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8.) Republic vs.

Desierto (GR 131966, Aug 31, 2005)

Desierto and Cojuangco, are members of the Boards of Directors of United
Coconut Planter Bank and United Coconut Oil Mills, Inc. They are charged with taking
undue advantage of their public office and close relationship with Dictator Marcos in
unlawfully misappropriating huge amounts of coconut levy funds in connection with the
acquisition of 16 oil mills in order to establish a monopoly, violating RA 3019 (Anti-Graft
& Corrupt Practices Act). The PCGG then transmitted the case to the Office of the
Ombudsman for appropriate action, OMB-0-90-2811. Thereafter, the Graft Investigation
Officer II, Amanete, issued a resolution recommending the dismissal of said case,
finding no sufficient evidence to believe that violation of Anti-Graft Law was committed.
R.P. petition for certiorari to Sup Court. Respondents Regala and Concepcion contend,
inter alia, that petitioner has no cause of action against them because their acts were
performed in the course of their duties as counsels.
Both parties filed a motion for reconsideration.
Whether or not respondents Regala and Concepcion should be excluded as defendants
to the case?
Yes, respondents Regala and Concepcion in this case were being charged for illegal
acts and thue they were constituted as Members of the Board Directors of UNICOM and
UCPB in the course of their duties as counsel, and they should be excluded as
defendants to the case.

14.) ROMINA M. SUAREZ VS. COURT OF APPEALS (GR No. 91133, March 22,
Romina M. Suarez was charged twice in a crime for a violation of B.P. 22 or the AntiBouncing Check Law. Suarez pleaded not guilty to all informations against her and
posted bail in all the cases and was granted a provisional liberty. She did not appear in
court despite of the notices sent to her. Her counsel de parte, Atty. Vicente San Luis
appeared in her behalf from the time of the prosecutions presentation of its evidence at
the time of the defense presentation of evidence. Hearing was postponed because of
the absence of the private prosecutor and the continuation of the hearing was reset.
Atty. Buen Zamar entered a special appearance for Atty. Vicente San Luis without the
Consent of Suarez. Atty. San Luis did not appear in court as he had left for the USA
without informing Suarez or withdrawing his appearance. RTC issued an order forfeiting
in favour of the government the bonds posted by Suarez for her provisional liberty in
view of the failure of her bondsmen to produce her at the scheduled hearings of the
cases against her. RTC issued a notice setting the promulgation of the decision. It was
found out Suarez got married and was out of the country for almost 2 years. RTC again
issued a notice setting the promulgation of its decision.
Copies were sent to Suarez and her counsel. Suarez was represented by Atty. Zamar at
the reading of the sentence. Suarez was arrested and detained. Suarez represented by
a new counsel de parte filed 3 motions which RTC denied. Suarez appealed to the
Court of Appeals only to affirm RTCs decision. Suarez filed a petition for certiorari to the
Supreme Court.

Whether or not Suarez was denied her day in Court?


Yes, Atty. San Luis, counsel de parte of Suarez failed to discharge his duties as counsel.
Suarez counsel was negligent in abandoning the conduct of the case without formally
withdrawing or at least informing her that he would be permanently staying in the USA
so that Suarez could appoint another counsel. Canon 17, Code of Professional
Responsibility states that A lawyer owes absolute fidelity to the cause of his client and
he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.
Atty. San Luis was unquestionably negligent in the performance of his duties to his
client Suarez. His negligence consisted in failure to attend the hearings of the case,
failure to advise his client that he was going to stay abroad and failure to withdraw
properly as counsel for Suarez.
As a general rule, a client is bound by his counsels conduct, negligence and mistakes
in handling the case during trial, but as an exception, a new trial may be granted where
the incompetency of counsel is so great that the accused is prejudiced and prevented
from fairly presenting his defense.

February 9, 2006)
Victorina Bautista filed a complaint with prayer for suspension or disbarment at the
Commission on Bar Discipline of the IBP against Atty. Sergio E. Bernabe. Bautista
alleged that Atty. Bernabe prepared and notarized an instrument purportedly executed
by Donato Salonga and Bautistas mother, Basilia Dela Cruz a declaration that a certain
parcel of land in Bulacan was being occupied by Rodolfo Lucas and his family for more
than 30 years. Bautista claimed that her mother cannot executed the joint affidavit for
she has been dead long ago.
Atty. Bernabe denied that he falsified the instrument and alleged that before he
notarized the document he requested for Basilias presence and in her absence, he
allowed a certain Pronebo, allegedly a son-in-law of Basilia to sign above the name of
Basilia as shown by the word By on top of Basilias name. Atty. Bernabe maintained
that there was no forgery since the signature appearing on top of Basilias name was
Pronebos signature. Atty. Bernabe filed a manifestation with the attachment of an
affidavit of desistance of Bautista.
The Investigating Committee recommended that Atty. Bernabe be suspended and his
notary public be revoked which was adopted by the IBP and Supreme Court.

