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CASE NO.

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LESLIE UI, complainant, vs. ATTY. IRIS BONIFACIO, respondent.
A.C. No. 3319 June 8, 2000
DE LEON, JR., J.
FACTS
On January 24, 1971 complainant Leslie Ui married Carlos L. Ui and as a result of their marital union,
they had four (4) children. Sometime in December 1987, however, complainant found out that her
husband, Carlos Ui, was carrying on an illicit relationship with respondent Atty. Iris Bonifacio with whom
he begot a daughter sometime in 1986. Respondent who is a graduate of the College of Law of the
University of the Philippines was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1982.
Carlos Ui admitted to complainant his relationship with the respondent. Whereupon, respondent
admitted to her that she has a child with Carlos Ui and alleged, however, that everything was over
between her and Carlos Ui. However, complainant again discovered that the illicit relationship between
her husband and respondent continued, and that sometime in December 1988, respondent and her
husband, Carlos Ui, had a second child.
A complaint for disbarment as then filed on August 11, 1989 by the complainant against respondent
Atty. Iris Bonifacio before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(hereinafter, Commission) on the ground of immorality, more particularly, for carrying on an illicit
relationship with the complainants husband, Carlos Ui.
ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent has conducted herself in an immoral manner for which she deserves to
be barred from the practice of law.
HELD
No. The Court have held that "a member of the Bar and officer of the court is not only required to
refrain from adulterous relationships x x x but must also so behave himself as to avoid scandalizing the
public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards." Respondents act of immediately
distancing herself from Carlos Ui upon discovering his true civil status belies just that alleged moral
indifference and proves that she had no intention of flaunting the law and the high moral standard of
the legal profession. Complainants bare assertions to the contrary deserve no credit. After all, the
burden of proof rests upon the complainant, and the Court will exercise its disciplinary powers only if
she establishes her case by clear, convincing and satisfactory evidence. This, herein complainant
miserably failed to do.
NOTES

The requisites for admission to the practice of law are:


a. he must be a citizen of the Philippines;
b. a resident thereof;
c. at least twenty-one (21) years of age;

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d. a person of good moral character;
e. he must show that no charges against him involving moral turpitude, are filed or
pending in court;
f. possess the required educational qualifications; and
g. pass the bar examinations.
For immorality connotes conduct that shows indifference to the moral norms of society and the
opinion of good and respectable members of the community.
It is the bounden duty of lawyers to adhere unwaveringly to the highest standards of morality.
The legal profession exacts from its members nothing less. Lawyers are called upon to safeguard
the integrity of the Bar, free from misdeeds and acts constitutive of malpractice. Their exalted
positions as officers of the court demand no less than the highest degree of morality.

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CASE NO. 2
In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to
1953; ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL., petitioners.
Resolution March 18, 1954
DIOKNO, J.
FACTS
On June 21, 1953, the President allowed Republic Act No. 972, or An Act to Fix the Passing Marks for Bar
Examinations from Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Six up to and Including Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Five
or popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953," without his signature.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar
invoking its provisions, while others whose motions for the revision of their examination papers were
still pending also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others
who have sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the law in
question.

Republic Act No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates
who suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation.

Of the 9,675 candidates who took the examinations from 1946 to 1952, 5,236 passed. And now it is
claimed that in addition 604 candidates be admitted (which in reality total 1,094), because they suffered
from "insufficiency of reading materials" and of "inadequacy of preparation."

ISSUE
Whether or not Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional.
HELD
No. Republic Act No. 972 is unconstitutional and therefore, void, and without any force nor effect for
the reasons, among others, because its declared purpose is to admit 810 candidates who failed in the
bar examinations of 1946-1952, and who, it admits, are certainly inadequately prepared to practice law,
as was exactly found by this Court in the aforesaid years. It decrees the admission to the Bar of these
candidates, depriving this Tribunal of the opportunity to determine if they are at present already
prepared to become members of the Bar. It obliges the Tribunal to perform something contrary to
reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a manifest encroachment on the constitutional responsibility
of the Supreme Court. And because it is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of this Court on
the petitions of these 810 candidates, without having examined their respective examination papers,
and although it is admitted that this Tribunal may reconsider said resolution at any time for justifiable
reasons, only this Court and no other may revise and alter them. In attempting to do it directly, Republic
Act No. 972 violated the Constitution.
NOTES

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Quoting a portion of the Explanatory Note of the proposed bill, its author Honorable Senator
Pablo Angeles David stated:
The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade is the tremendous handicap
which students during the years immediately after the Japanese occupation has to
overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of the
preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation.

