You are on page 1of 30

(63) PNB vs (Atty.

) Cedo
1. Philippine National Bank charged respondent Atty. Telesforo S. Cedo, former Asst.
Vice-President of the Asset Management Group of complainant bank, with violation of
Canon 6, Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
2. In 1995, PNB was a GOCC and therefore its employee-lawyers are governed by the
CPR and the Civil Service Commision.
3. Respondent-lawyer, Atty. Telesforo S. Cedo, was a former Asst. Vice-President of the
Asset Management Group (employee) of the PNB.
4. Respondent-lawyer became part of the private law firm and engaged in private practice
after he left PNB.
5. During his employment with the PNB, the respondent lawyer engaged himself in the ff.
a. In arranging the sale of steels sheets in favor of Milagros Ong Sy.
i. His law firm also defended Mrs. Ong Siy when PNB sued her in a civil
ii. The respondent lawyer admitted that he appeared as counsel for Mrs.
Ong Siy but only with respect to the execution pending appeal of the RTC
decision. He alleged that he did not participate in the litigation of the case
before the trial court.
iii. SC: During the investigation conducted by the IBP, it was discovered that
respondent was previously fined by this Court in the amount of P1,000.00
in connection with G.R. No. 94456 entitled "Milagros Ong Siy vs. Hon.
Salvador Tensuan, et al." for forum shopping, where respondent
appeared as counsel for petitioner Milagros Ong Siy "through the
law firm of Cedo Ferrer Maynigo and Associates."
b. The respondent lawyer, during his employment with the PNB, violated the bank
rules by ordering another employee (Mr. Emmanuel Elefan)-the gatekeeper to
release steel sheet to Mrs. Ong Siy.
i. After his employment, he defended the employee as a defense counsel in
an admin case for GRAVE MISCONDUCT and DISHONESTY but he was
disqualified by the CSC.
c. During his employment, he made the demand letter to collect the loan account of
Spouses Almeda.
i. After his employment, his law firm ("Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo & Associates";
the respondent lawyer is a Senior Partner thereof), was the defense
counsel for the same Spouses Almeda when PNB later sued them.
ii. The respondent lawyer alleged that he never appeared as counsel for
them. He contended that while the law firm "Cedo, Ferrer, Maynigo &
Associates" is designated as counsel of record, the case is actually
handled only by Atty. Pedro Ferrer.
iii. Respondent averred that he did not enter into a general partnership with
Atty. Pedro Ferrer nor with the other lawyers named therein. They are
only using the aforesaid name to designate a law firm maintained by
lawyers, who although not partners, maintain one office as well as one
clerical and supporting staff. Each one of them handles their own cases
independently and individually receives the revenues therefrom which are
not shared among them.
iv. SC: In the light of the attestation of complainant's counsel, Atty. Pedro
Singson, that in one of the hearings of the Almeda spouses' case,
respondent attended the same with his partner Atty. Ferrer, and although
he did not enter his appearance, he was practically dictating to Atty.
Ferrer what to say and argue before the court.
v. SC: Furthermore, during the hearing of the application for a writ of
injunction in the same case, respondent impliedly admitted being the
partner of Atty. Ferrer, when it was made of record that respondent
was working in the same office as Atty. Ferrer.
6. IBP found that he violated CPR 6.03 and CPR 15.02 and recommended a 3-year
7. IBP-BOG affirmed this.
1. Is he of violating CPR 6.03 and CPR 15.02
1. Yes. For CPR 15.02 - Moreover, the IBP noted that assuming the alleged set-up of the
firm is true, it is in itself a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility (Rule
15.02) since the client’s secrets and confidential records and information are exposed to
the other lawyers and staff members at all times.
2. For CPR 6.03 - It is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests, except by express
conflicting consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. Within the
meaning of this canon, a lawyer represents conflicting interest when, in behalf on one
client, it is his duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires him to
3. Suspended for 3 years.

Rules violated:
1. Rule 6.03. "A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said
(64) Quiambao vs (Atty.) Bamba
1. This is an administrative case for disbarment, complainant Felicitas S. Quiambao
charges respondent Atty. Nestor A. Bamba with violation of the Code of Professional
Responsibility for representing conflicting interests when the latter filed a case
against her while he was at that time representing her in another case, and for
committing other acts of disloyalty and double-dealing.
a. Complainant is the president and managing director of Allied Investigation
Bureau (AIB), a security and investigation agency - the one that provides security
guards and collectors for credit / loan businesses. AIB is a family corporation of
the complainant.
b. The respondent lawyer is the legal counsel for AIB, as well as the lawyer of the
complainant for her personal cases.
c. One of the personal cases of the complainant handled by the respondent lawyer
is the ejectment case the complainant filed against Spouses Santiago and Florita
d. The complainant resigned as president from AIB.
e. After the complainant resigned, the respondent lawyer, on behalf of AIB, filed a
complaint for replevin (a procedure whereby seized goods may be provisionally
restored to their owner pending the outcome of an action to determine the rights
of the parties concerned) and damages, against the complainant for the
recovery of the car assigned to the complainant as her service vehicle.
f. The respondent lawyer filed this complaint on behalf of the AIB without
withdrawing himself as counsel of record from the pending personal case
of the complainant (ejectment case).
i. Admitted that he represented the complainant in the aforementioned
ejectment case and later represented AIB in the replevin case against
ii. He, however, denies that he was the "personal lawyer" of the
complainant, and avers that he was made to believe that it was part of
his function as counsel for AIB to handle even the "personal cases"
of its officers.
iii. Even assuming that the complainant confided to him privileged
information about her legal interests, the ejectment case and the replevin
case are unrelated cases involving different issues and parties and,
therefore, the privileged information which might have been
gathered from one case would have no use in the other.
iv. At any rate, it was the complainant herself who insisted that he stay as
her counsel despite the perceived differences among her, her brother, and
AIB over the motor vehicle subject of the replevin case. The complainant
even asked him to assist her in her monetary claims against AIB.
a. The respondent lawyer convinced the complainant to resign as president and
form her own security agency Quambiao Risk Management Specialists, Inc
b. The QRMSI was registered under the name of the complainant, with the
respondent lawyer as silent partner - represented by Atty. Gerardo P. Hernandez.
i. RESPONDENT LAWYER. Denied. He declined complainant's offer to
assume that role and suggested Atty. Hernandez in his place.
c. While serving as legal counsel for AIB and a "silent partner" of QRMSI, he
convinced complainant's brother Leodegario Quiambao to organize another
security agency, San Esteban Security Services, Inc. (SESSI), where the
respondent lawyer served as the incorporator, director, and president. The
respondent and Leodegario then illegally diverted the funds of AIB to fund the
incorporation of SESSI, and likewise planned to eventually close down the
operations of AIB and transfer the business to SESSI.
1. It was to complement the business of AIB, which was then in
danger of collapse, that SESSI was established.
2. Leodegario's wife and her son have the effective control over
3. Respondent's subscribed shareholdings in SESSI comprise only
800 shares out of 12,500 subscribed shares.
4. He serves AIB and SESSI in different capacities: as legal
counsel of the former and as president of the latter.
4. IBP-CBD recommended that the respondent lawyer be SUSPENDED FOR 1 YEAR.
5. IBP-BOG AFFIRMED the recommendation of the IBP-CBD with MODIFICATIONS -
instead of 1 year penalty, it was reduced to a stern reprimand.

