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Canon 10

LEONARD W. RICHARDS, Complainant vs. PATRICIO A. ASOY, Respondent A.C. No.


2655, October 11,2010
FACTS:
Respondent Asoy received from Complainant Richards, his client, compensation to handle
his case in the trial court, but the same was dismissed for lack of interest and failure to
prosecute. Asoy abandoned his client in violation of his contract ignoring the most elementary
principles of professional ethics. Furthermore, Asoy ignored the processes of this Court and it was
only after he was suspended from the practice of law of that he surfaced. On July 9, 1987, the
Court resolved to DISBAR him and order him to reimburse Richards the sum of P16,300 within 30
days from notice. On November 11, 1987, the Court received a letter dated November 3,1987,
complained that respondent had not reimbursed him the P16,300. Hence, the Court issued a
resolution requiring Asoy to show cause why he failed to reimburse, however, Asoy still failed to
comply. Complainant filed another letter informing the Court that Asoy still failed to comply with
the order of reimbursement.
Thirteen years after the promulgation, Asoy filed a Petition for readmission to the practice
of law stating, among other things, that on January 2, 1996 or about nine years after his
disbarment and directive to reimbursement complainant made, he effected payment of P16,300
via consignation with the Courts Office of the Cashier. The Court denied the petition for lack of
merit.On August 2, 2010, Asoy filed another petition for Reinstatement to the Bar stating that
he effected payment of P16,300 before the Office of the Cashier of the Supreme Court as
complainant could no longer be found or located; that he had already suffered and agonized
shortcomings; and that as positive evidence of his repentance and rehabilitation he attached
testimonials of credible institutions and personalities.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Asoy violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Yes. Respondent Asoy violated Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Canon
10 states that A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court. Respondent
denigrated the dignity of his calling by displaying a lack of candor towards this Court. By taking
his sweet time to effect reimbursement and through consignation with this Court at that he sent
out a strong message that the legal processes and orders of this Court could be treated with
disdain or impunity. Respondents consignation could not even be deemed compliance with the
Courts directive to reimburse because the Court does not represent the complainant; the latters
address was readily ascertainable had respondent wished to communicate with the complainant
for the purpose of making amends. Hence, respondents petition for reinstatements in the Roll of
Attorneys is DENIED

YOUNG VS BATUEGAS A.C. No. 5379 May 9, 2003


FACTS:

Young filed a complaint for disbarment against respondents for committing deliberate
falsehood in court & violating the lawyers oath. Young is the private prosecutor in the murder
case, P vs. Arana. Batuegas & Llantino were counsels for accused, Counsels for accused filed a
Manifestation w/Motion for Bail alleging that their client voluntarily surrendered to a person in
authority on Dec 13,2000 but when in fact accused was only in custody on Dec 14, 2000, as
shown by the Certificate of Detention executed by Atty. Rogelio M. Mamauag, Chief of the
Security Management Division of the NBI. Clerk of court, Susa, also a respondent on this case
filed the motion on Dec 15, 2000 despite theirregularities of the case of (lack of notice of hearing
to the private complainant, violation of the three-day notice rule, and failure to attach the
Certificate of Detention which was referred to in the Motion as Annex).ISSUEWON the counsel is
guilty of deliberate falsehood in declaring custody of the accused.WON the prosecutor must be
given a reasonable notice of hearing.WON the clerk of court would be held liable for wrong
entry.HELD YES, To knowingly allege an untrue statement of fact in the pleading is a
contemptuous conduct that thecourt strongly condemn. They violated their oath when they
resorted to deception.Whether bail is a matter of right or discretion, reasonable notice of hearing
is required to be given to theprosecutor or fiscal, or at least, he must be asked for his
recommendation. In the case at bar, theprosecution was served with notice of hearing of the
motion for bail two days prior to the scheduled date. Although a motion may be heard on short
notice, respondents failed to show any good cause to justifythe non-observance of the three-day
notice rule. Verily, as lawyers, they are obliged to observe the rulesof procedure and not to
misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.Clerk of court should not be made administratively
liable for including the Motion in the calendar of thetrial court, considering that it was authorized
by the presiding judge. However, he is reminded that hisadministrative functions, although not
involving the discretion or judgment of a judge, are vital to theprompt and sound administration
of justice. Thus, he should not hesitate to inform the judge if heshould find any act or conduct on
the part of lawyers which are contrary to the established rules of procedure.RULINGBatuegas,
Nazareno and LLantino suspended for 6 months. Complaint against Susa, dismissed for lack of
merit.

