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IN RE: CUNANAN

FACTS OF THE CASE:


In the manner of the petitions for Admission to the Bar of unsuccessful candidates of 1946 to 1953; Albino
Cunanan et. al petitioners.

In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as R.A. 972
popularly known as the “Bar Flunkers’ Act of 1953.” Generally a candidate is deemed passed if he obtains
a general ave of 75% in all subjects w/o falling below 50% in any subject, although for the past few
exams the passing grades were changed depending on the strictness of the correcting of the bar
examinations (1946- 72%, 1947- 69%, 1948- 70% 1949-74%, 1950-1953 – 75%).

Believing themselves to be fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by the S.C., and
feeling that they have been discriminated against, unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a few
percentages lower than those admitted to the bar went to congress for, and secured in 1951 Senate Bill no.
12, but was vetoed by the president after he was given advise adverse to it. Not overriding the veto, the
senate then approved senate bill no. 372 embodying substantially the provisions of the vetoed bill. The bill
then became law on June 21, 1953

Republic Act 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar those candidates who
suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparations. By and large, the law is
contrary to public interest since it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who had inadequate preparation for the
practice of law profession, as evidenced by their failure in the exams.

ISSUES OF THE CASE:

Due to the far reaching effects that this law would have on the legal profession and the administration of
justice, the S.C. would seek to know if it is CONSTITUTIONAL.
− An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital requisites for the practice of the law that should be
developed constantly and maintained firmly.
− The Judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting, suspending, disbarring, and
reinstating attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly judicial.
− The Constitution, has not conferred on Congress and the S.C. equal responsibilities concerning
the admission to the practice of law. The primary power and responsibility which the constitution
recognizes continue to reside in this court.
− Its retroactivity is invalid in such a way, that what the law seeks to “cure” are not the rules set in place by
the S.C. but the lack of will or the defect in judgment of the court, and this power is not included in the power
granted by the Const. to Congress, it lies exclusively w/in the judiciary.
− Reasons for UNCONSTITUTIONALITY:
1. There was a manifest encroachment on the constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court.
2. It is in effect a judgment revoking the resolution of the court, and only the S.C. may revise or alter them, in
attempting to do so R.A. 972 violated the Constitution.
3. That congress has exceeded its power to repeal, alter, and supplement the rules on admission to
the bar (since the rules made by congress must elevate the profession, and those rules promulgated are
considered the bare minimum.)
4. It is a class legislation
5. Art. 2 of R.A. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the constitution enjoins, and
being inseparable from the provisions of art. 1, the entire law is void.

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HELD:

Under the authority of the court:

1. That the portion of art. 1 of R.A. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952 and all of art. 2 of the
said law are unconstitutional and therefore void and w/o force and effect.
2. The part of ART 1 that refers to the examinations subsequent to the approval of the law (1953- 1955) is
valid and shall continue in force. (those petitions by the candidates who failed the bar from 1946 to 1952 are
denied, and all the candidates who in the examination of 1953 obtained a GEN Ave. of 71.5% w/o getting a
grade of below 50% in any subject are considered as having passed whether they have filed petitions for
admissions or not.)
16 07 2010

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN
Resolution March 18, 1954
Facts:
Congress passed Republic Act Number 972, commonly known as the “Bar Flunkers’ Act of 1953.” In
accordance with the said law, the Supreme Court then passed and admitted to the bar those candidates
who had obtained an average of 72 per cent by raising it to 75 percent.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar
invoking its provisions, while other motions for the revision of their examination papers were still pending
also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others who have
sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the law in question. To avoid
injustice to individual petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of
whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972.
Issue:
WON RA No. 972 is constitutional and valid? NO
Held:
RA No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who suffered
from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation.
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been
indisputably a judicial function and responsibility. We have said that in the judicial system from which ours
has been derived, the admission, suspension, disbarment or reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice
of the profession is concededly judicial.
The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it having
been so generally held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the judgment of the
court, and an attempt as this on the part of the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most
exceedingly uncommon, it seems clear that the licensing of an attorney is and always has been a purely
judicial function, no matter where the power to determine the qualifications may reside.
On this matter, there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative
departments of the government.
It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to
this Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities
may say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the licens
In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN
Resolution March 18, 1954

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Facts:
Congress passed Republic Act Number 972, commonly known as the “Bar Flunkers’ Act of 1953.” In
accordance with the said law, the Supreme Court then passed and admitted to the bar those candidates
who had obtained an average of 72 per cent by raising it to 75 percent.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar
invoking its provisions, while other motions for the revision of their examination papers were still pending
also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others who have
sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the law in question. To avoid
injustice to individual petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of
whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972.
Issue:
WON RA No. 972 is constitutional and valid? NO
Held:
RA No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who suffered
from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation.
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been
indisputably a judicial function and responsibility. We have said that in the judicial system from which ours
has been derived, the admission, suspension, disbarment or reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice
of the profession is concededly judicial.
The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it having
been so generally held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the judgment of the
court, and an attempt as this on the part of the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most
exceedingly uncommon, it seems clear that the licensing of an attorney is and always has been a purely
judicial function, no matter where the power to determine the qualifications may reside.
On this matter, there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative
departments of the government.
It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to
this Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities
may say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license
In re: ALMACEN

IN RE: ALMACEN (31 SCRA 562 2/18/70)

FACTS: Vicente Raul Almacen’s “Petition to Surrender Lawyer’s Certificate of Title,” filed on Sept. 26,
1967, in protest against what he therein asserts is “a great injustice committed against his client by Supreme
Court”. He indicts SC, in his own phrase, as a tribual “peopled by men who are calloused to our pleas for
justice, who ignore without reasons their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the
Constitution with impunity.” His client’s he continues, who was deeply aggrieved by this Court’s “unjust
judgment,” has become one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy.”

