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Sophia Alawi was a sales representative of E.B. Villarosa & Partners Co.,
Ltd. of Davao City, a real estate and housing company. Ashari M. Alauya is the
incumbent executive clerk of court of the 4th Judicial Shari'a District in Marawi City,
They were classmates, and used to be friends.

Arturo E. Garcia, a Filipino citizen, studied law, became a lawyer and

practiced law in Spain. Later, he applied for admission to the practice of law in the
Philippines without taking the Philippine bar examinations. He cited the provision of
the Treaty of Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the
Philippines and Spain and argued that he is entitled to practice the law profession in
the Philippines even without submitting to the required bar examinations.

Through Alawi's agency, a contract was executed for the purchase on

installments by Alauya of one of the housing units of Villarosa. In connection, a
housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the National Home Mortgage Finance
Corporation (NHMFC).
Not long afterwards, Alauya addressed a letter to the President of Villarosa &
Co. advising of the termination of his contract with the company. He claimed that his
consent was vitiated because Alawi had resorted to gross misrepresentation, deceit,
fraud, dishonesty and abuse of confidence. He laso wrote similar letters to the Vice
President of Villarosa and the Vice President of NHMFC.
On learning of Alauya's letters, Alawi filed an administrative complaint
against him. One of her grounds was Alauyas usurpation of the title of "attorney,"
which only regular members of the Philippine Bar may properly use.
Alauya justified his use of the title, "attorney," by the assertion that it is
"lexically synonymous" with "Counsellors-at-law." a title to which Shari'a lawyers have
a rightful claim, adding that he prefers the title of "attorney" because "counsellor" is
often mistaken for "councilor," "konsehal" or the Maranao term "consial," connoting a
local legislator beholden to the mayor. Withal, he does not consider himself a lawyer.
Issue: Whether or not Alauya, a member of the Sharia bar, can use the title of
He cant. The title is only reserved to those who pass the regular Philippine
bar. 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.
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." The
title of "attorney" is reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary degree in
the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been admitted to
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in good standing;
and it is they only who are authorized to practice law in this jurisdiction.

Issue: Can the petitioner validly invoke the subject treaty to justify his petition to be
admitted to the practice law in the Philippines without taking the Philippine bar
Held: [The Court DENIED the petition.]
NO, the petitioner CANNOT validly invoke the subject treaty to justify
his petition to be admitted to the practice law in the Philippines without taking
the Philippine bar examinations.
[T]he provisions of the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise of
Professions between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State cannot be
invoked by applicant. Under Article 11 thereof:
The Nationals of each of the two countries who shall have obtained
recognition of the validity of their academic degrees by virtue of the stipulations of this
Treaty, can practice their professions within the territory of the Other, . . . (Emphasis
from which it could clearly be discerned that said Treaty was intended to
govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice their profession in Spain, and the citizens
of Spain desiring to practice their professions in the Philippines. Applicant is a Filipino
citizen desiring to practice the legal profession in the Philippines. He is therefore
subject to the laws of his own country and is not entitled to the privileges extended to
Spanish nationals desiring to practice in the Philippines.
Article I of the Treaty, in its pertinent part, provides
The nationals of both countries who shall have obtained degree or diplomas
to practice the liberal professions in either of the Contracting States, issued by
competent national authorities, shall be deemed competent to exercise said
professions in the territory of the Other, subject to the laws and regulations of the
latter. . .
It is clear, therefore, that the privileges provided in the Treaty invoked by the
applicant are made expressly subject to the laws and regulations of the contracting
State in whose territory it is desired to exercise the legal profession; and Section 1 of
Rule 127, in connection with Sections 2, 9, and 16 thereof, which have the force of
law, require that before anyone can practice the legal profession in the Philippine he
must first successfully pass the required bar examinations.

The aforementioned Treaty, concluded between the Republic of the

Philippines and the Spanish State could not have been intended to modify the laws
and regulations governing admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, for the
reason that the Executive Department may not encroach upon the constitutional
prerogative of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of
law in the Philippines, the lower to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being
reserved only to the Congress of the Philippines.

1. Whether or not Monsod qualifies as chairman of the COMELEC. What
constitutes practice of law?
2. Whether the appointment of Chairman Monsod of Comelec violates Section
1 (1), Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution?
3. Whether or not the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of
discretion in confirming Monsods appointment.

