Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 37

EONARD W. RICHARDS, vs.PATRICIO A.

ASOY,
A.C. No. 2655, October 11,2010
FACTS:
Respondent Asoy received from Complainant Richards, his client,
compensation to handle his case in the trial court, but the same was
dismissed for lack of interest and failure to prosecute. Asoy abandoned
his client in violation of his contract ignoring the most elementary
principles of professional ethics. Furthermore, Asoy ignored the
processes of this Court and it was only after he was suspended from
the practice of law of that he surfaced. On July 9, 1987, the Court
resolved to DISBAR him and order him to reimburse Richards the sum
of P16,300 within 30days from notice. On November 11,1987, the
Court received a letter dated November 3,1987, complained that
respondent had not reimbursed him the P16,300. Hence, the Court
issued a resolution requiring Asoy to show cause why he failed to
reimburse, however, Asoy still failed to comply. Complainant filed
another letter informing the Court that Asoy still failed to comply with
the order of reimbursement.
Thirteen years after the promulgation, Asoy filed a Petition for
readmission to the practice of law stating, among other things, that
on January 2,1996 or about nine years after his disbarment and
directive to reimbursement complainant made, he effected payment of
P16,300 via consignation with the Courts Office of the Cashier. The
Court denied the petition for lack of merit.
On August 2, 2010, Asoy filed another petition for Reinstatement to
the Bar stating that he effected payment ofP16,300 before the Office
of the Cashier of the Supreme Court as complainant could no longer be
found or
located; that he had already suffered and agonized shortcomings; and
that as positive evidence of his repentance and rehabilitation he
attached testimonials of credible institutions and personalities.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Asoy violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility.HELD: Yes. Respondent Asoy violated Canon 10 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility
. Canon 10 states that A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith
to the court. Respondent denigrated the dignity of his calling by
displaying a lack of candor towards this Court. By taking his sweet time
to effect reimbursement and through consignation with this Court at
that
he sent out a strong message that the legal processes and orders of
this
Court could be treated with disdain or impunity. Respondents
consignation could not even be deemed compliance with the Courts

directive to reimburse because the Court does not represent the


complainant; the latters address
was readily ascertainable had respondent wished to communicate with
the complainant for the purpose of making
amends. Hence, respondents petition for reinstatements in the Roll of
Attorneys is DENIED
YOUNG vs. BATUEGAS
Facts: YOUNG is the private prosecutor in People of the Phil v Arana. BATUEGAS, et al
are the counsels for the accused in the said criminal case. On Dec 13, 2000,
BATUEGAS filed a Manifestation with Motion for Bail alleging that the accused has
voluntarily surrendered to a person in authority and, as such, is now under detention.
Upon verification with the NBI, YOUNG discovered that the accused surrendered on Dec
14,2000 (not 13). BATUEGAS, et al in their defense alleged that on Dec 13, 2000, upon
learning that a warrant of arrest was issued against their client, they filed a Manifestation
with Motion for Bail. They immediately fetched accused from Cavite and brought him to
NBI to voluntarily surrender.However, due to heavy traffic, they arrived at NBI at 2am
the next day. That was why the Certificate of Detention indicated that the accused
surrendered on Dec 14, 2000 and not 13. As to lack of notice,YOUNG being a private
prosecutor, is not entitled to such as only the State and City prosecutors should be given
notices. Investigating Commissioner recommended suspension of 6 months.
IBP Commission on Bar Discipline in a resolution approved said recommendation.
ISSUE:
W/N BATUEGAS, ET AL ARE GUILTY OF FALSEHOOD AND SHOULD BE
SUSPENDED
HELD:
YES, CONCEALED TRUTH
RATIO A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. He swore upon his admission that he will
do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court. As officer of the court, his high
vocation is to correctly inform the court upon the law and facts of the case to aid it in
arriving at the correct conclusion. The courts, on the other hand, are entitled to expect
only complete honesty from lawyers appearing and pleading before
them. His lawyers solemn duty is to defend his client, his conduct must nev
er be at the expense of truth. In the case at bar, BATUEGAS, et al feel short of the duties
and responsibilities expected of them as members of the bar. Anticipating that
their Motion for Bail will be denied by the Court found that it had no jurisdiction over the
person of the accused, they craftily concealed the truth alleging that the accused had
voluntarily surrendered. To knowingly allege an untrue statement in the pleading is a
contemptuous conduct that the Court strongly condemns. BATUEGAS, et al violated
their oath when they resorted to deception. Hence, BATUEGAS, et al should be
suspended for 6 months

RESTORING INTEGRITY
A STATEMENT BY THE FACULTY OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES COLLEGE OF LAW
ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF PLAGIARISM AND MISREPRESENTATION

IN THE SUPREME COURT

An extraordinary act of injustice has again been committed against the brave Filipinas
who had suffered abuse during a time of war. After they courageously came out with their
very personal stories of abuse and suffering as comfort women, waited for almost two
decades for any meaningful relief from their own government as well as from the
government of Japan, got their hopes up for a semblance of judicial recourse in the case
of Vinuya v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 162230 (28 April 2010), they only had these
hopes crushed by a singularly reprehensible act of dishonesty and misrepresentation by
the Highest Court of the land.
It is within this frame that the Faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law
views the charge that an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court committed plagiarism
and misrepresentation in Vinuya v. Executive Secretary. The plagiarism and
misrepresentation are not only affronts to the individual scholars whose work have been
appropriated without correct attribution, but also a serious threat to the integrity and
credibility of the Philippine Judicial System.
In common parlance, plagiarism is the appropriation and misrepresentation of another
persons work as ones own. In the field of writing, it is cheating at best, and stealing at
worst. It constitutes a taking of someone elses ideas and expressions, including all the
effort and creativity that went into committing such ideas and expressions into writing,
and then making it appear that such ideas and expressions were originally created by the
taker. It is dishonesty, pure and simple. A judicial system that allows plagiarism in any
form is one that allows dishonesty. Since all judicial decisions form part of the law of the
land, to allow plagiarism in the Supreme Court is to allow the production of laws by
dishonest means. Evidently, this is a complete perversion and falsification of the ends of
justice.

A comparison of the Vinuya decision and the original source material shows that the
ponente merely copied select portions of other legal writers works and interspersed them
into the decision as if they were his own, original work. Under the circumstances,
however, because the Decision has been promulgated by the Court, the Decision now
becomes the Courts and no longer just the ponentes. Thus the Court also bears the
responsibility for the Decision. In the absence of any mention of the original writers
names and the publications from which they came, the thing speaks for itself.
So far there have been unsatisfactory responses from the ponente of this case and the
spokesman of the Court.
It is argued, for example, that the inclusion of the footnotes from the original articles is a
reference to the primary sources relied upon. This cursory explanation is not
acceptable, because the original authors writings and the effort they put into finding and
summarizing those primary sources are precisely the subject of plagiarism. The inclusion
of the footnotes together with portions of their writings in fact aggravates, instead of
mitigates, the plagiarism since it provides additional evidence of a deliberate intention to
appropriate the original authors work of organizing and analyzing those primary sources.
It is also argued that the Members of the Court cannot be expected to be familiar with all
legal and scholarly journals. This is also not acceptable, because personal unfamiliarity
with sources all the more demands correct and careful attribution and citation of the
material relied upon. It is a matter of diligence and competence expected of all
Magistrates of the Highest Court of the Land.
But a far more serious matter is the objection of the original writers, Professors Evan
Criddle and Evan Fox-Descent, that the High Court actually misrepresents the
conclusions of their work entitled A Fiduciary Theory of Jus Cogens, the main source
of the plagiarized text. In this article they argue that the classification of the crimes of
rape, torture, and sexual slavery as crimes against humanity have attained the status of jus
cogens, making it obligatory upon the State to seek remedies on behalf of its aggrieved
citizens. Yet, the Vinuya decision uses parts of the same article to arrive at the contrary
conclusion. This exacerbates the intellectual dishonesty of copying works without
attribution by transforming it into an act of intellectual fraud by copying works in order to
mislead and deceive.
The case is a potential landmark decision in International Law, because it deals with State
liability and responsibility for personal injury and damage suffered in a time of war, and
the role of the injured parties home States in the pursuit of remedies against such injury

or damage. National courts rarely have such opportunities to make an international


