EN BANC civil degree or affinity within the second civil degree. It is also alleged that Atty.

Examen notarized the documents knowing that the cedula or residence certificate
A.C. No. 10132, March 24, 2015 number used by Ramon Examen was not actually his but the residence certificate
number of Florentina. Atty. Examen also falsely acknowledged that the two
HEIRS OF PEDRO ALILANO REPRESENTED BY DAVID ALILANO, witnesses personally appeared before him when they did not. Lastly, it is alleged that
Complainants, v. ATTY. ROBERTO E. EXAMEN, Respondent. despite knowing the infirmities of these documents, Atty. Examen introduced these
documents into evidence violating his oath as a lawyer and the CPR.
DECISION
In his defense, Atty. Examen pointed out that there was no longer any prohibition
VILLARAMA, JR., J.: under the Revised Administrative Code for a notary public to notarize a document
where one of the parties is related to him by consanguinity and affinity.14 With
Before us is a complaint1 for disbarment filed before the Integrated Bar of the regard to the use of Florentina’s residence certificate as Ramon’s, Atty. Examen said
Philippines (IBP) by the heirs of Pedro Alilano against Atty. Roberto E. Examen for that he was in good faith and that it was office practice that the secretary type details
misconduct and malpractice for falsifying documents and presenting these as without him personally examining the output.15 In any event, he reasoned that the
evidence in court thus violating the Lawyer’s Oath,2 Canons 1,3 104 and 19,5 and use of another’s residence certificate is not a ground for disbarment and is barred by
Rules 1.01,6 1.02,7 10.01,8 and 19.019 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prescription based on IBP Resolution No. XVI-2004-13 dated January 26, 2004
(CPR). where it was proposed that the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar
Discipline Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Section 1, Rule VIII, be revised to
Pedro Alilano and his wife, Florentina, were the holders of Original Certificate of include a prescription period for professional misconduct: within two years from the
Title (OCT) No. P-23261 covering a 98,460 sq. m. parcel of land identified as Lot date of the act.16
cralawred

No. 1085 Pls-544-D located in Paitan, Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. Pedro and
Florentina died on March 6, 1985 and October 11, 1989, respectively. In its Report and Recommendation,17 the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD)
found Atty. Examen liable for breach of the Notarial Law and introducing false
It appears that on March 31, 1984 and September 12, 1984 Absolute Deeds of Sale10 Absolute Deeds of Sale before court proceedings. It stated that there was ample
were executed by the Spouses Alilano in favor of Ramon Examen and his wife, evidence to support the complainants’ contention that the Spouses Alilano did not
Edna. Both documents were notarized by respondent Atty. Roberto Examen, brother voluntarily and knowingly convey their property, i.e. denials under oath by attesting
of the vendee. Sometime in September 1984, Spouses Examen obtained possession witnesses and NBI Report by Handwriting Expert Jennifer Dominguez stating that
of the property. Pedro Alilano’s signature in the September 1984 Absolute Deed of Sale was
significantly different from the specimen signatures. It also noted that Ramon
On January 12, 2002, the heirs of Alilano filed a suit for recovery of possession Examen’s residence certificate number, date and place of issue were also falsified
before the Regional Trial Court of Sultan Kudarat against Edna Examen and Atty. since the residence certificate actually belonged to Florentina Pueblo. It thus
Roberto Examen.11 It was during this proceeding that Atty. Examen introduced into recommended that the penalty of disbarment be imposed.
evidence the March 31, 1984 and September 12, 1984 Absolute Deeds of Sale.
The IBP Board of Governors (BOG) in its June 26, 2007 Resolution18 adopted the
On November 15, 2003,12 the heirs of Alilano filed this complaint alleging that Atty. IBP CBD’s report but modified the penalty to suspension from the practice of law for
Examen, based on Barretto v. Cabreza,13 violated the notarial law when he notarized a period of two years and a suspension of Atty. Examen’s Notarial Commission for a
the absolute deeds of sale since a notary public is prohibited from notarizing a period of two years.
document when one of the parties is a relative by consanguinity within the fourth

Atty. Examen moved for reconsideration. In its Notice of Resolution, the IBP BOG
denied the motion for reconsideration. It also modified the penalty imposed to We therefore ruled in Frias, that Rule VIII, Section 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the
suspension from the practice of law for a period of one year and disqualification from IBP CBD was void and had no legal effect for being ultra vires and thus null and
re-appointment as Notary Public for a period of two years.19 cral awred void.25
cralawred

We agree with the IBP that Atty. Examen is administratively liable and hereby This ruling was reiterated in the more recent case of Bengco v. Bernardo,26 where the
impose a modified penalty. Court stated that putting a prescriptive period on administrative cases involving
members of the bar would only serve to embolden them to disregard the very oath
In disbarment cases the only issue that is to be decided by the Court is whether the they took as lawyers, prescinding from the fact that as long as no private complainant
member of the bar is fit to be allowed the privileges as such or not.20 It is not would immediately come forward, they stand a chance of being completely
therefore the proper venue for the determination of whether there had been a proper exonerated from whatever administrative liability they ought to answer for.
conveyance of real property nor is it the proper proceeding to take up whether
witnesses’ signatures were in fact forged. Atty. Examen’s defense of prescription therefore is of no moment and deserves scant
consideration.
NO PRESCRIPTION OF ACTIONS FOR
ACTS OF ERRING MEMBERS OF THE BAR THE SPANISH NOTARIAL LAW OF
1889 WAS REPEALED BY THE REVISED
In Frias v. Atty. Bautista-Lozada,21 the Court En Banc opined that there can be no ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917
prescription in bar discipline cases. It pointed out this has been the policy since 1967
with the Court’s ruling in Calo, Jr. v. Degamo22 and reiterated in Heck v. Santos23 Prior to 1917, governing law for notaries public in the Philippines was the Spanish
where we had the chance to state: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Notarial Law of 1889. However, the law governing Notarial Practice is changed with
the passage of the January 3, 1916 Revised Administrative Code, which took effect in
If the rule were otherwise, members of the bar would be emboldened to disregard the 1917. In 2004, the Revised Rules on Notarial Practice27 was passed by the Supreme
very oath they took as lawyers, prescinding from the fact that as long as no private Court.
complainant would immediately come forward, they stand a chance of being
completely exonerated from whatever administrative liability they ought to answer In Kapunan, et al. v. Casilan and Court of Appeals,28 the Court had the opportunity to
for. It is the duty of this Court to protect the integrity of the practice of law as well as state that enactment of the Revised Administrative Code repealed the Spanish
the administration of justice. No matter how much time has elapsed from the time of Notarial Law of 1889. Thus: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

the commission of the act complained of and the time of the institution of the
complaint, erring members of the bench and bar cannot escape the disciplining arm It is petitioners’ contention that Notary Public Mateo Canonoy, who was related to
of the Court. This categorical pronouncement is aimed at unscrupulous members of the parties in the donation within the fourth civil degree of affinity, was, under
the bench and bar, to deter them from committing acts which violate the Code of Articles 22 and 28 of the Spanish Notarial Law, incompetent and disqualified to
Professional Responsibility, the Code of Judicial Conduct, or the Lawyer’s Oath. x x authenticate the deed of donation executed by the Kapunan spouses in favor of their
x daughter Concepcion Kapunan Salcedo. Said deed of donation, according to
petitioners, became a mere private instrument under Article 1223 of the old Civil
Thus, even the lapse of considerable time from the commission of the offending act Code, so that under the ruling laid down in the case of Barretto vs. Cabreza (33 Phil.,
to the institution of the administrative complaint will not erase the administrative 413), the donation was inefficacious. The appellate court, however, in the decision
culpability of a lawyer…. (Italics supplied)24 cralawl awlibrary complained of held that the Spanish Notarial Law has been repealed with the
enactment of Act No. 496. We find this ruling to be correct. In the case of Philippine

Sugar Estate vs. Poizart (48 Phil., 536), cited in Vda. de Estuart vs. Garcia (Adm. WITH UTMOST CARE
Case No. 212, prom. February 15, 1957), this Court held that “The old Spanish
notarial law and system of conveyance was repealed in the Philippines and In Nunga v. Atty. Viray,31 this Court stated: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

another and different notarial law and system became the law of the land with
the enactment of Act No. 496.”29 (Emphasis supplied) cralawl awlibrary
…[N]otarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with
substantive public interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized
In this case, the heirs of Alilano stated that Atty. Examen was prohibited to notarize may act as notaries public. The protection of that interest necessarily requires that
the absolute deeds of sale since he was related by consanguinity within the fourth those not qualified or authorized to act must be prevented from imposing upon the
civil degree with the vendee, Ramon. The prohibition might have still applied had the public, the courts, and the administrative offices in general. It must be underscored
applicable rule been the Spanish Notarial Law. However, following the Court’s ruling that the notarization by a notary public converts a private document into a public
in Kapunan, the law in force at the time of signing was the Revised Administrative document making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of the
Code, thus, the prohibition was removed. Atty. Examen was not incompetent to authenticity thereof. A notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit
notarize the document even if one of the parties to the deed was a relative, his upon its face. For this reason, notaries public must observe with utmost care the
brother. As correctly observed by the IBP CBD: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
basic requirements in the performance of their duties.32 (Emphasis supplied;
citations omitted) cralawl awlibrary

At the time of notarization, the prevailing law governing notarization was Sections
231-259, Chapter 11 of the Revised Administrative Code and there was no Thus under the prevailing law at the time of notarization it was the duty of the notary
prohibition on a notary public from notarizing a document when one of the interested public to comply with the requirements of the Notarial Law. This includes the duty
parties is related to the notary public within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity under Chapter 11, Section 251 of the Revised Administrative Code: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

or second degree of affinity.30
cral awlawlibrary

SEC. 251. Requirement as to notation of payment of cedula [residence] tax. – Every
Note must be taken that under 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice, Rule IV, Section 3(c), contract, deed, or other document acknowledged before a notary public shall have
a notary public is disqualified among others to perform the notarial act if he is related certified thereon that the parties thereto have presented their proper cedula
by affinity or consanguinity to a principal within the fourth civil degree, to wit: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
[residence] certificates or are exempt from the cedula [residence] tax, and there shall
be entered by the notary public as a part of such certification the number, place of
SEC. 3. Disqualifications. – A notary public is disqualified from performing a issue, and date of each cedula [residence] certificate as aforesaid.
cralawl awlibrary

notarial act if he:
Under Chapter 11, Section 249 of the Revised Administrative Code provided a list of
xxxx the grounds for disqualification: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

(c) is a spouse, common-law partner, ancestor, descendant, or relative by affinity or SEC. 249. Grounds for revocation of commission. – The following derelictions of
consanguinity of the principal within the fourth civil degree. cralawl awlibrary
duty on the part of a notary public shall, in the discretion of the proper judge of first
instance, be sufficient ground for the revocation of his commission:
That Atty. Examen was not incompetent to act as a notary public in the present case
does not mean that he can evade administrative liability under the CPR in xxxx
conjunction with the provisions of the Notarial Law.
(f) The failure of the notary to make the proper notation regarding cedula
NOTARIES PUBLIC MUST PERFORM certificates. chanrobl eslaw

THEIR DUTIES DILIGENTLY AND

cral awlawlibrary Here. such duties being take before admission to practice. Failure to perform his duties results in the revocation of a notary’s therefor. that notarization is not a routinary act. based on the submission of the complainants. Rule 138 of the Rules of Notarial Law requires them to certify that a party to the instrument acknowledged Court which provides: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary before him has presented the proper residence certificate (or exemption from the residence certificate) and to enter its number. The Court said: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit. It is imbued with substantive public interest denied a second motion for extension of time merely on the basis of a flimsy reason owing to the public character of his duties37. Examen interposes that he was in confidence in the legal system.xxxx cralawl awlibrary disbarment proceeding. In Soriano v. either personally or through paid agents or brokers. Basco. He thus ran afoul Rule 1.02 of the CPR. The CA did not find the reason of misplaced transcript as good and sufficient cause to grant Atty. or by reason of his conviction of a crime As a lawyer commissioned as a notary public. Atty. – A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as commission. Faithful observance a superior court.35 Atty. This Court cannot stress enough of Appeals (CA) after giving Atty. grounds certification. which are impressed with lessen the trust and confidence reposed by the public in the integrity of the legal public interest. or other gross misconduct in such office. We cannot stress documents and requirements without him checking the correctness of same.39cral awred We note that the error could have been prevented had Atty. We disagree. his acts serve to undermine the functions good faith in that it was office practice to have his secretary type up the details of the of a diligent lawyer.42 Rule 44 of the Revised Rules of Court. constitutes Notarial Law. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the sacrosanct. Examen and his sister-in-law questioned via a petition for He was behooved under Section 251. Thus. it cannot be said that he upheld legal processes Absolute Deeds of Sale was not in fact the residence certificate of Ramon but thus violating Canon 1 of the CPR. Examen diligently performed his functions: personally checked the correctness of the documents. Examen posits that the failure of a notary to make the proper notation of the extension pursuant to Section 12. Florentina Pueblo. Examen 90 days to file his appellant’s brief. Examen in both perfunctorily notarizing documents. or for any violation of the oath which he is required to with fidelity the sacred duties appertaining to his office. He cannot simply disregard the requirements and solemnities of the purpose of gain. that he had misplaced some of the transcript of the witnesses’ testimonies. Neither can it be said that he promoted Florentina’s residence certificate number. There the Court acknowledged by him reflected the correct details. 1085 Pls-544-D this time with respect to its fruits. grossly immoral conduct. respondent is mandated to discharge involving moral turpitude. or for a wilful disobedience of any lawful order of dictated by public policy and impressed with public interest. If anything. enough that as a lawyer. provisions of the CPR and Section 27. In Edna Examen and Roberto Examen v. the his oath as a lawyer. Chapter 11 of the Revised Administrative Code certiorari41 the propriety of three Court of Appeals’ Resolutions relating to a case to check if the proper cedulas were presented and inspect if the documents to be involving Lot No. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court. It cedulas can only be a ground for disqualification and not the proper subject for a stated that it was a “flimsy and lame excuse to unnecessarily delay the . Examen also transgressed the formalities as these are mandatory and cannot be simply neglected. or for corruptly and willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to and utmost respect for the legal solemnity of an oath in an acknowledgment are a case without authority so to do. place of issue and date as part of the SEC. respondent is expected at all times to uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and refrain from any act or omission which might A notary public must discharge his powers and duties.40 Atty. Heirs of Pedro Alilano and functions of a notary public for it is he who personally acknowledges the document. Atty.33 the Court stated that notaries public are required to follow In violating the provisions of the Notarial Law.36 Good faith cannot be a mitigating profession. presented to them typed or transcribed by their secretaries. To The Court notes that the case between the parties is not the first that reached this say that it was his secretary’s fault reflects disregard and unfitness to discharge the Court. malpractice.34 (Emphasis supplied) cralawl awlibrary malpractice. with accuracy and fidelity. it is clear that the residence By his negligent act of not checking the work of his secretary and merely certificate number used by Ramon Examen and as notarized by Atty. 27.38 A lawyer’s mandate includes thoroughly going over documents circumstance in situations since the duty to function as a notary public is personal.

Leonen.02. J. Peralta.”43 The CA was of the opinion that defendant-appellant’s. or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.A lawyer shall not do any falsehood. Rule 10. on leave.. and I impose upon myself this petition for various procedural defects. Rule 1. Canon 10. pp.01.A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law Carpio. So help me God. With respect to the penalty imposed.45 cralawred voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.01 provides: allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. and will conduct proceeding. . provides: the practice of law for TWO (2) YEARS.I.. In addition. Rollo. Let copies of this Decision be furnished to the Office of the Bar Confidant to be 6 appended to respondent’s personal record as an attorney. Pascua. participate in presenting or threaten to willingly promote or sue any groundless. Rule 19. herein myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion with all respondent. or at lessening confidence in the legal system. 8 Endnotes: CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. JJ. Canon 1. the Court deems it proper to suspend Atty.A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful do no falsehood.”44 This Court denied the good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients. if any.proceedings.A lawyer shall uphold the constitution.J. his present notarial commission. Court. obey the laws of the land and Caalim-Verzonilla v. . nor shall he mislead. _____________.01. C. dishonest. Examen is hereby SUSPENDED from CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. I will delay no man for money or malice. Rule 1. nor give aid nor present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case or consent to the same. nor consent to the doing of any in 1 Docketed as CBD Case No..02 provides: Sereno. Velasco. 4 WHEREFORE. Canon 19 provides: shall be dealt with more severely. 03-1168.A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful.A lawyer owes candor. Canon 19 . false or unlawful suit. and he is DISQUALIFIED from Canon 10 . and Jardeleza. motion was “a mockery of the procedural rules.01 provides: Philippines. Rule 1. cralawl awlibrary 7 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. . is hereby REVOKED. nor consent to the doing of any in court. Jr. Reyes. Leonardo-De Castro. He is further WARNED that any similar act or infraction in the future CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. 2 9 Lawyer’s Oath . Examen not only failed to 3 uphold his duty as a notary public but also failed to uphold his lawyer’s oath and ran CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. the Department of Justice and all courts in the country for their information and guidance. Perez.46 cralawred promote respect for law and legal processes. SO ORDERED. the Integrated Bar of the CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. fairness and good faith to the court. I will Rule 19. reappointment as a notary public for a period of two (2) years from finality of this 5 Decision.. I will not wittingly or objectives of his client and shall not present.01 provides: Rule 10. Mendoza. 2-11. Examen from the practice of law for a period of two years following this Court’s decision in Canon 1 . Bersamin. Rule 1. concur. Del Castillo. given that Atty. provides: afoul the provisions of the CPR. respondent Atty. I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein. .A lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the bounds of the law. .01. immoral or deceitful conduct. do solemnly swear that I will maintain CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Roberto E. Brion. Perlas-Bernabe.

R. and in the execution of affidavits. – Every notary public shall have power to administer all oaths and affirmations provided for by law. depositions. Caalim-Verzonilla v. concerning all matters done by him by virtue of his office. Court of Appeals. 112 (1916). 2011. p. 305. supra note 21. 17. 15 Id. 02-8-13-SC. 798. 25 38 Id. 2003.C. A. 2012. 31 366 Phil. charter parties of 22 126 Phil. at 677-682. vessels. 14 Rollo. at 892-893.M. 12-13. 155 (1999). 1992. letters of attorney. or boats. 33 507 Phil. 189. 889 (1960). Quisumbing. following powers: 19 Id. 17 Id. No. Atty.C. Bautista-Lozada. 34 Id. transfers and assignments of land or buildings. 350 (2005). 179896. at 20. 393 Phil. 12-14. 12 Received by the IBP November 24. 658 SCRA 762. 13 33 Phil. 215 SCRA 301. 414-415 (2005). and hypothecations of ships. in all matters incident to 20 Pimentel. . No. 35 Rollo. Powers of notary public. June 13. 771-772. and to receive the proof or acknowledgment of all 21 523 Phil. 29 Id. and to make declarations and certify the truth thereof under 24 Frias v. SEC. Pascua. 19 (2006). Llorente. 11 Docketed as Civil Case No. Atty. affreightments. Incorporated v. 1013. October 11. 345. 241. No. 544. at 160-161. 824-825 (2004). 37 Under Section 241 of the Revised Administrative Code. 100643. 39 Adez Realty. Signed by Commissioner Lolita A. No. 36 Gonzales v. 26 A. 802 (1967). at 674. 16 Id. at 416. Docketed as G. at 583. Ramos. Jr. No. Signed by Assistant National Secretary Tomas N. at 199-201. writings relating to commerce or navigation. such as bills of sale bottomries. 28 40 109 Phil. mortgages. 680. 6368. notary public has the 18 Id. and other documents requiring an oath. p. G. at 19-20. 32 Id. mortgages. at 676. October 30. pp. 499 Phil. deeds. and such other writings as are commonly 23 467 Phil. his notarial office. his seal of office. 27 A. v.R. proved or acknowledged before notaries. to act as a magistrate. in the writing of affidavits or depositions. 6655. 672 SCRA 8. 10 Rollo. pp. Atty. 551 (2000). Prado. 17. 30 Rollo. or an interest therein. 410.

44 Id. . Rule 65 and Sections 4 and 5.41 Under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court. 93 and 96.Extension of time for the filing of briefs will not be allowed. Rule 7 of the Revised Rules of Court and no showing of grave abuse of discretion. 179896). Rule 44. Section 1 and 4. 42 REVISED RULES OF COURT. at 93. at 113-114. 46 Supra note 38. and only if the motion for extension is filed before the expiration of the time sought to be extended. Extension of time for filing briefs. Dismissed for violation of Section 3.R. pp. Rule 46. except for good and sufficient cause. at 774 . 45 Id. 43 Rollo (G. 12. No. Section 12 provides: SEC.

Santos. Branch 19. Based on the records of transmittals of notarial reports. January 16. vs. based on ANNEX A. 1989. SANTOS. BRANCH 19.EN BANC . To forfeit [the] retirement benefits of Judge Santos. 1980 b.M. CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY. February 23. To conduct a speedy investigation and not to grant/accept any delaying tactics from Judge Santos or any agency and or public servants involved May a retired judge charged with notarizing documents without the requisite notary in this administrative case. commission more than twenty years ago be disciplined therefor? This is the novel 6. Heck prayed for the disbarment of Judge Anthony E. Cagayan de Oro City. February to April 1980 report . Atty. DECISION 3. 2. pp. To prohibit Judge Santos from future practice of Law. RTJ-01-1657. Regional Trial Court. a. J. CALLEJO SR. the following data appear: Judge Santos. . The name Atty.2[2] a. January 9. Misamis Oriental. Santos is listed as a duly commissioned notary public non-regular basis) notarized documents to the Clerk of Court VI starting in the following years: January 1980 uncommissioned until the 9th of January 1984.was submitted on July 29. The complainant submitted a certification from Clerk of Court. he violated the notarial law. and prays for other relief in accordance with equity and fairness based on the The instant case arose when in a verified Letter-Complaint dated March 21. 1986 to December 31.. Santos submitted his notarial reports in the ff. 3[3] Id. issue presented for resolution before this Court. REGIONAL 1. Atty. 1980 d.was submitted on Feb. thus: THIS CERTIFIES that upon verification from the records found and available in this office. 2002.. To disbar Judge Anthony E.: 5. 1984 but still subscribed and forwarded (on a 1. 2[2] Rollo. 6. complainant. 1988 to December 31. To pay all costs and related costs involved in this administrative case. public service. Regional Trial Court.1[1] respondent. 2.was submitted on June 6. 5-6. [A. which contained the following: The complainant alleged that prior to the respondents appointment as RTC judge on April 11. JUDGE ANTHONY E. 1984 to December 31. Anthony b) Judge Santos failed to forward his Notarial Register after the expiration of his E. To file a criminal suit against Judge Santos. January 1980 report . years: commission in December 1989. July to October 1980 report . 1989 the Clerk of Court after December 31st 1985 until December 31st 1989. No. 1980 c.. was not duly commissioned as notary public until January 9. 1985 a) Judge Santos was commissioned further January 16th 1986 to December 31st 1987 b. Santos and to prohibit him from all future TRIAL COURT. Beverly Sabio- Beja. May to June 1980 report .3[3] Heinz R. 4. at 8. January 6. Anthony E.submitted but no date of submission 1[1] The respondent compulsorily retired from the judiciary on May 22. 2004] WHEREFORE in light of the foregoing complainant pray[s] to order respondent: HEINZ R. 1987 and January 6th 1988 to December 31st 1989 but the records fail to show any entry at c. HECK. 2001 premises.

p. Cagayan de Oro City. register. to prove that there was no proper recording of the commissioned lawyers It is recommended that [i] respondent (who retired on May 22. January to February 1981 . 18. . Anthony Santos after December 1985. January to December 1985 .submitted on January 20. January to December 1982 . 5[5] Rollo. which favorably acted thereon in a Resolution dated July 8. Anthony Appeals Justice Romulo S.10[10] documents and therefore not the proper party to raise the said issues. Records fail to show any entry of transmittal of notarial documents under the name denied the request but upon the complainants insistence.no entry recommendation. be revoked. 2002. e. and charges: Heinz Heck. March to December 1981 . and (b) refer the case to Associate i. both for one year. 16. 1989. Quimbo.. in a Resolution dated September 10. the Court. 94-334 entitled defense.submitted but no date of submission assertions.submitted on January 20. 2002. he be suspended from the practice of law and barred from being by the respondent before the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court commissioned as notary public. report and j. 2001. 2002) be found guilty in the City of Cagayan de Oro as well as the submitted notarized documents/notarial of violation of the Notarial Law by (a) notarizing documents without commission.no entry need to resort to a full-blown investigation to determine the veracity of the parties g. He also submitted a certification5[5] from Clerk of Court. versus Lugait Aqua Marine Industries. 2002 and November 13. at 14. 6[6] Id. 22. Justice Cruz initially 4. 2001.submitted but no date of submission the matter as a regular administrative complaint. the matter was forwarded to Atty. and [ii] that for That the complainant has never been privy to the documents notarized and submitted these infractions. the respondent judge categorically denied the made the following recommendation: charges against him. 1988 until December 31. 1986 l. while the complainant presented documentary evidence to support the Vinas Kuranstalten Gesmbh et al. Atty. Sabio-Beja. nor his rights prejudiced on account of the said notarized any. 1984 Justice Edgardo P. 2001 and February 1.7[7] k. at 208-209. Branch 19. the Court. filed before the Regional Trial Court.9[9] Santos was on January 6. According to the Investigating Justice. 2003. 1986 In his Letters dated December 10. The undersigned resolved the case in favor of the plaintiffs. and his present commission. 2002. resolved to: (a) treat h. p. Cruz of the Court of Appeals (CA) for investigation.8[8] The complainant presented his evidence in Cagayan de Oro City before retired Court of 5. 8[8] Id. wherein respondent is the Presiding Judge. 10[10] Report.4[4] In a Sealed Report dated August 14. if of Misamis Oriental. p.6[6] 7[7] Id. and (c) non-forwarding of his notarial register to the Clerk of Court upon expiration of his commission. Cruz In his Answer dated June 13. 4[4] Annex A. November to December 1980-no entry Pursuant to the report of the Office of the Court Administrator recommending the f. 9[9] Resolutions dated July 8. for Specific Performance & Sum of Money. The respondent further averred as follows: (b) tardiness in submission of notarial reports. the respondent did not adduce evidence in his That the complainant was one of the defendants in Civil Case No. January to June 1983 .submitted on January 5. at 79. July to December 1983 . Inc. Investigating Justice Edgardo P. January to December 1984 . Rollo. It is further certified that the last notarial commission issued to Atty. the complainant requested that the hearing be held at Cagayan de Oro City.

judges. First entry appearing was made on December 1982.M. However. at 11-12. the Code of Professional Books available in the notarial section of the RTC of Misamis Oriental (Cagayan de Responsibility. and the court officials who are lawyers are based on grounds which are likewise grounds for the disciplinary action On the other hand. 02-9-02-SC. we issued Resolution A. a brief respondent filed his Answer/Comment on June 13. at 10-11. the instant case is not covered by the foregoing resolution.11[11] against members of the bar who were likewise members of the court were treated separately. The Procedural Issues Clearly. Under Section 238 of the Notarial Law. administrative cases against erring justices Thus. RTC. 02- commissioned as notary public for the years 1980 to 1983 nor deny the accuracy of 9-02-SC the first certification. based on the evidence presented by the of the CA and the Sandiganbayan. 2002. considering that his earliest on October 1. or for such other forms of Oro City). that the respondent notarized documents in 1980 and 1983 without may be automatically treated as disbarment cases.M. disbarred or Oriental. such certificate must be prepared and forwarded by the Clerk of Court. respondent did not claim that he was Resolution A. and Court Officials Who are Lawyers as Disciplinary Proceedings Themselves Both 12[12] Id. and lawyers in the government service complainant. The Resolution. The respondent may forthwith be required to comment on the Neither did he present a certification from the Clerk of Court.12[12] Court. 2001. Similarly. and the Canons of Professional Ethics. together Before the Court approved this resolution. as already observed. for the years 1982 and 1983). which took effect being commissioned as a notary public therefor.It is noteworthy that in his answer. he did not submit a certificate of appointment for all those years. . and shall apply to administrative cases already filed where the respondents have not yet been required to comment on the complaints. the administrative case shall also be considered a If respondent was commissioned in 1980 to 1983. and that the (f)irst book titled Petitions for Notarial Commission contains breaches of conduct that have been traditionally recognized as grounds for the items on the Name. since the Before the Court passes upon the merits of the instant complaint. the Investigating Justice concluded. Judges of Regular and Special Courts. Thus. administrative and disbarment cases with the oath of office of the notary public. or documents from his files showing that he was commissioned in 1980 to otherwise disciplinary sanctioned as a member of the Bar. pursuant to the new rule. then the first book would disclose disciplinary action against the respondent justice. the second certification shows that there were only two Record of members of the Bar for violation of the Lawyers Oath. The Procedure To Be Followed On the Applicability of 13[13] Re: Automatic Conversion of Some Administrative Cases Against Justices of 11[11] Id. Judgment in both respects 1983. to the Office of the Solicitor General. particularly on his appointment as notary public for 1980 to 1983 (assuming he was Some administrative cases against Justices of the Court of Appeals and the so commissioned) and submission of notarial reports and notarial register. 2002. 1984. Sandiganbayan. And. also provides that it shall supplement Rule 140 of the Rules of commission of record was on January 9. judge or court official concerned as so (at least. RTC of Misamis complaint and show cause why he should not also be suspended. he did not present said book. a member of the Bar.13[13] to wit: Documents/Notarial Register. as Such Officials and Members of the Philippine Bar. the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan. the notary public. backgrounder. He merely alleged that there was no proper recording of the commissioned lawyers in the City of Cagayan de Oro nor of the submitted Notarized On September 17. may be incorporated in one decision or resolution. In any of the foregoing instances. he presented no evidence. No. Date Commission was issued and Expiration of Commission of discipline of lawyers. judges of regular and special courts. No.

