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Rebecca Palm, Complainant, v. Atty. Iledan, Jr., Resondent.

Ponente: Carpio, J.

Case:
The case is all about a disbarment against Atty. Iledan filed by Palm, for revealing information obtained in
attorney-client relationship and for representing an interest with his former client, Comtech.

Facts:
Palm is the President of Comtech where Atty. Iledan served as retained corporate counsel with a retainer
fee of Php6,000 per month.
In a meeting, respondent suggested that Comtech amend its corporate-by-laws to allow other members of
the Board of Directors who are outside of the Philippines to participate in meeting through teleconference. Prior to
the completion of the amendments of the corporate-by-laws, Comtech decided to terminate its retainer agreement
with respondent because complainant became uncomfortable with the close relationship between respondent and
certain Soledad. In a stockholders meeting where respondent attended as proxy for certain Harrison. The respondent
then objected the meeting for lack of quorum, asserting that the corporate-by-laws had not yet been amended to
allow teleconferencing. Comtech filed a complaint for Estafa against Soledad before the Makati Prosecutors Office
for failure to comply with the formers written demands to return the sum of money representing the latters
unauthorized disbursements wherein the respondent appeared as counsel for Soledad. Thereafter, the complainant
filed a complaint for disbarment against respondent before the IBP. In his answer, respondent alleged that there was
no conflict of interest when he represented Soledad in the case for Estafa. He further alleged that Soledad was
already his client before he became consultant for Comtech, that the criminal case was not related to procedural
queries he handled with Comtech.
The IBP-CHD found respondent guilty of violation of Canon 21 of the CPR and of representing interest in
conflict with that of Comtech as his former client when he made use of the privileged information he obtained while
he was Comtechs retained counsel and in representing Soledad in a case filed by Comtech, respondent represented
an interest in conflict with that of a former client. The IBP Board of Governors suspended Atty. Iledan from practice
of law for two years. Respondent filed a motion for recommendation which was denied but his suspension was
reduced to one year of suspension only.

Issue:
W/O/N the IBP erred in its findings and recommendation, suspending Atty. Iledan.

Ruling:
Yes, the IBPs finding and recommendation cannot be sustained.
Canon 21 of the CPR provides that: A lawyer shall preserve the confidence and secrets of his client even
after the attorney-client relationship is terminated.
Canon 15.03 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.
In this case, what transpired was not a board meeting but a stockholders meeting where the respondent
attended as a proxy. There was no need for Steven and Deanna to participate through teleconferencing as they could
have just sent their proxies to the meeting because a member in a stockholders meeting may vote by proxy unless
otherwise contrary is provided. In addition to that, the information about the necessity to amend the corporate-by-
laws given to respondent could not be considered a confidential one because it is presumed that the stockholders are
aware of the proposed amendments to the by-law. Moreover, the documents are public records and could not be
considered confidential. It is settled that mere relation of attorney and client does not raise a presumption of
confidentiality. The client must intend the communication be confidential. Hence, the disclosure by respondent
during the stockholders meeting was not a violation of his clients secrets and confidence within the contemplation
of Canon 21 of the CPR. Furthermore, there was no conflict of interest when respondent represented Soledad in a
case filed by Comtech. There was nothing in the records that would show that respondent used against Comtech any
confidential information acquired while he was still Comtechs retained counsel. The representation was made after
respondent has been terminated by Comtech.
Therefore, IBP erred in its findings and recommendation. The duty of a lawyer to a former client does not
cover transactions that occurred beyond the lawyers employment with the client. It is a lawyers duty to protect the
clients interests only on matters he previously handled for former client and not for matters that arose after the
lawyer-client relationship has terminated.

Decision:
The complaint against Atty. Iledan, Jr. was dismissed for lack of merit.

Guevarra, Complainant, v. Atty. Eala, Respondent.

Case:
The case is a complaint for disbarment before the IBP-CBD against Atty. Eala for grossly immoral conduct
and unmitigated violation of the lawyers oath.