1. Was there a violation of CPR 15.03 and CPR 1.02? YES.

1. Yes. For CPR 15.03 - Rule 15.03, Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides: A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of
all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. This prohibition is founded on
principles of public policy and good taste.[8] In the course of a lawyer-client relationship,
the lawyer learns all the facts connected with the clients case, including the weak and
strong points of the case. The nature of that relationship is, therefore, one of trust and
confidence of the highest degree.[9] It behooves lawyers not only to keep inviolate the
clients confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing for
only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of
paramount importance in the administration of justice.[10]
2. In broad terms, lawyers are deemed to represent conflicting interests when, in behalf of
one client, it is their duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires them to
oppose.[11] Developments in jurisprudence have particularized various tests to
determine whether a lawyers conduct lies within this proscription.
3. 3 TESTS.
a. One test is whether a lawyer is duty-bound to fight for an issue or claim in behalf
of one client and, at the same time, to oppose that claim for the other client.[12]
Thus, if a lawyers argument for one client has to be opposed by that same lawyer
in arguing for the other client, there is a violation of the rule.
b. Another test of inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new
relation would prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of undivided fidelity
and loyalty to the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in
the performance of that duty.
c. Still another test is whether the lawyer would be called upon in the new relation
to use against a former client any confidential information acquired through their
connection or previous employment.[14]
4. 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.
5. His representation of opposing clients in both cases, though unrelated,
obviously constitutes conflict of interest or, at the least, invites suspicion
of double-dealing. While the respondent may assert that the complainant
expressly consented to his continued representation in the ejectment case,
the respondent failed to show that he fully disclosed the facts to both his
clients and he failed to present any written consent of the complainant and
AIB as required under Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
6. Neither can we accept respondent's plea that he was duty-bound to handle
all the cases referred to him by AIB, including the personal cases of its
officers which had no connection to its corporate affairs. That the
good faith and
representation of conflicting interest is in

