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Renato Cayetano vs Christian Monsod

In 1991, Christian Monsod was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission on Elections. His appointment
was affirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Monsod’s appointment was opposed by Renato Cayetano
on the ground that he does not qualify for he failed to meet the Constitutional requirement which provides that
the chairman of the COMELEC should have been engaged in the practice law for at least ten years.
Monsod’s track record as a lawyer:

1. Passed the bar in 1960 with a rating of 86.55%.


2. Immediately after passing, worked in his father’s law firm for one year.
3. Thereafter, until 1970, he went abroad where he had a degree in economics and held various positions in
various foreign corporations.
4. In 1970, he returned to the Philippines and held executive jobs for various local corporations until 1986.
5. In 1986, he became a member of the Constitutional Commission.

ISSUE: Whether or not Monsod qualifies as chairman of the COMELEC. What constitutes practice of law?
HELD: Yes. Atty. Monsod’s past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-
entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor
— verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement — that he has been engaged in the practice of law for
at least ten years.
As noted by various authorities, the practice of law is not limited to court appearances. The members of the
bench and bar and the informed laymen such as businessmen, know that in most developed societies today,
substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms. General practitioners of law
who do both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more
time doing what is loosely described as business counseling than in trying cases. In the course of a working
day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number of legal tasks, each involving different legal
doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions, clients, and other interested parties. Even the
increasing numbers of lawyers in specialized practice wig usually perform at least some legal services outside
their specialty. By no means will most of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively
rare types — a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work will require
the lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of client counseling, advice-giving,
document drafting, and negotiation.

Mauricio Ulep vs The Legal Clinic


In 1984, The Legal Clinic was formed by Atty. Rogelio Nogales. Its aim, according to Nogales was to move
toward specialization and to cater to clients who cannot afford the services of big law firms. Now, Atty. Mauricio
Ulep filed a complaint against The Legal Clinic because of the latter’s advertisements which contain the
following:

SECRET MARRIAGE?
P560.00 for a valid marriage.
Info on DIVORCE. ABSENCE. ANNULMENT. VISA.
THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.
Please call: 521-0767; 521-7232; 522-2041
8:30am – 6:00pm
7th Flr. Victoria Bldg., UN Ave., Manila
GUAM DIVORCE
DON PARKINSON
An attorney in Guam is giving FREE BOOKS on Guam Divorce through The Legal Clinic beginning Monday to
Friday during office hours.

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Guam divorce. Annulment of Marriage. Immigration Problems, Visa Ext. Quota/Non-quota Res. & Special
Retiree’s Visa. Declaration of Absence. Remarriage to Filipina Fiancees. Adoption. Investment in the Phil.
US/Foreign Visa for Filipina Spouse/Children.
Call Marivic.
THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.
7th Flr. Victoria Bldg., UN Ave., Manila nr. US Embassy
Tel. 521-7232, 521-7251, 522-2041, 521-0767

It is also alleged that The Legal Clinic published an article entitled “Rx for Legal Problems” in Star Week of
Philippine Star wherein Nogales stated that they The Legal Clinic is composed of specialists that can take care
of a client’s problem no matter how complicated it is even if it is as complicated as the Sharon Cuneta-Gabby
Concepcion situation. He said that he and his staff of lawyers, who, like doctors, are “specialists” in various
fields, can take care of it. The Legal Clinic, Inc. has specialists in taxation and criminal law, medico-legal
problems, labor, litigation and family law. These specialists are backed up by a battery of paralegals,
counselors and attorneys.
As for its advertisement, Nogales said it should be allowed in view of the jurisprudence in the US which now
allows it (John Bates vs The State Bar of Arizona). And that besides, the advertisement is merely making
known to the public the services that The Legal Clinic offers.
ISSUE: Whether or not The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law; whether such is allowed; whether or
not its advertisement may be allowed.
HELD: Yes, The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law however, such practice is not allowed. The Legal
Clinic is composed mainly of paralegals. The services it offered include various legal problems wherein a client
may avail of legal services from simple documentation to complex litigation and corporate undertakings. Most
of these services are undoubtedly beyond the domain of paralegals, but rather, are exclusive functions of
lawyers engaged in the practice of law. Under Philippine jurisdiction however, the services being offered by
Legal Clinic which constitute practice of law cannot be performed by paralegals. Only a person duly admitted
as a member of the bar and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.
Anent the issue on the validity of the questioned advertisements, the Code of Professional Responsibility
provides that a lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and
objective information or statement of facts. The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer’s
advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession, advertise his talents
or skills as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. Further, the advertisements of Legal Clinic
seem to promote divorce, secret marriage, bigamous marriage, and other circumventions of law which their
experts can facilitate. Such is highly reprehensible.
The Supreme Court also noted which forms of advertisement are allowed. The best advertising possible for a
lawyer is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the
outcome of character and conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a
way of publicizing itself and catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service
which is right and proper. A good and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it and to
magnify his success. He easily sees the difference between a normal by-product of able service and the
unwholesome result of propaganda. The Supreme Court also enumerated the following as allowed forms of
advertisement:

1. Advertisement in a reputable law list


2. Use of ordinary simple professional card
3. Listing in a phone directory but without designation as to his specialization

In Re: Cunanan
FACTS:

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Congress passed Rep. Act No. 972, or what is known as the Bar Flunkers Act, in 1952. The title of the law
was, “An Act to Fix the Passing Marks for Bar Examinations from 1946 up to and including 1955.”
Section 1 provided the following passing marks:
1946-1951………………70%
1952 …………………….71%
1953……………………..72%
1954……………………..73%
1955……………………..74%
Provided however, that the examinee shall have no grade lower than 50%.
Section 2 of the Act provided that “A bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75% in any subject shall be
deemed to have already passed that subject and the grade/grades shall be included in the computation of the
general average in subsequent bar examinations.”
ISSUE:
Whether of not, R.A. No. 972 is constitutional.
RULING:
Section 2 was declared unconstitutional due to the fatal defect of not being embraced in the title of the Act. As
per its title, the Act should affect only the bar flunkers of 1946 to 1955 Bar examinations. Section2 establishes
a permanent system for an indefinite time. It was also struck down for allowing partial passing, thus failing to
take account of the fact that laws and jurisprudence are not stationary.
As to Section1, the portion for 1946-1951 was declared unconstitutional, while that for 1953 to 1955 was
declared in force and effect. The portion that was stricken down was based under the following reasons:
The law itself admits that the candidates for admission who flunked the bar from 1946 to 1952 had inadequate
preparation due to the fact that this was very close to the end of World War II;
The law is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of the court on the petitions of the said candidates;
The law is an encroachment on the Court’s primary prerogative to determine who may be admitted to practice
of law and, therefore, in excess of legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the Rules of Court. The
rules laid down by Congress under this power are only minimum norms, not designed to substitute the
judgment of the court on who can practice law; and
The pretended classification is arbitrary and amounts to class legislation.
As to the portion declared in force and effect, the Court could not muster enough votes to declare it void.
Moreover, the law was passed in 1952, to take effect in 1953. Hence, it will not revoke existing Supreme Court
resolutions denying admission to the bar of an petitioner. The same may also rationally fall within the power to
Congress to alter, supplement or modify rules of admission to the practice of law.

In the matter of the Disqualification of Bar Examinee, Haron S. Meiling in the 2002 bar examinations
and for disciplinary action as member of Philippine Shari'a Bar, Melendrez.
FACTS:

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MELENDREZ filed with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) a Petition to disqualify Haron S. Meling (Meling)
from taking the 2002 Bar Examinations and to impose on him the appropriate disciplinary penalty as a member
of the Philippine Shari’a Bar.
Alleges that Meling did not disclose in his Petition to take the 2002 Bar Examinations that he has three (3)
pending criminal cases both for Grave Oral Defamation and for Less Serious Physical Injuries.
i. Meling allegedly uttered defamatory words against Melendrez and his wife in
front of media practitioners and other people.
ii. Meling also purportedly attacked and hit the face of Melendrez’ wife causing
the injuries to the latter.
Alleges that Meling has been using the title “Attorney” in his communications, as Secretary to the Mayor of
Cotabato City, despite the fact that he is not a member of the Bar.
MELING explains that he did not disclose the criminal cases because retired Judge Corocoy Moson, their
former professor, advised him to settle misunderstanding.
Believing in good faith that the case would be settled because the said Judge has moral ascendancy over
them, considered the three cases that arose from a single incident as “closed and terminated.”
i. Denies the charges and added that the acts do not involve moral turpitude.
Use of the title “Attorney,” Meling admits that some of his communications really contained the word “Attorney”
as they were typed by the office clerk.
Office of Bar Confidant disposed of the charge of non-disclosure against Meling:
Meling should have known that only the court of competent jurisdiction can dismiss cases, not a retired judge
nor a law professor. In fact, the cases filed against Meling are still pending.
Even if these cases were already dismissed, he is still required to disclose the same for the Court to ascertain
his good moral character.
ISSUE: WON Meling’s act of concealing cases constitutes dishonesty. YES.
HELD:
PETITION IS GRANTED. MEMBERSHIP IS SUSPENDED until further orders from the Court, the suspension
to take effect immediately. Insofar as the Petition seeks to prevent Haron S. Meling from taking the Lawyer’s
Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys as a member of the Philippine Bar, the same is DISMISSED for having
become moot and academic (Meling did not pass the bar).

Rule 7.01: “A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact
in connection with his application for admission to the bar.”
He is aware that he is not a member of the Bar, there was no valid reason why he signed as “attorney”
whoever may have typed the letters. i. Unauthorized use of the appellation
“attorney” may render a person liable for indirect contempt of court.
PRACTICE OF LAW IS A HIGH PERSONAL PRIVILEGE.
Limited to citizens of good moral character, with special educational qualifications, duly ascertained and
certified.

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Requirement of good moral character is, in fact, of greater importance so far as the general public and the
proper administration of justice are concerned, than the possession of legal learning.
Application form of 2002 Bar Examinations requires the applicant that applicant to aver that he or she “has not
been charged with any act or omission punishable by law, rule or regulation before a fiscal, judge, officer or
administrative body, or indicted for, or accused or convicted by any court or tribunal of, any offense or crime
involving moral turpitude; nor is there any pending case or charge against him/her.”
Meling did not reveal that he has three pending criminal cases. His deliberate silence constitutes concealment,
done under oath at that.
Petition for Leave to Reclaim Practice of Law of Benjamin Dacanay
In 1998, Atty. Benjamin Dacanay went to Canada to seek medical help. In order for him to take advantage of
Canada’s free medical aid program he became a Canadian citizen in 2004. In 2006 however, he re-acquired
his Philippine citizenship pursuant to Republic Act 9225 of the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of
2003. In the same year, he returned to the Philippines and he now intends to resume his practice of law.

ISSUE: Whether or not Benjamin Dacanay may still resume his practice of law.