impact. That the petitioners were Filipino comfort women who suffered from horrific
abuse during the Second World War made it incumbent on the Court of last resort to
afford them every solicitude. But instead of acting with urgency on this case, the Court
delayed its resolution for almost seven years, oblivious to the deaths of many of the
petitioners seeking justice from the Court. When it dismissed the Vinuya petition based
on misrepresented and plagiarized materials, the Court decided this case based on
polluted sources. By so doing, the Supreme Court added insult to injury by failing to
actually exercise its power to urge and exhort the Executive Department to take up the
claims of the Vinuya petitioners. Its callous disposition, coupled with false sympathy and
nonchalance, belies a more alarming lack of concern for even the most basic values of
decency and respect. The reputation of the Philippine Supreme Court and the standing of
the Philippine legal profession before other Judiciaries and legal systems are truly at
stake.
The High Court cannot accommodate less than absolute honesty in its decisions and
cannot accept excuses for failure to attain the highest standards of conduct imposed upon
all members of the Bench and Bar because these undermine the very foundation of its
authority and power in a democratic society. Given the Courts recent history and the
controversy that surrounded it, it cannot allow the charges of such clear and obvious
plagiarism to pass without sanction as this would only further erode faith and confidence
in the judicial system. And in light of the significance of this decision to the quest for
justice not only of Filipino women, but of women elsewhere in the world who have
suffered the horrors of sexual abuse and exploitation in times of war, the Court cannot
coldly deny relief and justice to the petitioners on the basis of pilfered and misinterpreted
texts.
The Court cannot regain its credibility and maintain its moral authority without ensuring
that its own conduct, whether collectively or through its Members, is beyond reproach.
This necessarily includes ensuring that not only the content, but also the processes of
preparing and writing its own decisions, are credible and beyond question. The Vinuya
Decision must be conscientiously reviewed and not casually cast aside, if not for the
purpose of sanction, then at least for the purpose of reflection and guidance. It is an
absolutely essential step toward the establishment of a higher standard of professional
care and practical scholarship in the Bench and Bar, which are critical to improving the
system of administration of justice in the Philippines. It is also a very crucial step in
ensuring the position of the Supreme Court as the Final Arbiter of all controversies: a
position that requires competence and integrity completely above any and all reproach, in
accordance with the exacting demands of judicial and professional ethics.

With these considerations, and bearing in mind the solemn duties and trust reposed upon
them as teachers in the profession of Law, it is the opinion of the Faculty of the
University of the Philippines College of Law that:

1. The plagiarism committed in the case of Vinuya v. Executive Secretary is


unacceptable, unethical and in breach of the high standards of moral conduct and
judicial and professional competence expected of the Supreme Court;
2. Such a fundamental breach endangers the integrity and credibility of the entire
Supreme Court and undermines the foundations of the Philippine judicial system
by allowing implicitly the decision of cases and the establishment of legal
precedents through dubious means;
3. The same breach and consequent disposition of the Vinuya case does violence to
the primordial function of the Supreme Court as the ultimate dispenser of justice
to all those who have been left without legal or equitable recourse, such as the
petitioners therein;
4. In light of the extremely serious and far-reaching nature of the dishonesty and to
save the honor and dignity of the Supreme Court as an institution, it is necessary
for the ponente of Vinuya v. Executive Secretary to resign his position, without
prejudice to any other sanctions that the Court may consider appropriate;
5. The Supreme Court must take this opportunity to review the manner by which it
conducts research, prepares drafts, reaches and finalizes decisions in order to
prevent a recurrence of similar acts, and to provide clear and concise guidance to
the Bench and Bar to ensure only the highest quality of legal research and writing
in pleadings, practice, and adjudication.

Malcolm Hall, University of the Philippines College of Law, Quezon City, 27 July 2010
Statement of UP Professors. While the statement was meant to reflect the educators
opinion on the allegations of plagiarism against Justice Del Castillo, they treated such
allegation not only as an established fact, but a truth. They expressed dissatisfaction over
Justice Del Castillos explanation on how he cited the primary sources of the quoted
portions and yet arrived at a contrary conclusion to those of the authors of the articles
supposedly plagiarized. The statement bore certain remarks which raise concern for the
Court. The first paragraph concludes with a reference to the decision in Vinuya v.
Executive Secretary as a reprehensible act of dishonesty and misrepresentation by the
Highest Court of the land. The authors also not only assumed that Justice Del Castillo
committed plagiarism, they went further by directly accusing the Court of perpetrating
extraordinary injustice by dismissing the petition of the comfort women in Vinuya v.
Executive Secretary. They further attempt to educate this Court on how to go about the

review of the case. The insult to the members of the Court was aggravated by imputations
of deliberately delaying the resolution of the said case, its dismissal on the basis of
polluted sources, the Courts alleged indifference to the cause of petitioners, as well as
the supposed alarming lack of concern of the members of the Court for even the most
basic values of decency and respect.
The publication of a statement by the faculty of the UP College of Law regarding the
allegations of plagiarism and misrepresentation in the Supreme Court was totally
unnecessary, uncalled for and a rash act of misplaced vigilance. Of public knowledge is
the ongoing investigation precisely to determine the truth of such allegations. More
importantly, the motion for reconsideration of the decision alleged to contain plagiarized
materials is still pending before the Court. We made it clear in the case of In re Kelly that
any publication, pending a suit, reflecting upon the court, the jury, the parties, the officers
of the court, the counsel with reference to the suit, or tending to influence the decision of
the controversy, is contempt of court and is punishable.
The UP Law faculty would fan the flames and invite resentment against a resolution that
would not reverse the Vinuya decision. This runs contrary to their obligation as law
professors and officers of the Court to be the first to uphold the dignity and authority of
this Court, to which they owe fidelity according to the oath they have taken as attorneys,
and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice.Re: Letter of the UP Law
Faculty entitled Restoring Integrity: A Statement by the Faculty of the University
of the PhilippinesCollege of Law on the Allegations of Plagiarism
andMisrepresentation in the Supreme Court, A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC. October 19,
2010.

Leda vs. Atty. Tabang


Facts: Complainant Evangeline Leda and Respondent Atty. Trebonian Tabang contracted
marriage performed under Article 76 of the Civil Code as one of exceptional character.
The parties agreed to keep the fact of marriage a secret until after Respondent had
finished his law studies and had taken the Bar examinations, allegedly to ensure a stable
future for them. Complainant admits, though, that they had not lived together as husband
and wife. Complainant, thereafter, filed a Petition for Disbarment against respondent
alleging, among others, for having misrepresented himself as single when in truth he is
already married in his application to take the bar exam and for being not of good moral
character contrary to the certification he submitted to the Supreme Court. Respondent
averred that he and Complainant had covenanted not to disclose the marriage for the
reason that said marriage was void from the beginning in the absence of the requisites of
Article 76 of the Civil Code thus he could not have abandoned Complainant because they

had never lived together ashusband and wife and that when he applied for the 1981
Barexaminations, he honestly believed that in the eyes of the law, he was single.
Issue: Whether or not Respondent lacks of good moral character and violated the Code
of Professional Responsibility
Held: Yes, Respondent's lack of good moral character is only too evident. He has resorted
to conflicting submissions before this Court to suit himself. He has also engaged in
devious tactics with Complainant in order to serve his purpose. In so doing, he has
violated Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides that "a
lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court" as well as Rule 1001 thereof
which states that "a lawyer should do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in
Court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the court to be misled by any artifice." Courts are
entitled to expect only complete candor and honesty from the lawyers appearing and
pleading before them. Respondent, through his actuations, has been lacking in the candor
required of him not only as a member of the Bar but also as an officer of the Court.
Hence, respondent is subjected to suspension from the practice of law until further
Orders.

IN RE: PETITION TO DISQUALIFY ATTY. LEONARD DE VERA, ON LEGAL


AND MORAL GROUNDS, FROM BEING ELECTED IBP GOVERNOR
FOR EASTERN MINDANAO IN THE MAY 31, IBP ELECTIONS
OLIVER OWEN L. GARCIA, EMMANUEL RAVANERA and TONY
VELEZ, petitioners, vs. ATTY. LEONARD DE VERA And IBP BOARD OF
GOVERNORS,respondents.
DECISION
TlNGA, J.:
This is a Petition[1] filed by Attys. Oliver Owen L. Garcia, Emmanuel Ravanera and
Tony Velez, mainly seeking the disqualification of respondent Atty. Leonard De Vera
from being elected Governor of Eastern Mindanao in the 16th Intergrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) Regional Governors elections. Petitioner Garcia is the VicePresident of the Bukidnon IBP Chapter, while petitioners Ravanera and Velez are the past
President and the incumbent President, respectively, of the Misamis Oriental IBP Chapter.
The facts as culled from the pleadings of the parties follow.

