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CASE DIGEST FOR LEGAL ETHICS

1. Villegas v. Legaspi G.R. No. L-53869 March 25, 1982


2. Alawi v. Alauya A.M. SDC 97-2P ( February 24,1997)

3. Ledesma v. Climaco G.R. No L-23815 June 28,1974

4. In Re the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines 49 SCRA 22 (1973)

5. Salcedo v. Hernandez G.R. No. L-42992 August 8,1935

6. Phil. Lawyers Association v. Agrava G.R. No. L-12426 February 16,1959

7. People v. Aquino G.R. No. L-23908

8. Gonzales v. Alvarez G.R. No. L19072

9. Dorado v. Pilar A.C. No. 263 October 28,1958

10. Blanza v. Arcangle A.C. No. 492 Septembver 5,1967

11. Cobb-Perez v. Lantin G.R. No. 22320 July 29,1968

12. STa. Maria v. Tuason A.C. No. 396 July 31,1964

13. Delgado v. CA G.R. No. 46392 November 10,1986

14. People v. Logronio G.R. No. 92416 October 13,1992

15. People v. Augustin G.R. No. 110290 January 25,1995

16. People v. Holdgado G.R. No. L2809 March 22,1960

17. Telan v. CA G.R. No. 95026 October 4,1991

18. People v. Nicolas G.R. No. 88381082 November 21,1991

19. People v. Santos G.R. No. 117873 December 22,1997

20. Miranda v. CA

21. Hilado v. Navarro

22. In Re Edilion A.M. No. 1928, August 3,1978

Villegas v. Legaspi G.R. No. L-53869 March 25, 1982


RAUL A. VILLEGAS, petitioner,
ASSEMBLYMAN VALENTINO L. LEGASPI respondents.

FACTS

L-53869

Assemblyman Valentino Legaspi a member of the Batasang Pambansa from the province of Cebu, took
part as counsel of Vera Cruz in the case filed by Raul A. Villegas (petitioner) v. Vera Cruz (respondent).
Villegas challenged the appearance of the Assemblyman on the ground that he is barred under the
Constitution from appearing before Courts of First Instance.

L-51928

On a separate case filed in Pasig, Assemblyman Estanislao Fernandez entered his appearance as
counsel for Excelsior in the case of Edgardo P. Reyes v. N.V. Verenigde Buinzenfabrieken Excelsior-De
Maas and Eustaquio T.C. Acero. The appearance of Assemblyman Fernandez was questioned on the
ground that it was barred by Sec. 11, Article VII of the 1973 Constitution.

ISSUE
Whether or not members of the Batasang Pambansa, like Attorneys Valentino L. Legaspi and Estanislao
A. Fernandez, can appear as counsel before Courts of First Instance.
And What constitutes 'appearance as an advocate,"

Held
Under Section 17, Article VI of the 1935 Charter, it was provided that members of the Commission on
Appointments shall not ""appear as counsel before any Court inferior to a collegiate Court of appellate
jurisdiction." The intent was clear that members of the Commission on Appointments shall not "appear as
counsel before any Court inferior to a collegiate Court of appellate jurisdiction."
U nder Section 11, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution, the scope of the prohibition was expanded to
embrace all members of the National Assembly who were barred from "appear(ing) as counsel before any
Court without appellate jurisdiction."

'The prohibition against appearing as counsel is necessary because of the under influence which
members of Congress enjoy when they practice before the Courts and especially before administrative
agencies.

The objective of the prohibition, then and now, is clearly to remove any possibility of undue influence upon
the administration of justice, to eliminate the possible use of office for personal gain, to ensure impartiality
in trials and thus preserve the independence of the Judiciary

Since the respective Courts of First Instance, before which Assemblymen Legaspi and Fernandez
appeared as counsel, were acting in the exercise of original and not appellate jurisdiction, they must be
held barred from appearing as counsel before said Courts in the two cases involved herein.

"The inability to practice as counsel ... should be part of the sacrifices entailed in running for the position
of lawmaker.
WHEREFORE, granting the Writs prayed for, the Order issued on February 27, 1980 by the Court of First
Instance of Cebu, Branch II, in Civil Case No. R-18857, is hereby set aside, and Attorneys Estanislao A.
Fernandez and Valentino Legaspi hereby declared prohibited from appearing as counsel before the Court
of First Instance of Rizal (Pasig), Branch XXI, in Civil Case No. 33739, and before the Court of First
Instance of Cebu, Branch II, in Civil Case No. r-18857, respectively. The Restraining Order issued
heretofore in L-53869 is hereby made permanent.

ALAWI v. ALAUYA
A.M. SDC 97-2P ( February 24,1997)

SOPHIA ALAWI, complainant, vs. ASHARY M. ALAUYA, Clerk of Court VI, Shari'a District Court, Marawi
City, respondent.

FACT:

Ashari M. Alauya (respondent) sent letters to Villarosa & Co advising the termination of his contract with
the company, stating that the loan/housing contract executed was obtained through fraud by Sophia Alawi
(complainant).

Mr. Alauya sent several letters to the latters company seeking to nullify the contract, using acerbic
language which was considered by Ms. Alawi as malicious and libelous against her.

Ms. Alawi filed for a complaint where she accused Alauya of, among others, causing undue injury to, and
blemishing her honor and established reputation and the usurpation of the title of Attorney which only
regular members of the Philippine Bar may properly use.

Issue: Whether or not Counsellors-at-law of the Sharia court can use the title attorney.

HELD:
The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) inter alia
enunciates the State policy of promoting a high standard of ethics and utmost responsibility in the public
service.i[16] Section 4 of the Code commands that "(p)ublic officials and employees ** at all times respect
the rights of others, and ** refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public
policy, public order, public safety and public interest." ii[17] More than once has this Court emphasized that
"the conduct and behavior of every official and employee of an agency involved in the administration of
justice, from the presiding judge to the most junior clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden
of responsibility. Their conduct must at all times be characterized by, among others, strict propriety and
decorum so as to earn and keep the respect of the public for the judiciary, all of which Mr. Alauya fails to
emanate in addressing his grief towards Ms. Alawi.

The law requires that Mr. Alauya exercise the right to address his grief with propriety, without malice or
vindictiveness, or undue harm to anyone; in a manner consistent with good morals, good customs, public
policy, public order, supra; or otherwise stated, that he "act with justice, give everyone his due, and
observe honesty and good faith."

As regards Alauya's use of the title of "Attorney," this Court has already had occasion to declare that
persons who pass the Shari'a Bar are not full-fledged members of the Philippine Bar, hence may only
practice law before Shari'a courts.iii[21] While one who has been admitted to the Shari'a Bar, and one who
has been admitted to the Philippine Bar, may both be considered "counsellors," in the sense that they
give counsel or advice in a professional capacity, only the latter is an "attorney."

WHEREFORE, respondent Ashari M. Alauya is hereby REPRIMANDED for the use of excessively
intemperate, insulting or virulent language, i.e., language unbecoming a judicial officer, and for usurping
the title of attorney; and he is warned that any similar or other impropriety or misconduct in the future will
be dealt with more severely.

LEDESMA v. CLIMACO G.R. No L-23815 June 28,1974

Facts: Atty. Adelino H. Ledesma was appointed as counsel de oficio by the Honorable Rafael Climaco on
2 cases. Atty. Ledesma filed a motion to withdraw as counsel de oficio on account that he was appointed
as election registrar by the commission on Election and he was not in a position to devote full time to the
defense of the two accused. The Judge denied his petition. Atty. Ledesma then filed for a petition for
certiorari.

