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MARIA ELENA MORENO VS. ATTY.

ERNESTO ARANETA
A.C. No. 1109. April 27, 2005
Facts: Ernesto Araneta issued two checks to Elena Moreno
for his indebtedness, which amounts to P11, 000.00. The
checks were dishonored because the account against which
is drawn is closed. Thereafter the case was forwarded to the
IBP Commission on Bar Discipline pursuant to Rule 139-B of
the Rules of Court. The Commission recommended the
suspension from the practice of law for three (3) months. On
15 October 2002, IBP Director for Bar Discipline Victor C.
Fernandez, transmitted the records of this case back to this
Court pursuant to Rule 139-B, Sec. 12(b) of the Rules of
Court. Thereafter, the Office of the Bar Confidant filed a
Report regarding various aspects of the case. The Report
further made mention of a Resolution from this Court
indefinitely suspending the respondent for having
been convicted by final judgment of estafa through
falsification of a commercial document.
Issue: Whether or not Araneta should be disbarred due to
the issuance of checks drawn against a closed account.
Held: The Court held that the act of a person in issuing a
check knowing at the time of the issuance that he or she
does not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the drawee
bank for the payment of the check in full upon its
presentment, is a manifestation of moral turpitude. In Co v.
Bernardino and Lao v. Medel, we held that for issuing
worthless checks, a lawyer might be sanctioned with one
years suspension from the practice of law, or a suspension
of six months upon partial payment of the obligation. In the
instant case, however, herein respondent has, apparently
been found guilty by final judgment of estafa thru
falsification of a commercial document, a crime involving
moral turpitude, for which he has been indefinitely
suspended. Considering that he had previously committed a
similarly fraudulent act, and that this case likewise involves
moral turpitude, we are constrained to impose a more severe

penalty. In fact, we have long held that disbarment is the


appropriate penalty for conviction by final judgment of a
crime involving moral turpitude. As we said in In The Matter
of Disbarment Proceedings v. Narciso N. Jaramillo, the
review of respondent's conviction no longer rests upon us.
The judgment not only has become final but has been
executed. No elaborate argument is necessary to hold the
respondent unworthy of the privilege bestowed on him as a
member of the bar. Suffice it to say that, by his conviction,
the respondent has proved himself unfit to protect the
administration of justice.

BONGALONTA vs CASTILLO and MARTIJA


CBD Case No. 176 January 20, 1995
Facts: Complainant Bongalonta charged respondents
Castillo and Martija, both members of the Philippine Bar, with
unjust and unethical conduct, to wit: representing conflicting
interests and abetting a scheme to frustrate the execution or
satisfaction of a judgment which complainant might obtain.
The letter-complaint stated that complainant filed with the
Regional Trial Court of Pasig, for estafa, against the Sps.
Abuel. She also filed a separate civil action, where she was
able to obtain a writ of preliminary attachment and by virtue
thereof, a piece of real property registered in the name of
the Sps. Abuel under TCT No. 38374 was attached. Atty.
Pablito Castillo was the counsel of the Sps. Abuel in the
aforesaid criminal and civil cases.
During the pendency of these cases, one Gregorio Lantin
filed for collection of a sum of money based on a promissory
note, also with the Pasig Regional Trial Court, against the
Sps. Abuel. In the said case Gregorio Lantin was represented
by Atty. Alfonso Martija. In this case, the Sps. Abuel were
declared in default for their failure to file the necessary
responsive pleading and evidence ex-parte was received
against them followed by a judgment by default rendered in
favor of Gregorio Lantin. A writ of execution was, in due
time, issued and the same property previously attached by
complainant was levied upon.
Complainant further alleged that, in all the pleadings filed in
the three (3) aforementioned cases, Atty. Pablito Castillo and

Atty. Alfonso Martija placed the same address, the same PTR
and the same IBP receipt number.
The IBP Board of Governors dismissed the case against
Martija, and recommended that Atty. Pablito M. Castillo be
suspended from the practice of law for a period of six (6)
months for using the IBP Official Receipt No. of his corespondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija.
Issue: Whether the IBP Board of Governors recommendation
of Castillos suspension be granted
Held: Yes. The Supreme Court agreed with the IBP Board of
Governors findings.
The practice of law is not a right but a privilege
bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess,
and continue to possess, the qualifications required by law
for the conferment of such privilege. One of these
requirements is the observance of honesty and candor.
Courts are entitled to expect only complete candor and
honesty from the lawyers appearing and pleading before
them. A lawyer, on the other hand, has the fundamental
duty to satisfy that expectation. For this reason, he is
required to swear to do no falsehood, nor consent to the
doing of any in court.

