying that:
The privileges which the law gives to members of the bar is one most subversive of the public good, if the
conduct of such members does not measure up to the requirements of the law itself, as well as to the ethics of
the profession. ...
The right of free speech and free discussion as to judicial determination is of prime importance under our
system and ideals of government. No right thinking man would concede for a moment that the best interest to
private citizens, as well as to public officials, whether he labors in a judicial capacity or otherwise, would be
served by denying this right of free speech to any individual. But such right does not have as its corollary that
members of the bar who are sworn to act honestly and honorably both with their client and with the courts
where justice is administered, if administered at all, could ever properly serve their client or the public good
by designedly misstating facts or carelessly asserting the law. Truth and honesty of purpose by members of the
bar in such discussion is necessary. The health of a municipality is none the less impaired by a polluted water
supply than is the health of the thought of a community toward the judiciary by the filthy wanton, and malignant
misuse of members of the bar of the confidence the public, through its duly established courts, has reposed in
them to deal with the affairs of the private individual, the protection of whose rights he lends his strength and
money to maintain the judiciary. For such conduct on the part of the members of the bar the law itself demands
retribution — not the court.
9. In Bar Ass'n of San Francisco v. Philbrook, 170 Pac. 440, the filing of an affidavit by an attorney in a pending
action using in respect to the several judges the terms criminal corrupt, and wicked conspiracies,," "criminal
confederates," "colossal and confident insolence," "criminal prosecution," "calculated brutality," "a corrupt
deadfall," and similar phrases, was considered conduct unbecoming of a member of the bar, and the name of
the erring lawyer was ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys.
10. In State Board of Examiners v. Hart, 116 N.W. 215, the erring attorney claimed that greater latitude should
be allowed in case of criticism of cases finally adjudicated than in those pending. This lawyer wrote a personal
letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Minnesota impugning both the intelligence and the integrity
of the said Chief Justice and his associates in the decisions of certain appeals in which he had been attorney for
the defeated litigants. The letters were published in a newspaper. One of the letters contained this paragraph:
You assigned it (the property involved) to one who has no better right to it than the burglar to his plunder. It
seems like robbing a widow to reward a fraud, with the court acting as a fence, or umpire, watchful and vigilant
that the widow got no undue
advantage. ... The point is this: Is a proper motive for the decisions discoverable, short of assigning to the court
emasculated intelligence, or a constipation of morals and faithlessness to duty? If the state bar association, or
a committee chosen from its rank, or the faculty of the University Law School, aided by the researches of its
hundreds of bright, active students, or if any member of the court, or any other person, can formulate a
statement of a correct motive for the decision, which shall not require fumigation before it is stated, and
quarantine after it is made, it will gratify every right-minded citizen of the state to read it.
The Supreme Court of Minnesota, in ordering the suspension of the attorney for six months, delivered its
opinion as follows:
The question remains whether the accused was guilty of professional misconduct in sending to the Chief Justice
the letter addressed to him. This was done, as we have found, for the very purpose of insulting him and the
other justices of this court; and the insult was so directed to the Chief Justice personally because of acts done
by him and his associates in their official capacity. Such a communication, so made, could never subserve any
good purpose. Its only effect in any case would be to gratify the spite of an angry attorney and humiliate the
officers so assailed. It would not and could not ever enlighten the public in regard to their judicial capacity or
integrity. Nor was it an exercise by the accused of any constitutional right, or of any privilege which any
reputable attorney, uninfluenced by passion, could ever have any occasion or desire to assert. No judicial
officer, with due regard to his position, can resent such an insult otherwise than by methods sanctioned by law;
and for any words, oral or written, however abusive, vile, or indecent, addressed secretly to the judge alone, he
can have no redress in any action triable by a jury. "The sending of a libelous communication or libelous matter
to the person defamed does not constitute an actionable publication." 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law (2d Ed.) p. 1017.
In these respects the sending by the accused of this letter to the Chief Justice was wholly different from his
other acts charged in the accusation, and, as we have said, wholly different principles are applicable thereto.
The conduct of the accused was in every way discreditable; but so far as he exercised the rights of a citizen,
guaranteed by the Constitution and sanctioned by considerations of public policy, to which reference has been

made, he was immune, as we hold, from the penalty here sought to be enforced. To that extent his rights as a
citizen were paramount to the obligation which he had assumed as an officer of this court. When, however he
proceeded and thus assailed the Chief Justice personally, he exercised no right which the court can recognize,
but, on the contrary, willfully violated his obligation to maintain the respect due to courts and judicial officers.
"This obligation is not discharged by merely observing the rules of courteous demeanor in open court, but it
includes abstaining out of court from all insulting language and offensive conduct toward the judges personally
for their official acts." Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall. (U.S.) 355, 20 L. Ed. 646. And there appears to be no distinction,
as regards the principle involved, between the indignity of an assault by an attorney upon a judge, induced by
his official act, and a personal insult for like cause by written or spoken words addressed to the judge in his
chambers or at his home or elsewhere. Either act constitutes misconduct wholly different from criticism of
judicial acts addressed or spoken to others. The distinction made is, we think entirely logical and well sustained
by authority. It was recognized in Ex parte McLeod supra. While the court in that case, as has been shown, fully
sustained the right of a citizen to criticise rulings of the court in actions which are ended, it held that one might
be summarily punished for assaulting a judicial officer, in that case a commissioner of the court, for his rulings
in a cause wholly concluded. "Is it in the power of any person," said the court, "by insulting or assaulting the
judge because of official acts, if only the assailant restrains his passion until the judge leaves the building, to
compel the judge to forfeit either his own self-respect to the regard of the people by tame submission to the
indignity, or else set in his own person the evil example of punishing the insult by taking the law in his own
hands? ... No high-minded, manly man would hold judicial office under such conditions."
That a communication such as this, addressed to the Judge personally, constitutes professional delinquency for
which a professional punishment may be imposed, has been directly decided. "An attorney who, after being
defeated in a case, wrote a personal letter to the trial justice, complaining of his conduct and reflecting upon
his integrity as a justice, is guilty of misconduct and will be disciplined by the court." Matter of Manheim 133
App. Div. 136, 99 N.Y. Supp. 87 The same is held in Re Griffin (City Ct.) 1 N.Y. 7 and in Re Wilkes (City Ct.) 3 N.Y.
In the latter case it appeared that the accused attorney had addressed a sealed letter to a justice of the City
Court of New York, in which it was stated, in reference to his decision: "It is not law; neither is it common sense.
The result is I have been robbed of 80." And it was decided that, while such conduct was not a contempt under
the state, the matter should be "called to the attention of the Supreme Court, which has power to discipline the
attorney." "If," says the court, "counsel learned in the law are permitted by writings leveled at the heads of
judges, to charge them with ignorance, with unjust rulings, and with robbery, either as principals or accessories,
it will not be long before the general public may feel that they may redress their fancied grievances in like
manner, and thus the lot of a judge will be anything but a happy one, and the administration of justice will fall
into bad repute."
The recent case of Johnson v. State (Ala.) 44 South. 671, was in this respect much the same as the case at bar.
The accused, an attorney at law, wrote and mailed a letter to the circuit judge, which the latter received by due
course of mail, at his home, while not holding court, and which referred in insulting terms to the conduct of the
judge in a cause wherein the accused had been one of the attorneys. For this it was held that the attorney was
rightly disbarred in having "willfully failed to maintain respect due to him [the judge] as a judicial officer, and
thereby breached his oath as an attorney." As recognizing the same principle, and in support of its application
to the facts of this case, we cite the following: Ex parte Bradley, 7 Wall (U.S.) 364, 19 L. Ed. 214; Beene v. State,
22 Ark. 149; Commonwealth v. Dandridge, 2 Va. Cas. 408; People v. Green, 7 Colo 237, 244, 3 Pac. 65, 374, 49
Am. Rep. 351; Smith's Appeal, 179 Pa. 14, 36 Atl. 134; Scouten's Appeal, 186 Pa. 270, Atl. 481.
Our conclusion is that the charges against the accused have been so far sustained as to make it our duty to
impose such a penalty as may be sufficient lesson to him and a suitable warning to others. ...
11. In Cobb v. United States, 172 F. 641, the court affirmed a lawyer's suspension for 18 months for publishing
a letter in a newspaper in which he accused a judge of being under the sinister influence of a gang that had
paralyzed him for two years.
12. In In Re Graves, 221 Pac. 411, the court held that an attorney's unjustifiable attack against the official acts
and decisions of a judge constitutes "moral turpitude." There, the attorney was disbarred for criticising not only
the judge, but his decisions in general claiming that the judge was dishonest in reaching his decisions and unfair
in his general conduct of a case.
13. In In Re Doss, 12 N.E. 2d 659, an attorney published newspaper articles after the trial of cases, criticising
the court in intemperate language. The invariable effect of this sort of propaganda, said the court, is to breed
disrespect for courts and bring the legal profession into disrepute with the public, for which reason the lawyer
was disbarred.

14. In State v. Grimes, 354 Pac. 2d 108, an attorney, dissatisfied with the loss of a case, prepared over a period
of years vicious attacks on jurists. The Oklahoma Supreme Court declared that his acts involved such gross
moral turpitude as to make him unfit as a member of the bar. His disbarment was ordered, even though he
expressed an intention to resign from the bar.
The teaching derived from the above disquisition and impressive affluence of judicial pronouncements is
indubitable: Post-litigation utterances or publications, made by lawyers, critical of the courts and their judicial
actuations, whether amounting to a crime or not, which transcend the permissible bounds of fair comment and
legitimate criticism and thereby tend to bring them into disrepute or to subvert public confidence in their
integrity and in the orderly administration of justice, constitute grave professional misconduct which may be
visited with disbarment or other lesser appropriate disciplinary sanctions by the Supreme Court in the exercise
of the prerogatives inherent in it as the duly constituted guardian of the morals and ethics of the legal fraternity.
Of course, rarely have we wielded our disciplinary powers in the face of unwarranted outbursts of counsel such
as those catalogued in the above-cited jurisprudence. Cases of comparable nature have generally been disposed
of under the power of courts to punish for contempt which, although resting on different bases and calculated
to attain a different end, nevertheless illustrates that universal abhorrence of such condemnable practices.
A perusal of the more representative of these instances may afford enlightenment.
1. In Salcedo vs. Hernandez, 61 Phil. 724, where counsel branded the denial of his motion for reconsideration
as "absolutely erroneous and constituting an outrage to the rigths of the petitioner Felipe Salcedo and a
mockery of the popular will expressed at the polls," this Court, although conceding that
It is right and plausible that an attorney, in defending the cause and rights of his client, should do so with all
the fervor and energy of which he is capable, but it is not, and never will be so for him to exercise said right by
resorting to intimidation or proceeding without the propriety and respect which the dignity of the courts
requires. The reason for this is that respect for the courts guarantees the stability of their institution. Without
such guaranty, said institution would be resting on a very shaky foundation,
found counsel guilty of contempt inasmuch as, in its opinion, the statements made disclosed
... an inexcusable disrespect of the authority of the court and an intentional contempt of its dignity, because the
court is thereby charged with no less than having proceeded in utter disregard of the laws, the rights to the
parties, and 'of the untoward consequences, or with having abused its power and mocked and flouted the rights
of Attorney Vicente J. Francisco's client ... .
2. In In re Sotto, 82 Phil. 595, counsel, a senator and the author of the Press Freedom Law, reaching to, the
imprisonment for contempt of one Angel Parazo, who, invoking said law, refused to divulge the source of a
news item carried in his paper, caused to be published in i local newspaper a statement expressing his regret
"that our High Tribunal has not only erroneously interpreted said law, but it is once more putting in evidence
the incompetency or narrow mindedness of the majority of its members," and his belief that "In the wake of so
many blunders and injustices deliberately committed during these last years, ... the only remedy to put an end
to go much evil, is to change the members of the Supreme Court," which tribunal he denounced as "a constant
peril to liberty and democracy" and "a far cry from the impregnable bulwark of justice of those memorable
times of Cayetano Arellano, Victorino Mapa, Manuel Araullo and other learned jurists who were the honor and
glory of the Philippine Judiciary." He there also announced that one of the first measures he would introduce
in then forthcoming session of Congress would have for its object the complete reorganization of the Supreme
Court. Finding him in contempt, despite his avowals of good faith and his invocation of the guarantee of free
speech, this Court declared:
But in the above-quoted written statement which he caused to be published in the press, the respondent does
not merely criticize or comment on the decision of the Parazo case, which was then and still is pending
consideration by this Court upon petition of Angel Parazo. He not only intends to intimidate the members of
this Court with the presentation of a bill in the next Congress, of which he is one of the members, reorganizing
the Supreme Court and reducing the number of Justices from eleven, so as to change the members of this Court
which decided the Parazo case, who according to his statement, are incompetent and narrow minded, in order
to influence the final decision of said case by this Court, and thus embarrass or obstruct the administration of
justice. But the respondent also attacks the honesty and integrity of this Court for the apparent purpose of
bringing the Justices of this Court into disrepute and degrading the administration. of justice ... .
To hurl the false charge that this Court has been for the last years committing deliberately so many blunders
and injustices, that is to say, that it has been deciding in favor of Que party knowing that the law and justice is
on the part of the adverse party and not on the one in whose favor the decision was rendered, in many cases
decided during the last years, would tend necessarily to undermine the confidence of the people in the honesty