[NOTE (in relation to the incorporation clause): Pacta sunt servanda, a

generally accepted principle of international law, cannot be invoked in this case
since the treaty cited as justification for Garcia's petition was not even
applicable in the first place.]

1. Yes. Atty. Monsods past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyermanager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a
lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the
constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years.


Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the
position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the
Commission on Appointments on April 25, 1991. Petitioner opposed the nomination
because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been
engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
On June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of
Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office.
On the same day, he assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC.
Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of
Monsod's nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for
certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent
appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared
null and void.
Monsods track record as a lawyer:
1. Passed the bar in 1960 with a rating of 86.55%.
2. Immediately after passing, worked in his fathers law firm for one year.
3. Thereafter, until 1970, he went abroad where he had a degree in economics
and held various positions in various foreign corporations.
4. In 1970, he returned to the Philippines and held executive jobs for various
local corporations until 1986.
5. In 1986, he became a member of the Constitutional Commission.
He worked:
As a lawyer in the law office of his father (1960-1963);
As an operations officer with the World Bank Group (1963-1970);
As a Chief Executive Officer of an investment bank (1970-1986);
As a legal or economic consultant on various companies (1986);
As Secretary General of NAMFREL (1986);
As a member of Constitutional Commission (1986-1987);
As National Chairman of NAMFREL (1987); and,
As a member of the quasi-judicial Davide Commission (1990).

As noted by various authorities, the practice of law is not limited to court

appearances. The members of the bench and bar and the informed laymen such as
businessmen, know that in most developed societies today, substantially more legal
work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms. General practitioners of law
who do both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases they find
themselves spending more time doing what is loosely described as business
counseling than in trying cases. In the course of a working day the average general
practitioner wig engage in a number of legal tasks, each involving different legal
doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions, clients, and other interested
parties. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers in specialized practice wig usually
perform at least some legal services outside their specialty. By no means will most of
this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively rare types a
litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work
will require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of
client counseling, advice-giving, document drafting, and negotiation.
2. The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C, that there shall be a
Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall
be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at
least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been
candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However,
a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar
who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar
examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been dues paying member of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. He has also been
paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years.
At this point, it might be helpful to define private practice. The term, as commonly
understood, means "an individual or organization engaged in the business of
delivering legal services." (Ibid.). Lawyers who practice alone are often called "sole
practitioners." Groups of lawyers are called "firms." The firm is usually a partnership
and members of the firm are the partners. Some firms may be organized as
professional corporations and the members called shareholders. In either case, the
members of the firm are the experienced attorneys. In most firms, there are younger
or more inexperienced salaried attorneys called "associates."

Hence, the Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings
on Monsod's confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary
qualifications as required by law. The judgment rendered by the Commission in the
exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only
upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only where such grave abuse of
discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commission's judgment.
In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court's corrective
power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to
lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for
has been clearly shown.
Besides in the leading case of Luego v. Civil Service Commission, he Court said that,
Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the
officer in which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being that
the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. If he does, then the
appointment cannot be faulted on the ground that there are others better qualified
who should have been preferred. This is a political question involving considerations
of wisdom which only the appointing authority can decide.
3. NO. The power of the COA to give consent to the nomination of the Comelec
Chairman by the president is mandated by the constitution. The power of appointment
is essentially within the discretion of whom it is so vested subject to the only condition
that the appointee should possess the qualification required by law. From the
evidence, there is no occasion for the SC to exercise its corrective power since there
is no such grave abuse of discretion on the part of the CA.
Justice Padilla dissenting:
Monsod did not practice law. Justice Padilla emphasized the following criteria in
determining what constitutes practice of law:
1. Habituality. The term practice of law implies customarily or habitually holding
ones self out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing
State v. Boyen, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular
announcing the establishment of a law office for the general practice of law (U.S. v.
Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the oath of office as a lawyer before a
notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme Court informing it of his
intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
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 a habitual exercise
(People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864).
2. Compensation. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be
in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional
services are available to the public for compensation, as a service of his livelihood or
in consideration of his said services. (People v. Villanueva, supra). Hence, charging
for services such as preparation of documents involving the use of legal knowledge
and skill is within the term practice of law (Ernani Pao, Bar Reviewer in Legal and
Judicial Ethics, 1988 ed., p. 8 citing People v. Peoples Stockyards State Bank, 176

