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Delaying any man’s cause for any corrupt motive or interest

De Los Santos II v. Barbosa, A.C. No. 6681. June 17, 2015

FACTS
Complainant Victor D. De Los Santos II, filed a complaint with The prosecutor charging The
respondent Atty. Nestor C. Barbosa for obstruction of justice. However, The prosecutor
dismissed The obstruction if justice complain for insufficiency of evidence because The
respondent argued That the name of his client Canaco’s son was Victor C. De Los Santos and
not Victor P. De Los Santos as stated in The Information charging Canaco with violation of PD
No. 651. In February 2005, De Los Santos filed a petition for disbarment with The Court
charging The respondent with multiple gross violations of his oath as a lawyer and Canons of
Professional Ethics for unlawfully obstructing and delaying The proceedings. Thus, referred to
The IBP for investigation.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Nestor C. Barbosa committed a multiple gross violations of his oath
as a lawyer and Canons of Professional Ethics for unlawfully obstructing and delaying The
proceedings?

HELD: Yes. After a careful study of the records, the SC approves the findings of the IBP
Commission and The IBP Board of Governors and resolves To modify The recommended
penalty of suspension from The practice of law To a period of one (1) year. Under Canon 10 of
The Code of Professional Responsibility that the lawyers owe candor, fairness, and good faith to
The court.

Particularly, Rule 10.01 provides that "a lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent To The
doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead. A lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of the
court. A lawyer's first duty is not to his client but to the administration of justice. In This case, the
respondent deliberately misled The MeTC, The Commission and This Court into believing That
Victor Canaco De Los Santos (Canaco's son whose birth certificate is at issue in The criminal
case) and Victor P. De Los Santos (named in The Information) are different persons. The Court
agrees with The findings of The IBP Commissioner That The difference in The middle initial is a
mere Typographical error on The part of The City Prosecutor. Members of The Bar are
expected at all times To uphold The integrity and dignity of The legal profession and refrain from
any act or omission, That might lessen The Trust and confidence reposed by The public in The
fideliTy, honesty, and integrity of The legal profession

Canon 2 – Legal Services Compatible with Independence, Integrity of Profession


Cause of defenseless & oppressed
Re: Request of National Committee on Legal Aid To Exempt Legal Aid Clients From
Paying Filing, Docket and Other Fees, Adm. Matter No. 08-11-7-SC. August 28, 2009.

FACTS:
On September 23, 2008 the Misamis Oriental Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP) promulgated Resolution No. 24, series of 2008. The resolution requested the IBP’s
National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) to ask for the exemption from the payment of filing,
docket and other fees of clients of the legal aid offices in the various IBP chapters.

ISSUE:
Should indigent litigants be exempted from paying docket fees?

RULING:
YES. The Constitution guarantees the rights of the poor to free access to the courts and to
adequate legal assistance. The legal aid service rendered by the NCLA and legal aid offices of
IBP chapters nationwide addresses only the right to adequate legal assistance. Recipients of
the service of the NCLA and legal aid offices of IBP chapters may enjoy free access to courts by
exempting them from the payment of fees assessed in connection with the filing of a complaint
or action in court. With these twin initiatives, the guarantee of Section 11, Article III of
Constitution is advanced and access to justice is increased by bridging a significant gap and
removing a major roadblock.

Soliciting legal business


Linsangan v. Tolentino, Adm.Case No. 6672. September 4, 2009

Facts:
A complaint for disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan against Atty. Nicomedes
Tolentino for solicitation of clients and encroachment of professional services. Complaint
alleged that respondent, with the help of paralegal Fe Marie Labiano, convinced his clients to
transfer legal representation. Respondent promised them financial assistance and expeditious
collection on their claims. To induce them to hire his services, he persistently called them and
sent them text messages. To support his allegations, complainant presented the sworn affidavit
of James Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried to prevail upon him to sever his lawyer-client
relations with complainant and utilize respondent’s services instead, in exchange for a loan of
P50, 000.00. Complainant also attached “respondent’s” calling card. Respondent, in his
defense, denied knowing Labiano and authorizing the printing and circulation of the said calling
card.

Issue:
Whether or not Tolentino’s actions warrant disbarment.

Held:
Yes. Rule 2.03 of the CPR provides that a lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any
act designed primarily to solicit legal business. Hence, lawyers are prohibited from soliciting
cases for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers.
Such actuation constitutes malpractice, a ground for disbarment. Rule 2.03 should be
read in connection with Rule 1.03 of the CPR which provides that lawyer, shall not for any
corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any man’s cause.
This rule proscribes “ambulance chasing” (the solicitation of almost any kind of legal
business by an attorney, personally or through an agent in order to gain employment) as a
measure to protect the community from barratry and champerty.
In the case at bar, complainant presented substantial evidence (consisting of the sworn
statements of the very same persons coaxed by Labiano and referred to respondent’s office) to
prove that respondent indeed solicited legal business as well as profited from referrals’ suits.
Through Labiano’s actions, respondent’s law practice was benefited. Hapless seamen were
enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labiano’s word that respondent could
produce a more favorable result.
Based on the foregoing, respondent clearly solicited employment violating Rule 2.03,
and Rule 1.03 and Canon 3 of the CPR and section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Any act
of solicitations constitutes malpractice which calls for the exercise of the Court’s disciplinary
powers. Violation of anti-solicitation statues warrants serious sanctions for initiating contact with
a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining employment. Thus in this jurisdiction, the Court
adheres to the rule to protect the public from the Machiavellian machinations of unscrupulous
lawyers and to uphold the nobility of the legal profession.

