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Topic: Violation of the Instructions to Head Watchers issued by

the Office of the Bar Confidant (bringing a digital camera inside
the bar examination room)
Ponente: Justice Antonio Carpio
RE: Melchor Tiongson, Head Watcher, during the 2011 bar
examinations, B.M. No. 2482, April 1, 2014
Facts: The Office of the Bar Confidant designated Tiongson, an employee
of the Court of Appeals, to serve as head watcher for the 2011 Bar
Examinations on 6, 13, 20 and 27 November 2011. During the second
Sunday of the bar examinations, Tiongson brought his digital camera
inside Room No. 314. Padilla, Puruganan and Padre alleged that after the
morning examination in Civil Law, while they were counting the pages of
the questionnaire, Tiongson took pictures of the Civil Law questionnaire
using his digital camera. Tiongson allegedly repeated the same act and
took pictures of the Mercantile Law questionnaire after the afternoon
examination.
In a Memorandum addressed to the CA Clerk of Court Atty. Teresita R.
Marigomen, the OBC revoked and cancelled Tiongson’s designation as
head watcher for the remaining Sundays of the bar examinations. The
OBC found Tiongson guilty of dishonesty and gross misconduct for
violating a specific provision in the Instructions to Head Watchers
prohibiting the bringing of cameras to the bar examination rooms.
Issue: Whether Melchor Tiongson is guilty of Grave Misconduct for
violating the Instructions to Head issued by the Office of the bar
Confidant.
SC: NO
Misconduct is grave if corruption, clear intent to violate the law
or flagrant disregard of an established rule is present; otherwise,
the misconduct is only simple. If any of the elements to qualify the
misconduct as grave is not manifest and is not proven by substantial
evidence, a person charged with grave misconduct may be held liable for
simple misconduct. On the other hand, dishonesty refers to a person’s
disposition "to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of
integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle; lack of fairness
and straightforwardness; disposition to defraud, deceive or betray."
Tiongson is liable for simple misconduct only, because the elements of
grave misconduct were not proven with substantial evidence, and
Tiongson admitted his infraction before the OBC.

The Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil
Service classify simple misconduct as a less grave offense punishable by
suspension for one month and one day to six months for the first offense.
Under the same Rules, we can consider Tiongson’s length of service in the
CA of 14 years, more than ten years of service in the bar examinations
and his first time to commit an infraction as mitigating circumstances in
the imposition of penalty. As a CA employee, Tiongson disregarded his
duty to uphold the strict standards required of every court employee, that
is, to be an example of integrity, uprightness and obedience to the
judiciary. Thus, he must be reminded that his infraction was unbecoming
of a court employee amounting to simple misconduct.

Topic: Gross Ignorance and Grave Abuse of Discretion on the part
of the Judge
Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion
Antonio M. Lorenzana v. Judge Ma. Cecilia I. Austria, A.M. No. RTJ09-2200, April 2, 2014
Facts: Petitioner Lorenzana filed a complaint against respondent Judge
Ma. Cecilia Austria. He alleged that in the course of special proceeding,
the respondent committed Gross Ignorance of the Law, Grave Abuse of
Authority, Gross Misconduct, Grave Incompetence, Irregularity in the
Performance of Duty, Grave Bias and Partiality, Lack of Circumspection,
Conduct Unbecoming of a Judge, Failure to Observe the Reglementary
Period and Violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Likewise
petitioner alleged that respondent committed an act of impropriety when
she displayed her photographs in a social networking website called
"Friendster" and posted her personal details as an RTC Judge, allegedly for
the purpose of finding a compatible partner. She also posed with her
upper body barely covered by a shawl, allegedly suggesting that nothing
was worn underneath except probably a brassiere.
The respondent vehemently denied the allegations against her. While she
admitted that she crafted a workable, feasible rehabilitation plan best
suited for SCP, she maintained that she did so only to render fairness and
equity to all the parties to the rehabilitation proceedings. She also
submitted that if indeed she erred in modifying the rehabilitation plan,
hers was a mere error of judgment that does not call for an administrative
disciplinary action. Accordingly, she claimed that the administrative
complaints were premature because judicial remedies were still available.
As to her alleged failure to observe the reglementary period, she
contended that she approved the rehabilitation plan within the period
prescribed by law. She argued that the matter of granting extension of
time under Section 11, Rule 4 of the Rules pertains not to the SC, but to
the rehabilitation court.
In arriving at its recommendation the Office of the Court Administrator
(OCA) found that the respondent was not guilty of gross ignorance of the
law as the complainant failed to prove that her orders were motivated by
bad faith, fraud, dishonesty or corruption.
Issue: Whether respondent judge is guilty of gross ignorance of the law
and grave abuse of discretion.
SC: NO

her snide remarks. corruption. order or actuation of the judge in the performance of his official duties is contrary to existing law and jurisprudence. independence and respect for himself/herself. are conduct that the Court cannot allow. the Court and the Judiciary as a whole. Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct A judge should always conduct himself in a manner that would preserve the dignity. In other words. the complainant failed to substantiate his allegations with competent proof. a judge should possess the virtue of gravitas.To constitute gross ignorance of the law. He must exhibit the hallmark judicial temperament of utmost sobriety and self-restraint. dishonesty or corruption. In the present case. in the absence of fraud. He should choose his words and exercise more caution and control in expressing himself. Not every error or mistake of a judge in the performance of his official duties renders him liable. . fraud. They are displays of arrogance and air of superiority that the Code abhors. Section 6. As a matter of policy. Besides his bare accusations. nothing in the records suggests that the respondent was motivated by bad faith. the acts of a judge in his judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action even though such acts are erroneous. On the allegation of conduct unbecoming of a judge. fraud. It must also be proven that he was moved by bad faith. dishonesty or corruption or had committed an error so egregious that it amounted to bad faith. her expressions of exasperation over trivial procedural and negligible lapses. as well as her condescending attitude. the respondent’s unnecessary bickering with SCP’s legal counsel. Bad faith cannot be presumed and this Court cannot conclude that bad faith intervened when none was actually proven. Accordingly. dishonesty or egregious error in rendering her decision approving the modified rehabilitation plan. it is not enough that the decision.

Dulang filed a complaint against respondent judge Mary Jocylen Regancia for gross inefficiency. he moved for the resolution of an ejectment case. SC: YES Rule 3.Topic: Code of Judicial Conduct Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion Gershon N. 2011 or more than 11 years since its filing. Issue: Whether Judge Regencia may be held administratively liable for undue delay in rendering a decision. Dulang v. gross incompetence.M. serious misconduct. She explained that this order was merely intended to determine whether or not Dulang filed his appeal within the reglementary period. Branch 59. 2011 Judgment. Dulang accused Judge Regencia of gross ignorance of the law. Regencia. In this regard.05. given that the same had been filed as early as year 2000 and had already been submitted for resolution. Likewise petitioner filed before the OCA. Emmanuel Flores opposed Dulang’s notice of appeal. the latter was already stripped of her jurisdiction over the case and should not have issued the said order. alleging that despite the filing of a notice of appeal from Judge Regencia’s February 18. She also commented that she issued the August 1. 2011 Order because the defendant in the ejectment case. much to his prejudice. gross incompetence. Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary which . Cebu City to certify Dulang’s receipt of a copy of the said Judgment. Dulang claimed that this effectively stalled the administration of justice. Judge Mary Jocylen G. In her Comment Judge Regencia maintained that no trial was held in Civil Case No. and serious dereliction of duty. gross ignorance of the law. serious misconduct. Judge Regencia rendered a Judgment dismissing the ejectment case only on February 18. A. Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct which states that "a judge shall dispose of the court’s business promptly and decide cases within the required periods" and echoed in Section 5. 2014 Facts: In the Verified Complaint. Notwithstanding the summary nature of the ejectment proceedings. the latter nevertheless issued an Order dated August 1. He alleged that on May 4. 2011 directing the postmaster and postal carrier of the Cebu Central Post Office. 2009. No. June 2. MTJ-14-1841. contending that by filing his appeal. and serious dereliction of duty. 212-B as the parties merely filed their respective position papers and that she could have easily resolved the said case if not for another case pending before the Regional Trial Court of Toledo City.

or on February 18. Judge Regencia rendered judgment only about two (2) years and four (4) months later. However. has allowed extensions of time due to justifiable reasons. as such. 2008. thus.provides that "judges shall perform all judicial duties. making her administratively liable for undue delay in rendering a decision . including the delivery of reserved decisions. efficiently. 2011. it is governed by the Rules of Summary Procedure which clearly sets a period of thirty (30) days from the submission of the last affidavit or position paper within which a decision thereon must be issued. thus. While rules prescribing the time within which certain acts must be done are indispensable to prevent needless delays in the orderly and speedy disposition of cases and. Judge Regencia failed to proffer any acceptable reason in delaying the disposition of the ejectment case. 212-B was already submitted for resolution on October 17. Being an ejectment case. and with reasonable promptness. should be regarded as mandatory. Despite this. fairly." It is undisputed that Civil Case No. the Court has nevertheless been mindful of the plight of judges and has been understanding of circumstances that may hinder them from promptly disposing of their businesses and.

the complainant alleged.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.00 to cover for the expenses in the said case. (2) the complainant was aware that said petition will be filed in Malabon City as the latter had signed the verification and certification of the petition. (4) what contributed to the delay in filing the Answer was the fact that he still had to let the complainant go over the same and sign the verification thereof. (3) the case became pending and was later on withdrawn because of the complainant’s refusal to testify. Civil Case No. (4) never bothered to check the status of the case and thus failed to discover and attend all the hearings set for the case. Reyes Jose Francisco T. Cavite. In his complaint-affidavit.000. A.C No. and (5) as a result.Topic: Suspension from the Practice of Law Ponente: Justice Bienvenido L. 18 and Rule 18. June 9. 2008. 17. 2008. for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on December 8. In his Answer. that the respondent: (1) despite receiving the sum of 250. 2009 without the complainant being able to present his evidence. commenced thru a complaint-affidavit filed before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) by complainant. (5) he was not able to attend the hearings for the case because he did not receive any notice from the trial court. belatedly filed an Answer and was able to file it only on March 13. (3) failed to make an objection on the petition on the ground of improper venue as neither the complainant nor his wife were and are residents of Dasmariñas. he drafted the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and asked the complainant to go over said draft after which he proceeded to file the same with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malabon City. Jonathan T. seeking the disbarment of respondent for violation of Canons 15. 10378. 2463-08 was decided on October 27. 2009 which was after the 15-day period stated in the Summons. 2009 when he found out that the trial court has . Baens v. the respondent denied the allegations in the complaint. and (6) it was only on December 2. Sempio. and it was the complainant’s wife who successfully instituted Civil Case No. failed to file the corresponding petition. and explained that: (1) after a meeting with the complainant. 2463-08. among others. 2014 Facts: This is an administrative case. (2) even with the complainant furnishing him a copy of the Summons dated December 15. Atty.

and neither did he resort to available legal remedies that might have protected his client’s interest. When a . orders and case records was within the respondent’s control and is a task that a lawyer undertakes. Records further disclose that the respondent omitted to update himself of the progress of his client’s case with the trial court. SC: YES The Court sustained the IBP’s findings and the recommended sanction of suspension from the practice of law since the attendant facts of the case show substantial evidence to support the respondent’s delinquency. It was incumbent upon him to execute all acts and procedures necessary and incidental to the advancement of his client’s cause of action. Moreso. The excuse proffered by the respondent that he did not receive any orders or notices from the trial court is highly intolerable. securing a copy of such notices.already rendered its decision and that the complainant had changed counsels. Issue: Whether respondent should be suspended from the practice of law. The IBP Board of Governors increased the recommended period of suspension from six (6) months to one (1) year. the preparation and the filing of the answer is a matter of procedure that fully fell within the exclusive control and responsibility of the respondent. In the first place. Although a lawyer has complete discretion on what legal strategy to employ in a case entrusted to him. The Investigating Commissioner found respondent guilty of violation of the Code and recommended that the respondent be suspended for six (6) months from the practice of law on the ground that respondent failed to diligently attend to the case and was grossly negligent in discharging his responsibilities considering the fact that he has already been fully compensated. he must present every remedy or defense within the authority of law to support his client’s interest.

lawyer agrees to take up a client’s cause." It must be emphasized that after the respondent agreed to handle the complainant’s case. By failing to afford his client every remedy and defense that is authorized by law. prosecuting the handled cases with reasonable dispatch. fairness. . and to champion his cause with whole-hearted fidelity. it cannot be doubted that the respondent violated Canon 17. A lawyer’s duty of competence and diligence includes not merely reviewing the cases entrusted to his care or giving sound legal advice. he became duty-bound to serve his client with competence and diligence. and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession. Evidently. and loyalty to his client as embodied in Canon 15 of the Code. Clearly. In this case. the respondent fell short of what is expected of him as an officer of the Court." It further mandates that "a lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence. and Rule 18." and that "a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. the respondent’s reckless and inexcusable negligence deprived his client of due process and his actions were evidently prejudicial to his clients’ interests. A lawyer who performs his duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interest of his client. the acts of the respondent plainly demonstrated his lack of candor.03 of Canon 18 of the Code which states that "a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. he covenants that he will exercise due diligence in protecting the latter’s rights. he also serves the ends of justice. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. attending scheduled hearings or conferences. does honor to the bar. and urging their termination even without prodding from the client or the court. but also consists of properly representing the client before any court or tribunal. preparing and filing the required pleadings.

the latter made false declarations therein that no similar actions or proceedings have been commenced by Rudex or remained pending before any other court. In addition. Sioting’s rescission complaint against Rudex. tribunal or agency when. more so. it was incumbent upon Rudex to have declared its existence. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the Investigating Commissioner’s Report and Recommendation. complainants asserted that Atty. claiming that in the certifications against forum shopping attached to the complaints for rescission and ejectment of Rudex filed while Atty. considering that at the time Rudex filed the said complaint in September 2002. Sioting. No. Atty. Crisostomo. Nazareno was its counsel.e. . Philip Z. In this relation. 2004 complaints for rescission and ejectment.A. and a decision on the rescission complaint would amount to res judicata on the ejectment complaint. was already pending. 1968) in all the certifications against forum shopping that were separately attached to the six (6) April 1.C.. Nazareno. 2002. Doc. the Investigating Commissioner observed that Atty. June 10. A. 6677. Sioting had been erroneously declared. filed on May 24. Nazareno. IBP Investigator recommended the suspension of Atty. since both complaints involve the same transaction and essential facts. Nazareno for a period of six (6) months for his administrative violations. The Investigating Commissioner found that there were unassailable proofs that the certification against forum shopping attached to Rudex’s ejectment complaint against Sps. similar actions or proceedings for rescission had been filed by herein complainants before the HLURB against Rudex and Atty. in fact. the Investigating Commissioner recommended that Atty. represented by Atty.Topic: Duties of a Lawyer Ponente: Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe Euprocina I. Nazareno committed malpractice as a notary public since he only assigned one (1) document number (i. et al. No. Nazareno cannot claim innocence of his omission since he was not only Rudex’s counsel but the notarizing officer as well. Having knowingly made false entries in the subject certifications against forum shopping. Sps. but modified the recommended penalty from a suspension of six (6) months to only one (1) month. and an ejectment complaint was filed by Rudex. Nazareno. Hence. Nazareno. 2014 Facts: Complainants jointly filed the present administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. v. Nazareno be held administratively liable and thereby penalized with six (6) months suspension. against Sps.

A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful.Issue: Whether Atty. Under Section 5. Nazareno – as mandated by the Rules of Court and more pertinently. Owing to the evident similarity of the issues involved in each set of cases.A lawyer shall not do any falsehood.01 . as for the penalty to be . and subjects the erring counsel to the corresponding administrative and criminal actions. it has been established that Atty. Rule 7 of the Rules of Court. Rule 1. Canon 1 and Rule 10. for which he should be held administratively liable. said infraction may be considered as a violation of Rule 1. Rule 10. immoral or deceitful conduct. the submission of false entries in a certification against forum shopping constitutes indirect or direct contempt of court. Separate from the proscription against forum shopping is the violation of the certification requirement against forum shopping. In this case. In the realm of legal ethics. Considering that Atty. FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT. However. OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES. the canons of the Code – should have truthfully declared the existence of the pending related cases in the certifications against forum shopping attached to the pertinent pleadings.01 . Nazareno made false declarations in the certifications against forum shopping attached to Rudex’s pleadings.01. Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which read as follows: CANON 1 – A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. SC: YES The Court affirms the IBP’s findings with modification as to the penalty imposed. Atty. the Court finds no cogent reason to deviate from the IBP’s resolution on his administrative liability.01. dishonest. nor consent to the doing of any in Court. or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice. Nazareno did not even bother to refute the charges against him despite due notice. Nazareno should be held administratively liable and accordingly suspended for a period of one (1) month. xxxx CANON 10 – A LAWYER OWES CANDOR. nor shall he mislead.

Worse. No. the Court hereby suspends him from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year.01. the entry and page number of the document notarized. among others. Otherwise. In Molina v. Nazareno did not comply with the foregoing rule. the Court further finds Atty. Atty. a penalty of six (6) months suspension from the practice of law was imposed against the lawyer therein who was shown to have deliberately made false and untruthful statements in one of his pleadings. Nazareno’s infractions are of a similar nature. to wit: Where admittedly the notary public has personal knowledge of a false statement or information contained in the instrument to be notarized. and that he shall give to each instrument or document executed. Atty. 2004 complaints for rescission and ejectment despite the fact that each of them should have been treated as a separate notarial act. had repetitively committed the same.01 of the Code which proscribes . Atty. Magat. Atty. sworn to. Doc. 1968) to the certifications against forum shopping attached to the six (6) April 1.e. the Court deems it proper to modify the IBP’s finding on this score. Respondent also violated Rule 1. In this case. considering that he assigned only one document number (i. Nazareno notarized the certifications against forum shopping attached to all the aforementioned complaints.e. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility in the case of Heirs of the Late Spouses Villanueva v. the notary shall record in the notarial register at the time of the notarization. yet proceeds to affix his or her notarial seal on it. Beradio. i. Separately. that Rudex had not commenced any actions or proceedings or was not aware of any pending actions or proceedings involving the same issues in any other forum. as may be gleaned from the foregoing discussion. but recognizing further that he. respondent’s conduct amounted to a breach of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The administrative liability of an erring notary public in this respect was clearly delineated as a violation of Rule 1.. It is a standing rule that for every notarial act. or acknowledged before him a number corresponding to the one in his register.imposed.. Nazareno guilty of malpractice as a notary public. Evidently. fully aware that they identically asserted a material falsehood. which requires lawyers to obey the laws of the land and promote respect for the law and legal processes. Given that Atty. the Court must not hesitate to discipline the notary public accordingly as the circumstances of the case may dictate. the integrity and sanctity of the notarization process may be undermined and public confidence on notarial documents diminished.

dishonest.lawyers from engaging in immoral. . or deceitful conduct. unlawful.

A. No. Demand letters sent to her went unheeded. . alleging that Atty. De Taza proffered to him. Dizon v. Reyes Amado T. Norlita de Taza. Castaneda. Manila and learned that the Court had already denied the petition on November 20.400. 174552. De Taza’s representations that the case was still pending. contrary to Atty. for the same reason that Atty. which was to expedite the proceedings of their case before the Court. the complainant went to this Court in Padre Faura. which were all dishonored by the bank. along with his siblings engaged the services of Romero De Taza Cruz and Associates to represent them in the case of Eliza T. De Taza had already demanded and received a total of Eight Hundred Thousand Pesos (P800. This amount was over and above the parties’ stipulated retainer fee as evidenced by a contract. Atty. De Taza.R.00) from his sibling Aurora Dizon. v. According to the complainant. A certain Ana Lynda Pineda executed an affidavit which was attached to the complaint. Thereafter. Heirs of Spouses Martin and Lucia Dizon with G.C. 7676. Atty. the complainant instituted a complaint for disbarment against Atty.000. unknown to him at that time was that. De Taza demanded the sum of P75. He also attached several affidavits and documents from other individuals who attested that Atty. on November 6. 2007. Duty of a lawyer in receiving the money of his clients Ponente: Justice Bienvenido L.00 from him to expedite the proceedings before the Court.The complainant claimed that.00. 2007. On October 24. June 10. De Taza issued bouncing checks and/or failed to pay off her debts to them. Complainant alleged that he. Norlita De Taza for the latter's demand for and receipt of exorbitant sums of money from her client purportedly to expedite the proceedings of their case which was pending before the Court.Topic: Disbarment.000. a month earlier or in January 2007. 2014 Facts: This concerns an administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. Atty. De Taza issued 11 checks in her favor amounting to P481. et al. 2006. No.

Such conduct. issuing bouncing checks and incurring debts which she left unpaid without any reason. De Taza must remember that she is not only a symbol but also an instrument of justice. The complainant even submitted a document evidencing Atty. Issue: Whether Atty. Her failure and/or refusal to file a comment will not be a hindrance for the Court to mete out an appropriate sanction.In a Resolution. held that the said copy of the Resolution was deemed served and resolved to consider Atty. As a lawyer. Atty. while already off-putting when attributed to an ordinary person. report and recommendation. demanding and/or receiving money from her clients under the guise of having the proceedings before the court expedited. only substantial evidence. De Taza manifested a propensity for borrowing money. that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. De Taza was not able to refute the accusations against her. i. equity and fairness.. De Taza’s involvement in an estafa and violation of BP No. it appears that Atty. 22 case filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Angeles City for drawing checks against a closed account. The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline recommended that Atty. De Taza was required by the Court to file a Comment.e. Atty. It shows a lack of . De Taza be suspended for a period of two years from the practice of law. The case was referred to the IBP for investigation. is required. de Taza should be held administratively liable for issuing bouncing checks." Based on the documentary evidence submitted by the complainant. the copy of the Resolution was returned unserved. However. "In administrative proceedings. SC: YES The Court acknowledges the fact that Atty. in its Resolution. "We have held that the issuance of checks which were later dishonored for having been drawn against a closed account indicates a lawyer’s unfitness for the trust and confidence reposed on her. De Taza as having waived the filing of her comment. The Court. is much more abhorrent when the same is exhibited by a member of the Bar. among other complaint-affidavits executed by her other creditors.

De Taza’s actions are reprehensible and her greed more than apparent when she even used the name of the Court to defraud her client. De Taza just to milk more money from her clients. And if he does not use the money for the intended purpose. Thus. the lawyer is bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for that particular purpose." Atty. (7) willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court. Because they are vanguards of the law and .personal honesty and good moral character as to render her unworthy of public confidence. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court provides for the disbarment or suspension of a lawyer for any of the following: (1) deceit. (5) conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. (4) grossly immoral conduct. Without a doubt. The issuance of a series of worthless checks also shows the remorseless attitude of respondent. In this case. the purpose for which Atty. Section 27. unmindful to the deleterious effects of such act to the public interest and public order. morally. When a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose. academically and. seriously and irreparably tarnishing the image of the profession she should hold in high esteem. It also manifests a lawyer’s low regard to her commitment to the oath she has taken when she joined her peers. and the privilege to practice it is bestowed only upon individuals who are competent intellectually. (3) gross misconduct in office. "Law is a noble profession. equally important. De Taza demanded money is baseless and non-existent. (6) violation of the lawyer’s oath. the lawyer must immediately return the money to his client. (2) malpractice. and (8) willfully appearing as an attorney for a party without authority to do so. Said scheme was employed by Atty. her demand should not have even been made in the first place. Atty. De Taza’s actuations towards the complainant and his siblings were even worse as she had the gall to make it appear to the complainant that the proceedings before the Court can be expedited and ruled in their favor in exchange for an exorbitant amount of money.

For a member of the legal profession to further stoke the embers of mistrust on the judicial system with such irresponsible representations is reprehensible and cannot be tolerated. lawyers must at all times conduct themselves. especially in their dealings with their clients and the public at large. the Court holds that there is no reason to deviate from the report and recommendation of the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline which is to suspend Atty. with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach." "The Judiciary has been besieged enough with accusations of corruption and malpractice. . De Taza from the practice of law for two years.the legal system." All told.

together with her two brothers. Respondent Pecaña should have refused to meet with complainant in her home. Laguna. Impartiality and impropriety of a judge Ponente: PER CURIAM Emilie Sison-Barias v. During this meeting. No. was a data encoder in the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Biñan.M. Complainant. complainant informed respondent Pecaña of the delay in the publication of the notice in the petition for issuance of letters of administration. Rubia. Complainant alleged that there was delay in the publication of the notice in the petition for issuance of letters of administration filed. Respondent Pecaña then informed complainant that she could no longer assist her since respondent Judge Rubia had already given administration of the properties to Evelyn Tanael. RTJ14-2388. Laguna. the daughter of his good friend. Issue: Whether the respondents are administratively liable. Enrique and Perlito. SC: YES For respondent Pecaña. She should have refused any other form of extended communication with complainant. 2010. a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title and part of the estate of complainant’s husband was involved.Topic: Fidelity to Duty of Court Personnel. guardianship proceeding and a civil action for annulment of contracts and reconveyance of real properties. A. She was then informed by her brother. met with respondent Pecaña on February 20. save for those in her official capacity as a Data Encoder of the court. et al. The cases are intestate proceeding. Judge Marino E. respondent Pecaña should have known better than to interact with litigants in a way that could compromise the confidence that the general public places in the judiciary. 2014 Facts: Complainant Emilie Sison-Barias is involved in three cases pending before the sala of respondent Judge Marino Rubia. This continued communication between complainant and respondent Pecaña . June 10. that respondent Eileen Pecaña. As a court employee. Enrique "Ike" Sison. the fact that she allowed herself to be placed in a position that could cause suspicion toward her work as a court personnel is disconcerting. Complainant went there with Enrique. Respondent Pecaña asked complainant to meet her again at her house in Biñan. In all these cases.

Instead. respondent Judge Rubia violated several canons of the New Code of Judicial Conduct. Respondent Pecaña violated Canon 1 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel: CANON I: FIDELITY TO DUTY Respondent Pecaña’s actions constitute a clear violation of the requirement that all court personnel uphold integrity and prudence in all their actions. Respondent Pecaña failed to do so. act in accordance with the esteem of their office. Laguna. Respondent Pecaña admitted to meeting with complainant several times. thus.makes her culpable for failure to adhere to the strict standard of propriety mandated of court personnel. Respondent Judge Rubia failed to act in a manner that upholds the dignity mandated by his office. She had a duty to sever all forms of communication with complainant or to inform her superiors or the proper authority of complainant’s attempts to communicate with her. At the time of the referral of the complaint to the Office of the Court Administrator. even to the extent of advising complainant against filing an administrative case against her and respondent Judge Rubia. Respondent Pecaña should. He was already made aware of the impropriety of respondent Pecaña’s actions by virtue of her admissions in her comment. be held administratively liable for her actions. respondent Judge Rubia was already the Executive Judge of Branch 24 of the Regional Trial Court of Biñan. he had the authority to ensure that all court employees. whether or not they were under his direct supervision. A judge shall therefore uphold and . Respondent Judge Rubia committed gross violations of the New Code of Judicial Conduct By meeting a litigant and advising her to talk to opposing counsel. despite the former’s knowledge of the pendency of cases in the court where she is employed and in addition to the text messages exchanged between them. Canon 1 INDEPENDECE Judicial Independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. As a judge. Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge to avoid not only impropriety but also the mere appearance of impropriety in all activities. she continued to communicate with complainant.

for appearance is an essential manifestation of reality. impartiality. impropriety could be attributed to the meeting itself. It gives ground for a valid reproach. respondent Judge Rubia violated the notions of required of his office. IMPARTIALITY Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial office. Canon 2 INTEGRITY Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial office but also to the personal demeanor of judges. Respondent's conduct in the instant case inevitably invites doubts about respondent's probity and integrity.exemplify judicial independence in both its individual and institutional aspects. CANON 4. no Respondent Judge Rubia’s actions belittled the integrity required of judges in all their dealings inside and outside the courts. PROPRIETY Propriety and the appearance of propriety performance of all the activities of a judge. and propriety fundamental to his office. Respondents have relentlessly stood position that the meeting was a chance encounter. He cannot be allowed to remain a member of the judiciary. A litigant in a case is entitled to no less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. . For these actions. It applies not only to the decision itself but also to the process by which the decision is made. respondent Judge Rubia now lost the requisite integrity. CANON 3. It is improper and highly unethical for a judge to suggest to a litigant what to do to resolve his case for such would generate the suspicion that the judge is in collusion with one party. are essential Because of the meeting. and the subsequent orders issued meeting. but also to appear to be so. to the after the propriety by their thus. Hence. Judges are not only required to be impartial. not only must a judge render a just decision. and. he is also duty bound to render it in a manner completely free from suspicion as to its fairness and its integrity.

C. like not filing a reply to the defendants’ answer with counterclaims in order to deny the new matters raised in the answer. On March 12. Atty. 3452. 1990. Abellana denied the charge of falsification of documents. . Abellana. 18.02. Samonte enumerated the serious acts of professional misconduct by Atty. the Court required Atty. A. Atty. June 23. In his comment dated April 6. 11. 1990.04). Abellana negligent in handling certain aspects of his client’s case. Gines Abellana.01. The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline recommended the disbarment of Atty. No. Samonte brought this administrative complaint against respondent Atty. Expectations of honesty. IBP Commission on Bar Discipline found Atty. Abellana. He asserted that the charge of dereliction of duty was baseless. Gines N. Abellana to comment on the administrative complaint.Topic: Code of Professional Responsibility (Rules 10. integrity and trustworthiness in dealings with client Ponente: Justice Lucas Bersamin Henry Samonte v. complainant Henry E. 2014 Facts: On February 16. 1990. Abellana who had represented him as the plaintiff in Civil Case. In the administrative complaint.

Atty. . He resorted to outright falsification by superimposing "0" on "4" in order to mislead Samonte into believing that he had already filed the complaint in court on June 10.02 . therefore. He ought to remember that honesty and integrity were of far greater value for him as a member of the Law Profession than his transactions with his client. Issue: Whether Atty. as agreed upon. and with the RTC as the trial court.A lawyer shall punctually appear at court hearings. to wit: Rule 10. instead of on June 14. that honesty. It is by no means a coincidence. and trustworthy.A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to client’s request for information. albeit adopting the findings of the IBP Investigating Commissioner. 1988. every lawyer is expected to be honest. or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice. nor consent to the doing of any in Court.04 . imbued with integrity. Rule 18. 1988 as promised.01 .A lawyer shall not do any falsehood. for they have been given full expression in the Lawyer’s Oath that every lawyer of this country has taken upon admission as a bona fide member of the Law Profession. SC: YES In his dealings with his client and with the courts. though high and demanding. did not excuse the falsification. the date when he had actually done so. integrity and trustworthiness are emphatically reiterated by the Code of Professional Responsibility. suspended Atty. integrity and trustworthiness in his dealings with Samonte as the client. nor shall he mislead. Rule 11. Abellana is lawfully suspended from the practice of law for one year.On June 5. Abellana abjectly failed the expectations of honesty. Abellana from the practice of law for one year. By the Lawyer’s Oath is every lawyer is a servant of the Law. 1988. His explanation that Samonte was himself the cause of the belated filing on account of his inability to remit the correct amount of filing fees and his acceptance fees by June 10. because his falsification was not rendered less dishonest and less corrupt by whatever reasons for filing at the later date. 2008. and has to observe and maintain the rule of law as well as be an exemplar worthy of emulation by others. These expectations. the IBP Board of Governors. are the professional and ethical burdens of every member of the Philippine Bar.

Only thereby can lawyers preserve their fitness to remain as members of the Law Profession.03. He admitted being tardy in attending the hearings of the civil case. Rule 18. and that the latter initiated the termination of Atty. Rule 18. being aimed at misleading his client and the Court to bolster his unworthy denial of his neglect in the handling of the client's case. Foronda v. Topic: Code of Professional Responsibility (Canon 17. A.The finding on Atty. 2014 . Abellana’s neglect in the handling of Samonte’s case was entirely warranted. Alvarez. Atty.04. The falsehoods committed by Atty. Abellana was fortunate that the RTC Judge exhibited some tolerance and liberality by still admitting the belated offer of evidence in the interest of justice. It deserves for the guilty lawyer stern disciplinary sanctions. Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are designed to ensure that whoever is granted the privilege to practice law in this country should remain faithful to the Lawyer’s Oath. Abellana. Still.. Abellana's engagement as his counsel only after their relationship had been tainted with mistrust. Canon 18.C. the Court must not close its eyes to the fact that Atty. Abellana actually finished presenting his client's case. Jr. Any resort to falsehood or deception. evinces an unworthiness to continue enjoying the privilege to practice law and highlights the unfitness to remain a member of the Law Profession. a fact that he could not deny because the RTC Judge had himself expressly noted the belated filing in the order issued in the case. Jose L. June 25. No. including adopting artifices to cover up one’s misdeeds committed against clients and the rest of the trusting public. Canon 15) Ponente: Justice Bienvenido Reyes Almira C. He filed the formal offer of evidence in behalf of his client way beyond the period to do so. were unmitigated. Atty. 9976.

It should be noted. While denying he misrepresented to complainant that the petition has been filed when it was not. Atty. Issue: Whether Atty. CANON 18. Alvarez.03 for failure to return the complainant’s money despite numerous demands. respondent should be deemed guilty of violating Canons 17 and 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which pertinent read: CANON 17 – A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. Jr. Jose L. – A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. (2) Dishonesty and misrepresentation when the respondent misinformed the complainant that her annulment case was already filed when in fact it was not. he simply denied the same for the reason that he has no sufficient information to form a belief as to the truth thereof. Alvarez.01 and 16. In his Answer. For delaying in filing the petition for complainant.04 when the respondent misinformed the complainant regarding the status of her annulment case. (4) Violation of Canon 15. Jr. Rule 18. Alvarez admits the delay and apologizes for it. The grounds are the following: (1) Fraud and deceit in luring the complainant in transacting business with the respondent. SC: YES In his Supplemental Affidavit. respondent did not care to refute also in detail the allegations of complainant.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. Foronda against Atty. however. violated the Code of Professional Responsibility. (5) Violation of Canons 16. and the negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. (3) Issuing unfunded checks as payment for the respondent's obligations to the complainant. that the .06 of the Code of Professional Responsibilities when the respondent represented to the complainant that he knows of court personnel who will help facilitate the complainant’s annulment case. and (6) Violation of Canon 18. Respondent lied about the delay. before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.Facts: A complaint for disbarment was filed by lmira C. The allegations of complainant about how respondent lied to her about the delay in the filing of the petition are very detailed. Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD).

In fact. respondent repeatedly failed to comply with his promise to pay complainant. and are therefore. FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENT.04 provides that a lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. . Respondent induced complainant to lend him money at 5% interest per month but failed to pay the same.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. respondent is guilty of violating not only Canon 15 but also Rule 18. In doing so.04 – A lawyer shall keep his client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to the client’s request for information. The fact that he subsequently paid complainant more than the amount due from him as part of the settlement of the criminal complaint filed by her against him hardly serves to mitigate his liability. His denial is therefore tantamount to an admission. Rule 18. This is admitted by respondent.allegations pertains to things respondent said and did. This is admitted by respondent. Obviously. respondent borrowed money from his client and his client’s interest was not fully protected. Rule 16. which read: CANON 15. matters which he knew or should have known. He issued two sets of checks which were dishonored when presented for payment. – A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR.

both notaries public. Romeo Calubaquib and Jimmy Baliga on November 16. which was notarized by respondent Calubaquib and entered in his notarial register as Doc.Cagayan by respondent Baliga. 08 was a cancellation of real estate mortgage dated January 11. Book No. No. Page No. 31. VIII. Book No. 1996. Cagayan. the document entered as Doc. Notarial Register Book No. CXXX was for the year 1996 and entered there as Doc. A. . Baliga. Attys. No. Page No. Page No. Respondents Calubaquib and Baliga both admitted the incorrectness of the entries and simply attributed them to the inadvertence in good faith of their secretary and legal assistants to whom they had left the task of entering all his notarial documents. Page No. Complainant alleged that respondents. 182. However. 2014 Facts: A complaint for disbarment was filed by Victor Lingan against Attys. Respondent Calubaquib signed the verification and certification of nonforum shopping of the complaint as notary public and entered the same as Doc. 38. Doc. No. 2000. Series of 1995. A petition for reappointment as notary public for and in Tuguegarao. A special power of attorney dated September 10. CLXXII. June 30. 182. Issue: SC: YES Whether respondents violated the Notarial Practice Law. CLXXII. as follows: A complaint for annulment of title with damages filed by Isaac Villegas against complainant with the Regional Trial Court of Tuguegarao. 110.Topic: Suspension from the practice of law Ponente: Justice Marvic Leonen Victor Lingan v. Page 38. 1996 executed by Isaac Villegas appointing respondent Calubaquib as his attorney-in-fact to “enter into a compromise agreement under such terms and conditions acceptable to him” which was notarized by respondent Baliga and entered as Doc. Series of 1996 pertains to an affidavit of loss of one Pedro Telan. 548. falsified certain public documents. Book No. Series of 1996. CXXX. 548. No. 110. 1996. No.C. Romeo Calubaquib and Jimmu P. 08. 31. No. 5377. which according to respondent Baliga’s notarial register. Book No. VIII. Page No. Series of 1996. No. which according to the records of the National Archives. Book No. dated August 26. Series of 1996 in respondent Calubaquib’s notarial register was an affidavit of one Daniel Malayao.

Notarization is not an empty. a self-proclaimed “prominent legal practitioner. the courts and the administrative offices in general. The failure of the notary to make the proper entry or entries in his notarial register touching his notarial acts in the manner required by law is a ground for revocation of commission under Section 249 (b). Being not only lawyers but also public officers. to any person applying for it and paying the legal fees therefore. Respondents cannot be relieved of responsibility for the violation of the aforesaid sections by passing the buck to their secretaries. a reprehensible practice which to this day persists despite our open condemnation. and he shall supply a certified copy of such record. wherein record shall be made of all his official acts as notary. respondents were squarely in violation of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Section 27. meaningless or routinary act but one invested with substantive public interest. The protection of that interest necessarily requires that those not qualified or authorized to act must be prevented from inflicting themselves upon the public. such that only those who are qualified or authorized to do so may act as notaries public.” should have known better than to give us such a simple-minded excuse. or any part thereof. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.It is abundantly clear that the notary public is personally accountable for all entries in his notarial register. Respondents. especially Calubaquib. . Section 245 of the Notarial Law provides that every notary public shall keep a register to be known as the notarial register. Respondents’ acts did not amount to mere simple and excusable negligence. respondents should have been acutely aware of their responsibilities. Having failed to perform their sworn duty.

Topic: Disciplinary action against lawyer
Ponente: Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno
Mercedita de Jesus v. Atty. Juvy Mell Sanchez-Malit, A.C. No. 6470,
July 08, 2014
Facts: A disbarment complaint filed by De Jesus against respondent on
the grounds of grave misconduct, dishonesty, malpractices, and
unworthiness to become an officer of the Court.
Complainant alleged that respondent had drafted and notarized a Real
Estate Mortgage of a public market stall that falsely named the former as
its absolute and registered owner. As a result, the mortgagee sued
complainant for perjury and for collection of sum of money. Respondent
had also notarized two contracts that caused complainant legal and
financial problems. One contract was a lease agreement notarized by
respondent without the signature of the lessees. The other contract was a
sale agreement over a property covered by a Certificate of Land
Ownership Award (CLOA) which complainant entered into with a certain
Nicomedes Tala (Tala) on 17 February 1998. Respondent drafted and
notarized said agreement, but did not advise complainant that the
property was still covered by the period within which it could not be
alienated.
In addition to the documents attached to her complaint, complainant
submitted three Special Powers of Attorney (SPAs) notarized by
respondent and an Affidavit of Irene Tolentino (Tolentino), complainant’s
secretary/treasurer. The SPAs were not signed by the principals named
therein and bore only the signature of the named attorney-in-fact, Florina
B. Limpioso (Limpioso).
IBP Investigating Commissioner Leland R. Villadolid, Jr. recommended the
immediate revocation of the Notarial Commission of respondent and her
disqualification as notary public for two years for her violation of her oath
as such by notarizing documents without the signatures of the parties
who had purportedly appeared before her. He accepted respondent’s
explanations with respect to the lease agreement, sale contract, and the
three SPAs pertaining to Limpioso. However, he found that the inaccurate
crafting of the real estate mortgage contract was a sufficient basis to hold
respondent liable for violation of Canon 18 and Rule 18.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Thus, he also recommended that she be
suspended from the practice of law for six months. The IBP Board of
Governors unanimously adopted and approved the Report and
Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner, with the
modification that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for
one year.

Issue:

Whether respondent can be subjected to disciplinary action.

SC: YES
Where the notary public admittedly has personal knowledge of a false
statement or information contained in the instrument to be notarized, yet
proceeds to affix the notarial seal on it, the Court must not hesitate to
discipline the notary public accordingly as the circumstances of the case
may dictate. Otherwise, the integrity and sanctity of the notarization
process may be undermined, and public confidence in notarial documents
diminished.
In this case, respondent fully knew that complainant was not the owner of
the mortgaged market stall. That complainant comprehended the
provisions of the real estate mortgage contract does not make respondent
any less guilty. If at all, it only heightens the latter’s liability for tolerating
a wrongful act. Clearly, respondent’s conduct amounted to a breach of
Canon 1 and Rules 1.01 and 1.02 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
Respondent’s explanation about the unsigned lease agreement executed
by complainant is incredulous. If, indeed, her file copy of the agreement
bore the lessees’ signatures, she could have given complainant a certified
photocopy thereof. It even appears that said lease agreement is not a
rarity in respondent’s practice as a notary public. Records show that on
various occasions from 2002 to 2004, respondent has notarized 22
documents that were either unsigned or lacking signatures of the parties.
Technically, each document maybe a ground for disciplinary action, for it
is the duty of a notarial officer to demand that a document be signed in
his or her presence.
A notary public should not notarize a document unless the persons who
signed it are the very same ones who executed it and who personally
appeared before the said notary public to attest to the contents and truth
of what are stated therein. Thus, in acknowledging that the parties
personally came and appeared before her, respondent also violated Rule
10.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and her oath as a lawyer
that she shall do no falsehood.