and integrity of the members of this Court, and consequently to lower ,or degrade the administration of justice
by this Court. The Supreme Court of the Philippines is, under the Constitution, the last bulwark to which the
Filipino people may repair to obtain relief for their grievances or protection of their rights when these are
trampled upon, and if the people lose their confidence in the honesty and integrity of the members of this Court
and believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they might be driven to take the law into their own hands,
and disorder and perhaps chaos might be the result. As a member of the bar and an officer of the courts, Atty.
Vicente Sotto, like any other, is in duty bound to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which he
owes fidelity according to the oath he has taken as such attorney, and not to promote distrust in the
administration of justice. Respect to the courts guarantees the stability of other institutions, which without
such guaranty would be resting on a very shaky foundation.
Significantly, too, the Court therein hastened to emphasize that
... an attorney as an officer of the court is under special obligation to be respectful in his conduct and
communication to the courts; he may be removed from office or stricken from the roll of attorneys as being
guilty of flagrant misconduct (17 L.R.A. [N.S.], 586, 594.)
3. In Rheem of the Philippines vs. Ferrer: In re Proceedings against Alfonso Ponce Enrile, et al., supra, where
counsel charged this Court with having "repeatedly fallen" into ,the pitfall of blindly adhering to its previous
"erroneous" pronouncements, "in disregard of the law on jurisdiction" of the Court of Industrial Relations, our
condemnation of counsel's misconduct was unequivocal. Articulating the sentiments of the Court, Mr. Justice
Sanchez stressed:
As we look back at the language (heretofore quoted) employed in the motion for reconsideration, implications
there are which inescapably arrest attention. It speaks of one pitfall into which this Court has repeatedly fallen
whenever the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations comes into question. That pitfall is the tendency
of this Court to rely on its own pronouncements in disregard of the law on jurisdiction. It makes a sweeping
charge that the decisions of this Court, blindly adhere to earlier rulings without as much as making any
reference to and analysis of the pertinent statute governing the jurisdiction of the industrial court. The plain
import of all these is that this Court is so patently inept that in determining the jurisdiction of the industrial
court, it has committed error and continuously repeated that error to the point of perpetuation. It pictures this
Court as one which refuses to hew to the line drawn by the law on jurisdictional boundaries. Implicit in the
quoted statements is that the pronouncements of this Court on the jurisdiction of the industrial court are not
entitled to respect. Those statements detract much from the dignity of and respect due this Court. They bring
into question the capability of the members — and some former members of this Court to render justice. The
second paragraph quoted yields a tone of sarcasm which counsel labelled as "so called" the "rule against
splitting of jurisdiction."
Similar thoughts and sentiments have been expressed in other cases 18 which, in the interest of brevity, need
not now be reviewed in detail.
Of course, a common denominator underlies the aforecited cases — all of them involved contumacious
statements made in pleadings filed pending litigation. So that, in line with the doctrinal rule that the protective
mantle of contempt may ordinarily be invoked only against scurrilous remarks or malicious innuendoes while
a court mulls over a pending case and not after the conclusion thereof, 19 Atty. Almacen would now seek to
sidestep the thrust of a contempt charge by his studied emphasis that the remarks for which he is now called
upon to account were made only after this Court had written finis to his appeal. This is of no moment.
The rule that bars contempt after a judicial proceeding has terminated, has lost much of its vitality. For
sometime, this was the prevailing view in this jurisdiction. The first stir for a modification thereof, however,
came when, in People vs. Alarcon, 20 the then Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran dissented with the holding of the
majority, speaking thru Justice Jose P. Laurel, which upheld the rule above-adverted to. A complete
disengagement from the settled rule was later to be made in In re Brillantes, 21 a contempt proceeding, where
the editor of the Manila Guardian was adjudged in contempt for publishing an editorial which asserted that the
1944 Bar Examinations were conducted in a farcical manner after the question of the validity of the said
examinations had been resolved and the case closed. Virtually, this was an adoption of the view expressed by
Chief Justice Moran in his dissent in Alarcon to the effect that them may still be contempt by publication even
after a case has been terminated. Said Chief Justice Moran in Alarcon:
A publication which tends to impede, obstruct, embarrass or influence the courts in administering justice in a
pending suit or proceeding, constitutes criminal contempt which is 'summarily punishable by courts. A
publication which tends to degrade the courts and to destroy public confidence in them or that which tends to
bring them in any way into disrepute, constitutes likewise criminal contempt, and is equally punishable by

courts. What is sought, in the first kind of contempt, to be shielded against the influence of newspaper
comments, is the all-important duty of the courts to administer justice in the decision of a pending case. In the
second kind of contempt, the punitive hand of justice is extended to vindicate the courts from any act or conduct
calculated to bring them into disfavor or to destroy public confidence in them. In the first there is no contempt
where there is no action pending, as there is no decision which might in any way be influenced by the
newspaper publication. In the second, the contempt exists, with or without a pending case, as what is sought to
be protected is the court itself and its dignity. Courts would lose their utility if public confidence in them is
destroyed.
Accordingly, no comfort is afforded Atty. Almacen by the circumstance that his statements and actuations now
under consideration were made only after the judgment in his client's appeal had attained finality. He could as
much be liable for contempt therefor as if it had been perpetrated during the pendency of the said appeal.
More than this, however, consideration of whether or not he could be held liable for contempt for such post
litigation utterances and actuations, is here immaterial. By the tenor of our Resolution of November 17, 1967,
we have confronted the situation here presented solely in so far as it concerns Atty. Almacen's professional
identity, his sworn duty as a lawyer and his fitness as an officer of this Court, in the exercise of the disciplinary
power the morals inherent in our authority and duty to safeguard and ethics of the legal profession and to
preserve its ranks from the intrusions of unprincipled and unworthy disciples of the noblest of callings. In this
inquiry, the pendency or non-pendency of a case in court is altogether of no consequence. The sole objective of
this proceeding is to preserve the purity of the legal profession, by removing or suspending a member whose
misconduct has proved himself unfit to continue to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging
to the office of an attorney.
Undoubtedly, this is well within our authority to do. By constitutional mandate, 22 our is the solemn duty,
amongst others, to determine the rules for admission to the practice of law. Inherent in this prerogative is the
corresponding authority to discipline and exclude from the practice of law those who have proved themselves
unworthy of continued membership in the Bar. Thus —
The power to discipline attorneys, who are officers of the court, is an inherent and incidental power in courts
of record, and one which is essential to an orderly discharge of judicial functions. To deny its existence is
equivalent to a declaration that the conduct of attorneys towards courts and clients is not subject to restraint.
Such a view is without support in any respectable authority, and cannot be tolerated. Any court having the right
to admit attorneys to practice and in this state that power is vested in this court-has the inherent right, in the
exercise of a sound judicial discretion to exclude them from practice. 23
This, because the admission of a lawyer to the practice of law is a representation to all that he is worthy of their
confidence and respect. So much so that —
... whenever it is made to appear to the court that an attorney is no longer worthy of the trust and confidence
of the public and of the courts, it becomes, not only the right, but the duty, of the court which made him one of
its officers, and gave him the privilege of ministering within its bar, to withdraw the privilege. Therefore it is
almost universally held that both the admission and disbarment of attorneys are judicial acts, and that one is
admitted to the bar and exercises his functions as an attorney, not as a matter of right, but as a privilege
conditioned on his own behavior and the exercise of a just and sound judicial discretion. 24
Indeed, in this jurisdiction, that power to remove or suspend has risen above being a mere inherent or
incidental power. It has been elevated to an express mandate by the Rules of Court. 25
Our authority and duty in the premises being unmistakable, we now proceed to make an assessment of whether
or not the utterances and actuations of Atty. Almacen here in question are properly the object of disciplinary
sanctions.
The proffered surrender of his lawyer's certificate is, of course, purely potestative on Atty. Almacen's part.
Unorthodox though it may seem, no statute, no law stands in its way. Beyond making the mere offer, however,
he went farther. In haughty and coarse language, he actually availed of the said move as a vehicle for his vicious
tirade against this Court. The integrated entirety of his petition bristles with vile insults all calculated to drive
home his contempt for and disrespect to the Court and its members. Picturing his client as "a sacrificial victim
at the altar of hypocrisy," he categorically denounces the justice administered by this Court to be not only blind
"but also deaf and dumb." With unmitigated acerbity, he virtually makes this Court and its members with verbal
talons, imputing to the Court the perpetration of "silent injustices" and "short-cut justice" while at the same
time branding its members as "calloused to pleas of justice." And, true to his announced threat to argue the
cause of his client "in the people's forum," he caused the publication in the papers of an account of his
actuations, in a calculated effort ;to startle the public, stir up public indignation and disrespect toward the

Court. Called upon to make an explanation, he expressed no regret, offered no apology. Instead, with
characteristic arrogance, he rehashed and reiterated his vituperative attacks and, alluding to the Scriptures,
virtually tarred and feathered the Court and its members as inveterate hypocrites incapable of administering
justice and unworthy to impose disciplinary sanctions upon him.
The virulence so blatantly evident in Atty. Almacen's petition, answer and oral argumentation speaks for itself.
The vicious language used and the scurrilous innuendoes they carried far transcend the permissible bounds of
legitimate criticism. They could never serve any purpose but to gratify the spite of an irate attorney, attract
public attention to himself and, more important of all, bring ;this Court and its members into disrepute and
destroy public confidence in them to the detriment of the orderly administration of justice. Odium of this
character and texture presents no redeeming feature, and completely negates any pretense of passionate
commitment to the truth. It is not a whit less than a classic example of gross misconduct, gross violation of the
lawyer's oath and gross transgression of the Canons of Legal Ethics. As such, it cannot be allowed to go
unrebuked. The way for the exertion of our disciplinary powers is thus laid clear, and the need therefor is
unavoidable.
We must once more stress our explicit disclaimer of immunity from criticism. Like any other Government entity
in a viable democracy, the Court is not, and should not be, above criticism. But a critique of the Court must be
intelligent and discriminating, fitting to its high function as the court of last resort. And more than this, valid
and healthy criticism is by no means synonymous to obloquy, and requires detachment and disinterestedness,
real qualities approached only through constant striving to attain them. Any criticism of the Court must, possess
the quality of judiciousness and must be informed -by perspective and infused by philosophy. 26
It is not accurate to say, nor is it an obstacle to the exercise of our authority in ;the premises, that, as Atty.
Almacen would have appear, the members of the Court are the "complainants, prosecutors and judges" all
rolled up into one in this instance. This is an utter misapprehension, if not a total distortion, not only of the
nature of the proceeding at hand but also of our role therein.
Accent should be laid on the fact that disciplinary proceedings like the present are sui generis. Neither purely
civil nor purely criminal, this proceeding is not — and does not involve — a trial of an action or a suit, but is
rather an investigation by the Court into the conduct of its officers. 27 Not being intended to. inflict punishment,
it is in no sense a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, there is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein It may
be initiated by the Court motu proprio. 28 Public interest is its primary objective, and the real question for
determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges as such. Hence, in
the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his
actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and
the proper and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by their misconduct
have proved themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the
office of an attorney. 29 In such posture, there can thus be no occasion to speak of a complainant or a
prosecutor.
Undeniably, the members of the Court are, to a certain degree, aggrieved parties. Any tirade against the Court
as a body is necessarily and inextricably as much so against the individual members thereof. But in the exercise
of its disciplinary powers, the Court acts as an entity separate and distinct from the individual personalities of
its members. Consistently with the intrinsic nature of a collegiate court, the individual members act not as such
individuals but. only as a duly constituted court. Their distinct individualities are lost in the majesty of their
office. 30 So that, in a very real sense, if there be any complainant in the case at bar, it can only be the Court
itself, not the individual members thereof — as well as the people themselves whose rights, fortunes and
properties, nay, even lives, would be placed at grave hazard should the administration of justice be threatened
by the retention in the Bar of men unfit to discharge the solemn responsibilities of membership in the legal
fraternity.
Finally, the power to exclude persons from the practice of law is but a necessary incident of the power to admit
persons to said practice. By constitutional precept, this power is vested exclusively in this Court. This duty it
cannot abdicate just as much as it cannot unilaterally renounce jurisdiction legally invested upon it. 31 So that
even if it be conceded that the members collectively are in a sense the aggrieved parties, that fact alone does
not and cannot disqualify them from the exercise of that power because public policy demands that they., acting
as a Court, exercise the power in all cases which call for disciplinary action. The present is such a case. In the
end, the imagined anomaly of the merger in one entity of the personalities of complainant, prosecutor and judge
is absolutely inexistent.

