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35. EDILBERTO M. CUENCA, VS.

COURT OF Corporation that employed petitioner), which


APPEALS AND PEOPLE OF THE actually exercised control over the affairs of
PHILIPPINES Ultra; and
G.R. No. 109870, December 01, 1995
(iii) the petitioner wherein he will assert
FACTS: After his petition for review of the Court innocence for the first time and explain why he
of Appeals' judgment affirming his conviction for was unable to do so earlier."
violation of the "Trust Receipts Law" (Presidential
Decree No. 115) was denied by this Court in a The Court in its July 27, 1994 Resolution, among
Resolution dated February 9, 1994, petitioner other things, granted the substitution but denied
filed on July 6, 1994 a pleading entitled the motion for leave to file motion for new trial,
"SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL WITH MOTION "the petition having been already denied on
FOR LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR NEW February 9, 1994."
TRIAL"[3] setting forth, in relation to the motion
for new trial: Notwithstanding, petitioner on August 8, 1994
filed a "MOTION TO ADMIT ATTACHED
"6. The Motion for New Trial shall be grounded MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL", and a
on newly discovered evidence and excusible "MANIFESTATION AND SECOND MOTION TO
(sic) negligence, and shall be supported by ADMIT" on August 17, 1994. The Court
affidavits of: thereafter required the Solicitor General to
comment on said motion and manifestation
(i) an officer of private complainant corporation within ten (10) days from notice, in a Resolution
who will exculpate petitioner; dated September 7, 1994.

(ii) an admission against interest by a former RECOMMENDATION: In the Comment filed


officer of the owner of Ultra Corporation (the after three (3) extensions of time were given by
the Court,[8] the Solicitor General himself ISSUE: WON NEW TRIAL SHOULD BE
recommends that petitioner be entitled to a new GRANTED
trial, proceeding from the same impression that a
certain Rodolfo Cuenca's (petitioner's brother) HELD: "The above duty is well founded on the
sworn statement is an admission against interest instruction of the U.S. Supreme Court in Berger
which may ultimately exonerate petitioner from v. United States, 295 U.S. 78 (1935) that
criminal liability. prosecutors represent a sovereign `whose
obligation to govern impartially is compelling as
And the Solicitor General had this to say: its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest,
therefore in a criminal prosecution is not that it
"Ordinarily, it is too late at this stage to ask for a shall win a case, but that justice shall be done
new trial. (Time to Rein in the Prosecution, by Atty. Bruce
Fein, published on p. 11, The Lawyers Review,
"However, the sworn statement of Rodolfo July 31, 1994). (Italics supplied.)"
Cuenca is a declaration against his own interests
under Section 38, Rule 130, Revised Rules of Although in "Goduco v. CA" (14 SCRA 282
Court and it casts doubt on the culpability of his [1965]) decided some twenty (20) years ago, this
brother Edilberto Cuenca, the petitioner. Hence, Court ruled that it is not authorized to entertain a
the alleged confession of guilt should be given a motion for reconsideration and/or new trial
hard look by the Court. predicated on allegedly newly discovered
evidence the rationale of which being:
"The People is inclined to allow petitioner to
establish the genuineness and due execution of "The judgment of the Court of Appeals is
his brother's affidavit in the interest of justice and conclusive as to the facts, and cannot be
fair play. reviewed by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, in
an appeal by certiorari to the Supreme Court, the
latter has no jurisdiction to entertain a motion for DOCTRINE: "Under Rule 6.01 of Canon 6 of the
new trial on the ground of newly discovered Code of Professional Responsibility, prosecutors
evidence, for only questions of fact are involved who represent the People of the Philippines in a
therein", criminal case are not duty bound to seek
conviction of the accused but to see that justice
the rule now appears to have been relaxed, if not is done. Said Rule 6.01 of Canon 6 states:
abandoned, in subsequent cases like "Helmuth,
Jr. v. People" and "People v. Amparado". `Canon 6 - These canons shall apply to lawyers
in government service in the discharge of their
In both cases, the Court, opting to brush aside official tasks.
technicalities and despite the opposition of the
Solicitor General, granted new trial to the `Rule 6.01 - The primary duty of a lawyer
convicted accused concerned on the basis of engaged in public prosecution is not to convict
proposed testimonies or affidavits of persons but to see that justice is done. The suppression
which the Court considered as newly discovered of facts or the concealment of witnesses capable
and probably sufficient evidence to reverse the of establishing the innocence of the accused is
judgment of conviction. Being similarly highly reprehensible and is cause for disciplinary
circumstanced, there is no nagging reason why action.'
herein petitioner should be denied the same
benefit. It becomes all the more plausible under 36. ALI v. ATTY. BUBONG
the circumstances considering that the "People" A.C. No. 4018, Mar. 8, 2005
does not raise any objection to a new trial, for
which reason the Solicitor General ought to be FACTS: This is a verified petition for disbarment
specially commended for displaying once again filed against Atty. Mosib Ali Bubong for having
such statesmanlike gesture of impartiality. The been found guilty of grave misconduct while
Solicitor General's finest hour, indeed. holding the position of Register of Deeds of
Marawi City. It appears that this disbarment questioned said AO before this Court through a
proceeding is an off-shoot of the administrative petition for certiorari, mandamus, and prohibition
case earlier filed by complainant against claiming that the Office of the President did not
respondent, which was initially investigated by have the authority and jurisdiction to remove him
the Land Registration Authority (LRA), from office and insisted that respondents violated
complainant charged respondent with illegal the laws on security of tenure and that
exaction; indiscriminate issuance of Transfer respondent Reynaldo V. Maulit, then the
Certificate of Title (TCT); and manipulating the administrator of the LRA committed a breach of
criminal complaint filed against Hadji Serad Civil Service Rules when he abdicated his
Bauduli Datu and others for violation of the Anti- authority to resolve the administrative complaint
Squatting Law. It appears from the records that against him (herein respondent), but was
the Baudali Datus are relatives of respondent. dismissed for failure on the part of petitioner to
The initial inquiry by the LRA was resolved in sufficiently show that public respondent
favor of respondent, absolved respondent of all committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing
the charges brought against him. The case was the questioned order. Respondent MR was
then forwarded to the DOJ for review, then SoJ denied with finality. On the disbarment
Franklin Drilon exonerated respondent of the proceeding, complainant claims that it has
charges of illegal exaction and infidelity in the become obvious that respondent had proven
custody of documents, but held guilty of grave himself unfit to be further entrusted with the
misconduct for his imprudent issuance of TCT duties of an attorney and that he poses a serious
and manipulating the criminal case for violation threat to the integrity of the legal profession.
of the Anti-Squatting Law instituted against Hadji Respondent maintains that there was nothing
Serad Bauduli Datu and the latter’s co-accused. irregular with his issuance of TCT No. T-2821 in
As a result of this finding, former President FVR the name of the Bauduli Datus. According to him,
issued AO No. 41 adopting in toto the conclusion both law and jurisprudence support his stance
reached by Secretary Drilon. Respondent that it was his ministerial duty, as the Register of
Deeds of Marawi City, to act on applications for misconduct of respondent in the present case.
land registration on the basis only of the The IBP Board of Governors adopted and
documents presented by the applicants. In the approved, with modification, which pertained
case of the Bauduli Datus, nothing in the solely to the period of suspension from the
documents they presented to his office warranted practice of law from a five-year suspension to a
suspicion, hence, he was duty-bound to issue two-year suspension to be proper.
TCT No. T-2821 in their favor. Respondent also
insists that he had nothing to do with the On 17 January 2003, respondent MR was denied
dismissal of criminal complaint for violation of the as by that time, the matter had already been
Anti-Squatting Law and explains that his endorsed to this Court.
participation in said case was a result of the two
subpoenas duces tecum issued by the ISSUE: WON respondent may be disbarred for
investigating prosecutor who required him to grave misconduct committed while he was in the
produce the various land titles involved in said employ of the government.
dispute. The IBP commenced the investigation of
this disbarment suit. On 23 February 1996, RULING: We resolve this question in the
Commissioner Victor C. Fernandez denied the affirmative.
order relative to the transfer of venue of this case
and penalized with dismissal from the service, as In the case at bar, respondents grave
Register of Deeds of Marawi City. misconduct, as established by the Office of the
President and subsequently affirmed by this
RECOMMENDATION/FINDING: The finding of Court, deals with his qualification as a lawyer. By
Grave Misconduct on the part of respondent by taking advantage of his office as the Register of
the Office of the President was fully supported by Deeds of Marawi City and employing his
evidence and as such carries a very strong knowledge of the rules governing land
weight in considering the professional registrationfor the benefit of his relatives,
respondent had clearly demonstrated his explained in the case of Irene Rayos-Ombac v.
unfitness not only to perform the functions of a Atty. Orlando A. Rayos:
civil servant but also to retain his membership in
the bar. Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional A case of suspension or disbarment may
Responsibility is explicit on this matter. proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest
of the complainant. What matters is whether, on
It reads: Rule 6.02 A lawyer in the government the basis of the facts borne out by the record, the
service shall not use his public position to charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct
promote or advance his private interests, nor has been duly proven. This rule is premised on
allow the latter to interfere with his public duties. the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A
proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in
Respondents conduct manifestly undermined the any sense a civil action where the complainant is
people’s confidence in the public office he used a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a
to occupy and cast doubt on the integrity of the defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve no
legal profession. The ill-conceived use of his private interest and afford no redress for private
knowledge of the intricacies of the law calls for grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted
nothing less than the withdrawal of his privilege solely for the public welfare. They are undertaken
to practice law. As for the letter sent by Bainar for the purpose of preserving courts of justice
Ali, the deceased complainants daughter, from the official ministration of persons unfit to
requesting for the withdrawal of this case, we practice in them. The attorney is called to answer
cannot possibly favorably act on the same as to the court for his conduct as an officer of the
proceedings of this nature cannot be interrupted court. The complainant or the person who called
or terminated by reason of desistance, the attention of the court to the attorneys alleged
settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal misconduct is in no sense a party, and has
of the charges or failure of the complainant to generally no interest in the outcome except as all
prosecute the same. As we have previously
good citizens may have in the proper constitutes a violation of his oath a member of
administrative of justice. the legal profession.

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Mosib A. 37. Olazo vs. Justice Tinga


