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76.

essential if our Government is to be a government of


laws and not of men. Respect must be had not
A.C. No. 8954 November 13, 2013 because of the incumbents to the positions, but
because of the authority that vests in them.
Disrespect to judicial incumbents is disrespect to that
HON. MARIBETH RODRIGUEZ-MANAHAN,
branc the Government to which they belong, as well
Presiding Judge, Municipal Trial Court, San
as to the State which has instituted the judicial
Mateo, Rizal, Complainant,
system."
vs.
ATTY. RODOLFO FLORES, Respondent.
Atty. Flores also employed intemperate language in
his pleadings. As an officer of the court, Atty. Flores is
FACTS: Atty. Flores was the counsel for the
expected to be circumspect in his language. Rule
defendant in a civil case before the sala of Judge
11.03, Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
Manahan.
Responsibility enjoins all attorneys to abstain from
scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
During the preliminary conference, Atty. Flores
behavior before the Courts. Atty. Flores failed in this
entered his appearance and was given time to file a
respect.
Pre-Trial Brief.

Later, Atty. Flores filed his Pre-Trial Brief but without At this juncture, it is well to remind respondent that:
proof of MCLE compliance hence it was expunged
from the records without prejudice to the filing of A lawyer is entitled to voice his c1iticism within the
another Pre-Trial Brief containing the required MCLE context of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of
compliance, however, Atty. Flores asked for ten (10) speech which must be exercised responsibly. After
days to submit proof. all, every right carries with it the corresponding
obligation. Freedom is not freedom from
The preliminary conference was set several times responsibility, but freedom with responsibility. The
and Atty. Flores was given several occasions to lawyer's fidelity to his client must not be pursued at
submit the brief with the proper MCLE compliance. the expense of truth and orderly administration of
justice. It must be done within the confines of reason
On the final instance, instead of submitting the and common sense.
promised proof of MCLE compliance, Atty. Flores filed
a letter stating that he was no longer representing
77.
the defendant. Such was stated in what was deemed
as intemperate language.
A.C. No. 8920 September 28, 2011
In its stead, respondent Atty. Flores filed a Letter of
even date stating as follows: JUDGE RENE B. BACULI, Complainant,
vs.
If only to give your Honor another chance to prove ATTY. MELCHOR A. BATTUNG, Respondent.
your pro plaintiff sentiment, I am hereby filing the
attached Motion which you may once more assign to
the waste basket of nonchalance. FACTS:

Judge Baculi, Presiding Judge of Municipal Trial Court


With the small respect that still remains, I have asked
in Cities, Branch 2, Tuguegarao City, filed a complaint
the defendant to look for another lawyer to represent for disbarment against Atty. Battung. He claimed that
him for I am no longer interested in this case on July 24, 2008, during the hearing on the motion
because I feel I cannot do anything right in your sala. for reconsideration of Civil Case No. 2502, the
respondent was shouting while arguing his motion.
Judge Baculi advised him to tone down his voice but
The Investigating Judge found Atty. Flores to have instead, the respondent shouted at the top of his
failed to give due respect to the court by failing to voice. When warned that he would be cited for direct
obey court orders, by failing to submit proof of his contempt, the respondent shouted, Then cite
compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Legal me!Judge Baculi cited him for direct contempt and
Education (MCLE) requirement, and for using imposed a fine of P100.00. The respondent then left.
intemperate language in his pleadings. The
Investigating Judge recommended that Atty. Flores be
While other cases were being heard, the respondent
suspended from the practice of law for one year. re-entered the courtroom and shouted, Judge, I will
file gross ignorance against you! I am not afraid of
you! Judge Baculi ocited him for direct contempt of
court for the second time.
ISSUE: Whether Atty. Flores is guilty of disrespect to
court orders.
After his hearings, respondent again shouted in a
HELD: threatening tone, Judge, I will file gross ignorance
against you! I am not afraid of you! He kept on
shouting, I am not afraid of you! and challenged
here is no doubt that Atty. Flores failed to obey the
the judge to a fight. Staff and lawyers escorted him
trial courts order to submit proof of his MCLE out of the building.
compliance notwithstanding the several
opportunities given him. "Court orders are to be
respected not because the judges who issue them Judge Baculi later found out that after the respondent
should be respected, but because of the respect and left the courtroom, Atty. Battung continued shouting
and punched a table at the Office of the Clerk of
consideration that should be extended to the judicial
Court.
branch of the Government. This is absolutely

1
ISSUE: FACTS:

Did Atty. Battung violate Cannons 11 and 12 In August 1997, Davao Import Distributors hired Atty.
of the Code of Professional Responsibility? John Landero to represent them and file a complaint
RULING: against AngelitaLobrando and Juanito Du for the
recovery of one split type air-conditioner with
replevin and damages.
We agree with the IBPs finding that the respondent
violated Rule 11.03, Canon 11 of the Code of Lobrando purchased on installment from Davao
Professional Responsibility. Atty. Battung disrespected Import one-split type air-conditioner for her salon.
Judge Baculi by shouting at him inside the courtroom EventuallyLobrando failed to fulfill her obligations to
during court proceedings in the presence of litigants Davao Import. When Davao Import sought to retrieve
and their counsels, and court personnel. The the unit, it was revealed that Lobrandos business
had already closed down. The air-conditioner was left
respondent even came back to harass Judge Baculi.
at the business salon however, Davao Import failed
This behavior, in front of many witnesses, cannot be to take hold of the unit because it was allegedly
allowed. We note that the respondent continued to retained by Juanito Du to whom AngelitaLibrando was
threaten Judge Baculi and acted in a manner that also indebted for unpaid rentals. Thus, Davao
clearly showed disrespect for his position even after Imported to file a civil action against Du.
the latter had cited him for contempt. In fact, after
The administrative controversy arose when Atty. John
initially leaving the court, the respondent returned to
Landero, failed to appear in the pre-trial. Davao
the courtroom and disrupted the ongoing Import through its branch manager, Pandili, also
proceedings. These actions were not only against the failed to attend because Atty. Landero did not inform
person, the position and the stature of Judge Baculi, them of the schedule. As a result the case against Du
but against the court as well whose proceedings were was dismissed and Du was allowed to present his
openly and flagrantly disrupted, and brought to evidence ex-parte in support of his counterclaim. In
disrepute by the respondent. effect, the MTCC issued a decisionordering
complainant to pay Du the amounts of P70,000.00 as
moral damages, P15,000.00 as attorney's fees and
Litigants and counsels, particularly the latter because P5,000.00 as litigation expenses.
of their position and avowed duty to the courts,
cannot be allowed to publicly ridicule, demean and AttyLandero, in his defense, reasoned that he and
Pandili, the branch manager of Davao Import agreed
disrespect a judge, and the court that he represents.
to abandon the case.
The Code of Professional Responsibility provides:
Atty. Landero failed to file a motion for
Canon 11 - A lawyer shall observe and maintain the reconsideration with the RTC. Further, he also failed
respect due the courts and to judicial officers and to file a petition for review with the Court of Appeals
despite payment by Davao Import to file such
should insist on similar conduct by others.
petition. Although Landeros motion for extension of
time to file the petition for review was granted by the
Rule 11.03 - A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, CA, Landero still failed to file such petition.
offensive or menacing language or behavior before
It has to be noted that the motion for extension of
the Courts.
time was granted because of Atty. Landeros pity to
his client, so he resorted to mislead the court by
A lawyer who insults a judge inside a courtroom alleging that he had just received the decision and
completely disregards the latters role, stature and that the filing is within the reglementary period copy
furnished the counsel of Juanito Du, when in truth, he
position in our justice system. When the respondent
received the decision at an earlier time.
publicly berated and brazenly threatened Judge
Baculi that he would file a case for gross ignorance of Davao Import then filed a complaint for disbarment
the law against the latter, the respondent effectively against Atty. Landeroasserting that Landeros
acted in a manner tending to erode the public actuations of (1) not appearing in the pre-trial of the
confidence in Judge Baculis competence and in his case, (2) not availing of the legal remedies against
ability to decide cases. Incompetence is a matter the dismissal of the Complaint due to non-suit, and
(3) failing to file a petition for review, constitute
that, even if true, must be handled with sensitivity in
unprofessional behavior or misconduct and violations
the manner provided under the Rules of Court; an of Canon 12 of the CPR, which merit disciplinary
objecting or complaining lawyer cannot act in a action, if not, disbarment.
manner that puts the courts in a bad light and bring
the justice system into disrepute. In March 2008, the Investigating Commissioner,
Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines (IBP) Commissioner Rebecca
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Atty. Melchor Villanueva-Maala (Commissioner Villanueva-Maala)
A. Battung is found GUILTY of violating Rule 11.03, recommended that respondent be suspended from
Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the practice of law for three months.
for which he is SUSPENDED from the practice of law
for one (1) year effective upon the finality of this In July 2008, the IBP Board of Governors adopted and
approved the recommendation of Commissioner
Decision. He is STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of
Villanueva-Maala but modified the period of
a similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. suspension by increasing it from three months to six
months.
78.
The complaint was thus submitted to the Court for
final action.
A.C. No. 5116 April 13, 2015
ISSUE:
DAVAO IMPORT DISTRIBUTORS, INC.,
Whether or not Atty. Landerodisplayed unprofessional
Complainant, behavior and misconduct and violated Canons 12
vs. and 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
ATTY. JOHNNY LANDERO, Respondent.

2
RULING: FACTS:

The Court finds respondent's reason to be


In March 2001, Jennifer Ebanen filed a complaint for
unacceptable if not downright disrespectful to the
illegal dismissal against Servier Philippines,
courts. The same only underscores his blatant
Incorporated in the NLRC. On July 5, 2002, the labor
violation of Rule 12.03, Canon 12 of the CPR, which
Arbiter ruled in favor of Servier, stating that Ebanen
states:
voluntarily resigned. Ebanen appealed at the NLRC
which only affirmed the appealed decision. Ebanen
CANON 12 - A LA WYER SHALL EXERT EVERY EFFORT filed for reconsideration but was denied. The case
AND CONSIDER IT HIS DUTY TO ASSIST IN THE eventually reached the Supreme Court. On February
SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. 17, 2005, the Courts Resolution dated August 4,
2004 has already become final and executory; thus,
xxxx a corresponding Entry of Judgment has been issued
dismissing the petition and holding that there was no
Rule 12.03 -A lawyer shall not, after obtaining illegal dismissal since Ebanen voluntarily resigned.
extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda or
briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the However, despite the judgment, Ebanen through Atty.
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do Relamida, Jr. filed a second complaint on August 5,
so. 2005 for illegal dismissal based on the same cause of
action of constructive dismissal against Servier. Thus,
Respondent needs lecturing that sympathy towards a on October 13, 2005, Servier, thru counsel, filed a
client does not justify his act of stating in his motion letter-complaint addressed to the then Chief Justice
for extension that he received the RTC Decision at a Hilario Davide, Jr., praying that respondents be
later date to make it appear that the filing of the said disciplinary sanctioned for violation of the rules on
motion is well-within the period for filing an appeal. forum shopping and res judicata.
Given his years of experience in the legal profession, Respondents admitted the filing of the second
respondent should be well aware that "[a] lawyer is complaint against Servier. However, they opined that
first and foremost an officer of the court. Thus, while the dismissal did not amount to res judicata, since
he owes his entire devotion to the interest and the decision was null and void for lack of due process
causes of his client, he must ensure that he acts since the motion for the issuance of subpoena duces
within the bounds of reason and common sense, tecum for the production of vital documents filed by
always aware that he is an instrument of truth and the complainant was ignored by the Labor Arbiter.
justice. More importantly, as an officer of the court
and its indispensable partner in the sacred task of ISSUE:
administering justice, graver _responsibility is
imposed upon a lawyer than any other to uphold the Is the respondent guilty of forum shopping and res
integrity of the courts and to show respect to its judicata thus violating Canon 12 of the Code of
processes. Thus, any act on his part which tends Professional Responsibility?
visibly to obstruct, pervert or impede and degrade
the administration of justice constitutes professional HELD:
misconduct calling for the exercise of disciplinary
action against him."
During the IBP hearing, Atty. Relamida is ot a lawyer
but the daughter of Atty. Aurelio the senior partner of
All told, the Court finds respondent to have A.M. Sison Jr. and Partners Law Offices where he is
committed acts violative of Canons 12and18 of the employed as associate lawyer. Atty. Relamida
CPR. reasoned out that as a courtesy to Atty. Aurelio and
Ebanen, he had no choice but to represent the latter.
WHEREFORE, the Court ADOPTS the July 17, 2008 Moreover, he stressed that his client was denied of
Resolution of the Board of Governors of the her right to due process due to the denial of her
Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Atty. Johnny P. motion for the issuance of a subpoena duces tecum.
Landero is ordered SUSPENDED from the practice of He then argued that the decision of the Labor Arbiter
law for six (6) months effective immediately. He is was null and void; thus, there was no res judicata. He
directed to report the date of his receipt of this maintained that he did not violate the lawyers oath
Resolution to enable this Court to determine when by serving the interest of his client. The IBP-CBD
his suspension shall take effect Let a copy of this recommended that Atty. Relamida, Jr. be suspended
Resolution be entered in the personal records of for 6 months for violating the rules on forum
respondent as a member of the Bar, and copies shopping and res judicata.
furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant, the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the Office of The Supreme Court agrees to this finding. A lawyer
the Court Administrator for circulation to all courts in owes fidelity to the cause of his client, but not at the
the country. expense of truth and the administration of justice.
The filing of multiple petitions constitutes abuse of
79. the courts processes and improper conduct that
tends to impede, obstruct and degrade the
A.C. No. 8481 August 3, 2010 administration of justice and will be punished as
[Formerly B.M. No. 1524] contempt of court. Needless to state, the lawyer who
files such multiple or repetitious petitions (which
obviously delays the execution of a final and
ATTY. JOSABETH V. ALONSO and SHALIMAR P. executory judgment) subjects himself to disciplinary
LAZATIN, Complainants, action for incompetence (for not knowing any better)
vs. or for willful violation of his duties as an attorney to
ATTY. IBARO B. RELAMIDA, JR., Respondent.

3
act with all good fidelity to the courts, and to being filed out of time and for lack of merit on
maintain only such actions as appear to him to be September 23, 2002.
just and are consistent with truth and honor.
The fourth was The Estate of Don Filemon Y. Sotto,
The filing of another action concerning the same represented by its duly designated Administrator,
subject matter, in violation of the doctrine of res Sixto Sotto Pahang, Jr. v. Matilde S. Palicte, et al. (G.R.
judicata, runs contrary to Canon 12 of the Code of No. 158642, September 22, 2008, 566 SCRA 142),
Professional Responsibility, which requires a lawyer whereby the Court expressly affirmed the ruling
to exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist rendered by the probate court in Cebu City in Special
in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. Proceedings No. 2706-R entitled Intestate Estate of
By his actuations, respondent also violated Rule the Deceased Don Filemon Sotto denying the
12.02 and Rule 12.04 of the Code, as well as a administrators motion to require Matilde to turn over
lawyers mandate "to delay no man for money or the four real properties to the Estate of Sotto.
malice."
The fifth is this case. It seems that the disposition by
80. the Court of the previous cases did not yet satisfy
herein petitioners despite their being the successors-
G.R. No. 159691 June 13, 2013 in-interest of two of the declared heirs of Filemon
who had been parties in the previous cases either
directly or in privity. They now pray that the Court
HEIRS OF MARCELO SOTTO, REPRESENTED BY:
undo the decision promulgated on November 29,
LOLIBETH SOTTO NOBLE, DANILO C. SOTTO,
2002, whereby the Court of Appeals (CA) declared
CRISTINA C. SOTTO, EMMANUEL C. SOTTO, and
their action for the partition of the four properties as
FILEMON C. SOTTO; and SALVACION
already barred by the judgments previously
BARCELONA, AS HEIR OF DECEASED MIGUEL
rendered, and the resolution promulgated on August
BARCELONA, Petitioners,
5, 2003 denying their motion for reconsideration.
vs.
MATILDE S. PALICTE, Respondent.
The principal concern here is whether this action for
partition should still prosper notwithstanding the
DECISION
earlier rulings favoring Matildes exclusive right over
the four properties.
BERSAMIN, J.:
Antecedents
We start this decision by expressing our alarm that
this case is the fifth suit to reach the Court dividing
Filemon had four children, namely: Marcelo Sotto
the several heirs of the late Don Filemon Y. Sotto
(Marcelo), Pascuala Sotto-Pahang (Pascuala), Miguel
(Filemon) respecting four real properties that had
Barcelona (Miguel), and Matilde. Marcelo was the
belonged to Filemon' s estate (Estate of Sotto).
administrator of the Estate of Sotto. Marcelo and
Miguel were the predecessors-in-interest of
The first case (Matilde S. Palicte v. Hon. Jose O. petitioners.
Ramolete, et al., No. L-55076, September 21, 1987,
154 SCRA 132) held that herein respondent Matilde
In June 1967, Pilar Teves (Pilar) and other heirs of
S. Palicte (Matilde), one of four declared heirs of
Carmen Rallos (Carmen), the deceased wife of
Filemon, had validly redeemed the four properties
Filemon, filed in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of
pursuant to the assailed deed of redemption, and
Cebu City a complaint against the Estate of Sotto
was entitled to have the title over the four properties
(Civil Case No. R-10027) seeking to recover certain
transferred to her name, subject to the right of the
properties that Filemon had inherited from Carmen,
three other declared heirs to join her in the
and damages. The CFI rendered judgment awarding
redemption of the four properties within a period of
to Pilar and other heirs of Carmen damages of
six months.
P233,963.65, among other reliefs. To satisfy the
monetary part of the judgment, levy on execution
The second was the civil case filed by Pascuala was effected against six parcels of land and two
against Matilde (Civil Case No. CEB-19338) to annul residential houses belonging to the Estate of Sotto.
the formers waiver of rights, and to restore her as a The levied assets were sold at a public auction. Later
co-redemptioner of Matilde with respect to the four on, Matilde redeemed four of the parcels of land in
properties (G.R. No. 131722, February 4, 1998). her own name (i.e., Lots No. 1049, No. 1051, No.
1052 and No. 2179-C), while her sister Pascuala
The third was an incident in Civil Case No. R-10027 redeemed one of the two houses because her family
(that is, the suit brought by the heirs of Carmen was residing there. On July 9, 1980, the Deputy
Rallos against the Estate of Sotto) wherein the heirs Provincial Sheriff of Cebu executed a deed of
of Miguel belatedly filed in November 1998 a motion redemption in favor of Matilde, which the Clerk of
for reconsideration praying that the order issued on Court approved.
October 5, 1989 be set aside, and that they be still
included as Matildes co-redemptioners. After the On July 24, 1980, Matilde filed in Civil Case No. R-
trial court denied their motion for reconsideration for 10027 a motion to transfer to her name the title to
its lack of merit, the heirs of Miguel elevated the the four properties. However, the CFI denied her
denial to the CA on certiorari and prohibition, but the motion, and instead declared the deed of redemption
CA dismissed their petition and upheld the order issued in her favor null and void, holding that
issued on October 5, 1989. Thence, the heirs of Matilde, although declared in Special Proceedings No.
Miguel came to the Court on certiorari (G.R. No. 2706-R as one of the heirs of Filemon, did not qualify
154585), but the Court dismissed their petition for as a successor-in-interest with the right to redeem

4
the four properties. Matilde directly appealed the Estate of Sotto, and that the RTC direct their partition
adverse ruling to the Court via petition for review, among the heirs of Filemon.
and on September 21, 1987, the Court, reversing the
CFIs ruling, granted Matildes petition for review but It is notable at this juncture that the heirs of Pascuala
allowed her co-heirs the opportunity to join Matilde did not join the action for partition whether as
as co-redemptioners for a period of six months plaintiffs or defendants.3
before the probate court (i.e., RTC of Cebu City,
Branch 16) would grant her motion to transfer the
Instead of filing her answer, Matilde moved to
title to her name.1
dismiss the complaint,4 stating that: (a) petitioners
had no cause of action for partition because they
The other heirs of Filemon failed to exercise their held no interest in the four properties; (b) the claim
option granted in the decision of September 21, 1987 was already barred by prior judgment, estoppel and
to join Matilde as co-redemptioners within the six- laches; (c) the court had no jurisdiction over the
month period. Accordingly, on October 5, 1989, the action; and (d) a similar case entitled Pahang v.
trial court issued an order in Civil Case No. R-10027 Palicte (Civil Case No. 19338) had been dismissed
approving Matildes motion to transfer the title of the with finality by Branch 8 of the RTC in Cebu City.
four lots to her name, and directing the Register of
Deeds of Cebu to register the deed of redemption
On November 15, 1999, the RTC granted Matildes
and issue new certificates of title covering the four
motion to dismiss and dismissed the complaint, 5
properties in Matildes name.
holding that Civil Case No. CEB-24293 was already
barred by prior judgment considering that the
It appears that Pascuala, who executed a document decision in G.R. No. 55076, the order dated October
on November 25, 1992 expressly waiving her rights 5, 1989 of the RTC in Civil Case No. R-10027, and the
in the four properties covered by the deed of decision in G.R. No. 131722 had all become final, and
redemption, changed her mind and decided to file on that the cases had involved the same parties, the
September 23, 1996 in the RTC in Cebu City a same subject matter, the same causes of action, and
complaint to seek the nullification of her waiver of the same factual and legal issues. The RTC observed
rights, and to have herself be declared as a co- that it was bereft of jurisdiction to annul the rulings
redemptioner of the four properties (Civil Case No. of co-equal courts that had recognized Matildes
CEB-19338). However, the RTC dismissed Civil Case exclusive ownership of the four properties.
No. CEB-19338 on the ground of its being barred by
laches. Pascuala then assailed the dismissal of Civil
Following the denial by the RTC of their motion for
Case No. CEB-19338 in the CA through a petition for
reconsideration,6 petitioners appealed the dismissal
certiorari (C.A.-G.R. SP No. 44660), which the CA
of Civil Case No. CEB-24293 to the CA, which
dismissed on November 21, 1997. Undeterred,
promulgated its judgment on November 29, 2002
Pascuala appealed the dismissal of her petition for
affirming the dismissal.7 After the CA denied
certiorari (G.R. No. 131722), but the Court denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration, 8 they brought
due course to her petition on February 4, 1998
this present appeal to the Court.
because of her failure to pay the docket fees and
because of her certification against forum shopping
having been signed only by her counsel. In the meantime, the Estate of Sotto, through the
administrator, moved in the probate court (Special
Proceedings No. 2706-R) to require Matilde to
In November 1998, the heirs of Miguel filed a motion
account for and turn over the four properties that
for reconsideration in Civil Case No. R-10027 of the
allegedly belonged to the estate, presenting
RTC of Cebu City, Branch 16, praying that the order
documentary evidence showing that Matilde had
issued on October 5, 1989 be set aside, and that
effected the redemption of the four properties with
they be included as Matildes co-redemptioners. After
the funds of the estate in accordance with the
the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration for its
express authorization of Marcelo. 9 The probate court
lack of merit on April 25, 2000, they assailed the
granted the motion, but subsequently reversed itself
denial by petition for certiorari and prohibition (C.A.-
upon Matildes motion for reconsideration. Hence,
G.R. SP No. 60225). The CA dismissed the petition for
the Estate of Sotto appealed (G.R. No. 158642), but
certiorari and prohibition on January 10, 2002.
the Court promulgated its decision on September 22,
Thereafter, they elevated the matter to the Court via
2008 adversely against the Estate of Sotto. 10
petition for certiorari (G.R. No. 154585), which the
Court dismissed on September 23, 2002 for being
filed out of time and for lack of merit. Issue

On September 10, 1999, the heirs of Marcelo, Petitioners insist that this action for partition was not
specifically: Lolibeth Sotto Noble, Danilo C. Sotto, barred by the prior judgment promulgated on
Cristina C. Sotto, Emmanuel C. Sotto, Filemon C. September 21, 1987 in No. L-55076, because they
Sotto, and Marcela C. Sotto; and the heirs of Miguel, were not hereby questioning Matildes right to
namely: Alberto, Arturo and Salvacion, all surnamed redeem the four properties but were instead raising
Barcelona (herein petitioners), instituted the present issues that had not been passed upon in No. L-
action for partition against Matilde in the RTC of Cebu 55076, or in any of the other cases mentioned by the
City, Branch 20 (Civil Case No. CEB-24293). 2 Alleging CA; that the issues being raised here were, namely:
in their complaint that despite the redemption of the (a) whether or not the redemption of the four
four properties having been made in the sole name properties by Matilde was in accordance with the
of Matilde, the four properties still rightfully belonged agreement between her and Marcelo; and (b)
to the Estate of Sotto for having furnished the funds whether or not the funds used to redeem the four
used to redeem the properties, they prayed that the properties belonged to the Estate of Sotto; 11 that
RTC declare the four properties as the assets of the there could be no bar by res judicata because there
was no identity of parties and causes of action

5
between this action and the previous cases; that the issued by the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City,
captions of the decided cases referred to by the CA Branch 16, in SP. PROC. No. 2706-R. Costs against
showed that the parties there were different from the petitioner.
parties here; and that it had not been shown that this
action and the other cases were based on the same SO ORDERED.
causes of action.12

For this the fifth case to reach us, we still rule that
The sole decisive question is whether or not the res judicata was applicable to bar petitioners action
present action for partition was already barred by for partition of the four properties.
prior judgment.

Res judicata exists when as between the action


Ruling sought to be dismissed and the other action these
elements are present, namely; (1) the former
The appeal lacks merit. judgment must be final; (2) the former judgment
must have been rendered by a court having
Petitioners argue here that the four properties be jurisdiction of the subject matter and the parties; (3)
declared as part of the Estate of Sotto to be the former judgment must be a judgment on the
partitioned among the heirs of Filemon because the merits; and (4) there must be between the first and
funds expended by Matilde for the redemption of the subsequent actions (i) identity of parties or at least
properties came from the Estate of Sotto. such as representing the same interest in both
actions; (ii) identity of subject matter, or of the rights
asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being
Their argument was similar to that made in The
founded on the same facts; and, (iii) identity of
Estate of Don Filemon Y. Sotto v. Palicte,13 the fourth
causes of action in both actions such that any
case to reach the Court, where the Court explicitly
judgment that may be rendered in the other action
ruled as follows:
will, regardless of which party is successful, amount
to res judicata in the action under consideration.14
All these judgments and order upholding Matildes
exclusive ownership of the subject properties
The first three elements were present. The decision
became final and executory except the action for
of the Court in G.R. No. 55076 (the first case), the
partition which is still pending in this Court. The
decision of the Court in G.R. No. 131722 (the second
judgments were on the merits and rendered by
case), the order dated October 5, 1989 of the RTC in
courts having jurisdiction over the subject matter and
Civil Case No. R-10027 as upheld by the Court in G.R.
the parties.
No. 154585 (the third case), and the decision in G.R.
No. 158642 (the fourth case) all of which dealt with
There is substantial identity of parties considering Matildes right to the four properties had upheld
that the present case and the previous cases involve Matildes right to the four properties and had all
the heirs of Filemon. There is identity of parties not become final. Such rulings were rendered in the
only when the parties in the case are the same, but exercise of the respective courts jurisdiction over the
also between those in privity with them, such as subject matter, and were adjudications on the merits
between their successors-in-interest. Absolute of the cases.
identity of parties is not required, and where a
shared identity of interest is shown by the identity of
What remains to be determined is whether Civil Case
relief sought by one person in a prior case and the
No. CEB-24293 and the previous cases involved the
second person in a subsequent case, such was
same parties, the same subject matter, the same
deemed sufficient.
causes of action, and the same factual and legal
issues.
There is identity of causes of action since the issues
raised in all the cases essentially involve the claim of
We find that, indeed, Civil Case No. CEB-24293 was
ownership over the subject properties. Even if the
no different from the previous cases as far as parties,
forms or natures of the actions are different, there is
subject matter, causes of action and issues were
still identity of causes of action when the same facts
concerned. In other words, Civil Case No. CEB-24293
or evidence support and establish the causes of
was an undisguised relitigation of the same settled
action in the case at bar and in the previous cases.
matter concerning Matildes ownership of the four
properties.
Hence, the probate court was correct in setting aside
the motion to require Matilde to turn over the subject
First of all, petitioners, as plaintiffs in Civil Case No.
properties to the estate considering that Matildes
CEB-24293, were suing in their capacities as the
title and ownership over the subject properties have
successors-in-interest of Marcelo and Miguel. Even in
already been upheld in previous final decisions and
such capacities, petitioners identity with the parties
order. This Court will not countenance the estates
in the previous cases firmly remained. In G.R. No. L-
ploy to countermand the previous decisions
55076 (the first case), in which Matilde was the
sustaining Matildes right over the subject properties.
petitioner while her brother Marcelo, the
A party cannot evade the application of the principle
administrator of the Estate of Sotto, was one of the
of res judicata by the mere expediency of varying the
respondents, the Court affirmed Matildes redemption
form of action or the relief sought, or adopting a
of the four properties notwithstanding that it gave
different method of presenting the issue, or by
the other heirs of Filemon the opportunity to join as
pleading justifiable circumstances.
co-redemptioners within a period of six months.
When the other heirs did not ultimately join as
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the Matildes co-redemptioners within the period allowed
Orders dated 20 December 2002 and 2 June 2003 by the Court, the trial court in Civil Case No. R-10027

6
rightly directed the Register of Deeds to issue new Section 47. Effect of judgments and final orders.
certificates of title covering the properties in The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a
Matildes name. In Civil Case No. CEB-19338 (the court of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to
second case), the action Pascuala brought against pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as
Matilde for the nullification of Pascualas waiver of follows:
rights involving the four properties, the trial court
dismissed the complaint upon finding Pascuala xxxx
barred by laches from asserting her right as Matildes
coredemptioner. The CA and, later on, the Court itself
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with
(G.R. No. 131722) affirmed the dismissal by the trial
respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any
court. In Civil Case No. R-10027, the trial court
other matter that could have been raised in relation
denied the motion of the heirs of Miguel (who are
thereto, conclusive between the parties and their
petitioners herein) to include them as co-
successors in interest by title subsequent to the
redemptioners of the properties on the ground of
commencement of the action or special proceeding,
laches and res judicata. Again, the CA and, later on,
litigating for the same thing and under the same title
the Court itself (G.R. No. 154585) affirmed the denial.
and in the same capacity; and
In G.R. No. 158642 (the fourth case), the Court
upheld the ruling of the probate court in Special
Proceedings No. 2706-R denying the administrators xxxx
motion to require Matilde to turn over the four real
properties to the Estate of Sotto. The doctrine of res judicata is an old axiom of law,
dictated by wisdom and sanctified by age, and
In all the five cases (Civil Case No. CEB-24293 founded on the broad principle that it is to the
included), an identity of parties existed because the interest of the public that there should be an end to
parties were the same, or there was privity among litigation by the same parties over a subject once
them, or some of the parties were successors-in- fully and fairly adjudicated. It has been appropriately
interest litigating for the same thing and under the said that the doctrine is a rule pervading every well-
same title and in the same capacity. 15 An absolute regulated system of jurisprudence, and is put upon
identity of the parties was not necessary, because a two grounds embodied in various maxims of the
shared identity of interest sufficed for res judicata to common law: one, public policy and necessity, which
apply.16 Moreover, mere substantial identity of makes it to the interest of the State that there should
parties, or even community of interests between be an end to litigation interest reipublicae ut sit finis
parties in the prior and subsequent cases, even if the litium; the other, the hardship on the individual that
latter were not impleaded in the first case, would be he should be vexed twice for one and the same
sufficient.17 As such, the fact that a previous case cause nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem
was filed in the name of the Estate of Sotto only was causa. A contrary doctrine would subject the public
of no consequence. peace and quiet to the will and neglect of individuals
and prefer the gratification of the litigious disposition
on the part of suitors to the preservation of the
Secondly, the subject matter of all the actions (Civil
public tranquillity and happiness. 19 The doctrine is to
Case No. CEB-24293 included), was the same, that is,
be applied with rigidity because:
Matildes right to the four properties. On the one
hand, Matilde insisted that she had the exclusive
right to them, while, on the other hand, the other x x x the maintenance of public order, the repose of
declared heirs of Filemon, like petitioners society, and the quiet of families require that what
predecessors-in-interest, maintained that the has been definitely determined by competent
properties belonged to the Estate of Sotto. tribunals shall be accepted as irrefragable legal truth.
So deeply is this principle implanted in xxx
jurisprudence that commentators upon it have said,
And, lastly, a judgment rendered in the other cases,
the res judicata renders white that which is black and
regardless of which party was successful, would
straight that which is crooked. Facit excurvo rectum,
amount to res judicata in relation to Civil Case No.
ex albo nigrum. No other evidence can afford
CEB-24293.
strength to the presumption of truth it creates, and
no argument can detract from its legal efficacy. 20
Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final judgment
or decree on the merits rendered by a court of
What we have seen here is a clear demonstration of
competent jurisdiction is conclusive about the rights
unmitigated forum shopping on the part of
of the parties or their privies in all later suits and on
petitioners and their counsel. It should not be enough
all points and matters determined in the previous
for us to just express our alarm at petitioners
suit. The foundation principle upon which the
disregard of the doctrine of res judicata. We do not
doctrine rests is that the parties ought not to be
justly conclude this decision unless we perform one
permitted to litigate the same issue more than once;
last unpleasant task, which is to demand from
that when a right or fact has been judicially tried and
petitioners counsel, Atty. Makilito B. Mahinay, an
determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, so
explanation of his role in this pernicious attempt to
long as it remains unreversed, it should be conclusive
relitigate the already settled issue regarding
upon the parties and those in privity with them in law
Matildes exclusive right in the four properties. He
or estate.18
was not unaware of the other cases in which the
issue had been definitely settled considering that his
Section 47 (b) Rule 39 of the Rules of Court clients were the heirs themselves of Marcelo and
institutionalizes the doctrine of res judicata in the Miguel.1wphi1 Moreover, he had represented the
concept of bar by prior judgment, viz: Estate of Sotto in G.R. No. 158642 (The Estate of Don
Filemon Y. Sotto v. Palicte).