Leda vs. Tabang [A.C. No. 2505, February 21, 1992]

Facts:
Complainant Evangeline Leda and Respondent Atty. Trebonian Tabang contracted marriage
performed under Article 76 of the Civil Code as one of exceptional character. The parties agreed
to keep the fact of marriage a secret until after Respondent had finished his law studies and had
taken the Bar examinations, allegedly to ensure a stable future for them. Complainant admits,
though, that they had not lived together as husband and wife. Complainant, thereafter, filed a
Petition for Disbarment against respondent alleging, among others, for having misrepresented
himself as single when in truth he is already married in his application to take the bar exam and
for being not of good moral character contrary to the certification he submitted to the Supreme
Court. Respondent averred that he and Complainant had covenanted not to disclose the
marriage for the reason that said marriage was void from the beginning in the absence of the
requisites of Article 76 of the Civil Code thus he could not have abandoned Complainant because
they had never lived together as husband and wife and that when he applied for the 1981 Bar
examinations, he honestly believed that in the eyes of the law, he was single.

Issue:

Whether or not Respondent lacks of good moral character and violated the Code of
Professional Responsibility

Held:
Yes, Respondent's lack of good moral character is only too evident. He has resorted to
conflicting submissions before this Court to suit himself. He has also engaged in devious tactics
with Complainant in order to serve his purpose. In so doing, he has violated Canon 10 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides that "a lawyer owes candor, fairness and
good faith to the court" as well as Rule 1001 thereof which states that "a lawyer should do no
falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the court to be
misled by any artifice." Courts are entitled to expect only complete candor and honesty from the
lawyers appearing and pleading before them. Respondent, through his actuations, has been
lacking in the candor required of him not only as a member of the Bar but also as an officer of
the Court. Hence, respondent is subjected to suspension from the practice of law until further
Orders.
Canon 11
Nestle Philippines vs. Sanchez [GR 75209, 30 September 1987];
Facts: During the period July 8-10, 1987, Union of Filipro Employees, and Kimberly Independent
Labor
Union for Solidarity, Activism and Nationalism-Olalia, intensified the intermittent pickets they had
been
conducting since 17 June 1981 in front of the Padre Faura gate of the Supreme Court building.
They set up
pickets' quarters on the pavement in front of the Supreme Court building, at times obstructing
access to and
egress from the Court's premises and offices of justices, officials and employees. They
constructed provisional
shelters along the sidewalks, set up a kitchen and littered the place with food containers and
trash in utter
disregard of proper hygiene and sanitation. They waved their red streamers and placards with
slogans, and
took turns haranguing the court all day long with the use of loudspeakers. These acts were done
even after
their leaders had been received by Justices Pedro L. Yap and Marcelo B. Fernan as Chairmen of
the Divisions
where their cases are pending, and Atty. Jose C. Espinas, counsel of the Union of Filipro
Employees, had been
called in order that the pickets might be informed that the demonstration must cease
immediately for the same
constitutes direct contempt of court and that the Court would not entertain their petitions for as
long as the