The election for the 16th IBP Board of Governors (IBP Board) was set on April 26,
2003, a month prior to the IBP National Convention scheduled on May 22-24, 2003. The
election was so set in compliance with Section 39, Article VI of the IBP By Laws, which
reads:
SECTION 39. Nomination and election of the Governors. At least one month before the
national convention, the delegates from each region shall elect the governor of their
region, the choice of which shall as much as possible be rotated among the chapters in the
region.
Later on, the outgoing IBP Board, in its Resolution[2] No. XV-2003-99 dated April 16,
2003, reset the elections to May 31, 2003, or after the IBP National Convention.
Respondent De Vera, a member of the Board of Directors of the Agusan del Sur IBP
Chapter in Eastern Mindanao, along with Atty. P. Angelica Y. Santiago, President of the
IBP Rizal Chapter, sent a letter[3] dated 28 March 2003, requesting the IBP Board to
reconsider its Resolution of April 6, 2003. Their Motion was anchored on two
grounds viz. (1) adhering to the mandate of Section 39 of the IBP By Laws to hold the
election of Regional Governors at least one month prior to the national convention of the
IBP will prevent it from being politicized since post-convention elections may otherwise
lure the candidates into engaging in unacceptable political practices, and; (2) holding the
election on May 31, 2003 will render it impossible for the outgoing IBP Board from
resolving protests in the election for governors not later than May 31, 2003, as expressed
in Section 40 of the IBP By Laws, to wit:
SECTION 40. Election contests. - Any nominee desiring to contest an election shall,
within two days after the announcement of the results of the elections, file with the
President of the Integrated Bar a written protest setting forth the grounds therefor. Upon
receipt of such petition, the President shall forthwith call a special meeting of the
outgoing Board of Governors to consider and hear the protest, with due notice to the
contending parties. The decision of the Board shall be announced not later than the
following May 31, and shall be final and conclusive.
On April 26, 2003, the IBP Board denied the request for reconsideration in
its Resolution No. XV-2003-162.[4]
On May 26, 2003, after the IBP national convention had been adjourned in the
afternoon of May 24, 2003, the petitioners filed a Petition[5] dated 23 May 2003 before
the IBP Board seeking (1) the postponement of the election for Regional Governors to the
second or third week of June 2003; and (2) the disqualification of respondent De Vera
from being elected Regional Governor for Eastern Mindanao Region.
The IBP Board denied the Petition in a Resolution issued on May 29, 2003. The
pertinent portions of the Resolution read:
WHEREAS, two specific reliefs are being sought, to wit, first, the postponement of the
elections for regional governors and, second, the disqualification of Atty. Leonard de
Vera.

WHEREAS, anent the first relief sought, the Board finds no compelling justification for
the postponement of the elections especially considering that preparations and notices had
already been completed.
WHEREAS, with respect to the disqualifications of Atty. Leonard de Vera, this Board
finds the petition to be premature considering that no nomination has yet been made for
the election of IBP regional governor.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Board hereby resolves, as it hereby resolves, to deny the
petition.[6]
Probably thinking that the IBP Board had not yet acted on their Petition, on the same
date, May 29, 2003, the petitioners filed the present Petition before this Court, seeking
the same reliefs as those sought in their Petition before the IBP.
On the following day, May 30, 2003, acting upon the petitioners application, this
Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), directing the IBP Board, its agents,
representatives or persons acting in their place and stead to cease and desist from
proceeding with the election for the IBP Regional Governor in Eastern Mindanao.[7]
Citing the IBP By-Laws, the petitioners expound on the mechanics for the selection
of the IBP officers from the Chapter Officers up to the Regional Governors constituting
the IBP Board which is its highest policy-making body, as well as the underlying
dynamics, to wit:
IBP Chapter Officers headed by the President are elected for a term of two years. The
IBP Chapter Presidents in turn, elect their respective Regional Governors following the
rotation rule. The IBP has nine (9) regions, viz: Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Greater
Manila, Southern Luzon, Bicolandia, Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Eastern
Mindanao and Western Mindanao. The governors serve for a term of two (2) years
beginning on the 1st of July of the first year and ending on the 30th of June of the second
year.
From the members of the newly constituted IBP Board, an Executive Vice President
(EVP) shall be chosen, also on rotation basis. The rationale for the rotation rule in the
election of both the Regional Governors and the Vice President is to give everybody a
chance to serve the IBP, to avoid politicking and to democratize the selection process.
Finally, the National President is not elected. Under the By-Laws, whoever is the
incumbent EVP will automatically be the National President for the following term.
Petitioners elucidate that at present, all the IBP regions, except Eastern Mindanao,
have had two (2) National Presidents each. Following the rotation rule, whoever will be
elected Regional Governor for Eastern Mindanao Region in the 16th Regional Governors
elections will automatically become the EVP for the term July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005.
For the next term in turn, i.e., from July 1, 2005 to June 20, 2007, the EVP immediately
before then will automatically assume the post of IBP National President.
Petitioners asseverate that it is in this light that respondent De Vera had transferred
his IBP membership from the Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas and Muntinlupa (PPLM)

Chapter to Agusan del Sur Chapter, stressing that he indeed covets the IBP presidency.
[8]
The transfer of IBP membership to Agusan del Sur, the petitioners went on, is a brazen
abuse and misuse of the rotation rule, a mockery of the domicile rule and a great insult to
lawyers from Eastern Mindanao for it implies that there is no lawyer from the region
qualified and willing to serve the IBP.[9]
Adverting to the moral fitness required of a candidate for the offices of regional
governor, executive vice-president and national president, the petitioners submit that
respondent De Vera lacks the requisite moral aptitude. According to them, respondent De
Vera was sanctioned by the Supreme Court for irresponsibly attacking the integrity of the
SC Justices during the deliberations on the constitutionality of the plunder law. They add
that he could have been disbarred in the United States for misappropriating his clients
funds had he not surrendered his California license to practice law. Finally, they accuse
him of having actively campaigned for the position of Eastern Mindanao Governor
during the IBP National Convention held on May 22-24, 2003, a prohibited act under the
IBP By-Laws.[10]
After seeking leave of court, respondent De Vera filed on June 9, 2003 a Respectful
Comment [11] on the Petition.
In his defense, respondent De Vera raises new issues. He argues that this Court has
no jurisdiction over the present controversy, contending that the election of the Officers
of the IBP, including the determination of the qualification of those who want to serve the
organization, is purely an internal matter, governed as it is by the IBP By-Laws and
exclusively regulated and administered by the IBP. Respondent De Vera also assails the
petitioners legal standing, pointing out that the IBP By-Laws does not have a provision
for the disqualification of IBP members aspiring for the position of Regional governors,
for instead all that it provides for is only an election protest under Article IV, Section 40,
pursuant to which only a qualified nominee can validly lodge an election protest which is
to be made after, not before, the election. He posits further that following the rotation
rule, only members from the Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Sur IBP chapters are
qualified to run for Governor for Eastern Mindanao Region for the term 2003-2005, and
the petitioners who are from Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental are not thus qualified to be
nominees.[12]
Meeting the petitioners contention head on, respondent De Vera avers that an IBP
member is entitled to select, change or transfer his chapter membership. [13] He cites the
last paragraph of Section 19, Article II and Section 29-2, Article IV of the IBP By-Laws,
thus:
Article II, Section 19. Registration. - xxx Unless he otherwise registers his preference for
a particular Chapter, a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the
province, city, political subdivision or area where his office or, in the absence thereof, his
residence is located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter.
Article IV, Section 29-2. Membership- The Chapter comprises all members registered in
its membership roll. Each member shall maintain his membership until the same is
terminated on any of the grounds set forth in the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, or he

transfers his membership to another Chapter as certified by the Secretary of the latter,
provided that the transfer is made not less than three months immediately preceding any
Chapter election.
The right to transfer membership, respondent De Vera stresses, is also recognized in
Section 4, Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court which is exactly the same as the first of the
above-quoted provisions of the IBP By-Laws, thus:
Rule 139-A, Section 4. xxx Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular
Chapter, a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the province, city,
political subdivision or area where his office, or, in the absence thereof, his residence is
located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter.
Clarifying that it was upon the invitation of the officers and members of the Agusan
del Sur IBP Chapter that he transferred his IBP membership, respondent De Vera submits
that it is unfair and unkind for the petitioners to state that his membership transfer was
done for convenience and as a mere subterfuge to qualify him for the Eastern Mindanao
governorship.[14]
On the moral integrity question, respondent De Vera denies that he exhibited
disrespect to the Court or to any of its members during its deliberations on the
constitutionality of the plunder law. As for the administrative complaint filed against him
by one of his clients when he was practicing law in California, which in turn compelled
him to surrender his California license to practice law, he maintains that it cannot serve as
basis for determining his moral qualification (or lack of it) to run for the position he is
aspiring for. He explains that there is as yet no final judgment finding him guilty of the
administrative charge, as the records relied upon by the petitioners are mere preliminary
findings of a hearing referee which are recommendatory in character similar to the
recommendatory findings of an IBP Commissioner on Bar Discipline which are subject to
the review of and the final decision of the Supreme Court. He also stresses that the
complainant in the California administrative case has retracted the accusation that he
misappropriated the complainants money, but unfortunately the retraction was not
considered by the investigating officer. Finally, on the alleged politicking he committed
during the IBP National Convention held on May 22-24, 2003, he states that it is baseless
to assume that he was campaigning simply because he declared that he had 10 votes to
support his candidacy for governorship in the Eastern Mindanao Region and that the
petitioners did not present any evidence to substantiate their claim that he or his handlers
had billeted the delegates from his region at the Century Park Hotel.[15]
On July 7, 2003, the petitioners filed their Reply[16] to the Respectful Comment of
respondent De Vera who, on July 15, 2003, filed an Answer and Rejoinder.[17]
In a Resolution[18] dated 5 August 2003, the Court directed the other respondent in
this case, the IBP Board, to file its comment on the Petition. The IBP Board, through its
General Counsel, filed a Manifestation[19] dated 29 August 2003, reiterating the position
stated in its Resolution dated 29 May 2003 that it finds the petition to be premature
considering that no nomination has as yet been made for the election of IBP Regional
Governors.[20]

Based on the arguments of the parties, the following are the main issues, to wit:
(1)

whether this Court has jurisdiction over the present controversy;