7
Under the circumstances, Atty. Mahinay appears to the Ombudsman on the grounds of litispendentia and
have engaged in the prejudicial practice of forum forum shopping. He alleged that the
shopping as much as any of his clients had been. If sangguniangbayan had already acquired jurisdiction
over his person.
he was guilty, the Court would not tolerate it, and
would sanction him. In this regard, forum shopping,
Upon complainants motion and
according to Ao-as v. Court of Appeals, 21 may be Rodriguezscommentpraying that the complaint be
committed as follows: dismissed on the ground of forum shopping, the
municipal vice-mayor dismissed the case filed in the
sangguniangbayan.
As the present jurisprudence now stands, forum
shopping can he committed in three ways: (1) filing
In his position paper submitted to the Ombudsman,
multiple cases based on the same cause of action Rodriguez insisted that the sangguniangbayan still
and with the same prayer, the previous case not continued to exercise jurisdiction over the complaint
having been resolved yet (litis pendentia); (2) filing filed against him. He claimed he had not received
multiple cases based on the same cause of action any resolution or decision dismissing the complaint
and the same prayer, the previous case having been filed in the sangguniangbayan. Rodriguez also
averred that the sangguniangbayan resolution
finally resolved (res judicata); and (3) filing multiple
dismissing the case filed against him was not valid
cases based on the same cause of action but with because only the vice-mayor signed it.
different prayers (splitting of causes of action, where
the ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia Regardless, the Ombudsman rendered a decision
or res judicata). If the forum shopping is not finding Rodriguez guilty of dishonesty and
considered willful and deliberate, the subsequent oppression. It imposed on Rodriguez the penalty of
cases shall he dismissed without prejudice on one of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of all
benefits, disqualification to hold public office, and
the two grounds mentioned above. However, if the
forfeiture of civil service eligibilities. Rodriguez filed a
forum shopping is willful and deliberate, both (or all, motion for reconsideration, which was denied by
if there are more than two) actions shall be dismissed herein petitioner.
with prejudice.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals set aside for lack of
jurisdiction the Decision of the Ombudsman and
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition for
directed the sangguniangbayan to proceed with the
review; AFFIRMS the decision promulgated on hearing on the administrative case. The appellate
November 29, 2002; and ORDERS petitioners to pay court reasoned that the sangguniangbayan had
the costs of suit. acquired primary jurisdiction over the person of
Rodriguez to the exclusion of the Ombudsman. The
Court of Appeals relied on Section 4, Rule 46 of the
The Court DIRECTS Atty. Makilito B. Mahinay to show
Rules of Court, to wit:
cause in writing within ten days from notice why he
should not be sanctioned as a member of the Sec. 4. Jurisdiction over person of
Integrated Bar of the Philippines for committing a respondent, how acquired. The court shall
clear violation of the rule prohibiting forum-shopping acquire jurisdiction over the person of the
by aiding his clients in asserting the same claims at respondent by the service on him of its
least twice. order or resolution indicating its initial action
on the petition or by his voluntary
submission to such jurisdiction.
SO ORDERED.
The appellate court noted that the
sangguniangbayan served on Rodriguez a notice,
81. requiring the latter to file an answer, on 8 September
2003 while the Ombudsman did so two days later or
G.R. No. 172700 July 23, 2010 on 10 September 2003.

Petitioner Ombudsman contends that upon the filing


OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, Petitioner, of a complaint before a body vested with jurisdiction,
vs. that body has taken cognizance of the complaint.
ROLSON RODRIGUEZ, Respondent. Petitioner cites Blacks Law Dictionary in defining
what to take cognizance means to wit, to
acknowledge or exercise jurisdiction. Petitioner
FACTS: points out it had taken cognizance of the complaint
against Rodriguez before a similar complaint was
On 26 August 2003, the Ombudsman inVisayas filed in the sangguniangbayan against the same
received a complaint for abuse of authority, respondent.
dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, and
neglect of duty against Rolson Rodriguez, punong Private respondent Rolson Rodriguez countered by
barangay in Brgy. Sto. Rosario, Binalbagan, Negros citing Article 124 of the Implementing Rules and
Occidental. On 1 September 2003, the Regulations of Republic Act No. 7160, which provides
sangguniangbayan of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, that an elective official may be removed from office
through vice-mayor Jose G. Yulo, received a similar by order of the proper court or the disciplining
complaint against Rodriguez for abuse of authority, authority whichever first acquires jurisdiction to the
dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, and exclusion of the other. Private respondent insists the
neglect of duty. sangguniangbayan first acquired jurisdiction over the
complaint and his person. He argues jurisdiction over
Rodriguez filed a motion to dismiss the case filed in the person of a respondent in an administrative
the sangguniangbayan on the ground that the complaint is acquired by the service of summons or
allegations in the complaint were without factual other compulsory processes.Private respondent
basis and did not constitute any violation of law, and stresses complainants violated the rule against forum
that complainants violated the rule against forum shopping when they filed identical complaints in two
shopping. disciplining authorities exercising concurrent
jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman required Rodriguez to
file his answer to the similar complaint filed before it. ISSUE:1. WON the prohibition on forum shopping
Rodriguez filed a motion to dismiss the case filed in was violated.

8
2. WONthe Ombudsman first acquired As a final note, under Section 60 of the Local
jurisdiction. Government Code, the sangguniangbayan has no
power to remove an elective barangay official. Apart
HELD: 1. NO. The facts in the present case are from the Ombudsman, only a proper court may do
analogous to those in Laxina, Sr. v. Ombudsman, so. Unlike the sangguniangbayan, the powers of the
which likewise involved identical administrative Ombudsman are not merely recommendatory. The
complaints filed in both the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman is clothed with authority to directly
sangguniangpanlungsod against a punong barangay remove an erring public official other than members
for grave misconduct. The Court held therein that the of Congress and the Judiciary who may be removed
rule against forum shopping applied only to judicial only by impeachment.
cases or proceedings, not to administrative cases.
Thus, even if complainants filed in the Ombudsman
and the sangguniangbayan identical complaints
against private respondent, they did not violate the
rule against forum shopping because their complaint
was in the nature of an administrative case.

2. YES. The Ombudsman, by constitutional grant and


under the Ombudsman Act of 1989 (RA 6770), has
the power to investigate and prosecute on its own or 82.
on complaint by any person any public officer or
employee. The primary jurisdiction of the
Ombudsman to investigate cases cognizable by the A.C. No. 6252 October 5, 2004
Sandiganbayan is limited by RA 8249, An Act Further
Defining the Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan, to
JONAR SANTIAGO, complainant,
public officials occupying positions corresponding to
salary grade 27 and higher. Since private respondent, vs.
as punong barangay, is occupying a position Atty. EDISON V. RAFANAN, respondent.
corresponding to salary grade 14 under RA 6758,
Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989,
FACTS:
the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the case;
This is a disbarment case filed by BJMP
but since the punong barangay is a public officer, the
employee Jonar Santiago against Atty. Edison
Ombudsman, nonetheless, still enjoys concurrent
Rafanan.
jurisdiction with other investigative agenices by
virtue of the aforementioned constitutional and Santiago, in his complaint, alleged among
legislative grant. others that Rafanan, in notarizing several
documents on different dates failed and/or
Under Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the refused to:
Local Government Code, the sangguniangpanlungsod o Make the proper notation regarding the
or sangguniangbayan has disciplinary authority over cedula or community tax certificate of
any elective barangay official, to wit: the affiants (*one making the affidavit);
o Enter the details of the notarized
SEC. 61.Form and Filing of Administrative documents in the notarial register;
Complaints. A verified complaint against any o Make and execute the certification and
erring elective official shall be prepared as enter his PTR and IBP numbers in the
follows: documents he notarized
Santiago also alleged that Rafanan executed
x xxx an Affidavit in favor of his client and offered it
as evidence (Rafanan stood as counsel and as
(c) A complaint against any elective witness of his client) and Rafanan, as alleged
barangay official shall be filed before the by Santiago, waited for him together with his
sangguniangpanlungsod or men and disarmed Santiago and uttered
sangguniangbayan concerned whose insulting words at him.
decision shall be final and executory. ATTY. RAFANANS CONTENTIONS:
o Admitted having administered the oath
Clearly, the Ombudsman has concurrent jurisdiction to the affiants whose Affidavits were
with the sangguniangbayan over administrative attached to the Complaint of Santiago.
cases against elective barangay officials occupying But Rafanan believed that the non-
positions below salary grade 27, such as private notation of their Residence Certificates in
respondent in this case. the Affidavits and Counter-Affidavits
were allowed because:
In Civil Service Commission vs Alfonso and Enrique Notation of residence certificates
vs CA, the court ruled that in administrative cases applied only to documents
involving the concurrent jurisdiction of two or more acknowledged by a notary
disciplining authorities, the body in which the public, and
complaint is filed first, and which opts to take Was not mandatory for affidavits
cognizance of the case, acquires jurisdiction to the related to cases pending before
exclusion of other tribunals exercising concurrent courts and other government
jurisdiction. In this case, since the complaint was offices (Side comment: If they
filed first in the Ombudsman, and the Ombudsman were not notarized and were
opted to assume jurisdiction over the complaint, the used for court proceedings,
Ombudsmans exercise of jurisdiction is to the edihindisilanaging public
exclusion of the sangguniangbayan exercising documents? Paanosilamagiging
concurrent jurisdiction. admissible sa court?
TengelangyatasiRafanan)
It is a hornbook rule that jurisdiction is a matter of He also pointed out that older
law. Jurisdiction, once acquired, is not lost upon the practitioners in Nueva Ecija also
instance of the parties but continues until the case is do what he did they do not
terminated. When herein complainants first filed the indicate affiants residence
complaint in the Ombudsman, jurisdiction was certificates on documents they
already vested on the latter. Jurisdiction could no notarized, or have entries in the
longer be transferred to the sangguniangbayan by notarial register for these
virtue of a subsequent complaint filed by the same documents.
complainants.

9
o As to his alleged failure to comply with o Atty. Rafanan cannot be
Sec.3 Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal administratively liable because:
Procedure: as counsel to the affiants, he Its a duty of the lawyer to assert
had the option not comply or not with every remedy and defense that is
the certification. authorized by law for the benefit
o As to his alleged violation of Rule 12.08 of the client. (Remember, there is
of CPR: lawyers could testify on behalf of a criminal case of attempted
their clients on substantial matters, in murder against his client which
cases where [their] testimony is will deprive his client of his life
essential to the ends of justice. and liberty, if they fail to display a
Santiago charged Rafanans good defense.)
clients with attempted murder.
Rafanan said that since his On the Side Issues:
clients were in his house during There is no harassment of the part of Rafanan
the alleged crime, thats why he against Santiago because there were no
said his testimony is very pieces of evidence presented.
essential. Mere allegation is never equivalent to proof,
o He also contends that the case filed by and a bare charge cannot be equated with
Santiago was only to harass Rafanan liability.
since he is the counsel of the parties who
filed cases against him before the RULING: Atty. Rafanan is GUILTY of violating the
ombudsman (Brgy. Capt. Ernesto Ramos Notarial Law and Canon 5 of the CPR. He is fined
and BJMP) P3,000.00 with a warning that similar infractions will
be dealt more severely.
ISSUES:
Whether or not Rafanan is guilty in violating
the Notarial Law.
Whether or not a lawyer (in this case,
Rafanan) can stand as witness in favor of his
clients.

HELDS:
Yes, he violated the Notarial Law for not
making the proper notation and entering the
details of the notarized documents. 83.
Yes, a lawyer can stand as witness of a client.

RATIO DECIDENDI: A.M. No. P-03-1690 April 4, 2003


On Issue No. 1 (formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 00-956-P)
The Notarial Law is explicit on the
obligations and duties of notaries public.
JUDGE ESTRELLITA M. PAAS, petitioner,
And these formalities are mandatory and
cannot be simply neglected. vs.
They are required to certify that the party to EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ, respondent.
every document acknowledged before them
has presented the proper residence certificate In a separate case for inhibition of Judge Paas in a
(or exemption from the residence tax); and to criminal case, it was found that Judge Paas husband,
enter its number, place of issue and the date Atty. Paas, who is a private practitioner, was using his
as part of such certification. wifes office address in his law practice, particularly
They are also required to keep a notarial in a criminal case he was handling which was
register; to enter therein all instruments docketed at an RTC also in Pasay. In support of this
notarized by them; etc. charge, documents weres ubmitted such as 1) a
As to Rafanans defense that its a common Notice of Appeal signed by Atty. Paas, and 2) notices
practice in Nueva Ecija, SC says: It is appalling from Pasay City RTC, and from the Supreme Court.
and inexcusable that he did away with the
basics of notarial procedure allegedly because This was admitted by Judge Paas, but she claims that
others were doing so. Being swayed by the this was done only to ensure and facilitate the
bad example of others is not an acceptable delivery of those notices.
justification for breaking the law.
ISSUE
On Issue No. 2 :
A lawyer is not disqualified from being a Wether or not Judge Paas and Atty. Paas should be
witness, except only in certain cases penalized for allowing the latter to use the office of
pertaining to privileged communication arising the former as his return address in his private
from an attorney-client relationship. practice.
Reason: The difficulty posed upon lawyers by
the task of dissociating their relationship to RULING
their clients as witnesses from that as an :
advocate (Note: A witness must only say what YES. Using the Judges address is a subtle was of
happened. Only the truth. As compared with sending a message that Atty. Paas is the husband of
the task of a lawyer who will use all the a judge in the same building and should be given
available remedies and actions in his arsenal special treatment by other judges or court personnel.
for his client to win the case.) In SC Administrative Circular No. 01-99, it was stated
It is difficult to distinguish the fairness and that court officials and
impartiality of a disinterested witness from the employees must never use their offices...for any
zeal of an advocate. other purpose that for court or judicial functions.
The preference is for lawyers to REFRAIN from
testifying as witnesses, unless they absolutely Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a judge should
have to; and should they do so, to withdraw avoid impropriety in all activities and shall not allow
from active management of the case. the use of the judicial office to advance the private
In the case at bar: interests of others. SC Circular No. 3-92 prohibits the
use of halls of justice for residential or commercial
purposes. It is unprofessional and dishonorable to

10
misuse a public office to enhance a lawyers prestige. Judge Buser inhibited himself from further trying the
It violates canons3, 10, 13, and 15 of the Code of case because of the harsh insinuation of Senior
Professional Responsibility. Prosecutor Rogelio Bagabuyo that he lacks the cold
neutrality of an impartial magistrate, by allegedly
On his part, Atty. Paas was guilty of using a
fraudulent, misleading, and deceptive address that suggesting the filing of the motion to fix the amount
had no purpose other than to try to impress either of bail bond by counsel for the accused.
the court in which his cases are lodged, or his client,
that he has close ties to a member of the judiciary, in Respondent appealed to the CA. Instead of availing
violation of the following rules himself only of judicial remedies, respondent caused
of the Code of Professional Responsibility: the publication of an article regarding the Order
granting to the accused in the issue of the Mindanao
Canon 3A lawyer in making known his legal services
shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and Gold Star Daily. The article, entitled Senior prosecutor
objective information or statement of facts. lambast Surigao judge for allowing murder suspect to
bail out.
Rule 3.01. A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of
any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or The RTC of Surigao City directed respondent and the
claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. writer of the article to appear in court to explain why
they should not be cited for indirect contempt of
Canon 10A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND court for the publication of the article which degrade
GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT. the court and its presiding judge with its lies and
misrepresentation.
Rule 10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor
consent to the doing of any in Court; nor shall he
mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any Respondent admitted that he caused the holding of
artifice. the press conference, but refused to answer whether
he made the statement in the article until after he
Canon 13a LAWYER SHALL RELY UPON THE MERITS
shall have filed a motion to dismiss. For his refusal to
OF HIS CAUSE AND REFRAIN FROM ANY IMPROPERITY
WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE, OR GIVES THE answer, the trial court declared him in contempt of
APPEARANCE OF court pursuant to the Rules of Court.
INFLUENCING THE COURT.
ISSUE: WON Prosecutor Bagabuyo violated the
Canon 15A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, canons and his oath as a lawyer?
FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND
TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENT
Held: YES
Rule 15.06.
A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to
Lawyers are licensed officers of the courts who are
influence any public official, tribunal or legislative
body. empowered to appear, prosecute and defend; and
upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and
The need for relying on the merits of a lawyers case, liabilities are devolved by law as a consequence.
instead of banking on his relationship with a member Membership in the bar imposes upon them certain
of the bench which tends to influence or gives the obligations. Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
appearance of influencing the court, cannot be Responsibility mandates a lawyer to observe and
overemphasized.
maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial
It is unprofessional and dishonorable, to say the officers and [he] should insist on similar conduct by
least, to misuse a public office to enhance a lawyers others. Rule 11.05 of Canon 11 states that a lawyer
prestige. shall submit grievances against a judge to the proper
authorities only.
Public confidence in law and lawyers may be eroded
by such reprehensible and improper conduct. Respondent violated Rule 11.05 of Canon 11 when he
84.
admittedly caused the holding of a press conference
where he made statements against the Order dated
ADM. CASE No. 7006 October 9, 2007 November 12, 2002 allowing the accused in Crim.
Case No. 5144 to be released on bail.
RE : SUSPENSION OF ATTY. ROGELIO Z.
BAGABUYO, FORMER SENIOR STATE Respondent also violated Canon 11 when he
PROSECUTOR. indirectly stated that Judge Tan was displaying
judicial arrogance in the article entitled, Senior
This administrative case stemmed from the events of prosecutor lambasts Surigao judge for allowing
the Criminal case proceeding originally raffled to the murder suspect to bail out, which appeared in the
sala of Judge Floripinas C. Buyser. Judge Buyser August 18, 2003 issue of the Mindanao Gold Star
denied the Demurrer to the Evidence of the accused, Daily. Respondents statements in the article, which
declaring that the evidence thus presented by the were made while Crim. Case No. 5144 was still
prosecution was sufficient to prove the crime of pending in court, also violated Rule 13.02 of Canon
homicide and not the charge of murder. The counsel 13, which states that a lawyer shall not make public
of the defense filed a Motion to fix the amount of Bail statements in the media regarding a pending case
Bond. Respondent Atty Bagabuyo, then Senior state tending to arouse public opinion for or against a
Prosecutor and the deputized prosecutor of the case, party.
objected thereto mainly on the ground that the
original charge of murder, punishable with reclusion In regard to the radio interview given to Tony
perpetua, was not subject of bail under the Rules of Consing, respondent violated Rule 11.05 of Canon 11
Court. of the Code of Professional Responsibility for not
resorting to the proper authorities only for redress of

11
his grievances against Judge Tan. Respondent also HELD: YES. Respondent suspended for three (3)
violated Canon 11 for his disrespect of the court and years from the practice of law.
its officer when he stated that Judge Tan was
ignorant of the law, that as a mahjong aficionado, he The above actuations of respondent are also in
was studying mahjong instead of studying the law, violation of Rule 13.03 of the Canon of Professional
and that he was a liar. Responsibility which reads: A lawyer shall not make
public statements in the media regarding a pending
Respondent also violated the Lawyers Oath, as he case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a
has sworn to conduct [himself] as a lawyer according party.
to the best of [his] knowledge and discretion with all
good fidelity as well to the courts as to [his] clients. The language employed by respondent undoubtedly
casts aspersions on the integrity of the Office of the
As a senior state prosecutor and officer of the court, City Prosecutor and all the Prosecutors connected
respondent should have set the example of with said Office. Respondent clearly assailed the
observing and maintaining the respect due to the impartiality and fairness of the said Office in handling
courts and to judicial officers. Montecillo v. Gica held: cases filed before it and did not even design to
submit any evidence to substantiate said wild
It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the allegations. The use by respondent of the above-
courts a respectful attitude. As an officer of the court, quoted language in his pleadings is
it is his duty to uphold the dignity and authority of manifestly violative of Canon 11 and the
the court to which he owes fidelity, according to the fundamental Canon 1 also of the Code of Professional
oath he has taken. Respect for the courts guarantees Responsibility, which mandates lawyers to uphold
the stability of our democratic institutions which, the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and
without such respect, would be resting on a very promote respect for law and legal
shaky foundation. processes. Respondent defied said
status quo order, despite his (respondents) oath as a
member of the legal profession to obey the laws as
85.
well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
authorities.
A.C. No. 7199 July 22, 2009
[Formerly CBD 04-1386]
Further, respondent violated Canon 8 and Rule 8.01
of the Code of Professional Responsibility which
FOODSPHERE, INC., Complainant, mandate, and by failing to live up to his oath and to
vs. comply with the exacting standards of the legal
ATTY. MELANIO L. MAURICIO, JR., Respondent. profession, respondent also violated Canon 7 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, which directs a
FACTS: lawyer to at all times uphold the integrity and the
dignity of the legal profession.

[A] certain Alberto Cordero (Cordero) purportedly


bought from a grocery in Valenzuela City canned 86.
goods including a can of CDO Liver spread. As
Cordero and his relatives were eating bread with the G.R. No. L-27654 February 18, 1970
CDO Liver spread, they found the spread to be sour
and soon discovered a colony of worms inside the
IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR
can. This was complained before the BFAD. After
DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ATTY. VICENTE
conciliation meetings between Cordero and the
RAUL ALMACEN In L-27654, ANTONIO H.
petitioner, the Corderos eventually forged
CALERO,
a KASUNDUAN seeking the withdrawal of their
complaint before the BFAD. The BFAD thus dismissed
the complaint. Respondent, Atty. Mauricio, Jr., who vs.
affixed his signature to the KASUNDUAN as a witness,
later wrote in one of his articles/columns in a tabloid VIRGINIA Y. YAPTINCHAY.
that he prepared the document.
FACTS: Vicente Raul Almacens Petition to
Complainant filed criminal complaints against Surrender Lawyers Certificate of Title, filed on Sept.
respondent and several others for Libel and 26, 1967, in protest against what he therein asserts
Threatening to Publish Libel under Articles 353 and is a great injustice committed against his client by
356 of the Revised Penal Code before the Office of Supreme Court. He indicts SC, in his own phrase, as
the City Prosecutor of Quezon City and Valenzuela a tribual peopled by men who are calloused to our
City. The complaints were pending at the time of the pleas for justice, who ignore without reasons their
filing of the present administrative complaint. own applicable decisions and commit culpable
Despite the pendency of the civil case against him violations of the Constitution with impunity. His
and the issuance of a status quo order clients he continues, who was deeply aggrieved by
restraining/enjoining further publishing, televising this Courts unjust judgment, has become one of
and broadcasting of any matter relative to the the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy.
complaint of CDO, respondent continued with his
attacks against complainant and its products. He ridicules the members of the Court, saying that
justice as administered by the present members of
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent violated the the Supreme Court is not only bline, but also deaf
Code of Professional Responsibility. and dumb. He then vows to argue the cause of his
client in the peoples forum, so that people may

12
know of the silent injustices committed by this court of the Philippines on July 30, 2007, alleging that
and that whatever mistakes, wrongs and injustices respondent Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis (Atty. Daquis)
that were committed must never be repeated. He filed, on her behalf, a Petition for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage without her consent and forged
ends his petition with a prayer that:
her signature on the Petition.1 She also alleged that
Atty. Daquis signed the Petition for Declaration of
a resolution issue ordering the Clerk of Court Nullity of Marriage as "counsel for petitioner,"
to receive the certificate of the undersigned attorney referring to Vasco-Tamaray.
that at any time in the future and in the event we Vasco-Tamaray narrated that in December
2006, Atty. Daquis informed her "that a Petition for
regain our faith and confidence, we may retrieve our
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage was filed before the
title to assume the practice of the noblest Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City." 6 In February
profession. 2007, Atty. Daquis asked her to appear before the
City Prosecutor's Office of Muntinlupa City.
On March 5, 2007, Vasco-Tamaray appeared
The genesis of this unfortunate incident was a civil
before the City Prosecutor's Office and met Atty.
case entitled Yaptichay v. Calero, in which Atty. Daquis. She asked Atty. Daquis to give her a copy of
Almacen was counsel for the defendant. The trial the Petition but Atty. Daquis refused.
court rencered judgment agains his client. On June Vasco-Tamaray stated that she obtained a
15, 1966 atty. Almacen receive acopy of the copy of the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
decision. Twenty days later on he moved for its Marriage from Branch 207 of the Regional Trial Court
reconsideration but did not notify the latter of the of Muntinlupa City. She was surprised to see that the
Petition was allegedly signed and filed by her.
time and plce of hearing on said motion. Meanwhile,
Vasco-Tamaray alleged that she did not file
onJuly 18, 1966, the plaintiff moved for execution of the Petition, that her signature was forged by Atty.
the judgment. For lack of proof of service, the trial Daquis, and that her purported community tax
court denied both motions. To prove that he did certificate appearing on the jurat was not hers
serve on the adverse party a copy of his first motion because she never resided in Muntinlupa City. 10 She
for reconsideration, atty. Almacen filed on August 17, attached a Certification issued by the Sangguniang
Barangay of Putatan, Muntinlupa City stating that she
1966 a second motion for reconsideration, however,
was "never ... a resident of #9 Daang Hari Street,
was ordered withdrawn by the trial court on August Umali Compound, Summitville Subdivision, Barangay
30, 1966, upon verbal motion of Atty. Almacen Putatan."11 She also attached a Certification issued
himself, who earlier, that is, on Aug. 22, 1966 had by Barangay Talipapa stating that she has been a
already perfected the appeal. Motion for resident of "#484-J Saguittarius St., Solville Subd.,
reconsideration was denied by Court of Appeals. Barangay Talipapa, Novaliches, Quezon City . . . from
2000 till present."
Vasco-Tamaray also alleged that the Petition
HELD: Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage was Atty.
as an officer of the court and as citizen, to criticize in Daquis' idea, consented to by Leomarte Tamaray.
properly respectful terms and through legitimate She further alleged that she had never
channels the acts of courts and judges. received any court process. The Petition states that
her postal address is "09 Daang Hari St., Umali
Comp., Summitville Subd., Putatan, Muntinlupa
As a citizen and as officer of the court, a lawyer is City[,]"14 which is the address of her husband's
expected not only to exercise the right, but also to family. The return slips of the notices sent by the trial
consider it his duty to avail of such right. No law court were received by Encamacion T. Coletraba and
may abridge this right. Nor is he professionally Almencis Cumigad, relatives of Leomarte Tamaray.
Atty. Daquis filed an Answer countering that
answerable for a scrutiny into the official conduct of
her client was Vasco-Tamaray, complainant herself,
the judges, which would not expose him to legal and not complainant's husband. She alleged that
animadversion as a citizen. Atty. Almacen is Vasco-Tamaray knew of the Petition as early as
suspended from the practice of law until further October 2006, not December 2006.
orders. With regard to the community tax
certificate, Atty. Daquis explained that when she
notarized the Petition, the community tax certificate
But it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism number was supplied by Vasco-Tamaray. Atty. Daquis'
that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the allegation was supported by the Joint Affidavit of her
walls of decency and propriety. A wide chasm exists staff, Ma. Dolor E. Purawan (Purawan) and Ludy
between fair criticism, on the One hand, and abuse Lorena (Lorena).
and slander of courts and the judges thereof, on the Purawan and Lorena detailed in their Joint
Affidavit that they knew Vasco-Tamaray to be a client
other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross
of Atty. Daquis and that they never saw Atty. Daquis
violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is Such a forge Vasco-Tamaray's signature. Purawan stated that
misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary she typed the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
action. Marriage and that the community tax certificate was
provided by Vasco-Tamaray.
Atty. Daquis alleged that Vasco-Tamaray
87. wanted her to call and demand money from
Leomarte Tamaray but she refused to do so.
January 26, 2016 Atty. Daquis argued that Vasco-Tamaray had
a copy of the Petition. When Vasco-Tamaray
requested another copy on March 5, 2007, Atty.
A.C. No. 10868 Daquis was unable to grant her client's request
[Formerly CBD Case No. 07-2041] because she did not have a copy of the Petition with
her at that time.
Atty. Daquis further alleged that Vasco-
CHERYLE. VASCO-TAMARAY, Complainant, Tamaray conceived an illegitimate son with a certain
vs. Reuel Pablo Aranda. The illegitimate son was named
ATTY. DEBORAH Z. DAQUIS, Respondent. Charles Dino Vasco. Reuel Pablo Aranda signed the
Affidavit of Acknowledgment/Admission of Paternity
portion of the birth certificate.
FACTS
Cheryl E. Vasco-Tamaray (Vasco-Tamaray) PROCEDURE
filed a Complaint-Affidavit before the Integrated Bar

