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LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9225 citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed citizenship of the
August 29, 2003 Philippines.chanrobles virtualaw library

AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE Sec. 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities - Those who retain or re-acquire
FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP PERMANENT. Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be
AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE COMMONWEALTH ACT. NO. 63, AS AMENDED subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Philippines and the following conditions:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in (1) Those intending to exercise their right of surffrage must Meet the requirements
Congress assembled: under Sec. 1, Article V of the Constitution, Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as
"The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003" and other existing laws;cralaw
Section 1. Short Titlethis act shall be known as the "Citizenship Retention and Re-
acquisition Act of 2003."cralaw (2) Those seeking elective public in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for
holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the
Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy - It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn
Philippine citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to
citizenship under the conditions of this Act.chanrobles virtualaw library administer an oath;cralaw

Sec. 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship - Any provision of law to the contrary (3) Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of
notwithstanding, natural-born citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior
of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship to their assumption of office: Provided, That they renounce their oath of allegiance to
upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic: the country where they took that oath;cralaw

"I _____________________, solemny swear (or affrim) that I will support and defend the (4) Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the
Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice; and
promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby
declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the Philippines and will (5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines
maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I imposed this obligation upon cannot be exercised by, or extended to, those who:
myself voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of
evasion."chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary (a) are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they
are naturalized citizens; and/or
Natural born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become
citizens of a foreign country shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the (b) are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed
aforesaid oath.chanrobles virtualaw library forces of the country which they are naturalized citizens.

Sec. 4. Derivative Citizenship - The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or Sec. 6. Separability Clause - If any section or provision of this Act is held
adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine unconstitutional or invalid, any other section or provision not affected thereby shall
remain valid and effective.chanrobles virtualaw library
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Sec. 7. Repealing Clause - All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations inconsistent AN ACT PROVIDING FOR REFORMS IN THE LEGAL EDUCATION, CREATING FOR
with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.chanrobles THE PURPOSE, A LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
virtualaw library
Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Legal Education Reform Act of 1993."

Sec. 8. Effectivity ClauseThis Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its Section 2. Declaration of Policies. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to
publication in the Official Gazette or two (2) newspaper of general circulation. uplift the standards of legal education in order to prepare law students for advocacy,
counselling, problem-solving, and decision-making, to infuse in them the ethics of the
legal profession; to impress on them the importance, nobility and dignity of the legal
Approved: profession as an equal and indispensable partner of the Bench in the administration of
justice and to develop social competence.
Towards this end, the State shall undertake appropriate reforms in the legal education
FRANKLIN DRILON system, require proper selection of law students, maintain quality among law schools,
President of the Senate and require legal apprenticeship and continuing legal education.

JOSE DE VENECIA JR. Section 3. General and Specific Objective of Legal Education. –
Speaker of the House of Representatives
(a) Legal education in the Philippines is geared to attain the following objectives:

This Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2130 and House Bill No. 4720
(1) to prepare students for the practice of law;
was finally passed by the the House of Representatives and Senate on August 25, (2) to increase awareness among members of the legal profession of the needs of the
2003 and August 26, 2003, respectively. poor, deprived and oppressed sectors of society;
(3) to train persons for leadership;
OSCAR G. YABES (4) to contribute towards the promotion and advancement of justice and the
Secretary of Senate improvement of its administration, the legal system and legal institutions in the light
of the historical and contemporary development of law in the Philippines and in other
countries.
ROBERTO P. NAZARENO
Secretary General (b) Legal education shall aim to accomplish the following specific objectives:
House of Represenatives
(1) to impart among law students a broad knowledge of law and its various fields and
Approved: August 29, 2003 of legal institutions;
(2) to enhance their legal research abilities to enable them to analyze, articulate and
apply the law effectively, as well as to allowthem to have a holistic approach to legal
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
problems and issues;
President of the Philippines (3) to prepare law students for advocacy, counselling, problem-solving and decision-
making, and to develop their ability to deal with recognized legal problems of the
present and the future;
(4) to develop competence in any field of law as is necessary for gainful employment
or sufficient as a foundation for future training beyond the basic professional degree,
and to develop in them the desire and capacity for continuing study and self-
improvement;
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7662
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

(5) to inculcate in them the ethics and responsibilities of the legal profession; and
(6) to produce lawyers who conscientiously pursue the lofty goals of their profession Section 7. Powers and Functions. - For the purpose of achieving the objectives of this
and to fully adhere to its ethical norms. Act, the Board shall havethe following powers and functions:

Section 4. Legal Education Board; Creation and Composition. - To carry out the (a) to administer the legal education system in the country in a manner consistent with
purpose of this Act, there is hereby created the Legal Education Board, hereinafter the provisions of this Act;
referred to as the Board, attached solely for budgetary purposes and administrative (b) to supervise the law schools in the country, consistent with its powers and
support to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. functions as herein enumerated;
The Board shall be composed of a Chairman, who shall preferably be a former justice (c) to set the standards of accreditation for law schools taking into account, among
of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals, and the following as regular members: a others, the size of enrollment, the qualifications of the members of the faculty, the
representative of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP); a representative of the library and other facilities, without encroaching upon the academic freedom of
Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS); a representative from the ranks of active institutions of higher learning;
law practitioners; and, a representative from the law students' sector. The Secretary of (d) to accredit law schools that meet the standards of accreditation;
the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, or his representative, shall be an ex (e) to prescribe minimum standards for law admission and minimum qualifications and
officio member of the Board. compensation of faculty members;
(f) to prescribe the basic curricula for the course of study aligned to the requirements
With the exception of the representative of the law students' sector, the Chairman and for admission to the Bar, law practice and social consciousness, and such other courses
regular members of the Board must be natural-born citizen of the Philippines and of study as may be prescribed by the law schools and colleges under the different
members of the Philippine Bar, who have been engaged for at least ten (10) years in levels of accreditation status;
the practice of law, as well as in the teaching of law in a duly authorized or recognized (g) to establish a law practice internship as a requirement for taking the Bar which a
law school. law student shall undergo with any duly accredited private or public law office or firm
or legal assistance group anytime during the law course for a specific period that the
Section 5. Term of Office; Compensation. - The Chairman and regular members of the Board may decide, but not to exceed a total of twelve (12) months. For this purpose,
Board shall be appointed by the President for a term of five (5) years without the Board shall prescribe the necessary guidelines for such accreditation and the
reappointment from a list of at least three (3) nominees prepared, with prior specifications of such internship which shall include the actual work of a new member
authorization from the Supreme Court, by the Judicial and Bar Council, for every of the Bar.
position or vacancy, and no such appointment shall need confirmation by the (h) to adopt a system of continuing legal education. For this purpose, the Board may
Commission on Appointments. Of those first appointed, the Chairman and the provide for the mandatory attendance of practicing lawyers in such courses and for
representative of the IBP shall hold office for five (5) years, the representatives of the such duration as the Board may deem necessary; and
PALS and the PALP, for three (3) years; and the representative from the ranks of active (i) to perform such other functions and prescribe such rules and regulations necessary
law practitioners and the representative of the law students' sector, for one (1) year, for the attainment of the policies and objectives of this Act.
without reappointment. Appointments to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpire
portion of the term of the predecessor. Section 8. Accreditation of Law Schools. - Educational institutions may not operate a
law school unless accredited by the Board. Accreditation of law schools may be
The Chairman and regular members of the Board shall have the same salary and rank granted only to educational institutions recognized by the Government.
as the Chairman and members, respectively, of the Constitutional Section 9. Withdrawal or Downgrading of Accreditation. - The Board may withdraw or
Commissions: Provided, That their salaries shall not be diminished during their term of downgrade the accreditation status of a law school if it fails to maintain the standards
office. set for its accreditation status.
Section 6. Office and Staff Support. - The Department of Education, Culture and Sports
shall provide the necessary office and staff support to the Board, with a principal office Section 10. Effectivity of Withdrawal or Downgrading of Accreditation. - The withdrawal
to be located in Metropolitan Manila. or downgrading of accreditation status shall be effetive after the lapse ofthe semester
The Board may appoint such other officers and employees it may deem necessary in or trimester following the receipt by the school of the notice of withdrawal or
the performanceof its powers and functions. downgrading unless, in the meantime, the school meets and/or upgrades the
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

standards or corrects the deficiencies upon which the withdrawal or downgrading of Section 15. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executie orders, rules and
the accreditation status is based. regulations, issuances or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act is hereby repealed or
amended accordingly.
Section 11. Legal Education Fund. - There is hereby created a special endowment
fund, to be known as the Legal Education Fund, which shall be under the control of the Section 16. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the
Board, and administered as a separate fund by the Social Security System (SSS) which completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two (2) newspapers of
shall invest the same with due and prudent regard to its solvency, safety and liquidity. general circulation.

The Legal Education Fund shall be established out of, and maintained from, the Approved: 23 December 1993.
amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph 2, Section 13 hereof, and from sixty
percent (60%) of the privilege tax paid by every lawyer effective Fiscal Year 1994; and
RULE 138-A
from such donations, legacies, grant-in-aid and other forms of contributions received
by the Board for the purposes of this Act.
Being a special endowment fund, only the interests earned on the Legal Education Law Student Practice Rule
Fund shall be used exclusively for the purposes of this Act, including support for
faculty development grants, professorial chairs, library improvements and similar Section 1. Conditions for student practice. — A law student who has successfully
programs for the advancement of law teaching and education in accredited law completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is
schools. enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the
Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or
The Fund shall also be used for the operation of the Board. For this purpose, an administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent
amount not exceeding ten percent (10%) of the interest on the Fund shall be utilized. indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.
The Board, in consultation with the SSS, shall issue the necessary rules and regulations
for the collection, administration and utilization of the Fund.
Section 2. Appearance. — The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule,
shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of
Section 12. Coverage. - The provisions of this Act shall apply to all schools and
the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions,
colleges of law which are presently under the supervision of the Department of
briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising
Education, Culture and Sports. Hereafter, said supervision shall be transferred to the
attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.
Board. Law schools and colleges which shall be established following the approval of
this Act shall likewise be covered.
Section 3. Privileged communications. — The Rules safeguarding privileged
Section 13. Appropriation. - The amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) is communications between attorney and client shall apply to similar communications
hereby authorized to be charged against the current year's appropriation of the made to or received by the law student, acting for the legal clinic.
Contingent Fund for the initial expenses of the Board.
To form part of the Legal Education Fund, there shall be appropriated annually, under Section 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. — The law student shall comply with
the budget of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, the amount of Ten the standards of professional conduct governing members of the Bar. Failure of an
Million Pesos (P10,000,000.00) for a period of ten (10) years effective Fiscal Year 1994. attorney to provide adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for
disciplinary action. (Circular No. 19, dated December 19, 1986).
Section 14. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is declared
unconstitutional or the application thereof to any person, circumstance or transaction
is held invalid, the validity of the remaining provisions of this Act and the applicability
BAR MATTER No. 914 October 1, 1999
of such provisions to other persons, circumstances and transactions shall not be
affected thereby. RE: APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE PHILIPPINE BAR,
vs.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

VICENTE D. CHING, applicant. On 5 April 1999, the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released and Ching was
one of the successful Bar examinees. The oath-taking of the successful Bar examinees
RESOLUTION was scheduled on 5 May 1999. However, because of the questionable status of Ching's
citizenship, he was not allowed to take his oath. Pursuant to the resolution of this
KAPUNAN, J.: Court, dated 20 April 1999, he was required to submit further proof of his citizenship.
In the same resolution, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was required to file a
Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an comment on Ching's petition for admission to the bar and on the documents
alien father validly elect Philippine citizenship fourteen (14) years after he has reached evidencing his Philippine citizenship.
the age of majority? This is the question sought to be resolved in the present case
involving the application for admission to the Philippine Bar of Vicente D. Ching. The OSG filed its comment on 8 July 1999, stating that Ching, being the "legitimate
child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother born under the 1935 Constitution was a
The facts of this case are as follows: Chinese citizen and continued to be so, unless upon reaching the age of majority he
elected Philippine citizenship" 1 in strict compliance with the provisions of
Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese citizen, and Commonwealth Act No. 625 entitled "An Act Providing for the Manner in which the
Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino, was born in Francia West, Tubao, La Union on 11 April Option to Elect Philippine Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person Whose Mother is a
1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in the Philippines. Filipino Citizen." The OSG adds that "(w)hat he acquired at best was only an inchoate
Philippine citizenship which he could perfect by election upon reaching the age of
On 17 July 1998, Ching, after having completed a Bachelor of Laws course at the St. majority." 2 In this regard, the OSG clarifies that "two (2) conditions must concur in
Louis University in Baguio City, filed an application to take the 1998 Bar Examinations. order that the election of Philippine citizenship may be effective, namely: (a) the
In a Resolution of this Court, dated 1 September 1998, he was allowed to take the Bar mother of the person making the election must be a citizen of the Philippines; and (b)
Examinations, subject to the condition that he must submit to the Court proof of his said election must be made upon reaching the age of majority." 3 The OSG then
Philippine citizenship. explains the meaning of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority:"

In compliance with the above resolution, Ching submitted on 18 November 1998, the The clause "upon reaching the age of majority" has been construed to mean a
following documents: reasonable time after reaching the age of majority which had been interpreted by the
Secretary of Justice to be three (3) years (VELAYO, supra at p. 51 citing Op., Sec. of
1.Certification, dated 9 June 1986, issued by the Board of Accountancy of the Justice No. 70, s. 1940, Feb. 27, 1940). Said period may be extended under certain
Professional Regulations Commission showing that Ching is a certified public circumstances, as when a (sic) person concerned has always considered himself a
accountant; Filipino (ibid., citing Op. Nos. 355 and 422, s. 1955; 3, 12, 46, 86 and 97, s. 1953). But in
Cuenco, it was held that an election done after over seven (7) years was not made
2.Voter Certification, dated 14 June 1997, issued by Elizabeth B. Cerezo, Election within a reasonable time.
Officer of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Tubao La Union showing that
Ching is a registered voter of the said place; and In conclusion, the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected Philippine
citizenship and, if ever he does, it would already be beyond the "reasonable time"
3.Certification, dated 12 October 1998, also issued by Elizabeth B. Cerezo, showing allowed by present jurisprudence. However, due to the peculiar circumstances
that Ching was elected as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Tubao, La Union surrounding Ching's case, the OSG recommends the relaxation of the standing rule on
during the 12 May 1992 synchronized elections. the construction of the phrase "reasonable period" and the allowance of Ching to elect
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Philippine citizenship in accordance with C.A. No. 625 prior to taking his oath as a Constitution which states that "(t)hose born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino
member of the Philippine Bar. mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority" are
Philippine citizens. 6 It should be noted, however, that the 1973 and 1987
On 27 July 1999, Ching filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his Affidavit of Constitutional provisions on the election of Philippine citizenship should not be
Election of Philippine Citizenship and his Oath of Allegiance, both dated 15 July 1999. understood as having a curative effect on any irregularity in the acquisition of
In his Manifestation, Ching states: citizenship for those covered by the 1935 Constitution. 7 If the citizenship of a person
was subject to challenge under the old charter, it remains subject to challenge under
1.I have always considered myself as a Filipino; the new charter even if the judicial challenge had not been commenced before the
2.I was registered as a Filipino and consistently declared myself as one in my school effectivity of the new Constitution. 8
records and other official documents;
3.I am practicing a profession (Certified Public Accountant) reserved for Filipino C.A. No. 625 which was enacted pursuant to Section 1(3), Article IV of the 1935
citizens; Constitution, prescribes the procedure that should be followed in order to make a
4.I participated in electoral process[es] since the time I was eligible to vote; valid election of Philippine citizenship. Under Section 1 thereof, legitimate children
5.I had served the people of Tubao, La Union as a member of the Sangguniang Bayan born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such intention
from 1992 to 1995; "in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer
6.I elected Philippine citizenship on July 15, 1999 in accordance with Commonwealth authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The
Act No. 625; said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the
7.My election was expressed in a statement signed and sworn to by me before a Constitution and the Government of the Philippines."
notary public;
8.I accompanied my election of Philippine citizenship with the oath of allegiance to the However, the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time period
Constitution and the Government of the Philippines; within which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter
9.I filed my election of Philippine citizenship and my oath of allegiance to (sic) the Civil only provides that the election should be made "upon reaching the age of majority."
Registrar of Tubao La Union, and The age of majority then commenced upon reaching twenty-one (21) years. 9 In the
10.I paid the amount of TEN PESOS (Ps. 10.00) as filing fees. opinions of the Secretary of Justice on cases involving the validity of election of
Philippine citizenship, this dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the
Since Ching has already elected Philippine citizenship on 15 July 1999, the question decisions of this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these
raised is whether he has elected Philippine citizenship within a "reasonable time." In decisions, the proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based on
the affirmative, whether his citizenship by election retroacted to the time he took the the pronouncements of the Department of State of the United States Government to
bar examination. the effect that the election should be made within a "reasonable time" after attaining
the age of majority. 10 The phrase "reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean
When Ching was born in 1964, the governing charter was the 1935 Constitution. Under that the election should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of
Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution, the citizenship of a legitimate child majority. 11 However, we held in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice, 12 that the three (3)
born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the father, year period is not an inflexible rule. We said:
unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship. 4
This right to elect Philippine citizenship was recognized in the 1973 Constitution when It is true that this clause has been construed to mean a reasonable period after
it provided that "(t)hose who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the provisions of reaching the age of majority, and that the Secretary of Justice has ruled that three (3)
the Constitution of nineteen hundred and thirty-five" are citizens of the Philippines. 5 years is the reasonable time to elect Philippine citizenship under the constitutional
Likewise, this recognition by the 1973 Constitution was carried over to the 1987 provision adverted to above, which period may be extended under certain
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

