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JOSELITO F. TEJANO vs. ATTY. BENJAMIN F. BATERINA, A.C. No.

8235, January 27,


2015

Facts
Joselito F. Tejano filed an Affidavit-Complaint before the Office of the Court Administrator of
the Supreme Court against his counsel, Atty. Baterina miserably failed to advance [his]
cause, and Judge Dominador Arquelada of acting in conspiracy to take possession of his
property, which was the subject matter of litigation in the judges court.
The Court required Atty. Baterina to file a Comment on the complaint to which he explained
that he had been recuperating from a kidney transplant when he received a copy of the
complaint.
The Court, found Atty. Baterinas explanation not satisfactory and admonished him to be
more heedful of the Courts directives and referred the case to the IBP for investigation,
report and recommendation, which found sufficient ground for disciplinary action against Atty.
Baterina.
Issue: w/n Atty Baterina liable for gross negligence in his duty as counsel to his client
RULING:

The Court adopts the IBPs report and recommendation, with modification as to the penalty.
The Code of Professional Responsibility governing the conduct of lawyers
states:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
CANON 18 A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND
DILIGENCE.
RULE 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.
RULE 18.04 A lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall
respond within a reasonable time to the clients request for information.
When a lawyer agrees to take up a clients cause, he makes a commitment to exercise due
diligence in protecting the latters rights. Once a lawyers services are engaged, he is duty
bound to serve his client with competence, and to attend to his clients cause with diligence,
care and devotion regardless of whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. He owes fidelity to
such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. 25 A
lawyers acceptance to take up a case impliedly stipulates [that he will] carry it to its
termination, that is, until the case becomes final and executory.
MARILEN G. SOLIMAN v. ATTY. DITAS LERIOS-AMBOY A.C. No. 10568 [FORMERLY
CBD CASE No. 10-2753], January 13, 2015

Facts:
Marilen (Soliman) engaged the services of Atty. Ditas (Lerios-Amboy) in connection with a
partition case. They both agreed that Ditas retainer fee will be P50,000.00, one half of which
was paid to Ditas upon engagement. Later, Ditas told her not to proceed anymore with the
partition since the other co-owners were amenable to a partition, hence Ditas facilitated the
issuance of the titles to the co-owners. In November, 2008, Marilen gave Ditas P16,700.00 as
payment for the transfer tax of the property. Ditas later told her that there were some delays in
the issuance of the titles and she knows someone from the Registry of Deeds who can
facilitate the issuance of the titles, in return for a payment of P80,000.00. After some haggling,
Ditas told Marilen that contact at the RD agreed to accept P50,000.00, which Marilen
deposited in Ditas account. She also deposited P8,900.00 as payment for the 2009 realty tax.
Ditas informed her that the certificates of title were just awaiting signatures of the authorised
officer.

After some delay, Ditas secretary again asked for P10,000.00, allegedly demanded by her
contact at the RD. Marilen refused. Marilen kept asking about the updates to the titling, but
Ditas did not respond to her queries. She then went to the office of Atty. Marasigan, the
Deputy RD of Manila, to ask him if he received the P50,000.00, but the latter denied receiving
any money from Ditas, and told her the reason the issuance of the certificates of title were
delayed was the failure of Ditas to submit certain documents. Marilen thus demanded the
return of the documents she entrusted to Ditas, as well as the P50,000.00 but the latter
refused. In her defense, Ditas admitted the existence of the retainer agreement, but denied
receiving any amount from the agreement, as the partition never materialized. She denied
failing to submit certain documents to the RD causing the delay in the issuance of the titles; as
well as denied receipt of the P50,000.00.

The Investigating Commissioner recommended that Ditas be suspended from the practice of
law for six months, for failing to observe due diligence in her dealings with Marilen and failing
to update her on the status of the titling. The IBP Board modified the penalty recommended to
two years suspension.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Lerios-Amboy is guilty of violating the Code of Professional
Responsibility by being negligent and incompetent in dealing with a client.

RULING:

After a thorough perusal of the respective allegations of the parties and the circumstances of
this case, the Court affirms the penalty imposed by the IBP Board of Governors.

The Code of Professional Responsibility clearly states that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause
of his client and that he should be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. A lawyer
is mandated to serve his client with competence and diligence; to never neglect a legal matter
entrusted to him; and to keep his client informed of the status of his case and respond within a
reasonable time to the clients request for information.

The circumstances of this case clearly show that Atty. Amboy, after receiving P25,000.00 as
payment for her professional services, failed to submit material documents relative to the
issuance of separate certificates of title to the individual owners of the property. It was her
negligence which caused the delay in the issuance of the certificates of title.

To make matters worse, Atty. Amboy abetted the commission of an illegal act when she asked
from Soliman the amount of P50,000.00 to be paid to her contact inside the office of the RD
in order to facilitate the release of the said certificates of title. Further, notwithstanding the
payment of P50,000.00, Atty. Amboy still failed to obtain issuance of the said certificates of
title. Instead of procuring the release of the certificates of title as she promised, Atty. Amboy
asked for an additional P10,000.00 from Soliman.

Clearly, this is not a simple case of negligence and incompetence by a counsel in dealing with
a client. Atty. Amboys acts undermined the legal processes, which she swore to uphold and
defend. In swearing to the oath, Atty. Amboy bound herself to respect the law and legal
processes.

The Court further finds improper the refusal of Atty. Amboy to return the amount of P50,000.00
which she paid in order to facilitate the release of the certificates of title. To reiterate, upon
inquiry, Atty. Marasigan, the Deputy RD of Manila, denied having received any amount from
Atty. Amboy. In not returning the money to Soliman after a demand therefor was made
following her failure to procure the issuance of the certificates of title, Atty. Amboy violated
Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly Rule 16.03 thereof, which
requires that a lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client upon demand. It is
settled that the unjustified withholding of money belonging to a client warrants the imposition
of disciplinary action.

A lawyers failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client gives
rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the
trust reposed in him by his client. Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as
of professional ethics. It impairs public confidence in the legal profession and deserves
punishment.

The respondent lawyer, Atty. Ditas Lerios-Amboy is found GUILTY of violating Rule 16.03,
Canons 17 and 18, and Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and
is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years. She is also
ordered to return to Marilen G. Soliman the entire amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos
(P50,000.00) she received from the latter, plus legal interest thereon, reckoned from finality of
this Resolution until fully paid. The respondent is also further DIRECTED to promptly submit
to this Court written proof of her compliance within thirty (30) days from notice of the decision.

ARCATOMY S. GUARIN vs. ATTY. CHRISTINE A.C. LIMPIN, A.C. No. 10576, January 1,
2015
A.C. No. 10573, January 13, 2015
FERNANDO W. CHU, Complainant, v. ATTY. JOSE C. GUICO, JR., Respondents.

FACTS: Chu retained Atty. Guico as counsel to handle the labor disputes involving
his company, CVC San Lorenzo Ruiz Corporation (CVC). For several instances, Atty.
Guico asked Chu to prepare a substantial amount of money to be given to the
NLRC Commissioner handling the case to insure a favorable decision. He was able
to collect a sum of Php 580,000.00 but when NLRC promulgated a decision, CVC
lost its case.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Guico violated the lawyer's oath and Rule 1.01 of the
CPR for demanding and receiving Php580,000 from Chu to guarantee a favorable
decision from NLRC?
HELD: Yes. Atty. Guico's acts constituted gross dishonesty and deceit, and were a
flagrant breach of his ethical commitments under the Lawyers Oath not to delay
any man for money or malice; and under Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility that forbade him from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct.
DR. DOMICIANO F. VILLAHERMOSA, SR. vs. ATTY. ISIDRO L. CARACOL, A.C. No. 7325,
January 21, 2015

RE: VIOLATION OF RULES ON NOTARIAL PRACTICE A.M. No. 09-6-1-SC, January 21,
2015
Facts: Three separate complaints were filed against the following:
1. Atty. Juan C. Siapno, Jr. (Atty. Siapno) for notarizing documents without a
commission. He never commissioned as Notary Public for and within the
jurisdiction of Lingayen, Natividad and Dagupan City. Instead, RTC San Carlos
City, Pangasinan from March 22, 2007 to December 31, 2008. His notarial
commission, however, was never renewed upon expiration. Also, he had delegated
his notarial authority to his secretaries, Mina Bautista (Bautista) and Mary Ann
Arenas (Arenas), who wrote legal instruments and signed the documents on his
behalf.

2. Atty. Pedro L. Santos - Complainant executed an affidavit of loss which was


notarized by Atty. Santos. The said affidavit, however, was denied for authentication
when presented before the Notarial Section in Manila because Atty. Santos was not
commissioned to perform notarial commission within the City of Manila.

3. The third letter-complaint8 came from a concerned citizen reporting that a certain
Atty. Evelyn who was holding office at Room 402 Leyba Bldg., 381 Dasmarias
Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila, had been notarizing and signing documents for and on
behalf of several lawyers.

Issue: Whether or not the lawyers violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Commission
Ruling:
Rule III of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice provides that:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Jurisdiction and Term A person commissioned as notary public may perform notarial acts in
any place within the territorial jurisdiction of the commissioning court for a period of two (2)
years commencing the first day of January of the year in which the commissioning is made,
unless earlier revoked or the notary public has resigned under these Rules and the Rules of
Court.

In the case at bar, it is clear that Atty Siapno violated the 2004 rules on Notarial Commission.
The Court ruled, Atty. Siapno must be barred from being commissioned as notary public
permanently and suspended from the practice of law for a period of two ( 2) years.
With respect to the complaints against Atty. Pedro L. Santos and a certain Atty. Evelyn, the
Clerk of Court is ordered to RE-DOCKET them as separate administrative cases.
MELVYN G. GARCIA, v. ATTY. RAUL H. SESBREO A.C. No. 7973 and A.C. No. 10457,
February 03, 2015

Facts:
Garcia alleged that he married Virginia Alcantara and they had two children but was separated
in 1971. Garcia alleged while he was in Japan, Sesbreo, representing complainants
children, filed an action for support against him and his sister. At the time of the filing of the
case, Maria Margarita was already 39 years old while Angie Ruth was 35 years old. The case
was dismissed. Garcia filed a complaint for disbarment against Sesbreo, alleging that he is
practicing law despite his previous conviction for homicide, and that he is only on parole and
he has not fully served his sentence. Garcia alleged that Sesbreo violated Section 27, Rule
138 of the Rules of Court by continuing to engage in the practice of law despite his conviction
of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Sesbreo alleged that, Garcia filed a similar complaint against him before the IBP and
Garcias complaint was motivated by resentment and desire for revenge because he acted as
pro bono counsel for Maria Margarita and Angie Ruth. Sesbreo alleged that his sentence
was commuted and the phrase with the inherent accessory penalties provided by law was
deleted. Sesbreo argued that even if the accessory penalty was not deleted, the
disqualification applies only during the term of the sentence. Sesbreo further alleged that
homicide does not involve moral turpitude.

ISSUE: WON MORAL TURPITUDE IS INVOLVED IN A CONVICTION FOR HOMICIDE.

HELD:

YES, the IBP-CBD recommended that Sesbreo be disbarred and his name stricken from the
Roll of Attorneys.

Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states that a member of the bar may be disbarred
or suspended as attorney by this Court by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral
turpitude. This Court has ruled that disbarment is the appropriate penalty for conviction by
final judgment for a crime involving moral turpitude. Moral turpitude is somewhat a vague and
indefinite term, the meaning of which must be left to the process of judicial inclusion or
exclusion as the cases are reached.

There was no mention that the executive clemency granted to Sesbreos was absolute and
unconditional and restored his full civil and political rights.

In this case, the executive clemency merely commuted to an indeterminate prison term of 7
years and 6 months to 10 years imprisonment the penalty imposed on Sesbreo. Hence, the
Parcasio case has no application here. Even if Sesbreo has been granted pardon, there is
nothing in the records that shows that it was a full and unconditional pardon. In addition, the
practice of law is not a right but a privilege. It is granted only to those possessing good moral
character. A violation of the high moral standards of the legal profession justifies the
imposition of the appropriate penalty against a lawyer, including the penalty of disbarment.
JIMMY ANUDON AND JUANITA ANUDON v. ATTY. ARTURO B. CEFRA. A.C. No. 5482.
February 10, 2015

FACTS:
On august 12, 1998, Atty. Cefra notarized a deed of absolute sale over a land covered by
TCT No. 69244. The names of the complainants together with Johnny Anudon, Alfunso
Anudon and Benita Esguerra appeared as vendors, while the name of Celino Paran appeared
as the vendee. Jimmy and Juanita claimed that the deed of absolute sale is falsified. They
alleged that they did not sign the deed of sale. In addition to the forgery of their signatures,
complainant stated that it was physically impossible for Johnny and Benita to sign the deed of
sale since both of them are in the United States when the Deed of Absolute sale was
executed.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Cefrans conduct violated the Rules of Notarial Practice?
RULING:
Yes, the Investigating Commissioner found that Atty Cefrans conduct in notarizing the Deed
of Absolute Sale violated the Notarial Law. Hence the court finds respondent Atty. Cefran
guilty of notarizing the deed of sale in the absence of affiant. Accordingly this court suspends
him from the practice of law for 2 years, revoked his incumbent notarial commission.
ANTONIO S. ASCAO, JR., CONSOLACION D. DANTES, BASILISA A. OBALO, JULIETA
D. TOLEDO, JOSEPH Z. MAAC, EMILIANO E. LUMBOY, TITA F. BERNARDO, IGMEDIO L.
NOGUERA, FIDEL S. SARMIENTO, SR., DAN T. TAUNAN, AMALIA G. SANTOS, AVELINA
M. COLONIA, ERIC S. PASTRANA, AND MARIVEL B. ISON vs. PRESIDING JUDGE JOSE
S. JACINTO, JR., A.M. No. RTJ-15-2405, January 12, 2015

Facts:
Complainants, section leaders of the lessees of market stalls in the public market of
Occidental Mindoro, filed a case against Mayor Jose T. Villarosa, of San Jose, Occidental
Mindoro who allegedly wanted to demolish the public market so that the place can be used to
erect a new San Jose Commercial Complex. The said case was raffled to Judge Jose S.
Jacinto, Jrs sala. During hearings, the respondent judge did unbecoming conducts against
the complainants, thus referred and raffled the complaint to Justice of the Court of Appeals,
Manila. The judge allegedly:
1. Berated, scolded, confused, admonished and made insulting needlessly lengthy
statements to the complainants witnesses without basis or justification. Also, asked
complainants confusing and misleading questions all geared and intended to elicit
answers damaging to the cause of petitioners and favorable to the cause of their
adversary.
2. Explained that the Mayor had to excuse himself for an important appointment when
Mayor Villarosa stepped out the courtroom to take a call and exited through the door
used by the judge and the employees of the court. According to the complainants, the
Mayor did not speak to anyone, not even his lawyer, before leaving the courtroom.

Issue:
Whether or not the respondent judge is guilty of his unbecoming conduct during the hearing.

Ruling:
The court ruled that Judge Jacinto is guilty of his unbecoming conduct due to the violation in
accordance with the following mandates of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the
Philippine Judiciary:
1. Section 6, Canon 6, which reads: Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all
proceedings before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in relation to
litigants, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official
capacity. Judges shall require similar conduct of legal representatives, court staff and
others subject to their influence, direction or control.
2. Section 1, Canon 2 (Integrity), which reads: Judges shall ensure that not only is their
conduct above reproach, but that it is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable
observer.
3. Section 1, Canon 4 (Propriety), which reads: Judges shall avoid impropriety and the
appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.

A.M. No. RTJ-13-2366 [Formerly OCA IPI No. 11-3740-RTJ], February 04, 2015
JILL M. TORMIS, Complainant, v. JUDGE MEINRADO P. PAREDES, Respondent.
Facts:

Complainant was as a student of the respondent Judge Meinrado P. Paredes Presiding


Judge, Branch 13,RTC,Cebu City, in Soutwestern University. Complainant averred that
sometime in August 2010, in his class discussions, Judge Paredes named her mother, Judge
Rosabella Tormis as one of the judges involved in the marriage scams in Cebu City. Judge
Paredes also mentioned in his class that Judge Tormis was abusive of her position as a judge,
corrupt and ignorant of the law. And while Jill was absent Judge Paredes mentioned to his
class that Jill's brother Francis was a court-noted addict, says her classmate. Complainant
added that Judge Paredes included Judge Tormis in his class discussions not only once but
several times, she then everred that on March 2011, Judge Paredes accepted a cash bail
bound in the amount of P 6,000.00 for the temporary release of Lita Guioguio's case pending
in court.

Issue:

Whether or not Judge Paredes committed grave misconduct and violates the Code of Judicial
Conduct.

Ruling:

To constitute misconduct, the act or acts must have a direct relation to and be connected with
the performance of his official duties. The acts made by Judge Paredes in mentioning Judge
Tormis and Francis in his class discussions does not considered as misconduct nor grave
misconduct. Thus, respondent cannot be held liable for it.

CANON 3
IMPARTIALITY
SEC. 4. Judges shall not knowingly, while a proceeding is before or could come before them,
make any comment that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of such
proceeding or impair the manifest fairness of the process. Nor shall judges make any
comment in public or otherwise that might affect the fair trial of any person or issue.

Judge Paredes in using intemperate language and unnecessary comments tending to project
Judge Tormis as a corrupt and ignorant judge in his class discussions, was correctly found
guilty of conduct unbecoming of a judge by Justice Dy.

CANON 4
PROPRIETY

SEC. 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their
activities.

SEC. 2. As a subject of constant public scrutiny, judges must accept personal restrictions that
might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly.
In particular, judges shall conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with the dignity of the
judicial office.

CANON 2
INTEGRITY

Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial office but also to
the personal demeanor of judges.

SECTION 1. Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach, but
that it is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable observer.

SECTION 2. The behavior and conduct of judges must reaffirm the peoples faith in the
integrity of the judiciary. Justice must not merely be done but must also be seen to be done.

The Court finds Judge Meinrado P. Paredes, Presiding Judge of Branch 13 of the Regional
Trial Court of Cebu City, administratively liable for conduct unbecoming of a judge and
ADMONISHES him.

A.C. No. 10681, February 03, 2015


SPOUSES HENRY A. CONCEPCION AND BLESILDA S.
CONCEPCION, Complainants, v. ATTY. ELMER A. DELA ROSA, Respondent.

Complainants alleged that from 1997 until August 2008,3 respondent served as their retained
lawyer and counsel. Aware of the fact that complainants had money intact from their failed
business venture, respondent, on March 23, 2006, called Henry to borrow the amount of
P2,500,000.00, which he promised to return, with interest, five (5) days thereafter. On March
28, 2006, or the day respondent promised to return the money, he failed to pay complainants.
Thus, in April 2006, complainants began demanding payment but respondent merely made
repeated promises to pay soon. On July 7, 2008, Blesilda sent a demand letter to respondent,
which the latter did not heed.
Ruling
Under Rule 16.04, Canon 16 of the CPR, a lawyer is prohibited from borrowing money from
his client unless the clients interests are fully protected:
CANON 16 A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his clients
that may come into his possession.

Rule 16.04 A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the clients
interests are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice.
Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the interest of justice,
he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the
client.

The Court has repeatedly emphasized that the relationship between a lawyer and his client is
one imbued with trust and confidence. And as true as any natural tendency goes, this trust
and confidence is prone to abuse. The rule against borrowing of money by a lawyer from his
client is intended to prevent the lawyer from taking advantage of his influence over his
client. The rule presumes that the client is disadvantaged by the lawyers ability to use all the
legal maneuverings to renege on his obligation.

In the same vein, the Court finds that respondent also violated Canon 7 of the CPR which
reads:
CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND
DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF
THE INTEGRATED BAR.

In unduly borrowing money from the complainants and by blatantly refusing to pay the same,
respondent abused the trust and confidence reposed in him by his clients, and, in so doing,
failed to uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. Thus, he should be equally
held administratively liable on this score.
Atty. Elmer A. dela Rosa is found guilty of violating Canon 7 and Rule 16.04, Canon 16 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, he is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice
of law for a period of three (3) years.
SPOUSES WILLIE AND AMELIA UMAGUING vs. ATTY. WALLEN R. DE VERA, A.C. No.
10451, February 4, 2015

Facts:
Mariecris Umaguing the daughter of herein petitioner ran for SK Chairman last 2007
election. Unfortunately she lose by one (1) vote. The herein petitioner enlisted Atty. De Vera to
facilitate the election protest. However Atty. De Vera filed the case when the deadline was
looming. Failure to find Lachica and Almira, who was the prospect witness. Atty. De Vera let
their relative signed their affidavit. He then included the affidavit to the complaint and lending
such document was true.
Whether or not Atty. De Vera has violated the CPR?
Held:
The Supreme Court found Atty. De Vera guilty for violating Canon 10 of Code of
Professional Responsibility as well as the lawyers oath. He is suspended to practice law for
six (6) months.
According to the Supreme Court, a lawyer shall not do falsehood nor consent to the
doing of any in court.

MICHAEL RUBY vs. ATTY. ERLINDA B. ESPEJO and ATTY. RUDOLPH DILLA BAYOT,
A.C. No. 10558, February 23, 2015

Facts

Respondent is counsel of complainant for cancellation and nullification of deeds of donation.


They agreed the amount of P100,000.00 as acceptance fee and P4,000.00 as appearance
fee. Complainant paid P50,000.00 for filing fee. However, the actual filing fee paid by
respondent was only P7,561.00; which she failed to account for the excess despite demand.
Later, the respondent again demanded for another fees, but failed to perform the duty. She
allegedly imputed the accusations to Atty. Bayot but denied the same as he is not the counsel
of record of the complainant.

Issue

Whether or not Atty. Bayot violated the Code of Professional Responsibility, which would
warrant the imposition of disciplinary sanction

Ruling
Yes, because lawyer-client relationship existed. To establish the relation, it is sufficient that the
advice and assistance of an attorney is sought and received in any matter pertinent to his
profession. Further, acceptance of money from a client establishes an attorney-client
relationship. Clearly, he violated Canon 16, Rule 16.01 and Rule 16.02; and Canon 18, Rule
18.03 and Rule 18.04. He is admonished and required to return the money received by him.

