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Alawi v.

Alauya
AM-SDC 97-2-P, February 24, 1997
Narvasa C.J / kmd

SUBJECT MATTER: The Lawyer and the legal profession; Unauthorized Practice of Law

Facts:
The petitioner and respondent were classmates, and used to be friends.
Sophia Alawi was a sales representative of E.B. Villarosa & Partners Co., Ltd. of Davao
City, a real estate and housing company. Ashari M. Alauya is the incumbent executive
clerk of court of the 4th Judicial Sharia District in Marawi City.
Through Alawis agency, a contract was executed for the purchase on installments by
Alauya of one of the housing units of Villarosa. In connection, a housing loan was also
granted to Alauya by the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).
Not long afterwards, Alauya addressed a letter to the President of Villarosa & Co.
advising of the termination of his contract with the company. He claimed that his consent
was vitiated because Alawi had resorted to gross misrepresentation, deceit, fraud,
dishonesty and abuse of confidence. He also wrote several similar letters to the Vice
President of Villarosa and the Vice President of NHMFC.
Upon learning of Alauyas letters, Alawi filed an administrative complaint against him.
One of her grounds was Alauyas usurpation of the title of attorney, which only regular
members of the Philippine Bar may properly use.
Alauya justified his use of the title, attorney, by the assertion that it is lexically
synonymous with Counsellors-at-law. a title to which Sharia lawyers have a rightful
claim, adding that he prefers the title of attorney because counsellor is often mistaken
for councilor, konsehal or the Maranao term consial, connoting a local legislator
beholden to the mayor. Withal, he does not consider himself a lawyer.

Issue:
WON Alauya, a member of the Sharia bar, can use the title of Attorney. (NO)

Holding:
He cant. The title is only reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary degree in
the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted to the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in good standing pass the
regular Philippine bar, and it is they only who are authorized to practice law in this
jurisdiction.
As regards Alauyas use of the title of Attorney, this Court has already had occasion to
declare that persons who pass the Sharia Bar are not full-fledged members of the
Philippine Bar, hence may only practice law before Sharia courts. While one who has
been admitted to the Sharia Bar, and one who has been admitted to the Philippine Bar,
may both be considered counsellors, in the sense that they give counsel or advice in a
professional capacity, only the latter is an attorney. The title of attorney is reserved to
those who, having obtained the necessary degree in the study of law and successfully
taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
and remain members thereof in good standing; and it is they only who are authorized to
practice law in this jurisdiction

Respondent Ashary Arauya reprimanded.

Notes

ShariaBarSubjects:Persons,FamilyRelationsandProperty;Jurisprudence(FIQH)
andCustomaryLaws(ADATS);ProcedureinShariaCourts;andSuccession,
Wills/AdjudicationandSettlementofEstate.

Sharialawpractitioners,alsocalledShariacounselors,litigatecasesintheSharia
districtandcircuitcourts,mostofwhicharelocatedinMindanao.Althoughtheyare
recognizedasspecialmembersofthePhilippineBar,Sharialawlawyersarenot
allowedtopracticelawinregularcourtsandmaynotusethetitleattorney.

Shariacourtswerecreatedin1977toresolvecertaincasesinvolvingMuslimswho
arecoveredbyIslamiclaw.Casesincludethoseonpersonalstatus,marriage,
matrimonialandfamilyrelations,successionandinheritance,andpropertyrelations
betweenspouses.

ThefirstShariabarexamswereheldin1983.
"PersonsAllowedtotaketheSpecialBarExaminations
"A.NonLawyer"
1.AllcollegedegreeholderswhohavecompletedtheseminaronIslamicLawandJurisprudencerequiredand
authorizedbytheSupremeCourt;"
2.AllcollegedegreeholdersinIslamicLawandJurisprudenceoftheALAZHARUNIVERSITYandofother
IslamicInstitutionsofthesamecategoryinothercountriesdulyrecognizedbytheirrespectivegovernment;and
"3.AllgraduatesofIslamicSecondarySchoolsdulyauthorizedbythePhilippineGovernmentwhereIslamicLaw
andJurisprudencearetaughtaspartofthecurriculumandwhohavecompletedtheseminaronIslamicLawsand
JurisprudencerequiredandauthorizedbytheSupremeCourt.

"B.Lawyers
"1.MembersofthePhilippineBarwhoaspiretobeappointedtoanyoftheShari'aCourtsmustfirstpassthe
examinationstobegivenbytheSupremeCourtforadmissiontoSpecialmembershipinthePhilippineBarto
practiceintheShari'aCourts."Evidently,acollegedegreeisnotthecontrollingfactorinallowingapersontotake
theSpecialbarExaminations(Shari'aBar)forevenagraduateofIslamicSecondarySchools(highschool)maybe
allowedtotakeitprovided,theapplicanthascompletedtheseminaronIslamicLawandJurisprudenceasrequired
andauthorizedbytheSupremeCourt.

Ontheotherhand,Section1ofRepublicActNo.1080provides,asfollows:
"SECTION1.ThebarexaminationsandtheexaminationsgivenbythevariousboardexaminersoftheGovernment
aredeclaredascivilserviceexaminations,andshallforpurposesofappointmenttopositionsintheclassifiedservice
thedutiesofwhichinvolveknowledgeoftherespectiveprofession,exceptpositionsrequiringhighlyspecialized
knowledgenotcoveredbytheordinaryboardexaminations,beconsideredasequivalenttothefirstgraderegular
examinationgivenbytheBureauofCivilServiceiftheprofessionrequiresatleastfouryearsofstudyincollegeand
thepersonhaspracticedhisprofessionforatleasttwoyears,andasequivalenttothesecondgraderegular
examinationiftheprofessionrequireslessthanfouryearsofcollegestudy."(Underscoringours)ToimplementRA
No.1080,theCivilServiceCommissionpromulgatedCSCMemorandumCircularNo.6,seriesof1990which
provides,inpart,asfollows:"TheCIVILSERVICECOMMISSIONinitsResolutionNo.90073datedJanuary22,
1990adoptedthepolicythatcivilserviceeligibilitiesresultingfrombarorboardexaminations,orassembled
specializedwrittenexaminationsconductedbytheCivilServiceCommissionordepartmentsoragencieswiththe
assistanceof,orincoordinationwith,theCivilServiceCommission,andeligibilitiesgrantedunderPD907as
amended,andPD997shallbeallowedforpermanentappointmenttocorrespondinglevelsofpositionsinthecareer
service,trainingandexperienceandotherrequirementsforthepositionprescribedintheapprovedqualification
standards.

"Toprovideuniforminterpretationandapplicationofthesaideligibilities,thefollowingguidelinesarehereby
prescribed:"1.EligibilitiesresultingfromspecializedwrittenexaminationconductedbytheCivilService
Commissionordepartmentsoragencieswiththeassistanceof,orincoordinationwith,theCSCorboardorbar
examinationwhichrequireatleastfour(4)yearsofcollegestudiesshallbeappropriateforappointmenttofirstand
secondlevelpositionsnotcoveredbyexaminationasrequiredbylaw,providedthatthepersonappointedtothese
positionspossesstheeducation,trainingandexperienceandotherqualificationsrequiredfortheposition.