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BARANDON V. FERRER (A.C. NO. 5768; MARCH 26, 2010)


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CASE DIGEST: ATTY. BONIFACIO T. BARANDON, JR. V. 
JR. V. ATTY.
ATTY. EDWIN Z.
FERRER, SR.
FERRER,  SR.

FACTS: On January 11, 2001 complainant Atty. Bonifacio T. Barandon, Jr. led a
FACTS: 
complaint-af davit with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar
Discipline (IBP-CBD) seeking the disbarment, suspension from the practice of law,
or imposition of appropriate disciplinary action against respondent Atty. Edwin Z.
Ferrer, Sr. for ling a reply with opposition to motion to dismiss that contained
abusive, offensive and improper language which insinuated that Atty. Barandon
presented a falsi ed document in court. The said document purported to be a
notarized document executed at a date when Atty. Barandon was not yet a lawyer.

Moreover, on December 19, 2000, Atty. Ferrer, evidently drunk, threatened Atty.
Barandon saying, “Laban kung laban, patayan kung patayan, kasama ang lahat ng
pamilya. Wala na palang magaling na abogado sa Camarines Norte,
angabogadonarito ay mga taga-Camarines Sur, umuwina kayo sa Camarines Sur,
hindi kayo taga-rito” at the Municipal Trial Court in Daet before the start of a
hearing.

The Court had warned Atty. Ferrer in his rst disbarment case against repeating his
unethical act; yet he faces a disbarment charge for sexual harassment of an of ce
secretary of the IBP Chapter in Camarines Norte; a related criminal case for acts of
lasciviousness; and criminal cases for libel and grave threats that Atty. Barandon
led against him.

On October 10, 2001 Investigating Commissioner Milagros V. San Juan of the IBP-
CBD submitted to this Court a Report, recommending the suspension for two years
of Atty. Ferrer. The Investigating Commissioner found enough evidence on record
to prove Atty. Ferrer’s violation of Canons 8.01 and 7.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. He attributed to Atty. Barandon, as counsel in Civil Case 7040, the
falsi cation of the plaintiff’s af davit despite the absence of evidence that the
document had in fact been falsi ed and that Atty. Barandon was a party to it. The
Investigating Commissioner also found that Atty. Ferrer uttered the threatening
remarks imputed to him in the presence of other counsels, court personnel, and
litigants before the start of hearing. On June 29, 2002 the IBP Board of Governors
passed Resolution adopting and approving the Investigating Commissioner’s
recommendation but reduced the penalty of suspension to only one year.

ISSUE:

DID THE IBP BOARD OF GOVERNORS AND THE IBP INVESTIGATING


COMMISSIONER ERR IN FINDING RESPONDENT GUILTY OF THE CHARGES
AGAINST HIM AND IF THE PENALTY IMPOSED WAS JUSTIFIED?

HELD: The Supreme Court examined the records of this case and nds no reason
HELD: 
to disagree with the ndings and recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors
and the Investigating Commissioner.

The practice of law is a privilege given to lawyers who meet the high standards of
legal pro ciency and morality. Any violation of these standards exposes the lawyer
to administrative liability.

Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility commands all lawyers to


conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and candor towards their fellow lawyers
and avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.

Atty. Ferrer’s actions do not measure up to this Canon. The evidence shows that he
imputed to Atty. Barandon the falsi cation of an af davit without evidence that the
document had indeed been falsi ed. Moreover, Atty. Ferrer could have aired his
charge of falsi cation in a proper forum and without using offensive and abusive
language against a fellow lawyer. The Court has constantly reminded lawyers to use
digni ed language in their pleadings despite the adversarial nature of our legal
system.

Atty. Ferrer had likewise violated Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
which enjoins lawyers to uphold the dignity and integrity of the legal profession at
all times. Several disinterested persons con rmed Atty. Ferrer’s drunken invectives
at Atty. Barandon shortly before the start of a court hearing and Atty. Ferrer failed
to show convincing evidence denying the said charge against him.

All lawyers should take heed that they are licensed of cers of the courts who are
mandated to maintain the dignity of the legal profession, hence they must conduct
themselves honorably and fairly. Atty. Ferrer’s display of improper attitude,
arrogance, misbehavior, and misconduct in the performance of his duties both as a
lawyer and of cer of the court, before the public and the court, was a patent
transgression of the very ethics that lawyers are sworn to uphold. Consequently,
the penalty of suspension of one from the practice of law is deemed just and
proper.

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