ROBERTO BERNARDINO vs. ATTY. VICTOR REY SANTOS, A.C. No. 10583, February 18,
2015

Facts:

Complainant Roberto C. Bernardino filed a Letter-Complaint against Atty. Victor Rey Santos
before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, praying that Atty. Santos be investigated and
subjected to disciplinary action. Bernardino alleged that the death certificate of his aunt,
Rufina de Castro Turla, was falsified by Atty. Santos. Atty. Santos made it appear that Rufina
Turla died in 1992, when in fact, she died in 1990.

He alleged that Atty. Santos used the falsified death certificate to support the Affidavit of Self-
Adjudication executed by Mariano Turla, husband of Rufina Turla, which states: Being her
surviving spouse, I am the sole legal heir entitled to succeed to and inherit the estate of said
deceased who did not
leave any descendant or any other heir entitled to her estate.

Another Complaint was filed against Atty. Santos by Atty. Jose Mangaser Caringal. Similar to
Bernardinos Complaint, Atty. Caringal alleged that Atty. Santos represented clients with
conflicting interests. He also alleged that in representing Marilu Turla, Atty. Santos would
necessarily go against the claims of Mariano Turla.

In his Answer, Atty. Santos denied having falsified the death certificate. He explained that the
death certificate and the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication were given to him by Mariano Turla and
that he was not aware that there was a falsified entry in the death certificate.

As regards the issue on conflict of interest, Atty. Santos argued that he did not represent and
was not representing conflicting interests since Mariano Turla was already dead. Further, he
[was] representing Marilu Turla against those who ha[d] an interest in her fathers estate.
Mariano Turlas Affidavit of Self- adjudication never stated that there was no other legal heir
but only that Mariano Turla was the sole heir of Rufina Turla. Atty. Santos insisted that he did
not commit forum shopping because the various cases filed had different issues. As to the
conversion of funds, Atty. Santos explained that the funds used were being held by his client
as the special administratrix of the estate of Mariano Turla. According to Atty. Santos, payment
of attorneys fees out of the estates funds could be considered as expenses of
administration.
The Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines recommended that
Atty. Santos
be suspended for three (3) months. It found that Bernardino failed to prove his allegation that
Atty. Santos
knew that the death certificate was falsified and used it to support Mariano Turlas Affidavit of
Self-
Adjudication. Likewise, Atty. Caringal failed to prove that Atty. Santos converted funds from
Mariano
Turlas estate. Further, Atty. Santos did not engage in forum shopping. The various cases filed
involved
different parties and prayed for different reliefs. However, the Commission on Bar Discipline
agreed with
Bernardino and Atty. Caringal that Atty. Santos represented clients with conflicting interests.
Issue:
Whether respondent Atty. Santos violated the Code of Professional Responsibility?
RULING:
Yes, he violated Canon 15 and Canon 10.
Canon 15, Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states:
CANON 15 A lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
transactions with his client.
Rule 15.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.

The rule on conflict of interest is based on the fiduciary obligation in a lawyer-client


relationship. Lawyers
must treat all information received from their clients with utmost confidentiality in order to
encourage clients to fully inform their counsels of the facts of their case. There is conflict of
interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties. The
test is whether or not in behalf of one client, it is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or
claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. In brief, if he argues for one client, this
argument will be opposed by him when he argues for the other client. This rule covers not
only cases in which confidential communications have been confided, but also those in which
no confidence has been bestowed or will be used. Also, there is conflict of interests if the
acceptance of the new retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously
affect his first client in any matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be
called upon in his new relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired through
their connection. Another test of the inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a
new relation will prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and
loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance
thereof.
Applying the test to determine whether conflict of interest exists, respondent would
necessarily refute
Mariano Turlas claim that he is Rufina Turlas sole heir when he agreed to represent Marilu
Turla. Worse, he knew that Mariano Turla was not the only heir. However, Rule 15.03 provides
for an exception, specifically, by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure
of the facts. Respondent had the duty to inform Mariano Turla and Marilu Turla that there is a
conflict of interest and to obtain their written consent.
Mariano Turla died on February 5, 2009, while respondent represented Marilu Turla in March
2009. It is
understandable why respondent was unable to obtain Mariano Turlas consent. Still,
respondent did not
present evidence showing that he disclosed to Marilu Turla that he previously represented
Mariano Turla
and assisted him in executing the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication. Respondent also violated
Canon 10, Rule 10.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which states:

CANON 10 A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court.
Rule 10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court;
nor
shall he mislead or allow the court to be mislead by any artifice.
REYNALDO RAMIREZ vs. ATTY. MERCEDES BUHAYANG-MARGALLO
A.C. No. 10537 February 3, 2015

WILFREDO ANGLO v. ATTY. JOSE MA. V. VALENCIA, et.al


A.C. No. 10567, February 25, 2015

FACTS: In his complaint-affidavit, complainant alleged that he availed the services of the law
firm Valencia Ciocon Dabao Valencia De La Paz Dionela Pandan Rubica Law Office(law firm),
of which Attys. Valencia, Ciocon, Dabao, Uy-Valencia, De La Paz, Dionela, Pandan, Jr., and
Rubica were partners, for two (2) consolidated labor cases where he was impleaded as
respondent. Atty. Dionela, a partner of the law firm, was assigned to represent complainant.
The labor cases were terminated on June 5, 2008 upon the agreement of both parties
On September 18, 2009, a criminal case or qualified theft was filed against complainant and
his wife by FEVE Farms Agricultural Corporation (FEVE Farms) acting through a certain
Michael Villacorta (Villacorta). Villacorta, however, was represented by the law firm, the same
law office which handled complainants labor cases. Aggrieved, complainant filed this
disbarment case against respondents, alleging that they violated Rule 15.03, Canon 15 and
Canon 21 of the CPR.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondents are guilty of representing conflicting interests in violation
of the pertinent provisions of the CPR.

RULING:
Respondents Attys. Jose Ma. V. Valencia, Jose Ma. J. Ciocon, Lily Uy-Valencia, Joey P. De La
Paz, Cris G. Dionela, Raymundo T. Pandan, Jr., Rodney K. Rubica, and Wilfred Ramon M.
Penalosa are found GUILTY of representing conflicting interests in violation of Rule 15.03,
Canon 15 and Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and are therefore
REPRIMANDED for said violations, with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or
similar infraction would be dealt with more severely. Meanwhile, the case against Atty. Philip
Dabao is DISMISSED in view of his death.
DR. ELMAR O. PEREZ v. ATTY. TRISTAN A. CATINDIG AND ATTY. KAREN E. BAYDO.
A.C. No. 5816, March 10, 2015

DR. ELMAR O. PEREZ V. ATTY. TRISTAN A. CATINDIG AND ATTY. KAREN E. BAYDO
AC NO. 5816, MARCH 10, 2015

FACTS:
On May, 16 1968, private respondent twice married Lily Gomez with 4 children. A year later,
the couple encountered marital problems. Thus, they executed a special power of attorney,
addressed to the Judge of Dominican Republic, to institute a divorce under its law.

On July 14, 1984, Catindig married the petitioner, Elmar Perez with one son. During their
cohabitation, she learned that the divorce decree was not recognized in the Philippines and
their marriage is void.

In 2001, Dr. Perez received an anonymous letter informing her that Catindig has a scandalous
affair, that Atty. Catindig professed his love to Atty. Badayo with a promise to marry her once
impediment is removed. In the same year, Atty. Catindig abandoned Dr. Perez and lives
together with Atty. Baydo.

Issue: W/o should be disbarred

Only Atty. Catindig is found guilty of gross immorality and of violating the lawyer oath and rule
1.01 Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 Contracting a marriage during the subsistence of a previous
one. He is disbarred from practice of law. Meanwhile, charge against Atty. Baydo is dismissed
for the lack of evidence.

ALVIN S. FELICIANO vs. ATTY. CARMELITA BAUTISTA-LOZADA, A.C. No. 7593, March
11, 2015

FACTS
Arty Carmelita Lozada was found guilty of violating Canon 15.03 and 16.04 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and was suspended from practice of law for a period of 2 years,
with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more
severely. Her suspension was finalized on May 4 2006.
On June 5, 2007, a complaint was filed by Alvin Feliciano against Atty Lozada for appearing
as counsel for Edilberto Lozada, her husband and actively participated in the proceedings
while still suspended from the practice of law. She commented on the complaint against her
that she believed in good faith that her appearance as a wife of Edilberto Lozada was not a
prohibition of practice of law, considering she was defending her husband and not a client.
ISSUE
Whether or not Atty Carmelita Lozada is guilty of violating Rule 138 of the Rules of Court?

RULING:
YES. Atty Carmelita Lozada was found guilty of violation Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules
of Court:
Section 27. Attorneys removed or suspended by Supreme Court on what grounds. A
member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme
Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral
conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation
of the oath which he is required to take before the admission to practice, or for a willful
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willful appearing as an
attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law
for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice.

She willfully disobeyed lawful order of the superior court by appearing as an attorney for a
party to a case without authority to do so. She was suspended for a period of 6 months from
practice of law, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense will warrant a
more severe penalty.
SPOUSES AMATORIO v. ATTY. FRANCISCO DY YAP
AND ATTY. WHELMA F. SITON-YAP
A.C. No. 5914, March 11, 2015

A.C. No. 5116, April 13, 2015


DAVAO IMPORT DISTRIBUTORS, INC., Complainant, v. ATTY. JOHNNY LANDERO,
Respondent.

A.C. No. 720, June 17, 2015


FRANCISCO CAOILE, Complainant, v. ATTY. MARCELINO MACARAEG, Respondent.

FACTS:
Alleging that his lawyer's neglect and dereliction of duty caused the dismissal of his appeal,
complainant Francisco Caoile filed on August 16, 1966 a Complaint for disbarment against
Atty. Marcelino Macaraeg.
Atty. Macaraeg thrice moved for extension of time to file an appeal but still failed to file,
causing the CA to dismiss the appeal and declared the decision final and executory.

ISSUE:
Whether or not failure to file an appeal is a ground for disbarment?

HELD:
A motion for extension to file an appellant's brief carries with it the presumption that the lawyer
will file the pleading within the requested extended period. Failure to do so without any
reasonable excuse violates the Code of Professional Responsibility.
A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection
therewith shall render him liable. (Rule 18.03)
Nevertheless, while the actuation of Atty. Macaraeg warrants the imposition of a penalty,
supervening circumstances (death of the respondent) call for the dismissal of the
administrative case.
A.C. No. 6681 June 17, 2015 VICTOR D. DE LOS SANTOS II, Complainant, vs. ATTY.
NESTOR C. BARBOSA, Respondent.

Facts
Respondent lawyer represented Canaco who is theaccused in a criminal case for making
false statements in the certificate of livebirth of Victor Canaco delos Santos. Respondent sent
letters to Office of Civil registrar of Qeuzon City, National Census and Statistics office and
St.Luke Hospital which states that the certificate of live birth should not be released by such
offices, otherwise they will be held liable umder the law for violation of confidentiality of
records. This move was made to prevent the prosecutor from obtaining a certified true copy of
the birth certificate of Victor delos Santos

Issue:
WON respondent has violated the Code of Professional Responsibility

Held:
Rule 12.04 of Canon 12 states that "A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the
execution of a judgment or misuse court process.

As an officer of the court, a lawyer is part of the machinery in the administration of justice. A
lawyer should likewise avoid any unethical or improper practices that may impede, obstruct or
prevent the realization of a speedy and efficient administratiom of justice.
A.C. No. 5686, June 16, 2015
TEODULO F. ENRIQUEZ, Complaint, v. ATTY. EDILBERTO B. LAVADIA, JR.,
Respondent.

FACTS: On January 7, 1997, Mr. Ernesto Ouano, Sr. filed a complaint for forcible entry
against complainant Teodulo Enriquez before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of
Talibon, Bohol. To defend his interests, Enriquez engagedthe services of the law office of
Attys. Joselito M. Alo, R. L. C. Agapay, and Edilberto B. Lavadia, Jr. with Atty. Lavadia as the
assigned attorney.On March 18, 2000, in open court, Atty. Lavadia agreed to submit their
position papers and affidavits within 30 days from the receipt of the pre-trial order after which,
the case would be submitted for decision. However, Atty. Lavadia failed to file the position
paper resulting in default. The MCTC rendered a decision in favor of the plaintiffs. Atty.
Lavadia filed a notice of appeal with sufficient bond.
In its April 26, 2001 Order, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Talibon, Bohol dismissed the
appeal based on Section 7(b), Rule 40 of the Rules of Court. The RTC stated that Atty.
Lavadia failed to file the appeal memorandum after more than 71 days. Atty. Lavadia moved
for reconsideration but the same was denied by the RTC in its June 26, 2001 Order pointing
out that it had granted four motions for extension and still no appeal memorandum was filed.
Disbarment complaint was received on January 16, 2002 by the OBC. Enriquez alleged that in
failing to file the necessary pleadings before the court, Atty. Lavadia caused them great
damage and prejudice. This constituted gross negligence and inefficiency in the performance
of his professional duties as a lawyer. Enriquez thus prayed that Atty. Lavadia be
disbarred.The Court required Atty. Lavadia to submit his comment but failed to do so and
presenting insufficient reasons without attending the pleadings.
ISSUE: Whether or not be disbarred
RULING: In the present case, we note that this is Atty. Lavadia's first infraction. However,
given his proven propensity for filing motions for extension of time and not filing the required
pleading, this Court finds that it should impose the severe sanction lest some other unknowing
clients engage his services only to lose their case due to Atty. Lavadia's nonchalant attitude.
Considering the gravity of Atty. Lavadia's cavalier actions both to his client and his impertinent
attitude towards the Court, we find the penalty of DISBARMENT as recommended by the IBP
appropriate.WHEREFORE,respondent Atty. Edilberto B. Lavadia, Jr. is hereby
DISBARREDfor violating Canons 11 and 18 and Rules 10.03, 12.03 and 18.03 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and his name is ORDERED STRICKEN OFF from the Roll of
Attorneys.

A.C. No. 8313, July 14, 2015


PILAR IBANA-ANDRADE AND CLARE SINFOROSA ANDRADE-CASILIHAN,
Complainants, v. ATTY. EVA PAITA-MOYA, Respondent.

Facts:
Complainants, Clare Sinforosa I. Andrade-Casilihan and Alven Bernardo I. Andrade filed a
separate illegal dismissal case against respondent,, Mabini College Inc., Atty. Eva Paita-
Moya appeared as counsel for respondents.
After the aforementioned cases were filed, complainants had found out that the Honorable
Supreme Court promulgated a resolution in the case entitled Wilson Cham versus Atty. Eva
Paita-Moya suspending respondent from the practice of law for one month and such has not
yet been lifted.

Issue: whether or not the Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, that is, the
practice of law despite the clear language of this Courts suspension order.
Held:
Yes, Under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, willful disobedience to any lawful
order of a superior court is a ground for disbarment or suspension from the practice of law:

ATTY. EVA PAITA-MOYA is found GUILTY of violating Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court, and is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for an additional period of six (6)
months from her one (1) month suspension, totaling seven (7) months from service of this
resolution, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense will warrant a
more severe penalty.

A.C. No. 10207, July 21, 2015


RE: DECISION DATED 17 MARCH 2011 IN CRIMINAL CASE NO. SB-28361 ENTITLED
"PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. JOSELITO C. BARROZO" FORMER ASSISTANT
PROSECUTOR JOSELITO C. BARROZO, Respondent.
A.C. No. 8708 (CBD Case No. 08-2192), August 12, 2015
SPOUSES BYRON AND MARIA LUISA SAUNDERS, Complainants, v. ATTY. LYSSA
GRACE S. PAGANO-CALDE, Respondent.
FACTS: The complainants engaged the service of Atty. Lyssa Grace
Pagano-Calde (respondent) for the sale of a property. Because of this,
they were able to give her a sum of Php 590,000 for various expenses
which the the respondent failed to return when the sale did not push
through. This prompted the complainants to file an estafa case against
her.
After due hearing by the IBP-CBD, the Commissioner recommended
that the administrative case to be dismissed because of pendency of a
criminal case.
ISSUE: Whether or not the case should be dismissed without prejudice
of the pendency of the criminal case.
HELD: No. Disbarment proceeding is separate and distinct from a
criminal action filed against a lawyer even if they involve the same set
of facts.A finding of guilt in the criminal case will not necessarily result
in a finding of liability in the administrative case. Conversely, the
acquittal does not necessarily exculpate one administratively.

A.C. No. 8084, August 24, 2015


PATROCINIA H. SALABAO, Complainant, v. ATTY. ANDRES C. VILLARUEL, JR.,
Respondent.

Facts: In 1995 Salabao filed a case against Elmer Lumberio for his deceitful or fraudulent
conduct of taking her precious real property situated in Taguig City in which respondent is the
counsel. After hearing, the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 162, Pasig City issued its
resolution in her favor in 2002. From then on, complainant alleged that the respondent had
made her suffer because of his abuse of processes and disregard for her rights as a litigant.
In 2002, the Regional Trial Court Branch 162 of Pasig City which tried Civil Case No. 65147
issued it resolution in favor of the complainant. In order to delay the case, respondent brought
the case on appeal on Court of Appeals but once again decided on favor of the complainant on
January 13 2004 but then again respondent filed an appeal before the Supreme Court were
Lumberio lost and the case became final and executory. Undeterred, respondent once again
tried to defer the execution of the decision of the RTC, Branch 162 by bringing to the court of
appeals a petition for annulment of judgement, appealed to supreme court presenting new
arguments than what was presented before CA. Still, respondent filed a petition for certiorari
seeking annul the 29 November 2007 order of the RTC before the court of appeals, which was
still resulted to dismissal. From hereon, there was no stopping the respondent. Complainant
then filed a complained that respondent had done more than enough to suppress her rights as
winning litigants and filed a case for abuse of process pursuant to Rule 10.03 and Rule 10.02
of Canon 10 and Rule 12.04 of Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR). In
which denied by the respondent and clarified that the several pleadings he had filed had
centered on the legality of the court's decision ordering the cancellation of the title of Lumberio
in such ordinary proceeding for cancellation of the title. To his mind, the said ordinary
proceeding for cancellation of title before the RTC Branch 153, Taguig City was void because
the law vests upon the government through the Solicitor General the power to initiate a
reversion case if there is such a ground to cancel the title issued by the Land Management
Bureau in favor of Lumberio.

Issue: WON Respondents actions violates Rule 10.03 and Rule 10.02 of Canon 10 and Rule
12.04 of Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR)
Ruling: Yes, While it is true that lawyers owe "entire devotion" to the cause of their clients, it
cannot be emphasized enough that their first and primary duty is "not to the client but to the
administration of justice." Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that "A
lawyer shall exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice." Thus, in the use of Court processes, the lawyer's zeal to win must be
tempered by the paramount consideration that justice be done to all parties involved, and the
la|wyer for the losing party should not stand in the way of the execution of a valid judgment.
This is a fundamental principle in legal ethics and professional responsibility that has iterations
in various forms such as : Lawyers Oath, Rule 138 Sec. 20 of Rules of Court and Code of
Professional Responsibility. Because a lawyer is an officer of the court called upon to assist in
the administration of justice, any act of a lawyer that obstructs, perverts, or impedes the
administration of justice constitutes misconduct and justifies disciplinary action against him.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, respondent Atty. Andres C. Villaruel, Jr. is hereby
found GUILTY of violation of the Lawyer's Oath and Rules 10.03 and 12.04 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility and is hereby suspended from the practice of law for a period of
eighteen (18) months.
A.C. No. 7314, August 25, 2015
MARY ANN T. FLORES, Complainant, v. ATTY. JOVENCIO LL. MAYOR, JR., Respondent.

FACTS:
Complainant filed an administrative case against respondent Atty. Mayor, citing that the
latters act of archiving the record of the labor case and refusal to amend the writ of execution
constituted a violation of the lawyers oath, the Code of Professional Responsibility, and other
ethical standard.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of violation of the Lawyers oath, Code of Professional
Responsibility and other ethical standard.

RULLING:
There is a clear neglect of duty and ignorance of the law on the part of the respondent on
account of his failure to immediately act on the motion of execution, as well as his refusal to
amend the writ of execution despite having been inform of the amendment of the name of the
corporation against which the writ is issued. Respondent was disbarred from the practice of
law and his name was stricken off the Roll of Attorneys.
A.C. No. 5161, August 25, 2015
RE: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF ROLANDO S.
TORRES AS A MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE BAR.

FACTS:

Isidra Ting-Dumali charges respondent Atty. Rolando S. Torres with presentation of false
testimony; participation in, consent to, and failure to advise against, the forgery of
complainants signature in a purported Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement; and gross
misrepresentation in court for the purpose of profiting from such forgery, thereby violating his
oath as a lawyer and the canons of legal and judicial ethics. According to the complainant, the
respondent took advantage of his relationship with her and her brothers and used his
profession to deprive them of what was lawfully due them even if it involved the commission of
an illegal, unlawful, or immoral act. the respondent denies the allegations of the complaint and
asserts that he did not take advantage of his profession to deprive any of the co-heirs of his
wife of the estate left by his parents-in-law.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the act of the respondent is a violation of the lawyers oath.
HELD:
The Supreme Court finds respondent Atty. Rolando S. Torres guilty of gross misconduct and
violation of the lawyers oath, as well as Canons 1 and 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, thereby rendering him unworthy of continuing membership in the legal
profession. He is thus ordered DISBARRED from the practice of law, and his name is ordered
stricken off the Roll of Attorneys, effective immediately.
A.C. No. 10676, September 08, 2015
ATTY. ROY B. ECRAELA, Complainant, v. ATTY. IAN RAYMOND A. PANGALANGAN,
Respondent.

Facts:

This is a case for disbarment against Atty. Pangalangan for his illicit relations, chronic
womanizing, abuse of authority as an educator, and "other unscrupulous activities" which
cause "undue embarrassment to the legal profession."

Complainant and respondent were best friends and both graduated from the University of the
Philippines (UP) College of Law in 1990, where they were part of a peer group or barkada with
several of their classmates. After passing the bar examinations and being admitted as
members of the Bar in 1991, they were both registered with the IBP Quezon City.