Issue:
W/O under the said circumstance, a lawyer can withdraw as counsel de oficio.

HELD

It was noted in such order that there was no incompatibility between the duty of petitioner to the accused
and to the court and the performance of his task as an election registrar of the Commission on Elections

A recent statement in People v. Daban that says: 7 "There is need anew in this disciplinary proceeding to
lay stress on the fundamental postulate that membership in the bar carries with it a responsibility to live
up to its exacting standard. The law is a profession, not a trade or a craft. Those enrolled in its ranks are
called upon to aid in the performance of one of the basic purposes of the State, the administration of
justice

Justice Moran in People v. Holgado in these words: "In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless
the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel. The right to be heard would be of little avail
if it does not include the right to be heard by counsel. Even the most intelligent or educated man may
have no skill in the science of law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and; without counsel, he may be
convicted not because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. And this
can happen more easily to persons who are ignorant or uneducated. It is for this reason that the right to
be assisted by counsel is deemed so important that it has become a constitutional right and it is so
implemented that under rules of procedure it is not enough for the Court to apprise an accused of his right
to have an attorney, it is not enough to ask him whether he desires the aid of an attorney, but it is
essential that the court should assign one de oficio for him if he so desires.

Thus is made manifest the indispensable role of a member of the Bar in the defense of an accused. Such
a consideration could have sufficed for petitioner not being allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio.

WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is dismissed. Costs against petitioner.

In re the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines 49, SCRA 22 (1973)

Fact: after much deliberation of the Commission on Bar Integration, Congress passed House Bill No.
3277 entitled "An Act Providing for the Integration of the Philippine Bar, and Appropriating Funds
Therefor." The measure was signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 17, 1971 and took
effect on the same day as Rep. Act 6397
Issue/s: (1) Does the Court have the power to integrate the Philippine Bar?

(2) Would the integration of the Bar be constitutional?

(3) Should the Court ordain the integration of the Bar at this time?

Held:

Under Article VIII, Sec. 13 of the Constitution, "to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law."

In providing that "the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the integration of the Philippine
Bar," Republic Act 6397 neither confers a new power nor restricts the Court's inherent power, but is a
mere legislative declaration that the integration of the Bar will promote public interest or, more specifically,
will "raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar
to discharge its public responsibility more effectively."

As to the second issue: would the integration of the bar be constitutional?


With regards to the constitutional freedom of association. Integration does not make a lawyer a member
of any group of which he is not already a member. He became a member of the Bar when he passed the
Bar examinations. Xxx Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to
attend or not attend the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as
he chooses.xxx Bar imposes only the duty to pay dues in reasonable amount. The issue therefore, is a
question of compelled financial support of group activities, not involuntary membership in any other
aspect.xxx The Supreme Court, in order to further the State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of
professional services, may require that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be shared by
the subjects and beneficiaries of the regulatory program the lawyers.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court, by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the
Constitution, hereby ordains the integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the attached
COURT RULE, effective on January 16, 1973

August 8, 1935

G.R. No. L-42992


FELIPE SALCEDO, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, respondent-appellee

FACT:

Attorney Vicente J. Francisco filed a motion for reconsideration with regards to a case that is pending in
court. He was said to have inserted a paragraph in his motion which the court finds to contain inexcusable
disrespect of the authority of the court and an intentional contempt of its dignity.

The phrases:

. . . and constitutes an outrage to the rights of the petitioner Felipe Salcedo and a mockery of the popular
will expressed at the polls . . . .

. . . because we should not want that some citizen, particularly some voter of the municipality of Tiaong,
Tayabas, resort to the press publicly to denounce, as he has a right to do, the judicial outrage . . . .
and we wish to state sincerely that erroneous decisions like these, which the affected party and his
thousands of voters will necessarily consider unjust, increase the proselytes of sakdalism and make the
public lose confidence in the administration of justice,

ISSUE: w/o the act committed by Attorney Vicente J. Francisco constitutes a contempt in the face of the
court?

Held
In order to call the attention of the court in a special way to the essential points relied upon in his
argument and to emphasize the force thereof, the many reasons stated in his said motion were sufficient
and the phrases in question were superfluous , as a member of the bar and an officer of this court,
Attorney Vicente J. Francisco, as any attorney, is in duty bound to uphold its dignity and authority and to
defend its integrity.

The provisions of rule 1 of Chapter 2 of Legal Ethics, which reads as follows:

It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the
temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but for the maintenance of its importance. Judges, not being
wholly free to defend themselves, are peculiarly entitled to receive the support of the bar against unjust
criticism and clamor. Whenever there is proper ground for serious complaint of a judicial officer, it is the
right and duty of the lawyer to submit his grievances to the proper authorities. In such cases but not
otherwise, such charges should be encouraged and the person making them should be protected.

Briefly, this court is of the opinion and so holds that the act committed by Attorney Vicente J. Francisco
constitutes a contempt in the face of the court (in facie curiae) and, reiterating what this court said on
another occasion that the power to punish for contempt is inherent in the courts in order that there be due
administration of justice (In re Kelly, 35 Phil. 944), and so that the institution of the courts of justice may
be stable and said courts may not fail in their mission, said attorney is ordered to pay a fine of P200 within
the period of ten days, and to be reprimanded, and he is hereby reprimanded; and it is ordered that the
entire paragraph of his motion containing the phrases which as has been stated, constitute contempt of
court be stricken from the record de oficio. So ordered.

G.R. No. L-12426 February 16, 1959

Philippine Lawyers Association v. Celedonio

Celedonio Agrava(respondent) Director of the Philippine Patent Office issued a circular announcing that
he had scheduled an examination for the purpose of determining who are qualified to practice as patent
attorneys before the Philippines Patent Office, stating that members of the Philippine Bar, engineers and
other persons with sufficient scientific and technical training are qualified to take the said examination
Philippine Lawyer's Association respondent petitioned that one who has passed the bar examinations and
is licensed by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines and who is in good standing, is duly
qualified to practice before the Philippines Patent Office without further requirements or examination.

Respondent contends that just as the Patent law of the United States of America authorizes the
Commissioner of Patents to prescribe examinations to determine as to who practice before the United
States Patent Office, the respondent, is similarly authorized to do so by our Patent Law, Republic Act No.
165.
Issue w/o not

members of the Philippine Bar should be required to take another exam to practice as patent attorneys
before the Philippines Patent Office

HELD

Practice of law under modern conditions consists in no small part of work performed outside of any court
and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces conveyancing, the giving of legal
advice on a large variety of subjects, and the preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an
extensive field of business and trust relations and other affairs. Although these transactions may have no
direct connection with court proceedings, they are always subject to become involved in litigation. They
require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide experience with men and affairs, and great
capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations.

The practice before the Patent Office involves the interpretation and application of other laws and legal
principles, as well as the existence of facts to be established in accordance with the law of evidence and
procedure

In conclusion, we hold that under the present law, members of the Philippine Bar authorized by this
Tribunal to practice law, and in good standing, may practice their profession before the Patent Office, for
the reason that much of the business in said office involves the interpretation and determination of the
scope and application of the Patent Law and other laws applicable, as well as the presentation of
evidence to establish facts involved; that part of the functions of the Patent director are judicial or quasi-
judicial, so much so that appeals from his orders and decisions are, under the law, taken to the Supreme
Court.