Abella v. Barrios
FACTS:
Complainant obtained a favorable judgment from the Court of
Appeals involving a Labor Case. Complainant then filed a Motion for
Issuance of a Writ of Execution before the Regional Arbitration Branch
which the respondent was the Labor Arbiter. After the lapse of five (5)
months, complainants motion remained un-acted, prompting him to file a
Second Motion for Execution. However, still, there was no action until the
complainant agreed to give respondent a portion of the monetary award
thereof after the latter asked from the former how much would be his share.
Thereafter, respondent issued a writ of execution but the employer of the
complainant moved to quash the said writ. Eventually, issued a new writ of
execution wherein complainants monetary awards were reduced to the
effect that it modifies the DECISION of the CA. Complainant now filed the
instant disbarment complaint before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP), averring that respondent violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility for (a) soliciting money from complainant in exchange for a
favorable resolution; and (b) issuing a wrong decision to give benefit and
advantage to PT&T, complainants employer.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross immorality for his
violation of Rules 1.01 and 1.03, Canon 1, and Rule 6.02, Canon 6 of the
Code.

HELD:
YES. The above-cited rules, which are contained under Chapter 1 of
the Code, delineate the lawyers responsibility to society: Rule 1.01
engraves the overriding prohibition against lawyers from engaging in any
unlawful, dishonest, immoral and deceitful conduct; Rule 1.03 proscribes
lawyers from encouraging any suit or proceeding or delaying any mans
cause for any corrupt motive or interest; meanwhile, Rule 6.02 is particularly
directed to lawyers in government service, enjoining them from using ones
public position to: (1) promote private interests; (2) advance private
interests; or (3) allow private interests to interfere with public duties. It is
well to note that a lawyer who holds a government office may be disciplined
as a member of the Bar only when his misconduct also constitutes a
violation of his oath as a lawyer.
The infractions of the respondent constitute gross misconduct.
Jurisprudence illumines that immoral conduct involves acts that are willful,
flagrant, or shameless, and that show a moral indifference to the opinion of
the upright and respectable members of the community. It treads the line of
grossness when it is so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act, or so
unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree, or when committed
under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the
communitys sense of decency. On the other hand, gross misconduct
constitutes "improper or wrong conduct, the transgression of some
established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty,
willful in character, and implies a wrongful intent and not mere error of
judgment."
In this relation, Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states
that when a lawyer is found guilty of gross immoral conduct or gross
misconduct, he may be suspended or disbarred.However, the Court takes
judicial notice of the fact that he had already been disbarred in a previous
administrative case, entitled Sps. Rafols, Jr. v. Ricardo G. Barrios, Jr., which
therefore precludes the Court from duplicitously decreeing the same. In view
of the foregoing, the Court deems it proper to, instead, impose a fine in the
amount of P40,000.00 in order to penalize respondents transgressions as
discussed herein and to equally deter the commission of the same or similar
acts in the future.

MANUELG.VILLATUYAv.ATTY.BEDES.TABALINGCOSA.C.
No.6622,July10,2012CaseDigest
FACTS:
Complainant, Manuel G. Villatuya filed a Complaint for Disbarment on
December 06, 2004 against respondent, Atty. Bede S. Tabalingcos. In a
resolution,thecourtrequiredtherespondenttofileacomment,whichthe
respondentdid.ThecomplaintwasthenreferredtotheIntegratedBarofthe
Philippinesforinvestigation.
InamandatoryconferencecalledforbytheCommissiononBarDiscipline
oftheIBP,complainantandhiscounsel,andtherespondentappearedand
submitted issues for resolution. The commission ordered the parties to
submittheirverifiedpositionpapers.
InthepositionpapersubmittedbythecomplainantonAugust1,2005,he
averredthathewasemployedbytherespondentasfinancialconsultantto
assist the respondent in a number of corporate rehabilitation cases.
Complainantclaimedthattheyhadaverbalagreementwherebyhewouldbe
entitledto50,000foreveryStayOrderissuedbythecourtinthecasesthey
wouldhandle,inadditiontotenpercent(10%)ofthefeespaidbytheir
clients.Notwithstanding,18StayOrdersthatwasissuedbythecourtsasa
resultofhisworkandtherespondentbeingabletorakeinmillionsfromthe
casesthattheywereworkingontogether,thelatterdidnotpaytheamount
duetohim.Healsoallegedthatrespondentengagedinunlawfulsolicitation

