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A.M. No.

2655
Complainant: Leonard W. Richards
Respondent: Atty. Patricio A. Asoy
November 11, 1985
FACTS:
ISSUE:
HELD:
A.C. No. 5379
May 9, 2003
Complainant: Walter T. Young
Respondents: Ceasar G. Batuegas, Miguelito Nazareno Llantino, Franklin Q.
Susa
FACTS: On December 29, 2000, complainant filed a complaint for disbarment
against respondents for allegedly committing deliberate falsehood in court
and violating the lawyers oath. Complainant is the private prosecutor in a
murder case where respondents Llantino and Batuegas were the counsel for
the accused. On December 13, 2000, respondents files a Manifestation with
Motion for Bail alleging that the accused has voluntarily surrendered to a
person in authority and is under detention. However, after verification with
the NBI, complainant learned that the accused surrendered only on
December 14, 2000. Moreover, there was lack of notice of hearing to the
complainant. Respondents argued that they fetched the accused on
December 13 but due to heavy traffic, they arrived at the NBI office only at
2:00am the next day. After the case was submitted to the IBP for
investigation, respondents were found guilty of deliberate falsehood and were
recommended for suspension for 6 months.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondents are guilty of falsehood
HELD: YES. A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. He swore upon his
admission to the Bar the he will do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of
any in court. Respondent lawyers fell short of the duties and responsibilities
expected from them as members of the bar. Anticipating that their Motion for
Bail will be denied by the court if it found that it had no jurisdiction over the
person of the accused, they craftily concealed the truth by alleging that
accused had voluntarily surrendered and was under detention. Such artifice
was a deliberate use to mislead the court and thereby contribute to injustice,
violating Rule 10.01 of the CPR. Respondents also failed to show any good
cause to justify the non-observance of the 3-day notice rule. Under Rule
10.03 of the CPR, lawyers are obliged to observe the rules of procedure and
not to misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.
A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC

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:
ISSUE:
HELD:

A.C. No. 2505 February 21, 1992


EVANGELINE LEDA, complainant, vs.
ATTY. TREBONIAN TABANG, respondent.
Complainant, Evangeline Leda, squarely puts in issue respondent Atty.
Trebonian Tabang's
good moral character, in two Complaints she had filed against him, one
docketed as Bar
Matter No. 78 instituted on 6 January 1982, and the present Administrative
Case No. 2505,
which is a Petition for Disbarment, filed on 14 February 1983.
It appears that on 3 October 1976, Respondent and Complainant contracted
marriage at
Tigbauan, Iloilo. The marriage, solemnized by Judge Jose T. Tavarro of
Tigbauan, was
performed under Article 76 of the Civil
Code

as one of exceptional character (Annex "A", Petition).

The parties agreed to keep the fact of marriage a secret until after
Respondent had finished
his law studies (began in l977), and had taken the Bar examinations (in
1981), allegedly to
ensure a stable future for them. Complainantadmits, though, that they had
not lived together
as husband and wife (Letter-Complaint, 6 January 1982).
Respondent finished his law studies in 1981 and thereafter applied to take
the Bar. In his
application, he declared that he was "single." He then passed the
examinations
but Complainant blocked him from taking his Oath by instituting Bar Matter
No. 78, claiming
that Respondent had acted fraudulently in filling out his application and, thus,
was unworthy
to take the lawyer's Oath for lack of good moral character. Complainant also
alleged that
after Respondent's law studies, he became aloof and "abandoned" her
Respondent filed his "Explanation," dated 26 May 1982 which was received
on 7 June
1982. Said "Explanation" carries Complainant's conformity (Records, p. 6).
Therein, he
admitted that he was "legally married" to Complainant on 3 October 1976 but
that the
marriage "was not as yet made and declared public" so that he could proceed
with his law
studies and until after he could take the Bar examinations "in order to keep
stable our
future." He also admitted having indicated that he was "single" in his
application to take the
Bar "for reason that to my honest belief, I have still to declare my status as

single since my
marriage with the complainant was not as yet made and declared public." He
further averred
that he and Complainant had reconciled as shown by her conformity to the
"Explanation," for
which reason he prayed that the Complaint be dismissed.
On 14 February 1983, however, Complainant filed this Administrative Case,
this time praying
for Respondent's disbarment based on the following grounds:
a. For having made use of his legal knowledge to contract an invalid
marriage with me assuming that our marriage is not valid, and making a
mockery of our marriage institution.
b. For having misrepresented himself as single when in truth he is already
married in his application to take the bar exam.
c. For being not of good moral character contrary to the certification he
submitted to the Supreme Court;
d. For (sic) guilty of deception for the reason that he deceived me into signing
of the affidavit ofdesistance and the conformity to his explanation and later
on
the comment to his motion to dismiss, when in truth and in fact he is not
sincere, for he only befriended me to resume our marriage and introduced
me to his family, friends and relatives as his wife, for a bad motive that is he
wanted me to withdraw my complaint against him with the Supreme Court.

Respondent denied emphatically that he had sent such a letter contending


that it

On 26 March 1990, the Court referred the Solicitor General's Report to the Bar
Confidant for
evaluation, report and recommendation. In an undated Report, the latter
recommended the
indefinite suspension of Respondent until the status of his marriage is settled.
Upon the facts on Record even without testimonial evidence from
Complainant, we find
Respondent's lack of good moral character sufficiently established.
Firstly, his declaration in his application for Admission to the 1981 Bar
Examinations that he
was "single" was a gross misrepresentation of a material fact made in utter
bad faith, for
which he should be made answerable. Rule 7.01, Canon 7, Chapter II of the
Code of
Professional Responsibility explicitly provides: "A lawyer shall be answerable
for knowingly
making a false statement or suppression of a material fact in connection with
his application
for admission to the bar." That false statement, if it had been known, would
have disqualified
him outrightfrom taking the Bar Examinations as it indubitably exhibits lack
of good moral
character.
Secondly, Respondent's conduct in adopting conflicting positions in the
various pleadings

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. Inso 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 (Chavez v. Viola, Adm.
Case No.
2152, 19 April 1991, 196 SCRA 10). 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.
WHEREFORE, finding respondent Trebonian C. Tabang grossly unfit and
unworthy to
continue to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging to the
office of an
attorney, he is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law until further
Orders, the

