This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
LEDESMA VS. CLIMACO
G.R. No. L-23815 June 28, 1974 Adelino H. Ledesma vs. Rafael C. Climaco
Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. L-23815 June 28, 1974 ADELINO H. LEDESMA, Petitioner, vs. HON. RAFAEL C. CLIMACO, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, Branch I, Silay City, Respondent. FERNANDO, J.: What is assailed in this certiorari proceeding is an order of respondent Judge denying a motion filed by petitioner to be allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio. 1 One of the grounds for such a motion was his allegation that with his appointment as Election Registrar by the Commission on Elections, he was not in a position to devote full time to the defense of the two accused. The denial by respondent Judge of such a plea, notwithstanding the conformity of the defendants, was due "its principal effect [being] to delay this case." 2 It was likewise noted that the prosecution had already rested and that petitioner was previously counsel de parte, his designation in the former category being precisely to protect him in his new position without prejudicing the accused. It cannot be plausibly asserted that such failure to allow withdrawal of de oficio counsel could ordinarily be characterized as a grave abuse of discretion correctible by certiorari. There is, however, the overriding concern for the right to counsel of the accused that must be taken seriously into consideration. In appropriate cases, it should tilt the balance. This is not one of them. What is easily discernible was the obvious reluctance of petitioner to comply with the responsibilities incumbent on the counsel de oficio. Then, too, even on the assumption that he continues in his position, his volume of work is likely to be very much less at present. There is not now the slightest pretext for him to shirk an obligation a member of the bar, who expects to remain in good standing, should fulfill. The petition is clearly without merit.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library According to the undisputed facts, petitioner, on October 13, 1964, was appointed Election Registrar for the Municipality of Cadiz, Province of Negros Occidental. Then and there, he commenced to discharge its duties. As he was counsel de parte for one of the accused in a case pending in the sala of respondent Judge, he filed a motion to withdraw as such. Not only did respondent Judge deny such motion, but he also appointed him counsel de oficio for the two defendants. Subsequently, on November 3, 1964, petitioner filed an urgent motion to be allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio, premised on the policy of the Commission on Elections to require full time service as well as on the volume or pressure of work of petitioner, which could prevent him from handling adequately the defense. Respondent Judge, in the challenged order of November 6, 1964, denied said motion. A motion for reconsideration having proved futile, he instituted this certiorari proceeding. 3 chanrobles virtual law library As noted at the outset, the petition must fail.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 1. The assailed order of November 6, 1964 denying the urgent motion of petitioner to withdraw as counsel de oficiospeaks for itself. It began with a reminder that a crime was allegedly committed on February 17, 1962, with the proceedings having started in the municipal court of Cadiz on July 11, 1962. Then respondent Judge spoke of his order of October 16, 1964 which reads thus: "In view of the objection of the prosecution to the motion for postponement of October 15, 1964 (alleging that counsel for the accused cannot continue appearing in this case without the express authority of the Commission on Elections); and since according to the prosecution there are two witnesses who are ready to take the stand, after which the government would rest, the motion for postponement is denied. When counsel for the accused assumed office as Election Registrar on October 13, 1964, he knew since October 2, 1964 that the trial would be resumed today. Nevertheless, in order not to prejudice the civil service status of counsel for the accused, he is hereby designated counsel de oficio for the accused. The defense obtained postponements on May 17, 1963, June 13, 1963, June 14, 1963, October 28, 1963, November 27, 1963, February 11, 1964, March 9, 1964, June 8, 1964 July 26, 1964, and September 7, 1964." 4 Reference was then made to another order of February 11, 1964: "Upon petition of Atty. Adelino H. Ledesma, alleging indisposition, the continuation of the trial of this case is hereby transferred to March 9, 1964 at 8:30 in the morning. The defense is reminded that at its instance, this case has been postponed at least eight (8) times, and that the government witnesses have to come all the way from Manapala." 5 After which, it was noted in such order that there was no incompatibility between the duty of petitioner to the accused and to the court and the performance of his task as an election registrar of the Commission on Elections and that the ends of justice "would be served by allowing and requiring Mr. Ledesma to continue as counsel de oficio, since the prosecution has already rested its case." 6 chanrobles virtual law library 2. What is readily apparent therefore, is that petitioner was less than duly mindful of his obligation as counsel de oficio. He ought to have known that membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. It could be that for some lawyers, especially the neophytes in the profession, being appointed counsel de oficio is an irksome chore. For those holding such belief, it may come as a surprise that counsel of repute and of eminence welcome such an opportunity. It makes even more manifest that law is indeed a profession dedicated to the ideal of service and not a mere trade. It is understandable then why a high degree of fidelity to duty is required of one so designated. A recent statement of the doctrine is found
in People v. Daban: 7 "There is need anew in this disciplinary proceeding to lay stress on the fundamental postulate that membership in the bar carries with it a responsibility to live up to its exacting standard. The law is a profession, not a trade or a craft. Those enrolled in its ranks are called upon to aid in the performance of one of the basic purposes of the State, the administration of justice. To avoid any frustration thereof, especially in the case of an indigent defendant, a lawyer may be required to act as counsel de oficio. The fact that his services are rendered without remuneration should not occasion a diminution in his zeal. Rather the contrary. This is not, of course, to ignore that other pressing matters do compete for his attention. After all, he has his practice to attend to. That circumstance possesses a high degree of relevance since a lawyer has to live; certainly he cannot afford either to neglect his paying cases. Nonetheless, what is incumbent upon him as counsel de oficio must be fulfilled." 8 chanrobles virtual law library So it has been from the 1905 decision of In re Robles Lahesa, 9 where respondent was de oficio counsel, the opinion penned by Justice Carson making clear: "This Court should exact from its officers and subordinates the most scrupulous performance of their official duties, especially when negligence in the performance of those duties necessarily results in delays in the prosecution of criminal cases ...." 10 Justice Sanchez in People v. Estebia 11reiterated such a view in these words: "It is true that he is a court-appointed counsel. But we do say that as such counsel de oficio, he has as high a duty to the accused as one employed and paid by defendant himself. Because, as in the case of the latter, he must exercise his best efforts and professional ability in behalf of the person assigned to his care. He is to render effective assistance. The accused-defendant expects of him due diligence, not mere perfunctory representation. For, indeed a lawyer who is a vanguard in the bastion of justice is expected to have a bigger dose of social conscience and a little less of self-interest." 12 chanrobles virtual law library The weakness of the petition is thus quite evident.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 3. If respondent Judge were required to answer the petition, it was only due to the apprehension that considering the frame of mind of a counsel loath and reluctant to fulfill his obligation, the welfare of the accused could be prejudiced. His right to counsel could in effect be rendered nugatory. Its importance was rightfully stressed by Chief Justice Moran in People v. Holgado in these words: "In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel. The right to be heard would be of little avail if it does not include the right to be heard by counsel. Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and; without counsel, he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. And this can happen more easily to persons who are ignorant or uneducated. It is for this reason that the right to be assisted by counsel is deemed so important that it has become a constitutional right and it is so implemented that under rules of procedure it is not enough for the Court to apprise an accused of his right to have an attorney, it is not enough to ask him whether he desires the aid of an attorney, but it is essential that the court should assign one de oficio for him if he so desires and he is poor or grant him a reasonable time to procure an attorney of his own." 13 So it was under the previous Organic Acts. 14 The present Constitution is even more emphatic. For, in addition to reiterating that the accused "shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel," 15 there is this new provision: "Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel, and to be informed of such right. No force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence." 16 chanrobles virtual law library Thus is made manifest the indispensable role of a member of the Bar in the defense of an accused. Such a consideration could have sufficed for petitioner not being allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio. For he did betray by his moves his lack of enthusiasm for the task entrusted to him, to put matters mildly. He did point though to his responsibility as an election registrar. Assuming his good faith, no such excuse could be availed now. There is not likely at present, and in the immediate future, an exorbitant demand on his time. It may likewise be assumed, considering what has been set forth above, that petitioner would exert himself sufficiently to perform his task as defense counsel with competence, if not with zeal, if only to erase doubts as to his fitness to remain a member of the profession in good standing. The admonition is ever timely for those enrolled in the ranks of legal practitioners that there are times, and this is one of them, when duty to court and to client takes precedence over the promptings of self-interest.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is dismissed. Costs against petitioner. Zaldivar (Chairman), Antonio, Fernandez and Aquino, JJ., concur.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Barredo, J., took no part.
Endnotes: 1 Petition, Annex B. 2 Ibid, Annex C. 3 Petition, pars. 3-9. 4 Petition, Annex C. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid.. 7 L-31429, January 31, 1972, 43 SCRA 185. 8 Ibid, 186. Cf. People v. Apduhan, L-19491, Aug. 30, 1968, 24 SCRA 798; People v. Solacito, L-29209, Aug. 25, 1969, 29 SCRA 61; People v. Serafica, L-29092-93, Aug. 28, 1969, 29 SCRA 123; People v. Englatera, L-30820, July 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 245; People v. Aguilar, L-30932, Jan. 29, 1971, 37 SCRA 115; People v. Estebia, L-26868, July 29, 1971, 40 SCRA 90; People v. Flores, L-32692, July 30, 1971, 40 SCRA 230; People v. Alincastre, L-29891, Aug. 30, 1971, 40 SCRA 391; People v. Valera, L-30039; Feb. 8, 1972, 43 SCRA 207; People v. Francisco, L-30763, June 29, 1972, 45 SCRA 451; People v. Espiña, L-33028, June 30, 1972, 45 SCRA 614; People v. Esteves, L34811, Aug. 18, 1972, 46 SCRA 680; People v. Simeon, L-33730, Sept. 28, 1972, 47 SCRA 129; People v. Daeng, L-34091, Jan. 30, 1973, 49 SCRA 221; People v. Ricalde, L-34673, Jan. 30, 1973, 49 SCRA 228; People v. Martinez, L-35353, April 30, 1973, 50 SCRA 509; People v. Silvestre, L-33821, June 22, 1973, 51 SCRA 286; People v. Busa, L-32047, June 25, 1973, 51 SCRA 317; People v. Alamada, L-34594, July 13, 1973, 52 SCRA 103; People v. Andaya, L-29644, July 25, 1973, 52 SCRA 137; People v. Duque, L-33267, Sept. 27, 1973, 53 SCRA 132; People v. Saligan, L-35792, Nov. 29, 1973, 54 SCRA 190; People v. Bacong, L-36161, Dec. 19, 1973, 54 SCRA 288. 9 4 Phil. 298. 10 Ibid, 300. 11 L-26868, February 27, 1969, 27 SCRA 106. 12 Ibid, 109-110, Cf. Javellana v. Lutero, L-23956, July 21, 1967, 20 SCRA 717; Blanza v. Arcangel, Adm. Case No. 492, Sept. 5, 1967, 21 SCRA 1. 13 85 Phil. 752, 756-757 (1950). 14 Cf. United States v. Gimeno, 1 Phil. 236 (1902); United States v. Palisoc, 4 Phil. 207 (1905); United States v. Go-Leng, 21 Phil. 426 (1912); United States v. Laranja, 21 Phil. 500 (1912); United States v. Ramirez, 26 Phil. 616 (1914); United States v. Labial, 27 Phil. 82 (1914); United States v. Custan, 28 Phil. 19 (1914); United States v. Kilayco, 31 Phil. 371 (1915); United States v. Escalante, 36 Phil. 743 (1917); People v. Abuyen, 52 Phil. 722 (1929). 15 Cf. Article IV, Section 19. 16 Section 20.
as I hereby annul. 1995. in all of which. and to the Chief. Alauya wrote three other letters to Mr. of Davao City. and used to be friends. as in his letter to Villarosa & Co. Arzaga. a real estate and housing company. SOPHIA ALAWI. 1997] SOPHIA ALAWI. advising of the termination of his contract with the company.Respondent.: Sophia Alawi was (and presumably still is) a sales representative (or coordinator) of E. 1996. They were classmates. Among other things.. SOPHIA ALAWI. SDC-97-2-P. Villarosa & Partners Co. fraud. Complainant. and May 3.. February 24. and asking for cancellation of his housing loan in connection therewith. Vice-President. Ordoez. the NHMFC wrote to the Supreme Court requesting it to stop deductions on Alauya's UHLP loan "effective May 1996. again asserting the anomalous manner by which he was allegedly duped into entering into the contracts by "the scheming sales agent.338. ALAUYA. He wrote: " ** I am formally and officially withdrawing from and notifying you of my intent to terminate the Contract/Agreement entered into between me and your company. as represented by your Sales Agent/Coordinator. a housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC). and ** the refund of ** (his) payments. simply Villarosa & Co. vs. 1996 to Ms. dishonesty and abuse of confidence by the aforesaid sales agent which made said contract void ab initio. Clerk of Court VI. On the same date. Fermin T. deceit. "agree for the mutual rescission of our contract.00 a month.2) A. bore no stamps. Not long afterwards. DECISION NARVASA. Shari'a District Court. a contract was executed for the purchase on installments by Alauya of one of the housing units belonging to the above mentioned firm (hereafter. 1996. for the same reasons already cited. Finance Division." and closed with the plea that Villarosa & Co. Corazon M. the words.. repudiating as fraudulent and void his contract with Villarosa & Co. he insisted on the cancellation of his housing loan and discontinuance of deductions from his salary on account thereof." had been typed. Ltd. ALAUYA. 1996. dishonesty and abuse of confidence by the unscrupulous sales agent ** . Said sales agent acting in bad faith perpetrated such illegal and unauthorized acts which made said contract an Onerous Contract prejudicial to my rights and interests. Thus. ASHARY M.. he narrated in some detail what he took to be the anomalous actuations of Sophia Alawi. deceit. FEBRUARY 24. the 'manipulated contract' entered into between me and the E. rescind and voided. I was actually fooled by your sales agent. I am terminating. and which actually went through the post. 1996. Alauya is the incumbent executive clerk of court of the 4th Judicial Shari'a District in Marawi City. Gusa. "for the buy-back of ** (Alauya's) mortgage. he said: " ** (T)hrough this written notice. of your company's branch office here in Cagayan de Oro City. and in connection therewith. cancel. 1995.B. fraud. to stop deductions from his salary in relation to the loan in question.M. which was payable from salary deductions at the rate of P4.M. hence the need to annul the controversial contract. on the grounds that my consent was vitiated by gross misrepresentation. who maliciously and fraudulently manipulated said contract and unlawfully secured and pursued the housing loan without my authority and against my will." He then proceeded to expound in considerable detail and quite acerbic language on the "grounds which could evidence the bad faith. dishonesty. at San Pedro. ETC. SDC-97-2-P.). fraud.a He also wrote on January 18. the contract itself is deemed to be void ab initio in view of the attending circumstances. SOPHIA ALAWI VS. B. April 15. Head of the Fiscal Management & Budget Office. Alauya addressed a letter to the President of Villarosa & Co. 1997. Ltd." Alauya sent a copy of the letter to the Vice-President of Villarosa & Co. The envelope containing it. It appears that through Alawi's agency. Cagayan de Oro City. Instead at the right hand corner above the description of the addressee. even as I inform you that I categorically state on record that I am terminating the contract **."c . that my consent was vitiated by misrepresentation. and abuse of confidence. misrepresentation. and that there was no meeting of the minds between me and the swindling sales agent who concealed the real facts from me. both of this Court. Alauya also wrote to Mr. THIRD DIVISION [A. Villarosa & Partner Co. deceit. as represented by its sales agent/coordinator. C. "Free Postage PD 26."b The upshot was that in May. Makati City. Marawi City. I hope I do not have to resort to any legal action before said onerous and manipulated contract against my interest be annulled. Ashari M." and began negotiating with Villarosa & Co.. or more precisely on December 15. Credit & Collection Group of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) at Salcedo Village.J. ASHARY M. December 15. Arzaga of the NHMFC." And. dated February 21.
Domocao. even obsequious tones. "attorney. salary deduction. sleepless nights." connoting a local legislator beholden to the mayor.2chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Alauya first submitted a "Preliminary Comment"3 in which he questioned the authority of Atty."10 He claims he was manipulated into reposing his trust in Alawi." 3. but she had since avoided him.12 He says Alawi somehow got his GSIS policy from his wife. -. in communicating with Villarosa & Co. Alawi and Atty." "konsehal or the Maranao term "consial." 2. and of the above mentioned envelope bearing the typewritten words.On learning of Alauya's letter to Villarosa & Co. she did not do so until after several months. receipt of the key of the house." and asserting that all her dealings with Alauya had been regular and completely transparent. baseless and coupled with manifest ignorance and evident bad faith. forger. Clerk of Court investigating an Executive Clerk of Court. He also claims that in connection with his contract with Villarosa & Co." were typewritten on the envelope by some other person." and 4. Clerk IV (subscribed and sworn to before respondent himself. manipulator. and attached to the comment as Annex J).60 had been deducted from his salary." by the assertion that it is "lexically synonymous" with "Counsellorsat-law. Div.028. of December 15. 1996." but also "a scion of a Royal Family **." which only regular members of the Philippine Bar may properly use. He denied any abuse of the franking privilege. etc. not to "a mere Asst. and that Sophia Alawi as sales agent of Villarosa & Co. he does not consider himself a lawyer. this power pertaining. 1996 and April 22. "Unauthorized enjoyment of the privilege of free postage **. Alfredo P. It may be mentioned that in contrast to his two (2) letters to Assistant Clerk of Court Marasigan (dated April 19. 1996). Villarosa & Co. the Court Administrator or the Chief Justice. according to him."1 In that complaint.. Alauya contended that it was he who had suffered "undue injury. fraudulently bound him to a housing loan contract entailing monthly deductions of P4."4 In a subsequent letter to Atty. She deplored Alauya's references to her as "unscrupulous. 1996 -. wounded feelings and untold financial suffering.8 and as far as he knew. mental anguish. the notice of resolution in this case was signed by Atty.is situated. Withal. Conformably with established usage that notices of resolutions emanate from the corresponding Office of the Clerk of Court. but this time in much less aggressive. that the words: "Free Postage PD 26." but only to the District Judge. Marasigan. adding that he prefers the title of "attorney" because "counsellor" is often mistaken for "councilor." denouncing his imputations as irresponsible.13chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Averring in fine that his acts in question were done without malice. by falsifying his signature. Alawi forged his signature on such pertinent documents as those regarding the down payment. Alauya prays for the dismissal of the complaint for lack of merit. "all concoctions. swindler. And in his comment thereafter submitted under date of June 5. and blemishing her honor and established reputation. malicious and baseless allegations.to which she appended a copy of the letter. "Imputation of malicious and libelous charges with no solid grounds through manifest ignorance and evident bad faith. and although she promised to return it the next day. "Free Postage PD 26.subject of his supposed agreement with Alawi's principal.7 He declared that there was no basis for the complaint. he had merely acted in defense of his rights. a total of P26. 11 He was induced to sign a blank contract on Alawi's assurance that she would show the completed document to him later for correction. Marasigan." and complainant Alawi having come to the Court with unclean hands." a title to which Shari'a lawyers have a rightful claim. none of which he ever saw. alleging that what he did "is expected of any man unduly prejudiced and injured.9chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Alauya justified his use of the title. lies. Marasigan's office. Sophia Alawi filed with this Court a verified complaint dated January 25. 1995. Usurpation of the title of "attorney." without "even a bit of evidence to cloth (sic) his allegations with the essence of truth.00 plus transportation fare to a subordinate whom he entrusted with the mailing of certain letters. 5 Alauya requested the former to give him a copy of the complaint in order that he might comment thereon. his subordinate mailed the letters with the use of the money he had given for postage. He also averred that the complaint had no factual basis. She closed with the plea that Alauya "be dismissed from the service.all of which he signed . lay-out. Alawi was envious of him for being not only "the Executive Clerk of court and ex-officio Provincial Sheriff and District Registrar. despite "numerous letters and follow-ups" he still does not know where the property -. 1996 -. saying that he gave P20. 6 He stated that his acts as clerk of court were done in good faith and within the confines of the law. and his two (2) earlier letters both dated December 15. and if those letters were indeed mixed with the official mail of the court. a classmate and friend. she accused Alauya of: 1. it consisting of "fallacious. "Causing undue injury to." considering that in six months. or be appropriately disciplined (sic) ** " The Court resolved to order Alauya to comment on the complaint. Assistant Division Clerk of Court.333. clearance. He pleads for the Court's compassion. Marasigan to require an explanation of him. her complicity in the fraudulent housing loan being apparent and demonstrable.10 from his salary. this had occurred inadvertently and because of an honest mistake. had. an averment corroborated by the affidavit of Absamen C. and voiced the suspicion that the Resolution was the result of a "strong link" between Ms.
. among others. offensive." The title of "attorney" is reserved to those who.as "Atty. insulting or virulent language. good morals. that he "act with justice. or respect for the rights of others. by his strongly held conviction that he had been grievously wronged. strict propriety and decorum so as to earn and keep the respect of the public for the judiciary. wounded feelings and untold financial suffering. the record contains no evidence adequately establishing the accusation. 1996. good customs. courtesy. As a man of the law. dishonesty and abuse of confidence. The ratiocination. insulting or virulent language. and ** refrain from doing acts contrary to law. it does not appear to the Court consistent with good morals. he was merely acting in defense of his rights."18 Now." in the sense that they give counsel or advice in a professional capacity. and Panganiban. i. menacing." Alauya's defense essentially is that in making these statements. supra. fraudulent or malicious. and observe honesty and good faith. fraud. respondent Ashari M." 2) Alawi acted in bad faith and perpetrated ** illegal and unauthorized acts ** ** prejudicial to ** (his) rights and interests. As a member of the Shari'a Bar and an officer of a Court. As regards Alauya's use of the title of "Attorney. ALAUYA. but cannot be excused.e.however sincerely -. Alawi is subject to a standard of conduct more stringent than for most other government workers. restraint. and he is warned that any similar or other impropriety or misconduct in the future will be dealt with more severely. "counsellor" or "counsellor-at-law. having obtained the necessary degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations." and "concealed the real facts **. there are pejorative connotations to the term.. it is expected that he accord respect for the person and the rights of others at all times. valid or not. misrepresentation." this Court has already had occasion to declare that persons who pass the Shari'a Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar. Alauya is evidently convinced that he has a right of action against Sophia Alawi. Alauya had written inter alia that: 1) Alawi obtained his consent to the contracts in question "by gross misrepresentation." The Court referred the case to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation. concur. give everyone his due. a total ofP26. and it is they only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction." considering that in six months. Francisco. or vindication of right cannot justify resort to vituperative language. fraud. report and recommendation. His disinclination to use the title of "counsellor" does not warrant his use of the title of attorney. and for usurping the title of attorney." resulting in "undue injury to (her) and blemishing her honor and established reputation." who had suffered "mental anguish. JJ.. public order. or otherwise improper. Ashary M. sleepless nights. Davide. without malice or vindictiveness.14chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The first accusation against Alauya is that in his aforesaid letters. is of no moment. in excessively intemperate."17 More than once has this Court emphasized that "the conduct and behavior of every official and employee of an agency involved in the administration of justice. public policy.028. or it is confusingly similar to that given to local legislators. The law requires that he exercise that right with propriety. he may not use language which is abusive.in his Comment of June 5. public policy. from the presiding judge to the most junior clerk.15chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) inter alia enunciates the State policy of promoting a high standard of ethics and utmost responsibility in the public service. Jr."19 Righteous indignation. public safety and public interest. he made "malicious and libelous charges (against Alawi) with no solid grounds through manifest ignorance and evident bad faith. scandalous. WHEREFORE. should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility.60 had been deducted from his salary. and one who has been admitted to the Philippine Bar. hence may only practice law before Shari'a courts. 20 As a judicial employee. dishonesty and abuse of confidence. SO ORDERED. have been admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in good standing. language unbecoming a judicial officer. good customs or public policy. may both be considered "counsellors. respecting Alauya's alleged unauthorized use of the franking privilege. . or downright name-calling.to be deceitful. Alauya is hereby REPRIMANDED for the use of excessively intemperate. only the latter is an "attorney. 16 Section 4 of the Code commands that "(p)ublic officials and employees ** at all times respect the rights of others. and doing only what "is expected of any man unduly prejudiced and injured. dignity." and 4) Alawi had maliciously and fraudulently manipulated the contract with Villarosa & Co.21 While one who has been admitted to the Shari'a Bar. good customs. Finally. His radical deviation from these salutary norms might perhaps be mitigated. in a manner consistent with good morals." 3) Alawi was an "unscrupulous (and "swindling") sales agent" who had fooled him by "deceit. Their conduct must at all times be characterized by. or undue harm to anyone.. deceit. or otherwise stated. to couch denunciations of acts believed -. he does not use the title but refers to himself as "DATU ASHARY M. Alauya" -. public order. and unlawfully secured and pursued the housing loan without ** (his) authority and against ** (his) will." because in his region. Melo. and that his every act and word should be characterized by prudence. Alauya says he does not wish to use the title." In those letters.