HELD: Yes. As a rule, the practice of law and other professions in the Philippines are reserved and limited only
to Filipino citizens. Philippine citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar. So when Dacanay became
a Canadian citizen in 2004, he ceased to have the privilege to practice law in the Philippines. However, under
RA 9225, a Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country is deemed never to have lost his
Philippine citizenship if he reacquires his Filipino citizenship in accordance with RA 9225. Hence, when
Dacanay reacquires his Filipino citizenship in 2006, his membership to the Philippine bar was deemed to have
never been terminated.
But does this also mean that he can automatically resume his practice of law right after reacquisition?
No. Dacanay must still comply with several conditions before he can resume his practice of law, to wit:
(a) the updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in the IBP;
(b) the payment of professional tax;
(c) the completion of at least 36 credit hours of mandatory continuing legal education; this is especially
significant to refresh the applicant/petitioner’s knowledge of Philippine laws and update him of legal
developments and
(d) the retaking of the lawyer’s oath which will not only remind him of his duties and responsibilities as a lawyer
and as an officer of the Court, but also renew his pledge to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines.
Compliance with these conditions will restore his good standing as a member of the Philippine bar.
Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU), Enrique Entila and Victoriano Tenazas vs.
Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company, Court of Industrial Relations and Quintin Muning
FACTS:
COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ORDERED REINSTATEMENT WITH BACKWAGES FOR ENTILA
AND TENAZAS.

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Cipriano Cid & Associates, counsel of Entila and Tenazas filed a notice of attorney's lien equivalent to 30% of
the total backwages.
i. Entila and Tenazas filed manifestation indicating their non-objection to an
award of attorney's fees for 25% of their backwages
ii. Quentin Muning filed a "Petition for the Award of Services Rendered"
equivalent to 20% of the backwages.
1. Opposed by Cipriano Cid & Associates the ground that he is not a lawyer.
a. Court of Industrial Relations awarded 25% of the backwages as compensation for professional services
rendered in the case, apportioned as follows:
i. Cipriano 10%
ii. Quintin Muning 10%
iii. Atanacio Pacis 5%

iii. CANON 34: condemns an agreement providing for the division of attorney's
fees, whereby a non-lawyer union president is allowed to share in said fees with lawyers
1. Sec 5(b) of RA 875 that —No justification for a ruling, that the person representing the party-litigant in the
Court of Industrial Relations, even if he is not a lawyer, is entitled to attorney's fees
a. Duty and obligation of the Court or Hearing Officer to examine and cross examine witnesses on behalf of
the parties and to assist in the orderly presentation of evidence.
b. Representation should be exclusively entrusted to duly qualified members of the bar.
The permission for a non-member does not entitle the representative to compensation for such representation.
Sec 24, Rule 138 Compensation of attorney's agreement as to fees:
i. An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than
a reasonable compensation for his services.

a. Petition to take the Bar Exam in 1960 after failing in the 1959 Bar Examination.
b. His uncle, TAPEL, opposed the petition alleging that his nephew is not a person of good moral character
for having misrepresented, sometime in 1950, when he was 16 years old, that he was eligible for 3rd year high
school by utilizing the school records of his cousin and name-sake, Juan M. Publico.
ii. PUBLICO has not completed Grade 4
iii. Tapel instituted an administrative case against his nephew for falsification of
school records or credentials.
PUBLICO PASSED THE BAR, took the lawyer's oath, and signed the Roll of Attorneys.
Legal Officer-Investigator, Ricardo Paras, Jr., investigated and reported:
September 1961, Dulcisimo Tapel dropped the complaint on the ground that his witnesses had turned hostile.
i. Motion denied, his witnesses had already testified.

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Recommended PUBLICO’s name to be stricken off the roll of attorneys.
i. Respondent falsified his school records
ii. Thereby violating the provisions of Sections 5 and 6, Rule 127 of the Rules of
Court, which require completion by a bar examinee or candidate of the prescribed courses in elementary, high,
pre-law and law school, prior to his admission to the practice of law.
11 years later, PUBLICO filed a Petition for Reinstatement alleging that he had never received, for had he
been informed, nor did he have any knowledge of the Resolution of the Court ordering the Bar Division to strike
his name from the Roll of Attorneys.

He was advised to inquire into the outcome of the disbarment case against him.
He resigned from all his positions in public and private offices, and transferred to Manila.
Prayed that Court allow reinstatement taking into consideration his exemplary conduct from the time he
became a lawyer, his services to the community the numerous awards, resolutions and/'or commendations he
received,
i. Court denied the Petition.
ii. Petitioner moved for reconsideration was denied by the Court for lack of
merit.
5th plea avers that his enrollment in Third Year High School in Manila was through the initiative of his uncle,
Dulcisimo B. Tapel who accompanied him to school and enrolled him in a grade level above his qualifications
in spite of his demonstrations
i. Misrepresentation committed was precipitated by his uncle; that being merely
16 year old, he could not be expected to act with discernment as he was still under the influence of his uncle,
who later on caused his disbarment
ii. No opposition has been filed to any of the petitions.

ISSUE:
May a non-lawyer recover attorney's fees for legal services rendered?
The award of 10% to Quintin Muning who is not a lawyer according to the order, is sought to be voided in the
present petition.
WON a union may appeal an award of attorney's fees which are deductible from the backpay of some of its
members. YES.
It was PAFLU that moved for an extension of time to file the present petition for review; union members Entila
and Tenazas did not ask for extension but they were included as petitioners in the present petition. Their
inclusion in the petition as co-petitioners was belated.

HELD:
ORDERS UNDER REVIEW ARE SET ASIDE AS THEY ARE AWARDED 10% OF BACKWAGES AS
ATTORNEY’S FEES FOR MUNING. COSTS AGAINST MUNING.

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Lawyer-client relationship is only possible if one is a lawyer. Since respondent Muning is not one, he cannot
establish an attorney-client relationship with Enrique Entila and Victorino Tenezas or with PAFLU, and he
cannot, therefore, recover attorney's fees.
Public policy demands that legal work in representation of parties litigant should be entrusted only to those
possessing tested qualifications, for the ethics of the profession and for the protection of courts, clients and the
public.
The reasons are that the ethics of the legal profession should not be violated:
Acting as an attorney with authority constitutes contempt of court, which is punishable by fine or imprisonment
or both,
Law will not assist a person to reap the fruits or benefit of an act or an act done in violation of law
If were to be allowed to non-lawyers, it would leave the public in hopeless confusion as to whom to consult in
case of necessity and also leave the bar in a chaotic condition, aside from the fact that non-lawyers are not
amenable to disciplinary measures.

In response to UNION may appeal an award of attorney's fees which are deductible from the backpay of some
of its members:
YES because such union or labor organization is permitted to institute an action in the industrial court on behalf
of its members
If an award is disadvantageous to its members, the union may prosecute an appeal as an aggrieved party,
under Sec 6, RA 875:
i. Sec. 6. Unfair Labor Practice cases — Appeals. — Any person aggrieved by
any order of the Court may appeal to the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Usually, individual unionist is not in a position to bear the financial burden of litigations.

Catu vs. Rellosa [A.C. No. 5738. February 19, 2008]


FACTS:
Complainant Wilfredo M. Catu is a co-owner of a lot and the building erected thereon located in Manila. His
mother and brother contested the possession of Elizabeth C. Diaz-Catu and Antonio Pastor of one of the units
in the building. The latter ignored demands for them to vacate the premises. Thus, a complaint was initiated
against them in the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay. Respondent, as punong barangay, summoned the
parties to conciliation meetings. When the parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement, respondent issued
a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court.Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for
the defendants in the (subsequent ejectment) case. Complainant filed the instant administrative complaint,
claiming that respondent committed an act of impropriety as a lawyer and as a public officer when he stood as
counsel for the defendants despite the fact that he presided over the conciliation proceedings between the
litigants as punong barangay.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Rellosa violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.
HELD: YES. Respondent suspended for six (6) months.
RATIO:

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[R]espondent was found guilty of professional misconduct for violating his oath as a lawyer and Canons 1 and
7 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
A civil service officer or employee whose responsibilities do not require his time to be fully at the disposal of the
government can engage in the private practice of law only with the written permission of the head of the
department concerned in accordance with Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules.

Respondent was strongly advised to look up and take to heart the meaning of the word delicadeza.

Zeta vs. Malinao


Facts: Administrative complaint against Felicisimo Malinao court interpreter of the Court of First Instance of
Catbalogan, Samar charging as follows:
l — ILLEGALLY APPEARING IN COURT. — MR. Malinao has been appearing in the municipal court of this
town for parties like attorney when he is not an attorney. He makes it his means of livelihood as he collects
fees from his clients. He competes with attorneys but does not pay anything. We believe that his doing so
should be stopped for a good government. These facts can be checked with records of those municipal courts.
2 — GRAVE MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE. — Being employed in the Court of First Instance he would instigate
persons, especially in his barrio to grab land rob or coerce. In fact he has cases in the municipal court in this
town involving himself and his men. He incite them telling them not to be afraid as he is a court employee and
has influence over the judges. Those persons being ignorant would believe him and so would commit crimes.
This act of Mr. Malinao is contrary to good order and peace as he is using his supposed influences to urge
persons to commit crimes.
3 — CRIME OF FALSIFICATION. — Information has it that he is unfaithfully filing his time record in the CFI.
Even he has been out practicing in the municipal courts sometimes he would fill his time record as present. He
receives salary for those absent days. This can be checked with time record he has submitted and if he has
any application for leave. He may try to cure it by submitting application for leave but this should not be allowed
as he has already committed crime.
4 — VIOLATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER AND CIVIL SERVICE LAW.-
WE have reliable information it is prohibited for a civil service employee to engage in private practice any
profession or business without permission from the Department Head. Mr. Malinao we are sure has not
secured that permission because he should not be allowed to practice as he is not an attorney. If that were so,
he violated that Executive Order and Civil Service Law and we are urgently and earnestly requesting the
Commissioner of Civil Service to investigate him on this. If warranted he should be given the corresponding
penalty as dismissal because we believe he deserve it.
Inspite of diligent efforts exerted by the Court to subpoena the complainant, Julio Zeta, who is said to be a
resident of Zumarraga, Samar the same had failed because the said Julio Zeta appears to be a fictitious
person
Inspite of the failure of the complainant to appear in the investigation in connection with his complaint against
Felicisimo Malinao, the Court nevertheless proceeded to investigate the case against him by calling the Judges
of the different municipalities where he appeared to which all of them confirmed. He also offered no
explanations to his discrepancies in timekeeping than that of record and appearances.
Findings of Investigator:

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(The Court adopted the findings) It is clear to Us that respondent, apart from appearing as counsel in various
municipal courts without prior permission of his superiors in violation of civil service rules and regulations,
falsified his time record of service by making it appear therein that he was present in his office on occasions
when in fact he was in the municipal courts appearing as counsel, without being a member of the bar, which,
furthermore, constitutes illegal practice of law.
The defense of respondent that "his participation for defendants' cause was gratuitous as they could not
engage the services of counsel by reason of poverty and the absence of one in the locality" cannot, even if
true, carry the day for him, considering that in appearing as counsel in court, he did so without permission from
his superiors and, worse, he falsified his time record of service to conceal his absence from his office on the
dates in question. Indeed, the number of times that respondent acted as counsel under the above
circumstances would indicate that he was doing it as a regular practice obviously for considerations other than
pure love of justice.
Judge Zosa recommended reprimand, The Court ordered his dismissal as Court interpreter of CFI, Samar.