Although the respondent has already retired from the judiciary. 14[14] As amended by Bar Matter No. suspension. 182 SCRA 151 (1990). shall be case the respondent is a justice of the Court of Tax Appeals or the lower court. 2000. in which case the investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in Sections 6 to 11 hereof. the respondent was still the prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court. as the Rule mandates that in Appeals and lower courts. is not immune to the disciplining arm of the The IBP Board of Governors may. or at the instance of any person. his appointment to the judiciary. and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of base its final action. Thus. and (3) the acts constituting the ground for disbarment were committed when the respondent was still a practicing lawyer. That charges filed against Justices complaint shall be filed with the Supreme Court. in accordance with Sections 2 to Sections 12 of Rule 139-B. report and recommendation to the Solicitor General. the Solicitor General or other committed as a judge. he is still considered as a member of the bar and as such.In proceedings initiated motu proprio by A Retired Judge For Acts the Supreme Court or in other proceedings when the interest of justice so requires. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court on Disbarment and Discipline of Court. Rule 139-B. even if lawyers are jointly charged with them. however. motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Supreme Court. on which the Court will thereafter clearly. as a member of the bar. Report of the Solicitor General or other Court designated Investigator. pursuant to Article VIII.17[17] and Judges before the IBP. The undisputed facts are as follows: (1) the respondent is a retired judge. Attorneys provides: It is clear from the Rules then that a complaint for disbarment is cognizable by the Section 1. Cagayan de Oro City.In Disbarment Cases Involving Section 13. report containing his findings of fact and recommendations together with the record and all the evidence presented in the investigation for the final action of the Supreme Section 1. 1960. . or 15[15] Bautista v. 17[17] See Section 1. initiate and Furthermore. with notarizing Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a documents without the requisite notarial commission therefor. any Philippines (IBP) upon verified complaint of any person. before Section 14. the filed with the Supreme Court: Provided. and its indorsement to the IBP is not mandatory. the respondent is being charged not for acts Based upon the evidence adduced at the investigation. The complaint shall state officer of the court or a judge of a lower court. supra. May 1. Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers. (2) the save that the review of the report shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court. Proceedings for the disbarment. That all charges against Justices of the Court of Tax such. the complaint was cognizable by the Court itself. shall be immediately forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and The Substantive Issues adjudication. Gonzales. Section 616[16]of the 1987 Constitution. The Court may refer the be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio. further.15[15] persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts. As service: Provided. at the time of the filing of the complaint. he is charged. or discipline of attorneys may Court itself. The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof. Supreme Court Investigators. Committed While He Was Still the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor General or to A Practicing Lawyer any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court. Branch 19.14[14] The investigation may thereafter commence either before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). before the Supreme Court in accordance with Sections 13 and 14. complainant prays for his disbarment. thus: 16[16] Section 6. including those filed prior to their appointment to the Judiciary. . or by the Integrated Bar of the complaint for investigation.

Likewise. an administrative complaint against any Justice of the Court of Appeals or In this case. The Court retains jurisdiction either to pronounce the and recommendation not later than 30 days from receipt of the comment. If the recommendation is approved or affirmed Him For Which He Shall Still by the Court. (3) it is shown that the complaint was intended to harass the respondent. 18[18] 245 SCRA 218 (1995). and most importantly. he may further be required Liable Therefor to show cause why he or she should not be administratively sanctioned as a member of the Bar and as an officer of the court.21[21] The respondent retired compulsorily from the service more than a year later. The fact that a judge has retired or has otherwise been separated from the service does not necessarily divest the Court of its jurisdiction to determine the veracity of 2. within six (6) months from such date dangerous implications. had ceased in office during the within ten (10) days from receipt of the complaint. It reads the judge or justice. recognizing the proliferation of unfounded or malicious administrative or justice to be dismissed outright. If innocent. 20[20] RESOLUTION PRESCRIBING MEASURES TO PROTECT MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY FROM BASELESS AND UNFOUNDED ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINTS. If the complainant is a lawyer. 03-10-01-SC20[20] which took effect on November 3. The jurisdiction that was ours at the time of the filing of the administrative complaint the Office of the Court Administrator must require the respondent to file a comment was not lost by the mere fact that the respondent. it must forthwith be recommended for dismissal. proper and imposable under the situation. respondent public official merits vindication of without prejudice to the release of the retirement benefits less such amount as the his name and integrity as he leaves the government which he has served well and Court may order to be withheld. pursuant to its disciplinary authority over members a Justice or Judge. 2001 was received by the Office of the Court Administrator on March 26. and. As we held in Gallos v. at 226. Furthermore. 2002. the instant complaint was not prima facie shown to be without merit and intended merely to harass the respondent.. p. the Administrative Complaint dated March 21. he deserves to receive the corresponding censure and a penalty alleged in the complaint. The Court respondent public official innocent of the charges or declare him guilty thereof. 2003. and submit to the Court a report pendency of his case. the complainant may be required to show cause why he should not be Be Held Answerable If Found held in contempt of court. service. (b) for an alleged cause of action that occurred at least a year of the bench. the ground for disbarment or disciplinary action alleged to have been committed by the respondent did not occur a year before the respondents separation from the 19[19] Id. 5.19[19] Thus. taking into account the gravity of the cause of action faithfully.The Retirement Or Resignation Sandiganbayan or any Judge of the lower courts filed in connection with a case in Of A Judge Will Not Preclude court is shown to be clearly unfounded and baseless and intended to harass the The Filing Thereafter Of An respondent. 21[21] Rollo. If such is not the case. (2) the cause of action must have occurred at least a year before in part: such filing. If the complaint is (a) filed within six months before the compulsory retirement of the allegations of the complaint. Cordero:18[18] before such filing and (c) shown prima facie that it is intended to harass the respondent. If upon an informal preliminary inquiry by the Office of the Court Administrator. A shall act on the recommendation before the date of compulsory retirement of the contrary rule would be fraught with injustice and pregnant with dreadful and respondent. 2001. such a finding should be included in the report and recommendation of Administrative Charge Against the Office of the Court Administrator. or on May 22. in order for an administrative complaint against a retiring or retired judge or However. we complaint must have been filed within six months from the compulsory retirement of issued A. 1.M. or if it is not possible to do so. No. the following requisites must concur: (1) the criminal cases against members of the judiciary for purposes of harassment. if guilty. ..

Salubre.[I]t would be unreasonable and unfair to presume that since he had wandered from Appointment To The Judiciary the path of moral righteousness.. May 1. considering the gravity the respondents previous indiscretion while still a practicing lawyer. there is jurisprudence to the effect that the act complained of must be because the complainant failed to present evidence that the indiscretion continued continuing in order for the respondent judge to be disciplined therefor. 22[22] Sevilla v. at 254. No man is beyond information and redemption. We ratiocinated. thus: A Judge May Be Disciplined For Acts Committed Before His . 328 SCRA 636 (2000).. at 254.29[29] However. even after the respondent was appointed to the judiciary. In Sevilla v.22[22] In fact. 348 SCRA 592 (2000). .27[27] adjudication of charges against justices and judges before the IBP. as amended by Bar Matter No. cannot be used as basis for administrative discipline against a judge if he is not charged with immorality prior to his appointment. the respondent was exonerated in this case Indeed. the Court also stated in this case that the respondents subsequent The Supreme Court. or ought to know. the instant case does not fall within the ambit of the foregoing In the case of Alfonso v. 25[25] Id. 28[28] Id. however. has ultimate disciplinary appointment as a judge will not exculpate him from taking responsibility for the power over attorneys..26[26] we held that proof of prior immoral conduct resolution. The Constitution vests this power of control and regulation in this Court. Salubre.23[23] It need not be shown that the The Court ruled in that case that the complainant failed to prove the charges by respondent continued the doing of the act or acts complained of. at 601.Clearly. 29[29] Sevilla v. 24[24] 348 SCRA 592 (2000). The respondent therein refused to turn over the funds of his client despite right and duty of the State to control and regulate it in order to promote the public demands. adduced to prove that the latter continued to engage in illicit acts after being appointed to the bench. Salubre. and persisted in his refusal even after he was appointed as a judge. that he must appointment to the judiciary. Thus. 334 SCRA 512 (2000). 27[27] Id. Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court. even the new Rule itself recognizes this. including those filed prior to their appointment to the judiciary. 23[23] Section 1.his private and official conduct must at all times be it provides for the immediate forwarding to the Supreme Court for disposition and free from the appearance of impropriety. therefore. A lawyer who It is settled that a judge may be disciplined for acts committed prior to his aspires for the exalted position of a magistrate knows. as guardian of the legal profession. no evidence of the offense. as pay a high price for that honor . 30[30] Dumadag v.. 1960.25[25] This is why respect and fidelity to the Court is demanded of its members.24[24] the respondent judge was charged with violating Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. for acts committed while he was still a practicing The practice of law is so ultimately affected with public interest that it is both the lawyer. citing Fernando Cruz and Amelia Cruz v.28[28] The complainant therein presented evidence pertaining to the evidence on record supports the charge on the respondent. Atty. Juanson. Lumaya. he could never retrace his steps and walk proud and tall again in that path. Ernesto Jacinto. 2000.30[30] Notarizing Documents Without 26[26] 228 SCRA 239 (1993). was. which authority is not only a right but a bounden duty as well. it is sufficient that substantial evidence. consequences of his acts as an officer of the court. supra. . welfare.

Gerona vs. 194 SCRA 114 (1991). February 27. meaningless. 6. Furthermore. evidence without the necessity of preliminary proof of its authenticity and due which provides: A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. shall affix his seal or official signature to any 36[36] 306 SCRA 487 (1999). performing a notarial [act] without such commission is a violation of the lawyers oath to obey the laws. Baltazar.38[38] constituting as it does not only malpractice. such that only those is not. 38[38] Mena U. revocation of the notarial Respondent Is Supported By commission and disqualification from acting as such. the respondent presented no evidence of his commission as notary public for the years SEC. Court of Appeals.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.31[31] Notarization by a which the lawyers oath similarly proscribes. but also the crime of falsification of public documents. dishonest. Notarial Law. No. 34[34] Buensuceso v. he is. Report and Recommendation. II. too. A. 514. No less than the public faith in the integrity of public documents is at notarizing documents without the requisite commission therefore as reprehensible.37[37] The requirements for the issuance of a commission as notary public must not be The importance of the function of a notary public cannot. Any person who.34[34] For such reprehensible conduct. the offender may be Documents subjected to disciplinary action. prompting the Investigating Justice to decide the case on the basis of the pleadings 2003. stake in every aspect of that function. be over- treated as a mere casual formality. p. therefore. not exceeding one year. Alfredo Datingaling.36[36] the Court had the occasion to state - Therefore Constitutes Malpractice. Certification of document after expiration of authority of notary. indulging in deliberate falsehood. 35[35] Joson v.35[35] The Evidence On Record The respondent did not object to the complainants formal offer of evidence. 2632. after the expiration of his commission as notary or after the termination of his authority to act as such. The respondent 32[32] Ruiz. May 29.C. Atty. making it admissible in prohibition of Rule 1. filed. Then. routinary act. These violations fall squarely within the notary public converts a private document into a public one. 3223. the It must be remembered that notarization is not an empty. Vol. A. Corazon D. 2003. who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. the Court has sanctioned The Charge Against The erring lawyers by suspension from the practice of law. Barrera. at 491-492. as found by the Investigating Justice. more specifically. v. p.33[33] The Court has characterized a lawyers act of emphasized.The Requisite Commission In the case of Nunga v. or both. merely alleged in his answer that there was no proper recording of the commissioned lawyers in the City of Cagayan de Oro nor of the submitted Notarized 33[33] Section 2632 of the Notarial Law. and even disbarment.39[39] Neither did he claim that he was commissioned as notary public for the years 1980 to 1983. Atty. 362 SCRA 40 (2001). document with intent to impart the appearance of notarial authenticity thereto. Bienvenido G. If Not The Crime Where the notarization of a document is done by a member of the Philippine Bar at a Of Falsification Of Public time when he has no authorization or commission to do so. Martin. it is invested with substantive public interest. nor deny the accuracy of the first certification. provides: Documents/Notarial Register. shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos or imprisonment for a period 37[37] Id. 31[31] Ma. 4801. Sr.C. Fulgencio v. .32[32] deceitful conduct. 39[39] Rollo. For one. by making it appear that he is duly commissioned when he On the contrary. for all legal intents and purposes. immoral or execution. 216 SCRA 309 (1992). Viray.

or for a willful disobedience appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. . 27. Alovera. When the integrity of a requirement to the practice of law and therefore does not preclude a subsequent member of the bar is challenged. grounds proper and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members therefore. officers which citizens feel are incompatible with the duties of the office and from distinct from and may proceed independently of civil and criminal cases.45[45] proprio may initiate disciplinary proceedings. 337 SCRA 244 (2000). Inc.40[40] with upon admission to membership of the bar. take before admission to practice. This qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession. Accordingly. It is a continuing controvert the evidence against him in a formal investigation. but are rather Against A Member Of The Bar investigations by the Court into the conduct of one of its officers. Any interested person or the court motu continuing requirement to the practice of law. Public interest is [their] primary objective. 315 SCRA 406 (1999). . he must judicial inquiry. or by reason of his conviction of a crime 44[44] Carmelita I. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court. 47[47] 31 SCRA 562 (1970).44[44] The rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for any documents so notarized. for the purpose of gain. March 6. calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the 42[42] Sec. or for any violation of the oath which he is required to 2003. and as such was not prejudiced thereby. the Court merely 41[41] Radjaie v. is unavailing. and the real question 40[40] Report and Recommendation. malpractice. Alfredo Castillo. cases at law. grossly immoral conduct. This is because his admission to practice merely creates a rebuttable presumption that he has all the qualifications to become a The respondents allegation that the complainant was not a party in any of the lawyer.1980 to 1983. into any question concerning ones mental or meet the issue and overcome the evidence against him. Not being intended Does Not Prescribe to inflict punishment. Sr. 286 SCRA 758 (1998). 10. Naldoza. constitutes malpractice. administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their own. Javier. upon proper complaint. they do not involve a trial of an action or a suit. 46[46] Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pool. v. or other gross misconduct in such office. 4921. Possession of good as an attorney and counselor which include the statutory grounds under Section 27. even if it pertains to his private activities. Hence. Zaguirre v.46[46] As we which conduct the citizen or the public might or does suffer undesirable held in the leading case of In re Almacen:47[47] consequences. involving moral turpitude. Case No. 214 SCRA 1 (1992). Atty.. Valdes. as well as proof of submission of notarial reports and the notarial The qualification of good moral character is a requirement which is not dispensed register. honesty.43[43] [D]isciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui generis. .. either personally or through pad agents or brokers.41[41] moral fitness before he became a lawyer. but its continued possession The respondent in this case was given an opportunity to answer the charges and to is essential to maintain ones good standing in the profession. [they are] in no sense a criminal prosecution. There can be no doubt as to the right of a citizen to bring to the attention of the proper authority acts and doings of public Furthermore.A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit.. The practice of soliciting 45[45] Nakpil v. as long as it shows him to be attorney may be disbarred or suspended for any violation of his oath or of his duties wanting in moral character. [They] may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. An misconduct. for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges as such. p. Neither purely civil nor An Administrative Complaint purely criminal. probity or good demeanor. moral character is not only a prerequisite to admission to the bar but also a Rule 13842[42] of the Revised Rules of Court. in the exercise of its disciplinary powers. there is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein. it is not enough that he deny the charges. Adm. 43[43] Marcelo v.

dishonest. Sunga. 54[54] Saburnido v. immoral or deceitful conduct.01 of the Code of or the Lawyers Oath. Membership in emboldened to disregard the very oath they took as lawyers. 2003. The respondent also violated Rule 1.51[51] Merely Mitigate The Respondents Liability Pursuant to the foregoing.54[54] In unscrupulous members of the bench and bar. A. the respondent also violated Rule 10.. This should particularly apply in this case. even the lapse of considerable time. 4958. honesty. The complaint in this case was filed on August 5.53[53] he undermined the they ought to answer for. Eustaquio. . not so authorized. considering the Professional Responsibility and his oath as a lawyer that he shall do no falsehood. to deter them from committing acts representing that he was possessed of the requisite notarial commission when he was. This categorical pronouncement is aimed at from engaging in unlawful. will not erase the administrative respondent be dismissed on the ground that the complainants failed to adduce culpability of a lawyer who notarizes documents without the requisite authority evidence that the respondents immoral conduct was still ongoing. NO. 1999. supra. Piorillo Gutierrez Rubis and Alicia Montero Rubis v. 52[52] Emiliana M. prescinding from the the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. which violate the Code of Professional Responsibility. March 24.C. the respondent failed to live up to such standards. Oscar Manese. the respondent was also found guilty of dishonesty for falsifying her childrens certificates of live birth to show that her paramour was the At Most. No matter how much time has Code of Professional Responsibility. in fact. v. there can be no other conclusion than that an administrative complaint against an erring lawyer who was thereafter appointed as a Time and again. Naldoza. the Code of Judicial Conduct. Rex Rimorin.who by their misconduct have prove[n] themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted seriousness of the matter involved . erring members of the bench and bar cannot escape the processes.. which requires lawyers to uphold the elapsed from the time of the commission of the act complained of and the time of the Constitution. Aside from being therefor. members of the bar would be qualifications required by law for the conferment of such privilege. 53[53] Fidel D.. 368 SCRA 550 (2001). 2003. Inc. If the rule were otherwise. that seriously affect the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the 49[49] Floria v. It is the duty of this Court to protect the integrity of the confidence of the public on notarial documents and thereby breached Canon I of the practice of law as well as the administration of justice. Atty. A. April 3. with a married co-employee whose wife was employed in the same court (Id. at 558). The supreme penalty of disbarment is meted out only in clear cases of misconduct 48[48] Cited in Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pool. 5081.48[48] notarial documents. albeit filed only after twenty-four years after the offending act was committed. The Delay In The father. at 559. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for the law and legal institution of the complaint.01 thereof which proscribes lawyers disciplining arm of the Court. 51[51] Id.50[50] The Court held that administrative offenses do not Administrative Case Would prescribe. right but a privilege bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess the is not barred by prescription. In a case involving a mere court employee49[49] the Court disregarded the Court Thus. Aquino v. they and fair dealing is expected and required of a member of the bar. found guilty of illicit conduct. Madroo. 50[50] The complainant admitted having indulged in an illicit relation from 1974 to Atty. fact that as long as no private complainant would immediately come forward. . we have stressed the settled principle that the practice of law is not a judge. from the commission of the offending act Administrators recommendation that the charge for immorality against the to the institution of the administrative complaint.52[52] By his stand a chance of being completely exonerated from whatever administrative liability actuations. almost twenty years Institution Of The after the illicit affair ended. 366 SCRA 1 (2001). 1980.the respondents dishonesty and the sanctity of with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney. A high sense of morality.C.

Jr. Vitug in his separate opinion. WHEREFORE. Vitug.J. join Mr.court. and. Corona. Sandoval-Gutierrez... C. respondent Judge Anthony E. Ynares-Santiago. 57[57] Sanlakas ng Barangay Julo. Carpio-Morales. . a tempering of justice is mandated in this case. Davide. we will likewise not disbar him where a lesser penalty will suffice to accomplish the desired end. Justice J. 351 SCRA 201 (2001). Austria-Martinez. 56[56] Sanlakas ng Barangay Julo. 351 SCRA 201 (2001). SO ORDERED..57[57] The Court finds that a fine of P5. see separate opinion. While we will not hesitate to remove an erring attorney from the esteemed brotherhood of lawyers where the evidence calls for it. v. Jr. Santos is found GUILTY of notarizing documents without the requisite notarial commission therefor. JJ. considering that the complaint against the respondent was filed twenty-four years after the commission of the act complained of.00). Inc. Incorporated v. Carpio. Quisumbing. supra at 561. Jr. concur. J.000.00 is justified in this case. He is hereby ORDERED to pay a fine in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5. 55[55] Floria v. San Antonio. Sunga. Azcuna. C.55[55] Furthermore.000. San Antonio. Panganiban.... and Tinga. Empaynado. Puno. Empaynado. the fact that the respondent is a retired judge who deserves to enjoy the full measure of his well-earned retirement benefits.56[56] that there was no private offended party who came forward and claimed to have been adversely affected by the documents so notarized by the respondent.

