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But we must here emphasize that the practice of law is not a property

right but a mere privilege, and as such must bow to the inherent regulatory
power of the Court to exact compliance with the lawyer’s public
EN BANC[ B.M. No. 1370, May 09, 2005 ]

Atty. Arevalo wrote a letter to the SC requesting for exemption from
In his letter, dated 22 September 2004, petitioner sought exemption from payment of his IBP dues from 1977-2005 in the amount of P12,035.00. He
payment of IBP dues in the amount of P12,035.00 as alleged unpaid contends that after admission to the Bar he worked at the Civil Service
accountability for the years 1977-2005. He alleged that after being admitted
to the Philippine Bar in 1961, he became part of the Philippine Civil Service Commission then migrated to the US until his retirement. His contention to
from July 1962 until 1986, then migrated to, and worked in, the USA in be exempt is that his employment with the CSC prohibits him to practice his
December 1986 until his retirement in the year 2003. He maintained that he
law profession and he did not practice the same while in the US.
cannot be assessed IBP dues for the years that he was working in the
Philippine Civil Service since the Civil Service law prohibits the practice of The compulsion that he pays his IBP annual membership is oppressive since
one’s profession while in government service, and neither can he be assessed he has an inactive status as a lawyer. His removal from the profession
for the years when he was working in the USA.
because of non-payment of the same constitutes to the deprivation of his
Issue: property rights bereft of due process of the law.

whether or nor petitioner is entitled to exemption from payment of his dues Issues:
during the time that he was inactive in the practice of law

1. Is petitioner entitled to exemption from payment of his dues during the time
that he was inactive in the practice of law that is, when he was in the Civil

The supreme court held that the payment of dues is a necessary Service from 1962-1986 and he was working abroad from 1986-2003?
consequence of membership in the IBP, of which no one is exempt. This
means that the compulsory nature of payment of dues subsists for as long as
2. Does the enforcement of the penalty of removal amount to a deprivation of
one’s membership in the IBP remains regardless of the lack of practice of, or
the type of practice, the member is engaged in. property without due process?

There is nothing in the law or rules which allows exemption from

payment of membership dues. At most, as correctly observed by the IBP, he Held:
could have informed the Secretary of the Integrated Bar of his intention to stay
abroad before he left. In such case, his membership in the IBP could have 1. No. A membership fee in the Bar association is an exaction for regulation.
been terminated and his obligation to pay dues could have been discontinued. If the judiciary has inherent power to regulate the Bar, it follows that as an
incident to regulation, it may impose a membership fee for that purpose. It
would not be possible to put on an integrated Bar program without means to
defray the expenses. The doctrine of implied powers necessarily carries with Leda vs. Tabang, A.C. No. 2505 February 21, 1992
it the power to impose such exaction.

