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RODRIGO E. TAPAY and J. RUSTIA, Complainants, versus ATTY. CHARLIE L. BANCOLO and ATTY. JANUS T. JARDER, Respondents. A.C.

No. 9604 March 20 20!3 Attorney; a lawyer shall not assist in the unauthorized practice of law. FACTS: Rodrigo Tapay and Anthony Rustia, both employees of the Sugar Regulatory Administration received an Order from the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas requiring them to file a counter-affidavit to a complaint for usurpation of authority, falsification of public document, and graft and corrupt practices filed against them by Nehimias Divinagracia, Jr., a co-employee. The Complaint was allegedly signed on behalf of Divinagracia by Atty. Charlie L. Bancolo. When Atty. Bancolo and Rustia accidentally chanced upon each other, the latter informed Atty. Bancolo of the case filed against them. Atty. Bancolo denied that he represented Divinagracia since he had yet to meet Divinagracia and declared that the signature in the Complaint was not his. Thus, Atty. Bancolo signed an affidavit denying the said signature. This affidavit was used by Tapay and Rustia in filing a counter-affidavit accusing Divinagracia of falsifying the signature of Atty. Bancolo. Divinagracia, denying the same, presented as evidence an affidavit by Richard A. Cordero, the legal assistant of Atty. Bancolo, that the Jarder Bancolo Law Office accepted Divinagracias case and that the Complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman was signed by the office secretary per Atty. Bancolos instructions. The case was then dismissed. Tapay and Rustia then later filed with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines a complaint to disbar Atty. Bancolo and Atty. Jarder, Atty. Bancolos law partner. The complainants alleged that not only were respondents engaging in unprofessional and unethical practices, they were also involved in falsification of documents used to harass and persecute innocent people. In their Answer, respondents admitted that due to some minor lapses, Atty. Bancolo permitted that the pleadings be signed in his name by the secretary of the law office. After investigation, Atty. Lolita A. Quisumbing, the Investigating Commissioner of the Commission on Bar Discipline of the IBP, submitted her Report. Atty. Quisumbing found that Atty. Bancolo violated Rule 9.01 of Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility while Atty. Jarder violated Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the same Code, and recommended that Atty. Bancolo be suspended for two years from the practice of law and Atty. Jarder be admonished for his failure to exercise certain responsibilities in their law firm. ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Bancolo is guilty of violating Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. HELD: YES. Atty. Bancolo admitted that the Complaint he filed for a former client before the Office of the Ombudsman was signed in his name by a secretary of his law office. He likewise categorically stated that because of some minor lapses, the communications and pleadings filed against Tapay and Rustia were signed by his secretary, albeit with his tolerance. Clearly, he violated Rule 9.01 of Canon 9 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), which provides: CANON 9 A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ASSIST IN THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW. Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the Bar in good standing.

Atty. Bancolos authority and duty to sign a pleading are personal to him. Although he may delegate the signing of a pleading to another lawyer, he may not delegate it to a non-lawyer. Further, under the Rules of Court, a counsels signature serves as a certification that (1) he has read the pleading; (2) to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is good ground to support it; and (3) it is not interposed for delay. Thus, by affixing ones signature to a pleading, it is counsel alone who has the responsibility to certify to these matters and give legal effect to the document. For violating rule 9.01 of the CPR, Atty. Bacolo was meted with the penalty the suspension from the practice of law for one year.

GLORIA P. JINON, Complainant, versus ATTY. LEONARDO E. JIZ, Respondent. A.C. No. 9615 MARCH 5, 2013

Attorney; duty to hold in trust money received from client.