pickets were maintained. Thus, on 10 July 1987, the Court en banc issued a resolution giving the
said unions
the opportunity to withdraw graciously and requiring Messrs. Tony Avelino, Lito Payabyab,
Eugene San
Pedro, Dante Escasura, Emil Sayao and Nelson Centeno, union leaders of Union of Filipro
Employees in the
Nestle case and their counsel of record, Atty. Jose C. Espinas; and Messrs. Ernesto Facundo,
Fausto Gapuz, Jr and Antonio Gonzales, union leaders of Kimberly Independent Labor Union for
Solidarity, Activism and
Nationalism-Olalia in the Kimberly case to appear before the Court on 14 July 1987 at 10:30 a.m.
and then
and there to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court. Atty. Jose C. Espinas
was further
required to show cause why he should not be administratively dealt with. On the appointed date
and time, the
individuals appeared before the Court, represented by Atty. Jose C. Espinas, in the absence of
Atty.
Potenciano Flores, who was still recuperating from an operation. Atty. Espinas, for himself and in
behalf of
the union leaders concerned, apologized to the Court for the acts, together with an assurance
that they will not
be repeated. He likewise manifested to the Court that he had explained to the picketers why
their actions were
wrong and that the cited persons were willing to suffer such penalty as may be warranted under
the
circumstances. He, however, prayed for the Court's leniency considering that the picket was
actually
spearheaded by the leaders of the "Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalogan"
(PAMANTIK), an
unregistered loose alliance of about 75 unions in the Southern Tagalog area, and not by either
the Union of
Filipro Employees or the Kimberly Independent Labor Union. To confirm for the record that the
person cited
for contempt fully understood the reason for the citation and that they will abide by their promise
that said
incident will not be repeated, the Court required the respondents to submit a written
manifestation to this
effect, which respondents complied with on 17 July 1987.
Issue:

Whether the respondents should be cited for contempt for their continued picketing at the
Supreme
Courts premises.
Held:
The right of petition is conceded to be an inherent right of the citizen under all free governments.
However, such right, natural and inherent though it may be, has never been invoked to shatter
the standards of
propriety entertained for the conduct of courts. For "it is a traditional conviction of civilized
society
everywhere that courts and juries, in the decision of issues of fact and law should be immune
from every
extraneous influence; that facts should be decided upon evidence produced in court; and that
the
determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies." Moreover,
"parties have
a constitutional right to have their causes tried fairly in court by an impartial tribunal,
uninfluenced by
publication or public clamor. Every citizen has a profound personal interest in the enforcement of
the
fundamental right to have justice administered by the courts, under the protection and forms of
law free from
outside coercion or interference." The acts of the respondents are therefore not only an affront to
the dignity
of the Court, but equally a violation of the right of the adverse parties and the citizenry at large.
Still, the
individuals cited, who are non-lawyers, are not knowledgeable in the intricacies of substantive
and adjective
laws. They are not aware that even as the rights of free speech and of assembly are protected by
the
Constitution, any attempt to pressure or influence courts of justice through the exercise of either
right
amounts to an abuse thereof, is no longer within the ambit of constitutional protection, nor did
they realize
that any such efforts to influence the course of justice constitutes contempt of court. The duty
and
responsibility of advising them, therefore, rest primarily and heavily upon the shoulders of their
counsel of
record. Atty. Jose C. Espinas, when his attention was called by this Court, did his best to
demonstrate to the

pickets the untenability of their acts and posture. The incident should therefore serve as a
reminder to all
members of the legal profession that it is their duty as officers of the court to properly apprise
their clients on
matters of decorum and proper attitude toward courts of justice, and to labor leaders of the
importance of a
continuing educational program for their members.

Balaoing vs. Calderon

FACTS:
SEVERAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST BALAOING.
BALAOING vs. JUDGE DOJILLO
i.
Balaoing was required to show why he should not be
disciplinarily dealt for suppressing certain material facts of which he was charged with
knowledge and for having engaged in forum-shopping.
ii.
Balaoings motion for reconsideration was denied, his
explanation was declared unsatisfactory and he was severely censured for having instituted a
patently unfounded and frivolous admin action and warned that the commission of same conduct
will be dealt more severely.
BALAOING vs. JUDGE MALIWANAG
i.
Grave misconduct for failure and regusal to issue corresponding
write of action (pending appeal) prayed for by complainant in his motion in civil case, ZABALA vs.
BUENO.
ii.
Balaoings use of unsavory, defamatory and offensive language
against Judge brought dismissal to the complaint, 1-year suspension and P1000 fine for violation
of canons.
2 MORE COMPLAINTS: CALDERON AND MALIWANAG.
i.
BALAOING: filed complaint against CALDERON for grave abuse
of authority and malicious delay in administration of justice.
1. CALDERON does not follow the Circular and merely treats it as directory; practice of Judge to
automatically grant postponements and deferment of hearing of cases to a later hour whenever
his OIC makes a manifestation in open court that a certain lawyer or party called up requesting
that his case be postponed.
2. Judge drinks a lot and fraternizes openly.
3. Delayed cases:
a.