The payment of dues is a necessary consequence of membership in the

Firstly, his declaration in his application for Admission to the 1981 Bar
IBP, of which no one is exempt. This means that the compulsory nature of
Examinations that he was "single" was a gross misrepresentation of a
payment of dues subsists for as long as ones membership in the IBP
material fact made in utter bad faith, for which he should be made
remains regardless of the lack of practice of, or the type of practice, the
answerable. Rule 7.01, Canon 7, Chapter II of the Code of Professional
member is engaged in.
Responsibility explicitly provides: "A lawyer shall be answerable for
knowingly making a false statement or suppression of a material fact in
connection with his application for admission to the bar." That false
2. No. Whether the practice of law is a property right, in the sense of its
statement, if it had been known, would have disqualified him outright from
being one that entitles the holder of a license to practice a profession, we do
taking the Bar Examinations as it indubitably exhibits lack of good moral
not here pause to consider at length, as it [is] clear that under the police
power of the State, and under the necessary powers granted to the Court to
perpetuate its existence, the respondents right to practice law before the
courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and
inquiry. And, if the power to impose the fee as a regulatory measure is Respondent's lack of good moral character is only too evident. He has
recognize[d], then a penalty designed to enforce its payment, which penalty resorted to conflicting submissions before this Court to suit himself. He has
may be avoided altogether by payment, is not void as unreasonable also engaged in devious tactics with Complainant in order to serve his
or arbitrary. purpose. In so doing, he has violated Canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, which provides that "a lawyer owes candor, fairness and
But we must here emphasize that the practice of law is not a property right good faith to the court" as well as Rule 1001 thereof which states that "a
but a mere privilege, and as such must bow to the inherent regulatory power lawyer should do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in Court; nor
of the Court to exact compliance with the lawyers public responsibilities. shall he mislead, or allow the court to be misled by any artifice." Courts are
entitled to expect only complete candor and honesty from the lawyers
As a final note, it must be borne in mind that membership in the bar is a appearing and pleading before them. Respondent, through his actuations,
privilege burdened with conditions, one of which is the payment of has been lacking in the candor required of him not only as a member of the
membership dues. Failure to abide by any of them entails the loss of such Bar but also as an officer of the Court.
privilege if the gravity thereof warrants such drastic move. (Letter of Atty.
Cecilio Y. Arevalo, Jr., Requesting Exemption from Payment of IBP Dues,
B.M. No. 1370. May 9, 2005)
needs (sic) to get back the case folder from him. The communications
transpired was recorded in her cellular phone.
A.C. No. 7204 March 7, 2007
On the following day, March 7, 2005 respondent sent another message to
CYNTHIA ADVINCULA, Complainant, complainant at 3:55:32 pm saying "I don’t know wat 2 do s u may 4give me.
vs. "Im realy sri. Puede bati na tyo." (I don’t know what to do so you may forgive
me. I’m really sorry. Puede bati na tayo).
Respondent replied "talk to my lawyer in due time." Then another message
was received by her at 4:06:33 pm saying "Ano k ba. I’m really sri. Pls. Nxt
ime bhave n me." (Ano ka ba. I’m really sorry. Please next time behave na
FACTS: ko), which is a clear manifestation of admission of guilt.
This is a complaint1 for disbarment filed by Cynthia Advincula against ISSUE:
respondent Atty. Ernesto M. Macabata, charging the latter with Gross
Immorality. Whether or not text messages are admissible as evidence in
disbarment cases?
Sometime on 1st week of December 2004 complainant [Cynthia Advincula]
seek the legal advice of the respondent [Atty. Macabata], regarding her HELD:
collectibles from Queensway Travel and Tours. As promised, he sent Demand
Yes. In the ruling of the court it noted that:
Letter dated December 11, 2004 to the concerned parties.
Moreover, while respondent admitted having kissed complainant on
On February 10, 2005, met (sic) at Zensho Restaurant in Tomas Morato,
the lips, the same was not motivated by malice. We come to this conclusion
Quezon City to discuss the possibility of filing the complaint against
because right after the complainant expressed her annoyance at being kissed
Queensway Travel and Tours because they did not settle their accounts as
by the respondent through a cellular phone text message, respondent
demanded. After the dinner, respondent sent complainant home and while
immediately extended an apology to complainant also via cellular phone text
she is about to step out of the car, respondent hold (sic) her arm and kissed
message. The exchange of text messages between complainant and
her on the cheek and embraced her very tightly.
respondent bears this out.
Again, on March 6, 2005, at about past 10:00 in the morning, she met
All told, as shown by the above circumstances, respondent’s acts are
respondent at Starbucks coffee shop in West Avenue, Quezon City to finalize
not grossly immoral nor highly reprehensible to warrant disbarment or
the draft of the complaint to be filed in Court. After the meeting, respondent
offered again a ride, which he usually did every time they met. Along the way,
complainant was wandering (sic) why she felt so sleepy where in fact she just
got up from bed a few hours ago. At along Roosevelt Avenue immediately
after corner of Felipe St., in San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City when she
was almost restless respondent stopped his car and forcefully hold (sic) her
face and kissed her lips while the other hand was holding her breast.
Complainant even in a state of shocked (sic) succeeded in resisting his
criminal attempt and immediately manage (sic) to go (sic) out of the car.