"if the Secretary of Justice approves it. and had thereby committed a highly irregular and unethical act. He reasoned that the high hopes of the accused. Felisberto L. 8108. July 15.Topic: Administrative case for disbarment Ponente: Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno Dante La Jimenez & Lauro G. In his Comment. Adm. Lozano contended that respondent showed disrespect for the law and legal processes in drafting the said order and sending it to a high-ranking public official. Puno. which states that a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution. the drafted release order was not signed by the Secretary and therefore remained "a mere scrap of paper with no effect at all. respondent alludes to the Joint Inquest Resolution dropping the charges against his clients for lack of probable cause. Case No. 2014 Facts: Brodett and Tecson (identified in media reports attached to the Complaint as the "Alabang Boys") were the accused in cases filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the illegal sale and use of dangerous drugs. Respondent admits that perhaps he was overzealous. respondent continues. arguing that the resolution also ordered the immediate release of Brodett and Tecson. They stated that respondent had admitted to drafting the release order. sent a letter of complaint to Chief Justice Reynato S. in their capacity as founders of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).” . then everything may be expedited. even though the latter was not a government prosecutor. For his part. Verano. yet. Jimenez and Vizconde. came crashing down when the PDEA still refused to release his clients. In a Joint Inquest Resolution the charges were dropped for lack of probable cause. Atty. together with their families. Lozano anchored his Complaint on respondent’s alleged violation of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. They argued that respondent had no authority to use the DOJ letterhead and should be penalized for acts unbecoming a member of the bar.. obey the laws of the land. and promote respect for legal processes. Atty. It was revealed during one of the hearing conducted by the House Committee on Illegal Drugs that respondent had prepared the release order for his three clients using the letterhead of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the stationery of then Secretary Raul Gonzales. Atty. Jr." In any case. Sheer faith in the innocence of his clients and fidelity to their cause prompted him to prepare and draft the release order. Vizconde v.

is condemnable and unethical." Further. the outcome of an ongoing case." Zeal and persistence in advancing a client’s cause must always be within the bounds of the law. we find that respondent fell short of these exacting standards. not honorable." The way respondent conducted himself manifested a clear intent to gain special treatment and consideration from a government agency. lest the people’s faith in the judicial process is diluted. .02 states: "A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system. states that "a lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from any impropriety which tends to influence. "a lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official. according to Rule 15.07.Issue: Whether respondent is administratively liable. Rule 1." The succeeding rule. SC: YES Canon 13. which is resorted to by the lawyer. their clients’ success is wholly subordinate. Respondent is duty-bound to actively avoid any act that tends to influence. fair and honest. or gives the appearance of influencing the court. Rule 15. even in the pursuit of his devotion to his client’s cause. Any means. mandates a lawyer "to impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness. tribunal or legislative body. This is precisely the type of improper behavior sought to be regulated by the codified norms for the bar. the provision applied by the Investigating Commissioner. A self-respecting independence in the exercise of the profession is expected if an attorney is to remain a member of the bar. In the present case. To that end. or may be seen to influence. The primary duty of lawyers is not to their clients but to the administration of justice. The conduct of a member of the bar ought to and must always be scrupulously observant of the law and ethics.06.

Topic: Quantum of Evidence in disbarment; Canon 7 of Code of
Professional Responsibility; Duty of Lawyers
Ponente: Justice Bienvenido Reyes
Raul M. Francia v. Atty. Reynaldo V. Abdon, A.C. No. 10031, July
23, 2014
Facts: In a verified complaint filed before the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines, Committee on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD), Raul M. Francia
prayed for the disbarment and imposition of other disciplinary sanctions
on Labor Arbiter Reynaldo V. Abdon for violation of the lawyer's oath and
the Code of Professional Responsibility.
In his position paper, the complainant alleged that he had a meeting with
the respondent at the Makati Cinema Square to seek his assistance with
respect to a pending case in the Court of Appeals involving the labor
union of Nueva Ecija III Electric Cooperative (NEECO III). The respondent,
who is a LA at the National Labor Relations Commission, San Fernando,
Pampanga, told the complainant that he can facilitate, expedite and
ensure the release of a favorable decision, particularly the award of assets
and management of NEECO III to the union. To bolster his representation,
he told him that the same regional office where he was assigned had
earlier rendered a decision in favor of the labor union and against the
National Electrification Administration. With the respondent’s assurance,
the complainant yielded. In December 2006, the complainant met the
respondent to discuss their plan and timetable in securing a favorable
ruling from the CA. The respondent told him that in order to facilitate the
release of such favorable decision, the union must produce the amount
of P1,000,000.00, a considerable portion of which is intended for Justice
Sundiam, the ponente of the case and the two member justices of the
division, while a fraction thereof is allotted to his costs.
Shortly thereafter, the complainant met the respondent again and handed
him the amount of P350,000.00, which was raised out of the individual
contributions of the members of the union, as partial payment for the
agreed amount and undertook to pay the balance as soon as the union is
finally allowed to manage and operate the electric cooperative. In turn,
the respondent assured him that a favorable ruling will be rendered by the
CA in no time. On January 4, 2007, the union was advised by their counsel
that the CA has already rendered a decision on their case and the same
was adverse to them. This infuriated the union members who then turned
to the complainant and demanded for the return of the 350,000.00 that
they raised as respondent’s facilitation fee. The respondent promised to
return the money but asked for a few weeks to do so. After two weeks, the
respondent turned over the amount of P100,000.00, representing the
unspent portion of the money given to him and promised to pay the

balance of P250,000.00 as soon as possible. The respondent, however,
reneged on his promise and would not even advise the complainant of the
reason for his failure to return the money. Thus, the complainant was
constrained to give his car to the union to settle the remaining balance
which the respondent failed to return.
Issue: Whether respondent should be disbarred.
SC: NO
In disbarment proceedings, the burden of proof rests upon the
complainant. For the Court to exercise its disciplinary powers, the
case against the respondent must be established by convincing
and satisfactory proof.
After a careful review of the facts and circumstances of the case, the
Court found that the evidence submitted by the complainant fell short of
the required quantum of proof. Aside from bare allegations, no evidence
was presented to convincingly establish that the respondent engaged in
unlawful and dishonest conduct, particularly in extortion and influencepeddling. Firstly, the transcript of the alleged exchange of text messages
between the complainant and the respondent cannot be admitted in
evidence since the same was not authenticate in accordance with A.M.
No. 01-7-01-SC, pertaining to the Rules on Electronic Evidence. Without
proper authentication, the text messages presented by the complainant
have no evidentiary value. The Court cannot also give credence to the
affidavits of Pena and Demillo which, on close examination, do not prove
anything about the alleged transaction between the complainant and the
respondent. The complainant miserably failed to substantiate his claims
with preponderant evidence. Surely, he cannot prove the respondent’s
culpability by merely presenting equivocal statements of some individuals
or relying on plain gestures that are capable of stirring the imagination.
Considering the lasting effect of the imposition of the penalty of
suspension or disbarment on a lawyer’s professional standing, the Court
cannot allow that the respondent be held liable for misconduct on the
basis of surmises and imagined possibilities. A mere suspicion cannot
substitute for the convincing and satisfactory proof required to justify the
suspension or disbarment of a lawyer.
The respondent, however, is not entirely faultless. He has, nonetheless,
engendered the suspicion that he is engaged in an illegal deal when he
introduced the complainant to Vistan, who was the one who allegedly
demanded P1,000,000.00 in facilitation fee from the union members.
Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a
"lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal

profession." For, the strength of the legal profession lies in the dignity and
integrity of its members. It is every lawyer’s duty to maintain the high
regard to the profession by staying true to his oath and keeping his
actions beyond reproach. The Court reiterated its directive to the
members of the Bar to be mindful of the sheer responsibilities that attach
to their profession. They must maintain high standards of legal
proficiency, as well as morality including honesty, integrity and fair
dealing.

Topic: Court Officers; Gross Inefficiency
Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion
Flora P. Holasca v. Anselmo P. Pagunsan, A.M. No. P-14-3198, July
23, 2014
Facts: In her complaint-affidavit, Holasca charged Sheriff Pagunsan with
Gross Misconduct and Serious Dereliction of Duty in connection with his
delay and refusal to implement the writ of execution issued in an
ejectment case. Holasca was the plaintiff in the ejectment case. After
obtaining a favorable judgment, she sought the execution of the decision
through Sheriff Pagunsan. She narrated that on February 11, 2009, Sheriff
Pagunsan, accompanied by a male companion,(allegedly a Process
Server) and Francisco J. Calibuso, Jr. (Clerk of Court III, Municipal Trial
Court in Cities, Branch 1, Cavite City, went to the occupied to serve a
copy of a Writ of Execution. There, Sheriff Pagunsan allegedly told the
defendants not to talk to anybody regarding the payment of damages in
the ejectment case. Sheriff Pagunsan likewise told the defendants:
"marami pala kayong gamit na pwede kong hilain pero huwag kayong
mag-alala, hindi ako hihila kahit ano".Before leaving the premises, Sheriff
Pagunsan advised the defendants to see him in his office on February 13,
2009. Holasca further alleged that Sheriff Pagunsan did not conduct an
inventory of all the chattels found inside the house of the defendants, or
evict the latter from its premises.
Issue: Whether Sheriff Pagunsan with Gross Misconduct and Serious
Dereliction of Duty
SC: YES
Sheriffs play an important role in the administration of justice because
they are tasked to execute final judgments of the courts, which would
otherwise become empty victories for the prevailing party, if left
unenforced. As agents of the law, sheriffs are mandated to uphold
the majesty of the law, as embodied in the decision, without
unnecessary delay to prevent injury or damage to the winning
party. There is no need for the litigants to "follow-up" the sheriff’s
implementation of the writ. Once the writ is placed in their hands, sheriffs
are duty-bound to proceed and see to it that the execution of judgments is
not unduly delayed. The duties of the sheriff in implementing writs of
execution are explicitly laid down in the Rules of Court (Rules).
Paragraphs (c) and (d) of Section 10, Rule 39 of the Rules provide
for the manner a writ for the delivery or the restitution of real property
shall be enforced by the sheriff. Section 14, Rule 39 of the Rules, on the

the Court found him guilty of Gross Inefficiency. Nonetheless. 2009. the Writ of Execution was issued by the RTC on February 4. in the execution of a decision. mitigated by the character of the offense as the first by Sheriff Pangusan. However. 19. In the present case. . Gross inefficiency is punishable by suspension for six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year for the first offense. considering that this is Sheriff Pagunsan’s first infraction. Despite the opportunity to collect. In his answer. Under Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. he even admitted that he did not conduct an inventory of the defendants’ personal properties. For Sheriff Pagunsan’s lapses in the procedures in the implementation of the writ of execution. 2009 within which to voluntary vacate the premises. Sheriff Pagunsan did not do anything. he also failed to collect the money judgment in favor of Holasca. the excessive disregard of the cited Rules of Court provisions. namely. Moreover. Calibuso’s participation in the ejectment case is clearly not connected with his judicial duties as court personnel. The Court found that Sheriff Pagunsan was remiss in performing his mandated duties. series of 1999 gross inefficiency is classified as a grave offense. In short. together with his delay in the implementation of the writ. giving the defendants three (3) days or until February 14. no other action was undertaken by Sheriff Pagunsan to implement the writ of execution. as an employee of the judiciary. A sheriff’s compliance with the Rules is not merely directory but mandatory. in this case. and dismissal from the service for the second offense. must maintain a neutral hands-off attitude in dealing with party-litigants. To recall. In fact. Sheriff Pagunsan served the Writ on February 11. demonstrates his incompetence and gross inefficiency in the performance of his official duties. However. requires sheriffs to execute and make a return on the writ of execution after its implementation. nor made any personal follow-ups from the defendants. These provisions leave no room for any exercise of discretion on the part of the sheriff on how to perform his or her duties in implementing the writ. 2009. the Court stressed that Calibuso. there was no showing that the writ had been fully implemented or the property delivered to the complainant on February 14. the records would show that Sheriff Pagunsan did not return to the premises on the said date or any date thereafter.other hand. 2009. Such failure to carry out what is purely a ministerial duty. he should be meted with the penalty of suspension of nine (9) months and one (1) day without pay after taking into account the attendant circumstances.In addition to Sheriff Pagunsan’s delay and reluctance to implement the writ.

The parties were summoned for mandatory conference before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Based thereon. 2006 or even on February 7. she has personal knowledge that Jennifer could not have personally appeared before the respondent on May 24. pertaining to the donor's share of one-half portion over a parcel of land. No. Negros Occidental Chapter. Attached to the complaint is a copy of the deed of donation dated February 7. Despite opportunity to submit evidence rebutting the foregoing certification. Mahilum v. and their common daughter. she was in the United States of America (USA) working at the State Fund Office in California.Topic: Disbarment. 2006 bearing the signatures of Rodolfo and Jennifer. as well as the notarial seal and signature of the respondent on the acknowledgment portion attesting to the personal appearance of Rodolfo and Jennifer before him when the same was notarized on May 24. 2006. the respondent failed to file any. A. Rodolfo Mahilum as donor. 2014 Facts: On May 24. Jennifer Mahilum-Sorenson as donee.C. According to the complainant. SC: YES . July 30. the respondent notarized a Deed of Donation executed by her estranged husband. 2006 because during those dates. Jennifer did not enter the Philippines in the year 2006. whereby both of them undertook to present documentary evidence showing the actual whereabouts of Jennifer during the dates in question. Atty. Lezama. donee and instrumental witnesses to the donation were all physically present when the document was signed. 10450. The respondent further averred that the complainant has a long-running feud with Rodolfo and she and some of their common children are using this complaint as part of her personal vendetta against Rodolfo who happens to be friends with the respondent. the respondent asserted that the donor. The complainant submitted a Certification from the Bureau of Immigration showing the arrival and departure records of Jennifer in the Philippines. Issue: Whether respondent’s notarial commission should be revoked. Violation of Notarial Law Ponente: Justice Bienvenido Reyes Aemerita B. In his Answer. 2006. He stated that he is personally acquainted with Rodolfo and he had no reason to cast doubts upon him when he introduced his daughter Jennifer who came all the way from the USA to visit her father. Samuel Sm.

under Section 2(b) of Rule IV of the Rules on Notarial Practice of 2004. his incumbent notarial commission is REVOKED and he is DISQUALIFIED from being commissioned as a notary public for ONE (1) YEAR. But he. and (2) personally known to him or otherwise identified by him through competent evidence of identity as defined by these Rules. 2103. the Court hereby found Atty. thus: The physical presence of the affiants enables the notary public to verify the genuineness of the signatures of the acknowledging parties and to ascertain that the document is the parties’ free act and deed. Samuel SM. Certainly. Lezama GUILTY of violating the Notarial Law and the Code of Professional Responsibility. Contrary to the IBP’s findings that such failure was due to carelessness. Corollary. without doubt. WHEREFORE. Such misconduct can also usher in precarious legal consequences should the deed of donation later on spawn court intervention. It must be emphasized that the public and the courts accord conclusiveness of due execution in notarized documents. By affixing his signature and notarial seal on the instrument. Ibañez. or the Notarial Law mandates that affiants must personally appear to the notary public. having been a notary public for 35 years. Accordingly. . the respondent misled the public that Jennifer personally appeared before him and attested to the truth and veracity of the contents of the deed when in fact she did not. 2006. effective immediately. He is further WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. familiar with the above rules and duties. The purpose of the rule was emphasized in Angeles v. nonetheless. failed to observe them. a commissioned notary public is enjoined from performing a notarial act unless the affiant is: (1) in his presence at the time of the notarization. Section 1 of Public Act No. the conclusive import of the contents of such certification cannot be overcome by the respondent’s mere counter-allegations unsupported by any corroborative proof. the Court found and so held that the respondent deliberately disregarded the Rules on Notarial Practice and the Notarial Law.The Court agreed with and sustains the IBP’s finding that the official record from the Bureau of Immigration showing that Jennifer never traveled to the Philippines in the year 2006 substantially established that indeed she could not have personally appeared before the respondent when he notarized the deed of donation on May 24. The respondent is.

Worse. immoral or deceitful conduct. In truth. respondent failed to prove Pineda’s identity considering that the photographs and e-mails he submitted were all self-serving and thus. Canon 1 of the CPR. however. Complainant. The parties likewise stipulated that should complainant’s visa application be denied for any reason other than her absence on the day of the interview and/or for records of criminal conviction and/or any courtissued hold departure order. dishonest.00 after the issuance of the US visa. Issue: Whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for violating the CPR. However. who supposedly processes US visa applications for him. Facts: In her Complaint-Affidavit. LUIS P. No. EN BANC A.000. on November 17. respondent failed to perform his undertaking within the agreed period.Topic: Violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility Ponente: PERLAS-BERNABE. 8000 August 5.01.00 as downpayment for his legal services.000. integrity. and fair dealing. 2007 at the United States of America. as correctly observed by the . As the demand for refund of the downpayment was not heeded. vs. 2007. provides: CANON 1 – A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. Rule 1. ATTY. a purported US consul. In the instant case. 2014 CHAMELYN A. respondent is obligated to return the said downpayment.000. In consideration therefor. honesty. complainant filed a criminal complaint for estafa and the instant administrative complaint against respondent. respondent has no specialization in immigration law but merely had a contact allegedly with Pineda.4 However. Thus. respondent misrepresented himself as an immigration lawyer.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful.C. Respondent. which resulted to complainant seeking his assistance to facilitate the issuance of her US visa and paying him the amount of P350. but also of morality. OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LANDAND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES. To facilitate the issuance of her United States (US) visa. they entered into a Contract of Legal Services (Contract). AGOT. complainant sought the services of respondent who represented himself as an immigration lawyer. lawyers are bound to maintain not only a high standard of legal proficiency. J. complainant paid respondent the amount of P350. whereby respondent undertook to facilitate and secure the release of a US immigrant visa in complainant’s favor prior to the scheduled wedding.14 In this regard. Rule 1. complainant alleged that she was invited as maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding on December 9. complainant was not even scheduled for interview in the US Embassy.00 as downpayment and undertook to pay the balance of P350. Ruling: As officers of the court. RIVERA.

respondent violated Rules 16.18 The highly fiduciary nature of this relationship imposes upon the lawyer the duty to account for the money or property collected or received for or from his client. once a lawyer takes up the cause of his client.03. Corollary to such deception.00 that complainant paid him. it reveals a basic moral flaw that makes him unfit to practice law.01 – A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. as in this case.03 – A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. and dishonorable to the legal profession. to wit: CANON 18 – A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. and to attend to such client’s cause with diligence. Verily.03. Rule 16. Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. .01 and 16.03. a lawyer’s failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client. Canon 18 of the CPR. as in this case. which is to facilitate and secure the issuance of a US visa in favor of complainant. Undoubtedly.000. Therefore. x x x.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. bereft of any probative value and consequently cannot be given any credence. disgraceful. care. gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client. respondent’s deception is not only unacceptable. a lawyer’s neglect of a legal matter entrusted to him by his client constitutes inexcusable negligence for which he must be held administratively liable.19 Thus.Investigating Commissioner.: CANON 16 – A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENTTHAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION. This constitutes a flagrant violation of Rule 18. Furthermore. viz. Rule 18. he is duty-bound to serve the latter with competence. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed upon him. xxxx Rule 16. Canon 16 of the CPR when he failed to refund the amount of P350. Canon 18 of the CPR. Under Rule 18. the relationship between a lawyer and his client is highly fiduciary and prescribes on a lawyer a great fidelity and good faith. and devotion whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. respondent likewise failed to perform his obligations under the Contract.

Misamis Occidental. The OCA recommended that respondent Velez be found guilty of habitual absenteeism and. Vapor.Judge Vapor reported that while respondent Velez returned to work for the month of January 2012.Topic: Habitual Absenteeism Per Curiam A. same court. In his letter dated 20 February 2012. the process server of his court.. Misamis Occidental. on the Habitual Absenteeism of Filigrin E. Issue: Whether or not Velez is guilty of habitual absenteeism and. He reported that for the first quarter of 2011. he was no longer given any task and his duties were distributed to the court’s utility worker and sheriff. accordingly. 14-2002. Facts: Judge Rodolfo D. Tangub City. He explained that the absences were reasonable because he was undergoing treatment for liver disease. Velez. He recommended that respondent Velez be dropped from the rolls. No. On 1 December 2011.5 days monthly leave . Jr. 2014 Re: Report of Judge Rodolfo D. Vapor.M. be dismissed from the service. Tangub City. Respondent Velez admitted having incurred the aforesaid absences. Velez. informed the Office of the Court Administrator of the habitual absenteeism of Filigrin E. be dismissed from the service. Jr.. urinary tract infection and iron deficiency at that time. respondent Velez incurred twenty-three (23) absences. an officer or employee in the civil service shall be considered habitually absent if he incurs unauthorized absences exceeding the allowable 2. Process Server. Judge Vapor reiterated his recommendation for the dropping of respondent Velez from the rolls. accordingly. Under Administrative Circular No. Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC). Judge Vapor informed the OCA that respondent Velez failed to report for work for the entire months of October and November 2011. Municipal Trial Court in Cities [MTCC]. P-14-3232 August 12. Ruling: Yes.

Accordingly. Topic: Dishonesty and Misconduct Ponente: PERLAS-BERNABE. No.M. Complainants. J. LEONIDO. vs. P-14-3222 August 12. both of the MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT. OCA IPI NO. Facts: Complainants alleged that on February 22.M. All the absences he incurred during that period were thus considered unauthorized. EMPUESTO. Leonido intercepted and withdrew checks representing their second quincena salary as well as their share in the . suspended him for six (6) months and one (1) day. Under Section 46 (b) of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.credit under the leave law for at least three (3) months in a semester or at least three (3) consecutive months during the year.M. 2011. P-11-2899. Respondent Velez was earlier charged for his unauthorized absences and tardiness in2009. 11-3609-P) PRESIDING JUDGE JOSE B. LAGADO and CLERK OF COURT II JOSEFINA C. the Court disapproved the application for leave filed by respondent Velez for the period 1 March 2011 up to 1 December 2011. In the Resolution dated 11 July 2012 in A. It is evident from the records that respondent Velez is guilty of habitual absenteeism for incurring unauthorized absences for the period covering 1 January up to 1 December 2011. MAHAPLAG. LEYTE. respondent Clerk II Bryan Antonio C. Respondent. This instant administrative case is therefore the second incursion of respondent Velez. A. 2014 (Formerly AM. the Court in a Resolution dated 23 April 2012 in A. 12-6-47-MTCC. frequent unauthorized absences in reporting for duty is classified as a grave offense punishable by suspension of six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year for the first offense and dismissal from the service for the second offense. CLERK II BRYAN ANTONIO C. No. No.

Eventually. probity. must be manifest in the former.13 It is a malevolent act that makes people unfit to serve the judiciary. the OCA correctly found Leonido guilty of Dishonesty and Gross Misconduct for fraudulentlyintercepting the subject checks through the use of a falsified authorization letter purportedly signed by Empuesto and keeping such checks in his possession without the complainants’ knowledge and authority. or flagrant disregard of established rule. and not trifling. or betray. Issue: Whether or not Leonido should be held administratively liable for Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct. residing Judge Jose B. deceive. Leyte without their authority and knowledge. As complainants averred. this was not the first time that Leonido fraudulently intercepted checks of other MTC employees. Leonido was able to claim the subject checks from the postal office by submitting a forged authorization purportedly from Clerk of Court II Josefina C. but to no avail. To warrant dismissal from the service. The misconduct must imply wrongful intention and not a mere error of judgment and must also have a direct relation to and be connected with the performance of the public officer’s official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful. Lagado repeatedly tried contacting Leonido. Ruling: Yes. the elements of corruption. Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action. The subsequent return of the subject checks to their lawful owners is of no moment as it did not change the unlawful nature of Leonido’s acts which is tantamount to stealing. Learning about what had transpired. . In order to differentiate gross misconduct from simple misconduct. serious. Empuesto and presenting a photocopy of his Supreme Court identification card. 2011. more particularly. cheat. defraud. weighty. and lack of fairness and straightforwardness. lackof honesty. momentous. on February 25. complainants were able to recover the subject checks through Leonido’s wife who turned them over to a certain Edgar M. According to complainants. unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the public officer. Dishonesty is the disposition to lie. Postal Office of Tacloban. or integrity in principle. important. lack of integrity. clear intent to violate the law.Judiciary Development Fund and Special Allowance for Judges Fund from the Mail Distribution Center. In this case. a court aide of the MTC. the misconduct must be grave. unworthiness. Leonido allegedly kept the subject checks in his possession without informing complainants of such fact. Thereafter. intentional neglect. or failureto discharge the duties of the office. Miralles.

RTJ-14-2390 August 13.00 (Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos) from Mr. Catbalogan City. then pending before Branch 28. USMAN. 6536. 7681 and Criminal Case No. Regional Trial Court. presided by respondent.E.000. Cinco. Jr. RTJ-11-2266. as full payment in CC No. Samar. 2014 JOSEPHINE JAZMINES TAN. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Catbalogan City.. She claimed that relative to said cases. Complainant is one of the plaintiffs and accused in Civil Case No.000.00 by their opponent. Usman" and signed by Nilda C. Petitioner. due to the conflicting versions of the parties. JUDGE SIBANAH E. Branch 28. No. Jr. a certain Allan Tan.2 the Court found respondent guilty of gross ignorance of the law. Respondent. 7681 and Criminal Case No. RTJ-11-2266. through Jaime Cui.Topic: Removal of a Judicial Officer Ponente: PERALTA. 6536 & 7681 to be given to Judge S. No. as evidenced by a receipt stating: "Received P250.M. the instant complaint should not be given due course. 6536. Respondent argued that since complainant's allegations and issues had already been raised and threshed out in A. OIC-Branch Clerk of Court of the same court. . following the principle of res judicata. Respondent countered that the allegations of bribery and corruption are baseless and unfounded. Branch 28. No. Usman (respondent). Samar for bribery and corruption. J. relative to Civil Case No. Complainant further accused respondent of knowingly issuing an unjust interlocutory order when he cited her in contempt. Jaime Cui. for raffle among the justices in Cebu City on who shall conduct the investigation. respectively. She pointed out that in A. recommended that the instant administrative complaint be referred to the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals in Cebu City.M. respondent was paid P250. The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA).M. A. vs. Facts: An administrative complaint was filed by Josephine Jazmines Tan (complainant) against Judge Sibanah E.

while it may be considered as proof that indeed there was money received.9 In the absence of showing direct and convincing evidence to prove the alleged bribery. respondent judge cannot be held guilty of said charge. Notably. Mr. if proven. Ruling: Yes. it does not prove however that respondent received the same. The Judiciary to which respondent belongs demands no less. Before any of its members could be faulted. By merely presenting a "receipt" with a tenor that money in the amount of P250. she failed to substantiate and corroborate her claim of bribery and corruption against respondent. the ground for the removal of a judicial officer should be established beyond reasonable doubt. The complainant must present a panoply of evidence in support of such an accusation. as in this case. Thus. Cui and Ms. willful neglect. Likewise. As correctly observed by the OCA. competent evidence should be presented. Cinco. An accusation of bribery is easy to concoct but difficult to prove. since the charge is penal in character. swore in their affidavits and during the hearing that no money was received and that no receipt was issued thereto. despite notice. Bare allegation would not suffice to hold respondent liable. while complainant presented the subject receipt. Such is the rule where the charge on which removal is sought is misconduct in office. complainant. there was no allegation as to how she acquired the receipt and from whom she obtained said receipt. the evidence against him should be competent and derived from direct knowledge. . failed to attend the hearing of the case. Neither was there any evidence to show that respondent judge unlawfully or wrongfully used his official function for his own benefit or personal gain. it would entail dismissal from the bench. the Investigating Justice recommended that the instant complaint be dismissed for lack of evidence. Inasmuch as what is imputed against the respondent judge connotes a misconduct so grave that.After investigation and evaluation. Issue: Whether or not the complaint should be dismissed for lack of evidence.00 was received by Nilda Cinco in behalf of respondent to support an accusation of bribery will not stand alone.000. The Rules of Court requires that if a judge should be disciplined for grave misconduct or any graver offense. no evidence was presented showing that respondent in fact accepted or received money or anything from Cui in relation to the subject cases. the quantum of proof required should be more than substantial. hence. In the instant case. It did not help also that the due execution and authenticity of said receipt was not sufficiently established considering that the parties thereto.

vs. BILIRAN (now PRESIDING JUDGE.547. Melchor failed to remit numerous cash bonds collected from the cases. MARIO N.80. Hon. amounting to P715. CALUBIAN-SAN ISIDRO. 1997 to February 28. . In the absence of evidence to the contrary. Enrique C. Biliran immediately relieved Melchor from his duties and responsibilities. Executive Judge of RTC. Melchor. Topic: Dishonesty.. Melchor likewise failed to present and maintain an official cashbook for the Fiduciary Fund from September 1. He prayed that the administrative case against him be considered closed and terminated. Atty. thereafter. As recommended by the audit team.00 to the Court's legitimate bank account. When folders of several cases were examined. Leyte. the audit team found evidence of unrecorded collections of cash bonds. In lieu of the supposed cancelled transactions. ATTY. MELCHOR. P-06-2227 August 19. In the course of the fiscal audit examination. No. Asis. Jr. 2014 OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR. 1997 up to the time of the audit. Anent the (Judicial Development Dund) JDF and the Special Allowance for the Judiciary Fund (SAJF). no entries were made in the cashbooks from October 25. FORMER CLERK OF COURT VI.M. Naval. new receipts were then issued containing considerably understated amounts of the bonds collected. official receipts were cancelled to conceal the unreported collections. Respondent.corruption. LEYTE). members of the financial audit team discovered evidence of irregularities in the handling of the financial transactions of the court as well as shortage in its financial accountabilities. Mario N. MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT. Branch 16. Naval. (Melchor). Gross Neglect of Duty and Gross Misconduct on the Part of a Clerk of Court Per Curiam A. There were shortages of massive amounts from various funds collected and handled by Melchor totaling P1. respondent enjoys the presumption of regularity in the performance of his duties as well as the presumption of innocence. Facts: A financial audit was conducted by the Fiscal Monitoring Division of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) from March 14 to 20. but had yet to receive his initial salary for lack of clearance from the Financial Management Office. Worse. BRANCH 16. assumed office as Municipal Circuit Trial Collli (MCTC )Judge of Calubian San Isidro. The audit covered the court transactions from September 1. Melchor. 2006. JR. or incompetence. 2005 up to the time of audit. The general rules in regard to admissibility of evidence in criminal trials apply. 2006. Biliran (RTC). on the books of account of then Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court.841 . NAVAL.939. Complainant. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT.

Being the . The OCA likewise opined that Melchor's promotion as a judge should not be taken to mean that the infractions he committed while in the service as Clerk of Court were forgotten. and FF collections totaling P796. Issue: Whether or not Melchor should be dismissed from service. The OCA held that although the shortages were eventually restituted as reflected in the deposit slips presented to the Fiscal Monitoring Division. the latest being on March 24. Calubian-San Isidro. upon receipt thereof.The OCA revealed that the amounts of P2. As Clerk of Court.00.00 and P20. Ruling: Yes. Melchor knowingly used the court funds in his custody to defray the hospitalization expenses of his child. All fiduciary collections shall be deposited immediately by the Clerk of Court concerned. and controls the disbursement of the same. As previously illustrated in the table. fines and dues. SAJF for the amount of P99. the Land Bank was designated as the authorized government depository. By his own admission. likewise provide the guidelines for the accounting of court funds.505. 2006. upon receipt thereof. SC Circular Nos. 50-9537 directs that "all collections from bailbonds. and should be liable for any loss or shortage thereof. rental deposits and other fiduciary collections shall be deposited within twenty four (24) hours by the Clerk of court concerned. Melchor was entrusted with delicate functions in the collection of legal fees. Evidently. records. Section B( 4) of Circular No. should deposit immediately with the authorized government depositories the various funds they have collected. 3-200035 equally requires that the aggregate total of the deposit slips for any particular month should always be equal to. it should be not disregarded that Melchor violated various court circulars. the Court denied Melchor's request for the release of his initial salary and other benefits as Presiding Judge of MCTC.80 and returned only on March 16. the accounting of the total collections and remittances did not tally in this case.00 returned by Melchor were not the only sho1iages that he failed to remit on time.873. the total collections for that month as reflected in the Monthly Report of Collections and Deposits and Cash Book. 5-93. which was restituted only on March 14. 2006. Leyte. Furthermore.841. 13-92 and 5-93. He was designated as custodian of the court's funds and revenues. and was tasked to collect and receive all monies paid as legal fees. in the name of the court as instructed in Circular No. In SC Circular No. with an authorized government depository bank. as incorporated into the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court.326. with the Land Bank of the Philippines. In the Resolution. He acted as cashier and disbursement officer. properties and premises. such as clerk of court and cash clerks. he likewise incurred shortages in the collection for the JDF in the amount of P40. 13-92." Court personnel tasked with collections of court funds.00 that was restituted on various dates. Administrative Circular No. and tally with. 2006. deposits.

demonstrated a serious depravity on his integrity. Davao Del Norte and Office of the Court Administrator v. SAJF for the Judiciary Fund. unwarranted failure to fulfill these responsibilities deserves administrative sanction. JDF. even when there is restitution of funds. failure of the Clerk of Court to remit the court funds is tantamount to gross neglect of duty. and not even the full payment of the collection shortages will exempt the accountable officer from liability. 4. Delayed remittance of cash collections constitutes gross neglect of duty because this omission deprives the court of interest that could have been earned if the amounts were deposited in the authorized depository bank. As held In Re: Report on the Judicial and Financial Audit of RTC-Br. 13-92 to withdraw interest earned on deposits. . it did not earn interest income on the said amount or was not able to otherwise use the said funds. Undoubtedly. The audit team likewise uncovered that the cash shortages in the collection of various court funds. 5-93. Melchor violated the trust reposed in him as the disbursement officer of the Judiciary. Panabo.custodian of court funds and revenues. It exemplified gross dishonesty. such as the GF. it also constitutes grave misconduct. Melchor's failure to manage and properly document the cash collections allocated for the JDF is likewise a clear violation of Administrative Circular No. and FF. By failing to properly remit the cash collections constituting public funds. It should be emphasized that the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court requires strict compliance of the rules and regulations of the collection and accounting funds. the said transgressions and Melchor's blatant violation to comply with the aforementioned Court circulars designed to promote full accountability for public funds does not only amount to gross neglect. dishonesty and grave misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. Although the said shortages were already restituted. it was Melchor's primary responsibility to immediately deposit the funds received by his office with the Land Bank and not to keep the same in his custody. Delay in the remittance of court funds in the period required casts a serious doubt on the court employee's trustworthiness and integrity. his failure to deposit the correct amount upon collection was already prejudicial to the court. even devising a way to further conceal his misdeed. SGF. which undermines the public's faith in courts and in the administration of justice as a whole. Thus. Recio. and to remit the same to the account of the JDF within two (2) weeks after the end of each quarter. It should be stressed that clerks of court are required by SC Circular No. The fact that Melchor tampered with several official receipts of the cash bond collections.

900. No. 237-0-97 for recovery of sum of money with damages against petitioner.R. Inc. he went to Legenda with his brothers Ludwin and Deoven. All his retirement benefits. gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct are classified as grave offenses with the corresponding penalty of dismissal for the first offense. 2014 Facts: On July 1. September 29. A judge is still bound by the same principle enshrined in Section 1. G.Melchor's promotion as a judge during the pendency of this case cannot be considered by the Court either as a mitigating or an exculpatory circumstance to excuse him from any administrative liability. Under Section 52. including government-owned or controlled corporations. Topic: Award of Attorney’s fees Ponente: Justice Mariano del Castillo Subic Bay Legend Resorts and Casino.00. gross neglect of duty and gross misconduct. v Fernandez. In the same vein.00. His Complaint prayed for the return of the casino chips . respondent filed Civil Case No.000. are forfeited and he is barred from re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government. to his brothers for the latter to use at the casino. 193426. 1997. there is no doubt that Melchor is guilty of dishonesty. Melchor's contention that the withholding of his salary as a judge was already penalty in itself. except accrued leave benefits. and that petitioner refused and continues to refuse to return the same to him despite demand. that petitioner accosted his brothers and unduly and illegally confiscated his casino chips equivalent to US$5. which belonged to him. on the premise that on June 13. Article XI of the Constitution. Melchor's current position in the judiciary will not merit any leniency from the Court. 1997. From the foregoing. It was a mere precautionary measure and not in any way a form of penalty as he would still be compensated for actual service rendered. Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. that he handed over Legenda casino chips worth US$6. dishonesty.

000. or in any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered. attorney's fees may be recovered when the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiff's plainly valid. Under Article 2208 of the Civil Code. The Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals awarded Attorney’s fees in favour of the respondent Issue: Whether the award of Attorney’s fees is proper SC: YES The award of attorney's fees is proper.00 exemplary damages.00 moral damages. and costs. P30. and in refusing to satisfy respondent's claim despite the fact that it had no basis to withhold the chips.000.000. and should entitle respondent to an award. Petitioner's act of arbitrarily confiscating the casino chips and treating Ludwin and Deoven the way it did. just and demandable claim.and an award of P50. confirm its bad faith.00 litigation expenses.00 attorney's fees. .000. P20. P50.

Topic: Gross Immoral Conduct for failure to promptly account to his client the funds received in the course of his professional engagement and return the same upon demand Ponente: Justice Mariano del Castillo Rolando Viray v.60." In this case. 7337. Complainant also discovered that respondent misrepresented to spouses Lopez that he is authorized to receive payments on his behalf. Rule 16. on the other hand. even after demand.00 from spouses Lopez.00. A.03 thereof. Issue: Whether the respondent is guilty of gross misconduct for his failure to promptly account to his client the funds received in the course of his professional engagement and return the same upon demand. respondent on nine separate occasions received payments for attorney's fees and partial payments for monetary awards on behalf of complainant from spouses Lopez. Eugenio T. Such failure and inordinate refusal on the part of the respondent to render an accounting and return the money after demand raises the presumption that he converted it to his own use.000. Subsequently. September 29.C. His unjustified withholding of the funds also warrants the imposition of disciplinary action against him. Sanicas." Rule 16. Atty. During the implementation of the writ. complainant discovered that respondent had already collected in instalments the total amount of P95. On February 26. The Code of Professional Responsibility demands the utmost degree of fidelity and good faith in dealing with the moneys entrusted to lawyers because of their fiduciary relationship. But respondent did not respond. mandates that "a lawyer shall deliver the funds of his client when due or upon demand. less his attorney's fees of P20. . an Alias Writ of Execution was issued relative to decision.000. 2001. Complainant made several verbal demands to the respondent to remit to him the amount of P95. the Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of complainant and ordered the nominal award amounting to P189.00.00. But respondent neither informed the complainant of such fact nor rendered an accounting thereon. which he merely received on behalf of his client.491. SC: YES Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct. 2014 Facts: Complainant engaged the services of respondent relative to a labor case he filed against Ester Lopez and Teodoro Lopez III. No.01 of the Code imposes upon the lawyer the duty to "account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Respondent withheld and refused to deliver to the complainant said amount.000.

He is obliged to render a prompt accounting of all the property and money he has collected for his client. Moreover. a lawyer has no right "to unilaterally appropriate his client's money for himself by the mere fact alone that the client owes him attorney's fees. demonstrated his lack of integrity and moral soundness. Respondent's failure to immediately account for and return the money when due and upon demand violated the trust reposed in him.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. The fact that a lawyer has a lien for his attorney's fees on the money in his hands collected for his client does not relieve him from the obligation to make a prompt accounting. . and warrants the imposition of disciplinary action.

When a member of the bench serves as administrator of the properties of private individuals. the respondent allegedly deceived him into signing a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to process the sale of a lot. In this case. The only exception to this rule is when the estate or trust belongs to. the respondent allegedly told the complainant that he no longer had any right over the property. and only if his service as executor. guardian or other fiduciary. Balamban. administrator. Pedro Lucmayon. Cebu. 2014 Facts: Complainant alleged that sometime in October 2004.Topic: Violation of Rule 5. September 24. guardian or fiduciary will not interfere with the proper performance of his judicial duties. since complainant clearly does not fall under respondent’s "immediate family" as defined.M. Mata without the complainant’s presence.06 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Rogelio Lucmayun. No. the said SPA contained at the bottom portion. A. In March 2005. The Code defines "immediate family" as being limited to the spouse and relatives within the second degree of consanguinity. the father of the respondent. Arturo C.06 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Impropriety SC: YES Respondent is liable for violation of Rule 5. MTJ-131837. trustee. Issue: Whether respondent is liable for violation of Rule 5. After signing the document and as notarized by a certain Atty. especially when the interests of his principal conflicts with those of the litigant who comes before his court. The intent of the rule is to limit a judge's involvement in the affairs and interests of private individuals to minimize the risk of conflict with his judicial duties and to allow him to devote his undivided attention to the performance of his official functions. he runs the risk of losing his neutrality and impartiality. he and the respondent met in a waiting shed in Buanoy. or the ward is a member of his immediate family. . At that meeting. a so-called "Waiver of Rights" that the respondent had deceptively inserted in order to strip him of his ownership of the lot. As a general rule. administrator. Unknown to the complainant. ordered him to cease cultivating the land because of the Waiver of Rights in the SPA he signed. trustee. the latter’s appointment as the former’s attorney-in-fact is not a valid exception to the rule. a judge is prohibited from serving as executor.06 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Impropriety Ponente: Justice Arturo Brion Conrado Abe Lopez v.