Allowed defendants to keep postponing hearings more than 1 year.

b. Cahoots with deputy sheriff, unlawfully prevented implementation of writ of Possession.

4. Charged both CALDERON AND OIC, MANIAGO with misconduct, grave abuse of authority and
malicious delay in admin of justice.
5. OIC MANIAGO alleges BALAOING calling her notorious, swindler, insane.
ii.
CALDERON: Balaoing won a foreclosure case and became the
highest bidder in the public auction, Certificate of Sale was issued and registered.
1. He prevented the writ of Possession dude to prejudice.
a. Gavilans widow (former owner), Alice and children were residing in the properties; period to
redeem the properties had not yet expired.
2.
When redemption period elapsed, he issued write of possession but up to present time,
Balaoing has not yet taken possession and showed his disinterest.
iii.
MALIWANAG denied BALAOING allegation, judgment is based on
equity and justice against injustice by a lawyer on the unlearned and poor couple from Baguio.

ISSUE:
WON Balaoings admin complaints hold merit? NO.
Is Balaoing guilty of gross misconduct? YES.

HELD:
ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINTS DISMISSED. BALAOING DISBARRED.
CANON 11: Lawyer shall observe and maintain respect due to the courts and to judicial officers
and should insist on similar conduct by others.
Rule 11.03: Lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or behavior
before Courts.
Rule 11.04: Lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by record or have no
materiality to the case.
Complaints are based on his personal interpretation of the law and not on material allegations of
fact, substantiated by evidence.

Canon 12
Olivares vs Atty. Villalon Jr.
Facts:
Olivares alleged that Villalons client Al Rasheed repeatedly sued him for violations of the lease
contract which executed over a commercial apartment in Olivares Building in Paranaque. In
defense, Villalon contend that he was only performing his legal obligation as a lawyer to protect
and prosecute the interests of his client.
The case was referred to IBP for investigation, report and recommendation. The Commission on
Bar Discipline (CBD) of the IBP found that Rasheed in repeatedly suing Olivares for the same

cause of action and subject matter. The case was dismissed in 1999 for lack of interest to
prosecute. Under Rule 17 Sec. 3 ROC, such has the effect on adjudication on merits. CBD
recommended for suspension of Villalon for 6 months with a warning. IBP adopted the findings
however modified the recommended penalty to a mere reprimand.
Issue:
Whether or not Villalon violated Canon 12
Held:
Yes, Canon 12 which provides that:
A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the same cause.
A lawyers fidelity to his client must not be pursued at the expense of truth and justice. Lawyers
have the duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. Filing multiple
actions constitutes an abuse of the Courts processes. It constitutes improper conduct that tends
to impede, obstruct and degrade justice. Those who file multiple or repetitive actions subject
themselves to disciplinary action for incompetence or willful violation of their duties as attorneys
to act with all good fidelity to the courts, and to maintain only such actions that appear to be just
and consistent with truth and honor.
Decision:
Reprimand insufficient. CBD recommendation six-month suspension is commensurate to violation
however in view of respondents death the disciplinary case is moot and academic

CONRADO QUE vs ATTY. ANASTACIO REVILLA, JR.