00 was ever filed by the respondent with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Legaspi within thirty (30) days from notice.13 the respondent argued that his referral of the complainant's case to Atty.00 as partial payment of the redemption price of the property. pursuant to this Court's decision in Administrative Case No. the Court referred the case to the Integrated B. 2009.0411 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR). the complaint was filed three (3) years late and the property could ATTY. In a report5 dated May 22. ROMULO RICAFORT.1awp++i1 He argued that a complaint2 for annulment of title against Manila Ard Cervantes had actually been filed in court.03. the IBP Board of Governors filing fees. In his motion for reconsideration. though not by him. (b) P19. Besides. the complainant discovered that the respondent had been suspended indefinitely from the practice of law since May 29. Thus. the complainant learned that no case involving the subject property It also ordered the respondent to return to the complainant the amount of P95. Atty. report. Commissioner Villanueva recommended that the respondent was the subject of foreclosure proceedings at the time the respondent was hired. the recovery of a parcel of land allegedly owned by the Bañez family but was fraudulently registered under the name of Ricardo and later was transferred to Ard.7 and Rules 1. Thus.8 respondent to file a case against father and son Ricardo and Ard Cervantes (Ard) for 16.000. Edgar M. The remain suspended indefinitely from the practice of law. Respondent. DECISION 2002. No. 2005. which Ard had mortgaged with the Rural Bank of Malilipot.000. Romulo Ricafort (respondent) for gross Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. violating Canons 156 and 17.000. counsel. 6484 June 16. and (c) P6.000. Also. Abitria was actually with the complainant's knowledge . no longer be redeemed from the bank.10 and 18.00 to cover the In Resolution No. Antecedents Villanueva found the respondent to have been grossly negligent in handling the complainant's case and to have gravely abused the trust and confidence reposed in In September 2000. Llunar (complainant) filed against Atty. XIX-2011-224 dated May 14.00 to the SUPREME COURT complainant. 5054. A. Abitria's engagement as vs. agreed with the Investigating Commissioner's findings on the respondent's liability but modified the recommended penalty from indefinite suspension to disbarment.000. Republic of the Philippines The respondent refused to return the whole amount of P95. The present administrative case stemmed from the complaint-affidavit1 that Adelita In a resolution4 dated February 2. The property. 2015 The complainant refused to recognize the complaint for annulment of title filed by ADELITA B.03. the Investigating Commissioner found the respondent to have erred in not informing his client that he was under indefinite suspension from the practice of law. and inexcusable negligence and serious misconduct. but by another lawyer. Abitria and claimed that she had no knowledge of Atty. 2011.3 which the complainant suspected was the reason another lawyer. IBP Investigating Commissioner Cecilio C. Also. The respondent moved for reconsideration.00 as attorney's fees.000. LLUNAR. Abitria as acceptance fee for handling the case. respondent received from the complainant the following afuounts: (a) P70. the complainant demanded that the respondent return to her the amount of P95.01. filed PER CURIAM: the complaint for annulment of title in court.00 after deducting therefrom the P50.C.500.12 Three years later. Abitria. City. and recommendation. as attorney-in-fact of Severina Bañez.00.00 that he paid to Atty. Complainant. Due to these infractions. and not the respondent. he was willing to return only what was left of EN BANC the P95. Albay. thereby.9 18. the complainant. hired the him by the complainant.000. Atty.

and consent. the amounts given to him by client. He failed to act promptly in redeeming the complainant's Lastly. Abitria would not have been necessary had the but her demand was left unheeded. filing the necessary civil easels against Ard Cervantes. Atty. she demanded that the respondent return the amount of P95. These facts confirm that the The complainant should not be burdened with the expense of hiring another lawyer to respondent violated Canon 16 of the CPR. deductions. the of disbarment." client and in issuing bounced checks to satisfy the alias writ of execution issued by the court in the case for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. He and P6. in turn. 22 filed against him by his Second. and thus impose candor. After the complainant discovered three years later that the respondent had not filed any case in court. the respondent failed to return. in Resolution No. a lawyer's failure to return upon demand the funds or property he holds facts were confirmed by Atty. grave misconduct.000. We then suspended him indefinitely from the practice of law . In Nunez v. The complainant approached the respondent several times thereafter to follow up on the easels to be filed With respect to the amount to be returned to the complainant.000.500. Abitria P50. of Governors.000. reassured her that actions on her case had that the respondent should return the whole amount of P95." The upon him the ultimate penalty of DISBARMENT. the hiring of Atty. Abitria in an affidavit14 dated November 17. The property for his own use to the prejudice of. especially in this case where trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession"16 and there was an inexcusable non-delivery of such services."17 . we agree with the IBP supposedly by the respondent who.03 of the Code of Professional rules. the penalty of suspension for five (5) clearly dilly-dallied on the complainant's case and wasted precious time and years from the practice of law would have been justified. respondent lacked the candor expected of him as a member of the Bar when he accepted the complainant's case despite knowing that he could not and should not The respondent in this case committed several infractions making him liable for practice law. Ricafort. First.19 we had adjudged the respondent liable for grave Responsibility (CPR). Abitria as counsel was with the complainant's knowledge and consent.00. the respondent was effectively in the practice of law despite the indefinite property within the period of redemption.000. which mandates every lawyer to "hold in perform the services that the respondent was hired to do. This infraction infinitely aggravates the offenses he before a complaint to recover the property was actually filed in court. The respondent should have disclosed this fact at the time he was approached by the We find the respondent guilty of Grave Misconduct in his dealings with his client and complainant for his services. ordinary violator of the profession's ethical rules.00 for accepting the case. but for his client gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated these funds or were alleged to have been overlooked by Commissioner Villanueva in his report. Based on the above facts alone. but the respondent is not an opportunity that were then readily available to recover the complainant's property. The respondent later promised to pay her. and in violation of the trust reposed in IBP Board .000. What is worse is the delay of three years suspension imposed on him.we have no other way but to proceed to decree his disbarment. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his clients. 2004. regardless of whether the engagement of Atty. him by his client. the respondent did not exert due diligence in handling the complainant's case. he is a repeat violator of these Under these facts. Under his current liability .18 denied the respondent's motion for reconsideration. P70. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. The respondent committed.which is no different in character from his respondent received from the complainant the amounts of P19.15 Third. without been taken.00.00. until now.a penalty short the complainant for handling the latter's case.00 for purposes of redeeming the mortgaged property from the bank and has become completely unworthy of membership in our honorable profession. the respondent committed dishonesty by not being forthright with the Our Ruling complainant that he was under indefinite suspension from the practice of law. In the first place. which states that "a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter misconduct in failing to turn over the proceeds of the sale of a property owned by his entrusted to him. previous offense . On three separate occasions. but respondent been honest and diligent in handling the complainant's case from the start. These In addition.00. no payment of any amount has been made. upon demand. 2013. Canon 15 of the CPR states that "a lawyer shall observe in engaging in the practice of law while under indefinite suspension. the respondent violated Rule 18. to "account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. and that he paid Atty. XX-2013-710 dated June 21.

respondent Atty. Ricafort.A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. 9 Rule 16.A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. VELASCO. He shall also Associate Justice Associate Justice have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. Romulo Ricafort is hereby DISBARRED from the Associate Justice practice of law and his name REMOVED from the Roll of Attorneys. SO ORDERED. dishonest. BIENVENIDO L. he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA disbursements. 1-6. immoral or Associate Justice deceitful conduct. id.WHEREFORE.A. PERALTA* Associate Justice 8 Rule 1.00 to complainant Adelita B. Associate Justice 5 Id. CARPIO JR. and Footnotes the Office of the Court Administrator for circulation to all courts in the country. Also.03 . CASTRO Associate Justice Associate Justice 7 CANON 17 . Associate Justice TERESITA J. LEONEN Associate Justice Associate Justice Let a copy of this Decision be attached to the respondent's personal record and furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant. giving notice promptly thereafter to his client.F. MARIA LOURDES P. fairness and loyalty in all his ARTURO D.A lawyer shall observe candor.V. he is ORDERED to RETURN the amount of P95. 4 Rollo. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. REYES ESTELA M.A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client Associate Justice Associate Justice when due or upon demand. within thirty (30) days (On official leave) FRANCIS H. LEONARDO-DE 6 ANON 15 . MARIANO C. SERENO Chief Justice 3 Nuñez v. information of the general public. at 11-13. 1 Rollo.000. JARDELEZA from notice of this Decision. pp. However. DEL CASTILLO MARTIN S. BERSAMIN DIOSDADO M. (On official leave) LUCAS P. This Decision should likewise be posted on the Supreme Court website for the * On official leave. effective immediately upon his receipt of this Decision. JR. BRION dealings and transactions with his clients. ANTONIO T. 432 Phil. Llunar. at 187-192. 2 Dated October 11. MARVIC M. PRESBITERO J. 40. 2003. PERLAS- Associate Justice BERNABE .01 . 131 (2002). VILLARAMA. p.

01.A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a reasonable time to the client's request for information. at 159. 339.10 Rule 18. 15 Id. 18 Espiritu v. at 183. 497 Phil.A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. 185-186. pp. Canon 16.04 .03 . 345 (2005). 12 Rollo. . at Rule 16. 19 Supra note 3. 14 Id. 17 Id. 16 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. 11 Rule 18. 13 Id. at 156-158. Ulep. and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

. JJ. J. Respondent.FIRST DIVISION Promulgated: ATTY. 1-567 where she was represented by the law firm CABUCANA. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. January 23. MARCELINO CABUCANA. CABUCANA. 6836 Complainant. A.C.. . (respondent) be disbarred for YNARES-SANTIAGO. 2004. for sum of money and damages filed before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Santiago City. 2006 LETICIA GONZALES.J. Chairman. representing conflicting interests. and On January 8. CALLEJO. Marcelino Cabucana.: PANGANIBAN.versus . docketed as Civil Case No. x--------------------------------------------------------- --x Present: RESOLUTION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. No. Gonzales filed a petition before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) alleging that: she was the complainant in a case CHICO-NAZARIO. C. Before this Court is a complaint filed by Leticia Gonzales (Gonzales) praying that Atty.

310.01[5] and case filed by Gonzales where respondents brother served as counsel is 21. Edmar On January 9. Gatcheco. in September 2003. with Atty. where respondents law firm was said official in another case. on February 26. herein respondent represented the Gatchecos counsel of the spouses as he too did not want to incur the ire of the high- in the cases filed by Gonzales against the said spouses. the IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline ordered Cabucana handling the case and herein respondent as an Atty. respondent ranking official. grave threats.[6] different and distinct from the criminal cases filed by complainant . Sheriff Romeo Edmar Cabucana who appeared and represented Gonzales in said case. respondent entered his acceptance of the cases of the Gatchecos violates the lawyer-client appearance as defense counsel of the spouses free of any charge.01. grave by Gonzales were merely instigated by a high ranking official who oral defamation.[3] 15. notwithstanding wanted to get even with them for their refusal to testify in favor of the the pendency of Civil Case No. Jr. to submit his Answer to the complaint.[2] 15. 1-567 since it was his brother. but after realizing that he would be abdicating a sworn should be disbarred from the practice of law since respondents duty to delay no man for money or malice. Atty.01. At first.00 as attorneys fees.[7] associate/partner. they their case.03. P17. Gonzales thereafter filed asked for his assistance. Marcelino Cabucana.000. the present complaint was crafted against respondent which respondent liable under the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) shows that respondent is now the subject of a demolition job. 2004.[1] 13. 2001. the spouses said that the cases filed against them against the Gatchecos criminal cases for trespass.[4] 21. The civil particularly Rules 10. a decision was rendered in the In his Answer.02. respondent declined to serve as still representing Gonzales. 1-567.02. Not relationship between complainant and respondents law firm and renders long after.00 with interest and P6. respondent averred: He never appeared and represented civil case ordering the losing party to pay Gonzales the amount of complainant in Civil Case No. He entered his appearance in good faith and opted to represent harassed Gonzales and asked her to execute an affidavit of desistance the spouses rather than leave them defenseless. When the Gatchecos regarding her complaint before this Court. simple coercion and unjust vexation. that the spouses pleaded with him as no other counsel was willing to take Sheriff Gatcheco and his wife went to the house of Gonzales. failed to fully implement the writ of execution issued in He admitted that he is representing Sheriff Gatcheco and his wife in the connection with the judgment which prompted Gonzales to file a cases filed against them but claimed that his appearance is pro bono and complaint against the said sheriff with this Court.DE GUZMAN AND CABUCANA LAW OFFICE.

Pilipino. na kasalukuyang nahaharap sa Commission on Bar added that respondent prepared and notarized counter-affidavits of the Discipline ng Integrated Bar of the Philippines Gatcheco spouses.[9] date. Romeo and Anita Gatcheco. 2004.[14] own agenda in offering his services to the spouses.[13] respondents brother is closely connected with the cases of the Gatchecos which the respondent is handling. only a representative of complainant appeared.J. si LETICIA GONZALES.[11] TUNGKOL SA PAG-UURONG NG DEMANDA Commissioner Demaree Raval of the IBP-CBD then directed both Ako. 04-1186 na Complainant filed a Memorandum reiterating her earlier assertions and may pamagat na Leticia Gonzales versus Atty. being used by a powerful person is not true since she filed the said cases 2004 for a clarificatory question regarding said case. Jr.E. at nakatira sa Barangay Dubinan East. Santiago City. Marcelino C. Commissioner Wilfredo E.[12] asawa. 2004. It reads: of Mandatory Conference dated March 1. makaraang manumpa ayon sa batas ay nagsasabing: Ako ang nagdedemanda o petitioner sa CBD Case No.[10] On the scheduled SINUMPAANG SALAYSAY conference. and that respondent continues to use the ethics. that the high-ranking official referred to by Ang pagkakahain ng naturang demanda ay nag-ugat sa di- respondent is Judge Ruben Plata and the accusations of respondent pagkakaintindihan na namamagitan sa akin at nina Mr. only respondent appeared[16] presenting a sworn affidavit executed The Commission on Bar Discipline of the IBP sent to the parties a Notice by Gonzales withdrawing her complaint against respondent.[15] On the said out of her own free will. [8] name of De Guzman in their law firm despite the fact that said partner has already been appointed as Assistant Prosecutor of Santiago City. Reyes issued an allegation that she is filing the cases against the spouses because she is Order notifying both parties to appear before his office on October 28. and Mrs. that the claim of respondent that he is Respondent filed his Position Paper restating his allegations in his handling the cases of the spouses pro bono is not true since he has his Answer. may parties to file their respective verified position papers. and that the On August 23.against the Gatcheco spouses. Cabucana. nasa tamang edad. against the said judge is an attack against a brother in the profession . he did not violate any canon on legal which is a violation of the CPR. Gonzales filed a Reply contending that the civil case handled by again in violation of the CPR. thus.

Marcelino C. to affirm her statements and to be subject to clarificatory questioning. Cabucana. Commissioner Reyes issued an Order dated October 28.[19] On February 17. Atty.[18] However. Marcelino Cabucana. the Commission (sic) believes that there was no pagdedemanda ko kay Atty. 2005. portions of which are quoted hereunder: C. sa sigalot na namamagitan sa akin at sa mag-asawang Gatcheco. 2005. a Resolution was passed by the Board of Governors of dismisin na ang naturang kaso. Jr. 1-567 (MTCC Br. kontra kay Eduardo Mangano. Marcelino C. and considering that respondent made (a) mistake in the acceptance of the administrative case of Romeo Gatcheco. Jr. Dahil sa aking galit sa naturang mag-asawa. Commissioner Reyes submitted his Report and Marcelino C. Cabucana. the IBP. Jr. Atty. Cabucana ay walang nalalaman sa naturang di pagkakaintindihan. Marcelino C. 2004 requiring Gonzales to appear before him on November 25. (be) sternly warned and reprimanded andadvised to be more circumspect and careful in accepting cases which might result in conflict of interests. Marcelino C. Cabucana. ay di ko rin naging abogado sa conflict of interests might arise. . however. finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and for resolution. 03-1186 Leticia Gonzales vs. Jr. the Report and Recommendation of the none of the parties appeared. However. idinawit ko si Atty. Jr. Jr. gayong nalalaman ko na si Atty. Cabucana. 2004. Cabucana is reminded to be more careful in the acceptance of cases as Si Atty. I Santiago City) na inihain ko It is respectfully recommended that Atty. The Undersigned Commissioner believes that the respondent made a Makaraang pag-isipang mabuti ang paghain ko ng demanda kontra mistake in the acceptance of the administrative case of Romeo kay Atty. Jr. nakumbinsi ako na ang Gatcheco. Jr. Cabucana. Marcelino Recommendation. she filed against Atty. Marcelino C. Cabucana. Marcelino C. at dahil dito ay hindi na ako interesado pang ituloy and naturang kaso. On February 24.. herein made was present. to wit: Ginawa ko ang sinumpaang salaysay na ito upang patotohanan sa RESOLUTION NO. XVI-2005-153 lahat ng nakasaad dito.[17] CBD CASE NO. Civil Case No.[20] rules. RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE.[21] Nais kong ituwid ang lahat kung kayat aking iniuurong ang naturang kasong inihain ko kontra kay Atty. and. Cabucana. 2005. Commissioner Reyes then considered the case as submitted part of this Resolution as Annex A. Atty. ay isang malice and bad faith in the said acceptance and this can be shown by malaking pagkakamali dahil siya ay walang kinalalaman (sic) sa di the move of the complainant to unilaterally withdraw the case which pagkakaintindihan naming(sic) ng mag-asawang Gatcheco. only respondent Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case. at aking hinihiling sa kinauukulan na On June 25. as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED.

as the civil case handled by their law firm where Gonzales is after a full disclosure of the facts.03 of The proscription against representation of conflicting interests Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Jr.[22] which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. is hereby WARNED and REPRIMANDED then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers.[23] Bamba. we find respondent guilty of violating Rule 15. though unrelated. It is Rule 15.[26] Before going to the merits. has no merit. and advised to be more circumspect and careful in accepting cases which might result in conflict of interests. suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance of he likewise acted as their counsel in the criminal cases filed by that duty.[29] It is well-settled that a lawyer is barred from representing The claim of respondent that there is no conflict of interests in this conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given case. Marcelino Cabucana. but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only .[25] of opposing clients in said cases. constitutes Lawyers are expected not only to keep inviolate the clients confidence. or that there would be no occasion to use the confidential information acquired from one to the disadvantage of the other as the two actions are wholly unrelated.[24] Such prohibition is founded on the complainant and the criminal cases filed by Gonzales against the principles of public policy and good taste as the nature of the lawyer- Gatcheco spouses are not related.[27] As we expounded in the recent case of Quiambao vs. respective retainers with each of them would affect the performance of the duty of undivided fidelity to both clients. let it be clarified that contrary to the One of the tests of inconsistency of interests is whether the report of Commissioner Reyes. are present clients and the nature or conditions of the lawyers facts. one of whom would lose written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the the suit. Gonzales against them. respondent did not only represent acceptance of a new relation would prevent the full discharge of the the Gatcheco spouses in the administrative case filed by Gonzales lawyers duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite against them.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interest except by enough that the opposing parties in one case.[28] With that settled. The representation client relations is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. to wit: applies to a situation where the opposing parties are present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. As respondent himself narrated in his Position Paper. It is of no moment that the lawyer would not be called upon to contend for one client that which the lawyer has to oppose for the other client.

his claim that he could not turn down the conflicting interests a penalty ranging from one to three years suspension spouses as no other lawyer is willing to take their case cannot was imposed.[32] purpose of enforcing civil remedies between parties. invites suspicion of double. Such the prospective client to ascertain as soon as practicable whether the being the case. corrupt. still he should have conflict of interests. thus. there could be no could handle the spouses case other than him. into public disrepute and suspicion and cognizance of administrative cases against lawyers is not for the undermine the integrity of justice. we do believe that upon the admitted facts it is highly interest.[38] . the rule against representing conflicting interests matter would involve a conflict with another client then seek the applies.conflict of interests or. the Courts exercise of its power to take inexpedient.[36] Indeed. prosper as it is settled that while there may be instances where dealing which this Court cannot allow. are not bound by such desistance as the present case involves public Without condemning the respondents conduct as dishonest.[34] Granting also that there really was no other lawyer who Gonzales in the civil case and not him. We do not agree. of which he is a distinguished member. not necessarily to prevent any injustice to the plaintiff but to keep We note the affidavit of desistance filed by Gonzales. David:[31] [35] These respondent failed to do thus exposing himself to the charge of double-dealing. [W]e can not sanction his taking up the cause of the adversary of the party who had sought and obtained legal advice from his firm. As respondent admitted. As we explained in the case of Hilado vs. However. it was observed the requirements laid down by the rules by conferring with their law firm which represented Gonzales in the civil case. or fraudulent. at the very least. but to protect The claim of respondent that he acted in good faith and with the court and the public against an attorney guilty of unworthy honest intention will also not exculpate him as such claim does not practices in his profession.[33] In similar cases where the respondent was found guilty of representing In the same manner.[37] render the prohibition inoperative. It had the tendency to bring the profession. we above reproach the honor and integrity of the courts and of the bar.[30] lawyers cannot decline representation they cannot be made to labor under conflict of interest between a present client and a prospective Respondent further argued that it was his brother who represented one. this. written consent of all concerned after a full disclosure of the facts.

firm and not respondent personally. CABUCANA. SR. .00) with a STERN WARNING that a court. for violation of Rule 15. We also note the observation of the IBP Chief Justice Commissioner Reyes that there was no malice and bad faith in respondents acceptance of the Gatchecos cases as shown by the move CONSUELO YNARES. Resolution No.000.000. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ name of the law firm CABUCANA. under which. Jr. which handled the civil case of SO ORDERED.[39] without any mention ARTEMIO V. XVI-2005-153 of the Integrated Bar Associate Justice of the Philippines is APPROVED with MODIFICATION that respondent Atty. Atty. MINITA V. CALLEJO. nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice. nor consent to the doing of any in Two Thousand Pesos (P2. Marcelino Cabucana. of complainant to withdraw the case. Edmar Cabucana signed the civil case of complainant by stating first the MA.We shall consider however as mitigating circumstances the fact that commission of the same or similar act in the future shall be dealt he is representing the Gatcheco spouses pro bono and that it was his with more severely. while herein respondent signed the pleadings for WE CONCUR: the Gatcheco spouses only with his name.03. Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and taking into consideration the aforementioned mitigating circumstances. DE GUZMAN AND CABUCANA LAW OFFICE. is FINED the amount of [1] Rule 10.00. Gonzales. we impose the penalty of fine of P2. CHICO-NAZARIO WHEREFORE. ROMEO J. his name and Associate Justice signature appear. PANGANIBAN of the law firm.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood. As recounted by complainant herself. SANTIAGO Associate Justice Associate Justice Thus.

418 SCRA 17.02 A lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privilege communication in respect of matters disclosed to him by a prospective client. 29. [29] Ibid. pp. pp. 5858. [25] Quiambao vs.. 6708 (CBD Case No. 56. [28] A. No. p. 46-49. 25-26. [26] Ibid. to the disadvantage of his client.. 53. c) When necessary to collect his fees or to defend himself. [27] Santos. pp. No. [10] Id. 54. unless the client with full knowledge of [24] See Rule 15. [22] Id. Sr... his employees or associates or by judicial action.01 A lawyer shall not reveal the confidences or secrets of his client except: [18] Id. 63. 2005. 569 (1949). cultivating familiarity with judges. b) When required by law. 58.C.01 A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to. A.. Code of Professional Responsibility. Bamba. Beltran. [11] Id. 19-21. [31] 84 Phil. p. p. [21] Id. p. [7] Rollo.. pp. August 25. 10. 37-41. p. 65. 55. p. pp. [17] Id. .. August 25. 12-16.. [9] Id. of the disclosure.. Rollo. 46-50. nor shall he use the same to his own advantage or that of a third person. p.03. a) When authorized by the client after acquainting him of the consequences [19] Id. p.. 33. [30] Ibid. p.02 A lawyer shall not. 2003.C. pp.C.[2] Rule 13. 01-874).03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written [16] Id. vs. [6] Rule 21.. 68-69. p. pp.. use information [23] Id.. p. [12] Id. [14] Id. 6708 (CBD Case No. December 11.. 60. consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.. [8] Id. 1-3. acquired in the course of employment. [4] Rule 15. A. 01-874). [20] Id. [5] Rule 21. 2005. seek opportunity for.. the circumstances consents thereto. [3] Rule 15. No. nor [13] Id. [15] Id.

[39] See rollo. Rangwani vs. 904 (1995). 882 (1998). Northwestern University. [36] Mercado vs..01 & 15. 1991.C. August 2. Bamba. Dio. 38. supra. [33] Quiambao vs. Adm. Gonzales. Vitriolo. 2005. Dio. CPR. August 25. 350 Phil. . 417. No. Case No. 1311. [38] Quiambao vs. Inc. 312 Phil.[32] Id.C. vs. Cedo. 459 SCRA 1. 6708. [34] Ibid. Arguillo.03. Vda de Alisbo vs. A. Jalandoni. A. 443 SCRA 408. 579. 8. 199 SCRA 321. Bamba. 1-2. [35] See Rules 15. p. 6632. 2005. Maturan vs. supra. July 18. pp. No. PNB vs. [37] Rangwani vs.

.

that Garcia’s complaint was motivated by resentment and desire for revenge because vs. No. Melvyn G. Virginia the phrase "with the inherent accessory penalties provided by law" was deleted. 2015 complaint against him before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Garcia agreed on the sole issue to be resolved: whether moral turpitude is involved in a alleged that he learned that Sesbreño was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of conviction for homicide. In 2007.C. Upon the directive of the IBP-CBD. Garcia filed a Atty. Garcia SUPREME COURT alleged that Sesbreño is only on parole. 08-2273. Garcia alleged that Sesbreño violated Section 27. and thus. The IBP-CBD ruled that the Regional Trial Court of Cebu found Sesbreño guilty of murder and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion . No. 10457. 08-2273) Two complaints for disbarment were filed by Dr. The parties abouthis return. 7973 and complaint for disbarment against Sesbreño before the IBP-CBD. SESBRENO. 7973 with CBD Case No. Sesbreño should not be allowed to continue his practice of law. Respondent. 7973 138 of the Rules of Court by continuing to engage in the practice of law despite his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. 10457 February 3. Garcia (Garcia) against A day prior to the filing of A. When Sesbreño and Garcia’s children learned The IBP-CBD consolidated A. Sesbrefio (Sesbrefio).C. The case was dismissed. Garcia alleged that homicide is a crime Manila against moral turpitude. filed a petition for the annulment of their marriage. Garcia filed a complaint for disbarment against Sesbreño before the Garcia submitted his verified complaint against Sesbreño alleging basically the same Office of the Bar Confidant. report and recommendation. Garcia alleged facts he alleged in A. He alleged that A. In the Court’s Resolution dated 18 January 2010. Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD). On 30 July 2008. No. for Homicide in Criminal Case No. No.C. EN BANC In his Comment. 10457 (CBC Case No.C. No. Sesbreño alleged that on 15 August 2008. Maria Margarita and Angie Ruth. Rule A. No. Sesbreño further alleged Garcia alleged that in 2005 while he was in Japan. They had two children.C. were consolidated in the Court's Resolution dated 30 September Sesbreño is practicing law despite his previous conviction for homicide in Criminal 2014. The two cases. 7973. Sesbreño alleged MELVYN G. that in 1965. and despite the facts that he is only on parole and that he has not fully served his sentence. Case No. the disqualification applies only during the term of the sentence. which was eventually granted. CBU-31733. He became a dentist In his answer to the complaint. Branch 18. 7973. docketed as CBC Case No. Sesbreño alleged that his sentence was commuted and and practiced his profession in Cabanatuan City. docketed as A.C. No. Raul H. he and Virginia separated. No. Sesbreño argued that even if the accessory penalty was not deleted.C. 7973 to DECISION the IBP for investigation. Sesbreño. Republic of the Philippines Cebu City. he married Virginia Alcantara in Cebu. RAUL H. already 39 years old while Angie Ruth was 35 years old. CBU-31733. In 1971. PER CURIAM: A. Maria Margarita was him for representing Garcia’s daughters in court. No. 7973. Complainant. representing Maria that homicide does not involve moral turpitude. filed an action for support against him and his sister complaint was motivated by extreme malice. The case was docketed as A. bad faith. the Court referred A. he acted as pro bono counsel for Maria Margarita and Angie Ruth.C. At the time of the filing of the case. or on 29 July 2008. 7973 and A. Sesbreño filed a Second Amended Complaint against him. Garcia returned from Japan. Garcia alleged that in1992. 08-2273. and desire to retaliate against Milagros Garcia Soliman.C.C. No. No. ATTY.C. GARCIA. Garcia filed a similar A. Sesbreño claimed that Garcia’s Margarita and Angie Ruth.

