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A.M. No.

MTJ-93-781 November 16, 1993

aforementioned) and to remove said dwelling structure/units from said subject premises of
plaintiff;chanrobles virtual law library

EDUARDO R. SANTOS, Petitioner, vs. JUDGE ORLANDO C. PAGUIO, MTC, Meycauayan,


Bulacan, Respondent.
Eduardo R. Santos for and in his own behalf.
DAVIDE, JR., J.:
The complainant herein is the lawyer for the defendants in Civil Case No. 90-1706, an action
for unlawful detainer commenced on 5 May 1990 with the Municipal Trial Court of
Meycauayan, Bulacan while the respondent is the presiding Judge of the said court. In his
verified complaint filed through the Office of the Court Administrator on 18 March 1993, the
complainant charges the respondent with gross ignorance of the law and gross
incompetence. The complainant supports his charge with the allegation that after the answer
in the said case was filed and "without notice and hearing," the latter rendered a decision on
28 June 1991, 1 the decretal portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, it is hereby respectfully prayed that
judgment be rendered in accordance with plaintiff's prayer in their Complaint in the aboveentitled case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
SO ORDERED.
He further alleges that Branch 18 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bulacan, in its Order of
19 January 1993 in Sp. Civil Action No. 03-M-93 2 - a petition for certiorari filed by the
defendants in Civil Case No. 90-1706 - had already opined that the said decision is void upon
its face because it:
. . . would be impossible to be implemented for the simple or obvious reason that the same
cannot be considered a decision at all. Instead of deciding or ordering something to be done,
it merely prays that judgment be rendered.
but despite this, the respondent still "changed and amended [his] final decision [of 28 June
1991] in order to nullify the order of a superior Court, the RTC of Bulacan" via a new decision
in Civil Case No. 90-1706 3 promulgated on 25 January 1993. The dispositive portion of this
new decision reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff
by:
1. Ordering defendants and persons claiming any rights under them to vacate the premises
occupied by them, more particularly the portion on which are erected their respective
dwelling structure/unit, at 117 Bayugo, Meycauayan, Bulacan (or lot of plaintiff

2. Ordering defendants individually to pay the sum of P350.00 Philippine Currency, per month
by way of monthly rental commencing from May 16, 1990, and thereafter until they shall
have vacated the premises of the plaintiff;chanrobles virtual law library
3. Ordering the defendants to pay jointly and severally the sum of P2,000.00, Philippine
currency, on account of plaintiff's attorney's fees (retainer) and P500.00, Philippine Currency,
for every hearing/trial attended by said attorney before this Honorable Court; andchanrobles
virtual law library
4. Ordering the defendants to pay costs.
SO ORDERED.
According to the complainant, the dispositive portion of the 28 June 1991 Decision exhibits
the respondent's gross ignorance in "decision preparation," and that respondent's "haste to
amend the same to favor plaintiff was both appalling (sic) and downright improper." The
complainant then prays that the respondent "be removed from office if only to save the
integrity of the judiciary."chanrobles virtual law library
In his Comment filed on 2 July 1993, 4 the respondent denies the imputations and
alleges, inter alia, that: (1) the complainant was not the original counsel for the defendants
but one Atty. Adriano Javier, Sr. who represented the latter until the time that the parties
were directed to file their respective position papers, specifically until 29 November 1991
when Atty. Javier filed a motion to withdraw his appearance and the complainant filed his
notice of appearance as counsel for the defendants; (2) the Decision of 28 June 1991 was
rendered only after a preliminary conference was held where the parties with their respective
counsels discussed the possibility of an amicable settlement and after the defendants failed
to comply with the 16 November 1990 Order for the parties to submit in writing their
"respective position statements setting forth the law and the facts relied upon by them and
to submit the affidavits of their witnesses and other evidences in support thereof within
fifteen (15) days from receipt" thereof, prompting the plaintiff to file on 5 April 1991 an exparte motion praying that judgment be rendered in this case; (3) the defendants did not
appeal from the 28 June 1991 Decision, hence the plaintiff filed a motion for execution on 2
September 1991, which the defendants did not oppose; instead they filed a motion for
reconsideration and to declare the decision null and void on the ground that the plaintiff did
not file her pre-trail brief and there was no valid pre-trial order; (4) on 4 December 1991, the
plaintiff's motion for execution was granted and a writ of execution was issued, a copy of
which was sent to the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Malolos for service; (5) on 5 January
1991, 5he received an order from Branch 18 of the RTC of Bulacan directing him to desist from
implementing the writ of execution; (6) the presiding judge of said Branch 18, Judge Demetrio
B. Macapagal, Sr., issued on 19 January 1993 its order disposing of Sp. Civil Action No. 03-M93; (7) thereafter, he (respondent) handed down a new decision in Civil Case No. 90-1706 on

25 January 1993 that contained "completely the missing sentences needed in the dispositive
portion" of its earlier decision; (8) instead of appealing therefrom, the defendants filed on 4
February 1993 a motion to set aside the decision, which the court set for its consideration
and to which the plaintiff filed its opposition on 8 February 1993 together with a motion for
immediate execution; (9) on 22 March 1993, the complainant filed a motion to inhibit the
respondent by the former did not appear on the date it was set for consideration. He finally
contends that the issue regarding the dispositive portion of the 28 June 1991 Decision was
rendered moot and academic by the corrections made in the Decision of 25 January 1993;
that the charge of gross ignorance is contemptuous and unfounded; and the complainant's
sweeping conclusions show his disrespectful attitude.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
virtual law library
In his 17 June 1993 Rejoinder filed on 7 July 1993, 6 the complainant reiterates his charge that
the respondent is incompetent because he lacks the "ability to prepare a sensible and
credible decision," and maintains that the respondent's attempt to convince this Court that
the dispositive portion of the 28 June 1991 Decision is permissible and proper shows "gross
ignorance." Further, that the respondent believes that "he could correct the decision after its
finality" and after the RTC of Bulacan had declared it to be null and void upon its face clearly
manifests his "patent ignorance of our laws and jurisprudence."chanrobles virtual law library
In his Sur-Rejoinder filed on 13 July 1993, 7 the respondent argues that while the 28 June 1991
Decision "could hardly be enforced for the reason that there is some sort of ambiguity or
omission (sic) in its dispositive portion," he was not prohibited from having the defect "timely
corrected and clarified," which was what he had in fact done, and that the "clarified decision"
did not prejudice "the substantial rights of the parties" since they "were given their day in
court and passed through the usual course of the proceedings." Accordingly, he could not be
guilty of gross ignorance of the law and of lack of
competence.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Wanting to have the last word, the complainant filed a Reply to Sur-rejoinder and
Manifestation on 28 July 1993. 8 Not to be outdone, the respondent filed a Manifestation to
Reply on 9 August 1993. 9chanrobles virtual law library
The Court referred this to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and
recommendation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
On 31 August 1993, the Office of the Court Administrator submitted its Memorandum
containing its evaluation, report and recommendation. After summarizing the antecedent
facts, the said office submitted that the instant complaint is meritorious, and made the
following findings:
It is quite unbelievable, nay, impossible for respondent to have overlooked the missing
dispositive portion of his original decision which is considered the executory portion thereof.
The only ineluctable conclusion is that respondent never read said decision before he signed
the same. If only he devoted even only a little time to read the same, such a missing portion

considered to be the most important part of a decision could not have escaped his attention.
The alleged dispositive portion was a prayer. It did not have the effect of finally disposing the
case. Presumably, this must have been simply copied from plaintiff's
complaint.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
True, it was legally permissible for respondent to amend his original defective decision since
the RTC dismissed the petition for certiorari although Judge Perfecto Macapagal found that
what was rendered by Judge Paguio "can not be considered a decision at all." It took
respondent Judge 1-1/2 years to discover and correct his error; the error could have easily
been discovered at the time the Motion for Execution was filed on September 2, 1991. But
the writ was nonetheless issued on December 4, 1991. Hence, the belated correction would
not mitigate his liability. There is no denying that the quality of a decision rendered by the
judge such as herein respondent, is a reflection on the integrity of the court in dispensing
justice to whom it is due. Respondent was at the very least careless in failing to read carefully
the decision that he signed. In fact, both the original and amended decisions still contained
errors in grammar and syntax indicating that there was no adequate editing of the decision
that was signed by him. If he had been more careful, he would have avoided such fractured
phrases as:chanrobles virtual law library
1. Plaintiff on being opposed to this motion, countered as follows: (Page 5, Decision, June 28,
1991);chanrobles virtual law library
2. For a more vivid explanation showing the incidental facts (Ibid);chanrobles virtual law
library
3. And defendants seems that they are not really sincere (Ibid);chanrobles virtual law library
4. But nothing has been done by the latter to renew such contract of lease of which right
becomes one of a detainer plain and simple (page 6, Ibid);chanrobles virtual law library
5. That being the case to allow them will mean ownership over the
property(Ibid).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
It is possible that this is not the usual language of the Judge, for their fractured constructions
have no place in a court decision. Careful editing and rewriting should have been done.
and recommends that:
. . . a fine of P5,000.00 be imposed upon respondent with a warning that any repetition of the
same or similar infraction shall be meted with a more severe penalty of dismissal from the
service. He is also admonished to exhibit greater care in the writing of his decisions.
We find the above observations of the Office of the Court Administrator to be sufficiently
supported by the pleadings submitted by the parties in this
case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