By its declared objective, the law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law
graduates who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as
was exactly found by this Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. The public interest demands of
legal profession adequate preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problem
evolved by the times become more difficult. An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital
requisites for the practice of law that should be developed constantly and maintained firmly. To
the legal profession is entrusted the protection of property, life, honor and civil liberties. To
approve officially of those inadequately prepared individuals to dedicate themselves to such a
delicate mission is to create a serious social danger.
Other reasons for declaring Republic Act No. 972 unconstitutional are as follows:
1. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and
supplement the rules on admission to the Bar.
2. The reason advanced for the pretended classification of candidates, which the law
makes, is contrary to facts which are of general knowledge and does not justify the
admission to the Bar of law students inadequately prepared. The pretended
classification is arbitrary. It is undoubtedly a class legislation.
3. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what
the Constitution enjoins, and being inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the
entire law is void.
4. Lacking in eight votes to declare the nullity of that part of article 1 referring to the
examinations of 1953 to 1955, said part of article 1, insofar as it concerns the
examinations in those years, shall continue in force.

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CASE NO. 3

MELANIO L. ZORETA, complainant, vs. ATTY. HEHERSON ALNOR G. SIMPLICIANO, respondent.

A.C. No. 6492 November 18, 2004

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.

FACTS

Complainant Melanio L. Zoreta alleged that on 02 August 2001, he filed before Branch 4 of the Regional
Trial Court of Antipolo City, a complaint for Breach of Contract and Damages against Security Pacific
Assurance Corporation (SPAC) dated 22 June 2001 due to the latters failure to honor SPACs Commercial
Vehicle Policy No. 94286, where respondent Atty. Heherson Alnor G. Simpliciano was the latters
counsel. In said cases, respondent who was not a duly commissioned Notary Public in 2002 per
Certifications issued by the Clerk of Court of Quezon City Mercedes S. Gatmaytan, performed acts of
notarization.

ISSUE
Whether Atty. Simpliciano is not a duly commissioned Notary Public for and in Quezon City for the year
2002.
HELD
Yes. The Court concur in the finding of the Investigating Commissioner that respondent Atty. Simpliciano
did not have a commission as notary public in 2002 when he notarized the assailed documents as
evidenced by the two (2) certifications issued by the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City dated 04 October 2002. Records also show, and as confirmed by IBP Commissioner Navarro, that as
of 02 August 2002, respondent had already notarized a total of 590 documents. The evidence presented
by complainant conclusively establishes the misconduct imputed to respondent.
NOTES

At the threshold, it is worth stressing that the practice of law is not a right but a privilege
bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess, and continue to possess, the
qualifications required by law for the conferment of such privilege. Membership in the bar is a
privilege burdened with conditions. A lawyer has the privilege and right to practice law only
during good behavior and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by
judgment of the court after opportunity to be heard has been afforded him. Without invading
any constitutional privilege or right, an attorneys right to practice law may be resolved by a
proceeding to suspend him, based on conduct rendering him unfit to hold a license or to
exercise the duties and responsibilities of an attorney. It must be understood that the purpose
of suspending or disbarring him as an attorney is to remove from the profession a person whose
misconduct has proved him unfit to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging
to an office of attorney, and thus to protect the public and those charged with the
administration of justice, rather than to punish an attorney. Elaborating on this, we said

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in Maligsa v. Cabanting that the bar should maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well
as of honesty and fair dealing. A lawyer brings honor to the legal profession by faithfully
performing his duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. To this end a
member of the legal fraternity should refrain from doing any act which might lessen in any
degree the confidence and trust reposed by the public in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of
the legal profession.
Apropos to the case at bar, it has been emphatically stressed that notarization is not an empty,
meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with substantive public interest, such that only those
who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. The protection of that interest
necessarily requires that those not qualified or authorized to act must be prevented from
imposing upon the public, the courts, and the administrative offices in general. It must be
underscored that the notarization by a notary public converts a private document into a public
document making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of authenticity. A
notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. For this reason,
notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic requirements in the performance of
their duties.