For the foregoing reasons, the petition for prohibition is granted and the respondent Director is hereby
prohibited from requiring members of the Philippine Bar to submit to an examination or tests and pass the
same before being permitted to appear and practice before the Patent Office. No costs.

G.R. No. L-23908 October 29,1966


People v. Aquino

FACTS:

An information was filled in the Court of First Instance of Cagayan against Venancio H. Aquino for a libel
case.

Venancio H. Aquino as counsel for Demterio B. Encarnacion in a Civil case, did willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously and with malicious intent of impeaching the personal worth, integrity, honor and reputation of
the complaining witness against his client.

Aquino filed a motion to quash or amend the information, upon the ground that it was not sufficiently
intelligible. Said motion was denied by the court.

Aquino filed a second motion to quash, claiming that (1) the statements referred to are not defamatory;
and (2) the statements, even if defamatory, are absolutely privileged.
Issue

Whether the defendant acted out of sheer malice with intent to cast dishonor upon the plaintiff in pursuing
a sense of social or moral duty and if his statement can be included under the privileged speech.

HELD

Appellant, through the Solicitor General, recognized the rule, as laid down in several decisions of this
Court, that statements made in the course of judicial proceedings are absolutely privileged that is,
privileged regardless of defamatory tenor and of the presence of malice if the same are relevant,
pertinent or material to the cause in hand or subject of the inquiry

It is the rule that what is relevant or pertinent should be liberally considered to favor the writer, and the
words are not to be scrutinized with microscopic intensity. 3

As such, the allegations complained of herein cannot give rise to criminal or civil liability against the
advocate who made them. As this Court observed in Sison v. David, L-11268, January 28, 1961:

. . . The privilege is not intended so much for the protection of those engaged in the public service
and in the enactment and administration of law, as for the promotion of the public welfare, the
purpose being that members of the legislature, judges of courts, jurors, lawyers, and witnesses
may speak their minds freely and exercise their respective functions without incurring the risk of a
criminal prosecution or an action for the recovery of damages. (33 Am. Jur. 123-124.)

Stated otherwise, the privilege is granted in aid and for the advantage of the administration of justice.
Since it appears from the information that the allegations complained of herein are contained in an
appropriate pleading, and since they pass the test of relevancy, it was no error for the court a quo to
sustain the privilege and to quash the information upon defendant's motion (People v. Andres L-14458,
April 29, 1960).

WHEREFORE, the order appealed from quashing the information in this case is hereby affirmed, with
costs de oficio. So ordered.

G.R. No. L-19072

Gonzales v. Alvarez

FACT:

Ramon A. Gonzales, appellant herein, is defense counsel in a Criminal Case, Ricardo Alvarez the appelle
is a special counsel who filed the criminal case.

The appellant Gonzales filed a motion to quash the information in said criminal case and one of the
grounds interposed by him was that Alvarez has no authority to file the information as he is occupying the
position of chief clerk in the office of the provincial fiscal (classified position) and cannot be appointed
special counsel (unclassified position), such arrangement being prohibited by section 684 of the Revised
Administrative Code.

In the opposition to the motion to quash, Alvares made some statements which the appellant Gonzales
thinks derogatory to him.
Issue:

W/O libelous statements are absolutely privileged when done during judicial pleading.

Held

The issue in the original criminal case at its stage when the alleged libelous statements were made was
the propriety or correctness of the motion to quash filed by the herein appellant Gonzales. While the
language, it is true, may be a little too strong and vociferous it is nevertheless in relation and pertinent to
the cause for which it was written, because it was to stress appellee's point in opposing what he thought
would otherwise mislead the trial court, in appointing Gonsalez .

It does not matter, therefore, whether or not there was malice on the port of the herein appellee in making
the statements complained of, since said statements are contained in a judicial pleading and protected by
the mantle of privileged communication

But in further interpreting the above-quoted provision of the Revised Penal Code, this Court in the case of
Tolentino v. Baylosis, G.R. No. L-15741, January 31, 1961, held that counsel, parties, or witnesses are
exempted from liability in libel or slander for words otherwise defamatory published in the course of
judicial proceedings, provided that the statements are connected with, or relevant, pertinent or material
to, the cause in hand or subject of inquiry.

In U.S. v. Bustos, et al., 37 Phil. 731, this Court found occasion to express its opinion on privileged
communications, to wit:

... . A privileged communication should not be subjected to microscopic examination to discover grounds
of malice or falsity. Such excessive scrutiny would defeat the protection which the law throws over
privileged communication. ...

Considering the above, We are of the opinion and so hold that no error was committed by the lower court
in considering the questioned remarks of the appellee as privileged and in consequently dismissing the
information for lack of cause of action.

WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against the Appellant Ramon
Gonzales.

DORADO V. PILAR A.C. No. 263 October 28,1958

Attorney Florentino Pilar allegedly wrote four insulting letters falsely and maliciously attacking Leopoldo B.
Dorado,the clerk of courts integrity in connection with the Civil case of which Atty . Pilar was representing.
Atty. Pilar claimed that his behavior was nothing more than the warm and zealous fulfillment of the duties
and obligations of the lawyer in the interest of his client.

Issue: W/O a lawyer should be allowed some latitude of remark or comment in the furtherance of causes
they uphold.

HELD:

For the felicity of their clients they may be pardoned some infelicities of phrase. Nevertheless, when they
unfairly impeach the motives of Court officers, a line must be drawn, neither blurred nor wavering.
We find the respondent to be at fault. We think, however, that no disciplinary action is called for. Enough
to warn him that offensive language is self-defeating in the long run, and that although public officials are
not supposed to be onion-skinned, neither are they supposed to be so thick-skinned as to be impervious
to groundless personal attacks. His subsequent offenses of similar nature will be dealt with more severely.

A.C. No. 492 September 5,1967

Blanza v. Arcangel

Facts:

Atty. Agustin Arcangel (respondent), volunteered to help Olegaria Blanza and Maria Pasion
(complainants) in their respective pension claims in connection with the death of their husbands both P.C.
Soldiers. The complainants, handed Atty. Arcangel documents to accomplish the pension claims.
However six years passed and no progress was made to which the complainant lost their interest in
pursuing the said claims and asked the Atty. Arcangel to return their documents to them.

The complainants then asked the court to take disciplinary action against respondent Atty. Arcangel.

Respondent explained that when he took the documents that it was for photostating purposes only. His
failure to immediately return them, he said, was due to complainants' refusal to hand him the money to
pay for the photostating costs which prevented him from withdrawing said documents from the photostat
service. Further more that he was not obliged to follow up complainants' pension claims since there was
no agreement for his compensation as their counsel.

Issue: w/o Atty. Arcangel should be sanctioned for a disciplinary action for failure to attend to the claims.

Held

Finding respondent's explanation satisfactory and considering that he charged complainants nothing for
his services, Fiscal Raa recommended the former's exoneration, or at most, that he be reprimanded
only.

Respondent, overlooks the fact that he volunteered his professional services and thus was not legally
entitled to recover fees.2 But having established the attorney-client relationship voluntarily, he was bound
to attend to complainants' claims with all due diligence.