N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion as to the proper interpretation of a statute,
and receives pay for it, is to that extent, practicing law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing
Mendelaun v. Gilbert and Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If compensation is
expected, all advice to clients and all action taken for them in matters connected with
the law; are practicing law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor, 94A-L.R. 356359)
3. Application of law, legal principle, practice or procedure which calls for legal
knowledge, training and experience is within the term practice of law. (Martin supra)
4. Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the
existence of lawyer-client relationship. Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an activity
which requires knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship, such as
teaching law or writing law books or articles, he cannot be said to be engaged in the
practice of his profession or a lawyer (Agpalo, Legal Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30).
Monsod did not habitually practice law. It may be granted that he performed activities
which are related to the practice of law like drafting legal documents and giving legal
advice, but he only did so as isolated incidents.
Justice Gutierrez dissenting:
Monsod did not practice law save for the one year he spent in his fathers law office.
The Chairman of the COMELEC should have engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years. The deliberate choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is
active and regular, not isolated, occasional, accidental, intermittent, incidental,
seasonal, or extemporaneous. To be engaged in an activity for ten years requires
committed participation in something which is the result of ones decisive choice. It
means that one is occupied and involved in the enterprise; one is obliged or pledged
to carry it out with intent and attention during the ten-year period.
What kind of Judges or Justices will we have if their main occupation is selling real
estate, managing a business corporation, serving in fact-finding committee, working in
media, or operating a farm with no active involvement in the law, whether in
Government or private practice, except that in one joyful moment in the distant past,
they happened to pass the bar examinations?
There is nothing in Monsods track record which will show that he Monsod has
given the law enough attention or a certain degree of commitment and participation
as would support in all sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in its
practice for at least ten years. Instead of working as a lawyer, he has lawyers working
for him. Instead of giving receiving that legal advice of legal services, he was the one
adviced and those services as an executive but not as a lawyer.
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of
law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice
of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally,
to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service
requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill.




G.R. No. L-9513 has a direct bearing on the present complaint. Said case originated
from a criminal action filed in the Court of First Instance of Cagayan by the
complainant against the respondent for a violation of Article 350 of the Revised Penal
Code of which the respondent was found guilty. The verdict, when appealed to the
Court of Appeals, was affirmed. The appeal by certiorari taken to this Court by the
respondent was dismissed for lack of merit.

That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar
examinations of the fact that he had been with, or indicted for an alleged crime, as a
ground for revocation of his license to practice law, is well settled.
Respondent Galang when he took the Bar for the first time in 1962 did not
expressly require the disclosure of the applicant's criminal records, if any. He
continued to intentionally withhold or conceal from the Court his criminal case of slight
physical injuries which was then and until now is pending in the City Court of Manila;
and thereafter repeatedly omitted to make mention of the same in his applications to
take the Bar examinations in 1967, 1969 and 1971 and he committed perjury when he
declared under oath he ad no pending criminal case in court. By falsely representing
to the court, he was allowed unconditionally to take the Bar examinations 7 times and
in 197 was allowed to take his oath.


Telesforo A. Diao passed the Bar Examinations in 1953. Two years
after, Severino Martinez charged him (Diao) of misrepresentation in the application of
the examinations becasue Diao failed to meet the academic pre-requisites. Diao did
not complete secondary education (high school) and did not attend
Quisumbing College nor obtained an Associate in Arts degree from the said
Diao admitted the charge but claimed that he left high school in his third year
because he served in the U.S. Army. He passed the General Classification Test,
which was said to be an equivalent to a high school diploma.
Issue: Whether or not Diao should continue to practice law?
Held: NO.
Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar
examinations; but due to his false representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily
passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such admission having been
obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he
hurdled the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the
only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal
study in the regular manner is equally essential..

