Sie sind auf Seite 1von 23


248 SCRA 68 (September 7, 1995)

The Case:
Petitioners: The Complainants, former clients of the respondent, pray that the latter be disbarred for "malpractice,
neglect and other offenses which may be discovered during the actual investigation of this complaint." Attached in
Dt and malpractice of law that they lost
their case to Judge Capulong and their appeal in the Court of Appeals.

Respondent: The unfavorable judgment by the Regional Trial Court in the case is not imputable to [his] mistake but
rather imputable to the merits of the case. He further claims that the complainants filed this case to harass him
because he refused to share his attorney's fees in the main labor case he had handled for them. The respondent
then prays for the dismissal of this complaint for utter lack of merit, since his failure to file the answer was cured
and, even granting for the sake of argument that such failure amounted to negligence, it cannot warrant his
disbarment or suspension from the practice of the law profession.

The Antecedent Facts:
Santiago, Hontiveros, Manas, and Nordista, members of Far Eastern University Faculty Association (FEUFA), were
alleged to have illegally expelled Paulino Salvador from the union. The latter filed a complaint with the Dept. of
Labor and Employment (DOLE) which ruled in favor of Salvador. Subsequently, Salvador filed with the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Valenzuela a complaint against the complainants for actual, moral, and exemplary damages
and attorney's fees.

The respondent, As the complainants' counsel, filed a motion to dismiss the said case on grounds of (1) res
judicata and (2) lack of jurisdiction. Later, he filed a supplemental motion to dismiss. Judge Capulong granted the
motion but was later re-^and required the complainants herein
to file their answer within a nonextendible period of fifteen days from notice. Instead of filing an answer, the
respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and dismissal of the case. This motion having been denied, the
respondent filed with this Court a petition for certiorari. Both petition and the subsequent motion for
The respondent then filed a
motion to set aside the order of default and to stop the ex-parte reception of evidence before the Clerk of Court,
but to no avail. Thereafter, the RTC rendered judgment in favor of Salvador. Complainants, assisted by respondent,
elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals but affirmed the decision in toto by the RTC.

The respondent admits that it was his duty to file an answer in the civil case/ He justifies his failure to
do so n his overzealousness to question the Denial Order of the trial court, so he instead, thru
honest mistake and excusable neglect, filed a PETITION FOR CERTIORARI with the Honorable
Court, and, when the Court of Appeals, to which G.R. No. 100983 was referred, dismissed the
petition, he again "inadvertently" failed to file an answer due to honest mistake and because of his
mistake but was "deliberate, malicious and calculated to place them on the legal disadvantage, to
their damage and prejudice" for, as admitted by him in his motion to set aside the order of default,
his failure to do so was "due to volume and pressure of legal work."

Issue: Whether the respondent committed culpable negligence, as would warrant disciplinary action, in failing to
file for the complainants an answer in Civil Case No. 3526-V-91.

Ruling: It is axiomatic that no lawyer is obliged to act either as adviser or advocate for every person who may wish
to become his client. He has the right to decline employment, subject, however, to Canon 14 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility . Once he agrees to take up the cause of a client, the lawyer owes fidelity to such
cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. He must serve the client with
competence and diligence, and champion the latter's cause with wholehearted fidelity, care, and devotion. Else
wise stated, he owes entire devotion to the interest of the client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his
client's rights, and the exertion of his utmost learning and ability to the end that nothing be taken or withheld from
his client, save by the rules of law, legally applied. This simply means that his client is entitled to the benefit of any
and every remedy and defense that is authorized by the law of the land and he may expect his lawyer to assert
every such remedy or defense. If much is demanded from an attorney, it is because the entrusted privilege to
practice law carries with it the correlative duties not only to the client but also to the court, to the bar, and to
the public. A lawyer who performs his duty with diligence and candor not only protects the interest of his client;
he also serves the ends of justice, does honor to the bar, and helps maintain the respect of the community to
the legal profession.

Pressure and large volume of legal work provide no excuse for the respondent's inability to exercise
due diligence in the performance of his duty to file an answer. Every case a lawyer accepts deserves
his full attention, diligence, skill, and competence, regardless of its importance and whether he
accepts it for a fee or for free.
All told, the respondent committed a breach of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
which requires him to serve his clients, the complainants herein, with diligence and, more
specifically, Rule 18.03 thereof which provides: "A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted
to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable."

2.) Cantiller vs. Potenciano, 180 SCRA 246 (1989)

Facts: Humberto V. Potenciano is a practicing lawyer and a member of the Philippine Bar under Roll No.
21862. He is charged with deceit, fraud, and misrepresentation, and also with gross misconduct,
malpractice and of acts unbecoming of an officer of the court.

An action for ejectment was filed against Peregrina Cantiller. The court issued a decision against the
latter. A notice to vacate was then issued against Cantiller.

Cantiller then asked the respondent to handle their case. The complainant was made to sign by
respondent what she described as a "[h]astily prepared, poorly conceived, and haphazardly composed

The petition was filed with the Regional Trial Court in Pasig, Manila. Respondent demanded from the

Canon 14. Lawyer shall not refuse his services to the needy.

14.01 - ause
his own opinion regarding the guilt of said person.

14.02 A lawyer shall not decline, except for serious and sufficient cause, an appointment as counsel de oficio or as amicus curiae or
a request from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any of its chapters for rendition of free legal aid.

14.03 A lawyer shall not refuse to accept representation of an indigent client unless: (a) he is not in position to carry out the work
effectively or completely; (b) he labors under conflict of interest between him and the present client and the prospective client.

14.04 A lawyer who accepts the cause of a person unable to pay his professional fees shall observe the same standard of conduct
governing his relations with paying clients.

complainant P l,000.00 as attorney's fee. However the judge of the said court asked the respondent to
withdraw as counsel by reason of their friendship.

Later, Cantiller paid Potenciano P2,000.00 as demanded by the latter which was allegedly needed to be
paid to another judge who will issue the restraining order but eventually Potenciano did not succeed in
locating the judge.

Complainant paid P 10,000.00 to Potenciano by virtue of the demand of the latter. The amount was
allegedly to be deposited with the Treasurer's Office of Pasig as purchase price of the apartment and P
1,000.00 to cover the expenses of the suit needed in order for the complainant to retain the possession
of the property. But later on Cantiller found out that the amounts were not necessary to be paid. A
demand was made against Potenciano but the latter did not answer and the amounts were not returned.

as counsel for complainant. Complainant was not able to get another lawyer as replacement. Hence, the
order to vacate was eventually enforced and executed.

Issue: Whether or not Potenciano breached his duties as counsel of Cantiller.

Held: When a lawyer takes a client's cause, he thereby covenants that he will exert all effort for its
prosecution until its final conclusion. The failure to exercise due diligence or the abandonment of a
client's cause makes such lawyer unworthy of the trust which the client had reposed on him. The acts of
respondent in this case violate the most elementary principles of professional ethics.

The Court finds that respondent failed to exercise due diligence in protecting his client's interests.
Respondent had knowledge beforehand that he would be asked by the presiding judge to withdraw his
appearance as counsel by reason of their friendship. Despite such prior knowledge, respondent took no
steps to find a replacement nor did he inform complainant of this fact.