32. B. Medilo. Jr. 15 SEE footnote No. 248 SCRA 272.01 and 11. The Finance Management and Budget Office and the Financial Division of the Supreme Court. Rules of Court . 6713. SEE also Policarpio v. etc. Garcia. entitled "Petition to allow Shari'a lawyers to exercise their profession at the regular courts.. id. B-3 of Alauya's Comment dated June 5. 1. 275 19 ART. 1996 b Annexes F and G. The Code also proscribes behavior in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession (Rule 7. 18 Apaga v. 11 Id. citing Callejo. 28. et seq. 245 SCRA 233. at p.. Icasiano. 1996. Section 11 of the same law punishes any violation of the Act with (1) a fine not exceeding the equivalent of six (6) months' salary. 35. 13 Id. 35.03). 681. Bantug.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. 23. Rollo at p. v. 7. copies of the letter were also furnished the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation. 21 Resolution of the Court En Banc dated August 5. at p. Asodisen. at p. 14. Sandiganbayan. v. 8 Id.. 1993 in Bar Matter No. 10 Id. 12 Id. or (3) removal. 16 Policarpio v. v. 5 Evidently. Fortus. 240.. Ponce. 275 17 RA. 1996. or (2) suspension not exceeding one (1) year. B-1. depending on the gravity of the offense. after due notice and hearing by the appropriate body or agency. 1996 7 Rollo at p. c Annex C-2. 14 See Resolution of the Court en banc dated August 21. et al. 4). 1996 3 Dated April 19. the Court's Resolutions being incorporated verbatim in said notices. 4 Rollo at p. 1 Annexes A and A-1 of complaint. Civil Code 20 Rules 8. 6 Dated April 22. Fortus. etc. et al. No. 9 Id. 248 SCRA 272. and even if no criminal prosecution is instituted against him. 60. he had since become aware of the immemorial practice that NOTICES (or communications informing) of Resolutions adopted by the Court En Banc or any of its three (3) Divisions are sent to the parties by and over the signature of the corresponding Clerk or Court or his Assistant. at p. 209 SCRA 413. 61 et seq. 34." SEE Rule 138 (secs. 206 SCRA 491. 2109 SCRA 377. 19.Endnotes: a 'Annexes B. at p. supra. Angeles v. which should apply by analogy to Members of the Shari'a Bar. et al. Jr. id. 233 SCRA 68. Rollo at p. 2 Resolution dated March 25.
vs. directing the Register of Deeds of the City of Davao to issue a new owner's duplicate of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 1974 ALFREDO C.: In this original action of prohibition petitioner Alfredo C. CUSI.3) TEJAN VS. this Court. in his own behalf. to wit: The records and the transcript of stenographic notes of Misc. he was required by respondent Judge to explain within 72 hours why he should not be removed or suspended from the practice of law for preparing. Hon. "That the aforesaid Transfer Certificate was lost by the herein petitioner in his house in Mati. in answer thereto. VICENTE N. 57 CSRZ 154 G. Case No. gave due course thereto and set the same for hearing on January 24 and 25. 59 against petitioner. --> ANTONIO. Case No.respondent. 2968 of this Court show that you prepared and/or caused to be prepared a verified petition for issuance of a new owner's duplicate copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. JR. Bullecer. Justo Cinco.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Apparently not satisfied with petitioner's answer.. Davao. J. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. That in spite of the diligent search of the aforesaid title. Case No. 1967. and that as a result of the petition. through the Hon. Cusi. 1968. Jr. Vicente N. L-28899 May 30. CUSI. alleging therein as grounds therefor. HON. or causing to be prepared. the same could not be found and is therefore now presumed to be lost. Jose P. when you know very well that the owner's duplicate copy has always been in the custody of Municipal Judge Bernardo P.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In view thereof. Vicente P. respondent Judge had his letter filed and docketed as Adm. Justo Cinco. No. No. Saludares of the Municipality of Kapalong to whom the same was entrusted by Vicente Calongo. Judge." and had the petition signed by Atty. 1974 Alfredo C. petitioner . Vicente N. 1967 addressed to petitioner Alfredo C. Tajan. Tajan challenges the authority of respondent Judge of the Court of First Instance of Davao to hear Administrative Case No. wrote a letter to respondent Judge on December 7. Court of First Instance of Davao. 1967 denying the material averments of respondent Judge's letter and explaining the circumstances under which he prepared the aforementioned petition. T7312. you are hereby given seventy-two (72) hours from the receipt hereof to explain why you shall not be removed or suspended from the practice of law. 58 against Atty.R. Presiding Judge of Branch IV. L-28899 May 30. together with Adm.R. Arro for petitioner. issued an Order on June 28. T-7312 in favor of Vicente Calongo. 1968. Tajan vs. Cusi. Jr.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In a letter dated December 5. Petitioner. TAJAN. 59 of said court involving a disciplinary action initiated against petitioner as a member of the Philippine Bar. a petition in court containing factual averments which petitioner knew were false. Petitioner. and. At the hearing on January 24.
At the said hearing Municipal Judge Saludares testified by more or less reiterating the testimony he previously gave at the hearing of the petition for relief from the order in Misc. An attorney-at-law is an officer of the court in the administration of justice and as such he is continually accountable to the Court for the manner in which he exercises the privilege which has been granted to him. 29. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension. the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension. The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding section. 23 and 25. or removing the attorney from his office as such. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Court of First Instance. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Petitioner's thesis is that respondent Judge has no authority on his own motion to hear and determine proceedings for disbarment or suspension of attorneys because jurisdiction thereon is vested exclusively and originally in the Supreme Court and not in courts of first instance. The power to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the legal profession stems from the inherent power of the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law and the admission of persons to engage in that practice.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On April 15..chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The following provisions of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court are applicable: SEC. respectively. 30. that he has become unfit to continue with the trust reposed upon him.questioned. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation. His admission to the practice of law is upon the implied condition that his continued enjoyment of the right conferred. the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension. among others. and to be heard by himself or counsel.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library SEC. respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over the person of petitioner as well as the subject matter thereof. The continuation of the hearing was set for April 26. 23. petitioner filed the present petition. 1968. to produce witnesses in his own behalf. These provisions were taken from Sections 22. The law accords to the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance the power to investigate and suspend members of the bar. and on April 17. Proceedings upon suspension.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library SEC. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. the procedure outlined in Rule 139 of the Revised Rules of Court should govern the filing and investigation of the complaint. 22. 1968. The oral motion was denied. the propriety of the proceedings. 28.Courts of First Instance may suspend a lawyer from the further practice of his profession for any of the causes named in the last preceding section. Petitioner also contends that assuming arguendo that courts of first instance have such authority.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On February 1. It is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice. contending that since the case was one for disbarment. which read: SEC. 1968.. Suspension of lawyers. the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte. respondent Judge proceeded to hear the evidence against petitioner. When it appears by acts of misconduct. and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. as the facts warrant.No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession. until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him. further proceedings in Supreme Court.Upon such suspension the judge of the Court of First Instance ordering the suspension shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. . and after such suspension such lawyer will not be privileged to practice his profession in any of the courts of the Islands until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. of the Code of Civil Procedure. chanrobles virtual law library SEC.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library We find petitioner's contentions without merit. Case No.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 1. his right to continue in the enjoyment of that trust and for the enjoyment of the professional privilege accorded to him may and ought to be forfeited. 2968 allowing the issuance of an owner's duplicate of title. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement. 1968. is dependent upon his remaining a fit and safe person to exercise it. Petitioner orally moved that respondent Judge inhibit himself from hearing the administrative case in view of the latter's conflicting positions as prosecutor and judge at the same time. or removing the lawyer permanently from the . this Court gave due course thereto and ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction upon petitioner's posting of a bond. the Court of Appeals or the Court of First Instance forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon such suspension.
The attorney is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's alleged misconduct is in no sense a party. On the basis of the certified copy of the order of suspension and the statement of the facts upon which the same is based. 1Indeed it is not only the right but the duty of the Court to institute upon its own motion. But if upon reasonable notice the accused fails to appear and answer the accusation. with costs against petitioner. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare. petitioner not only failed to question as unreasonable. of the Revised Rules. therefore. Fernando. as the facts warrant. upon reasonable notice. the procedure outlined by the preceding actions of Rule 139 "shall govern the filing and investigation of complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals or in Courts of First Instance. that a similar period should be granted by the Court of First Instance to attorneys charged before it. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. however. 2. Endnotes: 1 The practice regulating disbarment proceedings is not as we have noted regulated by statute.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library SEC. 9 of Rule 139. Revised Rules of Court). therefore. if he so desires. because Sections 28 to 30 of Rule 138 authorize said courts and confer upon them the power to conduct the investigation themselves. when from information submitted to it or of its own knowledge it appears that any attorney has so conducted himself in a case pending before said court as to show that he is wanting in the proper measure of respect for the court of which he is an officer. under such circumstances the intervention of the Solicitor General would. 30.. Hearing of charges. JJ. 30 of Rule 138 does not state what is a reasonable notice. concur. Rule 138. the present person is denied. for the purpose of uniformity in procedure. should be the one to conduct the present investigation. provides that as far as applicable. subject to another and final investigation by the Supreme Court in the event of suspension of the lawyer. until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him. the Solicitor General. that in the case at bar. and not respondent Judge. the procedure for the investigation by the Solicitor General of complaints against lawyers referred to said official by the Supreme Court shall govern the filing and investigation of complaints against lawyers in the Court of Appeals and in Courts of First Instance. to produce witnesses in his own behalf. We find.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Petitioner claims that pursuant to Section 9 of Rule 139.. and to be heard by himself or counsel" (Sec.No lawyer shall be removed from the roll or be suspended from the performance of his profession until he has had full opportunity to answer the charges against him. This is for the protection of the general public and to promote the purity of the administration of justice." Section 2 of Rule 139. the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte. 2 chanrobles virtual law library While the aforecited Sec. It is desirable. Sec. but actually was not substantially prejudiced thereby as he filed his answer to the complaint within the period of 72 hours from receipt thereof. 25. or is lacking in the good character essential to his continuance as an attorney. and to produce witnesses in his own behalf and to be heard by himself and counsel. required by Section 29 of Rule 138. and the writ of preliminary injunction previously issued by this Court is ordered dissolved. be unnecessary. the period granted to him by the court within which to answer the complaint.roll as it shall find the facts to warrant. but all courts of general jurisdiction have at all times in the history of the law possessed the inherent power to suspend and disbar attorneys for professional . because." In other words. The court may therefore act upon its own motion and thus be the initiator of the proceedings. provides that the respondent lawyer in disciplinary proceedings is granted 10 days from service of a copy of the complaint within which to file his answer. Barredo.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE. which provides that as far as may be applicable. Procedural due process requires that no attorney may be "removed or suspended from the practice of his profession. Sections 3 to 6 of Rule 139 are not applicable to the investigation of complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals and in Courts of First Instance. obviously the court may investigate into the conduct of its own officers. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. the Supreme Court "shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension or removing the attorney from his office as such. Zaldivar (Chairman). proper proceedings for the suspension or the disbarment of an attorney.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 3. Fernandez and Aquino. It should be observed that proceedings for the disbarment of members of the bar are not in any sense a civil action where there is a plaintiff and the respondent is a defendant. The investigation by the Solicitor General in Section 3 of Rule 139 refers to complaints referred to said office by this Court and not to investigations in suspension proceedings before the Court of Appeals or Courts of First Instance.
41 Phil. 32 (1920). 953. said: We entertain no doubt that a court has jurisdiction without any formal complaint or petition. Com. and to inflict on them for their official misconduct such punishment as the law prescribes. And it is much to be regretted that this duty. 18 B. 27 L. 948. 472.. xxx xxx xxx In Ex parte Wall. on his own motion. If a court have knowledge of the existence of such official misconduct on the part of any of its officers. In re Calderon. 70 (1903). we think that it is not only the right. the Supreme Court. quoting with approval from an opinion by Chief Justice Sharswood. Mon. Ct. 658 (1906). this court. In Walker v. the conduct of their officers. and the books are full of cases in which the court.misconduct of such a character as showed them to be unworthy to hold the place of officers of the court. provided he has had reasonable notice. proper proceedings for the suspension or disbarment of an attorney when from information laid before him. of a judge of a circuit court to institute. 5 Phil. is so little regarded. but it is its duty. or from his personal knowledge. 3 Phil. In re Cuenco.S. Commonwealth. 86. . it appears to his satisfaction that the attorney in so demeaning himself as to be unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. and been afforded an opportunity to be heard in his defense.. which was a disbarment proceeding. The defendant in the rule was an attorney at law and an officer of the court. has instituted proceedings like this. such as attorneys and counselors who practice in their courts. All courts have the power to control and regulate to a certain extent. to strike the name of an attorney from the roll in a proper case. upon his own motion. said: This objection is founded on a misconception as well of the power as of the duty of the court. and to bring him. 569. and that the obligations which it imposes are so frequently overlooked or neglected. Indeed. to condign punishment. if guilty. in answering an objection that the judge of the circuit court did not have authority to institute. 552. Ed. 107 U. 2 Sup..W. it not only has the power.. Com. to institute an appropriate proceeding against the offender. 265. (Lenihan v. the proceeding. it was again said: It is a well-established rule of common law that courts may inquire into the conduct of their officers. upon its own motion. 8 Bush. 176 S. on its own motion.) 2 In re MacDougall.. which the law devolves upon the court of the country. xxx xxx xxx In Rice v. but the duty. and punish for offenses.
In September. the Commission on Bar Integration 1 submitted its Report dated November 30. 1972. as well as the overwhelming nationwide sentiment of the Philippine Bench and Bar" that "this Honorable Court ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as soon as possible through the adoption and promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule. improve the administration of justice. Case No. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC January 9. 3 and all parties were thereafter granted leave to file written memoranda. 49 SCRA 22 IN RE: IBP. with the "earnest recommendation" . The sum of five hundred thousand pesos is hereby appropriated. giving recognition as far as possible and practicable to existing provincial and other local Bar associations.on the basis of the said Report and the proceedings had in Administrative Case No. This law provides as follows: SECTION 1. and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. and Appropriating Funds Therefor. In 1970.4) In re: IBP. the Court has closely observed and followed significant developments relative to the matter of the integration of the Bar in this jurisdiction. Within two years from the approval of this Act. 2. after due hearing. and "consistently with the views and counsel received from its [the Commission's] Board of Consultants. Marcos on September 17. the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar under such conditions as it shall see fit in order to raise the standards of the legal profession. 1973." The measure was signed by President Ferdinand E. On August 16.4 Since then. to carry out the purposes of . Written oppositions were admitted. January 9." The petition in Adm. the Court created the Commission on Bar Integration for the purpose of ascertaining the advisability of unifying the Philippine Bar. 5262 of the Court. RESOLUTION PER CURIAM: On December 1. 3277 entitled "An Act Providing for the Integration of the Philippine Bar. In the Matter of the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines. 1972. SEC. Congress passed House Bill No. Act 6397. 1962. arguments in favor of as well as in opposition to the petition were orally expounded before the Court. out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated. 1971 and took effect on the same day as Rep. 526 formally prays the Court to order the integration of the Philippine Bar. convinced from preliminary surveys that there had grown a strong nationwide sentiment in favor of Bar integration. 1973 IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES. 1971.
pleading. Complete unification is not possible unless it is decreed by an entity with power to do so: the State. An Integrated Bar (or Unified Bar) perforce must include all lawyers. and publish information relating thereto. through their own organized action and participation. thus: Integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification of the entire lawyer population of the Philippines. It will suffice. integration fosters cohesion among lawyers. and make reports and recommendations thereon. jurisprudence. practice and procedure. for this purpose. 3. There is thus sufficient basis as well as ample material upon which the Court may decide whether or not to integrate the Philippine Bar at this time.this Act. Designed to improve the position of the Bar as an instrumentality of justice and the Rule of Law. sentiments. in general. opinions. professional competence. law reform. and ensures. learning. at the outset. and the relations of the Bar to the Bench and to the public. (3) Safeguard the professional interests of its members. (6) Encourage and foster legal education. (4) Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood. SEC. comments and observations of the rank and file of the Philippine lawyer population relative to Bar integration. Also embodied therein are the views. signifies the setting up by Government authority of a national organization of the legal profession based on the recognition of the lawyer as an officer of the court. The following are the pertinent issues: (1) Does the Court have the power to integrate the Philippine Bar? (2) Would the integration of the Bar be constitutional? (3) Should the Court ordain the integration of the Bar at this time? A resolution of these issues requires. (7) Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law. The purposes of an integrated Bar. are: (1) Assist in the administration of justice. (5) Provide a forum for the discussion of law. Thereafter. The Report of the Commission abounds with argument on the constitutionality of Bar integration and contains all necessary factual data bearing on the advisability (practicability and necessity) of Bar integration. among other things. The term "Bar" refers to the collectivity of all persons whose names appear in the Roll of Attorneys. pursuant to the principle of maximum Bar autonomy with minimum supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court. to adopt the concept given by the Commission on Bar Integration on pages 3 to 5 of its Report. the promotion of the objectives of the legal profession. This requires membership and financial support (in reasonable amount) of every attorney as conditions sine qua non to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court. public service and conduct. as well as a proposed integration Court Rule drafted by the Commission and presented to them by that body in a national Bar plebiscite. therefore. and (8) Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility effectively. make it possible for the legal profession to: . This Act shall take effect upon its approval. a statement of the meaning of Bar integration. Integration of the Bar will. (2) Foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity. such sums as may be necessary for the same purpose shall be included in the annual appropriations for the Supreme Court. Bar integration.
(7) Establish welfare funds for families of disabled and deceased lawyers. and the admission to the practice of law. (3) Discharge. The judicial pronouncements support this reasoning: . practice. (5) Have an effective voice in the selection of judges and prosecuting officers. impartiality and independence. will "raise the standards of the legal profession. (9) Distribute educational and informational materials that are difficult to obtain in many of our provinces. (12) Create law centers and establish law libraries for legal research. as an officer of the court. 13 of the Constitution. In all cases where the validity of Bar integration measures has been put in issue. (6) Prevent the unauthorized practice of law.whether the unification of the Bar would be constitutional . clothed with public interest. under Article VIII. moreover. the power to integrate is an inherent part of the Court's constitutional authority over the Bar." Republic Act 6397 neither confers a new power nor restricts the Court's inherent power. and assist it to maintain its integrity.The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege. .(1) Render more effective assistance in maintaining the Rule of Law. to the courts. "to promulgate rules concerning pleading. (8) Provide placement services. and break up any monopoly of local practice maintained through influence or position. which traditionally cannot defend itself except within its own forum. (2) Protect lawyers and litigants against the abuse of tyrannical judges and prosecuting officers. and promulgate minimum fees schedules. (11) Enforce rigid ethical standards. and procedure in all courts. and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. because a lawyer owes duties not only to his client. but is a mere legislative declaration that the integration of the Bar will promote public interest or. the Courts have upheld their constitutionality. and to the nation. on the importance of preventive legal advice. from the assaults that politics and self-interest may level at it. fully and properly. the Court is of the view that it may integrate the Philippine Bar in the exercise of its power.hinges on the effects of Bar integration on the lawyer's constitutional rights of freedom of association and freedom of speech. more specifically. (13) Conduct campaigns to educate the people on their legal rights and obligations." Resolution of the second issue . improve the administration of justice. Anent the first issue. and takes part in one of the most important functions of the State. and on the functions and duties of the Filipino lawyer. its responsibility in the disciplining and/or removal of incompetent and unworthy judges and prosecuting officers.Courts have inherent power to supervise and regulate the practice of law. and on the nature of the dues exacted from him. Sec. In providing that "the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar. but also to his brethren in the profession." Indeed. . and (14) Generate and maintain pervasive and meaningful country-wide involvement of the lawyer population in the solution of the multifarious problems that afflict the nation. (4) Shield the judiciary. the administration of justice. and establish legal aid offices and set up lawyer reference services throughout the country so that the poor may not lack competent legal service. (10) Devise and maintain a program of continuing legal education for practising attorneys in order to elevate the standards of the profession throughout the country. The Court approvingly quotes the following pertinent discussion made by the Commission on Bar Integration pages 44 to 49 of its Report: Constitutionality of Bar Integration Judicial Pronouncements. a privilege.
no organized body can operate effectively without incurring expenses. the most efficient means of doing so is by integrating the Bar through a rule of court that requires all lawyers to pay annual dues to the Integrated Bar. The doctrine of implied powers necessarily includes the power to impose such an exaction. The only limitation upon the State's power to regulate the Bar is that the regulation does not impose an unconstitutional burden. is a question of compelled financial support of group activities. but there can be no collective action without an organized body.. For the Court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean that the Court levies a tax.the lawyers. Freedom of Speech. A lawyer is free. 2. The body compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. For the Integrated Bar to use a member's due to promote measures to which said member is opposed. it is fair and just that all attorneys be required to contribute to the support of such organized body. 1. If the Court has inherent power to regulate the Bar. it is far and just that the exercise of that privilege be regulated to assure compliance with the lawyer's public responsibilities. would not nullify or adversely affect his freedom of speech.These public responsibilities can best be discharged through collective action. the inherent power of the Supreme Court to regulate the Bar includes the authority to integrate the Bar. Integration does not make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not already a member. . Regulatory Fee. and. even though such views be opposed to positions taken by the Unified Bar. therefore. He is free to attend or not attend the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The issue therefore. it may impose a membership fee for that purpose. The public interest promoted by the integration of the Bar far outweighs the inconsequential inconvenience to a member that might result from his required payment of annual dues. 3. it follows that as an incident to regulation. to voice his views on any subject in any manner he wishes. not involuntary membership in any other aspect. It would not be possible to push through an Integrated Bar program without means to defray the concomitant expenses. The legal profession has long been regarded as a proper subject of legislative regulation and control. The greater part of Unified Bar activities serves the function of elevating the educational and ethical standards of the Bar to the end of improving the quality of the legal service available to the people. Freedom of Association. A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is an exaction for regulation. He became a member of the Bar when he passed the Bar examinations. given existing Bar conditions.Because the practice of law is privilege clothed with public interest. while the purpose of a tax is revenue. Assuming that Bar integration does compel a lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar. Otherwise stated. as he has always been. To compel a lawyer to be a member of an integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom to associate (or the corollary right not to associate). may require that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of the regulatory program . Moreover. in order to further the State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional services. membership in the Unified Bar imposes only the duty to pay dues in reasonable amount. The Supreme Court. Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. . All that integration actually does is to provide an official national organization for the welldefined but unorganized and incohesive group of which every lawyer is already a member.
energized the Bar's responsibilities to the public. has become an imperative means to raise the standards of the legal profession. ACCORDINGLY. and discharge their public responsibilities in a more effective manner than they have been able to do in the past. Finally. (7) establishment of an official status for the Bar. improve the administration of justice. Fair to All Lawyers. it has been variously argued that in the event of integration. 1973." within the context of contemporary conditions in the Philippines.04 per cent) are non-commital. of a total of 15. 662 (or 4. might refuse to contribute taxes in furtherance of war or of any other end condemned by his conscience as irreligious or immoral.Since a State may constitutionally condition the right to practice law upon membership in the Integrated Bar. hereby ordains the integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the attached COURT RULE. and because it is a new regulation in exchange for new benefits. 12.802 individual lawyers who cast their plebiscite ballots on the proposed integration Court Rule drafted by the Commission. Canada and the United States. and vastly improved the administration of justice. To resolve the third and final issue . Bar integration is not unfair to lawyers already practising because although the requirement to pay annual dues is a new regulation. Case No. it is not unfair. that these and other evils prophesied by opponents of Bar integration have failed to materialize in over fifty years of Bar integration experience in England. (5) elimination of unauthorized practice. cliquism will be the inevitable result. The objection would carry us to lengths that have never been dreamed of. it will give the members of the Bar a new system which they hitherto have not had and through which. The objection would make every Governmental exaction the material of a "free speech" issue. a total of eighty (80) local Bar association and lawyers' groups all over the Philippines have submitted resolutions and other expressions of unqualified endorsement and/or support for Bar integration.06 per cent) are non-committal. the Court. Government authority will dominate the Bar. the Bar will become an impersonal Bar. 4. it is difficult to understand why it should become unconstitutional for the Bar to use the member's dues to fulfill the very purposes for which it was established. while not a single local Bar association or lawyers' group has expressed opposed position thereto. they will receive benefits they have not heretofore enjoyed. that the integration of the Philippine Bar is "perfectly constitutional and legally unobjectionable. Because the requirement to pay dues is a valid exercise of regulatory power by the Court. after a thoroughgoing conscientious study of all the arguments adduced in Adm. to the courts. The Court is fully convinced. and 157 (or 1. effective on January 16. if his liberties were to be thus extended. and (9) better and more effective discharge by the Bar of its obligations and responsibilities to its members. notably in England. and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility fully and effectively.555 (or 96. (4) greater Bar facilities and services. In all the jurisdictions where the Integrated Bar has been tried. it has restored public confidence in the Bar. none of the abuses or evils feared has arisen. 526 and the authoritative materials and the mass of factual data contained in the exhaustive Report of the Commission on Bar Integration. at the time Bar integration takes effect. enlarged professional consciousness. The conscientious objector. In many other jurisdictions. and politics will intrude into its affairs. on the other hand. 14. it is not retroactive. and to the public.14 per cent) voted in favor thereof.45 per cent) voted in favor of Bar integration. No less than these salutary consequences are envisioned and in fact expected from the unification of the Philippine Bar. . Even the income tax would be suspect. (8) more cohesive profession. (3) better and more meaningful participation of the individual lawyer in the activities of the Integrated Bar. 5 All these clearly indicate an overwhelming nationwide demand for Bar integration at this time. Canada and the United States. effective lobbying will not be possible.855 (or 93. by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution.090 lawyers from all over the archipelago who have turned in their individual responses.80 per cent) vote against it. How do the Filipino lawyers themselves regard Bar integration? The official statistics compiled by the Commission on Bar integration show that in the national poll recently conducted by the Commission in the matter of the integration of the Philippine Bar. and 285 (or 2. Bar integration has yielded the following benefits: (1) improved discipline among the members of the Bar. by proper work. young and old. (6) avoidance of costly membership campaigns. local Bar associations will be weakened. (2) greater influence and ascendancy of the Bar. it is not unequal. of the 13.whether the Court should ordain the integration of the Bar at this time requires a careful overview of the practicability and necessity as well as the advantages and disadvantages of Bar integration.51 per cent) voted against it. In addition. The right of private judgment has never yet been exalted above the powers and the compulsion of the agencies of Government. It is noteworthy. however. while only 378 (or 2. Upon the other hand. because it will apply equally to all lawyers.
