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#1 Case Title: ATTY. ILUMINADA M. VAFLOR-FABROA, complainant, vs. ATTY.

OSCAR PAGUINTO,
respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Violation of Canons 1, 8, 10 and Rule 12.03 of
Code of Professional Responsibility and Lawyers Oath.
Syllabi Class: Administrative Law|Attorneys|Code of Professional Responsibility
Syllabi:
1. Administrative Law; Attorneys; Respondent violated the Lawyers Oath that a lawyer shall not wittingly or
willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit nor give aid or consent to the same.+
2. Same; Same; Code of Professional Responsibility; Respondent violated Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which states that a lawyer shall not, often obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda
or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so.+
Division: EN BANC
Docket Number: A.C. No. 6273
Ponente: CARPIO-MORALES
Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, respondent, Atty. Oscar P. Paguinto, is SUSPENDED for two years from the practice of law for
violation of Canons 1, 8, 10, and Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Lawyers Oath,
effective immediately. Let copies of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant, to be appended to
respondents personal record as an attorney; the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and all courts in the country for
their information and guidance.

This is an Administrative Case in the Supreme Court.


Facts:
An Information for Estafa was filed on June 21, 2001 against Atty. Iluminada M. Vaflor-Fabroa (complainant) along
with others based on a joint affidavit-complaint which Atty. Oscar Paguinto (respondent) prepared and notarized.
Respondent also filed six other criminal complaints against complainant for violation of Article 31 of Republic Act
No. 6938 (Cooperative Code of the Philippines) before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, but he eventually filed
a Motion to Withdraw them.
On October 10, 2001, complainant, who was Chairperson of the General Mariano Alvarez Service Cooperative, Inc.
(GEMASCO), received a Notice of Special General Assembly of GEMASCO on October 14, 2001 to consider the
removal of four members of the Board of Directors (the Board), including her and the General Manager. The notice
was signed by respondent.
On October 15, 2001, respondent and his group took over the GEMASCO office and its premises, the pump houses,
water facilities, and operations. On even date, respondent sent letter-notices to complainant and the four removed
directors informing them of their removal from the Board and as members of GEMASCO, and advising them to cease
and desist from further discharging the duties of their positions.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent committed a multiple violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Ruling:
The Court finds that by conniving with Gerangco in taking over the Board of Directors and the GEMASCO facilities,
respondent violated the provisions of the Cooperative Code of the Philippines and the GEMASCO By-Laws. He also
violated the Lawyer's Oath, which provides that a lawyer shall support the Constitution and obey the laws.
When respondent caused the filing of baseless criminal complaints against complainant, he violated the Lawyer's
Oath that a lawyer shall "not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid
or consent to the same."
When, after obtaining an extension of time to file comment on the complaint, respondent failed to file any and
ignored this Court's subsequent show cause order, he violated Rule 12.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
which states that "A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or briefs, let the
period lapse without submitting the same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so."
Lawyers are called upon to obey court orders and processes and respondent's deference is underscored by the fact that
willful disregard thereof will subject the lawyer not only to punishment

#2 Case Title: SPOUSES NICASIO and DONELITA SAN PEDRO, complainants, vs. ATTY. ISAGANI A.
MENDOZA, respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.
Syllabi Class: Attorneys ; Legal Ethics ; Attorneys Fees ;
Syllabi:
1. Same; Same; Same; The rule is that when there is a disagreement, or when the client disputes the amount claimed
by the lawyer . . . the lawyer should not arbitrarily apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees.+
2. Attorneys; Legal Ethics; It has been said that [t]he practice of law is a privilege bestowed on lawyers who meet
the high standards of legal proficiency and morality.+
3. Same; Same; Code of Professional Responsibility; When a lawyer collects or receives money from his client for a
particular purpose (such as for filing fees, registration fees, transportation and office expenses), he should promptly
account to the client how the money was spent. If he does not use the money for its intended purpose, he must
immediately return it to the client. His failure either to render an accounting or to return the money (if the intended
purpose of the money does not materialize) constitutes a blatant disregard of Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility (CPR).+
4. Same; Same; Attorneys Fees; Retaining Lien; Elements of a Valid Retaining Lien.+
Division: SECOND DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 5440
Ponente: LEONEN
Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Isagani A. Mendoza is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three (3) months.
He is also ordered to RETURN to complainants the amount of P68,250.00 with 6% legal interest from the date of
finality of this judgment until full payment. Respondent is further DIRECTED to submit to this court proof of
payment of the amount within 10 days from payment. Let a copy of this resolution be entered in respondent Atty.
Isagani A. Mendozas personal record with the Office of the Bar Confidant, and a copy be served to the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines and the Office of the Court Administrator for circulation to all the courts in the land.

