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VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS

A: Lawyer owes Candor and Fairness to the Courts

lawyers oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to hisduty to his client; its
primacy is indisputable.Atty. Baizas and

COBB-PEREZ vs LANTIN
GR No. L-22320Jul. 29, 1968
24 SCRA 219 Legal Ethics Counsels Assertiveness

FACTS:
A civil case was filed by Ricardo Hermoso against Damaso Perez for the latters
failure to pay a debt ofPhp 17,000.00. Hermoso won and a writ of execution was
issued in his favor. The sheriff was to conducta public sale of a property owned by
Perez worth Php 300,000.00. This was opposed by Perez as heclaimed the amount
of said property was more than the amount of the debt. Respondent Judge
Lantin,issuing judge, found merit on this, hence he amended his earlier decision and
issued a second writ thistime directing the sheriff to conduct a public sale of Perez
210 shares of stock approximately worth Php17,000.00

Subsequently, Perez and his wife filed five more petitions for injunction trying to
enjoin the public sale.The case eventually reached the Supreme Court where
the SC ruled that the petition of the Perezspouses are without merit; that their
numerous petitions for injunction are contemplated for delay. I n saiddecision, the
Supreme Court ordered petitioners to pay the cost of the suit but said cost should be
paid bytheir counsels, Atty. Baizas and Atty. Bolinao. The counsels now appeal said
decision by the SupremeCourt as they claimed that such decision reflected adversely
against their professionalism; that If therewas delay, it was because petitioners
counsel happened to be more assertive a quality of the lawyers(which) is not to be
condemned.

ISSUE: WON the counsels for the Spouses Perez are excused

HELD
No. A counsels assertiveness in espousing with candor and honesty his
clients cause must beencouraged and is to be commended; what is not tolerated
is a lawyers insistence despite the patentfutility of his clients position, as in the case
at bar. It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarilya layman to the
intricacies and vagaries of the law, on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he finds
thathis clients cause is defenseless, then it is his bounden duty to advise the latter to
acquiesce and submit,rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer must resist
the whims and caprices of his client, andtemper his clients propensity to litigate. A

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Atty. Bolinao jointly and severally liable for the treble costs.

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


In Re: Vicente Almacen
1 SCRA 562 Legal Ethics A Lawyers Right to Criticize the Courts
FACTS: Atty. Almacen was the counsel of one Virginia Yaptinchay in a civil case.
They lost in said civil case but Almacen filed a Motion for Reconsideration. He notified
the opposing party of said motion but he failed to indicate the time and place of
hearing of said motion. Hence, his motion was denied. He then appealed but the
Court of Appeals denied his appeal as it agreed with the trial court with regard to the
motion for reconsideration. Eventually, Almacen filed an appeal on certiorari before
the Supreme Court which outrightly denied his appeal in a minute resolution.
This earned the ire of Almacen who called such minute resolutions as
unconstitutional. He then filed before the Supreme Court a petition to surrender his
lawyers certificate of title as he claimed that it is useless to continue practicing his
profession when members of the high court are men who are calloused to pleas for
justice, who ignore without reasons their own applicable decisions and commit
culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity. He further alleged that due to the
minute resolution, his client was made to pay P120k without knowing the reasons why
and that he became one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy. He
also stated that justice as administered by the present members of the Supreme
Court is not only blind, but also deaf and dumb.
The Supreme Court did not immediately act on Almacens petition as the Court
wanted to wait for Almacen to ctually surrender his certificate. Almacen did not
surrender his lawyers certificate though as he now argues that he chose not to.
Almacen then asked that he may be permitted to give reasons and cause why no
disciplinary action should be taken against him . . . in an open and public hearing. He
said he preferred this considering that the Supreme Court is the complainant,
prosecutor and Judge. Almacen was however unapologetic.

ISSUE: Whether or not Almacen should be disciplined.


HELD:
Yes. The Supreme Court first clarified that minute resolutions are needed because
the Supreme Court cannot accept every case or write full opinion for every petition
they reject otherwise the High Court would be unable to effectively carry out its
constitutional duties. The proper role of the Supreme Court is to decide only those
cases which present questions whose resolutions will have immediate importance
beyond the particular facts and parties involved. It should be remembered that a
petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals is not a matter of right, but of
sound judicial discretion; and so there is no need to fully explain the courts denial.
For one thing, the facts and the law are already mentioned in the Court of Appeals
opinion.
On Almacens attack against the Supreme Court, the High Court regarded said
criticisms as uncalled for; that such is insolent, contemptuous, grossly disrespectful

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and derogatory. It is true that a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as a citizen,
has the right to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels
the acts of courts and judges. His right as a citizen to criticize the decisions of the
courts in a fair and respectful manner, and the independence of the bar, as well as of
the judiciary, has always been encouraged by the courts. But it is the cardinal
condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the
walls of decency and propriety. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross violation of
the duty of respect to courts.
In the case at bar, Almacens criticism is misplaced. As a veteran lawyer, he should
have known that a motion for reconsideration which failed to notify the opposing party
of the time and place of trial is a mere scrap of paper and will not be entertained by
the court. He has only himself to blame and he is the reason why his client lost.
Almacen was suspended indefinitely.

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


Teodoro Chavez vs Atty. Escolastico Viola
196 SCRA 10 Legal Ethics A lawyer shall do no falsehood
FACTS
In 1966, Atty. Viola assisted Felicidad Alvendia et al in filing a petition against
Teodoro Chavez where he sought to have the Alvendias be declared as bona fide
lessees in a land controversy. Said petition was dismissed because of
nonappearance by the Alvendias.
In 1977, Atty. Viola assisted same clients in applying for an original registration of title
over the same land in controversy in 1966. In said application, Atty. Viola insisted that
his clients were the true owners of said land because they acquired it by sale from
Teresita Vistan way back in 1929.
Chavez then filed a disbarment case against Atty. Viola. Chavez said that because of
the conflicting claims that Viola prepared in behalf of his clients, he had willingly aided
in and consented to the pursuit, promotion and prosecution of a false and unlawful
application for land registration, in violation of his oath of office as a member of the
Bar.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Viola is in violation of the Lawyers Oath.
HELD: Yes. Viola alleged in an earlier pleading that his clients were merely lessees
of the property involved. In his later pleading, he stated that the very same clients
were owners of the same property. One of these pleadings must have been false; it
matters not which one. Worse, he offered no explanation as regards the discrepancy.
A lawyer owes honesty and candor to the courts. It cannot be gainsaid that
candidness, especially towards the courts, is essential for the expeditious
administration of justice. Courts are entitled to expect only complete candor and
honesty from the lawyers appearing and pleading before them. Atty. Viola was
suspended for 5 months.

[Year]

Santa Pangan vs Atty. Dionisio Ramos


93 SCRA 87 Legal Ethics Lack of Candor by a Lawyer Proper name to be used
by a lawyer
FACTS
In 1979, a pending administrative case filed by Santa Pangan against Atty. Dionisio
Ramos was delayed because Atty. Ramos allegedly appeared before a court in
Manila. When the records of the said case was checked (one which Atty. Ramos
appeared in), it was found that he used the name Atty. Pedro D.D. Ramos. In his
defense, Atty. Ramos said he has the right to use such name because in his birth
certificate, his name listed was Pedro Dionisio Ramos. D.D. stands for Dionisio
Dayaw with Dayaw being his mothers surname. However, in the roll of attorneys, his
name listed was Dionisio D. Ramos.
ISSUE: Whether or not what Atty. Ramos did was correct.
HELD: No. The attorneys roll or register is the official record containing the names
and signatures of those who are authorized to practice law. A lawyer is not authorized
to use a name other than the one inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys in his practice of
law. The official oath obliges the attorney solemnly to swear that he will do no
falsehood. As an officer in the temple of justice, an attorney has irrefragable
obligations of truthfulness, candor and frankness. In representing himself to the court
as Pedro D.D. Ramos instead of Dionisio D. Ramos, respondent has violated his
solemn oath and has resorted to deception. The Supreme Court hence severely
reprimanded Atty. Ramos and warned that a similar infraction will warrant suspension
or disbarment.

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


G.R. No. 78252 April 12, 1989
PALUWAGAN NG BAYAN SAVINGS BANK, petitioner,
vs.
ANGELO KING, KEN SUY WAT JOSE FERRER, JR., QUINTIN CALDERON, FE
SARINO and DOMINGO K. LI,respondents.
Cruz, Durian, Agabin, Atienza, Alday and Tuason for petitioner.
Simeon C. Sato for respondent Domingo K Li.
Syquia Law Offices for respondents King, Ken Suy Wat, Calderon and Ferrer, Jr.

[Year]

"Paluwagan ng Bayan Savings Bank vs. Mercantile Financing Corporation, et al."


dated January 27, 1987, and its resolution dated April 22, 1987. 4
The facts are undisputed. Petitioner sued Mercantile Financing Corporation MFC, and
private respondents, as directors and officers of MFC, for the recovery of money
market placements through certain promissory notes. They were charged jointly and
solidarily in accordance with Section 31 of the Corporation Code 5 which provides as
follows:
Section 31. Liability of Directors, Trustees, Officers.-Directors or
trustees who willfully and knowingly vote for or assent to patently
unlawful acts of the corporation or who are guilty of gross
negligence or bad faith in directing the affairs of the corporation
shall be liable jointly and severally for all damages resulting
therefrom suffered by the corporation, its stockholders or members
and other persons.

GANCAYCO, J.:
The rule on service of summons in this jurisdiction is too well-known. In civil cases,
the service of summons on a defendant is made by handing a copy thereof to the
defendant in person, or if he refuses to receive it, by tendering it to him. 1 Such
service of summons may be made at the defendant's dwelling house or residence or
at his office or regular place of business. The essence of personal service is the
handing or tendering of a copy of the summons to the defendant himself.
However, when the defendant cannot be served personally within a reasonable time,
substituted service may be effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the
defendant's dwelling house or residence with some person of suitable age and
discretion then residing therein, or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant's office or
regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof. 2
It is only when the defendant cannot be served personally within a reasonable time
that substituted service maybe resorted to. The impossibility of prompt service should
be shown by stating the efforts made to find the defendant personally and the fact
that such efforts failed. This statement should be made in the proof of service. This is
necessary because substituted service is in derogation of the usual method of
service. It has been held that this method of service is "in derogation of the common
law; it is a method extraordinary in character, and hence may be used only as
prescribed and in the circumstances authorized by statute." Thus, under the
controlling decisions, the statutory requirements of substituted service must be
followed strictly, faithfully and fully, and any substituted service other than that
authorized by the statute is considered ineffective. 3

Summons and copies of the complaints were served upon MFC and private
respondents at the 4th Floor, LTA Building, No. 118 Perea Street, Makati, Metro
Manila, which is the stated office address of MFC in the complaint, through its
Assistant Manager Mr. Nasario S. Najomot Jr. who acknowledged receipt thereof for
and in behalf of MFC and the private respondents. This is so recited in the
certification of deputy sheriff Bernardo San Juan dated May 11, 1983.
On May 24, 1983, the law firm of Guillermo E. Aragones and Associates filed a
motion for extension of time to file a responsible pleading and/or motion to dismiss.
The said motion was signed by Atty. Guillermo E. Aragones as counsel for the
defendants. The motion was granted in an order dated May 26, 1983 giving the
defendants an extension of twenty (20) days from the expiration of the reglementary
period within which to file the responsive pleading and/or motion to dismiss. On June
13, 1983, said counsel for defendants filed a motion asking for a suspension of the
action for a period of sixty (60) days on the ground that there was an on-going
negotiation for an amicable settlement of the case between the parties. The motion
was denied. On June 27, 1983, counsel for plaintiff filed a motion to declare
defendants in default for failure to file an answer. This motion was granted in an order
dated June 29, 1983. On July 14, 1983, the parties, assisted by their counsel,
submitted a compromise Agreement for the approval of the court. It reads as follows:
1. The defendants propose to pay, jointly and severally, then
account with the plaintiff as of June 15, 1983, in the sum of
P707,500.01 with 20% interest per annum as follows:
P100,000.00-on or before July 18, 1983

The application of the foregoing rules is the issue in this petition for review by
certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals in G.R. CV No. 03386 entitled

100,000.00-on or before August 30, 1983

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


100,000.00-on or before September 30, 1983

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when it was being executed; and that they did not participate as directors or officers
of MFC in the subject transaction.