Respondent is Guilty of Impropriety. A judge should personify judicial integrity and exemplify honest public service. and (2) allowing the notarization of the documents outside the presence of the executor. The Code dictates that a judge. both in the performance of official duties and in private life should be above suspicion. Rule 2. in order to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. For no position exacts a greater demand on the moral righteousness and uprightness of an individual than a seat in the Judiciary. By the very nature of their work. . In the administrative complaint. must behave with propriety at all times. The personal behavior of a judge.00: A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities. A judge’s official life cannot simply be detached or separated from his personal existence. judges should observe an exacting standard of morality and decency. The Code of Judicial Ethics mandates that the conduct of a judge must be free of a whiff of impropriety not only with respect to his performance of his judicial duties. but also to his behavior outside his sala as a private individual. amount to impropriety. Rule 2.01: A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. the respondent’s acts of: (1) making the complainant sign at least two (2) documents – consisting of SPA and Waiver of Rights – without the presence of a counsel.

20. the IBP Investigating Commissioner found respondent administratively liable for violating the CPR. complainant also discovered that he only received the amounts of P216. P145. SC: Yes.01. With respect to Sampani. and P296. and accordingly recommended that he be meted the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for one (1) year. respondent never gave the checks to the seafarers and instead. In its administrative complaint.650. v. P97.Topic: Violation of Rule 1. Delgado. Quezon City Branch.00. a medical doctor and a lawyer by profession.00.000. Nicolas c.40 as settlement of the respective claims of Mangi. It is fundamental that the relationship between a lawyer and his client is highly fiduciary and ascribes to a lawyer a great degree of fidelity and good faith. P652.00 issued to Delgado.C. September 23.013. Canon 1 of the CPR. to serve as its legal counsel and to oversee the administration and management of legal cases and medical related claims instituted by seafarers against complainant’s various principals. The highly fiduciary nature of this relationship imposes upon the lawyer the duty to account for the money or property collected or . Misappropriating client’s money Ponente: PER CURIAM CF Sharp Crew Management Inc.936.00. 2009.00 andP8. However. through checks not issued by complainant. and (b) the monetary award in favor of the complainant. it was alleged that per respondent’s request. No. as its Legal and Claims Manager who was tasked. complainant later discovered that. save for the check in the amount of 145.808. Sampani. and Chua.20. Issue: Whether respondent should be held administratively liable for violating the CPR.00 out of the requested amount of P652. In a Report and Recommendation dated August 1.239.303. had them deposited at International Exchange Bank. 2014 Facts: Complainant hired respondent. Torres. complainant issued checks in the amounts of P524.013.00 or a total of P225.100. inter alia. A. the Court concurs with the findings of the IBP in its report and recommendation. except as to: (a) the recommended penalty to be imposed upon respondent. 10438. Banawe.650. After a judicious perusal of the records.

the Court imposed upon them the ultimate penalty of disbarment from the practice of law. Similarly. In the foregoing light. dishonest.650.received for or from his client. x x x. respondent’s acts of misappropriation constitute dishonesty. Banawe. Canon 16 of the CPR. Rule 16. which read: CANON 16 – A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENTTHAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.01 and 16. .01. It is well-settled that "when a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose. the Court disbarred the lawyer for misappropriating his client’s money intended for securing a certificate of title on the latter’s behalf. it also reveals a basic moral flaw that makes him unfit to practice law. In this case. it has been held that a lawyer’s failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client." Such malfeasance is not only unacceptable. This is the standard laid down by Rules 16. complainant had exposed respondent’s modus operandi of repeatedly requesting the issuance of checks purportedly for the purpose of settling seafarers’ claims against the complainant’s various principals. particularly International Exchange Bank. Inc. Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics. disgraceful. the lawyer must immediately return the money to his client. and dishonorable to the legal profession. the lawyer is bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for a particular purpose. or deceitful conduct. And if he does not use the money for the intended purpose. Jurisprudence provides that in similar cases where lawyers misappropriated their clients’ money. immoral. Canon 1 of the CPR which provides that "[a] lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. Clearly.03 – A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand.00 issued to Delgado) deposited to an unauthorized bank account. v. the Court deems it proper to modify the penalty recommended by the IBP.01 – A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Rule 16. only to have such checks (except for the check in the amount of 145. respondent failed to do. abuse of trust and confidence reposed in him by the complainant. In Arellano University.03. in Freeman v. and betrayal of his client’s interests which he is duty-bound to protect. Mijares III." This. In particular. Anent the proper penalty for respondent’s acts. Quezon City Branch. the IBP Investigating Commissioner correctly found that complainant had duly proven its charges against respondent. They are contrary to the mandate of Rule 1.

. the same penalty was imposed upon the lawyer who misappropriated the insurance proceeds of her client’s deceased husband.Reyes.

Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility reads: CANON 18 – A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. Cristobal. misplaced it and did not inform him of such fact. Issue: Whether respondent must be disbarred for violating Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.000 despite demand. September 17. No. 9925. however. . Mariano R. it is that lawyer's duty to serve the client with competence and diligence.C. he was able to save enough and refunded the money to complainant." Eventually. x x x x Rule 18. respondent submitted complainant’s Affidavit of Desistance. Respondent likewise begs forgiveness from the Court and promises not to repeat his mistake. respondent failed to refund the money on time for he was "hard up in funds.Topic: Disbarment Ponente: Justice Martin Villarama. Renta. Jr. respondent explained that the petition for recognition was not filed because Anneth Tan. Respondent also received from complainant the "full and package price" of P 160. In addition. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Complainant confirmed that respondent had already refunded the amount he paid.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. He also claimed that he begged complainant to forgive him and assured him that he will return the money. v. A. Thus. Respondent as the managing partner signed the "Special Contract of Legal Services" in behalf of said law office. complainant said that respondent cried for forgiveness and that he has forgiven him. the instant complaint was filed against respondent for the latter's failure to file the petition for recognition and return the amount of P160. Ronaldo E. No such petition. However. 2014 Facts: Complainant engaged the services of Renta Pe & Associates Law Office for the filing of a "petition for recognition for the minors Codie Darnell Green and Matthew Darnell Green" before the Bureau of Immigration.000 for the filing of the petition for recognition. In the said affidavit. SC: No. Atty. the one supposed to file the petition. The court held that once a lawyer agrees to handle a case. In his comment. was filed.

the court find Atty. Ronaldo E.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. we cited Carino v. it is beyond doubt that respondent breached his duty to serve complainant with diligence and neglected a legal matter entrusted to him. Renta LIABLE for violation of Canon 18 and Rule 18. That Anneth Tan supposedly lost the petition for recognition and failed to inform respondent cannot absolve him of liability for it was his duty not to neglect complainant's case and handle it with diligence.000 out of the P15. he nevertheless exerted earnest efforts that he eventually was able to fully repay complainant and begged complainant's forgiveness. Bautista. In said case. we found Bautista negligent in handling Voluntad-Ramirez's case and ruled that he is guilty of violating Canon 18 and Rule 18. The respondent lawyer in Carino was reprimanded by the Court with a warning that he should be more careful in the performance of his duty to his clients. The court note that while respondent failed to refund immediately the amount paid by complainant. . Complainant also submitted official letters from the Bureau of Immigration that indeed no such petition was filed.Here. In Voluntad-Ramirez v. Atty.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and he is hereby REPRIMANDED with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar act would be dealt with more severely. He himself admits that the petition for recognition was not filed. We admonished Bautista to exercise greater care and diligence in the performance of his duty to his clients and ordered him to restitute to VoluntadRamirez P14. De Los Reyes where the respondent lawyer who failed to file the complaint-affidavit before the prosecutor's office restituted the P10. seeks forgiveness from the Court and promises not to repeat his mistake. Therefore.000 acceptance fee.000 acceptance fee paid to him.

.

modified the penalty stated in its previous resolution. However. instead. September 17. 1994 to the date of issuance. certifying the fact of his appointment as notary public for the City of Pasig and in the Municipalities of Taguig. Issue: Whether respondent should be held administratively liable. despite not having been registered as a notary public for the City of Marikina. in a Resolution dated March 8. Suerte-Felipe. 2006 issued by the Office of the Clerk of Court of the RTC of Pasig City. and disqualification from being commissioned as a notary public for the decreased period of one (1) year.Topic: Malpractice as a Notary Public. thru the comment. On reconsideration. Territorial Jurisdiction in Notarization Ponente: Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe Felipe B. Respondent admitted that he indeed notarized the acknowledgment of the subject document but denied that he was not commissioned as a notary public at that time. San Juan. incorporated his own administrative complaint against complainant for malpractice and harassment of a fellow lawyer in view of the filing of the instant administrative case against him. 2014. the Investigating Commissioner did not recommend that he be disqualified as such. respondent. complainant attached a Certification dated May 26. since it does not appear that he was still commissioned as a notary public." To prove his claim. No. Atty. To prove his defense. Pateros. De Nieva" dated "25th day of 1999" (subject document). charged respondent. 2005 issued by the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Marikina City. and Mandaluyong for the years 1998-1999 under Appointment No. Marcelo B. Almazan. imposing. the IBP Investigating Commissioner found respondent guilty for violating the Notarial Law and the lawyer’s oath. v. In a Report and Recommendation. the IBP Board of Governors. respondent is not a commissioned notary public for the City of Marikina from March 30. In view of the foregoing. Sr. previously of the Public Attorney's Office. Vda. 98. notarized the acknowledgment of the document entitled "Extra judicial Settlement of the Estate of the Deceased Juliana P. Further. for malpractice and gross negligence in the performance of his duty as a notary public and/or lawyer. alleging that the latter. 7184. Sr. certifying that per the court’s record. he attached a Certification dated August 23. 2014 Facts: Felipe B. it was thus recommended that respondent be suspended for a period of two (2) years from the practice of law. Almazan.C. the penalty of reprimand with warning. . stating that he is a "notary public for and in the City of Marikina. A.

dishonest. such that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. Jurisdiction and Term– A person commissioned as notary public may perform notarial acts in any place within the territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning court for a period of two (2) years commencing the first day of January of the year in which the commissioning court is made. Book V. respondent further committed a form of falsehood which is undoubtedly anathema to the lawyer’s oath. – The jurisdiction of a notary public in a province shall be co-extensive with the province. the requirements for the issuance of a commission as notary public are treated with a formality definitely more than casual. The territorial limitation of a notary public’s jurisdiction is crystal clear from Section 11. Pateros. 240. thus.. could not notarize the subject document’s acknowledgment in the City of Marikina. Far from it. and Mandaluyong for the years 1998-1999. Article II states: Sec. Notarization is invested with substantive public interest. of which Section 240. meaningless. routinary act. The jurisdiction of a notary public in the City of Manila shall be coextensive with said city. as amended. unless either revoked or the notary public has resigned under these Rules and the Rules of Court. 11. With respondent’s liability herein established. No notary shall possess authority to do any notarial act beyond the limits of his jurisdiction. in fact. San Juan.SC: NO Respondent. take for instance. admitted himself that he was commissioned as notary public only in the City of Pasig and the Municipalities of Taguig. immoral or deceitful conduct. that he is a first .01.the RTC of Pasig. Territorial jurisdiction." It cannot be over-emphasized that notarization is not an empty. said transgression also runs afoul of Rule 1. as said notarial act is beyond the jurisdiction of the commissioning court. when it is apparent and. Hence. and considering further the attendant circumstances of this case. uncontroverted that he was not. Said principle is equally echoed in the Notarial Law found in Chapter 12. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that "a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. For misrepresenting in the said acknowledgment that he was a notary public for and in the City of Marikina. Volume I of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917. Perceptibly.e. i. Rule III of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice: Sec.

time offender and that he had already acknowledged his wrongdoings, the
Court finds that suspension for a period of six (6) months from the
practice of law would suffice as a penalty. In addition, he is disqualified
from being commissioned as a notary public for a period of one (1) year
and, his notarial commission, if currently existing, is hereby revoked.

Topic: Violation of Rule 1.01 Canon of the Code of Professional
Responsibility
Ponente: Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe
Rebecca Marie Uy Yupangco-Nakpil v. Atty. Roberto L. Uy, A.C. No.
9115, September 17, 2014
Facts:
This is an administrative case against respondent Atty. Roberto L.
Uy for unprofessional and unethical conduct. Private complainant Rebecca
was adjudged as the sole and exclusive legal heir of Pacita Uy Lim by
virtue of an order issued by RTC. Rebecca averred that respondent
continuously failed and refused to comply with the court order declaring
her as the successor-in-interest to all of Pacita’s properties. She added
that respondent mortgaged a commercial property in favor of the PS Bank
despite an existing trust agreement. Respondent however denied
Rebecca’s allegations. The IBP issued a recommendation finding
respondent guilty of serious misconduct in violation of Rule 1.01 Canon 1
of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended the penalty
of suspension. Despite Rebecca’s motion to withdraw, the administrative
case filed continued.
Issue: Whether respondent should be held administratively liable.
SC: YES
Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code, as it is applied to the members of the
legal profession, engraves an overriding prohibition against any form of
misconduct, viz.:
CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY
THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND
LEGAL PROCESSES.
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct.
The gravity of the misconduct – determinative as it is of the
errant lawyer’s penalty – depends on the factual circumstances of each
case.
The court finds that respondent committed some form of misconduct by,
as admitted mortgaging the subject property, notwithstanding the
apparent dispute over the same. Respondent should have exhibited
prudent restraint becoming of a legal exemplar. He should not have
exposed himself even to the slightest risk of committing a property

violation nor any action which would endanger the Bar's reputation. Verily,
members of the Bar are expected at all times to uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession and refrain from any act or omission which
might lessen the trust and confidence reposed by the public in the fidelity,
honesty, and integrity of the legal profession. By no insignificant measure,
respondent blemished not only his integrity as a member of the Bar, but
also that of the legal profession. In other words, his conduct fell short of
the exacting standards expected of him as a guardian of law and justice.
Although to a lesser extent as compared to what has been ascribed by the
IBP, the Court still holds respondent guilty of violating Rule 1. 01, Canon 1
of the Code. Considering that this is his first offense as well as the
peculiar circumstances of this case, the Court believes that a fine of
P15,000.00 would suffice.

Topic: Violation of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice
Ponente: Justice Antonio Carpio
Imelda Cato Gaddi v. Atty. Lope M. Velasco, A.C. No. 8637,
September 15, 2014
Facts: This is an administrative complaint filed by Imelda Cato Gaddi
against Atty. Lope M. Velasco for violation of the 2004 Rules on Notarial
Practice.
Gaddi was the Operations and Accounting Manager of the Bert Lozada
Swimming School (BLSS) when she broached the idea of opening a branch
of BLSS in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya (BLSS in Solano) to Angelo Lozada
(Angelo), the Chief Operations Officer of BLSS. Believing that Angelo
agreed, Gaddi opened a BLSS in Solano. However, Angelo informed the
management that he did not authorize a BLSS in Solano. Upon Angelo’s
complaint, the police officers apprehended the swimming instructors of
BLSS in Solano. Worried, Gaddi pleaded with Angelo’s wife, Kristina Marie,
and the BLSS Programs Manager Aleza Garcia for permission to leave the
office and proceed to Nueva Vizcaya. Instead of acceding to her plea, they
commanded Gaddi to make a handwritten admission that the BLSS in
Solano was unauthorized. They warned Gaddi that she cannot leave the
office without the handwritten admission. Thus, Gaddi conceded in doing
the handwritten. Subsequently, Gaddi found out that Angelo filed a
complaint against her regarding the BLSS in Solano using her handwritten
admission, which was already notarized by Velasco. Thus, Gaddi filed the
present complaint against Velasco for violation of the 2004 Rules on
Notarial Practice.
Issue: Whether respondent violated the 2004 rules on notarial practice.
SC: YES
Time and again, we have reminded lawyers commissioned as notaries
public that notarization is not an empty, meaningless, and
routinary act. Notarization converts a private document to a
public document, making it admissible in evidence without
further proof of its authenticity. A notarial document is, by law,
entitled to full faith and credit upon its face; for this reason,
notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic
requirements in the performance of their duties.
The 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that a notary public
should not notarize a document unless the signatory to the
document is in the notary’s presence personally at the time of
the notarization, and personally known to the notary public or
otherwise identified through competent evidence of identity. At

the time of notarization. to require the presence of Gaddi. that is. . a notary public is mandated to refuse to perform a notarial act. It is presumed that evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced. otherwise. If the signatory is not acting of his or her own free will. in rubber stamp. A notary public is also prohibited from affixing an official signature or seal on a notarial certificate that is incomplete. AFFIANT EXHIBITING TO ME HIS/HER C. contrary to Velasco’s claim that Gaddi appeared before him and presented two identification cards as proof of her identity. he could have ascertained that the handwritten admission was executed involuntarily and refused to notarize the document. NO. Velasco affixed his signature in an incomplete notarial certificate. Velasco did not comply with the most basic function that a notary public must do.” The unfilled spaces clearly establish that Velasco had been remiss in his duty of ascertaining the identity of the signatory to the document. Velasco did not even present his notarial register to rebut Gaddi’s allegations.__________ISSUED AT/ON___________. the signatory shall sign or affix with a thumb or mark the notary public’s notarial register.T. itself indicates: “SUBSCRIBE AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME THIS APR 22.C. 2010 x x x AT MAKATI CITY. Furthermore. the notarial certificate. The purpose of these requirements is to enable the notary public to verify the genuineness of the signature and to ascertain that the document is the signatory’s free act and deed. In the present case.

Nery v. then. 2014 Facts: This is a disbarment complaint filed by Melody R. .00 she paid him. Atty. civil status and nationality of the alien adopter. A. Glicerio A. Sampana. Thus. and other lawyers to be candid and fair. but not the certification. their clients. SC: YES Acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney-client relationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to the client’s cause. In any case. after deducting his legal services and actual expenses. A lawyer also owes it to the court. required Nery to submit the documents." Sampana. Every case accepted by a lawyer deserves full attention. No. However. but Nery insisted on being adopted. regardless of importance. 10196. Despite demand to reimbursed the amount of Php 100. the intended adoption by an alien could be possible. Sampana claimed that Nery could have mistaken the proceeding for the annulment case with the petition for adoption. private respondent refused to do so. Sampana alleged that he initially frowned upon the proposed adoption because of the old age. The IBP found Sampana guilty of malpractice for making Nery believe that he already filed the petition for adoption and for failing to file the petition despite receiving his legal fees.C. diligence.000. and that the annulment case could have overshadowed the adoption case. Sampana argued that Nery’s allegations were self-serving and unsubstantiated. Sampana admitted receiving "one package fee" from Nery for both cases of annulment of marriage and adoption. September 9. Nevy against Atty. Sampana suggested that "if the alien adopter would be married to a close relative of Nery. Issue: Whether the recommendation of the IBP should be affirm. skill and competence. Sampana committed to refund the amount Nery paid him. Sampana alleged that he prepared the petition for adoption but did not file it because he was still waiting for the certification.Topic: Disbarment for Failure to File the Petition for Adoption despite receiving his Legal fees Ponente: Justice Antonio Carpio Melody R. including the marriage contracts and the certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt from the Japanese Embassy certification. Sampana denied that he misled Nery as to the filing of the petition for adoption. Glicerio A. Sampana for failing to file the petition for adoption despite receiving his legal fees and for making Nevy believe that the petition was already filed. Nery furnished the blurred marriage contract.

. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his client. in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client and of the public confidence in the legal profession. x x x. Verily.03 . Sampana admitted that he received "one package fee" for both cases of annulment and adoption. He even kept the money given him. he unjustifiably failed to file the petition for adoption and fell short of his duty of due diligence and candor to his client.A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession.A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. Having no valid reason not to file the petition for adoption. Sampana misinformed Nery of the status of the petition. In the present case. He then conceded that the annulment case overshadowed the petition for adoption. CANON 16 . the intended adoption could be possible. the alien adopter can jointly adopt a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity of his/her Filipino spouse. In his position paper.A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Sampana’s proffered excuse of waiting for the certification before filing the petition for adoption is disingenuous and flimsy. Under the Domestic Adoption Act provision. CANON 18 . Rule 16. Rule 18.03 .A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence. and the certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt is waived.Thus.A lawyer shall observe candor. Despite receiving this fee.A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. in violation of the Code’s mandate to deliver the client’s funds upon demand. the Code of Professional Responsibility clearly states: CANON 15 . which Sampana suggested. he suggested to Nery that if the alien adopter would be married to her close relative. Sampana neglected the legal matter entrusted to him. A lawyer’s failure to return upon demand the funds held by him gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use. CANON 17 .

he was duty bound to bring and prosecute cases against unscrupulous and corrupt judges and court personnel. Dealca’s unethical practice of entering his appearance and then moving for the inhibition of the presiding judge on the pretext of previous adverse incidents between them. suspension. Dealca was aware of his duty . Br. or other disciplinary action. Juan S. presided by complainant Judge Jose L. Dealca. As a lawyer. 2014 Facts: On February 7. The oath exhorts upon the members of the Bar not to “wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless. and all these four cases are precipitated by the adverse ruling rendered by the court against the clients of the respondent that instead of resorting to the remedies available under the Rules of Procedure. The Lawyer’s Oath is a source of obligations and duties for every lawyer. Issue: Whether Atty. A.Topic: Disbarment. Madrid. Philip William Arsenault” then pending in Branch 51 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Sorsogon City. and the latter will not hear cases handled by the undersigned. Unethical practice of filing frivolous administrative cases against judges and personnel of the courts Ponente: Justice Lucas P. The former then petitioned to re raffle the case because of previous adverse encounters with the presiding judge where he does not appear before the incumbent judge. Atty. On his comment. and any violation thereof by an attorney constitutes a ground for disbarment. however was not granted and prompted Judge Madrid to file a letter complaint in the Office of the Bar Confidant citing Atty. Dealca entered his appearance in Criminal Case entitled “People of the Philippines v. he should be disbarred. 51. Upon investigation of IBP-Sorsogon. September 09. therefore. Dealca filed frivolous administrative and criminal complaints against judges and court personnel in violation of the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility SC: YES The court does not agree on the argument of respondent that he filed such administrative cases against judges and court personnel because as a vigilant lawyer. Sorsogon City v. false or unlawful suit. Atty. the respondent stated that because of the petitioner’s failure to grant his proper motions in said criminal case. 7474.C. respondent assisted his clients in filing administrative and criminal case against the judges and personnel of the court. No. among others. Atty. Juan S. This petition. Madrid. Bersamin Presiding Judge Jose L. Regional Trial Court. it found that Respondent filed. four cases which aroused out of the cases handled by respondent for the complainants who failed to secure a favorable action from the court. 2007.

encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any man’s cause. Ergo respondent indeed filed frivolous administrative and criminal complaints against judges and court personnel in violation of the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility . Indeed. While it is the Court’s duty to investigate and uncover the truth behind charges against judges and lawyers. among other things.under his Lawyer’s Oath not to initiate groundless. His being an officer of the court should have impelled him to see to it that the orderly administration of justice must not be unduly impeded. The duty has also been expressly embodied in Rule 1. for any corrupt motive or interest. false or unlawful suits. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility: Rule 1. so must he equally guard himself against his own impulses of initiating unfounded suits.03.03 – A lawyer shall not. it is equally its duty to shield them from unfounded suits that are intended to vex and harass them. as he must resist the whims and caprices of his clients and temper his clients’ propensities to litigate.

under color of his office. resulting in his automatic resignation from the service effective June 7. is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action. and to submit his comment on Judge Contreras’s Memorandum which was then again unheeded. who. Respondent then filed a certificate of candidacy for the 2002 Barangay Elections. RTC. one of which is the impounding of a tricycle because it bumped the respondent’s vehicle and the owner was unable to pay the amount demanded for the incurred damages. A. or excessive use of authority. RTJ. resulting in delays in the disposition of cases in violation of existing laws and circulars on speedy trial. Perlas-Bernabe Office of the Court Administrator v. he had acted in grave abuse of authority. the Court issued a Resolution dated July 2. it is an act characterized with cruelty. ordering respondent to show cause why he should not be disciplinarily dealt with or held in contempt for such failure. Another act of respondent which is considered as Acts Inimical to Judicial Service is his habitual absence especially during Mondays and Fridays. Grave Misconduct. and Acts Inimical to Judicial Service Ponente: Justice Estela M. Freddie Venida because he had much gold. Gross Insubordination. Venida which was rejected by Judge Contrera. Gross Insubordination. imprisonment. instead he should exploit such situation to gain from Atty. and Acts Inimical to Judicial Service SC: YES Grave abuse of authority is defined as a misdemeanor committed by a public officer. while Misconduct. One particular act of such judge also shows gross insubordination and Acts Inimical to Judicial Service when he visited Judge Contrera’s sala and suggested that he should not follow through the charge of indirect contempt against one Atty.08-2140 October 7. No. 2001. 2002 Issue: Whether respondent acted in grave abuse of authority. Camarines Norte. The memorandum then was treated as an administrative complaint to which respondent was required to comment. Executive Judge Owen Amor. Contreras against Respondent Executive Owen Amor. but to no avail. and Acts Inimical to Judicial Service because of instances he had committed. Grave Misconduct. unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the .Topic: Grave Abuse of Authority. 2014 Facts: According to the memorandum filed by Judge Manuel E. Gross Insubordination. Daet. such act of the judge was then concealed by Head Guard Quintin Fernandez. or other injury. on the other hand.M. severity. wrongfully inflicts upon a person any bodily harm. Grave Misconduct. Thus. more particularly.

constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service as they violate the norm of public accountability and diminish – or tend to diminish – the people’s faith in the Judiciary. Respondent’s failure to file a comment despite all the opportunities afforded him constituted a waiver of his right to defend himself. It is generally contrary to human nature to remain silent and say nothing in the face of false accusations. weighty. In the natural order of things. a man would resist an unfounded claim or imputation against him. and not trifling and such acts are inimical to judicial service. Hence the totality of respondent’s acts warrant the imposition of the penalty of dismissal from service.public officer. . but he has failed and continuously refused to heed the same. momentous. the misconduct must be grave. a judge who deliberately and continuously fails and refuses to comply with the resolution of the Court is guilty of the same. As such. it is noteworthy that respondent was afforded several opportunities. The respondent is correctly found to be guilty of the charges against him. respondent’s silence may thus be construed as an implied admission and acknowledgement of the veracity of the allegations against him. Such willful disobedience and disregard of the directives of the Court constitute grave and serious misconduct affecting his fitness and worthiness of the honor and integrity attached to his office. In this case. important. and thus. not to mention a generous amount of time to comply with the Court’s lawful orders. Verily. serious. Respondent was also correctly found guilty of Gross Misconduct and Insubordination for refusing to comply with the numerous directives of the Court to file a comment on the administrative complaint against him. To warrant dismissal from service.

C. October 8. As adjudged by the IBP Board of Governors Issue: Whether respondent should be held administratively liable based on the allegations on the complaint SC: YES In administrative cases against lawyers. the quantum of proof required is preponderance of evidence. 7919. Casan Macabanding A. Consequently. The COMELEC Second Division then found merit in the complainant’s petition and ordered the reinstatement of his name in the list of candidates for the position of mayor. On May 14. the complainant filed the present administrative complaint against the respondent with prayer for his disbarment. Preponderance of evidence means that the evidence adduced by one side is. 2008. 2007 was notarized and submitted by the respondent to the COMELEC. Reyes Domado Disomimba Sultan v. the respondent should be held administratively liable for his action. the result then stated that the signature in the Affidavit of Withdrawal and the specimen signatures of the complainant were not written by one and the same person. Consequently. superior to or has greater weight than that of the other. The respondent was then suspended from the practice of law for six months and suspended from being commissioned as Notary Public for two years. He asked that the withdrawal be ignored and that his name be retained on the list of candidates. When complainant learned such. No. a subpoena was then given and required the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to study the signature appearing on the Affidavit of Withdrawal because it was elevated to the COMELEC en banc. the complainant adduced preponderant evidence that his signature was indeed forged in an affidavit which the respondent notarized and submitted to the COMELEC. he alleged that he neither executed the Affidavit of Withdrawal nor authorized anybody to prepare a document to withdraw his COC. as a whole. In the case at bar. Atty. It means evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto. 2014 Facts: Complainant was running as mayor in the May 2014 election thereby filing his certificate of candidacy.Topic: Notarizing false Affidavit Ponente: Justice Bienvenido L. withdrawing the complainant’s candidacy without the latter’s knowledge or authorization. "Where the notary public is a lawyer. an Affidavit of Withdrawal of Certificate of Candidacy for Municipal Mayor dated April 10. a graver responsibility is placed upon his shoulder by .

. they should not take part or allow themselves to be part of illegal transactions. if any. immoral or deceitful conduct and to uphold at all times the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. most importantly." In fact. dishonest. Hence Atty. his notarial commission. is revoked and he is disqualified from reappointment as Notary Public for a period of two years. the respondent admitted that the affidavit was notarized in his office without the presence of the complainant. Notaries must inform themselves of the facts they certify to.reason of his solemn oath to obey the laws and to do no falsehood or consent to the doing of any. A notary public exercises duties calling for carefulness and faithfulness. The Code of Professional Responsibility also commands him not to engage in unlawful. Casan Macabanding is found administratively liable for misconduct and is suspended from the practice of law for one year. Further.

weighty. the misconduct must be grave. Tuzon admitted his receipt of various amounts as settlement money for the different cases pending before Judge Soluren’s sala. 2013 to the OCA with Tuzon’s comment attached thereto.Topic: Grave Misconduct Ponente: Justice Estala Perlas-Bernabe Re: Anonymous letter v. To warrant dismissal from service. unlawful behavior or gross negligence by the public officer. and not trifling. Turla (Executive Judge Turla) of the same RTC. for her discreet investigation and report. The misconduct must imply a wrongful intention and not a mere error of judgment and must also have a direct relation to and be . Issue: Whether Tuazon should be held administratively liable for the charge of Grave Misconduct as recommended by the Office of the Court Administrator. Judge Soluren would order the dismissal of the corresponding cases. The OCA deemed Tuzon’s acts as a form of Grave Misconduct for which he should be held administratively liable. however. 2014 Facts: In the Anonymous Letter. the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) referred the Anonymous Letter to Executive Judge Evelyn A. he merely accepted the said amounts from the parties who were willing to settle the civil aspect of their respective cases and kept them in the court’s vault. Tuzon would fail to timely comply with the same. on orders of Judge Soluren. It was elaborated that Tuzon would merely acknowledge receipt of the settlement money for the different cases through handwritten notes without issuing any official receipts therefor. However. after which.M. In an Indorsement dated March 5. stating that she did not find any act of irregularity or any unauthorized collection on the part of the RTC. not being an accountable officer in possession of such receipts. when the parties requested for the release of the said money. it was alleged that Judge Soluren had been instructing the party-litigants to deposit with her court settlement money for various cases in her sala. SC: NO Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action. He also admitted not having issued official receipts for the amounts he received. 2012. more particularly. A. important. Executive Judge Turla sent a letter dated March 15. P-14321. He. explained that. Judge Corazon Soluren. October 8. momentous. No. In compliance. serious.

or with a clear intent to violate the law. Volume I of the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court. Section D. . That being said. indicating therein the deadlines for acting on the same. the elements of corruption. and in general.2. by the actual misappropriation of any amount which came to his possession – Tuzon cannot be held liable for Grave Misconduct but only for Simple Misconduct which is punishable by suspension for a period of one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months at the most without pay. (2) prepares memoranda on evidence adduced by the parties after the hearing. as follows: 2.). intentional neglect.connected with the performance of the public officer’s official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful. clear intent to violate the law. Legal Researcher (1) verifies authorities on questions of law raised by part[y]litigants in cases brought before the Court as may be assigned by the Presiding Judge. Considering the absence of any proof that Tuzon’s actions were tainted with corruption. (4) prepares indexes to be attached to the records showing the important pleadings filed. the status of the case.1. and (6) performs such other duties as may be assigned by the Presiding Judge or the Branch Clerk of Court. (3) prepares outlines of the facts and issues involved in cases set for pre-trial for the guidance of the Presiding Judge. the Court deems it proper to impose the maximum of the foregoing penalty. (5) prepares and submits to the Branch Clerk of Court a monthly list of cases or motions submitted for decision or resolution. or would constitute a flagrant disregard of an established rule – say for instance. must be manifest in the former. Chapter VI.1. or flagrant disregard of an established rule. Subsections 2 (2. he clearly went beyond his duties as a Legal Researcher of the RTC as enumerated in Item 2. the pages where they may be found.2. In order to differentiate Grave Misconduct from Simple Misconduct. When Tuzon readily acknowledged that he accepted various amounts of settlement money from party-litigants and kept them in his custody without authority to do so and without issuing any official receipts.2. or failure to discharge the duties of the office.

.

Maluso and Lantawan. October 14. Canon I of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel. The Court ordered Executive Judge Reynerio G. 2014 Facts: In the administrative complaint filed by Judge Juan Gabriel H. and forfeiture of all her benefits. discount. Sahi denied that she defied the order given by Judge Alano in relation to soliciting gifts or money from party litigants. Estacio of the RTC of Zamboanga Del Sur. Alano vs." In the present case. loan. Court Interpreter I of the same court. including government-owned and controlled corporation. Canon III states that "court personnel shall not x x x solicit or accept any gift. Issue: Whether Sahi violated Section 2 Canon 1 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel SC: YES Section 2. On her part. or receive money. despite constant reminders to his staff that they should never demand.M. Padma L. Alano of the 2nd MCTC of Sumisip. favor or benefit based on any explicit or implicit understanding that such gift. Branch 14 for investigation. alleged that Sahi brokered for party litigants and solicited money and gifts in exchange for favorable decisions in the election protest cases pending before his court. No. Judge Estacio therefore recommended that Sahi be dismissed from service. with prejudice to re-employment in any branch. Judge Estacio was convinced that respondent had indeed. the corrupt practice of Sahi in soliciting and receiving bribe money from party litigants on the pretext that they will obtain a favorable judgment undoubtedly degraded the judiciary and diminished ." while Section 2(e). Sahi (Sahi). A. P-143252. solicit. favor or benefit shall influence their official actions. except accrued leave credits. instrumentality or agency of the government. Basilan Province against Padma L. gratuity. been into the activities of brokering for party litigants and soliciting money or gifts.Topic: Section 2 Canon 1 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel Ponente: PER CURIAM Judge Juan Gabriel H. Sahi. favor. gifts or other benefits from any party litigants. hospitality or service under circumstances from which it could reasonably be inferred that a major purpose of the donor is to influence the court personnel in performing official duties. in consideration for favorable decision. provides that "court personnel shall not solicit or accept any gift. report and recommendation.

The penalty for this offense is dismissal even for the first offense. Under Section 22(c) of Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. The Court has repeatedly held that the conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice is circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. Such practice constitutes grave misconduct in office which is appalling. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws.the respect and regard of the people for the court and its personnel. gross misconduct is classified as a grave offense. It is a grave offense that carries an equally grave penalty. The Court cannot countenance any act or omission on the part of all those involved in the administration of justice which would violate the norm of public accountability and diminish or even just tend to diminish the faith of the people in the Judiciary. .

Pulgar. and blackmail by using his position to extort money from him. then the acting clerk of court. illegal exaction. Br 276. usurpation of official functions and illegal exaction. In the second report. Usurpation of Official Functions and Illegal Exaction Ponente: PER CURIAM Frumencio E. However. Pulgar v. Judge Guerrero found impropriety on the part of Eugenio covering up the wrongdoings of their comrade by testifying falsely and should also be penalized for trying to mislead the Court by making such false testimony. P-09-2673. in Muntinlupa City. In the first report of the OCA. However. the dismissal of Resurrecion from service and show cause from Eugenio for her not to be held administratively was recommended. leading to her being likewise investigated and made to answer for dishonesty. Eugenio was found GUILTY of dishonesty and simple neglect of duty Issue: Whether Resurreccion is guilty of grave misconduct due to acts of dishonesty. A. he held Resurrecion not liable for extortion because there was neither force nor intimidation commited by him in demanding money from a lawyer or litigant. October 21. her testimony invited suspicion of her covering up Resurreccion’s malfeasance. She thereby laid the responsibility for the ex parte reception of the evidence on Gina Bacayon. 31-90.Topic: Dishonesty. She claimed that being the stenographer recording the ex parte presentation of evidence on February 26. she was the one who had asked for the payment of the transcript of the stenographic notes from Atty. 2014 Facts: Atty. Resurrecion was found guilty of exacting money for some legal fees that do not exist. Court Stenographer Maricar M. Eugenio testified in favor of Resurreccion. Frumencio E. inexchange for nonexistent goodwill. a law practitioner. Paul M. Resurreccion. for committing acts of extortion. Resurreccion of the RTC. Pulgar denounced in a complaint-affidavit Court Interpreter Paul M. and for violation of Administrative Circular No. Her actuation amounts to neglect in the performance of her official function as co-player in the administration of justice. 1997. SC: YES .M. No. In the report and recommendation of investigating Judge Guerrero.

the Court has incessantly reminded that officials and employees involved in the administration of justice should faithfully adhere to their mandated duties and responsibilities. his illegal exactions were outrightly and plainly corrupt. It then becomes unavoidable for us to judge his transgressions as motivated by the lust for money and power. serious dishonesty and grave misconduct. he should not be allowed to serve a minute longer in the Judiciary lest the reputation and integrity of the service be prejudiced. usurpation of official functions and illegal exaction demanded that we classify his acts as grave misconduct. Corruption as an element of grave misconduct consisted in his acts of unlawfully or wrongfully using his position or character of his office to procure some benefit for himself or for another. that a public office is a public trust. or flagrant disregard of established rule must be manifest. are grave offenses punishable by dismissal from the service. In grave misconduct. The Supreme Court ruled that the recommendation of the OCA for the immediate dismissal of Resurreccion from the service is warranted. . among others. he thereby revealed his absolute unworthiness to remain in the service of the Judiciary. They were so in his case.can greatly erode the people's confidence in the Judiciary.whether committed by the highest judicial official or by the lowest member of the judicial workforce . as distinguished from simple misconduct. the elements of corruption. it becomes their constant duty to maintain the good name and standing of the Judiciary as a true temple of justice. Rule 10 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. This is because the image of a court of justice is necessarily mirrored in the conduct of its personnel.To enforce the constitutional tenet. contrary to the rights of others. The collection of the fees had no legal basis whatsoever. hence. hence. Dismissal from the service was called for because of the grave nature of Resurreccion's offense. Under Section 46. His acts of dishonesty. rather than having proceeded from his unfamiliarity with standing rules and guidelines. clear intent to violate the law. Any act of impropriety on their part . Indeed.

Topic: Dishonesty Ponente: PER CURIAM Concerned Citizens of Naval. SC: YES . 2014 Facts: Petitioner charged Florante F. Upon verification. He had even asked court litigants for money in consideration of assistance extended to them in cases pending in court. The fact that respondent Ralar affixed check marks in the "No" answer box clearly shows his intention to misrepresent himself in order to gain employment in the government. His PDS also showed that portions in same inquiring as to “whether he have been formally charged” and “have been found guilty of any administrative offense” where the latter put a check mark beside the boxes indicating "No" answers. Indeed. Ralar.M. It was alleged that he did not state in his application his having been previously employed in the Bureau of Post. No. He misappropriated his collection when he was employed as a Revenue Collection Clerk. Biliran v. Issue: Whether Ralar is guilty of dishonesty. Despite knowing nothing about stenography. his actuations fall squarely as an act of dishonesty. The Office of the Court Administrator found basis to hold Ralar guilty of dishonesty. Florante F. October 21. including government-owned and controlled corporations. except his accrued leave credits. Ralar’s Personal Data Sheet (PDS) showed that the latter deliberately concealed the fact that he was previously charged administratively and was eventually penalized for acts of dishonesty while he was still an employee of then Bureau of Post. Court Stenographer III of Branch 37 of the Regional Trial Court in Caibiran. he had obtained a falsified certification of his knowledge of stenography to secure an appointment to his present position. A. Ralar denied the accusation of dishonesty and averred that all allegations against him is unsubstantiated. it was found out that prior to his employment in the Judiciary he had been actually employed as a Letter Carrier and was dismissed for committing mail pilferage. Biliran with dishonesty through falsification of public documents. Ralar. OCA recommended the dismissal of Ralar from the service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits. and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government. P-14-3278.