In the late afternoon, complainant sent a text message to respondent

informing him that she decided to refer the case with another lawyer and

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.
The case is a disbarment case against respondent on the ground of
gross immorality. It was alleged that sometime in December 2004,
complainant seek for legal advice from peitioner regarding her collectibles
from a travel company. Respondent sent Demand Letter and sometime in xxxx
February 2005, they met at Zensho Restaurant to discuss the possibility of
filing complaint against the travel company because the latter failed to settle
the accounts. That after that said meeting, the respondent "held her arm and Rule 7.03-- A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his
kissed her on the cheek while embracing her very tightly." 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 two met again to finalize the draft for the complaint and while
on their way home after the said meeting, the respondent suddenly stopped
the car and things went out of hand. Thus she decided to refer the case to
another lawyer. The SC held that lawyers are expected to abide the tenets of
morality, not only upon admission to the Bar but all throughtout their legal
career as lawyers belong to an exclusive and honored fraternity. Lawyers are
called upon to safeguard the integrity of the legal profession and should
adhere to the unwaveringly to the highest standard of morality. The
respondent admitted to the act of kissing the complainant on the lips as
evidenced as well of his asking for apology from complainant in his text
Whether or not the respondent committed acts are grossly immoral message. Regardless of the fact that the respondent admitted that he kissed
which would warrant the disbarment or suspension from the practice of law. the complainant but the Court held that this was not accompanied by malice
because the respondent immediately asked for forgiveness after sensing the
annoyance of the respondent after texting him. Thus the Court held that this
is not grossly immoral nor highly reprehensible which will warrant disbarment
or suspension. But the Court reprimanded respondent to be more prudent and

The Code of Professional Responsibility provides:

CANON I – x x x

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

deceitful conduct.

FACTS: Atty. Alfredo Castillo was already married with three children when he had an
affair with Carmelita Zaguirre. This occurred sometime from 1996 to 1997,
Complainant and respondent had their illicit relationship while the while Castillo was reviewing for the bar and before the release of its results.
latter was preparing to take the bar examinations. After the admission of the Zaguirre then got pregnant allegedly with Castillo’s daughter. The latter, who
respondent to the Philippine Bar, complainant learned that he was already was already a lawyer, notarized an affidavit recognizing the child and
married. Respondent, who by now is a lawyer, executed an affidavit, admitting promising for her support which did not materialize after the birth of the child.
his relationship with the complainant and recognizing the unborn child she The Court found him guilty of Gross Immoral Conduct to which Castillo filed a
was carrying as his. After the birth of the baby, however, respondent had motion for reconsideration.
started to refuse recognizing the child and giving her any form of support. After
due hearing, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline found Atty. Castillo guilty
of gross immoral conduct and recommends that he be meted the penalty of
indefinite suspension from the practice of law. The IBP commented that until Castillo admits the paternity of the child and
agrees to support her. In his defense, the latter presented different certificates
ISSUE: appreciating his services as a lawyer and proving his good moral character.
His wife even submitted a handwritten letter stating his amicability as a
Whether or not the penalty imposed is proper. husband and father despite the affair. More than a year since the original
decision rendered by the Court, Castillo reiterated his willingness to support
the child to the Court and attached a photocopy of post-dated checks
addressed to Zaguirre for the months of March to December 2005 in the
amount of Php2,000.00 each.

YES. Respondent violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional

Responsibility; Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the same Code. ISSUE:

The conduct must not only be immoral, but grossly immoral. That is, it
must be so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be
Whether or not Atty. Alfredo Castillo is guilty of Gross Immoral Conduct and
reprehensible to a high degree or committed under such scandalous or
should be punished with the penalty of Indefinite Suspension.
revolting circumstances as to shock the common sense of decency.

Siring a child with a woman other than his wife is a conduct way below
the standards of morality required of every lawyer. Moreover, the attempt of HELD:
respondent to renege on his notarized statement recognizing and undertaking
to support his child by Carmelita demonstrates a certain unscrupulousness on
his part which is highly censurable, unbecoming a member of a noble
profession, tantamount to self-stultification. The Court found that Castillo’s show of repentance and active service to the
community is a just and reasonable ground to convert the original penalty of
The rule is settled that a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for indefinite suspension to a definite suspension of two years. Furthermore, the
any misconduct, even if it pertains to his private activities, as long as it shows Court noted that Zaguirre’s further claim for the support of her child should be
him to be wanting in moral character, honesty, probity or good demeanor. addressed to the proper court in a proper case.
[CASE DIGEST] Pobre v. Defensor-Santiago (A.C. No. 7399) ISSUE:

August 25, 2009 | A.C. No. 7399

Whether or not there is a ground for Sen. Defensor-Santiago to be disbarred

or subjected to disciplinary action by the Court for her questioned speech.
Antero J. Pobre, complainant