FACTS: Gloria Jinon entrusted two land titles covering properties owned by their deceased parents to her sister-in-law, Viola J. Jinon: the Sta. Barbara Property and the Leganes Property, both situated in Iloilo. Eventually, Gloria sold the Sta. Barbara Property, which resulted in disagreements between her and Viola regarding their respective shares in the proceeds. Consequently, Viola refused to return to Gloria the Leganes Property, prompting Gloria to engage the services of Atty. Jiz to recover the said title and paid an acceptance fee of 17,000.00. Atty. Jiz assured the transfer of the title in Gloria's name. Later, Gloria, upon Atty. Jiz's instructions, remitted the amount of 45,000.00 to answer for the expenses of the transfer. However, she was later surprised to learn from Atty. Jiz that a certain Atty. Caras was handling the same, and when she visited the Leganes Property, which has been leased out, she discovered that Atty. Jiz has been collecting the rentals for several months amounting to 12,000.00. When she demanded for the rentals, Atty. Jiz gave her only 7,000.00, explaining that the balance of 5,000.00 would be added to the expenses needed for the transfer of the title. Gloria terminated the legal services of Atty. Jiz and demand the return of the amounts of 45,000.00 and 5,000.00, which has remained unheeded. Hence, Gloria filed an administrative complaint praying that Atty. Jiz be ordered to reimburse the said amounts and be meted disciplinary action that the Court may deem fit under the circumstances. On his part, Atty. Jiz asseverated that he was not remiss in his legal duties to Gloria. Denying liability to reimburse Gloria for any amount, he claimed that he had rendered the corresponding legal services to her with fidelity and candor. Commissioner Cecilio A.C. Villanueva of the Commission on Bar Discipline then later submitted its Report and Recommendation, which was adopted with modification by the IBP Board of Governors finding Atty Jiz remiss in his duty and is to suspended from the practice of law for two years and to reimburse the amount of P45,000.00 and 12% interest from the time he received the amount. ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Jiz should be held administratively liable for having been remiss in his duties as a lawyer with respect to the legal services he had undertaken to perform for his client, Gloria. HELD: After a careful perusal of the records, the Court concurs with the findings of Commissioner Villanueva and the IBP Board of Governors that Atty. Jiz was remiss in his duties as a lawyer in neglecting his clients case, misappropriating her funds and

disobeying the CBDs lawful orders requiring the submission of his pleadings and his attendance at hearings. He should thus be suspended from the practice of law in conformity with prevailing jurisprudence. The practice of law is considered a privilege bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess and continue to possess the legal qualifications for the profession. As such, lawyers are expected to maintain at all times a high standard of legal proficiency, morality, honesty, integrity and fair dealing, and must perform their four-fold duty to society, the legal profession, the courts and their clients, in accordance with the values and norms embodied in the Code. Lawyers may, thus, be disciplined for any conduct that is wanting of the above standards whether in their professional or in their private capacity. The Code of Professional Responsibility provides: CANON 16 A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT COME INTO HIS POSSESSION. RULE 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. x xx xxx x xx RULE 16.03 A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. x xx xxx xxx CANON 18. A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE. x xx xxx xxx Moreover, money entrusted to a lawyer for a specific purpose, such as for the processing of transfer of land title, but not used for the purpose, should be immediately returned. A lawyers failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the trust reposed to him by his client. Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics. It impairs public confidence in the legal profession and deserves punishment. LABOR Wuerth Philippines, Inc. vs. Rodante Ynson G.R. No. 175932. February 15, 2012 Third Division Disease as a ground for termination FACTS: Wuerth Philippines, Inc. (petitioner) hired Rodante Ynson (respondent)) as its National Sales Manager (NSM) for Automotive. He failed to report to work starting January 26, 2003 and turned out that on Jan. 24, 2003, he suffered a stroke and was confined at the Davao Doctors Hospital. He requested that administrative work be given to him while in Davao City, until completion of his therapy. The request was disapproved because petitioner did not have a branch in Davao.

Ynson was later sent two communications to appear in investigations for absence without leave, abandonment of work and gross inefficiency. In his reply letters, he gave as a reason for his inability to attend investigations in Manila the recommendation of his doctors that he should continue with his rehabilitation. The medical certificate dated June 4, 2003 issued by an attending physician showed, among others, that Ynson was allowed to resume work, but advised to continue rehabilitation for at least another month and a half. Not satisfied with respondents explanation, petitioner terminated Ynsons employment in a letter dated Aug. 27, 2003 on the ground of continued absences without filing a leave of absence. Ynson then filed a Complaint against petitioner for illegal dismissal and non-payment of allowances in the NLRC which held respondents guilty of illegal dismissal and ordered petitioner's reinstatement. Aggrieved, they filed before the CA a Petition for Certiorari. The CA ruled that pursuant to Article 284 of the Labor Code, respondents illness is considered an authorized cause to justify his termination from employment. The CA ruled that although petitioner did not comply with the medical certificate requirement before respondents dismissal was effected, this was offset by respondent's absence for more than the six (6)-month period that the law allows an employee to be on leave in order to recover from an ailment. Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari. ISSUE: Whether or not Ynsons dismissal was illegal. HELD: No. The Supreme Court agreed with the CA's ruling. With regard to disease as a ground for termination, Article 284 of the Labor Code provides that an employer may terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health, as well as to the health of his co-employees. In order to validly terminate employment on this ground, Section 8, Rule I, Book VI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code requires that: (i) the employee be suffering from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his co-employees, and a certification by a competent public health authority that the disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured within a period of six (6) months even with proper medical treatment.

