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1. Leslie Ui vs. Atty.

Iris Bonifacio, 333 SCRA 38, June 8, 2000


2. In re: Cunanan et. al, 94 Phil 534
3. Zoreta vs. Atty. Simpliciano, 443 SCRA 1, November 18, 2004

4. Quingwa vs. Puno, 19 SCRA 439


5. Royong vs. Oblena, 7 SCRA 859
6. Abaigar vs. Paz, 93 SCRA 91
7. A-1 Financial Services vs. Valerio, 622 SCRA 616
8. Bon vs. Ziga, Adm. Case No. 5436, May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 177
9. Castaneda vs. Ago, 65 SCRA 512
10. Director vs. Bayot, 74 Phil. 579

1.

L e s l i e U i v s . A t t y. I r i s
AC#3319 June 8, 2000

Bonifacio

FACTS:
Leslie Ui and Carlos Ui were married on January 1971. On June 1988, Leslie
confronted the respondent Atty. Iris Bonifacio for the illicit affair. Respondent
admitted the relationship and said that she will cut off the said relationship.
On December 1988 Carlos and Iris had a second child. On March 1989
complainant pleaded to respondent to stop their illicit relationship. On Atty.
Iris side, she asserts that she had no knowledge of Carlos previous
marriage. Carlos Ui was the one who represented himself as single during
their courtship. She submitted her Certificate of marriage dated Oct. 1985 to
court. Upon the courts investigation it was found out that the marriage was
in fact on Oct 1987.In the case at bar, it is the claim of respondent Atty.
Bonifacio that when she met Carlos Ui, she knew and believed him to be
single. Respondent fell in love with him and they got married and as a result
of such marriage, she gave birth to two (2)children. Upon her knowledge of
the true civil status of Carlos Ui, she left him
ISSUE:
Whether or not Atty. Iris Bonifacio is guilty of gross immoral conduct as
aground for disbarment
RULING:
RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED,
the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner in the
above-entitled case, herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex
"A", and, finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on
record and the applicable laws and rules, the complaint for Gross Immorality
against Respondent is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Atty. Iris Bonifacio is
REPRIMANDED for knowingly and willfully attaching to her Answer a falsified
Certificate of Marriage with a stern warning that a repetition of the same will
merit a more severe penalty.
2. IN RE CUNANAN [94 Phil 534; Resolution; 18 Mar 1954]
Facts:
Congress passed Republic Act Number 972, commonly known as the Bar
Flunkers Act of 1953. In accordance with the said law, the Supreme Court
then passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an
average of 72 per cent by raising it to 75 percent.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed
petitions for admission to the bar invoking its provisions, while other motions
for the revision of their examination papers were still pending also invoked

the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also
others who have sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without,
however, invoking the law in question. To avoid injustice to individual
petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration,
irrespective of whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972.
Issue: Whether or Not RA No. 972 is constitutional and valid.
Held:
RA No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar,
those candidates who suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and
inadequate preparation.
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission,
suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice
of the profession and their supervision have been indisputably a judicial
function and responsibility. We have said that in the judicial system from
which ours has been derived, the admission, suspension, disbarment or
reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is
concededly judicial.
On this matter, there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of
the judicial and legislative departments of the government.
It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the
practice of law belongs exclusively to this Court, and the law passed by
Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities
may say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license.
Republic Act Number 972 is held to be unconstitutional.

3. MELANIO L. ZORETA vs. ATTY. HEHERSON ALNOR G.


SIMPLICIANO [A.C. No. 6492. November 18, 2004]
FACTS:
This is a complaint for disbarment filed against Atty. Heherson Alnor G.
Simpliciano for allegedly notarizing several documents during the year 2002
after his commission as notary public had expired.
It is evident from the foregoing that when respondent notarized the
aforementioned documents, he was not commissioned as notary public,
which was in violation of the Notarial Law; for having notarized the 590
documents after the expiration of his commission as notary public without