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, respondent


No, the Court sided with Sen. Defensor-Santiago's defense that she should
be afforded parliamentary immunity from suit pursuant to Section 11, Art. VI
of the 1987 Constitution, which section states in part that "no [Senator] x x x
In one of her privilege speeches before the Senate, Sen. Miriam Defensor-
shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or
Santiago delivered the following remarks:
debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof." Although there was no
express admission on the part of the lady senator that she did indeed say
those words, there was no categorical denial either, which the Court ultimately
x x x I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I regarded as an implied admission.
am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am not only that, I feel
like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am
nauseated. I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his
cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of
Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots. I would rather be in a different
environment than in a Supreme Court of idiots. x x x
Despite the dismissal of the letter-complaint, the Court heavily chastised the
lady senator for indulging in "insulting rhetoric and offensive personalities." In
fact, her excuse that her questioned speech was a prelude to crafting remedial
Her speech came as a response to the decision of the Judicial and Bar Council
legislation on the JBC struck the Court as being a mere afterthought in light of
(JBC) declaring that only sitting members of the Supreme Court can be
the controversy her utterances had managed to stir.
nominated for the impending vacancy of the CJ post. Consequently, nominees
who were not incumbent members of the Court, including Sen. Defensor-
Santiago, were automatically disqualified.
Still, the Court held that parliamentary immunity is essential because without
it, the parliament or its equivalent would "degenerate into a polite and
ineffective forum." However, it should be noted that "[l]egislators are immune
Private complainant Antero J. Pobre filed the instant petition before the Court,
from deterrents to the uninhibited discharge of of their legislative duties, not
contending that the lady senator's utterances amounted to a total disrespect
for their private indulgence, but for the public good."
towards then CJ Panganiban and a direct contempt of Court. Accordingly, he
wanted disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary actions to be taken
against Sen. Defensor-Santiago.

EN BANC[ B.M. No. 1036, June 10, 2003 ]

DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE, COMPLAINANT, Whether or not respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and
thus does not deserve admission to the Philippine Bar



the Court held that “practice of law” means any activity, in or out of court,
which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform acts which are
Rana was among those who passed the 2000 Bar Examinations. before the
usually performed by members of the legal profession. Generally, to practice
scheduled mass oath-taking, complainant Aguirre filed against respondent a
law is to render any kind of service which requires the use of legal knowledge
Petition for Denial of Admission to the Bar.
or skill.

The Court allowed respondent to take his oath. Respondent took the lawyer’s
The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege.
oath on the scheduled date but has not signed the Roll of Attorneys up to now.
It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly
ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege presupposes
possession of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment, and even
Complainant alleges that respondent, while not yet a lawyer, appeared as public trust since a lawyer is an officer of the court. A bar candidate does not
counsel for a candidate in an election. acquire the right to practice law simply by passing the bar examinations. The
practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who has
passed the bar examinations, if the person seeking admission had practiced
On the charge of violation of law, complainant claims that respondent is a law without a license.
municipal government employee, being a secretary of the Sangguniang
Bayan of Mandaon, Masbate. As such, respondent is not allowed by law to
act as counsel for a client in any court or administrative body. True, respondent here passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the
lawyer’s oath. However, it is the signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally
makes one a full-fledged lawyer. The fact that respondent passed the bar
On the charge of grave misconduct and misrepresentation, complainant examinations is immaterial. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to
accuses respondent of acting as counsel for vice mayoralty candidate George become an attorney-at-law. Respondent should know that two essential
Bunan without the latter engaging respondent’s services. Complainant claims requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his
that respondent filed the pleading as a ploy to prevent the proclamation of the lawyer’s oath to be administered by this Court and his signature in the Roll of
winning vice mayoralty candidate. Attorneys.
Five J Taxi and Armamiento vs. NLRC Case Digest

Five J Taxi and/or Juan Armamiento vs. NLRC On November 27, 1991, private respondents filed a complaint with the manila
Arbitration Office of the National Labor Relations Commission charging
235 SCRA 556 petitioners with illegal dismissal and illegal deductions.