(2)

whether petitioners have a cause of action against respondent De Vera,


the determination of which in turn requires the resolution of two subissues, namely:
(a) whether the petition to disqualify respondent De Vera is the proper
remedy under the IBP By-Laws; and
(b) whether the petitioners are the proper parties to bring this suit;

(3)

whether the present Petition is premature;

(4)

assuming that petitioners have a cause of action and that the present
petition is not premature, whether respondent De Vera is qualified to
run for Governor of the IBP Eastern Mindanao Region;

Anent the first issue, in his Respectful Comment respondent De Vera contends that
the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction on the present controversy. As noted earlier,
respondent De Vera submits that the election of the Officers of the IBP, including the
determination of the qualification of those who want to serve the IBP, is purely an
internal matter and exclusively within the jurisdiction of the IBP.
The contention is untenable. Section 5, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution confers
on the Supreme Court the power to promulgate rules affecting the IBP, thus:
Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:
....
(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional
rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the
practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and the legal assistance to the
underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive
procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of
the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.
Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain
effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court. (Emphasis supplied)
Implicit in this constitutional grant is the power to supervise all the activities of the
IBP, including the election of its officers.
The authority of the Supreme Court over the IBP has its origins in the 1935
Constitution. Section 13, Art. VIII thereof granted the Supreme Court the power to
promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law. It reads:
SECTION 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning
pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law.
Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish,

increase, or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and
procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared Rules of Courts, subject to the
power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the
power to repeal, alter or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
The above-quoted sections in both the 1987 and 1935 Constitution and the similarly
worded provision in the intervening 1973 Constitution [21] through all the years have been
the sources of this Courts authority to supervise individual members of the Bar. The term
Bar refers to the collectivity of all persons whose names appear in the Roll of
Attorneys.[22]Pursuant to this power of supervision, the Court initiated the integration of
the Philippine Bar by creating on October 5, 1970 the Commission on Bar Integration,
which was tasked to ascertain the advisability of unifying the Philippine Bar.[23] Not long
after, Republic Act No. 6397[24] was enacted and it confirmed the power of the Supreme
Court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar. Finally, on January 1, 1973, in
the per curiam Resolution of this Court captioned In the Matter of the Integration of the
Bar to the Philippines, we ordained the Integration of the Philippine Bar in accordance
with Rule 139-A, of the Rules of Court, which we promulgated pursuant to our rulemaking power under the 1935 Constitution.
The IBP By-Laws, the document invoked by respondent De Vera in asserting IBP
independence from the Supreme Court, ironically recognizes the full range of the power
of supervision of the Supreme Court over the IBP. For one, Section 77 [25] of the IBP ByLaws vests on the Court the power to amend, modify or repeal the IBP By-Laws,
either motu propio or upon recommendation of the Board of Governors of the IBP. Also
in Section 15,[26] the Court is authorized to send observers in IBP elections, whether local
or national. Section 44[27] empowers the Court to have the final decision on the removal of
the members of the Board of Governors.
On the basis of its power of supervision over the IBP, the Supreme Court looked into
the irregularities which attended the 1989 elections of the IBP National Officers. In Bar
Matter No. 491 entitled In the Matter of the Inquiry into the 1989 Elections of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines the Court formed a committee to make an inquiry into
the 1989 elections. The results of the investigation showed that the elections were marred
by irregularities, with the principal candidates for election committing acts in violation of
Section 14 of the IBP By-Laws.28 The Court invalidated the elections and directed the
conduct of special elections, as well as explicitly disqualified from running thereat the
IBP members who were found involved in the irregularities in the elections, in order to
impress upon the participants, in that electoral exercise the seriousness of the
misconduct which attended it and the stern disapproval with which it is viewed by this
Court, and to restore the non-political character of the IBP and reduce, if not entirely
eliminate, expensive electioneering.
The Court likewise amended several provisions of the IBP By-Laws. First, it
removed direct election by the House of Delegates of the (a) officers of the House of
Delegates; (b) IBP President; and (c) Executive Vice-President (EVP). Second, it restored
the former system of the IBP Board choosing the IBP President and the Executive Vice
President (EVP) from among themselves on a rotation basis (Section 47 of the By-Laws,

as amended) and the automatic succession by the EVP to the position of the President
upon the expiration of their common two-year term. Third, it amended Sections 37 and
39 by providing that the Regional Governors shall be elected by the members of their
respective House of Delegates and that the position of Regional Governor shall be rotated
among the different chapters in the region.
The foregoing considerations demonstrate the power of the Supreme Court over the
IBP and establish without doubt its jurisdiction to hear and decide the present
controversy.
In support of its stance on the second issue that the petitioners have no cause of
action against him, respondent De Vera argues that the IBP By-Laws does not allow
petitions to disqualify candidates for Regional Governors since what it authorizes are
election protests or post-election cases under Section 40 thereof which reads:
SECTION 40. Election contests. - Any nominee desiring to contest an election shall,
within two days after the announcement of the results of the elections, file with the
President of the Integrated Bar a written protest setting forth the grounds therefor. Upon
receipt of such petition, the President shall forthwith call a special meeting of the
outgoing Board of Governors to consider and hear the protest, with due notice to the
contending parties. The decision of the Board shall be announced not later than the
following May 31, and shall be final and conclusive.
Indeed, there is nothing in the present IBP By-Laws which sanctions the
disqualification of candidates for IBP governors. The remedy it provides for questioning
the elections is the election protest. But this remedy, as will be shown later, is not
available to just anybody.
Before its amendment in 1989, the IBP By-Laws allowed the disqualification of
nominees for the position of regional governor. This was carefully detailed in the former
Section 39(4) of the IBP By-Laws, to wit:
SECTION 39 (4) Disqualification proceedings. - Any question relating to the eligibility
of a candidate must be raised prior to the casting of ballots, and shall be immediately
decided by the Chairman. An appeal from such decision may be taken to the Delegates in
attendance who shall forthwith resolve the appeal by plurality vote. Voting shall be by
raising of hands. The decision of the Delegates shall be final, and the elections shall
thereafter proceed. Recourse to the Board of Governors may be had in accordance with
Section 40.
The above-quoted sub-section was part of the provisions on nomination and election
of the Board of Governors. Before, members of the Board were directly elected by the
members of the House of Delegates at its annual convention held every other year.29 The
election was a two-tiered process. First, the Delegates from each region chose by secret
plurality vote, not less than two nor more than five nominees for the position of Governor
for their Region. The names of all the nominees, arranged by region and in alphabetical
order, were written on the board within the full view of the House, unless complete
mimeographed copies of the lists were distributed to all the Delegates. 30 Thereafter, each

Delegate, or, in his absence, his alternate voted for only one nominee for Governor for
each Region.31 The nominee from every Region receiving the highest number of votes
was declared and certified elected by the Chairman.32
In the aftermath of the controversy which arose during the 1989 IBP elections, this
Court deemed it best to amend the nomination and election processes for Regional
Governors. The Court localized the elections, i.e, each Regional Governor is nominated
and elected by the delegates of the concerned region, and adopted the rotation process
through the following provisions, to wit:
SECTION 37: Composition of the Board. - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines shall be
governed by a Board of Governors consisting of nine (9) Governors from the nine (9)
regions as delineated in Section 3 of the Integration Rule, on the representation basis of
one Governor for each region to be elected by the members of the House of Delegates
from that region only. The position of Governor should be rotated among the different
chapters in the region.
SECTION 39: Nomination and election of the Governors. - At least one (1) month before
the national convention the delegates from each region shall elect the governor for their
region, the choice of which shall as much as possible be rotated among the chapters in the
region.
The changes adopted by the Court simplified the election process and thus made it
less controversial. The grounds for disqualification were reduced, if not totally eradicated,
for the pool from which the Delegates may choose their nominees is diminished as the
rotation process operates.
The simplification of the process was in line with this Courts vision of an Integrated
Bar which is non-political33 and effective in the discharge of its role in elevating the
standards of the legal profession, improving the administration of justice and contributing
to the growth and progress of the Philippine society.34
The effect of the new election process convinced this Court to remove the provision
on disqualification proceedings. Consequently, under the present IBP By-Laws, the
instant petition has no firm ground to stand on.
Respondent De Vera likewise asseverates that under the aforequoted Section 40 of
the IBP By-Laws, petitioners are not the proper persons to bring the suit for they are not
qualified to be nominated in the elections of regional governor for Eastern Mindanao. He
argues that following the rotation rule under Section 39 of the IBP By-Laws as amended,
only IBP members from Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte are qualified to be
nominated.
Truly, with the applicability of Section 40 of the IBP By-Laws to the present petition,
petitioners are not the proper parties to bring the suit. As provided in the aforesaid
section, only nominees can file with the President of the IBP a written protest setting
forth the grounds therefor. As claimed by respondent De Vera, and not disputed by
petitioners, only IBP members from Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte are qualified
to be nominated and elected at the election for the 16th Regional Governor of Eastern