ofcasesbysettinguptwofinancialconsultancyfirmsasfrontsforhislegal
services. On the third charge of gross immorality, complainant accused
respondent of committing two counts of bigamy for having married two
otherwomenwhilehisfirstmarriagewassubsisting.
Inhisdefense,respondentdeniedchargesagainsthimandassertedthatthe
complainantwasnotanemployeeofhislawfirmbutratheranemployeeof
Jesi and Jane Management, Inc., one of the financial consultancy firms.
Respondentallegedthatcomplainantwasunprofessionalandincompetentin
performinghisjobandthattherewasnoverbalagreementbetweenthem
regardingthepaymentoffeesandthesharingofprofessionalfeespaidby
hisclients.Heproffereddocumentsshowingthatthesalaryofcomplainant
had been paid. Respondent also denied committing any unlawful
solicitation.Tosupporthiscontention,respondentattachedaJointVenture
AgreementandanaffidavitexecutedbytheVicePresidentforoperationsof
Jesi and Jane Management, Inc. On the charge of gross immorality,
respondentassailedtheAffidavitofadismissedmessengerofJesiandJane
Management,Inc.,ashavingnoprobativevalue,sinceithadbeenretracted
by the affiant himself. Respondent did not specifically address the
allegationsregardinghisallegedbigamousmarriageswithtwootherwomen
OnJanuary9,2006,complainantfiledaMotiontoAdmitCopiesof3
MarriageContractsofrespondentwhereinheattachedthecertifiedtrue
copiesoftheMarriageContractsreferredtointheCertificationissuedbythe
NSO.
OnJanuary16,2006,respondentsubmittedhisOppositiontotheMotionto
Admitfiledbycomplainant,claimingthathewasnotgiventheopportunity
tocontrovertthem.Hedisclosedthatcriminalcasesforbigamywerefiled
againsthimbythecomplainantbeforetheOfficeoftheCityProsecutorof
Manila.HealsoinformedtheCommissionthathefiledPetitionfor
DeclarationofNullityofthefirsttwomarriagecontracts.Inbothpetitions,
heclaimedthathehadrecentlydiscoveredthattherewereMarriage
ContractsintherecordsoftheNSObearinghisnameandallegedlyexecuted
withRowenaPionandPilarLozanoondifferentoccasions.
TheCommissionscheduledaclarificatoryhearingon20November
2007.Respondentmovedforthesuspensionoftheresolutionofthe

administrativecaseagainsthim,pendingoutcomeofpetitionfor
nullificationhefiledwithRTC,butwasdenied.TheCommissionresolved
thattheadministrativecaseagainsthimbesubmittedforresolution.
OnFebruary27,2008,theCommissionpromulgateditsReportand
Recommendationaddressingthespecificchargesagainstrespondent.The
firstcharge,fordishonestyforthenonpaymentofcertainsharesinthefees,
wasdismissedforlackofmerit.Onthesecondcharge,theCommission
foundrespondenttohaveviolatedtheruleonthesolicitationofclientfor
havingadvertisedhislegalservicesandunlawfullysolicitedcases.It
recommendedthathebereprimandedfortheviolation.Asforthethird
charge,theCommissionfoundrespondenttobeguiltyofgrossimmorality
forviolatingRules1.01and7.03oftheCodeofProfessional
ResponsibilityandSection27ofRule138oftheRulesofCourt.Dueto
thegravityoftheactsofrespondent,theCommissionrecommendedthathe
bedisbarred,andthathisnamebestrickenofftherollofattorneys.
OnApril15,2008,theIBPBoardofGovernors,throughitsResolutionNo.
XVIII2008154,adoptedandapprovedtheReportandRecommendationof
theInvestigatingCommissioner.
OnAugust1,2008,respondentfiledaMotionforReconsideration,arguing
thattherecommendationtodisbarhimwaspremature.
OnJune26,2011,theIBPBoardofGovernorsdeniedtheMotionsfor
ReconsiderationandaffirmedtheirResolutiondatedApril15,2008
recommendingrespondentsdisbarment.
ISSUES:
1.WhetherrespondentviolatedtheCodeofProfessionalResponsibilityby
nonpaymentoffeestocomplainant;
2.Whetherrespondentviolatedtheruleagainstunlawfulsolicitation;and
3.Whetherrespondentisguiltyofgrossimmoralconductforhavingmarried
thrice.

RULING:
Firstcharge:Dishonestyfornonpaymentsofshareinthefees.
SupremeCourtaffirmedtheIBPsdismissalofthefirstchargeagainst
respondent,butdidnotconcurwiththerationalebehindit.Thefirstcharge,
ifproventobetrueisbasedonanagreementthatisviolativeofRule9.02of
theCodeofProfessionalResponsibility.AlawyerisproscribedbytheCode
todivideoragreetodividethefeesforlegalservicesrenderedwithaperson
notlicensedtopracticelaw.InthecaseofTanTekBengv.David,Supreme
Courtheldthatanagreementbetweenalawyerandalaypersontosharethe
feescollectedfromclientssecuredbythelaypersonisnullandvoid,andthat
thelawyerinvolvedmaybedisciplinedforunethicalconduct.Considering
thatcomplainantsallegationsinthiscasehadnotbeenproven,theIBP
correctlydismissedthechargeagainstrespondentonthismatter.
Secondcharge:Unlawfulsolicitationofclients.
InitsReport,theIBPestablishedthetruthoftheseallegationsandruledthat
respondenthadviolatedtheruleonthesolicitationofclients,butitfailedto
pointoutthespecificprovisionthatwasbreached.Basedonthefactsofthe
case,heviolatedRule2.03oftheCode,whichprohibitslawyersfrom
solicitingcasesforthepurposeofprofit.
Alawyerisnotprohibitedfromengaginginbusinessorotherlawful
occupation.Improprietyarises,though,whenthebusinessisofsuchanature
orisconductedinsuchamannerastobeinconsistentwiththelawyers
dutiesasamemberofthebar.Thisinconsistencyariseswhenthebusinessis
onethatcanreadilylenditselftotheprocurementofprofessional
employmentforthelawyer;orthatcanbeusedasacloakforindirect
solicitationonthelawyersbehalf;orisofanaturethat,ifhandledbya
lawyer,wouldberegardedasthepracticeoflaw.
ItisclearfromthedocumentaryevidencesubmittedbycomplainantthatJesi
&JaneManagement,Inc.,whichpurportstobeafinancialandlegal
consultant,wasindeedavehicleusedbyrespondentasameanstoprocure
professionalemployment;specificallyforcorporaterehabilitationcases.

