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CIRCULAR NO.

14-93 July 15, 1993 and prior recourse thereto is a pre-condition before filing a complaint in court

or any government offices, except in the following disputes:


TO: ALL REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS,

MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS 1. Where one party is the government, or any subdivision or instrumentality

thereof;
SUBJECT: GUIDELINES ON THE KATARUNGANG PAMBARANGAY

CONCILIATION PROCEDURE TO PREVENT CIRCUMVENTION OF THE 2. Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to
REVISED KATARUNGANG PAMBARANGAY LAW (SECTIONS 399-422, the performance of his official functions;
CHAPTER VII, TITLE I, BOOK III, R.A. 7160. OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE
3. Where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities and
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991).
municipalities, unless the parties thereto agree to submit their difference to

The Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law under R.A. 7160, otherwise amicable settlement by an appropriate Lupon;
known as the local Government Code of 1991, effective on January 1, 1992, and
4. Any complaint by or against corporations, partnership or juridical entities,
which repealed P.D. 1508, introduced substantial changes not only in the
since only individuals shall be parties to Barangay conciliation proceedings
authority granted to the Lupong Tagapamayapa but also in the procedure to
either as complainants or respondents (Sec. 1, Rule VI, Katarungang
be observed in the settlement of disputes within the authority of the Lupon.
Pambarangay Rules);
In order that the laudable purpose of the law may not be subverted and its
5. Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different
effectiveness undermined by indiscriminate, improper and/or premature
cities or municipalities, except where such barangay units adjoin each other
issuance of certifications to file actions in court by the Lupon or Pangkat
and the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable
Secretaries, attested by the Lupon/Pangkat Chairmen, respectively, the
settlement by an appropriate Lupon;
following guidelines are hereby issued for the information of trial court judges

in cases brought before them coming from the Barangays: 6. Offenses for which the law prescribes a maximum penalty of imprisonment
exceeding one (1) year or a fine over five thousand pesos (P5,000.00);
I. All disputes are subject to Barangay conciliation pursuant to the Revised
Katarungang Pambarangay Law (formerly P.D. 1508, repealed and now 7. Offenses where there is no private offended party;
replaced by Secs. 399-422, Chapter VII, Title I, Book III, and Sec. 515, Title I,
Book IV, R.A. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991),
8. Disputes where urgent legal action is necessary to prevent injustice from II. Under the provisions of R.A. 7160 on Katarungang Pambarangay

being committed or further continued, specifically the following: conciliation, as implemented by the Katarungang Pambarangay Rules and
Regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Justice, the certification for filing
a. Criminal cases where accused is under police custody or detention (see Sec.
a complaint in court or any government office shall be issued by Barangay
412 (b) (1), Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law);
authorities only upon compliance with the following requirements:

b. Petitions for habeas corpus by a person illegally deprived of his rightful


1. Issued by the Lupon Secretary and attested by the Lupon Chairman
custody over another or a person illegally deprived or on acting in his behalf;
(Punong Barangay), certifying that a confrontation of the parties has taken

c. Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary injunction, place and that a conciliation settlement has been reached, but the same has
attachment, delivery of personal property and support during the pendency been subsequently repudiated (Sec. 412, Revised Katarungang Pambarangay

of the action; and Law; Sec. 2[h], Rule III, Katarungang Pambarangay Rules);

d. Actions which may be barred by the Statute of Limitations. 2. Issued by the Pangkat Secretary and attested by the Pangkat Chairman,

certifying that:
9. Any class of disputes which the President may determine in the interest of

justice or upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice; a. a confrontation of the parties took place but no conciliation/settlement has

been reached (Sec. 4[f], Rule III, Katarungang Pambarangay Rules; or


10. Where the dispute arises from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law

(CARL) (Sec. 46 & 47, R.A. 6657); b. that no personal confrontation took place before the Pangkat through no
fault of the complainant (Sec. 4[f], Rule III, Katarungang Pambarangay Rules).
11. Labor disputes or controversies arising from employer-employee relations
(Montoya vs. Escayo, et al., 171 SCRA 442; Art. 226, Labor Code, as amended, 3. Issued by the Punong Barangay, as requested by the proper party on the

which grants original and exclusive jurisdiction over conciliation and ground of failure of settlement where the dispute involves members of the

mediation of disputes, grievances or problems to certain offices of the same indigenous cultural community, which shall be settled in accordance

Department of Labor and Employment); with the customs and traditions of that particular cultural community, or
where one or more of the parties to the aforesaid dispute belong to the
12. Actions to annul judgment upon a compromise which may be filed directly
minority and the parties mutually agreed to submit their dispute to the
in court (See Sanchez vs. Tupaz, 158 SCRA 459).
indigenous system of amicable settlement, and there has been no settlement
as certified by the datu or tribal leader or elder to the Punong Barangay of CA, 151 SCRA 289), or the court may suspend proceedings upon petition of

place of settlement (Secs. 1,4 & 5, Rule IX, Katarungang Pambarangay Rules); any party under Sec. 1, Rule 21 of the Rules of Court; and refer the case motu
and proprio to the appropriate Barangay authority, applying by analogy Sec. 408
[g], 2nd par., of the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law which reads as
4. If mediation or conciliation efforts before the Punong Barangay proved
follows:
unsuccessful, there having been no agreement to arbitrate (Sec. 410 [b],
Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law; Sec. 1, c. (1), Rule III, Katarungang The court in which non-criminal cases not falling within the authority of the

Pambarangay Rules), or where the respondent fails to appear at the Lupon under this Code are filed may at any time before trial, motu

mediation proceeding before the Punong Barangay (3rd par. Sec. 8, a, Rule VI, proprio refer case to the Lupon concerned for amicable settlement.
Katarungang Pambarangay Rules), the Punong Barangay shall not cause the
Strict observance of these guidelines is enjoined. This Administrative Circular
issuance at this stage of a certification to file action, because it is now
shall be effective immediately.
mandatory for him to constitute the Pangkat before whom mediation,

conciliation, or arbitration proceedings shall be held. Manila, Philippines. July 15, 1993.

III. All complaints and/or informations filed or raffled to your sala/branch of (Sgd.) ANDRES R. NARVASA
the Regional Trial Court shall be carefully read and scrutinized to determine if Chief Justice
there has been compliance with prior Barangay conciliation procedure under
The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law
the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law and its Implementing Rules and
Regulations, as a pre-condition to judicial action, particularly whether the CHAPTER 7 - KATARUNGANG PAMBARANGAY
certification to file action attached to the records of the case comply with the
SEC. 399. Lupong Tagapamayapa. - (a) There is hereby created in each
requirements hereinabove enumerated in par. II;
barangay a lupong tagapamayapa, hereinafter referred to as the lupon,
IV. A case filed in court without compliance with prior Barangay conciliation composed of the punong barangay as chairman and ten (10) to twenty (20)
which is a pre-condition for formal adjudication (Sec. 412 [a] of the Revised members. The lupon shall be constituted every three (3) years in the manner
Katarungang Pambarangay Law) may be dismissed upon motion of provided herein.
defendant/s, not for lack of jurisdiction of the court but for failure to state a
cause of action or prematurity (Royales vs. IAC, 127 SCRA 470; Gonzales vs.
(b) Any person actually residing or working in the barangay, not otherwise SEC. 400. Oath and Term of Office. - Upon appointment, each lupon member

expressly disqualified by law, and possessing integrity, impartiality, shall take an oath of office before the punong barangay. He shall hold office
independence of mind, sense of fairness, and reputation for probity, may be until a new lupon is constituted on the third year following his appointment

appointed a member of the lupon.cralaw unless sooner terminated by resignation, transfer of residence or place of

work, or withdrawal of appointment by the punong barangay with the


(c) A notice to constitute the lupon, which shall include the names of
concurrence of the majority of all the members of the lupon.cralaw
proposed members who have expressed their willingness to serve, shall be

prepared by the punong barangay within the first fifteen (15) days from the SEC. 401. Vacancies. - Should a vacancy occur in the lupon for any cause, the

start of his term of office. Such notice shall be posted in three (3) conspicuous punong barangay shall immediately appoint a qualified person who shall hold
places in the barangay continuously for a period of not less than three (3) office only for the unexpired portion of the term.cralaw

weeks;
SEC. 402. Functions of the Lupon. - The lupon shall: (a) Exercise administrative
(d) The punong barangay, taking into consideration any opposition to the supervision over the conciliation panels provided herein;
proposed appointment or any recommendations for appointments as may
(b) Meet regularly once a month to provide a forum for exchange of ideas
have been made within the period of posting, shall within ten (10) days
among its members and the public on matters relevant to the amicable
thereafter, appoint as members those whom he determines to be suitable
settlement of disputes, and to enable various conciliation panel members to
therefor. Appointments shall be in writing, signed by the punong barangay,
share with one another their observations and experiences in effecting speedy
and attested to by the barangay secretary.cralaw
resolution of disputes; and cralaw
(e) The list of appointed members shall be posted in three (3) conspicuous
(c) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as
places in the barangay for the entire duration of their term of office;
may be prescribed by law or ordinance.cralaw
and cralaw