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CASE NO. 4
IN RE: DISBARMENT OF ARMANDO PUNO. FLORA QUINGWA, complainant, vs. ARMANDO
PUNO, respondent.
A.C. No. 389 February 28, 1967
REGALA, J.
FACTS
On April 16, 1959, Flora Quingwa filed before this Court a verified complaint charging Armando Puno, a
member of the Bar, with gross immorality and misconduct. Complainant is an educated woman, having
been a public school teacher for a number of years. She testified that respondent took her to the Silver
Moon Hotel on June 1, 1958, signing the hotel register as "Mr. and Mrs. A. Puno." and succeeded in
having sexual intercourse with her on the promise of marriage. Complainant submitted to respondent's
plea for sexual intercourse because of respondent's promise of marriage and not because of a desire for
sexual gratification or of voluntariness and mutual passion. On February 20, 1959, complainant gave
birth to a baby boy.
In his answer, the respondent denied all the material allegations of the complaint, and as a special
defense averred that the allegations therein do not constitute grounds for disbarment or suspension
under section 25, Rule 127 of the former Rules of Court.
ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent the respondent should be disbarred.
HELD
Yes. One of the requirements for all applicants for admission to the Bar is that the applicant must
produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character (Section 2, Rule 127 of
the old Rules of Court, now section 2, Rule 138). If that qualification is a condition precedent to a license
or privilege to enter upon the practice of law, it is essential during the continuance of the practice and
the exercise of the privilege. (Royong vs. Oblena, Adm. Case No. 376, April 30, 1963, citing In re Pelaez,
44 Phil. 567). When his integrity is challenged by evidence, it is not enough that he denies the charges
against him; he must meet the issue and overcome the evidence for the relator (Legal and Judicial
Ethics, by Malcolm, p. 93) and show proofs that he still maintains the highest degree of morality and
integrity, which at all times is expected of him. Respondent denied that he took complainant to the
Silver Moon Hotel and had sexual intercourse with her on June 1, 1958, but he did not present evidence
to show where he was on that date.
NOTES
When his integrity is challenged by evidence, it is not enough that he denies the charges against
him; he must meet the issue and overcome the evidence for the relator (Legal and Judicial
Ethics, by Malcolm, p. 93) and show proofs that he still maintains the highest degree of morality
and integrity, which at all times is expected of him.
Paragraph 29 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics:

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... The lawyer should aid in guarding the bar against the admission to the profession of
candidates unfit or unqualified because deficient in either moral character or education.
He should strive at all times to uphold the honor and to maintain the dignity of the
profession and to improve not only the law but the administration of justice.

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CASE NO. 5
JOSEFINA ROYONG, complainant, vs. ATTY. ARISTON OBLENA, respondent.
A.C. No. 376 April 30, 1963
BARRERA, J.
FACTS
In a verified complaint filed with this Court on January 14, 1959, complainant Josefina Royong charged
the respondent Ariston J. Oblena, a member of the Philippine Bar, with rape allegedly committed on her
person in the manner described therein. Upon requirement of this Court, the respondent filed his
answer denying all the allegations in the complaint and praying that he be not disbarred. On February 3,
1959, this Court referred the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation.
After hearing, the investigators submitted a report with the finding that: 1) Respondent used his
knowledge of the law to take advantage by having illicit relations with complainant, knowing as he did,
that by committing immoral acts on her, he was free from any criminal liability; and 2) Respondent
committed gross immorality by continuously cohabiting with a married woman even after he became a
lawyer in 1955 to the present; and 3) That respondent falsified the truth as to his moral character in his
petition to take the 1954 bar examinations, being then immorally (adulterously) in cohabitation with his
common-law wife, Briccia Angeles, a married woman. The investigators also recommended that the
respondent be disbarred or alternatively, be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one
year.
ISSUE
Whether or not illicit relations with the complainant Josefina Royong the and the open cohabitation
with Briccia Angeles, a married woman, are sufficient grounds to cause the respondent's disbarment.
HELD
Yes. The tendency of the decisions of this Court has been toward the conclusion that a member of the
bar may be removed or suspended from office as a lawyer for other than statutory grounds. Indeed, the
rule is so phrased as to be broad enough to cover practically any misconduct of a lawyer (In Re Pelaez,
44 Phil. 567). In the case at bar, the moral depravity of the respondent is most apparent. His pretension
that before complainant completed her eighteenth birthday, he refrained from having sexual
intercourse with her, so as not to incur criminal liability, as he himself declared and that he limited
himself merely to kissing and embracing her and sucking her tongue, indicates a scheming mind, which
together with his knowledge of the law, he took advantage of, for his lurid purpose.
Furthermore, the blunt admission of his illicit relations with the complainant reveals the respondent to
be a person who would suffer no moral compunction for his acts if the same could be done without fear
of criminal liability. He has, by these acts, proven himself to be devoid of the moral integrity expected of
a member of the bar.
Respondent, therefore, did not possess a good moral character at the time he applied for admission to
the bar.