Apostasy in the Legal Profession, 64 SCRA 784, 790
Cantiller vs. Potenciano, 180 SCRA 246
A.M. Case No. 3195 December 18, 1989 Ma. Libertad Sj Cantiller vs. Atty. Humberto V. Potenciano
Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.M. Case No. 3195. December 18, 1989 MA. LIBERTAD SJ CANTILLER, Complainant, vs. ATTY. HUMBERTO V. POTENCIANO, Respondent. RESOLUTION PER CURIAM Public interest requires that an attorney exert his best efforts and ability in the prosecution or defense of his client's cause. A lawyer who performs that duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interests of his client; he also serves the ends of justice, does honor to the bar and helps maintain the respect of the community to the legal profession. This is so because the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it the correlative duties not only to the client but also to the court, to the bar or to the public. That circumstance explains the public concern for the maintenance of an untarnished standard of conduct by every attorney towards his client. 1 Subject of this administrative complaint is Humberto V. Potenciano, a practicing lawyer and a member of the Philippine Bar under Roll No. 21862. He is charged with deceit, fraud, and misrepresentation, and also with gross misconduct, malpractice and of acts unbecoming of an officer of the court.chanrobles virtual law library The essential facts are as follows: 2
Complainant herein is the sister of Peregrina Cantiller, defendant in an action for "ejectment" docketed as Civil Case No. 6046 before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, Branch 57, San Juan, Metro Manila.chanrobles virtual law library Another action, likewise involving Peregrina but this time as plaintiff, was then pending before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 168, Pasig, Metro Manila docketed as Civil Case No. 54117 for "reconveyance with damages." Both actions involve the apartment unit being rented by complainant and her sister.chanrobles virtual law library When the two cases were concluded, Peregrina came out the losing party. Civil Case No. 54117 for reconveyance was ordered dismissed by the Regional Trial Court on June 8, 1987 while Civil Case No. 6046 for ejectment was decided by the Metropolitan Trial Court against her.chanrobles virtual law library On October 8, 1987 pursuant to the writ of execution issued in Civil Case No. 6046 for ejectment, complainant and Peregrina were served a notice to vacate the rented premises within four (4) days from receipt of notice.chanrobles virtual law library Desperate and at a loss on what to do, they consulted a certain Sheriff Pagalunan, on the matter. Pagalunan, in turn, introduced them to herein respondent. After such introduction, the parties "impliedly agreed" that respondent would handle their case. Forthwith, a petition entitled "Annulment of Judgment, Annulment of Sale and Damages with prayer for Preliminary Injunction and/or Status Quo Order, etc." was prepared by respondent to forestall the execution of the order to vacate in Civil Case No. 6046.chanrobles virtual law library In the afternoon of October 9,1987, the complainant was made to sign by respondent what she described as a "[h]astily prepared, poorly conceived, and haphazardly composed 3 petition for annulment of judgment. Complainant alleges that respondent promised her that the necessary restraining order would be secured if only because the judge who would hear the matter was his "katsukaran" (close friend).chanrobles virtual law library Thereupon, the petition was filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 153, Pasig, Metro Manila and docketed as Civil Case No. 55118. Respondent demanded from the complainant one thousand pesos (P l,000.00) as attorney's fee which the latter paid that same afternoon.chanrobles virtual law library However, when the case was raffled and assigned to Branch 153, the presiding judge asked respondent to withdraw as counsel in the case on the ground of their friendship.chanrobles virtual law library On October 11, 1987, respondent went to the house of complainant and asked her to be ready with two thousand pesos (P 2,000.00) to be given to another judge who will issue the restraining order in the ejectment case (Civil Case No. 6046). Complainant and her sister were only able to raise the amount of one thousand pesos which they immediately gave to respondent.chanrobles virtual law library Later respondent informed the complainant and her sister that he could not locate the judge who would issue the restraining order. The parties, then, instead went to the Max's Restaurant where respondent ordered some food including two plastic bags of food allegedly to be given to the judge who would issue the restraining order. At this juncture, respondent asked for the remaining balance of the two thousand pesos (P 2,000.00) which he earlier demanded. Complainant gave her last money-a ten dollar ($ 10.00) bill.chanrobles virtual law library Sometime after the filing of Civil Case No. 55118, respondent informed complainant and Peregrina that there was a need to file another case with the Regional Trial Court to enable them to retain possession of the apartment. For this purpose, respondent told complainant to prepare the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P 10,000.00) allegedly to be deposited with the Treasurer's Office of Pasig as purchase price of the apartment and another one thousand pesos (P 1,000.00) to cover the expenses of the suit. Respondent stressed to the complainant the need and urgency of filing the new complaint.chanrobles virtual law library Complainant and Peregrina raised the said amounts through the kindness of some friends and relatives. On October 26,1987, the money was handed over to the respondent.chanrobles virtual law library On the same date, a complaint for "Specific Performance, Annulment of Simulated or Spurious Sale with Damages," later docketed as Civil Case No. 55210, was filed by respondent with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 165, Pasig, Metro Manila.chanrobles virtual law library At the hearing of the preliminary injunction in Civil Case No. 55118 on October 30, 1987, respondent, contrary to his promise that he would secure a restraining order, withdrew his appearance as counsel for complainant. Complainant was not able to get another lawyer as replacement. Thus, no restraining order or preliminary injunction was obtained. As a consequence, the order to vacate in Civil Case No. 6046 was eventually enforced and executed.chanrobles virtual law library Sometime thereafter, it came to complainant's knowledge that there was really no need to make a deposit of ten thousand pesos (P l0,000.00) relative to Civil Case No. 55210. After further inquiry, she found out that in fact there was no such deposit made. Thus, on December 23,1987, complainant sent a demand letter to respondent asking for the return of the total amount of eleven thousand pesos (P 11,000.00) which the former earlier gave to the latter. However, this letter was never answered and the money was never returned. Hence, complainant lodged this administrative complaint against herein respondent.chanrobles virtual law library Meanwhile, on December 29,1987, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 153, dismissed Civil Case No. 55118 for failure to state a cause of action. 4 On January 20,1988, Civil Case No. 5521 0 was likewise dismissed for being identical with Civil Case No. 55118. 5 Respondent in his answer contends that the filing of Civil Cases Nos. 55118 and 55210 was done in good faith and that the allegations of complainant relative to the administrative charge against him are all lies, product of one's imagination and only intended to harrass him. 6 This Court agrees that the petitions in Civil Cases Nos. 55118 and 55210 appear to be poorly prepared and written. having represented himself capable of picking up the cudgels for the apparently lost cause of
respondent failed to find a replacement.chanrobles virtual law library Finally. Melencio-Herrera. concur. it was respondent who persuaded complainant that the filing of these two cases simultaneously were the means by which this objective can be achieved. He bragged about his closeness to the judge concerned in one case and talked about the need to "buy" the restraining order in the other. He also failed to appear for the complainant in said case. Instead he pocketed the same. 55118 to withdraw his appearance as counsel by reason of their friendship. His first duty was to file the best pleading within his capability. such amount is grossly disproportionate with the service he actually rendered. It was all a show to get more money from her. JJ. . 8 His actuation is definitely inconsistent with his duty to protect with utmost dedication the interest of his client and of the fidelity. 55210 when he already knew that he could no longer physically handle the same is an act of deception of his client. 55118 respondent already filed a motion therein withdrawing as complainant's counsel interposing as reason therefor his frequent attacks of pain due to hemorrhoids.chanrobles virtual law library His representation that there was an immediate need to file Civil Case No. The profession is not synonymous with an ordinary business proposition. the record is quite clear that four (4) days prior to the hearing of the preliminary injunction in Civil Case No.000.000. the same day that he had already filed a motion to withdraw as counsel for complainant in Civil Case No. 10 It shows lack of fidelity to his oath of office as a member of the Philippine bar.00) was given to him as fee for his services.chanrobles virtual law library The allegation of respondent that the ten thousand pesos (P 10.. 1987.chanrobles virtual law library Lawyers should be fair. respectable. Gancayco. Humberto V.000. Feliciano. 9 More so in this case. this Court finds Atty. Griño-Aquino. Cortes. after considering the entirety of the circumstances present in this case.J.00 as alleged deposit in court which he never deposited. Sarmiento. When confronted with this evident irregularity. respondent is hereby ordered to return to complainant herein the sum of eleven thousand pesos (P11. His duty was not only to prepare the pleadings but to represent complainant until the termination of the cases. where by reason of his gross negligence complainant thereby suffered by losing all her cases. Indeed. Bidin. Respondent had knowledge beforehand that he would be asked by the presiding judge in Civil Case No. Potenciano to be guilty of the charges against him and hereby SUSPENDS him from the practice of law for an indefinite period until such time he can demonstrate that he has rehabilitated himself as to deserve to resume the practice of law. It is a matter of public interest. above suspicion and beyond reproach in dealing with their clients.chanrobles virtual law library SO ORDERED. respondent took no steps to find a replacement nor did he inform complainant of this fact. Gutierrez Jr. honest. is simply incredible. Worse still he got P 10. Complainant reposed full faith in him. trust and confidence which he owes his client. In fact. he lamely stated that while he did not physically appear for complainant he nevertheless prepared and drafted the pleadings.chanrobles virtual law library Even assuming that respondent had no previous knowledge that he would be asked to withdraw.chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE. he thereby covenants that he will exert all effort for its prosecution until its final conclusion. This adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law. He did not even ask complainant to hire another lawyer in his stead. Apparently respondent was more interested in getting the most out of the complainant who was in a hopeless situation. The little time involved is no excuse. At a time when strong and disturbing criticisms are being hurled at the legal profession. reveals his lack of good faith as an advocate. This he failed to do.chanrobles virtual law library When a lawyer takes a client's cause. strict compliance with one's oath of office and the canons of professional ethics is an imperative. Fernan. Despite this void. 55118. Narvasa. Cruz.. C. Padilla. 11 And his failure to return even a portion of the amount upon demand of complainant all the more bolsters the protestation of complainant that respondent does not deserve to remain as an officer of the court.chanrobles virtual law library Lawyers are indispensable part of the whole system of administering justice in this jurisdiction.chanrobles virtual law library The filing of Civil Case No. The pattern to milk the complainant dry is obvious. 7 The Court finds that respondent failed to exercise due diligence in protecting his client's interests. Despite such prior knowledge. The acts of respondent in this case violate the most elementary principles of professional ethics .complainant respondent should have carefully prepared the pleadings if only to establish the justness of his representation. The failure to exercise due diligence or the abandonment of a client's cause makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client had reposed on him.00) with legal interest from the date of this resolution until it is actually returned. Paras. 55210 on October 26. Medialdea and Regalado.chanrobles virtual law library His services were engaged by complainant hoping that the property subject of the ejectment proceeding would be returned to her..
Rollo.chanrobles virtual law library 6 Pages 48-51. 1985).chanrobles virtual law library 8 Page 11. Record. Legal Ethics. page 153. Maria vs. (Law Publishing House.chanrobles virtual law library 2 Pages 1-13. Tuason.chanrobles virtual law library 9 Canon 17. Rollo.chanrobles virtual law library 4 Pages 26-32. CA. 3rd ed. 181 SCRA 367 . Supra.chanrobles virtual law library 5 Pages 39-40.Endnotes: 1 Agpalo.chanrobles virtual law library 10 Sta. Report. Code of Professional Responsibility. I I SCRA 562 (1964) 11 Canon 22. Code of Professional Responsibility.chanrobles virtual law library 7 In re Yeager 56 P 1 691 (1932).chanrobles virtual law library 3 Page 2.chanrobles virtual law library 7) Metrobank v. Rollo.
8) IN RE: SYCIP. JUSTINO H. GREGORIO R. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC July 30. SALAZAR. ANGELITO C. TRISTAN A. REYES. BENILDO G. EDUARDO R. 92 SCRA 1 July 30. FELICIANO. TAN. . HERNANDEZ. ETHELWOLDO E. HERNANDEZ & CASTILLO. and ALICE V. IMPERIO. FELICIANO. CASTILLO. CENIZA. JR. FLORENTINO P.. petitioners. SALAZAR. ANCHETA K. PESIGAN. 1979. FERNANDEZ. JUAN C. NOEL A. ANDRES G. GATMAITAN. Petition For Authority To Continue Use of the Firm Name "Sycip. ALBERTO P. CACANINDIN. LAMAN." LUCIANO E. SAN JUAN. CATINDIG. 1979 PETITION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE USE OF THE FIRM NAME "SYCIP.
China Banking Corporation. R. A. 1957. Johnston. JESUS S. BUENAVENTURA." 3 3. ROMULO." RICARDO J. J.D. the Court. or at least in the Greater Manila Area. Perkins. 8 The question involved in these Petitions first came under consideration by this Court in 1953 when a law firm in Cebu (the Deen case) continued its practice of including in its firm name that of a deceased partner. strongly indicates that there is no fundamental policy that is offended by the continued use by a firm of professionals of a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner. who died on May 5. in a Resolution of April 15.. and JOSE F. a partnership is not prohibited from continuing its business under a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner. 5 5. which recognizes that the name of a law firm necessarily Identifies the individual members of the firm. petitioners will notify all leading national and international law directories of the fact of their respective deceased partners' deaths. and 2) by the surviving partners of Atty.. RESOLUTION MELENCIO-HERRERA. 1976. . this Court resolved: After carefully considering the reasons given by Attorneys Alfonso Ponce Enrile and Associates for their continued use of the name of the deceased E. 1975.: Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. There is no possibility of imposition or deception because the deaths of their respective deceased partners were well-publicized in all newspapers of general circulation for several days. 1976. in fact. Deen and Eddy A. 4 4.chanrobles virtual law library Petitioners base their petitions on the following arguments: 1. Johnston.. MABANTA & REYES. shall not of itself make the individual property of the deceased partner liable for any debts contracted by such person or partnership. 7 6. in such firm name. both Petitions were ordered consolidated.chanrobles virtual law library On June 16.S. deceased.IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE USE OF THE FIRM NAME "OZAETA. entitled Register of Deeds of Manila vs." The same issue was raised before this Court in 1958 as an incident in G. Deen of Cebu City to desist from including in their firm designation. 1 2. petitioners. D. L-11964. and the high standards demanded in the canons of professional ethics. SAYOC. the Court found no reason to depart from the policy it adopted in June 1953 when it required Attorneys Alfred P. Alexander Sycip. In the Court's Resolution of September 2.. The Canons of Professional Ethics are not transgressed by the continued use of the name of a deceased partner in the firm name of a law partnership because Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association declares that: . JOSE MA. No. at least where such firm name has acquired the characteristics of a "trade name. D. Herminio Ozaeta. In regulating other professions. Under the law. Perkins is already dead. is not unethical but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. such as accountancy and engineering. of the name of a deceased partner. J. ROMAN MABANTA. the names of partners who had passed away.to acquire and use a trade name. The law firm of Perkins & Ponce Enrile moved to intervene as amicus curiae. the stationeries now being used by them carry new letterheads indicating the years when their respective deceased partners were connected with the firm. Johnston.. Article 1840 of the Civil Code explicitly sanctions the practice when it provides in the last paragraph that: The use by the person or partnership continuing the business of the partnership name. ROMULO. E. no practice should be allowed which even in a remote degree could give rise to .a profession requiring the same degree of trust and confidence in respect of clients as that implicit in the relationship of attorney and client . The matter was resolved with this Court advising the firm to desist from including in their firm designation the name of C. The continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships has been consistently allowed by U. REYES. DE LEON. JR. Courts and is an accepted practice in the legal profession of most countries in the world. EDUARDO DE LOS ANGELES. The Court believes that." In a Manifestation dated May 21. The continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner when permissible by local custom. G. C. in view of the personal and confidential nature of the relations between attorney and client. the legislature has authorized the adoption of firm names without any restriction as to the use. the law firm of Perkins and Ponce Enrile. BENJAMIN M. who died on February 14. raising substantially the same arguments as those now being raised by petitioners. 6 there is no custom or usage in the Philippines.Before acting thereon. the name of C. prayed that the continued use of the firm name "Perkins & Ponce Enrile" be held proper. DE LEON. 1957.2 the legislative authorization given to those engaged in the practice of accountancy . No local custom prohibits the continued use of a deceased partner's name in a professional firm's name. 1958. praying that they be allowed to continue using. who has long been dead. orthe name of a deceased partner as part thereof. stated that it "would like to be informed why the name of Perkins is still being used although Atty. in the names of their firms.
. 9 As a general rule. 1815. There being no benefits accruing. the use in their partnership names of the names of deceased partners will run counter to Article 1815 of the Civil Code which provides: Art. especially where there is no provision in the partnership agreement relating to good will as an asset. of the fees received from the future business of the deceased lawyer's clients. Inasmuch as "Sycip. 115) (Emphasis supplied) On the other hand." 11 Thus. a professional partnership the reputation of which depends or. of a partner. however intrinsically valuable such skill and reputation may be. De Leon. Article 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than of aprofessional partnership. in the case of non-partners. who can join an old firm. which may or may not include the name of one or more of the partners. has no good win to be distributed as a firm asset on its dissolution. 115) (Emphasis supplied) C. Salazar. What the law contemplates therein is a hold-over situation preparatory to formal reorganization. upon the dissolution of a commercial partnership the succeeding partners or parties have the right to carry on the business under the old name.chanrobles virtual law library B.the possibility of deception. p. should be living persons who can be subjected to liability. For one thing. p. A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for business. the individual skill of the members.. can initially ride on that old firm's reputation established by deceased partners.chanrobles virtual law library Those who. In regards to the last paragraph of Article 1840 of the Civil Code cited by petitioners.. such as partnerships of attorneys or physicians. It is a mere relationship or association for a particular purpose. " Accordingly. Romulo. there ran be no corresponding liability. Article 1825 of the Civil Code prohibits a third person from including his name in the firm name under pain of assuming the liability of a partner. Feliciano.chanrobles virtual law library Secondly. Petitioners herein now seek a re-examination of the policy thus far enunciated by the Court.. . it has been held that a saleable goodwill can exist only in a commercial partnership and cannot arise in a professional partnership consisting of lawyers.chanrobles virtual law library The Court finds no sufficient reason to depart from the rulings thus laid down. of the individual property of the deceased partner for debts contracted by the person or partnership which continues the business using the partnership name or the name of the deceased partner as part thereof.. . (60 Am Jur 2d. include their names in the firm name.. . The public relations value of the use of an old firm name can tend to create undue advantages and disadvantages in the practice of the profession. s 203. either gross or net. supra. It is not a partnership formed for the purpose of carrying on trade or business or of holding property. Thus.chanrobles virtual law library Prescinding the law.. there could be practical objections to allowing the use by law firms of the names of deceased partners. Thus. with no saleable good will but whose reputation depends on the personal qualifications of its individual members. the first factor to consider is that it is within Chapter 3 of Title IX of the Code entitled "Dissolution and Winding Up. Another able lawyer. Every partnership shall operate under a firm name." The Article primarily deals with the exemption from liability in cases of a dissolved partnership. (ibid. Canon 34 of the Canons of Professional Ethics "prohibits an agreement for the payment to the widow and heirs of a deceased lawyer of a percentage. The heirs of a deceased partner in a law firm cannot be held liable as the old members to the creditors of a firm particularly where they are non-lawyers. It is clearly tacit in the above provision that names in a firm name of a partnership must either be those of living partners and. s 204. in the absence of a stipulation forbidding it. Said attorneys are accordingly advised to drop the name "PERKINS" from their firm name. 10 A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. (s)ince the name of a commercial partnership is a partnership asset inseparable from the good will of the firm.. Mabanta and Reyes" are partnerships.chanrobles virtual law library A. assumed or trade name in law practice is improper. 12 The usual reason given for different standards of conduct being applicable to the practice of law from those pertaining to business is that the law is a profession. it has been stated that "the use of a nom de plume. both because the recipients of such division are not lawyers and because such payments will not represent service or responsibility on the part of the recipient. not being members of the partnership. the law on accountancy specifically allows the use of a trade name in connection with the practice of accountancy. shall be subject to the liability.. Hernandez and Castillo" and "Ozaeta. An able lawyer without connections will have to make a name for himself starting from scratch. neither the widow nor the heirs can be held liable for transactions entered into after the death of their lawyer-predecessor.chanrobles virtual law library . In fact.
2d 733) which petitioners Salazar.S. as to the propriety of adding the name of a new partner and at the same time retaining that of a deceased partner who was never a partner with the new one.chanrobles virtual law library It must be conceded that in the Philippines.S. where the name of a deceased partner continues to be used cannot be ruled out. The Court stated therein: The practice sought to be proscribed has the sanction of custom and offends no statutory provision or legislative policy.Y. Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of both the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association provides in part as follows: "The continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner. op.no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood." xxx xxx xxx Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from business are: 1.chanrobles virtual law library It is true that Canon 33 does not consider as unethical the continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner in the firm name of a law partnership when such a practice is permissible by local custom but the Canon warns that care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. of which the emolument is a byproduct.. under the working of the Canon. Petitioners cited Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association" in support of their petitions. Drinker. but care should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. highly personal and partaking of the nature of a public trust. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor. 13 "The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. or dealing directly with their clients. (The Lawyer from Antiquity to Modern Times. Many firms in the city use the names of deceased members with the approval .chanrobles virtual law library 4. cit.S." There is no question as to local custom. A relation as an "officer of court" to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity. A relation to clients in the highest degree fiduciary.Dean Pound.chanrobles virtual law library 2..chanrobles virtual law library E. (H. and unwillingness to resort to current business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice. Firm names. Identify the more active and/or more senior members or partners of the law firm. et al. and in which one may attain the highest eminence without making much money. The continued use of a firm name after the death of one or more of the partners designated by it is proper only where sustained by local custom and not where by custom this purports to Identify the active members. Equitable Life Assurance Society (33 N.chanrobles virtual law library In the case of Mendelsohn v. Courts have consistently allowed the continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships. A person in search of legal counsel might be guided by the familiar ring of a distinguished name appearing in a firm title. 14 It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. fairness. 5) defines a profession as "a group of men pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service. the New York Supreme Court sustained the use of the firm name Alexander & Green even if none of the present ten partners of the firm bears either name because the practice was sanctioned by customand did not offend any statutory provision or legislative policy and was adopted by agreement of the parties.. quoted in their memorandum. legal standing and attainment. . and reliability. supra. . in his recently published contribution to the Survey of the Legal Profession. 207208) (Emphasis supplied). Petitioners argue that U.chanrobles virtual law library 3." 16 D.chanrobles virtual law library There would seem to be a question. under our custom. when permissible by local custom is not unethical. 15 The right does not only presuppose in its possessor integrity. integrity. p. The possibility of deception upon the public. But that is so because it is sanctioned by custom. A duty of public service. no local custom permits or allows the continued use of a deceased or former partner's name in the firm names of law partnerships. but also the exercise of a special privilege. real or consequential. A glimpse at the history of the firms of petitioners and of other law firms in this country would show how their firm names have evolved and changed from time to time as the composition of the partnership changed. at pp.