Canon 2: A lawyer shall make his legal services available in an efficient and convenient manner
compatible with the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the profession. Rule 2.03: A
lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed primarily to solicit legal business

Canon 5 – Keep Abreast of Legal Developments


Payod v. Metila, Adm. Case No. 3944. July 27, 2007

A lawyer who accepts a case must give it his full attention, diligence, skill, and competence, and
his negligence in connection therewith renders him liable.

Atty. Metila failed to submit important documents to the Court of Appeals (CA) and the serious
consequences brought by such act became prejudicial to the case of Lea Payod. Payod said
they made sufficient follow ups with Atty. Metila but the latter failed to show up in appointed
meetings at the Court. Pagod thereafter charged Atty. Romeo P. Metila for willful neglect and
gross misconduct in the discharge of her duties.

Atty. Metila denied the charges and insisted that there was no attorney-client relationship
between him and Payod for there was no Special Power of Attorney authorizing Payod’s mother
to hire him as a lawyer.

After investigation, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Committee on Bar Discipline, to which
the complaint was referred, found Atty. Metila guilty of simple negligence and recommended
that he be seriously admonished. The IBP Board of Directors adopted the report and
recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner that Atty. Metila be seriously admonished.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the failure of Atty. Metila to submit documents to the CA constitute gross
negligence

HELD:

The circumstances attendant to Atty. Metila’s initial handle of Payod’s case do not warrant a
finding of gross negligence, or sheer absence of real effort on his part to defend her cause.

Atty. Metila accepted Payod’s case upon her mother’s insistence, with only six days for him
to file a petition for review before this Court, and without furnishing him with complete records,
not to mention money, for the reproduction of the needed documents. Despite these constraints,
Atty. Metila exerted efforts, albeit lacking in care, to defend his client’s cause by filing two
motions for extension of time to file petition. And he in fact filed the petition within the time he
requested, thus complying with the guideline of this Court that lawyers should at least file their
pleadings within the extended period requested should their motions for extension of time
to file a pleading be not acted upon.

Neither do the circumstances warrant a finding that Atty. Metila was motivated by ill-will. In the
absence of proof to the contrary, a lawyer enjoys a presumption of good faith in his favor
Sanchez v. Aguilos, Adm. Case No. 10543, March 16, 2016
FACTS:
Complainant Nenita D. Sanchez has charged respondent Atty. Romeo G. Aguilos
(respondent) with misconduct for the latter's refusal to return the amount of P70,000.00 she had
paid for his professional services despite his not having performed the contemplated
professional services. She avers that in March 2005, she sought the legal services of the
respondent to represent her in the annulment of her marriage with her estranged husband,
Jovencio C. Sanchez; that the respondent accepted the engagement, fixing his fee at
P150,000.00, plus the appearance fee of P5,000.00/hearing; that she then gave to him the initial
amount of P90,000.00;She had only learned then that what he had contemplated to file for her
was a petition for legal separation, not one for the annulment of her marriage; she subsequently
withdrew the case from him, and requested the refund of the amounts already paid, but he
refused to do the same as he had already started working on the case; that she had sent him a
letter, through Atty. Isidro S.C. Martinez, to demand the return of her payment less whatever
amount corresponded to the legal services he had already performed and that his constant
refusal to return the amounts prompted her to bring an administrative complaint against him in
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on March 20, 2007.
Issues:
(a) whether or not the respondent should be held administratively liable for misconduct;
and
(b) whether or not he should be ordered to return the attorney's fees paid.
RULING NO. 1. YES.
Respondent was liable for misconduct, and he should be ordered to return the
entire amount received from the client. The respondent offered himself to the complainant as
a lawyer who had the requisite professional competence and skill to handle the action for the
annulment of marriage for her. He required her to pay P150,000.00 as attorney's fees, exclusive
of the filing fees and his appearance fee of P5,000.00/hearing.
Of that amount, he received the sum of P70,000.00.
That lawyers shall keep abreast of the legal developments and participate in continuing
legal education program (Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility) in order to
prevent repetition of such kind of advise that respondent gave to the complainant.
Clearly, the respondent misrepresented his professional competence and skill to the
complainant. As the foregoing findings reveal, he did not know the distinction between the
grounds for legal separation and for annulment of marriage. Such knowledge would have been
basic and expected of him as a lawyer accepting a professional engagement for either causes
of action. As such, the respondent failed to live up to the standards imposed on him as an
attorney. He thus transgressed Canon 18, and Rules 18.01, 18.02 and 18.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
RULING NO. 2: YES.
We can easily agree that every attorney is entitled to have and receive a just and
reasonable compensation for services performed at the special instance and request of his
client. As long as the attorney is in good faith and honestly trying to represent and serve the
interests of the client, he should have a reasonable compensation for such services.
Section 24 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, to wit: Section24.Compensation of
attorneys; agreement as to fees - An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his
client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the importance
of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the
professional standing of the attorney. The respondent should not have accepted the
engagement because as it was later revealed, it was way above his ability and competence to
handle the case for annulment of marriage. As a consequence, he had no basis to accept any
amount as attorney's fees from the complainant. He did not even begin to perform the
contemplated task he undertook for the complainant because it was improbable that the
agreement with her was to bring the action for legal separation. His having supposedly prepared
the petition for legal separation instead of the petition for annulment of marriage was either his
way of covering up for his incompetence, or his means of charging her more. Either way did not
entitle him to retain the amount he had already received.