Whether or not Atty. Bernabe committed error in the joint affidavit executed?

Yes, Basilia was already dead when the joint affidavit was prepared. Atty. Bernabes
alleged lack of knowledge of Basilias death does not excuse him. It was his duty to
require the personal appearance of the affiant before affixing his notarial seal and
signature on the instrument.
Atty. Bernabes act of notarizing the instrument in the absence of one of the affiants is in
violation of Rule 1.01 Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which states
that A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
It is a clear failure to exercise utmost diligence in the performance of his function as a
notary public and tom comply with the mandates of law. He was also remiss in his duty
when he allowed Pronebo to sign in behalf of Basilia.


CALOOCAN CITY, BRANCH 123 (AM No. RTJ-04-1891, July 28, 2005)
The Office of the Court Administrator received an anonymous letter from the
Concerned citizens of the lower court reporting the alleged practices of Judge
Edmundo T. Acua, Br.23 RTC Caloocan City. In the letter, it was stated that the Judge
Acua conducted trials, signed orders and even sentenced accused while on official
leave. Also in the letter, it was listed the Judges dialogues and favourite expressions
like putris, putang ina, anak ng pating, pogi, beauty, etc. It also reports that the Judge
spends much of his energy talking and loves to embarrass people, not caring whether

he speaks in open court, as long he has an audience, and he also changes his mind so
many times and loves to glorify himself.
The Judge averred that the writers of the letter has the purpose to harass him. He also
alleged that he was issued an Authority to Travel approved and signed by the Acting
Court Administrator allowing him to travel abroad but he did not do so as appeared in
their logbook and conducted trials and issued order and took pride not to go on leave to
dispense justice. He also admitted that he did use some of his favourite expressions but
not often and certainly not in open court.
The OCA made evaluations and refer the administrative matter to CA Justice Zearosa
for investigation, report and recommendation.

Whether or not Judge Acua is guilty of the complaints stated against him?

Yes, but Judge Acua was only reprimanded, his act does not constitute such a gross
ignorance of the rules that will warrant an administrative liability. Canon 4 of the New
Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary states that Propriety and the
appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the activities of a judge.
In Section 1, A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all
activities. Judge Acua should bear in mind that approved leaves are filed through
official documents, and his act may obliterate the validity of the issuances he made
while on official leave when his orders, decisions and other promulgations reflect a date
when he is already supposed to be on leave.
Section 2 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct also provides us that As a subject of
constant public scrutiny, judges must accept personal restrictions that might be viewed
as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly. In
particular, judges shall conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with the dignity of
the judicial office. Judge Acuas use of humiliating and insensitive expressions were
unfit expressions for men of the robe. Judge Acua is not an ordinary citizen, such
language degrades from how a judge should conduct himself.

(Ac No. 4809, May 3, 2006)
Originally, there was a criminal case in which Spouses, William and Teresita Adecer
(complainants) were charges with committing a crime (Other Deceits) punichable under
the Revised Penal Code. Atty. Emmanuel Akut was their legal counsel in the criminal
case. The spouses Adecer accuses Atty. Akul for being negligent.
First, despite Atty. Akuts receipt of a copy of the Decision and the consequent running
of the fifteen (15)-day period to file a petition for probation, respondent went out of town
without contacting complainants to give them proper legal advice. Furthermore, Atty.
Akuts admission that complainants were [1] under the impression that they first had to
pay off their civil liabilities prior to filing a petition for probation and [2] unaware that they
had only fifteen (15) days from their counsels receipt of a copy of the decision to file
their petition, proves that Atty. Akut failed to give complainants timely legal advice.
Atty. Akut explained that he was out of his office most of the time because; he and his
wife were always out of town looking for faith healers to cure the malignant brain tumor
of his wife, who eventually succumbed to the cancer. Allegedly, after attending the
"important" hearings, he immediately went out of town seeking faith healers. Spouses
Adecer were then imprisoned and while serving sentence filed a administrative case
with prayer of disbarment and reimburse them of expenses with interest and damage.

Whether or not Atty. Akut is guilty of negligence?