Mindanao. This is pursuant to the rotation rule enunciated in the aforequoted Sections 37
and 38 of the IBP By-Laws. Petitioner Garcia is from Bukidnon IBP Chapter while the
other petitioners, Ravanera and Velez, are from the Misamis Oriental IBP Chapter.
Consequently, the petitioners are not even qualified to be nominated at the forthcoming
election.
On the third issue relating to the ripeness or prematurity of the present petition.
This Court is one with the IBP Board in its position that it is premature for the
petitioners to seek the disqualification of respondent De Vera from being elected IBP
Governor for the Eastern Mindanao Region. Before a member is elected governor, he has
to be nominated first for the post. In this case, respondent De Vera has not been
nominated for the post. In fact, no nomination of candidates has been made yet by the
members of the House of Delegates from Eastern Mindanao. Conceivably too, assuming
that respondent De Vera gets nominated, he can always opt to decline the nomination.
Petitioners contend that respondent de Vera is disqualified for the post because he is
not really from Eastern Mindanao. His place of residence is in Paraaque and he was
originally a member of the PPLM IBP Chapter. He only changed his IBP Chapter
membership to pave the way for his ultimate goal of attaining the highest IBP post, which
is the national presidency. Petitioners aver that in changing his IBP membership,
respondent De Vera violated the domicile rule.
The contention has no merit. Under the last paragraph of Section 19 Article II, a
lawyer included in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court can register with the
particular IBP Chapter of his preference or choice, thus:
Section 19. Registration. ....
Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular Chapter, a lawyer
shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the province, city, political
subdivision or area where his office or, in the absence thereof, his residence is
located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter.
(Underscoring supplied)
It is clearly stated in the afore-quoted section of the By-Laws that it is not automatic
that a lawyer will become a member of the chapter where his place of residence or work
is located. He has the discretion to choose the particular chapter where he wishes to gain
membership. Only when he does not register his preference that he will become a
member of the Chapter of the place where he resides or maintains his office. The only
proscription in registering ones preference is that a lawyer cannot be a member of more
than one chapter at the same time.
The same is provided in Section 29-2 of the IBP By-Laws. In fact, under this
Section, transfer of IBP membership is allowed as long as the lawyer complies with the
conditions set forth therein, thus:

SECTION 29-2. Membership - The Chapter comprises all members registered in its
membership roll. Each member shall maintain his membership until the same is
terminated on any of the grounds set forth in the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, or he
transfers his membership to another Chapter as certified by the Secretary of the latter,
provided that the transfer is made not less than three months immediately preceding any
Chapter election.
The only condition required under the foregoing rule is that the transfer must be
made not less than three months prior to the election of officers in the chapter to which
the lawyer wishes to transfer.
In the case at bar, respondent De Vera requested the transfer of his IBP membership
to Agusan del Sur on 1 August 2001. One month thereafter, IBP National Secretary Jaime
M. Vibar wrote a letter35 addressed to Atty. Amador Z. Tolentino, Jr., Secretary of IBP
PPLM Chapter and Atty. Lyndon J. Romero, Secretary of IBP Agusan del Sur Chapter,
informing them of respondent De Veras transfer and advising them to make the
necessary notation in their respective records. This letter is a substantial compliance with
the certification mentioned in Section 29-2 as aforequoted. Note that De Veras transfer
was made effective sometime between August 1, 2001 and September 3, 2001. On
February 27, 2003, the elections of the IBP Chapter Officers were simultaneously held all
over the Philippines, as mandated by Section 29-12.a of the IBP By-Laws which provides
that elections of Chapter Officers and Directors shall be held on the last Saturday of
February of every other year.36 Between September 3, 2001 and February 27, 2003,
seventeen months had elapsed. This makes respondent De Veras transfer valid as it was
done more than three months ahead of the chapter elections held on February 27, 2003.
Petitioners likewise claim that respondent De Vera is disqualified because he is not
morally fit to occupy the position of governor of Eastern Mindanao.
We are not convinced. As long as an aspiring member meets the basic requirements
provided in the IBP By-Laws, he cannot be barred. The basic qualifications for one who
wishes to be elected governor for a particular region are: (1) he is a member in good
standing of the IBP;37 2) he is included in the voters list of his chapter or he is not
disqualified by the Integration Rule, by the By-Laws of the Integrated Bar, or by the ByLaws of the Chapter to which he belongs;38 (3) he does not belong to a chapter from
which a regional governor has already been elected, unless the election is the start of a
new season or cycle;39 and (4) he is not in the government service.40
There is nothing in the By-Laws which explicitly provides that one must be morally
fit before he can run for IBP governorship. For one, this is so because the determination
of moral fitness of a candidates lies in the individual judgment of the members of the
House of Delegates. Indeed, based on each members standard of morality, he is free to
nominate and elect any member, so long as the latter possesses the basic requirements
under the law. For another, basically the disqualification of a candidate involving lack of
moral fitness should emanate from his disbarment or suspension from the practice of law
by this Court, or conviction by final judgment of an offense which involves moral
turpitude.

Petitioners, in assailing the morality of respondent De Vera on the basis of the


alleged sanction imposed by the Supreme Court during the deliberation on the
constitutionality of the plunder law, is apparently referring to this Courts Decision dated
29 July 2002 in In Re: Published Alleged Threats Against Members of the Court in the
Plunder Law Case Hurled by Atty. Leonard De Vera.41 In this case, respondent De Vera
was found guilty of indirect contempt of court and was imposed a fine in the amount of
Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) for his remarks contained in two newspaper
articles published in the Inquirer. Quoted hereunder are the pertinent portions of the
report, with De Veras statements written in italics.
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
Tuesday, November 6, 2001
Erap camp blamed for oust-Badoy maneuvers
Plunder Law
De Vera asked the Supreme Court to dispel rumors that it would vote in favor of a
petition filed by Estradas lawyers to declare the plunder law unconstitutional for its
supposed vagueness.
De Vera said he and his group were greatly disturbed by the rumors from Supreme
Court insiders.
Reports said that Supreme Court justices were tied 6-6 over the constitutionality of the
Plunder Law, with two other justices still undecided and uttered most likely to inhibit,
said Plunder Watch, a coalition formed by civil society and militant groups to monitor the
prosecution of Estrada.
We are afraid that the Estrada camps effort to coerce, bribe, or influence the justicesconsidering that it has a P500 million slush fund from the aborted power grab that Maywill most likely result in a pro-Estrada decision declaring the Plunder Law either
unconstitutional or vague, the group said.42
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
Monday, November 19, 2001
SC under pressure from Erap pals, foes
Xxx
People are getting dangerously, passionate.. .emotionally charged. said lawyer Leonard
De Vera of the Equal Justice for All Movement and a leading member of the Estrada
Resign movement.

He voiced his concern that a decision by the high tribunal rendering the plunder law
unconstitutional would trigger mass actions, probably more massive than those that led
to People Power II.
Xxx
De Vera warned of a crisis far worse than the jueteng scandal that led to People Power
II if the rumor turned out to be true.
People wouldnt just swallow any Supreme Court decision that is basically wrong.
Sovereignty must prevail. 43
In his Explanation submitted to the Court, respondent De Vera admitted to have
made said statements but denied to have uttered the same to degrade the Court, to
destroy public confidence in it and to bring it into disrepute. 44 He explained that he was
merely exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech.
The Court found the explanation unsatisfactory and held that the statements were
aimed at influencing and threatening the Court to decide in favor of the constitutionality
of the Plunder Law.45
The ruling cannot serve as a basis to consider respondent De Vera immoral. The act
for which he was found guilty of indirect contempt does not involve moral turpitude.
In Tak Ng v. Republic of the Philippines 46 cited in Villaber v. Commission on
Elections,47 the Court defines moral turpitude as an act of baseness, vileness or depravity
in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general,
contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man, or
conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals. 48 The determination of
whether an act involves moral turpitude is a factual issue and frequently depends on the
circumstances attending the violation of the statute.49
In this case, it cannot be said that the act of expressing ones opinion on a public
interest issue can be considered as an act of baseness, vileness or depravity. Respondent
De Vera did not bring suffering nor cause undue injury or harm to the public when he
voiced his views on the Plunder Law.50 Consequently, there is no basis for petitioner to
invoke the administrative case as evidence of respondent De Veras alleged immorality.
On the administrative complaint that was filed against respondent De Vera while he
was still practicing law in California, he explained that no final judgment was rendered
by the California Supreme Court finding him guilty of the charge. He surrendered his
license to protest the discrimination he suffered at the hands of the investigator and he
found it impractical to pursue the case to the end. We find these explanations satisfactory
in the absence of contrary proof. It is a basic rule on evidence that he who alleges a fact
has the burden to prove the same.51 In this case, the petitioners have not shown how the
administrative complaint affects respondent De Veras moral fitness to run for governor.
Finally, on the allegation that respondent de Vera or his handlers had housed the
delegates from Eastern Mindanao in the Century Park Hotel to get their support for his

candidacy, again petitioners did not present any proof to substantiate the same. It must be
emphasized that bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are not equivalent to proof
under our Rules of Court.52
WHEREFORE, the Petition to disqualify respondent Atty. Leonard De Vera to run
for the position of IBP Governor for Eastern Mindanao in the 16th election of the IBP
Board of Governors is hereby DISMISSED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued by
this Court on 30 May 2003 which enjoined the conduct of the election for the IBP
Regional Governor in Eastern Mindanao is hereby LIFTED. Accordingly, the IBP Board
of Governors is hereby ordered to hold said election with proper notice and with
deliberate speed.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval-Gutierrez,
Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna, JJ., concur.
Ynares-Santiago, J., no part