Bubong is hereby DISBARRED and his name is A.M. No. 10-5-7-SC, December 7, 2010
ORDERED STRICKEN from the Roll of
Attorneys. Facts: Complainant filed a sales application
covering a parcel of land situated in Barangay
DOCTRINE: The Code of Professional Lower Bicutan in the Municipality of Taguig,
Responsibility does not cease to apply to a previously part of Fort Andres Bonifacio that was
lawyer simply because he has joined the segregated and declared open for disposition. A
government service. In fact, by the express Committee on Awards whose duty was to study,
provision of Canon 6 thereof, the rules governing evaluate, and make a recommendation on the
the conduct of lawyers shall apply to lawyers in applications to purchase the lands declared open
government service in the discharge of their for disposition. The Committee on Awards was
official tasks. Thus, where a lawyer’s misconduct headed by the Director of Lands and the
as a government official is of such nature as to respondent was one of the Committee members,
affect his qualification as a lawyer or to show in his official capacity as the Congressman of
moral delinquency, then he may be disciplined as Taguig and Pateros.
a member of the bar on such grounds. Although
the general rule is that a lawyer who holds a Charge: Violation of Rule 6.02
government office may not be disciplined as a
member of the bar for infractions he committed The First Charge: Violation of Rule 6.02
as a government official, he may, however, be
disciplined as a lawyer if his misconduct The complainant claimed that the respondent
abused his position as Congressman and as a
member of the Committee on Awards when he The Second Charge: Violation of Rule 6.03
unduly interfered with the complainants sales
application because of his personal interest over The second charge involves another parcel of
the subject land. The complainant alleged that land within the proclaimed areas belonging to
the respondent exerted undue pressure and Manuel Olazo, the complainants brother. The
influence over the complainants father, Miguel P. complainant alleged that the respondent
Olazo, for the latter to contest the complainants persuaded Miguel Olazo to direct Manuel to
sales application and claim the subject land for convey his rights over the land to Joseph Jeffrey
himself. The complainant also alleged that the Rodriguez. As a result of the respondents
respondent prevailed upon Miguel Olazo to promptings, the rights to the land were
accept, on various dates, sums of money as transferred to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez.
payment of the latters alleged rights over the In addition, the complainant alleged that in May
subject land. The complainant further claimed 1999, the respondent met with Manuel for the
that the respondent brokered the transfer of purpose of nullifying the conveyance of rights
rights of the subject land between Miguel Olazo over the land to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez. The
and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez, who is the complainant claimed that the respondent wanted
nephew of the respondents deceased wife. the rights over the land transferred to one
Rolando Olazo, the Barangay Chairman of
As a result of the respondents abuse of his Hagonoy, Taguig. The respondent in this regard
official functions, the complainants sales executed an Assurance where he stated that he
application was denied. The conveyance of rights was the lawyer of Ramon Lee and Joseph
to Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez and his sales Jeffrey Rodriguez.
application were subsequently given due course
by the Department of Environment and Natural The Third Charge: Violation of Rule 1.01
Resources (DENR).
The complainant alleged that the respondent Whether the respondents actions constitute a
engaged in unlawful conduct considering his breach of the standard ethical conduct first, while
knowledge that Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez was the respondent was still an elective public official
not a qualified beneficiary under Memorandum and a member of the Committee on Awards;
No. 119. The complainant averred that Joseph
Jeffrey Rodriguez is not a bona fide resident of and second, when he was no longer a public
the proclaimed areas and does not qualify for an official, but a private lawyer who represented a
award. Thus, the approval of his sales client before the office he was previously
application by the Committee on Awards connected with.
amounted to a violation of the objectives of
Proclamation No. 172 and Memorandum No. Held: First, the records do not clearly show if the
119. complainants sales application was ever brought
before the Committee on Awards.
The complainant also alleged that the
respondent violated Section 7(b)(2) of the Code These circumstances do not show that the
of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public respondent did in any way promote, advance or
Officials and Employees or Republic Act (R.A.) use his private interests in the discharge of his
No. 6713 since he engaged in the practice of official duties. To repeat, since the sales
law, within the one-year prohibition period, when application was not brought before the
he appeared as a lawyer for Ramon Lee and Committee on Awards when the respondent was
Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez before the Committee still a member, no sufficient basis exists to
on Awards. conclude that he used his position to obtain
personal benefits. We note in this regard that the
Issues: denial of the complainants sales application over
the subject land was made by the DENR, not by
the Committee on Awards.
Miguel Olazo. The documents merely showed
Second, the complainants allegation that the that the respondent helped Miguel Olazo in
respondent orchestrated the efforts to get the having his farm lots (covered by the proclaimed
subject land does not specify how the areas) surveyed. They also showed that the
orchestration was undertaken. What appears respondent merely acted as a witness in the
clear in the records is the uncorroborated Sinumpaang Salaysay dated July 17, 1996. To
Sinumpaang Salaysay of Miguel Olazo, dated our mind, there are neutral acts that may be
May 25, 2003,[20] categorically stating that the rendered by one relative to another, and do not
respondent had no interest in the subject land, show how the respondent could have influenced
and neither was he a contracting party in the the decision of Miguel Olazo to contest the
transfer of his rights over the subject land. In the complainants sales application. At the same
absence of any specific charge, Olazos time, we cannot give any credit to the
disclaimer is the nearest relevant statement on Sinumpaang Salaysay, dated January 20, 2000,
the respondents alleged participation, and we of Manuel. They are not only hearsay but are
find it to be in the respondents favor. contrary to what Miguel Olazo states on the
record. We note that Manuel had no personal
Third, the other documents executed by Miguel knowledge, other than what Miguel Olazo told
Olazo, that the complainant presented to support him, of the force allegedly exerted by the
his claim that the respondent exerted undue respondent against Miguel Olazo.
pressure and influence over his father (namely:
the letter, dated June 22, 1996, to the DENR Second Issue:
Regional Director-NCR;[21] the Sinumpaang
Salaysay dated July 12, 1996;[22] and the As the records show, no evidence exists showing
Sinumpaang Salaysay dated July 17, 1996[23]), that the respondent previously interfered with the
do not contain any reference to the alleged sales application covering Manuels land when
pressure or force exerted by the respondent over the former was still a member of the Committee
on Awards. The complainant, too, failed to FACTS: Complainant alleged that in 1995, while
sufficiently establish that the respondent was respondent was still connected with the Bureau
engaged in the practice of law. At face value, the of Immigration and Deportation (BID), she and
legal service rendered by the respondent was her three sons, who are all American citizens,
limited only in the preparation of a single applied for Philippine Visas under Section 13[g]
document. In Borja, Sr. v. Sulyap, Inc.,[32] we of the Immigration Law. Respondent told
specifically described private practice of law as complainant that in order that their visa
one that contemplates a succession of acts of applications will be favorably acted upon by the
the same nature habitually or customarily holding BID they needed to deposit a certain sum of
ones self to the public as a lawyer. money for a period of one year which could be
In any event, even granting that respondents act withdrawn after one year. Believing respondent,
fell within the definition of practice of law, the complainant deposited with respondent on six
available pieces of evidence are insufficient to different occasions the total amount of
show that the legal representation was made US$20,000. Respondent prepared
before the Committee on Awards, or that the receipts/vouchers as proofs that he received the
Assurance was intended to be presented before amounts deposited by the complainant but
it. These are matters for the complainant to prove refused to give her copies of official receipts
and we cannot consider any uncertainty in this despite her demands. After one year,
regard against the respondents favor. complainant demanded from respondent the
return of US$20,000 who assured her that said
Penalty: DISMISSED amount would be returned. When respondent
failed to return the sum deposited, the World
38. Gisela Huyssen vs. Atty. Fred L. Gutierrez Mission for Jesus (of which complainant was a
A.C. No. 6707, March 24, 2006 member) sent a demand letter to respondent for
the immediate return of the money. In a letter
dated 1 March 1999, respondent promised to
release the amount not later than 9 March 1999. filed by complainant in the Commission on Bar
Failing to comply, the World Mission for Jesus Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
sent another demand letter. Respondent sent (IBP).
complainant a letter dated 19 March 1999
explaining the alleged reasons for the delay in Victor C. Fernandez, Director for Bar Discipline,
the release of deposited amount. He enclosed required respondent to submit his answer within
two blank checks postdated to 6 April and 20 15 days from receipt thereof.
April 1999 and authorized complainant to fill in
the amounts. When complainant deposited the Respondent denied the allegations in the
postdated checks on their due dates, the same complaint claiming that having never physically
were dishonored because respondent had received the money mentioned in the complaint,
stopped payment on the same. Thereafter, he could not have appropriated or pocketed the
respondent, in his letter to complainant dated 25 same. He said the amount was used as payment
April 1999, explained the reasons for stopping for services rendered for obtaining the
payment on the checks, and gave complainant permanent visas in the Philippines. He alleged
five postdated checks with the assurance that that through a close-friend, Jovie Galaraga, a
said checks would be honored. Complainant Pastor and likewise a friend of the complainant,
deposited the five postdated checks on their due the latter was introduced to him at his office at
dates but they were all dishonored for having the Bureau of Immigration with a big problem
been drawn against insufficient funds or payment concerning their stay in the Philippines. Their
thereon was ordered stopped by respondent. problem was the fact that since they have been
After respondent made several unfulfilled staying in the Philippines for almost ten (10)
promises, complainant referred the matter to a years as holders of missionary visas (9G) they
lawyer who sent two demand letters to could no longer extend their said status as under
respondent. The demand letters remained the law and related policies of the government.
unheeded. Thus, a complaint for disbarment was He advised them that they better secure a
permanent visa under Section 3 of the Philippine scheduled for the last time on 28 September
Immigration Law otherwise known as Quota. 2004 and again respondent failed to appear,
Complainant further requested him to refer to her despite due notice and without just cause.
to a lawyer to work for their application, which he
did and contacted the late Atty. Mendoza, an RECOMMENDATION OF THE INVESTIGATING
Immigration lawyer, to do the job for the COMMISSIONER: Investigating Commissioner
complainant and her family. The application was Milagros V. San Juan submitted her report5
filed, processed and followed-up by the said Atty. recommending the disbarment of respondent.
Mendoza until the same was finished and the There is no question that respondent received
corresponding permanent visa were obtained by the amount of US$20,000 from complainant, as
the complainant and her family. He became the respondent himself admitted that he signed the
intermediary between complainant and their vouchers (Annexes A to F of complainant)
counsel so much that every amount that the showing his receipt of said amount from
latter would request for whatever purpose was complainant. Respondent however claims that he
coursed through him which request were then did not appropriate the same for himself but that
transmitted to the complainant and every amount he delivered the said amount to a certain Atty.
of money given by the complainant to their Mendoza. This defense raised by respondent is
counsel were coursed thru him which is the very untenable considering the documentary evidence
reason why his signature appears in the submitted by complainant. respondent makes it
vouchers attached in the complaint-affidavit. On appear that the US$20,000 was officially
several occasions, the complaint was set for deposited with the Bureau of Immigration and
reception of respondent’s evidence but the Deportation. However, if this is true, how come
scheduled hearings (11 settings) were all reset at only Petty Cash Vouchers were issued by
the instance of the respondent who was allegedly respondent to complainant to prove his receipt of
out of the country to attend to his client’s needs. the said sum and official receipts therefore were
Reception of respondent’s evidence was never issued by the said Bureau? Also, why
would respondent issue his personal checks to RULING: It is undisputed that respondent
cover the return of the money to complainant if admitted having received the US$20,000 from
said amount was really officially deposited with complainant as shown by his signatures in the
the Bureau of Immigration? All these actions of petty cash vouchers and receipts he prepared,
respondent point to the inescapable conclusion on the false representation that that it was
that respondent received the money from needed in complainant’s application for visa with
complainant and appropriated the same for his the BID. Respondent denied he misappropriated
personal use. It is submitted that respondent has the said amount and interposed the defense that
violated Rule 6.02 of Canon 6 of the Code of he delivered it to a certain Atty. Mendoza who
Professional Responsibility. assisted complainant and children in their
application for visa in the BID. Such defense
RULING OF THE IBP BOARD OF remains unsubstantiated as he failed to submit
GOVERNORS: Approved the Investigating evidence on the matter. While he claims that
Commissioner’s report with modification. Atty. Atty. Mendoza already died, he did not present
Fred L. Gutierrez is hereby DISBARRED from the death certificate of said Atty. Mendoza.
the practice of law and ordered to return the Worse, the action of respondent in shifting the
amount with legal interest from receipt of the blame to someone who has been naturally
money until payment. This case shall be referred silenced by fate, is not only impudent but
to the Office of the Ombudsman for prosecution downright ignominious. When the integrity of a
for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices member of the bar is challenged, it is not enough
Acts and to the Department of Justice for that he deny the charges against him; he must
appropriate administrative action. meet the issue and overcome the evidence
against him. Records show that even though he
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent should be was given the opportunity to answer the charges
disbarred. and controvert the evidence against him in a
formal investigation, he failed, without any
plausible reason, to appear several times 39. Olazo vs. Justice Tinga
whenever the case was set for reception of his A.M. No. 10-5-7-SC, December 7, 2010
evidence despite due notice. The defense of
denial proffered by respondent is, thus, not 40. Bernardo vs. Atty. Ismael Mejia
convincing. It is settled that denial is inherently a Facts: Rodolfo M. Bernardo, Jr. accused his
weak defense. When respondent issued the retained attorney, Ismael F. Mejia, of the
postdated checks as his moral obligation, he following administrative offenses:
indirectly admitted the charge. In a desperate 1) misappropriating and converting to his
attempt to put up a smoke or to camouflage his personal use:
misdeed, he went on committing another by a) part of the sum of P27,710.00 entrusted to him
issuing several worthless checks, thereby for payment of real estate taxes on property
compounding his case. In a recent case, we belonging to Bernardo, situated in a subdivision
have held that the issuance of worthless checks known as Valle Verde I; and
constitutes gross misconduct, as the effect b) part of another sum of P40,000.00 entrusted
"transcends the private interests of the parties to him for payment of taxes and expenses in
directly involved in the transaction and touches connection with the registration of title of
the interests of the community at large. Bernardo to another property in a subdivision
Respondent’s acts constitute gross misconduct; known as Valle Verde V;
and consistent with the need to maintain the high 2) falsification of certain documents, to wit:
standards of the Bar and thus preserve the faith a) a special power of attorney dated March 16,
of the public in the legal profession, respondent 1985, purportedly executed in his favor by
deserves the ultimate penalty of expulsion from Bernardo;
the esteemed brotherhood of lawyers. Atty. Fred b) a deed of sale dated October 22, 1982; and
L. Gutierrez is hereby DISBARRED from the c) a deed of assignment purportedly executed by
practice of law. the spouses Tomas and Remedios Pastor, in
Bernardos favor; and
3) issuing a check, knowing that he was without Mejia Law Journal, a publication containing his
funds in the bank, in payment of a loan obtained religious and social writings. He also organized a
from Bernardo in the amount of P50,000.00, and religious organization and named it El Cristo
thereafter, replacing said check with others Movement and Crusade on Miracle of Heart and
known also to be insufficiently funded. The SC Mind. While the age of the petitioner and the
rendered an en banc decision declaring his length of time during which he has endured the
disbarment, and Mejia filed a petition to ignominy of disbarment are not the sole measure
reengage in the practice of law which was denied in allowing a petition for reinstatement, the Court
by the court, and filed the present petition for takes cognizance of the rehabilitation of Mejia.
review of the administrative case with plea for Since his disbarment in 1992, no other
reinstatement to the practice of law. transgression has been attributed to him, and he
has shown remorse.Obviously, he has learned
Issue: Whether or not he should be reinstated to his lesson from this experience, and his
the practice of law? punishment has lasted long enough. Thus, while
the Court is ever mindful of its duty to discipline
Held: Yes, In the petition, Mejia acknowledged its erring officers, it also knows how to show
his indiscretions in the law profession. Fifteen compassion when the penalty imposed has
years had already elapsed since Mejia’s name already served its purpose. After all, penalties,
was dropped from the Roll of Attorneys. At the such as disbarment, are imposed not to punish
age of seventy-one, he is begging for forgiveness but to correct offenders.
and pleading for reinstatement. According to him,
he has long repented and he has suffered Penalty: REINSTATED IN THE ROLL OF
enough. Through his reinstatement, he wants to ATTORNEYS
leave a legacy to his children and redeem the
indignity that they have suffered due to his 41. Conrado Que vs. Atty. Revilla, Jr.
disbarment. After his disbarment, he put up the
Facts: Dec 4, 2009 – Atty. Revilla was disbarred siblings to execute the MeTC and RTC
from the practice of law on the following grounds: judgments in the unlawful detainer case.
abuse of court procedures and processes; filing Appeared in petition for annulment of 15 litigants,
of multiple actions and forum-shopping; willful, 3 of whom already dead. Appeared in 2nd
intentional and deliberate resort to falsehood and Petition for annulment as counsel for Republic of
deception before the courts; maligning the name the Philippines without authority to do so. He also
of his fellow lawyer; and fraudulent and represented 52 litigants, whom he has no
unauthorized appearances in court. (violation of authority to do so.
CPR and Rule 138)
Findings of Investigating Commissioner:
CA - filing petition for certiorari - all with merit except the representation of 52
litigants (pro bono daw)
RTC - two petitions for annulment of title
a petition for annulment of judgment in the RTC Board of Governors – adopted and approved the
and lastly, a petition for declaratory relief before report of the Commissioner and recommended
the RTC (collectively, subject cases)to assail and disbarment for 2 yrs. Subsequently reduced to 1
overturn the final judgments of the Metropolitan year.
Trial Court (MeTC) and RTC in the unlawful
detainer case rendered against the respondent
clients. Disbarment is merited because this is not the
respondent’s first ethical infraction of the same
The respondent also committed forum – nature. Plus Builders, Inc. and Edgardo Garcia
shopping by filing the subject cases in order to versus Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla. The court
obstruct, impede, and frustrate the efficient showed leniency then by reducing his penalty of
administration of justice for his own personal gain disbarment to suspension for six (6) months.
and to defeat the right of the complainant and his
2010 - respondent filed a Petition for Judicial procedure but instead, devote his time and
Clemency and Compassion praying that his energy for its proper observance and
license to practice law be restored based on implementation. He also stated that for almost
humanitarian considerations; denied three years of being disbarred from the practice
of law, he has never been involved in any
Jan. 2011- an Appeal for Grace, Succor, and unlawful, dishonest, and immoral activities. He
Mercy asking the Court to take a second look at promised to maintain at all times a high degree of
the penalty imposed upon him. He also legal proficiency, morality, integrity, and fair
attempted to pass the blame on another dealings to the courts, clients, and the legal
individual (a certain Gerolin Piedad, General profession in accordance with the values and
Manager of Kalayaan Development Corporation) morals embodied in the Code of Professional
to free himself from liability by claiming that one Responsibility; denied
of the charges leading to his disbarment was not
of his own doing; denied March 27, 2013- the respondent filed a letter
pleading the Court to revisit his previous
July 13, 2011- reiterating his pleas, He sought requests for reinstatement. (considered an MR of
the Court’s forgiveness stating that he has the last denial) Court denied with finality.
learned his lesson; but at the same time,
questioning the Court’s finding for lack of factual July 18, 2014 - the respondent filed a Profound
support; denied Appeal for Judicial Clemency reiterating his
apologies to the Court. He stressed that the
August 30, 2012 - the respondent once more penalty of disbarment has already taken its toll
prayed for his reinstatement professing on his health; he has now become most frail and
repentance and remorse for what he did. He weak; and he had been diagnosed with chronic
pleaded for the Court’s consideration, and vowed kidney disease at stage five (5) and undergoing
that he will no longer misuse the rules of dialysis thrice weekly. He also stressed that in
the years that he had been excluded from the herself in conduct and character. The lawyer has
practice of law, he devoted his time to Christian to demonstrate and prove by clear and
and charity pursuits serving with all humility as a convincing evidence that he or she is again
Lay Minister and a regular lecturer on Legal worthy of membership in the Bar. The Court will
Aspect of Marriage at St. Peter Church, Quezon take into consideration his or her character and
City. The respondent also pleads for clemency, standing prior to the disbarment, the nature and
not because he intends to practice law again, but character of the charge/s for which he or she was
to be made whole, to recover from being disbarred, his or her conduct subsequent to the
shattered, and to finally have peace of mind. He disbarment, and the time that has elapsed in
expressed his sincere repentance and deep between the disbarment and the application for
remorse by taking full responsibility for his reinstatement.
misdemeanor. He also prayed that his
disbarment be lifted and that he be reinstated as Petitioner was already engaged in similar
a member of the Philippine bar. As part of his activities before disbarment. In his present
petition, he submitted a Medical Abstract appeal for judicial clemency, the respondent
evidencing his diagnosis for chronic kidney acknowledged his indiscretions and claimed to
disease, and a certification from St. Peter Paris, have taken full responsibility for his
proving that he and his family are dedicated misdemeanor. Unlike in his previous
parishioners. petitions/appeal for judicial clemency, the
respondent no longer questioned the Court’s
Issue: Whether or Not Atty. Revilla should be decision. According to him, he has long
reinstated. expressed deep remorse and genuine
repentance. Although the Court believes that the
Held: Denied. The basic inquiry in a petition for respondent is not inherently lacking in moral fiber
reinstatement to the practice of law is whether as shown by his conduct prior to his disbarment,
the lawyer has sufficiently rehabilitated himself or it is not convinced that he had sufficiently
achieved moral reformation. The Court does not failed to establish by clear and convincing
believe that the passage of more than four (4) evidence that he is again worthy of membership
years is sufficient to enable the respondent to in the legal profession. The Court thus entertain
reflect and to realize his professional serious doubts that the respondent had
transgressions. Considering the respondent’s completely reformed.
earlier disbarment case (and subsequent
reduction of the penalty imposed as an act of Court sympathizes with the respondent's
clemency), and another disbarment case against unfortunate physical condition, it stress that in
him still pending review by the Court, the court is considering his application for reinstatement to
not fully and convincingly satisfied that the the practice of law, the duty of the Court is to
respondent has already reformed. determine whether he has established moral
reformation and rehabilitation, disregarding its
The period of five (5) years is likewise not feeling of sympathy or pity. This requirement was
considerably long considering the nature and not met. Until such time when the respondent
perversity of the respondent’s misdeeds. The can demonstrate to the Court that he has
Court believes that it is still early to consider the completely rehabilitated himself and deserves to
respondent’s reinstatement. resume his membership in the Bar, disbarment
Furthermore, it is not persuaded by the stands.
respondent's sincerity in acknowledging his guilt.
While he expressly stated in his appeal that he Doctrine: Canon 10 – A lawyer owes candor,
had taken full responsibility of his misdemeanor, fairness and good faith to the court.
his previous inclination to pass the blame to Rule 10.01- A lawyer shall not do any falsehood,
other individuals, to invoke self-denial, and to or consent to the doing of any in court,
make alibis for his wrongdoings, contradicted his
assertion. The respondent also failed to submit
proof satisfactorily showing his contrition. He
CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT committed no grave abuse of discretion in
HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE BOUNDS issuing the order of August 8, 1989 giving
OF LAW custody over private respondent Avelino T.
Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall employ only fair and Javellana to the Clerk of Court of the Antique
honest means to attain the lawful objectives of RTC, Atty. Deogracias del Rosario, during the
his clients. pendency of Criminal Cases Nos. 3350-3355. At
Rule 138- sec. 21 and 27 that time, sufficient reason was shown why
Javellana should not be detained at the Antique
Disbarment proceedings are sui generis. Neither Provincial Jail. The trial court’s order specifically
purely civil nor purely criminal, this proceeding is provided for private respondent’s detention at the
not - and does not involve - a trial of an action or residence of Atty. del Rosario. However, private
a suit, but is rather an investigation by the Court respondent was not to be allowed liberty to roam
into the conduct of one of its officers. Not being around but was to be held as detention prisoner
intended to inflict punishment, it is in no sense a in said residence. It was however found that the
criminal prosecution. It may be initiated by the order was not strictly complied with because
Court motu proprio. Public interest is its primary Javellana was not detained in the residence of
objective, and the real question for determination Atty. Del Rosario. He went about his normal
is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person activities as if he were a free man, including
to be allowed the privileges as such. engaging in the practice of law.