13
was forged.
1. Cheryl E. Vasco-Tamaray filed a complaint While there is no evidence to
affidavit before the Integrated Bar of the prove that respondent forged
Philippines on July 30, 2007. complainant's signature, the fact
2. The Commission on Bar Bar Discipline remains that respondent allowed a
required the parties to submit their position forged signature to be used on a
papers, but based on record, only Vasco- petition she prepared and notarized. In
Tamaray complied. doing so, respondent violated Canon 7,
3. The Commission on Bar Discipline Rule 7.03 and Canon 10, Rule 10.01.
recommended the dismissal of the
complaint because Vasco-Tamaray failed to 3. CANON 10 A lawyer owes candor,
prove her allegations. fairness and good faith to the court.
4. The Board of Governors of the Integrated RULE 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any
Bar of the Philippines adopted and approved falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
the Report and Recommendation of the Court; nor shall he mislead or allow the
Commission on Bar Discipline in the Court to be misled by any artifice.
Resolution dated September 27, 2014.
Application
LAWS INVOLVED/APPLIED Respondents act of allowing the
1. CANON 1 A lawyer shall uphold the use of a forged signature on a petition she
constitution, obey the laws of the land and prepared and notarized demonstrates a lack
promote respect for law and for legal of moral fiber on her part.
processes. Furthermore, allowing the use of a
RULE 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in forged signature on a petition filed before a
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful court is tantamount to consenting to the
conduct. commission of a falsehood before courts, in
violation of Canon 10.
Application
In this case, respondent merely 4. CANON 15 A lawyer shall observe
denied complainant's allegation that candor, fairness and loyalty in all his
she was Leomarte Tamaray's counsel dealings and transactions with his client.
but was unable to rebut the other RULE 15.03 - A lawyer shall not represent
allegations against her. conflicting interests except by written
The records of this case also consent of all concerned given after a full
support complainant's allegation that disclosure of the facts.
she never received any court process
because her purported address in the Application
Petition is the address of Leomarte This court notes that respondent
Tamaray. may have violated Canon 15, Rule 15.03
When respondent filed the Petition when she entered her appearance as
as counsel for complainant when the counsel for complainant68 even though she
truth was otherwise, she committed a was engaged as counsel by Leomarte
falsehood against the trial court and Tamaray.
complainant. Respondent was engaged by
Leomarte Tamaray to be his counsel.74 When
2. CANON 7 A lawyer shall at all times the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal Marriage was filed, respondent signed the
profession, and support the activities of the Petition as counsel for complainant. 75 If
integrated bar. respondent was indeed engaged as counsel
RULE 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in by complainant, then there is conflict of
conduct that adversely reflects on his interest, in violation of Canon 15, Rule
fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether 15.03.
in public or private life, behave in a However, there is nothing on
scandalous manner to the discredit of the record to show that respondent was
legal profession. engaged as counsel by complainant. Hence,
... this court finds that respondent did not
commit conflict of interest.
Application
The Petition for Declaration of 5. CANON 17 - A lawyer owes fidelity to the
Nullity of Marriage was signed by a cause of his client and he shall be mindful of
certain "CVasco." The records of this the trust and confidence reposed in him
case show that complainant has used Application
two signatures. In her identification Respondent failed to protect the
cards issued by the University of the interests of her client when she represented
East, she used a signature that spelled complainant, who is the opposing party of
out "CVasco." In her Complaint- her client Leomarte Tamaray, in the same
Affidavit against respondent, case.
complainant used a signature that
spelled out "CTamaray."
A comparison of the signatures DECISION
appearing on the Petition for Respondent Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis is found
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and GUILTY of violating
on complainant's identification cards 1. Canon 1, Rule 1.01
show a difference in the stroke of the 2. Canon 7, Rule 7.03
letters "c" and "o." Further, 3. Canon 10, Rule 10.01, and
complainant's signatures in the 4. Canon 17 of the Code of Professional
documents50 attached to the records Responsibility.
consistently appear to be of the same
height. On the other hand, her alleged The charge for violation of Canon 15, Rule 15.03
signature on the Petition for against respondent Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis is
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage has a DISMISSED.
big letter "c."51 Hence, it seems that The penalty of DISBARMENT is imposed upon
complainant's signature on the Petition respondent Atty. Deborah Z. Daquis. The Office of the
for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage

14
Bar Confidant is directed to remove the name of WHETHER OR NOT THE IBP BOARD OF
Deborah Z. Daquis from the Roll of Attorneys. GOVERNORS AND THE IBP INVESTIGATING
Let a copy of this Resolution be furnished to the COMMISSIONER ERRED IN FINDING
Office of the Bar Confidant to be appended to RESPONDENT GUILTY OF THE CHARGES
respondent's personal record as attorney, to the AGAINST HIM AND IF THE PENALTY IMPOSED
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and to the Office of WAS JUSTIFIED.
the Court Administrator for dissemination to all
courts throughout the country for their information
The Supreme Court examined the records of this
and guidance.
case and finds no reason to disagree with the
findings and recommendation of the IBP Board of
88. Governors and the Investigating Commissioner.

A.C. No. 5768 March 26, 2010 The practice of law is a privilege given to lawyers
who meet the high standards of legal proficiency and
ATTY. BONIFACIO T. BARANDON, JR., morality. Any violation of these standards exposes
Complainant, the lawyer to administrative liability.
vs.
ATTY. EDWIN Z. FERRER, SR., Respondent. Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
commands all lawyers to conduct themselves with
On January 11, 2001 complainant Atty. Bonifacio T. courtesy, fairness and candor towards their fellow
Barandon, Jr. filed a complaint-affidavit with the lawyers and avoid harassing tactics against opposing
Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar counsel.
Discipline (IBP-CBD) seeking the disbarment,
suspension from the practice of law, or imposition of Atty. Ferrers actions do not measure up to this
appropriate disciplinary action against respondent Canon. The evidence shows that he imputed to Atty.
Atty. Edwin Z. Ferrer, Sr. for filing a reply with Barandon the falsification of an affidavit without
opposition to motion to dismiss that contained evidence that the document had indeed been
abusive, offensive and improper language which falsified. Moreover, Atty. Ferrer could have aired his
insinuated that Atty. Barandon presented a falsified charge of falsification in a proper forum and without
document in court. The said document purported to using offensive and abusive language against a
be a notarized document executed at a date when fellow lawyer. The Court has constantly reminded
Atty. Barandon was not yet a lawyer. lawyers to use dignified language in their pleadings
despite the adversarial nature of our legal system.
Moreover, on December 19, 2000, Atty. Ferrer,
evidently drunk, threatened Atty. Barandon saying,
Atty. Ferrer had likewise violated Canon 7 of the Code
Laban kung laban, patayan kung patayan, kasama
of Professional Responsibility which enjoins lawyers
ang lahat ng pamilya. Wala na palang magaling na
to uphold the dignity and integrity of the legal
abogado sa Camarines Norte, angabogadonarito ay
profession at all times. Several disinterested persons
mga taga-Camarines Sur, umuwina kayo sa
confirmed Atty. Ferrers drunken invectives at Atty.
Camarines Sur, hindi kayo taga-rito at the Municipal
Barandon shortly before the start of a court hearing
Trial Court in Daet before the start of a hearing.
and Atty. Ferrer failed to show convincing evidence
denying the said charge against him.
The Court had warned Atty. Ferrer in his first
disbarment case against repeating his unethical act;
All lawyers should take heed that they are licensed
yet he faces a disbarment charge for sexual
officers of the courts who are mandated to maintain
harassment of an office secretary of the IBP Chapter
the dignity of the legal profession, hence they must
in Camarines Norte; a related criminal case for acts
conduct themselves honorably and fairly. Atty.
of lasciviousness; and criminal cases for libel and
Ferrers display of improper attitude, arrogance,
grave threats that Atty. Barandon filed against him.
misbehavior, and misconduct in the performance of
his duties both as a lawyer and officer of the court,
On October 10, 2001 Investigating Commissioner
before the public and the court, was a patent
Milagros V. San Juan of the IBP-CBD submitted to this
transgression of the very ethics that lawyers are
Court a Report, recommending the suspension for
sworn to uphold. Consequently, the penalty of
two years of Atty. Ferrer. The Investigating
suspension of one from the practice of law is deemed
Commissioner found enough evidence on record to
just and proper.
prove Atty. Ferrers violation of Canons 8.01 and 7.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He
attributed to Atty. Barandon, as counsel in Civil Case 89.
7040, the falsification of the plaintiffs affidavit
despite the absence of evidence that the document Adm. Case No. 4749 January 20, 2000
had in fact been falsified and that Atty. Barandon was
a party to it. The Investigating Commissioner also
SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR., complainant,
found that Atty. Ferrer uttered the threatening
vs.
remarks imputed to him in the presence of other
ATTY. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS, respondent.
counsels, court personnel, and litigants before the
start of hearing. On June 29, 2002 the IBP Board of
Governors passed Resolution adopting and approving FACTS: This is a complaint for misrepresentation and
the Investigating Commissioners recommendation non-payment of bar membership dues filed against
respondent Atty. Francisco R. Llamas who for a
but reduced the penalty of suspension to only one
number of years has not indicated the proper PTR
year. and IBP O.R. Nos. and data (date & palce of issuance)
in his pleadings. If at all, he only indicated IBP Rizal
259060 but he has been using this for at least 3

15
years already, as shown by the following attached court, and misrepresentation, amounting to perjury
sample pleadings in various courts in 1995, 1996 & and prayed that respondent be suspended or
1997. Respondents last payment of his IBP dues was disbarred.
in 1991. Since then he has not paid or remitted any
amount to cover his membership fees up to the
present. He likewise admit that as appearing in the Complainant was the counsel of the late Angelina
pleadings submitted by complainant to this Court, he Sarmiento, applicant in LRC Case No. 05-M-96 which
indicated "IBP-Rizal 259060" in the pleadings he filed was pending in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
in court, at least for the years 1995, 1996, and 1997, Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 15.1 Sarmiento sought the
thus misrepresenting that such was his IBP chapter
registration and confirmation of her title over a
membership and receipt number for the years in
which those pleadings were filed. He claims, 376,397 sq. m. tract of land. This was granted by the
however, that he is only engaged in a "limited" court.2 The case went all the way to the Supreme
practice and that he believes in good faith that he is Court and ultimately, the RTC decision was upheld.
exempt from the payment of taxes, such as income The decision became final and executory and the
tax, under R.A. No. 7432, as a senior citizen since RTC, in an order dated February 21, 2002, directed
1992.
the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to issue the
decree of registration and certificate of title. 3 The LRA
ISSUES: Whether or not the respondent has misled failed to comply, prompting the complainant to file
the court about his standing in the IBP by using the an urgent motion to cite the LRA administrator or his
same IBP O.R. number in his pleadings of at least 6 representative in contempt of court. Hearings were
years and therefore liable for his actions. scheduled.

Whether or not the respondent is exempt from


paying his membership dues owing to limited On September 19, 2002, respondent, claiming to be
practice of law and for being a senior citizen. the counsel of the heirs of Sarmiento, filed his entry
of appearance and motion for postponement.4

HELD: Yes. By indicating "IBP-Rizal 259060" in his


pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public Complainant alleged that he was surprised by this,
and the courts that he had paid his IBP dues to the considering that he had not withdrawn from the case.
Rizal Chapter, respondent is guilty of violating the He contended that respondent should be sanctioned
Code of Professional Responsibility which provides: for misrepresenting to the court that he was the
Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, counsel of all the heirs of Sarmiento and omitting to
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. His act is
mention that complainant was the counsel of record.
also a violation of Rule 10.01 which provides that: A
lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the According to him, his attorney's fee was arranged on
doing of any in court; nor mislead or allow the court a contingent basis and therefore, the attempt of
to be misled by any artifice. respondent to enter his appearance at the final stage
of the proceedings was tantamount to "unfair
No. Rule 139-A requires that every member of the harvesting" of the fruit of complainant's labors since
Integrated Bar shall pay annual dues and default 1996.5
thereof for six months shall warrant suspension of
membership and if nonpayment covers a period of 1-
year, default shall be a ground for removal of the It appears that Sarmiento was succeeded by the
delinquents name from the Roll of Attorneys. It does following compulsory heirs: Gina Jarvia (Angelina's
not matter whether or not respondent is only daughter by her common-law husband Victor
engaged in limited practice of law. Moreover, While
Jarvia), Alfredo, Zenaida, Wilson, Jeanette and
it is true that R.A. No. 7432, grants senior citizens
"exemption from the payment of individual income Geneva, all surnamed Ku (Angelina's children by her
taxes: provided, that their annual taxable income husband prior to her relationship with Victor).
does not exceed the poverty level as determined by Complainant presented an affidavit executed by Gina
the National Economic and Development Authority Jarvia and Alfredo Ku wherein they stated that they
(NEDA) for that year," the exemption however does did not engage the services of respondent and that
not include payment of membership or association they recognized complainant as their only counsel of
dues.
record.
Respondent's failure to pay his IBP dues and his
misrepresentation in the pleadings he filed in court In his defense, respondent claimed that he was
indeed merit the most severe penalty. However, in merely representing Zenaida and Wilson Ku6 who
view of respondent's advanced age, his express
sought his help on September 19, 2002 and told him
willingness to pay his dues and plea for a more
temperate application of the law, we believe the that they wanted to retain his services. They
penalty of one year suspension from the practice of allegedly did not have a lawyer to represent them in
law or until he has paid his IBP dues, whichever is a hearing scheduled the next day. Because of the
later, is appropriate. Respondent Atty. Francisco R. scheduled hearing, he had to immediately file an
Llamas is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for entry of appearance with motion for postponement.
ONE (1) YEAR, or until he has paid his IBP dues, He asserted that it was an honest mistake not to
whichever is later.
have listed the names of his clients. He claimed it
90.
was not deliberate and did not prejudice anyone. He
insisted that he had no intention of misrepresenting
A.C. No. 6422 August 28, 2007 himself to the court.

WILFREDO T. GARCIA, Complainant, The complaint was referred to the Commission on


vs. Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
ATTY. BENIAMINO A. LOPEZ, Respondent. (IBP). The investigating commissioner, Wilfredo E.J.E.
Reyes, in his report and recommendation dated
In a complaint dated September 24, 2002, January 8, 2004, found respondent guilty of
complainant Atty. Wilfredo T. Garcia charged misrepresentation and violation of Rule 8.02 of the
respondent Atty. Beniamino A. Lopez with violation of Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) when he
his oath as a member of the bar and officer of the

16
failed to specify in his entry of appearance the without the formal withdrawal of complainant as
individuals he was representing. He recommended counsel of record, respondent would merely be
that respondent be strongly reprimanded for his act considered as collaborating counsel. Nevertheless,
with a reminder that a repetition of the same or by being less than candid about whom he was
similar offense would be dealt with more severely. representing, respondent undeniably encroached
This was adopted and approved by the IBP Board of upon the legal functions of complainant as the
Governors in its resolution passed on February 27, counsel of record.1avvphi1
2004.
We cannot casually brush aside what respondent did.
We affirm the factual findings of the IBP but modify Even assuming that it was not a calculated
the penalty recommended. deception, he was still remiss in his duty to his fellow
lawyer and the court. He should have been more
Lawyers are officers of the court who are empowered careful about his actuation since the court was
to appear, prosecute and defend the causes of their relying on him in its task of ascertaining the truth.
clients. The law imposes on them peculiar duties,
responsibilities and liabilities. Membership in the bar WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Beniamino A. Lopez
imposes on them certain obligations. 7 They are duty is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for
bound to uphold the dignity of the legal profession. one (1) month for violating Canons 8 and 10, Rules
They must act honorably, fairly and candidly towards 8.02 and 10.01 of the Code of Professional
each other and otherwise conduct themselves Responsibility. He is warned that the commission of
beyond reproach at all times.8 the same or similar act in the future will be dealt with
more severely.
Complainant was the counsel of Sarmiento, the
original applicant. Upon her death, the attorney- Let this resolution be furnished the Bar Confidant for
client relationship was terminated. However, appropriate annotation in the record of respondent.
complainant was retained as counsel by Gina Jarvia
and Alfredo Ku. In filing an entry of appearance with SO ORDERED.
motion of postponement in behalf of the "compulsory
heirs of the late Angelita Sarmiento" when in truth he
91.
was merely representing some of the heirs but not all
of them, respondent was guilty of misrepresentation
which could have deceived the court. He had no A.C. No. 4545 February 5, 2014
authorization to represent all the heirs. He clearly
violated his lawyer's oath that he will "do no CARLITO ANG, Complainant,
falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court." vs.
ATTY. JAMES JOSEPH GUPANA, Respondent.
Likewise, the CPR states:
FACTS:
CANON 10 A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS The case stemmed from an affidavit-complaint filed
AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT. by complainant Carlito Ang against respondent. Ang
alleged that he and the other heirs of the late
Candelaria Magpayo, namely Purificacion Diamante
Rule 10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, and William Magpayo, executed an Extra-judicial
nor consent to the doing of any in Court; nor shall he Declaration of Heirs and Partition involving a land
mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any which was covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
(T-22409)-6433. He was given his share of 2,003
artifice.
square meters designated as Lot No. 2066-B-2-B-4,
together with all the improvements thereon.
Moreover, Canon 8 of the CPR demands that lawyers However, when he tried to secure a TCT in his name,
conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and he found out that said TCT number had already been
cancelled and in lieu thereof, new TCTs had been
candor toward their fellow lawyers:
issued in the names of William Magpayo, Antonio
Diamante, Patricia Diamante, Lolita D. Canque,
CANON 8 A lawyer shall conduct himself with Gregorio Diamante, Jr. and Fe D. Montero.
courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional Ang alleged that there is reasonable ground to
colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against believe that respondent had a direct participation in
the commission of forgeries and falsifications
opposing counsel.
because he was the one who prepared and notarized
the Affidavit of Loss and Deed of Absolute Sale that
xxx xxx xxx led to the transfer and issuance of the new TCTs. Ang
pointed out that the Deed of Absolute Sale which was
allegedly executed by Candelaria Magpayo on April
Rule 8.02 A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, 17, 1989, was antedated and Candelaria Magpayos
encroach upon the professional employment of signature was forged as clearly shown by the
another lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer, Certification issued by the Office of the Clerk of Court
without fear or favor, to give proper advice and of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu since the
Notarial Report indubitably showed that the
assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful
document executed was an affidavit, not a Deed of
or neglectful counsel. Absolute Sale.

Respondent failed to observe the foregoing rules. He


made it appear that he was entering his appearance
as counsel for all the heirs of Sarmiento which was
highly unfair to complainant who had worked on the
case from the very beginning (i.e. since 1996) and
who had not been discharged as such. It is true that

17
As to the Affidavit of Loss, which was allegedly
executed by the late Candelaria Magpayo on April 29,
1994, it could not have been executed by her as she
Died three years prior to the execution of the said
affidavit of loss.
Ang further alleged that respondent made himself
the attorney-in-fact and executed a Deed of Sale
selling the lot to Lim Kim So Mecantile Co even
though a civil case was pending before the RTC of
Mandaue City, Cebu.
Respondent denied any wrongdoing. According to the
respondent, in the pending civil case Ang anchored
his claim on the Extra-judicial Declaration of Heirs
and Partition and sought to annul the deed of sale
and prayed for reconveyance of the subject parcel of
land. However, because of Angs admission that he is
not an heir of late Candelaria Magpayo, the notice of
lis pendens annotated in the title of land were
ordered cancelled and the land became available for
disposition. Respondent surmised that these
developments in Civil Case No. Man-2202 meant that
Ang would lose his case so Ang resorted to the filing
of the present administrative complaint. Thus,
respondent prayed for the dismissal of the case for
being devoid of any factual or legal basis, or in the
alternative, holding resolution of the instant case in
abeyance pending resolution of civil case.
Investigating Commissioner Navarro of the IBP
Commission on Bar Discipline found that respondent
is administratively liable. She recommended that
respondent be suspended from the practice of law for
three months. She held that respondent committed
an unethical act when he allowed himself to be an
instrument in the disposal of the subject property
through a deed of sale executed between him as
attorney-in-fact of his client and Lim Kim So
Mercantile Co. despite his knowledge that said
property is the subject of a pending litigation before
the RTC of Mandaue City, Cebu.
The Investigating Commissioner additionally found
that respondent "delegated the notarial functions to
the clerical staff of their office before being brought
to him for his signature." This, according to the
commissioner, "must have been the reason for the
forged signatures of the parties in the questioned
documentas well as the erroneous entry in his
notarial register. Respondent should not delegate to
any unqualified person the performance of any task
which by law may only be performed by a member of
the bar in accordance with Rule 9.0117 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.

ISSUE:
WON the respondent is administratively liable for
violating the notarial law and the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

RULING:
The Court finds respondent administratively liable for
violation of his notarial duties when he failed to
require the personal presence of Candelaria
Magpayo. it is clear that the party acknowledging
must appear before the notary public or any other
person authorized to take acknowledgments of
instruments or documents.23 In the case at bar, the
jurat of the TAXATION II CLASS (A.Y. 2014-2015)

18
Affidavit of Loss stated that Candelaria subscribed to court.4 On 11 November 2002, complainant filed a
the affidavit before respondent on April 29, 1994, at motion to expunge a pleading signed by Santos,
Mandaue City. Candelaria, however, was already claiming that Santos, a non-lawyer, is not allowed to
dead since March 26, 1991. Hence, it is clear that the
sign pleadings.5 In a Joint Resolution dated 7
jurat was made in violation of the notarial law.
As a lawyer commissioned as notary public, February 2003, respondent judge denied
respondent is mandated to subscribe to the sacred complainants motion and stated that Santos is
duties appertaining to his office, such duties being qualified to conduct his litigation personally. 6 Then on
dictated by public policy impressed with public 20 February 2003, complainant filed a motion to
interest. Faithful observance and utmost respect of reconsider the Joint Resolution and suggested that,
the legal solemnity of the oath in an since Santos is now representing himself and, at the
acknowledgment or jurat is sacrosanct. The Code of
same time, is being represented by counsel,
Professional Responsibility also commands him not to
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful respondent judge should appoint a member of the
conduct and to uphold at all times the integrity and Bar as lead counsel.7
dignity of the legal profession.
Respondent likewise violated Rule 9.01, Canon 9, of
On the other hand, complainant alleged that she and
the Code of Professional Responsibility which
provides that "[a] lawyer shall not delegate to any the other oppositors were not allowed to address the
unqualified person the performance of any task court directly and respondent judge even compelled
which by law may only be performed by a member of them, under the pain of contempt, to secure the
the Bar in good standing." services of a lawyer to represent them.
in notarizing an affidavit executed by a dead person,
respondent is liable for misconduct. Under the facts
2. Respondent judge always granted, with dispatch,
and circumstances of the case, the revocation of his
all the pleadings of Santos.
notarial commission, disqualification from being
commissioned as a notary public for a period of two
years and suspension from the practice of law for 3. Respondent judge had unduly delayed the
one year are in order. execution of the 28 April 2000 Court of Appeals
decision against Santos in Cadastral Case No. 384-AF.

92.
4. Respondent judge denied complainants letter-
request8 dated 16 March 2001 for respondent judge
A.M. No. RTJ-04-1823 August 28, 2006
to inhibit himself from the cases to avoid suspicion of
bias, prejudice, conflict of interest and partiality.
ARCELY Y. SANTOS, Complainant, Complainant alleged that respondent judge used his
vs. office to advance and protect the interests of Santos,
JUDGE UBALDINO A. LACUROM, Presiding respondent judges "close friend," to the prejudice of
Judge, Regional Trial Court, Cabanatuan City, complainant and in violation of Canon 2 9 of the Code
Branch 29 and Pairing Judge, Branch 30, of Judicial Conduct (Code).
Respondent.
Complainant pointed out that in an earlier
This is an administrative complaint filed by Arcely Y. case10 respondent judge inhibited himself because
Santos ("complainant") against Judge Ubaldino A. Santos is respondent judges "close friend."11
Lacurom ("respondent judge"), Presiding Judge,
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cabanatuan City, Branch
Complainant also added that respondent judge
29 and Pairing Judge, Branch 30. Complainant
refused to inhibit himself because he was protecting
charged respondent judge with gross misconduct,
his interest in Villa Benita Subdivision ("subdivision").
grave abuse of judicial authority, gross bias and
Complainant explained that all three cases involved
partiality, and gross violation of the Code of Judicial
properties in the subdivision12 and that respondent
Ethics.
judge is an incorporator,13 a director, an officer and a
legal adviser14 of Villa Benita Homeowners
The Facts Association ("VBHA"). VBHA allegedly filed several
cases before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
The complaint stemmed from respondent judges Board (HLURB) against Faberns Inc. and
alleged bias and partiality in favor of one Rogelio R. complainant. Complainant asserted that respondent
Santos, Sr. ("Santos"), who had three pending judge had personal knowledge of the facts of the
cases1 before respondent judges sala, as shown by HLURB cases. Complainant added that in refusing to
the following: inhibit himself, respondent judge violated Rule 3.12
(a)15 and Canon 516 of the Code.
1. Respondent judge allowed Santos, a non-lawyer, to
appear in court and litigate personally the three In its 1st Indorsement dated 15 May 2003, the Office
cases. Complainant pointed out that Santos was of the Court Administrator (OCA) required respondent
already represented by counsels2 who have not judge to comment on complainants allegations and
withdrawn their appearances. Complainant alleged to show cause why he should not be sanctioned as a
that respondent judge is guilty of gross misconduct member of the Bar for violation of Canon 9, Rule
and grave abuse of judicial discretion for having 9.0117 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
allowed a non-lawyer to engage in the practice law.
In an Answer dated 27 June 2003, respondent judge
In Special Proceedings Case No. 516-AF, respondent offered the following explanations:
judge, in an Order3 dated 28 February 2003, even
"appointed" Santos as lead counsel for the 1. Respondent judge, citing Section 34, Rule 138 18 of
petitioners. As early as 26 September 2002, the Rules of Court (Rules), admitted that he allowed
complainant had been questioning the appearance of Santos to litigate personally his cases before the
Santos as "counsel" during the proceedings in court.