(ii)

If the disease or ailment can be cured within the period, the employer shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employee to take a leave. The employer shall reinstate such employee to his former position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health. In Triple Eight Integrated Services, Inc. v. NLRC (G.R. No. 129584, December 3, 1998), the Court held that the requirement for a medical certificate under Article 284 of the Labor Code cannot be dispensed with; otherwise, it would sanction the unilateral and arbitrary determination by the employer of the gravity or extent of the employees illness and, thus, defeat the public policy on the protection of labor. In this case, Ynson should have reported back to work or attended the investigations conducted by Wuerth Philippines, Inc. immediately upon being permitted to work by his doctors, knowing that his position remained vacant for a considerable length of time. However, he did not even show any sincere effort to return to work. Clearly, since there is no more hindrance for him to return to work and attend the investigations set by Wuerth Philippines, Inc., Ynsons failure to do so was without any valid or justifiable reason. His conduct shows his indifference and utter disregard of his work and his employers interest, and displays his clear, deliberate, and gross dereliction of duties.

The power to dismiss an employee is a recognized prerogative inherent in the employers right to freely manage and regulate his business. The law, in protecting the rights of the laborers, authorizes neither oppression nor self-destruction of the employer. The workers right to security of tenure is not an absolute right, for the law provides that he may be dismissed for cause. As a general rule, employers are allowed wide latitude of discretion in terminating the employment of managerial personnel. The mere existence of a basis for believing that such employee has breached the trust and confidence of his employer would suffice for his dismissal. Needless to say, an irresponsible employee like Ynson does not deserve a position in the workplace, and it is Wuerth Philippines, Inc.s management prerogative to terminate his employment. To be sure, an employer cannot be compelled to continue with the employment of workers when continued employment will prove inimical to the employers interest.

Romeo A. Galang vs. Citiland Shaw Tower, Inc. and Virgilio Baldemor G.R. No. 173291 February 8, 2012 Second Division Employee dismissal; due process FACTS: Petitioner Romeo Galang was absorbed as a janitor by respondent Cityland after the expiration of his contract with Gayren Maintenance Services. During his employment with the respondent, he was found to be a remiss in the performance of his job and he failed, too, to conduct himself as a good employee. At times, he would disobey the orders of his supervisor, Eva Tupas, Citylands janitorial services head. In the face of Galangs negative work attitude and job performance, Cityland charged him with gross insubordination, harassment of his co-employees and conduct unbecoming an employee. Later, Galang was terminated. The respondents stressed that Citylands Board of Directors terminated Galangs services, for gross insubordination, effective May 20, 2002, after a comprehensive examination of the accusation against complainant. Petitioner Galang then filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, The Court of Appeals (CA) declared that Galang had been dismissed for a just cause. However, it ordered Cityland to pay him nominal damages of P30,000.00 for its violation of Galangs right to procedural due process. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the petitioner's right to due process was violated 2. Whether or not the petitioner was dismissed for a just cause. RULING: 1. Yes. The Supreme Court concurred with the CAs conclusion that Cityland did not afford Galang the required notice before he was dismissed. As the CA noted, the investigation conference Tupas called to look into the janitors complaints against Galang, did not constitute the written notice required by law as he had no clear idea what the charges were. Thus, the CA committed no error in sustaining his dismissal and awarding him nominal damages as indemnity. 2. The Supreme Court found that Galang had become unfit to continue his employment. The evidence supports the view that he continued to exhibit undesirable traits as an employee and as a person, in relation to both his co-workers and his superiors, particularly Tupas, her immediate supervisor. Quoting the Court of Appeals decision

with approval, the Supreme Court held: Without offering any possible ill motive that might have impelled [the respondents] to summarily dismiss [Galang], who admitted having been absorbed by the former as janitor upon the termination of his contract with his agency, this Court is more inclined to give credence to the evidence pointing to the conclusion that [Galangs] employment was actually severed for a just cause.