Facts: Private respondents Domingo Maldigan and Gilberto Sabsalon were Issue: Whether or not the deductions made were illegal and if illegal,
hired by the petitioners as taxi drivers and, as such, they worked for 4 days considered a prohibition regarding wages.
weekly on a 24-hour shifting schedule. Aside from the daily boundary of
P700.00 for air-conditioned taxi or P450.00 for non-air-conditioned taxi, they
were also required to pay P20.00 for car washing, and to further make a
P15.00 deposit to answer for any deficiency in their boundary, for every actual Ruling: The Court declares that the deposits made amounts to the prohibition
working day. provided by law. The deposits made were illegal and the respondents must
be refunded.
In less than 4 months after Maldigan was hired as an extra driver by the
petitioners, he already failed to report for work for unknown reasons.
Petitioners learned that he was working for Mine of Gold Taxi Company. With
Article 114 of the Labor Code provides as follows:
respect to Sabsalon, while driving a taxicab of petitioners on September 1983,
he was held up by his armed passenger who took all his money and thereafter Deposits for loss or damage. — No employer shall require his worker to make
stabbed him. He was hospitalized and after his discharge, he went to this deposits from which deductions shall be made for the reimbursement of loss
home province to recuperate. of or damage to tools, materials, or equipment supplied by the employer,
except when the employer is engaged in such trades, occupations or business
In January, 1987, Sabsalon was re-admitted by petitioners as a taxi driver
where the practice of making deposits is a recognized one, or is necessary or
under the same terms and conditions as when he was first employed, but his
desirable as determined by the Secretary of Labor in appropriate rules and
working schedule was made on an alternative basis where he drove only
every other day. However, on several occasions, he failed to report for work
during his schedule. On September 22, 1991, Sabsalon failed to remit his It can be deduced that the said article provides the rule on deposits for loss or
boundary of P700.00 for the previous day. Also, he abandoned his taxicab in damage to tools, materials or equipments supplied by the employer. Clearly,
Makati without fuel refill worth P300.00. Despite repeated requests of the same does not apply to or permit deposits to defray any deficiency which
petitioners for him to report for work, he adamantly refused. Afterwards it was the taxi driver may incur in the remittance of his boundary.
revealed that he was driving a taxi for Bulaklak Company.
On the matter of the car wash payments, the labor arbiter had this to say in
Sometime in 1989, Maldigan requested petitioners for the reimbursement of his decision: "Anent the issue of illegal deductions, there is no dispute that as
his daily cash deposits for 2 years, but herein petitioners told him that not a a matter of practice in the taxi industry, after a tour of duty, it is incumbent
single centavo was left of his deposits as these were not even enough to cover upon the driver to restore the unit he has given to the same clean condition
the amount spent for the repairs of the taxi he was driving. This was allegedly when he took it out, and as claimed by the respondents (petitioners in the
the practice adopted by petitioners to recoup the expenses incurred in the present case), complainant(s) (private respondents herein) were made to
repair of their taxicab units. When Maldigan insisted on the refund of his shoulder the expenses for washing, the amount doled out was paid directly to
deposit, petitioners terminated his services. Sabsalon, on his part, claimed the person who washed the unit, thus we find nothing illegal in this practice,
that his termination from employment was effected when he refused to pay for much more (sic) to consider the amount paid by the driver as illegal deduction
the washing of his taxi seat covers. in the context of the law."
Consequently, private respondents are not entitled to the refund of the P20.00 HELD:
car wash payments they made. It will be noted that there was nothing to
prevent private respondents from cleaning the taxi units themselves, if they YES. Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for one (1) year, or
wanted to save their P20.00. Also, as the Solicitor General correctly noted, until he has paid his IBP dues.
car washing after a tour of duty is a practice in the taxi industry, and is, in fact,
dictated by fair play.

Even if he had “limited” practice of law, it does not relieve him of the duties
Santos, Jr. vs. Atty. Llamas, AC 4749
such as payment of IBP dues. Rule 139-A provides:

Sec. 10. Effect of non-payment of dues. — Subject to the provisions of Section
FACTS: 12 of this Rule, default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall
warrant suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar, and default in such
Atty. Francisco Llamas was complained of not paying his IBP dues.He was payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the
also cited in the complaint as not paying his professional tax or PTR as it was delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys.
intermittently indicated in his pleadings filed in court. It was also an alleged
falsity when he included his “IBP-Rizal 259060” where in fact he was not in
good standing. Petitioner cited that Atty. Llamas was dismissed as Pasay City
Under the Code of Professional Responsibility:
Judge. But later revealed that the decision was reversed and he was
subsequently promoted as RTC Judge of Makati. He also had criminal case
involving estafabut was appealed pending in the Court of Appeals. In the
numerous violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility, he expressed Rule 1.01 — A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
willingness to settle the IBP dues and plea for a more temperate application deceitful conduct.
of the law.