100,000.00-on or before October 30, 1983


100,000.00-on or before November 30, 1983
100,000.00--on or before December 30, 1983
100,000.00-on or before January 30, 1984.
2. Except those mentioned above, the plaintiff has no more claim
against the defendants.
3. The plaintiff agrees to the proposal of settlement offered by the
defendants provided that in case the latter fail to pay, jointly and
severally, two or more successive monthly installments, the plaintiff
is entitled to secure from the Court a writ of execution for the
collection of the unpaid account of the defendants. 6
On July 18, 1983, a decision was rendered by the trial court approving the said
Compromise Agreement and enjoining the parties to comply with the terms and
conditions embodied therein. Partial payments were made under the compromise
judgment. Upon failure of private respondent to make the other payments, petitioner
filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution of judgment. The trial court
granted the motion on December 16, 1983.
On January 16,1984, counsel for defendants filed a pleading entitled "Clarification"
thereby seeking a correction of the compromise judgment on the ground that he
erroneously filed the Compromise Agreement in behalf of all the defendants when in
fact he was the counsel for MFC only. On January 17, 1984, said counsel filed a
"Motion To Correct Compromise Agreement" attaching thereto a copy of the
resolution of the Board of Directors of MFC of July 6,1983 showing that he was the
attorney-in-fact of MFC only, and praying for the correction of the judgment,
accordingly. The motion for clarification was denied on January 20,1984.
On January 24, 1984, the Syquia Law Offices, in behalf of private respondents
Angelo King, Keng Suy Wat, Quintin Calderon and Jose J. Ferrer, Jr., filed a motion
to set aside the decision dated July 18,1983, the Compromise Agreement and the writ
of execution dated December 21, 1983 on the ground that there was no service of
summons upon each of them as the corporate address of the corporation was not
their address as they were no longer connected therewith; that Atty. Aragones had no
authority to represent them in the action and compromise agreement; that they were
not served copies of the decision of the court; that they learned about the same only

On January 26,1984, private respondent Domingo F. Li filed a petition for relief from
judgment with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction alleging
therein that there was no service of summons upon him and that Atty. Aragones was
not authorized to represent him or to enter into the Compromise Agreement. After an
opposition to said motion was filed by the petitioner, the lower court denied the same
in its order dated April 6, 1984. Separate motions for reconsideration filed by the
private respondents were also denied on May 4,1984.
Thus, private respondents appealed to the respondent Court of Appeals, reiterating
that there was no service of summons upon each of them as service of summons was
made at the address of the firm with which they had severed connections; that the
counsel of record of MFC has no authority to represent them in the case and in the
Compromise Agreement; that they have not ratified the same by a partial payment of
the compromise judgment; and that they were no longer connected with MFC at the
time they were sued. In due time, a decision was rendered by the appellate court on
January 27, 1987, the dispositive part of which reads as follows:
In view of the foregoing, the other errors assigned by the appellants
need not be resolved: Wherefore:
(1) the decision dated July 18, 1983 approving the compromise
agreement rendered by the lower court as well as the writ of
execution issued pursuant thereto as against appellants Angelo
King, Keng Suy Wat, Quintin Calderon, Jose Ferrer, Jr., and
Domingo Li are hereby SET ASIDE; and
(2) the case is remanded to the court of origin which is hereby
ordered to direct proper service of summons on the aforesaid
individual appellants at their respective correct addresses and
thereafter to proceed in accordance with law.
SO ORDERED. 7
A motion for reconsideration of the said decision filed by petitioner was denied by the
appellate court on April 22, 1987. Hence, the instant petition predicated on the
following grounds:
(A) THAT THE CASE AT BAR (a) PERTAINS TO (AN) APPEAL
FROM ORDER OF TRIAL COURT DATED APRIL 6,1984,
DENYING (i) PRIVATE RESPONDENT DOMINGO K LI'S
'PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT' FILED JANUARY 25,
1984, AND (ii) MOTION TO SET ASIDE DECISION,

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


COMPROMISE AGREEMENT AND QUASH EXECUTION FILED
JANUARY 14,1984 BY PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ANGELO
KING, KING SUY WAT, QUINTIN CALDERON and JOSE
FERRER, JR. and (b) DOES NOT INVOLVE ANY APPEAL FROM
TRIAL COURT'S DECISION DATED JULY 19,1983 APPROVING
THE COMPROMISE AGREEMENT WHICH HAS LONG BECOME
FINAL AND EXECUTORY.
(B) THAT RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS COMPLETELY
IGNORED THE BASIC QUESTION OF WHETHER (a) PRIVATE
RESPONDENT DOMINGO K. LI'S 'PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM
JUDGMENT FILED JANUARY 25,1984, and (b)'THE MOTION TO
SET ASIDE DECISION, COMPROMISE AGREEMENT AND
QUASH EXECUTION' FILED JANUARY 14,1984 BY PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS ANGELO KING, KENG SUY WAT, QUINTIN
CALDERON AND JOSE FERRER, JR., WERE FILED OUT OF
TIME.
(C) THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENTS WHO WERE SUED AS
DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS OF MFC WERE PROPERLY
SERVED WITH SUMMONS.
The petition is devoid of merit.
Although private respondents were sued in their capacity as directors and officers of
MFC, they are, nevertheless, being held personally liable for the obligation subject of
the litigation under the complaint filed by petitioner. Hence, the rule on personal
service of summons must be observed in that summons must be served personally
on private respondents or, if they refuse to receive the same, by tendering it to them.
The proof of service prepared by the sheriff does not show that such personal service
of summons was effected. The office address of the corporation as indicated in the
complaint does not appear to be the office address of private respondents as they
were no longer connected with the corporation then. Personal service of summons
should have been made on them at their residences as shown in the records of the
Securities and Exchange Commission and the Central Bank. Instead, the sheriff
effected substituted service by leaving copies of the summons with the Assistant
Manager of MFC at the place of business of said corporation with which as above
stated private respondents were no longer connected. Such substituted service is not
valid. There was no compliance with the requirements of the rule that there must be a
previous personal service and a failure to effect the same before substituted service
could be resorted to. As the private respondents have not been duly served with
summons, the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over their persons.

[Year]

It is true that Atty. Aragones, who entered his appearance in behalf of MFC and
private respondents, sought an extension of time to file an answer or a responsive
pleading, and a suspension of the proceedings pending a possible settlement of the
case; that thereafter, he signed a Compromise Agreement in behalf of MFC and
private respondents which was submitted to the court on the basis of which a
compromise judgment was rendered; that said judgment was partially complied with
but upon default in the payment of the balance, a writ of execution was sought from
and granted by the trial court; and that it was only then that Atty. Aragones informed
the court that he committed an oversight in having filed the Compromise Agreement
in behalf of private respondents when it was only MFC which hired his services. If
Atty. Aragones was duly authorized to appear in behalf of the defendants, his
voluntary appearance in their behalf by the filing of the aforementioned pleadings and
the Compromise Agreement would constitute a waiver of the defect in the service of
summons. However, the lack of authority of Atty. Aragones was revealed when he
produced the resolution of the Board of Directors of MFC to the effect that the
authority of said counsel was in behalf of said corporation only and not in behalf of the
private respondents.
Since the Compromise Agreement was signed by Atty. Aragones in behalf of the
private respondents without their authority, the same is null and void in so far as they
are concerned. By the same token, the compromise judgment is also null and void as
to private respondents. The ruling of the lower court that the motion to set aside the
judgment and the petition for relief from judgment were filed beyond the reglementary
period is untenable. An action to declare the nullity of a void judgment does not
prescribe. 8
One last word, Atty. Aragones' appears to be remiss in his duties and reckless in the
performance of his responsibility as counsel of record in said case. He represented
himself to be the counsel for the defendants including the private respondents not
only in the motions he filed but also in the Compromise Agreement he submitted. It
was only after the writ of execution of the compromise judgment was being enforced
that he perked up by saying that he committed an oversight and that he was not
authorized by the private respondents to represent them as counsel, much less in the
Compromise Agreement. Candor towards the courts is a cardinal requirement of the
practicing lawyer. To say one thing today and another tomorrow is a transgression of
this imperative. Counsel should be made to account before his peers.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Let a copy of this decision be furnished the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines for an appropriate administrative investigation, report
and recommendation on Atty. Guillermo E. Aragones who holds office at the 9th Floor
of the Finasia Building, 6774 Ayala Avenue, Makati, Metro Manila. No costs. This
decision is immediately executory.
SO ORDERED.

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


A.C. No. 716 January 30, 1969
EDUARDO J.
respondent

BERENGUER,

complainant

Vs.

PEDRO

B.

CARRANZA,

Confusion and Prolongation of the Cadastral Suit


FACTS:
A complaint against respondent Pedro B. Carranza was filed on July 15, 1966, for
deceptionpracticed on the Court of First Instance of Sorsogon, in that aware of the
falsity of an Affidavit of Adjudication and Transfer executed by the mother of his client
to the effect that her own mother left nolegitimate ascendants or descendants or any
other heirs except herself, when, as a matter of fact, thedeceased was survived by
four other daughters and one son, father of the complainant, he introducedthe same
in evidence. Respondent was charged with "violation of his oath of office, having
causedconfusion and prolongation of the cadastral suit for presenting evidence
containing a false statementinconsistent with facts he definitely knows by reason of
the family litigations between his client andcomplainant, which are rooted in
succession rights and that respondent's failure to discharge his dutiesas a lawyer
consistent with his oath of office.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Carranza violated his oath for prolongation of the cadastral suit.
HELD:
Pedro B. Carranza, respondent, is reprimanded and warned that a repetition of an
offense of this character would be much more severely dealt with.Every member of
the bar must be on his guard, lest through oversight or inadvertence, the wayhe
conducts his case or the evidence he presents could conceivably result in a failure of
justice.Time and time again, lawyers have been admonished to remember that they
are officers of the court,and that while they owe their clients the duty of complete
fidelity and the utmost diligence, they arelikewise held to strict accountability insofar
as candor and honesty towards the court is concerned.Even if there be no intent to
deceive, a lawyer whose conduct betrays inattention orcarelessness should not be
allowed to free himself from a charge instituted against him by the mere pleathat his
conduct was not willful and that he has not consented to the doing of the falsity.

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


G.R. No. L-31174 May 30, 1972
MANUEL Y. MACIAS, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
UY KIM, ANDRES CO, NEMESIO G. CO, NICASIO G. CO, MANUEL SOSANTONG
and RELIABLE REALTY CORPORATION, defendants-appellees.
Petitioner in his own behalf.
J. Natividad & Associates for respondent.