Atty. Respondent’s inordinate over reaction to the ramblings of crime involving moral turpitude. not involve moral turpitude depending on the degree of the crime. He alleged that Labor Relations Commission. Sesbreño to suffer the penalty of imprisonment for 9 years and 1 day of prision Sesbreño alleged that the IBP-CBD misunderstood and misapplied Soriano v. natural display of loud bravado of drunken men disbarred or suspended as attorney by this Court by reason of his conviction of a who had one too many. Moral turpitude is not involved in every criminal act and is not shown by every known and intentional violation of statute. supra.1 the IBPCBD further ruled that homicide may or may Garcia already withdrew the complaints against him.2 duties which a man owes to his fellow men or to society in general. The circumstances leading to the death of Luciano solely caused by respondent. No. contraryto justice. mayor as minimum to 16 years and 4 months of reclusion temporalas maximum.perpetua. The IBP-CBD stated: records of the case to the Office of the Bar Confidant on 20 May 2014. shown to be a foe of respondent and neither had the victim Luciano nor his companion Christopher shown to have wronged the respondent. 08-2273 was redocketed as A.C. Dizon. Respondent was not only vindictive without a turpitude.1âwphi1 Homicide may or may not involve moral turpitude depending on the degree of the crime. or good morals. the IBP Board of This is not to say that all convictions of the crime of homicide do not involve moral Governors adopted and approved the Report and Recommendation of the IBP-CBD. bear We adopt the findings and recommendation of the IBP-CBD and approve Resolution the earmarks of moral turpitude. National and that he already advised his clients to settle their other cases. or depravity in the private cause. honesty. Paraphrasing what the Supreme Court observed in No. XX-2014-31 dated 11 Soriano v. XX-2013-19 dated 12 February 2013. this Court downgraded the crime to homicide and sentenced On 6 May 2013.4 Moral turpitude is an act of baseness. The Dizon. The IBPCBD transmitted the turpitude. 1993. No. the respondent. 10457. CBD Case No. by his conduct. ruled: In its Resolution No. modesty.C. 10457. and feeling of self-importance. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states that a member of the bar may be morning with their boisterous antics. He further alleged that there was no condition set on the following his acceptance of the conditions of his parole on 10 July 2001. In the Court’s Resolution dated 30 Neither victim Luciano Amparadon or his companion Christopher Yapchangco was September 2014. the Court consolidated A. Dizon3 where the respondent was disbarred for having been convicted of frustrated homicide. Sesbreño filed a motion for reconsideration before the IBP-CBD.C. The IBP-CBD reviewed the decision of this Court convicting Sesbreño for the crime of homicide. Citing International Rice Research Institute v. Atty. he was cruel with a misplaced sense of superiority. He alleged that the attendant circumstances in Sorianoare disparate. On 11 February 2014. vileness. 7973 and A. and thus. Sesbreño alleged that after his wife died in an ambush. NLRC6 where it Attorneys. he The IBP-CBD ruled that conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude is a ground already stopped appearing as private prosecutor in the case for bigamy against Garcia for disbarment or suspension. grant of executive clemency to him. but whether any . IBP-CBD found that Sesbreño was released from confinement on 27 July 2001 and different from his case. involves moral turpitude. distinct. Respondent acted like a god who deserved not to be slighted by a couple of drunks who may have shattered the stillness of the early Section 27. No.5 Following the ruling of this Court in Soriano v. XX-2014- and found that the circumstances leading to the death of the victim involved moral 31 denying Sesbreño’s motion for reconsideration. turpitude. displayed extreme arrogance February 2014 of the IBP Board of Governors. This Court has ruled that disbarment is the drunken men who were not even directed at respondent reflected poorly on his fitness appropriate penalty for conviction by final judgment for a crime involving moral to be a member of the legal profession. Finally. the IBP-CBD The question of whether conviction for homicide involves moral turpitude was recommended that Sesbreño be disbarred and his name stricken from the Roll of discussed by this Court in International Rice Research Institute v. he was restored to his full civil and political rights. the IBP Board of Governors passed Resolution No. On appeal. They simply The only issue in these cases is whether conviction for the crime of homicide happened to be at the wrong place and time the early morning of June 3. XX-2013-19 dated 12 February 2013 and Resolution No.

they saw Sesbreño reduced penalty. conferred upon me by the Constitution and upon the recommendation of the Board of Branch 18. In thatcase. The accessory penalties were not mentioned when the original sentence was recited in the Order of Commutation and they were also not In People v. after The Decision showed that the victim Luciano Amparado (Amparado) and his conviction by final judgment. the Parcasio case has no application here. Parcasio10 to bolster his which are mala in se and yet rarely involve moral turpitude and there are crimes argument. and remit fines and forfeitures. Final Release and Discharge18 stated that "[i]t is understood that such x x x An eyewitness." Hence.14 SO ORDERED. He saw Yapchangco and Amparado running away while subsist. that pardon"11 which restored his "full civil and political rights. hitting Rabanes’ house in the process.17 The theywere about five meters.16 Commutation only partially extinguished criminal liability. Edwin Parune. According to Yapchangco.00 is/are hereby commuted to an law. Parcasio was granted "an absolute and unconditional which involve moral turpitude and are mala prohibita only. Sesbreño. including the penalty of disbarment.9 Again. Atty. the practice of law is not a right but a privilege. as a maximum. the original sentence of prisoner RAUL SESBREÑO Y HERDA H. Sesbreño cited In re Atty. and to pay an indemnity of P50."12 a circumstance not moral turpitude is somewhat a vague and indefinite term. for which reason he was released from prison.000. not always. He served the commuted or the screeching sound of the gate and when they turned around. Sesbreñois hereby found GUILTY of HOMICIDE and hereby sentenced to suffer convicted by the Regional Trial Court. without any provocation from the former. recalled that he heard shots and opened accessory penalties of the law as have not been expressly remitted herein shall the window of his house.7 was absolute and unconditional.000. there was no mention that the executive clemency was absolute and unconditional and restored Sesbreño to his full civil and political rights. Here. then saw unconditional pardon. CBU-31733 is hereby MODIFIED. it cannot always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does not exist by We cannot accept Sesbreño’s argument that the executive clemency restored his full classifying a crime as malum in se or as malum prohibitum. It follows therefore. aimed his rifle. as a minimum. to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Luciano Amparado in the amount of indeterminate prison term of from 7 years and 6 months to 10 years imprisonment P50. and walking back It is granted only to those possessing good moral character. carrying a long firearm. the aiming his rifle at them.000.21 . went out imprisonment" the penalty imposed on Sesbrefio. while crimes mala prohibitado not. to 16 years and 4 to an indeterminate prison term of from 9 years and 1 day to 16 years and 4 months months of reclusion temporal.20 A violation of the high towards the gate of his house. and started firing at them. saw Amparado fall down after being shot. the Order of Commutation13 did not state that the pardon be left to the process of judicial inclusion or exclusion as the cases are reached. since there are crimes civil and political rights.00. There are four acts of executive clemency that the President can extend: the President can grant reprieves. commutations.8 the Court found Sesbreño guilty of homicide and ruled: mentioned in stating the commuted sentence. Even if Sesbrefio has been Sesbreño was firing his firearm rapidly. We reviewed the Decision of this Court and we agree with the IBPCBD that the circumstances show the presence of moral turpitude. there is nothing in the records that shows that it was a full and Another witness. Commutation is a mere reduction of his house. granted pardon. in Criminal Case No. While x x x generally but Amparado. the executive clemency merely companion Christopher Yapchangco (Yapchangco) were walking and just passed by "commuted to an indeterminate prison term of 7 years and 6 months to 10 years Sesbreño’s house when the latter. the meaning of which must present inthese cases. crimes mala in seinvolve moral turpitude. More importantly. the assailed decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. Rizaldy Rabanes (Rabanes). It only states: By virtue of the authority WHEREFORE.00 and to pay the costs. pardons. In addition. with accessory penalties provided by imprisonment and to pay an indemnity of P50. Cebu City and Supreme Court and sentenced a prison term of 9 years and 1 day of prision mayor. more or less. Appellant Raul Pardons and Parole.particular conviction involves moral turpitude may be a question of fact and justified the indiscriminate firing done by Sesbreño that eventually led to the death of frequently depends on all the surrounding circumstances. of penalty.19 Sesbreño in the middle of the street. The IBP-CBD correctly stated that Amparado and moral standards of the legal profession justifies the imposition of the appropriate Yapchangco were just at the wrong place and time. They did not do anything that penalty against a lawyer. Yapchangco and Amparado ran away but Amparado was hit.15 In this case. from the gate of Sesbreño when they heard penalty for Sesbrefio' s crime was never wiped out.

respondent Raul H. ANTONIO T.C. No. Associate Justice Associate Justice 6 Supra note 1. at 768. DEL CASTILLO MARTIN S. SERENO 4 Re: SC Decision Dated May 20. 275-276. JR. CARPIO 5 Catalan. DIOSDADO M. Associate Justice Associate Justice 13 Rollo (A. v. PERLAS- BIENVENIDO L. 677 SCRA 352. Associate Justice Associate Justice 16 Cabantag v. No. CASTRO ARTURO D. VILLARAMA. PERALTA LUCAS P. No. 221 SCRA 760. JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA 12 Id. Jr. 670 SCRA 366. 3 515 Phil. * On leave. LEONARDO-DE (On leave) 7 Supra note 1.C. No. REYES BERNABE 14 Id.C. Chairman. BERSAMIN 9 Id. VELASCO. 437 (1976). 1987 Constitution. 14 September 1993. A. at 795.R. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for distribution to all its chapters.F. 2008 in G. Pactolin. 10457). Associate Justice Associate Justice 10 161 Phil. Let copies of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant. No.V. pp.C. Associate Justice Associate Justice 11 Id.A. 7940. p. Wolfe. Article VII. 161455 Under Rule 139- Chief Justice B of the Rules of Court v. MARIA LOURDES P. (no part) ESTELA M. at 441. A. JARDELEZA Commission on Audit. 24 July 2012. 2 Rollo (A.R. Associate Justice Associate Justice 15 Section 19. SO ORDERED. BRION* Associate Justice Associate Justice 8 372 Phil. LEONEN FRANCIS H. Silvosa. TERESITA J.R. 6 Phil. 635 (2006). 10457). MARIANO C. G. 7360. No. the Court Administrator for dissemination to all courts all over the country. and the Office of 1 G. 154. Atty. See Garcia v. 12 May 1993. MARVIC M. Sesbrefio is DISBARRED effective immediately Footnotes upon his receipt of this Decision. PRESBITERO J. Rodolfo D. Let a copy of this Decision be attached to the personal records of respondent. 24 April 2012. 97239.WHEREFORE. . 273 (1906). No. 75025. 762 (1999). 226 SCRA 356. JR.

18 Rollo (A. 155. 422 (2008). . 588 Phil. No. Atty. 10457). Valdez. p. 19 Overgaard v. Revised Penal Code. 20 Id. 21 Id.17 Article 94.C.

Republic of the Philippines On March 22, 2007, Atty. Baliga, also the Regional Director of the Commission on
SUPREME COURT Human Rights Regional Office for Region II, filed the undated ex parte clarificatory
Manila pleading with leave of court.9

THIRD DIVISION In his ex parte clarificatory pleading, Atty. Baliga alleged that on July 14, 2006,
complainant Lingan wrote the Commission on Human Rights. Lingan requested the
A.C. No. 5377 June 30, 2014 Commission to investigate Atty. Baliga following the latter's suspension from the
practice of law.
VICTOR C. LINGAN, Complainant,
vs. After this court had suspended Atty. Baliga from the practice of law, the Commission
ATTYS. ROMEO CALUBAQUIB and JIMMY P. BALIGA, Respondents. on Human Rights En Banc issued the resolution10 dated January 16, 2007,
suspending him from his position as Director/Attorney VI of the. Commission on
RESOLUTION Human Rights Regional Office for Region II. According to the Commission on
Human Rights En Banc, Atty. Baliga's suspension from the practice of law
LEONEN, J.: "prevent[ed] [him] from assuming his post [as Regional Director] for want of
eligibility in the meantime that his authority to practice law is suspended."11
This court has the exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the practice of law. When this
court orders a lawyer suspended from the practice of law, the lawyer must desist from Atty. Baliga · argued that he cannot be suspended for acts not connected with his
performing all functions requiring the application of legal knowledge within the functions as Commission on Human Rights Regional Director. According to Atty.
period of suspension. This includes desisting from holding a position in government Baliga, his suspension from the practice of law did not include his suspension from
requiring the authority to practice law. public office. He prayed for clarification of this court's resolution dated June 15,
2006 "to prevent further injury and prejudice to [his] rights."12
For our resolution is respondent Atty. Jimmy P. Baliga's motion to lift one-year
suspension from the practice of law.1 This court noted without action Atty. Baliga's ex parte clarificatory pleading as this
court does not render advisory opinions.13
In the resolution2 dated June 15, 2006, this court found Attys. Romeo I. Calubaquib
and Jimmy P. Baliga guilty of violating Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of On May 8, 2009, this court received ·a letter from complainant Lingan. In his letter14
Professional Responsibility3 and of the Lawyer's Oath.4 Respondents allowed their dated May 4, 2009, Lingan alleged that Atty. Baliga continued practicing law and
secretaries to notarize documents in their stead, in violation of Sections 2455 and discharging his functions as Commission on Human Rights Regional Director, in
2466 of the Notarial Law. This court suspended respondents from the practice of law violation of this court's order of suspension.
for one year, revoked their notarial commissions, and disqualified them from
reappointment as notaries public for two years. Complainant Lingan allegedly received a copy of the Commission on Human Rights
En Banc 's resolution suspending Atty. Baliga as Regional Director. On Atty. Baliga's
Complainant Victor C. Lingan filed his motion for reconsideration,7 praying that motion, the ommission reconsidered Atty. Baliga's suspension and instead
respondents be disbarred, not merely suspended from the practice of law. In the admonished him for "[violating] the conditions of his commission as a notary
resolution8 dated September 6, 2006, this court denied complainant Lingan's motion public."15 According to complainant Lingan, he was not served a copy of Atty.
for reconsideration for lack of merit. Baliga's motion for reconsideration.16

Complainant Lingan claimed that the discharge of the functions of a Commission on On July 17, 2009, Atty. Baliga filed a manifestation,24 arguing that his suspension
Human Rights Regional Director necessarily required the practice of law. A from the practice of law did not include his suspension from public office. Atty.
Commission on Human Rights Regional Director must be a member of the bar and is Baliga said, "[t]o stretch the coverage of [his suspension from the practice of law] to
designated as Attorney VI. Since this court suspended Atty. Baliga from the practice [his] public office would be tantamount to [violating] his constitutional rights [sic] to
of law, Atty. Baliga was in effect "a non-lawyer . . . and [was] disqualified to hold the due process and to the statutory principle in law that what is not included is deemed
position of [Regional Director] [during the effectivity of the order of suspension]."17 excluded."25
The Commission on Human Rights, according to complainant Lingan, should have
ordered Atty. Baliga to desist from performing his functions as Regional Director. In the resolution26 dated September 23, 2009, this court required respondents to file
Complainant Lingan prayed that this court give "favorable attention and action on the their respective motions to lift order of suspension considering the lapse of the period
matter."18 of suspension. This court further ordered Atty. Baliga and the Commission on Human
Rights to comment on complainant Lingari's allegation that Atty. Baliga continued
This court endorsed complainant Lingan's letter to the Office of the Bar Confidant for performing his functions as Regional Director while he was suspended from the
report and recommendation.19 practice of law. The resolution dated September 23, 2009 provides:

In its report and recommendation20 dated June 29, 2009, the Office of the Bar Considering that the period of suspension from the practice of law and
Confidant found that the period of suspension of Attys. Calubaquib and Baliga had disqualification from being commissioned as notary public imposed on respondents
already lapsed. It recommended that respondents be required to file their respective have [sic] already elapsed, this Court resolves:
motions to lift order of suspension with certifications from the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines and the Executive Judge of the court where they might appear as counsel (1) to require both respondents, within ten (10) days from notice, to FILE
and state that they desisted from practicing law during the period of suspension. their respective motions to lift relative to their suspension and disqualification
from being commissioned as notary public and SUBMIT certifications from
On the claim that the Commission on Human Rights allowed Atty. Baliga to perform the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Executive Judge of the Court where
his functions as Regional Director during the period of suspension, the Office of the they may appear as counsel, stating that respondents have actually ceased and
Bar Confidant said that the Commission "deliberate[ly] disregard[ed]"21 this court's desisted from the practice of law during the entire period of their suspension
order of suspension. According to the Office of the Bar Confidant, the Commission and disqualification, unless already complied with in the meantime;
on Human Rights had no power to "[alter, modify, or set aside any of this court's
resolutions] which [have] become final and executory. "22 (2) to require Atty. Jimmy P. Baliga to SUBMIT a certification from the
Commission on Human Rights [CHR] stating that he has been suspended
Thus, with respect to Atty. Baliga, the Office of the Bar Confidant recommended that from office and has stopped from the performance of his functions for the
this court require him to submit a certification from the Commission on Human period stated in the order of suspension and disqualification, within ten (10)
Rights stating that he desisted from performing his functions as Regional Director days from notice hereof;
while he was suspended from the practice of law.23
(3) to require respondent Atty. Baliga and the CHR to COMMENT on the
The Office of the Bar Confidant further recommended that Atty. Baliga and the allegations of complainant against them, both within ten (10) days from
Commission .on Human Rights be required to comment on complainant Lingan's receipt of notice hereof; ...27 (Emphasis in the original)
allegation that Atty. Baliga continued to perform his functions as Regional Director
while he was suspended from the practice of law. In compliance with this court's order, Attys. Calubaquib and Baliga filed their
respective motions to lift order of suspension.28 Atty. Baliga also filed his comment

on complainant Lingan's allegation that he continued performing his functions as Lingan reiterated that the position of Regional Director/ Attorney VI requires the
Regional Director during his suspension from the practice of law. officer "to be a lawyer [in] good standing."45 Moreover, as admitted by Atty. Baliga,
he had supervision and control over Attorneys III, IV, and V. Being a "lawyer-
In his comment29 dated November 13, 2009, Atty. Baliga alleged that as Regional manager," Atty. Baliga practiced law while he held his position as Regional Director.
Director, he "perform[ed], generally, managerial functions,"30 which did not require
the practice of law. These managerial functions allegedly included ."[supervising] ... With respect to Atty. Baliga's claim that he was in good faith in reassuming his
the day to day operations of the regional office and its personnel";31 "monitoring position as Regional Director, complainant Lingan countered that if Atty. Baliga were
progress of investigations conducted by the [Commission on Human Rights] really in good faith, he should have followed the initial resolution of the Commission
Investigation Unit";32 "monitoring the implementation of all other services and on Human Rights suspending him from office. Atty. Baliga did not even furnish this
assistance programs of the [Commission on Human Rights] by the different units at court a copy of his motion for reconsideration of the Commission on Human Right's
the regional level";33 and "[supervising] . . . the budgetary requirement preparation resolution suspending him from office. By "playing ignorant on what is 'practice of
and disbursement of funds and expenditure of the [Regional Office]."34 The law', twisting facts and philosophizing,"46 complainant Lingan argued that Atty.
Commission allegedly has its own "legal services unit which takes care of the legal Baliga "[no longer has that] moral vitality imperative to the title of an attorney."47
services matters of the [Commission]."35 Compfainant Lingan prayed that Atty. Baliga be disbarred.

Stating that his functions as Regional Director did not require the practice of law, On February 17, 2010, this court lifted the order of suspension of Atty.
Atty. Baliga claimed thaf he "faithful[ly] [complied] with [this court's resolution Calubaquib.48 He was allowed to resume his practice of law and perform notarial
suspending him from the practice of law]."36 acts subject to compliance with the requirements for issuance of a notarial
commission.
The Commission on Human Rights filed its comment37 dated November 27, 2009. It
argued that "the penalty imposed upon Atty. Baliga as a member of the bar is separate On the other hand, this court referred to the Office of the Bar Confidant for
and distinct from any penalty that may be imposed upon him as a public official for evaluation, report, and recommendation Atty. Baliga's motion to lift one-year
the same acts."38 According to the Commission, Atty. Baliga's suspension from the suspension and the respective comments of Atty. Baliga and the Commission on
practice of law is a "bar matter"39 while the imposition of penalty upon a Human Rights.49
Commission on Human Rights official "is an entirely different thing, falling as it
does within the exclusive authority of the [Commission as] disciplining body."40 In its report and recommendation50 dated October 18, 2010, the Office of the Bar
Confidant stated that Atty. Baliga "should not [have been] allowed to perform his
Nevertheless, the Commission manifested that it would defer to this court's resolution functions, duties, and responsibilities [as Regional Director] which [required acts
of the issue and would "abide by whatever ruling or decision [this court] arrives at on constituting] practice .of law."51 Considering that Atty. Baliga claimed that he did
[the] matter. "41 In reply42 to Atty. Baliga's comment, complainant Lingan argued not perform his functions as Regional Director which required the practice of law, the
that Atty. Baliga again disobeyed this. court. Atty. Baliga failed to submit a Office of the Bar Confidant recommended that the Commission on Human Rights be
certification from the Commission on Human Rights stating that he was suspended required to comment on this claim. The Office of the Bar Confidant also
from office and desisted from performing his functions as Regional Director. recommended holding in abeyance the resolution of Atty. Baliga's motion to lift
suspension "pending [the Commission on Human Right's filing of comment]."52
As to Atty. Baliga's claim that he did not practice law while he held his position as
Regional Director and only performed generally managerial functions, complainant In the resolution53 dated January 12, 2011, this court held in abeyance the resolution
Lingan countered that Atty. Baliga admitted to defying the order of suspension. Atty. of Atty. Baliga's motion to lift one-year suspension. The Commission on Human
Baliga admitted to performing the functions of a "lawyer-manager,"43 which under Rights was ordered to comment on Atty. Baliga's claim that he did not practice law
the landmark case of Cayetano v. Monsod44 constituted practice of law. Complainant while he held his position as Regional Director.

74 involving civil and political rights[. In Cayetano v. Oaths and knowledge or skill. Under the Guidelines and Procedures in the Investigation and Monitoring of Human This court suspended Atty. To conduct preliminary evaluation or initial investigation of human rights that it is "of honest belief that the position of [Regional Director] is managerial and complaints in the absence of the legal officer or investigator. legal procedure. must desist from holding the position of Regional Director. practice of law.70 "[performing] acts which are characteristics of the [legal] profession"58 or "[rendering any kind of] service [which] requires the use in any degree of legal These powers and functions are characteristics of the legal profession. The Commission added c. therefore. the Regional Director loses a necessary territorial jurisdiction. He lacked a necessary qualification to his position as Commission on Human Rights a. such as when he or she is disbarred office having primary responsibility to investigate human rights violations in its or suspended from the practice of law."55 It again manifested that it will "abide by whatever ruling or decision [this court] arrives on [the] matter. or subpoenas within the territorial jurisdiction of the suspend him further from the practice of law for six months. Thus. invitations."65 resolved in its resolution dated January 16.]"62 It is divided into regional offices with each When the Regional Director loses this authority. To administer oaths or affirmations with respect to "[Commission on Regional Director/ Attorney VI.63 Each regional office is headed by the Regional Director qualification to the position he or she is holding. The disbarred or suspended lawyer who is given the position of Attorney VI. We. Baliga's motion to lift order of submission of the matter to an alternative dispute resolution". 2006. Baliga as a member of the bar is separate from the penalty that might be imposed on him as Regional Director. 2007: ."59 affirmations are usually performed by members of the judiciary and notaries public71 . Monsod.In its comment54 dated April 6.68 suspension should be granted.66 that the penalty imposed on Atty. Baliga received the court's Director has the following powers and functions: order of suspension on July 5. the Regional Director must be an Constitution with power to investigate "all forms of human rights violations attorney . orders.67 does not [require the practice of law]. training and experience. As the Commission on Human Rights correctly Human Rights] matters.officers who are necessarily members of the bar. Baliga violated this court's order of suspension. regional office. which requires the application of f. 2011. in or out of court."56 d. and the Provision of CHR Assistance. letter- We find that Atty. Rights Violations and Abuses. Baliga from the practice of law for one year on June 15. The exercise of the powers and functions of a Commission on Human Rights The Commission on Human Rights is an independent office created under the Regional Director constitutes practice of law. e. "effective immediately.64 the Regional 2006.76 he has been without authority to practice law. including notices.60 this court cited the deliberations of the 1986 immediate courses of action and protection remedies and reviewing and approving Constitutional Commission and agreed that work rendered by lawyers in the draft resolutions of human rights cases prepared by the legal officer require the use of Commission on Audit requiring "[the use of] legal knowledge or legal talent"61 is extensive legal knowledge."75 From the time Atty.69 and Practice of law is "any activity. knowledge. complaints are performed primarily by the Commission's legal officer.73 Discussing of law. To conduct dialogues or preliminary conferences among parties and discuss "immediate courses of action and protection remedies and/or possible The issue for our resolution is whether Atty. To issue mission orders in their respective regional offices. To issue Commission on Human Rights processes.a member of the bar in good standing and authorized to practice law. the Commission on Human Rights reiterated b. To review and approve draft resolutions of human rights cases prepared by law."57 It includes the legal officer.72 Investigating human rights Work in government that requires the use of legal knowledge is considered practice.

of authority to practice law. the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines resolved to put into effect and implement the legal implications of the We impose the same penalty on Atty. or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving eyes to the act of Atty.77 (Emphasis in the original) April 13.Regional Atty. malpractice. on Human Rights did not violate Atty. is concerned with the transgression by Atty. the Commission cannot close its office. admission to practice. from the practice of law for six months for practicing his profession despite this court's previous order of suspension. Baliga without authority so to do. 2007 reads: only suspended after: investigation by the Commission on Human Rights Legal and Investigation Office. the Commission admonished Atty. Baliga was disqualified to hold that position. the Commission granted Atty. he was The resolution with CHR (III) No. the Commission gave Atty.WHEREAS. Baliga an opportunity to In his Motion for Reconsideration dated March 15. Baliga that is clearly repugnant to the conduct of an officer moral turpitude. 5277 dated 15 June 2006. Baliga and sternly In ordering Atty. Human Rights Regional Director because of his authority to practice law. As Under Section 27. respondent Atty. Baliga is totally blameless and should not suffer the appropriate All told. Baliga prays before the Honorable Commission to recall and annul his suspension as Regional Director/ Attorney VI of the Commission on Human Rights . Magat Human Rights Directors is not generally allowed by the Commission.79 this court suspended further Atty. WHEREFORE. or for corruptly or willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case . grounds therefor. Baliga authority to secure a order of a superior court is a ground for disbarment or suspension from the practice commission as a notary public. Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. or for a willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court. Atty. Baliga of his oath of office as government employee. to include the conditions expressly set forth by the Commission. performing the functions of a Commission on Human Rights Regional penalty for breach of the Code of Professional Responsibility and his Lawyer's oath. Atty. the Commission warned him that repeating the same offense will cause his dismissal from the service.1âwphi1 his functions and responsibilities as Director/Attorney VI of CHRP-Region II in Tuguegarao City for the period for which the Supreme Court Resolution is in We note that the Commission on Human Rights En Banc issued the resolution dated effect. reconsidering its first resolution suspending Atty. Jimmy P. Atty. With this. prevents Atty. or other gross misconduct in such Administrative Case No. Baliga's performance of generally managerial functions was not supported by Office No. this suspension under ethical standards. A2007-045 dated April 13. in the light of the foregoing. Director constituted practice of law. The grounds relied upon the motion are not sufficient to convince the Commission that Atty. Jimmy P. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of from assuming his post. Baliga. Baliga as Regional Director/ Attorney VI. Baliga in the discharge of Director despite lack. which in the case of all Regional In Molina v. Ceferino R. Instead. It was also immaterial. II. willful disobedience to any lawful records have it. for want of eligibility in the meantime that his authority to gain. in effect. Magat. First. grossly immoral conduct. 2007. SEC. This is without prejudice to the investigation to be conducted to the practice of law of Atty.1âwphi1 He held the position of Commission on A2007-013. constitutes malpractice. Baliga should have desisted from holding his position as Regional Director. the record. The Commission. 27. .A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by With the findings clearly enunciated in the Supreme Court resolution in SC the Supreme Court for any deceit. Jimmy P. either personally or through paid agents or brokers. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court. be heard when he filed his motion for reconsideration. Baliga for holding his position as Regional SC decision by decreeing the suspension of Atty. per 16 January 2007 Commission en Banc Resolution CHR (III) No.78 Second. he is mandated to act as a notary public in of law: accordance with the rules and regulations. Baliga's right to due process. practice law is suspended. Baliga suspended from office as Regional Director. 2007. Without this authority. or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before reposed with public trust. in the exercise of its authority to discipline.

