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COMELEC V. NOYNAY in violation of the trust reposed on him.

The conversion by a lawyer

funds entrusted to him by his client is a gross violation of
In 1996, the Commission on Elections filed criminal cases against certain
professional ethics and a betrayal of public confidence in the legal
individuals for violations of the Omnibus Election Code. The cases were
filed with a Regional Trial Court in Samar presided over by Judge Tomas
The relation of attorney and client is highly fiduciary in nature and
Noynay. Judge Noynay however dismissed the said cases as he ruled that
is of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character . A lawyer is
the RTC has no jurisdiction over the said cases because said criminal
duty-bound to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
offenses were punishable with less than six years imprisonment. He said
transactions with his clients.The profession, therefore, demandsof an
that said cases should be filed with the MTC.
attorney an absolute abdication of every personal advantage
Atty. Jose Balbuena, member of COMELECs legal department, filed a conflicting in any way , directly or indirectly , with the interest of his
motion for reconsideration. He cited a case entitled: Alberto Naldeza vs client. In this case, respondent miserably failed to measure up to the
Judge Juan Lavilles, Jr., A.M No. MTJ-94-1009, March 5, 1996 (245 SCRA exacting standard expected of him.
286). According to Atty. Balbuena, in the said case he cited, the Supreme In view of the foregoing, He is SUSPENDED from the practice of law
Court has already settled the issue and Atty. Balbuena even copied in toto for 1 year with a stern warning that a repetition ofthe same or
the said ruling by the Supreme Court in his motion. similar acts shall be dealt with more severely .
ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Tomas Noynay is correct in dismissing the
Counsel for petitioner beg the indulgence of this Honorable Court in asking
HELD: No. The Supreme Court admonished Judge Noynay for dismissing for the extraordinary relief of seeking a declaration of mistrial of the libel
the case as the same was contrary to Section 32 of B.P. 129 as well as case tried in the lower court through the special civil action for certiorari as
Section 268 of the Omnibus Election Code. they were impelled by their conviction that petitioner performed a moral
Section 268 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that election cases and legal obligation in writing the letter which was the basis for libel, as
are within the jurisdiction of the regional trial courts except certain cases she did, which disclosed the price fixing and price rigging of oil products by
(which were not the cases filed by COMELEC in this case). the private complainant, Mr. Marieto Tan, for his private benefit (in Criminal
Case No. 85-49, RTC-Ozamiz City).
Section 32 of B.P. 129, on the other hand, provides that as a
rule, Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit While counsel for petitioner are aware that their first bounden duty as
Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over offenses punishable officers of the Court is to honor and follow Court rules issued for the
with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount orderly and efficient administration of justice (Banogon vs. Zerna, 154
of fine EXCEPT otherwise provided by special law. The Omnibus Election SCRA 593; Toledo vs. Burgos, 168 SCRA 513), they are equally burdened
Code is a special law which provides that election offenses, regardless of by their foremost obligation to prevent any miscarriage of justice in
penalties, are under the jurisdiction of the regional trial courts. accordance with their convictions. Herein counsel had perused the
Judge Noynay was not able to follow these rules. It is a judges duty to be available pleadings and court processes in the libel against petitioner, and
studious of the principles of law, to administer his office with due regard to were fully convinced thereof and impelled by their desire to legally assist
the integrity of the system of the law itself, to be faithful to the law, and to the latter to substantiate her innocence for the crime of libel. If they had
maintain professional competence. overstretched the parameters of the conduct required of lawyers in trying
to protect their client's liberty by resorting to this judicial process
On the other hand, Atty. Balbuena is also admonished for being reckless in
of certiorari, herein counsel had acted in good faith and beg the kind