[Year]

49878/T-158, 49879/T-158, 49880/T-158, 49881/T-158 all issued in


the name of Rosina covering five adjacent lots in Tondo, Manila;
(4) that in an order dated April 16, 1969 (p. 73, rec. of L-30935),
Judge Manuel P. Barcelona presiding in Special Proceedings No.
63866, authorized respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz as ancillary
administrator of Rosina's estate, upon the latter's motion, to sell the
real properties of the estate for the payment of the estate and
inheritance taxes, realty taxes of the estate and expenses of
administration;
(5) that respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz negotiated for the sale of the
aforesaid lots with the Reliable Realty Corporation, which was
willing to buy the properties for P400,000.00 provided the notice
of lis pendens annotated on the titles covering said lots is
cancelled;

MAKASIAR, J.:p
Petitioner-appellant Manuel Y. Macias filed on December 2, 1969 a petition for review
by certiorari against respondents Uy Kim, Andres Co, Nemesio Co, Nicasio Co,
Manuel Sosantong, Reliable Realty Corporation, and Branch X of the Manila Court of
First Instance, alleging that he filed on May 5, 1969 a complaint dated April 30, 1969
for the annulment of a deed of sale, reivindicacion and damages against respondents
docketed as Civil Case No. 76412 and assigned to Branch X of the Manila Court of
First Instance presided over by Honorable Jose L. Moya, wherein he averred:
(1) that he is a beneficiary of the estate of Julian Wolfson pending
settlement in Special Proceedings No. 57405 before Branch VI of
the Manila Court of First Instance and also a beneficiary of the
estate of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson pending settlement in Special
Proceedings No. 63866 before Branch VIII of the Manila Court of
First Instance. In Special Proceedings No. 63866, he appealed
from the order dated December 27, 1967 appointing Ricardo Vito
Cruz as ancillary administrator to the Supreme Court, which appeal
was docketed as G.R. No. L-29235;
(2) that he has been named as special administrator of the estate of
Rosina in Special Proceedings No. 67302 originally assigned to
Branch VI but later transferred to Branch VIII and consolidated with
Special Proceedings No. 63866 but the Presiding Judge of Branch
VIII dismissed said Special Proceedings No. 67302 in an order
dated February 20, 1967, which he also appealed to the Supreme
Court and docketed as G.R. No. L-28054;
(3) that to protect his interest as such beneficiary in the estates of
Rosina and Julian, he caused a notice of lis pendens to be
annotated on Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 49877/ T-158,

(6) that upon motion of respondent Vito Cruz, Judge Manuel


Barcelona in Special Proceedings No. 63866 ordered the
cancellation of the said notice of lis pendens in an order dated April
15, 1969 (Schedule "C" of petition, p. 43, rec.);
(7) that respondent Vito Cruz executed a deed of sale over the
aforesaid properties in favor of Reliable Realty Corporation,
organized by respondents Uy Kim, Andres Co, Nicasio Co,
Nemesio Co, and Manuel Sosantong, and respondent Judge
Manuel P. Barcelona issued an order dated April 24, 1969
approving the said deed of sale (Annex "A" and Schedule "B" of
petition, pp. 38-47, rec.);
(8) that thereafter T.C.T. Nos. 49877, 49878, 49880, and 49881
were cancelled and in lieu thereof, T.C.T. Nos. 96471/T-757,
96472/T-757, 96473/T-757 and 96474/T-757 were issued by the
Register of Deeds in favor of respondent Reliable Realty
Corporation;
(9) that the aforesaid orders of April 16, 1969 and April 24, 1969
were issued without due notice to petitioner and without or in
excess of the jurisdiction of the Presiding Judge in Special
Proceedings No. 63866 for the reason that he had been divested of
jurisdiction of said proceedings by reason of his appeal therein in
G. R. No. L-29235, (p. 32, rec.);

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


(10) that on April 30, 1969, he caused the filing of a notice of
adverse claim on the properties covered by T.C.T. Nos. 96471,
96472, 96473 and 96474 (p. 34, rec.); and
(11) that he spent at least P10,000.00 in his efforts to protect and
defend his hereditary interests in the estate of Rosina;
and prays for judgment (a) declaring the deed of sale over the aforementioned lots as
null and void, (b) directing the cancellation of the transfer certificates of titles issued in
the name of Reliable Realty Corporation, (c) declaring that the aforesaid five lots as
his distributive share in the estate of Rosina as well as directing the register of deeds
of Manila to issue in his name new transfer certificates of title, and (d) sentencing
private respondents jointly and severally to pay him P10,000.00 as actual damages,
P100,000.00 as moral damages, P20,000.00 as exemplary damages, and
P50,000.00 as attorney's fees plus legal interests on all said values.
Private respondents Reliable Realty Corporation, Uy Kim, Nemesio Co, Andres Co,
Nicasio Co and Manuel Sosantong filed a motion to dismiss (Appendix "B", pp. 44-50,
rec.) appellant Macias' complaint in Branch X of the Manila Court of First Instance on
the grounds that the court has no jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of the
suit; that the complaint states no cause of action; that there is another action of the
same nature pending in court; that plaintiff has no legal capacity to prosecute the
present suit; and alleging specifically that:
(1) Branch X of the Manila Court of First Instance has no
jurisdiction over the case since the subject matter involved properly
belongs exclusively to and is within the competence of Branch VIII
and Branch IV before which courts Special Proceedings Nos.
63866 and 57405 are pending and petitioner's alleged claim of
beneficiary interest in the estate of Julian and Rosina depends on a
recognition thereof by the probate court in said Special
Proceedings Nos. 63866 and 57405;
(2) that upon the face of the complaint, the same does not contain a
cause of action; because Branch X, which is coordinate with
Branch VIII of the Manila Court of First Instance, under the existing
jurisprudence has no authority to annul the questioned orders
issued by Branch VIII, aside from the fact that he appealed to the
Supreme Court from the order of the Presiding Judge of Branch VIII
dismissing Special Proceedings No. 67302 which was then pending
before Branch IV and subsequently transferred to Branch VIII (L28054), from the order denying Macias' claim of beneficiary interest
in Rosina's estate and appointing respondent Vito Cruz as ancillary
administrator of the estate of Rosina in the same Special
Proceedings No. 63866 (L-29235; Annex "A", pp. 51-60, rec.) as
well as from the order of the Presiding Judge of Branch IV also

[Year]

denying Macias' petition for relief from the order approving the
partial distribution of the estate of Julian and denying his motion for
the removal of Vito Cruz as administrator and appointment of
herein appellant in his place (L-28947; Annex "B", pp. 61-65, rec.);
(3) that petitioner Manuel Macias is not a real party in interest;
because he is not the beneficiary, nor legatee nor creditor, much
less an heir, of Rosina. He bases his alleged interest in the estate
of Julian who died intestate on June 15, 1964 solely on the latter's
memorandum to his sister Rosina wherein he hoped that his sister
Rosina will, after his estate is settled, give at her convenience to
petitioner Manuel Macias the sum of P500.00; to Faustino A. Reis
and Severino Baron the amount of P10 000.00 each; and to
Dominador M. Milan and Vicente D. Recto P1,000.00 each. The
said memorandum is not a will. Unfortunately, Rosina died on
September 14, 1965 without being able to comply with the
memorandum of her brother Julian. Since petitioner has not been
declared an heir or legatee of Julian in Special Proceedings No.
57405 nor of Rosina in Special Proceedings No. 63866, he has no
legal standing to file the present action. The aforesaid motion to
dismiss was followed by supplement alleging that since the buyer,
the Reliable Corporation, has a distinct personality from those of its
incorporators, there is no cause of action against private
respondent Uy Kim, Nemesis Co, Andres Co, Nicasio Co and
Manuel Sosantong, its incorporators.
Respondent Ricardo Vito Cruz filed a motion for intervention in said Case No. 76412
dated June 4, 1969, reiterating the ground of the motion to dismiss advanced by the
other private respondents as aforestated and emphasizing that this petition for relief
from judgment seeks the nullified classification by the Presiding Judge of Branch X of
the order of the Presiding Judge of Branch VIII in Special Proceedings No. 63866
dated April 15 and April 24, 1969, as admmitted by petitioner's motion in praying that
this Case No. 76412 should not be assigned to Branch IV or Branch VIII as his
petition seeks to nullify the orders of Presiding Judge Manuel Barcelona of Branch
VIII in said Special Proceedings No. 63866 (Annex "B", pp. 96-97, rec.).
Petitioner-appellant filed his opposition dated June 14, 1969 to the motion to dismiss
of respondents Reliable Realty Corporation and its incorporators as well as to the
motion for intervention filed by respondent Vito Cruz.
In an order dated June 30, 1969, Presiding Judge Jose L. Moya of Branch X
sustained the motion to dismiss and forthwith dismissed plaintiff's complaint herein in
Civil Case No. 76412 but denied the prayer of the motion to dismiss for cancellation
of the notice of adverse claim, which petitioner-appellant caused to be annotated on
the titles issued in favor of Reliable Realty Corporation, from which order petitioner-

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


appellant Macias interposed his appeal, and accordingly filed this petition for review
on certiorari.
Herein respondents Reliable Realty Corporation, Uy Kim, Andres Co, Nemesio Co,
Nicasio Co and Manuel Sosantong filed on December 12, 1969 their motion to
dismiss the instant petition on the ground that Branch X of the Manila Court of First
Instance has no jurisdiction over plaintiff's complaint, for the said Branch X is without
authority to review the decisions of Branch IV, a coordinate branch of the Manila
Court of First Instance; that petitioner-appellant is not a beneficiary, heir or creditor of
the estate of Julian or Rosina; and that petitioner-appellant had already appealed the
order of Judge Barcelona of Branch VIII authorizing and approving the sale of the lots
in favor of respondent Reliable Realty Corporation respectively dated April 16 and
April 24, 1969 (Annex "A" pp. 94-95, rec.), which appeal is now pending before this
Court in L-30935 (pp. 87-97, rec.; pp. 4, 15, appellant's brief; emphasis supplied).
In a manifestation dated and filed on December 19, 1969, respondent Vito Cruz
adopted in toto as his own motion to dismiss and/or answer, the motion to dismiss
dated December 12, 1969 filed by the principal respondents (p. 102, rec.).
Petitioner-appellant filed on December 19, 1969 an opposition dated December 18,
1969 to the motion to dismiss (pp. 104-108, rec.).
In Our resolution dated January 23, 1970, the motion to dismiss petition for review
and certiorari was denied (p. 123, rec.).
In a manifestation dated February 13, 1970, private respondents Reliable Realty
Corporation, Uy Kim, Nemesio Co, Andres Co, Nicasio Co and Manuel Sosantong
adopted as their answer their motion to dismiss filed on December 12, 1969 (p. 133,
rec.).

[Year]

which rendered the judgment or issued the order and that any other
branch, even if it be in the same judicial district, which attempts to
do so, exceeds its jurisdiction (Tuason v. Judge Torres, 21
S.C.R.A. 1169, L-24717, December 4, 1967), and it being
unquestionable that the authority to distribute the inheritance of a
deceased person and determine the persons entitled thereto
belongs exclusively to the court or branch thereof taking
cognizance of the proceedings for its settlement (Branch VIII) in this
case; and finally the Supreme Court having already acquired
jurisdiction by reason of the plaintiff's appeal, no subordinate court
should attempt to pass upon the same question submitted to it, the
motion to dismiss filed by the defendant is granted and the
complaint is dismissed.
The prayer in the motion to dismiss for the cancellation of the notice
of adverse claim which the plaintiff caused to be annotated on the
titles to the lands on account of the present action is denied as the
only question raised by a motion to dismiss is the sufficiency of the
complaint filed in the action. (Appendix "F", p. 78, rec.).
The pretense of herein petitioner-appellant is without merit and the foregoing order
appealed from should be sustained.
Under Section 1 of Rule 73, Rules of Court, "the court first taking cognizance of the
settlement of the estates of the deceased, shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion
of all other courts." Pursuant to this provision, therefore all questions concerning the
settlement of the estate of the deceased Rosina Marguerite Wolfson should be filed
before Branch VIII of the Manila Court of First Instance, then presided over by former
Judge, now Justice of the Court of Appeals, Manuel Barcelona, where Special
Proceedings No. 63866 for the settlement of the testate estate of the deceased
Rosina Marguerite Wolfson was filed and is still pending.