. A lawyer has a more dynamic and positive role in the community than merely complying with the minimal
technicalities of the statute. As a man of law, he is necessarily a leader of the community, looked up to as
a model citizen. His conduct must, perforce, be par excellence, especially so when, as in this case, he
volunteers his professional services. Respondent here has not lived up to that ideal standard. It was
unnecessary to have complainants wait, and hope, for six long years on their pension claims. Upon their
refusal to co-operate, respondent should have forthwith terminated their professional relationship instead
of keeping them hanging indefinitely. And altho We voted that he not be reprimanded, in a legal sense, let
this be a reminder to Atty. Arcangel of what the high standards of his chosen profession require of him.

Accordingly, the case against respondent is dismissed. So ordered


G.R. No. L-22320 July 29, 1968
MERCEDES RUTH COBB-PEREZ and Damaso Perez, Petitioner
V
HON. GREGORIO LANTIN respondent
Mercedes Ruth Cobb-Perez and Damaso Peres (petitioners) resorted to a series of actions and petitions
abetted by their counsel for the sole purpose of thwarting the execution of a simple money judgment
which has long become final and executory.

On this case was a motion for partial reconsideration of the Courts decision corollary, the Court assessed
treble costs against the petitioners, to "be paid by their counsel.".

Issue: W/O the counsel/s are liable for ensuing stratagem of remedies for his clients cause.

Held:

The fact becomes inescapable that the Perez spouses, coached by their counsels, had sallied forth on a
strategem of "remedies" projected to foil the lawful execution of a simple money judgment. Justice was
delayed, and more than one member of this Court are persuaded that justice was practically waylaid.

A counsel's assertiveness in espousing with candour and honesty his client's cause must be encouraged
and is to be commended; what we do not and cannot countenance is a lawyer's insistence despite the
patent futility of his client's position, as in the case at bar.

It is the duty of a counsel to advise his client, ordinarily a layman to the intricacies and vagaries of the law,
on the merit or lack of merit of his case. If he finds that his client's cause is defenseless, then it is his
bounden duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A
lawyer must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his client's propensity to litigate. A
lawyer's oath to uphold the cause of justice is superior to his duty to his client; its primacy is indisputable.

ACCORDINGLY, the motion for partial reconsideration is denied. Our decision of May 22, 1968 is hereby
modified in the sense that Attys. Crispin D. Baizas and A.N. Bolinao, Jr. shall pay jointly and severally the
treble costs assessed against the petitionersas.

A.C. No. 396 July 31,1964

Sta. Maria v. Tuason

Facts:
respondent Atty. Eduardo M. Tuason represented petitioner Emilio C. Sta. Maria (complainant) and his
two partners Andres Guanzon and Fausto E. Chincuanco in a Civil Case, involving a promissory note of
P50,000.00
When they won the respondent in the case was made to pay. When the Sufficient amount of money
to satisfy the judgment, came into the hands of the Provincial Sheriff of Pampanga. Respondent Tuason
facilitated the distribution according to the writ of execution issued. however being in close relation with
Sta. Marias partners, friend of Andre Guanzon and as nephew of Fausto E. Chincuanco, Atty. Tuason
took the liberty of getting more than the amount designated to him.
Thus prompting Complainant Emelio Sta. Maria to file this case.

Issue: W/O Atty. Tuason acted with indiscretion, induced by his close relationship with Chincuanco to
the prejudice of the complainant.

Held

After an overall consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, We find that the
findings and conclusions of the Solicitor General are supported by the evidence of record. The fact that
the respondent has placed his private and personal interest over and above that of his clients constitutes
a breach of a lawyer's oath, to say the least. Call it professional indiscretion or any other name, but the
cold fact remains that the act, as found by the Solicitor General, is not conducive to a healthy growth of
the legal profession. The respondent is hereby admonished that a repetition of similar acts will merit more
drastic action.

G.R. No. L-46392 November 10, 1986

EMMA DELGADO, petitioner,


vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

Fact

Emma R. Delgado, herein petitioner, together with Gloria C. Tortona, Celia Capistrano and Catalino
Bautista alias Atty. Paulino Bautista, the last named still at large, was charged with estafa thru falsification
of public and/or official documents resulting in deceiving one Erlinda Rueda, a Medical Technologist, in
arranging her travel to the United States.

Herein petitioner Emma R. Delgado was assisted and represented by her counsel de parte, Atty.
Lamberto G. Yco.

On several date set for the continuation of the defense evidence, Atty. Yco failed to appear for various
reasons and requesting for postponement. The fiscal objected believing that the motion was deliatory.
Thereafter, a judgment of conviction was rendered by the trial court.

Petitioner filed for a Motion for Reconsideration of Reconsideration of the Order denying her Motion to Set
Aside Entry of Judgments, etc., invoking as one of the grounds therein that she discovered just then that
Atty. Lambert Yco is not a member of the Philippine Bar.

Issue: Whether the petitioner is entitled for new trial on the grounds that she was deprived of her right to
be defended by competent counsel.

HELD:

The main thrust of petitioner's arguments is that she is entitled to a new trial and therefore, all the
assailed orders of respondent courts should be vacated and set aside, because her "lawyer," Atty.
Lamberto G. Yco, is not a lawyer.

We find the petition impressed with merit

This is so because an accused person is entitled to be represented by a member of the bar in a criminal
case filed against her before the Regional Trial Court. Unless she is represented by a lawyer, there is
great danger that any defense presented in her behalf will be inadequate considering the legal perquisites
and skills needed in the court proceedings. This would certainly be a denial of due process.

WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment is SET ASIDE, and a new one is hereby rendered, remanding the
case to the trial court for new trial.
People v. Logronio
G.R. No. 92416 October 13,1992

Facts
Jeffery Logronio (Accused-appellant) was accused of robbery with homicide, tried and convicted by the
Regional Trial Court , Province of Albay and sentenced to reclusion perpetua, however the accused-
appellant later argued that the extrajudicial confession was inadmissible because it was obtained through
intimidation (threat) and he was not assisted by counsel nor apprised of his and that his confession has
not been subscribed or sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths.

Issue:
W/O the appellants claim is valid.

HELD:

Jeffrey Logronio did not claim that he had been intimidated and maltreated by the police officers but by a
person, named Allan Magayanes, who was not even physically present in the investigating room at the
time that Logronio was being questioned at the police station. Furthermore he had several opportunities
to seek aid from the authorities if the alleged threat was indeed real.

His claim that he has not been meaningfully assisted by counsel. Pat. Sapanta had taken the precaution
of informing Logronio of his rights to remain silent and to counsel before commencing the questioning.
Clearly, too, Logronio had exercised his right to counsel by naming and requiring the presence of his
counsel, and by making his extrajudicial confession only after his lawyer, Atty. Silerio, had arrived at the
police station and extended to him advice and assistance and the latter stayed throughout the
proceedings at the police station that day.

There is no dispute that appellant had signed his extrajudicial confession, in the presence of Atty. Silerio
who also signed that document. At that point, the extrajudicial confession was complete. We are not
aware of any provision of law that requires confessions or other admissions against interest to be
excluded from the record unless made under oath.

WHEREFORE, the Decision of the trial court dated 12 December 1989 is hereby AFFIRMED, save that
the indemnity to be paid by accused-appellant to the heirs of the victim Felisa Daen is hereby
INCREASED to P50,000.00, in accordance with the prevailing jurisprudence of this court. 23

G.R. No. 110290 January 25, 1995

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
JAIME "JIMMY" AGUSTIN, WILFREDO "SONNY QUIAO, MANUEL "JUN" ABENOJA, JR., and
FREDDIE "BOY" CARTEL, accused. JAIME "JIMMY" AGUSTIN, accused-appellant.