Last to engage our attention is the nature and extent of the sanctions that may be visited upon Atty. Almacen
for his transgressions. As marked out by the Rules of Court, these may range from mere suspension to total
removal or disbarment. 32 The discretion to assess under the circumstances the imposable sanction is, of
course, primarily addressed to the sound discretion of the Court which, being neither arbitrary and despotic
nor motivated by personal animosity or prejudice, should ever be controlled by the imperative need that the
purity and independence of the Bar be scrupulously guarded and the dignity of and respect due to the Court be
zealously maintained.
That the misconduct committed by Atty. Almacen is of considerable gravity cannot be overemphasized.
However, heeding the stern injunction that disbarment should never be decreed where a lesser sanction would
accomplish the end desired, and believing that it may not perhaps be futile to hope that in the sober light of
some future day, Atty. Almacen will realize that abrasive language never fails to do disservice to an advocate
and that in every effervescence of candor there is ample room for the added glow of respect, it is our view that
suspension will suffice under the circumstances. His demonstrated persistence in his misconduct by neither
manifesting repentance nor offering apology therefor leave us no way of determining how long that suspension
should last and, accordingly, we are impelled to decree that the same should be indefinite. This, we are
empowered to do not alone because jurisprudence grants us discretion on the matter 33 but also because, even
without the comforting support of precedent, it is obvious that if we have authority to completely exclude a
person from the practice of law, there is no reason why indefinite suspension, which is lesser in degree and
effect, can be regarded as falling outside of the compass of that authority. The merit of this choice is best shown
by the fact that it will then be left to Atty. Almacen to determine for himself how long or how short that
suspension shall last. For, at any time after the suspension becomes effective he may prove to this Court that
he is once again fit to resume the practice of law.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS THE SENSE of the Court that Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen be, as he is hereby, suspended
from the practice of law until further orders, the suspension to take effect immediately.
Let copies of this resolution. be furnished the Secretary of Justice, the Solicitor General and the Court of Appeals
for their information and guidance.
Concepcion,. C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Teehankee, Barredo and Villamor JJ., concur.
Fernando, J., took no part.

In re: Cunanan
IN RE: CUNANAN
Resolution
March 18, 1954
FACTS: Congress passed Republic Act Number 972, commonly known as the “Bar Flunkers’ Act of 1953.” In
accordance with the said law, the Supreme Court then passed and admitted to the bar those candidates 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.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar invoking
its provisions, while other 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.
ISSUE: Whether or Not RA No. 972 is constitutional
HELD: No. The primary power and responsibility which the Constitution recognizes concerning the admission
to the practice of law continue to reside in the Supreme Court. 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.
Therefore, 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 merely to fix the minimum conditions for
the license.

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 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.
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 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.

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 Guariña (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 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:
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)
xxx
xxx
xxx
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.
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 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 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 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).
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:
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.
The case of Guariña (1913) 24 Phil., 37, illustrates our criterion. Guariña 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 Guariña 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."
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 Guariña, 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.
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 Guariña, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

RESOLUTION
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.

In re: Vicente Ching
DIGEST (WEB)
FACTS: Petitioner, who resided in the Philippines since his birth during the 1935 Constitution, is a legitimate
son of a Filipina married to a Chinese citizen. Subsequently, petitioner elected Philippine citizenship 14 years
after he reached the age of majority. OSG recommends the relaxation of the standing rule on the construction
of the phrase “reasonable period” and the allowance of the petitioner to elect Philippine citizenship due to
circumstances like petitioner having lived in the Philippines all his life and his consistent belief that he is a
Filipino.
ISSUE: Whether or not a legitimate child under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father
validly elect Philippine citizenship 14 years after he has reached the age of majority.
HELD: No, despite the special circumstances, Petitioner failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span
of 14 years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to
elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement “upon reaching the age
of majority.” In addition, there was no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship.
DIGEST (DEEJ)

FACTS:
Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino,
was born in Francia West, Tubao, La Union on 11 April 1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in the
Philippines.
On 17 July 1998, Ching filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. In a Resolution of this Court,
dated 1 September 1998, he was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to the condition that he must
submit to the Court proof of his Philippine citizenship. To which, Ching submitted several certifications on
November 18, 1998.
On 5 April 1999, the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released and Ching was one of the successful
Bar examinees. However, because of the questionable status of Ching's citizenship, he was not allowed to take
his oath. He was required to submit further proof of his citizenship.

On 27 July 1999, Ching filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his Affidavit of Election of Philippine
Citizenship and his Oath of Allegiance, both dated 15 July 1999.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Vicente Ching has validly elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time."
HELD:
No, Vicente Ching failed to elect Philippine Citizenship within a “reasonable time”.
The Supreme Court held that the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time period within
which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made but only provides that the election should be made
"upon reaching the age of majority." or twenty-one (21) years. In the opinions of the Secretary of Justice on
cases involving the validity of election of Philippine citizenship, this dilemma was resolved by basing the time
period on the decisions of this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these decisions, the
proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based on the pronouncements of the Department
of State of the United States Government to the effect that the election should be made within a "reasonable
time" after attaining the age of majority. The phrase "reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean that the
election should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of majority. However, the Supreme Court
held in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice, 12 that the three (3) year period is not an inflexible rule but this
extension was not indefinite.
In the present case, the span of fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority
until he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation
of the requirement of electing "upon reaching the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why
he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his
election cannot be simply glossed over.
Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed
when convenient. 20 One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such
citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude. Sadly, in this case,
Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result. this golden privilege slipped away
from his grasp.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
BAR MATTER No. 914 October 1, 1999
RE: APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE PHILIPPINE BAR,
vs.
VICENTE D. CHING, applicant.
RESOLUTION
KAPUNAN, J.:
Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father validly elect
Philippine citizenship fourteen (14) years after he has reached the age of majority? This is the question sought
to be resolved in the present case involving the application for admission to the Philippine Bar of Vicente D.
Ching.
The facts of this case are as follows:
Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino,
was born in Francia West, Tubao, La Union on 11 April 1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in the
Philippines.
On 17 July 1998, Ching, after having completed a Bachelor of Laws course at the St. Louis University in Baguio
City, filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. In a Resolution of this Court, dated 1 September
1998, he was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to the condition that he must submit to the Court
proof of his Philippine citizenship.
In compliance with the above resolution, Ching submitted on 18 November 1998, the following documents:

1. Certification, dated 9 June 1986, issued by the Board of Accountancy of the Professional Regulations
Commission showing that Ching is a certified public accountant;
2. Voter Certification, dated 14 June 1997, issued by Elizabeth B. Cerezo, Election Officer of the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) in Tubao La Union showing that Ching is a registered voter of the said place; and
3. Certification, dated 12 October 1998, also issued by Elizabeth B. Cerezo, showing that Ching was elected as a
member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Tubao, La Union during the 12 May 1992 synchronized elections.
On 5 April 1999, the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released and Ching was one of the successful
Bar examinees. The oath-taking of the successful Bar examinees was scheduled on 5 May 1999. However,
because of the questionable status of Ching's citizenship, he was not allowed to take his oath. Pursuant to the
resolution of this Court, dated 20 April 1999, he was required to submit further proof of his citizenship. In the
same resolution, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was required to file a comment on Ching's petition for
admission to the bar and on the documents evidencing his Philippine citizenship.
The OSG filed its comment on 8 July 1999, stating that Ching, being the "legitimate child of a Chinese father and
a Filipino mother born under the 1935 Constitution was a Chinese citizen and continued to be so, unless upon
reaching the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship" 1 in strict compliance with the provisions of
Commonwealth Act No. 625 entitled "An Act Providing for the Manner in which the Option to Elect Philippine
Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person Whose Mother is a Filipino Citizen." The OSG adds that "(w)hat he
acquired at best was only an inchoate Philippine citizenship which he could perfect by election upon reaching
the age of majority." 2 In this regard, the OSG clarifies that "two (2) conditions must concur in order that the
election of Philippine citizenship may be effective, namely: (a) the mother of the person making the election
must be a citizen of the Philippines; and (b) said election must be made upon reaching the age of majority." 3
The OSG then explains the meaning of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority:"
The clause "upon reaching the age of majority" has been construed to mean a reasonable time after reaching
the age of majority which had been interpreted by the Secretary of Justice to be three (3) years (VELAYO, supra
at p. 51 citing Op., Sec. of Justice No. 70, s. 1940, Feb. 27, 1940). Said period may be extended under certain
circumstances, as when a (sic) person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino (ibid., citing Op. Nos.
355 and 422, s. 1955; 3, 12, 46, 86 and 97, s. 1953). But in Cuenco, it was held that an election done after over
seven (7) years was not made within a reasonable time.
In conclusion, the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected Philippine citizenship and, if ever he does,
it would already be beyond the "reasonable time" allowed by present jurisprudence. However, due to the
peculiar circumstances surrounding Ching's case, the OSG recommends the relaxation of the standing rule on
the construction of the phrase "reasonable period" and the allowance of Ching to elect Philippine citizenship in
accordance with C.A. No. 625 prior to taking his oath as a member of the Philippine Bar.
On 27 July 1999, Ching filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his Affidavit of Election of Philippine
Citizenship and his Oath of Allegiance, both dated 15 July 1999. In his Manifestation, Ching states:
1. I have always considered myself as a Filipino;
2. I was registered as a Filipino and consistently declared myself as one in my school records and other official
documents;
3. I am practicing a profession (Certified Public Accountant) reserved for Filipino citizens;
4. I participated in electoral process[es] since the time I was eligible to vote;
5. I had served the people of Tubao, La Union as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan from 1992 to 1995;
6. I elected Philippine citizenship on July 15, 1999 in accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 625;
7. My election was expressed in a statement signed and sworn to by me before a notary public;
8. I accompanied my election of Philippine citizenship with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the
Government of the Philippines;
9. I filed my election of Philippine citizenship and my oath of allegiance to (sic) the Civil Registrar of Tubao La
Union, and
10. I paid the amount of TEN PESOS (Ps. 10.00) as filing fees.
Since Ching has already elected Philippine citizenship on 15 July 1999, the question raised is whether he has
elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time." In the affirmative, whether his citizenship by election
retroacted to the time he took the bar examination.
When Ching was born in 1964, the governing charter was the 1935 Constitution. Under Article IV, Section 1(3)
of the 1935 Constitution, the citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father
followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine
citizenship. 4 This right to elect Philippine citizenship was recognized in the 1973 Constitution when it

provided that "(t)hose who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of
nineteen hundred and thirty-five" are citizens of the Philippines. 5 Likewise, this recognition by the 1973
Constitution was carried over to the 1987 Constitution which states that "(t)hose born before January 17, 1973
of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority" are Philippine citizens.
6 It should be noted, however, that the 1973 and 1987 Constitutional provisions on the election of Philippine
citizenship should not be understood as having a curative effect on any irregularity in the acquisition of
citizenship for those covered by the 1935 Constitution. 7 If the citizenship of a person was subject to challenge
under the old charter, it remains subject to challenge under the new charter even if the judicial challenge had
not been commenced before the effectivity of the new Constitution. 8
C.A. No. 625 which was enacted pursuant to Section 1(3), Article IV of the 1935 Constitution, prescribes the
procedure that should be followed in order to make a valid election of Philippine citizenship. Under Section 1
thereof, legitimate children born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such
intention "in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to
administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid
statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines."
However, the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time period within which the election of
Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter only provides that the election should be made "upon
reaching the age of majority." The age of majority then commenced upon reaching twenty-one (21) years. 9 In
the opinions of the Secretary of Justice on cases involving the validity of election of Philippine citizenship, this
dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the decisions of this Court prior to the effectivity of the
1935 Constitution. In these decisions, the proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based
on the pronouncements of the Department of State of the United States Government to the effect that the
election should be made within a "reasonable time" after attaining the age of majority. 10 The phrase
"reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean that the election should be made within three (3) years from
reaching the age of majority. 11 However, we held in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice, 12 that the three (3) year
period is not an inflexible rule. We said:
It is true that this clause has been construed to mean a reasonable period after reaching the age of majority,
and that the Secretary of Justice has ruled that three (3) years is the reasonable time to elect Philippine
citizenship under the constitutional provision adverted to above, which period may be extended under certain
circumstances, as when the person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino. 13
However, we cautioned in Cuenco that the extension of the option to elect Philippine citizenship is not
indefinite:
Regardless of the foregoing, petitioner was born on February 16, 1923. He became of age on February 16, 1944.
His election of citizenship was made on May 15, 1951, when he was over twenty-eight (28) years of age, or over
seven (7) years after he had reached the age of majority. It is clear that said election has not been made "upon
reaching the age of majority." 14
In the present case, Ching, having been born on 11 April 1964, was already thirty-five (35) years old when he
complied with the requirements of C.A. No. 625 on 15 June 1999, or over fourteen (14) years after he had
reached the age of majority. Based on the interpretation of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority,"
Ching's election was clearly beyond, by any reasonable yardstick, the allowable period within which to exercise
the privilege. It should be stated, in this connection, that the special circumstances invoked by Ching, i.e., his
continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines and his being a certified public accountant, a registered
voter and a former elected public official, cannot vest in him Philippine citizenship as the law specifically lays
down the requirements for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election.
Definitely, the so-called special circumstances cannot constitute what Ching erroneously labels as informal
election of citizenship. Ching cannot find a refuge in the case of In re: Florencio Mallare, 15 the pertinent portion
of which reads:
And even assuming arguendo that Ana Mallare were (sic) legally married to an alien, Esteban's exercise of the
right of suffrage when he came of age, constitutes a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. It has been
established that Esteban Mallare was a registered voter as of April 14, 1928, and that as early as 1925 (when
he was about 22 years old), Esteban was already participating in the elections and campaigning for certain
candidate[s]. These acts are sufficient to show his preference for Philippine citizenship. 16
Ching's reliance on Mallare is misplaced. The facts and circumstances obtaining therein are very different from
those in the present case, thus, negating its applicability. First, Esteban Mallare was born before the effectivity
of the 1935 Constitution and the enactment of C.A. No. 625. Hence, the requirements and procedures prescribed

