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A.C. No.

376

April 30, 1963

JOSEFINA ROYONG, complainant,


vs.
ATTY. ARISTON OBLENA, respondent.
BARRERA, J.:
In a verified complaint filed with this Court on January 14, 1959, complainant Josefina Royong
charged the respondent Ariston J. Oblena, a member of the Philippine Bar, with rape allegedly
committed on her person in the manner described therein. Upon requirement of this Court, the
respondent filed his answer denying all the allegations in the complaint and praying that he be not
disbarred. On February 3, 1959, this Court referred the case to the Solicitor General for
investigation, report and recommendation.
On July 10, 1961, the Solicitor General submitted his report on the case with the recommendation
that the respondent "be permanently removed from his office lawyer and his name be stricken from
the roll of attorneys". The pertinent part of the report reads as follows:
The complainant testified that after lunch on August 5, 1958, Cecilia Angeles, her foster
mother, left her alone in their house and went down to the pig sty to feed the pigs. At about
1:00 p.m., while she" (complainant) was ironing clothes on the second floor of the house the
respondent entered and read a newspaper at her back. Suddenly he covered her mouth with
one hand and with the other hand dragged her to one of the bedrooms of the house and
forced her to lie down on the floor. She did not shout for help because he threatened her and
her family with death. He next undressed as she lay on the floor, then had sexual intercourse
with her after he removed her panties and gave her hard blows on the thigh with his fist to
subdue her resistance. After the sexual intercourse, he warned her not to report him to her
foster parents, otherwise, he would kill her and all the members of her family. She resumed
ironing clothes after he left until 5:00 o'clock that afternoon when she joined her foster
mother on the first floor of the house. As a result of the sexual intercourse she became
pregnant and gave birth to a baby on June 2, 1959 (pp. 4-8, 21, 23, 26, 27, t.s.n., hearing of
Aug. 5, 1959).
She admitted that had she shouted for help she would have been heard by the neighbors
that she did not report the outrage to anyone because of the threat made by the respondent;
that she still frequented the respondent's house after August 5, 1959, sometimes when he
was alone, ran errands for him, cooked his coffee, and received his mail for him. Once, on
November 14, 1958, when respondent was sick of influenza, she was left alone with him in
his house while her aunt Briccia Angeles left for Manila to buy medicine (pp. 11, 14-18, 24,
t.s.n., hearing of August 5, 1959).
The respondent on the witness stand denied that he raped the complainant (p. 3, t.s.n.,
hearing of March 25 1960). He testified that after lunch on August 5, 1958, he went to the
Commission Of Civil Service to follow up his appointment as technical assistant in the office
of the mayor of Makati, Rizal, and read the record of the administrative case against
Buenaventura Perez (pp. 23, 24, 34, t.s.n., hearing of March 25, 1960, Exhs. 1 and 2).
The respondent, however, admitted that he had illicit relations with the complainant from
January, 1957 to December, 1958, when their clandestine affair was discovered by the
complainant's foster parents, but to avoid criminal liability for seduction, according to him, he
limited himself to kissing and embracing her and sucking her tongue before she completed

her eighteenth birthday. They had their first sexual intercourse on May 11, 1958, after she
had reached eighteen, and the second one week later, on May 18. The last intercourse took
place before Christmas in December, 1958. In all, they had sexual intercourse about fifty
times, mostly in her house and sometimes in his house whenever they had the opportunity.
He intended to marry her when she could legally contract marriage without her foster
parents' intervention, 'in case occasion will permit ... because we cannot ask permission to
marry, for her foster parents will object and even my common-law wife, will object.' After the
discovery of their relationship by the complainant's foster parents, he confessed the affair to
Briccia, explaining that he wanted to have a child, something she (Briccia) could not give
him. (pp. 14-16, 19-25, t.s.n., hearing of March 25, 1960).
xxx

xxx

xxx

FINDINGS AND COMMENT


There is no controversy that the respondent had carnal knowledge of the complainant. The
complainant claims she surrendered to him under circumstances of violence and
intimidation, but the undersigned are convinced that the sexual intercourse was performed
not once but repeatedly and with her consent. From her behaviour before and after the
alleged rape, she appears to have been more a sweetheart than of the victim of an outrage
involving her honor ....
But the foregoing observations notwithstanding, the undersigned cannot in conscience
recommend respondent's exoneration. The respondent tempted Briccia Angeles to live
maritally with him not long after she and her husband parted, and it is not improbable that the
spouses never reconciled because of him. His own evidence shows that, tiring of her after
more than fifteen years of adulterous relationship with her and on the convenient excuse that
she, Briccia Angeles, could not bear a child, he seduced Josefina Andalis, then 17 or 18
years of age, resulting in her pregnancy and the birth of a child, on June 2, 1959. The
seduction was accomplished with grave abuse of confidence and by means of promises of
marriage which he knew he could not fulfill without grievous injury to the woman who forsook
her husband so that he, respondent, could have all of her. He also took advantage of his
moral influence over her. From childhood, Josefina Andalis, treated him as an uncle and
called him 'tata' (uncle), undoubtedly because he is the paramour of a sister of her mother.
Considering her age (she was 17 or 18 years old then), it is not difficult to see why she could
not resist him.
The evidence further shows that on July 22, 1954, the respondent filed a sworn petition
dated May 22, 1954 alleging "that he is a person of good moral character" (Par. 3) and
praying that the Supreme Court permit him "to take the bar examinations to be given on the
first Saturday of August, 1954, or at any time as the Court may fix.."
But he was not then the person of good moral character he represented himself to be. From
1942 to the present, he has continuously lived an adulterous life with Briccia Angeles whose
husband is still alive, knowing that his concubine is a married woman and that her marriage
still subsists. This fact permanently disqualified him from taking the bar examinations, and
had it been known to the Supreme Court in 1954, he would not have been permitted to take
the bar examinations that year or thereafter, or to take his oath of office as a lawyer. As he
was then permanently disqualified from admission to the Philippine Bar by reason of his
adulterous relations with a married woman, it is submitted that the same misconduct should
be sufficient ground for his permanent disbarment, unless we recognize a double standard of

morality, one for membership to the Philippine Bar and another for disbarment from the office
of a lawyer.
xxx

xxx

xxx

RECOMMENDATION
Wherefore, the undersigned respectfully recommend that after due hearing, respondent
Ariston J. Oblena be permanently removed from his office as a lawyer and his name be
stricken from the roll of attorneys.
In view of his own findings as a result of his investigation, that even if respondent did not commit the
alleged rape nevertheless he was guilty of other misconduct, the Solicitor General formulated
another complaint which he appended to his report, charging the respondent of falsely and
deliberately alleging in his application for admission to the bar that he is a person of good moral
character; of living adulterously with Briccia Angeles at the same time maintaining illicit relations with
the complainant Josefina Royong, niece of Briccia, thus rendering him unworthy of public confidence
and unfit and unsafe to manage the legal business of others, and praying that this Court render
judgment ordering "the permanent removal of the respondent ... from his office as a lawyer and the
cancellation of his name from the roll of attorneys."
In his answer to this formal complaint, respondent alleged the special defense that "the complaint
does not merit action", since the causes of action in the said complaint are different and foreign from
the original cause of action for rape and that "the complaint lacks the necessary formalities called for
in Sec. 1, Rule 128 of the Rules of Court." Respondent prayed that after due notice and hearing for
additional evidence, the complaint be dismissed.
On September 13, 1961, this Court designated the Court Investigators to receive the additional
evidence. Accordingly the case was set for hearing of which the parties were duly notified. On
September 29, 1961, respondent asked leave to submit a memorandum which was granted, and on
October 9, 1961 the same was filed, alleging the following: 1) That the charge of rape has not been
proven; 2) That no act of seduction was committed by the respondent; 3) That no act of perjury or
fraudulent concealment was committed by the respondent when he filed his petition for admission to
the bar; and 4) That the respondent is not morally unfit to be a member of the bar.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and
approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove
their case not covered by this stipulation of facts.
1wph1.t

At the hearing on November 16, 1961, respondent presented his common-law wife, Briccia Angeles,
who testified as follows:
... Respondent is her common-law husband (t.s.n. 23). She first met respondent on
December 16, 1941 at Cavinti, Laguna (t.s.n. 23). She and her sister Cecilia AngelesRoyong were evacuated to Cavinti by the Red Cross (t.s.n. 23). She was already married (to
Teodoro Arines) at the time (t.s.n. 24). She and Arines are from Iriga, Camarines Sur (t.s.n.
24). Respondent and one Mr. Flores registered them (t.s.n. 24) as evacuees. When Mr.
Flores asked her about her status she told him she was 'single' (t.s.n. 25). She and her
sister, Cecilia, were then told to stay at respondent's house, respondent courted her (t.s.n.
26). Respondent asked her if she was married and she told him 'we will talk about that later
on' (t.s.n. 26). She told respondent she was married (to Arines) when she and respondent
were already living together as 'husband and wife', in 1942( t.s.n. 26). Respondent asked her

to marry him, when they were living as husband and wife (t.s.n. 27). Her sister Cecilia left
Cavinti 2 months after their arrival thereat, but she did not go with her because she and
respondent 'had already a good understanding'(sexual relations) [t.s.n. 27]. Later, she left
Cavinti and went to her hometown in Iriga, Camarines Sur, because respondent was already
reluctant to live with her and he told her it was better for her to go home to Iriga (t.s.n. 25).
Arriving at Iriga, she met her legitimate husband (Arines), who told her he had already a wife,
named Conching Guevara (t.s.n. 28-29). She then went back to Cavinti (in 1943), with her
father, and lived with respondent (t.s.n. 29). Respondent eventually agreed that she live with
him (t.s.n. 35); in fact, she is still presently living with respondent (t.s.n. 35) [Report of Court
Investigators, March 6, 1962, pp. 5-6]."
Thereafter, respondent requested permission to submit an affidavit at a later date, which request
was also granted. The affidavit was filed on December 16, 1961, the respondent averring, among
others, the following:.
... That he never committed any act or crime of seduction against the complainant, because
the latter was born on February 19, 1940, and his first sexual intercourse with her took place
on May 11, 1958, when she was already above 18 years of age; that he had been living with
his common-law wife, Briccia Angeles, for almost 20 years, but from the time he began
courting her, he 'had no intention to alienate' her love for her husband, Arines, or to commit
the crime of adultery; that he courted Briccia on October 16, 1941, and was shortly thereafter
accepted by her; that on February 21, 1942, he found Briccia alone in his house, who told
him that her sister, Cecilia, had gone to Pagsanjan with the other evacuees; that from said
date (February 21), to the present, he and Briccia had been living together as common-law
husband and wife; that 2 or 3 weeks thereafter, he asked Briccia to marry him, but she
confessed she was already married, and maybe her husband (Arines) was still living in Iriga;
that he could not then drive Briccia away, because she was a stranger in the place, nor could
he urge her to join her sister Cecilia, as the latter had left Pagsanjan; that in 1943 she told
Briccia to separate from him and to return to Iriga, and urged her never to see him again;
that contrary to his expectations, Briccia returned to Cavinti 3 months thereafter; that Briccia
strongly insisted to live with him again, telling him that she cannot separate from him
anymore, as he was ashamed; that Briccia's father told him that Briccia's husband (Arines)
had agreed not to molest them as in fact he (Arines) was already living with another woman;
that he had 'no choice but to live with her' (Briccia) again; that when he filed his petition to
take the bar examinations in 1954, he 'did not have the slightest intention to hide' from this
Court the fact of his 'open cohabitation with a married woman' (Briccia Angeles); that he did
not state said fact in his petition, because he did not see in the form of the petition being
used in 1954 that the fact must be stated; and that since his birth, he thought and believed
he was a man of good moral character, and it was only from the Solicitor General that he first
learned he was not so; and that he did not commit perjury or fraudulent concealment when
he filed his petition to take the bar examinations in 1954." (Report of the Court Investigators,
pp. 6-8, March 6, 1962).
After hearing, the investigators submitted a report with the finding that: 1) Respondent used his
knowledge of the law to take advantage by having illicit relations with complainant, knowing as he
did, that by committing immoral acts on her, he was free from any criminal liability; and 2)
Respondent committed gross immorality by continuously cohabiting with a married woman even
after he became a lawyer in 1955 to the present; and 3) That respondent falsified the truth as to his
moral character in his petition to take the 1954 bar examinations, being then immorally (adulterously)
in cohabitation with his common-law wife, Briccia Angeles, a married woman. The investigators also
recommended that the respondent be disbarred or alternatively, be suspended from the practice of
law for a period of one year.

Upon the submission of this report, a copy of which was served on respondent, through his counsel
of record, the case was set for hearing before the Court on April 30, 1962. Respondent asked leave
to file his memorandum in lieu of oral argument. This was granted and the corresponding
memorandum was duly filed.
It is an admitted and uncontroverted fact that the respondent had sexual relations with the
complainant several times, and as a consequence she bore him a child on June 2, 1959; and that he
likewise continuously cohabited with Briccia Angeles, in an adulterous manner, from 1942 up to the
present.
The main point in issue is thus limited illicit relations with the complainant Josefina Royong the and
the open cohabitation with Briccia Angeles, a married woman, are sufficient grounds to cause the
respondent's disbarment.
It is argued by the respondent that he is not liable for disbarment notwithstanding his illicit relations
with the complainant and his open cohabitation with Briccia Angeles, a married woman, because he
has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude. It is true that the respondent has not
been convicted of rape, seduction, or adultery on this count, and that the grounds upon which the
disbarment proceedings is based are not among those enumerated by Section 25, Rule 127 of the
Rules of Court for which a lawyer may be disbarred. But it has already been held that this
enumeration is not exclusive and that the power of the courts to exclude unfit and unworthy
members of the profession is inherent; it is a necessary incident to the proper administration of
justice; it may be exercised without any special statutory authority, and in all proper cases unless
positively prohibited by statute; and the power may be exercised in any manner that will give the
party be disbarred a fair trial and a fair opportunity to be heard. (1 Francisco, Rules of Court [1958
ed.] 698, citing In Re Pelaez, 44 Phil. 567). Although it is a well settled rule that the legislature (or the
Supreme Court by virtue of its rule-making power) may provide that certain acts or conduct shall
require disbarment, the accepted doctrine is that statutes and rules merely regulate the power to
disbar instead of creating it, and that such statutes (or rules) do not restrict the general powers of the
court over attorneys, who are its officers, and that they may be removed for other than statutory
grounds (7 C.J.S. 734). In the United States, where from our system of legal ethics is derived, "the
continued possession of a fair private and professional character or a good moral character is a
requisite condition for the rightful continuance in the practice of law for one who has been admitted,
and its loss requires suspension or disbarment even though the statutes do not specify that as a
ground of disbarment". The moral turpitude for which an attorney may be disbarred may consist of
misconduct in either his professional or non-professional activities (5 Am. Jur. 417). The tendency of
the decisions of this Court has been toward the conclusion that a member of the bar may be
removed or suspended from office as a lawyer for other than statutory grounds. Indeed, the rule is
so phrased as to be broad enough to cover practically any misconduct of a lawyer (In Re Pelaez, 44
Phil. 567). In the case at bar, the moral depravity of the respondent is most apparent. His pretension
that before complainant completed her eighteenth birthday, he refrained from having sexual
intercourse with her, so as not to incur criminal liability, as he himself declared and that he limited
himself merely to kissing and embracing her and sucking her tongue, indicates a scheming mind,
which together with his knowledge of the law, he took advantage of, for his lurid purpose.
Moreover, his act becomes more despicable considering that the complainant was the niece of his
common-law wife and that he enjoyed a moral ascendancy over her who looked up to him as her
uncle. As the Solicitor General observed: "He also took advantage of his moral influence over her.
From childhood, Josefina Andalis (Royong), treated him as an uncle and called him 'tata' (uncle),
undoubtedly because he is the paramour of a sister of her mother. Considering her age (she was 17
or 18 years old then), her inexperience and his moral ascendency over her, it is not difficult to see
why she could not resist him." Furthermore, the blunt admission of his illicit relations with the

complainant reveals the respondent to be a person who would suffer no moral compunction for his
acts if the same could be done without fear of criminal liability. He has, by these acts, proven himself
to be devoid of the moral integrity expected of a member of the bar.
The respondent's misconduct, although unrelated to his office, may constitute sufficient grounds for
disbarment. This is a principle we have followed since the ruling in In Re Pelaez, 44 Phil. 567, where
this Court quoted with approval the following portion of the decision of the Supreme Court of Kansas
in the case of Peyton's Appeal (12 Kan. 398, 404), to wit:.
The nature of the office, the trust relation which exists between attorney and client, as well as
between court and attorney, and the statutory rule prescribing the qualifications of attorneys,
uniformly require that an attorney be a person of good moral character. If that qualification is
a condition precedent to a license or privilege to enter upon the practice of the law, it would
seem to be equally essential during the continuance of the practice and the exercise of the
privilege. So it is held that an attorney will be removed not only for malpractice and
dishonesty in his profession, but also for gross misconduct not connected with his
professional duties, which shows him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges
which his license and the law confer upon him. (Emphasis supplied).
Respondent's conduct though unrelated to his office and in no way directly bearing on his
profession, has nevertheless rendered him unfit and unworthy of the privileges of a lawyer. We
cannot give sanction to his acts. For us to do so would be as the Solicitor General puts it
recognizing "a double standard of morality, one for membership to the Philippine Bar, and another for
disbarment from the office of the lawyer." If we concede that respondent's adulterous relations and
his simultaneous seduction of his paramour's niece did not and do not disqualify him from continuing
with his office of lawyer, this Court would in effect be requiring moral integrity as an essential
prerequisite for admission to the bar, only to later on tolerate and close its eyes to the moral
depravity and character degeneration of the members of the bar.
The decisions relied upon by the respondent in justifying his stand that even if he admittedly
committed fornication, this is no ground for disbarment, are not controlling. Fornication, if committed
under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as have proven in this case, as to shock common
sense of decency, certainly may justify positive action by the Court in protecting the prestige of the
noble profession of the law. The reasons advanced by the respondent why he continued his
adulterous relations with Briccia Angeles, in that she helped him in some way finish his law studies,
and that his "sense of propriety and Christian charity" did not allow him to abandon her after his
admission to the bar after almost 13 years of cohabitation, are hardly an excuse for his moral
dereliction. The means he employed, as he stated, in order to extricate himself from the predicament
he found himself in, by courting the complainant and maintaining sexual relations with her makes his
conduct more revolting. An immoral act cannot justify another immoral act. The noblest means he
could have employed was to have married the complainant as he was then free to do so. But to
continue maintaining adulterous relations with a married woman and simultaneously maintaining
promiscuous relations with the latter's niece is moral perversion that can not be condoned.
Respondent's conduct therefore renders him unfit and unworthy for the privileges of the legal
profession. As good character is an essential qualification for admission of an attorney to practice,
he may be removed therefrom whenever he ceases to possess such character (7 C.J.S. 735).
The respondent further maintains that the Solicitor General exceeded his authority in filing the
present complaint against him for seduction, adultery and perjury, as it charges an offense or
offenses different from those originally charged in the complaint of January 14, 1959 for rape, and
cites as authority Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 128 of the Rules of Court, which state:.

SEC. 4. Report of the Solicitor General. Based upon the evidence adduced at the hearing,
if the Solicitor General finds no sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent, he shall
submit a report to the Supreme Court containing his findings of fact and conclusion,
whereupon the respondent shall be exonerated unless the court orders differently.
SEC. 5. Complaint of the Solicitor General. Answer of the respondent. If the Solicitor
General finds sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the
corresponding complaint, accompanied with all the evidence introduced in his investigation,
with the Supreme Court, and the respondent shall be served by the clerk of the Supreme
Court with a copy of the complaint with direction to answer the same within fifteen days.
The contention is devoid of merit. Nothing in the language of the foregoing rules requires the
Solicitor General to charge in his complaint the same offense charged in the complaint originally filed
by the complainant for disbarment. Precisely, the law provides that should the Solicitor General find
sufficient grounds to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the corresponding complaint,
accompanied by the evidence introduced in his investigation. The Solicitor General therefore is at
liberty to file any case against the respondent he may be justified by the evidence adduced during
the investigation..
The respondent also maintains that he did not falsify his petition to take the bar examinations in
1954 since according to his own opinion and estimation of himself at that time, he was a person of
good moral character. This contention is clearly erroneous. One's own approximation of himself is
not a gauge to his moral character. Moral character is not a subjective term, but one which
corresponds to objective reality. Moral character is what a person really is, and not what he or other
people think he is. As former Chief Justice Moran observed: An applicant for license to practice law
is required to show good moral character, or what he really is, as distinguished from good reputation,
or from the opinion generally entertained of him, the estimate in which he is held by the public in the
place where he is known. As has been said, ante the standard of personal and professional integrity
which should be applied to persons admitted to practice law is not satisfied by such conduct as
merely enables them to escape the penalties of criminal law. Good moral character includes at least
common honesty (3 Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, [1957 ed.] 626, citing In Re Weinstein,
42 P. [2d] 744 B.L.D., Cooper v. Greeley. 1 Den. [N.Y.] 3447; In Re Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399; and
People v. Macauley, 82 N.E. 612). Respondent, therefore, did not possess a good moral character at
the time he applied for admission to the bar. He lived an adulterous life with Briccia Angeles, and the
fact that people who knew him seemed to have acquiesced to his status, did not render him a
person of good moral character. It is of no moment that his immoral state was discovered then or
now as he is clearly not fit to remain a member of the bar.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby entered striking the name of herein respondent, Ariston J.
Oblena, from the roll of attorneys.