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NOTES

It is true that the respondent has not been convicted of rape, seduction, or adultery on this
count, and that the grounds upon which the disbarment proceedings is based are not among
those enumerated by Section 25, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court for which a lawyer may be
disbarred. But it has already been held that this enumeration is not exclusive and that the power
of the courts to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the profession is inherent; it is a
necessary incident to the proper administration of justice; it may be exercised without any
special statutory authority, and in all proper cases unless positively prohibited by statute; and
the power may be exercised in any manner that will give the party be disbarred a fair trial and a
fair opportunity to be heard. (1 Francisco, Rules of Court [1958 ed.] 698, citing In Re Pelaez, 44
Phil. 567). Although it is a well settled rule that the legislature (or the Supreme Court by virtue
of its rule-making power) may provide that certain acts or conduct shall require disbarment, the
accepted doctrine is that statutes and rules merely regulate the power to disbar instead of
creating it, and that such statutes (or rules) do not restrict the general powers of the court over
attorneys, who are its officers, and that they may be removed for other than statutory grounds
(7 C.J.S. 734).
In the United States, where from our system of legal ethics is derived, "the continued possession
of a fair private and professional character or a good moral character is a requisite condition for
the rightful continuance in the practice of law for one who has been admitted, and its loss
requires suspension or disbarment even though the statutes do not specify that as a ground of
disbarment". The moral turpitude for which an attorney may be disbarred may consist of
misconduct in either his professional or non-professional activities (5 Am. Jur. 417).

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CASE NO. 6
PILAR ABAIGAR, complainant, vs. DAVID D.C. PAZ, respondent.
A.M. No. 997 September 10, 1979
FERNANDEZ, J.
FACTS
On April 27, 1971, Pilar Abaigar filed this administrative case for disbarment against David D. C. Paz, a
member of the Philippine Bar.
The verified complaint alleged that sometime in March 1970, the complainant, Pilar Abaigar sought the
aid of a legal counsel regarding her divorce case filed by her husband. She called on the telephone the
office of Congressman Bagatsing in Manila. The respondent David D.C. Paz, answered the telephone call
and volunteered his legal services. After the termination of the divorce case, the respondent started to
profess his love for her. At the start, the complainant was hesitant in continuing the cordial relations
between her and the respondent but the respondent made her believe that although he was living with
another woman, his relations with said woman were no impediment. Sometime in the third week of
April 1971, one Virginia Paz was introduced to the complainant by the respondent and was the woman
previously referred to by the respondent as his wife with whom he had contracted a forced civil
marriage. The said Virginia Paz, in the course of the meeting, informed the complainant that there had
been actually two marriages between Virginia Paz and the respondent, one under the civil law and one
under the church law. Since that time, the respondent had done nothing to make amends for having
deceived the complainant and for having taken advantage of her. The complainant has no other
recourse but to ask for the disbarment of the respondent who is a member of the Philippine Bar and an
officer of the courts of justice.
In his answer filed on June 10, 1971, the respondent denied having had any illicit relations with the
complainant.
In a resolution dated August 20, 1971, this Court referred this case to the Solicitor General for
investigation, report and recommendation. After hearing the parties, the Solicitor General submitted on
June 30, 1973 his report and recommendation including the finding that the complainant testified that
she acceded to his proposal that they live as husband and wife and as a matter of fact they had three
sexual intercourses that took place in the Tower Hotel and Singian Clinic in Manila and in the Sulo Hotel
in Quezon City. While there is no proof that sexual intimacy took place in Singian Clinic except her
testimony, her allegation that they had trysts at the Tower Hotel and Sulo Hotel was supported by the
guest cards at said hotels.
ISSUE
Whether or not respondent Paz may be disbarred on grounds that may properly fall under the category
of deceit and grossly immoral conduct as found in Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.
HELD