citing cases. The Supreme Court said that the passage cited by Balbuena
indulgence of this Honorable Court for such action.
in his Motion was not the actual decision of the Supreme Court in the said
case cited but rather the memorandum of the court administrator which
Contrary to the representations of the Office of the Solicitor General,
was quoted in the said case. Further, his citation of Naldeza vs Lavilles,
herein counsel were candid in the presentation of the factual and
Jr. was wrong. Not only did he spell Naldeza wrong (as the correct
procedural antecedents based on pleadings given to them by their client.
spelling was NALDOZA), he also cited the wrong SCRA. It should have
Counsel disclosed in the petition in page 10 thereof that there is already an
been 254 SCRA 286 and not 245 SCRA 286.
Entry of Judgment in Criminal Case No. 85-49.
Balbuena is reminded of Rule 10.02, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which requires that a lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or Herein counsel similarly disclosed that -
misrepresent the text of a decision or authority.
"Moreover, up to this date, Atty. Pactolin refused to surrender the records
BARNACHEA VS QUICHO of the aforementioned case, so that accused-petitioner experienced
extreme difficulties in filing the instant petition. And consequently,
FACTS: accused-petitioner stands helpless in determining the material dates of
Barnachea filed a complaint for breachof lawyerclient relations against receipt of all orders, judgments, and other processes of the trial court,
respondent Atty . Edwin T . Quiocho. Complainant engaged the legal Court of Appeals, and that of this Honorable Court, all of which were
services of respondent for the latter to cause the transfer under her addressed to Atty. Rodolfo Pactolin. xxx"
name of the title over a property previously owned by her sister ,
Lutgarda Amor D. Barnachea. However , despite the lapse of almost Hence, it could not be stated that herein counsel misrepresented on the
two months, respondent failed to secure title over the property in favor procedural antecedents in this case.
of complainant. The latter demanded that respondent refund to her the
amount of P41,280.00 and return the documents which she earlier Rather, when counsel did institute the present petition, they were invoking
entrusted to him. Complainant received a letter from respondent the equity jurisdiction of this Honorable Court such that procedural rules be
informing her that he had failed to cause the transfer of the set aside to serve the ends of justice, as the liberty of a person is at stake.
property under her name and that he was returning the documents
and title she had entrusted to him and refunding to her the amount As officers of the court, lawyers have a responsibility to assist in the proper
of P41,280.00. Respondent told complainant that he needed more administration of justice. They do not discharge this duty by filing pointless
time to fund the check. However, respondent failed to fund the check petitions that only add to the workload of the judiciary, especially this
despite the demands of complainant. Court, which is burdened enough as it is. A judicious study of the facts and
law should advise them when a case, such as this, should not be permitted
ISSUE: WON respondent is guilty of violation of the Code of Professional to be filed to merely clutter the already congested judicial dockets. They
Responsibility. do not advance the cause of law or their clients by commencing litigations
RULING: YES. that for sheer lack of merit do not deserve the attention of the courts.
A lawyer is obliged to hold in trust money or property of his client
that may come to his possession. He is a trustee to said funds and While lawyers owe entire devotion to the interest of their clients, warm zeal
property. He is to keep the funds of his client separate and apart in the maintenance and defense of their rights, and the exertion of their
from his own and those of others kept by him. Money entrusted to utmost learning and ability, to the end that nothing be taken away or be
a lawyer for a specific purpose such as for the registration of a withheld from them, save by the rules of law legally applied (Canon 15,
deed with the Register of Deeds and for expenses and fees for the Canons of Professional Ethics), they should not forget that they are
transfer of title over real property under the name of his client if not officers of the court, bound to exert every effort and placed under duty, to
utilized, must be returned immediately to his client upon demand therefor . assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice (Canon 12,