In Re: Argosino, 270 SCRA 26


FACTS:
Al Caparros Argosino had passed the bar examinations but was denied of taking the Lawyer’s Oath and to sign
the Rolls of Attorneys due to his conviction of “reckless imprudence resulting in homicide” from a hazing
incident. Later in his sentence, he was granted probation by the court. He filed a petition to the Supreme Court
praying that he be allowed to take the Lawyer’s Oath and sign the Rolls of Attorneys. As a proof of the required
good moral character he now possess, he presented no less than fifteen (15) certifications among others from:
two (2) senators, five (5) trial court judges, and six (6) members of religious order. In addition, he, together with
the others who were convicted, organized a scholarship foundation in honor of their hazing victim.
ISSUE: Whether or not Mr. Argosino should be allowed to take the Lawyer’s Oath, sign the Rolls of Attorneys,
and practice law.
HELD: YES. Petition granted.
RATIO:
Given the fact that Mr. Argosino had exhibited competent proof that he possessed the required good moral
character as required before taking the Lawyer’s Oath and to sign the Rolls of Attorneys, the Supreme Court
considered the premises that he is not inherently in bad moral fiber. In giving the benefit of the doubt, Mr.
Argosino was finally reminded that the Lawyer’s Oath is not merely a ceremony or formality before the practice
of law, and that the community assistance he had started is expected to continue in serving the more
unfortunate members of the society.

In Re: Al C. Argosino 246 SCRA 14 (1995)


FACTS:
On February 4, 1992 ,Argosino, together with 13 others, was charged with the crime of homicide in connection
with the death of one Raul Camaligan. The death of Camaligan stemmed from the affliction of severe physical
injuries upon him in course of "hazing" conducted as part of the university fraternity initiation rites. On February
11, 1993, the accused were consequently sentenced to suffer imprisonment for a period ranging from two (2)
years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years.Eleven (11) days later, Mr. Argosino and his
colleagues filed an application for probation with the lower court. The application was granted on June 18

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1993. The period of probation was set at two (2) years, counted from the probationer's initial report to the
probation officer assigned to supervise him. Less than a month later, Argosino filed a petition to take the bar
exam. He was allowed and he passed the exam, but was not allowed to take the lawyer's oath of office.On
April 15, 1994, Argosino filed a petition to allow him to take the attorney's oath and be admitted to the practice
of law. He averred that his probation period had been terminated. It is noted that his probation period did not
last for more than 10 months.
ISSUE: Whether Argosino should be allowed to take the oath of attorney and be admitted to the practice of law
HELD:
Mr. Argosino must submit to this Court evidence that he may now be regarded as complying with the
requirement of good moral character imposed upon those who are seeking admission to the bar. He should
show to the Court how he has tried to make up for the senseless killing of a helpless student to the family of
the deceased student and to the community at large. In short, he mustshow evidence that he is a different
person now, that he has become morally fitfor admission to the profession of law.
He is already directed to inform the Court, by appropriate written manifestation, of the names of the parents or
brothers and sisters of Camaligan from notice.
NOTES:
The practice of law is a high personal privilege limited to citizens of goodmoral character, with special
education qualifications, duly ascertained and certified.
Requirement of good moral character is of greater importance so far as the general public and proper
administration of justice is concerned.
All aspects of moral character and behavior may be inquired into in respect of those seeking admission to
the Bar.
Requirement of good moral character to be satisfied by those who wouldseek admission to the bar must be
a necessity more stringent than the norm of conduct expected from members of the general public.
Participation in the prolonged mindless physical beatings inflicted upon Raul Camaligan constituted evident
rejection of that moral duty and was totally irresponsible behavior, which makes impossible a finding that the
participant was possessed of good moral character.
Good moral character is a requirement possession of which must be demonstrated at the time of the
application for permission to take the barexaminations and more importantly at the time of application for
admission to the bar and to take the attorney's oath of office

Caronan vs Caronan
Facts:
Complainant and respondent are full siblings and both completed their secondary education at Makati High
School where they graduated in 1993 and in 1991, respectively. Complainant graduated at the University of
Makati in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration. He married Myrna G. Tapis in 2001 with whom he
has two daughters. Concurrently, respondent enrolled at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) for one
year and then transferred to Philippine Military Academy in 1992 where he was discharged after a year.
Respondent was not able to obtain any college degree since then. In 1999, respondent enrolled in ST Mary’s
Law School in Nueva Vizcaya and passed the Bar examinations in 2004. Complainant had knowledge of such
events but did not mind as he did not anticipate any adverse consequences to him. In 2009, complainant
realized that respondent had been using his name to perpetrate crimes. Complainant filed the present
11
Complaint-Affidavit to stop respondent's alleged use of the former's name and identity, and illegal practice of
law. Respondent denied all the allegations against him and invoked res judicata as a defense. He maintained
that his identity can no longer be raised as an issue as it had already been resolved in CBD Case No. 09-2362
where the IBP Board of Governors dismissed the administrative case filed against him, and which case had
already been declared closed and terminated by the Supreme Court in A.C. No. 10074. Moreover, according to
him, complainant is being used by Reyes and her spouse, Brigadier General Joselito M. Reyes, to humiliate,
disgrace, malign, discredit, and harass him because he filed several administrative and criminal complaints
against them before the Ombudsman. On June 15, 2015, IBP Investigating Commissioner Jose Villanueva
Cabrera issued his Report and Recommendation, finding respondent GUILTY of illegally and falsely assuming
complainant's name, identity, and academic records. Since respondent falsely assumed the name, identity,
and academic records of complainant and the real "Patrick A. Caronan" neither obtained the bachelor of laws
degree nor took the Bar Exams, the Investigating Commissioner recommended that the name "Patrick A.
Caronan" with Roll of Attorneys No. 49069 be dropped and stricken off the Roll of Attorneys. He also
recommended that respondent and the name "Richard A. Caronan" be barred from being admitted as a
member of the Bar; and finally, for making a mockery of the judicial institution, the IBP was directed to institute
appropriate actions against respondent.
Issue: Whether or not the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) erred in their ordering that (a) the name
“Patrick A. Caronan” be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys; and (b) the name “Richard A. Caronan” be barred
from being admitted to the Bar.
Ruling:
No. Respondent Richard A. Caronan a.k.a. "Atty. Patrick A. Caronan" (respondent) is found GUILTY of falsely
assuming the name, identity, and academic records of complainant Patrick A. Caronan (complainant) to obtain
a law degree and take the Bar Examinations. The Court hereby resolves that: (1) the name "Patrick A.
Caronan" with Roll of Attorneys No. 49069 is ordered DROPPED and STRICKEN OFF the Roll of Attorneys;
(2) respondent is PROHIBITED from engaging in the practice of law or making any representations as a
lawyer; (3) respondent is BARRED from being admitted as a member of the Philippine Bar in the future; ( 4)
the Identification Cards issued by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to respondent under the name "Atty.
Patrick A. Caronan" and the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Certificates issued in such name are
CANCELLED and/or REVOKED; and (5) the Office of the Court Administrator is ordered to CIRCULATE
notices and POST in the bulletin boards of all courts of the country a photograph of respondent with his real
name, “Richard A. Caronan," with a warning that he is not a member of the Philippine Bar and a statement of
his false assumption of the name and identity of "Patrick A. Caronan."

IN RE: PETITION TO RE-ACQUIRE THE PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES, EPIFANIO
B. MUNESES, Petitioner.
· Petitioner Epifanio B. Muneses became a lawyer in 1966 but acquired American citizenship in 1981
· Restored citizenship in 2006 by virtue of RA 9225
· A Filipino lawyer who re-acquires citizenship remains to be a member of the Philippine Bar but must
apply for a license or permit to engage in law practice.

On June 8, 2009, petitioner Epifanio B. Muneses with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) praying that he be
granted the privilege to practice law in the Philippines.
Petitioner became a member of the IBP in 1966 but lost his privilege to practice law when he became a
American citizen in 1981. In 2006, he re-acquired his Philippine citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 or the
12
“Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003” by taking his oath of allegiance as a Filipino citizen
before the Philippine Consulate in Washington, D.C. He intends to retire in the Philippines and if granted, to
resume the practice of law.
The Court reiterates that Filipino citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar and is, in fact, a
continuing requirement for the practice of law. The loss thereof means termination of the petitioner’s
membership in the bar; ipso jure the privilege to engage in the practice of law. Under R.A. No. 9225, natural-
born citizens who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign
country are deemed to have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the
Republic. Thus, a Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country and later re-acquires his Philippine
citizenship under R.A. No. 9225, remains to be a member of the Philippine Bar. However, as stated in
Dacanay, the right to resume the practice of law is not automatic. R.A. No. 9225 provides that a person who
intends to practice his profession in the Philippines must apply with the proper authority for a license or permit
to engage in such practice.
Thus, in pursuance to the qualifications laid down by the Court for the practice of law, the OBC required, and
incompliance thereof, petitioner submitted the following:
1. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship;
2. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship);
3. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines;
4. Certificate of Re-Acquisition/Retention of Philippine Citizenship issued by the Bureau of Immigration, in lieu
of the IC;
5. Certification dated May 19, 2010 of the IBP-Surigao City
Chapter attesting to his good moral character as well as his updated payment of annual membership dues;
6. Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) for the year 2010;
7. Certificate of Compliance with the MCLE for the 2nd compliance period; and
8. Certification dated December 5, 2008 of Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, Coordinator, UC-MCLE Program,
University of Cebu, College of Law attesting to his compliance with the MCLE.
The OBC further required the petitioner to update his compliance, particularly with the MCLE. After all the
requirements were satisfactorily complied with and finding that the petitioner has met all the qualifications, the
OBC recommended that the petitioner be allowed to resume his practice of law.
WHEREFORE, the petition of Attorney Epifanio B. Muneses is hereby GRANTED, subject to the condition that
he shall re-take the Lawyer's Oath on a date to be set by the Court and subject to the payment of appropriate
fees.

STEPHAN BRUNET and VIRGINIA ROMANILLOS BRUNET, Complainants,


vs. ATTY. RONALD L. GUAREN, Respondent
FACTS:
This is in regard to availing the services of the said Atty. Guaren for the titling of the residential lot they
acquired, Atty. Guaren accepted the case for a fee of 10,000.00 including expenses relative to the
proceedings. He advanced 1000.00 which the spouses dutifully gave, then asked for another 6,000.00. Also

13
the spouses provided the documents needed pertaining to the titling of the land. The complainants constantly
reminded the respondent, but the latter tells them that it’s already in progress. Because of the slow progress
the spouses became bothered so they demanded the return of the money they paid, Atty. Guaren agreed
provided that the amount of 5,000.00 be deducted for his professional fees Complainants further alleged that
despite the existence of an attorney-client relationship between them, Atty. Guaren made a special
appearance against them in a case pending before the Metropolitan Circuit Trial Court, Oslob, Cebu (MCTC).
Issue: WON the respondent violated Rule 12.03, Canon 12, Canon 17, Rule 18.03, and Canon 18 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility
Held: YES, The Supreme Court reiterated that the practice of law is not a business. It is a profession in which
duty to public service, not money, is the primary consideration. Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a
money-making venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits. The gaining of a
livelihood should be a secondary consideration. The duty to public service and to the administration of justice
should be the primary consideration of lawyers, who must subordinate their personal interests or what they
owe to themselves. In this case, Atty. Guaren admitted that he accepted the amount of P7,000 as partial
payment of his acceptance fee. He, however, failed to perform his obligation to file the case for the titling of
complainants’ lot despite the lapse of 5 years. Atty. Guaren breached his duty to serve his client with
competence and diligence when he neglected a legal matter entrusted to him. Thus, Atty. Guaren violated
Canons 17 and 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and was suspended from the practice of law for
six months.

DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE, COMPLAINANT,


VS. EDWIN L. RANA, RESPONDENT
Facts:
Rana was among those who passed the 2000 Bar Examinations. before the scheduled mass oath-taking,
complainant Aguirre filed against respondent a Petition for Denial of Admission to the Bar.
The Court allowed respondent to take his oath. Respondent took the lawyer’s oath on the scheduled date but
has not signed the Roll of Attorneys up to now.
Complainant alleges that respondent, while not yet a lawyer, appeared as counsel for a candidate in an
election.
On the charge of violation of law, complainant claims that respondent is a municipal government employee,
being a secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mandaon, Masbate. As such, respondent is not allowed by law
to act as counsel for a client in any court or administrative body.
On the charge of grave misconduct and misrepresentation, complainant accuses respondent of acting as
counsel for vice mayoralty candidate George Bunan without the latter engaging respondent’s services.
Complainant claims that respondent filed the pleading as a ploy to prevent the proclamation of the winning vice
mayoralty candidate.
Issue: Whether or not respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and thus does not deserve
admission to the Philippine Bar
Ruling:
the Court held that “practice of law” means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law,
legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform acts which

14
are usually performed by members of the legal profession. Generally, to practice law is to render any kind of
service which requires the use of legal knowledge or skill.
The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege. It is limited to persons of good
moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege
presupposes possession of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment, and even public trust since a
lawyer is an officer of the court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by passing
the bar examinations. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who has passed the
bar examinations, if the person seeking admission had practiced law without a license.
True, respondent here passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the lawyer’s oath. However, it is the
signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one a full-fledged lawyer. The fact that respondent passed
the bar examinations is immaterial. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law.
Respondent should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed, namely:
his lawyer’s oath to be administered by this Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.

IN RE: PETITION TO SIGN IN THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS MICHAEL A. MEDADO, PETITIONER.


(DIGEST)
FACTS:
Michael A. Medado passed the Philippine bar exams in 1979. On 7 May 1980, he took the Attorney’s Oath at
the PICC. He was scheduled to sign in the Roll of Attorneys on 13 May 1980, but failed to do so allegedly
because he had misplaced the Notice to Sign the Roll of Attorneys. Several years later, while rummaging
through his things, he found said Notice. He then realized that he had not signed in the roll, and that what he
had signed at the entrance of the PICC was probably just an attendance record.
He thought that since he already took the oath, the signing of the Roll of Attorneys was not as important. The
matter of signing in the Roll of Attorneys was subsequently forgotten.
In 2005, when Medado attended MCLE seminars, he was required to provide his roll number for his MCLE
compliances to be credited. Not having signed in the Roll of Attorneys, he was unable to provide his roll
number.
About seven years later, in 2012, Medado filed the instant Petition, praying that he be allowed to sign in the
Roll of Attorneys. Medado justifies this lapse by characterizing his acts as “neither willful nor intentional but
based on a mistaken belief and an honest error of judgment.
The Office of the Bar Confidant recommended that the instant petition be denied for petitioner’s gross
negligence, gross misconduct and utter lack of merit, saying that petitioner could offer no valid justification for
his negligence in signing in the Roll of Attorneys.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner may be allowed to sign the Roll of Attorneys.
RULING:

Yes, the Supreme Court granted the petition subject to the payment of a fine and the imposition of a penalty
equivalent to suspension from the practice of law.
Not allowing Medado to sign in the Roll of Attorneys would be akin to imposing upon him the ultimate penalty
of disbarment, a penalty reserved for the most serious ethical transgressions. In this case, said action is not
warranted.

15
The Court considered Medado’s demonstration of good faith in filing the petition himself, albeit after the
passage of more than 30 years; that he has shown that he possesses the character required to be a member
of the Philippine Bar; and that he appears to have been a competent and able legal practitioner, having held
various positions at different firms and companies.
However, Medado is not free from all liability for his years of inaction.
A mistake of law cannot be utilized as a lawful justification, because everyone is presumed to know the law
and its consequences.
Medado may have at first operated under an honest mistake of fact when he thought that what he had signed
at the PICC entrance before the oath-taking was already the Roll of Attorneys. However, the moment he
realized that what he had signed was just an attendance record, he could no longer claim an honest mistake of
fact as a valid justification. At that point, he should have known that he was not a full-fledged member of the
Philippine Bar, as it was the act of signing therein that would have made him so. When, in spite of this
knowledge, he chose to continue practicing law, he willfully engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
Knowingly engaging in unauthorized practice of law likewise transgresses Canon 9 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. At the heart of Canon 9 is the lawyer’s duty to prevent the unauthorized practice of law. This
duty likewise applies to law students and Bar candidates. As aspiring members of the Bar, they are bound to
conduct themselves in accordance with the ethical standards of the legal profession.
Medado cannot be suspended as he is not yet a full-fledged lawyer. However, the Court imposed upon him a
penalty akin to suspension by allowing him to sign in the Roll of Attorneys one (1) year after receipt of the
Resolution. He was also made to pay a fine of P32,000. Also, during the one-year period, petitioner was not
allowed to engage in the practice of law.

LETTER OF ATTY. CECILIO Y. AREVALO, JR., REQUESTING EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF IBP
DUES
Facts:
In his letter, dated 22 September 2004, petitioner sought exemption from payment of IBP dues in the amount
of P12,035.00 as alleged unpaid accountability for the years 1977-2005. He alleged that after being admitted to
the Philippine Bar in 1961, he became part of the Philippine Civil Service from July 1962 until 1986, then
migrated to, and worked in, the USA in December 1986 until his retirement in the year 2003. He maintained
that he cannot be assessed IBP dues for the years that he was working in the Philippine Civil Service since the
Civil Service law prohibits the practice of one’s profession while in government service, and neither can he be
assessed for the years when he was working in the USA.😁

Issue: whether or nor petitioner is entitled to exemption from payment of his dues during the time that he was
inactive in the practice of law
Ruling:
The supreme court held that the payment of dues is a necessary consequence of membership in the IBP, of
which no one is exempt. This means that the compulsory nature of payment of dues subsists for as long as
one’s membership in the IBP remains regardless of the lack of practice of, or the type of practice, the member
is engaged in.
There is nothing in the law or rules which allows exemption from payment of membership dues. At most, as
correctly observed by the IBP, he could have informed the Secretary of the Integrated Bar of his intention to
stay abroad before he left. In such case, his membership in the IBP could have been terminated and his
obligation to pay dues could have been discontinued.
16
But we must here emphasize that the practice of law is not a property right but a mere privilege, and as such
must bow to the inherent regulatory power of the Court to exact compliance with the lawyer’s public
responsibilities.
ROGELIO A. TAN VS. BENEDICTO M. BALAJADIA
Facts: An original petition for contempt against respondent Benedicto Balajadia was filed by Rogelio Tan, et.
al.
Petitioners’ Allegation: Petitioners allege that on May 8, 2005, respondent filed a criminal case against them
with the Office of the City of Prosecutor of Baguio City for usurpation of authority, grave coercion and violation
of city tax ordinance due to the alleged illegal collection of parking fees by petitioners from respondent. In
paragraph 5 of the complaint-affidavit, respondent asserted that he is a "practicing lawyer based in Baguio City
with office address at Room B-207, 2/F Lopez Building, Session Road, Baguio City.” However, certifications
issued by the Office of the Bar Confidant and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines showed that respondent has
never been admitted to the Philippine Bar. Hence, petitioners claim that respondent is liable for indirect
contempt for misrepresenting himself as a lawyer.
Respondent’s Defense: Respondent avers that the allegation in paragraph 5 of the complaint-affidavit that he
is a practicing lawyer was an honest mistake. He claims that the secretary of Atty. Paterno Aquino prepared
the subject complaint-affidavit which was patterned after Atty. Aquino's complaint-affidavit, who had previously
filed a complaint-affidavit against petitioners involving the same subject matter. Liza Laconsay, Atty. Aquino's
secretary, executed an affidavit admitting the mistake in the preparation of the complaint- affidavit.
Issue: Whether or not respondent Balajadia is liable for direct Contempt.
Held: NO, he is not liable for indirect contempt. In determining liability for criminal contempt, well-settled is the
rule that intent is a necessary element, and no one can be punished unless the evidence makes it clear that he
intended to commit it. In the case at bar, a review of the records supports respondent's claim that he never
intended to project himself as a lawyer to the public. It was a clear inadvertence on the part of the secretary of
Atty Aquino. The affidavit of Liza Laconsay attesting to the circumstances that gave rise to the mistake in the
drafting of the complaint-affidavit conforms to the documentary evidence on record. Taken together, these
circumstances show that the allegation in paragraph 5 of respondent's complaint-affidavit was, indeed, the
result of inadvertence.
SC: CASE DISMISSED. Respondent is WARNED to be more careful and circumspect in his future actions.
NO RULING FROM LOWER COURT BECAUSE THIS IS AN ORIGINAL PETITION WITH THE SC.

In RE: Petition for Reinstatement in the Roll of Attorneys, JUAN T. PUBLICO


FACTS:
THREE PETITIONS (from Publico, faculty of Polytechnic University, Civic Association in Manila):
Petition to take the Bar Exam in 1960 after failing in the 1959 Bar Examination.
His uncle, TAPEL, opposed the petition alleging that his nephew is not a person of good moral character for
having misrepresented, sometime in 1950, when he was 16 years old, that he was eligible for 3rd year high
school by utilizing the school records of his cousin and name-sake, Juan M. Publico.
i. PUBLICO has not completed Grade 4
ii. Tapel instituted an administrative case against his nephew for falsification of
school records or credentials.
17
PUBLICO PASSED THE BAR, took the lawyer's oath, and signed the Roll of Attorneys.
Legal Officer-Investigator, Ricardo Paras, Jr., investigated and reported:
September 1961, Dulcisimo Tapel dropped the complaint on the ground that his witnesses had turned hostile.
i. Motion denied, his witnesses had already testified.
Recommended PUBLICO’s name to be stricken off the roll of attorneys.
i. Respondent falsified his school records
ii. Thereby violating the provisions of Sections 5 and 6, Rule 127 of the Rules of
Court, which require completion by a bar examinee or candidate of the prescribed courses in elementary, high,
pre-law and law school, prior to his admission to the practice of law.
11 years later, PUBLICO filed a Petition for Reinstatement alleging that he had never received, for had he
been informed, nor did he have any knowledge of the Resolution of the Court ordering the Bar Division to strike
his name from the Roll of Attorneys.

He was advised to inquire into the outcome of the disbarment case against him.
He resigned from all his positions in public and private offices, and transferred to Manila.
Prayed that Court allow reinstatement taking into consideration his exemplary conduct from the time he
became a lawyer, his services to the community the numerous awards, resolutions and/'or commendations he
received,
i. Court denied the Petition.
ii. Petitioner moved for reconsideration was denied by the Court for lack of
merit.
5th plea avers that his enrollment in Third Year High School in Manila was through the initiative of his uncle,
Dulcisimo B. Tapel who accompanied him to school and enrolled him in a grade level above his qualifications
in spite of his demonstrations
i. Misrepresentation committed was precipitated by his uncle; that being merely
16 year old, he could not be expected to act with discernment as he was still under the influence of his uncle,
who later on caused his disbarment
ii. No opposition has been filed to any of the petitions.

ISSUE:
WON PUBLICO can be reinstated, for being in exemplary moral character despite not completing pre-law
requirements? YES.

