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Suggested Answers to 2015 Bar Examinations in

Legal and Judicial Ethics


Atty. Victoria V. Loanzon

I.
a. Counsel de oficio: a counsel, appointed or assigned by the court, from among such members of
the bar in good standing who, by reason of their experience and ability may adequately defend the
accused. The person need not be a member of the bar if no lawyer is available in a given locality.
(Sec. 7, Rule 116, Rules of Court)
A counsel de oficio is appointed to defend an indigent in a criminal action (Sections 3, 4, and 5,
Rule 116; Sec. 32, Rule 138); or to represent a destitute party in a case (Sec.31, Rule 138).

b. Counsel de parte: a lawyer retained by a party litigant, usually, for a fee, to prosecute or defend
his cause in court. The term implies freedom of choice either on the part of the lawyer to accept
the employment or on the part of the litigant to continue or terminate the retainer at any time.

c. Amicus Curiae: a friend of the court. A person with strong interest in or views on the subject
matter of the action. One who is considered as an experience and impartial attorney to help in the
disposition of issues submitted to the Court. (Sec. 36, Rule 138)

d. Attorney of Record: a member of the bar appointed by a client to represent in cause of a court
and upon whom service of papers may be made.

II.
Yes. Atty. Jeremiah is administratively liable. Canon 16 of the Lawyers Code of Professional
Responsibility provides: A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that
may come into his profession. Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment in favor
of his clients is held in trust and must be immediately turned over to them (Aya v. Bigornia, 57
Phil. 8). Belated payment of the amount he fraudulently obtained do not relieve him from any
liability if only to impress upon him that the relation between an attorney and his client is highly
fiduciary in its nature and of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character, requiring high
degree of fidelity and good faith. In view of that special relationship, lawyers are bound to
promptly account for money or property received by them on behalf of their clients and failure to
do so constitutes professional misconduct. (Daroy v. Legaspi, 65 SCRA 304).

III.
a. Yes. Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer owes fidelity
to the cause of his client and shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. The
long-established rule is that an attorney is not permitted to disclose communications made to him
in his professional character by a client, unless the latter consents. However, the privilege against
disclosure of confidential communications or information is limited only to communications
which are legitimately and properly within the scope of a lawful employment of a lawyer.
(Genato v. Silapan, A.C. No. 4078, July 14, 2003)
The rule on privileged communication applies to matters disclosed to a lawyer by a prospective
client. The mere disclosure and the lawyers opinion thereon create an attorney-client
relationship. It is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for;
neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward undertake the case about
which the consultation was had. (Hilado v. David, 84 Phil. 569)
b. The following factors are considered to establish the existence of attorney-client privilege:
1. There exists an attorney-client relationship, or a prospective attorney-client relation,
and it is by reason of this relationship that the client made the communication.
2. The client made the communication in confidence.
3. The legal advice must be sought from the attorney in his legal capacity. (Agpalo, Legal
and Judicial Ethics, pp. 271-272, 2009 edition)
IV.
According to the Supreme Court the Lawyers Oath, to which all lawyers have subscribed in
solemn agreement to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of justice, is not a mere ceremony or
formality for practicing law to be forgotten afterwards; nor is it mere words, drift and hollow, but
a sacred trust that lawyers must uphold and keep inviolable at all times. By swearing the
lawyers oath, lawyers become guardians of truth and the rule of law, as well as instruments in
the fair and impartial dispensation of justice. (Ting-Dumali v. Torres, 427 SCRA 108)

The Lawyers Oath not only impresses upon the attorney his responsibilities but it also stamps
him as an officer of the court. The oath embodies the four-fold duty of a lawyer: his duty to
society, his duty to the legal profession, his duty to the court and his duty to his client.

V.
Yes, Judge Savellano violated Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct. Propriety and the
appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all activities of a judge. Section 8 of
Canon 4 provides:
Judges shall not use or lend the prestige of the judicial office to advance their private
interests, or those of a member of their family or of anyone else, nor shall they convey
the impression that anyone is in a special position improperly influence them in the
performance of judicial duties.
By using her official court stationery to relay to the National Telecommunications Commission
her complaint regarding the three-month billings of Universal Telecoms for the post-paid cellular
services, Judge Savellano acted in an improper manner.