Facts:
In a complaint for disbarment Conrado Que (complainant) accused Atty. Anastacio Revilla
Jr. (respondent) before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Committee on Bar Discipline (IBP
Committee on Bar Discipline or CBD) of committing the following violations of the provisions of
the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Complainant alleged
the respondents commission of forum-shopping by filing the subject cases in order to impede,
obstruct, and frustrate the efficient administration of justice for his own personal gain and to
defeat the right of the complainant and his siblings to execute the MeTC and RTC judgments in
the unlawful detainer case. In his Answer, the respondent declared that he is a member of the
Kalayaan Development Cooperative (KDC) that handles pro bono cases for the underprivileged,
the less fortunate, the homeless and those marginalized sector in Metro Manila. He agreed to
take over the cases formerly handled by other KDC members. Investigating Commissioner ruled
that the act of the respondent in filing two petitions for annulment of title, a petition for
annulment of judgment and later on a petition for declaratory relief were all done to prevent the
execution of the final judgment in the unlawful detainer case and constituted prohibited forumshopping.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of forum shopping
Held:
YES. Respondent is guilty of forum shopping. Respondent violated Rule 12.02 and Rule
12.04, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, as well as the rule against forum

shopping, both of which are directed against the filing of multiple actions to attain the same
objective. Both violations constitute abuse of court processes they tend to degrade the
administration of justice; wreak havoc on orderly judicial procedure; and add to the congestion of
the heavily burdened dockets of the courts. While the filing of a petition for certiorari to question
the lower courts jurisdiction may be a procedurally legitimate (but substantially erroneous)
move, the respondents subsequent petitions involving the same property and the same parties
not only demonstrate his attempts to secure favorable ruling using different for a, but his obvious
objective as well of preventing the execution of MeTC and RTC decisions in the unlawful detainer
case against his clients. This intent is most obvious with respect to the petitions for annulment of
judgment and declaratory relief , both geared towards preventing the execution of the unlawful
detainer decision, long after this decision had become final. Hence, Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr. is
found liable for professional misconduct for violations of the Lawyers Oath and Canons of
Professional Responsibility and should be disbarred from the practice of law.
Canon 13
RE: LETTER OF THE UP LAW FACULTY ENTITLED "RESTORING INTEGRITY: A
STATEMENT BY THE FACULTY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE
OF LAW ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF PLAGIARISM AND MISREPRESENTATION IN THE
SUPREME COURT"
Facts:
On April 28, 2010, the ponencia of Justice Del Castillo in Vinuya, et al. v. Executive Secretary was
promulgated. Subsequently, the counsel for Vinuya et al., or Malaya Lolas, Atty. Roque and
Atty. Bagares, filed a Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration, where they posited for the first
time their charge of plagiarism as one of the grounds to reconsider the decision. They also
claimed that evidence bears out the fact not only of extensive plagiarism but also of twisting the
true intents of the plagiarized sources by the ponencia to suit the arguments of the assailed
Judgment for denying the Petition. On that same day, some journalists posted an article, entitled
"SC justice plagiarized parts of ruling on comfort women," on the Newsbreak website. The same
article appeared on the GMA News TV website also.
Thereafter, Atty. Roques column, entitled "Plagiarized and Twisted," appeared in the Manila
Standard Today. In the said column, Atty. Roque claimed one of the authors purportedly not
properly acknowledged in the Vinuya decision confirmed that his work had been plagiarized. On
even date, Justice Del Castillo wrote to his colleagues on the Court in reply to the charge of
plagiarism contained in the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration. Meanwhile, another
purportedly plagiarized author in the Vinuya decision, Dr. Mark Ellis, wrote the Court expressing
his dismay.
The Court, then, formed the Ethics Committee and referred the letter of Justice Del Castillo to the
Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee required Attys. Roque and Bagares to comment on the
letter of Justice Del Castillo.
Afterwards, a statement dated entitled "Restoring Integrity: A Statement by the Faculty of the
University of the Philippines College of Law on the Allegations of Plagiarism and
Misrepresentation in the Supreme Court" was posted in Newsbreaks website and on Atty.
Roques blog. A report regarding the statement also appeared on various on-line news sites on
the same date. The statement was likewise posted at the University of the Philippines College of
Laws bulletin board and at said colleges website. Dean Leonen of UP submitted a copy of the
Statement to the Court.
During the hearing of the ethics case against Justice Del Castillo, the Ethics Committee directed
Atty. Roque to present the signed copy of the said Statement within three days from said hearing.