Balaoing vs. Calderon


FACTS:
1. SEVERAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST BALAOING.
1. BALAOING vs. JUDGE DOJILLO
i. Balaoing was required to show why he should not be
disciplinarily dealt for suppressing certain material facts of which
he was charged with knowledge and for having engaged in forumshopping.

ii. Balaoings motion for reconsideration was denied, his


explanation was declared unsatisfactory and he was severely
censured for having instituted a patently unfounded and frivolous
admin action and warned that the commission of same conduct will
be dealt more severely.
1. BALAOING vs. JUDGE MALIWANAG
i. Grave misconduct for failure and regusal to issue
corresponding write of action (pending appeal) prayed for by
complainant in his motion in civil case, ZABALA vs. BUENO.
ii. Balaoings use of unsavory, defamatory and offensive
language against Judge brought dismissal to the complaint, 1-year
suspension and P1000 fine for violation of canons.
1. 2 MORE COMPLAINTS: CALDERON AND MALIWANAG.
i. BALAOING: filed complaint against CALDERON for
grave abuse of authority and malicious delay in administration of
justice.
1. CALDERON does not follow the Circular and merely
treats it as directory; practice of Judge to automatically
grant postponements and deferment of hearing of cases to a
later hour whenever his OIC makes a manifestation in open
court that a certain lawyer or party called up requesting that
his case be postponed.
2. Judge drinks a lot and fraternizes openly.
3. Delayed cases:
a. Allowed defendants to keep postponing hearings
more than 1 year.
b. Cahoots with deputy sheriff, unlawfully prevented
implementation of writ of Possession.
4. Charged both CALDERON AND OIC, MANIAGO with
misconduct, grave abuse of authority and malicious delay
in admin of justice.
5. OIC MANIAGO alleges BALAOING calling her
notorious, swindler, insane.
ii. CALDERON: Balaoing won a foreclosure case and
became the highest bidder in the public auction, Certificate of Sale
was issued and registered.
1. He prevented the writ of Possession dude to prejudice.
a. Gavilans widow (former owner), Alice and
children were residing in the properties; period to
redeem the properties had not yet expired.

2. When redemption period elapsed, he issued write of


possession but up to present time, Balaoing has not yet
taken possession and showed his disinterest.
iii. MALIWANAG
denied
BALAOING
allegation,
judgment is based on equity and justice against injustice by a
lawyer on the unlearned and poor couple from Baguio.
ISSUE:
WON Balaoings admin complaints hold merit? NO.
Is Balaoing guilty of gross misconduct? YES.
HELD:
ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINTS DISMISSED. BALAOING DISBARRED.
1. CANON 11: Lawyer shall observe and maintain respect due to the courts and to judicial
officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.
1. Rule 11.03: Lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
behavior before Courts.
2. Rule 11.04: Lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by record or have
no materiality to the case.
1. Complaints are based on his personal interpretation of the law and not on material
allegations of fact, substantiated by evidence.

ROXAS V. DE ZUZUARREGUI, JR
Facts:
The Zuzuarreguis engaged the legal services of Attys. Romeo G.
Roxas and Santiago N. Pastor, to represent them in the case. This was
sealed by a Letter-Agreement, wherein it was contained that the
attorneys would endeavor to secure just compensation with the NHA
and other government agencies at a price of 11pesos or more per
square meter, and that any lower amount shall not entitle them to any
attys fees. They also stipulated that in the event they get it for
11pesos per square meter, their contingent fee shall be 30% of the just
compensation. They also stipulated that their lawyers fees shall be in
proportion to the cash/bonds ratio of the just compensation.
[]

A Compromise Agreement was executed between the


Zuzuarreguis and the NHA. The Compromise Agreement, stipulated
among other things, that the just compensation of the Zuzuarregui
properties would be at P19.50 per square meter payable in NHA Bonds.
In a Decision dated 20 December 1985, the RTC, approved the
Compromise Agreement submitted by the parties.
The total amount in NHA bonds released to Atty. Romeo G. Roxas
in behalf of the Zuzuarreguis amounted to P54,500,000.00. Out of this
amount, the records show that the amount turned over to the
Zuzuarreguis by Atty. Roxas amounted to P30,520,000.00 (representing
the actual just compensation, although this amount is bigger) in NHA
bonds.
Computed at P19.50 per square meter, the 1,790,570.36 square
meters property of the Zuzuarreguis was expropriated at a total price
of P34,916,122.00. The total amount released by the NHA was
P54,500,000.00. The difference of P19,583,878.00 is, undoubtedly, the
yield on the bonds.
On 25 August 1987, a letter was sent by the Zuzuarreguis new
counsel, Jose F. Gonzalez, to Attys. Roxas and Pastor, demanding that
the latter deliver to the Zuzuarreguis the yield corresponding to bonds
paid by the NHA within a period of 10 days from receipt, under pain of
administrative, civil and/or criminal action.
Issue:
The honorable court of appeals gravely erred on a question of
law in holding that the letter-agreement re: contingent fees cannot be
allowed to stand as the law between the parties
Held:
A contract is a meeting of the minds between two persons
whereby one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give
something or to render some service. Contracts shall be obligatory, in
whatever form they may have been entered into, provided all the
essential requisites for their validity are present. The Zuzuarreguis, in
entering into the Letter-Agreement, fully gave their consent thereto. In
fact, it was them (the Zuzuarreguis) who sent the said letter to Attys.
Roxas and Pastor, for the purpose of confirming all the matters which
they had agreed upon previously. There is absolutely no evidence to
show that anybody was forced into entering into the Letter-Agreement.
Verily, its existence, due execution and contents were admitted by the
Zuzuarreguis themselves.
In the presence of a contract for professional services duly
executed by the parties thereto, the same becomes the law between
the said parties is not absolute but admits an exception that the
stipulations therein are not contrary to law, good morals, good
customs, public policy or public order.

Under the contract in question, Attys. Roxas and Pastor are to


receive contingent fees for their professional services. It is a deeplyrooted rule that contingent fees are not per se prohibited by law. They
are sanctioned by Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics.
A contract for contingent fee, where sanctioned by law, should
be reasonable under all the circumstances of the case including the
risk and uncertainty of the compensation, but should always be subject
to the supervision of a court, as to its reasonableness.
Indubitably entwined with the lawyers duty to charge only
reasonable fees is the power of this Court to reduce the amount of
attorneys fees if the same is excessive and unconscionable.
Attorneys fees are unconscionable if they affront ones sense of
justice, decency or reasonableness. It becomes axiomatic therefore,
that power to determine the reasonableness or the, unconscionable
character of attorney's fees stipulated by the parties is a matter falling
within the regulatory prerogative of the courts.
In the instant case, Attys. Roxas and Pastor received an amount
which was equal to forty-four percent (44%) of the just compensation
paid (including the yield on the bonds) by the NHA to the Zuzuarreguis,
or an amount equivalent to P23,980,000.00 of the P54,500,000.00.
Considering that there was no full blown hearing in the expropriation
case, ending as it did in a Compromise Agreement, the 44% is,
undeniably, unconscionable and excessive under the circumstances. Its
reduction is, therefore, in order.
It is imperative that the contingent fees received by Attys. Roxas
and Pastor must be equitably reduced. In the opinion of this Court, the
yield that corresponds to the percentage share of the Zuzuarreguis in
the P19.50 per square meter just compensation paid by the NHA must
be returned by Attys. Roxas and Pastor.
The yield on the NHA bonds amounted to P19,583,878.00. This amount
must therefore be divided between the Zuzuarreguis, on the one hand,
and Attys. Roxas and Pastor, on the other. The division must be pro
rata. Attys. Roxas and Pastor, in the opinion of this Court, were not
shortchanged for their efforts for they would still be earning or actually
earned attorneys fees in the amount of P6,987,078.75
On the issue of moral and exemplary damages, we cannot award
the same for there was no direct showing of bad faith on the part of
Attys. Roxas and Pastor, for as we said earlier, contingency fees are not
per se prohibited by law. It is only necessary that it be reduced when
excessive and unconscionable, which we have already done.
PABLO R. OLIVARES and/or OLIVARES REALTY
CORPORATION, Complainants,
vs.
ATTY. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, JR., Respondent.