VI.
a. Casper cannot be considered a member of the bar and should not be allowed to use the title
Attorney. The title of "attorney" is reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary
degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted to
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in good standing; and it is they
only who are authorized to practice law in the Philippines. (Sophia Alawi v. Ashary M. Alauya,
Clerk of Court VI, Shari a District Court, Marawi City, A.M. SDC-97-2-P)
In a decided case, the Supreme Court held that a bar passer is not considered a full-fledged
member of the Philippine bar until he has signed the Roll of Attorneys. (In re: Petition of Atty.
Medado to sign Roll of Attorneys, B.M. No. 2540, September 24, 2013)

b. Casper is guilty of violation of Cannon 9 and contempt of court.


Casper cannot be relieved from any liability for his inaction for seven (7) years after he was
unable to provide his Roll Number while completing his MCLE requirement. In a decided case,
the Court held: While an honest mistake of fact could be used to excuse a person from the legal
consequences of his acts as it negates malice or evil motive, a mistake of law cannot be utilized
as a lawful justification, because everyone is presumed to know the law and its consequences.
Ignorantia facti excusat; ignorantia legis neminem excusat. (Ibid., citations omitted)
In the case at bar, Casper cannot now raise that it was an honest mistake when he believed that
what he signed at the PICC was the Roll of Attorneys because his attention was called as early as
2003 and yet he only filed the Petition to take sign the Roll of Attorneys after seven (7) years.
Not being a full-fledged lawyer, Casper violated Canon 9 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides:
Canon 9 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized
practice of law.
When Casper chose to continue practicing law without taking the necessary steps to complete all
the requirements for admission to the Bar, he willfully engaged in the unauthorized practice of
law.
Under Rule 71, Sec. 3 (e) of the Rules of Court, the unauthorized practice of law by ones
assuming to be an attorney or officer of the court, and acting as such without authority, may
constitute indirect contempt of court, which is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
c. I will grant Caspers Petition to Sign the Roll of Attorneys for having demonstrated good faith
by acknowledging his own lapse, albeit after the passage of more than nine (9) years. His action
action manifested his good moral character because Casper strove to adhere to the strict
requirements of the ethics of the profession, and that he has prima facie shown that he possesses
the character required to be a member of the Philippine Bar. His work experience as a lawyer
also indicates his competence as a member of the legal profession. (Ibid.)

VII.
The primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from business are:
1. The practice of law involves a duty of public service of which the emolument is a by-product
and one may obtain eminence without making much money.
2. The practice of law creates a relation as an officer of the court whose primary role is to assist
in the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity and reliability.
3. The practice of law creates a relation with clients with the highest fiduciary degree.
4. The practice of law creates a relation which other lawyers which requires candor, fairness and
decency avoiding any kind of encroachment upon others practice.

VIII.
Atty. Jane cannot promise any commission to Engr. Gilbert. As a general rule, a lawyer shall
not divide his professional fees with persons not licensed to practice law. (Rule 9.02, Canon 9
of the Code of Professional Responsibility)
Rule 9.02 provides for the following exceptions: (a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement
with a partner or associate that, upon the latter's death, money shall be paid over a
reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or (b)
Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or
(c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan even if
the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing agreement.

Under the facts presented, it therefore not ethical for Atty. Jane to share her professional fees
with Engr. Gilbert. Otherwise, she will be held liable for violation of Rule 9.02 of Canon 9 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.