SEC. 403. Secretary of the Lupon. - The barangay secretary shall concurrently
(f) In barangays where majority of the inhabitants are members of indigenous
serve as the secretary of the lupon. He shall record the results of mediation
cultural communities, local systems of es through their councils of datus or
proceedings before the punong barangay and shall submit a report thereon
elders shall be recognized without prejudice to the applicable provisions of
to the proper city or municipal courts. He shall also receive and keep the
this Code.cralaw
records of proceedings submitted to him by the various conciliation thereof, shall be deemed as persons in authority, as defined in the Revised

panels.cralaw Penal Code.cralaw

SEC. 404. Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo. - (a) There shall be constituted for (b) The lupon or pangkat members shall serve without compensation, except
each dispute brought before the lupon a conciliation panel to be known as as provided for in Section 393 and without prejudice to incentives as provided
the pangkat ng tagapagkasundo, hereinafter referred to as the pangkat, for in this Section and in Book IV of this Code. The Department of the Interior
consisting of three (3) members who shall be chosen by the parties to the and Local Government shall provide for a system of granting economic or

dispute from the list of members of the lupon. Should the parties fail to agree other incentives to the lupon or pangkat members who adequately

on the pangkat membership, the same shall be determined by lots drawn by demonstrate the ability to judiciously and expeditiously resolve cases referred
the lupon chairman.cralaw to them. While in the performance of their duties, the lupon or pangkat

members, whether in public or private employment, shall be deemed to be on


(b) The three (3) members constituting the pangkat shall elect from among
official time, and shall not suffer from any diminution in compensation or
themselves the chairman and the secretary. The secretary shall prepare the
allowance from said employment by reason thereof.cralaw
minutes of the pangkat proceedings and submit a copy duly attested to by

the chairman to the lupon secretary and to the proper city or municipal court. SEC. 407. Legal Advice on Matters Involving Questions of Law. - The
He shall issue and cause to be served notices to the parties concerned. The provincial, city legal officer or prosecutor or the municipal legal officer shall

lupon secretary shall issue certified true copies of any public record in his render legal advice on matters involving questions of law to the punong

custody that is not by law otherwise declared confidential.cralaw barangay or any lupon or pangkat member whenever necessary in the
exercise of his functions in the administration of the katarungang
SEC. 405. Vacancies in the Pangkat. - Any vacancy in the pangkat shall be
pambarangay.cralaw
chosen by the parties to the dispute from among the other lupon members.
Should the parties fail to agree on a common choice, the vacancy shall be SEC. 408. Subject Matter for Amicable Settlement; Exception Thereto. - The

filled by lot to be drawn by the lupon chairman.cralaw lupon of each barangay shall have authority to bring together the parties

actually residing in the same city or municipality for amicable settlement of all
SEC. 406. Character of Office and Service of Lupon Members. - (a) The lupon
disputes except:chanrobles virtual law library
members, while in the performance of their official duties or on the occasion
(a) Where one party is the government, or any subdivision or instrumentality (b) Those involving actual residents of different barangays within the same city

thereof; or municipality shall be brought in the barangay where the respondent or any
of the respondents actually resides, at the election of the complainant.cralaw
(b) Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to

the performance of his official functions; (c) All disputes involving real property or any interest therein shall be brought
in the barangay where the real property or the larger portion thereof is
(c) Offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding one (1) year or a fine
situated.
exceeding Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00);
(d) Those arising at the workplace where the contending parties are employed
(d) Offenses where there is no private offended party;
or at the institution where such parties are enrolled for study, shall be brought

(e) Where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities or in the barangay where such workplace or institution is located. Objections to
municipalities unless the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to venue shall be raised in the mediation proceedings before the punong

amicable settlement by an appropriate lupon; barangay; otherwise, the same shall be deemed waived. Any legal question

which may confront the punong barangay in resolving objections to venue


(f) Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different
herein referred to may be submitted to the Secretary of Justice, or his duly
cities or municipalities, except where such barangay units adjoin each other
designated representative, whose ruling thereon shall be binding.
and the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable
settlement by an appropriate lupon; SEC. 410. Procedure for Amicable Settlement. - (a) Who may initiate

proceeding - Upon payment of the appropriate filing fee, any individual who
(g) Such other classes of disputes which the President may determine in the
has a cause of action against another individual involving any matter within
interest of justice or upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice.
the authority of the lupon may complain, orally or in writing, to the lupon
The court in which non-criminal cases not falling within the authority of the
chairman of the barangay.cralaw
lupon under this Code are filed may, at any time before trial, motu proprio
refer the case to the lupon concerned for amicable settlement.cralaw (b) Mediation by lupon chairman - Upon receipt of the complaint, the lupon

chairman shall within the next working day summon the respondent(s), with
SEC. 409. Venue. - (a) Disputes between persons actually residing in the same
notice to the complainant(s) for them and their witnesses to appear before
barangay shall be brought for amicable settlement before the lupon of said
him for a mediation of their conflicting interests. If he fails in his mediation
barangay.
effort within fifteen (15) days from the first meeting of the parties before him, accordance with this section. This period shall, at the discretion of the

he shall forthwith set a date for the constitution of the pangkat in accordance pangkat, be extendible for another period which shall not exceed fifteen (15)
with the provisions of this Chapter. days, except in clearly meritorious cases.

(c) Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses - While the dispute is under SEC. 411. Form of Settlement. - All amicable settlements shall be in writing, in
mediation, conciliation, or arbitration, the prescriptive periods for offenses a language or dialect known to the parties, signed by them, and attested to
and cause of action under existing laws shall be interrupted upon filing of the by the lupon chairman or the pangkat chairman, as the case may be. When

complaint with the punong barangay. The prescriptive periods shall resume the parties to the dispute do not use the same language or dialect, the

upon receipt by the complainant of the complaint or the certificate of settlement shall be written in the language or dialect known to them.
repudiation or of the certification to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat
SEC. 412. Conciliation. - (a) Pre-condition to Filing of Complaint in Court. - No
secretary: Provided, however, That such interruption shall not exceed sixty (60)
complaint, petition, action, or proceeding involving any matter within the
days from the filing of the complaint with the punong barangay.
authority of the lupon shall be filed or instituted directly in court or any other

(d) Issuance of summons; hearing; grounds for disqualification - The pangkat government office for adjudication, unless there has been a confrontation

shall convene not later than three (3) days from its constitution, on the day between the parties before the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no
and hour set by the lupon chairman, to hear both parties and their witnesses, conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the lupon secretary

simplify issues, and explore all possibilities for amicable settlement. For this or pangkat secretary as attested to by the lupon or pangkat chairman or
purpose, the pangkat may issue summons for the personal appearance of unless the settlement has been repudiated by the parties thereto.
parties and witnesses before it. In the event that a party moves to disqualify
(b) Where Parties May Go Directly to Court. - The parties may go directly to
any member of the pangkat by reason of relationship, bias, interest, or any
court in the following instances:chanrobles virtual law library
other similar grounds discovered after the constitution of the pangkat, the

matter shall be resolved by the affirmative vote of the majority of the pangkat (1) Where the accused is under detention; (2) Where a person has otherwise
whose decision shall be final. Should disqualification be decided upon, the been deprived of personal liberty calling for habeas corpus proceedings;
resulting vacancy shall be filled as herein provided for.
(3) Where actions are coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary
(e) Period to arrive at a settlement - The pangkat shall arrive at a settlement injunction, attachment, delivery of personal property, and support pendente
or resolution of the dispute within fifteen (15) days from the day it convenes in lite; and
(4) Where the action may otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. SEC. 416. Effect of Amicable Settlement and Arbitration Award. - The amicable

settlement and arbitration award shall have the force and effect of a final
(c) Conciliation among members of indigenous cultural communities. - The
judgment of a court upon the expiration of ten (10) days from the date
customs and traditions of indigenous cultural communities shall be applied in
thereof, unless repudiation of the settlement has been made or a petition to
settling disputes between members of the cultural communities.
nullify the award has been filed before the proper city or municipal court.

SEC. 413. Arbitration. - (a) The parties may, at any stage of the proceedings, However, this provision shall not apply to court cases settled by the lupon

agree in writing that they shall abide by the arbitration award of the lupon under the last paragraph of Section 408 of this Code, in which case the

chairman or the pangkat. Such agreement to arbitrate may be repudiated compromise settlement agreed upon by the parties before the lupon

within five (5) days from the date thereof for the same grounds and in chairman or the pangkat chairman shall be submitted to the court and upon

accordance with the procedure hereinafter prescribed. The arbitration award approval thereof, have the force and effect of a judgment of said court.
shall be made after the lapse of the period for repudiation and within ten (10)
SEC. 417. Execution. - The amicable settlement or arbitration award may be
days thereafter.
enforced by execution by the lupon within six (6) months from the date of the

(b) The arbitration award shall be in writing in a language or dialect known to settlement. After the lapse of such time, the settlement may be enforced by

the parties. When the parties to the dispute do not use the same language or action in the appropriate city or municipal court.

dialect, the award shall be written in the language or dialect known to them.
SEC. 418. Repudiation. - Any party to the dispute may, within ten (10) days

SEC. 414. Proceedings Open to the Public; Exception. - All proceedings for from the date of the settlement, repudiate the same by filing with the lupon
settlement shall be public and informal: Provided, however, That the lupon chairman a statement to that effect sworn to before him, where the consent is

chairman or the pangkat chairman, as the case may be, may motu proprio or vitiated by fraud, violence, or intimidation. Such repudiation shall be sufficient

upon request of a party, exclude the public from the proceedings in the basis for the issuance of the certification for filing a complaint as hereinabove

interest of privacy, decency, or public morals. provided.

SEC. 415. Appearance of Parties in Person. - In all katarungang pambarangay SEC. 419. Transmittal of Settlement and Arbitration Award to the Court. - The

proceedings, the parties must appear in person without the assistance of secretary of the lupon shall transmit the settlement or the arbitration award to

counsel or representative, except for minors and incompetents who may be the appropriate city or municipal court within five (5) days from the date of

assisted by their next-of-kin who are not lawyers. the award or from the lapse of the ten-day period repudiating the settlement
and shall furnish copies thereof to each of the parties to the settlement and Section 1. Who may practice law. - Any person heretofore duly admitted as a

the lupon chairman. member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the
provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to
SEC. 420. Power to Administer Oaths. - The punong barangay, as chairman of
practice law.
the lupong tagapamayapa, and the members of the pangkat are hereby
authorized to administer oaths in connection with any matter relating to all Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. - Every

proceedings in the implementation of the katarungang pambarangay. applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the

Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a


SEC. 421. Administration; Rules and Regulations. - The city or municipal
resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court
mayor, as the case may be, shall see to the efficient and effective
satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against
implementation and administration of the katarungang pambarangay. The
him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in
Secretary of Justice shall promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to
the Philippines.
implement this Chapter.
Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of
SEC. 422. Appropriations. - Such amount as may be necessary for the effective
America. - Citizens of the United States of America who, before July 4, 1946,
implementation of the katarungang pambarangay shall be provided for in the
were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the
annual budget of the city or municipality concerned.
courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon
satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to

continue such practice after taking the following oath of office:

"I, _________________________, having been permitted to continue in the practice


of law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme
authority of the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and

obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities
ATTORNEYS & ADMISSION TO BAR
therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will

Rule 138 not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit,
nor give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice,
and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social

and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics. chan robles virtual
impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation law library

or purpose of evasion. So help me God."


Sec. 6. Pre-Law. - No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be
Sec. 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. - Applicants for admitted unless he presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of
admission who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing Education that, before he began the study of law, he had pursued and

in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeals or satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college,

district court therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school
United States, and who can show by satisfactory certificates that they have course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in arts

practiced at least five years in any of said courts, that such practice began or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of

before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been suspended or disbarred, concentration: political science, logic, english, spanish, history and economics.

may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without examination.


