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IN RE: PUBLISHED ALLEGED THREATS AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE COURT IN THE

PLUNDER LAW CASE HURLED BY ATTY. LEONARD DE VERA


[A.M. No. 01-12-03-SC. July 29, 2002]
Facts: 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
Plunder Law (Republic Act No. 7080) which was then a pending resolution.
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.
Issue: Whether or not there is violation of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held: 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 justice and in the Supreme Court as the last
bulwark of justice and democracy. Respondents utterances as quoted above, while the case of Estrada vs.
Sandiganbayan was pending consideration by this Court, belies his protestation of good faith but were
clearly made to mobilize public opinion and bring pressure on the Court.
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)

Nestle Philippines, Inc. vs. Sanchez


[G.R. No. 75209 September 30, 1987]
Facts: During the period July 8-10. 1987 membersof Union of Filipro Employees, and Kimberly
Independent Labor Union for Solidarity, Activism and Nationalism-Olalia intensified the intermittent
pickets they had been conducting since June 17, 1987 in front of the Padre Faura gate of the Supreme
Court building.
Thus, on July 10, 1987, the Court en banc issued a resolution giving the said unions the opportunity to
withdraw graciously and requiring Messrs to appear before the Court 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.
Atty. Espinas, for himself and in behalf of the union leaders concerned, apologized to the Court for the
above-described acts, together with an assurance that they will not be repeated. He likewise manifested to
the Court that he had experienced 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 further stated that he
had explained to the picketers that any delay in the resolution of their cases is usually for causes beyond
the control of the Court and that the Supreme Court has always remained steadfast in its role as the
guardian of the Constitution.
Issue: Whether or not there is violation of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held:

The Court will not hesitate in future similar situations to apply the full force of the law and

punish for contempt those who attempt to pressure the Court into acting one way or the other in any case
pending before it. Grievances, if any, must be ventilated through the proper channels, i.e., through
appropriate petitions, motions or other pleadings in keeping with the respect due to the Courts as impartial
administrators of justice entitled to "proceed to the disposition of its business in an orderly manner, free
from outside interference obstructive of its functions and tending to embarrass the administration of
justice.
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.
The contempt charges against herein respondents are DISMISSED