circumstances, as when the person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino. Constitution and the enactment of C.A. No. 625. Hence, the requirements and
13 procedures prescribed under the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 for electing
Philippine citizenship would not be applicable to him. Second, the ruling in Mallare
However, we cautioned in Cuenco that the extension of the option to elect Philippine was an obiter since, as correctly pointed out by the OSG, it was not necessary for
citizenship is not indefinite: Esteban Mallare to elect Philippine citizenship because he was already a Filipino, he
being a natural child of a Filipino mother. In this regard, the Court stated:
Regardless of the foregoing, petitioner was born on February 16, 1923. He became of
age on February 16, 1944. His election of citizenship was made on May 15, 1951, when Esteban Mallare, natural child of Ana Mallare, a Filipina, is therefore himself a Filipino,
he was over twenty-eight (28) years of age, or over seven (7) years after he had and no other act would be necessary to confer on him all the rights and privileges
reached the age of majority. It is clear that said election has not been made "upon attached to Philippine citizenship (U.S. vs. Ong Tianse, 29 Phil. 332; Santos Co vs.
reaching the age of majority." 14 Government of the Philippine Islands, 42 Phil. 543, Serra vs. Republic, L-4223, May 12,
1952, Sy Quimsuan vs. Republic, L-4693, Feb. 16, 1953; Pitallano vs. Republic, L-5111,
In the present case, Ching, having been born on 11 April 1964, was already thirty-five June 28, 1954). Neither could any act be taken on the erroneous belief that he is a
(35) years old when he complied with the requirements of C.A. No. 625 on 15 June non-filipino divest him of the citizenship privileges to which he is rightfully entitled. 17
1999, or over fourteen (14) years after he had reached the age of majority. Based on
the interpretation of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority," Ching's election The ruling in Mallare was reiterated and further elaborated in Co vs. Electoral Tribunal
was clearly beyond, by any reasonable yardstick, the allowable period within which to of the House of Representatives, 18 where we held:
exercise the privilege. It should be stated, in this connection, that the special
circumstances invoked by Ching, i.e., his continuous and uninterrupted stay in the We have jurisprudence that defines "election" as both a formal and an informal
Philippines and his being a certified public accountant, a registered voter and a former process.
elected public official, cannot vest in him Philippine citizenship as the law specifically
lays down the requirements for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election. In the case of In re: Florencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45 [1974]), the Court held that the
exercise of the right of suffrage and the participation in election exercises constitute a
Definitely, the so-called special circumstances cannot constitute what Ching positive act of election of Philippine citizenship. In the exact pronouncement of the
erroneously labels as informal election of citizenship. Ching cannot find a refuge in the Court, we held:
case of In re: Florencio Mallare, 15 the pertinent portion of which reads:
Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage when he came of age constitutes a positive
And even assuming arguendo that Ana Mallare were (sic) legally married to an alien, act of Philippine citizenship. (p. 52: emphasis supplied)
Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage when he came of age, constitutes a positive
act of election of Philippine citizenship. It has been established that Esteban Mallare The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of suffrage. He has
was a registered voter as of April 14, 1928, and that as early as 1925 (when he was established his life here in the Philippines.
about 22 years old), Esteban was already participating in the elections and
campaigning for certain candidate[s]. These acts are sufficient to show his preference For those in the peculiar situation of the respondent who cannot be excepted to have
for Philippine citizenship. 16 elected Philippine citizenship as they were already citizens, we apply the In Re Mallare
rule.
Ching's reliance on Mallare is misplaced. The facts and circumstances obtaining
therein are very different from those in the present case, thus, negating its xxx xxx xxx
applicability. First, Esteban Mallare was born before the effectivity of the 1935
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

The filing of sworn statement or formal declaration is a requirement for those who still IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court Resolves to DENY Vicente D. Ching's
have to elect citizenship. For those already Filipinos when the time to elect came up, application for admission to the Philippine Bar.
there are acts of deliberate choice which cannot be less binding. Entering a profession
open only to Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a qualification, SO ORDERED.
voting during election time, running for public office, and other categorical acts of
similar nature are themselves formal manifestations for these persons. Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing,
Purisima, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.
An election of Philippine citizenship presupposes that the person electing is an alien.
Or his status is doubtful because he is a national of two countries. There is no doubt in Footnotes
this case about Mr. Ong's being a Filipino when he turned twenty-one (21). 1 Citing Cu vs. Republic of the Philippines, 89 Phil. 473, 476 (1951).
2 Citing CRUZ, Constitutional Law, 1991 Ed., p. 359.
We repeat that any election of Philippine citizenship on the part of the private 3 Citing Cuenco. vs. Secretary of Justice, 5 SCRA 108, 110 (1962).
respondent would not only have been superfluous but it would also have resulted in 4 Sec. 1, Art. IV of the 1935 Constitution reads:
an absurdity. How can a Filipino citizen elect Philippine citizenship? 19 Sec. 1.The following are citizens of the Philippines:
(1)Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of the
The Court, like the OSG, is sympathetic with the plight of Ching. However, even if we Constitution;
consider the special circumstances in the life of Ching like his having lived in the
Philippines all his life and his consistent belief that he is a Filipino, controlling statutes (2)Those born in the Philippine Islands of foreign parents who, before the adoption of
and jurisprudence constrain us to disagree with the recommendation of the OSG. this Constitution, had been elected to public office;
Consequently, we hold that Ching failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span (3)Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines;
of fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of majority until (4)Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines, and, upon reaching the age of
he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine citizenship is clearly way beyond majority, elect Philippine citizenship;
the contemplation of the requirement of electing "upon reaching the age of majority." (5)Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine 5Sec. 1(1), Article III, 1973 Constitution.
citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not 6Sec. 1(3), Article IV, 1987 Constitution.
a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an 7BERNAS, The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines; First Ed. (1987), p. 502.
affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter, file the same with the 8Ibid., citing Convention Session of November 27, 1972 and noting that it is also
nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his applicable to the 1987 Constitution.
election cannot be simply glossed over. 9Art. 402, Civil Code.
10Lim Teco vs. Collector of Customs, 24 SCRA 84, 88 (1912).
Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when 11Muñoz vs. Collector of Customs, 20 SCRA 494: 498 (1911); Lorenzo vs. Collector of
needed and suppressed when convenient. 20 One who is privileged to elect Philippine Customs, 15 SCRA 559, 592 (1910).
citizenship has only an inchoate right to such citizenship. As such, he should avail of 125 SCRA 108 (1962).
the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude. Sadly, in this case, Ching slept on 13Id., at 110.
his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result. this golden privilege 14Id.
slipped away from his grasp. 1559 SCRA 45 (1974)
16Id., at 52.
17Id.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

18199 SCRA 692 (1991). twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of the Philippines;
19Id., at 707-709 (Emphasis supplied). and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral
character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed
Republic of the Philippines or are pending in any court in the Philippines.
SUPREME COURT
Manila Applying the provision, the Office of the Bar Confidant opines that, by virtue of his
EN BANC reacquisition of Philippine citizenship, in 2006, petitioner has again met all the
B.M. No. 1678 December 17, 2007 qualifications and has none of the disqualifications for membership in the bar. It
recommends that he be allowed to resume the practice of law in the Philippines,
PETITION FOR LEAVE TO RESUME PRACTICE OF LAW, conditioned on his retaking the lawyer’s oath to remind him of his duties and
BENJAMIN M. DACANAY, petitioner. responsibilities as a member of the Philippine bar.

RESOLUTION We approve the recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant with certain
modifications.
CORONA, J.:
The practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions.2 It is so delicately affected
This bar matter concerns the petition of petitioner Benjamin M. Dacanay for leave to with public interest that it is both a power and a duty of the State (through this Court)
resume the practice of law. to control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare.3

Petitioner was admitted to the Philippine bar in March 1960. He practiced law until he Adherence to rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree of
migrated to Canada in December 1998 to seek medical attention for his ailments. He morality, faithful observance of the rules of the legal profession, compliance with the
subsequently applied for Canadian citizenship to avail of Canada’s free medical aid mandatory continuing legal education requirement and payment of membership fees
program. His application was approved and he became a Canadian citizen in May to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) are the conditions required for
2004. membership in good standing in the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law.
Any breach by a lawyer of any of these conditions makes him unworthy of the trust
On July 14, 2006, pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re- and confidence which the courts and clients repose in him for the continued exercise
Acquisition Act of 2003), petitioner reacquired his Philippine citizenship.1 On that day, of his professional privilege.4
he took his oath of allegiance as a Filipino citizen before the Philippine Consulate
General in Toronto, Canada. Thereafter, he returned to the Philippines and now Section 1, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court provides:
intends to resume his law practice. There is a question, however, whether petitioner
Benjamin M. Dacanay lost his membership in the Philippine bar when he gave up his SECTION 1. Who may practice law. – Any person heretofore duly admitted as a
Philippine citizenship in May 2004. Thus, this petition. member of the bar, or thereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of
this Rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.
In a report dated October 16, 2007, the Office of the Bar Confidant cites Section 2,
Rule 138 (Attorneys and Admission to Bar) of the Rules of Court: Pursuant thereto, any person admitted as a member of the Philippine bar in
accordance with the statutory requirements and who is in good and regular standing
SECTION 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. – Every applicant is entitled to practice law.
for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Admission to the bar requires certain qualifications. The Rules of Court mandates that Under RA 9225, if a person intends to practice the legal profession in the Philippines
an applicant for admission to the bar be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty- and he reacquires his Filipino citizenship pursuant to its provisions "(he) shall apply
one years of age, of good moral character and a resident of the Philippines.5 He must with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice."18 Stated
also produce before this Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character and that otherwise, before a lawyer who reacquires Filipino citizenship pursuant to RA 9225 can
no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in resume his law practice, he must first secure from this Court the authority to do so,
any court in the Philippines.6 conditioned on:

Moreover, admission to the bar involves various phases such as furnishing satisfactory (a) the updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in the IBP;
proof of educational, moral and other qualifications;7 passing the bar examinations;8 (b) the payment of professional tax;
taking the lawyer’s oath9 and signing the roll of attorneys and receiving from the clerk (c) the completion of at least 36 credit hours of mandatory continuing legal education;
of court of this Court a certificate of the license to practice.10 this is specially significant to refresh the applicant/petitioner’s knowledge of Philippine
laws and update him of legal developments and
The second requisite for the practice of law ― membership in good standing ― is a (d) the retaking of the lawyer’s oath which will not only remind him of his duties and
continuing requirement. This means continued membership and, concomitantly, responsibilities as a lawyer and as an officer of the Court, but also renew his pledge to
payment of annual membership dues in the IBP;11 payment of the annual professional maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.
tax;12 compliance with the mandatory continuing legal education requirement;13
faithful observance of the rules and ethics of the legal profession and being Compliance with these conditions will restore his good standing as a member of the
continually subject to judicial disciplinary control.14 Philippine bar.

Given the foregoing, may a lawyer who has lost his Filipino citizenship still practice law WHEREFORE, the petition of Attorney Benjamin M. Dacanay is hereby GRANTED,
in the Philippines? No. subject to compliance with the conditions stated above and submission of proof of
such compliance to the Bar Confidant, after which he may retake his oath as a member
The Constitution provides that the practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be of the Philippine bar.
limited to Filipino citizens save in cases prescribed by law.15 Since Filipino citizenship
is a requirement for admission to the bar, loss thereof terminates membership in the SO ORDERED.
Philippine bar and, consequently, the privilege to engage in the practice of law. In
other words, the loss of Filipino citizenship ipso jure terminates the privilege to Puno, C.J., Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Carpio-
practice law in the Philippines. The practice of law is a privilege denied to foreigners.16 Morales, Azcuna, Tinga, Chico-Nazario, Velasco, Jr., Nachura, Reyes, Leonardo-de
Castro, JJ., concur.
The exception is when Filipino citizenship is lost by reason of naturalization as a citizen Quisumbing, J., on leave.
of another country but subsequently reacquired pursuant to RA 9225. This is because
"all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to Footnotes
have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of [RA 9225]."17 Therefore, a 1 As evidence thereof, he submitted a copy of his Identification Certificate No. 07-
Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country is deemed never to have lost 16912 duly signed by Immigration Commissioner Marcelino C. Libanan.
his Philippine citizenship if he reacquires it in accordance with RA 9225. Although he is 2 In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Deliquency of Atty. Marcial A. Edillon, A.C.
also deemed never to have terminated his membership in the Philippine bar, no No. 1928, 19 December 1980, 101 SCRA 612
automatic right to resume law practice accrues. 3 Heck v. Santos, A.M. No. RTJ-01-1657, 23 February 2004, 423SCRA 329.
4 In re Atty. Marcial Edillon, A.C. No. 1928, 03 August 1978, 84 SCRA 554.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

