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Diana DE GUZMAN, complainant vs. Atty. Lourdes I. DE DIOS, respondent [2001]  Complainant PNB charged respondent Atty.

respondent Atty. Telesforo S. Cedo, former Asst. VP of the


Asset Mgt. Group, with violation of Canon 6, Rule 6.03 CPR by appearing as counsel
 1995: De Guzman engaged De Dios’ services to help her form Suzuki Beach Hotel, for individuals who had transactions w/ complainant bank in w/c Cedo during his
Inc. (SBHI), a hotel & restaurant business in Olongapo City. employment w/ aforesaid bank, had intervened. Particularly, Cedo:
 1996: SBHI was registered w/the Securities & Exchange Commission. De Dios was o Had participated in arranging the sale of steel sheets in favor of Milagros Ong
paid a monthly retainer fee of P5,000.00. Siy for P200K
 Dec. 15, 1997: SBHI required De Guzman to pay her unpaid subscribed shares of o “Noted” the gate passes issued by his subordinate, Emmanuel Elefan, in favor
stock amounting to P2,235,000.00 for 22,350 shares on or before Dec. 30, 1997. of Ong Siy authorizing pull-out of steel sheets
 Jan. 29, 1998: De Dios received a notice of public auction sale of her unpaid shares o who had since left the employ of PNB, appeared as one of Ong Siy’s counsels
authorized by the Board of Directors. in a civil action bet Ong Siy & PNB w/c arose from the pull-out transaction
 Shares were acquired by Ramon del Rosario, an incorporator of SBHI, who o while being the Asst. VP of PNB’s Asset Mgt. Group, intervened in the handling
transferred 100 shares to De Dios in payment of legal services rendered as proven of a loan account of the spouses Ponciano and Eufemia Almeda w/ complainant
by a Deed of Waiver & Transfer of Corporate Shares of Stock. De Dios became bank by writing demand letters to the couple. And when a civil action ensued
company president while De Guzman was totally ousted from the corporation. bet. PNB and the spouses, the latter were represented by the law firm “Cedo,
 De Guzman filed a complaint for De Dios’ disbarment claiming that she represented Ferrer, Maynigo & Assocs” of w/c Cedo is one of the Senior Partners
conflicting interests (prohibited by Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional  Cedo admitted he appeared as counsel of Ong Siy but only w/ respect to the
Responsibility) and acquired property in litigation (CC Art. 1491). She alleged that execution pending appeal. He denied ever appearing as counsel for the Almeda’s,
she relied on counsel’s advice & believed that she will help her manage the contending that the case was only handled by Atty. Pedro Ferrer and that their law
corporation. firm is not really a partnership since they handle their own cases independently.
 The case was referred to IBP for investigation, report and recommendation. IBP
 De Dios defense:
found:
1. She appeared as counsel for De Guzman to protect the rights & interest of
o that Cedo was previously fined for forum shopping Milagros Ong Siy v. Hon.
SBHI, which was her client.
Salvador Tensuan, et. al.
2. SBHI belonged to Japanese incorporators & not to De Guzman.
o that charges made by PNB are fully substantiated
3. De Guzman misappropriated funds & property of the corporation. Unpaid shares
were auctioned to save the corporation from bankruptcy. o that his averment that their firm is not really a partnership cannot be entertained
given that although he did not enter his appearance, he was practically dictating
 IBP recommendation: De Dios’ acts were not motivated by ill will. She only acted in
to Atty. Ferrer what to say and argue before the court in the Almeda case. He
the best interest of her client, SBHI. Complainant failed to prove attorney-client
also impliedly admitted being the partner of Atty. Ferrer.
relationship except for the pleadings De Dios filed in the trial court were De Guzman
o That assuming the alleged set-up of the firm were true, it is in itself a violation of
was one of the parties.
CPR (Rule 15.02) since the client’s secrets and confidential records and
information are exposed to the other lawyers and staff members at all times
Issue: WON there was an attorney-client relationship between De Dios & De
o In sum, that Cedo deliberately devised ways and means to attracts as client
Guzman which would classify De Dios’ acts as representation of conflicting
interests. – YES former borrowers of PNB since he was in the best position to see the legal
weaknesses of his former employer. The IBP thus recommended a 3-yr
Ratio: suspension.