42. PP vs. Hon. Maceda Issue: Whether of Not Atty. Javellana , a


convict, is allowed to practice law.
Facts: This case stems from denial by the SC of
the People’s motion seeking reconsideration of Held: Private respondent Javellana has been
its August 13, 1990 decision holding that arrested based on the filing of criminal cases
respondent Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda against him. By such arrest, he is deemed to be
under the custody of the law. The trial court gave the custody of the law. He is placed in actual
Atty. Deogracias del Rosario the custody of restraint of liberty in jail so that he may be bound
private respondent Javellana with the obligation to answer for the commission of the offense. He
“to hold and detain” him in Atty. del Rosario’s must be detained in jail during the pendency of
residence in his official capacity as the clerk of the case against him, unless he is authorized by
court of the regional trial court. Hence, when the court to be released on bail or on
Atty. del Rosario was appointed judge, he recognizance. Let it be stressed that all prisoners
ceased to be the personal custodian of accused whether under preventive detention or serving
Javellana and the succeeding clerk of court must final sentence can not practice their profession
be deemed the custodian under the same nor engage in any business or occupation, or
undertaking. hold office, elective or appointive, while in
detention. This is a necessary consequence of
Regarding his continued practice of law, as a arrest and detention.
detention prisoner private respondent Javellana
is not allowed to practice his profession as a He was ordered to be detained in Provincial Jail
necessary consequence of his status as a of Antique.
detention prisoner. The trial court’s order was
clear that private respondent "is not to be 43. Zeta vs. Malinao
allowed liberty to roam around but is to be held
as a detention prisoner." The prohibition to Facts: Administrative complaint against
practice law referred not only to Criminal Case Felicisimo Malinao court interpreter of the Court
No. 4262, but to all other cases as well, except in of First Instance of Catbalogan, Samar charging
cases where private respondent would appear in as follows:
court to defend himself.
As a matter of law, when a person indicted for an l — ILLEGALLY APPEARING IN COURT. —
offense is arrested, he is deemed placed under MR. Malinao has been appearing in the
municipal court of this town for parties like the municipal courts sometimes he would fill his
attorney when he is not an attorney. He makes it time record as present. He receives salary for
his means of livelihood as he collects fees from those absent days. This can be checked with
his clients. He competes with attorneys but does time record he has submitted and if he has any
not pay anything. We believe that his doing so application for leave. He may try to cure it by
should be stopped for a good government. These submitting application for leave but this should
facts can be checked with records of those not be allowed as he has already committed
municipal courts. crime.

2 — GRAVE MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE. — 4 — VIOLATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER AND


Being employed in the Court of First Instance he CIVIL SERVICE LAW.-
would instigate persons, especially in his barrio WE have reliable information it is prohibited for a
to grab land rob or coerce. In fact he has cases civil service employee to engage in private
in the municipal court in this town involving practice any profession or business without
himself and his men. He incite them telling them permission from the Department Head. Mr.
not to be afraid as he is a court employee and Malinao we are sure has not secured that
has influence over the judges. Those persons permission because he should not be allowed to
being ignorant would believe him and so would practice as he is not an attorney. If that were so,
commit crimes. This act of Mr. Malinao is he violated that Executive Order and Civil
contrary to good order and peace as he is using Service Law and we are urgently and earnestly
his supposed influences to urge persons to requesting the Commissioner of Civil Service to
commit crimes. investigate him on this. If warranted he should be
given the corresponding penalty as dismissal
3 — CRIME OF FALSIFICATION. — Information because we believe he deserve it.
has it that he is unfaithfully filing his time record
in the CFI. Even he has been out practicing in
Inspite of diligent efforts exerted by the Court to which, furthermore, constitutes illegal practice of
subpoena the complainant, Julio Zeta, who is law.
said to be a resident of Zumarraga, Samar the
same had failed because the said Julio Zeta The defense of respondent that "his participation
appears to be a fictitious person for defendants' cause was gratuitous as they
Inspite of the failure of the complainant to appear could not engage the services of counsel by
in the investigation in connection with his reason of poverty and the absence of one in the
complaint against Felicisimo Malinao, the Court locality" cannot, even if true, carry the day for
nevertheless proceeded to investigate the case him, considering that in appearing as counsel in
against him by calling the Judges of the different court, he did so without permission from his
municipalities where he appeared to which all of superiors and, worse, he falsified his time record
them confirmed. He also offered no explanations of service to conceal his absence from his office
to his discrepancies in timekeeping than that of on the dates in question. Indeed, the number of
record and appearances. times that respondent acted as counsel under
the above circumstances would indicate that he
Findings of Investigator: was doing it as a regular practice obviously for
(The Court adopted the findings) It is clear to Us considerations other than pure love of justice.
that respondent, apart from appearing as counsel
in various municipal courts without prior Judge Zosa recommended reprimand, The Court
permission of his superiors in violation of civil ordered his dismissal as Court interpreter of CFI,
service rules and regulations, falsified his time Samar.
record of service by making it appear therein that
he was present in his office on occasions when 44. ROGELIO A. TAN VS. BENEDICTO M.
in fact he was in the municipal courts appearing BALAJADIA
as counsel, without being a member of the bar, G.R. NO. 169517, March 14, 2006
Facts: An original petition for contempt honest mistake. He claims that the secretary of
against respondent Benedicto Balajadia was filed Atty. Paterno Aquino prepared the subject
by Rogelio Tan, et. al. complaint-affidavit which was patterned after
Atty. Aquino's complaint-affidavit, who had
Petitioners’ Allegation: Petitioners allege that previously filed a complaint-affidavit against
on May 8, 2005, respondent filed a criminal case petitioners involving the same subject matter.
against them with the Office of the City of Liza Laconsay, Atty. Aquino's secretary,
Prosecutor of Baguio City for usurpation of executed an affidavit admitting the mistake in the
authority, grave coercion and violation of city tax preparation of the complaint- affidavit.
ordinance due to the alleged illegal collection of
parking fees by petitioners from respondent. In Issue: Whether or not respondent Balajadia
paragraph 5 of the complaint-affidavit, is liable for direct Contempt.
respondent asserted that he is a "practicing
lawyer based in Baguio City with office address Held: NO, he is not liable for indirect contempt. In
at Room B-207, 2/F Lopez Building, Session determining liability for criminal contempt, well-
Road, Baguio City.” However, certifications settled is the rule that intent is a necessary
issued by the Office of the Bar Confidant and the element, and no one can be punished unless the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines showed that evidence makes it clear that he intended to
respondent has never been admitted to the commit it. In the case at bar, a review of the
Philippine Bar. Hence, petitioners claim that records supports respondent's claim that he
respondent is liable for indirect contempt for never intended to project himself as a lawyer to
misrepresenting himself as a lawyer. the public. It was a clear inadvertence on the part
of the secretary of Atty Aquino. The affidavit of
Respondent’s Defense: Respondent avers that Liza Laconsay attesting to the circumstances that
the allegation in paragraph 5 of the complaint- gave rise to the mistake in the drafting of the
affidavit that he is a practicing lawyer was an complaint-affidavit conforms to the documentary
evidence on record. Taken together, these Complainant’s Allegation: She engaged the
circumstances show that the allegation in services of respondent sometime in January
paragraph 5 of respondent's complaint-affidavit 2001 for P70,000.00 to assist in recovering her
was, indeed, the result of inadvertence. deposit with Planters Development Bank,
Buendia, Makati branch in the amount of
SC: CASE DISMISSED. Respondent is P180,000.00 and the release of her foreclosed
WARNED to be more careful and circumspect in house and lot. Complainant alleged that
his future actions. respondent failed to appear before the trial court
in the hearing for the issuance of the Writ of
NO RULING FROM LOWER COURT BECAUSE Possession and did not protect her interests in
THIS IS AN ORIGINAL PETITION WITH THE the Compromise Agreement which she
SC. subsequently entered into to end LRC Case No.
B-2610.

