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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
ENBANC
A.M.No.1928August3,1978
IntheMatteroftheIBPMembershipDuesDelinquencyofAtty.MARCIALA.EDILION(IBPAdministrative
CaseNo.MDD1)
RESOLUTION

CASTRO,C.J.:
TherespondentMarcialA.EdillonisadulylicensedpracticingattorneyinthePhilippines.
On November 29, 1975, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP for short) Board of Governors unanimously
adopted Resolution No. 7565 in Administrative Case No. MDD1 (In the Matter of the Membership Dues
Delinquency ofAtty. MarcialA. Edillon) recommending to the Court the removal of the name of the respondent
from its Roll of Attorneys for "stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues" to the IBP since the latter's
constitutionnotwithstandingduenotice.
OnJanuary21,1976,theIBP,throughitsthenPresidentLilianoB.Neri,submittedthesaidresolutiontotheCourt
forconsiderationandapproval,pursuanttoparagraph2,Section24,ArticleIIIoftheByLawsoftheIBP,which
reads:
.... Should the delinquency further continue until the following June 29, the Board shall promptly
inquireintothecauseorcausesofthecontinueddelinquencyandtakewhateveractionitshalldeem
appropriate, including a recommendation to the Supreme Court for the removal of the delinquent
member'snamefromtheRollofAttorneys.Noticeoftheactiontakenshallbesentbyregisteredmail
tothememberandtotheSecretaryoftheChapterconcerned.
On January 27, 1976, the Court required the respondent to comment on the resolution and letter adverted to
abovehesubmittedhiscommentonFebruary23,1976,reiteratinghisrefusaltopaythemembershipfeesdue
fromhim.
On March 2, 1976, the Court required the IBP President and the IBP Board of Governors to reply to Edillon's
comment:onMarch24,1976,theysubmittedajointreply.
Thereafter,thecasewassetforhearingonJune3,1976.Afterthehearing,thepartieswererequiredtosubmit
memorandainamplificationoftheiroralarguments.Thematterwasthenceforthsubmittedforresolution.
Atthethreshold,apainstakingscrutinyoftherespondent'spleadingswouldshowthattheproprietyandnecessity
of the integration of the Bar of the Philippines are in essence conceded. The respondent, however, objects to
particularfeaturesofRuleofCourt139A(hereinafterreferredtoastheCourtRule) 1inaccordancewithwhich
the Bar of the Philippines was integrated and to the provisions of par. 2, Section 24, Article III, of the IBP ByLaws
(hereinabovecited).

The authority of the IBP Board of Governors to recommend to the Supreme Court the removal of a delinquent
member's name from the Roll ofAttorneys is found in par. 2 Section 24,Article Ill of the IBP ByLaws ( supra),
whereastheauthorityoftheCourttoissuetheorderappliedforisfoundinSection10oftheCourtRule,which
reads:
SEC. 10. Effect of nonpayment of dues. Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule,
defaultinthepaymentofannualduesforsixmonthsshallwarrantsuspensionofmembershipinthe
Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the
nameofthedelinquentmemberfromtheRollofAttorneys.
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Theallencompassing,allinclusivescopeofmembershipintheIBPisstatedinthesewordsoftheCourtRule:
SECTION1.Organization.Thereisherebyorganizedanofficialnationalbodytobeknownasthe
'Integrated Bar of the Philippines,' composed of all persons whose names now appear or may
hereafterbeincludedintheRollofAttorneysoftheSupremeCourt.
TheobligationtopaymembershipduesiscouchedinthefollowingwordsoftheCourtRule:
SEC.9.Membershipdues.EverymemberoftheIntegratedBarshallpaysuchannualduesasthe
BoardofGovernorsshalldeterminewiththeapprovaloftheSupremeCourt....
The core of the respondent's arguments is that the above provisions constitute an invasion of his constitutional
rights in the sense that he is being compelled, as a precondition to maintaining his status as a lawyer in good
standing, to be a member of the IBP and to pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this
compelledfinancialsupportofthesaidorganizationtowhichheisadmittedlypersonallyantagonistic,heisbeing
deprived of the rights to liberty and property guaranteed to him by the Constitution. Hence, the respondent
concludes, the above provisions of the Court Rule and of the IBP ByLaws are void and of no legal force and
effect.
The respondent similarly questions the jurisdiction of the Court to strike his name from the Roll of Attorneys,
contending that the said matter is not among the justiciable cases triable by the Court but is rather of an
"administrativenaturepertainingtoanadministrativebody."
