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RBCI v FLORIDO A.C. No. 5736, June 18, 2010 CARPIO, J.

FACTS: Rural Bank of Calape, Inc. filed a complaint for disbarment against respondent. RBCI alleged that respondent violated his oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. According to RBCI, respondent and his clients, Nazareno-Relampagos group, through force and intimidation, forcibly took over the management and the premises of RBCI. They also forcibly evicted Cirilo A. Garay, the bank manager, destroyed the banks vault, and installed their own staff to run the bank. Respondent added that the criminal complaint for malicious mischief filed against him by RBCI was already dismissed; while the complaint for grave coercion was ordered suspended because of the existence of a prejudicial question. Respondent said that the disbarment complaint was filed against him in retaliation for the administrative cases he filed against RBCIs counsel and the trial court judges of Bohol. Moreover, respondent claimed that RBCI failed to present any evidence to prove their allegations. Respondent added that the affidavits attached to the complaint were never identified, affirmed, or confirmed by the affiants and that none of the documentary exhibits were originals or certified true copies. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent violated his oath and the CPR Canon 19. HELD: The Court held that respondent was guilty as charged and suspended for a year. The first and foremost duty of a lawyer is to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of the land. It is the lawyers duty to promote respect for the law and legal processes and to abstain from activities aimed at defiance of the law or lessening confidence in the legal system. Canon 19 of the Code provides that a lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within the bounds of the law. It is his duty to counsel his clients to use peaceful and lawful methods in seeking justice and refrain from doing an intentional wrong to their adversaries. A lawyers duty is not to his client but to the administration of justice. To that end, his clients success is wholly subordinate. His conduct ought to and must always be scrupulously observant of the law and ethics.Any means, not honorable, fair and honest which is resorted to by the lawyer, even in the pursuit of his devotion to his clients cause, is condemnable and unethical.