After a careful examination of the respondent's "Decision" of 28 June 1991, we do find its
body to be flawed with grammatical and syntactic errors. Its "dispositive portion" disposes of,
resolves or decrees nothing. It cannot even be called a dispositive or decretal portion at all. It
is obviously a prayer lifted from a pleading of the plaintiff, such as the Memorandum or
the ex-parte manifestation and motion praying that judgment be rendered filed after the
defendants failed to file their position paper, although not from the complaint as suspected
by the Court Administrator. How it gained entry into what should have been the fallo is an
arcanum. Any attempt to unravel the mystery may only complicate the matter against the
respondent who is only charged herein with gross ignorance or
incompetence.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
There can, however, be no dispute behind the errors of grammar and syntax and the fatally
infirmed "dispositive portion" is the inefficiency, neglect of duty or carelessness on the part of
the respondent betraying the absence of due care, diligence, conscientiousness and
thoroughness - qualities which Judges must, among others, possess. Respondent could have
easily avoided the errors and defects had he taken a little more time and effort to at least
read its original copy before he finally affixed his signature thereon. While this Court cannot
expect every Judge to be an expert on the English language or an authority in grammar, he
must, however, do everything he can, through constant study, extraordinary diligence, and
passion for excellence, to produce a decision which fosters respect for and encourages
obedience to it and enhances the prestige of the court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
virtual law library
As we see it then, the respondent failed to comply with two standard of conduct prescribed
by the Canons of Judicial Ethics, namely: that "[h]e should exhibit an industry and application
commensurate with the duties imposed upon him" 10 and that he should be conscientious,
studious and thorough. 11chanrobles virtual law library
Moreover, the respondent did not only issue a manifestly infirmed "decision," he even
granted the motion for its execution and issued the corresponding writ with full knowledge
that there was nothing to execute. He could not have feigned ignorance of such nothingness
for it is embarrassingly self-evident. He nevertheless ordered its execution, exhibiting once
more his inefficiency, carelessness, negligence, or even his
incompetence.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
We must add, however, that it is not the respondent alone who must be blamed for such
unmitigated faux pas. The counsel for the parties in the case knew or ought to have known
the fatal defect of the dispositive portion and the obvious inefficacy of any writ of execution,
yet, the plaintiff's counsel still filed a motion for execution, while the counsel for the
defendants - the complainant herein - merely filed a motion for reconsideration based solely
on the ground that the plaintiff did not file her pre-trial brief and that there was no valid pretrial order. Obviously, the complainant initially believed in thecompleteness of the decision.
As a matter of fact, when he assailed the 25 January 1993 Decision, he alleged that what was
amended was a " final decision," a position totally inconsistent with his claim that the latter
was void as declared by the RTC of Bulacan. As officers of the court who owe to it candor,
fairness and good faith, 12 both attorneys should have called the court's attention to the

glaring defect of the "dispositive portion" of the 28 June 1991


Decision.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
We thus conclude that the respondent Judge is guilty of, in the very least, inefficiency,
neglect of duty and the violation of Canons 5 and 31 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. He could
not, however, be liable for ignorance of law and jurisprudence or for incompetence when he
handed down a new decision on 25 January 1993. The 28 June 1991 Decision was
"incomplete" since, for all legal intents and purposes, it had no fallo and could not attain
finality, hence the respondent had the power to amend it to make it conformable to law and
justice. 13 It is not therefore correct to say, as the complainant suggested, that the order of
the RTC of Bulacan in Sp. Civil Action No. 03-M-93 stating that the respondent's Decision of
28 June 1991 is "void upon its face" forever bars the respondent from rendering a new or
amended decision in the ejectment case.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
library
We take this opportunity to stress once again that the administration of justice is a sacred
task and all those involved in it must faithfully adhere to, hold inviolate, and invigorate the
principle solemnly enshrined in the Constitution that a public office is a public trust and all
public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them
with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, and act with patriotism and justice
and lead modest lives. 14 Every Judge should never forget that he is the visible representation
of the law and, more importantly, of justice. 15 Therefore, he must constantly be the
embodiment of competence, diligence, conscientiousness, thoroughness, efficiency, and
integrity so as to preserve, promote and enhance the people's confidence in the
Judiciary.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
A few words must also be made of record regarding the complainant. We note that in his
complaint in this case he alleged under oath that after the defendants filed their answer, the
respondent "without any hearing, or at least this counsel was never notified of any such
hearing," rendered the 28 June 1991 Decision. This is of course inaccurate, if not outright
false. What the complainant conveniently left out in his complaint was that, as disclosed in
the Comment which he did not refute, after the defendants' answer with counterclaim was
admitted by the court, the case was set for preliminary conference and thereafter the parties
were required to submit their position papers and the affidavits of their witnesses and other
evidence. We find that the case was properly placed and considered under the Rule on
Summary Procedure and, accordingly, the court could decide the case on the basis of the
submitted position papers, affidavits and other pieces of evidence. Complainant further
suppressed the fact that he entered his appearance as counsel for the defendants only after
the court had conducted the preliminary conference and issued the order for the submission
of the foregoing pleadings and documents. He was not, therefore, entitled to any notice
before then.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
The failure to divulge the foregoing facts may have been intended by the complainant to give
his complaint a strong prima facie case against the respondent. While he was entitled to
adopt certain strategies in his pleadings, he forgot that he owes to this Court absolute
candor, fairness and good faith. This Court can neither condone nor tolerate attempts to

mislead it through suppression of important facts which would have a bearing on its initial
action. Complainant should, therefore, be admonished to faithfully adhere to the Code of
Professional Responsibility.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
WHEREFORE, for inefficiency and neglect of duty amounting to a violation of Canons 5 and 31
of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, respondent Judge ORLANDO C. PAGUIO is hereby sentenced
to pay a FINE of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00). He is further warned that a repetition of
the same or similar infractions shall be dealt with more
severely.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Complainant is hereby ADMONISHED to be more careful in the drafting of pleadings, always
keeping in mind his duty under Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

knowingly, willfully introduced/presented in evidence before the aforesaid


Regional Trial Court, a falsified Sheriff's Return of Summons during the
hearing of the aforesaid Civil Case thereby impending and/or obstructing the
speedy administration and/or dispensation of Justice. (p. 2, Final Report, ff. p.
69, Record.)
Respondents in their respective answers denied having any hand in the falsification of the
said sheriff's return.
Pursuant to Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court and the resolution of the Court En Banc of April
12, 1988, the case was referred to the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report, and recommendation.
In view, however, of the report of the National Bureau of Investigation to the effect that the
signature above the typewritten name Florando Umali on the last page of the complaint in
said civil case is not his signature, complainant, through counsel, agreed to the dismissal of
the case with respect to Atty. Umali.

SO ORDERED.
A.C. No. 2837 October 7, 1994
ESTEBAN M. LIBIT, complainant,
vs.
ATTYS. EDELSON G. OLIVA and FLORANDO A. UMALI, respondent.
RESOLUTION

PER CURIAM:
In civil Case No. 84-24144 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, entitled "Pedro Cutingting,
plaintiff versus Alfredo Tan, defendant", the Honorable Presiding Judge Domingo Panis issued
the following order:
The Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is hereby ordered to
conduct an investigation with the end in view of determining the author of
the Sheriff's Return which appears to have been falsified and to institute such
criminal action as the evidence will warrant. (p. 1, Final Report.)
After conducting the necessary investigation, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI),
through herein complainant, charged respondents as follows:
That sometime in May 1984 in the City of Manila, at the Regional Trial Court,
Branch XLI, Manila, Philippines, the above-named Respondents, as Counsels
for PEDRO CUTINGTING in Civil Case No. 84-24144, entitled PEDRO
CUTINGTING, Plaintiff vs. ALFREDO TAN, Defendant, did then and there,

With respect to Atty. Edelson G. Oliva, the IBP submitted the following report and
recommendation:
There is ample evidence extant in the records to prove that
Atty. Oliva has something to do with the falsification of the Sheriff's Return on
the Summons in said Civil Case No. 84-24144.
The oral and documentary evidence of the complainant strongly tend to show
the following: (1) The Sheriff's Return of the Summon in the said civil case
was falsified as it was not signed by Deputy Sheriff Rodolfo Torella (Exh. "J"
Sworn Statement of Rodolfo Torella dated February 1, 1985, and Exh. "S",
which is the falsified Sheriff's Return); (2) The summons was received from
the clerk of the Court of the Manila
RTC-Branch LXI by Ronaldo Romero, a messenger in the law office of Attys.
Umali and Oliva and said messenger brought the summons to the law office
of the respondents (Exh. "H" Sinumpaang Salaysay ni Ronaldo Romero,
and Exh. "G", Exh. "I" Sworn Statement dated February 28, 1985 of
Mariano Villanueva, Chief Staff Asst. 2, RTC, Manila; (3) On the basis of the
falsified Sheriff's Return on the Summons, Atty. Oliva, counsel for the
defendant [should be plaintiff] in said civil case, filed a typewritten Motion to
Declare Defendant in Default (Exh.) "R" Motion to Declare Defendant In
Default in said civil case signed and filed by Atty. Oliva);
(4) On March 29, 1984, Atty. Oliva, in his capacity as Operations Manager of
Judge Pio R. Marcos Law Office, sent a final demand letter on Alfredo Tan, the
defendant in said Civil case, for payment of the sum of P70,174.00 (Exh. "T"
Demand Letter dated March 28, 1984 of Atty. Oliva addressed to Alfredo
Tan); (5) The demand letter of Atty. Oliva (Exh. "T"), the complaint in said civil

case (Exh. "Q", "Q-1", and "Q-2"), the falsified Sheriff's Return on the
Summons (Exh. "S"), the Motion To Declare Defendant In Default dated
October 30, 1984 signed and filed by
Atty. Oliva (Exh. "R" and "R-1") were typed on one and the same typewriter,
as shown in the Questioned Document Report No. 198-585 dated 19 June
1985 (Exh. "Q", "Q-1" and "Q-2"; Exh. "V", "V-1" and
"V-2").
After the careful review of the record of the case and the report and recommendation of the
IBP, the Court finds that respondent Atty. Edelson G. Oliva committed acts of misconduct
which warrant the exercise by the Court of its disciplinary powers. The facts, as supported by
the evidence, obtaining in this case indubitably reveal respondent's failure to live up to his
duties as a lawyer in consonance with the strictures of the lawyer's oath, the Code of
Professional Responsibility, and the Canons of Professional Ethics. A lawyer's responsibility to
protect and advance the interests of his client does not warrant a course of action propelled
by ill motives and malicious intentions against the other party.
At this juncture, it is well to stress once again that 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. It can not be gainsaid that
candidness, especially towards the courts, is essential for the expeditious administration of
justice. 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 the expectation. It is essential that lawyers bear in mind at all times that their first
duty is not to their clients but rather to the courts, that they are above all court officers sworn
to assist the courts in rendering justice to all and sundry, and only secondarily are they
advocates of the exclusive interests of their clients. For this reason, he is required to swear to
do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court (Chavez vs. Viola, 196 SCRA 10
[1991].
In this case, respondent Atty. Edelson Oliva has manifestly violated that part of his oath as a
lawyer that he shall not do any falsehood. He has likewise violated Rule 10.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides:
A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court
nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice.
Accordingly, the Court resolved to impose upon Atty. Edelson Oliva the supreme penalty of
DISBARMENT. His license to practice law in the Philippines is CANCELLED and the Bar
Confidant is ordered to strike out his name from the Roll of Attorneys.
The case is ordered dismissed as against Atty. Florando Umali.
SO ORDERED.

