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IN RE: VICTORIO D.

LANUEVO
A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975
Facts:

[A.C. No. 6408. August 31, 2004.]


(CBD 01-840)
ISIDRA BARRIENTOS, complainant, vs. ATTY. ELERIZZA A.
LIBIRAN-METEORO, respondent.

This is a disbarment matter with regards to Attorney Victorio Lanuevo, the


Bar Confidant for the 1971 Bar Examinations. Supreme Court received a SYLLABUS:
confidential letter that speaks of the exam notebooks of a examinee named
1. LEGAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; DELIBERATE FAILURE
Ramon Galang who has been re-evaluated and re-corrected such that he
TO PAY JUST DEBTS AND THE ISSUANCE OF
hurdled the Bar Exams and was admitted to the Bar.
WORTHLESS CHECKS CONSTITUTE GROSS
Lanuevo admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of
MISCONDUCT. (expected to maintain high standard of
Ramon E. Galang back to the respective examiners for re-evalution or remorality, honesty, integrity and fair dealing so that the people's
checking. The five examiners admitted having re-evaluated or re-checked
faith and confidence in the judicial system is ensured; They
the notebook to him by the Bar Confidant, stating that he has the authority
must conduct themselves in a manner that reflect the values
to do the same and that the examinee concerned failed only in his
and norms of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of
particular subject and was on the borderline of passing. Ramon Galang
Professional Responsibility.)
was able to pass the 1971 bar exam because of Lanuevos move but the
2. HAVE DUTY TO DELAY NO MAN FOR MONEY OR
exam results bears that he failed in 5 subjects namely in (Political, Civil,
MALICE. (violated oath)
Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
3. ISSUANCE THEREBY OF WORTHLESS CHECKS SHOWS
A LACK OF PERSONAL HONESTY AND GOOD MORAL
Galang on the otherhand, denied of having charged of Slight Physical
CHARACTER AS TO RENDER UNWORTHY OF PUBLIC
Injuries on Eufrosino de Vera, a law student of MLQU.
CONFIDENCE.
The five examiners were led by Lanuevo to believe that it is the Bar
4. MERE ISSUANCE OF WORTHLESS CHECKS,
Committees regular activity that when an examinee has failed in one
REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT THE SAME WERE
subject alone, the rest he passed, the examiner in that subject which he
ISSUED IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY TO
flunked will review his exam notebook.
CLIENTS, CALLS FOR APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY
MEASURE.
Afterwards, Lanuevo gained possession of few properties, including that
of a house in BF Homes, which was never declared in his declaration of
FACTS:
assets and liabilities.
-complaint for disbarment filed against Atty. Elerizza A. Libiran-Meteoro
for deceit and non-payment of debts
WON Lanuevo was guilty of defrauding the examiners such that Galang
-issued several Equitable PCIBank Checks in favor of both Isidra and
passed the Bar? YES
Olivia for the payment of a pre-existing debt; (234000)
-charges for violation of B.P. 22 were filed
Held:
-texted complainants for deferment of the criminal complaints
It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized
-resp. thru sister-in-law, offered to give complainants a title for a parcel
respondent Lanuevos well-studied and well-calculated moves in
of land in exchange for the bounced checks
successively representing separately to each of the five examiners
-the land was registered in the name of Victoria Villamar which was
concerned to the effect that the examinee failed only in his particular
allegedly paid to respondent by a client
subject and/or was on the borderline of passing. To repeat, the before the
-discovered that the land belonged to a certain Dra. Helen Garcia, the
unauthorized re-evaluations were made, Galang failed in the five (5) major sole heir of Victoria Villamar, who merely entrusted said title to
subjects and in two (2) minor subjects which under no circumstances or respondent pursuant to a transaction with the Quedancor
standard could it be honestly claimed that the examinee failed only in one, -tried to get in touch with respondent but no to avail
or he was on the borderline of passing.
-IBP investigated the case
The Bar Confidant has absolutely nothing to do in the re-evaluation or
Issue:

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 GALANGS 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 attorneys certificate and the
striking out of his name from the Roll of Attorneys.
DECISION: Lanuevo disbarred, Galang stricken from the Roll of
Attorneys.