ThecaseatbarisnotthefirstonethathasreachedtheCourtrelatingtoconstitutionalissuesthatinevitablyand
inextricably come up to the surface whenever attempts are made to regulate the practice of law, define the
conditionsofsuchpractice,orrevokethelicensegrantedfortheexerciseofthelegalprofession.
The matters here complained of are the very same issues raised in a previous case before the Court, entitled
"AdministrativeCaseNo.526,IntheMatterofthePetitionfortheIntegrationoftheBarofthePhilippines,Roman
Ozaeta, et al., Petitioners." The Court exhaustively considered all these matters in that case in its Resolution
ordainingtheintegrationoftheBarofthePhilippines,promulgatedonJanuary9,1973.TheCourttheremadethe
unanimouspronouncementthatitwas
...fullyconvinced,afterathoroughgoingconscientiousstudyofalltheargumentsadducedinAdm.
Case No. 526 and the authoritative materials and the mass of factual data contained in the
exhaustiveReportoftheCommissiononBarIntegration,thattheintegrationofthePhilippineBaris
'perfectlyconstitutionalandlegallyunobjectionable'....
Bethatasitmay,wenowrestatebrieflythepostureoftheCourt.
An "Integrated Bar" is a Stateorganized Bar, to which every lawyer must belong, as distinguished from bar
associationsorganizedbyindividuallawyersthemselves,membershipinwhichisvoluntary.IntegrationoftheBar
isessentiallyaprocessbywhicheverymemberoftheBarisaffordedanopportunitytodohisshareincarrying
outtheobjectivesoftheBaraswellasobligedtobearhisportionofitsresponsibilities.Organizedbyorunderthe
direction of the State, an integrated Bar is an official national body of which all lawyers are required to be
members. They are, therefore, subject to all the rules prescribed for the governance of the Bar, including the
requirement of payment of a reasonable annual fee for the effective discharge of the purposes of the Bar, and
adherence to a code of professional ethics or professional responsibility breach of which constitutes sufficient
reason for investigation by the Bar and, upon proper cause appearing, a recommendation for discipline or
disbarmentoftheoffendingmember.2
The integration of the Philippine Bar was obviously dictated by overriding considerations of public interest and
publicwelfaretosuchanextentasmorethanconstitutionallyandlegallyjustifiestherestrictionsthatintegration
imposesuponthepersonalinterestsandpersonalconvenienceofindividuallawyers.3
Apropos to the above, it must be stressed that all legislation directing the integration of the Bar have been
uniformly and universally sustained as a valid exercise of the police power over an important profession. The
practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege, a privilege moreover clothed with public interest because a
lawyerowessubstantialdutiesnotonlytohisclient,butalsotohisbrethrenintheprofession,tothecourts,andto
thenation,andtakespartinoneofthemostimportantfunctionsoftheStatetheadministrationofjusticeas
anofficerofthecourt.4Thepracticeoflawbeingclothedwithpublicinterest,theholderofthisprivilegemustsubmittoa
degreeofcontrolforthecommongood,totheextentoftheinteresthehascreated.AstheU.S.SupremeCourtthroughMr.
JusticeRobertsexplained,theexpression"affectedwithapublicinterest"istheequivalentof"subjecttotheexerciseofthe
policepower"(Nebbiavs.NewYork,291U.S.502).

When,therefore,CongressenactedRepublicActNo.6397 5authorizingtheSupremeCourtto"adoptrulesofcourtto
effect the integration of the Philippine Bar under such conditions as it shall see fit," it did so in the exercise of the
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paramount police power of the State. The Act's avowal is to "raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the
administrationofjustice,andenabletheBartodischargeitspublicresponsibilitymoreeffectively."Hence,theCongressin
enactingsuchAct,theCourtinordainingtheintegrationoftheBarthroughitsResolutionpromulgatedonJanuary9,1973,
and the President of the Philippines in decreeing the constitution of the IBP into a body corporate through Presidential
Decree No. 181 dated May 4, 1973, were prompted by fundamental considerations of public welfare and motivated by a
desiretomeetthedemandsofpressingpublicnecessity.