with honest intention on the part of

the lawyer does not make the
prohibition inoperative. 16 Moreover, lawyers are
not obliged to act either as an adviser or advocate for every person who
may wish to become their client. They have the right to decline such
employment, subject, however, to Canon 14 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. 17 Although there are instances where lawyers cannot
decline representation, 18 they cannot be made to labor under conflict of
interest between a present client and a prospective one.
7. While the complainant lacks personality to question the alleged conflict of interests on
the part of the respondent in serving both security agencies, we cannot just turn a blind
eye to respondent's act. It must be noted that the proscription against
representation of conflicting interests finds application where the
conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter however
slight the adverse interest may be. It applies even if the conflict pertains to
the lawyer's private activity or in the performance of a function in a
non-professional capacity. 23 In the process of determining whether there
is a conflict of interest, an important criterion is probability, not certainty, of
8. For 1.02 In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the property relation of Leodegario
and his wife can be presumed to be that of conjugal partnership of gains; hence, the
majority shares in AIB and SESSI are the conjugal property of Leodegario and his wife,
thereby placing themselves in possession of an interest in more than one security
agency in contravention of R.A. No. 5487. Thus, in organizing SESSI, the respondent
violated Rule 1.02, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates
lawyers to promote respect for the law and refrain from counseling or abetting activities
aimed at defiance of the law.
(65) Dr. Lee vs (Atty.) Simando
1. Respondent lawyer is the retained counsel of complainant for the amount of 3k PHP
monthly fee.
2. Respondent lawyer informed the complainant that he has another client who is meant to
receive an Informer’s Reward from the Bureau of Customs - Mejorado but is in need of a
3. Complainant initially refused but due to the persistence and assurances of
respondent-lawyer - saying words like ‘ipahamak ba kita, kliyente kita’ and “Sigurado
ito, kung gusto mo, gagarantiyahan ko pa ito, at pipirma din ako”, she eventually loaned
Mejorada 1.4M with respondent-lawyer as co-maker.
4. Mejorada failed to pay the loan and complainant asked respondent-lawyer for filing a
legal action against Mejorada - to which respondent lawyer refused ang gave
5. Complainant pointed out that respondent-lawyer was also a co-maker to which he simply
replied “Di kasuhan din ninyo ako!”
6. Complainant terminated her lawyer-client relationship and filed a disbarment case
against respondent lawyer.
7. Respondent lawyer’s defense was denial - that the complainant is engaged in high
interest loans, that the contract was actually an investment and that additional money
was lent to Mejorada which novated the contract. All of which was rejected for lack of
evidence. Respondent lawyer revealed complainant’s secrets about her high interest
loan scheme in an attempt to destroy her credibility.
8. IBP found respondent lawyer guilty for violating CPR 15.03 - conflict of interest and CPR
21.01 - revelation of secrets and recommended 6 months suspension which was
affirmed by the IBP-BOG but reversed on the MR.
1. Was there a violation of CPR 15.03 and CPR 21.01
1. Yes. For CPR 15.03 - Clearly, it is improper for respondent to appear as counsel for one
party (complainant as creditor) against the adverse party (Mejorado as debtor) who is
also his client, since a lawyer is prohibited from representing conflicting interests. He
may not, without being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person
whose interest conflict with that of his present or former client.
3. Respondent's assertion that there is no conflict of interest because complainant and
respondent are his clients in unrelated cases fails to convince. His representation of
opposing clients in both cases, though unrelated, obviously constitutes conflict of interest
or, at the least, invites suspicion of double-dealing.20 Moreover, with the subject loan
agreement entered into by the complainant and Mejorado, who are both his clients,
readily shows an apparent conflict of interest, moreso when he signed as co-maker.
5. For CPR 21.01 - Finally, we likewise find respondent guilty of violating Rule 21.01 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.23 In his last-ditch effort to impeach the credibility of
complainant, he divulged informations24 which he acquired in confidence during the
existence of their lawyer-client relationship.
7. We held in Nombrado v. Hernandez25 that the termination of the relation of attorney and
client provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest adverse to or in
conflict with that of the former client. The reason for the rule is that the client’s
confidence once reposed cannot be divested by the expiration of the professional
employment. Consequently, a lawyer should not, even after the severance of the relation
with his client, do anything which will injuriously affect his former client in any matter in
which he previously represented him nor should he disclose or use any of the client's
confidences acquired in the previous relation.
(66) Santos vs (Atty.) Beltran
1. This is an administrative complaint for disbarment filed by Rogelio R. Santos, Sr.
against Atty. Rodolfo C. Beltran on the grounds of gross misconduct and
2. Respondent-lawyer is a notary public and is a former client of the complainant.
3. Complainant filed a disbarment complaint against the respondent lawyer about their
dealings on the following grounds:
a. Falsification of Public Documents - As notary public, the respondent lawyer
notarized a deed of donation where some of the complainant’s brothers could not
have signed personally because they are US citizens, that his two other brothers
did not sign it on his presence and that one of his brother’s cedula / CTO was
dated after the signing of such deed of donation.
b. Unauthorized practice of law - The respondent lawyer appeared as counsel for
the siblings of the complainant without being asked by them in that same criminal
case (Falsification of Public Documents)
c. Conflict of Interest - He represented complainant’s siblings in the settlement of
estate case but such case was in conflict with the interest of a former client who
had an adverse claim on the same subject land. In fact, the previous cases were
ejectment cases where he made the assertion that the former client indeed
owned the land.
4. Respondent lawyer replied:
a. Falsification of Public documents - his secretary caused all the parties to sign the
deed. His secretary also made a mistake on the typing of the dates instead of
August, it should really have been September. Being a US citizen does not mean
being physically impossibility of signing.
b. Unauthorized practice of law - he represented himself because he was also the
defendant in that case and he made it clear as proven in the stenographic
records that he wasn’t sure what his position on the case was.
c. Conflict of Interest - His relationship with his former client was already terminated
a long time ago.
5. IBP-CBD found him guilty of violating his notarial commision and recommended a 1 year
6. IBP-BOG changed the penalty to 2 year suspension
1. Is he guilty of the charges?
1. No for the first two charges and Yes for the charge on conflict of interest (CPR 15.03)
2. In the instant case, complainant failed to controvert the said presumption by clear and
convincing evidence. Instead, the quantum of evidence shows that complainants
siblings appeared before the respondent as notary public and in fact, signed the
deed. The claim of Renato and Benito Santos in their affidavit that they did not sign the
document in the law office of the respondent but in their houses at Villa Benita is
admissible only against them.[17] Likewise, we find the allegation of the complainant that
it was physically impossible for his siblings to sign the document untenable. The
certifications issued by the BID that the complainants siblings were absent at the time of
the execution of the Deed of Donation is not absolute. There are many ports of entry
which complainants siblings may have used in coming into the country. The possibility
that complainants siblings executed and signed the Deed is not remote. The discrepancy
in the date stamped in the Deed and the date when complainants siblings obtained their
CTCs had been substantially explained in the affidavit executed by the secretary of the
law office, Mely Lachica.
3. The allegation that respondent represented complainant in Criminal Case No. 73569
without being retained or authorized by the court is also untenable. Respondent
adequately explained his isolated appearance at one of the hearings. The transcript of
stenographic notes shows that respondent himself was in doubt as to the nature of his
appearance in the case. In entering his appearance as private prosecutor, he did not
intend to represent complainant but only to defend himself from the accusation of Benito
and Renato that he notarized the Deed of Donation in their absence. This was patent in
the transcript of stenographic notes wherein he admitted that he himself was in doubt as
to his position. We are not persuaded by complainant who tried to insinuate that it was
unethical for the respondent to represent him.
4. There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or
more opposing parties. The test is whether or not in behalf of one client, it is the lawyers
duty to fight for an issue or claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. In
brief, if he argues for one client, this argument will be opposed by him when he argues
for the other client. This rule covers not only cases in which confidential communications
have been confided, but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be
used. Also, there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will require
the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in
which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation to
use against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection. Another test
of the inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent
an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client
or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance thereof.[19]
6. In the case at bar, Civil Case No. 12105 for ejectment was filed by Arcely Y. Santos in
behalf of Erlinda Santos-Crawford against complainant and Renato Santos. Respondent,
however appeared as counsel for Evalyn Valino, Norberto Valino and Danilo Agsaway in