Facts: Spouses Nicasio and Donelita engaged the service of Atty. Isagani Mendoza (Isagani) to facilitate the transfer
of title of a parcel of land from Isabel Marcaida to their name. They gave him a check for P68,250.00 as payment for
the transfer taxes, as well as P13,800.00 as professional fee. However, Isagani failed to transfer the property in their
name, and despite repeated follow-ups, failed to return the money, hence they referred the matter to the barangay for
conciliation. They were then issued a certificate to file action. On May 8, 2000, Isagani wrote to the spouses. He
promised to settle the transfer of title, but reneged on the promise. Hence, they were forced to secure a loan to transfer
the title in their name. Thus they filed an administrative case against Isagani. On the other hand, Isagani belied the
accusations of the spouses. It was the spouses failure to submit the needed documents which prompted the delay in
the transfer of title, according to him. In addition, the spouses paid him a paltry sum for so much work involving the
property; he was also justified in impressing a retaining lien on the money since the spouses had receivables from the
spouses in the various cases he handled for them. The spouses even dared him to prove his worth as a lawyer by
doing away with the required documents in the transfer of title.
The IBP Investigating Commissioner found Isagani liable for violation of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility when he failed to transfer the title in the name of spouses despite encashing their checks, resulting in
them having to secure a loan to transfer the title. He recommended that Isagani be penalised with censure and
warning, which the IBP Board modified to three months suspension from the practice of law. It denied his motion
for reconsideration. The Supreme Court also denied Isaganis motion for a formal hearing to confront his accusers.
Ruling: The main issue in this case is whether respondent is guilty of violating Canon 16 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility for failing to hold in trust the money of his clients.
After considering the parties arguments and the records of this case, this court resolves to adopt and approve the
Notice of Resolution No. XX-2013-839 dated June 22, 2013 of the IBP Board of Governors.
It has been said that [t]he practice of law is a privilege bestowed on lawyers who meet the high standards of legal
proficiency and morality. Any conduct that shows a violation of the norms and values of the legal profession exposes
the lawyer to administrative liability.[1]

An examination of the records reveals that respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states:
CANON 16 A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT
THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.
Rule 16.02 A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by
him.
Rule 16.03 A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. However, he shall
have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and
disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all
judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.
Rule 16.04 A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the clients interests are fully protected by the
nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the interest
of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.
Similarly, Rule138, Section 25 of the Rules of Court provides:
Section 25. Unlawful retention of clients funds; contempt. When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money
of his client after it has been demanded, he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has
misbehaved in his official transactions; but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution.
A lawyers duty under Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is clear:
The fiduciary nature of the relationship between counsel and client imposes on a lawyer the duty to account for the
money or property collected or received for or from the client[,] [thus] . . . [w]hen a lawyer collects or receives
money from his client for a particular purpose (such as for filing fees, registration fees, transportation and office
expenses), he should promptly account to the client how the money was spent. If he does not use the money for its
intended purpose, he must immediately return it to the client. His failure either to render an accounting or to return
the money (if the intended purpose of the money does not materialize) constitutes a blatant disregard of Rule 16.01 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility.
[The lawyers] failure to return the clients money upon demand gives rise to the presumption that he has
misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of and in violation of the trust reposed in him by the client[2].
(Emphasis supplied)
Respondent admitted that there were delays in the transfer of title of property to complainants name. He
continuously assured complainants that he would still fulfill his duty. However, after three (3) years and several
demands from complainants, respondent failed to accomplish the task given to him and even refused to return the
money. Complainants alleged failure to provide the necessary documents to effect the transfer does not justify his
violation of his duty under the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Respondents assertion of a valid lawyers lien is also untenable. A valid retaining lien has the following elements:
An attorneys retaining lien is fully recognized if the presence of the following elements concur: (1) lawyer-client
relationship; (2) lawful possession of the clients funds, documents and papers; and (3) unsatisfied claim for
attorneys fees. Further, the attorneys retaining lien is a general lien for the balance of the account between the
attorney and his client, and applies to the documents and funds of the client which may come into the attorneys
possession in the course of his employment.[3]
Respondent did not satisfy all the elements of a valid retaining lien. He did not present evidence as to an unsatisfied
claim for attorneys fees. The enumeration of cases he worked on for complainants remains unsubstantiated. When
there is no unsatisfied claim for attorneys fees, lawyers cannot validly retain their clients funds or properties.[4]
Furthermore, assuming that respondent had proven all the requisites for a valid retaining lien, he cannot appropriate
for himself his clients funds without the proper accounting and notice to the client. The rule is that when there is a
disagreement, or when the client disputes the amount claimed by the lawyer . . . the lawyer should not arbitrarily
apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees. . . .[5]

We also note that despite complainant Nicasio San Pedros affidavit of desistance dated March 14, 2008, both
complainants signed their comment to respondents motion for reconsideration and prayed that the motion be
dismissed for lack of merit.[6]
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Isagani A. Mendoza is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three (3) months.
He is also ordered to RETURN to complainants the amount of P68,250.00 with 6% legal interest from the date of
finality of this judgment until full payment. Respondent is further DIRECTED to submit to this court proof of
payment of the amount within 10 days from payment. Let a copy of this resolution be entered in respondent Atty.
Isagani A. Mendozas personal record with the Office of the Bar Confidant, and a copy be served to the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines and the Office of the Court Administrator for circulation to all the courts in the land.