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No. The evidence adduced by the complainant has failed to establish any cause for disciplinary action
against the respondent. As the Solicitor General said in his report, "From all indications, there is little
room for doubt that she filed his disbarment case not in redress of a wrong, for there was no wrong
committed. It was a voluntary act of indiscretion between two consenting adults who were fully aware
of the consequences of their deed and for which they were responsible only to their own private
consciences."
NOTES

For, as philosopher Blaise Pascal has so pithily stated of the profundity of human love, 'love has
reasons that reason cannot explain.'
In Arboleda vs. Gatchalian, this Court held:
The Court has held that in disbarment proceedings, the burden of proof rests upon the
complainant and the charge against the lawyer must be established by convincing proof
(Go vs. Candoy, A.C. No. 736, Oct. 23, 1967, 21 SCRA 439; Toquib vs. Tomol, Jr., A.C. No.
554, March 25, 1970, 32 SCRA 156; in re Atty. Felizardo M. de Guzman, A.C. No. 838,
Jan. 21. 1974, 55 SCRA 139). The record must disclose as free from doubt a case which
compels the exercise by this Court of its disciplinary powers. The corrupt character of
the act done must be clearly demonstrated. Moreover' considering the serious
consequences, of the disbarment or suspension of a member of the Bar, We have
consistently held that clearly preponderant evidence is necessary to justify the
imposition of either penalty (De Guzman vs. Tadeo, 68 Phil. 554; Lim vs. Antonio, A.C.
No. 848, Sept. 30, 1971, 41 SCRA 44). This Court likewise held that where there is no
proof that respondent lawyer was guilty of any unethical conduct, harassment and
malpractice, the disbarment case against him should be dismissed (Ricafort vs. Baltazar,
A.C. No. 661, June 26, 1967, 20 SCRA 418; Delos Santos vs. Bolanos A.C. No. 483, July 21,
1967, 20 SCRA 763).

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CASE NO. 7
A-1 FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., complainant, vs. ATTY. LAARNI N. VALERIO, respondent.
A.C. No. 8390 July 2, 2010
PERALTA, J.
FACTS
On November 13, 2001, A-1 Financial Services, Inc., a financing corporation, granted the loan application
of Atty. Valerio amounting to P50,000.00. To secure the payment of the loan obligation, Atty. Valerio
issued a postdated check. However, upon presentation at the bank for payment on its maturity date,
the check was dishonored due to insufficient funds. As of the filing of the instant case, despite repeated
demands to pay her obligation, Atty. Valerio failed to pay the whole amount of her obligation
On January 18, 2006, complainant filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Valerio before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
On September 13, 2007, the IBP-CBD directed Atty. Valerio to appear before the mandatory conference.
Atty. Valerio, again, failed to attend the conference. Subsequently, in an Order dated November 15,
2007, the IBP ordered the parties to submit their position papers. No position paper was submitted by
Atty. Valerio.
Thus, in its Report and Recommendation dated September 16, 2008, the IBP-CBD recommended that
Atty. Valerio be suspended from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years, having found her guilty
of gross misconduct.
ISSUE
Whether or not IBP erred in imposing sanction on the respondent.
HELD
No. In Lao v. Medel, the Court held that the deliberate failure to pay just debts and the issuance of
worthless checks constitute gross misconduct for which a lawyer may be sanctioned with one-year
suspension from the practice of law. The same sanction was imposed on the respondent-lawyer
in Rangwani v. Dino, having found guilty of gross misconduct for issuing bad checks in payment of a
piece of property, the title to which was only entrusted to him by the complainant.
However, in this case, the Court deem it reasonable to affirm the sanction imposed by the IBP-CBD, i.e.,
Atty. Valerio was ordered suspended from the practice of law for two (2) years, because, aside from
issuing worthless checks and failing to pay her debts, she has also shown wanton disregard of the IBPs
and Court Orders in the course of the proceedings.
NOTES

