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11. Guarin v.

Limpin NATURE
Adm. Case No. 10576 Administrative case for disbarment
January 14, 2015
FACTS
AJ
Guarin was hired by Mr. Celso G. de los Angeles as Chief Operating Officer and thereafter as
President of OneCard Company, Inc., a member of the Legacy Group of Companies. He the
resigned from his post. Atty. Limpin, the Corporate Secretary of Legacy Card, Inc. (LCI), another
corporation under the Legacy Group, filed with the SEC a GIS for LCI for “updating purposes”.
The GIS identified Guarin as Chairman of the Board of Directors (BOD) and President. Mired with
allegations of anomalous business transactions and practices, LCI applied for voluntary
dissolution with the SEC.

Guarin filed this complaint with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar
Discipline (IBP CBD) claiming that Atty. Limpin violated Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the CPR by
knowingly listing him as a stockholder,Chairman of the Board and President of LCI when she
knew that he had already resigned and had never held any share nor was he elected as
chairperson of the BOD or been President of LCI. Atty. Limpin admits that she filed the GIS with
the SEC listing Guarin as a stockholder, the Chairman of the BOD and President of LCI. She
averred that the GIS was made and submitted in good faith and that her certification served to
attest to the information from the last BOD meeting.

ISSUE
Whether Atty. Limpin has violated Canon 1 Rule 1.01 and Rule 1.02 of the CPR. - YES

HELD
Atty. Limpin has violated Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Rule 1.02 ofthe CPR.
Members of the bar are reminded that their first duty is to comply with the rules of procedure,
rather than seek exceptions as loopholes. A lawyer who assists a client in a dishonest scheme
or who connives in violating the law commits an act which justifies disciplinary action against
the lawyer. Disbarment proceedings are sui generis and can proceed independently of civil and
criminal cases.

As Justice Malcolm stated “[t]he serious consequences of disbarment or suspension should


follow only where there is a clear preponderance of evidence against the respondent. The
presumption is that the attorney is innocent of the charges pr[o]ferred and has performed his
duty as an officer of the court in accordance with his oath.”

Grounds for such administrative action against a lawyer may be found in Section 27, Rule 138
of the Rules of Court. Among these are (1) the use of any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office and (2) any violation of the oath which he is required to take before
the admission to practice.We thus find that in filing a GIS that contained false information, Atty.
Limpin committed an infraction which did not conform to her oath as a lawyer in accord with
Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the CPR

12. De los Santos v. FACTS


Barbosa Melba D. De Los Santos Rodis (Rodis) filed a complaint for Falsification of Public Document
A.C. No. 6681 against her father, Ricardo D. De Los Santos, Sr. (De Los Santos, Sr.) and Rosie P. Canaco
June 17, 2015
(Canaco). She alleges that Canaco made untruthful statements in the certificate of live birth of
her son, Victor Canaco De Los Santos. On April 24 2002, an information was filed against
Canaco for violation of Sections 1 & 2 in relation to Section 9 of PD No. 651

During the preliminary conference, the respondent, as counsel de parte of Canaco, objected to
the Prosecution’s offer in evidence of the photocopy of the birth record of Victor Canaco Delos
Santos. This then resulted in a resetting of the preliminary conference at some other time to
give the prosecution time to file a certified true copy of the birth certificate.

On May 25, 2004, the respondent sent a letter to St. Luke’s Hospital warning the Hospital that
there are certain laws that deal with secrecy and confidentiality of records, and that his client,
Canaco (complainant) never authorized anybody to secure a copy of his records. But eventually,
the MeTC issued a subpoena ordering the Civil Registrar of Quezon City to produce a certified
true copy of the Birth Certificate of Canaco. Meanwhile, the complainant (Victor D. De Los
Santos II), filed a complaint with the prosecutor for obstruction of justice against atty. Barbosa
(the lawyer). In Defense, the respondent argued that the name of his client Canaco’s Son is
Victor C. De Los Santos and not with a P, as stated in the information charging Canaco with
violation of PD No. 651. The prosecutor dismissed the obstruction of justice complaint for
insufficiency of evidence.