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, Agpalo, Appendix F


Cabiles v. Cedo, Adm. Case No. 10245, August 16, 2017
-issend daw ni Jewel yung digest niya cos wala ako mahanap online so leave space
muna for this one

Canon 6 – Lawyers in Government Service


Pimentel v. Llorente, et al., Adm. Case No. 4680, August 29, 2000
Facts: Attys. Antonio Llorente and Ligaya Salayon were election officers of the COMELEC and
held the position of Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively for the Pasig City Board of
Candidates. The respondents helped conduct and oversee the 1995 elections. Then Senatorial
candidate Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. alleged that the respondents tampered with the votes received
by them by either adding more votes for particular candidates in their Statement of Votes (SoV)
or reducing the number of votes of particular candidates in their SoV. Pimentel filed an
administrative complaint for their disbarment. Respondents argued that the discrepancies were
due to honest mistake, oversight and fatigue. Respondents also argued that the IBP Board of
Governors had already exonerated them from any offense and that the motion for
reconsideration filed by Pimentel was not filed in time.
Held: GUILTY. Respondents do not dispute the fact that massive irregularities attended the
canvassing of the Pasig City election returns. The only explanation they could offer for such
irregularities is that the same could be due to honest mistake, human error, and/or fatigue on
the part of the members of the canvassing committees who prepared the SoVs. There is a limit,
we believe, to what can be construed as an honest mistake or oversight due to fatigue, in the
performance of official duty. The sheer magnitude of the error renders the defense of honest
mistake or oversight due to fatigue, as incredible and simply unacceptable. Indeed, what is
involved here is not just a case of mathematical error in the tabulation of votes per precinct as
reflected in the election returns and the subsequent entry of the erroneous figures in one or two
SoVs but a systematic scheme to pad the votes of certain senatorial candidates at the expense
of the petitioner in complete disregard of the tabulation in the election returns. A lawyer who
holds a government position may not be disciplined as a member of the bar for misconduct in
the discharge of his duties as a government official. However, if the misconduct also constitutes
a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility or the lawyer’s oath or is of such character
as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or shows moral delinquency on his part, such individual
may be disciplined as a member of the bar for such misconduct. Here, by certifying as true and
correct the SoVs in question, respondents committed a breach of Rule 1.01 of the Code which
stipulates that a lawyer shall not engage in “unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.”
By express provision of Canon 6, this is made applicable to lawyers in the government service.
In addition, they likewise violated their oath of office as lawyers to “do no falsehood.” The Court
found the respondents guilty of misconduct and fined them PhP 10,000 each and issued a stern
warning that similar conduct in the future will be severely punished.
Suarez v. Platon, 69 Phil. 556 (1940)

Facts:
In May 1935, Atty. Fortunato Suarez was riding a train on his way to Calauag, Tayabas.
Apparently he was very vocal and he was despising the abuses made by government officers.
Incidentally, Lieutenant Vivencio Orais was aboard the train. Orais arrested Suarez and charged
him with sedition. Orais however later moved for the dismissal of the case upon the instruction
of his superior. Thereafter, Suarez filed a case against Orais for arbitrary detention. Provincial
Fiscal Ramon Valdez moved for the dismissal of the case due to insufficiency of evidence.
Suarez asked Valdez to inhibit and later asked for a special prosecutor to take his place as he
alleged that Valdez does not have the courage to prosecute the case. Valdez was then replaced
by special prosecutor Jacinto Yamzon who also found that there is insufficient evidence to
prosecute the case. Eventually, the case was dismissed by Judge Servillano Platon on the
ground that there is insufficiency of evidence. Suarez appealed the dismissal of the case but his
appeal was denied on the ground that mandamus is the proper remedy. Hence, Suarez filed this
Mandamus case to compel Platon to reinstate the case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the case should be reinstated.
HELD: No. The fiscals are well within their rights not to push through with the case if they find
the evidence to be insufficient. The prosecuting officer is the representative not of an ordinary
party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as
compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal
prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a
peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall
not escape or innocence shall suffer.