under the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 for electing Philippine citizenship would not be applicable to him.
Second, the ruling in Mallare was an obiter since, as correctly pointed out by the OSG, it was not necessary for
Esteban Mallare to elect Philippine citizenship because he was already a Filipino, he being a natural child of a
Filipino mother. In this regard, the Court stated:
Esteban Mallare, natural child of Ana Mallare, a Filipina, is therefore himself a Filipino, and no other act would
be necessary to confer on him all the rights and privileges attached to Philippine citizenship (U.S. vs. Ong Tianse,
29 Phil. 332; Santos Co vs. Government of the Philippine Islands, 42 Phil. 543, Serra vs. Republic, L-4223, May
12, 1952, Sy Quimsuan vs. Republic, L-4693, Feb. 16, 1953; Pitallano vs. Republic, L-5111, June 28, 1954).
Neither could any act be taken on the erroneous belief that he is a non-filipino divest him of the citizenship
privileges to which he is rightfully entitled. 17
The ruling in Mallare was reiterated and further elaborated in Co vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of
Representatives, 18 where we held:
We have jurisprudence that defines "election" as both a formal and an informal process.
In the case of In re: Florencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]), the Court held that the exercise of the right of
suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship.
In the exact pronouncement of the Court, we held:
Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage when he came of age constitutes a positive act of Philippine
citizenship. (p. 52: emphasis supplied)
The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has established his life here in
the Philippines.
For those in the peculiar situation of the respondent who cannot be excepted to have elected Philippine
citizenship as they were already citizens, we apply the In Re Mallare rule.
xxx xxx xxx
The filing of sworn statement or formal declaration is a requirement for those who still have to elect citizenship.
For those already Filipinos when the time to elect came up, there are acts of deliberate choice which cannot be
less binding. Entering a profession open only to Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a
qualification, voting during election time, running for public office, and other categorical acts of similar nature
are themselves formal manifestations for these persons.
An election of Philippine citizenship presupposes that the person electing is an alien. Or his status is doubtful
because he is a national of two countries. There is no doubt in this case about Mr. Ong's being a Filipino when
he turned twenty-one (21).
We repeat that any election of Philippine citizenship on the part of the private respondent would not only have
been superfluous but it would also have resulted in an absurdity. How can a Filipino citizen elect Philippine
citizenship? 19
The Court, like the OSG, is sympathetic with the plight of Ching. However, even if we consider the special
circumstances in the life of Ching like his having lived in the Philippines all his life and his consistent belief that
he is a Filipino, controlling statutes and jurisprudence constrain us to disagree with the recommendation of the
OSG. Consequently, we hold that Ching failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span of fourteen (14)
years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until he finally expressed his intention to elect
Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of electing "upon reaching
the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine
citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and
painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine
citizenship and, thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained
delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over.
Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed
when convenient. 20 One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such
citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude. Sadly, in this case,
Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result. this golden privilege slipped away
from his grasp.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court Resolves to DENY Vicente D. Ching's application for admission to the
Philippine Bar.
SO ORDERED.

Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo, Buena,
Gonzaga-Reyes and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.

Petition for Leave to Resume Practice of Benjamin Dacanay
No digest
EN BANC
PETITION FOR LEAVE TO
RESUME PRACTICE OF LAW,

B.M. No. 1678

BENJAMIN M. DACANAY,
Petitioner,
Present:
PUNO, C.J.,
QUISUMBING,*
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ,
CARPIO,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CORONA,
CARPIO MORALES,
AZCUNA,
TINGA,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
GARCIA,
VELASCO, JR.
NACHURA,
REYES and
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, JJ.

Promulgated:
December 17, 2007
x----------------------------------------------------x
RESOLUTION
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 Canada’s 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.
In a report dated October 16, 2007, the Office of the Bar Confidant
and Admission to Bar) of the Rules of Court:

cites Section 2, Rule 138 (Attorneys

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 lawyer’s 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 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 lawyer’s 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 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;
(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/petitioner’s knowledge of Philippine laws and update him of legal
developments and
(d) the retaking of the lawyer’s 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.
In the Matter of the Disqualification of Bar Examinee Haron S. Meling
No digest
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 SHARI’A BAR,
ATTY. FROILAN R. MELENDREZ, petitioner,
RESOLUTION
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 Shari’a 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 of Cotabato City on November 27, 2001.
Pursuant to this Court’s 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 the College 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 nondisclosure against Meling in this wise:
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 Meling’s 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 Lawyer’s Oath and sign the Roll of
Attorneys in the event that he passes the Bar Examinations. Further, it recommended that Meling’s membership
in the Shari’a 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 Lawyer’s Oath
and signing the Roll of Attorneys, moot and academic.
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 Shari’a Bar is ripe for resolution and has to be acted upon.
Practice of law, whether under the regular or the Shari’a 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.
Meling’s 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 Shari’a 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 Shari’a Bar who are not likewise members of the Philippine Bar. The respondent
therein, an executive clerk of court of the 4th Judicial Shari’a 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 Shari’a Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar, hence, may only practice
law before Shari’a courts. While one who has been admitted to the Shari’a 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]
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 Shari’a Bar. Accordingly, the membership of Haron S. Meling in the
Philippine Shari’a 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 Lawyer’s 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 Shari’a Courts in the country for their information and
guidance.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, AustriaMartinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna, JJ., concur.
Diao vs Martinez
FACTS:
Telesforo A. Diao passed the Bar Examinations in 1953. Two years after, Severino Martinez charged him (Diao)
of misrepresentation in the application of the examinations becasue Diao failed to meet the academic prerequisites. Diao did not complete secondary education (high school) and did not attend Quisumbing College
nor obtained an Associate in Arts degree from the said institution.
Diao admitted the charge but claimed that he left high school in his third year because he served in the U.S.
Army. He passed the General Classification Test, which was said to be an equivalent to a high school diploma.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Diao should continue to practice law?
HELD:
NO.

“Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but due to his false
representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such
admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he hurdled
the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification to become an
attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally essential..”
Facts:
Telesforo A. Diao took the law examinations in 1953 and was admitted to the Bar.
Two years later, Severino Martinez charged Diao of falsifying the information in his application for such Bar
Examination. Upon further investigation, it was found that Diao did not finish his high school training, and
neither did he obtain his Associate in Arts (AA) degree from Quisumbing College in 1941.
Diao practically admits first charge, but claims that he served the US army, and took the General Classification
Test which, according to Diao, is equivalent to a High School Diploma, although he failed to submit certification
for such claim from any proper school officials.
The claim was doubtlful, however, the second charge was clearly meritorious, as Diao did not obtain his AA
degree from Quisumbing College. Diao claims that he was erroneously certified, and asserts that he obtained
his AA from Arellano University in 1949.
This claim was still unacceptable, as records would have shown that Diao graduated from the University in
April 1949, but he started his Law studies in October 1948 (second semester, AY 1948-1949) and he would not
have been permitted to take the Bar, as it is provided in the Rules, applicants under oath that “Previous to the
study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal education (AA) as required
by the Department of Private Education”
Issue: Whether Telesforo A Diao should be Disbarred.
Ruling:
Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the Bar Exams, but did by falsifying information. Admission under
false pretenses thus give grounds for revoking his admission in the Bar, as passing the Bar Exam is not the only
requirement to become an attorney at law.
Thus, the name Telesforo A. Diao is deleted from the roll of attorneys and he is required to return his law
diploma within thirty days.
EN BANC
A.C. No. 244

March 29, 1963

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR DISBARMENT OF TELESFORO A. DIAO,
vs.
SEVERINO G. MARTINEZ, petitioner.
BENGZON, C.J.:
After successfully passing the corresponding examinations held in 1953, Telesforo A. Diao was admitted to the
Bar.
About two years later, Severino Martinez charged him with having falsely represented in his application for
such Bar examination, that he had the requisite academic qualifications. The matter was in due course referred

to the Solicitor General who caused the charge to be investigated; and later he submitted a report
recommending that Diao's name be erased from the roll of attorneys, because contrary to the allegations in his
petition for examination in this Court, he (Diao) had not completed, before taking up law subjects, the required
pre-legal education prescribed by the Department of Private Education, specially, in the following particulars:
(a) Diao did not complete his high school training; and
(b) Diao never attended Quisumbing College, and never obtained his A.A. diploma therefrom — which
contradicts the credentials he had submitted in support of his application for examination, and of his allegation
therein of successful completion of the "required pre-legal education".
Answering this official report and complaint, Telesforo A. Diao, practically admits the first charge: but he claims
that although he had left high school in his third year, he entered the service of the U.S. Army, passed the General
Classification Test given therein, which (according to him) is equivalent to a high school diploma, and upon his
return to civilian life, the educational authorities considered his army service as the equivalent of 3rd and 4th
year high school.
We have serious doubts, about the validity of this claim, what with respondent's failure to exhibit any
certification to that effect (the equivalence) by the proper school officials. However, it is unnecessary to dwell
on this, since the second charge is clearly meritorious. Diao never obtained his A.A. from Quisumbing College;
and yet his application for examination represented him as an A.A. graduate (1940-1941) of such college. Now,
asserting he had obtained his A.A. title from the Arellano University in April, 1949, he says he was erroneously
certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of Quisumbing College, in his school records.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by
this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered
by this stipulation of facts. 1äwphï1.ñët
This explanation is not acceptable, for the reason that the "error" or "confusion" was obviously of his own
making. Had his application disclosed his having obtained A.A. from Arellano University, it would also have
disclosed that he got it in April, 1949, thereby showing that he began his law studies (2nd semester of 19481949) six months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree. And then he would not have been permitted to
take the bar tests, because our Rules provide, and the applicant for the Bar examination must affirm under oath,
"That previous to the study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal
education(A.A.) as prescribed by the Department of Private Education," (emphasis on "previous").
Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but due to his false
representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such
admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he hurdled
the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification to become an
attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally essential..
The Clerk is, therefore, ordered to strike from the roll of attorneys, the name of Telesforo A. Diao. And the latter
is required to return his lawyer's diploma within thirty days. So ordered.
Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ.,
concur.

In re: Pedro Amparo
History of the case
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-48922

October 30, 1962

INTESTATE PROCEEDINGS OF THE DECEASED PEDRO ROYO: AMPARO N. VDA. DE ROYO, Administratrix of
the Estate of Pedro Royo and PEDRO ROYO JR., movants-appellants, vs. N. T. DEEN and TOMAS DELGADO,
oppositors-appellees.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
LABRADOR, J.:
This is a reconstituted case, originating in the Court of First Instance of Cebu as Special Proceeding No. 850 of
said court, entitled Intestate of Pedro Royo, Amparo Vda. de Royo, Administratrix and Pedro Royo, Jr., Movant
versus N.T. Deen and Tomas Delgado, Oppositors, wherein oppositors' bond in favor of the administrator of the
estate of Pedro Royo, Pantaleon del Rosario, is sought to respond for the sum of P17,610.00 which said
administrator allegedly failed to account for in his capacity as administrator of the estate. Motion was filed on
November 6, 1940. In a decision dated May 17, 1941 Justice Felix Martinez, then presiding judge of the Court
of First Instance of Cebu, denied the motion holding:
Se pide la ejecucion de una fianzaa or valor de P25,000.00 otorgada por Tomas Delgado y N.T. Deen, para que
puedo hacerse efectiva contra la misma la cantidad de P17,610.00, por la cual, segun las alegaciones, es
reponsable el finando Pantaleon E. del Rosario como aministrador de los bienes relictos del finado Pedro Royo.
Delgado y Deen son fiadores para reponder de cualesquier obligaciones resultantes de las gestiones de
Pantaleon
E.
del
Rosario
como
administrator
del
intestado
de
Pedro
Royo.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
No so discute que Pantaleon E. del Rosario fue nombrado administrador de los bienes del finado Pedro Royo el
dia 11 de Octobre de 1924, en sustitucion de Jose Vano; asi como de que, como tal, paso a sus manos la suma
de P43,500.00 procedente del importe de venta de dos casa de materiales fuertes y dente del importe de venta
de dos casas de materiales furertes y planchas de zincede la propiedad del intestado de que as administrator.
De dicha suma, del Rosario desembloso, mediante comprabantes, la cantidad de P24,890.00 en pago de las
reclamciones controlla admistracion, quesdado, por tanto, un saldo de P17,610.00. No hay informacion en el
record que uso se hizo de este saldo por el administrator. Este se limito a hacerultimanente una manifestacion,
de fecha 8 de Septiembre de 1928, . . . .
xxx