On February 22, 2005, the complainant filed a Petition for Disbarment with the Court, charging
the respondent with multiple gross violations of his oath as a lawyer and Canons of Professional
Ethics for unlawfully obstructing and delaying the proceedings against Canaco. The
complainant alleges that the sending of letters was maliciously done to delay the prosecution
against Canaco, who is the respondent’s client. That such act was a violation of the lawyers
oath, Canons of Professional Ethics, and his duties as an attorney.

ISSUE
Whether or not the acts done by the respondent is a violation of the lawyers oath, CPR, and
duties as a lawyer

HELD
Under Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, lawyers should uphold the
Constitution, obey the laws of the land, and promote respect for the law and legal processes,
specifically, Rule 1.01 of Canon 1.

In the present case, in disregard of the METC's intent to expedite the proceedings through its
Order of October 19, 2004, the respondent sent letters to the Office of the Civil Registrar of
Quezon City, the National Census and Statistics Office, and St. Luke's Hospital to prevent the
prosecution from obtaining a certified true copy of the birth certificate of Victor Canaco Delos
Santos. The preliminary conference of May 24, 2004 was precisely postponed to allow the
prosecution to secure this certified true copy. Thus, the respondent committed willful
disobedience to a lawful order of the court intended to avoid any further delay of the proceedings
in the criminal case.

13. Castaneda v. Ago FACTS


G.R. No. 28546 In 1955, the petitioners Venancio Castañeda and Nicetas Henson filed a replevin suit against
July 30, 1975 Pastor Ago in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover certain machineries (civil case
27251). Ago failed to redeem, and on April 17, 1964 the sheriff executed the final deed of sale
in favor of the vendees Castañeda and Henson. Upon their petition, the Court of First Instance
of Manila issued a writ of possession to the properties. However, on May 2, 1964 Pastor Ago,
now joined by his wife, Lourdes Yu Ago, as his co-plaintiff, filed a complaint in the Court of First
Instance of Quezon City (civil case Q-7986) to annul the sheriff's sale.
The Court of First Instance of Quezon City issued an ex parte writ of preliminary injunction
restraining the petitioners, the Register of Deeds and the sheriff of Quezon City, from registering
the latter's final deed of sale, from cancelling the respondents' certificates of title and issuing
new ones to the petitioners and from carrying out any writ of possession. While the battle on
the matter of the lifting and restoring of the restraining order was being fought in the Quezon
City court, the Agos filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with this Court under date of
May 26, 1966.The Court found no merit in the petition and dismissed it. The Court of Appeals
also dismissed the petition. The respondents then appealed to this Court. The Court dismissed
the petition in a minute resolution on February 8, 1967.

The Ago spouses repaired once more to the Court of Appeals where they filed another petition
for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction. Failing to obtain reconsideration, the
petitioners Castañeda and Henson filed the present petition for review of the aforesaid decision.

ISSUE
Whether or not the respondents Agos, abetted by their lawyer Jose M. Luison, have misused
legal remedies and prostituted the judicial process to prevent the satisfaction of the judgment.
- YES

HELD
Despite the pendency in the trial court of the complaint for the annulment of the sheriff's sale
(civil case Q-7986), elementary justice demands that the petitioners, long denied the fruits of
their victory in the replevin suit, must now enjoy them, for, the respondents Agos, abetted by
their lawyer Jose M. Luison, have misused legal remedies and prostituted the judicial process
to thwart the satisfaction of the judgment, to the extended prejudice of the petitioners. The
respondents, with the assistance of counsel, maneuvered for fourteen (14) years to doggedly
resist execution of the judgment thru manifold tactics in and from one court to another (5 times
in the Supreme Court).

The Court condemn the attitude of the respondents and their counsel who, far from viewing
courts as sanctuaries for those who seek justice, have tried to use them to subvert the very ends
of justice. Forgetting his sacred mission as a sworn public servant and his exalted position as
an officer of the court, Atty. Luison has allowed himself to become an instigator of controversy
and a predator of conflict instead of a mediator for concord and a conciliator for compromise,
a virtuoso of technicality in the conduct of litigation instead of a true exponent of the primacy
of truth and moral justice.