December 7, 1920
In re CARLOS S. BASA
Pedro Guevara for respondent.
Attorney-General Feria for the Government.

MALCOLM, J.:
The Attorney-General asks that an order issue for the disbarment of Attorney Carlos S. Basa.
Carlos S. Basa is a young man about 29 years of age, admitted to the bars of California and the
Philippine Islands. Recently he was charged in the Court of Fist Instance of the city of Manila with
the crime of abduction with consent, was found guilt in a decision rendered by the Honorable M.V.
del Rosario, Judge of First Instance, and was sentenced to be imprisoned for a period of two years,
eleven months and eleven days of prision correccional. On appeal, this decision was affirmed in a
judgment handed down by the second division of the Supreme Court. 1
The Code of Civil Procedure, section 21, provides that "A member of the bar may be removed or
suspended from his office of lawyer by the Supreme Court by reason of his conviction of a crime
involving moral turpitude . . ." The sole question presented, therefore, is whether the crime of
abduction with consent, as punished by article 446 of the Penal Code, involves moral turpitude.
"Moral turpitude," it has been said, "includes everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty,
modesty, or good morals." (Bouvier's Law Dictionary, cited by numerous courts.) Although no
decision can be found which has decided the exact question, it cannot admit of doubt that crimes of
this character involve moral turpitude. The inherent nature of the act is such that it is against good
morals and the accepted rule of right conduct. (In reHopkins [1909], 54 Wash., 569; Pollard vs. Lyon
[1875], 91 U.S., 225; 5 Ops. Atty.-Gen. P. I., 46, 185; decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain of
November 30, 1876 and June 15, 1895.)
When we come next, as we must, to determine the exact action which should be taken by the court,
we do so regretfully and reluctantly. On the one hand, the violation of the criminal law by the
respondent attorney cannot be lightly passed over. On the other hand, we are willing to strain the
limits of our compassion to the uttermost in order that so promising a career may not be utterly
ruined.
It is the order of the court that beginning with the day when Carlos S. Basa shall be discharged from
prison, he be suspended from his office of lawyer for one year. So ordered.
lawphi1.net

Mapa, C.J., Araullo, Street, Avancea and Villamor, JJ., concur.

A.M. No. 1608 August 14, 1981


MAGDALENA T. ARCIGA complainant,
vs.
SEGUNDINO D. MANIWANG respondent.

AQUINO, J.:
Magdalena T. Arciga in her complaint of February 24, 1976 asked for the disbarment of lawyer
Segundino D. Maniwang (admitted to the Bar in 1975 ) on the ground of grossly immoral conduct because he refused to
fulfill his promise of marriage to her. Their illicit relationship resulted in the birth on September 4, 1973 of their child, Michael Dino Maniwang.

Magdalena and Segundino got acquainted sometime in October, 1970 at Cebu City. Magdalena was
then a medical technology student in the Cebu Institute of Medicine while Segundino was a law
student in the San Jose Recoletos College. They became sweethearts but when Magdalena refused
to have a tryst with Segundino in a motel in January, 1971, Segundino stopped visiting her.
Their paths crossed again during a Valentine's Day party in the following month. They renewed their
relationship. After they had dinner one night in March, 1971 and finding themselves alone (like Adam
and Eve) in her boarding house since the other boarders had gone on vacation, they had sexual
congress. When Segundino asked Magdalena why she had refused his earlier proposal to have
sexual intercourse with him, she jokingly said that she was in love with another man and that she
had a child with still another man. Segundino remarked that even if that be the case, he did not mind
because he loved her very much.
Thereafter, they had repeated acts of cohabitation. Segundino started telling his acquaintances that
he and Magdalena were secretly married.
In 1972 Segundino transferred his residence to Padada, Davao del Sur. He continued his law
studies in Davao City. .Magdalena remained in Cebu. He sent to her letters and telegrams
professing his love for her (Exh. K to Z).
When Magdalena discovered in January, 1973 that she was pregnant, she and Segundino went to
her hometown, Ivisan, Capiz, to apprise Magdalena's parents that they were married although they
were not really so. Segundino convinced Magdalena's father to have the church wedding deferred
until after he had passed the bar examinations. He secured his birth certificate preparatory to
applying for a marriage license.
Segundino continued sending letters to Magdalena wherein he expressed his love and concern for
the baby in Magdalena's womb. He reassured her time and again that he would marry her once he
passed the bar examinations. He was not present when Magdalena gave birth to their child on
September 4, 1973 in the Cebu Community Hospital. He went to Cebu in December, 1973 for the
baptism of his child.
Segundino passed the bar examinations. The results were released on April 25, 1975. Several days
after his oath-taking, which Magdalena also attended, he stopped corresponding with Magdalena.
Fearing that there was something amiss, Magdalena went to Davao in July, 1975 to contact her
lover. Segundino told her that they could not get married for lack of money. She went back to Ivisan.

In December, 1975 she made another trip to Davao but failed to see Segundino who was then in
Malaybalay, Bukidnon. She followed him there only to be told that their marriage could not take place
because he had married Erlinda Ang on November 25, 1975. She was broken-hearted when she
returned to Davao.
Segundino followed her there and inflicted physical injuries upon her because she had a
confrontation with his wife, Erlinda Ang. She reported the assault to the commander of the Padada
police station and secured medical treatment in a hospital (Exh. I and J).
Segundino admits in his answer that he and Magdalena were lovers and that he is the father of the
child Michael. He also admits that he repeatedly promised to marry Magdalena and that he breached
that promise because of Magdalena's shady past. She had allegedly been accused in court of oral
defamation and had already an illegitimate child before Michael was born.
The Solicitor General recommends the dismissal of the case. In his opinion, respondent's
cohabitation with the complainant and his reneging on his promise of marriage do not warrant his
disbarment.
An applicant for admission to the bar should have good moral character. He is required to produce
before this Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character and that no charges against him,
involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court.
If good moral character is a sine qua non for admission to the bar, then the continued possession of
good moral character is also a requisite for retaining membership in the legal profession.
Membership in the bar may be terminated when a lawyer ceases to have good moral character
(Royong vs. Oblena, 117 Phil. 865).
A lawyer may be disbarred for grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime
involving moral turpitude". A member of the bar should have moral integrity in addition to
professional probity.
It is difficult to state with precision and to fix an inflexible standard as to what is "grossly immoral
conduct" or to specify the moral delinquency and obliquity which render a lawyer unworthy of
continuing as a member of the bar. The rule implies that what appears to be unconventional
behavior to the straight-laced may not be the immoral conduct that warrants disbarment.
Immoral conduct has been defined as "that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and
which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the
community" (7 C.J.S. 959).
Where an unmarried female dwarf possessing the intellect of a child became pregnant by reason of
intimacy with a married lawyer who was the father of six children, disbarment of the attorney on the
ground of immoral conduct was justified (In re Hicks 20 Pac. 2nd 896).
There is an area where a lawyer's conduct may not be inconsonance with the canons of the moral
code but he is not subject to disciplinary action because his misbehavior or deviation from the path
of rectitude is not glaringly scandalous. It is in connection with a lawyer's behavior to the opposite
sex where the question of immorality usually arises. Whether a lawyer's sexual congress with a
woman not his wife or without the benefit of marriage should be characterized as "grossly immoral
conduct," will depend on the surrounding circumstances.

This Court in a decision rendered in 1925, when old-fashioned morality still prevailed, observed that
"the legislator well knows the frailty of the flesh and the ease with which a man, whose sense of
dignity, honor and morality is not well cultivated, falls into temptation when alone with one of the fair
sex toward whom he feels himself attracted. An occasion is so inducive to sin or crime that the
saying "A fair booty makes many a thief" or "An open door may tempt a saint" has become general."
(People vs. De la Cruz, 48 Phil. 533, 535).
Disbarment of a lawyer for grossly immoral conduct is illustrated in the following cases:
(1) Where lawyer Arturo P. Lopez succeeded in having carnal knowledge of Virginia C. Almirez,
under promise of marriage, which he refused to fulfill, although they had already a marriage license
and despite the birth of a child in consequence of their sexual intercourse; he married another
woman and during Virginia's pregnancy, Lopez urged her to take pills to hasten the flow of her
menstruation and he tried to convince her to have an abortion to which she did not agree. (Almirez
vs. Lopez, Administrative Case No. 481, February 28, 1969, 27 SCRA 169. See Sarmiento vs. Cui,
100 Phil. 1102).
(2) Where lawyer Francisco Agustin made Anita Cabrera believe that they were married before
Leoncio V. Aglubat in the City Hall of Manila, and, after such fake marriage, they cohabited and she
later give birth to their child (Cabrera vs. Agustin, 106 Phil. 256).
(3) Where lawyer Jesus B. Toledo abandoned his lawful wife and cohabited with another women
who had borne him a child (Toledo vs. Toledo, 117 Phil. 768. As to disbarment for contracting a
bigamous marriage, see Villasanta vs. Peralta, 101 Phil. 313).
(4) The conduct of Abelardo Simbol in making a dupe of Concepcion Bolivar by living on her bounty
and allowing her to spend for his schooling and other personal necessities, while dangling before her
the mirage of a marriage, marrying another girl as soon as he had finished his studies, keeping his
marriage a secret while continuing to demand money from the complainant, and trying to sponge on
her and persuade her to resume their broken relationship after the latter's discovery of his perfidy are
indicative of a character not worthy of a member of the bar (Bolivar vs. Simbol, 123 Phil. 450).
(5) Where Flora Quingwa, a public school teacher, who was engaged to lawyer Armando Puno, was
prevailed upon by him to have sexual congress with him inside a hotel by telling her that it was
alright to have sexual intercourse because, anyway, they were going to get married. She used to
give Puno money upon his request. After she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, Puno
refused to marry her. (Quingwa vs. Puno, Administrative Case No. 389, February 28, 1967, 19 SCRA
439).
(6) Where lawyer Anacleto Aspiras, a married man, misrepresenting that he was single and making a
promise of marriage, succeeded in having sexual intercourse with. Josefina Mortel. Aspiras faked a
marriage between Josefina and his own son Cesar. Aspiras wrote to Josefina: "You are alone in my
life till the end of my years in this world. I will bring you along with me before the altar of matrimony."
"Through thick and thin, for better or for worse, in life or in death, my Josephine you will always be
the first, middle and the last in my life." (Mortel vs. Aspiras, 100 Phil. 586).
(7) Where lawyer Ariston Oblena, who had been having adulterous relations for fifteen years with
Briccia Angeles, a married woman separated from her husband, seduced her eighteen-year-old
niece who became pregnant and begot a child. (Royong vs. Oblena, 117 Phil. 865).
The instant case can easily be differentiated from the foregoing cases. This case is similar to the
case of Soberano vs. Villanueva, 116 Phil. 1206, where lawyer Eugenio V. Villanueva had sexual

relations with Mercedes H. Soberano before his admission to the bar in 1954. They indulged in
frequent sexual intercourse. She wrote to him in 1950 and 1951 several letters making reference to
their trysts in hotels.
On letter in 1951 contain expressions of such a highly sensual, tantalizing and vulgar nature as to
render them unquotable and to impart the firm conviction that, because of the close intimacy
between the complainant and the respondent, she felt no restraint whatsoever in writing to him with
impudicity.
According to the complainant, two children were born as a consequence of her long intimacy with
the respondent. In 1955, she filed a complaint for disbarment against Villanueva.
This Court found that respondent's refusal to marry the complainant was not so corrupt nor
unprincipled as to warrant disbarment. (See Montana vs. Ruado, Administrative Case No. 507,
February 24, 1975, 62 SCRA 382; Reyes vs. Wong, Administrative Case No. 547, January 29, 1975,
63 SCRA 667, Viojan vs. Duran, 114 Phil. 322; Abaigar vs. Paz, Administrative Case No. 997,
September 10, 1979,93 SCRA 91).
Considering the facts of this case and the aforecited precedents, the complaint for disbarment
against the respondent is hereby dismissed.
SO ORDERED.

ADM. CASE No. 3319

June 8, 2000

LESLIE UI, complainant,


vs.
ATTY. IRIS BONIFACIO, respondent.
DE LEON, JR., J.:
Before us is an administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. Iris Bonifacio for allegedly
carrying on an immoral relationship with Carlos L. Ui, husband of complainant, Leslie Ui.
The relevant facts are:
On January 24, 1971 complainant Leslie Ui married Carlos L. Ui at the Our Lady of Lourdes Church
in Quezon City1 and as a result of their marital union, they had four (4) children, namely, Leilani,
Lianni, Lindsay and Carl Cavin, all surnamed Ui. Sometime in December 1987, however,
complainant found out that her husband. Carlos Ui, was carrying on an illicit relationship with
respondent Atty. Iris Bonifacio with whom he begot a daughter sometime in 1986, and that they had
been living together at No. 527 San Carlos Street, Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City.
Respondent who is a graduate of the College of Law of the University of the Philippines was
admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1982.
Carlos Ui admitted to complainant his relationship with the respondent. Complainant then visited
respondent at her office in the later part of June 1988 and introduced herself as the legal wife of
Carlos Ui. Whereupon, respondent admitted to her that she has a child with Carlos Ui and alleged,
however; that everything was over between her and Carlos Ui. Complainant believed the
representations of respondent and thought things would turn out well from then on and that the illicit
relationship between her husband and respondent would come to an end.
However, complainant again discovered that the illicit relationship between her husband and
respondent continued, and that sometime in December 1988, respondent and her husband, Carlos
Ui, had a second child. Complainant then met again with respondent sometime in March 1989 and
pleaded with respondent to discontinue her illicit relationship with Carlos Ui but to no avail. The illicit
relationship persisted and complainant even came to know later on that respondent had been
employed by her husband in his company.
A complaint for disbarment, docketed as Adm. Case No. 3319, was then filed on August 11, 1989 by
the complainant against respondent Atty. Iris Bonifacio before the Commission on Bar Discipline of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (hereinafter, Commission) on the ground of immorality, more
particularly, for carrying on an illicit relationship with the complainant's husband, Carlos Ui. In her
Answer,2 respondent averred that she met Carlos Ui sometime in 1983 and had known him all along
to be a bachelor, with the knowledge, however, that Carlos Ui had children by a Chinese woman in
Amoy, China, from whom he had long been estranged. She stated that during one of their trips
abroad, Carlos Ui formalized his intention to marry her and they in fact got married in Hawaii, USA in
19853. Upon their return to Manila, respondent did not live with Carlos Ui. The latter continued to live
with his children in their Greenhills residence because respondent and Carlos Ui wanted to let the
children gradually to know and accept the fact of his second marriage before they would live
together.4
In 1986, respondent left the country and stayed in Honolulu, Hawaii and she would only return
occasionally to the Philippines to update her law practice and renew legal ties. During one of her
trips to Manila sometime in June 1988, she was confronted by a woman who insisted that she was

the lawful wife of Carlos Ui. Hurt and desolate upon her discovery of the true civil status of Carlos Ui,
respondent then left for Honolulu, Hawaii sometime in July 1988 and returned only in March 1989
with her two (2) children. On March 20, 1989, a few days after she reported to work with the law
firm5 she was connected with, the woman who represented herself to be the wife of Carlos Ui again
came to her office, demanding to know if Carlos Ui has been communicating with her.
It is respondent's contention that her relationship with Carlos Ui is not illicit because they were
married abroad and that after June 1988, when respondent discovered Carlos Ui's true civil status,
she cut off all her ties with him. Respondent averred that Carlos Ui never lived with her in Alabang,
and that he resided at 26 Potsdam Street, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. It was respondent
who lived in Alabang in a house which belonged to her mother, Rosalinda L. Bonifacio; and that the
said house was built exclusively from her parents' funds.6 By way of counterclaim, respondent
sought moral damages in the amount of Ten Million Pesos (Php10,000,000.00) against complainant
for having filed the present allegedly malicious and groundless disbarment case against respondent.
In her Reply7 dated April 6, 1990, complainant states, among others, that respondent knew perfectly
well that Carlos Ui was married to complainant and had children with her even at the start of her
relationship with Carlos Ui, and that the reason respondent went abroad was to give birth to her two
(2) children with Carlos Ui.
During the pendency of the proceedings before the Integrated Bar, complainant also charged her
husband, Carlos Ui, and respondent with the crime of Concubinage before the Office of the
Provincial Fiscal of Rizal, docketed as I.S. No. 89-5247, but the same was dismissed for
insufficiency of evidence to establish probable cause for the offense charged. The resolution
dismissing the criminal complaint against respondent reads:
Complainant's evidence had prima facie established the existence of the "illicit relationship"
between the respondents allegedly discovered by the complainant in December 1987. The
same evidence however show that respondent Carlos Ui was still living with complainant up
to the latter part of 1988 and/or the early part of 1989.
It would therefore be logical and safe to state that the "relationship" of respondents started
and was discovered by complainant sometime in 1987 when she and respondent Carlos
were still living at No. 26 Potsdam Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila and
they, admittedly, continued to live together at their conjugal home up to early (sic) part of
1989 or later 1988, when respondent Carlos left the same.
From the above, it would not be amiss to conclude that altho (sic) the relationship, illicit as
complainant puts it, had been prima facie established by complainant's evidence, this same
evidence had failed to evenprima facie establish the "fact of respondent's cohabitation in the
concept of husband and wife at the 527 San Carlos St., Ayala Alabang house, proof of which
is necessary and indispensable to at least create probable cause for the offense charged.
The statement alone of complainant, worse, a statement only of a conclusion respecting the
fact of cohabitation does not make the complainant's evidence thereto any better/stronger
(U.S. vs. Casipong and Mongoy, 20 Phil. 178).
It is worth stating that the evidence submitted by respondents in support of their respective
positions on the matter support and bolster the foregoing conclusion/recommendation.
WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully recommended that the instant complaint be dismissed
for want of evidence to establish probable cause for the offense charged.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED.8
Complainant appealed the said Resolution of the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal to the Secretary of
Justice, but the same was dismissed9 on the ground of insufficiency of evidence to prove her
allegation that respondent and Carlos Ui lived together as husband and wife at 527 San Carlos
Street, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila.
In the proceedings before the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline, complainant filed a Motion to Cite
Respondent in Contempt of the Commission 10 wherein she charged respondent with making false
allegations in her Answer and for submitting a supporting document which was altered and
intercalated. She alleged that in the Answer of respondent filed before the Integrated Bar,
respondent averred, among others, that she was married to Carlos Ui on October 22, 1985 and
attached a Certificate of Marriage to substantiate her averment. However, the Certificate of
Marriage 11 duly certified by the State Registrar as a true copy of the record on file in the Hawaii
State Department of Health, and duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu,
Hawaii, USA revealed that the date of marriage between Carlos Ui and respondent Atty. Iris
Bonifacio was October 22, 1987, and not October 22, 1985 as claimed by respondent in her Answer.
According to complainant, the reason for that false allegation was because respondent wanted to
impress upon the said IBP that the birth of her first child by Carlos Ui was within the wedlock. 12 It is
the contention of complainant that such act constitutes a violation of Articles 183 13 and 184 14 of the
Revised Penal Code, and also contempt of the Commission; and that the act of respondent in
making false allegations in her Answer and submitting an altered/intercalated document are
indicative of her moral perversity and lack of integrity which make her unworthy to be a member of
the Philippine Bar.
In her Opposition (To Motion To Cite Respondent in Contempt), 15 respondent averred that she did
not have the original copy of the marriage certificate because the same was in the possession of
Carlos Ui, and that she annexed such copy because she relied in good faith on what appeared on
the copy of the marriage certificate in her possession.
Respondent filed her Memorandum 16 on February 22, 1995 and raised the lone issue of whether or
not she has conducted herself in an immoral manner for which she deserves to be barred from the
practice of law. Respondent averred that the complaint should be dismissed on two (2) grounds,
namely:
(i) Respondent conducted herself in a manner consistent with the requirement of good moral
character for the practice of the legal profession; and
(ii) Complainant failed to prove her allegation that respondent conducted herself in an
immoral manner.
In her defense, respondent contends, among others, that it was she who was the victim in this case
and not Leslie Ui because she did not know that Carlos Ui was already married, and that upon
learning of this fact, respondent immediately cut-off all her ties with Carlos Ui. She stated that there
was no reason for her to doubt at that time that the civil status of Carlos Ui was that of a bachelor
because he spent so much time with her, and he was so open in his courtship. 18
On the issue of the falsified marriage certificate, respondent alleged that it was highly incredible for
her to have knowingly attached such marriage certificate to her Answer had she known that the
same was altered. Respondent reiterated that there was no compelling reason for her to make it
appear that her marriage to Carlos Ui took place either in 1985 or 1987, because the fact remains
that respondent and Carlos Ui got married before complainant confronted respondent and informed