1. First of all, De Guzman was a majority stockholder. She paid up P745k during the
incorporation stage. Even if the sale of her unpaid shares was proper, what Issue: WON Cedo violated the aforesaid Canons and Rules of CPR&CPE
happened now to her original shares?  YES. While the SC agreed with the findings of the IBP, it also emphasized the
2. De Guzman was the one who engaged De Dios’ services. Latter even appeared as importance of avoiding representation of conflicting interests.
counsel in behalf of former.  It cited the case of Pasay Law and Conscience Union, Inc. v. Paz w/c cited
3. There was evidence of collusion between the board & De Dios, considering that she’s Nombrado v. Hernandez:
now the president of SBHI. Thus, there is a conflict of interest of De Dios. She o Whatever may be said as to whether or not respondent utilized against his
violated the prohibition against representing conflicting interests & engaging in former client information given to him in a professional capacity, the mere fact of
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (CPR, Canon 1, Rule 1.01). She’s their previous relationship should have precluded him from appearing as
expected to act w/honesty & integrity and to uphold & respect the law. counsel for the other side…
o This stern rule is designed not alone to prevent the dishonest practitioner from
Holding: De Dios SUSPENDED from the practice of law for 6 MONTHS w/WARNING that fraudulent conduct, but as well to protect the honest lawyer from unfounded
a repetition of the charges will be dealt w/more severely. suspicion of unprofessional practice…the question is not necessarily one of the
rights of the parties, but as to whether the attorney has adhered to proper
PNB vs. CEDO [1995] professional standard.
 Administrative Matter in the SC. Violation of Canon 6, Rule 6.03 of the Code of  He is also in violation of Canon 6, CPE on adverse influence and conflicting interests
Professional Responsibility
Holding: Suspended for 3 years
Issue: WON the demeanor of Valdes would warrant his disbarment from the profession?
DEE vs. CA [1989] NO, Valdes is suspended from the practice of law for one year with a warning that a
similar infraction shall be dealt with more severely in the future.
NAKPIL vs. VALDES [1998]
Facts: Ratio:
♦ 1965 – Nakpil became interested in purchasing a summer residence in Baguio ♦ As a rule, a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business
(Moran property). For lack of funds, he requested Valdes to purchase the transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. The
property for him. They agreed that Valdes would keep the property in trust for measure of good faith which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings
the Nakpils until they could buy it back. Valdes obtained 2 loans from a bank with his client is a much higher standard than is required in business dealings
which he used to purchase and renovate the property and the title was issued in where the parties trade at "arms length. Business transactions between an
the name of Valdes. attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged by the policy of the law.
♦ July 8, 1973 – Nakpil died and Valdes acted as legal counsel and accountant of Hence, courts carefully watch these transactions to assure that no advantage is
the Imelda Nakpil (widow) taken by a lawyer over his client. This rule is founded on public policy for, by
♦ Ownership of the Moran property became an issue in the intestate proceedings virtue of his office, an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage of the
because Valdes excluded the Moran property from the inventory of the estate. credulity and ignorance of his client. Thus, no presumption of innocence or
♦ February 13, 1979 – Nakpil sought to recover the property by filing an action for improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorney's favour.
reconveyance with damages. During the pendency of the action she filed a ♦ In violation of the trust agreement, respondent claimed absolute ownership over
case in order to disbar Valdes She charged that Valdes violated the the property and refused to sell the property to complainant after the death of
professional ethics when: Jose Nakpil. Valdes initially acknowledged and respected the trust nature of the
o Assigned to his family corporation the Moran property which belonged Moran property. His bad faith in transferring the property to his family
to the estate he was settling as its lawyer and auditor corporation is well discussed in this Court's Decision.
o Excluded the Moran property from the "inventory of real estate ♦ Respondent's act of excluding the Moran property from the estate which his law
properties" he prepared for a client-estate and, at the same time, firm was representing evinces a lack of fidelity to the cause of his client. If
charged the loan secured to purchase the said excluded property as a respondent truly believed that the said property belonged to him, he should
liability of the estate, all for the purpose of transferring the title to the have at least informed complainant of his adverse claim. If they could not agree
said property to his family corporation. on its ownership, respondent should have formally presented his claim in the
o Prepared and defended monetary claims against the estate that intestate proceedings instead of transferring the property to his own corporation
retained him as its counsel and auditor and concealing it from complainant and the judge in the estate proceedings.
