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1/15/2017 A.C.No.

6711

FIRSTDIVISION

MA.LUISAHADJULA, A.C.No.6711
Complainant, Present:

PUNO,C.J.,Chairperson,
*SANDOVALGUTIERREZ,
CORONA,
versus AZCUNA,and
GARCIA,JJ.

Promulgated:

ATTY.ROCELESF.MADIANDA, July3,2007
Respondent.

xx

DECISION

GARCIA,J.:

UnderconsiderationisResolutionNo.XVI2004472oftheBoardofGovernors,IntegratedBar
ofthePhilippines(IBP),relativetothecomplaintfordisbarmentfiledbyhereincomplainantMa.
LuisaHadjulaagainstrespondentAtty.RocelesF.Madianda.

[1]
The case started when, in an AFFIDAVITCOMPLAINT bearing date September 7, 2002 and
filedwiththeIBPCommissiononBarDiscipline,complainantchargedAtty.RocelesF.Madianda
[2]
withviolationofArticle209 oftheRevisedPenalCodeandCanonNos.15.02and21.02ofthe
CodeofProfessionalResponsibility.

Insaidaffidavitcomplaint,complainantallegedthatsheandrespondentusedtobefriendsasthey
both worked at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) whereat respondent was the Chief Legal
OfficerwhileshewastheChiefNurseoftheMedical,DentalandNursingServices.Complainant
claimedthat,sometimein1998,sheapproachedrespondentforsomelegaladvice.Complainant
further alleged that, in the course of their conversation which was supposed to be kept
confidential, she disclosed personal secrets and produced copies of a marriage contract, a birth
certificate and a baptismal certificate, only to be informed later by the respondent that she
(respondent)wouldreferthemattertoalawyerfriend.Itwasmalicious,socomplainantstates,of
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(respondent)wouldreferthemattertoalawyerfriend.Itwasmalicious,socomplainantstates,of
respondenttohaverefusedhandlinghercaseonlyaftershehadalreadyheardhersecrets.

Continuing,complainantaverredthatherfriendshipwithrespondentsouredafterherfiling,inthe
laterpartof2000,ofcriminalanddisciplinaryactionsagainstthelatter.What,percomplainants
account,precipitatedthefilingwaswhenrespondent,thenamemberoftheBFPpromotionboard,
demandedacellularphoneinexchangeforthecomplainantspromotion.

Accordingtocomplainant,respondent,inretaliationtothefilingoftheaforesaidactions,fileda
[3]
COUNTERCOMPLAINT withtheOmbudsmanchargingher(complainant)withviolationof
[4]
Section3(a)ofRepublicActNo. 3019, falsification of public documents and immorality, the
lasttwochargesbeingbasedonthedisclosurescomplainantearliermadetorespondent.Andalso
on the basis of the same disclosures, complainant further stated, a disciplinary case was also
institutedagainstherbeforetheProfessionalRegulationCommission.

Complainantseeksthesuspensionand/ordisbarmentofrespondentforthelattersactofdisclosing
personal secrets and confidential information she revealed in the course of seeking respondents
legaladvice.

InanorderdatedOctober2,2002,theIBPCommissiononBarDisciplinerequiredrespondentto
fileheranswertothecomplaint.

[5]
Inheranswer,styledasCOUNTERAFFIDAVIT, respondentdeniedgivinglegaladvicetothe
complainant and dismissed any suggestion about the existence of a lawyerclient relationship
between them. Respondent also stated the observation that the supposed confidential data and
sensitive documents adverted to are in fact matters of common knowledge in the BFP. The
relevantportionsoftheanswerread:

5.IspecificallydenytheallegationofF/SUPT.MA.LUISAC.HADJULAinparagraph4
of her AFFIDAVITCOMPLAINT for reason that she never WAS MY CLIENT nor we ever had
anyLAWYERCLIENTRELATIONSHIPthateverexistedeversinceandthatneverobtainedany
legal advice from me regarding her PERSONAL PROBLEMS or PERSONAL SECRETS. She
likewiseneverdeliveredtomelegaldocumentsmuchmoretoldmesomeconfidentialinformation
or secrets. That is because I never entertain LEGAL QUERIES or CONSULTATION regarding
PERSONALMATTERSsinceIknowasaLAWYERoftheBureauofFireProtectionthatIamnot
allowed to privately practice law and it might also result to CONFLICT OF INTEREST. As a
matteroffact,whenevertherewillbePERSONALMATTERSreferredtome,Ijustreferredthem

toprivatelawpractitionersandneverentertainthesame,NORlistentotheirstoriesorexamineor
acceptanydocument.

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9.IspecificallydenytheallegationofF/SUPT.MA.LUISAC.HADJULAinparagraph8
ofherAFFIDAVITCOMPLAINT,thetruthofthematteristhatherILLICITRELATIONSHIPand
herillegalandunlawfulactivitiesareknownintheBureauofFireProtectionsinceshealsofiled
CHILDSUPPORTcaseagainstherloverwhereshehasachild.

Moreover,theallegedDOCUMENTSshepurportedlyhaveshowntomesometimein1998,
areallpartofpublicrecords.

Furthermore,F/SUPT.MA.LUISAC.HADJULA,isfilingtheinstantcasejusttogeteven
with me or to force me to settle and withdraw the CASES I FILED AGAINST HER since she
knows that she will certainly be DISMISSED FROM SERVICE, REMOVED FROM THE PRC
ROLL and CRIMINALLY CONVICTED of her ILLICIT, IMMORAL, ILLEGAL and
UNLAWFULACTS.



On October 7, 2004, the Investigating Commissioner of the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline
cameoutwithaReportandRecommendation,statingthattheinformationrelatedbycomplainant
totherespondentisprotectedundertheattorneyclientprivilegecommunication.Prescindingfrom
thispostulate,theInvestigatingCommissionerfoundtherespondenttohaveviolatedlegalethics
when she [revealed] information given to her during a legal consultation, and accordingly
recommendedthatrespondentbereprimandedtherefor,thus:


WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered,itisrespectfullyrecommendedthatrespondentAtty.Roceles
Madiandabereprimandedforrevealingthesecretsofthecomplainant.


OnNovember4,2004,theIBPBoardofGovernorsissuedResolutionNo.XVI2004472reading
asfollows:
RESOLVEDtoADOPTandAPPROVE,asitisherebyADOPTEDandAPPROVED,the
ReportandRecommendationoftheInvestigatingCommissioneroftheaboveentitledcase,herein
madepartofthisResolutionasAnnexAand,findingtherecommendationfullysupportedbythe
evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules, and considering the actuation of revealing
information given to respondent during a legal consultation, Atty. Roceles Madianda is hereby
REPRIMANDED.


WeAGREEwiththerecommendationandthepremisesholdingittogether.

As it were, complainant went to respondent, a lawyer who incidentally was also then a
friend, to bare what she considered personal secrets and sensitive documents for the purpose of
obtaining legal advice and assistance. The moment complainant approached the then receptive
respondent to seek legal advice, a veritable lawyerclient relationship evolved between the two.
Suchrelationshipimposesuponthelawyercertainrestrictionscircumscribedbytheethicsofthe
profession.Amongtheburdensoftherelationshipisthatwhichenjoinsthelawyer,respondentin
this instance, to keep inviolate confidential information acquired or revealed during legal
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this instance, to keep inviolate confidential information acquired or revealed during legal
consultations.Thefactthatoneis,attheendoftheday,notinclinedtohandletheclientscaseis
hardlyofconsequence.Oflittlemoment,too,isthefactthatnoformalprofessionalengagement
followstheconsultation.Norwillitmakeanydifferencethatnocontractwhatsoeverwasexecuted
[6]
bythepartiestomemorializetherelationship.AswesaidinBurbev.Magulta,

Alawyerclientrelationshipwasestablishedfromtheveryfirstmomentcomplainantasked
respondentforlegaladviseregardingtheformersbusiness.Toconstituteprofessionalemployment,
itisnotessentialthattheclientemployedtheattorneyprofessionallyonanypreviousoccasion.