Facts:

Joselano Guevarra filed a Complaint for Disbarment before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)
Committee on BarDiscipline (CBD) against Atty. Jose Emmanuel M. Eala a.k.a. Noli Eala (respondent) for "grossly
immoral conduct and unmitigated violation of the lawyer's oath."The complainant first met respondent in January
2000 when his (complainant's) then-fiancee Irene Moje (Irene) introduced respondent Atty. Eala, a lawyer and a
sportscaster, to him as her friend who was married to Mary Ann Tantoco with whom he had three children. After his
marriage to Irene, complainant noticed that Irene had been receiving from respondent cellphone calls, as well as
messages some of which read "I love you," "I miss you," or "Meet you at Megamall." He also noticed that Irene
habitually went home very late at night or early in the morning of the following day, and sometimes did not go
home from work. When he asked about her whereabouts, she replied that she slept at her parents' house in
Binangonan, Rizal or she was busy with her work. More so, complainant has seen Irene and respondent together on
two occasions. On the second occasion, he confronted them following which Irene abandoned the conjugal house.
Moreover, Complainant later found, in the master's bedroom, a folded social card bearing the words "I Love You" on
its face, which card when unfolded contained a handwritten letter dated October 7, 2000, the day of his wedding to
Irene. Also, it was revealed that Irene gave birth to a girl in 2002 and Irene named respondent in the Certificate of
Live Birth as the girl's father. In his answer, Respondent specifically denies having ever flaunted an adulterous
relationship with Irene, the truth of the matter being that their relationship was low profile and known only to the
immediate members of their respective families. He also said that his special relationship with Irene is neither under
scandalous circumstances nor tantamount to grossly immoral conduct as a ground for disbarment.

Issue:
W/O/N Atty. Eala should be disbarred from the practice of law.

Ruling:
YES. The case at bar involves a relationship between a married lawyer and a married woman who is not his
wife. It is immaterial whether the affair was carried out discreetly.

While it has been held in disbarment cases that the mere fact of sexual relations between two unmarried
adults is not sufficient to warrant administrative sanction for such illicit behavior, it is not so with respect to
betrayals of the marital vow of fidelity. Even if not all forms of extra-marital relations are punishable under penal
law, sexual relations outside marriage is considered disgraceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate disregard of
the sanctity of marriage and the marital vows protected by the Constitution and affirmed by our laws.

Respondent in fact also violated the lawyer's oath he took before admission to practice law. Furthermore,
respondent violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which proscribes a lawyer
from engaging in "unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct," and Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 of the same Code
which proscribes a lawyer from engaging in any "conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law."

As a lawyer, respondent should be aware that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and
wife are presumed, unless proven otherwise, to have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. In carrying on an
extra-marital affair with Irene prior to the judicial declaration that her marriage with complainant was null and void,
and despite respondent himself being married, he showed disrespect for an institution held sacred by the law. And he
betrayed his unfitness to be a lawyer.

Decision:
The petition is granted, ANNULLING AND SETTING ASIDE the Resolution by the Board of Directors of
the Governors of the IBP. Respondent Atty. Eala was disbarred for grossly immoral conduct, violation of his oath of
office, and a violation of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Canon 7, Rule 7.03 of the CPR.

Young vs. Batuegas (403 SCRA 123) 2003

FACTS:
The Complainant - private prosecutor filed an Affidavit-Complaint by for disbarment against Attys. Ceasar
G. Batuegas, Miguelito Nazareno V. Llantino and Franklin Q. Susa for allegedly committing deliberate falsehood in
court and violating the lawyers oath.

Complainant is the private prosecutor in Criminal Case No. 00-187627 for Murder, entitled People of the
Philippines versus Crisanto Arana, Jr., pending before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 27. On December
13, 2000, respondents Batuegas and Llantino, as counsel for accused, filed a Manifestation with Motion for Bail,
alleging that the accused has voluntarily surrendered to a person in authority and is under detention.

However, upon personal verification with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where accused Arana
allegedly surrendered, complainant learned that he surrendered only on December 14, 2000, as shown by the
Certificate of Detention executed by Atty. Rogelio M. Mamauag, Chief of the Security Management Division of the
NBI.

The fact remains that the allegation that the accused was in the custody of the NBI on December 13, 2000
was false.
They craftily concealed the truth by alleging that accused had voluntarily surrendered to a person in authority and
were under detention.