Lawyers should be fair, honest, respectable, above suspicion and beyond reproach in dealing with their
clients. The profession is not synonymous with an ordinary business proposition. It is a matter of public

3.) A.C. No. 3283 July 13, 1995
RODOLFO MILLARE, petitioner, vs. ATTY. EUSTAQUIO Z. MONTERO, respondent.
Pacifica Millare, the mother of the complainant, obtained a favorable judgment from the MTC of Abra
which ordered Elsa Dy Co to vacate the premises subject of the ejectment case (Civil Case No. 844). Co,
through respondent as counsel, appealed the decision to the RTC. She neither filed a supersedeas bond
nor paid the rentals adjudged by the MTC. The RTC affirmed in toto the decision of the MTC.
The CA dismissed Co's appeal from the decision of the RTC for failure to comply with Section 22 of B.P.
Blg. 129 and Section 22(b) of the Interim Rules and Guidelines. According to the CA, Co should have
filed a petition for review and not an ordinary appeal.
The judgment of the MTC became final and executory on November 19, 1986.

Respondent filed a total of six appeals, complaints or petitions to frustrate the execution of the MTC
judgment in Civil Case No. 844, to wit:
(1) Civil Case No. 344 Appeal from the decision rendered in Civil Case No. 844 of the Municipal Trial
Court, Bangued, Abra, with the Regional Trial Court, Abra;
(2) CA-G.R. CV No. 11404 Appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Abra;
(3) CA-G.R. SP No. 11690 An Action For the Annulment of Decisions And/Or Reformation or Novation
of Decisions filed with the Court of Appeals;
(4) G.R. No. 86084 Petition For Review On Certiorari filed with the Supreme Court;
(5) CA-G.R. SP No. 17040 Appeal And/Or Review By Certiorari, Etc. filed also with the Court of
Appeals; and,
(6) SP Civil Action No. 624 Petition For Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus with Preliminary Issuance of
Prohibitory Order filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 1, Bangued, Abra.
1. Whether or not respondent resorted to devious and underhanded means to delay the execution of the
judgment rendered by the MTC adverse to his clients. YES
2. Whether or not respondent is guilty of forum shopping. YES
Under Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer is required to represent his client
"within the bounds of the law." The Code enjoins a lawyer to employ only fair and honest means to attain
the lawful objectives of his client (Rule 19.01) and warns him not to allow his client to dictate the
procedure in handling the case (Rule 19.03). In short, a lawyer is not a gun for hire.
Under Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer is required to exert every effort and
consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. A lawyer shall not file
multiple actions arising from the same cause (Rule 12.02). A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case,
impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court processes (Rule 12.04)
The rights of respondent's client in Civil Case No. 844 of the MTC were fully protected and her defenses
were properly ventilated when he filed the appeal from the MTC to the RTC. But respondent thereafter
resorted to devious and underhanded means to delay the execution of the judgment rendered by the
MTC adverse to his client. The said decision became executory even pending its appeal with the RTC
because of the failure of Co to file a supersedeas bond and to pay the monthly rentals as they fell due.
Furthermore, his petition for annulment of the decisions of the MTC and RTC which he filed with the CA
(CA-G.R. No. 11690) was defective and dilatory. According to the CA, there was no allegation therein that
the courts had no jurisdiction, that his client was denied due process, or "that the judgments in the former
cases were secured through fraud."
Judging from the number of actions filed by respondent to forestall the execution of the same judgment,
respondent is also guilty of forum shopping. The Court explained that forum shopping exists when, by
reason of an adverse decision in one forum, defendant ventures to another for a more favorable
resolution of his case

By having wilfully and knowingly abused his rights of recourse in his efforts to get a favorable judgment,
which efforts were all rebuffed, respondent violated the duty of a member of the Bar to institute actions
only which are just and put up such defenses as he perceives to be truly contestable under the laws
WHEREFORE, respondent is SUSPENDED for one year.
4. Choa vs. Chiongson
(A.M. No. MTJ-95-1063. February 9, 1996)
Complainant: Alfonso C. Chua
Respondent: Judge Roberto S. Chiongson
Ponente: J. Davide, Jr.

A complaint was filed against Alfonso Choa for making untruthful statements or falsehoods in his Petition
for Naturalization. The case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 50322 and was assigned to Municipal
Trial Court in Cities (MCTC) of Bacolod City Branch III presided by the respondent Judge Roberto
Chiongson. On February 21, 1995, respondent Judge found the complainant guilty of the crime of perjury.
Later on, Atty. Raymundo A. Quiroz as counsel for the complainant and verified by the latter, charged
Judge Chiongson with grave misconduct, gross bias and partiality, and having knowingly rendered an
unjust judgment based on next-door-neighbor relationship between Choa's wife the private complainant
in the perjury case and respondent judge. Also, appeal on the criminal case was filed together with the
administrative complaint.

Whether or not Atty. Quiroz assisted in filing a groundless, unfounded, or false suit against respondent
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit nor give aid nor consent to the
VDPH 1HHGOHVVWRVWDWHWKHODZ\HUVILGHOLW\WRKLV client must not be pursued at the expense of truth
and the administration of justice,and it must be done within the bounds of reason and common sense.
the perjury case - it must be stressed that that alone is not a ground for either a mandatory
disqualification under the first paragraph or for a voluntary disqualification under the second paragraph of
Section 1, Rule 137 of the Rules of Court. In any event, the complainant has failed to disclose in his
complaint that he had raised this matter at any time before the rendition of the judgment. In fact, the
motion does not include this matter. If indeed the complainant honestly believed in the justness of this
grievance, he would have raised it in an appropriate pleading before the trial court and not filing an
administrative case.
WHEREFORE, we hereby impose upon ATTY. RAYMUNDO A. QUIROZ a FINE in the amount of Five

Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) to be paid within five (5) days from notice hereof. He is further WARNED
that a commission of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.
After Cosmos Foundry Shop was burned , Ong Ting established Century Foundry Shop where he and
his family resided in the premises. After several attempts to settle a pending unfair labor practice case
proved unsuccessful, Ong Ting sold all his business, including equipment and rights in the New Century
Foundry Shop to his compadre Lo Bu, for Php20,000.
On Jan 16, 1973, petitioner CFSWU obtained from the Court of Industrial Relations the third alias writ of
execution for the satisfaction and enforcement of the judgment in its favor. Thereafter, writ was served
January 17 and 18, 1973, levying on the personal properties of the Cosmos Foundry Shop or the New
Century Foundry Shop for the purpose of conducting the public auction sale.
Respondent Lo Bu filed an urgent motion to recall writ of execution, asserting lack of jurisdiction of the
Court of Industrial Relations (CIR). The CIR, in its order dated Feb 23, 1973, denied his motion. So
likewise was the motion for reconsideration.
Lo Bu appealed by certiorari but the Court denied this petition in its resolution dated July 17, 1993. In the
meanwhile, there was a replevin suit by Lo Bu in the Court of First Instance (CFI) Manila covering the
same properties.
Upon receipt of order from the Court denying certiorari, petitioner Labor Union filed a second motion to
dismiss complaint. After the complaint was dismissed by the lower court, decision was elevated to the
Court of Appeals.
Atty. Busmente, counsel for respondent Lo Bu, did specifically maintain: " order to vindicate his rights
over the levied properties, in an expeditious or less expensive manner, herein appellant voluntarily
submitted himself, as a forced intervenor, to the jurisdiction of respondent CIR, by filing an urgent 'Motion
to Recall Writ of Execution,' precisely questioning the jurisdiction of said Court to pass upon the validity
and legality of the sale of the 'New Century Foundry Shop' to him, without the latter being made a party to
the case, as well as the jurisdiction of said Court to enforce the Decision rendered against the
respondents in the ULP Case by means of an alias writ of execution against his properties found at the
'New Century Foundry Shop.
(1) Whether or not counsel Atty Busmente performed his obligation as an officer of the court while
sustaining the dignity of the profession while acting as counsel for Lo Bu.
the clear purpose of labor laws. For even such case, Atty Busmente had not exculpated himself. He ought
to remember that his obligation as an officer of the court, no less than the dignity of the profession,
requires that should not act like an errand-boy at the beck and call of his client, ready and eager to do his
every bidding. If he fails to keep that admonition in mind, then he puts into serious question his good
standing in the bar.

