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257Phil.930

ENBANC
[G.R.No.71169,August30,1989]
JOSED.SANGALANGANDLUTGARDAD.SANGALANG,
PETITIONERS,FELIXC.GASTONANDDOLORESR.GASTON,
JOSEV.BRIONESANDALICIAR.BRIONES,ANDBELAIR
VILLAGEASSOCIATION,INC.,INTERVENORSPETITIONERS,
VS.INTERMEDIATEAPPELLATECOURTANDAYALA
CORPORATION,RESPONDENTS.
[G.R.NO.74376.AUGUST30,1989]
BELAIRVILLAGEASSOCIATIONINC.,PETITIONER,VS.THE
INTERMEDIATEAPPELLATECOURT,ROSARIODEJESUS
TENORIO,ANDCECILIAGONZALVEZ,RESPONDENTS.
[G.R.NO.76394.AUGUST30,1989]
BELAIRVILLAGEASSOCIATION,INC.,VS.THECOURTOF
APPEALS,ANDEDUARDOANDBUENAROMUALDEZ,
RESPONDENTS.
[G.R.NO.78182.AUGUST30,1989]
BELAIRVILLAGEASSOCIATION,INC.,PETITIONER,VS.
COURTOFAPPEALS,DOLORESFILLEYANDJ.ROMERO&
ASSOCIATES,RESPONDENTS.
[G.R.NO.82281.AUGUST30,1989]
BELAIRVILLAGEASSOCIATION,INC.,PETITIONER,VS.
COURTOFAPPEALS,VIOLETAMONCAL,ANDMAJAL
DEVELOPMENTCORPORATION,RESPONDENTS.
RESOLUTION
SARMIENTO,J.:
The incident before the Court refers to charges for contempt against Atty. J.
Cezar Sangco, counsel for the petitioners Spouses Jose and Lutgarda
Sangalang.(G.R.No.71169.)
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On February 2, 1989, the Court issued a Resolution, requiring, among other


things, Atty. Sangco to show cause why he should not be punished for
contempt "for using intemperate and accusatory language."[1] On March 2,
1989,Atty.Sangcofiledanexplanation.
The Court finds Atty. Sangco's remarks in his motion for reconsideration,
reproducedasfollows:
...
ThisDecisionofthisCourtintheaboveentitledcasereadsmorelikeaBrieffor
Ayala...[2]
...
... [t]he Court not only put to serious question its own integrity and
competencebutalsojeopardizeditsowncampaignagainstgraftandcorruption
undeniablypervadingthejudiciary...[3]
...
Theblatantdisregardofcontrolling,documentedandadmittedfactsnotputin
issue, such as those summarily ignored in this case the extraordinary efforts
exerted to justify such arbitrariness and the very strained and unwarranted
conclusionsdrawntherefrom,areunparalleledinthehistoryofthisCourt...[4]
...
. . . [T]o ignore the fact that Jupiter Street was originally constructed for the
exclusive benefit of the residents of BelAir Village, or rule that respondent
Court'sadmissionofsaidfactis"inaccurate",asAyala'sCounselhimselfwould
like to do but did not even contend, is a manifestation of this Court's unusual
partialitytoAyalaandputstoseriousquestionitsintegrityonthataccount.[5]
...
...[i]tissubmittedthatthisrulingisthemostseriousreflectionontheCourt's
competenceandintegrityandexemplifiesitsmanifestpartialitytowardsAyala.
Itisablatantdisregardofdocumentedandincontrovertibleanduncontroverted
factual findings of the trial court fully supported by the records and the true
significance of those facts which both the respondent court and this Court did
notbothertoreadandconsequentlydidnotconsideranddiscuss,leastofallin
the manner it did with respect to those in which it arrived at conclusions
favorabletoAyala.[6]
...
TototallydisregardAyala'swrittenletterofapplicationforspecialmembership
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inBAVAwhichclearlystatethatsuchmembershipisnecessarybecauseitisa
new development in their relationship with respect to its intention to give its
commerciallotbuyersanequalrighttotheuseofJupiterStreetwithoutgiving
anyreasontherefor,smacksofjudicialarrogance...[7]
...
...[A]realltheseunusualexerciseofsucharbitrarinessabovesuspicion?Will
thecurrentcampaignofthisCourtagainstgraftandcorruptioninthejudiciary
beenhancedbysuchbroaddiscretionarypowerofcourts?[8]
disparaging, intemperate, and uncalledfor. His suggestions that the Court
mighthavebeenguiltyofgraftandcorruptioninactingonthesecasesarenot
only unbecoming, but comes, as well, as an open assault upon the Court's
honorandintegrity.Inrenderingitsjudgment,theCourtyieldedtotherecords
before it, and to the records alone, and not to outside influences, much less,
the influence of any of the parties. Atty. Sangco, as a former judge of an
inferiorcourt,shouldknowbetterthatinanylitigation,onepartyprevails,but
hissuccesswillnotjustifyindictmentsofbriberybytheotherparty.Heshould
beawarethatbecauseofhisaccusations,hehasdoneanenormousdisservice
totheintegrityofthehighesttribunalandtothestabilityoftheadministration
ofjusticeingeneral.
Asaformerjudge,Atty.Sangcoalsohastobeawarethatwearenotboundby
thefindingsofthetrialcourt(inwhichhisclientsprevailed).Butifwedidnot
agreewiththefindingsofthecourtaquo,itdoesnotfollowthatwehadacted
arbitrarilybecause,precisely,itistheofficeofanappealtoreviewthefindings
oftheinferiorcourt.
Tobesure,Atty.Sangcoisentitledtohisopinion,butnottoalicensetoinsult
the Court with derogatory statements and recourses to argumenta ad
hominem.In that event, it is the Court's duty "to act to preserve the honor
anddignity...andtosafeguardthemoralsandethicsofthelegalprofession."
[9]