He ridicules the members of the Court, saying “that justice as administered by the present
members of the Supreme Court is not only bline, but also deaf and dumb.” He then vows to argue the
cause of his client ”in the people’s forum,” so that “ people may know of the silent injustices committed by
this court’ and that “whatever mistakes, wrongs and injustices that were committed must never be repeated.”
He ends his petition with a prayer that:

“………a resolution issue ordering the Clerk of Court to receive the certificate of the undersigned
attorney that at any time in the future and in the event we regain our faith and confidence, we may retrieve
our title to assume the practice of the noblest profession.”
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The genesis of this unfortunate incident was a civil case entitled Yaptichay v. Calero, in which Atty.
Almacen was counsel for the defendant. The trial court rencered judgment agains his client. On June 15,
1966 atty. Almacen receive acopy of the decision. Twenty days later on he moved for its reconsideration but
did not notify the latter of the time and plce of hearing on said motion. Meanwhile, onJuly 18, 1966, the
plaintiff moved for execution of the judgment. For lack of proof of service, ‘the trial court denied both
motions. To prove that he did serve on the adverse party a copy of his first motion for reconsideration, atty.
Almacen filed on August 17, 1966 a second motion for reconsideration, however, was ordered withdrawn by
the trial court on August 30, 1966, upon verbal motion of Atty. Almacen himself, who earlier, that is, on Aug.
22, 1966 had already perfected the appeal. Motion for reconsideration was denied by Court of Appeals.

HELD: Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as
citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts
and judges.

As a citizen and as officer of the court, a lawyer is expected not only to exercise the right, but also to
consider it his duty to avail of such right. No law may abridge this right. Nor is he “professionally
answerable for a scrutiny into the official conduct of the judges, which would not expose him to legal
animadversion as a citizen.

Ruling: Atty. Almacen is SUSPENDED from the practice of law until further orders.

IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO


A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975
Facts:
– The SC received a confidential letter stating the re-evaluation of the exam booklets of a certain
Ramon Galang to be admitted to the Bar.
– Lanuevo admitted to have brought said exam booklets to the examiners for re-checking.
– In consideration of the thought that Galang is in the borderline of passing that he presented the 5 test
notebooks of the same to the examiners.
– In view of such, he was able to pass the bar exam but it was reflected that he failed in his 5 subjects.
(Political, Civil, Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
– Lanuevo explained to the bar examiners that if an examinee failed in 1 subject only and passed all
the rest; the examiner in the subject in which he failed will review the exam notebook
Issue: Whether or not Lanuevo is guilty of defrauding the bar examiners
Held:
This is a disbarment matter with regards to Attorney Victorio Lanuevo, the Bar Confidant for the 1971 Bar
Examinations.
Supreme Court received a confidential letter that speaks of the exam notebooks of a examinee named
Ramon Galang who has been re-evaluated and re-corrected such that he hurdled the Bar Exams and
was admitted to the Bar.
Lanuevo admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang back to the
respective examiners for re-evalution or re-checking.
The five examiners admitted having re-evaluated or re-checked the notebook to him by the Bar Confidant,
stating that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee concerned failed only in his particular
subject and was on the borderline of passing.
Ramon Galang was able to pass the 1971 bar exam because of Lanuevo’s move but the exam results bears
that he failed in 5 subjects namely in (Political, Civil, Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
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Galang on the otherhand, denied of having charged of Slight Physical Injuries on Eufrosino de Vera, a law
student of MLQU.
The five examiners were led by Lanuevo to believe that it is the Bar Committee’s regular activity that when
an examinee has failed in one subject alone, the rest he passed, the examiner in that subject which he
flunked will review his exam notebook.
Afterwards, Lanuevo gained possession of few properties, including that of a house in BF Homes, which
was never declared in his declaration of assets and liabilities.
Issue:
WON Lanuevo was guilty of defrauding the examiners such that Galang passed the Bar? YES
Held:
The Bar Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of the examinees and cannot assume the
functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the Examiners concerned. He is not the over-all Examiner.
He cannot presume to know better than the examiner.
– Atty. Lanuevo was disbarred.
– Galang was stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.
It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent Lanuevo’s well-studied and
well-calculated moves in successively representing separately to each of the five examiners concerned to
the effect that the examinee failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing. To
repeat, the before the unauthorized re-evaluations were made, Galang failed in the five (5) major subjects
and in two (2) minor subjects— which under no circumstances or standard could it be honestly claimed that
the examinee failed only in one, or he was on the borderline of passing.
The Bar Confidant has absolutely nothing to do in the re-evaluation or reconsideration of the grades of
examinees who fail to make the passing mark before or after their notebooks are submitted to it by the
Examiners. The Bar Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of the examinees and cannot
assume the functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the Examiners concerned. He is not the over-
all Examiner. He cannot presume to know better than the examiner.
AS TO GALANG’S CRIM CASE: The concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar
examinations of the fact that he had been charged with, or indicted for, an alleged crime, is a ground
for revocation of his license to practice law is well — settled. The practice of the law is not an absolute
right to be granted every one who demands it, but is a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of
sound discretion. The standards of the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which merely enables
one to escape the penalties of the criminal law.
Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, was allowed to
take the Bar examinations and the highly irregular manner in which he passed the Bar, WE have no other
alternative but to order the surrender of his attorney’s certificate and the striking out of his name
from the Roll of Attorneys.
DECISION: Lanuevo disbarred, Galang stricken from the Roll of Attorneys