Respondent Susa, the Branch Clerk of Court of RTC of Manila, Branch 27, calendared the motion on
December 15, 2000 lack of notice of hearing to the private complainant, violation of the three-day notice rule, and
the failure to attach the Certificate of Detention.

The instant case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation, and recommended
that Atty. Ceasar G. Batuegas and Atty. Miguelito Nazareno V. Llantino be suspended from the practice of their
profession as a lawyer for six (6) months. The complaint against Atty. Franklin Q. Susa is dismissed for lack of
merit.

ISSUE:
W/N Attys. Ceasar G. Batuegas, Miguelito Nazareno V. Llantino and Franklin Q. Susa shall be disbarred
for allegedly committing deliberate falsehood in court and violating the lawyers oath.

RULE:
The Court agrees with the findings and recommendations of the Investigating Commissioner. Respondents
Batuegas and Llantino are guilty of deliberate falsehood.
A lawyer must be a disciple of truth.
He swore upon his admission to the Bar that he will do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in
court and he shall conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion with all good
fidelity as well to the courts as to his clients. He should bear in mind that as an officer of the court his high vocation
is to correctly inform the court upon the law and the facts of the case and to aid it in doing justice and arriving at
correct conclusion. The courts, on the other hand, are entitled to expect only complete honesty from lawyers
appearing and pleading before them. While a lawyer has the solemn duty to defend his clients rights and is expected
to display the utmost zeal in defense of his clients cause, his conduct must never be at the expense of truth.
To knowingly allege an untrue statement of fact in the pleading is a contemptuous conduct that we
strongly condemn. They violated their oath when they resorted to deception.
Respondent clerk of court; should not hesitate to inform the judge if he should find any act or conduct on the
part of lawyers which are contrary to the established rules of procedure. Respondent clerk of court should not
be made administratively liable for including the Motion in the calendar of the trial court, considering that it was
authorized by the presiding judge. However, he is reminded that his administrative functions, although not involving
the discretion or judgment of a judge, are vital to the prompt and sound administration of justice. Thus, he should
not hesitate to inform the judge if he should find any act or conduct on the part of lawyers which are contrary to the
established rules of procedure

Insular Life Employees Co. vs. Insular Life Association (37 SCRA 244) 1971

FACTS:
This case is an appeal by certiorari to review a decision and a resolution en banc of the Court of Industrial
Relations dated August 17, 1965 and October 20, 1965, respectively, in Case 1698-ULP -- a complaint for unfair
labor practice against the Companies under Republic Act 875.
On July 29, 1958 the CIR prosecutor filed a complaint for unfair labor practice against the Companies
(respondent) under Republic Act 875. The complaint specifically charged the Companies (respondent) with (1)
interfering with the members of the Unions in the exercise of their right to concerted action, by sending out
individual letters to them urging them to abandon their strike and return to work, with a promise of comfortable cots,
free coffee and movies, and paid overtime, and, subsequently, by warning them that if they did not return to work on
or before June 2, 1958, they might be replaced; and (2) discriminating against the members of the Unions as regards
readmission to work after the strike on the basis of their union membership and degree of participation in the strike.
On August 4, 1958 the Companies filed their answer denying all the material allegations of the complaint,
stating special defenses therein, and asking for the dismissal of the complaint.
After trial on the merits, the Court of Industrial Relations, through Presiding Judge Arsenio Martinez,
rendered on August 17, 1965 a decision dismissing the Unions' complaint for lack of merit. On August 31, 1965 the
Unions seasonably filed their motion for reconsideration of the said decision, and their supporting memorandum on
September 10, 1965. This was denied by the Court of Industrial Relations en banc in a resolution promulgated on
October 20, 1965.
Hence, this petition for review.

ISSUE:
W/N Presiding Judge Arsenio Martinez of the Court of Industrial Relations and the counsels for the private
respondents shall be held liable for contempt the on the ground that the Judge misquoted in his decision rendered
on August 17, 1965 the paragraph in the case of Lopez, Sr., et al. vs. Chronicle Publication Employees Ass'n. et al.,
G.R. No. L-20179-81, December 28, 1964.