TheState,inordertopromotethegeneralwelfare,mayinterferewithandregulatepersonalliberty,propertyand
occupations. Persons and property may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to secure the general
prosperity and welfare of the State (U.S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil 218), for, as the Latin maxim goes, "Salus
populiestsupremelex."Thepublicwelfareisthesupremelaw.Tothisfundamentalprincipleofgovernmentthe
rightsofindividualsaresubordinated.Libertyisablessingwithoutwhichlifeisamisery,butlibertyshouldnotbe
madetoprevailoverauthoritybecausethensocietywinfallintoanarchy(Calalangvs.Williams,70Phil.726).Itis
an undoubted power of the State to restrain some individuals from all freedom, and all individuals from some
freedom.
ButthemostcompellingargumentsustainingtheconstitutionalityandvalidityofBarintegrationinthePhilippines
istheexplicitunequivocalgrantofprecisepowertotheSupremeCourtbySection5(5)ofArticleXofthe1973
ConstitutionofthePhilippines,whichreads:
Sec.5.TheSupremeCourtshallhavethefollowingpowers:
xxxxxxxxx
(5) Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and pro. procedure in all courts, and the
admissiontothepracticeoflawandtheintegrationoftheBar...,
andSection1ofRepublicActNo.6397,whichreads:
SECTION1.WithintwoyearsfromtheapprovalofthisAct,theSupremeCourtmayadoptrulesof
CourttoeffecttheintegrationofthePhilippineBarundersuchconditionsasitshallseefitinorderto
raisethestandardsofthelegalprofession,improvetheadministrationofjustice,andenabletheBar
todischargeitspublicresponsibilitymoreeffectively.
Quite apart from the above, let it be stated that even without the enabling Act (Republic Act No. 6397), and
looking solely to the language of the provision of the Constitution granting the Supreme Court the power "to
promulgaterulesconcerningpleading,practiceandprocedureinallcourts,andtheadmissiontothepracticeof
law," it at once becomes indubitable that this constitutional declaration vests the Supreme Court with plenary
powerinallcasesregardingtheadmissiontoandsupervisionofthepracticeoflaw.
Thus,whentherespondentEdillonentereduponthelegalprofession,hispracticeoflawandhisexerciseofthe
saidprofession,whichaffectthesocietyatlarge,were(andare)subjecttothepowerofthebodypolitictorequire
himtoconformtosuchregulationsasmightbeestablishedbytheproperauthoritiesforthecommongood,even
to the extent of interfering with some of his liberties. If he did not wish to submit himself to such reasonable
interferenceandregulation,heshouldnothaveclothedthepublicwithaninterestinhisconcerns.
Onthisscorealone,thecasefortherespondentmustalreadyfall.
Theissuesbeingofconstitutionaldimension,however,wenowconciselydealwiththemseriatim.
1. The first objection posed by the respondent is that the Court is without power to compel him to become a
member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, hence, Section 1 of the Court Rule is unconstitutional for it
impinges on his constitutional right of freedom to associate (and not to associate). Our answer is:To compel a
lawyertobeamemberoftheIntegratedBarisnotviolativeofhisconstitutionalfreedomtoassociate.6
Integrationdoesnotmakealawyeramemberofanygroupofwhichheisnotalreadyamember.Hebecamea
memberoftheBarwhenhepassedtheBarexaminations. 7Allthatintegrationactuallydoesistoprovideanofficial
nationalorganizationforthewelldefinedbutunorganizedandincohesivegroupofwhicheverylawyerisareadyamember.
