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(Saburnido vs.Madrono, 366 SCRA 1, September 26,2001)

Facts: Spouses Venustiano and Rosalia Saburnido filed an administrative complaint
for disbarment against Atty. Florante Madro Complainants allege that respondent
has been harassing them by filing numerous complaints against them, in addition to
committing acts of dishonesty. The cases filed were:
1. Adm. Case No. 90-0755, for serious irregularity, filed by respondent against
Venustiano Saburnido.
2. Adm. Case No. 90-0758, for falsification, filed by respondent against Venustiano
Saburnido and two others.
3. Crim. Case No. 93-67, for evasion through negligence under Article 224 of the
Revised Penal Code, filed by respondent against Venustiano Saburnido.
4. Adm. Case No. 95-33, filed by respondent against Rosalia
Saburnido for violation of the Omnibus Election Code.
Previous to this case, complainants (spouses Saburnido) also filed 3 separate
administrative cases against respondent, which led to the latters dismissal from the
judiciary and forfeiture of his retirement benefits.
SC referred this case to the IBP, the latter concluded hat complainants submitted
convincing proof that respondent indeed committed acts constituting gross
misconduct that warrant the imposition of administrative sanction. The IBP
recommends that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for one year.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Madronos act of filling multiple complaints constitute
gross misconduct that will warrant the imposition of administrative sanctions.
Held: YES. A lawyer may be disciplined for any conduct, in his professional or
private capacity, that renders him unfit to continue to be an officer of the court.
Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility commands all lawyers to at all
times uphold the dignity and integrity of the legal profession. Clearly, respondents
act of filing multiple complaints against herein complainants reflects on his fitness
to be a member of the legal profession. His act evinces vindictiveness, a decidedly
undesirable trait whether in a lawyer or another individual, as complainants were
instrumental in respondents dismissal from the judiciary. We see in respondents
tenacity in pursuing several cases against complainants not the persistence of one
who has been grievously wronged but the obstinacy of one who is trying to exact
Respondents action erodes rather than enhances public perception of the legal
profession. It constitutes gross misconduct for which he may be suspended,
following Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.
We find that suspension from the practice of law is sufficient to discipline
respondent. The supreme penalty of disbarment is meted out only in clear cases of
misconduct that seriously affect the standing and character of the lawyer as an

officer of the court. While we will not hesitate to remove an erring attorney from the
esteemed brotherhood of lawyers, where the evidence calls for it, we will also not
disbar him where a lesser penalty will suffice to accomplish the desired end. In this
case, we find suspension to be a sufficient sanction against respondent. Suspension,
we may add, is not primarily intended as a punishment, but as a means to protect
the public and the legal profession.
A.C. No. 5379 May 9, 2003 ( YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.) Young filed a complaint for
disbarment against respondents for committing deliberate falsehood in court &
violating the lawyers oath.
Young is the private prosecutor in the murder case, P vs. Arana. Batuegas & Llantino
were counsels for accused, Counsels for accused filed a Manifestation w/Motion for
Bail alleging that their client voluntarily surrendered to a person in authority on Dec
13,2000 but when in fact accused was only in custody on Dec 14, 2000, as shown
by the Certificate of Detention executed by Atty. Rogelio M. Mamauag, Chief of the
Security Management Division of the NBI. Clerk of court, Susa, also a respondent on
this case filed the motion on Dec 15, 2000 despite the irregularities of the case of
(lack of notice of hearing to the private complainant, violation of the three-day
notice rule, and failure to attach the Certificate of Detention which was referred to
in the Motion as Annex).
WON the counsel is guilty of deliberate falsehood in declaring custody of the
WON the prosecutor must be given a reasonable notice of hearing.
WON the clerk of court would be held liable for wrong entry.
YES, To knowingly allege an untrue statement of fact in the pleading is a
contemptuous conduct that the court strongly condemn. They violated their oath
when they resorted to deception. Whether bail is a matter of right or discretion,
reasonable notice of hearing is required to be given to the prosecutor or fiscal, or at
least, he must be asked for his recommendation. In the case at bar, the prosecution
was served with notice of hearing of the motion for bail two days prior to the
scheduled date. Although a motion may be heard on short notice, respondents
failed to show any good cause to justify the non-observance of the three-day notice
rule. Verily, as lawyers, they are obliged to observe the rules of procedure and not
to misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. Clerk of court should not be made
administratively liable for including the Motion in the calendar of the trial court,
considering that it was authorized by the presiding judge. However, he is reminded
that his administrative functions, although not involving the discretion or judgment
of a judge, are vital to the prompt and sound administration of justice. Thus, he
should not hesitate to inform the judge if he should find any act or conduct on the
part of lawyers which are contrary to the established rules of procedure.
RULING Batuegas, Nazareno and LLantino suspended for 6 months. Complaint
against Susa, dismissed for lack of merit.