5 Section 2, Rule 138, Rules of Court. (b) recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper authority;
6 Id. and
7 Sections 2, 5 and 6, id. (c) completion of all fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws academic program in
8 Sections 8 to 11 and 14, id. a law school duly recognized by the Philippine Government.”
9 Section 17, id.
10 Sections 18 and 19, id. SEC. 6.Pre-Law. — An applicant for admission to the bar examination shall present a
11 In re Integration of the Bar of the Philippines, 09 January 1973, 49 SCRA 22; In re certificate issued by the proper government agency that, before commencing the
Atty. Marcial Edillon, supra note 3. study of law, he or she had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and
12 Section 139, RA 7160. recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a
13 Resolution dated August 8, 2000 in Bar Matter No. 850 (Rules on Mandatory four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's
Continuing Legal Education for Members of the IBP). degree in arts or sciences.
14 Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions v. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., G.R.
No. L-23959, 29 November 1971, 42 SCRA 302. A Filipino citizen who completed and obtained his or her degree in Bachelor of Laws or
15 See last paragraph of Section 14, Article XII. its equivalent in a foreign law school must also present proof of completion of a
16 In re Bosque, 1 Phil. 88 (1902). separate bachelor’s degree.
17 Section 2, RA 9225. Emphasis supplied. The Supreme Court has directed the Clerk of Court, through the Office of the Bar
18 Section 5(4), id. Confidant, to circularize its resolution approving the said amendments among all law
schools in the country.
BAR MATTER 1153 (Bar Matter No. 1153, Re: Letter of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza Proposing Reforms in the
Philippine Bar Now Open to Filipinos with Foreign Law Degrees Bar Examinations through Amendments to Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, March 9,
March 23, 2010 2010)
The Supreme Court En Banc has recently approved the proposed amendments to
Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, allowing Filipino graduates of RULE 138
foreign law schools to take the Philippine Bar, subject to certain conditions. Attorneys and Admission to Bar

Section 5 of the Rule now provides that before being admitted to the examination, all Section 1. Who may practice law. — Any person heretofore duly admitted as a
applicants for admission to the bar shall satisfactorily show that they have successfully member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of
completed all the prescribed courses for the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its this rule, and who is
equivalent degree in a law school or university officially recognized by the Philippine in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.
Government or by the proper authority in the
foreign jurisdiction where the degree has been granted. Section 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar. — Every applicant
for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least
Section 5 now also provides that a Filipino citizen “who graduated from a foreign law twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and resident of the Philippines; and
school shall be admitted to the bar examination only upon submission to the must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral
Supreme Court of character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed
certifications showing: or are pending in any court in the Philippines.
(a) completion of all courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its
equivalent degree;
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Section 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of America. commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law,
— Citizens of the United States of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal
licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the courts of the ethics.
Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of
those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after
taking the following oath of office: EN BANC
[B.M. No. 1222. February 4, 2004]
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having been permitted to continue in the practice of
law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of Re: 2003 BAR EXAMINATIONS
the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as RESOLUTION
well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no PER CURIAM:
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly
promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the On 22 September 2003, the day following the bar examination in Mercantile Law,
same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer Justice Jose C. Vitug, Chairman of the 2003 Bar Examinations Committee, was apprised
according to the best of may knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well of a rumored leakage in the examination on the subject. After making his own
as to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation inquiries, Justice Vitug reported the matter to Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., and to
without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God. the other members of the Court, recommending that the bar examination on the
subject be nullified and that an investigation be conducted forthwith. On 23
Section 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. — Applicants for September 2003, the Court adopted the recommendation of Justice Vitug, and
admission who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the resolved to nullify the examination in Mercantile Law and to hold another examination
Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeals or district court on 04 October 2003 at eight oclock in the evening (being the earliest available time
therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States, and who and date) at the De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila. The resolution was issued
can show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five years in any without prejudice to any action that the Court would further take on the matter.
of said courts, that such practice began before July 4, 1946, and that they have never
been suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Following the issuance of the resolution, the Court received numerous petitions and
Court, be admitted without examination. motions from the Philippine Association of Law Schools and various other groups and
persons, expressing agreement to the nullification of the bar examinations in
Section 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. — All applicants for admission Mercantile Law but voicing strong reservations against the holding of another
other than those referred to in the two preceding section shall, before being admitted examination on the subject. Several reasons were advanced by petitioners or movants,
to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have regularly studied law for four among these reasons being the physical, emotional and financial difficulties that
years, and successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law school or university, would be encountered by the examinees, if another examination on the subject were
officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the to be held anew. Alternative proposals submitted to the Court included the spreading
candidate, accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be out of the weight of Mercantile Law among the remaining seven bar subjects, i.e., to
filed as evidence of such facts, and further evidence may be required by the court. determine and gauge the results of the examinations on the basis only of the
performance of the examinees in the seven bar subjects. In a resolution, dated 29
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily September 2003, the Court, finding merit in the submissions, resolved to cancel the
completed the following courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the scheduled examination in Mercantile Law on 04 October 2003 and to allocate the
government: civil law, fifteen percentage points among the seven bar examination subjects. In the same
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

resolution, the Court further resolved to create a Committee composed of three On 15 January 2004, the Investigating Committee submitted its report and
retired members of the Court that would conduct a thorough investigation of the recommendation to the Court, herein reproduced in full; thus -
incident subject of the 23 September 2003 resolution.
In the morning of September 21, 2003, the third Sunday of the 2003 bar examinations,
In a resolution, dated 07 October 2003, the Court adopted the computation in the the examination in commercial law was held in De la Salle University on Taft Avenue,
allocation of the fifteen percentage points for Mercantile Law among the remaining Manila, the venue of the bar examinations since 1995. The next day, the newspapers
seven bar examination subjects, to wit: carried news of an alleged leakage in the said examination.[1]

Subject Original Adjusted Relative Adjusted Upon hearing the news and making preliminary inquiries of his own, Justice Jose C.
Percentage Percentage Weight Relative Vitug, chairman of the 2003 Bar Examinations Committee, reported the matter to the
Weight Weight Weight Chief Justice and recommended that the examination in mercantile law be cancelled
Political and International Law 15% 17.647% 3 3.53% and that a formal investigation of the leakage be undertaken.
Labor and Social Legislation 10% 11.765% 2 2.35%
Civil law 15% 17.647% 3 3.53% Acting on the report and recommendation of Justice Vitug, the Court, in a resolution
Taxation 10% 11.765% 2 2.35% dated September 23, 2003, nullified the examination in mercantile law and resolved to
Criminal law 10% 11.765% 2 2.35% hold another examination in that subject on Saturday, October 4, 2003 at eight oclock
Remedial in the evening (being the earliest available time and date) at the same venue.
Law 20% 23.529% 4 4.71% However, because numerous petitions, protests, and motions for reconsideration were
filed against the retaking of the examination in mercantile law, the Court cancelled the
Legal Ethics holding of such examination. On the recommendation of the Office of the Bar
and Practical Confidant, the Court instead decided to allocate the fifteen (15) percentage points for
Exercises 5% 5.882% 1 1.18% mercantile law among the seven (7) other bar examination subjects (Resolution dated
100% 20% October 7, 2003).

In another resolution, dated 14 October 2003, the Court designated the following In a Resolution dated September 29, 2003, the Supreme Court created an Investigating
retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court to compose the Investigating Committee composed of three (3) retired Members of the Court to conduct an
Committee: investigation of the leakage and to submit its findings and recommendations on or
before December 15, 2003.
Chairman: Justice Carolina C. Grio-Aquino
Members: Justice Jose A.R. Melo The Court designated the following retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court to
Justice Vicente V. Mendoza compose the Committee:

The Investigating Committee was tasked to determine and identify the source of Chairman: Justice CAROLINA GRIO-AQUINO
leakage, the parties responsible therefor or who might have benefited therefrom, Members: Justice JOSE A. R. MELO
recommend sanctions against all those found to have been responsible for, or who Justice VICENTE V. MENDOZA
would have benefited from, the incident in question and to recommend measures to
the Court to safeguard the integrity of the bar examinations.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

The Investigating Committee was directed to determine and identify the source of the However, upon perusing the questions after the examinations, Cecilia noticed that
leakage, the parties responsible therefor and those who benefited therefrom, and to many of them were the same questions that were asked in the just-concluded-
recommend measures to safeguard the integrity of the bar examinations. examination.

The investigation commenced on October 21, 2003 and continued up to November 7, Justice Vitug requested Marlo to invite her friend to his office in the Supreme Court,
2003. The following witnesses appeared and testified at the investigation: but Carbajosa declined the invitation. So, Justice Vitug suggested that Marlo and Rose
invite Carbajosa to meet them at Robinsons Place, Ermita. She agreed to do that.
1. Associate Justice Jose C. Vitug, chairman of the 2003 Bar Examinations Committee;
2. Atty. Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, law clerk in the office of Justice Vitug Cecilia Carbajosa arrived at Robinsons Place at the appointed time and showed the
3. Atty. Marcial O. T. Balgos, examiner in mercantile law; test questions to Rose and Marlo. Rose obtained a xerox copy of the leaked questions
4. Cheryl Palma, private secretary of Atty. Balgos; and compared them with the bar questions in mercantile law. On the back of the
5. Atty. Danilo De Guzman, assistant lawyer in the firm of Balgos & Perez; pages, she wrote, in her own hand, the differences she noted between the leaked
6. Atty. Enrico G. Velasco, managing partner of Balgos & Perez; questions and the bar examination questions.
7. Eduardo J. F. Abella, reviewer in commercial law at the Lex Review Center;
8. Silvestre T. Atienza, office manager of Balgos & Perez; Rose and Marlo delivered the copy of the leaked questions to Justice Vitug who
9. Reynita Villasis, private secretary of Atty. De Guzman; compared them with the bar examination questions in mercantile law. He found the
10. Ronan Garvida, fraternity brother of Atty. De Guzman; leaked questions to be the exact same questions which the examiner in mercantile law,
11. Ronald F. Collado, most illustrious brother of the Beta Sigma Lambda Fraternity; Attorney Marcial O. T. Balgos, had prepared and submitted to him as chairman of the
12. Jovito M. Salonga, Asst. Division Chief of Systems Development for Judicial Bar Examinations Committee. However, not all of those questions were asked in the
Application, MlSO; bar examination. According to Justice Vitug, only 75% of the final bar questions were
questions prepared by Atty. Balgos; 25% prepared by Justice Vitug himself, were
The Committee held nine (9) meetings - six times to conduct the investigation and included in the final bar examination. The questions prepared by Justice Vitug were
three times to deliberate on its report. not among the leaked test questions.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JOSE C. VITUG, chairman of the Bar Examinations Committee, Apart from the published news stories about the leakage, Chief Justice Hilario G.
testified that on Monday morning, September 22, 2003, the day after the Bar Davide, Jr. and Justice Vitug received, by telephone and mail, reports of the leakage
examination in mercantile or commercial law, upon arriving in his office in the from Dean Mariano F. Magsalin, Jr. of the Arellano Law Foundation (Exh. H) and a
Supreme Court, his secretary,[2] Rose Kawada, informed him that one of the law clerks, certain Dale Philip R. De los Reyes (Exh. B -B-3), attaching copies of the leaked
Atty. Marlo Magdoza-Malagar, told her that a friend of hers named Ma. Cecilia questions and the fax transmittal sheet showing that the source of the questions was
Delgado-Carbajosa, a bar examinee from Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City, Danny De Guzman who faxed them to Ronan Garvida on September 17, 2003, four
who was staying at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Paco, confided to her that something days before the examination in mercantile law on September 21, 2003 (Exh. B-1).
was wrong with the examination in mercantile law, because previous to the
examination, i.e., on Saturday afternoon, the eve of the examination, she received a ATTORNEY MARLO MAGDOZA-MALAGAR was subpoenaed by the Committee. She
copy of the test questions in that subject. She did not pay attention to the test identified the copy of the leaked questions that came from Cecilia Carbajosa (Exh. A).
questions because no answers were provided, and she was hard-pressed to finish her She testified that, according to Carbajosa, the latter received the test questions from
review of that subject, using other available bar review materials, of which there were one of her co-bar reviewees staying, like her, at the Garden Plaza Hotel in Paco, and
plenty coming from various bar review centers. also enrolled in the review classes at the Lex Review Center at the corner of P. Faura
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Street and Roxas Boulevard, Ermita. She did not pay for the hand-out because the Lex broke out, that his computer was in fact interconnected with the computers of his nine
Review Center gives them away for free to its bar reviewees. (9) assistant attorneys (tsn, pp. 30,45). As a matter of fact, the employees - Jovito M.
Salonga and Benjamin R. Katly - of the Courts Management Information Systems
ATTORNEY MARCIAL O. T. BALGOS, 71 years of age, senior partner in the law firm of Office (MISO) who, upon the request of Atty. Balgos, were directed by the
BALGOS AND PEREZ with offices in Rm. 1009 West Tektite Tower, Exchange Road, Investigating Committee to inspect the computer system in his office, reported that
Ortigas Center, Pasig City, testified that in November 2002, Justice Jose C. Vitug, as there were 16, not 9, computers connected to each other via Local Area Network (LAN)
chair of the Committee on the 2003 Bar Examinations, invited him to be the examiner and one (1) stand-alone computer connected to the internet (Exh. M). Atty. Balgos law
in commercial law. He accepted the assignment and almost immediately began the partner, former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez, also had a computer, but Perez took
preparation of test questions on the subject. Using his personal computer in the law it away when he became the Secretary of Justice.
office, he prepared for three consecutive days, three (3) sets of test questions which
covered the entire subject of Mercantile Law (pp. 3-5, tsn, Oct. 24, 2003). As he did not The nine (9) assistant attorneys with computers, connected to Attorney Balgos
know how to prepare the questionnaire in final form, he asked his private secretary, computer, are:
Cheryl Palma, to format the questions (p. 13, tsn, Oct. 24, 2003). And, as he did not
know how to print the questionnaire, he likewise asked Cheryl Palma to make a print- 1. Zorayda Zosobrado (she resigned in July 2003)
out (Id., pp. 14-15). All of this was done inside his office with only him and his 2. Claravel Javier
secretary there. His secretary printed only one copy (Id., p. 15). He then placed the 3. Rolynne Torio
printed copy of the test questions, consisting of three sets, in an envelope which he 4. Mark Warner Rosal
sealed, and called up Justice Vitug to inform him that he was bringing the questions to 5. Charlynne Subia
the latters office that afternoon. However, as Justice Vitug was leaving his office 6. Danilo De Guzman (resigned on October 22, 2003 [Exh. D])
shortly, he advised Atty. Balgos to give the sealed envelope to his confidential 7. Enrico G. Velasco, managing partner
assistant who had been instructed to keep it. When Atty. Balgos arrived in the office of 8. Concepcion De los Santos
Justice Vitug, he was met by Justice Vitugs confidential assistant to whom he entrusted 9. Pamela June Jalandoni
the sealed envelope containing the test questions (pp. 19-26, tsn, Oct. 24, 2003).
Upon learning from Justice Vitug of the leakage of the bar questions prepared by him
Atty. Balgos admitted that he does not know how to operate a computer except to in mercantile law, Atty. Balgos immediately called together and questioned his office
type on it. He does not know how to open and close his own computer which has a staff. He interrogated all of them except Atty. Danilo De Guzman who was absent then.
password for that purpose. In fact, he did not know, as he still does, the password. It is All of them professed to know nothing about the bar leakage.
his secretary, Cheryl Palma, who opened and closed his computer for him (p. 45, tsn,
Oct. 24, 2003). He questioned Silvestre Atienza, the office manager, Atienza is only a second year law
student at MLQU. But he is an expert in installing and operating computers. It was he
Atty. Balgos testified that he did not devise the password himself. It was Cheryl Palma and/or his brother Gregorio who interconnected the computers in the law office,
who devised it (Id., p. 71). including Attorney Balgos computer, without the latters knowledge and permission.