IX.
a. Quantum meruit is a Latin phrase meaning "as much as he has deserved. In the determination
of professional fees of lawyer who has rendered services to a client, the doctrine of quantum
meruit can be applied. It is important to establish certain factors for the doctrine to operate. The
lawyer may recover his professional fees by proving that:
1. a lawyer-client relationship exists;
2. the lawyer rendered valuable professional services to the client;
3. the lawyers services were accepted, used, and enjoyed by the defendant; and
4. the client was aware that the lawyer, in performing the services, expected to be paid.

b. The following factors should be considered in fixing a reasonable compensation for services
rendered by a lawyer on the basis of quantum meruit:
1. the time spent and the extent of services rendered or required;
2. the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
3. the importance of the subject matter;
4. the skill demanded;
5. the probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance of the proffered case;
6. the customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to
which the lawyer belongs;
7. the amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the
services;
8. the contingency or certainty of compensation;
9. the character of the employment, whether occasional or established; and
10. the professional standing of the lawyer. (Traders Royal Bank Employees Union-Independent
v. National Labor Relations Commission and Emmanuel Noel A. Cruz, G.R. No. 120592. March
14, 1997)

X.
No, Atty. Enriquez cannot claim of the property of the Spouses Manuel. The contingent fee of
P200, 000.00 should control the agreement of counsel and his clients although the same was
contingent upon winning the case. While Atty. Enriquez and Atty. Enriquez entered into an oral
contingent fee agreement securing to the latter one-half of the subject lot, taking one half of the
property involved in litigation valued at P3,500,000.00 or an equivalent amount of P1,750,00.00
appears to be unconscionable. Even if the Spouses Manuel agreed to such contingent fee, the
same may be reduced by the court in proper proceedings because the same is contrary to public
policy (In Re: The Conjugal Partnership of the Spouses Vicente Cadavedo and Benita Arcoy-
Cadavedo (both deceased), substituted by their Heirs, namely: Herminia, Pastora, Heirs of
Fructiosa, Heirs of Raquel, Evangeline, Vicente, Jr., and Armand, all surnamed Cadavedo, G.R.
No. 173188. January 15, 2014)

XI.
Yes, the acts of Judge Tadhana constitute a violation of his duty as a member of the bench. A
judge should be courteous to counsel and also to those others appearing or concerned in the
administration of justice. (Canon 14, Canons of Judicial Ethics)
Under the New Code of Judicial Conduct, Judge Tadhana violated Canon 4 which speaks of
Propriety as the standard of conduct of a judge in all proceedings before his court. Such
tyrannical and overbearing attitude of the Judge Tadhana demeans the judiciary and may even
erode public confidence in the administration of justice. (Ruiz v. Bringas, 330 SCRA 62)

XII.
a. The best form of advertising ones legal services is the establishment of well-merited
reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to the trust repose by clients. (Director of
Religious Affairs v. Bayot, 74 Phil.579)

b. The following are the allowable or permissible forms of advertising by a lawyer:


1. publication in a reputable law list;
2. use of simple professional card with indication of special branch of law practiced;
3. simple announcement of opening or transfer of law firm; and
4. listing in a telephone directory but not under a designation of special branch of law. (Ulep v.
The Legal Clinic, Inc. (B.M. No. 553, June 17, 1993)

XIII.
a. If the judge is compulsorily disqualified under any of the grounds under the first paragraph of
Section 1 of Rule 137 of the Rules of Court, he has no choice but to withdraw from the case,
unless all parties consent thereto in writing and entered into the records while in voluntary
inhibition under the second paragraph of Section 1of Rule 137, when circumstances appear that
the judges actions give rise, fairly or unfairly, to perceptions of bias which would erode public
confidence in the judiciary, the judge must inhibit himself. Voluntary inhibition is left to the
sound discretion of the judge but in mandatory
Under the set of facts, Judge Lucio must inhibit himself since the counsel is related to his wife
and is clearly covered by the first paragraph of Section 1 of Rule 137 which provides:
Disqualification of judges. No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which
he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise , or
in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity,
or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the civil law,
or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in
which he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of
review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered
upon the record.
In mandatory disqualification, the judge needs the written consent of all the parties and such
consent shall be incorporated in the record of the proceedings. (Section 6 of Canon 3, the New
Code of Judicial Conduct)