Rule 10.01 — A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing
ISSUE: of any court; nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice.

Whether or not Atty. Llamas is guilty of violating the Code of Professional


Issue: Should the disbarment be lifted?

Facts: Held:

On 30 October 1992 the Court found movant, Atty. Benjamin M. Dacanay,
guilty of intercalating a material fact in a decision of the Court of Appeals, The disbarment of movant Benjamin M. Dacanay for three (3) years has, quite
which he appealed to this Court on certiorari, thereby altering the factual apparently, given him sufficient time and occasion to soul-search and reflect
findings of the Court of Appeals with the apparent purpose of misleading this on his professional conduct, redeem himself and prove once more that he is
Court in order to obtain a favorable judgment. Consequently, Atty. Dacanay worthy to practice law and be capable of upholding the dignity of the legal
was disbarred from the practice of law. profession. His admission of guilt and repeated pleas for compassion and
reinstatement show that he is ready once more to meet the exacting standards
the legal profession demands from its practitioners. Accordingly, the Court lifts
the disbarment of Benjamin M. Dacanay. However he should be sternly
He claimed that the inserted words were written by his client, the President of
warned that —
Adez Realty, Inc., in the draft of the petition to be filed before the Supreme
Court and unwittingly adopted by movant's secretary when the latter
formalized the petition. He manifested that he would not risk committing the
act for which he was found guilty considering that he was a nominee of the THE WARNING: ADHERENCE TO RIGID STANDARDS
Judicial and Bar Council to the President for appointment as regional trial
judge. [T]he practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions. Adherence to the
rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree of
morality and faithful compliance with the rules of the legal profession are the
conditions required for remaining a member of good standing of the bar and
MOTION TO LIFT DISBARMENT: LEARNED HIS LESSON WELL for enjoying the privilege to practice law. The Supreme Court, as guardian of
the legal profession, has ultimate disciplinary power over attorneys. This
Dacanay filed a Motion to Lift (Disbarment) stating that he was already 62
authority to discipline its members is not only a right, but a bounden duty as
years old, has learned his lesson from his mistake, was terribly sorry for what
well . . . That is why respect and fidelity to the Court is demanded of its
he had done, and in all candor promised that if given another chance he would
members . . .
live up to the exacting demands of the legal profession. He appended to his
motion certifications of good moral character from: Fr. Celso Fernando,
Parochial Vicar, Parish of St. Michael Archangel, Marilao, Bulacan; Fr. Lauro
V. Larlar, OAR, Rector, San Sebastian College-Recoletos; Sis. Aniceta B. WHEREFORE, the disbarment of BENJAMIN M. DACANAY from the practice
Abion, EMM, Chairperson, Center for Housing and Ecology Development of law is LIFTED and he is therefore allowed to resume the practice of law
Foundation, Inc.; Dean Rufus B. Rodriquez, College of Law, San Sebastian upon payment of the required legal fees. This resolution is effective
College-Recoletos; Judge Pedro T. Santiago, Executive Judge, RTC, Quezon immediately.
City; Judge Teodoro P. Regino, RTC-Br. 84, Quezon City; Judge Antonio P.
Solano, RTC-Br. 86, Quezon City; and Judge Gregorio D. Dayrit, MTC-Br. 35,
Quezon City
ase Digest: Conrado N. Que, Complainant, v. Atty Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr., 12.02 and 12.04, Canon 12; Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of Professional
Respondent | A.C. No. 7054, 11 November 2014 Responsibility (CPR); and Sections 20 (d), 21 and 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules
of Court. The Supreme Court disbarred the respondent from the practice of
December 19, 2017 law.
Conrado N. Que, Complainant, v. Atty Anastacio E. Revilla, Jr., Respondent

A.C. No. 7054, 11 November 2014


Que accused Revilla, Jr. of willfully delaying the final judgment of the lower
court against his client. Respondent successfully filed a petition of certiorari
before the Court of Appeals, two petitions of annulment of title and a petition
for annulment of judgment before the Regional Trial Court, and a petition for
declaratory execution of the lower court’s decision against his client.


Whether or not the respondent violated various canons and provisions of

the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).