having renewed said commission amounting to gross misconduct as a


member of the legal profession.
Against the evidence presented by complainant, respondent did not even
attempt to present any evidence. His counsel filed an ex-parte motion for
extension to file answer, which was granted, but no answer was
forthcoming. Still, Hearing Commissioner Lydia A. Navarro gave respondent
a last chance to file his answer; which was again unheeded. Thus,
respondent was unable to rebut complainants evidence that he was not so
commissioned for the year in question. His lack of interest and indifference
in presenting his defense to the charge and the evidence against him can
only mean he has no strong and valid defense to offer. Conclusively,
respondent Atty. Simpliciano is not a duly commissioned Notary Public for
and in Quezon City for the year 2002.
ISSUE: What is the significance of the commission?
RULING:
The requirements for the issuance of a commission as notary public
must not be treated as a mere casual formality. The Court has characterized
a lawyers act of notarizing documents without the requisite commission
therefore as reprehensible, constituting as it does not only malpractice but
also x x x the crime of falsification of public documents.
For such reprehensible conduct, the Court has sanctioned erring lawyers by
suspension from the practice of law, revocation of the notarial commission
and disqualification from acting as such, and even disbarment. In the case of
Nunga v. Viray, the Court had occasion to state that where the notarization of
a document is done by a member of the Philippine Bar at a time when he has
no authorization or commission to do so, the offender may be subjected to
disciplinary action. For one, performing a notarial without such commission
is a violation of the lawyers oath to obey the laws, more specifically, the
Notarial Law. Then, too, by making it appear that he is duly commissioned
when he is not, he is, for all legal intents and purposes, indulging in
deliberate falsehood, which the lawyers oath similarly proscribes. These
violations fall squarely within the prohibition of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides: A lawyer shall not
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

4. Quingwa vs. Puno, 19 SCRA 439


FACTS: Flora Quingwa filed a verified complaint charging Armando Puno, a
member of the Bar, with gross immorality and misconduct. Complainant is an
educated woman, having been a public school teacher for a number of years.
The respondent took her to the Silver Moon Hotel on June 1, 1958, signing
the hotel register as "Mr. and Mrs. A. Puno," and succeeded in having sexual
intercourse with her on the promise of marriage. Complainant submitted to
respondent's plea for sexual intercourse because of respondent's promise of
marriage and not because of a desire for sexual gratification or of
voluntariness and mutual passion. Complainant gave birth to a baby boy
supported by a certified true copy of a birth certificate and to show how
intimate the relationship between the respondent and the complainant was,
the latter testified that she gave money to the respondent whenever he
asked from her.
The respondent denied all the material allegations of the complaint, and as a
special defense averred that the allegations therein do not constitute
grounds for disbarment or suspension under section 25, Rule 127 of the
former Rules of Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Puno should be disbarred/suspended.
HELD: YES. One of the requirements for all applicants for admission to the
Bar is that the applicant must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory
evidence of good moral character (Section 2, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court).
It is essential during the continuance of the practice and the exercise of the
privilege to maintain good moral character. When his integrity is challenged
by evidence, it is not enough that he denies the charges against him; he
must meet the issue and overcome the evidence for the relator and show
proofs that he still maintains the highest degree of morality and integrity,
which at all times is expected of him. With respect to the special defense
raised by the respondent in his answer to the charges of the complainant
that the allegations in the complaint do not fall under any of the grounds for
disbarment or suspension of a member of the Bar as enumerated in section
25 of Rule 127 of the (old) Rules of Court, it is already a settled rule that the
statutory enumeration of the grounds for disbarment or suspension is not to
be taken as a limitation on the general power of courts to suspend or disbar
a lawyer. The inherent powers of the court over its officers cannot be
restricted. Times without number, our Supreme Court held that an attorney
will be removed not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his profession, but
also for gross misconduct, which shows him to be unfit for the office and
unworthy of the privileges which his license and the law confer upon him.
Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of court states that:

A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as


attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the
oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilfull
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or
wilfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to
do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.
The respondent has committed a grossly immoral act and has, thus
disregarded and violated the fundamental ethics of his profession. Indeed, it
is important that members of this ancient and learned profession of law must
conform themselves in accordance with the highest standards of morality. As
stated in paragraph 29 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics:
The lawyer should aid in guarding the bar against the admission to the
profession of candidates unfit or unqualified because deficient in either moral
character or education. He should strive at all times to uphold the honor and
to maintain the dignity of the profession and to improve not only the law but
the administration of justice.
Wherefore, respondent Armando Puno is hereby disbarred and, as a
consequence, his name is ordered stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys.

5. ROYONG VS. OBLENA


AC No. 376 April 30, 1963
FACTS:
Complainant Josefina Royong charge the respondent Ariston Oblena, a
member of the bar and bench, with rape. The Solicitor General immediately
conducted an investigation and found out that there was no rape, the carnal
knowledge between complainant and respondent seems to be consensual
sex.
In view of his own findings as a result of his investigation, that even if
respondent did not commit the alleged rape, nevertheless, he was guilty of
other misconduct. The Solicitor General made another complaint charging
the respondent of falsely and deliberately alleging in his application for
admission to the bar that he is a person of good moral character, of living