xxx

xxx

2
Que a consecuencia de cirtos arreglos que los herederos del finado Pedro Royo habian hecho con
ciertos assreedores suyos, los primeros han disputo de bastante fondos edad, y se han reservado solamente en
poder del Administrador aquellas candidades que se han creido necessarias para el pago de las deudas del
difunto, pero en la computacion de estos pagos no se han tenido en cuenta varios gastos y obligaciones dela
administracion, que no se han podido considerar cuando dischos herederos hicieron uso de los fondos que so
crian que iban a corresponderles, habiendo resultado, al verificarse la venta ordenada por el Juzgado el 7 de
Enero de 1928 de las fincas del finado, que habia un deficit de unos P600.00 para la administracion que no se
podrian cubrir, en razon de que todas lad deudas ya habian asido pagadas, y los herederos tomaron para si todo
el remante de la administracion.
Con todo, se veclamente que Del Rosario, desde-el año 1928, hizo costar que la administracion a su cargo ya no
poseia bienes. Por orto parte, los herederos de Pedro Royo; que eran ya de edad legal desde al año 1924, nunca
han impugnado la manifestacion citada, como tampoco haan dado paso alguna para averiguar is exestian o no
todavia bienes en la administration. Esto constituye, naturalmente, una tacita admission de lo manifestado por
del Rosario en su escrito ya aludido.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Esto a un lado, y por otro, Del Rosario mario el 25 de Noviembro de 1930, y se instituyo despues an expendiente
de administracion de los bienes dejado por el mismo. No hay informacion es el record del expiendiente de
administracion de los bienes de Pedro Royo, ni se ha aportado prueba alguna en el juico de la mocion bajo
consideracion, que los herederos de dicho Pedro Royo han presentado reclamacion alguna en la administracion
de los bienes de Pantaleon E. del Rosario por cualesquier obligaciones en que este hay racarrido o por la

cantidad de P17,610.00. De modo que, el escrito de constancia y mocion de fecha 6 de Noviembro de 1940 se
presento muytarde . . .
xxx

xxx

xxxchanrobles virtual law library

. . . el articulo 6 de la Regla No. 87 del Nuevo Codigo de Procedimiento Civil, como sigue:
"Cuando la obligacion del difunto fuero solidaria y de mancomuncon orto deudor la reclamacion debera
presentarse contra el difunto como si fuera el unico deudor, sin perjuricio del derecho de la testamentaria o del
intestado a reconbrar del orto deudor la parte que a este le correspondiere en dicha obligacion."
No se ha presentado reclamacion por la obligacion de que son responsables mancomunada y solidariamente
Pantaleon E. del Rosario, Tomas Delgado y N. T. Deen, en el expediente del intestado del primero (Pantaleon E.
del Rosario). Ello, dado el tiempo trancurrido, constituye impendimento para ecigir cualesquier
responsabilidad en que haya podido incurrir Del Rosario en vida, en relacion con sus gestiones en la
administracion de los bienes del finado Pedro Royo, por precripcion o, tan siquiera, por (estoppel by laches. El
articulo 1148 del Codigo Civil dice lo siguente:
"El de deudor solidario podra utilizar contra las reclamaciones del creedor, todas las excepciones que se
deriven de la naturaleza de la obligacion y las que le sean personales."
y, por tanto, la prescription a "estoppel by laches' puede ser invocado por Delgado y Deen.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals by movants, this Court endorsed the case to Us for the reason that all the
issues raised in movant's brief involve questions of law. The assignment of errors in appellants' brief are as
follows:
FIRST ERROR
THE COURT A QUO IN DENYING THE MOVANTS APPELLANTS' MOTION DATED NOVEMBER 6, 1940, AND,
CONSEQUENTLY, IN NOT ORDERING THE EXECUTION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR'S BOND FOR THE SUM OF
P17,610.00 WHEREBY THE BONDSMEN N.T. DEEN AND TOMAS DELGADO (OPPOSITORS-APPELLEES) ARE
JOINTLY AND SOLIDARILY LIABLE
SECOND ERROR
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PRINCIPLE OR DOCTRINE OF PRESCRIPTION AND
ESTOPPEL BY LACHES ARE APPLICABLE IN THE PRESENT CASE.
THIRD ERROR
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN GIVING FULL FAITH AND CREDIT TO THE PLEADING ENTITLED
"MANIFESTATION FILED BY THE FORMER ADMINISTRATOR PANTALEON E. DEL ROSARIO DATED
SEPTEMBER 8, 1928. (APPEARING IN THE RECORD - PAGE 1164 - PIEZA SEXTA )
FOURTH ERROR
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN ORDERING THE CLOSURE OF THE PRESENT CASE.
The last assignment of error attacks as error on the part of the trial judge that of having considered the
"Manifestaciones" of the administrator dated September 8, 1928 as true and valid notwithstanding the fact that
said
manifestations
were
not
sworn
to
as
intended
by
the
signer
(the
administrator).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The material statements contained in the "Manifestaciones" of the administrator are as follows:

2. - Que a consocuencia de ciertas arreglos que los herederos del finado Pedro Royo habian hecho con ciertas
acreedores suyos los primeros han dispuesto de bastantes fondos que pertenecian a la administracion, por ser
ya mayores de edad, y se han reservado solamente en poder del Administrador a quellas cantidades que se han
creido necesarias para el pago de las deudas del difunto pero en la computacior de estos pagos no se han tenido
en cuenta varior gastos y obligaciones de la administracion, que no se han podido consideraration cuando
dichos herederos hicieron uso de los fondos que se creian que iban a corresponderles, habiendo resultado, al
verificarse la venta ordenada por el Juzgado el 7 de Enero de 1928 de las fincas del finado que habia un deficit
de unos P600.00 para la administration que no se podrian cubrir, en razon de que todas las deudas ya habian
sido pagodas, y los herederos, tomarom para si todo el remanente de la administracion.
Appellants argue that the "Manifestaciones" is not sworn to and is irregular and the parties or heirs were not
furnished copies thereof. It should be borne in mind that an administrator, before assuming his duties as such,
must furnish a bond wherein he undertakes to faithfully perform his duties. (Sec. 1, Rule 82) Having been
previously sworn to faithfully perform his duties, no further swear in is necessary as to the reports that he
submits in the course of administration.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
It does not appear that any opposition to the above-quoted report of the administrator was ever filed by the
heirs. Section 9 of Rule 86 provides that if examined on his accounts, the examination shall be under oath. No
opposition having been filed examination under oath was not necessary. (Ibid) In the report it is stated: (1)
that the administrator was ordered to retain only P2,900 to respond for the claim of the Lyric Films; (2) that
the heirs of the estate, being already of age, have disposed of a great portion of the funds of the estate, the
administrator retaining only sums necessary to pay debts; (3) that the court had ordered the sale of properties
of the estate on January 1928 because the debts had all been paid. From these statements, which do not appear
controverted in the record of the proceedings, it can clearly be deduced that the P17,600, subject of the present
suit had already been used up either to pay debts or taken by the heirs themselves who have already reached
the age of majority.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The above statements do not appear to have ever been contradicted by the heirs of the estate, nor have
objections thereto ever been filed by the heirs, according to the record of the proceedings, otherwise the judge
below would have noted said objections, and the plaintiff would have indicated where and when the objections
were made. Not that the report (Manifestaciones) is dated September 8, 1928, whereas the present action was
filed on November 6, 1940, or twelve years and two months thereafter.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
virtual law library
The complaint alleges that the deceased administrator never presented an account of his administration,
especially after the sale of properties was authorized. We declare in reply that the "Manifestaciones" is virtually
the report on the estate of his accounts. The absence of any opposition thereto on the part of the heirs in the
administration proceedings shows that they acquiesced therein and in all that is alleged therein. Any action to
contest the correctness of said report on its contents should have been presented promptly by the heirs. Their
continued silence - no action until now has been brought by the heirs of the estate - can only mean their
conformity therein or acquiescence thereto. Such silence or acquiescence is a patent denial of the existence of
any malfeasance on the part of the administrator Del Rosario in his administration and is competent proof that
he did not retain the sum claimed but had actually used it in the payment of debts, or had delivered it to the
heirs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
In its decision the court below found that notwithstanding the fact that the report of Del Rosario is dated
September 8, 1928 and he died on November 25, 1930, and administration proceedings for the settlement of
his estate were instituted, it does not appear that the heirs of Pedro Royo had ever presented a claim for any
liability that he may have contracted as administrator, especialIy with respect to the amount of P17,610, subject
of the present suit. No such claim was ever presented either against Del Rosario singly or jointly with his
bondsmen Deen and Delgado. Under these circumstances, the court below held, the heirs of Pedro Royo or their
administratrix are prevented by estoppel or laches from instituting the present action. We find these
conclusions of fact and law to be well-founded.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

FOR THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against
the movants-appellants.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal,
JJ., concur.
For our class:
EN BANC

G.R. No. 000

July 18, 1975

IN RE: PEDRO A. AMPARO (1974 Bar Candidate), petitioner,

RESOLUTION

CASTRO, J.:
Pedro A. Amparo of Guindulman, Bohol filed a petition to take the 1974 Bar examinations. This petition was
granted.
In the afternoon of December 1, 1974 he was at his assigned seat no. 17, room 401, fourth floor, Manuel L.
Quezon University Building on R. Hidalgo, Manila. The Bar examination that afternoon was in Criminal Law.
While the examination was in progress, the headwatcher in room 401, Lilian Mendigorin, reported that
examinee Amparo was found reading, at approximately 3:15 o'clock, a piece of paper containing notes in
Criminal Law. He at first refused to surrender the paper, but later gave it to Mendigorin when she threatened
to report the matter to the authorities. A verbal report was relayed to the Bar Chairman who forthwith gave
instructions that no investigation be then made in order to forestall any commotion that might disturb the other
candidates. Amparo was permitted to continue answering the questions. Headwatcher Mendigorin thereafter
submitted a special report on the incident.
On the following day, Clerk of Court Romeo Mendoza filed a formal report. Acting thereon, the Court en banc,
on December 3, 1974, unanimously resolved "to disqualify Pedro Amparo from taking the Bar examinations
still to be given, namely, in the subjects of Remedial Law and Labor and Social Legislation, on Sunday, December
8, 1974, without prejudice to allowing him to take the Bar examinations after this year."
In a letter dated December 5, 1974, Amparo requested that "before final action is or becomes effective" he "be
given a chance to explain" his side. On December 5, 1974 the Court reconsidered its prior resolution and
allowed Amparo to take the Bar examinations on the coming Sunday, December 8, 1974, without prejudice to
further action by the Court after a formal and more detailed investigation of the incident.
As ordered, the Clerk of Court conducted an investigation on December 9, 1974 at which the respondent
Amparo (a) appeared in his own behalf, (b) cross-examined the witnesses against him.(c) presented himself as
his own witness, and (d) presented as his witnesses three Bar candidates who in the afternoon of December 1
were seated near him in the examination room.
At the investigation, headwatcher Mendigorin identified Amparo as the Bar examinee whom she saw reading a
piece of paper inside the examination room in the course of the examination in Criminal Law. The piece of
paper, later marked as exhibit C, contains handwritten notes, on both sides, on the durations of penalties and a

formula of computing them, particularly reclusion temporal. Mendigorin testified that she approached Amparo
and asked for the piece of paper; that he refused and put the paper in his pocket; that when she approached
him a second time, he fished the paper from his pocket and gave it to her; that when, at the end of the
examination period, Amparo submitted his examination notebook, he told her that he really had intended to
cheat. On cross-examination, she elaborated that Amparo gave the piece of paper only when she told him that
she would bring the matter up to higher authority.
Vernon B. Vasquez, a watcher under headwatcher Mendigorin, corroborated the latter's testimony. He declared
that from a distance of five meters, he saw Amparo reading a piece of paper on his lap; that he wanted to
approach him but his headwatcher was already ahead of him; and that Amparo thereupon placed the paper in
his pocket, but when Mendigorin threatened to report the matter, Amparo yielded exhibit C with a smile.
In his testimony, Amparo admitted having in his possession, in the course of the examination, the piece of paper,
exhibit C, explaining that because he was perspiring, he took his handkerchief from his pocket, and out also
came the piece of paper which fell to the floor; that the notes were not in his handwriting as they were given
by a friend, and that it was by accident that he picked up the paper to find out what it was, as he had forgotten
about it, but had no intention to use it; that while he was reading it, the headwatcher saw him and demanded
it from him, but he refused because he thought that he might need it for "future reference," but when the
headwatcher insisted as otherwise she would report the matter to her supervisor, Amparo surrendered the
paper. On cross-examination, he declared that exhibit C had been in his pocket a long time before December 1;
that he had not changed his pants for three weeks; that when the first bell rang for the examination in Criminal
Law, he was required to put "all his things" out of the room; that he forgot about the paper inside his pocket;
that when he took out his handkerchief to wipe his perspiration, the paper fell to the floor, and he wondered
what it was and then recalled upon reading it that it had been given by a friend; and that as he was reading it,
"that diligent headwatcher came and asked for that paper." He further admitted that he knew it is contrary to
the rules to bring notes and books inside the examination room.
Bar candidates Jovencio Fajilan, Norman M. Balagtas and Apolinario O. Calix, Sr., who were seated near Amparo
in room 401, were presented by the respondent as his witnesses, but all of them professed lack of knowledge
about the incident as they were engrossed in answering the examination questions.
It is clear that Amparo, in the course of the examination in Criminal Law, had possession of the piece of paper
containing notes on the durations of penalties and that he knew that it is contrary to the rules to bring notes
and books inside the examination room. It thus results that he knowingly violated Section 10, Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court, which pertinently provides that "Persons taking the examination shall not bring papers, books
or notes into the examination rooms."
Amparo's impression that the notes had no "material use" to him is correct, in the sense that they bore no
reference to any question asked in the examination in Criminal Law; even so he committed an overt act
indicative of an attempt to cheat by reading the notes, His refusal to surrender the paper containing the notes
when first demanded; his eventual surrender of it only after he was informed that he would be reported; and
the facts that the notes pertained to Criminal Law and the examination then in Criminal Law — all these
override and rebut his explanation that he merely read the notes to find out what they were as he had forgotten
about them.
We find the respondent Amparo guilty of (1) bringing notes into the examination room and (2) attempted
cheating. According to the official report of the Bar Confidant, approved by the Court, Amparo did not pass the
1974 Bar examinations.
ACCORDINGLY, it is the sense of the Court that Pedro A. Amparo should be as he is hereby disqualified from
taking the Bar examinations for the year 1975.