After Leaving Government Service


PCGG v. Sandiganbayan, et al., G.R. Nos. 151809-12. April 12, 2005

FACTS

In 1976 the General Bank and Trust Company (GENBANK) encountered financial difficulties.
GENBANK had extended considerable financial support to Filcapital Development Corporation
causing it to incur daily overdrawing on its current account with Central Bank. Despite the mega
loans GENBANK failed to recover from its financial woes. The Central Bank issued a resolution
declaring GENBANK insolvent and unable to resume business with safety to its
depositors, creditors and the general public, and ordering its liquidation. A public bidding of
GENBANK’s assets was held where Lucio Tan group submitted the winning bid. Solicitor
General Estelito Mendoza filed a petition with the CFI praying for the assistance and supervision
of the court in GENBANK’s liquidation as mandated by RA 265. After EDSA Revolution I Pres
Aquino established the PCGG to recover the alleged ill-gotten wealth of former Pres Marcos, his
family and cronies. Pursuant to this mandate, the PCGG filed with the Sandiganbayan a
complaint for reversion, reconveyance, restitution against respondents Lucio Tan, at.al. PCGG
issued several writs of sequestration on properties allegedly acquired by them by taking
advantage of their close relationship and influence with former Pres. Marcos.

The abovementioned respondents Tan, et. al are represented as their counsel, former Solicitor
General Mendoza. PCGG filed motions to disqualify respondent Mendoza as counsel for
respondents Tan et. al. with Sandiganbayan. It was alleged that Mendoza as then Sol Gen
and counsel to Central Bank actively intervened in the liquidation of GENBANK which was
subsequently acquired by respondents Tan et. al., which subsequently became Allied Banking
Corporation.

The motions to disqualify invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which
prohibits former government lawyers from accepting “engagement” or employment in
connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in the said service. The
Sandiganbayan issued a resolution denyting PCGG’s motion to disqualify respondent Mendoza.
It failed to prove the existence of an inconsistency between respondent Mendoza’s former
function as SolGen and his present employment as counsel of the Lucio Tan group. PCGGs
recourse to this court assailing the Resolutions of the Sandiganbayan.

ISSUE

Whether Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to respondent Mendoza.
The prohibition states: “A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept
engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in
the said service.”

HELD

The case at bar does not involve the “adverse interest” aspect of Rule 6.03. Respondent
Mendoza, it is conceded, has no adverse interest problem when he acted as SOlGen and later
as counsel of respondents et.al. before the Sandiganbayan. However there is still the issue of
whether there exists a “congruent-interest conflict” sufficient to disqualify respondent Mendoza
from representing respondents et. al. The key is unlocking the meaning of “matter” and the
metes and bounds of “intervention” that he made on the matter. Beyond doubt that the “matter”
or the act of respondent Mendoza as SolGen involved in the case at bar is “advising the Central
Bank, on how to proceed with the said bank’s liquidation and even filing the petition for its
liquidation in CFI of Manila. The Court held that the advice given by respondent Mendoza on the
procedure to liquidate GENBANK is not the “matter” contemplated by Rule 6.03 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility. ABA Formal Opinion No. 342 is clear in stressing that “drafting,
enforcing or interpreting government or agency procedures, regulations and laws, or briefing
abstract principles of law are acts which do not fall within the scope of the term “matter” and
cannot disqualify. Respondent Mendoza had nothing to do with the decision of the Central Bank
to liquidate GENBANK. He also did not participate in the sale of GENBANK to Allied Bank. The
legality of the liquidation of GENBANK is not an issue in the sequestration cases. Indeed, the
jurisdiction of the PCGG does not include the dissolution and liquidation of banks. Thus, the
Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility cannot apply to respondent Mendoza
because his alleged intervention while SolGen is an intervention on a matter different from the
matter involved in the Civil case of sequestration. In the metes and bounds of the “intervention”.
The applicable meaning as the term is used in the Code of Professional Ethics is that it is an act
of a person who has the power to influence the subject proceedings. The evil sought to be
remedied by the Code do not exist where the government lawyer does not act which can be
considered as innocuous such as “ drafting, enforcing, or interpreting government or agency
procedures, regulations or laws or briefing abstract principles of law.” The court rules that the
intervention of Mendoza is not significant and substantial. He merely petitions that the court
gives assistance in the liquidation of GENBANK. The role of court is not strictly as a court of
justice but as an agent to assist the Central Bank in determining the claims of creditors. In such
a proceeding the role of the SolGen is not that of the usual court litigator protecting the interest
of government.