the latter of her earlier marriage to Carlos Ui in June 1988. Further, respondent stated that it was
Carlos Ui who testified and admitted that he was the person responsible for changing the date of the
marriage certificate from 1987 to 1985, and complainant did not present evidence to rebut the
testimony of Carlos Ui on this matter.
Respondent posits that complainant's evidence, consisting of the pictures of respondent with a child,
pictures of respondent with Carlos Ui, a picture of a garage with cars, a picture of a light colored car
with Plate No. PNS 313, a picture of the same car, and portion of the house and ground, and another
picture of the same car bearing Plate No. PNS 313 and a picture of the house and the
garage, 19 does not prove that she acted in an immoral manner. They have no evidentiary value
according to her. The pictures were taken by a photographer from a private security agency and who
was not presented during the hearings. Further, the respondent presented the Resolution of the
Provincial Fiscal of Pasig in I.S. Case No. 89-5427 dismissing the complaint filed by Leslie Ui
against respondent for lack of evidence to establish probable cause for the offense charged 20 and
the dismissal of the appeal by the Department of Justice21 to bolster her argument that she was not
guilty of any immoral or illegal act because of her relationship with Carlos Ui. In fine, respondent
claims that she entered the relationship with Carlos Ui in good faith and that her conduct cannot be
considered as willful, flagrant, or shameless, nor can it suggest moral indifference. She fell in love
with Carlos Ui whom she believed to be single, and, that upon her discovery of his true civil status,
she parted ways with him.
In the Memorandum 22 filed on March 20, 1995 by complainant Leslie Ui, she prayed for the
disbarment of Atty. Iris Bonifacio and reiterated that respondent committed immorality by having
intimate relations with a married man which resulted in the birth of two (2) children. Complainant
testified that respondent's mother, Mrs. Linda Bonifacio, personally knew complainant and her
husband since the late 1970s because they were clients of the bank where Mrs. Bonifacio was the
Branch Manager. 23 It was thus highly improbable that respondent, who was living with her parents
as of 1986, would not have been informed by her own mother that Carlos Ui was a married man.
Complainant likewise averred that respondent committed disrespect towards the Commission for
submitting a photocopy of a document containing an intercalated date.
In her Reply to Complainant's Memorandum 24, respondent stated that complainant miserably failed
to show sufficient proof to warrant her disbarment. Respondent insists that contrary to the allegations
of complainant, there is no showing that respondent had knowledge of the fact of marriage of Carlos
Ui to complainant. The allegation that her mother knew Carlos Ui to be a married man does not
prove that such information was made known to respondent.
Hearing on the case ensued, after which the Commission on Bar Discipline submitted its Report and
Recommendation, finding that:
In the case at bar, it is alleged that at the time respondent was courted by Carlos Ui, the
latter represented himself to be single. The Commission does not find said claim too difficult
to believe in the light of contemporary human experience.
Almost always, when a married man courts a single woman, he represents himself to be
single, separated, or without any firm commitment to another woman. The reason therefor is
not hard to fathom. By their very nature, single women prefer single men.
The records will show that when respondent became aware the (sic) true civil status of
Carlos Ui, she left for the United States (in July of 1988). She broke off all contacts with him.
When she returned to the Philippines in March of 1989, she lived with her brother, Atty.

Teodoro Bonifacio, Jr. Carlos Ui and respondent only talked to each other because of the
children whom he was allowed to visit. At no time did they live together.
Under the foregoing circumstances, the Commission fails to find any act on the part of
respondent that can be considered as unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a
high degree. To be sure, she was more of a victim that (sic) anything else and should
deserve compassion rather than condemnation. Without cavil, this sad episode destroyed
her chance of having a normal and happy family life, a dream cherished by every single girl.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Thereafter, the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines issued a Notice of
Resolution dated December 13, 1997, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED, the
Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner in the above-entitled case,
herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex "A", and, finding the recommendation
fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules, the complaint
for Gross Immorality against Respondent is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Atty. Iris Bonifacio
is REPRIMANDED for knowingly and willfully attaching to her Answer a falsified Certificate of
Marriage with a stern warning that a repetition of the same will merit a more severe penalty.
We agree with the findings aforequoted.
The practice of law is a privilege. A bar candidate does not have the right to enjoy the practice of the
legal profession simply by passing the bar examinations. It is a privilege that can be revoked, subject
to the mandate of due process, once a lawyer violates his oath and the dictates of legal ethics. The
requisites for admission to the practice of law are:
a. he must be a citizen of the Philippines;
b. a resident thereof;
c. at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
d. a person of good moral character;
e. he must show that no charges against him involving moral turpitude, are filed or pending
in court;
f. possess the required educational qualifications; and
g. pass the bar examinations. 25 (Emphasis supplied)
Clear from the foregoing is that one of the conditions prior to admission to the bar is that an applicant
must possess good moral character. More importantly, possession of good moral character must be
continuous as a requirement to the enjoyment of the privilege of law practice, otherwise, the loss
thereof is a ground for the revocation of such privilege. It has been held
If good moral character is a sine qua non for admission to the bar, then the continued
possession of good moral character is also a requisite for retaining membership in the legal

profession. Membership in the bar may be terminated when a lawyer ceases to have good
moral character. (Royong vs. Oblena, 117 Phil. 865).
A lawyer may be disbarred for "grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a
crime involving moral turpitude". A member of the bar should have moral integrity in addition
to professional probity.
It is difficult to state with precision and to fix an inflexible standard as to what is "grossly
immoral conduct" or to specify the moral delinquency and obliquity which render a lawyer
unworthy of continuing as a member of the bar. The rule implies that what appears to be
unconventional behavior to the straight-laced may not be the immoral conduct that warrants
disbarment.
Immoral conduct has been defined as "that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or shameless,
and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members
of the community." (7 C.J.S. 959). 26
In the case at bar, it is the claim of respondent Atty. Bonifacio that when she met Carlos Ui, she knew
and believed him to be single. Respondent fell in love with him and they got married and as a result
of such marriage, she gave birth to two (2) children. Upon her knowledge of the true civil status of
Carlos Ui, she left him.
Simple as the facts of the case may sound, the effects of the actuations of respondent are not only
far from simple, they will have a rippling effect on how the standard norms of our legal practitioners
should be defined. Perhaps morality in our liberal society today is a far cry from what it used to be
before. This permissiveness notwithstanding, lawyers, as keepers of public faith, are burdened with
a higher degree of social responsibility and thus must handle their personal affairs with greater
caution. The facts of this case lead us to believe that perhaps respondent would not have found
herself in such a compromising situation had she exercised prudence and been more vigilant in
finding out more about Carlos Ui's personal background prior to her intimate involvement with him.
Surely, circumstances existed which should have at least aroused respondent's suspicion that
something was amiss in her relationship with Carlos Ui, and moved her to ask probing questions.
For instance, respondent admitted that she knew that Carlos Ui had children with a woman from
Amoy, China, yet it appeared that she never exerted the slightest effort to find out if Carlos Ui and
this woman were indeed unmarried. Also, despite their marriage in 1987, Carlos Ui never lived with
respondent and their first child, a circumstance that is simply incomprehensible considering
respondent's allegation that Carlos Ui was very open in courting her.
All these taken together leads to the inescapable conclusion that respondent was imprudent in
managing her personal affairs. However, the fact remains that her relationship with Carlos Ui,
clothed as it was with what respondent believed was a valid marriage, cannot be considered
immoral. For immorality connotes conduct that shows indifference to the moral norms of society and
the opinion of good and respectable members of the community. 27 Moreover, for such conduct to
warrant disciplinary action, the same must be "grossly immoral," that is, it must be so corrupt and
false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree. 28
We have held that "a member of the Bar and officer of the court is not only required to refrain from
adulterous relationships . . . but must also so behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the public by
creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards." 29 Respondent's act of immediately
distancing herself from Carlos Ui upon discovering his true civil status belies just that alleged moral
indifference and proves that she had no intention of flaunting the law and the high moral standard of

the legal profession. Complainant's bare assertions to the contrary deserve no credit. After all, the
burden of proof rests upon the complainant, and the Court will exercise its disciplinary powers only if
she establishes her case by clear, convincing and satisfactory evidence. 30 This, herein complainant
miserably failed to do.
On the matter of the falsified Certificate of Marriage attached by respondent to her Answer, we find
improbable to believe the averment of respondent that she merely relied on the photocopy of the
Marriage Certificate which was provided her by Carlos Ui. For an event as significant as a marriage
ceremony, any normal bride would verily recall the date and year of her marriage. It is difficult to
fathom how a bride, especially a lawyer as in the case at bar, can forget the year when she got
married. Simply stated, it is contrary to human experience and highly improbable.
Furthermore, any prudent lawyer would verify the information contained in an attachment to her
pleading, especially so when she has personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances contained
therein. In attaching such Marriage Certificate with an intercalated date, the defense of good faith of
respondent on that point cannot stand.
It is the bounden duty of lawyers to adhere unwaveringly to the highest standards of morality. The
legal profession exacts from its members nothing less. Lawyers are called upon to safeguard the
integrity of the Bar, free from misdeeds and acts constitutive of malpractice. Their exalted positions
as officers of the court demand no less than the highest degree of morality.
1avvphi1

WHEREFORE, the complaint for disbarment against respondent Atty. Iris L. Bonifacio, for alleged
immorality, is hereby DISMISSED.
However, respondent is hereby REPRIMANDED for attaching to her Answer a photocopy of her
Marriage Certificate, with an altered or intercalated date thereof, with a STERN WARNING that a
more severe sanction will be imposed on her for any repetition of the same or similar offense in the
future.
SO ORDERED.

Adm. Case No. 559-SBC January 31, 1984


CARMEN E. BACARRO, complainant,
vs.
RUBEN M. PINATACAN, respondent.

GUERRERO, J.:
This is an administrative case filed on September 2, 1975 by Carmen E. Bacarro charging Ruben M.
Pinatacan a 1975 successful Bar candidate, with moral turpitude and depravity, and lack of proper
character required of a member of the Bar.
In her Affidavit, complainant Bacarro averred that she and respondent fell in love and became
engaged while they were studying at the Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City; that when she
became pregnant as a result of their relationship, respondent abandoned her and never fulfilled his
promise to marry her; that on December 4, 1971, she gave birth to a baby girl; that because of
respondent's betrayal, complainant, her daughter and her family suffered shame, disrepute, moral
distress and anxiety; and, that these acts of respondent render him unfit to become a member of the
Bar. 1
Respondent Pinatacan in his Answer by way of a sworn Affidavit admitted that complainant had been
his sweetheart for several years prior to 1971 but denied that he was the father of complainant's
child. He claimed that his relationship with complainant started to cool down in January of 1971
when, over her vigorous objection and opposition, he applied for a direct commission with the
Philippine Constabulary. He returned to Manila and stayed there for the greater part of March, 1971,
for his physical examination. He returned to Cagayan de Oro City, but in June of 1971, he left for his
hometown, Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, and never again returned to Cagayan de Oro City. On the
other hand, as far as he knew, complainant was working from 1970-1971 in Cagayan de Oro City.
Respondent likewise denied that he ever promised marriage to complainant and that he ever
cohabited with her. 2
On June 10, 1976, this Court referred this case to the Judicial Investigator for investigation, report
and recommendation. 3 Subsequently, however, upon complainant's request prompted by financial
difficulties on her part, she was allowed on July 27, 1976 to present her evidence before the City Fiscal of
Cagayan de Oro City. 4 Respondent failed to attend the hearings conducted by the City Fiscal on August
30 and September 27, 1976 during which complainant presented her evidence, both oral and
documentary. 5
In a nutshell, the evidence for the complainant tends to establish the following facts: After about a
year of courtship, she and respondent became sweethearts on March 17, 1967 while they were
students at the Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City. They had their first sexual intercourse on
March 21, 1971, after respondent made promises of marriage, and they eloped to Cebu City where
they stayed for about a week. They returned to Cagayan de Oro and respondent left complainant
allegedly to see his parents in his hometown and make the necessary arrangements for their
intended marriage. Respondent came back in May, 1971, but only to inform complainant that they
could not get married because of his parents' objections. When complainant told respondent that she
was pregnant, he told her to have an abortion. Complainant refused and they had a quarrel
Thereafter, she did not see or hear from respondent until after the birth of their baby girl named
Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan on December 4, 1971. Complainant had no other boyfriend or
sweetheart during the time that she had a relationship with respondent. In July, 1973, she brought

the child with her to see respondent in Cavite City and the latter promised to support the child.
However, respondent did not make good his promise of support so complainant went to see him
again, and once more respondent made several promises, all of which were never fulfilled, until he
finished his law course and married a singer by the name of Annie Sarabillo. 6
Forming part of the records, aside from complainant's testimony, are the birth certificate of her child,
numerous letters written by respondent covering the period from March 6, 1967 to March 25, 1971
professing his everlasting love for complaint with assurances of his sincerity and loyalty, a letter
dated January 13, 1975 from a certain Margie whom complaint Identified as the sister of respondent,
and pictures of the child Maria Rochie with said Margie Pinatacan. 7
In a Motion to Dismiss dated February 16, 1977, 8 respondent argued that based on the evidence
adduced by complainant and even assuming her averments to be true, no case had been made out to bar
him from taking the lawyer's oath. The Court's Investigator, Atty. Victor Sevilla, agreed with respondent in
a Report dated February 24, 1977, stating that "the intimacy between the parties in this case is neither so
corrupt or so immoral as to warrant the respondent's permanent exclusion from the Philippine Bar." Atty.
Sevilla recommended that respondent be allowed to take the lawyer's oath. 9
On December 12, 1977, respondent submitted a Manifestation stating among others that he is to
recognize and give support or financial assistance to complaint 's child Maria Rochie although he
cannot make assurance that he could give such support or financial assistance immediately since he
is without a source of income. 10
Upon being required to comment on the foregoing Manifestation, complainant submitted a sworn
statement expressing her adamant stand that respondent "is unreliable, untrustworthy, and without a
word of honor, not only for what he has done to me, but on several occasion in the past he had
made the same promise to support our child ..., he did not even give something to the child to buy a
candy during our several meetings ... when I tried to see him every now and then for the fulfillment of
his promise." Moreover, according to complainant, respondent's insistence that the child be aborted
proves his "utter disregard of moral values and (C)hristian doctrines," making him unfit or unsuitable
for the legal profession. Complainant stressed that she was notmotivated by revenge, for she was
aware that whatever fortunes respondent may have in life would also benefit their child as an heir,
but that after a serious and profound consideration of the matter, she was of the opinion that
"respondent would be more of a liability than an asset to the legal profession." 11
By Resolution of October 11, 1979, this Court required respondent, "as proof of his sincerity and
good faith, to acknowledge and recognize in a public document duly notarized and registered in the
local civil registrar's office his paternity over the child Maria Rochie and send the original thereof to
the complainant and a duplicate copy to this Court within ten (10) days after notice hereof. 12 On
October 19, 1979, respondent submitted proof of his compliance with the above Resolution. 13
From the foregoing narration of the background of this case, there clearly appears no question that
the complainant and respondent had been sweethearts for several years, that during the said period
they have been sexually intimate with each other, and that the child Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan
is the result of such pre-marital relations. Respondent, however, maintains that even admitting the
truth of complainant's allegations, the circumstances of their relationship with each other do not
justify his disqualification from the practice of law.
One of the indispensable requisites for admission to the Philippine Bar is that the applicant must be
of good moral character. 14 This requirement aims to maintain and uphold the high moral standards and
the dignity of the legal profession, and one of the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of
this noble profession only those persons who are known to be honest and to possess good moral

character.15 "As a man of law, (a lawyer) is necessary a leader of the community, looked up to as a
model citizen" 16 He sets an example to his fellow citizens not only for his respect for the law, but also for
his clean living. 17 Thus, becoming a lawyer is more than just going through a law course and passing the
Bar examinations. One who has the lofty aspiration of becoming a member of the Philippine Bar must
satisfy this Court, which has the power, jurisdiction and duty to pass upon the qualifications, ability and
moral character of candidates for admission to the Bar, that he has measured up to that rigid and Ideal
standard of moral fitness required by his chosen vocation.

In the two consolidated cases of Bitangcor vs.Tan and Peredo vs.Tan 18 against successful 1971 Bar
examinee Rodolfo M. Tan, it was held that therein respondent "had fallen short of the requisite morality for
admission to the Bar"for violating the honor of two women. Tan had sexual relations with both
complainants without marriage and had sired a daughter by complainant Bitangcor .
As in the Tan cases, We hold that herein respondent Pinatacan had failed to live up to the high moral
standard demanded for membership in the Bar. He had seduced complainant into physically
submitting herself to him by promises of marriage. He even eloped with her and brought her to
another place. He got her pregnant and then told her to have an abortion When complainant
refused, he deserted her. Complainant had to track him down to ask him to help support their child
born out of wedlock, and during the few times that she was able to see him, respondent merely
made promises which he apparently did not intend to keep. On top of all these, respondent had the
audacity and impudence to deny before this Court in a sworn Affidavit the paternity of his child by
complaint.
These acts taken together certainly do not speak well of respondent's character and are indicative of
his moral delinquency. All the years that he has been denied the privilege of being a lawyer were
truly well-deserved. Nevertheless, eight (8) years could be punishment and retribution enough.
Moreover, considering that respondent has legally recognized and acknowledged complainant's child
Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan as his own, and has undertaken to give financial support to the said
child, 19 We hold that he has realized the wrongfulness of his past conduct and is now prepared to turn
over a new leaf. Likewise, We reiterate what had been stated in Barba vs. Pedro 20 that "in offenses of this
character, the blame hardly belongs to the man alone."
In allowing respondent to take the lawyer's oath, he must be admonished that his admission to and
continued membership in the Bar are dependent, among others, on his compliance with his moral
and legal obligations as the father of Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan.
WHEREFORE, respondent Ruben M. Pinatacan is hereby allowed to take the lawyer's oath.
SO ORDERED.

VILLASANTA

April 30, 1957

In Re Charges of LILIAN F. VILLASANTA for Immorality,


vs.
HILARION M. PERALTA, respondent.
Ramon J. Diaz for respondent.
PARAS, C. J.:
G.R. No. L-9513 has a direct bearing on the present complaint. Said case originated from a criminal
action filed in the Court of First Instance of Cagayan by the complainant against the respondent for a
violation of Article 350 of the Revised Penal Code of which the respondent was found guilty. The
verdict, when appealed to the Court of Appeals, was affirmed. The appeal by certiorari taken to this
Court by the respondent was dismissed for lack of merit.
The complaint seeks to disqualify the respondent, a 1954 successful bar candidate, from being
admitted to the bar. The basic facts are the same as those found by the Court of Appeals, to wit: On
April 16, 1939, the respondent was married to Rizalina E. Valdez in Rizal, Nueva Ecija. On or before
March 8, 1951, he courted the complainant who fell in love with him. To have carnal knowledge of
her, the respondent procured the preparation of a fake marriage contract which was then a blank
document. He made her sign it on March 8, 1951. A week after, the document was brought back by
the respondent to the complainant, signed by the Justice of the Peace and the Civil Registrar of San
Manuel, Tarlac, and by two witnesses. Since then the complainant and the respondent lived together
as husband and wife. Sometime later, the complainant insisted on a religious ratification of their
marriage and on July 7, 1951, the corresponding ceremony was performed in Aparri by the parish
priest of said municipality. The priest no longer required the production of a marriage license
because of the civil marriage contract shown to him. After the ceremony in Aparri, the couple
returned to Manila as husband and wife and lived with some friends. The complainant then
discovered that the respondent was previously married to someone else; whereupon, she filed the
criminal action for a violation of Article 350 of the Revised Penal Code in the Court of First Instance
of Cagayan and the present complaint for immorality in this court..
Upon consideration of the records of G.R. No. L-9513 and the complaint, this Court is of the opinion
that the respondent is immoral. He made mockery of marriage which is a sacred institution
demanding respect and dignity. His conviction in the criminal case involves moral turpitude. The act
of respondent in contracting the second marriage (even his act in making love to another woman
while his first wife is still alive and their marriage still valid and existing) is contrary to honesty,
justice, decency, and morality.
Thus lacking the good moral character required by the Rules of Court, the respondent is hereby
declared disqualified from being admitted to the bar. So ordered.

A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975


IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO, former Bar Confidant and Deputy Clerk of Court, respondent.
A.C. No. 1163 August 29, 1975
IN RE: RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E. GALANG, 1971 Bar Examinee, respondent.
A.M. No. 1164 August 29, 1975
IN RE: HON. BERNARDO PARDO, HON. RAMON PAMATIAN, ATTY. MANUEL TOMACRUZ,
ATTY. FIDEL MANALO and ATTY. GUILLERMO PABLO, JR., Members, 1971 Bar Examining
Committee, respondent.