CANON 11
On December 11, 2001, the court En Banc issued the following Resolution

directing respondent Atty. Leonard De Vera to explain why he should not be


cited for indirect contempt of court for uttering some allegedly contemptuous
statements in relation to the case involving the constitutionality of the
[1]
Plunder Law (Republic Act No. 7080)
which was then pending resolution.
De Vera asked the Supreme Court to dispel rumors that it would vote in favor
of a petition filed by Estradas lawyers to declare the plunder law
unconstitutional for its supposed vagueness.
De Vera warned of a crisis far worse than the jueteng scandal that led to
People Power II if the rumor turned out to be true.
The court resolved to direct Atty. Leonard De Vera to explain within a nonextendible period of ten (10) days from notice why he should not be punished
for contempt of court. In his Answer, respondent admitted the report in the
November 6, 2002 issue of the Inquirer that he suggested that the Court
must take steps to dispel once and for all these ugly rumors and reports that
the Court would vote in favor of or against the validity of the Plunder Law to
protect the credibility of the Court.
He also argued that he was merely exercising his constitutionally guaranteed
right to freedom of speech when he said that a decision by the Court
declaring the Plunder Law unconstitutional would trigger mass actions,
probably more massive than those that led to People Power II.
While he admitted to having uttered the aforecited statements, respondent
denied having made the same to degrade the Court, to destroy public
confidence in it and to bring it into disrepute.

After a careful consideration of respondents arguments, the Court finds his


explanation unsatisfactory and hereby finds him guilty of indirect contempt of
court for uttering statements aimed at influencing and threatening the Court
in deciding in favor of the constitutionality of the Plunder Law.
Rule 71, Section 3 (d) of the Revised Rules of Court authorizes the courts to
hold liable for criminal contempt a person guilty of conduct that is directed
against the dignity or authority of the court, or of an act obstructing the
administration of justice which tends to bring the court into disrepute or
disrespect.
Respondent cannot justify his contemptuous statements--asking the Court to
dispel rumors that it would declare the Plunder Law unconstitutional, and
stating that a decision declaring it as such was basically wrong and would not
be accepted by the peopleas utterances protected by his right to freedom
of speech.
Indeed, freedom of speech includes the right to know and discuss judicial
proceedings, but such right does not cover statements aimed at undermining
the Courts integrity and authority, and interfering with the administration of

justice.
Thus, the making of contemptuous statements directed against the Court is
not an exercise of free speech; rather, it is an abuse of such right.
It is respondents duty as an officer of the court, to uphold the dignity and
authority of the courts and to promote confidence in the fair administration of
[20]
justice
and in the Supreme Court as the last bulwark of justice and
democracy.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Leonard De Vera is found GUILTY of indirect contempt of
court and is hereby FINED in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos
(P20,000.00) to be paid within ten (10) days from receipt of this Decision.

G.R. No. 75209 September 30, 1987

NESTLE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner,


vs.
HON. AUGUSTO S. SANCHEZ, MINISTER OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
and THE
UNION OF FILIPRO EMPLOYEES, respondents.
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. Let
this incident 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.
WHEREFORE, the contempt charges against herein respondents are
DISMISSED.
Henceforth, no demonstrations or pickets intended to pressure or influence
courts of justice
into acting one way or the other on pending cases shall be allowed in the
vicinity and/or
within the premises of any and all courts.

A.M. No. RTJ-90-580. April 27, 1993.


EDUARDO R. BALAOING, complainant,vs.JUDGE LEOPOLDO CALDERON,
respondent.
A.M. No. RTJ-676. April 27, 1993.
EDUARDO R. BALAOING, complainant,vs.HON. SANTIAGO MALIWANAG,
respondent.
The Court was disturbed by complainant Balaoing's unrestrained use of
unsavory, even defamatory and offensive language against respondent
Judge. One glaring example narrates: ". . . It is well to advise Judge Maliwanag
not to be wearing his brief (short) while in his chamber during office hours; it
is downright undignified, especially so when his body has traces of fungus,
which was have been afflicted during his 26 years as Assistant City Fiscal of
Olongapo City, a dirty city."
The Court, in a Resolution 2 En Banc, dated December 4, 1990, resolved to:
(1) DISMISS the complaint;(2) SUSPEND complainant from the practice of law
for one (1) year; and
(3) IMPOSE upon complainant a FINE of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00),
for Violation of the Canons of the Code of Professional Responsibility, with a
stern warning that subsequent similar infractions shall be dealt with more
severely.

Notwithstanding the above warnings, censure and suspension from the


practice of law for one (1) year, Atty. Eduardo R. Balaoing is again before this
Court with more administrative complaints filed against not only one, but two
judges, the Honorable Leopoldo T. Calderon, Jr. and the Honorable Santiago
Maliwanag, of Olongapo City and Zambales, respectively.
On September 25, 1990, Atty. Eduardo R. Balaoing filed a sworn lettercomplaint 3 against Judge Leopoldo T. Calderon, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 75, Olongapo City, for misconduct, grave abuse of authority and
malicious delay in the administration of justice
. "Complainant alleges that respondent Judge drinks a lot with lawyers close
to Mayor Gordon and fraternizes with them openly; that with respect to
respondent's personal driver, the latter receives his salary both from Mayor
Gordon as a casual employee and from the Supreme Court as a judicial aide;
and, that respondent Judge sanctions the set up of having his legal
researcher, Jaime Dojildo, Jr., to work under the supervision of an OIC who,
according to complainant, is grossly inefficient and a notorious swindler with
no background in law.
Complainant further alleges that respondent Judge has been maliciously
delaying the disposition of several cases pending in his sala.
The factual backdrop of the Gavilan case shows that complainant Balaoing
won in a foreclosure case against one Eliseo Gavilan. After the foreclosed
properties (a house and lot) were sold in a public auction, where complainant
Balaoing was the highest bidder, a Certificate of Sale was issued and the
same was registered. Respondent Judge, however, allegedly prevented the
implementation of the writ of possession, to the prejudice of complainant
Balaoing. In his Comment, respondent Judge explained that the reason why
he quashed the writ of possession he earlier issued in favor of complainant
Balaoing was due to the fact that Gavilan's widow, Alice, and her children,
were residing in the foreclosed properties and, more importantly, the period
to redeem the said properties had not yet
expired. This action of respondent Judge allegedly infuriated complainant
Balaoing, hence, his filing of several suits, one after the other, against
respondent Judge,
As shown above, complainant Balaoing has a penchant for filing
administrative charges against judges, in whose sala he has pending cases,
whenever the latter render decisions or issue orders adverse to him and/or
his clients.
These acts of complainant Balaoing run counter to the explicit mandate of
the Code of Professional Responsibility, to wit:
CANON 11 A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE
TO THE COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSISTS ON
SIMILAR CONDUCT BY OTHERS.