DEFENSE:
-checks were issued in payment of a pre-existing obligation but said
amount had already been paid and replaced with new checks
-respondent did not send text messages to Isidra and Olivia asking for
deferment of the criminal complaints neither did she present any title in
exchange for her bounced checks
-present complaint was initiated by Isidra only because she had a
misunderstanding with Olivia and she wants to extract money from
respondent.
-(presented affidavit signed by olivia satating that she and isidra already
signed an affidavit of desistance)
-father hospitalized which greatly affected her ability to pay. (no proof)
-paid 50k (evidenced by receipt)
IBP: SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months and
Restitution of the amount she owe to complainant.
(did not appear before the Commission in the succeeding hearings
despite due notice.)
SC:
-violated Canon 1 rule 1.01.
-violates the lawyer's oath
-issuance of bouncing checks shows that she's unmindful to the
deleterious effects of such act to the public interest and public order.
-SUSPENDED for six months and pay balance of her debt to the
complainant, plus 6% interest.

ADM. CASE NO. 5151

October 19, 2004

PEDRO G. TOLENTINO, ROMEO M. LAYGO, SOLOMON M.


LUMALANG, SR., MELITON D. EVANGELISTA, SR., complainants,
complaint filed by Pedro G. Tolentino, Romeo M. Laygo, Solomon M.
Lumalang, Sr., Meliton D. Evangelista, Sr., and Nelson B. Melgar against
Atty. Norberto M. Mendoza for Grossly Immoral Conduct and Gross
Misconduct.
-complainants are political opponents of resp in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro
-alleged that respondent abandoned his wife (Felicitas V. Valderia) for his
paramour who is also married to somebody else.
-cohabiting openly and publicly as husband and wife and have 2 childrencorroborated by the contents of Naujanews
-falsified public documents:
1. stated that he and his paramour are married in the birth
cert of their 2 children to appear that the two are
legitimate
2. Certificate of Candidacy (1995) declared that his wife
is Felicitas V. Valderia
3. Certificate of Candidacy (1995) declared that HE'S
separated
-resp filed his comment:
1. revenge on him for his filing of criminal charges
against them
2. still elected him as Mayor, hence, respondent has not
offended the publics sense of morality.
3. Complainants illegally procured birth cert oh his
children thus it is inadmissible ( violation of Rule 24,
Administrative Order No. 1)
-IBP investigated
-cross examined 2 witnesses; both alleged that they received a letter of a
concerned citizen regarding the immoral conduct of respondent w/
attached Certification issued by the Civil Register attesting to the marriage
between respondent and Felicitas Valderia.
-testified that he was not the one who procured the certified true copies of
the birth certificates somebody just gave said documents
-respondent did'nt present evidence
SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY until he submits satisfactory proof that he
is no longer cohabiting with a woman who is not his wife and has
abandoned such immoral course of conduct.
SC:
AFFIRMED
-respondent has disregarded and made a mockery of the fundamental
institution of marriage.
-no longer possess (sic) that good moral character necessary as a condition
for him to remain a member of the Bar in good standing.
Rule 24, Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1993 only provides for
sanctions against persons violating the rule on confidentiality of birth
records, but nowhere does it state that procurement of birth records in
violation of said rule would render said records inadmissible in evidence.
-protection against unreasonable searches and seizures does not apply.
(only to protect a person from interference by the government or the state.)

[A.C. No. 1481. October 17, 2008.]