We are not satisfied with his explanation that he was merely defending the
interestsofhisclients.AsweheldinLaureta,alawyer's"firstdutyisnotto
hisclientbuttotheadministrationofjusticetothatend,hisclient'ssuccessis
whollysubordinateandhisconductoughttoandmustalwaysbescrupulously
observantoflawandethics."[10]Andwhilealawyermustadvocatehisclient's
causeinutmostearnestandwiththemaximumskillhecanmarshal,heisnot
atlibertytoresorttoarrogance,intimidation,andinnuendo.
That"[t]hequestionspropoundedwerenotmeantorintendedtoaccusebutto
...challengethethinkingintheDecision,[11]comesasaneleventhhoureffort
tocleansewhatisinfactandplainly,anunfoundedaccusation.Certainly,itis
theprerogativeofanunsuccessfulpartytoaskforreconsideration,butaswe
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heldinLaureta,litigantsshouldnot"'thinkthattheywillwinahearingbythe
sheer multiplication of words'."[12] As we indicated (see Decision denying the
motions for reconsideration in G.R. Nos. 71169, 74376, 76394, 78182, and
82281,anddecidingG.R.No.60727,datedAugust25,1989),themovantshave
raisednonewargumentstowarrantreconsiderationandtheycannotveilthat
factwithinflammatorylanguage.
Atty.Sangcohimselfadmitsthat"[a]sajudgeIhavelearnedtolivewithandacceptwith
gracecriticismsofmydecisions."[13]Apparently,hedoesnotpracticewhathepreaches.Of
course, the Court is not unreceptive to comment and critique of its decisions, but provided
theyarefairanddignified.Atty.Sangcohastranscendedthelimitsoffaircommentforwhich
hedeservesthisCourt'srebuke.
In our "showcause" Resolution, we sought to hold Atty. Sangco in contempt,
specifically,forresorttoinsultinglanguageamountingtodisrespecttowardthe
Court within the meaning of Section 1, of Rule 71, of the Rules of Court.
Clearly,however,hisactalsoconstitutesmalpracticeasthetermisdefinedby
Canon11oftheCodeofProfessionalResponsibility,asfollows:
CANON 11 A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE AND MAINTAIN THE
RESPECT DUE TO THE COURTS AND TO JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND
SHOULDINSISTONSIMILARCONDUCTBYOTHERS.
Rule11.01...
Rule11.02...
Rule 11.03 A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or
menacinglanguageorbehaviorbeforetheCourts.
Rule 11.04 A lawyer should not attri
bute to a Judge motives not
supportedbytherecordorhavenomaterialitytothecase.
Rule11.05...
Thus, aside from contempt, Atty. Sangco faces punishment for professional
misconductormalpractice.
WHEREFORE: Atty. J. Cezar Sangco is (1) SUSPENDED from the practice of
lawforthree(3)monthseffectivefromreceipthereof,and(2)ORDEREDtopay
afineofP500.00payablefromreceipthereof.LetacopyofthisResolutionbe
enteredinhisrecord.
ITISSOORDERED.
Fernan,C.J.,MelencioHerrera,Cruz,Paras,Feliciano,Gancayco,Padilla,Bidin,
Cortes,GrioAquino,Medialdea,andRegalado,JJ.,concur.
Narvasa,J.,Nopartonaccountofcloseassociation
Gutierrez,Jr.,J.,Nopart.IhavebeenincloseassociationwithJudgeSangco
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inthepast.

Rollo,G.R.No.71169,410.

[1]

Id.,387.

[2]

Id.

[3]

Id.,388.

[4]

Id.

[5]

Id.,394.

[6]

Id.,407.

[7]

Id.,408.

[8]

InRe:WenceslaoLaureta,March12,1987,148SCRA382,400.

[9]

Supra,422.

[10]

Rollo,id.,416.

[11]

InRe:Laureta,supra,402.

[12]

Rollo,id.,417.

[13]

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