Respondent’s abuse of court remedies by filing multiple actions praying for

the same cause delayed the execution of the final judgment of the court. The
respondent’s willful and revolting falsehood is also alleged by the complainant
that unjustly maligned and defamed the good name and reputation of the late
Atty. Alfredo Catolico who was the previous counsel of the respondent’s
clients. The respondent’s repeated attempts go beyond legitimate means
allowed by professional ethical rules in defending the interests of his clients.
The respondent violated his duty as an attorney “never to mislead the judge
or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.”

Due to the respondent’s multiple violations on the CPR, and is found liable
for professional misconduct for violations of the Lawyer’s Oath; Canon 8;
Rules 10.01 and 10.03, Canon 10; Rules 12.02 and 12.04, Canon 10; Rules
IN RE: ALMACEN (31 SCRA 562 2/18/70) - LAWYERS' DUTY For lack of proof of service, ‘the trial court denied both motions. To prove that
he did serve on the adverse party a copy of his first motion for reconsideration,
Category: Legal Ethics atty. Almacen filed on August 17, 1966 a second motion for reconsideration,
however, was ordered withdrawn by the trial court on August 30, 1966, upon
verbal motion of Atty. Almacen himself, who earlier, that is, on Aug. 22, 1966
had already perfected the appeal. Motion for reconsideration was denied by
Court of Appeals.
FACTS:Vicente Raul Almacen’s “Petition to Surrender Lawyer’s Certificate of
Title,” filed on Sept. 26, 1967, in protest against what he therein asserts is “a
great injustice committed against his client by Supreme Court”. He indicts SC,
in his own phrase, as a tribual “peopled by men who are calloused to our pleas
for justice, who ignore without reasons their own applicable decisions and
commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity.” His client’s he
continues, who was deeply aggrieved by this Court’s “unjust judgment,” has HELD:Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court
become one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy.” and as citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate
channels the acts of courts and judges.

He ridicules the members of the Court, saying “that justice as administered by

the present members of the Supreme Court is not only bline, but also deaf As a citizen and as officer of the court, a lawyer is expected not only to
and dumb.” He then vows to argue the cause of his client ”in the people’s exercise the right, but also to consider it his duty to avail of such right. No law
forum,” so that “ people may know of the silent injustices committed by this may abridge this right. Nor is he “professionally answerable for a scrutiny into
court’ and that “whatever mistakes, wrongs and injustices that were committed the official conduct of the judges, which would not expose him to legal
must never be repeated.” He ends his petition with a prayer that: animadversion as a citizen. Atty. Almacen is suspended from the practice of
law until further orders.

“………a resolution issue ordering the Clerk of Court to receive the certificate
of the undersigned attorney that at any time in the future and in the event we
regain our faith and confidence, we may retrieve our title to assume the
practice of the noblest profession.”
IN RE: ALMACEN (31 SCRA 562 2/18/70) - Lawyers' Duty

The genesis of this unfortunate incident was a civil case entitled Yaptichay v.
Calero, in which Atty. Almacen was counsel for the defendant. The trial court
rencered judgment agains his client. On June 15, 1966 atty. Almacen receive
acopy of the decision. Twenty days later on he moved for its reconsideration
but did not notify the latter of the time and plce of hearing on said motion.
Meanwhile, onJuly 18, 1966, the plaintiff moved for execution of the judgment.
In Re: Almacen, 31 SCRA 562 It has been pointed out by the Supreme Court that there is no one to blame
but Atty. Almacen himself because of his negligence. Even if the intentions of
19 his accusations are so noble, in speaking of the truth and alleged injustices,so
as not to condemn the sinners but the sin, it has already caused enough
damage and disrepute to the judiciary. Since this particular case is sui generis
FACTS: in its nature, a number of foreign and local jurisprudence in analogous cases
were cited as benchmarks and references. Between disbarment and
suspension, the latter was imposed. Indefinite suspension may only be lifted
until further orders, after Atty. Almacen may be able to prove that he is again
Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen filed a “Petition to Surrender the Lawyer’s
fit to resume the practice of law.
Certificate of Title” to the Supreme Court as a sign of his protest as against to
what he call a tribunal “peopled by people who are calloused to our pleas for
justice…”. He also expressed strong words as against the judiciary like
“justice… is not only blind, but also deaf and dumb.” . The petition rooted from
the case he lost due to the absence of time and place in his motion in the trial
court. His appeal was dismissed in the Court of Appeals by reason of
jurisprudence. In a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court, it was again
dismissed thru a minute resolution. With the disappointments, he thought of
this sacrificial move. He claimed that this petition to surrender his title is only
in trust, and that he may obtain the title again as soon as he regained
confidence in the justice system.