Rule15.08oftheCodemandatesthatthelawyerismandatedtoinform
theclientwhethertheformerisactingasalawyerorinanother
capacity.Thisdutyisamustinthoseoccupationsrelatedtothepracticeof
law.Inthiscase,itisconfusingfortheclientifitisnotclearwhether
respondentisofferingconsultancyorlegalservices.
Considering,however,thatcomplainanthasnotproventhedegreeof
prevalenceofthispracticebyrespondent,theSupremeCourtaffirmthe
recommendationtoreprimandthelatterforviolatingRules2.03and15.08
oftheCode.
Thirdcharge:Bigamy.
TheSupremeCourthaveconsistentlyheldthatadisbarmentcaseissui
generis.Itsfocusisonthequalificationandfitnessofalawyertocontinue
membershipinthebarandnottheproceduraltechnicalitiesinfilingthecase.
Thus,inGarridov.Garrido:
Laws dealing with double jeopardy or with procedure such as the
verification of pleadings and prejudicial questions, or in this case,
prescription of offenses or the filing of affidavits of desistance by the
complainantdonotapplyinthedeterminationofalawyer'squalifications
andfitnessformembershipintheBar.Wehavesoruledinthepastandwe
seenoreasontodepartfromthisruling.First,admissiontothepracticeof
lawisacomponentoftheadministrationofjusticeandisamatterofpublic
interest because it involves service to the public. The admission
qualifications are also qualifications for the continued enjoyment of the
privilegetopracticelaw.Second,lackofqualificationsortheviolationof
thestandardsforthepracticeoflaw,likecriminalcases,isamatterofpublic
concernthattheStatemayinquireintothroughthisCourt.
Indisbarmentproceedings,theburdenofproofrestsuponthecomplainant.
Inthiscase,complainantsubmittedNSOcertifiedtruecopiestoprovethat
respondententeredintotwomarriageswhilethelattersfirstmarriagewas
stillsubsisting.Whilerespondentdeniedenteringintothesecondandthe
thirdmarriages,heresortedtovagueassertionstantamounttoanegative
pregnant.
Whathasbeenclearlyestablishedhereisthefactthatrespondententered

into marriages twice while his first marriage was still subsisting. In
BustamanteAlejandrov.Alejandro,56weheldthus:
[W]ehaveinanumberofcasesdisciplinedmembersoftheBarwhomwe
foundguiltyofmisconductwhichdemonstratedalackofthatgoodmoral
character required of them not only as a condition precedent for their
admissiontotheBarbut,likewise,fortheircontinuedmembershiptherein.
Nodistinctionhasbeenmadeastowhetherthemisconductwascommitted
inthelawyersprofessionalcapacityorinhisprivatelife.Thisisbecausea
lawyermaynotdividehispersonalitysoastobeanattorneyatonetimeand
amerecitizenatanother.Heisexpectedtobecompetent,honorableand
reliableatalltimessincehewhocannotapplyandabidebythelawsinhis
privateaffairs,canhardlybeexpectedtodosoinhisprofessionaldealings
norleadothersindoingso.Professionalhonestyandhonorarenottobe
expected as the accompaniment of dishonesty and dishonor in other
relations. The administration of justice, in which the lawyer plays an
important role being an officer of the court, demands a high degree of
intellectualandmoralcompetencyonhispartsothatthecourtsandclients
mayrightlyreposeconfidenceinhim.
Respondentexhibitedadeplorablelackofthatdegreeofmoralityrequired
ofhimasamemberofthebar.Hemadeamockeryofmarriage,asacred
institutiondemandingrespectanddignity.57Hisactsofcommittingbigamy
twiceconstitutedgrosslyimmoralconductandaregroundsfordisbarment
under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court.58
TheSupremeCourtadoptedtherecommendationoftheIBPtodisbar
respondent and ordered that his name be stricken from the Roll of
Attorneys.