Rule 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing


language or behavior before the Courts.
Rule 11.04 A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by
the record or have no materiality to the case.
We have painstakingly reviewed the records of these cases and find the
present administrative complaints of Atty. Balaoing against Judge Calderon, Jr.
and his OIC Leonor Maniago, and against Judge Maliwanag, just as frivolous
and baseless as the previous ones. Like before, his present complaints are
based on his personal interpretation of the law and not on material
allegations of fact, substantiated by solid evidence.
Complainant Balaoing's wanton disregard of Our stern warning not to again
file baseless and frivolous complaints which only clog the already full dockets
of this Court instead of serve the ends of justice, and his adamant refusal to
abide by the above-quoted provisions of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which serve to regulate a lawyer's conduct in this jurisdiction,
have shown complainant Balaoing's unfitness to hold the license to practice
law.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the administrative complaints are hereby
DISMISSED for lack of merit. Complainant Eduardo R. Balaoing is hereby
DISBARRED and his name is ordered STRICKEN from the Roll of Attorneys.

ROMEO G. ROXAS andSANTIAGO N. PASTOR,


Petitioners,
- versus ANTONIO DE ZUZUARREGUI, JR., ENRIQUE DE ZUZUARREGUI, PACITA
JA VIER, ELIZABETH R. GONZALES, JOSEFINA R. DAZA, ELIAS REYES,
NATIVIDAD REYES, TERESITA REYES, JOSE
G.R. No. 152072
REYES and ANTONIO REYES,
[1]
In a Resolution
dated 26 September 2006, the Court En Banc ordered Atty.
Romeo G. Roxas to explain in writing why he should not be held in contempt
[2]
of court and subjected to disciplinary action when he, in a letter
dated 13
September 2006 addressed to Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario with
copies thereof furnished the Chief Justice and all the other Associate Justices,
intimated that Justice Nazario decided G.R. No. 152072 and No. 152104 on
considerations other than the pure merits of the case, and called the
Supreme Court a dispenser of injustice.

On 7 June 2006, the Office of then Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban


[13]
received from Roxas a letter (with enclosures)
dated 6 June 2006 which
contained, inter alia, the following:
This is an unjust and unfair decision, to say the least. x x x We cry out in
disbelief that such an impossible decision could spring forth from the
Supreme Court, the ultimate administrator and last bulwark of justice. As it
stands, instead of being an administrative of justice, the Supreme Court will
ironically be a dispenser of injustice.
After reviewing the records of these cases, We firmly stand by our decision
which Atty. Roxas described to be unjust, unfair and impossible, and arrived
at through considerations other than the pure merits of the case. Atty.
Roxass insistence that said decision did not meet the standards or adhered
to the basic characteristics of fair and just decision, such as objectivity,
neutrality and conformity to the laws and the Constitution, is
simply without basis. The fact that the decision was not in his favor does not
mean that the same was contrary to our laws and was not rendered in a fair
and impartial manner.

In his letter subject of this contempt proceeding, Atty. Roxas accused Justice
Nazario of deciding the case through considerations other than the pure
merits of the case. He averred that we will never understand what moved
the Honorable Justice to decide as she did and what forces and influences
caused her to reason out her decision in such an unfair and unjust manner as
to compromise the reputation, integrity and dignity itself of the Supreme
Court, as a venerable institution of justice. He then ended by mocking her
when he said sleep well if you still can and that her earthly life will [be]
judged by the Supreme Dispenser of Justice where only the merits of Your
Honors life will be relevant and material and where technicalities can shield
no one from his or her wrongdoings.
As to the Court, supposedly the last vanguard and bulwark of justice, he
likewise accuses it of making itself, wittingly or unwittingly, a party to the
wrongdoing by giving official and judicial sanction and conformity to the
unjust claims of the adverse party. He added: This is an unjust and unfair
decision, to say the least. x x x We cry out in disbelief that such an impossible
decision could spring forth from the Supreme Court, the ultimate
administrator and last bulwark of justice. As it stands, instead of being an
administrator of justice, the Supreme Court is ironically a dispenser of
injustice.
In his letter of explanation, Atty. Roxas extended apologies to Justice Nazario,
to the other members of the High Court and to the High Court itself as a
revered institution and ultimate dispenser of justice. He said he was merely
exercising his right to express a legitimate grievance or articulate a bona fide

and fair criticism of the Honorable Courts ruling. He explained that his
criticism of the assailed ruling was done in good faith with no intention
whatsoever to offend any member, much less tarnish the image of the Court.
Instead of resorting to public criticism through media exposure, he chose to
ventilate his criticism in a very discreet and private manner by writing a
personal letter confined to the hallowed halls of the Court and within bounds
of decency and propriety.
We find the explanations of Atty. Roxas unsatisfactory. The accusation against
Justice Nazario is clearly without basis. The attack on the person of Justice
Nazario has caused her pain and embarrassment. His letter is full of
contemptuous remarks tending to degrade the dignity of the Court and erode
public confidence that should be accorded it.
To prevent liability from attaching on account of his letter, he invokes his
rights to free speech and privacy of communication. The invocation of these
rights will not, however, free him from liability. As already stated, his letter
contained defamatory statements that impaired public confidence in the
integrity of the judiciary. The making of contemptuous statements directed
against the Court is not an exercise of free speech; rather, it is an abuse of
such right. Unwarranted attacks on the dignity of the courts cannot be
disguised as free speech, for the exercise of said right cannot be used to
impair the independence and efficiency of courts or public respect therefor
and confidence therein.
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
Courts and judges are not sacrosanct. They should and expect critical
evaluation of their performance.
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.
In the case at bar, we find the statements made by Atty. Roxas to have been
made mala fides and exceeded the boundaries of decency and propriety. By
his unfair and unfounded accusation against Justice Nazario, and his mocking
of the Court for allegedly being part of a wrongdoing and being a dispenser of
injustice, he abused his liberty of speech.
The fact that his letters were merely addressed to the Justices of this Court
and were not disseminated to the media is of no moment. Letters addressed
to individual Justices, in connection with the performance of their judicial
functions, become part of the judicial record and are a matter of concern for
the entire court.
Under the circumstances, we find Atty. Romeo G. Roxas guilty of indirect
contempt of court under Section 3, Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure,

The disrespect caused to the Court by Atty.Roxasmerits a fine of P30,000.00


with a warning that a repetition of a similar act will warrant a more severe
penalty.
With his contemptuous and defamatory statements, Atty. Roxas likewise
violated Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly
Canons 11.03 and 11.04. These provisions read:
CANON 11 -- A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE TO
THE COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSIST ON SIMILAR
CONDUCT BY OTHERS
xxxx
Rule 11.03. A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive and menacing
language or behavior before the Courts.
Rule 11.04. A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by
the record or have no materiality to the case.
It is the duty of a lawyer as an officer of the court to uphold the dignity and
authority of the courts and to promote confidence in the fair administration of
justice and in the Supreme Court as the last bulwark of justice and
[31]
democracy.
Respect for the courts guarantees the stability of the judicial
institution. Without such guarantee, the institution would be resting on a very
shaky foundation.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, Atty. Romeo G. Roxas is found GUILTY of
indirect contempt of court. He is hereby FINED the amount of P30,000.00 to
be paid within ten (10) days from receipt of this Resolution and WARNED
that a repetition of a similar act will warrant a more severe penalty.