Respondent was formerly married to Sheila P. Jardiolin (Jardiolin) with whom he has three (3)
children. Complainant avers that while married to Jardiolin, respondent had a series of
adulterous and illicit relations with married and unmarried women between the years 1990 to
2007. These alleged illicit relations involved:

1. AAA, who is the spouse of a colleague in the UP College of Law, from 1990 to
1992, which complainant had personal knowledge of such illicit relations;

2. BBB, sometime during the period from 1992 to 1994 or from 1994 to 1996,
despite being already married to Jardiolin;

3. CCC, despite being married to Jardiolin and while also being romantically
involved with DDD;

4. DDD, sometime during the period from 2000 to 2002, despite still being married
to Jardiolin and while still being romantically involved with CCC;

5. EEE, who is related to complainant, sometime during the period from May 2004
until the filing of the Petition, while still being romantically involved with CCC.

Issue:

Should Atty. Pangalangan be disbarred?


Ruling:

Atty. Pangalangan was disbarred by the SC for grossly immoral conduct.


CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE
LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES.

Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF
THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR.

Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to
practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life. behave in a scandalous manner to
the discredit of the legal profession.
The practice of law is a privilege given to those who possess and continue to possess the legal
qualifications for the profession. Good moral character is not only required for admission to the
Bar, but must also be retained in order to maintain one's good standing in this exclusive and
honored fraternity.

In the case at bar, complainant alleged that respondent carried on several adulterous and illicit
relations with both married and unmarried women between the years 1990 to 2007, including
complainant's own wife. Through documentary evidences in the form of email messages, as
well as the corroborating testimonies of the witnesses presented, complainant was able to
establish respondent's illicit relations with DOD and CCC by preponderant evidence.

In sum, Atty. Pangalangan displayed deplorable arrogance by making a mockery out of the
institution of marriage, and taking advantage of his legal skills by attacking the Petition through
technicalities and refusing to participate in the proceedings. His actions showed that he lacked
the degree of morality required of him as a member of the bar, thus warranting the penalty of
disbarment.
A.C. No. 10671, November 25, 2015
JOSEPH C. CHUA, Complainant, v. ATTY. ARTURO M. DE CASTRO, Respondent.

A.C. No. 10737, November 09, 2015


ROLANDO TOLENTINO, Complainant, v. ATTY. RODIL L. MILLADO AND ATTY.
FRANCISCO B. SIBAYAN, Respondents.

Facts:
Rolando Tolentino lose in October 28, 2013 Punong Barangay election by one (1) vote.
Immediately after election he filed an election protest before MTCC Tarlac City. Fortunately,
MTCC Judge Ryan Scott Roloinos declared Tolentino as winner on the aforementioned
election due to some altered ballots which favor to his opponent. He then filed motion for
execution which was granted by the MTCC through S.O.
On the other hand, Manalo who was the opponent of Tolentino filed an appeal and
certiorari before COMELEC. He was represented by Atty. Millado and later Atty. Sibayan
collaborated. COMELEC enjoined the following S.O issued by MTTC. In the appeal, it was
alleged that Atty. Millado misquoted the ruling in Fermo Vs. COMELEC while Atty. Sibayan
wrote a misleading statement. Also both respondents alleged that the decision of MTCC was
bareless.
Issue:
WON Atty. Millado and Atty. Sibayan have violated the CPR.
Held:
The Supreme Court found that the respondents have violated Canon II Rule 11.03 and
11.04 of Code of profession responsibility.
AC. No. 10912, January 19, 2016
PAULINA T. YU, Complainant, v. ATTY. BERLIN R. DELA CRUZ, Respondent.
FACTS:
It appears from the records that respondent lawyer agreed to represent Paulina T.
Yu (complainant) in several cases after having received various amounts as acceptance fees.

On November 29, 2011, while the lawyer-client relationship was subsisting, respondent lawyer
borrowed pieces of jewelry from complainant and pledged the same with the Citystate Savings
Bank, Inc. for the amount of P29, 945.50. Respondent lawyer appropriated the proceeds of the
pledge to his personal use. In order to facilitate the redemption of the said jewelry, respondent
lawyer issued to complainant, Citystate Savings Bank Check No. 0088551, dated August 31,
2011, in the amount of P34, 500.00. Upon presentment, however, complainant was shocked to
learn that the check was dishonored for the reason, "Account Closed." Complainant
immediately notified respondent lawyer of the dishonor of the check.

On March 23, 2012, a letter given by the complainant where she demanded for the refund of
the acceptance fees received by respondent lawyer prior to the "abandonment" of the cases
and the payment of the value of the jewelry, but to no avail.

In another letter, dated April 18, 2012, represented by another lawyer, Atty. Francisco C.
Miralles, complainant again demanded the redemption of the check in cash within five days
from notice; the refund of the paid acceptance fees, in exchange for which no service was
rendered; the payment of the value of the pledged jewelry in the amount of PI00, 000.00 in
order to avoid the interests due and the possible foreclosure of the pledge; and moral damages
of P 300,000.00.
And for his failure to heed the repeated demands, a criminal case for violation of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 22 was filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor, Las Pinas City, against him. 7

On June 7, 2013, the Investigating Commissioner recommended the disbarment of respondent


lawyer from the practice of law. Based on the evidence on record, respondent lawyer was
found to have violated Rule 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), which
proscribed the borrowing of money from a client, unless the latter's interests were fully
protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Worse, respondent lawyer had
clearly issued a worthless check in violation of law which was against Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of
the CPR stating that, "lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest and immoral or deceitful
conduct."

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent lawyer may disbarred in violation of Canons 1, 16, 17, and Rules
1.01, 16.04 of the CPR.

RULING:

In the case at bench, the complaint stemmed from the use by respondent lawyer of his client's
property. He had, indeed, come into possession of valuable pieces of jewelry which he
presented as security in a contract of pledge. Complainant voluntarily and willingly delivered
her jewelry worth P135, 000.00 to respondent lawyer who meant to borrow it and pawn it
thereafter. This act alone shows respondent lawyer's blatant disregard of Rule 16.04.

Obviously, his unfulfilled promise to facilitate the redemption of the jewelry and his act of
issuing a worthless check constitute grave violations of the CPR and the lawyer's oath. These
shortcomings on his part have seriously breached the highly fiduciary relationship between
lawyers and clients. Specifically, his act of issuing worthless checks patently violated Rule 1.01
of Canon 1 of the CPR which requires that lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct." This indicates a lawyer's unfitness for the trust and confidence
reposed on him, shows such lack of personal honesty and good moral character as to render
him unworthy of public confidence, and constitutes a ground for disciplinary action, and thus
seriously and irreparably tarnishes the image of the profession. Such conduct, while already
off-putting when attributed to an ordinary person, is much more abhorrent when exhibited by a
member of the Bar. In this case, respondent lawyer turned his back from the promise that he
once made upon admission to the Bar. As "vanguards of the law and the legal system, lawyers
must at all times conduct themselves, especially in their dealings with their clients and the
public at large, with honesty and integrity in a manner beyond reproach."As to the penalty
commensurate to respondent lawyer's actions, the Court takes heed of the guidepost provided
by jurisprudence, viz.: "Disbarment should not be decreed where any punishment less severe,
such as reprimand, suspension, or fine, would accomplish the end desired. This is as it should
be considering the consequence of disbarment on the economic life and honor of the erring
person." Hence, caution is called for amidst the Court's plenary power to discipline erring
lawyers.

WHEREFORE, finding respondent Atty. Berlin R. Dela Cruz GUILTY of violating Canons 1, 16,
17, and Rules 1.01 and 16.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Court
hereby SUSPENDS him from the practice of law for THREE YEARS with a STERN WARNING
that a repetition of the same or similar act would be dealt with more severely .

A.C. No. 8723 [Formerly CBD Case No. 11-2974], January 26, 2016
GREGORY FABAY, Complainant, v. ATTY. REX A. RESUENA, Respondent.

FACTS:
Fabay filed a complaint for disbarment for violation of the notarial law and for Atty.
Resuenas miscounduct as a lawyer. Fabay alleged that Atty. Resuena violated the provisions
of the Notarial law by notarizing an SPA notwithstanding that Amador Perez and Valentino
Perez were already dead long before the execution of the SPA.
The case was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). In its report and
recommendation, the IBP-CBD found Atty. Resuena to have violated the provisions of the
notarial law. Despite this fact, respondent allowed them to be represented by Remedios Perez
in the signing of the SPA without the proper authority provided for by law.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Resuena violated the provisions of the Notarial Law, his Lawyers
oath and in Code of Professional Responsibility?
HELD:
Yes. Section 2(b) of Rule IV of the Notarial Law provides: (b) A person shall not perform
a notarial act if the person involved as signatory to the instrument or document - (1) is not in
the notary's presence personally at the time of the notarization; and (2) is not personally
known to the notary public or otherwise identified by the notary public through competent
evidence of identity as defined by these Rules.
In the instant case, it is undisputed that Atty. Resuena violated not only the notarial law
but also his oath as a lawyer when he notarized the subject SPA without all the affiant's
personal appearance. Atty. Resuena's failure to perform his duty as a notary public resulted not
only damage to those directly affected by the notarized document but also made a mockery of
the integrity of a notary public and degraded the function of notarization. A graver responsibility
is placed upon Atty. Resuena by reason of his solemn oath to obey the laws and to do no
falsehood or consent to the doing of any. WHEREFORE, Atty. Rex A. Resuena is found
GUILTY of malpractice as a notary public, and of violating the lawyer's oath as well as Rule
1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, he is DISBARRED from
the practice of law and likewise PERPETUALLY DISQUALIFIED from being commissioned as
a notary public.
A.C. No. 10868 [Formerly CBD Case No. 07-2041], January 26, 2016
CHERYL E. VASCO-TAMARAY, Complainant, v. ATTY. DEBORAH Z. DAQUIS,
Respondent.

FACTS

Cheryl Vasco Tamaray, filed a complaint before the IBP on July 30 2007 alleging that
respondent Atty Deborah Daquis filed on her behalf a petition for Declaration of Nullity of
Marriage without her consent and forged her signature on the petition. She also alleged that
Atty Daquis signed the petition for declaration of Nullity of Marriage as counsel for petitioner
referring to the complainant. The Commission on Bar Discipline required the parties to submit
position papers but only the complainant complied.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty Daquis violates canons from Code of Professional Responsibility?

Ruling:

Respondent is found guilty of Violating :

1. Canon 1 Rule 1.01

2. Canon 7, Rule 7.03


A comparison of the signatures appearing on The Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
on complainants identification cards show difference in the stroke. While there is no evidence
to prove that the respondent forged complainants signature, the fact remains that respondent
allowed a forged signature to be used on a petition she prepared and notarized.

3. Canon 10, Rule 10.01

4. Canon 17

The penalty of DISBARMENT is imposed upon respondent Atty Daquis. The Office of the Bar
confidant is directed to remove the name of DEBorah Z. Daquis from the Roll of Attorneys.

A.C. No. 10910 [Formerly CBD Case No. 12-3594], January 19, 2016
ANTERO M. SISON, JR., Complainant, v. ATTY. MANUEL N. CAMACHO, Respondent.
A.C. No. 10753 (Formerly CBD Case No. 10-2703), January 26, 2016
ATTY. PABLO B. FRANCISCO, Complainant, v. ATTY. ROMEO M. FLORES, Respondent.

FACTS:

Atty. Francisco prays that Atty. Flores "be found guilty of violation of Canons 10 and 18 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. The facts shows that Atty. Francisco filed a Complaint for
forcible entry against Rainier Fineza and his mother, Teodora Fineza, (Finezas who were
represented by Atty. Flores.

ISSUE: The issue in this case is whether respondent Atty. Romeo M. Flores violated Canons
10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Regarding the Finezas' Petition for Relief from Judgment, Atty. Flores alleges that he only
assisted in the filing of the Petition. 40 He could not act as counsel because he had "no personal
knowledge as to when the [Finezas] learned . . . of the denial of the Motion for
Reconsideration."

Atty. Flores also argues that he did not violate Canon 18 because in another case, 42 which also
involved Atty. Francisco and the Finezas, he was able to prevent the demolition of the Finezas'
family home.43

The Commission on Bar Discipline recommended that Atty. Flores be found guilty of violating
Rules 10.01 and 10.03 of Canon 10. The Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines adopted and approved the said Report and Recommendation. However, the Board
of Governors Resolution is also silent on the issue of whether Atty. Flores violated Canon 18 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility.

RULING:

Respondent is guilty of violating Canon 10, Rule 10.01 when Respondent did not state the
exact date when he received a copy of the Motion for Issuance of a Writ of Execution. The
record shows that he received it on June 3, 2009. 74 Respondent then alleges that he
immediately informed the Finezas about the matter, but later on contradicted himself when he
stated "that he has no personal knowledge as to when the Fineza[s] learned or had knowledge
of the denial of the Motion for Reconsideration." 75
Respondent's statement that he had no knowledge when the Finezas learned about the denial
of their Motion for Reconsideration is also contradicted by the Finezas' allegations in their
Petition for Relief.

A.C. No. 7618, February 02, 2016


SPOUSES JONATHAN AND ESTER LOPEZ, Complainants, v. ATTY. SINAMAR E. LIMOS,
Respondent.

FACTS:
Complainants filed a disbarment case on Atty. Limos for violation of 18.03 of the CPR,
as she neglected the legal matter entrusted to her by not filing the adoption case - for almost a
year until complainants finally withdrew their documents from respondent and opted to have
the filing of the case handled by another lawyer. Worse, respondent refused to return the
amount of P75,000.00 representing legal fees paid by complainants to her.

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for violating the Rule 18.03 of
the CPR,

HELD:
Respondent's acts constitute a flagrant violation of Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the CPR, to wit:
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.
Once a lawyer takes up the cause of his client, he is duty-bound to serve the latter with
competence, and to attend to such client's cause with diligence, care, and devotion whether he
accepts it for a fee or for free. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of
the trust and confidence reposed upon him. Therefore, a lawyer's neglect of a legal matter
entrusted to him by his client constitutes inexcusable negligence for which he must be held
administratively liable, as in this case.
A.C. No. 5325, February 09, 2016
NEMESIO FLORAN AND CARIDAD FLORAN, Complainants, v. ATTY. ROY PRULE EDIZA,
Respondent.

FACTS
Atty. Ediza's liability stemmed from a Complaint/Affidavit 1 dated 8 September 2000 filed by the
spouses Nemesio and Caridad Floran (complainants). The subject of the complaint was a
3.5525 hectare parcel of unregistered land located in San Martin, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental,
which was covered by a tax declaration in the name of Sartiga Epal, a relative, who gave the
property to complainants. From the records, the Court found that Atty. Ediza deceived
complainants when he asked them to unknowingly sign a deed of sale transferring a portion of
their land to him. When the sale of complainants' land pushed through, Atty. Ediza received
half of the amount of the proceeds given by the buyer and falsely misled complainants into
thinking that he would register, using the same proceeds, the remaining portion of their land.
These actions, which deprived complainants of their property, showed Atty. Ediza's behavior as
unbecoming a member of the legal profession.

ISSUE: WON Atty. is guilty of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility especially
Canon 12 Rule 12.04?
In the present case, Atty. Ediza had previously been found guilty of violating the Code of
Professional Responsibility and was suspended from the practice of law for six months.
Despite the suspension, Atty. Ediza is once again demonstrating to this Court that not only is
he unfit to stay in the legal profession for failing to protect the interests of his clients but is also
remiss in following the dictates of the Court, which has administrative supervision over him.
In Martinez v. Zoleta,12 we held that the Court should not and will not tolerate future indifference
to administrative complaints and to resolutions requiring comment on such administrative
complaints. It bears stressing that a disregard of Court directives constitutes grave or serious
misconduct13 and gross or willful insubordination 14which warrant disciplinary sanction by this
Court.15
The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege, a privilege clothed with public interest
because a lawyer owes substantial duties not only to his client, but also to his brethren in the
profession, to the courts, and to the nation, and takes part in one of the most important
functions of the State - the administration of justice - as an officer of the court. 17 To enjoy the
privileges of practicing law, lawyers must adhere to the rigid standards of mental fitness,
maintain the highest degree of morality, and faithfully comply with the rules of the legal
profession.18 Clearly, Atty. Ediza's conduct has made him unfit to remain in the legal
profession.chanrobleslaw

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Roy Prule Ediza, having violated the Code of Professional
Responsibility by committing grave misconduct and willful insubordination, is DISBARRED and
his name ordered STRICKEN OFF the Roll of Attorneys effective immediately.This Decision is
immediately executory.
A.C. No. 10605, February 17, 2016
BIENVENIDO T. CANLAPAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. WILLIAM B. BALAYO, Respondent.
A.C. No. 10945 (Formerly CBD 09-2507), February 23, 2016
ANGELITO RAMISCAL AND MERCEDES ORZAME, Complainants, v. ATTY. EDGAR S.
ORRO, Respondent.

Facts:
The respondent did not inform the Ramiscals of the adverse decision of the CA which they only
learned about from their neighbors.. They endeavored to communicate with the respondent but
their efforts were initially in vain. When they finally reached him, he asked an additional
P7,000.00 from them as his fee in filing a motion for reconsideration in their behalf, albeit
telling them that such motion would already be belated. . To their dismay, they later discovered
that he did not file the motion for reconsideration; hence, the decision attained finality,
eventually resulting in the loss of their property measuring 8.479 hectares with a probable
worth of P3,391,600.00

Issue:
WON the respondent did not competently and diligently discharge his duties as the lawyer of
the Ramiscal

Held

Every lawyer, upon becoming a member of the Philippine Bar, solemnly takes the Lawyers
Oath, by which he vows, among others, that: I will delay no man for money or malice, and will
conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion, with all good
fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients. If he should violate the vow, he contravenes the
Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly its Canon 17, and Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of
Canon 18, viz.: CANON 17 - A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. CANON 18 A lawyer shall serve his client
with competence and diligence.Rule 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted
to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Rule 18.04 A
lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the client's request for information.
A.C. No. 8037, February 17, 2016
RE: DECISION DATED AUGUST 19, 2008, 3RD DIVISION, COURT OF APPEALS IN CA-
G.R. SP NO. 79904 [HON. DIONISIO DONATO T. GARCIANO, ET AL. V. HON. PATERNO G.
TIAMSON, ETC., ET AL.], Petitioner, v. ATTY. JOSE DE G. FERRER, Respondent.

Facts:
The Court of Appeals found that Garciano, et al., through Atty. Ferrer, filed two Petitions
for Certiorari successively. It also held that the withdrawal of the First Petition was "intended to
camouflage the glaring and blatant irregularity committed" by Garciano, et al. through their
counsel. If the withdrawal was, indeed, impelled by the lack of verification of the other
petitioners in the First Petition, then Garciano, et al. should have called the attention of the
Eleventh Division instead of filing the Second Petition. 39 The Court of Appeals held that when
the Second Petition was filed (and the existence of the First Petition concealed), forum
shopping had already been committed.
Ruling:
There is forum shopping "when a party repetitively avails of several judicial remedies in
different courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same
transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances, and all raising substantially the
same issues either pending in or already resolved adversely by some other court."
Forum shopping can be committed in three ways: (1) filing multiple cases based on the same
cause of action and with the same prayer, the previous case not having been resolved yet
(where the ground for dismissal is litis pendentia); (2) filing multiple cases based on the same
cause of action and the same prayer, the previous case having been finally resolved (where
the ground for dismissal is res judicata); and (3) filing multiple cases based on the same cause
of action, but with different prayers (splitting causes of action, where the ground for dismissal is
also either litis pendentia or res judicata).
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 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. 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.
Atty. Jose De G. Ferrer is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months for
engaging in forum shopping.
A.C. No. 7594, February 09, 2016
ADELPHA E. MALABED, Complainant, v. ATTY. MELJOHN B. DE LA PEA, Respondent.

This case is an administrative complaint filed by Adelpha E. Malabed (complainant) against


Atty. Meljohn B. De la Pea (respondent) for dishonesty and grave misconduct.

The complainant claimed that the Certificate to File Action in the complaint filed by respondent
refers to a different complaint that is the complaint filed by complainant's brother against
Fortunato Jadulco. In effect, there was no Certificate to File Action, which is required for the
filing of a civil action, in the complaint filed by respondent on behalf of his client Fortunato
Jadulco. Morever, the complainant also alleged that respondent did not furnish her counsel
with a copy of the free patent covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 1730, but
respondent forwarded a copy to the Court of Appeals. Complainant claimed that she could not
properly defend herself without a copy of the title. She further claimed that the title presented
by respondent was fabricated.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct

RULING:
The court finds the respondent has committed gross misconduct for (1) misrepresenting that
he submitted a certificate to file action issued by the Lupon Tagapamayapa when in fact there
was none prior to the institution of the civil action of his client, Fortunato Jadulco, in Civil Case
No. B-1118; (2) using improper language in his pleadings; and (3) defying willfully the Court's
prohibition on reemployment in any government office as accessory penalty of his dismissal as
a judge. Gross misconduct is defined as "improper or wrong conduct, the transgression of
some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in
character, and implies a wrongful intent and not a mere error in judgment."chanIn view of
respondent's repeated gross misconduct, the court increased the IBP's recommended penalty
to suspension from the practice of law for two (2) years.

A.C. No. 9807, February 02, 2016


ERLINDA SISTUAL, FLORDELISA S. LEYSA, LEONISA S. ESPABO AND ARLAN C.
SISTUAL, Complainants, v. ATTY. ELIORDO OGENA, Respondent.