The appealed order of respondent Judge Jose L. Moya, dated June 30, 1969, reads:
This Court stated the rationale of said Section 1 of Rule 73, thus:
It appearing from the complaint that there is presently pending in
Branch VIII of this Court Special Proceeding No. 63866 for the
settlement of the inheritance of the deceased Rosina Marguerite
Wolfson; that the plaintiff claims to be a beneficiary by hereditary
title of her estate; that the sale of the lands forming part thereof
which the plaintiff desires to annul was approved by this Court in
Special Proceeding No. 63866; that aside from praying for the
annulment of the sale, the plaintiff also seeks a declaration that the
lands sold constitutes his distributive share of Rosina Marguerite
Wolfson's inheritance; and that the plaintiff has appealed to the
Supreme Court from the order approving the sale, and it being
settled that the jurisdiction to annul a judgment or order of a branch
of the Court of First Instance is vested exclusively in the branch

... The reason for this provision of the law is obvious. The
settlement of the estate of a deceased person in court constitutes
but one proceeding. For the successful administration of that estate
it is necessary that there should be but one responsible entity, one
court, which should have exclusive control of every part of such
administration. To intrust it to two or more courts, each independent
of the other, would result in confusion and delay.
xxx xxx xxx

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


The provision of section 602, giving one court exclusive jurisdiction
of the settlement of the estate of a deceased person, was not
inserted in the law for the benefit of the parties litigant, but in the
public interest for the better administration of justice. For that
reason the parties have no control over it. 1
On the other hand, and for such effects as may be proper, it should
be stated herein that any challenge to the validity of a will, any
objection to the authentication thereof, and every demand or claim
which any heir, delegate or party in interest in a testate or intestate
succession may make, must be acted upon and decided within the
same special proceedings, not in a separate action, and the same
judge having jurisdiction in the administration of the estate shall
take cognizance of the question raised, inasmuch as when the day
comes he will be called upon to make distribution and adjudication
of the property to the interested parties, ... . 2
This was reiterated in Maningat vs. Castillo, 3 thus:
... The main function of a probate court is to settle and liquidate the
estates of deceased persons either summarily or through the
process of administration. (See articles 74 to 91, inclusive, Rules of
Court.) In order to settle the estate of a deceased person it is one of
the functions of the probate court to determine who the heirs are
that will receive the net assets of the estate and the amount or
proportion of their respective shares. ...
It is not disputed that the orders sought to be annulled and set aside by herein
petitioner-appellant in his complaint against private respondents which was assigned
to Branch X of the Manila Court of First Instance presided over by Judge Jose L.
Moya, were issued by Judge Barcelona presiding over Branch VIII of the same court.
Even in other cases, it is also a general principle that the branch of the court of first
instance that first acquired jurisdiction over the case retains such jurisdiction to the
exclusion of all other branches of the same court of first instance or judicial district
and all other coordinate courts. Thus, in the 1970 case of De Leon vs. Salvador, 4 Mr.
Justice Teehankee, speaking for the Court, ruled:
The various branches of a Court of First Instance of a province or
city, having as they have the same or equal authority and
exercising as they do concurrent and coordinate jurisdiction, should
not, cannot, and are not permitted to interfere with the respective
cases, much less with their orders or judgments, by means of
injunction. 5

[Year]

In the words of Mr. Justice Fernando, also in behalf of the Court, "any other view
would be subversive of a doctrine that has been steadfastly adhered to, the main
purpose of which is to assure stability and consistency in judicial actuations and to
avoid confusion that may otherwise ensue if courts of coordinate jurisdiction are
permitted to interfere with each other's lawful orders. ... This is to preclude an
undesirable situation from arising one, which if permitted, as above pointed out, would
be fraught with undesirable consequences, as already indicated, for the bench, no
less than for the litigants. To such an eventuality, this Court cannot give its sanction. 6
Appellant claims that his action in Civil Case No. 76412 before Branch X of the Manila
Court of First Instance, is notfor the annulment of any judgment or order of Branch
VIII of said Court and that nowhere, either in the prayer or in the body of his
complaint, does he seek for the annulment of any order of Branch VIII (p. 8,
appellant's brief). This pretension of appellant is belied by paragraph 8 of his
complaint in Civil Case No. 76412 alleging that the order dated April 15, 1969
directing the register of deeds of Manila to cancel the notice of lis pendens caused to
be annotated by the appellant on the titles covering the five (5) lots and the order
dated April 24, 1969 approving the deed of sale were both issued by the Presiding
Judge of Branch VIII in Special Proceedings No. 63866, without due notice to and
hearing of appellant; and further belied by paragraph 9 of the same complaint alleging
that the acts of the buyers of the aforesaid five (5) lots in causing the cancellation of
appellant's notice of lis pendens in obtaining the registration of the deed of sale, in
procuring the cancellation of the transfer certificates of titles over the five (5) lots in
the name of Rosina, and in securing new transfer certificates of title in the name of
defendant Reliable Realty Corporation, are all null and void ab initio, because (1) of
the pendency of his appeal in G.R. No. L-29235 for said appeal divested the
Presiding Judge of Branch VIII of any jurisdiction in Special Proceedings No. 63866 to
sell the properties in question notwithstanding the order of April 24, 1969 approving
the deed of sale, (2) the orders dated April 15, 1969 and April 24, 1969 directing the
cancellation of appellant's notice of lis pendensand approving the deed of sale may
not be registered as they have not become final and will not become final by reason
of his appeal in G.R. No. L-29235, and (3) he was not notified of the petition to sell
any portion of Rosina's estate (pars. 8 & 9, Appendix "A", pp. 30-34, rec.). It is patent
that by the aforesaid paragraphs 8 and 9 of his complaint in Civil Case No. 76412
before Branch X, appellant impugns the validity of the aforementioned orders of the
Presiding Judge of Branch VIII in Special Proceedings No. 63866.
Furthermore, in his motion to the Honorable Executive Judge of May 5, 1969,
appellant averred that he filed his complaint in Civil Case No. 76412 to nullify and set
aside certain orders of Judge Manuel P. Barcelona of Branch VIII in Special
Proceedings No. 63866 over the testate estate of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson and
prayed that said Case No. 76412 should not be assigned to either Branch VIII or
Branch IV (Annex "A", pp. 21-22, appellant's brief). Said motion could not refer to
orders of Judge Manuel P. Barcelona other than the aforecited orders of April 15, 16,
and 24, 1969 in Special Proceedings No. 63866.

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS

[Year]

This appellant impliedly admits on pp. 3-4 of his reply brief which is further
emphasized by his statement that the only purpose of his motion dated May 5, 1969
was "to keep the action away from possible prejudgment by the abovementioned
branches of the court below (referring to Branch IV and Branch VIII of the Manila
Court of First Instance)."

should present, as he has in fact presented, his alleged claim of legal interest in the
estate of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson, which claim, if valid, will certainly entitle him to
all notices of all petitions, motions, orders, resolutions, decisions and processes
issued and/or promulgated by said probate court. There is no order by the said
probate court terminating or closing Special Proceedings No. 63866.

But even without considering paragraphs 8 and 9 of appellant's complaint and his
motion dated May 5, 1969 in Civil Case No. 76412 before Branch X, his prayer in the
same complaint for the nullification or rescission of the deed of sale covering the five
lots in question cannot be decreed without passing upon the validity of the orders of
the Presiding Judge of Branch VIII in Special Proceedings No. 63866 cancelling his
notice of lis pendensauthorizing the sale and approving the sale. And, as heretofore
stated, under the rules and controlling jurisprudence, the Presiding Judge of Branch X
of the Manila Court of First Instance cannot legally interfere with, nor pass upon the
validity of said orders of the Presiding Judge of Branch VIII, which court, as the
probate court, has exclusive jurisdiction over the estate of the decedent, including the
validity of the will, the declaration of heirs, the disposition of the estate for the
payment of its liabilities, and the distribution among the heirs of the residue thereof.

However, in the recent case of Guilas vs. Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Pampanga, et al., 7 WE reiterated the rule:
... The better practice, however, for the heir who has not received
his share, is to demand his share through a proper motion in the
same probate or administration proceedings, or for re-opening of
the probate or administrative proceedings if it had already been
closed, and not through an independent action, which would be
tried by another court or Judge which may thus reverse a decision
or order of the probate or intestate court already final and executed
and re-shuffle properties long ago distributed and disposed of
(Ramos vs. Ortuzar, 89 Phil. 730, 741-742; Timbol vs. Cano, supra;
Jingco vs. Daluz, L-5107, April 24, 1953, 92 Phil. 1082; Roman
Catholic vs. Agustines, L-14710, March 29, 1960, 107 Phil. 455,
460-61).

Appellant's insistence that in Civil Case No. 76412, he seeks to recover his
distributive share of the estate of the decedent Rosina, all the more removes the said
case from the jurisdiction of Branch X; for as heretofore stated, the distribution of the
estate is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the probate court. He must therefore seek
his remedy in the same probate court Branch VIII which is hearing Special
Proceedings No. 63866, instead of filing a separate civil case in Branch X.

Even in the case of Quion, etc. vs. Claridad, et al., supra, invoked by appellant, WE
ruled that the intestate proceedings, although closed and terminated, can still be
reopened within the prescriptive period upon petition therefor by a preterited heir.

Moreover, his petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus in G.R. No. L-30935,
entitled Macias vs. University of Michigan, et al., wherein he questions the validity of
the aforesaid orders of the Presiding Judge of Branch VIII in Special Proceedings No.
63866, amply covers the same subject matter and seeks substantially the same relief
as his complaint in Civil Case No. 76412 and the present petition (see pars. 26, 28,
30-40, and the prayer in this petition, pp. 13-34, rec. of L-30935). .

The Court cannot ignore the proclivity or tendency of appellant herein to file several
actions covering the same subject matter or seeking substantially identical relief,
which is unduly burdening the courts. Coming from a neophyte, who is still unsure of
himself in the practice of the law, the same may be regarded with some
understanding. But considering appellant's ability and long experience at the bar, his
filing identical suits for the same remedy is reprehensible and should merit rebuke.

Appellant himself states that the decision in the three cases he filed with this Court
namely, G.R. Nos. L-29235, L-28947 and L-30935 will answer the question whether
he has legal interest in the estates of Rosina Marguerite Wolfson and Julian A.
Wolfson (pp. 21-22, appellant's brief).

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby dismissed and the appealed order is hereby
affirmed, with costs against petitioner-appellant. Let this be entered in his personal
record.

The cases he cited, as correctly contended by appellees (Lajom vs. Viola, et al., 73
Phil. 563; Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil. 855; Rodriguez vs. Dela Cruz, 8 Phil. 665; and
Quion vs. Claridad, L-48541, January 30, 1943, 2 O.G., No. 6, June, 1943, p. 572, 74
Phil. 100), are not applicable to and therefore do not govern the instant case,
because the actions therein were filed by the preterited heir or legatee or co-owner
long after the intestate or testate or partition proceedings had been closed or
terminated. In the case at bar, Special Proceedings No. 63866 is still pending in the
probate court Branch VIII of the Manila Court of First Instance where appellant

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


Garcia vs Francisco
TOPIC: Legal Ethics, CPR
FACTS:
Garcia, et. al leased a parcel of land to Lee for a period of 25 years
beginning May 1, 1964. Despite repeated verbal and written demands, Lee
refused to vacate after the expiration of the lease. Lee was represented by
Atty. Francisco. On March 29, 1989, Lee, through Francisco, filed a
complaint against Garcia and the other lessors for specific performance
and reconveyance with damages (docketed as Q-89-2188) but was
dismissed by the trial court.
On May 29, 1989, Garcia and the other lessors filed a complaint for
unlawful detainer against Lee but Lee answered alleging as special and
affirmative defense the pendency of case Q-89-2188. This allegation was
rejected by Judge Bautista. On October 24, 1989, Atty. Francisco filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction against
Judge Bautista and Garcia, et. al (such is violative of the Rule on Summary
Procedure prohibiting the filing of petitions for certiorari, mandamus or
prohibition against any interlocutory order). On November 13, 1989, Judge
Vera issued an order enjoining Judge Bautista from proceeding with the
trial of the unlawful detainer case. Upon motion of the complainant,
however, the injunction was set aside and Civil Case No. Q-89-3833 was
dismissed. Lee did not appeal.
On April 6, 1990, Lee through Francisco, filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with prayer for preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals
against Judge Vera, Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors. Petition
was denied. On June 14, 1990, Judge Singzon decided Civil Case no. 1455
in favor of complainant Garcia and the other lessors. Lee did not appeal.
Instead, through Francisco again, he filed a petition against Judge Singzon
and the other lessors for certiorari and annulment of the decision in the
unlawful detainer case and damages with prayer for issuance of
preliminary injunction.

Court of Appeals. Garcia then filed a motion for execution in the unlawful
detainer case.
Then, Lee, through Francisco, filed with the Supreme Court a petition for
certiorari with preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order
against the Court of Appeals, Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors
but was denied.
Finally, Lee, still through Francisco, filed a petition for certiorari with
preliminary injunction against Judge Singzon, Garcia and the other lessors
in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City to set aside and declare the
writs of execution in the unlawful detainer case. Such dismissed but again
Lee, through Francisco, filed a motion for reconsideration. According to
Francisco, he was relieved as counsel while this motion was pending.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Francisco transgressed with the Code of Professional
Conduct
HELD:
Yes. The Supreme Court held that Atty. Franciscos cause was without
merit. Atty. Francisco abused his right of recourse to the courts for the
purpose of arguing a cause that had been repeatedly rebuffed, he was
disdaining the obligation of the lawyer to maintain only such actions or
proceedings as appear to him to be just and such defense only as he
believes to be honestly debatable under the law. By violating his oath not
to delay any man for money or malice, he has besmirched the name of an
honorable profession and has proved himself unworthy of trust reposed in
him by law as an officer of the Court. Atty. Crisanto l. Francisco took his
oath as a lawyer on March 2, 1956. Considering his age and experience in
the practice of the laws, he should have known better than to trifle with it
and to use it as an instrument for harassment of the complainant and the
misuse of judicial processes.
SUSPENDED for 1 year

On July 2, 1990, Garcias group filed an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss Civil


Case. On July 13, 1990, Judge Paralejo issued an order enjoining Judge
Singzon from enforcing the decision in that case. Garcia attacked this
order in a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for preliminary
injunction docketed as CA Sp. No. 22392. The petition was granted by the

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS

[Year]

B: Observing and Maintaining Respect Due to the Courts and Judicial Officers

interests. One of these fundamental public interests is the maintenance of the


integrity and orderly functioning of the administration of justice. There is no antinomy
between free expression and the integrity of the system of administering justice.