RULE:
The Court held that the respondent Judge and the respondents' counsels shall be admonished to be more
careful when citing jurisprudence in the future.
This apparent error, however, does not seem to warrant an indictment for contempt against the
respondent Judge and the respondents' counsels.
The misquotation is more a result of clerical ineptitude than a deliberate attempt on the part of the
respondent Judge to mislead. As there are many pending cases are the courts of the land, and it is not difficult to
imagine that because of the pressure of their varied and multifarious work, clerical errors may escape their notice.
The import of the underscored sentences of the quotation in the respondent Judge's decision is
substantially the same as, and faithfully reflects, the particular ruling in this Court's decision.
In citing this Court's decisions and rulings, it is the bounden duty of courts, judges and lawyers to
reproduce or copy the same word-for-word and punctuation mark-for-punctuation mark.
There is a salient and salutary reason why they should do this. Only from this Tribunal's decisions and
rulings do all other courts, as well as lawyers and litigants, take their bearings. This is because the decisions referred
to in article 8 of the Civil Code which reads, "Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution
shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines," are only those enunciated by this Court of last resort. We
said in no uncertain terms in Miranda, et al. vs. Imperial, et al. (77 Phil. 1066) that "[O]nly the decisions of this
Honorable Court establish jurisprudence or doctrines in this jurisdiction." Thus, ever present is the danger that if not
faithfully and exactly quoted, the decisions and rulings of this Court may lose their proper and correct meaning, to
the detriment of other courts, lawyers and the public who may thereby be misled. But if inferior courts and members
of the bar meticulously discharge their duty to check and recheck their citations of authorities culled not only from
this Court's decisions but from other sources and make certain that they are verbatim reproductions down to the last
word and punctuation mark, appellate courts will be precluded from acting on misinformation, as well as be saved
precious time in finding out whether the citations are correct.

MASINSIN VS ALBANO
FACTS:
Sps Masinsin instituted petition for certiorari, prohibition and relief from judgment as well as declaratory relief asking
to order MTC of Manila Branch X to cease and desist from further proceeding the demolition of the disputed property.
Case emerged from an ejectment suit filed by private respondent against petitioners on July 1, 1985 where the MTC
ruled in favor of private respondents.
The judgment became final and executory since no appeal has been filed.
On August 22, 1985, an appeal was filed by the petitioners for a petition for certiorari before the RTC of Manila Branch
22 which was then dismissed.
Another complaint for annulment of judgment lease contract and damages was filed by the petitioner before the RTC of
Manila Branch 41 asking nullification of the ejectment case.
Complaint was dismissed for res judicata.
Execution was filed the MTC for the enforcement of its decision.
Petitioners deposited with the CA the sum of Php 3000 but on March 11, 1987, the CA affirmed the order of the lower
court.
Demolition order was issued and the demolition was begun. Before the completion of the demolition a restraining order
was issued by the RTC of Manila branch 19 following a petition by certiorari filed by the petitioners. However, such
petition was then dismissed as well.
Petitioner assailed again the MTC decision in a petition for certiorari before the RTC of Manila Branch 25. Trial court
dismissed the petition.
Thus, petitioners filed this case in the SC. They contend that the MTC of Manila has lost its jurisdiction when the
property in question was proclaimed an area for priority development by the NHA on December 1, 1987.
RULING
Petition is without merit.
The resolution issued by the NHA on December 1, 1987 specifically excludes the disputed property from
the area of priority development for the project of NHA.
Moreover, there is an evident deliberate intent from the petitioners to delay the execution of a decision that
has long been final and executory by filing different pleadings on different courts.
They have filed four times with the assistance of counsel to try and nullify the decision before different
branches of court.
ANY ACT WHICH VISIBLY TENDS TO OBSTRUCT, PERVERT, IMPEDE, AND DEGRADE THE
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE BY A LAWYER IS A CALL FOR AN EXERCISE OF
DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND WARRANTING CONTEMPT. (EMPHASIS SUPPLIED)
Petition is dismissed and counsel is censured and warned that a similar act in the future will be dealt with
most severely.

A.C. No. 5161. April 14, 2004 ISIDRA TING-DUMALI, complainant, vs. ATTY.
ROLANDO S. TORRES, respondent.

FACTS

The parents of Isidra Ting-Dumali died intestate and they left several properties including two parcels of land Lot
1586 and Lot 1603 both in Malabon.