The lawyers failure to return the money of his client upon demand Canons of Professional Responsibility). They should not, therefore, misuse
gave rise to a presumption that he has misappropriated said money the rules of procedure to defeat the ends of justice (Rule 10.03, Canon 10,
Id.) or unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or misuse Atty. Sangco is entitled to his opinion, but not to a license to insult the
court processes (Rule 12.04, Canon 12, Id.). Court with derogatory statements and recourses to argumenta ad
hominem . In that event, it is the Court's duty "to act to preserve the honor
BUENASEDA V. FLAVIER and dignity . . . and to safeguard the morals and ethics of the legal
In 1992, the NCMH Nurses Association (NCMH) filed a case of graft and
corruption against Dr. Brigida Buenaseda and several other government
The Court in their "show-cause" Resolution, they sought to hold Atty.
officials of the Department of Health (DOH). The Ombudsman (then
Sangco in contempt, specifically, for resort to insulting language amounting
Conrado Vasquez), ordered the suspension of Buenaseda et al. The
to disrespect toward the Court within the meaning of Section 1, of Rule 71,
suspension was carried on by then DOH Secretary Juan Flavier, being the
of the Rules of Court. Clearly, however, his act also constitutes malpractice
officer in charge over Buenaseda et al. Buenaseda et al then filed with the
as the term is defined by Canon 11 of the Code
Supreme Court a petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus,
of Professional Responsibility.
questioning the suspension order. NCMH submitted its Comment on the
Petition where they attached a Motion for Disbarment against the lawyers
of Buenaseda et al.
On November 5, 1999, petitioner, now represented by Atty. Caneda, Jr.,
Allegedly, the lawyers of Buenaseda et al advised them not to obey the filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the October 7, 1999 decision. When
suspension order, which is a lawful order from a duly constituted authority. the RTCdenied the motion,6 petitioner through his new lawyer filed a
NCMH maintains that such advice from the lawyers constitute a violation Notice of Appeal on November 5, 1999. On February 8, 2000, the RTC
against the Code of Professional Responsibility. issued an Order denying the Notice of Appeal on the ground that the
The Solicitor General, commenting on the case, agreed with Buenasedas reglementary period had
lawyers as he maintained that all the Ombudsman can do is to recommend already expired on November 4, 1999, or one day before petitioner filed
suspensions not impose them. The Sol-Gen based his argument on his Notice of Appeal, considering that the Registry Return Card showed
Section 13 (3) of the 1987 Constitution which provides that the Office of that Atty. Ronald Javier received a copy of the decision on October 20,
the Ombudsman shall have inter alia the power, function, and duty to: 1999. The decision having become final and executory, upon motion by
the Bank, the RTC ordered the issuance of a Writ of Execution against
Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public petitioner.On March 6, 2000, petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari,
official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, Prohibition andMandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with the
demotion, fine, censure or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith. Court of Appeals toassail the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration and
ISSUES: Whether or not the Ombudsman has the power to suspend the Notice of Appealand the granting of the issuance of a Writ of
government officials. Whether or not a Motion for Disbarment may be filed Execution. Petitioner claims that he should not be bound by the receipt of
in a special civil action. the decision by Atty. Javier who was no longer his counsel when the latter
received the decision Moreover, under Section 26 of Rule 138 of the Rules
HELD: Yes, the Ombudsman may impose suspension orders. The of Court, an attorney may withdraw his representation by written consent
Supreme Court clarifies that what the Ombudsman issued is an order of of his client filed in court. Otherwise, notice and hearing on the withdrawal
preventive suspension pending the resolution of the case or investigation are necessary. Therefore, even if Atty. Javier had already written a letter to
thereof. It is not imposing suspension as a penalty (not punitive petitioner withdrawing hisservices as counsel, it did not become effective