In re: Victorio Lanuevo
In re: Ramon Galang
Note: both cases the same
Facts:
This is a disbarment matter with regards to Attorney Victorio Lanuevo, the Bar Confidant for the 1971 Bar
Examinations. Supreme Court received a confidential letter that speaks of the exam notebooks of a examinee
named Ramon Galang who has been re-evaluated and re-corrected such that he hurdled the Bar Exams and
was admitted to the Bar.
Lanuevo admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang back to the respective
examiners for re-evalution or re-checking. The five examiners admitted having re-evaluated or re-checked the
notebook to him by the Bar Confidant, stating that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee
concerned failed only in his particular subject and was on the borderline of passing. Ramon Galang was able to
pass the 1971 bar exam because of Lanuevo’s move but the exam results bears that he failed in 5 subjects
namely in (Political, Civil, Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
Galang on the otherhand, denied of having charged of Slight Physical Injuries on Eufrosino de Vera, a law
student of MLQU.
The five examiners were led by Lanuevo to believe that it is the Bar Committee’s regular activity that when an
examinee has failed in one subject alone, the rest he passed, the examiner in that subject which he flunked will
review his exam notebook.
Afterwards, Lanuevo gained possession of few properties, including that of a house in BF Homes, which was
never declared in his declaration of assets and liabilities.
Issue:
WON Lanuevo was guilty of defrauding the examiners such that Galang passed the Bar? YES
Held:
It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent Lanuevo’s well-studied and wellcalculated 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— 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.
The Bar Confidant 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. 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.
AS TO GALANG’S CRIM CASE: 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. 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.

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.
DECISION: Lanuevo disbarred, Galang stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.

FACTS:
Administrative proceeding against Victorio Lanuevo for disbarment.
Admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang back to the respective examiners
for re-evalution or re-checking.
The five examiners admitted having re-evaluated or re-checked the notebook to him by the Bar Confidant,
stating that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee concerned failed only in his particular
subject and was on the borderline of passing.
Ramon galang was able to pass the 1971 bar exam because of Lanuevo’s move but the exam results bears that
he failed in 5 subjects namely in (Political, Civil, Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
Galang on the otherhand, denied of having charged of Slight Physical Injuries on Eufrosino de Vera, a law
student of MLQU.
RULING:
The court disbarred Lanuevo – has no authority to request the examiners to re-evaluate grades of examinees
w/o prior authority from Supreme Court.
He does not possess any discretion with respect to the matter of admission of examinees to the bar. He does
not a have any business evaluating the answers of the examinees.
Consequently, Galang was also disbarred Sec. 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Curt of 1964, candidates for
admission to the bar must be of good moral character. Galang has a pending criminal cases of Physical Injuries,
he committed perjury when he declared under oath that he had no pending criminal case this resulted him to
revoked his license.

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

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 reevaluation 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.
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 rechecked 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
notice why 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. 6063, 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. 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 crossexamination.
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 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 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.
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:
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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

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.

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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.
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:
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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 reevaluate 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 reevaluation, 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).

In his answer (response) dated March 18, 1973, respondent Manalo reiterated the contents of his sworn
statement, adding the following:
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xxx

5.
In agreeing to re-evaluate the notebook, with resulted in increasing the total grade of the examineeconcerned 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.
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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:
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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;
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
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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:
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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),
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.
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xxx (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 35, rec.; emphasis supplied).

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:
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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 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:
(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. 9Lanuevo 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;

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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 34, 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.
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, 7475; 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 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. 2425, 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 & BMontecillo, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 41, 72, 63; Vol. Vi, p. 16, rec.).
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 reevaluating 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 & 2Pardo, 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.
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-ALanuevo, 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 reevaluating the answers of only respondent 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.
It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent Lanuevo's well-studied and wellcalculated 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
or 30 weighted points
B
A
I
Labor Laws and Social
Legislations
67%
evaluation made.

68%

78% = 10 pts.

67% = no re-

2. Civil Law
64%
or 33 weighted points.

75% = 1 points

Taxation
74%
evaluation made.

74% = no re-

3. Mercantile Law
or 30 weighted points.

61%

4. Criminal Law 64%
22 weighted points.

75% = 11 pts. or

5. Remedial Law 63.75% (64)
11 pts. or 44 weighted points.

71% = 10 pts.

75.5% (75%) =

Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises
81%
81% = no reevaluation made.
————————————

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 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, 2022, 29-31, rec.).
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. BMontecillo, 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:
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
Taxation

70%
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
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 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 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).
[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 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 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 & 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 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 reevaluations(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 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 he filed 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 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 1971 Statement
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 on March 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 at P5,200.00.
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 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.
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 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.).
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.

Payment of IBP Dues
Cases:
Santos Jr vs Atty. Llamas
SANTOS v. LLAMAS [2000]
Facts

1.
violated Rule 139 §1 that only duly admitted Bar members “who is in good and regular standing, is
entitled to practice law”
violated Rule 139-A (effect on non-payment of dues)“default in payment for 6 months=suspension of
membership and 12 months= removal of the name from the Roll of Attorneys”
*In failing to pay IBP dues since 1991 as attested to by then IBP president Atty. Ida Macalinao-Javier, but he still
uses the official receipt(OR) number(IBP RIZAL 259060) of his 1991 payment in his 1995-1997 pleadings. He
also doesn’t include the date and place of issuance of this.
*In failing to indicate his proper PTR number(professional tax) in these pleadings.
2.
violated Rule 139 too
Rule 138 §27& 28”that suspensions of attorneys may be done by the SC, RTC and CA ”
*In being dismissed as Pasay City Judge by the SC in Oct 28, 1981.
*In being convicted of Estafa in a crim case#11787, by the RTC Makati in June 30 1994 and the denial of his
MFR to conviction under Art. 314 p. 2 RPC by the CA on Feb. 14, 1995. (although resp alleges that it’s still
pending)
-memorandum on June 3,1998 alleges:
1.
The petitioner’s basis of the SC’s dismissal of him was set aside and reversed, he was even promoted
to RTC Judge of Makati.
2.
The Feb. 14,1995 decision in Crim Case#11787 is still pending in the CA . (petitioner said that this is
the denial date of the MFR not the conviction, so is not pending)
3.
And if the SC decision wasn’t reversed and the Crim Case was sustained in the CA, Santos wouldn’t
need to file a complaint he would voluntarily surrender the right/privilege to practice law.
4.
As to the fact that he was delinquent in the IBP payments, in good faith he beleived that he was
exempted as he was a senior citizen in 1992 by §4 of RA 7432(exempting taxes) and by virtue of his having a
limited practice of law as indicated in his Income Tax Return(ITR-main occupation farmer of 30hecs. of orchard
and pineapple in Calauan, Laguna). Because of the exemption, he didn’t exercise his rights to vote and being
voted in the IBP.
5.
And he is ready to comply with the dues if he is wrong in his assumption.
passed and approved the report of the Investigating Commissioner
finding Llamas guilty and suspended for 3 months and until he pays the dues fully.
-B
§12b RoC, the case is for final action of the Dec. decision.
Issue:
WON RA 7432 was applicable in this case. NO

This grant of exemption for Senior citizens from payment of individual income taxes as long as their annual
taxable income does not exceed the poverty level set by NEDA for that year does not include as membership
and association dues.
WON Respondent’s use of the same IBP OR number for at least 6 years(even if evidenced only in 1995-1997,
counted from 1991-1997) and non-payment of dues constitute a liability. YES
By using IBP-RIZAL 259060, he is misrepresenting the public and the courts of his chapter membership,
number and yearly payment by not properly indicating the place and date of issuance.
Even if Llamas said that he is in a limited practice of law, it means that he accepts that he is still practicing law.
Therefore, he is not exempt from paying the dues.
Rule 139A(mentioned b4) specifies that only those who pay dues can practice.
And he can’t use the RA as an excuse, as it isn’t applicable.

So the court relying on these rules decide that Llamas committed misconducts
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL
PROFESSION, AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR. Esmso
CANON 10 - A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any court; nor shall he mislead or
allow the court to be misled by any artifice.
Decision, the court said that this warrants the severest penalty but because of his advanced age and willingness
to pay the dues. He is only suspended for a year until he pays the full amount of dues whichever is later.
Anyway addt’l info from the case(not relevant except to justify the dues): it says in Rule 139-A§9 that the annual
membership dues set by the IBP Board of Governors approved by the SC, by each chapter, 10% of that collected
will go to the welfare fund of the disabled members of the each chapter and the compulsory heirs of the
deceased members thereof.
SECOND DIVISION
[A.C No. 4749. January 20, 2000]
SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR., complainant, vs. ATTY. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS, respondent.
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
This is a complaint for misrepresentation and non-payment of bar membership dues filed against respondent
Atty. Francisco R. Llamas.
In a letter-complaint to this Court dated February 8, 1997, complainant Soliman M. Santos, Jr., himself a member
of the bar, alleged that:
On my oath as an attorney, I wish to bring to your attention and appropriate sanction the matter of Atty.
Francisco R. Llamas who, for a number of years now, has not indicated the proper PTR and IBP O.R. Nos. and
data (date & place of issuance) in his pleadings. If at all, he only indicates "IBP Rizal 259060" but he has been
using this for at least three years already, as shown by the following attached sample pleadings in various
courts in 1995, 1996 and 1997: (originals available)
Annex A......."Ex-Parte Manifestation and Submission" dated December 1, 1995 in Civil Case No. Q-9525253, RTC, Br. 224, QC
Annex B......."Urgent Ex-Parte Manifestation Motion" dated November 13, 1996 in Sp. Proc. No. 95-030,
RTC Br. 259 (not 257), Parañaque, MM
Annex C......."An Urgent and Respectful Plea for extension of Time to File Required Comment and
Opposition" dated January 17, 1997 in CA-G.R. SP (not Civil Case) No. 42286, CA 6th Div.
This matter is being brought in the context of Rule 138, Section 1 which qualifies that only a duly admitted
member of the bar "who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law". There is also Rule 139-A,
Section 10 which provides that "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."

