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VENANCIO CASTANEDA and NICETAS HENSON vs. PASTOR D.

AGO, LOURDES
YU AGO and THE COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-28546
July 30, 1975
CASTRO, J.:
FACTS:

1955, Petitioners Venancio Castaeda and Nicetas Henson filed a replevin suit against
Pastor Ago in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover certain machineries.
Judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering Ago to return the machineries
or pay definite sums of money.
Ago appealed, and the court affirmed the judgment.
A writ of execution was issued for the sum.
Ago moved for a stay of execution but his motion was denied, and levy was made on
Ago's house and lots located in Quezon City.
Ago moved to stop the auction sale, failing in which he filed a petition for certiorari with
the Court of Appeals.
The appellate court dismissed the petition and Ago appealed.
SC affirmed the dismissal.
Ago thrice attempted to obtain a writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the sheriff from
enforcing the writ of execution "to save his family house and lot;" his motions were
denied, and the sheriff sold the house and lots to the highest bidders, the petitioners
Castaeda and Henson.
Ago failed to redeem, and the sheriff executed the final deed of sale in favor of the
vendees Castaeda and Henson.
Pastor Ago, now joined by his wife, Lourdes Yu Ago, as his co-plaintiff, filed a complaint
to annul the sheriff's sale on the ground that the obligation of Pastor Ago upon which
judgment was rendered against him in the replevin suit was his personal obligation, and
that Lourdes Yu Ago's one-half share in their conjugal residential house and lots which
were levied upon and sold by the sheriff could not legally be reached for the satisfaction
of the judgment.
They alleged in their complaint that wife Lourdes was not a party in the replevin suit, that
the judgment was rendered and the writ of execution was issued only against husband
Pastor, and that wife Lourdes was not a party to her husband's venture in the logging
business which failed and resulted in the replevin suit and which did not benefit the
conjugal partnership.
The CFI of Quezon City issued an ex parte writ of preliminary injunction restraining the
petitioners, the Register of Deeds and the sheriff of Quezon City, from registering the
latter's final deed of sale, from cancelling the respondents' certificates of title and issuing
new ones to the petitioners and from carrying out any writ of possession.
Latter court lifted the preliminary injunction it had previously issued.
Register of deeds of Quezon City cancelled the respondents' certificates of title and
issued new ones in favor of the petitioners.

But enforcement of the writ of possession was again thwarted as the Quezon City court
again issued a temporary restraining order which it later lifted but then re-restored.
Court finally, and for the third time, lifted the restraining order.
While the battle on the matter of the lifting and restoring of the restraining order was
being fought in the Quezon City court, the Agos filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with this Court, praying for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin
the sheriff from enforcing the writ of possession.
This Court dismissed it in a minute resolution; reconsideration was denied.
The respondents then filed a similar petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court
of Appeals, praying for the same preliminary injunction.
The Court of Appeals also dismissed the petition.
The Ago spouses repaired once more to the Court of Appeals where they filed another
petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction.
The said court gave due course to the petition and granted preliminary injunction. After
hearing, it rendered decision, that: the writ of preliminary injunction from
enforcement of the writ of possession on and ejectment from the one-half share in
the properties involved belonging to Lourdes Yu Ago is made permanent pending
decision on the merits
Failing to obtain reconsideration, the petitioners Castaeda and Henson filed the present
petition for review of the aforesaid decision.
ISSUE:

HELD:
The decision did not foresee the absurdity, or even the impossibility, of its enforcement. The Ago
spouses admittedly live together in the same house which is conjugal property. By the Manila
court's writ of possession Pastor could be ousted from the house, but the decision under review
would prevent the ejectment of Lourdes. Now, which part of the house would be vacated by
Pastor and which part would Lourdes continue to stay in? The absurdity does not stop here; the
decision would actually separate husband and wife, prevent them from living together, and in
effect divide their conjugal properties during coverture and before the dissolution of the conjugal
union.
Despite the pendency in the trial court of the complaint for the annulment of the sheriff's sale,
elementary justice demands that the petitioners, long denied the fruits of their victory in the
replevin suit, must now enjoy them, for, the respondents Agos, abetted by their lawyer Jose M.
Luison, have misused legal remedies and prostituted the judicial process to thwart the
satisfaction of the judgment, to the extended prejudice of the petitioners.
The respondents, with the assistance of counsel, maneuvered for fourteen (14) years to
doggedly resist execution of the judgment thru manifold tactics in and from one court to
another (5 times in the Supreme Court).

We condemn the attitude of the respondents and their counsel who, far from viewing courts as
sanctuaries for those who seek justice, have tried to use them to subvert the very ends of justice.
Forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his exalted position as an officer of
the court, Atty. Luison has allowed himself to become an INSTIGATOR OF
CONTROVERSY and a PREDATOR OF CONFLICT instead of a mediator for concord
and a conciliator for compromise, a VIRTUOSO OF TECHNICALITY IN THE
CONDUCT OF LITIGATION instead of a true advocate of the primacy of truth and moral
justice.
A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candour and honesty his client's cause must be
encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot countenance is a lawyer's
insistence despite the patent futility of his client's position, as in the case at bar.
It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and
vagaries of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he finds that his client's cause
is defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the latter to comply and submit, rather
than cross the incontrovertible.
A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his clients propensity
to litigate.
A LAWYER'S OATH TO UPHOLD THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE IS SUPERIOR TO HIS
DUTY TO HIS CLIENT; ITS PRIMACY IS INDISPUTABLE.
In view of the private respondents' propensity to use the courts for purposes other than to seek
justice, and in order to obviate further delay in the disposition of the case below which might
again come up to the appellate courts but only to fail in the end.
We find that
(a)
the complaint was filed on May 2, 1964 (more than 11 years ago) but trial on the merits
has not even started;
(b)
after the defendants Castaedas had filed their answer with a counterclaim, the plaintiffs
Agos filed a supplemental complaint where they impleaded new parties-defendants;
(c)
after the admission of the supplemental complaint, the Agos filed a motion to admit an
amended supplemental complaint, which impleads an additional new party-defendant (no action
has yet been taken on this motion);
(d)
the defendants have not filed an answer to the admitted supplemental complaint; and
(e)
the last order of the Court of First Instance, dated April 20, 1974, grants an extension to
the suspension of time to file answer. (Expediente, p. 815)
We also find that the alleged causes of action in the complaint, supplemental complaint and
amended supplemental complaint are all untenable, for the reasons hereunder stated.

[G.R. No. 12354. March 17, 1917.]