45. LUZVIMINDA C. LIJAUCO VS. ATTY. Respondent’s Defense: He averred that the
ROGELIO P. TERRADO P70,000.00 he received from complainant was
A.C. NO. 6317, August 31, 2006 payment for legal services for the recovery of the
deposit with Planters Development Bank and did
Facts: An administrative complaint was filed not include LRC Case No. B-2610.
by complainant Luzviminda C. Lijauco against
respondent Atty. Rogelio P. Terrado for gross Investigating Commissioner of IBP: Found
misconduct, malpractice and conduct respondent guilty of violating Rules 1.01 and
unbecoming of an officer of the court when he 9.02 of the Code of Professional
neglected a legal matter entrusted to him despite Responsibility which provide:
receipt of payment representing attorney's fees. Rule 1.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
Rule 9.02 – A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate Issues: Whether or not respondent is guilty of
to divide a fee for legal services with persons not Neglect of legal matter entrusted to him.
licensed to practice law, except:
a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with Held: Respondent's disregard for his client's
a partner or associate that, upon the latter's interests is evident in the iniquitous stipulations in
death, money shall be paid over a reasonable the compromise agreement where the
period of time to his estate or to the persons complainant conceded the validity of the
specified in the agreement; or foreclosure of her property; that the redemption
b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete period has already expired thus consolidating
unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; ownership in the bank, and that she releases her
or claims against it.As found by the Investigating
c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non- Commissioner, complainant agreed to these
lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even if concessions because respondent misled her to
the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit- believe that she could still redeem the property
sharing arrangement. after three years from the foreclosure. The duty
of a lawyer to safeguard his client's interests
Penalty recommended by Investigating commences from his retainer until his discharge
Commissioner of IBP: Six (6) months with a from the case or the final disposition of the
stern warning that similar acts in the future will be subject matter of litigation. Acceptance of money
severely dealt with. from a client establishes an attorney-client
relationship and gives rise to the duty of fidelity to
IBP Board of Governors: Adopted the the client's cause. The canons of the legal
recommendation of the investigating profession require that once an attorney agrees
commissioner. to handle a case, he should undertake the task
with zeal, care and utmost devotion.
Respondent's admission that he divided the legal
fees with two other people as a referral fee does a verified petition for disbarment filed by Plus
not release him from liability. A lawyer shall not Builders Inc. and Edgardo Garcia before the IBP.
divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal Complainants charged Atty. Anastacio E. Revilla,
services with persons not licensed to practice Jr. with committing a willful and intentional
law, except in certain cases. By openly admitting falsehood before the court; misusing court
he divided the Php70,000.00 to other individuals procedure and processes to delay the execution
as commission/referral fees respondent violated of a judgment; and collaborating with non-
Rule 9.02, Canon 9 of the Code of Professional lawyers in the illegal practice of law.
Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall
not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal Plus Builders Inc. filed before the Provincial
services with persons not licensed to practice Adjudicator of Cavite (PARAD) of DAR, the
law. Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite (PARAD)
rendered a consolidated Decision in favor of
Penalty imposed by SC: He is SUSPENDED petitioner/complainant [Plus Builders, Inc.], and
from the practice of law for six (6) months against [tenants/farmers]. Tenants/farmers filed
effective from notice, and STERNLY WARNED several verified pleadings as part of the records
that any similar infraction will be dealt with more of DARAB cases above-mentioned alleging
severely. He is further ordered to RETURN, under oath that they were 'MAGSASAKANG
within thirty (30) days from notice, the sum of NAMUMUWISAN' or mere tenants of subject
P70,000.00 to complainant Luzviminda C. properties, acknowledging the rights of the
Lijauco and to submit to this Court proof of his registered owners at that time, even before the
compliance within three (3) days therefrom. ownership and title were transferred to Petitioner/
Complainant Plus Builders, Inc.
46. PLUS BUILDERS INC. VS. REVILLA, JR.
On December 17, 1999, counsel for
FACTS: This administrative case originated from TENANTS/FARMERS who at that time was Atty.
Damian S. J. Vellaseca, filed a pro-forma Motion Restraining Order and to Quash Alias Writ of
for Reconsideration and Manifestation x x x. As a Execution with Demolition plus Damages dated
result, PARAD did not give due course to the July 18, 2001 was filed by Respondent before
same. Another counsel for the DARAB Central Office, Quezon City,
TENANTS/FARMERS, by the name of Atty. Willy notwithstanding the fact that this instant case
G. Roxas, who represented himself as counsel was appealed by another lawyer (Atty. Roxas).
for TENANTS/FARMERS, filed a manifestation On the basis of the petition, a Temporary
stating that he is representing Restraining Order was issued. The case was
TENANTS/FARMERS and alleged that they were appealed to the CA and the assailed orders
'bona fide' members of the Kalayaan issued by DARAB are declared null and void. It
Development Cooperative (KDC). Thereafter, he was further elevated to SC and dismissed the
filed a Notice of Appeal on March 27, 2000 case with finality.
stating that they received the Decision on March
14, 2000 and alleged that the Decision is against Enraged by his defeat, respondent filed a verified
the law and jurisprudence. On May 31, 2001, action to quiet title before the RTC praying for a
Respondent Anastacio Revilla Jr., knowing that TRO to deliberately stop the enforcement of the
there was a monetary judgment by way of decisions of the higher courts. He signed his
Disturbance Compensation granted to pleading under a signed his pleading under a
Tenants/Farmers, filed a 'Motion for Leave of group of non-lawyers joining him in the practice
Court to Allow Correction of Caption and of law as KDC LEGAL SERVICES, LAW
Amendment of Judgment'. OFFICERS AND ASSOCIATES which included
KDC as law partners in violation of the Rules on
After realizing that his motion failed to give him the practice of law with non-lawyers. As a matter
beneficial monetary gain from the PARAD of fact, under the Retainership Contract
judgment, a Petition for Preliminary Injunction submitted by Respondent before the PARAD of
with prayer for Issuance of Temporary Cavite, it was specifically mentioned that legal
fees were to be collected as counsel on record the provincial adjudicator's Decision dated
for the cooperative and respondent. Therefore, November 15, 1999. Moreover, Commissioner
this contract was effectively used [for] unlawful Espina opined that the charge that respondent
solicitation of clients in the practice of law with had been engaged in the unlawful practice of law
non-lawyers, being the cooperative (KDC) to was neither satisfactorily explained nor
become "counsel on record”. specifically denied by the latter. The failure of
respondent to do so led to the presumption that
Respondent denied the charges against him. He the allegation was true. Thus, the investigating
averred that by filing the action to quiet title, he officer recommended a suspension from the
had merely wanted to protect the rights and practice of law for 2 years.
interests of his clients. According to him, they
sincerely and honestly believed that their ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Revilla, Jr.
possession of the litigated land had already committed gross misconduct.
ripened into ownership.
HELD: Yes. Lawyers are officers of the court,
Report and Recommendation of the IBP-CBD called upon to assist in the administration of
justice. They act as vanguards of our legal
Investigating Commissioner Espina found system, protecting and upholding truth and the
respondent guilty of violating the attorney's oath rule of law. They are expected to act with
and the Code of Professional Responsibility. honesty in all their dealings, especially with the
Allegedly, respondent had "maliciously courts. Verily, the Code of Professional
concealed the defeat of his clients in the case Responsibility enjoins lawyers from committing or
before the PARAD of Cavite and the higher consenting to any falsehood in court or from
courts," in order to secure a temporary allowing the courts to be misled by any artifice.
restraining order from the RTC of Imus, Cavite. Moreover, they are obliged to observe the rules
As a result, he was able to delay the execution of of procedure and not to misuse them to defeat
the ends of justice. obtain a temporary restraining order preventing
the execution of the provincial adjudicator's
Good faith, fairness and candor constitute the Decision. Clearly, he was shielding his clients
essence of membership in the legal profession. from the Order of execution. Contrary to his later
Thus, while lawyers owe fidelity to the cause of claim of ownership of the land, he cannot feign
their client, they must never abuse their right of ignorance of his previous admission of a tenancy
recourse to the courts by arguing a case that has relationship existing between his clients and
repeatedly been rejected. complainants, as correctly observed by IBP
Commissioner Espina.
In the present case, respondent claims good faith
in pursuing the cause of his clients. The records Moreover, we agree with the finding of IBP
show, however, that his course of legal action Commissioner Espina that the silence or failure
was obviously a stratagem. It was meant to delay of respondent to challenge the allegation that he
unduly the execution of the provincial allowed non-lawyers to engage in the
adjudicator's Decision dated November 15, 1999. unauthorized practice of law may be deemed an
It must be noted that when the Court of Appeals admission of the truth of the accusation. His
and this Court upheld that Decision, respondent silence on this accusation is deemed an
resorted to a different forum to pursue his clients' admission, especially because he had every
lost cause. In the disturbance compensation chance to deny it.
case, he represented his clients as tenants and
acknowledged that complainants were the Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of
owners of the subject land. In the action to quiet Professional Responsibility provide thus:
title, however, he conveniently repudiated his
previous admission by falsely alleging that his "Canon 9 – A lawyer shall not directly or
clients were adverse possessors claiming bona indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of
fide ownership. Consequently, he was able to law. 'Rule 9.01 – A lawyer shall not delegate to
any unqualified person the performance of any Dayaw being his mother’s surname. However, in
task which by law may only be performed by a the roll of attorneys, his name listed was Dionisio
member of the Bar in good standing.'" D. Ramos.

PENALTY IMPOSED: Guilty of Gross ISSUE: Whether or not what Atty. Ramos did
Misconduct. He is suspended for 2 years from was correct.
the practice of law effective upon his receipt of
the decision. HELD: No. The attorney’s roll or register is the
official record containing the names and
47. PANGAN VS. RAMOS signatures of those who are authorized to
practice law. A lawyer is not authorized to use a
DOCTRINE: A lawyer is not authorized to use a name other than the one inscribed in the Roll of
name other than the one inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys in his practice of law. The official oath
Attorneys in his practice of law. obliges the attorney solemnly to swear that he
will do no falsehood. As an officer in the temple
FACTS: In 1979, a pending administrative case of justice, an attorney has irrefragable obligations
filed by Santa Pangan against Atty. Dionisio of truthfulness, candor and frankness. In
Ramos was delayed because Atty. Ramos representing himself to the court as “Pedro D.D.
allegedly appeared before a court in Manila. Ramos” instead of “Dionisio D. Ramos”,
When the records of the said case was checked respondent has violated his solemn oath and has
(one which Atty. Ramos appeared in), it was resorted to deception.
found that he used the name “Atty. Pedro D.D.
Ramos”. In his defense, Atty. Ramos said he has PENALTY IMPOSED: The Supreme Court
the right to use such name because in his birth hence severely reprimanded Atty. Ramos and
certificate, his name listed was Pedro Dionisio warned that a similar infraction will warrant
Ramos. “D.D.” stands for Dionisio Dayaw with suspension or disbarment.
48. ARTIAGA v. VILLANUEVA Director of Lands - rendered a Decision
A.C. No. 1892, Jul. 29, 1988 against private respondents; permit
application is hereby rejected; amount paid
FACTS: The disbarment case arose from 4 civil forfeited in favor of the Gov’t; Guanzon and
actions involving the same property. Juliano Aquino shall vacate the land.On MR,
Estolano, client of complainant Atty. Artiaga, Jr. Director amended his previous decision
and Glicerio Aquino and/or Florentina Guanzon, granting Aquino preferential right to that
clients of respondent Atty. Villanueva area actually occupied and cultivated by
him.
Three parcels of land in Laguna were involved
herein. Petitioner Juliano Estolano was issued Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
original Certificate of Title in his name over the Resource – Denied the appeal of both
first parcel. Paciano Malabayabas and Canuto parties. Denied the latter and affirmed the
Suyo sold and transferred their rights over the prior ruling of the Director. MR was denied.
second and third parcels of land to petitioner,
respectively. Office of the President of the Philippines
– Denied appeal of respondent.
Glicerio Aquino, private respondent, filed his The Decision of the Director of Lands
Revocable Permit Application over an area of having become final, an order of Execution
8,000 square meters, which cover a part of the thereof was issued; however, private
first and third parcel. Also, private respondent respondents remained in possession of the
Florentina Guanzon, Aquino's sister-in-law, also subject property. Thus, petitioner filed
filed Revocable Permit Application over the principal case for Recovery of Possession.
second parcel. Eventually, the conflicts were
taken cognizance of by the Bureau of Lands. The restraining order issued in Civil Case No.
183-C on October 27, 1976 enjoining the Director
of Lands from enforcing the Order of Execution Respondent Atty. Enrique C. Villanueva is
was set aside by the Court of Appeals and the charged with the following unethical practices: (1)
writ of prohibition prayed for by petitioner That respondent had caused his client to perjure
Estolano was granted. himself; (2) That he lacks candor and respect
toward his adversary and the courts; and (3) That
MTC – Complaint for Forcible entry filed by he had been abusive of the right of recourse to
Aquino and Guanzon was dismissed. On appeal, the courts.
affirmed the order of dismissal.
ISSUE: W/N respondent is guilty of alleged
CFI - Annulment of Estolano's title over the same unethical practices
land was filed by respondent's client, Aquino
which was thereafter dismissed. The CA on HELD: We find respondent Atty. Villanueva guilty
appeal affirmed the dismissal. the case was as above charged.
remanded to the trial court for execution. (
1) In the original complaint, respondent's client
Finally, while their petition for certiorari and alleged that he was dispossessed of the subject
prohibition over Civil Case was pending before land in 1960, while in the amended complaint, he
the Court of Appeals, respondent's clients, alleged it was in June, 1973. Clearly, this was a
Aquino, filed a complaint with the Court of ploy concocted by respondent to enable the court
Agrarian Relations (CAR) against Estolano and to acquire jurisdiction over the case since a
the Director of Lands forcible entry case must be filed within one year
CAR - issued an order requiring Estolano to from the accrual of the cause of action under
respect Aquino's possession and dismissed the Rule 70, Section 1.
case.
(DOCTRINE: Lawyer as a Disciple of Truth)
The duty of an attorney to the courts to parte from the CAR a restraining order against
employ, for the purpose of maintaining the the Director of Lands and Estolano.
causes confided to him, such means as are Respondent was aware of this fact so he
consistent with truth and honor cannot be resorted to forum shopping, continuously seeking
overemphasized. 5 His high vocation is to the court where he may possibly obtain favorable
correctly inform the court upon the law and judgment, thereby adding to the already clogged
the facts of the case, and to aid it in doing dockets of the courts with the unmeritorious
justice and arriving at correct conclusions. cases he filed. He grossly abused his right of
He violated his oath of office when he resorted to recourse to the courts by filing multiple petitions
deception. Worse, he had caused his client to or complaints for a cause that had been
perjure himself thus subjecting the latter to previously rejected in the false hope of getting
criminal prosecution for perjury brought before some favorable action, somehow, thus,
the Municipal Court of Los Banos, obstructing the administration of justice. He was
7
Laguna. Instead of safeguarding the interests of derelict in his duty as counsel to maintain such
his client as his responsibility dictates, he did actions or proceedings only as appears to him to
exactly the opposite by causing his client to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to
commit a felony. From the foregoing, the lack of be honestly debatable under the law. He had
candor of respondent counsel towards the court thus prostituted his office at the expense of
is evident. justice.