Sec. 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications. - All applicants for admission

Sec. 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. - All applicants for shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required by section
admission other than those referred to in the two preceding sections shall, 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of the examination.

before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have If not embraced within sections 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within
regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed the same period the affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if
courses, in a law school or university, officially approved and recognized by embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license evidencing the
the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a fact of their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that the same has not
certificate from the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of been revoked, and certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants

such facts, and further evidence may be required by the court. shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to their age, residence,

and citizenship.
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has
Sec. 8. Notice of applications. - Notice of applications for admission shall be
satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law school or university
published by the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in
duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law,
Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days before the beginning of Sec. 11. Annual examination. - Examinations for admission to the bar of the

the examination. Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in
four days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar
Sec. 9. Examination; subjects. - Applicants, not otherwise provided for in
examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and
sections 3 and 4 of this rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the
International Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon);
following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation; Mercantile Law;
Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day:
Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public
Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial
Officers); International Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil
Law (morning) and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon).
Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical
Exercises (in Pleading and Conveyancing). Sec. 12. Committee of examiners. - Examinations shall be conducted by a

committee of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This


Sec. 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing. - Persons
committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall act
taking the examination shall not bring papers, books or notes into the
as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year,
examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a
and eight members of the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a
copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee.
period of one year. The names of the members of this committee shall be
Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone.
published in each volume of the official reports.
Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is
Sec. 13. Disciplinary measures. - No candidate shall endeavor to influence any
so poor that it will be difficult to read his answers without much loss of time,
member of the committee, and during examination the candidates shall not
the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in answering
communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance.
the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.
The candidate who violates this provision, or any other provision of this rule,

shall be barred from the examination, and the same to count as a failure
The committee of bar examiners shall take such precautions as are necessary
against him, and further disciplinary action, including permanent
to prevent the substitution of papers or commission of other frauds.
disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the court.
Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral

examination shall be given. Sec. 14. Passing average. - In order that a candidate may be deemed to have
passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general
average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any to admission to the bar, shall take and subscribe before the Supreme Court

subject. In determining the average, the subjects in the examination shall be the corresponding oath of office.
given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social
Sec. 18. Certificate. - The Supreme Court shall thereupon admit the applicant
Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent;
as a member of the bar for all the courts of the Philippines, and shall direct an
Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial
order to be entered to that effect upon its records, and that a certificate of
Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.
such record be given to him by the clerk of court, which certificate shall be his

Sec. 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers. - Not later authority to practice.
than February 15th after the examination, or as soon thereafter as may be
Sec. 19. Attorneys' roll. - The clerk of the Supreme Court shall keep a roll of all
practicable, the committee shall file its reports on the result of such
attorneys admitted to practice, which roll shall be signed by the person
examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be
admitted when he receives his certificate.
fixed with the clerk and may there be examined by the parties in interest, after

the court has approved the report. Sec. 20. Duties of attorneys. - It is the duty of an

attorney:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Sec. 16. Failing candidates to take review course. - Candidates who have
(a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support
failed the bar examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking
the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines;
another examination unless they show to the satisfaction of the court that
they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as
(b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and
attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.
judicial officers;

The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates


(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him
under this rule shall certify under oath that the candidates have regularly
to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable
attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as
under the law;
ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject.

Sec. 17. Admission and oath of successful applicants. - An applicant who has (d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him,
passed the required examination, or has been otherwise found to be entitled such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to
mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for

or law; his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on
reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who assumes
(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the authority under which

preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the name of the
connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge person who employed him, and may thereupon make such order as justice
and approval; requires. An attorney wilfully appearing in court for a person without being

employed, unless by leave of the court, may be punished for contempt as an

(f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions. chan

to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice robles virtual law library
of the cause with which he is charged;
Sec. 22. Attorney who appears in lower court presumed to represent client on

appeal. - An attorney who appears de parte in a case before a lower court


(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an
shall be presumed to continue representing his client on appeal, unless he
action or proceeding, or delay any man's cause, from any corrupt motive or
files a formal petition withdrawing his appearance in the appellate court.
interest;

Sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients. - Attorneys have authority to


(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in
defenseless or oppressed; writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial
procedure. But they cannot, without special authority, compromise their
(i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable client's litigation, or receive anything in discharge of a client's claim but the
means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to full amount in cash.
present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be
Sec. 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees. - An attorney shall
deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.
be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable
Sec. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. - An attorney is presumed to be compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject
properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the
professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion in the case to protect his rights. For the payment of his compensation the

of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may attorney shall have a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money, and
disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own professional executions issued in pursuance of such judgment, rendered in the case
knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid wherein his services had been retained by the client.
therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.
Sec. 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme Court on what
Sec. 25. Unlawful retention of client's funds; contempt. - When an attorney grounds. - A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his

unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded, office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other

he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
misbehaved in his official transactions; but proceedings under this section conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the

shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilfull

disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or


Sec. 26. Change of attorneys. - An attorney may retire at any time from any
wilfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to
action or special proceeding, by the written consent of his client filed in court.
do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding, without
personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.
the consent of his client, should the court, on notice to the client and

attorney, and on hearing, determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. In Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First
case of substitution, the name of the attorney newly employed shall be Instance. - The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an
entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one, and written attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding
notice of the change shall be given to the adverse party. section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his

profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.


A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his place,
Sec. 29. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Court of First Instance,
but if the contract between client and attorney has been reduced to writing
further proceedings in Supreme Court. - Upon such suspension, the Court of
and the dismissal of the attorney was without justifiable cause, he shall be
Appeals or the Court of First Instance shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme
entitled to recover from the client the full compensation stipulated in the
Court a certified copy of the order or suspension and a full statement of the
contract. However, the attorney may, in the discretion of the court, intervene
facts upon which the same was based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy
and statement, the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts hundred pesos (P200.00) in grave felonies other than capital offenses; (4) Five

involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension, or hundred pesos (P500.00) in capital offenses.
removing the attorney from his office as such, as the facts warrant.
Sec. 33. Standing in court of persons authorized to appear for Government. -
Sec. 30. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension. - No attorney Any official or other person appointed or designated in accordance with law
shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he to appear for the Government of the Philippines shall have all the rights of a
has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges duly authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in which said

against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard by government has an interest direct or indirect.
himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and
Sec. 34. By whom litigation conducted. - In the court of a justice of the peace
answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex
a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend
parte.
appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other
Sec. 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants. - A court may assign an attorney to court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney,

render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case, if upon and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member

investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an of the bar.
attorney, and that the services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of
Sec. 35. Certain attorneys not to practice. - No judge or other official or
justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of the
employee of the superior courts or of the Office of the Solicitor General, shall
attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless he is excused
engage in private practice as a member of the bar or give professional advice
therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown.
to clients.
Sec. 32. Compensation for attorneys de oficio. - Subject to availability of
Sec. 36. Amicus curiae. - The court may, in special cases, and upon proper
funds as may be provided by law the court may, in its discretion, order an
application, permit the appearance, as amici curiae, of those lawyers who in its
attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be compensated in such sum as
opinion can help in the disposition of the matter before it; or it may, on its
the court may fix in accordance with section 24 of this rule. Whenever such
own initiative, invite prominent attorneys to appear as amici curiae in such
compensation is allowed, it shall not be less than thirty pesos (P30.00) in any
special cases.
case, nor more than the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50.00) in light
felonies; (2) One hundred pesos (P100.00) in less grave felonies; (3) Two
Sec. 37. Attorneys' liens. - An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds,

documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his SEC. 2. Appearance. - The appearance of the law student authorized by this
possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of
have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall the Integrated Bar of the Philippinesduly accredited by the law school. Any

also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments for the payment of and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed,
money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments, which he has must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal
secured in a litigation of his client, from and after the time when he shall have clinic.

caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of

the court rendering such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have SEC. 3. Privileged communications. - The Rules safeguarding privileged

caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the adverse communications between attorney and client shall apply to similar
party; and he shall have the same right and power over such judgments and communications made to or received by the law student, acting for the legal

executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure the payment clinic.

of his just fees and disbursements.


SEC. 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. - The law student shall comply
with the standards of professional conduct governing members of the

LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE Bar. Failure of an attorney to provide adequate supervision of student
practice may be a ground for disciplinary action. (SC Circular No. 19, prom.
Rule 138-A
Dec. 19, 1986).

SECTION 1. Conditions for Student Practice. - A law student who has


successfully completed 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law

curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education


program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation

in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal,
board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of
the law school.
November 29, 1920

In re Application of MAX SHOOP for admission to practice law

MALCOLM, J.:

Application has been made to this court by Max Shoop for admission to
practice law in the Philippines Islands under paragraph four of the Rules for
the Examination of Candidates for Admission to the Practice of Law, effective
July 1, 1920. The supporting papers show that the applicant has been admitted
to practice, and has practiced for more than five years in the highest court of This court is advised informally that under this rule one member of the bar of
the State of New York. the Philippine Islands has been admitted to practice, without examination, in
the State of New York, and one member of the same bar has been refused
THE RULES such admission, the latter being the more recent case. The rulings of the New
York court have not been bought to the attention of this court authoritatively,
That portion of the rules of this court, in point, is as follows:
but assuming that reports of such rulings by the New York court are true, in
view of the apparent conflict, it seems proper to enter upon the consideration
Applicants for admission who have been admitted to practice in the
of whether or not under the New York rule as it exits the principle of comity is
Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeal
established. It must be observed that under the rules of both jurisdictions,
or district court, therein, or in the highest court of any State or
admission in any particular case is in the discretion of the court. Refusal to
territory of the United States, which State or territory by comity
admit in any particular case is not necessarily conclusive as to the general
confers the same privilege on attorneys admitted to practice in the
principles established by the rules.
Philippine Islands, and who can show by satisfactory affidavits that
they have practiced at least five years in any of said courts, may, in
THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS A TERRITORY.
the discretion of the court, be admitted without examination.