GREGORIO REMATA, petitioner, vs. JUAN JAVIER, respondent.
TRENT, J p:
FACTS:

This is an action of quo warranto instituted by Gregorio Remata against Juan Javier for
the purpose of ousting the latter from the office of municipal president of
Candelaria, Province of Tayabas, and placing the plaintiff in possession of the same.
The grounds upon which the action is based, are that Juan Javier was duly elected
president, qualified and assumed the office in 1912, and that his term expired by
operation of law on October 15, 1916.
As a result of the general election held on June 6, 1916, Juan Javier was declared
reelected by the municipal board of canvassers. Subsequent thereto, Ricardo Nadres, one
of the candidates, contested Javier's election.
After due hearing, the Court of First Instance found and decreed that no one was legally
elected president and so certified to the proper authorities. At the same general election of
1916, Gregorio Remata, the plaintiff, was elected vice-president and entered upon the
duties of his office on October 16, 1916.
The defendant demurred to the complaint upon the ground that it does not state facts
sufficient to constitute a cause of action because the failure to elect a municipal president
of Candelaria, did not create a vacancy which the vice-president has a right to fill.

In the consideration of this question, it must be borne in mind that this is not a case of a contest
between parties as to the result of an election for an office for which they were opposing
candidates before the people. When an election takes place and the will of the voters is expressed
through the ballot box, the candidates receiving the number of votes necessary to elect him, is
entitled to the possession of the office, its rights and emoluments. These are his property; his
right to them is a private right which the law protects and the courts will enforce. A person who
is entitled to fill a vacancy has the same rights and remedies.
Section 2123 of Act No. 2657, effective July 1, 1916, provides that the term of a municipal
officer shall begin on the sixteenth day of October following the election and shall end on the
fifteenth of the same month four years thereafter. The section further provides that if a successor
be not inducted at the time appointed by law, the incumbent shall hold over until a successor
shall be duly qualified.
Section 2126 of the same Code reads, in part, as follows:
"Vacancies in municipal office. Vacancies occurring in elective municipal offices shall be
filled as follows:
"(a) In case of the president, by the vice-president, or if there be no vice-president, by the council
or who at the last general election received the highest number of votes.
"xxx xxx xxx

"(d) In any case for which special provision is not made, by a qualified elector of the
municipality to be thereunto designated by the provincial governor, with the approval of the
provincial board, after recommendation by the municipal council.
"A person thus called to fill a vacancy shall hold for the unexpired term and until the
qualification of a successor."
If our inquiry as to the meaning of the words "vacancy" and "vacancies" is to be limited to
section 2126, we would have to hold that the defendant's contention to the effect that no vacancy
occurred, is well founded and supported by the weight of authority in the United States. But, if
the Legislature intended that the word "vacancy" should be given a double meaning so as to
include the instant case, then the result will be different. That the Legislature so intended, clearly
appears from other provisions of the Administrative Code.
Section 2000 of the Administrative Code provides in the first paragraph, that when a vacancy
occurs in an elective provincial office by reason of the death, resignation or removal of the
incumbent, the Governor-General shall appoint a suitable person thereto. In paragraph two,
provisions are made for the calling of a special election in case the general election fails to take
place or the election fails. Under paragraph three, the Governor-General is authorized to call a
special election or fill the place by appointment where a provincial officer elect dies prior to
taking office, or for any other reason fails to qualify. Paragraph 4 provides that in case a special
election shall have been called and held and shall have resulted in a failure legally to elect the
provincial officer, the Governor-General shall fill the place by appointment. And the last
paragraph reads: "A person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in an elective provincial office
shall hold for the unexpired term and until the qualification of a successor."
Again, section 2412, which applies to the city of Manila, provides that "if any person so
elected is ineligible to hold office, or if for any reason there should be a failure to elect one or
more members, no special election shall be called, but the vacancy shall be filled for the term by
the Governor-General with the consent of the Upper House of the Philippine Legislature.
Vacancies in the office of member occurring after taking office shall be filled for the unexpired
term in like manner."
It will thus be seen that the Legislature in sections 2000 and 2412 provided for two kinds of
vacancies. The first, where vacancies occur by the death, resignation, or removal of the
incumbent, and the second is where vacancies occur by reason of the failure to elect. In both
instances the office becomes vacant.
In enacting the provisions with reference to elective provincial offices, elective municipal offices
for the city of Manila and elective municipal offices in general, the Legislature was dealing with
the same subject-matter. And, in view of the fact that no provisions are made for the calling of
special elections in cases where the election fails or no one is legally elected to a municipal
office, we must conclude that it was intended that the words "vacancy" and "vacancies"
occurring in section 2126 should be given the same meaning as those in sections 2000 and 2412,
otherwise an incumbent of an elective municipal office might continue indefinitely.

For the foregoing reasons, the demurrer is overruled and the defendant is given five days after
notice, within which to answer the complaint. If no answer is filed within this time, judgment
will be entered in favor of the plaintiff in accordance with the prayer of the complaint, with costs
against the defendant. So ordered.
RE: AGRIPINO A. BRILLANTES, ROMEO R. BRINGAS, complainant.
[A.C. No. 1245. March 2, 1977.]
CASTRO, C.J. p:
FACTS:

This is a review of the decision of the CFI of Abra, Branch II, suspending Atty.
Agripino A. Brillantes of Bangued, Abra from the practice of law for a period of two
(2) years.
A complaint, was filed with the Court of First Instance of Abra, by the spouses
Bernardez against spouses Balmaceda for recovery of a parcel of land which said
complainants allegedly acquired from Tranquilina Vda. de Pabalan under a deed of sale.
At the pre-trial conference, the defendants, thru their counsel, the herein respondent
Brillantes, claimed that they were not the real parties in interest. They exhibited a
duplicate copy of a deed of sale of the land in dispute executed by Tranquilina Vda. de
Pabalan in favor of Dr. Restituto Balmaceda, an alleged son of the defendants, which was
notarized by the respondent Brillantes. Due to that manifestation, Dr. Balmaceda was
named as an additional defendant in Civil Case 657.
"WHEREFORE, on the bases of the above stipulation of facts, that is, which deed of
sale shall prevail: a duly notarized one, executed later but duly registered, or a
document, not notarized, but executed earlier? the parties hereto respectfully
submit the case for decision."
TC: rendered its decision, declaring the plaintiffs as the true and lawful owners of the
land dispute.
"Anent Exhibit '1' its genuiness [sic] is doubted by this Court. It is very obvious from the
record that there are two documents marked as Exhibit '1' personally presented and
marked by counsel for the defendants, Atty. Agripino Brillantes. The first document
(Deed of Sale in favor of Dr. Restituto Balmaceda) marked as Exhibit '1' is a carbon
original copy duly notarized by Atty. Agripino Brillantes and sealed with his notarial seal
and is found on page 22 of the record. The second document marked as Exhibit '1' is the
original copy of the first mutilated or cut-off, making it appear as an unnotarized
document. However, the notarial seal of this document is clear and more so of its being
mutilated to make it appear as unnotarized document.
Atty. Agripino Brillantes was never commissioned as Notary Public and in fact, has
not record particularly for the year 1967 to the present.
Meanwhile, Atty. Romeo R. Bringas, a nephew of the defendants, filed with the CFI
of Abra two sworn complaints against Atty. Brillantes alleging that the latter
notarized a deed of sale of real property without being commissioned as a notary
public and knowingly introduced the said deed as evidence in Civil Case 657.