Enrique Zaldivar vs Raul Gonzalez

Gonzalez, apart from being a lawyer and an officer of the court, is also a Special
Prosecutor who owes duties of fidelity and respect to the Republic and to the
Supreme Court as the embodiment and the repository of the judicial power in the
government of the Republic. The responsibility of Gonzalez to uphold the dignity and
authority of the Supreme Court and not to promote distrust in the administration of
justice is heavier than that of a private practicing lawyer.

166 SCRA 316 Legal Ethics Contemptuous Language Duty of a Lawyer

FACTS:
Zaldivar was the governor of Antique. He was charged before the Sandiganbayan for
violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Gonzales was the then
Tanodbayan who was investigating the case. Zaldivar then filed with the Supreme
Court a petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus assailing the authority of the
Tanodbayan to investigate graft cases under the 1987 Constitution. The Supreme
Court, acting on the petition issued a Cease and Desist Order against Gonzalez
directing him to temporarily restrain from investigating and filing informations against
Zaldivar.
Gonzales however proceeded with the investigation and he filed criminal informations
against Zaldivar. Gonzalez even had a newspaper interview where he proudly claims
that he scored one on the Supreme Court; that the Supreme Courts issuance of the
TRO is a manifestation theta the rich and influential persons get favorable actions
from the Supreme Court, [while] it is difficult for an ordinary litigant to get his petition
to be given due course.
Zaldivar then filed a Motion for Contempt against Gonzalez. The Supreme Court then
ordered Gonzalez to explain his side. Gonzalez stated that the statements in the
newspapers were true; that he was only exercising his freedom of speech; that he is
entitled to criticize the rulings of the Court, to point out where he feels the Court may
have lapsed into error. He also said, even attaching notes, that not less than six
justices of the Supreme Court have approached him to ask him to go slow on
Zaldivar and to not embarrass the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not Gonzalez is guilty of contempt.
HELD: Yes. The statements made by respondent Gonzalez clearly constitute
contempt and call for the exercise of the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court.
His statements necessarily imply that the justices of the Supreme Court betrayed their
oath of office. Such statements constitute the grossest kind of disrespect for the
Supreme Court. Such statements very clearly debase and degrade the Supreme
Court and, through the Court, the entire system of administration of justice in the
country.
Gonzalez is entitled to the constitutional guarantee of free speech. What Gonzalez
seems unaware of is that freedom of speech and of expression, like all constitutional
freedoms, is not absolute and that freedom of expression needs on occasion to be
adjusted to and accommodated with the requirements of equally important public

Gonzalez is also entitled to criticize the rulings of the court but his criticisms must be
bona fide. In the case at bar, his statements, particularly the one where he alleged
that members of the Supreme Court approached him, are of no relation to the
Zaldivar case.
The Supreme Court suspended Gonzalez indefinitely from the practice of law.

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


Paragas vs. Cruz
Facts: In asking for reconsideration of the Courts dismissal of his petition for
certiorari in the present case, counsel for the petitioner, Atty. Jeremias Sebastian,
used derogatory expressions against the dignity of the Court in the language of his
motion for reconsideration.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Sebastian is administratively liable for his
actions/language.
Held: The expressions contained in the motion for reconsideration penned by the
counsel of the petitioner are plainly contemptuous and disrespectful and he is hereby
guilty of direct contempt of court.
As remarked in People vs. Carillo: Counsel should conduct himself towards the
judges who try his cases with that courtesy all have a right to expect. As an officer of
the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy unnecessarily
that high esteem and regard towards the courts so essential to the proper
administration of justice.
It is right and plausible that an attorney, in defending the cause and rights of his
client, should do so with all the fervor and energy of which he is capable, but it is not,
and never will be so, for him to exercise said right by resorting to intimidation or
proceeding without the propriety and respect which the dignity of the courts require.

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


FIRST DIVISION
[G.R. No. 132518. March 28, 2000]
GAVINA MAGLUCOT-AW, CATALINA ORCULLO, RICHARD ESTANO, NIDA
MAGLUCOT, MELANIA MAGLUCOT-CATUBIG, EMILIANO CATUBIG, LADISLAO
SALMA, petitioners, vs. LEOPOLDO MAGLUCOT, SEVERO MAGLUCOT,
WILFREDA MAGLUCOT-ALEJO and CONSTANCIO ALEJO, respondents.
DECISION
KAPUNAN, J.:
This petition for review on certiorari assails the Decision, dated 11 November 1997, of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 48816 which reversed and set aside the
Decision, dated 13 December 1994, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 30 of
Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental in an action for recovery of possession and
damages.
The core issue in this case is whether a partition of Lot No. 1639 had been effected in
1952. Petitioners contend that there was already a partition of said lot; hence, they
are entitled to exclusive possession and ownership of Lot No. 1639-D, which
originally formed part of Lot No. 1639 until its partition. Private respondents, upon the
other hand, claim that there was no partition; hence, they are co-owners of Lot No.
1639-D. Notably, this case presents a unique situation where there is an order for
partition but there is no showing that the sketch/subdivision plan was submitted to the
then Court of First Instance for its approval or that a decree or order was registered in
the Register of Deeds.
The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: Korte
Petitioners filed with the RTC a complaint for recovery of possession and damages
alleging, inter alia, that they are the owners of Lot No. 1639-D. Said lot was originally
part of Lot No. 1639 which was covered by Original Certificate Title No. 6775 issued
in the names of Hermogenes Olis, Bartolome Maglucot, Pascual Olis, Roberto
Maglucot, Anselmo Lara and Tomas Maglucot on 16 August 1927. [1] On 19 April
1952, Tomas Maglucot, one of the registered owners and respondents predecessorin-interest, filed a petition to subdivide Lot No. 1639.[2]Consequently, on 13 May 1952,
then CFI of Negros Oriental issued an order[3] directing the parties to subdivide said
lot into six portions as follows: Rtcspped

[Year]

c) Bartolome Maglucot - lot 1639-C


d) Roberto (Alberto) - lot 1639-D
Maglucot
e) Anselmo Lara - lot 1639-E
f) Tomas Maglucot - lot 1639-F.[4]
Sometime in 1963, Guillermo Maglucot rented a portion of Lot No. 1639-D (subject
lot). Subsequently, Leopoldo and Severo, both surnamed Maglucot, rented portions of
subject lot in 1964 and 1969, respectively, and each paying rentals therefor. Said
respondents built houses on their corresponding leased lots. They paid the rental
amount of P100.00 per annum to Mrs. Ruperta Salma, who represented the heirs of
Roberto Maglucot, petitioners predecessor-in-interest. In December 1992, however,
said respondents stopped paying rentals claiming ownership over the subject lot.
Petitioners thus filed the complaint a quo. Sdaadsc
After trial, the lower court rendered judgment in favor of petitioners. The RTC found
the existence of tax declarations in the names of Hermogenes Olis and Pascual Olis
(purported owners of Lot Nos. 1639-A and 1639-B, respectively)[5] as indubitable
proof that there was a subdivision of Lot No. 1639. It likewise found that Tomas
Maglucot, respondents predecessor-in-interest, took active part in the partition as it
was he, in fact, who commenced the action for partition. [6] The court a quo cited
Article 1431 of the Civil Code which states that "[t]hrough estoppel an admission or
representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be
denied or disproved as against the person relying thereon." Applying said provision of
law, it held that while there was no court order showing that Lot No. 1639 was
partitioned, its absence could not be used by Tomas Maglucot, or respondents as his
successors-in-interest, to deny the existence of an approved partition against the
other co-owners who claim that there was one.[7] Said court, likewise, ruled that the
tax declarations[8] over the houses of respondents, expressly stating that the same
are constructed on the lots of Roberto Maglucot, constitute a conclusive admission by
them of the ownership of the subject lot by the latter.[9]
The dispositive portion of the lower courts decision reads as follows: Missdaa
WHEREFORE, on the basis of the foregoing discussion, judgment
is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs against the defendants
ordering the latter:

a) Hermogenes Olis - lot 1639-A


b) Pascual Olis - lot 1639-B

1. To demolish their houses inside lot 1639-D, vacate the premises


thereof and deliver the possession of the same to Plaintiffs; Slxmis

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


2. To jointly and solidarily pay plaintiffs the sum of P15,000.00 for
attorneys fees;
3. To each pay plaintiffs the sum of P100.00 every year from 1993
for actual damages representing the amount of unpaid rentals up to
the time they actually vacate the premises in question; Sclaw
4. To pay the

costs.[10]

On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the RTC. The appellate court ruled that
the sketch plan and tax declarations relied upon by petitioners are not conclusive
evidence of partition.[11] The CA likewise found that the prescribed procedure under
Rule 69 of the Rules of Court was not followed. It thus declared that there was no
partition of Lot No. 1639. Slxsc
Petitioners filed this petition for review on certiorari alleging that the CA committed the
following reversible errors:
I
IN VIOLATING THE LAW ON ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION
PLAINTIFFS HAVING POSSESSED LOT 1639-D SINCE 1946;
II
IN VIOLATING THE LAW ON ESTOPPEL; THE FACT OF
PAYMENT OF RENTALS AND OFFER TO BUY BY THE
DEFENDANTS IS ADMISSION THAT THE AREA IN LOT 1639-D,
HAD LONG BEEN ADJUDICATED TO PLAINTIFFS;
III
IN DECLARING THAT THERE WAS NO PRIOR PARTITION,
CONTRARY TO THE FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT, AND
AGAINST THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD, OF WHICH IF
PROPERLY CONSIDERED WOULD CHANGE THE OUTCOME
OF THE CASE;
IV
IN DECLARING THAT THERE IS NO LAW OR JURISPRUDENCE
APPLICABLE UNDER THE PREMISES; THIS WOULD ONLY
SHOW THAT THE RECORD OF THE CASE WAS NOT

[Year]