Ralar’s invocation of the right to face and to confront his accusers was misplaced. which is defined as the absence of integrity. or the intentional violation of truth. . or defraud. constituted gross dishonesty that the Court cannot tolerate. and having been found guilty of such charge became indisputable. He committed falsification of an official document when he did not disclose in his written application for his present position his having been formally charged administratively. dishonesty. and the degree of reasoning he could have had at that moment. the disposition to betray. for no other office in the Government exacts the greatest demand for moral righteousness and uprightness from public employees and officials than the Judiciary. Rule 10 of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Case in the Civil Service. for the charge was soon easily substantiated by the results of the OCA’s legitimate queries put to the various offices of the public service in which he had previously served. Dishonesty and falsification – malevolent and abhorrent – have no place in the Judiciary. is penalized with dismissal for the first offense. consideration must be taken not only of the facts and circumstances which gave rise to the act committed by the respondent. like bad faith. deceive. His omission. No more essential is that policy than in the Judiciary. but also of his state of mind at the time the offense was committed. Dishonesty is a question of intention. Ralar was guilty of dishonesty. As such. Pursuant to Section 46. the time he might have had at his disposal for the purpose of meditating on the consequences of his act. classified as a grave offense. being designed by him to misrepresent his qualifications for the position he sought. In ascertaining the intention of a person accused of dishonesty. the Judiciary deserves the best from all its employees and officials. cheat.Dishonesty. is not simply bad judgment or negligence.

No. et al. and January 2008 rentals. Gillera. 8010. Issue: Whether guilty of dishonesty and conduct unbecoming an officer of the court . v.000. Spouses Gillera incurred debts to MMG Construction and Development Corporation. to sell their house and lot occupied by Fajardo and apply the proceeds to their debt with MMG. December 2007.M. Gerodias. Laguna. Complainants alleged that respondent committed conduct unbecoming a court officer by her (a) non-payment of house rental fees. She continued to occupy the property without paying rent. Fajardo failed to pay the balance. October 21.00 as earnest money and the balance to be paid after one (1) month. (d) harassment.Topic: Dishonesty and Conduct Unbecoming an Officer of the Court Ponente: PER CURIAM Jean Paul V. 8010 and given the deed of absolute sale signed by the Spouses Gillera as sellers and Fajardo's mother as buyer. Fajardo and HFC agreed on the sale of the house and lot for P3. After seeking extensions. prompting the Spouses Gillera to file for unlawful detainer. and (e) ill-gotten wealth. P-14-3237. The bank. Fajardo ignored demands to replace the checks and failed to pay the rentals. dishonored the first two checks for being drawn against a closed account. HFC paid the Spouses Gillera's loan with BDO to release the mortgage. Maria Consuelo Joie Fajardo. Fajardo offered to buy the house and lot from HFC on the condition that the mortgage with BDO over the house and lot should first be discharged. Jillina M. a family corporation owned by complainant Atty. (b) issuance of bouncing checks. Complainants Spouses Jean Paul and Suzette Gillera owned a house and lot and they leased it to respondent Maria Consuelo Joie A.1 million with F350. BDO. San Pedro. (c) falsification of a deed of absolute sale and Official Receipt No. The Spouses Gillera were then leasing MMG's warehouse. Fajardo claimed that she was issued Official Receipt No. A. Fajardo. 2014 Facts: An administrative complaint was filed before the OCA against Maria Consuelo Joie A. she issued HFC three (3) post-dated checks but the same bounced. Fajardo. Fajardo issued three post-dated checks for the November 2007. Branch 93. Spouses Gillera designated HFC another Gerodias-owned company. the Court Sheriff of Regional Trial Court.

to serve as a faithful reproduction of a nonexistent original document. probity or integrity in principle. and the perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service. She anchored her non-payment on an alleged agreement with complainant Suzette Gillera that rental arrears would be written off if respondent buys the house and lot. respondent's continuous refusal to pay a just debt amounts to "conduct unbecoming of a public employee. unless otherwise provided in the decision. all in all depicting her as "lacking in personal honesty and good moral character that render her unworthy of public confidence. and her contention that her mother did buy the house and lot. 8010 and passed off a deed of absolute sale copy. Sheriffs must conduct themselves with integrity at all times as "once he[/she] loses the people's trust. as front-line representatives. deceive or defraud. lack of fairness and straightforwardness. cheat. Both Executive Judge Sonia T." Respondent's acts failed to meet the high standards of conduct expected from the position held. the court in the ejectment case found respondent liable for rental arrears. It was found that respondent presented a falsified Official Receipt No. untrustworthiness. he[/she] diminishes the people's faith in the judiciary. bearing her mother's signature. Yu-Casano and the Office of the Court Administrator found that no agreement materialized. Fraudulently issuing bouncing checks behavior compounds respondent's acts of presenting forged documents and making untruthful testimony." The rules consider dishonesty as a grave offense such that the first offense merits dismissal from the service and carries with it "cancellation of eligibility." Worse.SC: YES Sheriffs. play a crucial role in our justice system." Dishonesty refers to "intentionally making a false statement on any material fact. having the important task of executing our courts' final judgments. lack of integrity." Dishonesty involves "a disposition to lie. lack of honesty. Thus. forfeiture of retirement benefits. deceive or betray. and respondent produced anew documents already rejected by the ejectment court. In fact. disposition to defraud." . respondent testified during investigation that her mother had bought the house and lot.

and by reason of his office. Dishonesty inevitably reflects on the fitness of the officer or employee to continue in office and the discipline and morale of the service. The rationale for the rule is that if a government officer or employee is dishonest or is guilty of oppression or grave misconduct. The private life of an employee cannot be segregated from his public life. free from any whiff of impropriety. even against offices and entities of the government other than the office where he is employed. And the rule is that dishonesty. but must also be perceived to be. in order to warrant dismissal." Consequently their conduct "must not only be. both with respect to their duties in the judiciary and to their behavior outside the court. need not be committed in the course of the performance of duty by the person charged. because by reason of his government position. they affect his right to continue in office. The Government cannot tolerate in its service a dishonest official. he enjoys and possesses a certain influence and power which renders the victims of his grave misconduct. fairness and honesty to maintain the people's respect and faith in the judiciary. even if said defects of character are not connected with his office.Dishonesty need not be committed in the performance of official duty as to warrant the penalty of dismissal." This court will not tolerate acts or omissions "diminishing or tending to diminish public trust and confidence in the courts. he is given more and ample opportunity to commit acts of dishonesty against his fellow men. This court has emphasized that "court employees should be models of uprightness. even if he performs his duties correctly and well. oppression and dishonesty less disposed and prepared to resist and to counteract his evil acts and actuations." .

dated June 20. that on the last day of the convention or on March 31. 2008 against Atty. to explain why they failed to liquidate the finances of PACE for the Davao and Iloilo conventions.000.Chapter 1. and past treasurer. and that the new set of PACE officers issued Board Resolution No. Amizola. 12007 appropriating the amount of 30. before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). dishonest. Edna M. 2007. No. Rosita D. Issue: Is the respondent liable? . Canon 1. Diaz only on March 29.00as term-end bonus for each PACE official qualified thereto. former National Treasurer of PACE. that Atty. that during the 12th convention. including Atty. 2007.C. ALIBUTDAN-DIAZ.Topic: Legal Ethics . Diaz ran for the position of National Treasurer.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (A lawyer should not engage in an unlawful. Diaz. ATTY. J. Rule 1. 2014 Facts: This is complaint for suspension or disbarment filed by the Philippine Association of Court Employees (PACE) through its president. Rafael). VIRGINIA C. immoral or deceitful conduct) Ponente: MENDOZA. ATTY. Diaz. RAFAEL. AlibutdanDiaz (Atty. EDNA M. an election of officers was conducted and Atty. 2007 sent to Atty. Respondent. vs. Virginia C. Diaz did not submit a liquidation report for the 12th convention. A. The complainant alleged that the liquidation for the 11th PACE national convention was submitted by Atty. Complainant. 10134. November 26. Rafael (Atty. Atty. PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF COURT EMPLOYEES (PACE). passed and approved Resolution No. on July 17. that there was no turn over of monies belonging to the association as a matter of procedure despite a letter of demand. Diaz).the outgoing Board of Directors. during the 12th PACE national convention in Iloilo City. Diaz. represented by its President. but she was not elected. 00-07 directing past president. Atty.

Ruling: Yes. and with fidelity to the courts and their clients. the opposing parties. fair play and nobility in the conduct of litigation and in their relations with their clients. Diaz is a servant of the law and belongs to that profession which society entrusts with the administration of law and the dispensation of justice. Diaz' actions/ inactions. immoral or deceitful conduct. including herself even though she was no longer working in the Judiciary. and her involvement in the approval or passage of the questioned term-end bonus of PACE officers. the other counsels and the courts. her running for re-election. . For this. It bears stressing that Atty. Lawyers are required to act with the highest standard of truthfulness. including her non-admission that she ran for said election as shown not by her certificate of candidacy but by the affidavits of former PACE officers. were definitely not the candor the Court speaks of. Diaz' delay in the liquidation of the finances of PACE. dishonest. There was much to be desired in Atty. he or she is an exemplar for others to emulate and should not engage in unlawful. Candor in all their dealings is the very essence of a practitioner's honorable membership in the legal profession. One of those requirements is the observance of honesty and candor. They are bound by their oath to speak the truth and to conduct themselves according to the best of their knowledge and discretion. Atty.

IGMEDIO L. EMILIANO E. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities). BRANCH 45.” Thus. the legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary) Ponente: SERENO. TOLEDO. CANON 4 (SEC.. LUMBOY. so that the Municipality can use the space to erect the new “San Jose Commercial Complex. 12-3919-RTJ]. SARMIENTO. TITA F. both in and out of court. MAAC. CONSOLACION D. 1. C. SR. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. JR. Judges shall ensure that his or her conduct. AVELINA M. RTJ-15-2405 [Formerly OCA I. A. 1. complainants filed a Petition for Prohibition With Urgent Application for the Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Writ of Preliminary Injunction .CANON 2 (SEC. maintains and enhances the confidence of the public. No. ASCAÑO. No. DANTES. Respondent.M. FIDEL S.J. SANTOS. but that it is perceived to be so in view of a reasonable observer).P.Topic: Legal Ethics . SAN JOSE OCCIDENTAL MINDORO. NOGUERA. JOSEPH Z. AMALIA G. BERNARDO. TAUNAN. Villarosa (Mayor Villarosa or the Mayor) allegedly wanted to demolish the public market. Complaints. BASILISA A. The Mayor of the Municipality of San Jose. and CANON 3 (SECTION 2.. v. OBALO. 2015 Facts: Complainants were allegedly section leaders of the lessees of market stalls in the public market of Occidental Mindoro. ISON. COLONIA. ANTONIO S. Jose T. PRESIDING JUDGE JOSE S. AND MARIVEL B.. Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach. JACINTO.I. PASTRANA. JR. JULIETA D. DAN T. Occidental Mindoro (the Municipality). on 26 June 2012. January 12. ERIC S.

accused. The act betrays lack of patience. R-1731 and was raffled to respondent’s sala. none of whom were parties to the case. only 12 out of the more than 500 members accompanying complainants on that day were allowed to enter. scolded. Worse. Thus. Toledo.A. Respondent failed to conduct himself in accordance with the mandate of Section 6. He must choose his words. Issue: Is the judge liable? Ruling: Yes. complainants filed the instant complaint charging respondent with serious violations of the canons of the Codes of Judicial Conduct and Judicial Ethics and for Violation of Section 3(e) of R. dignified and courteous in relation to litigants. Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary.” They further claimed that respondent judge asked complainants “confusing and misleading questions all geared and intended to elicit answers damaging to the cause of petitioners and favorable to the cause of their adversary. scolded. . prudence and restraint. It is reprehensible for a judge to humiliate a lawyer. berated. written or spoken. witnesses. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings before the court and be patient. who was scheduled to give her testimony that day. court staff and others subject to their influence. 3019.” respondent also made “insulting. Complainants also claimed that the questions propounded by respondent to their witnesses “were all geared towards establishing” that they should have no right to oppose the Mayor’s plan. The case was docketed as Special Civil Action No.(WPI) against the Municipality and Mayor Villarosa. direction or control. the investigating justice found that apart from raising his voice when addressing Toledo and making “abrasive and unnecessary statements to her. as “this will be good for all and the progress and development of the municipality.” Thus.” At the next hearing held on 3 July 2012. which reads: SECTION 6. While the entire entourage of Mayor Villarosa. with utmost care and sufficient control. a judge must at all times be temperate in his language. The petitioners claim that respondent berated. litigant or witness. Mayor Villarosa stepped out of the courtroom to take a call. Petitioners claimed that during the hearings held on 2 and 3 July 2012. were all allowed inside the courtroom during the 2 July 2012 hearing. Judges shall require similar conduct of legal representatives. sometimes needlessly lengthy statements” in open court. lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity. confused and admonished petitioners without basis or justification. confused and admonished their witnesses without basis or justification. respondent “argued. all the complainants were escorted out of the courtroom except for Julieta D. In the 2 July 2012 hearing. He exited through the door used by the judge and the employees of the court.

respondent is also guilty of violating Section 2 of Canon 3. Thus. Atty. maintains and enhances the confidence of the public. In this case. 2014 Facts: This administrative complaint for disbarment arose from an Affidavit Complaint filed by Daria O. Benguet Chapter. 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities. Daging before the IBP. integrity and impartiality. they must also avoid any appearance of impropriety or partiality. Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach. Riz Tingalon L. He did so by declaring in open court that the abrupt exit of the Mayor should be excused. as the latter had an important appointment to attend. but that it is perceived to be so in view of a reasonable observer. which read: CANON 2 INTEGRITY SEC. She leased from Benjie Pinlac a building space located at No. both in and out of court. Judges shall ensure that his or her conduct. J.This Court likewise finds that respondent violated Section 1 of Canon 2 and Section 1 of Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary. 1. 9395. instead of reprimanding Mayor Villarosa for not asking for the court’s permission to leave while the trial was ongoing.. Complainant was the owner and operator of Nashville Country Music Lounge. November 12.cralawred CANON 4 PROPRIETY SEC. The New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary mandates that judges must not only maintain their independence. Davis. which reads: CANON 3 IMPARTIALITY SECTION 2. . No. 22 Otek St. Riz Tingalon L. Topic: Betrayal of his client's trust and for misuse of information obtained from his client to the disadvantage of the latter and to the advantage of another person Ponente: Del Castillo. respondent appeared to serve as the former’s advocate. Baguio City where she operated the bar. Daria O. Daging v. A. which may erode the people's faith in the Judiciary. the legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary. against Atty.C. Davis.

This eventually resulted in the signing by the complainant. In fact. He recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year. And during the subsistence of said Retainer Agreement. Baguio City. respondent represented and defended Balageo. Together with Novie Balageo and respondent. It is undisputed that complainant entered into a Retainer Agreement dated March 7. Complainant averred that subsequently respondent acted as business partner of Balageo in operating the bar under her business name. Complainant filed an ejectment case against Pinlac and Balageo before the MTCC. respondent filed on behalf of said Balageo an Answer with Opposition to the Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction dated July .Meanwhile. which they later renamed Amarillo Music Bar. an Answer with Opposition to the Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Sabling of a Retainer Agreement. complainant received a Retainer Proposal from Davis & Sabling Law Office signed by respondent and his partner Atty. Upon motion of the respondent. Pinlac went to complainant's music bar. inventoried all the equipment therein. respondent appeared as counsel for Balageo in that ejectment case and filed. on behalf of the latter. At that time. who was impleaded as one of the defendants in the ejectment case complainant filed before the MTCC of Baguio City. Issue: Whether respondent is guilty of betrayal of his client's trust and for misuse of information obtained from his client to the disadvantage of the latter and to the advantage of another person. Davis & Sabling Law Office was still her counsel as their Retainer Agreement remained subsisting and in force. and informed her that Balageo would take over the operation of the bar. the respondent and Atty. Because complainant was delinquent in paying the monthly rentals. SC: Yes. it reduced the penalty imposed to six months suspension. 2005 with respondent's law firm. Amos Saganib Sabling. However. Investigating Commissioner rendered a Report and Recommendation finding respondent guilty of betrayal of his client's trust and for misuse of information obtained from his client to the disadvantage of the latter and to the advantage of another person. Branch 1. IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner. Pinlac terminated the lease.

In Quiambao v. It provides: Rule 15. they would be representing conflicting interests and violate the Code of Professional Responsibility." The prohibition against representing conflicting interests is absolute and the rule applies even if the lawyer has acted in good faith and with no intention to represent conflicting interests. Atty. respondent should have immediately informed both the complainant and Balageo that he. otherwise. He was not privy to any transaction between Atty. act as counsel for a person whose interest conflicts with that of his present or former client. but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers. cannot represent any of them in their legal tussle. Bamba. 2005 when respondent withdrew his appearance for Balageo. The penalty for representing conflicting interests may either be reprimand or suspension from the practice of law ranging from six months to two years. respondent's argument that he never took advantage of any information acquired by his law firm in the course of its professional dealings with the complainant. this Court emphasized that lawyers are expected not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence. respondent could have simply advised both complainant and Balageo to instead engage the services of another lawyer. as well as the other members of his law firm. even assuming it to be true. Indeed. "A lawyer may not.11.03 -A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Based on the established facts. It was only on August 26. A lawyer who takes up the cause of the adversary of the party who has engaged the services of his law firm brings the law profession into public disrepute and suspicion and undermines the integrity of justice. Thus. He thus inveigles that he could not have taken advantage of an information obtained by his law firm by virtue of the Retainer Agreement. which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. her case is actually handled only by his partner Atty. without being guilty of professional misconduct. Sabling. Undeniably aware of the fact that complainant is a client of his law firm. Sabling and complainant and has no knowledge of any information or legal matter complainant entrusted or confided to his law partner. . it is indubitable that respondent transgressed Rule 15. 2005. is of no moment. We are not impressed.03 of Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent argues that while complainant is a client of Davis & Sabling Law office.

Catuday and Namplata and the people working for the approval of their .A.Topic: Bribery. 3019.A. Sta. Judge Jaime C. Cruz. November 18. Branch 26. SC: Yes. Rivera reiterated charge that Judge Blancaflor committed gross misconduct in fraternizing with litigants. it appears from the records that he abused this prerogative in the cases of Catuday and Namplata.M. gross misconduct. Laguna. dated July 29. Issue: Whether the recommendation is proper.(2) maintaining an illicit affair with a woman his wife. She recommended that the judge be dismissed from the service. 2014 Facts: Complainant filed a complaint-affidavit with Office of the Court Administrator charging respondent judge with bribery. While Judge Blancaflor has the discretion to approve or disapprove a motion to reduce bail. RTJ-11-2290. with prejudice to his reinstatement or appointment to any public office. Gross Misconduct. No. 3019. who is not his wife. No. and likewise recommended the forfeiture of the judge’s retirement benefits. Rivera maintained that Judge Blancaflor should be charged with immorality for maintaining an illicit relationship with Villamar. Immorality and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or R. No. Blancaflor. The Court upheld Justice Fernando’s findings and recommendation as it found sufficient basis to dismiss respondent Judge Blancaflor from the service On the charge of bribery. Rivera v. In a Supplemental Affidavit. gross misconduct and violation of R.A. gross misconduct and violation of R. 2008. and (2) immorality. and (3) exhibiting personal bias and prejudice against her in efforts to obtain bail bonds for Catuday and Namplata. immortality and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. her (1) not her Justice Fernando found Judge Blancaflor guilty of (1) bribery. Regional Trial Court. 3019 Ponente: Per Curiam Marilou T. Through Judge Blancaflor’s inaccessibility (he was usually not in the court in the afternoon) and refusal to take action on their pleas for provisional liberty. A.

both in and out of court. judges have been reminded thatas magistrates. official or otherwise. granting the motion when Judge Blancaflor was attending a seminar in Tagaytay City. Judge Blancaflor approved Namplata’s motion for reduction of bail." Judge Blancaflor denied the allegations. Yet. they must comport themselves in such a manner that their conduct. Sta. Vice-Executive Judge of the RTC. maintains and enhances the confidence of the public.00. In more ways than one. that day. Cruz. Justice Fernando found otherwise." On the charge of immorality – for allegedly maintaining an illicit relationship with Villamar who is nothis wife – Justice Fernando aptly observed that Judge Blancaflor offered no evidence. As the records show. Sad to state. The same thing happened when Rivera processed Namplata’s bail bond. can bear the most searching scrutiny of the public that looks up to them as the epitome of integrity and justice. This is serious misconduct and a violation of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary which mandates that "judges shall perform their judicial duties without favor. except general ." and that they "shall ensure that his or her conduct. It is unfortunate that Judge Blancaflor lost sight of the exacting standards demanded of the office of a judge in the Leroncase.00 bail?.000. Time and again. the legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary. contending that Catuday’s motion was not filed with the OCC and never reached him.00 to P40. Laguna.000. 2008. In fact.000. This belies Judge Blancaflor’s excuses for not acting on Catuday’s motion and lends credence to Rivera’s submission that the judge’s refusal was to spite her. he disowned the marginal note he made on a copy of Namplata’s motion reducing his bail bond to P40. When he was asked: "Do you clearly remember Judge that you reduced it as shown by your signature from P60. Judge Ongkeko could not have issued the order had it not been filed with the OCC. Judge Blancaflor failed to pass this "searching scrutiny. in his Comment to Rivera’s supplemental complaint. The judge admitted his approval during the investigation.motions (Rivera and De Mata) suffered inordinate delay and frustrations in securing the motions’ approval. Judge Blancaflor gave De Mata and Rivera a run-around in Catuday’s and Namplata’s cases for no plausible reason other than the judge’s strong antipathy towards Rivera. he refused to approve Namplata’s temporary release. bias or prejudice." he answered: "That is correct sir. citing the Order of Judge Ongkeko." referring to March 27. But what was more surprising was Judge Blancaflor’s refusal to acknowledge and to act on the order of approval.

gross misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a court employee. Branch 20. Branch 20. Bartolome v. 2009 and thereafter through a series of messages they exchanged via SMS. which appeared to be widely known in the community at the time material to the case. She further alleged that the respondent undertook to have the case decided in her favor without the need of court appearances during the proceedings of the case. Regional Trial Court. statements made here and there by witnesses and personalities drawn into the case confirm the special relationship between Judge Blancaflor and Villamar such that Villamar had no hesitation in speaking for the judge on matters concerning him and his work. RTC. SC: Yes. 2009.000. until the entrapment operation on November 11. No. finding enough evidence to prove the respondent’s involvement in anomalous activities and recommending immediate dismissal. Based on the complainant’s pleadings and evidence. The respondent’s actions from the time the complainant started communicating with her on October 21. Cavite. P-11-2979. graft and corruption. A. Ephemeral electronic communications in evidence Ponente: Per Curiam Ella M. Rosalie B. November 18. graft and corruption. The respondent’s bare denial cannot overcome the evidence supporting the complainant’s accusation that she demanded money on the promise that she would facilitate the annulment of her (complainant’s) marriage. Imus. Maranan. Bartolome filed against Rosalie B. showed that the complaint is indeed meritorious. which was later reduced to P160. Court Stenographer III. As the records show. Maranan. Imus. Issue: Whether the respondent is guilty of the charge and dismissed from service. the OCA. The respondent’s text messages sent to the complainant corroborate that she promised to expedite – in exchange for a monetary . Court Stenographer III.00. The complainant alleged that the respondent asked money from her in the amount of P200. gross misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a court employee. 2014 Facts: Ella M.000. submitted its Report to the Court.M. Topic: Extortion.denials to disprove his moral indiscretion. to facilitate the filing of her case for annulment of marriage. Cavite. charging her with extortion.00.

00 and that she would provide the lawyer who would file the annulment case – the complainant’s annulment case once it is filed. The respondent’s assertion that Bartolome is a fictitious name because the complainant has not stated in her complaint her exact address is preposterous in light of the evidence of direct personal and text message contacts between them. By soliciting money from the complainant. She committed an ultimate betrayal of the duty to uphold the dignity and authority of the judiciary by peddling influence to litigants. subject to certain conditions. thereby creating the impression that decision can be bought and sold. the claim that the complaint against her is pure and simple harassment orchestrated by persons with grudge against her. streaming video. identified the respondent as the sender through cellphone number 09175775982. As a public servant. The Court has never wavered in its vigilance in eradicating the so called "bad-eggs" in the judiciary. to remove from the . "Ephemeral electronic communication" refers to telephone conversations. Ephemeral electronic communications are now admissible evidence. text messages. She confirmed that it was her cellphone number during the entrapment operation the Imus Cavite Police conducted The Court totally agrees with the OCA’s finding that the respondent is guilty of grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.000.consideration ofP160. we have no doubt regarding the probative value of the text messages as evidence in considering the present case. streaming audio. if warranted. We have been resolute in our drive to discipline and. She should be the personification of the principle that public office is a public trust. who was the recipient of the text messages and who therefore has personal knowledge of these text messages. chatroom sessions. nothing less than the highest sense of honesty and integrity is expected of the respondent at all times. is mere conjectural allegation. The complainant. In the absence of supporting evidence. In the present case. she committed a crime and an act of serious impropriety that tarnished the honor and dignity of the judiciary and deeply affected the people’s confidence in it. and other electronic forms of communication the evidence of which is not recorded or retained. It may be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the communications or has personal knowledge thereof. The respondent unfortunately fell extremely short of the standards that should have governed her life as a public servant. The respondent herself admitted that her conversations with the complainant had been thru SMS messaging and that the cellphone number reflected in the complainant’s cellphone from which the text messages originated was hers.

Clerk III. pursuant to the Court’s ruling in Maceda v. been unflinching in imposing discipline on errant personnel or in purging the ranks of those undeserving to remain in the service. No. Metropolitan Trial Court. Hon. the respondent surrendered her ATM Card No. To stress our earnestness in this pursuit. Theresa M. the first payment was to start on January 12. 2010. After finding that the respondent is a court employee. 1727165289 to her creditors to allow them to withdraw the amount .M.00 every 15th and 30th day of the month until fully paid. through the Office of the Court Administrator for appropriate action. Ombudsman Vasquez. dishonesty. 2014 Facts: The complaint was initially filed with the Office of the Ombudsman. the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed and referred the complaint to this Court. The transaction was evidenced by an Agreement which provided that the amount of loan shall be paid in equal installments of P2. estafa and other deceits Ponente: Per Curiam Angelito Miranda v. in fact. A.service errant magistrates.00 from the creditors. through the complainant. As security for the loan.800. et al.600. we have. The complainant acts as an agent of money lenders Manuel P. November 18. The respondent obtained a loan of P124. Fernandez. Ma. P-14-3270. employees and even Justices of higher collegiate appellate courts for any infraction that gives the Judiciary a bad name. Quezon City. Topic: Grave misconduct. Miranda and Josephine Miranda Cabusao (creditors).

the complainant sent the respondent a demand letter which she ignored. 2013. and to submit the required comment within five (5) days from receipt thereof. The report enabled her to withdraw her salary over the counter and led to the issuance of a new ATM card in her favor. as modified by the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. 2013 resolution on July 30. Executive Order No.of P2. the Court shall take the necessary action against her and decide the administrative complaint on the basis of the record at hand. it was retained by the ATM machine with the advisory receipt stating "Invalid Card. the respondent’s creditors went to the bank to collect the amount due from her bank account. provides that a public employee’s failure to pay just debts is a ground for disciplinary action.O. Section 22.O. The Court directed the respondent to show cause why she should not be disciplined or held in contempt for her failure to file the required comment despite her receipt of the two (2) directives from the OCA. The obligation having remained unpaid since the . Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of E. 2010. Thus she is considered to have waived her right to submit controverting evidence. filed the present administrative complaint against the respondent. The respondent received a copy of the June 10. She continuously failed to comply with her undertaking. defines "just debts" as those (1) claims adjudicated by a court of law or (2) claims the existence and justness of which are admitted by the debtor. 2010. The complainant. It appeared that the respondent reported to the LBP that she had lost her ATM card. When the respondent’s ATM card was inserted into the ATM machine.600. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws. On July 15. A day after discovery of the fraud. The resolution carried the warning. By the respondent’s failure to file her comment on the complaint despite the OCA’s two (2) directives and warning. but still failed to comply. 292 (E. 292). SC: Yes. acting as the representative of the creditors under a Special Power of Attorney dated July 19." This happened because the respondent had blocked her ATM card to prevent withdrawals by her creditors. otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987. that upon further failure. she is deemed to have admitted the existence and justness of the claim against her. Issue: Whether the respondent is guilty as charged.00 every payday from her salaries deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

as established by substantial evidence. deceive or defraud. the respondent is held to the highest ethical standards to preserve the integrity of the courts. She has demonstrated her unfitness to be in the judiciary service. disposition to defraud. The respondent’s failure to comply with the Court’s directives constitutes gross misconduct and insubordination. The Court finds the respondent separately liable for three administrative offenses of willful failure to pay just debts. probity or integrity in principle. As an employee of the judiciary.demand was made upon her conclusively speaks of her willful refusal to settle the same. untrustworthiness. The respondent’s liability does not end there. thus warranting her dismissal from the service. The respondent has failed to file her comment on the letter complaint despite receipt of the two (2) directives sent to her and the show cause resolution of June 10. misconduct is grave if it involves any of the additional elements of corruption. The blocking of the ATM card she surrendered to her creditors and her act of securing a new ATM card from the LBP to avoid payment of her indebtedness constitute dishonesty and conduct unbecoming of a court employee. lack of integrity. such as willful intent to violate the law or to disregard established rules. Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action. lack of honesty. or an unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer. Like any other member of the judiciary. gross misconduct and insubordination and dishonesty. Rule IV of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. It is clear that the respondent is guilty of the offenses charged. cheat. the respondent is expected to be a model of fairness and honesty not only in all her official conduct but also in her personal actuations. These standards include the moral and legal duty to settle contractual obligations when they become due. Under Section 55. when the respondent is found guilty of two or . court employees must comply with just contractual obligations and act fairly and adhere to high ethical standards. To preserve decency in the judiciary. stained the image of her public office. although arising from a private transaction. involving business and commercial transactions. The respondent’s actions. 19. Dishonesty and grave misconduct are both classified as grave offenses punishable by dismissal for the first offense. lack of fairness and straightforwardness. deceive or betray.s. CSC Memorandum Circular No. 2013. 1999 classifies willful failure to pay just debts as a light offense punishable by reprimand for the first offense. Dishonesty refers to the disposition to lie.

Sandiganbayan. Andal. Jurado. The investigating officer. No. Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Roland B. A. Herminigildo L. Andal is employed as permanent Security Guard II of the Sandiganbayan. Quezon City. 2014 Facts: Herminigildo L. November 18. Security Guard II. found him guilty of dishonesty for allowing .more charges or counts. the penalty to be imposed should be that which corresponds to the most serious charge or count and the rest shall be considered as aggravating circumstances Topic: Dishonesty for allowing another person to take his 2000 Civil Service Professional Examination-Computer Assisted Test Ponente: Per Curiam Civil Service Commission v. SB-12-19-P.M.

Respondent alleged that the impersonation was perpetrated by a group of employees who disliked him for revealing their drinking sprees and doping sessions to their superiors. the CSC averred that he had not taken the test himself. Respondent admitted that he could not have taken the test on 24 January 2000. Justice Jurado disregarded the circumstance that respondent had filed an impersonation case against Nucom. Villaruz. Justice Jurado recommended that respondent be meted out the principal penalty of suspension from office for one year. Justice Francisco H. he maintained that he had not authorized another person to take the test for him. Petitioner CSC claimed that respondent had applied for the CSPECAT scheduled for 24 January 2000 and that it appeared that he passed the test with a rating of 81. Ong. the same directed the Sandiganbayan to refer the instant case for investigation. For the investigating officer. But the investigating officer did not dismiss but only suspended him. He further narrated that in 2007. However. the Court resolved to refer this case to then Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan. since he was in the province nursing an alcohol hangover. due to the administrative case against Justice Gregory S. . As his defense. the fiveyear hiatus between knowledge of the identity of the impersonator in 2007 and the execution of the Complaint-Affidavit in 2012 belied the authenticity of the claim that respondent was aggrieved by the impersonation. The Supreme Court en banc issued a Resolution re-docketing the case as an administrative matter. Thus. But based on the differing photographs in the Picture Seat Plan (PSP) and his Civil Service Application Form. report and recommendation. Aggrieved. The Court adopted the recommendations of the OCA.another person to take his 2000 Civil Service Professional ExaminationComputer Assisted Test (CSPE-CAT). and the accessory penalties of being barred from taking any civil service examination and disqualification from promotion. he learned from his co-employee. respondent executed a Complaint-Affidavit in 2012 charging Nucom with impersonation before the CSC. Justice Jurado disbelieved the claims of respondent. Justice Jurado sided with petitioner and found respondent guilty of dishonesty. that the impersonator was Emmerson Nucom. Larry Lincallo. report and recommendation to the most senior justice after Justice Ong.08%. for investigation. Jr. the latter’s high school classmate. Moreover. then pending before the Supreme Court. In the same Resolution.

Fourth. as Justice Jurado aptly pointed out. by claiming that he was nursing a hangover on the day of examination. claimed to be perpetrated by his officemates. there must be substantial evidence that respondent intentionally made false statements or practiced deception in securing his permanent employment with the Sandiganbayan. he should have alerted the CSC or the Sandiganbayan as soon as he received the passing grade. it defies reason that the actual examinee would take the test for the benefit of another without any recompense. the partially adopt the above recommendation. The impersonation theory of respondent. he did not earn for himself the 81. respondent still tries to refute the charge of dishonesty by claiming that the actual examinee impersonated him and took the test without his knowledge. it cannot be doubted that another person took the test under his name. to be found guilty of dishonesty. it is more reasonable to believe that the employees who had an axe to grind against him would rather have him fail than pass the test. is that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. the facts of this case cannot support the conclusion that respondent was completely innocent of dishonesty in obtaining his eligibility for permanent employment with the . Secondly. First. even if the evidence may not be overwhelming or even preponderant. Despite this established fact. This standard is satisfied in the present case so long as there is reasonable ground to believe that respondent is responsible for the misconduct complained of.08% passing rate. Justice Jurado’s Investigation Report and Recommendation is supported by the evidence on record showing that respondent did not take the CSPE-CAT of 24 January 2000. Second. the claim of respondent is self-serving and uncorroborated by any witness. which is the quantum of proof required in this administrative case. even assuming arguendo that respondent had an unauthorized impersonator. is incredible. Third. Firstly.Issue: Whether the respondent if guilty of dishonesty. In other words. the pictures in his Civil Service Application Form and PSP are entirely different. Respondent’s scheme of passing the blame to the actual examinee is old hat. and logically. Substantial evidence. respondent was effectively admitting that he did not take the test. After a judicious examination of the records. Indeed. SC: Yes. All told.

who admitted that he did not take the test. His actions thus speak of his disposition to lie. Basic honesty would have required transparency and uprightness in the actions of an employee of the judiciary. length of service and non-utilization of the acquired eligibility. deceive. lack of honesty. after knowing that another person had taken the test on his behalf. Respondent. and lack of fairness and straightforwardness. Dishonesty cannot be tolerated from government officials or employees. Worse. By perpetrating his false eligibility and letting it remain on record. or defraud. lack of integrity. he did not even attempt to earn his eligibility on his own accord. . First-time offenders found guilty of grave dishonesty involving falsification of their civil service examination results already merit the penalty of dismissal from service. cheat. even when official duties are performed well. The reduced penalty of suspension cannot be justified by the alleged mitigating circumstances of satisfactory performance.Sandiganbayan. took credit for his false rating. respondent concealed and distorted the truth in a matter of fact relevant to his office. untrustworthiness. probity or integrity in principle.

No. Domingo in a case for collection of sum of money against Francisco Pascual. Indeed. 3019 against respondent. Respondent denied the accusations against him. Lucas (complainant) charged in a complaint-affidavit Rolando A. The last standing frontier that the victorious litigant must face is often another difficult process– the execution stage. Issue: Whether the respondent liable for gross neglect of duty. He claimed that on the day they were to proceed to Pascual’s residence. 3019 Ponente: Per Curiam Novo A. Sheriff IV of the Office of the Clerk of Court. sheriffs are called upon to discharge their duties with due care and utmost diligence because in serving the court’s writs and processes and implementing its order.Topic: Serious neglect of duty and violation of Republic Act No. They must therefore comply with their mandated ministerial duty to implement writs promptly and expeditiously. Regional Trial Court. complainant informed him that there was no need to proceed to the house of Pascual because an arrangement had been made. a litigant who has won the battle might lose the war. play an important role. particularly in the matter of implementing the writ of execution.A. OCA found respondent liable for gross neglect of duty but agreed with Investigating Judge Tribiana that there was no sufficient evidence to support the charge of violation of R. Nueva Ecija. for delaying the implementation of the Writ of Execution issued by the Municipal Trial Court of Sto. If not enforced. Domingo. SC: The transaction is an equitable mortgage. He claimed that when he and complainant first met. Regional Trial Court. the sheriffs. In this stage.M. Sto. A. P-12-3076. sheriffs "are tasked to execute final judgments of courts. November 18. He accused complainant of not being interested in the rules as his concern centered on proceeding immediately to Pascual’s residence. 3019.A. being agents of the court. Nueva Ecija. Rolando A. 2014 Facts: Novo A. he explained the process of implementing the writ especially the need to demand from Pascual the fulfillment of the judgment before any seizure of personal properties could be made. they cannot . Dizon. with serious neglect of duty and violation of R. such decisions are empty victories of the prevailing parties. Sto. Thus. No. Domingo. Lucas v. No. As agents of the law. Dizon. Sheriff IV of the Office of the Clerk of Court.

respondent utterly failed to make periodic reports. respondent should be meted out the penalty of dismissal from service with the accessory penalties of forfeiture of all his retirement benefits. taking heed of the prescribed period required by the Rules.a grave offense according to the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (Civil Service Rules). however. Pursuant to Section 14. for the infractions committed.– The writ of execution shall be returnable to the court issuing it immediately after judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. Had he done so. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. respondent was meted out the penalty of suspension for simple neglect of duty. If the judgment cannot be satisfied in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ.afford to err without affecting the integrity of their office and the efficient administration of justice. or its effectivity expires. thus. The officer shall make a report to the court every thirty (30) days on the proceedings taken thereon until the judgment is satisfied in full. the Court agrees with the recommendation of the OCA that respondent’s omissions clearly qualify as gross neglect of duty. depriving the court of the opportunity to know and ensure the speedy execution of its decision. a sheriff is obligated to execute the order of the court strictly to the letter and with reasonable promptness." Engraved in jurisprudence is the rule that the sheriff's duty in the execution of a writ is purely ministerial. to wit: SEC. such periodic report is mandatory. Hence. and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or instrumentality of the government. including government-owned or controlled corporations. Lastly. Once the writ is placed in his or her hands. Records also show that this is not the first instance that respondent faced issues of this kind. except accrued leave credits. The Court takes note that in another administrative matter. the officer shall report to the court and state the reason therefor. the difficulties he had in dealing with complainant would have been mitigated. In this regard. and shall be filed with the court and copies thereof promptly furnished the parties. respondent is charged for failing to perform his ministerial functions in the implementation of the writ of execution issued in favor of complainant. which is punishable with dismissal from the service. This time around. The returns or periodic reports shall set forth the whole of the proceedings taken. 14. . In this case. the circumstances prevailing in this case reveal respondent's gross and palpable neglect of his sheriff duties . Return of writ of execution. Such writ shall continue in effect during the period within which the judgment may be enforced by motion.

Mr.00 from JDF andP1. Aurora T. P1. Mrs. as well as accountabilities from her FF collections.100. 1985 to March 31. Mr.Topic: Absolute Sale v. and Ms.75. Catanduanes (MTC).00 from the Special Allowance for the Judiciary Fund (SAJF). Equitable Mortgage Ponente: Per Curiam Office of the Court Administrator v. under the following accountable officers: Mrs. P-10-2800. The financial review was brought about by the fund shortages discovered by state auditor Madeleine S.M. 2003 to June19. November 18. Zuñiga (respondent). the financial audit team examined the books of account of the MTC covering the period from March 3. P4. Specifically. Issue: Whether the respondents are guilty of the charges. Virac. 2008. Cervantes. et al. Zuniga. Garibaldi L. Lucero. Mrs. Lucero. Sarmiento. Bagadiong. Mrs. Minda H. although said amounts were already restituted on April 25.811. No. Rivera of the Commission on Audit (COA) for the period from August 21.00 from the General Fund (GF).00 from the Fiduciary Fund (FF). The audit team disclosed that Tacorda incurred a shortage of P10. Tacorda. A. Paz T. 2014 Facts: This case originated from the financial audit conducted by the Fiscal Monitoring Division (FMD) of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) on the books of account of the Municipal Trial Court. and Zuñiga a total of P278.00 from the JDF and P600.095. Cervantes. Sonia T. Sarmiento. . Pepito F.797.85. The financial audit team reported that these court employees shared the task of acting as Officer-in-Charge/Accountable Officer from 1985 up to the dates of the audit.00 from the Judicial Development Fund (JDF). 384.626. Aurora T. 2008. 2007 in the amount of P294.