Under paragraph 1 of the New York rule, practice for five years in the highest
The above rule requires that New York State by comity confer the privilege of
court in any "State or territory of the American Union" is the basic
admission without examination under similar circumstances to attorneys
qualification. If the Philippine Islands is a territory of the United States within
admitted to practice in the Philippine Islands. The rule of the New York court
the meaning of the word as used in that rule, comity would seem to exist.
permits admission without examination, in the discretion of the Appellate
Division in several cases, among which are the following: The word "territory" has a general and a technical meaning. It is clear that the
Philippine Islands is not an "organized territory" incorporated into the United
1. Any person admitted to practice and who has practiced five years
States under the constitution. (Dorr vs. U.S., 195 U.S., 138.) It is likewise clear
as a member of the bar in the highest law court in any other state or
that the Philippine Islands is not a "foreign country." (The Diamond Rings, 183
territory of the American Union or in the District of Columbia.
U.S., 176.) In the language of that case it is a "territory of the United States
over which civil government could be established." So also is Porto Rico (De
2. Any person admitted to practice and who has practiced five years
Lima vs. Bidwell, 182 U.S., 1.) It has been held that Porto Rico is not a foreign
in another country whose jurisprudence is based on the principles of
territory and that the United States laws covering "territories." such as the
the English Common Law.
Federal Employer's Liability Act, includes Porto Rico. (American Railroad Co. of
Porto Rico vs. Didricksen, 227 U.S., 145.) Porto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska are
now incorporated, organized territories of the United States. territory to be limited to the technical meaning of organized territory, or it
(Muratti vs. Foote, 25 Porto Rico, 527; Hawaii vs. Mankichi, 190 U.S., 197; would have used the more accurate expression. the full phraseology, "any
Rasmussen vs. U.S., 197 U.S., 516.) state or territory of the American Union," indicates a sweeping intention to
include all of the territory of the United States, whatever the political
An opinion of the Attorney-General of the United States holds that subdivision might be, as distinguished from foreign country. Otherwise, the
Philippine Islands would be in an anomalous position like unto Edward Everett
While, like Porto Rico, the Philippine Islands are not incorporated in
Hale's "A Man Without a Country" a land neither "another country," nor a
the United States, they clearly are territory of the United States and to
"state," nor a "territory" a land without status.
the extent that Congress has assumed to legislate for them, they have
been granted a form of territorial government, and to this extent are Of course the construction of what is intended by the use of that phrase is for
a territory. (30 Op. Atty.-Gen., U.S., 462, reversing 24 Op. Atty.-Gen. the New York courts finally to determine, but in the absence of any
U.S., 549.) authoritative decision from the New York courts on the point, we feel justified
in concluding that under paragraph 1 of the New York rule there exists
Further, the Philippine Islands have been held not to be "another country"
between that jurisdiction and this, with reference to admission of attorneys
within the meaning of the Cuban Commercial Treaty. (Faber vs. U.S., 221 U.S.,
without examination, a basis of comity sufficient to satisfy the requirement in
649.) Chief Justice Marshall, in construing the phrase "United States" once
the rule of this court in that regard.
observed:

A COMMON LAW JURISDICTION.


Does this term designate the whole or any particular portion of the
American Empire? Certainly this question can admit of but one But assuming that comity is not permitted under paragraph 1 of the New York
answer. It is the name given to our great Republic, which is composed rule, we turn to a consideration of whether or not it exits by virtue of
of states and territories. The District of Columbia or the territory west paragraph 2. This rule applies to "another country whose jurisprudence is
of Missouri is not less within the United States than Maryland or based on the principles of the English Common Law." We have then further to
Pennsylvania. (Loughborough vs. Blake, 5 Wheat [U.S.], 317, at p. 319.) assume that if the Philippine Islands is not a "state or territory," that it must be
"another country." The question then presented is upon what principles is the
This is the broad general view which would seem to have been the point of
present jurisprudence of these Islands based? this is a question which can
view of the New York courts in using the phrase "Any state or territory of the
property be answered by this court. It is a problem, however, upon which
American Union." The New York rule contemplates "state," "territory," and
books could be and have been written. We will endeavor to make a brief
"another country." It seems clear that the Philippine Islands is not "another
analysis of the situation.
country." It is not believed that the New York court intended the word
What is "jurisprudence based on the principles of the English Common Law?" 529; Williams vs. Williams, 8 N.Y., 525, p. 541. (Shayne vs. Evening Post
Jurisprudence is the groundwork of the written law, or, as Bouvier defines it, Publishing Co., 168 N.Y., 70, at p. 76.)
"The science of law. The particular science of giving a wise interpretation to
the laws and making a just application of them to call cases as they arise." In In Morgan vs. King (30 Barber [N.Y.], 9), the New York court said that in

an untechnical sense, it sometimes means Case Law. adopting the English Common Law, New York adopted:

COMMON LAW IN THE UNITED STATES. The written law of England as a constantly improving science rather
than as an art; as a system of legal logic, rather than as a code of
We must assume that the New York court, in using this phrase, considered rules, that is, that the fundamental principles and modes of
that the jurisprudence of New York State was based upon the principles of the reasoning and the substance of the rules of the Common Law are
English common Law. We should, therefore, consider to what extent the adopted as illustrated by the reasons on which they are based, rather
English Common Law principles apply to New York. In a case in 1881 we find than the mere words in which they are expressed.
the following:
Once more, in 1903, the New York court said in connection with a question of
And the Common Law of England was the law of the colony at that the right of the public to use the foreshore: lawph!l.net
date (April 19, 1775), so far as it was applicable to the circumstances of
the Colonists. And it has since continued so to be, when conformable In adopting the Common Law of the Mother country we did not

to our institutions, unless it was established by an English statute incorporate into our system of jurisprudence any principles which are

which has since been abrogated or was rejected in colonial essentially inconsonant with our circumstances or repugnant to the

jurisprudence, or has been abolished by our legislation. spirit of our institutions. (Barnes vs. Midland Railroad Terminal Co.,

(cutting vs. Cutting, 86 N.Y., 522, p. 529.) 193 N.Y., 378, at p. 384.)

And again: The above statements of the New York court clearly indicate the scope of the
English Common Law in that state. In most of the States, including New York,
This court has interpreted this provision of the constitution to man codification and statute law have come to be a very large proportion of the
not that all of the Common Law of England was the law of the law of the jurisdiction, the remaining proportion being a system of case law
Colonists at the time of the making of the Constitution, but only so which has its roots, to a large but not an exclusive degree, in the old English
much of it as was applicable to the circumstances of the Colonists and cases. In fact, present day commentators refer to American jurisprudence or
conformable to our institutions. Cutting vs. Cutting, 86 N.Y., 522, p. Anglo-American jurisprudence as distinguished from the English Common
Law.
Accordingly, in speaking of a jurisprudence which is "based on the English The superior court of the late territory of Orleans very early held that although
Common Law," for present purpose at least, it would seem property to say the laws of Spain were not abrogated by the taking possession of the country
that the jurisprudence of a particular jurisdiction is based upon the principles by the United States, yet from that event the commercial law of the Union
of that Common Law, if, as a matter of fact, its statute law and its case law to became the commercial law of New Orleans; and this court has frequently
a very large extent includes the science and application of law as laid Down by recognized the correctness of these early decisions, principally in bills of
the old English cases, as perpetuated and modified by the American cases. exchange, promissory notes and insurance. (Wagner vs. Kenner, 2 Rob. [La.],
120.)
COMMON LAW ADOPTED BY DECISION.
In Xiques vs. Bujac (7 La. Ann., 498, p. 504), the court after deciding a question
The concept of a common law is the concept of a growing and ever-changing involving the dedication of real property according to the Civil code rules,
system of legal principles and theories. and it must be recognized that due to said:
the modern tendency toward codification (which was the principle of the
Roman and Civil Law), there are no jurisdictions to-day with a pure English I must add that the general doctrine laid down in Common Law
Common Law, with the exception of England itself. In the United States the courts has been admitted by our courts with some modification
English Common Law is blended with American codification and remnants of resulting from our different systems of law. lawph!l.net
the Spanish and French Civil Codes. There a legal metamorphosis has
occurred similar to that which is transpiring in this jurisdiction to-day. Some of Louisiana, by statute, adopted certain common law rules, and with reference

the western states, which were carved out of the original Louisiana territory, to these the court said, in State vs.McCoy (8 Rob. [La.], 545):

have adopted the Common Law by decision. (State vs. Twogood, 7 Iowa, 252;
We concur with the counsel in believing that the legislature in
Barlow vs. Lambert, 28 Alabama, 704; Parsons vs. Lindsay, 41 Kansas, 336;
adopting the Common Law rules of proceeding, method of trial, etc.,
McKennen vs. Winn, 1 Okla., 327.)
adopted the system as it existed in 1805, modified, explained and

Louisiana has long been recognized as the one State of the Union which perfected by statutory enactment, so far as those enactments are not

retained a portion of the Civil Law. In a case in 1842 in Louisiana, the court found to be inconsistent with the peculiar character and genius of our

considered the question of whether a protest on a promissory note had been government and institution.

made within the required time. The court rejected the straight Civil code rule,
From this brief survey of the extent of the English Common Law basis in the
and adopted the custom of New Orleans, which was the law of the sister
States, we may conclude (1) that the New York court in referring to a
States, saying:
jurisdiction whose jurisprudence is based on the English Common Law, uses
the phrase in a general sense; and (2) that such Common Law may become
the basis of the jurisprudence by decision of the courts where practical rules, principles, and doctrines of the Common Law have, to all intents
considerations and the effect of sovereignty gives ground for such a decision. and purposes, been imported into this jurisdiction, as a result of the
If, in the Philippines Islands, a comparatively young jurisdiction, English enactment of new laws and the organization and establishment of
Common Law principles as embodied in Anglo-American Jurisprudence are new institutions by the Congress of the United States or under its
used and applied by the courts to the extent that such Common Law authority; for it will be found that many of these laws can only be
principles are not in conflict with the local written laws, customs, and construed and applied with the aid of the Common Law from which
institutions as modified by the change of sovereignty and subsequent they are derived, and that to breathe the breath of life into many of
legislation, and there is no other foreign case law system used to any the institutions introduced in these Islands under American
substantial extent, then it is proper to say in the sense of the New York rule sovereignty recourse must be had to the rules, principles, and
that the "jurisprudence" of the Philippine Islands is based on the English doctrines of the Common Law under whose protecting aegis and
Common Law. prototypes of these institutions had their birth.

IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. xxx xxx xxx

The extent of the English or the Anglo-American Common Law here has not And it is safe to say that in every volume of the Philippine Reports
been definitely decided by this court. But when the subject has been referred numbers of cases might be cited wherein recourse has been had to
to by this court there has been a striking similarity to the quotations from the the rules, principles and doctrines of the Common Law in ascertaining
American decisions above cited with reference to the English Common Law. the true meaning and scope of the legislation enacted in and for the
Philippine Islands since they passed under American sovereignty. (Pp.
In Alzua and Arnalot vs. Johnson (21 Phil., 308), this court, in passing upon an 331, 333.)
objection of counsel, that while a certain rule was universally recognized and
applied in the courts of England and the United States, it was not the law in And later in speaking of the judicial system of the Philippines Islands (page
the Philippine Islands, said: 333):

To this we answer that while it is true that the body of the Common The spirit with which it is informed, and indeed its very language and
Law as known to Anglo-American jurisprudence is not in force in terminology would be unintelligible without some knowledge of the
these Islands, "nor are the doctrines derived therefrom binding upon judicial system of England and the United States. Its manifest purpose
our courts, save only in so far as they are founded on sound and object was to replace the old judicial system, with its incidents
principles applicable to local conditions, and are not in conflict with and traditions drawn from Spanish sources, with a new system
existing law" (U.S. vs. Cuna, 12 Phil., 241); nevertheless many of the modelled in all its essential characteristics upon the judicial system of
the United States. It cannot be doubted, therefore, that any incident respect and reverence. The courts are constantly guided by its
of the former system which conflicts with the essential principles and doctrines. Yet it is true as heretofore expressly decided by this Court
settled doctrines on which the new system rests must be held to be that "neither English nor American Common Law is in force in
abrogated by the law organizing the new system. these Islands, nor are the doctrines derived therefrom binding upon
our courts, save only in so far as they are founded on sound
In U.S. vs. De Guzman (30 Phil., 416), the court spoke as follows: principles applicable to local conditions, and are not in conflict with
existing law." (U.S. vs. Cuna [1908], 12 Phil., 241.)
We have frequently held that, for the proper construction and
application of the terms and provisions of legislative enactments What we really have, if we were not too modes to claim it, is a
which have been borrowed from or modelled upon Anglo-American Philippine Common Law influenced by the English and American
precedents, it is proper and of times essential to review the legislative Common Law, the derecho comun of Spain, and the customary law of
history of such enactments and to find an authoritative guide for their the Islands and builded on a case law of precedents. Into this
interpretation and application in the decisions of American and Philippine Common Law, we can properly refuse to take a rule which
English courts of last resort construing and applying similar legislation would estop other courses of reasoning and which, because of a lack
in those countries. (Kepner vs. U.S., 195 U.S., 100; 11 Phil., 669; of legal ingenuity would permit men guilty of homicide to escape on
Serra vs. Mortiga, 204 U.S., 470; 11 Phil., 762; Alzua and a technicality.
Arnalot vs. Johnson, 21 Phil., 308.) Indeed it is a general rule of
statutory construction that courts may take judicial notice of the At this juncture, three years after the last quoted comment, the influence of
origin and history of the statutes which they are called upon to English and American jurisprudence can be emphasized even more strongly.
construe and administer, and of the facts which affect their derivation, A survey of recent cases in the Philippine Reports, and particularly those of
validity and operation. (2 Lewis' Sutherland on Statutory Construction, the last few years, shows an increasing reliance upon English and American
sec. 309.) authorities in the formation of what may be termed a Philippine Common
Law, as supplemental to the statute law of this jurisdiction. An analysis will
In U.S. vs. Abiog and Abiog (37 Phil., 137), this court made this further show that a great preponderance of the jurisprudence of this jurisdiction is
statement on the subjects: based upon Anglo-American case law precedents, exclusively in applying
those statutory laws which have been enacted since the change of sovereignty
To elucidate the principles of the Anglo-American Common Law
and which conform more or less to American statutes, and to a large
are for the Philippines, just as they were for the State of Louisiana and
extent in applying and expanding the remnants of the Spanish codes and
just as the English Common Law was for the United States, of far-
written laws.
reaching influence. The Common Law is entitled to our deepest
PHILIPPINE STATUTE LAW. Novisima Recopilacion; Mining Law; Notarial Law; Spanish Military Code, and
the Corpyright Law.
Introductory to analyzing what Spanish written laws remain in force to-day,
we will consider in a general way those Spanish laws which were in force at The foregoing were written laws which, by change of sovereignty, acquired
the time of the change of severeignty. the force of statute law in the Philippine Islands. There was no properly called
Common Law or Case Law of Spain to accompany and amplify these statues,
Spanish law became highly codified during the nineteenth century. All of the although there were, of course, the customs of the people of the Islands,
laws of Spain were, however, not made applicable to the Philippine Islands; which continued, in a sense, unwritten law. Spanish jurisprudence does not
only those were effective here which were extended by royal decree. The chief recognize the principle of stare decisis; consequently, there could be no
codes of Spain made effective in the Philippine were as follows: Common Law in any sense analogous to the English or American Common
Law. Article 6 of the Civil Code provides:
Penal Code 1887
When there is no law exactly applicable to the point in controversy,
Code of Commerce 1888
the customs of the place shall be observed and in the absence

Ley Provisional, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Code of thereof, the general principles of law.
1888
Civil Procedure
In order to determined the general principles of law "judicial decision cannot
Civil Code 1889 be resorted to" . . . . (2 Derecho Civil of Sanchez roman, pp. 79-81; 1 Manresa,
p. 80.) A lower court of Spain is at liberty to disregard the decisions of a
(Except portion relating to marriage, thus reviving a
1870 higher court. This is the general continental rule. (Holland's Jurisprudence, 11th
portion of Marriage Law of 1870.) Marriage Law
Ed., pp. 68-70.) "The Partidas is still the basis of Spanish Common Law, for the
Mortgage Law 1889 more recent compilations are chiefly founded on it and cases which cannot be
decided either by these compilations or by the local fueros must be decided
1875 and
Railway Laws by the provisions of thePartidas." (IV Dunham, History of Spain, p. 109.)
1877

Law of Waters 1866 The Partidas is a code law and cannot in any proper sense be considered as
Common Law. It specifically provided, however, for recourse to customs when

In addition to these there were certain special laws having limited the written law was silent. The customs to which resort is to be had are the

application: Las Siete Partidas; Las Leyes de Toro; Leyes de las Indias; La customs of the particular place where the case arise; the customs of one
locality in Spain having no effect on the application of law in another place. (1
Manresa, pp. 77-79; Civil Code, art. 6; Code of Commerce, art. 2.) Accordingly, The Spanish statute law, as amplified by Spanish commentaries but without a
the Spanish customary law could not have any force here. The law or custom background of Spanish precedent or case law, was by the change of
cannot be migratory. Manresa does not defined what is meant by "general sovereignty, severed from Spanish jurisprudence and made effective in this
principles of law." but from his discussion under article 6 of the Civil Code it jurisdiction to the same extent as if Congress had enacted new laws for the
appears how far from a case law system is Spanish jurisprudence. He Philippines modelled upon those same Spanish statutes. This retention of the
formulates the rule that courts are governed: first, by written law; second, by local private law was merely in accordance with the principles of International
the customs of the place; third, by judicial decision; and fourth, by general Law in that regard. However, by the mere fact of the change of sovereignty,
principles of law. In fact, un urging that resort to judicial decisions should all portions of that statute law which might be termed political law were
come before resort to general principles of law, Manresa rather implies that abrogated immediately by the change of sovereignty. Also, all Spanish laws,
the practice of the courts is the contrary. customs, and rights of property inconsistent with the Constitution and
American principles and institutions were thereupon superseded.
English Common Law is quite a different conception. While it grew out of the (Sanchez vs. U.S., 216 U.S., 167.)
early Anglo-Saxon customs, it came in time to be a case law of binding force
which controlled custom. In fact, it became so binding that it was found We will give a brief analysis of the further extent to which the Spanish statute
necessary, in order to effect justice in particular cases, to establish the Court of law has been repealed and cut down since the change of sovereignty. The
Chancery, which became the court of equity. The English Common Law table is the note 1 below illustrates the situation in a general way.
recognizes custom only in so far as it does not conflict with the well settled
principles of that law. Under the Spanish system, on the other hand, when the Even the Spanish Civil Code has been largely modified as will appear from the

written law is silent, before considering precedents in the cases the court is table in the note 2 below.

governed by the customs of the locality at the time.


CASES UNDER AMERICAN DERIVED STATUTES.

Consequently, by the change of sovereignty there was no body of case law or


It thus appears that the bulk of present day Statute Law is derivative from
common law of Spain which could be considered as existing in connection
Anglo-American sources; derivative within the sense of having been copied,
with the written law retained in force in these Islands. The only amplification of
and in the sense of having been enacted by Congress or by virtue of its
that written law was the local customs of the people of the Islands. This is
authority. This court has repeatedly held that in dealing with the cases which
particularly true of Spanish decision rendered since the change of sovereignty,
arise under such statute law the court will be governed by the Anglo-
which do not preclude the local courts from exercising an independent
American cases in construction and application. (U.S. vs. De Guzman, 30 Phil.,
judgment. (Cordova vs. Rijos, 227 U.S., 375.)
416, at p. 419; U.S. vs. Cuna, 12 Phil., 241; Cerezo vs. Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co.,

SPANISH STATUTE LAW. 33 Phil., 245, 428, 429.)


To illustrate more clearly the scope of the use of Anglo-American cases in this habits, customs, and thoughts of a people, and by this standard
connection, a bried analysis of some of the more recent decisions of this court doubtful cases are determined; that the office of the judge is not to
is advisable. For convenience the cases will be taken up in the note 3 by make the common law but to find it, and when it is found to affix to it
subjects. In all of them, Anglo-American decisions and authorities are used his official mark by which it becomes more certainly known and
and relied upon to a greater or less degree. Although in many cases the use is authenticated. The announcement of the law comes from the courts
by way of dictum, nevertheless, the net result is the building up of a very after they have had the benefit of the learning of counsel, which to be
substantial elaboration of Anglo-American case law. comprehensive and useful must embrace a knowledge of the people
and their customs, as well as a knowledge of the principles
From the foregoing selection of the more recent and typical cases, it appears established by prior decisions. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume
how broad is the scope of the use of Anglo-American authorities and that the courts of the Philippine Islands in cases not controlled by
precedents in the field of law subjects affected by American derived statute will lay down principles in keeping with the common law,
legislation. In the application of those statutes in the many cases which come unless the habits, customs, and thoughts of the people of these
before the court, there is bound to be developed a substantial common law. Islands are deemed to be so different from the habits, customs, and
There is no question that this exists. We are merely concerned with its extent thoughts of the people of England and the United States that said
and source. principles may not be applied here. (4 Op. Atty.-Gen. P.I., 510, 511.)