Pasok v. Zapatos, Adm. Case No. 7388, October 19, 2016


-this one also issend ni mikki

A.M. No. 09-5-2-SC April 11, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF THE BREWING CONTROVERSIES IN THE ELECTIONS OF


THE INTEGRA TED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES.

Facts:

At the helm of the IBP is the IBP National President (IBP-President), who is
automatically succeeded by the EVP. When the Philippine Bar was first integrated, both
the IBP-President and the EVP were elected by the IBP-BOG from among themselves
or from other members of the Integrated Bar, with the right of automatic succession by
the EVP to the presidency for the next succeeding full term. The presidency rotated
among all the nine regions in such order as the IBP-BOG had prescribed. Both the IBP-
President and the EVP held a term of one (1) year, with the presidency rotating from
year to year among the regions.

On November 1, 1974, the IBP By-Laws took effect, providing that the IBP-President
and the EVP be chosen by the Board of Governors from among nine (9) regional
governors, as much as practicable, on a rotation basis. It was also provided that the
IBP-President and the EVP hold office for a term of two (2) years from July 1 following
their election until June 30 of their second year in office and until their successors shall
have been duly chosen and qualified.

Later, several amendments in the IBP By-Laws were introduced, among which were the
provisions relating to the election of its national officers. In Bar Matter No. 287, dated
July 9, 1985, the Court approved the recommendation allowing the IBP-President, the
EVP and the officers of the House of Delegates to be directly elected by the House of
Delegates.

As noted by the Court in its December 4, 2012 Resolution, there is a sense of


predictability in the rotation by the pre-ordained scheme. Through the rotation by
exclusion scheme, the elections will be more genuine, as the opportunity to serve at any
time is once again open to all, unless, of course, a region has already served in the new
cycle. While predictability is not altogether avoided, as in the case where only one
region remains in the cycle, still, as previously noted by the Court "the rotation rule
should be applied in harmony with, and not in derogation of, the sovereign will of the
electorate as expressed through the ballot."

ISSUE: W/N the amendments by the IBP impairs the integrity of lawyers?

Held:

Yes, therefore to further avoid conflicting and confusing rulings in the various IBP cases
like what happened to this one, the December 14,2010 Resolution and Velez, it is
recommended that the Court create a committee for IBP affairs to primarily attend to the
problems and needs of a very important professional body and to make
recommendation for its improvement and strengthening.

Evangeline Leda vs. Atty. Trebonian Tabang, A.C. No. 2505, February 21 1992

FACTS:

Tabang and Leda contracted marriage at Iloilo and was solemnized under Article 76 of
the Civil Code as marriage of exceptional character. Both of them kept their marriage a
secret until Tabang finishes his law studies, they had not yet lived as husband and wife.

Tabang, having finished his law studies, declared in his application to take the bar that
he was ―single. After Tabang passed the bar, Leda blocked him of taking his oath by
instituting a complaint, Bar Matter No. 78, that he acted fraudulently in filling out his
application. Thus, Tabang should be considered as unworthy to take the lawyer‘s oath
for lack of good moral character. Tabang admitted that he ̳legally married‖ Leda but that
the marriage ―was not yet made and declared public‖ so that he could properly take
the Bar exams and ensure their future. Bar Matter No. 78 was dismissed because
Tabang said that it just arose out of misunderstanding between him and Leda.

Leda, in response to this, instituted the present Administrative Case praying Tabang‘s
disbarment on grounds of using his legal knowledge to contract an invalid marriage with
Leda, misrepresented himself as single, and for lack of good moral character.

It was found out that the marriage contract was actually void for failure to comply with
the requisites of Article 76 of the Civil Code, or the five-year minimum cohabitation
before celebration of marriage and that they were both twenty years old when they got
married, below the required minimum age of twenty-one years old.

He contended that he and Leda agreed not to disclose that their marriage was void from
the beginning because he wanted to finish his studies and take the bar first. He also
believed that when he applied for the Bar, he honestly believed that in the eyes of the
law, he was single.
ISSUE: WON Tabang committed gross misrepresentation of his status

HELD:

Yes. Tabang committed gross misrepresentation of his status. Tabang‘s declaration in


his application for Admission to the 1981 Bar Examinations that he was "single" was a
gross misrepresentation of a material fact made in utter bad faith, for which he should
be made answerable. Rule 7.01, Canon 7, Chapter II of the Code of Professional
Responsibility explicitly provides: "A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a
false statement or suppression of a material fact in connection with his application for
admission to the bar." That false statement, if it had been known, would have
disqualified him outright from taking the Bar Examinations as it indubitably exhibits lack
of good moral character.

Tabang‘s protestations that he had acted in good faith in declaring his status as "single"
not only because of his pact with Complainant to keep the marriage under wraps but
also because that marriage to Leda was void from the beginning, are mere
afterthoughts absolutely wanting of merit. Tabang cannot assume that his marriage to
Leda is void. The presumption is that all the requisites and conditions of a marriage of
an exceptional character under Article 76 of the Civil Code have been met and that the
Judge's official duty in connection therewith has been regularly performed. Tabang is
SUSPENDED from the practice of law until further Orders

IN THE MATTER OF THE DISQUALIFICATION OF BAR EXAMINEE HARON S.


