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Case: WILFREDO M. CATU vs. ATTY.VICENTE G. RELLOSA A.C. No. 5738, February 19, 2008 Facts: Petitioner initiated a complaint against Elizabeth Catu and Antonio Pastor who were occupying one of the units in a building in Malate which was owned by the former. The said complaint was filed in the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay 723,Zone 79 of the 5thDistrict of Manila where Respondent was the punong barangay. The parties, having been summoned for conciliation proceedings and failing to arrive at an amicable settlement, were issued by the respondent a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Petitioner, thus, filed a complaint for ejectment against Elizabeth and Pastor in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila where respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendants. Because of this, petitioner filed the instant administrative complaint against the respondent on the ground that he committed an act of impropriety as a lawyer and as a public officer when he stood as counsel for the defendants despite the fact that he presided over the conciliation proceedings between the litigants as punong barangay. In his defense, respondent claimed that as punong barangay, he performed his task without bias and that he acceded to Elizabeths request to handle the case for free as she was financially distressed. The complaint was then referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)where after evaluation, they found sufficient ground to discipline respondent. According to them, respondent violated Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and, as an elective official, the prohibition under Section 7(b) (2) of RA 6713. Consequently, for the violation of the latter prohibition, respondent committed a breach of Canon 1.Respondent was then recommended for suspension from the practice of law. Issue. At issue here is whether the foregoing findings regarding the transgression of respondent as well as the recommendation on the imposable penalty of the respondent were proper. No. Rationale. First, respondent cannot be found liable for violation of Rule 6.03, CPR as this only applies to former government lawyers who are prohibited from accepting employment in connection with any matter in which [they] had intervened while in their service. In the instant case, respondent was an incumbent punong barangay. Apparently, he does not fall within the purview of the said provision. Second, it is not Section 90 of RA 7160 but Section 7(b) (2) of RA 6713 which governs the practice of profession of elective local government officials. While RA 6713 generally applies to all public officials and employees, RA 7160, being a special law, constitutes an exception to RA 6713 .Moreover, while under RA 7160, certain local elective officials (like governors, mayors, provincial board members and councilors) are expressly subjected to a total or partial proscription to practice their profession or engage in any occupation, no such interdiction is made on the punong barangay and the members of the sangguniang barangay .Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. Since they are excluded from any prohibition, the presumption is that they are allowed to practice their profession. Respondent, therefore, is not forbidden to practice his profession. Third, notwithstanding all of these, respondent still should have procured a prior permission or authorization from the head of his Department, as required by civil service regulations. 1 For this failure, responded 1 Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules provides that no officer or employee shall engage directly in any profession without a written permission from the head of the Department. violated his oath as a lawyer, that is, to obey the laws, Rule 1.01, CPR and, for not complying with the ethical standards of the legal profession, Canon 7, CPR. Ruling. Respondent was found GUILTY of professional misconduct, SUSPENDED from the practice of law and was strongly advised to look up and take to heart the meaning of the word delicadeza.