The complaint seeks to disqualify the respondent, a 1954 successful bar candidate,
from being admitted to the bar. The basic facts are the same as those found by the
Court of Appeals, to wit: On April 16, 1939, the respondent was married to Rizalina E.
Valdez in Rizal, Nueva Ecija. On or before March 8, 1951, he courted the complainant
who fell in love with him. To have carnal knowledge of her, the respondent procured
the preparation of a fake marriage contract which was then a blank document. He
made her sign it on March 8, 1951. A week after, the document was brought back by
the respondent to the complainant, signed by the Justice of the Peace and the Civil
Registrar of San Manuel, Tarlac, and by two witnesses. Since then the complainant
and the respondent lived together as husband and wife. Sometime later, the
complainant insisted on a religious ratification of their marriage and on July 7, 1951,
the corresponding ceremony was performed in Aparri by the parish priest of said
municipality. The priest no longer required the production of a marriage license
because of the civil marriage contract shown to him. After the ceremony in Aparri, the
couple returned to Manila as husband and wife and lived with some friends. The
complainant then discovered that the respondent was previously married to someone
else; whereupon, she filed the criminal action for a violation of Article 350 of the
Revised Penal Code in the Court of First Instance of Cagayan and the present
complaint for immorality in this court.
Upon consideration of the records of G.R. No. L-9513 and the complaint, this Court is
of the opinion that the respondent is immoral. He made mockery of marriage which is
a sacred institution demanding respect and dignity. His conviction in the criminal case
involves moral turpitude. The act of respondent in contracting the second marriage
(even his act in making love to another woman while his first wife is still alive and their
marriage still valid and existing) is contrary to honesty, justice, decency, and morality.
Thus lacking the good moral character required by the Rules of Court, the respondent
is hereby declared disqualified from being admitted to the bar. So ordered.


The first contempt proceeding arose from third motion for reconsideration signed by
Atty. Vicente L. Santiago, on his behalf and purportedly for Attys. Erlito R. Uy,
Graciano Regala and Associates, and Jose B. Sotto, that the petitioners, who,
according to the Solicitor General and based on their submitted and signed
memorandum, alleged that petitioners:

Whether or not:
a) Atty. Vicente L. Santiago; Atty. Jose Beltran Sotto; Graciano C. Regala; and
Associates; and Atty. Erlito R. Uy; are guilty of contempt on the filed Third Motion for

b) Atty. Vicente L. Santiago; Atty. Juanito M. Caling, and Mr. Morton F. Meads are
guilty of contempt on the filed Fourth Motion for Reconsideration;

To have made false, ridiculous and wild statements in a desperate attempt to

prejudice the courts against MacArthur International (such efforts could be
accurately called scattershot desperation);
To have such a proposition is corrupt on its face and it lays bare the immoral
and arrogant attitude of the petitioners, and petitioners opportunistically change
their claims and stories not only from case to case but from pleading to pleading
in the same case. Atty Santiago further alleged that the Supreme Court] has
overlooked the applicable law due to the misrepresentation and obfuscation of the
petitioners counsel and


For Atty. Vicente L. Santiago YES. Fine of P1,000.00.

For Atty. Jose Beltran Sotto YES. Fine of P100.00.

For Atty. Graciano C. Regala and Associates NO. (Took no part)
For Atty. Erlito R. Uy NO. (Took no part)

And the Supreme Court in the effect:

Never has any civilized, democratic tribunal ruled that such a gimmick
(referring to the right to reject any and all bids) can be used by vulturous
executives to cover up and excuse losses to the public, a government agency or
just plain fraud. Atty. Santiago also filed a motion to inhibit against Chief Justice
Concepcion and Justice Castro.

The second contempt proceeding arose when respondent MacArthur, through new
counsel, Atty. Juanito M. Caling who entered a special appearance for the purpose,
lodged a fourth motion for reconsideration without express leave of court. Said motion
reiterated previous grounds raised, and included citing the New Rules of Court
Section 1 Rule 51 and that alleged injustice may cut off all aid and benefits to the
Philippine Government by invoking the Hickenlooper Amendment after making it
known to the World Court. Meads, for his part tried to reason out why such a distorted
quotation came about the portion left out was anyway marked by XS which is a
common practice among lawyers. Canon 22 of the Canons of Legal Ethics reminds
the lawyer to characterize his conduct with candor and fairness, and specifically
states that it is not candid nor fair for the lawyer knowingly to misquote.


For Atty. Vicente L. Santiago YES. Additional fine of P1,000.00

For Atty. Juanito M. Caling YES. Fine P200.00.

For Mr. Morton F. Meads YES. Fine of P1,000.00.