His computer is exclusively for his own use. It is located inside his room which is Atienza admitted to Attorney Balgos that he participated in the bar operations or bar
locked when he is not in the office. He comes to the office every other day only. ops of the Beta Sigma Lambda law fraternity of which he is a member, but he clarified
that his participation consisted only of bringing food to the MLQU bar examinees (Tsn,
He thought that his computer was safely insulated from third parties, and that he pp. 46-47, Oct. 24, 2003).
alone had access to it. He was surprised to discover, when reports of the bar leakage
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

The next day, Attorney Balgos questioned Attorney Danilo De Guzman, also a member assured, though, that I have never been part of any deliberate scheme to malign the
of the Beta Sigma Lambda fraternity, FEU chapter. De Guzman admitted to him that he good reputation and integrity of the firm, its partners and members. (Exh. D)
downloaded the test questions from Attorney Balgos computer and faxed a copy to a
fraternity brother. Attorney Balgos was convinced that De Guzman was the source of DANILO DE GUZMAN testified that he joined Balgos & Perez in April 2000. He
the leakage of his test questions in mercantile law (Tsn, p. 52, Oct. 24, 2003). obtained his LLB degree from FEU in 1998. As a student, he was an awardee for
academic excellence. He passed the 1998 bar examinations with a grade of 86.4%. In
Attorney Balgos prepared a COMPARISON (Exh. E) of the juxtaposed final bar FEU, he joined the Beta Sigma Lambda law fraternity which has chapters in MLQU, UE
questions and his proposed test questions, with marginal markings made by Justice and MSU (Mindanao State University). As a member of the fraternity, he was active
Vicente V. Mendoza (Ret.), indicating whether the questions are similar: (S); or during bar examinations and participated in the fraternitys bar ops.
different: (D), together with the percentage points corresponding to each question. On
the basis of this comparative table and Atty. Balgos indications as to which questions He testified that sometime in May 2003, when he was exploring Atty. Balgos computer,
were the same or different from those given in the final questionnaire, Justice (which he often did without the owners knowledge or permission), to download
Mendoza computed the credit points contained in the proposed leaked questions. The materials which he thought might be useful to save for future use, he found and
proposed questions constituted 82% of the final bar questions. Attached to this Report downloaded the test questions in mercantile law consisting of 12 pages. He allegedly
as Annex A is the comparative table and the computation of credit points marked as thought they were quizzers for a book that Atty. Balgos might be preparing. He saved
Exh. E-1. them in his hard disk.

CHERYL PALMA, 34 years old, private secretary of Attorney Balgos for the past six He thought of faxing the test questions to one of his fraternity brods, a certain Ronan
years, testified that she did not type the test questions. She admitted, however, that it Garvida who, De Guzman thought, was taking the 2003 bar examinations. Garvida is
was she who formatted the questions and printed one copy as directed by her also a law graduate from FEU. He had taken the 2002 bar examinations, but did not
employer. She confirmed Atty. Balgos testimony regarding her participation in the pass.
operation of his personal computer. She disclosed that what appears in Atty. Balgos
computer can be seen in the neighborhood network if the other computers are open On September 17, 2003, four days before the mercantile law bar examination, De
and not in use; that Silvestre Atienza of the accounting section, can access Atty. Balgos Guzman faxed a copy of the 12-page-test questions (Exhs. I, I-1, I-2, I-3) to Garvida
computer when the latter is open and not in use. because earlier he was informed by Garvida that he was retaking the bar examinations.
He advised Garvida to share the questions with other Betan examinees. He allegedly
ATTORNEY ENRICO VELASCO, managing partner of the firm, testified that on October did not charge anything for the test questions. Later, after the examination was over,
16, 2003, he sent De Guzman a memo (Exh. C) giving him 72 hours to explain in Garvida texted (sent a text message on his cell phone) him (De Guzman), that he did
writing why you should not be terminated for causing the Firm an undeserved not take the bar examination.
condemnation and dishonor because of the leakage aforesaid.
Besides Garvida, De Guzman faxed the mercantile law bar questions to another
On October 22, 2003, De Guzman handed in his resignation effective immediately. He fraternity brother named Arlan (surname unknown), through Reynita (Nanette) Villasis,
explained that: his secretary (Tsn, pp. 20-28, Oct. 29, 2003). But he himself faxed the questions to still
another brod named Erwin Tan who had helped him during the bar ops in 1998 when
Causing the firm, its partners and members to suffer from undeserved condemnation he (De Guzman) took the bar examinations (Id., p. 28). He obtained the cell phone
and humiliation is not only farthest from, but totally out of, my mind. It is just numbers of Arlan and Erwin Tan from Gabby Tanpiengco whom he informed by text
unfortunate that the incident subject matter of your memorandum occurred. Rest message, that they were guide questions, not tips, in the mercantile law examination.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

When he was confronted by Attorney Velasco on Wednesday after the examination, Medical Encyclopedia, 1971 Ed., compiled by Benjamin F. Miller, M.D.). All these
(news of the leakage was already in all the newspapers), De Guzman admitted to symptoms were present when Garvida testified before the Committee on November 6,
Attorney Velasco that he faxed the questions to his fraternity brothers, but he did not 2003 to answer its questions regarding his involvement in the leakage of the
reveal where he got the test questions. examiners test questions in mercantile law.

De Guzman received a text message from Erwin Tan acknowledging that he received Garvida testified that when he was a freshman at FEU, he became a member of the
the test questions. However, Erwin informed him that the questions were kalat na kalat Beta Sigma Lambda fraternity where he met and was befriended by Attorney De
(all over the place) even if he did not share them with others (Tsn, pp. 54-55, Oct. 29, Guzman who was his senior by one and a half years. Although they had been out of
2003). touch since he went home to the province on account of the recurrence of his illness,
De Guzman was able [to] get this cell phone number from his compadre, Atty. Joseph
De Guzman also contacted Garvida who informed him that he gave copies of the test Pajara. De Guzman told Garvida that he was faxing him possible questions in the bar
questions to Betans Randy Iigo and James Bugain. examination in mercantile law. Because the test questions had no answers, De Guzman
stressed that they were not tips but only possible test questions.
Arlan also texted De Guzman that almost all the questions were asked in the
examination. Erwin Tan commented that many of the leaked questions were asked in Garvida had intended to take the 2003 bar examinations. He enrolled in the
the examination, pero hindi exacto; mi binago (they were not exactly the same; there Consortium Review Center in FEU, paying P10,000.00 as enrollment fee. However, on
were some changes). his way to the Supreme Court to file his application to take the bar examination, he
suffered pains in his wrist - symptoms that his MS had recurred. His physician advised
De Guzman tried to text Garvida, but he received no response. him to go to the National Orthopedic Hospital in Quezon City for treatment. This he
did.
De Guzman disclosed that he learned how to operate a computer from Silvestre
Atienza, the office manager, and through self-study, by asking those who are He gave up his plan to take the 2003 bar examinations. Nevertheless, he continued to
knowledgeable on computers. He has been using computers since 1997, and he attend the review classes at the Consortium Review Center because he did not want to
bought his own computer in 2001, a Pentium 3, which he uses at home. waste completely the P10,000-enrollment fee that he paid for the review course
(Nahihinayang ako). That was presumably why De Guzman thought that Garvida was
REYNITA VILLASIS, the 36-year-old legal secretary of Attorney De Guzman, submitted taking the bar exams and sent him a copy of the test questions in mercantile law.
her affidavit (Exh. F) and orally affirmed her participation in the reproduction and
transmittal by fax of the leaked test questions in mercantile law to Ronan Garvida and Upon receipt of the test questions, Garvida faxed a copy to his brod Randy Iigo who
Arlan, as testified by De Guzman. was reviewing at the Consortium Review Center. Randy photocopied them for
distribution to other fraternity brods. Some of the brods doubted the usefulness of the
RONAN GARVIDA, appeared before the Investigating Committee in compliance with test questions, but Randy who has a high regard for De Guzman, believed that the
the subpoena that was issued to him. Garvida graduated from FEU College of Law in questions were tips. Garvida did not fax the questions to any other person than Randy
2000. He is about 32 years of age. While still a student in 1998, he was afflicted with Iigo. He allegedly did not sell the questions to Randy. I could not do that to a brod, he
multiple sclerosis or MS, a disease of the nervous system that attacks the nerve explained.
sheaths of the brain and spinal cord. It is a chronic disabling disease although it may
have periods of remission. It causes its victim to walk with erratic, stiff and staggering In view of the fact that one of the copies of the leaked test questions (Exh. H) bore on
gait; the hands and fingers may tremble in performing simple actions; the eyesight can the left margin a rubber stamp composed of the Greek initials BEA-MLQU, indicating
be impaired, and speech may be slow and slurred (p. 737, Vol. 2, Readers Digest that the source of that copy was the Beta Sigma Lambda chapter at MLQU, the
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Committee subpoenaed Ronald Collado, the Most Illustrious Brother of the Beta FINDINGS
Sigma Lambda fraternity of MLQU.
The Committee finds that the leaked test questions in Mercantile Law were the
RONALD COLLADO is a senior law student at the MLQU. He admitted that his questions which the examiner, Attorney Marcial O. T. Balgos, had prepared and
fraternity conducted Bar Ops for the 2003 bar exams. Bar Ops are the biggest activity submitted to Justice Jose C. Vitug, as chairman of the 2003 Bar Examinations
of the fraternity every year. They start as soon as new officers of the fraternity are Committee. The questions constituted 82% of the questions asked in the examination
elected in June, and they continue until the bar examinations are over. The bar in Mercantile Law in the morning of September 21, 2003, Sunday, in some cases with
operations consist of soliciting funds from alumni brods and friends to be spent in slight changes which were not substantial and in other cases exactly as proposed by
reproducing bar review materials for the use of their barristers (bar candidates) in the Atty. Balgos. Hence, any bar examinee who was able to get hold of the leaked
various review centers, providing meals for their brod-barristers on examination days; questions before the mercantile law examination and answered them correctly, would
and to rent a bar site or place near De la Salle University where the examinees and the have been assured of passing the examination with at least a grade of 82%!
frat members can convene and take their meals during the break time. The Betans bar
site for the 2003 bar examinations was located on Leon Guinto Street, Malate. On The circumstance that the leaked test questions consisted entirely of test questions
September 19 and 21, before [the] start of the examination, Collados fraternity prepared by Atty. Balgos, proves conclusively that the leakage originated from his
distributed bar review materials for the mercantile law examination to the examinees office, not from the Office of Justice Vitug, the Bar Examinations Chairman.
who came to the bar site. The test questions (Exh. H) were received by Collado from a
brod, Alan Guiapal, who had received them from Randy Iigo. Atty. Balgos claimed that the leaked test questions were prepared by him on his
computer. Without any doubt, the source of the leaked test questions was Atty. Balgos
Collado caused 30 copies of the test questions to be printed with the logo and initials computer. The culprit who stole or downloaded them from Atty. Balgos computer
of the fraternity (BEA-MLQU) for distribution to the 30 MLQU examinees taking the bar without the latters knowledge and consent, and who faxed them to other persons, was
exams. Because of time constraints, frat members were unable to answer the test Atty. Balgos legal assistant, Attorney Danilo De Guzman, who voluntarily confessed the
questions despite the clamor for answers, so, they were given out as is - without deed to the Investigating Committee. De Guzman revealed that he faxed the test
answers. questions, with the help of his secretary Reynita Villasis, to his fraternity brods, namely,
Ronan Garvida, Arlan (whose surname he could not recall), and Erwin Tan.
DEAN EDUARDO J. F. ABELLA of the Jose Rizal University law school in Mandaluyong
City, was the reviewer in Mercantile Law and Practical Exercises at the Lex Review In turn, Ronan Garvida faxed the test questions to Betans Randy Iigo and James
Center which is operated by the Lex Review & Seminars Inc., of which Dean Abella is Bugain.
one of the incorporators. He learned about the leakage of test questions in mercantile
law when he was delivering the pre-week lecture on Legal Forms at the Arellano Randy Iigo passed a copy or copies of the same questions to another Betan, Alan
University. The leaked questions were shown to him by his secretary, Jenylyn Domingo, Guiapal, who gave a copy to the MLQU-Beta Sigma [Lambdas] Most Illustrious Brother,
after the mercantile law exam. He missed the Saturday lecture in mercantile law Ronald F. Collado, who ordered the printing and distribution of 30 copies to the
because he was suffering from a touch of flu. He gave his last lecture on the subject on MLQUs 30 bar candidates.
Wednesday or Thursday before the exam. He denied having bought or obtained and
distributed the leaked test questions in Mercantile Law to the bar reviewees in the Lex Attorney Danilo De Guzmans act of downloading Attorney Balgos test questions in
Review Center. mercantile law from the latters computer, without his knowledge and permission, was
a criminal act of larceny. It was theft of intellectual property; the test questions were
intellectual property of Attorney Balgos, being the product of his intellect and legal
knowledge.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

not be accessed or downloaded unless it is opened, someone must have opened Atty.
Besides theft, De Guzman also committed an unlawful infraction of Attorney Balgos Balgos computer in order for De Guzman to retrieve the test questions stored therein.
right to privacy of communication, and to security of his papers and effects against
unauthorized search and seizure - rights zealously protected by the Bill of Rights of Silvestre Atienza, also a fraternity brod of De Guzman, who was responsible for
our Constitution (Sections 2 and 3, Article III, 1987 Constitution). interconnecting Atty. Balgos computer with the other computers outside Atty. Balgos
room or office, and who was the only other person, besides Cheryl Palma, who knew
He transgressed the very first canon of the lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility the password of Atty. Balgos computer.
which provides that [a] lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land,
and promote respect for law and legal processes. The following persons who received from De Guzman, and distributed copies of the
leaked test questions, appear to have conspired with him to steal and profit from the
By transmitting and distributing the stolen test questions to some members of the sale of the test questions. They could not have been motivated solely by a desire to
Beta Sigma Lambda Fraternity, possibly for pecuniary profit and to given them undue help the fraternity, for the leakage was widespread (kalat na kalat) according to Erwin
advantage over the other examiners in the mercantile law examination, De Guzman Tan. The possible co-conspirators were:
abetted cheating or dishonesty by his fraternity brothers in the examination, which is
violative of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, as well as Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Ronan Garvida,
Responsibility for members of the Bar, which provide: Arlan,
Erwin Tan,
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful Randy Iigo,
conduct Ronald Collado, and
Allan Guiapal
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 Committee does not believe that De Guzman recklessly broke the law and risked
his job and future as a lawyer, out of love for the Beta Sigma Lambda fraternity. There
De Guzman was guilty of grave misconduct unbecoming a member of the Bar. He must have been an ulterior material consideration for his breaking the law and tearing
violated the law instead of promoting respect for it and degraded the noble the shroud of secrecy that, he very well knows, covers the bar examinations.
profession of law instead of upholding its dignity and integrity. His actuations
impaired public respect for the Court, and damaged the integrity of the bar On the other hand, the Committee finds that the theft of the test questions from Atty.
examinations as the final measure of a law graduates academic preparedness to Balgos computer could have been avoided if Atty. Balgos had exercised due diligence
embark upon the practice of law. in safeguarding the secrecy of the test questions which he prepared. As the computer
is a powerful modern machine which he admittedly is not fairly familiar with, he should
However, the Investigating Committee does not believe that De Guzman was solely not have trusted it to deep secret the test questions that he stored in its hard disk. He
responsible for the leakage of Atty. Balgos proposed test questions in the mercantile admittedly did not know the password of his computer. He relied on his secretary to
law examination. The Committee does not believe that he acted alone, or did not have use the password to open and close his computer. He kept his computer in a room to
the assistance and cooperation of other persons, such as: which other persons had access. Unfamiliar with the use of the machine whose
potential for mischief he could not have been totally unaware of, he should have
Cheryl Palma, Atty. Balgos private secretary, who, according to Atty. Balgos himself, avoided its use for so sensitive an undertaking as typing the questions in the bar
was the only person who knew the password, who could open and close his computer; examination. After all he knew how to use the typewriter in the use of which he is quite
and who had the key to his office where his computer was kept. Since a computer may proficient. Atty. Balgos should therefore have prepared the test questions in his trusty
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