(2) An examination of the records shows that WHEREFORE, the respondent is hereby
respondent did not disclose before the Court of SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY from the practice
Agrarian Relations (CAR) prior law suits and of law until such time that he can demonstrate to
decisions rendered relative to the subject land. the court that he has rehabilitated himself and
As a result, respondent was able to secure ex- deserves to resume the practice of law.
Canon 10 – Duty of Candor to the Courts Kabataan. The Board of Election Tellers
Rule 10.01 – Duty of Fidelity to the Courts appealed to the Regional Trial Court. The
presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court,
49. GARVODA v. SALES, JR. however, inhibited himself from acting on the
G.R. No. 124893, Apr. 18, 1997 appeal due to his close association with
petitioner.
FACTS: Petitioner Lynette Garvida seeks to
annul and set aside the order dated May 2, 1996 Garvida filed her certificate of candidacy for the
of respondent COMELEC en banc suspending position of SK Chairman. In a letter, Election
her proclamation as the duly elected Chairman of Officer Rios, per advice of Provincial Election
the SK of Barangay San Lorenzo, Municipality of Supervisor, disapproved petitioner’s certificate of
Bangui, Ilocos Norte. candidacy again due to her age. Petitioner,
however, appealed to COMELEC Regional
On March 16, 1996, petitioner applied for Director Asperin who set aside the order of
registration as member and voter of the respondent Rios and allowed petitioner to run.
Katipunan ng Kabataan of Barangay San
Lorenzo. The Board of Election Tellers, however, Private respondent Florencio G. Sales, Jr., a rival
denied her application on the ground that she candidate for Chairman of the Sangguniang
being then twenty-one years and ten (10) months Kabataan, filed with the COMELEC en banc a
old, exceeded the age limit for membership in the “Petition of Denial and/or Cancellation of
Katipunan ng Kabataan. Certificate of Candidacy” against petitioner
Garvida for falsely representing her age
MTC – On Petition for Inclusion as Registered qualification in her certificate of candidacy. The
Kabataang Member and Voter” the court found petition was sent by facsimile and registered mail
petitioner qualified and ordered her registration on April 29, 1996 to the Commission on Elections
as member and voter in the Katipunan ng
National Office, Manila. On July 5, 1996, petitioner ran in the Pambayang
Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang Kabataan for
On the same day acting on the facsimile, the municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte. She won
respondent Rios issued the memorandum to as Auditor and was proclaimed one of the
petitioner, the COMELEC en banc issued an elected officials of the Pederasyon.
order directing the Board of Election Tellers and
Board of Canvassers of Barangay San Lorenzo ISSUES: 1) WON the COMELEC en banc has
to suspend the proclamation of petitioner in the jurisdiction to act on the petition to deny or
event she won in the election. cancel her certificate of candidacy;
2) WON cancellation of her certificate of
On election day, petitioner garnered 78 votes as candidacy on the ground that she has exceeded
against private respondent’s votes of 76. In the age requirement to run as an elective official
accordance with the May 2, 1996 order of the of the SK is valid
COMELEC en banc, the Board of Election
Tellers did not proclaim petitioner as the winner. HELD: (1) Section 532 (a) of the Local
Hence, the instant petition for certiorari was filed Government Code of 1991 provides that the
on May 27, 1996. conduct of the SK elections is under the
supervision of the COMELEC and shall be
On June 2, 1996, however, the Board of Election governed by the Omnibus Election Code. Under
Tellers proclaimed petitioner the winner for the the same Rules of Procedure, jurisdiction over a
position of SK chairman. The proclamation was petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy lies
“without prejudice to any further action by the with the COMELEC sitting in Division, not en
Commission on Elections or any other interested banc. Cases before a Division may only be
party.” entertained by the COMELEC en banc when the
required number of votes to reach a decision,
resolution, order or ruling is not obtained in the file additional number of copies of the
Division. petition or protest as there are additional
Moreover, only motions to reconsider decisions, respondents or protestees.
resolutions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC in
Division are resolved by the COMELEC en Sec. 2. How Filed. — The documents
banc. 16 It is therefore the COMELEC sitting in referred to in the immediately preceding
Divisions that can hear and decide election section must be filed directly with the proper
cases. Clerk of Court of the Commission
personally, or, unless otherwise provided in
In the instant case, the COMELEC en banc did these Rules, by registered mail. In the latter
not refer the case to any of its Divisions upon case, the date of mailing is the date of filing
receipt of the petition. It therefore acted without and the requirement as to the number of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion copies must be complied with.
when it entertained the petition and issued the
order of May 2, 1996. Sec. 3. Form of Pleadings, etc. — (a) All
pleadings allowed by these Rules shall be
The COMELEC en banc also erred when it failed printed, mimeographed or typewritten on
to note that the petition itself did not comply with legal size bond paper and shall be in
the formal requirements of pleadings under the English or Filipino.
COMELEC Rules of Procedure.
In the instant case, the subject petition was not in
Sec. 1. Filing of Pleadings. — Every proper form. Only two (2) copies of the petition
pleading, motion and other papers must be were filed with the COMELEC. Also, the
filed in ten (10) legible copies. However, COMELEC en banc issued its Resolution on the
when there is more than one respondent or basis of the petition transmitted by facsimile, not
protestee, the petitioner or protestant must by registered mail.
(2) In the case at bar, petitioner was born on 50. RE : SUSPENSION OF ATTY. ADM. CASE
June 11, 1974. On March 16, 1996, the day she No. 7006 ROGELIO Z. BAGABUYO, FORMER
registered as voter for the May 6, 1996 SK SENIOR STATE PROSECUTOR
elections, petitioner was twenty-one (21) years
and nine (9) months old. On the day of the Facts: Crim. Case No. 5144 was originally
elections, she was 21 years, 11 months and 5 raffled to the sala of Judge Floripinas C. Buyser,
days old. When she assumed office on June 1, RTC of Surigao City, Branch 30. In an Order
1996, she was 21 years, 11 months and 20 days dated March 14, 2002, Judge Buyser denied the
old and was merely ten (10) days away from Demurrer to the Evidence of the accused,
turning 22 years old. Petitioner may have declaring that the evidence thus presented by the
qualified as a member of the Katipunan ng prosecution was sufficient to prove the crime of
Kabataan but definitely, petitioner was over the homicide and not the charge of murder.
age limit for elective SK officials set by Section Consequently, the counsel for the defense filed a
428 of the Local Government Code and Sections Motion to Fix the Amount of Bail Bond.
3 [b] and 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 2824. She Respondent Atty. Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo, then
was ineligible to run as candidate for the May 6, Senior State Prosecutor and the deputized
1996 Sangguniang Kabataan elections. prosecutor of the case, objected thereto mainly
on the ground that the original charge of murder,
Canon 10 – Duty of Candor to the Courts punishable with reclusion perpetua, was not
Rule 10.03 – Duty of Fidelity to the Rules of subject to bail under Sec. 4, Rule 114 of the
Procedure Rules of Court.
The case was transferred to Branch 29 of the
DOCTRINE: The rules of procedure are RTC of Surigao City, presided by Judge Jose
instruments in the speedy and efficient Manuel P. Tan. In an Order dated November 12,
administration of justice. They should be 2002, Judge Tan favorably resolved the Motion
used to achieve such end and not to derail it. to Fix the Amount of Bail Bond, and fixed the
amount of the bond at P40,000. Respondent field who previously handled it, Judge F[lori]pinas
a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. B[uy]ser, described the evidence to be
Hence, respondent appealed from the Order to strong. B[uy]ser inhibited from the case for an
the CA. Instead of availing himself only of unclear reason. x x x Bagabuyo said he would
judicial remedies, respondent caused the contest Tans decision bef ore the Court of
publication of an article regarding the Order Appeals and would file criminal and
granting bail to the accused in the August administrative charges of certiorari against the
18, 2003 issue of the Mindanao Gold Star judge. Bagabuyuo said he was not afraid of
Daily . The article, entitled murder suspect to being cited in contempt by Judge Tan. This is
bail out read as follows: the only way that the public would know that
SENIOR state prosecutor has lashed at a there are judges displaying judicial arrogance.
judge in Surigao City for allowing a murder He said.
suspect to go out on bail. Senior state The RTC of Surigao City, Branch 29,
prosecutor Roge lio Bagabuyo lambasted directed respondent and the writer of the
Judge Manuel Tan of the Regional Trial article, Mark Francisco of the Mindanao Gold
Court (RTC) Branch 29 based in Surigao Star Daily, to appear in court on September
City for ruling on a motion that sought a 20, 2003 to explain why they should not be
bailbond for Luis Plaza who stands charged cited for indirect contempt of court for the
with murdering a policeman . . . . Plaza publication of the article which degraded the
reportedly posted a P 40 thousand bail bond. court and its presiding judge with its lies and
Bagabuyo argued that the crime of murder is misrepresentation.
a nonbailable offense. But Bagabuyo admitted
that a judge could still opt to allow a murder The said Order stated that contrary to the
suspect to bail out in cases when the statements in the article, Judge Buyser
evidence of the prosecution is weak. But in described the evidence for the prosecution as
this murder case, Bagabuyo said the judge not strong, but sufficient to prove the guilt of
the accused only for homicide. Moreover, it In an Order, Mr. Mark Francisco was ordered to
was not true that Judge Buyser inhibited pay a fine of P 10,000 for publishing the
himself f rom the case for an unclear reason. article.Prosecutor Bagabuyo is adjudged to
Judge Buyser, in an Order dated August 30, have committed indirect contempt of Court
2002, declared in open court in the presence pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 71 of the
of respondent that he was inhibiting himself Rules of Court and he is ordered to suffer
from the case due to the harsh insinuation the penalty of 30 days in jail. The BJMP is
of respondent that he lacked the cold neutra hereby ordered to arrest Prosecutor Rogelio Z.
lity of an impartial judge. On the scheduled Bagabuyo if he does not put up a bond of P
hearing of the contempt charge, Mark 100,000.00.
Francisco admitted that the Mindanao Gold
Star Daily caused the publication of the Respondent posted the required bond and was
article. He disclosed that respondent, in a released from the custody of the law. He
press conference, stated that the crime of appealed the indirect contempt order to the CA.
murder is non-bailable. When asked by the Despite the citation of indirect contempt,
trial court why he printed such lies, Mr. respondent presented himself to the media for
Francisco answered that his only source was interviews in Radio Station DXKS, and again
respondent. attacked the integrity of Judge Tan and the trial
courts disposition in the proceedings of Crim.
Respondent admitted that he caused the Case No. 5144.
holding of the press conference, but refused
to answer whether he made the statements The RTC of Surigao City, Branch 29, required
in the article until after he shall have filed a respondent to explain and to show cause within
motion to dismiss. For his refusal to answer, five days from receipt thereof why he should not
the trial court declared him in contempt. be held in contempt for his media interviews. He
was also interviewed by Tony Consing in his
radio program. In those radio interviews, with the order of suspension and other relevant
respondent allegedly called Judge Tan a judge documents.
who does not know the law, a liar, and a dictator
who does not accord due process to the people. RECOMMENDATION OF THE OFFICE OF BAR
When the hearing for the second contempt was CONFIDANT: The Office of the Bar Confidant
scheduled, respondent did not appear. The trial recommended the implementation of the trial
court received respondents Answer denying the courts order of suspension dated February 8,
charge that he sought to be interviewed by radio 2004, and that respondent be suspended from
station DXK. the practice of law for one year.