Indubitable from the actual signed copy of the Statement was that only 37 of the 81 faculty
members appeared to have signed the same.
The Ethics Committee referred the matter to the Court en banc the latter made the following
observations that while the statement was meant to reflect the educators opinion on the
allegations of plagiarism against Justice Del Castillo, they treated such allegation not only as an
established fact, but a truth. In particular, they expressed dissatisfaction over Justice Del
Castillos explanation on how he cited the primary sources of the quoted portions and yet arrived
at a contrary conclusion to those of the authors of the articles supposedly plagiarized.
Beyond this, however, the statement bore certain remarks which raise concern for the Court. The
first paragraph concludes with a reference to the decision in Vinuya v. Executive Secretary as a
reprehensible act of dishonesty and misrepresentation by the Highest Court of the land.
While most agree that the right to criticize the judiciary is critical to maintaining a free and
democratic society, there is also a general consensus that healthy criticism only goes so far.
Many types of criticism leveled at the judiciary cross the line to become harmful and
irresponsible attacks.
The Court could hardly perceive any reasonable purpose for the facultys less than objective
comments except to discredit the April 28, 2010 Decision in the Vinuya case and undermine the
Courts honesty, integrity and competence in addressing the motion for its reconsideration. As if
the case on the comfort womens claims is not controversial enough, the UP Law faculty would
fan the flames and invite resentment against a resolution that would not reverse the said
decision. This runs contrary to their obligation as law professors and officers of the Court to be
the first to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which they owe fidelity according to
the oath they have taken as attorneys, and not to promote distrust in the administration of
justice.
Issue:
Should the respondents be reprimanded for their scornful remarks against the esteemed
Court? Thus this constitute a violation of CANON 13?
Held:
YES. The Court ruled that no matter how firm a lawyers conviction in the righteousness of
his cause there is simply no excuse for denigrating the courts and engaging in public behavior
that tends to put the courts and the legal profession into disrepute.
That humiliating the Court into reconsidering the Vinuya Decision in favor of the Malaya Lolas
was one of the objectives of the Statement. It is also proposed that the choice of language in the
Statement was intended for effective speech; that speech must be "forceful enough to make the
intended recipients listen." One wonders what sort of effect respondents were hoping for in
branding this Court as, among others, callous, dishonest and lacking in concern for the basic
values of decency and respect. The Court fails to see how it can ennoble the profession if they
allow respondents to send a signal to their students that the only way to effectively plead their
cases and persuade others to their point of view is to be offensive.
As for the claim that the respondents noble intention is to spur the Court to take "constructive
action" on the plagiarism issue, the Court has some doubts as to its veracity. For if the Statement
was primarily meant for this Courts consideration, why was the same published and reported in
the media first before it was submitted to this Court? It is more plausible that the Statement was
prepared for consumption by the general public and designed to capture media attention as part
of the effort to generate interest in the most controversial ground in the Supplemental Motion for