♦ Defense of Valdes Respondent's misuse of his legal expertise to deprive his client of the Moran
o He claims that he did not hold the property in trust property is clearly unethical.
o He denied preparing the list of claims against the estate which ♦ Respondent, through his accounting firm, charged the two loans of P65,000.00
included his loans of 65,000 and 75,000 for the purchase and and P75,000.00 as liability of the estate, after said loans were obtained by
renovation of the Moran property. He stressed that the list drawn up respondent for the purchase and renovation of the property which he claimed for
by his accounting firm merely stated that the loan was in the name of himself. Respondent seeks to exculpate himself from this charge by disclaiming
Valdes were applied probably for the purchase of the Moran property. knowledge or privity in the preparation of the list of the estate's liabilities.
He claims that probably for purchase did not imply consummated Respondent violated Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which
transaction but a projected acquisition. He adds that he has resigned provides that a lawyer owes fidelity to his client's cause and enjoins him to be
from law and accounting firm as early as 1974 and that it Atty. mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him.
Cendana who filed the intestate proceedings in court.
o He denied that there was a conflict of interest when his law firm
♦ Respondent is guilty of representing conflicting interests. It is generally the rule,
represented the estate in the intestate proceedings while his based on sound public policy, that an attorney cannot represent adverse
accounting firm served as accountant of the estate and prepared the interests. It is highly improper to represent both sides of an issue. The
claims of creditors of Nakpil and Enorn. proscription against representation of conflicting interests finds application
♦ 1963 – CFI of Baguio dismissed the action for reconveyance. Lower Court held where the conflicting interests arise with respect to the same general matter and
is applicable however slight such adverse interest may be. It applies although
that the Moran property was held in trust but found that Nakpil waived her right
the attorney's intentions and motives were honest and he acted in good faith.
over it.
However, representation of conflicting interests may be allowed where the
♦ CA reversed the ruling of the court.
parties consent to the representation, after full disclosure of facts. Disclosure
♦ February 18, 1986 (during the pendency of the complaint) – OSG found that alone is not enough for the clients must give their informed consent to such
there was no trust agreement over the property and that Valdes was the representation. The lawyer must explain to his clients the nature and extent of
absolute owner. OSG recommended the dismissal of the administrative case. the conflict and the possible adverse effect must be thoroughly understood by
his clients.
♦ There is nothing in the records to show that respondent or his law firm explained
the legal situation and its consequences to complainant. Thus, her silence
regarding the arrangement does not amount to an acquiescence based on an
informed consent.
♦ In the estate proceedings, the duty of respondent's law firm was to contest the
claims of these two creditors but which claims were prepared by respondent's
accounting firm. Even if the claims were valid and did not prejudice the estate,
the set-up is still undesirable. The test to determine whether there is a conflict of
interest in the representation is probability, not certainty of conflict. It was
respondent's duty to inhibit either of his firms from said proceedings to avoid the
probability of conflict of interest
♦ Even granting that respondent's misconduct refers to his accountancy practice,
it would not prevent this Court from disciplining him as a member of the Bar. The
rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for ANY misconduct,
even if it pertains to his private activities, as long as it shows him to be wanting
in moral character, honesty, probity or good demeanor.

HORNILLA vs. SALUNAT


PEOPLE of the Philippines, petitioner, vs. Hon. SANDIGANBAYAN, Mansueto V. his/her lawyer or it has not been committed yet. The first kind of communication is
Honrada, Ceferino S. Paredes, Jr. and Generoso S. Sansaet, respondents [1997] barred by the attorney-client privilege while the latter is not.
 Paredes was the former Provincial Attorney of Agusan del Sur. He eventually became  In this case, the communications made by Paredes (falsifying the documents) may
the provincial Governor & is currently a Congressman. While he was the Provincial be characterized as “future crimes” w/c had not yet been committed in the past. He
Attorney, applied for a free patent over Lot No. 3097-A Pls. 67 of the Rosario Public was in the process of committing it.