typewriter, in the privacy of his home, (instead of his law office), where they would questions, which comprised 82% of the bar questions in that examination, Atty. Balgos
have been safe from the prying eyes of secretaries and assistant attorneys. Atty. Balgos is not entitled to receive any honorarium as examiner for that subject.
negligence in the preparation and safekeeping of his proposed test questions for the
bar examination in mercantile law, was not the proximate cause of the bar leakage; it 3. FURTHER INVESTIGATION of Danilo De Guzman, Cheryl Palma, Silvestre Atienza,
was, in fact, the root cause. For, if he had taken those simple precautions to protect Ronan Garvida, Arlan, Erwin Tan, Randy Iigo, James Bugain, Ronald Collado and Allan
the secrecy of his papers, nobody could have stolen them and copied and circulated Guiapal by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police,
them. The integrity of the bar examinations would not have been sullied by the with a view to their criminal prosecution as probable co-conspirators in the theft and
scandal. He admitted that Mali siguro ako, but that was what happened (43 tsn, Oct. leakage of the test questions in mercantile law.
24, 2003).
With regard to recommending measures to safeguard the integrity of the bar
RECOMMENDATION examinations and prevent a repetition of future leakage in the said examinations,
inasmuch as this matter is at present under study by the Courts Committee on Legal
This Honorable court in the case of Burbe v. Magulta, A.C. No. 5713, June 10, 2002, 383 Education and Bar Matters, as an aspect of proposals for bar reforms, the Investigating
SCRA 276, pronounced the following reminder for lawyers: Members of the bar must Committee believes it would be well-advised to refrain from including in this report
do nothing that may tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public in the what may turn out to be duplicative, if not contrary, recommendations on the
fidelity, the honesty and integrity of the profession. In another case, it likewise intoned: matter.[3]
We cannot overstress the duty of a lawyer to at all times uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession. He can do this by faithfully performing his duties to The Court adopts the report, including with some modifications the recommendation,
society, to the bar, to the courts, and to his clients. (Reyes v. Javier, A.C. No. 5574, of the Investigating Committee. The Court, certainly will not countenance any act or
February 2, 2002, 375 SCRA 538). It goes without saying that a lawyer who violates this conduct that can impair not only the integrity of the Bar Examinations but the trust
precept of the profession by committing a gross misconduct which dishonors and reposed on the Court.
diminishes the publics respect for the legal profession, should be disciplined.
The Court also takes note that Mr. Jovito M. Salonga and Mr. Benjamin R. Katly, two of
After careful deliberation, the Investigating Committee recommends that: its employees assigned to the Management Information Systems Office (MISO), who
were tasked by the Investigating Committee to inspect the computer system in the
1. Attorney Danilo De Guzman be DISBARRED for he had shown that he is morally office of Atty. Balgos, found that the Courts Computer-Assisted Legal Research (CALR)
unfit to continue as a member of the legal profession, for grave dishonesty, lack of database[4] was installed in the computer used by Atty. Balgos. Mr. Salonga and Mr.
integrity, and criminal behavior. In addition, he should make a written PUBLIC Katly reported that the system, which was developed by the MISO, was intended for
APOLOGY and pay DAMAGES to the Supreme Court for involving it in another bar the exclusive use of the Court. The installation thereof to any external computer would
scandal, causing the cancellation of the mercantile law examination, and wreaking be unauthorized without the permission of the Court. Atty. Velasco informed the two
havoc upon the image of this institution. Court employees that the CALR database was installed by Atty. De Guzman on the
computer being used by Atty. Balgos. The matter would also need further
2. Attorney Marcial O. T. Balgos should be REPRIMANDED by the Court and likewise be investigation to determine how Atty. De Guzman was able to obtain a copy of the
required to make a written APOLOGY to the Court for the public scandal he brought Courts CALR database.
upon it as a result of his negligence and lack of due care in preparing and
safeguarding his proposed test questions in mercantile law. As the Court had to cancel WHEREFORE, the Court, acting on the recommendations of the Investigating
the Mercantile Law examination on account of the leakage of Attorney Balgos test Committee, hereby resolves to -
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

(1) DISBAR Atty. DANILO DE GUZMAN from the practice of law effective upon his Ynares-Santiago,
receipt of this RESOLUTION; Carpio,
Austria-Martinez,
(2) REPRIMAND Atty. MARCIAL O.T. BALGOS and DISENTITLE him from receiving any Corona,
honorarium as an Examiner in Mercantile Law; Carpio Morales,
Tinga,
(3) Direct the National Bureau of Investigation (a) to undertake further investigation of Chico-Nazario,
Danilo De Guzman, Cheryl Palma, Silvestre Atienza, Ronan Garvida, Erwin Tan, Randy Velasco, Jr.,
Iigo, James Bugain, Ronald Collado and Allan Guiapal with a view to determining their Nachura,
participation and respective accountabilities in the bar examination leakage and to Leonardo-De Castro,
conduct an investigation on how Danilo De Guzman was able to secure a copy of the Brion,
Supreme Courts CALR database. Peralta, and
Bersamin, JJ.
Let a copy of this Resolution be made part of the records of Danilo De Guzman in the
Office of the Bar Confidant, Supreme Court of the Philippines, and copies to be Promulgated:
furnished the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and circulated by the Office of the
Court Administrator to all courts. April 24, 2009
x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x
SO ORDERED.
RESOLUTION
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-
Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, and Callejo, Sr., JJ., YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
concur.
Azcuna, J., on official leave.
Tinga, J., No part. Close to family of one of the parties involved in bar scandal. This treats the Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion dated November 10,
2008 filed by petitioner Danilo de Guzman. He prays that this Honorable Court in the
EN BANC exercise of equity and compassion, grant petitioners plea for judicial clemency, and
thereupon, order his reinstatement as a member in good standing of the Philippine
Bar.[1]
RE: 2003 BAR EXAMINATIONS B.M. No. 1222
To recall, on February 4, 2004, the Court promulgated a Resolution, in B.M. No. 1222,
x ---------------------------------------- x the dispositive portion of which reads in part:

ATTY. DANILO DE GUZMAN, WHEREFORE, the Court, acting on the recommendations of the Investigating
Petitioner, Present: Committee, hereby resolves to

Puno, C.J., (1) DISBAR Atty. DANILO DE GUZMAN from the practice of law effective upon his
Quisumbing,* receipt of this RESOLUTION;
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Upon admission to the bar in April 1999, petitioner immediately entered government
xxxx service as a Legal Officer assigned at the Sangguniang Bayan of Taguig.
Simultaneously, he also rendered free legal services to less fortunate residents of
The subject of the Resolution is the leakage of questions in Mercantile Law during the Taguig City who were then in need of legal assistance.
2003 Bar Examinations. Petitioner at that time was employed as an assistant lawyer in
the law firm of Balgos & Perez, one of whose partners, Marcial Balgos, was the In March 2000, petitioner was hired as one of the Associate Lawyers at the Balgos and
examiner for Mercantile Law during the said bar examinations. The Court had adopted Perez Law Offices. It was during his stay with this firm when his craft as a lawyer was
the findings of the Investigating Committee, which identified petitioner as the person polished and developed. Despite having entered private practice, he continued to
who had downloaded the test questions from the computer of Balgos and faxed them render free legal services to his fellow Taguigeos.
to other persons.
Then in February 2004, by a sudden twist of fate, petitioners flourishing career was cut
The Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) has favorably recommended the reinstatement short as he was stripped of his license to practice law for his alleged involvement in
of petitioner in the Philippine Bar. In a Report dated January 6, 2009, the OBC the leakage in the 2003 Bar Examinations.
rendered its assessment of the petition, the relevant portions of which we quote
hereunder: Devastated, petitioner then practically locked himself inside his house to avoid the
rather unavoidable consequences of his disbarment.
Petitioner narrated that he had labored to become a lawyer to fulfill his fathers
childhood dream to become one. This task was not particularly easy for him and his On March 2004, however, petitioner was given a new lease in life when he was taken
family but he willed to endure the same in order to pay tribute to his parents. as a consultant by the City Government of Taguig. Later, he was designated as a
member of the Secretariat of the Peoples Law Enforcement Board (PLEB). For the next
Petitioner added that even at a very young age, he already imposed upon himself the five (5) years, petitioner concentrated mainly on rendering public service.
duty of rendering service to his fellowmen. At 19 years, he started his exposure to
public service when he was elected Chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) of Petitioner humbly acknowledged the damaging impact of his act which unfortunately,
Barangay Tuktukan, Taguig City. During this time, he initiated several projects compromised the integrity of the bar examinations. As could be borne from the
benefiting the youth in their barangay. records of the investigation, he cooperated fully in the investigation conducted and
took personal responsibility for his actions. Also, he has offered his sincerest apologies
Thereafter, petitioner focused on his studies, taking up Bachelor of Arts in Political to Atty. Balgos, to the Court as well as to all the 2003 bar examinees for the
Science and eventually pursuing Bachelor of Laws. In his second year in law school, he unforeseen and unintended effects of his actions.
was elected as the President of the Student Council of the Institute of Law of the Far
Eastern University (FEU). Here, he spearheaded various activities including the conduct Petitioner averred that he has since learned from his mistakes and has taken the said
of seminars for law students as well as the holding of bar operations for bar humbling experience to make him a better person.
examinees.
Meanwhile, as part of his Petition, petitioner submitted the following testimonials and
Despite his many extra-curricular activities as a youth and student leader, petitioner endorsements of various individuals and entities all attesting to his good moral
still managed to excel in his studies. Thus, he was conferred an Academic Excellence character:
Award upon his graduation in Bachelor of Laws.
1) Resolution No. 101, Series of 2007, Resolution Expressing Full Support to Danilo G.
De Guzman in his Application for Judicial Clemency, Endorsing his Competence and
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Fitness to be Reinstated as a Member of the Philippine Bar and for Other Purposes 8)Isang Bukas na Liham na Naglalayong Iparating sa Kataas-Taasang Hukuman ang
dated 4 June 2007 of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, City of Taguig; Buong Suporta ng Pamunuan at mga Kasapi ng Samahang Bisig Kamay sa Kaunlaran,
Inc. (SABISKA) kay G. Danilo G. De Guzman sa Kanyang Petisyong Magawaran ng
2)Isang Bukas na Liham na Naglalayong Iparating sa Kataas-Taasang Hukuman ang Kapatawaran at ang Boluntaryong Pag-susulong sa Kanyang Kakayahan Upang
Buong Suporta ng Pamunuan at mga Kasapi ng Southeast Peoples Village Maibalik sa Kanya ang mga Pribilehiyo ng Isang Abogado dated 8 July 2008 of the
Homeowners Association, Inc. (SEPHVOA) kay Danilo G. De Guzman sa Kanyang Samahang Bisig Kamay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (SABISKA);
Petisyong Magawaran ng Kapatawaran at ang Boluntaryong Pag-susulong sa Kanyang
Kakayahan Upang Maibalik sa Kanya ang mga Pribilehiyo ng Isang Abogado dated 1 9)Board Resolution No. 02, Series of 2008, A Resolution Recognizing the Contributions
June 2007 of the Southeast Peoples Village Homeowners Association, Inc. (SEPHVOA), of Danilo G. De Guzman to the Peoples Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) Taguig City,
Ibayo-Tipas, City of Taguig; Attesting to his Utmost Dedication and Commitment to the Call of Civic and Social
Duty and for Other Purposes dated 11 July 2008 of the Peoples Law Enforcement
3)Isang Bukas na Liham na Naglalayong Iparating sa Kataas-Taasang Hukuman ang Board (PLEB);
Buong Suporta ng Pamunuan at mga Kasapi ng Samahang Residente ng Mauling
Creek, Inc. (SAREMAC) kay G. Danilo G. De Guzman sa Kanyang Petisyong Magawaran 10) A Personal Appeal for the Grant of Judicial Forgiveness and Compassion in Favor
ng Kapatawaran at ang Boluntaryong Pag-susulong sa Kanyang Kakayahan Upang of Danilo G. De Guzman dated 14 July 2008 of Atty. Edwin R. Sandoval, Professor,
Maibalik sa Kanya ang mga Pribilehiyo ng Isang Abogado dated 1 June 2007 of the College of Law, San Sebastian College Recoletos;
Samahang Residente ng Mauling Creek, Inc. (SAREMAC), Lower Bicutan, City of Taguig;
11) An Open Letter Personally Attesting to the Moral competence and Fitness
4)Isang Bukas na Liham na Naglalayong Iparating sa Kataas-Taasang Hukuman ang of Danilo G. De Guzman dated 5 September 2008 of Mr. Nixon F. Faderog, Deputy
Buong Suporta ng Pamunuan at mga Kasapi ng Samahan ng mga Maralita (PULONG Grand [Kn]ight, Knights of Columbus and President, General Parent-Teacher
KENDI) Neighborhood Association, Inc. (SAMANA) kay G. Danilo G. De Guzman sa Association, Taguig National High School, Lower Bicutan, Taguig City;
Kanyang Petisyong Magawaran ng Kapatawaran at ang Boluntaryong Pag-susulong sa
Kanyang Kakayahan Upang Maibalik sa Kanya ang mga Pribilehiyo ng Isang Abogado 12) Testimonial Letter dated 5 September 2008 of Atty. Primitivo C. Cruz, President,
dated 1 June 2007 of the Samahan ng mga Maralita (PULONG KENDI) Neighborhood Taguig Lawyers League, Inc., Tuktukan, Taguig City;
Association, Inc. (SAMANA), Sta. Ana, City of Taguig;
13) Testimonial Letter dated 21 October 2008 of Judge Hilario L. Laqui, Presiding
5) An Open Letter Attesting Personally to the Competence and Fitness of Danilo G. De Judge, Regional Trail Court (RTC), Branch 218, Quezon City; and
Guzman as to Warrant the Grant of Judicial Clemency and his Reinstatement as
Member of the Philippine Bar dated 8 June 2007 of Miguelito Nazareno V. Llantino, 14) Testimonial Letter dated 28 October 2008 of Justice Oscar M. Herrera, former
Laogan, Trespeses and Llantino Law Offices; Justice, Court of Appeals and former Dean, Institute of Law, Far Eastern University
(FEU).
6)Testimonial to the Moral and Spiritual Competence of Danilo G. De Guzman to be
Truly Deserving of Judicial Clemency and Compassion dated 5 July 2007 of Rev. Fr. Citing the case of In Re: Carlos S. Basa, petitioner pleaded that he be afforded the
Paul G. Balagtas, Parish Priest, Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Anne; same kindness and compassion in order that, like Atty. Basa, his promising future may
not be perpetually foreclosed. In the said case, the Court had the occasion to say:
7) Testimonial Letter dated 18 February 2008 of Atty. Loreto C. Ata, President, Far
Eastern University Law Alumni Association (FEULAA), Far Eastern University (FEU); Carlos S. Basa is a young man about 29 years of age, admitted to the bars of California
and the Philippine Islands. Recently, he was charged in the Court of First Instance of
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

the City of Manila with the crime of abduction with consent, was found guilty in a Meanwhile, in the case of Rodolfo M. Bernardo vs. Atty. Ismael F. Mejia (Administrative
decision rendered by the Honorable M.V. De Rosario, Judge of First Instance, and was Case No. 2984), the Court [in] deciding whether or not to reinstate Atty. Mejia to the
sentenced to be imprisoned for a period of two years, eleven months and eleven days practice of law stated:
of prision correccional. On appeal, this decision was affirmed in a judgment handed
down by the second division of the Supreme Court. The Court will take into consideration the applicants character and standing prior to
the disbarment, the nature and character of the charge/s for which he was disbarred,
xxxx his conduct subsequent to the disbarment and the time that has elapsed in between
the disbarment and the application for reinstatement.
When come next, as we must, to determine the exact action which should be taken by
the court, we do so regretfully and reluctantly. On the one hand, the violation of the Petitioner was barely thirty (30) years old and had only been in the practice of law for
criminal law by the respondent attorney cannot be lightly passed over. On the other five (5) years when he was disbarred from the practice of law. It is of no doubt that
hand, we are willing to strain the limits of our compassion to the uttermost in order petitioner had a promising future ahead of him where it not for the decision of the
that so promising a career may not be utterly ruined. Court stripping off his license.