RESOLUTION
CORONA, J.:
This is a complaint1 for disbarment and suspension2 against respondent Atty. Arsenio C.
Villalon, Jr. by Pablo R. Olivares and/or Olivares Realty Corporation for violation of
Rule 12.02, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the rule on forum
shopping.
In his complaint, Olivares alleged that respondents client, Sarah Divina Morales AlRasheed, repeatedly sued him for violations of the lease contract which they executed
over a commercial apartment in Olivares Building in Paraaque.3
In 1993, Al-Rasheed filed an action for damages and prohibition with prayer for
preliminary mandatory injunction in the Regional Trial Court of Manila. 4 The case was
dismissed for improper venue.5
Six years later, on July 1, 1999, Al-Rasheed filed an action for breach of contract with
damages in the Regional Trial Court of Paraaque, Branch 274. 6 The case, docketed as
Civil Case No. 99-0233, was dismissed for failure to prosecute. 7 Al-Rasheed, through
counsel Atty. Villalon, sought a review of the order dismissing Civil Case No. 99-0233
but the Court of Appeals did not give due course to her appeal. 8 The subsequent petition
for review on certiorari filed in the Supreme Court was likewise denied. 9
On January 29, 2004, Al-Rasheed re-filed the 1999 suit in the Regional Trial Court of
Paraaque, Branch 27410where it was docketed as Civil Case No. 0J-04-009.11 It was
dismissed on the grounds of res judicata and prescription.12
Respondent, on the other hand, asserts that he was only performing his legal obligation as
a lawyer to protect and prosecute the interests of his client. 13 He denied that he was forum
shopping as his client, in her certificate of non-forum shopping, 14 disclosed the two
previous cases involving the same cause of action which had been filed and
dismissed.15 Respondent further claims he could not refuse his clients request to file a
new case because Al-Rasheed was the "oppressed party" in the transaction.16
This Court referred the complaint, together with respondents comment, to the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation.17
The Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of the IBP found that respondent assisted AlRasheed in repeatedly suing Olivares for the same cause of action and subject matter.18 It
opined that respondent should have noted that the 1999 case was dismissed for lack of
interest to prosecute.19 Under Rule 17, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, such dismissal had
the effect of an adjudication on the merits.20 The CBD recommended the suspension of
respondent for six months with a warning that any similar infraction in the future would
be dealt with more severely.21

The IBP adopted and approved the findings of the CBD that respondent violated Rule
12.02, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility as well as the proscription on
forum shopping. It, however, modified the recommended penalty to reprimand.22
We adopt the findings of the IBP except its recommendation as to the
penalty.1a\^/phi1.net
All lawyers must bear in mind that their oaths are neither mere words nor an empty
formality. When they take their oath as lawyers, they dedicate their lives to the pursuit of
justice. They accept the sacred trust to uphold the laws of the land. 23 As the first Canon
of the Code of Professional Responsibility states, "[a] lawyer shall uphold the
constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal
processes."24 Moreover, according to the lawyers oath they took, lawyers should "not
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid
nor consent to the same."25
With all this in mind, respondent should have refrained from filing the second complaint
against Olivares. He ought to have known that the previous dismissal was with prejudice
since it had the effect of an adjudication on the merits. There was no excuse not to know
this elementary principle of procedural law.
The facts of this case reveal that Atty. Villalon purposely filed the second complaint.
Respondent appealed the 1999 case to the Court of Appeals and subsequently to this
Court. Both actions were dismissed for lack of merit, not on mere technicality. The
certificate of non-forum shopping attached to the 2004 complaint disclosed that AlRasheed previously sued Olivares for violating their lease contract. As if such disclosure
was a sufficient justification, Atty. Villalon unapologetically reproduced his
199926 arguments and assertions in the 200427complaint. Respondent obviously knew the
law and tried to go around it. This Court therefore concludes that respondent willfully
violated Rule 12.02, Canon 12 which provides that:
A lawyer shall not file multiple actions arising from the same cause.
Furthermore, he violated Rule 10.03, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility:
A lawyer shall observe the rules of procedure and shall not misuse them to defeat the
ends of justice.
A lawyers fidelity to his client must not be pursued at the expense of truth and
justice.28 Lawyers have the duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of
justice. Filing multiple actions constitutes an abuse of the Courts processes. It constitutes
improper conduct that tends to impede, obstruct and degrade justice. Those who file
multiple or repetitive actions subject themselves to disciplinary action for incompetence
or willful violation of their duties as attorneys to act with all good fidelity to the courts,

and to maintain only such actions that appear to be just and consistent with truth and
honor.29
Everything considered, this Court finds that a reprimand is insufficient and rules instead
that CBDs recommendation for a six-month suspension from the practice of law to be
more commensurate to the violation committed. However, in view of respondents death
on September 27, 2006,30 the penalty can no longer be imposed on him. This development
has, in effect, rendered this disciplinary case moot and academic.
SO ORDERED.

Nunez v Ricafort (382 SCRA 381)


Facts:
An administrative complaint was by Soledad Nuez, a septuagenarian
represented by her attorney-in-fact Ananias B. Co, Jr., seeking the
disbarment of Atty. Romulo Ricafort on the ground of grave
misconduct.
Sometime in October 1982, Soledad authorized Atty. Ricafort to sell her
two parcels of land located in Legazpi City for P40,000. She agreed to

the lawyer 10% of the price as commission. Atty. Ricafort succeeded in


selling the lots, but despite Soledads repeated demands, he did not
turn over the proceeds of the sale. This forced Soledad to file an action
for a sum of money before the RTC, Quezon City.
The court rendered its decision ordering the Atty. to pay Soledad the
sum of P16,000 as principal obligation, with at the legal rate from the
date of the commencement of the action.
An appeal to the CA was made. However, the appeal was dismissed for
failure to pay the required docket fee within the reglementary period
despite notice.
Soledad filed a motion for the issuance of an alias writ of execution.
But it appears that only a partial satisfaction of the P16,000 judgment
was made, leaving P13,800 unsatisfied. In payment for the latter, Atty.
issued four postdated checks but was dishonored because the account
against which they were drawn was closed.
Hence, Soledad was forced to file four criminal complaints for violation
of B.P. Blg. 22 before the MTC, Quezon City.
In a joint affidavit, Atty. Ricafort admitted having drawn and issued said
four postdated checks in favor of Soledad. Allegedly believing in good
faith that said checks had already been encashed by Soledad, he
subsequently closed his checking account in China Banking
Corporation, Legazpi City, from which said four checks were drawn. He
was not notified that the checks were dishonored. Had he been
notified, he would have made the necessary arrangements with the
bank.
The court required Atty. to comment on the complaint. But he never did
despite the favorable action on his three motions for extension of time
to file the comment. His failure to do so compelled Soledad to file a
motion to cite Atty. in contempt on the ground that his strategy to file
piecemeal motions for extension of time to submit the comment
smacks of a delaying tactic scheme that is unworthy of a member of
the bar and a law dean.
The IBP findings show that the Atty. had no intention to honor the
money judgment against him. It recommended that Atty. be declared
guilty of misconduct in his dealings with complainant and be
suspended from the practice of law for at least one year and pay the
amount of the checks issued to the complainant.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Romulo Ricafort is guilty of grave misconduct in
his dealings with complainant.
Held:
YES. There is a blatant violation of Rule 1:01 of Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides:
A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest and immoral or
deceitful conduct.
By violating Rule 1:01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional

Responsibility, Atty. diminished public confidence in the law and the


lawyers. Instead of promoting such confidence and respect, he
miserably failed to live up to the standards of the legal profession.
His act of issuing bad checks in satisfaction of the alias writ of
execution for money judgment rendered by the trial court was a clear
attempt to defeat the ends of justice. His failure to make good the
checks despite demands and the criminal cases for violation of B.P. Blg.
22 showed his continued defiance of judicial processes, which he, as an
officer of the court, was under continuing duty to uphold.
To further demonstrate his very low regard for the courts and judicial
processes, he even had the temerity of making a mockery of the
courts generosity to him. We granted his three motions for extension
of time to file his comment on the complaint in this case. Yet, not only
did he fail to file the comment, he as well did not even bother to
explain such failure notwithstanding our resolution declaring him as
having waived the filing of the comment. To the SC, Atty. openly
showed a high degree of irresponsibility amounting to willful
disobedience to its lawful orders.
Atty. Ricafort then knowingly and willfully violated Rules 12.04 and
12:03 of Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility stating
that:
Lawyers should avoid any action that would unduly delay a case,
impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court processes; and
that lawyers, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings,
memoranda or briefs, should not let the period lapse without
submitting the same or offering an explanation for their failure to do
so.
The SC indefinitely suspended Atty. Ricafort from the practice of law
and directed to pay Soledad P13,800.

DOLORES C. BELLEZA, Complainant, vs. ATTY. ALAN S.