On the Third Motion for Reconsideration

The Supreme Court finds language that is not to be expected of an officer of the
courts. Atty. Santiago pictures petitioners as vulturous executives and speaks of this
[Supreme] Court as a civilized, democratic tribunal, but by innuendo would suggest
that it is not. Atty. Jose Beltran Sotto has misbehaved, under Section 3 (a), Rule 71 of
the Rules of Court; and that he too has committed, under Section 3 (d) of the same
rule, improper conduct tending to degrade the administration of justice. Atty. Regala

did not even know that his name was included as co-counsel in this case. Finally,
borne out by the record is the fact that Atty. Uy was not also involved in the
preparation of any of the pleadings subject of the contempt citation.

in order to pay their fathers indebtedness. Eventually, Florentinos nipa land was sold
for P1,000.00. Thereafter, P200.00 was paid to Atty. Fernandez for his legal services
both for Florentino and his heirs. Judge Bello found out about said payment and so
directed Fernandez to explain (because under the guardianship, proceeds of any
sale must first be accounted for and no payment to creditors shall be made without
prior authorization from the court).


In the course of the proceeding however, Judge Bello stated that Fernandez does not
deserve the P200.00 attorneys fees because Fernandez is a below average
standard of a lawyer. Fernandez then responded with strong language (which were
not specified).

On the Fourth Motion for Reconsideration

Atty. Santiago is a lawyer of record for respondent MacArthur in this case. He has not
resigned from his position as such lawyer. He has control of the proceedings.
Whatever steps his client takes should be within his knowledge and responsibility.
Indeed, Canon 16 of the Canons of Legal Ethics should have reminded him that [a]
lawyer should use his best efforts to restrain and to prevent his clients from doing
those things which the lawyer himself ought not to do, particularly with reference to
their conduct towards courts, judicial officers, jurors, witnesses and suitors. If a client
persists in such wrongdoing the lawyer should terminate their relation.

Atty. Caling lifted Section 1. Rule 51, Rules of Court, out of context. He has not shown
to the satisfaction of this Court that he should be exempted from the contempt charge
against him. He knows that he is an officer of this Court. He admits that he has read
the fourth motion for reconsideration before he signed it. While he has been dragged
in only at the last minute, still it was plainly his duty to have taken care that his name
should not be attached to pleadings contemptuous in character.

ISSUE: Whether or not the strong language used by Fernandez against the judge is
HELD: The Supreme Court seem to say yes. The Supreme Court stated that the
strong language used by Fernandez must have been impelled by the same language
used by Bello in characterizing the act of Fernandez as anomalous and unbecoming
and in charging him of obtaining his fee through maneuvers of documents from the
guardian-petitioner. If anyone is to blame for the language used by Fernandez, it is
Bello himself who has made insulting remarks in his orders, which must have
provoked Fernandez.. If a judge desires not to be insulted he should start using
temperate language himself; he who sows the wind will reap a storm.
On the issue of attorneys fees, the opinion of a judge as to the capacity of a lawyer is
not the basis of the right to a lawyers fee. It is the contract between the lawyer and
client and the nature of the services rendered.

As to Mr. Meads, having admitted having prepared the fourth motion for
reconsideration, he cannot beg off from the contempt charge against him even though
he is not a lawyer.


Atty. Manuel Fernandez won a civil case for Florentino Perreyras however, Florentino
died without paying Fernandez. Fernandez then assisted the eldest child of Perreyras
in a guardianship proceeding so that the eldest may properly dispose of their property

This proceeding is to punish the defendants for contempt.

In the year 1902 this court decided that the defendant, J. Garcia Bosque, was not
entitled to admission to practice law in the Philippine Islands, upon the ground that
after the change of sovereignty he had elected to remain a Spanish subject and as
such was not qualified for admission to the bar (In re Bosque, 1 Phil. Rep., 88), and
an order was entered accordingly.
In the year 1904 he made an arrangement with the defendant Ney, a practicing
attorney, to carry on business together, sending out a circular signed "Ney & Bosque,"
stating that they had established an office for the general practice of law in all the
courts of the Islands and that Bosque would devote himself especially to consultation
and office work relating to Spanish law. The paper was headed "Law Office Ney &
Bosque. Juan G. Bosque,jurisconsulto espaol C.W. Ney, abogado americano."
Since that time the defendant Bosque has not personally appeared in the courts, and
with one exception, occuring through an inadvertance, papers from the office were
signed not with the firm name alone nor with any designation of the firm as attorneys,
but with the words "Ney & Bosque C.W. Ney, abogado."