CBD Case No. 176 January 20, 1995


SALLY D. BONGALONTA, complainant,
vs.
ATTY. PABLITO M. CASTILLO and ALFONSO M. MARTIJA, respondents.
RESOLUTION

MELO, J.:
In a sworn letter-complaint dated February 15, 1995, addressed to the Commission on Bar
Discipline, National Grievance Investigation Office, Integrated Bar of the Philippines,
complainant Sally Bongalonta charged Pablito M. Castillo and Alfonso M. Martija, 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,
Criminal Case No. 7635-55, for estafa, against the Sps. Luisa and Solomer Abuel. She also
filed, a separate civil action Civil Case No. 56934, where she was able to obtain a writ of
preliminary attachment and by virtue thereof, a piece of real property situated in Pasig, Rizal
and 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 civil Case No. 58650 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.
It is further alleged that in all the pleadings filed in these three (3) aforementioned cases,
Atty. Pablito Castillo and Atty. Alfonso Martija placed the same address, the same PTR and the
same IBP receipt number to wit" Permanent Light Center, No. 7, 21st Avenue, Cubao, Quezon
City, PTR No. 629411 dated 11-5-89 IBP No. 246722 dated 1-12-88.
Thus, complainant concluded that civil Case No. 58650 filed by Gregorio Lantin was merely a
part of the scheme of the Sps. Abuel to frustrate the satisfaction of the money judgment
which complainant might obtain in Civil Case No. 56934.
After hearing, the IBP Board of Governors issued it Resolution with the following findings and
recommendations:

Among the several documentary exhibits submitted by Bongalonta and


attached to the records is a xerox copy of TCT No. 38374, which Bongalonta
and the respondents admitted to be a faithful reproduction of the original.
And it clearly appears under the Memorandum of Encumbrances on aid TCT
that the Notice of Levy in favor of Bongalonta and her husband was
registered and annotated in said title of February 7, 1989, whereas, that in
favor of Gregorio Lantin, on October 18, 1989. Needless to state, the notice
of levy in favor of Bongalonta and her husband is a superior lien on the said
registered property of the Abuel spouses over that of Gregorio Lantin.
Consequently, the charge against the two respondents (i.e. representing
conflicting interests and abetting a scheme to frustrate the execution or
satisfaction of a judgment which Bongalonta and her husband might obtain
against the Abuel spouses) has no leg to stand on.
However, as to the fact that indeed the two respondents placed in their
appearances and in their pleadings the same IBP No. "246722 dated
1-12-88", respondent Atty. Pablito M. Castillo deserves to be SUSPENDED for
using, apparently thru his negligence, the IBP official receipt number of
respondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija. According to the records of the IBP
National Office, Atty. Castillo paid P1,040.00 as his delinquent and current
membership dues, on February 20, 1990, under IBP O.R. No. 2900538, after
Bongalonta filed her complaint with the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline.
The explanation of Atty. Castillo's Cashier-Secretary by the name of Ester
Fraginal who alleged in her affidavit dated March 4, 1993, that it was all her
fault in placing the IBP official receipt number pertaining to Atty. Alfonso M.
Martija in the appearance and pleadings Atty. Castillo and in failing to pay in
due time the IBP membership dues of her employer, deserves scant
consideration, for it is the bounded duty and obligation of every lawyer to see
to it that he pays his IBP membership dues on time, especially when he
practices before the courts, as required by the Supreme Court.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully 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 co-respondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija.
The complaint against Atty. Martija is hereby DISMISSED for lack of evidence.
(pp. 2-4, Resolution)
The Court agrees with the foregoing findings and recommendations. It is well to stress again
that 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.
WHEREFORE, finding respondent Atty. Pablito M. Castillo guilty committing a falsehood in
violation of his lawyer's oath and of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Court
Resolved to SUSPEND him from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months, with a
warning that commission of the same or similar offense in the future will result in the
imposition of a more severe penalty. A copy of the Resolution shall be spread on the personal
record of respondent in the Office of the Bar Confidant.
SO ORDERED.
A.C. No. 3923. March 30, 1993.
CONCORDIA B. GARCIA, complainant, vs. ATTY. CRISANTO L. FRANCISCO, respondent.
SYLLABUS
1. LEGAL ETHICS; MISCONDUCT OF COUNSEL; VIOLATION OF OATH NOT DELAY ANY MAN OR
MONEY OR MALICE; SUSPENSION FOR ONE YEAR FROM PRACTICE OF LAW FOR GROSS ABUSE
OF RIGHT OF RECOURSE TO THE COURTS BY ARGUING A CAUSE THAT IS OBVIOUSLY WITHOUT
MERIT. The cause of the respondent's client is obviously without merit. The respondent was
aware of this fact when he wilfully resorted to the gambits summarized above, continuously
seeking relief that was consistently denied, as he should have expected . . . By grossly
abusing his right of recourse to the courts for the purpose of arguing a cause that had been
repeatedly rebuffed, he was disdaining the obligation of the lawyer to maintain only such
actions or proceedings as appear to him to be just and such defenses only as he believes to
be honestly debatable under the law. By violating his oath not to delay any man for money or
malice, he has besmirched the name of an honorable profession and has proved himself
unworthy of the trust reposed in him by law as an officer of the Court . . . For this serious
transgression of the Code of Professional Responsibility, he deserves to be sanctioned, not
only as a punishment for his misconduct but also as a warning to other lawyers who may be
influenced by his example. Accordingly, he is hereby SUSPENDED for ONE YEAR from the
practice of law and from the enjoyment of all the rights and privileges appurtenant to
membership of the Philippine bar.
RESOLUTION
PER CURIAM, p:
In a sworn complaint filed with the Court on October 6, 1992, Concordia B. Garcia seeks the
disbarment of Atty. Crisanto L. Francisco.

On March 9, 1964, Concordia B. Garcia and her husband Godofredo, the Dionisio spouses,
and Felisa and Magdalena Baetiong leashed a parcel of land to Sotero Baluyot Lee for a
period of 25 years beginning May 1, 1964. Despite repeated verbal and written demands, Lee
refused to vacate after the expiration of the lease. Lee claimed that he had an option to
extend the lease for another 5 years and the right of pre-emption over the property.

4. On April 6, 1990, Lee through Francisco, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with
prayer for preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals against Judge Vera, Judge Singzon,
Garcia and the other lessors. Docketed as CA G.R. Sp No. 20476, the petition assailed the
January 9, 1990 order of Judge Vera dismissing Civil Case No. Q-89-3833. On May 31, 1989,
the petition was denied.

In this disbarment case, the complainant claims that Lee's counsel, respondent Francisco,
commenced various suits before different courts to thwart Garcia's right to regain her
property and that all these proceedings were decided against Lee. The proceedings stemmed
from the said lease contract and involved the same issues and parties, thus violating the
proscription against forum-shopping.

5. On June 14, 1990, Judge Singzon decided Civil Case no. 1455 in favor of complainant
Garcia and the other lessors. Lee did not appeal. Instead, on, June 21, 1990, through
Francisco again, he filed a petition against Judge Singzon and the other lessors for certiorari
and annulment of the decision in Civil Case No. 1455 and damages with prayer for issuance
of preliminary injunction. This was docketed as Civil case No. 90-5852 in the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City, Branch 98, presided by Judge Cesar C. Paralejo.

Respondent, in his comment, says that he inserted in defense of his client's right only such
remedies as were authorized by law.
The tangle of recourses employed by Francisco is narrated as follows:

In Francisco's comment before us, he alleges that Civil Case No. Q-90-5852 is an appeal from
the unlawful detainer case. Again, he lies. Civil Case No. Q-90-5852 was a specified civil
action and not an appeal.

1. On March 29, 1989, Lee, through Francisco, filed a complaint against Garcia and the other
lessors for specific performance and reconveyance with damages in the Regional Trial Court
of Quezon City. This was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-89-2118. On June 9, 1989, Garcia filed
a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of failure to state a cause of action, laches
and prescription. The case was dismissed by Judge Felimon Mendoza on August 10, 1989.

On July 2, 1990, Garcia's group filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. 90-5852.
On July 13, 1990, Judge Paralejo issued an order enjoining Judge Singzon from enforcing the
decision in that case. Garcia attacked this order in a petition for certiorari and prohibition with
prayer for preliminary injunction docketed as CA Sp. No. 22392. The petition was granted by
the Court of Appeals on September 19, 1991, on the ground that the judgment in the
unlawful detainer case had come final and executory as June 30, 1990.

2. On May 29, 1989, Garcia and the other lessors filed a complaint for unlawful detainer
against Lee in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City. This was docketed as Civil Case No.
1455. Through Francisco, Lee filed an answer alleging as special and affirmative defense the
pendency of Civil Case no. Q-89-2118 in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. On
September 5, 1989, Judge Marcelino Bautista issued a resolution rejecting this allegation on
the ground that the issues before the two courts were separate and different.