The other two elements of a profession. The use of the firm name herein is also sustainable by reason of agreement between the partners. uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule. Concepcion. This is not to speak of our civil law which clearly ordains that a partnership is dissolved by the death of any partner. judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws form part of the legal system. The former can supplement statutory law or be applied in the absence of such statute. 20 A local custom as a source of right cannot be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is properly established by competent evidence like any other fact.J. Juridical custom must be differentiated from social custom. J. however. Jr.chanrobles virtual law library SO ORDERED. and of the elements requisite to constitute the same. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx Neither the Partnership Law nor the Penal Law prohibits the practice in question..chanrobles virtual law library ACCORDINGLY.chanrobles virtual law library Moreover..chanrobles virtual law library Separate Opinions FERNANDO.18 Not so in this jurisdiction where there is no local custom that sanctions the practice. it laid down a legal rule against which no custom or practice to the contrary. petitioners' desire to preserve the Identity of their firms in the eyes of the public must bow to legal and ethical impediment. But the member of a profession does not regard himself as in competition with his professional brethren. wanting herein. public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. If.. we think of free competitive self assertion as the highest good.. Fernandez. 22 When the Supreme Court in the Deen and Perkins cases issued its Resolutions directing lawyers to desist from including the names of deceased partners in their firm designation. Guerrero and De Castro.. be included in the listing of individuals who have been partners in their firms indicating the years during which they served as such.of other attorneys.J. The Appellate Division of the First Department has considered the matter and reached The conclusion that such practice should not be prohibited. can prevail. C. Teehankee. lawyer and grocer and farmer may seem to be freely competing with their fellows in their calling in order each to acquire as much of the world's good as he may within the allowed him by law. and Abad Santos. namely. Merely because something is done as a matter of practice does not mean that Courts can rely on the same for purposes of adjudication as a juridical custom. as there are only four votes for granting them. according to the rules of evidence. the petitions filed herein are denied and petitioners advised to drop the names "SYCIP" and "OZAETA" from their respective firm names.. concur Fernando. 24 The practice of law is intimately and peculiarly related to the administration of justice and should not be considered like an ordinary "money-making trade. It is out of delicadeza . legally binding and obligatory. Santos. JJ. took no part. 23Custom which are contrary to law. There should be no such thing as a lawyers' or physicians' strike. organization and pursuit of a learned art have their justification in that they secure and maintain that spirit. This spirit of public service in which the profession of law is and ought to be exercised is a prerequisite of sound administration of justice according to law. Those names may. bar associations and the courts. concurring: The petitions are denied. aims primarily at personal gain. It is of the essence of a profession that it is practiced in a spirit of public service. seven of the Justices being of the contrary view.25 In fine." .. 21We find such proof of the existence of a local custom. C. The best service of the professional man is often rendered for no equivalent or for a trifling equivalent and it is his pride to do what he does in a way worthy of his profession even if done with no expectation of reward. as in the era of wide free opportunity. He is not bartering his services as is the artisan nor exchanging the products of his skill and learning as the farmer sells wheat or corn. A custom must be proved as a fact. Custom has been defined as a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts.. as explained in the plurality opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera. 19 Courts take no judicial notice of custom. even if proven. A trade . a profession at the exercise of powers beneficial to mankind. Not so with the latter.
the senior partner. Sycip. For the record. and not only of petitioners. 1976. and the most junior partner then. 1975 (May he rest in peace). the undersigned wishes to invite the attention of all concerned. in their petition of August 13. Hernandez and Castillo started with the partnership of Quisumbing.that the undersigned did not participate in the disposition of these petitions. and not only of petitioners. The fourteen members of the law firm. C. as the law office of Sycip. former Justice Ozaeta and Herminio Ozaeta are dead or the period when they served as partners should be stated therein. being the father-in-law of the undersigned. as explained in the plurality opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera. No one complained that the retention of the name of Judge Ross in the firm name was illegal or unethical. the seven surviving partners of the law firm. It is out of delicadeza that the undersigned did not participate in the disposition of these petitions. Feliciano. being the father-in-law of the undersigned. Sycip. to the last sentence of the opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera: 'Those names [Sycip and Ozaeta] may. the name Ozaeta has acquired an institutional and secondary connotation.chanrobles virtual law library Article 1840 of the Civil Code. notwithstanding the death of Attorney Alexander Sycip on May 5. Also invoked is the canon that the continued use by a law firm of the name of a deceased partner. 1972 and February 14. the purpose of the two firms in continuing the use of the names of their deceased founders is to retain the clients who had customarily sought the legal services of Attorneys Sycip and Ozaeta and to benefit from the goodwill attached to the names of those respected and esteemed law practitioners. For the record. be included in the listing of individuals wtes AQUINO. De Leon. Herminio. dissenting: I dissent. is cited to justify the petitions. which speaks of the use by the partnership of the name of a deceased partner as part of the partnership name. the late Ramon Quisumbing. Norberto J.chanrobles virtual law library Article 1840 of the Civil Code. Norberto J. He was the founder of the firm which was originally known as the Sycip Law Office.chanrobles virtual law library On the other hand. notwithstanding the death of Attorney Alexander Sycip on May 5. seven of the Justices being of the contrary view. is cited to justify the petitions. J. former Justice Roman Ozaeta and his son. on May 1. as to the said law firm. Mabanta & Reyes. Sycip. is not unethical" as long as "no imposition or deception is practised through this use" (Canon 33 of the Canons of Legal Ethics). Hernandez and Castillo started with the partnership of Quisumbing. 1976. in their petition of August 13. 1975. Mabanta & Reyes. former Justice Ozaeta and Herminio Ozaeta are dead or the period when they served as partners should be stated therein. prayed that they be allowed to continue using the said firm name notwithstanding the death of two partners. Feliciano. "when permissible by local custom. Salazar. That practice was followed before the war by the law firm of James Ross. respectively.chanrobles virtual law library Obviously. De Leon. Salazar. the name Ozaeta has acquired an institutional and secondary connotation. Ozaeta. 1975. Hernandez & Castillo. 1972 and February 14. as the law office of Sycip. He was the founder of the firm which was originally known as the Sycip Law Office. Salazar. former Justice Roman Ozaeta and his son. which speaks of the use by the partnership of the name of a deceased partner as part of the partnership name. being his brother. however. and Quisumbing. The fourteen members of the law firm. Lawrence. # Separate Opinions FERNANDO. Salazar. being his brother. Herminio. the undersigned wishes to invite the attention of all concerned.in-law. prayed for authority to continue the use of that firm name.chanrobles virtual law library The retention of their names is not illegal per se. however. prayed that they be allowed to continue using the said firm name notwithstanding the death of two partners.chanrobles virtual law library I am of the opinion that the petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in the letterheads of the two firms (as the case may be) that Alexander Sycip. Feliciano. Quisumbing..J. and the most junior partner then. be included in the listing of individuals wtes AQUINO.chanrobles virtual law library I am of the opinion that the petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in the letterheads of the two firms (as the case may be) that Alexander Sycip.in-law. 1976. prayed for authority to continue the use of that firm name. is not unethical" as long as "no imposition or deception is practised through this use" (Canon 33 of the Canons of Legal Ethics). as there are only four votes for granting them. 1975 (May he rest in peace). his name was retained in the firm name with an indication of the year when he died. the senior partner. dissenting: I dissent. in their petition of June 10. Feliciano. respectively. Ozaeta.chanrobles virtual law library They alleged that the said law firm was a continuation of the Ozaeta Law Office which was established in 1957 by Justice Ozaeta and his son and that. on May 1.chanrobles virtual law library They alleged that the said law firm was a continuation of the Ozaeta Law Office which was established in 1957 by Justice Ozaeta and his son and that. and Quisumbing. That is a legitimate motivation.chanrobles virtual law library . Romulo. Also invoked is the canon that the continued use by a law firm of the name of a deceased partner. Notwithstanding the death of Judge Ross the founder of the law firm of Ross. "when permissible by local custom.. Hernandez & Castillo. in their petition of June 10. Romulo. concurring: The petitions are denied.. to the last sentence of the opinion of Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera: 'Those names [Sycip and Ozaeta] may. the late Ramon Quisumbing. Sycip. Selph and Carrascoso. the seven surviving partners of the law firm. J. 1976. as to the said law firm. Quisumbing.chanrobles virtual law library On the other hand.
2. 41 P2d 161. et al. Div. Republic Act No. p. 6-7 and pp.Y.chanrobles virtual law library 13 H. 734. et al.chanrobles virtual law library 18 33 N. Petition of Romulo. 4. p. Commonwealth Act No. his name was retained in the firm name with an indication of the year when he died. 7 Phil. pp. 395 (1907). the purpose of the two firms in continuing the use of the names of their deceased founders is to retain the clients who had customarily sought the legal services of Attorneys Sycip and Ozaeta and to benefit from the goodwill attached to the names of those respected and esteemed law practitioners. p.chanrobles virtual law library 5 Memorandum of Salazar. 341). pp. affd 7 NY 2d 846. et al. 342. 342.chanrobles virtual law library 14 7 C. 23. p. 318.. Commonwealth Act No.chanrobles virtual law library 12 H. Sec.chanrobles virtual law library .S. par. 185 NYS 2d 630. et al. Legal Ethics (1953). p.chanrobles virtual law library 6 Petition of Romulo. pp. p. That practice was followed before the war by the law firm of James Ross. Keating. Legal and Judicial Ethics. 8. p. see also Canon 33. 783.chanrobles virtual law library 10 Section 16-A. 164 NE 2d 860. Fifth Ed. 2d 44. 16-A.chanrobles virtual law library 19 JBL Reyes & RC Puno. p. as amended by Commonwealth Act No.chanrobles virtual law library 16 In re Lavine. Orate. et al. the Revised Constitution of the Philippine Bar Association was approved and it provided that the Association "adopts and makes its own the Code of Ethics of the American Bar Association. pp..chanrobles virtual law library 7 Memorandum of Salazar.chanrobles virtual law library 11 In re Crawford's Estate. Civil Code. No one complained that the retention of the name of Judge Ross in the firm name was illegal or unethical. et al. 7 20 Article 12. when Canons 33 to 47 where already in effect. 7-8. 3. Outline of Philippine Civil Law.chanrobles virtual law library 2 Citing Sec. 1946. Legal Ethics (1953) pp. all cited in Martin. Legal and Judicial Ethics. Republic Act No.. # Endnotes: 1 See Memorandum of Salazar. Selph and Carrascoso.chanrobles virtual law library 15 Am Jur 270..chanrobles virtual law library 8 Memorandum of Salazar. Lawrence. Sec. 8 App. 4-5. 206. Petition of Romulo. et al. p. 5: see also Petition of Romulo..chanrobles virtual law library 9 Seddal vs.. That is a legitimate motivation.S.. On April 20. 4.. p. 390. Notwithstanding the death of Judge Ross the founder of the law firm of Ross. 13. Canon 46 in 1933 and Canon 47 in 1937. Drinker. 294. Fifth Ed. 39.chanrobles virtual law library 4 Memorandum of Salazar. Canons of Professional Ethics..chanrobles virtual law library 17 Canons 1 to 32 which were adopted by the American Bar Association in 1908 were also adopted by the Philippine Bar Association in 1917...S. Sec. et al.J. et al.chanrobles virtual law library 3 Memorandum of Salazar. Petition of Romulo. Drinker. Fourth Ed.Obviously. 5. et al. 34. p. Public Act No. 8-10. 39.. 2d 733. et al.. The American Bar Association adopted Canons 33 to 45 in 1928. 708. 16-18.chanrobles virtual law library The retention of their names is not illegal per se." (Martin. Vol. 11.chanrobles virtual law library 21 Patriarca vs. 196 NYS 2d 986. I.S. 184. 184 NE 2d 779. 3105.
22 Art. 8. Civil Code.chanrobles virtual law library 25 Roscoe Pound. pp. 11. (1953). 9-10. Civil Code. Civil Code 23 Art.chanrobles virtual law library 24 Art. 1830. The Lawyer From Antiquity To Modern Times. .
the amount involved may be small.C. Dominador Q. Limon was complainant's lawyers on appeal in Civil Case No. a complaint for disbarment was filed by Cleto Docena against Atty. 1979 (Exh.000. But this self-serving allegation is belied by the letter (quoted above) of respondent himself demanding from the Docena spouses the balance of P4. After due investigation and hearing. complainant. but the nature of the transgression calls for a heavier sanction. ibid.00 from the Borongan. but nothing more) within 1 month from notice.000. 295 SCRA 264 A.140. Limon EN BANC A.00 was produced by complainant in response to respondent's letter dated September 2. September 10. thus: Dear Mr.00 but he thereupon discovered that no such bond was ever posted by respondent.C. but he never complied with such undertaking despite repeated demands from the Docena spouses. 33-34). respondent claimed that the P10. "C". the Court of First Instance of Eastern Samar rendered a decision on the appealed case in favor of the Docena spouses. at Sta. 2387. p.500. borrowed P2. Fe tomorrow for rural service.00 allegedly to stay the execution of the appealed decision. he shall be suspended indefinitely. While the appeal was pending before the then Court of First Instance of Eartern Samar.01 . and applied for an agricultural loan of P4.A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received from the client. Moreover. 1982.000. dishonest.00. 1998 CLETO DOCENA. Branch I. Fe as you promised. immoral or deceitful conduct. DECISION PER CURIAM On April 15.00 (he had earlier paid complainant P1.860. (Signed) On November 14. .860. Atty.860. Canon 16. x x x Rule 1.00.000. 26. 1980. After receipt of said decision. the fact that he had promised to return the P10. 2387. and violation of attorney's oath. We will be waiting for you tomorrow September 22. 425 for Forcible Entry. September 10. Session of July 8. Samar Branch of the Philippine National Bank. wherein respondent himself acted as guarantor (tsn. The Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that: Canon 1.00 from the Borongan. complainant went to the CFI to withdraw the supersedeas bond of P10. I wish to inform you that the Honorable Judge will be in Sta. v. Limon. respondent. In his answer the herein complaint.00 supposedly to be deposited in court to stay the execution of the appealed decision of the MTC. the Intergrated Bar of the Philippines recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for one year and ordered to return the amount of P8.00 to the Docena spouses is also an admission that the money was never his. Very truly yours. It appears that respondent Atty.00 from a private individual. The Court finds the recommended penalty too light. Dominador Q. No. Atty. LIMON. and should he fail to do so. When confronted. and that it was only entrusted to him for deposit. 1979. gross misconduct. Eastern Samar Branch of the Development Bank of the Philippines.500. DOMINADOR Q. Truly. x x x Canon 16. and Mrs. on grounds of malpractice. The amount ofP4.000.860.01 . complainant Cleto Docena obtained a loan of P3. LIMON. 1983.00 was his attorney's fees for representing the Docena spouses in their appeal. pp.. respondent promised to restitute the amount. To raise the required.) demanding delivery of the aforesaid amount. 1998 Cleto Docena vs. Batica was in court yesterday verifying whether you have deposited the said balance and the Honorable Judge informed him that you have until today to deposit the said amount. Docena: I wish to remind you that today is the last day for the deposit of the balance of P4. ATTY. tsn. respondent required therein defendants-appellants Docena spouses to post a supersedeas bond in the amount of P10. Sr.9) DOCENA V.A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful.
. (Agpalo. By his reprehensible conduct.. Martinez.. respondent Limon has reduced the law profession to a level so base. Teresita Sta. 2 Call2d 71. good moral character is not a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession. but it must also be possessed at all times in order to maintain one's good standing in the exclusive and honored fraternity (Villanueva vs. respondent has made himself unworthy to remain in the Roll of Attorneys. J. Puno. cited in Agpalo. It has been said time and again. Panganiban. Davide. Romero.Respondent infringed and breached these rules. He has sullied the integrity of his brethren in the law and has. Narvasa. Ana. WHEREFORE. respondent Atty. id) By extorting money from his client through deceit and misrepresentation. Legal Ethics. Quisumbing and Purisima.. that the law is not a trade nor a craft but a profession (Agpalo. p. 1). 245 SCRA 707 ). concur. indirectly.J. and this cannot overemphasize. Its basic ideal is to render public service and to secure justice for those who seek its aid.00. so low and dishonorable. State Bar.] If it has to remain an honorable profession and attain its basic ideal. Atty. Dominador Q. 39 P2d 206 (1934). accord continuing fidelity to them. Limon. those enrolled in its ranks should not only master its tenets and principles but should also. C. Verily.. the balance of the money entrusted to him by complainant Docena. which is reflective of his depraved character. Sr. id. Mendoza. Bellosillo. He should be disbarred. SO ORDERED. Kapunan. on official leave. Regalado. by their live. Vitug. [Mayer vs. within one (1) month from the finality of this Decision. eroded the peoples' confidence in the judicial system. Melo. 1983. The Office of the Clerk of Court is directed to strike out his name from the Roll of Attorneys. is hereby DISBARRED. and most contemptible. Respondent is likewise ordered to return the amount of P8. JJ. Jr.500.
Atty. Atty. Ciriaco C. DECISION PER CURIAM: To say that lawyers must at all times uphold and respect the law is to state the obvious. Resurrecion charged Respondent Atty. of which both the complainant and the respondent were duly notified. however. In 1990. the OSG. the Complaint for Disbarment. however. but Respondent Sayson could not be found. pursuant to the amicable settlement previously reached by the parties. But upon the motion of the respondent. A. Armando Basto Sr. Sayson was later convicted for estafa. Sayson EN BANC A. he failed to attend a number of such hearings. the complainant was compelled to give anotherP2. the Complainant in the criminal case. during which the complainant was represented by Atty. Mr. vs. in which Complainant Resurrecion was the defendant and Respondent Sayson was the counsel for the offended party. 1998 VICTORIANO P. ATTY. honesty & good morals) such as estafa or falsification render one unfit to be a member of the legal proession. Ronaldo Lopez. Ciriaco C.2deemed the investigation of the case terminated. Sayson’s acts of delaying the hearings before the OSG and the IBP reinforce this view. Good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession. done contrary to justices. Thus. Complainant Resurreccion manifested his assent to the pursuit of the matter. 1998 Victoriano P. 300 SCRA 129 Case Digest: Facts: respondent was accused of having appropriated for his own benefit the amount of P 2. it appears that the OSG has not been able to submit its report and recommendation on the case. 1037.e. Considering that."1 it is imperative that they live by the law. forcing Resurreccion to pay the same amount again. deceit and gross misconduct in his office and a violation of his duties and oath as a lawyer. Sayson with acts constituting "malpractice. Manalo with the investigation. lawyers who violate their oath and engage in deceitful conduct have no place in the legal profession. but such statement can never be overemphasized. Resurreccion vs . No. He eventually appeared through his new counsel. Accordingly. set aside its earlier Order and once again set the case for a hearing of the former's evidence. Thus. December 14. he gave P2. Because respondent once again failed to attend the next hearing. to no avail. the OSG on October 31. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) took cognizance of the case 3 and tasked Commissioner Jesulito A. Although respondent had been notified. The complainant alleged that. "of all classes and professions. CIRIACO C. 1037. Since then. Also. SAYSON.4 In his Report. Sayson did not turn over the amount to his client. Acts of moral turpitude (i. never gave the money to his client. Victoriano P. but it must also remain extant in order to maintain one’s good standing in that exclusive and honored fraternity. No. complainant.500 to Mr. Respondent.C. SAYSON.C.500 to the respondent who. 1973 Order. December 14. Wenceslao Fajardo. The complainant then demanded the return of the money from respondent. The records show that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) conducted several hearings on the matter. [lawyers are] most sacredly bound to uphold the law. RESURRECCION. In a Complaint-Affidavit. Held: Held: Sayson DISBARRED.00 representing the amount which was delivered by the Resurreccion to the respondent as compensation or settlement money of a case for homicide thru reckless imprudence. Commissioner Manalo presented the following facts: . in its September 4." The Complaint arose from a homicide through reckless imprudence case. 1973.10) RESURRECION VS. Basto as settlement of the case. 5000.
To effect dismissal of the case. "Contrary however.500. complainant filed a complaint for estafa against the respondent before the City Court of Quezon City which was docketed as Criminal Case No.00. Jr. complainant filed a complaint for estafa which was elevated in Court and docketed as Criminal Case No. complainant was accused of homicide thru reckless imprudence before the City Fiscal's Office at Quezon City. Sayson."Respondent. complainant was forced to pay anew the sum of P2.. the father of the victim Mr.00.00 to his client for which reason the case was not immediately dismissed.500. undersigned Commissioner respectfully recommends that the above-entitled case be endorsed by the Honorable Board Governors to the Supreme Court with the recommendation that the complain[ant be] disbarred and his name be stricken off xxx the roll of attorneys. The case for homicide thru reckless imprudence was amicably settled on 8 August 1970 and respondent received from the complainant the amount of P2. xxx xxx xxx"6 On February 28.00 but the latter failed.00. he demanded [the] return of the said amount of P2.500. was presented as witness. Sayson RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE. xxx xxx xxx "In view of the foregoing. Atty. no appearance for the respondent Ciriaco C. "Thereafter.00 and the case was not dismissed for which reason complainant was compelled to pay anew the heirs of the victim the amount of P2. he was involved in a vehicular accident which occurred at Epifanio delos Santos Avenue.. complainant Victoriano P. represented by Atty. 1998. Inting and forwarded to this Court on March 28. is worded as follows: "RESOLUTION NO. Manila and in a conference. Armando Basto.00.500. he was accused of homicide thru reckless imprudence[. "Complainant was next presented as witness and he testified that on 30 May 1970. "A Decision finding the respondent guilty of [the] crime of estafa was promulgated by the City Court of Quezon City. Ciriaco C.500. all of which were not controverted by the respondent. the father of the victim for which reason he was compelled to pay another amount of P2. Complainant was however. he was involved in a vehicular accident which resulted in the death of one Armando Basto.00 representing the amount which was delivered by the complainant to the respondent as compensation or settlement money of a case for homicide thru reckless imprudence. Respondent acknowledged in writing having received the amount of P2. the IBP Board of Governors issued a Resolution adopting and approving the report and recommendation of Commissioner Manalo. A settlement arrangement was arrived at and complainant entrusted the amount of P2. Sr. By reason thereof. Rizal Avenue. Resurreccion vs.500. The investigator declared his failure to appear as a waiver of his presence and Mr. signed by IBP National Secretary Roland B.00. Armando Basto.500. This fact [is] eloquently proven by Exhibits "A" to "E". "In the hearing held on 22 May 1973. By reason of the said incident. 1998. he had not delivered the said amount of P2. "Subsequently. was represented by respondent.00. Armando Basto. Sr. Ramon Umali. Atty. Armando Basto. Sayson still failed to return the money. 49358. Sr. Ciriaco C. By reason of such death a case was filed in court and he was represented by Atty.00 from the respondent. as it is hereby ADOPTED AND APPROVED.00 to the respondent for the latter to turn over the same to his client. XIII-97-202 Adm.] and to effect settlement of that case he agreed to pay the amount of P2. Despite visiting the latter fifteen or sixteen times. respondent in this case. 1037 Victoriano P. xxx xxx xxx "Complainant alleged that on 13 May 1970. In the preliminary investigation. the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner in the above-entitled case. however.500.500. to the assurances of the respondent. He testified that he [was] the father of Armando Basto. III-149358 entitled 'People of the Philippines vs. Demands were made for the respondent to return the said amount of P2. complainant learned that the said amount of P2."5 Commissioner Manalo then rendered his evaluation and recommendation in this wise: "Complainant was able to establish by more than convincing evidence that the misappropriation was in fact committed by the respondent.500. There was however. herein made part of this .00 was not delivered by respondent to Mr. Sr.00 to the heirs of the victim. Ciriaco Sayson. Ciriaco Sayson.500. a settlement was arrived at whereby complainant [would] pay the amount of P2. Quezon City which involved a boy [named] the name of Armando Basto resulting [in] the death of the latter. This was done and payment was delivered to the respondent who acknowledged having received the said amount. Jr. Resurreccion appeared assisted by his counsel. "On 8 August 1970. Respondent allegedly assured complainant that the sum [would] be delivered to his client Mr. Case No. Atty. The Resolution. who was ran over by a motor vehicle then driven by the respondent.500. Thus. Ciriaco C.500. failed to turn over the said amount of P2. complainant together with his counsel conferred with [the] respondent in the latter's office at May Building. By reason thereof.500. Sayson'. a member of the Philippine Bar was accused of having converted and appropriated [for] his own personal benefit the amount of P2.