VILLARAMA. Jr. in view of the and [faithfully comply] with the rules of [the] legal profession. What was granted to Atty.80 (Emphasis Associate Justice Associate Justice in the original) BIENVENIDO L. effective upon service on Atty. Villarama. the exercise of which requires such high esteem to be in equal footing with the constitutional SERVE copies of this resolution to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Baliga as above expressed is sufficient to complete the cycle of penalizing an erring public officer. and the Commission on Human Rights. Commission exacts commensurate solicitude from whatever privilege the Commission grants of every official and employee. 2014 and to South Africa on June 26 to 29. This resolution caused Atty. and employees. Atty. Jr. Jimmy P. PERALTA* Associate Justice WHEREFORE."83 To enjoy the privileges of practicing law. [maintain] the highest degree of morality[.other issuances. Reyes was designated as Acting Member for six ( 6) months. we further SUSPEND Atty. official trip to Nairobi. Clearly. Kenya on June 22 to 25. 2014. SO ORDERED. Baliga to reassume his position as Regional Director/ Attorney VI despite lack of authority to practice law. Atty. by mere resolutions and . JR. 2014. Baliga shall serve a total of one (1) year and six (6) months of the Third Division per Special Order No. Baliga from the office may be too harsh in the meantime that the Supreme Court penalty is being served. A2007-013 and imposes the penalty of admonition with a stem warning that a MARTIN S. The Commission notes that by now Atty.82 it can only retain those with the necessary qualifications in the 2o'1t1. short of being enraged.. the Commission hereby modifies its ruling in Resolution CHR (III) No. notary public.] Member per Special Order No.81 The Commission cannot.** JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA repetition of the same will merit a penalty of dismissal from the service. we remind him that the practice of law is a "privilege burdened with conditions. 1691 dated May 22. Velasco. modify or defy this court's orders of suspension from the practice of * Associate Justice Diosdado M. Baliga. Baliga should keep in mind that the of the Bar Confidant. As for Atty. Peralta was designated as Acting law. Although the Commission on Human Rights has the power to appoint its officers Chairperson of the Third Division per Special Order No. Baliga is serving the one year suspension MARVIC MARIO VICTOR F. lawyers must "[adhere] ** Associate Justice Martin S. Baliga is merely a privilege. DIOSDADO M. The Commission believes Associate Justice that the further suspension of Atty.This is enough just cause to have this piece of word. the Office mandate of the Commission. 1707 dated June 17. Baliga of a censure Atty. WHEREFORE. was designated as Acting to the rigid standards of mental fitness. This Commission is WE CONCUR: prevailed upon that the admonition of Atty. Associate Justice 2007. REYES*** The Commission on Human Rights erred in issuing the resolution dated April 13. in view of the latter's positions they are holding. We remind the Commission on Human Rights that we have the exclusive jurisdiction Footnotes to regulate the practice of law. 1704 dated June 17. LEONEN imposed on him pursuant to the Supreme Court resolution. and of suspension from the practice of law. vice . Baliga for having contravened the conditions of his commission as a copy of this resolution. 2014. vice Associate Justice Presbitero J. Baliga from the practice of law *** Associate Justice Bienvenido L."84 vacancy in the Third Division.

Every notary public shall keep a register to be known as the notarial register. where the same was made. or if none such. 11. art. and when the instrument is a contract. 6 REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917. and to whom. SECTION 246. at 296-343. and paying the legal fees therefor. do solemnly swear that I will maintain allegiance to the Republic of the When a notary public shall protest any draft. he shall make a full and true record in his notarial legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein. if any. wherein record shall be 8 Id. or acknowledged before him. 246 states: 11 Id. 3 CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY' Canon 1. at 323. sworn to.01 beginning with number one in each calendar year. of whom. at 240-. register of all his proceedings in relation thereto. Resolution CHR (III) No. whether he presented such draft. Rule 1.. or any part thereof. and will conduct bill. enter in such register. pp. 2014 and to South Africa on June 26 to person executing. or 5 REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917. . protested before him. I will not wittingly or willingly whether the demand or the sum of money therein mentioned was promote or sue any groundless. and shall note therein nor consent to the doing of any in court. sec. myself these voluntary obligations without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. at 322-325. I will do no falsehood. the date of the execution. and when. Matters to be entered therein . 256-293. same is recorded.55. chap. bill of exchange. 10 Id. or note: whether notices were given. to any person applying for it 9 Id.A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. the 29. 558-566. The notary shall states: give to each instrument executed. So help me God. and he shall supply a certified copy of such record. Kenya on June 22 to 25. and with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients. 2 Id.. manner." At the end of each week the notary shall certify in his register the number of instruments executed. false or unlawful suit. made of all his official acts as notary. sworn to. to the signature. sworn to. and where. he shall keep a co1Tect copy thereof as part of his records. and in what myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion. certificate shall show this fact. services as notary in connection therewith. witnesses. 245 states: 7 Rollo. book 1. and shall likewise enter in said records a brief description of the substance thereof and shall give to each entry a consecutive number. to the same. the fees collected by hint for his 1 Rollo. and I impose upon where directed: and of every other fact touching the same. when. pp. in view of the latter's official trip instrument executed. or acknowledged before him a number corresponding to the one in his register. the nature of each . dishonest. and shall also Rule 1. title IV. at 295 . V. immoral state on the instrument the page or pages of his register on which the or deceitful conduct. book I. art. Notarial register. at 307. I will delay no man for money or malice. or Philippines.The notary public shall 12 Id. or acknowledgment of the instrument. I will support the Constitution and obey the laws as well as the promissory note. acknowledged. No blank line shall be left between entries. 2009.Associate Justice Presbitero J. V. This motion is dated November 16. or acknowledging the instrument. chap. Velasco. or give aid nor consent made. Jr. sec. oath.2. title IV. A2007-013. 4 "I. in chronological order. to whom.01 . swearing to. SECTION 245. 11. the to Nairobi. 2014.

at 407. at 491. Resolution CHR (Ill) No. 2007. 589. 1st Indorsement dated May 13. 43 Id. at 591. 28 Id. at 590. at 396. 2009. 45 Rollo. at 415-420. 18 Id. 235 (1991) [Per J. Paras. 44 278 Phil. 26 Id. 36 Id. at 569-570. at 400. 50 Id. at 478-482 and 558-566. at 545. 42 Id. at 587-S92. at 570. 14 Id at 397-413. 48 Id. at 420. at 426. 33 Id. 47 Id. 21 Id. 46 Id. at 398.13 Id. at 589. 16 Id. 22 Id. at 473-474. 32 Id. at 544. at 543-556. at 487-542. p. 31 Id. 2007. at 422-471. 19 Id. . 25 Id. 39 Id. 17 Id. 41 Id. 29 Id. at 346. at 418. 35 Id. at 473. 15 Id. at 544-545. 40 Id. 23 Id. 27 Id. 30 Id. Resolution dated July 16. En Banc]. at 594-600. at 490 20 Id. 24 Id. 38 Id. A2007-045 dated April 13. 37 Id. 49 Id. 34 Id.

rule 4. title IV. sec. AND THE PROVISION OF CHR ASSISTANCE. 11. Monsod. sec.51 Id. 235 (1991) [Per J. 66 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES. at 600. at 602-603. chap. 18 (1). chap. XIII. . 65 GUIDEUNES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES. AND 77 Id. AND 52 Id. sec. REVISED ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF G. 62 CONST!. THE PROVISION OF CH R ASSISTANCE. 235. AND 58 Id. December 2. APPROVED 8. I. sec. 53 Id. art.2012. rule 138. AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES. sec. sec. rule 3. 233. Paras.. 7. Art. 59 Id.at612-617. 6.pdt> (visited March 21. II. 96681. 73 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND 63 GUIDEUNES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES.R. 74 RULES OF COURT. rule 3. at 323. 4. book I. Banc]. Paras. AND 60 278 Phil. rule 4. rule 4. THE PROVISION OF CHR ASSISTANCE. rule 4. AND 54 ld. 17. sec.31. 57 Cayetano v. 72 CONSTI. 494 [Per J. sec. book I. 69 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES.gov. En Banc]. Available at <http://www. 243 (1991) [Per J. sec. at 298. 61 Id. 71 ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1987. THE PROVISION OF CHR ASSISTANCE. THE PROVISION OF CHR ASSISTANCE. 9. 67 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES. 204 SCRA 483. 2014). 254. 76 Id. I 0. 41. rule 4. at 418. 7. Narvasa. sec. 68 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES. art. at 244. THE PROVISION OF CHR ASSISTANCE. THE PROVISION OF CHRASSISTANCE. sec.. 70 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES IN THE INVESTIGATION AND MONITORING OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND ABUSES. Commission on Human Rights. THE PROVISION OF CHRASSISTANCE.chr. 1.ph/MAIN%20PAGES/about%20us/PDF/FINAL 75 Rollo. No. En 1917. En Banc]. 64 This set of guidelines was approved in April 2012. 55 ld. 1991. sec. 6. l(n) 78 Id. p. AND 56 Id. VIII.at615. 278 Phil. rule 4. sec. Cariño v.

sec. 83 Foronda v. Sr... . 18 (I 0). art. Guerrero. Mendoza. VIII. I. Atty. June 13. 672 SCRA I [Per J. No.C. 81 CONST. XIII. 3 (2006) [Per J. 1900. 80 Rollo. 2012. 407408. Callejo. 516 Phil. Third Division].. art. 5 (5). 82 CONST. sec. pp. En Banc].79 A. 84 Id.

Irene had been receiving from respondent cellphone CARPIO MORALES... Irene went to the conjugal house and hauled off all her personal belongings. NACHURA. I miss you.. or Meet AZCUNA. a folded social card bearing Disbarment58[1] before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Committee the words I Love You on its face... Eala a. anger and humiliation... No. Rizal or she was busy with her work.. he confronted them following August 1... versus AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.. On April 22. He first met respondent in January 2000 when his (complainants) then- QUISUMBING. Eala (respondent) for grossly immoral conduct and unmitigated violation of reading: the lawyers oath. C. My everdearest Irene.. 7136 In his complaint. PUNO.. and her share of the household Per Curiam: appliances. EN BANC JOSELANO GUEVARRA.. Noli handwritten letter dated October 7.. Jose Emmanuel M... Guevarra gave the following account: Complainant. JJ..J. Promulgated: In February or March 2001...... as well as messages some of which read I love you. and sometimes did not go home ATTY.... the day of his wedding to Irene. DECISION Following that incident.. TINGA..... CHICO-NAZARIO.. Respondent. complainant noticed that from CORONA. When he asked about her whereabouts... complainant went uninvited to Irenes birthday celebration x . January to March 2001. On the second occasion.. 2002 a Complaint for Complainant later found. was married to Marianne (sometimes spelled Mary Ann) Tantoco with whom SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ.. early in the morning of the following day.. 2000. he left the venue immediately. he had three children. Out of embarrassment. in the masters bedroom. you at Megamall... JOSE EMMANUEL VELASCO. 2001.. calls.. 58 [1] Rollo. she replied that she slept EALA. fiancee Irene Moje (Irene) introduced respondent to him as her friend who YNARES-SANTIAGO. . A. complainant saw Irene and respondent together on two occasions.k. pp. 2007 which Irene abandoned the conjugal house.-x at which he saw her and respondent celebrating with her family and friends. CARPIO. JR..C..... Complainant also noticed that Irene habitually went home very late at night or GARCIA. 2000....a. After his marriage to Irene on October 7. which card when unfolded contained a on Bar Discipline (CBD) against Atty. Joselano Guevarra (complainant) filed on March 4. and from work. 1-8.. pieces of furniture. at her parents house in Binangonan..

heart. Do not worry about me! I will be happy for you. and I WILL ALWAYS BE YOURS relationship with Irene as alleged in paragraph 14 of the Complaint. during a concert. in or about the third week of September 2001. No. Respondent and Irene were even FLAUNTING THEIR have done everything humanly possible to love you.62[5] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied Eternally yours. . On paragraph 15 of the COMPLAINT reading: NOLI Complainant soon saw respondents car and that of Irene constantly parked at 60 [3] Id. was still known to be legally AS IM LIVING MY TWEETIE YOULL BE!59[2] married to Mary Anne Tantoco. I have enough CAPITALIZATION of the phrase flaunting their adulterous relationship memories of us to last me a lifetime. Respondent specifically denies having ever flaunted an adulterous BE MINE . Sometimes I wonder why we ever met. I will love you until the life in me is 2001. AND THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU DO! 4. Is it only for me to find In his ANSWER. at 2-3. p. . at 6. . . I make my own vow to YOU! For instance. 71-B 11th Street. Their attendance time I laid eyes on you. Respondent and Irene were photographed together. their gone and until we are together again. to the time we spent together. But more importantly. and that Respondent. Exhibit C. . at 32. A photocopy of the report is attached as Annex C. . in his ANSWER. the couple attended the launch of the Wine All You Can promotion of French wines. 10. AND MINE ALONE. on page 21. the truth AND YOURS ALONE! of the matter being that their relationship was low profile and known only to the immediate members of their respective families. I LOVE YOU FOR ALWAYS. I LOVE YOU FOREVER.60[3] respondent admitted having sent the I LOVE YOU card fleeting happiness but experience eternal pain? Is it only for us to find a true on which the above-quoted letter was handwritten. AS LONG as far as the general public was concerned. I will say a prayer for you that you may find meaning his friends saw Irene on or about January 18. Always remember though that in my supplied). love but then lose it again? Or is it because theres a bigger plan for the two of us? On paragraph 14 of the COMPLAINT reading: I hope that you have experienced true happiness with me. . And today. New Manila where. I 14.61[4] (Italics and emphasis in the original. your vows . as he was to later learn sometime in 61 [4] Id. stated: . held I will love you for the rest of my life. in my mind and in my soul. as you make ADULTEROUS RELATIONSHIP as they attended social functions together. YOU WILL ALWAYS respondent. up to the final moments was reported in Section B of the Manila Standard issue of 24 September of your single life. Irene was already residing. . 2002 together with respondent in what youre about to do. I loved you from the first at the Mega Strip of SM Megamall B at Mandaluyong City. By the time you open this. at 31-35. youll be moments away from April 2001. 62 [5] Id. 59 [2] Id. He also learned still later that when walking down the aisle. she was pregnant. picture was captioned: Irene with Sportscaster Noli Eala.

at 33. 2). as now they are. in his ANSWER. at 32-33. as Annex A. broke up the complainants marriage. disbarment pursuant to Rule 138. as a lawyer. 69 [12] Id. at 31.64[7] (Emphasis and 65 [8] Id.1 Respondent has maintained a civil. Constitution and the laws he. betrayed his own family. cordial and peaceful relationship with relationship with Irene is neither under scandalous circumstances nor [his wife] Mary Anne as in fact they still occasionally meet in public.69[12] alleging that 5. the reason being that under the circumstances the acts of Respondent with respect to his purely personal and low profile special 5. at 37-42. because his reference [in his above-quoted handwritten letter to Irene] to the marriage between Complainant and Irene as a piece of paper was merely with respect to the formality of the marriage contract. demonstrate his the laws. Sec. 67 [10] Ibid.5 Respondent also denies that he has flaunted his aversion to the institution Irene gave birth to a girl and Irene named respondent in the Certificate of of marriage by calling the institution of marriage a mere piece of paper Live Birth as the girls father. 68 [11] Id. has been sworn to uphold. stated: the bar.67[10] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied). at 7. underscoring supplied 66 [9] Id. The Rules of Court requires lawyers to support the Constitution and obey his apparent abandoning or neglecting of his own family. vowing to continue his love for her until we are together again. complainant filed a REPLY. Respondents grossly immoral conduct runs afoul of the supplied). The Constitution regards marriage as an inviolable social institution gross moral depravity. 63 [6] Id. In pursuing obsessively his illicit love for the complainants wife. Respondent specifically denies the allegations in paragraph 19 of the own family: Complaint. Complainant attached to the Reply. he mocked the respondent stated in his ANSWER as follows: institution of marriage. . Section 27 of the Rules of Court. He flaunted his aversion to the institution of marriage. commits adultery with his wife. 64 [7] Id. even if tantamount to grossly immoral conduct as would be a ground for Mary Anne is aware of Respondents special friendship with Irene. calling it a piece of paper. Respondent admitted65[8] paragraph 18 of the COMPLAINT reading: 15. and degrades the legal 5. Respondents adulterous conduct with the complainants wife and 18.68[11] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) xxxx To respondents ANSWER.66[9] the bar. Exhibit E. Complaint regarding his adulterous relationship and that his acts demonstrate gross moral depravity thereby making him unfit to keep his membership in respondent.63[6] (Underscoring 19. Morally reprehensible was his writing the love letter to And on paragraph 19 of the COMPLAINT reading: complainants bride on the very day of her wedding. Respondent specifically denies the allegations in paragraph 15 of the profession. making him morally unfit to keep his membership in and is the foundation of the family (Article XV. the reason being that Respondents relationship with Irene was not under scandalous circumstances and that as far as his relationship with his 7. at 6.

01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility reading: Atty. 340-344. at 200. XVII-2006-06 Juan. whether in public or private life.03 of Canon 7 of the same Code reading: having personal knowledge of the Certificate of Live Birth attached to the complainants Reply. (Italics and emphasis in the original) 74 [17] Id. violating Rule 1. February 21. Complainants REPLY merited a REJOINDER WITH MOTION TO DISMISS71[14] dated January 10. Eala a. TSN. found the charge against respondent sufficiently proven. TSN.74 dismissed the case for lack of merit. p. 71 [14] Id. a copy of a Certificate of Live Birth70[13] bearing Irenes signature and naming respondent as the father of her daughter Samantha Irene Louise Moje who was born on February 14. and a criminal complaint for adultery against respondent in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. 2003 from respondent in which he denied and Rule 7.72[15] Respondent moved to dismiss the complaint due to Rule 7. Rule 1. and to APPROVE the DISMISSAL of the above-entitled case for lack of merit. behave marriage to Irene. Jose Emmanuel M. SET ASIDE. (Underscoring and Irene which was pending before the Quezon City Prosecutors Office. 42.a. in a 12-page REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION75[18] dated October 26. at 332. at 43. 2004. 02-936 The Commissioner thus recommended76[19] that respondent be disbarred for Joselano C. 2003. the Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner. 76 [19] Rollo. at 333-344. dishonest. RESOLVED to ANNUL and SET ASIDE. February 21. supplied) During the investigation before the IBP-CBD. at 71. immoral or deceitful conduct (Underscoring supplied). Noli Eala 70 [13] Id. 2003. pp.77[20] 73 [16] Id. by Resolution dated January 28. at 71-76. Lukes Hospital.73[16] Respondents counsel did not cross-examine complainant. IBP-CBD Investigating Commissioner Milagros V. The IBP Board of Governors. Guevarra vs. 41-42.01: A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. however. nor shall he. San RESOLUTION NO. CBD Case No. 75 [18] Id. complainants Complaint. annulled and set aside the Affidavit and Reply to Answer were adopted as his testimony on direct Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner and accordingly examination.03: A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his the pendency of a civil case filed by complainant for the annulment of his fitness to practice law.k. . as it is hereby ANNULLED AND 72 [15] Id. 77 [20] Id. Exhibit F. 2002 at St. 2006 [17] briefly reading After investigation. pp. at 199-200.

or fine) it shall issue a decision exonerating intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal respondent or imposing such sanction. in his Comment80[23] on the present petition of complainant. there are other pieces of evidence on of Samantha it should be noted that complainants wife Irene supplied the record which support the accusation of complainant against respondent. . Rule 139-B. personal and low profile relationship with Irene is neither under scandalous circumstances nor tantamount to grossly immoral conduct . through counsel made the following statements to wit: Respondent specifically denies having [ever] flaunted an adulterous relationship with The petition is impressed with merit. at 342-343. . Given the fact that the respondent admitted his special relationship with Irene there is no reason to believe that Irene would lie or make any misrepresentation regarding the paternity of the child. The case shall be deemed knowledge of her. 82 [25] Id. . he does not deny carrying on an adulterous If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary relationship with Irene. knowing her to be married. at 434-440. 429-445. respondent pursuant to Section 12 (c). adultery being defined under Art. 333 of the Revised sanction imposed by it is less than suspension or disbarment (such as Penal Code as that committed by any married woman who shall have sexual admonition. It should be underscored that 78 [21] Id. Rule 13979[22] of the Rules of Court. These statements of respondent in his Answer are an admission that there As the IBP-CBD Investigating Commissioner observed: is indeed a special relationship between him and complainants wife. [which] taken together with the Certificate of Live Birth of While it may be true that the love letter dated October 7. Hence. the reason being that under for lack of merit. D). even if the marriage be terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested subsequently declared void. filed It should be noted that in his Answer dated 17 October 2002. and Respondent specifically denies Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner and dismissing the case the allegations in paragraph 19 of the complaint. at 345-354.81[24] The contention fails. 83 [26] REVISED PENAL CODE. respondent has not categorically denied that he is the father of Samantha Louise Irene Moje. . the Supreme Court orders otherwise. . Respondent contends. 80 [23] Rollo pp. the truth of the matter being [that] their relationship was low profile and known only to immediate Oddly enough. C) and Samantha Louise Irene Moje (Annex H-1) sufficiently prove that there the news item published in the Manila Standard (Exh. Article 333. reprimand. information that respondent was the father of the child. the present petition78[21] of complainant before this Court.83[26] (Italics supplied) What respondent denies is party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Boards resolution. . In the Certificate of Live Birth relationship with complainants wife. in setting aside the members of their respective families . that there is no evidence against him. 81 [24] Id. gave no reason therefor as its above-quoted 33-word the circumstances the acts of the respondents with respect to his purely Resolution shows. from respondents Answer. Section 12 (c): Indeed. even taken together was indeed an illicit relationship between respondent and Irene which do not sufficiently prove that respondent is carrying on an adulterous resulted in the birth of the child Samantha. Irene.82[25] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) 79 [22] RULES OF COURT. the IBP Board of Governors. Irene as alleged in paragraph [14] of the Complaint. 2000 (Exh.

27. . Where a Administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their own. allegation as so qualified or modified are literally denied. has greater weight than the other89[32] the averments it was directed at. 43. Court of 85 [28] Id. who was 38 years old and known only to the immediate members of their respective families. SEC. 12-14. vide p. 38 years old as the childs Respondent insists. at 63. . Inc. 2003. pp. March 31. Exhibit B. TSN. as the Investigating Commissioner noted. v. it has been held that the qualifying circumstances alone are denied while the fact itself is . the records custodian of St. (1999).90[33] A negative pregnant too is respondents denial of having personal knowledge (Emphasis supplied) of Irenes daughter Samantha Louise Irene Mojes Certificate of Live Birth. having flaunted such relationship. 9-10 87 [30] Id. Lukes Medical Center. Inc. December 2. 215-219. proof beyond admitted. June 21. 104408. in an administrative case for disbarment or suspension. December 2. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court. Inc. under Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Revised on DATE AND PLACE OF MARRIAGE.84[27] (Citations omitted. No. that disbarment does not lie because his father. malpractice. 2003. 1. A comparison of the signature Rules of Court. his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit. Cajuigan. 86 [29] Id. 90 [33] Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pool. Stronghold Insurance Company. They are fact is alleged with qualifying or modifying language and the words of the distinct from and they may proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. In said certificate. 1989. 2003 Affidavit87[30] which he identified at the witness stand. 454 SCRA 653. Exhibits F and F-3. And the phrase NOT MARRIED is entered on the desired information relationship with Irene was not. 1107 (2003). Naldoza. at 9. . TSN. No. DMC-Urban Property Developer. Court of Appeals. pp. 184 (1912). or for any January 29. Notatu dignum is that. 1993.88[31] In other words. In a criminal case. he maintaining that it was low profile and the childs father is Jose Emmanuel Masacaet Eala. Sandiganbayan. clearly preponderant evidence is all that is required. Without doubt. May 29. Irene named respondent a lawyer. 84 [27] Republic v. Stated otherwise. It is a denial pregnant with an admission of the substantial facts alleged in the pleading. grossly immoral conduct. at 43. therefore. 89 [32] Habagat Grill v. 664-665. 1059. emphasis and underscoring supplied) reasonable doubt is necessary. v. declared that Irene gave the information in the Certificate of Live Birth that 88 [31] Id. 2003. It was in effect an admission of that of the other party and. or by Franklin A. a lawyer. G. Appeals. at 63. 534. 173 SCRA 619. Metro Manila Transit Corp. respondent grounds therefor. 226-227. 155110. 374 Phil. or other gross misconduct in such office. the adulterous relationship between respondent and Irene has been sufficiently proven by more than clearly preponderant evidence that a denial pregnant with the admission of the substantial facts in the pleading evidence adduced by one party which is more conclusive and credible than responded to which are not squarely denied.R. violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice. 21 Phil. however. respondents denial is a negative pregnant.. v. 453 Phil. a negative pregnant is a which is the quantum of evidence needed in an administrative case against a form of negative expression which carries with it in affirmation or at least an lawyer. citing Municipality of Moncada v.R. implication of some kind favorable to the adverse party. ─ A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from never denied being the father of the child. reading: attributed to Irene in the certificate85[28] with her signature on the Marriage Certificate86[29] shows that they were affixed by one and the same person. of proof for these types of cases differ. 223 SCRA 521. in his reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. G. Ricafort.