6. On September 24, 1991, Garcia filed a motion for execution in the unlawful detainer case.
On September 27, 1991, Lee, through Francisco, filed a motion to inhibit Judge Singzon and
to defer the hearing of the motion. A writ of execution was nonetheless issued by Judge
Singzon on October 8, 1991.

3. On October 24, 1989, Lee, through Francisco, filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction against Judge Bautista,
Garcia and the other lessors. This was docketed as civil Case No. Q-89-3833. In filing this
petition, Francisco knew or should have known that it violated the Rule on Summary
Procedure prohibiting the filing of petitions for certiorari, mandamus or prohibition against
any interlocutory order issued by the court.
Francisco claims that what he appealed to the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. Q-893833 was the denial of his prayer for dismissal of Civil Case No. 1455. This is not true. Civil
Case Q-89-3833 was clearly a special civil action and not an appeal.
On November 13, 1989, Judge Abraham Vera issued an order enjoining Judge Bautista from
proceeding with the trial of the unlawful detainer case. Upon motion of the complainant,
however, the injunction was set aside and Civil Case No. Q-89-3833 was dismissed on
January 9, 1990. Lee did not appeal.

7. Two days later, Lee, through Francisco, filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari
with preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order against the Court of Appeals,
Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors. This Court denied the petition on January 27,
1992, and reconsideration on April 8, 1992.
8. Finally, Lee, still through Francisco, filed a petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction
against Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City
to set aside and declare the writs of execution in Civil Case No. 1455. This was dismissed on
August 4, 1992, and Lee, through Francisco, filed a motion for reconsideration. According to
Francisco, he was relieved as counsel while this motion was pending.
A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client but not at the expense of truth and the
administration of justice.
The cause of the respondent's client in obviously without merit. The respondent was aware of
this fact when he wilfully resorted to the gambits summarized above, continuously seeking

relief that was consistently denied, as he should have expected. He thereby added to the
already clogged dockets of the courts and wasted their valuable time. He also caused much
inconvenience and expense to the complainant, who was obliged to defend herself against
his every move.
By grossly abusing his right of recourse to the courts for the purpose of arguing a cause that
had been repeatedly rebuffed, he was disdaining the obligation of the lawyer to maintain only
such actions or proceedings as appear to him to be just and such defense only as he believes
to be honestly debatable under the law. By violating his oath not to delay any man for money
or malice, he has besmirched the name of an honorable profession and has proved himself
unworthy of trust reposed in him by law as an officer of the Court.
Atty. Crisanto l. Francisco took his oath as a lawyer on March 2, 1956. Considering his age
and experience in the practice of the laws, he should have known better than to trifle with it
and to use it as an instrument for harassment of the complainant and the misuse of judicial
processes. For this serious transgression of the Code of Professional Responsibility, he
deserves to be sanctioned, not only as punishment for his misconduct but also as a warning
to other lawyers who may be influenced by his example.
Accordingly, he is hereby SUSPENDED for ONE YEAR from the practice of law and from the
enjoyment of all the rights and privileges appurtenant to membership in the Philippine bar.
Let a copy of this Resolution be served immediately on the respondent and circularized to all
courts and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 90083 October 4, 1990
KHALYXTO PEREZ MAGLASANG, accused-petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Presiding Judge ERNESTO B. TEMPLADO (San Carlos
City Court), Negros Occidental, respondents.
Marceliano L. Castellano for petitioner.
RESOLUTION
PER CURIAM:
On June 22, 1989, a petition for certiorari 1 entitled "Khalyxto Perez Maglasang vs. People of
the Philippines, Presiding Judge, Ernesto B. Templado (San Carlos City Court) Negros
Occidental," was filed by registered mail with the Court. Due to non-compliance with the
requirements of Circular No. 1-88 of the Court, specifically the non- payment of P316.50 for

the legal fees and the non-attachment of the duplicate originals or duly certified true copies
of the questioned decision and orders of the respondent judge denying the motion for
reconsideration, the Court dismissed the petition on July 26, 1989. 2
On September 9, 1989, Atty. Marceliano L. Castellano, as counsel of the petitioner, moved for
a reconsideration of the resolution dismissing the petition. 3 This time, the amount of P316.50
was remitted and the Court was furnished with a duplicate copy of the respondent judge's
decision, and also the IBP O.R. No. and the date of the payment of his membership dues. The
motion for reconsideration did not contain the duplicate original or certified true copies of the
assailed orders. Thus, in a Resolution dated October 18, 1989, the motion for reconsideration
was denied "with FINALITY." 4
Three months later, or on January 22, 1990 to be exact, the Court received from Atty.
Castellano a copy of a complaint dated December 19, 1989, filed with the Office of the
President of the Philippines whereby Khalyxto Perez Maglasang, through his lawyer, Atty.
Castellano, as complainant, accused all the five Justices of the Court's Second Division with
"biases and/or ignorance of the law or knowingly rendering unjust judgments or
resolution." 5The complaint was signed by Atty. Castellano "for the complainant" with the
conformity of one Calixto B. Maglasang, allegedly the father of accused-complainant
Khalyxto. 6 By reason of the strong and intemperate language of the complaint and its
improper filing with the Office of the President, which, as he should know as a lawyer, has no
jurisdiction to discipline, much more, remove, Justices of the Supreme Court, on February 7,
1990, Atty. Castellano was required to show cause why he should not be punished for
contempt or administratively dealt with for improper conduct. 7 On March 21, 1990, Atty.
Castellano filed by registered mail his "Opposition To Cite For Contempt Or Administratively
Dealt With For An Improper Conduct (sic)." 8
In his "Opposition", Atty. Castellano claimed that the complaint "was a constructive criticism
intended to correct in good faith the erroneous and very strict practices of the Justices
concerned, as Respondents (sic). 9 Atty. Castellano further disputed the authority and
jurisdiction of the Court in issuing the Resolution requiring him to show cause inasmuch as
"they are Respondents in this particular case and no longer as Justices and as such they have
no more jurisdiction to give such order." 10 Thus, according to him, "the most they (Justices)
can do by the mandate of the law and procedure (sic) is to answer the complaint
satisfactorily so that they will not be punished in accordance with the law just like a common
tao." 11
Notwithstanding his claim that the complaint was a "constructive criticism," the Court finds
the various statements made by Atty. Castellano in the complaint he lodged with the Office of
the President of the Philippines and in his "Opposition" filed with the Court portions of which
read as follows:
VI

That with all these injustices of the 2nd Division, as assigned to that most
Honorable Supreme Court, the complainant was legally constrained to file
this Administrative Complaint to our Motherly President who is firm and
determined to phase-out all the scalawags (Marcos Appointees and Loyalists)
still in your administration without bloodshed but by honest and just
investigations, which the accused-complainant concurs to such procedure
and principle, or otherwise, he could have by now a rebel with the
undersigned with a cause for being maliciously deprived or unjustly denied of
Equal Justice to be heard by our Justices designated to the Highest and most
Honorable Court of the Land (Supreme Court); 12 (Emphasis ours.)
VII
That the Honorable Supreme Court as a Court has no fault at all for being
Constitutionally created, but the Justices assigned therein are fallables (sic),
being bias (sic), playing ignorance of the law and knowingly rendering unjust
Resolutions the reason observed by the undersigned and believed by him in
good faith, is that they are may be Marcos-appointees, whose common
intention is to sabotage the Aquino Administration and to rob from innocent
Filipino people the genuine Justice and Democracy, so that they will be left in
confusion and turmoil to their advantage and to the prejudice of our beloved
President's honest, firm and determined Decision to bring back the real
Justice in all our Courts, for the happiness, contentment and progress of your
people and the only country which God has given us.
PHILIPPINES. 13 (Emphasis ours.)
VIII
That all respondents know the law and the pure and simple meaning of
Justice, yet they refused to grant to the poor and innocent accusedcomplainant, so to save their brethren in rank and office (Judiciary) Judge
Ernesto B. Templado, . . . 14
IX
. . . If such circulars were not known to the undersigned, it's the fault of the
Justices of the Honorable Supreme Court, the dismissal of the petition was
based more of money reasons. . . . This is so for said Equal Justice is our very
Breath of Life to every Filipino, who is brave to face the malicious acts of the
Justices of the Second Division, Supreme Court. By reason of fear for the truth
Respondents ignore the equal right of the poor and innocent-accused
(complainant) to be heard against the rich and high-ranking person in our
Judiciary to be heard in equal justice in our Honorable Court, for the
respondents is too expensive and can't be reached by an ordinary man for
the Justices therein areinconsiderate, extremely strict and meticulous to the

common tao and hereby grossly violate their Oath of Office and our
Constitution "to give all possible help and means to give equal Justice to any
man, regardless of ranks and status in life" 15 (Emphasis ours.)
xxx xxx xxx
5. That the undersigned had instantly without delay filed a Motion for
Reconsideration to the Resolution which carries with it a final denial of his
appeal by complying (sic) all the requirements needed for a valid appeal yet
the respondents denied just the same which legally hurt the undersigned in
the name of Justice, for the Respondents-Justices, were so strict
or inhumane and soinconsiderate that there despensation (sic) of genuine
justice was too far and beyond the reach of the Accused-Appellant, as a
common tao, as proved by records of both cases mentioned above. 16
xxx xxx xxx
D. That by nature a contempt order is a one sided weapon commonly abused
by Judges and Justices, against practicing lawyers, party-litigants and all
Filipino people in general for no Judges or Justices since the beginning of our
Court Records were cited for contempt by any presiding Judge. That this
weapon if maliciously applied is a cruel means to silence a righteous and
innocent complainant and to favor any person with close relation. 17
scurrilous and contumacious. His allegations that the Court in dismissing his petition
did so "to save their brethren in rank and office (Judiciary) Judge Ernesto B.
Templado," and that the dismissal was "based more for (sic) money reasons;" and his
insinuation that the Court maintains a double standard in dispensing justice one
set for the rich and another for the poor went beyond the bounds of "constructive
criticism." They are not relevant to the cause of his client. On the contrary, they cast
aspersion on the Court's integrity as a neutral and final arbiter of all justiciable
controversies brought before it. Atty. Castellano should know that the Court in
resolving complaints yields only to the records before it and not to any extraneous
influence as he disparagingly intimates.
It bears stress that the petition was dismissed initially by the Court for the counsel's failure to
fully comply with the requirements laid down in Circular No. 1-88, a circular on expeditious
disposition of cases, adopted by the Court on November 8, 1988, but effective January 1,
1989, after due publication. It is true that Atty. Castellano later filed on behalf of his client a
motion for reconsideration and remitted the necessary legal fees, 18 furnished the Court with
a duplicate original copy of the assailed trial court's decision, 19 and indicated his IBP O.R. No.
and the date he paid his dues. 20 But he still fell short in complying fully with the
requirements of Circular No. 1-88. He failed to furnish the Court with duplicate original or
duty certified true copies of the other questioned orders issued by the respondent trial court
judge. At any rate, the explanation given by Atty. Castellano did not render his earlier

