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5738, February 19, 2008

VENANCIO CASTANEDA and NICETAS HENSON, petitioners, vs.PASTOR D. AGO, LOURDES YU AGO and THE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. FACTS In 1955 the petitioners Venancio Castaeda and Nicetas Henson filed a replevin suit against Pastor Ago in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover certain machineries. In 1957 judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering Ago to return the machineries or pay definite sums of money. SC affirmed the judgment; trial court issued writ of execution; Ago moved for a stay of execution but his motion was denied, and levy was made on Ago's house and lots located in Quezon City; sheriff advertised the sale, Ago moved to stop the auction; CA dismissed the petition; SC affirmed dismissal. Ago thrice attempted to obtain a writ of preliminary injunction to restrain the sheriff from enforcing the writ of execution "to save his family house and lot;" his motions were denied, and the sheriff sold the house and lots on March 9, 1963 to the highest bidders, the petitioners Castaeda and Henson. Ago failed to redeem, and on April 17, 1964 the sheriff executed the final deed of sale in favor of the vendees Castaeda and Henson. Upon their petition, the Court of First Instance of Manila issued a writ of possession to the properties. After a year, Ago filed a complaint upon the judgment rendered against him in the replevin suit saying it was his personal obligation and that his wife share in their conjugal house could not legally be reached by the levy made; CFI of QC issued writ of preliminary injunction restraining Castaneda the Registed of Deeds and the sheriff from registering the final deed of sale; the battle on the matter of lifting and restoring the restraining order continued Agos filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition to enjoin sheriff from enforcing writ of possession; SC dismissed it; Agos filed a similar petition with the CA which also dismissed the petition; Agos appealed to SC which dismissed the petition. Then he filed another petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA which gave due course to the petition and granted preliminary injunction. ISSUE Whether or not controversy. HELD No. Despite the pendency in the trial court of the complaint for the annulment of the sheriffs sale, justice demands that the petitioners, long denied the fruits of their victory in the replevin suit, must now enjoy them, for, the respondents Agos abetted by their lawyer Atty. Luison, have misused legal remedies and prostituted the judicial process to thwart the satisfaction of the judgment, to the extended prejudice of the petitioners. Forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his exalted position as an officer of the court, Atty. Luison has allowed himself to become an instigator of controversy and a predator of conflict instead of a mediator for concord and a conciliator for compromise, a virtuoso of technicality in the conduct of litigation instead of a true exponent of the primacy of truth and moral justice. A counsels assertiveness in espousing with candor and honesty his clients cause must be encouraged and is to be commended; what the SC does not and cannot countenance is a lawyers insistence despite the patent futility of his clients position. It is the duty of the counsel to advice his client on the merit or lack of his case. If he finds his clients cause as defenseless, then he is his duty to advice the latter to acquiesce and submit rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his clients propensity to litigate. Agos lawyer, encourage his clients to avoid

Facts. Petitioner initiated a complaint against Elizabeth Catu and Antonio Pastor who were occupying one of the units in a building in Malate which was owned by the former. The said complaint was filed in the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay 723, Zone 79 of th the 5 District of Manila where Respondent was the punong barangay. The parties, having been summoned for conciliation proceedings and failing to arrive at an amicable settlement, were issued by the respondent a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Petitioner, thus, filed a complaint for ejectment against Elizabeth and Pastor in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila where respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendants. Because of this, petitioner filed the instant administrative complaint against the respondent on the ground that he committed an act of impropriety as a lawyer and as a public officer when he stood as counsel for the defendants despite the fact that he presided over the conciliation proceedings between the litigants as punong barangay. In his defense, respondent claimed that as punong barangay, he performed his task without bias and that he acceded to Elizabeths request to handle the case for free as she was financially distressed. The complaint was then referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) where after evaluation, they found sufficient ground to discipline respondent. According to them, respondent violated Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and, as an elective official, the prohibition under Section 7(b) (2) of RA 6713. Consequently, for the violation of the latter prohibition, respondent committed a breach of Canon 1. Respondent was then recommended for suspension from the practice of law. Issue. Whether or not Atty. Rellosa violated the Code of Professional Responsibility. Ruling. Yes. A civil service officer or employee whose responsibilities do not require his time to be fully at the disposal of the government can engage in the private practice of law only with the written permission of the head of the department concerned in accordance with Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules. Notwithstanding all of these, respondent still should have procured a prior permission or authorization from the head of his Department, as required by civil service regulations. For this failure, responded violated his oath as a lawyer, that is, to obey the laws, Rule 1.01, CPR and, for not complying with the ethical standards of the legal profession, Canon 7, CPR. Respondent was found GUILTY of professional misconduct, SUSPENDED from the practice of law and was strongly advised to look up and take to heart the meaning of the word delicadeza.