CANON 12

A.C. No. 6323 April 13, 2007


PABLO R. OLIVARES and/or OLIVARES REALTY CORPORATION,
Complainants, vs.ATTY. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, JR., Respondent.
1
2
This is a complaint for disbarment and suspension against respondent Atty.
Arsenio C. Villalon, Jr. by Pablo R. Olivares and/or Olivares Realty Corporation
for violation of Rule 12.02, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and the rule on forum shopping.

In his complaint, Olivares alleged that respondents client, Sarah Divina


Morales Al-Rasheed, repeatedly sued him for violations of the lease contract
which they executed over a commercial apartment in Olivares Building in
Paraaque
The Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of the IBP found that respondent
assisted Al- Rasheed in repeatedly suing Olivares for the same cause of
18
action and subject matter.
It opined that respondent should have noted
19
that the 1999 case was dismissed for lack of interest to prosecute.
Under
Rule 17, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, such dismissal had the effect of an
20
adjudication on the merits.
The CBD recommended the suspension of
respondent for six months with a warning that any similar infraction in the
21
future would be dealt with more severely.
The facts of this case reveal that Atty. Villalon purposely filed the second
complaint. Respondent appealed the 1999 case to the Court of Appeals and
subsequently to this Court. Both actions were dismissed for lack of merit, not
on mere technicality. The certificate of non- forum shopping attached to the
2004 complaint disclosed that Al-Rasheed previously sued Olivares for
violating their lease contract. As if such disclosure was a sufficient
26
justification, Atty. Villalon unapologetically reproduced his 1999
arguments
27
and assertions in the2004
complaint. Respondent obviously knew the law
and tried to go around it. This Court
therefore concludes that respondent willfully violated Rule 12.02, Canon 12
which provides that:
A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the same cause.
Furthermore, he violated Rule 10.03, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility:
A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to
defeat the ends of justice.
A lawyers fidelity to his client must not be pursued at the expense of truth
28
andjustice.
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.
Everything considered, this Court finds that a reprimand is insufficient and
rules instead that CBDs recommendation for a six-month suspension from
the practice of law to be more commensurate to the violation committed.
30
However, in view of respondents death on September 27, 2006,
the
penalty can no longer be imposed on him. This development has, in effect,

rendered this disciplinary case moot and academic.

[A.C. No. 5054. May 29, 2002]


SOLEDAD NUEZ, Represented by ANANIAS B. CO, Attorney-in- Fact
for Complainant, petitioner, vs. ATTY. ROMULO RICAFORT,
respondent.

This is an administrative complaint filed on 21 April 1999 by Soledad Nuez, a


septuagenarian represented by her attorney-in-fact Ananias B. Co, Jr., seeking
the disbarment of respondent Atty. Romulo Ricafort on the ground of grave
misconduct.

n October 1982 she authorized respondent to sell her two parcels of


land located in Legazpi City for P40,000. She agreed to give respondent 10
percent of the price as commission. Respondent succeeded in selling the lots,
but despite complainants repeated demands, he did not turn over to her the
proceeds of the sale. This forced complainant to file against respondent and
his wife an action for a sum of money before the Regional Trial Court of
Quezon City.
In her Report and Recommendation dated 12 September 2000, Investigating
Commissioner Atty. Milagros V. San Juan concluded that respondent had no
intention to honor the money judgment against him in Civil Case No. Q-9315052 as can be gleaned from his (1) issuance of postdated checks; (2)
closing of the account against which said checks were drawn; and (3)
continued failure to make good the amounts of the checks. She then
recommends that respondent be declared guilty of misconduct in his
dealings with complainant and be suspended from the practice of law for at
least one year and pay the amount of the checks issued to the complainant.
respondent gravely abused the confidence that complainant reposed in him
and committed dishonesty when he did not turn over the proceeds of the sale
of her property. Worse, with palpable bad faith, he compelled the complainant
to go to court for the recovery of the proceeds of the sale and, in the process,
to spend money, time and energy therefor. Then, despite his deliberate
failure to answer the complaint resulting in his having been declared in
default, he appealed from the judgment to the Court of Appeals. Again, bad
faith attended such a step because he did not pay the docket fee despite
notice. Needless to state, respondent wanted to prolong the travails and
agony of the complainant and to enjoy the fruits of what rightfully
belongs to the latter. Unsatisfied with what he had already unjustly and
unlawfully done to complainant, respondent issued checks to satisfy the alias

writ of execution. But, remaining unrepentant of what he had done and in


continued pursuit of a clearly malicious plan not to pay complainant of what
had been validly and lawfully adjudged by the court against him, respondent
closed the account against which the checks were drawn. There was deceit in
this. Respondent never had the intention of paying his obligation as proved
by the fact that despite the criminal cases for violation of B.P. Blg. 22, he did
not pay the obligation.
To further demonstrate his very low regard for the courts and judicial
processes, respondent even had the temerity of making a mockery of our
generosity to him. We granted his three motions for extension of time to file
his comment on the complaint in this case. Yet, not only did he fail to file the
comment, he as well did not even bother to explain such failure
notwithstanding our resolution declaring him as having waived the filing of
the comment.
Respondent then knowingly and willfully violated Rules 12.04 and 12:03 of
Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which respectively
provide that lawyers should avoid any action that would unduly delay a case,
impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court processes; and that
lawyers, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or
briefs, should not let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering
an explanation for their failure to do so.
N VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, respondent Atty. Romulo Ricafort is
hereby INDEFINITELY SUSPENDED from the practice of law, and is directed to
pay complainant Soledad Nuez the amount of P13,800 within ten (10) days
from notice of this resolution.