suspension). What the Constitution contemplates that the Ombudsman until after the submission bypetitioner of the letter officially terminating Atty.
may recommend are punitive suspensions. Javiers services on October
Anent the issue of the Motion for Disbarment filed with the Ombudsman, 29, 1999. In fact, petitioner even stated in the letter that his termination
the same is not proper. It cannot be filed in this special civil action which is ofAtty. Javiers services was effective only beginning October 29, 1999.
confined to questions of jurisdiction or abuse of discretion for the purpose Thisconstitutes an admission by petitioner that when Atty. Javier received
of relieving persons from the arbitrary acts of judges and quasi-judicial thedecision, he was still considered by petitioner as his counsel.Petitioner
officers. There is a set of procedure for the discipline of members of the also argues that he should not be bound by the acts of Atty. Javierwhom
bar separate and apart from the present special civil action. However, the he claimed was grossly negligent in the handling of his case, even tothe
lawyers of Buenaseda were reminded not be carried away in espousing extent of calling him incompetent or that his actions were intentionally
their clients cause. The language of a lawyer, both oral or written, must be done. This argument has already been discredited as Atty.
respectful and restrained in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession Javier wasabsolved of all negligence in connection with the case by the
and with his behavioral attitude toward his brethren in the profession. Integrated Bar ofthe Philippines (IBP), after conducting an investigation
upon a complaint filed by petitioner himself. The IBP furnished this Court a
SANGALANG V. IAC. copy of the resolutiondismissing the complaint which the Court noted in a
FACTS: Resolution dated May 8,2002 and thereafter the Court declared the
The incident before the Court refers to charges for contempt against Atty. case closed and terminated.Considering that petitioners contention is that
J. Cezar Sangco, counsel for the petitioners Spouses Jose and Lutgarda he should not be made to sufferthe consequences of his counsels
Sangalang. negligence, his argument has no leg tostand on since Atty. Javier was
declared not negligent in the first place.Petitioners particular attack
On February 2, 1989, the Court issued a Resolution, requiring, among against an RTC Judge is a serious accusationthat erodes trust and
other things, Atty. Sangco to show cause why he should not be punished confidence in our judicial system. This Court will nothesitate to sanction
for contempt "for using intemperate and accusatory language." On March persons who recklessly and nonchalantly impute illmotives that
2, 1989, Atty. Sangco filed an explanation. are nothing more than unfounded speculations. The
above"suspicious" circumstances enumerated, whether taken
The Court finds Atty. Sangco's remarks in his motion for reconsideration, together orseparately, are plainly unjustified as they fail to even
particularly, . . . The Court not only put to serious question its own integrity remotely show theexistence of a grand conspiracy against petitioner. For
and competence but also jeopardized its own campaign against graft and all their derogatoryimplication, they are clearly unsubstantiated and
corruption undeniably pervading the judiciary . . . disparaging, disrespectful to a member ofthe Bench. The Court is also dismayed that
intemperate, and uncalled-for. His suggestions that the Court might have such baseless attacks were assisted bycounsel, who is an officer of the
been guilty of graft and corruption in acting on these cases are not only court. Under Canon 11 of the Code ofProfessional Responsibility, A
unbecoming, but comes, as well, as an open assault upon the Court's LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAINTAINRESPECT DUE TO THE
honor and integrity. COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS. Inparticular, he shall not
attribute to a judge motives not supported by therecords or by evidence. A
Issue: Whether or not the counsels act constitutes malpractice in violation lawyer should submit grievances against a Judge tothe proper authorities
of the Codes (CPR) provision on the use of scandalousoffensive or only. Atty. Caneda, Jr. should have known better than topermit the
menacing language or behavior before the courts. irresponsible and unsupported claim against Judge Abrogar to beincluded
in the pleadings. Allowing such statements to be made is against alawyers