adulterously with Briccia Angeles at the same time maintaining illicit


relations with the 18 year old Josefina Royong. Thus rendering him unfit to
practice law, praying that this Court render judgment ordering the
permanent removal of the respondent as lawyer and judge.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the illicit relation of the respondent with Josefina Royong and
the adulterous cohabitation of respondent with Briccia Angeles warrants
disbarment.
HELD:
Ariston Oblena was disbarred.
RATIO:
The continued possession of a fair private and professional character or a
good moral character is a requisite condition for the rightful continuance in
the practice of law for one who has been admitted, and its loss requires
suspension or disbarment even though the statutes do not specify that as
ground for disbarment.
Respondent's conduct though unrelated to his office and in no way directly
bearing on his profession, has nevertheless rendered him unfit and unworthy
of the privileges of a lawyer.
Fornication, if committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances
as have proven in this case, as to shock common sense of decency, certainly
may justify positive action by the Court in protecting the prestige of the
noble profession of the law.
As former Chief Justice Moran observed: An applicant for license to practice
law is required to show good moral character, or what he really is, as
distinguished from good reputation, or from the opinion generally
entertained of him, the estimate in which he is held by the public in the place
where he is known.
Respondent, therefore, did not possess a good moral character at the time
he applied for admission to the bar. He lived an adulterous life with Briccia
Angeles, and the fact that people who knew him seemed to have acquiesced
to his status, did not render him a person of good moral character. It is of no
moment that his immoral state was discovered then or now as he is clearly
not fit to remain a member of the bar.
6. Abaigar vs. Paz, 93 SCRA 91
7. A-1 Financial Services vs. Valerio, 622 SCRA 616

8. Alfredo Bon vs. Atty. Victor S. Ziga and Atty. Antonio A.


Arcangel, A.C. No. 5436, May 27, 2004
Facts:
According to the complainant, the Bons signed the Waiver and
Quitclaim because of Atty. Zigas representation that the document was
merely a withdrawal of a previously executed Special Power of Attorney. As it
turned out, however, the document was a waiver in favor of Ziga of all the
properties which the Bons inherited from their parents and predecessors-ininterest.
Atty. Arcangels part, he explained that assuming that he notarized
the Waiver and Quitclaim in the absence of the signatories, his act is merely
a violation of the Notarial Law but not a ground for disbarment. He further
avers that he was able to talk to Maria Bon and Rafael Bon-Canafe, both cosignatories to the document, over the phone. Maria Bon and Rafael BonCanafe allegedly declared that they signed the Waiver and Quitclaim. The
two, in fact, personally delivered the document for notarization in his office.
Thus, he posits that there was substantial compliance with the Notarial Law
since a notary publics primordial undertaking is merely to ensure that the
signatures on a document are genuine. As long as they are so, the notary
public can allegedly take the risk of notarizing the document although the
signatories are not present.
Issue: Whether or not Respondents fraudulently executed the Waiver and
Quitclaim.

Held:
Atty. Ziga, on his part, is not culpable. The fact that Amalia and
Angelina Bon are both high school graduates, while Teresa Bon is a college
graduate makes it difficult to believe that they were deceived into thinking
that the contents of the Waiver and Quitclaim, which is plainly worded, were
other than what they themselves could have easily ascertained from a
reading of the document. The complaintagainst him is thus, dismissed for
lack of merit.

Atty. Arcangel, however, in notarizing the Waiver and Quitclaim


without requiring all the persons who executed the document to personally
appear before him and acknowledge that the same is their free act and deed,
manifestly breached his duty as a notary public.
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is
invested with substantive public interest, such that only those who are
qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. Notarization converts a
private document into a public document thus making that document
admissible in evidence without further proof of its authenticity. A notarial
document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts,
administrative agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon the
acknowledgement executed by a notary public and appended to a private
instrument. For this reason, notaries public must observe with utmost care
the basic requirements in the performance of their duties. Otherwise, the
confidence of the public in the integrity of this form of conveyance would be
undermined.

9. Castaneda vs. Ago, 65 SCRA 512


10.
Director vs. Bayot, 74 Phil. 579
FACTS:
In June 1943, Bayot advertised in a newspaper that he helps people in
securing marriage licenses; that he does so avoiding delays and publicity;
that he also makes marriage arrangements; that legal consultations are free
for the poor; and that everything is confidential. The Director of Religious
Affairs took notice of the ad and so he sued Bayot for Malpractice.
Bayot initially denied having published the advertisement. But later, he
admitted the same and asked for the courts mercy as he promised to never
repeat the act again.
ISSUE: Whether or not Bayot is guilty of Malpractice.
HELD: Yes. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things
that the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. The
advertisement he caused to be published is a brazen solicitation of business
from the public. . It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his
talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. The Supreme Court again
emphasized that best advertisement for a lawyer is the establishment of a

well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. But


because of Bayots plea for leniency and his promise and the fact that he did
not earn any case by reason of the ad, the Supreme Court merely
reprimanded him.