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CANON 15 From the foregoing proceedings taken on this

matter, the Court finds that respondent

A lawyer shall observe candor, fairness and
loyalty in all his dealings and transactions
admitted having taken possession of the
with his client. certificates of title of complainants but refused
to surrender the same despite demands made by
the latter.
NICANOR GONZALES and SALUD B. -Respondent submitted photocopies of certain
PANTANOSAS, complainants, certificates of title in an effort to explain why he
VS. kept the certificates of title of complainants, for
the purpose of subdividing the property.
ATTY. MIGUEL SABAJACAN However, an examination of the same does not
show any connection thereof to respondent's
A. C. No. 4380, October 13, 1995
claim. In fact, the two sets of certificates of title
FACTS: appear to be entirely different from each other.

-Sometime in October 1994, complainants were

informed by the Register of Deeds of CDO City
that the duplicate of title covering their lands
were entrusted to the office secretary of the Except for the ruling of the Court that the
respondent who in turn entrusted the same to respondent lawyer violated Canon 19, Rule 19.01
respondent. of the Code of Professional Responsibility, what
else did the respondent violated? Explain briefly.
-Respondent admitted and confirmed to the
complainants that their titles are in his custody
but when demanded to deliver the said titles to
the complainant in a formal demand letter, HELD:
respondent refused without any justification to [Canon 19, Rule 19.01 ordains that a lawyer shall
give their titles (and) when confronted, employ only fair and honest means to attain the
respondent challenged the complainants to file lawful objectives of his client and shall not
any case in any court even in the SC. present, participate in presenting, or threaten to
-Respondent's challenge to them is a present unfounded charges to obtain an
manifestation of his arrogance taking undue improper advantage in any case or proceeding.]
advantage of his legal profession over the Apparently, respondent has disregarded Canon
simplicity, innocence and ignorance of the 15, Rule 15.07 of the Code of Professional
complainants. Responsibility which provides that a lawyer
-In spite of repeated demands, respondent still shall impress upon his client the need for
failed and refused without justification to compliance with the laws and principles of
surrender the said titles to the rightful owners,
which act is tantamount to willful and malicious Instead, he unjustly refused to give to
defiance of legal and moral obligations complainants their certificates of titles
emanating from his professional capacity as a supposedly to enforce payment of their alleged
lawyer who had sworn to uphold law and justice, financial obligations to his client and presumably
to the prejudice and damage of the complainants to impress the latter of his power to do so.

-As a lawyer, respondent should know that there A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client
are lawful remedies provided by law to protect and he shall be mindful of the trust and
the interests of his client. The records do not confidence reposed in him.
show that he or his client have availed of said
remedies. The Court finds that respondent has
not exercised the good faith and diligence VIRGILIO J. MAPALAD, JR., COMPLAINANT, V.
required of lawyers in handling the legal affairs ATTY. ANSELMO S. ECHANEZ, RESPONDENT
of their clients.
A.C. NO. 10911, 6 JUNE 2017
-The Court accordingly finds that respondent has
not exercised the good faith and diligence
required of lawyers in handling the legal affairs FACTS:
of their clients. If complainants did have the
alleged monetary obligations to his client, that -Complainant filed a disbarment case against the
does not warrant his summarily confiscating respondent for presenting falsified Mandatory
their certificates of title since there is no showing Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Number
in the records that the same were given as without indicating the date of issue. The
collaterals to secure the payment of a debt. respondent used the said falsified MCLE Number
Neither is there any intimation that there is a in several legal pleadings against the
court order authorizing him to take and retain complainant.
custody of said certificates of title. -Upon inquiry with the MCLE Office, a
certification was issued stating the respondent
has yet complied his MCLE requirements. The
PENALTY: SUSPENDED from the practice of law complainant filed his complaint against the
until he can duly show to this Court that the respondent at the Integrated Bar of the
disputed certificates of title have been returned Philippines (IBP) for act of deliberately and
to and the receipt thereof duly acknowledged by unlawfully misleading the courts, parties and
complainants, or can present a judicial order or counsels concerned into believing that he had
appropriate legal authority justifying the complied with the MCLE requirements when in
possession by him or his client of said truth he had not, is a serious malpractice and
certificates. He is further WARNED that a grave misconduct. The complainant, thus,
repetition of the same or similar or any other prayed for the IBP to recommend respondent’s
administrative misconduct will be punished disbarment.
more severely.
-The respondent was given the chance to
comment on the complaint twice but the
respondent didn’t provide any response.

-Both the complainant and the respondent were

called for a hearing by the IBP-CBD – both parties
attend. The IBP-CBD then directed both parties
to submit position papers. Only the complainant
complied. The IBP-CBD recommend the
respondent be disbarred and his name stricken
from the Roll of Attorneys. The IBP-BOG adopted PENALTY: The Supreme Court disbarred the
and approved the IBP-CBD’s report. respondent and his name was ordered stricken
off from the Roll of Attorneys.
-The Court ruled the respondent guilty for
violating the Lawyer’s Oath in various Rules on


Specifically, with respondent’s used of false MCLE

compliance number in his pleadings, what Canon
Rule did he violated?


CANON 17 - A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause

of his client and shall be mindful of the trust and
confidence reposed upon him.

It is the duty of the lawyer at the time of

retainer to disclose to the client all the
circumstances of his relations to the parties and
any interest in, or connection with, the
controversy which might influence the client in
the selection of counsel.


In using a false MCLE compliance number in his

pleadings, respondent also put his own clients at
risk. Such deficiency in pleadings can be fatal to
the client's cause as pleadings with such false
information produce no legal effect. In so doing,
respondent violated his duty to his clients.

**CANON 18 - A lawyer shall serve his client with

competence and diligence.

Competence: sufficiency of lawyer’s qualification

to deal with the matter in question and includes
knowledge and skill and the ability to use them
effectively in the interest of the client.