Held: In rendering its judgment, the Court yielded to the records before it, oath of office and goes against the Code of
and to the records alone, and not to outside influences, much less, the ProfessionalResponsibility. Petitioner Jimmy T. Go and Atty. Gregorio D.
influence of any of the parties. Atty. Sangco, as aformer judge of an inferior Caneda, Jr. areSTRICTLY WARNED not to make disrespectful statements
court, should know better that in any litigation, one party prevails, but his against a Judge
success will not justify indictments of bribery by the other party. He should
be aware that because of his accusations, he has done an enormous
disservice to the integrity of the highest tribunal and to the stability of
theadministration of justice in general.
Maceda v. Vasquez
Facts: filed an information in the Court of First Instance of that province against
the said Leoncio Ballena, charging him with the crime of subornation of
Petitioner Bonifacio Sanz Maceda, Presiding Judge of Branch 12 perjury.
of the Regional Trial Court of Antique, seeks the review of the following
orders of the Office of the Ombudsman: (1) the Order dated September Upon this complaint the defendant was duly tried, found guilty, and
18, 1991 denying the ex-parte motion to refer to the Supreme Court filed sentenced to six months' imprisonment, to pay a fine of P500, to the
by petitioner; and (2) the Order dated November 22, 1951 denying corresponding subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, to the
petitioners motion for reconsideration and directing petitioner to file his accessory penalties provided for by law, and to pay the costs. From this
counter-affidavit and other controverting evidences. sentence and judgment the defendant appealed, and now insists that the
testimony given by Estefania Barruga in that perjury case was immaterial
In his affidavit-complaint dated April 18, 1991 filed before the to the issues involved therein. If this contention be true, the defendant is
Office of the Ombudsman, respondent Napoleon A. Abiera of the Public not guilty.
Attorneys Office alleged that petitioner had falsified his Certificate of
Service 1 dated February 6, 1989, by certifying that all civil and criminal There are certain well-defined and indispensable requisites which must
cases which have been submitted for decision or determination for a be established in every case of subornation of perjury before an accused
period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before January person, charged with the commission of this crime, can be convicted.
31, 1998, when in truth and in fact, petitioner knew that no decision had Every essential element constituting the crime of perjury must be
been rendered in five (5) civil and ten (10) criminal cases that have been established by competent testimony. The prosecution must show the
submitted for decision. Respondent Abiera further alleged that petitioner nature of the proceedings in which the alleged perjury was committed, the
similarly falsified his certificates of service for the months of February, court, or officer, in which, or before whom, the false oath was taken; that
April, May, June, July and August, all in 1989; and the months beginning the witness was duly sworn; that the testimony was material, and false;
January up to September 1990, or for a total of seventeen (17) months. that the defendant knowingly and willfully procured another to swear
falsely, and that the witness suborned did testify under circumstances
On the other hand, petitioner contends that he had been rendering him guilty of perjury.
granted by the Supreme Court an extension of ninety (90) days to decide
the aforementioned cases. In the case at bar the record shows beyond any question of a doubt that
the witness Barruga, after being duly sworn, did knowingly and willfully
Issue: testify falsely in a criminal case before a duly constituted tribunal; that this
witness so testified at the instigation of the defendant Ballena; and that
whether the Office of the Ombudsman could entertain a criminal the defendant knew that the testimony given by the witness Barruga
complaint for the alleged falsification of a judges certification submitted to was false. The witness so informed the defendant. Notwithstanding this
the Supreme Court, and assuming that it can, whether a referral should be information, the defendant strongly insisted that by the witness Barruga
made first to the Supreme Court testifying that the fiscal committed those acts would be the only way to
save her daughter from imprisonment. The defendant not. only knowingly
Held: and willfully induced this witness to swear falsely, but he did so