Facts:

On 6 September 1986 , while riding a car on the way to the victims residence, a man aimed his armalite
rifle through their cars window, and fired at the passengers. All those in the car were hit, killing Dr.
Bayquen and Anna Theresa and wounding Anthony Bayquen, Dominic Bayquen, and Danny Ancheta.
Suspects on the murder was arrested, Wilfredo "Sonny" Quiao the triggerman.

During the investigation, Wilfredo Quiao was assisted by Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom, a representative of
the Integrated bar of the Philippines (IBP). The transcribed notes by the stenographer was signed by
Wilfredo Quiano while being assisted by Att. Cajucom and sworn before Fiscal Balajadia.

During the confession he implicated Manuel "Jun" Abenoja, Jr the "bagman" who engaged him to kill Dr.
Bayquen for a fee, Freddie "Boy" Cartel, who provided the armalite, and a certain "Jimmy.

In the morning of 10 February 1987, "Jimmy," who turned out to be appellant Jaime Agustin, was picked
up in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan and brought to Baguio City, to the office of City Fiscal Erdolfo Balajadia
where he was investigated in connection with the crime. Atty. Reynaldo Cajucom assisted the appellant
during the investigation.

In five separate informations filed on 22 May 1987 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 3, Baguio
City, the accused were charged with murder and sentenced to the maximum penalty of Death, However,
since the death penalty is not imposable at this time, the accused is sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua

The appellant filed a notice of appeal stating that the court a quo committed a reversible error in
considering accused-appellant extrajudicial confession as admissible evidence against him.

Issue: Whether or not the appellant was not given a fair deal and was deprived of his rights under Section
12(1), Article III of the Constitution

It is at once observed that the appellant was not explicitly told of his right to have a competent and
independent counsel of his choice, specifically asked if he had in mind any such counsel and, if so,
whether he could afford to hire his services, and, if he could not, whether he would agree to be assisted
by one to be provided for him. He was not categorically informed that he could waive his rights to remain
silent and to counsel and that this waiver must be in writing and in the presence of his counsel.

While it is true that in custodial investigations the party to be investigated has the final choice of counsel
and may reject the counsel chosen for him by the investigator and ask for another one, 35 the
circumstances obtaining in the custodial interrogation of the appellant left him no freedom to intelligently
and freely do so. The city Fiscal clearly suggested the availability of Atty. Cajucom. then too, present at
the that time were Capt. Antonio Ayat and Sgt. Roberto Rambac, military officers of RUC I, who brought
him to the City Fiscal's Office for investigation in the afternoon of the day when he was unlawfully arrested
in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan. on the way to Baguio City, he was coerced and threatened with death if he
would not admit knowing "Jun" and "Sonny" and his participation in the crime. This testimony was
unrebutted by the prosecution. The presence of the military officers and the continuing fear that if he did
not cooperate, something would happen to him, was like a Damocles sword which vitiated his free will.

Moreover, considering that the appellant is familiar only with Ilocano, the Court has serious doubts about
his ability to understand Atty. Cajucom's explanation of his constitutional rights since Atty. Cajucom did so
in English and Tagalog.

Finally, Atty. Cajucom knew, as admitted by him on cross-examination, that the appellant was picked up
on 10 February 1987 by military men in Pangasinan without a warrant for his arrest. If he were then truly
moved by his duty to fully assist the appellant, he should have forthwith taken the appropriate measures
for the immediate release of the appellant instead of allowing the City Fiscal to investigate him.
Needless to say, the conduct of Atty. Cajucom under the circumstances only strengthen our belief that the
appellant had all the cards stacked against him.

Thus, we do not hesitate to declare the appellant's extrajudicial statement inadmissible in evidence
because it was obtained in violation of Section 12 (1), Article III of the Constitution. since it is the only
evidence which links him to the crimes of which he was convicted, he must then be acquitted.

We see in these cases the failure of the Government to exert the necessary efforts to bring the guilty
parties to the bar of justice.

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered REVERSING the challenged judgment of the Regional Trial
Court, branch 3, Baguio City, in Criminal Case No. 4647-R and Criminal Case No. 4648-R, and
ACQUITTING appellant JAIME "JIMMY" AGUSTIN. His immediate release from confinement is hereby
ORDERED unless for some other lawful cause his continued detention is warranted.

G.R. No. L-2809 March 22, 1950

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
FRISCO HOLGADO, defendant-appellant.

FACT:

Frisco Holgado(appellant) was charged in the court of First Instance with slight illegal detention for
kidnapping and illegally detaining Artemia Farbreag of her personal liberty.

During the Trial, the judge asked the appellant if he have a lawyer or if he is going to plead guilty. The
Appellant said he did not have a lawyer and pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

Issue:

W/O the admission of guilt of an accused without the aid of a counsel is admissible in serving his
sentence.

Held:

One of the great principles of justice guaranteed by our Constitution is that "no person shall be held to
answer for a criminal offense without due process of law", and that all accused "shall enjoy the right to be
heard by himself and counsel." In criminal cases there can be no fair hearing unless the accused be given
the opportunity to be heard by counsel. The right to be heard would be of little avail if it does not include
the right to be heard by counsel. Even the most intelligent or educated man may have no skill in the
science of the law, particularly in the rules of procedure, and, without counsel, he may be convicted not
because he is guilty but because he does not know how to establish his innocence. And this can happen
more easily to persons who are ignorant or uneducated.

The accused who was unaided by counsel pleaded guilty but with the following qualification: "but I was
instructed by one Mr. Ocampo." The trial court failed to inquire as to the true import of this qualification.
the record does not show whether the supposed instructions was real and whether it had reference to the
commission of the offense or to the making of the plea guilty. No investigation was opened by the court on
this matter in the presence of the accused and there is now no way of determining whether the supposed
instruction is a good defense or may vitiate the voluntariness of the confession. Apparently the court
became satisfied with the fiscal's information that he had investigated Mr. Ocampo and found that the
same had nothing to do with this case. Such attitude of the court was wrong for the simple reason that a
mere statement of the fiscal was not sufficient to overcome a qualified plea of the accused. But above all,
the court should have seen to it that the accused be assisted by counsel specially because of the
qualified plea given by him and the seriousness of the offense found to be capital by the court.

The judgment appealed from is reversed and the case is remanded to the Court below for a new
arraignment and a new trial after the accused is apprised of his right to have and to be assisted by
counsel. So ordered.

G.R. No. 95026 October 4, 1991

SPOUSES PEDRO and ANGELINA TELAN, petitioner,


vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, ROBERTO TELAN, and SPOUSES VICENTE and VIRGINIA TELAN
respondent

FACTS:

Spouses Pedro and Angelina Telan (petitioner) availed of the aid of one Attorney Palma in their appeal
for recovery of a parcel of land where their home and means of living (eatery and vulcanizing shop) is
located.

Believing that their petition was filed and being processed the petitioner was surprised when they learned
that the Court of Appeals declared their petition ABANDONED and DISMISSED, for their failure to file an
appeal brief within the reglementary period, pursuant to Section I(f), Rule 50 of the Rules of the Court.,
upon verification they learned that theres no Atty. Palma in the Roll of Attorneys with the Bar Confidant's
Office.

Issue:

W/O the petitioners were accorded due process of law as to the right to a counsel

HELD

The Court held that the respondents had not been accorded due process of law because they lost their to
appeal when deprived of the right to counsel.