Two separate informations for falsification were filed against Atty. Brillantes.
Prior to the filing of the charges by the fiscal, Atty. Bringas filed an unverified
motion in the sala of Judge Gironella praying that Atty. Brillantes be suspended
from the practice of law in view of the "strong prima facie cases" found against him.
Judge Gironella rendered a decision ordering the suspension of Atty. Brillantes from
the practice of law for two years "effective upon receipt of this decision." His findings
are as follows:
o Executive Judge of the Court of First Instance of Abra, the Hon. Juan P. Aquino,
categorically stated that Atty. Agripino Brillantes, respondent herein, was never
commissioned as Notary Public for the province of Abra since 1967 to the
present. On the basis of the two documents and the certification by the Hon. Juan
P. Aquino, RESPONDENT WAS CHARGED FOR FALSIFICATION OF
PUBLIC DOCUMENTS docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 242 and 243 for
preliminary investigation.
o "The defense of respondent Atty. Agripino Brillantes consisted of denial. He
denied that the signature appearing in Exhibit 'B' was his signature.
o "His denial that the signature appearing in (notarized Deed of Sale) which he
exhibited in Civil Case No. 657 stands strongly contradicted by his own acts:
First, as counsel for the defendants in Civil Case No. 657, he admitted
Exhibit 'B' being notarized (Exhibit B);
Second, during the preliminary investigation of Crim. Case No. 243, he
admitted his signature in Exhibit 'B' (Exhibit I); and
Third, having presented the same notarized document during the pre-trial
and marked and identified the same as Exhibit '1' in Civil Case No. 657,
fully aware of his signature in said document.

"As an old brilliant practitioner, it cannot be said that he was not aware of his signature
affixed in Exhibit B when he presented the same in Civil Case No. 657. Worse, he introduced
the original copy which was cut-off leaving the notarial seal visible and readable.
Comparing the genuine signature of the respondent appearing in his pleadings and other
documents attached to the records of the case to that of his signature in Exhibit 'B-2,' it is safe to
conclude that the denied signature is the genuine signature of the respondent.
The acts of respondent constitute malpractice or gross misconduct in the office of an
attorney at law and a violation of his oath of office 'to do no falsehood, nor consent to the
doing of any in court and to conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his
knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity to the courts'.
The Court sympathizes with the respondent considering his being over 60 YEARS OLD
AND ALLEGEDLY A 10TH PLACER OF THE BAR.
BUT THE LAW IS THE LAW AND THE HONOR AND DIGNITY OF THE
PROFESSION AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE SHALL BE UPHELD. . . ."

A supplemental complaint was filed by Atty. Bringas in this Court, alleging as follows:

o Respondent, without being commissioned as a notary public, administered the


oath in a petition for certiorari and mandamus with preliminary injunction filed in
the Court of Appeals as C.A.-G.R. No. SP-01828; and
o Notwithstanding his suspension, the respondent filed on behalf of the petitioner a
"Petition for Extension to Comply with Order" which required him to comment
on a telegram received by the Court of Appeals that he (the respondent) was not a
duly commissioned notary public in 1972 and a "Motion for Dismissal" of the
said case.
Judge Ofilada filed a manifestation that "to his best recollection, Mr. Agripino A. Brillantes was
not appointed notary public for the term beginning January 8, 1968 and ending December 31,
1969." Gelacio B. Bolante, clerk of court below, reported that "according to the records available
in his office, Atty. Agripino A. Brillantes was not appointed Notary Public for the term" 19681969. A check of the certified list of commissioned notaries for the province of Abra, covering
the years 1966 to 1973, also showed that the respondent was not appointed a notary in any of
those years. Deputy Clerk of Court Valera did not make any reply to this Court's summons.
HELD:
1. The theory that it is only this Court which may proceed to take cognizance of a suspension or
disbarment proceeding in accordance with the procedure outlined in Rule 139 of the Rules of
Court was already put in issue before and rejected. In Tajam vs. Cusi, this Court held that the
contention ignores the fact that Rule 139 pertains to the rules for investigation and hearing
of a suit started in or by the Supreme Court. It does not necessarily cover proceedings
initiated in or by courts of first instance which are authorized to do so by Rule 138 of the
Rules. Section 28 of Rule 138 states:
"Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. The
COURT OF APPEALS OR A COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE MAY SUSPEND AN
ATTORNEY FROM PRACTICE for any of the causes named in the last preceding section,
and AFTER SUCH SUSPENSION SUCH ATTORNEY SHALL NOT PRACTICE HIS
PROFESSION UNTIL FURTHER ACTION OF THE SUPREME COURT in the
premises."
Rule 138 likewise prescribes the basic essentials that courts of first instance should follow in
suspension proceedings, namely.
"Sec. 30. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension. No attorney shall be removed or
suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable
notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard
by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation,
the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte."
The adoption of rules specified in Rule 139 of the Rules of Court is merely optional on
courts of first instance as explicitly stated therein, to wit:

"Sec. 9. Procedure in Court of Appeals or Courts of First Instance. As far as may be