MAKASIAR, J.:
Administrative proceedings against Victorio D. Lanuevo for disbarment; Ramon E. Galang, alias
Roman E. Galang for disbarment; Hon. Bernardo Pardo, Hon. Ramon Pamatian, Atty. Manuel C.
Tomacruz; Atty. Manuel G. Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo and Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr. for
disciplinary action for their acts and omissions during the 1971 Bar Examinations.
In his request dated March 29, 1972 contained in a confidential letter to the Court for re-correction
and re-evaluation of his answer to the 1971 Bar Examinations question, Oscar Landicho who
flunked in the 1971, 1968 and 1967 Bar Examinations with a grade of 70.5%, 65.35% and 67.55%,
respectively invited the attention of the Court to "The starling fact that the grade in one
examination (Civil Law) of at least one bar candidate was raised for one reason or another, before
the bar results were released this year" (Confidential Letter, p. 2. Vol. I, rec.). This was confirmed,
according to him, by the Civil Law Examiner himself (Hon. Ramon C. Pamatian) as well as by Bar
Confidant Victorio D. Lanuevo. He further therein stated "that there are strong reasons to believe
that the grades in other examination notebooks in other subjects also underwent alternations to
raise the grades prior to the release of the results. Note that this was without any formal motion or
request from the proper parties, i.e., the bar candidates concerned. If the examiners concerned
reconsidered their grades without formal motion, there is no reason why they may not do so now
when proper request answer motion therefor is made. It would be contrary to due
process postulates. Might not one say that some candidates got unfair and unjust treatment, for their
grades were not asked to be reconsidered 'unofficially'? Why the discrimination? Does this not afford
sufficient reason for the Court en banc to go into these matters by its conceded power to ultimately
decide the matter of admission to the bar?" (p. 2, Confidential Letter, Vol. I, rec.).
Acting on the aforesaid confidential letter, the Court checked the records of the 1971 Bar
Examinations and found that the grades in five subjects Political Law and Public International
Law, Civil Law, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law and Remedial Law of a successful bar candidate
with office code No. 954 underwent some changes which, however, were duly initialed and
authenticated by the respective examiner concerned. Further check of the records revealed that the
bar candidate with office code No. 954 is one Ramon E. Galang, a perennial bar candidate, who
flunked in the 1969, 1966, 1964, 1963, and 1962 bar examinations with a grade of 67.55%, 68.65%,
72.75%, 68.2%, 56.45% and 57.3%, respectively. He passed in the 1971 bar examinations with a
grade of 74.15%, which was considered as 75% by virtue of a Court of 74.15%, which was
considered as 75% as the passing mark for the 1971 bar examinations.

Upon the direction of the Court, the 1971 Bar Examination Chairman requested Bar Confidant
Victorio D. Lanuevo and the five (5) bar examiners concerned to submit their sworn statements on
the matter, with which request they complied.
In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, said Bar Confidant admitted having brought the five
examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang, alias Ramon E. Galang, back to the respective
examiners for re-evaluation and/or re-checking, stating the circumstances under which the same
was done and his reasons for doing the same.
Each of the five (5) examiners in his individual sworn statement admitted having re-evaluated and/or
re-checked the notebook involved pertaining to his subject upon the representation to him by Bar
Confidant Lanuevo that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee concerned failed
only in his particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing.
Finding a prima facie case against the respondents warranting a formal investigation, the Court
required, in a resolution dated March 5, 1973, Bar Confidant Victorio Lanuevo "to show cause within
ten (10) days from noticewhy his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys" (Adm.
Case No. 1162, p. 34, rec.). Considering that the re-evaluation of the examination papers of Ramon
E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, was unauthorized, and therefore he did not obtain a passing
average in the 1971 bar examinations, the Court likewise resolved on March 5, 1971 to requires him
"to show cause within ten (10) days from notice why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of
Attorneys" (Adm. Case No. 1163, p. 99, rec.). The five examiners concerned were also required by
the Court "to show cause within ten (10) days from notice why no disciplinary action should be taken
against them" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 31, rec.).
Respondent Tomacruz filed his answer on March 12, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.). while
respondents Pardo, Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Lanuevo filed theirs on March 19, 1973
(Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 60-63, 32-35, 40-41, 36-39 and 35-38, rec.). At the hearing on August 27,
1973, respondent Lanuevo filed another sworn statement in addition to, and in amplication of, his
answer filed on March 19, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.). Respondent Galang filed his
unverified answer on March 16, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.). He was required by
the Court to verify the same and complaince came on May 18, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 106110,) rec.).
In the course of the investigation, it was found that it was not respondent Bernardo Pardo who reevaluated and/or re-checked examination booklet with Office Code No. 954 in Political Law and
Public International Law of examinee Ramon Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, but Guillermo Pablo,
Jr., examiner in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercise, who was asked to help in the correction of a
number of examination notebooks in Political Law and Public International Law to meet the deadline
for submission (pp. 17-24, Vol. V, rec.). Because of this development, Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr. was
likewise included as respondent in Administrative Case No. 1164. Hon. Bernardo Pardo remainded
as a respondent for it was also discovered that another paper in Political Law and Public
International Law also underwent re-evaluation and/or re-checking. This notebook with Office Code
No. 1662 turned out to be owned by another successful candidate by the name of Ernesto Quitaleg.
Further investigation resulted in the discovery of another re-evaluation and/or re-checking of a
notebook in the subject of Mercantile Law resulting in the change of the grade from 4% to 50% This
notebook bearing Office Code No. 110 is owned by another successful candidate by the name
of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz and the latter's father were summoned to testify
in the investigation.
An investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation upon request of the Chairman of
the 1971 Bar Examination Committee as Investigation Officer, showed that one Romy Galang y

Esguerra, alias Ramon E. Galang, a student in the School of Law of Manuel L. Quezon University,
was, on September 8, 1959, charged with the crime of slight physical injuries in the Municipal Court
of Manila committed on Eufrosino F. de Vera, another student of the same university. Confronted
with this information at the hearing of August 13, 1973 (Vol. V, pp. 20-21, 32, rec.), respondent
Galang declared that he does not remember having been charged with the crime of slight physical
injuries in that case. (Vol. VI, pp. 45-60, rec.).
Respondent Galang, in all his application to take the bar examinations, did not make mention of this
fact which he is required under the rules to do.
The joint investigation of all the cases commenced on July 17, 1973 and was terminated on October
2, 1973. Thereafter, parties-respondents were required to submit their memoranda. Respondents
Lanuevo, Galang and Pardo submitted their respective memorandum on November 14, 1973.
Before the joint hearing commenced, Oscar Landicho took up permanent residence in Australia,
where he is believed to be gainfully employed. Hence, he was not summoned to testify.
At the joint investigation, all respondents, except respondent Pablo, who offered as evidence only
his oral testimony, submitted as their direct evidence only his oral testimony, submitted as their direct
evidence the affidavits and answers earlier submitted by them to the Court. The same became the
basis for their cross-examination.
In their individual sworn statements and answer, which they offered as their direct testimony in the
investigation conducted by the Court, the respondent-examiners recounted the circumstances under
which they re-evaluated and/or re-checked the examination notebooks in question.
In His affidavit dated April 11, 1972, respondent Judge (later Associate Justice of the Court of
Appeals) Ramon C. Pamatian, examiner in Civil Law, affirmed:
2. That one evening sometime in December last year, while I was correcting the
examination notebooks, Atty. Lanuevo, Bar Confidant, explained to me that it is the
practice and the policy in bar examinations that he (Atty. Lanuevo) make a review of
the grades obtained in all subjects and if he finds that candidate obtained an
extraordinary high grade in one subject and a rather low one in another, he will bring
back the latter to the examiner concerned for re-evaluation and change of grade;
3. That sometime in the latter part of January of this year, he brought back to me an
examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation, because according to him the
owner of the paper is on the borderline and if I could reconsider his grade to 75% the
candidate concerned will get passing mark;
4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was really the practice and
policy of the Supreme Court to do so in the further belief that I was just manifesting
cooperation in doing so, I re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered the grade to 75%;
5. That only one notebook in Civil Law was brought back to me for such re-evaluation
and upon verifying my files I found that the notebook is numbered '95;
6. That the original grade was 64% and my re-evaluation of the answers were based
on the same standard used in the correction and evaluation of all others; thus, Nos. 3

and 4 with original grades of 7% each was reconsidered to 10%; No. 5 with 4% to
5%; No. 7 with 3% to 5%; and No. 8 with 8% to 10% (emphasis supplied).
His answer dated March 19, 1973 substantially reiterated his allegations in his April 11, 1972 affidavit
with following additional statements:
xxx xxx xxx
3. ... However the grades in Nos. 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10, were not reconsidered as it is no
longer to make the reconsideration of these answers because of the same evaluation
and standard; hence, Nos. 1, 2 and 10 remainded at 5% and Nos. 6 and 9 at 10%;
4. That at the time I made the reconsideration of examination booklet No. 951 I did
not know the identity of its owner until I received this resolution of the Honorable
Supreme Court nor the identities of the examiners in other subjects;
5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and under the belief that I
am authorized to do so in view of the misrepresentation of said Atty. Lanuevo, based
on the following circumstances:
a) Since I started correcting the papers on or about October 16,
1971, relationship between Atty. Lanuevo and myself had developed
to the point that with respect to the correction of the examination
booklets of bar candidates I have always followed him and
considered his instructions as reflecting the rules and policy of the
Honorable Supreme Court with respect to the same; that I have no
alternative but to take his words;
b) That considering this relationship and considering his
misrepresentation to me as reflecting the real and policy of the
Honorable Supreme Court, I did not bother any more to get the
consent and permission of the Chairman of the Bar Committee.
Besides, at that time, I was isolating myself from all members of the
Supreme Court and specially the chairman of the Bar Committee for
fear that I might be identified as a bar examiner;
xxx xxx xxx
e) That no consideration whatsoever has been received by me in return for such
recorrection, and as proof of it, I declined to consider and evaluate one booklet in
Remedial Law aforesaid because I was not the one who made the original correction
of the same (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-35, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Then Assistant Solicitor General, now CFI Judge, Bernardo Pardo, examiner in Political Law and
Public International Law, confirmed in his affidavit of April 8, 1972 that:
On a day or two after the Bar Confidant went to my residence to obtain from me the
last bag of two hundred notebooks (bearing examiner's code numbers 1200 to 1400)
which according to my record was on February 5, 1972, he came to my residence at
about 7:30 p.m. riding in a Vokswagen panel of the Supreme Court, with at least two
companions. The bar confidant had with him an examinee's notebook bearing code

number 661, and, after the usual amenties, he requested me if it was possible for me
to review and re-examine the said notebook because it appears that the examinee
obtained a grade of 57, whereas, according to the Bar Confidant, the said examinee
had obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of which was 84, if I recall
correctly, in remedial law.
I asked the Bar Confidant if I was allowed to receive or re-examinee the notebook as
I had submitted the same beforehand, and he told me that I was authorized to do so
because the same was still within my control and authority as long as the particular
examinee's name had not been identified or that the code number decode and the
examinee's name was revealed. The Bar Confidant told me that the name of the
examinee in the case present bearing code number 661 had not been identified or
revealed; and that it might have been possible that I had given a particularly low
grade to said examinee.
Accepting at face value the truth of the Bar Confidant's representations to me, and
as it was humanly possible that I might have erred in the grading of the said
notebook, I re-examined the same, carefully read the answer, and graded it in
accordance with the same standards I had used throughout the grading of the entire
notebooks, with the result that the examinee deserved an increased grade of 66.
After again clearing with the Bar Confidant my authority to correct the grades, and as
he had assured me that the code number of the examinee in question had not been
decoded and his name known, ... I therefore corrected the total grade in the
notebook and the grade card attached thereto, and properly initia(l)ed the same. I
also corrected the itemized grades (from item No. 1 to item No. 10) on the two sets of
grading sheets, my personal copy thereof, and the Bar Confidant brought with him
the other copy thereof, and the Bar Confidant brought with him the other copy the
grading sheet" (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 58-59; rec.; emphasis supplied)
In his answer dated March 17, 1973 which he denominated as "Explanation", respondent Bernardo
P. Pardo adopted and replaced therein by reference the facts stated in his earlier sworn statement
and in additional alleged that:
xxx xxx xxx
3. At the time I reviewed the examinee's notebook in political and international
law, code numbered 661, I did know the name of the examinee. In fact, I came to
know his name only upon receipt of the resolution of March 5, 1973; now knowing his
name, I wish to state that I do not know him personally, and that I have never met
him even up to the present;
4. At that time, I acted under the impression that I was authorized to make such
review, and had repeatedly asked the Bar Confidant whether I was authorized to
make such revision and was so assured of my authority as the name of the
examinee had not yet been decoded or his identity revealed. The Bar Confidant's
assurance was apparently regular and so appeared to be in the regular course of
express prohibition in the rules and guidelines given to me as an examiner, and the
Bar Confidant was my official liaison with the Chairman, as, unless called, I refrained
as much as possible from frequent personal contact with the Chairman lest I be
identified as an examiner. ...;

5. At the time the Bar Confidant came to see me at about 7:30 o'clock in the evening
at my residence, I felt it inappropriate to verify his authority with the Chairman. It did
not appear to me that his representations were unauthorized or suspicious. Indeed,
the Bar Confidant was riding in the official vehicle of the Supreme Court, a
Volkswagen panel, accompanied by two companions, which was usual, and thus
looked like a regular visit to me of the Bar Confidant, as it was about the same hour
that he used to see me:
xxx xxx xxx
7. Indeed, the notebook code numbered 661 was still in the same condition as when
I submitted the same. In agreeing to review the said notebook code numbered 661,
my aim was to see if I committed an error in the correction, not to make the
examinee pass the subject. I considered it entirely humanly possible to have erred,
because I corrected that particular notebook on December 31, 1971, considering
especially the representation of the Bar Confidant that the said examinee had
obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of which was 84% in remedial
law, if I recall correctly. Of course, it did not strike me as unusual that the Bar
Confidant knew the grades of the examinee in the position to know and that there
was nothing irregular in that:
8. In political and international law, the original grade obtained by the examinee with
notebook code numbered 661 was 57%. After review, it was increased by 9 points,
resulting in a final grade of 66%. Still, the examinee did not pass the subject, and, as
heretofore stated, my aim was not to make the examinee pass, notwithstanding the
representation that he had passed the other subjects. ...
9. I quite recall that during the first meeting of the Bar Examiners' Committee
consensus was that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed the
rest, the examiner in said subject would review the notebook. Nobody objected to it
as irregular. At the time of the Committee's first meeting, we still did not know the
names of the candidates.
10. In fine, I was a victim of deception, not a party to it. It had absolutely no
knowledge of the motives of the Bar Confidant or his malfeasance in office, and did
not know the examinee concerned nor had I any kind of contract with him before or
rather the review and even up to the present (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 60-63; rec.;
emphasis supplied).
Atty. Manuel Tomacruz, examiner in Criminal Law, affirmed in his affidavit dated April 12, 1972:
1. xxx xxx xxx
2. That about weekly, the Bar Confidant would deliver and collect examination books
to my residence at 951 Luna Mencias, Mandaluyong, Rizal.
3. That towards the end when I had already completed correction of the books in
Criminal Law and was helping in the correction of some of the papers in another
subject, the Bar Confidant brought back to me one (1) paper in Criminal Law saying
that that particular examinee had missed the passing grade by only a fraction of a
percent and that if his paper in Criminal Law would be raised a few points to
75% then he would make the general passing average.

4. That seeing the jurisdiction, I raised the grade to 75%, that is, giving a raise of, if I
remember correctly, 2 or 3 points, initialled the revised mark and revised also the
mark and revised also the mark in the general list.
5. That I do not recall the number of the book of the examinee concerned" (Adm.
Case No. 1164, p. 69, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 12, 1973, respondent Tomacruz stated that "I accepted the word of the
Bar Confidant in good faith and without the slightest inkling as to the identity of the examinee in
question who up to now remains a total stranger and without expectation of nor did I derive any
personal benefit" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Atty. Fidel Manalo, examiner in Remedial Law, stated in his affidavit dated April 14, 1972, that:
xxx xxx xxx
2. Sometime about the late part of January or early part of February 1972, Attorney
Lanuevo, Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court, saw me in my house at No. 1854
Asuncion Street, Makati, Rizal. He produced to me an examinee's notebook in
Remedial Law which I had previously graded and submitted to him. He informed me
that he and others (he used the words "we") had reviewed the said notebook. He
requested me to review the said notebook and possibly reconsider the grade that I
had previously given. He explained that the examine concerned had done well in
other subjects, but that because of the comparatively low grade that I had given him
in Remedial Law his general average was short of passing. Mr. Lanuevo remarked
that he thought that if the paper were reviewed I might find the examinee deserving
of being admitted to the Bar. As far as I can recall, Mr. Lanuevo particularly called my
attention to the fact in his answers the examinee expressed himself clearly and in
good enough English. Mr. Lanuevo however informed me that whether I would
reconsider the grades I had previously given and submitted was entirely within my
discretion.
3. Believing fully that it was within Mr. Lanuevo's authority as Bar Confidant to
address such a request to me and that the said request was in order, I, in the
presence of Mr. Lanuevo, proceeded tore-read and re-evaluate each and every item
of the paper in question. I recall that in my re-evaluation of the answers, I increased
the grades in some items, made deductions in other items, and maintained the same
grades in other items. However, I recall that after Mr. Lanuevo and I had totalled the
new grades that I had given after re-evaluation, the total grade increased by a few
points, but still short of the passing mark of 75% in my subject.
xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 74-75, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer (response) dated March 18, 1973, respondent Manalo reiterated the contents of his
sworn statement, adding the following:
xxx xxx xxx
5. In agreeing to re-evaluate the notebook, with resulted in increasing the total grade
of the examinee-concerned in Remedial Law from 63.75% to 74.5%, herein
respondent acted in good faith. It may well be that he could be faulted for not having

verified from the Chairman of the Committee of Bar Examiners the legitimacy of the
request made by Mr. Lanuevo. Herein respondent, however, pleads in attenuation of
such omission, that
a) Having been appointed an Examiner for the first time, he was not
aware, not having been apprised otherwise, that it was not within the
authority of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court to request or
suggest that the grade of a particular examination notebook be
revised or reconsidered. He had every right to presume, owing to the
highly fiduciary nature of the position of the Bar Confidant, that the
request was legitimate.
xxx xxx xxx
c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee concerned, herein
respondent carefully evaluated each and every answer written in the
notebook. Testing the answers by the criteria laid down by the Court,
and giving the said examinee the benefit of doubt in view of Mr.
Lanuevo's representation that it was only in that particular subject
that the said examine failed, herein respondent became convinced
that the said examinee deserved a higher grade than that previously
given to him, but that he did not deserve, in herein respondent's
honest appraisal, to be given the passing grade of 75%. It should
also be mentioned that, in reappraising the answers, herein
respondent downgraded a previous rating of an answer written by the
examinee, from 9.25% to 9% (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 36-39, rec.;
emphasis supplied).
Atty. Manuel Montecillo, examiner in Mercantile Law, affirmed in his affidavit dated April 17, 1972:
xxx xxx xxx
That during one of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners' Committee after the Bar
Examinations were held, I was informed that one Bar examinee passed all other
subjects except Mercantile Law;
That I informed the Bar Examiners' Committee that I would be willing to re-evaluate
the paper of this particular Bar candidate;.
That the next day, the Bar Confidant handed to me a Bar candidate's notebook (No.
1613) showing a grade of 61%;
That I reviewed the whole paper and after re-evaluating the answers of this particular
Bar candidate I decided to increase his final grade to 71%;
That consequently, I amended my report and duly initialed the changes in the grade
sheet (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 72, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Montecillo restated the contents of his sworn
statement of April 17, 1972, and

xxx xxx xxx


2. Supplementary to the foregoing sworn statement, I hereby state that I reevaluated the examination notebook of Bar Candidate No. 1613 in Mercantile Law in
absolute good faith and in direct compliance with the agreement made during one of
the deliberations of the Bar Examiners Committee that where a candidate fails in
only one subject, the Examiner concerned should make a re-evaluation of the
answers of the candidate concerned, which I did.
3. Finally, I hereby state that I did not know at the time I made the aforementioned reevaluation that notebook No. 1613 in Mercantile Law pertained to bar examine
Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, and that I have never met up to this time
this particular bar examinee (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, rec.; emphasis
supplied).
In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, Bar Confidant Lanuevo stated:
xxx xxx xxx
As I was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in the grading sheets and
the posting on the record of ratings, I was impressed of the writing and the answers
on the first notebook. This led me to scrutinize all the set of notebooks. Believing that
those five merited re-evalation on the basis of the memorandum circularized to the
examiners shortly earlier to the effect that
... in the correction of the papers, substantial weight should then be
given to clarify of language and soundness of reasoning' (par. 4),
I took it upon myself to bring them back to the respective examiners for re-evaluation
and/or re-checking.
It is our experience in the Bar Division that immediately after the release of the
results of the examinations, we are usually swarmed with requests of the examinees
that they be shown their notebooks. Many of them would copy their answers and
have them checked by their professors. Eventually some of them would file motions
or requests for re-correction and/or re-evaluation. Right now, we have some 19 of
such motions or requests which we are reading for submission to the Honorable
Court.
Often we feel that a few of them are meritorious, but just the same they have to be
denied because the result of the examinations when released is final and irrevocable.
It was to at least minimize the occurrence of such instances that motivated me to
bring those notebooks back to the respective examiners for re-evaluation" (Adm.
Case No. 1162, p. 24, rec.; emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Lanuevo avers:
That he submitted the notebooks in question to the examiners concerned in his
hotest belief that the same merited re-evaluation; that in so doing, it was not his
intention to forsake or betray the trust reposed in him as bar confidant but on the

contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned; that neither did he act in a


presumptuous manner, because the matter of whether or not re-evaluation was
inorder was left alone to the examiners' decision; and that, to his knowledge, he does
not remember having made the alleged misrepresentation but that he remembers
having brought to the attention of the Committee during the meeting a matter
concerning another examinee who obtained a passing general average but with a
grade below 50% in Mercantile Law. As the Committee agreed to remove the
disqualification by way of raising the grade in said subject, respondent brought the
notebook in question to the Examiner concerned who thereby raised the grade thus
enabling the said examinee to pass. If he remembers right, the examinee concerned
is one surnamed "de la Cruz" or "Ty-de la Cruz".
Your Honors, respondent never entertained a notion that his act would stir such
serious charges as would tend to undermine his integrity because he did it in all good
faith.
xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 35, rec.; emphasis supplied).
On August 27, 1973, during the course of the investigation, respondent Lanuevo filed another sworn
statement in addition to, and in amplification of, his answer, stating:
xxx xxx xxx
1. That I vehemently deny having deceived the examiners concerned into believing
that the examinee involved failed only in their respective subjects, the fact of the
matter being that the notebooks in question were submitted to the respective
examiners for re-evaluation believing in all good faith that they so merited on the
basis of the Confidential Memorandum (identified and marked as Exh. 1-Lanuevo,
particularly that portion marked as Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo)which was circulated to all the
examiners earlier, leaving to them entirely the matter of whether or not re-evaluation
was in order,
2. That the following coincidence prompted me to pry into the notebooks in question:
Sometime during the latter part of January and the early part of
February, 1972, on my way back to the office (Bar Division) after
lunch, I though of buying a sweepstake ticket. I have always made it
a point that the moment I think of so buying, I pick a number from any
object and the first number that comes into my sight becomes the
basis of the ticket that I buy. At that moment, the first number that I
saw was "954" boldly printed on an electrical contribance (evidently
belonging to the MERALCO) attached to a post standing along the
right sidewalk of P. Faura street towards the Supreme Court building
from San Marcelino street and almost adjacent to the south-eastern
corner of the fence of the Araullo High School(photograph of the
number '954', the contrivance on which it is printed and a portion of
the post to which it is attached is identified and marked as Exhibit 4Lanuevo and the number "954" as Exh. 4-a-Lanuevo).
With this number (954) in mind, I proceeded to Plaza Sta. Cruz to
look for a ticket that would contain such number. Eventually, I found a
ticket, which I then bought, whose last three digits corresponded to

"954". This number became doubly impressive to me because the


sum of all the six digits of the ticket number was "27", a number that
is so significant to me that everything I do I try somewhat instinctively
to link or connect it with said number whenever possible. Thus even
in assigning code numbers on the Master List of examinees from
1968 when I first took charge of the examinations as Bar Confidant
up to 1971, I either started with the number "27" (or "227") or end with
said number. (1968 Master List is identified and marked as Exh. 5Lanuevo and the figure "27" at the beginning of the list, as Exh. 5-a
Lanuevo; 1969 Master List as Exh. 6-Lanuevo and the figure "227" at
the beginning of the list, as Exh. 6-a-Lanuevo; 1970 Master List as
Exh. 7-Lanuevo and the figure "227" at the beginning of the list as
Exh. 7-a-Lanuevo; and the 1971 Master List as Exh. 8-Lanuevo and
the figure "227" at the end of the list as Exh. 8-a-Lanuevo).
The significance to me of this number (27) was born out of these
incidents in my life, to wit: (a) On November 27, 1941 while with the
Philippine Army stationed at Camp Manacnac, Cabanatuan, Nueva
Ecija, I was stricken with pneumonia and was hospitalized at the
Nueva Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result. As will be recalled, the
last Pacific War broke out on December 8, 1941. While I was still
confined at the hospital, our camp was bombed and strafed by
Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 resulting in many
casualties. From then on, I regarded November 27, 1941 as the
beginning of a new life for me having been saved from the possibility
of being among the casualties;(b) On February 27, 1946, I was able
to get out of the army byway of honorable discharge; and (c) on
February 27, 1947, I got married and since then we begot children
the youngest of whom was born on February 27, 1957.
Returning to the office that same afternoon after buying the ticket, I
resumed my work which at the time was on the checking of the
notebooks. While thus checking, I came upon the notebooks bearing
the office code number "954". As the number was still fresh in my
mind, it aroused my curiosity prompting me to pry into the contents of
the notebooks. Impressed by the clarity of the writing and language
and the apparent soundness of the answers and, thereby, believing in
all good faith on the basis of the aforementioned Confidential
Memorandum (Exh. 1-Lanuevo and Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo) that they
merited re-evaluation, I set them aside and later on took them back to
the respective examiners for possible review recalling to them the
said Confidential Memorandum but leaving absolutely the matter to
their discretion and judgment.
3. That the alleged misrepresentation or deception could have reference to either of
the two cases which I brought to the attention of the committee during the meeting
and which the Committee agreed to refer back to the respective examines, namely:
(a) That of an examinee who obtained a passing general average but
with a grade below 50% (47%) in Mercantile Law(the notebooks of
this examinee bear the Office Code No. 110, identified and marked as
Exh. 9-Lanuevo and the notebook in Mercantile Law bearing the

Examiner's Code No. 951 with the original grade of 4% increased to


50% after re-evaluation as Exh. 9-a-Lanuevo); and
(b) That of an examinee who obtained a borderline general average
of 73.15% with a grade below 60% (57%) in one subject which, at the
time, I could not pinpoint having inadvertently left in the office the
data thereon. It turned out that the subject was Political and
International Law under Asst. Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo (The
notebooks of this examinee bear the Office Code No. 1622 identified
and marked as Exh. 10-Lanuevo and the notebook in Political and
International Law bearing the Examiner's Code No. 661 with the
original grade of 57% increased to 66% after re-evaluation, as Exh.
10-a-Lanuevo). This notebook in Political and International Law is
precisely the same notebook mentioned in the sworn statement of
Asst. Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo(Exh. ------- Pardo).
4. That in each of the two cases mentioned in the next preceding paragraph, only
one (1) subject or notebook was reviewed or re-evaluated, that is, only Mercantile
Law in the former; and only Political and International Law in the latter, under the
facts and circumstances I made known to the Committee and pursuant to which the
Committee authorized the referral of the notebooks involved to the examiners
concerned;
5. That at that juncture, the examiner in Taxation even volunteered to review or recheck some 19, or so, notebooks in his subject but that I told the Committee that
there was very little time left and that the increase in grade after re-evaluation, unless
very highly substantial, may not alter the outcome since the subject carries the
weight of only 10% (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.).
The foregoing last-minute embellishment only serves to accentuate the fact that Lanuevo's story is
devoid of truth. In his sworn statement of April 12, 1972, he was "led to scrutinize all the set of
notebooks" of respondent Galang, because he "was impressed of the writing and the answers on the
first notebook "as he "was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in the grading sheets
and the posting on the record of ratings." In his affidavit of August 27, 1973, he stated that the
number 954 on a Meralco post provoked him "to pry into the contents of the notebooks" of
respondent Galang "bearing office code number '954."
Respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, asserted, among others;
1. That herein respondent is not acquainted with former BarConfidant Victorio
Lanuevo and never met him before except once when, as required by the latter
respondent submitted certain papers necessary for taking the bar examinations.
xxx xxx xxx
4. That it has been the consistent policy of the Supreme Court not to reconsider
"failure" cases; after the official release thereof; why should it now reconsider a
"passing" case, especially in a situation where the respondent and the bar confidant
do not know each other and, indeed, met only once in the ordinary course of official
business?

It is not inevitable, then, to conclude that the entire situation clearly manifests a
reasonable doubt to which respondent is richly entitled?
5. That respondent, before reading a copy of this Honorable Court's resolution dated
March 5, 1973, had no knowledge whatsoever of former Bar Confidant Victorio
Lanuevo's actuations which are stated in particular in the resolution. In fact, the
respondent never knew this man intimately nor, had the herein respondent utilized
anyone to contact the Bar Confidant Lanuevo in his behalf.
But, assuming as true, the said actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as stated in the
Resolution, which are evidently purported to show as having redounded to the
benefit of herein respondent, these questions arise: First, was the re-evaluation of
Respondent's examination papers by the Bar Examination Committee done only or
especially for him and not done generally as regards the paper of the other bar
candidates who are supposed to have failed? If the re-evaluation of Respondent's
grades was done among those of others, then it must have been done as a matter of
policy of the Committee to increase the percentage of passing in that year's
examination and, therefore, the insinuation that only respondent's papers were reevaluated upon the influence of Bar Confidant Lanuevo would be unjustifiable, if not
far fetched. Secondly, is the fact that BarConfidant Lanuevo's actuations resulted in
herein Respondent's benefit an evidence per se of Respondent's having caused
actuations of Bar confidant Lanuevo to be done in former's behalf? To assume this
could be disastrous in effect because that would be presuming all the members of
the Bar Examination Committee as devoid of integrity, unfit for the bar themselves
and the result of their work that year, as also unworthy of anything. All of these
inferences are deductible from the narration of facts in the resolution, and which only
goes to show said narration of facts an unworthy of credence, or consideration.
xxx xxx xxx
7. This Honorable Tribunal's Resolution of March 5, 1973 would make this
Respondent Account or answer for the actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as well
as for the actuations of the Bar Examiners implying the existence of some conspiracy
between them and the Respondent. The evident imputation is denied and it is
contended that the Bar Examiners were in the performance of their duties and that
they should be regarded as such in the consideration of this case.
xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.).
I
The evidence thus disclosed clearly demonstrates how respondent Lanuevo systematically and
cleverly initiated and prepared the stage leading to the re-evalation and/or recorrection of the
answers of respondent Galang by deceiving separately and individually the respondents-examiners
to make the desired revision without prior authority from the Supreme Court after the corrected
notebooks had been submitted to the Court through the respondent Bar Confidant, who is simply the
custodian thereof for and in behalf of the Court.
It appears that one evening, sometime around the middle part of December, 1971, just before
Christmas day, respondent Lanuevo approached Civil Law examiner Pamatian while the latter was
in the process of correcting examination booklets, and then and there made the representations that
as BarConfidant, he makes a review of the grades obtained in all subjects of the examinees and if

he finds that a candidate obtains an extraordinarily high grade in one subject and a rather low one
on another, he will bring back to the examiner concerned the notebook for re-evaluation and change
of grade(Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 55-56; Vol. V, pp. 3-4, rec.).
Sometime in the latter part of January, 1972, respondent Lanuevo brought back to respondentexaminer Pamatian an examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation, representing that the
examinee who owned the particular notebook is on the borderline of passing and if his grade in said
subject could be reconsidered to 75%, the said examine will get a passing average. Respondentexaminer Pamatian took respondent Lanuevo's word and under the belief that was really the practice
and policy of the Supreme Court and in his further belief that he was just manifesting cooperation in
doing so, he re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered the examinee's grade in said subject to 75%
from 64%. The particular notebook belonged to an examinee with Examiner's Code Number 95 and
with Office Code Number 954. This examinee is Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang.
Respondent Pamatian did not know the identity of the examinee at the time he re-evaluated the said
booklet (Exhs. 1-Pamatian, 2-Pamatian, and 3-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-33, 55-56,
57; Vol. V, pp. 3-4, rec.).
Before Justice Pamatian made the revision, Examinee Galang failed in seven subjects including Civil
Law. After such revision, examinee Galang still failed in six subjects and could not obtain the passing
average of 75% for admission to the Bar.
Thereafter, about the latter part of January, 1972 or early part of February, 1972, respondent
Lanuevo went to the residence of respondent-examiner Fidel Manalo at 1854 Asuncion Street,
Makati, Rizal, with an examinee's notebook in Remedial Law, which respondent Manalo and
previously corrected and graded. Respondent Lanuevo then requested respondent Manalo to review
the said notebook and possibly to reconsider the grade given, explaining and representing that
"they" has reviewed the said notebook and that the examinee concerned had done well in other
subjects, but that because of the comparatively low grade given said examinee by respondent
Manalo in Remedial Law, the general average of said examinee was short of passing. Respondent
Lanuevo likewise made the remark and observation that he thought that if the notebook were
reviewed, respondent Manalo might yet find the examinee deserving of being admitted to the Bar.
Respondent Lanuevo also particularly called the attention of respondent Manalo to the fact that in
his answers, the examinee expressed himself clearly and in good English. Furthermore, respondent
Lanuevo called the attention of respondent Manalo to Paragraph 4 of the Confidential Memorandum
that read as follows:
4. Examination questions should be more a test of logic, knowledge of legal
fundamentals, and ability to analyze and solve legal problems rather than a test of
memory; in the correction of papers, substantial weight should be given to clarify of
language and soundness of reasoning.
Respondent Manalo was, however, informed by respondent Lanuevo that the matter of
reconsideration was entirely within his (Manalo's) discretion. Respondent Manalo, believing that
respondent Lanuevo, as Bar Confidant, had the authority to make such request and further believing
that such request was in order, proceeded to re-evaluate the examinee's answers in the presence of
Lanuevo, resulting in an increase of the examinee's grade in that particular subject, Remedial Law,
from 63.25% to 74.5%. Respondent Manalo authenticated with his signature the changes made by
him in the notebook and in the grading sheet. The said notebook examiner's code number is 136,
instead of 310 as earlier mentioned by him in his affidavit, and belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias
Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1 & 2- Manalo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 36-39, 74-75; Vol. V, pp. 50-53,
rec.).

But even after the re-evaluation by Atty. Manalo, Examinee Galang could not make the passing
grade due to his failing marks in five subjects.
Likewise, in the latter part of January, 1972, on one occasion when respondent Lanuevo went to
deliver to respondent Guillermo Pablo, Jr. in the latter's house a new batch of examination papers in
Political Law and Public International Law to be corrected, respondent Lanuevo brought out a
notebook in Political Law bearingExaminer's Code Number 1752 (Exh. 5-Pardo, Adm. Case No.
1164, p. 66, rec.), informing respondent Pablo that particular examinee who owns the said
notebook seems to have passed in all other subjects except in Political Law and Public International
Law; and that if the said notebook would be re-evaluated and the mark be increased to at least 75%,
said examinee will pass the bar examinations. After satisfying himself from respondent that this is
possible the respondent Bar Confidant informing him that this is the practice of the Court to help
out examinees who are failing in just one subject respondent Pablo acceded to the request and
thereby told the Bar Confidant to just leave the said notebook. Respondent Pablo thereafter reevaluated the answers, this time with leniency. After the re-evaluation, the grade was increased
to 78% from 68%, or an increase of 10%. Respondent Pablo then made the corresponding
corrections in the grading sheet and accordingly initialed the charges made. This notebook with
Office Code Number 954 also belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Vol. V, pp. 4346, rec.).
After the re-evaluation by Atty. Pablo, Jr., examinee Galang's general average was still below the
passing grade, because of his failing marks in four subjects.
Towards the end of the correction of examination notebooks, respondent Lanuevo brought back to
respondent Tomacruz one examination booklet in Criminal Law, with the former informing the latter,
who was then helping in the correction of papers in Political Law and Public International Law, as he
had already finished correcting the examination notebooks in his assigned subject Criminal Law
that the examinee who owns that particular notebook had missed the passing grade by only a
fraction of a percent and that if his grade in Criminal Law would be raised a few points to 75%, then
the examinee would make the passing grade. Accepting the words of respondent Lanuevo, and
seeing the justification and because he did not want to be the one causing the failure of the
examinee, respondent Tomacruz raised the grade from 64% to 75% and thereafter, he initialed the
revised mark and also revised the mark in the general list and likewise initialed the same. The
examinee's Examiner Code Number is 746 while his Office Code Number is 954. This examinee is
Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1, 2 & 3-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 65,
66 and 71; Vol. V, pp. 24-25, 60-61, rec.).
Respondent Tomacruz does not recall having been shown any memo by respondent Lanuevo when
the latter approached him for this particular re-evaluation; but he remembers Lanuevo declaring to
him that where a candidate had almost made the passing average but had failed in one subject, as a
matter of policy of the Court, leniency is applied in reviewing the examinee's notebook in the failing
subject. He recalls, however, that he was provided a copy of the Confidential Memorandum but this
was long before the re-evaluation requested by respondent Lanuevo as the same was received by
him before the examination period (Vol. V, p. 61, rec.).
However, such revision by Atty. Tomacruz could not raise Galang's general average to a passing
grade because of his failing mark in three more subjects, including Mercantile Law. For the revision
of examinee Galang's notebook in Mercantile Law, respondent Lanuevo neatly set the last phase of
his quite ingenious scheme by securing authorization from the Bar Examination Committee for the
examiner in Mercantile Law tore-evaluate said notebook.

At the first meeting of the Bar Examination Committee on February 8, 1972, respondent Lanuevo
suggested that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed the rest, the examiner
concerned would review the notebook. Nobody objected to it as irregular and the Committee
adopted the suggestion (Exhs. A & B-Montecillo, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 41, 72, 63;
Vol. Vi, p. 16, rec.).
At a subsequent meeting of the Bar Examination Committee, respondent Montecillo was informed by
respondent Lanuevo that a candidate passed all other subjects except Mercantile Law. This
information was made during the meeting within hearing of the order members, who were all closely
seated together. Respondent Montecillo made known his willingness tore-evaluate the particular
paper. The next day, respondent Lanuevo handed to respondent Montecillo a bar candidate's
notebook with Examiner's Code Number 1613 with a grade of 61%. Respondent Montecillo then
reviewed the whole paper and after re-evaluating the answers, decided to increase the final grade to
71%. The matter was not however thereafter officially brought to the Committee for consideration or
decision (Exhs. A& B-Montecillo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, 70-71; Vol. V, pp. 33-34, rec.).
Respondent Montecillo declared that without being given the information that the particular
examinee failed only in his subject and passed all the others, he would not have consented to make
the re-evaluation of the said paper(Vol. V, p. 33, rec.).Respondent Montecillo likewise added that
there was only one instance he remembers, which is substantiated by his personal records, that he
had to change the grade of an examinee after he had submitted his report, referring to the notebook
of examinee Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, with Examiner's Code Number 1613 and
with Office Code Number 954 (Vol. V, pp. 34-35, rec.).
A day or two after February 5, 1972, when respondent Lanuevo went to the residence of respondentexaminer Pardo to obtain the last bag of 200 notebooks, respondent Lanuevo returned to the
residence of respondent Pardo riding in a Volkswagen panel of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
with two companions. According to respondent Lanuevo, this was around the second week of
February, 1972, after the first meeting of the Bar Examination Committee. respondent Lanuevo had
with him on that occasion an examinee's notebook bearing Examiner's Code No. 661. Respondent
Lanuevo, after the usual amenities, requested respondent Pardo to review and re-examine, if
possible, the said notebook because, according to respondent Lanuevo, the examine who owns that
particular notebook obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of which is 84% in
Remedial Law. After clearing with respondent Lanuevo his authority to reconsider the
grades, respondent Pardo re-evaluated the answers of the examine concerned, resulting in an
increase of grade from 57% of 66%. Said notebook has number 1622 as office code number. It
belonged to examinee Ernesto Quitaleg (Exhs. 1 & 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 58-63; Vol. V,
pp. 12-24, 29-30, rec.).
II
Re: Administrative Case No. 1162, Victorio D. Lanuevo, respondent.
A
UNAUTHORIZED RE-EVALUATION OF THE ANSWERS OF EXAMINE RAMON E. GALANG, alias
ROMAN E. GALANG, IN ALL FIVE (5) MAJOR SUBJECTS.
Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having requested on his own initiative the five examiners
concerned to re-evaluate the five notebooks of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, that
eventually resulted in the increase of Galang's average from 66.25% to the passing grade 74.15%,
or a total increase of eight (8) weighted points, more or less, that enabled Galang to hurdle the 1971