negligence excusable. Thus, as indicated in our Resolution dated October 18, 1989 which
denied with finality his motion for reconsideration, "no valid or compelling reason (having
been) adduced to warrant the reconsideration sought." Precisely, under paragraph 5 of
Circular No. 1-88 it is provided that "(S)ubsequent compliance with the above requirements
will not warrant reconsideration of the order of dismissal unless it be shown that such noncompliance was due to compelling reasons."
It is clear that the case was lost not by the alleged injustices Atty. Castellano irresponsibly
ascribed to the members of the Court's Second Division, but simply because of his
inexcusable negligence and incompetence. Atty. Castellano, however, seeks to pass on the
blame for his deficiencies to the Court, in the hope of salvaging his reputation before his
client. Unfortunately, the means by which Atty. Castellano hoped to pass the buck so to
speak, are grossly improper. As an officer of the Court, he should have known better than to
smear the honor and integrity of the Court just to keep the confidence of his client. Time and
again we have emphasized that a "lawyer's duty is not to his client but to the administration
of justice; to that end, his client's success is wholly subordinate; and his conduct ought to
and must always be scrupulously observant of law and ethics." 21 Thus, "while a lawyer must
advocate his client's cause in utmost earnest and with the maximum skill he can marshal, he
is not at liberty to resort to arrogance, intimidation, and innuendo." 22
To be sure, the Court does not pretend to be immune from criticisms. After all, it is through
the criticism of its actions that the Court, composed of fallible mortals, hopes to correct
whatever mistake it may have unwittingly committed. But then again, "[i]t is the cardinal
condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide and shall not spill over the walls of
decency and propriety. A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the one hand, and
abuse and slander of courts and the judges thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair
criticism is a gross violation of the duty of respect to courts." 23 In this regard, it is precisely
provided under Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility that:
CANON 11-A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE TO
THE COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSIST ON SIMILAR
CONDUCT BY OTHERS.
xxx xxx xxx
RULE 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or
menancing language or behavior before the courts.

between the judiciary, the executive, and the legislative branches has been lost on Atty.
Castellano. We therefore take this occasion to once again remind all and sundry that "the
Supreme Court is supreme the third great department of government entrusted exclusively
with the judicial power to adjudicate with finality all justiciable disputes, public and private.
No other department or agency may pass upon its judgments or declare them
'unjust.'" 24 Consequently, and owing to the foregoing, not even the President of the
Philippines as Chief Executive may pass judgment on any of the Court's acts.
Finally, Atty. Castellano's assertion that the complaint "was a constructive criticism intended
to correct in good faith the erroneous and very strict practices of the Justices, concerned as
Respondents (sic)" is but a last minute effort to sanitize his clearly unfounded and
irresponsible accusation. The arrogance displayed by counsel in insisting that the Court has
no jurisdiction to question his act of having complained before the Office of the President,
and in claiming that a contempt order is used as a weapon by judges and justices against
practicing lawyers, however, reveals all too plainly that he was not honestly motivated in his
criticism. Rather, Atty. Castellano's complaint is a vilification of the honor and integrity of the
Justices of the Second Division of the Court and an impeachment of their capacity to render
justice according to law.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Marceliano L. Castellano is found guilty of CONTEMPT OF COURT and
IMPROPER CONDUCT as a member of the Bar and an officer of the Court, and is hereby
ordered to PAY within fifteen (15) days from and after the finality of this Resolution a fine of
One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos, or SUFFER ten (10) days imprisonment in the municipal jail
of Calatrava, Negros Occidental in case he fails to pay the fine seasonably, and SUSPENDED
from the practice of law throughout the Philippines for six (6) months as soon as this
Resolution becomes final, with a WARNING that a repetition of any misconduct on his part will
be dealt with more severely. Let notice of this Resolution be entered in Atty. Castellano's
record, and be served on the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Court of Appeals, and the
Executive Judges of the Regional Trial Courts and other Courts of the country, for their
information and guidance.
SO ORDERED.
A.M. No. 1769 June 8, 1992
CESAR L. LANTORIA, complainant,
vs.
ATTY. IRINEO L. BUNYI, respondent.

RULE 11.04 A lawyer should not attribute to a judge motives not supported
by the record or have materiality to the case.
xxx xxx xxx
We further note that in filing the "complaint" against the justices of the Court's Second
Division, even the most basic tenet of our government system the separation of powers

PER CURIAM:
This is an administrative complaint filed by Cesar L. Lantoria, seeking disciplinary action
against respondent Irineo L. Bunyi, member of the Philippine Bar, on the ground that

respondent Bunyi allegedly committed acts of "graft and corruption, dishonesty and conduct
unbecoming of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and corruption of the judge
and bribery", in connection with respondent's handling of Civil Case Nos. 81, 83 and 88 then
pending before the Municipal Court of Experanza, Agusan del Sur, presided over by Municipal
Judge Vicente Galicia 1 in which respondent Bunyi was the counsel of one of the parties,
namely, Mrs. Constancia Mascarinas.
Respondent Bunyi alleged that Mrs. Constancia M. Mascarinas of Manila was the owner of d
farm located in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, and that herein complainant Lantoria was the
manager and supervisor of said farm, receiving as such a monthly allowance. 2 It appears
that the complaint in Civil Case Nos. 81, 83 and 88 sought to eject the squatters from the
aforementioned farm. 3 These cases were assigned to the Municipal Court of Esperanza,
Agusan del Bur, the acting municipal judge of which was the Honorable Vicente Galicia (who
was at the same time the regular judge of the municipal court of Bayugan, Agusan del
Sur). 4 The defendants in the mentioned civil cases were, in due course, declared in default.
In relation to the same three (3) civil cases, the records of the present case show that
complainant Lantoria wrote a letter to respondent Bunyi, dated 23 April 1974, which reads as
follows: Butuan City
23 April 1974
Atty. Ireneo Bunye
928 Rizal Avenue
Santa Cruz, Manila

On 01 June 1974, respondent Bunyi wrote to the complainant regarding the said three (3)
cases, in this wise: June 1, 1974
Dear Major Lantoria,
At last, I may say that I have tried my best to respond to the call in your
several letters received, which is about the preparation of the three (3)
Decisions awaited by Judge Galicia. The delay is that I have been too much
occupied with my cases and other professional commitments here in Manila
and nearby provinces. Not only to Mrs. Mascarinas I would say that I am so
sorry but also to you. Mrs. Mascarinas has been reminding me but I always
find myself at a loss to prepare these Decisions at an early date sa (sic)
possible. So also with my calendar as to the dates for the next hearing of the
remaining cases over there.
Herewith now, you will find enclosed the three (3) Decisions against the (3)
defaulted defendants. I am not sure if they will suit to satisfy Judge Galicia to
sign them at once. However, it is my request to Judge Galicia, thru your kind
mediation, that if the preparation of these Decisions do not suit his
consideration, then I am ready and willing to accept his suggestions or
correction to charge or modify them for the better. And to this effect, kindly
relay at once what he is going to say or thinks if he signs them readily and
please request for each copy for our hold.
xxx xxx xxx

Dear Atty. Bunye:


xxx xxx xxx
Upon informing him of your willingness to prepare the corresponding
judgements (sic) on the 3 defaulted cases he said he has no objection in fact
he is happy and recommended that you mail the said decisions in due time
thru me to be delivered to him.

Please excuse this delay, and thanks for your kind assistance in attending to
our cases there. Regards to you and family and prayer for your more vigor
and success. Brotherly yours,(SGD.) IRINEO L. BUNYI 6
Counsel
It also appears that respondent Bunyi wrote an earlier letter to complainant Lantoria, dated
04 March 1974, the contents of which read as follows:928 Rizal Ave., Sta. Cruz, Manila
March 4, 1974

xxx xxx xxx


Dear Major Lantoria,
I will communicate with you from time to time for any future development.
My best regards to you and family and to Mrs. Constancia
Mascarinas and all. Very truly yours, (SGD.) CESAR L
LANTORIA
Major Inf PC (ret)
Executive Director 5

This is an additional request, strictly personal and confidential. Inside the


envelope addressed to Judge Vicente C. Galicia, are the Decisions and Orders,
which he told me to prepare and he is going to sign them. If you please,
deliver the envelope to him as if you have no knowledge and information and
that you have not opened it. Unless, of course, if the information comes from
him. But, you can inquire from him if there is a need to wait from his words
about them, or copies to be furnished me, after he signs them, it could be
made thru you personally, to expedite receiving those copies for our hold.