HELD:
Petitioner is hereby ordered REINSTATED in the Roll of Attorneys.
REINSTATEMENT CRITERIA:
WON the applicant shall be reinstated rests to a great extent in the sound discretion of the court,
18
Court action will depend WON it decides that the public interest in the orderly and impartial administration of
justice will be conserved by the applicant's participation therein in the capacity of an attorney and counselor at
law.
Applicant must, like a candidate for admission to the bar, satisfy the court that he is a person of good moral
character — a fit and proper person to practice law.
Court will take into consideration the applicant's character and standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and
character of the charge for which he was disbarred, his conduct subsequent to the disbarment, and the time
that has elapsed between the disbarment and the application for reinstatement.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HON. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA, Presiding Judge of
Branch 12, Regional Trial Court of Antique, and AVELINO T. JAVELLANA, respondents. ULANDU
On September 8, 1999, we denied the Peoples motion seeking reconsideration of our August 13, 1990
decision in these cases. In said resolution, we held that respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda committed
no grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order of August 8, 1989 giving custody over private respondent
Avelino T. Javellana to the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, Atty.
Deogracias del Rosario, during the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At that time, sufficient reason
was shown why private respondent Javellana should not be detained at the Antique Provincial Jail. The trial
courts order specifically provided for private respondents detention at the residence of Atty. del Rosario.
However, private respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam around but was to be held as detention
prisoner in said residence.
This order of the trial court was not strictly complied with because private respondent was not detained in the
residence of Atty. Del Rosario. He went about his normal activities as if he were a free man, including
engaging in the practice of law. Despite our resolution of July 30, 1990 prohibiting private respondent to appear
as counsel in Criminal Case No. 4262,[1] the latter accepted cases and continued practicing law.
On April 7, 1997, Senior State Prosecutor Henrick F. Guingoyon filed with the Supreme Court a motion seeking
clarification on the following questions: "(1) Does the resolution of this Honorable Court dated July 30, 1990,
prohibiting Atty. Javellana from appearing as counsel refer only to Criminal Case No. 4262? (2) Is Atty. now
(Judge) Deogracias del Rosario still the custodian of Atty. Javellana? and (3) Since it appears that Atty. (now
Judge) del Rosario never really held and detained Atty. Javellana as prisoner in his residence, is not Atty.
Javellana considered an escapee or a fugitive of justice for which warrant for his arrest should forthwith be
issued?"[2] Mis spped
In a resolution dated June 18, 1997, we "noted" the above motion.
After we denied the motion for reconsideration on September 8, 1999, the trial court resumed hearing Criminal
Cases Nos. 3350-3355. Earlier, on August 2, 1999, Rolando Mijares filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch
12, San Jose, Antique, a motion seeking the revocation of the trial courts custody order and the imprisonment
of private respondent Javellana in the provincial jail.
On November 15, 1999, private respondent Javellana filed with the Supreme Court an urgent motion seeking
to clarify whether the June 18, 1997 resolution finally terminated or resolved the motion for clarification filed by
the State Prosecutor on April 7, 1997.
Private respondent Javellana has been arrested based on the filing of criminal cases against him. By such
arrest, he is deemed to be under the custody of the law. The trial court gave Atty. Deogracias del Rosario the
custody of private respondent Javellana with the obligation "to hold and detain" him in Atty. del Rosarios
residence in his official capacity as the clerk of court of the regional trial court. Hence, when Atty. del Rosario

19
was appointed judge, he ceased to be the personal custodian of accused Javellana and the succeeding clerk
of court must be deemed the custodian under the same undertaking.
In our mind, the perceived threats to private respondent Javelanas life no longer exist. Thus, the trial courts
order dated August 8, 1989 giving custody over him to the clerk of court must be recalled, and he shall be
detained at the Provincial Jail of Antique at San Jose, Antique.
Regarding his continued practice of law, as a detention prisoner private respondent Javellana is not allowed to
practice his profession as a necessary consequence of his status as a detention prisoner. The trial courts order
was clear that private respondent "is not to be allowed liberty to roam around but is to be held as a detention
prisoner." The prohibition to practice law referred not only to Criminal Case No. 4262, but to all other cases as
well, except in cases where private respondent would appear in court to defend himself. Spped
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for an offense is arrested, he is deemed placed under the custody
of the law. He is placed in actual restraint of liberty in jail so that he may be bound to answer for the
commission of the offense.[3] He must be detained in jail during the pendency of the case against him, unless
he is authorized by the court to be released on bail or on recognizance.[4] Let it be stressed that all prisoners
whether under preventive detention or serving final sentence can not practice their profession nor engage in
any business or occupation, or hold office, elective or appointive, while in detention. This is a necessary
consequence of arrest and detention. Consequently, all the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355 must
be confined in the Provincial Jail of Antique.
Considering that the pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355 has dragged on for more than ten (10)
years, the presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, San Jose, Antique, is ordered to continue
with the trial of said criminal cases with all deliberate dispatch and to avoid further delay.
WHEREFORE, the August 8, 1989 order of the trial court is hereby SET ASIDE. All accused in Criminal Cases
Nos. 3350-3355, including Avelino T. Javellana and Arturo F. Pacificador are ordered detained at the
Provincial Jail of Antique, San Jose, Antique, effective immediately, and shall not be allowed to go out of the
jail for any reason or guise, except upon prior written permission of the trial court for a lawful purpose.
Let copies of this resolution be given to the Provincial Director, PNP Antique Provincial Police Office, San
Jose, Antique and to the Provincial Jail Warden, Provincial Jail of Antique, San Jose, Antique.
SO ORDERED.

Santos, Jr. vs. Atty. Llamas, AC 4749


FACTS:
Atty. Francisco Llamas was complained of not paying his IBP dues.He was also cited in the complaint as not
paying his professional tax or PTR as it was intermittently indicated in his pleadings filed in court. It was also
an alleged falsity when he included his “IBP-Rizal 259060” where in fact he was not in good standing.
Petitioner cited that Atty. Llamas was dismissed as Pasay City Judge. But later revealed that the decision was
reversed and he was subsequently promoted as RTC Judge of Makati. He also had criminal case involving
estafabut was appealed pending in the Court of Appeals. In the numerous violations of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, he expressed willingness to settle the IBP dues and plea for a more temperate
application of the law.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Llamas is guilty of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:

20
YES. Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for one (1) year, or until he has paid his IBP dues.
RATIO:
Even if he had “limited” practice of law, it does not relieve him of the duties such as payment of IBP dues. Rule
139-A provides:
Sec. 10. Effect of non-payment of dues. — Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule, default in the
payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar, and
default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member
from the Roll of Attorneys.
Under the Code of Professional Responsibility:
Rule 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
Rule 10.01 — A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any court; nor shall he mislead
or allow the court to be misled by any artifice.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs. PATRICK DE LUNA, defendant-appellant.
Two main issues are raised by defendant-appellant in his appeal from the decision of Branch 10 of the
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City: (1) Whether or not the defendant-appellant entered a valid plea of guilty to
the offense as charged in the information; and (2) Assuming that there was a valid plea of guilty, whether the
accused may waive the presentation of evidence for the prosecution.
Charged with Murder before Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, under the following
information,
That on or about the 17th day of December 1986, at about 7:00 P.M., in the City of Cebu, Philippines, and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused with deliberate intent, with intent to kill and with
treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there attack, assault and use personal violence upon one
Tricia by punching and kicking her on the different parts of her body thereby inflicting upon her the following
physical injuries: CARDIO RESPIRATORY ARREST, SECONDARY TO SEVERE MULTIPLE INJURIES,
TRAUMATIC. and as a consequence of said injuries Tricia died in the next day.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
defendant-appellant Patrick de Luna, assisted by Counsel-de Oficio Atty. David Ompoc, when arraigned on
December 23, 1986, entered a PLEA OF GUILTY with the qualification that "hindi ko sinasadya."
The five-page transcript of stenographic notes taken on the day of the arraignment reveals the following:
INTERPRETER: (TO ACCUSED)
(After reading the Information)
Q: Do you understand the charge which I have just read to you?
ACCUSED DE LUNA:
A: Yes, I understand but I have no motive to kill her. I was drunk at that time.
INTERPRETER: (TO ACCUSED)
Q: What do you say to this charge, are you guilty or not?
ACCUSED DE LUNA:
A: I am guilty but" hindi ko sinasadya ang nangyari." I was so drunk.
COURT:
Companero, did the accused understand that this is a capital offense?
21
ATTY. OMPOC: (Explaining to the accused)
Do you understand that this is a capital offense?
ACCUSED DE LUNA:
A: Yes, but' hindi ko sinasadya ang nangyari.
xxx xxx xxx
COURT:
Under the law, the Rules of Court, the prosecution will have to present evidence in order to determine the
culpability of the accused in this heinous charge of Murder.
(TO ACCUSED):
What does the accused say, do we have to present evidence for the prosecution?
ACCUSED DE LUNA:
A: No more evidence. No more presentation of evidence. I accept my fault but I want the court to know
that I have no motive to kill her.

ATTY. OMPOC:
The accused your honor categorically stated that he does not want evidence to be presented but he accepts
his fault, but according to him, he did not intend to commit the crime, "hindi sinasadya."
COURT: (TO ACCUSED)
So you admit the charge against you? You understood the charge of Murder filed against you and you admit
you are guilty?
ACCUSED DE LUNA:
Yes, I am guilty but I have no intention to kill the child. 3