19
On Special Proceedings Case No. 516-AF, respondent Respondent judge also stated that if complainant
judge explained that he merely "recognized" Santos filed the proper motion for inhibition, he would have
as lead counsel because his counsel was often granted the same.
absent from the proceedings.19 Respondent judge
added that complainants counsel did not object to The OCAs Report and Recommendation
the appointment of Santos as lead counsel, but
merely suggested that lead counsel should be a
In its Report dated 21 November 2003, the OCA
member of the Bar. Respondent judge also added
recommended that the complaint be re-docketed as
that, if complainant did not agree with respondent
an administrative matter and that respondent judge
judges decision on the matter, complainant should
be fined P5,000. The OCA found respondent judge
have filed a petition for certiorari.
administratively liable for recognizing Santos as lead
counsel despite the fact that Santos had two
Respondent judge also explained that complainant counsels of record. The OCA did not find respondent
was allowed to address the court directly, though not judge liable for the delay in the execution of the
at length because complainant was represented by decision of the Court of Appeals in Cadastral Case
counsel. No. 384-AF, as the delay was brought about by the
parties themselves. On respondent judge being an
2. Respondent judge denied that he always granted incorporator and adviser of VBHA and his refusal to
the pleadings of Santos. inhibit himself from the cases, the OCA opined that
the subject cases are not covered by the rule on
3. Respondent judge denied that the Court of mandatory disqualification of judges, hence,
Appeals decision in Cadastral Case No. 384-AF has respondent judges inhibition rested upon his own
remained unenforced because of his bias in favor of discretion.
Santos. Respondent judge stated that he had ordered
the implementation of the decision as early as 25 In a Resolution dated 21 January 2004, the Court
September 200020 and issued a writ of execution on resolved to docket the case as a regular
25 October 2002.21 administrative matter and required the parties to
manifest within ten days from notice if they were
4. Respondent judged stated that he denied willing to submit the case for resolution based on the
complainants request to inhibit himself because he pleadings on record. Respondent judge manifested
can fairly hear and decide the cases. affirmatively. Complainant filed a memorandum
dated 9 August 2004 reiterating her allegations. In
turn, respondent judge also submitted a
On respondent judges inhibition in Civil Case No.
memorandum on 21 August 2004.
3074-AF, respondent judge explained that he
inhibited himself from the case because Santos was
his "close friend," while respondents were not Complainant filed the present administrative
respondent judges friends. In these cases, complaint on 5 May 2003 when respondent judge
respondent judge pointed out that he was friends was still presiding judge of Branch 29 and pairing
with both Santos and the other parties 22 to the cases, judge of Branch 30. Respondent judge compulsorily
in effect, "neutralizing" respondent judges close retired on 16 May 2003. However, his retirement
friendship with Santos. does not render this administrative case moot.25

Respondent judge explained that Santos became a The Courts Ruling


"close friend" when Santos lent his portable bunker
to Dr. Ferdinand Lacurom ("Dr. Lacurom"), In administrative proceedings, the complainant has
respondent judges son, during the construction of the burden of proving by substantial evidence the
Dr. Lacuroms house in the subdivision. Respondent allegations in the complaint.26 In this case,
judge also admitted that the officers of Faberns Inc. complainant failed to prove that respondent judge
extended a favor to Dr. Lacurom when they granted with dispatch all the pleadings of Santos and
facilitated the cementing of the road in front of Dr. that respondent judge was responsible for the delay
Lacuroms house.23 However, respondent judge in the execution of the Court of Appeals decision in
denied that he received any favor from Santos. Cadastral Case No. 384-AF. Hence, the Court
dismisses this particular charge.
On the matter of VBHA, respondent judge denied
that he had any interest to protect in the subdivision, On a Partys Right to Self Representation
as respondent judge is not a landowner, or
homeowner, or lessee in the subdivision. Respondent The Rules recognize the right of an individual to
judge clarified that Dr. Lacurom is the one who owns represent himself in any case in which he is a party.
property in the subdivision and that respondent The Rules state that a party may conduct his
judge stayed there only on some occasions. litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and that
Respondent judge admitted that he is a "nominal" his appearance must be either personal or by a duly
incorporator and adviser of VBHA. 24 Atty. Napoleon authorized member of the Bar.27 The individual
Reyes, president of VBHA, requested respondent litigant may personally do everything in the progress
judge to agree to be an incorporator of VBHA "to lend of the action from commencement to the termination
a bit of prestige to the association." However, of the litigation.28 A partys representation on his own
respondent judge stated that his only participation in behalf is not considered to be a practice of law as
VBHA was to sign the registration documents of "one does not practice law by acting for himself, any
VBHA. Respondent judge clarified that he never more than he practices medicine by rendering first
attended any of the meetings of VBHA, nor has he aid to himself."29
any knowledge of any case filed by VBHA before the
HLURB.

20
Therefore, Santos can conduct the litigation of the stockholders. Judges, as occupants of exalted
cases personally. Santos is not engaged in the positions in the administration of justice, must pay a
practice of law if he represents himself in cases in high price for the honor bestowed on them. 39 Their
which he is a party. By conducting the litigation of his private, as well as their official conduct, must always
own cases, Santos acts not as a counsel or lawyer be free from the appearance of impropriety. 40
but as a party exercising his right to represent
himself. Certainly, Santos does not become a counsel On respondent judges close friendship with Santos,
or lawyer by exercising such right. such fact did not render respondent judge guilty of
violating any canon of judicial ethics as long as his
The Court, however, notes the use of the disjunctive friendly relations with Santos did not influence his
word "or" under the Rules, signifying disassociation official conduct as a judge in the cases where Santos
and independence of one thing from each of the was a party.41 Complainant failed to present any
other things enumerated,30 to mean that a party convincing proof that respondent judge gave any
must choose between self-representation or being undue privileges in his court to Santos, or that Santos
represented by a member of the bar. During the benefited from his personal relations with respondent
course of the proceedings, a party should not be judge, or that respondent judge used his influence, if
allowed to shift from one form of representation to any, to favor Santos.
another. Otherwise, this would lead to confusion, not
only for the other party, but for the court as well. If a However, it would have been more prudent if
party, originally represented by counsel, would later respondent judge avoided hearing the cases where
decide to represent himself, the prudent course of Santos was a party because their close friendship
action is to dispense with the services of counsel and could reasonably tend to raise suspicion that
prosecute or defend the case personally.31 respondent judges social relationship with Santos
would be an element in his determination of the
For the orderly administration of justice, respondent cases of Santos.42 This may erode the trust of the
judge should not have allowed Santos to litigate litigants in respondent judges impartiality and
personally because Santos was already represented eventually, undermine the peoples faith in the
by counsel. Respondent judge should have required administration of justice.43 Judges must not only
Santos to choose between self-representation or render a just, correct and impartial decision but
being represented by counsel. should do so in such a manner as to be free from any
suspicion as to his fairness, impartiality and
Moreover, respondent judge should not have integrity.44
recognized Santos as lead counsel. The "lead
counsel" is the lawyer on either side of a litigated On the Appropriate Penalty Against
action who is charged with the principal Respondent Judge
management and direction of the partys case, as
distinguished from his collaborating counsels or Respondent judges actuations constitute simple
subordinates.32 In recognizing Santos as "lead misconduct, a less serious charge punishable with (a)
counsel", respondent judge made it appear that suspension from office without salary and other
Santos was a counsel or lawyer when he is not. To benefits for a period of not less than one month but
repeat, when a party represents himself in his own not more than three months; or (b) fine of more
case, he does so not as a counsel or lawyer but as a than P10,000 but not exceeding P20,000.45 However,
party exercising his right of self-representation. considering that respondent judge had retired
compulsorily on 16 May 2003 after twenty-eight
On Respondent Judges Inhibition years of service in the government and that this is
respondent judges first offense, the P10,000
The Court agrees with the OCAs finding that withheld from his retirement benefits 46 should be
respondent judges inhibition from the cases was forfeited as sufficient penalty for his administrative
discretionary. The three cases do not fall under the offense.47
instances covered by the rule on the mandatory
disqualification of judges33 and the issue of voluntary WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondent Judge
inhibition is primarily a matter of conscience and Ubaldino A. Lacurom GUILTY of simple misconduct
sound discretion on the part of the judge.34 and ORDERS the FORFEITURE of the P10,000
withheld from his retirement benefits.
Besides, complainant did not follow the proper
procedure for the disqualification of judges. SO ORDERED.
In Constante v. Pimentel,35 the Court ruled that the
procedure for disqualification of judges in Section 2,
Rule 13736 must be substantially followed.

On Respondent Judges Violation of the Code of


Judicial Conduct

On respondent judges admission that Dr. Lacurom


received a favor from the officers of Faberns Inc.,
respondent judge violated Rule 5.04 37 of the Code. 93.
Faberns Inc. is the petitioner in Cadastral Case No.
384-AF, which was then pending before respondent FERDINAND A. CRUZ, 332 Edang St., Pasay City,
judges sala. Respondent judge should have advised Petitioner,
Dr. Lacurom not to accept any favor from Faberns
Inc. or from any of its officers 38 or principal

21
This Courts jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari,
prohibition, mandamus and injunction is not
- versus -
exclusive; it has concurrent jurisdiction with the RTCs
and the Court of Appeals. This concurrence of
JUDGE PRISCILLA MIJARES, Presiding Judge, Regional jurisdiction is not, however, to be taken as an
Trial Court, Branch 108, Pasay City, Metro Manila, absolute, unrestrained freedom to choose the court
where the application therefor will be directed. A
becoming regard of the judicial hierarchy most
Public Respondent.
certainly indicates that petitions for the issuance of
extraordinary writs against the RTCs should be filed
. with the Court of Appeals.

The hierarchy of courts is determinative of the


Petitioner Cruz sought permission to enter his
appropriate forum for petitions for the extraordinary
appearance for and on his behalf, before the RTC in a
writs; and only in exceptional cases and for
civil case for Abatement of Nuisance. Petitioner, a
compelling reasons, or if warranted by the nature of
fourth year law student, anchors his claim on Section
the issues reviewed, may this Court take cognizance
34 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court that a nonlawyer
of petitions filed directly before it. Considering,
may appear before any court and conduct his
however, that this case involves the interpretation of
litigation personally.
Section 34, Rule 138 and Rule 138A of the Rules of
Court, the Court takes cognizance of herein petition.
During the pretrial, Judge Priscilla Mijares required
the petitioner to secure a written permission from the
2) NO (But it erred in denying petitioners
Court Administrator before he could be allowed to
appearance).
appear as counsel for himself, a partylitigant. Atty.
Sec. 34 or Rule 138 recognizes the right of an
Stanley Cabrera, counsel for Benjamin Mina, Jr., filed
individual to represent himself in any case to which
a Motion to Dismiss instead of a pretrial brief to
he is a party.
which petitioner Cruz vehemently objected alleging
that a Motion to Dismiss is not allowed after the
The Rules state that a party may conduct his
Answer had been filed. Judge Mijares then remarked,
litigation personally or with the aid of an attorney,
Hay naku, masama yung marunong pa sa Huwes.
and that his appearance must either be personal or
Ok? and proceeded to hear the pending Motion to
by a duly authorized member of the Bar. The
Dismiss and calendared the next hearing.
individual litigant may personally do everything in
the course of proceedings from commencement to
Petitioner Cruz filed a Manifestation and Motion to
the termination of the litigation.
Inhibit, praying for the voluntary inhibition of Judge
Mijares. The Motion alleged that expected partiality
Considering that a party personally conducting his
on the part of the respondent judge in the conduct of
litigation is restricted to the same rules of evidence
the trial could be inferred from the contumacious
and procedure as those qualified to practice law,
remarks of Judge Mijares during the pretrial. It
petitioner, not being a lawyer himself, runs the risk of
asserts that the judge, in uttering an uncalled for
falling into the snares and hazards of his own
remark, reflects a negative frame of mind, which
ignorance. Therefore, Cruz as plaintiff, at his own
engenders the belief that justice will not be served.
instance, can personally conduct the litigation. He
would then be acting not as a counsel or lawyer, but
In an Order, Judge Mijares denied the motion for
as a party exercising his right to represent himself.
inhibition stating that throwing tenuous allegations of
partiality based on the said remark is not enough to
The trial court must have been misled by the fact
warrant her voluntary inhibition, considering that it
that the
was said even prior to the start of pretrial. Petitioner
petitioner is a law student and must, therefore, be
filed a MR of the said order.
subject to the conditions of the Law Student Practice
Rule. It erred in applying Rule 138A, when the basis
Judge Mijares denied the motion with finality. In the
of the petitioners claim is Section 34 of Rule 138.
same Order, the trial court held that for the failure of
The former rule provides for conditions when a law
petitioner Cruz to submit the promised document
student may appear in courts, while the latter rule
and jurisprudence, and for his failure to satisfy the
allows the appearance of a nonlawyer as a party
requirements or conditions under Rule 138A of the
representing himself.
Rules of Court, his appearance was denied.
No GAD on the part of Judge
In MR, petitioner reiterated that the basis of his
94.
appearance was not Rule 138A, but Section 34 of
Rule 138. He contended that the two Rules were
distinct and are applicable to different circumstances, A.C. No. 6705 March 31, 2006
but the respondent judge denied the same, still
invoking Rule 138A. Petitioner filed this case with SC.
RUTHIE LIM-SANTIAGO, Complainant,
ISSUES vs.
1) W/N the extraordinary writs of certiorari, ATTY. CARLOS B. SAGUCIO, Respondent.
prohibition and mandamus under Rule 65 of
the 1997 Rules of Court may issue
FACTS: Respondent Atty. Sagucio, was the former
2) W/N respondent court acted with grave Personnel Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or Industries, Inc., until his appointment as Assistant
excess of jurisdiction when it denied the Provincial Prosecutor of Tuguegarao, Cagayan in
appearance of the petitioner as party 1992. When employees of Taggat ("Taggat
litigant and when the judge refused to
employees") filed a criminal complaint entitled "Jesus
inhibit herself from trying the case
Tagorda, Jr. et al. v. Ruthie Lim-Santiago, Atty.
Sagucio was assigned to conduct the preliminary
HELD investigation. He resolved the criminal complaint by
recommending the filing of 651 Informations 10 for
1) YES (It should be filed with CA, but SC took violation of Article 288 11 in relation to Article 11612
cognizance because it involves of the Labor Code of the Philippines. Complainant
interpretation of procedural rules).
now charges respondent with the violation of
engaging in the private practice of law while working

22
as a government prosecutort respondent received on said motion and manifestation within ten (10)
retainers fee from Taggat employees. days from notice, in a Resolution dated September 7,
1994. 7
ISSUE: Whether or not Respondents act of receiving
fees from Taggat for legal services while serving as a In the Comment filed after three (3) extensions of
government prosecutor is an unlawful conduct, which time were given by the Court, 8 the Solicitor General
constitutes a violation of Rule 1.01. himself recommends that petitioner be entitled to a
new trial, proceeding from the same impression that
RULING: Yes.Under Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, "[a] a certain Rodolfo Cuenca's (petitioner's brother)
lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, sworn statement is an admission against interest
immoral or deceitful conduct." Unlawful conduct which may ultimately exonerate petitioner from
includes violation of the statutory prohibition on a criminal liability. The full text of Mr. Rodolfo Cuenca's
government employee to "engage in the private "Affidavit" 9 reads:
practice of [his] profession unless authorized by the
Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will RODOLFO M. CUENCA, Filipino, of
not conflict or tend to conflict with [his] official legal age, with the residence at
functions." Respondents admission that he received Urdaneta Village, Makati, Metro
from Taggat fees for legal services while serving as a Manila, after being duly sworn and
government prosecutor is an unlawful conduct, which (sic) state that:
constitutes a violation of Rule 1.01. .
1. During the years 1967 until
95. February 1983, I was the President
and Chief Executive Officer of
G.R. No. 109870 December 1, 1995 Construction Development
Corporation of the Philippines
(CDCP).
EDILBERTO M. CUENCA, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE 2. During that period, I controlled
PHILIPPINES, respondents. an effective majority of the voting
shares of stock of CDCP.

After his petition for review of the Court of Appeals'


judgment 1 affirming his conviction for violation of the 3. Sometime in 1974, upon my
"Trust Receipts Law" (Presidential Decree No. 115) initiative, CDCP together with its
was denied by this Court in a Resolution dated affiliated companies, organized a
February 9, 1994, 2 petitioner filed on July 6, 1994 a number of wholly-owned service
pleading entitled "SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL WITH corporations. One of these was
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR NEW Ultra International Trading
TRIAL" 3 setting forth, in relation to the motion for Corporation, whose purpose was to
new trial: serve and supply the needs of
CDCP and its other subsidiaries
with lower value goods and using
6. The Motion for New Trial shall be grounded on
Ultra's financial resources.
newly discovered evidence and excusible (sic)
negligence, and shall be supported by affidavits
of: 4. The directors in Ultra
Corporation were nominees of
CDCP, and received the
(i) an officer of private complainant
instructions directly from me and or
corporation who will exculpate petitioner;
Mr. Pedro Valdez, Chairman of
CDCP.
(ii) an admission against interest by a
former officer of the owner of Ultra
5. From Ultra's inception, my
Corporation (the Corporation that employed
brother, Mr. Edilberto M. Cuenca
petitioner), which actually exercised control
was appointed President and Chief
over the affairs of Ultra; and
Executive Officer. On March, 1979, I
instructed Ultra through my
(iii) the petitioner wherein he will assert brother, Mr. Edilberto Cuenca to
innocence for the first time and explain why purchase for CDCP various steel
he was unable to do so earlier. materials. These materials were
received by CDCP and are covered
The Court in its July 27, 1994 by the trust receipts which are the
Resolution, 4 among other things, granted subject of this case.
the substitution but denied the motion for
leave to file motion for new trial, "the 6. In 1980, CDCP suffered cashflow
petition having been already denied on problems, and consciously omitted
February 9, 1994." payment to Ultra for the delivery of
the said steel materials. As a
Notwithstanding, petitioner on August 8, 1994 filed a nominee of CDCP, Mr. Edilberto M.
"MOTION TO ADMIT ATTACHED MOTION FOR NEW Cuenca merely acted as agent for
TRIAL", 5 and a "MANIFESTATION AND SECOND CDCP. As such, CDCP provided him
MOTION TO ADMIT" on August 17, 1994. 6 The Court with the guarantees needed to
thereafter required the Solicitor General to comment persuade China Bank to issue the

23
said trust receipts. On the basis of The People is inclined to allow
such guarantees, along with petitioner to establish the
informal assurances issued by genuineness and due execution of
CDCP to China Bank that the his brother's affidavit in the interest
transactions of Ultra were of justice and fair play.
undertaken for and on behalf of
CDCP and CDCP Mining Under Rule 6.01 of Canon 6 of the
Corporation, Ultra was able to Code of Professional Responsibility,
obtain credit facilities, among prosecutors who represent the
which included the trust receipts People of the Philippines in a
subject of this case. criminal case are not duty bound to
seek conviction of the accused but
7. However, Mr. Edilberto M. to see that justice is done. Said
Cuenca had no power to cause the Rule 6.01 of Canon 6 states:
payment of said trust receipts
because the common Treasurer and Canon 6 These
controller of both CDCP and Ultra, canons shall
Ms. Nora Vinluan, acted under my apply to lawyers
control and I did not allow her to in government
make the appropriate payments. service in the
discharge of their
8. To my knowledge, CDCP has not official tasks.
paid Ultra the amounts
corresponding to the materials Rule 6.01 The
covered by the trust receipts primary duty of a
subject of this case. lawyer engaged
in public
9. By the time final demand to pay prosecution is
on the trust receipts were (sic) not to convict but
served in 1984, Mr. Edilberto to see that
Cuenca was no longer president of justice is done.
Ultra Corporation and could not The suppression
have possibly cause (sic) Ultra of facts or the
Corporation to pay. concealment of
witnesses
10. I have executed this affidavit in capable of
order to accept personal establishing the
responsibility for the trust receipts innocence of the
subject of this case and to accused is highly
exculpate Mr. Edilberto Cuenca of reprehensible
the criminal charges which he has and is cause for
asked this Honorable Court to disciplinary
review. action. (Emphasis
supplied.)

11. Accordingly, I also undertake to


pay the civil obligations arising The above duty is well founded on
from the subject trust receipts. the instruction of the U.S. Supreme
Court in Berger v. United States,
295 U.S. 78 (1935) that
(Sgd.)
prosecutors represent a sovereign
"whose obligation to govern
RODOLFO M. CUENCA impartially is compelling as its
obligation to govern at all;
Affiant and whose interest, therefore in a
criminal prosecution is not that it
shall win a case, but that justice
And the Solicitor General had this to say:
shall be done (Time to Rein in the
Prosecution, by Atty. Bruce Fein,
Ordinarily, it is too late at this published on p. 11, The Lawyers
stage to ask for a new trial. Review, July 31, 1994). (Emphasis
supplied.) 10
However, the sworn statement of
Rodolfo Cuenca is a declaration Although in "Goduco v. CA" (14 SCRA 282 [1965])
against his own interests under decided some twenty (20) years ago, this Court ruled
Section 38, Rule 130, Revised Rules that it is not authorized to entertain a motion for
of Court and it casts doubt on the reconsideration and/or new trial predicated on
culpability of his brother Edilberto allegedly newly discovered evidence the rationale of
Cuenca, the petitioner. Hence, the which being:
alleged confession of guilt should
be given a hard look by the Court.
The judgment of the Court of
Appeals is conclusive as to the

24
facts, and cannot be reviewed by DEVELOPMENT CORP., and ATTY. ESTELITO P.
the Supreme Court. Accordingly, in MENDOZA, Respondents.
an appeal by certiorari to the
Supreme Court, the latter has no FACTS
jurisdiction to entertain a motion
for new trial on the ground of
In 1976 the General Bank and Trust Company
newly discovered evidence, for
(GENBANK) encountered financial difficulties.
only questions of fact are involved
GENBANK had extended considerable financial
therein.
support to Filcapital Development Corporation
causing it to incur daily overdrawings on its current
the rule now appears to have been relaxed, account with Central Bank. Despite the mega loans
if not abandoned, in subsequent cases like GENBANK failed to recover from its financial woes.
"Helmuth, Jr. v. People" 11 and "People v.
Amparado". 12
The Central Bank issued a resolution declaring
GENBANK insolvent and unable to resume business
In both cases, the Court, opting to brush aside with safety to its depositors, creditors and the
technicalities and despite the opposition of the general public, and ordering its liquidation. A public
Solicitor General, granted new trial to the convicted bidding of GENBANKs assets was held where Lucio
accused concerned on the basis of proposed Tan group submitted the winning bid. Solicitor
testimonies or affidavits of persons which the Court General Estelito Mendoza filed a petition with the CFI
considered as newly discovered and probably praying for the assistance and supervision of the
sufficient evidence to reverse the judgment of court in GENBANKs liquidation as mandated by RA
conviction. Being similarly circumstanced, there is no 265.
nagging reason why herein petitioner should be
denied the same benefit. It becomes all the more
After EDSA Revolution I Pres Aquino established the
plausible under the circumstances considering that
PCGG to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of
the "People" does not raise any objection to a new
former Pres Marcos, his family and cronies. Pursuant
trial, for which reason the Solicitor General ought to
to this mandate, the PCGG filed with the
be specially commended for displaying once again
Sandiganbayan a complaint for reversion,
such statesmanlike gesture of impartiality. The
reconveyance, restitution against respondents Lucio
Solicitor General's finest hour, indeed.
Tan, at.al.

WHEREFORE, petitioner's Motion For New Trial is


PCGG issued several writs of sequestration on
hereby GRANTED. Let the case be RE-OPENED and
properties allegedly acquired by them by
REMANDED to the court of origin for reception of
taking advantage of their close relationship and
petitioner's evidence.
influence with former Pres. Marcos. The
abovementioned respondents Tan, et. al are
SO ORDERED. represented as their counsel, former Solicitor General
Mendoza.

PCGG filed motions to disqualify respondent Mendoza


96. as counsel for respondents Tan et. al. with
Sandiganbayan. It was alleged that Mendoza as then
G.R. Nos. 151809-12. April 12, 2005 Sol Gen and counsel to Central Bank actively
intervened in the liquidation of GENBANK which was
subsequently acquired by respondents Tan et. al.,
PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD
which subsequently became Allied Banking
GOVERNMENT (PCGG), Petitioners,
Corporation. The motions to disqualify invoked Rule
vs.
6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which
SANDIGANBAYAN (Fifth Division), LUCIO C. TAN,
prohibits former government lawyers from accepting
CARMEN KHAO TAN, FLORENCIO T. SANTOS,
engagement or employment in connection with
NATIVIDAD P. SANTOS, DOMINGO CHUA, TAN
any matter in which he had intervened while in the
HUI NEE, MARIANO TAN ENG LIAN, ESTATE OF
said service.
BENITO TAN KEE HIONG (represented by
TARCIANA C. TAN), FLORENCIO N. SANTOS, JR.,
HARRY C. TAN, TAN ENG CHAN, CHUNG POE The Sandiganbayan issued a resolution denyting
KEE, MARIANO KHOO, MANUEL KHOO, MIGUEL PCGGs motion to disqualify respondent Mendoza. It
KHOO, JAIME KHOO, ELIZABETH KHOO, CELSO failed to prove the existence of an inconsistency
RANOLA, WILLIAM T. WONG, ERNESTO B. LIM, between respondent Mendozas former function as
BENJAMIN T. ALBACITA, WILLY CO, ALLIED SolGen and his present employment as counsel of
BANKING CORP., ALLIED LEASING AND FINANCE the Lucio Tan group. PCGGs recourse to this court
CORPORATION, ASIA BREWERY, INC., BASIC assailing the Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan.
HOLDINGS CORP., FOREMOST FARMS, INC.,
FORTUNE TOBACCO CORP., GRANDSPAN ISSUE
DEVELOPMENT CORP., HIMMEL INDUSTRIES,
IRIS HOLDINGS AND DEVELOPMENT CORP., Whether Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
JEWEL HOLDINGS, INC., MANUFACTURING Responsibility applies to respondent Mendoza. The
SERVICES AND TRADE CORP., MARANAW prohibition states: A lawyer shall not, after leaving
HOTELS AND RESORT CORP., NORTHERN government service, accept engagement or
TOBACCO REDRYING PLANT, PROGRESSIVE employment in connection with any matter in which
FARMS, INC., SHAREHOLDINGS, INC., SIPALAY he had intervened while in the said service.
TRADING CORP., VIRGO HOLDINGS &

25
HELD of Professional Ethics: A lawyer, having once held
public office or having been in the public employ,
The case at bar does not involve the adverse should not after his retirement accept employment in
interest aspect of Rule 6.03. Respondent Mendoza, connection with any matter which he has
it is conceded, has no adverse interest problem when investigated or passed upon while in such office or
he acted as SOlGen and later as counsel of employ.
respondents et.al. before the Sandiganbayan.
Indeed, the restriction against a public official from
However there is still the issue of whether there using his public position as a vehicle to promote or
exists a congruent-interest conflict sufficient to advance his private interests extends beyond his
disqualify respondent Mendoza from representing tenure on certain matters in which he intervened as
respondents et. al. a public official. Rule 6.03 makes this restriction
specifically applicable to lawyers who once held
public office. A plain reading shows that the
The key is unlocking the meaning of matter and
interdiction 1. applies to a lawyer who once served in
the metes and bounds of intervention that he made
the government and 2. relates to his accepting
on the matter. Beyond doubt that the matter or
engagement or employment in connection with
the act of respondent Mendoza as SolGen involved in
any matter in which he had intervened while in the
the case at bar is advising the Central Bank, on how
service.
to proceed with the said banks liquidation and even
filing the petition for its liquidation in CFI of Manila.
The Court held that the advice given by respondent 97.
Mendoza on the procedure to liquidate GENBANK is
not the matter contemplated by Rule 6.03 of G.R. No. 129416 November 25, 2004
the Code of Professional Responsibility. ABA Formal
Opinion No. 342 is clear in stressing that drafting, ZENAIDA B. TIGNO, IMELDA B. TIGNO and ARMI
enforcing or interpreting government B. TIGNO, petitioners,
or agency procedures, regulations and laws, or vs.
briefing abstract principles of law are acts which do SPOUSES ESTAFINO AQUINO and FLORENTINA
not fall within the scope of the term matter and AQUINO and the HONORABLE COURT OF
cannot disqualify. Respondent Mendoza had nothing APPEALS, respondents.
to do with the decision of the Central Bank to
liquidate GENBANK. He also did not participate in the
FACTS:
sale of GENBANK to Allied Bank. The legality of the
liquidation of GENBANK is not an issue in the
sequestration cases. Indeed, the jurisdiction of the The controversy in the present petition hinges on the
PCGG does not include the dissolution and liquidation admissibility of a single document, a deed of sale
of banks. involving interest over real property, notarized by a
person of questionable capacity.
Thus, the Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility cannot apply to respondent Mendoza The facts alleged are as follows: Spouses Aquino
because his alleged intervention while SolGen is an wanted the enforcement of a deed of sale executed
intervention on a matter different from the matter by Mr. Bustria for a fishpond located in Pangasinan.
involved in the Civil case of sequestration. Following this, a compromise agreement approved by
the CFI of Pangasinan was made. However, on 1986
Mr. Bustria died and was then represented by his
In the metes and bounds of the intervention. The
daughter Zenaida Tigno. Zenaida wanted that the
applicable meaning as the term is used in
right of repurchase be exercised by her through
the Code of Professional Ethics is that it is an act of a
consignation but the same was denied by the RTC.
person who has the power to influence the subject
proceedings. The evil sought to be remedied by
the Code do not exist where the government lawyer Meanwhile Spouese Aquino alleged that the right to
does not act which can be considered as innocuous repurchase was already sold to them by Mr. Bustria in
such as drafting, enforcing, or interpreting 1985. They presented two witnesses Mr. De Francia ,
government or agency procedures, regulations or who was the witness in the execution of the deed of
laws or briefing abstract principles of law. The court sale, and former Judge Carino who notarized the
rules that the intervention of Mendoza is not same. Zenaida Tigno objected to the admission of
significant and substantial. He merely petitions that the deed of sale saying that it was not acknowledged
the court gives assistance in the liquidation of by Bustria, her father, and that it was previously
GENBANK. The role of court is not strictly as a court unknown and was not even presented during the
of justice but as an agent to assist the Central Bank Spouses Aquinos opposition to her consignation.
in determining the claims of creditors. In such a RTC ruled for Zenaida saying that Bustria did not
proceeding the role of the SolGen is not that of the acknowledge it nor was it done through the
usual court litigator protecting the interest of assistance of a counsel. RTC also said that there
government. were inconsistencies in the statements of the
witnesses presented by Spouses Aquino.

Petition assailing the Resolution of the The CA issued a different ruling with the RTC. The CA
Sandiganbayan is denied. stated that there were no substantial inconsistencies
with the statements of the witnesses De Francia and
Judge Carino. Also, that the absence of
acknowledgment and substitution instead of a jurat
Relevant Dissenting Opinion of Justice Callejo:
did not make the instrument doubtful. Even the
Rule 6.03 is a restatement of Canon 36 of the Canons
absence of counsels representation did not render

26
the same as void. It was noted that a notarized Deed of Sale as a private document and in applying
document carried in its favor the presumption of the presumption of regularity that attaches only to
regularity with respect to its due execution, and that duly notarized documents, as distinguished from
there must be clear, convincing and more than private documents.
merely preponderant evidence to contradict the
same. However, if we were to instead believe De Francia,
then the integrity of the notary public, Judge Cario,
ISSUE: Whether or not former Judge Carino has the would be obviously compromised. Assuming that
capacity to notarize the alleged document in this Judge Cario had indeed authored the Deed of Sale,
present case it would indeed be odd that he would not remember
having written the document himself yet sufficiently
HELD: recall notarizing the same. If his testimony as to
authorship of the document is deemed as dubious,
then there is all the reason to make a similar
The notarial certification of the Deed of Sale reads as
assumption as to his testimony on the notarization of
follows:
the Deed of Sale.