Zuñiga. records. After a careful examination of the records of this case. supporting documents such as a court order from the judge authorizing the withdrawal and acknowledgment receipts of the bondsmen or litigants must be fully presented. Thus. As can be gleaned from the said provision. Zuñiga’s unorganized method of managing and documenting the cash collections allocated for the JDF was a serious violation of Administrative Circular No. All fiduciary collections upon receipt shall be deposited immediately by the Clerk of Court concerned with an authorized government depository bank. 50-95 directs that all collections from bail bonds. 1992 to December 31. Furthermore. she failed to provide proper documentation to completely support the cash bond withdrawals amounting to P232. deposits. Duty of the Clerks of Court. Section B(4) of Circular No.35 from her July 10.The Clerks of Court. failed to properly account for her FF collections and to judiciously deposit the same with the Land Bank within twenty-four (24) hours upon receipt. Moreover. 1995 which she claimed to have been refunded to bondsmen/litigants. after recomputation. Officers-in-Charge of the Office of the Clerk of Court. as integrated in the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court. the pertinent portion of which reads: 3. Zuñiga. 13-92 and 5-93. Zuñiga still had a shortage of P134.860. as Clerk of Court. provide the guidelines for the accounting of court funds. was entrusted with the delicate functions of collecting legal fees. She was also unable to explain the shortage ofP269. 593. and controls the disbursement of the same. fines and dues. who .1awp++i1 SC Circular Nos. the LBP was designated as the authorized government depository. Circular No.363.SC: Yes. and should be liable for any loss or shortage thereof. 13-92.. 5-93. properties and premises. Officers-in-Charge or accountable officers.00 spanning from June 26. however. She was also designated as custodian of the court’s funds and revenues. 2007-March 31. She acted as cashier and disbursement officer of the court and was tasked to collect and receive all monies paid as legal fees.050. rental deposits and other fiduciary collections shall be deposited with the LBP within twenty-four (24) hours by the Clerk of Court concerned as instructed in Circular No. or their accountable duly authorized representative designated by them in writing. Failure to strictly comply with these requirements would make the withdrawals unauthorized.00 representing unauthorized FF withdrawals due to insufficient documentation. Clearly. 50-95 provides for the guidelines on how to make withdrawals from the court fiduciary funds. 2008 transactions. the Court finds the recommendation of the OCA to be correct. In SC Circular No.

Zuñiga’s unjustified failure to comply with the Court’s circulars designed to promote full accountability for public funds even constitutes gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct. A. 3-92 in relation to A. RTJ-13-2360. and Gross Ignorance of the Law. Leyte. Atty. Elmer Mape. maintain a separate cash book properly marked CASH BOOK FOR JUDICIARY DEVELOPMENT FUND. Branch 17. because he could no longer attend to the same due to his many vices. issue the proper receipt therefor. shall receive the Judiciary Development Fund collections. No. as his personal driver. 01-9-09-SC Ponente: Perlas-Bernabe. Branch 17 (RTC). against Judge Celso L. (e) committed gross ignorance of the law when. in one criminal case that he . and render the proper Monthly Report of Collections for said Fund. Dishonesty. Regional Trial Court of Palompon. Judge Celso L. Gross Violation of the Judicial Code of Conduct. November 19. Dorothy Fe Mah-Arevalo v. (d) delegated his work load to his legal researcher. Violation of Republic Act No. Dyndee Nuñez. deposit such collections in the manner herein prescribed. Leyte. No protestation of good faith can override the mandatory observance of court circulars. 3019. J. Court Stenographer of the Regional Trial Court of Palompon. No. Abuse of Authority. 2014 Facts: Dorothy Fe Mah-Arevalo (complainant). (b) openly brought his mistress in court as observed by all of his staff. Benjamin Pepito. It should be emphasized that the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court requires strict compliance with the rules and regulations of the collection and accounting funds Topic: Immorality and violation of SC Administrative Circular No. In fact. as his residence. (c) used the court process server. It was alleged that respondent: (a) used the Hall of Justice. Gross Neglect of Duty. especially by a former Utility Worker of the Metropolitan Trial Court of the same station.must be accountable officers.M. Mantua. particularly his chamber. Grave Misconduct. accusing him of Disgraceful/Immoral Conduct. filed before the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). Mantua (respondent) of the same court.M.

Similarly. and (g) failed to decide cases within the prescribed 90-day period because he was waiting for litigants to offer him monetary consideration. Issue: Whether the respondent should be held administratively liable for Immorality and violation of SC Administrative Circular No. and other benefits from the local government. Further.’" It is a serious charge which may be punishable by any of the following: (a) dismissal from service.00. 01-9-09-SC. and an inconsiderate attitude toward good order and public welfare. finding no reason for Nuñez to fabricate a story. 3-92 in relation to A.000. No. and dissoluteness. . Immorality has been defined "to include not only sexual matters but also ‘conduct inconsistent with rectitude. SC: Yes. or indicative of corruption. (f) asked for gasoline. 3-92 explicitly states that the Halls of Justice may only be used for functions related to the administration of justice and for no other purpose. The Investigating Justice. or shameless conduct showing moral indifference to opinions of respectable members of the community. depravity. SC Administrative Circular No. a prohibited act under SC Administrative Circular No. No. flagrant. In this case. or is willful. 01-9-09-SC. the Investigating Justice concluded that respondent indeed made his chamber in the Hall of Justice as his residence. since it is possible that a person could be renting one place while actually and physically residing in another. recommended that he be fined in the amount of 25. As correctly pointed out by both the Investigating Justice and the OCA.handled.M. personal allowance. and furthermore.000. Investigating Justice found respondent guilty of violating Canon 2 and Rule 2. respondent’s defense that he rented a house did not negate the possibility that he used the Hall of Justice as his residence. extorted money from the accused in the amount of P200.00.M.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. indecency. and accordingly. Giving credence to complainant’s consistent and spontaneous answers as well as her demeanor in the witness stand during her testimony. 3-92 and A. he proceeded to trial and allowed the private complainant to testify in open court even if the accused was not assisted by counsel. the Investigating Justice and the OCA correctly found respondent guilty of Immorality. exonerated respondent from the other charges for failure of the complainant to substantiate the same. the Investigating Justice also believed Nuñez’s testimony that respondent indeed brought his mistress and slept with her inside his chamber. complainant’s evidence had sufficiently established that respondent used his chambers in the Hall of Justice as his residential and dwelling place. however.

00 but not exceeding P40. and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office. thus. and if not repurchased within the said period. SALADAGA v. it was adequately proven that respondent engaged in an extramarital affair with his mistress." The deed also provided that respondent.. No. including government-owned or controlled corporations. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO FLORENCIO A. 2014 Facts: Herein complainant and respondent entered into a "Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase" on December 2.000. No. (b) suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months. ASTORGA. Breach of the Lawyer’s Oath Code of Professional Responsibility Ponente: J." . as vendor a retro. In the case at bar. Under the said deed. 4697/ A. respondent represented that he has "the perfect right to dispose as owner in fee simple" the subject property and that the said property is "free from all liens and encumbrances. November 25. had two years within which to repurchase the property. or (c) a fine of more than P20. 4728. There is no doubt that engaging in an extra marital affair is not only a violation of the moral standards expected of the members and employees of the judiciary but is also a desecration of the sanctity of the institution of marriage which the Court abhors and is.00. A.C.C. ATTY.forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine except accrued leave credits. 1981 involving a parcel of coconut land for P15. ARTURO B.00.000. punishable. "the parties shall renew the instrument/agreement.000.

2. T-662 was already cancelled by TCT No. Inc. complainant sought the disbarment of respondent. Complainant remained in peaceful possession of the property until December 1989 when he received letters from the Rural Bank of Albuera (Leyte). but it refrains from ordering respondent to return the P15. and subsequently obtained TCT No. that the bank had subsequently foreclosed on the property. and that complainant should therefore vacate the property. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the Investigating Commissioner’s Report and Recommendation with modification as follows: respondent is (1) suspended from the practice of law for two years. 1982 pursuant to a deed of sale dated March 27. the total amount would have exceeded P15. and respondent mortgaged the subject property to RBAI on March 14. T-3211 in the name of Philippine National Bank (PNB) as early as November 17. that TCT No.00 received in consideration of the pacto de retro sale. In both complaints.00 consideration. The administrative cases were referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. Complainant was alarmed and made an investigation. 1991.000. report and recommendation. if only complainant rendered an accounting of his benefits from the produce of the land. . T-3211 was cancelled by TCT No.000. T7235 in the names of respondent and his wife on January 4. 1984 for the latter to repurchase the property.000. Issues: 1.Respondent failed to exercise his right of repurchase within the period provided in the deed.1979 between PNB and respondent. (RBAI) informing him that the property was mortgaged by respondent to RBAI. respondent denied that his agreement with complainant was a pacto de retro sale. complainant instituted a criminal complaint for estafa and the instant administrative cases against respondent. Complainant was subsequently dispossessed of the property by RBAI. and (2) ordered to return the sum of P15. with legal interest. with warning that a similar misdeed in the future shall be dealt with more severity. 1984. SC: YES. Aggrieved.00. RBAI foreclosed on the property. Whether respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility. In his Consolidated Answer filed before the IBP. The Court agrees with the recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors to suspend respondent from the practice of law for two years. TP-10635 on March 27. He found out that TCT No. Whether respondent violated his oath as a lawyer. 1972 after foreclosure proceedings. and no renewal of the contract was made even after complainant sent respondent a final demand dated May 10. He claimed that it was an equitable mortgage and that. plus interest.

T-3211 in the name of PNB. T-7235 on January 4. All told. honesty. immoral or deceitful conduct. Canon 1 and Rule 1." He gravely violated his oath." and "conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion. clearly show a disregard for the highest standards of legal proficiency. To be "dishonest" means the disposition to lie. or barely a month after the execution of the said deed. Thus. T-662 under his name. HYPERLINK "http://www. falsehood.lawphil. and deceit when he entered into the "Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase" with the latter. as well as in the present administrative cases. defraud or betray. dishonest. disobedient to. 2. . Under Canon 1. honesty. respondent deserves to be sanctioned. a lawyer is not only mandated to personally obey the laws and the legal processes. Respondent dealt with complainant with bad faith. probity. even giving complainant the owner’s copy of the said certificate oftitle. lacking inintegrity. On the other hand.net/judjuris/juri2014/nov2014/ac_4697_2014.01 states the norm of conduct that is expected of all lawyers. Rule 1. deceive.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful." "Unlawful" conduct does not necessarily imply the element of criminality although the concept is broad enough to include such element. conduct that is "deceitful" means as follows: The actions of respondent in connection with the execution of the "Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase" clearly fall within the concept of unlawful. he is moreover expected to inspire respect and obedience thereto. integrity. and fair dealing required from lawyers. respondent’s actuations in his transaction with complainant. Rule 1. in defiance of. he took an oath where he undertook to "obey the laws. morality. or disregards the law is "unlawful. When respondent was admitted to the legal profession. when the truth is that the said TCT had already been cancelled some nine years earlier by TCT No. Regardless of whether the written contract between respondent and complainant is actually one of sale with pacto de retro or of equitable mortgage. integrity in principle. He made it appear that the property was covered by TCT No. fairness and straightforwardness." "do no falsehood. 1982.html" \l "fnt22" 22 Any act or omission that is contrary to. He did not even care to correct the wrong statement in the deed when he was subsequently issued a new copy of TCT No. prohibited or unauthorized by. and deceitful conduct.1. respondent clearly committed an act of gross dishonesty and deceit against complainant. be untrustworthy. dishonest. cheat. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes. for which respondent should be held administratively liable. On the other hand.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provide: CANON 1 – A lawyer shall uphold the constitution.

which caused undue delay in these administrative cases. let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so. . Respondent’s disregard of the directives of this Court and of the Investigating Commissioner. impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court processes. Rule 12. contravenes the following provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility: 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.03 – A lawyer shall not. violation of the laws. which caused delay in the resolution of these administrative cases. report and recommendation). CANON 12 – A lawyer shall exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. and dishonesty are compounded by his gross disregard of this Court’s directives. as well as the orders of the IBP’s Investigating Commissioner (who was acting as an agent of this Court pursuant to the Court’s referral of these cases to the IBP for investigation.Respondent’s breach of his oath. lack of good faith. Rule 12. the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for two years. after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings. Given the foregoing.04 – A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case. as recommended by the IBP Board of Governors. memoranda or briefs. is proper.

Commonwealth Avenue. not because he intends to practice law again. intentional and deliberate resort to falsehood and deception before the courts. Peter Church. this motion for reconsideration for the third petition to SC. He stressed that the penalty of disbarment has already taken its toll on his health. Anastacio E. 2009. Jr. He also stressed that in the years that he had been excluded from the practice of law.C. and to finally have peace of mind. Peter Parish. He expressed his sincere repentance and deep remorse by taking full responsibility for his misdemeanor. he has now become most frail and weak. and fraudulent and unauthorized appearances in court. As part of his petition. Revilla. but to be made whole. Revilla from the practice of law on the following grounds: abuse of court procedures and processes. Hence. proving that he and his family are dedicated parishioners. he devoted his time to Christian and charity pursuits serving with all humility as a Lay Minister and a regular lecturer on Legal Aspect of Marriage at St. maligning the name of his fellow lawyer. The respondent also pleads for clemency. Atty.Topic: Reinstatement of a Disbarred Attorney Ponente: PER CURIAM Conrado N. Quezon City. but the SC En Banc resolved to deny the petition for lack of merit. willful. the SC disbarred Atty. 2014 Facts: In a decision dated December 4. 7054 November 11.. and a certification19 from St. to recover from being shattered. The respondent filed a Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion praying that his license to practice law be restored based on humanitarian considerations. filing of multiple actions and forum-shopping. He also prayed that his disbarment be lifted and that he be reinstated as a member of the Philippine bar. he submitted a Medical Abstract evidencing his diagnosis for chronic kidney disease. Issue: attorneys Whether or not respondent be reinstated in the roll of . A. Que v. Quezon City. and he had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at stage five (5) and undergoing dialysis thrice weekly.

the duty of the Court is to determine whether he has established moral reformation and rehabilitation. Until such time when the respondent can demonstrate to the Court that he has completely rehabilitated himself and deserves to resume his membership in the Bar. however. his previous inclination to pass the blame to other individuals.SC: No. He failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he is again worthy of membership in the legal profession. SC thus entertain serious doubts that the respondent had completely reformed. While Revilla expressly stated in his appeal that he had taken full responsibility of his misdemeanor. and to make alibis for his wrongdoings. contradicted his assertion. the SC stressed that in considering his application for reinstatement to the practice of law. to invoke self-denial. Surely at this point. The respondent also failed to submit proof satisfactorily showing his contrition. disregarding its feeling of sympathy or pity. Our decision to disbar him from the practice of law stands. this requirement was not met. The Court sympathizes with the respondent's unfortunate physical condition. .

(b) it took respondent a long amount of time before moving to reconsider the RTC’s June 26. Marlito Villanueva is Felipe Layos’ counsel in a criminal case wherein the former’s constant failure to appear during court hearings resulted in the RTC’s issuance of an Order waiving the defense’s right to cross-examine a prosecution witness. Aggrieved.C. complainant was only able to move for reconsideration. However. Issue: Whether should be held administratively liable for the acts complained of. filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. complainant. Atty. Marlito I. Citing as basis such disquisition by the CA. Villanueva. 8085. Despite the issuance of such order.Topic: Neglect of Client’s interest Ponente: Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe Felipe Layos v. A. the petition was dismissed and CA likewise chastised respondent for his “lack of candidness and fervor on his part to champion the cause” of his client. only four (4) years later which was denied in an Order. No. inter alia: (a) respondent never bothered to know the outcome of the hearings where he was absent from. thru respondent. and (c) respondent never questioned the appearances of other lawyers as complainant’s counsel during his absence. SC: YES . Respondent denied being remiss in his duty as complainant’s counsel. also thru respondent. 2014 Facts: Atty. considering that. respondent remained absent and thus. 2003 Order. complainant filed the instant administrative case against respondent. IBP Commissioner found respondent administratively liable and recommended that he be suspended from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. December 1.

2003 Order which is prejudicial to complainant’s cause. the lawyer must constantly keep in mind that his actions.04 of the CPR. As such. and a client who deals with him has the right to expect not just a good amount of professional learning and competence but also a wholehearted fealty to the client’s cause. as it is crucial in maintaining the latter’s confidence. he passively relied on the representations of the court employees that they would send him a copy . respondent did not immediately seek any remedy to further the interests of his client. He should notify his client of any adverse decision to enable his client to decide whether to seek an appellate review thereof.Under Canon 17 and Canon 18. respondent no longer kept track of complainant’s criminal case and merely assumed that the same was already amicably settled and terminated. CANON 18 – A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. the lawyer is expected to be acquainted with the rudiments of law and legal procedure.03 and 18. Thereafter. omissions. 2005 hearing. xxxx Rule 18. The lawyer should not leave the client in the dark on how the lawyer is defending the client’s interests.04 – A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to client’s request for information. or nonfeasance would be binding upon his client. In the case at bar. Instead. records reveal that since missing the April 4. to wit: CANON 17 – A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM. As such. it is the duty of an attorney to inform his client of whatever important information he may have acquired affecting his client’s case. he attended the November 15. candor and diligence. it is the lawyer’s duty to serve his client’s interest with utmost zeal. Keeping the client informed of the developments of the case will minimize misunderstanding and loss of trust and confidence in the attorney. he must keep abreast of all the developments in his client’s case and should inform the latter of the same.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. 2002 hearing due to car trouble. and discovered the RTC’s issuance of the June 26. Rule 18. when respondent finally knew that the case was still on-going. Rules 18. and his negligence in connection there with shall render him liable. As an officer of the court. Despite such alarming developments. In this connection.

of the aforesaid Order. the RTC and the CA denied the motion for being filed way beyond the reglementary period. and diligence as men of the legal profession commonly possess and exercise in such matters of professional employment. respondent failed to exercise such skill. care. it nevertheless deems that the IBP’s recommended period of suspension of six (6) months is too harsh a penalty. 2007. just to move the RTC to reconsider its June 26. Lawyers are indispensable part of the whole system of administering justice in this jurisdiction. Worse. does honor to the bar. It must be stressed that public interest requires that an attorney exert his best efforts in the prosecution or defense of a client’s cause. At a time when strong and disturbing criticisms are being hurled at the legal profession. it still took him over a year. Naturally. he also serves the ends of justice. 2006. Clearly. to the detriment of complainant. getting other lawyers referred to him by his friends despite having a counsel of record. . when he finally secured a copy on April 4. and being indifferent despite being informed of a standing warrant of arrest against him. or until April 21. and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession. strict compliance with one’s oath of office and the canons of professional ethics is an imperative. 2003 Order. This is evidenced by complainant not communicating with respondent. given the complainant’s seeming disinterest in the developments of his own case. must be suspended from the practice of law. While the Court agrees that respondent should be held administratively liable for the foregoing acts and thus. A lawyer who performs that duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interests of his client.

Garcia received by registered mail the Compliance. Commissioner Salvador B. Atty. Magsalin and Cruz must have induced Calucag to alter the true date of receipt of the Notice of Resolution or at least had the knowledge thereof when she signed and stamped on the 2nd return receipt the date . Magsalin was delivered by Postman Pecante and duly received by Calucag on July 16. 2007. Magsalin and Cruz stood to benefit from the additional seven (7) days derived from the alleged altered date as they. in fact. As the records would show. PHI moved for reconsideration of the said CA decision. S-114 addressed to Atty. the motion for extension of time to file a petition for review on certiorari. 2009 Report and Recommendation. based on the log book of postman Pecante. filed by PHI. 2007. Rasing v. and the petition for review on certiorari filed before this Court. In the October 25. On July 10. Cruz. They contended that Attys. Effect of contributory cause on complainant’s side Ponente: Justice Jose Mendoza Raul C. The complainants claimed that Attys. 7687 and 7688.Topic: Violation of the code of professional responsibility and lawyer’s oath. The complainants insinuated that Atty. 2007 Resolution. used the altered date in their subsequent pleading. 2007. Garcia requested the Quezon City Central Post Office (QCCPO) to issue a certification as to the date of the actual receipt of the said Notice of Resolution by the PRC Law Office. dated July 26. Nos. Wondering about the delay in the delivery of the registered mail to the respondents. Atty. the CA rendered a decision favoring Lanuza and directing PHI to reinstate him with full backwages. Atty. but the CA denied the motion in its July 4. 2007 based on the Registry Return Receipt (2nd return receipt) sent back to the CA. Frankie O. Garcia received by registered mail the Notice of Resolution from the CA. stated that the Registered Letter No. Magsalin III and Pablo R. Lanuza and Reynaldo C. Thereafter. Magsalin and Cruz falsely alleged such in the compliance filed before the CA. Cruz deliberately misled the CA and this Court by filing the above-mentioned pleadings with the full knowledge that they were already time barred. . it was stated that the Notice of Resolution was received on July 23. 2007. A. In its March 9. 2007. Magsalin and Atty. 2014 Facts: On March 23. Chief of the Records Section Fallarme. through the PRC Law Office.July 23. 2007 Certification issued by the QCCPO.C. Attys. In the said Compliance. Hababag (Commissioner Hababag) recommended that the administrative complaint be dismissed for lack of merit. December 03. Attys.

Magsalin. thus. . the Court finds the evidentiary records to be inconclusive. there is no clear and convincing evidence to prove that the respondents intentionally and maliciously made it appear that they received the CA notices. Though there is a variance between the QCCPO Certifications and the Registry Return Receipts as to the dates of the CA receipt of the notices. The Court exercises its disciplinary power only if the complainant establishes the complaint by clearly preponderant evidence that warrants the imposition of the harsh penalty. decision and resolution later than the dates stated in the QCCPO Certifications. The complainants would like to impress upon the Court that the only logical explanation as to the discrepancy on the dates between the QCCPO Certifications and the Registry Return Receipts was that the respondents must have induced Calucag to alter the true date of receipt by the CA for the purpose of extending the period to file. Cruz and Go should be held administratively liable based on the allegations in the complaints.Issue: Whether Attys. motion for reconsideration. SC: NO The burden of proof in disbarment and suspension proceedings always rests on the complainant. An attorney is further presumed as an officer of the Court to have performed his duties in accordance with his oath. insufficient to hold the respondents liable for the acts alleged in the complaint. Verily. this leap of inference proffered by the complainants is merely anchored on speculation and conjecture and not in any way supported by clear substantial evidence required to justify the imposition of an administrative penalty on a member of the Bar. an attorney enjoys the legal presumption that he is innocent of the charges made against him until the contrary is proved. the otherwise time-barred. In the cases at bench. decision and resolution by the respondents. As a rule.

in its Resolution. Bagay. 2008 and returned on April 8. Jr. 8103. Aurelio Angeles.. Upon his own inquiry. Upon verification with the Bureau of Immigration. Atty. 2009. When CBD Director Alicia Risos-Vidal required Atty. v. December 03. Renato C. it was found out that a certain Renato C. This Court. Angeles. Jr. and endorsement of. resolved to note the letter of Atty. Jr. The letter contained the affidavits of the persons who caused the documents to be notarized which showed a common statement that they did not see respondent sign the documents himself and it was either the secretary who signed them or the documents came out of the office already signed. among others.. 2008 stating. 2008. The said secretary notarized the documents without realizing the import of the notarization act. Bagay departed from the country on March 13. Respondent apologized to the Court for his lapses and . Angeles. and require respondent to comment on the said letter. 2008 Letter was not intended to be a formal complaint but rather “a report on. dated September 30. 2008 to April 8. to Hon. public documents by Atty. to formalize the complaint. Jr. he found out that the notarizations were done by his secretary and without his knowledge and authority. the Provincial Legal Officer of Bataan. No.” and that any advice on how to consider or treat the documents concerned would be welcome. Atty. On December 3. for his alleged notarization of 18 documents at the time he was out of the country from March 13. Angeles. 2008. In his comment respondent claimed that he was not aware that those were documents notarized using his name while he was out of the country. A. Escalada. Remigio M. The copy of the Certification issued by the Bureau of Immigration was also attached to the letter. 2008. Renato Bagay. These documents were endorsed to the Provincial Legal Office by the Provincial Treasurer who had information that they were notarized while respondent was outside the country. 2014 Facts: A letter was submitted by Atty..C. Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Bataan against Atty. 2008. Jr. the latter replied on September 30. Bagay while he was out of the country. dated February 2. that his June 11. Aurelio C. Risos-Vidal opted to endorse the matter to the Office of the Bar Confidant for appropriate action.Topic: Notarization by the office secretary in the absence of the lawyer Ponente: Justice Jose Mendoza Atty.

Abelita III as Investigating Commissioner found that the letter of Atty. respondent failed to live up to the standard required by the Rules on Notarial Practice. This clearly constitutes negligence considering that respondent is responsible for the acts of his secretary. observed that respondent’s signature on his comment appeared to be strikingly similar to the signatures in most of the attached documents which he admitted were notarized in his absence by his office secretary. Felimon C. He kept his notarial seal and register within the reach of his secretary.. He is responsible for the acts of the secretary which he employed. Issue: Whether the notarization of documents by the secretary of respondent while he was out of the country constituted negligence. SC: YES Respondent admitted in his comment and motion for reconsideration that the 18 documents were notarized under his notarial seal by his office secretary while he was out of the country. Angeles. Respondent cannot take refuge in his claim that it was his secretary’s act which he did not authorize. Abelita III. The Court then referred the case to the IBP for investigation. He left his office open to the public while leaving his secretary in charge. Atty. report and recommendation. Section 9 of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that a “Notary Public” refers to any person commissioned to perform official acts under these Rules. his notarial seal and records especially pertaining to his notarial documents without the proper training. dated September 28. by his own admission. Thus. that most of the attachments were not authenticated photocopies and that the comment of respondent was likewise not verified. The report and Recommendation of Atty. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the said recommendation in its Resolution. dated June 11. it was established that by his negligence in employing an office secretary who had access to his office. Such blatant negligence . was not verified. 2008. fully aware that his secretary could use these items to notarize documents and copy his signature. Jr. 2013 immediate revocation of respondent’s commission as notary public and his disqualification to be commissioned as such for a period of two (2) years. He admitted the fact that there were documents that were notarized while he was abroad and his signature was affixed by his office secretary who was not aware of the import of the act. however.averred that he had terminated the employment of his secretary from his office. A notary public’s secretary is obviously not commissioned to perform the official acts of a notary public.

should have placed him on guard and could have prevented possible violations of his notarial duty. Respondent violated Canon 9 of the CPR which requires lawyers not to directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law. Where the notary public is a lawyer. By his sheer negligence. were clueless as to the illegality of the activity being conducted therein. Respondent claims that for the 21 years that he has been practicing law.cannot be countenanced by this Court and it is far from being a simple negligence. They expected that their documents would be converted into public documents. he virtually allowed his secretary to notarize documents without any restraint. thus. 18 documents were notarized by an unauthorized person and the public was deceived. Instead. however. he acted as a notary public without any blemish and this was his first and only infraction. Because of the negligence of respondent. which directs every lawyer to uphold at all times the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. Such prejudicial act towards the public cannot be tolerated by this Court. He cannot relieve himself of this responsibility by passing the buck to his secretary. By leaving his office open despite his absence in the country and with his secretary in charge. they later found out that the . be held liable for such negligence not only as a notary public but also as a lawyer. As to his plea of leniency. Due to his negligence that allowed his secretary to sign on his behalf as notary public. His failure to solemnly perform his duty as a notary public not only damaged those directly affected by the notarized documents but also undermined the integrity of a notary public and degraded the function of notarization. a graver responsibility is placed upon his shoulder by reason of his solemn oath to obey the laws and to do no falsehood or consent to the doing of any. Respondent must fully bear the consequence of his negligence. There is an inescapable likelihood that respondent’s flimsy excuse was a mere afterthought and such carelessness exhibited by him could be a conscious act of what his secretary did. he allowed an unauthorized person to practice law. the Court also holds him liable for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR). A person who is commissioned as a notary public takes full responsibility for all the entries in his notarial register. the penalty of revocation of notarial commission and disqualification from reappointment as Notary Public for two (2) years is appropriate. His experience. The people who came into his office while he was away. the Court cannot consider it. Respondent also violated his obligation under Canon 7 of the CPR. Thus. He should.

Respondent should remember that a notarial commission is a privilege and a significant responsibility. and the administrative offices in general.notarization of their documents was a mere sham and without any force and effect. Thus. Let this serve as a reminder to the members of the legal profession that the Court will not take lightly complaints of unauthorized acts of notarization. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case. routinary act. It is a privilege granted only to those who are qualified to perform duties imbued with public interest. their faith in the integrity and dignity of the legal profession was eroded. . As we have declared on several occasions. Otherwise. It is invested with substantive public interest. the confidence of the public in the integrity of public instruments would be undermined. It must be underscored that notarization by a notary public converts a private document into a public document. notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic requirements in the performance of their duties. making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of its authenticity. such that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notary public. The protection of that interest necessarily requires that those not qualified or authorized to act must be prevented from imposing upon the public. meaningless. the courts. notarization is not an empty. an additional penalty of suspension from the practice of law for three (3) months is in order. By prejudicing the persons whose documents were notarized by an unauthorized person. especially when the trust and confidence reposed by the public in our legal system hang in the balance.

A.” Complainant obliged the request and gave respondent the sum of P22. complainant referred the matter to respondent who recommended the immediate filing of a case for reformation of contract with damages. 10579. Tierra Realty and Development Corporation. No.00 or P50. December 10.000. 2010. as filing fee. 2014 Facts: IBP. On August 31.00 “in the moment of urgency or emergency.00 shall be paid later after favorable judgment. Respondent was notarized a deed of absolute sale which the complainant entered into with Tierra Realty. respondent insisted that the remaining amount and complainant handed to respondent the amount of P25.000. Respondent asked for a loan of P100. Being aware that Tierra Realty was attempting to transfer to its name a lot she had previously purchased. when she personally checked the status of the case with the court. Respondent requested and received from complainant the amount of P150.000. but he was not there.00. 2010.00 and the balance of P25.000. payable in sixty (60) days. Not having been notified by respondent.00 per trial court records. received a complaint filed by Erlinda Foster against respondent for “unlawful.000.Topic: Violation of Code of Professional Responsibility Ponente: PER CURIAM Erlinda Foster v.000. She went to the office of respondent. Respondent was directed to answer but failed to do so. complainant learned of the dismissal on December 14.C. 2010.00. respondent requested an amount of P70. On November 2. 2010. Complainant agreed to engage his legal services for the filing of the appropriate case in court.00. thru its Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD).000. Instead. immoral and deceitful” acts as a lawyer. for which they signed a contract and complainant paid the acceptance fee and for incidental expenses. Later. for the repair of his car to which the complainant agreed without interest. . respondent demanded the sum of P50.000.000. complainant confirmed that the fees paid for the filing of Civil Case No. only amounted to P22. Complainant expressed gave the amount of P25. entitled Erlinda Foster v. 2010. Atty. On April 23.00.00. complainant’s case was dismissed. Jaime Agtang. On September 29. dishonest.410. 14791-65. purportedly to be given to the judge in exchange for a favorable ruling. one of the office staff gave her a copy of the order of dismissal.

complainant requested respondent to pay her the amounts he received from her less the contract fee and the actual cost of the filing fees.0. Upon reading the same. probity. On February 2. On January 18. Subsequently. The Court also differs on the penalty. complainant discovered that these matters were not so included. Investigating Commissioner found respondent guilty of ethical impropriety and recommended his suspension from the practice of law for one (1) year. The test is whether his conduct shows him to be wanting in moral character. on representing conflicting interests. As a lawyer. and good demeanor. honesty. A lawyer may be disciplined for misconduct committed either in his professional or private capacity. 2011. however.” It is well-established that a lawyer’s conduct is “not confined to the performance of his professional duties. Respondent never replied. Complainant was also told that oral arguments on the case had been set the following month. 2011. 2010. On the same occasion. he . Issue: Whether Responsibility respondent violated the Code of Professional SC: YES The Court sustains the findings and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner with respect to respondent’s violation of Rules 1 and 16 of the CPR.” In this case.00 on respondent’s directive for the reimbursement of the value of a bottle of wine given to the judge as a present. dishonest. immoral or deceitful conduct.500. or whether it renders him unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. respondent is guilty of engaging in dishonest and deceitful conduct.On December 15. Rule 1. however. provides that “a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. The Court. respondent’s driver delivered to complainant a copy of the reply with a message from him that the matters she requested to be included were mentioned therein. modifies the conclusion on his alleged violation of Rule 15. after her friend gave her copies of documents showing that respondent had been acquainted with Tierra Realty since December 2007. Canon 1 of the CPR. complainant decided to terminate the services of respondent as her counsel. both in his professional and private capacity. respondent visited complainant and gave her a copy of the motion for reconsideration. the driver also asked for P2.

Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics. the client. the lawyer is bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for the intended purpose. the lawyer must immediately return the money to the client. who was then plagued with the rigors of litigation. It is clear that respondent failed to fulfill this duty. Consequently. he could not deny the authenticity of the receipts presented by complainant. It impairs public confidence in the legal profession and deserves punishment. when in truth. consistent with the values of honesty and good faith expected of all members of the legal profession. it is highly improbable that complainant. His defense that it was complainant who suggested that amount deserves no iota of credence. Worse. Moreover. if the lawyer does not use the money for the intended purpose. He demanded the amount of P150. In other words. As pointed out. 2010. When a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose. At this juncture.410. he received various amounts from complainant but he could not account for all of them.00 as filing fee. due to feigned reasons such as the high value of the land involved and the extra expenses to be incurred by court employees. A lawyer’s failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client. As a lawyer. he resorted to overpricing. complainant’s case was dismissed as early as September 29.clearly misled complainant into believing that the filing fees for her case were worth more than the prescribed amount in the rules. still. he failed to return the excess money from the alleged filing fees and other expenses.00. an act customarily related to depravity and dishonesty. For one. and in violation of the trust reposed in him by. Assuming that the complainant was more than willing to shell out an exorbitant amount just to initiate her complaint with the trial court. the same amounted only to P22.” Money entrusted to a lawyer for a specific purpose but not used for the purpose should be immediately returned. respondent proved himself to be negligent in . he is not only expected to be knowledgeable in the matter of filing fees.000. His possession gives rise to the presumption that he has misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of. As it turned out. but he is likewise duty-bound to disclose to his client the actual amount due. would propose such amount that would further burden her financial resources. 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. respondent should not have accepted the excessive amount. Upon demand.

Lawyers are instruments for the administration of justice and vanguards of our legal system.his duty as he failed to inform his client of the status of the case. respondent has not yet paid his obligations to complainant. The loans of P100. albeit unrelated to the actual practice of his profession. which include prompt payment of financial obligations. respondent must be found guilty of misconduct on both scores. he requested from his client. Unfortunately. They must. at all times. The acts of requesting and receiving money as loans from his client and thereafter failing to pay the same are indicative of his lack of integrity and sense of fair dealing. but also covers any misconduct which. They are expected to maintain not only legal proficiency. the Court has consistently held that deliberate failure to pay just debts constitutes gross misconduct. Verily.” the reference is not confined to one’s behavior exhibited in connection with the performance of the lawyer’s professional duties. not just one. Nowhere in the records. honesty.” In his private capacity.00 were surely not protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. when the Code or the Rules speaks of “conduct” or “misconduct. for which a lawyer may be sanctioned with suspension from the practice of law.000. was it implied that these loans fell within the exceptions provided by the rules. Surely. when in the interest of justice.04. but two loans of considerable amounts. the courts and their clients. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except. the Court finds it proper to modify the findings of the Investigating Commissioner who concluded that complainant presented . would show him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which his license and the law vest him with.000. Records reveal that he likewise violated Rule 16. integrity and fair dealing so that the people’s faith and confidence in the judicial system is ensured. but also a high standard of morality. Respondent’s unbecoming conduct towards complainant did not stop here. to the bar. he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client. and left the client to personally inquire with the court. With respect to respondent’s alleged representation of conflicting interests. particularly in the defenses raised by respondent. which states that “a lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. respondent was not only guilty of misconduct but was also remiss in his duty to his client. Canon 16 of the CPR.00 and P22. Up to the present. faithfully perform their duties to society. Time and again.

” The appropriate penalty for an errant lawyer depends on the exercise of sound judicial discretion based on the surrounding facts. even disbarred or suspended from his office as an attorney. fairness and loyalty in all dealings and transactions with the client.insufficient evidence of respondent’s “lawyering” for the opposing party. Needless to state. for violation of the lawyer’s oath and/or for breach of the ethics of the legal profession as embodied in the CPR. a lawyer must decline professional employment if the same would trigger the violation of the prohibition against conflict of interest. but also because of the principles of public policy and good taste. is duty-bound to observe candor. The only exception provided in the rules is a written consent from all the parties after full disclosure. Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. Tierra Realty. a form of public trust. For the practice of law is “a profession. the lawyer. There is substantial evidence to hold respondent liable for representing conflicting interests in handling the case of complainant against Tierra Realty. a client can only entrust confidential information to his/her lawyer based on an expectation from the lawyer of utmost secrecy and discretion. Rule 15. Once this confidence is abused or violated the entire profession suffers. the performance of which is entrusted to those who are qualified and who possess good moral character.03. Canon 15 of the CPR. provides that “a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interest except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. The representation of conflicting interests is prohibited “not only because the relation of attorney and client is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. Part of the lawyer’s duty in this regard is to avoid representing conflicting interests. even if lucrative fees offered by prospective clients are at stake. An attorney has the duty to deserve the fullest confidence of his client and represent him with undivided loyalty.” Penalties and Pecuniary Liabilities A member of the Bar may be penalized. a . a corporation to which he had rendered services in the past.” 33 Thus. The Court deviates from the findings of the IBP. This is the standard of confidentiality that must prevail to promote a full disclosure of the client’s most confidential information to his/her lawyer for an unhampered exchange of information between them. Under Section 27. for his part.” The relationship between a lawyer and his/her client should ideally be imbued with the highest level of trust and confidence.

All told. the courts and society render him unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed in him as a member of the Bar.” The Court likewise aims to ensure the proper and honest administration of justice by “purging the profession of members who. Here. by their misconduct. (2) malpractice or other gross misconduct in office. in the exercise of its disciplinary powers. (6) willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court. “the Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession. respondent deserves no less than the penalty of disbarment. which shows him to be wanting in moral character. have proven themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of an attorney. (5) violation of the lawyer's oath. or unworthy to continue as an officer of the court.” . honesty. The acts of the respondent constitute malpractice and gross misconduct in his office as attorney. For taking advantage of the unfortunate situation of the complainant. whether in his professional or private capacity.member of the Bar may be disbarred or suspended on any of the following grounds: (1) deceit. and (7) willful appearance as an attorney for a party without authority. His incompetence and appalling indifference to his duty to his client. and for representing conflicting interests. (4) conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. in general. the public. respondent demonstrated not just a negligent disregard of his duties as a lawyer but a wanton betrayal of the trust of his client and. (3) grossly immoral conduct. for engaging in dishonest and deceitful conduct. for undermining the trust and faith of the public in the legal profession and the entire judiciary. probity and good demeanor. for maligning the judge and the Judiciary. A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for misconduct.

She felt even more betrayed when she read the affidavit of Atty. Edgar B. December 10. she usually conferred with Atty. Francisco administratively liable for multiple violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended the penalty of suspension of one (1) year from the practice of law. Without admitting the truth of the allegations in his affidavit. the principal documents relative to the sale and transfer of Clarion’s property were all prepared and drafted by Atty. on whom she relied as her personal lawyer and Clarion Realty and Development Corporation’s corporate counsel and secretary of Clarion. Complainant was shocked upon reading the allegations in the complaint for estafa filed by Jimenez against her. Issue: Whether there were Violations of Canons 1 and 10 of the CPR and the Lawyer’s Oath SC: YES Canon 1 and Rule 1. Francisco for representing conflicting interests. Francisco or the members of his law office. Rule 1. According to her. OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES. Atty. . Lawyer-client Privilege Ponente: Justice Jose Mendoza Caroline Castañeda Jimenez v. Francisco regarding the legal implications of Clarion’s transactions.C. Edgar B. IBP-BOG adopted and approved the findings of the CBD which found Atty.Topic: Violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Lawyers Oath. Francisco for multiple violations of the CPR. Francisco. Francisco was the one who actively participated in the transactions involving the sale of the Forbes property.0 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. No. Francisco. A. 2014 Facts: Commission on Bar Discipline received a complaint filed by Caroline Castañeda Jimenez against Atty. complainant argued that its execution clearly betrayed the trust and confidence she reposed on him as a lawyer. dishonest. This prompted her to file a disciplinary case against Atty. 10548. Atty. immoral or deceitful conduct.01 of the CPR provide: CANON 1 – A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION. More significantly.

honesty.Canon 1 clearly mandates the obedience of every lawyer to laws and legal processes. His responsibility to protect and advance the interests of his client does not warrant a course of action propelled by ill motives and malicious intentions. be unworthy. fairness and straightforwardness while conduct that is “deceitful” means the proclivity for fraudulent and deceptive misrepresentation. To be “dishonest” means the disposition to lie. it is imperative that they live by the law. deceive. To the best of his ability. It needs to be emphasized that the lawyer's fidelity to his client must not be pursued at the expense of truth and justice. he also took an oath to “obey the laws. Francisco was admitted to the Bar.” and conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion. A lawyer’s personal deference to the law not only speaks of his character but it also inspires respect and obedience to the law.” “do no falsehood. to the prejudice and damage of the party imposed upon. but also known to possess good moral character. or in defiance of. avoid any act or omission that is contrary thereto. integrity in principle. states the norm of conduct to be observed by all lawyers. Lawyers should act and comport themselves with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach. he must do so only within the bounds of the law. in order to promote the public’s faith in the legal profession. a lawyer is expected to respect and abide by the law and.” “Unlawful” conduct does not necessarily imply the element of criminality although the concept is broad enough to include such element. Any act or omission that is contrary to. artifice or device that is used upon another who is ignorant of the true facts. While a lawyer owes absolute fidelity to the cause of his client. lacking in integrity. Time and again. thus. the Court has reminded lawyers that their support for the cause of their clients should never be attained at the expense of truth and justice. on the other hand.0. or disregards the law is “unlawful. Membership in the legal profession is bestowed upon individuals who are not only learned in law. . full devotion to his genuine interest. but such statement can never be overemphasized. or prohibited or unauthorized by. probity. on the part of the public. defraud or betray. cheat. as well as the exertion of his utmost learning and ability. Considering that. and must be held within the bounds of reason and common sense. [lawyers are] most sacredly bound to uphold the law. and warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights. disobedient to. 19 “To say that lawyers must at all times uphold and respect the law is to state the obvious. of all classes and professions.” When Atty. Rule 1.

and it is by reason of this relationship that the client made the communication. even if lucrative fees offered by prospective clients are at stake. “a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.03. the Court deviates from the findings of the IBP-BOG. the Court elucidated on the factors essential to establish the existence of the said privilege. This is the standard of confidentiality that must prevail to promote a full disclosure of the client’s most confidential information to his/her lawyer for an unhampered exchange of information between them. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with the client. is duty-bound to observe candor. the rule on lawyer-client privilege does not apply. viz: In fine. so far as the client is aware. Francisco’s alleged representation of conflicting interests and disclosure of privileged communication. Canon 15 of the CPR provides that. a lawyer must decline professional employment if the same would trigger a violation of the prohibition against conflict of interest. In Mercado v. Vitriolo. a client can only entrust confidential information to his/her lawyer based on an expectation from the lawyer of utmost secrecy and discretion. discloses the information to no third person other than one reasonably necessary for the transmission . for his part.Rule on Conflicting Communication Interests and Disclosure of Privileged With respect to Atty. the lawyer. Part of the lawyer’s duty in this regard is to avoid representing conflicting interests…” Thus.” “The relationship between a lawyer and his/her client should ideally be imbued with the highest level of trust and confidence. or a prospective attorney-client relationship. The client must intend the communication to be confidential. Consequently. The mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a presumption of confidentiality. Rule 15. Needless to state. (2) The client made the communication in confidence. the factors are as follows: (1) There exists an attorney-client relationship. A confidential communication refers to information transmitted by voluntary act of disclosure between attorney and client in confidence and by means which.

the Court holds that the evidence on record fails to demonstrate the claims of complainant. Our jurisprudence on the matter rests on quiescent ground. The communication must have been transmitted by a client to his attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice. but for the purpose of seeking legal advice from his attorney as to his rights or obligations. the element of confidentiality not being present. If the client seeks an accounting service. a compromise agreement prepared by a lawyer pursuant to the instruction of his client and delivered to the opposing party. are not privileged communications. or business or personal assistance. Francisco. The records are further bereft of any indication that the “advice” regarding the sale of the Forbes property was given to Atty. Francisco in confidence. . The communication made by a client to his attorney must not be intended for mere information. As discussed. the complainant failed to establish the professional relationship between her and Atty.of the information or the accomplishment of the purpose for which it was given. Considering these factors in the case at bench. (3) The legal advice must be sought from the attorney in his professional capacity. the privilege does not attach to a communication disclosed for such purpose. an offer and counteroffer for settlement. and not legal advice. Thus. or a document given by a client to his counsel not in his professional capacity.