In a land registration case, the state is represented by the Office of the Solicitor General and
since Judge Lucio draws his salaries from the government, propriety and prudence also dictate
that he should inhibit himself.

b. No, the rationale behind the compulsory disqualification of a judge rests on the presumption
that a judge, sitting in a case, must at all times be wholly free, disinterested, impartial and
independent. (Agpalo, supra, p.623)

XIV.
The New Code of Judicial Conduct prescribes six (6) qualities to be observed by the
members of the Judiciary, to wit:
CANON 1: INDEPENDENCE
As a member of the bench, a judge must exhibit his independence in both personal and judicial
aspects. As an embodiment of justice, the judge is expected at all times to uphold the Rule of Law.
CANON 2: INTEGRITY
Integrity does not only pertain to ensuring that public will not lose its trust in the disposition of
cases by judges but also covers the personal demeanor of judges.

CANON 3: IMPARTIALITY
In the discharge of their judicial duties, the members of the bench are mandated to observe the
impartiality. It is the solemn duty of a judge to promote justice and administer it fairly and
impartially.
CANON 4: PROPRIETY
Both propriety and the appearance of propriety are imposed upon the members of the bench in
the performance of all their duties and responsibilities as judges. The same exacting standard
is required even in their social activities and personal relationships.

CANON 5: EQUALITY
It is the paramount duty of a judge to ensure equality of treatment to all before the courts.

CANON 6: COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE


Competence and diligence require that the judge knows the law, the rules of procedure and
must decide cases based on evidence presented and the applicable law in the resolution of
issues in any pending case before the court. The duty of competence and diligence also
mandates that the judge renders the decision within the prescribed period.

XV.
No, the contention of Atty. Teresa is not correct. The Court has held that the proscription against
representation of conflicting interests applies to a situation where the opposing parties are
present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. 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, 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. It is enough that the
opposing parties in one case, one of whom would lose the suit, are present clients and the nature
or conditions of the lawyers respective retainers with each of them would affect the performance
of the duty of undivided fidelity to both clients. (Quiambao v. Bamba A.C. No. 6708 (CBD Case
No. 01-874), August 25, 2005)
XVI.

a. Atty. Luna Tek is an officer of the court and as such she has the duty to observe candor,
fairness and good faith to the courts. (Canon 10, Code of Professional Responsibility)

She is also mandated to respect the courts. (Canon 11, Code of Professional Responsibility)
While a lawyer may criticize a decision of the court on legal grounds, the same must be done in a
respectful manner. Rule 11.03 of Canon 11 specifically enjoins lawyers to abstain from
scandalous, offensive or menacing before the courts.

b. The relationship between a lawyer and the courts is one mutual respect. Both the members of
the bench and the bar dedicate themselves to the pursuit of justice. In the discharge of their
respective duties and responsibilities, judges and lawyers are duty-bound to strictly observe the
law and maintain fidelity to the ethics which govern them. Both the judges and lawyers must
ensure that their actions will not in any way obstruct, pervert or impede the administration of
justice. This duty of mutual respect will contribute significantly to public confidence in the
judicial system in the Philippines.

XVII.
Under Rule 22.01 of Canon 22, a lawyer may withdraw his services in any of the following
cases:
(a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the
matter he is handling;
(b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct violative of these canons and rules;
(c) When his inability to work with co-counsel will not promote the best interest of the client;
(d) When the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it difficult for him to carry out
the employment effectively;
(e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the services or fails to comply with the
retainer agreement;
(f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office; and
(g) Other similar cases.