The trial court found that Prosecutor Bagabuyo Issue: WON there is violation of Canon 11 of
has grossly violated the Canons of the legal CPR
profession and [is] guilty of grave professional
misconduct. Hence, he is SUSPENDED from Held: Yes. The Court approves the
the practice of law. Likewise, he is also found recommendation of the Office of the Bar
guilty of indirect contempt of court, for which he Confidant.
is ordered to suffer the penalty of
IMPRISONMENT for ninety (90) days to be Membership in the bar imposes upon them
served at the Surigao City Jail and to pay the certain obligations. Canon 11 of the Code of
maximum fine of THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS Professional Responsibility mandates a lawyer to
(P30,000.00). observe and maintain the respect due to the
courts and to judicial officers and [he] should
RTC of Surigao City, Branch 29, transmitted to insist on similar conduct by others. Rule 11.05 of
the Office of the Bar Confidant the Statement of Canon 11 states that a lawyer shall submit
Facts of respondents suspension from the grievances against a judge to the proper
practice of law, dated July 14, 2005, together authorities only. Respondent violated Rule
11.05 of Canon 11 when he admittedly caused officer when he stated that Judge Tan was
the holding of a press conference where he ignorant of the law, that as a mahjong aficionado,
made statements against the Order dated he was studying mahjong instead of studying the
November 12, 2002 allowing the accused in law, and that he was a liar. Respondent also
Crim. Case No. 5144 to be released on bail. violated the Lawyers Oath, as he has sworn to
Respondent also violated Canon 11 when he conduct [himself] as a lawyer according to the
indirectly stated that Judge Tan was displaying best of [his] knowledge and discretion with all
judicial arrogance in the article entitled, Senior good fidelity as well to the courts as to [his]
prosecutor lambasts Surigao judge for allowing clients. As a senior state prosecutor and officer
murder suspect to bail out, which appeared in the of the court, respondent should have set the
August 18, 2003 issue of the Mindanao Gold Star example of observing and maintaining the
Daily. Respondents statements in the article, respect due to the courts and to judicial officers
which were made while Crim. Case No. 5144
was still pending in court, also violated Rule PENALTY IMPOSED: Atty. Rogelio Z. Bagabuyo
13.02 of Canon 13, which states that a lawyer is found guilty of violating Rule 11.05, Canon 11
shall not make public statements in the media and Rule 13.02, Canon 13 of the Code of
regarding a pending case tending to arouse Professional Responsibility, and of violating the
public opinion for or against a party. Lawyers Oath, for which he is SUSPENDED
from the practice of law for one (1) year effective
In regard to the radio interview given to Tony upon finality of this Decision, with a STERN
Consing, respondent violated Rule 11.05 of WARNING that the repetition of a similar offense
Canon 11 of the Code of Professional shall be dealt with more severely.
Responsibility for not resorting to the proper
authorities only for redress of his grievances 51. THE SPOUSES JOSE B. TIONGCO AND
against Judge Tan. Respondent also violated LETICIA M. TIONGCO VS. HON. SEVERIANO
Canon 11 for his disrespect of the court and its C. AGUILAR, JUDGE, RTC, BRANCH 35,
ILOILO CITY, AND THE SPOUSES 'hypocritical judgment in plaintiffs' favor'; one
WILFREDO AND LORENA AGUIRRE 'you could have sworn it was the Devil who
G.R. No. 115932, January 25, 1995 dictated it'; or one with 'perfidious
character,'In fact, His Honor, Respondent
Facts: In the resolution of 26 September Judge, the Honorable Severino O. Aguilar had
1994, the Supreme Court required ATTY. not owned any real property until March 5,
JOSE B. TIONGCO, as counsel for the 1974 when his Honor was already either
petitioners, to show cause why he should not Public-Prosecutor or RTC Judge; and his
be dealt with administratively for the violation charge that the respondent Judge has 'joined
of Canon 11 of the Code of Professional the defendants and their counsel in a
Responsibility. Accordingly, counsel insinuated scheme to unlawfully deprive petitioners of
the petitioners that the SC did not read the the possession and fruits of their property for
petition and made the following statement: the duration of the appeal'; and with respect
x x x Truly, it is hard to imagine that this to the Order of 30 May 1994, by describing
Honorable Court had read the petition end the respondent Judge as a 'liar,' 'perjurer,' or
the annexes attached thereto and hold that 'blasphemer.' "
the same has "failed to sufficiently show that
the respondent Court had committed a grave In his 2 page compliance, Atty. Tiongco did not
abuse of discretion in rendering the at all show cause why he should not be
questioned judgment" ...' dealt with administratively for violation of
which, is unfounded and malicious, and Canon 11 of the Code of Professional
considering further his use of intemperate Responsibility.
language in the petition, as exemplified by his Moreover, while he tried to justify as true his
characterization of the decision of the descriptions of the respondent judge as "liar,"
respondent Judge as having been 'crafted in "thief," "perfidious," and "blasphemer" he did
order to fool the winning party'; as a not offer any excuse for his use of the rest
of the intemperate words enumerated in the he miserably failed to show the relevance of
resolution. Worse, feeling obviously frustrated the harsh words and phrases to his petition.
at the incompleteness of the Court's We do not then hesitate to rule that by
enumeration of the intemperate words or falsely and maliciously insinuating that this
phrases, he volunteered to point out that in Court did not at all read the petition in this
addition to those so enumerated, he also case, Atty. Tiongco not only exhibited his
called the respondent judge a "robber," "rotten gross disrespect to and contempt for this
manipulator," "abettor" of graft and corruption, Court and exposed his plot to discredit the
and "cross-eyed." Members of the First Division of the Court
and put them to public contempt or ridicule;
Issue: WON there is violation of Canon 11 of the he, as well, charged them with the violation
CPR of their solemn duty to render justice, thereby
creating or promoting distrust in judicial
Held: Yes. Atty. Tiongco's Compliance is administration which could have the effect of
unsatisfactory and is entirely unacceptable for "encouraging discontent which, in many
the following reasons: first, he impliedly cases, is the source of disorder, thus
admitted the falsity of his insinuation that this undermining the foundation on which rests
Court did not read the petition; second, the bulwark called judicial power to which
except as to the words "liar," "thief," those who are aggrieved turn for protection
"perfidious," and "blasphemer," he failed to and relief" (Salcedo vs. Hernandez)
address squarely the other intemperate words
and phrases enumerated in the resolution of In using in the petition in this case
26 September 1994, which failure amounts to intemperate and scurrilous words and phrases
an admission of their intemperateness; third, against the respondent judge which are
he did not indicate the circumstances upon obviously uncalled for and entirely irrelevant
which his defense of truth lies; and, fourth, to the petition and whose glaring falsity is
easily demonstrated by the respondent judge's Rules of Court "[t]o observe and maintain the
decision in favor of Atty. Tiongco and his respect due to the courts of justice and
wife in their case for recovery of possession judicial officers"; and his duty under the first
and damages, and by the dismissal of the canon of the Canons of Professional Ethics
instant petition for failure of the petitioners to "to maintain towards the courts a respectful
sufficiently show that the respondent judge attitude, not for the sake of the temporary
committed grave abuse of discretion, Atty. incumbent of the judicial office, but for the
Tiongco has equally shown his disrespect to maintenance of its supreme importance."
and contempt for the respondent judge,
thereby diminishing public confidence in the That Atty. Tiongco had exceeded the bounds
latter and, eventually, in the judiciary, or of decency and propriety in making the false
sowing mistrust in the administration of and malicious insinuation against this Court,
justice. Consequently, Atty. Tiongco has made particularly the Members of the First Division,
out a strong case for a serious violation of and the scurrilous characterizations of the
Canon 11 of the Code of Professional respondent judge is, indeed, all too obvious.
Responsibility which reads as follows: Such could only come from anger, if not
"CANON 11 -- A LAWYER SHALL hate, after he was not given what he
OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE RESPECT wanted. When such anger or hate is coupled
DUE TO THE COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL with haughtiness or arrogance as when he
OFFICERS AND SHOULD INSIST ON even pointed out other intemperate words in
SIMILAR CONDUCT BY OTHERS." his petition which this Court failed to
incorporate in the resolution of 26 September
This duty is closely entwined with his vow in 1994, and with seething sarcasm as when he
the lawyer's oath "to conduct himself as a prays that this Court "forebear[s] from turning
lawyer with all good fidelity to the courts"; his ... [him] into a martyr to his principles" and
duty under Section 20(b), Rule 138 of the ends up his Compliance with the
"RESPECTFUL APOLOGIES - AND UNDYING petition was filed. The petition was
LOVE" (Constitution - Preamble, 66th word)," dismissed on December 8, 1971, and the
nothing more can extenuate his liability for motion for reconsideration was denied on
gross violation of Canon 11 of the Code of February 14, 1972. The petitioners then came
Professional Responsibility and of his other to us on certiorari to question the orders of
duties entwined therewith as earlier adverted the respondent judge. The respondent court
to. dismissed the petition for review of the
decision rendered in 1926 on the ground that
PENALTY IMPOSED: ATTY. JOSE B. it had been filed The petitioners contend that
TIONGCO is hereby ordered to pay a Fine the said judgment had not yet become final
of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) and and executory because the land in dispute
WARNED that the commission of the same had not yet been registered in favor of the private
or similar acts in the future shall be dealt respondents. The said judgment would
with more severely. become so only after one year from the
issuance of the decree of registration. For
52. Banogon vs Zerna their part, the private respondents argue that
the decision of February 9, 1926, became
Facts: The original decision in this case was final and executory after 30 days, same not
rendered by the cadastral court way back on having been appealed by the petitioners
February 9, 1926, sixty one years ago. A during that period. They slept on their rights
motion to amend that decision was filed on for thirty one years before it occurred to
March 6, 1957, thirty one years later. This them to question the judgment of the
was followed by an amended petition for cadastral court.
review of the judgment on March 18, 1957,
and an opposition thereto on March 26, Issue: WON the action has prescribed.
1957. On October 11, 1971, or after
fourteen years, a motion to dismiss the
Held: Yes. Statutes must be given a filing pointless petitions that only add to the
reasonable construction and there can be no workload of the judiciary, especially this
possible reason for requiring the complaining Court, which is burdened enough as it is. A
party to wait until the final decree is entered judicious study of the facts and the law
before urging his claim of fraud. We should advise them when a case, such as
therefore hold that a petition for review under this, should not be permitted to be filed to
section 38, supra, may be filed at any time merely clutter the already congested judicial
after the rendition of the court's decision and dockets. They do not advance the cause of
before the expiration of one year from the law or their clients by commencing litigations
entry of the final decree of registration." This that for sheer lack of merit do not deserve
Court has repeatedly reminded litigants and the attention of the courts.
lawyers alike: "'Litigation must end and
terminate sometime and somewhere, and it is 53. Medina vs. Yan
essential to an effective and efficient
administration of justice that, once a Facts: Medina, a Filipino Citizen, was arrested
judgment has become final, the winning party and apprehended by the South Vietnman Police
be not, through a mere subterfuge, deprived and some members of the PHILCAG. Medina
of the fruits of the verdict. Courts must was transferred to Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon
therefore guard against any scheme City, where he was kept until the morning of the
calculated to bring about that following day. Medina was then again transferred
result. Constituted as they are to put an to Arayat, Pampanga. Medina's counsel filed a
end to controversies, courts should frown upon petition for habeas corpus. The trial court ruled in
any attempt to prolong them. As officers of favor of the release of Medina. The OSG
the court, lawyers have a responsibility to appealed the case to the Court of Appeals. Atty.
assist in the proper administration of Mutuc motioned for Certification to the Supreme
justice. They do not discharge this duty by Court. Atty. Mutuc denied his motion. Atty. Mutuc
insisted that the case was originally filed before
the Supreme Court therefore it was a returnable authority to determine the merits of the case,
writ. Being a returnable writ, the appeal should and not merely to act as a referee, in the
be directly to the Supreme Court. When this same manner as We would have if the writ
argumentation did not work. Atty. Mutuc advised had been returnable before this Court Mr.
his client to escape jail because he is being Justice Castro correctly observed during the
illegally detained. deliberation of the Court in this case, that
there is no valid reason why a habeas
On September 4, 1969, this Court adopted a corpus case originally filed in the Court of
resolution restraining the respondent Court of First Instance should be appealed to the
Appeals from proceeding further with case Court of Appeals, while one filed originally
No. CA-G.R. No. 42658-R, entitled "Fortunato with the Supreme Court and made returnable
Medina, petitioner-appellee vs. Gen. Manuel to the Court of First Instance should be
T. Yan and Brig. Gen. Vicente Raval, appealable directly to Us, when a review of
respondents-appellants", more particularly with the findings of facts of the Court of First
the enforcement of its resolution of June 21, Instance is necessary. The view that the
1969, re: "Contempt and Suspension of Atty. appeal should be made direct to this Court
Amelito R. Mutuc. because when a petitioner files the petition
for a writ of habeas corpus with Us he wants
Issue: Whether or not the case is appealable to his case to be decided as expeditiously as
the Supreme Court. possible, is clearly untenable; otherwise, We
would be unduly hampered in the exercise of
Held: It is clear, therefore, that when this Our discretion when to hear and decide
Court issued the writ of habeas corpus directly a habeas corpus as We did in the
making the same returnable before the Court habeas corpus cases under Martial Law, and
of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City when We should make the writ returnable to
branch, said court acquired the power and a Court of First Instance so that the case
may not unduly clog the already over- that no further postponement of the case would
burdened docket of this Court. be granted, and then manifested that the
witnesses and the evidence for the plaintiff were
54. JAVELLANA v. LUTERO ready for presentation on that date. Thus, the
G.R. No. L-23956 ; July 21, 1967 verbal motion was denied, and plaintiff was
directed to adduce his evidence. During the
FACTS: On March 1963, the Roman Archbishop hearing, a telegram arrived from Atty. Hautea
in Jaro, Iloilo filed a Detainer Complaint against asking for a postponement of the hearing.
Elpidio Javellana in the municipal court which However, the hearing still continued. The court
was presided by Judge Nicolas Lutero. The on the same date rendered judgment for the
hearing was reset four times, all at the behest of plaintiff and against the defendant.
Elpidio Javellana’s lawyer (Atty. Jose Hautea)
who gave reasons as flimsy as a painful right toe, About 50 days later, the defendant thru his same
and unfinished business transactions in Manila. counsel filed a PETITION FOR RELIEF (from the
This last postponement was granted by the judgment of the municipal court) with the CFI of
municipal court, with a warning that no further Iloilo, praying that the decision in question be set
postponements shall be allowed. When the case aside, that the detainer case be set for trial on
was called for trial on August 27, 1963, neither the merits, and, pending determination of the
the defendant nor his counsel appeared. One petition, that an injunction issue restraining the
Atty. Romy Peña was present in court –who enforcement of the decision. Counsel for the
verbally moved for the postponement of the trial petitioner averred that his absence on the date of
on the ground that Atty. Hautea was in Manila the trial was excusable as he attended to a very
attending to a business transaction. The urgent business transaction in Manila; that before
plaintiff's counsel objected to the motion on the his departure for the latter city, he verbally
ground that the defendant and his counsel were informed the respondent judge that his return to
well aware of the court's previous admonition Iloilo might be delayed and that he might not
arrive on time for the trial of the case as set; that standards of fair play, is duty bound to prepare
he called at both the law office and the residence for trial with diligence and deliberate speed. This
of the counsel for the private respondent to norm of conduct is no less applicable in a
inform him of the desired postponement and the detainer case, such as the one at bar, even if the
reason therefor, but the latter was in Bacolod at issues are essentially simple and uncomplicated.
the time; that he exercised utmost diligence and It is obvious that the counsel for the petitioner-
precaution in the sense that while in Manila he appellant has been remiss in this respect.
sent a telegram to the respondent judge, asking The case was set for trial six times. Thrice it was
for postponement; and that notwithstanding all postponed at the behest of the said counsel. The
the foregoing, the municipal court nevertheless last postponement was granted with the
proceeded with the trial in his absence and that unequivocal admonition by the judgment that no
of his client, allowed the private respondent to further postponement would be countenanced.
present his evidence ex parte, and rendered a The case was reset in a date when the
decision against the petitioner, thus depriving the complainant’s counsel had more than a month's
latter of his day in court. time to so adjust his schedule of activities as to
obviate a conflict between his business
RULING OF CFI: After due hearing, CFI transactions and his calendar of hearings. His
dismissed the petition for relief. Thus, the present absence on the date last resetting was not
appeal. occasioned by illness or some other supervening
occurrence which unavoidably and justifiably
ISSUE: W/N Atty. Hautea was negligent in his prevented him from appearing in court.
duties as a lawyer.
PENALTY IMPOSED: As this appeal is patently
HELD: A counsel for any party in a judicial frivolous and dilatory, this Court, under the
controversy, by mandate of the canons of legal authority of section 3 of Rule 142 of the Rules of
ethics, and with due regard for the elementary Court, hereby assesses treble costs against the
petitioner-appellant Elpidio Javellana, said costs counsel during the original period granted, he
to be paid by his counsel, Atty. Jose Hautea. has not had sufficient material time to complete
the preparation of petitioner's reply." The Court
DOCTRINE: A counsel is duty bound under the granted the requested extension.
circumstances to give preferential attention to the
case and not to make the court wait at his On the last day of the extended period for filing of
pleasure.   the reply, viz, March 29, 1973 counsel again
asked for still another 15-day extension stating
55. ACHACOSO v. CA that "due to the pressure of urgent professional
G.R. No. L-35867 June 28, 1973 work and daily trial engagements of the
undersigned counsel, he has not had sufficient
FACTS: Upon the filing of the petition at bar for material time to complete the preparation of
review of the CA decision (which dismissed petitioners reply. The undersigned counsel
petitioner's petition for mandamus), respondents humbly apologizes that in view of his crowded
filed on an extensive eighteen page comment. schedule, he has been constrained to ask for this
Meanwhile, petitioner's counsel, Rodrigo M. extension, but respectfully assures the
Nera, filed a motion for leave to file reply within Honorable Court that this will be the last one
15 days from notice alleging that there was need requested.' The CA granted counsel's motion for
for such reply "in order that this Honorable Court such third and last extension.
may be fully and completely informed of the
nature of the controversy which gave rise to the The period for the filing of petitioner's reply
instant petition.", to which the CA granted. lapsed on April 13, 1973 without counsel having
On the last day for filing of the reply, counsel filed any reply manifestation explaining his failure
asked for an additional 15 days averring that to do so.
"due to the pressure of urgent professional work
and daily trial engagements of the undersigned
Accordingly, the CA denied the petition for review preparing and submitting the reply, then he could
for lack of merit, further required petitioner's have filed timely the necessary manifestation that
counsel to show cause why discipline action he was foregoing the filing of such reply on
should not be taken against him for failure to file petitioner's behalf. His inaction unduly delayed
the reply after having obtained such leave and the Court's prompt disposition of the case after
three extensions time within which to do so. the filing by respondents of their comments on
Counsel explained that he was retained in the the petition showing its lack of merit.
ease "on a piece-work basis on the verbal Verily, the counsel's conduct as an officer of the
understanding that all expenses for the Court that after assuring the Court that the third
preparation of pleadings and the cost of services extension requested by him "in view of his
of stenographer-typist shall be furnished in crowded schedule" and "of urgent professional
advance by petition upon being notified thereof," work and daily trial engagements" would be the
that when he asked for a third extension, he so last within which period he would at last file the
informed petitioner and requested him to remit awaited reply within which he thereafter to let the
the expenses (P500.00) for the preparation of period simply lapse without any explanation
reply as per agreement" and that he tried to whatsoever does not reflect any good on him.
contact petitioner before the expiration of the
extended period but failed to do as petitioner PENALTY: Considering, however, that counsel's
"was then most of the time out of his office." record shows no previous infractions on his part
since his admission to the Philippine Bar in 1953,
ISSUE: W/N petitioner’s counsel properly relied the Court is disposed to be lenient in this
on the ground of non-payment of his fees as his instance. ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby
basis for not submitting his reply administers a reprimand on Atty. Rodrigo M.
Nera, with the warning that a repetition of the
HELD: No, if indeed he was not in a financial same or similar acts shall be dealt with more
position to advance the necessary expenses for
severely. Let a copy of this resolution be filed in Labor Practice (ULP) and Illegal Dismissal, while
his personal record. Atty. Suing was the counsel for the therein
respondents. Said case was consolidated with
DOCTRINE: The Court censures the practice of NLRC Case entitled "Microplast Incorporated v.
counsels who secure repeated extensions of Vilma Ardan," a case for Illegal Strike.
time to file their pleadings and thereafter simply
let the period lapse without submitting the Labor Arbiter Ariel Cadiente Santos dismissed
pleading or even an explanation or manifestation the Illegal Strike case, but found the Microplast,
of their failure to do so. The Court herein Inc. guilty of ULP. The LA also declared that the
reprimands petitioner's counsel for such 9 complainants were illegally dismissed. The LA
misconduct with the warning that a repetition directed to reinstate all the complainants to their
thereof will be dealt with more severely. former position with full backwages, and
subsequently issued a writ of execution.

56. SAMBAJON vs ATTY. SUING In the meantime, on the basis of individual


Sept. 26, 2006 Release Waiver and Quitclaims purportedly
signed and sworn to by 7 of the complainants in
FACTS: The complainants sought the the ULP and Illegal Dismissal case, in the
disbarment of Atty. Jose A. Suing (respondent) presence of the respondent Atty. Suing, the LA
on the grounds of deceit, malpractice, violation of dismissed said case insofar as the 7
Lawyer's Oath and the Code of Professional complainants were concerned.
Responsibility.
Herein complainants, 4 of the 7 complainants
The complainants were among the complainants who purportedly executed the Release Waiver
in NLRC Case entitled Microplast, Inc. Workers and Quitclaims, denied having signed and sworn
Union v. Microplast, Incorporated for Unfair to before the Labor Arbiter the said documents or
having received the considerations therefor. Resolution. On the other hand, atty. Suing filed a
Hence, spawned the administrative complaint at Motion to Amend the IBP Board Resolution,
bar, alleging that respondent, acting in collusion wherein he does not deny that those whom he
with his clients, “frustrated” the implementation of met face to face before Commissioner Hababag
the Writ of Execution by presenting before the were not the same persons whom he saw before
Labor Arbiter the spurious documents. Labor Arbiter Santos, explaining that he was not
Complainants also filed a criminal complaint for familiar with the complainants as they were not
Falsification against respondent together with his attending the hearings before the LA.
clients.
During the administrative hearings before the IBP
IBP Commissioner Hababag’s Report and Commissioner, it was apparent that Atty. Suing
Recommendation: was coaching his client to prevent himself from
-­‐ recommended that respondent be faulted being incriminated. It was also revealed that the
for negligence and that he be reprimanded Release Waiver and Quitclaims allegedly signed
therefor with warning were not the same documents originally
-­‐ “In the case at bar, the question of whether presented to the employees to be signed.
or not respondent actually committed the
despicable act would seem to be fairly ISSUE: WON Atty. Suing may be disbarred for
his alleged manipulation of 4 alleged Release
debatable under the circumstances.”
Waiver and Quitclaim by herein complainants
who claimed that the same were falsified?
Board of Governors of the IBP:
-­‐ approved and adopted the Report and HELD: No. Disbarment is not reasonable.
Recommendation of IBP Commissioner However, the respondent is found guilty of
negligence and gross misconduct. The Court
One of the complainants, Sambajon, filed a says that a lawyer serves his client with diligence
petition before the OBC assailing the IBP Board
by adopting that norm of practice expected of The Court also noted the attempt of respondent
men of good intentions. to influence the answers of his client Manuel
Diligence is the attention and care required Rodil when the latter testified before
of a person in a given situation and is the Commissioner Hababag
opposite of negligence. A lawyer serves
his client with diligence by adopting that norm of Thus, not only did respondent try to coach his
practice expected of men of good intentions. He client or influence him to answer questions in an
thus owes entire devotion to the interest of apparent attempt not to incriminate him
his client, warm zeal in the defense and (respondent). His client contradicted
maintenance of his rights, and the exertion of his respondent's claim that the Release Waiver and
utmost learning, skill, and ability to ensure that Quitclaim which he (respondent) prepared was
nothing shall be taken or withheld from him, save not the one presented at the Arbiter's Office, as
by the rules of law legally applied. well as his implied claim that he was not involved
in releasing to the complainants the money for
It is axiomatic in the practice of law that the price and in consideration of the execution of the
of success is eternal diligence to the cause of documents.
the client.
As an officer of the court, a lawyer is called upon
The practice of law does not require to assist in the administration of justice. He is an
extraordinary diligence or that "extreme measure instrument to advance its cause. Any act on his
of care and caution which persons of unusual part that tends to obstruct, perverts or impedes
prudence and circumspection use for securing the administration of justice constitutes
and preserving their rights. All that is required is misconduct. While the Commission on Bar
ordinary diligence or that degree of vigilance Discipline is not a court, the proceedings therein
expected of a bonus pater familias. are nonetheless part of a judicial proceeding, a
disciplinary action being in reality an investigation
by the Court into the misconduct of its officers or Sometime in January 1987, complainant went to
an examination into his character. the office of respondent lawyer to discuss his
case for "reconveyance." During their initial
PENALTY: SUSPENDED from the practice of meeting, complainant tried to reconstruct before
law for a period of Six (6) Months, with respondent the incidents of the case merely from
WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar memory prompting the latter to ask complainant
acts will be dealt with more severely. to instead return at another time with the records
of the case. Complainant returned but still
DOCTRINE: The practice of law does not require without the records. He requested respondent to
extraordinary diligence or that "extreme measure accept the case, paying to the latter P1,750.00
of care and caution which persons of unusual representing the acceptance fee of P1,500.00
prudence and circumspection use for securing and P250.00 retainer fee from January 1987.
and preserving their rights. All that is required is
ordinary diligence or that degree of vigilance The respondent averred that he accepted the
expected of a bonus pater familias. . money with much reluctance and only upon the
condition that complainant would get the records
of the case from, as well as secure the
57. VILLAFUERTE v. CORTEZ withdrawal of appearance of, Atty. Jose Dizon,
A.C. No. 3455, April 14, 1998 the former counsel of complainant.