complainant Domingo Gamalinda charges retired Judge Fernando Alcantara and Atty. Joselito Lim with
grave abuse of their profession, deception, threats, dishonoring and injuring the reputation of said
complainant and bringing about the loss of his land but was dismissed. the record establishes that Atty.
Lim was merely performing his duty as counsel for the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3827 when he did what
is now complained ofIn Civil Case No. 3827 and Felicidad Balot had sued the heirs of Apolinario
Gamalinda for reconveyance, with damages, of the eastern half of Lot No. 3217. plaintiffs were able to
secure a writ of preliminary injunction.
Pending appeal to the CA, complainant entered a portion of the area in dispute, in the belief that the
whole of Lot No. 3217 belonged to him by virtue of a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement with Quitclaim
executed by the heirs of Apolinario Gamalinda which was under the latter's name at that time. Thus, when
the tenants of Salud Balot, entered the portion being cultivated by complainant, the latter reported the
incident to the police.
From Salud Balot's viewpoint, it was complainant who intruded into her land. Relying therefore on the
injunction issued by the lower court, she filed through counsel, Atty. Lim, a motion to declare complainant
Gamalinda in contempt of court.
Complainant interposed the defense that the area in dispute was different from the area occupied by him.
The lower court ordered a resurvey which showed that contrary to complainant's claim, the lot occupied
by him was the very same land involved. Accordingly, the lower court and CA declared complainant in
Atty. Lim moved for the execution of the affirmed judgment, and when the writ of execution was returned
unsatisfied, filed an "Urgent Motion to Require Domingo Gamalinda to Surrender TCT which was granted,
but complainant refused to surrender the Owner's Copy prompting Atty. Lim to file the questioned "Motion
to Declare Owner's Copy of TCT Null and Void," which the lower court granted.
the questioned acts of Atty. Lim were all done in line with his duty to prosecute his clients' cause in Civil
Case No. 3827. The first motion was filed to protect his clients' possessory rights over the property in
dispute while the second motion was made to procure execution of the decision in Civil Case No. 3827.
Issue: WON the acts of atty. Lim were correct.
Yes .A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and must be mindful of the trust and confidence
reposed in him. He shall serve his client with competence and diligence, and his duty of entire devotion to
his client's cause not only requires, but entitles him to employ every honorable means to secure for the
client what is justly due him or to present every defense provided by law to enable the latter's cause to
succeed. An attorney's duty to safeguard the client's interests commences from his retainer until the
effective release from the case 16 or the final disposition of the whole subject matter of the litigation.
During that period, he is expected to take such reasonable steps and such ordinary care as his client's
interests may require.

This is precisely what Atty. Lim was doing when he filed the motions complained of. He should be
commended, not condemned, for diligently and competently performing his duties as an attorney;
ACCORDINGLY, the administrative charges against retired Judge Fernando Alcantara and Atty. Joselito
Lim are DISMISSED for lack of merit.
This is a simple collection case that unnecessarily reached the Supreme Court
PALE related phrase/s:
mandatory (are the) provisions of the Revised Rules of Court for a pre-WULDOFRQIHUHQFH
signature constitutes a certificate by him that he read the pleading and to the best of his knowledge there
is good ground to support it; it is not interposed for delay" with the express admonition for a willful
7KHFRRSHUDWLRQRIOLWLJDQWs and their attorneys is needed so that the salutary objectives of these Rules
Plaintiff sought recovery from defendant of the sum of P900 representing the unpaid balance of office
equipment and also for the payment of legal interests and costs for attorney's fees.
Judgment was rendered in favor of plaintiff and defendant appealed the same to the Court of First
Instance of Manila.
Defendant filed its Answer where it denied specifically all the allegations of paragraphs of the complaint,
which are the material allegations referring to its purchase of the office equipment, its partial payment and
refusal and failure to pay the unpaid balance despite repeated demands.
Defendant did not deny under oath the authenticity of the purchase order annexed to the complaint.
The lower Court rendered its decision granting plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings. Upholding
the plaintiff's position that "when defendant's answer denies the allegations because the defendant 'has
no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief' and 'specifically denies' other allegations, denials
are in fact mere general denials amounting to admissions.
Defendant filed its notice of appeal asking that its appeal be elevated to the Court of Appeals, resulting in
further delay in the resolution of this simple collection case,
No facts are disputed in this appeal defendant-appellant simply insists that it had tendered issues of fact
and the Court erroneously rendered judgment on the pleadings. The questions presented are issues only
of law.

Consequently, the power of appellate review in this instance belongs to the Supreme Court.
Whether the appeal should be dismissed?
Issue related to PALE:
The duty of a litigant and his attorney in avoiding the needless clogging of court dockets.
We find defendant's appeal to be frivolous. No error was committed by the Court below in ruling that
"specific denials" are in law general denials amounting to admissions of the material allegations based on
the provisions of Rule 8, section 10 and Rule 9, section 1 in relation to Rule 19, section 1 and Rule 20,
section 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.
records, the means of information concerning which are within the control of the pleader, or are readily
Defendant-appellant has no cause to complain of the judgment appealed from. Its claim that it tendered
an issue with affirmative defense of having no obligation to pay was a mere conclusion not premised on
an allegation of material facts.
Failure to deny under oath the authenticity of the purchase order annexed required by Rule 8, section 8 of
the Revised Rules of Court was properly deemed an admission of the genuineness and due execution
Cases such as this contribute to the needless clogging of the court dockets. The Rules of Court were
devised to limit the issues and avoid unnecessary delays and surprises. Hence, the mandatory provisions
of Rule 20 of the Revised Rules of Court for a pre-trial conference for the simplification of the issues and
the consideration of all matters which may aid in the prompt disposition of an action. The Rules further
require in Rule 7 section 5 that "every pleading of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at
least one attorney of record in his individual name" and that "the signature of an attorney constitutes a
certificate by him that he has read the pleading and that to the best of his knowledge, information and
belief, there is good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay" with the express
admonition that "for a willful violation of this rule, an attorney may be subjected to disciplinary action." The
cooperation of litigants and their attorneys is needed so that the salutary objectives of these Rules may
be attained.