#3 Case Titles: JOSEFINA CARANZA VDA. DE SALDIVAR, complainant, vs. ATTY. RAMON SG
CABANES, JR., respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Gross Negligence in Violation of Canon 17, and
Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Syllabi Class: Attorneys|Legal Ethics|Gross Negligence|Penalties
Division: SECOND DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 7749
Ponente: PERLAS-BERNABE,

J.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Ramon SG Cabanes, Jr. is found guilty of gross negligence in violation of Canon
17, and Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is hereby SUSPENDED
from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months, effective upon his receipt of this Resolution, and is STERNLY
WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely. Let a copy of this Resolution
be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the Office of the Court
Administrator for circulation to all the courts.

FACTS: Complainant was the defendant in an unlawful detainer case, filed by the heirs of one Benjamin Don before
the Municipal Trial Court of Pili, Camarines Sur (MTC), wherein she was represented by respondent. While
respondent duly filed an answer to the unlawful detainer complaint, he, however, failed to submit a pre-trial brief as
well as to attend the scheduled preliminary conference. Consequently, the opposing counsel moved that the case be
submitted for decision which motion was granted in an Order dated November 27, 2003. When complainant
confronted respondent about the foregoing, the latter just apologized and told her not to worry, assuring her that she
will not lose the case since she had the title to the subject property.
The MTC issued a Decision (MTC Decision) against complainant, ordering her to vacate and turn-over the
possession of the subject property to the heirs as well as to pay them damages. On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of
Pili, Camarines Sur, Branch 32 (RTC), reversed the MTC Decision and dismissed the unlawful detainer complaint.
Later however, the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the RTCs ruling and reinstated the MTC Decision. Respondent
received a copy of the CAs ruling on January 27, 2006. Yet, he failed to inform complainant about the said ruling,
notwithstanding the fact that the latter frequented his work place. Neither did respondent pursue any further action.
As such, complainant decided to engage the services of another counsel for the purpose of seeking other available
remedies. Due to respondents failure to timely turn-over to her the papers and documents in the case, such other
remedies were, however, barred. Thus, based on these incidents, complainant filed the instant administrative
complaint, alleging that respondents acts amounted to gross negligence which resulted in her loss.
Defendants Defense:
He alleged that upon careful examination of the heirs' unlawful detainer complaint, he noticed a discrepancy between
the descriptions of the subject property as indicated in the said pleading as opposed to that which complainant

supplied to him. On the belief that the parties may be contesting two (2) sets of properties which are distinct and
separate from one another, respondent, at the preliminary conference conducted on October 28, 2003, moved for the
suspension of further proceedings and proposed that a commissioner be appointed to conduct a re-survey in order to
determine the true identity of the property in dispute. The MTC allowed the counsels for both parties to decide on the
manner of the proposed re-survey, leading to the assignment of a Department of Agrarian Reform Survey Engineer
(DAR Engineer) for this purpose. The survey conducted by the DAR Engineer revealed that complainant's tillage
extended to about 5,000 square meters of the subject property which was determined to belong to the heirs, the rest
being covered by the title of Pelagia. Dissatisfied, complainant manifested her intention to secure the services of a
private surveyor of her own choice, and promised to furnish respondent a copy of the survey results, which she,
however, failed to do. Later, complainant accused respondent of manipulating the DAR Survey Results which caused
their lawyer-client relationship to turn sour and eventually be severed. She has since retrieved the entire case folders
and retained the services of another lawyer.
ISSUE: WON, Atty. Cabanes was negligent in his duties.
HELD:
The Investigating Commissioners Report:
The Investigating Commissioner ruled that respondent failed to exercise ordinary diligence in handling his client's
cause, warranting his suspension from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months.
The BOGs Recommendation:
The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the Commissioners Report.
RULING:
The Court resolves to adopt the IBP's findings and recommendation. The relationship between an attorney and his
client is one imbued with utmost trust and confidence. In this light, clients are led to expect that lawyers would be
ever-mindful of their cause and accordingly exercise the required degree of diligence in handling their affairs. Verily,
a lawyer is expected to maintain at all times a high standard of legal proficiency, and to devote his full attention, skill,
and competence to the case, regardless of its importance and whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. Canon 17, and
Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of Canon 18 of the Code embody these quintessential directives.
Case law further illumines that a lawyers duty of competence and diligence includes not merely reviewing the cases
entrusted to the counsel's care or giving sound legal advice, but also consists of properly representing the client before
any court or tribunal, attending scheduled hearings or conferences, preparing and filing the required pleadings,
prosecuting the handled cases with reasonable dispatch, and urging their termination without waiting for the client or
the court to prod him or her to do so.28 Conversely, a lawyer's negligence in fulfilling his duties subjects him to
disciplinary action.

