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JUSTICE VILLARAMA DECISIONS (JAN 2010 NOV

2011)
LEGAL ETHICS
Rey Vargas, et al. vs. Atty. Michael Ignes, et al., A.C. No. 8096,
July 5, 2010.
Attorney; engagement of private counsel by GOCC. In Phividec
Industrial Authority v. Capitol Steel Corporation, we listed three (3)
indispensable conditions before a GOCC can hire a private lawyer: (1)
private counsel can only be hired in exceptional cases; (2) the GOCC
must first secure the written conformity and acquiescence of the
Solicitor General or the Government Corporate Counsel, as the case
may be; and (3) the written concurrence of the COA must also be
secured.
Failure
to
comply
with
all
three conditions would
constitute appearance without authority. A lawyer appearing after his
authority as counsel had expired is also appearance without authority.
BGen. (Ret.) Jose S. Ramiscal, Jr. vs. Hon. Jose R. Hernandez,
G.R. Nos. 173057-74, September 20, 2010.
Judges; inhibition. The mere imputation of bias or partiality is not
enough ground for inhibition, especially when the charge is without
basis. Extrinsic evidence must further be presented to establish bias,
bad faith, malice, or corrupt purpose, in addition to palpable error
which may be inferred from the decision or order itself. This Court has
to be shown acts or conduct of the judge clearly indicative of
arbitrariness or prejudice before the latter can be branded the stigma
of being biased or partial.
Gregorio Dimarucot y Garcia vs.. People of the Philippines, G.R.
No. 183975,September 20, 2010.
Attorney; mistake binding on client. Petitioner cannot simply harp on
the mistakes and negligence of his lawyer allegedly beset with
personal problems and emotional depression. The negligence and
mistakes of counsel are binding on the client. There are exceptions to
this rule, such as when the reckless or gross negligence of counsel
deprives the client of due process of law, or when the application of the
general rule results in the outright deprivation of ones property
or liberty through a technicality. However, in this case, we find no
reason to exempt petitioner from the general rule. The admitted
inability of his counsel to attend fully and ably to the prosecution of his
appeal and other sorts of excuses should have prompted petitioner to
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JUSTICE VILLARAMA DECISIONS (JAN 2010 NOV


2011)
LEGAL ETHICS
be more vigilant in protecting his rights and replace said counsel with a
more competent lawyer. Instead, petitioner continued to allow his
counsel to represent him on appeal and even up to this Court,
apparently in the hope of moving this Court with a fervent plea for
relaxation
of
the
rules
for
reason
of
petitioners
age
and medical condition. Verily, diligence is required not only from
lawyers but also from their clients.
Re: Letter of the UP Law Faculty entitled Restoring Integrity:
A Statement by the Faculty of the University of the Philippines
College of Law on the Allegations of Plagiarism and
Misrepresentation in the Supreme Court, A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC.
October 19, 2010.
Statement of UP Professors. While the statement was meant to reflect
the educators opinion on the allegations of plagiarism against Justice
Del Castillo, they treated such allegation not only as an established
fact, but a truth. They expressed dissatisfaction over Justice Del
Castillos explanation on how he cited the primary sources of the
quoted portions and yet arrived at a contrary conclusion to those of the
authors of the articles supposedly plagiarized. The statement bore
certain remarks which raise concern for the Court. The first paragraph
concludes with a reference to the decision in Vinuya v. Executive
Secretary as a reprehensible act of dishonesty and misrepresentation
by the Highest Court of the land. The authors also not only assumed
that Justice Del Castillo committed plagiarism, they went further by
directly accusing the Court of perpetrating extraordinary injustice by
dismissing the petition of the comfort women in Vinuya v. Executive
Secretary. They further attempt to educate this Court on how to go
about the review of the case. The insult to the members of the Court
was aggravated by imputations of deliberately delaying the resolution
of the said case, its dismissal on the basis of polluted sources, the
Courts alleged indifference to the cause of petitioners, as well as the
supposed alarming lack of concern of the members of the Court for
even the most basic values of decency and respect.
The publication of a statement by the faculty of the UP College of Law
regarding the allegations of plagiarism and misrepresentation in the
Supreme Court was totally unnecessary, uncalled for and a rash act of
misplaced vigilance. Of public knowledge is the ongoing investigation
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JUSTICE VILLARAMA DECISIONS (JAN 2010 NOV


2011)
LEGAL ETHICS
precisely to determine the truth of such allegations. More importantly,
the motion for reconsideration of the decision alleged to contain
plagiarized materials is still pending before the Court. We made it clear
in the case of In re Kelly that any publication, pending a suit, reflecting
upon the court, the jury, the parties, the officers of the court, the
counsel with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision
of the controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable.
The UP Law faculty would fan the flames and invite resentment against
a resolution that would not reverse the Vinuya decision. This runs
contrary to their obligation as law professors and officers of the Court
to be the first to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to
which they owe fidelity according to the oath they have taken
asattorneys, and not to promote distrust in the administration of
justice.
Office of the Court Administrator vs. Gregorio B. Saddi, A.M.
No. P-10-2818, November 15, 2010.
Court personnel; gross dishonesty. Saddis failure to turn over up to this
time the full amount of his collections and to adequately explain
and present evidence thereon constitute gross dishonesty, grave
misconduct, and even malversation of public funds. The delayed
remittance of his cash collections and failure to submit monthly reports
of court funds he received constitute gross neglect of duty. Dishonesty
alone, being in the nature of a grave offense, carries the extreme
penalty of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of retirement
benefits, except accrued leave credits, and perpetual disqualification
for reemployment in the government service.
National Power Corporation, represented its President Cyril Del
Callar vs. Judge Santos B. Adiong, Regional Trial Court, BR. 8,
Marawi City, A.M. No. RTJ-07-2060. July 27, 2011
Judge; gross ignorance of the law. Respondent Judge failed to conduct a
pre-trial conference contrary to elementary rules of procedure which
he should have known all too well considering his long years of service
in the bench. Such ignorance of a basic rule in court procedure, as
failing to conduct pre-trial, sadly amounts to gross ignorance and
warrants a corresponding penalty. As to the allegations of poor
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JUSTICE VILLARAMA DECISIONS (JAN 2010 NOV


2011)
LEGAL ETHICS
judgment and gross ignorance of basic legal principles in granting the
motions for execution pending appeal for flimsy and unsupported
reasons, the particular reasons relied upon by respondent judge for
issuing the writ of execution pending appeal are so unreliably weak
and feeble that it highlights the lack of knowledge of respondent judge
with regard to the proper appreciation of arguments. Dire financial
conditions of the plaintiffs supported by mere self-serving statements
as good reason for the issuance of a writ of execution pending appeal
does not stand on solid footing. It does not even stand on its own.
Tomas P. Tan, Jr. v. Atty. Haide V. Gumba. A.C. No. 9000.
October 5, 2011.
Attorney; grave misconduct. Respondent attorney was found to have
violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Respondents actions clearly show that she deceived complainant into
lending money to her through the use of documents and false
representations and by taking advantage of her education and
complainants ignorance in legal matters. As manifested by
complainant, he would have never granted the loan to respondent
were it not for respondents misrepresentation that she was authorized
to sell the property and that complainant could register the open
deed of sale if respondent fails to pay the loan. By her misdeed,
respondent has eroded not only complainants perception of the legal
profession but the publics perception as well. Her actions constitute
gross misconduct for which she may be disciplined.

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