8. JUAN AZOR, complainant,

Eustaquio Beltran, a member of the Philippine bar, was accused of taking or causing to be detached from
the rollo of Special Proceedings No. 667 of the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, the financial
report of complainant Juan Azor as executor, as well as the order of the court terminating the same; of

thereafter filing a motion to require complainant to render an accounting and to deliver the property left in
the will to the beneficiaries; and of having instructed his client Lorelie Bornales and the latter's mother,
Aniana Sadol-Escriba to enter forcibly a parcel of land forming a part of the estate when he knew of its
having been previously sold, thus necessitating a complaint for forcible entry.
ISSUE: Whether or not Beltran is guilty of malpractice and gross misconduct based on the alleged acts.
No. The court adopts the report and recommendation of the Solicitor General which states that: "The
records are entirely bereft of any direct, positive and competent evidence to support the charge that
respondent detached and removed official records from the Office of the Clerk of Court of Camarines Sur,
particularly the financial report in, and the order of closure of, Special Proceeding No. 667. If at all,
complainant appears to have merely assumed that because, when he was allegedly shown by the clerk of
court the records of said case, the same purportedly contained at the time only the probated will and
respondent's motion for an accounting therein then respondent must have spirited away the financial
report filed therein by complainant and the order of the court for the closure of said proceedings. On the
other hand, respondent did not only vigorously deny the imputation that he took said records from the
expediente of the case, but he also submitted in evidence a certification of the branch clerk of the Court of
First Instance of Camarines Sur attesting to the fact that the records of the aforecited probate
proceedings, including the allegedly missing financial report and order, are all intact and unaltered.
Needless to state, mere assumptions cannot be the basis of any finding against any member of the bar
who, as an official of the court, is presumed to act with the utmost decorum and good faith in all his
As to the accusation that respondent still filed a motion for accounting on July 5, 1971 despite his
previous knowledge that the complainant as executor had already filed his financial report and that in fact
the probate proceedings had been closed and terminated, the report characterized it as "unfounded and
baseless. Respondent explained that when he examined the records of said case on July 5, 1971, he
found on the last page thereof the financial report of complainant of May 11, 1959, together with the
latter's motion for the consideration and approval thereof, but that as said motion appeared not to have
been resolved by the court, he then got the impression that the probate proceedings had not yet been
finally terminated. That such explanation is reasonable and believable is shown by the fact that even the
probate court found complainant's financial report on the last page of the record of the case still unacted
upon, which situation likewise led it to believe that the case had not yet been terminated. Of course, had
respondent made a more diligent and exhaustive examination of the records of said probate proceedings,
he would have found somewhere therein complainant's financial report of July 8, 1958 and the court's
order of closure of January 5, 1959, and he would not have filed his motion for accounting in question. Be
this as it may, however, we fail to discern in respondent's filing of his aforesaid motion for accounting any
deliberate attempt or intention on his part to mislead the probate court in said case, or to cause
complainant discredit or put him in disrepute so as to justify disciplinary action against him in this case.
There was no justification either for the allegation that respondent induced his clients, Lorelie Bornales
and the latter's mother Aniana Sadol-Escriba, to enter forcibly one of the parcels of land subject of
Special Proceeding No. 667.
Thus, respondent should he absolved of the charges hurled against him. Complainant ought to have
displayed a greater sense of responsibility. He should have refrained from imposing on this Court or the
Office of the Solicitor General a needless burden and inconvenience. Apparently what motivated him in
filing his complaint was the zeal with which respondent fought for the interests of his client. Complainant

should be aware that this Court does not look with favor upon accusations arising from dissatisfaction and
resentment at the mode in which a lawyer diligently and tenaciously prosecutes matters entrusted to him.
Instead of being condemned under the circumstances, he should be commended. Fairness to both
complainant and respondent compels the observation that the latter, as a member of the bar, is called
upon to be much more careful and meticulous in examining the records of a case and noting every
pleading, even if as has happened in not a few cases, the papers are not kept in as orderly a manner as
is both proper and desirable.
9.) G.R. No. L-27231 March 28, 1969
ALFONSO VISITACION, plaintiff-appellee,
VICTOR MANIT, substituted by his widow LEONARDA MANIT and daughters VIRGINIA DUNGOG,
VICTORIA BATUCAN and MERLINDA MANIT, defendants-appellants.

Plaintiff Alfonso Visitacion filed a case against defendant Victor Manit to hold him liable subsidiarily as
employer for the death of plaintiff's son, Delano. Delano's death was due to a vehicular collision involving
laid defendant's driver Giron, who was found insolvent after having been convicted and sentenced in a
previous criminal case arising out of said death. An Answer to the complaint was filed in due course by
Atty. Garcia on behalf of defendant. On June 1, 1956, the case was heard, without defendant or his
counsel being present, and plaintiff presented his evidence and the case, was submitted for decision.
Defendant, however, filed a motion for new trial which was granted by the trial court. Plaintiff presented
his oral and documentary evidence and was cross-examined by Atty. Garcia. The record further shows
that Atty. Garcia commenced the presentation of evidence on behalf of defendant. When the case was
scheduled for continuation of the trial, Atty. Garcia manifested that the original defendant, Victor Manit
had recently died, and the trial court on the same date directed him to furnish plaintiff's counsel the
names of the said defendant's heirs, so that plaintiff could amend the complaint accordingly. The only
amendment in the complaint consisted in impleading the widow and heirs of the deceased original
defendant in substitution for him. The court admitted the said Amended Complaint. The case was again
set for hearing with notice to the parties through their counsels of record. One day before the said
hearing, Atty. Garcia filed a "Motion to Withdraw as Counsel", alleging that "the heirs of Victor Manit have
not hired him to represent them and consequently, his continued appearance in representation of a dead
client would be illegal" and asking the trial court "that he be relieved as counsel in the above-entitled case
for the reasons stated herein." When the case was called on the next day, neither defendants nor Atty.
Garcia appeared, and the trial court noting "defendants' apparent lack of interest as can be gleaned from
the records" considered them to have renounced their right to appear and present evidence to contest
plaintiff's claim. It did not pass upon Atty. Garcia's Motion to Withdraw as Counsel and proceeded to
render judgment in favor of plaintiff.
The CA certified the case to the SC.