Petitioner promised to commit himself to be more circumspect in his actions and Petitioner is also of good moral repute, not only before but likewise, after his
solemnly pledged to exert all efforts to atone for his misdeeds. disbarment, as attested to overwhelmingly by his constituents, colleagues as well as
people of known probity in the community and society.
There may be a reasonable ground to consider the herein Petition.
Way before the petitioner was even admitted to the bar, he had already manifested his
In the case of Re: Petition of Al Argosino to Take the Lawyers Oath (Bar Matter 712), intense desire to render public service as evidenced by his active involvement and
which may be applied in the instant case, the Court said: participation in several social and civic projects and activities. Likewise, even during
and after his disbarment, which could be perceived by some as a debilitating
After a very careful evaluation of this case, we resolve to allow petitioner Al Caparros circumstance, petitioner still managed to continue extending his assistance to others
Argosino to take the lawyer's oath, sign the Roll of Attorneys and practice the legal in whatever means possible. This only proves petitioners strength of character and
profession with the following admonition: positive moral fiber.

In allowing Mr. Argosino to take the lawyers oath, the Court recognizes that Mr. However, still, it is of no question that petitioners act in copying the examination
Argosino is not inherently of bad moral fiber. On the contrary, the various certifications questions from Atty. Balgos computer without the latters knowledge and consent, and
show that he is a devout Catholic with a genuine concern for civic duties and public which questions later turned out to be the bar examinations questions in Mercantile
service. Law in the 2003 Bar Examinations, is not at all commendable. While we do believe that
petitioner sincerely did not intend to cause the damage that his action ensued, still, he
The Court is persuaded that Mr. Argosino has exerted all efforts, to atone for the death must be sanctioned for unduly compromising the integrity of the bar examinations as
of Raul Camaligan. We are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking well as of this Court.
judicial notice of the general tendency of youth to be rash, temerarious and
uncalculating. We are convinced, however, that petitioner has since reformed and has sincerely
reflected on his transgressions. Thus, in view of the circumstances and likewise for
xxxx humanitarian considerations, the penalty of disbarment may now be commuted to
suspension. Considering the fact, however, that petitioner had already been disbarred
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

for more than five (5) years, the same may be considered as proper service of said
commuted penalty and thus, may now be allowed to resume practice of law. Although the Court does not lightly take the bases for Mejias disbarment, it also
cannot close its eyes to the fact that Mejia is already of advanced years. While the age
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is respectfully recommended that the instant of the petitioner and the length of time during which he has endured the ignominy of
Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion dated 10 November 2008 of petitioner disbarment are not the sole measure in allowing a petition for reinstatement, the
DANILO G. DE GUZMAN be GRANTED. Petitioners disbarment is now commuted to Court takes cognizance of the rehabilitation of Mejia. Since his disbarment in 1992, no
suspension, which suspension is considered as served in view of the petitioners five (5) other transgression has been attributed to him, and he has shown remorse. Obviously,
year disbarment. Hence, petitioner may now be allowed to resume practice of law. he has learned his lesson from this experience, and his punishment has lasted long
enough. x x x
The recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant is well-taken in part. We deem
petitioner worthy of clemency to the extent of commuting his penalty to seven (7)
years suspension from the practice of law, inclusive of the five (5) years he has already Petitioner has sufficiently demonstrated the remorse expected of him considering the
served his disbarment. gravity of his transgressions. Even more to his favor, petitioner has redirected focus
since his disbarment towards public service, particularly with the Peoples Law
Penalties, such as disbarment, are imposed not to punish but to correct offenders.[2] Enforcement Board. The attestations submitted by his peers in the community and
While the Court is ever mindful of its duty to discipline its erring officers, it also knows other esteemed members of the legal profession, such as retired Court of Appeals
how to show compassion when the penalty imposed has already served its purpose.[3] Associate Justice Oscar Herrera, Judge Hilario Laqui, Professor Edwin Sandoval and
Atty. Lorenzo Ata, and the ecclesiastical community such as Rev. Fr. Paul Balagtas
In cases where we have deigned to lift or commute the supreme penalty of disbarment testify to his positive impact on society at large since the unfortunate events of 2003.
imposed on the lawyer, we have taken into account the remorse of the disbarred
lawyer[4] and the conduct of his public life during his years outside of the bar.[5] For Petitioners subsequent track record in public service affords the Court some hope that
example, in Valencia v. Antiniw, we held: if he were to reacquire membership in the Philippine bar, his achievements as a lawyer
would redound to the general good and more than mitigate the stain on his record.
However, the record shows that the long period of respondent's disbarment gave him Compassion to the petitioner is warranted. Nonetheless, we wish to impart to him the
the chance to purge himself of his misconduct, to show his remorse and repentance, following stern warning:
and to demonstrate his willingness and capacity to live up once again to the exacting
standards of conduct demanded of every member of the bar and officer of the court. Of all classes and professions, the lawyer is most sacredly bound to uphold the laws.
During respondent's disbarment for more than fifteen (15) years to date for his He is their sworn servant; and for him, of all men in the world, to repudiate and
professional infraction, he has been persistent in reiterating his apologies and pleas for override the laws, to trample them underfoot and to ignore the very bands of society,
reinstatement to the practice of law and unrelenting in his efforts to show that he has argues recreancy to his position and office and sets a pernicious example to the
regained his worthiness to practice law, by his civic and humanitarian activities and insubordinate and dangerous elements of the body politic.[8]
unblemished record as an elected public servant, as attested to by numerous civic and
professional organizations, government institutions, public officials and members of
the judiciary.[6] WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Petition for Judicial Clemency and
Compassion is hereby GRANTED IN PART. The disbarment of DANILO G. DE GUZMAN
from the practice of law is hereby COMMUTED to SEVEN (7) YEARS SUSPENSION
And in Bernardo v. Atty. Mejia,[7] we noted: FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW, reckoned from February 4, 2004.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

SO ORDERED. Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO BAR MATTER No. 1161
Associate Justice
RE: PROPOSED REFORMS IN THE BAR EXAMINATIONS

RESOLUTION
ON
REFORM IN THE BAR EXAMINANTIONS
WE CONCUR:
WHEREAS, pursuant to its Constitutional authority to promulgate rules concerning the
REYNATO S. PUNO admission to the practice of law, the Supreme Court en banc item in its Resolution of
Chief Justice 21 March 2000, created a "Special Study Group on Bar Examination Reforms" to
conduct studies on steps to further safeguard the integrity of the Bar Examinations
LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING ANTONIO T. CARPIO and to make them effective tools in measuring the adequacy of the law curriculum and
Associate Justice Associate Justice the quality of the instruction given by law schools";

MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ RENATO C. CORONA WHEREAS, the Special Study Group, with Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA)
Associate Justice Associate Justice Chancellor Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera as a chairperson and retired Justice
Jose Y. Feria and retired Justice Camilo D. Quiason as members, submitted to the
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES DANTE O. TINGA Supreme Court its Final Report, dated 18 September 2000, containing its findings and
Associate Justice Associate Justice recommendations;

MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR. WHEREAS, on 21 August 2001, the Supreme Court en banc referred, for further study,
Associate Justice Associate Justice report and recommendation, the Final Report of the Special Study Group to the
Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters (CLEBM) headed by Justice Jose C.
ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Vitug;
Associate Justice Associate Justice
WHEREAS, in connection with the discussion on the proposed reforms in the bar
examinations, Justice Vicente V. Mendoza, then a Member of the CLEBM, submitted a
ARTURO D. BRION DIOSDADO M. PERALTA Paper, entitled "Toward Meaningful Reforms in the Bar Examination" with a Primer,
Associate Justice Associate Justice proposing structural and administrative reforms, changes in the design and
construction of questions, and the methodological reforms concerning the marking
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN anf grading of the essay questions in the bar examination;
Associate Justice
WHEREAS, proposals and comments were likewise received from the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines, the Philippine Association of Law Schools, the Philippine Association of
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Law Professors, the Commission on Higher Education, the University of the Philippines this Resolution, those who have already failed in five(5) or more bar examinations shall
College of Law, Arellano Law Foundation, the Philippine Lawyers Association, the be allowed to take only one (1) more bar examination after copleting (1) year refresher
Philippine Bar Association and other prominent personalities from the Bench and the course.
Bar;
Promulgation of disciplinary measures for those involved in (a) attempts to violate or
WHEREAS, considering her Memorandum to the Chief Justice on "Proposed Technical vitiate the integrity and confidentiality of the bar examination process; (b) improper
Assistance Project on Legal Education," dated 27 February 2003, Program Director conduct during the bar examination; and (c) improper conduct of "bar examinations."
Evelyn Toledo-Dumdum of the Program Management Office (PMO) was invited to a
meeting of the CLEBM; Disqualification of a Bar Examination Chairperson:
kinship with an examinee who if his or her spouse or relative within the third civil
WHEREAS, under the auspices of the PMO, the CLEBM conducted fur (4) regional degree of consanguinity; having a member of his or her office staff as an examinee, or
round-table discussions with the law deans, professors, the students and members of when the spouse or child of such staff member is an examinee; and being a member
the Integrated Bar of he Philippines for (a) the National Capital Region, at Manila of the governing board, faculty or administration of a law school.
Diamond Hotel on 19 November 2003; (b) Mindanao, at the Grand Regal Hotel Davao
City on 23 January 2004; (c) the Visayas, at the Montebello Hotel in Cebu City on Desirable qualifications of Examiners:
January 2004; and (d) Luzon, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila on 6 February 2004. membership in good standing in the Philippine Bar;
competence in the assigned subject; a teacher of the subject or familiarity with the
WHEREAS, in a Special Meeting of the CLEBM at the Pan Pacific Hotel on 23 April principles of test construction; and commitment to check test papers personally and
2004, the Committee heard the views of Ms. Erica Moeser, the Chief Executive Officer promptly pending the creation and organization of the readership panels provided for
and President of the National Conference of Board Examiners in the United States of in item B(6) below
America on a number of proposed bar reforms;
Disqualifications of Examiners:
WHEREAS, the CLEBM, after extensive deliberation and consultation, has arived at kinship with an examinee who is his or her spouse or relative within the third civil
certain recommendations for consideration by the Supreme Court and submitted its degree of consanguinity or affinity; having a member of his or her office staff as an
report , dated 21 May 2004, to the Court en banc; examinee; or when the spouse or child of such staff member is an examinee; being a
member of the governing board, faculty or administration of a law school teaching or
NOW, THEREFORE, the Court, sitting en banc, hereby RESOLVES to approve and adopt lecturing in any law school, institution or review center during the particular semester
the following Bar Examination Reforms: following the bar examinations; having any interest or involvement in any law school,
bar review center or group; and suspension or disbarment from the practice of law or
the imposition of any other serious disciplinary sanction. Personal preparation, by
For implementation within one (1) up to two (2) years: handwriting or using a typewriter, of fifty (50) main questions, excluding subdivisions,
Initial determination by the Chairman of admission to the bar examinations of and their submission to the Chairperson in sealed envelope at least forty-five (45) days
candidates (on the merits of the each case) to be passed upon by the Court en banc. before the schedule examination on any particular subject; examiners should not use
Submission by law deans of a certification that a candidate has no derogatory record computers in preparing questions; Apportionment of examination questions among
in school and, if any, the details and status thereof. the various topics covered by the subject; Burning and shredding of rough drafts and
Disqualification of a candidate after failing in three(3) examinations, provided, that he carbon papers used in the preparation of questions or in any other act connected with
may take a fourth and fifth examination if he successful completes a one (1) year such preparation; Publication of names candidates admitted to take the bar
refresher course for each examination; provided, further, that upon the effectivity of examinations; Disqualification of a candidate who obtains a grade below 50% in any
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

subject; Fixing at June 30 of the immediately preceding year as the cut-off date for (Sgd.) HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.
laws and Supreme Court decisions and resolutions to be included in the bar Chief. Justice
examinations; and Consideration of suggested answers to bar examinations questions (Sgd.) REYNATO S. PUNO
prepared by the U.P. Law Center and submitted to the Chairperson. Associate Justice (Sgd.) JOSE C. VITUG
Associate Justice
For implementation within two (2) years up to five (5) years: (Sgd.) ARTEMIO V. PNGANIBAN
Adoption of objective multiple-choice questions for 30% to 40% of the total number Associate Justice (Sgd.) LEONARDO A QUISUMBING
of questions; Formulation of essay test questions and "model answers" as part of the Associate Justice
calibration of test papers; (Sgd.) CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Introduction of performance testing by way of revising and improving the essay Associate Justice (Sgd.) ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ
examination; Designation of two(2) examiners per subject depending on the number Associate Justice
of examinees ; Appointment of a tenured Board of Examiners with an incumbent (Sgd.) ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Supreme Court Justice as Chairperson; Creation and organization of readership panels Associate Justice (Sgd.) MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
for each subject area to address the issue of bias or subjectivity and facilitate the Associate Justice
formulation of test questions and the correction of examination booklets; and (On leave) RENATO C. CORONA
Adoption of the calibration method in the corrections of essay questions to correct Associate Justice> (Sgd.) CONCHITA CARPIO-MORALES
variations in the level of test standards. Associate Justice
(Sgd.) ROMEO J. CALLEJO, SR.
For implementation within five(5) years and beyond is the further computerization or Associate Justice (Sgd.) ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
automation of the bar examinations to facilitate application, testing, and reporting Associate Justice
procedures. (Sgd.) DANTE O. TINGA
Items not covered by this resolution, such as those that pertain to a possible review of Associate Justice
the coverage and relative weights of the subjects of the bar examinations, are
maintained. Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
For referral to the Legal education Boards: Manila
Accreditation and supervision of law schools.
Inclusion of a subject on clinical legal education in the law curriculum, including an NOTICE
apprenticeship program in the Judiciary, prosecution service, and law offices.
Imposition of sanctions on law schools that fail to meet the standards as may be Sirs/Mesdames:
prescribed by the Legal Education Board.
Please take notice that the Court en banc issued a Resolution dated FEBRUARY 8,
Mandatory Law School Admission Test. 2011, which reads as follows:
This resolution shall take effect on the fifteenth day of July 2004, and shall be
published in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines. "B.M. No. 2265 (Re: Letter of Justice Roberto A. Abad Proposing Changes for
Improving the Conduct of the Bar Examinations). - The Court Resolved to NOTE the
Promulgated this 8th day of June 2004. Letter dated January 28, 2011 of Justice Roberto A. Abad re: Amendment to Section
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

11, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court (Annual Examination), incident to the Sirs/Mesdames:
implementation of B.M. No. 2265 (Reforms in the 2011 Bar Examinations).
Please take notice that the Court en banc issued a Resolution dated JANUARY 18,
The Court further Resolved to APPROVE the Amendment to Section 11, Rule 138 of 2011, which reads as follows:
the Rules of Court, to wit:
"B.M. No. 2265 (Re: Reforms in the 2011 Bar Examinations [Letter of Justice Roberto A.
"Section 11. Annual examination. - Examinations for admission to the bar of the Abad Proposing Changes for Improving the Conduct of the Bar Examinations]. Acting
Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four on the Letter dated January 10, 2011 of Associate Justice Roberto A. Abad, proposing
days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners. The to move the 2011 Bar Examinations from September to November, the Court Resolved
subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law, and to NOTE the said Letter and GRANT the proposal of Justice Abad to MOVE the 2011
Labor and Social Legislation (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law Bar Examinations from September to November.
(morning) and Mercantile Law (afternoon); Third day: Remedial Law, and Legal Ethics
and Forums (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Trial Memorandum The Court further Resolved to
(morning) and Legal Opinion (afternoon)". (adv107)
(a) NOTE the Letter dated September 2, 2010 of Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura,
Very truly yours, Chairperson, Committee on Legal Education and Bar Matters, recommending the final
approval by the Court En Banc of the proposed changes for improving the conduct of
(Sgd.)ENRIQUETA E. VIDAL the bar examinations by Justice Abad, inasmuch as the Court En Banc had provisionally
Clerk of Court approved the proposals

Honorable Roberto A. Abad (x) (b) APPROVE the Reforms in the 2011 Bar Examinations, hereto attached as Annex "A";
Associate Justice and Chairperson and
2011 Committee on Bar Examinations
Supreme Court (c) NOTE Resolution No. 12-991-2010 dated October 1, 2010 of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod ng Cebu, Cebu City Hall, praying anew that the Supreme Court, through
Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa (x) the Bar Committee will extend the venue of the Bar Examinations to Cebu City, and
Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant hold simultaneous annual examinations in Manila and Cebu City." (adv14)
Supreme Court
Very truly yours,

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT ENRIQUETA E. VIDAL
Manila Clerk of Court

EN BANC
Republic of the Philippines
NOTICE SUPREME COURT
Manila
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

EN BANC 1. The coverage of the bar examinations shall be drawn up by topics and sub-topics
rather than by just stating the covered laws. The test for including a topic or sub-topic
B.M. No. 2265 in the coverage of the examinations is whether it covers laws, doctrines, principles and
rulings that a new lawyer needs to know to begin a reasonably prudent and
RE: REFORMS IN THE 2011 BAR EXAMINATIONS competent law practice.