443. Tucay:95[38] The Court need not delve into the question of whether or not the respondent did contract a bigamous marriage . . purpose of gain. On the charge of immorality. Maniwang. not under scandalous administrative sanction for such illicit behavior. albeit brief and discreet. And so is the pronouncement in Tucay v. shall have sexual intercourse.94[37] (Emphasis and underscoring circumstances.C. 336 (1999). betrayals of the marital vow of fidelity. . No. 2006. Even if not all forms of extra- following Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code reading marital relations are punishable under penal law.735-736 (1981). and which act is not agency shall be prima facie evidence of the ground for disbarment or so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be suspension (Emphasis and underscoring supplied). 93 [36] A. 501 SCRA 166. . resolution or order of the foreign court or disciplinary marital affair with complainant. constitutes malpractice. with a woman who is not his wife. sexual relations outside marriage is considered disgraceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate ART.92[35] The case at bar involves a competent court or other disciplinatory agency in a foreign jurisdiction where relationship between a married lawyer and a married woman who is not his he has also been admitted as an attorney is a ground for his disbarment or wife. 94 [37] Id. it is not so with respect to circumstances. either personally or through paid agents or brokers. at 177-178.Any husband who shall keep a mistress in the disregard of the sanctity of marriage and the marital vows protected by conjugal dwelling. or. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the intercourse with a woman elsewhere. It is immaterial whether the affair was carried out discreetly.x x x x under scandalous circumstances. 95 [38] 376 Phil. respondent does not deny that he had an extra- The judgment. It is enough that the records of this x x x x. 334. or for a willful disobedience appearing as an attorney for a party to a case an element of the crime of concubinage when a married man has sexual without authority so to do. We disagree. 731. September 7. p.91[34] While it has been held in disbarment cases that the mere fact of sexual The immediately-quoted Rule which provides the grounds for disbarment or relations between two unmarried adults is not sufficient to warrant suspension uses the phrase grossly immoral conduct. 91 [34] Vide rollo. Rongcal:93[36] enumerated. or shall cohabit with her in supplied) any other place. Concubinage. reprehensible to a high degree in order to merit disciplinary sanction. 6313. shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods. . under scandalous the Constitution and affirmed by our laws. Atty. 193 Phil. Whether a lawyers sexual congress with a woman not his wife or without the benefit of marriage should be characterized as grossly immoral conduct The disbarment or suspension of a member of the Philippine Bar by a depends on the surrounding circumstances. 92 [35] Arciga v. Apropos is suspension if the basis of such action includes any of the acts hereinabove the following pronouncement of this Court in Vitug v. Sexual intercourse under scandalous circumstances is.

(Underscoring supplied) Considering that the instant motion was filed before the final resolution of the petition for review. nor consent to the doing of any in court.e. and that the criminal complaint for Republic of the Philippines. as well as the IBP Board of Governors. 233-246. withdrawn. I will do of facts alleged in the instant case. respect and fidelity. nor give aid of complainant.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of grossly immoral conduct and indicative of an extremely low regard for the Professional Responsibility which proscribes a lawyer from engaging in fundamental ethics of his profession. observe mutual love. we are inclined to grant the same pursuant to Section 10 Respondent admittedly is aware of Section 2 of Article XV (The Family) of of Department Circular No. the petitioner may withdraw the same at any time before it is finally resolved. 277-283. The acts complained of took place before the together. which echoes That the marriage between complainant and Irene was subsequently declared this constitutional provision. had been. 2000. is the resolution shall stand as though no appeal has been taken.97[40] 98 [41] Rollo. (Emphasis supplied by complainant) In this connection. 96 [39] Id.03 of Canon 7 regrettably unfit and undeserving of the treasured honor and privileges of the same Code which proscribes a lawyer from engaging in any conduct which his license confers upon him. and render mutual help marriage was declared null and void. filed a Manifestation98[41] on March 22. i. respondent violated Rule 1. on petition of complainant. I will support its Constitution and obey the laws adultery complainant filed against respondent and Irene based on the same set as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein. do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. false or unlawful suit. 2004 granting discretion with all good fidelity as well as to the courts as to my clients. obligates the husband and the wife to live void ab initio is immaterial. I will delay no man for money or malice. Respondent in fact also violated the lawyers oath he took before admission to Clutching at straws. a Furthermore. administrative case substantiate the findings of the Investigating Commissioner. having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the (complainants) marriage to Irene had been granted by Branch 106 of the Philippines. respondent should be and support. and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and The Secretary of Justices Resolution of January 16. which provides that the Constitution reading: notwithstanding the perfection of the appeal. I will not wittingly or Department of Justice (DOJ). 100[43] Id. and Rule 7. 209). which was pending review before the no falsehood.100[43] As a lawyer. and I complainants Motion to Withdraw Petition for Review reads: impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. at 1-8. that indeed respondent has been carrying on an illicit affair with a married woman. 70 dated July 3. dishonest.96[39] (Underscoring supplied) that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law. the Family Code (Executive Order No. at 340. in which case the appealed Section 2. 99 [42] Id. Marriage. immoral or deceitful conduct. . on motion willingly promote or sue any groundless. nor consent to the same. So help me God. respondent. This detestable behavior renders him unlawful. 97 [40] Article 68..99[42] foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State. as an inviolable social institution. 2005 informing the IBP-CBD that complainants petition for nullity of his I _________. at 455-456. during the pendency of the investigation of practice law which goes: the case before the IBP Commissioner. pp.

But even if respondent Moje conceded to complainant that she was going out on dates respondent and Irene were to be acquitted of adultery after trial. This speaks all too eloquently of the unlawful and damning December 23. Respondent Eala never denied the fact that he knew Moje to be married to Citing the ruling in Pangan v. Sevilla v. he showed disrespect for an separation from complainant. Cardenas. 481-482. Mojes eventual abandonment of their conjugal home. Indeed. For one. this Court. July 31. the said address appears to be a judicial declaration that her marriage with complainant was null and void.102[45] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Parenthetically the totality of evidence adduced by complainant would. at 6-7. sufficiently establish all the elements of the prosecuted de oficio and thus leaves the DOJ no choice but to grant offense of adultery on the part of both respondents. unless proven otherwise. Section 3 (aa).103[46] viz: complainant[. Moje furnished the information that Eala respondent glaringly omitted to state that before complainant filed his was the father. 2006. 167684. complainants motion to withdraw his petition for review. only served to confirm to these [administrative] proceedings. he (Eala) himself was married to another woman. which was a few blocks away from the church where an entirely different capacity from that which courts assume in trying she had exchange marital vows with complainant. Moje herself admits that she came to live in the said address whereas Eala asserts that that was 102[45] Rollo. And he betrayed his unfitness to be a their illicit affair that was carried out there bore fruit a few months later when lawyer. Especially since Ealas vehicle and that of Mojes were always seen there. to have entered into a lawful contract of Eala and Moje had decided to hold office for the firm that both had formed marriage. early on. The happenstance that it was in that said address that presumed. 71-B. if the with respondent Eala. Complainant also bar to the present administrative complaint. to put short. that Eala is the father of the child Samantha Irene Louise Simeon Datumanong held: Moje. G. The standards of legal profession are the illicit relationship involving both respondents. for that was where Moje stayed all throughout after her despite respondent himself being married. the certificate of birth of the girl. criminal case104[47] (Italics in the original). This becomes all the more not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to escape the penalties of x apparent by Mojes subsequent relocation in No. personally witnessed Moje and Eala having a rendezvous on two occasions. the DOJ had nature of the adulterous acts of the respondents. Quezon City. Moreover. . 103[46] 107 SCRA 1 (1981). Moje gave birth to a girl at the nearby hospital of St. 497 SCRA 428. the same would not have been a about Ealas frequent phone calls and text messages to her. after x x x The acquittal of respondent Ramos [of] the criminal charge is not a bar complainant had once more confronted her about Eala. Rule 131. Ramos.101[44] In carrying on an extra-marital affair with Irene prior to the smacks too much of a coincidence.] In fact. in any categorical for adultery. Moreover. It was both respondents love nest. In reversing the City Prosecutors Resolution. 11th Street. New x x criminal law. aware that a man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife are where he held office. pp. It was in this place that the two lovers apparently cohabited. 2003 Motion to Withdraw his Petition for Review. institution held sacred by the law. in disbarment proceedings is acting in Manila. Complainants supposed already promulgated a Resolution on September 22. 443-445.R. 2003 reversing the illegal procurement of the birth certificate is most certainly beside the point dismissal by the Quezon City Prosecutors Office of complainants complaint for both respondents Eala and Moje have not denied. DOJ Secretary manner. in the It bears emphasis that adultery is a private offense which cannot be fair estimation of the Department. and this she did when complainant confronted her Information for adultery were filed in court. Lukes Medical Center. 101[44] RULES OF COURT. No. What finally militates against the respondents is the indubitable fact that in As for complainants withdrawal of his petition for review before the DOJ. and residential house. 104[47] Id.

CHICO-NAZARIO of the Philippines. CANCIO C. CARPIO Associate Justice Associate Justice 105[48] 374 Phil. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ RENATO C. Associate Justice Associate Justice Respondent. which is immediately executory. VELASCO. WHEREFORE. Inc. v. JR. Rule 7. REYNATO S. 1.105 [48] held: MA. Eala. GARCIA Associate Justice PRESBITERO J. TINGA MINITA V. Supreme Court DANTE O. Rule 1. And let copies of the Decision be furnished the Integrated Associate Justice Associate Justice Bar of the Philippines and circulated to all courts. QUISUMBING CONSUELO YNARES. Atty. This Decision takes effect immediately. and violation of Canon 1. this Court in Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pools. They are distinct from and they may proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. the petition is GRANTED.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. XVII-2006-06 passed on January 28.01 and Canon 7. Naldoza. CORONA Associate Justice Associate Justice Administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their own. NACHURA Associate Justice ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ ANTONIO T. Let a copy of this Decision. 2006 by the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES ADOLFO S. is DISBARRED for grossly immoral conduct. . 9 (1999). SO ORDERED. PUNO Associate Justice Chief Justice LEONARDO A. violation of his oath of office. Resolution No. Atty. Jose Emmanuel M. AZCUNA of the Philippines is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. be made part of the records of respondent in the Office of the Bar Confidant.SANTIAGO Associate Justice Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B.

) CHRISTIAN MONSOD. the foreclosure of a mortgage. at the time of in the practice of law. An attorney engages in the practice of law SECOND DIVISION by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-an attorney. opposing counsel about pending litigation. counseling clients in legal matters.S. and There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services. practice of law as a legal qualification to an appointive office. enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy degree. and conducting proceedings in attachment. is engaged Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and.W. (Black's Law Dictionary. and The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. SALONGA. before PARAS. the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. body.E. 129 Ohio St. and fixing and collecting fees for services vs. in such representative capacity legal issues are involved. Jr. Acut. Otherwise stated. and the SUPREME COURT giving of all legal advice to clients. 1991 describing himself as an attorney. the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients Constitution which similarly provides: before judges and courts.. engages The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1). p. board. 193 N.Agrava. Jr. JOVITO R. or appears in a representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings pending or prospective. associations or corporations as to their rights under the law. at the assessment and condemnation services contemplating an appearance before a judicial time of their appointment. 263). and in matters Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. a majority thereof. (105 Phil. and Mylene Garcia-Albano co-counsel for petitioner. 100113 September 3. for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person. 173.. referee. Article IX-C: in the business of advising clients as to their rights under the law. including the Chairman. Although these transactions may have no direct . and in addition. COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENT. 650) A person is also considered to be respondents. 852) not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding This Court in the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v. and Trust Co. shall be members of the stated: Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. No. it embraces (Emphasis supplied) the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special The aforequoted provision is patterned after Section l(l). . or commission constituted We are faced here with a controversy of far-reaching proportions. conveyancing. In general.. all advice to clients. holders of a college degree. or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation. there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions. rel. (Land Title Abstract HON. and other papers incident to actions and special and trust relations and other affairs. It is not limited to embraces conveyancing. including the Chairman. and must Mo. in the practice of law when he: Renato L. committee. the Court's decision in this case would indubitably have a performs any act or acts for the purpose of obtaining or defending the rights of their profound effect on the political aspect of our national existence. Mckittrick v. However.:p any court. petitioner. one who. Cayetano for and in his own behalf.R.. 262. HON. 102 S. (5 Am. clients under the law. commissioner. using a letterhead G. the giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects. It and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. 2d 895. or while so engaged There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six performs any act or acts either in court or outside of court for that purpose. but embraces preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an extensive field of business the preparation of pleadings. in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management. negotiating with RENATO CAYETANO.Republic of the Philippines proceedings. eight Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and. where the work done involves the Regrettably. 23. firms.176-177) -elections. at least thirty-five years of age. (Emphasis supplied) Black defines "practice of law" as: Practice of law under modem conditions consists in no small part of work performed The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles outside of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court.' of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice. J. 340 their appointment. Sabina E. at least thirty-five years of age and holders of a college body. Article XII-C of the 1973 proceedings. (State ex. a majority thereof. rendered by his associate. as do the (Emphasis supplied) preparation and drafting of legal instruments.C. and the appearing in court. GUILLERMO CARAGUE. Dworken. However. shall be members of the and insolvency proceedings. conveying. in a representative capacity. It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken Manila for them in matters connected with the law. however. While ostensibly only by law or authorized to settle controversies and there. 3rd ed. Dudley and Co. v.

which device or service Chairman and two Commissioners of the Commission on Audit (COA) should either be requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill. OPLE." The firm is usually a partnership and members of To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the Bar who the firm are the partners. and he follows some one or more MR. 139.]. p. the members of the firm are the .connection with court proceedings. FOZ. May I be allowed to synonymous with the word "lawyer. Mr. p. And. the Rules of Court. it will involve legal work. 3 [1953 ed. [Mass. This has to do with the qualifications of the members of the Commission on At this point. Thank you." Today. will lawyers (1974-1975) listed the dimensions of the practice of law in even broader terms as necessarily involve legal work. Cardell. Yes. which requires the application of MR. And. [R." (111 ALR 23) certified public accountants with not less than ten years of auditing practice. we would like to make the the members called shareholders. Jamir). so far considered for appointment as members or commissioners. may I make a manifestation which I forgot to Corollary to this is the term "private practitioner" and which is in many ways do during our review of the provisions on the Commission on Audit. a wide experience necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law outside the COA We have to interpret this with men and affairs. Mr.] . FOZ. among others. We must consider the fact that the work of COA. In either case. FOZ. Presiding Officer. Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution. Lawyers who practice alone are often called "sole practitioners.E. and acting at all times under the Philippine Bar engaging in the practice of law for at least ten years is taken up. So that the construction given to this is that this is equivalent to the lines of employment such as this he is a practicing attorney at law within the meaning of practice of law. 194 N. v. work of the lawyer which involves appearance in court and that part which involves This has been discussed by the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies advice and drafting of instruments in his office. counselling and public service. These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at law bear an knowledge or legal talent in their respective work within COA. quoted in Rhode Is. provides. citing In re Opinion of the Justices MR. Automobile Service Assoc. (Emphasis ours) requirement of a law practice that is set forth in the Article on the Commission on Audit? The University of the Philippines Law Center in conducting orientation briefing for new MR. saying that service in the COA by a lawyer is equivalent to the A. (Gary Munneke. it is still a fact that the majority of lawyers are private practitioners.. of the as concerns the question set forth in the order. engaging in the active practice of their profession. can be drawn between that part of the Commission on Audit. THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr.] 179 MR. legal procedure. Will Commissioner Foz yield to just one question. to Section 1(1). even chairman. Groups of lawyers are called "firms. 665-666. OPLE.I. FOZ. Some firms may be organized as professional corporations and are now employed in the COA or Commission on Audit. If what he does exacts knowledge of the law and is of a kind usual for attorneys therefore. training and experience. although many lawyers do not engage in make a very brief statement? private practice. 313. of sound moral character. it might be helpful to define private practice. Before we suspend the session. Provision on qualifications under our provisions on the Commission on Audit. It is of importance to the welfare of the and we deem it important to take it up on the floor so that this interpretation may be public that these manifold customary functions be performed by persons possessed of made available whenever this provision on the qualifications as regards members of the adequate learning and skill. Generally. the answer is yes. Is he. Presiding Officer. FOZ. or The following records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that it has adopted a members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least liberal interpretation of the term "practice of law. they are always subject to become involved in clarification that this provision on qualifications regarding members of the Bar does not litigation. law. No valid distinction.. therefore. The Commissioner will please proceed. in or out of court. ( Emphasis supplied) law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. OPLE. heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys." (Ibid. 15). OPLE. "To engage in the practice of . Yes. that the practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service. [1986]. lawyers who are advocacy. means "an individual or organization engaged in the business of delivering Members of the Philippine Bar" — I am quoting from the provision — "who have been legal services. knowledge. Bar Assoc. the qualifications provided for by Section I is that "They must be understood. Opportunities in Law Careers [VGM Career Horizons: Illinois]. Among others. in effect. Practice of law means any activity. (Barr v. the statute. Comments on MR. Vol. as commonly Audit." engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years". then they are qualified to be intimate relation to the administration of justice by the courts.144). 155 NW 312) MR. (Moran. employed in COA now would have the necessary qualifications in accordance with the One may be a practicing attorney in following any line of employment in the profession. They require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill." ten years. The term. although it is auditing. (emphasis supplied) MR.). MR. and great capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex to mean that as long as the lawyers who are employed in the COA are using their legal situations. Yes.

too global to be workable. the diagnostician and the trial lawyer. Instead. And even within a narrow specialty such as tax practice. a cross-disciplinary approach to legal research By no means will most of this work involve litigation. 687). (Ibid. Understandably. of the salient features of adversarial litigation. a departure from the traditional concept of practice of familiar role for lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer. a business daily. (Wolfram. Why is this so? Recall that the late Alexander SyCip. p. The business lawyer has been estimating the consequences of given courses of action. In most firms. there are still uninformed laymen whose concept of an attorney is one who accompanied by an accelerating rate of information accumulation. the work will require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of in the law can be improved through an early introduction to multi-variable decisional . wherein a "model". such a definition would obviously be practice and government legal service. medicine can be effective.). 4). at least theoretically. particularly "model- informed laymen such as businessmen. making" and "contingency planning. reality. automatic data processing. Payne. The recognition of principally tries cases before the courts. advice-giving. General traditional procedures in many decisional contexts. I[t] need and response in situations of acute danger have prompted the use of sophisticated not [be] stress[ed] that in law. (Ibid. of legal tasks.). know that in most developed societies today. 870 [1958] [quoting Grievance Comm. cit. (Ibid. And increasingly lawyers find that the new skills of evaluation and The test that defines law practice by looking to traditional areas of law practice is mediation are both effective for many clients and a source of employment. the most commonly understood to be the practice of law. 325. corporate legal education. Constructive adjustment to major corporate problems of today requires an accurate once articulated on the importance of a lawyer as a business counselor in this wise: understanding of the nature and implications of the corporate law research function "Even today." (Ibid. relatively rare types — a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much Certainly. Modern Legal Ethics [West Publishing Co. lawyers spend little time in courtrooms.). and the need for fast decision described as the planner. Nonetheless. understanding the major emerging trends in corporation law is indispensable to In this regard thus. 1989. in or out of court. "Corporate Finance Law. in specialized practice wig usually perform at least some legal services outside their Although members of the legal profession are regularly engaged in predicting and specialty. 593). 140 A. 626 [1941]). the necessity of desccribe[d] as business counseling than in trying cases. (Ibid. the surgeon. the dominance of litigation in the public mind reflects history. surgery should be avoided where internal concepts of information flow theory. Nonetheless. 11. and other interested parties. Most law. operational analysis. 128 by the nature of the client and by the way in which the lawyer is organized into a social Conn.).). The most common of these roles are those of corporate known in the commercial and governmental realm. a corporate lawyer. the sorting and most cases they find themselves spending more time doing what [is] loosely weighing of significant conditional factors. and electronic computing equipment. document drafting. in particular those to litigate and the litigating lawyer's role colors much of both the public image and the members participating in various legal-policy decisional contexts. . (Ibid. unhelpful defining the practice of law as that which lawyers do." Jan. the general orientation for productive contributions by those trained primarily else. Wolfram. as in medicine.experienced attorneys. and a large percentage spend their entire We are experiencing today what truly may be called a revolutionary transformation in practice without litigating a case.. clients.(Wolfram. herein below quoted are emerging The appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly trends in corporate law practice. there are younger or more inexperienced salaried traditional lawyer skills of client counselling. p. 22 A. Connecticut Bank & prominent is that of prosecutor. Lawyers and other professional groups. ." (Business Star. so as to remove from it some 593). an improved decisional structure In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number must stress the predictive component of the policy-making process. 1986].: Minnesota. legal skills. Because lawyers perform almost every function unit to perform that work. v. In several issues of the Business Star. negotiation. constrained in very important ways. essentially tautologous. legal processes. legal of the decisional context or a segment thereof is developed to test projected alternative institutions. 222. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers courses of action in terms of futuristic effects flowing therefrom. not intelligent decision-making. (State Bar Ass'n v. p. The practice of law is defined as the performance of any acts . many lawyers do continue corporate law practice. each involving different legal doctrines. practitioners of law who do both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in In a complex legal problem the mass of information to be processed. op. are finding that self perception of the legal profession. a lawyer will shift from projecting the trends of the law. p. The members of the bench and bar and the the need for such improved corporate legal policy formulation..). 145 Conn. the appraisal of major trends. Most lawyers will engage in non-litigation legal work or in litigation work that is (Charles W. unless the lawyer is one of the has become a vital necessity.2d 623. the subject of corporate finance law has received one legal task or role such as advice-giving to an importantly different one such as relatively little organized and formalized attention in the philosophy of advancing representing a client before an administrative agency." has impressed upon us the inadequacy of substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms. supra. In some lawyers' work the constraints are imposed both Trust Co. Of these special roles. and attorneyscalled "associates.2d 863.

a good lawyer is one who perceives the difficulties. 1989." (Business Star. the overseas jobs go to experienced attorneys while other countries. In develop alongside existing legal institutions and laws are perceived as barriers. 11. . p. and in other capacities which require an ability to deal with the simultaneously with sub-national governmental units. Truth to tell.e. a corporate lawyer is sometimes offered this fortune to be more closely involved trends are complicated as corporations organize for global operations. 4). earning big money and with a (1) acquisition of insights into current advances which are of particular significance to the clientele composed of the tycoons and magnates of business and industry. including the resulting of a corporation. Other corporation have a staff large unifying theme for the corporate counsel's total learning. services of an astute attorney because of the complex legal implications that arise from No longer are we talking of the traditional law teaching method of confining the subject each and every necessary step in securing and maintaining the business issue raised. Otherwise known as "intersecting managerial jurisprudence. to wit: "A bad lawyer is functioning at the legal policy level of decision-making now have some appreciation for one who fails to spot problems. the number of attorneys employed by a single and management of the legal function itself. inter alia: corporate strategic repositioning that the firms he provides counsel for are required to make. (Emphasis supplied) "Corporate Law Practice. enough to handle most legal problems in-house. ( Emphasis in the running of the business.. Lawyers. and legal research.1990. Some large MNCs provide one of the few opportunities available to promotion and management of technology." it forms a have in-house counsel only for certain matters. however. and (3) a devotion to the organization it is that a corporate lawyer does. After all. of the business of the corporation he is representing. i." He is the "big-time" lawyer. is a lawyer who handles the legal affairs matter. (2) an introduction to usable disciplinary skins applicable to a Despite the growing number of corporate lawyers. many situations involving corporate finance problems would require the Today. a corporate lawyer may assume responsibilities other than the legal affairs other arenas. These include such matters as Also. "Corporate Finance Law. participation on boards and other decision-making roles. many people could not explain what corporate counsel's management responsibilities. corporate counsel. the nature of the lawyer's participation in decision-making within the corporation is determining policy and becoming involved in management. His areas of concern or jurisdiction may include. (Business Star. for example. p. Many others linking them.context and the various approaches for handling such problems. between governmental and business Japan's MITI is world famous. Law. These short. intertwining modern management issues." Jan. some cases participating in the organization and operations of governance through or not understanding how one's work actually fits into the work of the orgarnization. "Corporate Finance in similar types of complex decision-making. Because working in a from industry that differ from older. the need to think about a corporation's. the corporate lawyer reviews the globalization process. supplied) Moreover. a corporate lawyer is assiduously referred to as the Such corporate legal management issues deal primarily with three (3) types of learning: "abogado de campanilla. In our litigation-prone country. acting out as corporate secretary (in board meetings). with a shared area large corporations farm out all their legal problems to private law firms. particularly This brings us to the inevitable. for all intents and purposes. borrow the lines of Harvard-educated lawyer Bruce Wassertein. tills is an area coveted by corporate seeking to influence governmental policies. more adversarial relationships and traditional forms of foreign country is perceived by many as glamorous. the study of corporate law practice direly needs a "shot in the arm. corporation will vary with the size and type of the corporation." May 25. The modem corporate lawyer has gained a new role as a stakeholder — in In a big company. a corporate lawyer's services may sometimes be engaged by a multinational The practising lawyer of today is familiar as well with governmental policies toward the corporation (MNC). In Europe. only with public entities but with each other — often with those who are competitors in At any rate. tax laws research. international law is promoting specific technologies or competitiveness more generally require approaches practiced in a relatively small number of companies and law firms. strategy at multiple levels." Jan. p. one may have a feeling of being isolated from the action. Eureka and Race are examples of collaborative efforts the younger attorneys do their "international practice" in law libraries. 4). Esprit. the role of the lawyer in the realm of finance. Firms increasingly collaborate not law. For that A corporate lawyer. To with either a master's or doctorate degree in business administration or management. Many smaller and some These three subject areas may be thought of as intersecting circles. For one. The salience of the appearances in both courts and other adjudicatory agencies (including the Securities and nation-state is being reduced as firms deal both with global multinational entities and Exchange Commission). And there are lessons to be learned from lawyers. New collaborative arrangements for corporate lawyers to enter the international law field. ( Emphasis supplied. and the concepts and analytical techniques of other professions which are currently engaged the excellent lawyer is one who surmounts them. In most cases. Some current advances in behavior and policy sciences affect the counsel's role. Often these new patterns This can be frustrating to someone who needs to see the results of his work first hand.) rapidly changing. 11." so to speak. study to the Corporation Code and the Securities Code but an incursion as well into the (Business Star. 4). 1989.

the office of the Corporate Counsel "law" is not adequate today to facilitate the relationships needed in trying to make a comprises a distinct group within the managerial structure of all kinds of organizations. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar. The field of systems dynamics has been found an effective tool for gain a working knowledge of the management issues if only to be able to grasp not only new managerial thinking regarding both planning and pressing immediate problems. also First System Dynamics. facts are being considered and made. managing improved relationships with an external activities are better predictors of team performance than internal group increasingly diversified body of employees. The practice and theory of . it can be used to appraise the 1989. he assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC. filed the instant petition for part of the general counsel's responsibilities.Following the concept of boundary spanning. economic. users to simulate all sorts of systematic problems — physical. And even if the corporate lawyer's aim is not the Regarding the skills to apply by the corporate counsel. In the context of a law department. 1991. Petitioner opposed the nomination directly by parties and mediators in all lands of negotiations. 4). He has been a dues paying member of the activities of the firm to which legal consequences attach. On June 18. managerial mettle of corporations are challenged. "Corporate Finance law. as Chairman of the COMELEC. "Business Star". This enables users to make better decisions involving complexity feign understanding and risk exposure? (Business Star. settlement value of litigation. including hands-on on engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (Emphasis supplied) system shapes corporate activities. Yet. He has also been paying supportive of this nation's evolving economic and organizational fabric as firms change his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years. 1991. having passed the bar Managerial Jurisprudence. the legal managerial capabilities of the corporate lawyer vis-a-vis the more complex make or by decisions. promoting team achievements within the organization. coping internally with In a crisis situation. All integrated set of such because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been tools provide coherent and effective negotiation support. The general counsel has found to be related to indentifiable factors in the group-context interaction such as the emerged in the last decade as one of the most vibrant subsets of the legal profession. and uncertainty. Aquino to the involved in managing a portfolio of cases. Planning by lawyers requires special skills that comprise a major Monsod's nomination. groups actively revising their knowledge of the environment coordinating work with The corporate counsel hear responsibility for key aspects of the firm's strategic issues." Jan. global economy work." April 10. In general. three factors are apropos: understand all of the law's effects on corporate activities. What transpires next is a dilemma supplied) of professional security: Will the lawyer admit ignorance and risk opprobrium?. petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer. certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent Preventive lawyering is concerned with minimizing the risks of legal trouble and appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared null maximizing legal rights for such legal entities at that time when transactional or similar and void. Atty. 1991. Computer-based models can be used Commission on Appointments on April 25. p. and psychological. instruction in these techniques. inventory levels. three pointed areas of consideration. at the very least. (p. 124. Rollo) to stay competitive in a global.] the organization and management of the legal function. 11. p. he took his oath of office. (Emphasis supplied) position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Third Modeling for Negotiation Management. On the same [Be this as it may. aid in negotiation settlement. creating new and varied interactions with public decision-makers. and rates of flow. many would admit to principles more accessible to managers — including corporate counsels. processes. New programming techniques now make the system dynamics knowledge of financial law affecting each aspect of their work. interdependent environment. he must. such including structuring its global operations. This is the framework within which are undertaken those examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. 1991. They differ from those of remedial law. Current research is seeking ways both This whole exercise drives home the thesis that knowing corporate law is not enough to to anticipate effective managerial procedures and to understand relationships of make one a good general corporate counsel nor to give him a full sense of how the legal financial liability and insurance considerations. the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod be used to illustrate the point. thus: Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Preventive Lawyering. managing expanded liability exposure. Effectiveness of both long-term and temporary groups within organizations has been Organization and Functioning of the Corporate Counsel's Office. A simulation case of an international joint venture may On June 5. An the basic legal "constitution' or makeup of the modem corporation. understanding of the role of feedback loops. (Emphasis ignorance of vast tracts of the financial law territory. outsiders. concern day. enable "The Corporate Counsel. managerial. and minimize the cost and risk Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. It needs to be directly Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. or will he Second Decision Analysis. The challenge for lawyers (both of the bar and the bench) is to have more than a passing social. 4).