Thereupon, the court a quo rendered a decision dated December 23, 1986 convicting defendant-appellant of
the crime of Murder. The decision reads, thus:
When this case was called for arraignment, Atty. David G. Ompoc, appointed Counsel-de-Oficio for the
accused Patrick de Luna lengthily conferred with the accused and after such lengthy conference with the
accused, accused Patrick de Luna, upon arraignment registered his plea of Guilty to the charge of Murder with
the qualification that 'hindi niya sinasadya.
Being informed of the charge and having understood the said accusation, the accused waived his right that the
prosecution present its evidence in order to determine for this court the degree of culpability of the accused
under the present charge.
Aside from the plea of Guilty, the records is [sic] replete with evidence strongly and indubitably showing that on
the 17th day of December, 1986 at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening, the accused, with deliberate intent, with
intent to kill and with treachery and evident premeditation, did then and there attack, assault and use personal
violence upon one little, small [sic] girl named Tricia by punching and kicking her on the different parts of her
body thereby inflicting upon her the following physical injuries:
Cardiorespiratory Arrest, Secondary to Severe Multiple Injuries, Traumatic' and as a consequence of said
injuries, Tricia died the next day.
WHEREFORE, finding accused Patrick de Luna Guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the came of Murder and
appreciating in his favor the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty plus his manifestation to this court that he
did not intentionally want it to happen that way, the court hereby sentences accused Patrick de Luna to
Reclusion Perpetua (life imprisonment) and to indemnify the heirs of Tricia the sum of P 30,000.00.
Costs de oficio.
SO ORDERED.
Not satisfied therewith, the defendant-appellant interposed this appeal alleging that the trial court committed
the following errors:
22
I
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN SENTENCING THE ACCUSED FOR MURDER WHICH WAS NOT
PLEADED OR ADMITTED BY THE ACCUSED, BECAUSE OF HIS QUALIFICATION TO HIS PLEA, THAT HE
DID NOT COMMIT THE CRIME INTENTIONALLY.
II
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN NOT REQUIRING THE PROSECUTION TO PRESENT EVIDENCE IN
ORDER TO DETERMINE THE PROPER PENALTY FOR THE CRIME INVOLVED.
In his first assigned error, it is the contention of appellant that the trial court misappreciated the plea of guilty
made by him. Appellant contends that what he admitted was the commission of the crime of Homicide and not
Murder because of the repeated qualification to his plea that he did not commit the crime intentionally. He
denied the allegations of treachery and evident premeditation in the information which are necessary to sustain
a charge and subsequent conviction for Murder. He questions the appreciation by the trial court that what was
proved by the qualification 'hindi ko sinasadya' was only the mitigating circumstance of "no intention to commit
so grave a wrong" recited in paragraph 3, Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code, and claims that in truth and in
fact his plea was that of guilt of the lesser offense of Homicide, not Murder.
The essence of a plea of guilty is that the accused admits his guilt, freely, voluntarily, and with a full knowledge
of the consequences and meaning of his act and with a clear understanding of the precise nature of the crime
charged in the complaint or information. 5
While it is true that a plea of guilty admits all the allegations in the information including the aggravating and
qualifying circumstances, 6 the repeated and emphatic qualification stated by the defendant- appellant as
regards his plea of guilty should have drawn the attention of the trial court that the plea was made without a full
knowledge of its consequences. Apparently, counsel failed to advise him as to the meaning and effect of the
technical language used in the information qualifying the acts constituting the offense.
In order to be valid, the plea must be an unconditional admission of guilt. It must be of such nature as to
foreclose the defendant's right to defend himself from said charge, thus leaving the court no alternative but to
impose the penalty fixed by law. 7
Under the circumstances of this case, the appellant's qualified plea of guilty is not a valid plea of guilty.
Thus, this Court has ruled that:
An accused may not enter a conditional plea of guilty in the sense that he admits his guilt, provided that a
certain penalty be imposed upon him. In such cases, the information should first be amended or modified with
the consent of the fiscal if the facts so warrant, or the accused must be considered as having entered a plea of
not guilty. 8
While this Court has had the occasion to rule that it is permissible for an accused to enter a plea of guilty to the
crime charged with the reservation to prove mitigating circumstances, 9 considering, however, the gravity of
the offense charged in the case at bar, the more prudent course for the trial court to follow is to reject the plea
made by the appellant and direct the parties to submit their respective evidence.
Even assuming that the plea was in fact to the lesser offense of Homicide and not Murder, as stated by
appellant in his appeal, 10 this Court cannot sustain appellant's earnest request for an immediate reduction of
the penalty imposed by the trial court. This procedure would run contrary to the explicit provisions of Section 2,
Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, which states:
SEC. 2. Plea of guilty to a lesser offense.-The accused, with the consent of the offended party and the fiscal,
may be allowed by the trial court to plead guilty to a lesser offense, regardless of whether or not it is

23
necessarily included in the crime charged, or is cognizable by a court of lesser jurisdiction than the trial court.
No amendment of the complaint or information is necessary. (Emphasis supplied.)
The consent of the fiscal and the offended party is necessary. If the plea of guilty to a lesser offense is made
without the consent of the fiscal and the offended party, the conviction of the accused shall not be a bar to
another prosecution for an offense which necessarily includes the offense charged in the former information.
On the second assigned error, it is the contention of appellant that the trial court, after a plea of guilty to a
capital offense (Murder), should have required the prosecution to present its evidence to determine the proper
penalty to be imposed.
The Court sustains the appellant on this score.
This Court has had the opportunity to formulate this proceedings as early as People vs. Apduhan, Jr." and a
long line of cases thereafter.
In People vs. Camay, this Court has ruled that:
The procedure to be followed in a situation like this where the accused, with assistance of counsel, voluntarily
pleads guilty to a capital offense is explicitly laid down in Sec. 3, Rule 116 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure
promulgated by the Court, and which went into effect on January 1, 1985. This new rule states:
When an accused pleads guilty to a capital offense, the court shall conduct a searching inquiry into the
voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of his plea and require the prosecution to prove his
guilt and the precise degree of culpability. The accused may also present evidence in his behalf.
The amended rule is a capsulization of the provisions of the old rule and pertinent jurisprudence. We had
several occasions to issue the caveat that even if the trial court is satisfied that the plea of guilty was entered
with full knowledge of its meaning and consequences, the court must still require the introduction of evidence
for the purpose of establishing the guilt and the degree of culpability of the defendant.
Under the new formulation, three (3) things are enjoined of the trial court after a plea of guilty to a capital
offense has been entered by the accused:
1. The court must conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the
consequences of his plea;
2. The court must require the prosecution to present evidence to prove the guilt of the accused and the
precise degree of his culpability; and
3 The court must ask the accused if he desires to present evidence in his behalf and allow him to do so if
he desires.

This rule is, therefore, mandatory.


After a plea of guilty in capital offenses, it is imperative that the trial court requires the presentation of evidence
for the prosecution to enable itself to determine the precise participation and the degree of culpability of the
accused in the perpetration of the capital offense charged.
In his Manifestation, in lieu of Appellee's Brief, the Solicitor General, in fact, made the following observation:
Herein trial court's recognition and admission of appellant's purported waiver of his right that the prosecution
present further evidence ... is rather odd. For it is the duty of the trial court to take evidence in capital cases
where accused enters a plea of guilty ... 15
Thus, notwithstanding the waiver made by the appellant as to the presentation of evidence by the prosecution,
the presentation of evidence should be required in order to preclude any room for reasonable doubt in the mind
24
of the trial court, or the Supreme Court on review, as to the possibility that there might have been some
misunderstanding on the part of the accused as to the nature of the charge to which he pleaded guilty, and to
ascertain the circumstances attendant to the commission of the crime which justify or require the exercise of a
greater or lesser degree of severity in the imposition of the prescribed penalties. 16
WHEREFORE, the decision of the trial court dated December 23, 1986 is hereby SET ASIDE. The case is
remanded to said court for a new arraignment and further proceeding. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

Alawi v Alauya
Facts:
Sophia Alawi was a sales representative of E.B. Villarosa & Partners Co., Ltd. of Davao City, a real estate and
housing company. Ashari M. Alauya is the incumbent executive clerk of court of the 4th Judicial Shari’a District
in Marawi City, They were classmates, and used to be friends.
Through Alawi’s agency, a contract was executed for the purchase on installments by Alauya of one of the
housing units of Villarosa. In connection, a housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the National Home
Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).
Not long afterwards, Alauya addressed a letter to the President of Villarosa & Co. advising of the termination of
his contract with the company. He claimed that his consent was vitiated because Alawi had resorted to gross
misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, dishonesty and abuse of confidence. He laso wrote similar letters to the Vice
President of Villarosa and the Vice President of NHMFC.
On learning of Alauya’s letters, Alawi filed an administrative complaint against him. One of her grounds was
Alauya’s usurpation of the title of “attorney,” which only regular members of the Philippine Bar may properly
use.
Alauya justified his use of the title, “attorney,” by the assertion that it is “lexically synonymous” with
“Counsellors-at-law.” a title to which Shari’a lawyers have a rightful claim, adding that he prefers the title of
“attorney” because “counsellor” is often mistaken for “councilor,” “konsehal” or the Maranao term “consial,”
connoting a local legislator beholden to the mayor. Withal, he does not consider himself a lawyer.
Issue: Whether or not Alauya, a member of the Shari’a bar, can use the title of Attorney
Held:
He can’t. The title is only reserved to those who pass the regular Philippine bar.
As regards Alauya’s use of the title of “Attorney,” this Court has already had occasion to declare that persons
who pass the Shari’a Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar, hence may only practice law
before Shari’a courts. While one who has been admitted to the Shari’a Bar, and one who has been admitted to
the Philippine Bar, may both be considered “counsellors,” in the sense that they give counsel or advice in a
professional capacity, only the latter is an “attorney.” The title of “attorney” is reserved to those who, having
obtained the necessary degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been
admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in good standing; and it is they
only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction

RE: 1999 BAR EXAMINATIONS, MARK ANTHONY A. PURISIMA, petitioner.

25
Petitioner was conditionally admitted to take the 1999 Bar Examinations. Like many others he was directed to
submit the required certification of completion of the pre-bar review course within sixty (60) days from the last
day of the examinations.
Petitioner passed the 1999 Examinations. But in a Resolution dated 13 April 2000 the Court disqualified him
from becoming a member of the Philippine Bar and declared his examinations null and void on two (2)
grounds: (a) Petitioner failed to submit the required certificate of completion of the pre-bar review course under
oath for his conditional admission to the 1999 Bar Examinations; and (b) He committed a serious act of
dishonesty which rendered him unfit to become a member of the Philippine Bar when he made it appear in his
Petition to Take the 1999 Bar Examinations that he took his pre-bar review course at the Philippine Law School
(PLS) when, as certified by Acting Registrar Rasalie G. Kapauan, PLS had not offered such course since 1967.
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the 13 April 2000 Resolution but his motion was denied.
On 29 October 2001, retired Regional Trial Court Judge Amante P. Purisima, father of petitioner, filed a
Petition to Reopen Bar Matter 986. However, the Court in its Resolution of 27 November 2001 noted without
action the said petition and further resolved that no further pleadings will be entertained.
On 2 July 2002 petitioner filed a Motion for Due Process stating, among others, his reasons why in his Petition
to Take the 1999 Bar Examinations it was stated that he was enrolled in and regularly attending the pre-bar
review course at the PLS and not at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) where he in fact took the said course
as evidenced by the Certification dated 22 July 1999 of Dean Amado L. Damayuga of the UST Faculty of Civil
Law.
Petitioner claimed that the statement in paragraph 8 of his Petition that he x x x enrolled in and passed the
regular fourth year (law) review classes at the Phil. Law School x x x x was a self-evident clerical error and a
mere result of an oversight which is not tantamount to a deliberate and willful declaration of a falsehood.
Petitioner explained that upon obtaining a ready-made form of the Petition and affixing his signature on the
space provided therefor, he requested his schoolmate/friend Ms. Lilian A. Felipe to fill up the form, have it
notarized and then to file it for him with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC). Being consumed with his
preparations for the upcoming bar examinations, petitioner admitted that he did not have the opportunity to
check the veracity of the information supplied by Ms. Felipe. Had he done this he could have readily seen that
Ms. Felipe had erroneously typed Philippine Law School, instead of UST, on the space provided for the school
where petitioner attended his pre-bar review course.
Petitioner further averred that on 26 July 1999, a week after the filing of the Petition to take the bar, he (thru
Ms. Felipe) submitted the Certification of Completion of the Pre-Bar Review as Annex D of his Petition to prove
that he actually enrolled and attended the pre-bar review course in UST.
To corroborate his enrollment in UST, petitioner submitted (a) the Official Receipt of his payment of tuition fee
for the course; (b) his identification card for the course; (c) car pass to the UST campus; (d) individual affidavits
of classmates in the pre-bar review course in UST that petitioner was their classmate and that he attended the
review course; (e) separate affidavits of five (5) UST students/acquaintances of petitioner that they saw him
regularly attending the review lectures; (f) affidavit of Professor Abelardo T. Domondon attesting to the
attendance of petitioner in his review classes and lectures in Taxation and Bar Review Methods at the UST
Faculty of Civil Law; (g) affidavit of Ms. Gloria L. Fernandez, maintenance staff at the UST Law Department
that she knew petitioner very well as he was among those who would arrive early and request her to open the
reading area and turn on the airconditioning before classes started; and, (h) affidavit of Ms. Melicia Jane
Parena, office clerk at the UST Faculty Civil Law, that Dean Dimayuga issued the Certification dated 22 July
1999 to the effect that petitioner was officially enrolled in and had completed the pre-bar review course in UST
which started on 14 April 1999 and ended 24 September 1999.