B.M.No.2012February10,2009
PROPOSEDRULEONMANDATORYLEGALAIDSERVICEFOR
PRACTICINGLAWYERS

RESOLUTION
ActingontheMemorandumdatedJanuary27,2009ofJusticeRenatoC.
Coronare:CommentoftheIntegratedBarofthePhilippinesonour
SuggestedRevisionstotheProposedRuleofMandatoryLegalAidService
forPracticingLawyers,theCourtResolvedtoAPPROVEthesame.
ThisResolutionshalltakeeffectonJuly1,2009followingpublicationofthe
saidRuleanditsimplementingregulationsinatleasttwo(2)newpapersof
generalcirculation.
February10,2009

REYNATOS.PUNO
ChiefJustice
LEONARDOA.QUISUMBING
AssociateJustice

CONSUELOYNARESSANTIAGO
AssociateJustice

ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice

MA.ALICIAAUSTRIAMARTINEZ
AssociateJustice

RENATOC.CORONA
AssociateJustice

CONCHITACARPIOMORALES
AssociateJustice

ADOLFOS.AZCUNA
AssociateJustice

DANTEO.TINGA
AssociateJustice

MINITAV.CHICONAZARIO
AssociateJustice

PRESBITEROJ.VELASCO,JR.
AssociateJustice

ANTONIOEDUARDOB.NACHURA
AssociateJustice

TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTRO
AssociateJustice

ARTUROD.BRION
AssociateJustice

DIOSDADOM.PERALTA
AssociateJustice

RULEONMANDATORYLEGALAIDSERVICE
SECTION1.Title.ThisRuleshallbeknownas"TheRuleonMandatory
LegalAidService."
SECTION2.Purpose.ThisRuleseekstoenhancethedutyoflawyers
tosocietyasagentsofsocialchangeandtothecourtsasofficersthereof
byhelpingimproveaccesstojusticebythelessprivilegedmembersof
societyandexpeditetheresolutionofcasesinvolvingthem.Mandatory
freelegalservicebymembersofthebarandtheiractivesupportthereofwill
aidtheefficientandeffectiveadministrationofjusticeespeciallyincases
involvingindigentandpauperlitigants.
SECTION3.Scope.ThisRuleshallgovernthemandatoryrequirement
forpracticinglawyerstorenderfreelegalaidservicesinallcases(whether,
civil,criminaloradministrative)involvingindigentandpauperlitigants
wheretheassistanceofalawyerisneeded.Itshallalsogovernthedutyof
othermembersofthelegalprofessiontosupportthelegalaidprogramofthe
IntegratedBarofthePhilippines.
SECTION4.DefinitionofTerms.ForpurposesofthisRule:
(a)PracticinglawyersaremembersofthePhilippineBarwhoappear
forandinbehalfofpartiesincourtsoflawandquasijudicial
agencies,includingbutnotlimitedtotheNationalLaborRelations
Commission,NationalConciliationandMediationBoard,Department
ofLaborandEmploymentRegionalOffices,DepartmentofAgrarian

ReformAdjudicationBoardandNationalCommissionforIndigenous
Peoples.Theterm"practicinglawyers"shallexclude:
(i)Governmentemployeesandincumbentelectiveofficialsnot
allowedbylawtopractice;
(ii)Lawyerswhobylawarenotallowedtoappearincourt;
(iii)Supervisinglawyersofstudentsenrolledinlawstudent
practiceindulyaccreditedlegalclinicsoflawschoolsand
lawyersofnongovernmentalorganizations(NGOs)and
peoplesorganizations(POs)liketheFreeLegalAssistance
Groupwhobythenatureoftheirworkalreadyrenderfreelegal
aidtoindigentandpauperlitigantsand
(iv)Lawyersnotcoveredundersubparagraphs(i)to(iii)
includingthosewhoareemployedintheprivatesectorbutdo
notappearforandinbehalfofpartiesincourtsoflawand
quasijudicialagencies.
(b)IndigentandpauperlitigantsarethosedefinedunderRule141,
Section19oftheRulesofCourtandAlgurav.TheLocalGovernment
UnitoftheCityofNaga(G.R.No.150135,30October2006,506
SCRA81);
(c)Legalaidcasesarethoseactions,disputes,andcontroversiesthat
arecriminal,civilandadministrativeinnatureinwhateverstage
whereinindigentandpauperlitigantsneedlegalrepresentation;
(d)Freelegalaidservicesrefertoappearanceincourtorquasi
judicialbodyforandinbehalfofanindigentorpauperlitigantandthe
preparationofpleadingsormotions.Itshallalsocoverassistancebya
practicinglawyertoindigentorpoorlitigantsincourtannexed
mediationandinothermodesofalternativedisputeresolution(ADR).
Servicesrenderedwhenapracticinglawyerisappointedcounselde
oficioshallalsobeconsideredasfreelegalaidservicesandcredited
ascomplianceunderthisRule;