Sometime in 1986, two of her siblings, Felicisima Ting-Torres and Miriam Ting-Saria, executed two Deeds of
Extrajudicial Settlement. They were assisted by Felicisimas husband, Atty. Rolando Torres who was also the
administrator of the Ting Estate.

In the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement covering Lot 1586, they made it appear that Felicisima and Miriam were
the only heirs of the Tings.

Atty. Torres, in the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement covering Lot 1603, the signature of Isidra was forged to
make it appear that she was a party to the Deed. Torres then presented the Deeds to the Registry of Deeds of Cavite
for the purpose of transferring the titles into the name of Miriam and Felicisima. Thereafter, Felicisima and Miriam
sold the lands to a corporation.

Thereafter, Isidra filed a disbarment case against Atty. Torres with presentation of false testimony, participation in,
consent to advise against, forgery of complaints in a Extrajudicial Settlement and gross misrepresentation in court.

Torres, averred that he acted in good faith in allowing his wife and Miriam to execute the Deed, he thought that
the Deeds were agreed to by the other siblings pursuant to a toka or verbal will left by Isidras mother and as
implemented by their eldest brother, Eliseo Ting; that the exclusion of the other heirs was merely an oversight.

On 14 June 2000, the Court referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation,
report, and recommendation or decision, upon the investigation, the IBP decision was to lower the penalty of Atty.
Torres of disbarment to suspension.
ISSUE:

Whether or not Torres should be disbarred for allowing the exclusion of the other heirs from the Deeds of
Extrajudicial Settlement despite his knowledge of their presence.

HELD:

Yes. Atty. Torres should be disbarred.

According to Lawyers oath it provides that I shall obey the laws as the legal orders of the duly
constituted authorities therein; I will delay no man for money or malice; I will do no falsehood nor consent to doing
of any in court; 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

In this case, he engaged in deceitful conduct. He has committed falsehood. By letting his wife and Miriam
declare in a public document that they are the only heirs to the estate when in fact there are other compulsory heirs
and then later presenting these Deeds to the Registry of Deeds, Atty. Torres failed to advise that the two were doing
acts contrary to law. He participated in the making of these Deeds as well as to the subsequent transactions involving
the sale of the properties covered by the Deeds.

Therefore. Atty. Torres should be disbarred for allowing the exclusion of the other heirs from the Deeds of
Extrajudicial Settlement despite his knowledge of their presence.

Guerrero vs. Judge Villamor [G.R. No. 82238-42 November 13, 1989]

FACTS:

Petitioner George D. Carlos, thru his lawyer and herein co-petitioner Antonio T. Guerrero filed before the
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City an action for damages against respondent judge for knowingly rendering an
unjust judgment in the aforesaid consolidated criminal cases.

The complaint and summons were served on respondent judge. On the following day, the respondent judge issued
an Order of Direct Contempt (this is a willful disobedience to the court) against herein petitioners by giving
contemptuous language to a judge.

Finding them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of direct contempt and sentencing them both to imprisonment of
five (5) days and a fine of P500.00 for degrading the respect and dignity of the court through the use of derogatory
and contemptuous language before the court.

To stop the coercive force of the Order of Contempt issued by respondent judge, petitioners filed the instant
petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction or restraining order. The Supreme Court issued a temporary
restraining order enjoining and restraining respondent Judge Adriano R. Villamor from enforcing his order of Direct
Contempt of Court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the alleged derogatory and contemptuous language employed in the Civil Case complaint
constitutes direct contempt of the petitioners.

HELD:

No. The derogatory and contemptuous language employed by the Petitioners did not constitutes direct
contempt.

According to Canon 11 it provides that a lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts
and to judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.

In this case, The SC sustained petitioners contention that the alleged derogatory and contemptuous
language employed in the complaint did not constitute direct contempt but rather indirect contempt subject to
defenses may be raised by said petitioners in the proper proceedings. Atty. Guerrero as counsel of the petitioner
should bear in mind his basic duty as a LAWYER to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of
justice and judicial officers and to insist on similar conduct by others. This respectful attitude towards the court
is to be observed, Not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but for the maintenance of its
supreme importance. And it is through a scrupulous preference for respectful language that a lawyer best
demonstrates his observance of the respect due to the courts and judicial officers. Therefore. The derogatory and
contemptuous language employed by the Petitioners did not constitute direct contempt.