Facts
Complainant alleged that Respondent unlawfully and feloniously falsified several documents
which resulted to cancellation of complainants late father TCT and made it appear that these
lots were sold to interested buyers.
Issue
Whether or not Atty. Ogena violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice
Ruling
Yes, he violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice specifically Rule IV, Section 2(b), which
provides that a person shall not perform a notarial act if the person involved as signatory to the
instrument or document (1) is not in the notary's presence personally at the time of the
notarization; and (2) is not personally known to the notary public or otherwise identified by the
notary public through competent evidence of identity as defined by these Rules. Doubtless,
Atty. Ogena was negligent in the performance of his duty as a notary public. He failed to
require the personal presence of the signatories of the documents and proceeded to notarize
the aforementioned documents without the signatures of all the parties. Likewise, Atty. Ogena
failed to comply with the most basic function that a notary public must do - to require the
parties to present their residence certificates or any other document to prove their identities.
He should be suspended for two (2) years from the practice of law and forever barred from
becoming a notary public.
A.C. No. 10483, March 18, 2016
THE CHRISTIAN SPIRITISTS IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC., PICO LOCAL CENTER,
REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, EDWIN A. PANTE, Complainant, v. ATTY.
DANIEL D. MANGALLAY, Respondent.

This administrative case against the respondent attorney did not arise from any attorney-client
relationship gone wrong between the parties but from the ejectment action in which the
respondent attorney, as the plaintiff, successfully defeated the local congregation of the
Christian Spiritists in the Philippines, Inc., Pico Local Center (CSP-PLC), whose church
building and other structures were the objects of the action. After the defendants filed their
notice of appeal, the parties agreed to settle among themselves, with the defendants
withdrawing the notice of appeal and agreeing to voluntarily vacate and remove their structures
by August 31, 2013 in consideration of the respondent's financial assistance of P300,000.00.
But, despite receiving the respondent's financial assistance, the defendants reneged on their
end of the agreement; hence, at the respondent's instance, the trial court issued the writ of
execution and the writ of demolition, by virtue of which the structures of the defendants were
ultimately demolished.

The demolition impelled the CSP-PLC, represented by its local Minister, Edwin A. Pante
(Pante), to bring the disbarment complaint against the respondent based on his allegedly gross
misconduct and deceit in causing the demolition of the structures without the demolition order
from the court, violation of the Lawyer's Oath, and disobedience to a lawful order of the court,
positing that he thereby abused his legal knowledge.
Issue:
Whether or not atty mangallay committed gross misconduct and deceit in causing the
demolition of the structures with the demolition order from the court, violation of the Lawyer's
Oath, and disobedience to a lawful order of the court, positing that he thereby abused his legal
knowledge.
Held:
No, demolition was authorized by the order issued by the MTC on December 19, 2013. 18 In the
execution of the final and executory decision in Civil Case No. R-1256, the sheriffs dutifully
discharged their functions. The complainant was then represented by Pante and some other
members of the congregation, who did not manifest any resistance' or objection to any
irregularity in the conduct of the execution. After all, elements of the Philippine National Police
were also present to ensure the peaceful implementation of the writ of execution.
The Court DISMISSES the complaint for disbarment against Atty. Daniel Dazon Mangallay for
its utter lack of merit.
A.C. No. 10543, March 16, 2016
NENITA D. SANCHEZ, Petitioner, v. ATTY. ROMEO G. AGUILOS, Respondent.
A.C. No. 7110, April 20, 2016
ARTHUR S. TULIO, Complainant, v. ATTY. GREGORY F. BUHANGIN, Respondent.

Facts:
Petitioner sought his legal advice concerning a property owned by his mother who was
then transferred in the names of third parties. Respondent prepared and notarized a Deed of
Waiver of Rights signed by all of his siblings in his favor. Thereafter, petitioner engaged the
services of respondent to represent him in filing a case for specific performance and damages.
To petitioners surprise, respondent was the counsel of his siblings concerning the same
subject property, filed a rescission of the waiver of rights that the Respondent himself prepared
and notarized. Petitioner filed a motion to disqualify him. Subsequently, respondent filed a
petition as counsel for the siblings of the petitioner for conflict of interest.
Issue: Whether or not the respondent violated the Lawyers Oath and Code of Professional
Responsibility
Ruling:
The court ruled, respondent Atty. Gregory F. Buhangin is hereby held GUILTY of representing
conflicting interests in violation of Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Accordingly, he is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of
six (6) months, with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future will
be dealt with more severely.

A.C. No. 8172, April 12, 2016


ALEX NULADA, Complainant, v. ATTY. ORLANDO S. PAULMA, Respondent.

Facts: On September 30, 2005 complainant alleged that, respondent issued in his favor a
check in the amount of P650,000.00 as payment for the latter's debt. Because of respondent's
standing as a respected member of the community of the Municipality of Miagao, Province of
Iloilo, complainant accepted the check without question. Unfortunately, when he presented the
check for payment, it was dishonored due to insufficient fluids. Respondent failed to make
good the amount of the check despite notice of dishonor and repeated demands, prompting
complainant to file a criminal complaint for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang (BP) 22 against
him, before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, Province of Iloilo, docketed as I.S. No.
2006-637, which issued a Resolution dated May 26, 2006 recommending the filing of the
appropriate information against respondent before the Municipal Trial Court of Miagao,
Province of Iloilo (MTC). Subsequently, said information was docketed as Criminal Case No.
2604. After due proceedings, the MTC rendered a Decision dated October 30, 2008 finding
respondent guilty of violation of BP 22 and ordering him to pay the amount of P150,000.00 as
fine, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of failure to pay. Respondent was also ordered to
pay the amount representing the checks, appearance and attorneys fees. In his
defense, respondent denied that he committed dishonesty against complainant, as prior to
September 30, 2005, he informed the latter that there were insufficient funds to cover the
amount of the check. Respondent claimed that he merely issued the check in order to
accommodate a friend in whose favor he obtained the loan, stressing that he did not personally
benefit from the proceeds thereof. Respondent appealed his conviction to the Regional Trial
Court of Guimbal Iloilo Branch 67 if which it affirmed in toto the MTC ruling and which became
final and executory on April 16 2009.
Thereafter, the Court, in its Resolution dated November 14, 2011, referred this administrative
case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for its investigation, report, and
recommendation, which subsequently suspend respondent from the practice of law for a period
of two (2) years for having violated the lawyer's oath and the CPR, as well as for having been
found guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Issue: WON respondent should be administratively disciplined for having been found guilty of
a crime involving moral turpitude.

Ruling: Yes,

The Court sustains the findings and conclusions of the CBD of the IBP, as approved, adopted,
and modified by the IBP Board of Governors. Clearly, the issuance of worthless checks in
violation of BP Blg. 22 indicates a lawyer's unfitness for the trust and confidence reposed on
him, shows such lack of personal honesty and good moral character as to render him unworthy
of public confidence, and constitutes a ground for disciplinary action. In this case, respondent's
conviction for violation of BP 22, a crime involving moral turpitude, had been indubitably
established. Such conviction has, in fact, already become final. Consequently, respondent
violated the lawyer's oath, as well as Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the CPR, as aptly found by the IBP
and, thus, must be subjected to disciplinary action.

In Heenan v. Espejo, the Court suspended therein respondent from the practice of law for a
period of two (2) years when the latter issued checks which were dishonored due to
insufficiency of funds. As a final word, it should be emphasized that membership in the legal
profession is a privilege burdened with conditions. A lawyer is required to observe the law and
be mindful of his or her actions whether acting in a public or private capacity.

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Orlando S. Paulma is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice
of law for a period of two (2) years, effective upon his receipt of this Resolution. He is warned
that a repetition of the same or similar act will be dealt with more severely.

A.C. No. 10677, April 18, 2016


RUDENIA L. TIBURDO, Complainant, v. ATTY. BENIGNO M. PUNO, Respondent.
FACTS:
On June 04, 2010, Tiburdo filed her complaint-affidavit for the disbarment of Atty. Puno
alleging that Atty. Puno intentionally and deliberately failed to submit the affidavit of publication
to cause great damage and prejudiced Marquard his previous client. Furthermore Atty. Puno
failed to inform her and Marqauard of the dismissal of the Civil Case despite receipt of the
order containing the such dismissal.

ISSUE: Whether or not respondents negligence tantamount to grave misconduct?

RULLING:
The pieces of evidence presented by the complainant clearly and convincingly proved that
the respondent act of continuously ignoring the direct orders of the trial court despite repeated
demands is evocative of gross misconduct. Furthermore the Code of Professional
responsibility clearly mandates for every lawyer to serve their client with competence and
diligence.Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for one (1) year.
A.C. No. 10781 [Formerly CBD Case No. 10-2764], April 12, 2016
COBALT RESOURCES, INC., Complainant, v. ATTY. RONALD AGUADO, Respondent.

FACTS:<br>
This is an administrative complaint for disbarment filed by Cobalt Resources, Inc. against
respondent Atty. Ronald C. Aguado before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for
violation of Rules 1.01 and 1.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the
lawyer&apos;s oath. CRI alleged that a group of armed men, clad in vests bearing the mark
PASG and pretending to be agents of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG), hi-
jacked its <br>
delivery van which was then loaded with cellular phones worth P1.3 million. The PNP- CIDU
tracked down the location of the cellular phones and in the said location they found 3 cars
parked one of which is owned by Atty Aguado. It was found that it was Atty. Aguado who
prepared the fake mission order and masterminded the crime as he was the one who
conceived it and laid down the nitty-gritty details of its execution and that it was he who
recruited the armed men who actually executed the hijacking. Eventually, two separate
Informations for Robbery and Carnapping were filed against Atty. Aguado and several others.
The IBP directed Atty. Aguado to submit his answer but, despite several extensions, he failed
to do so. The IBP then set the case for mandatory conference. In his Conference Brief, Atty.
Aguado denied the allegations. CRI filed a motion for reconsideration praying that a new
resolution
ordering the disbarment of Atty. Aguado be issued. CRI claimed that Atty. Aguado deserved the
ultimate penalty of disbarment as the falsification of public documents was sufficiently
established and, as the CBD knew, he masterminded the hijacking using his profession to
commit the crime. Atty. Aguado asserted that this case should, at the very least, be suspended
pending the resolution of the robbery and carnapping charges against him.

ISSUE:
Whether or not disbarment case can be suspended due to a pending criminal cases filed
against the respondent.

HELD:
The Court finds merit in the petition of CRI. It must be emphasized that a disbarment
proceeding, being administrative in nature, is separate and distinct from a criminal action filed
against a lawyer and they may proceed independently of each other. A finding of guilt in the
criminal case does not necessarily mean a finding of liability in the administrative case. In the
same way, the dismissal of a criminal case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence against
an accused, who is also a respondent in an administrative case, does not necessarily
exculpate him administratively because the quantum of evidence required is different. In
criminal cases, proof beyond reasonable doubt is required. In administrative cases for
disbarment or suspension against lawyers, the quantum of proof required is clearly
preponderant evidence and the burden of proof rests upon the complainant. WHEREFORE,
Atty. Ronald C. Aguado is DISBARRED for gross misconduct and violation of Rules 1.01 and
1.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and his name is ordered STRICKEN OFF the
roll of attorneys.

A.C. No. 11128, April 06, 2016


PEDRO RAMOS, Complainant, v. ATTY. MARIA NYMPHA C. MANDAGAN, Respondent.
Ramos alleged that Atty. Mandagan demanded from him the amount of Three Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00) in connection with the criminal case filed against him for
murder before the Sandiganbayan. According to Ramos, the P300,000.00 shall be used as bail
bond in the event that his petition for bail in the said criminal case is granted. Also, Atty.
Mandagan collected an additional amount of Ten Thousand Pesos ( 10,000.00) for operating
expenses. In both instances, an Acknowledgment Receipt was issued in his favor as proof of
payment.

Contrary to the assurance, however, of Atty. Mandagan, Ramos petition for bail was denied by
the Sandiganbayan. Moreover, Atty. Mandagan withdrew as his counsel without returning the
amount of 300,000.00 despite the demand sent by Ramos counsel

Ruling:

Clearly, Atty. Mandagan failed to act in accordance with the rule stated in Canon 16 of the
CPR, to wit:

Canon 16. A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come
into his possession.
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from
the client.

Rule 16.03 A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon
demand.

Atty. Mandagans failure to make an accounting or to return the money to Ramos is a violation
of the trust reposed on her. As a lawyer, Atty. Mandagan should be scrupulously careful in
handling money entrusted to her in her professional capacity because the CPR exacts a high
degree of fidelity and trust from members of the bar.

Atty. Maria Nympha C. Mandagan is GUILTY of violating Canon 16, Rule 16.01 and Rule 16.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and SUSPENDS her from the practice of law for a
period of one (1) year effective.

A.C. No. 11139, April 19, 2016


PHILCOMSAT* HOLDINGS CORPORATION, DULY REPRESENTED BY ERLINDA I.
BILDNER, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS K. LOKIN, JR. AND ATTY. SIKINI C. LABASTILLA,
Respondents.

Facts:
The Complaint alleged that sometime in June 2007, the Senate, through its Committee on
Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, conducted an investigation concerning the
anomalies that plagued the PHILCOMSAT group of companies, which includes complainant,
particularly in its huge disbursements of monies and/or assets. In the course of the said
investigation, the Senate examined various financial records and documents of the company,
which at that time, were under the control and management of Atty. Lokin, Jr. and his co-
directors. Among the records examined by the Senate was an entry in complainant's
checkbook stub which reads "Cash for Sandiganbayan, tro, potc-philcomsat case -
P2,000,000"3 (subject checkbook entry). It was then discovered that the check was issued in
connection with complainant's injunction case against Philippine Overseas
Telecommunications Corporation (POTC) before the Sandiganbayan, which was filed by Atty.
Lokin, Jr.'s group, as its representatives, with Atty. Labastilla as its external counsel (POTC
case). In his defense, Atty. Lokin, Jr. maintained that he did not perform acts violative of the
Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), insisting that the Sandiganbayan's findings in the
indirect contempt case were erroneous and contrary to the pertinent evidence and records. He
likewise pointed out that the Sandiganbayan ruling was appealed - albeit not by him but by
Atty. Labastilla - to the Court, i.e., G.R. No. 187699,11 which appeal remains unresolved.

Issue:
Whether or not respondents should be held administratively liable.
Ruling:
Yes, the respondents were liable for performing acts that undermined the integrity of the courts,
such as the subject checkbook entry which contumaciously imputed corruption against the
Sandiganbayan. It is their sworn duty as lawyers and officers of the court to uphold the dignity
and authority of the courts. Respect for the courts guarantees the stability of the judicial
institution; without this guarantee, the institution would be resting on very shaky foundations. 39
This is the very thrust of Canon 11 of the CPR, which provides that "[a] lawyer shall observe
and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and should insist on similar
conduct by others." Furthermore, Canon 7 of the CPR commands every lawyer to "at all times
uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession" for the strength of the legal profession
lies in the dignity and integrity of its members. It is every lawyer's duty to maintain the high
regard to the profession by staying true to his oath and keeping his actions beyond reproach.
WHEREFORE, respondents Atty. Luis K. Lokin, Jr. and Atty. Sikini C. Labastilla are found
GUILTY of violating Canons 7 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly,
Atty. Luis K. Lokin, Jr. is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of three (3)
years, while Atty. Sikini C. Labastilla is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a
period of one (1) year, effective upon the receipt of this Decision, with a stern warning that a
repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.
A.C. No. 9018, April 20, 2016
TERESITA P. FAJARDO, Complainant, v. ATTY. NICANOR C. ALVAREZ, Respondent.

FACTS: Complainant Teresita P. Fajardo (Teresita) was the Municipal Treasurer of San
Leonardo, Nueva Ecija. She hired respondent Atty. Nicanor C. Alvarez (Atty. Alvarez) to defend
her in criminal and administrative cases before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Atty. Alvarez was then working in the Legal Section of the National Center for Mental Health.
Teresita hired Atty. Alvarez to handle several cases filed against her before the Office of the
Ombudsman. He asked for P1,400,000.00 as acceptance fee. However, Atty. Alvarez did not
enter his appearance before the Office of the Ombudsman nor sign any pleadings.
Atty. Alvarez assured Teresita that he had friends connected with the Office of the Ombudsman
who could help with dismissing her case for a certain fee. Atty. Alvarez said that he needed to
pay the amount of P500,000.00 to his friends and acquaintances working at the Office of the
Ombudsman to have the cases against Teresita dismissed. However, the Office of the
Ombudsman issued a resolution and decision recommending the filing of a criminal complaint
against Teresita, and her dismissal from service, respectively.
Teresita then demanded that Atty. Alvarez return at least a portion of the amount she gave.
Atty. Alvarez promised to return the amount to Teresita; however, he failed .
ISSUES:
1) Whether or not a lawyer working in the Legal Section of the National Center for Mental
Health under the Department of Health is authorized to privately practice law,

2) Whether the amount charged by respondent for attorney's fee is reasonable under the
principle of quantum meruit
RULING: By assisting and representing complainant in a suit against the Ombudsman and
against government in general, respondent put himself in a situation of conflict of interest.
While this Court is not a collection agency for faltering debtors, this Court has ordered
restitution of amounts to complainants due to the erroneous actions of lawyers. Respondent is
obliged to return back the 500,000php ,Respondent Atty. Nicanor C. Alvarez is guilty of
violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, the
Lawyer's Oath, and the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for one (1) year with a WARNING .Respondent is ORDERED to return the
amount of P500,000.00 with legal interest to complainant Teresita P. Fajardo.
A.C. No. 10675, May 31, 2016
DATU ISMAEL MALANGAS, Complainant, v. ATTY. PAUL C. ZAIDE, Respondent.

Facts: Complainant accused respondent lawyer of committing acts of dishonesty, breach of


trust and violation of the canons of Judicial Ethics in relation to the complaint for damages
against Paul Alfeche and NEMA for accident which he incurred expenses of 1.5 million in
hospital bills and major operation but the latter remained crippled and bed ridden.
Complainant sought the service of respondent to prosecute his complaint for damages and
give him 20,000 as acceptance fee and 50,000 as filing fee in order to commence a 5 million
damage suit caused by the accident but respondent failed to prosecute the complaint due to
his failure to attend 2 hearings and submit a motion for reconsideration which resulted to
dismissal of the case. And that only 250,000 was the amount filed by respondent and not 5
million as agreed.
Issue: Whether or not respondent is guilty of violating the code?
Held: Yes. Respondent is GUILTY of violating Rule 16.01 and 16.03 of the code of
Professional Responsibility. Respondent is suspended from practice of law for 2 years and
ordered to return the amount accepted. That the code demands the utmost degree of fidelity
and good faith in dealing with money entrusted to a lawyer because of fiduciary relation.
A.C. No. 10373 [Formerly CBD Case No. 08-2280], May 31, 2016
FLORA C. MARIANO, Petitioner, v. ATTY. ANSELMO ECHANEZ, Respondent.

Facts:

On August 25, 2008, Flora Mariano filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Anselmo Echanez for violation of
the Notarial Law by performing notarial acts on documents without a notarial commission.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) ordered Atty. Echanez to submit his
answer to the complaint against him.

But Atty. Anselmo Echanez failed to submit his answer.

Issue:

Is Atty. Alselmo Echanez liable for malpractice for notarizing documents without a notarial commission?

Ruling:

Yes. The Court has stressed that notarization is not an empty, meaningless and routine act. It is invested with
substantive public interest that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. It must be
emphasized that the act of notarization by a notary public converts a private document into a public document
making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of authenticity. A notarial document is by law
entitled to full faith and credit upon its face, and for this reason, notaries public must observe with utmost care the
basic requirements in the performance of their duties. hanRoblesVirtualawrary

In the instant case, it is undisputable that Atty. Echanez performed notarial acts on several documents without a
valid notarial commission. The fact of his lack of notarial commission at the time of the unauthorized notarizations
was likewise sufficiently established by the certifications issued by the Executive Judges in the territory where Atty.
Echanez performed the unauthorized notarial acts. Chab

Atty. Echanez's failure to attend the mandatory conference and to submit his Answer and Position paper without any
valid explanation is enough reason to make him administratively liable since he is duty-bound to comply with all the
lawful directives of the IBP, not only because he is a member thereof but more so because IBP is the Court-
designated investigator of this case. As an officer of the Court, Atty. Echanez is expected to know that a resolution of
this Court is not a mere request but an order which should be complied with promptly and completely. This is also
true of the orders of the IBP.
Roble sVirtualawlibrary

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Anselmo S. Echanez is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two (2)
years and BARRED PERMANENTLY from being commissioned as Notary Public, effective upon his receipt of a copy
of this decision with a stern warning that a repetition of the same shall be dealt with severely.le sVirtuala wlibrary

A.C. No. 11069, June 08, 2016


RONALDO C. FACTURAN, Complainant, v. PROSECUTOR ALFREDO L. BARCELONA,
JR., Respondent.

Facts:
The complainant alleged that on June 4, 2004 he filed a complaint for qualified thief
against Pilar Mendoza and four (4) others. The complaint was docketed as I.S No. 04-211. It
was then forwarded to the herein respondent A prosecutor Barcelona for approval. However,
the failed to take necessary action for the complaint. Worst, he removed the record and
brought to his home. Later it was found out that one of the accused was his relative.
Issue:
WON prosecutor Barcelona has violated the CPR?
Held:
The Supreme Court found Prosecutor Barcelona for violating Rule 6.02 Canon 6 of
Code of Professional Responsibility. Therefore, he was suspended from the practice of law for
one (1) year. He was also sternly warned to a more severe penalty for repeating the said act.
Supreme Court said, the respondent obstinately and deliberately refuse to perform his
duties which made the it advantage for the accused in I.S No. 4211.

A.C. No. 11246, June 14, 2016


ARNOLD PACAO, Complainant, v. ATTY. SINAMAR LIMOS, Respondent.

Facts

Complainant's wife Mariadel Pacao, former vault custodian of BHF Pawnshop (BHF) branch
was charged with qualified theft by BHF. Atty. Limos, counsel for BHF and the complainant
entered into a negotiation wherein Pacao should pay Php 530,000.00. Initial amount of
P200,000.00 was actually paid. However, Limos failed to meet her undertakings. BHF's
representative, Camille Bonifacio, informed him that Atty. Limos was no longer BHF's counsel
and was not authorized to negotiate any settlement nor receive any money in behalf of BHF.
The complainant also learned that BHF did not receive the P200,000.00 initial payment that he
gave to Atty. Limos.