Reconsideration filed in the Vinuya case by Atty. Roque, who is respondents colleague on the UP
Law faculty.
In this regard, the Court finds that there was indeed a lack of observance of fidelity and due
respect to the Court, particularly when respondents knew fully well that the matter of plagiarism
in the Vinuya decision and the merits of the Vinuya decision itself, at the time of the Statements
issuance, were still both pending final disposition of the Court. These facts have been widely
publicized.
If it is true that the respondents outrage was fueled by their perception of indifference on the
part of the Court then, when it became known that the Court did intend to take action, there was
nothing to prevent respondents from recalibrating the Statement to take this supervening event
into account in the interest of fairness.
Speaking of the publicity this case has generated, the Court finds no merit in the respondents
reliance on various news reports and commentaries in the print media and the internet as proof
that they are being unfairly "singled out." On the contrary, these same annexes to the Common
Compliance show that it is not enough for one to criticize the Court to warrant the institution of
disciplinary or contempt action. The Court takes into account the nature of the criticism and
weighs the possible repercussions of the same on the Judiciary.
When the criticism comes from persons outside the profession who may not have a full grasp of
legal issues or from individuals whose personal or other interests in making the criticism are
obvious, the Court may perhaps tolerate or ignore them. However, when law professors are the
ones who appear to have lost sight of the boundaries of fair commentary and worse, would
justify the same as an exercise of civil liberties, the Court cannot remain silent for such silence
would have a grave implication on legal education in our country.
With respect to the 35 respondents named in the Common Compliance, considering that this
appears to be the first time these respondents have been involved in disciplinary proceedings of
this sort, the Court is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were for the most
part well-intentioned in the issuance of the Statement. However, it is established in jurisprudence
that where the excessive and contumacious language used is plain and undeniable, then good
intent can only be mitigating. As the Court expounded where the matter is abusive or insulting,
evidence that the language used was justified by the facts is not admissible as a defense.
Respect for the judicial office should always be observed and enforced.

RE : SUSPENSION OF ATTY. ROGELIO Z. BAGABUYO, FORMER SENIOR STATE


PROSECUTOR.
Facts:
This administrative case stemmed from the events of the proceedings of a criminal case
(People v. Luis Bucalon Plaza) presided by Judge Jose Manuel P. Tan, Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Surigao City.
The case was originally raffled to the sala of Judge Buyser. Judge Buyser declared that the
evidence thus presented by the prosecution w as sufficient to prove the crime of homicide
and not the charge of murder. Consequently, the counsel for the defense filed a Motion to
Fix the Amount of Bail Bond.
Respondent Atty. Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo, then Senior State Prosecutor and the deputized

prosecutor of the case, objected thereto mainly on the ground that the original charge of
murder, punishable with reclusion perpetua, was not subject to bail under the Rules of Court.
Judge Buyser inhibited himself from further trying the case. The case was transferred to
Judge Jose Manuel P. Tan. Judge Tan favorably resolved the Motion to Fix the Amount of
Bail Bond, and fixed the amount of the bond. Respondent moved to reconsider which was
denied for lack of merit. Respondent appealed.
Instead of availing himself only of judicial remedies, respondent caused the publication of an
article regarding the Order granting bail to the accused in the August 18, 2003 issue of the
Mindanao Gold Star Daily. The article was entitled "Senior prosecutor lambasts Surigao
judge for allowing murder suspect to bail out." Bagabuyo said he would contest Tan's
decision before the Court of Appeals and would file criminal and administrative charges of
certiorari against the judge. Bagabuyuo said he was not afraid of being cited in contempt by
Judge Tan. He said that this is the only way that the public would know that there are judges
there who are displaying judicial arrogance.
Issue:
Should the respondent be reprimanded or sanctioned by the Court for his contemptuous
remark against the court thus violating CANON 13, Rule 13.02 of the CPR?
Held:
YES. Lawyers are licensed officers of the courts who are empowered to appear, prosecute
and defend; and upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are devolved by
law as a consequence. Membership in the bar imposes upon them certain obligations.
Respondent's statements in the article, which were made while Crim. Case No. 5144 was
still pending in court, violated Rule 13.02 of Canon 13, which states that a lawyer shall not
make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public
opinion for or against a party. As a senior state prosecutor and officer of the court,
respondent should have set the example of observing and maintaining the respect due to
the courts and to judicial officers. It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the courts a
respectful attitude. As an officer of the court, it is his duty to uphold the dignity and authority
of the court to which he owes fidelity, according to the oath he has taken. Respect for the
courts guarantees the stability of our democratic institutions which, without such respect,
would be resting on a very shaky foundation.
The Court is not against lawyers raising grievances against erring judges but the rules
clearly provide for the proper venue and procedure for doing so, precisely because respect
for the institution must always be maintained.