Among others, I seek clarification (e.g. a certification) and appropriate action on the bar standing of Atty.
Francisco R. Llamas both with the Bar Confidant and with the IBP, especially its Rizal Chapter of which Atty.
Llamas purports to be a member. Jksm
Please note that while Atty. Llamas indicates "IBP Rizal 259060" sometimes, he does not indicate any PTR for
payment of professional tax.
Under the Rules, particularly Rule 138, Sections 27 and 28, suspension of an attorney may be done not only by
the Supreme Court but also by the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court (thus, we are also copy furnishing
some of these courts).
Finally, it is relevant to note the track record of Atty. Francisco R. Llamas, as shown by:
1........his dismissal as Pasay City Judge per Supreme Court Admin. Matter No. 1037-CJ En Banc Decision on
October 28, 1981 ( in SCRA )
2........his conviction for estafa per Decision dated June 30, 1994 in Crim. Case No. 11787, RTC Br. 66, Makati, MM
(see attached copy of the Order dated February 14, 1995 denying the motion for reconsideration of the
conviction which is purportedly on appeal in the Court of Appeals).
Attached to the letter-complaint were the pleadings dated December 1, 1995, November 13, 1996, and January
17, 1997 referred to by complainant, bearing, at the end thereof, what appears to be respondent’s signature
above his name, address and the receipt number "IBP Rizal 259060."[1] Also attached was a copy of the
order,[2] dated February 14, 1995, issued by Judge Eriberto U. Rosario, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
66, Makati, denying respondent’s motion for reconsideration of his conviction, in Criminal Case No. 11787, for
violation of Art. 316, par. 2 of the Revised Penal Code.
On April 18, 1997, complainant filed a certification[3] dated March 18, 1997, by the then president of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Atty. Ida R. Macalinao-Javier, that respondent’s "last payment of his IBP dues
was in 1991. Since then he has not paid or remitted any amount to cover his membership fees up to the
present."
On July 7, 1997, respondent was required to comment on the complaint within ten days from receipt of notice,
after which the case was referred to the IBP for investigation, report and recommendation. In his commentmemorandum,[4] dated June 3, 1998, respondent alleged:[5]
3. That with respect to the complainant’s absurd claim that for using in 1995, 1996 and 1997 the same O.R. No.
259060 of the Rizal IBP, respondent is automatically no longer a member in good standing.
Precisely, as cited under the context of Rule 138, only an admitted member of the bar who is in good standing
is entitled to practice law.
The complainant’s basis in claiming that the undersigned was no longer in good standing, were as above cited,
the October 28, 1981 Supreme Court decision of dismissal and the February 14, 1995 conviction for Violation
of Article 316 RPC, concealment of encumbrances. Chief
As above pointed out also, the Supreme Court dismissal decision was set aside and reversed and respondent
was even promoted from City Judge of Pasay City to Regional Trial Court Judge of Makati, Br. 150.
Also as pointed out, the February 14, 1995 decision in Crim. Case No. 11787 was appealed to the Court of
Appeals and is still pending.
Complainant need not even file this complaint if indeed the decision of dismissal as a Judge was never set aside
and reversed, and also had the decision of conviction for a light felony, been affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Undersigned himself would surrender his right or privilege to practice law.
4. That complainant capitalizes on the fact that respondent had been delinquent in his dues.
Undersigned since 1992 have publicly made it clear per his Income Tax Return, up to the present, that he had
only a limited practice of law. In fact, in his Income Tax Return, his principal occupation is a farmer of which he
is. His 30 hectares orchard and pineapple farm is located at Calauan, Laguna.
Moreover, and more than anything else, respondent being a Senior Citizen since 1992, is legally exempt under
Section 4 of Rep. Act 7432 which took effect in 1992, in the payment of taxes, income taxes as an example. Being
thus exempt, he honestly believe in view of his detachment from a total practice of law, but only in a limited
practice, the subsequent payment by him of dues with the Integrated Bar is covered by such exemption. In fact,
he never exercised his rights as an IBP member to vote and be voted upon.
Nonetheless, if despite such honest belief of being covered by the exemption and if only to show that he never
in any manner wilfully and deliberately failed and refused compliance with such dues, he is willing at any time
to fulfill and pay all past dues even with interests, charges and surcharges and penalties. He is ready to tender
such fulfillment or payment, not for allegedly saving his skin as again irrelevantly and frustratingly insinuated

for vindictive purposes by the complainant, but as an honest act of accepting reality if indeed it is reality for
him to pay such dues despite his candor and honest belief in all food faith, to the contrary. Esmsc
On December 4, 1998, the IBP Board of Governors passed a resolution[6] adopting and approving the report
and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner which found respondent guilty, and recommended his
suspension from the practice of law for three months and until he pays his IBP dues. Respondent moved for a
reconsideration of the decision, but this was denied by the IBP in a resolution,[7] dated April 22, 1999. Hence,
pursuant to Rule 139-B, §12(b) of the Rules of Court, this case is here for final action on the decision of the IBP
ordering respondent’s suspension for three months.
The findings of IBP Commissioner Alfredo Sanz are as follows:
On the first issue, Complainant has shown "respondent’s non-indication of the proper IBP O.R. and PTR
numbers in his pleadings (Annexes "A", "B" and "C" of the letter complaint, more particularly his use of "IBP
Rizal 259060 for at least three years."
The records also show a "Certification dated March 24, 1997 from IBP Rizal Chapter President Ida R. Makahinud
Javier that respondent’s last payment of his IBP dues was in 1991."
While these allegations are neither denied nor categorically admitted by respondent, he has invoked and cited
that "being a Senior Citizen since 1992, he is legally exempt under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7432 which
took effect in 1992 in the payment of taxes, income taxes as an example."
....
The above cited provision of law is not applicable in the present case. In fact, respondent admitted that he is
still in the practice of law when he alleged that the "undersigned since 1992 have publicly made it clear per his
Income tax Return up to the present time that he had only a limited practice of law." (par. 4 of Respondent’s
Memorandum).
Therefore respondent is not exempt from paying his yearly dues to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Esmmis
On the second issue, complainant claims that respondent has misled the court about his standing in the IBP by
using the same IBP O.R. number in his pleadings of at least six years and therefore liable for his actions.
Respondent in his memorandum did not discuss this issue.
First. Indeed, respondent admits that since 1992, he has engaged in law practice without having paid his IBP
dues. He likewise admits that, as appearing in the pleadings submitted by complainant to this Court, he
indicated "IBP-Rizal 259060" in the pleadings he filed in court, at least for the years 1995, 1996, and 1997, thus
misrepresenting that such was his IBP chapter membership and receipt number for the years in which those
pleadings were filed. He claims, however, that he is only engaged in a "limited" practice and that he believes in
good faith that he is exempt from the payment of taxes, such as income tax, under R.A. No. 7432, §4 as a senior
citizen since 1992.
Rule 139-A provides:
Sec. 9. Membership dues. - Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of
Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent
(10%) of the collections from each Chapter shall be set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the
Chapter and the compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof.
Sec. 10. 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.
In accordance with these provisions, respondent can engage in the practice of law only by paying his dues, and
it does not matter that his practice is "limited." While it is true that R.A. No. 7432, §4 grants senior citizens
"exemption from the payment of individual income taxes: provided, that their annual taxable income does not
exceed the poverty level as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for that
year," the exemption does not include payment of membership or association dues.
Second. By indicating "IBP-Rizal 259060" in his pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public and the
courts that he had paid his IBP dues to the Rizal Chapter, respondent is guilty of violating the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides:
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL
PROFESSION, AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR. Esmso
CANON 10 - A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.

Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any court; nor shall he mislead or
allow the court to be misled by any artifice.
Respondent’s failure to pay his IBP dues and his misrepresentation in the pleadings he filed in court indeed
merit the most severe penalty. However, in view of respondent’s advanced age, his express willingness to pay
his dues and plea for a more temperate application of the law,[8] we believe the penalty of one year suspension
from the practice of law or until he has paid his IBP dues, whichever is later, is appropriate.
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Francisco R. Llamas is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for ONE (1) YEAR,
or until he has paid his IBP dues, whichever is later. Let a copy of this decision be attached to Atty. Llamas’
personal record in the Office of the Bar Confidant and copies be furnished to all chapters of the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines and to all courts in the land.
SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo, (Chairman), Quisumbing, Buena, and D
In Re: Letter of Atty. Arevalo Jr.
FACTS: Petitioners files a motion for exemption for paying his IBP dues from 1977-2005 in the amount of
P12,035.00. He contends that after admission to the Bar he worked at the Phil. Civil Service then migrated to
the US until his retirement. His contention to be exempt is that his employment with the CSC prohibits him to
practice his law profession and he did not practice the same while in the US. The compulsion that he pays his
IBP annual membership is oppressive since he has an inactive status as a lawyer. His removal from the
profession because of non-payment of the same constitutes to the deprivation of his property rights bereft of
due process of the law.
ISSUE: WON inactive practice of the law profession is an exemption to payment for IBP annual membership.
RULING: The court held that the imposition of the membership fee is a matter of regulatory measure by the
State, which is a necessary consequence for being a member of the Philippine Bar. The compulsory requirement
to pay the fees subsists for as long as one remains to be a member regardless whether one is a practicing lawyer
or not. Thus, his petition for exemption from paying his IBP membership fee dues is denied.
EN BANC
[B.M. No. 1370. May 9, 2005]
LETTER OF ATTY. CECILIO Y. AREVALO, JR., REQUESTING EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF IBP DUES.
DECISION
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
This is a request for exemption from payment of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) dues filed by
petitioner Atty. Cecilio Y. Arevalo, Jr.
In his letter,[1] dated 22 September 2004, petitioner sought exemption from payment of IBP dues in the amount
of P12,035.00 as alleged unpaid accountability for the years 1977-2005. He alleged that after being admitted
to the Philippine Bar in 1961, he became part of the Philippine Civil Service from July 1962 until 1986, then
migrated to, and worked in, the USA in December 1986 until his retirement in the year 2003. He maintained
that he cannot be assessed IBP dues for the years that he was working in the Philippine Civil Service since the
Civil Service law prohibits the practice of one’s profession while in government service, and neither can he be
assessed for the years when he was working in the USA.
On 05 October 2004, the letter was referred to the IBP for comment.[2]
On 16 November 2004, the IBP submitted its comment[3] stating inter alia: that membership in the IBP is not
based on the actual practice of law; that a lawyer continues to be included in the Roll of Attorneys as long as he
continues to be a member of the IBP; that one of the obligations of a member is the payment of annual dues as
determined by the IBP Board of Governors and duly approved by the Supreme Court as provided for in Sections
9 and 10, Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court; that the validity of imposing dues on the IBP members has been

upheld as necessary to defray the cost of an Integrated Bar Program; and that the policy of the IBP Board of
Governors of no exemption from payment of dues is but an implementation of the Court’s directives for all
members of the IBP to help in defraying the cost of integration of the bar. It maintained that there is no rule
allowing the exemption of payment of annual dues as requested by respondent, that what is allowed is
voluntary termination and reinstatement of membership. It asserted that what petitioner could have done was
to inform the secretary of the IBP of his intention to stay abroad, so that his membership in the IBP could have
been terminated, thus, his obligation to pay dues could have been stopped. It also alleged that the IBP Board of
Governors is in the process of discussing proposals for the creation of an inactive status for its members, which
if approved by the Board of Governors and by this Court, will exempt inactive IBP members from payment of
the annual dues.
In his reply[4] dated 22 February 2005, petitioner contends that what he is questioning is the IBP Board of
Governor’s Policy of Non-Exemption in the payment of annual membership dues of lawyers regardless of
whether or not they are engaged in active or inactive practice. He asseverates that the Policy of Non-Exemption
in the payment of annual membership dues suffers from constitutional infirmities, such as equal protection
clause and the due process clause. He also posits that compulsory payment of the IBP annual membership dues
would indubitably be oppressive to him considering that he has been in an inactive status and is without income
derived from his law practice. He adds that his removal from nonpayment of annual membership dues would
constitute deprivation of property right without due process of law. Lastly, he claims that non-practice of law
by a lawyer-member in inactive status is neither injurious to active law practitioners, to fellow lawyers in
inactive status, nor to the community where the inactive lawyers-members reside.
Plainly, the issue here is: whether or nor petitioner is entitled to exemption from payment of his dues during
the time that he was inactive in the practice of law that is, when he was in the Civil Service from 1962-1986
and he was working abroad from 1986-2003?
We rule in the negative.
An “Integrated Bar” is a State-organized Bar, to which every lawyer must belong, as distinguished from bar
association organized by individual lawyers themselves, membership in which is voluntary. Integration of the
Bar is essentially a process by which every member of the Bar is afforded an opportunity to do his shares in
carrying out the objectives of the Bar as well as obliged to bear his portion of its responsibilities. Organized by
or under the direction of the State, an Integrated Bar is an official national body of which all lawyers are
required to be members. They are, therefore, subject to all the rules prescribed for the governance of the Bar,
including the requirement of payment of a reasonable annual fee for the effective discharge of the purposes of
the Bar, and adherence to a code of professional ethics or professional responsibility, breach of which
constitutes sufficient reason for investigation by the Bar and, upon proper cause appearing, a recommendation
for discipline or disbarment of the offending member.[5]
The integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification of the entire lawyer population. This
requires membership and financial support of every attorney as condition sine qua non to the practice of law
and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court.[6]
Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not to attend the
meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The only
compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of his annual dues. The Supreme Court, in order to foster
the State’s legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal 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.[7]
Moreover, there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the Court, under its constitutional power and duty
to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law and in the integration of the Philippine
Bar[8] - which power required members of a privileged class, such as lawyers are, to pay a reasonable fee
toward defraying the expenses of regulation of the profession to which they belong. It is quite apparent that