PROPERLY SCRUTINIZED, AND THE LAW WAS NOT


PROPERLY STUDIED; ESPECIALLY IN THE CASE AT BENCH
THAT THE ORAL AND MUTUAL PARTITION HAPPENED
DURING THE REGIME OF THE OLD RULES OF
PROCEDURE;[12]
Petitioners maintain that Lot No. 1639 was mutually partitioned and physically
subdivided among the co-owners and that majority of them participated in the actual
execution of the subdivision. Further, the co-owners accepted their designated shares
in 1946 as averred by Tomas Maglucot in his petition for partition. [13] Petitioners opine
that in 1952, Tomas Maglucot himself initiated a court proceeding for a formal
subdivision of Lot No. 1639. In said petition, he averred that only Hermogenes Olis
and the heirs of Pascual Olis were not agreeable to the partition. [14] Petitioners further
contend that respondents admitted in their tax declarations covering their respective
houses that they are "constructed on the land of Roberto Maglucot." [15]Simply put,
petitioners vigorously assert that respondents are estopped from claiming to be coowners of the subject lot in view of the mutual agreement in 1946, judicial
confirmation in 1952, and respondents acquiescence because they themselves
exclusively exercised ownership over Lot No. 1639-A beginning 1952 up to the
present.[16]
For their part, respondents posit three points in support of their position. First, they
emphasize that petitioners failed to show that the interested parties were apprised or
notified of the tentative subdivision contained in the sketch and that the CFI
subsequently confirmed the same.[17] Second, they point to the fact that petitioners
were unable to show any court approval of any partition. [18] Third, they maintain that
Lot No. 1639 remain undivided since to date, OCT No. 6275 is still an existing and
perfectly valid title, containing no annotation of any encumbrance or partition
whatsoever.[19]
After a careful consideration of the pleadings filed by the parties and the evidence on
record, we find that the petition is meritorious. As stated earlier, the core issue in this
case is whether there was a valid partition in 1952. Scslx
Preliminarily, this Court recognizes that "the jurisdiction of this Court in cases brought
before it from the Court of Appeals via Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is limited to
reviewing errors of law. Findings of fact of the latter are conclusive, except in the
following instances: (1) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculation,
surmises, or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken,
absurd, or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the
judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of fact are
conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the Court of Appeals went beyond the
issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the appellant
and the appellee; (7) when the findings are contrary to those of the trial court; (8)
when the findings are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they
are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; and (10) when the findings of fact
are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence
on record."[20] This case falls under exceptions (7), (8) and (10) in that the findings of
facts of the CA are in conflict with that of the RTC, are mere conclusions without
citation of specific evidence on which they are based and are premised on absence of
evidence but are contradicted by the evidence on record. For these reasons, we shall
consider the evidence on record to determine whether indeed there was partition. Slx
In this jurisdiction, an action for partition is comprised of two phases: first, an order for
partition which determines whether a co-ownership in fact exists, and whether
partition is proper; and, second, a decision confirming the sketch or subdivision
submitted by the parties or the commissioners appointed by the court, as the case
may be.[21] The first phase of a partition and/or accounting suit is taken up with the
determination of whether or not a co-ownership in fact exists, (i.e., not otherwise
legally proscribed) and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties
interested in the property. This phase may end with a declaration that plaintiff is not
entitled to have a partition either because a co-ownership does not exist, or partition
is legally prohibited. It may end, upon the other hand, with an adjudgment that a coownership does in truth exist, partition is proper in the premises and an accounting of
rents and profits received by the defendant from the real estate in question is in order.
In the latter case, the parties may, if they are able to agree, make partition among
themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, and the court shall confirm the
partition so agreed upon. In either case i.e., either the action is dismissed or partition
and/or accounting is decreed the order is a final one, and may be appealed by any
party aggrieved thereby. The second phase commences when it appears that "the
parties are unable to agree upon the partition" directed by the court. In that event,
partition shall be done for the parties by the court with the assistance of not more than
three (3) commissioners. This second stage may well also deal with the rendition of
the accounting itself and its approval by the court after the parties have been
accorded opportunity to be heard thereon, and an award for the recovery by the party
or parties thereto entitled of their just share in the rents and profits of the real estate in
question. Such an order is, to be sure, final and appealable. [22]
The present rule on the question of finality and appealability of a decision or order
decreeing partition is that it is final and appealable. [23] The order of partition is a final
determination of the co-ownership over Lot No. 1639 by the parties and the propriety
of the partition thereof. Hence, if the present rule were applied, the order not having
been appealed or questioned by any of the parties to the case, it has become final
and executory and cannot now be disturbed. Mesm
The true test to ascertain whether or not an order or a judgment is interlocutory or
final is: Does it leave something to be done in the trial court with respect to the merits
of the case? If it does, it is interlocutory; if it does not, it is final. The key test to what is
interlocutory is when there is something more to be done on the merits of the
case.[24] An order for partition is final and not interlocutory and, hence, appealable
because it decides the rights of the parties upon the issue submitted.[25]

[Year]

However, this Court notes that the order of partition was issued when the ruling
in Fuentebella vs. Carrascoso,[26] which held that the order of partition is interlocutory,
was controlling. In addition, the reports of the commissioners not having been
confirmed by the trial court are not binding.[27] In this case, both the order of partition
and the unconfirmed sketch plan are, thus, interlocutory. Nevertheless, where parties
do not object to the interlocutory decree, but show by their conduct that they have
assented thereto, they cannot thereafter question the decree,[28]especially, where, by
reason of their conduct, considerable expense has been incurred in the execution of
the commission.[29] Respondents in this case have occupied their respective lots in
accordance with the sketch/subdivision plan. They cannot after acquiescing to the
order for more than forty (40) years be allowed to question the binding effect thereof.
This case is to be distinguished from the order in the action for partition in Arcenas vs.
Cinco.[30] In that case, the order was clearly interlocutory since it required the parties "
to submit the corresponding deed of partition to the Court for its approval." Here, the
order appointed two commissioners and directed them merely to approve the sketch
plan already existing and tentatively followed by the parties. Calrky
Under the present rule, the proceedings of the commissioners without being
confirmed by the court are not binding upon the parties.[31] However, this rule does
not apply in case where the parties themselves actualized the supposedly
unconfirmed sketch/subdivision plan. The purpose of court approval is to give effect
to the sketch/subdivision plan. In this case, the parties themselves or through their
predecessors-in-interest implemented the sketch plan made pursuant to a court order
for partition by actually occupying specific portions of Lot No. 1639 in 1952 and
continue to do so until the present until this case was filed, clearly, the purpose of the
court approval has been met. This statement is not to be taken to mean that
confirmation of the commissioners may be dispensed with but only that the parties
herein are estopped from raising this question by their own acts of ratification of the
supposedly non-binding sketch/subdivision plan. Kycalr
The records of the case show that sometime in 1946 there was a prior oral agreement
to tentatively partition Lot No. 1639.[32] By virtue of this agreement, the original coowners occupied specific portions of Lot No. 1639.[33] It was only in 1952 when the
petition to subdivide Lot No. 1639 was filed because two of the co-owners, namely
Hermogenes Olis and heirs of Pascual Olis, refused to have said lot subdivided and
have separate certificates of title. Significantly, after the 1952 proceedings, the parties
in this case by themselves and/or through their predecessors-in-interest occupied
specific portions of Lot No. 1639 in accordance with the sketch plan. Such possession
remained so until this case arose, or about forty (40) years later.
From its order in 1952, it can be gleaned that the CFI took notice of the tentative
subdivision plan by oral partition of the parties therein. Further, it appears that said
court was aware that the parties therein actually took possession of the portions in
accordance with the sketch/subdivision plan. With this factual backdrop, said court
ordered the partition and appointed two (2) commissioners to approve the tentative

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


sketch/subdivision plan. It would not be unreasonable to presume that the parties
therein, having occupied specific portions of Lot No. 1639 in accordance with the
sketch/subdivision plan, were aware that it was that same sketch/subdivision plan
which would be considered by the commissioners for approval. There is no showing
that respondents by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest raised any
objections. On the contrary, the records show that the parties continued their
possession of the specific portions of Lot No. 1639 pursuant to the sketch/subdivision
plan. Kyle
It has been previously held that a co-owner, who, though not a party to a partition
accepts the partition allotted to him, and holds and conveys the same in severalty, will
not be subsequently permitted to avoid partition.[34] It follows that a party to a partition
is also barred from avoiding partition when he has received and held a portion of the
subdivided land especially in this case where respondents have enjoyed ownership
rights over their share for a long time.
Parties to a partition proceeding, who elected to take under partition, and who took
possession of the portion allotted to them, are estopped to question title to portion
allotted to another party.[35] A person cannot claim both under and against the same
instrument.[36] In other words, they accepted the lands awarded them by its
provisions, and they cannot accept the decree in part, and repudiate it in part. They
must accept all or none.[37] Parties who had received the property assigned to them
are precluded from subsequently attacking its validity of any part of it. [38] Here,
respondents, by themselves and/or through their predecessors-in-interest, already
occupied of the lots in accordance with the sketch plan. This occupation continued
until this action was filed. They cannot now be heard to question the possession and
ownership of the other co-owners who took exclusive possession of Lot 1639-D also
in accordance with the sketch plan. Exsm
In technical estoppel, the party to be estopped must knowingly have acted so as to
mislead his adversary, and the adversary must have placed reliance on the action
and acted as he would otherwise not have done. Some authorities, however, hold that
what is tantamount to estoppel may arise without this reliance on the part of the
adversary, and this is called, ratification or election by acceptance of benefits, which
arises when a party, knowing that he is not bound by a defective proceeding, and is
free to repudiate it if he will, upon knowledge, and while under no disability, chooses
to adopt such defective proceeding as his own.[39] Ratification means that one under
no disability voluntarily adopts and gives sanction to some unauthorized act or
defective proceeding, which without his sanction would not be binding on him. It is
this voluntary choice, knowingly made, which amounts to a ratification of what was
theretofore unauthorized, and becomes the authorized act of the party so making the
ratification.[40]
The records show that respondents were paying rent for the use of a portion of Lot
No. 1639-D. Had they been of the belief that they were co-owners of the entire Lot
No. 1639 they would not have paid rent. Respondents attempted to counter this point

[Year]

by presenting an uncorroborated testimony of their sole witness to the effect that the
amount so paid to Roberto Maglucot and, subsequently, to Ruperta Salma were for
the payment of real property taxes. We are not persuaded. It is quite improbable that
the parties would be unaware of the difference in their treatment of their transactions
for so long a time. Moreover, no evidence was ever presented to show that a tax
declaration for the entire Lot No. 1639 has ever been made. Replete in the records
are tax declarations for specific portions of Lot 1639. It is inconceivable that
respondents would not be aware of this. With due diligence on their part, they could
have easily verified this fact. This they did not do for a period spanning more than four
decades.
The payment of rentals by respondents reveal that they are mere lessees. As such,
the possession of respondents over Lot No. 1639-D is that of a holder and not in the
concept of an owner. One who possesses as a mere holder acknowledges in another
a superior right which he believes to be ownership, whether his belief be right or
wrong.[41] Since the possession of respondents were found to be that of lessors of
petitioners, it goes without saying that the latter were in possession of Lot No. 1639-D
in the concept of an owner from 1952 up to the time the present action was
commenced. Msesm
Partition may be inferred from circumstances sufficiently strong to support the
presumption.[42] Thus, after a long possession in severalty, a deed of partition may be
presumed.[43] It has been held that recitals in deeds, possession and occupation of
land, improvements made thereon for a long series of years, and acquiescence for 60
years, furnish sufficient evidence that there was an actual partition of land either by
deed or by proceedings in the probate court, which had been lost and were not
recorded.[44] And where a tract of land held in common has been subdivided into lots,
and one of the lots has long been known and called by the name of one of the tenants
in common, and there is no evidence of any subsequent claim of a tenancy in
common, it may fairly be inferred that there has been a partition and that such lot was
set off to him whose name it bears.[45]
Respondents insist that the absence of any annotation in the certificate of title
showing any partition of Lot No. 1639 and that OCT No. 6725 has not been canceled
clearly indicate that no partition took place. The logic of this argument is that unless
partition is shown in the title of the subject property, there can be no valid partition or
that the annotation in the title is the sole evidence of partition. Esmso
Again, we are not persuaded. The purpose of registration is to notify and protect the
interests of strangers to a given transaction, who may be ignorant thereof, but the
non-registration of the deed evidencing such transaction does not relieve the parties
thereto of their obligations thereunder.[46] As originally conceived, registration is
merely a species of notice. The act of registering a document is never necessary in
order to give it legal effect as between the parties.[47] Requirements for the recording
of the instruments are designed to prevent frauds and to permit and require the public
to act with the presumption that recorded instruments exist and are genuine. [48]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


It must be noted that there was a prior oral partition in 1946. Although the oral
agreement was merely tentative, the facts subsequent thereto all point to the
confirmation of said oral partition. By virtue of that agreement, the parties took
possession of specific portions of the subject lot. The action for partition was instituted
because some of the co-owners refused to have separate titles issued in lieu of the
original title. In 1952, an order for partition was issued by the cadastral court. There is
no evidence that there has been any change in the possession of the parties. The
only significant fact subsequent to the issuance of the order of partition in 1952 is that
respondents rented portions of Lot No. 1639-D. It would be safe to conclude,
therefore, that the oral partition as well as the order of partition in 1952 were the
bases for the finding of actual partition among the parties. The legal consequences of
the order of partition in 1952 having been discussed separately, we now deal with oral
partition in 1946. Given that the oral partition was initially tentative, the actual
possession of specific portions of Lot No. 1639 in accordance with the oral partition
and the continuation of such possession for a very long period indicate the
permanency and ratification of such oral partition. The validity of an oral partition is
already well-settled. In Espina vs. Abaya,[49] we declared that an oral partition is valid.
In Hernandez vs. Andal,[50] reiterated in Tan vs. Lim,[51] this Court has ruled, thus:
On general principle, independent and in spite of the statute of
frauds, courts of equity have enforce oral partition when it has been
completely or partly performed. Esmmis
Regardless of whether a parol partition or agreement to partition is
valid and enforceable at law, equity will proper cases where the
parol partition has actually been consummated by the taking of
possession in severalty and the exercise of ownership by the
parties of the respective portions set off to each, recognize and
enforce such parol partition and the rights of the parties thereunder.
Thus, it has been held or stated in a number of cases involving an
oral partition under which the parties went into possession,
exercised acts of ownership, or otherwise partly performed the
partition agreement, that equity will confirm such partition and in a
proper case decree title in accordance with the possession in
severalty.
In numerous cases it has been held or stated that parol partition
may be sustained on the ground of estoppel of the parties to assert
the rights of a tenant in common as to parts of land divided by parol
partition as to which possession in severalty was taken and acts of
individual ownership were exercised. And a court of equity will
recognize the agreement and decree it to be valid and effectual for
the purpose of concluding the right of the parties as between each
other to hold their respective parts in severalty.