WON Atty. Garcia's appeal "in his capacity as officer of the Court and as former counsel of the deceased
Victor Manit" is tenable

The SC ruled in the negative. The trial Court was perfectly correct in relying upon Atty. Garcia's

representation in accordance with Rule 138, section 21 of the Rules of Court which provides that "(A)n
attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to represent any case in which he appears ...." This
appeal must accordingly be dealt with as an appeal on behalf of said heirs as defendants-appellants and
not in the "unique" concept with which Atty. Garcia would circumscribe it. The contention that said
defendants-appellants, as substituted parties-defendants by virtue of their being the heirs of the deceased
original defendant should have been brought within the Court's jurisdiction by summons is fallacious. For
the record shows that Atty. Garcia at the time acknowledged receipt of the Amended Complaint
substituting said defendants-heirs for the deceased original defendant as "Attorney for the defendants",
presented no opposition thereto, and furthermore prayed for and was granted by the Court a period of 15
days to file an answer to the Amended Complaint. Having been duly impleaded and having submitted to
the Court's jurisdiction through their counsel, Atty. Garcia, the issuance of a summons was unnecessary.
Further, the trial court did not err in ignoring the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel filed by Atty. Garcia. In
the face of Atty. Garcia's previous representations and appearance as counsel of record for the
substituted defendants, his last hour motion to withdraw as counsel and disclaimer that said defendants
have hired him to represent them which he filed one day before the date set for resumption of the
hearing came too late and was properly ignored by the Court. His motion was not verified. Aside from
the fact that his said motion carried no notice, in violation of the requirement of the Rules of Court, and
could therefore be treated as a "mere scrap of paper", the said motion was likewise fatally defective in
that it carried no notice to his clients on record, the defendants-appellants, as required by the Rules of
Court. Furthermore, it is well settled that "(A)n attorney seeking to withdraw must make an application to
the court, for the relation does not terminate formally until there is a withdrawal of record; at least so far
as the opposite party is concerned, the relation otherwise continues until the end of the litigation." The
trial court's ignoring of the last-hour motion and its handing down of its decision on the day of the hearing,
upon the failure of defendants and their counsel to appear, in spite of their having been duly notified
thereof, was in effect a denial of counsel's application for withdrawal. Atty. Garcia's unexplained failure to
appear was unexcusable. He had no right to presume that the Court would grant his withdrawal. If he had
then appeared and insisted on his withdrawal, the trial court could then have had the opportunity to order
the appearance of defendants-appellants and verify from them the truth of his assertion that they had not
"hired him to represent them." The circumstances of the case and the appeal taken all together lead to
the conclusion that the last-hour withdrawal application of Atty. Garcia and his appeal "as officer of the
Court and then counsel of the deceased" was but a device to prolong this case and delay in the execution
of the judgment, which should have been carried out years ago.
The firewall of a burned out building owned by petitioners collapsed and destroyed the tailoring shop
occupied by the family of the private respondents resulting in injuries to private respondents had been
warned by petitioners to vacate their shop in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former
failed to do. In the RTC, petitioners were found guilty of gross negligence. On the last day of the 15 days
period to file an appeal, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration which was again denied. The
Supreme Court finds that Court of Appeal did not commit a grave abuse of discretion when it denied
applied non-publication in the Official Gazette.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Supreme Court decisions must be published in the Official Gazette before
they can be binding.
NO.There is no law requiring the publication of Supreme Court decision in the Official Gazette before they
can be binding and as a condition to their becoming effective. It is bounden duty of counsel as lawyer
in active law practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme Court particularly where issues
have been clarified, consistently reiterated and published in the advance reports of Supreme
Court decisions and in such publications as the SCRA and law journals.
In the instant case, petitioners' motion for extension of time was filed on September 9, 1987, more than a
year after the expiration of the grace period on June 30, 1986. Hence, it is no longer within the coverage
of the grace period. Considering the length of time from the expiration of the grace period to the
promulgation of the decision of the Court of Appeals on August 25, 1987, petitioners cannot seek refuge
in the ignorance of their counsel regarding said rule for their failure to file a motion for reconsideration
within the reglementary period
Beginning one month after the promulgation of this Resolution, the rule shall be strictly enforced that no
motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration may be filed with the Metropolitan or
Municipal Trial Courts, the Regional Trial Courts, and the Intermediate Appellate Court. Such a motion
may be filed only in cases pending with the Supreme Court as the court of last resort, which may in its
sound discretion either grant or deny the extension requested.
11. Cuaresma vs. Daquis
G.R. L-35113 March 25, 1975
An order to demolish the house of Eugenio Cuaresma, herein petitioner,
was issued. Macario Directo, counsel of Cuaresma, filed a petition for
certiorari and alleged that he has no knowledge of the existence of
the case. However, it turned out that petitioner and his counsel were
aware of the existence of the case.
Directo was given opportunity to show cause why no disciplinary action
should be taken against him for deliberately making false allegations
in such petition. Directo explained that his knowledge of the case
came only after the decision was issued and that there was no
deliberate attempt and intent of misleading the Court.
Whether or not Directo should be subject to disciplinary actions
He was merely reprimanded. His explanation is merely an afterthought.
It could be very well that after his attention was called to the
misstatements in his petition, he decided on such version as a way
Moreover, judging from the awkwardly worded petition and even his
compliance quite indicative of either carelessness or lack of
proficiency in the handling of the English language, it is not
unreasonable to assume that his deficiency in the mode of expression

contributed to the inaccuracy of his statements. While a mere

disclaimer of intent certainly cannot exculpate him, still, in the
spirit of charity and forbearance, a penalty of reprimand would
suffice. At least, it would serve to impress on respondent that in the
future he should be much more careful in the preparation of his
pleadings so that the least doubt as to his intellectual honesty
cannot be entertained. Every member of the bar should realize that
candor in the dealings with the Court is of the very essence of
honorable membership in the profession.
Aurora Camara Vda. de Zubiri, filed with the Court of First Instance of Lanao del Norte a complaint for the
recovery of her alleged share in two commercial lots situated in Iligan City against Wenceslao Ben Zubiri,
and the Standard Vacuum Oil Co., the occupant of portions of the said properties. The plaintiff alleged
that the said lots were conjugal, having been purchased by her and her late husband during their
marriage, so that at least one-half of the same belonged to her "plus the equal share of the heir or heirs of
the decedent." Moreover, the plaintiff claimed that the said parcels were in the possession of the
defendant who, "unless he can prove before this Honorable Court that he is a duly recognized natural
child of the late Jesus Zubiri, [he] has no right, interest, and participation whatsoever over the
abovementioned two lots."
Four (4) pleadings were filed namely: 1) the herein appellant's answer which showed on its face that it
was signed by the latter in his own behalf and unassisted by counsel; 2) a Stipulation of Facts, signed by
the plaintiff, assisted by counsel, and the defendant, without such assistance; 3) a motion to render
judgment on the pleadings, again signed by the plaintiff, duly assisted by counsel, and the defendantappellant herein, signing alone, without benefit of counsel; and 4) the defendant Standard Vacuum Oil
Company's answer to the above complaint.
Trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the aforementioned Stipulation of Facts. Since in both
the answer of the herein defendant-appellant and the stipulation of facts the latter admitted practically all
the allegations of the complaint, the decision rendered in accordance therewith was actually in favor of
the plaintiff.
Wenceslao Zubiri for the first time thru counsel, filed with the trial court a petition to set aside judgment
upon two grounds, to wit: first, the three pleadings filed namely: appellant's answer, the stipulation of facts
and the motion to render judgment on the pleadings were all prepared by the plaintiff's counsel and that
he, the appellant, was made to sign all of them when he was ill and incapable of realizing the full
consequences of the act.
Wenceslao seeks annulment of judgment based on the allegations to wit: that it was the plaintiff's counsel
who prepared and induced the defendant to sign all the pleadings upon which the assailed decision was
based, including and particularly the said defendant's answer, that the dismissal of the same, in the
absence of the petitioner and without affording him the chance to be heard thereon, indeed was
incompatible with the exercise of sound judicial discretion.