According to him, this envelope could be delivered to him at his residence at


No. 345 M. Calo St., Butuan City, during week end. or, at Bayugan if you
happen to go there, if he is not in Butuan City.
Thanking You for your kind attention and favor.Truly yours, (SGD.) L. BUNYI

Three years after, that is, on 11 April 1977, complainant filed with this Court the present
administrative case against respondent Bunyi, predicated mainly on the above-quoted three
(3) letters dated 04 March, 23 April and 01 June, 1974. Complainant contends that
respondent won the said three (3) cases because to (respondent) was the one who
unethically prepared the decisions rendered therein, and that the preparation by respondent
of said decisions warranted disciplinary action against him.
By way of answer to the complaint, respondent, in a motion to dismiss 8 the administrative
complaint, admitted the existence of the letter of 01 June 1974, but explained the contents
thereof as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
b) In the second place, the said letter of June 1, 1974, is self-explanatory and
speaks for itself, that if ever the same was written by the Respondent, it was
due to the insistence of the Complainant thru his several letters received,
that the decisions in question be drafted or prepared for Judge Galicia, who
considered such preparation as a big help to him, because he was at that
time holding two (2) salas one as being the regular Municipal Judge of
Bayugan and the other, as the acting Judge of Esperanza, both of Agusan del
Sur, with many pending cases and it was to the benefit of the Complainant
that the early disposition of the cases involved would not suffer
inconsiderable delay. But, the intention to draft or prepare the decisions in
question was never spawned by the Respondent. Instead, it came from the
under-standing between the Judge and the complainant who, from his several
letters, had demonstrated so much interest to eject at once the squatters
from the farm he was entrusted to manage. Furthermore, the Complainant's
conclusion that the said decisions were lutong macao is purely non-sense as
it is without any factual or legal basis. He himself knew that Judge Galicia
asked for help in the drafting of said decisions as at any rate they were
judgments by default, the defendants lost their standing in court when they
were declared in default for failure to file their answers and to appear at the
place and time set for hearing thereof (See first paragraph, letter of June 1,
1974)
c) Thirdly, in the same letter, the decisions as prepared were in the form of
drafts, as in fact, the letter mentioned subject to suggestion or correction to
change or modify for the better by Judge Galicia (Second paragraph, Ibid);

d) Fourthly, in the some letter, Responding (sic) even apologized for the delay
in sending the same to the Complainant and expressed his gratitude for his
assistance in attending to the cases involved (Last paragraph, Ibid.)
In its resolution dated 28 November 1977, this Court referred the case to the Solicitor
General for investigation, report and recommendation. 9 On 21 July 1980, the Solicitor
General submitted his report to the Court, with the following averments, to wit: 1) that the
case was set for hearing on April 12, September 29, and December 18, 1978, but in all said
scheduled hearings only respondent Bunyi appeared; 2) that in the hearing of 16 January
1979, both respondent and complainant appeared; 3) that at the same hearing, the Solicitor
General reported the following development
Atty. Mercado submitted a letter of complainant dated January 16, 1979
sworn to before the investigating Solicitor, praying that the complaint be
considered withdrawn, dropped or dismissed on the ground that complainant
"could hardly substantiate" his charges and that he is "no longer interested to
prosecute" the same. For his part, respondent manifested that he has no
objection to the withdrawal of the complaint against him. At the same time,
he presented complainant Lantoria as a witness are elicited testimony to the
effect that complainant no longer has in his possession the original of the
letters attached to his basic complaint, and hence, he was not prepared to
prove his charges. 10 (emphasis supplied)
In his aforesaid report, the Solicitor General found as follows: a) that the letters of respondent
Bunyi (dated 4, March and 1 June 1974), addressed to complainant, showed that respondent
had indeed prepared the draft of the decisions in Civil Case Nos. 81, 83 and 88 of the
Municipal Court of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, which he submitted to Judge Vicente Galicia
thru the complainant; b) that those letters indicated that respondent had previous
communications with Judge Galicia regarding the preparation of the decisions; c) that the
testimony of complainant to the effect that he had lost the original of said letters, and
complainant's withdrawal of the complaint in the case at bar are of no moment, as
respondent Bunyi, and his motion to dismiss filed with the Supreme Court, admitted that he
prepared the draft of the decisions in the said civil cases, and be affirmed the existence of
the letters.
Hence, in his report, the Solicitor General found that respondent is guilty of highly unethical
and unprofessional conduct for failure to perform his duty, as an officer of the court, to help
promote the independence of the judiciary and to refrain from engaging in acts which would
influence judicial determination of a litigation in which he is counsel. 11 The Solicitor General
recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one (1)
year. He filed with the Court the corresponding complaint against respondent.
In his answer 12 to the complaint filed by the Solicitor General, respondent manifested that in
the future he would be more careful in observing his duties as a lawyer, and in upholding the
provisions of the canons of professional ethics.

On 10 December 1980, the date set by this Court for the hearing of this case, the hearing
was postponed until further notice. On 9 March 1981, respondent filed a
manifestation 13 alleging that no hearing was as yet set in the case since the last setting on
10 December 1980, and he requested that the next hearing be not set until after six (6)
months when be expected to return from the United States of America where he would visit
his children and at the same time have a medical check-up.
On 28 October 1981, the date set by this Court for bearing in this case, respondent Bunyi and
the Solicitor General appeared, and respondent was directed to submit his memorandum.
Respondent Bunyi filed his memorandum on 16 November 1981. In said
memorandum, 14 respondent submitted that although he prepared the draft of the decisions
in the civil cases, he did not offer Judge Galicia any gift or consideration to influence the
Judge in allowing him to prepare the draft decisions. 15 He also offered his apology to the
Court for all the improprieties which may have resulted from his preparation of the draft
decisions.
We agree with the observation of the Solicitor General that the determination of the merits of
the instant case should proceed notwithstanding complainant's withdrawal of his complaint in
the case, the respondent himself having admitted that the letters in question truly exist, and
that he even asked for an apology from the Court, for whatever effects such letters may have
had on his duty as a lawyer.

lawyer should not communicate or argue privately with the judge as to the
merits of a pending cause and deserves rebuke and denunciation for any
device or attempt to gain from a judge special personal consideration or
favor. A self-respecting independence in the discharge of professional duty,
without denial or diminution of the courtesy and respect due the judge's
station, is the only proper foundation for cordial personal and official relations
between bench and bar.
In the new Code of Professional Responsibility 16 a lawyer's attempt to influence the court is
rebuked, as shown in Canon No. 13 and Rule 13.01, which read:
CANON 13 A lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from
any impropriety which tends to influence, or gives the appearance of
influencing the court.
Rule 13.01 A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality
to, nor seek opportunity for, cultivating familiarity with judges.
Therefore, this Court finds respondent guilty of unethical practice in attempting to influence
the court where he had pending civil case. 17

With the admission by respondent of the existence of the letters upon which the present
administrative complaint is based, the remaining issue to be resolved is the effect of the acts
complained of on respondent's duty both as a lawyer and an officer of the Court.

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Irineo L. Bunyi is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law
for a period of one (1) year from the date of notice hereof. Let this decision be entered in the
bar records of the respondent and the Court Administrator is directed to inform the different
courts of this suspension.

We find merit in the recommendation of the Solicitor General that respondent, by way of
disciplinary action, deserves suspension from the practice of law.

SO ORDERED.

The subject letters indeed indicate that respondent had previous communication with Judge
Galicia regarding the preparation of the draft decisions in Civil Case Nos. 81, 83, and 88, and
which he in fact prepared. Although nothing in the records would show that respondent got
the trial court judge's consent to the said preparation for a favor or consideration, the acts of
respondent nevertheless amount to conduct unbecoming of a lawyer and an officer of the
Court.

G.R. No. 115932 January 25, 1995


THE SPOUSES JOSE B. TIONGCO and LETICIA M. TIONGCO, petitioners,
vs.
HON. SEVERIANO C. AGUILAR, Judge, RTC, Branch 35, Iloilo City, and the Spouses
WILFREDO and LORENA AGUIRRE, respondents.
RESOLUTION

Clearly, respondent violated Canon No. 3 of the Canons of Professional Ethics (which were
enforced at the time respondent committed the acts admitted by him), which provides as
follows:
3. Attempts to exert personal influence on the court

DAVIDE, J.:

Marked attention and unusual hospitality on the part of a lawyer to a judge,


uncalled for by the personal relations of the parties, subject both the judge
and the lawyer to misconstructions of motive and should be avoided. A

In the resolution of 26 September 1994, this Court required ATTY. JOSE B. TIONGCO, as
counsel for the petitioners, to show cause why he should not be dealt with administratively
for the violation of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility considering:

. . . the insinuation of counsel for the petitioners that this Court did not read
the petition as borne out by the following statement:
". . . Truly, it is hard to imagine that this Honorable Court had
read the petition and the annexes attached thereto and hold
that the same has "failed to sufficiently show that the
respondent Court had committed a grave abuse of discretion
in rendering the questioned judgment". . .
which, as earlier noted, is unfounded and malicious, and considering further
his use of intemperate language in the petition, as exemplified by his
characterization of the decision of the respondent Judge as having been
"crafted in order to fool the winning party"; as a "hypocritical judgment in
plaintiffs' favor"; one "you could have sworn it was the Devil who dictated it";
or one with "perfidious character," although the petitioners as plaintiffs
therein and who were the prevailing party in the decision did not appeal
therefrom; and by his charge that the respondent Judge was "a bit confused
with that confusion which is the natural product of having been born,
nurtured and brought up amongst the crowded surroundings of the nonpropertied class; In fact, His Honor, Respondent Judge, the Honorable
Severino O. Aguilar had not owned any real property until March 5, 1974
when his Honor was already either Public-Prosecutor or RTC Judge; in one
scale of the balance, a 311 square meter lot, 6 houses from the Provincial
Road, about 6 kilometers from the Iloilo City Hall of Justice, and, in the other
scale, His Honor's brand-new car, impeccable attire, and dignified "mien";
and his charge that the respondent Judge has "joined the defendants and
their counsel in a scheme to unlawfully deprive petitioners of the possession
and fruits of their property for the duration of appeal"; and with respect to
the Order of 30 May 1994, by describing the respondent Judge as a "liar,"
"perjurer," or "blasphemer."
In his 2-page Compliance, dated 11 October 1994, he alleges that:

If the undersigned has called anyone a "liar" "thief" "perfidious" and


"blasphemer" it is because he is in fact a liar, thief, perfidious and
blasphemer; "this Honorable [sic] First Division, however, forget, that the
undersigned alsp [sic] called him a "robber" (Petition, pp. 13 bottom; 14
bottom), a "rotten manipulator" (Petition, p. 11 line 26) and "abetter" of graft
and shady deals (Petition, p. 12 bottom, p. 13 top); On the other hand, if the
undersigned called anybody "cross-eyed," it must be because he is indeed
cross-eyed particularly when he sees but five (5) letters in an eight (8)
letter-word; Indeed, it must be a lousy Code of Professional Responsibility and
therefore stands in dire need of amendment which punishes lawyer who
truthfully expose incompetent and corrupt judges before this Honorable
Supreme Court; It is therefore, respectfully submitted, that for all his pains,
the undersigned does not deserve or is entitled to the honors of being dealt
with administratively or otherwise.
and prays:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the undersigned respectfully prays of
this Honorable Supreme Court, that it forebear from turning the undersigned
into a martyr to his principles.
Yet, he added the following:
WITH THE UNDERSIGNED'S RESPECTFUL APOLOGIES AND UNDYING LOVE
(Constitution, Preamble, 66 word).
It must at once be noted that Atty. Tiongco did not at all show cause why he should not be
dealt with administratively for violation of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
in view of his unfounded and malicious insinuation that this Court did not at all read the
petition in this case before it concluded that the petition failed to sufficiently show that the
respondent court had committed a grave abuse of discretion. Moreover, while he tried to
justify as true his descriptions of the respondent judge as a "liar," "thief." perfidious," and
"blasphemer" he did not offer any excuse for his use of the rest of the intemperate words
enumerated in the resolution. Worse, feeling obviously frustrated at the incompleteness of
the Court's enumeration of the intemperate words or phrases, he volunteered to point out
that in addition to those so enumerated, he also called the respondent judge a "robber,"
"rotten manipulator," "abettor" of graft and corruption, and "cross-eyed."
Atty. Tiongco's Compliance is unsatisfactory and is entirely unacceptable for the following
reasons: first, he impliedly admitted the falsity of his insinuation that this Court did not read
the petition' second, except as to the words "liar," "thief," "perfidious'" and "blasphemer," he
failed to address squarely the other intemperate words and phrases enumerated in the
resolution of 26 September 1994, which failure amounts to an admission of their
intemperateness; third, he did not indicate the circumstances upon which his defense of truth

lies; and, fourth, he miserably failed to show the relevance of the harsh words and phrase to
his petition.
We do not then hesitate to rule that by falsely and maliciously insinuating that this Court did
not at all read the petition in this case, Atty. Tiongco not only exhibited his gross disrespect to
and contempt for this Court and exposed his plot to discredit the Members of the First
Division of the Court and put them to public contempt or ridicule; he, as well, charged them
with the violation of their solemn duty to render justice, thereby creating or promoting
distrust in judicial administration which could have the effect of "encouraging discontent
which, in many cases, is the source of disorder, thus undermining the foundation on which
rests the bulwark called judicial power to which those who are aggrieved turn for protection
and relief" (Salcedo vs. Hernandez, 61 Phil. 724 [1953]).
In using in the petition in this case intemperate and scurrilous words and phrases against the
respondent judge which are obviously uncalled for and entirely irrelevant to the petition and
whose glaring falsity is easily demonstrated by the respondent judge's decision if favor of
Atty. Tiongco and his wife in their case for recovery of possession and damages, and by the
dismissal of the instant petition for failure of the petitioners to sufficiently show that the
respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion, Atty. Tiongco has equally shown his
disrespect to and contempt for the respondent judge, thereby diminishing public confidence
in the latter and eventually, in the judiciary, or sowing mistrust in the administration of
justice.
Consequently, Atty. Tiongco has made a strong case for a serious violation of Canon 11 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility which reads as follows:
CANON 11 A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE RESPECT DUE
TO THE COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSIST ON SIMILAR
CONDUCT BY OTHERS.
This duty is closely entwined with his vow in the lawyer's oath "to conduct himself as a
lawyer with all good fidelity to the courts"; his duty under Section 20 (b), Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court "[t]o observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial
officers"; and his duty under the first canon of the Canons Professional Ethics "to maintain
towards the courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the
judicial office, but for the maintenance of its incumbent of the judicial office, but for the
maintenance of its supreme importance."
In Rheem of the Philippines vs. Ferrer (20 SCRA 441, 444 [1967]), this Court said:
By now, a lawyer's duties to the Court had become commonplace. Really,
there could hardly be any valid excuse for lapses in the observance thereof.
Section 20(b), Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, in categorical terms, spells out
one such duty: "To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of
justice and judicial officers." As explicit is the first canon of legal ethics which

pronounces that "[i]t is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the Courts
a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the
judicial office, but for the maintenance of its supreme importance." That
same canon, as a corollary, makes it peculiarly incumbent upon lawyers to
support the courts against "unjust criticism and clamor." And more. The
attorney's oath solemnly binds him to conduct that should be "with all good
fidelity . . . to the courts." Worth remembering is that the duty of an attorney
to the courts "can only be maintained by rendering no service involving any
disrespect to the judicial office which he is bound to uphold." [Lualhati vs.
Albert, 57 Phil. 86, 92].
We concede that a lawyer may think highly of his intellectual endowment.
That is his privilege. And, he may suffer frustration at what he feels is others'
lack of it. That is his misfortune. Some such frame of mind, however, should
not be allowed to harden into a belief that he may attack court's decision in
words calculated to jettison the time-honored aphorism that courts are the
temples of right. He should give due allowance to the fact that judges are but
men; and men are encompassed by error, fettered by fallibility.
Expounding further on the lawyer's duty to the courts, this Court, in Surigao Mineral
Reservation Board vs. Cloribel(31 SCRA 1, 16-17 [1970]), stated:
A lawyer is an officer of the courts; he is, "like the court itself, an instrument
or agency to advance the ends of justice." [People ex rel. Karlin vs. Culkin, 60
A.L.R. 851, 855]. His duty is to uphold the dignity and the authority of the
courts to which he owes fidelity, "not to promote distrust in the
administration in the administration of justice." [In re Sotto, 82 Phil. 595,
602]. faith in the courts a lawyer should seek to preserve. For, to undermine
the judicial edifice "is disastrous to the continuity of the government and to
the attainment of the liberties of the people." [Malcolm legal and Judicial
Ethics, 1949 ed., p. 160]. Thus has it been said of a lawyer that "[a]s an
officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not
destroy unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards the courts so
essential to the proper administration of justice." [People vs. Carillo, 77 Phil.
572, 580]. (See also In re: Rafael C. Climaco, 55 SCRA 107 [1974]).
It does not, however, follow that just because a lawyer is an officer of the court, he cannot
criticize the courts. That is his right as a citizen, and it is even his duty as an officer of the
court to avail of such right. Thus, In Re: Almacen(31 SCRA 562, 579-580 [1970]), this Court
explicitly declared:

Hence, as a citizen and as an officer of the court, a lawyer is expected not


only to exercise the right, but also to consider it his duty to avail of such
right. No law may abridge this right. Nor is he "professionally answerable for
a scrutiny into the official conduct of the judge, which would not expose him
to legal animadversion as a citizen." (Case of Austin, 28 Am dec. 657, 665).
"Above all others, the members of the bar have the best
opportunity to become conversant with the character and
efficiency of out judges. No class is less likely to abuse the
privilege, or no other class has as great an interest in the
preservation of an able and upright bench." (State Board of
Examiners in Law vs. Hart, 116 N.W. 212, 216).
To curtail the right of a lawyer to be critical of the foibles of courts and judges
is to seal the lips of those in the best position to give advice and who might
consider it their duty to speak disparagingly. "Under such a rule," so far as
the bar is concerned, "the merits of a sitting judge may be rehearsed, but as
to his demerits there must be profound silence. (State vs. Circuit Court (72
N.W. 196)).
Nevertheless, such a right is not without limit. For, as this Court warned in Almacen:
But it is a cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide, and
shall not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. A wide chasm exists
between fair criticism, on the one hand, and abuse and slander of courts and
the judges thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross
violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is such a misconduct that subjects
a lawyer to disciplinary action.
xxx xxx xxx
The lawyer's duty to render respectful subordination to the courts is essential
to the orderly administration of justice. hence, in the assertion of their client's
rights, lawyers even those gifted with superior intellect are enjoined to
rein up their tempers.
Elsewise stated, the right to criticize, which is guaranteed by the freedom of speech and of
expression in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, must be exercised responsibly, for every
right carries with it a corresponding obligation. Freedom is not freedom from responsibility,
but freedom with responsibility. In Zaldivar vs. Gonzales (166 SCRA 316, 353-354 [1988]), it
was held:
Respondent Gonzales is entitled to the constitutional guarantee of free spe
ech. No one seeks to deny him that right, least of all this Court. What
respondent seems unaware of is that freedom of speech and of expression,