Preliminary Statement The coverage shall be approved by the Chairperson of the Bar Examination in
consultation with the academe, subject to annual review and re-approval by
The Court has found merit in the proposed changes in the conduct of the bar subsequent Chairpersons.
examinations that the Chairperson of the 2011 Bar Examinations and Philippine
Association of Law Schools recommended. 2. The bar examinations shall measure the candidate’s knowledge of the law and its
applications through multiple-choice-questions (MCQs) that are to be so constructed
One recommendation concerns the description of the coverage of the annual bar as to specifically:
examinations that in the past consisted merely of naming the laws that each subject
covered. This description has been regarded as too general and provides no specific 2.1. Measure the candidate’s knowledge of and ability to recall the laws, doctrines, and
understanding of the entry-level legal knowledge required of beginning law principles that every new lawyer needs in his practice;
practitioners.
2.2. Assess the candidate’s understanding of the meaning and significance of those
A second recommendation addresses the predominantly essay-type of bar same laws, doctrines, and principles as they apply to specific situations; and
examinations that the Court conducts. Because of the enormous growth of laws,
doctrines, principles, and precedents, it has been noted that such examinations are 2.3. Measure his ability to analyze legal problems, apply the correct law or principle to
unable to hit a significant cross-section of the subject matter. Further, the huge such problems, and provide solutions to them.
number of candidates taking the examinations annually and the limited time available
for correcting the answers make fair correction of purely essay-type examinations 3. The results of the MCQ examinations shall, if feasible, be corrected electronically.
difficult to attain. Besides, the use of multiple choice questions, properly and carefully
constructed, is a method of choice for qualifying professionals all over the world 4. The results of the MCQ examinations in each bar subject shall be given the following
because of its proven reliability and facility of correction. weights:

A third recommendation opts for maintaining the essay-type examinations but Political Law — 15%
dedicating these to the assessment of the requisite communication skills, creativity, Labor Law— 10%
and fine intellect that bar candidates need for the practice of law. Civil Law — 15%
Taxation — 10%
Approved Changes Mercantile Law — 15%
Criminal Law — 10%
The Court has previously approved in principle the above recommended changes. It Remedial Law — 20%
now resolves to approve the following rules that shall govern the future conduct of the Legal Ethics/Forms — 5%
bar examinations:
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

5. Part of the bar examinations shall be of the essay-type, dedicated to measuring the to the Court the disqualification of those whose grades in the MCQ are so low that it
candidate’s skills in writing in English, sorting out the relevant facts in a legal dispute, would serve no useful purpose to correct their answers in the essay-type examinations.
identifying the issue or issues involved, organizing his thoughts, constructing his
arguments, and persuading his readers to his point of view. The essays will not be bar 11. Using the data and experience obtained from the 2011 Bar Examinations, future
subject specific. Chairpersons of Bar Examination are directed to study the feasibility of:

5.1. One such essay examination shall require the candidate to prepare a trial 11.1. Holding in the interest of convenience and economy bar examinations
memorandum or a decision based on a documented legal dispute. (60% of essays) simultaneously in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao; and

5.2 Another essay shall require him to prepare a written opinion sought by a client 11.2. Allowing those who pass the MCQ examinations but fail the essay-type
concerning a potential legal dispute facing him. (40% of essays) examinations to take removal examinations in the immediately following year.

6. The essays shall not be graded for technically right or wrong aswers, but for the 12. All existing rules, regulations, and instructions that are inconsistent with the above
quality of the candidate’s legal advocacy. The passing standard for correction shall be are repealed.
work expected of a beginning practitioner, not a seasoned lawyer.
This Bar Matter shall take effect immediately, and shall be published in two
7. The examiners in all eight bar subjects shall, apart from preparing the MCQs for newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
their respective subjects, be divided into two panels of four members each. One panel
will grade the memorandum or decision essay while the other will grade the legal January 18, 2011.
opinion essay. Each member shall read and grade the examination answer of a bar
candidate independently of the other members in his panel. The final grade of a
candidate for each essay shall be the average of the grades given by the four
members of the panel for that essay. RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice
8. The results of the a) MCQ and b) essay-type examinations shall be given weights of
60% and 40%, respectively, in the computation of the candidate’s final grade. ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
9. For want of historical data needed for computing the passing grade in MCQ kind of Associate Justice
examinations, the Chairperson of the 2011 Bar PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR.
Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Examinations shall, with the assistance of experts in computing MCQ examination Associate Justice
grades, recommend to the Court the appropriate conversion table or standard that it TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO
might adopt for arriving at a reasonable passing grade for MCQs in bar examinations. Associate Justice ARTURO D. BRION
Associate Justice
10. In the interest of establishing needed data, the answers of all candidates in the DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
essay-type examinations in the year 2011 shall be corrected irrespective of the results Associate Justice LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
of their MCQ examinations, which are sooner known because they are electronically Associate Justice
corrected. In future bar examinations, however, the Bar Chairperson shall recommend MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

Associate Justice ROBERTO A. ABAD The Court allowed respondent to take his oath as a member of the Bar during the
Associate Justice scheduled oath-taking on 22 May 2001 at the Philippine International Convention
MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR. Center. However, the Court ruled that respondent could not sign the Roll of Attorneys
Associate Justice JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA pending the resolution of the charge against him. Thus, respondent took the lawyer’s
Associate Justice oath on the scheduled date but has not signed the Roll of Attorneys up to now.
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
Associate Justice MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO Complainant charges respondent for unauthorized practice of law and grave
Associate Justice misconduct. Complainant alleges that respondent, while not yet a lawyer, appeared as
counsel for a candidate in the May 2001 elections before the Municipal Board of
B. M. No. 1036 June 10, 2003 Election Canvassers ("MBEC") of Mandaon, Masbate. Complainant further alleges that
respondent filed with the MBEC a pleading dated 19 May 2001 entitled Formal
DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE, Complainant, Objection to the Inclusion in the Canvassing of Votes in Some Precincts for the Office
vs. of Vice-Mayor. In this pleading, respondent represented himself as "counsel for and in
EDWIN L. RANA, Respondent. behalf of Vice Mayoralty Candidate, George Bunan," and signed the pleading as
counsel for George Bunan ("Bunan").
DECISION
On the charge of violation of law, complainant claims that respondent is a municipal
CARPIO, J.: 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
The Case court or administrative body.

Before one is admitted to the Philippine Bar, he must possess the requisite moral On the charge of grave misconduct and misrepresentation, complainant accuses
integrity for membership in the legal profession. Possession of moral integrity is of respondent of acting as counsel for vice mayoralty candidate George Bunan ("Bunan")
greater importance than possession of legal learning. The practice of law is a privilege without the latter engaging respondent’s services. Complainant claims that respondent
bestowed only on the morally fit. A bar candidate who is morally unfit cannot practice filed the pleading as a ploy to prevent the proclamation of the winning vice mayoralty
law even if he passes the bar examinations. candidate.

The Facts On 22 May 2001, the Court issued a resolution allowing respondent to take the
lawyer’s oath but disallowed him from signing the Roll of Attorneys until he is cleared
Respondent Edwin L. Rana ("respondent") was among those who passed the 2000 Bar of the charges against him. In the same resolution, the Court required respondent to
Examinations. comment on the complaint against him.

On 21 May 2001, one day before the scheduled mass oath-taking of successful bar In his Comment, respondent admits that Bunan sought his "specific assistance" to
examinees as members of the Philippine Bar, complainant Donna Marie Aguirre represent him before the MBEC. Respondent claims that "he decided to assist and
("complainant") filed against respondent a Petition for Denial of Admission to the Bar. advice Bunan, not as a lawyer but as a person who knows the law." Respondent admits
Complainant charged respondent with unauthorized practice of law, grave signing the 19 May 2001 pleading that objected to the inclusion of certain votes in the
misconduct, violation of law, and grave misrepresentation. canvassing. He explains, however, that he did not sign the pleading as a lawyer or
represented himself as an "attorney" in the pleading.
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

On the other charges, OBC stated that complainant failed to cite a law which
On his employment as secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan, respondent claims that he respondent allegedly violated when he appeared as counsel for Bunan while he was a
submitted his resignation on 11 May 2001 which was allegedly accepted on the same government employee. Respondent resigned as secretary and his resignation was
date. He submitted a copy of the Certification of Receipt of Revocable Resignation accepted. Likewise, respondent was authorized by Bunan to represent him before the
dated 28 May 2001 signed by Vice-Mayor Napoleon Relox. Respondent further claims MBEC.
that the complaint is politically motivated considering that complainant is the
daughter of Silvestre Aguirre, the losing candidate for mayor of Mandaon, Masbate. The Court’s Ruling
Respondent prays that the complaint be dismissed for lack of merit and that he be
allowed to sign the Roll of Attorneys. We agree with the findings and conclusions of the OBC that respondent engaged in
the unauthorized practice of law and thus does not deserve admission to the
On 22 June 2001, complainant filed her Reply to respondent’s Comment and refuted Philippine Bar.
the claim of respondent that his appearance before the MBEC was only to extend
specific assistance to Bunan. Complainant alleges that on 19 May 2001 Emily Estipona- Respondent took his oath as lawyer on 22 May 2001. However, the records show that
Hao ("Estipona-Hao") filed a petition for proclamation as the winning candidate for respondent appeared as counsel for Bunan prior to 22 May 2001, before respondent
mayor. Respondent signed as counsel for Estipona-Hao in this petition. When took the lawyer’s oath. In the pleading entitled Formal Objection to the Inclusion in
respondent appeared as counsel before the MBEC, complainant questioned his the Canvassing of Votes in Some Precincts for the Office of Vice-Mayor dated 19 May
appearance on two grounds: (1) respondent had not taken his oath as a lawyer; and (2) 2001, respondent signed as "counsel for George Bunan." In the first paragraph of the
he was an employee of the government. same pleading respondent stated that he was the "(U)ndersigned Counsel for, and in
behalf of Vice Mayoralty Candidate, GEORGE T. BUNAN." Bunan himself wrote the
Respondent filed a Reply (Re: Reply to Respondent’s Comment) reiterating his claim MBEC on 14 May 2001 that he had "authorized Atty. Edwin L. Rana as his counsel to
that the instant administrative case is "motivated mainly by political vendetta." represent him" before the MBEC and similar bodies.

On 17 July 2001, the Court referred the case to the Office of the Bar Confidant ("OBC") On 14 May 2001, mayoralty candidate Emily Estipona-Hao also "retained" respondent
for evaluation, report and recommendation. as her counsel. On the same date, 14 May 2001, Erly D. Hao informed the MBEC that
"Atty. Edwin L. Rana has been authorized by REFORMA LM-PPC as the legal counsel of
OBC’s Report and Recommendation the party and the candidate of the said party." Respondent himself wrote the MBEC on
14 May 2001 that he was entering his "appearance as counsel for Mayoralty Candidate
The OBC found that respondent indeed appeared before the MBEC as counsel for Emily Estipona-Hao and for the REFORMA LM-PPC." On 19 May 2001, respondent
Bunan in the May 2001 elections. The minutes of the MBEC proceedings show that signed as counsel for Estipona-Hao in the petition filed before the MBEC praying for
respondent actively participated in the proceedings. The OBC likewise found that the proclamation of Estipona-Hao as the winning candidate for mayor of Mandaon,
respondent appeared in the MBEC proceedings even before he took the lawyer’s oath Masbate.
on 22 May 2001. The OBC believes that respondent’s misconduct casts a serious doubt
on his moral fitness to be a member of the Bar. The OBC also believes that All these happened even before respondent took the lawyer’s oath. Clearly,
respondent’s unauthorized practice of law is a ground to deny his admission to the respondent engaged in the practice of law without being a member of the Philippine
practice of law. The OBC therefore recommends that respondent be denied admission Bar.
to the Philippine Bar.
In Philippine Lawyers Association v. Agrava,1 the Court elucidated that:
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it admission to the Bar. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, a person
embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and who engages in the unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect contempt of
special proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of court.7
clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveyancing. In general, all advice
to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law, True, respondent here passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the lawyer’s
incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services contemplating an oath.1âwphi1 However, it is the signing in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one
appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement of a a full-fledged lawyer. The fact that respondent passed the bar examinations is
creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting immaterial. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-
proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held law.8 Respondent should know that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still
to constitute law practice, as do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, had to be performed, namely: his lawyer’s oath to be administered by this Court and
where the work done involves the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal his signature in the Roll of Attorneys.9
effect of facts and conditions. (5 Am. Jur. p. 262, 263). (Italics supplied) x x x
On the charge of violation of law, complainant contends that the law does not allow
In Cayetano v. Monsod,2 the Court held that "practice of law" means any activity, in or respondent to act as counsel for a private client in any court or administrative body
out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, since respondent is the secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan.
training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform acts which are
usually performed by members of the legal profession. Generally, to practice law is to Respondent tendered his resignation as secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan prior to
render any kind of service which requires the use of legal knowledge or skill. the acts complained of as constituting unauthorized practice of law. In his letter dated
11 May 2001 addressed to Napoleon Relox, vice- mayor and presiding officer of the
Verily, respondent was engaged in the practice of law when he appeared in the Sangguniang Bayan, respondent stated that he was resigning "effective upon your
proceedings before the MBEC and filed various pleadings, without license to do so. acceptance."10 Vice-Mayor Relox accepted respondent’s resignation effective 11 May
Evidence clearly supports the charge of unauthorized practice of law. Respondent 2001.11 Thus, the evidence does not support the charge that respondent acted as
called himself "counsel" knowing fully well that he was not a member of the Bar. counsel for a client while serving as secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan.
Having held himself out as "counsel" knowing that he had no authority to practice law,
respondent has shown moral unfitness to be a member of the Philippine Bar.3 On the charge of grave misconduct and misrepresentation, evidence shows that Bunan
indeed authorized respondent to represent him as his counsel before the MBEC and
The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege. It is similar bodies. While there was no misrepresentation, respondent nonetheless had no
limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained authority to practice law.
and certified. The exercise of this privilege presupposes possession of integrity, legal
knowledge, educational attainment, and even public trust4 since a lawyer is an officer WHEREFORE, respondent Edwin L. Rana is DENIED admission to the Philippine Bar.
of the court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by
passing the bar examinations. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld SO ORDERED.
even from one who has passed the bar examinations, if the person seeking admission
had practiced law without a license.5 Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago,
Sandoval-Gutierrez, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna,
The regulation of the practice of law is unquestionably strict. In Beltran, Jr. v. Abad,6 a JJ., concur.
candidate passed the bar examinations but had not taken his oath and signed the Roll
of Attorneys. He was held in contempt of court for practicing law even before his
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

BAR MATTER NO. 730 June 13, 1997 For the guidance of the bench and bar, we hold that a law student appearing before
the Regional Trial Court under Rule 138-A should at all times be accompanied by a
Gentlemen: supervising lawyer. Section 2 of Rule 138-A provides.