Civil Case No. 14823 for ejectment filed by complainant as attorney-in-fact of Erlinda
Santos-Crawford. Civil Case No. 14823, although litigated by complainant, was actually
brought in behalf of and to protect the interest of Erlinda Santos-Crawford. Respondents
act of representing the parties against whom his other client, Erlinda Santos-Crawford,
filed suit constituted conflict of interest
(67) Daging vs Davis
1. Complainant is the retainer-client of the law firm where the respondent-lawyer is a
2. Complainant is the tenant operating a Music Bar under a lease agreement.
3. While the lease agreement of was in force, another partner (friend of the
respondent-lawyer) of the law firm of the respondent-lawyer made a proposal to the
complainant for a retainership contract to which the complainant eventually agreed.
4. When the complainant was unable to pay rent, the landlord filed an ejectment case and
eventually took over the music bar.
5. It turns out that the respondent-lawyer is a business partner of the landlord and that he
represented the landlord against the tenant-complainant despite the fact that the
complainant has an existing retainership contact with the respondent-lawyer’s law office.
6. Complainant filed a disbarment case against the respondent-lawyer in the IBP
7. In his defense, respondent lawyer claimed that he had nothing to do with the retainer
contract. It was his partner in the law office who negotiated the contract and not him. He
never used any confidential information and that he already had an existing legal and
business relations with the landlord before the lease agreement.
8. IBP-CBD found him guilty for violating CPR 15.03 - conflict of interest and recommended
a penalty of 1 year suspension.
9. IBP-BOG reduced the suspension to 6 months
1. Is the respondent-lawyer guilty of violating CPR 15.03?
1. Yes. Rule 15.03 -A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
2. "A lawyer may not, without being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a
person whose interest conflicts with that of his present or former client."11 The
prohibition against representing conflicting interests is absolute and the rule applies even
if the lawyer has acted in good faith and with no intention to represent conflicting
interests.12 In Quiambao v. Atty. Bamba,13 this Court emphasized that lawyers are
expected not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence, but also to avoid the
appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to
entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of paramount importance in the
administration of justice.
3. Thus, respondent's argument that he never took advantage of any information acquired
by his law finn in the course of its professional dealings with the complainant, even
assuming it to be true, is of no moment. Undeniably aware of the fact that complainant is
a client of his law firm, respondent should have immediately informed both the
complainant and Balageo that he, as well as the other members of his law firm, cannot
represent any of them in their legal tussle; otherwise, they would be representing
conflicting interests and violate the Code of Professional Responsibility. Indeed,
respondent could have simply advised both complainant and Balageo to instead engage
the services of another lawyer.
4. Suspended for 6 months
(68) Gonzales vs Cabucana
1. Complainant is the client of the law firm of the respondent lawyer.
2. Complainant won a case in the RTC but the sheriff did not fully implement the writ of
3. Complainant filed an administrative case against the sheriff
4. Sheriff goes to complainant’s house and had an argument with the complainant.
5. Complainant filed criminal charges against the sheriff and his wife for trespass, grave
threats, grave oral defamation, simple coercion and unjust vexation.
6. A partner of the law firm, the brother of the lawyer assigned to represent complainant’s
case appeared as defense counsel for the sheriff in both the admin case and the criminal
7. Complainant filed a disbarment case against the lawyer and a further violation that the
law firm included the name of a former partner who is already in government service.
a. CPR 10.01,[1] 13.01,[2] 15.02,[3] 15.03,[4] 21.01[5] and 21.02.
b. 10.01 - misrepresentation in court, 13.01 - influencing a judge, 15.02 / 15.03 -
conflict of interest and 21.01 / 21.02 - betrayal of trust.
8. Respondent-lawyer’s defense centered around good faith, he said he could not turn
down the request of the sheriff and his wife because no other lawyer would take their
case. In fact, his representation of the sheriff was pro bono - free of charge. He alleged
that the complainant was used by a high ranking official.
9. IBP-CBD and IBP-BOG found a violation of 15.3 and recommended the penalty of
1. Was there a violation of CPR 15.03 - conflict of interest?
1. Yes. For CPR 15.03 - It is well-settled that a lawyer is barred from representing
conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of the facts.[24] Such prohibition is founded on principles of public policy and
good taste as the nature of the lawyer-client relations is one of trust and confidence of
the highest degree.[25] Lawyers are expected not only to keep inviolate the clients
confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only
then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their lawyers, which is of
paramount importance in the administration of justice.[26]
4. One of the tests of inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation
would prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to
the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance of
that duty.
5. We note the affidavit of desistance filed by Gonzales. However, we are not bound by
such desistance as the present case involves public interest.[36] Indeed, the Courts
exercise of its power to take cognizance of administrative cases against lawyers is not
for the purpose of enforcing civil remedies between parties, but to protect the court and
the public against an attorney guilty of unworthy practices in his profession.[37]
8. In similar cases where the respondent was found guilty of representing conflicting
interests a penalty ranging from one to three years suspension was imposed.[
9. Fined for 2k and STERNLY WARNED.
(69) Orola vs Ramos
1. Complainants are siblings - Josephine, Manuel, Myrna, Trinidad and Emilio
2. Trinidad died, Emilio became the administrator of the property.
3. Emilio had a deceased Son, Antonio, Maricar, the wife of Antonio and Karen, daughter of
Antonio. Karen and Maricar, daughter-in-law and grandaughter of Emilio were not in
good terms with Emilio.
4. A settlement of estate case was filed for Trinidad. 4 parties were grouped - Emilio, the
administrator, Heirs of Antonio composed of his daughter-in-law and granddaughter and
heirs of Trinidad, Emilio’s other siblings.
5. Emilio’s siblings were represented by Atty. Villa. Emilio’s daughter-in-law and
grand-daughter were represented by Atty. Arrazaga. However, since Atty. Arrazaga
could not make it to a hearing, respondent-lawyer, Atty. Ramos appeared as
collaborating counsel in his place and such appearance was pro bono - FREE.
6. After the appearance, respondent-lawyer asked to be removed from the case and was
given the consent of Maricar but not Karen
7. Thereafter, Maricar and Karen filed a motion to remove Emilio, their grandfather as
administrator of the property on grounds of mismanagement. This was granted by the
8. Respondent-lawyer, on behalf of Emilio, moved for reconsideration of that order.
9. Emilio’s daughter-in-law, granddaughter and siblings filed a disbarment case against
respondent-lawyer for violating CPR 15.03 - conflict of interest.
10. IBP recommended 1 year suspension for violation of CPR 15.03 only with regards to
Karen because Maricar already consented to respondent-lawyer’s withdrawal.
11. IBP-BOG lowered it to 6 months suspension
1. Is 15.03 violated?
1. Yes.Under the afore-cited rule, it is explicit that a lawyer is prohibited from representing
new clients whose interests oppose those of a former client in any manner, whether or
not they are parties in the same action or on totally unrelated cases. The prohibition is
founded on the principles of public policy and good taste.26 It behooves lawyers not only
to keep inviolate the client's confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery
and double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to
their lawyers, which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.27 In
Hornilla v. Salunat28 (Hornilla), the Court explained the concept of conflict of interest, to
(70) Lydia Castro-Justo vs Atty. Galing
2. The complainant, Lydia Castro-Justo, engaged the services of Atty. Galing in connection
with the dishonored checks issued by the Manila City Councilor - Arlene W. Koa (Ms.
3. The complainant paid the professional fees, and after that, the respondent lawyer then
drafted a demand letter addressed to the city councilor. The respondent lawyer also
advised the client to file a case only after the lapse of the demand letter.
4. The complainant then filed a criminal case against the city councilor for ESTAFA and
5. The complainant received a copy of a Motion for Consolidation filed by the respondent
lawyer on behalf of the city councilor
6. The respondent lawyer appeared as counsel for the city counselor before the prosecutor
of Manila.
7. Respondent denied the allegations against him. He admitted that he drafted a demand
letter for complainant but argued that it was made only in deference to their long
standing friendship and not by reason of a professional engagement as professed by
complainant. He denied receiving any professional fee for the services he rendered. It
was allegedly their understanding that complainant would have to retain the services of
another lawyer. He alleged that complainant, based on that agreement, engaged the
services of Atty. Manuel A. Año.
8. To bolster this claim, respondent pointed out that the complaint filed by complainant
against Ms. Koa for estafa and violation of B.P. Blg. 22 was based not on the demand
letter he drafted but on the demand letter prepared by Atty. Manuel A. Año.
9. Respondent claimed that it is in this light that he accommodated Ms. Koa and her
daughter's request that they be represented by him in the cases filed against them by
complainant and complainant's daughter. He maintained that the filing of the Motion
for Consolidation which is a non-adversarial pleading does not evidence the
existence of a lawyer-client relationship between him and Ms. Koa and Ms.
Torralba. Likewise, his appearance in the joint proceedings should only be construed as
an effort on his part to assume the role of a moderator or arbiter of the parties.