Retaining Lien Ponente: Justice Marvic Leonen Spouses Nicasio and Donelita San Pedro v. The Investigating Commissioner found that respondent violated Canon 16. They gave respondent a check for P68.C. Violation of a lawyer’s duty under the Code of Professional Responsibility. 5440. Respondent still did not return the money.800. to complainants. November 26.00 for respondent’s professional fee. Complainants subsequently referred the case to the barangay. Mendoza. Atty. Respondent refused to return the amount complainants gave for the transfer taxes. 2014 Facts: Complainants engaged the services of respondent to facilitate the transfer of title to property.250. A.Topic: Disbarment. Rule 16. SC: YES 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.00 for the payment of transfer taxes and a check for P13. Isagani A. They also sent a letter demanding the refund of the money intended for the transfer taxes. Respondent failed to produce the title despite complainants’ repeated follow-ups. in the name of Isabel Azcarraga Marcaida. . Complainants were then issued a certificate to file action.” 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 . Rules 16.01 – A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION. Any conduct that shows a violation of the norms and values of the legal profession exposes the lawyer to administrative liability. Issue: 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.01 and 16. No.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended the disciplinary action of “censure and warning”.

he must immediately return it to the 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. he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client. respondent failed to accomplish the task given to him and even refused to return the money. Unlawful retention of client's funds. he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions. 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. 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. The lawyer’s failure to return the client’s 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. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except. However. Respondent admitted that there were delays in the transfer of title of property to complainants’ name. Similarly. but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. 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. — When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded. . after three (3) years and several demands from complainants. he should promptly account to the client how the money was spent. when in the interest of justice.Rule 16.04 – A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Rule 16. Section 25 of the Rules of Court provides: Section 25. Rule138. However. If he does not use the money for its intended purpose. Rule 16.03 – A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. A lawyer’s duty under Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is clear.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.02 – A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. He continuously assured complainants that he would still fulfill his duty. giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. contempt.

(2) lawful possession of the client’s funds. The enumeration of cases he worked on for complainants remains unsubstantiated. He did not present evidence as to an unsatisfied claim for attorney’s fees. When there is no unsatisfied claim for attorney’s fees. documents and papers. A valid retaining lien has the following elements: (1) lawyer-client relationship. the attorney’s retaining lien is a general lien for the balance of the account between the attorney and his client. Further. . and (3) unsatisfied claim for attorney’s fees. Respondent did not satisfy all the elements of a valid retaining lien. lawyers cannot validly retain their client’s funds or properties. and applies to the documents and funds of the client which may come into the attorney’s possession in the course of his employment.Respondent’s assertion of a valid lawyer’s lien is also untenable.

98-July-817 that was adverse to Bahala. and paid her monthly rentals. 1. Sheriff III.000.Topic: Sheriff's duties as an agent of the law Ponente: Lucas Bersamin Conchita Bahala vs. Sheriff Duca served the writ of execution. By the end of the two-year extension. pursuant to which Bahala paid the balance of the money judgment. The amount was allegedly his erroneous computation of the rentals-in-arrears due because it was not based on the decision of the RTC. (I will do what I want. He subsequently forcibly removed all the personal belongings of the actual occupants of the building. and that she had given him either P200. Consequently. walay makabuot sa ako.M. Sheriff Duca proceeded with the auction sale on May 13. Pending appeal.7 and awarded the building to the plaintiff as the sole and highest bidder. She delivered the amount demanded on a Saturday at the Hall of Justice in the company of her friend. Cagayan De Oro City A. remained in the premises during the agreed extension of two years. Br. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) rendered a judgment on the compromise agreement of the parties.000. Without filing his return on the writ.00 as the rentals-in-arrears due and demandable. she offered to sell the building standing on the property that she had supposedly built in good faith. On August 1. that Sheriff Duca had served the writ on her more than 10 times. Bahala averred. Cirilo Duca. and warned Bahala and her lessees not to re-enter the premises. 2003. akong ning i-padlock ang imong building. 2015 Facts: On August 6. the MTCC rendered judgment in Civil Case No. Helen Peligro.00 each time. stating the amount of P210. and placed them outside the building and along the street. 1999. he retorted: Akong himuon ang akong gusto. Bahala opposed the sale. too. MTCC. I will padlock your building and nobody will . No. Not wanting to pay for the building.00 from her in order to delay its implementation. 2002. but demanded P2.00 or P100. 2003. He padlocked the building. In 2003. P-08-2465 January 12. When she told him that his act was illegal. Sheriff Duca served a notice of auction sale on February 21. The RTC ruled in her favor. Despite the clear order of the RTC. she started to evade Sheriff Duca whenever heserved the writ. the plaintiff opted to execute the judgment.

stop me from doing this). It also found Sheriff Duca liable for simple neglect of duty for not complying with the requirements of Section 14. As an agent of the law. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Section 14. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court requires a sheriff implementing a writ of execution (1) to make and submit a return to the court immediately upon satisfaction in part or in full of the judgment. and for adopting the computation of arrears made by the plaintiff. Accordingly. He cannot afford to err while serving the court’s writs and processes without affecting the integrity of his office and the efficient administration of justice. a sheriff must discharge his duties with due care and utmost diligence. to make a report to the court within 30 days after his receipt of the writ and state why full satisfaction could not be made. and recommended his suspension without pay for six months and one day with stern warning against the commission of similar acts or omissions. that his "job was not . Lloren found and concluded that Sheriff Duca had committed simple misconduct for not filing his periodic report on the writ pursuant to Section 14. Although Sheriff Duca thrice served the writ on Bahala. Judge Lloren recommended that Sheriff Duca be suspended for six months and one day without pay. He shall continue making the report every 30 days in the proceedings undertaken by him until the judgment is fully satisfied in order to apprise the court on the status of the execution and to take necessary steps to ensure speedy execution of decisions. she started to voluntarily demolish the building. In his report.15 He is not given any discretion on the implementation of a writ of execution. and (2) if the judgment cannot be satisfied infull. Later that afternoon.then Executive Judge Edgardo T. SC: No. he must strictly abide by the prescribed procedure to avoid liability. and that the charges for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act be dismissed for lack of merit. and referred it to the Executive Judge of the RTC in Cagayan de Oro City for investigation and recommendation. Issue: Whether or not the recommended penalty is proper. threatening to file a case against her otherwise. 2003 after her property had been levied and sold on public auction. but he ordered her to stop the demolition. he filed his return only on October 7. The Court resolved to re-docket this case as a regular administrative matter. His excuses for his omission. The OCA agreed with Judge Lloren’s finding that Sheriff Duca had committed simple misconduct in basing the amount stated in the notice of auction sale on the computation submitted by the plaintiff. hence. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Sheriff Duca denied all the allegations.

the OCA correctly observed: As deputy sheriff. 2002. respondent could not be unaware of Section 14. Respondent though belatedly submitted his sheriff’s return and furnished a copy thereof to the complainant only on October 7. it was only more than a year later or on October 7. he was not even sure on when he first served the writ of execution upon complainant but admitted of having served the same at least three (3) times yet he failed to timely make a sheriff’s return as required under Section 14." and that he had informedthe plaintiff on the status of its implementation. 2005. A careful perusal of the records show that the writ of execution was issued on August 1. it enjoined respondent sheriff from proceeding with the auction sale of defendant’s property and directed him to execute the parties’ agreement regarding ejectment and removal of defendants’ buildings/structures from the leased property of the plaintiff. 2003. did not exculpate him from administrative liability. The court officer is likewise tasked to make a report to the court every thirty (30) days on the proceedings taken thereon until the judgment is satisfied in full or its effectivity expires. 2003 that in its Order dated May 5. .yet finished. Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure x x x xxxx Based on the foregoing. In this regard. the officer shall report to the court and state the reason or reasons therefore. Rule 39 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. 2003 when respondent sheriff was able to file his return of the writ. If the judgment cannot be satisfied in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ. because there is no question that the failure to file a return on the writ constituted "simple neglect of duty. signifying a disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference. the court was obviously unaware of the auction sale of defendant’s property conducted by respondent-sheriff on March 3. The raison d’ etrebehind this requirement is to update the court on the status of the execution and to take necessary steps to ensurethe speedy execution of decision. Due to respondent’s failure to make a timely return and periodic progress report of the writ. it is mandatory for a sheriff to make a return of the writ of execution to the court issuing it. 2003. 2003. subject property was already auctioned and awarded to plaintiff. By then. In his testimony before the investigating judge on March 7. being the highest bidder and defendant’s agents already ejected from subject property per his Sheriff’s Return of Service dated October 7. However." defined as the failure of an employee to give his attention to the task expected of him.

14. he must verify the amount from the court itself. It was Sheriff Duca’s duty as court sheriff to know the computation of the amount due in accordance with the writ of execution. His duties as a sheriff included the prompt enforcement of judgments and the efficient implementation of orders and writs issued by the court. he could not rely on the computations submitted by private individuals not duly authorized to do so by the issuing court. an act that related to any unlawful conduct prejudicial to the rights of the parties or to the right determination of the cause. A finding that he was remiss in the performance of his duty is thus proper under the attendant circumstances. Thus. To accomplish this. his lapses in complying with Section 14. He should have ensured that only those ordained or decreed in the judgment would be the subject of execution. For such nonfeasance. if necessary. respondent is guilty of dereliction or simple neglect of his dutyas a sheriff. Any move or actuation in the discharge of his duties that denoted complacency. Without doubt. His explanation that "his job was not yet finished and … talked to the plaintiff regarding the same"is utterly wanting. he must himself compute the correct amount due from the judgment obligor or garnishee based strictly on the terms of the executory judgment. In fine. To be sure. he was guilty of simple misconduct. and.000. Compounding this liability was his admission of not inquiring whether Bahala had paid her rentals or not to the plaintiff. or constituted impropriety would equate to the disregard of the office he held. the amount of P210. He could not delegate the official duty to compute or reckon the amounts to be realize through execution to such individuals. because he failed to submit his Report of Service within thirty (30) days from receipt thereof and make periodic reports to the court until the judgment was fully satisfied. .000.00 stated in the notice of levy did not conform with the writ of execution that stated the following amounts to be due to the plaintiff from Bahala. suspension from office or payment of a fine. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. In adopting the computations submitted by the plaintiff without himself determining whether the computations conformed to the terms of the judgment and the writ.00. Sheriff Duca played an indispensable part in the administration of justice. The OCA recommended that he be found liable also for simple misconduct because he was guilty of the irregularity of relying on the computation of the plaintiff in charging Bahala for the arrears in rentals amounting to P210. Rule 39 of the Rules of Court constituted sufficient ground to order his dismissal. Sheriff Duca’s liability was not limited to his failure to file the return on the writ. respondent sheriff is derelict in his submission of the returns thereof. the gravamen of respondent’s shortcoming is in his failure to observe Sec. in other words.Clearly. or reflected inefficiency.

The Commission on Audit and/or Reynaldo A. The Court modified the recommended penalty of suspension from office without pay for six months and one day. simple neglect of duty and simple misconduct are less grave offenses punishable by suspension from office of one month and one day to six months for the first offense. he acted as an agent of the court.Sheriff Duca should discharge his duties as a court sheriff with utmost care and diligence. Under the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. The offense charged being Sheriff Duca's first violation. he was appropriately punished with suspension from office without pay for three months. such that any lack of care and diligence he displayed would inevitably cause the erosion of the faith of the people in the Judiciary. with a stern warning that the commission of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely. respectively . in his capacities as Chairman and Commissioner. In the discharge of his duties. Espino. Topic: Quantum meruit Ponente: Marvic Mario Victor Leonen The Law Firm of Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo vs. particularly that which pertained to the implementation of orders and processes of the court. Villar and Juanito G. Jr.

According to the law firm. it was only at this point when Clark Development Corporation informed them that the Commission on Audit required the clearance and approval of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel before it could approve the release of Clark Development Corporation’s funds to settle the legal fees due to the law firm. Government Corporate Counsel Agnes VST Devanadera (Government Corporate Counsel Devanadera) denied Clark Development Corporation’s request for approval on the ground that the proforma . SClark Development Corporation requested the Commission on Audit for concurrence of the retainership contract it executed with Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo. through Government Corporate Counsel Amado D. 185544 Facts: Clark Development Corporation.R. "sought from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel [‘OGCC’] its approval for the engagement of [Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo] as external counsel.G. Punzalan informed Clark Development Corporation that its request for clearance could not be acted upon until the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel approves the retainership contract with finality. Clark Development Corporation then filed a request for reconsideration. Consequently. In the meantime. through its Board of Directors. In 2003. Clark Development Corporation. Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo commenced rendering legal services to Clark Development Corporation. State Auditor IV Elvira G. At this point. 2015 No. Theresfter. approved Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo’s engagement as private counsel. The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. Clark Development Corporation’s officers assured the law firm that it was in the process of securing the approval of the Commission on Audit. it also approved the assignment of additional labor cases to the law firm." The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel denied the request. According to the law firm. It also furnished Clark Development Corporation a copy of a pro-forma retainership contract containing the suggested terms and conditions of the retainership. It instructed Clark Development Corporation to submit a copy of the contract to the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel after all the parties concerned have signed it. Clark Development Corporation had yet to secure the authorization and clearance from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel or the concurrence of the Commission on Audit of the retainership contract. Valdez (Government Corporate Counsel Valdez). through its legal officers and after the law firm’s acquiescence. reconsidered the request and approved the engagement of Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo. January 13.

Clark Development Corporation relayed Government Corporate Counsel Devanadera’s letter to the Commission’s Audit Team Leader. 2008. 1998 and Office of the President Memorandum Circular No. Who shall be liable to pay the law firm? . The Commission on Audit’s Office of the General Counsel. which the Commission on Audit denied in the assailed resolution dated November 5." Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo filed the instant petition for certiorari. Legal and Adjudication Sector issued a "Third Indorsement" denying Clark Development Corporation’s request for clearance. 2. It also stated that its request for concurrence was made three (3) years after engaging the legal services of the law firm. 9 dated August 27. This was appealed to. Issue: 1. citing its failure to secure a prior written concurrence of the Commission on Audit and the approval with finality of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. She. however. Whether or not the Commission on Audit erred in ruling that petitioner should not be paid on the basis of quantum meruit and that any payment for its legal services should be the personal liability of Clark Development Corporation’s officials. It also ruled that it was not the government’s responsibility to pay the legal fees already incurred by Clark Development Corporation.retainership contract given to them was not "based on the premise that the monthly retainer’s fee and concomitant charges are reasonable and could pass in audit by COA. highlighting the portion on the approval of payment to Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo on the basis of quantum meruit. but the Commission on Audit rendered the assailed decision denying the appeal and motion for reconsideration." She found that Clark Development Corporation adopted instead the law firm’s proposals concerning the payment of a retainer’s fee on a per case basis without informing the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel. Afterwards. 86-255 mandates that the engagementof private counsel without prior approval "shall be a personal liability of the officials concerned. It ruled that Clark Development Corporation violated Commission on Audit Circular No. 98-002 dated June 9. 1998 when it engaged the legal services of Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo without the final approval and written concurrence of the Commission on Audit. but rather by the government officials who violated the regulations on the matter. The resolution also disallowed the payment of legal fees to the law firm on the basis of quantum meruitsince the Commission on Audit Circular No. ruled that the law firm was entitled to payment under the principle of quantum meruit and subject to Clark Development Corporation Board’s approval and the usual government auditing rules and regulations. Clark Development Corporation and Laguesma Magsalin Consulta and Gastardo separately filed motions for reconsideration.

which were neither approved nor authorized by the government. acting on behalf of Clark Development Corporation. without the necessary prior approvals required by the rules and regulations for the hiring of private counsel. 2. taking into account certain factors in fixing the amount of legal fees. The officials of Clark Development Corporation. Their actions were clearly unauthorized. quantum meruit: — literally meaning as much as he deserves — is used as basis for determining an attorney’s professional fees in the absence of an express agreement. citing Section 10385 of Presidential Decree No. but that of the officials who engaged the services of petitioner without the required authorization. It would be an injustice for petitioner not to be compensated for services rendered even if the engagement was unauthorized. No. not petitioner’s. Even granting that petitioner ought to be paid for services rendered. the Board of Directors. it should not be the government’s liability. 86-255 and OP Memorandum Circular No. It cannot be denied that petitioner rendered legal services to Clark Development Corporation. Here. a government entity. otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines. to pay petitioner on a quantum meruit basis for legal services. 9[. The Commission on Audit did not commit grave abuse of discretion in disallowing the payment to petitioner on the basis of quantum meruit. contracted the services of petitioner. thus. 1445. The fulfillment of the requirements of the rules and regulations was Clark Development Corporation’s responsibility. It was.SC: 1.]" It then ruled that the retainership contract between them should be deemed a private contract for which the officials of Clark Development Corporation should be liable. The . because the liability of the officials who violated the circular was removed. Respondents disallowed Clark Development Corporation from paying petitioner on this basis as the contract between them was executed "in clear violation of the provisions of COA Circular No. In jurisprudence. erroneous for Government Corporate Counsel Devanadera to bind Clark Development Corporation. An attorney must show that he is entitled to reasonable compensation for the effort in pursuing the client’s cause. 98-002 created a gap in the law.1âwphi1 It assisted the corporation in litigating numerous labor cases90 during the period of its engagement. The recovery ofattorney’s fees on the basis of quantum meruitis a device that prevents an unscrupulous client from running away with the fruits of the legal services of counsel without paying for it and also avoids unjust enrichment on the part of the attorney himself. 86-255 by Commission on Audit Circular No. The amendment of Commission on Audit Circular No.

86-255. Bases: Section 103 of the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines: SEC. Jurisprudence: The fee of the lawyer who rendered legal service to the government in lieu of the OSG or the OGCC is the personal liability of the government official who hired his services without the prior written conformity of the OSG or the OGCC. . 98-002 and Circular No. respondents correctly held that the officials of Clark Development Corporation who violated the provisions of Circular No. 103. 86-255. by its irresponsible actions. To fill the gap created by the amendment of Commission on Audit Circular No. as previously provided for in Circular No. 9 should be personally liable to pay the legal fees of petitioner. as the case may be. -Expenditures of government funds or uses of government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability of the official or employee found to be directly responsible therefor. General liability for unlawful expenditures. unjustly procured for themselves petitioner’s legal services without compensation.Board of Directors.

Soliman deposited the amount of P50.00 as payment for the transfer tax. Amboy’s bank account as payment for the latter’s contact in the RD. . Thereafter.000.C. Amboy P50. Amboy told Soliman that there was a delay in the issuance of the titles to the property because of the failure of the other co-owners to submit certain documents. Amboy’s bank account as payment for the real property tax for the year 2009.00 already paid to her was then treated as payment for her professional services. No. Later on. Upon the latter’s engagement. Soliman agreed to pay Atty. However.900. Atty. Amboy in 2009 in connection with a partition case. 2015 Facts: Soliman claimed that she engaged the services of Atty.000.Topic: Fiduciary relationship between the counsel and the client Ponente: Bienvenido Reyes Marilen G. Soliman deposited the amount of P8.00 to Atty. Atty. Soliman paid her P25. the P25.000.4 Atty. Atty. Soliman vs. Atty. Atty. Meanwhile. Ditas Lerios-Amboy A.000.700. Amboy told Soliman that her contact in the RD agreed to reduce the amount to P50.00. Amboy advised Soliman to no longer institute a partition case since the other co-owners of the property were amenable to the partition thereof.000.00.00 to Atty. Amboy P16. Soliman gave Atty. Amboy informed Soliman that the certificates of title to the property were then only awaiting the signature of the authorized officer.000. In November 2008.00. Instead. 10568 January 13. In the second quarter of 2009. Atty. In accordance with the Retainer Agreement between the parties. Amboy just facilitated the issuance of the titles to the said property from the coowners to the individual owners.00 as acceptance fee. Amboy then told Soliman that someone from the Register of Deeds (RD) can help expedite the issuance of the titles for a fee of P80.

Amboy violated the Code of Professional Responsibility by failing to observe due diligence in dealing with Soliman. but it was denied. On March 20. SC: Yes. Marasigan if he received the 50. Amboy failed to deliver the respective certificates of title of Soliman and her co-owners to the subject property.10 which recommended the suspension of Atty.6Thereafter. Amboy’s secretary. Amboy admitted that she had a retainer agreement with Soliman. Soliman and Atty. Issue: Whether or not the the penalty imposed by the IBP Board of Governors should be affirmed by the Court. It also opined that she failed to inform the latter of the status of the proceedings for the issuance of the said titles.00 as payment for the release of the said titles. albeit with the modification that the period of Atty. Amboy’s secretary informed Soliman that their contact in the RD was asking for an additional P10.00 to facilitate the release of the said certificates of title. Soliman asked Atty. Atty. The Code of Professional Responsibility clearly states that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his clientand that he should be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.000. Amboy’s suspension from the practice of law was increased from six (6) months to two (2) years and that she was ordered to return the entire amount she received from Soliman. which adopted and approved the recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner.00 that was already paid to her. In 2010. after due proceedings.000. the Investigating Commissioner of the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) issued a Report and Recommendation. A lawyer is mandated to serve his client with competence and diligence. Amboy failed to file certain documents.000. but the latter was not responding to her queries. but denied having received any amount from the latter pursuant to the said agreement. Atty. Amboy’s secretary went to the office of a certain Atty. 2013. Soliman kept on asking Atty. Deputy RD of Manila. Amboy for any update on the release of the said titles.Atty. Soliman then refused to further pay the amount being asked by Atty. Soliman further claimed that Atty. Amboy from the practice of law for six (6) months. For her part. Amboy thereafter refused to release the pertinent documents she gave to her for the processing of the titles to the property or give back the P50. Marasigan denied having received any amount to facilitate the release of the titles and claimed that the reason why the same could not be processed was that Atty. Atty. 2012. 2013.to . Amboy sought a reconsideration of the Resolution dated March 20. the IBP Board of Governors issued a Resolution. Marasigan. Atty. On May 29. The Investigating Commissioner opined that Atty.

To make matters worse. Atty. Amboy abetted the commission of an illegal act when she asked from Soliman the amount of P50. Canons 17 and 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Amboy’s acts undermined the legal processes. "A lawyer's failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client.000. The circumstances of this case clearly show that Atty. Atty. which requires that a lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client upon demand. Furthermore. reckoned from finality of this Resolution until fully paid. the Deputy RD of Manila.00 from Soliman. Amboy to return the amount of P50. In not returning the money to Soliman after a demand therefor was made following her failure to procure the issuance of the certificates of title. notwithstanding the payment of P50.000. particularly Rule 16. Atty. and to keep his client informed of the status of his case and respond within a reasonable time to the client’s request for information. this is not a simple case of negligence and incompetence by a counsel in dealing with a client.000. she was also ordered to return to Marilen G. Ditas Lerios-Amboy was found GUILTY of violating Rule 16." Thus. effective upon receipt of this Resolution.00. Atty. In swearing to the oath.000.000.03. It is settled that the unjustified withholding of money belonging to a client warrants the imposition of disciplinary action. which she swore to uphold and defend. It impairs public confidence in the legal profession and deserves punishment. The Court further finds improper the refusal of Atty. Atty. Amboy. upon inquiry.00 which she paid inorder to facilitate the release of the certificates of title. Soliman the entire amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. Amboy bound herself to respectthe law and legal processes.00 as payment for her professional services.00) she received from the latter. Insteadof procuring the release of the certificates of title as she promised. after receiving P25. Further. It was her negligence which caused the delay in the issuance of the certificates of title.000. plus legal interest thereon.00 to be paid to her "contact" inside the office of the RD in order to facilitate the release of the said certificates of title. Amboy still failed to obtain issuance of the said certificates of title. .03 and 18.never neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. Amboy asked for an additional P10.03 thereof. Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics. Amboy. denied having received any amount from Atty. Atty. Atty. failed to submit material documents relative to the issuance of separate certificates of title to the individual owners of the property. Atty. To reiterate. Clearly. and Rules 18. She was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years. Amboy violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Marasigan.

ground for disbarment Ponente: [Per curiam] Fernando W.C. 10573 January 13. CVC San Lorenzo Ruiz Corporation (CVC). Atty.Topic: Gross misconduct . Chu vs. Atty. No. 2015 Facts: Chu retained Atty. A. Guico as counsel to handle the labor disputes involving his company. Jr. Jose C. Guico’s legal services included handling a complaint for illegal dismissal . Guico.

Christopher Chu.000. 2009. Nardo assured that the money was still with Atty. Guico in December 2007. Guico caused the preparation and filing of an appeal in the Court of Appeals. and recommended the disbarment of Atty. Guico’s residence in Commonwealth. who invited him to lunch at the Ihaw Balot Plaza in Quezon City. .000. Guico’s office on July 10. and later on called Atty. Guico instructed Chu to meet him on July 5.brought against CVC. Chu asked Nardo if the NLRC Commissioner had accepted the money.00 from Chu. 2007. during a Christmas party held on December 5. which he brought to Atty. Guico as legal counsel on May 25. Reynaldo (Nardo) Manahan. who in turn referred Chu to Nardo for the filing of a motion for reconsideration.00 to encourage the NLRC Commissioner to issue the decision. Morato Street. the latter told Chu to raise another P300.000. Finally. Chu confronted Atty. 2008. 2006 at Atty. The draft decision6 was printed on the dorsal portion of used paper apparently emanating from the office of Atty. Quezon City. Atthe UCC Coffee Shop. On January 19. after Chu filed his complaint. On January 11. Atty. On that occasion. Chu followed up on the status of the CVC case with Atty. Atty. 48 Times Street. Atty. the NLRC promulgated a decision adverse to CVC. Chu complied. The IBP Commissioner. Guico asked him to prepare a substantial amount of money to be given to the NLRC Commissioner handling the appeal to insure a favorable decision. but Nardo replied in the negative and simply told Chu to wait. Atty. 2007 at the UCC Coffee Shop on T. Quezon City. Guico. After the denial of the motion for reconsideration. Chu terminated Atty. However. and one Bonifacio Elipane. Guico handed Chu a copy of an alleged draft decision of the NLRC in favor of CVC.00 for the purpose. Once there. Canon I of the Code of Professional Responsibility for demanding and receiving P580. On June 10. Guico told him to proceed to his office at No. Quezon City. it was Nardo who received the amount without issuing any receipt. Subsequently. 2009. Atty. Chu called Atty. However. Guico who would return it should the NLRC Commissioner not accept it. But Chu could only produce P280. Guico to inform him that he had raised P300. Guico had violated Rules 1. The IBP Board of Governors adopted the findings of the IBP Commissioner Villanueva. found that Atty. The Labor Arbiter Herminio V. Atty. Guico to confirm that he had delivered the money to Nardo. and togive the money to his assistant. Guico referred him to Nardo who in turn said that he would only know the status after Christmas. Guico. Suelo rendered a decision adverse to CVC.000.02. 2007 accompanied by his son. According to Chu. Guico in view of his act of extortion and misrepresentation that caused dishonor to and contempt for the legal profession.01 and 1. Atty. Guico filed a timely appeal in behalf of CVC. but modified the recommended penalty of disbarment to three years suspension.00. Chu again called Nardo.

but such denial did not overcome the affirmative testimony of Chu. Guico commonly printed documents on used paper in his law office. Guico’s participation in the generation of the draft decision was undeniable. Guico was intended to motivate Chu to raise money to ensure the chances of obtaining the favorable result in the labor case. Guico offered only his general denial of the allegations in his defense. pointing out that everything in his office. Despite denying being the source of the draft decision presented by Chu. Atty. every lawyer should not render any service or give advice to any client that would involve defiance of the very laws that he was bound to uphold and obey." In that context. and thus to uphold the integrity and dignity of the Legal Profession. We cannot but conclude that the production of the draft decision by Atty. Atty. Atty. Verily. for he or she was always bound as an attorney to be law abiding. The sworn obligation to respect the law and the legal processes under the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility is a continuing condition for every lawyer to retain membership in the Legal Profession. therefore. For one. Atty. Any lawyer found to violate this obligation forfeits his or her privilege to continue such membership in the legal profession. inferring that Atty. All that Atty. Chu credibly insisted that the draft decision was printed on the dorsal portion of used paper emanating from Atty. Guico made the implied admission because he was fully aware that the used paper had unquestionably come from his office. Guico impliedly admitted Chu’s insistence by conceding that the used paper had originated from his office. Guico committed the imputed gross misconduct by demanding and receiving P580.Issue: What is the condign penalty for Atty. Guico’s attempt to downplay the sourcing of used paper from his office was futile because he did not expressly belie the forthright statement of Chu. claiming only that used paper was just "scattered around his office. To discharge the obligation. was "open to the public xxx and just anybody has access to everything found therein. Guico? SC: Yes. Atty.000. Atty.00 from Chu to obtain a favorable decision. except the filing cabinets and his desk. Guico willingly and wittingly violated the law in appearing to counsel Chu to raise the large sums of money in order to obtain a favorable decision in the labor case. He thus violated the law against bribery and corruption. he or she must act and comport himself or herself in such a manner that would promote public confidence in the integrity of the Legal Profession." In the Court's view. He compounded his violation by actually using said illegality as his means of obtaining a huge sum from the client that he soon . Guico’s office. Guico stated by way of deflecting the imputation was that the used paper containing the draft decision could have been easily taken from his office by Chu’s witnesses in a criminal case that he had handled for Chu.

01 and 1. Guico to fully account for and to return the money to Chu. a forbidden act. Instead. Guico be ordered to return the amount of P580. LIMPIN . and Rules 1. the recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors that Atty. Canon I of the Code of Professional Responsibility. for he exhibited his unworthiness of retaining his membership in the legal profession. and under Rule 1. it would be unjust not to require Atty. a dereliction of duty. Guico was found guilty of the violation of the Lawyer’s Oath. Guico committed grave misconduct and disgraced the Legal Profession. No. His acts constituted gross dishonesty and deceit.C. immoral or deceitful conduct.000. and was DISBARRED from membership in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. willful in character. and were a flagrant breach of his ethical commitments under the Lawyer’s Oath not to delay any man for money or malice.C. Accordingly. VILLARAMA.appropriated for his own personal interest. 10576. A. he ceased to be a servant of the law. ATTY. Grave misconduct is "improper or wrong conduct.02. the recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors to suspend him from the practice of law for three (3) years would be too soft a penalty. Atty. Atty. His deviant conduct eroded the faith of the people in him as an individual lawyer as well as in the Legal Profession as a whole. and is a ground for the imposition of the penalty of suspension or disbarment. CHRISTINE A. Although the purpose for the amount was unlawful. because good moral character is an essential qualification for the admission of an attorney and for the continuance of such privilege.00 to Chu is well-taken. he should be disbarred. the transgression of some established and definite rule of action. January 14. Guico from Chu in the guise of serving the latter’s interest as the client."28 There is no question that any gross misconduct by an attorney in his professional or private capacity renders him unfit to manage the affairs of others. In doing so. and implies a wrongful intent and not mere error of judgment. It did not matter that this proceeding is administrative in character. His name was ORDERED STRICKEN from the Roll of Attorneys. That amount was exacted by Atty. dishonest.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility that forbade him from engaging in unlawful. Hence. Topic: Code of Professional Responsibility Ponente: Martin S. JR. 2015 GUARIN v. Lastly.

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 held on March 3. He also never received any notice of meeting or agenda where his appointment as Chairman would be taken up. Limpin violated Canon 1 and Rule 1. 2009. Limpin has violated Canon 1. Atty. Limpin admits that she filed the GIS with the SEC listing Guarin as a stockholder.01 and Rule 1.Facts: In 2004. Atty. 2008. Issue: Whether Atty. (LCI). Disbarment proceedings are sui generis and can proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. SC: Yes. Limpin is guilty as charged. Limpin moved for reconsideration but was denied in the March 21. Members of the bar are reminded that their first duty is to comply with the rules of procedure. 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. 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. Guarin was hired by Mr.01 of the CPR by knowingly listing him as a stockholder. Mired with allegations of anomalous business transactions and practices. He has never accepted any appointment as Chairman and President of LCI. the Corporate Secretary of Legacy Card.02 of the CPR. on December 18. Celso G. Atty. Luke’s Medical Center as the Vice President for Finance. 2008. The presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges .. He resigned from his post and transferred to St. The Court adopted the report and recommendation of the IBP. Guarin filed this complaint with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline claiming that Atty. She argued that the GIS was provisional to comply with SEC requirements. the Chairman of the BOD and President of LCI. Rule 1. LCI applied for voluntary dissolution with the SEC. The IBP Board of Governors in its April 15. Inc. Atty. On July 22. 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. 2014 Resolution of the IBP Board of Governors. 2008. Limpin. de los Angeles as Chief Operating Officer and thereafter as President of OneCard Company. filed with the SEC a GIS for LCI for “updating purposes”. On November 27. another corporation under the Legacy Group. Inc. 2013 Resolution adopted in toto the CBD Report. rather than seek exceptions as loopholes. a member of the Legacy Group of Companies. It would have been corrected in the future but unfortunately LCI filed for voluntary dissolution shortly thereafter. The GIS identified Guarin as Chairman of the Board of Directors (BOD) and President.

In filing a GIS that contained false information. Limpin committed an infraction which did not conform to her oath as a lawyer in accord with Canon 1 and Rule 1. with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.22 Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. malpractice. de los Angeles appoint the members of the BOD and officers of the corporation despite the rules enunciated in the Corporation Code with respect to the election of such officers. Limpin filed and certified that Guarin was a stockholder of LCI in the GIS. It is undisputed that Atty.01 and Rule 1. Christine A. 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. Accordingly. After going through the submissions and stipulations of the parties. That Atty. Limpin has transgressed Rule 1. The Court held respondent Atty. in allowing herself to be swayed by the business practice of having Mr. the Court agreed with the IBP that there is no indication that Guarin held any share to the corporation and that he is therefore ineligible to hold a seat in the BOD and be the president of the company. Atty.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Limpin GUILTY of violation of Canon 1.tualLawlib Grounds for such administrative action against a lawyer may be found in Section 27. her certification also contained a stipulation that she made a due verification of the statements contained therein.C. While she posits that she had made the same in good faith. Rule 1. she was SUSPENDED from the practice of law for SIX (6) MONTHS effective upon finality of this Decision.pr[o]ferred and has performed his duty as an officer of the court in accordance with his oath. . Atty. Among these are (1) the use of any deceit. Also. We also note that there was no submission which would support the allegation that Guarin was in fact a stockholder. Limpin believed that Guarin would sign a Deed of Assignment is inconsequential: he never signed the instrument.01 of the CPR.02 of the CPR.

00 per hearing. The Appeal was perfected and the records were sent to the CA. Ramirez then filed a complaint before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Margallo also informed him that they could no longer appeal to the SC since the Decision of the CA had been promulgated and the reglementary period for filing an Appeal had already lapsed. By way of defense. Mercedes BuhayangMargallo’s (Atty. Ramirez alleged that Atty. Margallo P1. Ramirez was directed to file his Appellant’s Brief and so he notified his counsel who likewise agreed to prepare one. It was also agreed upon that Ramirez would pay Atty. Leonen Reynaldo G. save for travel expense of P1. Atty. .V. 000. 2009 with a Motion for Reconsideration and Apologies for filing beyond the reglementary period. Mercedes Buhayang . Atty.C. Margallo had violated Canon 17 and Canon 18. Atty. Atty. Margallo argued that she had agreed to take on the case for free. Margallo afterwards informed Ramirez that his Appeal had been denied. The RTC ruled against Ramirez. Ramirez v.03 and 18. There. Margallo advised him to appeal the judgment.000. A. Margallo) services as legal counsel in a civil case for Quieting of Title. He alleged that Atty. Ramirez then kept on asking his counsel for any updates on the appeal. he discovered that the Appellant’s Brief was filed on April 13. She also claimed that she had candidly informed Ramirez and his mother that they only had a 50% chance of winning the case. She committed to file the Appeal before the CA. February 3.Margallo. Rules 18. Atty.Topic: Code of Professional Responsibility Ponente: Justice Marvic M. which was the basis of his claim. Margallo had offered her legal services on the condition that she be given 30% of the land subject of the controversy instead of attorney’s fees. 2015 Facts: Reynaldo Ramirez (Ramirez) engaged Atty. No. 10537.F.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Ramirez went to the CA. She told him that the CA’s denial was due to Ramirez’s failure to establish his filiation with his alleged father.00 per court appearance. She denied ever having entered into an agreement regarding the contingent fee worth 30% of the value of the land subject of the controversy.

04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Margallo’s neglect resulted in her client having no further recourse in court to protect his legal interests. but because a person privileged to act as counsel failed to discharge her duties with the requisite diligence. Upon MR of Ramirez. For these reasons. Rules 18. Her assumption that complainant Ramirez was no longer interested to pursue the Appeal is a poor excuse. to the utmost prejudice of complainant Ramirez who relied on her alleged competence as counsel.The dispute was set for mandatory conference before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the IBP. Margallo’s position that a two-year suspension is too severe considering that it is her first infraction cannot be sustained. the recommended penalty was increased to suspension from practice of law for two (2) years. This cost complainant Ramirez his entire case and left him with no appellate remedies. His legal cause was orphaned not because a court of law ruled on the merits of his case. Respondent Atty. It is time that we communicate that lawyers must actively manage cases entrusted to them. Margallo and her client was palpable but was not due to the lack of diligence of her client. Issue: Should the petition be granted? SC: No. Margallo then filed a Petition for Review and alleged that the recommended penalty of suspension was too severe considering that she had been very careful and vigilant in defending the cause of her client. Atty. The Board of Governors of the IBP adopted and approved the recommendation of the Commission. Atty. This lack of diligence. which is contrary to what she had sworn to do as a member of the legal profession. Margallo with a stern warning that repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely. There should be no more room for an inertia of mediocrity. Respondent Atty. The lack of communication and coordination between respondent Atty. She also averred that this was the first time a Complaint was filed against her. she clearly violated Canon 17 and Canon 18. This is an admission that she abandoned her obligation as counsel on the basis of an assumption. Respondent Atty. Margallo was unjustifiably remiss in her duties as legal counsel to Ramirez. .03 and 18. The Board of Governors resolved to recommend a penalty of reprimand to Atty. There was no proof that she exerted efforts to communicate with her client. must not be tolerated. Margallo failed to exhaust all possible means to protect complainant Ramirez’s interest.

he handled many of their cases and was consulted on various legal matters. dela Rosa was found guilty of violating: (a) Rule 16.04 of the CPR.04 of the CPR which provides that a lawyer shall not borrow money from his clients unless the client’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. dela Rosa. 5 days thereafter. Atty. Perlas . among others.C. the prospect of opening a pawnshop business towards the end of 2005. Dela Rosa with violation of Rule 16. 2015 Facts: Atty. Kathryn Jessica dela Serna. one of his other clients. A. Atty.Bernabe Spouses Henry A. However. they filed a letter-complaint before the IBP – CBD charging Atty. As such. Dela Rosa be disbarred and that he be ordered to return the P2. and (c) Canon 16 which provides that a lawyer shall hold in trust all monies and properties of his client that may come into his possession. Dela Rosa’s actions degraded the integrity of the legal profession and clearly violated Rule 16. failed to materialize. Aware of the fact that his clients had money intact from their failed business venture.04 and Canons 7 and 16 of the CPR. February 3.500. No. dela Rosa still did not pay the agreed amount.000.00. The spouses then brought the matter to the Office of the Lupong Tagapamayapa but still to no avail. which he promised to return.Topic: Code of Professional Responsibility. was the real debtor. Despite repeated demand from the spouses and even from their new lawyer. The IBP Board of Governors approved the IC report but reduced the penalty against the respondent to indefinite suspension from . Concepcion and Blesilda S. He even claimed that a certain Jean Charles Nault. Concepcion (Blesilda) from 1997 until August 2008. Concepcion (Henry) and Blesilda S. Hence. Elmer A. however.00 to complainants. (b) Canon 7 which states that a lawyer shall uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and support the activities of the IBP. The rule prohibits lawyers from borrowing money from clients unless the latter’s interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. his failure to appear during the mandatory conferences further showed his disrespect to the IBP-CBD.000. Atty. Upon recommendation of the Investigating Officer. Dela Rosa served as the retained lawyer and counsel of spouses Henry A. Atty. with interest. proper penalty Ponente: Justice Estela M. The spouses agreed to lend him the amount and so issued 3 checks in his name. The IC then recommended that Atty. Atty. Atty. 10681. Dela Rosa called Henry to borrow the amount of P2.500. with stipulated interest. Atty. Said business. Dela Rosa failed to make good his promise. Concepcion v. Elmer A.