Bar examinations via a resolution of the Court making 74% the passing average for that year's
examination without any grade below fifty percent (50%) in any subject. Galang thereafter took his
lawyer's oath. It is likewise beyond dispute that he had no authority from the Court or the Committee
to initiate such steps towards the said re-evaluation of the answers of Galang or of other examinees.
Denying that he made representations to the examiners concerned that respondent Galang failed
only in their respective subjects and/or was on the borderline of passing, Respondent Lanuevo
sought to justify his actuations on the authority of the aforequoted paragraph 4 of the Confidential
Memorandum(Exhs. 1 and 1-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Cases Nos. 1162 & 1164, p. 51, Adm. Case No.
1162; Vol. VII, p. 4, rec.) distributed to the members of the Bar Examination Committee. He
maintains that he acted in good faith and "in his honest belief that the same merited re-evaluation;
that in doing so, it was not his intention to forsake or betray the trust reposed in him as BarConfidant
but on the contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned; and that neither did he act in a
presumptuous manner because the matter of whether or not re-evaluation was in order was left
alone to the examiners' decision ..." (Exh. 2-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 35-37, rec.).
But as openly admitted by him in the course of the investigation, the said confidential memorandum
was intended solely for the examiners to guide them in the initial correction of the examination
papers and never as a basis for him to even suggest to the examiners the re-evaluation of the
examination papers of the examinees (Vol. VII, p. 23, rec.). Any such suggestion or request is not
only presumptuous but also offensive to the norms of delicacy.
We believe the Examiners Pablo, Manalo, Montecillo, Tomacruz, Pardo and Pamatian whose
declarations on the matter of the misrepresentations and deceptions committed by respondent
Lanuevo, are clear and consistent as well as corroborate each other.
For indeed the facts unfolded by the declarations of the respondents-examiners (Adm. Case No.
1164) and clarified by extensive cross-examination conducted during the investigation and hearing of
the cases show how respondent Lanuevo adroitly maneuvered the passing of examinee Ramon E.
Galang, alias Roman E. Galang in the 1971 Bar Examinations. It is patent likewise from the records
that respondent Lanuevo too undue advantage of the trust and confidence reposed in him by the
Court and the Examiners implicit in his position as BarConfidant as well as the trust and confidence
that prevailed in and characterized his relationship with the five members of the 1971 Bar
Examination Committee, who were thus deceived and induced into re-evaluating the answers
ofonly respondent Galang in five subjects that resulted in the increase of his grades therein,
ultimately enabling him to be admitted a member of the Philippine Bar.
It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent Lanuevo's well-studied
and well-calculated moves in successively representing separately to each of the five examiners
concerned to the effect that the examinee failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the
borderline of passing. To repeat, the before the unauthorized re-evaluations were made, Galang
failed in the five (5) major subjects and in two (2) minor subjects while his general average was only
66.25% which under no circumstances or standard could it be honestly claimed that the examinee
failed only in one, or he was on the borderline of passing. In fact, before the first notebook of Galang
was referred back to the examiner concerned for re-evaluation, Galang had only one passing mark
and this was in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, a minor subject, with grade of 81%. The
averages and individual grades of Galang before and after the unauthorized re-evaluation are as
follows:
BAI

1. Political Law Public


International Law 68% 78% = 10 pts.
or 30 weighted points
BAI
Labor Laws and Social
Legislations 67% 67% = no reevaluation made.
2. Civil Law 64% 75% = 1 points
or 33 weighted points.
Taxation 74% 74% = no reevaluation made.
3. Mercantile Law 61% 71% = 10 pts.
or 30 weighted points.
4. Criminal Law 64% 75% = 11 pts. or
22 weighted points.
5. Remedial Law 63.75% (64) 75.5% (75%) =
11 pts. or 44 weighted points.
Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises 81% 81% = no reevaluation made.

General Weighted Averages 66.25% 74.15%


Hence, by the simple expedient of initiating the re-evaluation of the answers of Galang in the five (5)
subjects under the circumstances already narrated, Galang's original average of 66.25% was
increased to 74.15% or an increase of 7.9 weighted points, to the great damage and prejudice of the
integrity of the Bar examinations and to the disadvantage of the other examinees. He did this in favor
only of examinee Galang, with the possible addition of examinees Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty
dela Cruz. But only one notebook was re-evaluated for each of the latter who Political Law and
Public International Law for Quitaleg and Mercantile Law for Ty dela Cruz.
The Office of the Bar Confidant, it must be stressed, has absolutely nothing to do in the re-evaluation
or reconsideration of the grades of examinees who fail to make the passing mark before or after their
notebooks are submitted to it by the Examiners. After the corrected notebooks are submitted to him
by the Examiners, his only function is to tally the individual grades of every examinee in all subjects
taken and thereafter compute the general average. That done, he will then prepare a comparative
data showing the percentage of passing and failing in relation to a certain average to be submitted to
the Committee and to the Court and on the basis of which the Court will determine the passing
average, whether 75 or 74 or 73, etc. The Bar Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of
the examinees and cannot assume the functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the
Examiners concerned. He is not the over-all Examiner. He cannot presume to know better than the
examiner. Any request for re-evaluation should be done by the examinee and the same should be

addressed to the Court, which alone can validly act thereon. A Bar Confidant who takes such
initiative, exposes himself to suspicion and thereby compromises his position as well as the image of
the Court.
Respondent Lanuevo's claim that he was merely doing justice to Galang without any intention of
betraying the trust and confidence reposed in him by the Court as Bar Confidant, can hardly invite
belief in the fact of the incontrovertible fact that he singled out Galang's papers for re-evaluation,
leaving out the papers of more than ninety (90) examinees with far better averages ranging from
70% to 73.9% of which he was fully aware (Vol. VI, pp. 46-47, 101, rec.), which could be more
properly claimed as borderline cases. This fact further betrays respondent Lanuevo's claim of
absolute good faith in referring back the papers of Galang to the Examiners for re-evaluation. For
certainly, as against the original weighted average of 66.25% of Galang, there can hardly be any
dispute that the cases of the aforesaid more than ninety (90) examinees were more deserving of
reconsideration. Hence, in trying to do justice to Galang, as claimed by respondent Lanuevo, grave
injustice was inflicted on the other examinees of the 1971 Bar examinations, especially the said
more than ninety candidates. And the unexplained failure of respondent Lanuevo to apprise the
Court or the Committee or even the Bar Chairman of the fact of re-evaluation before or after the said
re-evaluation and increase of grades, precludes, as the same is inconsistent with, any pretension of
good faith.
His request for the re-evaluation of the notebook in Political Law and International Law of Ernesto
Quitaleg and the notebook in Mercantile Law of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz to give his actuations in the
case of Galang a semblance of impartiality, hoping that the over ninety examinees who were far
better situated than Galang would not give him away. Even the re-evaluation of one notebook of
Quitaleg and one notebook of Ty dela Cruz violated the agreement of the members of the 1971 Bar
Examination Committee to re-evaluate when the examinee concerned fails only in one subject.
Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz failed in four (4) and three (3) subjects respectively as hereinafter
shown.
The strange story concerning the figures 954, the office code number given to Galang's notebook,
unveiled for the first time by respondent Lanuevo in his suplemental sworn statement(Exh. 3Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47. rec.) filed during the investigation with this Court as to
why he pried into the papers of Galang deserves scant consideration. It only serves to picture a man
desperately clutching at straws in the wind for support. Furthermore, it was revealed by respondent
Lanuevo for the first time only on August 27, 1973 or a period of more than five 95) months after he
filed his answer on March 19, 1973(Exh. 2-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 35-36, rec.), showing
that it was just an after-thought.
B
REFERRAL OF EXAMINEE ALFREDO TY DELA CRUZ NOTEBOOK IN MERCHANTILE LAW TO
RAISE HIS GRADE OF 47% TO 50% TO EXAMINER MANUEL MONTECILLO AND OF EXAMINEE
ERNESTO QUITALEG'S NOTEBOOK IN POLITICAL LAW TO EXAMINER BERNARDO PARDO
FOR RE-EVALUATION, RESULTING IN THE INCREASE OF HIS GRADE IN THAT SUBJECT
FROM 57% TO 66%.
Likewise, respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having referred back the aforesaid notebooks on
Mercantile Law and Political Law respectively of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz and Ernesto Quitaleg to the
Examiners concerned.
The records are not clear, however, under what circumstances the notebooks of Ty dela Cruz and
Quitaleg were referred back to the Examiners concerned. Respondent Lanuevo claimed that these

two cases were officially brought to the Bar Examination Committee during its first meeting (Vol. VI,
pp. 50-51, rec.) and the latter decided to refer them back to the Examiners concerned for reevaluation with respect to the case of Quitaleg and to remove the disqualification in the case of Ty
dela Cruz(Vol. VI, pp. 33-39, 84-86, rec.). Respondent Lanuevo further claimed that the date of
these two cases were contained in a sheet of paper which was presented at the said first meeting of
the Committee (Vol. VI, pp. 39-43, 49-51, rec.). Likewise a record of the dates of every meeting of
the Committee was made by respondent Lanuevo (Vol. VI, p. 28, rec.). The alleged sheet containing
the date of the two examinees and record of the dates of the meeting of the Committee were not
presented by respondent Lanuevo as, according to him, he left them inadvertently in his desk in the
Confidential Room when he went on leave after the release of the Bar results (Vol. VI, pp. 28, 41-45,
rec.). It appears, however, that the inventory conducted by officials of the Court in the Confidential
Room of respondent Lanuevo did not yield any such sheet of record (Exh. X, Adm. Case No. 1162,
p. 74, rec.; Vol. VIII, pp. 11-13, 20-22, 29-31, rec.).
Respondent Examiner Montecillo, Mercantile Law, maintained that there was only one notebook in
Mercantile Law which was officially brought to him and this is substantiated by his personal file and
record (Vol. VI, pp. 34-35, rec.). According to him, this notebook's examiner code number is 1613
(Vol. V, p.35, rec.) and is owned by Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang. It appears, however,
that the original grade of 47% in Mercantile Law of Ty dela Cruz was changed to 50% as appearing
in the cover of the notebook of said examinee and the change is authenticated with the initial of
Examiner Montecillo. He was present when respondent Lanuevo presented in evidence the
notebook of Ty dela Cruz bearing Examiner code number 951 and Office Code Number 110 as
Exhibit 9-Lanuevo in Administrative Case No. 1162, and the figures 47 crossed out, replaced by the
figures 50 bearing the initial of Examiner Montecillo as Exhibit 9-a-Lanuevo (Adm. Case No. 1162, p.
48, rec.; Vol. VI, pp. 23-24, Vol. VIII, p. 4, rec.); but Atty. Montecillo did not interpose any objection to
their admission in evidence.
In this connection, respondent Examiner Pardo testified that he remembers a case of an examinee
presented to the Committee, who obtained passing marks in all subjects except in one and the
Committee agreed to refer back to the Examiner concerned the notebook in the subject in which the
examinee failed (Vol. V, pp. 15-16, rec.). He cannot recall the subject, but he is certain that it was not
Political Law (Vol. V, p. 16, rec.).Further, Pardo declared that he is not aware of any case of an
examinee who was on the borderline of passing but who got a grade below 50% in one subject that
was taken up by the Committee (Vol. V, pp. 16-17, rec.).
Examiner Montecillo testified that it was the notebook with Examiner Code Number 1613 (belonging
to Galang) which was referred to the Committee and the Committee agreed to return it to the
Examiner concerned. The day following the meeting in which the case of an examinee with Code
Number 1613 was taken up, respondent Lanuevo handed him said notebook and he accordingly reevaluated it. This particular notebook with Office Code Number 954 belongs to Galang.
Examiner Tomacruz recalled a case of an examinee whose problem was Mercantile Law that was
taken up by the Committee. He is not certain of any other case brought to the Committee (Vol. V, pp.
59-61, rec.). Pardo declared that there was no case of an examinee that was referred to the
Committee that involved Political Law. He re-evaluated the answers of Ernesto Quitaleg in Political
Law upon the representation made by respondent Lanuevo to him.
As heretofore stated, it was this consensus at the meeting on February 8, 1972 of the members of
the Committee that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed all the others, the
Examiner in whose subject the examinee failed should re-evaluate or recheck the notebook (Vol. V,
p. 16, rec.: Exh. 2-Pardo, allegation No. 9, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 60-63, Exh. A-Montecillo,

Allegation No. 2, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, and Exh. B-Montecillo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p.
72, rec.).
At the time the notebook of Ernesto Quitaleg in Political Law with a grade of 57% was referred back
to Examiner Pardo, said examinee had other failing grades in three (3) subjects, as follows:
Labor Laws 3%
Taxation 69%
Mercantile Law 68%
Ernesto Quitaleg's grades and averages before and after the re-evaluation of his grade in Political
Law are as follows:
BA
Political Law 57% 66% = 9 pts. or 27
weighted points
Labor Laws 73% 73% = No reevaluation
Civil Law 75% 75% = "
Taxation 69% 69% = "
Mercantile Law 68% 68% = "
Criminal Law 78% 78% = "
Remedial Law 85% 85% = "
Legal Ethics 83% 83% = "

Average (weighted) 73.15% 74.5%


(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27; Exhs. 10 and 10-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, rec.)
Alfredo Ty dela Cruz, at the time his notebook in Mercantile Law was referred to Examiner Montecillo
to remove the disqualification grade of 47% in said subject, had two (2) other failing grades. These
are:
Political Law 70%
Taxation 72%
His grades and averages before and after the disqualifying grade was removed are as follows:
BA
Political Law 70% 70% = No reevaluation
Labor Laws 75% 75% = "
Civil Law 89% 89% = "
Taxation 72% 72% = "
Mercantile Law 47% 50% = 3 pts. or 9
weighted points
Criminal Law 78% 78% = no reevaluation
Remedial Law 88% 88% = "

Legal Ethics 79% 79% = "

Weighted Averages 74.95% 75.4%


(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27, rec.).
The re-evaluation of the answers of Quitaleg in Political Law and the answers of Ty dela Cruz in
Mercantile Law, violated the consensus of the Bar Examination Committee in February, 1971, which
violation was due to the misrepresentation of respondent Lanuevo.
It must be stated that the referral of the notebook of Galang in Mercantile Law to Examiner
Montecillo can hardly be said to be covered by the consensus of the Bar Examination Committee
because even at the time of said referral, which was after the unauthorized re-evaluation of his
answers of four (4) subjects, Galang had still failing grades in Taxation and Labor Laws. His reevaluated grade of 74.5% in Remedial Law was considered 75% under the Confidential
Memorandum and was so entered in the record. His grade in Mercantile Law as subsequently reevaluated by Examiner Montecillo was 71%.
Respondent Lanuevo is therefore guilty of serious misconduct of having betrayed the trust and
confidence reposed in him as Bar Confidant, thereby impairing the integrity of the Bar examinations
and undermining public faith in the Supreme Court. He should be disbarred.
As to whether Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz should be disbarred or their names stricken
from the Roll of Attorneys, it is believed that they should be required to show cause and the
corresponding investigation conducted.
III
Re: Administrative Case No. 1163, Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, respondent.
A
The name of respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, should likewise be stricken off
the Roll of Attorneys. This is a necessary consequence of the un-authorized re-evaluation of his
answers in five(5) major subjects Civil Law, Political and International Law, Criminal Law,
Remedial Law, and Mercantile Law.
The judicial function of the Supreme Court in admitting candidates to the legal profession, which
necessarily involves the exercise of discretion, requires: (1) previous established rules and
principles; (2) concrete facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals; and (3) a
decision as to whether these facts are governed by the rules and principles (In re: Cunanan
Flunkers' Petition for Admission to the Bar -- 94 Phil. 534, 544-545). The determination of whether a
bar candidate has obtained the required passing grade certainly involves discretion (Legal and
Judicial Ethics, Justice Martin, 1969 ed., p. 13).
In the exercise of this function, the Court acts through a Bar Examination Committee, composed of a
member of the Court who acts as Chairman and eight (8) members of the Bar who act as examiners
in the eight (8) bar subjects with one subject assigned to each. Acting as a sort of liaison officer
between the Court and the Bar Chairman, on one hand, and the individual members of the
Committee, on the other, is the Bar Confidant who is at the same time a deputy clerk of the Court.

Necessarily, every act of the Committee in connection with the exercise of discretion in the
admission of examinees to membership of the Bar must be in accordance with the established rules
of the Court and must always be subject to the final approval of the Court. With respect to the Bar
Confidant, whose position is primarily confidential as the designation indicates, his functions in
connection with the conduct of the Bar examinations are defined and circumscribed by the Court and
must be strictly adhered to.
The re-evaluation by the Examiners concerned of the examination answers of respondent Galang in
five (5) subjects, as already clearly established, was initiated by Respondent Lanuevo without any
authority from the Court, a serious breach of the trust and confidence reposed by the Court in him as
Bar Confidant. Consequently, the re-evaluation that enabled respondent Galang to pass the 1971
Bar examinations and to be admitted to the Bar is a complete nullity. The Bar Confidant does not
possess any discretion with respect to the matter of admission of examinees to the Bar. He is not
clothed with authority to determine whether or not an examinee's answers merit re-evaluation or reevaluation or whether the Examiner's appraisal of such answers is correct. And whether or not the
examinee benefited was in connivance or a privy thereto is immaterial. What is decisive is whether
the proceedings or incidents that led to the candidate's admission to the Bar were in accordance with
the rules.
B
Section 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964, in connection, among others, with the
character requirement of candidates for admission to the Bar, provides that "every applicant for
admission as a member of the Bar must be ... of good moral
character ... and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral
character, and that no charges against him involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending
in any court in the Philippines." Prior to 1964, or under the old Rules of Court, a bar applicant was
required to produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory testimonials of good moral character
(Sec. 2, Rule 127). Under both rules, every applicant is duty bound to lay before the Court all his
involvement in any criminal case, pending or otherwise terminated, to enable the Court to fully
ascertain or determine applicant's moral character. Furthermore, as to what crime involves moral
turpitude, is for the supreme Court to determine. Hence, the necessity of laying before or informing
the Court of one's personal record whether he was criminally indicted, acquitted, convicted or the
case dismissed or is still pending becomes more compelling. The forms for application to take the
Bar examinations provided by the Supreme Court beginning the year 1965 require the disclosure not
only of criminal cases involving moral turpitude filed or pending against the applicant but also of all
other criminal cases of which he has been accused. It is of course true that the application form used
by respondent Galang when he took the Bar for the first time in 1962 did not expressly require the
disclosure of the applicant's criminal records, if any. But as already intimated, implicit in his task to
show satisfactory evidence or proof of good moral character is his obligation to reveal to the Court all
his involvement in any criminal case so that the Court can consider them in the ascertainment and
determination of his moral character. And undeniably, with the applicant's criminal records before it,
the Court will be in a better position to consider the applicant's moral character; for it could not be
gainsaid that an applicant's involvement in any criminal case, whether pending or terminated by its
dismissal or applicant's acquittal or conviction, has a bearing upon his character or fitness for
admission to the Bar. In 1963 and 1964, when respondent Galang took the Bar for the second and
third time, respectively, the application form provided by the Court for use of applicants already
required the applicant to declare under oath that "he has not been accused of, indicted for or
convicted by any court or tribunal of any offense involving moral turpitude; and that there is no
pending case of that nature against him." By 1966, when Galang took the Bar examinations for the
fourth time, the application form prepared by the Court for use of applicants required the applicant to
reveal all his criminal cases whether involving moral turpitude or not. In paragraph 4 of that form, the
applicant is required under oath to declare that "he has not been charged with any offense before a

Fiscal, Municipal Judge, or other officer; or accused of, indicted for or convicted by any court or
tribunal of any crime involving moral turpitude; nor is there a pending case against him" (Adm. Case
No. 1163, p. 56, rec.). Yet, respondent Galang continued to intentionally withhold or conceal from the
Court his criminal case of slight physical injuries which was then and until now is pending in the City
Court of Manila; and thereafter repeatedly omitted to make mention of the same in his applications to
take the Bar examinations in 1967, 1969 and 1971.
All told, respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, is guilty of fraudulently concealing
and withholding from the Court his pending criminal case for physical injuries in 1962, 1963, 1964,
1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971; and in 1966, 1967,1969 and 1971, he committed perjury when he
declared under oath that he had no pending criminal case in court. By falsely representing to the
Court that he had no criminal case pending in court, respondent Galang was allowed unconditionally
to take the Bar examinations seven (7) times and in 1972 was allowed to take his oath.
That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar examinations of the fact that
he had been charged with, or indicted for, an alleged crime, is a ground for revocation of his license
to practice law is well settled (see 165 ALR 1151, 7 CJS 741). Thus:
[1] It requires no argument to reach the conclusion that the respondent, in
withholding from the board of law examiners and from the justice of this court, to
whom he applied for admission, information respecting so serious a matter as an
indictment for a felony, was guilty of fraud upon the court (cases cited).
[2] It is equally clear that, had the board of law examiners, or the judge to whom he
applied for admission, been apprised of the true situation, neither the certificate of
the board nor of the judge would have been forthcoming (State ex rel. Board of Law
Examiners v. Podell, 207 N W 709 710).
The license of respondent Podell was revoke and annulled, and he was required to surrender to the
clerk of court the license issued to him, and his name was stricken from the roll of attorneys (p. 710).
Likewise in Re Carpel, it was declared that:
[1] The power to admit to the bar on motion is conferred in the discretion of the
Appellate Division.' In the exercise of the discretion, the court should be informed
truthfully and frankly of matters tending to show the character of the applicant and his
standing at the bar of the state from which he comes. The finding of indictments
against him, one of which was still outstanding at the time of his motion, were facts
which should have been submitted to the court, with such explanations as were
available. Silence respecting them was reprehensible, as tending to deceive the
court (165 NYS, 102, 104; emphasis supplied).
Carpel's admission to the bar was revoked (p. 105).
Furthermore, respondent's persistent denial of his involvement in any criminal case despite his
having been apprised by the Investigation of some of the circumstances of the criminal case
including the very name of the victim in that case(he finally admitted it when he was confronted by
the victim himself, who was called to testify thereon), and his continued failure for about thirteen
years to clear his name in that criminal case up to the present time, indicate his lack of the requisite
attributes of honesty, probity and good demeanor. He is therefore unworthy of becoming a member
of the noble profession of law.