XVIII.
a. As the Investigating Commissioner, I will find Atty. Javier guilty of misconduct and
dishonesty and will recommend his disbarment. Lawyers are instruments for the administration
of justice, they are expected to maintain not only legal proficiency but also a high standard of
morality, honesty, integrity and fair dealing.
Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility enjoins a lawyer from engaging
in unlawful, dishonest or deceitful conduct. The complementing Rule 7.03 of the Code, on the
other hand, provides that "a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his
fitness to practice law." Another complementing provision is found in the Section 27 of Rule 138
of the Rules of Court providing that a member of the bar may be suspended or even removed
from office as an attorney for any deceit, malpractice, or misconduct in office.
The Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase which Atty. Javier drafted gave a warranty to
Gregorio that he had the perfect right to dispose in fee simple is an act of dishonesty because
the property was mortgaged and was eventually foreclosed by Trustworthy Bank. Atty. Javiers
fitness to continue in the advocacy of law and manage the legal affairs of others are thus put in serious
doubt as such act reflects on his lack of moral integrity. (Dahlia s. Gacias v. Atty. Alexander
Bulauitan, A.C. NO. 7280, November 16, 2006]

b. As a general rule, a lawyer may not be ordered to return the amount due to the complainant
since the same may be a subject of an independent court action. (Litigo v. Dicon, 246 SCRA 9)

In exceptional cases, the Court has, however, allowed the complainant to recover such amounts
which have been shown by convincing evidence during the disbarment proceedings against a
lawyer. In Keld Stemmerik v. Atty. Leonuel N. Mas (A.C. 8010, June 16, 2009), a lawyer was
disbarred by taking advantage of the lack of knowledge of Philippine laws by a foreigner. Atty.
Mas drew up a Deed of Sale of a property in Subic which is part of public domain and therefore
outside the commerce of man. Respondent lawyer was ordered to reimburse complainant P3,
800,000.00 which represented the value of the land and the amount of P400, 000.00 which
represented his professional fees.
In Reddi v. Sebrio, Jr. (Adm. Case No. 7027, January 30, 2009), the Court ordered Sebrio to return
to the complainant US$544,828.00 which admitted he received from the complainant. The Court
disbarred him deceiving an American into giving him thousands of dollars to purchase several real
estate properties for resale.
Given the situation, it is my considered opinion that erring lawyer can be asked to restore the
complainant the amount of P2,000,000.00.

XIX.
a. Section 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court provides the following grounds: deceit or any gross
misconduct, grossly immoral conduct, conviction of crime involving moral turpitude, violation
of lawyers oath, willful disobedience of any lawful order, or corruptly or willfully appearing as
an attorney for a party in a case without authority, malpractice which includes practice of
soliciting cases for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers.

b. A decision in a disciplinary action against a Filipino lawyer practicing abroad may also be a
basis for a disbarment proceeding against the same lawyer in the Philippines. (Velez v. De Vera,
496 SCRA 345)

XX
Under B.M. 850 issued the Supreme Court on October 2, 2001, members of the IBP shall complete
every three (3) years at least thirty-six (36) hours of continuing legal education activities
approved by the MCLE Committee. Of the 36 hours:
(a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics equivalent to six (6) credit units.
(b) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and pretrial skills equivalent to four (4)
credit units.
(c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to alternative dispute resolution equivalent to five (5)
credit units.
(d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to updates on substantive and procedural laws, and
jurisprudence equivalent to nine (9) credit units.
(e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal writing and oral advocacy equivalent to four
(4) credit units.
(f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to international law and international conventions
equivalent to two (2) credit units.
(g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to such subjects as may be prescribed by the
MCLE Committee equivalent to six (6) credit units. (Section 2, B.M. 850)

Continuing legal education is required of members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)
to ensure that throughout their career, they keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain the
ethics of the profession and enhance the standards of the practice of law. (Section 1, B.M. 850)

b. Rule 7 of B. M. 850 provides for the following exceptions:

SECTION 1. Parties exempted from the MCLE. -- The following members of the Bar are
exempt from the MCLE requirement:
(a) The President and the Vice President of the Philippines, and the Secretaries and
Undersecretaries of Executive Departments;
(b) Senators and Members of the House of Representatives;
(c) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired
members of the judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar Council and incumbent
court lawyers covered by the Philippine Judicial Academy program of continuing judicial
education;
(d) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the Department
of Justice;
(e) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General;
(f) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel;
(g) The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions;
(h) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special
Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman;
(i) Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions;
(j) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at
least ten (10) years in accredited law schools;
(k) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Corps of Professors and Professorial
Lecturers of the Philippine Judicial Academy; and
(l) Governors and Mayors.
SEC. 2. Other parties exempted from the MCLE. The following Members of the Bar are likewise
exempt:
(a) Those who are not in law practice, private or public.
(b) Those who have retired from law practice with the approval of the IBP Board of Governors.