We are not persuaded. A lawyer-client relationship can exist notwithstanding the close
friendship between complainant and respondent. The relationship was established the moment
complainant sought legal advice from respondent regarding the dishonored checks. By drafting
the demand letter respondent further affirmed such relationship. The fact that the demand letter
was not utilized in the criminal complaint filed and that respondent was not eventually engaged
by complainant to represent her in the criminal cases is of no moment. As observed by the
Investigating Commissioner, by referring to complainant Justo as "my client" in the demand
letter sent to the defaulting debtor, 10 respondent admitted the existence of the lawyer-client
relationship. Such admission effectively estopped him from claiming otherwise.

Likewise, the non-payment of professional fee will not exculpate respondent from liability.
Absence of monetary consideration does not exempt lawyers from complying with the
prohibition against pursuing cases with conflicting interests. The prohibition attaches from the
moment the attorney-client relationship is established and extends beyond the duration of the
professional relationship. 11 We held in Burbe v. Atty. Magulta 12 that it is not necessary that
any retainer be paid, promised or charged; neither is it material that the attorney consulted did
not afterward handle the case for which his service had been sought. 13

Under Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, "[a] lawyer shall not
represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full
disclosure of the facts." Respondent was therefore bound to refrain from representing parties
with conflicting interests in a controversy. By doing so, without showing any proof that he had
obtained the written consent of the conflicting parties, respondent should be sanctioned.

The prohibition against representing conflicting interest is founded on principles of public policy
and good taste. 14 In the course of the lawyer-client relationship, the lawyer learns of the facts
connected with the client's case, including the weak and strong points of the case. The nature of
the relationship is, therefore, one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. 15

It behooves lawyers not only to keep inviolate the client's confidence, but also to avoid the
appearance of treachery and double-dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust
their secrets to their lawyers, which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice.

The excuse proffered by respondent that it was not him but Atty. Año who was eventually
engaged by complainant will not exonerate him from the clear violation of Rule 15.03 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. The take-over of a client's cause of action by another
lawyer does not give the former lawyer the right to represent the opposing party. It is not only
malpractice but also constitutes a violation of the confidence resulting from the attorney-client

SUSPENDED for 1 year.

(71) Unity Fishing vs Atty. Macalino
1. Atty. Danilo Macalino (respondent), was the lawyer of Frabal Fishing and Ice Plant
Corporation (Frabal).
2. Frabal was the owner of a parcel of land located along Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard,
Sta. Mesa, Manila which was leased to Wheels Distributors, Inc. (Wheels), an authorized
dealer of cars and motor vehicles of various make.
3. There was a dispute between Frabal and Wheels which led to a lawsuit.
4. While the lawsuit was still pending, Frabal merged with Unity Fishing Development
Corporation (petitioner), transferring all assets & liabilities of the former to the latter.
Hence, the name of the lawsuit was changed from Frabal to Unity Fishing.
5. Upon the advice of the attorney, the contract of lease between Unity Fishing and Wheels
was terminated.
6. The attorney also advised that the guarantee deposit for 2 months (PHP 50,000) be
returned to Wheels.
7. As for the guarantee deposit, the respondent lawyer volunteered that he be the one to
deposit the amount to the bank account of Wheels.
8. The lawyer then sent his representative to receive the check (crossed check) from Unity
Fishing and deposited the amount to United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), stating that
this bank account belonged to Wheels.
9. The suit between the two parties continued for several years; there was also a change in
counsel - the respondent lawyer is no longer the counsel for Unity Fishing.
10. During the negotiations between Unity Fishing and Wheels, Wheels informed Unity
Fishing that they weren’t able to receive the guarantee deposit of PHP 50,000.
11. It was then found out that the UCPB account was owned by the respondent lawyer, and
not Wheels.
12. Unity Fishin then filed a COMPLAINT FOR DISBARMENT against the respondent
13. The respondent lawyer was asked to file a comment on the complaint filed by Unity
14. The respondent lawyer, however, kept filing MOTION FOR EXTENSION; and even
during the formal investigation, the respondent lawyer showed lack of concern for the
complaint filed against him.
15. The IBP ruled that the respondent lawyer be SUSPENDED for 2 years.
16. The IBP-BOG ruled that the respondent lawyer be SUSPENDED for 1 year.