These inconsistencies are not of consequence


because there is need to indubitably establish the
ACKNOWLEDGMENT author of the Deed of Sale. They are important
because they cast doubt on the credibility of those
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES) witnesses of the Aquinos, presented as they were to
PROVINCE OF PANGASINAN ) S.S. attest to the due execution and authenticity of the
MUNICIPALITY OF ALAMINOS ) Deed of Sale. The Court of Appeals was clearly in
error in peremptorily disregarding this observation of
the RTC.
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this
17th day of October 1985 at Alaminos,
Pangasinan both parties known to me to be Since the validity of the Deed of Sale has been
the same parties who executed the successfully assailed, Tigno's right to repurchase was
foregoing instrument. not extinguished at the time of the filing of the
Petition for revival of judgment, as correctly
concluded by the RTC. The Court of Appeals being in
FRANKLIN CARIO error when it concluded otherwise, the reinstatement
Ex-Officio Notary Public of the RTC Decision is warranted.
Judge, M.T.C.
Alaminos, Pangasinan
Most crucially for this case, we should deem the
Deed of Sale as not having been notarized at all. The
There are palpable errors in this certification. Most validity of a notarial certification necessarily derives
glaringly, the document is certified by way of a jurat from the authority of the notarial officer. If the notary
instead of an acknowledgment. A jurat is a distinct public does not have the capacity to notarize a
creature from an acknowledgment. An document, but does so anyway, then the document
acknowledgment is the act of one who has executed should be treated as unnotarized. The rule may
a deed in going before some competent officer or strike as rather harsh, and perhaps may prove to be
court and declaring it to be his act or deed; while a prejudicial to parties in good faith relying on the
jurat is that part of an affidavit where the officer proferred authority of the notary public or the person
certifies that the same was sworn before him. pretending to be one. Still, to admit otherwise would
render merely officious the elaborate process
[A notary ex officio] should not compete devised by this Court in order that a lawyer may
with private law practitioners or regular receive a notarial commission. Without such a rule,
notaries in transacting legal conveyancing the notarization of a document by a duly appointed
business. notary public will have the same legal effect as one
accomplished by a non-lawyer engaged in pretense.

In the instant case, it was not proper that a city judge


should notarize documents involving private The notarization of a document carries considerable
transactions and sign the document in this wise: legal effect. Notarization of a private document
"GUMERSINDO ARCILLA, Notary Public Ex-Officio, City converts such document into a public one, and
Judge" In doing so, he obliterated the distinction renders it admissible in court without further proof of
between a regular notary and a notary ex officio. its authenticity.40Thus, notarization is not an empty
routine; to the contrary, it engages public interest in
a substantial degree and the protection of that
This Decision should again serve as an affirmation of
interest requires preventing those who are not
the rule prohibiting municipal judges from notarizing
qualified or authorized to act as notaries public from
documents not connected with the exercise of their
imposing upon the public and the courts and
official duties, subject to the exceptions laid down in
administrative offices generally.41
Circular No. 1-90.

98.
The Deed of Sale was offered in evidence as
authentic by the Aquinos, who likewise insist that its
enforceability militates against Tigno's claim. A.C. No. 4545 February 5, 2014
Correspondingly, the burden falls upon the Aquinos
to prove its authenticity and due execution. The
Court of Appeals clearly erred in not appreciating the

27
CARLITO ANG, Complainant, acts of his personnel including his wife,
vs. who acts as his secretary.
ATTY. JAMES JOSEPH GUPANA, Respondent.
3. No. Sec. 2, (b), Rule IV of the 2004 Rules
99. on Notarial Practice provides A person
shall not perform a notarial act if the
A.C. No. 7036 June 29, 2009 person involved as signatory to the
instrument or document (1) is not in the
notarys presence personally at the time of
JUDGE LILY LYDIA A.
the notarization; and (2) is not personally
LAQUINDANUM, Complainant,
known to the notary public through
vs.
competent evidence of identity as defined
ATTY. NESTOR Q. QUINTANA, Respondent.
by these Rules.

Facts:

100.

Judge Laquindanum sent a letter to the Supreme


A.C. No. 10695 March 18, 2015
Court requesting that proper disciplinary action be
imposed to Atty. Nestor Quintana for the following
acts: CRESCENCIANO M. PITOGO, Complainant,
vs.
ATTY. JOSELITO TROY SUELLO, Respondent.
1. Notarizing documents outside of the area of
his commission as notary public;
Legal and Judicial Ethics; Notarization;
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless,
2. Allowing his wife to notarize documents in
routinary act. It is invested with such
his absence;
substantial public interest that only those who
are qualified or authorized may act as notaries
3. Notarizing a document where one of the public. Notarization converts a private
signatories therein was already dead at that document into a public document, making that
time. document admissible in evidence without
further proof of its authenticity. For this
Issues: reason, notaries must observe with utmost
care the basic requirements in the
performance of their duties. Otherwise, the
1. Whether or not a lawyer of good standing
confidence of the public in the integrity of this
has the right to practice his profession
form of conveyance would be undermined.
including notarial acts in the entire
Philippines, as so claimed by the respondent
LEONEN, J.:

2. Whether or not Atty. Quintana can transfer FACTS: Atty. Joselito Troy Suello (Suello) notarized
the blame to his wife for the latters the documents for the registration of the motorcycle
unauthorized practice of notarial acts of Crescenciano M. Pitogo (Pitogo) which the latter
purchased from Emcor, Inc. Pitogo obtained a copy of
3. Whether or not a notary public can notarize the documents from the Land Transportation Office
documents where one of the signatories and proceeded to Suellos office to have the
therein was already dead at that time documents certified since these were important in
his pending civil case against Emcor, Inc. However,
Suello ignored Pitogos request and instead ordered
Held:
his secretary to give Pitogo a copy of his notarial
register.
1. No. While it is true that lawyers in good
standing are allowed to engage in the Upon noticing that there were discrepancies
practice of law in the Philippines, however, between the notarized documents and the entries in
not every lawyer even in good standing the notarial register, Pitogo filed an Affidavit-
can perform notarial functions without Complaint against Suello. In the Affidavit-Complaint,
having been commissioned as notary Suello claimed that he certified the documents as
public. He must have submitted himself to true copies. Later, in his Position Paper, he passed
the commissioning court by filing his the blame to his secretary, claiming that it was his
petition for issuance of his Notarial secretary who certified Pitogos documents.
Practice.
ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT SUELLO IS LIABLE FOR
2. No. A notary public takes full responsibility NEGLIGENCE IN KEEPING AND MAINTAINING HIS
for all the entries in his notarial register. NOTARIAL REGISTER
Respondent cannot take refuge claiming
that it was his wifes act and that he did HELD: AFFIRMATIVE. Notarization is not an empty,
not authorize his wife to notarize meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with such
documents. He is personally accountable substantial public interest that only those who are
for the activities in his office as well as the qualified or authorized may act as notaries public.
Notarization converts a private document into a

28
public document, making that document admissible 2. The signatures appearing in the falsified
in evidence without further proof of its authenticity. bail bonds were forgeries, being obviously
For this reason, notaries must observe with utmost different. from the genuine signature of
ORASCO's authorized signing officer,
care the basic requirements in the performance of
Conrado B. Sicat; and
their duties. Otherwise, the confidence of the public
in the integrity of this form of conveyance would be
undermined. Failure to properly record entries in the 3. That immediately noticeable is a notice
stamped in the spurious bail bond stating
notarial register is a ground for revocation of notarial
"SEND ALL NOTICES AT RM 303 PNB BLDG.
commission. NAGA CITY" despite the fact that ORASCO
does not have any extension office or
When Atty. Suelo negligently failed to enter agency in Naga City much less at the
the details of the documents on his notarial register, aforestated address.2
he cast doubt on the authenticity of the said
documents and on the credibility of the notarial
register and the notarial process. He violated the law Complainant alleged that respondent was the Notary
which requires lawyers to promote respect for law Public of the spurious bonds and that the address
and legal processes. Suello also appeared to have mentioned in the Notice was the law office of
respondent. The latter also signed for and
committed a falsehood in the pleadings he
misrepresented himself to be the counsel of the
submitted. Initially, Suello claimed that he certified bondsman ORASCO in several pleadings when in fact
the documents as true copies. Later, he passed the he was not appointed as ORASCO's counsel nor did
blame to his secretary. This violates the Code of anyone in ORASCO even know him. Sheriff Rolando
Professional Responsibility, which prohibits lawyers Borja, a sheriff of Naga City also executed a sworn
from engaging in dishonest and unlawful conduct. affidavit to the effect that respondent represented
himself to be the manager and counsel of ORASCO
and further stated that he will just settle the amount
The secretary cannot be held responsible for subject of a writ of execution by that court. All
the erroneous entries in the notarial register. The circumstances of forgery or falsification pointed to
notarial commission is a license held personally by respondent as the culprit. Complainant also alleged
the notary public. It cannot be further delegated. It that there was a strong indication that he solicited
is the notary public alone who is personally and illegally received payments of the premiums of
responsible for the correctness of the entries in his or these spurious bail bonds as he has admitted to have
been the unauthorized representative or agent of
her notarial register. Suellos apparent regret may
ORASCO. Thus, she prayed that respondent be
alleviate the injury done privately, but it does not disbarred due to grave misconduct, gross dishonesty,
change the nature of the violation. and conduct unbecoming of a lawyer. 3chanrobleslaw

In his Comment4 dated September 27, 2005,


respondent alleged that he maintained in his office
an insurance business including the issuance of bail
100. bonds, and that he delegated its operation and
management to one Jeanette Cruz (Cruz) with whom
he shared his office. However, he claimed that Cruz
A.C. No. 6767, October 05, 2016
also conducted her own insurance business, separate
and apart from that of his insurance business. Cruz
ELIZABETH RECIO, Complainant, vs. also maintained offices at Legazpi City and Daet,
ATTY. JOSELITO I. FANDIO, Respondent. Camarines Norte.5chanrobleslaw

DECISION Respondent then alleged that in one occasion, he


was asked by one Willy Vargas (Vargas) to refer to
the latter clients in Naga City. In gratitude to Vargas
JARDELEZA, J.: who had referred him to insurance agencies, he
introduced Vargas to Cruz so Cruz could give
Elizabeth Recio, the bonds manager of Oriental business to Vargas. Respondent maintained that he
Assurance Corporation (ORASCO), seeks the had no actual participation in transactions Vargas
disbarment of Atty. Joselito I. Fandio due to grave made with Cruz involving the issuance of ORASCO
misconduct, gross dishonesty, and conduct bonds.6chanrobleslaw
unbecoming of a lawyer.
Respondent also alleged that he was not the one who
notarized the bonds and that he had no knowledge
The Facts
when the bonds were made, accomplished and
issued. His signature appearing in the bonds was
On June 28, 2005, the Court received an undated
believed to be actually affixed by Cruz. He also
Complaint Affidavit1 of Elizabeth Recio (complainant)
argued that the stamping of the words in the bond to
against Atty. Joselito I. Fandio (respondent). She
the effect that all notices shall be sent at "RM 303
alleged that sometime in early 2003, ORASCO
BLDG., NAGA CITY" was merely made for
started to receive several orders from the Court
convenience in an arrangement made by Cruz with
stating that ORASCO bail bonds have been issued
Vargas.7chanrobleslaw
and have been in fact confiscated by the various
branches of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga,
However, respondent admitted that he appeared as
Legazpi and other RTCs and Municipal Trial Courts
counsel in connection with the bonds but merely
(MTCs) of the 5th Judicial Region. ORASCO then wrote
because Vargas solicited his services. Further, the
to the clerks of court of the various branches of the
allegations in the pleadings filed before the court
RTCs and MTCs of Naga and Legazpi to request for
were prepared by Cruz. He previously made different
copies of the bail bonds. Upon verification of the bail
kinds of motions that were usually filed in court
bonds received by ORASCO, the latter discovered
regarding bond liability and problems, and these
that the bail bonds were fake, simulated or spurious
were in tum used as patterns. Respondent alleged
for the following reasons:
that he only signed them upon their preparation and
argued what was stated in the pleadings when he
1. The bail bond form used was not the appeared in court.8chanrobleslaw
genuine bail bond form being issued by
ORASCO;

29
As to the sheriffs affidavit, respondent denied that he in court without being actually authorized by
misrepresented to the sheriff that he was the ORASCO.18 The Report and Recommendation was
manager of ORASCO. Moreover, the fact that the adopted and approved by the IBP Board of Governors
sheriff has himself stated that ORASCO does not hold through Resolution No. XIX-2011-18219 dated May 14,
office at "RM 303 PNB BLDG., NAGA CITY" even 2011.
supported respondent's contention that he never had
any participation in the issuance of the subject The respondent filed a Motion for
bonds.9chanrobleslaw Reconsideration20 dated August 10, 2011 but this was
denied by the IBP Board of Governors in Resolution
The Court referred the case to the Integrated Bar of No. XXI-2014-9021 dated March 21, 2014.
the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and
recommendation.10chanrobleslaw
Ruling

Findings of the IBP


We affirm the findings of the IBP with modification on
Commissioner Pedro A. Magpayo, Jr. (Commissioner) the imposed penalty.
ruled in his Report and Recommendation11dated
March 18, 2009 that it was difficult to state with a Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court provides
high degree of certainty that the signatures of the grounds for discipline, to wit:
respondent on the bonds were genuine or not
because the alleged fake bail bonds which were Sec. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by
submitted as evidence were mere photocopies. Thus, Supreme Court on what grounds.- A member of the
they cannot be used as basis for comparison with an bar may be removed or suspended from his office as
acknowledged standard signature of respondent attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit,
without running the risk of committing serious malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office,
error.12chanrobleslaw grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for
However, the Commissioner noted that respondent any violation of the oath which he is required to take
was quick in acknowledging that the bonds were before the admission to practice, or for a willful
issued by Vargas through Cruz. The latter was the disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court,
person to whom the actual operation and or for corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney
management of respondent's insurance business for a party to a case without authority so to do. The
were delegated and entrusted. She held office at the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
law office of respondent during the period material to gain, either personally or through paid agents or
the issuance of the bail bonds. As such co-occupant, brokers, constitutes malpractice.
she had free access to his notarial records and
paraphernalia incident to In Santuyo v. Hidalgo,22 Spouses Santuyo accused
notarization.13chanrobleslaw Atty. Hidalgo of serious misconduct and dishonesty
for breach of his lawyer's oath and the notarial law.
The Commissioner ruled that the freedom and facility Denying the authenticity of his signature in a deed of
enjoyed by Cruz opened the door to the commission sale, Atty. Hidalgo claimed that at the time the deed
of forgery by Cruz and Vargas. Without such liberty of sale was supposedly notarized, he was on
gained by Cruz through her association with vacation. He surmised that complainants must have
respondent, the forging of the latter's signature could gone to the law office and enticed one of the
not have been possible. Also, had he observed secretaries, with the concurrence of the senior
prudence and circumspection in his personal dealings lawyers, to notarize the document. He claimed that
with the two, Cruz and Vargas, they could not have he was a victim of a criminal scheme motivated by
easily succeeded in issuing bail bonds, which greed.
ORASCO steadfastly claims to be spurious and the
premiums of which were not even remitted to the We found Atty. Hidalgo guilty of negligence in the
company.14chanrobleslaw performance of his duties as notary public and
suspended him from his commission as a notary
The Commissioner also ruled that the counterfeit public for a period of two (2) years. We cited the
ORASCO bonds were made possible on fake bail bond report of the IBP as basis for a finding of negligence,
forms which were furnished by Vargas and to wit:
complemented by the bogus notarization supplied by
Cruz. Had Cruz not been equipped with the needed Considering that the responsibility attached to
familiarity and given access to respondent's notarial a notary public is sensitive respondent should
tools, no fake ORASCO bail bond could have been have been more discreet and cautious in the
circulated. The negligence and oversight of execution of his duties as such and should not
respondent produced a grave wrong to have wholly entrusted everything to the
ORASCO.15chanrobleslaw secretaries; otherwise he should not have been
commissioned as notary public.
The respondent also admitted that: (1) he signed
pleadings and/or motions which were manually For having wholly entrusted the preparation and
prepared by Cruz and which were regularly presented other mechanics of the document for notarization to
in court regarding bond liability and problems; and the secretary there can be a possibility that even the
(2) the averments or allegations were composed by respondent's signature which is the only one left for
respondent, the draft of which served as pattern for him to do can be done by the secretary or anybody
Cruz in the physical preparation of the pleadings for that matter as had been the case herein.
submitted in court.16 The Commissioner ruled that
affixing one's signature in the manner mentioned by As it is respondent had been negligent not only in the
the respondent to a motion or pleading filed in court, supposed notarization but foremost in having allowed
where ORASCO is the bondsman on record, is the office secretaries to make the necessary entries
equivalent to, and not different from, actually in his notarial registry which was supposed to be
representing ORASCO in that case. Such act is done and kept by him alone; and should not have
indicative of the lack of prudence on the part of relied on somebody else.23 (Emphasis supplied.)
respondent.17chanrobleslaw
Here, respondent violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial
Thus, the Commissioner recommended that Practice24 particularly Section 2(a) and (c), Rule VII, to
respondent be suspended from the practice of law for wit:
a period of six (6) months for negligence for not
securing his notarial paraphernalia and for appearing Sec. 2. Official Seal.-

30
(a) Every person commissioned as notary public shall documents.
have a seal of office, to be procured at his own
expense, which shall not be possessed or owned by We, however, modify the IBP recommended penalty
any other person. x x x on respondent, of suspension from the practice of
law for six months. This is the penalty for respondent
xxx not securing his notarial paraphernalia:and for
appearing in court without authority by ORASCO.
(c) When not in use, the official seal shall be kept
safe and secure and shall be accessible only to the Under existing jurisprudence, gross misconduct for
notary public or the person duly authorized by him. violation of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice is also
meted the penalty of disqualification, revocation of
Complainant successfully showed in her Position notarial commission and disqualification from
Paper25cralawred that Cruz is the secretary of appointment as notary public. In Gonzales v.
respondent. This was evidenced by the Affidavit of Ramos,32 Atty. Ramos violated the Code of
Service26 signed by Cruz of a Motion to Withdraw as Professional Responsibility and the 2004 Ruleon
Bondsman27 dated June 23, 1999 filed before RTC Notarial Practice by notarizing a Deed of Absolute
Branch 22 Naga City. Even so, respondent should not Sale despite the non-appearance of one of the
have entrusted everything to his secretary and signatories. Thus, aside from his suspension from the
allowed the latter to have full access to his notarial practice of law tor one (1) year and revocation of his
paraphernalia considering the sensitivity of his notarial commission, Atty. Ramos was disqualified
responsibility as a notary public. His negligence in from reappointment as notary public for two (2)
giving Cruz absolute freedom and access to his office years.33 Here, considering that respondent also
paved the way for Vargas and Cruz to secure the violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice, the
notarization of the spurious ORASCO bonds. Such act penalty to be imposed on him should include not only
of respondent also constitutes malpractice of law his suspension from the practice of law for six
which is a ground for suspension or disbannent under months, but also the revocation of his commission
Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. and disqualification from appointment as notary
public.
Respondent again manifested his negligence when
he purported to represent ORASCO, by signing the WHEREEORE, the recommendation of the Integrated
pleadings and appearing in court on its behalf, Bar of the Philippines
without verifying the authority of Vargas to ask him is ADOPTED with MODIFICATION. Respondent Atty.
to act on behalf of ORASCO. As a lawyer, respondent Joselito I. Fandio is GUILTY of negligence in
is expected to have exercised due diligence in performing his duties as a notary public and of
ensuring that ORASCO indeed sought his breach of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice.
representation. In Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Accordingly, he is SUSPENDED from the practice of
28
Inc. v. Linsangan, we held: law for six (6) months; his incumbent commission if
any is REVOKED; and he is PROHIBITED from being
It is a settled rule that persons dealing with an agent commissioned as a notary public for two (2) years,
are bound at their peril, if they would hold the effective immediately. He is WARNED that a
principal liable, to ascertain not only the fact of repetition of the same or similar acts in the future
agency but also the nature and extent of authority, shall be dealt with more severely.
and in case either,is controverted, the burden of Let all the courts, through the Office of the Court
proof is upon them to establish it. The basis for Administrator, as well as the IBP and the Office of the
agency is representation and a person dealing Bar Confidant, be notified of this Decision and be it
with an agent is put upon inquiry and must entered into respondent's personal record.
discover upon his peril the authority of the
agent. If he does not make such an inquiry, he The respondent is DIRECTED to report the date of
is chargeable with knowledge of the agent's his receipt of this Decision to enable us to determine
authority and his ignorance of 'that authority when his suspension shall take effect.
will not be any excuse.
SO ORDERED.c
As noted by one author, the ignorance of a person
dealing with an agent as to the scope' of the latter's
authority is no excuse to such person and the fault
cannot be thrown upon the principal. A person
dealing with an agent assumes the risk of lack of
authority in the agent. He cannot charge the 102.
principal by relying, upon the agent's assumption of
authority that proves to be unfounded. The principal,
on the other hand, may act on the presumption that A.C. No. 6270 January 22, 2007
third persons dealing with his agent will not be
negligent in failing to ascertain the extent of his HEIRS OF THE LATE SPOUSES LUCAS and
authority as well as the existence of his
FRANCISCA VILLANUEVA, Complainants,
agency.29 (Citations omitted; Emphasis supplied.)
vs.
In the Urgent Motion for Extension of Time 30 filed by ATTY. SALUD P. BERADIO, Respondent.
respondent before RTC Branch 22 Naga City to file his
comment or opposition to ORASCO's motion to This is a disbarment case against Atty. Salud
declare the bond null and void, respondent merely P. Beradio (respondent), filed by the heirs of the late
explained that his appearance in the case was only spouses Lucas and Francisca Villanueva (spouses
due to the request of Vargas who represented himself Villanueva).
as an agent of the bondsman. As alleged by
complainant in her Position Paper, he was not Facts:
appointed as counsel of ORASCO and none of
ORASCO's officers and employees knew During their lifetime, the spouses Villanueva
him.31chanrobleslaw acquired several parcels of land in Pangasinan, one
of which was covered by Original Certificate of Title
Respondent's negligence in not securing his notarial (OCT) No. 2522. Francisca died in 1968, and Lucas in
paraphernalia and in appearing for parties or 1974. Their five children, namely, Simeona, Susana,
insurance companies who did not seek Maria, Alfonso, and Florencia, survived them.
representation caused prejudice not only to ORASCO
but to the several accused whose bail bonds were On May 22, 1984, Alfonso executed an
confiscated due to the spurious character of the Affidavit of Adjudication stating that as "the only

31
surviving son and sole heirs" of the spouses 103.
Villanueva, he was adjudicating to himself the parcel A.C. No. 8103 December 03, 2014
of land under OCT No. 2522. Alfonso then executed a
Deed of Absolute Sale on July 5, 1984, conveying the ATTY. AURELIO C. ANGELES, JR., PROVINCIAL
property to Adriano Villanueva. Respondent appeared LEGAL OFFICER, BATAAN CAPITOL, BALANGA
as notary public on both the affidavit of adjudication CITY, BATAAN, Complainant,
and the deed of sale. vs.
ATTY. RENATO C. BAGAY, Respondent.
Contrary to the misrepresentations of Legal Ethics; Canon 7; Canon 9
Alfonso, his sister Florencia was still alive at the time
he executed the affidavit of adjudication and the FACTS:
deed of sale, as were descendants of the other This case stemmed from the letter, dated June 11,
children of the spouses Villanueva. Complainants 2008, submitted by Atty. Aurelio C. Angeles, Jr. (Atty.
claimed that respondent was aware of this fact, as Angeles, Jr.), the Provincial Legal Officer of Bataan, to
respondent had been their neighbor in Balungao, Hon. Remigio M. Escalada, Jr. (Executive Judge),
Pangasinan, from the time of their birth, and Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Bataan
respondent constantly mingled with their family. against Atty. Renato C. Bagay (respondent), for his
Complainants accused respondent of knowing the alleged notarization of 18 documents at the time he
"true facts and surrounding circumstances" regarding was out of the country from March 13, 2008 to April
the properties of the spouses Villanueva, yet 8, 2008.
conspiring with Alfonso to deprive his co-heirs of
their rightful shares in the property. These documents were endorsed to the Provincial
Legal Office by the Provincial Treasurer who had
In a resolution, this Court required information that they were notarized while
respondent to comment on the complaint. In her respondent was outside the country attending the
Comment, respondent admitted that she notarized Prayer and Life Workshop in Mexico. The letter
the affidavit of adjudication and the deed of sale contained the affidavits of the persons who caused
executed by Alfonso in 1984. However, respondent the documents to be notarized which showed a
denied that she conspired with Alfonso to dispose of common statement that they did not see respondent
fraudulently the property. sign the documents himself and it was either the
secretary who signed them or the documents came
Issue: out of the office already signed. Upon verification
with the Bureau of Immigration, it was found out that
Whether or not, the respondent violated a certain Renato C. Bagay departed from the country
Canon 1 and 1.01 of the Code of Professional on March 13, 2008 and returned on April 8, 2008. The
Responsibility when she failed to discharge properly copy of the Certification issued by the Bureau of
her duties as a notary public and as a member of the Immigration was also attached to the letter.
bar.

Ruling:

The Court held that respondent's conduct


amounted to a breach of Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which requires lawyers to
obey the laws of the land and promote respect for
the law and legal processes. Respondent also
violated Rule 1.01 of the Code which proscribes
lawyers from engaging in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral, or deceitful conduct. It was established that
Alfonso's affidavit does not appear to contain any
"illegal or immoral" declaration. However,
respondent herself admitted that she knew of the
falsity of Alfonso's statement that he was the "sole
heir" of the spouses Villanueva. Respondent
therefore notarized a document while fully aware
that it contained a material falsehood, i.e., Alfonso's
assertion of status as sole heir. The affidavit of
adjudication is premised on this very assertion. By
this instrument, Alfonso claimed a portion of his
parents' estate all to himself, to the exclusion of his
co-heirs. Shortly afterwards, respondent notarized
the deed of sale, knowing that the deed took basis
from the unlawful affidavit of adjudication. Thus,
where admittedly the notary public has personal
knowledge of a false statement or information
contained in the instrument to be notarized, yet
proceeds to affix his or her notarial seal on it, the
Court must not hesitate to discipline the notary
public accordingly as the circumstances of the case
may dictate. Otherwise, the integrity and sanctity of
the notarization process may be undermined and
public confidence on notarial documents diminished.

Adjudication:

WHEREFORE, for violation of Canon 1 and


Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
we REVOKE the commission of respondent Atty. Salud
P. Beradio as Notary Public, if still existing, and
DISQUALIFY her from being commissioned a notary
public for one (1) year. We further SUSPEND
respondent from the practice of law for six (6)
months effective upon finality of this decision.

32
The Report and Recommendation of Atty. Felimon C.
Abelita III (Atty. Abelita III) as Investigating
Commissioner found that the letter of Atty. Angeles,
Jr., dated June 11, 2008, was not verified, that most
of the attachments were not authenticated
photocopies and that the comment of respondent
was likewise not verified. Atty. Abelita III, however,
observed that respondents signature on his
comment appeared to be strikingly similar to the
signatures in most of the attached documents which
he admitted were notarized in his absence by his
office secretary. He admitted the fact that there were
documents that were notarized while he was abroad
and his signature was affixed by his office secretary
who was not aware of the import of the act. Thus, by
his own admission, it was established that by his
negligence in employing an office secretary who had
access to his office, his notarial seal and records
especially pertaining to his notarial documents
without the proper training, respondent failed to live
up to the standard required by the Rules on Notarial
Practice.

33
This case stemmed from three (3) letter-complaints
Finding respondent guilty of negligence in the for Violation of Rules on Notarial Practice endorsed to
performance of his notarial duty which gave his office the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) for appropriate
secretary the opportunity to abuse his prerogative action. The first letter-complaint,1dated March 2,
authority as notary public, the Investigating 2009, was filed by the commissioned notaries public
Commissioner recommended the immediate within and for the jurisdiction of Lingayen,
revocation of respondents commission as notary Pangasinan, namely, Atty. Butch Cardinal Torio, Atty.
public and his disqualification to be commissioned as Nepthalie Pasiliao, Atty. Dominique Evangelista, and
such for a period of two (2) years. Atty. Elizabeth C. Tugade (complainants) before the
Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Lingayen,
The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved Pangasinan (RTC-Lingayen) against Atty. Juan C.
the said recommendation in its Resolution, dated Siapno, Jr. (Atty. Siapno) for notarizing documents
September 28, 2013. without a commission.