#4 Case Titles: NATIVIDAD P. NAVARRO and HILDA S. PRESBITERO, complainants, vs. ATTY. IVAN M.
SOLIDUM, JR., respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.
Syllabi Class: Attorneys|Disbarment
Division: EN BANC
Docket Number: A.C. No. 9872
Counsel: Bimbo Lavides for respondent.
Ponente: PER CURIAM
Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds Atty. Ivan M. Solidum, Jr. GUILTY of violating Rule 1.01, Canon 16, Rule 16.01,
and Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, the Court DISBARS him from the practice
of law effective immediately upon his receipt of this Decision. Atty. Solidum is ORDERED to return the advances he
received from Hilda S. Presbitero, amounting to P50,000, and to submit to the Office of the Bar Confidant his
compliance with this order within thirty days from finality of this Decision. Let copies of this Decision be furnished
the Office of the Bar Confidant, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for distribution to all its chapters, and the Office

of the Court Administrator for dissemination to all courts all over the country. Let a copy of this Decision be attached
to the personal records of respondent.
FACTS: This case originated from a complaint for disbarment filed by Natividad P. Navarro (Navarro) and Hilda S.
Presbitero (Presbitero) against Atty. Ivan M. Solidum, Jr. (respondent) before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD). Respondent signed a retainer agreement with Presbitero.
COMPLAINANTS ALLEGATIONS:
Complainants alleged that respondent induced them to grant him loans by offering very high interest rates. He also
prepared and signed the checks which turned out to be drawn against his sons accounts. Complainants further alleged
that respondent deceived them regarding the identity and value of the property he mortgaged because he showed them
a different property from that which he owned. Presbitero further alleged that respondent mortgaged his 263-squaremeter property to her for P1,000,000 but he later sold it for only P150,000.
RESPONDENTS DEFENSE:
Respondent, alleged that he was engaged in sugar and realty business and that it was Yulo who convinced Presbitero
and Navarro to extend him loans. Yulo also assured him that Presbitero would help him with the refining of raw sugar
through Victorias Milling Company, Inc. Respondent alleged that Navarro fixed the interest rate and he agreed
because he needed the money. He alleged that their business transactions were secured by real estate mortgages and
covered by postdated checks. Respondent denied that the property he mortgaged to Presbitero was less than the value
of the loan. He also denied that he sold the property because the sale was actually rescinded. Respondent claimed that
the property he mortgaged to Navarro was valuable and it was actually worth more than P8,000,000. Respondent
alleged that he was able to pay complainants when business was good but he was unable to continue paying when the
price of sugar went down and when the business with Victorias Milling Company, Inc. did not push through because
Presbitero did not help him.
IBP DECISION:
The IBP-CBD found that respondent was guilty of violating Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for
committing the following acts:
(1) signing drawn checks against the account of his son as if they were from his own account;
(2) misrepresenting to Navarro the identity of the lot he mortgaged to her
(3) misrepresenting to Presbitero the true value of the 263-square-meter lot he mortgaged to her;
(4) conspiring with Yulo to obtain the loans from complainants;
(5) agreeing or promising to pay 10% interest on his loans although he knew that it was exorbitant; and
(6) failing to pay his loans because the checks he issued were dishonored as the accounts were already closed.
The IBP-CBD also found that respondent violated Canon 16 and Rule 16.01 of the CPR when he failed to properly
account for the various funds he received from complainants and violated Rule 16.04 of the CPR which prohibits
borrowing money from a client unless the clients interest is fully protected or the client is given independent advice.
ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT VIOLATED THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL
RESPONSIBILITY.
HELD: YES. The Court finds Atty. Ivan M. Solidum, Jr. GUILTY of violating Rule 1.01, Canon 16, Rule 16.01, and
Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, the Court DISBARS him from the practice of
law
Respondent failed to refute that the checks he issued to his client Presbitero and to Navarro belonged to his son, Ivan
Garcia Solidum III whose name is similar to his name. It is clear that respondent violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. We have ruled that conduct, as used in the Rule, is not confined to the performance of a
lawyers professional duties. A lawyer may be disciplined for misconduct committed either in his professional or
private capacity. The test is whether his conduct shows him to be wanting in moral character, honesty, probity, and
good demeanor, or whether it renders him unworthy to continue as an officer of the court.
Canon 16 and Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provide:
CANON 16. - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT
THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.

