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SURIGAO MINERAL RESERVATION BOARD et al vs.

CLORIBEL

IN RE ALMACEN G.R. NO. L-27654 (IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR


FACTS: DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ATTY. VICENTE RAUL ALMACEN VS. VIRGINIA
YAPTINCHAY)
First Contempt case:
The Supreme Court rendered a decision against MacArthur International Minerals Topics: Practice of law is a privilege which cannot be taken away by anyone or anything except
Corp and in their third Motion for Reconsideration, Attys. Vicente Santiago and John Beltran through unlawful grounds. / Limitation of lawyers duty to clients. / Winning or losing a case is a fact
Sotto made use of language that are disrespectful and contemptuous to the Court like "it seems many in a lawyers job. His prime duty is the speedy administration of justice.
of our judicial authorities believe they are chosen messengers of God", "corrupt in its face" and
insinuating favoritism and partisanship of the members of the Court, notable Chief Justice Concepcion Facts of the Case:
and Justice Castro due to alleged interest in the case (Castro's brother works for one of the parties).
Santiago and Castro wanted for the two justices to inhibit themselves in the MR. The Court demanded Atty. Almacen was the counsel of Virginia Yaptinchay in a civil case. They lost in a civil case but
for Santiago and Sotto to show cause why they shouldn't be cited in contempt for the said statements. Almacen filed for a Motion for Reconsideration. He notified the opposing party of said motion but failed
Santiago insisted that the statements he made were inadvertently included in the copy sent to the Court, to indicate the time and place of hearing of said motion.
and was just intended to be in the MR's rough draft.
He appealed to the Court of Appeals but motion was denied. He filed an appeal on certiorari before the
Second Contempt case: Supreme Court which outrightly denied his appeal in a minute resolution.
Counsel for MacArthur drafted a fourth motion for reconsideration, this time with Atty.
Juanito M. Caling as counsel, and again contained language which the Court found disrespectful. The Atty. Almacen called such minute resolution as unconstitutional. He filed before the Supreme Court a
MR assailed the decision penned by CJ Concepcion since he was out of town when the decision was petition to surrender his lawyers certificate as he claimed that it was useless to continue practicing his
written and included seeming threats of elevating the issue to the World Court and allegations of rise profession when members of the high court are men who are calloused to pleas for justice, who ignore
of graft and corruption in the judiciary. The Court demanded Caling to also show cause and he said without reasons their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with
that the motion was already prepared by Santiago when he took the case as was verified by Morton impunity.
Meads, an employee from MacArthur.
He argues that due to the minute resolution, his client was made to pay P120,000.00 without knowing
ISSUE: Whether the lawyers should be cited in contempt? the reasons why and that his client became one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy.

HELD: He also contends that justice as administered by the present members of the Supreme Court is not only
1st case: blind, but also deaf and dumb. The Supreme Court did not immediately act on Almacens petition as the
Yes. The language employed by Santiago and Sotto degrades the administration of justice Court wanted to wait for Almacen to actually surrender his certificate. Almacen, however, did not
which transgresses Section 3 (d) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court as well as Sec. 20 (f) of Rule 138 of surrender his lawyers certificate though he now argues that he chose not to.
the RoC which states that "a lawyer's language should be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the
legal profession". They are also expected to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of Issue:
justice and judicial officers but their acts resulted in the contrary and are intended to create an Does Almacen deserve disciplinary action?
atmosphere of distrust. The inadvertence of Santiago's use of words can't be used as a shield to absolve
him of any misdeeds. Court Ruling:

2nd case: YES. In this case, the Supreme Court clarified that minute resolutions are needed because the Supreme
Yes. Even if the idea of the language used in the 4th MR came from Meads, both Santiago Court cannot accept every case or write full opinion for every petition they reject. The Supreme Court
and Caling should've adhered to Canon 16 of the Code of Legal Ethics wherein "a lawyer should use must decide only on cases which present questions whose resolutions will have immediate importance
his best efforts to restrain and to prevent his clients from doing those things which a lawyer himself beyond the particular facts and parties involved.
ought not to do, particularly with reference to their conduct towards courts, judicial officers, jurors,
witnesses and suitors. If a client persists in such wrongdoing, the lawyer should have terminated their The Supreme Court regarded Almacens criticisms as uncalled for. His right to criticize the decision of
relation". Santiago is also liable here since Caling's representation didn't divest him of his capacity as the courts has always been encouraged, but it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the wall of
counsel for MacArthur. decency and propriety.
wholly irrelevant and highly offensive matters into the record" while in the process of making an offer
of evidence. The statement of Atty. Castillo referred to by respondent was:
". . . The only reason why Atty. Jose Castillo was included in the present complaint for
JOSE M. CASTILLO, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. SABINO PADILLA, JR., RESPONDENT. ejectment was because defendant Erlinda Castillo wife of this representation called up this representation
JOSE M. CASTILLO FOR COMPLAINANT. at his house and crying over the phone, claiming that Atty. Sabino Padilla was harassing her and
ANSELMO M. CARLOS FOR RESPONDENT. immediately, this representation like any good husband would do in the defense of his wife immediately
went to the school and confronted Atty. Sabino Padilla, Jr. with a talk and asked for a yes or no answer
SYLLABUS if he harassed the wife of this representation and if yes, right then and there l would sock his face."
1. JUDICIAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; DUTIES. Among the duties of an attorney are: (1) to
observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice; and (2) to abstain from all offensive Among the duties of an attorney are: (1) to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts
personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness unless of justice; and (2) to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor
required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged. The Canons of Professional Ethics likewise or reputation of a party or witness unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged.
exhort lawyers to avoid all personalities between counsel. (Rules of Court, Rule 138, Sec. 20 (b) and (f). The Canons of Professional Ethics likewise exhort lawyers
to avoid all personalities between counsel. (Canon 17.)
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; USE OF INTEMPERATE LANGUAGE UNCALLED FOR IN THE CASE AT Whether directed at the person of complainant or his manner of offering evidence, the remark "bobo" or
BAR; PENALTY. Whether directed at the person of complainant or his manner of offering evidence, "Ay, que bobo" was offensive and uncalled for. Respondent had no right to interrupt complainant which
the remark "bobo" or "Ay, que bobo" was offensive and uncalled for. Respondent had no right to such cutting remark while the latter was addressing the court. In so doing, he exhibited lack of respect
interrupt complainant which such cutting remark while the latter was addressing the court. In so doing, not only to a fellow lawyer but also to the court. By the use of intemperate language, respondent failed
he exhibited lack of respect not only to a fellow lawyer but also to the court. By the use of intemperate to measure up to the norm of conduct required of a member of the legal profession, which all the more
language, respondent failed to measure up to the norm of conduct required of a member of the legal deserves reproach because this is not the first time that respondent has employed offensive language in
profession, which all the more deserves reproach because this is not the first time that respondent has the course of judicial proceedings. He has previously been admonished to refrain from engaging in
employed offensive language in the course of judicial proceedings. He has previously been admonished offensive personalities and warned to be more circumspect in the preparation of his pleadings. (CA-G.R.
to refrain from engaging in offensive personalities and warned to be more circumspect in the preparation No. 09753-SP, Court of Appeals; Civil Case No. C-7790 CFI of Caloocan.)
of his pleadings. Respondent is hereby reprimanded for his misbehavior. He is directed to observe proper
decorum and restraint and warned that a repetition of the offense will be dealt with more severely. The Court, however, notes that in the case at bar, respondent's actuation was triggered by complainant's
own manifest hostility and provocative remarks. Complainant is therefore not entirely free from blame
RESOLUTION when respondent unleashed his irritation through the use of improper words.
PLANA, J p:
WHEREFORE, respondent is hereby reprimanded for his misbehavior. He is directed to observe proper
Atty. Jose M. Castillo, complainant, seeks the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for the decorum and restraint and warned that a repetition of the offense will be dealt with more severely. LLjur
use of insulting language in the course of judicial proceedings. prcd

As the material facts are not in dispute, we have deemed the case submitted for resolution on
the basis of the pleadings of the parties.

Complainant was the counsel for the defendants (and at the same time, one of the defendants)
in Criminal Case No. 13331 for forcible entry before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Caloocan.
Respondent was counsel for the plaintiff. At the hearing of the case on November 19, 1981, while
complainant was formally offering his evidence, he heard respondent say "bobo". When complainant
turned toward respondent, he saw the latter looking at him (complainant) menacingly. Embarrassed and
humiliated in the presence of many people, complainant was unable to proceed with his offer of evidence.
The court proceedings had to be suspended.

While admitting the utterance, respondent denied having directed the same at the complainant,
claiming that what he said was "Ay, que bobo", referring to "the manner complainant was trying to inject