FACTS: Complainant Arsenio A. Villafuerte The complainant allegedly never showed up


seeks the disbarment of Atty. Dante H. Cortez, thereafter until November 1989 when he went to
for neglect in the handling of his cases, despite the office of respondent but only to leave a copy
the latter's receipt of P1,750.00 acceptance and of a writ of execution in a case for ejectment,
retainer fees. which, according to respondent, was never
mentioned to him by complainant. Indeed, said
respondent, he had never entered his A lawyer-client relationship has arisen between
appearance in the said ejectment case. respondent and complainant. His acceptance of
the payment effectively bars him from altogether
Commission on Bar Discipline of the IBP disclaiming the existence of an attorney-client
(CBD): relationship between them. It would seem that
-­‐ concluded that the facts established would respondent hardly has exerted any effort to find
indicate sufficiently a case of neglect of out what might have happened to his client's
duty on the part of respondent. It cases.
recommended to the IBP Board of
Governors the suspension of respondent A lawyer's fidelity to the cause of his client
from the practice of law for three months. requires him to be ever mindful of the
responsibilities that should be expected of him.
He is mandated to exert his best efforts to
IBP Board of Governors:
protect, within the bounds of the law, the
-­‐ adopted and approved the CBD’s
interests of his client. The Code of Professional
recommendation Responsibility cannot be any clearer in its dictum
than when it has stated that a "lawyer shall serve
ISSUE: WON respondent should be disbarred. his client with competence and diligence,"
decreeing further that he "shall not neglect a
HELD: No. Although there is neglect in duties, legal matter entrusted to him."
the Court only suspended the respondent. the
Court reduced the recommended period of Penalty: SUSPENSION for a period of one
suspension of the IBP from three months to one month from notice hereof, with a warning that a
month. repetition of similar acts will be dealt with more
The Court agrees with the IBP-CBD in its severely.
findings and conclusion that respondent lawyer
has somehow been remiss in his responsibilities.
DOCTRINE: The Code of Professional parties-in-interest. The losing party appealed the
Responsibility cannot be any clearer in its dictum case to the RTC and again, Oca failed to file the
than when it has stated that a "lawyer shall serve memoranda that the court ordered the parties to
his client with competence and diligence," file. This resulted in the reversal of the earlier
decreeing further that he "shall not neglect a decision made by the lower court.
legal matter entrusted to him."
Endaya complained to Oca about the adverse
decision but the latter denied receiving a copy
58. Artemio Endaya v. Atty. Wilfredo Oca thereof. Upon inquiry with the Branch Clerk of
A.C. No. 3967, Sept. 3, 2003 Court, however, complainant found out that
respondent received his copy back on
FACTS: Atty. Oca was assigned by the PAO in September 14, 1992.
Batangas City to handle the unlawful detainer
case where Artemio Endaya and his spouse RECOMMENDATION/S of Appropriate Bodies
were defendants. During the preliminary
conference of the case, Oca already appeared Office of the Bar Confidant: Oca was negligent in
as counsel for the spouses and his first act was handing the case and recommended that he be
to move for the amendment of the answer suspended from the practice of law for ONE
previously filed by his clients. His motion was MONTH.
denied by the judge and was ordered to submit
affidavits and position papers within 10 days from IBP: Commissioner Fernandez concurred with
receipt of the order. the findings and recommendation of the Office of
the Bar Confidant.
Oca failed to submit the required affidavits and
position paper but the judge dismissed the case IBP Board of Governors: They adopted the report
on the ground that the plaintiffs were not the real of Commissioner Fernandez in their Resolution.
duty bound to do his utmost in prosecuting or
RULING OF THE LOWER COURTS OR defending it. Moreover, a lawyer continues to be
BODIES (IF ANY) a counsel of record until the lawyer-client
relationship is terminated either by the act of his
In re: Unlawful Detainer case against client or his own act, with permission of the court.
Apolonia H. Hornilla, Pedro Hernandez, Until such time, the lawyer is expected to do his
Santiago Hernandez and Dominador best for the interest of his client.
Hernandez
Oca was directed by the MCTC to file affidavits
MCTC: Case dismissed because the plaintiffs and position paper by the MCTC, and appeal
(Hornilla et al.) were not the real parties-in- memorandum by the RTC. He obviously had no
interest choice but to comply. However, he did not do so.
The Court believes such acts show lack of
RTC: Decision reversed, RTC held that plaintiffs diligence and commitment and evinces absence
were the co-owners of the property in dispute of respect for the authority of this Court and the
and as such are parties-in-interest. other courts involved. The above acts constituted
negligence and malpractice proscribed by Rule
ISSUE: WON Oca neglected his duties as a 18.03 of the CPR.
lawyer when he stubbornly failed to comply with
court orders in the submission of pleadings PENALTY IMPOSED IN DISPOSITIVE
PORTION: Suspension from the practice of law
HELD: Yes. The lawyer has a duty to protect and for 2 months from notice
safeguard the interest of his client. Once a
lawyer takes on a client's case, he owes it to his DOCTRINE: When a lawyer violates his duties to
client to see the case to the end. Whatever the his client, the courts, the legal profession and the
lawyer's reason is for accepting a case, he is
public, he engages in conduct, which is both With that, Paz filed the administrative complaint
unethical and unprofessional. alleging conflict of interests and use of malicious
machination in the filing of the DARAB CASE.
59. Simon Paz v. Atty. Pepito Sanchez
A.C. no. 6125, Sept. 19, 2006 RECOMMENDATION/S of Appropriate Bodies

FACTS: Paz and his partners engaged the IBP: Comm. San Juan found Sanchez guilty of
services of Atty. Sanchez to assist them in the violating the prohibition against representing
purchase and documentation of such purchase conflicting interests.
of several parcels of land from tenant farmers in
Pampanga as well as defend Paz’s claim on the IBP Board of Governors: Adopted findings of
properties against the claim of George Lizares. Comm. San Juan and recommended imposition
of ONE YEAR SUSPENSION from the practice
On May 2000 after the termination of their of law as a penalty.
lawyer-client relationship, Sanchez filed a
complaint before the DARAB on behalf of Isidro ISSUE: WON Sanchez represented conflicting
Dizon for annulment of TCT No. 420127-R in the interests when he later represented Isidro Dizon
name of Paz and his partners. Paz then in the DARAB Case
explained that the subject property was among
the properties purchased by them with Sanchez’s HELD: Yes. Lawyers are deemed to represent
assistance. Later on June 23, 2003, Sanchez conflicting interests when, in behalf of one client,
filed a civil case against Paz and Sycamore it is their duty to contend for that which duty to
Venture Corp. before the RTC, San Fernando, another client requires them to oppose.
Pampanga for annulment of TCT No. 483629-R
while the DARAB case was pending. The Court noted that by Sanchez’s own
admission, Paz and Dizon were both his clients
at the time when he filed the DARAB case on action; Good faith and honest intentions do not
behalf of Dizon. Likewise, Sanchez did not excuse any violation of the prohibition.
specifically deny that he represendted conflicting
interests, that he merely offered to justify his 60. GAMILLA V. MARIÑO, JR.
actuations by stating that he felt it was his “duty
and responsibility” to file the case. FACTS: This disbarment case emanated from an
intra-union leadership dispute some seventeen
Good faith and honest intentions do not excuse (17) years ago that spilled over to the instant
the violation of this prohibition. In representing complaint alleging impropriety and double-
both complainant and Dizon, respondent's duty dealing in the disbursement of sums of money
of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his clients was entrusted by the University of Sto. Tomas to
placed under a cloud of doubt. In the eyes of the respondent Atty. Eduardo J. Mario Jr. as
Court, Sanchez should have inhibited himself president of the UST Faculty Union and his core
from representing Dizon against Paz in the of officers and directors for distribution among
DARAB and RTC cases to avoid conflict of faculty members of the university.
interest.
On 2 July 1997 complainants filed the instant
complaint for disbarment against Atty. Mario
PENALTY IMPOSED IN THE DISPOSITIVE
accusing him of
PORTION: Suspension from the practice of law
for ONE YEAR and a warning that commission of (a) compromising their entitlements under
a similar act in the future will merit a more severe the 1986 collective bargaining agreement without
penalty the knowledge, consent or ratification of the
union members, and worse, for only
DOCTRINE: Conflict of interest applies to a P2,000,000.00 when they could have received
situation where the opposing parties are present more than P9,000,000.00;
clients in the same action or in an unrelated
(b) failing to account for the P7,000,000.00 Legal Counsel has been officially submitted and
received by him and other officers and directors reported to the UST [Faculty Union] and to the
in the UST Faculty Union under the 1990 IBP
compromise agreement;
IBP Board of Governors: adopted and
(c) lack of transparency in the approved the report of IBP Commissioner.
administration and distribution of the remaining
balance of the P42,000,000.00 package under In the meantime, the Regional Director found
the 1992 memorandum of agreement; merit in the two (2) complaints before the BLR
and ordered the expulsion of respondent and the
(d) refusal to remit and account for the other officers and directors of the union led by
P4,200,000.00 in favor of the faculty members respondent Atty. Mario because of their failure to
although the amount was denominated as account for the balance of the P42,000,000.00
attorneys fees. Complainants asserted that that had been delivered to them by the
respondent violated Rules 1.01 and 1.02 of management of UST, and their collection of
Canon 1; Rule 15.08 of Canon 15; Rules 16.01, exorbitant and illegal attorneys fees amounting to
16.02 and 16.03 of Canon 16; and Rule 20.04 of P4,200,000.00.
Canon 20, of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. On 9 March 2000 the Bureau of Labor
Relations in the appeal set aside the Order of
Report of IBP Commissioner Lydia A. the Regional Director. It found that the balance of
Navarro: found the complaint meritorious and the P42,000,000.00 which UST delivered to the
suspended respondent Atty. Mario from the UST Faculty Union had been fully and
practice of law until such time that the required adequately accounted for by respondent and the
detailed accounting of the questioned other officers and directors of the union.
remittances made by UST to the UST [Faculty Nonetheless, the Bureau of Labor Relations
Union] during his incumbency as President and ordered respondent and the other officers and
directors of the union to distribute the attorneys RULING: (1) YES. In fine, there are ethical
fees of P4,200,000.00 among the faculty lapses on the part of respondent Atty. Eduardo J.
members and to immediately hold the elections Mariño, Jr. in the manner by which he secured
for union officers and directors in view of the the P7,000,000.00 by virtue of the compromise
expiration of their respective terms of office. agreement and the P4,200,000.00 attorney’s
fees under the memorandum of agreement.
On 16 March 2001 the Decision of the Bureau of Although the record shows that the Bureau of
Labor Relations was affirmed in toto by the Labor Relations found respondent as having
Court of Appeals. The Decision of the Court of adequately accounted for the disbursement of
Appeals was elevated to this Court, docketed the funds which the UST Faculty Union received
G.R. No. 149763, where the case is allegedly still through the series of agreements with the
pending resolution. management of UST, this Court believes that
Atty. Mariño failed to avoid conflict of interests,
On 25 September 2002 we received the detailed first, when he negotiated for the compromise
Report and Recommendation of IBP agreement wherein he played the diverse roles
Commissioner Lydia A. Navarro and the IBP of union president, union attorney and interested
Resolution of 3 August 2002 of the Board of party being one of the dismissed employees
Governors adopting and approving the Report seeking his own restitution, and thereafter, when
which recommended the lifting of Atty. Marios he obtained the attorney’s fees of P4,200,000.00
suspension from law practice since he had without full prior disclosure of the circumstances
sufficiently accounted for the funds in question. justifying such claim to the members of the UST
Faculty Union. As one of the sixteen (16) union
ISSUES: (1) WON respondent failed to avoid officers and directors seeking compensation from
conflict of interests; (2) Whether respondent the University of Santo Tomas for their illegal
violated Canon 15 of the CPR. dismissal, respondent was involved in obvious
conflict of interests when in addition he chose to
act as concurrent lawyer and president of the bigger dose of service-oriented conscience and a
UST Faculty Union in forging the compromise little less of self-interest. As indispensable part of
agreement. The test of conflict of interest among the system of administering justice, attorneys
lawyers is “whether the acceptance of a new must comply strictly with the oath of office and
relation will prevent an attorney from the full the canons of professional ethics—a duty more
discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and than imperative during these critical times when
loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of strong and disturbing criticisms are hurled at the
unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the practice of law. The process of imbibing ethical
performance thereof.” In the same manner, it is standards can begin with the simple act of
undoubtedly a conflict of interests for an attorney openness and candor in dealing with clients,
to put himself in a position where self-interest which would progress thereafter towards the
tempts, or worse, actually impels him to do less ideal that a lawyer’s vocation is not synonymous
than his best for his client. with an ordinary business proposition but a
serious matter of public interest.
(2) YES. Regardless of the motivations of PENALTY: Responded is reprimanded for his
respondent in perfecting the compromise misconduct with a warning that a more drastic
agreement or demanding the inexplicable punishment will be imposed on him upon a
attorney’s fees, his actions were not transparent repetition of the same act.
enough to allow the bargaining unit ample
information to decide freely and intelligently. 61. PASAY LAW AND CONSCIENCE UNION,
Clearly, he violated Canon 15 of the Code of INC. v. PAZ
Professional Responsibility requiring every
lawyer to “observe candor, fairness and loyalty in FACTS: The Pasay Law and Conscience Union,
all his dealings and transactions with his clients.” Inc. (PLACU) filed a disbarment case against
Lawyers are vanguards in the bastion of justice Atty. David Paz. The complainant charged
so they are without doubt expected to have a respondent with malpractice, gross misconduct in
office, gross immoral conduct and/or disloyalty to antigraft complaint of Dr. Sia, the PARGO’s
the RP. successor, the Complaints and Investigation
Office (CIO) filed an antigraft charge and another
In the course of the investigation then being charge for technical malversation both against
conducted by the “Charlie Division” of the Pablo Cuneta and others with the Pasay City
Presidential Agency on Reforms and Fiscal’s Office. On November 13 and 23, 1970,
Government Operations, otherwise known as the during the preliminary investigation by the Pasay
PARGO, on the complaint of Dr. Irineo P. Sia for City Fiscal’s Office, the respondent entered his
antigraft against the then ex-Mayor Pablo Cuneta appearance, participated and orally argued
of Pasay City, the respondent, David D.C. Paz, therein as one of the counsels of Pablo Cuneta.
was then PARGO’s Legal Officer and Chief While in subsequent hearings thereof, the
Prosecutor, as well as the head of the aforesaid respondent no longer appeared as counsel for
“Charlie Division”. The respondent enlisted the Cuneta, it was only after his appearance had
help of Dr. Irineo P. Sia and Atty. Galileo P.Brion been questioned by Atty. Brion. Petitioner argues
in the gathering of evidence which included that there was then a relationship of attorney and
PLACU’s copies of the records of Civil Case No. client between respondent and the government
72967 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and that for having appeared twice, participated
entitled “Vicente D. Isip vs. The Pasay City and orally argued as counsel for Pablo Cuneta
Government, et al.” Respondent also during the preliminary investigation of the
administered oaths to some persons who had charges for antigraft and technical malversation
given written statements before the PARGO filed by the CIO, successor of PARGO, against
investigators. Later on, after respondent had said Pablo Cuneta and others before the Pasay
resigned from the PARGO sometime in January City Fiscal’s Office, the respondent violated
1970 and on the basis of the investigation Section 6 of the Canons of Legal Ethics and
conducted by the PARGO on the aforementioned
Section 20 (e) of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules obtained confidential information and learned of
of Court. the evidence of the PARGO against exMayor
Cuneta.There was undoubtedly a relationship of
Respondent Paz alleged that 1) he did not attorney and client between the respondent
participate in the investigation of the Cuneta David D.C. Paz and the PARGO.
antigraft case except to swear the witnesses; 2)
that it is true that respondent Paz appeared It is also a fact that at the early stages of the
among a battery of lawyers for Mayor Cuneta but preliminary investigation conducted by the City
when his appearance was questioned by Atty. Fiscal of Pasay of the antigraft case against
Brion, it was withdrawn; 3) and that the antigraft exMayor Pablo Cuneta,the respondent appeared
case against Mayor Cuneta was finally as counsel for said Cuneta. This is the same
dismissed. antigraft case investigated by the PARGO when
the respondent was head of the “Charlie
ISSUE: WON Paz is guilty of charge of Division” thereof.That the respondent later
representing clients with conflicting interests. withdrew his appearances as counsel of Cuneta
is of no moment. He had already violated the
HELD: YES. The evidence has duly established Canons of Legal Ethics and Sec. 20 (e) of Rule
that the respondent, David D.C. Paz, as 138,Revised Rules of Court which provides:“Sec.
PARGO’s Legal Officer and Legal Prosecutor 20. Duties of attorneys.—It is the duty of an
and head of the “Charlie Division”, took part in attorney:x x x x(e) To maintain inviolate the
the investigation of the antigraft case against confidence, and at every peril to himself, to
exMayor Cuneta by administering oaths to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept
witnesses and gathering evidence. He acquired no compensation in connection with his client’s
knowledge of the facts and circumstances business except from him or with his knowledge
surrounding the antigraft case. The respondent and approval. The respondent has displayed a
lack of concern for his duties as a lawyer and an courtroom and always told her to wait outside.
officer of the court. He would then come out after several hours to
Whatever may be said as to whether or not inform her that the hearing had been cancelled
respondent utilized against his former client and rescheduled.This happened six times and for
information given to him in a professional each appearance in court, respondent charged
capacity, the mere fact of their previous her P350.
relationship should have precluded him from
appearing as counsel for the other side. After six consecutive postponements, the
complainant became suspicious. She personally
PENALTY: Respondent is suspended from the inquired about the status of her cases in the trial
practice of law for 2 months, with a warning courts of Bian and San Pedro, Laguna. She was
that a repetition of the same offense will be dealt shocked to learn that respondent never filed any
with more drastically. case against the Jovellanoses and that he was in
fact employed in the Public Attorney's Office
62. RAMOS v. IMBANG (PAO).