26
Petitioner also explained that he did not submit the required certification of completion of the pre-bar review
course within sixty (60) days from the last day of the examinations because he thought that it was already
unnecessary in view of the Certification of Completion (Annex D of his Petition) issued by Dean Dimayuga
which not only attested to his enrollment in UST but also his completion of the pre-bar review course.
In a letter dated 17 September 2002, addressed to Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., thru Senior Associate
Justice Josue N. Bellosillo, who took over as Chairman of the 1995 Committee on Bar Examinations, retired
Judge Purisima expressed his concern for his son and stated that his son took the pre-bar review course in
UST and that he entry in his sons Petition that he took it in PLS is a self-evident clerical error. He then poised
the question that if there was really a falsehood and forgery in paragraph 8 and Annex D of the Petition, which
would have been a fatal defect, why then was his son issued permit to take the 1999 Bar examinations?

Pursuant to the Court Resolution of 1 October 2002, the OBC conducted a summary hearing on 30 October
2002 during which the Bar Confidant asked clarificatory questions from petitioner who appeared together with
his father, retired Judge Purisima, and Ms. Lilian Felipe.
On 7 November 2002 the OBC submitted its Report and Recommendation the pertinent portions of which are
quoted hereunder:
Considering petitioners explanation fortified by unquestionably genuine documents in support thereof, we
respectfully submit that petitioner should be given the benefit of the doubt.
The Resolution of the Court dated April 2, 2002, in Bar Matter 890, may be cited. In the said case, Victor Rey
T. Gingoyon was given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to take the Lawyers Oath.
In said case, Mr. Gingoyon stated in his Petition to take the 1998 Bar that the charge of Grave Threats
(Criminal Case No. 9693) against him was still pending before the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Mandaue
City, Branch 3, when in fact, in the decision of MTC dated April 8, 1998, he was already convicted. But the
Court believed his explanation that he had no actual knowledge of his conviction.
In allowing Mr. Gingoyon to take the Lawyers Oath, the Court stated, thus:
It had been two (2) years past since he first filed the petition to take the lawyers oath. Hopefully, this period of
time of being deprived the privilege had been long enough for him to do some introspection.
In his letter, petitioners father also pleaded that the three (3) years denial of his sons request for oath-taking
should be enough penalty, if there may be any wrong that his son may have unwittingly committed.
It is submitted that the same kindness and compassion extended to Mr. Gingoyon in Bar Matter 890 be given
to petitioner. Three years deprivation of the privilege to practice law may be considered an ample penalty, not
to mention that petitioner has not been convicted of any crime.
As regards petitioners failure to submit within sixty days the required certification of completion of the pre-bar
review course, his explanation that there was no need for him to submit another certification because the July
22, 1999 Certification of Dean Dimayuga certified not only his enrollment but also his completion of the course,
is impressed with truth.
Let it be also noted that, in the Resolution dated April 13, 2000, in this Bar Matter 986, the Court declared
DISQUALIFIED from the 1999 Bar examinations not only Purisima but also Josenio Marquez Reoma, Ma.
Salvacion Sucgang Revilla and Victor Estell Tesorero for their failure to submit within sixty days from the last
day of the examinations the certification of completion of the pre-bar review course. However, the Court, in its
Resolution dated June 20, 2000, acting on the separate motions for reconsideration of the Court Resolution
dated April 13, 2000 filed by Reoma and Revilla, both were allowed to take the Lawyers Oath.

27
In the case of Reoma, his explanation that his failure to submit the required certification was due to his honest
belief and assumption that the UP College of Law, where he took his review course, had filed the required
certification together with other required documents, was accepted.
In the case of Revilla, her claim that her failure to submit the required certification within the 60-day period was
due to her erroneous impression that only the certification of enrollment and attendance was arequired, was
likewise accepted.

The Court also allowed Mr. Tesorero to take his oath, as he stated that his f ailure to submit within the 60-day
period was due to his honest and mistaken belief that he had substantially complied with the requirements for
admission to the Bar Examinations because he thought that the required certificate of compleltition of the pre-
bar review course is the same as the certificate of enrollment and attendance in the said course.
The OBS respectfully submits that pertitioners explanation should also be given credit just like his three co-
examinees.
Let it be finally cited that in Bar Matter No. 832, in the Matter of Admission to the Bar of Blas Antonio M. Tuliao,
the Court also favorably considered the report of the Committee on Legal Education which recommended the
admission to the Bar of Mr. Tuliao on grounds of fairness, equal treatment and protection, considering that his
co-accused in a criminal case have been allowed to take the lawyers oath. This Court stated, in its Resolution
dated November 27, 2001, that there was no reason to accord a different treatment to Mr. Tuliao, and that the
dispensation of justice should be even-handed and consistent.
The recommendation is well taken.
The foremost question to be resolved is whether petitioner did enrol in and complete his pre-bar review course
in UST as he herein avows.
The testimony of petitioner and Ms. Felipe during the 30 October 2002 hearing that the subject Certification of
Dean Dimayuga was duly submitted to the OBC a week after the filing of the Petition to take the bar appears to
be credible. It is supported by documentary evidence showing that petitioner actually enrolled and completed
the required course in UST.
Granting that the Certification of Dean Dimayuga was defective as it certified completion of the pre-bar review
course which was still on-going, this defect should not be attributed to petitioner considering that he had no
participation in the preparation thereof. Whatever it is, the fact remains that there is such a certification issued
by the UST which appears to be genuine. This finding is backed by the affidavit of Ms. Parena, office clerk at
the UST Faculty of Civil Law, that she was the one who released the Certification to petitioner on 26 July 1999.
Indeed, it must be stressed that there is nothing on record which impugns the authenticity of the subject
Certification as well as that of the other documentary evidence proferred by petitioner to establish that he was
duly enrolled and took the pre-bar review course in UST, not in PLS. As to the argument that the Certification
of Dean Dimayuga did not include the taking and completion of the pre-bar review course, the realities of our
bar reviews render it difficult to record the attendance religiously of the reviewees every single day for several
months.
Considering petitioners explanation, fortified by undisputedly genuine documents, at the very least, petitioner
should be given the benefit of the doubt and be allowed to take his oath.
The Court is well aware of instances in the past when ,as a measure of compassion and kindness, it has acted
favorably on similar petitions. In his letter petitioners father pleaded that the denial of permission for Mark to
take his oath for about three (3) years now should be enough penalty. It is time to move on.

28
At this juncture it may be well to note the Courts growing concern over the apparent laxity of law schools in the
conduct of their pre-bar review classes. Specifically, it has been observed that the attendance of reviewees is
not closely monitored, such that some reviewees are able to comply with the requisite with minimal attendance.
Enrollment and completion of pre-bar review course is an additional requirement under Rule 138 of the Rules
of Court for those who failed the bar examinations for three (3) or more times.
For the Court to insist on strict compliance may be literally asking for the moon but it can be done. We just
have to bear in mind that this requirement is not an empty or idle ceremony; it is intended to ensure the quality
and preparedness of those applying for admission to the bar.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, as recommended by the Office of the Bar Confidant in its Report and
Recommendation dated 7 November 2002, the prayer in Bar Matters Nos. 979 and 986 is granted and
examinee MARK ANTHONY A. PURISIMA who passed the 1999 Bar Examinations is now allowed to take the
Lawyers Oath and be admitted to the Philippine Bar. He is further allowed to sign the Roll of Attorneys upon
payment of the required fees.
SO ORDERED.

ALAN F. PAGUIA, Petitioner,


vs. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, and HON. HILARIO DAVIDE, JR.
in his capacity as Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, Respondents.
At issue is the power of Congress to limit the President’s prerogative to nominate ambassadors by legislating
age qualifications despite the constitutional rule limiting Congress’ role in the appointment of ambassadors to
the Commission on Appointments’ confirmation of nominees.1 However, for lack of a case or controversy
grounded on petitioner’s lack of capacity to sue and mootness,2 we dismiss the petition without reaching the
merits, deferring for another day the resolution of the question raised, novel and fundamental it may be.
Petitioner Alan F. Paguia (petitioner), as citizen and taxpayer, filed this original action for the writ of certiorari to
invalidate President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s nomination of respondent former Chief Justice Hilario G.
Davide, Jr. (respondent Davide) as Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) for violation of
Section 23 of Republic Act No. 7157 (RA 7157), the Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991. Petitioner argues
that respondent Davide’s age at that time of his nomination in March 2006, 70, disqualifies him from holding his
post. Petitioner grounds his argument on Section 23 of RA 7157 pegging the mandatory retirement age of all
officers and employees of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) at 65.3 Petitioner theorizes that Section 23
imposes an absolute rule for all DFA employees, career or non-career; thus, respondent Davide’s entry into the
DFA ranks discriminates against the rest of the DFA officials and employees.
In their separate Comments, respondent Davide, the Office of the President, and the Secretary of Foreign
Affairs (respondents) raise threshold issues against the petition. First, they question petitioner’s standing to
bring this suit because of his indefinite suspension from the practice of law.4 Second, the Office of the
President and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (public respondents) argue that neither petitioner’s citizenship
nor his taxpayer status vests him with standing to question respondent Davide’s appointment because
petitioner remains without personal and substantial interest in the outcome of a suit which does not involve the
taxing power of the state or the illegal disbursement of public funds. Third, public respondents question the
propriety of this petition, contending that this suit is in truth a petition for quo warranto which can only be filed
by a contender for the office in question.

On the eligibility of respondent Davide, respondents counter that Section 23’s mandated retirement age applies
only to career diplomats, excluding from its ambit non-career appointees such as respondent Davide.
29
The petition presents no case or controversy for petitioner’s lack of capacity to sue and mootness.
First. Petitioner’s citizenship and taxpayer status do not clothe him with standing to bring this suit. We have
granted access to citizen’s suits on the narrowest of ground: when they raise issues of "transcendental"
importance calling for urgent resolution.5 Three factors are relevant in our determination to allow third party
suits so we can reach and resolve the merits of the crucial issues raised – the character of funds or assets
involved in the controversy, a clear disregard of constitutional or statutory prohibition, and the lack of any other
party with a more direct and specific interest to bring the suit.6 None of petitioner’s allegations comes close to
any of these parameters. Indeed, implicit in a petition seeking a judicial interpretation of a statutory provision
on the retirement of government personnel occasioned by its seemingly ambiguous crafting is the admission
that a "clear disregard of constitutional or statutory prohibition" is absent. Further, the DFA is not devoid of
personnel with "more direct and specific interest to bring the suit." Career ambassadors forced to leave the
service at the mandated retirement age unquestionably hold interest far more substantial and personal than
petitioner’s generalized interest as a citizen in ensuring enforcement of the law.1avvphi1
The same conclusion holds true for petitioner’s invocation of his taxpayer status. Taxpayers’ contributions to
the state’s coffers entitle them to question appropriations for expenditures which are claimed to be
unconstitutional or illegal.7 However, the salaries and benefits respondent Davide received commensurate to
his diplomatic rank are fixed by law and other executive issuances, the funding for which was included in the
appropriations for the DFA’s total expenditures contained in the annual budgets Congress passed since
respondent Davide’s nomination. Having assumed office under color of authority (appointment), respondent
Davide is at least a de facto officer entitled to draw salary,8 negating petitioner’s claim of "illegal expenditure of
scarce public funds."9
Second. An in capacity to bring legal actions peculiar to petitioner also obtains. Petitioner’s suspension from
the practice of law bars him from performing "any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of
law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience."10 Certainly, preparing a petition raising carefully
crafted arguments on equal protection grounds and employing highly legalistic rules of statutory construction to
parse Section 23 of RA 7157 falls within the proscribed conduct.
Third. A supervening event has rendered this case academic and the relief prayed for moot. Respondent
Davide resigned his post at the UN on 1 April 2010.
WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition.
SO ORDERED.