Wilfredo Catu vs Atty. Vicente Rellosa (A.C. No. 5738, February 19, 2008) Facts: Respondent was the Punong Barangay of Barangay 723, Manila. Respondent, as punong barangay, presided over the conciliation proceedings between petitioner and Antonio Pastor as regards a contested property. The parties to the conciliation proceedings failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. Respondent issued a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Regina Catu and Antonio Catu, the mother and brother of the complainant, filed a complaint for ejectment against Pastor before the Metropolitan Trial Court. Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendant in that case. Issue: Whether or not respondent acted in contravention of Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility? Held: Yes, respondent acted in contravention of the rules established by Canon 7, particularly rule 7.03, of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent violated the provision stated in Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules which prohibits public officer or employee from engaging directly in any private business, vocation or profession unless such public officer or employee is granted permission to engage in such activities by the head of the Department in which they belong. As punong barangay, respondent was not forbidden to practice his profession. However, respondent should have obtained the prior written permission of the Secretary of Interior and Local Government before he entered his appearance as counsel for Elizabeth and Pastor. A lawyer who disobeys the law disrespects it. In so doing, he disregards legal ethics and disgraces the dignity of the legal profession. Public confidence in the law and in lawyers may be eroded by the irresponsible and improper conduct of a member of the bar. Every lawyer should act and comport himself in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the legal profession. Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months. Wilfredo Catu vs Atty. Vicente Rellosa Facts: Respondent was the Punong Barangay of Barangay 723,Manila. Respondent, as punong barangay, presided over the conciliation proceedings between 5 petitioner and Antonio Pastor as regards a contested property. The parties to the conciliation proceedings failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. Respondent issued a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Regina Catu and Antonio Catu, the mother and brother of the complainant, filed a complaint for ejectment against Pastor before the Metropolitan Trial Court. Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendant in that case. Issue: Whether or not respondent acted in contravention of Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility? Held: Yes, respondent acted in contravention of the rules established by Canon 7, particularly rule 7.03, of the Code of Professional Wilfredo Catu vs Atty. Vicente Rellosa(A.C. No. 5738, February 19, 2008) Facts: Respondent was the Punong Barangay of Barangay 723, Manila. Respondent, as punong barangay, presided over the conciliation proceedings between petitioner and Antonio Pastor as regards a contested property. The parties to the conciliation proceedings failed to arrive at an amicable settlement. Respondent issued a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court. Regina Catu and Antonio Catu, the mother and brother of the complainant, filed a complaint for ejectment against Pastor before the Metropolitan Trial Court. Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendant in that case. Issue: Whether or not respondent acted in contravention of Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility? Held: Yes, respondent acted in contravention of the rules established by Canon 7, particularly rule 7.03, of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Respondent violated the provision stated in Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules which prohibits public officer or employee from engaging directly in any private business, vocation or profession unless such public officer or employee is granted permission to engage in such activities by the head of the Department in which they belong. As punong barangay, respondent was not forbidden to practice his profession. However, respondent should have obtained the prior written permission of the Secretary of Interior and Local Government before he entered his appearance as counsel for Elizabeth and Pastor. A lawyer who disobeys the law disrespects it. In so doing, he disregards legal ethics and disgraces the dignity of the legal profession. Public confidence in the law and in lawyers may be eroded by the irresponsible and improper conduct of a member of the bar. Every lawyer should act and comport himself in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the legal profession. Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months LORENZANA vs. FAJARDO FACTS: In a verified complaint dated May 27, 2002, complainant alleged that respondent, while employed as Legal Officer V at the Urban Settlement Office in Manila, until his retirement on May 15, 2002, was a Member of the Peoples Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) of Quezon City, receiving a monthly honorarium of P4,000.00. He was also a member of the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Novaliches Proper, also receiving a monthly allowance/ honorarium. Complainant also alleged that respondent was engaged in the private practice of law, receiving acceptance fees ranging from P20,000.00 to P50,000.00. He Lives in a house and lot owned by complainants family without paying any rental and refuses to leave the place despite the latters demands. HELD: Respondent failed to establish that his primary functions as Legal Officer of the Manila Urban Settlements Office allow his appointment as PLEB member, an