the fee is, indeed, imposed as a regulatory measure, designed to raise funds for carrying out the noble objectives
and purposes of integration.
The rationale for prescribing dues has been explained in the Integration of the Philippine Bar,[9] thus:
For the court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean that the Court is attempting to levy a
tax.
A membership fee in the Bar association is an exaction for regulation, while tax purpose of a tax is a revenue. If
the judiciary 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 put on an integrated Bar program without means
to defray the expenses. The doctrine of implied powers necessarily carries with it the power to impose such
exaction.
The only limitation upon the State’s power to regulate the privilege of law is that the regulation does not impose
an unconstitutional burden. The public interest promoted by the integration of the Bar far outweighs the slight
inconvenience to a member resulting from his required payment of the annual dues.
Thus, payment of dues is a necessary consequence of membership in the IBP, of which no one is exempt. This
means that the compulsory nature of payment of dues subsists for as long as one’s membership in the IBP
remains regardless of the lack of practice of, or the type of practice, the member is engaged in.
There is nothing in the law or rules which allows exemption from payment of membership dues. At most, as
correctly observed by the IBP, he could have informed the Secretary of the Integrated Bar of his intention to
stay abroad before he left. In such case, his membership in the IBP could have been terminated and his
obligation to pay dues could have been discontinued.
As abovementioned, the IBP in its comment stated that the IBP Board of Governors is in the process of
discussing the situation of members under inactive status and the nonpayment of their dues during such
inactivity. In the meantime, petitioner is duty bound to comply with his obligation to pay membership dues to
the IBP.
Petitioner also contends that the enforcement of the penalty of removal would amount to a deprivation of
property without due process and hence infringes on one of his constitutional rights.
This question has been settled in the case of In re Atty. Marcial Edillon,[10] in this wise:
. . . Whether the practice of law is a property right, in the sense of its being one that entitles the holder of a
license to practice a profession, we do not here pause to consider at length, as it [is] clear that under the police
power of the State, and under the necessary powers granted to the Court to perpetuate its existence, the
respondent’s right to practice law before the courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to
regulation and inquiry. And, if the power to impose the fee as a regulatory measure is recognize[d], then a
penalty designed to enforce its payment, which penalty may be avoided altogether by payment, is not void as
unreasonable or arbitrary.
But we must here emphasize that the practice of law is not a property right but a mere privilege, and as such
must bow to the inherent regulatory power of the Court to exact compliance with the lawyer’s public
responsibilities.
As a final note, it must be borne in mind that membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions,[11]
one of which is the payment of membership dues. Failure to abide by any of them entails the loss of such
privilege if the gravity thereof warrants such drastic move.
WHEREFORE, petitioner’s request for exemption from payment of IBP dues is DENIED. He is ordered to pay
P12,035.00, the amount assessed by the IBP as membership fees for the years 1977-2005, within a non-

extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of this decision, with a warning that failure to do so will merit
his suspension from the practice of law.
SO ORDERED.
In the Matter of IBP Membership Dues of Atty. Marcial Edillon
FACTS: The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing Attorney in the Philippines. The IBP
Board of Governors recommended to the Court the removal of the name of the respondent from its Roll of
Attorneys for stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues assailing the provisions of the Rule of Court 139-A
and the provisions of par. 2, Section 24, Article III, of the IBP By-Laws pertaining to the organization of IBP,
payment of membership fee and suspension for failure to pay the same.
Edillon contends that the stated provisions constitute an invasion of his constitutional rights in the sense that
he is being compelled as a pre-condition to maintain 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 admitted personally antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to liberty
and properly 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.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court may compel Atty. Edillion to pay his membership fee to the IBP.
HELD: The Integrated Bar is a State-organized Bar which every lawyer must be a member of as distinguished
from bar associations in which membership is merely optional and voluntary. All lawyers are subject to comply
with the rules prescribed for the governance of the Bar including payment a reasonable annual fees as one of
the requirements. The Rules of Court only compels him to pay his annual dues and it is not in violation of his
constitutional freedom to associate. Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He
is free to attend or not the meeting of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its election as he
chooses. The only compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. The Supreme Court in
order to further the State’s legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require
thet the cost of the regulatory program – the lawyers.
Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. The right to practice law before the
courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and inquiry. And if the power to impose
the fee as a regulatory measure is recognize then a penalty designed to enforce its payment is not void as
unreasonable as arbitrary. Furthermore, the Court has jurisdiction over matters of admission, suspension,
disbarment, and reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation as part of its inherent judicial functions and
responsibilities thus the court may compel all members of the Integrated Bar to pay their annual dues.
EN BANC
A.M. No. 1928

August 3, 1978

In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. MARCIAL A. EDILION (IBP Administrative Case
No. MDD-1)
RESOLUTION

CASTRO, C.J.:
The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing attorney in the Philippines.

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 shall be sent 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.
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.
At the threshold, a painstaking scrutiny of the respondent's pleadings would show that the propriety and
necessity of the integration of the Bar of the Philippines are in essence conceded. The respondent, however,
objects to particular features of Rule of Court 139-A (hereinafter referred to as the Court Rule) 1 — in
accordance with which the Bar of the Philippines was integrated — and to the provisions of par. 2, Section 24,
Article III, of the IBP By-Laws (hereinabove cited).
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 is found in par. 2 Section 24, Article Ill of the IBP By-Laws (supra),
whereas the authority of the Court to issue the order applied for is found in Section 10 of the Court Rule, which
reads:
SEC. 10. 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.
The all-encompassing, all-inclusive scope of membership in the IBP is stated in these words of the Court Rule:
SECTION 1.
Organization. — There is hereby organized an official national body to be known as the
'Integrated Bar of the Philippines,' composed of all persons whose names now appear or may hereafter be
included in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court.
The obligation to pay membership dues is couched in the following words of the Court Rule:
SEC. 9. Membership dues. Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of
Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. ...
The core of the respondent's arguments 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.
The respondent similarly questions the jurisdiction of the Court to strike his name from the Roll of Attorneys,
contending that the said matter is not among the justiciable cases triable by the Court but is rather of an
"administrative nature pertaining to an administrative body."
The case at bar is not the first one that has reached the Court relating to constitutional issues that inevitably
and inextricably come up to the surface whenever attempts are made to regulate the practice of law, define the
conditions of such practice, or revoke the license granted for the exercise of the legal profession.
The matters here complained of are the very same issues raised in 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. The Court
there made the unanimous pronouncement that it was
... 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'. ...
Be that as it may, we now restate briefly the posture of the Court.
An "Integrated Bar" is a State-organized Bar, to which every lawyer must belong, as distinguished from bar
associations organized by individual lawyers themselves, membership in which is voluntary. Integration of the
Bar is essentially a process by which every member of the Bar is afforded an opportunity to do his share in
carrying out the objectives of the Bar as well as obliged to bear his portion of its responsibilities. Organized by
or under the direction of the State, an integrated Bar is an official national body of which all lawyers are
required to be members. They are, therefore, subject to all the rules prescribed for the governance of the Bar,
including the requirement of payment of a reasonable annual fee for the effective discharge of the purposes of
the Bar, and adherence to a code of professional ethics or professional responsibility breach of which
constitutes sufficient reason for investigation by the Bar and, upon proper cause appearing, a recommendation
for discipline or disbarment of the offending member. 2
The integration of the Philippine Bar was obviously dictated by overriding considerations of public interest and
public welfare to such an extent as more than constitutionally and legally justifies the restrictions that
integration imposes upon the personal interests and personal convenience of individual lawyers. 3
Apropos to the above, it must be stressed that all legislation directing the integration of the Bar have been
uniformly and universally sustained as a valid exercise of the police power over an important profession. The
practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege, a privilege moreover clothed with public interest because a
lawyer owes substantial 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. 4 The practice of law being clothed with public interest, the holder of this
privilege must submit to a degree of control for the common good, to the extent of the interest he has created.
As the U. S. Supreme Court through Mr. Justice Roberts explained, the expression "affected with a public
interest" is the equivalent of "subject to the exercise of the police power" (Nebbia vs. New York, 291 U.S. 502).
When, therefore, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 6397 5 authorizing the Supreme Court to "adopt rules of
court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar under such conditions as it shall see fit," it did so in the
exercise of the paramount police power of the State. The Act's avowal is to "raise the standards of the legal

profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more
effectively." Hence, the Congress in enacting such Act, the Court in ordaining the integration of the Bar through
its Resolution promulgated on January 9, 1973, and the President of the Philippines in decreeing the
constitution of the IBP into a body corporate through Presidential Decree No. 181 dated May 4, 1973, were
prompted by fundamental considerations of public welfare and motivated by a desire to meet the demands of
pressing public necessity.
The State, in order to promote the general welfare, may interfere with and regulate personal liberty, property
and occupations. Persons and property may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to secure the
general prosperity and welfare of the State (U.S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil 218), for, as the Latin maxim goes,
"Salus populi est supreme lex." The public welfare is the supreme law. To this fundamental principle of
government the rights of individuals are subordinated. Liberty is a blessing without which life is a misery, but
liberty should not be made to prevail over authority because then society win fall into anarchy (Calalang vs.
Williams, 70 Phil. 726). It is an undoubted power of the State to restrain some individuals from all freedom,
and all individuals from some freedom.
But the most compelling argument sustaining the constitutionality and validity of Bar integration in the
Philippines is the explicit unequivocal grant of precise power to the Supreme Court by Section 5 (5) of Article
X of the 1973 Constitution of the Philippines, which reads:
Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
xxx

xxx

xxx

(5)
Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and pro. procedure in all courts, and the admission to
the practice of law and the integration of the Bar ...,
and Section 1 of Republic Act No. 6397, which reads:
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.
Quite apart from the above, let it be stated that even without the enabling Act (Republic Act No. 6397), and
looking solely to the language of the provision of the Constitution granting the Supreme Court the power "to
promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice
of law," it at once becomes indubitable that this constitutional declaration vests the Supreme Court with
plenary power in all cases regarding the admission to and supervision of the practice of law.
Thus, when the respondent Edillon entered upon the legal profession, his practice of law and his exercise of the
said profession, which affect the society at large, were (and are) subject to the power of the body politic to
require him to conform to such regulations as might be established by the proper authorities for the common
good, even to the extent of interfering with some of his liberties. If he did not wish to submit himself to such
reasonable interference and regulation, he should not have clothed the public with an interest in his concerns.
On this score alone, the case for the respondent must already fall.
The issues being of constitutional dimension, however, we now concisely deal with them seriatim.
1.
The first objection posed by the respondent is that the Court is without power to compel him to become
a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, hence, Section 1 of the Court Rule is unconstitutional for it
impinges on his constitutional right of freedom to associate (and not to associate). Our answer is: To compel a
lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom to associate. 6

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. 7 All that integration actually does is to provide an
official national organization for the well-defined but unorganized and incohesive group of which every lawyer
is a ready a member. 8
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 only
compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. The Supreme Court, in order to further the
State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal 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. 9
Assuming that the questioned provision does in a sense 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. 10
2.
The second issue posed by the respondent is that the provision of the Court Rule requiring payment of
a membership fee is void. We see nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the Court, under its constitutional
power and duty to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law and the integration of the
Philippine Bar (Article X, Section 5 of the 1973 Constitution) — which power the respondent acknowledges —
from requiring members of a privileged class, such as lawyers are, to pay a reasonable fee toward defraying the
expenses of regulation of the profession to which they belong. It is quite apparent that the fee is indeed imposed
as a regulatory measure, designed to raise funds for carrying out the objectives and purposes of integration. 11
3.
The respondent further argues that the enforcement of the penalty provisions would amount to a
deprivation of property without due process and hence infringes on one of his constitutional rights. Whether
the practice of law is a property right, in the sense of its being one that entitles the holder of a license to practice
a profession, we do not here pause to consider at length, as it clear that under the police power of the State, and
under the necessary powers granted to the Court to perpetuate its existence, the respondent's right to practise
law before the courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and inquiry. And, if the
power to impose the fee as a regulatory measure is recognize, then a penalty designed to enforce its payment,
which penalty may be avoided altogether by payment, is not void as unreasonable or arbitrary. 12
But we must here emphasize that the practice of law is not a property right but a mere privilege, 13 and as such
must bow to the inherent regulatory power of the Court to exact compliance with the lawyer's public
responsibilities.
4.
Relative to the issue of the power and/or jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to strike the name of a
lawyer from its Roll of Attorneys, it is sufficient to state that the matters of admission, suspension, disbarment
and reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation and supervision have been and are indisputably recognized
as inherent judicial functions and responsibilities, and the authorities holding such are legion. 14
In In Re Sparks (267 Ky. 93, 101 S.W. (2d) 194), in which the report of the Board of Bar Commissioners in a
disbarment proceeding was confirmed and disbarment ordered, the court, sustaining the Bar Integration Act
of Kentucky, said: "The power to regulate the conduct and qualifications of its officers does not depend upon
constitutional or statutory grounds. It is a power which is inherent in this court as a court — appropriate,
indeed necessary, to the proper administration of justice ... the argument that this is an arbitrary power which
the court is arrogating to itself or accepting from the legislative likewise misconceives the nature of the duty. It
has limitations no less real because they are inherent. It is an unpleasant task to sit in judgment upon a brother
member of the Bar, particularly where, as here, the facts are disputed. It is a grave responsibility, to be assumed
only with a determination to uphold the Ideals and traditions of an honorable profession and to protect the
public from overreaching and fraud. The very burden of the duty is itself a guaranty that the power will not be
misused or prostituted. ..."
The Court's jurisdiction was greatly reinforced by our 1973 Constitution when it explicitly granted to the Court
the power to "Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice ... and the admission to the practice of law and

the integration of the Bar ... (Article X, Sec. 5(5) the power to pass upon the fitness of the respondent to remain
a member of the legal profession is indeed undoubtedly vested in the Court.
We thus reach the conclusion that the provisions of Rule of Court 139-A and of the By-Laws of the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines complained of are neither unconstitutional nor illegal.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is the unanimous sense of the Court that the respondent Marcial A.
Edillon should be as he is hereby disbarred, and his name is hereby ordered stricken from the Roll of Attorneys
of the Court.