In a loan agreement.T. (2) borrower's said: representation. 2. 265). For a compleat debt restructuring Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with individual represents a devotion to that principle which in the ultimate analysis is sine qua non for freedoms and public accountability and the party-list system for the House of foreign loan agreements-an adherence to the rule of law in domestic and international Representative. Civil Service Commission. adequately constituted to meet the various contingencies that arise during a Vol. and bush are not the equal of quiet genius and serene mastery. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Romulo. Monsod also made A critical aspect of sovereign debt restructuring/contract construction is the set of terms use of his legal knowledge as a member of the Davide Commission. 13). Besides top officials of the Borrower concerned. 11). the finance manager. 1973). Graduate School of Law. 1982. Atty. in legislation and agreement drafting rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief and in renegotiation. ( Emphasis supplied) action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. served as chief executive officer Loan concessions and compromises. men learn that bustle member. a negotiating panel acts as a team. Justice Cecilia Muñoz. the only condition being that the In the same vein. a sovereign lawyer may work with an international executive officer. it lays down the law law for at least ten years. an unpublished dissertation. Central Bank of the Philippines. Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the officer in p. ( Emphasis supplied) the Philippines in 1970.After graduating from the College of Law (U. 128-129 Rollo) ( Emphasis supplied) affairs of whose kind U.P. Jr. Manila. then the aside from performing the tasks of legislative drafting and legal advising. p. He appeared for restructuring contract agreements contain such a mixture of technical language that NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. Soliven. . a lawyer-manager. but where they are. 1987. there are the legal officer Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". in his personal capacity and as former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's conjunction with the guidance of adequate technical support personnel. entitled "Wanted: Development Lawyers for Monsod worked in the law office of his father. they beat no drums. (Ibid. lawyers play an important role in any debt restructuring program. Monsod used to be a "They carry no banners. he worked with the Meralco Group. (3) conditions of closing. and an operations officer (such as an the modern concept of law practice. (Condensed from the work paper. "Loan Negotiating Strategies for Developing Country Borrowers. In the field of advocacy. a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry. Thus. Necessarily. negotiation. Monsod's past work experiences as a (Guillermo V. (See Conference for Human Development. during the Session on Law for the Panama. such as International Law Aspects of the Philippine External Debts. which involved getting acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating Development of Nations at the Abidjan World Conference in Ivory Coast. as far as the loan transaction is concerned. and since 1986.S. a quast judicial body. During his stint in the World Bank Group Developing Nations. once said: Just a word about the work of a negotiating team of which Atty. sponsored by loans and coordinating legal. (Emphasis negotiator of contracts. the meat of any Loan Agreement can Besides in the leading case of Luego v. in initiating. for instance. p. 1977. 143 SCRA 327. As former Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of business specialist or an economist in the formulation of a model loan agreement. has worked with the under privileged sectors. 3 and 4. A good agreement must not only define the Commission (1986-1987)." submitted by L. 15. lobbying for and engaging in affirmative U. Upon returning to the World Peace Through Law Center on August 26-31. Third and Fourth Quarters. and which is "The Role of Lawyers in Foreign Investments. and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor — verily more supplied) than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been engaged in the practice of After a fashion. perhaps even more so than purely renegotiation of an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate. demand expertise in the law of contracts. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable in election law. which it is vested according to his best lights." Integrated Bar of the Philippine Journal.S. (pp.) and having hurdled the bar. when the other fails to discharge an obligation. intended by the framers of the Constitution. regional legal adviser of the United (1963-1970). they score appointment cannot be faulted on the ground that there are others better qualified who national development policies as key factors in maintaining their countries' sovereignty. economic." lawyer-economist. and Chairman of its Committee on Accountability of Public responsibilities of both parties.. particularly (such as the legal counsel). and taking into consideration the liberal construction official involved in negotiating the contracts) who comprise the members of the team. but must also state the recourse open to either party Officers. Nos. has policies. and project work of the Bank. the farmer and urban poor groups. If he does. Monsod worked as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and States Agency for International Development. the loan agreement is like a country's Constitution. and (5) events of default. p. Atty. for which he was cited by the President of the Commission. For appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. Michael Hager. Debt NAMFREL. a lawyer- Staff Paper No. 321). (4) covenants. the Court be compartmentalized into five (5) fundamental parts: (1) business terms. they should be carefully drafted and signed only with the advise of competent counsel in Monsod." (See Ricardo J. and conditions which determines the contractual remedies for a failure to perform one which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a member of the Constitutional or more elements of the contract.

The judgment rendered by the Commission in the Romero. qualifications as required by law. . perhaps decides to confirm a Presidential nominee. subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess greatly doubt. p. as (2) In the same vein. its choice. who has been practising to revoke an appointment on the ground that another person is more qualified for a law for over ten years.g. that would amount to lack or reappointment. law practice once or twice a Court would still reverse the U. oath-taking. and thus in effect confirm the appointment? Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion. the procurator of Judea asked because the definition says that law practice " . may the Court reject the nominee. three Members shall hold office for seven excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed. and (4) acceptance e. 171 SCRA 744) where it stated: Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations. it would be incredible that the U. in making use of the law. one significant legal maxim is: Upon the other hand. ( Emphasis supplied) President? And even assuming that he is indeed disqualified. This is a political question involving considerations of wisdom my statement that the definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law practice is which only the appointing authority can decide. a member of the Philippine Bar. perhaps. Once. as in this case. year for ten consecutive years." True I cited the definition but only by way of sarcasm as evident from condition that — . . (Art. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the Additionally. (3) We now proceed: issuance of a commission (in the Philippines. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or (1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President. posting of bond. Law on Public Officers. there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court's corrective power. the Commission has no alternative but to attest to the are actually practicing law. No. may the acting capacity. the practice of law is the traditional or stereotyped notion of law practice. the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my We must interpret not by the letter that killeth. I whomsoever it is vested. reappointment. 1 Constitution). Sec. An appointment is essentially within the discretionary power of the Philippines. implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary appointment. consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without since no abuse. For one thing. and all the other most individuals. written opinion. and the last Members for three years. the answer is in the negative. much less a grave abuse of discretion. Civil Service Commission. Gonzales. (Lacson v. legal requirements are satisfied. 200) exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) Sub. This matter. is what people ordinarily mean by the Delilah (who was Samson's beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Article IX of the Constitution which provides: discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commission's judgment. VIII. suffice it to say that his definition of Clearly. Of those first appointed.S. upon submission by the Commission on The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Appointments of its certificate of confirmation. Supreme practised two or three times a week and would outlaw say. L-3081. (emphasis supplied) essentially tautologous" or defining a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being No less emphatic was the Court in the case of (Central Bank v. on the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. but by the spirit that giveth life. Senate.S. In that sense. whom the Commission has distinguished from the modern concept of the practice of law. It also has no authority to direct the appointment of a substitute of first becoming lawyers. how can the action be The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar.. This is different from the acts of persons practising law. say. The Commission has no authority fact that Mr. this is far from the constitutional intent. Monsod is a lawyer. Supreme Court reverse the Commission. is exactly what was intended by the eminent framers of the 1987 Constitution. for has been years. October 14. (3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U. without clearly shown. Delilah agreed on practice of law. It is well-settled that when the appointee is qualified. defined. . only where such grave abuse of Article C. two Members for five years. but we should not lose sight of the appointment in accordance with the Civil Service Law. Moreover. . etc. In The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with the the instant case. (2) confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Thus. consider the following: predecessor. without particular position. Clearly. To do so would be an encroachment on the discretion vested upon the Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of appointing authority. . I made use of a definition of law practice which really means nothing Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah.should have been preferred. jurisdiction. or in advising others on what the law means. the President issues the permanent Monsod's confirmation. consists of four entertained since he is the incumbent President? (4) stages: (1) nomination. which modern connotation confirmed? The answer is likewise clear.S. 1949. how can an action or petition be brought against the the qualifications required by law. Finally. Congress) Justice Padilla's definition would require generally a habitual law practice.

E. Questions involving the construction SO ORDERED. C. Griño-Aquino and Medialdea. a reading of Memorandum it prepared. the core issue to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the any blood flow from his veins?" The procurator was clearly relying on the letter. 522. As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. In the same way. 42 LRA. years. the procurator placed an iron After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment. a lawyer who is employed as a business executive or a nullification by this Court in accordance with the second paragraph of Section 1.J. Moreover. 768). means. the Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) In view of the foregoing.." It is the bounden duty of this Court to ensure that such standard is met and complied with. As declared in Angara v. J.No blade shall touch his skin. Delilah was been met.. enumerated several factors determinative of whether a the Petition then in relation to established jurisprudence already showed prima facie that particular activity constitutes "practice of law." It states: respondent Monsod did not possess the needed qualification." Regalado. habitual. engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as No blood shall flow from his veins. 1. took no part. My purpose in voting for a TRO was to (State vs. J. Electoral Commission. cannot be said to be in the practice of law. boundaries. that is. beside herself with anger. In other words.) and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional Sarmiento. it is frequent habitual bar. JJ. a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks respondent Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections should. is on leave.) . cannot be said to be in the "practice of medicine. 127. Justice Paras. to exercise or pursue an employment or result. (emphasis supplied). Upon hearing of what had happened to her beloved. challenged determination by the Commission on Appointments-that the appointment of Therefore. repeated or customary action. Separate Opinions What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood. J. a succession of acts of the same kind. The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman.J. (63 Phil. while the Court deliberated holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services on his constitutional qualification for the office.. concur. it connotes an active. it does not appear to me that there has been an adequate showing that the profession actively.. Article corporate manager. prevent the inconvenience and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Court to finally decide for respondent Monsod's disqualification. J." A certified public his stated qualifications and after due assessment thereof. Bryan.C. 139) "upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn Feliciano. When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured." (Art. albeit only in the law. not the constitutional provision requiring a majority of the membership of COMELEC. Fernan. including spirit of the agreement.S.. reneging on his word. concurring: knowledge.. The procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his skin? Did ultimately. 644. I certify that he voted to dismiss the petition. Section 1(1).647. J. other than as head or attorney of a Legal Department of a VIII of the Constitution. habitually. Among these are that he must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years. and Davide. this petition is hereby DISMISSED.. he had not . I am even more convinced rod burning white-hot two or three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. 4 S. I voted not only to require the respondents to comment on the Petition. 1 To "practice" I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. and fuming with righteous fury. 87 Kan. repeatedly or customarily. (Fernan. but I was exercise (State vs. This that the constitutional requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not blinded the man. be confirmed-was attended accountant who works as a clerk. accused the procurator of The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because. COMELEC Chairman. corporation or a governmental agency. "practice" refers to the actual performance or application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of NARVASA. Jr. 98 N. of constitutional provisions are best left to judicial resolution. on the basis of of a nursing aide.. 1987 Constitution)..Cotner. I therefore vote to DENY the petition. or any profession for that matter. Villanueva: 2 PADILLA. 864. M.. C. p. IX(C). dissenting: Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at actions. Practice of law to fall the sole vote for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually Monsod from assuming the position of COMELEC Chairman. cannot be said to practice his profession as an by error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently merits accountant.

as a service of his livelihood or in ACCORDINGLY. charging for not qualified for the position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the services such as preparation of documents involving the use of legal knowledge and skill practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment to such position. and receives the same. p. resolving. De Luna. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in professional services are available to the public for a compensation. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be establishment of a law office for the general practice of law (U. such as teaching appointing authority to choose between two claimants to the same office who both law or writing law books or articles. 901) and. services are available to the public for compensation. which is cited in the ponencia. Villanueva. Legal Ethics. himself to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his 2. Even if it were. like the drafting of 146). I fear that the ponencia may Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the have been too sweeping in its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the records.E. Villanueva. the exercise of that 4. it is a habitual exercise Essentially. The above-enumerated factors would. I believe. practicing law (Martin. 356-359) Appointments. 522. 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. 94A-L. Taylor. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually. all advice to To begin with." To courts in the country (People v. dissenting: Ethics. (People v. 806 citing Mendelaun v.S. 8 citing People v. As observed by the Solicitor General in People vs. become engaged in the practice of law. what was involved was the discretion of the requires knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship. I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an least ten (10) years at the time of his appointment as COMELEC Chairman. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the existence discretion would still be subject to our review. 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. or a succession of Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary acts. where a lawyer undertakes an activity which In Luego. Habituality. is within the term "practice of law" (Ernani Paño.B. 98 N.1. supra. In other words. It was that kind of discretion that we said could his profession or a lawyer (Agpalo. Gilbert and Barket Mfg.. Compensation.R. latitudinarianly considered activities peculiar to the practice of law. Cotner. The reason is that what we would be examining is not 2. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of appropriate proceeding notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less law? than the enfranchised citizenry. 102 Phil. 864). J. Arthur C. Co. be useful aids in determining whether or If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for not respondent Monsod meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at lack of the required qualifications. I am persuaded that if ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the qualification practically toothless. this is not a political question that we are barred from 3. a succession of acts of the same kind. People's Stockyards State Bank. Hence. supra). he did not do so HABITUALLY for at least ten (10) years prior to his self out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. p. 8 Phil. 127. I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just one who renders an opinion as to the proper interpretation of a statute. I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the clients and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law. Hence. Boyen. 968).C. Ney Bosque. such were isolated manifestation with the Supreme Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all transactions or activities which do not qualify his past endeavors as "practice of law. Application of law legal principle practice or procedure which calls for legal knowledge. 3 not be reviewed. the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented (People v. respecting hisviewpoint. In my view. there must be a continuity. p. 290 N.. From the numerous activities accepted as embraced in . appointee simply because he has passed the Commission on Appointments. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually? the wisdom of his election but whether or not he was qualified to be elected in the first 3. of lawyer-client relationship.Y. or when one takes the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public. (Elwood Fitchette et al. appointment as COMELEC Chairman. (Martin supra) established facts. 176 N. There are certain points on which I must differ with him while of course pay for it. 30). v.. Villanueva: 4 action. p. Attorney-client relationship. my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as consideration of his said services. not the discretion of that body. 1989 ed. 4 S. v. Determination of the appointee's credentials is made on the basis of the training and experience is within the term "practice of law". 462) If compensation is expected. are practicing respondent simply because his nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on law. 87 Kan. 1988 ed. Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial CRUZ. and files a legal documents and the rendering of legal opinion or advice. did he do so HABITUALLY place.S.. FOR AT LEAST TEN (10) YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman? Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent. Villanueva.. The following relevant questions may be asked: Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an 1. as a source of his the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional livelihood or in consideration of his said services. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually holding one's practice of law. is to that extent. he cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of possessed the required qualifications. 1.

4 categorically stating that he did not considered a practitioner. occasional. a lawyer does not even have to be part of a business concern to be but not expressing his clear stand on the matter). 2 voting in the result because there was no error so gross as to amount to buys a car or consults a doctor as these acts involve his knowledge and application of the grave abuse of discretion. incidental. Monsod. in which for appointment to the Supreme Court and all lower courts. Christian Monsod engaged regulation the businessman must know about and observe. again going by the in the practice of law (with one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave definition. however peripherally. or regulation. He has as a lawyer. there is hardly any activity that is not affected by some law or government Of the fourteen (14) member Court. managing a business practicing lawyer. I have the uncomfortable feeling that one does not even have to be a lawyer of actual practice of the law. but I are likely "to become involved in litigation. accidental. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the Elections.. He can be so deemed when. Second is our belief that Mr. intermittent. in or out of court. In fact. this was not the result. we have The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the no power to set aside error. examinations? served in the NAMFREL and the Constitutional Commission (together with non-lawyers The Constitution uses the phrase "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. We can look only into grave abuse of discretion or "performance of any acts . seasonal. ordinance. The possible exception is the lawyer say that he has practiced law is stretching the term beyond rational limits. that he has been engaged in the practice of law for ten years as required by the Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also Constitution. but they do not persuade me to see how he can claim to have been engaged in the practice of law. such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable. proficiency in management.D. Monsod possesses superior of law. proved that his activities in these capacities extended over the prescribed 10-year period not isolated. whether in Government or private practice. If he operates a public utility vehicle as his main viewed the issue. on his own. but as an executive and economist and not as a Justices will we have if there main occupation is selling real estate. He is doubtless eminently qualified for many other to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of positions worthy of his abundant talents but not as Chairman of the Commission on some law. The plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions listed in his corporation. they happened to pass the bar he was acting as a lawyer when he lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform. First is our reviewing the work of a must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory constitutional Commission on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the Board. or at least part of it. J.. What is The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to before us is compliance with a specific requirement written into the Constitution. Justice Paras. Even if the Commission errs. educational lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental background. society. be engaged in the practice of law even if he does not earn his living. The decision goes on to say that "because qualifications in terms of executive ability. His integrity and competence are not questioned by the petitioner. He is a member of the bar but to connected with some law. Inspite of my high regard for Mr. whose income is derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting wrinkled ladies A person may have passed the bar examinations. law." must regretfully vote to grant the petition." the public. I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. It is enough that his activities are incidentally (even if only remotely) never engaged in the practice of law for even one year. there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a business. one of official leave with no instructions left behind on how he laws regulating such transactions. realtor could come under the definition as they deal with or give advice on matters that I have much admiration for respondent Monsod. qualifications of persons appointed to high office. he rents a house or practice law. 902-A. or operating a farm resume by virtue of his experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an with no active involvement in the law. dissenting: another business and he interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such When this petition was filed... Even if it be argued that except that in one joyful moment in the distant past. working in media. source of livelihood. attorney-at-law whose principal attention is focused on the law. The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is GUTIERREZ. and instant recognition by realm. he has not The deliberate choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is active and regular. What kind of Judges or areas he has distinguished himself. or .the term. to be sure. But if he has not dedicated his life to the with pubescent pretensions. That covers every company organized under the Corporation Code and qualification for public office would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive regulated by the SEC under P. he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of law because he There are two key factors that make our task difficult. commonly understood to be the practice whimsically and arbitrariness. no less than for Mr. and 2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision. if he has not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail The respondent's credentials are impressive. JR. Unfortunately." which tells us absolutely nothing." like farmers and priests) and was a member of the Davide Commission. Considering the ramifications of the modern terms. serving in fact-finding committee. experience in international banking and finance. It is conceded that he has been engaged in business and finance. 5 are of the view that Mr.

etc.E. firm or corporation . Every resident Corporation." 9. Instead of working as a lawyer. the latter has not been engaged in the practice of j. Inc. industry. agrarian American Department. People ex rel. e. It means that one f. South Asia and Middle East. Inc. In fact. Semirara Coal Corporation conditions involved. farmer. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation except for an alleged one year period after passing the bar examinations when he l. teacher. Industry Department. mayor. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing as an c. they are engaged in the practice of law? 7. if appears that Mr. and Ph. or apply 4. 77 N. Philippines rendering of any services requiring the use of legal skill or knowledge. D. D. 5. pp. Division Chief. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo. can these people 6. the legal effect of which. which even an ordinary 3. 1963-1970: World Bank Group — Economist. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila — Chief Executive Officer fisherman.176 N. ACE Container Philippines.15. First Philippine Industrial Corporation giving of advice or rendition of any sort of service by any person. where such knowledge would be helpful. Philippine Electric Corporation I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod i. i." It is not satisfied with having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least Member ten years. contract or other instrument. People's Stock Member of the Board of the Following: Yards State Bank. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in 1961 oneadvice and those services as an executive but not as a lawyer. 1961-1963: M.E. and student to name only a few. Inc.extemporaneous. h. Chicago Bar Ass'n v. if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what b. legislator. civic work. People ex rel. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following Some American courts have defined the practice of law. Instead of giving receiving that legal advice of legal services. follow. International Finance reform. 462. Manila Electric Company is occupied and involved in the enterprise. Philippine Commercial Capital. barangay captain. blue ribbon investigations. Latin endeavor such as commerce. Legal knowledge is useful if not necessary for the affiliated companies business executive. And yet. 901. as follows: companies: The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with litigation a. a. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group — President. he was the 1. degrees in Economics at the Monsod has given the law enough attention or a certain degree of commitment and University of Pennsylvania during that period. Operations. consist of the following: The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate 1. candidate). Meralco Securities layman accepts as having a familiar and customary well-defined meaning. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies — Chief Executive Officer honestly assert that as such. and cases cited. 282. Fil-Capital Development Corporation and the law at various times in his life. 399 Ill. How could he practice law in the United participation as would support in all sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in States while not a member of the Bar there? its practice for at least ten years. 21-22) worked in his father's law firm.A. Even then his law practice must have been extremely There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent limited because he was also working for M. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission — Member The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten 8. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises to the Commission on Appointments. Dataprep. Graphic Atelier participation in something which is the result of one's decisive choice. one is obliged or pledged to carry it out with g. such as preparing c. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines It would be difficult. CBL Timber Corporation Tinkoff. policeman. Monsod has never practiced law k.e. First Philippine Holdings Corporation attorney or counselor at law according to the laws and customs of our courts. 344 Ill. To be "engaged" in an activity for ten years requires committed e. and it includes the giving of advice or the b.2d 693. Philippine Electric Corporation of this country who has reached the age of discernment has to know. intent and attention during the ten-year period. market vendor. a will. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation law for at least ten years. Philippine Petroleum Corporation. must be carefully determined. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup Attempt — years. Philippine SUNsystems Products.1.A. Corporation I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term. he has lawyers working The professional life of the respondent follows: for him. in Economics (Ph. University of Pennsylvania "engaged in the practice of law" with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of 2. 1970-1973: Meralco Group — Executive of various companies. but also services rendered out of court. under the facts and d. First Philippine Energy Corporation constitutes the practice of law. is the d..