Land Subdivision Survey. Application was approved.  Sansaet was himself a conspirator. A communication between a lawyer & his client is
 1985: Director of Lands filed an action for the cancellation of the patent since the only privileged if it is made for a lawful purpose. An unlawful purpose prevents the
land was designated & reserved as a school site. Trial court nullified the patent, privilege from attaching.
finding that Paredes obtained such thru fraudulent misrepresentations in his
application. Sansaet served as his counsel in this case & in all subsequent cases. 2. WON Sansaet qualifies, as a particeps criminis (in a similar offense/crime), for
 An action for perjury was filed vs Paredes but was dismissed on ground of discharge from the criminal prosecution in order to testify for the State. – YES.
prescription.  It is of no moment that Sansaet was charged separately from his co-accused. In
 Case was filed w/the Sandiganbayan by the Tanodbayan vs Paredes for allegedly criminal law, persons indicted for the same offense & tried together are called joint
using his former position to influence & induce the Bureau of Lands to favorably act defendants. Law did not intend that all accused should always be indicted in one &
on his application. Paredes claimed that he was already charged under same set of same information.
facts & case was dismissed. He attached copies of the dismissal order, certificate of
arraignment & DOJ recommendation. Case was again dismissed on ground of
 An offender may be discharged as a state witness even if conspiracy is proven
making all of the offenders liable for the felony committed. In discharging an offender
prescription.
to be a state witness, one of the requirements is that he does not appear to be the
 Jan. 23, 1990: Teofilo Gelacio, a taxpayer, sent a letter to the Ombudsman seeking most guilty and not that he must be the least guilty. Precedents:
the investigation of the 3 private respondents for FALSIFICATION OF PUBLIC a. People vs. Ramirez: accused was not allowed to be the state witness since he
DOCUMENTS: was the mastermind.
1. Honrada, then Clerk of Court & Acting Stenographer of the 1 st Municipal Circuit b. People vs. Roxas: 2 conspirators were discharged & used as state witnesses.
Trial Court, San Francisco-Bunawan-Rosario in Agusan, allegedly certified as c. Lugtu vs. CA: co-conspirator was discharged as state witness since the trial
true copies documents purporting to be a notice of arraignment dated July 1, court found that he was not the most guilty, considering that he was poor &
1985 & transcripts of stenographic notes supposedly taken during the ignorant. Court took into account the gravity/nature of the acts committed by the
arraignment of Paredes on the perjury charge. accused to be discharged compared to those of his co-accused & not merely
2. Agusan’s Office of Provincial Fiscal issued a certification that no notice of that fact that in law the same/equal penalty is imposable on all of them.
arraignment was received in connection w/perjury case. d. People vs. Ocimar: Requirements for discharge as state witness: a)necessity of
3. Presiding Judge issued a certification that perjury case did not reach the testimony; b) no other direct evidence available; c) testimony could be
arraignment stage. corroborated; d) does not appear to be the most guilty (meaning, highest degree
 Sansaet revealed that his client, Paredes, made it appear that the perjury case was of culpability/participation in the commission of crime & not severity of penalty
dismissed after arraignment in order to have a defense of double jeopardy. He imposed. Law prohibits most guilty from walking away free while his co-accused
alleged that documents were prepared & falsified by Paredes & Honrada in the who are less guilty will be sent to jail.); e) no evidence that he has at any time
former’s house. He claimed that he participated upon the instigation & inducement of been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
his client. He was being groomed as a government witness. The test would be the degree of the offender’s actual & individual participation in the
 Ombudsman rejected proposal for discharge of Sasaet as government witness commission of the crime.
primarily because his testimony/confession is privileged communication between  Discharge as state witness is based on certain considerations such as the need to
lawyer & client & may be objected to if presented in trial. give immunity to one of the accused in order that not all shall escape & that the
 3 criminal cases, including one against Sansaet, were filed w/the Sandiganbayan but candid admission of an accused regarding his participation is a guaranty that he will
were later on consolidated for joint trial. Another motion for Sansaet’s discharge as a testify truthfully.
government witness was filed claiming that his testimony was necessary since there  Sansaet met the requirements set out in P vs. Ocimar:
was no other direct evidence to prove the charges. Motion was again denied on the a. Absolute necessity of his testimony & no other direct evidence available - he is
same ground, that the communication was confidential & privileged. the only cooperative eyewitness.
b. His testimony can be substantially corroborated on its material points by
Issues & Ratio: reputable witnesses (Gelacio, presiding judge, etc.)
1. WON Sansaet’s testimony as proposed state witness is barred by the attorney- c. Doesn’t appear that he has at anytime been convicted of any offense involving
client privilege. – NO. moral turpitude.