(e)IntegratedBarofthePhilippines(IBP)istheofficialnational
organizationoflawyersinthecountry;
(f)NationalCommitteeonLegalAid(NCLA)isthecommitteeofthe
IBPwhichisspecificallytaskedwithhandlinglegalaidcases;
(g)CommitteeonBarDiscipline(CBD)isthecommitteeoftheIBP
whichisspecificallytaskedwithdiscipliningmembersoftheBar;
(h)IBPChaptersarethosechaptersoftheIntegratedBarofthe
Philippineslocatedinthedifferentgeographicalareasofthecountry
asdefinedinRule139Aand
(i)ClerkofCourtistheClerkofCourtofthecourtwherethe
practicinglawyerrenderedfreelegalaidservices.Inthecaseofquasi
judicialbodies,itreferstoanofficerholdinganequivalentorsimilar
position.
Thetermshallalsoincludeanofficerholdingasimilarpositionin
agenciesexercisingquasijudicialfunctions,oraresponsibleofficer
ofanaccreditedPOorNGO,oranaccreditedmediatorwho
conductedthecourtannexedmediationproceeding.
SECTION5.Requirements.
(a)Everypracticinglawyerisrequiredtorenderaminimumofsixty
(60)hoursoffreelegalaidservicestoindigentlitigantsinayear.Said
60hoursshallbespreadwithinaperiodoftwelve(12)months,witha
minimumoffive(5)hoursoffreelegalaidserviceseachmonth.
However,whereitisnecessaryforthepracticinglawyertorender
legalaidserviceformorethanfive(5)hoursinonemonth,theexcess
hoursmaybecreditedtothesaidlawyerforthesucceedingperiods.
Forthispurpose,apracticinglawyershallcoordinatewiththeClerk
ofCourtforcaseswherehemayrenderfreelegalaidservice.Hemay
alsocoordinatewiththeIBPLegalAidChairpersonoftheIBP
Chaptertoinquireaboutcaseswherehemayrenderfreelegalaid
service.Inthisconnection,theIBPLegalAidChairpersonoftheIBP

ChaptershallregularlyandactivelycoordinatewiththeClerkof
Court.
Thepracticinglawyershallreportcompliancewiththerequirement
withinten(10)daysofthelastmonthofeachquarteroftheyear.
(b)Apracticinglawyershallberequiredtosecureandobtaina
certificatefromtheClerkofCourtattestingtothenumberofhours
spentrenderingfreelegalaidservicesinacase.
Thecertificateshallcontainthefollowinginformation:
(i)Thecaseorcaseswherethelegalaidservicewasrendered,
thepartyorpartiesinthesaidcase(s)forwhomtheservicewas
rendered,thedocketnumberofthesaidcase(s)andthedate(s)
theservicewasrendered.
(ii)Thenumberofhoursactuallyspentattendingahearingor
conductingtrialonaparticularcaseinthecourtorquasi
judicialbody.
(iii)Thenumberofhoursactuallyspentattendingmediation,
conciliationoranyothermodeofADRonaparticularcase.
(iv)Amotion(exceptamotionforextensionoftimetofilea
pleadingorforpostponementofhearingorconference)or
pleadingfiledonaparticularcaseshallbeconsideredasone(1)
hourofservice.
TheClerkofCourtshallissuethecertificateintriplicate,one
(1)copytoberetainedbythepracticinglawyer,one(1)copyto
beretainedbytheClerkofCourtandone(1)copytobe
attachedtothelawyer'scompliancereport.
(c)SaidcompliancereportshallbesubmittedtotheLegalAid
ChairpersonoftheIBPChapterwithinthecourtsjurisdiction.The
LegalAidChairpersonshallthenbetaskedwithimmediately
verifyingthecontentsofthecertificatewiththeissuingClerkofCourt

bycomparingthecopyofthecertificateattachedtothecompliance
reportwiththecopyretainedbytheClerkofCourt.
(d)TheIBPChaptershall,afterverification,issueacompliance
certificatetotheconcernedlawyer.TheIBPChaptershallalsosubmit
thecompliancereportstotheIBPsNCLAforrecordingand
documentation.Thesubmissionshallbemadewithinfortyfive(45)
daysafterthemandatorysubmissionofcompliancereportsbythe
practicinglawyers.
(e)Practicinglawyersshallindicateinallpleadingsfiledbeforethe
courtsorquasijudicialbodiesthenumberanddateofissueoftheir
certificateofcompliancefortheimmediatelyprecedingcompliance
period.Failuretodisclosetherequiredinformationwouldcausethe
dismissalofthecaseandtheexpunctionofthepleadingsfromthe
records.
(f)Beforetheendofaparticularyear,lawyerscoveredbythe
categoryunderSection4(a)(i)and(ii),shallfillupaformpreparedby
theNCLAwhichstatesthat,duringthatyear,theyareemployedwith
thegovernmentorincumbentelectiveofficialsnotallowedbylawto
practiceorlawyerswhobylawarenotallowedtoappearincourt.
TheformshallbesworntoandsubmittedtotheIBPChapterorIBP
NationalOfficetogetherwiththepaymentofanannualcontribution
ofTwoThousandPesos(P2,000).Saidcontributionshallaccruetoa
specialfundoftheIBPforthesupportofitslegalaidprogram.
(g)Beforetheendofaparticularyear,lawyerscoveredbythe
categoryunderSection4(a)(iii)shallsecureacertificationfromthe
directorofthelegalclinicoroftheconcernedNGOorPOtothe
effectthat,duringthatyear,theyhaveservedassupervisinglawyers
inalegalclinicoractivelyparticipatedintheNGOsorPOsfree
legalaidactivities.ThecertificationshallbesubmittedtotheIBP
ChapterorIBPNationalOffice.
(h)Beforetheendofaparticularyear,lawyerscoveredbythe
categoryunderSection4(a)(iv)shallfillupaformpreparedbythe
NCLAwhichstatesthat,duringthatyear,theyareneitherpracticing