A.C. No. 7815


DOLORES C. BELLEZA, Complainant,
ATTY. ALAN S. MACASA, Respondent.
July 23, 2009
This treats of the complaint for disbarment filed by complainant Dolores C.
Belleza against respondent Atty. Alan S. Macasa for unprofessional and
unethical conduct in connection with the handling of a criminal case involving
complainants son.
Complainant demanded the return of the P18,000 from respondent on several
occasions but respondent ignored her. Moreover, respondent failed to act on
the case of complainants son and complainant was forced to avail of the
services of the Public Attorneys Office for her sons defense.
In its report and recommendation dated October 2, 2007,

[11]

the CBD ruled

that respondent failed to rebut the charges against him. He never answered
the complaint despite several chances to do so.
The CBD found respondent guilty of violation of Rule 1.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides:
Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral, or
deceitful conduct.
It also found him guilty of violation of Rules 16.01 and 16.02 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility:
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or
received for or from the client.
Rule 16.02 A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart
from his own and those others kept by him.
The CBD ruled that respondent lacked good moral character and that he was
unfit and unworthy of the privileges conferred by law on him as a member of
the bar. The CBD recommended a suspension of six months with a stern
warning that repetition of similar acts would merit a more severe
sanction. It also recommended that respondent be ordered to return to
complainant theP18,000 intended for the provisional liberty of the
complainants son and the P30,000 attorneys fees.
The Board of Governors of the IBP adopted and approved the report and
recommendation of the CBD with the modification that respondent be
ordered to return to complainant only the amount of P30,000 which he
received as attorneys fees.
Respondent was given more than enough opportunity to answer the charges
against him. Yet, he showed indifference to the orders of the CBD for him to
answer and refute the accusations of professional misconduct against him. In
doing so, he failed to observe Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility:
Rule 12.03 A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file
pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so.
Respondent also ignored the CBDs directive for him to file his position paper.
His propensity to flout the orders of the CBD showed his lack of concern and
disrespect for the proceedings of the CBD.
He displayed insolence not only to the CBD but also to this Court which is the
source of the CBDs authority.
Respondents unjustified disregard of the lawful orders of the CBD was not

only irresponsible but also constituted utter disrespect for the judiciary and
[13]
his fellow lawyers.
His conduct was unbecoming of a lawyer who is called
upon to obey court orders and processes and is expected to stand foremost in
[14]
complying with court directives as an officer of the court.
Respondent
should have known that the orders of the CBD (as the investigating arm of
the Court in administrative cases against lawyers) were not mere requests
but directives which should have been complied with promptly and
completely.
After accepting the criminal case against complainants son and receiving his
attorneys fees, respondent did nothing that could be considered as effective
and efficient legal assistance. For all intents and purposes, respondent
abandoned the cause of his client.
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Alan S. Macasa is hereby found GUILTY not
only of dishonesty but also of professional misconduct for prejudicing Francis
John Bellezas right to counsel and to bail under Sections 13 and 14(2), Article
III of the Constitution, and for violating Canons 1, 7, 17, 18 and 19 and Rules
12.03, 16.01, 16.02, 16.03 and 18.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. He is therefore DISBARRED from the practice of law effective
immediately.
A.C. No. 7054
CONRADO QUE,
ATTY. ANASTACIO REVILLA, JR.
Respondent.
December 4, 2009
[1]
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:
[5]
n 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 in the
marginalized sector in Metro Manila. He agreed to take over the cases
formerly handled by other KDC members. One of these cases was the
unlawful detainer case handled by the late Atty. Catolico where the
complainant and his siblings were the plaintiffs and the respondents present
clients were the defendants.

The Issue
The case poses to us the core issues of whether the respondent can be held
liable for the imputed unethical infractions and professional misconduct, and
the penalty these transgressions should carry.
Except for the penalty, we agree with the Report and
Recommendation of Investigating Commissioner Cunanan and the
Board of Governors of the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline

the respondent is guilty of serious misconduct for abusing court procedures


and processes to shield his clients from the execution of the final judgments
of the MeTC and RTC in the unlawful detainer case
the respondents repeated attempts go beyond the legitimate means allowed
by professional ethical rules in defending the interests of his client.These are
already uncalled for measures to avoid the enforcement of final judgments of
the MeTC and RTC. In these attempts, the respondent violated Rule 10.03,
Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which makes it obligatory
for a lawyer to observe the rules of procedure and. . . not [to] misuse them
to defeat the ends of justice.
The respondent likewise violated Rule 12.02 and Rule 12.04, Canon 12 of the
[21]
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
[22]
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 substantively 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 fora, but his obvious objective as well of preventing the
execution of the 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.
Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the respondent committed various
acts of professional misconduct and thereby failed to live up to the exacting
ethical standards imposed on members of the Bar.
Given the respondents multiple violations, his past record as previously
discussed, and the nature of these violations which shows the readiness to

disregard court rules and to gloss over concerns for the orderly
administration of justice, we believe and so hold that the appropriate action
of this Court is to disbar the respondent to keep him away from the law
profession and from any significant role in the administration of justice which
he has disgraced. He is a continuing risk, too, to the public that the legal
profession serves. Not even his ardor and overzealousness in defending the
interests of his client can save him. Such traits at the expense of everything
else, particularly the integrity of the profession and the orderly administration
of justice, this Court cannot accept nor tolerate.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby AFFIRM Resolution No. XVII2005-164 dated December 17, 2005 and Resolution No. XVII-2008-657 dated
December 11, 2008 of the Board of Governors of the IBP Committee on Bar
Discipline insofar as respondent Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr. is found liable for
professional misconduct for violations of the Lawyers Oath; Canon 8; Rules
10.01 and 10.03, Canon 10; Rules 12.02 and 12.04, Canon 12; Rule 19.01,
Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility; and Sections 20(d), 21
and 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. However, we modify the penalty the
IBP imposed, and hold that the respondent should be DISBARRED from the
practice of law.

G.R. No. 132826


ROLANDO SAA,
Petitioner
INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, COMMISSION ON BAR
DISCIPLINE, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, PASIG CITY and ATTY. FREDDIE
A. VENIDA,
Respondents

Petitioner Rolanda Saa filed a complaint for disbarment against respondent


Atty. Freddie A. Venida on December 27, 1991 in this Court. In his complaint,
[1]
Saa stated that Atty. Venidas act of filing two cases
against him was
[
oppressive and constituted unethical practice.

Atty. Venida was required to comment on the complaint against him. In his
[4]
belated and partial compliance
with the February 17, 1992 resolution, Atty.
Venida averred that Saa did not specifically allege his supposed infractions.