ISSUE: In their letter, complainants alleged that Atty. Siapno


was maintaining a notarial office along Alvear Street
Whether the notarization of documents by the East, Lingayen, Pangasinan, and was performing
secretary of respondent while he was out of the notarial acts and practices in Lingayen, Natividad
country constituted negligence. and Dagupan City without the requisite notarial
commission. They asserted that Atty. Siapno was
RULING: never commissioned as Notary Public for and within
the jurisdiction of Lingayen, Natividad and Dagupan
The Court answers in the affirmative. City. Instead, he applied and was commissioned to
perform notarial functions by Executive Judge
Respondent admitted in his comment and motion for Anthony Sison of the RTC, San Carlos City,
reconsideration that the 18 documents were Pangasinan from March 22, 2007 to December 31,
notarized under his notarial seal by his office 2008. His notarial commission, however, was never
secretary while he was out of the country. This clearly renewed upon expiration. Complainants presented
constitutes negligence considering that respondent is evidence supporting their allegations such as the
responsible for the acts of his secretary. Section 9 of pictures of Atty. Siapnos law office in Lingayen,
the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that a Pangasinan; and documents to prove that Atty.
Notary Public refers to any person commissioned to Siapno performed acts of notarization in Lingayen,
perform official acts under these Rules. A notary Natividad and Dagupan City, to wit: (1) Addendum to
publics secretary is obviously not commissioned to Loan and Mortgage Agreement2 showing that the
perform the official acts of a notary public. Promissory Note was notarized before Atty. Siapno in
Lingayen, Pangasinan in 2007; (2) Deed of Absolute
Respondent must fully bear the consequence of his Sale,3 dated January 24, 2008, notarized in Natividad,
negligence. A person who is commissioned as a Pangasinan; (3) Joint Affidavit of Two Disinterested
notary public takes full responsibility for all the Persons Re: Given Name and Date of Birth,4 dated
entries in his notarial register. He cannot relieve January 6, 2009, notarized in Dagupan City; and (4)
himself of this responsibility by passing the buck to Acknowledgement of Debt,5 dated January 24, 2008,
his secretary. notarized in Dagupan City.
Respondent violated Canon 9 of the CPR which
requires lawyers not to directly or indirectly assist in Complainants also averred that Atty. Siapno had
the unauthorized practice of law. Due to his delegated his notarial authority to his secretaries,
Mina Bautista (Bautista) and Mary Ann Arenas
negligence that allowed his secretary to sign on his
(Arenas), who wrote legal instruments and signed the
behalf as notary public, he allowed an unauthorized documents on his behalf.
person to practice law. By leaving his office open
despite his absence in the country and with his On March 17, 2009, the RTC-Lingayen forwarded the
secretary in charge, he virtually allowed his secretary said letter-complaint to the Office of the Court
to notarize documents without any restraint. Administrator (OCA)6 which, in turn, indorsed the
Respondent also violated his obligation under Canon same to the OBC.
7 of the CPR, which directs every lawyer to uphold at
The second letter-complaint7 was filed by Audy B.
all times the integrity and dignity of the legal Espelita (Espelita) against Atty. Pedro L. Santos (Atty.
profession. The people, who came into his office Santos). It alleged that in 2008, Espelita lost his
while he was away, were clueless as to the illegality drivers license and he executed an affidavit of loss
of the activity being conducted therein. They which was notarized by Atty. Santos. The said
expected that their documents would be converted affidavit, however, was denied for authentication
into public documents. Instead, they later found out when presented before the Notarial Section in Manila
because Atty. Santos was not commissioned to
that the notarization of their documents was a mere
perform notarial commission within the City of
sham and without any force and effect. By Manila.
prejudicing the persons whose documents were
notarized by an unauthorized person, their faith in The third letter-complaint8 came from a concerned
the integrity and dignity of the legal profession was citizen reporting that a certain Atty. Evelyn who was
eroded. holding office at Room 402 Leyba Bldg., 381
Dasmarias Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila, had been
notarizing and signing documents for and on behalf
of several lawyers.

In its Resolution,9 dated June 9, 2009, the Court


104. EN BANC
directed the Executive Judge of the RTC-Lingayen to
conduct a formal investigation on the complaint
A.M. No. 09-6-1-SC, January 21, 2015 against Atty. Siapno and Executive Judge Reynaldo G.
Ros (Judge Ros) of the RTC-Manila to conduct a
formal investigation on the alleged violation of the
RE: VIOLATION OF RULES ON NOTARIAL
Notarial Law by Atty. Santos, and the illegal activities
PRACTICE
of a certain Atty. Evelyn, and thereafter, to submit a
report and recommendation thereon.
DECISION
Re: Complaint against Atty. Siapno
MENDOZA, J.:

34
With regard to the complaint against Atty. Siapno, the respondent was likewise suspended from the practice
Executive Judge conducted a hearing wherein the of law for a period of two (2) years and was
complainants affirmed the allegations in their letter- permanently barred from being commissioned as a
complaint. For his part, Atty. Siapno denied the notary public for notarizing several documents after
accusations and averred that the law office in the expiration of his commission. In the more recent
Lingayen, Pangasinan, was not his and that Bautista case of Laquindanum v. Quintana,16 the Court
and Arenas were not his secretaries.10 suspended a lawyer for six (6) months and was
disqualified from being commissioned as notary
In her Report and Recommendation,11 the Executive public for a period of two (2) years because he
Judge found that Atty. Siapno was issued a notarial notarized documents outside the area of his
commission within the jurisdiction of Lingayen, commission, and with an expired commission.
Pangasinan, from January 20, 2003 to December 31,
2004 and February 8, 2005 to December 3, 2006. His Considering that Atty. Siapno has been proven to
commission, however, was cancelled on June 8, 2006 have performed notarial work in Ligayen, Natividad
and he was not issued another commission and Dagupan City in the province of Pangasinan
thereafter. The Executive Judge found Atty. Siapno to without the requisite commission, the Court finds the
have violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Commission recommended penalty insufficient. Instead, Atty.
when he performed notarial functions without Siapno must be barred from being commissioned as
commission and recommended that he be fined in notary public permanently and suspended from the
the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00). practice of law for a period of two (2) years.

The Court agrees with the findings of the Executive Re: Complaints against Atty. Santos and Atty. Evelyn
Judge but not to the recommended penalty.
In a letter,17 dated July 29, 2013, Judge Ros informed
A review of the records and evidence presented by the Court that he could not have complied with the
complainants shows that Atty. Siapno indeed June 9, 2009 and August 4, 2009 orders of the Court
maintained a law office in Lingayen, Pangasinan, just because he was no longer the Executive Judge of the
beside the law office of one of the complainants, Atty. RTC-Manila at that time. To date, no formal
Elizabeth Tugade. It was also proven that Atty. Siapno investigation has been conducted on the alleged
notarized several instruments with an expired violation of Atty. Santos and the reported illegal
notarial commission outside the territorial jurisdiction activities of a certain Atty. Evelyn.
of the commissioning court. Section 11, Rule III of the
2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides With respect to the complaints against Atty. Santos
that:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary and a certain Atty. Evelyn, the Clerk of Court is
ordered to RE-DOCKET the same as separate
Jurisdiction and Term A person commissioned as administrative cases.
notary public may perform notarial acts in any place
within the territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning The incumbent Executive Judge of the RTC-Manila,
court for a period of two (2) years commencing the whether permanent or in acting capacity, is ordered
first day of January of the year in which the to conduct a formal investigation on the matter and
commissioning is made, unless earlier revoked or the to submit his Report and Recommendation within
notary public has resigned under these Rules and the sixty (60) days from receipt of copy of this decision.
Rules of Court.
WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Juan C. Siapno, Jr. is
Under the rule, only persons who are commissioned hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two
as notary public may perform notarial acts within the (2) years and BARRED PERMANENTLY from being
territorial jurisdiction of the court which granted the commissioned as Notary Public, effective upon his
commission. Clearly, Atty. Siapno could not perform receipt of a copy of this decision.
notarial functions in Lingayen, Natividad and
Dagupan City of the Province of Pangasinan since he Let copies of this decision be furnished all the courts
was not commissioned in the said places to perform of the land through the Office of the Court
such act. Administrator, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines,
the Office of the Bar Confidant, and be recorded in
Time and again, this Court has stressed that the personal files of the respondent.
notarization is not an empty, meaningless and
routine act. It is invested with substantive public With respect to the complaints against Atty. Pedro L.
interest that only those who are qualified or Santos and a certain Atty. Evelyn, the Clerk of Court
authorized may act as notaries public.12 It must be is ordered to RE-DOCKET them as separate
emphasized that the act of notarization by a notary administrative cases. The Executive Judge of the
public converts a private document into a public Regional Trial Court, Manila, is ordered to conduct a
document making that document admissible in formal investigation on the matter and to submit his
evidence without further proof of authenticity. A Report and Recommendation within sixty (60) days
notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and from receipt of a copy of this decision.
credit upon its face, and for this reason, notaries
public must observe with utmost care the basic SO ORDERED.
requirements in the performance of their duties. 105.

By performing notarial acts without the necessary


commission from the court, Atty. Siapno violated not G.R. No. 174240 March 20, 2013
only his oath to obey the laws particularly the Rules
on Notarial Practice but also Canons 1 and 7 of the SPOUSES LEHNER and LUDY
Code of Professional Responsibility which proscribes
MARTIRES, Petitioners,
all lawyers from engaging in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct and directs them to vs.
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal MENELIA CHUA, Respondent.
profession, at all times.13
Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari
In a plethora of cases, the Court has subjected
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to
lawyers to disciplinary action for notarizing
documents outside their territorial jurisdiction or with reverse and set aside the Amended Decision, 1 as well
an expired commission. In the case of Nunga v. as the Resolutions2 of the Court of Appeals (CA),
Viray,14 a lawyer was suspended by the Court for dated September 30, 2005, July 5, 2006 and August
three (3) years for notarizing an instrument without a 28, 2006, respectively, in CA-G.R. CV No. 76388. The
commission. In Zoreta v. Simpliciano,15 the assailed Decision of the CA reversed and set aside its

35
earlier Decision, dated April 30, 2004, in favor of 1. The Complaint is denied and dismissed
petitioners. The July 5, 2006 Resolution denied for lack of merit;
petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration, while the
August 28, 2006 Resolution denied petitioners' 2. The counterclaims are granted as follows:
Second Motion for Reconsideration.

a. Menelia R. Chua is ordered to


The factual and procedural antecedents of the case pay the Sps. Martires the amount
are as follows: of P100,000.00 as moral damages;
the amount of P50,000.00 as
Subject of the instant controversy are twenty-four exemplary damages; and the
memorial lots located at the Holy Cross Memorial amount of P30,000.00 as
Park in Barangay Bagbag, Novaliches, Quezon City. reasonable attorneys fees plus
The property, more particularly described as "Lot: 24 costs of suit.
lots, Block 213, Section: Plaza of Heritage-Reg.," is
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. b. Menelia R. Chua is ordered to
342914. Respondent, together with her mother, pay Manila Memorial Park
Florencia R. Calagos, own the disputed property. Cemetery, Inc. the amount
Their co-ownership is evidenced by a Deed of Sale of P30,000.00 as reasonable
and Certificate of Perpetual Care, denominated as attorney's fees plus costs of suit.
Contract No. 31760, which was executed on June 4,
1992.3
SO ORDERED.9

On December 18, 1995, respondent borrowed from


On appeal, the CA affirmed, with modification, the
petitioner spouses the amount of P150,000.00. The
judgment of the RTC, disposing as follows:
loan was secured by a real estate mortgage over the
abovementioned property. Respondent committed to
pay a monthly interest of 8% and an additional 10% WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant
monthly interest in case of default.4 appeal is hereby DENIED for lack of merit, and the
decision of the trial court dated 03 August 2002 is
hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION as to the
Respondent failed to fully settle her obligation.
amount of moral and exemplary damages, and
attorney's fees. Plaintiff-appellant Menelia R. Chua is
Subsequently, without foreclosure of the mortgage, hereby ordered to pay the defendant-appellees
ownership of the subject lots were transferred in the Spouses Martires the amount of P30,000.00 as moral
name of petitioners via a Deed of Transfer.5 damages; P20,000.00 as exemplary damages; and
attorney's fees of P10,000.00 plus costs of suit.
On June 23, 1997, respondent filed with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City a Complaint against Insofar as defendant-appellee Manila Memorial Park
petitioners, Manila Memorial Park Inc., the company Cemetery, Inc. is concerned, the attorney's fees
which owns the Holy Cross Memorial Park, and the awarded is reduced to P10,000.00 plus costs of suit.
Register of Deeds of Quezon City, praying for the
annulment of the contract of mortgage between her
SO ORDERED.10
and petitioners on the ground that the interest rates
imposed are unjust and exorbitant. Respondent also
sought accounting to determine her liability under The CA ruled that respondent voluntarily entered into
the law. She likewise prayed that the Register of a contract of loan and that the execution of the Deed
Deeds of Quezon City and Manila Memorial Park, Inc. of Transfer is sufficient evidence of petitioners'
be directed to reconvey the disputed property to acquisition of ownership of the subject property.
her.6
Respondent filed a Motion for
On November 20, 1998, respondent moved for the Reconsideration.11 Petitioners opposed it.12
amendment of her complaint to include the
allegation that she later discovered that ownership of On September 30, 2005, the CA promulgated its
the subject lots was transferred in the name of assailed Amended Decision with the following
petitioners by virtue of a forged Deed of Transfer and dispositive portion:
Affidavit of Warranty. Respondent prayed that the
Deed of Transfer and Affidavit of Warranty be
WHEREFORE, the Court grants the movant's Motion
annulled.7 In their Manifestation dated January 25,
for Reconsideration.
1999, petitioners did not oppose respondent's
motion.8 Trial ensued.
Accordingly, the decision of this Court dated April 30,
2004 in CA-G.R. CV No. 76388, which had affirmed
After trial, the RTC of Quezon City rendered a
the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
Decision in favor of petitioners, the dispositive
City, Branch 221, in Civil Case No. Q-97-31408, is
portion of which reads, thus:
REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and it is hereby declared
that:
Wherefore, premises considered, judgment is hereby
rendered against Menelia R. Chua and in favor of the
(1) The assailed decision dated August 3, 2002 of the
Sps. Lehner Martires and Ludy Martires; and Manila
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 221 in
Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc. as follows:
Civil Case No. Q-97-31408 is hereby Reversed with
the following MODIFICATIONS, to wit:

36
(1) The Deed of Transfer dated July 3, 1996, THE RESPONDENT IN FAVOR OF THE PETITIONERS BY
as well as the Affidavit of Warranty, are RULING THAT:
hereby declared void ab initio;
1. The Deed of Transfer executed by
(2) The loan of P150,000.00 is hereby respondent in favor of petitioners over the
subject to an interest of 12% per annum. subject property was not entered in the
Notarial Book of Atty. Francisco Talampas
(3) The Manila Memorial Park Cemetery, Inc. and reported in the Notarial Section of the
and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City Regional Trial Court of Makati City.
[are] hereby directed to cancel the
registration or annotation of ownership of 2. The Deed of Transfer was not duly
the spouses Martires on Lot: 24 lots, Block notarized by Atty. Francisco Talampas
213, Section: Plaza Heritage Regular, Holy inasmuch as there was no convincing proof
Cross Memorial Park, being a portion of that respondent appeared before Notary
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 342914 Public Atty. Talampas.
issued by the Register of Deeds of Quezon
City, and revert registration of ownership B. THE COURT OF APPEALS PATENTLY ERRED IN
over the same in the name of appellant RULING THAT THE DEED OF TRANSFER EXECUTED
Menelia R. Chua, and Florencia R. Calagos. BETWEEN THE RESPONDENT AND THE PETITIONERS
CONSTITUTED AN EQUITABLE MORTGAGE
(4) The movant, Menelia R. Chua, is hereby CONSIDERING THAT:
ordered to pay the spouses Martires the
amount of P150,000.00 plus interest of 12% 1. Said issue was not raised in any pleading
per annum computed from December 18, in the appellate and trial courts.1wphi1
1995 up to the time of full payment thereof
and, after deducting payments made in the
2. Respondent herself admitted that a
total amount of P80,000.00, the same shall
separate mortgage was executed to secure
be paid within ninety (90) days from the
the loan.16
finality of this decision. In case of failure to
pay the aforesaid amount and the accrued
interests from the period hereinstated, the The petition lacks merit.
property shall be sold at public auction to
satisfy the mortgage debt and costs, and if At the outset, the instant petition should be denied
there is an excess, the same is to be given for being filed out of time. Petitioners admit in the
to the owner. instant petition that: (1) on July 18, 2006, they
received a copy of the July 5, 2006 Resolution of the
No costs. CA which denied their Motion for Reconsideration of
the assailed Amended Decision; (2) on July 26, 2006,
they filed a Motion to Admit Second Motion for
SO ORDERED.13
Reconsideration attaching thereto the said Second
Motion for Reconsideration; (3) on September 5,
The CA reconsidered its findings and concluded that 2006, they received a copy of the August 28, 2006
the Deed of Transfer which, on its face, transfers Resolution of the CA which denied their Motion to
ownership of the subject property to petitioners, is, in Admit as well as their Second Motion for
fact, an equitable mortgage. The CA held that the Reconsideration; and (4) they filed the instant
true intention of respondent was merely to provide petition on October 20, 2006.
security for her loan and not to transfer ownership of
the property to petitioners. The CA so ruled on the
Section 2, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court provides that
basis of its findings that: (1) the consideration,
a petition for review on certiorari under the said Rule
amounting to P150,000.00, for the alleged Deed of
"shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of
Transfer is unusually inadequate, considering that the
the judgment or final order or resolution appealed
subject property consists of 24 memorial lots; (2) the
from or of the denial of the petitioner's motion for
Deed of Transfer was executed by reason of the same
new trial or reconsideration filed in due time after
loan extended by petitioners to respondent; (3) the
notice of the judgment." Relative thereto, Section 2,
Deed of Transfer is incomplete and defective; and (4)
Rule 52 of the same Rules provides that "no second
the lots subject of the Deed of Transfer are one and
motion for reconsideration of a judgment or final
the same property used to secure
resolution by the same party shall be entertained."
respondent's P150,000.00 loan from petitioners.
Based on the abovementioned dates, the start f the
15-day period for the filing of this petition should
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, 14 but have been reckoned from July 18, 2006, the time of
the CA denied it in its Resolution dated July 5, 2006. petitioners' receipt of the CA Resolution denying their
Motion for Reconsideration, and not on September 5,
On July 26, 2006, petitioners filed a Second Motion 2006, the date when they received the CA Resolution
for Reconsideration,15 but again, the CA denied it via denying their Second Motion for Reconsideration.
its Resolution dated August 28, 2006. Thus, petitioners should have filed the instant
petition not later than August 2, 2006. It is wrong for
Hence, the present petition based on the following petitioners to reckon the 15-day period for the filing
grounds: of the instant petition from the date when they
received the copy of the CA Resolution denying their
Second Motion for Reconsideration. Since a second
A. THE COURT OF APPEALS PATENTLY ERRED IN NOT
motion for reconsideration is not allowed, then
UPHOLDING THE DEED OF TRANSFER EXECUTED BY
unavoidably, its filing did not toll the running of the

37
period to file an appeal by certiorari. 17 Petitioners as by the admission, on cross-examination, of the
made a critical mistake in waiting for the CA to clerk who prepared the Certification of the Clerk of
resolve their second motion for reconsideration Court, that their office cannot, in fact, find a copy of
before pursuing an appeal. the subject Deed of Transfer in their files; 26 and third,
the further admission of the said clerk that the
Perfection of an appeal within the reglementary Certification, which was issued by the clerk of court
period is not only mandatory but also and relied upon by petitioners, was not based on
jurisdictional.18 For this reason, petitioners' failure to documents existing in their files, but was simply
file this petition within the 15-day period rendered based on the Certification issued by the notary public
the assailed Amended CA Decision and Resolutions who allegedly notarized the said Deed of Transfer. 27
final and executory, thus, depriving this Court of
jurisdiction to entertain an appeal therefrom.19On this Assuming further that the notarization of the
ground alone, the instant petition should be disputed Deed of Transfer was regular, the Court,
dismissed. nonetheless, is not persuaded by petitioners'
argument that such Deed is a sufficient evidence of
In any case, even granting, arguendo, that the the validity of the agreement between petitioners
present petition is timely filed, the Court finds no and respondent.
cogent reason to depart from the findings and
conclusions of the CA in its disputed Amended While indeed a notarized document enjoys the
Decision. presumption of regularity, the fact that a deed is
notarized is not a guarantee of the validity of its
Anent the first assigned error, petitioners are correct contents.28 The presumption is not absolute and may
in pointing out that notarized documents carry be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence to the
evidentiary weight conferred upon them with respect contrary.29 In the present case, the presumption
to their due execution and enjoy the presumption of cannot be made to apply, because aside from the
regularity which may only be rebutted by evidence regularity of its notarization, the validity of the
so clear, strong and convincing as to exclude all contents and execution of the subject Deed of
controversy as to falsity.20However, the presumptions Transfer was challenged in the proceedings below
that attach to notarized documents can be affirmed where its prima facie validity was subsequently
only so long as it is beyond dispute that the overthrown by the questionable circumstances
notarization was regular.21 A defective notarization attendant in its supposed execution. These
will strip the document of its public character and circumstances include: (1) the alleged agreement
reduce it to a private instrument.22 Consequently, between the parties that the ownership of the
when there is a defect in the notarization of a subject property be simply assigned to petitioners
document, the clear and convincing evidentiary instead of foreclosure of the contract of mortgage
standard normally attached to a duly-notarized which was earlier entered into by them; (2) the Deed
document is dispensed with, and the measure to test of Transfer was executed by reason of the loan
the validity of such document is preponderance of extended by petitioners to respondent, the amount
evidence.23 of the latter's outstanding obligation being the same
as the amount of the consideration for the
assignment of ownership over the subject property;
In the present case, the CA has clearly pointed out
(3) the inadequacy of the consideration; and (4) the
the dubious circumstances and irregularities
claim of respondent that she had no intention of
attendant in the alleged notarization of the subject
transferring ownership of the subject property to
Deed of Transfer, to wit: (1) the Certification 24 issued
petitioners.
by the Clerk of Court of the Notarial Section of the
RTC of Makati City which supposedly attested that a
copy of the subject Deed of Transfer is on file with Based on the foregoing, the Court finds no cogent
the said court, was contradicted by the reason to depart from the findings of the CA that the
Certification25 issued by the Administrative Officer of agreement between petitioners and respondent is, in
the Notarial Section of the same office as well as by fact, an equitable mortgage.
the testimony of the court employee who prepared
the Certification issued by the Clerk of Court, to the An equitable mortgage has been defined as one
effect that the subject Deed of Transfer cannot, in which, although lacking in some formality, or form or
fact, be found in their files; (2) respondent's words, or other requisites demanded by a statute,
categorical denial that she executed the subject nevertheless reveals the intention of the parties to
Deed of Transfer; and (3) the subject document did charge real property as security for a debt, there
not state the date of execution and lacks the marital being no impossibility nor anything contrary to law in
consent of respondent's husband. this intent.30

Indeed, petitioners' heavy reliance on the One of the circumstances provided for under Article
Certification issued by the notary public who 1602 of the Civil Code, where a contract shall be
supposedly notarized the said deed, as well as the presumed to be an equitable mortgage, is "where it
Certification issued by the Clerk of Court of the may be fairly inferred that the real intention of the
Notarial Section of the RTC of Makati City, is parties is that the transaction shall secure the
misplaced for the following reasons: first, the persons payment of a debt or the performance of any other
who issued these Certifications were not presented obligation." In the instant case, it has been
as witnesses and, as such, they could not be cross- established that the intent of both petitioners and
examined with respect to the truthfulness of the respondent is that the subject property shall serve as
contents of their Certifications; second, as mentioned security for the latter's obligation to the former. As
above, these Certifications were contradicted by the correctly pointed out by the CA, the circumstances
Certification issued by the Administrative Officer of surrounding the execution of the disputed Deed of
the Notarial Section of the RTC of Makati City as well Transfer would show that the said document was

38
executed to circumvent the terms of the original subject property if the same is foreclosed, rather
agreement and deprive respondent of her mortgaged than if the title thereto is directly transferred to
property without the requisite foreclosure. petitioners. This is so because in foreclosure, unlike
in the present case where ownership of the property
With respect to the foregoing discussions, it bears to was assigned to petitioners, respondent can still
point out that in Misena v. Rongavilla,31 a case which claim the balance from the proceeds of the
involves a factual background similar to the present foreclosure sale, if there be any. In such a case, she
case, this Court arrived at the same ruling. In the could still recover a portion of the value of the
said case, the respondent mortgaged a parcel of land subject property rather than losing it completely by
to the petitioner as security for the loan which the assigning its ownership to petitioners.
former obtained from the latter. Subsequently,
ownership of the property was conveyed to the As to the second assigned error, the Court is not
petitioner via a Deed of Absolute Sale. Applying persuaded by petitioners' contention that the issue of
Article 1602 of the Civil Code, this Court ruled in whether or not the subject Deed of Transfer is, in
favor of the respondent holding that the supposed fact, an equitable mortgage was not raised by the
sale of the property was, in fact, an equitable latter either in the RTC or the CA.
mortgage as the real intention of the respondent was
to provide security for the loan and not to transfer It is true that, as a rule, no issue may be raised on
ownership over the property. appeal unless it has been brought before the lower
tribunal for its consideration.35 Higher courts are
Since the original transaction between the parties precluded from entertaining matters neither alleged
was a mortgage, the subsequent assignment of in the pleadings nor raised during the proceedings
ownership of the subject lots to petitioners without below, but ventilated for the first time only in a
the benefit of foreclosure proceedings, partakes of motion for reconsideration or on appeal.36 However,
the nature of a pactum commissorium, as provided as with most procedural rules, this maxim is subject
for under Article 2088 of the Civil Code. to exceptions.37 In this regard, the Court's ruling in
Mendoza v. Bautista38 is instructive, to wit:
Pactum commissorium is a stipulation empowering
the creditor to appropriate the thing given as x x x Indeed, our rules recognize the broad
guaranty for the fulfillment of the obligation in the discretionary power of an appellate court to waive
event the obligor fails to live up to his undertakings, the lack of proper assignment of errors and to
without further formality, such as foreclosure consider errors not assigned. Section 8 of Rule 51 of
proceedings, and a public sale.32 the Rules of Court provides:

In the instant case, evidence points to the fact that SEC. 8 Questions that may be decided. - No error
the sale of the subject property, as proven by the which does not affect the jurisdiction over the subject
disputed Deed of Transfer, was simulated to cover up matter or the validity of the judgment appealed from
the automatic transfer of ownership in petitioners' or the proceedings therein will be considered, unless
favor. While there was no stipulation in the mortgage stated in the assignment of errors, or closely related
contract which provides for petitioners' automatic to or dependent on an assigned error and properly
appropriation of the subject mortgaged property in argued in the brief, save as the court may pass upon
the event that respondent fails to pay her obligation, plain errors and clerical errors.
the subsequent acts of the parties and the
circumstances surrounding such acts point to no Thus, an appellate court is clothed with ample
other conclusion than that petitioners were authority to review rulings even if they are not
empowered to acquire ownership of the disputed assigned as errors in the appeal in these instances:
property without need of any foreclosure. (a) grounds not assigned as errors but affecting
jurisdiction over the subject matter; (b) matters not
Indeed, the Court agrees with the CA in not giving assigned as errors on appeal but are evidently plain
credence to petitioners' contention in their Answer or clerical errors within contemplation of law; (c)
filed with the RTC that respondent offered to transfer matters not assigned as errors on appeal but
ownership of the subject property in their name as consideration of which is necessary in arriving at a
payment for her outstanding obligation. As this Court just decision and complete resolution of the case or
has held, all persons in need of money are liable to to serve the interests of justice or to avoid dispensing
enter into contractual relationships whatever the piecemeal justice; (d) matters not specifically
condition if only to alleviate their financial burden assigned as errors on appeal but raised in the trial
albeit temporarily.33 court and are matters of record having some bearing
on the issue submitted which the parties failed to
Hence, courts are duty-bound to exercise caution in raise or which the lower court ignored; (e) matters
the interpretation and resolution of contracts lest the not assigned as errors on appeal but closely related
lenders devour the borrowers like vultures do with to an error assigned; and (f) matters not assigned as
their prey.34 Aside from this aforementioned reason, errors on appeal but upon which the determination of
the Court cannot fathom why respondent would a question properly assigned, is dependent.39
agree to transfer ownership of the subject property,
whose value is much higher than her outstanding In the present case, petitioners must be reminded
obligation to petitioners. Considering that the that one of the main issues raised by respondent in
disputed property was mortgaged to secure the her appeal with the CA is the validity and due
payment of her obligation, the most logical and execution of the Deed of Transfer which she
practical thing that she could have done, if she is supposedly executed in petitioners' favor. The Court
unable to pay her debt, is to wait for it to be agrees with respondent that, under the factual
foreclosed. She stands to lose less of the value of the circumstances obtaining in the instant case, the

39
determination of the validity of the subject Deed of
Transfer would necessarily entail or involve an
examination of the true nature of the said
agreement. In other words, the matter of validity of
the disputed Deed of Transfer and the question of
whether the agreement evidenced by such Deed
was, in fact, an equitable mortgage are issues which
are closely related, which can, thus, be resolved
jointly by the CA.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The


assailed Amended Decision and Resolutions of the
Court of Appeals, dated September 30, 2005, July 5,
2006 and August 28, 2006, respectively, in CA-G.R.
CV No. 76388, are AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.

RULE 138

Attorneys and Admission to Bar

Section 1. Who may practice law. Any person


heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or
hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the
provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular
standing, is entitled to practice law.

40
Section 2. Requirements for all applicants for Secretary of Education that, before he began the
admission to the bar. Every applicant for study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily
admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen completed in an authorized and recognized
of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, university or college, requiring for admission thereto
of good moral character, and resident of the the completion of a four-year high school course, the
Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's
Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, degree in arts or sciences with any of the following
and that no charges against him, involving moral subjects as major or field of concentration: political
turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court science, logic, english, spanish, history and
in the Philippines. economics.