MACASA, Respondent.
A.C. No. 7815
July 23, 2009
FACTS:
Complainant availed of respondents legal services in connection with the case of her son.
He then paid P30, 000 for Attorneys fees in three installments but respondent did not
issue any receipt. Respondent also received P18,000 from complainant as a bond to
secure the provisional liberty of the latters son. Again, respondent did not issue any
receipt. Complainant later found out that respondent did not remit the amount to the
court.
Complainant demanded the return of the P18,000 from respondent on several occasions
but the latter ignored her. Moreover, respondent failed to act on the case of complainants
son and complainant was forced to avail of the services of the Public Attorneys Office
for her sons defense. Thereafter, complainant filed a verified complaint for disbarment.
ISSUE: WON respondent should be disbarred.
RULING:
After accepting the criminal case against complainants son and receiving his attorneys
fees, respondent did nothing that could be considered as effective and efficient legal
assistance. For all intents and purposes, respondent abandoned the cause of his client.
Indeed, on account of respondents continued inaction, complainant was compelled to
seek the services of the Public Attorneys Office. Respondents lackadaisical attitude
towards the case of complainants son was reprehensible. Not only did it prejudice
complainants son, it also deprived him of his constitutional right to counsel.
Furthermore, in failing to use the amount entrusted to him for posting a bond to secure
the provisional liberty of his client, respondent unduly impeded the latters constitutional
right to bail.
Furthermore, respondent never denied receiving P18,000 from complainant for the
purpose of posting a bond to secure the provisional liberty of her son. He never used the
money for its intended purpose yet also never returned it to the client. Worse, he
unjustifiably refused to turn over the amount to complainant despite the latters repeated
demands.
Respondent Atty. Alan S. Macasa is hereby found GUILTY not only of dishonesty but
also of professional misconduct x x x He is therefore DISBARRED from the practice of
law effective immediately.

CONRADO QUE vs ATTY. ANASTACIO REVILLA, JR.


Facts:
In a complaint for disbarment Conrado Que (complainant) accused Atty.
Anastacio RevillaJr. (respondent) before the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines Committee on Bar Discipline(IBP Committee on Bar
Discipline or CBD) of committing the following violations of the
provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule 138 of
the Rules of Court.Complainant alleged the respondents commission of
forum-shopping by filing the subject cases in order to impede, obstruct,
and frustrate the efficient administration of justice for his own personal
gain and to defeat the right of the complainant and his siblings to
execute the MeTC and RTC judgments in the unlawful detainer case. In
his Answer, the respondent declared that he is a member of the
Kalayaan Development Cooperative (KDC) that handles pro bono cases
for the underprivileged, the less fortunate, the homeless and those
marginalized sector in Metro Manila. He agreed to take over the cases
formerly handled by other KDC members. Investigating Commissioner
ruled that the act of the respondent in filing two petitions for
annulment of title, a petition for annulment of judgment and later on
apetition for declaratory relief were all done to prevent the execution
of the final judgment in the unlawful detainer case and constituted
prohibited forum-shopping.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of forum shopping
Held:
YES. Respondent is guilty of forum shopping. Respondent violated Rule
12.02 and Rule12.04, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, as well as the rule against forum shopping, both of
which are directed against the filing of multiple actions to attain the
same objective. Both violations constitute abuse of court processes
they tend to degrade the administration of justice; wreak havoc on
orderly judicial procedure; and add to the congestion of the heavily
burdened dockets of the courts.While the filing of a petition for
certiorari to question the lower courts jurisdiction may be a
procedurally legitimate (but substantially erroneous) move, the
respondents subsequent petitions involving the same property and the
same parties not only demonstrate his attempts to secure favorable
ruling using different for a, but his obvious objective as well
of preventing the execution of MeTC and RTC decisions in the unlawful
detainer case agains this clients. This intent is most obvious with
respect to the petitions for annulment of judgment and declaratory

relief , both geared towards preventing the execution of the unlawful


detainer decision, long after this decision had become final. Hence,
Atty. Anastacio Revilla,Jr. is found liable for professional misconduct for
violations of the Lawyers Oath and Canons of Professional
Responsibility and should be disbarred from the practice of law

SAA vs. IBP


G.R. No. 132826
FACTS:
Atty. Freddie Venida, herein private respondent, filed criminal and administrative
cases against petitioner Saa containing the same facts and allegations violation of Sec 3,
RA 3019. Saa filed a disbarment complaint against Venida in the Supreme Court on Dec
27, 1991 stating that Venidas act of filing two cases against him was oppressive and
constituted unethical practice.
In a Resolution dated February 17, 1992, Venida was required to comment on the
complaint within 10 days. However, Venida did not comply and just submitted a partial
comment January 26, 1993. Supreme Court issued another Resolution on June 14, 1995
requiring Venida to show costs why he should not be dealt with or held in contempt for
failure to comply with the February 17, 1992 resolution. It was not until September 4,
1995, almost 3 years late, when Venida filed his full comment which is just a reiteration
of his partial comment.
Supreme Court referred the matter to the IBP. In a report dated August 17, 1997 which
the IBP Board adopted, Commisioner Briones the dismissal of the complaint for lack of
merit since it found no evidence of unethical practice and that it was not oppressive. Saa
filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.
ISSUE: Is Atty. Venida guilty of violation the Code of Professional Responsibility?
HELD:
Supreme Court upholds the decision of the IBP that there was no grave abuse of
discretion in this case. There was in fact a dearth of evidence showing oppressive or

unethical behavior on the part of Atty. Venida. Without convincing proof that Atty. Venida
was motivated by a desire to file baseless legal actions, the findings of the IBP stand.
However, the Supreme Court strongly disapproves Atty. Venidas refusal to comply with
the directives of the court. As a lawyer, he has the responsibility to follow all legal orders
and processes. Worse, he filed his complete comment only on June 14, 1995 or a little
over three years after due date. In both instances, he managed to delay the resolution of
the case, a clear violation of Canon 12 and Rules 1.03 and 12.04 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
Atty. Venida apologized for the late filing of both his partial and full comments.
But tried to exculpate himself by saying he inadvertently misplaced the complaint and
had a heavy workload (for his partial comment). He even had the temerity to blame a
strong typhoon for the loss of all his files, the complaint included (for his full comment).
His excuses tax the imagination. Nevertheless, his apologies notwithstanding, we find his
conduct utterly unacceptable for a member of the legal profession. He must not be
allowed to evade accountability for his omissions.
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
Petition is granted in part. The charge of oppressive or unethical behavior against
respondent is dismissed. However, for violation of Canons 1 and 12 and Rules 1.03 and
12.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, as well as the lawyers oath, Atty.
Freddie A. Venida is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year,
effective immediately from receipt of this resolution. He is further STERNLY WARNED
that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.

Alonso vs. Relamida, Jr.


A.C. No. 8481
FACTS:
In March 2001, Jennifer Ebanen filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against Servier
Philippines, Incorporated in the NLRC. On July 5, 2002, the labor Arbiter ruled in favor
of Servier, stating that Ebanen voluntarily resigned. Ebanen appealed at the NLRC which
only affirmed the appealed decision. Ebanen filed for reconsideration but was denied. The
case eventually reached the Supreme Court. On February 17, 2005, the Courts
Resolution dated August 4, 2004 has already become final and executory; thus, a
corresponding Entry of Judgment has been issued dismissing the petition and holding that
there was no illegal dismissal since Ebanen voluntarily resigned.
However, despite the judgment, Ebanen through Atty. Relamida, Jr. filed a second
complaint on August 5, 2005 for illegal dismissal based on the same cause of action of
constructive dismissal against Servier. Thus, on October 13, 2005, Servier, thru counsel,
filed a letter-complaint addressed to the then Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., praying
that respondents be disciplinary sanctioned for violation of the rules on forum shopping
and res judicata.
Respondents admitted the filing of the second complaint against Servier. However, they
opined that the dismissal did not amount to res judicata, since the decision was null and
void for lack of due process since the motion for the issuance of subpoena duces tecum
for the production of vital documents filed by the complainant was ignored by the Labor
Arbiter.
ISSUE: Is the respondent guilty of forum shopping and res judicata thus violating Canon
12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility?
HELD:
During the IBP hearing, Atty. Relamida is ot a lawyer but the daughter of Atty. Aurelio
the senior partner of A.M. Sison Jr. and Partners Law Offices where he is employed as
associate lawyer. Atty. Relamida reasoned out that as a courtesy to Atty. Aurelio and
Ebanen, he had no choice but to represent the latter. Moreover, he stressed that his client
was denied of her right to due process due to the denial of her motion for the issuance of
a subpoena duces tecum. He then argued that the decision of the Labor Arbiter was null
and void; thus, there was no res judicata. He maintained that he did not violate the
lawyers oath by serving the interest of his client. The IBP-CBD recommended that Atty.
Relamida, Jr. be suspended for 6 months for violating the rules on forum shopping and

res judicata.
The Supreme Court agrees to this finding. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his
client, but not at the expense of truth and the administration of justice. The filing of
multiple petitions constitutes abuse of the courts processes and improper conduct that
tends to impede, obstruct and degrade the administration of justice and will be punished
as contempt of court. Needless to state, the lawyer who files 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.
The filing of another action concerning the same subject matter, in violation of the
doctrine of res judicata, runs contrary to Canon 12 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, which requires a lawyer to exert every effort and consider it his duty to
assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. By his actuations, respondent
also violated Rule 12.02 and Rule 12.04 of the Code, as well as a lawyers mandate "to
delay no man for money or malice."
DISPOSITIVE PORTION:
WHEREFORE, Resolution No. XVIII-2008-286, dated June 5, 2008, of the IBP, which
found respondent Atty. Ibaro B. Relamida, Jr. guilty of violating the Rules on Res
Judicata and Forum Shopping, is AFFIRMED. Atty. Relaminda is hereby SUSPENDED
for six (6) months from the practice of law, effective upon the receipt of this Decision