A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC March 8, 2011


RE: LETTER OF THE UP LAW FACULTY ENTITLED "RESTORING INTEGRITY: A
STATEMENT BY THE FACULTY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
COLLEGE OF LAW ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF PLAGIARISM AND
MISREPRESENTATION IN THE SUPREME COURT"
FACTS
For disposition of the Court are the various submissions of the 37 respondent law professors in response to
the Resolution dated October 19, 2010 (the Show Cause Resolution), directing them to show cause why they should
not be disciplined as members of the Bar for violation of specific provisions of the Code of Professional
Responsibility enumerated therein.
The nature of this case as purely a bar disciplinary proceeding. The proffered defenses even more urgently
behoove this Court to call the attention of respondent law professors, who are members of the Bar, to the
relationship of their duties as such under the Code of Professional Responsibility to their civil rights as citizens and
academics in our free and democratic republic.
Established jurisprudence will undeniably support our view that when lawyers speak their minds, they must
ever be mindful of their sworn oath to observe ethical standards of their profession, and in particular, avoid foul and
abusive language to condemn the Supreme Court, or any court for that matter, for a decision it has rendered,
especially during the pendency of a motion for such decisions reconsideration. The accusation of plagiarism against
a member of this Court is not the real issue here but rather this plagiarism issue has been used to deflect everyones
attention from the actual concern of this Court to determine by respondents explanations whether or not respondent
members of the Bar have crossed the line of decency and acceptable professional conduct and speech and violated
the Rules of Court through improper intervention or interference as third parties to a pending case.

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE


On April 28, 2010, the ponencia of Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo (Justice Del Castillo) in Vinuya,
et al. v. Executive Secretary (G.R. No. 162230) was promulgated.
On July 19, 2010, counsel for the Malaya Lolas, Attys. H. Harry L. Roque, Jr. (Atty. Roque) and Romel Regalado
Bagares (Atty. Bagares), filed a Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration in G.R. No. 162230, where they posited
for the first time their charge of plagiarism as one of the grounds for reconsideration of the Vinuya decision.
On the same day as the filing of the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration on July 19, 2010, journalists Aries C.
Rufo and Purple S. Romero posted an article, entitled "SC justice plagiarized parts of ruling on comfort women," on
the Newsbreak website. The same article appeared on the GMA News TV website also on July 19, 2010.
On July 22, 2010, Atty. Roques column, entitled "Plagiarized and Twisted," appeared in the Manila Standard
Today. In the said column, Atty. Roque claimed that Prof. Evan Criddle, one of the authors purportedly not properly
acknowledged in the Vinuya decision, confirmed that his work, co-authored with Prof. Evan Fox-Decent, had been
plagiarized.
On even date, July 22, 2010, Justice Del Castillo wrote to his colleagues on the Court in reply to the charge
of plagiarism contained in the Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration.
In a letter dated July 23, 2010, another purportedly plagiarized author in the Vinuya decision, Dr. Mark Ellis, wrote
the Court.
In Memorandum Order No. 35-2010 issued on July 27, 2010, the Court formed the Committee on Ethics
and Ethical Standards (the Ethics Committee) pursuant to Section 13, Rule 2 of the Internal Rules of the Supreme
Court. In an En Banc Resolution also dated July 27, 2010, the Court referred the July 22, 2010 letter of Justice Del
Castillo to the Ethics Committee.

SSUES
Do the submissions of respondents satisfactorily explain why they should not be disciplined as Members of
the Bar under Canons 1, 11, and 13 and Rules 1.02 and 11.05 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?