The SC ruled that its decision should not involve Atty. there is no quibble that Atty.the practice of law and ordered the return of the P2. distinct.000. Atty. and thus cannot be sustained. failed to uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. spouses Concepcion relied solely on the former’s word that he will return the money plus interest within five (5) days. this "trust and confidence" is prone to abuse. and not intrinsically linked to his professional engagement.00 to the complainants with legal interest. Dela Rosa’s civil liability for money received from his client in a transaction separate. In unduly borrowing money from the complainants and by blatantly refusing to pay the same. Dela Rosa violated Rule 16. And as true as any natural tendency goes. and. . Dela Rosa. Owing to their trust and confidence in Atty. instead of stipulated interest. respondent abused the same and reneged on his obligation. the SC deems it apt to suspend him from the practice of law for three (3) years. Dela Rosa’s refusal to pay his debt. respondent abused the trust and confidence reposed in him by his clients. Dela Rosa borrowed money from spouses Concepcion who were his clients and whose interests. However. the IBP's recommended return of the aforementioned sum lies beyond the ambit of this administrative case.500. Issue: W/N Atty. giving his previous clients the runaround up to this day. instead of the IBP's recommendation to suspend him indefinitely. The Court has repeatedly emphasized that the relationship between a lawyer and his client is one imbued with trust and confidence. were not fully protected. Accordingly. Thus. in so doing.04 of the CPR. Considering the amount involved and atty. he should be equally held administratively liable on this score. by the lack of any security on the loan. Hence. Dela Rosa should be held administratively liable for violating the CPR? SC: Yes.

filed an action for support against him and his sister Milagros Garcia Soliman.C. A day prior to the filing of A. When Sesbreño and Garcia’s children learned about his return. Sesbreño. A. which was eventually granted. Sesbreño claimed that Garcia’s complaint was motivated by extreme malice. In his answer to the complaint.C.Topic: Disbarment by reason of conviction for the crime of homicide which involves moral turpitude. Garcia filed a complaint for disbarment against Sesbreño before the Office of the Bar Confidant. The case was docketed as A. Garcia alleged that Sesbreño is only on parole. Atty. Maria Margarita and Angie Ruth. Garcia alleged that in 2005 while he was in Japan. In 2007. SC: Section 27. bad faith. Garcia alleged that homicide is a crime against moral turpitude. No.C. Sesbreño. 2015 Facts: On 30 July 2008. he married Virginia Alcantara in Cebu. Garcia alleged that he learned that Sesbreño was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. or on 29 July 2008. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states that a member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended as attorney by this Court by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. Sesbreño filed a Second Amended Complaint against him. Garcia returned from Japan. for Homicide in Criminal Case No. 10457. 7973 and A. February 03. In 1971. No. The case was dismissed. he and Virginia separated. 7973. the disqualification applies only during the term of the sentence. No. No. Sesbreño should not be allowed to continue his practice of law. They had two children. and desire to retaliate against him for representing Garcia’s daughters in court. Sesbreño further alleged that homicide does not involve moral turpitude. Branch 18. and thus. Garcia filed a complaint for disbarment against Sesbreño before the IBP-CBD . Ponente: Per Curiam Garcia v. Garcia alleged that in 1992. Issue: whether or not the conviction for the crime of homicide involves moral turpitude. Garcia alleged that in 1965. He became a dentist and practiced his profession in Cabanatuan City. At the time of the filing of the case. CBU31733. Virginia filed a petition for the annulment of their marriage. Maria Margarita was already 39 years old while Angie Ruth was 35 years old.C. representing Maria Margarita and Angie Ruth. 7973. Sesbreño alleged that his sentence was commuted and the phrase “with the inherent accessory penalties provided by law” was deleted. This Court . Sesbreño argued that even if the accessory penalty was not deleted.

since there are crimes which are mala in se and yet rarely involve moral turpitude and there are crimes which involve moral turpitude and are mala prohibita only. Commutation only partially extinguished criminal liability. Atty. contrary to justice. and remit fines and forfeitures. the meaning of which must be left to the process of judicial inclusion or exclusion as the cases are reached. The question of whether conviction for homicide involves moral turpitude was discussed by this Court in International Rice Research Institute v. after conviction by final judgment. It follows therefore. We cannot accept Sesbreño’s argument that the executive clemency restored his full civil and political rights. Parcasio10 to bolster his argument. but whether any particular conviction involves moral turpitude may be a question of fact and frequently depends on all the surrounding circumstances. while crimes mala prohibita do not.has ruled that disbarment is the appropriate penalty for conviction by final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude.4 Moral turpitude is an act of baseness. the executive clemency merely “commuted to an indeterminate prison term of 7 years and 6 months to 10 years imprisonment” the penalty imposed on Sesbreño. or good morals.” a circumstance not present in these cases. crimes mala in seinvolve moral turpitude. While x x x generally but not always. In this case. pardons. vileness. In that case. Parcasio was granted “an absolute and unconditional pardon” which restored his “full civil and political rights. commutations. or depravity in the private duties which a man owes to his fellow men or to society in general. Commutation is a mere reduction of penalty. Here. honesty. There are four acts of executive clemency that the President can extend: the President can grant reprieves. Sesbreño cited In re Atty. NLRC6 where it ruled: This is not to say that all convictions of the crime of homicide do not involve moral turpitude. that moral turpitude is somewhat a vague and indefinite term. it cannot always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by classifying a crime asmalum in se or as malum prohibitum. the Order of Commutation did not state that the pardon was absolute and unconditional. . modesty. Moral turpitude is not involved in every criminal act and is not shown by every known and intentional violation of statute. Homicide may or may not involve moral turpitude depending on the degree of the crime.

00.000. plus various court appearance fees and miscellaneous expenses in the amount of P30. De Vera then explained that the signing of Lachica’s falsified Affidavit was done without his knowledge and likewise stated that it was Christina Papin who should be indicted and charged with the corresponding criminal offense. To remedy this. A. Atty. complainants were asked by Atty. complainants sought Atty. De Vera had more than enough time to prepare and file the case but the former moved at a glacial pace and only took action when the November 8. 2015 Facts: As alleged in the Complaint. De Vera vehemently denied all the accusations lodged against him by complainants.00 in excessive fees he collected from them. DonatoManguiat (Atty. De Vera then rushed the preparation of the necessary documents and attachments for the election protest.Topic: Suspension of a lawyer for falsification of documents Ponente: Perlas-Bernabe Spouses Umaguing v. No. De Vera then had all the documents notarized before one Atty. February 04. He averred that he merely prepared the essential documents for election protest based on the statements of his clients. On November 7. The signing over of Lachica’s and Almera’s names were done by Christina Papin (Papin) and Elsa AlmeraAlmacen. In view of the foregoing. De Vera to pay his acceptance fee of P30. Issue: Whether or not Atty. the complainants asked the former to withdraw as their counsel and to reimburse them the P60. At the time that the aforesaid affidavits were needed to be signed by Lachica and Almera. 2007.C. Atty. respectively. 2007. De Vera. Manguiat). De Vera allegedly instructed AbethLalong-Isip (Lalong-Isip) and Hendricson Fielding (Fielding) to look for the nearest kin or relatives of Lachica and Almera and ask them to sign over the names.000. 10451. In his Counter-Affidavit. On December 12. De Vera. Atty.00. as well as his breach of fiduciary relations.4 According to the complainants. for lack of trust and confidence in the integrity and competency of Atty. Atty. Atty.000. 2008 deadline was looming. Atty. Two (2) of these attachments are the Affidavits6 of material witnesses Mark Anthony Lachica (Lachica) and Angela Almera (Almera). Because of this. De Vera’s disbarment. De Vera. which was personally prepared by Atty. considering that he only appeared twice for the case. Umaguing ran for the position of SK Chairman in the SK Elections for the year 2007 but lost to her rival Jose Gabriel Bungag by one (1) vote. De Vera will be held administratively liable . complainants lodged an election protest and enlisted the services of Atty. they were unfortunately unavailable.5Atty. De Vera.

for they have been given full expression in the Lawyer’s Oath that every lawyer of this country has taken upon admission as a bona fide member of the Law Profession. nor give aid nor consent to the same. Atty. and trustworthy. false or unlawful suit. I will do no falsehood. are the professional and ethical burdens of every member of the Philippine Bar. though high and demanding. imbued with integrity. . nor shall he mislead. thus: I. every lawyer is expected to be honest. or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice. 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. nor consent to the doing of any in court. Fundamental is the rule that in his dealings with his client and with the courts. So help me God Rule 10. Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility by submitting a falsified document before a court. I will delay no man for money or malice. De Vera is found guilty of violating the Lawyer’s Oath and Rule 10.01. and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.01. Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that “[a] lawyer shall not do any falsehood.” All told. These expectations. ___________________. I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless. I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein.SC: The SC ruled on the affirmative. nor consent to the doing of any in Court.

Salita – the registered owner of a parcel of land located at Tagum City (subject property)–applied for a loan from one Jocelyn Rodriguez (Rodriguez) in the amount of P50. Salita filed a criminal case for falsification of public documents against Rodriguez and Atty. including two (2) Real Estate Mortgage Agreements dated November 9. In his defense. Salve. Rodriguez. 2006. Salita discovered that the Deed of Absolute Sale had already been notarized by Atty. Atty. Atty. 2015 Facts: On December 14. February 04. failed to state the reasons for imposing the suspension. however. on September 17. instituted an ejectment complaint against Salita presenting in furtherance of his cause the pre-formed Deed of Absolute Sale and the two (2) REM instruments signed by the latter. 2010. Issue: Whether or not Salve should be held administratively liable. 2012 Resolution and accordingly. No.000. . Aggrieved. Subsequently. In a Report and Recommendation dated January 4. 2012 (December 29. On reconsideration. here structured the aforesaid loan and further signed several documents prepared by the latter. 2007. 2002. In a Resolution dated December 29. Salve. the IBP Board of Governors issued a Resolution dated March 8. Upon checking the said documents. 2005 and November 18. 8101. signed blank documents. 2012 Resolution). the IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the IBP Investigating Commissioner’s Report and Recommendation dismissing the case for lack of merit. 2014 (March 8.00 and. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Investigating Commissioner dismissed Salita’s complaint for lack of merit. Salve.Topic: Disqualification from being commission as a Notary Public Ponente: Perlas-Bernabe Salita v. 2005. On November 15.C. It. however. Salve vehemently denied that he falsified the Deed of Absolute Sale. 2014 Resolution) setting aside its December 29. Salita likewise filed the instant administrative case against Atty. A. Salita was able to pay his loan in full. Salve’s notarial commission for a period of three (3) months. SC: The SC ruled in the affirmative. including an “incomplete” Promissory Note . in such regard. recommended the suspension of Atty. Salve and his Community Tax Certificate Numbers were allegedly falsified. Notwithstanding such full payment.

Otherwise. their representative’s names should appear in the said documents as the ones who executed the same. to guard against any illegal or immoral arrangements. Reynaldo T. (c) they were the same persons who executed the instruments. among others. WHEREFORE. In doing so. effectively proclaimed to the world that: (a) all the parties therein personally appeared before him. is hereby REVOKED and he isDISQUALIFIED from being commissioned as a notary public for a period of two (2) years. (d) he inquired into the voluntariness of execution of the instrument. if still existing. By affixing his notarial seal on the instrument. His notarial commission. Salve. Salve is found GUILTY of gross negligence in his conduct as a notary public.A notary public should not notarize a document unless the persons who signed the same are the very same persons who executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and the truth of what are stated therein. as borne from the records of this case. respondent Atty. and (e) they acknowledged personally before him that they voluntarily and freely executed the same. The function of a notary public is. Atty. he converted the Deed of Absolute Sale. . These acts of the affiants cannot be delegated because what are stated therein are facts they have personal knowledge of and are personally sworn to. from a private document into a public document. (b) they are all personally known to him.

In one session. Judge Tormis” (Lachica v. Jill decided to drop the class under Judge Paredes and transfer to another law school in Tacloban City. 2015 Facts: In her affidavit/complaint dated September 5. Jill added that Judge Paredes included Judge Tormis in his discussions not only once but several times.000. however. some of which he had investigated and as a result recommended sanctions against Judge Tormis thus. Jill was a student of Judge Paredes in Political Law Review during the first semester of school year 2010-2011 at the Southwestern University.” docketed as Criminal Case No. then pending before Branch 8. “People of the Philippines v. A. No. Rhoda L. Judge Tormis is now using Jill to get . February 04. Cebu City (Guioguio case). Judge Paredes was even said to have included in his discussion Francis Mondragon Tormis (Francis). RTJ-13-2366 [Formerly OCA IPI No. She averred that sometime in August 2010. Judge Meinrado P. MTCC. Cebu City.Topic: Misconduct/Judicial Ethics Ponente: Mendoza. Judge Paredes was the one who reviewed the findings conducted therein and he recommended that the penalty be reduced to severe reprimand. Paredes . son of Judge Tormis. then Presiding Judge of Branch 4. She averred that on March 13. Thus. J. 11-3740-RTJ]. 2011. Lita Guioguio. Judge Paredes named her mother.00) for the temporary release of one Lita Guioguio in a case entitled. as one of the judges involved in the marriage scams in Cebu City.” She was absent from class at that time. Tormis v. but one of her classmates who was present. Jill charged Judge Paredes with grave misconduct. To avoid humiliation in school. Tormis). Jill. and ignorant of the law. Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC). Judge Paredes however denied the accussations of Jill in his comment and stated that Judge Tormis had several administrative cases. her mother was suspended from the service for six (6) months for allegedly receiving payment of a cash bail bond for the temporary release of an accused for the warrant she had issued in a case then pending before her sala. Litang(Rhoda). Cebu City. claimed that Judge Paredes committed an offense worse than that committed by her mother. 2011. corrupt. Judge Paredes also mentioned in his class that Judge Tormis was abusive of her position as a judge. in his class discussions. informed her about the inclusion of her brother. Judge Paredes accepted a cash bail bond in the amount of Six Thousand Pesos (P6. Jill M. Lachica v. Judge Rosabella Tormis (Judge Tormis). 148434-R. He also disclosed that in the case entitled “Trinidad O. she prayed that Judge Paredes be administratively sanctioned for his actuations.M. stating that he was a “court-noted addict.

His statements in class. Section 6. a Monday. SC: The Supreme Court adopted the findings and recommendations of Justice Diy except the penalty of reprimand as being imposed as reprimand. Judge Paredes admitted that he personally accepted a cash bail bond of P6. Such right. He should have avoided unnecessary and uncalled . is not without limitation. Tormis. are entitled to freedom of expression. 2011. He claimed though that the approval of the bail bond was in accordance with Section 14. Judge Paredes is indeed guilty of conduct unbecoming a Judge when he uses of intemperate language during class discussions was inappropriate. Section 6. As Executive Judge. 03-8-62-SC which allowed executive judges to act on petitions for bail and other urgent matters on weekends. he issued a temporary receipt and on the following business day. 2011. Judge Paredes averred that the discussions relative to the administrative cases of Judge Tormis could not be the subject of an administrative complaint because it was not done in the performance of his judicial duties. Issue: Whether Judge Paredes be administratively sanctioned because of his actuations. Chapter 5 of A. like any other citizen. In the exercise of his right to freedom of expression. He also averred that although he discussed in his class the case of Lachica v. Canon 4 of the Code also imposes a correlative restriction on judges: in the exercise of their freedom of expression.000. tending to project Judge Tormis as corrupt and ignorant of the laws and procedure. The inclusion of Judge Tormis and Francis in his class discussions was never denied by Judge Paredes who merely justified his action by invoking his right to freedom of expression. they should always conduct themselves in a manner that preserves the dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of the Judiciary. Lastly. Regarding the specific act being complained of. The Clerk of Court acknowledged the receipt of the cash bond and issued an official receipt.M.back at him. Judge Paredes should uphold the good image of the Judiciary of which he is a part. No.00 for the temporary release of Lita Guioguio on March 13. were obviously and clearly insensitive and inexcusable. however. Judge Paredes explained that he merely followed the procedure. he never discussed the involvement of Judge Tormis in the marriage scams nor her sanctions and that he never personally attacked Judge Tormis’ dignity and credibility. official holidays and special days. Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct recognizes that judges. It was not his fault that the Clerk of Court acknowledged the receipt of the cash bond only in the afternoon of March 21. he instructed the Branch Clerk of Court to remit the cash bond to the Clerk of Court.

a judge should freely and willingly accept restrictions on conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen. both in the performance of official duties and in private life should be above suspicion. The Code dictates that a judge. Canon 2 of the Code mandates: CANON 2: INTEGRITY: Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial office but also to the personal demeanor of judges. whether committed in or out of the court. but also to his behavior outside his sala and as a private individual. but in his professional and private activities as well.for remarks in his discussions and should have been more circumspect in his language. but that it is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable observer. Being a judge. being a subject of constant public scrutiny. he is expected to act with greater circumspection and to speak with self-restraint. must behave with propriety at all times. A judge’s official life cannot simply be detached or separated from his personal existence. a public official is also judged by his private morals. He should personify judicial integrity and exemplify honest public service. Chapter 5 of A. Judge Paredes should be reminded of the ethical conduct expected of him as a judge not only in the performance of his judicial duties. should not be tolerated for he is not a judge only occasionally. Thus. SECTION 2. It should be emphasized that the Code of Judicial Ethics mandates that the conduct of a judge must be free of a whiff of impropriety not only with respect to his performance of his judicial duties. Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach. Any impropriety on the part of Judge Paredes. SECTION 1. in order to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Sections 1 and 2. The Court cannot sustain the assertion of Judge Paredes that he cannot be held administratively liable for his negative portrayal of Judge Tormis and Francis in his class discussions. There is no dichotomy of morality. The behavior and conduct of judges must reaffirm the people’s faith in the integrity of the judiciary. Judge Paredes justified his action by stating that he was merely following the procedure set forth in Section 14. Judge Paredes fell short of this standard. .M. Justice must not merely be done but must also be seen to be done. As regards to Jill’s allegation that Judge Paredes committed grave misconduct when he personally received cash bail bond in relation to the Guioguio case. The personal behavior of a judge. Verily.

the judge assigned to the court where the Guioguio case was then pending and the executive judge of the MTCC. Lastly. the executive judge shall acknowledge receipt of the cash bail bond in writing and issue a temporary receipt therefor. Lita Guioguio’s payment for cash bail bond was made on a Sunday. Judge Paredes was merely exercising powers incidental to his functions as an Executive Judge since he was the only judge available when Lita Guioguio posted bail. Chapter 4 of A. The Supreme Court ruled that. 03-8-02-SC provides that executive judges are authorized to exercise other powers and prerogatives which are necessary or incidental to the performance of their functions in relation to court administration.No.M. and special days. Moreover. Relative to the matter above-discussed. the bail bond may be filed either with the court where the case is pending. considering that this is the first offense of judge Paredes the penalty to be imposed should be admonition and not reprimand. Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. there was no judge assigned for duty during Sundays. . No. Cebu City were not available to receive the bail bond. 03-02-SC. In the instant case. Notably. Said rule also provides that should the accused deposit cash bail. In addition. Under said provision. Sundays. or with any judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court or the Municipal Trial Court of the place of arrest. the insinuation made by complainant Jill of any irregularity reflected in the issuance of the two (2) orders of release of different dates is not backed up by sufficient evidence. official holidays. or with any Regional Trial Court (RTC) of the place of arrest. he cannot be held administratively liable for his act of receiving the cash bail bond in the Guioguio case. Section 1 (h). Judge Paredes was the only judge available since the practice was for one judge to be present on Saturdays. which authorizes executive judges to act on petitions for bail on Saturdays after 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Considering that Judge Paredes merely followed said procedure. However. respondent judge is authorized to receive the cash bail bond under Section 17 (a).

Jr. The names of Johnny Anudon (Johnny). Alfonso Anudon (Alfonso). a Notary Public for and in the Municipality of Sison. Cefra. This instrument. This is contrary to Atty. Notarization of a document in the absence of the parties is a breach of duty. Cefra. No. The National Bureau of Investigation’s Questioned Documents Division certified that Jimmy and Juanita’s signatures were forged. J. They alleged that they did not sign the Deed of Absolute Sale. Arturo B. Cefra) is a distant relative of Jimmy and Juanita. Pangasinan. (Paran) appeared as the vendee. who exhibited to me their respective Community Tax Certificates as above-indicated. 69244. 10 February 2015 Whoever acts as Notary Public must ensure that the parties executing the document be present. while the name of Celino Paran. ALFONSO ANUDON. Pangasinan covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. Anudon v. Complainants and Jimmy’s brothers and sister co-own a 4. JIMMY ANUDON and JUANITA ANUDON. Cefra notarized a Deed of Absolute Sale over a land covered by TCT No.Topic: Notarization Law. Benita Anudon-Esguerra (Benita). Presence of the Parties before the Notary Public. and complainants Jimmy and Juanita appeared as vendors. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility Ponente: Leonenj. 69244. A. He was admitted to the bar in 1996. 1998.446-square-meter parcel of land located in Sison. consists of two pages and have been signed by the parties and the respective witnesses on each and every page thereof. known to me and known to be the same persons who executed the foregoing Deed of Absolute Sale and acknowledged to me that the same is their free act and voluntary deed.and sister-in-law. . On August 12. Atty. Respondent Atty. which refers to a Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of lot. Jimmy and Juanita claimed that the Deed of Absolute Sale was falsified. Obedience of Lawyers. Cefra’s acknowledgment over the document. they did not sign it before Atty. which states: BEFORE ME. Otherwise. 5482. Facts: Complainants Jimmy Anudon (Jimmy) and Juanita Anudon (Juanita) are brother. their participation with respect to the document cannot be acknowledged. Cefra (Atty. Moreover. personally appeared JOHNNY ANUDON. BENITA ESGUERRA. He practices law and provides services as notary public in the Municipality of Sison.C.

WITNESS MY HAND AND SEAL THIS 12TH DAY OF AUGUST. CEFRA Notary Public Until December 31. while Alfonso was in Cavite. 1998. 69244. Cefra to file his Comment. brought the Deed of Absolute . to sign the Deed of Absolute Sale. 1998. Despite the allowance for extension of time. Atty. Cefra’s continued refusal to file his Comment caused this court to order his arrest and commitment.) ARTURO B. filed a case of falsification of public document against Atty. Alfonso. Cefra and Paran. 2003 and November 17. (Sgd. Cefra finally submitted his Comment on January 15. Johnny. 1-7-98 SISON. which this court granted. this court directed Atty. the National Bureau of Investigation’s agents arrested Atty. On August 13. 2003. 69244 to Paran. Juanita and Jimmy’s wife Helen Anudon went to his residence to consult him on how they could sell the land covered by TCT No. Atty. Thus. Atty. 1998. Cefra filed multiple Motions for Extension of Time. Cefra claimed that he assisted in the preparation of the documents for the sale. PANGASINAN In addition to the forgery of their signatures. Atty. Due to the forgery of the Deed of Absolute Sale. Cefra’s conduct as lawyer and notary public. this court required Atty. Cefra to comment on the administrative complaint. 2001 questioning the propriety of Atty. Jimmy and Juanita stated that it was physically impossible for their brothers and sister. the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor. 2001. Atty. In the Resolution dated September 19. Johnny and Benita were in the United States on the day the Deed of Absolute Sale was executed. He narrated that on July 10. Atty. 1999 PTR NO. and Benita. Cefra did not comply with this court’s order to file a Comment. Cefra at his residence on January 14. Viola Carantes and Lita Paran. Paran’s relatives. 2008. Cefra in the Resolutions dated March 12. In both Resolutions. with Jimmy and Juanita as witnesses. 2461164. which included the deed of sale and the acknowledgment receipts for payment. Jimmy and Juanita also initiated a disciplinary action by filing a Complaint with this court on August 6. In his defense. Cefra stated that Jimmy and Juanita were aware of the sale of the property covered by TCT No. 2007. This court fined Atty.

and Loejan sign the document. On the same day. During the investigation of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. However. Cefra’s conduct in notarizing the Deed of Absolute Sale violated the Notarial Law. Cefra admitted knowing that Loejan affixed the signatures of Johnny." Hence. Cefra from reappointment as notary public for two (2) years. Jimmy. Loejan did not have formal authorization to sign on behalf of his father. XIX-2011-24937 dated May 14. and aunt. Cefra violated Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. trusting in complainants’ words and pronouncements." He allowed this on the basis of his belief that this was justified since Loejan needed the proceeds of the sale for the amputation of his mother’s leg. Juanita. Juanita. and Johnny’s son. they recommended that the penalty imposed on Atty. and Benita "with the full knowledge and permission of the three. She also informed the Investigating Commissioner that her co-complainant. Cefra be modifed: . The mandatory conference was held on February 20. he "notarized the questioned document in good faith. and recommendation. which requires that "a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution. Loejan Anudon (Loejan) to have the document signed. and his uncle and aunt. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes. Atty.23 Viola Carantes and Lita Paran informed Atty. Loejan affixed the signatures for his father. In addition. Cefra’s notarial commission and the disqualification of Atty.Sale to the residences of Jimmy." After receiving Atty. had already passed away. Cefra’s Comment. 2009. the Investigating Commissioner issued an Order terminating the mandatory conference and requiring the parties to submit their respective Position Papers. Juanita appeared without any counsel and manifested her intention to solicit the services of the Public Attorney’s Office. 2011. According to Atty. this court referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation. The Investigating Commissioner also recommended the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for six (6) months. uncle. Cefra. Johnny. Cefra that they witnessed Jimmy. It clearly appeared that Loejan forged the three (3) signatures. Alfonso. In Resolution No. the Investigating Commissioner recommended the revocation of Atty. Alfonso and Benita. The Investigating Commissioner found that Atty. report. the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines resolved to adopt the report and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner. Atty. with the only purpose of helping them out legally and financially.

The earliest law on notarization is Act No. to the contrary. XXI2014-93." . immediately REVOKED and his notarial practice SUSPENDED for two (2) years. Arturo B. Respondent Atty. 2014. 2014. Arturo B. We agree and adopt the findings of fact of the Investigating Commissioner. Cefra is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year and immediate Revocation of his Notarial Commission and Perpetual Disqualification from re-appointment as Notary Public. Cefra: Atty. and renders it admissible in court without further proof of its authenticity.Atty. the Office of the Bar Confidant reported that both parties no longer filed a Petition for Review of Resolution No. Atty. it engages public interest in a substantial degree and the protection of that interest requires preventing those who are not qualified or authorized to act as notaries public from imposing upon the public and the courts and administrative offices generally. Section 1(a) of this law states that an acknowledgment "shall be made before a notary public or an officer duly authorized by law of the country to take acknowledgments of instruments or documents in the place where the act is done. XXI-2014-9342 dated March 21. Courts. Cefra should be given a penalty. asking the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to temper the recommended penalty against him. his notarial practice. Notarization is not an empty routine. In Resolution No. 2103. Cefra violated the Notarial Law and the Code of Professional Responsibility in notarizing a document without requiring the presence of the affiants. Cefra is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year. Cefra filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Issue: Whether Atty. if presently existing. Arturo B. administrative agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon the acknowledgment executed by a notary public and appended to a private instrument. On September 9. SC: Yes. the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines proposed to lower its original penalty against Atty. As this court previously explained: Notarization of a private document converts such document into a public one. This law refers specifically to the acknowledgment and authentication of instruments and documents. The notarization of documents ensures the authenticity and reliability of a document.

The rules require the notary public to assess whether the person executing the document voluntarily affixes his or her signature.— (b) A person shall not perform a notarial act if the person involved as signatory to the instrument or document— (1) is not in the notary’s presence personally at the time of the notarization. Without physical presence. Even if this is true. Prohibitions. Cefra by Paran’s representatives. Cefra should have .—"Acknowledgment" refers to an act in which an individual on a single occasion: (a) appears in person before the notary public and presents and integrally complete instrument or document. It is the notary public who assures that the parties appearing in the document are the same parties who executed it. were not able to review the document given for notarization. Rule II. if he acts in a particular representative capacity. Cefra claims that Jimmy and Juanita wanted to sell their land. declares that he has executed the instrument or document as his free and voluntary act and deed. Jimmy and Juanita. Notarization is the act that ensures the public that the provisions in the document express the true agreement between the parties. Section 2(b) states further: SEC. the notary public will not be able to properly execute his or her duty under the law. Transgressing the rules on notarial practice sacrifices the integrity of notarized documents. Acknowledgment. This cannot be achieved if the parties are not physically present before the notary public acknowledging the document. 2. Atty. Rule IV. and (c) represents to the notary public that the signature on the instrument or document was voluntarily affixed by him for the purposes stated in the instrument or document. (b) is attested to be personally known to the notary public or identified by the notary public through competent evidence of identity as defined by these Rules. and (2) is not personally known to the notary public or otherwise identified by the notary public through competent evidence of identity as defined by these Rules. that he has the authority to sign in that capacity. Section 1 states: SECTION 1. Atty. The Deed of Absolute Sale was brought to Atty. as vendors.The 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice reiterates that acknowledgments require the affiant to appear in person before the notary public. who merely informed Atty. Cefra that the vendors signed the document. and.

Cefra to comment on the Complaint lodged against him. 2008. Cefra is also guilty of violating Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.” Under Rule 138. Atty. Cefra should be penalized for this infraction. This canon requires "a lawyer to uphold the Constitution. his disobedience was willful and inexcusable. It is possible that the terms and conditions favorable to the vendors might not be in the document submitted by the vendee for notarization.exercised vigilance and not just relied on the representations of the vendee. Cefra’s disobedience to this court’s directive issued in 2001 was not explained even as he eventually filed his Comment in2008. Cefra did not comply with this order until he was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation. "wilful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court" constitutes a ground for disbarment or suspension from the practice of law. Clearly." He contumaciously delayed compliance with this court’s order to file a Comment. Cefra should be modified to take into account all his acts of misconduct. . this court already required Atty. 2001. Atty. Atty. In addition. Section 27. paragraph 159 of the Rules of Court. the possibility of forgery became real. We thus find that the penalty recommended against Atty. As early as September 19. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes. Atty. Cefra’s violation of his duty as a notary public. Atty. more than seven years after this court’s order. Aside from Atty. Cefra only filed his Comment on January 15. which requires a lawyer to "observe and maintain the respect due to the courts. Cefra’s actions show utter disrespect for legal processes. The act of disobeying a court order constitutes violation of Canon 1158 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty.

MTJ-15-1851. Victorio filed a Complaint for attempted murder against his brother before the Office of the City Prosecutor. The two claims were jointly heard and it was recommended that both brothers be charged with slight physical injuries. petition. Judge Mangente denied the MR on the ground that the Lupon had issued a certificate to file action. . The separate cases filed were then raffled to separate branches of the MTC. . After almost two (2) years. A. Chua Keng Sin argued that Judge Mangente’s refusal to grant his MTD was violative of Section 412 of the Local Government Code of 1991. The case against Chua Keng Sin was raffled to Branch 54 of the MTC. Metropolitan Trial Court.Topic: Gross ignorance of the law Ponente: Justice Marvic M. Brance 54.F Leonen Chua Keng Sin v. Chua Keng Sin then filed a Complaint against Judge Mangente for gross ignorance of the law and gross inefficiency relative to a criminal case for slight physical injuries. Chua Keng Sin filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that Victorio’s Complaint was filed in court without the required certification to file action.M. An MR of the Order was filed. Mangente. 2015 Facts: Chua Keng Sin and his brother Victorio Chua separately filed their complaints for slight physical injuries against each other before the Lupong Tagapamahaya. against Victorio due to his failure or refusal to appear in the hearing. . Instead. under the Rule on Summary Procedure. Chua Keng Sin was able to file a Complaint for slight physical injuries with the Office of the City Prosecutor as well. the Lupon had issued a certification to bar action/counterclaim against Victorio. Judge Job M. The MTD was denied on the ground that it was a prohibited pleading . Chua Keng Sin filed a Motion for determination of probable cause assailing the Resolution of the reviewing prosecutor for upgrading the offense of slight physical injuries as charged with to attempted homicide. When Victorio learned that his Complaint would be considered as a counterclaim.V. In the meantime. action or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon directly in court of any other government office for adjudication unless there has been a confrontation between the parties before the Lupon. Furthermore. The Lupon also issued a Certification to Bar Action/Counterclaim . The same Motion was denied by Judge Mangente even before the expiration of the period for Chua Keng Sin to file his Reply. he decided not to attend the scheduled hearings set by the Lupon. Navotas City. presided by Judge Mangente. Chua Keng Sin filed his Complaint earlier than Victorio. and that no conciliation or settlement has been reached . No. February 11. which prohibits the filing or institution of a complaint. . Due to Victorio’s failure to appear before a Lupon.

citations omitted). Judge Mangente was careless in disposing the Motions filed by Chua Keng Sin. As to the denial of his Motion to determine probable cause. It was decided two (2) years after the prosecution filed its Comment. The OCA correctly underscores that his experience as a public attorney and prosecutor should have ingrained in him well-settled doctrines and basic tenets of law. Judges took an oath to dispense their duties with . in a criminal case no less. Issue: Is Judge Mangente guilty of gross ignorance of the law? SC: Yes. Contrary to Judge Mangente’s interpretation. Chua Keng Sin further argued that Judge Mangente’s denial of his MTD was also violative of "Section 18 of the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure. contradicts or fails to apply settled law and jurisprudence because of bad faith. the certification to file action issued by the Lupon was in favor of Chua Keng Sin. fraud. He cannot be relieved from the consequences of his actions simply because he was newly appointed and his case load was heavy. Gross ignorance of the law or incompetence cannot be excused by a claim of good faith. deliberate or malicious. which provides for the dismissal of cases requiring referral to the Lupon for conciliation where there is no showing of compliance with such requirement.as certified by the Lupon. "Anything less is gross ignorance of the law." There is gross ignorance of the law when an error committed by the judge was "gross or patent." It may also be committed when a judge ignores. not his brother Victorio. Section 4 of the Revised Rules of Court. When a law or a rule is basic. The certification did not authorize Victorio to pursue his own action. Chua Keng Sin averred that Judge Mangente violated his right to due process when the Motion was resolved before the expiration of the period given to him to file his Reply. These circumstances are not unique to him. judges owe it to their office to simply apply the law. Judge Mangente is suspended from service for six months with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely. Whether the resort to shortcuts is borne out of ignorance or convenience is immaterial. Judges are to be reminded that it is the height of incompetence to dispense cases callously and in utter disregard of procedural rules. (Emphasis supplied. instead of resolving it within 30 days from the time it was submitted for resolution. dishonesty or corruption. Complainant also averred that the delay in resolving the Motion was in violation of Rule 37. His careless disposition of the motions is a reflection of his competency as a judge in discharging his official duties.

2007. Court Stenographer I. Borillo. the Examination. On May 29. P-15-3289. In the Letter dated June 21.M. Section 46 (Serious dishonesty).” Dawang did not comply with the Examination. asked an impersonator to take the examination in her stead. Dawang is a Court Stenographer 1 in the Municipal Trial Court of Talugtog. Nueva Ecija. According to the Civil Service Commission. Reyna v. The complete personal circumstances and alleged signature of Dawang were affixed on the documents for the exam. Respondent's failure must not be brushed aside." Dawang filed a modified Personal Data Sheet on October 11. Borillo. Rule 10. We find the imposition of suspension for six (6) months to be justified. Talugtog. Dawang. A. but more importantly. 1996. Municipal Trial Court. 18. 2015 Facts: Respondent Jovilyn B. The impersonator placed her own 2x2 photograph on the picture-seat plan of the examination under the name of Jovilyn S. Career Service Professional Eligibility Ponente: Per Curiam Civil Service Commission. February 17. 2011. Recruitment. In its Item No. 1996. as represented by Director IV Maria Leticia G.86%. to fall short would be a disservice not only to the entire judicial system. Dawang conspired with another individual during the Career Service Professional Examination held on August 18. and Placement Office required Dawang to show cause "why she should not be administratively charged for having employed fraud in acquiring her Career Service Professional Eligibility. No. then Jovilyn S. she included the qualification "Career Service Professional" with a rating of 84. to the public. Topic: Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. until she qualified as a permanent employee upon obtaining her Certificate for Career Service Professional Eligibility. the Civil Service Commission informed the Office of the Court Administrator that it was charging Dawang with serious dishonesty. Recruitment. Jovilyn B. Dawang had been working as a stenographer for various courts in a temporary capacity since 1993.competence and integrity. a Certificate for Career Service Professional Eligibility was issued in the name of Dawang. and . Nueva Ecija. Dawang. "The impersonator passed the examination and consequently.

in her Personal Data Sheet. 1996 Career Service Professional Examination and her photographs on her Personal Data Sheets. . The differences are apparent even to an ordinary person. the Civil Service Commission found a prima facie case against Dawang." She also noted that her rating was "84. Only a dishonest individual would accept the favorable results of an examination she did not take. or defraud. and she was formally charged with two (2) counts of serious dishonesty. Despite her knowledge that the examination was on August 18." She had the courage to write all these details. 2011. She wrote that her Civil Service Eligibility included "Career Service Professional. the Court shared the Civil Service Commission and the Office of the Court Administrator's conclusion that the individual whose picture appears on the picture-seat plan is not Dawang. Dawang's Personal Data Sheet filed on October 11. The Supreme Court agreed with the Office of the Court Administrator's Report. Dishonesty is the "disposition to lie. Ruling: Yes. probity or integrity in principle.Placement Office's Show Cause Order. she declared under oath that she did. If she did not take the examination on the said date at the said venue. On May 17. Yet. deceive or betray. 1996. yet she admitted in her sworn statement that she did not take the examination on August 18. lack of integrity. M. Upon examination of Dawang's photograph on the picture-seat plan of the August 18. lack of fairness and straightforwardness. nothing in Dawang's narrative shows that she went to the Civil Service Commission on such date. deceive. Issue: Whether Dawang is guilty of serious dishonesty. 1996 documented her dishonesty. disposition to defraud." The Court further held that even if it will believe Dawang's narrative. She did not question how she could have passed without physically taking the examination. 1996. Dawang's acts constituted serious dishonesty. An honest individual would have inquired why she did not receive through post the notice informing her to take the examination. cheat. 1996. then it is impossible for her to score in the examination." On the field for date. her acts after learning she apparently passed the exam are marred with serious dishonesty. Allowing another person to take the examination on one's behalf is an act of dishonesty. When she received the letter from the Civil Service Commission and the Certificate of Eligibility without her taking an actual examination. lack of honesty. she wrote "August 18.86%" and that the place of examination was "Juan Sumulong High Sch. untrustworthiness.M. her first instinct was to confirm her eligibility.

The difference is that respondent in Dasco stated that the disparity between her appearance on the pictureseat plan and her actual appearance was because the latter was affected by stress and fatigue. Rule 10. For her dishonesty. Dasco. Dawang does not deserve to be a stenographer in the judiciary. serious dishonesty is a grave offense punishable by dismissal from the service. The facts in Dasco are identical with the facts of this case. this court dismissed a court stenographer who misrepresented that she took the Career Service Professional Examination. Section 46. and that the signatures were different because she was pasmado when she signed one of the documents. In Civil Service Commission v. .Under the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. She should be dismissed from service.