Panganiban. Ciriaco C. 107 U. morally. Punzalan. Respondent Sayson. lawyers must at all times conduct themselves. 1973..." In a more recent case. Quisumbing. cited in Malcolm. p. a failure that also indicated his lack of regard for the very serious charges brought against him.13 Disbarment should never be decreed where any lesser penalty. in the present case. penned by Judge Pacifico I. The Clerk of Court is directed to strike out his name from the Roll of Attorneys. especially in their dealings with their clients and the public at large. Sayson is hereby DISBARRED. 7 Rollo. Legal and Judicial Ethics. SO ORDERED. returned to complainant what was due him or showed any remorse for what he did. Solicitor Norberto P. to a large extent. 5 Rollo. caused by his failure to appear before the Office of the Solicitor General and to inform the IBP of his change of address. Sayson is DISBARRED and xxx his name xxx stricken from the Roll of Attorneys for having been found guilty of Estafa promulgated by the City Court of Quezon City and [which] complainant was able to establish by more convincing evidences that misappropriation was in fact committed by the respondent. the power to disbar must be exercised with great caution and only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the Court and member of the bar. 4 All letters to Sayson were returned to the IBP. there is no indication that he has served sentence. Romero. Respondent Sayson was convicted of estafa by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City on September 20." In adopting the recommendation. Eduardo. Ciriaco C.12 the Court upheld the recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors to disbar a lawyer who had been convicted of estafa through falsification of public documents. we held that "good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession.8Such conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals9 and upheld by this Court. the Court notes that even if respondent's culpability for estafa has been indubitably established. 39. respondent Atty. Purisima..J. WHEREFORE. Because they are vanguards of the law and the legal system. 265.14 However. The 27-year delay in the resolution of this case was. honesty and good morals. such as temporary suspension.10 In In re Vinzon. by his conduct. Bellosillo. I. reads as follows: . 35. Vitug.Resolution/Decision as Annex "A" and. Law is a noble profession. all of which were not controverted by the respondent. 214. 3 Largely due to Complainant Resurreccion's steadfast determination to pursue the case. 2 Issued by the investigating officer. no doubt. and the privilege to practice it is bestowed only upon individuals who are competent intellectually. Melo.11 the Court disbarred a lawyer who had been convicted of estafa and held that "moral turpitude includes everything which is done contrary to justice. Vol. Martinez. with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach. C. estafa. He had written letters bewailing the delay in the resolution of the disbarment case and had submitted documents which he thought were necessary for the proper disposition of the case. Puno. In essence and in all respects. 6 Ibid. and Pardo. p. equally important.S. would accomplish the end desired. Respondent Ciriaco C. 36-38. Jr. 8 The decretal part of the trial court's Decision. which were either lost or misplaced at the Office of the Solicitor General. pp. JJ. Mendoza. finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules.. has shown that he is not worthy to remain a member of the bar. concur."7 The Court agrees with Commissioner Manalo's findings and conclusion." True. I. Atty. Kapunan. Sayson must be disbarred. vol. Endnotes: 1 Ex parte Wall. is a crime involving moral turpitude because the act is unquestionably against justice. academically and. honesty or good morals. but it must also remain extant in order to maintain one's good standing in that exclusive and honored fraternity. p. because she was "totally unfit to be a member of the legal profession. Davide. as approved and adopted by the IBP Board of Governors.
as it was indeed dropped. in Quezon City. July 30. p. February 6.R. in Castillo v. sub. both within five (5) days from notice hereof. concurring) disposed of the case as follows: "The failure. the court finds the accused Atty. 1977 Resolution is worded thus: "L-43834 (Atty. to suffer an indeterminate imprisonment of four (4) months of arresto mayor as minimum. and to pay the costs. 9 In People of the Philippines v. The failure of the accused to deliver the amount of P2. eat. satisfactory and convincing evidence. who was accused of estafa by his client. 13 Tapucar v. suspended from the practice of law for one year was the respondent. 111682. pp. vol. 111682. al. occurred in Quezon City. 1998. Court of Appeals. Bautista. The Court of Appeals is directed to remand the records of this case to the trial court for prompt execution of judgment to the trial court and to submit to this Court proof of such remand. was suspended for one year from the practice of law. Court of Appeals. and In Re: Abesamis. 12 SCRA 1. We agree with the conclusion of the lower court as follows: 'From the facts of the above-entitled case. March 7. sufficiently prove[s] prejudice and damage on the part of the complainant Resurreccion. April 27. Ana. as borne out [by] the testimonies of Resurreccion and Atty. ponente. 1964.000. Sayson. 15299-CR. 1182. p. par. or at least part thereof. who was accused of having unlawfully withheld and misappropriated complainant's money in the amount of P7. is a clear indication of converting or misappropriating for his own use and benefit the money he received for his client. No. this court is of the view that when the accused received the amount of P2.500. Ciriaco Sayson vs.500. The Court's March 18. Tapucar. Umali. Case No.).R. as an essential ingredient of the offense of the estafa. coupled with his failure to give any reason for such failure despite demands. 254 SCRA 554. Sayson GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa as charged in the information. I. the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED."WHEREFORE. 245 SCRA 707. 1996. Domondon. to return the said amount to Resurreccion. 1-b of the Revised Penal Code. clearly show misappropriation or conversion. sub-division three. CA. and Justices Magno S. 1). therefore. 1995. the Court Resolved to DENY the motion for lack of merit and this denial is FINAL. 11) Reyes Vs.500. Taguines. Sr. allegedly paid as acceptance fee for a matter on which respondent never performed any work. Gatmaitan and Sixto A. 9-10). 267 SCRA 543 G. 1997 Zenaida Reyes vs. January 17. accused imposed upon himself the obligation and duty to deliver the said amount to his client Basto. 14 For example. 1997] . et al.' "IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. to indemnify the offended party Victoriano Resurreccion in the sum of P2. the respondent. pursuant to the agreement reached by parties in Quezon City. 15. to one (1) year and eight (8) months of prision correccional as maximum. SECOND DIVISION [G. 1967. Ciriaco C." (CA Decision. and should he fail to do so. March 11." 11 19 SCRA 815. Sta. 1958. The fact that Resurreccion was constrained to pay Basto again the amount of P2. brought out during the trial by clear.500. 102 Phil.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Ciriaco C. with costs against appellant. Atty. in Igualv. Adm. 4148. defined and penalized under Article 315. the Court of Appeals (First Division. 1996). composed of Justice Roseller T. September 26.00 to Basto and the subsequent failure of the accused to return the said amount to Resurreccion. February 6. CA-GR No. See also Medina v. Likewise. July 11. or even when the present action was filed. together with all the accessory penalties of law. and hereby imposes upon him as penalty. 1976 which denied the petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals as well as the Solicitor General's comment thereon.00 in order that the case against him would be dropped. Javier (254 SCRA 416.00 in Manila from the offended party REsurreccion.00. 12 Villanueva v. 10 Rollo. Considering the grounds of petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the resolution of August 20. of appellant to produce the money when confronted at the Fiscal's Office." (CA Decision. Lim.
Tenorio. the court declared petitioner to have waived the right to present her evidence.7 On July 10. however.ZENAIDA REYES. 1989 to the effect that the presentation of defense evidence is considered waived. 1989. Trial on the merits then followed. Ronolfo S. she would be considered to have waived her right to do so. claiming that because of the negligence of her counsel. of the Court of Appeals1in CA-G. she had been deprived of her right to present evidence on her behalf in the trial court. No. 1989.00. was absent. denying the petition for review of the decision. 1986 with the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan and later assigned to Branch 22 thereof as Criminal Case No. on the said document as seller and causing it to appear that said Pablo Floro [had] participated in the execution of the said document when in truth and in fact. 1989 over the objection of the private prosecutor.14 About the same time Atty. petitioner Zenaida Reyes was accused of falsifying a deed of sale of four (4) parcels of land by feigning and signing the name of Pablo Floro. while noting that the hearing on May 17. Petitioner was also absent. 198911 in which it also scheduled the promulgation of judgment on September 29. nonetheless granted Atty. 1989 had to be rescheduled again because petitioners counsel. 1989. Pasambas motion and required petitioner to submit the name and address of her new counsel within ten (10) days from notice. 8 Four days later (on July 14. nor did he ever appear before any notary public for the purpose of acknowledging the deed above mentioned. as maximum.000. 1992 denied petitioners motion for new trial and gave her 30 days within which to file her appellants brief. 1989.3 The hearing on March 10. who has. 1989 was intransferrable in character. Petitioners motion is based on her contention that because of her counsels unexplained absences at the trial she was prevented from presenting evidence in her defense and therefore denied the due process of law. the Court of Appeals in its resolution dated January 15. The trial court. on the ground that the same is not a motion and [as] counsel was also not in Court during the last hearing. 1989 [f]or the last time. 13 On May 9. CR. affirming the conviction of petitioner Zenaida P. 1989 due to petitioners illness. 1989. dated August 30. Tenorio was again absent on April 12. the Order of the Court dated July 10.R. and the resolution.: This is a motion for reconsideration of the resolution. Respondents. The new schedule was April 12. 1989 was. cancelled also because of the absence of both the private prosecutor and defense counsel. but later asked to be relieved as petitioners counsel on the ground that despite his request. the new date of hearing. The hearing on that date was therefore postponed to May 17. Petitioner through a new counsel. 08410. vs. Pasamba also filed a motion for an extension of 45 days for the same purpose. the court rendered its decision12 finding petitioner guilty of falsification and sentencing her to 4 months of arresto mayor. Petitioner instead filed a motion for new trial in lieu of appellants brief. dated November 29. Reyes of falsification of public document. The facts are as follows: In an information filed on April 7. dated May 28. Atty.6 But the hearing on June 5.4 However. Appellant. 1995. After the Solicitor General filed his comment. petitioner by herself filed a motion in the Court of Appeals for extension of 30 days to file her brief as appellant. The court merely noted the medical certificate but maintained its previous order. stands. Her motion. of the Court. After the prosecution had rested its case. On September 29. Atty. the presentation of the defense evidence was scheduled on February 6. who could not affix his signature anymore due to age infirmity. 1989. The Court of Appeals granted Atty. prepared the motion herself. petitioner did not give him the records of the case and confer with him but instead acted as her own counsel by filing her own motion for time to file brief. 1989 because she was indisposed and had been unable to contact Atty. Analuz Cristal-Tenorio. is probably a member of the Bar. Pasamba. and to pay a fine of P5. in fact. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.10chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Petitioner by herself moved for reconsideration.2chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Upon being arraigned. If she is not. was reset for the last time to March 10. so that on motion of private prosecutor. she must have gone through law school as her handiwork is written in forensic style and . 1990. 1993. 1989 to June 5. without the assistance of counsel. Tenorio. petitioner gave a medical certificate9 stating that she was suffering from hypertension and rheumatism which required bed rest for at least 5-7 days. 1989). RESOLUTION MENDOZA. as said accused well knew. however. Tenorio were absent. to 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional. alleging that she failed to appear in court on July 10. 1989. 15 The appellate court held: All that appellant is invoking as ground for new trial is the policy of liberality in the application of the rules and the alleged negligence of her counsel. both petitioner and Atty. petitioner pleaded not guilty. Atty. Bukidnon to assist in the prosecution of her brother-in-laws killers. which. said deed of sale was not executed and signed by the said Pablo Floro. was denied by the court in its order of August 29. but her husband appeared and submitted to the court a medical certificate that she was sick. Tenorio moved for the postponement of the hearing from May 17. 9252-M. Atty. allegedly because she had to leave for Malaybalay. Tenorios motion and postponed the hearing to June 5. Atty. She asked for permission to present her evidence. J. however. Petitioner.5chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On May 11. as minimum. filed a notice of appeal. 1989. Petitioner was warned that if she did not present her evidence on that date. 1993.
had to plead with the court for a chance to present her evidence.repeated absences of the accused and her counsel -. and July 10. 1989. (3) April 12. in effect. Indeed. what the accused would want of Us is to bend over backwards and in a gesture of liberality consider as an error of law or as an irregularity the trial courts conclusion that she was deemed to have waived her right to present evidence in her defense.. and We find that accused appellant was not at all deprived of her day in court or denied due process. petitioner herself was negligent. They contend that she could not have been unaware of the absences of her lawyer but despite that she did nothing to protect her interests. it seems never gave to this case while it was still at the lower court the serious attention that it deserves. Section 2) There is not even a wee bit of a hint about the second ground. Thus. Private respondent argues that if granted a second chance to present her side. the Court of Appeals rendered its decision. The Court of Appeals stated that it had given petitioner notice to file brief as early as March 27. without the assistance of counsel. petitioner could not come because she was sick and her counsel so informed the court. Hence this motion for reconsideration. the filing of a motion for new trial. On the first date. (2) March 10. For good reason -. despite warning to counsel that her failure to present evidence for her client on June 5. So. the postponement of the trial of a case to allow the presentation of evidence of a party is a matter which lies in the discretion of the trial court. but it is a discretion which must be exercised wisely. unlike the cases19 which petitioner cites in support of her motion. i. We have meticulously gone over the entire record. Dichoso. Private respondents contention is exaggerated. Even in her present petition before this Court petitioners prayer is not that she be exonerated but only that she be given the chance to prove her innocence by being allowed to present her evidence. she can easily sound her reliable refrain: I was denied due process! I was ready to present my evidence. 1989. The Solicitor General filed his comment to which petitioner filed a reply. 1989 because of illness (hypertension and rheumatism). 1992. it is settled in our jurisprudence that dilatory moves by the accused that tend to defeat the expeditious termination of a criminal case is tantamount to trifling with the administration of justice that certainly can not and should not be condoned. She was afforded ample opportunity to present evidence in her defense. 33. Dichoso. 1992. Atty. Thereafter the Solicitor General filed the appellees brief to which petitioner filed a reply brief.. capricious. 103 Phil. First. claiming that her conviction by the trial court was void because she was denied due process. 1989. not to mention that she would be taking a big risk of losing her . accused-appellant filed an appellants brief. and (6) July 10.is even better than the pleadings of some licensed advocates who are handling appealed cases or original special civil actions before this Court. Respondent People and the counsel for the private respondent oppose petitioners motion..the trial court was eventually constrained to consider the accused to have waived the presentation of evidence in her defense. the Court now resolves to grant petitioners motion for reconsideration. Angco. She was absent also on June 5. On August 30.e. (5) June 5. while petitioners absences were explained. but petitioner has been trifling with our judicial processes long enough. those of her counsel were not. 1989. The Court of Appeals gave petitioner 15 days from February 22. to wit: (1) February 6. (4) May 17. (PP vs. 1989 would be considered a waiver of the latters right to present her evidence. The issue in this case is whether the trial court properly held petitioner to have waived the right to present evidence because of her failure to proceed despite several postponements granted to her. After due consideration of the motion and its supplement and the separate comments thereto by the respondents as well as petitioners replies and private respondents consolidated rejoinder. To be sure. after another 10 years of litigation. hearings were scheduled for the presentation of petitioners evidence on six different dates. Of course there is a limit to petitioners credibility should she repeat what had happened here just for delay. On March 6. 1989. 1993. 1992 to secure services of counsel to file her appellants brief. considering the peculiar circumstances obtaining in each case and with a view to doing substantial justice. 1989. Angco17 and People v. this was not the case of a woman who treated the criminal proceedings against her with cavalier disdain. In connection with this course of action she already filed before the trial court a motion for reconsideration: this was denied. 1989. but my lawyer was absent for five consecutive times. since she was denied the opportunity to present evidence in her behalf. 1990. 1993 it denied reconsideration. Petitioner filed this case for review on certiorari. even if it involves only a light offense. (Rule 121. a criminal case.18Petitioner might have tried to delay the filing of her appellants brief. on February 6. On November 29. As pointed out by the Solicitor General. the last day of the extension previously granted her. whereupon the trial court proceeded to rendition of the judgment appealed from by the accused to this court. But counsel failed to heed the warning. affirming the trial courts ruling. Hence. Petitioner was absent thrice. nothing will stop the petitioner from once again engaging the services of her erstwhile absentee counsel. 1989 and July 10. 1989. but her effort can be attributed to an understandable desire to be allowed to present her evidence. Under the Rules the grounds for new trial are (a) That errors of law or irregularities have been committed during the trial prejudicial to the substantial rights of the accused. Tenorio simply disappeared without a trace. Anyway. we do not think that petitioners absences were so many. On May 28. The appellant. would probably change the judgment. PP vs. 1995 this Court denied the petition for lack of merit.. 16 In the case at bar. the penalty for which might be mere censure. and (b) That new and material evidence has been discovered which the accused could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial. Contrary to what the appellate court thought in affirming petitioners conviction. 1989. Petitioner had to soldier on and. or egregious as to indubitably indicate an attempt to stall the proceedings of the criminal case as was the case in People v. is a serious matter that deserves equally serious attention by the one accused. April 12. by herself. They point out that. Regardless of the nature of the offense charged. and which if introduced and admitted. 96 SCRA 957) Petitioner filed a very urgent motion for 90 days from February 22.
. The judicial conscience certainly cannot rest easy on a conviction based solely on the evidence of the prosecution just because the presentation of the defense evidence had been barred by technicality.22 in which the accused was convicted of rape in six cases and sentenced toreclusion perpetua on five of them and to death on the sixth. without counsel. who are parties in a case. At the same time. which thus forbade petitioner from offering his evidence all the while available for presentation before the Sandiganbayan.. the fact that on May 17.21 this Court set aside its decision affirming petitioners conviction by the Sandiganbayan and its resolution denying reconsideration. Trial work. Careful and deliberate consideration for the administration of justice. among others. after being shown that petitioners conviction had been brought about by his counsels gross ignorance of law and procedure. forced to be her own lawyer. Tenorios negligence did not consist in error of procedure or even a lapse in strategy but something as basic as failing to appear in court despite clear warning that such failure would amount to waiver of her clients right to present evidence in her defense. rather than petitioners. Or perhaps petitioner tried to get another counsel. then. left with no choice. The report belied the contrary finding of the city health officer on which the trial court relied in convicting the accused. The Court held: Petitioners present dilemma is certainly not something reducible to pesos and centavos. the ends of justice and fairness would be served thereby are more important than a race to end the trial. the Court of Appeals observed that petitioner has more than a laymans acquaintance with the law. but failed and. however.20 Only last year. Tenorios absences. on many occasions where it granted new trial. . demands more. a new trial was nonetheless ordered on the broader ground of substantial justice [as] the rule for granting a motion for new trial. To cling to the general rule in this case is only to condone rather than rectify a serious injustice to petitioners whose only fault was to repose his faith and entrust his innocence to his previous lawyers.. to deny petitioner the opportunity to present her evidence on the merest chance that she might be innocent would be to disregard the wisdom that it is better to acquit ten guilty individuals than to convict one innocent person. People v.defense. Skill in drafting pleadings (which is practically the only lawyerly thing petitioner did) is vastly different from skill needed in the courtroom. having been able to prepare and file her own motion for new trial and appellants brief. Tenorio and simply hoped for the best rather than be left without a counsel. this Court ordered a new trial after it was shown that complainant had executed prior to accuseds conviction an affidavit of desistance. however. excused parties from the negligence or mistakes of counsel. and. Reconsideration of the resolution in this case is compelled by these precedents. Court litigations are primarily for the search for truth. As for the private respondents argument that petitioner should have gotten another lawyer. 1989 petitioner was present even when counsel was absent tends to negate an intention to delay the criminal proceedings. speed is not the chief objective of a trial. In another case. But even lawyers. should be liberally construed to assist the parties in obtaining a just and speedy determination of their rights. Keeping in mind that this case involves personal liberty. No less than his liberty is at stake here. which appear to be the cause for the defenses failure to present its evidence.. Petitioner might have thought that her counsel would be more sedulous in her behalf. a genuine respect for the rights of all parties and the requirements of procedural due process and an adherence to the Courts standing admonition that the discretion granted judges in the granting or denial of motions for postponement and the setting aside of denial orders previously issued should always be predicated on the consideration that more than the mere convenience of the courts or of the parties in the case. Although the NBI report did not constitute newly-discovered evidence. and that could be the reason why she hesitated from doing so when she found herself without the assistance of counsel and not because petitioner tried to delay the proceedings and obstruct the course of justice. Del Mundo. while an NBI medico-legal report given after such conviction found that complainants physical virginity preserved. he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. and a liberal interpretation of the rules by which both parties are given the fullest opportunity to adduce proofs is the best way to ferret out such truth. Second. It was Atty. Sandiganbayan. only with the benefit of hindsight does this course appear to be the only tenable one to take. 1989 and June 5. Atty. The Court is as aware as anyone of the need for the speedy disposition of cases. It is entirely probable that. this Court set aside its decision after finding that the right of the accused to due process had been violated. Under the circumstances. In De Guzman v. Holgado:24chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law. either of books or of people. Indeed.. it has ever been mindful of its responsibility as the highest tribunal of justice to see to it that the paramount interests of justice are not sacrificed for the sake of speed and efficiency. As then Chief Justice Moran said for the Court in People v. Rigid application of rules must yield to the duty of courts to render justice where justice is due to secure to every individual all possible legal means to prove his innocence of a crime with which he or she might be charged.. petitioner nonetheless felt some inadequacy and experienced some moments of doubt whether she could go through the ordeal of presenting her evidence by her lonesome. need the guiding hand of counsel. As Justice Teehankee wrote:23chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The Court has consistently maintained that although a speedy determination of an action implies a speedy trial. The Court remanded the case to the Sandiganbayan for reception and appreciation of petitioners evidence. the negligence of counsel was certainly so gross that it should not be allowed to prejudice petitioners constitutional right to be heard. In denying petitioners plea for a chance to present her evidence. higher interests of justice and equity demand that petitioner be not penalized for the costly importunings of his previous lawyers based on the same principles why this Court had. stuck it out with Atty. Preparing pleadings can be done at leisure with the luxury of consultation. In any case. It requires the ability to think fast on ones feet and the psychologists feel for the witness mood and motive. And he is just about to lose it simply because his former lawyers pursued a carelessly contrived procedural strategy of insisting on what has already become an imprudent remedy. particularly in the rules of procedure. to be given the benefit of the doubt.
p. 8 RTC Order of July 10. 19 The cases are (1) Aceyork Aguilar v. Endnotes: 1 (Tenth Division) per Justice Regina G. 1993 of the Court of Appeals and that of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan.. pp. and (4) Peoples Homesite and Housing Corp. id. 6 RTC Order of May 17. 10 RTC Order of July 17. 293 7 RTC Order of June 5. 301. People v. 9252-M are SET ASIDE and this case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan for a new trial for the purpose of allowing petitioner to present evidence in her defense with directive to the court thereafter to decide the case with all deliberate speed. 4 RTC Order of March 10.. 16 Piedad v. 1989. 200 (1959). Victor. 1995 is GRANTED and the decision dated May 28. 1989. 69-71.In sum. the same being due to their trial counsels blunder in procedure and gross ignorance of existing jurisprudence. 5 RTC Order of April 12. United States v. p. CA Rollo. 15 (Special Eleventh Division) per Justice Fortunato A.. v. 738 (1919). p. 300. and Luis A. I of Records. p. id. the motion for reconsideration of the resolution of November 29. 297. JJ. 9 Id. Tiongco. 55 SCRA 763 (1974)... p. p. 1.. Ordoez-Benitez and concurred in by Justices Arturo B. Vailoces and concurred in by Justices Nathanael P. 3 RTC Order of February 6. 33 (1953). 276.. Romero.25 the evidence of the prosecution shall be understood preserved. it appearing that petitioners former counsel had abandoned him and could not be contacted despite earnest efforts. Regalado. 1989 in Criminal Case No. 158 SCRA 69 (1988) where the Court set aside the decision of the trial court against the petitioner. p. p. Jr. 2 Vol. pp. 12 Id. p. Court of Appeals. id. id. Montenegro. (2) Legarda v. 250 SCRA 371 (1995) where the Court set aside the dismissal of petitioners appeal for failure to file the appellants brief on time. 314.14. 13 Id. subject to the right of the prosecution to supplement it and/or to rebut the evidence which petitioner may present. 1989. Ramirez. 195 SCRA 418 (1991) where the Court found petitioners counsels negligence in allowing petitioner to be declared in default and the ensuing judgment against her to lapse in finality resulting in the loss of her property worth millions so gross and inexcusable as to warrant reinstating her title to the property. it is better to allow petitioner another chance to present her evidence than to let her conviction stand based solely on the evidence of the prosecution. p.. id. (Chairman). (3) Escudero v. 39 Phil. Branch 22 dated September 29. id. Batuyong. SO ORDERED. 1989. 105 Phil. and Torres. 281. 303. In accordance with Rule 121. Jr. concur. 338. Court of Appeals. WHEREFORE. 12 SCRA 471 (1964) where the Court held that a petition for relief although filed outside the reglementary period of 60 days was . Martinez. 17 103 Phil. 1989... 1989.. de Pano. Puno. 326-334. Dulay.. 286. 14 CA Rollo. Buena and Eduardo G. 1989. p. 6. 11 Id.. 18 96 SCRA 957 (1980). id. p.