On two occasions, one on May 1, 1905, and the other on September 15, 1906, this
court refused to consider petitions so singed with the names of the defendants and
the practice being repeated, on the 2nd day of October, 1906, ordered the papers
sent to the Attorney-General to take appropriate action thereon, and he thereupon
instituted this proceeding.
The defendants disclaim any intentional contempt, and defend their acts as being
within the law.
Section 102 of the Code of Civil procedure, providing that every pleading must be
subscribed by the party or his attorney, does not permit, and by implication prohibits,
a subscription of the names of any other persons, whether agents or otherwise;
therefore a signature containing the name of one neither a party nor an attorney was
not a compliance with this section, nor was it aided by the too obvious subterfuge of
the addition of the individual name of a licensed attorney. The illegality in this instance
was aggravated by the fact that one of the agents so named was a person residing in
these Islands to whom this court had expressly denied admission to the bar. The
papers in question were irregular and were properly rejected. We refuse to recognize
as a practice any signature of names appended to pleadings or other papers in an
action other than those specified in the statute. A signature by agents amounts to a
signing by non-qualified attorneys, the office of attorney being originally one of
agency. (In re Cooper, 22 N.Y., 67.) We do not, however, mean to discountenance the
use of a suitable firm designation by partners, all of whom have been duly admitted to
It is to be noted that we are not now considering an application for the suspension or
removal of the defendant Ney from his office as attorney. The defendant Bosque, not
being an officer of the court, could not be proceeded against in that way, and probably
for that reason the Attorney-General instituted this form of proceeding.

courts of the Islands, amounted to an assertion of his right and purpose, not
effectively qualified by the addition that he would devote himself to consultation and
office work relating to Spanish law. Spanish law plays an important part in the
equipment of a lawyer in the Archipelago, standing on a different footing from the law
of other foreign countries, in regard to which a skilled person might as a calling,
advise without practicing law. The fact stated on the circular that he was a Spanish
lawyer did not amount to a disclaimer of his professional character in the Islands.
Independent of statutory provisions, a foreigner is not by reason of his status
disqualified from practicing law. One of the most eminent American advocates was an
alien barrister admitted to the bar after a contest in the court of New York State. (In
re Thomas Addis Emmett, 2 Cain's Cases, 386.) Consequently the conduct of the
defendant Bosque amounts to disobedience of an order made in a proceeding to
which he was a party.
Under the second subdivision of the section cited, Bosque is obviously not
answerable, inasmuch as he was not an officer of the court. On the other hand, under
this subdivision, the defendant Ney, as an admitted attorney, is liable if his conduct
amounted to misbehavior. We are of the opinion that it did. In the offense of Bosque in
holding himself out as a general practitioner Ney participated, and for the improper
signature of the pleadings he was chiefly and personally responsible. It is impossible
to say that the signature itself was a violation of the law, and yet hold guiltless the
man who repeatedly wrote it. Moreover we regret to add that his persistent and rash
disregard of the rulings of the court has not commended him to our indulgence, while
the offensive character of certain papers recently filed by him forbids us from
presuming on the hope of his voluntarily conforming to the customary standard of
members of the bar.
The judgment of the court is that each of the defendants is fined in the sum of 200
pesos, to be paid into the office of the clerk of this court within ten days, with the
costs de oficio. So ordered.

Should either of these defendants be thus punished for contempt?

Section 232 of the Code of Civil Procedure describes contempt as follows:
1. Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, judgment, or
command of a court, or injunction granted by a court or judge;
2. Misbehavior of an officer of the court in the performance of his official
duties or in his official transactions.
Where the law defines contempt, the power of the courts is restricted to punishment
for acts so defined. (Ex parteRobinson, 86 U.S., 505.)
As to the first subdivision of this section, no direct order or command of this court has
been disobeyed or resisted by the defendant Ney. The only order that the defendant
Bosque can have disobeyed is the one denying him the right to practice law. This
order, however, was directly binding upon him, notwithstanding proceedings taken for
its review, and any hope on his part of ultimately reversing it furnished no excuse for
its violation. Even had he been entitled under the statute to practice law without any
license from the court and without an application to it, yet its order made on his own
petition. A mandate of the court, while in force, must be obeyed. The irregular
signature to papers, though affixed by his associate, had his authorization and
constitutes a substantial attempt to engage in practice. Moreover the firm circular in
setting forth the establishment of an office for the general practice of law in all the