 Communication is not limited to any particular mode. It may be verbal, written or  Although discretion is w/the trial court WON to grant proposal to discharge offender
made by other means. as state witness, discretion should be exercised considering all facts & issues
 Distinction must be made between confidential communications relating to past discussed not merely issue of the applicability of the attorney-client privilege.
crimes already committed & future crimes intended to be committed by the client. By Sandiganbayan has likewise expressed its willingness to discharge Sansaet as state
future crimes, we mean future at the time the client communicated the intended act to witness.
client involved in PCGG Case No. 33, nor had he undertaken to reveal the identity
Holding: Reliefs sought by petitioner allowed & must be given due course by of the client for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder.
Sandiganbayan.  In a Resolution, SB denied the exclusion of petitioners, for their refusal to comply
w/ the conditions required by PCGG. It held, “ACCRA lawyers cannot excuse
themselves from the consequences of their acts until they have begun to establish
REGALA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN [1996] the basis for recognizing the privilege; the existence and identity of the client.”
 Special Civil Action in the SC. Certiorari  ACCRA lawyers filed MFR w/c was denied. Hence, ACCRA lawyers filed the petition
 RP instituted a Complaint before the Sandiganbayan (SB), through the Presidential for certiorari. Petitioner Hayudini, likewise, filed his own MFR w/c was also denied
Commission on Good Gov’t (PCGG) against Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr., as one of thus, he filed a separate petition for certiorari, assailing SB’s resolution on
the principal defendants, for the recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth, which includes essentially same grounds averred by petitioners, namely:
shares of stocks in the named corps. in PCGG Case No. 33 (CC No. 0033) entitled o SB gravely abused its discretion in subjecting petitioners to the strict
"RP vs. Eduardo Cojuangco, et al." application of the law of agency.
 Among the defendants named in the case are herein petitioners and herein private o SB gravely abused its discretion in not considering petitioners & Roco
respondent Raul S. Roco, who all were then partners of the law firm Angara, Abello, similarly situated &, thus, deserving equal treatment
Concepcion, Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices. ACCRA Law Firm performed o SB gravely abused its discretion in not holding that, under the facts of this
legal services for its clients and in the performance of these services, the members case, the attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the
of the law firm delivered to its client documents which substantiate the client's equity identity of their client(s) and the other information requested by the PCGG.
holdings. o SB gravely abused its discretion in not requiring that dropping of party-
 In the course of their dealings with their clients, the members of the law firm acquire defendants be based on reasonable & just grounds, w/ due consideration to
information relative to the assets of clients as well as their personal and business constitutional rts of petitioners
circumstances. As members of the ACCRA Law Firm, petitioners and private  PCGG, through its counsel, refutes petitioners' contention, alleging that the
respondent Raul Roco admit that they assisted in the organization and acquisition of revelation of the identity of the client is not w/in the ambit of the lawyer-client
the companies included in CC No. 0033, and in keeping with the office practice, confidentiality privilege, nor are the documents it required (deeds of assignment)
ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders of the said corporations involved protected, because they are evidence of nominee status.
in sequestration proceedings.
 PCGG filed a "Motion to Admit 3rd Amended Complaint" & "3rd Amended WON PCGG has a valid cause of action as against the petitioners
Complaint" w/c excluded Roco from the complaint in PCGG Case No. 33 as party-  NO. It is quite apparent from the PCGG's willingness to cut a deal with petitioners
defendant, Roco having promised he’ll reveal the identity of the principal/s for whom that petitioners were impleaded by the PCGG as co-defendants to force them to
he acted as nominee/stockholder in the companies involved in PCGG Case # 33 disclose the identity of their clients.
 Petitioners were included in 3rd Amended Complaint for having plotted, devised,  It would seem that petitioners are merely standing in for their clients as defendants
schemed, conspired & confederated w/each other in setting up, through the use of in the complaint. Petitioners are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities
coconut levy funds, the financial & corporate framework & structures that led to and services performed in the course of their duties as lawyers. Quite obviously,
establishment of UCPB, UNICOM, COCOLIFE, COCOMARK, CIC, & more than 20 petitioners' inclusion as co-defendants in the complaint is merely being used as
other coconut levy funded corps, including the acquisition of San Miguel Corp. leverage to compel them to name their clients and consequently to enable the
shares & its institutionalization through presidential directives of the coconut PCGG to nail these clients. Such being the case, PCGG has no valid cause of
monopoly. Through insidious means & machinations, ACCRA Investments Corp., action as against petitioners and should exclude them from the 3rd Amended
became the holder of roughly 3.3% of the total outstanding capital stock of UCPB. Complaint.