MELING IN THE 2002 BAR EXAMINATIONS AND FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AS
MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE SHARI’A BAR,

Facts:
On October 14, 2002, Atty. Froilan R. Melendrez (Melendrez) filed with the Office of the
Bar Confidant (OBC) a Petition to disqualify Haron S. Meling (Meling) from taking the
2002 Bar Examinations and to impose on him the appropriate disciplinary penalty as a
member of the Philippine Shari’a Bar.

In the Petition, Melendrez alleges that Meling did not disclose in his Petition to take the
2002 Bar Examinations that he has three (3) pending criminal cases before the
Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Cotabato City, namely: Criminal Cases Noa.
15685 and 15686, both for Grave Oral Defamation, and Criminal Case No. 15687 for
Less Serious Physical Injuries.

The above-mentioned cases arose from an incident which occurred on May 21, 2001,
when Meling allegedly uttered defamatory words against Melendrez and his wife in front
of media practitioners and other people. Meling also purportedly attacked and hit the
face of Melendrez’ wife causing the injuries to the latter.
The reasons of Meling in not disclosing the criminal cases filed against him in his
petition to take the Bar Examinations are ludicrous. He should have known that only the
court of competent jurisdiction can dismiss cases, not a retired judge nor a law
professor. In fact, the cases filed against Meling are still pending. Furthermore,
granting arguendo that these cases were already dismissed, he is still required to
disclose the same for the Court to ascertain his good moral character. Petitions to take
the Bar Examinations are made under oath, and should not be taken lightly by an
applicant.

Issue: W/N Meling Committed false statement in application for admission to the bar?

Held:

Yes. Practice of law, whether under the regular or the Shari’a Court, is not a matter of
right but merely a privilege bestowed upon individuals who are not only learned in the
law but who are also known to possess good moral character. The requirement of good
moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law, its
continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law.

The disclosure requirement is imposed by the Court to determine whether there is


satisfactory evidence of good moral character of the applicant. The nature of whatever
cases are pending against the applicant would aid the Court in determining whether he
is endowed with the moral fitness demanded of a lawyer. By concealing the existence of
such cases, the applicant then flunks the test of fitness even if the cases are ultimately
proven to be unwarranted or insufficient to impugn or affect the good moral character of
the applicant.

In Re Investigation of Angel Parazo for Alleged Leakage of Questions in Some


Subjects in the 1948 Bar Examinations

FACTS:

The defendant, Angel Parazo, a duly accredited reporter of the Star Reporter, a local
daily of general publication wrote in the front page of a newspaper where it states in
bold letters- ―CLAIM LEAK IN LAST BAR TEST‖ followed by another in slightly small
letters- ―Applicants in Uproar, Want Anomaly Probed: One School Favored‖.
According to this article, the leakage in some subjects in the recent bar examinations
were denounced by some of the law graduates who took part of the test to the Star
Reporter. Only students of one private university in Sampaloc had mimeographed
questions on said subject fully one week before the tests.

The students who made the denunciation to the Star Reporter claim that the tests
actually given were similar in every respect to those they had seen students of this
private university holding around the city. Thereafter, Justice Padilla, by the authority of
the court, instructed Mr. Jose Dela Cruz with assistance of Mr. E. Soriano to cite Mr.
Parazo for questioning.

In September 18, 1948, the investigation of Mr. Parazo was conducted, on which he
testified under oath. He admitted that he was the author of the news item; that he wrote
up the story in good faith and in a spirit of public service; and that he knew the persons
who gave him the information was given to him in confidence and his informants did not
wish their identities revealed.

The investigators urged Mr. Parazo to reveal the names of his informants so that the
Supreme Court may be in the position to start and conduct the necessary investigation
in order to verify their charge and complaint and take action against the party or parties
responsible for this alleged irregularity, if found true, but Parazo consistently refused to
make the revelation.

Upon his refusal to reveal, he be accorded a hearing, with the consent of the Court first
obtained, a public hearing was held on the same day, October 15, 1948 in the course of
which, Attorney Serrano extensively and ably argued the case of his client, invoking the
benefits of Republic Act No. 53, the first section provides that The publisher, editor or
duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation
cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news-report or information appearing
in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter,
unless the court or a House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is
demanded by the interest of the state.

ISSUE/S: WON the court can compel Mr. Parazo to reveal the identities of his
informants

HELD: Yes, the court may demand the respondent to reveal the sources of his
information, in refusing to make the revelation which the Court required of him, he
committed contempt of court. The court orders his immediate arrest and confinement in
jail for a period of 1 month.