14. Linsangan v. FACTS


Tolentino A complaint for disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan against Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino
Adm.Case No. 6672. for solicitation of clients and encroachment of professional services. Complaint alleged that
September 4, 2009
respondent, with the help of paralegal Fe Marie Labiano, convinced his clients to transfer legal
representation. Respondent promised them financial assistance and expeditious collection on
their claims. To induce them to hire his services, he persistently called them and sent them text
messages. To support his allegations, complainant presented the sworn affidavit of James
Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried to prevail upon him to sever his lawyer-client relations with
complainant and utilize respondent’s services instead, in exchange for aloan of P50, 000.00.
Complainant also attached “respondent’s” calling card. Respondent, in his defense,denied
knowing Labiano and authorizing the printing and circulation of the said calling card.

ISSUE
Whether or not Tolentino’s actions warrant disbarment. - YES

HELD
Rule 2.03 of the CPR provides that a lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act designed
primarily to solicit legal business. Hence, lawyers are prohibited from soliciting cases for the
purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers. Such actuation constitutes
malpractice, a ground for disbarment. Rule 2.03 should be read in connection with Rule 1.03 of
the CPR which provides that lawyer, shall not for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any
suit or proceeding or delay any man’s cause. This rule proscribes “ambulance chasing” (the
solicitation of almost any kind of legal business by an attorney, personally or through an agent
in order to gain employment) as a measure to protect the community from barratry and
champerty. In the case at bar, complainant presented substantial evidence (consisting of the
sworn statements of the very same persons coaxed by Labiano and referred to respondent’s
office) to prove that respondent indeed solicited legal business as well as profited from
referrals’ suits. Through Labiano’s actions, respondent’s law practice was benefited. Hapless
seamen were enticed to transfer representation on the strength of Labiano’s word that
respondent could produce a more favorable result. Based on the foregoing, respondent clearly
solicited employment violating Rule 2.03, and Rule 1.03 and Canon 3 of the CPR and section 27,
Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. Any act of solicitations constitutes malpractice which calls for
the exercise of the Court’s disciplinary powers. Violation of anti-solicitation statues warrants
serious sanctions for initiating contact with a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining
employment. Thus in this jurisdiction, the Court adheres to the rule to protect the public from
the Machiavellian machinations of unscrupulous lawyers and to uphold the nobility of the legal
profession.

15. Dacanay v. Baker NATURE


& McKenzie Administrative Case
Adm. Case No. 2131
May 10, 1985
FACTS
Lawyer Adriano E. Dacanay, admitted to the bar in 1954, in his 1980 verified complaint, sought
to enjoin Juan G. Collas, Jr. and nine other lawyers from practising law under the name of Baker
& McKenzie, a law firm organized in Illinois.

In a letter dated November 16, 1979 respondent Vicente A. Torres, using the letterhead of Baker
& McKenzie, which contains the names of the ten lawyers, asked Rosie Clurman for the release
of 87 shares of Cathay Products International, Inc. to H.E. Gabriel, a client.
Attorney Dacanay, in his reply dated December 7, 1979, denied any liability of Clurman to Gabriel.
He requested that he be informed whether the lawyer of Gabriel is Baker & McKenzie "and if not,
what is your purpose in using the letterhead of another law office."

Not having received any reply, he filed the instant complaint.

ISSUE
Whether the lawyers should be enjoined from practicing law under Baker & McKenzie - YES

HELD
The Court holds that Baker & McKenzie, being an alien law firm, cannot practice law in the
Philippines (Sec. 1, Rule 138, Rules of Court). As admitted by the respondents in their
memorandum, Baker & McKenzie is a professional partnership organized in 1949 in Chicago,
Illinois with members and associates in 30 cities around the world. Respondents, aside from
being members of the Philippine bar, practising under the firm name of Guerrero & Torres, are
members or associates of Baker & Mckenzie.

As pointed out by the Solicitor General, respondents' use of the firm name Baker & McKenzie
constitutes a representation that being associated with the firm they could "render legal services
of the highest quality to multinational business enterprises and others engaged in foreign trade
and investment" (p. 3, respondents' memo). This is unethical because Baker & McKenzie is not
authorized to practise law here. (See Ruben E. Agpalo, Legal Ethics, 1983 Ed., p. 115.)

16. Payod v. Metila FACTS


Adm. Case No. 3944 Lea Payod charged Atty. Romeo Matila with willful neglect and gross misconduct in connection
July 27, 2007 with the Court’s dismissal of her petition in another case. Pertaining to the PREVIOUS CASE, the
Court resolved to deny the petitioner’s second motion for extension of time to file petition for
review on certiorari as, similar to what happened in the first motion, there was failure to comply
with the requirement of No. 2 of the Revised Circular 1-88. Moreover, the petition itself was
denied for having been filed late, failing to comply with the requirement No. 4 of the Revised
Circular 1-88 and failing to submit the certification required under Circular 28-91 on forum
shopping.