FACTS: Diana Ramos sought the assistance of RESPONDENT'S DEFENSE:


respondent Atty. Jose R. Imbang in filing civil and
criminal actions against the spouses Roque and In 1992, the complainant requested him to help
Elenita Jovellanos. She gave respondent P8,500 her file an action for damages against the
as attorney's fees but the latter issued a receipt Jovellanoses. Because he was with the PAO and
for P5,000 only. aware that the complainant was not an indigent,
he declined. Notwithstanding Atty. Ungson's
The complainant tried to attend the scheduled refusal, the complainant allegedly remained
hearings of her cases against the Jovellanoses. adamant. She insisted on suing the
Oddly, respondent never allowed her to enter the Jovellanoses. Afraid that she might spend the
cash on hand, the complainant asked respondent Thus, it recommended respondent's suspension
to keep the P5,000 while she raised the balance from the practice of law for three years and
of Atty. Ungson's acceptance fee. ordered him to immediately return to the
complainant the amount of P5,000 which was
A year later, the complainant requested substantiated by the receipt.
respondent to issue an antedated receipt
because one of her daughters asked her to The IBP Board of Governors adopted and
account for the P5,000 she had previously given approved the findings of the CBD but modified
the respondent for safekeeping. Because the the CBD's recommendation with regard to the
complainant was a friend, he agreed and issued restitution of P5,000 by imposing interest at the
a receipt. legal rate.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE IBP: ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Imbang should be


disbarred.
Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of the IBP
where the complaint was filed, received evidence HELD: He is hereby DISBARRED from the
from the parties. The CBD rejected respondent's practice of law and his name is ORDERED
claim that he issued the receipt to accommodate STRICKEN from the Roll of Attorneys.
a friend's request. It found respondent guilty of
violating the prohibitions on government lawyers The Supreme Court adopt the findings of the IBP
from accepting private cases and receiving with modifications.
lawyer's fees other than their salaries.
Respondent violated the following provisions of Lawyers are expected to conduct themselves
the Code of Professional Responsibility: Rule with honesty and integrity. More specifically,
1.01, 16.01, 18.01 . lawyers in government service are expected to
be more conscientious of their actuations as they
are subject to public scrutiny. They are not only Every lawyer is obligated to uphold the law as
members of the bar but also public servants who provided in Canon 1 of the Code of Professional
owe utmost fidelity to public service. Responsibility.

Government employees are expected to devote Aside from disregarding the prohibitions against
themselves completely to public service. For this handling private cases and accepting attorney's
reason, the private practice of profession is fees, respondent also surreptitiously deceived
prohibited as Section 7(b)(2) of the Code of the complainant. Respondent's conduct in office
Ethical Standards for Public Officials and fell short of the integrity and good moral
Employees. character required of all lawyers, specially one
occupying a public office.
Thus, lawyers in government service cannot
handle private cases for they are expected to There is, however, insufficient basis to find
devote themselves full-time to the work of their respondent guilty of violating Rule 16.01 of the
respective offices. In this instance, respondent Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent
received P5,000 from the complainant and did not hold the money for the benefit of the
issued a receipt on July 15, 1992 while he was complainant but accepted it as his attorney's
still connected with the PAO. Acceptance of fees. He neither held the amount in trust for the
money from a client establishes an attorney- complainant nor was it given to him for a specific
client relationship. purpose Nevertheless, respondent should return
the P5,000 as he, a government lawyer, was not
Aggravating respondent's wrongdoing was his entitled to attorney's fees and not allowed to
receipt of attorney's fees. The PAO was created accept them.
for the purpose of providing free legal assistance
to indigent litigants.
63. PEÑA v. APARICIO
shopping and was motivated only to confuse the
FACTS: Aparicio (respondent) appeared as legal issues then pending before the Labor Arbiter.
counsel for Grace C. Hufana in an illegal
dismissal case before NLRC. Complainant Pena RECOMMENDATION:
of MOF Company (Subic). received a notice from
the Conciliation and Mediation Center of the CBD-IBP: Complainant, failed to file his position
NLRC for a mediation/conciliation conference. In paper and to comply with the requirement on
the conference, respondent, submitted a claim certificate against non-forum shopping and
for separation pay arising from her alleged illegal recommended the dismissal of the complaint
dismissal. Complainant rejected the claim as against respondent.
being baseless. Complainant sent notices to
Hufana for the latter to explain her absences and IBP Board: IBP Board of Governors adopted and
to return to work. In reply to this return to work approved the Report and Recommendation.
notice, respondent wrote a letter to complainant Respondent filed MR claiming counterclaim
reiterating his client's claim for separation pay. against complainant.
The letter also contained a threat to the
company. Complainant filed this Petition for Review
regarding the dismissal of his case against
Believing that the letter deviated from ethical respondent.
standards, complainant filed an complaint with
the Commission on Bar Discipline of IBP. ISSUE: WON IBP erred when it dismissed his
Respondent claimed that Atty. Jocson, complaint without considering his position paper
complainant's counsel, played part in imputing and without ruling on the merits
the malicious, defamatory, and fabricated
charges against him and he pointed out that the
complaint had no certification against forum
HELD: Yes. IBP erred in dismissing the against forum shopping, the pendency of another
disbarment case due to lack of certificate of non disciplinary action against the same respondent
forum shopping. may still be ascertained with ease.

The rationale for the requirement of a certification With respect to the violation of Atty. Aparicio,
against forum shopping is to apprise the Court of Respondent does not deny authorship of the
the pendency of another action or claim involving threatening letter to complainant, even spiritedly
the same issues in another court, tribunal or contesting the charge that the letter is unethical.
quasi-judicial agency, and thereby precisely
avoid the forum shopping situation. Furthermore, Canon 19 of the CPR states that "a lawyer shall
the rule proscribing forum shopping seeks to represent his client with zeal within the bounds of
promote candor and transparency among the law," reminding legal practitioners that a
lawyers and their clients in the pursuit of their lawyer's duty is not to his client but to the
cases before the courts to promote the orderly administration of justice; to that end, his client's
administration of justice, prevent undue success is wholly subordinate; and his conduct
inconvenience upon the other party, and save ought to and must always be scrupulously
the precious time of the courts. observant of law and ethics. Under this Rule, a
lawyer should not file or threaten to file any
It would seem that the scenario sought to be unfounded or baseless criminal case or cases
avoided, i.e., the filing of multiple suits and the against the adversaries of his client designed to
possibility of conflicting decisions, rarely happens secure a leverage to compel the adversaries to
in disbarment complaints considering that said yield or withdraw their own cases against the
proceedings are either "taken by the SC motu lawyer's client. In the case at bar, respondent did
proprio, or by (IBP) upon the verified complaint of exactly what Canon 19 and its Rule proscribe.
any person. Thus, if the complainant in a Through his letter, he threatened complainant
disbarment case fails to attach a certification that should the latter fail to pay the amounts they
propose as settlement, he would file and claim February 28, not 29 (because there is no Feb
bigger amounts including moral damages 29).

PENALTY IMPOSED: REPRIMAND, with the RECOMMENENDATION/S of IBP: respondent


STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same guilty as charged and recommended his
or similar act will be dealt with more severely. suspension from the practice of law for six (6)
months.
DOCTRINE: Lawyer should not file or threaten to
file any unfounded or baseless criminal case or Issue: W/N Atty. Corral should be disbarred for
cases against the adversaries of his client changing the date when he received the decision
of the court without the court’s prior knowledge of
decision
64. RIVERA v. CORRAL
Held: No, Atty. Corral is suspended for 1 year.
Facts: Rivera instituted a complaint for The correction of date by Atty. Corral was made
disbarment charging Atty. Corral with malpractice not to reflect the truth but to mislead the trial
and conduct unbecoming a member of the court in believing that the notice of appeal was
Philippine Bar. A decision for an ejectment case filed within the reglementary period. Because if
was received by Atty. Corral’s secretary on the decision was received on Feb 22, the notice
February 23, 1990. Notice of Appeal was filed by of appeal filed on March 13 is filed out of time. To
Atty. Corral on March 13, 1990. Next day, he extricate himself from such predicament, Atty.
went to the clerk of court and changed the date Corral altered the date he received the court’s
February 23 to February 29 without the court’s decision. By altering the material dates to make it
prior knowledge and permission. Atty. Corral appear that the Notice of Appeal was timely filed,
later on filed a reply to plaintiff’s manifestation Atty. Corral committed an act of dishonesty.
claiming that he received the decision on Dishonesty constitutes grave misconduct.      
payment from her but, she refused to make
65. RETUYA v. GORDUIZ payment.

FACTS: Ana F. Retuya, a widow with four minor She filed a motion to quash. She explained that
children, filed a claim for workmen's she did not pay the fees of Atty. Gorduiz bec. he
compensation against Eastern Shipping Lines, was demanding one-third of the award: that
Inc., the employer of her husband who died in when she did not accede to his demand, he
1968. Retuya won in that case where it included lowered his claim to P800, and that she
P300 as attorney's fees of Atty. Gorduiz. The bargained for P600 but he refused to accept that
employer appealed and proposed to compromise amount. Ana averred that the estafa case was
the claim by paying P4,396.05 or only one-half of filed just to harass her.
the total award. Ana accepted the proposal. The
employer paid the reduced award. The court denied the motion to quash and
granted the motion of Atty. Gorduiz requiring Ana
Ana sent to the employer the receipt and release to produce a copy of the decision awarding her
signed by her with a letter wherein she explained workmen's compensation for her husband's
that her lawyer, Gorduiz, did not sign the motion death.
to dismiss the claim bec. he wanted twenty
percent of the award as his atty's fees. The estafa case was not tried. Atty. Diola, as
lawyer of Ana, offered to Atty. Gorduiz the sum of
After she had cashed the check, she was not P500 as settlement of the case. The offer was
able to contact Gorduiz and pay his fee. accepted.
unexpectedly, she was served with a warrant of
arrest. It turned out that Atty. Gorduiz executed Retuya asked for the disbarment or suspension
an affidavit stating that Ana had misappropriated of Atty. Gorduiz and disbarment case against
his attorney's fees and that he had demanded Gorduiz was referred to the Solicitor General.
prescribes that "controversies with clients
The Solicitor General asked the provincial fiscal concerning compensation are to be avoided by
of Southern Leyte to investigate the case against the lawyer so far as shall be compatible with his
Gorduiz. self- respect and with his right to receive
reasonable recompense for his services; and
Recommendation of Fiscal’s Office: lawsuits with clients should be resorted to only to
recommended the dismissal of the case prevent injustice, imposition or fraud."

The Solicitor General disagreeing with that PENALTY IMPOSED: Suspension for a period of
recommendation, filed in this Court against six months couted from notice of this decision.
Gorduiz a complaint wherein he prayed that
Gorduiz be suspended for six months

ISSUE/S: WON there is justification for


suspending the respondent.

HELD: Respondent acted precipitately in filing a


criminal action against his client for the supposed
misappropriation of his attomey's fees. It is not
altogether clear that his client had swindled him
and, therefore, there is some basis for
concluding that, contrary to his lawyer's oath, he
had filed a suit against her and had harassed
and embarrassed her.

Paragraph 14 of the Canons of Legal Ethics