Article III, Section 2 of the Constitutional provides:

xxx xxx xxx

No person shall be deprived of life, or property, without due process of law, nor shall any
person be denied the equal protection of the law.
The right to counsel in civil cases exists just as forcefully as in criminal cases, 19 specially so when as a
consequence, life, liberty, or property is subjected to restraint or in danger of loss.

The preeminent right to due process of law applies not only to life and liberty but also to property.

Even the most experienced lawyers ge tangled in the web of procedure. To demand as much form
ordinary citizens whose only compelle intrare is their sense of right would turn the legal system into a
intimidating monstrosity where an individual may be stripped of his property rights not because he has no
right to the property but because he does not know how to establish such right

A client is generally bound by the action of his counsel in the management of a litigation even by the
attorney's mistake or negligence in procedural technique. 22 But how can there be negligence by the
counsel in the case at bar when the "lawyer", "Atty. Palma," turned out to be fake?

WHEREFORE, the Petitioner is GRANTED; the proceedings in CA-G.R CV No. 20786 are hereby
REINSTATED and the respondent Court of Appeals is ordered to give DUE COURSE to the appeal and to
decide the same on the merits.

People v. Rodolfo Nicolas


G.R. No. 88381-82 November 21, 1991
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff,
vs.
RODOLFO NICOLAS y DE LOS REYES, ROQUE DILAO y ADAYO and GIL TAPONG y ESGUERRA,
accused, GIL TAPONG y ESGUERRA, appellant.

Facts:

The accused was charged of robbery with homicide for allegedly killing their employer after robbing him
and allegedly setting fire to the store where they allegedly committed the crime. The court, based on the
gathered evidences and testimonies of witnesses, sentenced the accused with reclusion perpetua.

The accused appellant raises several errors committed by the court in establishing their guilt beyond
reasonable doubt.

Issue:

Whether or not the required quantum of proof necessary for conviction beyond reasonable doubt for the
crime of robbery with homicide is present,

Held:

In response to the extrajudicial confession:

The ban against uncounselled confessions is even more pronounced under the Bill of Rights of the 1987
Constitution which categorically states that:

Sec. 12 (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have
the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except
in writing and in the presence of counsel.

xxx xxx xxx

3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this . . . shall be


inadmissible in evidence against him. (Article III, Section 12,
subparagraphs (1) and (3) of the 1987 Constitution.)

Hence, after 1987 regardless of whether or not the confession of the accused is true, as long as it was
given without the assistance of counsel, it becomes inadmissible in evidence although it was a product of
the accused's own free will and volition in view of the current policy with respect to extrajudicial
confessions based on the Bill of Rights. (See People v. Malinis, 167 SCRA 10 [1988] citing People v.
Pineda, 157 SCRA 71 [1988], People v. Guarnes, 160 SCRA 522 [1988] and People v. Newman, 163
SCRA 496 [1988]).

Firstly, the admissions made by the accused-appellant during custodial investigation as reflected in his
sworn statement dated October 8, 1983 (Exhibit "C") cannot be admissible in evidence for his statement
before Patrolman Bataller was given in gross violation of his constitutional rights as guaranteed under
Article IV, Section 20 of the 1973 Constitution (now Article III, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution).

, the accused-appellant gave an uncounselled confession before the investigating officer

Considering that circumstantial evidence, as a basis for conviction of a crime should be acted on and
weighed with great caution, (People v. Jara, supra) particularly when the law metes the highest imposable
penalty under the present state of the law which is reclusion perpetua, we are constrained to depart from
the well-entrenched rule that the trial court's findings must be accorded great respect

In establishing the guilt of the accused in the allegedly flight from the scene, the accused stayed at the
store when told to do so while the investigation was being conducted and even attended the wake for 3
nights.

As correctly pointed out by the Solicitor General who concurs in this assigned error, the flight
contemplated by jurisprudence must be immediate to the commission of the crime (People's Brief, p. 13).
we find the legal maxim "the guilty flee when no man pursueth but the innocent are as bold as a lion"
inapplicable in this case. (People v. Ablao, 183 SCRA 658 [1990] citing People v. Espinosa, 180 SCRA
398 [1989]).

Trial courts, as trier of facts, are bound by the hard and fast rule in evidence that before there can be
conviction based on circumstantial evidence, the circumstances proved must constitute an unbroken
chain which leads to one fair and reasonable conclusion pointing to the defendant, to the exclusion of all
others, as the authors of the crime (People v. Conrado de la Cruz, et al., G.R. Nos. 90907-12, August 7,
1991 citing People v. Tolentino, 166 SCRA 469 [1988]; People v. Torre, 184 SCRA 525 [1990] citing
People v. Colinares, 163 SCRA 313 [1988]). The police investigators and the prosecution did not show
the degree of professionalism, competence and thoroughness so essential in the light of the leads staring
them in the face.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the appealed decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila,
Branch 27 dated February 17, 1989 is REVERSED and the accused-appellant is hereby ACQUITTED on
reasonable doubt. His immediate release from confinement is ordered unless he is being held on other
legal grounds.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 117873. December 22, 1997]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MERCY SANTOS y ENTIENZA, accused-


appellant.

FACT:

Mercy Santos accused-appellant was charged for kidnapping and serious illegal detention of a 7 years old
female. During her prosecution, the appellant claimed that the court erred in rendering their judgment
based on the following issues : (1) admissibility of the extrajudicial confession, (2) credibility of witnesses
and appellants denial, and (3) sufficiency of evidence.

Issue: whether or not the appellants contention has merit.

HELD

A confession is not admissible in evidence unless the prosecution satisfactorily shows that it was obtained
within the limits imposed by the 1987 Constitution. Section 12, Article III

If the extrajudicial confession satisfies these constitutional standards, it is subsequently tested for
voluntariness,iv[10] i.e., if it was given freely -- without coercion, intimidation, inducement, or false
promises; and credibility,v[ Consequently, the burden of evidence to show that it was obtained through
undue pressure, threat or intimidation shifts to the accused. vi[13]

The right of a person under custodial investigation to be informed of his rights entails an effective
communication that results in an understanding thereof. Any effort falling short of this standard is a denial
of this right.

The circumstances of the investigation, to begin with determine the compliance with the right to counsel
provision. Where, as in the instant case, the accused is shown to have accepted the representation and
assistance of the counsel during the investigation, he may not easily subsequently retract acceptance and
disavow counsel during the trial on the flimsy excuse that counsel was not an acquaintance. The accused
need not expressly assent to the representation and assistance of her counsel. Her acquiescence
sufficed

Credibility of witnesses: The trial court correctly held that appellants uncorroborated denial was a
negative assertion that was inferior to the positive declarations of the prosecution witnesses. . Besides,
there appears to be no ill motive for Bautista and the victim to accuse appellant of such a grave crime, if
the same were not true. Thus, the trial court properly lent credence to their testimony.

The prosecution has established the elements of kidnapping under Article 267, paragraph 4 of the
Revised Penal Code, namely: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or
in any other manner deprives the latter of his or her liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping is illegal;
and (4) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female or a public officer
The element of deprivation of liberty and the identity of her abductor are clearly established in the victims
testimony

Damages

The trial court awarded one hundred thousand pesos as moral damages in favor of the victim and her
parents. This is contrary to the Courts consistent holding that the grant of moral damages requires
factual basis.vii[26] The records are bereft of any evidence that the victim and her parents ever claimed
moral damages, or that they were entitled to such an award.

WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision is hereby AFFIRMED but the award of moral damages is DELETED
for want of evidence.

SO ORDERED.

MIRANDA v. CA

FACTS:

In Special Proceedings of the Cebu court of first instance for the settlement of the intestate estate of
Hilarion Dydongco, deceased, (a Philippine resident who died in China sometime in 1941) petitioner
Vicente Miranda was appointed as administrator.

In 1962, petitioner as such administrator filed Civil Case No. R-7793 in the same Cebu court of first
instance against the private respondents (or their predecessors) for recovery of properties of the
decedent alleged to have been fraudulently and in bad faith and in breach of their fiduciary trust,
concealed, appropriated and converted as their own by respondents.

The suit for recovery had been filed by petitioner-administrator after the principal respondents pursuant to
Rule 88, section 6 had been cited by the intestate court to appear and to be examined as to documents,
papers, properties, funds and other valuables deposited and left in trust with them by the decedent before
his death. 2

Petitioner-administrator prayed that judgment be rendered declaring that said business, assets,
income and other property, are in the possession and under the management and control of said
defendants as mere trustees thereof, and sentencing them to turnover and deliver the same to him, as
Administrator of the Intestate Estate of Hilarion Dydongco as well as to render accounts and to execute
the corresponding deeds of conveyance, in addition to paying damages and the costs. 4

After a protracted trial, Hon. Jose M. Mendoza (as presiding judge in whose court the intestate
proceedings for settlement of the decedents estate were likewise pending) rendered a sixty-nine
page decision on July 26, 1965 finding that most of petitioner- administrators allegations had been
duly proven and sentenced respondents (as defendants) to deliver to petitioner-administrator all
properties found by the court to belong to the estate, to render full, accurate and correct
accounting of all the fruits and proceeds of (such) properties during their period of possession
(from 1935 until the present date) and to pay P60,000 exemplary damages to the two heiresses
found to have been defrauded and P30,000 attorneys fees and costs. 5

Respondents (as defendants) took steps to perfect their appeal from Judge Mendozas adverse
decision within the reglementary thirty-day period. After submitting their record on appeal, however, they
filed a motion for reconsideration and new trial which was heard and denied per Judge Mendozas
order of October 18, 1965, Respondents thereafter sought to revive their record on appeal and submit
additional pages thereof but Judge Mendoza held that their filing of their motion for reconsideration was
an abandonment of their proposed earlier appeal and that his decision had become final and executory.

Reconsideration having been denied, herein respondents then filed on December 21, 1965 a petition with
this Court for the issuance of writ of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus to annul Judge Mendozas
orders disallowing their appeal with mandatory injunction to give due course to their appeal and this Court
meanwhile enjoined the enforcement and execution of the challenged orders. The case was docketed as
Dy Chun et al. vs. Mendoza.

This Court therein instead ruled that (A)lthough declaring that most of the properties involved in the
litigation belong to the estate of Hilarion Dydongco, the decision of respondent Judge, dated July 30,
1965, moreover, required petitioners herein to render a full, accurate and complete accounting of all the
fruits and proceeds of said properties. After analyzing previous rulings thereon, this Court declared,
in Fuentebella v. Carrascoso (G.R. No. 48102, May 27, 1942. that a decision of such nature is
interlocutory in character, because it does not dispose of the action in its entirety and leaves something to
be done to complete the relief sought and that, accordingly, it is not appealable, until after the
adjudications necessity the completion of said relief shall have been made. Indeed, the very counsel for
petitioners herein now accepts this view and concede that petitioners appeal had been taken
prematurely.

Hence, this court therein ordered and adjudged the dismissal of the case.

The case was remanded to the Cebu court of first instance as the court of origin for the rendition of
a full, accurate and complete of all the fruits and proceeds of the properties declared in Judge
Mendozas July 26, 1965 decision to belong to the decedents estate.

Back in the court of origin in 1969 after seven years (the case was first filed in 1962), the parties filed
several motions following this Courts October 4, 1968 decision in Dy Chun vs. Mendoza, as follows:

Petitioner filed a motion for execution of the portion of Judge Mendozas decision ordering
respondents (as defendants) to deliver to petitioner all the properties adjudged belong to the decedent.

Respondents filed their urgent motion wherein they prayed that their previous opposition of March 14,
1969 to petitioners motion for execution be captioned and considered further as a motion for and
reconsideration and new trial; which was in effect a second motion for reconsideration almost four
year after Judge Mendoza had denied per his order of October 18, 1965 their first motion.

Respondent Judge Tantuico altered and changed his predecessor Judge Mendozas original decision
in his amended decision by excluding certain valuable properties from the estate of the decedent and
absolving certain respondents from the obligation of turning the possession to petitioner, reversing judge
Mendozas judgment.

Petitioner assailed in an action certiorari, respondent judges authority to issue such amended
decision (which merely awaited the rendition of accounting for completion of the relief therein adjudicated
of declaring the properties in possession of respondents to belong to the decedents estate).

Respondent appellate court held in favour of the respondents.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Judge Mendozas original decision granting petitioner the recovery of the properties
which were adjudged to rightfully belong to the decedents estate and for accounting of the fruits and
proceeds thereof was interlocutory in character and was not appealable, until after the
adjudication necessary for the completion of said relief shall have been made.

HELD:

No. Judge Mendozas decision was not interlocutory in character. The only remaining or residual
authority of respondent judge Tantuico in the premises was not to review, revise or reverse Judge
Mendozas original decision but to enforce, receive and act on the accounting as ordered in the
decision for the completion of the relief therein granted.

It is manifestly a judgment determining the merits of the case. When respondents appeal therefrom
was ruled out of time by Judge Mendoza, and on mandamus this Court in Dy Chun vs. Mendoza declared
the appeal premature, it remanded the case back to the lower court for the completion of the relief
awarded in the judgment, viz, for the rendition of the accounting therein also awarded, so that thereafter
respondents premature appeal could be given due course from both aspects of the
judgment.

Hence, it was always been taken for granted from the lead case of Fuentebella (and all other cases
adhering to it) assuming its applicability here, that the remand of the case to the trial court for rendition of
the accounting of the fruits of the properties adjudged in favour of the prevailing party in order to complete
the relief and have a single appeal including the accounts was for no other purpose than to render the
accounting and by no means to change, alter, revise or reverse the basic judgment which ordered the
accounting in the first place.

The court ruled that no case or precedent can be cited where the trial court, as did respondent judge in
the case at bar as sustained by respondent appellate court, departed from the purpose of the remand to
receive and act on the accounting as ordered in the basic judgment so that both could be the subject of a
single appeal (and instead altered and revised the judgment itself and the bases for the accounting
ordered).

The Court ruled that judgments for recovery with accounting are final and appealable (without need of
awaiting the accounting) and would become final and executory if not appealed within the reglementary
period.

Accordingly, respondent appellate courts decision is set aside.