maliciously, as it appears from the record that he was an enemy of the
In the absence of any administrative action taken against him by fiscal at that time, the fiscal having prosecuted him previous to this trial.
the Supreme Court with regard to his certificates of service, the So the only question to be determined is, as we have said, Was the
investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the testimony of Barruga material to the issues involved in that criminal case
Courts power of administrative supervision over all courts and its against her daughter for perjury? Materiality is an essential element in the
personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers. crime of perjury. (U. S. vs. Estrafia, 16 Phil. Rep., 520.) It, therefore,
necessarily follows that materiality is likewise an indispensable requisite in
Article VIII, section 6 of the 1987 Constitution exclusively vests the crime of subornation of perjury, as the latter is derived from the former.
in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and court
personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals down to the "The term 'material matter' means the main fact which was the subject of
lowest municipal trial court clerk. By virtue of this power, it is only the the inquiry, or any circumstance which tends to prove that fact, or any fact,
Supreme Court that can oversee the judges and court personnels or circumstance, which tends to corroborate or strengthen the testimony
compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative action against relative to such inquiry, or which legitimately affects the credit of any
them if they commit any violation thereof. No other branch of government witness who testifies," (Quoted with approval in U. S. vs. Estrana, supra.)
may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of In the criminal case in which the witness Barruga gave that false
separation of powers. testimony, the main question involved was whether or not Ana Ramirez
testified before the provincial fiscal that her husband died as a result of
US V. BALLENA the blows inflicted by Ciriaco Pellejera, as she had testified in the trial of
On the 21st of September, 1909, there was tried in the Court of First the case against Pellejera that she did not so testify before the fiscal. It is
Instance of the subprovince of Masbate criminal case No. 163, entitled clear that the false testimony of Ana Ramirez against Pellejera was
"United States vs. Ana Ramirez," in which the defendant was charged with material. In the trial of the case against Ana for perjury there was
the crime of perjury. The basis of this prosecution was the false presented a question of fact as to whether or not Ana testified, under
testimony given by the defendant in a certain criminal case tried in that oath, before the fiscal in that investigation that her husband did in fact die
court wherein one Ciriaco Pellejera was defendant, charged with homicide, as a result of the wounds inflicted by Pellejera. The court found this to be
in that the said Pellejera did, by means of blows, cause the death of the true. It was important to know whether or not the fiscal, at the time Ana
husband of Ana Ramirez. In this homicide case Ana Ramirez was called testified before him, attempted to rape her or asked her mother for
as a witness, and, after being duly sworn, testified that her husband died permission to marry her. If the fiscal had committed these acts they
of fever and that during his illness, which lasted more than two weeks, would have constituted a strong circumstance showing the innocence of
she observed no contusions or other injuries on his body. She denied Ana. The fiscal was the moving party in the perjury case and it was upon
having testified under oath before the provincial fiscal in the town of his sworn complaint that Ana was prosecuted. If he should have
Dimasalang, contrary to her testimony in this case, and she also denied attempted to prosecute Ana after having committed these acts the court
having been in the house of one Jose Largo for the purpose of testifying would not only have disbelieved the fiscal, testifying as a witness, but it
with reference to the death of her husband. Whereas, as a matter of fact, would have looked upon the whole prosecution as a fabrication.
she did testify, under oath, before the said fiscal, in that town, that her
husband died as a direct result of the blows inflicted by Pellejera and that
his death occurred within three days after having received these blows.
Ana Ramirez was found guilty as charged and sentenced accordingly.