8

Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not attend the
meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The only
compulsiontowhichheissubjectedisthepaymentofannualdues.TheSupremeCourt,inordertofurtherthe
State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require that the cost of
improvingtheprofessioninthisfashionbesharedbythesubjectsandbeneficiariesoftheregulatoryprogram
thelawyers.9
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AssumingthatthequestionedprovisiondoesinasensecompelalawyertobeamemberoftheIntegratedBar,
suchcompulsionisjustifiedasanexerciseofthepolicepoweroftheState.10
2. The second issue posed by the respondent is that the provision of the Court Rule requiring payment of a
membershipfeeisvoid.WeseenothingintheConstitutionthatprohibitstheCourt,underitsconstitutionalpower
anddutytopromulgaterulesconcerningtheadmissiontothepracticeoflawandtheintegrationofthePhilippine
Bar(ArticleX,Section5ofthe1973Constitution)whichpowertherespondentacknowledgesfromrequiring
members of a privileged class, such as lawyers are, to pay a reasonable fee toward defraying the expenses of
regulation of the profession to which they belong. It is quite apparent that the fee is indeed imposed as a
regulatorymeasure,designedtoraisefundsforcarryingouttheobjectivesandpurposesofintegration.11
3.Therespondentfurtherarguesthattheenforcementofthepenaltyprovisionswouldamounttoadeprivationof
propertywithoutdueprocessandhenceinfringesononeofhisconstitutionalrights.Whetherthepracticeoflawis
apropertyright,inthesenseofitsbeingonethatentitlestheholderofalicensetopracticeaprofession,wedo
notherepausetoconsideratlength,asitclearthatunderthepolicepoweroftheState,andunderthenecessary
powersgrantedtotheCourttoperpetuateitsexistence,therespondent'srighttopractiselawbeforethecourtsof
thiscountryshouldbeandisamattersubjecttoregulationandinquiry.And,ifthepowertoimposethefeeasa
regulatorymeasureisrecognize,thenapenaltydesignedtoenforceitspayment,whichpenaltymaybeavoided
altogetherbypayment,isnotvoidasunreasonableorarbitrary.12
Butwemusthereemphasizethatthepracticeoflawisnotapropertyrightbutamereprivilege, 13 and as such
mustbowtotheinherentregulatorypoweroftheCourttoexactcompliancewiththelawyer'spublicresponsibilities.

4.Relativetotheissueofthepowerand/orjurisdictionoftheSupremeCourttostrikethenameofalawyerfrom
its Roll of Attorneys, it is sufficient to state that the matters of admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation and supervision have been and are indisputably recognized as
inherentjudicialfunctionsandresponsibilities,andtheauthoritiesholdingsucharelegion.14
InIn Re Sparks (267 Ky. 93, 101 S.W. (2d) 194), in which the report of the Board of Bar Commissioners in a
disbarment proceeding was confirmed and disbarment ordered, the court, sustaining the Bar IntegrationAct of
Kentucky, said: "The power to regulate the conduct and qualifications of its officers does not depend upon
constitutionalorstatutorygrounds.Itisapowerwhichisinherentinthiscourtasacourtappropriate,indeed
necessary,totheproperadministrationofjustice...theargumentthatthisisanarbitrarypowerwhichthecourtis
arrogatingtoitselforacceptingfromthelegislativelikewisemisconceivesthenatureoftheduty.Ithaslimitations
nolessrealbecausetheyareinherent.Itisanunpleasanttasktositinjudgmentuponabrothermemberofthe
Bar, particularly where, as here, the facts are disputed. It is a grave responsibility, to be assumed only with a
determination to uphold the Ideals and traditions of an honorable profession and to protect the public from
overreaching and fraud. The very burden of the duty is itself a guaranty that the power will not be misused or
prostituted...."
TheCourt'sjurisdictionwasgreatlyreinforcedbyour1973ConstitutionwhenitexplicitlygrantedtotheCourtthe
power to "Promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice ... and the admission to the practice of law and the
integration of the Bar ... (Article X, Sec. 5(5) the power to pass upon the fitness of the respondent to remain a
memberofthelegalprofessionisindeedundoubtedlyvestedintheCourt.
WethusreachtheconclusionthattheprovisionsofRuleofCourt139AandoftheByLawsoftheIntegratedBar
ofthePhilippinescomplainedofareneitherunconstitutionalnorillegal.
WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,itistheunanimoussenseoftheCourtthattherespondentMarcialA.Edillon
shouldbeasheisherebydisbarred,andhisnameisherebyorderedstrickenfromtheRollofAttorneysofthe
Court.
Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar,Antonio, Muoz Palma,Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Santos, Fernandez
andGuerrero,JJ.,concur.

Footnotes
1AdoptedintheSupremeCourt'sResolution,promulgatedonJanuary9,1973,ordainingthe
integrationoftheBarofthePhilippines.
2114A.L.R.101.
3MemorandumofAuthoritiesontheConstitutionalityofBarIntegration,citedintheReportofthe
CommissionBarIntegrationontheIntegrationofthePhilippineBar,Nov.30,1972seealso
SupremeCourtResolutionofJanuary9,1973,ordainingtheintegrationofthePhilippineBar.
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4InreIntegratingtheBar,222Ark35,259S.W.2d114PetitionofFloridaStateBarAssociation,40
So.2d902PetitionofFloridaStateBarAssociation,134Fla.851,186So.280:InreEdwards,45
Idaho676,266P.665Commonwealthexrel.Wardvs.Harrington,266Ky.4198S.W.2d53Ayres
vs.Hadaway303Mich.589,6N.W.2d905PetitionforIntegrationofBarofMinnesota,216Minn.