756 (1959).. Branch 3. et al. 6: Effects of granting a new trial or reconsideration. proceeded only against the appellant. 4649-R (frustrated murder) and Criminal Cases Nos. (Emphasis added) 12) People vs. 24 85 Phil. with frustrated murder in Criminal Case No. the original judgment shall be set aside and a new judgment rendered accordingly. 89 SCRA 240.The effects of granting a new trial or reconsideration are the following: (a) When a new trial is granted on the ground of errors of law or irregularities committed during the trial. when the court grants new trial or reconsideration. 4647-R and 4648-R. 249-250 (1979). Criminal Cases Nos. No. DAVIDE. with treachery as the qualifying circumstance. 1995 People of the Philippines vs.nonetheless seasonably filed because the delay was attributed to the negligence of petitioners counsel.: chanrobles virtual law library In five separate informations filed on 22 May 1987 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC). he escaped on 12 July 1987 while under the custody of the Philippine Constabulary/PNP Regional Command I at Camp Dangwa. No. 103276. JAIME "JIMMY" AGUSTIN. 4650-R and 4651-R (attempted murder) for insufficiency of evidence but convicting him in the two murder cases. accused. Baguio City. La Trinidad. 25 Rule 121. Benguet. April 11. and Danny Ancheta. 21 G. but those affected thereby shall be set aside and taken anew. Dominic Bayquen. Court of Appeals.R. 20 People v. and with attempted murder in Criminal Cases Nos. 70 SCRA 257 (1976).R. (c) In all cases. vs. 119964-69.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The informations in the murder cases charged that the accused acted in conspiracy and alleged the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery and the ordinary aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and price. trial on the merits was held on various dates from 11 May 1988 until 10 January 1990. WILFREDO "SONNY QUIAÑO. 1995 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. JR. all the proceedings and evidence not affected by the commission of such errors and irregularities shall stand. Agustin...1 Only the appellant and Wilfredo Quiaño were arrested. before Quiaño could be arraigned. 4 It also ruled that the aggravating circumstances of evident premeditation and price had been duly established.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On 30 May 1990. 4650-R and 4651-R. MANUEL "JUN" ABENOJA. J. However. 4649-R. accused-appellant. Jose. allow the introduction of additional evidence. 110290 January 25. 22 G. which were consolidated and jointly tried. 4647-R and 4648R. 1996. Nos.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library After the appellant pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on 4 September 1987.. the trial court promulgated its decision 3 in the consolidated cases acquitting the appellant in Criminal Case No. Napoleon Bayquen and Anna Theresa Francisco and the wounding of Anthony Bayquen. September 20. 752. Plaintiff-Appellee.R. The crimes were allegedly committed on 6 September 1986 in Baguio City and resulted in the deaths of Dr. . It then sentenced the appellant as follows: . in the interest of justice. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G. 1996. JAIME "JIMMY" AGUSTIN. 2 The cases. 240 SCRA 541 G. 110290 January 25.R. The court may.. JR. 23 Amberti v. the accused were charged with murder in Criminal Cases Nos. . and FREDDIE "BOY" CARTEL. Jaime Agustin.
Christie Napeñas took down stenographic notes of the proceedings during the investigation. by military personnel and brought to Baguio city. 7 Anna Theresa Francisco was brought to the funeral parlor. from his driving the car. a supervising ballistics expert. Freddie "Boy" Cartel. Tomas.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library SO ORDERED. and fired at the passengers. At past 7:30 p. who provided the armalite. Ms." the triggerman. confessed during the investigation conducted by Baguio City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia in his office that he was the triggerman in the fatal shooting of Dr. accused Wilfredo "Sonny" Quiaño. (5) Eulogio Francisco. he alleged that in the morning of 10 February 1987. While they were cruising along Malvar Street and nearing the Baptist church. who testified on what she did after Dominic informed her by telephone about the shooting incident. 8 The police later arrived at the crime scene and conducted an investigation. and Dr. together with his son. Bayquen for a fee. and he answered that he did not. Reynaldo Cajucom." "I" and "G"). of that date. Reynaldo Cajucom assisted the appellant during the investigation.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The evidence for the prosecution established the following facts. a stenographic notes of the proceedings during the investigation. who testified that he was the lawyer who assisted the appellant and accused Wilfredo Quiaño while they were being investigated by City Fiscal Balajadia. 11 In the morning of 10 February 1987. Napeñas subsequently transcribed these notes which the prosecution marked as Exhibit "C. Dominic was bale to get out of the Brasilia to run to the Alabanza store where she telephoned her mother and told her what had happened. who testified on how they were shot. he was taken to the office of City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia where he was investigated in connection with the crime. 4650-R. since the death penalty is not imposable at this time.00). she transcribed the notes and the transcription became the sworn statement of Wilfredo Quiaño which he signed. who took down the stenographic notes of City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia's investigations of accused Wilfredo Quiaño (Exhibit "D") on 30 January 1987 and of the appellant on 10 February 1987. Pangasinan. Reynaldo Cajucom. The man approached the Brasilia. Baguio City. she and her mother brought her father and Anthony to the hospital. The stenographic notes consisted of 22 pages (Exhibit "B"). 9 On 30 January 1987. the father of Anna Theresa Francisco. a stenographic reporter in the Office of the City Fiscal of Baguio City. He is further ordered to indemnify the heirs of the victims. However. and swore to before City Fiscal Balajadia. Bayquen's head was blown off.. he was asked if he knew Boy and Jun. Pangasinan. Cajucom. impugned the validity of his extrajudicial statement. and who identified her stenographic notes containing the statement of the appellant (Exhibit "B") and the transcript of said stenographic notes (Exhibit "C"). he was made to stoop down at the back seat whenever they would reach a toll booth. each of which was signed afterwards by the appellant and Atty. Dominic. "Jimmy. Anna Theresa Francisco the sum of sixty Three Thousand Pesos (P63. In a confrontation two days later.m.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library Inside the car. Jr. he should be sentenced to the maximum penalty of Death. the accused Jaime Agustin is found GUILTY of two (2) counts of murder. the prosecution having proven his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. and (8) Lilian San Luis Bayquen. and Danny Ancheta. Wilfredo Quiaño was assisted by Atty. Ms. an alleged former military agent or "asset" who had been picked up in La Union by the police authorities. was picked up in Sto. (7) Atty. they recovered some empty shells of an armalite rifle. with the assistance of Atty. 5 chanrobles virtual law library The version of the prosecution is based on the testimonies of (1) Isidoro Magpantay. Bayquen and revealed the identities of his cohorts in the crime. armed with armalites. Along Kennon Road. a family friend.Upon these premises. a member of the Baguio City Police Force. The appellant." who turned out to be appellant Jaime Agustin. Atty. He later learned that they were on their way to Baguio City. there being two aggravating circumstances. They then brought him out of Pangasinan. the accused is sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua. allegedly a fellow military agent and the "bagman" who engaged him to kill Dr. Napoleon Bayquen.00) as actual damages (Exhibits "F. Jaime Agustin. 10Thereafter.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The defense presented the appellant and his wife. Bayquen and Anna Theresa Francisco. Anthony. With costs against the accused. Dr. Ms. Cajucom. a dentist. (2) Christie Napeñas.m.000. He implicated Manuel "Jun" Abenoja. were on their way aboard their Brasilia to the doctor's residence at Trancoville at 21-D Malvar Street. aimed his armalite rifle through its window. Bayquen and Anna Theresa died on the spot. and a certain "Jimmy. of 6 September 1986 in Baguio City. a man came out from the right side of a car parked about two meters to the church. Anna Theresa Francisco. who is a farmer and whose highest educational attainment was grad four." During the investigation. and then brought out three times near the ravines and made to kneel at gunpoint in order to force him to admit his involvement in the . (6) Rogelio Mumar. wife of Dr. his daughter. to buy some fertilizer and upon his return he was met by two armed men who took him to their car where two other companions. who identified her death certificate (Exhibit "I") and testified on the list of expenses (Exhibit "G"). In each of the criminal cases aforesaid. Napoleon Bayquen. were waiting. Anthony's girlfriend.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library All those in the car were hit and Dr. Later. the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. Christie Napeñas. At 4:00 p. he went to Carmen. Napoleon Bayquen and mother of Dominic Bayquen. who declared that the fourteen shell recovered from the scene of the crime were not fired from any of the three armalite rifles submitted to him. 6 Danny Ancheta went home and was then brought to the Notre Dame Hospital for treatment. a representative of the Integrated bar of the Philippines (IBP). he identified Quiaño as "Sony. the victim in Criminal Case No. (3) Dominic Bayquen. Dr." The appellant narrated therein his knowledge of the shooting of Dr. The gunman immediately returned to the parked car which then sped away. The Brasilia swerved and hit a fence.000. Elizabeth Agustin. who identified the initial report (Exhibit "A").
the said lawyer is a law partner of the private prosecutor. Tabin. Reynaldo Cajucom.not extrajudicial confession . asked for his uncle who is a lawyer. and (g) he disclosed in his statement that he voluntarily gave it because of his ill feeling against his co-accused who did not give him any money. Sections 26 and 33. to assist him. He further declared that although he was given a lawyer. and tending. which is the only evidence of the prosecution linking him to the commission of the crime charged. Atty.of the appellant. Article III of the constitution. Indeed. Cajucom briefly conferred with him and when the city Fiscal interrogated him. 17 the appellee. 13 The trial court admitted the appellant's extrajudicial statement and gave scant consideration to his claim of force. Cajucom interviewed him from only two minutes in English and Tagalog but not in Ilocano. reiterating the reasons of the trial court in upholding the validity of the confession. Her efforts to locate him proved futile until days later when she finally learned that he was detained at Camp Dangwa. (e) the fiscal even provided him with a lawyer who conferred with him and apprised him of his rights. 12 Elizabeth Agustin corroborated her husband's story that he went to Carmen in the morning of 10 February 1987 to buy some fertilizer and that he failed to return. by a party in a criminal case. the dialect he understands. Worse. and conferred with him in English and Tagalog although he understood only Ilocano. there being no other evidence linking him to the crimes charged. of facts pertinent to the issue. In this brief. (b) it was improbable that he was made to kneel thrice at gunpoint along Kennon Road considering the vehicles which were passing along that road. was not of his own choice but was foisted upon him by the city Fiscal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library He stresses that the lawyer "who assists the suspect under custodial interrogation should be of the latter's choice.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In its brief. 14 chanrobles virtual law library The appellant insists that his extrajudicial confession was taken in violation of his rights under Section 11. Then he was brought to the Office of the City Fiscal of Baguio City. not one foisted on him by the police investigator or other parties. his military escorts were present. Arthur Galace. there is an acknowledgment of guilt of the accused or of the criminal intent to commit the offense with which he is charged. his "extrajudicial confession" shows that "he was in on the plan. direct or implied. 19 Wharton 20 defines a confession as follows: A confession is an acknowledgment in express terms. in connection with proof of other facts. but the plan did not push through because his coaccused. Atty. We also see in these cases a blatant disregard of the appellant's right under Section 2 of Article III when he was unlawfully arrested. (c) it was unbelievable that when he was in the Fiscal's Office he asked for his uncle. In other words. Rule 133 of the Rules of Court was established by the prosecution's evidence. 16 He then concludes that his extrajudicial confession is inadmissible and his conviction cannot stand. It is only an extrajudicial admission. (f) he signed each and every page of the stenographic notes of his statement and this was witnessed by no less than the City Fiscal of Baguio and the lawyer who assisted him. the armed men stayed with him and their presence deterred him from telling the investigating fiscal that he was being threatened. Atty. he told his wife to get in touch and talk with Atty. the extrajudicial admission .chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library After a careful study of the records of Criminal Cases Nos. Quiaño. He argues that the lawyer who assisted him. it found his conviction for murder inevitable. at Camp Dangwa to where he was taken. contrary to the pronouncement of the trial court and the characterization given by the appellant himself. escaped. is wholly inadmissible because it was taken in violation of Section 12. to prove his guilt. and that Atty. the doubts must be resolved in favor of the accused. Then later. Reynaldo Cajucom. we find this appeal to be impressed with merit. to be rewarded monetarily". intimidation. nevertheless. We take this opportunity to once more distinguish one from the other. when Atty. the assailed extrajudicial statement is not extrajudicial confession." and even "expected to be paid. rule 30 of the Rules of 18 clearly show such a distinction.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library While he was giving his statement at the fical's office.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Court In a confession. he.shooting. 4647-R and 4648-R and a painstaking evaluation of the evidence. Tabin if he could not go home for a period of one month. of his guilt of the crime charged. he asserted that he was promised by his captors that he would be discharged as a state witness if he cooperates. and other irregularities because of the following reasons: (a) the presence of material improbabilities in his tale of when and how he was allegedly taken at gunpoint from his hometown in Pangasinan. Finally. Oliver Tabin." Since the proof of corpus delicti required in Section 3. he imputes upon the trial court the commission of this lone error: THE COURT A QUO COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR IN CONSIDERING ACCUSED-APPELLANT'S EXTRAJUDICIAL CONFESSION AS ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM." 15 and that where there are serious doubts on the voluntariness of the extrajudicial confession. and admission is something less than a .chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The trial court then concluded that "[t]here was conspiracy and the accused was a direct participant in the crime. and that he "decided to give a statement only when he was not given the money. it should be pointed out that. while an admission is a statement by the accused.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Before we go any further. Article III of the Constitution. Atty." and that while he tried to minimize his culpability. (d) no less than the city Fiscal of Baguio City interrogated him and yet he did not tell the fiscal that he was being forced to give a statement. prays for the affirmance of the appealed decision. Moreover.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The appellant filed a notice of appeal. Atty. which he finally did out of fear.
Lumayok. We have examined the assailed extrajudicial statement of the appellant. Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to remain silent and to counsel. or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. 23 People vs. whether exculpatory of inculpatory. Enrile. but a "competent and independent counsel. if any." 28 It is not enough for the investigator to merely repeat to the person under investigation the provisions of Section 20. and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of guilt. 20. 24 People vs. and to be informed of such right. The first two paragraphs of Section 12. The person arrested shall have the right to communicate with his lawyer. preferably of his own choice". he must be provided with one. 26 and People vs. and we are satisfied that nothing therein indicates that he expressly acknowledged his guilt. or appointed by the court upon petition either of the detainee himself or by anyone on his behalf. and that any statement he might make could be used against him. The right to counsel may be waived but the waiver shall not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel. We reiterated the above ruling in People vs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library . it shall be the duty of the arresting officer to inform him of the reason for the arrest and he must be shown the warrant of arrest. Thus: (3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. Any confession obtained in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in evidence. when what is involved is the issue of admissibly in evidence under Section 12.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library (2) No torture. Since it is comprehension that is sought to be attained. violence. The right to be informed carries with it a correlative obligation on the part of the investigator to explain.g. by any person on his behalf. solitary. what the person under investigation may or may not do. force. shall be inadmissible in evidence. Galit. or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. or anyone he chooses by the most expedient means . he merely admitted some facts or circumstances which in themselves are insufficient to authorize a conviction and which can only tend to establish the ultimate fact of guilt.25 People vs. in whole or in part. He shall be informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent and to counsel.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In Morales vs.. a relative. (2) the right to remain silent and to counsel can only be waived in writing and in the presence of counsel. the distinction is irrelevant because Paragraph 3 thereof expressly refers to both confession and admission. Article IV of the 1973 Constitution. intelligence. Article IV (Bill of Rights) of the 1973 Constitution which read: Sec. Article IV of the 1973 Constitution or Section 12. threat. Article III of the present Constitution. incommunicado. the former must also explain the effects of such provision in practical terms. or any other means which vitiates the free will shall be used against him. 12. intimidation. 21 this Court. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. Any statement obtained in violation of the procedure herein laid down. Secret detention places. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel. Albofera. intimidation. e. laid down the duties of an investigator during custodial investigation and ruled that the waiver of the right to counsel would not be valid unless made with the assistance of counsel: At the time a person is arrested. 27 among other cases. the degree of explanation required will necessarily vary and depend on the education.by telephone if possible . not just confessions. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. and (3) the rule on inadmissibility expressly includes admissions. Article III of the present Constitution have broadened the aforesaid Section 20 in these respects: (1) the right to counsel means not just any counsel. 22 People vs. and is but an acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to authorize a conviction. Article III of the Constitution. These first and second paragraphs are taken from Section 20. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. The first two paragraphs of Section 12 read: Sec. violence.or by letter or messenger. and contemplates effective communication which results in the subject understanding what is conveyed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to counsel contemplates "the transmission of meaningful information rather than just the ceremonial and perfunctory recitation of an abstract constitutional principle. Penillos. applying Section 20. Marquez. and other relevant personal circumstances of the person undergoing the investigation. Basay. No custodial investigation shall be conducted unless it be in the presence of counsel engaged by the person arrested. and in language the subject fairly understands. threat.confession. Nevertheless. No force. It shall be the responsibility of the arresting officer to see to it that this is accomplished.
chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 03. If you will not give a statement.Now. and the transcription 34 was subscribed and sworn to by the accused before City Fiscal Balajadia and also signed by Atty.Yes. sir. Q After informing rights. The transcript (Exhibit "C") shows the following preliminary questions of the City Fiscal and the answers of the appellant: 01. even if the confession of an accused speaks the truth. Nap Bayquen of which you are one of the principal suspects. Q I am now informing you that a person of Atty. indeed. to read or decipher its contents. do you understand that? chanrobles virtual law library A . sir. you have the right to be assisted by a lawyer of your own choice. do you understand this right? chanrobles virtual law library ANSWER . 29 The waiver of the right to counsel must be voluntary. such waiver. We have to rely solely on the transcript and presume its accuracy. Reynaldo Cajucom. Q If you will give a statement.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 06. 33 was not signed by the appellant since it does not indicate any jurat. On the other hand. Firstly. sir. therefore. what we find in these yellow pads are stenographic notes. does.I understand. the same stenographic reporter. That counsel must be a lawyer.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Since we cannot even reads or decipher the stenographic notes in the yellow pads.In further ensuring the right to counsel. QUESTION . must be made with the assistance of counsel. you will not be forced to do so. Article III of the Constitution. Q I am also informing you that whatever you say in this investigation can be used as evidence in your favor and it can also be used as evidence against you in any criminal or civil case. it is inadmissible in evidence regardless of the absence of coercion or even if it had been voluntarily given. he should also be asked if he wants to avail of the same and should be told that he can ask for counsel if he so desires or that one will be provided him at his request. A perusal of the transcript convinces us that the appellant was not given a fair deal and was deprived of his rights under Section 12(1). you have the right to remain silent meaning. these were transcribed by the stenographer who took down the stenographic notes. who represented the accused in the investigation. I understand.I understand.Mr. who is a farmer and who reached only the fourth grade. who took down the stenographic notes when accused Wilfredo Quiaño was being investigated by City Fiscal Balajadia.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 02. 32 contained in twenty-two pages of yellow pad. Cajucom. we cannot expect the appellant. 31 The extrajudicial admission of the appellant. do you want to be assisted by alawyer? chanrobles virtual law library A . 30 Consequently.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 04. I am informing you that you are under investigation in connection with the death of Dr. sir.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library 05. wish to avail of his assistance with this investigation? chanrobles virtual law library lawyer in the is now do you in connection A . it is not enough that the subject is informed of such right. sir.I want. are you now statement? chanrobles virtual law library you of willing your to constitutional give a . Reynaldo Cajucom present in this investigation room. Jaime Agustin. but for reasons not explained in the records. do you understand this right? chanrobles virtual law library A . If he decides not to retain counsel of his choice or avail of one to be provided for him and. he was not fully and properly informed of his rights. if it was made without the assistance off counsel.Yes. and intelligent. transcribed the notes. if you cannot afford to secure the services of a lawyer the government will provide a lawyer for you. Q . chooses to waive his right to counsel. I am informing you of your constitutional rights before you give any statement. the transcript of the notes (Exhibit "C"). First. you may give a statement or you may not give any statement. knowing. appear to be signed by him and Atty. to be valid and effective. which consists of twelve pages.
military officers of RUC I. it is clear to us that Atty. and certified the informations.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Investigator Atty. on the way to Baguio City. In short. and. moreover. in fact. whether he could afford to hire his services. Along Kennon road. the conclusion then is inevitable that he did not conduct the preliminary investigation. the City fiscal. Roberto Rambac. sir. he was not even asked if he had a lawyer of his own choice and whether he could afford to hire such lawyer. he was coerced and threatened with death if he would not admit knowing "Jun" and "Sonny" and hi participation in the crime. Pangasinan.I am willing. immediately informed him that Atty. on the other hand. This testimony was unrebutted by the prosecution." the city fiscal immediately suggested the availability of Atty. voluntary fiscal. Cajucom was ready to assist him. ceased to be a police matter. He had.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library While it is true that in custodial investigations the party to be investigated has the final choice of counsel and may reject the counsel chosen for him by the investigator and ask for another one. waived his right to remain silent by agreeing to be investigated. whether he would agree to be assisted by one to be provided for him. and if he could not. At least two possibilities may explain it: it was a mere coincidence in the sense that he happened to be attending to some professional matter. Cajucom. These possibilities are not remote but whether it was one or the other. Nothing in the records shows that at that time the criminal cases against the culprits had already been filed with the City Fiscal's Office for preliminary investigation and had. 37 there are special circumstances in these cases which convince us that he was unable to assist the appellant in a satisfactory manner. specifically asked if he had in mind any such counsel and. therefore. city Fiscal Balajadia merely approved them and administered the jurat in the certification.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Investigator Do you know after examining him or not he is giving a free and statement of his own volition without intimidation or force exerted on him? chanrobles virtual law library A As stated a free and what really happened.Yes. I agree.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Secondly. he statement is in whether voluntary any willing to relation give to It is at once observed that the appellant was not explicitly told of his right to have a competent and independentcounsel of his choice. or he was earlier called by the City Fiscal for the purpose of giving free legal aid to the appellant. something would happen to him. who brought him to the City Fiscal's Office for investigation in the afternoon of the day when he was unlawfully arrested in Sto. 4647-R and 46648-R that it was Assistant City Fiscal Octavio M. whether he would simply exercise his right to remain silent and to counsel. For as earlier stated. was like a Damocles sword which vitiated his free will. however. Banta who conducted the preliminary investigation and who prepared. if he could not. For one.A . Cajucom. Atty.Yes. Yet. after the appellant said that he wanted to be assisted by counsel. for as shown in the above-quoted portion of Exhibit "C. 35 the circumstances obtaining in the custodial interrogation of the appellant left him no freedom to intelligently and freely do so. we doubt it very much if he was an independent counsel. from the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. The presence of the military officers and the continuing fear that if he did not cooperate. Atty. Cajucom was in fact foisted upon the appellant. present at that time were Capt. He was not categorically informed that he could waive his rights to remain silent and to counsel and that this waiver must be in writing and in the presence of his counsel. 36 and. the city Fiscal clearly suggested the availability of Atty. he . he generally has in his favor the presumption of regularity in the performance of his duties. fiscal. whether he could hire such counsel. Tomas. then too. Reynaldo Cajucom. Cajucom's presence in the Office of the City fiscal at the time the appellant was brought there for investigation is unclear to us. Antonio Ayat and Sgt. no written waiver of such right appears in the transcript and no other independent evidence was offered to prove its existence. If they had been so filed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Investigator Have you appraised constitutional rights? chanrobles virtual law library [sic] him of his Answer . then the City Fiscal should have followed the usual course of procedure in preliminary investigations. to assist the witness. the witness respondent Jaime Agustin has chosen you give him assistance in this investigation. fiscal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Why it was the City Fiscal who had to conduct the custodial investigation is beyond us. by him. if so.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Even assuming for the sake of argument that the appellant voluntarily agreed to be assisted by Atty. Cajucom without first distinctly asking the appellant if he had a counsel of his own choice and if he had one. you willing to assist him? chanrobles virtual law library or to are Answer . While we wish to give him the benefit of the doubt because he is an officer of the court upon whose shoulders lies the responsibility to see to it that protection be accorded the appellant and that no injustice be committed to him. signed. It appears. Cajucom can hardly be said to have been voluntarily and intelligently "accepted" by the appellant as his counsel to assist him in the investigation. through suggestive language.