lawyersnorcoveredbySection(4)(a)(i)to(iii).Theformshallbe
sworntoandsubmittedtotheIBPChapterorIBPNationalOffice
togetherwiththepaymentofanannualcontributionofFourThousand
Pesos(P4,000)bywayofsupportfortheeffortsofpracticinglawyers
whorendermandatoryfreelegalaidservices.Saidcontributionshall
accruetoaspecialfundoftheIBPforthesupportofitslegalaid
program.
(i)Failuretopaytheannualcontributionshallsubjectthelawyertoa
penaltyofTwoThousandPesos(P2,000)forthatyearwhichamount
shallalsoaccruetothespecialfundforthelegalaidprogramofthe
IBP.
SECTION6.NCLA.
(a)TheNCLAshallcoordinatewiththevariouslegalaidcommittees
oftheIBPlocalchaptersfortheproperhandlingandaccountingof
legalaidcaseswhichpracticinglawyerscanrepresent.
(b)TheNCLAshallmonitortheactivitiesoftheChapteroftheLegal
AidOfficewithrespecttothecoordinationwithClerksofCourton
legalaidcasesandthecollationofcertificatessubmittedbypracticing
lawyers.
(c)TheNCLAshallactasthenationalrepositoryofrecordsin
compliancewiththisRule.
(d)TheNCLAshallpreparethefollowingforms:certificatetobe
issuedbytheClerkofCourtandformsmentionedinSection5(e)and
(g).
(e)TheNCLAshallholdintrust,manageandutilizethecontributions
andpenaltiesthatwillbepaidbylawyerspursuanttothisRuleto
effectivelycarryouttheprovisionsofthisRule.Forthispurpose,it
shallannuallysubmitanaccountingtotheIBPBoardofGovernors.
TheaccountingshallbeincludedbytheIBPinitsreporttothe
SupremeCourtinconnectionwithitsrequestforthereleaseofthe
subsidyforitslegalaidprogram.

SECTION7.Penalties.
(a)Attheendofeverycalendaryear,anypracticinglawyerwhofails
tomeettheminimumprescribed60hoursoflegalaidserviceeach
yearshallberequiredbytheIBP,throughtheNCLA,toexplainwhy
hewasunabletorendertheminimumprescribednumberofhours.If
noexplanationhasbeengivenoriftheNCLAfindstheexplanation
unsatisfactory,theNCLAshallmakeareportandrecommendationto
theIBPBoardofGovernorsthattheerringlawyerbedeclareda
memberoftheIBPwhoisnotingoodstanding.Uponapprovalofthe
NCLAsrecommendation,theIBPBoardofGovernorsshalldeclare
theerringlawyerasamembernotingoodstanding.Noticethereof
shallbefurnishedtheerringlawyerandtheIBPChapterwhich
submittedthelawyerscompliancereportortheIBPChapterwhere
thelawyerisregistered,incasehedidnotsubmitacompliancereport.
ThenoticetothelawyershallincludeadirectivetopayFour
ThousandPesos(P4,000)penaltywhichshallaccruetothespecial
fundforthelegalaidprogramoftheIBP.
(b)The"notingoodstanding"declarationshallbeeffectivefora
periodofthree(3)monthsfromthereceiptoftheerringlawyerofthe
noticefromtheIBPBoardofGovernors.Duringthesaidperiod,the
lawyercannotappearincourtoranyquasijudicialbodyascounsel.
Provided,however,thatthe"notingoodstanding"statusshallsubsist
evenafterthelapseofthethreemonthperioduntilandunlessthe
penaltyshallhavebeenpaid.
(c)AnylawyerwhofailstocomplywithhisdutiesunderthisRulefor
atleastthree(3)consecutiveyearsshallbethesubjectofdisciplinary
proceedingstobeinstitutedmotupropriobytheCBD.Thesaid
proceedingsshallaffordtheerringlawyerdueprocessinaccordance
withtherulesoftheCBDandRule139BoftheRulesofCourt.If
foundadministrativelyliable,thepenaltyofsuspensioninthepractice
oflawforone(1)yearshallbeimposeduponhim.
(d)Anylawyerwhofalsifiesacertificateoranyformrequiredtobe
submittedunderthisRuleoranycontentsthereofshallbe
administrativelychargedwithfalsificationanddishonestyandshallbe