applicable, the procedure above outlined shall likewise govern the filing and investigation of
complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals or in Courts of First Instance. In case of
suspension of the respondent, the judge of first instance or Justice of the Court of Appeals shall
forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full
statement of the facts upon which same is based."
The fact that the court below took cognizance of Atty. Bringas' motion against Atty. Brillantes
even if it was not verified has no jurisdictional significance. That motion was filed as an offshoot of the preliminary investigation conducted by the court a quo on the basis of the sworn
complaints filed by Atty. Bringas against the respondent for falsification and introduction of
falsified evidence in a judicial proceeding. Under the circumstances, this Court finds no
substantive justifying purpose to be served by adhering to the prescription that a complaint
against a lawyer be under oath. At all events, this Court has already overruled a similar plea, in
Tajam vs. Cusi, supra, with these words:
"It should be observed that proceedings for the DISBARMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE
BAR ARE NOT IN ANY SENSE A CIVIL ACTION where there is a plaintiff and the
respondent is a defendant. DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS INVOLVE NO PRIVATE
INTEREST and afford NO REDRESS FOR PRIVATE GRIEVANCE. They are
undertaken for the PURPOSE OF PRESERVING COURTS OF JUSTICE FROM THE
OFFICIAL MINISTRATION OF PERSONS UNFIT TO PRACTICE in them. The attorney
is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. The complainant or the
person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's alleged misconduct as all good
citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. The COURT MAY THEREFORE
ACT UPON ITS OWN MOTION AND THUS BE THE INITIATOR OF THE
PROCEEDINGS, because, obviously the court may investigate into the conduct of its own
officers. Indeed it is NOT ONLY THE RIGHT BUT THE DUTY OF THE COURT to
institute upon its own motion proper proceedings for the suspension or the disbarment of an
attorney, when from information submitted to it or of its own knowledge it appears that any
attorney has so conducted himself in a case pending before said court as TO SHOW THAT HE
IS WANTING IN THE PROPER MEASURE OF RESPECT FOR THE COURT OF
WHICH HE IS AN OFFICER, OR IS LACKING IN THE GOOD CHARACTER
ESSENTIAL TO HIS CONTINUANCE AS AN ATTORNEY. This is for the protection of the
general public and to promote the purity of the administration of justice."
2. The referral to Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court is misplaced and premature. Neither in Rule
139-A which ordained, by Court rule, the integration of the Philippine Bar nor in the By-laws of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines which took effect on November 1, 1974 can any provision
be found withdrawing from the courts the authority to investigate and decide complaints against
erring members of the Bar.
3. It is irrelevant and immaterial to this proceeding that the parties a quo in Civil Case 657
expressly accepted the genuineness of the questioned deed of sale marked therein as Exhibit "1."
That was purely a matter of personal judgment and affected solely their private interests. The
case at bar is of a different complex and nature. Here, a lawyer's fealty to his oath and public

duties is intimately and inextricably involved, nay affected. The primary objective of the
instant action is to determine whether the respondent notarized a deed of sale of a parcel of
land without being duly appointed as a notary public and introduced the same as evidence
in court, thereby flagrantly violating his duties as an officer of the court.
At the hearing before this Court, Atty. Brillantes claimed that he had in his possession evidence
which would prove that he was commissioned a notary in 1969. What he presented to this Court,
however, were carbon copies of an alleged notarial appointment and an oath of office which did
not even bear the signature of the officials concerned, were not covered by the seal of the issuing
court and, although they had what appeared to be initials, did not least resemble any of the first
letters of the names or surnames of the alleged officials who issued the same. In fact, the
appointment of the respondent as a notary was denied here by the very person who supposedly
gave him the said commission. The clerk of court below, who was supposed to have issued the
carbon copy of the slip of paper filed in this Court by the respondent wherein receipt of the
latter's notarial books and monthly reports was acknowledged, also denied that the respondent
was appointed notary for Abra during the 1968-1969 term.
For a seasoned practitioner like the respondent, it is quite remarkable and certainly unmitigating
that instead of simply presenting satisfactory evidence of his appointment as a notary which is
required by law to be made in official form, he should choose to avail himself vigorously of
technical defenses, such as that the trial judge below should inhibit himself from trying the
administrative complaint and the criminal cases filed against him; that the complaint for his
suspension from the practice of law should be tried by a grievance committee of the Integrated
Bar; that the final disposition of the appeal of Civil Case 657 should be awaited; and that the case
at bar "is a bickering of another member of the Bar who pretends to be a Super Citizen and
guardian of Public Weal" which, it is urged, should not be seriously entertained by this Court.
When the Court of Appeals ordered him in a case therein where the respondent is counsel for the
petitioner, to inform it whether he was a duly commissioned notary public, the respondent
instead of giving either a "yes" or "no" answer, informed the Court of Appeals that his client is
already dead. All such beating around an otherwise simple, uncomplicated matter which the
respondent could confront squarely if he were honestly and sincerely appointed notary, does not
avail him any good. It, in fact, reveals his desperate position.
It is not sound judicial policy to await the final resolution of a criminal case before we may act
on a complaint or information against a lawyer and impose the judgment appropriate to the facts.
Otherwise, this Court as well the courts below will be effectively rendered helpless from
vigorously applying the rules on admission to and continuing membership in the legal
profession during the whole period that the criminal case is pending final disposition when
the objectives of the two proceedings are vastly disparate.
The only reason cited is that Judge Gironella, who penned the decision suspending the
respondent, was the one who tried and rendered the decision in Civil Case 657 and likewise
the same magistrate who conducted the preliminary investigation of the criminal
complaints filed by Atty. Bringas against the respondent for falsification and introduction
of falsified evidence in a judicial proceeding. These, by themselves, however, are not
sufficient indicia of lack of impartiality of the judge below.

The principal and basic charge against the respondent is that he was not a duly commissioned
notary public in 1969 for Abra when he notarized the deed of sale marked Exhibit "1" in Civil
Case 657. Since the appointments of notaries public are a matter of public record and require
formal documentation, all that the respondent needed to do was to show to the court below his
appointment papers. This he failed to do. An inquiry was made by the judge a quo from the
Executive Judge of the Court of First Instance of Abra, Juan P. Aquino, whether the respondent
was appointed a notary public in the years 1967 to 1970; the answer, which was dated September
14, 1972, or before the court below transferred from the Capitol Building to its present site on
September 26, 1972, was in the negative.
We are satisfied from the evidence before us that the respondent, with malice aforethought,
falsely pretended that he was appointed a notary public in 1969 when he notarized the deed
of sale marked Exhibit "1" in Civil Case 657.
What made the respondent's pretensions unpardonable, however, was his act of presenting to this
Court spurious and falsified evidence of his alleged commission. Instead of accepting his
misdeeds and asking for leniency, the respondent chose to sow even more falsehood. The alacrity
of the respondent in foisting deception on this Court is, in the perspective of his long years in the
Bar, a manifest sign that as the respondent has gained in age, he has veered further away from
life's virtues. By his persistent disregard of the lawyer's credo "to do no falsehood, nor consent to
the doing of any in court," the respondent has demonstrated beyond cavil that he is not fit and
worthy to continue in the distinguished and exalted calling of the Bar.
BRILLANTES DISBARRED.
SOCORRO T. CO, complainant, vs. ATTY. GODOFREDO N. BERNARDINO,
respondent.
BELLOSILLO, J p:
FACTS:

This is an administrative complaint for disbarment filed by complainant Socorro T. Co, a


businesswoman, against Atty. Godofredo N. Bernardino charging him with
unprofessional and unethical conduct indicating moral deficiency and unfitness to stay in
the profession of law.
Socorro T. Co alleged that, as she was following up the documents for her shipment
at the Bureau of Customs, she was approached by respondent, Atty. Godofredo N.
Bernardino, introducing himself as someone holding various positions in the Bureau
of Customs such as Executive Assistant at the NAIA, Hearing Officer at the Law
Division, and OIC of the Security Warehouse.
Respondent offered to help complainant and promised to give her some business at
the Bureau. In no time, they became friends and a month after, or in November of the
same year, RESPONDENT SUCCEEDED IN BORROWING FROM
COMPLAINANT P120,000.00 WITH THE PROMISE TO PAY THE AMOUNT IN

FULL THE FOLLOWING MONTH, BROADLY HINTING THAT HE COULD


USE HIS INFLUENCE AT THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS TO ASSIST HER.
To ensure payment of his obligation, respondent issued to complainant several or 4
postdated Boston Bank check: No. 092601 dated 1 December 1989 for P21,950.00, No.
092602 dated 4 December 1989 for P6,750.00, No. 092615 dated 15 January 1990 for
P65,000.00 and No. 092622 dated 15 January 1990 for P10,000.00 (Exhs. ("A-3," "B,"
"C," "D," respectively). Respondent also issued a postdated Urban Development Bank
check No. 051946 dated 9 January 1990 for P5,500.00.
However, the checks covering the total amount of P109,200.00 were dishonored for
insufficiency of funds and closure of account.
Pressed to make good his obligation, respondent told complainant that he would be
able to pay her if she would lend him an additional amount of P75,000.00 to be paid
a month after to be secured by a chattel mortgage on his Datsun car.
As complainant agreed respondent handed her three (3) copies of a deed of chattel
mortgage which he himself drafted and six (6) copies of the deed of sale of his car with
the assurance that he would turn over its registration certificate and official receipt. The
agreement was not consummated as respondent later sold the same car to another.
Despite several chances given him to settle his obligation respondent chose to evade
complainant altogether so that she was constrained to write him a final demand
letter preceding the filing of several criminal complaints against him for violation of
BP Blg. 22.
Complainant also filed a letter-complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman.
It may be worth mentioning that a certain Emelinda Ortiz also filed several criminal and
civil cases against respondent similarly involving money transactions. Ms. Ortiz claimed
that respondent had volunteered to sell to her a 20-footer container van filled with
imported cotton fabric shirting raw materials from the Bureau of Customs warehouse for
P600,000.00 in time for the holidays. However, despite her successive payments to
respondent totalling P410,000.00, the latter failed to deliver the goods as promised.
Worse, respondent's personal check for P410,000.00 representing reimbursement of the
amount he received from Ms. Ortiz was returned dishonored for insufficiency of funds.
By way of defense, respondent averred that he gave the checks to complainant Co by way
of rediscounting and that these were fully paid when he delivered five cellular phones to
her. He brushed aside the allegations of complainant and Ms. Ortiz as ill-motivated,
vague, confusing, misleading and full of biases and prejudices. Although he is married he
insinuated a special relationship with the two (2) women which caused him to be careless
in his dealings with them.
IBP issued a resolution recommending the suspension of respondent from the practice of
law for six (6) months based on the following findings
o No receipt has been produced by respondent showing that the face value of the
subject checks has been paid or that the alleged five (5) units of cellular phones
have been delivered to the complainant;
o The Decision in the criminal cases that were filed vis-a-vis the subject bouncing
checks and wherein he was acquitted clearly shows that his acquittal was not due
to payment of the obligation but rather that 'private complainant knew at the time
the accused issued the checks that the latter did not have sufficient funds in the

bank to cover the same. No violation of BP Blg. 22 is committed where


complainant was told by the drawer that he does not have sufficient funds in
the bank; and
o Respondent subsequently paid the complainant as shown by a receipt dated 26
August 1995 . . . and the release of real estate mortgage . . . If it is true that he had
already paid his obligation with five (5) cellular phones, why pay again?
HELD:
The GENERAL RULE IS THAT A LAWYER MAY NOT BE SUSPENDED OR
DISBARRED, and the court may not ordinarily assume jurisdiction to discipline him FOR
MISCONDUCT IN HIS NON-PROFESSIONAL OR PRIVATE CAPACITY.
Where, however, the misconduct outside of the lawyer's professional dealings is SO GROSS
A CHARACTER AS TO SHOW HIM MORALLY UNFIT FOR THE OFFICE AND
UNWORTHY OF THE PRIVILEGE WHICH HIS LICENSES AND THE LAW CONFER
ON HIM, the court may be justified in suspending or removing him from the office of
attorney.
The evidence on record clearly shows RESPONDENT'S PROPENSITY TO ISSUE BAD
CHECKS. This GROSS MISCONDUCT on his part, THOUGH NOT RELATED TO HIS
PROFESSIONAL DUTIES AS A MEMBER OF THE BAR, PUTS HIS MORAL
CHARACTER IN SERIOUS DOUBT. The Commission, however, does not find him a
hopeless case in the light of the fact that he eventually paid his obligation to the
complainant, albeit very much delayed.
While it is true that there was no attorney-client relationship between complainant and
respondent as the transaction between them did not require the professional legal services
of respondent, nevertheless respondent's abject conduct merits condemnation from this
Court.
As a general rule, a court will not assume jurisdiction to discipline one of its officers for
misconduct alleged to have been committed in his private capacity. But this is a general rule with
many exceptions . . . The nature of the office, the trust relation which exists between attorney and
client, as well as between court and attorney, and the statutory rules prescribing the
qualifications of attorneys, uniformly require that an attorney shall be a person of good
moral character. If that qualification is a condition precedent to a license or privilege to
enter upon the practice of the law, it would seem to be equally essential during the
continuance of the practice and the exercise of the privilege. So it is held that AN
ATTORNEY WILL BE REMOVED NOT ONLY FOR MALPRACTICE AND DISHONESTY
IN HIS PROFESSION, BUT ALSO FOR GROSS MISCONDUCT NOT CONNECTED WITH
HIS PROFESSIONAL DUTIES, WHICH SHOWS HIM TO BE UNFIT FOR THE OFFICE
AND UNWORTHY OF THE PRIVILEGES WHICH HIS LICENSE AND THE LAW CONFER
UPON HIM . . .