FABILO v IAC

FACTS
JUSTINA Fabillo bequeathed to her brother FLORENCIO Fabillo a house in lot in San Salvador St, Leyte
(SanSalvador property) and to her husband GREGORIO Brioso a lot in Pugahanay, Leyte (Pugahanay
property)
FLORENCIO filed a petition for probate of JUSTINAS will who approved of the partition placed a
reservation on theownership of the San Salvador property
2 years later, FLORENCIO sought the assistance of ATTY MURILLO to recover the San Salvador
property

FLORENCIO and ATTY MURILLO entered into a Contract for Services wherein
If the property is awarded to FLORENCIO, ATTY MURILLO will be constituted as attorney in fact to sell
andconvey said property and will be given 40% of the purchase price
If mortgaged, ATTY MURILLO will be entitled to 40% of the proceeds of the mortgage
If leased, ATTY MURILLO will be entitled to 40% of the rentals
If the property is just occupied by FLORENCIO, ATTY MURILLO will have the option of occupying or
leasingto any interested party 40% of the said property
ATTY MURILLO filed a case for FLORENCIO against GREGORIO which ended in a compromise
settlement whereinFLORENCIO was declared owner not only of the San Salvador property but also of the
Pugahanay property
ATTY MURILLO proceeded to implement the contract by taking possession of 40% of the properties and
eveninstalled a tent in the Pugahanay property
FLORENCIO claimed exclusive right over the properties which prompted ATTY MURILLO to file a
complaint
LOWER COURT: ATTY MURILLO is owner of 40% of the properties
FLORENCIO argued that the contingent fee of 40% is excessive, unfair and unconscionable

ISSUE W/N THE CONTRACT OF SERVICES PROVIDING FOR CONTINGENT FEES VIOLATED
ARTICLE 1491

HELD:
NO, Contingent fees not covered by Article 1491

Article 1491 prohibits lawyers from acquiring by purchase even at a public auction, properties and rights
whichare objects of litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession

However, said prohibition applies only if the sale or assignment takes place during the pendency of
litigationinvolving the clients property

Following that principle, a contract between a lawyer and his client stipulating a contingent fee is not
covered byArticle 1491 because payment of said fee is not made during the pendency of litigation but
only after judgmenthas been rendered

Hence, the Contract of Services entered into by FLORENCIO and ATTY MURILLO having provided for
contingentfees is not violative of Article 1491

I S S U E

W / N F L O R E N C I O I S O W N E R O F 4 0 % O F T H E
P R O P E R T I E S

HELD

NO, CONTRACT OF SERVICES VAGUE AS TO WHO IS THE OWNER SO MUST BE


CONSTRUED AGAINSTTHE LAWYER WHO MADE IT, ATTY MURILLORATIO

The Court disagrees with the lower court that FLORENCIO is the owner of 40% of the properties for
carefulscrutiny shows that the parties intended 40% of the value of the properties as ATTY MURILLOS
contingent fee

The provisions are clear in cases where the properties are sold, mortgaged and leased as ATTY
MURILLO isentitled to 40% of the purchase price, proceeds of the mortgage or rentals respectively

However, with respect to a situation wherein the properties are neither sold, mortgaged or leased, the
contract isvague and only provides that ATTY MURILLO shall have the option of occupying or leasing to
any interested party40% of the properties

The ambiguity of said provision should then be resolved against ATTY MURILLO as it was he himself
who draftedthe contract

Moreover, if the parties intended that ATTY MURILLO should become the lawful owner of 40% of the
properties incase the same is not sold, mortgaged or leased, then they would have clearly and
unequivocally stipulated in thecontract such
JUDGMENT
Considering the nature of the case, the value of the properties subject matter thereof, the length of time
and effort exertedby ATTY MURILLO, the Court holds that ATTY MURILLO is entitled to P3,000 as
reasonable attorneys fees

CABILDO v. NAVARRO

The Northcotts, represented by Robert Northcott, were the owners of the Dungon-Dungon Estate in Ilocos
Norte. Due to their failure to pay taxes, their land were sold to the Ilocos Norte Coconut Producers
Association, Inc. in a public auction held by Provincial Treasurer Pedro Cabildo. The Northcotts later
exercised their right of redemption but the same were opposed by INCPA. The Northcotts then filed a civil
case against INCPA. Judge Navarro initially ruled against the Northcotts but later reversed his decision
based on the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the Northcotts. The case eventually reached the
Supreme Court and this time the Northcotts were represented by Atty. San Jose with an arrangement of a
60% contingent fee of whatever properties Atty. San Jose may recover for the Northcotts.

But while the case was pending before the Supreme Court, the Northcotts entered into a compromise
agreement with INCPA whereby the two agreed to 1.) drop the pending case, 2.) donate the land in
question to the Province of Ilocos Norte except 14 hectares thereof where they will have 7 hectares each
of the remaining 14 hectares.

Atty. San Jose then filed a Manifestation indicating that the donation and the compromise agreement
entered into by his client was meant to defraud him of his attorneys fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. San Jose is correct.

HELD: No. Atty. San Joses prior arrangement for attorneys fees does not render the compromise
agreement infirm and the same is not an obstacle to the validity and approval by the court of the
compromise agreement for a client has an undoubted right to compromise a suit without the intervention
of his lawyer. However, since it is not disputed that Atty. San Jose had rendered legal services (although
short of recovery by the Northcotts of any property) as stipulated in the retainer contract, and the non-
recovery may in the very least be partially attributable to the Northcotts entering into the compromise
agreement, it is but fair and just that Atty. San Jose be compensated for his services on a quantum
meruit basis and, to assure the payment thereof, that a lien be constituted in favor of Atty. San Jose on
the 7 hectares retained by the Northcotts under the deed of donation, without prejudice to the immediate
effectivity of the compromise agreement.

In re Edilion

16 07 2010

In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. MARCIAL A. EDILION
A.M. No. 1928 August 3, 1978

Facts:
The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing attorney in the Philippines. The IBP Board
of Governors recommended to the Court the removal of the name of the respondent from its Roll of
Attorneys for stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues to the IBP since the latters constitution
notwithstanding due notice.

Edilion contends that the provision providing for the IBP dues constitute an invasion of his constitutional
rights in the sense that he is being compelled, as a pre-condition to maintaining his status as a lawyer in
good standing, to be a member of the IBP and to pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence
of this compelled financial support of the said organization to which he is admittedly personally
antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to liberty and property guaranteed to him by the
Constitution. Hence, the respondent concludes, the above provisions of the Court Rule and of the IBP By-
Laws are void and of no legal force and effect.

Issue:

WON the payment of IBP dues suffers constitutional infirmity? NO

Held:

All legislation directing the integration of the Bar have been uniformly and universally sustained as a valid
exercise of the police power over an important profession.

The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege, a privilege moreover clothed with public interest
because a lawyer owes substantial duties not only to his client, but also to his brethren in the profession,
to the courts, and to the nation, and takes part in one of the most important functions of the State the
administration of justice as an officer of the court.

When the respondent Edillon entered upon the legal profession, his practice of law and his exercise of the
said profession, which affect the society at large, were (and are) subject to the power of the body politic to
require him to conform to such regulations as might be established by the proper authorities for the
common good, even to the extent of interfering with some of his liberties. If he did not wish to submit
himself to such reasonable interference and regulation, he should not have clothed the public with an
interest in his concerns.

To compel a lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom to
associate. 6

Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not attend the
meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he chooses. The only
compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. The Supreme Court, in order to
further the States legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require
that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be shared by the subjects and beneficiaries of the
regulatory program the lawyers.

Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. Why? The right to practise
law before the courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and inquiry. And, if the
power to impose the fee as a regulatory measure is recognize, then a penalty designed to enforce its
payment, which penalty may be avoided altogether by payment, is not void as unreasonable or arbitrary.
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