Yes, Atty. Akut failed to exercise the proper diligence in dealing with the case of his
clients. Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that A lawyer shall
serve his client with competence and diligence. Rule 18.02 A lawyer shall not handle
any legal matter without adequate preparation. Rule 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a
legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render
him liable.
Atty.Akut explained that he was in town to attend some important hearings but was out
of town most of the time. He also attempted to deceive the court by stating without
qualification that he was out of town, and uttered words that some of his cases are more
important and gave more immediate attention among others. Every case a lawyer
accepts deserves full attention, skill, and competence, regardless of his impression that
one case or hearing is more important than the other.

Atty. Akut was given a copy of the decision while he was in town. He can addressed his
clients need during that time, he is primarily responsible for filing the vital pleading that
would have made possible for his clients to avail of probation, such act of omission of
Atty. Akut is a culpable act of negligence for which he must be held liable.

(AC No. 4676, May 4, 2006)
Spouses Soriano engaged the services of Atty. Reynaldo Reyes for two civil cases in
which Atty. Reyes will diligently attend to it and will inform the status of the case. During
the pendency of the second case, Spouses Soriano, inquired the status of their first
case to Atty. Reyes and informed them that it was still pending and ongoing.
The spouses later learned that their first case was dismissed for failure of their counsel
to file a pre-trial brief. A motion for reconsideration was filed but then denied. As to the
second case, it was likewise found out that it was dismissed for failure to prosecute. A
motion for reconsideration was filed and was considered. Spouses Soriano filed a
complaint of disbarment against Atty. Reyes to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court
then referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation.

Whether or not Atty. Reyes is guilty of negligence?

Yes, Atty. Reyes failed to file the pre-trial brief is a ground for dismissal of the case and
it constitutes inexcusable negligence. He was not able to protect his clients interest
through his own fault. Canon 18, Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his
negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. By reason of Atty. Reyes
negligence, the spouses suffered actual loss. He should have given adequate attention,
care and time to his cases.
On the second case, even though reconsidered, Atty. Reyes failed to demonstrate the
required diligence in handling the case of complainants. Canon 18, Rule 18.04 provides

that A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond
within a reasonable time to the clients request for information. Atty. Reyes lacked
candor in dealing with his clients as he omitted to apprise the spouses of the status of
the two cases and even assured the spouses that he was diligently attending to the two

CORPORATION (GR No. 160445, February 16, 2006)
Teofilo and Agnes Mercado filed two petitions to the Supreme Court in which they are
denied and also there motion for consideration. Mercado wrote unfounded, malicious
and disrespectful words and accusations against Chief Justice Davide, Jr. which then
required Mercados lawyer, Atty. Villanueva, to comment on the letter and show cause
why he should not be held in contempt of court.
Mercado, together with his new counsel, manifested that he only stated therein what
Atty. Villanueva told him that his petition was denied for the second time because of the
tremendous pressure from the Chief Justice and that the ponente of the case was a
very very good, close and long time friend of his. Atty. Villanueva also submitted a
comment denying Mercados entire allegation. The Supreme Court Third Division
ordered both Mercado and Atty. Villanueva to appear to elucidate their respective
positions. The 3rd Division designated Court of Appeals Justice Renato Dacudao as
Commissioner to receive evidence on the factual issues involved.
Whether or not Atty. Villanuevas act a ground for him to be in contempt of court?

Yes, Mercados addressing such letter to Chief Justice Davide is a perfect illustration of
bad faith and malice tending directly to degrade the administration of justice. It
transgresses the permissible bounds of fair comment and criticisms bringing into repute,
not only the authority and integrity of the Chief Justice Davide and the ponente, but also
of the entire Judiciary.
It was found out that Atty. Villanueva gave such information to Mercado. Not only that,
Atty. Villanueva also revealed the name of the ponente; the he and the ponente have
known each other. Rule 15.06 of Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
states that A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public
official, tribunal or legislative body. Further, Rule 15.07 provides that, A lawyer must
impress upon his client compliance with the laws and principles of fairness.
Atty. Villanueva informed Mercado that he was a very very good, close and long time
friend. of the ponente. He impressed Mercado that he can obtain a favourable
disposition of his case. However when his petition was dismissed twice, Mercados
expectation crumbled and prompted him to make such malicious statements to the
Chief Justice and the ponente. Lawyers are admonished from making bold assurances
to clients. Atty. Villanuevas statements led Mercado, not only to suspect but also to
believe, that the entire Court, together with Chief Justice Davide and the ponente, could
be pressured or influenced. The conduct of Atty.Villanueva degraded the integrity and
dignity of the Court.