Whether or not the lawyer of the plaintiff can communicate with the defendant directly and testify upon the
signing of documents
The active participation of a lawyer in one party's affairs relating to a pending case in which the said
lawyer is the counsel for the opposing party is brazenly unethical to say the least. The Canons of Legal
Ethics very explicitly declare that "it is unprofessional to represent conflicting interests" (No. 6), and
command that
A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by
counsel; much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but should deal
only with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may tend
to mislead a party not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to the law.
(No. 9)
As we have already said in the case of Cantorne v. Ducusin, 57 Phil. 23, the simultaneous representation
by a lawyer of both parties to a suit constitutes malpractice which should be severely condemned and the
lawyer corrected by disciplinary action. If but for this consideration alone, the court below should have
allowed the motion for postponement pleaded by the appellant and heard the merits of the latter's petition
to set aside judgment.
Moreover, the affidavits of merit appended to the petition to set aside judgment recited that the defendantappellant was seriously sick at the time he was made to sign and swear to the above three repudiated
pleadings. To be sure, no less than the officer before whom the said pleadings were subscribed and
sworn to admitted that this verification was conducted at the appellant's residence in Cebu where the
latter was confined "suffering from fever, with an ice cap on his head and profusely perspiring." Under the
circumstances, therefore, the mental capacity of the appellant to responsibly assent to commitments set
forth in the same three pleadings became doubtful and the trial court should have exerted its earnest
efforts to resolve the doubt. Especially so when account is taken of the fact that the subject matter of the
suit was not just an insubstantial sum but properties allegedly worth some P165,000.00.
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the order of the court below denying the appellant's petition to set
aside judgment is hereby revoked and set aside.
NICANOR CASTEEL, defendant-appellant.



DELUAO plaintiffs-appellees,
DEPRA, defendants,

Nicanor Casteel filed a fishpond application for a big tract of swampy land. Spouses Inocencia Deluao
and Felipe Deluao entered into a contract of service with Nicanor Casteel for the administration of
fishfond. In a decision of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Casteel was awarded with
the subject fishpond. Thereafter, Nicanor Casteel forbade Inocencia Deluao from further administering the
fishpond, and ejected the latter's representative from the premises. Consequently, spouses Deluao filed a
civil case for specific performance and damages against Casteel.
After the issues were joined, the case was set for trial. Then came a series of postponements. The lower
court (Branch I, presided by Judge Enrique A. Fernandez) finally issued on March 21, 1956 an order in

open court transferring the hearing to May 2 and 3, 1956 at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. And considering
the case was pending since April 3, 1951 and under any circumstance the Court will not entertain any
other transfer of hearing of this case and if the parties will not be ready on that day set for hearing, the
court will take the necessary steps for the final determination of this case.
The defendants, thru counsel, filed a motion for postponement. The lower court (Branch II, presided by
Judge Gomez) issued an order that while the motion for postponement was filed with the conformity of
the counsel for plaintiff , the same should be referred back to Branch I, so that the same may be disposed
On the scheduled date of hearing, that is, on May 2, 1956, the lower court (Branch I, with Judge
Fernandez presiding), when informed about the defendants' motion for postponement issued an order
reiterating its previous order handed down in open court on March 21, 1956 and directing the plaintiffs to
introduce their evidence ex parte, there being no appearance on the part of the defendants or their
Whether the postponement of hearings depend upon agreement of the parties.
Held No.
It is of no moment that the motion for postponement had the conformity of the appellees' counsel. The
postponement of hearings does not depend upon agreement of the parties, but upon the court's
It was the duty of Atty. Ruiz, or of the other lawyers of record, not excluding the appellant himself, to
appear before Judge Fernandez on the scheduled dates of hearing Parties and their lawyers have no
right to presume that their motions for postponement will be granted. For indeed, the appellant and his
12 lawyers cannot pretend ignorance of the recorded fact that since September 24, 1953 until the trial
held on May 2, 1956, the case was under the advisement of Judge Fernandez who presided over Branch
I. There was, therefore, no necessity to "re-assign" the same to Branch II because Judge Fernandez had
exclusive control of said case, unless he was legally inhibited to try the case and he was not.
There is truth in the appellant's contention that it is the duty of the clerk of court not of the Court to
prepare the trial calendar. But the assignment or reassignment of cases already pending in one sala to
another sala, and the setting of the date of trial after the trial calendar has been prepared, fall within the
exclusive control of the presiding judge.

14. Heirs of Elias Lorilla vs. CA

Heirs of elias lorilla vs. Ca
Private respondent Pentacapital Finance Corp (Pentacapital) filed a complaint with RTC Makati for sum of
money against Sanyu Machineries Agencies, Inc. and several other defendants including petitioner herein
Elias Lorilla (now represented by his heirs) who acted as surety for 2 corporate debtors.
During the pendency of the case, Lorilla executed a dacion en pago over a property in favor of JOint
Resources Management Development Corp (JRMDC) as payment of his obligation to the latter. However,
The same property was the subject of execution in favor of Pentacapital.

Before the writ of execution was issued by RTC Makati, Elias Lorilla died. No appeal was taken by Atty.
Alfredo Concepcion, counsel of record of Elias Lorilla.
Thereafter, Petitioners(heirs) filed a motion to quash the writ of execution and annulment of dacion en
pago, arguing that the judgment cannot be enforce since Lorilla passed away 1 yr and 3 months before
RTC Makati rendered judgment raising sec. 21 of Rule 3 of the Rules of court as basis, which states:
when the action is for recovery of money, debt, interest and the defendant dies before the final judgment
in the CFI, it shall be dismissed in the manner provided in these rules.
Issue: 1.WON the judgment should be final and executory against petitioners despite Atty. Concepcion's
failure to notify the court of Elias death and to appeal such judgment.
2. WON petitioners were denied due process of law as there was no substitution due to Atty.
Concepcion's fault.
1. Yes. No notice of death was filed by Atty. concepcion thus, the court nor Pentacapital were made
aware of the death of Elias Lorilla. The trial court could not be expected to know or take judicial notice of
the death of Elias Lorilla. Neither the petitioners have been aware of the adverse judgment since all
notices and orders of the court were sent to Lorilla's counsel of record.
It is the duty of the counsel to promptly inform the court of the death of his client. The failure of such
counsel binds herein petitioners as much as the client himself could be so bound. Jurisprudence holds
that a client is bound by the conduct, negligence and mistake of his counsel.
Furthermore, since there was no timely appeal taken from the judgment of the RTC Makati, such
judgment had properly become final and executory.
2.Petitioners claimed that they were denied due process of law since there was no proper substitution as
defendants due to Atty. concepcion's fault, however, the property which they claim as lawful inheritance
was no longer part of the estate of at the time of lorilla's death. Lorilla earlier executed a dacion en pago
in favor of JRMDC as his payment of his obligation to the latter. A new TCT therefore was issued in favor
of JRMDC. Therefore, petitioners do not have any interests in the property for the settlement of the estate
of the deceased.
15.) Avelino vs. PALANA
Facts:A complaint was filed by Valentin Avelino against Atty. Pedro K. Palaa. the latter was charged with
malpractice in connection with his professional conduct as the complainant's counsel. such malpractice
having given rise to the rendition of judgment against said complainant and his wife.
Atty. Palaa did not duly inform his client of the date of the trial scheduled for November 15, 1957
when the evidence shows that he received notice of such hearing on October 11, 1957.
The filing of the motion for new trial on January 7, 1958 was made out of time.The delay in the filing
Atty. Palaa's 2nd motion for new trial, after the Court had afforded him all the opportunity to plead
his motion successfully, was denied by the lower court on the ground that he failed to comply with an
order of the court dated February 1, 1958. While the said motion was duly filed on time, a previous order
of the Court directed the movant (Atty. Palaa to serve a copy of his amended motion to the other party
through counsel, but compliance therewith does not appear on the said motion).
The trial was set for hearing but the respondent insteand of attending the hearing, just submitted the