RA No. 53 provides immunity to be accorded to a publisher, editor, or reporter of any


newspaper was absolute that under no circumstances could he be compelled to reveal
his source of information or news report. The committee however, inserted an
amendment by adding to the end of section 1 of the clause ―unless the court finds
such revelation is demanded by public interest‖. The court is satisfied with that the
present case easily comes under the phrase ―interest of the state.‖ Under Article VII,
section 13 of the Constitution, the SC takes charge of the admission of members of the
Philippine Bar.

The Supreme Court and the Philippine Bar have always tried to maintain a high
standard for the legal profession, both in academic preparation and legal training, as
well as in honesty and fair dealing. The Court and the licensed lawyers themselves are
vitally interested in keeping this high standard; and one of the ways of achieving this
end is to admit to the practice of this noble profession only those persons who are
known to be honest, possess good moral character, and show proficiency in and
knowledge of the law by the standard set by this Court by passing the Bar Examinations
honestly and in the regular and usual manner. And one important thing to bear in mind
is that the Judiciary, from the Supreme Court down to the Justice of the Peace Courts,
provincial fiscalships and other prosecuting attorneys, and the legal departments of the
Government, draw exclusively from the Bar to fill their positions. Consequently, any
charge or insinuation of anomaly in theconduct of Bar Examinations, of necessity is
imbued with wide and general interest and national importance.

SPOUSES GERALDY AND LILIBETH VICTORY VS. ATTY. MARIAN JO S.


MERCADO
A.C. No. 10580, July 12, 2017

FACTS:
Spouses Geraldy and Lilibeth Victory (Spouses Victory) were enticed by
respondent to enter into a financial transaction with her with a promise of good
monetary returns. As respondent is a lawyer and a person of reputation, Spouses
Victory entrusted their money to respondent to invest, manage, and administer into
some financial transactions that would earn good profit for the parties. Respondent
called and asked Geraldy Victory (Geraldy) whether he wanted to invest his money. The
respondent promised that for an investment of PhP 400,000, she will give Geraldy PhP
600,000 in 30 days; and for PhP 500,000, she will give Geraldy PhP 625,000.

Later on, respondent became evasive in returning to Spouses Victory the money
that the latter were supposed to receive as part of the agreement. Respondent failed to
settle and account the money entrusted to her by Spouses Victory. Spouses Victory
filed a criminal complaint for estafa and violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 with the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

After the filing of said criminal case, respondent met with Spouses Victory.
Respondent proposed to reduce her obligation from PhP 8.3 Million to PhP 7.5 Million in
staggered payments, to which Spouses Victory agreed. Respondent then issued three
postdated checks in the amount of PhP 300,000 each. However, said checks bounced.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD)


found that respondent indeed lured Spouses Victory in entering into a series of financial
transactions with a promise of return of profit. Respondent, however, failed to deliver
such promise.

ISSUE:
Should the respondent be held administratively liable based on the allegations in
the pleadings of all parties on record?

RULING:
A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession.
The bar should maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well as honesty and fair
dealing. A lawyer brings honor to the legal profession by faithfully performing his duties
to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. Canon 1, Rule 1.01, and Canon 7
provides:

CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF


THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND FOR LEGAL PROCESSES.

Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.

CANON 7 -A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND


DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE
INTEGRATED BAR.

It is without dispute that respondent has an outstanding obligation with Spouses


Victory, as the latter's investments which they coursed through the respondent fell
through. To make matters worse, respondent issued several checks to settle her
obligation, it must be considered that the deliberate failure to pay just debts and the
issuance of worthless checks constitute gross misconduct, for which a lawyer may be
sanctioned with suspension from the practice of law. Lawyers are instruments for the
administration of justice and vanguards of our legal system.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we resolve to SUSPEND Atty. Marian Jo S.


Mercado from the practice of law for one (1) year to commence immediately from the
receipt of this Decision, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense
will warrant a more severe penalty.

A.C. No. 10628, July 01, 2015

MAXIMINO NOBLE III, Complainant, v. ATTY. ORLANDO O. AILES, Respondent.

Facts:

This instant administrative case arose from a verified Complaint 1 for disbarment
dated April 16, 2012 filed by complainant Maximino Noble III (Maximino) against
respondent Atty. Orlando O. Ailes (Orlando) before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP).
Atty. Orlando O. Ailes filed an action for damages against his brother Marcelo O.
Ailes, Jr. (Marcelo) who filed a separate case of Grave Threat and Estafa against the
respondent. Maximino was the counsel of Marcelo who represented him in his civil case
(Action for Damages).

When Maximino was furnished a copy of the complaint, he discovered that,


through text messages, Orlando had been maligning him and dissuading Marcelo from
retaining his services as counsel, claiming that he was incompetent and that he charged
exorbitant fees, saying, among others:

“Better dismiss your hi-track lawyer who will impoverish you with his
unconscionable professional fee. Max Noble, as shown in court records, never
appeared even once, that's why you lost in the pre-trial stage, x x x get rid of
Noble as your lawyer. He is out to squeeze a lot of money from you, x x x daig mo
nga mismong abogado mong polpol."