FERDINAND A. CRUZ, PETITIONER,


VS. ALBERTO MINA, HON. ELEUTERIO F GUERRERO AND HON. ZENAIDA LAGUILLES,
RESPONDENTS
Facts:
Ferdinand A. Cruz filed before the MeTC a formal Entry of Appearance, as private prosecutor, where his
father, Mariano Cruz, is the complaining witness.
The petitioner, describing himself as a third year law student, justifies his appearance as private prosecutor on
the bases of Section 34 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and the ruling of the Court En Banc in Cantimbuhan
v. Judge Cruz, Jr. that a non-lawyer may appear before the inferior courts as an agent or friend of a party
litigant. The petitioner furthermore avers that his appearance was with the prior conformity of the public
prosecutor and a written authority of Mariano Cruz appointing him to be his agent in the prosecution of the said
criminal case.

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However, in an Order dated February 1, 2002, the MeTC denied permission for petitioner to appear as private
prosecutor on the ground that Circular No. 19 governing limited law student practice in conjunction with Rule
138-A of the Rules of Court (Law Student Practice Rule) should take precedence over the ruling of the Court
laid down in Cantimbuhan; and set the case for continuation of trial.
Issue: whether the petitioner, a law student, may appear before an inferior court as an agent or friend of a party
litigant

Ruling:
The rule, however, is different if the law student appears before an inferior court, where the issues and
procedure are relatively simple. In inferior courts, a law student may appear in his personal capacity without
the supervision of a lawyer. Section 34, Rule 138 provides:
Sec. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. — In the court of a justice of the peace, a party may conduct his
litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an
attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his
appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.
Thus, a law student may appear before an inferior court as an agent or friend of a party without the supervision
of a member of the bar.

VICTORIANO BULACAN, plaintiff-appellee,


vs. FAUSTINO TORCINO and FELIPA TORCINO, defendants-appellants.
The issue before us is whether or not a complaint for forcible entry and detainer should be dismissed by a
municipal court on the ground that the plaintiff knowingly asked a non-member of the bar to sign and file it for
him.
A complaint for forcible entry and damages with preliminary mandatory injunction was filed with the Municipal
Court of Baybay, Leyte by Victoriano Bulacan against Faustino Torcino and Felipa Torcino. The complaint was
signed by Nicolas Nuñes, Jr., "Friend counsel for the Plaintiff" but was verified by the plaintiff-appellee himself.
The verification reads:
I, VICTORIANO BULACAN, of legal age, Filipino, married and a resident of Baybay, Leyte after having been
duly sworn to in accordance with law thereby depose and say:
That I am the plaintiff in the above-entitled case; that I have caused the above complaint to be prepared by
Nicolas P. Nuñes, Jr. and that I have voluntarily asked, sought and requested his aid to file, claim, prosecute,
and defend in court my civil case against the defendants Faustino Torcino et al or others in connection with this
case at the Municipal Court of Baybay, Leyte; that I have read and known the contents thereon and the
allegations therein are true and correct to my own knowledge.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 4th day of August, 1972 at Baybay, Leyte.
s/VICTORIANO BULACAN
t/VICTORIANO BULACAN
Plaintiff
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 4th day of August, 1972 at Baybay, Leyte by Victoriano
Bulacan with his Res. Cert. No. A-930280 dated Aug. 4, 1972 issued at Baybay, Leyte.
s/NICOLAS P. NUÑES, JR
t/NICOLAS P. NUÑES, JR.
Notary Public
Until December 31st, 1972
Doc. No. 344
31
Page No. 56
Book No. VII
Series of 1972

When the defendants-appellants filed their answer, they did not question the fact that the complaint was signed
by Nicolas Nuñes, Jr.
On February 10, 1973, the municipal court issued the following order:
The contending parties are given one week time to submit the proposed compromise agreement in connection
with his case.
Failure to do so will constrain this court to render judgment on the basis of the ocular inspection conducted
sometime on December, 1972.
Due to the failure of the parties to settle their case amicably, the court rendered a decision ordering the
Torcinos to demolish and remove the portion of their house which was illegally constructed on the land of the
plaintiff The municipal court stated that there is no doubt that Victoriano Bulacan is the owner and has been in
possession of Lot No. 5998 and that the lot of the defendants-appellants is on the eastern portion of said lot.
The court found that the Torcinos constructed a residential house which unfortunately encroached on the lot of
the plaintiff.
The Torcinos appealed the decision to the Court of First Instance of Leyte.
On September 18, 1973, the appellants Torcinos filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the
complaint was not signed by the plaintiff or by an admitted attorney, and therefore must be considered as
sham and false.
Four days later, another motion to dismiss the complaint was filed with the additional discussion that the fact
that the complaint is verified, does not in itself cure the defect obtaining in the complaint.
On September 24, 1973, appellee Bulacan opposed the motion and alleged that the motion to dismiss was not
filed on time and the defenses therein were not pleaded in the answer in the municipal court and therefore, are
deemed waived and may not be raised for the first time on appeal in the Court of First Instance. The opposition
also stated that the complaint substantially conforms to the Rule.
On September 24, 1973, the Court of First Instance of Leyte denied the motion to dismiss. A motion for
reconsideration was denied for lack of merit.
On December 7, 1973, when the case was called for continuance, the parties presented to the court a
stipulation of facts which states and which we quote verbatim:
COME NOW, the plaintiff and the defendants duly assisted by their respective counsel and unto this Honorable
Court most respectfully submits the following stipulation of facts, to wit:
1. That the plaintiff and the defendants hereby agree to relocate the defendants' land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title Number T-8133 which is hereto attached.
2. That should the findings of the Geodetic Engineer be that the present construction particularly the
wallings is beyond the lot of the said defendants as defined and described in Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-
8133 then the defendants win remove any portion of the wallings that maybe inside the land of the plaintiff and
vacate from the premises encroached. However, should the findings of the Geodetic Engineer be that the
walling constructed by the defendants does not encroach even an inch on the land of the plaintiff then the
plaintiff hereby agrees to the dismissal of the present case.
3. That should the Geodetic Engineer finds out that the defendants has encroach the land of the plaintiff
the defendants will be the one who will pay for the services of the Goedetic Engineer and should the findings
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be that no encroachment were made by the defendants, then the plaintiff should shoulder the expenses of the
relocation survey.
4. That parties hereby agree that Geodetic Engineer Jaime Kudera be appointed by the Honorable Court
to conduct and execute the relocation survey.
5. That plaintiff and defendants hereby agree to waive the claims and counterclaims for damages.
WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed that the Honorable Court renders judgment on the basis of the
above stipulation of facts.
The stipulation of facts was signed by plaintiff Victoriano Bulacan, his new counsel Atty. Diego A. Cala
defendants Faustino and Felipa Torcino, and their counsel Gerardo A. Pabello
The court issued an order directing surveyor Jaime Kudera to conduct the relocation work on the basis of the
stipulation.
On December 17, 1983, Kudera submitted his report and on the basis of his findings, the Court of First
Instance of Leyte affirmed the decision of the municipal court.
The defendants appealed the case to the Court of Appeals and assigned two errors:
I
THAT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING THE MOTION TO DISMISS FILED BY THE DEFENDANTS
APPELLANTS AND IN NOT DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT.
II
THAT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DECIDING THE CASE AGAINST THE DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS
AND IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT ON THE DECISION APPEALED FROM.
The Court of Appeals in a resolution dated August 7, 1976 certified the appeal to us on the ground that no
testimonial or oral evidence was presented by the parties and, therefore, no factual matters are in issue in the
appeal.
We affirm the decision of the lower court.
The Torcinos allege that the complaint is irregular as it was signed not by the plaintiff but by one who was not a
member of the bar and who designated himself merely as "Friend counsel for the Plaintiff." The appellants
argue that the municipal court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case. They invoke Section 5, Rule 7 which
states:
SEC. 5. Signature and address.—Every pleading of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed
by at least one attorney of record in his individual name, whose address shall be stated A party who is not
represented by an attorney shall sign his pleading and state his address. Except when otherwise specifically
provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. The signature of an
attorney constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading; that to the best of his knowledge,
information, and belief there is good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay. If a pleading is
not signed or is signed with intent to defeat the purpose of this rule, it may be stricken out as sham and false
and the action may proceed as though the pleading had not been served. For a willful violation of this rule an
attorney may be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action. Similar action may be taken if scandalous or
indecent matter is inserted. (Emphasis supplied)
Under the facts of this case, however, the applicable provision is Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court
which states:

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SEC. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. — In the Court of a municipality a party may conduct his litigation in
person with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In
any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney and his appearance must
be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar. (Emphasis supplied)
The Rules are clear. In municipal courts, the litigant may be assisted by a friend, agent, or an attorney.
However, in cases before the regional trial court, the litigant must be aided by a duly authorized member of the
bar. The rule invoked by the Torcinos applies only to cases filed with the regional trial court and not to cases
before a municipal court.
In the case of Cantimbuhan v. Cruz, Jr. (126 SCRA 190) we decided a similar issue and allowed the
appearance of two senior law students as friends of the complainant-petitioner Cantimbuhan to prosecute the
case before the sala of Judge Nicanor J. Cruz, Jr., of the Municipal Court of Parañaque.
Similarly, in the case of Laput v. Bernabe (55 Phil. 621) a law student was allowed to represent the accused in
a case pending before the City Court of Manila.
Court procedures are often technical and may prove like shares to the ignorant or the unwary. In the past, our
law has allowed non-lawyers to appear for party litigants in places where duly authorized members of the bar
are not available. (U.S. v. Bacansas, 6 Phil. 539). For relatively simple litigation before municipal courts, the
Rules still allow a more educated or capable person to appear in behalf of a litigant who cannot get a lawyer.
But for the protection of the parties and in the interest of justice, the requirement for appearances in regional
trial courts and higher courts is more stringent.
In the case before us, the complaint was verified by the party litigant himself. In the verification, the plaintiff
specifically stated that he had caused Mr. Nuñes to conduct the litigation and to sign the complaint in Ms
behalf, indicating his awareness that Nuñes in not a registered lawyer. There is, therefore, added justification
for the pleading to be admitted rather than dismissed. As the lower court has cited:
So it has been held that, where a pleading is not signed by the attorney as required, but is verified by the party,
substantial rights have not been affected and the defect may be disregarded as against a motion to strike. (71
C.J.S. 954- 955)
Rules of pleading, practise, and procedure must be liberally construed so as to protect the rights and interests
of the ties. As we stated in Paulino v. Court of Appeals (80 SCRA 257):
xxx xxx xxx
... pleadings, as well as remedial laws, should be construed liberally, in order that litigants may have ample
opportunity to prove their respective claims, and that a possible denial of substantial justice, due to legal
technicalities, may be avoided. ...
The Torcinos try to impugn the results of the relocation survey. We agree with the appellee that the appellants
are now estopped on this issue because they themselves prayed in the stipulation of facts that the findings of
the geodetic engineer would be bases for the decision of the court of first instance. We see no error, much less
any grave abuse of discretion, in the lower courts' findings that the house of the Torcinos encroached on the lot
of Victoriano Bulacan.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the court a quo is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

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