. 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. he answered: "I don't recall exactly what was said. a succession of acts of the same kind. for it consists in frequent or customary services in that connection. to wit: Pressed further for an answer as to his practice in preparing contracts and deeds for l." 4 S. to For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be apply. 87 Kan. "The principal duties of an attorney are (1) to be isolated transactions of foreign corporations in the Philippines which do not categorize true to the court and to his client. Noy Bosque. 42 LRA. People's Stock Yards Webster.E.. one of a class of persons xxx xxx xxx authorized to appear and act for suitors or defendants in legal proceedings." When asked if it exercise (State v. a succession of acts of the same kind.S. he finally answered: "I have done about everything self out to the public as a lawyer (People v. 127. etc. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding one's parties where he was not the broker. As in the practice of law. 968). to real life. the foreign corporations as doing business in the Philippines. in the most general sense.. as. deeds.when the giving of such advice or rendition of such service requires the use of any his secrets confided to him as such. or medicine. M. While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his these professional persons are attorneys at law.. . as a lawyer and demanding payment for such number of instances. Villanueva. Any specific legal activities Webster... He was [1965]): asked whether or not he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-estate xxx xxx xxx transactions where he was not the procuring agent." (State v. and files a manifestation right to do any legal work in connection with real-estate transactions. customarily. 14 SCRA 1 09 citing State v.. In other words. 1. and integrity. Monsod while a member may be likened to in such court on the retainer of clients." but the single word is much used as meaning an activities which do not fall under the denomination of practice of law. 102 Phil.E. to exercise.C. notes and the like. 768). . Schafer. habitually. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment xxx xxx xxx of a law office for the general practice of law (U. A person may be an attorney in facto for another." Without adopting that definition. trade. (4) to keep doing business also should be active and continuous. Strictly. His rights are to be justly compensated for his degree of legal knowledge or skill.E. (People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. 522.176 N. it is frequent habitual during the twenty-one years of his business. as. Law Dict. tit. Cotner. Practice of law to fall would be more than half a dozen times his answer was I suppose.S." In . as a theory. "Attorney. it is a habitual exercise xxx xxx xxx (People v." issued by it. p. that is on the books as far as real estate is concerned. to practice gaming. Villanueva. 98 N. 2d 773) action.. especially in with the Supreme Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the drawing of real-estate contracts." A public attorney. mortgages It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a and contracts and charging a fee to the parties therefor in instances where he was not required component of the meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and the broker in the deal. I don't believe so. Abb. he answered: "Well. An attorney. (3) to keep his client informed as to the state of his business. legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions which may have been assigned to Mr.. Emphasis supplied) frequently or customarily." When asked if services. 87 N. v." Bouv. Law Dict. De Luna. 8 Phil. . (2) to manage the business of his client with care. 344 Ill.. that is not a practice. Bryan. says the Fact-Finding Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. means 'to do or perform frequently. art. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. Practice is more than an isolated appearance. Habituality." as defined by being substantially correct in People ex rel. 522. S. the use of such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated properly styled "attorney's in fact. 1. we referred to it as services... Admission to the attorney at law.. 2d 773. he said: "I have no Idea. (People v. an agent. 87 Kan. 115) another to act in his stead..E. but that he has engaged in these practices over the years and has charged for his Practice is more than an isolated appearance. is a person designated or employed by p.. Bryan. 523. . (at p. as a profession.. Asked if he did not within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually recall making the statement to several parties that he had prepared contracts in a large holding one's self out to the public. or when Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a lawful one takes the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public. they should also be performed. without being an practice of law was not required for membership in the Constitutional Commission or in attorney at law. we stated in the case of People v. In other words. Isolated business transactions or . more especially. Thus.E. mortgages. 901. There is no doubt country (People v. He answered: "Very seldom. Schafer. skill. to perform by a State Bank. and non-professional agents are legal knowledge. or repeated action. for it consists in frequent or customary answer to the question as to how many times he had prepared contracts for the parties actions. to wit: In this jurisdiction." (Rollo. 864." The transitive verb "practice. 864). is an officer of a court of law. p. 87 N. 112) he did not remember saying that he had made a practice of preparing deeds.. "Attorney. or habitually. or attorney at law. we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a xxx xxx xxx succession of acts. 462. . 776) succession of acts.' etc. 146). 1 27. Cotner. to practice law activities peculiar to the work of a lawyer. to carry on in practice.

647. 127. 644. but I was actions. be confirmed-was attended of a nursing aide. Questions involving the construction COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be confirmed for that office. a reading of It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a the Petition then in relation to established jurisprudence already showed prima facie that Memorandum it prepared. means. enumerated several factors determinative of whether a respondent Monsod did not possess the needed qualification. a succession of acts of the same kind. M. corporate manager. v. Senator. The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Justice Paras. constitutional provision requiring a majority of the membership of COMELEC. Villanueva: 2 The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary bar. Court of appeals. Electoral Commission. civic leader. that is. repeated or customary action. cannot be said to be in the "practice of medicine. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually holding one's COMELEC Chairman. 4 S. The of constitutional provisions are best left to judicial resolution. Boyen. including Congressman or Governor but the Constitution in prescribing the specific qualification of the Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years for the position of years. the core issue to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the dedication. dissenting: As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. on the basis of Therefore. Villanueva. Practice of law to fall Monsod from assuming the position of COMELEC Chairman. that the constitutional requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not 143 SCRA 288 [1986]). concur. 864. cannot be said to be in the practice of law. J. Respondent Monsod. Article accountant. 139) "upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn I.. while the Court deliberated within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually on his constitutional qualification for the office. As declared in Angara v.S. Bryan." It is the bounden duty of this Court to ensure that such standard is met and complied with. it connotes an active.occasional. Section 1(1). therefore. Habituality. Inc. and member of the The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because.C.." A certified public by error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently merits accountant who works as a clerk. J. 98 N.. a lawyer who is employed as a business executive or a VIII of the Constitution. (emphasis supplied). I am even more convinced business. 4 S.Cotner. corporation or a governmental agency. to exercise or pursue an employment or challenged determination by the Commission on Appointments-that the appointment of profession actively. or any profession for that matter. (63 Phil. 1 To "practice" result. corporate executive. Constitution charges the public respondents no less than this Court to obey its mandate. he had not particular activity constitutes "practice of law. it is frequent habitual the sole vote for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent exercise (State vs." COMELEC." (Art. This was our ruling in the case of Antam Consolidated. habitually.C. 1987 Constitution). respondent Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections should. believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional discretion in confirming the nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the boundaries. p. to qualify for such high offices as President. In other words. 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. 87 Kan. 1. a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks his stated qualifications and after due assessment thereof. 522. 522. I vote to GRANT the petition. Separate Opinions What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood. cannot be said to practice his profession as an nullification by this Court in accordance with the second paragraph of Section 1." It states: engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as 1. PADILLA. "practice" refers to the NARVASA. J. I voted not only to require the respondents to comment on the Petition. My purpose in voting for a TRO was to holding one's self out to the public as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services prevent the inconvenience and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the (State vs. Constitutional Commission may possess the background. IX(C). and ultimately.. 98 N. incidental and casual transactions are not within the context of doing After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment. I therefore vote to DENY the petition. been met. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the . J. Court to finally decide for respondent Monsod's disqualification.. Moreover. Among these are that he must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten Bidin. In the same way. integrity. Vice-President. dissent (10) years. self out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. 768).E. 42 LRA. it does not appear to me that there has been an adequate showing that the law. competence.. other than as head or attorney of a Legal Department of a Melencio-Herrera. repeatedly or customarily.E. habitual. albeit only in the knowledge.) . concurring: actual performance or application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr.

not the discretion of that body. 3 possessed the required qualifications.. v. Villanueva: 4 (People v. Ney Bosque. De Luna. Hence. Legal Ethics. did he do so HABITUALLY the wisdom of his election but whether or not he was qualified to be elected in the first FOR AT LEAST TEN (10) YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman? place. the term. 356-359) respondent simply because his nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on 3. like the drafting of manifestation with the Supreme Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all legal documents and the rendering of legal opinion or advice. Co. he did not do so HABITUALLY for at least ten (10) years prior to his qualification practically toothless. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually. From the numerous activities accepted as embraced in appointment as COMELEC Chairman. where a lawyer undertakes an activity which discretion would still be subject to our review. I believe. supra). Taylor. Appointments. 1. Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment to such position. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually? than the enfranchised citizenry. 462) If compensation is expected. Determination of the appointee's credentials is made on the basis of the 4. CRUZ. Hence.. Application of law legal principle practice or procedure which calls for legal knowledge." To Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary become engaged in the practice of law. or when one takes the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public. J. and files a latitudinarianly considered activities peculiar to the practice of law. practicing law (Martin. (Elwood Fitchette et al. supra. p. It was that kind of discretion that we said could The above-enumerated factors would. p. consideration of his said services. be useful aids in determining whether or not be reviewed. my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as services such as preparation of documents involving the use of legal knowledge and skill not qualified for the position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the is within the term "practice of law" (Ernani Paño.R. 8 Phil.. 1989 ed. 968). I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an The following relevant questions may be asked: appointee simply because he has passed the Commission on Appointments. requires knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship. 8 citing People v. In other words. The reason is that what we would be examining is not 3. there must be a continuity. p.. Even if it were. he cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of appointing authority to choose between two claimants to the same office who both his profession or a lawyer (Agpalo. I fear that the ponencia may records. 127.. 102 Phil. the same. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an law? appropriate proceeding notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less 2. which is cited in the ponencia. Ethics. as a source of his services are available to the public for compensation. 30). this is not a political question that we are barred from training and experience is within the term "practice of law". transactions or activities which do not qualify his past endeavors as "practice of law. and receives I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just pay for it. as a service of his livelihood or in livelihood or in consideration of his said services. I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the law. charging for ACCORDINGLY. all advice to respecting hisviewpoint. a succession of acts of the same kind. While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be 146). Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in himself to be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional professional services are available to the public for a compensation. Cotner. v. 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. such as teaching In Luego. Attorney-client relationship. Arthur C.B. 864). are practicing To begin with. Compensation. (Martin supra) resolving. 806 citing Mendelaun v. Villanueva. 1. clients and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law.S. it is a habitual exercise acts. 176 N. not respondent Monsod meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for least ten (10) years at the time of his appointment as COMELEC Chairman. is to that extent. such were isolated courts in the country (People v. People's Stockyards State Bank. Villanueva. Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent. 1988 ed. lack of the required qualifications. I have the uncomfortable feeling that one does not even have to be a lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of . dissenting: one who renders an opinion as to the proper interpretation of a statute. As observed by the Solicitor General in People vs. I am persuaded that if ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the have been too sweeping in its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the practice of law. or a succession of action. 94A-L. In my view. Essentially. 87 Kan. the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented 2.S. what was involved was the discretion of the law or writing law books or articles. p. 901) and. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the existence established facts. There are certain points on which I must differ with him while of course Gilbert and Barket Mfg. (People v.establishment of a law office for the general practice of law (U.Y. the exercise of that of lawyer-client relationship. 290 N.

. in which Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also areas he has distinguished himself. Even if it be argued that with no active involvement in the law. dissenting: business. managing a business resume by virtue of his experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an corporation. He can be so deemed when. His integrity and competence are not questioned by the petitioner. Monsod possesses superior lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental qualifications in terms of executive ability. ordinance. Justice Paras. The possible exception is the lawyer never engaged in the practice of law for even one year." background. serving in fact-finding committee. such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable. they happened to pass the bar served in the NAMFREL and the Constitutional Commission (together with non-lawyers examinations? like farmers and priests) and was a member of the Davide Commission. a lawyer does not even have to be part of a business concern to be in the practice of law (with one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave considered a practitioner. I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. It is conceded that he has been engaged in business and finance. in or out of court. 2 voting in the result because there was no error so gross as to amount to laws regulating such transactions. JR. To be "engaged" in an activity for ten years requires committed ." proved that his activities in these capacities extended over the prescribed 10-year period The deliberate choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is active and regular. one of official leave with no instructions left behind on how he source of livelihood. or at least part of it. there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a regulated by the SEC under P. That covers every company organized under the Corporation Code and When this petition was filed. 902-A. but as an executive and economist and not as a for appointment to the Supreme Court and all lower courts. We can look only into grave abuse of discretion or of law. He has connected with some law. are likely "to become involved in litigation. or extemporaneous. What kind of Judges or practicing lawyer. intermittent. He is doubtless eminently qualified for many other not isolated. First is our reviewing the work of a Board. with pubescent pretensions. 5 are of the view that Mr. he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of law because he viewed the issue. Even if the Commission errs. and instant recognition by The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to the public. educational realm. Unfortunately. no less than for Mr. except that in one joyful moment in the distant past. he rents a house or but not expressing his clear stand on the matter). or operating a farm attorney-at-law whose principal attention is focused on the law. of actual practice of the law. there is hardly any activity that is not affected by some law or government terms.some law. If he operates a public utility vehicle as his main grave abuse of discretion. He is a member of the bar but to whose income is derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting wrinkled ladies say that he has practiced law is stretching the term beyond rational limits. What is be engaged in the practice of law even if he does not earn his living." which tells us absolutely nothing. But if he has not dedicated his life to the The respondent's credentials are impressive. constitutional Commission on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the qualifications of persons appointed to high office. as a lawyer. A person may have passed the bar examinations. . It is enough that his activities are incidentally (even if only remotely) Inspite of my high regard for Mr. proficiency in management. regulation the businessman must know about and observe.D. The plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions listed in his Justices will we have if there main occupation is selling real estate. experience in international banking and finance. accidental. another business and he interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such GUTIERREZ. but I The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is must regretfully vote to grant the petition. we have "performance of any acts . occasional.. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the positions worthy of his abundant talents but not as Chairman of the Commission on realtor could come under the definition as they deal with or give advice on matters that Elections. whether in Government or private practice. In fact. before us is compliance with a specific requirement written into the Constitution. Considering the ramifications of the modern qualification for public office would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive society. commonly understood to be the practice no power to set aside error. if he has not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail that he has been engaged in the practice of law for ten years as required by the to see how he can claim to have been engaged in the practice of law. working in media. he was acting as a lawyer when he lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform. must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory There are two key factors that make our task difficult. Constitution." I have much admiration for respondent Monsod. The decision goes on to say that "because whimsically and arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. but they do not persuade me law. J. and 2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision. this was not the result. however peripherally. on his own. 4 categorically stating that he did not buys a car or consults a doctor as these acts involve his knowledge and application of the practice law. or regulation. seasonal.. Monsod. he has not The Constitution uses the phrase "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. Christian Monsod engaged definition. incidental. to be sure. again going by the Of the fourteen (14) member Court.

1. the legal effect of which. CBL Timber Corporation Tinkoff. International Finance reform.A. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila — Chief Executive Officer fisherman. pp. under the facts and d. a will. Philippine Electric Corporation I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod i. 1970-1973: Meralco Group — Executive of various companies. Inc. but also services rendered out of court. D. Industry Department. e. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group — President. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Member of the Board of the Following: Yards State Bank. Philippine Electric Corporation of this country who has reached the age of discernment has to know. one is obliged or pledged to carry it out with g." It is not satisfied with having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least Member ten years. People ex rel. firm or corporation e. Philippine Petroleum Corporation. which even an ordinary 3. intent and attention during the ten-year period. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies — Chief Executive Officer honestly assert that as such. Inc. Division Chief. Inc. mayor.E. Philippines rendering of any services requiring the use of legal skill or knowledge. It means that one f. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing as an c. Fil-Capital Development Corporation and the law at various times in his life. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation law for at least ten years. Instead of working as a lawyer. policeman. First Philippine Industrial Corporation giving of advice or rendition of any sort of service by any person. 901. South Asia and Middle East. such as preparing c. and student to name only a few. University of Pennsylvania "engaged in the practice of law" with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of 2. contract or other instrument. a.participation in something which is the result of one's decisive choice. 399 Ill. Meralco Securities layman accepts as having a familiar and customary well-defined meaning. as follows: companies: The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with litigation a. and Ph. 1963-1970: World Bank Group — Economist. Operations. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in 1961 oneadvice and those services as an executive but not as a lawyer. How could he practice law in the United participation as would support in all sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in States while not a member of the Bar there? its practice for at least ten years. degrees in Economics at the Monsod has given the law enough attention or a certain degree of commitment and University of Pennsylvania during that period. if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what b. Even then his law practice must have been extremely There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent limited because he was also working for M. 282. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission — Member The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten 8. 1961-1963: M. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following Some American courts have defined the practice of law. Instead of giving receiving that legal advice of legal services. Legal knowledge is useful if not necessary for the affiliated companies business executive. 344 Ill.e.E. Every resident Corporation.2d 693. 77 N. industry. civic work. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises to the Commission on Appointments. h. where such knowledge would be helpful. ACE Container Philippines.176 N. he has lawyers working The professional life of the respondent follows: for him. and cases cited. they are engaged in the practice of law? 7. Manila Electric Company is occupied and involved in the enterprise. 21-22) worked in his father's law firm. blue ribbon investigations.15. follow. Philippine SUNsystems Products. is the d. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines It would be difficult. Corporation I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term. if appears that Mr. Monsod has never practiced law k. farmer. First Philippine Holdings Corporation attorney or counselor at law according to the laws and customs of our courts. the latter has not been engaged in the practice of j. he was the 1. Dataprep. can these people 6. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation except for an alleged one year period after passing the bar examinations when he l. Philippine Commercial Capital. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo. candidate). etc.A." 9. First Philippine Energy Corporation constitutes the practice of law. Latin endeavor such as commerce. must be carefully determined. 462. People ex rel.. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup Attempt — years. Graphic Atelier when the giving of such advice or rendition of such service requires the use of any . Semirara Coal Corporation conditions involved. teacher. D. And yet. consist of the following: The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate 1. 5. market vendor. and it includes the giving of advice or the b. in Economics (Ph. In fact. i. Chicago Bar Ass'n v. legislator. or apply 4. barangay captain. agrarian American Department.

. People's Stock Yards Webster. . (4) to keep doing business also should be active and continuous. There is no doubt country (People v." Bouv. says the Fact-Finding Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Schafer. we stated in the case of People v. Cotner. 42 LRA.C. A person may be an attorney in facto for another. etc. or repeated action. 14 SCRA 1 09 citing State v.E. 522.degree of legal knowledge or skill. . Practice of law to fall would be more than half a dozen times his answer was I suppose. 1. In other words. an agent." (State v. it is a habitual exercise xxx xxx xxx (People v. deeds. Habituality. Isolated business transactions or his secrets confided to him as such. 87 Kan. and integrity.E. 8 Phil. Law Dict. art. habitually. without being an practice of law was not required for membership in the Constitutional Commission or in attorney at law. means 'to do or perform frequently." When asked if it exercise (State v. "Attorney. as. to wit: Pressed further for an answer as to his practice in preparing contracts and deeds for l. especially in with the Supreme Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the drawing of real-estate contracts. (at p. 115) another to act in his stead. is an officer of a court of law." When asked if services. as a lawyer and demanding payment for such number of instances.S. While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his these professional persons are attorneys at law. 776) succession of acts.. 2d 773. a succession of acts of the same kind. 112) he did not remember saying that he had made a practice of preparing deeds. Practice is more than an isolated appearance.. Bryan." A public attorney. to For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be apply. the foreign corporations as doing business in the Philippines. De Luna. 1... Noy Bosque. or habitually." The transitive verb "practice. "Attorney. is a person designated or employed by p. (People v. . 127. 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding one's parties where he was not the broker. we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a xxx xxx xxx succession of acts. An attorney. 1 27. or medicine. 102 Phil.176 N." as defined by being substantially correct in People ex rel. Villanueva.. 968). customarily. Emphasis supplied) frequently or customarily. Villanueva.. one of a class of persons xxx xxx xxx authorized to appear and act for suitors or defendants in legal proceedings. "The principal duties of an attorney are (1) to be isolated transactions of foreign corporations in the Philippines which do not categorize true to the court and to his client. Abb." In . or when Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a lawful one takes the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public. he finally answered: "I have done about everything self out to the public as a lawyer (People v. M." (Rollo.E. 2d 773) action. He answered: "Very seldom.. to practice law activities peculiar to the work of a lawyer.. 462. Monsod while a member may be likened to in such court on the retainer of clients. to wit: In this jurisdiction. and non-professional agents are legal knowledge. a succession of acts of the same kind. trade. we referred to it as services.E. (2) to manage the business of his client with care.S. legally qualified to prosecute and defend actions which may have been assigned to Mr. to practice gaming. mortgages It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a and contracts and charging a fee to the parties therefor in instances where he was not required component of the meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and the broker in the deal. for it consists in frequent or customary services in that connection. Asked if he did not within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually recall making the statement to several parties that he had prepared contracts in a large holding one's self out to the public. 864)... His rights are to be justly compensated for his occasional. and files a manifestation right to do any legal work in connection with real-estate transactions. they should also be performed.. p. Bryan. Any specific legal activities Webster. as a profession. Strictly. that is not a practice. to real life. S. he answered: "Well." but the single word is much used as meaning an activities which do not fall under the denomination of practice of law.. that is on the books as far as real estate is concerned. it is frequent habitual during the twenty-one years of his business. but that he has engaged in these practices over the years and has charged for his Practice is more than an isolated appearance. 523. more especially. 87 Kan. he answered: "I don't recall exactly what was said. he said: "I have no Idea. 864.' etc. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment xxx xxx xxx of a law office for the general practice of law (U. In other words. I don't believe so. (3) to keep his client informed as to the state of his business. 146). Law Dict. . to exercise. tit.. p. 522." issued by it. 344 Ill. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. Admission to the attorney at law.. to perform by a State Bank. in the most general sense." 4 S.E. Schafer. 98 N. as a theory. As in the practice of law. skill. 768). notes and the like. v." Without adopting that definition. 87 N. to carry on in practice. (People v. 901. Thus. the use of such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated properly styled "attorney's in fact. as. or attorney at law. mortgages. . 87 N. He was [1965]): asked whether or not he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-estate xxx xxx xxx transactions where he was not the procuring agent. . for it consists in frequent or customary answer to the question as to how many times he had prepared contracts for the parties actions.. incidental and casual transactions are not within the context of doing . Cotner.

dissent Footnotes 1 Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary. corporate executive. I vote to GRANT the petition. therefore. civic leader.business. Remains To Be A Member Of The Philippine Bar… August 7. I. 2 14 SCRA 109 3 Commission on Appointments' Memorandum dated 25 June 1991 RE: WHAT CONSTITUTES PRACTICE OF LAW. and dedication. 143 SCRA 288 [1986]). J. Vice-President. A Filipino Lawyer Who Becomes A Citizen Of Another Country And Later Re- Acquires His Philippine Citizenship Under R. 4 14 SCRA 109. integrity. No. Inc. v. This was our ruling in the case of Antam Consolidated.A. believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in confirming the nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. Congressman or Governor but the Constitution in prescribing the specific qualification of having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years for the position of COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be confirmed for that office.. Senator. and member of the Constitutional Commission may possess the background. Respondent Monsod. 6-7. to qualify for such high offices as President. Court of appeals. 9225. The Constitution charges the public respondents no less than this Court to obey its mandate. pp. 2015 by The Lawyer's Post The Facts: . Bidin. competence.

the OBC required the herein petitioner to submit the original or certified true he migrated to Canada to seek medical attention for his ailments and eventually copies of the following documents in relation to his petition: became a Canadian citizen in May 2004. in pursuance to the qualifications laid down by the Court for the practice of Dacanay was admitted to the Philippine Bar in March 1960. that he intends to retire in the country. Identification Certificate (IC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration.A. Any breach by a lawyer of any of these conditions The Ruling: makes him unworthy of the trust and confidence which the courts and clients In Bar Matter No. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship. as stated in Dacanay. 2006. maintenance of the highest support his petition. Under R. membership dues. On July 14. the Court was confronted with repose in him for the continued exercise of his professional privilege. On september 15. 9225. Thus. Dacanay re-acquired 1. D. He submitted pertinent documents to Adherence to rigid standards of mental fitness. the right to resume the 8. natural-born 5. No. he reacquired his The practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions. law. Canada. his Philippine citizenship pursuant to R. It can not be overstressed that: became a citizen of the United States on August 21. No. It is so delicately citizenship pursuant to Republic Act 9225 by taking his oath of allegiance as a affected with public interest that it is both the power and duty of the State Filipino cityien before the Philippine Consulate in Washington. The Court reiterates that Filipino citizenship is a requirement for admission to 3. compliance with The Issue: the mandatory continuing legal education requirement and payment of Whether or not Epifanio should be allowed to resume practice of law in the membership fees to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) are the conditions Philippines. 9225. No. No. He filed the (through this Court) to control and regulate it in order to protect and promote instant petition to be allowed to practice law in the Philippines. a continuing requirement for the practice of law. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship). faithful observance of the legal profession. 9225 provides that a person who intends to practice his profession in the Philippines must apply with the proper In compliance thereof. In December 1998. citizens who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are deemed to have re-acquired 6. 1981. 3 1. 4 a similar petition filed by Benjamin M.A. Thus. He 2.A. the petitioner submitted the following: authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice. Proof of payment of professional tax. The loss 4. stating therein the public welfare. No. remains to be a member of the Philippine Bar. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship. and acquires his Philippine citizenship under R. 1678. a Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country and later re- 7. Certificate of compliance issued by the MCLE Office. the bar and is. .Epifanio Muneses (petitioner). However. 2006. Certification from the IBP indicating updated payments of annual their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic 1. required for membership in good standing in the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law. practice of law is not automatic.A. Dacanay (Dacanay) who requested leave to resume his practice of law after availing the benefits of R.2 R. thereof means termination of the petitioner’s membership in the bar. returned to the Philippines and intended to resume his practice of law. 9225 after taking his oath of allegiance before the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto. hence lost his privilege to practice law in the Philippines. 9225. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. Certificate of Good Standing issued by the IBP.C. dated December 17. a member of the Philippine Bar since 1966. 2007. ipso jure the privilege to engage in the practice of law.A. degree of morality. in fact.

UC-MCLE Program. in lieu of the IC. JJ.M. 5. Sereno. Villarama. WHEREFORE. the OBC will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto. Section 5. College of Law allegiance to the Republic: attesting to his compliance with the MCLE. Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) for the year 2010.. Certification dated December 5. Certificate of Compliance with the MCLE for the 2nd compliance period. Furthermore. Perez. Jr. 1678. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship). 2112. on leave. concur. Certification dated May 19. B. Carpio. Benjamin Dacanay. a date to be set by the Court and subject to the payment of appropriate fees. EPIFANJO B. Petitioner. Del Castillo. 6. have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of Coordinator. natural born citizens of the Philippines by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to 8. Brion.M. J. J. after the effectivity of this Act. 2008 of Atty. the Office of the Bar Confidant is directed to draft the necessary guidelines for the re-acquisition of the privilege to resume the practice of law 4 Supra note 2. and Perlas-Bernabe. University of Cebu. After all the requirements were satisfactorily promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines and I hereby complied with and finding that the petitioner has met all the qualifications declare that 1 recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and and none of the disqualifications for membership in the bar. GRANTED. July 24.. the Court adopts the same Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who. Jr. 2010 of the IBP-Surigao City Chapter attesting Mendoza. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos. No. B. Retention of Philippine Citizenship – Any provision of law to the and contrary notwithstanding. Section 3. December 17. Peralta.. 2012. . No. Leonardo-De Castro. Certificate of Re-Acquisition/Retention of Philippine Citizenship issued by the Bureau of Immigration. and sees no bar to the petitioner’s resumption to the practice of law in the become citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon Philippines. and that I imposed this obligation recommended that the petitioner be allowed to resume his practice of law. to his good moral character as well as his updated payment of annual membership dues. Muneses is hereby 2 Petition for Leave to Resume Practice of Law. 3 R. Bersamin. 9225. Abad. IN RE: PETITION TO RE-ACQUIRE THE PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES.2. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines. upon myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. 4. solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the The OBC further required the petitioner to update his compliance. the petition of Attorney Epifanio B.: 3. Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders particularly with the MCLE. EN BANC. Velasco. MUNESES. for the guidance of the Bench and Bar SO ORDERED. on leave.” Upon this favorable recommendation of the OBC. REYES. subject to the condition that he shall re-take the Lawyer’s Oath on No.2007.. 7.A.. J. “I_________. PETITIONER. taking the aforesaid oath.