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Que vs Revilla

Facts

Conrado Que filed a disbarment case for Atty. Anastacio Revilla Jr. before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)
of committing various violations on the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rule 138 of the Rules of Court as
stated in the following:

 The respondent’s abuse courts remedies and processes by filing petition for certiorari before the Court of
Appeals (CA), two petitions for annulment of title at the Regional Trial Court (RTC), a petition for annulment
of judgment in the RTC and lastly, a petition for declaratory relief before the RTC (collectively, subject cases)
to assail and overturn the final judgments of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) and RTC in the unlawful
detainer case rendered against the respondent clients. The respondent continually argued and challenged
the court for lack of jurisdiction by the MeTC and RTC even knowing fully well that the competent courts
have jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer case. Furthermore, the respondent also repeatedly attacked the
complainant’s and his siblings’ titles over the property subject of the unlawful detainer case.

 The respondent also committed forum – shopping by filing the subject cases in order to obstruct, impede,
and frustrate the efficient administration of justice for his own personal gain and to defeat the right of the
complainant and his siblings to execute the MeTC and RTC judgments in the unlawful detainer case.

 Atty. Revilla fabricated an imaginary order issued by the presiding judge in open court which allegedly
denied the motion to dismiss filed by the respondents in the said case where the respondent asserted the
falsehood. The complainant alleged that the respondent did this to cover up his lack of preparation. Thus,
the respondent also deceived his clients (who were all squatters) in supporting the above falsehood.

 The respondent’s willful and revolting falsehood is also alleged by the complainant that unjustly maligned
and defamed the good name and reputation of the late Atty. Alfredo Catolico (Atty. Catolico) who is the
previous counsel of the respondent’s clients.

 The respondent’s also deliberate, fraudulent and unauthorized appeared in court in the petition for
annulment of judgment for 15 litigants, three of whom are already deceased

 The respondent willfully and fraudulently appeared in the second petition for annulment of title as counsel for
the Republic of the Philippines without being authorized to do so

Atty. Revilla was accused of representing fifty-two (52) litigants in Civil Case No. Q-03-48762 when no such authority
was ever given to him.
The respondent answered the complaint and mostly denied all the allegations and declared that he is a member of
the Kalayaan Development Cooperative (KDC) that handles pro bono cases for the underprivileged, the less
fortunate, the homeless and those in the marginalized sector in Metro Manila he filed these petitions to protect the
interests of his clients in their property.
The Board of Governors of the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline, through its Resolution No. XVII-2005-164 on CBD
Case No. 03-1100, adopted and approved the Report and Recommendation of Investigating Commissioner Cunanan
and recommended that the respondent be suspended from the practice of law for two (2) years.On reconsideration,
the Board of Governors reduced the respondents suspension from the practice of law to one (1) year.

Issue
Whether or not the respondent can be held liable for the imputed unethical infractions and professional misconduct,
and the penalty these transgressions should carry.

Ruling

Yes. The respondent committed violations in the code of Professional Responsibility and the Rules of Court
Under the circumstances of abuse of court and processes, the respondent’s repeated attempts go beyond the
legitimate means allowed by professional ethical rules in defending the interests of his client. The respondent violated
Rule 10.03, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which makes it obligatory for a lawyer to “observe
the rules of procedure and. . . not [to] misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.”

The respondent also violated Rule 12.02 and Rule 12.04, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility as
well as the rule against forum shopping, both of which are directed against the filing of multiple actions to attain the
same objective. Both violations constitute abuse of court processes; they tend to degrade the administration of
justice; wreak havoc on orderly judicial procedure and add to the congestion of the heavily burdened dockets of the
courts.

Likewise, the respondent violated his duty as an attorney and his oath as a lawyer “never to mislead the judge or any
judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law”.

In defending his clients’ interest, the respondent also failed to observe Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which reads:

CANON 19 – A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF LAW

Rule 19.01 – A lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his clients x x x

The respondent violated Sections 21 and 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court when he undertook the unauthorized
appearances. The settled rule is that a lawyer may not represent a litigant without authority from the latter or from the
latter’s representative or, in the absence thereof, without leave of court.

Due to Atty. Revilla's multiple violations on the Conduct of Professional Responsibility, and is found liable for
professional misconduct for violations of the Lawyer’s Oath; Canon 8; Rules 10.01 and 10.03, Canon 10; Rules 12.02
and 12.04, Canon 12; Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility; and Sections 20(d), 21 and
27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. However, we modify the penalty the IBP imposed, and hold that the respondent
should be DISBARRED from the practice of law.