like all constitutional freedoms, is not absolute and that freedom of


expression needs an occasion to be adjusted to and accommodated with the
requirements of equally important public interests. One of these fundamental
public interests is the maintenance of the integrity and orderly functioning of
the administration justice. There is no antimony between free expression and
the integrity of the system of administering justice. For the protection and
maintenance of freedom of expression itself can be secured only within the
context of a functioning and orderly system of dispensing justice, within the
context, in other words, of viable independent institutions for delivery of
justice which are accepted by the general community.
Proscribed then are, inter alia, the use of unnecessary language which jeopardizes high
esteem in courts, creates or promotes distrust in judicial administration (Rheem, supra), or
tends necessarily to undermine the confidence of the people in the integrity of the members
of this Court and to degrade the administration of justice by this Court (In re: Sotto, 82 Phil.
595 [1949]); or of offensive and abusive language (In re: Rafael Climaco, 55 SCRA 107
[1974]); or abrasive and offensive language (Yangson vs. Salandanan, 68 SCRA 42 [1975]); or
of disrespectful, offensive, manifestly baseless, and malicious statements in pleadings or in a
letter addressed to the judge (Baja vs. Macando, 158 SCRA 391 [1988], citing the resolution
of 19 January 1988 in Phil. Public Schools Teachers Association vs. Quisumbing, G.R. No.
76180, and Ceniza vs. Sebastian, 130 SCRA 295 [1984]); or of disparaging, intemperate, and
uncalled-for remarks (Sangalang vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 177 SCRA 87 [1989]).
That Atty. Tiongco had exceeded the bounds of decency and propriety in making the false
and malicious insinuation against this Court, particularly the Members of the First Division,
and the scurrilous characterizations of the respondent judge is, indeed, all too obvious. Such
could only come from anger, if not hate, after he was not given what he wanted. Anger or
hate could only come from one who "seems to be of that frame of mind whereby he
considers as in accordance with law and justice whatever he believes to be right in his own
opinion and as contrary to law and justice whatever does not accord with his views"
(Montecillo vs. Gica, 60 SCRA 234, 238 [1974]). When such anger or hate is coupled with
haughtiness or arrogance as when he even pointed out other intemperate words in his
petition which this Court failed to incorporate in the resolution of 26 September 1994, and
with seething sarcasm as when he prays that this Court "forebear[s] from turning . . . [him]
into a martyr to his principles" and ends up his Compliance with the "RESPECTFUL
APOLOGIES AND UNDYING LOVE" (Constitution Preamble, 66th word), "nothing more can
extenuate his liability for gross violation of Canon 11 of the Code of professional
Responsibility and his other duties entwined therewith as earlier adverted to.
WHEREFORE, for such violation, ATTY. JOSE B. TIONGCO is hereby ordered to pay a Fine of
FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) and WARNED that the commission of the same or similar
acts in the future shall be dealt with more money.
G.R. No. 86421 May 31, 1994

SPS. THELMA R. MASINSIN and MIGUEL MASINSIN, SPS. GILBERTO and ADELINA,
ROLDAN, petitioners,
vs.
THE HON. ED VINCENT ALBANO, Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Manila, Branch X, DEPUTY SHERIFF JESS ARREOLA, VICENTE CAEDA and THE HON.
LEONARDO CRUZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge Regional Trial of Manila,
Branch XXV, respondents.

the ground of res judicata. This time, petitioners appealed the dismissal to the Court of
Appeals. Meanwhile, a writ of execution was issued by the MTC for the enforcement of its
decision. The writ, however, was held in abeyance when petitioners deposited with the Court
of Appeals the sum of P3,000.00 in cash plus an amount of P100.00 to be paid every month
beginning February 1987. On 11 March 1987, the Court of Appeals affirmed the order of
dismissal of the lower court. Petitioners' recourse to this Court was to be of no avail. The
petition was denied, and an entry of judgment was made on 14 July 1987.

Gregorio T. Fabros for petitioners.

Accordingly, the records were remanded to the MTC for execution. When petitioners refused
to remove their house on the premises in question, upon motion of private respondent, an
order of demolition was issued. Shortly thereafter, the demolition began. Before the
completion of the demolition, a restraining order was issued by the Regional Trial Court of
Manila (Branch XIX) following a petition for certiorari, with preliminary injunction and
restraining order, filed by petitioners. On 23 February 1988, the trial court dismissed the
petition.

Isidro F. Molina for private respondent.


RESOLUTION

VITUG, J.:
Spouses Miguel and Thelma Masinsin, et al., instituted this petition for certiorari, prohibition,
relief from judgment, as well as declaratory relief, with prayer for preliminary mandatory
injunction, asking us to order the Metropolitan Trial Court ("MTC") of Manila, Branch X, to
cease and desist from further proceeding with Civil Case No. 107203-CV.
This case emerged from an ejectment suit (docketed Civil Case No. 107203-CV) filed by
private respondent Vicente Caeda ("Caeda"), then as plaintiffs, against herein petitioners,
as defendants, with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila (Branch X). After trial, the MTC, on
01 July 1985, rendered judgment; thus:
PREMISES CONSIDERED, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the
defendants and all persons claiming right under them to vacate the premises
and to remove their house/apartment and surrender possession of the
subject land to the plaintiff; to pay to the plaintiff the sum of P100.00 a
month from January 1987 as the reasonable compensation for the use and
occupation of the premises until the land is actually vacated, and the costs of
suit. 1
No appeal having been taken therefrom, the judgment became final and executory. On 22
August 1985, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court of Manila
(Branch XXXII) seeking the annulment of the aforesaid decision in the ejectment case and to
set aside an order of its execution. The petition was in due time dismissed. Again, no appeal
was taken therefrom.
On 07 October 1985, a complaint for "Annulment of Judgment, Lease Contract and Damages"
was filed by petitioners before the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch XLI) asking, in main,
for the nullification of the judgment in the ejectment case. The complaint was dismissed on

Unfazed by the series of dismissals of their complaints and petitions, petitioners assailed
anew the MTC decision in a petition for certiorari, with preliminary injunction, and for
declaratory relief (docketed Civil Case No. 88-43944) before the Regional Trial Court of Manila
(Branch XXV), which, again, issued a restraining order. 2
Private respondent then filed a motion for an alias writ of execution with the MTC. An exparte motion of petitioners for the issuance of a second restraining order was this time
denied by the RTC (Branch XXV). 3 On 23 August 1990,4 the trial court, ultimately, dismissed
the petition with costs against petitioners.
In this petition, petitioners contend that the MTC of Manila (Branch X) has lost jurisdiction to
enforce its decision, dated 01 July 1985, in Civil Case No. 107203, when the property in
question was proclaimed an area for priority development by the National Housing Authority
on 01 December 1987 by authority of Presidential Decree 2016.
The petition is totally without merit.
In resolving this issue, we only have to refer to our resolution of 01 February 1993 in G.R. No.
98446, entitled, "Spouses Thelma R. Masinsin, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al.," to which this
case is intimately related, where we ruled:
. . . The singular question common to both cases submitted for resolution of
this court is the implication of Presidential Decree No. 1517, otherwise known
as the "Urban Land Reform Law," and its amendments or ramifications
embodied in Proclamation No. 1893, as amended by Proclamation No. 1967
and Presidential Decree No. 2016. All the above statutes are being
implemented by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, and the
Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Office of the
President.

There is a prejudicial issue the answer to which hangs the resolution of this
case. On May 20, 1992, this Court required the National Housing Authority to
submit a Comment on the status of the program of acquisition by the
Government of the land area which includes the disputed property, as part of
the Areas for Priority Development (APD), under the aforementioned decrees
and proclamations.
In compliance with said order of this Court, Mr. Andres C. Lingan, Manager of
the Metro Manila Project Department of the National Housing Authority,
submitted the following report on the status of Lot 6-A, Block 1012, located at
No. 1890 Obesis Street, Pandacan, Manila, known as the Carlos Estate, an
APD site. Pertinent portions of the report read:

Four times did the petitioners, with the assistance of counsel, try to nullify the same MTC
decision before different branches of the court, trifling with judicial processes. Never, again,
should this practice be countenanced. 6
The lawyer's oath to which we have all subscribed in solemn agreement in dedicating
ourselves to the pursuit of justice, is not a mere fictile of words, drift and hollow, but a sacred
trust that we must uphold and keep inviolable. Perhaps, it is time we are here reminded of
that pledge; thus LAWYER'S OATH
I, . . ., do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines; I will support and defend its Constitution and obey the laws as
well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no
falsehood nor consent to its commission; I will not wittingly or willingly
promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit nor give aid nor
consent to the same; I will not delay any man's cause for money or malice
and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge
and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients and
I impose upon myself this obligation voluntary, without any mental
reservation or purpose of evasion.

Please be informed that Lot 6-A, Block 1012 located at No.


1890 Obesis St., Pandacan, Manila which is the subject
matter of the case and located within the Carlos Estate
declared as APD site pursuant to Presidential Proclamation
No. 1967, is not for acquisition by NHA.
The Carlos Estate is located outside of the NHA projects
under the Zonal Improvement Project (ZIP) and Community
Mortgage Program (CMP). The site, however, is under the
administration of the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor
(PCUP) for acquisition and upgrading. (Emphasis Supplied.)
The above information answers the uncertainty concerning the status of the
alleged negotiation for the acquisition by the government of certain areas in
Metro Manila. The NHA is definitely NOT acquiring the said lot for its program.
It appearing that the purpose of this Petition for Review is to set aside the
decision of the respondent Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of
the lower courts, in order to avoid eviction from the disputed premises and to
be allowed to acquire the same allegedly under the Community Mortgage
Program of the National Housing Authority, we find the petition without merit
and deny the same. Consequently, the petition is DISMISSED. 5
What immediately catches one's attention to this case is the evident predilection of
petitioners, through different counsel, to file pleadings, one after another, from which not
even this Court has been spared. The utter lack of merit of the complaints and petitions
simply evinces the deliberate intent of petitioners to prolong and delay the inevitable
execution of a decision that has long become final and executory.

SO HELP ME GOD. (Emphasis supplied.)


We have since emphasized in no uncertain terms that any act on the part of a lawyer, an
officer of the court, which visibly tends to obstruct, pervert, impede and degrade the
administration of justice is contumacious calling for both an exercise of disciplinary action
and warranting application of the contempt power. 7
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. Petitioners' counsel of record is hereby strongly
CENSURED and WARNED that a similar infraction of the lawyer's oath in the future will be
dealt with most severely. Double costs against petitioners.
This resolution is immediately executory.
SO ORDERED.