Respondent Atty. Matila contended that when The case was referred to him by Lea's mother, six
days before the period to perfect an appeal to this Court expired, without supplying him with any
document bearing on the case other than the Court of Appeals resolution denying Lea's motion
for reconsideration. He thus told Lea's mother that he would only file a motion to stay the
running of the prescriptive period of appeal and advised her to look for another lawyer who could
assist her in getting the complete certified records of the case from the Court of Appeals and in
filing a Petition for Review with this Court. Neither Lea nor her mother communicated with him,
however, forcing him to finance and defray all the expenses for the initiation of the appeal. He
concludes there was no attorney-client relationship between him and Lea, there being no Special
Power of Attorney authorizing her mother to hire him as a lawyer in her behalf.

IBP found him guilty only for simple negligence and recommended that he be seriously
admonished and required to undergo 3 units of MCLE in Remedial law for his failure to update
himself with the developments in the legal profession and for the cavalier manner by which he
denied the existence of an attorney-client relationship when one in fact existed.

ISSUE
Whether the acts of Atty. Metila constitute willful neglect and gross misconduct? NO.

HELD
The Court adopted the rulings of the IBP and found Metila guilty of only simple negligence.

In failing to comply with the requirements in initiating complainant's appeal before the even after
his attention to it was called by this Court, respondent fell short of the standards required in the
Canon of Professional Responsibility for a lawyer to "keep abreast of legal developments" and
"serve his client with competence and diligence." That Lea's mother did not have a Special
Power of Attorney to hire respondent on Lea's behalf is immaterial, given that he actually
initiated the appeal, albeit unsuccessfully.

It need not be underlined that a lawyer who accepts a case must give it his full attention,
diligence, skill, and competence, and his negligence in connection therewith renders him liable.
The circumstances attendant to respondent's initial handle of Lea's case do not warrant a
finding of gross negligence, or sheer absence of real effort on his part to defend her cause. This
is because despite these constraints, respondent exerted efforts, albeit lacking in care, to
defend his client's cause by filing two motions for extension of time to file petition. And he in
fact filed the petition within the time he requested.

17. Sanchez v. Aguilos FACTS


Adm. Case No. 10543
March 16, 2016 Complainant Nenita D. Sanchez has charged respondent Atty. Romeo G. Aguilos (respondent)
with misconduct for the latter's refusal to return the amount of P70,000.00 she had paid for his
professional services despite his not having performed the contemplated professional services.
She avers that in March 2005, she sought the legal services of the respondent to represent her
in the annulment of her marriage with her estranged husband and that the respondent accepted
the engagement, fixing his fee at P150,000.00, plus the appearance fee of P5,000.00/hearing;
and that she then gave to him the initial amount of P90,000.00.

In May 2005, she had gone to his residence to inquire on the developments in her case, but he
told her that he would only start working on the case upon her full payment of the acceptance
fee and that she had only learned then that what he had contemplated to file for her was a
petition for legal separation, not one for the annulment of her marriage. He further told her that
she would have to pay a higher acceptance fee for the annulment of her marriage.

She subsequently withdrew the case from him, and requested the refund of the amounts already
paid, but he refused to do the same as he had already started working on the case. She then
sent him a letter, through another lawyer, to demand the return of her payment less whatever
amount corresponded to the legal services he had already performed. The respondent did not
heed her demand letter and did not return the said payment despite not having rendered any
appreciable legal services to her. His constant refusal to return the amounts prompted her to
bring an administrative complaint against him in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on
March 20, 2007.

In his answer dated May 21, 2007,7 the respondent alleges that the complainant and her British
fiancee sought his legal services to bring the petition for the annulment of her marriage. Based
on his evaluation of her situation, the more appropriate case would be one for legal separation
anchored on the psychological incapacity of her husband.