He asked to be furnished a copy of the complaint. He also prayed for the


dismissal of the complaint.
Atty. Venida also added that he was merely performing his duty as counsel of
Saas adversaries
he matter was thereafter referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation. In a report dated August
14, 1997, Commissioner George S. Briones recommended the dismissal of the
[9]
complaint for lack of merit.
It found no evidence that the two cases filed by
[10]
Atty. Venida against Saa were acts of oppression or unethical practice.
The Board of Governors of the IBP resolved to adopt and approve the
[11]
investigating commissioners report and dismissed the complaint.
Saa
filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.
[13]
Saa now questions the resolution of the IBP in this petition for certiorari.
He ascribes grave abuse of discretion to the IBP when it adopted and affirmed
the report of the investigating commissioner dismissing his complaint.
According to him, the investigating commissioners report did not at all
mention the dismissal of OMB 1-901118 and A.C. P-90-513, even if the existence of both cases was admitted by
the parties. The dismissal of his complaint for disbarment was therefore
grounded entirely on speculations, surmises and conjectures.
We disagree.
There was no grave abuse of discretion in this case. There was in fact a
dearth of evidence showing oppressive or unethical behavior on the part of
Atty. Venida. Without convincing proof that Atty. Venida was motivated by a
desire to file baseless legal actions, the findings of the IBP stand.
Nonetheless, we strongly disapprove of Atty. Venidas blatant refusal to
comply with various court directives. As a lawyer, he had the responsibility to
[16]
follow legal orders and processes.
Yet, he disregarded this very important
canon of legal ethics when he filed only a partial comment on January 26,
1993 or 11 months after being directed to do so in the February 17, 1992
resolution. Worse, he filed his complete comment only on June 14, 1995 or a
little over three years after due date. In both instances, he managed to delay
[17]
the resolution of the case, a clear violation of Canon 12
and Rules
[18]
[19]
1.03
and 12.04
of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED IN PART. The charge of
oppressive or unethical behavior against respondent is dismissed. However,

for violation of Canons 1 and 12 and Rules 1.03 and 12.04 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, as well as the lawyers oath, Atty. Freddie A.
Venida is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year,
effective immediately from receipt of this resolution. He is furtherSTERNLY
WARNEDthat a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with
more severely.

A.C. No. 8481


ATTY. JOSABETH
ALONSO andSHALIMAR P. LAZATIN,
Vs
ATTY. IBARO B. RELAMIDA, JR.,
Respondent.
August 3, 2010
[1]
Before us is a Complaint
dated October 13, 2005 for disciplinary action
against respondent Atty. Ibaro B. Relamida, Jr. filed by Attys. Josabeth V.
Alonso and Shalimar P. Lazatin, counsel of Servier Philippines, Incorporated
for violating the rules on forum shopping and res judicata.

n March 2001, Jennifer Ebanen filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal against
Servier Philippines, Incorporated (Servier) docketed as NLRC-NCR-Case No.
30-03-01583-01, alleging constructive dismissal with prayer for reinstatement
or payment of separation pay, backwages, moral and exemplary damages.
[2]
On July 5, 2002, the Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of Servier.
It held that
Ebanen voluntarily resigned from Servier and was, therefore, not illegally
dismissed.
Ebanen appealed at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). On
March 31, 2003, the NLRC-Third Division affirmed the Decision of the Labor
Arbiter
Thus, on October 13, 2005, Servier, thru counsel, filed a letter- complaint
addressed to the then Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., praying that
respondents be disciplinary sanctioned for violation of the rules on forum
shopping and res judicata.

Filed several appeals and motions but denied.

However, despite said entry of judgment, Ebanen, thru her counsel, Atty.
Relamida, filed a second complaint on August 5, 2005 for illegal dismissal
based on the same cause of action of constructive dismissal against Servier,
[14]
On January 16, 2006, respondents filed their Comments.
Both
respondents admitted the filing of the second complaint against Servier. They
claimed that the judgment rendered by the Labor Arbiter was null and void
for want of due process, since the motion for the issuance of subpoena duces
tecum for the production of vital documents filed by the complainant was
ignored by the Labor Arbiter. They opined that the dismissal did not amount
to res judicata, since the decision was null and void for lack of due process.
As a result, they claimed that there was also no violation of the rule on forum
shopping.
On January 22, 2007, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the second complaint on
the grounds of res judicata and forum shopping. It further reiterated that
Ebanen voluntarily resigned from employment and was not constructively
dismissed.
Servier, on the other hand, argued that the filing of the second complaint is a
violation of the rights of Servier, since the issue has already attained finality.
It contended that Atty. Relamida violated the rules on forum shopping for the
same act of filing a second complaint. As a consequence, they are being
made to defend themselves in a case that has been settled before the labor
tribunals and courts.
Servier prayed that Atty. Relamida be disciplinary dealt with due to his abuse
of the processes of the courts.
On April 19, 2008, the IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP- CBD)
recommended that respondent Atty. Relamida be suspended from the
practice of law for six (6) months.
In its Report, the IBP found that by filing the second complaint, Atty. Relamida
was guilty of violating the rules on res judicata and forum shopping. It
concluded that Atty. Relamida abused his right of recourse to
the courts by filing a complaint for a cause that had been previously rejected
by the courts.
On June 5, 2008, the IBP Board of Governors resolved to adopt and approve
with modification as to penalty the report of the IBP-CBD. Instead, it
recommended that Atty. Relamida be suspended from the practice of law for

one (1) month for his violation of the rules on res judicata and forum
shopping.
In the instant case, it is clear that Atty. Relamida is guilty of forum shopping
and violation of the rule on res judicata. Atty. Relamida should have refrained
from filing the second complaint against Servier. He ought to have known
that the previous dismissal was with prejudice, since it had the effect of an
adjudication on the merits. He was aware of all the proceedings which the
first complaint went through as by his own admission, he participated in the
preparation of the pleadings and even signed as counsel of Ebanen
[21]
occasionally.
He knew that the decision in the subject case had already
attained finality.
he filing of multiple petitions constitutes abuse of the courts processes and
improper conduct that tends to impede, obstruct and degrade the
administration of justice and will be punished as contempt of court. Needless
to state, the lawyer who files such multiple or repetitious petitions (which
obviously delays the execution of a final and executory judgment) subjects
himself to disciplinary
action for incompetence (for not knowing any better) or for willful violation of
his duties as an attorney to act with all good fidelity to the courts, and to
maintain only such actions as appear to him to be just and are consistent
with truth and honor.
The filing of another action concerning the same subject matter, in violation
of the doctrine of res judicata, runs contrary to Canon 12 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which requires a lawyer to exert every effort and
consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of
justice. By his actuations, respondent also violated Rule 12.02 and Rule 12.04
of the Code, as well as a lawyers mandate "to delay no man for money or
malice."
WHEREFORE, Resolution No. XVIII-2008-286, dated June 5, 2008, of the IBP,
which found respondent Atty. Ibaro B. Relamida, Jr. guilty of violating the
Rules on Res Judicata and Forum Shopping, is AFFIRMED. Atty. Relaminda is
hereby SUSPENDED for six (6) months from the practice of law, effective
upon the receipt of this Decision. He is warned that a repetition of the same
or a similar act will be dealt with more severely.