The fiduciary nature of the relationship between the counsel and his client imposes on the lawyer the duty to account
for the money or property collected or received for or from his client. We agree with the IBP-CBD that respondent
failed to fulfill this duty. In this case, the IBP-CBD pointed out that respondent received various amounts from
complainants but he could not account for all of them.
Clearly, respondent had been negligent in properly accounting for the money he received from his client, Presbitero.
Indeed, his failure to return the excess money in his possession gives rise to the presumption that he has
misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of, and in violation of the trust reposed in him by, the client.
Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides:
Rule 16.04. - A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the clients interests are fully protected by the
nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the interest
of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client.
Here, respondent does not deny that he borrowed P1,000,000 from his client Presbitero. At the time he secured the
loan, respondent was already the retained counsel of Presbitero. In his dealings with his client Presbitero, respondent
took advantage of his knowledge of the law as well as the trust and confidence reposed in him by his client.
Respondent failed to live up to the high standard of morality, honesty, integrity, and fair dealing required of him as a
member of the legal profession. Instead, respondent employed his knowledge and skill of the law and took advantage
of his client to secure undue gains for himselft hat warrants his removal from the practice of law.
Nevertheless, when a lawyer receives money from a client for a particular purpose involving the client-attorney
relationship, he is bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for that particular
purpose. If the lawyer does not use the money for the intended purpose, he must immediately return the money to his
client. Respondent was given an opportunity to render an accounting, and he failed. He must return the full amount of
the advances given him by Presbitero, amounting to P50,000

#5 Case Titles: ARCATOMY S. GUARIN, complainant, vs. ATTY. CHRISTINE A.C. LIMPIN, respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.
Syllabi Class: Attorneys; Legal Ethics; Disbarment;
Syllabi:
1. Same; Same; Disbarment; Disbarment proceedings are sui generis and can proceed independently of civil and
criminal cases.+
2. Attorneys; Legal Ethics; A lawyer who assists a client in a dishonest scheme or who connives in violating the law
commits an act which justifies disciplinary action against the lawyer.+
Division: THIRD DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 10576
Counsel: Gatchalian, Castro & Mawis for respondent.
Ponente: VILLARAMA, JR.
Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, we find respondent Atty. Christine A.C. Limpin GUILTY of violation of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and
Rule 1.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, we SUSPEND respondent Atty. Christine A.C.
Limpin from the practice of law for SIX (6) MONTHS effective upon finality of this Decision, with a warning that a
repetition of the same or similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely. Let copies of this Decision be
furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant to be appended to respondents personal record as an attorney, the

Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Department of Justice, and all courts in the country for their information and
guidance.

FACTS: Guarin was hired by Mr. Celso G. de los Angeles as Chief Operating Officer and thereafter as President of
OneCard Company, Inc., a member of the Legacy Group of Companies. He resigned from his post.
Atty. Limpin, the Corporate Secretary of Legacy Card, Inc. (LCI), another corporation under the Legacy Group, filed
with the SEC a GIS for LCI for updating purposes. The GIS identified Guarin as Chairman of the Board of
Directors (BOD) and President.
Mired with allegations of anomalous business transactions and practices, LCI applied for voluntary dissolution with
the SEC.
Guarin filed this complaint with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP CBD)
claiming that Atty. Limpin violated Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the CPR by knowingly listing him as a stockholder,
Chairman of the Board and President of LCI when she knew that he had already resigned and had never held any
share nor was he elected as chairperson of the BOD or been President of LCI.
Atty. Limpin admits that she filed the GIS with the SEC listing Guarin as a stockholder, the Chairman of the BOD
and President of LCI. She averred that the GIS was made and submitted in good faith and that her certification served
to attest to the information from the last BOD meeting.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Limpin has violated Canon 1 Rule 1.01 and Rule 1.02 of the CPR.
HELD: YES. Atty. Limpin has violated Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Rule 1.02 of the CPR.
Members of the bar are reminded that their first duty is to comply with the rules of procedure, rather than seek
exceptions as loopholes.19 A lawyer who assists a client in a dishonest scheme or who connives in violating the law
commits an act which justifies disciplinary action against the lawyer.
Disbarment proceedings are sui generis and can proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. As Justice
Malcolm stated [t]he serious consequences of disbarment or suspension should follow only where there is a clear
preponderance of evidence against the respondent. The presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges
pr[o]ferred and has performed his duty as an officer of the court in accordance with his oath. Grounds for such
administrative action against a lawyer may be found in Section 27,22Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Among these
are (1) the use of any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office and (2) any violation of the oath
which he is required to take before the admission to practice.
We thus find that in filing a GIS that contained false information, Atty. Limpin committed an infraction which did not
conform to her oath as a lawyer in accord with Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the CPR.

#6 Case Title: NESTOR B. FIGUERAS and BIENVENIDO VICTORIA, JR., complainants, vs. ATTY.
DIOSDADO B. JIMENEZ, respondent.
Case Nature: PETITION for review on certiorari of the resolutions of the IBP Board of Governors.
Syllabi Class: Administrative Law|Attorneys|Penalties
Division: FIRST DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 9116
Ponente: VILLARAMA, JR.,

J.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Atty. Diosdado B. Jimenez is found administratively liable for violation of
Rule 12.04, Canon 12 and Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is suspended from
the practice of law for one (1) month effective from finality of this Resolution, with warning that a repetition of the
same or similar violation shall be dealt with more severely. Let a copy of this Resolution be furnished, upon its
finality, to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and all the courts in the Philippines, and spread on the personal record
of respondent lawyer in the Office of the Bar Confidant, Supreme Court of the Philippines.

