Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

October 2011 Philippine Supreme Court

Decisions on Legal and Judicial Ethics


Posted on November 11, 2011 by Ramon G. Songco Posted in Legal Ethics, Philippines - Cases
Here are selected October 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on legal and judicial ethics:
Attorney; dishonesty. It is clear from the records that respondent Atty. Ediza deceived the Spouses Floran
when he asked them to unknowingly sign a deed of sale transferring a portion of their land to
him. Respondent also made it appear that the original owner of the land conveyed her rights therto to
respondent and not to the Spouses Floran. When the sale of the Spouses Florans land pushed through,
respondent received half of the proceeds given by the buyer and falsely misled the Spouses Floran into
thinking that he will register the remaining portion of the land. Lamentably, Atty. Ediza played on the navet
of the Spouses Floran to deprive them of their valued property. This is an unsavory behavior from a member
of the legal profession. Aside from giving adequate attention, care and time to his clients case, a lawyer is
also expected to be truthful, fair and honest in protecting his clients rights. Once a lawyer fails in this duty, he
is not true to his oath as a lawyer. Respondent lawyer violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, Canon 15, and Rule
18.03 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for which he is suspended from the practice of
law for six months. Nemesio Floran and Caridad Floran v. Atty. Roy Prule Ediza. A.C. No. 5325. October
19, 2011.
Attorney; grave misconduct. Respondent attorney was found to have violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondents actions clearly show that she deceived complainant into
lending money to her through the use of documents and false representations and by taking advantage of her
education and complainants ignorance in legal matters. As manifested by complainant, he would have never
granted the loan to respondent were it not for respondents misrepresentation that she was authorized to sell the
property and that complainant could register the open deed of sale if respondent fails to pay the loan. By her
misdeed, respondent has eroded not only complainants perception of the legal profession but the publics
perception as well. Her actions constitute gross misconduct for which she may be disciplined. Tomas P. Tan,
Jr. v. Atty. Haide V. Gumba. A.C. No. 9000. October 5, 2011.
Attorney; misconduct. With his admission that he drafted and notarized another instrument that did not state
the true consideration of the sale so as to reduce the capital gains and other taxes due on the transaction,
respondent cannot escape liability for making an untruthful statement in a public document for an unlawful
purpose. As the second deed indicated an amount much lower than the actual price paid for the property sold,
respondent abetted in depriving the Government of the right to collect the correct taxes due. Not only did
respondent assist the contracting parties in an activity aimed at defiance of the law, he likewise displayed lack
of respect for and made a mockery of the solemnity of the oath in an Acknowledgment. By notarizing such
illegal and fraudulent document, he is entitling it full faith and credit upon its face, which it obviously does not
deserve considering its nature and purpose. Respondents actions violated not only Rule 1.02, Canon 1 of the
Code of Responsibility, but pertinent sections of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice as well. Thus, respondent
is meted the penalty of revocation of notarial commission and suspension from the practice of law for a period
of two years. Pacita Caalim-Verzonilla v. Atty. Victoriano G. Pascua. A.C. No. 6655. October 11, 2011.
Attorney; notarization. The fact that the affiant previously appeared in person and signed the Deed of
Donation before the respondent notary public does not justify the respondents act of notarizing the Deed of
Donation, considering the affiants absence on the very day the document was actually notarized. In the
notarial acknowledgment of the Deed of Donation, respondent attested that Atty. Linco personally came and
appeared before him on July 30, 2003. Yet obviously, Atty. Linco could not have appeared before him on July
30, 2003, because the latter died on July 29, 2003 a day before the Deed of Donation was notarized, and
respondent was aware of that fact. Clearly, respondent made a false statement and violated Rule 10.01 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and his oath as a lawyer. Faithful observance and utmost respect of the
legal solemnity of the oath in an acknowledgment or jurat is sacrosanct. Respondent should not notarize a
document unless the persons who signed the same are the very same persons who executed andpersonally
appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of what are stated therein. Atty. Florita S. Linco v.
Atty. Jimmy D. Lacebal. A.C. No. 7241. October 17, 2011.
Attorney; notarization of illegal document. A notary public should not facilitate the disintegration of a
marriage and the family by encouraging the separation of the spouses and extrajudicially dissolving the
conjugal partnership, which is exactly what respondent did in this case. In preparing and notarizing an
agreement for extrajudicial dissolution of marriage a void document respondent violated Rule 1.01,
Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that [a] lawyer shall not engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Respondent knew fully well that the Kasunduan Ng
Paghihiwalay has no legal effect and is against public policy. Therefore, respondent may be suspended from
office as an attorney for breach of the ethics of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Rodolfo A. Espinosa and Maximo A. Glindo v. Atty. Julieta A. Omaa. A.C. No.
9081. October 12, 2011.
Court personnel; dishonesty. The Court deems Benedictoss falsification of her bundy cards tantamount to