Alaminos City. 11-6739 of . Alcantara and Jacinto received and encashed checks of their co-workers without consent. Alcantara and Joseph C. whereas Jacinto was an electrician at the Hall of Justice in the same city. integrity. Executive Judge Abella found that Alcantara's and Jacinto's actions constituted grave misconduct and recommended their dismissal from service.Topic: Violation of Civil Service Rules Ponente: Per Curiam Anonymous Letter-Complaint against Reynaldo C. No. Pangasinan. Regional Trial Court. Branch 70. A. respondent was found guilty of gross misconduct and dishonesty for stealing and encashing Special Allowance for Judges and Justices checks payable to several trial court judges without their consent. Burgos. in Re: Loss of Extraordinary Allowance Check No. Jr. February 17. Similarly. and must necessarily be manifest in a charge of grave misconduct. 2013. He found that as early as 2009. Hall of Justice. Abella. P-15-3296. lack of. Br. In the Report dated July 17. willful intent to violate the law. Utility Worker I.M. Alcantara. and Joseph c. Dishonesty is defined as the "disposition to lie. Jacinto with the commission of several illegal activities in violation of Civil Service Rules." Grave misconduct is committed when there has been '"a transgression of some established and definite rule of action. disposition to defraud. The Supreme Court adopted the findings and recommendations of the Office of the Court Administrator. Burgos. lack of honesty. v. 2015 Facts: This case stemmed from an undated Letter-Complaint. Regional Trial Court. cheat. Mina. unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public officer. or to disregard established rules. deceive. Jacinto.' The misconduct is grave if it involves any of the additional elements of corruption. charging respondents Reynaldo C. Issue: Whether respondents are guilty of grave misconduct and dishonesty. Pangasinan. SC: Yes. Electrician." In Rojas. more particularly. or defraud. probity or integrity in principle. all of which must be established by substantial evidence. untrustworthiness. 70. deceive or betray. Pangasinan. both of the Regional Trial Court. Executive Judge Abella recommended that Alcantara and Jacinto be immediately dismissed from service. Alcantara worked as Utility Worker I. addressed to Executive Judge Elpidio N. lack of fairness and straightforwardness.

In this case. thus tainting its image in the eyes of the public. serious dishonesty and grave misconduct are punishable by dismissal from service even if for the first offense. There is no doubt that their acts of repeatedly stealing the checks and forging the signatures of their co-workers constitute grave misconduct and dishonesty. Jovellanos. and converting for her personal use the amount covered by the check issued to Judge Eduardo U. Alcantara and Jacinto admitted to taking and encashing checks of their co-workers without permission. Section 46. encashing. This Court had never and will never tolerate nor condone any conduct which would violate the norms of public accountability. respondent Rosario Santos was held responsible for stealing. This court held that “we have not hesitated to impose the ultimate penalty. . Their alleged remorse for what they have done does not erase the transgression they committed. "This Court will not hesitate to rid its ranks of undesirables who undermine its efforts toward an effective and efficient administration of justice. and diminish. the faith of the people in the justice system." Under the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.Judge Eduardo Jovellanos. Rule 10. or even tend to diminish.

2015 Facts: As early as on December 4. that he had applied for vacation leave to cover the whole month of September 2009 because the nature of his illness had required an extended time for recovery. Administrative Services of the OCA. Chief. The recommendation was based on a finding that Sarceno had incurred 92 days of unauthorized absences in the months of June 2009 to September 2009. in Manila. Tyke J. that he had then sought medical assistance upon finding out that he was also suffering gonorrhea. 2012. he had applied for sick leave. Judge Legaspi recommended that Sarceno be dropped from the rolls. the Court promulgated its resolution dropping Sarceno’s name from the rolls. His continuing absenteeism was discovered by Atty. that due to this. that he had harbored neither malicious intent nor bad faith in incurring his absences. Sarceno continued to incur unexplained absences. high fever. who had meanwhile sent a telegram requesting Presiding Judge Germano Francisco D. and declaring his position as . that in July 2009. that he entreated that the medical certificate attached to his comment be accepted. he had applied for vacation and sick leaves alternately to cover his absences. Clerk III of the Regional Trial Court.M. In his comment. and that he was committing himself to “correct his shortcomings and serve with enthusiasm and excellence. that he had returned to work on August 14. confessing that he had belatedly filed it due to “embarrassment and threat of ridicule” brought about by his sickness. he could not produce a medical certificate to support his application for sick leave. that appropriate administrative charges be brought against him for habitual absenteeism. 2009. inclusive. in the alternative. Caridad A. P11-2930. February 17. believing that he was only experiencing a common illness. Legaspi of Branch 31 of the Regional Trial Court in Manila to direct Sarceno to submit his bundy cards for July 2010 and August 2010 lest the OCA would recommend that Sarceno’s salary be withheld. Branch 31. Accordingly.” Even so. that he did not seek medical assistance but only resorted to self-medication. Pabello. On February 22. 2009 to file the necessary leave application. Habitual absenteeism is considered prejudicial to the best interest of the public service Ponente: Per Curiam Office of the Court Administrator v. Sarceno. and influenza in the latter part of May 2009.Topic: Violation of administrative code. or. the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) recommended the bringing of an administrative complaint for habitual absenteeism against respondent Tyke J. Sarceno. A. that when the abdominal pain had become unbearable in the following month. No. Sarceno explained that he had been experiencing abdominal pains.

His habitual absenteeism severely compromised the integrity and image that the Judiciary sought to preserve. 14-2002 provides that an employee in the Civil Service shall be considered habitually absent if he or she incurs “unauthorized absences exceeding the allowable 2. 2010. The OCA observed that as of the writing of its AMFA on December 14. and integrity that the Judiciary has required of its officials and employees. Judge Legaspi reported that as of the writing of his letter to Atty. and thus violated this mandate. The frequency and the number of Sarceno’s absences rendered him guilty of habitual absenteeism. efficiency. Sarceno had incurred a total of 37 absences in 2010. and indicated that he had thereby exceeded the allowable days of monthly leave credits. Sarceno did not live up to the degree of accountability. By the habituality and frequency of his unauthorized absences. Such absenteeism already merited the imposition of the penalty for habitual absenteeism. and September. July. His position as Clerk III was essential and indispensable to the Judiciary’s primary mandate of the proper administration of justice. SC: Yes Administrative Circular No. August. Still. Sarceno had remained absent without official leave.5 days monthly leave credit under the law for at least three (3) months in a semester or at least three (3) consecutive months during the year.” The OCA found that Sarceno had incurred absences totaling 92 days spread in the months of June. August and September. all in 2009. 2010.Clerk III of Branch 31 of the Regional Trial Court of the City of Manila as vacant. Issue: whether the court is correct in its action. . Bahia on September 8. Conduct is prejudicial to the public service if it violates the norm of public accountability and diminishes – or tends to diminish – the people’s faith in the Judiciary. all in 2010. if only to repay and serve the people whose taxes were used to maintain the Judiciary. This mandate dictated that he as a court employee should devote his office hours strictly to the public service. 34 of which were in the months of July.

Rule 10. Paragraph 6 of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication prepared by Atty. February 18. No. Years later. docketed as Civil Case No. Santos made it appear that Rufina Turla died in 1992. Santos used the falsified death certificate to -support the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed by Mariano Turla. filed a Complaint for sum of money with prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction and temporary restraining order against Bernardino. 09-269. husband of Rufina Turla. Atty. Bernardino (Bernardino) filed a Letter-Complaint against Atty. Conflict of interest Ponente: Leonen.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. 10583. Santos converted funds from Mariano Turla’s estate. praying that Atty. Caringal failed to prove that Atty. Santos represented clients with conflicting interests.03 and Canon 10. Santos) before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. No. Rule 15.C. which allegedly contradicts the Affidavit of SelfAdjudication that Atty. Santos drafted. complainant Roberto C. In the Resolution dated May 10. Atty. daughter of Rufina and Mariano Turla. 10583. Santos be investigated and subjected to disciplinary action. The Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines recommended that Atty. Santos states: Being her surviving spouse. the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP Board of Governors) adopted and approved the findings and recommendations of the Commission on Bar Discipline. Rufina de Castro Turla. Santos. Victor Rey Santos. Santos be suspended for three (3) months. It found that Bernardino failed to prove his allegation that Atty. was falsified by Atty. when in fact. 2015 Facts: In A. Likewise. the sole legal heir entitled to succeed to and inherit the estate of said deceased who did not leave any descendant or any other heir entitled to her estate. Atty. Santos knew that the death certificate was falsified and used it to support Mariano Turla’s Affidavit of Self-Adjudication. A. . J. 09-269 alleged that Marilu Turla is an heir of Mariano Turla. on behalf of Marilu Turla. The Complaint in Civil Case No. Atty.Topic: violated Canon 15. Santos. Atty. she died in 1990.C. Hence.: Roberto Bernardino v. Atty. 2013. Bernardino alleged that the death certificate of his aunt. I am. Victor Rey Santos (Atty.

Lawyers must treat all information received from their clients with utmost confidentiality in order to encourage clients to fully inform their counsels of the facts of their case. Santos violated Canon 15.03 and Canon 10. The court accepted and adopted the findings of fact of the IBP Board of Governors’ Resolution but modified the recommended penalty of suspension from the practice of law from three (3) months to one (1) year.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states: CANON 15 — A lawyer shall observe candor. In brief...Issues: Whether Atty. In Hornilla v. . fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his client. it is the lawyer’s duty to fight for an issue or claim. Canon 15. The rule on conflict of interest is based on the fiduciary obligation in a lawyer-client relationship. this court explained what conflict of interest means: There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties. if he argues for one client. Rule 15. this argument will be opposed by him when he argues for the other client. Also. there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection. Rule 10. but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be used. The test is "whether or not in behalf of one client. . Salunat.03 — A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. Rule 15." This rule covers not only cases in which confidential communications have been confided. Rule 15.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.. Another test of the inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance thereof. Whether the penalty of suspension of three (3) months from the practice of law is proper. SC: Yes. Atty.

this authority is only to assist this court with the investigation of the case. Rule 10. . Time and again. 2013 and March 22. Rule 10. his knowledge of the existence of Marilu Turla as a possible heir to the estate of Rufina Turla. The court noted that the wording of the IBP Board of Governors’ Resolutions dated May 10. Under the current rules.] not only was he in contravention of the Lawyer’s Oath but was also in violation of Canon 10. however. and to recommend. it is the Supreme Court that has the constitutionally mandated duty to discipline lawyers. he knew that Mariano Turla was not the only heir. recommendatory. upon the verified complaint of any person. This is wrong. Section 1 of the Rules of Court. to determine factual findings. can only be recommendatory. or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines . The authority given to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is based on Rule 139-B. consistent with the constitutional powers of this court. The respondent’s act of failing to thwart his client Mariano Turla from filing the Affidavit of Adjudication despite .01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. suspension or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio. Rule10. which states: CANON 10 — A lawyer owes candor.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. at best. by its nature.Applying the test to determine whether conflict of interest exists. . Parenthetically. legal and proper. Thus in failing to do his duty and acting dishonestly[.01 — A lawyer shall not do any falsehood." However. the penalty that may be imposed on the erring lawyer. The findings of the Integrated Bar. nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be mislead by any artifice. this Court emphasizes that the practice of law is imbued with public interest and that "a lawyer owes substantial duties not only to . the respondent failed to uphold his obligation as a member of the bar to be the stewards of justice and protectors of what is just. nor consent to the doing of any in court. . respondent would necessarily refute Mariano Turla’s claim that he is Rufina Turla’s sole heir when he agreed to represent Marilu Turla. As stated in the Report of the Commission on Bar Discipline: Likewise. 2014 seems to imply that it is the Integrated Bar of the Philippines that has the authority to impose sanctions on lawyers. Worse. which provides that "proceedings for the disbarment. fairness and good faith to the court. . Its recommended penalties are also. the court accepted and adopted the IBP Board of Governors’ finding that respondent violated Canon 10. the duty to assist fact finding can be delegated to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

at best.his client. This disciplinary authority is granted by the Constitution and cannot be relinquished by this court. and to the nation. but also of morality. . honesty. integrity and fair dealing. and takes part in one of the most important functions of the State—the administration of justice—as an officer of the court." Accordingly. "[l]awyers are bound to maintain not only a high standard of legal proficiency. and its findings and recommendations should not be equated with Decisions and Resolutions rendered by this court. recommendatory. to the courts. The Resolutions of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines are." Only this court can impose sanctions on members of the Bar. but also to his brethren in the profession.

M. Appearing as counsel before the IBP on behalf of her father SC: 1. that is. CJ. Under Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court. YES. Affixing her signature to the jurat portion of the administrative complaint prepared by her father 2. Catanduanes. Branch 43.Topic: Affixing signature at the jurat portion of the administrative complaint prepared by her father Ponente: Sereno. We apply the same legal reasoning to the second act of respondent being complained about. the proceedings involving the disbarment and discipline of attorneys shall be conducted before the IBP. RTJ-15-2406. Judge Lelu P. On the other hand. Issues: Whether Contreras is administratively liable for the following acts: 1. Benito B. 2015 Facts: This administrative case concerns allegations that respondent Judge Lelu P. Contreras committed three counts of grave misconduct while she was still holding the position Clerk of Court VI of the Regional Trial Court in Iriga City. certified a document (a labor complaint) as a true copy of the original. This means that clerks of court are not among the touch points in the regular procedure pertaining to complaints against an attorney. the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees prohibit public officials and employees from engaging in the private practice of their profession. Respondent’s act of affixing her signature to the jurat portion of the administrative complaint prepared by her father had no direct relation to her work as the then clerk of court of RTC–Iriga City. Authenticating documents as genuine copies of the original labor complaint 3. February 18. respondent allegedly notarized an administrative complaint. Contreras. Clerks of court are indeed authorized to act as ex officio notaries public under the Administrative Code of 1987 in relation to the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court. Nate v. Regional Trial Court. Neither may a pleading in a case involving lawyers be filed with the RTC. her certification of a . Camarines Sur (RTC-Iriga City). 2. No. The 2004 Code of Conduct for Court Personnel and the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice were not yet in force when respondent committed the purported offenses. According to the complaint. A. and appeared as counsel for her father in a hearing before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). Virac. YES.

copy of her sister-in-law’s labor complaint.1âwphi1 Respondent
herself admits that the document was filed before the National
Labor Relations Commission in Naga City, not the RTC–Iriga City.
Thus, in the regular course of her duties, she would not have come
across, encountered, or been in custody of the document. While we
agree with her that clerks of court are allowed to perform the
notarial act of copy certification, this act must still be connected to
the exercise of their official functions and duties – meaning to say, it
must be done in connection with public documents and records that
are, by virtue of their position, in their custody.
3. We recognize that the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for
Public Officials and Employees does allow for limited exceptions.
Section 7(b) thereof in relation to Rule X, Section 1(c) of its
implementing rules, provides that public officials and employees are
prohibited from engaging in the private practice of their profession
unless authorized by the Constitution, law, or regulation; and under
the condition that their practice will not conflict or tend to conflict
with their official functions.
In the instant case Respondent has satisfactorily proved that she
was granted authority by this Court to "represent her father in
Administrative Case No. 6089 provided that she files the
corresponding leaves of absence on the scheduled dates of hearing
of the case and that she will not use official time in preparing for the
case."

Topic: Lawyer-client relationship
Ponente: Reyes, J.
Michael Ruby vs. Atty. Espejo and Atty. Bayot, A.C. No. 10558,
February 23, 2015
Facts: The complainant engaged the services of the respondents. On
September 15, 2009, complainant gave Atty. Espejo the amount of
P50,000.00 as payment for filing fee. However the actual filing fee that
was paid by her was only 7,5610 and she failed to account for the excess
amount given despite several demands. Thereafter the complainant
alleged that the respondents failed to update him as to the status of his
complaint. He further claimed that Atty. Bayot had suddenly denied that
he was their counsel. Atty. Bayot asserted that it was Atty. Espejo alone
who was the counsel of the complainant and that he was merely a
collaborating counsel. Atty. Bayot further claim that Atty. Espejo, trough
complainant's consent, merely assisted for the sole purpose of drafting a
complaint. He pointed out that he had no part in the retainer agreement
that was entered into by the complainant and Atty. Espejo. He also denied
having any knowledge as to the P50,000.00 that was paid to Atty. Espejo
as filing fee. The IBP Board of Governors issued a resolution suspending
the respondents from the practice of law for a period of one year. On
march 22, 2014, the Board of Governors issued a resolution which
dismissed the case insofar as Atty. Espejo in view of her demise.
Issue: Whether Attorney-client relationship exist between Attorney Bayot
and complainant
SC: Yes.
The evidence on record including Atty. Bayot's admissions point to the
conclusion that a lawyer-client relationship existed between him and the
complainant. Atty. Bayot was the one who prepared the complaint that
was filed with the RTC. He likewise prepared the motion to serve summons
through publication. He likewise appeared as counsel for the complainant
in the hearings of the case before RTC and advise the complainant on the
status of the case. More importantly, Atty. Bayot admitted that he
received P8,000.00 which is part of the acceptance fee indicated in the
retainer agreement. The foregoing circumstances clearly established that
a lawyer-client relationship existed between Atty. Bayot and the
complainant. Documentary formalism is not an essential element in the
employment of an attorney; the contract may be express or implied. To
establish the relation, it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of an
attorney is sought and received in any matter pertinent to his profession.
Further, acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney-client
relationship.

Topic: Willful neglect of duty and serious misconduct due to graft
and corruption and extortion
Ponente: Per Curiam
Astorga and Repol Law Offices, represented by Atty. Arnold B.
Lugares v. Alexander D. Villanueva, Sheriff IV, Regional Trial
Court, Branch 60, Makati City, A.M. No. P-09-2668
February 24, 2015
Facts: This is an administrative Complaint filed by Astorga and Repol
Law Offices against Alexander D. Villanueva, Sheriff IV of Branch 60 of the
Regional Trial Court, Makati City for "willful neglect of duty and serious
misconduct in office due to graft and corruption or extortion with a prayer
that a penalty of dismissal . . . or other appropriate sanctions be meted
against him." Astorga and Repol Law Offices represented FGU Insurance
Corporation in a Complaint for damages filed against NEC Cargo Services,
Inc. The Complaint was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City
and raffled to Branch 66 presided by Judge Ricardo R. Rosario. On August
23, 2004, Judge Ricardo R. Rosario issued a Decision in favor of FGU
Insurance Corporation. NEC Cargo Services, Inc. and Albert Tamayo, a
third-party defendant-appellant, appealed the Decision before the Court of
Appeals. The Court of Appeals denied the Appeal in its Resolutions dated
July 20, 2005 and December 20, 2005. These Resolutions became final
and executory. Presiding Judge Joselito C. Villarosa issued the Order
granting Astorga and Repol Law Offices’ Motion to Appoint Special Sheriff.
Sheriff Villanueva was assigned to execute the Decision.
On October 29, 2008, Sheriff Villanueva and Atty. Arnold B. Lugares (Atty.
Lugares) started coordinating with each other for the execution of the
Decision.
During
the
meeting,
Sheriff
Villanueva
allegedly
demanded P8,000.00 to execute the Decision.
The Office of the Court Administrator recommended the dismissal of the
Complaint for lack of evidence. It found that Atty. Lugares’ failure to
prosecute the case invited suspicion that the Complaint was not filed with
sincerity of purpose, or that a settlement was reached to cover up his
misconduct. The Office of the Court Administrator recommended that Atty.
Lugares should show cause why he should not be held in contempt of
court for filing an unfounded Complaint against Sheriff Villanueva.
In the Resolution, Supreme Court adopted the recommendations of the
Office of the Court Administrator by dismissing the case and requiring
Atty. Lugares to show cause.
Atty. Lugares filed a Compliance with Motion for Reconsideration where he
manifested that he was willing to prosecute the case. He alleged that "he

Sheriff Villanueva was able to provide the affidavit of Atty. In the Resolution dated March 5. Lugares was able to prove that respondent committed actions that warrant administrative liability.was not furnished . . Lugares. SC: Yes. He stated that Atty. Escasiñas. In previous administrative cases involving other court personnel. he stated that Atty. Respondent should be subject to disciplinary sanctions." He claimed that no amicable settlement was reached with Sheriff Villanueva and that he had no improper motive in filing this case. . this court can still conduct its own assessment of the evidence on record and impose the corresponding administrative liability. Lugares was unable to present his outgoing text messages. Lugares was not able to provide evidence to substantiate his claim that Sheriff Villanueva did not perform his duty. His exculpation of respondent from liability was primarily based on the fact that Atty. Lugares failed to provide evidence showing that respondent committed the actions alleged in the Complaint. a copy of the Investigation Report of Judge Salvador. this court recalled the Resolution dated June 22. Issue: Whether respondent Sheriff Alexander D. but an examination of the record shows that there is evidence to support the allegations. text messages were admitted as evidence and given probative value by this . Villanueva is guilty of misconduct due to willful neglect of duty and corruption or extortion. Jr. He attached as annexes the photographs of the text messages that Sheriff Villanueva sent him. Court must reverse the findings of Executive Judge Pozon. Executive Judge Pozon concluded that Sheriff Villanueva did not commit gross neglect of duty.100 Respondent’s neglect to faithfully execute his duties as Sheriff is supported by substantial evidence. Contrary to Executive Judge Pozon’s position. 2011 dismissing the administrative Complaint for lack of evidence and ordered the case to be reopened. confirming that when Sheriff Villanueva met with Atty. 2012. In Executive Judge Pozon’s Report and Recommendation. however. On the other hand.. A review of the facts is called for when the finding of a lack of administrative liability is premised on the supposed absence of evidence. Atty.99Even if respondent is initially exculpated based on an alleged lack of evidence to support the allegations. it was to ensure the execution of the Decision.

Lugares’ allegations. Sections 1 and 2 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel: CANON I FIDELITY TO DUTY SECTION 1. Having found substantial evidence to prove Atty. The content of the text messages from respondent and the circumstances within which they were made constitute substantial evidence that justify the finding of administrative liability. 2. He submitted respondent’s calling card105 that contained the same phone number seen in the text messages. Court personnel shall not use their official position to secure unwarranted benefits. He has failed to uphold the high standard of integrity required by a position in the judiciary. favor or benefit shall influence their official actions.104 In those cases. the court considered the content of the text messages and the identification of the person sending them as substantial evidence to prove the commission of administrative offenses. He has violated Canon 1. Atty. The presentation of text messages that Atty. The contents of the text messages sufficiently prove his manifest refusal to properly implement the Writ of Execution. This deplorable behavior in some court personnel must be stopped. . SEC. Through this calling card. privileges or exemptions for themselves or for others. Lugares. Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct and must be dismissed from the service. showing the messages as they were received. He attached photographs of the screen of his cellular phone. Respondent has been found guilty of soliciting money from litigants in order to execute his duties as a Sheriff. he was able to prove that respondent was the source of the text messages. Lugares was able to present the text messages he received in his cellular phone. but he never denied sending the text messages to him. Court personnel shall not solicit or accept any gift. respondent must be held accountable by this court.court. favor or benefit based on any or explicit or implicit understanding that such gift. Respondent’s text messages sent to Atty. Lugares show an actual evasion of duty to implement the Writ of Execution. Lugares sent to respondent is not necessary. Respondent denied meeting with Atty.

Also. 2009. Reyes was likewise sternly warned that a repetition of her failure to promptly remit the court’s collections to their respective fund accounts in the future would be dealt with more severely.Topic: Gross neglect of duty. Reyes. and Mediation Fund (MF) for the years 2004 to 2009. Reyes’s salaries were withheld in February 2009. Fiduciary Fund (FF). she had presumed that there was nothing wrong as long as the court’s collections were intact in her possession.000. No. February 24. A. Reyes did not present any explanation. Lack of provision for transportation expenses is a lame excuse for non-remittance of collections. Bani. OCA. the OCA recommended that Reyes be directed to pay a fine of P5. subsequently released in November 2010 upon her compliance with the directives of said office. It directed Reyes to explain in writing why she should not be held administratively liable for the delayed remittances of collections of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). Thereafter. Clerk of Court Emmanuela A. Municipal Trial Court. After a thorough review and evaluation of the case. the Landbank branch in Alaminos City is fourteen (14) kilometers away such that she would only go to the bank if she needed to withdraw from the court’s Fiduciary Fund Account. Reyes was directed to comment to another OCA Memorandum . Reyes reasoned out that since no one called her attention.M. For failing to submit the court’s monthly financial reports to the Revenue Section. Interests earned on Fiduciary deposits which were withdrawn from the Fiduciary Fund Account were likewise not deposited promptly to the proper fund account on the day they were withdrawn. Accounting Division. These were. 2015 Facts: Office of the Court Administrator issued a Memorandum relative to the examination conducted on Reyes’s books of accounts covering the period of June 15. Pangasinan. Reyes should also have immediately remitted the aforesaid interests to the proper fund account on the day they were withdrawn. As to the interests on Fiduciary deposits. The audit team then evaluated said explanation and it found that the delayed remittances resulted to loss of interests that should have otherwise been earned had the collections been deposited promptly to their respective fund accounts. 2004 until March 31. Financial Management Office (FMO).00 for the interest that should have been earned and deposit the same to the SAJF Account. since personal money spent for a valid undertaking would be subject to reimbursement. P-102872. however. Sheriff’s Trust Fund (STF). dishonesty and grave misconduct Ponente: Per Curiam Office of the Court Administrator v. Special Allowance for the Judiciary Fund (SAJF).

00.00 from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office (MTO) of Bani in May 2005. she failed to justify the incurred shortages and delayed remittances of collections. Reyes explained that she withdrew the amount upon instruction of Emmanuel R. including government-owned and controlled corporations.869.40. 2012. From the audit report and investigation. with forfeiture of all benefits except accrued leave credits. General Fund (GF). with forfeiture of all benefits except accrued leave credits.110.175. Reyes merely blamed this to the confusion and harried minds brought about by the holidays.00 for the nonremittance and delayed deposit of court collections.000.437.00. The Court affirms the findings and recommendations of the OCA. SC: Yes. As to the unauthorized withdrawal of P82. dishonesty. in order for the latter to remit the same to the SC Account. For the late issuances of receipts. . Issue: Whether Reyes be dismissed from the service for gross neglect of duty. late issuances of several Official Receipts in December 2011. Further. Reyes was not only late in her deposits. the official receipt was also left with him. Reyes should thus be held administratively liable for gross neglect of duty. Odero. still leaving a deficit of P182.dated April 16. 2009 to October 31. dishonesty and grave misconduct. It also ordered her to deposit any remaining balance of the shortages and penalties within one (1) month from receipt of the Court’s Resolution. unauthorized withdrawal of P82.00.40. Reyes was required to explain the shortages she incurred amounting to P217. and with prejudice to re-employment in the government service. 2011 and December 2.755. former Sheriff IV of the Alaminos RTC and Officer-inCharge.28 for the loss of interest that should have been earned had the collections been immediately remitted. After her salaries were released. But when she gave the money to Odero. and with prejudice to re-employment in the government service. after the money value of her leave credits shall have been applied to her accountabilities.40 but she was only able to settle P35. 2012 with regard to the audit team’s examination of her books of accounts for April 1. STF. FF.755. and a penalty of P1. and MF for the years 2009 to 2011. SAJF. and delayed remittances of collections of the JDF. including government-owned and controlled corporations. the OCA recommended that Reyes be dismissed from the service for gross neglect of duty. She was also directed to deposit the total amount of P217. partial unremitted collections of P112.869. However. dishonesty and grave misconduct. and grave misconduct.759. 2011 to January 6. it imposed a fine of P5.

dated August 20. The undeposited collections and delayed remittances resulted to loss of interests that should have accrued had the collections been deposited promptly to their respective fund accounts. Failure to completely settle her accountability may likewise give rise to criminal liability. Under Section 3-C of the JDF and SAJF procedural guidelines in Administrative Circular No. rental deposits and other Fiduciary collections shall be deposited by the Clerk of Court concerned. and grave misconduct which are serious offenses that deserve the penalty of dismissal under Section 52. 2012.755. . Reyes also failed to present any proof that the court ordered her to withdraw the amount of P82. within twenty-four (24) hours upon receipt thereof with the Landbank of the Philippines. Reyes violated the trust reposed upon her as a collecting officer of the judiciary. The Court cannot tolerate non-submission of financial reports. Indubitably. unauthorized withdrawal. In relation to this. 2004. dishonesty. Rule IV of the Civil Service Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases. OCA. 35-2004. her continuous abuse of authority as an accountable officer of the court would have gone unnoticed. undue delay in the deposit of collections. and non-explanation of incurred shortages and undeposited collections.00 from the Bani MTO in May 2005. 50-95 provides that all collections from bailbonds. non-reporting and non-deposit of collections. as amended. Reyes failed to fully settle her deficit in the court funds despite the ample time given to her to do so. The request for an extension of time to be able to come up with the amount needed is merely a delaying tactic to evade full responsibility for the violation committed. Said infractions certainly constitute gross negligence. If not for the emergency audit of her accounts at the Bani MTC on January 9. Section 4 of OCA Circular No.she had also ceased remitting her collections beginning July 2011 and resumed her non-submission of financial reports to the FMO. the daily remittance of JDF and SAJF collections is required.

2009. Peñalosa. a new associate who had no knowledge of complainant’s labor cases. a partner of the law firm. A. Jose Ma. Consequently.C. Dionela and not by the entire law firm. Atty. of which Attys. but explained that their association is not a formal partnership. Uy-Valencia. J. there was a conflict of interest in this case. the same law office which handled complainant’s labor cases. and Rubica were partners. Dionela. was assigned to represent complainant. complainant filed this disbarment case against respondents. and expenses for cases. 10567.03.. through Atty. the lawyers do not discuss their clientele with the other lawyers and associates.. Dabao. Valencia. Canon 15 and Canon 21 of the CPR. On September 18. Aggrieved. with the exception of Atty. however. . Atty. Dabao. but one that is subject to certain "arrangements. 2010. unless they agree that a case be handled collaboratively. Wilfredo Anglo v. a criminal case4 for qualified theft was filed against complainant and his wife by FEVE Farms Agricultural Corporation (FEVE Farms) acting through a certain Michael Villacorta (Villacorta). Respondents claim that this has been the practice of the law firm since its inception. Respondents admitted that they indeed operated under the name Valencia Ciocon Dabao Valencia De La Paz Dionela Pandan Rubica Law Office. and the like are shouldered by each lawyer separately. As such. Villacorta.Bernabe. alleging that they violated Rule 15. February 25.Topic: Conflicting interests Ponente: Perlas. et al. as respondents. 2015 Facts: Complainant alleged that he availed the services of the law firm Valencia Ciocon Dabao Valencia De La Paz Dionela Pandan Rubica Law Office(law firm). such as transportation. copying. Dionela. mailing. respondents asserted that the qualified theft case filed by FEVE Farms was handled by Atty. Ciocon. Valencia. allowing each lawyer to fix and receive his own professional fees exclusively. for two (2) consolidated labor cases where he was impleaded as respondent. Jr. IBP Commissioner found respondents to have violated the rule on conflict of interest and recommended that they be reprimandedtherefor. They averred that complainant’s labor cases were solely and exclusively handled by Atty. each lawyer contributes a fixed amount every month for the maintenance of the entire office. printing. De La Paz." According to them. Pandan. Moreover. having been retained by FEVE Farms. No. who had died on January 17. Peñalosa. V. Dionela. as he started working for the firm after the termination thereof. was represented by the law firm. The IBP found that complainant was indeed represented in the labor cases by the respondents acting together as a law firm and not solely by Atty.

The client's confidence once reposed should not be divested by mere expiration of professional employment. As such." This rule covers not only cases in which confidential communications have been confided. the termination of attorney-client relation prov ides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client. The test is "whether or not in behalf of one client. The prohibition is founded on the principles of public policy and good taste. whether or not they are parties in the same action or on totally unrelated cases. the termination of attorney-client relation provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client. a lawyer is prohibited from representing new clients whose interests oppose those of a former client in any manner. In brief. . but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. Another test of the inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance thereof. there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection. Issue: Whether respondents are guilty of representing conflicting interests in violation of the pertinent provisions of the CPR. Also. but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be used. if he argues for one client. SC: Yes.created a connection that would injure complainant in the qualified theft case. There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties. this argument will be opposed by him when he argues for the other client. Moreover. it is the lawyer’s duty to fight for an issue or claim.

MAR 23.000. The check was subsequently returned/dishonored after Ms. Sosa to explain why he failed to pay.” Ms. Atty. Atty. In view of the repeated failure of Atty. J. Cabrera. Sosa finally deposited it sometime in October 2006. Atty. Ms. Likewise. it was “Drawn Against Insufficient Funds. Mendoza for violation of Rule 1. Sosa alleged that on July 28. he did not. Mendoza demanding payment of the loan plus interest and collection charges. 2015 BRION. Mendoza to pay.: FACTS: Ms.C. Sosa then obtained the services of a lawyer.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Mendoza at an interest of P25.000. Sosa not to deposit the postdated check. No. 2006. to legally address Atty. To ensure the payment of the obligation. SOSA vs ATTY. .000. Mendoza ignored the demand letter despite receipt. he requested Ms. Mendoza signed a promissory note and issued a postdated check for P500. charging Atty. Cabrera sent a letter to Atty. On January 11.00. Mendoza’s promise that he would later pay. They agreed that a penalty or collection charge of 10% per month shall accrue in case of default. 2006. in any manner. Mendoza failed to comply with his obligation on due date. 8776. MANUEL V.00 to Atty. Ernesto V. MENDOZA A.Topic: Violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility ANTONINA S. contact Ms. 2010. she extended a loan of P500. She acceded and deferred the deposit of the check based on Atty. Mendoza’s failure to pay. Atty. Sosa filed the complaint for disbarment or suspension. as proven by the Registry Receipt and Registry Return Receipt. Atty.00 to be paid not later than September 25. Upon demand to pay.

Mendoza from the practice of law for six (6) months.The IBP resolved to suspend Atty. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a defendant. The case is solely an administrative complaint for disbarment and is not a civil action for collection of a sum of money. likewise ordering him to return the amount of the debt with legal interest. The administrative complaint only requires substantial evidence to justify a finding of liability. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare. while a civil action requires greater evidentiary standard of preponderance of evidence. . Mendoza to pay the amount of the loan plus legal interest. it differed with its recommendation ordering Atty. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. Mendoza is liable not only administratively but also civilly. RULING: NO. ISSUE: WON Atty. While the Supreme Court agreed with the punishment meted out by the IBP.

Jr. 8725. Complainants alleged that the property covered by the subject TCT was inherited by them from their parents. Jr. counsel of defendants. J. and Jessie Campugan and Robert Torres v. Atty. et al.C. as well as the notice of lis pendens. the complainants felt that said counsel had abandoned their case. N-290546. Tolentino. They caused the annotation on the title their affidavit of adverse claim.: FACTS: Atty. They submitted that the cancellation resulted from the connivance and .. A. the complainants filed an appeal en consulta with the Land Registration Authority (LRA). Jr. is the counsel of the complainants Campugan and Torres in a civil action for the annulment of Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. Atty. impleading defendants Ramon and Josefina Ricafort. Federico Tolentino.Topic: Disbarment Jessie T.. both parties entered into an amicable settlement which caused the dismissal of the case. Feeling aggrieved by their discovery. No. Campugan and Robert Torres v. despite their having paid him for his professional services. Victorio. March 11. During the pendency of the trial.C. 2015 DECISION: BERSAMIN. Juliet Vargas and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. it was unlawfully registered under the name of defendants. No. Constantine Caluya. Unable to receive any response or assistance from Atty. Jr. Jr. Victorio. nevertheless. The annotation in the title was later on cancelled pursuant to letter-request appearing to be filed by Atty. et al. 8261 and A.

hence. the Chief Registrar. RULING: NO. Caluya. Victorio. The test is whether his conduct shows him to be wanting in moral character. and that it is his concern to see whether the documents sought to be registered conform with the formal and legal requirements for such documents. it appears in this case that the officers of the Registry of Deeds merely acted on their ministerial duty in the cancellation of the annotation.” With respect to the conspiracy between Atty. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility – A lawyer shall encourage his clients to avoid. Register of Deeds of Rizal. Victorio. or whether his conduct renders him unworthy to continue as an officer of the Court. Jr. and Atty. Quilala. his assistance resulted to a fair settlement.. is not the duty of a Register of Deeds to decide. The complainants did not show any unfaithfulness. Jr. Jr. Tolentino. Victorio. Jr.04. Tolentino. there was nothing wrong herein because pursuant to Rule 1. Jr. The Supreme Court held that it is a well entrenched rule that a lawyer may be disciplined for misconduct committed either in his professional or private capacity. . the Court underscores that: x x x [W]hether the document is invalid. without any portion of the proceeds accruing to counsel as his legal fees. Victorio. could not be faulted for the perceived inattention to any other matters subsequent to the termination of civil case. ISSUE: Whether or not the complaint for disbarment should prosper.. and from the taking advantage of their positions as officials in the Registry of Deeds by respondents Atty. the acting Registrar and signatory of the new annotations. Atty. Jr.conspiracy between Atty. but a court of competent jurisdiction. Cunanan. unless there is a stipulation to the contrary. and Atty. Even assuming that the lawyers initiated and participated in the settlement of the case.. Jr. probity. Hence. Cunanan. frivolous or intended to harass. Anent the complainants’ charge of abandonment against Atty. However. for allegedly falsifying a court order that became the basis for the cancellation of their annotation. Therefore. The records indicated their own active participation in arriving at the amicable settlement. Victorio. Atty. Atty. and Atty. such was not established by clear and convincing evidence. honesty. Atty. Quilala and Atty. end or settle a controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement. Tolentino. The Law Profession did not burden its members with the responsibility of indefinite service to the clients. and good demeanor. they filed a disbarment case against Atty.. In Gabriel v. Jr.

00 as attorney’s fees. complainant alleged that on March 1. Topic: Lawyer’s Liability Ponente: Perlas-Bernabe Shirley Olayta-Camba v. and (g) P28.55. complainant terminated her engagement with respondent and demanded for the return of P112.000. but to no avail. OtilloSyBongon Facts: In her complaint. situated in the Municipalities of Camalig and Guinobatan.337. (e) P10. broken down as follows: (a) P20. (d) P30.00 as payment for land taxes and titling of properties.55 as payment for documentary stamps on the estate of BernabeOlayta.000. (b) P162.000.00 as partial payment for legal services. both in the province of Albay.499. Atty.00 as payment for certification fees.000. . (f) P19. respondent failed to update complainant regarding the status of the matters referred to him.00 as payment for Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Taxes. 2000.00 as advance payment for the reconstitution of titles. (c) P5.000.499.the rendition of professional services depends on the agreement between the attorney and the client. In connection therewith. Despite the foregoing. she engaged the services of respondent for the purpose of titling and/or reconstituting the titles to the real estate properties of the late BernabeOlayta. she filed the instant complaint before the Court. Thus.55 to respondent. she claimed to have given the aggregate amount of P112. Hence.

03. Further. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed upon him. Ruling: After a judicious perusal of the records.00 to complainant. The Court. thus. in a Resolution dated August 15. claiming that he already earned the fees for legal services in the amount of P20. and devotion whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. The Investigating Commissioner found that complainant indeed engaged respondent’s services. 2013. Therefore.03. In a Report and Recommendation dated April 17. care. and considering that this is his first offense. complainant engaged the services of respondent for the purpose of titling .In his defense. a lawyer’s neglect of a legal matter entrusted to him by his client constitutes inexcusable negligence for which he must be held administratively liable for violating Rule 18.00 and that the rest of the money was received by a certain Rowena Delos Reyes-Kelly who was not an employee of his law firm. the Investigating Commissioner opted to mitigate the administrative penalties imposed upon respondent. The foregoing acts were deemed to be in violation of the lawyer’s oath. However. the Court concurs with the findings and recommendations of the IBP. and that the latter received legal fees in connection therewith.000. referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. rendering respondent administratively liable for the same. he is duty-bound to serve the latter with competence. and to attend to such client’s cause with diligence. the IBP Investigating Commissioner found respondent guilty of violating Rule 16. Issue: Whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for the acts complained of. and recommendation. respondent asserts. report. as well as the CPR. in view of respondent’s old age. Despite this. Canon 18of the CPR.000.000.Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR). inter alia.01 and Rule 16. It must be stressed that once a lawyer takes up the cause of his client. respondent averred that he had already offered to return the amount of P30. 2011. respondent did not perform his undertaking in accordance with the engagement and likewise failed to return complainant’s money despite demands.00 for having studied the matter entrusted to him and drafted the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition (Deed) that underwent several revisions. that he only received P55. his condition of having undergone a triple heart bypass surgery. As correctly pointed out by the IBP Investigating Commissioner.

as in this case. if not used accordingly. respondent also violated Rules 16. when a lawyer receives money from the client for a particular purpose. the money must be returned immediately to the client. Verily. respondent failed to exercise such skill. hence.00 that he personally received from complainant despite repeated demands. a lawyer’s failure to return the money to his client despite numerous demands is a violation of the trust reposed on him and is indicative of his lack of integrity. and diligence as men of the legal profession commonly possess and exercise in such matters of professional employmentand.00. . the lawyer is bound to render an accounting to the client showing that the money was spent for the intended purpose. As such. care.000. Furthermore. Clearly.000. Despite the foregoing. and in connection therewith.01 and 16. Canon 16 of the CPR when he failed to refund the amount of P55. Consequently. much less obtain their signatures to the said Deed. and that BernabeOlayta’s surviving heirs were living in different places. allegedly gave various amounts to respondent. of which the latter admitted the receipt of only P55. as well as preparing the Deed. making it difficult to secure their presence. respondent failed to comply with his undertaking and offered the excuse that the reconstitution of the titles and the preparation of the Deed were delayed due to the Deed’s several revisions. must be disciplined accordingly.and/or reconstituting the titles to the real estate properties of the late BernabeOlayta.03.