[Year]

A parol partition may also be sustained on the ground that the


parties thereto have acquiesced in and ratified the partition by
taking possession in severalty, exercising acts of ownership with
respect thereto, or otherwise recognizing the existence of the
partition.
A number of cases have specifically applied the doctrine of part
performance, or have stated that a part performance is necessary,
to take a parol partition out of the operation of the statute of frauds.
It has been held that where there was a partition in fact between
tenants in common, and a part performance, a court of equity would
have regard to enforce such partition agreed to by the
parties. Esmsc
Two more points have constrained this Court to rule against respondents. First,
respondents Wilfreda Maglucot-Alejo and Constancio Alejo offered to buy the share
of Roberto Maglucot. Second, the tax declarations contain statements that the houses
of respondents were built on the land owned by Roberto Maglucot. Esm
On the first point, petitioners presented Aida Maglucot who testified that after
respondents were informed that petitioners were going to use Lot No. 1639-D
belonging to Roberto Maglucot, respondents Wilfreda Maglucot-Alejo and Constancio
Alejo went to the house of said witness and offered to buy the share of Roberto
Maglucot.[52] Aida Maglucot further testified that they refused the offer because they
also intend to use the lot for a residential purpose.[53] This testimony of Aida Maglucot
is unrebutted by respondents, and the CA did not touch upon this finding of fact.
Hence, the offer to buy has been established by the unrebutted evidence of the
petitioners. Why would they give such offer if they claim to be at least a co-owner of
the said lot? In effect, respondents impliedly admit the title of the petitioners and that
they are not co-owners, much less the sole owners, of Lot No. 1639-D. Chief
On the second point, the existence of Tax Declaration No. 04-557 in the names of
Constancio Alejo and Godofreda Maglucot,[54] Tax Declaration No. 04-87-13 in the
names of Leopoldo Maglucot and Regina Barot, [55] Tax Declaration No. 04-593 in the
names of Severo Maglucot and Samni Posida[56] showing that the houses of the
above-mentioned persons are constructed on the land of Roberto
Maglucot[57] constitute incontrovertible evidence of admission by the same persons of
the ownership of the land by Roberto Maglucot. Tax Declarations are public
documents. Unless their veracity is directly attacked, the contents therein are
presumed to be true and accurate.[58] The lone testimony of Severo Maglucot that
Roberto Maglucot was only made to appear as owner of the land in their respective
declarations because he was the administrator of Lot No. 1639 is uncorroborated and
not supported by any other evidence. Jksm
No injustice is dealt upon respondents because they are entitled to occupy a portion
of Lot No. 1639, particularly Lot No. 1639-A, in their capacity as heirs of Tomas

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


Maglucot, one of the original co-owners of Lot No. 1639 in accordance with the sketch
plan of said lot showing the partition into six portions.[59]
Finally, this Court takes notice of the language utilized by counsel for petitioners in
their petition for review on certiorari. Thrice in the petition, counsel for petitioners
made reference to the researcher of the CA. First, he alluded to the lack of scrutiny of
the records and lack of study of the law "by the researcher." [60] Second, he cited the
researcher of the CA as having "sweepingly stated without reference to the
record"[61] that "[w]e have scanned the records on hand and found no evidence of any
partition." Finally, counsel for petitioners assailed the CA decision, stating that "this
will only show that there was no proper study of the case by the researcher." [62]
Any court when it renders a decision does so as an arm of the justice system and as
an institution apart from the persons that comprise it. Decisions are rendered by the
courts and not the persons or personnel that may participate therein by virtue of their
office. It is highly improper and unethical for counsel for petitioners to berate the
researcher in his appeal. Counsel for petitioner should be reminded of the elementary
rules of the legal profession regarding respect for the courts by the use of proper
language in its pleadings and admonished for his improper references to the
researcher of the CA in his petition. A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous,
offensive, or menacing language or behavior before the courts. [63]
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED The decision of the Court of Appeals is SET
ASIDE and the decision of the Regional Trial Court is hereby REINSTATED. h Y
SO ORDERED.

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


Villaflor vs. Sarita (308 SCRA 129)
Facts: Complainant filed a case for disbarment against respondent before the IBP
Commission on Bar Discipline. The Commissioner assigned to investigate the case
issued an order directing respondent to file his answer or comment to the complaint.
The period of time alloted to answer the complaint lapsed without respondent
submitting his comment. An order was issued requiring the parties to attend the
hearing of the case but the respondentfailed to appear. A notice of hearing was sent
to respondent but again he failed to attend the proceeding. After giving the
respondent enough opportunity to face the charges against him, which the latter did
not avail, the case was submitted for resolution.
Issue: Whether or not failure to obey notices from the IBP investigators constitutes
an unethical act.
Held: Yes. As an officer of the court, it is the duty of a lawyer to uphold the dignity
and authority of the court to which he owes fidelity, according to the oath he has
taken. It is his foremostresponsibility to observe and maintain the respect due to
the courts of justice and judicial officers. The highest form of respect to the judicial
authority is shown by a lawyers obedience to court ordersand processes.

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


C: ASSISTING THE COURT IN SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION
OF JUSTICE

1. Ordering the defendant Mariano Pascual to


pay to the plaintiffs the amount of P24,550.00
plus legal interest from the filing of the complaint
until fully paid and attorney's fees in the amount
of P2,000.00 and to pay the costs.

G.R. No. 80390 March 27, 1998


CITY SHERIFF, ILIGAN CITY and SPOUSES ANGEL L. BAUTISTA and
ANGELICA M. BAUTISTA, petitioners,
vs.
ALFARO FORTUNADO, EDITHA FORTUNADO, & NESTOR
FORTUNADO, respondents.

MARTINEZ J.:
This petition for review on certiorari seeks to nullify the Order 1 dated January 24,
1986 of the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte, Branch V, in Civil Case No. 262,
which reversed its earlier Decision2 dated July 31, 1985 dismissing the complaint filed
by respondents.

2. Ordering the deed of real estate mortgage


which is attached as Annex "B" of the complaint
to be declared null and void and, ordering the
Register of Deeds of Iligan City to cancel the said
mortgage at the back of TCT No. T-1929, Book I,
Page 8 and TCT No. T-3040, Book I, Page 96 of
said Register of Deeds.
II. With Respect to the Cross-Claim and the Third-Party Complaint
of Defendant Traders Commercial Bank:
1. Ordering the spouses Arsenio Lopez, Jr. and
Ofelia Lopez to pay the Traders Commercial Bank
jointly and severally the amount of P578,025.23,
inclusive of interest and other bank charges as of
April 30, 1971, and, thereafter, plus all interest
and bank charges until full payment is made and,
to pay to the bank the amount of P20,000.00 as
attorney's fees and the costs.

The facts are not disputed:


Respondents Alfaro, Editha and Nestor, all surnamed Fortunado, are the registered
owners of two parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificates of Title No. 7-3041 and
T-1929, both registered with the Register of Deeds of Iligan City. Said properties
were mortgaged by Arsenio Lopez, Jr. on July 24, 1968 to the Traders Commercial
Bank (now Traders Royal Bank) to secure a loan obligation in the amount of
P370,000.00.
On January 6, 1971, respondents instituted an action before the then Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Branch XVIII, against Arsenio Lopez, Jr. and Traders Royal Bank,
among others, for annulment of mortgage. In said complaint, Traders Royal Bank
interposed a counterclaim for foreclosure of the mortgage.
On August 24, 1973, the trial court rendered a
which reads:

decision3,

the dispositive portion of

WHEREFORE, the Court renders judgment:


I. As Regards the Plaintiff's Complaint:

[Year]

The bank 's counterclaim against the plaintiffs is hereby dismissed.


Likewise, the counterclaim of Mariano Pascual against the plaintiffs
is also dismissed.
SO ORDERED.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals modified the trial court's decision, in this manner:
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby modified by
eliminating paragraph 2 of the dispositive portion of the decision of
the lower court declaring the real estate mortgage in favor of the
Traders Commercial Bank null and void. The decision is affirmed in
all other respects.4
On December 28, 1983, Traders Royal Bank assigned 5 its rights to the mortgage to
petitioner Angel L. Bautista. By virtue of the said assignment, petitioner on March 19,

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


1984 wrote the City Sheriff of Iligan City requesting that the mortgaged properties be
foreclosed for non-payment of the loan obligation. To thwart the pending foreclosure,
respondents filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte, Branch V, a
complaint for cancellation of lien with preliminary injunction against petitioner, which
was docketed as Civil Case No. 262.
After petitioner filed his answer, respondents moved for a summary judgment which
was granted by the court. Consequently, on July 31, 1985, the trial court rendered
judgment dismissing the complaint. In its decision, the trial court delved on the issue
of prescription of a mortgage action.
Respondents moved for reconsideration arguing that since the principal loan has
already been paid, the mortgage, which is an accessory contract, should likewise be
extinguished.
On January 24, 1986, the trial court modified its earlier decision disposing thus:
WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration, as amended, of the
summary judgment of July 31, 1985 is hereby reconsidered and
modified to read:
Premises considered, the Court finds that the
plaintiffs have made out a preponderating case
against the defendants.
And as prayed for in the complaint, the temporary restraining order
of the Court in the case on April 23, 1984 is hereby converted into
a preliminary injunction and by these presents made permanent.
The City Sheriff of Iligan City, Mr. Angel L. Bautista and Mrs.
Angelica M. Bautista are hereby permanently restrained from
conducting a public auction sale of the property covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-3041 (a.f.). The Register of
Deeds of Iligan City is hereby further ordered to cancel Entry No.
451 on Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-3041 (a.f.) on file with his
office. No pronouncement as to damages or attorney's fees.
With costs against the defendants.
SO ORDERED.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which rendered a Resolution6 on August
28,1987, forwarding the case to this Court for resolution reading thus:

[Year]

Considering that opposing counsel left the resolution of Atty.


Ramon Gonzales' motion to the sound discretion of this Court and
considering the unrefuted allegation of the said motion that there
were no documentary or testimonial evidence which were the basis
of the questioned decision but mere admissions of the parties, the
questions raised on appeal become mere questions of law, over
which the Supreme Court has exclusive original jurisdiction.
On December 29, 1987, petitioner filed this present petition for review contending
that the trial court erred in modifying its earlier decision; in declaring that he has no
right to foreclose the mortgaged property; in declaring the temporary restraining
order into a permanent preliminary injunction and in ordering the Register of Deeds
of Iligan City to cancel entry No. 451 on TCT No. 3041.
We gave due course to the petition and required the contending parties to submit
their respective Memoranda on August 31, 1988.
On January 30, 1995, respondents, through counsel Ramon A. Gonzales, filed a
verified Manifestation informing the Court that the subject real estate mortgage has
already been released by the Traders Royal Bank on December 23, 1983 as shown in
the certified true copy of the Release of Real Estate Mortgage,7 and that the
petitioner was killed in a robbery in his house.8 Respondents therefore pray for the
dismissal of the petition.
On February 20, 1995, this Court required petitioner's counsel Atty. Emilio Abrogena
to comment on the said Manifestation. However, the copy of the resolution of the
Court addressed to Atty. Abrogena was returned unclaimed after three notices,9 with
the postmaster's remark "moved." In view of this development, the Court considered
the resolution as served. 10
Acting on the Manifestation of the respondents, we resolve to dismiss the petition for
having been rendered moot and academic.
The resolution of the basic issue of whether or not the petitioner has the right to
extra-judicially foreclose the mortgage is no longer necessary in view of the release
of the mortgage as shown in the certified true copy thereof. No useful purpose would
be served by passing on the merits of the petition. Any ruling in this case could
hardly be of any practical or useful purpose in the premises. It is a well-settled rule
that courts will not determine a moot question or abstract proposition nor express an
opinion in a case in which no practical relief can be granted. 11

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


However, we take notice of the failure of petitioner's lawyer, Atty. Emilio Abrogena,
to inform the trial court of the death of petitioner, a duty mandated by Section 16,
Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides in part, to wit:
Sec. 16. Death of party; duty of counsel. Whenever a party to a
pending action dies, and the claim is not thereby extinguished, it
shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the court within thirty
(30) days after such death of the fact thereof, and to give the
name and address of his legal representative or representatives.
Failure of the counsel to comply with this duty shall be a ground for
disciplinary action.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Hence, the proper substitution of the deceased in accordance with the aforequoted
provisions of Rule 3 could not be effected.
We likewise note Atty. Abrogena's failure to inform this Court of his change of
address which accounts for his failure to comment on the manifestation of
respondents relative to the death of petitioner and the release of the subject real
estate mortgage.
Atty. Abrogena should bear in mind that a lawyer is, first and foremost, an officer of
the court. His duties to the court are more significant than those which he owes to
his client. His first duty is not to his client but to the administration of justice; to that
end, his client's success is wholly subordinate; and his conduct ought to and must
always be scrupulously observant of the law and ethics of the profession. 12
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for being moot and academic. Atty.
Emilio Abrogena, counsel for petitioner, is hereby REPRIMANDED for his failure to
inform this Court of the death of petitioner and to perform his duty under Section 16,
Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court. He is further warned that a repetition of such
omission in the future will be dealt with severely.
SO ORDERED.