RULING
A reading of the Show Cause Resolution will plainly show that it was neither the fact that respondents had
criticized a decision of the Court nor that they had charged one of its members of plagiarism that motivated the said
Resolution.
The statement bore certain remarks which raise concern for the Court. The opening sentence alone is a grim
preamble to the institutional attack that lay ahead. It reads:
An extraordinary act of injustice has again been committed against the brave Filipinas who had suffered
abuse during a time of war.
While most agree that the right to criticize the judiciary is critical to maintaining a free and democratic
society, there is also a general consensus that healthy criticism only goes so far. Many types of criticism leveled at
the judiciary cross the line to become harmful and irresponsible attacks. These potentially devastating attacks and
unjust criticism can threaten the independence of the judiciary. The court must "insist on being permitted to proceed
to the disposition of its business in an orderly manner, free from outside interference obstructive of its functions and
tending to embarrass the administration of justice."
As a member of the bar and an officer of the court, as any attorney, is in duty bound to uphold its dignity
and authority and to defend its integrity, not only because it has conferred upon him the high privilege, not a right
(Malcolm, Legal Ethics, 158 and 160), of being what he now is: a priest of justice (In re Thatcher, 80 Ohio St.
Rep., 492, 669), but also because in so doing, he neither creates nor promotes distrust in the administration of
justice, and prevents anybody from harboring and encouraging discontent which, in many cases, is the source of
disorder, thus undermining the foundation upon which rests that bulwark called judicial power to which those who
are aggrieved turn for protection and relief.
With respect to good faith, respondents allegations presented two main ideas: (a) the validity of their
position regarding the plagiarism charge against Justice Del Castillo, and (b) their pure motive to spur this Court to
take the correct action on said issue.
The Court has already clarified that it is not the expression of respondents staunch belief that Justice Del
Castillo has committed a misconduct that the majority of this Court has found so unbecoming in the Show Cause
Resolution. No matter how firm a lawyers conviction in the righteousness of his cause there is simply no excuse for
denigrating the courts and engaging in public behavior that tends to put the courts and the legal profession into
disrepute.
Speaking of the publicity this case has generated, we likewise find no merit in the respondents reliance on various
news reports and commentaries in the print media and the internet as proof that they are being unfairly "singled out."
WHEREFORE,
These 35 respondent law professors are reminded of their lawyerly duty, under Canons 1, 11 and 13 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, to give due respect to the Court and to refrain from intemperate and
offensive language tending to influence the Court on pending matters or to denigrate the Court and the
administration of justice and warned that the same or similar act in the future shall be dealt with more
severely.

In the Matter of the Charges of Plagiarism against Assoc. Justice Del Castillo
Facts:
The Malaya Lolas received an adverse decision in the case Vinuya vs Romulo decided by the Supreme
Court on April 28, 2010. The Malaya Lolas sought the annulment of said decision due to the alleged irregularity in
the writing of the text of the decision. Allegedly, the ponente of said case, Justice Mariano del Castillo copied
verbatim portions of the decision laid down in said case from three works by three foreign authors without
acknowledging said authors hence an overt act of plagiarism which is highly reprehensible.
Plagiarism as defined by Blacks Law Dictionary is the deliberate and knowing presentation of another
persons original ideas or creative expressions as ones own.

ISSUE:
Whether or not plagiarism is applicable to decisions promulgated by the Supreme Court.

HELD:
No. It has been a long standing practice in this jurisdiction not to cite or acknowledge the originators of
passages and views found in the Supreme Courts decisions. These omissions are true for many of the decisions that
have been penned and are being penned daily by magistrates from the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the
Court of Tax Appeals, the Regional Trial Courts nationwide and with them, the municipal trial courts and other first
level courts. Never in the judiciarys more than 100 years of history has the lack of attribution been regarded and
demeaned as plagiarism.
As put by one author (this time acknowledged by the Court), Joyce C. George from her Judicial Opinion
Writing Handbook:
A judge writing to resolve a dispute, whether trial or appellate, is exempted from a charge of plagiarism
even if ideas, words or phrases from a law review article, novel thoughts published in a legal periodical or language
from a partys brief are used without giving attribution. Thus judges are free to use whatever sources they deem
appropriate to resolve the matter before them, without fear of reprisal. This exemption applies to judicial writings
intended to decide cases for two reasons: the judge is not writing a literary work and, more importantly, the purpose
of the writing is to resolve a dispute. As a result, judges adjudicating cases are not subject to a claim of legal
plagiarism.
Further, as found by the Supreme Court, the omission of the acknowledgment by Justice Del Castillo of the
three foreign authors arose from a clerical error. It was shown before the Supreme Court that the researcher who
finalized the draft written by Justice Del Castillo accidentally deleted the citations/acknowledgements; that in all,
there is still an intent to acknowledge and not take such passages as that of Justice Del Castillos own.