Issue

Whether or not the instant disbarment complaint constitutes a sufficient basis to disbar Atty.
Limos from the practice of law

Ruling

Yes, this is the third time the lawyer is facing administrative case. Doubtless, there is deceit
and misrepresentation. It is not too farfetched for this Court to conclude that from the very
beginning, Atty. Limos had planned to employ deceit on the complainant to get hold of a sum of
money. Such a conduct is unbecoming and does not speak well of a member of the Bar. She
violated Section 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. Respondent Atty. Sinamar Limos
is disbarred.

A.C. No. 9574, June 21, 2016


MYRNA M. DEVEZA, Complainant, v. ATTY. ALEXANDER M. DEL PRADO, Respondent.

FACTS:
Before the Court . Myrna M, Deveza (complainant) filed a disbarment case against respondent
Atty. Alexander M. Del Prado (Atty. Del Prado) for dishonesty and for acts unbecoming a
lawyer.
Respondent, Alexander del Prado bought a land from the complainant which is located at
Malvar St. Brgy. Camarin, Caloocan City with an area of 633.80 sq. m. covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 178828 for P1,500 per square meters on installment basis. To
document the sale both parties executed a Contract to Sell wherein Atty. Del Prado took all the
copies on the pretext that he will have the document notarized but he never gave a copy of the
said document to the complainant. Eventually, Atty. Del Prado defaulted in his obligation by
leaving a balance of P 565,950. Consequently, complainant sent a demand letter to the
respondent for the payment of the unpaid obligation and/or rescission of the sale.
Upon receipt of the demand letter, respondent called respondent and told her to meet at
Jollibee, Munoz Branch for him to pay the unpaid balance. Respondent likewise asked
complainant to bring the title of the property.
In the meeting, respondent brought a completely filled up Deed of Sale where he asked the
complainant to sign it before he will give the full payment. Afterwich, Atty. Del Prado gave the
complainant only P 5,000 and told her that the complete payment will be given once the
document has been notarized. However, Atty. Del Prado never paid the balance of the
purchase price for the lot he bought from the complainant. Worst, Atty. Del Prado used the
Deed of Sale he made the complainant sign by means of fraud as evidence in the civil case
filed by the complainant against him for the rescission of the contract that misled the court.
In a Resolution dated September 3, 2012 the Court required Atty. Del Prado to comment on the
complaint but he failed to do so. Thus, the Court issued a Resolution on November 18, 2013
to refer the complaint to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation, report and
recommendation.
When the mandatory conference was set only the counsel of the complainant appeared
despite due notice was given to the respondent. Atty. Del Prado did not heed to the order of
the IBP.
The IBP issued its Report and Recommendation on September 2, 2014 stating that Atty. Del
Prados failure to answer complaint despite notices and his continuous absence on the
scheduled hearings shows his flouting resistance to the lawful orders of the court and
illustrates his despciency for his oath of office as a lawyer. The IBP-CBD recommended that
Atty. Del Prado be meter the penalty of suspension from practice of law and as member of the
bar for a period of 2 years.
In its Notice of Resolution No. XXI-2015-014, dated January 30, 2015, the IBP-Board of
Governors adopted and approved with modification the report and recommendation of the CBD
and suspended Atty. Del Prado from the practice of law for a period of five (5) years.
The Court agrees with the findings and recommendation of the IBP.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent Atty. Alexander Del Prado is guilty of violating Rule 1.01 of Canon
1 and Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
HELD:
Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility specifically mandates all lawyers to uphold
the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the same code
prescribes a lawyer from engaging in any unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.
They should refrain from doing any act which might lessen in any degree the confidence and
trust reposed by the public in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of the legal
profession.chanrobleslaw

In the present case, Atty. Del Prado committed an act which fell short of the standard of the
norm of conduct required of every lawyer. He deceived the complainant by making her sign the
deed of sale and making her believe that he would pay in full the balance of the purchase price
after he had the document notarized. Complainant waited for Atty. Del Prado to make good his
promise to pay but despite several demands, he continued reneging on his obligation which
prompted her to file a case against him.

Moreover, Atty. Del Prado wantonly disregarded the lawful orders of the Court and IBP-CBD to
file his comment and position paper and to appear in the mandatory conference despite due
notice. His continued defiance of the orders of the Court and the IBP-CBD is a deliberate and
contemptuous affront on the court's authority which cannot be tolerated. Atty. Del Prado should
bear in mind that he is a lawyer and an officer of the court who is duty bound to obey and
respect the court processes. He must acknowledge, at all times, the orders of the Court and
the IBP-CBD in deference to their authority over him as a member of the bar.
Respondent Atty. Alexander Del Prado was found GUILTY of violating Rule 1.01 of Canon 1
and Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, hereby was suspended by the court
from practice of law for Five (5) years effective upon receipt of the decision with
a warning that a repetition of the same or a similar act will be dealt with more severely.
A.C. No. 10465, June 08, 2016
SPOUSES LAMBERTO V. EUSTAQUIO AND GLORIA J. EUSTAQUIO, Complainants, v.
ATTY. EDGAR R. NAVALES, Respondent.

FACTS:

Complainants alleged that they are the owners of an apartment located at 4-D Cavite St., Barangay
Paltok, SFDM, Quezon City, which they leased to respondent under a Contract of Lease dated April
16, 2005. However, respondent violated the terms and conditions of the aforesaid contract when he
failed to pay monthly rentals in the aggregate amount of P139,000.00 and to vacate the leased
premises despite repeated oral and written demands. This prompted complainants to refer the
matter to barangay conciliation, where the parties agreed on an amicable settlement, whereby
respondent promised to pay complainants the amount of P131,000.00 on July 16, 2009 and to
vacate the leased premises on July 31, 2009. Respondent eventually reneged on his obligations
under the settlement agreement, constraining complainants to file an ejectment case against him
before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Quezon City, Branch 40 (MeTC-Br. 40), docketed as
Civil Case No. 09-39689. Further, complainants filed the instant case before the Commission on Bar
Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), contending that respondent miserably failed
to exemplify honesty, integrity, and respect for the laws when he failed and refused to fulfil his
obligations to complainants.

Despite notices, respondent failed to file his Answer, to appear in the mandatory conference, and to
file his position paper.

Meanwhile, the MeTC-Br. 40 promulgated a Decision dated December 8, 2009 in the ejectment case
in favor of the complainants and, accordingly, ordered respondent to vacate the leased premises
and to pay complainants the following amounts: (a) P139,000.00 representing unpaid rentals as of
July 2009; (b) further rental payments of P8,000.00 per month starting August 17, 2009 until the
actual surrender of said premises to complainants; (c) attorney's fees in the amount of P20,000.00;
and (d) cost of suit.

During the pendency of the case, respondent was appointed as an Assistant City Public Prosecutor
of Quezon City.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable.

RULING:

In the instant case, the OBC correctly pointed out that the Court's Resolution dated September 15,
2014 suspending respondent from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months became final
and executory fifteen (15) days after respondent received a copy of the same on October 16, 2014.
Thus, respondent should have already commenced serving his six (6)-month suspension. However,
respondent never heeded the suspension order against him as he continued discharging his
functions as an Assistant City Prosecutor for Quezon City, as evidenced by the Certification issued
by MeTC-Br. 38 stating that respondent has been appearing before it as an Assistant City Prosecutor
since September 2014 up to the present.

Verily, a plain reading of the foregoing provision evidently shows that the government office of
Assistant City Prosecutor requires its holder to be authorized to practice law. Hence, respondent's
continuous discharge of his functions as such constitutes practice of law and, thus, a clear defiance
of the Court's order of suspension against him.

As a final note, it must be stressed that "[d]isbarment of lawyers is a proceeding that aims to purge
the law profession of unworthy members of the bar. It is intended to preserve the nobility and honor
of the legal profession. While the Supreme Court has the plenary power to discipline erring lawyers
through this kind of proceedings, it does so in the most vigilant manner so as not to frustrate its
preservative principle. The Court, in the exercise of its sound judicial discretion, is inclined to
impose a less severe punishment if, through it, the end desire of reforming the errant lawyer is
possible."[32]

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Edgar R. Navales is found GUILTY of violating Section 27, Rule 138 of
the Rules of Court. Accordingly, he is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for an additional period
of six (6) months from his original six (6)-month suspension, totalling one (1) year from service of
this Decision, with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with
more severely.

A.C. No. 9871, June 29, 2016


IN RE: A.M. NO. 04-7-373-RTC [REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 60, BARILI, CEBU] AND A.M. NO. 04-7-374-RTC
[VIOLATION OF JUDGE ILDEFONSO SUERTE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 60,
BARILI, CEBU OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 36-2004 DATED MARCH 3, 2004],
PROSECUTOR MARY ANN T. CASTRO-ROA, Respondent.

FACTS:

Castro-Roa filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage (First Petition) on the ground
of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. RTC Branch 56 granted the
First Petition, and declared the marriage between Castro-Roa and her husband null and void by
reason of psychological incapacity.
The RTC Decision was, however, appealed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to
the Court of Appeals (CA). However, despite the pendency of Castro-Roa's Motion to Dismiss
(First) Petition, she filed a Petition for Annulment of Marriage (Second Petition). The Second
Petition was grounded on fraud through the concealment of drug addiction and habitual
alcoholism under Article 45 (3) in relation to Article 46 of the Family Code. In this Second
Petition, Castro-Roa failed to mention the pendency of the First Petition in the Verification and
Certification of Non-Forum Shopping.
Alter due proceedings, the Board of Governors of the IBP (IBP Board) finding Castro-Roa
guilty of violating Canon 1, Canon 10, Rule 1.02, Rule 7.03, Rule 10.01, Rule 10.03 and Rule
12.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The IBP Board recommended her suspension
from the practice of law for a period of one year. The IBP Board also ruled that there was forum
shopping because the elements of litis pendentia are present.

ISSUES:

(1)Whether Castro-Roa committed forum shopping; and


(2) Whether such act deserves the penalty of suspension from the practice of law.

HELD:
Forum shopping can be committed in three ways, namely: (1) filing multiple cases based on
the same cause of action and with the same prayer, the previous case not having been
resolved yet (litis pendentia); (2) filing multiple cases based on the same cause of action and
the same prayer, the previous case having been finally resolved (res judicata); or (3) filing
multiple cases based on the same cause of action but with different prayers (splitting of causes
of action, where the ground for dismissal is also either litis pendentia or res judicata). We find
that Castro-Roa committed forum shopping of the third kind. Forum shopping can occur
although the actions seem to be different, when it can be seen that there is a splitting of a
cause of action. Section 47 (b) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court embodies the concept of res
judicata as "bar by prior judgment" or "estoppel by verdict," which is the effect of a judgment as
a bar to the prosecution of a second action upon the same claim, demand or cause of action.
There is no distinction as to whether the transgression is committed in a lawyer's private life or
in his professional capacity, for a lawyer may not divide his personality as an attorney at one
time and a mere citizen at another. Also, Castro-Roa violated Rule 12.02 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Filing multiple actions contravenes such duty because it does not
only clog the court dockets, but also takes the courts' time and resources from other cases.
WHEREFORE, Prosecutor Mary Ann T. Castro-Roa is SUSPENDED from the practice of law
for six (6) months, effective upon the receipt of this Decision. She is warned that a repetition of
a similar act will be dealt with more severely.
A.C. No. 7330, June 14, 2016
JUDGE GREGORIO D. PANTANOSAS, JR., Complainant, v. ATTY. ELLY L. PAMATONG,
Respondent.

FACTS

Atty Pamatong was appearing as counselin a civil case heard in the court of petitioner, Judge
Gregorio Panatanosas.

During one hearing, petitioner Judge had supposedly asked respondent to remove
his copia (headwear worn by Muslims) while inside the courtroom, to which respondent
demurred citing religious grounds and embarrassment because of his 'bald pate.' Petitioner
Judge obliged but with the warning that he would no longer allow it the next time.

Pamatong then filed a motion for inhibition where he "excoriated" the judge for supposedly
being corrupt. "In my 30 years of law practice, I never encountered a judge who appears to be
as corrupt as you are, thereby giving me the impression that you are a disgrace to the judicial
system of the land who does not deserve to be a member of the Philippine Bar at all," a part of
the lawyer's motion read.

Pantanosas refuted all of Pamatong's allegations and denied his motion for inhibition. He also
filed a disbarment complaint against the lawyer before the SC, citing the language he used in
his motion.

ISSUE

Whether or not Atty Pamatong violated the lawyers oath and Code of Professional
Responsibility on his statement towards Judge Pantanosas?

RULING

It was recommended that respondent violated the lawyer's oath and breach of ethics of the
legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility. It cannot be
overemphasized that it is the sworn duty of a lawyer to maintain towards the Courts a
respectful attitude, "not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but for the
maintenance of its supreme importance."43 It is precisely for this reason that the Lawyer's Oath
enjoins all members of the bar to conduct themselves with good fidelity towards the courts 44 in
order not to erode the faith and trust of the public in the judiciary.

They find it befitting to reiterate that lawyers have the right, both as an officer of the court and
as a citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of
courts and judges. However, closely linked to such rule is the cardinal condition that criticisms,
no matter how truthful, shall not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. To that end, the
duty of a lawyer to his client's success is wholly subordinate to the administration of
justice.anRoblesVirtualawlibrary

Atty. Elly L. Pamatong was SUSPEND from the practice of law for two (2) years effective upon
finality of this Decision and was STERNLY WARN that a repetition of the same or similar

infraction shall merit a more severe sanction.

A.C. No. 11316, July 12, 2016


PATRICK A. CARONAN, Complainant, v. RICHARD A. CARONAN A.K.A. "ATTY. PATRICK
A. CARONAN," Respondent.
FACTS:
A disbarment case was filed by complainant Patrick A. Caronan against his brother and
respondent "Atty. Patrick A. Caronan," whose real name is allegedly Richard A. Caronan, for
purportedly assuming complainant's identity and falsely representing that the former has the
required educational qualifications to take the Bar Examinations and be admitted to the
practice of law.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the (a) the name "Patrick A. Caronan" be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys; and
(b) the name "Richard A. Caronan" be barred from being admitted to the Bar.
HELD:
The court found the respondent Richard A. Caronan a.k.a. "Atty. Patrick A. Caronan"
GUILTY of falsely assuming the name, identity, and academic records of complainant Patrick
A. Caronan to obtain a law degree and take the Bar Examinations.
The court ordered that respondent be barred from admission to the Bar. Under Section 6, Rule
138 of the Rules of Court, no applicant for admission to the Bar Examination shall be admitted
unless he had pursued and satisfactorily completed a pre-law course.

A.C. No. 5951, July 12, 2016


JUTTA KRURSEL, Complainant, v. ATTY. LORENZA A. ABION, Respondent.
FACTS:
In a verified Complaint,1 filed on January 23, 2003, complainant Jutta Krursel, a German
national, charges respondent Atty. Lorenza A. Abion with forgery, swindling, and falsification of
a public document. She asks that respondent be disbarred.
Complainant alleges that she engaged the services of respondent to assist her in filing a case
against Robinsons Savings Bank - Ermita Branch land its officers, in relation to the bank's
illegal withholding/blocking of her account. 3chanrobleslaw

In March 2002, respondent filed, on complainant's behalf, a complaint against Robinsons


Savings Bank and its officers before the Monetary Board I of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
for "Conducting Business in an Unsafe and Unsound Manner in violation of Republic Act No.
8791[.]"4chanrobleslawWithout complainant's knowledge, respondent withdrew the complaint
with prejudice through a letter5dated April 15, 2002 addressed to I the Monetary Board.
Complainant claims that respondent forged her signature and that of a certain William Randeli
Coleman (Coleman) in the letter.6 She adds that she never authorized nor acceded to
respondent's withdrawal of the complaint. 7chanroble Again, complainant claims that the
signatures were forged.11 She denies ever having executed a special power of attorney for
respondent.12chanrobleslaw slaw

ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent should be disbarred for committing forgery, falsification, and
swindling.

Whethe or not respondent's acts amount to deceit, malpractice, or gross misconduct in office
as an attorney
RULING:
Respondent committed serious acts of deceit in: (1) withdrawing the complaint with prejudice,
without the knowledge and consent of complainant; and (2) forging complainant's signature or
causing her signature to be forged in the April 15, 2002 letter, thus making it appear that
complainant conformed to the withdrawal of the complaint.
Respondent's acts amount to deceit, malpractice, or gross misconduct in office as an
attorney.60 She violated her oath to "do no falsehood" 61 and to "conduct [her] self as a lawyer . .
. with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to; [her] clients." 62 She also violated the following
provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

CANON 7. A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF
THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR.
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to
practice law, nor should he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to
the discredit of the legal profession.

CANON 15. A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS
DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENT.

CANON 17. A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL
BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.

CANON 18. A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.

Aside from defrauding her client, respondent recklessly put Arty. Soriano's career in jeopardy
by fabricating an order, thus making a mockery of the judicial system. That a lawyer is not
merely a professional but also an officer of the court cannot be overemphasized. She owes the
courts of justice and its judicial officers utmost respect. 63 Her conduct degrades the
administration of justice and weakens the people faith in the judicial system. She inexorably
besmirched the entire legal profession. This Court finds respondent Arty. Lorenza A.
Abion GUILTY of gross misconduct in violation of the Lawyer's Oath and the Code of
Professional Responsibility. She is hereby DISBARRED from the practice of law. The Office of
the Bar Confidant is DIRECTED to remove the name of Lorenza A. Abion from the Roll of
Attorneys.
A.C. No. 10117, July 25, 2016
IN RE: RESOLUTION DATED AUGUST 14, 2013 OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IN CA-
PRESENT: GR.CV NO. 94656, v. ATTY. GIDEON D.V. MORTEL, Respondent.

Facts:
On July 20, 2010, the C.A. Issued a Notice for Atty. Mortel to file an appellants brief on behalf
of his client, Angelita De Jesus, within the regulatory period of 45 days from notice. Now it just so
happened that Atty. Mortel recently moved out of his office at Herrera Tower, Makati City due to high
cost of maintenance. While looking for a new office, he requested to use the address of his friend's law
firm as his address on record for the Bank of the Philippine Islands, which was also granted by his
friend, Atty. Marcelino Ferdinand V. Jose, on August 2010. And so Atty. Mortel's address was listed as
Unit 2106, Phil AXA Life Center, 1286 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave; Makati City, the same address as MFV Jose
Law Office (his friend's law office). Any communication, court address to MFV Jose Law Office were
received by the law firm's staff, then passed to the desk of Atty. Jose for monitoring and checking. Atty.
Jose would forward these to the handling lawyer in the office. The law firm's messenger, Randy G.
Lucero was tasked with informing Atty. Mortel whenever there was a resolution or order pertinent to
Bank of Philippine Islands. Initially, Randy de Leon, Atty. Mortel's messenger went to MFV Law office
to inquire if it had received notices for Atty. Mortel. Since none came at that time, de Leon left his
number with Lucero. The two agreed that Lucero would text de Leon, should any court notice or order
for Atty. Mortel arrive.
On August 16, 2010; instead of heeding the Court of Appeal's Notice to file the appellants brief,
Atty. Mortel moved to withdraw Angelita de Jesus' appeal. After which, he stopped communicating with
MFV Law Office and instructed de Leon to do the same. On September 20, 2010; the C.A. Directed
respondent to secure and submit Angelita de Jesus' (his client) written conformity to the Motion to
Withdraw Appeal within five days from notice, which respondent failed to comply. On November 11,
2010, C.A. Again directed Atty. Mortel to comply with the September 20, 2010 Resolution, warning him
of disciplinary action if he fails to secure and submit Angelita de Jesus' written conformity to the motion
within the regalement period, but Atty. Mortel didn't comply. Thus, on February 23, 2011, C.A. Resolved
to deny the motion to withdraw appeal, reiterating the notice dated July 20, 2010, directing respondent's
client to file appellants brief within 45 days from notice and directing respondent to show cause why he
should not be cited in contempt for non-compliance with the court's order, but he did not comply. By
February 23, 2011, Resolution was sent to Angelita de Jesus' recorded address; but it was returned with
the notion move out on the envelope. So on March 28, 2011, the C.A. Resolved to direct Atty. Mortel
to furnish it with his client's complete present address, within 10 days from notice, but Mortel again, did
not comply. And despite C.A's effort of sending the same order to Atty. Mortel on July 5, 2011 and
October 13, 2013, no response from him was sent to the C.A, nor was there any action taken by the
respondent.
On August 13, 2012, C.A. Resolved to order respondent to pay within 10 days from notice, the
fine of ten thousand pesos imposed upon him under the May 16, 2012 Resolution, but still no response
from him was ever received by the C.A.
On April 26, 2013, C.A. Directed respondent to show cause on why he should not be suspended
from the legal practice, for ignoring the May 16, 2012 Resolution, which fined him ten thousand pesos;
but the same thing happened. And so the C.A sent a notice to MFV Jose Law Office, stating that he has
been suspended from the legal service for 6 months, with a stern warning against repeating such actions.
He was also directed to comply with the previous Resolutions of the C.A.
On October 23, 2013; office of the bar confidant issued a report stating that it docketed the C.A's
August 14, 2013 resolution as a regular administrative case against Atty. Mortel. In the resolution dated
January 20, 2014 that Atty. Jose read the January 20, 2014 resolution which was meant for the
respondent, and saw that respondent had been suspended by the C.A. So he immediately tried looking
for the respondent's new contact number from a mutual friend, until he was able to get in touched with
him. He then asked his messenger, Mr. Lucero as to why the resolutions were not forwarded to Atty.
Mortel. Lucero answered that he would usually text de Leon, Atty. Mortel's messenger whenever there
was an order or resolution pertinent to the case; but de Leon would no longer text back, So he just
simply kept his copies in the office racks, hoping that either de Leon or the respondent himself would
pick them up one day.
On March 5, 2014, Atty. Mortel filed before the C.A an omnibus motion and manifestation with
profuse appologies, and informing the court of his present address which is No. 2806 Tower 2, Pioneer
Highlands, Mandaluyong city. He also prayed for the reinstatement of the motion to withdraw Appeal.
The acceptance of his compliance with the September 20, 2010 and November 11, 2010 resolutions of
the court of appeals, the grant for his motion and the recall of all previous orders or resolutions of the
court of appeals.
On his March 7, 2014 comment, respondent argues that he honestly believed that the case was
already closed in light of his motion to withdraw appeal, and that he did not expect that a requirement of
conformity of the client would be needed in as much as the act of counsel binds the client. According to
him, the filing of which is a matter of right, not needing client's conformity. So he did not bother to visit
MFV Jose Law office again, or send his messenger to check the law firm if there were resolutions or
orders for him.
In the resolution of February 9, 2015, C.A. Noted Mortel's comment, and required the sixth
division of the C.A. Manila to file a reply within 10 days from notice. In the resolution of May 30, 2016,
C.A dispensed with the filing of the reply.
Issue:
Whether there are grounds for this court to probe into Atty. Marcelino Ferdinand V. Jose's possible
administrative liability.
Whether respondent should be imposed a disciplinary sanction.
Held:
Atty. Jose failed to measure up to his part of the deal. He delegated everything to his messenger
without adequately supervising him. As Managing Partner of his firm, Atty. Jose can be expected to have
supervisory duties over his firm's associates and support staff, among others. Him not knowing
respondent's new number does not suffice because in the first place, Atty. Jose showed that he could
easily get respondent's new number through a mutual friend. Yet, he only did so four years later. The
court stressed that in this age of social media, it is fairly easy to get connected with someone without
even leaving one's location. In addition, Atty. Jose's reading of the court's January 20, 2014 resolution is
also highly questionable. While the resolution was sent to his law firm, it was addressed to respondent, a
lawyer not under his employ. Canon 21, Rule 21.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility generally
allows disclosure of a client's affairs only to partners or associates of the law firm, unless the client
prohibits it. Respondent is not a partner or associate of MFV Jose Law Office. Atty. Jose stated under
oath that respondent requested to use MFV Jose Law Office's address s his mailing address only in
August 2010, after respondent had already filed his appeal (specific date not mentioned). Assuming that
respondent's request was granted as early as August 1, 2010, this does not help him in any way. The
Court of Appeals Notice for respondent to file an appellant's brief was issued one month earlier, on July
20, 2010, when respondent still used his old address on record at Herrera Tower, Rufino St., corner
Valero St., Makati City. Thus, respondent's sending De Leon, his messenger, to the new forwarding
address at MFV Jose Law Office to get updates anytime between August 1, 2010 and August 16, 2010
would certainly have yielded no result. In this hypothetical scenario, the Court of Appeals would have
sent the Notice to his old address on record. That he allegedly did not receive the July 20, 2010 Notice
from the Court of Appeals was, therefore, his own lookout. Respondent's gross negligence and lack of
foresight is apparent. He did not make it easy for MFV Law office to reach him. Respondent therefore
failed to adopt an efficient and orderly system of receiving and attending promptly to all judicial notices;
so the fault was his to bear. Wherefore, Atty. Marcelino Ferdinand V. Jose is directed to show cause
within ten days from receipt of a copy of his resolution as to why he sjould not be disciplined by the
court; and respondent Atty. Gideon D. Mortel is suspended from the practice of law for one year, for
violating Canons 7,10,11, 12 and 18, Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of the code of professional responsibility
and warned that the repetition of the same act shall be dealt with more severely.
A.C. No. 7072, July 27, 2016
VIRGILIO D. MAGAWAY AND CESARIO M. MAGAWAY, Complainants, v. ATTY. MARIANO
A. AVECILLA, Respondent.