1. WON the respondent lawyer violated Canon 16 of the CPR.

1. Yes, he did.
2. Respondent's wanton failure to make an accounting and to return to his client the
amount entrusted to him upon demand give rise to the presumption that he
misappropriated it, in violation of the trust and confidence reposed on him. His act of
holding on to complainant's money without its acquiescence is conduct indicative of lack
of integrity and propriety. 18 A lawyer, under his oath, pledges himself not to delay any
man for money and is bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his client.
3. It is clear, therefore, that respondent, by depositing the check in his own account and
subsequently deceiving his client into believing that he delivered the same to Wheels is
undoubtedly guilty of deceit, malpractice, gross misconduct and unethical behavior. He
caused dishonor, not merely to himself but to the noble profession to which he belongs.
For, it cannot be denied that the respect of litigants to the profession is inexorably
diminished whenever a member of the Bar betrays their trust and confidence. 20 Like
judges, lawyers must not only be clean; they must also appear clean. This way, the
people's faith in the justice system remains undisturbed.
4. What is more, respondent's repeated failures to comply with the orders of the Court
requiring him to comment on the complaint indicate a high degree of irresponsibility on
his part.
5. Atty. Danilo G. Macalino is hereby declared guilty of violation of Canon 16 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, for his failure to immediately return and deliver the funds of
his former client upon demand.
6. The respondent lawyer was SUSPENDED for 1 year.
(72) Concepcion vs (Atty.) dela Rosa
1. This is an administrative complaint filed by the petitioners - spouses Concepcion,
against the respondent lawyer Atty. Elmer dela Rosa; charging the lawyer for gross
misconduct for violating, among others, Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility (CPR).
2. The respondent, Elmer dela Rosa, used to serve as the petitioners’ (spouses
Concepcion) retained lawyer and counsel.
3. Atty. dela Rosa handled many of the petitioners’ cases, and among those was the
project of opening a pawnshop towards that end of 2005 that didn’t materialize.
4. The lawyer, knowing that the spouses had money from the failed business venture,
asked the spouses if he could borrow money.
5. The lawyer asked if he could borrow P2,500,000.00, which he promised to return,
with interest, five (5) days thereafter.
6. The husband consulted his wife; and they both agreed to lend the lawyer the amount the
lawyer asked for.
7. The wife then issued three checks from EastWest Bank, containing the lawyer’s name,
and all three amounted to PHP2,500,000.
8. When the lawyer received the checks, the lawyer then signed a piece of paper
containing (a) photocopies of the checks; and (b) an acknowledgment that he
received the originals of the checks and that he agreed to return the
P2,500,000.00, plus monthly interest of five percent (5%), within five (5) days.
9. When the due date arrived, the spouses then asked for the payment.
10. The lawyer failed to pay and promised that he will pay the amount at a later time.
11. Despite repeated demands, the lawyer still failed to pay the amount he loaned.
12. The spouses then, through their new counsel, Atty. Kathryn Jessica dela Serna, sent
another demand letter to the respondent lawyer.
13. This time, the respondent lawyer denied that he borrowed such an amount. Instead, he
said that one of his clients, Jean Charles Nault (Nault), was the real debtor.
14. Complainants brought the matter to the Office of the Lupong Tagapamayapa in
Barangay Balulang, Cagayan de Oro City. The parties, however, failed to reach a
15. IBP-Misamis Oriental Chapter received complainants' letter-complaint.
16. Again, the respondent lawyer alleged that:
a. It wasn’t him who borrowed the money, but it was his other client, Nault.
b. The spouses have already been attempting to collect the amount from Nault.
17. The spouses alleged that:
a. They would never allow a stranger to borrow that amount of money from them.
b. The spouses maintained that the loan was extended to the respondent lawyer.
c. The spouses also submitted a copy of the Answer to The Third Party Complaint
which Nault filed. In the pleading of Nault, he explicitly denied that he borrowed
from the spouses, and said that it was the respondent attorney who borrowed the
amount from the spouses.
18. The IBP-Misamis oriental chapter endorsed the letter-complaint to the IBP-CBD.
19. The IBP-CBD ruled that the attorney be DISBARRED.
20. The IBP-BOG ruled that the attorney should only SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY.

1. WON the lawyer violated Canon 16, Rule 16.04, and Canon 7 of the CPR.

1. Yes, he did.
2. Canon 16. The Court has repeatedly emphasized that the relationship between a lawyer
and his client is one imbued with trust and confidence. And as true as any natural
tendency goes, this "trust and confidence" is prone to abuse. The rule against borrowing
of money by a lawyer from his client is intended to prevent the lawyer from taking
advantage of his influence over his client. The rule presumes that the client is
disadvantaged by the lawyer's ability to use all the legal maneuverings to renege on his
3. Rule 16.04. As above-discussed, respondent borrowed money from complainants who
were his clients and whose interests, by the lack of any security on the loan, were not
fully protected. Owing to their trust and confidence in respondent, complainants relied
solely on the former's word that he will return the money plus interest within five (5) days.
However, respondent abused the same and reneged on his obligation, giving his
previous clients the runaround up to this day. Accordingly, there is no quibble that
respondent violated Rule 16.04 of the CPR.
4. Canon 7. In unduly borrowing money from the complainants and by blatantly refusing to
pay the same, respondent abused the trust and confidence reposed in him by his clients,
and, in so doing, failed to uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. Thus,
he should be equally held administratively liable on this score.
5. Atty. de la Rosa was SUSPENDED for 3 YEARS.