Why do you say that it was given voluntarily? chanrobles virtual law library . we are only requesting him if he was an associate of Atty. Atty. nevertheless. Thus: ATTY.admitted on cross-examination that at that time. Cajucom was in fact understood by the appellant when the former informed the appellant of his constitutional rights in English and Tagalog considering that the appellant. On direct examination. Galace up to the present? chanrobles virtual law library A Yes.Did you explain the constitutional rights of the accused to caution him of the consequences of his statement? chanrobles virtual law library A . Arthur Galace. Thus: Q [by the prosecutor] chanrobles virtual law library . a fourth grader and a farmer.He told me that he is willing to give a truthful statement and in order to shed light. in these and the companion cases. you were an associate at the time when you assisted the accused? chanrobles virtual law library A I was represented [sic] then as IBP Legal Aid. Atty.But. Cajucom merely answered: A At least I put everything as far as I could give to him to appraise [sic] him of his constitutional rights. . 38 Then we have misgivings on whether Atty. . even if he were fully understood by the appellant. Atty. we are not satisfied that his explanations were adequate. Thus: Q Mr. TABIN: chanrobles virtual law library So in other words when you appraised [sic] him of his constitutional rights using English Language and Tagalog Dialect you did not have any Ilocano dialect Interpreter.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Q . sir. 39 And when asked whether he was sure if the appellant understood him. could only understand Ilocano.And what was his reply regarding the consequences of this statement? chanrobles virtual law library A .Yes. Cajucom did not actually impress upon the appellant that he was one of the accused. xxx xxx xxx WITNESS: chanrobles virtual law library As far as I can remember.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Q The question is not answered. Galace.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Q . he gave the following answers: Q . 41 It appears to us that Atty. at the time you assisted the accused you belonged to the office of Atty. and even until the time he took the witness stand. he was an associate of the private prosecutor. Cajucom made the appellant believe that he was only a witness. to confront in person the witnesses against him and that he has the right to choose a counsel to assist him in the hearing of the case which was being investigated then. rather. . 40 Then too. I explained it in Tagalog and English. you gave the precautionary measure entitled to any witness? chanrobles virtual law library A .I explained to him that he has the right to remain silent. Witness.
judgment is hereby rendered REVERSING the challenged judgment of the Regional Trial Court. rule 113 of the Rules of Court. that the appellant was picked up on 10 February 1987 by military men in Pangasinan without a warrant for his arrest. arrest a person: chanrobles virtual law library (a) When. Needless to say. as admitted by him on cross-examination. such as the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police. the person to be arrested has committed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE. the accused. we do not hesitate to declare the appellant's extrajudicial statement inadmissible in evidence because it was obtained in violation of Section 12 (1). Atty. the Court has serious doubts about his ability to understand Atty. This is in combination. None of these exceptional circumstances were present at the time the appellant was arrested on 10 February 1987. chanrobles virtual law library (b) When an offense has in fact just been committed. Said section provides: Sec. The prosecution did not even insinuate that the crimes were committed in the presence of the arresting officers (for otherwise they could have arrested the appellant on 6 September 1986 yet) or that the appellant was a prisoner who had escaped from his place of detention. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. These crimes must be solved and the triggerman and the mastermind apprehended. since it is the only evidence which links him to the crimes of which he was convicted. The triggerman escaped while in the custody of the PC/INP at Camp Dangwa. in coordination with the law-enforcement agencies of the Government.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Finally. and ACQUITTING appellant . Cajucom also declared: ATTY.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Thus. Article III of the Constitution. Cajucom knew. English and Tagalog. the conduct of Atty. If he were then truly moved by his duty to fully assist the appellant. and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it. I made it in Tagalog. Atty. 42 On cross-examination. in Criminal Case No. without a warrant. considering that the appellant is familiar only with Ilocano. is actually committing. Cajucom knew or ought to have known that the arrest was unlawful. Bayquen. 4648-R. 43 Moreover.A peace officer or a private person may. he should have forthwith taken the appropriate measures for the immediate release of the appellant instead of allowing the City Fiscal to investigate him. Baguio City. Until now. or is attempting to commit an offense. Atty. he must then be acquitted. and most of the time. or that the crimes had just been committed for they were in fact committed more than five months earlier. Cajucom's explanation of his constitutional rights since Atty. Arrest without warrant when lawful. 5.A . 44 Since the crimes with which the appellant was charged were allegedly committed on 6 September 1986 or more than five months earlier. The City Prosecutor's Office of Baguio City should then use all the resources at its command. in his presence. remain at large and the records do not show any diligent effort to effect their arrest.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library WITNESS: chanrobles virtual law library I told him that this is a grave case which he would be giving some narrations as a witness and his involvement would mean the most grievous offense and if found guilty will bring him for some years in jail and I told him that I could help him if he will be presenting the truth and narrate is the truth. . who were implicated by the triggerman as having ordered for a price the murder of Dr. branch 3. a warrantless arrest should comply with the conditions prescribed in Section 5. no arrest without a warrant could have been legally and validly effected. Cajucom did so in English and Tagalog.Before presenting him to the investigation we were given time to talk personally without any other people and that was the time that I explained to him all his rights and consequences pertaining to him as witness to this case. TABIN: chanrobles virtual law library That is why I am requesting him how he explained in that language. We see in these cases the failure of the Government to exert the necessary efforts to bring the guilty parties to the bar of justice.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library His acquittal must not write finis to these murder cases. 4647-R and Criminal Case No. to immediately arrest the other accused. Your Honor. and chanrobles virtual law library (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending. Cajucom under the circumstances only strengthen our belief that the appellant had all the cards stacked against him.
" OR. Id.chanrobles virtual law library 4 Id. 33. Exhibit "A.chanrobles virtual law library 3 Id. 6 TSN. 2-12.chanrobles virtual law library 11 Exhibit "D. Jimenez. may be given in evidence against him." OR. Jr. declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given against him. 92. Criminal Case No. . Rollo.chanrobles virtual law library 5 OR. 415. 2-23. 28 Phil.chanrobles virtual law library 9 Police Report.S. 33. 23-24. 4648R. 10 April 1989. 3-16.JAIME "JIMMY" AGUSTIN. 204 SCRA 719 . TSN. 34. 120 May 1988. JJ.chanrobles virtual law library 10 TSN.chanrobles virtual law library 18 These sections provide: "Sec. 34-35.. Criminal Case No. 3-4. Endnotes: 1 Original Records (OR). 11 May 1988.chanrobles virtual law library xxx xxx xxx "Sec.chanrobles virtual law library . 182 SCRA 182 . . Corrales. concur. 96-97. 4647-R. Admission of a party. or of any offense necessarily included therein. 1940).The act.. Quiason and Kapunan. Confession. 415-416. 1-2.. 51.chanrobles virtual law library 8 TSN. Per Judge Marcelino F. 4647-R..chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Costs de oficio. 7-10. vs. 11 May 1988.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library SO ORDERED.chanrobles virtual law library 14 Rollo.chanrobles virtual law library 16 Citing people vs. Criminal Case No. 14-18. 1956). 1955). The records of the three other cases were not anymore forwarded to this Court in view of the acquittal therein of the appellant.chanrobles virtual law library 12 TSN.chanrobles virtual law library 15 Citing People vs." 19 U. 11 May 1988.chanrobles virtual law library 2 Id. Solis. His immediate release from confinement is hereby ORDERED unless for some other lawful cause his continued detention is warranted. Criminal Case No.The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged. Id. 3-4. 3 Wigmore on Evidence � 821 (3d ed. see also 2 Underhill's Criminal Evidence � 385 (5th ed.chanrobles virtual law library 7 TSN.. 10 April 1989. 12 May 1988.chanrobles virtual law library 17 Rollo.chanrobles virtual law library 20 2 Wharton's Criminal Evidence � 337 (12th ed. Padilla. 9. Bellosillo. Rollo. 10 January 1990. 406-416. 3-11. 1-2. 131-142.chanrobles virtual law library 13 TSN.chanrobles virtual law library 21 121 SCRA 538 .. 4647-R. 26. 362 . 25-35. 11 May 1989. Bautista.
Javar. 141 SCRA 289 . 13) Tljan vs. 227 SCRA 375 . Barlis. See People vs. Pecardal.chanrobles virtual law library 29 People vs. Baello. AccusedAppellant. vs. Decierdo. supra at note 24. Plaintiff-Appellee.R. 148 SCRA 624 . Duhan.chanrobles virtual law library 36 People vs. People vs. Pinzon. 17.. 119-130. People vs. supra at note 27.chanrobles virtual law library 28 People vs. 12. 98-118a.chanrobles virtual law library 43 Id.. Nicandro.chanrobles virtual law library 35 People vs. 163 SCRA 623 . 19 July 1988.chanrobles virtual law library 32 Exhibit "B" and sub-markings. SCRA 93 .22 135 SCRA 465 . Basay. Repe. 109149. 203 SCRA 673 .chanrobles virtual law library 25 153 SCRA 700  26 205 SCRA 546 . December 21. Lavarez. citing People vs. Lasac. Parojinog.chanrobles virtual law library 38 TSN.chanrobles virtual law library 31 People vs. People vs.chanrobles virtual law library 37 People vs.chanrobles virtual law library 33 OR.chanrobles virtual law library 44 TSN. JR.chanrobles virtual law library 40 Id. 145 SCRA 647 . 19 July 1988. People vs.chanrobles virtual law library 39 TSN. People vs.chanrobles virtual law library 24 152 SCRA 123 . Id. CA. supra at note 27. People vs. Estevan 186 SCRA 34 . Remollo. People vs. 14.chanrobles virtual law library 27 219 SCRA 404 . People vs.chanrobles virtual law library 23 139 SCRA 1 . Basay. 15-16. Nolasco. OR. No. Albofera. 19 July 1988.: .chanrobles virtual law library 41 TSN.chanrobles virtual law library 30 People vs. J. y SIGA-AN. 175 SCRA 422 . 1999] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 208 SCRA 842 . Canela. DECISION QUISUMBING.chanrobles virtual law library 34 Exhibit "D". 19 July 1988. (Emphasis supplied). 226 SCRA 103 . 231 SCRA 428 . People vs. 142 100 . People vs.chanrobles virtual law library 42 Id. 202 SCRA 534 14) People vs. 321 SCRA 310 SECOND DIVISION [G. 224 SCRA 218 . Santocildes. 149 SCRA 496 . 131-142. LEONCIO SANTOCILDES. 201 SCRA 364 . 9.
[7 Indeed.Where an accused was not duly represented by a member of the Philippine Bar during trial. Appellant denied committing the rape and claimed that he merely tried to stop the two girls. It lies at the heart of our adversarial system of justice. he shall be credited with the full duration of his preventive imprisonment. the Court has ordered the remand of a rape case when it found that accused was given mere perfunctory representation by aforesaid counsels such that appellant was not properly and effectively accorded the right to counsel. Unless she is represented by a lawyer. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: On February 17.[4 appellant made the following assignment of errors: I. The Court of Appeals denied petitioners motion. Atty. The Office of the Solicitor General. we can do no less where the accused was not even duly represented by a certified member of the Philippine Bar. II. Bermas. Trial ensued and the prosecution presented as its witnesses the victim. appellant duly filed a Notice of Appeal. the right to counsel is of such primordial importance that even if an accused was represented by three successive counsels from the Public Attorneys Office. Upon arraignment. admonished three (3) PAO lawyers for failing to genuinely protect the interests of the accused and for having fallen much too short of their responsibility as officers of the court and as members of the Bar. we had occasion to resolve a similar issue in the case of Delgado v. no matter how zealous his representation might have been. Jr. No. On October 29. 120420. who for all intents and purposes acted as his counsel and even conducted the direct examination and cross-examinations of the witnesses. on the other hand. 1991. Ompong is actually not a member of the bar.00 to the complainant and another amount for costs. 1992. For the defense. THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN FINDING THAT THE ACCUSED IS GUILTY OF RAPE INSPITE OF CONFLICTING TESTIMONIES OF THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANT AND HER WITNESSES ON MATERIAL POINTS. Iloilo. the victim and her playmate. goes much deeper than the question of ability or skill. Where the interplay of basic rights of the individual may collide with the awesome forces of the state. appellant entered a plea of not guilty. Prado. After entry of judgment. from quarreling. 1992.. Petitioner Delgado and her remaining co-accused appealed to the Court of Appeals.[6 In Delgado. which affirmed petitioners conviction but acquitted her co-accused. The Court set aside the assailed judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial. her six (6) year-old playmate.R. Igmedio S. G. On appeal. maintains that notwithstanding the fact that appellants counsel during trial was not a member of the bar. Ompong. In the recent en banc case of People v. committed on December 28. Considering the importance of the constitutional right to counsel.00 and to pay the costs. however. in our view. as amended by R. One accused did not appeal.[3 In his brief. The dispositive portion of the decision states: WHEREFORE. sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. we need a professional learned in the law as well as ethically committed to defend the accused by all means fair and reasonable. the judgment should be set aside and the case remanded to the trial court for a new trial. This would certainly be a denial of due process. However. the Court. Subject of the present appeal is the decision dated October 29.000. as amended. THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT WAS DEPRIVED THOUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN TO BE DEFENDED BY A PERSON AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW AMOUNTING TO DENIAL OF DUE PROCESS. and ordering him to pay the offended party the amount of P50. the right of the accused to be heard by himself and his counsel. of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. in the town of Barangay San Luis. 1999. without subsidiary penalty in case of failure to pay the civil liability and the cost. Verily. who discovered that Gualberto C. otherwise. petitioner and two others were convicted by the trial court of the crime of estafa thru falsification of public and/or official documents. 1992. April 21. and he has agreed in writing to abide by the same rules imposed upon convicted prisoners. On the matter of proper representation by a member of the bar. Further verification with the Office of the Bar Confidant confirmed this fact. Branch 33. A person who misrepresents himself as a lawyer shall be held liable for indirect contempt of court. The accused is ordered to pay the amount of P50. Appellant contends that he was represented during trial by a person named Gualberto C. .[5 Appellant therefore argues that his deprivation of the right to counsel should necessarily result in his acquittal of the crime charged. hence. and the medico-legal officer who examined the victim. he shall only be credited with 4/5 of the same. convicting accused-appellant of the crime of rape. San Joaquin. speaking through Justice Vitug. appellant was charged with the crime of rape[1 of a girl less than nine (9) years old. explaining that This is so because an accused person is entitled to be represented by a member of the bar in a criminal case filed against her before the Regional Trial Court. appellant secured the services of a new lawyer. 6127. she filed a petition for certiorariwith this Court. 29 of the Revised Penal Code. the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape and sentences him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua together its accessory penalty. Court of Appeals.000. If qualified under Art. Hence. her mother. petitioner discovered that her lawyer was not a member of the bar and moved to set aside the entry of judgment. the trial court rendered a decision[2 finding appellant guilty as charged.A. there is great danger that any defense presented in her behalf will be inadequate considering the legal perquisites and skills needed in the court proceedings. appellant presented one German Toriales and himself. appellant was afforded due process since he has been given an opportunity to be heard and the records reveal that said person presented the evidence for the defense with the ability of a seasoned lawyer and in general handled the case of appellant in a professional and skillful manner. we shall now first resolve the issue of proper representation by a member of the bar raised by appellant. SO ORDERED.
. he may be convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. [13 121 SCRA 217. p. v. G. No. Holgado. p. WHEREFORE. 10 (1979). 85 Phil. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court. Bellosillo.. [12 In the Matter of the Petition for Authority To Continue use of the Firm Name Ozaeta. The due process requirement is a part of a persons basic rights. Mendoza. The right does not only presuppose in its possessor integrity. 562 (1997)..[10 Such a right proceeds from the fundamental principle of due process which basically means that a person must be heard before being condemned. Let all concerned parties. the assailed judgment is SET ASIDE. Buena. 12-23. It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified.. Bermas. Ompong in connection with this case.[11 The right to counsel of an accused is enshrined in no less than Article III.[8 Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the science of the law. . Serzo. Bermas. be each furnished a copy of this Decision for their appropriate action. Sections 12 and 14 (2) of the 1987 Constitution. [11 People v. and Section 2 thereof clearly provides for the requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. 92 SCRA 1. 1999. April 21. 220 (1983). 274 SCRA 553. including the Office of the Bar Confidant. 120420. Romulo. No pronouncement as to costs. 1999. Ruiz. Endnotes: [1 Information. so strict is the regulation of the practice of law that in Beltran.[13 a Bar candidate who has already successfully hurdled the Bar examinations but has not yet taken his oath and signed the roll of attorneys.R. [10 People v. G. 15. Jr. [6 145 SCRA 357 (1986).. and. Rollo. JJ.14. p. etc. but also the exercise of a special privilege.[12 Indeed. No. and the case is hereby REMANDED to the trial court for new trial. 6. Jurisprudence has also held that the right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. a person who undertakes the unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect contempt of court for assuming to be an attorney and acting as such without authority. pp. [3 Id.R. 120420. Section 5 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution vests the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law to the Supreme Court. This constitutional mandate is reflected in Section 1 of Rule 115 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure which declares the right of the accused at the trial to be present in person and by counsel at every stage of the proceedings from the arraignment to the promulgation of judgment. (Chairman). [9 Id. without counsel. concur. it is not a mere formality that may be dispensed with or performed perfunctorily. 752 (1950). With respect to the unauthorized practice of law by the person named Gualberto C. [7 Id. at 47. [8 People v. Jr. highly personal and partaking of the nature of a public trust. legal standing and attainment. at 24. Abad. Section 1 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court explicitly states who are entitled to practice law in the Philippines.[9 The right of an accused to counsel is guaranteed to minimize the imbalance in the adversarial system where the accused is pitted against the awesome prosecutory machinery of the State. particularly in the rules of procedure. Jr. Flores v. [4 Id. citing People v. [5 Certification of the Bar Car Confidant. at 360. April 21. [2 Rollo. Rollo. In turn. 59. SO ORDERED. and who was caught in the unauthorized practice of law was held in contempt of court. and De Leon. the local Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines of Iloilo City is DIRECTED to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation regarding this matter and to report its recommendations to the Court within ninety (90) days from notice of this order.The presence and participation of counsel in criminal proceedings should never be taken lightly. 90 SCRA 428 (1979). p.
that such consumption was warranted as it was the aggregate consumption of the five service vehicles issued under his name and intended for the use of the Office of the Regional Director of the DAR. DRILON. vs.15) Lumiqued vs. The third affidavit-complaint dated December 15. May. Lumiqued admitted that his average daily gasoline consumption was 108. LUMIQUED (deceased). According to private respondent. filed instead an urgent motion to defer submission of his counteraffidavit pending actual receipt of two of private respondents complaints. Hon. The investigating committee accordingly issued a subpoena directing Lumiqued to submit his counter-affidavit on or before June 17. May A. 1997 Arsenio P. 117565. created by DOJ Order No. With the use of falsified receipts. Respondents. September and October. ANTONIO T. The first affidavit-complaint dated November 16. inter alia. alleging that during the months of April. Lumiqued and Richard A. Nueva Vizcaya on their way to Ifugao when their service vehicle ran out of gas. Apolonio G. He submitted. Private Respondent. The committee granted the motion and gave him a five-day extension. CARPIO. 1989. Lumiqued allegedly committed at least 93 counts of falsification by padding gasoline receipts.4 Lumiqued alleged. HON.00.45 liters. ALL Members of Investigating Committee. November 18. July. Lumiqued. and HON. however. Petitioners. ERDOLFO V. and another receipt for P660. In her second affidavit-complaint dated November 22. Lumiqued (deceased) et al. 282 SCRA 125 G. No. he made unliquidated cash advances in the total amount of P116. the DAR Central Office in Diliman. they sought the help of the owner of a vulcanizing shop who readily furnished them with . vs. EXEVEA. EN BANC [G. 1992. Lumiqued.46. Quezon City. 52 dated May 12. On May 20. CHIEF Presidential Legal Adviser/Counsel. Since it was almost midnight. Lumiqued was the Regional Director of the Department of Agrarian Reform Cordillera Autonomous Region (DAR-CAR) until President Fidel V. Honorable APOLINIO G. He added that the receipts which were issued beyond his region were made in the course of his travels to Ifugao Province. and to submit their report and recommendation within fifteen days from its conclusion. J. DECISION ROMERO.000. 1997] ARSENIO P.: Does the due process clause encompass the right to be assisted by counsel during an administrative inquiry? Arsenio P. LEONARDO A. 1993. Represented by his Heirs. 145 on May 30. Regional Director.00 for a single vulcanizing job. 117565. He claimed that the apparent weakness of the charge was bolstered by private respondents execution of an affidavit of 5chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary desistance. it was not his obligation but that of auditors and accountants to determine whether they were falsified. 1992. Explaining why a vulcanizing shop issued a gasoline receipt. Montenegro issued Department Order No.00 for gasoline bought from the shop.1 charged Lumiqued with malversation through falsification of official documents. 1992. 1994. He affixed his signature on the receipts only to signify that the same were validly issued by the establishments concerned in order that official transactions of the DAR-CAR could be carried out. Lumiqued said that he and his companions were cruising along Santa Fe. questioning such order. Ramos dismissed him from that position pursuant to Administrative Order No. In view of Lumiqueds death on May 19. August. DAR CAR. where he attended a seminar. CABADING. They were mandated to conduct an investigation within thirty days from receipt of the order. Lumiqued. He even submitted a vulcanizing shop receipt worth P550. that the cases were filed against him to extort money from innocent public servants like him.3 charged Lumiqued with oppression and harassment. The three affidavit-complaints were referred in due course to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for appropriate action. his heirs instituted this petition for certiorari and mandamus. Exevea.R. 1989. QUISIMBING. and JEANNETTE OBARZAMUDIO. her two previous complaints prompted Lumiqued to retaliate by relieving her from her post as Regional Cashier without just cause. In his counter-affidavit dated June 23. Francisca A. No. and Laguna.2 private respondent accused Lumiqued with violation of Commission on Audit (COA) rules and regulations.172. Lumiqued purportedly defrauded the government by deliberately concealing his unliquidated cash advances through the falsification of accounting entries in order not to reflect on `Cash advances of other officials under code 8-70-600 of accounting rules.R. et al. Private respondent added that Lumiqued seldom made field trips and preferred to stay in the office. Exevea. 1989. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE. BALAJADIA and FELIX T. Lumiqued claimed and was reimbursed the sum of P44. Senior Deputy Executive Secretary of the Office of the President. The order appointed Regional State Prosecutor Apolinario Exevea as committee chairman with City Prosecutor Erdolfo Balajadia and Provincial Prosecutor Felix Cabading as members. Lumiqued. Arlene A. FRANKLIN M. November 18. 1992. 1989. making it impossible for him to consume the nearly 120 liters of gasoline he claimed everyday. Acting Justice Secretary Eduardo G. however. Because these receipts were merely turned over to him by drivers for reimbursement. HON. The dismissal was the aftermath of three complaints filed by DAR-CAR Regional Cashier and private respondent Jeannette Obar-Zamudio with the Board of Discipline of the DAR. and were initiated by private respondent in connivance with a certain Benedict Ballug of Tarlac and a certain Benigno Aquino III. From May to September 1989. 145 creating a committee to investigate the complaints against Lumiqued.