FACTS: Court held respondent Elmo S. Abad a successful bar examinee but has not
been admitted to the Philippine Bar in contempt of Court for unauthorized practice of
law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case he failed to pay
the fine. (121 SCRA 217). He paid the fine. Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the
Report has found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he
signed Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts.
This aspect opens the respondent to a charge for perjury. The Report also reveals
that Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels for Antonio
S. Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to
account for his association with the respondent.
Respondent, when asked about the aforesaid motions, Exhibits "B" and "D", and the
signatures therein, denied that he filed the same and that the signatures therein are
his. He also denied that he appeared in the hearing in the afternoon of December 8,
1983 in the said trial court. According to him, he was in Batangas at the time. He also
testified that the only explanation he could give regarding the signatures in the

aforesaid exhibits is that the same could have been effected by Atty. Beltran to show
the Supreme Court that he (respondent) was still illegally practicing law. As to the
motion for examination and analysis of respondent's signature, the Investigator, to
afford respondent full opportunity to prove his defense, sought the assistance of the
National Bureau of Investigation to compare respondent's signature in the aforesaid
exhibits with the signatures appearing in the pleadings that he filed in the Supreme
Court, which latter signature he admits as genuine and as his own. The aforesaid
documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI, have
clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of this
Court of March 28, 1983.
ISSUES: Whether or not Abad can engage in practice of law.
Whether or not Atty. Jacobe liable in his collaboration with the respondent.
HELD: No. Only those licensed by the Supreme Court may practice law in this
country. The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a
privilege. It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications
duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege presupposes possession
of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment and even public trust, since a
lawyer is an officer of the court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice
law simply by passing the barexaminations. The practice of law is a privilege that can
be withheld even from one who has passed the bar examinations, if the person
seeking admission had practiced law without license. Respondent Abad should know
that the circumstances which he has narrated do not constitute his admission to the
Philippine Bar and the right to practice law thereafter. He should know that two
essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his
lawyer's oath to be administered by this Court and his signature in the Roll
of Attorneys. (Rule 138, Secs. 17 and 19, Rules of Court.) The regulation of the
practice of law is unquestionably strict. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the Rules of
Court, a person who engages in the unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect
contempt of court. Mr. Elmo S. Abad is hereby fined Five Hundred (P500.00) pesos
payable to this Court within ten (10) days from notice failing which he shall serve
twenty-five (25) days imprisonment.
Yes. He violated Canon 9 Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified
person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a
member of the Bar. in good standing. A lawyer shall not assist anyone who is not a
member of the Bar to practice law in this country. Thus, he must not take as partner
or associate in his law firm a person who is not a lawyer, a lawyer who has been
disbarred and a lawyer who has been suspended from practice of law. The lawyer
who assists in an unauthorized practice of law whether directly or indirectly is subject
to disciplinary action.Finally, Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe is required to explain within ten
(10) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for collaborating and
associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is not a member of the

At the reconstitution of the above-entitled case, claimant-appellant presented copies

of several papers, exhibits, pleadings, motions and orders, including copy of the
decision of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, record on appeal, and the time the
printed brief of said claimant-appellant who, at the time he filed his motion for
reconstitution on February 26, 1946, was under the impression that the case, which
was pending decision in the Court of Appeals when the war broke out, remained
unacted upon by said court until the motion for reconstitution was filed.
On June 25, 1946, Attorney Manuel F. Zamora, for the claimants and appellees,
acting under the highest standards of truthfulness, fair play and nobility as becomes a
deserving member of the bar, instead of taking advantage of claimant-appellants
ignorance of what really happened in the Court of Appeals, informed this court that
the case had been decided in favor of said claimant and appellant by the Court of
Appeals, filing to said effect the copy of the decision promulgated on September 9,
1942, sent to him by said court, to save the appellant the trouble of waiting for the
reconstitution of this case and this tribunal the trouble of deciding again a case
already decided.
Upon being informed of the statements of Attorney Zamora, claimant appellants
attorneys filed a petition with the commissioner for reconstitution to make a report to
this Court that the records be declared reconstituted, together with the decision of the
Court of Appeals dated September 9, 1942, and that said records be remanded to the
lower court for execution of the decision.
The court resolved to declare that the case is reconstituted and to order that copy of
the decision of the Court of Appeals, promulgated on September 9, 1942, be sent to
the lower court for execution. This resolution is being adopted not without making of
record that the action taken by Attorney Manuel F Zamora should be considered as
an example worthy to be remembered by all members of the bar.
We, however, sustain Atty. Canlas' position-on matters of procedure for the
enlightenment solely of the bench and the bar. It does not mean that we find merit in
his petition. As we have intimated, we cannot overlook the unseemlier side of the
proceeding, in which a member of the bar would exploit his mastery of procedural law
to score a "technical knockout" over his own client, of all people. Procedural rules,
after all, have for their object assistance unto parties "in obtaining just, speedy, and
inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding."31 If procedure were to be
an impediment to such an objective, "it deserts its proper office as an aid to justice
and becomes its great hindrance and chief enemy." 32 It was almost eight decades
ago that the Court held:
... A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply schooled and
skilled in the subtle art of movement and position, entraps and destroys the other. It
is, rather, a contest in which each contending party fully and fairly lays before the
court the facts in issue and then, brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all
imperfections of form and technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done
upon the merits. Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by the a rapier's thrust ...