 In their answer to the Expanded Amended Complaint, petitioners alleged that their
participation in the acts w/ w/c their co-defendants are charged, was in furtherance WON attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of
of legitimate lawyering their client(s) & the other information requested by the PCGG
 Petitioner Paraja Hayudini, who had separated from ACCRA law firm, filed a  YES. Nature of lawyer-client relationship is premised on the Roman Law concepts
separate answer denying the allegations in the complaint implicating him in the of locatio conductio operarum (contract of lease of services) where one person lets
alleged ill-gotten wealth. his services and another hires them without reference to the object of which the
 Petitioners then filed their "Comment &/or Opposition" w/ Counter-Motion that services are to be performed, wherein lawyers' services may be compensated by
PCGG exclude them as parties-defendants like Roco. honorarium or for hire, and mandato (contract of agency) wherein a friend on whom
 PCGG set the ff. precedent for the exclusion of petitioners: reliance could be placed makes a contract in his name, but gives up all that he
(a) the disclosure of the identity of its clients; gained by the contract to the person who requested him. But the lawyer-client
(b) submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and relationship is more than that of the principal-agent and lessor-lessee.
(c) the submission of the deeds of assignments petitioners executed in favor of its  An attorney is more than a mere agent or servant, because he possesses special
clients covering their respective shareholdings. powers of trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. An attorney occupies a
 Consequently, PCGG presented supposed proof to substantiate compliance by "quasi-judicial office" since he is in fact an officer of the Court & exercises his
Roco of the same conditions precedent. However, during said proceedings, Roco judgment in the choice of courses of action to be taken favorable to his client.
didn’t refute petitioners' contention that he did actually not reveal the identity of the
 Thus, in the creation of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules, ethical conduct the nature of the transactions to w/c it related, when such information
and duties that breathe life into it, among those, the fiduciary duty to his client which could be made the basis of a suit against his client.”
is of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character, requiring a very high o Where the government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client
degree of fidelity and good faith, that is required by reason of necessity and public unless, by revealing the client's name, the said name would furnish the only
interest based on the hypothesis that abstinence from seeking legal advice in a link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual
good cause is an evil which is fatal to the administration of justice. of a crime, the client's name is privileged.
 Attorney-client privilege, is worded in Rules of Court, Rule 130: - Baird vs. Korner: a lawyer could not be forced to reveal the names of
Sec. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. The following clients who employed him to pay sums of money to gov’t voluntarily in
persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases: settlement of undetermined income taxes, unsued on, & w/ no gov’t audit
xxx An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any or investigation into that client's income tax liability pending
communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course  Apart from these principal exceptions, there exist other situations which could
of, or with a view to, professional employment, can an attorney's secretary, qualify as exceptions to the general rule:
stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his o if the content of any client communication to a lawyer is relevant to the
employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such subject matter of the legal problem on which the client seeks legal assistance
capacity. o where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously
 Further, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states: disclosed & it is the identity w/c is intended to be confidential, the identity of
Sec. 20. It is the duty of an attorney: the client has been held to be privileged, since such revelation would
(e) to maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve otherwise result in disclosure of the entire transaction.
the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's  Summarizing these exceptions, information relating to the identity of a client may fall
business except from him or with his knowledge and approval. within the ambit of the privilege when the client's name itself has an independent
 This duty is explicitly mandated in Canon 17, CPR (“A lawyer owes fidelity to the significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client confidences.
cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in  Instant case falls under at least 2 exceptions to the general rule.
him.”) Canon 15, CPE also demands a lawyer's fidelity to client.  First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's
 An effective lawyer-client relationship is largely dependent upon the degree of connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged information,
confidence which exists between lawyer and client which in turn requires a situation because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance
which encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and flow of information. (without which there would be no attorney-client relationship).
 Thus, the Court held that this duty may be asserted in refusing to disclose the name  The link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice or legal service
of petitioners' client(s) in the case at bar. sought was duly established in the case at bar, by no less than the PCGG itself as
 The general rule is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge can be seen in the 3 specific conditions laid down by the PCGG which constitutes
the name or identity of his client. petitioners' ticket to non-prosecution should they accede thereto.
 Reasons advanced for the general rule:  From these conditions, particularly the third, we can readily deduce that the clients
o Court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is indeed consulted the petitioners, in their capacity as lawyers, regarding the financial
sought to be protected is flesh and blood. and corporate structure, framework and set-up of the corporations in question. In
o Privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has been turn, petitioners gave their professional advice in the form of, among others, the
established. aforementioned deeds of assignment covering their client's shareholdings.
o Privilege generally pertains to subject matter of relationship  Petitioners have a legitimate fear that identifying their clients would implicate them in
o Due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the alleged
general rule, know his adversary. accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations.