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated Section 2. Appearance. — The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule,
June 10, 1997. shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions,
IN RE: NEED THAT LAW STUDENT PRACTICING UNDER RULE 138-A BE briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed the by supervising
ACTUALLY SUPERVISED DURING TRIAL (BAR MATTER NO. 730). attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.

The issue in this Consulta is whether a law student who appears before the court The phrase "direct supervision and control" requires no less than the physical presence
under the Law Student Practice Rule (Rule 138-A) should be accompanied by a of the supervising lawyer during the hearing. This is in accordance with the threefold
member of the bar during the trial. This issue was raised by retired Supreme Court rationale behind the Law Student Practice Rule, to wit: 3
Justice Antonio P. Barredo, counsel for the defendant in Civil Case No. BCV-92-11
entitled Irene A. Caliwara v. Roger T. Catbagan filed before the Regional Trial Court of 1.to ensure that there will be no miscarriage of justice as a result of incompetence or
Bacoor, Cavite. inexperience of law students, who, not having as yet passed the test of professional
competence, are presumably not fully equipped to act a counsels on their own;
The records show that the plaintiff in civil Case No. BCV-92-11 was represented by Mr.
Cornelio Carmona, Jr., an intern at the Office of Legal Aid, UP-College of Law (UP- 2.to provide a mechanism by which the accredited law school clinic may be able to
OLA). Mr. Carmona conducted hearings and completed the presentation of the protect itself from any potential vicarious liability arising from some culpable action by
plaintiff's evidence-in-chief without the presence of a supervising lawyer. Justice their law students; and
Barredo questioned the appearance of Mr. Carmona during the hearing because the
latter was not accompanied by a duly accredited lawyer. On December 15, 1994, 3.to ensure consistency with the fundamental principle that no person is allowed to
Presiding Judge Edelwina Pastoral issued an Order requiring Mr. Carmona to be practice a particular profession without possessing the qualifications, particularly a
accompanied by a supervising lawyer on the next hearing. In compliance with said license, as required by law.
Order, UP-OLA and the Secretary of Justice executed a Memorandum of Agreement
directing Atty. Catubao and Atty. Legayada of the Public Attorney's Office to supervise The matter of allowing a law student to appear before the court unaccompanied by a
Mr. Carmona during the subsequent hearings. supervising lawyer cannot be left to the discretion of the presiding judge. The rule
clearly states that the appearance of the law student shall be under the direct control
Justice Barredo asserts that a law student appearing before the trial court under Rule and supervision of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited
138-A should be accompanied by a supervising lawyer. 1 On the other hand, UP-OLA, by law schools. The rule must be strictly construed because public policy demands that
through its Director, Atty. Alfredo F. Tadiar, submits that "the matter of allowing a law legal work should be entrusted only to those who possess tested qualifications, are
intern to appear unaccompanied by a duly accredited supervising lawyer should be . . . sworn to observe the rules and ethics of the legal profession and subject to judicial
left to the sound discretion of the court after having made at least one supervised disciplinary control. 4 We said in Bulacan v. Torcino: 5
appearance." 2
Court procedures are often technical and may prove like snares to the ignorant or the
unwary. In the past, our law has allowed non-lawyers to appear for party litigants in
places where duly authorized members of the bar are not available (U.S. vs. Bacansas,
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

6 Phil. 539). For relatively simple litigation before municipal courts, the Rules still allow
a more educated or capable person in behalf of a litigant who cannot get a lawyer. But G.R. No. 154207
for the protection of the parties and in the interest of justice, the requirement for Petitioner,
appearances in regional trial courts and higher courts is more stringent.
Present:
The Law Student Practice Rule is only an exception to the rule. Hence, the presiding
judge should see to it that the law student appearing before the court is properly
guided and supervised by a member of the bar. - versus -

The rule, however, is different if the law student appears before an inferior court, YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,
where the issues and procedure are relatively simple. In inferior courts, a law student
may appear in his personal capacity without the supervision of a lawyer. Section 34
Rule 138 provides; Chairperson,
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
Section 34.By whom litigation is conducted. — In the court of a justice of the peace, a CALLEJO, SR.,
party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed ALBERTO MINA,
by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may CHICO-NAZARIO, and
conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be HON. ELEUTERIO F
either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar. NACHURA, JJ.
GUERRERO and HON.
Thus, a law student may appear before an inferior court as an agent or friend of a ZENAIDA LAGUILLES,
party without the supervision of a member of the bar. Promulgated:
Respondents.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, we hold that a law student appearing before the Regional Trial
Court under the authority of Rule 138-A must be under the direct control and April 27, 2007
supervision of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by x----------------------------------------x
the law school and that said law student must be accompanied by a supervising lawyer
in all his appearance. DECISION

Padilla and Francisco, J.J., on leave. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:

Republic of the Philippines Before the Court is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court,
Supreme Court grounded on pure questions of law, with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction assailing the
Baguio City Resolution dated May 3, 2002 promulgated by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
116, Pasay City, in Civil Case No. 02-0137, which denied the issuance of a writ of
THIRD DIVISION preliminary injunction against the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Branch 45, Pasay
City, in Criminal Case No. 00-1705;[1] and the RTCs Order dated June 5, 2002 denying
FERDINAND A. CRUZ,
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

the Motion for Reconsideration. No writ of preliminary injunction was issued by this subject of Criminal Case No. 00-1705, is one that can be prosecuted de oficio, there
Court. being no claim for civil indemnity, and that therefore, the intervention of a private
prosecutor is not legally tenable.
The antecedents:
On May 9, 2002, the petitioner filed before the RTC a Motion for Reconsideration. The
On September 25, 2000, Ferdinand A. Cruz (petitioner) filed before the MeTC a formal petitioner argues that nowhere does the law provide that the crime of Grave Threats
Entry of Appearance, as private prosecutor, in Criminal Case No. 00-1705 for Grave has no civil aspect. And last, petitioner cites Bar Matter No. 730 dated June 10, 1997
Threats, where his father, Mariano Cruz, is the complaining witness. which expressly provides for the appearance of a non-lawyer before the inferior courts,
as an agent or friend of a party litigant, even without the supervision of a member of
The petitioner, describing himself as a third year law student, justifies his appearance the bar.
as private prosecutor on the bases of Section 34 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and
the ruling of the Court En Banc in Cantimbuhan v. Judge Cruz, Jr.[2] that a non-lawyer Pending the resolution of the foregoing Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC,
may appear before the inferior courts as an agent or friend of a party litigant. The the petitioner filed a Second Motion for Reconsideration dated June 7, 2002 with the
petitioner furthermore avers that his appearance was with the prior conformity of the MeTC seeking the reversal of the March 4, 2002 Denial Order of the said court, on the
public prosecutor and a written authority of Mariano Cruz appointing him to be his strength of Bar Matter No. 730, and a Motion to Hold In Abeyance the Trial dated June
agent in the prosecution of the said criminal case. 10, 2002 of Criminal Case No. 00-1705 pending the outcome of the certiorari
proceedings before the RTC.
However, in an Order dated February 1, 2002, the MeTC denied permission for On June 5, 2002, the RTC issued its Order denying the petitioners Motion for
petitioner to appear as private prosecutor on the ground that Circular No. 19 Reconsideration.
governing limited law student practice in conjunction with Rule 138-A of the Rules of
Court (Law Student Practice Rule) should take precedence over the ruling of the Court Likewise, in an Order dated June 13, 2002, the MeTC denied the petitioners Second
laid down in Cantimbuhan; and set the case for continuation of trial.[3] Motion for Reconsideration and his Motion to Hold in Abeyance the Trial on the
ground that the RTC had already denied the Entry of Appearance of petitioner before
On February 13, 2002, petitioner filed before the MeTC a Motion for Reconsideration the MeTC.
seeking to reverse the February 1, 2002 Order alleging that Rule 138-A, or the Law
Student Practice Rule, does not have the effect of superseding Section 34 of Rule 138, On July 30, 2002, the petitioner directly filed with this Court, the instant Petition and
for the authority to interpret the rule is the source itself of the rule, which is the assigns the following errors:
Supreme Court alone.
I. THE RESPONDENT REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN IT
In an Order dated March 4, 2002, the MeTC denied the Motion for Reconsideration. RESOLVED TO DENY THE PRAYER FOR THE WRIT OF INJUNCTION OF THE HEREIN
On April 2, 2002, the petitioner filed before the RTC a Petition for Certiorari and PETITIONER DESPITE PETITIONER HAVING ESTABLISHED THE NECESSITY OF
Mandamus with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order GRANTING THE WRIT:
against the private respondent and the public respondent MeTC.
II. THE RESPONDENT TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION, TANTAMOUNT TO
After hearing the prayer for preliminary injunction to restrain public respondent MeTC IGNORANCE OF THE LAW, WHEN IT RESOLVED TO DENY THE PRAYER FOR THE WRIT
Judge from proceeding with Criminal Case No. 00-1705 pending the Certiorari OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND THE SUBSEQUENT MOTION FOR
proceedings, the RTC, in a Resolution dated May 3, 2002, resolved to deny the RECONSIDERATION OF THE HEREIN PETITIONER ON THE BASIS THAT [GRAVE]
issuance of an injunctive writ on the ground that the crime of Grave Threats, the
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

THREATS HAS NO CIVIL ASPECT, FOR THE SAID BASIS OF DENIAL IS NOT IN ACCORD LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE
WITH THE LAW;
Section 1. Conditions for Student Practice. A law student who has successfully
III. THE RESPONDENT METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is
IT DENIED THE MOTION TO HOLD IN ABEYANCE TRIAL, WHEN WHAT WAS DENIED enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal education program approved by the
BY THE RESPONDENT REGIONAL TRIAL COURT IS THE ISSUANCE OF THE WRIT OF Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND WHEN THE RESPONDENT REGIONAL TRIAL COURT administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent
IS YET TO DECIDE ON THE MERITS OF THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI; indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.

IV. THE RESPONDENT COURT[S] ARE CLEARLY IGNORING THE LAW WHEN THEY Sec. 2. Appearance. The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be
PATENTLY REFUSED TO HEED TO [sic] THE CLEAR MANDATE OF THE LAPUT, under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the
CANTIMBUHAN AND BULACAN CASES, AS WELL AS BAR MATTER NO. 730, Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs,
PROVIDING FOR THE APPEARANCE OF NON-LAWYERS BEFORE THE LOWER COURTS memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney
(MTCS).[4] for and in behalf of the legal clinic.

This Court, in exceptional cases, and for compelling reasons, or if warranted by the
nature of the issues reviewed, may take cognizance of petitions filed directly before However, in Resolution[6] dated June 10, 1997 in Bar Matter No. 730, the Court En
it.[5] Banc clarified:

Considering that this case involves the interpretation, clarification, and implementation The rule, however, is different if the law student appears before an inferior court,
of Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, Bar Matter No. 730, Circular No. 19 where the issues and procedure are relatively simple. In inferior courts, a law student
governing law student practice and Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court, and the ruling of may appear in his personal capacity without the supervision of a lawyer. Section 34,
the Court in Cantimbuhan, the Court takes cognizance of herein petition. Rule 138 provides:

The basic question is whether the petitioner, a law student, may appear before an Sec. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. - In the court of a justice of the peace, a
inferior court as an agent or friend of a party litigant. party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed
by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may
The courts a quo held that the Law Student Practice Rule as encapsulated in Rule 138- conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be
A of the Rules of Court, prohibits the petitioner, as a law student, from entering his either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.
appearance in behalf of his father, the private complainant in the criminal case without
the supervision of an attorney duly accredited by the law school. Thus, a law student may appear before an inferior court as an agent or friend of a
party without the supervision of a member of the bar.[7] (Emphasis supplied)
Rule 138-A or the Law Student Practice Rule, provides:
The phrase In the court of a justice of the peace in Bar Matter No. 730 is subsequently
RULE 138-A changed to In the court of a municipality as it now appears in Section 34 of Rule 138,
thus:[8]
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

SEC. 34. By whom litigation is conducted. In the Court of a municipality a party may such as espionage, violation of neutrality, flight to an enemy country, and crime
conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him against popular representation.[9] The basic rule applies in the instant case, such that
for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may when a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability
conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney and his appearance must be arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with criminal action,
either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar. (Emphasis supplied) unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it
which is the prevailing rule at the time the petitioner filed his Entry of Appearance with separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.[10]
the MeTC on September 25, 2000. No real distinction exists for under Section 6, Rule 5 The petitioner is correct in stating that there being no reservation, waiver, nor prior
of the Rules of Court, the term "Municipal Trial Courts" as used in these Rules shall institution of the civil aspect in Criminal Case No. 00-1705, it follows that the civil
include Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, Municipal Trial aspect arising from Grave Threats is deemed instituted with the criminal action, and,
Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. hence, the private prosecutor may rightfully intervene to prosecute the civil aspect.
There is really no problem as to the application of Section 34 of Rule 138 and Rule
138-A. In the former, the appearance of a non-lawyer, as an agent or friend of a party WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolution and Order of the
litigant, is expressly allowed, while the latter rule provides for conditions when a law Regional Trial Court, Branch 116, Pasay City are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
student, not as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, may appear before the courts. Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 45, Pasay City is DIRECTED to ADMIT the Entry of
Appearance of petitioner in Criminal Case No. 00-1705 as a private prosecutor under
Petitioner expressly anchored his appearance on Section 34 of Rule 138. The court a the direct control and supervision of the public prosecutor.
quo must have been confused by the fact that petitioner referred to himself as a law
student in his entry of appearance. Rule 138-A should not have been used by the No pronouncement as to costs.
courts a quo in denying permission to act as private prosecutor against petitioner for
the simple reason that Rule 138-A is not the basis for the petitioners appearance. SO ORDERED.

Section 34, Rule 138 is clear that appearance before the inferior courts by a non-
lawyer is allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a law student. As succinctly
clarified in Bar Matter No. 730, by virtue of Section 34, Rule 138, a law student may
appear, as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without the supervision of a lawyer MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
before inferior courts. Associate Justice
Petitioner further argues that the RTC erroneously held that, by its very nature, no civil
liability may flow from the crime of Grave Threats, and, for this reason, the intervention
of a private prosecutor is not possible.
WE CONCUR:
It is clear from the RTC Decision that no such conclusion had been intended by the
RTC. In denying the issuance of the injunctive court, the RTC stated in its Decision that
there was no claim for civil liability by the private complainant for damages, and that
the records of the case do not provide for a claim for indemnity; and that therefore,
petitioners appearance as private prosecutor appears to be legally untenable. CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
Under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, every person criminally liable for a felony Chairperson
is also civilly liable except in instances when no actual damage results from an offense,
LEGAL ETHICS 2019 ASSIGNMENT #2

reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of
the Courts Division.

ROMEO J. CALLEJO, SR. REYNATO S. PUNO


Associate Justice Chief Justice
MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA


Associate Justice

ATTESTATION

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation
before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Courts Division.

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice
Chairperson, Third Division

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairpersons
Attestation, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision had been