REBECCA B. ARNOBIT, complainant, vs. ATTY. PONCIANO P.
ARNOBIT, respondent.
Rebecca B. Arnobit, in her affidavit-complaint 1 dated May 11, 1975,
prays that the Court exercise its disciplinary power over her husband,
respondent Atty. Ponciano Arnobit, on the grounds of Immorality and
Abandonment.
-complainant and resp are married and have 12 children
-left the conjugal home and started cohabiting with one Benita Buenafe
Navarro who later bore him four more children.
-criminal case for adultery against Benita and respondent later followed.
-resp denied the allegations and instead pointed to his complaining wife
that she's the one whose neglecting her obligations toward her family
( traveling all over the country, ostensibly for business purposes)
-complainant presented:
1. 2 witnesses (her sister and the lawful husband of
Benita-paramour)
2. affidavits of 2 NBI agents to show the existence of a
prima facie case for adultery (pix, birth cert,
baptismal of 4 illegitimate children)
-suspended from the practice of law for a period of three (3) months as a
lesson for him to change his ways.
SC:
DISBARRED
-Although duly notified, he never attended the hearings to rebut the
serious charges brought against him, irresistibly suggesting that the
charges are true.
-Immoral conduct has been described as that conduct which is so willful,
flagrant, or shameless as to show indifference to the opinion of good and
respectable members of the community.
-disbarment is warranted against a lawyer who abandons his lawful wife
to maintain an illicit relationship with another woman who had borne
him a child.

[A.C. No. 5454. November 23, 2004.]


CARMELINA Y. RANGWANI, complainant, vs. ATTY. RAMON S.
DIO, respondent.
1.

2.

A MEMBER OF THE BAR WHOSE INTEGRITY IS BEING


CHALLENGED MUST SHOW PROOF THAT HE STILL
MAINTAINS THAT DEGREE OF MORALITY AND
INTEGRITY WHICH AT ALL TIMES IS EXPECTED OF HIM
RESPONDENT'S ACT OF HAVING BORROWED THE
TITLE TO THE LAND OF COMPLAINANT, HIS
PRESUMED USE OF THE SAID TITLE FOR HIS
PERSONAL GAIN, HIS FAILURE TO RETURN THE SAME
DESPITE REPEATED DEMANDS AND WORSE, HIS
ISSUANCE OF THREE CHECKS IN EXCHANGE FOR THE
SAID TITLE WHICH BOUNCED, CONSTITUTE GRAVE
MISCONDUCT FOR WHICH HE MUST BE DISCIPLINED

administrative complaint filed against Atty. Ramon S. Dio by Carmelina


Y. Rangwani
-befriended her and resp was able to convince her to lend him the title to a
parcel of land located in Dasmarias, Cavite, owing to his status in the
community as a good lawyer and businessman
-five months later, demanded the return of the title
-after 10 moths resp was nowhere to be found
-located him thru an informer,offered to buy the property because he could
not give back the title to the land.
-issued 4 checks but all were dishonored
-filed crim case for violation of BP 22
-despite the opportunities accorded to respondent to refute the charges
against him, he failed to do so or even offer a valid explanation.
-complainant filed a Motion to Dismiss Complaint twice (claimed that
respondent had no more obligation to her because the same had been
offset by legal services rendered by the latter after an accounting was
taken.)
-but failed to appear and affirm her Affidavit of Desistance despite several
hearings
IBP: SUSPENDED 6 months
-issuance of checks in violation of the provisions of B.P. 22 constitutes
serious misconduct and in addition respondent committed gross
misconduct when he failed to comply with his promise to complainant to
settle the case
SC: SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year with a
warning
-When the integrity of a member of the bar is challenged, it is not enough
that he denies the charges against him. He must meet the issue and
overcome the evidence against him. He must show proof that he still
maintains that degree of morality and integrity which at all times is
expected of him. These, the respondent miserably failed to do.
-Respondent relies, quite heavily, on the complainant's move to dismiss
the complaint, to secure exoneration.
-reliance is misplaced. Firstly, because the same has not been confirmed
and substantiated by the complainant at all as she failed to appear in the
hearings scheduled for the purpose despite due notice.
-The withdrawal of a complaint for lack of interest of a complainant does
not necessarily warrant the dismissal of an administrative complaint
-violated Cannon 7
-issuance of checks which were later dishonored for having been drawn
against a closed account indicates a lawyer's unfitness for the trust and
confidence reposed on her.
-issuance of a series of worthless checks also shows the remorseless
attitude of respondent, unmindful to the deleterious effects of such act to
the public interest and public order.