1. CANON 16 — A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his clients that
may come into his possession.
2. Rule 16.04 — A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client's
interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither
shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the interest of justice, he has to
advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client."
(73) Lemoine vs (Atty.) Balon Jr.
1. The complainant, Daniel Lemoine (French national), filed a verified complaint against
respondent, Atty. Amadeo E. Balon, Jr., for estafa and misconduct before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
2. The complainant filed a car insurance claim against the Metropolitan Insurance
Company (Metropolitan Insurance) - the insurer of his vehicle which was lost.
3. The complainant’s request was initially rejected by Metropolitan Insurance.
4. The complainant’s friend, Jesus “Jess” Garcia (Garcia) then arranged for the
engagement of the respondent, Atty. Balon Jr.’s services.
5. The respondent lawyer then sent a letter to Lemoine, containing the legal fees that the
lawyer is going to ask from Lemoine.
6. The letter-proposal wasn’t consented to by Lemoine.
7. Metropolitan Insurance finally agreed to settle Lemoine’s claim by letter addressed to
8. The respondent lawyer confirmed the acceptance of Metropolitan Insurance’s offer to
settle (PHP 525,000).
9. A few days before December 23, 1998, when Lemoine left for France, the respondent
lawyer advised Lemoine to sign an undated Special Power of Attorney to Garcia,
Lemoine’s friend, to bring an action against the Manila Insurance.
10. This Special Power of Attorney was then signed by Lemoine and was later dated on
December 23, 1998, the same date when the Manila Insurance issued a Chinabank
check in favor of Lemoine.
11. The check was received by the respondent lawyer.
12. Lemoine asked his friend Garcia on the status of his insurance claim.
13. Garcia told Lemoine what the respondent lawyer told Garcia in a letter.
14. The respondent lawyer said (thru letter) that it was still pending, and that the amount to
be settled by the insurance company was PHP 350,000, representing fifty percent
15. The respondent lawyer, in the same letter, also suggested the acceptance of the offer of
settlement from the Insurance Company in order to avoid protracted litigation.
16. One year after the Insurance Company paid Lemoine (although Lemoine wasn’t able to
receive the money), Lemoine went to the Insurance Company to update himself on the
status of his claim.
17. The Insurance Company said that they have already paid him; that they gave the check
to the respondent lawyer already.
18. Lemoine then went to the law office of the respondent lawyer. However, the respondent
lawyer wasn’t there. So, Lemoine talked to the lawyer via phone call instead.
19. The respondent lawyer then faxed a letter to Lemoine stating that he has the proceeds
of the encashed check, and that he should be entitled to 50% of the proceeds (attorney’s
fees; attorney’s lien).
20. Despite repeated demands by Lemoine, the respondent lawyer refused to give the
proceeds of the check.
21. Lemoine then instituted an administrative action against the respondent lawyer.
22. Lemoine alleged that the check was irregular since the check the was supposed to be
issued to him, contained the words “and/or AMADEO BALON” - words which were
intercalated after his name.
23. Lemoine also alleged that the respondent lawyer should only be allowed to receive PHP
24. The respondent lawyer alleged that his retention of the proceeds was a lawful exercise
of his lien for unpaid attorney’s fees.
25. The respondent lawyer also alleged that he was entitled to 50% of the proceeds since
there was no agreement as to the payment of attorney’s fees between him and Lemoine;
that it also covered the expenses he has paid while performing his duties on the case.
The expenses however weren’t relayed in a written memorandum to Garcia (granted
SPA by Lemoine), because according to the lawyer, Garcia was a close friend of his, and
he trusted that Garcia would believe him and trust him with the expenses he has
26. The IBP-CBD ruled that the lawyer be DISBARRED, and that the lawyer must return
PHP 475,000 to the complainant (PHP 525,000 - PHP 50,000 attorney’s fees).
27. The IBP-BOG ruled that the lawyer be SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6)
months with the directive to turn over the amount of Five Hundred Twenty Five
Thousand. (P525,000.00) Pesos to the complainant without prejudice to respondent's
right to claim attorney's fees which he may collect in the proper forum.


1. Specifically with respect to above-quoted provision of Canon 16 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, the Filipino lawyer's principal source of ethical rules, which
Canon 16 bears on the principal complaint of complainant, a lawyer must hold in trust all
moneys and properties of his client that he may come to possess. This commandment
entails certain specific acts to be done by a lawyer such as rendering an accounting of
all money or property received for or from the client 36 as well as delivery of the funds or
property to the client when due or upon demand. 37 Respondent breached this Canon
when after he received the proceeds of complainant's insurance claim, he did not
report it to complainant, who had a given address in Makati, or to his
co-attorney-in-fact Garcia who was his contact with respect to complainant.
2. By respondent's failure to promptly account for the funds he received and held for the
benefit of his client, he committed professional misconduct. 38 Such misconduct is
reprehensible at a greater degree, for it was obviously done on purpose through the
employment of deceit to the prejudice of complainant who was kept in the dark about the
release of the check, until he himself discovered the same, and has to date been
deprived of the use of the proceeds thereof.
3. That respondent had a lien on complainant's funds for his attorney's fees did not relieve
him of his duty to account for it. 40 The lawyer's continuing exercise of his retaining
lien presupposes that the client agrees with the amount of attorney's fees to be
charged. In case of disagreement or when the client contests that amount for being
unconscionable, however, the lawyer must not arbitrarily apply the funds in his
possession to the payment of his fees. 41 He can file, if he still deems it desirable, the
necessary action or proper motion with the proper court to fix the amount of such fees.
5. Name stricken out of the Roll of Attorneys.
6. Turn over the entire Php 525,000 to the complainant, without prejudice to whatever
judicial action the lawyer may take to recover his attorney’s fees and purported expenses

Rules violated:

1. RULE 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
2. CANON 15 — A lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
transactions with his clients.
3. RULE 15.06 — A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official,
tribunal or legislative body.
4. CANON 16 — A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come
into his possession.
5. A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.
6. RULE 16.02 — A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and
those of others kept by him.
7. RULE 16.03 — A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon
demand. However, he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be
necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his
client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has
secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.
8. CANON 17 — A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust
and confidence in him.
9. RULE 18.04 — A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond
within a reasonable time to the client's request for information.
10. RULE 21.02 — A lawyer shall not, to the disadvantage of his client, use information acquired in
the course of employment, nor shall he use the same to his advantage or that of a third person,
unless the client with full knowledge of the circumstances consents thereto.
(74) De Chavez-Blanco vs (Atty.) Lumasag
1. This is an administrative complaint for disbarment filed by complainant Nelia P. de
Chavez-Blanco against respondent Atty. Jaime Lumasag, Jr., for deceit, dishonesty
and gross misconduct.
2. IBP-CBD recommended the penalty of disbarment.
3. IBP-BOG reduced the penalty to a 5 year suspension.
4. This case was remanded back to the IBP-CBD since no formal hearing/investigation was
5. The complainant, Nelia Pasumbal De Chavez-Blanco, is a resident of the United States
of America, together with her husband, Mario Blanco.
6. The complainant said in her complaint that she owned two parcels of land in Quezon
City; these lots were registered under her name.
7. The complainant then authorized the respondent lawyer, the first cousin of her husband,
Atty. Jaime Lumasag, to sell both the lots for her.
8. In a letter, the respondent lawyer said that he was able to sell one lot for PHP 320,000.
With regard to the other lot, the respondent lawyer said that it remained unsold due to
the presence of squatters on the property.
9. The respondent lawyer remitted the remaining balance of P281,900.00 (PHP 320,000
less taxes and commissions) to Belen Johnnes (as per complainant’s instructions).
10. 1995. The complainant was informed by the respondent lawyer that the other parcel of
land remained unsold due to the presence of squatters.
11. 1998. The complainant discovered that both the parcels of land were sold in 1990 at a
price of PHP 1,120,000.
12. Mario Blanco, husband of the complainant, then confronted the respondent lawyer
through a lawyer. However, the respondent lawyer disregarded such letter.
13. The complainant, through Atty. Munoz, then sent a demand letter to the respondent
lawyer demanding the proceeds of the sale of both lots.
14. The respondent lawyer acknowledged that both lots were sold, however, he didn’t remit
anything to the complainant.
15. CHARGE OF FALSIFICATION - complainant. The complainant also stated that the
Special Power of Attorney, which the respondent lawyer used to sell the parcels of
land, is a forgery and a falsified document. The complainant stated that they could not
have acknowledged the document before the notary since they were not in the
Philippines at that time.
16. Respondent countered that Mario Blanco was the true owner of the properties, which
had to be titled in complainant's name, as Mario Blanco was a U.S. citizen. Mario Blanco
had requested him to look for a buyer of the properties and, in the course of selling
them, respondent claimed that he had only transacted with the former and never with
complainant. Respondent averred that he had been authorized in November 1989 to sell
the property, through a Special Power of Attorney, for a price of not less than
P250,000.00 net for the owner.
17. Respondent also alleged that the deed of absolute sale if the two (2) lots had been
executed on 19 March 1990 but, only one lot was initially paid in the amount of
P281,980.00, which he immediately remitted to Mario Blanco. The payment for the other
lot was withheld, pending the relocation of the squatters who had been occupying the
premises. And when respondent had finally collected the proceeds of the second
lot more than three (3) years after, he asked Mario Blanco if the former could use
the amount for a real estate venture whose profit, if successful, he would share
with the latter. Mario Blanco allegedly did not think twice and consented to the
proposal. The venture, however, did not push through.
18. Respondent strongly maintained that the two (2) lots had been sold for only
19. CHARGE OF FALSIFICATION - respondent. The respondent alleged that the
complainant and her spouse, Mario Blanco, had in fact signed the Special Power of
Attorney, but it was only notarized later.
20. It was found out that both lots were sold for PHP 560,000; the lawyer pocketed the
balance of PHP 240,000.
21. During the course of hearing, Respondent claims that the Deed of Sale referred to above
is a fake, and that there is a Deed of Sale showing a selling price of P320,000.00 which
is the real Deed of Sale. However, no such Deed of Sale has been presented by
Respondent and no such Deed of Sale appears in the records. Later in the hearing,
Respondent retracted his statement claiming he was merely confused.
22. As for the alleged falsification of a Special Power of Attorney dated January 16, 1989,
wherein the signatures of the Blanco spouses appear in the SPA when they were not in
the Philippines on January 16, 1989 but were allegedly in the United States, their
absence in the country has not been satisfactorily established since mere xerox copies
of their passports, although noted by a notary public, cannot duly establish their absence
in the country on that date. Other acceptable documents such as a certification from the
Bureau of Immigration would have been appropriate but which, however, had not been
presented. In any case, Respondent denies the charge of falsification.
23. IBP-CBD, taking into consideration the respondent lawyer’s age (72), recommended
that the lawyer be SUSPENDED for 1 year.
24. The IBP-BOG AFFIRMED the recommendation of the IBP-CBD.

1. Rule 1.01. Records show that two lots had been sold by respondent as evidenced by the
Deed of Absolute Sale of 11 March 1990. Respondent, however, taking advantage of the
absence of complainant and her spouse from the Philippines and their complete trust in
him, deceitfully informed them in a letter dated 20 March 1990 that he had sold only one.
It can be reasonably deduced from the exchanges between the parties that the proceeds
of the first lot had been transmitted to complainant and her spouse. Respondent's
contention, though, that he had been authorized to retain the proceeds of the second is
specious, as complainant and her spouse could not have given the same, having been
left in the dark as regards its sale. And despite repeated demands, to date, there is no
showing that the outstanding amount has been paid. Thus, respondent's deceitful
conduct warrants disciplinary sanction and a directive for the remittance of the remaining
proceeds is in order.
2. CHARGE OF FALSIFICATION. Unsubstantiated. Settled is the rule that, in
administrative proceedings, the burden of proof that the respondent committed the acts
complained of rests on the complainant. In fact, if the complainant, upon whom rests the
burden of proving his cause of action, fails to show in a satisfactory manner the facts
upon which he bases his claim, the respondent is under no obligation to prove his
exception or defense. Mere allegation is not evidence and is not equivalent to proof.
3. SUSPENDED FOR 6 MONTHS. The respondent lawyer is also order to ordered to
deliver to complainant the amount of P240,000.00 plus legal interest rate of 6% per
annum computed from March 1990.

Rule violated:
1. Rule 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest and immoral or deceitful