FACTS: Congressional Village Homeowners Association, Inc. is the entity in charge of the affairs of the
homeowners of Congressional Village in Quezon City. Spouses Federico and Victoria Santander filed a civil suit for

damages against the Association and Ely Mabanag before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, for
building a concrete wall which abutted their property and denied them of their right of way. The spouses Santander
likewise alleged that said concrete wall was built in violation of Quezon City Ordinance No. 8633, S-71 which
prohibits the closing, obstructing, preventing or otherwise refusing to the public or vehicular traffic the use of or free
access to any subdivision or community street. The Law Firm of Gonzalez, Sinense, Jimenez and Associates was the
legal counsel for the Association, with respondent as the counsel of record and handling lawyer. After trial and
hearing, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the Spouses Santander. The Association, represented by said law
firm, appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA issued a Resolution dismissing the appeal on the ground that
the original period to file the appellants brief had expired 95 days even before the first motion for extension of time
to file said brief was filed. The CA also stated that the grounds adduced for the said motion as well as the six
subsequent motions for extension of time to file brief were not meritorious. The CA resolution became final
Eight years later, complainants Nestor Figueras and Bienvenido Victoria, Jr., as members of the Association, filed a
Complaint for Disbarment against respondent before the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline (CBD) for violation of the
Code of Professional Responsibility for his negligence in handling the appeal and willful violation of his duties as an
officer of the court.
Respondent denied administrative liability. He claimed the case was actually handled by an associate lawyer in his
law office. As the partner in charge of the case, he exercised general supervision over the handling counsel and
signed the pleadings prepared by said handling lawyer. Upon discovery of the omissions of the handling lawyer,
appropriate sanctions were imposed on the handling lawyer and he thereafter personally took responsibility and spent
personal funds to negotiate a settlement with Federico Santander at no cost to the Association. No damage
whatsoever was caused to the Association. Respondent likewise alleged that after he defeated complainant Figueras
in the election for President of the homeowners association in Figueras and Victoria, stopped paying their
association dues and other assessments. Complainants and other delinquent members of the association were
sanctioned by the Board of Directors and were sued by the association before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
Board (HLURB). In retaliation, complainants filed the present disbarment case against him and several other cases
against him and other officers of the association before the HLURB. Respondent added that complainants have no
personality to file the disbarment complaint as they were not his clients; hence, there was likewise no jurisdiction
over the complaint on the part of the IBP-CBD. Respondent prayed for the outright dismissal of the disbarment case
for lack of merit. The Investigating Commissioner of the IBP-CBD found respondent liable for violation of the Code
of Professional Responsibility and recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period
of three to six months, with warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.
Respondent sought reconsideration but his motion was denied. The IBP Board of Governors noted the motion was a
mere reiteration of matters already discussed and there were no substantial grounds to disturb the February 19, 2009
Resolution.
ISSUE: Whether or not the IBP correctly found him administratively liable for violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
HELD: The petition is DENIED. Atty. Diosdado B. Jimenez is found administratively liable for violation of Rule
12.04, Canon 12 and Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is suspended from the
practice of law for one (1) month with warning that a repetition of the same or similar violation shall be dealt with
more severely.
The procedural requirement observed in ordinary civil proceedings that only the real party-in-interest must initiate the
suit does not apply in disbarment cases. In fact, the person who called the attention of the court to a lawyers
misconduct is in no sense a party, and generally has no interest in the outcome. In Heck v. Judge Santos, the Court
held that [a]ny interested person or the court motu proprio may initiate disciplinary proceedings. The right to
institute disbarment proceedings is not confined to clients nor is it necessary that the person complaining suffered
injury from the alleged wrongdoing. Disbarment proceedings are matters of public interest and the only basis for the
judgment is the proof or failure of proof of the charges.
#7 Case Titles: BERNARD N. JANDOQUILE, complainant, vs. ATTY. QUIRINO P. REVILLA, JR.,
respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.
Syllabi Class: Notary Public|2004 Rules on Notarial Practice
Syllabi:
1. Notary Public; 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice; Atty. Revilla, Jr. readily admitted that he notarized the
complaint-affidavit signed by his relatives within the fourth civil degree of affinity. Section 3(c), Rule IV of the 2004

Rules on Notarial Practice clearly disqualifies him from notarizing the complaint-affidavit, from performing the
notarial act, since two of the affiants or principals are his relatives within the fourth civil degree of affinity.+
2. Same; 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice; A person shall not perform a notarial act if the person involved as
signatory to the instrument or document (1) is not in the notarys presence personally at the time of the notarization
and (2) is not personally known to the notary public or otherwise identified by the notary public through a competent
evidence of identity.+
3. Same; If the notary public knows the affiants personally, he need not require them to show their valid
identification cards.+
Division: FIRST DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 9514
Ponente: VILLARAMA, JR.,

J.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Quirino P. Revilla, Jr., is REPRIMANDED and DISQUALIFIED from being
commissioned as a notary public, or from performing any notarial act if he is presently commissioned as a notary
public, for a period of three (3) months. Atty. Revilla, Jr. is further DIRECTED to INFORM the Court, through an
affidavit, once the period of his disqualification has lapsed.