Section 3. Requirements for lawyers who are Section 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications.
citizens of the United States of America. Citizens All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of
of the United States of America who, before July 4, the Supreme Court the evidence required by section
1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the
Bar, in active practice in the courts of the Philippines beginning of the examination. If not embraced within
and in good and regular standing as such may, upon section 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within
satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme the same period the affidavit and certificate required
Court, be allowed to continue such practice after by section 5, and if embraced within sections 3 and 4
taking the following oath of office: they shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of
their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence
that the same has not been revoked, and certificates
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having
as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also
been permitted to continue in the practice
file at the same time their own affidavits as to their
of law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear
age, residence, and citizenship.
that I recognize the supreme authority of
the Republic of the Philippines; I will support
its Constitution and obey the laws as well as Section 8. Notice of Applications. Notice of
the legal orders of the duly constituted applications for admission shall be published by the
authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published
nor consent to the doing of any in court; I in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10)
will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue days before the beginning of the examination.
any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor
give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay
Section 9. Examination; subjects. Applicants, not
no man for money or malice, and will
otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this
conduct myself as a lawyer according to the
rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the
best of may knowledge and discretion with
following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social
all good fidelity as well as to the courts as to
Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal Law; Political
my clients; and I impose upon myself this
Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and
voluntary obligation without any mental
Public Officers); International Law (Private and
reservation or purpose of evasion. So help
Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure,
me God.
Criminal Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and
Practical Exercises (in Pleadings and Conveyancing).
Section 4. Requirements for applicants from other
jurisdictions. Applicants for admission who, being
Section 10. Bar examination, by questions and
Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good
answers, and in writing. Persons taking the
standing in the Supreme Court of the United States
examination shall not bring papers, books or notes
or in any circuit court of appeals or district court
into the examination rooms. The questions shall be
therein, or in the highest court of any State or
the same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in
Territory of the United States, and who can show by
English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee.
satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at
Examinees shall answer the questions personally
least five years in any of said courts, that such
without help from anyone.
practice began before July 4, 1946, and that they
have never been suspended or disbarred, may, in the
discretion of the Court, be admitted without Upon verified application made by an examinee
examination. stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be
difficult to read his answers without much loss of
time., the Supreme Court may allow such examinee
Section 5. Additional requirements for other
to use a typewriter in answering the questions. Only
applicants. All applicants for admission other than
noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.
those referred to in the two preceding section shall,
before being admitted to the examination,
satisfactorily show that they have regularly studied The committee of bar examiner shall take such
law for four years, and successfully completed all precautions as are necessary to prevent the
prescribed courses, in a law school or university, substitution of papers or commission of other frauds.
officially approved and recognized by the Secretary Examinees shall not place their names on the
of Education. The affidavit of the candidate, examination papers. No oral examination shall be
accompanied by a certificate from the university or given.
school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts,
and further evidence may be required by the court.
Section 11. Annual examination. Examinations
for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be
examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed held in four days to be disignated by the chairman of
the following courses in a law school or university the committee on bar examiners. The subjects shall
duly recognized by the government: civil law, be distributed as follows: First day: Political and
commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public International Law (morning) and Labor and Social
and private international law, political law, labor and Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law
social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day:
and legal ethics. Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law
(afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and
legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon).
Section 6. Pre-Law. No applicant for admission to
the bar examination shall be admitted unless he
presents a certificate that he has satisfied the

41
Section 12. Committee of examiners. admitted to practice, which roll shall be signed by the
Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of person admitted when he receives his certificate.
bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme
Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice
Section 20. Duties of attorneys. It is the duty of
of the Supreme Court, who shall act as chairman, and
an attorney:
who shall be designated by the court to serve for one
year, and eight members of the bar of the
Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one (a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of
year. The names of the members of this committee the Philippines and to support the
shall be published in each volume of the official Constitution and obey the laws of the
reports. Philippines.

Section 13. Disciplinary measures. No candidate (b) To observe and maintain the respect due
shall endeavor to influence any member of the to the courts of justice and judicial officers;
committee, and during examination the candidates
shall not communicate with each other nor shall they
(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or
give or receive any assistance. The candidate who
proceedings only as appear to him to be
violates this provisions, or any other provision of this
just, and such defenses only as he believes
rule, shall be barred from the examination, and the
to be honestly debatable under the law.
same to count as a failure against him, and further
disciplinary action, including permanent
disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the (d) To employ, for the purpose of
court. maintaining the causes confided to him,
such means only as are consistent with
truth and honor, and never seek to mislead
Section 14. Passing average. In order that a
the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice
candidate may be deemed to have passed his
or false statement of fact or law;
examinations successfully, he must have obtained a
general average of 75 per cent in all subjects,
without falling below 50 per cent in any subjects. In (e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and
determining the average, the subjects in the at every peril to himself, to preserve the
examination shall be given the following relative secrets of his client, and to accept no
weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social compensation in connection with his client's
Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; business except from him or with his
Criminal Law; 10 per cent: Political and International knowledge and approval;
Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial
Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical
(f) To abstain from all offensive personality
Exercises, 5 per cent.
and to advance no fact prejudicial to the
honor or reputation of a party or witness,
Section 15. Report of the committee; filing of unless required by the justice of the cause
examination papers. Not later than February 15th with which he is charged;
after the examination, or as soon thereafter as may
be practicable, the committee shall file its report on
(g) Not to encourage either the
the result of such examination. The examination
commencement or the continuance of an
papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with
action or proceeding, or delay any man's
the clerk and may there be examined by the parties
cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;
in interest, after the court has approved the report.

(h) Never to reject, for any consideration


Section 16. Failing candidates to take review
personal to himself, the cause of the
course. Candidates who have failed the bar
defenseless or oppressed;
examinations for three times shall be disqualified
from taking another examination unless they show
the satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled (i) In the defense of a person accused of
in and passed regular fourth year review classes as crime, by all fair and honorable means,
well as attended a pre-bar review course in a regardless of his personal opinion as to the
recognized law school. guilt of the accused, to present every
defense that the law permits, to the end
that no person may be deprived of life or
The professors of the individual review subjects
liberty, but by due process of law.
attended by the candidates under this rule shall
certify under oath that the candidates have regularly
attended classes and passed the subjects under the Section 21. Authority of attorney to appear. an
same conditions as ordinary students and the ratings attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to
obtained by them in the particular subject. represent any cause in which he appears, and no
written power of attorney is required to authorize him
to appear in court for his client, but the presiding
Section 17. Admission and oath of successful
judge may, on motion of either party and on
applicants. An applicant who has passed the
reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require
required examination, or has been otherwise found to
any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a
be entitled to admission to the bar, shall take and
case to produce or prove the authority under which
subscribe before the Supreme Court the
he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to
corresponding oath of office.
any issue, the name of the person who employed
him, and may thereupon make such order as justice
Section 18. Certificate. The supreme Court shall requires. An attorneys wilfully appear in court for a
thereupon admit the applicant as a member of the person without being employed, unless by leave of
bar for all the courts of the Philippines, and shall the court, may be punished for contempt as an
direct an order to be entered to that effect upon its officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official
records, and that a certificate of such record be given transactions.
to him by the clerk of court, which certificate shall be
his authority to practice.
Section 22. Attorney who appears in lower court
presumed to represent client on appeal. An
Section 19. Attorney's roll. The clerk of the attorney who appears de parte in a case before a
Supreme Court shall kept a roll of all attorneys lower court shall be presumed to continue

42
representing his client on appeal, unless he files a Section 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of
formal petition withdrawing his appearance in the Appeals or a Court of First Instance. The Court of
appellate court. 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
Section 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients.
suspension such attorney shall not practice his
Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in any
profession until further action of the Supreme Court
case by any agreement in relation thereto made in
in the premises.
writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of
ordinary judicial procedure. But they cannot, without
special authority, compromise their client's litigation, Section 29. Upon suspension by the Court of
or receive anything in discharge of a client's claim Appeals or Court of First Instance, further
but the full amount in cash. proceedings in Supreme Court. Upon such
suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Court of First
Instance shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme
Section 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement
Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and
as to fees. An attorney shall be entitled to have
a full statement of the facts upon which the same
and recover from his client no more than a
was based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy
reasonable compensation for his services, with a
and statement, the Supreme Court shall make a full
view to the importance of the subject matter of the
investigation of the facts involved and make such
controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and
order revoking or extending the suspension, or
the professional standing of the attorney. No court
removing the attorney from his office as such, as the
shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert
facts warrant.
witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may
disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on
its own professional knowledge. A written contract Section 30. Attorney to be heard before removal or
for services shall control the amount to be paid suspension. No attorney shall be removed or
therefor unless found by the court to be suspended from the practice of his profession, until
unconscionable or unreasonable. 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
Section 25. Unlawful retention of client's funds;
himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he
contempt. When an attorney unjustly retains in his
fails to appear and answer the accusation, the court
hands money of his client after it has been
may proceed to determine the matter ex parte.
demanded, he may be punished for contempt as an
officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official
transactions; but proceedings under this section shall Section 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants. A
not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. court may assign an attorney to render professional
aid free of charge to any party in a case, if upon
investigation it appears that the party is destitute
Section 26. Change of attorneys. An attorney
and unable to employ an attorney, and that the
may retire at any time from any action or special
services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends
proceeding, by the written consent of his client filed
of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It
in court. He may also retire at any time from an
shall be the duty of the attorney so assigned to
action or special proceeding, without the consent of
render the required service, unless he is excused
his client, should the court, on notice to the client
therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown.
and attorney, and on hearing, determine that he
ought to be allowed to retire. In case of substitution,
the name of the attorney newly employed shall be Section 32. Compensation for attorneys de oficio.
entered on the docket of the court in place of the Subject to availability of funds as may be provided by
former one, and written notice of the change shall be the law the court may, in its discretion, order an
given to the advance party. attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be
compensates in such sum as the court may fix in
accordance with section 24 of this rule. Whenever
A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or
such compensation is allowed, it shall be not less
substitute another in his place, but if the contract
than thirty pesos (P30) in any case, nor more than
between client and attorney has been reduced to
the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50) in light
writing and the dismissal of the attorney was without
felonies; (2) One hundred pesos (P100) in less grave
justifiable cause, he shall be entitled to recover from
felonies; (3) Two hundred pesos (P200) in grave
the client the full compensation stipulated in the
felonies other than capital offenses; (4) Five Hundred
contract. However, the attorney may, in the
pesos (P500) in capital offenses.
discretion of the court, intervene in the case to
protect his rights. For the payment of his
compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon all Section 33. Standing in court of person authorized
judgments for the payment of money, and executions to appear for Government. Any official or other
issued in pursuance of such judgment, rendered in person appointed or designated in accordance with
the case wherein his services had been retained by law to appear for the Government of the Philippines
the client. shall have all the rights of a duly authorized member
of the bar to appear in any case in which said
government has an interest direct or indirect.
Section 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by
Supreme Court on what grounds. A member of the
bar may be removed or suspended from his office as Section 34. By whom litigation conducted. In the
attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, court of a justice of the peace a party may conduct
malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or
grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his friend appointed by him for the purpose, or with the
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for aid an attorney. In any other court, a party may
any violation of the oath which he is required to take conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an
before the admission to practice, or for a wilfull attorney, and his appearance must be either
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.
or for corruptly or willful appearing as an attorney for
a party to a case without authority so to do. The
Section 35. Certain attorneys not to practice. No
practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
judge or other official or employee of the superior
gain, either personally or through paid agents or
courts or of the Office of the Solicitor General, shall
brokers, constitutes malpractice.
engage in private practice as a member of the bar or
give professional advice to clients.

43
Section 36. Amicus Curiae. Experienced and Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. - In
impartial attorneys may be invited by the Court to addition to acts and omissions of public officials and
appear as amici curiae to help in the disposition of employees now prescribed in the Constitution and
issues submitted to it.
existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited
acts and transactions of any public official and
Section 37. Attorneys' liens. An attorney shall employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
have a lien upon the funds, documents and papers of
his client which have lawfully come into his
possession and may retain the same until his lawful (a) Financial and material interest. - Public
fees and disbursements have been paid, and may officials and employees shall not, directly or
apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall indirectly, have any financial or material
also have a lien to the same extent upon all interest in any transaction requiring the
judgments for the payment of money, and executions
approval of their office.
issued in pursuance of such judgments, which he has
secured in a litigation of his client, from and after the
time when he shall have the caused a statement of (b) Outside employment and other activities
his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records related thereto. - Public officials and
of the court rendering such judgment, or issuing such
employees during their incumbency shall
execution, and shall have the caused written notice
thereof to be delivered to his client and to the not:
adverse paty; and he shall have the same right and
power over such judgments and executions as his (1) Own, control, manage or accept
client would have to enforce his lien and secure the employment as officer, employee,
payment of his just fees and disbursements.
consultant, counsel, broker, agent,
trustee or nominee in any private
RULE 116 enterprise regulated, supervised or
licensed by their office unless
Arraignment and Plea expressly allowed by law;

Section 7. Appointment of counsel de oficio. The (2) Engage in the private practice
court, considering the gravity of the offense and the of their profession unless
difficulty of the questions that may arise, shall authorized by the Constitution or
appoint as counsel de oficio only such members of law, provided, that such practice
the bar in good standing who, by reason of their will not conflict or tend to conflict
experience and ability, can competently defend the with their official functions; or
accused. But in localities where such members of the
bar are not available, the court may appoint any (3) Recommend any person to any
person, resident of the province and of good repute position in a private enterprise
for probity and ability, to defend the accused. (7a) which has a regular or pending
official transaction with their office.
LABOR CODE
Art. 222 ARTICLE VII
ART. VII
Appearances and Fees.

1. Non-lawyers may appear before the EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT


Commission or any Labor Arbiter only:

2. If they represent their organization or Section 13. The President, Vice-President, the
members thereof. Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or
assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this
3. No attorneys fees, negotiation fees or Constitution, hold any other office or employment
similar charges of any kind arising from any during their tenure. They shall not, during said
collective bargaining agreement shall be
tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other
imposed on any individual member of the
contracting union: Provided, However, that profession, participate in any business, or be
attorneys fees may be charged against union financially interested in any contract with, or in any
funds in an amount to be agreed upon by the franchise, or special privilege granted by the
parties. Any contract, agreement or Government or any subdivision, agency, or
arrangement of any sort to the contrary shall be instrumentality thereof, including government-owned
null and void. (As amended by Presidential
or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They
Decree No. 1691, May 1, 1980
shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct
of their office.
Republic Act No. 6713 February 20,
1989 The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity
within the fourth civil degree of the President shall
AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CODE OF CONDUCT not, during his tenure, be appointed as Members of
AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC the Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the
OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES, TO UPHOLD THE Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Undersecretaries,
TIME-HONORED PRINCIPLE OF PUBLIC OFFICE chairmen or heads of bureaus or offices, including
BEING A PUBLIC TRUST, GRANTING INCENTIVES government-owned or controlled corporations and
AND REWARDS FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE, their subsidiaries.
ENUMERATING PROHIBITED ACTS AND
TRANSACTIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES ARTICLE IX
FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES
Constitutional Commissions

44
A. Common Provisions (2) Appear as counsel in any
criminal case wherein an officer or
SECTION 1. The Constitutional Commissions, which employee of the national or local
shall be independent, are the Civil Service government is accused of an
Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the offense committed in relation to his
Commission on Audit. office.

SECTION 2. No Member of a Constitutional (3) Collect any fee for their


Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any other appearance in administrative
office or employment. Neither shall he engage in the proceedings involving the local
practice of any profession or in the active government unit of which he is an
management or control of any business which in any official; and
way be affected by the functions of his office, nor
shall he be financially interested, directly or (4) Use property and personnel of
indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or the government except when the
privilege granted by the Government, any of its sanggunian member concerned is
subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including defending the interest of the
government-owned or controlled corporations or government.
their subsidiaries.
(c) Doctors of medicine may practice their
ARTICLE XI profession even during official hours of work
only on occasions of emergency: Provided,
That the officials concerned do not derive
Accountability of Public Officers
monetary compensation therefrom.

SECTION 8. The Ombudsman and his Deputies shall


be natural-born citizens of the Philippines, and at the ARTICLE VI
time of their appointment, at least forty years old, of
recognized probity and independence, and members The Legislative Department
of the Philippine Bar, and must not have been
candidates for any elective office in the immediately SECTION 14. No Senator or Member of the House of
preceding election. The Ombudsman must have for Representatives may personally appear as counsel
ten years or more been a judge or engaged in the before any court of justice or before the Electoral
practice of law in the Philippines. Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative
bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be
During their tenure, they shall be subject to the same interested financially in any contract with, or in any
disqualifications and prohibitions as provided for in franchise or special privilege granted by the
Section 2 of Article IX-A of this Constitution. Government, or any subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality thereof, including any government-
owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary,
during his term of office. He shall not intervene in
any matter before any office of the Government for
his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called
upon to act on account of his office.
Republic Act No. 7160 October 10, 1991
Setion 41(b) Amended by RA 8553
Setion 43 Amended by RA 8553

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A LOCAL GOVERNMENT


CODE OF 1991

Section 90. Practice of Profession. -


REPUBLIC ACT NO. 910

(a) All governors, city and municipal mayors


are prohibited from practicing their AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE RETIREMENT OF
profession or engaging in any occupation JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT AND OF THE
other than the exercise of their functions as COURT OF APPEALS, FOR THE ENFORCEMENT
local chief executives. OF THE PROVISIONS HEREOF BY THE
GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM,
AND TO REPEAL COMMONWEALTH ACT
(b) Sanggunian members may practice their
NUMBERED FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX
professions, engage in any occupation, or
teach in schools except during session
hours: Provided, That sanggunian members Section 1. When a Justice of the Supreme Court or
who are also members of the Bar shall not: of the Court of Appeals who has rendered at least
twenty years' service either in the judiciary or in any
other branch of the Government, or in both, (a)
(1) Appear as counsel before any
retires for having attained the age of seventy years,
court in any civil case wherein a
or (b) resigns by reason of his incapacity to discharge
local government unit or any office,
the duties of his office, he shall receive during the
agency, or instrumentality of the
residue of his natural life, in the manner hereinafter
government is the adverse party;
provided, the salary which he was receiving at the

45
time of his retirement or resignation. And when a
Justice of the Supreme Court or of the Court of
Appeals has attained the age of fifty-seven years and RESOLUTION
has rendered at least twenty-years' service in the
Government, ten or more of which have been Acting on the compliance dated 05 July 2004 and on
continuously rendered as such Justice or as judge of the proposed Rules on Notarial Practice of 2004
a court of record, he shall be likewise entitled to submitted by the Sub-Committee for the Study,
retire and receive during the residue of his natural Drafting and Formulation of the Rules Governing the
life, in the manner also hereinafter prescribed, the Appointment of Notaries Public and the Performance
salary which he was then receiving. It is a condition and Exercise of Their Official Functions, of the
Committees on Revision of the Rules of Court and on
of the pension provided for herein that no retiring
Legal Education and Bar Matters, the Court Resolved
Justice during the time that he is receiving said to APPROVE the proposed Rules on Notarial Practice
pension shall appear as counsel before any court in of 2004, with modifications, thus:
any civil case wherein the Government or any
subdivision or instrumentality thereof is the adverse 2004 RULES ON NOTARIAL PRACTICE
party, or in any criminal case wherein and officer or
employee of the Government is accused of an
RULE I
offense committed in relation to his office, or collect
IMPLEMENTATION
any fee for his appearance in any administrative
proceedings to maintain an interest adverse to the
Government, insular, provincial or municipal, or to SECTION 1. Title. - These Rules shall be known as the
any of its legally constituted officers. 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice.

SEC. 2. Purposes. - These Rules shall be applied and


construed to advance the following purposes:

(a) to promote, serve, and protect public interest;


(b) to simplify, clarify, and modernize the rules
governing notaries public; and

(c) to foster ethical conduct among notaries public.

SEC. 3. Interpretation. - Unless the context of these


Rules otherwise indicates, words in the singular
include the plural, and words in the plural include the
singular.

RULE II
DEFINITIONS

SECTION 1. Acknowledgment. - Acknowledgment


refers to an act in which an individual on a single
occasion:

(a) appears in person before the notary public


and presents an integrally complete
instrument or document;

Republic of the Philippines


(b) is attested to be personally known to the notary
Supreme Court
Manila public or identified by the notary public through
competent evidence of identity as defined by these
EN BANC Rules; and -

(c) represents to the notary public that the signature


on the instrument or document was voluntarily
A.M. No. 02-8-13-SC
affixed by him for the purposes stated in the
2004 Rules on Notarial Practice

46
instrument or document, declares that he has (a) appears in person before the notary public and
executed the instrument or document as his free and presents an instrument or document;
voluntary act and deed, and, if he acts in a particular
representative capacity, that he has the authority to
sign in that capacity.

(b) is personally known to the notary public or


identified by the notary public through competent
evidence of identity as defined by these Rules; chan
SEC. 2. Affirmation or Oath. - The term Affirmation robles virtual law library
or Oath refers to an act in which an individual on a
single occasion:

(c) signs the instrument or document in the


presence of the notary; and
(a) appears in person before the notary public;

(b) is personally known to the notary public or


identified by the notary public through (d) takes an oath or affirmation before the notary
competent evidence of identity as defined public as to such instrument or document.
by these Rules; and

(c) avows under penalty of law to the whole


truth of the contents of the instrument or
SEC. 7. Notarial Act and Notarization. - Notarial Act
document.
and Notarization refer to any act that a notary
public is empowered to perform under these Rules.

SEC. 3. Commission. - Commission refers to the


grant of authority to perform notarial acts and to the
SEC. 8. Notarial Certificate. - Notarial Certificate
written evidence of the authority.
refers to the part of, or attachment to, a notarized
instrument or document that is completed by the
notary public, bears the notary's signature and seal,
and states the facts attested to by the notary public
SEC. 4. Copy Certification. - Copy Certification in a particular notarization as provided for by these
refers to a notarial act in which a notary public: Rules.

(a) is presented with an instrument or


document that is neither a vital record, a
public record, nor publicly recordable; SEC. 9. Notary Public and Notary. - Notary Public
and Notary refer to any person commissioned to
perform official acts under these Rules.
(b) copies or supervises the copying of the
instrument or document;

SEC. 10. Principal. - Principal refers to a person


appearing before the notary public whose act is the
(c) compares the instrument or document with subject of notarization.
the copy; and

SEC. 11. Regular Place of Work or Business. - The


(d) determines that the copy is accurate and term regular place of work or business refers to a
complete. stationary office in the city or province wherein the
notary public renders legal and notarial services.

SEC. 5. Notarial Register. - Notarial Register refers


to a permanently bound book with numbered pages SEC. 12. Competent Evidence of Identity. - The
containing a chronological record of notarial acts phrase competent evidence of identity refers to the
performed by a notary public. identification of an individual based on:

SEC. 6. Jurat. - Jurat refers to an act in which an (a) at least one current identification document
individual on a single occasion: issued by an official agency bearing the
photograph and signature of the individual;

47
SEC. 19. Vendor. - Vendor under these Rules refers
(b) the oath or affirmation of one credible to a seller of a notarial seal and shall include a
witness not privy to the instrument, document or wholesaler or retailer.
transaction who is personally known to the
notary public and who personally knows the
individual, or of two credible witnesses neither of
whom is privy to the instrument, document or
SEC. 20. Manufacturer. - Manufacturer under these
transaction who each personally knows the
Rules refers to one who produces a notarial seal and
individual and shows to the notary public
shall include an engraver and seal maker.
documentary identification.

RULE III
SEC. 13. Official Seal or Seal. - Official seal or
COMMISSIONING OF NOTARY PUBLIC
Seal refers to a device for affixing a mark, image or
impression on all papers officially signed by the
notary public conforming the requisites prescribed by
these Rules.
SECTION 1. Qualifications. - A notarial commission
may be issued by an Executive Judge to any qualified
person who submits a petition in accordance with
these Rules.
SEC. 14. Signature Witnessing. - The term signature
witnessing refers to a notarial act in which an
individual on a single occasion:

To be eligible for commissioning as notary public, the


petitioner:
(a) appears in person before the notary public and
presents an instrument or document;

(1) must be a citizen of the Philippines;

(b) is personally known to the notary public or


identified by the notary public through competent (2) must be over twenty-one (21) years of age;
evidence of identity as defined by these Rules;
and chan robles virtual law library
(3) must be a resident in the Philippines for at
least one (1) year and maintains a regular place
of work or business in the city or province where
(c) signs the instrument or document in the presence the commission is to be issued;
of the notary public.

(4) must be a member of the Philippine Bar in


SEC. 15. Court. - Court refers to the Supreme Court good standing with clearances from the Office of
of the Philippines. the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court and the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and

SEC. 16. Petitioner. - Petitioner refers to a person (5) must not have been convicted in the first
who applies for a notarial commission. instance of any crime involving moral turpitude.

SEC. 17. Office of the Court Administrator. - Office of SEC. 2. Form of the Petition and Supporting
the Court Administrator refers to the Office of the Documents. - Every petition for a notarial
Court Administrator of the Supreme Court. commission shall be in writing, verified, and shall
include the following:c

SEC. 18. Executive Judge. - Executive Judge refers


to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of a (a) a statement containing the petitioner's
city or province who issues a notarial commission. personal qualifications, including the
petitioner's date of birth, residence,
telephone number, professional tax receipt,
roll of attorney's number and IBP
membership number;

48
(b) certification of good moral character of the (b) The notice shall be substantially in the
petitioner by at least two (2) executive officers following form:
of the local chapter of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines where he is applying for commission;

NOTICE OF HEARING
(c) proof of payment for the filing of the petition
as required by these Rules; and Notice is hereby given that a summary hearing
on the petition for notarial commission of
(name of petitioner) shall be held on (date) at
(d) three (3) passport-size color photographs (place) at (time). Any person who has any
with light background taken within thirty (30) cause or reason to object to the grant of the
days of the application. The photograph should petition may file a verified written opposition
not be retouched. The petitioner shall sign his thereto, received by the undersigned before
name at the bottom part of the photographs. the date of the summary hearing.

Executive Judge

SEC. 3. Application Fee. - Every petitioner for a


notarial commission shall pay the application fee as
prescribed in the Rules of Court. chan robles virtual
law library SEC. 6. Opposition to Petition. - Any person who has
any cause or reason to object to the grant of the
petition may file a verified written opposition thereto.
The opposition must be received by the Executive
Judge before the date of the summary hearing. chan
SEC. 4. Summary Hearing on the Petition. - The robles virtual law library
Executive Judge shall conduct a summary hearing on
the petition and shall grant the same if:
SEC. 7. Form of Notarial Commission. - The
commissioning of a notary public shall be in a formal
order signed by the Executive Judge substantially in
the following form:
(a) the petition is sufficient in form and substance;

(b) the petitioner proves the allegations contained in REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
the petition; and REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ______________

This is to certify that (name of notary public) of


(regular place of work or business) in (city or
province) was on this (date) day of (month)
(c) the petitioner establishes to the satisfaction of two thousand and (year) commissioned by the
the Executive Judge that he has read and fully undersigned as a notary public, within and for
understood these Rules. the said jurisdiction, for a term ending the
thirty-first day of December (year)

________________________
The Executive Judge shall forthwith issue a Executive Judge
commission and a Certificate of Authorization to
Purchase a Notarial Seal in favor of the petitioner.

SEC. 8. Period Of Validity of Certificate of


Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal. - The
SEC. 5. Notice of Summary Hearing. Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a Notarial
Seal shall be valid for a period of three (3) months
from date of issue, unless extended by the Executive
Judge.

(a) The notice of summary hearing shall be


published in a newspaper of general A mark, image or impression of the seal that may be
circulation in the city or province where the purchased by the notary public pursuant to the
hearing shall be conducted and posted in a Certificate shall be presented to the Executive Judge
conspicuous place in the offices of the for approval prior to use.
Executive Judge and of the Clerk of Court.
The cost of the publication shall be borne by
the petitioner. The notice may include more
than one petitioner. SEC. 9. Form of Certificate of Authorization to
Purchase a Notarial Seal. - The Certificate of
Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal shall

49
substantially be in the following form: five (45) days before the expiration thereof. A mark,
image or impression of the seal of the notary public
shall be attached to the application.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF_____________

CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORIZATION Failure to file said application will result in the


TO PURCHASE A NOTARIAL SEAL deletion of the name of the notary public in the
register of notaries public.

This is to authorize (name of notary public) of


(city or province) who was commissioned by The notary public thus removed from the Register of
the undersigned as a notary public, within and Notaries Public may only be reinstated therein after
for the said jurisdiction, for a term ending, the he is issued a new commission in accordance with
thirty-first of December (year) to purchase a these Rules.
notarial seal.

SEC. 14. Action on Application for Renewal of


Issued this (day) of (month) (year). Commission. - The Executive Judge shall, upon
payment of the application fee mentioned in Section
________________________ 3 above of this Rule, act on an application for the
renewal of a commission within thirty (30) days from
receipt thereof. If the application is denied, the
Executive Judge shall state the reasons therefor.
Executive Judge

RULE IV
SEC. 10. Official Seal of Notary Public. - Every person POWERS AND LIMITATIONS OF NOTARIES
commissioned as notary public shall have only one PUBLIC
official seal of office in accordance with these Rules.
SECTION 1. Powers. - (a) A notary public is
empowered to perform the following notarial acts:

SEC. 11. Jurisdiction and Term. - A person (1) acknowledgments;


commissioned as notary public may perform notarial (2) oaths and affirmations;
acts in any place within the territorial jurisdiction of (3) jurats; chan robles virtual law library
the commissioning court for a period of two (2) years (4) signature witnessings;
commencing the first day of January of the year in (5) copy certifications; and
which the commissioning is made, unless earlier (6) any other act authorized by these Rules.
revoked or the notary public has resigned under
these Rules and the Rules of Court. chan robles
(b) A notary public is authorized to certify the affixing
virtual law library
of a signature by thumb or other mark on an
instrument or document presented for notarization if:

SEC. 12. Register of Notaries Public. - The Executive


Judge shall keep and maintain a Register of Notaries
(1) the thumb or other mark is affixed in the
Public in his jurisdiction which shall contain, among
presence of the notary public and of two (2)
others, the dates of issuance or revocation or
disinterested and unaffected witnesses to
suspension of notarial commissions, and the
the instrument or document;
resignation or death of notaries public.

(2) both witnesses sign their own names in


addition to the thumb or other mark;

The Executive Judge shall furnish the Office of the


(3) the notary public writes below the thumb or
Court Administrator information and data recorded in
other mark: "Thumb or Other Mark affixed
the register of notaries public. The Office of the Court
by (name of signatory by mark) in the
Administrator shall keep a permanent, complete and
presence of (names and addresses of
updated database of such records. chan robles
witnesses) and undersigned notary public";
virtual law library
and chan robles virtual law library

(4) the notary public notarizes the signature by


thumb or other mark through an
SEC. 13. Renewal of Commission. - A notary public acknowledgment, jurat, or signature
may file a written application with the Executive witnessing.
Judge for the renewal of his commission within forty-

50
(a) is a party to the instrument or document that is
to be notarized; chan robles virtual law library
(c) A notary public is authorized to sign on behalf of a (b) will receive, as a direct or indirect result, any
person who is physically unable to sign or make a commission, fee, advantage, right, title, interest,
mark on an instrument or document if: cash, property, or other consideration, except as
provided by these Rules and by law; or
(c) is a spouse, common-law partner, ancestor,
descendant, or relative by affinity or consanguinity of
the principal within the fourth civil degree. chan
(1) the notary public is directed by the person robles virtual law library
unable to sign or make a mark to sign on his behalf;
SEC. 4. Refusal to Notarize. - A notary public shall not
(2) the signature of the notary public is affixed in the perform any notarial act described in these Rules for
presence of two disinterested and unaffected any person requesting such an act even if he tenders
witnesses to the instrument or document; the appropriate fee specified by these Rules
if:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(3) both witnesses sign their own names ;
(a) the notary knows or has good reason to believe
(4) the notary public writes below his signature: that the notarial act or transaction is unlawful or
Signature affixed by notary in presence of (names immoral;
and addresses of person and two [2] witnesses); (b) the signatory shows a demeanor which
and engenders in the mind of the notary public
reasonable doubt as to the former's knowledge of the
consequences of the transaction requiring a notarial
(5) the notary public notarizes his signature by
act; and
acknowledgment or jurat.
(c) in the notary's judgment, the signatory is not
acting of his or her own free will.