FACTS:
The respondent affixed his notarial seal on the documents and his signature on the notarial
acknowledgments whereby trransformed the deeds of sale from private into public documents,
without further proof of their authenticity.
The respondent contended that his notarization of the documents had not prejudiced anyone
including complainants.

ISSUE
WON respondent's acts constituted gross negligence in the performance of his duties as
notary public.

HELD
His failure to ascertain the identity of the person executing the same constituted gross
negligence in the performance of his duties as a notary public. As such, it is now unavoidable
for him to accept the commensurate consequences of his indiscretion. The respondent's rather
convenient assertion that an impostor had appeared before him and affixed her thumbprint on
the ready-made deed of sale and affidavit of non-tenancy does not sway the Court. He should
have demanded that such person first prove her identity before acting on the documents she
had brought for his notarization.
A.C. No. 6387 [Formerly CBD Case No. 11-3001], July 19, 2016
GABINO V. TOLENTINO AND FLORDELIZA C. TOLENTINO, Complainants, v. ATTY.
HENRY B. SO AND ATTY. FERDINAND L. ANCHETA, Respondents.
A.C. No. 9492, July 11, 2016
PLUTARCO E. VAZQUEZ, Complainants, v. ATTY. DAVID LIM QUECO KHO, Respondent.

A.C. No. 11380, August 16, 2016


JEN SHERRY WEE-CRUZ, Complainant, v. ATTY. CHICHINA FAYE LIM, Respondent.

In February 2010, respondent issued postdated checks payable to "Cash" as partial payment
of the outstanding loan accommodation for more than 3 million, which had been extended to
her by complainant. These checks were later dishonored and returned by the bank for the
reason that the account had been closed.
Complainant and her brother repeatedly called and sent text messages to petitioner to inform
her that her checks had been dishonored and to demand that she make good on her checks.
On 7 October 2010, complainant personally handed a demand letter to respondent. As the
latter still failed to honor her promises to pay, complainant instituted a criminal complaint.

THE RULING OF THE COURT

Respondent must be suspended from the practice of law for violation of Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Respondent cannot evade disciplinary sanctions by implying that there was no attorney-client
relationship between her and complainant. This Court reiterated that by taking the Lawyer's
Oath, lawyers become guardians of the law and indispensable instruments for the orderly
administration of justice. As such, they can be disciplined for any misconduct, be it in their
professional or in their private capacity, and thereby be rendered unfit to continue to be officers
of the court.

In this case, complainant and her brother categorically stated that they had agreed to lend
substantial amounts of money to respondent, because "she's a lawyer." 31 Indeed, lawyers are
held by the community in very high esteem; yet respondent eroded this goodwill when she
repeatedly broke her promises to pay and make good on her checks.

On several occasions, this Court has had to discipline members of the legal profession for their
issuance of worthless checks.
Atty. Chichina Faye Lim is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for two years
A.C. No. 10443, August 08, 2016
WILLIAM G. CAMPOS, JR., REPRESENTED BY ROSARIO B. CAMPOS, RITA C. BATAC
AND DORINA D. CARPIO, Complainants, v. ATTY. ALEXANDER C. ESTEBAL,
Respondent.

A.C. No. 8210, August 08, 2016


SPOUSES MANOLO AND MILINIA NUEZCA, Complainants, v. ATTY. ERNESTO V.
VILLAGARCIA, Respondent.

Facts
In their verified complaint, complainants averred that respondent sent them a demand
letter2 dated February 15, 2009, copy furnished to various offices and persons, which
contained not only threatening but also libelous utterances. Allegedly, the demand letter
seriously maligned and ridiculed complainants to its recipients. Complainants likewise posited
that several news clippings3 that were attached to the demand letter were intended to sow tear
in them, and claimed that the circulation thereof caused them sleepless nights, wounded
feelings, and besmirched reputation. Thus, they maintained that respondent should be held
administratively liable therefor.

Issue: Whether or not atty. Villagarcia should be held administratively liable based on the
demand letter using words that maligned their character.
The Court's Ruling

The practice of law is a privilege given to lawyers who meet the high standards of legal
proficiency and morality. Any violation of these standards exposes the lawyer to administrative
liability.15 Rule 8.01, Canon 8 of the CPR provides:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Rule 8.01. - A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper.
In this case, the demand letter that respondent sent to complainants contained not merely a
demand for them to settle their monetary obligations to respondent's client, but also used
words that maligned their character. It also imputed crimes against them, i.e., that they were
criminally liable for worthless or bum checks and estafa.
WHEREFORE, respondent Arty. Ernesto V. Villagarcia is found GUILTY of violation of Rule
8.01, Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is hereby SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for a period of one (1) month, effective upon his receipt of this Resolution, and
is STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more
severely.

A.C. No. 9090, August 31, 2016


TEODORO B. CRUZ, JR., Complainant, v. ATTYS. JOHN G. REYES, ROQUE BELLO AND
CARMENCITA A. ROUS-GONZAGA, Respondents.

A.C. No. 11113, August 09, 2016 - CLEO B. DONGGA-AS, Complainant, v. ATTY. ROSE
BEATRIX CRUZ-ANGELES, ATTY. WYLIE M. PALER, AND ATTY. ANGELES GRANDEA,
OF THE ANGELES, GRANDEA & PALER LAW OFFICE, Respondent.
FACTS: In May 2004, complainant engaged the law firm of respondents to handle
the annulment of his marriage. From then on, he constantly followed-up its
progress but respondents were unable to produce a petition , with various excuses
including that there was no record of marriage. Utterly frustrated with the delay,
complainant decided to terminate their engagement and demanded for a refund of
the amount he paid. To the complainant's surprise, they responded by sending two
(2) billing statements in the amounts of P258,000.00 and P324,000.00. Thus, he
filed a complaint.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents should be held administratively liable for
violating the CPR.
HELD. Yes. Despite the passage of more than five (5) months from the
engagement, respondents failed to file the appropriate pleading to initiate the case
before the proper court. Such neglect of the legal matter entrusted to them by
their client constitutes a flagrant violation of Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the CPR, to
wit: CANON 18-A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND
DILIGENCE. Rule 18.03 -A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him,
and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
A.C. No. 2404, August 17, 2016 - NILO B. DIONGZON, Petitioner, v. ATTY. WILLIAM
MIRANO, Respondent.

Facts:
Atty. Mirano was alleged of conflict of interest. He was the retained counsel by the
petitioner for legal services that covered legal representation in cases and transactions
involving, the fishing business of the latter. Atty. Romeo Flora, the associate of the respondent
in his law office was the legal counsel of Gonzales. It appears that the bond they filed to justify
the manual delivery of the boats subject of the suit had been notarially acknowledged before
the respondent without the knowledge and prior consent of the complainant; 5 and that the
respondent eventually entered his appearance as the counsel for the Gonzaleses against the
respondent.
Issue:
Whether or not the lawyer has violated his oath or the Code of Professional
Responsibility
Ruling:
The lawyer-client relationship between the parties was duly established beginning in
1979 and lasted until 1982. The respondent's claim that he returned the retainer fee did not
alter the juridical existence of their lawyer-client relationship. There was a violation of Canon
15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility enjoins lawyers to observe candor, fairness and
loyalty in all their dealings and transactions with their clients.
The Court ruled for the suspension of Atty Mirano for One Year.
A.C. No. 9464, August 24, 2016 - INTERADENT ZAHNTECHNIK, PHIL., INC.,
REPRESENTED BY LUIS MARCO I. AVANCEA, Complainant, v. ATTY. REBECCA S.
FRANCISCO-SIMBILLO, Respondent.

Facts: On March 12, 2012, the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) received a letter from the
attorney for complainant Intradent Zahnetchnik Philippines, Inc. informing about several
criminal cases filed and pending against respondent Rebecca Francisco-Simbillo. The criminal
cases had been filed by the complainant to charge the respondent with estafa and qualified
theft in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Paraaque City (docketed as I.S. No. XV-12-INV-11-
J-03189), and with violation of Article 291 of the Revised Penal Code in the Office of the City
Prosecutor of Quezon City (docketed as I.S. No. XV-03-INV-11-J-08553). The complainant
pointed out that the charges for estafa and qualified theft involved moral turpitude. At the time,
the results of the 2011 Bar Examinations had just been released, and the respondent was
among those who had passed. She was in due course formally notified by the OBC of the letter
of the complainant, and thereby required to file her comment within 15 days from notice. The
OBC also informed her that she could join the mass oath taking for the new lawyers, but she
would not be allowed to enroll her name in the Roll of Attorneys until the charges against her
had been cleared. Upon the advice of the OBC, she had the other option to sign the Roll of
Attorneys subject to the condition that the letter of the complainant would be automatically
converted to a disbarment complaint against her. Choosing the latter, she signed the Roll of
Attorneys on May 3, 2012.

The respondent stated that she had been employed by the complainant for four years; that her
employment had lasted until she was illegally dismissed; that she instituted a labor case
against the complainant; that the criminal charges filed against her were intended to malign,
inconvenience, and harass her, and to force her to desist from pursuing the labor case; and
that at the time of the filing of her comment, the criminal complaints brought against her had
already dismissed the criminal charge docketed as XV-12-INV-11-J-03189.

On February 18, 2015, the respondent filed a motion seeking the resolution of this disbarment
case, alleging that the DOJ had denied the complainant's appeal in respect of XV-12-INV-11-J-
03189; and that as to the criminal charge docketed as XV-03-INV-11-J-08553, the Office of the
City Prosecutor of Quezon City had filed an information against her in the Metropolitan Trial
Court in Quezon City, but Branch 33 of that court had eventually dismissed the information
upon the Prosecution's motion for the withdrawal of the information with leave of court.

Issue: May the disbarment complaint against the respondent prosper?

Ruling: No,

We observe that this administrative case started as a complaint to prevent the respondent from
being admitted to the Philippine Bar on the ground of the existence of criminal charges brought
against her for crimes involving moral turpitude. Indeed, Section 2, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court requires that any applicant for admission to the Bar must show that no charges against
him or her for crimes involving moral turpitude have been filed or are pending in any court in
the Philippines. However, this administrative case has since been converted to one for
disbarment but without the complainant, which has all the while continued to actively
participate herein, alleging any ground for finding the respondent administratively liable except
those already averred in its letter to the OBC. The complainant has not also shown that there
were other criminal cases involving moral turpitude filed against the respondent.
The complainant did not allege, much less prove, that the respondent had been convicted by
final judgment of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude. On the contrary, the criminal
cases that were the sole bases for the complaint for disbarment had already been dismissed
after due proceedings.

WHEREFORE, the Court DISMISSES this disbarment case against respondent Arty. Rebecca
S. Francisco-Simbillo.
A.C. No. 11317, August 23, 2016 - ETHELENE W. SAN JUAN, Complainant, v. ATTY.
FREDDIE A. VENIDA, Respondent.

FACTS:
Respondent filed a petition for disbarment against Atty. Venida on the ground that the
respondent acted in bad faith, with a clear intent to deceive the respondent when he furnished
her a draft copy of the petition rather that a receiving copy to show that the petition had,
indeed, been filed, after giving Php25,00 as way of acceptance, filing and docket fees.
ISSUE:
Whether or not there was a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility by the
respondent?
RULING:
Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall
account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Respondent
agreement to handle Ethelenes case cemented by his receipt of his legal fees, is an
assurance that he would be diligent and competent in handling her case. This includes
constantly updating her, on his volition, of the status of her case. Respondent is disbarred
from the practice of law and his name is stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys.
A.C. No. 11350 [Formerly CBD Case No. 14-4211], August 09, 2016
ADEGOKE R. PLUMPTRE, Complainant, v. ATTY. SOCRATES R. RIVERA, Respondent.

ADEGOKE R. PLUMPTRE v. ATTY. SOCRATES R. RIVERA

FACTS:
This resolves a disbarment case against respondent Atty. Socrates R. Rivera for absconding
with money entrusted to him and soliciting money to bribe a judge. Complainant alleges that he
called respondent and asked for help in his application for a work permit from the Bureau of
Immigration.They met a few days later, and complainant paid respondent P10,000.00 as
professional fee.They met again, and complainant gave respondent another P10,000.00,
together with his passport. This was allegedly for the processing of his work permit.

They met for a third time since respondent asked complainant to submit ID photos.
Respondent asked complainant for another P10,000.00, but complainant refused as they only
agreed on the amount of P20,000.00. Respondent also asked complainant for P8,000.00,
allegedly for complainant&apos;s other case, which respondent was also working on. He
explained that P5,000.00 would be given to a Las Pias judge to reverse the motion for
reconsideration against complainant, while P3,000.00 would be used to process the motion for
reconsideration. Complainant gave him the P8,000.00. Complainant claims that after
respondent received the money, he never received any updates on the status of his work
permit and pending court case. Further, whenever he called respondent to follow up on his
work permit, respondent hurled invectives at him and threatened him and his wife.
Complainant would retort by saying that he would file complaints against respondent if he did
not give back the money and passport. The respondent returned passport but still refused to
return the P28,000.00 earlier endorsed to him.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty Rivera violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.

HELD:
Respondent:
Violation of Canon 1, Canon 7, Canon 16, Rule 16.01, Canon 17 and Rule 18.04 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility, aggravated by his failure to file Answer and to appear in the
Mandatory Conference. Thus, Atty. Socrates R. Rivera is hereby DISBARRED from the
practice of law and his name stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys and Ordered to Return the
Twenty Eight Thousand (P28,000.00) Pesos to Complainant.

A.C. No. 9920 [Formerly A.M. No. MTJ-07-1691], August 30, 2016
OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. FORMER JUDGE
ROSABELLA M. TORMIS, Respondent.

Facts:
Complainants, section leaders of the lessees of market stalls in the public market of Occidental
Mindoro, filed a case against Mayor Jose T. Villarosa, of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro who
allegedly wanted to demolish the public market so that the place can be used to erect a new
San Jose Commercial Complex. The said case was raffled to Judge Jose S. Jacinto, Jrs sala.
During hearings, the respondent judge did unbecoming conducts against the complainants,
thus referred and raffled the complaint to Justice of the Court of Appeals, Manila. The judge
allegedly:
3. Berated, scolded, confused, admonished and made insulting needlessly lengthy
statements to the complainants witnesses without basis or justification. Also, asked
complainants confusing and misleading questions all geared and intended to elicit
answers damaging to the cause of petitioners and favorable to the cause of their
adversary.
4. Explained that the Mayor had to excuse himself for an important appointment when
Mayor Villarosa stepped out the courtroom to take a call and exited through the door
used by the judge and the employees of the court. According to the complainants, the
Mayor did not speak to anyone, not even his lawyer, before leaving the courtroom.

Issue:
Whether or not the respondent judge is guilty of his unbecoming conduct during the hearing.

Ruling:
The court ruled that Judge Jacinto is guilty of his unbecoming conduct due to the violation in
accordance with the following mandates of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
Judiciary:
4. Section 6, Canon 6, which reads: Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all
proceedings before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in relation to
litigants, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official
capacity. Judges shall require similar conduct of legal representatives, court staff and
others subject to their influence, direction or control.
5. Section 1, Canon 2 (Integrity), which reads: Judges shall ensure that not only is their
conduct above reproach, but that it is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable
observer.
6. Section 1, Canon 4 (Propriety), which reads: Judges shall avoid impropriety and the
appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.

A.C. No. 7178, August 23, 2016

VICENTE M. GIMENA, Complainant, v. ATTY. SALVADOR T. SABIO, Respondent.

Before us is a Complaint for Disbarment filed by Vicente M. Gimena (complainant) against Atty.
Salvador T. Sabio (respondent) for gross negligence in handling RAB Case No. 06-11-10970-
99 (case). Complainant laments that his company, Simon Peter Equipment and Construction
Systems, Inc. (company) lost in the case because respondent filed an unsigned position paper
and ignored the order of the labor arbiter directing him to sign the pleading. Aware of the
unfavorable decision, respondent did not even bother to inform complainant of the same. The
adverse decision became fmal and executory, robbing complainant of a chance to file a timely
appeal.
Ruling
Respondent violated Rule 18.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
The contention of respondent that there was no attorney-client relationship between him and
the company is, at best, flimsy. It is improper for him to capitalize on the fact that no formal
contract for legal retainer was signed by the parties, for formality is not an essential element in
the employment of an attorney. The contract may be express or implied and it is sufficient that
the advice and assistance of the attorney is sought and received, in matters pertinent to his
profession. An attorney impliedly accepts the relation when he acts on behalf of his client in
pursuance of the request made by the latter.

Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (the "Code") mandates that a lawyer shall
serve his client with competence and diligence. Corollarily, Rule 18.03 directs that a lawyer
shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him. 47 He must exercise the diligence of a good
father of a family with respect to the case that he is handling. This is true whether he accepted
the case for free or in consideration of a fee.

Respondent's inattention is further highlighted by his disobedience to the labor arbiter's


directive that he sign the position paper. His conduct evinces a willful disregard to his duty as
officer of the court. This alone warrants the imposition of administrative liability.

Respondent's conduct is inconsistent with Rule 18.04 of the Code, which requires that "[a]
lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status ofhis case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the client's request for information." for violating Rules 18.03 and 18.04 of
Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, respondent Atty. Salvador T. Sabio is
hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for THREE (3) YEARS
A.C. No. 8698, August 31, 2016
MANUEL B. BERNALDEZ, Complainant, v. ATTY. WILMA DONNA C. ANQUILO-GARCIA,
Respondent.

Facts:

Bernaldez alleges that during the 2010 National and Local Elections, Atty. Anquilo-Garcia
coerced and threatened registered voters in the Municipality of Biri, Northern Samar to sign
blank and ready-made affidavits stating that they were illiterate/disabled voters when in fact,
they were not and that they needed assistors in voting. According to the complainant, the
scheme was employed by Atty. Anquilo-Garcia to ensure the victory of her husband, Jaime
Garcia, Jr. who was running for Mayor in Biri, Northern Samar and added that the affiants
never appeared before Atty. Garcia. The court issued a resolution directing Atty. Garcia to
submit her comment and after which, she responded in denial with the allegations filed against
her. Moreover, she asserted that the affiants personally appeared before her and voluntarily
executed the affidavits without being threatened and paid. She alleged that the affidavits
attached to the complaint were falsified in order to suit the allegations of the complainant, her
husband Garcia Jr.'s opposing candidate. Same affidavits were also used as exhibits in the
election protest filed by the complainant against Garcia Jr. before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Catarman, Northern Samar. The case was referred to the IBP and ordered the party
to appear for a mandatory conference but was terminated, thus, both parties were required to
file verified position papers. Before the case was resolved, the complainant filed an affidavit of
withdrawal of the complaint and stated that the filing of the case was due to misunderstanding
of the incidents.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Garcia is liable for violating the Rules of Notarial Practice and the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
Whether or not the case will prosper even when the complainant did already file an affidavit for
withdrawal.