"The courts are not curators of the morals of the bar. At the same time the profession is not
compelled to harbor all persons whatever their character, who are fortunate enough to keep out of
prison. As good character is an essential qualification for admission of an attorney to practice,
when the attorney's character is bad in such respects as to show that he is unsafe and unfit to be
entrusted with the powers of an attorney, the courts retain the power to discipline him . . . Of all
classes and professions, the lawyer is most sacredly bound to uphold the law . . . and to that
doctrine we give our unqualified support."
Finally, reference is made to Rule 1.01, Chapter 1, entitled The Lawyer and Society of the
Code of Professional Responsibility which requires that "a lawyer shall not engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct."
"Conduct" as used in this Rule, is not limited to conduct exhibited in connection with the
performance of professional duties.
IN THE CASE AT BAR, IT IS GLARINGLY CLEAR THAT THE PROCUREMENT OF
PERSONAL LOANS THROUGH INSINUATIONS OF HIS POWER AS AN INFLUENCE
PEDDLER IN THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, THE ISSUANCE OF A SERIES OF BAD
CHECKS AND THE TAKING UNDUE ADVANTAGE OF HIS POSITION IN THE
AFORESAID GOVERNMENT OFFICE CONSTITUTE CONDUCT IN GROSS
VIOLATION OF RULE 1.01 OF THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
WHEREFORE, respondent ATTY. GODOFREDO N. BERNARDINO is SUSPENDED FOR
ONE (1) YEAR from the practice of law with warning that repetition of the same or similar acts
will merit a more severe penalty.
EDUARDO J. BERENGUER, complainant, vs. PEDRO B. CARRANZA, respondent.
FERNANDO, J p:
The law is an exacting taskmaster. Membership in the bar, as so appropriately put, is a privilege
burdened with conditions. A lawyer is called upon by virtue of his oath of office to "do no
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; . . . [and to] conduct [himself] as a lawyer
according to the best of [his] knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity . . . to the
courts . . ."
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Pedro B. Carranza, manifested the utmost fealty to the trust reposed
in him as an officer of the Court by taking all necessary measures to avoid the court being
misled, even if such were the result not of design but of inadvertence?
FACTS:

A complaint against respondent Pedro B. Carranza was filed for DECEPTION


PRACTICED ON THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF SORSOGON , in that
aware of the falsity of an Affidavit of Adjudication and Transfer executed by the

mother of his client to the effect that her own mother left no legitimate ascendants
or descendants or any other heirs except herself, when, as a matter of fact, the
deceased was survived by four other daughters and one son, father of the
complainant, he introduced the same in evidence.
He alleged that the aforesaid Affidavit of Adjudication and Transfer was introduced in
evidence only to prove the fact of such transfer of the property in question to his
client, respondent having "no hand in the making of said affidavit nor of the
petition, both of which were prepared in Pasay City."
Whether respondent "consented in violation of his oath, to the doing of any falsehood in
court."
The Petition was subscribed and sworn to in Pasay City before one Atty. A. Mendoza,
while the Affidavit was subscribed under oath in Pasay before Notary Public Ernesto V.
Ventura.
It was likewise noted that respondent testified as to his being "not `very meticulous about
the petition' because there was neither private nor government opposition thereto; that if
he had intended to deceive the court by virtue of the documents, he could have told his
client to answer his questions at the cadastral hearing to conform to the controverted
paragraph in the Affidavit of Adjudication concerning the statement reproduced from the
tax declaration that the decedent left no legitimate ascendants or descendants or any other
heirs except the affiant . . ."
Moreover, as likewise stated therein, the fact "that he did not even bother to read
the entirety of the affidavit runs counter to respondent's inescapable duty to clear
up doubts and inconsistencies." For he could have been aware "of the family
litigations between his client and complainant which are rooted in successional
rights. . . ."
It was the conclusion of the then Solicitor General Antonio Barredo, assisted by Assistant
Solicitor General Frine Zaballero: "IF HE DID NOT, HE CANNOT BE RELIEVED
FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACTS AS A LAWYER, AND DISCLAIM
RESPONSIBILITY THEREFOR. TO ALLOW RESPONDENT RELIEF FROM HIS
DUTY IS TO IGNORE WHAT IS OBVIOUS FROM THE NATURE OF THE
LITIGATIONS IN WHICH HE ENTERED HIS APPEARANCE . . .. ACTUALLY,
RESPONDENT'S FAILURE TO READ THE AFFIDAVIT PROVES THAT HE DID
NOT PROPERLY INFORM HIMSELF OF THE EVIDENCE HE WAS GOING TO
PRESENT IN COURT, THEREBY EXHIBITING AN INDIFFERENCE TO PROOF
INCONSISTENT WITH FACTS HE DEFINITELY KNOWS. THUS, RESPONDENT
HAS CONTRIBUTED TO CONFUSION AND THE PROLONGATION OF THE
CADASTRAL SUIT, WHICH PENDS AS A PETITION FOR RELIEF. . . ."
Respondent was charged with "violation of his oath of office, [having] caused confusion
and prolongation of the cadastral suit for presenting evidence therein containing a false
statement inconsistent with facts he definitely knows by reason of the family litigations
between his client and complainant herein, which are rooted in successional rights [and
that] respondent's failure to discharge his duties as a lawyer consistent with his oath of
office finds sanction in Rule 138, Section 27, Revised Rules of Court. . . ."
Respondent alleged in justification "that while it is true that the .. respondent was the
counsel who appeared for the petitioner in Cadastral Case No. 2, LRC Cadastral Record

No. 869 of Sorsogon Cadastre, yet he had nothing to do with the making of the petition
and the annexes thereto attached; for the same were made in Pasay City and that when
[he] accepted to represent the petitioner in the Cadastral Case mentioned above, there was
no opposition from anybody .. not even from the Bureau of Lands nor from the
Honorable Solicitor General, making, therefore, the hearing therein a mere formality.
Such being the case, the [respondent] presented the petitioner's case on January 17, 1966,
without meticulously going over the documents, and the alleged Affidavit of Adjudication
and Transfer was presented to show the fact of transfer of the land described therein from
the affiant to her son.
The stenographic notes in that proceeding will bear this matter out. [Respondent's]
failure to notice the existence of an incorrect statement in the said affidavit was a
mere oversight. It was not [willful], for he has not consented to the doing of the
falsity therein made, since the same was prepared by petitioner's lawyer in Pasay
City; nor did [respondent] willingly do falsehood in the hearing mentioned above; . .
."