XXIII

a. Atty. Billy may be administratively charged with:


1. Violation of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility:
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in Court;
nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.
Atty. Billy through artifice when he resorted to pasting portions of the decisions of the Court
misled the Court and it could also be a ground for plagiarism because he failed to attribute the
source of his information.
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the contents of a
paper, the language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or
authority, or knowingly cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or
amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been proved.
Atty. Billy included in his pleadings quotations from the decisions of the Court without
reproducing the same word for word and punctuation by punctuation.
Rule 10.03 - A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to
defeat the ends of justice.
Atty. Billy failed to observe the prescribed font and font size for pleadings to be filed in court.
2. Violation of his Lawyers Oath
As an officer of the Court, he is guilty of committing falsehood to the court by misleading the
court though his artifice.
3. Violation of Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
Canon 7 - A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession
and support the activities of the integrated bar.
By not giving due respect to the court, Atty. Billy failed to live up to the exacting duty of
upholding the integrity and dignity of the legal profession.4.
4. Violation of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
Canon 18 - A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.
Rule 18.02 - A lawyer shall not handle any legal matter without adequate preparation.
Rule 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence
in connection therewith shall render him liable.
Through his lapses, Atty. Billy failed to serve his client with competence and diligence. It is the
duty of the lawyer to adequately prepare for a given referral of a client in order to protect the
interests of the client within the bounds of law.

b. Article 8 of the Civil Code provides: "Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or
the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. It is incumbent upon the
lawyer as an officer of the court to reproduce or copy the same word-for-word and punctuation
mark-for-punctuation mark the decisions and rulings of the Court. This duty ensures that
decisions will not lose their proper and correct meaning, to the detriment of other courts, lawyers
and the public who may be misled if the Court is misquoted. Lawyers should therefore
meticulously discharge their duty to check and recheck their citations of authorities culled not
only from this Court's decisions but from other sources and make certain that they are verbatim
reproductions down to the last word and punctuation mark. (Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd.
Employees Association v. Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd, 37 SCRA 244)

XXIV

a. As a general rule, the Supreme Court does not entertain anonymous complaints against judges.
(In Re: Quijano, A.M. No. 361, August 31, 1977)
From the facts set forth above, it would appear that the anonymous complaint falls within the
exception to the rule. The Supreme Court has allowed the institution of complaint based on an
anonymous letter provided that the complaint could be fully borne by public records of
indubitable integrity. (In Re: Araula, 81 SCRA 483). In the instant case, the inclusion of relevant
pages of the transcripts of several cases heard by Judge Hambog would prove the substantial
allegations against him considering the TSNs form part of the records of the cases.
b. If the administrative complaint against the RTC judge is sufficient in form and substance, the
Office of the Court Administrator will furnish the respondent judge with a copy of subject
complaint. The respondent judge is given a period of 10 days to comment on the complaint. If
there is no basis to conduct further investigation, the same will be dismissed. (Section 2, Rule
140, Rules of Court)
If the complaint appear to merit an action, the respondent judge is given 10 days to comment.
Upon filing of the respondent judges comment, or upon the expiration of 10 days and unless
other pleadings or documents are required, the Supreme Court refers the same to the Office of
the Court Administrator for investigation, report or recommendation. The Court may also assign
a Justice of the Court of Appeals to conduct the investigation and submit his report and
recommendation. (Section 4, Rule 140, Rules of Court)
The Supreme Court will render its decision based on the investigation, report and
recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator or the assigned Justice of the Court of
Appeals.