The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD) summoned the parties to a mandatory
conference on August 3, 2007, but only the complainant and her counsel attended the
conference. On his part, the respondent sent a letter dated July 20, 2007 to the IBP-CBD to
reiterate his answer. In his commissioner's report dated July 25, 2008,12 IBP Investigating
Commissioner Jose I. De La Rama, Jr. declared that the respondent's insistence that he could
have brought a petition for legal separation based on the psychological incapacity of the
complainant's husband was sanctionable because he himself was apparently not conversant
with the grounds for legal separation.

ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent should be held administratively liable for misconduct - YES

HELD
The court held that Respondent was liable for misconduct, and he should be ordered to return
the entire amount received from the client. The court reiterated and adopted the thorough
analysis and findings by IBP Investigating Commissioner De La Rama, Jr. which;
That lawyers shall keep abreast of the legal developments and participate in continuing legal
education program (Canon 5 of the Code of Professional Responsibility) in order to prevent
repetition of such kind of advise that respondent gave to the complainant. In giving an advise,
he should be able to distinguish between the grounds for legal separation and grounds for
annulment of marriage. But as the respondent stated in his answer, it appears that he is mixed
up with the basic provisions of the law.

Clearly, the respondent misrepresented his professional competence and skill to the
complainant. As the foregoing findings reveal, he did not know the distinction between the
grounds for legal separation and for annulment of marriage. Such knowledge would have been
basic and expected of him as a lawyer accepting a professional engagement for either causes
of action. His explanation that the client initially intended to pursue the action for legal
separation should be disbelieved. The case unquestionably contemplated by the parties and for
which his services was engaged, was no other than an action for annulment of the complainant's
marriage with her husband with the intention of marrying her British fiancee. They did not
contemplate legal separation at all, for legal separation would still render her incapacitated to
re-marry. That the respondent was insisting in his answer that he had prepared a petition for
legal separation, and that she had to pay more as attorney's fees if she desired to have the action
for annulment was, therefore, beyond comprehension other than to serve as a hollow
afterthought to justify his claim for services rendered.

18. Collantes v. FACTS


Renomeron This is a Disbarment against Atty. Renomeron, Register of Deeds of Tacloban City. Atty.
Adm. Case No. 3056 Collantes, counsel for V& G Better Homes Subdivision, Inc. (V&G), filed an administrative case
against Atty. Renomeron, for the latter’s irregular actuations with regard to the application of
V&G for registration of 163 pro forma Deed of Absolute Sale with Assignment (in favor of GSIS)
of lots in its subdivision.
V&G complied with the desired requirements, however, Renomeron suspended the registration
of the documents pending the compliance of the former with their “special conditions”, which
was that V&G should provide him with weekly round trip ticket from Tacloban to Manila plus
P2,000.00 as pocket money per trip, or, in lieu thereof, the sale of respondent’s Quezon City
house and lot by V&G or GSIS representatives.

Renomeron formally denied the registration of the documents. He himself elevated the question
on the registrability of the said documents to Administrator Bonifacio (of the National Land
Titles and Deeds Registration Administration-NLTDRA). The Administrator then resolved in
favor of the registrability of the documents. Despite the resolution of the Administrator,
Renomeron still refused the registration thereof but demanded from the parties interested the
submission of additional requirements not adverted in his previous denial.

ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent register of deeds, as a lawyer, may also be disciplined by the
Court for his malfeasance as a public official? -YES

HELD
The Court ruled that Renomeron may be disciplined by the Court as public official for his
misconduct constituted a violation of his oath as a lawyer. The lawyer's oath (Rule 138, Section
17, Rules of Court; People vs. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968), imposes upon every lawyer the duty to
delay no man for money or malice. The lawyer's oath is a source of his obligations and its
violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action (Legal Ethics,
Ruben E. Agpalo, 1983 Edition, pp. 66-67).
The Code of Professional Responsibility applies to lawyers in government service in the
discharge of their official tasks (Canon 6). As the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for
Public Officials requires public officials and employees to process documents and papers
expeditiously and prohibits them from directly or indirectly having a financial or material interest
in any transaction requiring the approval of their office, and likewise bars them from soliciting
gifts or anything of monetary value in the course of any transaction which may be affected by
the functions of their office, the Code of Professional Responsibility forbids a lawyer to engage
in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1.01, Code of Professional
Responsibility), or delay any man's cause "for any corrupt motive or interest" (Rule 103).

A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor
shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of
the legal profession. (Rule 7.03, Code of Professional Responsibility.)