Records show that Orlando even prepared a Notice to Terminate Services of


Counsel7 in the complaint for damages, which stated that Maximino

"x x x has never done anything to protect the interests of the defendants in a
manner not befitting his representation as a seasoned law practitioner and, aside from
charging enormous amount of professional fees and questionable expenses, said
counsel's contracted services reached as far only in preparing and filing uncalled for
motions to dismiss x x x" as well as a Compromise Agreement, both of which he sent to
Marcelo for his signature. Affronted, Maximino filed the instant complaint charging
Orlando with violation of Rule 7.03 of Canon 7, the entire Canon 8 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility (CPR) and prayed for the disbarment of respondent as well
as the award of damages. Meanwhile, criminal charges against the respondent were
downgraded to unjust vexation and the latter pleaded guilty.

Issue:
Whether or not respondent is found guilty of violating Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 and
the entire Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).

Ruling:
Yes. Respondent is guilty.
Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 as well as Canon 8 of the CPR provides:
Rule 7.03 — A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his
fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
Canon 8 — A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor
toward his professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against
opposing counsel.
Rule 8.01 - A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is
abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.

Rule 8.02 - A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the
professional employment of another lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer,
without fear or favor, to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief
against unfaithful or neglectful counsel.

Though a lawyer's language may be forceful and emphatic, it should always be


dignified and respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal profession. The use of
intemperate language and unkind ascriptions has no place in the dignity of the judicial
forum. IBP found that the text message between Marcelo and Orlando is only a casual
communication considering that they were conveyed privately, however to the Court the
tenor of text messages should not taken for granted and that the intention of it were
clearly to malign and annoy Maximino, as evident from the use of the word "polpol"
(stupid). Likewise, Orlando's insistence that Marcelo immediately terminate the
services of Maximino indicates Orlando's offensive conduct against his colleague, in
violation of the above-quoted rules.
Moreover, Orlando's voluntary plea of guilty to the crime of unjust vexation in the
criminal case filed against him by Marcelo was, for all intents and purposes, an
admission that he spoke ill, insulted, and disrespected Maximino - a departure from the
judicial decorum which exposes the lawyer to administrative liability. The Court has
consistently reminded the members of the bar to abstain from all offensive personality
and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor and reputation of a party. Considering
the circumstances, it is glaringly clear how Orlando transgressed the CPR when he
maligned Maximino to his client.
WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondent Atty. Orlando O. Ailes GUILTY of
violating Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 as well as the entire Canon 8 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. He is hereby ADMONISHED to be more circumspect in dealing with his
professional colleagues and STERNLY WARNED that a commission of the same or
similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.

Buenviaje v. Mangdamo (leave space for this, no digest 2017 case  )

CAMACHO v PANGULAYAN
FACTS
§ 9 students of AMA were expelled for having apparently caused to be published
objectionable features or articles in the school paper
§ Denial of the appeal to AMA President Aguiluz gave rise to Civil Case 97-30549
§ CAMACHO was the hired counsel of the expelled students in an action for the
Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injuction in the said civil case
§ While the civil case was still pending, letters of apology and Re-admission
Agreements were separately executed by the expelled students without the knowledge
of CAMACHO
§ CAMACHO filed a complaint against lawyers comprising the PANGULAYAN AND
ASSOCIATES Law Firm (lawyers of AMA) because without his knowledge they
procured and effected on separate occasions compromise agreements (letters of
apology and Re-admission Agreements) with 4 of his clients which in effect required
them to waive all kinds of claims they may have with AMA
§ CAMACHO averred that such an act was unbecoming of any member of the legal
profession warranting either disbarment or suspension
§ PANGULAYAN in his defense claimed that the agreements were executed for the
sole purpose of effecting the settlement of an administrative case
ISSUE : W/N PANGULAYAN AND ASSOCIATES SHOULD BE
SUSPENDED/DISBARRED
HELD
Yes. It would appear that when individual letters of apology and Re-admission
Agreements were formalized, CAMACHO was already the retained counsel of the
expelled AMA students
PANGULAYAN and associates having full knowledge of this fact still proceeded to
negotiate with the expelled AMA students and their parents without at least
communicating the matter to their lawyer CAMACHO
This failure of PANGULAYAN and associates, whether by design or oversight, is an
excusable violation of the canons of profession ethics and in utter disregard of a duty
owing to a colleague
The excuse that agreements were executed for settling the administrative case was
belied by the Manifestation which states “9 signatories agreed among others to
terminate ALL civil, criminal and administrative proceedings they may have against
AMA arising from their previous dismissal” Hence, PANGULAYAN should be
suspended for 3 months

DOCTRINE
A lawyers should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a
party represented by counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or
compromise the matter with him but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent
upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party
not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law.
Bonifacio v. Era (also a 2017 case)
Alawi v. Alauya (see legprof digests)
Carlos v. Linsangan (2017 case also)