Upon consideration of the whole record, We find no sufficient justification to reverse the finding made by
the Office of the Solicitor General to the effect that respondent "did not duly inform his client of the date of
the trial scheduled for November 15, 1957" in spite of the fact that, according to the evidence, he had
As regards respondent's failure to appear in court on the day set for the trial, We are inclined to accept his
claim that it was due to the fact that early in the morning of that date he had "a severe stomach ache,
followed by constant moving of bowel and vomiting and that as a consequence he became very weak."
But while this might be, to a certain extent, a good excuse for his non-appearance in court, it is obviously
not sufficient to explain his failure to notify his clients in due time of the date of the trial. Had he done so,
his clients would probably have tried to contact him in due time, and upon discovering that he was sick
they would have either gone to court to ask for the postponement of the trial, or they would have looked
for another lawyer to represent them in court.
16. Diman vs Alumbres : 131466 : November 27, 1998 :
The petition for review on certiorari in this case was initially dismissed by Resolution dated January 14,
1998 but after deliberating on petitioners' motion for reconsideration dated February 23, 1998, the private
respondents' comment thereon, the reply to the comment, as well as the record of the case itself, the
Court was convinced that the order of dismissal should be reconsidered and the petition reinstated. The
court accordingly promulgated a resolution to that effect on October 12, 1998, and required respondents
to file their Comment on the petition within ten (10) days from notice. Notice of the Resolution was duly
served on private respondents' attorney on October 21, 1998. The latter filed a motion for extension of
time of thirty (30) days to file comment, counted from October 31. The Court granted the extension
sought, but only for fifteen (15) days. The comment was filed late, on November 20, 1998, Counsel's
explanation is that he had sought an extension of 30 days "due to the other volume of legal works
similarly situated and school work of the undersigned as professor of law and dean of the University of
Manila," and had entertained "the honest belief" that it would be granted. However, he learned belatedly
that only a 15-day extension had been conceded. He forthwith completed the comment and filed it, albeit
five days late.
ISSUE: Whether or not the comment should be admitted by the court
The Court admits the late comment, but takes this occasion to reiterate the familiar doctrine that no party
has a right to an extension of time to comply with an obligation within the period set therefor by law;
motions for extension are not granted as a matter of course; their concession lies in the sound discretion
of the Court exercised in accordance with the attendant circumstances; the movant is not justified in
assuming that the extension sought will be granted, or that it will be granted for the length of time
suggested by him. It is thus incumbent on any movant for extension to exercise due diligence to inform
himself as soon as possible of the Court's action on his motion, by time inquiry of the Clerk of
Court. Should he neglect to do so, he runs the risk of time running out on him, for which he will have
nobody but himself to blame.


FACTS: Plaintiff Saulog sued in the City Court of Manila for damages and attorneys' fees against
defendants Custombuilt Manufacturing Corporation (Custombuilt), Northwest Insurance & Surety Co., Inc.
(Northwest), and the City Sheriff of Manila. Plaintiff complained that Custombuilt caused to be sold on
execution certain properties belonging to him which he leased to one Adriano Go, Custombuilt's judgment
debtor in another case. Those properties consisted of a piano with a stool, and a rattan dinner and sala
set. Plaintiff filed a third-party claim to stave off levy. But Custombuilt posted a P1,200-bond to pave the
way for the execution sale of said properties. The court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff
(judgement was based on plaintiff's evidence ex-parte because all of the defendants failed to appear for
trial despite due notice). Custombuilt appealed to CFI Manila. When the pre-trial was had, Custombuilt's
counsel was in the courtroom but left before the case was called. On plaintiff's motion, the judge, on the
same day, dismissed the appeal and revived the city court's judgment. The copy of the dismissal was
received by Custombuilt's counsel on November 10 and filed a petition for relief 4 days after. Plaintiff
opposed. On November 27, the court denied the petition for lack of merit. Custombuilt appealed.
ISSUE: WON it was proper for the CFI to deny the defendant's petition for relief from judgment.
RULING: The city court's judgment as revived by the Court of First Instance must be sustained.
At the start of the pre-trial, Custombuilt's attorney was present. But he unceremoniously left the
courtroom. Counsel reasons that he had to leave because "he was summoned home all too suddenly" as
"his pregnant wife had been having labor pains" which "were cause for alarm" and she finally delivered 5
days after.
Counsel did not have the foresight required of him. Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 20 of the Rules of
Court, both client and counsel must appear at the pre-trial. This is mandatory. Failure of the client to
appear is ground for dismissal. If one representing his client, a corporation, was present, counsel could
have easily left word for the former to tell the judge that he was suddenly summoned to his home. If the
client were not present, then the case just the same would have been dismissed. But, the point is that
allegedly someone summoned said attorney to go back home. If this were true, then it would have been
quite easy for the lawyer to have asked that man to stay around and tell the judge or the clerk or the
branch deputy clerk of court of his predicament. Or, he himself could have as easily told the judge, or
either clerk, or the adverse counsel, the court stenographer, the interpreter, the bailiff, or anyone for that
matter, of his inability to wait for the pre-trial. He failed to do anyone of these.
In his petition for relief, Custombuilt's lawyer also made the statement that his wife did not give birth until
five days later. It is unreasonable to assume that during the whole period his mind was in blank, such that
it was impossible for him to have taken steps to tell the court personally or otherwise that his absence
during the pre-trial was excusable. Again, he did not. He received copy of the decision on November 10.
He did not file the petition for relief until November 14.
All of these facts point to one conclusion: lack of interest on the part of appellant to defend itself
against the complaint. Rather, the pattern of conduct discloses a desire to delay disposal of the present
case. Failure to prosecute is a ground for dismissal of the appeal and revival of the judgment of the city
court under Section 9, Rule 40 of the Rules of Court.

PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
BENJAMIN CINCO, defendants-appellants, MANUEL N. SANGLAY, respondent.
This is yet another instance of a member of the Philippine Bar, this time, respondent Manuel N. Sanglay,
being administratively proceeded against for failure to file the brief within the reglementary period for
appellants Benjamin Icalla, Rodolfo Soriano and Benjamin Cinco.
He was given the opportunity to explain in our February 3, 1972 resolution, which reads thus: "For failure
to file brief for appellants Benjamin Icalla, Rodolfo Soriano and Benjamin Cinco within the period which
expired on December 23, 1971, the Court resolved to [require] Atty. Manuel N. Sanglay to explain, within
ten (10) days from notice hereof, why disciplinary action should not be taken against him." It was not
until the end of that month that his manifestation and explanation came. He would absolve himself from
any blame as, in his view, no fault could be attributed to him.
As set forth in such pleading, this is how he would explain matters: "Upon receiving the notice from this
Honorable Court advising me to file the brief for the appellants, I immediately contacted the parents of the
three appellants. Pablo Icalla and the father of Benjamin Cinco came but the mother of Rodolfo Soriano
failed to appear. At that time Rodolfo Soriano was already at large for he escaped from prison at the La
Union Provincial Jail. In our conference, the father of Benjamin Cinco reiterated his former desire not to
appeal the case of his son. But later on, Pablo Icalla, father of appellant Benjamin Icalla prevailed on the
father of Benjamin Cinco that they continue the appeal. According to Pablo Icalla he had already engaged
the services of a good lawyer to prepare their brief. Pablo Icalla further informed me that he had already
taken all the transcript of the case from the stenographer." He felt justified in concluding then: "My failure
therefore to file the brief for the appellants is attributable to the fault of the accused themselves
represented by their parents. Their parents disauthorized me to prepare and file the brief for the
appellants by engaging another lawyer to do the same. In so far as the appellant, Rodolfo Soriano, I could
not have also filed his brief for the reason that he escaped from jail."
ISSUE: w/n there was negligence for failing to file the brief within the reglementary period.
In the light of the above, the most that can be admitted is that appellant's failure to file the brief was not a
willful act on his part. At least his good faith cannot be impugned. Nonetheless, the exculpation he seeks
cannot be granted. He knew that the period for filing the brief was running. He was equally aware that this
Court expected that the matter will be taken care of by him, as he was the counsel of record. There was
no other appearance. Under the circumstances, the least that was expected of him was that he would
inform this Tribunal of the developments set forth in his explanation and as that he be allowed to withdraw
as counsel. Such a step he did not take until after the resolution of February 3, 1972 requiring him to
explain the failure to comply with his duty as officer of the Court. It came too late. It did not wipe out the
previous manifestation of negligence on his part. He cannot therefore escape liability. If this sad state of
affairs came to pass, he had only himself to blame.
WHEREFORE, respondent Manuel N. Sanglay is reprimanded.

19. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,

SADSAD, accused-appellant.




[G.R. Nos. 131384-87. February 2, 2000]

Accused-appellant Elegio Nadera, Jr. has four children by his wife Daisy, namely: Oleby; Maricris; March
Anthony; and Sherilyn.
Daisy left for a job in Bahrain.
Oleby and Maricris, assisted by a neighbor, Lita Macalalad, told their mother that they had been raped by
their father, herein accused-appellant. Thereupon, they went to the police authorities of Naujan and filed a
complaint against accused-appellant.
After preliminary examination, four informations charging accused-appellant with rape on various dates
were filed in the Regional Trial Court, Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.
The record shows that at his arraignment, accused-appellant, assisted by Atty. Manolo A. Brotonel of the
Public Attorney's Office, pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him.However, after the prosecution
had presented Dr. Cynthia S. Fesalbon, accused-appellant pleaded guilty to the crime charged in all the
After Oleby's direct examination had been finished, Atty. Brotonel, accused-appellant's counsel, did not
conduct any cross examination on the ground that he was convinced Oleby was telling the truth.
The prosecution formally offered its documentary evidence and rested its case thereafter.
Accused-appellant did not present any evidence in his defense. The trial court rendered judgment finding
accused-appellant guilty of four counts of rape against his daughters and sentencing him to suffer death
Whether the accused's counsel faithfully complied with his duty as a lawyer?
NO. The cavalier attitude of accused-appellant's counsel, Atty. Manolo A. Brotonel of the Public Attorney's
Office, cannot go unnoticed. It is discernible in (a) his refusal to cross examine Oleby Nadera; (b) the
manner in which he conducted Maricris Nadera's cross examination; and, (c) his failure not only to
present evidence for the accused but also to inform the accused of his right to do so, if he desires.
The right to counsel must be more than just the presence of a lawyer in the courtroom or the mere
propounding of standard questions and objections. The right to counsel means that the accused is amply
accorded legal assistance extended by a counsel who commits himself to the cause for the defense and
acts accordingly. The right assumes an active involvement by the lawyer in the proceedings, particularly
at the trial of the case, his bearing constantly in mind of the basic rights of the accused, his being wellversed on the case and his knowing the fundamental procedures, essential laws and existing
jurisprudence. The right of an accused to counsel finds substance in the performance by the lawyer of his
sworn duty of fidelity to his client. Tersely put, it means an efficient and truly decisive legal assistance and
not a simple perfunctory representation.

advocacy demanded of him, considering the gravity of the offense charged and the finality of the penalty.
A glaring example of his manifest lack of enthusiasm for his client's cause is his decision not to cross
examine Oleby Nadera, as revealed in the following portion of the records:
.......Any cross?
.......If Your Honor please, we are not conducting any cross-examination, because this
representation, from the demeanor of the witness, I am convinced that she is telling the
It may be so that defense counsel personally found Oleby's testimony to be believable. Nonetheless, he
had the bounden duty to scrutinize private complainant's testimony to ensure that the accused's
constitutional right to confront and examine the witnesses against him was not rendered for naught.









Judge Anacleto Diaz of the Court of First Instance was made a special investigation of conditions in the
city government of Manila. In the course of the investigation a complaint was filed by Jose Topacio
Nueno, a member of the municipal board of the City of Manila, against Pascual Santos, another member
of municipal board, it being alleged that the latter had interested himself in prohibited games. Santos
denied the charges. Hearings were had on the said charges and the testimony of a number of witnesses
was taken. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Diaz made a report to the Honorable, the Secretary of
the Interior, in which he recommended the removal of the respondent from his office of member of the
municipal board, and that all the papers connected with the charge be transmitted to the Supreme Court
for action, "it being evident that the respondent, as a member of the Bar, violated his oath of office by
On receipt of the report of Judge Diaz against Attorney Santos, the court ordered it referred to the
Attorney-General for investigation, report, and recommendation. It wrote respondent a letter informing him
of the investigation and asking whether he will submit additional evidence. The respondent eventually
filed an answer denying the charge and requesting that he be given an opportunity to present evidence in
It appears from the facts that respondent was the counsel for Iigo Hernandez who was charged for
violating an ordinance for having willfully and unlawfully encouraged, tolerated and permitted to be played
Hernandez although he knew that the latter was a mere waiter and did not encourage, tolerate, or permit
a game of "monte" to be played. The report of the Solicitor-General concludes with the recommendation
WON respondent violated his oath of office by deceiving the court and consenting a falsehood to be

Yes. The court believes that there is no escaping the conclusion that the respondent attorney consented
to the doing of a falsehood and deceived the court when he had an accused plead guilty to an offense
which he had not committed. The background of the administrative investigation showing the
respondent's connection with prohibited games, under circumstances of the case, can only be taken into
consideration in so far as it relates to the precise charge laid against him. There was a clear violation of
the lawyer's oath that he would do no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any in court.
The court ordered that respondent Pascual Santos be suspended from the practice of Law for a period of
three months.