Whether or not Atty. Almacen should be given disciplinary actions for his acts.


YES. Indefinite suspension imposed.

Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the
However, in the Resolution of the Court on October 1991, in a case
Trial in the Sandiganbayan of the Plunder for libel filed by then President Corazon C. Aquino read that the
Cases against the Former President Court resolved to prohibit live radio and television coverage of court
proceedings in view of protecting the parties’ right to due process, to
Joseph Estrada, A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC prevent distraction of the participants in the proceedings and to
avoid miscarriage of justice.
Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan
of the Plunder Cases against the Former President Joseph Estrada,
A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC Issue: Whether the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the
press and right to information of public concern be given more
weight than the fundamental rights of the accused.
Nature: Motion for reconsideration of the decision denying
petitioners request for permission to televise and broadcast live the
trial of former President Estrada before the Sandiganbayan. Ratio: The petition is denied.

Keywords: Live telecast of President Estrada’s Plunder Case, right to

The courts recognize the constitutionally embodied freedom of the
press and the right to public information. It also approves of
media's exalted power to provide the most accurate and
comprehensive means of conveying the proceedings to the public
and in acquainting the public with the judicial process in action;
nevertheless, within the courthouse, the overriding consideration is
still the paramount right of the accused to due process which must
Facts: On 13 March 2001, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng
never be allowed to suffer diminution in its constitutional
Pilipinas (KBP) sent a letter requesting this Court to allow live media
coverage of the anticipated trial of the plunder and other criminal
cases filed against former President Joseph E. Estrada before the
Sandiganbayan. The petitioners invoked other than the freedom of
the press, the constitutional right of the people to be informed of Due process guarantees the accused a presumption of innocence
matters of public concern which could only be recognized, served until the contrary is proved in a trial that is not lifted above its
and satisfied by allowing live radio and television coverage of the individual settings nor made an object of public's attention and
court proceedings. Moreover, the live radio and television coverage where the conclusions reached are induced not by any outside force
of the proceedings will also serve the dual purpose of ensuring the or influence but only by evidence and argument given in open court,
desired transparency in the administration of justice. where fitting dignity and calm ambiance is demanded."Television can
work profound changes in the behavior of the people it focuses the live broadcast of the recordings before the Sandiganbayan shall
on."The conscious or unconscious effect that such coverage may have rendered its decision in all the cases against the former
have on the testimony of witnesses and the decision of judges President shall be prohibited under pain of contempt of court and
cannot be evaluated but, it can likewise be said, it is not at all other sanctions in case of violations of the prohibition; (e) to ensure
unlikely for a vote of guilt or innocence to yield to it. that the conditions are observed, the audio-visual recording of the
proceedings shall be made under the supervision and control of the
Sandiganbayan or its Division concerned and shall be made pursuant
Although an accused has a right to a public trial but it is a right that to rules promulgated by it; and (f) simultaneously with the release of
belongs to him, more than anyone else, where his life or liberty can the audio-visual recordings for public broadcast, the original thereof
be held critically in balance. A public trial aims to ensure that he is shall be deposited in the National Museum and the Records
fairly dealt with and would not be unjustly condemned and that his Management and Archives Office for preservation and exhibition in
rights are not compromised. A public trial is not synonymous with accordance with law.
publicized trial; it only implies that the court doors must be open to
those who wish to come, sit in the available seats, conduct
themselves with decorum and observe the trial process. In the
constitutional sense, a courtroom should have enough facilities for a
reasonable number of the public to observe the proceedings, not too
small as to render the openness negligible and not too large as to
distract the trial participants from their proper functions, who shall
then be totally free to report what they have observed during the

Ruling: WHEREFORE, an audio-visual recording of the trial of former

President Estrada before the Sandiganbayan is hereby ordered to be
made, for the account of the Sandiganbayan, under the following
conditions: (a) the trial shall be recorded in its entirety, excepting
such portions thereof as the Sandiganbayan may determine should
not be held public under Rule 119, 21 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure; (b) cameras shall be installed inconspicuously inside the
courtroom and the movement of TV crews shall be regulated
consistent with the dignity and solemnity of the proceedings; (c) the
audio-visual recordings shall be made for documentary purposes
only and shall be made without comment except such annotations of
scenes depicted therein as may be necessary to explain them; (d)