HELD:
There is something unique in this proceeding then. With the finding of the then Solicitor General
Barredo that there was nothing willful in the conduct pursued by respondent in thus introducing
in evidence the Affidavit of Adjudication and Transfer which turned out to be false, in the
preparation of which, however, he had nothing to do, the charge of deliberate deception
obviously cannot be sustained.
Would that of itself entirely exculpate him from any responsibility? The answer must be in the
negative. As was correctly pointed out in the complaint, his failure to exercise greater care did
result in the "confusion and prolongation of the cadastral suit." Under the circumstances, it
would be to err on the side of undue leniency if he would be held blameless. He had incurred
liability. His fidelity to his oath as attorney was less than entire.
Every member of the bar must be on his guard, lest through oversight or inadvertence, the
way he conducts his case or the evidence he presents could conceivably result in a failure of
justice. Time and time again, lawyers have been admonished to remember that they are
officers of the court, and that while they owe their clients the duty of complete fidelity and
the utmost diligence, they are likewise held to strict accountability insofar as candor and
honesty towards the court is concerned.
Even if there be no intent to deceive, therefore, a lawyer whose conduct, as in this case,
betrays inattention or carelessness should not be allowed to free himself from a charge
thereafter instituted against him by the mere plea that his conduct was not willful and that
he has not consented to the doing of the falsity.
A lawyer's oath is one impressed with the utmost seriousness; it must not be taken lightly.
Every lawyer must do his best to live up to it. There would be a failure of justice if courts
cannot rely on the submission as well as the representations made by lawyers, insofar as the

presentation of evidence, whether oral or documentary, is concerned. If, as unfortunately


happened in this case, even without any intent on the part of a member of the bar to
mislead the court, such deplorable event did occur, he must not be allowed to escape the
responsibility that justly attaches to a conduct far from impeccable.
WHEREFORE, respondent Pedro B. Carranza is REPRIMANDED and warned that a
repetition of an offense of this character would be much more severely dealt with.

[A.C. No. L-363. July 31, 1962.]


IN RE: DISBARMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ATTY. DIOSDADO Q. GUTIERREZ,
respondent.
MAKALINTAL, J p:
FACTS:

Respondent Diosdado Q. Gutierrez is a member of the Philippine Bar.


He was convicted of the murder of Filemon Samaco, former municipal mayor of
Calapan, and together with his co-conspirators was sentenced to the penalty of death.
Penalty was changed to reclusin perpetua.
After serving a portion of the sentence respondent was granted a CONDITIONAL
PARDON by the President.
The unexecuted portion of the prison term was remitted "on condition that he shall not
again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines."
The widow of the deceased Filemon Samaco, victim in the murder case, filed a
verified complaint before this Court praying that respondent be removed from the
roll of lawyers pursuant to Rule 127, section 5.

HELD:
Under section 5 of Rule 127 a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office
as attorney by the Supreme Court by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude. Murder is, without doubt, such a crime.
The term "MORAL TURPITUDE" includes everything which is done contrary to justice,
honesty, modesty or good morals.
As used in disbarment statutes, it means an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the
private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or to society in general,
contrary to the accepted rule of right and duty between man and man.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the conditional pardon extended to respondent places him beyond the scope of
the rule on disbarment aforecited.
HELD:
Reliance is placed by him squarely on the Lontok case. The respondent therein was convicted of
bigamy and thereafter pardoned by the Governor-General. In a subsequent proceeding for his
disbarment on the ground of such conviction, this Court decided in his favor and held: "When
proceedings to strike on attorney's name from the rolls are founded on, and depend alone, on a
statute making the fact of a conviction for a felony ground for disbarment, it has been held that a
pardon operates to wipe out the conviction and is a bar to any proceeding for the disbarment of
the attorney after the pardon has been granted."
"We are of the opinion that after he received an unconditional pardon the record of the felony
conviction could no longer be used as a basis for the proceeding provided for in article 226. This
record, when offered in evidence, was met with an unconditional pardon, and could not
therefore, properly be said to afford "proof of a conviction of any felony." Having been thus
cancelled, all its force as a felony conviction was taken away. A pardon falling short of this
would not be pardon, according to the judicial construction which that act of executive grace was
received.
"'A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the
offender; and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence
the guilt, so that in the eyes of the law the offender is as innocent as if he had never
committed the offense. If granted before conviction, it prevents any of the penalties and
disabilities, consequent upon conviction, from attaching; if granted after conviction, it
removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights; it makes him,
as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity.' "
The PARDON GRANTED TO RESPONDENT here is NOT ABSOLUTE BUT
CONDITIONAL, and merely remitted the unexecuted portion of his term. It does not
reach the offense itself, unlike that in Ex parte Garland, which was "a full pardon and amnesty
for all offenses by him committed in connection with the rebellion (civil war) against the
government of the United States."
Respondent Gutierrez must be judged upon the fact of his conviction for murder without
regard to the pardon he invokes in defense. The crime was qualified by treachery and
aggravated by its having been committed in band, by taking advantage of his official
position (respondent being municipal mayor at the time) and with the use of a motor
vehicle.
The degree of moral turpitude involved is such as to justify his being purged from the
profession.
The practice of law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to certain rigid
standards of mental and moral fitness. For the admission of a candidate to the bar the Rules
of Court not only prescribe a test of academic preparation but require satisfactory

testimonials of good moral character. These standards are neither dispensed with nor
lowered after admission; the lawyer must continue to adhere to them or else incur the risk
of suspension or removal.
"Of all classes and professions, the lawyer is most sacredly bound to uphold the laws. He is their
sworn servant; and for him, of all men in the world, to repudiate and override the laws, to
trample them under foot and to ignore the very bands of society, argues recreancy to his position
and office and sets a pernicious example to the insubordinate and dangerous elements of the
body politic."
WHEREFORE, pursuant to Rule 127, Section 5, and considering the nature of the crime for
which respondent Diosdado Q. Gutierrez has been convicted, he is ordered DISBARRED AND
HIS NAME STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF LAWYERS.

G.R. No. 79518


January 13, 1989
REBECCA C. YOUNG assisted by her husband ANTONIO GO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS, PH CREDIT CORP., PHIL. HOLDING, INC. FRANCISCO VILLAROMAN,
FONG YOOK LU, ELLEN YEE FONG and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF MANILA,
respondents.
PARAS, J.:
FACTS:

Defendant Philippine Holding, Inc. is the former owner of a piece of land located at Soler
St., Sta. Cruz, Manila, and a two storey building erected thereon, consisting of six units;
Unit 1350 which is vacant, Unit 1352 occupied by Antonio Young, Unit 1354 by Rebecca
C. Young, Unit 1356 by Chui Wan and Felisa Tan Yu, Unit 1358 by Fong Yook Lu and
Ellen Yee Fong and Unit 1360 by the Guan Heng Hardware.
The owner Philippine Holding, Inc. secured an order from the City Engineer of Manila to
demolish the building.
Antonio Young, then a tenant of said Unit 1352, filed an action to annul the City
Engineer's demolition Order (Civil Case No. 123883) entitled Antonio S. Young vs.
Philippine Holding, Inc. before the then Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XXX.
Parties submitted a Compromise Agreement to the Court. Paragraph 3 of said
agreement provides that plaintiff (Antonio S. Young) and Rebecca Young and all
persons claiming rights under them bind themselves to voluntarily and peacefully
vacate the premises which they were occupying as lessees (Units 1352 and 1354,
respectively) which are the subject of the condemnation and demolition order and to
surrender possession thereof to the defendant Philippine Holding, Inc. within sixty (60)
days from written notice, subject to the proviso that should defendant decided to sell
the subject property or portion thereof, "plaintiff and Rebecca C. Young have the
right of first refusal thereof.".
Philippine Holding, Inc. had previously sold the above said property described in the
compromise agreement by way of dacion in payment to PH Credit Corporation