Itisnotnecessarythatanyretainerbepaid,promised,orchargedneitherisitmaterialthat
theattorneyconsulteddidnotafterwardhandlethecaseforwhichhisservicehadbeensought.

Itaperson,inrespecttobusinessaffairsortroublesofanykind,consultsalawyerwitha
view to obtaining professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or
acquiesceswiththeconsultation,thentheprofessionalemploymentsisestablished.

Likewise,alawyerclientrelationshipexistsnotwithstandingtheclosepersonalrelationship
betweenthelawyerandthecomplainantorthenonpaymentoftheformersfees.


DeanWigmoreliststheessentialfactorstoestablishtheexistenceoftheattorneyclientprivilege
communication,viz:

(1)Wherelegaladviceofanykindissought(2)fromaprofessionallegaladviserinhiscapacityas
such,(3)thecommunicationsrelatingtothatpurpose,(4)madeinconfidence(5)bytheclient,(6)
areathisinstancepermanentlyprotected(7)fromdisclosurebyhimselforbythelegaladvisor,(8)
[7]
excepttheprotectionbewaived.

With the view we take of this case, respondent indeed breached his duty of preserving the
confidence of a client. As found by the IBP Investigating Commissioner, the documents shown
andtheinformationrevealedinconfidencetotherespondentinthecourseofthelegalconsultation
inquestion,wereusedasbasesinthecriminalandadministrativecomplaintslodgedagainstthe
complainant.

Thepurposeoftheruleofconfidentialityisactuallytoprotecttheclientfrompossiblebreachof
confidenceasaresultofaconsultationwithalawyer.
Theseriousnessoftherespondentsoffensenotwithstanding,theCourtfeelsthatthereisroomfor
compassion,absentcompellingevidencethattherespondentactedwithillwill.Withoutmeaning

tocondonetheerrorofrespondentsways,whatatbottomisbeforetheCourtistwoformerfriends
becomingbitterenemiesandfilingchargesandcounterchargesagainsteachotherusingwhatever
convenient tools and data were readily available. Unfortunately, the personal information
respondentgatheredfromherconversationwithcomplainantbecamehandyinherquesttoeven
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respondentgatheredfromherconversationwithcomplainantbecamehandyinherquesttoeven
thescore.Attheendoftheday,itappearscleartousthatrespondentwasactuatedbytheurgeto
retaliatewithoutperhapsrealizingthat,intheprocessofgivingventtoanegativesentiment,she
wasviolatingtheruleonconfidentiality.

INVIEWWHEREOF,respondentAtty.RocelesF.MadiandaisherebyREPRIMANDED and
admonished to be circumspect in her handling of information acquired as a result of a lawyer
clientrelationship.SheisalsoSTERNLYWARNEDagainstarepetitionofthesameorsimilar
actcomplainedof.

SOORDERED.






CANCIOC.GARCIA
AssociateJustice




WECONCUR:




REYNATOS.PUNO
ChiefJustice
Chairperson



(Onleave)
ANGELINASANDOVALGUTIERREZ RENATOC.CORONA
AssociateJustice AssociateJustice




ADOLFOS.AZCUNA
AssociateJustice

*Onleave.
[1]
Rollo,pp.13.
[2]
BetrayalofTrustbyanAttorney/RevelationofSecrets.
[3]
Rollo,pp.2224.
[4]
AntiGraftandCorruptPracticesAct.
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[4]
AntiGraftandCorruptPracticesAct.
[5]
Rollo,pp.5460.
[6]
432Phil.840(2002).
[7]
8J.Wigmore,Evidence2292(McNaughtonrev.1961).

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