CANON 13
A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC March 8, 2011
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"

CANON 13 A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from
any impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of
influencing the court.
it was respondents themselves who called upon the Supreme Court to act on
2
their Statement, which they formally submitted, through Dean Marvic M.V.F.
Leonen (Dean Leonen), for the Courts proper disposition. Considering the
defenses of freedom of speech and academic freedom invoked by the
respondents, it is worth discussing here that the legal reasoning used in the
past by this Court to rule that freedom of expression is not a defense in
administrative cases against lawyers for using intemperate speech in open
court or in court submissions can similarly be applied to respondents
invocation of academic freedom. Indeed, it is precisely because respondents
are not merely lawyers but lawyers who teach law and mould the minds of
young aspiring attorneys that respondents own non-observance of the Code
of Professional Responsibility, even if purportedly motivated by the purest of
intentions, cannot be ignored nor glossed over by this Court.

[A.M. No. 01-12-02-SC. April 4, 2003]


[In Re: Use by Atty. Renerio G. Paas as an Office in His Private
Practice of His Profession the Office of His Wife, Pasay City MeTC
Judge Estrellita M. Paas.
Pasay City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 44 Presiding Judge
Estrellita M. Paas administratively charged Court Aide/Utility Worker Edgar E.
Almarvez with discourtesy, disrespect, insubordination, neglect in
performing his duties, disloyalty, solicitation
of monetary consideration and gross violation of the Civil Service Law.
her complaint, Judge Paas alleged that Almarvez is discourteous to his coemployees, lawyers and party litigants; has failed to maintain the cleanliness
in and around the court premises despite order to do so, thus amounting to
insubordination; was, and on several instances, habitually absent from work
or made it appear that he reported for work by signing the logbook in the
morning, only to stay out of the office the whole day; asked from detention
prisoners P100.00 to P200.00 before he released to them their Release
Orders; asked for amounts in excess of what was necessary for the purchase
of stamps and pocketed the difference; once failed to mail printed matter on
July 11, 2000 and kept for his own use the amount given to him for the
purpose; and divulged confidential information to litigants in advance of its
authorized release date for a monetary consideration, thus giving undue
advantage or favor to the paying party, in violation of Rep. Act No. 3019 (The
[1]
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
Almarvez, by Answer of September 25, 2000,

[6]

denied Judge Paas charges,

and alleged that the real reason why Judge Paas filed the case against him
was because she suspected him of helping her husband, Atty. Renerio G.
Paas, conceal his marital indiscretions; since she failed to elicit any
information from him, she resorted to calling him names and other forms of
harassment; on September 6, 2000, she hurled at him
the following invectives before the other employees of the court: Walang
kuwenta, ahas ka, driver lang kita, pinaasenso kita, walang utang na loob,
pinagtatakpan mo pa ang asawa ko, ulupong; and she insisted that he sign a
prepared resignation letter, a copy of which he was not able to keep.
In a separate case for inhibition of Judge Paas in a criminal case, it was
revealed that Judge Paas husband, private practitioner Atty. Paas, was using
his wifes office as his office address in his law practice,
[18]
By Resolution of February 12, 2002,
the Court referred the matter to the
OCA for evaluation, report and recommendation.
The OCA, for lack of evidence, recommended the dismissal of the charges
against Almarvez of exacting money from detainees, violating confidentiality
of official communication, absence without official leave, discourtesy and
insubordination. Given Almarvez unsatisfactory performance ratings for three
[21]
[22]
rating periods covering January to June 2000,
July to December 2000,
[23]
and January to April 2001,
however, the OCA recommended that he be
duly penalized for inefficiency in the performance of his official duties
with One (1) Month suspension without pay, instead of dismissal
With respect to the complaint of Almarvez against Judge Paas, the OCA, for
lack of supporting evidence, recommended the dismissal of the charges of
maltreatment, harassment and verbal abuse. It found,

however, that Judge Paas had used her administrative power of supervision
and control over court personnel for her personal pride, prejudice and
[24]
pettiness
when she issued her September 7, 2000 Memorandum
ordering Alvarez to undergo a drug test after she had already filed an
administrative case against him. It thus concluded that, in all probability, the
purpose of Judge Paas in ordering Almarvez to undergo a drug test was to fish
for evidence to support the administrative case she had already filed against
him.
Accordingly, the OCA recommended that Judge Paas be found guilty of
simple misconduct in office, and be penalized with reprimand with a
warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more
severely.
This Courts Findings:

The suspension of Almarvez for One (1) Month without pay, as recommended
by the OCA, is thus in order.
By Judge Paas own admission in her January 24, 2002 Supplemental Affidavit,
[31]
she was aware that her husband Atty. Paas was using her office to
receive court notices and orders in a case lodged in a Pasay court. As the
OCA puts it, [w]hile the same appears to be innocuous, it could be
interpreted as a subtle way of sending a

message that Atty. Paas is the husband of a judge in the same building and
should be given special treatment by other judges or court personnel.

By allowing her husband to use the address of her court in pleadings before
other courts, Judge Paas indeed allowed [him] to ride on her prestige for
purposes of advancing his private interest, in violation of the Code of Judicial
Conduct
On his part, Atty. Paas was guilty of using a fraudulent, misleading, and
deceptive address that had no purpose other than to try to impress either the
court in which his cases are lodged, or his client, that he has close ties to a
member of the judiciary, in violation of the following rules of the Code of
Professional Responsibility

Canon 13a LAWYER SHALL RELY UPON THE MERITS OF HIS CAUSE AND
REFRAIN FROM ANY IMPROPERITY WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE, OR GIVES
THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCING THE COURT.
The need for relying on the merits of a lawyers case, instead of banking on
his relationship with a member of the bench which tends to influence or gives
the appearance of influencing the court, cannot be overemphasized. It is
unprofessional and dishonorable, to say the least, to misuse a public office to
enhance a lawyers prestige. Public confidence in law and lawyers may be
eroded by such reprehensible and improper conduct.
WHEREFORE, this Court finds:
(1) In A.M. OCA IPI No. 00-956-P, respondent Edgar E. Almarvez GUILTY of
inefficiency and is hereby SUSPENDED for One (1) Month without pay;
(2) In A.M. No. MTJ-01-1363, respondent Judge Estrellita M. Paas GUILTY of
conduct unbecoming of a member of the judiciary and is hereby
REPRIMANDED, with warning that repetition of the same or similar acts shall
be dealt with more severely;

(3) In A.M. No. 01-12-02-SC,


(a) Judge Paas GUILTY of violating SC Administrative Circular No. 01-99, SC
Circular No. 3-92 and Canon 2, Rule 2.03 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and
is hereby ordered to pay a FINE of TWELVE THOUSAND PESOS (P12,000.00),
with warning that repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with
more severely; and
(b) Atty. Renerio Paas GUILTY of SIMPLE MISCONDUCT and is hereby
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of THREE (3) MONTHS, with
warning that repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more
severely.