While this aspect of the investigation was not part of the formal resolution of the Court requiring him
to explain why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys, respondent Galang was,
as early as August, 1973, apprised of his omission to reveal to the Court his pending criminal case.
Yet he did not offer any explanation for such omission.
Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, was
allowed to take the Bar examinations and the highly irregular manner in which he passed the Bar,
WE have no other alternative but to order the surrender of his attorney's certificate and the striking
out of his name from the Roll of Attorneys. For as WE said in Re Felipe del Rosario:
The practice of the law is not an absolute right to be granted every one who
demands it, but is a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of sound
discretion. The standards of the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which
merely enables one to escape the penalties of the criminal law. It would be a
disgrace to the Judiciary to receive one whose integrity is questionable as an officer
of the court, to clothe him with all the prestige of its confidence, and then to permit
him to hold himself as a duly authorized member of the bar (citing American cases)
[52 Phil. 399-401].
What WE now do with respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, in this present case is
not without any precedent in this jurisdiction. WE had on several occasions in the past nullified the
admission of successful bar candidates to the membership of the Bar on the grounds, among others,
of (a)misrepresentations of, or false pretenses relative to, the requirement on applicant's educational
attainment [Tapel vs. Publico, resolution of the Supreme Court striking off the name of Juan T.
Publico from the Roll of Attorneys on the basis of the findings of the Court Investigators contained in
their report and recommendation, Feb. 23, 1962; In re: Telesforo A. Diao, 7 SCRA 475-478; (b) lack
of good moral character [In re: Peralta, 101 Phil. 313-314]; and (c) fraudulent passing of the Bar
examinations [People vs. Romualdez -- re: Luis Mabunay, 57 Phil. 151; In re: Del Rosario, 52 Phil.
399 and People vs. Castro and Doe, 54 Phil. 42]. In the cases of Romualdez (Mabunay) and Castro,
the Court found that the grades of Mabunay and Castro were falsified and they were convicted of the
crime of falsification of public documents.
IV
RE: Administrative Case No. 1164, Assistant Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo (now CFI Judge),
Judge Ramon Pamatian(Later Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, now deceased)Atty. Manuel
G. Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo, Atty. Manuel Tomacruz and Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr., respondents.
All respondents Bar examiners candidly admitted having made the re-evaluation and/or re-correction
of the papers in question upon the misrepresentation of respondent BarConfidant Lanuevo. All,
however, professed good faith; and that they re-evaluated or increased the grades of the notebooks
without knowing the identity of the examinee who owned the said notebooks; and that they did the
same without any consideration or expectation of any. These the records clearly demonstrate and
WE are of the opinion and WE so declare that indeed the respondents-examiners made the reevaluation or re-correcion in good faith and without any consideration whatsoever.
Considering however the vital public interest involved in the matter of admission of members to the
Bar, the respondents bar examiners, under the circumstances, should have exercised greater care
and caution and should have been more inquisitive before acceding to the request of respondent Bar
Confidant Lanuevo. They could have asked the Chairman of the Bar Examination Committee, who
would have referred the matter to the Supreme Court. At least the respondents-examiners should
have required respondent Lanuevo to produce or show them the complete grades and/or the

average of the examinee represented by respondent Lanuevo to have failed only in their respective
and particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing to fully satisfy themselves that the
examinee concerned was really so circumstances. This they could have easily done and the stain on
the Bar examinations could have been avoided.
Respondent Bar examiners Montecillo, Pamatian, and Manalo claimed and so declared under oath
that the answers of respondent Galang really deserved or merited the increased grades; and so with
respondent Pardo in connection with the re-evaluation of Ernesto Quitaleg's answers in Political Law.
With respect to respondents Tomacruz and Pablo, it would appear that they increased the grades of
Galang in their respective subject solely because of the misrepresentations of Respondent Lanuevo.
Hence, in the words of respondent Tomacruz: "You brought to me one paper and you said that this
particular examinee had almost passed, however, in my subject he received 60 something, I cannot
remember the exact average and if he would get a few points higher, he would get a passing
average. I agreed to do that because I did not wish to be the one causing his failure. ..." (Vol. V, pp.
60-61, rec.; see also allegations 3 and 4, Exh. 1-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 69, rec.;
emphasis ours). And respondent Pablo: "... he told me that this particular examinee seems to have
passed in allot her subject except this subject and that if I can re-evaluate this examination notebook
and increase the mark to at least 75, this particular examinee will pass the bar examinations so I
believe I asked him 'Is this being done?' and he said 'Yes, that is the practice used to be done before
to help out examinees who are failing in just one subject' so I readily acceded to his request and said
'Just leave it with me and I will try to re-evaluate' and he left it with me and what i did was to go over
the book and tried to be as lenient as I could. While I did not mark correct the answers which were
wrong, what I did was to be more lenient and if the answers was correct although it was not
complete I raise the grade so I had a total of 78 instead of 68 and what I did was to correct the
grading sheet accordingly and initial the changes" (Vol. V, pp. 44-45, rec.; emphasis supplied).
It could not be seriously denied, however, that the favorable re-evaluations made by respondents
Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Pardo notwithstanding their declarations that the increases in
grades they gave were deserved by the examinee concerned, were to a certain extent influenced by
the misrepresentation and deception committed by respondent Lanuevo. Thus in their own words:
Montecillo
Q And by reason of that information you made the re-evaluation of
the paper?
A Yeas, your Honor.
Q Would you have re-evaluated the paper of your own accord in the
absence of such information?
A No, your Honor, because I have submitted my report at that time"
(Vol. V, p. 33, rec.; see also allegations in paragraphs 2, 3, 4 & 5,
Affidavit of April 17, 1972, Exh. B-Montecillo; allegation No. 2, Answer
dated march 19, 1973, Exh. A-Montecillo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp.
40-41, and 72, rec.).
Pamatian
3. That sometime in the later part of January of this year, he brought back to me an
examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation because according to him the

owner of the paper is on the borderline and if I could reconsider his grade to 75% the
candidate concerned will get passing mark;
4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was really the practice and
policy of the Supreme Court to do so and in the further belief that I was just
manifesting cooperation in doing so, I re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered the
grade to 75%; ..." (Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 55, rec.); and
5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and under the belief that I am
authorized to do so in view of them is representation of said Atty. Victorio
Lanuevo, ..." (Exh. 1-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 33-34, rec.).
Manalo
(c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee concerned, herein respondent
carefully evaluated each and every answer written in the notebook. Testing the
answer by the criteria laid down by the Court, and giving the said examinee the
benefit of the doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevo's representation that it was only in that
particular subject that said examinee failed, herein respondent became convinced
that the said examinee deserved a higher grade than that previously given him, but
he did not deserve, in herein respondent's honest appraisal, to be given the passing
grade of
75%. ..."(allegation 5-c, p. 38, Exh. 1-Manalo, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Pardo
... I considered it entirely humanly possible to have erred, because I corrected that
particular notebook on December 31,1971, considering especially the representation
of the Bar Confidant that the said examinee had obtained higher grades in other
subjects, the highest of which was 84% in Remedial Law, if I recall
correctly. ... (allegation 7, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 62, rec.; emphasis
supplied).
With the misrepresentations and the circumstances utilized by respondent Lanuevo to induce the
herein examiners to make the re-evaluation adverted to, no one among them can truly claim that the
re-evaluation effected by them was impartial or free from any improper influence, their conceded
integrity, honesty and competence notwithstanding.
Consequently, Galang cannot justifiably claim that he deserved the increased grades given after the
said re-evaluations(Galang's memo attached to the records, Adm. Case No. 1163).
At any rate, WE are convinced, in the light of the explanations of the respondents-examiners, which
were earlier quoted in full, that their actuations in connection with the re-evaluation of the answers of
Galang in five (5) subjects do not warrant or deserve the imposition of any disciplinary action. WE
find their explanations satisfactory. Nevertheless, WE are constrained to remind herein respondentsexaminers that their participation in the admission of members to the Bar is one impressed with the
highest consideration of public interest absolute purity of the proceedings and so are required
to exercise the greatest or utmost case and vigilance in the performance of their duties relative
thereto.
V

Respondent Atty. Victorio D. Lanuevo, in his memorandum filed on November 14, 1973, claimed that
respondent-examiner Pamatian "in bringing up this unfounded cause, or lending undue assistance or
support thereto ... was motivated with vindictiveness due to respondent's refusal to be pressured into
helping his (examiner's) alleged friend a participant in the 1971 Bar Examinations whom said
examiner named as Oscar Landicho and who, the records will show, did not pass said examinations
(p. 9, Lanuevo's memo, Adm. Case No. 1162).
It must be stated that this is a very serious charge against the honor and integrity of the late Justice
Ramon Pamatian, who passed away on October 18, 1973 and therefore cannot refute Lanuevo's
insinuations. Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo did not bring this out during the investigation which in
his words is "essential to his defense. "His pretension that he did not make this charge during the
investigation when Justice Pamatian was still alive, and deferred the filing of such charge against
Justice Pamatian and possibly also against Oscar Landicho before the latter departed for Australia
"until this case shall have been terminated lest it be misread or misinterpreted as being intended as
a leverage for a favorable outcome of this case on the part of respondent or an act of reprisal", does
not invite belief; because he does not impugn the motives of the five other members of the 1971 Bar
Examination Committee, who also affirmed that he deceived them into re-evaluating or revising the
grades of respondent Galang in their respective subjects.
It appears, however, that after the release of the results of the 1971 Bar examinations, Oscar
Landicho, who failed in that examinations, went to see and did see Civil Law examiner Pamatian for
the purpose of seeking his help in connection with the 1971 Bar Examinations. Examiner Pamatian
advised Landicho to see the Chairman of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee. Examiner Pamatian
mentioned in passing to Landicho that an examination booklet was re-evaluated by him (Pamatian)
before the release of the said bar results (Vol. V, pp. 6-7, rec). Even though such information was
divulged by respondent Pamatian after the official release of the bar results, it remains an
indecorous act, hardly expected of a member of the Judiciary who should exhibit restraint in his
actuations demanded by resolute adherence to the rules of delicacy. His unseemly act tended to
undermine the integrity of the bar examinations and to impair public faith in the Supreme Court.
VI
The investigation failed to unearth direct evidence that the illegal machination of respondent
Lanuevo to enable Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations was committed for valuable
consideration.
A
There are, however, acquisitions made by Respondent Lanuevo immediately after the official release
of the 1971 Bar examinations in February, 1972, which may be out of proportion to his salary as Bar
Confidant and Deputy Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.
1. On April 5, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife acquired from the BF Homes,
Inc. a house and lot with an area of 374 square meters, more or less, for the amount
of P84,114.00. The deed of sale was dated March 5, 1972 but was notarized only on
April 5, 1972. On the same date, however, respondent Lanuevo and his wife
executed two (2)mortgages covering the said house and lot in favor of BF Homes,
Inc. in the total amount of P67,291.20 (First mortgage P58,879.80, Entry No.
90913: date of instrument April 5, 1972, date of inscription April 20, 1972:
Second mortgage P8,411.40, Entry No. 90914: date of instrument April 5,
1972, date of inscription April 20, 1972). [D-2 to D-4, Vol. III, rec.]. Respondent
Lanuevo paid as down payment the amount of only P17,000.00, which according to

him is equivalent to 20%, more or less, of the purchase price of P84,114.00.


Respondent Lanuevo claimed that P5,000.00 of the P17,000.00 was his savings
while the remaining the P12,000.00 came from his sister in Okinawa in the form of a
loan and received by him through a niece before Christmas of 1971 in dollars
($2000) [Vol. VII, pp. 41-48; Vol. VIII, pp. 2-3, rec.]
It appears, however, that his alleged P5,000.00 savings and P12,000.00 loan from
his sister; are not fully reflected and accounted for in respondent's 1971 Statement of
Assets and Liabilities which hefiled on January 17, 1972.
In said 1971 statement, respondent Lanuevo listed under Assets a bank deposit in
the amount of only P2,000.00. In his 1972 statement, his bank deposit listed under
Assets was in the amount of P1,011.00, which shows therefore that of the P2,000.00
bank deposit listed in his 1971 statement under Assets, only the amount of P989.00
was used or withdrawn. The amount of P18,000.00 receivable listed under Assets in
his 1971 statement was not realized because the transaction therein involved did not
push through (Statement of Assets and Liabilities of respondent Lanuevo from 1965
to 1972; Vol. VIII, pp. 47-48, rec.).
Likewise, the alleged December, 1971 $2000 loan of respondent from his married
sister in Okinawa is extremely doubtful. In the first place, said amount of $2000
(P12,000.00) is not reflected in his1971 Statement of Assets and Liabilities filed on
January 17, 1972. Secondly, the alleged note which he allegedly received from his
sister at the time he received the $200 was not even presented by respondent during
the investigation. And according to Respondent Lanuevo himself, while he
considered this a loan, his sister did not seriously consider it as one. In fact, no mode
or time of payment was agreed upon by them. And furthermore, during the
investigation, respondent Lanuevo promised to furnish the Investigator the address
of his sister in Okinawa. Said promise was not fulfilled as borne out by the records.
Considering that there is no showing that his sister, who has a family of her own, is
among the top earners in Okinawa or has saved a lot of money to give to him, the
conclusion, therefore, that the P17,000.00 of respondent Lanuevo was either an illgotten or undeclared income is inevitable under the foregoing circumstances.
On August 14, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife mortgaged their BF Homes
house and lot to the GSIS for the amount of P65,000.00 (Entry No. 4992: August 14,
1972 date of instrument;August 23, 1972 date of inscription). On February 28,
1973, the second mortgage in favor of BF Homes, Entry No. 90914, was redeemed
by respondent and was subsequently cancelled on March 20,1973, Entry No. 30143.
Subsequently, or on March 2, 1973 the first mortgage in favor of BF Homes, Entry
No. 90913 was also redeemed by respondent Lanuevo and thereafter cancelled
onMarch 20, 1973, (See D-2 to D-4, Vol. III, rec.). Hence, only the mortgage in favor
of GSIS remains as the encumbrance of respondent's house and lot. According to
respondent Lanuevo, the monthly amortization of the GSIS mortgage is P778.00 a
month, but that since May of 1973, he was unable to pay the same. In his 1972
Statement of Assets and Liabilities, which he filed in connection with his resignation
and retirement (filed October 13, 1972), the house and lot declared as part of his
assets, were valued at P75,756.90. Listed, however, as an item in his liabilities in the
same statement was the GSIS real estate loan in the amount of P64,200.00 (1972
Statement of Assets and Liabilities).

2. Listed as an asset in his 1972 Statement of Assets and Liabilities is a 1956 VW car
valued atP5,200.00. That he acquired this car sometime between January, 1972 and
November, 1972 could be inferred from the fact that no such car or any car was listed
in his statement of assets and liabilities of 1971 or in the years previous to 1965. It
appears, however, that his listed total assets, excluding receivables in his 1971
Statement was P19,000.00, while in his 1972 (as of November, 1972) Statement, his
listed total assets, excluding the house and lot was P18,211.00, including the said
1956 VW car worth P5,200.00.
The proximity in point of time between the official release of the 1971 Bar
examinations and the acquisition of the above-mentioned properties, tends to link or
tie up the said acquisitions with the illegal machination committed by respondent
Lanuevo with respect to respondent Galang's examination papers or to show that the
money used by respondent Lanuevo in the acquisition of the above properties came
from respondent Galang in consideration of his passing the Bar.
During the early stage of this investigation but after the Court had informed respondent Lanuevo of
the serious irregularities in the 1971 Bar examinations alleged in Oscar Landicho's Confidential
Letter and in fact, after Respondent Lanuevo had filed on April 12, 1972 his sworn statement on the
matter, as ordered by the Court, respondent Lanuevo surprisingly filed his letter or resignation on
October 13, 1972 with the end in view of retiring from the Court. His resignation before he was
required to show cause on March 5, 1973 but after he was informed of the said irregularities, is
indicative of a consciousness of guilt.
It must be noted that immediately after the official release of the results of the 1971 Bar
examinations, respondent Lanuevo went on vacation and sick leave from March 16, 1972 to January
15, 1973, obtaining the case value thereof in lump sum in the amount of P11,000.00. He initially
claimed at the investigation that h e used a part thereof as a down payment for his BF Homes house
and lot (Vol. VII, pp. 40-48, rec.), which he bought on April 5, 1972.
Criminal proceedings may be instituted against respondent Lanuevo under Section 3 (a & e) in
relation to Section 9 of Republic Act No. 1379 (Anti-Graft Law) for:
(a) Persuading inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act
constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent
authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing
himself to be presented, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.
xxx xxx xxx
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any
private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of
his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evidence
bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and
employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses
or permits or other concessions.
Section 8 of said Republic Act No. 3019 authorizes the dismissal or removal of a public officer once it
is determined that his property or money "is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public
officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired
property ... " (Sec. 2, Rep. Act 1379; Sec. 8, Rep. Act 3019).

It should be stressed, however, that respondent Lanuevo's aforementioned Statements of Assets


and Liabilities were not presented or taken up during the investigation; but they were examined as
they are part of the records of this Court.
B
There are likewise circumstances indicating possible contacts between respondent Ramon E.
Galang and/or his father and respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo before the latter become the bar
Confidant.
1. Respondent Ramon E. Galang was a beneficiary of the G.I Bill of Rights educational program of
the Philippine Veterans Board from his high school days 1951 to 1955 up to his pre-law studies
at the MLQ Educational Institution (now MLQ University) 1955 to 1958. From 1948 to 1958,
respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo was connected with the Philippine Veterans Board which is the
governmental agency entrusted with the affairs of our veterans including the implementation of the
Veterans Bill of Rights. From 1955 to 1958, Respondent Lanuevo successively held the position of
Junior Investigator, Veterans Claims Investigator, Supervising Veterans Investigator and Veterans
Claims Investigator (Service Record, p. 9, Adm. Case No. 1162). During that period of time,
therefore, respondent Lanuevo had direct contacts with applicants and beneficiaries of the Veterans
Bill of Rights. Galang's educational benefits was approved on March 16, 1954, retroactive as of the
date of waiver July 31, 1951, which is also the date of filing (A, Vol. IV, rec.).
It is alleged by respondent Ramon E. Galang that it was his father who all the time attended to the
availment of the said educational benefits and even when he was already in Manila taking up his
pre-law at MLQ Educational Institution from 1955 to 1958. In 1955, respondent Galang was already
19 years old, and from 1957 to 1958, he was employed as a technical assistant in the office of
Senator Roy (Vol. V, pp. 79-80, 86-87, rec.).[Subsequently, during the investigation, he claimed that
he was the private secretary of Senator Puyat in 1957 (Vol. VI, pp. 12-13, rec.)]. It appears, however,
that a copy of the notice-letter dated June 28, 1955 of the Philippine Veterans Board to the MLQ
Educational Institution on the approval of the transfer of respondent Galang from Sta. Rita Institute
to the MLQ Educational Institution effective the first semester of the school year 1955-56 was directly
addressed and furnished to respondent Ramon E. Galang at 2292 Int. 8 Banal St., Tondo, Manila (A12, Vol. IV, rec.).
Respondent Ramon E. Galang further declared that he never went to the Office of the Philippine
Veterans to follow up his educational benefits and claimed that he does not even know the location
of the said office. He does not also know whether beneficiaries of the G.I. Bill of Rights educational
benefits are required to go to the Philippine Veterans Board every semester to submit their ratings
(Vol. V, p. 86, rec.). But respondent Galang admits that he had gone to the GSIS and City Court of
Manila, although he insists that he never bothered to take a look at the neighboring buildings (Vol. V,
pp. 93-94, rec.). The huge and imposing Philippine Veterans Building is beside the GSIS building
and is obliquely across the City Court building.
2. Respondent Lanuevo stated that as an investigator in the Philippine Veterans Board, he
investigated claims for the several benefits given to veterans like educational benefits and disability
benefits; that he does not remember, however, whether in the course of his duties as veterans
investigator, he came across the application of Ramon E. Galang for educational benefits; and that
he does not know the father of Mr. Ramon E. Galang and has never met him (Vol. VII, pp. 28, 49,
rec.).