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


G.R. No. L-30362 November 26, 1970
VICTORIA AGUINALDO and SIMEONA AGUINALDO, plaintiffs-appellees,
vs.
SEGUNDO AGUINALDO (deceased), PRIMO AGUINALDO and RUFINA
AGUINALDO, defendants, CECILIO AGUINALDO, ANASTACIA AGUINALDO,
SIMPLICIO AGUINALDO, DOMINGO AGUINALDO, and FELICITAS
BAGAWISAN, defendants-appellants.

FERNANDO, J.:
Any effort on the litigant to delay, if not to defeat, the enforcement of a final
judgment, executory in character, by raising an objection that at best hardly rises to
the level of a technicality is not likely to elicit the sympathy of this Court or any court
for that matter. Yet, in effect, that is what the move taken by the defendants in his
case amounted to. The lower court as was but proper did not lend its approval. Still
undeterred, they would appeal. They ought to have known better. There is no reason
to refuse affirmance to the order of the lower court complained of, appointing
appellants as legal representatives of the deceased defendant and substituted in his
place pursuant to the Rules of Court in order that the execution that ought that have
taken place long since could at long last be effected.
There is no dispute as to the antecedents. On January 14, 1965, the Court of First
Instance of Bulacan, Branch II through its clerk issued a writ of execution reciting
that as far back as March 31, 1958, it rendered a decision in favor of plaintiffs, 1 now
appellees, requiring one of the defendants therein, Segundo Aguinaldo, to reconvey
one-fourth ()pro-indiviso of the property in litigation to appellees, and to pay the
latter the amount of P300.00 yearly beginning with the year 1955. There was an
appeal. The decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on May 23, 1965. It was
further set forth therein that on January 5, 1965, a motion for its execution was
granted. Hence the writ of execution. On February 13 of the same year, one Cecilio
Aguinaldo filed an urgent ex parte manifestation and motion to quash such writ of
execution based primarily on the allegation that defendant Segundo Aguinaldo died
on August 7, 1959 during the pendency of such appeal. There was an opposition to
such motion on February 25, 1965, inviting attention to Sec. 16, Rule 3 of the Rules
of Court to the effect that in the event of the death of a party to a pending case, it is
the duty of his attorney to give the name and residence of his executor,
administrator, guardian, or their legal representative and alleging that there was a
failure on the part of the counsel to comply with the above provision. The prayer was
for the denial of the motion of Cecilio Aguinaldo and for an order requiring counsel
for the defendants to furnish the court the names as well as the residences of the
heirs or the legal representatives of the deceased in order that they could be

[Year]

substituted in his stead so as not to render nugatory a decision, final and executory
in character. On March 4, 1965, the lower court, then presided by the Hon. Ricardo
C. Puno gave counsel of record up to March 22, 1965 within which to submit the
name and residence of the executor, administrator, guardian or other legal
representative of the deceased Segundo Aguinaldo. The aforesaid counsel in turn
merely manifested on March 23, 1965 that he had ceased to be such as of May 31,
1956, and that such a pleading be considered sufficient compliance with the aforesaid
order. Considering the turn of events, plaintiffs, in order that such a decision in their
favor be not rendered nugatory by the above technicality, had no choice but to ask
the court in a motion of April 7, 1965 to have the heirs of the deceased Segundo
Aguinaldo, defendants Cecilio, Anastasia, Simplicio and Domingo, all bearing the
surname of Aguinaldo being the legitimate children, and one Felicitas Bagawisan, a
granddaughter, substituted as defendants. On October 5, 1965, the lower court, this
time presided by Judge Andres Sta. Maria, granted the aforesaid motion and
substituted defendants in place of the deceased Segundo Aguinaldo.
Hence this appeal to the Court of Appeals, which in turn by resolution of February 17,
1969 certified the matter to this Court, the question involved being one of law. As
noted at the outset, we find for appellees.
1. It would be the height of unreason to impute error to the lower court precisely for
embodying in the order complained of what is set forth in the Rules of Court. Thus:
"Whenever a party to a pending case dies, becomes incapacitated or incompetent, it
shall be the duty of his attorney to inform the court promptly of such death,
incapacity or incompetency, and to give the name and residence of his executor,
administrator, guardian or other legal representative." 2Had the defendant, thereafter
deceased, seen to it that a new counsel was appointed, then upon his death there
could be compliance with the above provision. To cause plaintiffs to suffer for such
neglect of duty is to cast an underserved reflection on the law. It is equally vital to
remember that the judgment had become final and the stage of execution reached.
Defendants cannot be heard to allege that it is much too late now to apply the above
rule. That would be to set at naught the principle consistently adhered to by this
Court.
It was succinctly put in Amor v. Jugo 3in these words: "And with more compelling
reason the respondent court cannot refuse to issue such writ, or quash it or order its
stay, when the judgment had been reviewed and affirmed by an appellate court, for
it cannot review or interfere with any matter decided on appeal, or give other or
further relief, or assume supervisory jurisdiction to interpret or reverse the judgment
of the higher court." 4What was said by us in Li Kim Tho v. Sanchez 5 is worth
recalling: "Litigation must end and terminate sometime and somewhere, and it is
essential to an effective and efficient administration of justice that, once a judgment
has become final, the winning party be not, through a mere subterfuge, deprived of
the fruits of the verdict. Courts must therefore guard against any scheme calculated

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


to bring about that result. Constituted as they are to put an end to controversies,
courts should frown upon any attempt to prolong them." 6An excerpt from Villaflor v.
Reyes 7 is equally relevant: "There should be a greater awareness on the part of
litigants that the time of the judiciary, much more so of this Court, is too valuable to
be wasted or frittered away by efforts, far from commendable, to evade the
operation of a decision final and executory, especially so, where, as shown in this
case, the clear and manifest absence of any right calling for vindication, is quite
obvious and indisputable." 8
2. This appeal, moreover, should fail, predicated as it is on an insubstantial objection
bereft of any persuasive force. Defendants had to display ingenuity to conjure a
technicality. From Alonso v. Villamor, 9 a 1910 decision, we have left no doubt as to
our disapproval of such a practice. The aim of a lawsuit is to render justice to the
parties according to law. Procedural rules are precisely designed to accomplish such a
worthy objective. Necessarily, therefore, any attempt to pervert the ends for which
they are intended deserves condemnation. We have done so before. We do so again.
WHEREFORE, the order of October 5, 1965 is affirmed.
This decision is immediately executory. Treble costs against defendants.

Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Makalintal, Zaldivar,. Castro, Teekankee, Barredo and
Villamor, JJ., concur.
Dizon and Makasiar, JJ., are on leave.

[Year]

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


G.R. No. L-43757-58 July 30, 1976
REGINO GABRIEL and JAIME TAPEL, petitioners,
vs.
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
respondents. In re: Contempt citation against Atty. Cornelio M.
Orteza, respondent.
RESOLUTION

TEEHANKEE, J.:
In the Court's Resolution of June 11, 1976, the petition (filed on May 31, 1976) in the
cases at bar for review of the Court of Appeals decision of November 28, 1975 which
affirmed in toto the Manila court of first instance's judgment of September 27, 1968
convicting, after joint trial, the two petitioners accused of the crime of theft, was
denied for lack of merit. The Court further noted therein that a first petition for the
same purpose filed through another lawyer on March 6, 1976 had been previously
denied and final judgment entered on May 10, 1976, and cited Atty. Cornelio M.
Orteza who filed the second petition at bar for contempt and/or for disciplinary
action, as follows:
... Considering the allegations, issues and arguments adduced in
the petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of
Appeals, the Court Resolved to DENY the petition for lack of merit,
a previous petition for review of the same decision docketed as
G.R. Nos. L- 43113-14 having filed by petitioners on March 6, 1976
thru Atty. Rodolfo D. Mapile and denied as per resolution of March
15, 1976 and entry of final judgment having been made on May 10,
1976. Atty. Cornelio M. Orteza is hereby required to SHOW CAUSE
why he should not be held in contempt and/or disciplinary dealt
with for filing a second petition on behalf of the same petitioners
for review of the same decision of the Court of Appeals which was
already previously denied with finality within ten (10) days from
notice hereof.
Respondent Atty. Orteza still filed without leave of court on July 6, 1976 a motion for
reconsideration of the Court's above-quoted resolution denying his petition for review
and after having secured for the purpose an extension (on the ground of pressure of
work) filed on July 12, 1976 his explanation.

[Year]

The burden of both pleadings is that the first petition to set aside the Court of
Appeals affirmance of petitioners conviction was a special civil action of certiorari
under Rule 65, while the second petition was one for review under Rule 45. 1
The explanation is manifestly unsatisfactory. However zealous may be counsel's
concern and belief in the alleged innocence of the petitioners, it is elementary that
counsel may not split their appeal into one to set aside the appellate court's denial of
petitioners appellants' motion for reconsideration of its decision affirming the trial
court's judgment of conviction and/or for new trial (the first petition) and into another
to set aside the appellate court'sdecision itself, which affirmed the trial court's
conviction of the petitioners-appellants (the second petition).
Such filing of multiple petitions constitutes abuse of the Court's processes and
improper conduct that tends to impede obstruct and degrade the administration of
justice and will be punished as contempt of court. 2 Needless to add, the lawyer who
filed such multiple or repetitious petitions (which obviously delays the execution of a
final and executory judgment) subjects himself to disciplinary action for incompetence
(for not knowing any better or for willful violation of his duties as an attorney to act
with all good fidelity to the courts and to maintain only such actions as appear to him
to be just and are consistent with truth and honor. 3
Thus in several instances in the past, the Court has admonished that (L)itigants and
their counsels are warned under pain of contempt and disciplinary action that a party
who has already failed to have a decision of the Court of Appeals set aside through a
petition for review by certiorari with the denial of his petition (by the First Division to
which such petitions for review are assigned under the Court's standing resolution of
November 15, 1973) should not under the guise of a special civil action file a second
petition for the same purpose of setting aside the same Court of Appeals' decision to
be acted upon by the Second Division (to which special civil actions are assigned
under the Court's resolution of November 15, 1973). and vice-versa, for such conduct
would tend to trifle with the Court and impede, obstruct and impede the
administration of justice". 4
Respondent Atty. Orteza is therefore adjudged guilty of contempt of court and is
ordered to pay a fine of Five Hundred (P500.00) pesos with ten (10) days from notice
hereof failing which, he shall be imprisoned for a period of (50) days. While further
administrative action against him is herewith forborne, he is hereby warned that a
future repetition or the same or similar incident will be dealt with more severely.
Petitioners' purported motion for reconsideration of the Court's resolution of June 11,
1976 denying their second petition is ordered expunged from the records as a sham
motion, (as is the second petition itself), since the decision sought, to be reviewed
has long become final and executory with the entry on May 10, 1976 of final

VII LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


judgment of denial of the first petition. Let copies hereof be furnished the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines and attached to his Personal record.
SO ORDERED.

Makasiar, Muoz Palma, Aquino and Martin, JJ., concur.

[Year]