 Exceptions to the gen. rule:  Secondly, under the third main exception, revelation of the client's name would
o Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the obviously provide the necessary link for the prosecution to build its case, where
client's name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he none otherwise exists.
sought the lawyer's advice.  While the privilege may not be invoked for illegal purposes such as in a case where
- Ex-Parte Enzor and U.S. v. Hodge and Zweig: The subject matter of the a client takes on the services of an attorney, for illicit purposes, it may be invoked in
relationship was so closely related to the issue of the client's identity that a case where a client thinks he might have previously committed something illegal
the privilege actually attached to both. and consults his attorney. Whether or not the act for which the client sought advice
o Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability, his identity is turns out to be illegal, his name cannot be used or disclosed if the disclosure leads
privileged. to evidence, not yet in the hands of the prosecution, which might lead to possible
- Neugass v. Terminal Cab Corp.: couldn’t reveal name of his client as this action against him.
would expose the latter to civil litigation.  The Baird exception, applicable to the instant case, is consonant with the principal
- Matter of Shawmut Mining Company: “We feel sure that under such policy behind the privilege, i.e., that for the purpose of promoting freedom of
conditions no case has ever gone to the length of compelling an attorney, consultation of legal advisors by clients, apprehension of compelled disclosure from
at the instance of a hostile litigant, to disclose not only his retainer, but attorneys must be eliminated. What is sought to be avoided then is the exploitation
of the general rule in what may amount to a fishing expedition by the prosecution.
 In fine, the crux of petitioner's objections ultimately hinges on their expectation that if
the prosecution has a case against their clients, the latter's case should be built
upon evidence painstakingly gathered by them from their own sources and not from
compelled testimony requiring them to reveal the name of their clients, information
which unavoidably reveals much about the nature of the transaction which may or
may not be illegal.
 The utmost zeal given by Courts to the protection of the lawyer-client
confidentiality privilege and lawyer's loyalty to his client is evident in the duration of
the protection, which exists not only during the relationship, but extends even after
the termination of the relationship.
 We have no choice but to uphold petitioners' right not to reveal the identity of their
clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to their clients, as the facts
of the instant case clearly fall w/in recognized exceptions to the rule that the client's
name is not privileged information. Otherwise, it would expose the lawyers
themselves to possible litigation by their clients in view of the strict fiduciary
responsibility imposed on them in exercise of their duties

WON PCGG’s exclusion violates equal protection


 YES. Respondents failed to show - and absolutely nothing exists in the records of
the case at bar - that private respondent actually revealed the identity of his
client(s) to the PCGG. Since the undertaking happens to be the leitmotif of the entire
arrangement between Mr. Roco and the PCGG, an undertaking which is so material
as to have justified PCGG's special treatment exempting the private respondent
from prosecution, SB should have required proof of the undertaking more
substantial than a "bare assertion" that private respondent did indeed comply with
the undertaking.
 Thus, the Court held that the condition precedent required by the respondent PCGG
of the petitioners for their exclusion as parties-defendants in PCGG Case No. 33
violates the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege & constitutes a transgression by SB
& PCGG of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
 The PCGG's demand not only touches upon the question of the identity of their
clients but also on documents related to the suspected transactions, not only in
violation of the attorney-client privilege but also of the constitutional right against
self-incrimination. Whichever way one looks at it, this is a fishing expedition, a free
ride at the expense of such rights.
 Lastly, the invocation by petitioners of the privilege of attorney-client confidentiality
at this stage of the proceedings is not premature and that they should not have to
wait until they are called to testify and examine as witnesses as to matters learned
in confidence before they can raise their objections. The petitioners are not mere
witnesses but are co-principals in the case for recovery of alleged ill-gotten wealth.
The case against petitioners should never be allowed to take its full course in the
SB. Petitioners should not be made to suffer the effects of further litigation when it is
obvious that their inclusion in the complaint arose from a privileged attorney-client
relationship and as a means of coercing them to disclose the identities of their
clients.

Holding: SB Resolutions ANNULLED and SET ASIDE, petitioners excluded as parties-


defendants in SB CC No.

LANTORIA vs. BUNYI [1992]