3. Respondent Lanuevo, as a member of the USAFEE, belonged to the 91st Infantry operating at
Zambales and then Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, shortly before the war (Vol. VII, pp. 48-49, rec.). Later
he joined the guerrilla movement in Samar.
He used to be a member of the Philippine Veterans Legion especially while working with the
Philippine Veterans Board(Vol. VII, p. 49, rec.).
He does not know the Banal Regiment of the guerrillas, to which Galang's father belonged. During
the Japanese occupation, his guerrilla outfit was operating in Samar only and he had no
communications with other guerrilla organization in other parts of the country.
He attended meetings of the Philippine Veterans Legion in his chapter in Samar only and does not
remember having attended its meeting here in Manila, even while he was employed with the
Philippine Veterans Board. He is not a member of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (Vol. VII,
p.51, rec.).
On November 27, 1941, while respondent Lanuevo was with the Philippine Army stationed at Camp
Manacnac, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, he was stricken with pneumonia and was hospitalized at the
Nueva Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result and was still confined there when their camp was
bombed and strafed by Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 (Sworn statement of respondent
Lanuevo dated August 27, 1973, Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 46, rec.).
German Galang, father of respondent Galang, was a member of the Banal Guerilla Forces,
otherwise known as the Banal Regiment. He was commissioned and inducted as a member thereof
on January 16, 1942 and was given the rank of first lieutenant. His unit "was attached and served
into the XI-Corps, US Army; XIII-C US Army, 43rd Div., US Army, stationed headquarters at Sta.
Rosa, Nueva Ecija and with the 38th Division, US army stationed at Corregidor in the mopping-up
operations against the enemies, from 9 May 1945 date of recognition to 31 December 1945, date of
demobilization"(Affidavit of Jose Banal dated December 22, 1947, Vol. IV, A-3, rec.).
It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected notebooks to the Bar
Confidant, the same cannot be withdrawn for any purpose whatsoever without prior authority from
the Court. Consequently, this Court expresses herein its strong disapproval of the actuations of the
bar examiners in Administrative Case No. 1164 as above delineated.
WHEREFORE, IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1162, RESPONDENT VICTORIO D. LANUEVO IS
HEREBY DISBARRED AND HIS NAME ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF
ATTORNEYS; AND IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1163, RESPONDENT RAMON E. GALANG,
alias Roman E. GALANG, IS HEREBY LIKEWISE DISBARRED AND HIS NAME ALSO ORDERED
STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS.

A.C. No. 244

March 29, 1963

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR DISBARMENT OF TELESFORO A. DIAO,


vs.
SEVERINO G. MARTINEZ, petitioner.
BENGZON, C.J.:
After successfully passing the corresponding examinations held in 1953, Telesforo A. Diao was
admitted to the Bar.
About two years later, Severino Martinez charged him with having falsely represented in his
application for such Bar examination, that he had the requisite academic qualifications. The matter
was in due course referred to the Solicitor General who caused the charge to be investigated; and
later he submitted a report recommending that Diao's name be erased from the roll of attorneys,
because contrary to the allegations in his petition for examination in this Court, he (Diao) had not
completed, before taking up law subjects, the required pre-legal education prescribed by the
Department of Private Education, specially, in the following particulars:
(a) Diao did not complete his high school training; and
(b) Diao never attended Quisumbing College, and never obtained his A.A. diploma therefrom
which contradicts the credentials he had submitted in support of his application for
examination, and of his allegation therein of successful completion of the "required pre-legal
education".
Answering this official report and complaint, Telesforo A. Diao, practically admits the first charge: but
he claims that although he had left high school in his third year, he entered the service of the U.S.
Army, passed the General Classification Test given therein, which (according to him) is equivalent to
a high school diploma, and upon his return to civilian life, the educational authorities considered his
army service as the equivalent of 3rd and 4th year high school.
We have serious doubts, about the validity of this claim, what with respondent's failure to exhibit any
certification to that effect (the equivalence) by the proper school officials. However, it is unnecessary
to dwell on this, since the second charge is clearly meritorious. Diao never obtained his A.A. from
Quisumbing College; and yet his application for examination represented him as an A.A. graduate
(1940-1941) of such college. Now, asserting he had obtained his A.A. title from the Arellano
University in April, 1949, he says he was erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of
Quisumbing College, in his school records.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and
approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove
their case not covered by this stipulation of facts.
1wph1.t

This explanation is not acceptable, for the reason that the "error" or "confusion" was obviously of his
own making. Had his application disclosed his having obtained A.A. from Arellano University, it would
also have disclosed that he got it in April, 1949, thereby showing that he began his law studies (2nd
semester of 1948-1949) six months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree. And then he would
not have been permitted to take the bar tests, because our Rules provide, and the applicant for the
Bar examination must affirm under oath, "That previous to the study of law, he had successfully and

satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal education(A.A.) as prescribed by the Department of


Private Education," (emphasis on "previous").
Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but due to his
false representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the
Bar. Such admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked.
The fact that he hurdled the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the
only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the
regular manner is equally essential..
The Clerk is, therefore, ordered to strike from the roll of attorneys, the name of Telesforo A. Diao.
And the latter is required to return his lawyer's diploma within thirty days. So ordered.

A.C. No. 2505 February 21, 1992


EVANGELINE LEDA, complainant,
vs.
ATTY. TREBONIAN TABANG, respondent.

PER CURIAM:
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 1 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.Complainant admits, 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 (Petition, par. 5).
The Court deferred Respondent's Oath-taking and required him to answer the Complaint.
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.
Respondent also filed a Motion to Dismiss, dated 2 June 1982. Attached to it was Complainant's
Affidavit of Desistance, which stated that Bar Matter No. 78 arose out of a misunderstanding and
communication gap and that she was refraining from pursuing her Complaint against Respondent.
Acting on the aforesaid Motion and Comment, the Court dismissed Bar Matter No. 78 and allowed
Respondent to take his Oath in a Resolution dated 20 August 1982.

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.
Attached to Complainant's Petition for Disbarment, as Annex "F," is an undated and unsigned letter
addressed to Complainant, allegedly written by Respondent after he had already taken his Oath
stating, among others, that while he was grateful for Complainant's help, he "could not force
myself to be yours," did not love her anymore and considered her only a friend. Their marriage
contract was actually void for failure to comply with the requisites of Article 76 of the Civil Code,
among them the minimum cohabitation for five (5) years before the celebration of the marriage, an
affidavit to that effect by the solemnizing officer, and that the parties must be at least twenty-one (21)
years of age, which they were not as they were both only twenty years old at the time. He advised
Complainant not to do anything more so as not to put her family name "in shame." As for him, he
had "attain(ed) my goal as a full-pledge (sic) professional and there is nothing you can do for it to
take away from me even (sic) you go to any court." According to Complainant, although the letter
was unsigned, Respondent's initials appear on the upper left-hand corner of the airmail envelope
(Exh. "8-A-1").
Respondent denied emphatically that he had sent such a letter contending that it is Complainant
who has been indulging in fantasy and fabrications.
In his Comment in the present case, Respondent avers that he and Complainant had covenanted
not to disclose the marriage not because he wanted to finish his studies and take the Bar first but for
the reason that said marriage was void from the beginning in the absence of the requisites of Article
76 of the Civil Code that the contracting parties shall have lived together as husband and wife for at
least five (5) years before the date of the marriage and that said parties shall state the same in an
affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. He could not have abandoned
Complainant because they had never lived together as husband and wife. When he applied for the
1981 Bar examinations, he honestly believed that in the eyes of the law, he was single.
On 7 May 1984, the Court referred the Complaint to the Solicitor General for investigation, report
and recommendation. On 5 March 1990, the Solicitor General submitted his Report, with the
recommendation that Respondent be exonerated from the charges against him since Complainant
failed to attend the hearings and to substantiate her charges but that he be reprimanded for making
inconsistent and conflicting statements in the various pleadings he had filed before this Court.

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 outright from taking the
Bar Examinations as it indubitably exhibits lack of good moral character.
Respondent's protestations that he had acted in good faith in declaring his status as "single" not only
because of his pact with Complainant to keep the marriage under wraps but also because that
marriage to the Complainant was void from the beginning, are mere afterthoughts absolutely wanting
of merit. Respondent can not assume that his marriage to Complainant is void. The presumption is
that all the requisites and conditions of a marriage of an exceptional character under Article 76 of the
Civil Code have been met and that the Judge's official duty in connection therewith has been
regularly performed.
Secondly, Respondent's conduct in adopting conflicting positions in the various pleadings submitted
in Bar Matter No. 78 and in the case at bar is duplicitous and deplorable.
The records show that in Bar Matter No. 78, Respondent had submitted an "Explanation," in
paragraph 1, page 1 of which he admits having been "legally married" to Complainant. Yet, during
the hearings before the Solicitor General, he denied under oath that he had submitted any such
pleading (t.s.n., p. 21) contending instead that it is only the second page where his signature
appears that he meant to admit and not the averments on the first page which were merely of
Complainant's own making (ibid., pp. 59-60). However, in his Comment in this Administrative Case,
he admits and makes reference to such "Explanation" (pars. 3[f]) and [g]; 4[b]).
Again, while in said "Explanation" he admitted having been "legally married" to Complainant (par. 1),
in this case, however, he denies the legality of the marriage and, instead, harps on its being void ab
initio. He even denies his signature in the marriage contract.
In Bar Matter No. 78, Respondent also averred that the fact of marriage was not to be made public
so as to allow him to finish his studies and take the Bar. In this case, however, he contends that the
reason it was kept a secret was because it was "not in order from the beginning."
Thirdly, Respondent denies that he had sent the unsigned
letter (Annex "F," Petition) to Complainant. However, its very tenor coincides with the reasons that he
advances in his Comment why the marriage is void from the beginning, that is, for failure to comply
with the requisites of Article 76 of the Civil Code.
Fourthly, the factual scenario gathered from the records shows that Respondent had reconciled with
Complainant and admitted the marriage to put a quick finish to Bar Matter No. 78 to enable him to
take the lawyer's Oath, which otherwise he would have been unable to do. But after he had done so
and had become a "full-pledge (sic) lawyer," he again refused to honor his marriage to Complainant.

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 (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.
It cannot be overemphasized that the requirement of good moral character is not only a condition
precedent toadmission to the practice of law; its continued possession is also essential for remaining
in the practice of law(People v. Tuanda, Adm. Case No. 3360, 30 January 1990, 181 SCRA
692). As so aptly put by Mr. JusticeGeorge A. Malcolm: "As good character is an
essential qualification for admission of an attorney to practice, when the attorney's character is bad
in such respects as to show that he is unsafe and unfit to be entrusted with the powers of an
attorney, the courts retain the power to discipline him (Piatt v. Abordo, 58 Phil. 350 [1933]).
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 suspension to take effect immediately.
Copies of this Decision shall be entered in his personal record as an attorney and served on the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Court Administrator who shall circulate the same to all
Courts in the country for their information and guidance.
SO ORDERED.

B.M. No. 712 July 13, 1995


IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMISSION TO THE BAR AND OATH-TAKING OF SUCCESSFUL BAR
APPLICANT AL C. ARGOSINO, petitioner.
RESOLUTION

FELICIANO, J.:
A criminal information was filed on 4 February 1992 with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,
Branch 101, charging Mr. A.C. Argosino along with thirteen (13) other individuals, with the crime of
homicide in connection with the death of one Raul Camaligan on 8 September 1991. The death of
Raul Camaligan stemmed from the infliction of severe physical injuries upon him in the course of
"hazing" conducted as part of university fraternity initiation rites. Mr. Argosino and his co-accused
then entered into plea bargaining with the prosecution and as a result of such bargaining, pleaded
guilty to the lesser offense of homicide through reckless imprudence. This plea was accepted by the
trial court. In a judgment dated 11 February 1993, each of the fourteen (14) accused individuals was
sentenced to suffer imprisonment for a period ranging from two (2) years, four (4) months and one
(1) day to four (4) years.
Eleven (11) days later, Mr. Argosino and his colleagues filed an application for probation with the
lower court. The application for probation was granted in an Order dated 18 June 1993 issued by
Regional Trial Court Judge Pedro T. Santiago. The period of probation was set at two (2) years,
counted from the probationer's initial report to the probation officer assigned to supervise him.
Less than a month later, on 13 July 1993, Mr. Argosino filed a Petition for Admission to Take the
1993 Bar Examinations. In this Petition, he disclosed the fact of his criminal conviction and his then
probation status. He was allowed to take the 1993 Bar Examinations in this Court's En
Banc Resolution dated 14 August 1993. 1 He passed the Bar Examination. He was not, however,
allowed to take the lawyer's oath of office.
On 15 April 1994, Mr. Argosino filed a Petition with this Court to allow him to take the attorney's oath
of office and to admit him to the practice of law, averring that Judge Pedro T. Santiago had
terminated his probation period by virtue of an Order dated 11 April 1994. We note that his probation
period did not last for more than ten (10) months from the time of the Order of Judge Santiago
granting him probation dated 18 June 1993. Since then, Mr. Argosino has filed three (3) Motions for
Early Resolution of his Petition for Admission to the Bar.
The practice of law is not a natural, absolute or constitutional right to be granted to everyone who
demands it. Rather, it is a high personal privilege limited to citizens of good moral character, with
special educational qualifications, duly ascertained and certified. 2 The essentiality of good moral
character in those who would be lawyers is stressed in the following excerpts which we quote with
approval and which we regard as having persuasive effect:
In Re Farmer: 3
xxx xxx xxx

This "upright character" prescribed by the statute, as a condition precedent to the


applicant's right to receive a license to practice law in North Carolina, and of which
he must, in addition to other requisites, satisfy the court, includes all the elements
necessary to make up such a character. It is something more than an absence of
bad character. It is the good name which the applicant has acquired, or should have
acquired, through association with his fellows. It means that he must have conducted
himself as a man of upright character ordinarily would, or should, or does. Such
character expresses itself, not in negatives nor in following the line of least
resistance, but quite often, in the will to do the unpleasant thing if it is right, and the
resolve not to do the pleasant thing if it is wrong. . . .
xxx xxx xxx
And we may pause to say that this requirement of the statute is eminently
proper. Consider for a moment the duties of a lawyer. He is sought as counsellor,
and his advice comes home, in its ultimate effect, to every man's fireside. Vast
interests are committed to his care; he is the recipient ofunbounded trust and
confidence; he deals with is client's property, reputation, his life, his all. An attorney at
law is a sworn officer of the Court, whose chief concern, as such, is to aid the
administration of justice. . . .
xxx xxx xxx 4
In Re Application of Kaufman, 5 citing Re Law Examination of 1926 (1926) 191 Wis 359,
210 NW 710:

It can also be truthfully said that there exists nowhere greater temptations to deviate
from the straight and narrow path than in the multiplicity of circumstances that arise
in the practice of profession. For these reasons the wisdom of requiring an applicant
for admission to the bar to possess a high moral standard therefore becomes clearly
apparent, and the board of bar examiners as an arm of the court, is required to cause
a minute examination to be made of the moral standard of each candidate for
admission to practice. . . . It needs no further argument, therefore, to arrive at the
conclusion thatthe highest degree of scrutiny must be exercised as to the moral
character of a candidate who presents himself for admission to the bar. The evil
must, if possible, be successfully met at its very source, and prevented, for, after a
lawyer has once been admitted, and has pursued his profession, and has
established himself therein, a far more difficult situation is presented to the court
when proceedings are instituted for disbarment and for the recalling and annulment
of his license.
In Re Keenan: 6
The right to practice law is not one of the inherent rights of every citizen, as in the right to
carry on an ordinary trade or business. It is a peculiar privilege granted and continued
only to those who demonstrate special fitness in intellectual attainment and in moral
character. All may aspire to it on an absolutely equal basis, but not all will attain it.
Elaborate machinery has been set up to test applicants by standards fair to all and to
separate the fit from the unfit. Only those who pass the test are allowed to enter the
profession, and only those who maintain the standards are allowed to remain in it.

Re Rouss: 7

Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions, and a fair private and
professional character is one of them; to refuse admission to an unworthy applicant is not
to punish him for past offense: an examination into character, like the examination into
learning, is merely a test of fitness.

Cobb vs. Judge of Superior Court: 8


Attorney's are licensed because of their learning and ability, so that they may not only
protect the rights and interests of their clients, but be able to assist court in the trial of the
cause. Yet what protection to clients or assistance to courts could such agents give?
They are required to be of good moral character, so that the agents and officers of the
court, which they are, may not bring discredit upon the due administration of the law,
and it is of the highest possible consequence that both those who have not such
qualifications in the first instance, or who, having had them, have fallen therefrom, shall
not be permitted to appear in courts to aid in the administration of justice.

It has also been stressed that the requirement of good moral character is, in fact, of greater
importance so far as the general public and the proper administration of justice are concerned, than
the possession of legal learning:
. . . (In re Applicants for License, 55 S.E. 635, 143 N.C. 1, 10 L.R.A. [N.S.] 288, 10
Ann./Cas. 187):
The public policy of our state has always been to admit no person to
the practice of the law unless he covered an upright moral
character. The possession of this by the attorney is more important, if
anything, to the public and to the proper administration of justice than
legal learning. Legal learning may be acquired in after years, but if
the applicant passes the threshold of the bar with a bad moral
character the chances are that his character will remain bad, and that
he will become a disgrace instead of an ornament to his great
calling a curse instead of a benefit to his community a Quirk, a
Gammon or a Snap, instead of a Davis, a Smith or a Ruffin. 9
All aspects of moral character and behavior may be inquired into in respect of those seeking
admission to the Bar. The scope of such inquiry is, indeed, said to be properly broader than inquiry
into the moral proceedings for disbarment:
Re Stepsay: 10
The inquiry as to the moral character of an attorney in a proceeding for his admission to
practice is broader in scope than in a disbarment proceeding.

Re Wells: 11
. . . that an applicant's contention that upon application for admission to the California Bar
the court cannot reject him for want of good moral character unless it appears that he has
been guilty of acts which would be cause for his disbarment or suspension, could not be
sustained; that the inquiry is broader in its scope than that in a disbarment
proceeding, and the court may receive any evidence which tends to show the applicant's
character as respects honesty, integrity, and general morality, and may no doubt refuse
admission upon proofs that might not establish his guilt of any of the acts declared to be
causes for disbarment.

The requirement of good moral character to be satisfied by those who would seek admission to the
bar must of necessity be more stringent than the norm of conduct expected from members of the
general public. There is a very real need to prevent a general perception that entry into the legal
profession is open to individuals with inadequate moral qualifications. The growth of such a
perception would signal the progressive destruction of our people's confidence in their courts of law
and in our legal system as we know it. 12
Mr. Argosino's participation in the deplorable "hazing" activities certainly fell far short of the required
standard of good moral character. The deliberate (rather than merely accidental or inadvertent)
infliction of severe physical injuries which proximately led to the death of the unfortunate Raul
Camaligan, certainly indicated serious character flaws on the part of those who inflicted such
injuries. Mr. Argosino and his co-accused had failed to discharge their moral duty to protect the life
and well-being of a "neophyte" who had, by seeking admission to the fraternity involved, reposed
trust and confidence in all of them that, at the very least, he would not be beaten and kicked to death
like a useless stray dog. Thus, participation in the prolonged and mindless physical beatings inflicted
upon Raul Camaligan constituted evident rejection of that moral duty and was totally irresponsible
behavior, which makes impossible a finding that the participant was then possessed of good moral
character.
Now that the original period of probation granted by the trial court has expired, the Court is prepared
to considerde novo the question of whether applicant A.C. Argosino has purged himself of the
obvious deficiency in moral character referred to above. We stress that good moral character is a
requirement possession of which must be demonstrated not only at the time of application for
permission to take the bar examinations but also, and more importantly, at the time of application for
admission to the bar and to take the attorney's oath of office.
Mr. Argosino must, therefore, submit to this Court, for its examination and consideration, evidence
that he may be now regarded as complying with the requirement of good moral character imposed
upon those seeking admission to the bar. His evidence may consist, inter alia, of sworn certifications
from responsible members of the community who have a good reputation for truth and who
have actually known Mr. Argosino for a significant period of time, particularly since the judgment of
conviction was rendered by Judge Santiago. He should show to the Court how he has tried to make
up for the senseless killing of a helpless student to the family of the deceased student and to the
community at large. Mr. Argosino must, in other words, submit relevant evidence to show that he is a
different person now, that he has become morally fit for admission to the ancient and learned
profession of the law.
Finally, Mr. Argosino is hereby DIRECTED to inform this Court, by appropriate written manifestation,
of the names and addresses of the father and mother (in default thereof, brothers and sisters, if any,
of Raul Camaligan), within ten (10) day from notice hereof. Let a copy of this Resolution be furnished
to the parents or brothers and sisters, if any, of Raul Camaligan.