subjecttodisciplinaryactionbytheCBD.Thisiswithoutprejudiceto
thefilingofcriminalchargesagainstthelawyer.
(e)Thefalsificationofacertificateoranycontentsthereofbyany
ClerkofCourtorbyanyChairpersonoftheLegalAidCommitteeof
theIBPlocalchapterwherethecaseispendingorbytheDirectorofa
legalclinicorresponsibleofficerofanNGOorPOshallbeaground
foranadministrativecaseagainstthesaidClerkofCourtor
Chairperson.Thisiswithoutprejudicetothefilingofthecriminaland
administrativechargesagainstthemalfeasor.
SECTION8.CreditforMandatoryContinuingLegalEducation(MCLE).
Alawyerwhorendersmandatorylegalaidservicefortherequirednumber
ofhoursinayearforthethreeyearperiodcoveredbyacomplianceperiod
undertheRulesonMCLEshallbecreditedthefollowing:two(2)credit
unitsforlegalethics,two(2)creditunitsfortrialandpretrialskills,two(2)
creditunitsforalternativedisputeresolution,four(4)creditunitsforlegal
writingandoraladvocacy,four(4)creditunitsforsubstantiveand
procedurallawsandjurisprudenceandsix(6)creditunitsforsuchsubjects
asmaybeprescribedbytheMCLECommitteeunderSection2(9),Rule2of
theRulesonMCLE.
Alawyerwhorendersmandatorylegalaidservicefortherequirednumber
ofhoursinayearforatleasttwoconsecutiveyearswithinthethreeyear
periodcoveredbyacomplianceperiodundertheRulesonMCLEshallbe
creditedthefollowing:one(1)creditunitforlegalethics,one(1)creditunit
fortrialandpretrialskills,one(1)creditunitforalternativedispute
resolution,two(2)creditunitsforlegalwritingandoraladvocacy,two(2)
creditunitsforsubstantiveandprocedurallawsandjurisprudenceandthree
(3)creditunitsforsuchsubjectsasmaybeprescribedbytheMCLE
CommitteeunderSection2(g),Rule2oftheRulesonMCLE.
SECTION9.ImplementingRules.TheIBP,throughtheNCLA,ishereby
givenauthoritytorecommendimplementingregulationsindeterminingwho
are"practicinglawyers,"whatconstitute"legalaidcases"andwhat
administrativeproceduresandfinancialsafeguardswhichmaybenecessary
andproperintheimplementationofthisrulemaybeprescribed.Itshall
coordinatewiththevariouslegalchaptersinthecraftingoftheproposed

implementingregulationsand,uponapprovalbytheIBPBoardof
Governors,thesaidimplementingregulationsshallbetransmittedtothe
SupremeCourtforfinalapproval.
SECTION10.Effectivity.ThisRuleanditsimplementingrulesshalltake
effectonJuly1,2009aftertheyhavebeenpublishedintwo(2)newspapers
ofgeneralcirculation.

KHAN,JR.VSIMBILLO
YNARESSANTIAGO;August19,2003
(applemaramba)
NATURE
ADMINISTRATIVEMATTERintheSupremeCourtandSPECIAL
CIVILACTIONintheSupremeCourt.Certiorari.
FACTS
Atty.RizalinoSimbillopublicizedhislegalservicesintheJuly5,2000
issueofthePhilippineDailyInquirerviaapaid
advertisementwhichread:AnnulmentofMarriageSpecialist532
4333/5212667.
AstaffmemberofthePublicInformationOfficeoftheSupremeCourt
tooknoticeandcalledthenumberposingasaninterestedparty.Shespoketo
Mrs.Simbillo,whosaidthatherhusbandwasanexpertinhandling
annulmentcasesandcanguaranteeacourtdecreewithinfourtosixmonths,
andthatthefeewasP48,000.
FurtherresearchbytheOfficeoftheCourtAdministratorandthePublic

InformationOfficerevealedthatsimilaradswerepublishedintheAugust2
and6,2000issuesoftheManilaBulletinandAugust5,2000issueofthe
PhilippineStar.
Atty.IsmaelKhan,Jr.,inhiscapacityasAssistantCourtAdministratorand
ChiefofthePublicInformationOfficefiledanadministrativecomplaint
againstAtty.Simbilloforimproperadvertisingandsolicitationinviolation
ofRule2.03andRule3.01oftheCodeofProfessionalResponsibilityand
Rule138,Section27oftheRulesofCourt.
ThecasewasreferredtotheIBPforinvestigation,reportand
recommendation.
IBPfoundrespondentguilty
RespondentfiledanUrgentMotionforReconsideration,whichwasdenied
Hence,thispetitionforcertiorari
ISSUE
WONAtty.RizalinoSimbilloisguiltyofviolatingRule2.03andRule3.01
oftheCodeofProfessionalResponsibilityandRule138,Section27ofthe
RulesofCourt
HELD
Yes.Petitionerwassuspendedfromthepracticeoflawforoneyearandwas
sternlywarnedthatarepetitionofthesameorsimilaroffensewillbedealt
withmoreseverely.
RatioThepracticeoflawisnotabusiness.Itisaprofessioninwhich
dutytopublic.