195PetitionforIntegrationofBarofMinnesota,216Minn.195,12N.W.2d515Clarkvs.Austin,
101S.W.2d977InReIntegrationofNebraskaStateBarAssn.,133Neb.283,275N.W.265,114
A.L.R.151InreScott,53Nev.24,292291Bakervs.Varser,240N.C.260,82S.E.2d90Inre
IntegrationofStateBarofOklahoma,185Okla,505,95P.2d113Stateexrel.Ricevs.Cozad,70S.
Dak.193,16N.W.2d484Campbellvs.ThirdDistrictCommitteeofVirginiaStateBar,179Va.244,
18S.E.2d883Lathropvs.Donahue,10Wis.2d230,102N.W.2d404.
5ANACTPROVIDINGFORTHEINTEGRATIONOFTHEPHILIPPINEBARANDAPPROPRIATING
FUNDSTHEREFOR,approvedonSeptember17,1971.
6InreUnificationofNewHampsireBar,248A.2d709InreGibson,35N.Mex.550,4P.2d643
Lathropvs.Donahue,10Wis.2d230,102N.W.2d404Lathropvs.Donahue,367U.S.820,6L.
ed.2d1191,81S.Ct.1826RailwaysEmployes'Dept.vs.Hanson,351U.S.225,100L.ed.1112,
76S.Ct.714.
7Diokno,JoseW.,"BarIntegrationASwordandaShieldforJustice"(ManorPress,Q.C.,1962)
p.17.
8FellersJames,"IntegrationoftheBarAloha!",JournaloftheAm.JudicatureSociety,Vol.47,No.
11(1964)p.256.9Lathropvs.Donahue,10Wis.2d230,102,N.W.2d404Lathropvs.Donahue,
367U.S.820,6L,ed.2d1191,81S.Ct.1826.
9.Lathropvs.Donohue,10Wis.,2d230,102,N.W.2d404Lathropvs.Donohue,367U.S.820,6L.
ed.2d1191,81S.Ct.1826.
10Hillvs.StateBarofCalifornia,97P.2d236Herronvs.StateBarofCalifornia,24Cal.53,147P.
2d543Carpentervs.StateBarofCalifornia,211Cal.358,295P.23InreMundy,202La.41,11
SO.2d398InreScott,53Nev.24,292P.291InrePlatz,60Nev.24,108P.2d858,InreGibson,
35N.Mex.550,4P.2d643Kelleyvs.StateBarofOklahoma,148Okla,282,298P.623.
11PetitionofFloridaStateBarAssociation,40So.2d902InreIntegrationofBarofHawaii,432P.
2d887PetitionforIntegrationofBarofMinnesota,216Minn.195,12N.W.2d515InreScott,53
Nev.24,292P.291InreUnificationofNewHampshireBar,248A.2d709InreGibson,35N.Mex.
550,4P.2d643StateBarofOklahomavs.McGhnee148Okla,219,298P.580Kelleyvs.State
BarofOklahoma,148Okla,282,298P.623Lathropvs.Donahue,10Wis.2d230,102N.W.2d
404.
12InreGibson,4P.2d643.
ThefollowingwordsofJusticeHarlanareopposite:"TheobjectionwouldmakeeveryGovernmental
exactionthematerialofa'freespeech'issue.Eventheincometaxwouldbesuspect.Theobjection
wouldcarryustolengthsthathaveneverbeendreamedof.Theconscientiousobjector,ifhis
libertiesweretothusextended,mightrefusetocontributetaxesinfurtheranceofwarorofanyother
endcondemnedbyhisconscienceasirreligiousorimmoralTherightofprivatejudgmenthasnever
yetbeenexaltedabovethepowersandthecompulsionoftheagenciesofGovernment."(Concurring
opinionofHarlan,J,joinedbyFrankfurter,J.,inLathropvs.Donahue,367
U.S.820,6L.ed.21191,81S.Ct.1826,citingCardozo,J.withBrandersandStone,JJ.,concurring,
inHamiltonvs.RegentsofUniv.ofCalifornia,293U.S.245,79L.ed.343,55S.Ct.197.)
13InreScott,53Nev.24,292P.291.
14BarFlunkersCase,50O.G.1602InreAguas,1Phil.1,andothers.
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