Atty. Valerios conduct in the course of the IBP and court proceedings is also a matter of serious
concern. She failed to answer the complaint against her. Despite due notice, she failed to attend
the disciplinary hearings set by the IBP. She also ignored the proceedings before the court as she
likewise failed to both answer the complaint against her and appear during her arraignment,

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despite orders and notices from the court. Clearly, this conduct runs counter to the precepts of
the Code of Professional Responsibility and violates the lawyers oath which imposes upon every
member of the Bar the duty to delay no man for money or malice. Atty. Valerio has failed to live
up to the values and norms of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

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CASE NO. 8
ALFREDO BON, complainant, vs. ATTYS. VICTOR S. ZIGA and ANTONIO A. ARCANGEL, respondents.
A.C. No. 5436 May 27, 2004
TINGA, J.
FACTS
On May 9, 2001, Alfredo Bon (complainant) filed a Complaint dated April 3, 2001 for disbarment against
the respondents, Attys. Victor S. Ziga (Ziga) and Antonio A. Arcangel (Arcangel). Allegedly, the
respondents, conspiring with each other and with the use of fraud, intimidation, stealth, deception and
monetary consideration, caused Amalia Bon-Padre Borjal, Teresa Bon-Padre Patenio, Felecito Bon and
Angelina Bon (collectively, the Bons) to sign a document entitled Waiver and Quitclaim. According to the
complainant, the Bons signed the Waiver and Quitclaim because of Zigas representation that the
document was merely a withdrawal of a previously executed Special Power of Attorney. As it turned out,
the document was a waiver in favor of Ziga of all the properties which the Bons inherited from their
parents and predecessors-in-interest. Attached to the Complaint are Affidavits executed by the Bons
renouncing the Waiver and Quitclaim.
Moreover, the complainant claims that the Bons are residents of Manila and did not appear before
Arcangel who was then in Albay to acknowledge the Waiver and Quitclaim. Despite this fact, Arcangel
notarized the document and even made it appear that the Bons personally appeared before him to
acknowledge the same.
ISSUE
Whether or not Arcangel failed to exercise due diligence in upholding his duty as a notary public.
HELD
Yes. The Court do find the act of Arcangel in notarizing the Waiver and Quitclaim without requiring all
the persons who executed the document to personally appear before him and acknowledge that the
same is their free act and deed an unpardonable breach of his duty as a notary public.
From his admission, the Court find that Arcangel failed to exercise due diligence in upholding his duty as
a notary public. He violated Rules 1.01 and 10.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility as
well. However, his transgression does not warrant disbarment, which is the severest form of disciplinary
sanction.
NOTES
It is well to remind him that notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is
invested with substantive public interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized
may act as notaries public. Notarization converts a private document into a public document
thus making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of its authenticity. A
notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative
agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon the acknowledgement executed by a
notary public and appended to a private instrument. For this reason, notaries public must

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observe with utmost care the basic requirements in the performance of their duties. Otherwise,
the confidence of the public in the integrity of this form of conveyance would be undermined.
A member of the bar who performs an act as a notary public should not notarize a document
unless the persons who signed the same are the very same persons who executed and
personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of what are stated
therein. The acts of the affiants cannot be delegated to anyone for what are stated therein are
facts of which they have personal knowledge. They should swear to the document personally
and not through any representative. Otherwise, their representatives name should appear in
the said documents as the one who executed the same. That is the only time the representative
can affix his signature and personally appear before the notary public for notarization of the said
document. Simply put, the party or parties who executed the instrument must be the ones to
personally appear before the Notary Public to acknowledge the document.