In the trial of this perjury case one Estefania Barruga, mother of the
defendant Ana, was a witness for the defendant, and at the instigation of
one Leoncio Ballena she testified that the fiscal, Senor Bailon, at the time
he was in Dimasalang making the investigation into the cause of the death
of Ana's husband, attempted to rape her daughter Ana, and,asked for the
hand of the girl in marriage, but she did not desire to accept this
proposition of the fiscal because he was a married man.

Subsequently thereto, and on the 29th of September, 1909, the fiscal

a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila Also, with the complaint he filed, the most basic tenet of the system of
FACTS government separation of power - has been lost. He should know that
- Defendant-appellant, Uy Teng Piao, was sued by PNB for non payment not even the President of the Philippines can pass judgment on any of the
of obligations at the CFI of Manila and said court rendered judgment in Courts acts.
favor of PNB on September 9, 1934 for the sum of P17,232.42 with
interest of seven percent per annum from June 1,1924. The court ordered Blanza v. Arcangel
the defendant appellant to deposit the money due with the clerk of the FACTS:
court within three months from thedate of judgment. In case of failure to Atty. Agustin Arcangel, respondent, volunteered to help Olegaria Blanza
pay, the mortgage properties should be sold at auction in accordance with and Maria Passion, complainants, in their respective pension claims in
law and theproceeds to be applied to the payment of the judgment.- The connection with the deaths of their husbands, both P.C. soldiers, and for
defendant failed to comply with the payment order and the properties were this purpose, they handed over to him the pertinent documents and also
auctioned by the sheriff of Manila for a total of P1,300 with PNB as the affixed their signatures on blank papers. But subsequently, they noticed
buyer.- that since then, respondent had lost interest in the progress of their claims
On February 11, 1925, PNB secured from defendant a waiver of the and refused to surrender the papers when asked by the complainants six
latters right to redeem one of the proper years later.
ties described as TCTno. 8274 and thereafter sold the same to one ISSUE:
Mariano Santos for P8,600.- The other property, TCT No. 7264 was WON the respondent be reprimanded for professional non-feasance.
likewise resold and the proceeds was credited to the account of Uy. The RULING:
total amountgenerated with the resale of the lots amonted to P 11, 300.- No. The Court found the evidence adduced insufficient to warrant the
On August 1, 1930, PNB instituted another court action for the recover of taking of disciplinary action against respondent. But the Court cannot but
the balance of the judgment amounting to P11,574.38with interest at seven counsel against his actuations as a member of the Bar. A lawyer has a
percent per annum.- The defendant claimed that in exchange for his more dynamic and positive role in the community than merely complying
waiver of his right to redeem the first property resold by PNB, the bank with the minimal technicalities of the statute. As a man of the law, he is
would notcollect from him the balance of the judgment.- The CFI ruled that necessarily a leader of the community, looked up to as a model citizen. His
there was in fact a condonation made by the bank through one of its conduct must, perforce, be par excellence, especially so when, as in this
officer, a certain Mr. Pecson.- Hence this appeal case, he volunteers his professional services.
1. WON PNB condoned the balance of the judgment2.

WON a lawyer can appear as both counsel and witness in the same case
1. No. There was no evidence presented except the uncertain testimony of
the defendant, that the bank did in fact agree to thecondonation. Even if
the SC grants that Mr. Pecson did agree to the condonation, there is not
evidence presented that Mr. Pecsonwas authorized by the bank through its
board of directors or persons authorized by the said board to bind the bank
to theagreement.2. Yes (No). The SC held that the appearance of a lawyer
as both counsel and witness in a trial is not strictly prohibited. The
SChowever stated that it would be preferable if the lawyer in this case can
appear only as one or the other. In other words, if they areto testify as
required by the case, they should withdraw from the active management of
the case. This is embodied in Canon 19 of the Code of Legal Ethics.

MAGSALANG V. PEOPLE: Khalyxto Maglasang was convicted in the

court in San Carlos, Negros Occidental. His counsel, Atty. Castellano, filed
for a petition for certiorari through registered mail. Due to non-compliance
with the requirements, the court dismissed the petition and a motion for
reconsideration. Atty. Castellano then sent a complaint to the Office of the
President where he accused the five justices of the 2nd division, with
biases and ignorance of the law or knowingly rendering unjust judgments.
He accused the court of sabotaging the Aquinoadministration for being
Marcos appointees, and robbing the Filipino people genuine justice and
democracy. He also said that the SC is doing this to protect the judge who
was impleaded in the petition and for money reasons. He alleges further
that the court is too expensive to be reached by ordinary men. The court is
also inconsiderate and overly strict and meticulous. When asked to show
cause why he should not be cited in contempt, Castellano said that the
complaint was constructive criticism intended to correct in good faith the
erroneous and very strict practices of the justices concerned. He also said
that the justices have no jurisdiction over his act and that they should just
answer the complaint. The SC found him guilty of contempt and improper
conduct and ordered to pay P1, 000 or imprisonment of 15 days, and to
suffer six months suspension.

Issue: Whether or not the Atty. Castellanos acts constitute a violation of

the provisions of the Code of ProfessionalResponsibility.

Held: Yes. The court found his comments scurrilous and contumacious.
He went beyond the bounds of constructive criticism. What he said are not
relevant to the cause of his client. They cast aspersion on the Courts
integrity as a neutral and final arbiter of all justiciable controversies before

The explanation of Castellano in his negligence in the filing of the petition

for certiorari did not render his negligence excusable. It is clear that the
case was lost not by the alleged injustices Castellanoirresponsibly
ascribed to the members of the Court, but his inexcusable negligence and

As an officer of the court, he should have known better than to smear the
honor and integrity of the Court just to keep the confidence of his client.