CASES UNDER SPANISH STATUTES. To illustrate the scope of the use of Anglo-American cases in connection with
the remaining Spanish statutes, a brief analysis 4 of the more recent cases
In addition to the subjects covered above, there is a wide field of use of
under a few of the principal subjects, will be appropriate. Frequently in these
Anglo-American cases in the interpretation and application of the remnants of
cases reference to Anglo-American precedents is for the purpose of showing
the Spanish statutes. Such is of even greater importance in showing the real
that Spanish law and the Anglo-American law s the same, and frequently it is
permanency of the hold which Anglo-American Common Law has fastened
for the purpose of amplifying or extending the Spanish statutes. In most cases
upon the jurisprudence of this jurisdiction. An analysis of the cases,
it is for the purpose of applying those statutes to the particular case before
particularly those of the later years, justifies completely the well-expressed
the court; but whatever the use, the fact remains that through the influence of
opinion of former Attorney-General Araneta quoted below:
these cases a broad exposition of American case law is made.

We cannot say with certainty that the courts of the Philippine Islands
The last group of recent cases, which are but typical of many others in the
will, in the absence of a statute, be guided by the common law. It has
Reports, illustrates clearly the fact that Anglo-American case law plays a very
been said that the common law is expanded slowly and carefully by
judicial decisions based on a standard of justice derived from the
great part in amplifying and applying the law on those subjects which are still 21 ........................................ 217 127 10 3
governed by the remaining portions of the Spanish statutes. 22 ........................................ 273 73 21 5
23 ........................................ 211 181 18 4
The foregoing two groups of cases in combination, those under the subjects
24 ........................................ 194 108 19 1
covered by Spanish statutes and those under the subjects covered by
25 ........................................ 143 98 24 2
American-Philippine legislation and effected by the change of sovereignty,
26 ........................................ 257 104 23
show conclusively that Anglo-American case law has entered practically every
27 ........................................ 145 132 25 1
one of the leading subjects in the field of law, and in the large majority of
28 ........................................ 145 130 24 3
such subjects has formed the sole basis for the guidance of this court in
29 ........................................ 152 136 9 1
developing the local jurisprudence. The practical result is that the part twenty,
30 ........................................ 98 85 11
years have developed a Philippine Common Law or case law based almost
31 ........................................ 159 103 8 1
exclusively, except where conflicting with local customs and institutions, upon
32 ........................................ 103 8 1
Anglo-American Common Law. The Philippine Common Law supplements
33 ........................................ 121 137 6 5
and amplifies our statute law.
34 ........................................ 214 163 34

COLLATERAL INFLUENCES. 35 ........................................ 109 159 17 4


36 ........................................ 125 217 21 2
This conclusion is further justified by the practical situation which has 37 ........................................ 340 242 23 5
surrounded the Bench and Bar of the Philippine Islands for many years and 38 ........................................ 161 175 19 8
which there is very reason to believe will continue unabated in the future. 39 ........................................ 228 143 13 6

This court his, in any increasing degree during the past twenty years, cited and
3,810 2,752 361 52
quoted from Anglo-American cases and authorities in its decisions. The
following analysis of the citations of the last twenty volumes of the Philippine The American citations are over ten times as numerous as the Spanish
Reports show this graphically. citations. (In Vol. 1 there were 63 Spanish to 53 United States.) Add to this the
cumulative effect of perpetuating this ratio through the citations of Philippine
Cases cited.
cases in which American cases have been cited, and it is obvious that Spanish
decisions have had comparatively slight effect in the development of our case
Volume. U.S. Philippines Spain England
law.
20 ........................................ 207 63 21 1
It is a fact of considerable practical importance that there are no digests of (2) In interpreting and applying the bulk of the written laws of this
Spanish decisions to aid the study of Bench and Bar. On the other hand, the jurisdiction, and in rendering its decision in cases not covered by the
local libraries contain both digests and reports of the Federal Courts and letter of the written law, this court relies upon the theories and
Supreme Court of the United States, and of most of the State courts, and also precedents of Anglo- American cases, subject to the limited exception
many reports of the English courts. Added to his is a liberal supply of English of those instances where the remnants of the Spanish written law
and American text books. The foregoing not only has a natural influence on present well-defined civil law theories and of the few cases where
the results of the work of the Bench, but it has a very decided influence on the such precedents are inconsistent with local customs and institutions.
development of the present Bar of the Philippine Islands; each year adds to
the preponderance of lawyers trained chiefly from a study of Anglo-American (3) The jurisprudence of this jurisdiction is based upon the English

case law. Common Law in its present day form of Anglo-American Common
Law to an almost exclusive extent.
The fact that prolific use of Anglo-American authorities is made in the
decisions of this court, combined with the fact that the available sources for (4) By virtue of the foregoing, the New York rule, given a reasonable

study and reference on legal theories are mostly Anglo-American, present a interpretation, permits conferring privileges on attorneys admitted to

practical situation at this moment from which this court can draw but one practice in the Philippine Islands similar to those privileges accorded

conclusion, namely, that there has been developed, and will continue, a by the rule of this court.

common law in the jurisprudence of this jurisdiction (which for purposes of


Accordingly, the supporting papers filed by the applicant in this case showing
distinction may properly be termed a Philippine Common Law), based upon
to the satisfaction of the court his qualifications as an attorney-at-law, his
the English Common Law in its present day form of an Anglo-American
petition is hereby granted and he is admitted to the practice of law in the
Common Law, which common law is effective in all of the subjects of law in
Philippine Islands. Our decision is based upon our interpretation of the New
this jurisdiction in so far as it does not conflict with the express language of
York rule, and it does not establish a precedent which may be controlling on
the written law or with the local customs and institutions.
this court with respect to future applications if our interpretation is not borned

CONCLUSIONS. out by the future enforcement of that rule by the New York court. So ordered.

We may summarize our conclusions as follows:

(1) The Philippine Islands is an unorganized territory of the United


States, under a civil government established by the Congress.
JUVY P. CIOCON-REER, A.M. OCA IPI No. 09-3210-RTJ

ANGELINA P. CIOCON,

MARIVIT P. CIOCON- Present:

HERNANDEZ, and

REMBERTO C. KARAAN, SR., CARPIO, J., Chairperson,

Complainants, BRION,

PERALTA,*

SERENO, and

- versus - REYES, JJ.

JUDGE ANTONIO C. LUBAO,

Regional Trial Court, Branch 22,

General Santos City, Promulgated:

Respondent. June 20, 2012


x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Antecedent Facts
--x

Complainants are the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 7819 (Juvy P. Ciocon-Reer, et
al. v. Gaspar Mayo, et al.) for Unlawful Detainer, Damages, Injunction, etc., an

appealed case from the Municipal Trial Court of General Santos City, Branch 3.
RESOLUTION
Complainants alleged that on 12 September 2008, Judge Lubao issued an

Order directing the parties to submit their respective memoranda within 30


days from receipt of the order. Complainants further alleged that on 30
CARPIO, J.:
September 2008, a copy of the order was sent by registered mail to the
defendants, which they should have received within one week or on 7
October 2008. Complainants alleged that the 30-day period within which to
The Case
submit memoranda expired on 6 November 2008. Since the defendants failed

to submit their memorandum on 6 November 2008, complainants alleged


that they should be deemed to have waived their right to adduce evidence
Juvy P. Ciocon-Reer, Angelina P. Ciocon, Marivit P. Ciocon-Hernandez, and
and Judge Lubao should have decided the case. Yet, four months passed
Remberto C. Karaan, Sr. (complainants) filed an administrative complaint
from 6 November 2008 and Judge Lubao still failed to make his decision.
against Judge Antonio C. Lubao (Judge Lubao) of the Regional Trial Court of

General Santos City, Branch 22, for gross ignorance of the law, rules or
procedures; gross incompetence and inefficiency; violation of Section 3(e) of
In his Comment, Judge Lubao explained that the parties were required to
Republic Act No. 3019; violations of Articles 171 and 172 of the Revised Penal
submit their respective memoranda on 12 September 2008. The Order was
Code; violations of pertinent provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct, The
sent to the parties through registered mail on 30 September 2008. Judge
New Code of Judicial Conduct per A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC, and Canons of
Lubao alleged that the plaintiffs submitted their memorandum on 10
Judicial Ethics; and dishonesty and grave misconduct.
November 2008 but the court did not receive the registry return card on the
notice to the defendants. On 10 December 2008, the branch clerk of court
sent a letter-request to the Post Office of General Santos City asking for of the law. As regards his alleged unauthorized practice of law, Karaan alleged

certification as to when the Order of 12 September 2008, sent under Registry that Judge Lubao was merely trying to evade the issues at hand.
Receipt No. 690, was received by the defendants. However, the court did not

receive any reply from the Post Office.

The Findings of the OCA

Judge Lubao further explained that on 20 May 2009, for the greater interest

of substantial justice, the defendants were given their last chance to submit In its Memorandum dated 13 April 2010, the Office of the Court Administrator
their memorandum within 30 days from receipt of the order. In the same (OCA) reported that a verification from the Docket and Clearance Division of
order, he directed the plaintiffs to coordinate with the branch sheriff for its Office revealed that Karaan also filed numerous administrative
personal delivery of the order to the defendants. However, the plaintiffs failed complaints[1] against judges from different courts, all of which were dismissed
to coordinate with the branch sheriff and the order was sent to by this Court.
the defendants, again by registered mail, only on 17 June 2009.

In its evaluation of the case, the OCA found that there was no evidence to
Judge Lubao informed the Court that complainant Remberto C. Karaan, Sr. show that the orders issued by Judge Lubao were tainted with fraud,
(Karaan) is engaging in the practice of law even though he is not a lawyer. dishonesty or bad faith. The OCA stated that the matters raised by
Judge Lubao asked this Court to require Karaan to show cause why he should complainants could only be questioned through judicial remedies under the

not be cited in contempt for unauthorized practice of law. Rules of Court and not by way of an administrative complaint. The OCA stated
that Karaan could not simply assume that the order of 12 September 2008

had been received by the defendants without the registry return card which
Karaan filed a supplemental complaint alleging that Judge Lubaos failure to was not returned to the trial court.
submit his comment on time to complainants administrative complaint is a
violation of the existing rules and procedure and amounts to gross ignorance
The OCA found that based on the pleadings attached to the records, it would

appear that Karaan was engaged in the practice of law. The OCA also noted
Karaan thereafter filed Supplemental Arguments to the motion for
the numerous frivolous and administrative complaints filed by Karaan against
reconsideration and compliance to the show cause order. Karaan reiterated
several judges which tend to mock the judicial system.
that he never represented himself to anyone as a lawyer or officer of the court
and that his paralegal services, rendered free of charge, were all for the public
good. He stated that he assists organizations which represent the interests of
The OCA recommended the dismissal of the complaint against Judge Lubao
senior citizens, the indigents, and members of the community with limited
for lack of merit. The OCA further recommended that Karaan be required to
means.
show cause why he should not be cited for contempt of court for violation of

Section 3(e), Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court.