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CASE NO. 9
VENANCIO CASTANEDA and NICETAS HENSON, petitioners, vs. PASTOR D. AGO, LOURDES YU AGO and
THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
G.R. No. L-28546 July 30, 1975
CASTRO, J.
FACTS
In 1955, the petitioners Venancio Castaeda and Nicetas Henson filed a replevin suit against Pastor Ago
in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover certain machineries (civil case 27251). Ago failed to
redeem, and on April 17, 1964 the sheriff executed the final deed of sale in favor of the vendees
Castaeda and Henson. Upon their petition, the Court of First Instance of Manila issued a writ of
possession to the properties.
However, on May 2, 1964 Pastor Ago, now joined by his wife, Lourdes Yu Ago, as his co-plaintiff, filed a
complaint in the Court of First Instance of Quezon City (civil case Q-7986) to annul the sheriff's sale.
The Court of First Instance of Quezon City issued an ex parte writ of preliminary injunction restraining
the petitioners, the Register of Deeds and the sheriff of Quezon City, from registering the latter's final
deed of sale, from cancelling the respondents' certificates of title and issuing new ones to the
petitioners and from carrying out any writ of possession.
While the battle on the matter of the lifting and restoring of the restraining order was being fought in
the Quezon City court, the Agos filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with this Court under date
of May 26, 1966. The Court found no merit in the petition and dismissed it. The Court of Appeals also
dismissed the petition. The respondents then appealed to this Court. The Court dismissed the petition in
a minute resolution on February 8, 1967. The Ago spouses repaired once more to the Court of Appeals
where they filed another petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction.
Failing to obtain reconsideration, the petitioners Castaeda and Henson filed the present petition for
review of the aforesaid decision.
ISSUE
Whether or not the respondents Agos, abetted by their lawyer Jose M. Luison, have misused legal
remedies and prostituted the judicial process to thwart the satisfaction of the judgment.
HELD
Yes. Despite the pendency in the trial court of the complaint for the annulment of the sheriff's sale (civil
case Q-7986), elementary justice demands that the petitioners, long denied the fruits of their victory in
the replevin suit, must now enjoy them, for, the respondents Agos, abetted by their lawyer Jose M.
Luison, have misused legal remedies and prostituted the judicial process to thwart the satisfaction of the
judgment, to the extended prejudice of the petitioners. The respondents, with the assistance of counsel,
maneuvered for fourteen (14) years to doggedly resist execution of the judgment thru manifold tactics
in and from one court to another (5 times in the Supreme Court).

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The Court condemn the attitude of the respondents and their counsel who,
far from viewing courts as sanctuaries for those who seek justice, have tried to use them to
subvert the very ends of justice.
Forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his exalted position as an officer of the
court, Atty. Luison has allowed himself to become an instigator of controversy and a predator of conflict
instead of a mediator for concord and a conciliator for compromise, a virtuoso of technicality in the
conduct of litigation instead of a true exponent of the primacy of truth and moral justice.
NOTES
However, on May 2, 1964 Pastor Ago, now joined by his wife, Lourdes Yu Ago, as his co-plaintiff,
filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Quezon City (civil case Q-7986) to annul the
sheriff's sale on the ground that the obligation of Pastor Ago upon which judgment was
rendered against him in the replevin suit was his personal obligation, and that Lourdes Yu Ago's
one-half share in their conjugal residential house and lots which were levied upon and sold by
the sheriff could not legally be reached for the satisfaction of the judgment.
A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candour and honesty his client's cause must be
encouraged and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot countenance is a lawyer's
insistence despite the patent futility of his client's position, as in the case at bar.
It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and vagaries
of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he finds that his client's cause is
defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than
traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and
temper his clients propensity to litigate. A lawyer's oath to uphold the cause of justice is
superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable.

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CASE NO. 10
THE DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, complainant, vs. ESTANISLAO R. BAYOT, respondent.
A.C. No. L-1117 March 20, 1944
OZAETA, J.
FACTS
The respondent, who is an attorney-at-law, is charged with malpractice for having published an
advertisement in the Sunday Tribune of June 13, 1943, which reads as follows:
Marriage license promptly secured thru our assistance & the annoyance of delay or publicity
avoided if desired, and marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any matter free
for the poor. Everything confidential.

Legal assistance service


12 Escolta, Manila, Room, 105
Tel. 2-41-60.

ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent violated the ethics of his profession.
HELD
Yes. It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a flagrant violation by the respondent of the
ethics of his profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the public. Section 25 of Rule 127
expressly provides among other things that "the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of
gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice." It is highly unethical for
an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and
not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practices of
mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public. As a member of the bar, he
defiles the temple of justice with mercenary activities as the money-changers of old defiled the temple
of Jehovah. "The most worth and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, . . . is the
establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be
forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct." (Canon 27, Code of Ethics.)
NOTES

In In re Tagorda, 53 Phil., the respondent attorney was suspended from the practice of law for
the period of one month for advertising his services and soliciting work from the public by
writing circular letters. That case, however, was more serious than this because there the
solicitations were repeatedly made and were more elaborate and insistent.

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