exception to dual appointment prohibited by the Constitution and the statutes. Indeed, respondent, in accepting such appointment, has transgressed the Constitution, the Administrative Code of 1987, and the Local Government Code of 1991. Being contra leges, respondent also violated the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Attorneys Oath. CANON 1. A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION,OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND, PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAWAND LEGAL PROCESSES.WHEREFORE, for accepting employment as a member of the PLEB of Quezon City while concurrently employed as Legal Officer V of the Manila Urban Settlement Office, in violation of the Constitution and the statutes, which in turn contravene his Attorneys Oath and Code of Professional Responsibility; and by engaging in the illegal practice of law, Atty. Cesar G. Fajardo is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months effective from notice and is REPRIMANDED and WARNED that any repetition of similar acts would be dealt with more severely. FERDINAND A. CRUZ, Petitioner,vs. ALBERTO MINA, HON. ELEUTERIO F. GUERRERO and HON. ZENAIDA LAGUILLES, Respondents - On September 25, 2000, Ferdinand A. Cruz (petitioner) filed before the MeTC a formal Entry of Appearance, as private prosecutor, in Criminal Case No. 00-1705 for Grave Threats, where his father, Mariano Cruz, is the complaining witness.- third year law student- his appearance as private prosecutor on the bases of Section 34 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and the ruling of the Court En Banc in Cantimbuhan v. Judge Cruz, Jr 2 that a non-lawyer may appear before the inferior courts as an agent or friend of a party litigant. - MeTC denied it based from Rule 138-A of the Rules of Court (Law Student Practice Rule)- Motion for Reconsideration alleging that Rule 138-A, or the Law Student Practice Rule, does not have the effect of superseding Section 34 of Rule 138,f or the authority to interpret the rule is the source itself of the rule, which is the Supreme Court alone.-MeTC denied the Motion for Reconsideration- petitioner filed before the RTC a Petition f or Certiorari and Mandamus with Prayer f or Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order against the private respondent and the public respondent MeTC.- the RTC, deny the issuance of an injunctive writ on the ground that the crime of Grave Threats, being no claim for civil indemnity, and that therefore, the intervention of a private prosecutor is not legally tenable.

Issue The basic question is whether the petitioner, a law student, may appear before an inferior court as an agent or friend of a party litigant. Ruling of the court In Section 34 of Rule 138, the appearance of a non-lawyer, as an agent or friend of a party litigant, is expressly allowed, while Rule 138-A. provides for conditions when a law student, not as an agent or a, friend of a party litigant, may appear before the courts.di dapat gamitin Rule 138-A in denying permission coz it is not the basis for the petitioners appearance.- Section 34, Rule 138 is clear that appearance before the inferior courts by a non-lawyer is allowed, irrespective of whether or not he is a law student. As succinctly clarified in Bar Matter No. 730, by virtue of Section 34, Rule 138, a law student may appear, as an agent or a friend of a party litigant, without the supervision of a lawyer before inferior courts.- with regard to RTC decision, Under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable except in instances when no actual damage results from an offense, such as espionage, violation of neutrality, flight to an enemy country, and crime against popular representation. such that when a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with criminal action, unless the off ended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.10 granted. Canon 9 Office of the Court Administrator vs Atty. Misael M. Ladaga(A.M. No. P-99-1287 January 26, 2001) Facts: Atty. Misael Ladaga, Branch Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, appeared as counsel for and in behalf of his cousin, Narcisa Naldoza Ladaga, an accused in Criminal Case No. 84-885 for Falsification of Public Documents before the METC of Quezon City. It is also denied that the appearance of said respondent in said case was without the previous permission of the Court. During the occasions that the respondent appeared as such counsel before the METC of Quezon City, he was on official leave of absence. Moreover, his Presiding Judge, Judge Napoleon Inoturan was aware of the case he was handling. Respondent appeared as pro bono counsel for his cousin-client Narcisa Ladaga. Respondent did not receive a single centavo from her. Helpless as she was and respondent being the only lawyer in the family, he agreed to represent her out of his compassion and high regard for her. This is the first time that respondent ever handled a case for a member of his family who is like a big sister to him. He appeared for free and for the purpose of settling the case amicably. Furthermore, his Presiding Judge was aware of his appearance as counsel for his cousin. On top of this, during all the years that he has been in government service, he has maintained his integrity and independence. He failed to obtain a prior permission from the head of the Department. The presiding judge of the court to which respondent is assigned is not the head of the Department contemplated by law. Issue: WON Atty. Ladaga, upon such several appearances, was engages into private practice? NO Held: Respondent is charged under Sec. 7(b)(2) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees which prohibits civil servants from engaging in the private practice of their profession. A similar prohibition is found under Sec. 35, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court which disallows certain attorneys from engaging in the private practice of their profession. THERE WAS NO PRIVATE PRACTICE:

In People vs. Villanueva: Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State vs. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, N.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually h olding ones self out to the public, as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services (State vs Bryan, 4 S. E. 522, 98 N. C. 644, 647). The appearance as counsel on one occasion is not conclusive as determinative of engagement in the private practice of law. Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the isolated instances when respondent appeared as pro bono counsel of his cousin in Criminal Case No. 84885 does not constitute the private practice of the law profession contemplated by law. DECISION: Reprimanded. Query of Atty. Karen M. Silverio-Buffe, Former Clerk of Court- Branch 81, Romblon, Romblon- On The Prohibition From Engaging In the Private Practice of Law FACTS: Atty. Buffe previously worked as Clerk of Court VI of the RTC, Branch 81 of Romblon, she resigned from her position effective February 1, 2008. Thereafter, she engaged in the private practice of law by appearing as private counsel in several cases before RTC Branch 81 of Romblon within 1 year after the effectivity of her resignation. RA 6713, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Section 7(b)(2) places a limitation on public officials and employees during their incum bency and those already separated from government employment for a period of one (1) year after separation, in engaging in the private practice of their profession. SECTION 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxx (b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto. Public officials and employees during their incumbency shall not: xxx (2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions; or These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one (1) year after resignation, retirement, or separation from public office, except in the case of subparagraph (b) (2) above, but the professional concerned cannot practice his profession in connection with any matter before the office he used to be with, in which case the one-year prohibition shall likewise apply. ISSUE: WON Atty. Buffe is guilty of professional misconduct. HELD: YES. She was fined in the amount of P10,000 and a stern warning that a repetition of the same violation and other acts of professional misconduct shall be dealt with more severely. The letter-query Why an incumbent can engage in private practice assuming not in conflict with his official duties b ut a nonincumbent may not as is apparently prohibited under last par. of Sec 7 filed by Atty. Buffe and the petition for declaratory relief cannot cover her acts and did not serve as a mitigating circumstance for violating the abovementioned provision. It should be noted that she had already appeared before Branch 81 in at least 3 cases at the time she filed the letter-query. The terms of Section 7 (b)(2) of RA 6713 did not deter her in any way and her misgivings about the fairness of the law cannot excuse any resulting violation she committed. Section 7 of RA 6713 generally provides for the prohibited acts and transactions of public

officials and employees. Subsection (b)(2) prohibits them from engaging in the private practice of their profession during their incumbency. As an exception, a public official or employee can engage in the practice of his or her profession under the following conditions: The private practice is authorized b the Constitution or by the law; The practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with his or her official functions. The prohibition under Section 7 continues to apply for a period of 1 Year after the public official or employees resignatio n, retirement, or separation from public office, EXCEPT for the private practice of profession under subsection (b)(2), which can already be undertaken even within the 1 YEAR PROHIBTION PERIOD. As an exception to this exception, the 1 year prohibited period applies with respect to any matter before the office the public officer or emplo yee used to work with. Futhermore, no chance exists for lawyers in the Judiciary to practice their profession, as they are in fact expressly prohibited by Sec.5 Canon 3 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel from doing so. Under both the general rule and the exceptions, Atty. Buffe cannot escape penalty. Said prohibitions are based on the principle that public office is a public trust; and serve to remove any impropriety which may occur in government transactions. Additional info: Outside employment may be allowed by the head of office provided it complies with all of the following requirements: (a) The outside employment is not with a person or entity that practices law before the courts or conducts business with the Judiciary; (b) The outside employment can be performed outside of normal working hours and is not incompatible with the performance of the court personnels duties and responsibilities; (c) That outside employment does not require the practice of law; Provided, however, that court personnel may render services as professor, lecturer, or resource person in law schools, review or continuing education centers or similar institutions; (d) The outside employment does not require or induce the court personnel to disclose confidential information acquired while performing officials duties; (e) The outside employment shall not be with the legislative or executive branch of government, unless specifically authorized by the Supreme Court. Where a conflict of interest exists, may reasonably appear to exist, or where the outside employment reflects adversely on the integrity of the Judiciary, the court personnel shall not accept outside employment.