The property was subdivided into two parcels, one 244.09 sq.m. in area covering Units
1350, 1352 and 1354 (TCT No. 152439) and the other 241.71 sq.m. in area covering
Units 1356, 1358 and 1360 (TCT No. 152440) and both titles were placed in the name of
PH Credit Corporation.
PH Credit Corporation sold the property covered by TCT 152439 to the Blessed Land
Development Corporation represented by its President Antonio T. S. Young; and PH
Credit Corporation sold the property covered by TCT 152440 embracing Units 1356,
1358 and 1360 to spouses Fong Yook Lu and Ellen Yee Fong.
Thereafter, petitioner Rebecca C. Young and her co-plaintiffs, the spouses Chui Wan and
Felisa Tan Yu filed in the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Civil Case for the annulment of
the sale in favor of herein respondent spouses, Fong Yook Lu and Ellen Yee Fong and for
specific performance and damages against the PH Credit Corporation and Philippine
Holding, Incorporated.
Plaintiff spouses Chui Wan and Felisa Tan Yu alleged that defendant corporation and
Francisco Villaroman, sold the property without affording them (the plaintiffs-spouses)
the right of first refusal to purchase that portion of the property which they are renting.
Plaintiff Rebecca C. Young, now petitioner, also claimed the right of first refusal
purportedly granted to her under the aforestated proviso of the abovesaid compromise
agreement and prayed that the sale be annulled and that they be allowed to exercise her
right of first refusal to purchase subject property.
Lower court decided in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs, thus dismissing
the complaint together with defendants' counterclaims.
The claim of Rebecca C. Young was similarly rejected by the trial court on the following
grounds: (1) that she was not a party in the Civil Case wherein subject compromise
agreement was submitted and approved by the trial court apart from the fact that she did
not even affix her signature to the said compromise agreement; (2) that Rebecca Young
had failed to present any evidence to show that she had demanded from the defendantsowners, observance of her right of first refusal before the said owners sold units 1356,
1358 and 1360; (3) that even assuming that her supposed right of first refusal is a
stipulation for the benefit of a third person, she did not inform the obligor of her
acceptance as required by the second paragraph of Article 1311 of the Civil Code.
Chui Wan and Felisa Tan Yu and Rebecca C. Young, assisted by her husband, appealed to
the Court of Appeals which dismissed for lack of merit.
Hence this petition, which was brought to this Court only by Rebecca Young, assisted by
her husband Antonio Go.
Respondents Fong Yook Lu, moved to strike out or dismiss outright the instant petition.
In the resolution of May 11, 1988, the petition was given due course and the parties were

Petitioner raised the following assignments of error:


1. The lower court erred in holding that Rebecca C. Young cannot enforce the stipulation in her
favor in the compromise agreement as she is not party therein.

2. The lower court erred in holding that even if par. 3 of the compromise agreement is construed
as a stipulation pour autrui Rebecca Young cannot enforce it because she did not communicate
her acceptance thereof to the obligor.
The petition is devoid of merit.
The main issue in this case is whether or not petitioner can enforce a compromise agreement to
which she was not a party. This issue has already been squarely settled by this Court in the
negative in J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Cadampog (7 SCRA 808 [1963])where it was ruled that
appellant is not entitled to enforce a compromise agreement to which he was not a party and that
as to its effect and scope, it has been determined in the sense that its effectivity if at all, is limited
to the parties thereto and those mentioned in the exhibits (J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Aguirre, 7
SCRA 112 [1963]). It was reiterated later that a compromise agreement cannot bind persons who
are not parties thereto (Guerrero v. C.A., 29 SCRA 791 [1969]).
The pertinent portion of the Compromise Agreement reads:
Plaintiff Antonio T.S. Young and the Defendant HOLDING hereby agree to implead in this
action as necessary party- plaintiff, plaintiff's daughter Rebecca C. Young who is the recognized
lawful lessee of the premises known and identified as 1354 Soller St., Sta. Cruz, Manila and
whose written conformity appears hereunder. (Rollo, p. 18)
From the terms of this agreement, the conditions are very clear, such as: (1) that Rebecca C.
Young shall be impleaded in the action and (2) that she shall signify her written conformity
thereto.
For unknown reasons, the above conditions were not complied with. The parties did not make
any move to implead Rebecca as necessary party in the case. Neither did her written conformity
appear in said agreement. While there is the printed name of Rebecca C. Young appearing at the
end of the joint motion for approval of the Compromise Agreement, she did not affix her
signature above her printed name, nor on the left margin of each and every page thereof.
In fact, on cross-examination, she admitted that she was not a party to the case and that she did
not sign the aforesaid joint motion because it was not presented to her (Rollo, p. 18).
More than that, by the aforesaid actuations of the parties and petitioner's apparent lack of
interest, the intention is evident, not to include the latter either in the onerous, or in the
beneficient provisions of said agreement.
Petitioner further argued that the stipulation giving her the right of first refusal is a stipulation
pour autrui or a stipulation in favor of a third person under Article 1311 of the Civil Code.
The requisites of a stipulation pour autrui or a stipulation in favor of a third person are the
following:
(1) there must be a stipulation in favor of a third person.

(2) the stipulation must be a part, not the whole of the contract.
(3) the contracting parties must have clearly and deliberately conferred a favor upon a third
person, not a mere incidental benefit or interest.
(4) the third person must have communicated his acceptance to the obligor before its revocation.
(5) neither of the contracting parties bears the legal representation or authorization of the third
party. (Florentino v. Encarnacion, Sr., 79 SCRA 193 [1977]).
Assuming that petitioner is correct in claiming that this is a stipulation pour autrui it is
unrebutted that she did not communicate her acceptance whether expressly or impliedly. She
insists however, that the stipulation has not yet been revoked, so that her present claim or
demand is still timely.
As correctly observed by the Court of Appeals, the above argument is pointless, considering that
the sale of subject property to some other person or entity constitutes in effect a revocation of the
grant of the right of first refusal to Rebecca C. Young.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit, and the decision of the
Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.