In a Memorandum dated 8 November 2011, the OCA found no merit in the


motion for reconsideration. The OCA noted Judge Lubaos explanation that
In its Resolution dated 24 November 2010, this Court dismissed the complaint
the case was summarily dismissed by the municipal trial court without service
against Judge Lubao for being judicial in nature and for lack of merit. This
of summons on the defendants. Thus, Judge Lubao deemed it proper to issue
Court likewise directed Karaan to show cause why he should not be cited for
the order requiring all parties to submit their memorandum to give all
contempt for violating Section 3(e), Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court.
concerned the opportunity to be heard. The OCA stated that the remedy

against Judge Lubaos action was judicial in nature. The OCA found that the
claim of Karaan that he could prove the receipt of the order by one Mr. Mayo

is immaterial because it was not in the records of the case where Judge

Karaan filed a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of the complaint Karaan based his order.

against Judge Lubao. Karaan denied that he had been assuming to be an

attorney or an officer of the court and acting as such without authority. He


alleged that he did not indicate any PTR, Attorneys Roll, or MCLE Compliance The OCA noted that Karaan, through the use of intemperate and slanderous

Number in his documents. He further stated that A.M. No. 07-1674 filed language, continually attributed all sorts of malicious motives and nefarious

against Judge Lindo was not actually dismissed as reported by the OCA. schemes to Judge Lubao regarding the conduct of his official function but
failed to substantiate his allegations. The OCA further noted that this case is

just one of the many cases Karaan filed against various judges in other courts
Not all administrative complaints against judges merit a corresponding
where the same pattern of accusations could be observed.
penalty. In the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge
in his judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action.[2] We agree with
the OCA that the remedy of the complainants in this case is judicial in nature.
The OCA found Karaans explanation on the show cause order unsatisfactory.
Hence, the denial of their motion for reconsideration of this Courts 24
The OCA noted Karaans modus operandi of offering free paralegal advice and
November 2010 Resolution dismissing the administrative case against Judge
then making the parties execute a special power of attorney that would make
Lubao is in order. As the OCA stated, Karaan could not make assumptions as
him an agent of the litigants and would allow him to file suits, pleadings and
to when the defendants received the copy of Judge Lubaos order without the
motions with himself as one of the plaintiffs acting on behalf of his clients. The
registry return receipt. While Karaan claimed that he knew when one of the
OCA noted that Karaans services, on behalf of the underprivileged he claimed
parties received a copy of the order, this claim was unsupported by evidence
to be helping, fall within the practice of law. The OCA recommended that
and was not in the records of the case when Judge Lubao issued his 20 May
Karaan be declared liable for indirect contempt and be sentenced to serve a
2009 Order giving the defendants their last chance to submit their
term of imprisonment for 10 days at the Manila City Jail and to pay a fine
memorandum. The records would also show that Judge Lubao had been very
ofP1,000 with a warning that a repetition of any of the offenses, or any similar
careful in his actions on the case, as his branch clerk of court even wrote the
or other offense, against the courts, judges or court employees will merit
Post Office of General Santos City asking for certification as to when the Order
more serious sanctions.
of 12 September 2008, sent under Registry Receipt No. 690, was received by
the defendants. There was no evidence that Judge Lubao acted arbitrarily or

in bad faith. Further, Judge Lubao could not be faulted for trying to give all
The Ruling of this Court
the parties an opportunity to be heard considering that the records of the

case would show that the court a quo summarily dismissed the case without

issuing summons to the defendants.


We agree with the OCAs recommendation that the motion for
reconsideration of the Courts 24 November 2010 Resolution dismissing the

complaint against Judge Lubao has no merit.


We likewise agree with the OCA that Karaan was engaged in unauthorized against a Regional Trial Court or a court of equivalent or higher rank may be

practice of law. punished by a fine not exceeding thirty thousand pesos or imprisonment not
exceeding six (6) months, or both. If a respondent is adjudged guilty of
contempt committed against a lower court, he may be punished by a fine not

In Cayetano v. Monsod,[3] the Court ruled that practice of law means any exceeding five thousand pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) month,

activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal or both.
procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of

law is to perform acts which are usually performed by members of the legal
profession.[4] Generally, to practice law is to render any kind of service which Following the ruling of this Court in In re: Joaquin T. Borromeo,[6] the OCA

requires the use of legal knowledge or skill.[5] Here, the OCA was able to recommended that Karaan be cited for indirect contempt and be sentenced
establish the pattern in Karaans unauthorized practice of law. He would to serve an imprisonment of ten days at the Manila City Jail, and to pay a fine
require the parties to execute a special power of attorney in his favor to allow of P1,000 with a warning that a repetition of any of the offenses, or any similar

him to join them as one of the plaintiffs as their attorney-in-fact. Then, he or other offense against the courts, judges or court employees will merit

would file the necessary complaint and other pleadings acting for and in his further and more serious sanctions. The OCA further recommended that a
own behalf and as attorney-in-fact, agent or representative of the parties. The memorandum be issued to all courts of the land to notify the judges and

fact that Karaan did not indicate in the pleadings that he was a member of the court employees of Karaans unauthorized practice of law and to report to the
Bar, or any PTR, Attorneys Roll, or MCLE Compliance Number does not OCA any further appearance to be made by Karaan. However, the records
detract from the fact that, by his actions, he was actually engaged in the would show that Karaan is already 71 years old. In consideration of his old age

practice of law. and his state of health, we deem it proper to remove the penalty of
imprisonment as recommended by the OCA and instead increase the

recommended fine to P10,000.


Under Section 3(e), Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, a person

[a]ssuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such


without authority, is liable for indirect contempt of court. Under Section 7 of WHEREFORE, we DENY the motion for reconsideration of the Courts
the same rules, a respondent adjudged guilty of indirect contempt committed Resolution dated 24 November 2010 dismissing the complaint against Judge
Antonio C. Lubao for being judicial in nature. We find REMBERTO C. KARAAN,

SR. GUILTY of indirect contempt under Section 3(e), Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure and impose on him a Fine of Ten Thousand Pesos

(P10,000).

IN RE: PETITION TO RE-ACQUIRE B.M. No. 2112 THE PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE

LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES, Present: EPIFANIO B. MUNESES, CARPIO,


Let a copy of this Resolution be furnished all courts of the land for their
Petitioner. VELASCO, JR., LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, BRION,* PERALTA,
guidance and information. The courts and court employees are further
BERSAMIN, DEL CASTILLO, ABAD, VILLARAMA, JR., PEREZ ' MENDOZA,**
directed to report to the Office of the Court Administrator any further
SERENO ' REYES, and PERLAS-BERNABE, JJ. Promulgated: JULY 24, 2012 f)(~
appearance by Remberto C. Karaan, Sr. before their sala.
x----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--~-~---x RESOLUTION REYES, J.: On June 8, 2009, a petition was filed by


Epifanio B. Muneses (petitioner) with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC)
SO ORDERED.
praying that he be granted the privilege to practice law in the Philippines. On

Leave per Special Order No. 1257 dated July 19, 2012. On l.eave. I Resolution 2

B.M. No. 2112 The petitioner alleged that he became a member of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on March 21, 1966; that he lost his

privilege to practice law when he became a citizen of the United States of


America (USA) on August 28, 1981; that on September 15, 2006, he re-

acquired his Philippine citizenship pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225 or
the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003 by taking his oath
of allegiance as a Filipino citizen before the Philippine Consulate General in

Washington, D.C., USA; that he intends to retire in the Philippines and if


granted, to resume the practice of law. Attached to the petition were several
documents in support of his petition, albeit mere photocopies thereof, to wit:
1. Oath of Allegiance dated September 15, 2006 before Consul General
Domingo P. Nolasco; 2. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship of 9225 provides that a person who intends to practice his profession in the

same date; 3. Order for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship also of same Philippines must apply with the proper authority for a license or permit to
date; 4. Letter dated March 13, 2008 evidencing payment of membership dues engage in such practice.3 It can not be overstressed that: The practice of law
with the IBP; 5. Attendance Forms from the Mandatory Continuing Legal is a privilege burdened with conditions. It is so delicately affected with public

Education (MCLE). In Bar Matter No. 1678, dated December 17, 2007, the interest that it is both the power and duty of the State (through this Court) to
Court was confronted with a similar petition filed by Benjamin M. Dacanay control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare.
(Dacanay) who requested leave to resume his practice of law after availing the Adherence to rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest

benefits of R.A. No. 9225. Dacanay was admitted to the Philippine Bar in degree of morality, faithful observance of the legal profession, compliance

March 1960. In December 1998, he migrated to Canada to seek medical with the mandatory continuing legal education requirement and payment of

attention for his ailments and eventually became a Canadian citizen in May membership fees to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) are the
2004. On July 14, 2006, Dacanay re-acquired his Philippine citizenship conditions required for membership in good standing in the bar and for

pursuant to R.A. No. 9225 after taking his oath of allegiance before the enjoying the privilege to practice law. Any breach by a lawyer 1 Section 3.
Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, Canada. He returned to the Retention of Philippine Citizenship - Any provision of law to the contrary

Philippines and intended to resume his practice of law. Resolution 3 B.M. No. notwithstanding, natural born citizens of the Philippines by reason of their
2112 The Court reiterates that Filipino citizenship is a requirement for naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-

admission to the bar and is, in fact, a continuing requirement for the practice acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to
of law. The loss thereof means termination of the petitioners membership in the Republic: I ______, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and

the bar; ipso jure the privilege to engage in the practice of law. Under R.A. No. defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws
9225, natural-born citizens who have lost their Philippine citizenship by and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the
reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are deemed to Philippines and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme

have re-acquired their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of authority of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto;
allegiance to the Republic.1 Thus, a Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of and that I imposed this obligation upon myself voluntarily without mental
another country and later re-acquires his Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. reservation or purpose of evasion. Natural-born citizens of the Philippines
9225, remains to be a member of the Philippine Bar. However, as stated in who, after the effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country shall
Dacanay, the right to resume the practice of law is not automatic.2 R.A. No. retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath. 2 Petition for
Leave to Resume Practice of Law, Benjamin Dacanay, Petitioner, B.M. No. to his compliance with the MCLE. The OBC further required the petitioner to