Ruling:

No, the case can still prosper. It must be stressed that administrative proceedings against
lawyers are sui generis and they belong to a class of their own. They are neither civil nor
criminal actions but rather investigations by the Court into the conduct of its officers.

Atty. Garcia is liable for violating the provisions under the Notarial Law of 2004. With regard to
the charge of abuse of authority as notary public, Atty. Anquilo-Garcia notarized the subject
affidavits without having the affiants personally appear before her as required by law. Atty.
Anquilo-Garcia's failure to perform her duty as a notary public undermines the integrity of a
notary public and degrades the function of notarization. Lawyers commissioned as notaries
public are reminded that their functions should not be trivialized and they must discharge their
powers and duties which are impressed with public interest, with accuracy and fidelity. Thus,
she should be liable for such negligence, not only as a notary public but also as a lawyer.

Considering, however, the absence of bad faith on the part of Atty. Anquilo-Garcia and that this
is her first infraction after her long years of membership in the Bar, the Court finds that the less
severe penalties of suspension for six (6) months in the practice of law and disqualification
from reappointment as notary public for a period of one (1) year are proper under the
circumstances.
A.C. No. 10565, September 07, 2016
PROSECUTOR RHODNA A. BACATAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. MERARI D. DADULA,
Respondent.

FACTS: Between September and October 2007, the following cases were raffled to
complainant for preliminary investigation: (1) a complaint for libel (I.S. No. 4760) filed by Rev.
Jose Bailey Bernaldez against Dr. Carlito Impas, Sr.; and (2) a complaint for falsification (I.S.
No. 4999-J) filed by Dr. Carlito Impas, Jr. against Rev. Jose Bailey Bernaldez. Respondent was
the counsel of Carlito Impas, Jr. Complainant found probable cause for libel and recommended
its filing in court, while the complaint for falsification was recommended for dismissal for lack of
probable cause. Both recommendations were approved by the City Prosecutor.
Respondent filed a Motion to Determine Probable Cause With Motion to Hold in Abeyance Trial
With Motion to Defer Issuance of Warrant and Motion to Defer Posting of Reduced Bail Bond in
the libel case. In her pleadings, respondent accused complainant of manifest partiality and bias
against her client when complainant: 1) summarily ruled that the publication of the letter was
libelous but miserably failed to point out, in her Resolution, which portion constituted libel; 2)
denied the motion for reconsideration with dispatch in an undated Order; 3) "sat" on the
falsification case for she did not resolve it with dispatch unlike what she did in this libel case; 4)
did not send a copy of the resolution in the libel case to the accused; 5) dismissed the
falsification case even if mere was clear admission from the accused in the case that it was his
signature; and 6) lodged the information in the libel case within the period to appeal the
undated Order.
ISSUE: Whether or not Guilty
RULING: Supreme Court finds that respondent violated Canon 8 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. While zeal or enthusiasm in championing a client's cause is desirable,
unprofessional conduct stemming from such zeal or enthusiasm is disfavoured. When without
proof nor enough basis on record, respondent swiftly concluded, based only on gut feeling, that
the complainant has been bribed or had acted for a valuable consideration, her conduct has
overstepped the bounds of courtesy, fairness and candor. Respondent Atty. Merari D. Dadula
GUILTY of violation of Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. She is imposed a
FINE of P2,000.00 with STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act in the
future will be dealt with more severely.
A.C. No. 7045, September 05, 2016 - THE LAW FIRM OF CHAVEZ MIRANDA ASEOCHE
REPRESENTED BY ITS FOUNDING PARTNER, ATTY. FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ,
Complainant, v. ATTYS. RESTITUTO S. LAZARO AND RODEL R. MORTA, Respondents.

FACTS: The Filing of administrative complaint in connection with the pending libel case
against Eliseo F. Soriano before the RTC of Quezon City wherein the complainant as a counsel
of Soriano, while the respondent represents the private complainant Michael M. Sandoval.

On 11 October 2005, Atty. Chavez sought for cancellation of Sorianos schedule of arraignment
because of the Petition for review which he presented before the court, and the same
questioned the resolution of City Prosecutor finding probable cause to indict Soriano for libel.
However, the motion was denied and proceeds with the arraignment.

In that event, the complainant conclude that the judge was biased and filed for motion to inhibit
himself from the case and that on 11 November 2005, respondent filed a vehement opposition
to the motion for inhibition to contradict complainants motion which he falsely and maliciously
accused with its lawyer of antedating a petition for review filed before the Department of
Justice on October 10, 2005.

ISSUE Whether or not respondent violated the code of Professional Responsibility?

HELD Yes. Respondent is guilty of violating the canon 8 and 10 of the code of Professional
Responsibility. The court urged lawyers to utilize only respectful and temperate language in the
preparation of pleadings, with the dignity of the legal profession. Wherefore, Attys. Restituto
Lazaro and Rodel Morta are Admonished and likewise sternly warned for the commission for
the same act in the future shall be dealt with more severely.
A.C. No. 10574 (Formerly CBD Case No. 11-3047), September 20, 2016 - PATRICK R.
FABIE, Complainant, v. ATTY. LEONARDO M. REAL, Respondents.

Facts:

In 2010, Patrick Fabie, the owner of a donated lot by his sister for the purpose of
application as an immigrant to US or Canada filed a disbarment case against Atty.
Leonardo Real on the grounds of failure to perform the transfer of title of the lot which was
donated by his sister Jayne May Fabie for the purpose of application as an immigrant to US
or Canada but since his plan was not push through he engaged Atty. Leonardo Real to
return the lot title back to his sister and turn over document together with the
(P40,000.00) cash for the expenses and attorneys fees which was acknowledged by him
of which contains a mistake done by Atty. Reals secretary for TCT No. R-1971 as TCT No. N
129303 that later confuses the latter.

A year has passed, the said title was not transferred to his sister and that Patrick Fabie
demanded Atty. Real for the return of the documents and the money but Atty. Real return
only the document and not the money.

Atty. Real claim that the title which is part of the estate of Esteban his late father for the
settlement proceedings between heirs but there was a misunderstanding among the heirs,
the settlement did not push through. To prove the unpleasant relationship of the heirs,
respondent attached to his Answer a letter dated April 23, 2004 of complainant's mother
Elsie Fabie indicating her intention to repudiate an amicable settlement that she earlier
entered into with her children because the latter committed criminal acts against her.
Respondent claimed that he got caught in the middle of this bitter spat of the heirs such
that complainant filed this disbarment case against him. At any rate, respondent pointed
out that complainant could not have delivered to him TCT No. N-129303 on August 24,
2009 since the same was recorded lost on April 26, 2004 and was only recovered on July
27, 2010 per entries at the dorsal side of the said title.

Upon investigation done by the Investigating Commissioner, the respondent found guilty
of (1) breached his duties to his client when he failed to exercise due diligence in his
undertaking to cause the transfer of ownership of property from complainant to Jaynie May
and instead abandoned his client's cause; (2) converted his client's fund of P40,000.00 to
his personal use when he failed to return the same to complainant; and, (3) committed
dishonesty when he claimed that he had been engaged to settle the estate of Esteban
when in truth he was not. And since the above transgressions did not only show bad faith
on the part of respondent but also caused material damage to complainant, the
Commissioner recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for
two years.

Issue:

Whether or not Atty. Leonardo Real is guilty of violating the code of Professional
Responsibility.

Ruling:

Yes. Atty. Real violated Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
demands upon lawyers to serve their clients with competence and diligence, to wit:

CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.

Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence
in connection therewith shall render him liable.
The Lawyer's Oath similarly mandates a lawyer to conduct himself according to the best of
his knowledge and discretion, with all good fidelity to the courts and to his clients.

WHEREFORE, the Court FINDS respondent Atty. Leonardo M. Real guilty of violating
Canon 18, Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Lawyer's Oath and
thus SUSPENDS him from the practice of law for a period of six months effective from
notice, ORDERS him to return to complainant Patrick R. Fabie within 10 days from notice
the sum of P40,000.00 with legal interest of 12% per annum reckoned from the time he
received the amount on August 24,2009 until June 30,2013, and 6% per annum from July
1, 2013 until full payment thereof, and STERNLY WARNS him that commission of any
similar infraction in the future will be dealt with more severely. Finally, he must SUBMIT to
this Court written proof of his compliance within 30 days from notice of this Resolution.

A.C. No. 11095 [Formerly CBD Case No. 11-3140], September 20, 2016 - EUFEMIA A.
CAMINO, Complainant, v. ATTY. RYAN REY L. PASAGUI, Respondent.

Facts:
Complainant is a vendor of a lot registered under the name of her father. Atty. Pasagui
was allegedly a lawyer of Congresswoman Tan who in charge in handling payment of
properties. When Camino refuse to accept partial payment, the respondent advise her to sell
the property to other buyer. Also, he offer his service for the transfer of the property
registration. In order to raised enough funds for the transfer of registration, the spouse Camino
executed and SPA to the respondent to transact a loan to PHCCI. Eventually, the loan was
released to Atty. Pasagui. However, he did not facilitate the transfer of registration and intently
refused to present himself to Camino.
Issue:
WON Atty. Pasagui has violated the CPR
Held:
The Supreme Court found the respondent guilty in violation of Rule 1.01 of CPR and
disbarred.
A.C. No. 11238, September 21, 2016
ATTY. MYLENE S. YUMUL-ESPINA, Complainant, v. ATTY. BENEDICTO D. TABAQUERO,
Respondent.

Facts

Shirley Atkinson, married to Derek Atkinson (Derek), a British Citizen purchased two
properties. Derek allegedly executed an Affidavit of Waiver of Rights which made Shirley to
mortgage one parcel of lot. Derek, however, claims that he could not have executed the
Affidavit of Waiver of Rights because he was out of the country on October 25, 1999, and
therefore, could not have personally appeared before complainant on that date. 7 Thus, he filed
falsification cases against complainant and Shirley, respectively. However, complainant
countered and claimed that respondent prosecuted the criminal complaints against her and
Shirley in order to assert his client's non-existent rights and interest as owner of the property,
blatantly disregarding the constitutional prohibition on foreigners from acquiring private lands in
the Philippines. IBP dismissed the complaint and counter-complaint against the parties on
basis of affidavit of desistance.
Issue
Whether or not dismissal of complaint on basis of affidavit of desistance correct
Ruling
No, administrative proceedings are imbued with public interest. Disbarment proceedings are
sui generis. Respondent is not guilty of violations of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. The constitutional prohibition is therefore irrelevant in these criminal complaints.
However, the counter-complaint against complainant, for violation of the Notarial Law, is
meritorious.
A.C. No. 10150, September 21, 2016
GINA E. ENDAYA, Complainant, v. ATTY. EDGARDO O. PALAY, Respondent.
FACTS:

Atty. Palay notarized a Deed of Sale covering eight (8) parcels of land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title Nos. 8940, 8941, 8942, 8943, 8944, 10774, 17938, and 19319, allegedly
executed and thumb marked by Engr. Atilano AB. Villaos (Villaos), father of the complainant on
July 27, 2004. Endaya refuted this by claiming that Villaos was already confined at the
Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City from May 27 to August 17, 2004, and it was therefore
impossible that he appeared before Atty. Palay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, to affix his
thumbmark in the Deed of Sale. During that period, Villaos was no longer of sound mind and
incapable of discerning and knowing the consequences of the Deed of Sale as shown in the
affidavit executed by Dr. Bella L. Fernandez. Villaos eventually passed away on August 28,
2004. robleslaw

IBP Investigating Commissioner Jordan M. Pizarras found that Atty. Palay failed to faithfully
discharge his duties as a notary public and recommended that he be suspended from the
practice of law for three (3) months and be permanently disqualified from being a notary
public. The IBP Board of Governors adopted and approved the recommendation of the
Investigating Commissioner, but increased the suspension to a period of one (1) year. Atty.
Palay moved for reconsideration but the IBP denied the same.obleslaw

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent Atty, Edgardo O. Palay is guilty of violating Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility and the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice.

RULING:

Contrary to Atty. Palay's argument, we find that the duties 0f a notary public are intricately
related with the practice of law. Under the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice, only members of
the Philippine Bar in good standing are eligible to be commissioned as notaries public. Thus,
performing the functions of a notary public constitutes the practice of law.

When Atty. Palay no longer disputed the findings of the IBP, it is tantamount to an admission
that he notarized a document without the presence of the person who allegedly placed his
thumbmark therein. This constitutes a direct violation of the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice,
specifically Rule IV, Section 2(b). By acknowledging the Deed of Sale, he made it appear that
Villaos personally appeared before him when this was not in fact the case. Worse, in his
answer to the complaint, he lied about being called into a car by Villaos' driver. These actions
evince dishonesty on the part of Atty. Palayin direct violation of Rule 1.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. These adversely reflect on his fitness to be a member of the legal
profession. This warrants a suspension from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months in
addition to his disqualification from being commissioned as a notary public for two (2)
years.law

The Court finds respondent Atty, Edgardo O. Palay guilty of violating Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility and the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. Accordingly,
the Court suspends him from the practice of law for six (6) months, revokes his incumbent
notarial commission, if any, and disqualifies him from being commissioned as a notary public
for two (2) years. Respondent is also sternly warned that more severe penalties will be
imposed for any further breach of the Canons in the Code of Professional Responsibility.

A.C. No. 11099, September 27, 2016


LILY FLORES-SALADO, MINDA FLORES LURA, AND FE V. FLORES, Complainants, v.
ATTY. ROMAN A. VILLANUEVA, JR. Respondent.

FACTS:

Lily Flores-Salado, Minda Flores-Lura, Anacorito Flores, Angel Flores, Jr., and Fe Flores presented their
adverse claim on the parcel of land situated in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte and registered under Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) under the names of Spouses Roman Villanueva, Jr. and Rosario L. Alipao. The
Register of Deeds annotated the adverse claim on January 23, 2007. On December 27, 2007, an affidavit
of waiver/withdrawal, which appeared to have been signed by them. On March 26, 2008, the Register of
Deeds canceled and issued two new TCTs in the name of the respondent.

On October 29, 2009, complainants Lily Flores-Salado, Minda Flores Lura, and Fe Flores lodged their
complaint with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) charging the respondent with gross dishonesty
on the basis of their assertion therein that they had not signed the affidavit of waiver/withdrawal. They
thereby further charged him with dishonesty for concealing his true age in order to secure his
appointment in 2006 as a state prosecutor. They avered that he was disqualified for the position because
he had already been 70 years old at the time of his appointment, having been born on June 26, 1936; that
they submitted as proof: (1) the residence certificate issued in the name of "Isabelo Villanueva, Jr.,"
whom they claimed was the respondent himself, stating June 26, 1936 as his birthdate; (2) the deed of
extrajudicial partition of the estate of Roman Villanueva, Sr. showing that the respondent was 14 years
old when he signed the document as "Isabelo Villanueva"; (3) the certification issued by the Municipal
Civil Registrar of Tupi, South Cotabato12showing that he was 26 years old when he got married on
December 24, 1961; and (4) the affidavits respectively executed by his siblings, Francisca V. Flores and
Tarcela V. Sajulan.

The respondent denied the charges, and imputed ill-motives to the complainants in filing the disbarment
complaint against him. He contended that the complainants did not present sufficient proof showing that
he had falsified the affidavit of waiver/withdrawal; and asserted that the basis for the partition of the
contested property had been the compromise agreement entered into by him and his siblings, including
Francisca, the complainants' mother; and that he had been born on November 29, 1943, as indicated in
his birth certificate.

ISSUE:
Should the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for gross misconduct and gross
dishonesty?

RULING:

We reverse the findings and recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors considering that the
charges were not competently substantiated.

The complainants support their allegations of falsification by presenting the affidavit of


waiver/withdrawal itself and its annotation on TCT No. 7919; and by denying their having signed the
same. However, such proof was inadequate to establish that the respondent had been the author of the
alleged falsification of the affidavit of waiver/withdrawal.

The complainants have also charged the respondent with dishonesty for having concealed his true age in
order to secure his appointment as a state prosecutor. In contrast, the respondent submitted his certificate
of birth that indicated his birthdate as "November 29, 1943." Still, the complainants doubted the veracity
of the respondent's bit1h certificate on the ground of its having been belatedly registered at his own
instance.

The Court nonetheless finds for the respondent.

To accord with such policy of the State, the fact of late registration of the respondent's birth should not
adversely affect the validity of the entries made in his birth certificate.

It is fitting to state that the complainants bore the burden of proof in this disbarment proceeding against
the respondent. They must establish their charges of falsification and dishonesty by convincing and
satisfactory proof. Surmises, suspicion and conjectures are not bases of finding his culpability. The
foregoing disquisitions on the falsification show that the complainants did not discharge their burden of
proof thereon. They also did not convincingly establish that the respondent had willfully adjusted his
true age to secure his appointment as a state prosecutor. Indeed, the appointment happened on February
22, 2006 but his late registration of his birth occurred on July 3, 2006. Under the circumstances, that he
had intentionally adjusted his birthdate to enable himself to meet the age requirement for the position of
state prosecutor three years later became plainly improbable.

The Court finds the need to clarify that although it may entertain a disbarment or suspension complaint
brought against a lawyer employed in the government service whether or not the complaint pertained to
an act or conduct unrelated to the discharge of his official functions, the investigation should be carried
out by the agency or office having administrative supervision over him or her when the allegations of the
complaint relate to the qualifications of the respondent to be appointed to the public office.

Accordingly, any questions pertaining to the qualifications of the respondent to be appointed as a state
prosecutor should be directed to the Secretary of Justice who had administrative supervision over him
under the law, and not to this Court in the guise of the disbarment complaint. The complaint for
disbarment is sui generis, and the proceeding thereon should focus only on the qualification and fitness
of the respondent lawyer to continue membership in the Bar.

WHEREFORE, the Court DISMISSES the disbarment complaint against Atty. Roman A. Villanueva,
Jr. for lack of factual and legal merit.
A.C. No. 7348, September 27, 2016
ROUEL YAP PARAS, Complainant, v. ATTY. JUSTO P. PARAS, Respondent.

FACTS:
Atty. JUSTO P. PARAS was charged by her wife Rosa Yap Paras and initiated a case
for disbarment, falsification of public documents and fraud for counterfeiting using his wifes
name and signature to obtain loans from certain banks. That respondent, had violated the
LAWYER'S OATH and the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), thus: a) Section
27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, b) CPR Canon 1, 3, 7, 8, and Canon 10
Respondent was also charged with grossly immoral conduct and concubinage for siring
a child with another woman; obstruction of justice by using his legal skills to derail all the
proceedings in the criminal actions initiated against him; and unethical and unprofessional
conduct by using his legal skills to frighten, harass and intimidate.
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondent can be disbarred on the grounds of committing a
falsehood in violation of It's lawyer's oath and of the Code of Professional
Responsibility?
HELD:
Good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice
of law; continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law. Respondent
was found guilty of violating his lawyer's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility
when he applied for the issuance of a free patent over the properties in issue despite his
knowledge that the same had already been sold by his mother to complainant's sister.
WHEREFORE, finding respondent Atty. Justo J. Paras guilty of committing a falsehood in
violation of It's lawyer's oath and of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Court
Resolved to SUSPEND respondent from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year, with a
WARNING that commission of the same or similar offense in the future will result in the
imposition of a more severe penalty.
A.C. No. 11323, September 14, 2016
NICOLAS ROBERT MARTIN EGGER, Complainant, v. ATTY. FRANCISCO P. DURAN,
Respondent.

The Facts

Complainant alleged that on January 22, 2014, he engaged respondent's services to file on his
behalf a petition for the annulment of his marriage. As consideration
therefor, complainant deposited the total amount of P100,000.00 to respondent's bank
account, spread over two (2) tranches of P50,000.00 each. Despite such payment, respondent
never prepared, much less filed, said petition. This prompted complainant to terminate
respondent's services due to loss of trust and confidence. Further, complainant, through his
wife,2 Dioly Rose Reposo (Reposo), wrote a letter 3 demanding for the return of the
P100,000.00 he gave to respondent as lawyer's fees. In reply, respondent wrote complainant a
letter4promising the return of the aforesaid amount before the end of May 2014. However,
respondent did not fulfill his promise, prompting complainant to hire a new counsel, who in
turn, wrote another letter5demanding for the return of the said lawyer's fees. As the second
demand letter went unheeded, complainant filed the instant case against respondent.6

In various issuances, the IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP CBD) required respondent to
file his Answer,7 as well as to appear in the mandatory conference, 8 but the latter failed to do
so. Resultantly, the IBP issued an Order 9 dated March 18, 2015 submitting the case for report
and recommendation.

On March 26, 2015, however, respondent belatedly filed his Answer 10 praying for the dismissal
of the instant complaint. Respondent averred that he had no lawyer-client relationship
with complainant as his client was the latter's wife, Reposo. Further, while respondent admitted
the receipt of P100,000.00 and that no petition for annulment was filed, he denied being remiss
in his duties as a lawyer, explaining that such non-filing was due to, inter alia, Reposo's failure
to pay the full acceptance fee amounting to P150,000.00, as well as to produce her psychiatric
evaluation report. Finally, respondent claimed that his failure to return the P100,000.00 fee he
collected was due to the fact that he lost most of his assets due to Typhoon Yolanda.
Nevertheless, he signified his intention to return said fee as soon as he recovers from his dire
financial condition.11

Issue:

whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for violating the CPR.

RULING

Once a lawyer takes up the cause of his client, he is duty-bound to serve the latter with
competence, and to attend to such client's cause with diligence, care, and devotion whether he
accepts it for a fee or for free. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of
the trust and confidence reposed upon him. 18 This is commanded by Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of
the CPR, which reads.

CANON 18 - A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND


DILIGENCE.

x x x x
Rule 18.03- A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.