SEC. 5. False or Incomplete Certificate. - A notary


SEC. 2. Prohibitions. - (a) A notary public shall not public shall not: chan robles virtual law library
perform a notarial act outside his regular place of
work or business; provided, however, that on certain
(a) execute a certificate containing information
exceptional occasions or situations, a notarial act
known or believed by the notary to be false.
may be performed at the request of the parties in the
(b) affix an official signature or seal on a notarial
following sites located within his territorial
certificate that is incomplete.chan robles virtual law
jurisdiction:
library

SEC. 6. Improper Instruments or Documents. - A


notary public shall not
(1) public offices, convention halls, and similar notarize:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
places where oaths of office may be administered;

(a) a blank or incomplete instrument or document;


(2) public function areas in hotels and similar places or chan robles virtual law library
for the signing of instruments or documents requiring (b) an instrument or document without appropriate
notarization; notarial certification.
(3) hospitals and other medical institutions where a
party to an instrument or document is confined for
RULE V
treatment; and FEES OF NOTARY PUBLIC
(4) any place where a party to an instrument or
document requiring notarization is under detention.
SECTION 1. Imposition and Waiver of Fees. - For
performing a notarial act, a notary public may charge
the maximum fee as prescribed by the Supreme
Court unless he waives the fee in whole or in part.
(b) A person shall not perform a notarial act if the chan robles virtual law library
person involved as signatory to the instrument or SEC. 2. Travel Fees and Expenses. - A notary public
document - may charge travel fees and expenses separate and
apart from the notarial fees prescribed in the
preceding section when traveling to perform a
(1) is not in the notary's presence personally at the
notarial act if the notary public and the person
time of the notarization; and
requesting the notarial act agree prior to the
travel.cralaw
(2) is not personally known to the notary public or
otherwise identified by the notary public through
SEC. 3. Prohibited Fees. No fee or compensation of
competent evidence of identity as defined by these
any kind, except those expressly prescribed and
Rules.chan robles virtual law library
allowed herein, shall be collected or received for any
notarial service.cralaw
SEC. 3. Disqualifications. - A notary public is
disqualified from performing a notarial act if
SEC. 4. Payment or Refund of Fees. - A notary public
he:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
shall not require payment of any fees specified
herein prior to the performance of a notarial act

51
unless otherwise agreed upon. chan robles virtual or business; and
law library (10) any other circumstance the notary public may
deem of significance or relevance.
Any travel fees and expenses paid to a notary public
prior to the performance of a notarial act are not (b) A notary public shall record in the notarial register
subject to refund if the notary public had already the reasons and circumstances for not completing a
traveled but failed to complete in whole or in part the notarial act.
notarial act for reasons beyond his control and
without negligence on his part.cralaw (c) A notary public shall record in the notarial register
the circumstances of any request to inspect or copy
SEC. 5. Notice of Fees. - A notary public who charges an entry in the notarial register, including the
a fee for notarial services shall issue a receipt requester's name, address, signature, thumbmark or
registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other recognized identifier, and evidence of identity.
keep a journal of notarial fees. He shall enter in the The reasons for refusal to allow inspection or copying
journal all fees charged for services rendered. chan of a journal entry shall also be recorded.cralaw
robles virtual law library
(d) When the instrument or document is a contract,
A notary public shall post in a conspicuous place in the notary public shall keep an original copy thereof
his office a complete schedule of chargeable notarial as part of his records and enter in said records a brief
fees.cralaw description of the substance thereof and shall give to
each entry a consecutive number, beginning with
RULE VI number one in each calendar year. He shall also
NOTARIAL REGISTER retain a duplicate original copy for the Clerk of
Court.cralaw

SECTION 1. Form of Notarial Register. - (a) A notary


public shall keep, maintain, protect and provide for (e) The notary public shall give to each instrument or
lawful inspection as provided in these Rules, a document executed, sworn to, or acknowledged
chronological official notarial register of notarial acts before him a number corresponding to the one in his
consisting of a permanently bound book with register, and shall also state on the instrument or
numbered pages. chan robles virtual law library document the page/s of his register on which the
same is recorded. No blank line shall be left between
entries.cralaw
The register shall be kept in books to be furnished by
the Solicitor General to any notary public upon
request and upon payment of the cost thereof. The (f) In case of a protest of any draft, bill of exchange
register shall be duly paged, and on the first page, or promissory note, the notary public shall make a
the Solicitor General shall certify the number of full and true record of all proceedings in relation
pages of which the book consists.cralaw thereto and shall note therein whether the demand
for the sum of money was made, by whom, when,
and where; whether he presented such draft, bill or
For purposes of this provision, a Memorandum of
note; whether notices were given, to whom and in
Agreement or Understanding may be entered into by
what manner; where the same was made, when and
the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of
to whom and where directed; and of every other fact
the Court Administrator. chan robles virtual law
touching the same.cralaw
library

(g) At the end of each week, the notary public shall


(b) A notary public shall keep only one active notarial
certify in his notarial register the number of
register at any given time.cralaw
instruments or documents executed, sworn to,
acknowledged, or protested before him; or if none,
SEC. 2. Entries in the Notarial Register. - (a) For every this certificate shall show this fact.cralaw
notarial act, the notary shall record in the notarial
register at the time of notarization the
(h) A certified copy of each month's entries and a
following: chan robles virtual law library
duplicate original copy of any instrument
acknowledged before the notary public shall, within
(1) the entry number and page number; chan robles the first ten (10) days of the month following, be
virtual law library forwarded to the Clerk of Court and shall be under
(2) the date and time of day of the notarial act; the responsibility of such officer. If there is no entry
(3) the type of notarial act; chan robles virtual law to certify for the month, the notary shall forward a
library statement to this effect in lieu of certified copies
(4) the title or description of the instrument, herein required.cralaw
document or proceeding;
(5) the name and address of each principal; chan
SEC. 3. Signatures and Thumbmarks. - At the time of
robles virtual law library
notarization, the notary's notarial register shall be
(6) the competent evidence of identity as defined by
signed or a thumb or other mark affixed by
these Rules if the signatory is not
each:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
personally known to the notary; chan robles virtual
law library
(7) the name and address of each credible witness (a) principal;
swearing to or affirming the person's identity; (b) credible witness swearing or affirming to the
(8) the fee charged for the notarial act; identity of a principal; and
(9) the address where the notarization was (c) witness to a signature by thumb or other mark, or
performed if not in the notary's regular place of work to a signing by the notary public on behalf of a
person physically unable to sign.

52
SEC. 4. Inspection, Copying and Disposal. - (a) In the of metal, circular in shape, two inches in diameter,
notary's presence, any person may inspect an entry and shall have the name of the city or province and
in the notarial register, during regular business the word Philippines and his own name on the
hours, provided; margin and the roll of attorney's number on the face
thereof, with the words "notary public" across the
(1) the person's identity is personally known to the center. A mark, image or impression of such seal
notary public or proven through competent evidence shall be made directly on the paper or parchment on
of identity as defined in these Rules; which the writing appears.
(2) the person affixes a signature and thumb or other
mark or other recognized identifier, in the notarial (b) The official seal shall be affixed only at the time
register in a separate, dated entry; the notarial act is performed and shall be clearly
(3) the person specifies the month, year, type of impressed by the notary public on every page of the
instrument or document, and name of the principal in instrument or document notarized. chan robles
the notarial act or acts sought; and virtual law library
(4) the person is shown only the entry or entries
specified by him. (c) When not in use, the official seal shall be kept
safe and secure and shall be accessible only to the
(b) The notarial register may be examined by a law notary public or the person duly authorized by
enforcement officer in the course of an official him. chan robles virtual law library
investigation or by virtue of a court order.
(d) Within five (5) days after the official seal of a
(c) If the notary public has a reasonable ground to notary public is stolen, lost, damaged or other
believe that a person has a criminal intent or otherwise rendered unserviceable in affixing a legible
wrongful motive in requesting information from the image, the notary public, after informing the
notarial register, the notary shall deny access to any appropriate law enforcement agency, shall notify the
entry or entries therein.cralaw Executive Judge in writing, providing proper receipt
or acknowledgment, including registered mail, and in
SEC. 5. Loss, Destruction or Damage of Notarial the event of a crime committed, provide a copy or
Register. - (a) In case the notarial register is stolen, entry number of the appropriate police record. Upon
lost, destroyed, damaged, or otherwise rendered receipt of such notice, if found in order by the
unusable or illegible as a record of notarial acts, the Executive Judge, the latter shall order the notary
notary public shall, within ten (10) days after public to cause notice of such loss or damage to be
informing the appropriate law enforcement agency in published, once a week for three (3) consecutive
the case of theft or vandalism, notify the Executive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Judge by any means providing a proper receipt or city or province where the notary public is
acknowledgment, including registered mail and also commissioned. Thereafter, the Executive Judge shall
provide a copy or number of any pertinent police issue to the notary public a new Certificate of
report.cralaw Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal.cralaw

(b) Upon revocation or expiration of a notarial (e) Within five (5) days after the death or resignation
commission, or death of the notary public, the of the notary public, or the revocation or expiration
notarial register and notarial records shall of a notarial commission, the official seal shall be
immediately be delivered to the office of the surrendered to the Executive Judge and shall be
Executive Judge.cralaw destroyed or defaced in public during office hours. In
the event that the missing, lost or damaged seal is
later found or surrendered, it shall be delivered by
SEC. 6. Issuance of Certified True Copies. - The notary
the notary public to the Executive Judge to be
public shall supply a certified true copy of the
disposed of in accordance with this section. Failure to
notarial record, or any part thereof, to any person
effect such surrender shall constitute contempt of
applying for such copy upon payment of the legal
court. In the event of death of the notary public, the
fees.cralaw
person in possession of the official seal shall have
the duty to surrender it to the Executive Judge.cralaw
RULE VII
SIGNATURE AND SEAL OF NOTARY PUBLIC
SEC. 3. Seal Image. - The notary public shall affix a
single, clear, legible, permanent, and
SECTION 1. Official Signature. In notarizing a paper photographically reproducible mark, image or
instrument or document, a notary public impression of the official seal beside his signature on
shall:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary the notarial certificate of a paper instrument or
document.cralaw
(a) sign by hand on the notarial certificate only the
name indicated and as appearing on the notary's SEC. 4. Obtaining and Providing Seal. - (a) A vendor
commission; chan robles virtual law library or manufacturer of notarial seals may not sell said
(b) not sign using a facsimile stamp or printing product without a written authorization from the
device; and Executive Judge.cralaw
(c) affix his official signature only at the time the
notarial act is performed.
(b) Upon written application and after payment of the
application fee, the Executive Judge may issue an
SEC. 2. Official Seal. - (a) Every person commissioned authorization to sell to a vendor or manufacturer of
as notary public shall have a seal of office, to be notarial seals after verification and investigation of
procured at his own expense, which shall not be the latter's qualifications. The Executive Judge shall
possessed or owned by any other person. It shall be charge an authorization fee in the amount of PhP

53
4,000 for the vendor and PhP 8,000 for the SECTION 1. Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act.
manufacturer. If a manufacturer is also a vendor, he - A certificate of authority evidencing the authenticity
shall only pay the manufacturer's authorization of the official seal and signature of a notary public
fee.cralaw shall be issued by the Executive Judge upon request
in substantially the following form: chan robles virtual
(c) The authorization shall be in effect for a period of law library
four (4) years from the date of its issuance and may
be renewed by the Executive Judge for a similar CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY FOR A NOTARIAL
period upon payment of the authorization fee ACT
mentioned in the preceding paragraph.cralaw
I, (name, title, jurisdiction of the Executive
(d) A vendor or manufacturer shall not sell a seal to a Judge), certify that (name of notary public), the
buyer except upon submission of a certified copy of person named in the seal and signature on the
the commission and the Certificate of Authorization attached document, is a Notary Public in and
to Purchase a Notarial Seal issued by the Executive for the (City/Municipality/Province) of the
Judge. A notary public obtaining a new seal as a Republic of the Philippines and authorized to
result of change of name shall present to the vendor act as such at the time of the document's
or manufacturer a certified copy of the Confirmation notarization.chanrobles virtual law librarychan
of the Change of Name issued by the Executive robles virtual law library
Judge.cralaw
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have affixed below my
(e) Only one seal may be sold by a vendor or signature and seal of this office this (date) day
manufacturer for each Certificate of Authorization to of (month) (year).chanrobles virtual law
Purchase a Notarial Seal.cralaw library chan robles virtual law library
_________________
(official signature)
(f) After the sale, the vendor or manufacturer shall
(seal of Executive Judge)
affix a mark, image or impression of the seal to the
Certificate of Authorization to Purchase a Notarial
Seal and submit the completed Certificate to the RULE X
CHANGES OF STATUS OF NOTARY PUBLIC
Executive Judge. Copies of the Certificate of
Authorization to Purchase a Notarial Seal and the
buyer's commission shall be kept in the files of the SECTION 1. Change of Name and Address. -
vendor or manufacturer for four (4) years after the
sale.cralaw Within ten (10) days after the change of name of the
notary public by court order or by marriage, or after
(g) A notary public obtaining a new seal as a result of ceasing to maintain the regular place of work or
change of name shall present to the vendor a business, the notary public shall submit a signed and
certified copy of the order confirming the change of dated notice of such fact to the Executive Judge.
name issued by the Executive Judge.cralaw
The notary public shall not notarize
until:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
RULE VIII
NOTARIAL CERTIFICATES
(a) he receives from the Executive Judge a
confirmation of the new name of the notary public
SECTION 1. Form of Notarial Certificate. - The notarial
and/or change of regular place of work or business;
form used for any notarial instrument or document
and
shall conform to all the requisites prescribed herein,
the Rules of Court and all other provisions of
(b) a new seal bearing the new name has been
issuances by the Supreme Court and in applicable
obtained.
laws. chan robles virtual law library

The foregoing notwithstanding, until the


SEC. 2. Contents of the Concluding Part of the
aforementioned steps have been completed, the
Notarial Certificate. The notarial certificate shall
notary public may continue to use the former name
include the following:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
or regular place of work or business in performing
notarial acts for three (3) months from the date of
(a) the name of the notary public as exactly indicated the change, which may be extended once for valid
in the commission; and just cause by the Executive Judge for another
(b) the serial number of the commission of the notary period not exceeding three (3) months.
public;
(c) the words "Notary Public" and the province or city
SEC. 2. Resignation. - A notary public may resign his
where the notary public is commissioned, the
commission by personally submitting a written, dated
expiration date of the commission, the office address
and signed formal notice to the Executive Judge
of the notary public; and
together with his notarial seal, notarial register and
(d) the roll of attorney's number, the professional tax
records. Effective from the date indicated in the
receipt number and the place and date of issuance
notice, he shall immediately cease to perform
thereof, and the IBP membership number.
notarial acts. In the event of his incapacity to
personally appear, the submission of the notice may
RULE IX be performed by his duly authorized
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY OF NOTARIES representative.cralaw
PUBLIC

54
SEC. 3. Publication of Resignation. - The Executive SEC. 2. Supervision and Monitoring of Notaries Public.
Judge shall immediately order the Clerk of Court to - The Executive Judge shall at all times exercise
post in a conspicuous place in the offices of the supervision over notaries public and shall closely
Executive Judge and of the Clerk of Court the names monitor their activities. chan robles virtual law library
of notaries public who have resigned their notarial
commissions and the effective dates of their SEC. 3. Publication of Revocations and Administrative
resignation.cralaw Sanctions. - The Executive Judge shall immediately
order the Clerk of Court to post in a conspicuous
RULE XI place in the offices of the Executive Judge and of the
REVOCATION OF COMMISSION AND Clerk of Court the names of notaries public who have
DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS been administratively sanctioned or whose notarial
commissions have been revoked.cralaw
SECTION 1. Revocation and Administrative Sanctions.
- (a) The Executive Judge shall revoke a notarial SEC. 4. Death of Notary Public. - If a notary public
commission for any ground on which an application dies before fulfilling the obligations in Section 4(e),
for a commission may be denied. chan robles virtual Rule VI and Section 2(e), Rule VII, the Executive
law library Judge, upon being notified of such death, shall
forthwith cause compliance with the provisions of
(b) In addition, the Executive Judge may revoke the these sections. chan robles virtual law library
commission of, or impose appropriate administrative
sanctions upon, any notary public RULE XII
who:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SPECIAL PROVISIONS

(1) fails to keep a notarial register; SECTION 1. Punishable Acts. - The Executive Judge
(2) fails to make the proper entry or entries in his shall cause the prosecution of any person
notarial register concerning his notarial acts; who:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(3) fails to send the copy of the entries to the
Executive Judge within the first ten (10) days of the (a) knowingly acts or otherwise impersonates a
month following; notary public; chan robles virtual law library
(4) fails to affix to acknowledgments the date of (b) knowingly obtains, conceals, defaces, or destroys
expiration of his commission; the seal, notarial register, or official records of a
(5) fails to submit his notarial register, when filled, to notary public; and
the Executive Judge; (c) knowingly solicits, coerces, or in any way
(6) fails to make his report, within a reasonable time, influences a notary public to commit official
to the Executive Judge concerning the performance misconduct.
of his duties, as may be required by the judge;
(7) fails to require the presence of a principal at the
SEC 2. Reports to the Supreme Court. - The Executive
time of the notarial act;
Judge concerned shall submit semestral reports to
(8) fails to identify a principal on the basis of
the Supreme Court on discipline and prosecution of
personal knowledge or competent evidence;
notaries public.
(9) executes a false or incomplete certificate under
Section 5, Rule IV;
(10) knowingly performs or fails to perform any RULE XIII
other act prohibited or mandated by these Rules; REPEALING AND EFFECTIVITY PROVISIONS
and
(11) commits any other dereliction or act which in SECTION 1. Repeal. - All rules and parts of rules,
the judgment of the Executive Judge constitutes good including issuances of the Supreme Court
cause for revocation of commission or imposition of inconsistent herewith, are hereby repealed or
administrative sanction. accordingly modified. chan robles virtual law library

(c) Upon verified complaint by an interested, affected SEC. 2. Effective Date. - These Rules shall take effect
or aggrieved person, the notary public shall be on the first day of August 2004, and shall be
required to file a verified answer to the complaint. If published in a newspaper of general circulation in the
the answer of the notary public is not satisfactory, Philippines which provides sufficiently wide
the Executive Judge shall conduct a summary circulation.
hearing. If the allegations of the complaint are not
Promulgated this 6th day of July, 2004. chan robles
proven, the complaint shall be dismissed. If the
virtual law library
charges are duly established, the Executive Judge
shall impose the appropriate administrative
sanctions. In either case, the aggrieved party may
appeal the decision to the Supreme Court for review.
Pending the appeal, an order imposing disciplinary
sanctions shall be immediately executory, unless
otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court.

(d) The Executive Judge may motu proprio initiate


administrative proceedings against a notary public,
subject to the procedures prescribed in paragraph (c)
above and impose the appropriate administrative
sanctions on the grounds mentioned in the preceding
paragraphs (a) and (b).cralaw

55
Section 4. Chapter assistance to complainant.
The proper IBP Chapter may assist the
complainant(s) in the preparation and filing of his
complaint(s).

Section 5. Service or dismissal. If the complaint


appears to be meritorious, the Investigator shall
RULE 139-B
direct that a copy thereof be served upon the
respondent, requiring him to answer the same within
Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys fifteen (15) days from the date of service. If the
complaint does not merit action, or if the answer
Section 1. How Instituted. Proceedings for the shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that the
disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys complaint is not meritorious, the same may be
may be taken by the Supreme Court motu propio, or dismissed by the Board of Governors upon his
by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon recommendation. A copy of the resolution of
the verified complaint of any person. The complaint dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the
shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained Supreme Court which may review the case motu
of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons propio or upon timely appeal of the complainant filed
having personal knowledge of the facts therein within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the
alleged and/or by such documents as may complainant.
substantiate said facts.
No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated
The IBP Board of Governors may, motu propio or by reason of the desistance, settlement,
upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter compromise, restitution, withdrawal of the charges,
Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person, or failure of the complainant to prosecute the
initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring same, unless the Supreme Court motu propio or
attorneys including those in the government service. upon recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors,
determines that there is no compelling reason to
continue with the disbarment or suspension
Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed
proceedings against the respondent. (Amendment
with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any
pursuant to Supreme Court Resolution dated May 27,
of its chapter who shall forthwith transmit the same
1993 re Bar Matter 356).
to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an
investigator.
Section 6. Verification and service of answer. The
answer shall be verified. The original and five (5)
A. PROCEEDINGS IN THE INTEGRATED BAR OF
legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the
THE PHILIPPINES
Investigator, with proof of service of a copy thereof
on the complainant or his counsel.
Section 2. National Grievance Investigators. The
Board of Governors shall appoint from among IBP
Section 7. Administrative counsel. The IBP Board
members an Investigator or, when special
of Governors shall appoint a suitable member of the
circumstances so warrant, a panel of three (3)
Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the complainant
investigators to investigate the complaint. All
of the respondent during the investigation in case of
Investigators shall take an oath of office in the form
need for such assistance.
prescribed by the Board of Governors. A copy of the
Investigator's appointment and oath shall be
transmitted to the Supreme Court. Section 8. Investigation. Upon joinder of issues or
upon failure of the respondent to answer, the
Investigator shall, with deliberate speed, proceed
An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of
with the investigation of the case. He shall have the
relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity
power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. The
of affinity to any of the parties of their counsel,
respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend
pecuniary interest, personal bias, or his having acted
himself, to present witnesses on his behalf, and be
as counsel to his acting as such Investigator. Where
heard by himself and counsel. However, if upon
the Investigator does not disqualify himself, a party
reasonable notice, the respondent fails to appear, the
may appeal to the IBP Board of Governors, which by
investigation shall proceed ex parte.
majority vote of the members present, there being a
quorum, may order his disqualification.
The Investigator shall terminate the investigation
within three (3) months from the date of its
Any Investigator may also be removed for cause,
commencement, unless extended for good cause by
after due hearing, by the vote of at least six (6)
the Board of Governors upon prior application.
members of the IBP Board of Governors. The decision
of the Board of Governors in all cases of
disqualification or removal shall be final. Willful failure or refusal to obey a subpoena or any
other lawful order issued by the Investigator shall be
dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. The
Section 3. Duties of the National Grievance
corresponding charge shall be filed by the
Investigator. The National Grievance Investigators
Investigator before the IBP Board of Governors which
shall investigate all complaints against members of
shall require the alleged contemnor to show cause
the Integrated Bar referred to them by the IBP Board
within ten (10) days from notice. The IBP Board of
of Governors.
Governors may thereafter conduct hearings, if
necessary, in accordance with the procedure set
forth in this Rule for hearings before the Investigator.

56
Such hearing shall as far as practicable be resolution setting forth its findings and
terminated within fifteen (15) days from its recommendations which, together with the
commencement. Thereafter, the IBP Board of whole record of the case, shall forthwith be
Governors shall within a like period of fifteen (15) transmitted to the Supreme Court for final
days issue a resolution setting forth its findings and action.
recommendations, which shall forthwith be
transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action and c) If the respondent is exonerated by the
if warranted, the imposition of penalty. Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed
by it is less than suspension or disbarment
Section 9. Depositions. Depositions may be taken (such as admonition, reprimand, or fine) it
in accordance with the Rules of Court with leave of shall issue a decision exonerating
the investigator(s). respondent or imposing such sanction. The
case shall be deemed terminated unless
Within the Philippines, depositions may be taken upon petition of the complainant or other
before any member of the Board of Governors, the interested party filed with the Supreme
President of any Chapter, or any officer authorized by Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of
law to administer oaths. the Board's resolution, the Supreme Court
orders otherwise.

Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines


before diplomatic or consular representative of the d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the
Philippine Government or before any person agreed Board shall be given to all parties through
upon by the parties or designated by the Board of their counsel. A copy of the same shall be
Governors. transmitted to the Supreme Court.

Any suitable member of the Integrated Bar in the B. PROCEEDINGS IN THE SUPREME COURT
place where a deposition shall be taken may be
designated by the Investigator to assist the Section 13. Supreme Court Investigation. In
complainant or the respondent in taking a deposition. proceedings initiated motu propio by the Supreme
Court or in other proceedings when the interest of
Section 10. Report of Investigator. Not later than justice so requires, the Supreme Court may refer the
thirty (30) days from the termination of the case for investigation to the Solicitor-General or to
investigation, the Investigator shall submit a report any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower
containing his findings of fact and recommendations court, in which case the investigation shall proceed in
to the IBP Board of Governors, together with the the same manner provided in sections 6 to 11 hereof,
stenographic notes and the transcript thereof, and all save that the review of the report of investigation
the evidence presented during the investigation. The shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court.
submission of the report need not await the
transcription of the stenographic notes, it being Section 14. Report of the Solicitor General of other
sufficient that the report reproduce substantially from Court-designated Investigator. Based upon the
the Investigator's personal notes any relevant and evidence adduced at the investigation, the Solicitor
pertinent testimonies. General or other Investigator designated by the
Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a
Section 11. Defects. No defect in a complaint, report containing his findings of fact and
notice, answer, or in the proceeding or the recommendations for the final action of the Supreme
Investigator's Report shall be considered as Court.
substantial unless the Board of Governors, upon
considering the whole record, finds that such defect C. COMMON PROVISIONS
has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice,
in which event the Board shall take such remedial Section 15. Suspension of attorney by Supreme
action as the circumstances may warrant, including Court. After receipt of respondent's answer or
invalidation of the entire proceedings. lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme
Court, motu propio, or at the instance of the IBP
Section 12. Review and decision by the Board of Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the
Governors. Investigator, may suspend an attorney from the
practice of his profession for any of the causes
a) Every case heard by an investigator shall specified in Rule 138, Section 27, during the
be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors pendency of the investigation until such suspension
upon the record and evidence transmitted is lifted by the Supreme Court.
to it by the Investigator with his report. The
decision of the Board upon such review shall Section 16. Suspension of attorney by the Court of
be in writing and shall clearly and distinctly Appeals or a Regional Trial Court. 1 The Court of
state the facts and the reasons on which it Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an
is based. It shall be promulgated within a attorney from practice for any of the causes named
period not exceeding thirty (30) days from in Rule 138, Section 27 2, until further action of the
the next meeting of the Board following the Supreme Court in the case.
submittal of the Investigator's Report.
Section 17. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or
b) If the Board, by the vote of a majority of Regional Trial Court, further proceedings in Supreme
its total membership, determines that the Court. Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals
respondent should be suspended from the or a Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to
practice of law or disbarred, it shall issue a the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of

57
suspension and a full statement of the facts upon
which the same was based. Upon receipt of such
certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court
shall make a full investigation of the case and may
revoke, shorten or extend the suspension, or disbar
the attorney as the facts may warrant.

RULE 140
Section 18. Confidentiality. Proceedings against
attorneys shall be private and confidential. However,
the final order of the Supreme Court shall be Charges Against Section 1. Complaint - All
published like its decisions in other cases. Charges against judges of first instance shall be in
writing and shall set out distinctly, clearly, and
concisely the facts complained of as constituting the
Section 19. Expenses. All reasonable and
alleged serious misconduct or inefficiency of the
necessary expenses incurred in relation to
respondent, and shall be sworn to and supported by
disciplinary and disbarment proceedings are lawfull
affidavits of persons who have personal knowledge of
charges for which the parties may be taxed as costs.
the facts therein alleged, and shall be accompanied
with copies of documents which may substantiate
Section 20. Effectivity and Transitory Provision. said facts.
This Rule shall take effect June 1, 1988 and shall
supersede the present Rule 139 entitled
Section 2. Service or dismissal. - If the charges
"DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF ATTORNEYS". All
appear to merit action, a copy thereof shall be
cases pending investigation by the Office of the
served upon the respondent, requiring him to answer
Solicitor General shall be transferred to the
within ten (10) days from the date service. If the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors
charges do not merit action, or if the answer shows
for investigation and disposition as provided in this
to the satisfaction of the court that the charges are
Rule except those cases where the investigation has
not meritorious, the same shall be dismissed.
been substantially completed.

Section 3. Answer; hearing. - Upon the filing of


Footnotes
respondents answer or upon the expiration of the
time for its filing, the court shall assign one of its
1 This section and the following Section 17 members, a Justice of the Court of Appeals or a judge
sepersede Section 9 of Rule 139. of first instance to conduct the hearing of the
charges. The Justice or judge so assigned shall set a
2 The text of Rule 138, Section 27 reads: day for the hearing, and notice thereof shall be
"SEC. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended served on both parties. At such hearing the parties
by the Supreme Court on what grounds. A may present oral or written evidence.
member of the bar may be removed or
suspended form his office as attorney by the Section 4. Report - After the hearing, the Justice or
Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice judge shall file with the Supreme Court a report of his
or other gross misconduct in such office, findings of fact and conclusions of law, accompanied
grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his by the evidence presented by the parties and the
conviction of a crime involving moral other papers in he case.
turpitude, or for any violation of the oath
which he is required to take before
Section 5. Action - After the filing of the report, the
admission to practice, or for a willful
court will take such action as the facts and the law
disobedience of any lawful order of a
may warrant.
superior court, or for corruptly or willfully
appearing as an attorney for a party to a
case without authority so to do. The practice Section 6. Confidential. - Proceedings against
of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of judges of first instance shall be private and
gain, either personally or through paid confidential.
agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.
Judges of First Instance

58