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n Re: Al C.

Argosino 246 SCRA 14 (1995)


IN MATTER OF THE ADMISSION TO THE BAR AND OATH-TAKING OF SUCCESSFUL BAR
APPLICANT AL C. ARGOSINO

DOCTRINES:
 The practice of law is a high personal privilege limited to citizens of good moral character, with
special education qualifications, duly ascertained and certified.
 Requirement of good moral character is of greater importance so far as the general public and
proper administration of justice is concerned.
 All aspects of moral character and behavior may be inquired into in respect of those seeking
admission to the Bar.
 Requirement of good moral character to be satisfied by those who would seek admission to the
bar must be a necessity more stringent than the norm of conduct expected from members of the general
public.
 Participation in the prolonged mindless physical beatings inflicted upon Raul Camaligan
constituted evident rejection of that moral duty and was totally irresponsible behavior, which makes
impossible a finding that the participant was possessed of good moral character.
 Good moral character is a requirement possession of which must be demonstrated at the time of
the application for permission to take the bar examinations and more importantly at the time of application
for admission to the bar and to take the attorney's oath of office.

FACTS:
On February 4, 1992 ,Argosino, together with 13 others, was charged with the crime of homicide in
connection with the death of one Raul Camaligan. The death of Camaligan stemmed from the affliction of
severe physical injuries upon him in course of "hazing" conducted as part of the university fraternity
initiation rites. On February 11, 1993, the accused were consequently sentenced to suffer imprisonment
for a period ranging from two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years.

Eleven (11) days later, Mr. Argosino and his colleagues filed an application for probation with the lower
court. The application was granted on June 18 1993. The period of probation was set at two (2) years,
counted from the probationer's initial report to the probation officer assigned to supervise him.

Less than a month later, Argosino filed a petition to take the bar exam. He was allowed and he passed
the exam, but was not allowed to take the lawyer's oath of office.

On April 15, 1994, Argosino filed a petition to allow him to take the attorney's oath and be admitted to the
practice of law. He averred that his probation period had been terminated. It is noted that his probation
period did not last for more than 10 months.

ISSUE: Whether Argosino should be allowed to take the oath of attorney and be admitted to the practice
of law

HELD:
Mr. Argosino must submit to this Court evidence that he may now be regarded as complying with the
requirement of good moral character imposed upon those who are seeking admission to the bar. He
should show to the Court how he has tried to make up for the senseless killing of a helpless student to the
family of the deceased student and to the community at large. In short, he must show evidence that he is
a different person now, that he has become morally fit for admission to the profession of law.

He is already directed to inform the Court, by appropriate written manifestation, of the names of the
parents or brothers and sisters of Camaligan from notice.