This Court has ordered that only those who are "competent, honorable, and reliable" may
practice the profession of law (Noriega vs. Sison, 125 SCRA 293) for every lawyer must pursue
"only the highest standards in the practice of his calling" (Court Administrator vs. Hermoso, 150
SCRA 269, 278). The acts of dishonesty and oppression which Attorney Renomeron committed
as a public official have demonstrated his unfitness to practice the high and noble calling of the
law (Bautista vs. Judge Guevarra, 142 SCRA 632; Court Administrator vs. Rodolfo G. Hermoso,
150 SCRA 269).

19. Pimentel v. FACTS:


Llorente
Adm. Case No. 4680 This is a complaint for disbarment against Antonio M. Llorente and Ligaya P. Salayon for gross
misconduct, serious breach of trust, and violation of the lawyer's oath in connection with the
discharge of their duties as members of the Pasig City Board of Canvassers in the May 8, 1995
elections. Salayon was designated chairman of said Board, while Llorente was the vice-
chairman as provided by law.

Complainant alleges that, in violation of R.A. No. 6646, §27(b), respondents tampered with the
votes received by him, with the result that, as shown in the SoVs and CoC pertaining to 1,263
precincts of Pasig City, (1) senatorial candidates Enrile, Coseteng, Honasan, Fernan, Mitra, and
Biazon were credited with votes which were above the number of votes they actually received
while, on the other hand, petitioner's votes were reduced; (2) in 101 precincts, Enrile's votes were
in excess of the total number of voters who actually voted therein; and (3) the votes from 22
precincts were twice recorded in 18 SoVs. Complainant maintains that, by signing the SoVs and
CoC despite respondents' knowledge that some of the entries therein were false, they have
committed a serious breach of public trust and of their lawyers' oath. Respondents claimed that
the errors pointed out by complainant could be attributed to honest mistake, oversight, and/or
fatigue. Complainant counters that respondents should be held responsible for the illegal
padding of the votes considering the nature and extent of the irregularities and the fact that the
canvassing of the election returns was done under their control and supervision. On December
4, 1998, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, to which this matter had been referred pursuant
to Rule 139-B, §13, in relation to §20 of the Rules of Court, recommended the dismissal of the
complaint for lack of merit.

ISSUE
Whether respondents are guilty of gross misconduct and a violation of the lawyer’s oath. – YES.
HELD
The court held that respondents are guilty of misconduct. In disciplinary proceedings against
members of the bar, only clear preponderance of evidence is required to establish liability. In
this case, respondents do not dispute the fact that massive irregularities attended the
canvassing of the Pasig City election returns. The only explanation they could offer for such
irregularities is that it could be due to honest mistake, human error, and/or fatigue on the part
of the members of the canvassing committees who prepared the SoVs. The court rejected this
allegation. As held by the court in Pimentel vs. COMELEC, there is a limit to what can be
construed as an honest mistake or oversight due to fatigue, in the performance of official duty.
What is involved here is not just a case of mathematical error in the tabulation of votes per
precinct as reflected in the election returns and the subsequent entry of the erroneous figures
in one or two SoVs but a systematic scheme to pad the votes of certain senatorial candidates
at the expense of petitioner in complete disregard of the tabulation in the election returns. The
total number of votes credited to each of the senatorial candidates in question, as reflected in
the CoC, markedly differ from those indicated in the SoVs.

Despite the fact that these discrepancies were apparent on the face of these documents and
that the variation involves substantial number of votes, respondents nevertheless certified the
SoVs as true and correct. Their acts constitute misconduct. The fact is that only they had access
to the SoVs and CoC and thus had the opportunity to compare them and detect the
discrepancies therein.

A lawyer who holds a government position may not be disciplined as a member of the bar for
misconduct in the discharge of his duties as a government official. However, if the misconduct
also constitutes a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility or the lawyer's oath or is
of such character as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or shows moral delinquency on his
part, such individual may be disciplined as a member of the bar for such misconduct.

By certifying as true and correct the SoVs in question, respondents committed a breach of Rule
1.01 of the Code which stipulates that a lawyer shall not engage in "unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct." By express provision of Canon 6, this is made applicable to lawyers in the
government service. In addition, they likewise violated their oath of office as lawyers to "do no
falsehood."