FACTS: Atty. Revilla, Jr. notarized a complaint-affidavit signed by Heneraline L. Brosas, Herizalyn Brosas Pedrosa
and Elmer L. Alvarado. Heneraline Brosas is a sister of Heizel Wynda Brosas Revilla, Atty. Revilla, Jr.'s wife.
Petitioner:
Jandoquile complains that Atty. Revilla, Jr. is disqualified to perform the notarial act per Section 3(c), Rule IV of the
2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. Jandoquile also complains that Atty. Revilla, Jr. did not require the three affiants in
the complaint-affidavit to show their valid identification cards.
Defendant:
Atty. Revilla, Jr. did not deny but admitted Jandoquiles material allegations. Atty. Revilla, Jr. submits that his act is
not a ground for disbarment. He also says that he acts as counsel of the three affiants; thus, he should be considered
more as counsel than as a notary public when he notarized their complaint-affidavit. He did not require the affiants to
present valid identification cards since he knows them personally. Heneraline Brosas and Herizalyn Brosas Pedrosa
are sisters-in-law while Elmer Alvarado is the live-in houseboy of the Brosas family.
ISSUE: Whether the single act of notarizing the complaint-affidavit of relatives within the fourth civil degree of
affinity and, at the same time, not requiring them to present valid identification cards is a ground for disbarment.
HELD: No
Indeed, section 3(c), Rule IV of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice clearly disqualifies respondent from notarizing
the complaint-affidavit, from performing the notarial act, since two of the affiants or principals are his relatives
within the fourth civil degree of affinity. Given the clear provision of the disqualification rule, it behooved upon Atty.
Revilla, Jr. to act with prudence and refuse notarizing the document.
As to requiring the affiants to present valid identification, the Court ruled that he cannot be liable. . If the notary
public knows the affiants personally, he need not require them to show their valid identification cards. This rule is
supported by the definition of a "jurat" under Section 6, Rule II of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. A "jurat"
refers to an act in which an individual on a single occasion: (a) appears in person before the notary public and
presents an instrument or document; (b) is personally known to the notary public or identified by the notary public
through competent evidence of identity; (c) signs the instrument or document in the presence of the notary; and (d)
takes an oath or affirmation before the notary public as to such instrument or document. In this case, Heneraline
Brosas is a sister of Atty. Revilla, Jr.s wife; Herizalyn Brosas Pedrosa is his wifes sister-in-law; and Elmer Alvarado
is the live-in houseboy of the Brosas family. Atty. Revilla, Jr. knows the three affiants personally. Thus, he was
justified in no longer requiring them to show valid identification cards.
Let it be impressed that Atty. Revilla, Jr. was clearly disqualified to notarize the complaint-affidavit of his relatives
within the fourth civil degree of affinity. While he has a valid defense as to the second charge, it does not exempt him
from liability for violating the disqualification rule.
However, Atty. Revilla, Jr.s violation of the disqualification rule under Section 3(c), Rule IV of the 2004 Rules on
Notarial Practice is not a sufficient ground to disbar him. Atty. Revilla, Jr. did not commit any deceit, malpractice,
gross misconduct or gross immoral conduct, or any other serious ground for disbarment under Section 27, Rule 138
of the Rules of Court.

Considering the attendant circumstances and the single violation committed by Atty. Revilla, Jr., the court ruled that a
punishment less severe than disbarment would suffice.
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Quirino P. Revilla, Jr., is REPRIMANDED and DISQUALIFIED from being
commissioned as a notary public, or from performing any notarial act if he is presently commissioned as a notary
public, for a period of three (3) months. Atty. Revilla, Jr. is further DIRECTED to INFORM the Court, through an
affidavit, once the period of his disqualification has lapsed.

#8 Case Titles: LICERIO DIZON, complainant, vs. ATTY. MARCELINO CABUCANA, JR., respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.
Syllabi Class: Notary Public
Division: THIRD DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 10185
Counsel: Soller, Peig, Escat & Pieg for complainant.
Ponente: MENDOZA,

J.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondent Atty. Marcelino Cabucana, Jr. GUILTY of violating Rule 1.01, Canon 1
of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, the Court SUSPENDS him from the practice of law for
three (3) months, REVOKES his incumbent notarial commission, if any, and PROHIBITS him from being
commissioned as a notary public for two (2) years, effective immediately, with a stern WARNING that a repetition of
the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. Let copies of this resolution be furnished the Bar
Confidant to be included in the records of the respondent; the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for distribution to all
its chapters; and the Office of the Court Administrator for dissemination to all Courts throughout the country.