However, respondent admittedly breached this duty when he failed to prepare, much less file,
the appropriate pleading to initiate complainant and Reposo's case. before the proper court.
Respondent's additional contention that his failure to file the petition was due
to complainant and Reposo's failure to remit the full acceptance fee of P150,000.00 is not an
excuse to abandon his client's cause considering that his duty to safeguard his client's
interests commences from his retainer until his effective discharge from the case or the final
disposition of the entire subject matter of litigation. To reiterate, respondent's act of agreeing to
handle complainant's case, coupled with his acceptance of the partial payment of
P100,000.00, already established an attorney-client relationship that gave rise to his duty of
fidelity to the client's cause. 19 Indubitably, respondent's neglect of a legal matter entrusted him
by complainant and Reposo constitutes inexcusable negligence for which he must be held
administratively liable.

Further, respondent also violated Rules 16.01 and 16.03, Canon 16 of the CPR when he failed
to return the amount of P100,000.00 representing the legal fees that complainant paid
him, viz.:

CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS
CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.

Rule 16.01 - A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from
the client.

x x x x

Rule 16.03 -A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon
demand. x x x.
"The relationship between a lawyer and his client is highly fiduciary and prescribes on a lawyer
a great fidelity and good faith. The highly fiduciary nature of this relationship imposes upon the
lawyer the duty to account for the money or property collected or received for or from his client.
Thus, a lawyer's failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client, as
in this case, gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in
violation of the trust reposed in him by his client. Such act is a gross violation of general
morality, as well as of professional ethics."20chanrobleslaw

Respondent Atty. Francisco P. Duran is found guilty of violating Rules 16.01 and 16.03, Canon
16 and Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, he is
hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months, effective upon the
finality of this Decision, and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar acts
shall be dealt with.
A.C. No. 9912, September 21, 2016
DATU REMIGIO M. DUQUE JR., Complainant, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
CHAIRMAN SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR., COMMISSIONERS LUCENITO N. TAGLE, ELIAS
R. YUSOPH, AND CHRISTIAN ROBERT S. LIM; ATTYS. MA. JOSEFINA E. DELA CRUZ,
ESMERALDA A. AMORA-LADRA, MA. JUANA S. VALLEZA, SHEMIDAH G. CADIZ, AND
FERNANDO F. COT-OM; AND PROSECUTOR NOEL S. ADION, Respondent.

A.C. No. 10782, September 14, 2016


ATTY. DELIO M. ASERON, Complainant, v. ATTY. JOSE A. DIO, JR., Respondent.
Facts:
Atty. Delio M. Aseron (complainant) sought the disbarment of Atty. Jose A. Dio, Jr.
(respondent) for his alleged violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).
The facts showed that On January 25, 2009, the complainant figured in a vehicular accident
which prompted him to file a case to claim for damages and send a letter pertaining thereto.
The respondents letter reply to this letter was couched in abusive, disrespectful language,
malicious and unfounded accusations and besmirched his reputation.
Hence, this case.
Issue
Whether or not there is sufficient evidence on record to hold the respondent liable for violation
of the CPR.
HELD:
Yes. The respondent violated the CPR when he used intemperate language in his letter to the
complainant.
Canon 8 of the CPR directs all members of the bar to conduct themselves with courtesy,
fairness, and candor towards their fellow lawyers and avoid harassing tactics against opposing
counsel. Specifically, in Rule 8.01, the CPR provides:
Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper.
In the present case, the respondent's actions failed to measure up to this Canon. Records
show that he imputed to the complainant the use of his influence as a former public prosecutor
to harass his clients during the inquest proceedings without sufficient proof or evidence to
support the same.
As an officer of the court, the respondent could have aired his charge against the complainant
in a proper forum and without using offensive and abusive language. He should refrain from
being tempted by the adversarial nature of our legal system to use strong language in pursuit
of his duty to advance the interest of his client.
A.C. No. 8494, October 05, 2016
SPOUSES EMILIO AND ALICIA JACINTO, Complainants, v. ATTY. EMELIE P. BANGOT,
JR., Respondent.

FACTS:
Complainants Emilio and Alicia Jacinto filed an administrative case against Atty. Emelie P.
Bangot, Jr. for the latter's unjust and dishonest treatment of them as his clients. Atty. Bangot
executed a MOA between him and the Complainant to impress that his supposed attorney's
fees would be paid on contingent basis, however, the MOA indicates that the payment thru real
property is being made immediately effective upon execution of the agreement.

There is also apparent disproportion between the amount of attorney's fees and the effort or
service already performed by him.
ISSUE:
Did the respondent violate his ethical duties as a member of the Bar in his dealings with the
complainants?

HELD:
The court held that the respondent grossly violated his Lawyer's Oath and his ethical duties as
an attorney because he did not observe candor and fairness in his dealings with his clients.

A lawyer shall observe candor, honesty and fairness in dealing with his clients, and shall only
charge fair and reasonable fees for his legal services. He should not excessively estimate the
value of his professional services. In drawing up the terms of his professional engagement, he
should not practice deceit. The clients are entitled to rescind the written agreement on his
professional fees if the terms thereof contravened the true agreement of the parties.

A.C. No. 4269, October 11, 2016


DOLORES NATANAUAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. ROBERTO P. TOLENTINO, Respondent.

FACTS:

For the Court's consideration is Atty. Roberto P. Tolentino's (Atty. Tolentino) motion to have his
disbarment case re-opened and reheard on the ground that he was denied his constitutional
right to due process.The case originated from a disbarment complaint 1 filed by Dolores
Natanauan (Dolores) accusing Atty. Tolentino of deceit, malpractice, and gross misconduct in
violation of the Lawyer's Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Complainant Dolores alleged that she is a co-owner (with her siblings Rafaela, Ernestina, and
Romulo [Dolores, et al.]) of a parcel of land with an area of about 50,000 square meters
located in Tagaytay City.2 On January 3, 1978, they sold this land to Alejo Tolentino (Alejo) for
P500,000.00. At the time, the title to the property had not yet been issued by the Land
Registration Commission.3 The parties thus agreed that payment for the same shall be made in
installments, as follows: P80,000.00 upon the execution of the contract and the remaining
balance in two (2) installments, payable one (1) year after the issuance of the title and then
one (1) year thereafter.4chanrobleslaw

On August 9, 1979, and after the execution of the contract of sale between the parties, the
Register of Deeds of Cavite issued Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-107593 5 in Alejo's
favor. Despite several requests from Dolores, et al., Alejo, however, failed to settle the
remaining obligation. Thus, on May 14, 1991, Dolores, et al. filed a case against Alejo and his
wife Filomena, docketed as Civil Case No. TG-1188, for the recovery of possession of
immovable property, declaration of nullity of the deed of sale, and damages. 6chanrobleslaw

Issues

The issues to be resolved in this case are as follows: (1) whether there was a violation of Atty.
Tolentino's constitutional right to due process; and (2) whether Atty. Tolentino committed deceit,
malpractice and gross misconduct through the aforementioned falsifications in violation of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and the Lawyer's Oath which would merit his disbarment
and removal from the legal profession.

RULING

The Court resolves to deny Atty. Tolentino's motion and affirm the IBP Resolution with
modification.

There was no denial of due process and opportunity to be heard.

Atty. Tolentino, like any respondent in a disbarment or administrative proceeding, is entitled to


due process. The most basic tenet of due process is the right to be heard, hence, denial of due
process means the total lack of opportunity to be heard or to have one's day in court. 48 As a
rule, no denial of due process takes place where a party has been given an opportunity to be
heard and to present his case. 49chanrobleslaw
In this case, respondent Atty. Tolentino is charged with violating the Lawyer's Oath and Canons
1, 7, and 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

The Lawyer's Oath is a covenant every lawyer undertakes to become and remain part of the
legal profession.63 It is not mere facile words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust that must be
upheld and keep inviolable.64 It is a source of obligation and duty for every lawyer, 65 which
includes an undertaking to obey the laws and legal orders of duly constituted authorities
therein, and not to do falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court. All lawyers are
obligated to uphold their Oaths lest they be subjected to administrative cases and
sanctions.66chanrobleslaw

Canons 1, 7, and 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, on the other hand, read as
follows:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Canon 1 - A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote
respect for law and legal processes.

Canon 7 - A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and
support the activities of the Integrated Bar.

Canon 10 - A lawyer owes candor, fairness, and good faith to the court.

Complainant sufficiently proved the charges of falsification against Atty. Tolentino.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court finds respondent Atty. Roberto P.


Tolentino GUILTY of violating the Lawyer's Oath, and Canons 1, 7, and 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, he is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law
for THREE (3) YEARS EFFECTIVE FROM NOTICE, with a STERN WARNING that any similar
infraction in the future will be dealt with more severely.
Let copies of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant to be appended to
respondent Roberto P. Tolentino's personal record as an attorney, the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines and all courts in the country for their information and guidance.

A.C. No. 8168, October 12, 2016


SPOUSES EDWIN B. BUFFE AND KAREN M. SILVERIO-BUFFE, Complainants, v. SEC.
RAUL M. GONZALEZ, USEC. FIDEL J. EXCONDE, JR., AND CONGRESSMAN ELEANDRO
JESUS F. MADRONA, Respondent.

Facts

Karen M. Silverio-Buffe was appointed as Prosecutor I/Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of


Romblon province. She took her oath of office and informed the Office of the Provincial
Prosecutor of Romblon that she was officially reporting for work beginning that day. Arsenio
R.M. Almadin asked former Secretary of Justice Raul M. Gonzalez (Gonzalez) to confirm the
appointment of Silverio-Buffe but the same denied. Thus, complainant filed complaint alleging
that former Congressman Eleandro Jesus F. Madrona (Madrona), acting out of spite or
revenge, persuaded and influenced Gonzalez and Undersecretary Fidel J. Exconde, Jr.
(Exconde) into refusing to administer Silverio-Buffe's oath of office.

Issue

Whether or not Gonzalez, Exconde, and Madrona should be administratively disciplined based
on the allegations in the complaint.

Ruling

No, the administrative case against Exconde and Madrona is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
It should be resolved by the Office of the Ombudsman, considering that complainants have
filed a complaint before it on 12 February 2009. In the case of Gonzalez, his death on 7
September 2014 forecloses any administrative case against him.

A.C. No. 7388, October 19, 2016


ATTY. RUTILLO B. PASOK, Complainant, v. ATTY. FELIPE G. ZAPATOS, Respondent.

Facts
This administrative case concerns the respondent, a retired judge who took on the case that he
had intervened in during his incumbency on the Bench. The complainant was the counsel of
record of the plaintiff in the case. The charge specified that the respondent was guilty of
"representing adverse interest, illegal practice of law, conduct and becoming as a former
member of the bench and conduct unbecoming in violation of the canons of legal ethics with
prayer for disbarment"
Issue
Won the respondent is guilty of violating Rule 6.03 of Canon 6 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility
Held
Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides:

Rule 6.03 - A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or
employment in connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service.
To come within the ambit of Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the
respondent must be shown to have accepted the engagement or employment in relation to a
matter that, by virtue of his judicial office, he had previously exercised power to influence the
outcome of the proceedings.
A.C. No. 6767, October 05, 2016
ELIZABETH RECIO, Complainant, v. ATTY. JOSELITO I. FANDIO, Respondent.

A.C. No. 7927, October 19, 2016


SANDY V. DOMINGO, Complainant, v. ATTY. PALMARIN E. RUBIO AND ATTY. NICASIO T.
RUBIO, Respondents.

Facts:

The Philippine National Police (PNP) of Legazpi City filed a case for murder in the Office of the
City Prosecutor of Legazpi City arising from the killing of one Juan Edgardo Yap Bongalon on
August 22, 2005. After due proceedings, the Office of the City Prosecutor filed an infonnation in
the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Legazpi City charging Ariel Dayap and four other persons
who were then not identified with particularity as having acted in conspiracy with Dayap to
commit the murder.
Subsequently, Dayap executed an extrajudicial confession to the effect that he had conspired
with four other persons, namely: the complainant, Mike Arena, Noli Marquez and Lorna
Bongalon (the widow of the victim), with the last as the mastermind.

Upon request of assigned investigating prosecutor for her inhibition from conducting further
preliminary investigation, because Lorna Bongalon had branded her as biased, the case was
re-assigned to ACP Rubio (Atty. Nicasio T, Rubio), who ultimately rendered a resolution
recommending the dismissal of the charge as to the four alleged co-conspirators upon finding
that the extrajudicial confession of Dayap had been uncounselled.

Approving the resolution, CP Rubio (Atty. Palmarin E. Rubio) moved for the withdrawal of the
information, but the RTC denied the motion to withdraw because the confession of Dayap
already established probable cause. The respondents moved to reconsider the denial, but the
RTC persisted on its resolution.

On February 6, 2006, the Legazpi PNP presented additional evidence. Thus, a new complaint
was filed and was assigned for preliminary investigation to ACP Rubio, who, after conducting
the preliminary investigation, issued his resolution on February 27, 2006 finding probable
cause for parricide against the complainant. The RTC then issued the warrants for the arrest of
the newly-charged accused.

Lorna Bongalon sought a reinvestigation, but the RTC did not give due course to her motion.
Accordingly, she moved for the deferment of her arraignment to enable her to appeal to the
DOJ by petition for review.

Acting favorably on Lorna Bongalon's petition for review, the Secretary of Justice directed CP
Rubio on August 11, 2006 to cause with leave of court the withdrawal of the information for
parricide against her, the complainant and their three co-accused, and to file in lieu thereof
another information for murder only against Dayap.

It appears that the respondents failed to actually send a copy of their motion for
reconsideration to the Secretary of Justice despite furnishing all the parties copies of the
motion; and that the motion for reconsideration was received by the DOJ only on April 12,
2007.1

According to the complainant, CP Rubio and ACP Rubio, by intentionally not sending to him a
copy of their motion for reconsideration to the DOJ despite furnishing their motion for
reconsideration to the other parties, and by belatedly submitting their motion for
reconsideration to the DOJ, which eventually got a copy of it, acted fraudulently.

CP Rubio and ACP Rubio countered that their failure to send a copy to the complainant and to
the DOJ was due to sheer oversight, explaining that the releasing clerk of the Office of the City
Prosecutor of Legazpi City had not sent the motion for reconsideration despite furnishing
copies thereof to all the other parties.

Based on the foregoing, the complainant initiated the complaint for disbarment against CP
Rubio and ACP Rubio.

The IBP-CBD and the IBP Board of Governors recommended that the complaint for
disbarment be dismissed for lack of merit because the complaint for disbarment had no
application because the Secretary of Justice was not a superior court.

Issue:

Whether or not respondents CP Rubio and ACP Rubio are guilty of willful disobedience of
any lawful order of a superior court.

Held:

Affirming the findings of the IBP Board of Governors, the Court ruled citing Section 27, Rule
138 of the Rules of Court, which provides:
Section 27. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court; grounds
therefor. - A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as
attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction
of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is
required to take before admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience of
any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or wilfully appearing as an
attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting
cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or
brokers, constitutes malpractice. (As amended by Resolution of the Supreme
Court, Feb. 13, 1992).
chanrobleslaw
The complainant's reliance on Section 27 was obviously misplaced. The observation of the
Investigating Commissioner that the Secretary of Justice was not the same as the superior
court referred to by the rule was correct. As such, the filing by the respondents of the motion
for reconsideration was not a defiance or wilful disobedience to the lawful order of the superior
court.

WHEREFORE, the Court ABSOLVES respondents Atty. Palmarin Rubio and Atty. Nicasio T.
Rubio of the charges of gross misconduct; and DISMISSES the complaint for disbarment for
utter lack of merit and substance.
A.C. No. 7387, November 07, 2016
MANUEL ENRIQUE L. ZALAMEA, AND MANUEL JOSE L. ZALAMEA, Petitioners, v. ATTY.
RODOLFO P. DE GUZMAN, JR. AND PERLAS DE GUZMAN, ANTONIO, VENTURANZA,
QUIZON-VENTURANZA, AND HERROSA LAW FIRM, Respondents.

Facts:
Petitioners Zalamea brothers sought respondent Atty. de Guzmans advice on the properties of
their ailing mother. Later, Enrique convinced De Guzman to help in the reacquisition of another
property. Due to Enriques lack of funds, De Guzmans wife advanced the necessary amounts
under the condition that the property will be transferred to the name of the corporation they
agreed to form.

Eventually, the relationship of Zalamea brothers and the spouses turned sour. Hence, the
brothers filed a disbarment case against De Guzman for allegedly buying a clients property
which was subject of litigation.

Issue:
Whether or not the acquisition of a clients property by the lawyer constitutes a violation of the
Lawyers Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Held:
The case was dismissed for lack of merit. The prohibition under Article 1491 of the Civil Code
which the Zalameas invoke does not apply where the property purchased was not involved in
litigation. True, they had previously sought legal advice from De Guzman but only on how to
handle their mothers estate which does not involve the contested property. Clearly, the
acquisition of the disputed property is a valid consequence of their business deal, not by
lawyer-client relationship.
A.C. No. 11059, November 09, 2016
JOSE ANTONIO F. BALINGIT, Complainant, v. ATTY. RENATO M. CERVANTES AND ATTY.
TEODORO B. DELARMENTE, Respondent.

Facts:
Complainant is a former Filipino citizen who subsequently became a naturalized British citizen.
On July 9, 2011, complainant's 2 sons, Jose Antonio Balingit, Jr. and Carlo Balingit, who were
on board their respective motorcycles, figured in a head-on collision with the car driven by
David A. Alizadeh . As a result, a case was filed against David.
Complainant engaged the legal services of respondents in the filing of the separate civil suit for
damages and an administrative case against David.
Atty. Cervantes prepared and signed an Agreement embodying the terms of respondents'
engagement. Addressed to Kristopher, Carlo, and the heirs of Jose Antonio, Jr., but the same
did not sign the said agreement. Complainant paid the sum of P45,000.00 as partial
acceptance fee receipt issued by Atty. Delarmente, Atty. Cervantes allegedly received
P10,000.00 from Imelda Balingit (Imelda), complainant's daughter-in-law, without issuing any
receipt.
Complainant and the representatives of David agreed to settle and David greed to pay
P1,000,000.00 for the dismissal of the case. Atty. Cervantes, upon discovering that
complainant entered into a Compromise Agreement, attended the November 9, 2011 hearing
and demanded 10% of the amount of the compromise as attorney's fees and P5,000.00 as
appearance fee from complainant. Complainant refused on the ground that the compromise
was entered Atty. Cervantes sent a demand lette1 to complainant seeking payment of
P100,000.00 as attorney's fees, representing 10% of the amount of the compromise, and
appearance fee of P5,000.00 for his attendance in the November 9, 2011 hearing. As
complainant still refused to pay, Atty. Cervantes filed a criminal complaint for estafa against
complainant, his wife, and his sons, as well as a complaint for deportation with the Bureau of
Immigration, on the ground that complainant and his family are undesirable British aliens.

Issue:
Wether or not respondents violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Ruling:
t is a core ethical principle that lawyers owe fidelity to their clients' cause and must always be
mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in them.
CANON 15 - A lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and
transactions with his clients.
CANON 16 - A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come
into his profession.
Rule 16.01 - A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from
the client.

CANON 17 - A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust
and confidence reposed in him.
CANON 18 - A lawyer shall serve his client with competence and diligence.

n the present case, respondents received P45,000.00 to file a separate civil action for
damages against David. Atty. Cervantes also allegedly received P10,000.00 from
complainant's daughter-in-law but no evidence was adduced to support this claim. Thus,
respondents should be ordered to return the amount of P45,000.00 to complainant.

Atty. Teodoro B. Delarmente and Atty. Renato M. Cervantes are hereby SUSPENDEDfrom the
practice of law for six (6) months. Both are STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same
or similar acts shall be dealt with more severely. They are also DIRECTED to return to
complainant the amount of P45,000.00. Finally, respondents are DIRECTED to report to this
Court the date of their receipt of this Decision to enable this Court to determine when their
suspension shall take effect.

Maria Victoria G. Belo-Henares vs. Atty. Roberto "Argee" C. Guevarra


A.C. No. 11394. December 1, 2016

Facts

This instant administrative case arose from a verified complaint for disbarment filed by
complainant complainant Maria Victoria G. Belo-Henares (complainant) against respondent
Atty. Roberto Argee C. Guevarra (respondent) for alleged violations of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

Complainant is the Medical Director and principal stockholder of the Belo Medical Group, Inc.
(BMGI), a corporation duly organized and existing under Philippine laws 2 and engaged in the
specialized field of cosmetic surgery.3 On the other hand, respondent is the lawyer of a certain
Ms. Josefina Josie Norcio (Norcio ), who filed criminal cases against complainant for an
allegedly botched surgical procedure on her buttocks in 2002 and 2005, purportedly causing
infection and making her ill in 2009.

In 2009, respondent wrote a series of posts on his Facebook account insulting and verbally
abusing complainant. The complaint further alleged that respondent posted remarks on his
Facebook account that were intended to destroy and ruin BMGIs medical personnel, as well
as the entire medical practice of around 300 employees for no fair or justifiable cause.

Issue:

Ruling:
The court find the respondents inappropriate and obscene language, and his act of publicly
insulting and undermining the reputation of complainant through the subject Facebook posts
are in complete and utter violation of the provisions in the Code of Professional Responsibility.
A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor
shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the
legal profession. Moreover, a lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which
is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper. In addition, the respondent is expected to employ
only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client and shall not present,
participate in presenting or threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an
improper advantage in any case or proceeding.

By posting the subject remarks on Facebook directed at complainant and BMGI, the
respondent disregarded the fact that, as a lawyer, he is bound to observe proper decorum at all
times, be it in his public or private life. He overlooked the fact that he must behave in a manner
befitting of an officer of the court, that is, respectful, firm, and decent. Instead, he acted
inappropriately and rudely; he used words unbecoming of an officer of the law, and conducted
himself in an aggressive way by hurling insults and maligning complainants and BMGI s
reputation.

That complainant is a public figure and/or a celebrity and therefore, a public personage who is
exposed to criticism does not justify respondents disrespectful language. It is the cardinal
condition of all criticism that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of decency
and propriety. In this case, respondents remarks against complainant breached the said walls,
for which reason the former must be administratively sanctioned.

The respondent, Atty. Roberto Argee C. Guevarra, is found guilty of violation of Rules 7.03,
8.01, and 19.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He was SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for a period of one (1) year and is STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the
same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.