To refute private respondents allegation that he violated COA rules and regulations in incurring unliquidated cash advances in the amount of P116. Besides he also admitted having signed the receipts. Lumiqued claimed that the exigency of the service necessitated disapproval of her application for leave of absence. 1989.00. The motion was forwarded to the Office of the State Prosecutor apparently because the investigation had already been terminated. It is herein noted that as early as June 23. Lumiqued claimed that she should be relieved from her duties and assigned to jobs that would not require handling of cash and money matters. While only 15 of the gasoline receipts were ascertained to have been falsified.45 liters at a purchase price of P550. were short by P30. Here. Lumiqued also claimed that private respondent was corrupt and dishonest because a COA examination revealed that her cash accountabilities from June 22 to November 23. Domingo Lucero. the investigating committee rendered a report dated July 31.87.000. the date of the hearing. corroborated this explanation in an affidavit dated June 25.00. Any error committed in posting the amount in the books of the Regional Office was not his personal error or accountability. which date was upon the request of respondent (Lumiqued). the day following the completion of the cash examination. 1990. 1992. In disputing the charges of oppression and harassment against him. 1989 was an act of harassment. That the gasoline receipts have been falsified was not rebutted by the respondent.60. Lumiqued submitted that the amount was actually only P6.the gasoline they needed. respondent was already being assisted by counsel. such that a judicious determination of the case based on the pleadings submitted is already possible. This committee likewise finds that the respondent have (sic) unliquidated cash advances in the year 1989 which is in violation of established office and auditing rules. The requests for obligation of allotments and the vouchers covering the amounts were all signed by him. 1989 yet. but neither Lumiqued nor his counsel appeared on the date he himself had chosen.00 were properly documented. 1992. in contrast to the receipts used by the respondent which reflects an average of 108. That most of the gasoline receipts used by the respondent in claiming for the reimbursement of his gasoline expenses were falsified is clearly established by the 15 Certified Xerox Copies of the duplicate receipts (Annexes G-1 to G-15) and the certifications issued by the different gasoline stations where the respondent purchased gasoline. so the committee deemed the case submitted for resolution. On August 12. He also asserted that no medical certificate supported her application for leave of absence. On the third complaint. The mere certification issued by the Administrative Officer of the DAR-CAR cannot therefore rebut these concrete evidences (sic).viz: The medical certificate given show(s) that respondent was discharged from the Sacred Heart Hospital on July 17. Lumiqued filed an urgent motion for additional hearing. The vulcanizing shop issued its own receipt so that they could reimburse the cost of the gasoline. the motive. Lumiqued presented a certification7 of DAR-CAR Administrative Officer Deogracias F. he had in effect admitted that he had been claiming for the payment of an average consumption of 108.6 With respect to the accusation that he sought reimbursement in the amount of P660. 1992. 1992. he moved for its resetting to July 17. the owner of said vulcanizing shop. While admitting that private respondent filed the required applications for leave of absence. but Lumiqued was not assisted by counsel. been established. 9 State Prosecutor Zoila C. this committee likewise believes that the respondents act in relieving the complainant of her functions as a Regional Cashier on December 1. Respondents act in defrauding the government of a considerable sum of money by falsifying receipts constitutes not only Dishonesty of a high degree but also a criminal offense for Malversation through Falsification of Official Documents. nevertheless. Moreover.406.46 liters only at a purchase price of P50. Annexes `G-1 to `G-15 show that the actual average purchase made by the respondent is about 8.45 liters/day by justifying that this was being used by the 4 vehicles issued to his office. Almora that he had no outstanding cash advances on record as of December 31. In the same counter-affidavit. 1992.000. In an order dated September 7. 1992. The records likewise do not show that efforts were exerted to notify the Committee of respondents condition on any reasonable date after July 17. to enable him to employ the services of counsel. The records do not disclose that respondent advised the Investigating committee of his confinement and inability to attend despite his discharge. On the second hearing date. The committee granted the motion.00 for one vulcanizing job. completeness and thoroughness of the counter-affidavit together with the documentary evidence annexed thereto. 1992.8 alleging that he suffered a stroke on July 10. 1992. either by himself or thru counsel. considering that the complaint-affidavit was filed as far back as November 16. 1990. Following the conclusion of the hearings. this committee finds the evidence submitted by the complainant sufficient to establish the guilt of the respondent for Gross Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct. Although private respondent immediately returned the amount on January 18. Committee hearings on the complaints were conducted on July 3 and 10. justice can not be delayed much longer. His cash advances totalling to about P116.10 finding Lumiqued liable for all the charges against him. It made the following findings: After a thorough evaluation of the evidences (sic) submitted by the parties. He allegedly rejected her second application for leave of absence in view of her failure to file the same immediately with the head office or upon her return to work. It is noted that this was . the pattern and the scheme employed by the respondent in defrauding the government has. the greed of the respondent is made manifest by his act of claiming reimbursements of more than 10 times the value of what he actually spends.00. Montero denied the motion. Moreover an evaluation of the counter-affidavit submitted reveal(s) the sufficiency. In fact. Lumiqued contended that private respondent was not terminated from the service but was merely relieved of her duties due to her prolonged absences. 1989. 1992.
former Justice Secretary Franklin M. He added that the motion was also prematurely filed because the Office of the President (OP) had yet to act on Secretary Drilons recommendation. On December 17. Ramos himself issued Administrative Order No. before his motion could be resolved. who confessed to having authored the falsification of gasoline receipts and attested to petitioner Lumiqueds being an honest man who had no premonition that the receipts he (Dwight) turned over to him were altered. and dismissing him from the service. with more reason. Lumiqued filed a second motion for reconsideration. No. with forfeiture of his retirement and other benefits.21 Secretary Quisumbing denied the second motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.14 Concurring with this view. 1993. Undersecretary Esguerra informed Lumiqued that the investigating committee could no longer act on his motion for reconsideration.O. He added that the filing of the affidavit of desistance11would not prevent the issuance of a resolution on the matter considering that what was at stake was not only the violation of complainants (herein private respondents) personal rights but also the competence and fitness of the respondent (Lumiqued) to remain in public office.O. In a nutshell. 1992. Ramos dated October 22.20 however.000. 145 ceased when they transmitted their report to the DOJ.12Undersecretary Ramon S. No. 1993. of a certain Dwight L. President Fidel V. 1992. They assert that the committee should have suspended the hearing and granted Lumiqued a reasonable time within which to secure a counsel of his own. The recommendation of Jose G. They maintain that his right to counsel could not be waived unless the waiver was in writing and in the presence of counsel. as well as that of incurring unliquidated cash advances. This Office is not about to shift the blame for all these to the drivers employed by the DAR-CAR as respondent would want us to do. On September 28. No. petitioners invoke the right of an accused in criminal proceedings to have competent and independent counsel of his own choice.18 Treating the petition for appeal as a motion for the reconsideration of A. this only show(s) that he is capable of giving bribes if only to have the cases against him dismissed.O. 1992. among other things. however. 145 was for the purpose of determining if he could be held administratively liable under . which cannot be waived unless the waiver is in writing and in the presence of counsel. Undaunted. the committee should have appointed a counsel de oficio to assist him. This petition was basically premised on the affidavit dated May 27. 1993. The OP. 52. through Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Leonardo A. Lumiqued prayed that A. Lumiqued. that he was denied the constitutional right to counsel during the hearing. If suspension was not possible. Accordingly. No. 52). Drilon adopted the same in his Memorandum to President Fidel V. Lumiqued died.O. the evidence on record could call for a punitive action against the respondent on the initiative of the DAR. alleging. 1994. 1990 or almost six months after the respondents order relieving the complainant was issued. was not accused of any crime in the proceedings below. Esguerra indorsed the motion to the investigating committee. Lumiqued filed a motion for reconsideration of the findings of the Committee with the DOJ. the investigating committee recommended Lumiqueds dismissal or removal from office. denied the same on August 31. in fact. the OP. the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus praying for the reversal of the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Committee. 52 (A. These arguments are untenable and misplaced.22chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Petitioners fault the investigating committee for its failure to inform Lumiqued of his right to counsel during the hearing. the three-member investigating committee informed Undersecretary Esguerra that the committee had no more authority to act on the same (motion for reconsideration) considering that the matter has already been forwarded to the Office of the President and that their authority under Department Order No. In fact. and the backwages from the period he was dismissed from service up to the time of his death on May 19. 1993. Hence. 1994. a former driver of the DAR-CAR. in an administrative inquiry. 1994. found that the charges of oppression and harassment. 16 finding Lumiqued administratively liable for dishonesty in the alteration of fifteen gasoline receipts. and the orders of Secretary Quisumbing. Medina of the Commission on Audit came only on May 11. The right to counsel. The investigation conducted by the committee created by Department Order No.done barely two weeks after the complainant filed charges against her (sic). payable to his heirs.15chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On May 12. He opined that. He could not have given a certain Benigno Aquino III the sum of P10. be invoked or rejected in a criminal proceeding and. thus. The receipts in question were signed by respondent for the purpose of attesting that those receipts were validly issued by the commercial establishments and were properly disbursed and used in the official business for which it was intended. however. 13 In a letter dated April 1.19 On May 19. without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate criminal charges against him. were not satisfactorily established. Memorandum of then Justice Secretary Drilon. Acting on the report and recommendation. 52 be reconsidered and that he be reinstated to his former position with all the benefits accorded to him by law and existing rules and regulations. Thus: That the receipts were merely turned over to him by his drivers and that the auditor and accountant of the DARCAR should be the ones to be held liable is untenable. In the case at bar.23 It is not an absolute right and may. In a petition for appeal17 addressed to President Ramos. 52 issued by President Ramos. His act in harassing a subordinate employee in retaliation to a complaint she filed constitute(s) Gross Misconduct on the part of the respondent who is a head of office. Quisumbing. A. is a right afforded a suspect or an accused during custodial investigation.00 for any other purpose. The affidavits of Joseph In-uyay and Josefina Guting are of no help to the respondent. Lumiqued. it prays for the payment of retirement benefits and other benefits accorded to deceased Arsenio Lumiqued by law. the October 22.
Thus at the July 3. because when I went to see him. the hearing conducted by the investigating committee was not part of a criminal prosecution. Excerpts from the transcript of stenographic notes of the hearings attended by Lumiqued31 clearly show that he was confident of his capacity and so opted to represent himself. Sir. it hinted at the filing of criminal case for malversation through falsification of public documents in its report and recommendation. LUMIQUED: That is my concern. hearing.34 much later than the July 1992 hearings of the investigating committee created by Department Order No. 1992. Do you have a counsel. This was even made more pronounced when. the DOJ shall administer the criminal justice system in accordance with the accepted processes thereof consisting in the investigation of the crimes. petitioners reliance on Resolution No. Rule XIV (on discipline) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 28 In an administrative proceeding such as the one that transpired below. took effect fifteen days following its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. said resolution. is hereby created x x x. (To Director Lumiqued) You really wish to go through with this even without your counsel? DIRECTOR LUMIQUED: . he told me. 226029 (otherwise known as the Civil Service Act) and Section 39. a respondent (such as Lumiqued) has the option of engaging the services of counsel or not. LUMIQUED: Yes. In the first place.35 (Underscoring supplied) In the course of private respondents damaging testimony. 145 was duty-bound to conduct the administrative investigation in accordance with the rules therefor. Director Lumiqued is present.. 29230 (otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987). the right to counsel is not imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are conducted merely to determine whether there are facts that merit disciplinary measures against erring public officers and employees. I am confident. Department of Agrarian Reform. which is dated January 25. The complainant is present. the investigating committee created by Department Order No. the fact remains that under existing laws. While it is true that under the Administrative Code of 1987. Director? DIR. Lumiqued was repeatedly appraised of his option to secure services of counsel: RSP EXEVEA: This is an administrative case against Director Lumiqued. Complainant has just been furnished with a copy of the counter-affidavit of the respondent. Accordingly. RSP EXEVEA: So. Thirdly. irrespective of the nature of the charges and of the respondents capacity to represent himself and no duty rests on such a body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel.. morning and afternoon today. 27prosecutors may be called upon to conduct administrative investigations. Cordillera Autonomous Region. 1994. that he has already set a hearing. While investigations conducted by an administrative body may at times be akin to a criminal proceeding. the investigating committee once again reminded Lumiqued of his need for a counsel. Furthermore.33 Secondly. Thus: CP BALAJADIA: Q. The order issued by Acting Secretary of Justice Montenegro states thus: In the interest of the public service and pursuant to the provisions of existing laws. a Committee to conduct the formal investigation of the administrative complaint for oppression. we will proceed with the hearing even without your counsel? You are willing to proceed with the hearing even without your counsel? DIR. CP BALAJADIA: You are confident that you will be able to represent yourself? DIR. being notoriously undesirable and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service against Mr. 32 is inappropriate. Janet Obar-Zamudio.the law for the complaints filed against him. the same committee was not remiss in the matter of reminding Lumiqued of his right to counsel. after finding Lumiqued administratively liable. LUMIQUED: I did not bring anybody. 94-0521 of the Civil Service Commission on the Uniform Procedure in the Conduct of Administrative Investigation stating that a respondent in an administrative complaint must be informed of his right to the assistance of a counsel of his choice. By its power to perform such other functions as may be provided by law. ARSENIO P. Petitioners misconception on the nature of the investigation 25 conducted against Lumiqued appears to have been engendered by the fact that the DOJ conducted it. dishonesty.24chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary As such. a party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel. Article VII of Republic Act No. 145. prosecution of offenders and administration of the correctional system. paragraph 2. this resolution is applicable only to cases brought before the Civil Service Commission. disgraceful and immoral conduct.26 conducting criminal investigations is not its sole function. LUMIQUED. Regional Director. with the purpose of maintaining the dignity of government service. This is clear from the provisions of Section 32. Thus. Sir.
we will proceed.36 (Underscoring supplied) Thereafter. will you please submit the document which we asked for and Director Lumiqued. In his statement. FISCAL BALAJADIA: Are you moving for a postponement Director? May I throw this to the panel. probably Wednesday so we will have good time (sic) of presenting the affidavit. he could have defended himself if need be. The charges against you are quite serious. I am now being bothered by my heart ailment. that Lumiqued was short-changed in his right to due process. Director Lumiqued. because of the doubt or . Pertinent excerpts from said hearing follow: FISCAL BALAJADIA: I notice also Mr. LUMIQUED: Furthermore Sir. Lumiqued still did not avail of the services of counsel. the committee decided to wind up the proceedings. however. CP BALAJADIA: Please select your date now. We would like you to be protected legally in the course of this investigation. Director Lumiqued? DIRECTOR LUMIQUED: I was not able to bring a lawyer since the lawyer I requested to assist me and was the one who prepared my counter-affidavit is already engaged for a hearing and according to him he is engaged for the whole month of July. and Lumiqued had already submitted his counter-affidavit. This did not mean. he told me that he had set a case also at 9:30 in the other court and he told me if there is a possibility of having this case postponed anytime next week. Consequently. was the thought he entertained during the hearings he was able to attend. the date when Lumiqued was released from the hospital. RSP EXEVEA: We cannot wait.37chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary At the hearing scheduled for July 10. because the hearing could not push through on said date. Lumiqued. May we know if he has a lawyer to represent him in this investigation? DIR. the following colloquies transpired: CP BALAJADIA: We will suspend in the meantime that we are waiting for the supplemental affidavit you are going to present to us. CP BALAJADIA: Why dont you engage the services of another counsel.. That is my concern. a Regional Director of a major department in the executive branch of the government. if you have other witnesses. however. Prior to said date. RSP EXEVEA: And is (sic) appearing that the supplemental-affidavit has been furnished him only now and this has several documents attached to it so I think we could grant him one last postponement considering that he has already asked for an extension.38chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The hearing was reset to July 17. Chairman that the respondent is not being represented by a counsel. graduated from the University of the Philippines (Los Baos) with the degree of Bachelor of Science major in Agriculture. Lumiqued did not inform the committee of his confinement.. 39 Hence. The last time he was asked to invite his lawyer in this investigation. and underwent training seminars both here and abroad. we are only given one month to finish the investigation. We are not saying you are guilty already. The charges in this case are quite serious and he should be given a chance to the assistance of a counsel/lawyer. LUMIQUED: There is none Sir because when I went to my lawyer. Why dont you get the services of another counsel. There are plenty here in Baguio. With or without counsel. Sir. if not exasperatedly. apparently. 1992.. 1992. if truth were on his side... Sir. please bring them but reduce their testimonies in affidavit form so that we can expedite with the proceedings. We are just apprehensive that you will go through this investigation without a counsel. Do you have any request from the panel of investigators. was a recipient of various scholarships and grants.A. DIRECTOR LUMIQUED: I will try to see. one could detect that it had been uttered testily. CP BALAJADIA: Madam Witness. This.. CP BALAJADIA: Let us make it of record that we have been warning you to proceed with the assistance of counsel but you said that you can take care of yourself so we have no other alternative but to proceed. without the help of counsel. I think so. RSP EXEVEA: We will not entertain any postponement. DIR.
. Kapunan. even if such evidence is not overwhelming or preponderant.48 In this case. pp. fail. Vitug. loyalty and efficiency. .skepticism implicit in the question.42 As long as a party was given the opportunity to defend his interests in due course. The committees findings pinning culpability for the charges of dishonesty and grave misconduct upon Lumiqued were not.45 The constitutional provision on due process safeguards life. Of equal weight is the countervailing mandate of the Constitution that all public officers and employees must serve with responsibility. and Panganiban. Endnotes: 1 Rollo. Narvasa. public office is deemed analogous to property in a limited sense. integrity. Bellosillo.. Its conclusions were founded on the evidence presented and evaluated as facts.46 In the early case of Cornejo v. the essence of due process is simply the opportunity to explain ones side. C. Puno. Costs against petitioners. Gabriel and Provincial Board of Rizal 47 the Court held that a public office is not property within the sense of the constitutional guarantee of due process of law for it is a public trust or agency. 44 Lumiqueds appeal and his subsequent filing of motions for reconsideration cured whatever irregularity attended the proceedings conducted by the committee. must. Nonetheless.. forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits. including annexes.51 which petitioners have not successfully disputed in the instant case.41 An actual hearing is not always an indispensable aspect of due process. therefore. as shown above. liberty and property.. Public office is a public trust. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a party in a non-criminal proceeding is entitled to be represented by counsel and that. however. this constitutional mandate is deemed satisfied if a person is granted an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. the adoption by Secretary Drilon and the OP of the committees recommendation of dismissal may not in any way be deemed tainted with arbitrariness amounting to grave abuse of discretion. He was obviously convinced that he could ably represent himself. Dishonesty is a grave offense penalized by dismissal under Section 23 of Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987. The right to counsel is not indispensable to due process unless required by the Constitution or the law.49 The quantum of proof necessary for a finding of guilt in administrative cases is only substantial evidence or such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. fraught with procedural mischief. Well-settled in our jurisdiction is the doctrine that findings of fact of administrative agencies must be respected as long as they are supported by substantial evidence. the safeguard is deemed ignored or violated. while desirable. including annexes. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people. The instant petition. 52 of the Office of the President is AFFIRMED. act with patriotism and justice. WHEREFORE. Section 1 on accountability of public officers. The ordinary citizen is not that helpless that he cannot validly act at all except only with a lawyer at his side.43 Moreover. the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus is hereby DISMISSED and Administrative Order No. SO ORDERED. without such representation. The assistance of lawyers. You are confident that you will be able to represent yourself? despite his having positively asserted earlier. Auditor General. This jurisprudential pronoucement has been enshrined in the 1987 Constitution under Article XI. pp. serve them with utmost responsibility. loyalty. In Nera v. and efficiency. When the dispute concerns ones constitutional right to security of tenure. it has been clearly shown that Lumiqued did not live up to this constitutional precept. Melo. concur. Strong evidence is not necessary to rebut that presumption. Francisco. not solely by verbal presentation but also. and the disqualification for reemployment in the government service. on leave.40 the Court said: x x x. the penalty of dismissal carries with it cancellation of eligibility. Under Section 9 of the same Rule. for this opportunity to be heard is the very essence of due process. through pleadings. and perhaps even much more creditably as it is more practicable than oral arguments. he cannot be said to have been denied due process of law.50chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Consequently. and lead modest lives. Davide. 2 Ibid. 37-75. Beyond repeatedly reminding him that he could avail himself of counsel and as often receiving the reply that he is confident of his ability to defend himself. Government officials are presumed to perform their functions with regularity. the investigating committee could not do more. Mendoza. the right to due process could rightfully be invoked. integrity. Regalado. the right to security of tenure is not absolute. which is aimed primarily at the payment of retirement benefits and other benefits plus backwages from the time of Lumiqueds dismissal until his demise. 76-103. In administrative proceedings. as follows: Section 1. One may be heard. Jr. JJ. The legal profession was not engrafted in the due process clause such that without the participation of its members. I am confident. One can lead a horse to water but cannot make him drink. is not indispensable.J. Yes. he shall not be bound by such proceedings. hence.
16 Id. 12 (1). Ms. 131. Private respondent submitted a supplemental affidavit-complaint on July 6. p.. pp.. and the police carries out a process of interrogations that lends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the rule (on the right of an accused to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel of his choice) begins to operate (People v. 22 Id. 104-105. pp. and that Lumiqued was already pressuring her and her family that. 167-168. 15 Id.. 1989. p. Sec. This fourth complaint is substantially similar to the first complaint except that it contained allegations of falsified gasoline receipts covering the month of April. pp. 225-247.. 6 Rollo. 202. It is only after the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and begins to focus on a particular suspect. the suspect is taken into custody. 20 Id. 5 See Footnote 11. 1987 Constitution. p.. 272-273. 14 Id. 19 Id. 8 Id. 36. pp. 203-216. 7 Ibid... III. she succumbed to the pressure (TSN. . 25 In his motion for reconsideration dated December 17. Lumiqued charged the investigating committee with having viewed the case against him from purely tenuous technical angle thereby leading the Secretary of Justice to arrive at his recommendation contrary to the spirit if not to the letters of Revised Penal Code and the Administrative Code and COA Rules and Regulations (sic). 10 Petitioners did not attach a copy of the investigating committees report to their petition. Zamudio swore that she executed that affidavit because of the length of time that transpired before her complaints were acted upon. 32-35. It is found in the folder containing the transcripts of stenographic notes that the Judicial Records Office of this Court had requested from the Office of the Solicitor General. 17 Id. When she testified on July 3. considering that she had children. p. 169-170. p. Marra. p. pp. 1992. pp.. 10). 200. 1991.. 24 A copy of this Department Order is found in the folder of photocopies of the transcript of stenographic notes that the Office of the Solicitor General furnished the Judicial Records Office of this Court. 27-28. July 3.. 1992. 107-115. 12 Rollo. 13 Ibid. Custodial investigation has been defined as x x x any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.3 Id.. pp. 217-218. 123. 11 The affidavit of desistance was executed on July 10. 9 Id.. 18 Id.. 23 Art.. 4 Id. pp. infra. 1992. 174-190. 236 SCRA 565 ). 199. pp. pp. pp. 21 Id. p. 1992.
36 Ibid. 34 Ibid. Formal charge. 311 Phil. No. and to have the attendance of witnesses and production of documents in his favor by compulsory process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. 29 Sec. That the respondent shall be entitled to a formal investigation if he so elects. Book IV. Art. CSC Resolution No.No officer or employee in the civil service shall be removed or suspended except for cause as provided by law and after due process: Provided. Court of Appeals. 549 citing Mutuc v. 94457. 38 TSN.. further. 27 Sec. He shall be furnished copies of the complaint.He shall also be informed of his right to the assistance of a counsel of his choice. 1987 Administrative Code. pp. 1992. 206. 310 Phil. Ltd. The respondent shall be given at least seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of said formal charge to submit his answer under oath. If the respondent has already submitted his comment and counter-affidavits during the preliminary investigation. v. 94-0521. 322 Phil. 2. July 10. Vasquez. 41 Concerned Officials of MWSS v. 31. G. 39 Rollo. 1. 44 Pizza Hut/Progressive Development Corporation v. July 3. 42 Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) v. III. 181 SCRA 308 (1990). 210 P. xxx. 45 Rubenecia v. 1-2. 1997. sworn statements and other documents submitted by the complainant. October 16. and a statement indicating whether or not he elects a formal investigation. to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him.2d 666 (1949). unless he had already received the same during the preliminary investigation. (Underscoring supplied) 31 Infra 32 Section 21. Pte. 13-14. When the Commission finds the existence of a prima facie case. 1. p. 43 Legarda v.. 46 Sec.H. Disciplinary Action -. 1987 Constitution. 197 SCRA 842 (1991). 314 Phil.Sec. 55. 39. supra.26 Sec. 612. cited in Feeder v. pp. the respondent shall be formally charged. Civil Service Commission. 33 Sec. Title III. Board of Governors of Registered Dentists of Oklahoma. together with the affidavits of his witnesses and other evidence. 35 TSN. Civil Service Commission.. 1992. 40 164 SCRA 1 (1988). (Underscoring supplied). 579. finally.R. 18-19. 28 Bancroft v. 190 SCRA 43 (1990). 573.. x x x Either party may avail himself of the services of counsel and may require the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence in his favor through the compulsory process of subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. 3-4. That a transfer from one position to another without reduction in rank or salary shall not be considered disciplinary when made in the interest of public service: Provided. . International Line. 37 Id. pp. Valderama & Sons. Drilon. pp. he shall be given the opportunity to submit additional evidence. NLRC. Court of Appeals. That no complaint against a civil service official or employee shall be given due course unless the same is in writing and subscribed and sworn to by complaint: And provided. Court of Appeals. in which case he shall have the right to appear and defend himself at said investigation in person or by counsel. (Underscoring supplied) 30 Sec. and/or Roberto Tinsay v. Inc. 3 (8). T.
49 Ynson v. citing Tolentino v. Court of Appeals. 50 Office of the Court Administrator v. Tanco. Garcia. 296. Ricon. Zerna. Jr. 193 SCRA 323 (1991).. 154 SCRA 593 . 250 SCRA 1 (1995). 257 SCRA 411(1996). Jr. 16) Bonagan vs.. Court of Appeals. 313 Phil. 235 SCRA 588 (1994). 188.47 41 Phil. Bucoy. 48 De Luna v. 150 SCRA 26 (1987)and Biak-na-Bato Mining Company v. 51 Tatad v.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.