#9 Case Titles: JOSEFINA M. ANION, complainant, vs. ATTY. CLEMENCIO SABITSANA, JR., respondent.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.
Syllabi Class: Attorneys
Syllabi:
1. Attorney-Client Relationships; Conflict of Interests; The relationship between a lawyer and his/her client should
ideally be imbued with the highest level of trust and confidence; Part of the lawyers duty in this regard is to avoid
representing conflicting interests, a matter covered by Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.+
2. Attorneys; Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui generis.+
3. Same; Same; Tests to Determine whether or not Conflict of Interests is Present.+
Division: SECOND DIVISION
Docket Number: A.C. No. 5098
Ponente: BRION,

J.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court resolves to ADOPT the findings and recommendations of the
Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Atty. Clemencio C. Sabitsana, Jr. is found
GUILTY of misconduct for representing conflicting interests in violation of Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of

Professional Responsibility. He is hereby SUSPENDED for one (1) year from the practice of law. Atty. Sabitsana is
DIRECTED to inform the Court of the date of his receipt of this Decision so that we can determine the reckoning
point when his suspension shall take effect.

#10 Case Title: FLORENCE TEVES MACARUBBO, complainant, vs. ATTY. EDMUNDO L. MACARUBBO,
respondent.
RE: PETITION (FOR EXTRAORDINARY MERCY) OF EDMUNDO L. MACARUBBO.
Case Nature: ADMINISTRATIVE CASE in the Supreme Court. Petition to be Reinstated in the Rules of Attorneys.
Syllabi Class: Attorneys|Legal Ethics
Syllabi:
1. Attorneys; Legal Ethics; While the Court is ever mindful of its duty to discipline and even remove its errant
officers, concomitant to it is its duty to show compassion to those who have reformed their ways.+
Division: EN BANC
Docket Number: Adm. Case No. 6148
Counsel: Sacred Heart Parish Legal Aid Office
Ponente: PERLAS-BERNABE,

J.

Dispositive Portion:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is GRANTED. Respondent Edmundo L. Macarubbo is
hereby ordered REINSTATED in the Roll of Attorney

FACTS: For resolution is the Petition (For Extraordinary Mercy) filed by respondent Edmundo L. Macarubbo (respondent) who
seeks to be reinstated in the Roll of Attorneys.
Records show that the Court disbarred respondent from the practice of law for having contracted a bigamous marriage with
complainant Florence Teves and a third marriage with one Josephine Constantino while his first marriage to Helen Esparza was
still subsisting, which acts constituted gross immoral conduct in violation of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Canon 7, Rule 7.03 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.
Eight years after or on June 4, 2012, respondent filed the instant Petition For Extraordinary Mercy seeking judicial clemency and
reinstatement in the Roll of Attorneys.
ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITION SHOULD BE GRANTED:
HELD: The Court finds the instant petition meritorious.
In Re: Letter of Judge Augustus C. Diaz, Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 37, Appealing for Clemency, the Court
laid down the following guidelines in resolving requests for judicial clemency, to wit:
1. There must be proof of remorse and reformation. These shall include but should not be limited to certifications or testimonials
of the officer(s) or chapter(s) of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, judges or judges associations and prominent members of the
community with proven integrity and probity. A subsequent finding of guilt in an administrative case for the same or similar
misconduct will give rise to a strong presumption of non-reformation.
2. Sufficient time must have lapsed from the imposition of the penalty to ensure a period of reform.
3. The age of the person asking for clemency must show that he still has productive years ahead of him that can be put to good use
by giving him a chance to redeem himself.
4. There must be a showing of promise (such as intellectual aptitude, learning or legal acumen or contribution to legal scholarship
and the development of the legal system or administrative and other relevant skills), as well as potential for public service.
5. There must be other relevant factors and circumstances that may justify clemency.
Moreover, to be reinstated to the practice of law, the applicant must, like any other candidate for admission to the bar, satisfy the
Court that he is a person of good moral character.

Respondent has sufficiently shown his remorse and acknowledged his indiscretion in the legal profession and in his personal life.
He has asked forgiveness from his children by complainant Teves and maintained a cordial relationship with them. Records also
show that after his disbarment, respondent returned to his hometown and devoted his time tending an orchard and taking care of
his ailing mother until her death. In 2009, he was appointed as Private Secretary to the Mayor and thereafter, assumed the position
of Local Assessment Operations Officer II. Moreover, he is a part-time instructor. Respondent likewise took an active part in
socio-civic activities by helping his neighbors and friends who are in dire need.
Respondents plea for reinstatement is duly supported by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Cagayan Chapter and by his former
and present colleagues. His parish priest, certified that he is faithful to and puts to actual practice the doctrines of the Catholic
Church. He is also observed to be a regular churchgoer. Records further reveal that respondent has already settled his previous
marital squabbles, as in fact, no opposition to the instant suit was tendered by complainant Teves. He sends regular support to his
children.
From the attestations and certifications presented, the Court finds that respondent has sufficiently atoned for his transgressions. At
58 years of age, he still has productive years ahead of him that could significantly contribute to the upliftment of the law
profession and the betterment of society. While the Court is ever mindful of its duty to discipline and even remove its errant
officers, concomitant to it is its duty to show compassion to those who have reformed their ways, as in this case. Accordingly,
respondent is hereby ordered reinstated to the practice of law.