A.M. No. 08-8-11-CA


RE: LETTER OF PRESIDING JUSTICE CONRADO M. V ASQUEZ, JR. ON
CA-G.R. SP NO. 103692 [Antonio Rosete, et al. v. Securities and
Exchange Commission, et al.]
October 15, 2008

For consideration of this Court are several motions for reconsideration of our
Decision dated September 9, 2008, sanctioning several justices of the Court
of Appeals (CA) for improprieties or irregularities in connection with CA G.R.SP No. 103692, entitled Antonio Rosete, et al. v. Securities and Exchange
Commission, et al. (the Meralco-GSIS case).
In his Motion for Reconsideration, Presiding Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr.
(Presiding Justice Vasquez) prays that the findings against him in our Decision
be reconsidered and set aside and that the penalty of severe reprimand
imposed upon him be removed.
The Panel found that Presiding Justice Vasquez failed to provide the
leadership expected of him as head of the CA.
First, the CA en bancs decision referring the propriety of the actions of the
Justices concerned to this Court does not show that the investigation should
exclude Presiding Justice Vasquez. No CA justices were specified, and in order
to get to the bottom of the truth, the investigation had to be full-blown.
Second, during the proceedings, Presiding Justice Vasquez showed his
incapacity to lead the CA. As the Panel found, he was indecisive in dealing
with the turmoil arising from the Meralco case. He vacillated and temporized
[
in resolving the chairmanship impasse.

Third, intended efforts to clean up the CA will be pointless if not backed up


by a strong and coherent leadership that will initiate and implement reforms.
Presiding Justice Vasquez has proven himself inadequate in this respect. He
cannot be expected to be the torchbearer and forerunner in reforming and
restoring faith in the CA.
WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration dated September 24, 2008
filed by Justice Vicente Q. Roxas; Motion for Reconsideration dated September
15, 2008 filed by Justice Jose L. Sabio, Jr.; Motion for Reconsideration dated
September 24, 2008 filed by Presiding Justice Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr.; A Plea
for Compassion and Clemency dated September 22, 2008 filed by Justice
Myrna Dimaranan Vidal; and Motion for Reconsideration dated September 26,
2008 filed by Mr. Francis de Borja are DENIED WITH FINALITY.

RE : SUSPENSION OF ATTY. ADM. CASE No. 7006


ROGELIO Z. BAGABUYO, FORMER SENIOR STATE PROSECUTOR
October 9, 2007
This administrative case stemmed from the events of the proceedings in
Crim. Case No. 5144, entitled People v. Luis Bucalon Plaza, heard before the
sala of Presiding Judge Jose Manuel P. Tan, Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Surigao City, Branch 29.
[2]
In an Order dated August 30, 2002,
Judge Buyser inhibited himself from
further trying the case because of the harsh insinuation of Senior
Prosecutor Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo that he lacks the cold neutrality of an
impartial magistrate, by allegedly suggesting the filing of the motion to fix
the amount of bail bond by counsel for the accused.
The case was transferred to Branch 29 of the RTC of Surigao City, presided by
Judge Jose Manuel P. Tan. In an Order dated November 12, 2002, Judge Tan
favorably resolved the Motion to Fix the Amount of Bail Bond, and fixed the
amount of the bond at P40,000.
Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order dated November
12, 2002, which motion was denied for lack of merit
nstead 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, 2003issue of the Mindanao Gold Star Daily. The article,
entitled Senior prosecutor lambasts Surigao judge for allowing murder

suspect to bail out,


Respondent admitted that he caused the holding of the press conference, but
refused to answer whether he made the statements in the article until after
he shall have filed a motion to dismiss. For his refusal to answer, the trial
court declared him in contempt of court pursuant to Sec. 3, Rule 71 of the
Rules of Court.
Respondent posted the required bond and was released from the
custody of the law. He appealed the indirect contempt order to the CA.
Despite the citation of indirect contempt, respondent presented himself to
the media for interviews in Radio Station DXKS, and again attacked the
integrity of Judge Tan and the trial courts disposition in the proceedings of
Crim. Case No. 5144.
In an Order dated October 20, 2003, the RTC of Surigao City, Branch 29,
required respondent to explain and to show cause within five days from
receipt thereof why he should not be held in contempt for his media
interviews that degraded the court and the presiding judge, and why he
should not be suspended from the practice of law for violating the Code of
[8]
Professional Responsibility, specifically Rule 11.05 of Canon 11
and Rule
[9]
13.02 of Canon 13.
Respondent denied the charge that he sought to be interviewed by radio
station DXKS. He, however, stated that right after the hearing of September
30, 2003, he was approached by someone who asked him to comment on the
Order issued in open court, and that his comment does not fall within the
concept of indirect contempt of court.
He justified his response during the interview as a simple exercise of his
constitutional right of freedom of speech and that it was not meant to offend
or malign, and was without malice.
On February 8, 2004, the trial court issued an Order, the dispositive portion of
which reads:
WHEREFORE, finding preponderant evidence that Prosecutor Bagabuyo has
grossly violated the Canons of the legal profession and [is] guilty of grave
professional misconduct, rendering him unfit to continue to be entrusted with
the duties and
responsibilities belonging to the office of an attorney, he is hereby
SUSPENDED from the practice of law.
Likewise, he is also found guilty of indirect contempt of court, for which he is
hereby ordered to suffer the penalty of IMPRISONMENT for ninety (90) days to
be served at the Surigao City Jail and to pay the maximum fine of THIRTY

THOUSAND PESOS (P30,000.00). Future acts of contempt will be dealt with


more severely.
The trial court concluded that respondent, as a member of the bar and an
officer of the court, is duty bound to uphold the dignity and authority of the
court, and should not promote distrust in the administration of justice.
The Office of the Bar Confidant recommended the implementation of the trial
courts order of suspension dated February 8, 2004, and that respondent be
suspended from the practice of law for one year, with a stern warning that
the repetition of a similar offense will be dealt with more severely.
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.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Atty. Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo is found
guilty of violating Rule 11.05, Canon 11 and Rule 13.02, Canon 13 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility, and of violating the Lawyers Oath, for which he
is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year effective upon
finality of this Decision, with a STERN WARNING that the repetition of a
similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.