dishonesty. This Court has defined dishonesty as the (d)isposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or defraud;
untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in principle; lack of fairness and
straightforwardness; disposition to defraud, deceive or betray. Dishonesty, being in the nature of a grave
offense, carries the extreme penalty of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of retirement benefits except
accrued leave credits, and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in government service. However,
considering the presence of a mitigating factor this being Benedictos first administrative case in her nineteen
years in government service suspension for six months is already a sufficient penalty. Falsification of daily
time records of Ma. Emcisa A. Benedictos, Administrative Officer I, Regional Trial Court, Malolos City,
Bulacan. A.M. No. P-10-2784. October 19, 2011.
Court personnel; grave misconduct. The act of the respondents in causing the removal of several pages in a
copy of the 30 May 2011 Agenda of the Supreme Courts Second Division is a malevolent transgression of
their duties as court personnelparticularly, as employees detailed at the Office of Clerk of Court Second
Division (OCC-SD). Such act is unauthorized and a blatant disregard of the standard operating procedures
observed by the office in handling confidential documents, such as the Agenda. It compromised the ability of
the OCC-SD to efficiently perform its functions and also imperiled the environment of confidentiality the
office is supposed to be clothed with. Respondents clearly committed a willful breach of the trust reposed
upon them by the Court. Supreme Court v. Eddie V. Delgado, Utility Worker II, Joseph Lawrence M. Madeja,
Clerk IV, and Wilfredo A. Florendo, Utility Worker II, all of the Office of the Clerk of Court, Second
Division. A.M. No. 2011-07-SC. October 4, 2011.
Judge; failure to file statement of assets and liabilities. Respondent clearly violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees when he
failed to file his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for the years 2004-2008. He gave no
explanation why he failed to file his SALN for five consecutive years. While every office in the government
service is a public trust, no position exacts a greater demand on moral righteousness and uprightness of an
individual than a seat in the Judiciary. Hence, judges are strictly mandated to abide with the law, the Code of
Judicial Conduct and with existing administrative policies in order to maintain the faith of our people in the
administration of justice. Office of the Court Administrator v. Judge Uyag P. Usman, Presiding Judge, Sharia
Circuit Court, Pagadian City. A.M. No. SCC-08-12. October 19, 2011.
Judge; gross ignorance of the law. The failure of Judge Infante to conduct a hearing prior to the grant of bail in
a criminal case involving a crime punishable by a capital offense, and his mere reliance on the
recommendation for bail by the public prosecutor, was inexcusable and reflected gross ignorance of the law
and the rules as well as a cavalier disregard of its requirement. He well knew that the determination of whether
or not the evidence of guilt is strong was a matter of judicial discretion, and that the discretion lay not in the
determination of whether or not a hearing should be held, but in the appreciation and evaluation of the weight
of the Prosecutions evidence of guilt against the accused. His fault was made worse by his granting bail
despite the absence of a petition for bail from the accused. Consequently, any order he issued in the absence of
the requisite evidence was not a product of sound judicial discretion but of whim and caprice and outright
arbitrariness. Atty. Franklin G. Gacal v. Judge Jaime I. Infante, Regional Trial Court, Branch 38, in Alabel,
Sarangani. A.M. No. RTJ-04-1845. October 5, 2011.
Judge; undue delay. As early as February 27, 2002, the case had been submitted for decision, but respondent
judge had yet to render a decision by the time the administrative complaint against him was filed on November
6, 2009. Judges should meticulously observe the periods prescribed by the Constitution for deciding cases
because failure to comply with the said period transgresses the parties constitutional right to speedy
disposition of their cases. Thus, failure to decide cases within the ninety (90)-day reglementary period may
warrant imposition of administrative sanctions on the erring judge. However, the Court is not unmindful of
circumstances that justify the delay in the disposition of the cases assigned to judges. When a judge sees such
circumstances before the reglementary period ends, all that is needed is to simply ask the Court, with the
appropriate justification, for an extension of time within which to decide the case. Evidently, respondent Judge
failed to do any of these options. Antonio Y. Cabasares v. Judge Filemon A. Tandinco, Jr. Municipal Trial
Court in Cities, 8
th
Judicial Region, Calbayog City, Western Samar. A.M. No. MTJ-11-1793. October 19,
2011.
Sheriff; gross neglect of duty. Respondent Sheriff was remiss in performing his mandated duties:first, to give
notice of the writ and demand that the judgment obligor and all persons claiming under him vacate the
property within three (3) days; second, to enforce the writ by removing the judgment obligor and all persons
claiming under the latter; third, to remove the latters personal belongings in the property as well as destroy,
demolish or remove the improvements constructed thereon upon special court order; and fourth, to execute and
make a return on the writ within 30 days from receipt of the writ and every 30 days thereafter until it is
satisfied in full or until its effectivity expires. The lapse of time almost two years it took for the respondent
to unsuccessfully execute the writ demonstrates his utter lack of diligence in performing his duties. Teresita
Guerrero-Boylon v. Aniceto Boyles, Sheriff III, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 2, Cebu City. A.M. No.
P-09-2716. October 11, 2011.