1678, December 17, 2007. 3 R.A. No. 9225, Section 5. Resolution 4 B.M. No. update his compliance, particularly with the MCLE. After all the requirements
2112 of any of these conditions makes him unworthy of the trust and were satisfactorily complied with and finding that the petitioner has met all
confidence which the courts and clients repose in him for the continued the qualifications and none of the disqualifications for membership in the bar,

exercise of his professional privilege.4 Thus, in pursuance to the qualifications the OBC recommended that the petitioner be allowed to resume his practice
laid down by the Court for the practice of law, the OBC required the herein of law. Upon this favorable recommendation of the OBC, the Court adopts the
petitioner to submit the original or certified true copies of the following same and sees no bar to the petitioner's resumption to the practice of law in

documents in relation to his petition: 1. Petition for Re-Acquisition of the Philippines. WHEREFORE, the petition of Attorney Epifanio B. Muneses is

Philippine Citizenship; 2. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship); 3. hereby GRANTED, subject to the condition that he shall re-take the Lawyer's

Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines; 4. Identification Oath on a date to be set by the Court and subject to the payment of
Certificate (IC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration; 5. Certificate of Good appropriate fees. Furthermore, the Office of the Bar Confidant is directed to

Standing issued by the IBP; 6. Certification from the IBP indicating updated draft the necessary guidelines for the re-acquisition of the privilege to resume
payments of annual membership dues; 7. Proof of payment of professional the practice of law for the guidance of the Bench and Bar. SO ORDERED.
tax; and 8. Certificate of compliance issued by the MCLE Office. In compliance
thereof, the petitioner submitted the following: 1. Petition for Re-Acquisition

of Philippine Citizenship; 2. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship);


3. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines; 4. Certificate of Re-

Acquisition/Retention of Philippine Citizenship issued by the Bureau of


Immigration, in lieu of the IC; 5. Certification dated May 19, 2010 of the IBP-
Surigao City Chapter attesting to his good moral character as well as his

updated payment of annual membership dues; 6. Professional Tax Receipt


(PTR) for the year 2010; 4 Supra note 2. Resolution 5 B.M. No. 2112 7.
Certificate of Compliance with the MCLE for the 2nd compliance period; and
8. Certification dated December 5, 2008 of Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos,
Coordinator, UC-MCLE Program, University of Cebu, College of Law attesting
B.M. No. 2540, September 24, 2013

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

MEDADO, Petitioner.

RESOLUTION

SERENO, C.J.:

We resolve the instant Petition to Sign in the Roll of Attorneys filed by


petitioner Michael A. Medado (Medado).

Medado graduated from the University of the Philippines with the degree of
Bachelor of Laws in 19791and passed the same years bar examinations with a

general weighted average of 82.7.2cralaw virtualaw library

On 7 May 1980, he took the Attorneys Oath at the Philippine International

Convention Center (PICC) together with the successful bar examinees.3 He


was scheduled to sign in the Roll of Attorneys on 13 May 1980,4 but he failed
to do so on his scheduled date, allegedly because he had misplaced the
Notice to Sign the Roll of Attorneys5 given by the Bar Office when he went

home to his province for a vacation.6cralaw virtualaw library

Several years later, while rummaging through his old college files, Medado
found the Notice to Sign the Roll of Attorneys. It was then that he realized
that he had not signed in the roll, and that what he had signed at the
entrance of the PICC was probably just an attendance record. instant petition, subject to the payment of a fine and the imposition of a

By the time Medado found the notice, he was already working. He stated that penalty equivalent to suspension from the practice of law.
he was mainly doing corporate and taxation work, and that he was not
actively involved in litigation practice. Thus, he operated under the mistaken At the outset, we note that not allowing Medado to sign in the Roll of

belief [that] since he ha[d] already taken the oath, the signing of the Roll of Attorneys would be akin to imposing upon him the ultimate penalty of
Attorneys was not as urgent, nor as crucial to his status as a lawyer;8 and the disbarment, a penalty that we have reserved for the most serious ethical
matter of signing in the Roll of Attorneys lost its urgency and compulsion, and transgressions of members of the Bar.

was subsequently forgotten.

In this case, the records do not show that this action is warranted.

In 2005, when Medado attended Mandatory Continuing Legal Education


(MCLE) seminars, he was required to provide his roll number in order for his For one, petitioner demonstrated good faith and good moral character when

MCLE compliances to be credited.10 Not having signed in the Roll of he finally filed the instant Petition to Sign in the Roll of Attorneys. We note
Attorneys, he was unable to provide his roll number. that it was not a third party who called this Courts attention to petitioners

omission; rather, it was Medado himself who acknowledged his own lapse,
About seven years later, or on 6 February 2012, Medado filed the instant albeit after the passage of more than 30 years. When asked by the Bar

Petition, praying that he be allowed to sign in the Roll of Attorneys. Confidant why it took him this long to file the instant petition, Medado very
The Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) conducted a clarificatory conference on candidly replied:
the matter on 21 September 201212 and submitted a Report and
Mahirap hong i-explain yan pero, yun bang at the time, what can you say?
Recommendation to this Court on 4 February 2013.13The OBC recommended
Takot ka kung anong mangyayari sa yo, you dont know whats gonna
that the instant petition be denied for petitioners gross negligence, gross
happen. At the same time, its a combination of apprehension and anxiety of
misconduct and utter lack of merit.14 It explained that, based on his answers
whats gonna happen. And, finally its the right thing to do. I have to come
during the clarificatory conference, petitioner could offer no valid justification
here sign the roll and take the oath as necessary.16
for his negligence in signing in the Roll of Attorneys.

For another, petitioner has not been subject to any action for disqualification
After a judicious review of the records, we grant Medados prayer in the from the practice of law,17 which is more than what we can say of other
individuals who were successfully admitted as members of the Philippine Bar.

For this Court, this fact demonstrates that petitioner strove to adhere to the We disagree.
strict requirements of the ethics of the profession, and that he has prima
facie shown that he possesses the character required to be a member of the While an honest mistake of fact could be used to excuse a person from the

Philippine Bar. legal consequences of his acts23 as it negates malice or evil motive,24 a
mistake of law cannot be utilized as a lawful justification, because everyone is
Finally, Medado appears to have been a competent and able legal presumed to know the law and its consequences.25 Ignorantia facti excusat;

practitioner, having held various positions at the Laurel Law Office,18 Petron, ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

Petrophil Corporation, the Philippine National Oil Company, and the Energy

Development Corporation. Applying these principles to the case at bar, Medado may have at first
operated under an honest mistake of fact when he thought that what he had

All these demonstrate Medados worth to become a full-fledged member of signed at the PICC entrance before the oath-taking was already the Roll of
the Philippine Bar. While the practice of law is not a right but a Attorneys. However, the moment he realized that what he had signed was

privilege,20 this Court will not unwarrantedly withhold this privilege from merely an attendance record, he could no longer claim an honest mistake of
individuals who have shown mental fitness and moral fiber to withstand the fact as a valid justification. At that point, Medado should have known that he

rigors of the profession. was not a full-fledged member of the Philippine Bar because of his failure to
sign in the Roll of Attorneys, as it was the act of signing therein that would

That said, however, we cannot fully exculpate petitioner Medado from all have made him so.26 When, in spite of this knowledge, he chose to continue
liability for his years of inaction. practicing law without taking the necessary steps to complete all the
requirements for admission to the Bar, he willfully engaged in the

Petitioner has been engaged in the practice of law since 1980, a period unauthorized practice of law.
spanning more than 30 years, without having signed in the Roll of
Attorneys.21 He justifies this behavior by characterizing his acts as neither Under the Rules of Court, the unauthorized practice of law by ones assuming
willful nor intentional but based on a mistaken belief and an honest error of to be an attorney or officer of the court, and acting as such without authority,
judgment. may constitute indirect contempt of court,27which is punishable by fine or
imprisonment or both.28 Such a finding, however, is in the nature of criminal Resolution. For his transgression of the prohibition against the unauthorized

contempt29 and must be reached after the filing of charges and the conduct practice of law, we likewise see it fit to fine him in the amount of P32,000.
of hearings.30 In this case, while it appears quite clearly that petitioner During the one year period, petitioner is warned that he is not allowed to
committed indirect contempt of court by knowingly engaging in unauthorized engage in the practice of law, and is sternly warned that doing any act that

practice of law, we refrain from making any finding of liability for indirect constitutes practice of law before he has signed in the Roll of Attorneys will be
contempt, as no formal charge pertaining thereto has been filed against him. dealt with severely by this Court.

Knowingly engaging in unauthorized practice of law likewise transgresses WHEREFORE, the instant Petition to Sign in the Roll of Attorneys is

Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides: hereby GRANTED. Petitioner Michael A. Medado is ALLOWED to sign in the

Roll of Attorneys ONE (1) YEAR after receipt of this Resolution. Petitioner is
CANON 9 A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized
likewise ORDERED to pay a FINE of P32,000 for his unauthorized practice of
practice of law.
law. During the one year period, petitioner is NOT ALLOWED to practice law,

While a reading of Canon 9 appears to merely prohibit lawyers from assisting and is STERNLY WARNED that doing any act that constitutes practice of law

in the unauthorized practice of law, the unauthorized practice of law by the before he has signed in the Roll of Attorneys will be dealt with severely by this

lawyer himself is subsumed under this provision, because at the heart of Court.

Canon 9 is the lawyers duty to prevent the unauthorized practice of


law. This duty likewise applies to law students and Bar candidates. As aspiring Let a copy of this Resolution be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant, the

members of the Bar, they are bound to comport themselves in accordance Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the Office of the Court Administrator for

with the ethical standards of the legal profession. circulation to all courts in the country.

Turning now to the applicable penalty, previous violations of Canon 9 have SO ORDERED.
warranted the penalty of suspension from the practice of law.31 As Medado is
not yet a full-fledged lawyer, we cannot suspend him from the practice of law.
However, we see it fit to impose upon him a penalty akin to suspension by
allowing him to sign in the Roll of Attorneys one (1) year after receipt of this