FACTS: Judgment was rendered against the petitioner ordering it to reconvey the
cemetery to the rightful owners, private respondent sps. Sevilla. Despite the final
decision of the SC, petitioner was able to prevent the execution for filing petitions for
certiorari arguing that the judgment cannot be executed against it because it was not
a party to Civil Case No. C-9297; that the decision of the trial court in said case never
mandated Central Dyeing to deliver possession of the property to the private
respondents; that certain facts and circumstances which occurred after the finality of
the judgment will render the execution highly unjust, illegal and inequitable; that the
issuance of the assailed writ of execution violates the lot buyers' freedom of religion
and worship; and that private respondents' title is being questioned in another case
to the cause that the case to be pending for 17 years, and thus render the judgment

They filed several petitions and motions for reconsideration with the trial
court and the CA despite the fact that it would never prosper as the trial courts
decision had long become final before the said petitions were filed.

HELD: Petition denied. While lawyers owe their entire devotion to the interest of the
client and zeal in the defense of their clients right, they are also officers of the court,
bound to exert every effort to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of

It has been known that the petition of the private respondents has been moot
and academic and that they had took possession of the lot. To the end that:

This case delayed the execution of a final judgment for seventeen (17) years to the
prejudice of the private respondents. In the meantime that petitioner has thwarted
execution, interment on the disputed lot has long been going on, so that by the time
this case is finally terminated, the whole lot shall have already been filled with
tombstones, leaving nothing for private respondents, the real owners of the property.
This is a mockery of justice.
We note that while lawyers owe entire devotion to the interest of their clients and zeal
in the defense of their client's right, they should not forget that they are officers of the
court, bound to exert every effort to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of
justice. They should not, therefore, misuse the rules of procedure to defeat the ends
of justice or unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court
In Banogan et. al.vs. Cerna, et. al., 21 we ruled:
As officers of the court, lawyers have a responsibility to assist in the proper
administration of justice. They do not discharge this duty by filing pointless
petitions that only add to the workload of the judiciary, especially this Court,
which is burdened enough as it is. A judicious study of the facts and the law
should advise them when a case such as this, should not be permitted to be
filed to merely clutter the already congested judicial dockets. They do not
advance the cause of law or their clients by commencing litigations that for
sheer lack of merit do not deserve the attention of the courts.

They should not misuse the rules of procedure to defeat the ends of
justice or unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or misuse
court processes. The facts and the law should advise them that a case such as this
should not be permitted to be filed to merely clutter the already congested judicial
dockets. They do not advance the cause of law or their clients by commencing
litigations that for sheer lack of merit do not deserve the attention of the courts.

The dilatory tactics of the defense counsel and the failure of both the judge and the
fiscal to take effective counter measures to obviate the delaying acts constitute
obstruction of justice.

The mere continuation of petitioners dilatory tactics to that the respondents

will not benefit from the final judgment. The fear of the petitioner regarding the
disturbance of the grave lots was more imagined than true because in the writ of
execution, the presiding judge imposed that the enforcement of the writ of possession
and break open order should be applied only to the gate of Eternal Gardens Memorial
Park at the eastern side nearest to the parcel of land in question where the factory of
the defendant(Central Dyeing) is located, in order to avoid disturbing the peace of the
resting souls over the graves the parcels of land within the said memorial park.

As aptly stared:
12.09 Obstructing the administration of justice
An attorney as an officer of the court is called upon to assist in the due
administration of justice. Like the court itself, he is an instrument to advance its
cause. (Surigao Mineral Reservation Board vs. Cloribel, G.R. No. 11071, Jan. 9,
1972, 31 SCRA 1; In re Climaco, G.R. Adm. Case No. 134-J, Jan. 21, 1974, 55
SCRA 107) For this reason, any act on the part of a lawyer that obstructs, perverts
or impedes the administration of justice constitutes misconduct and justifies
disciplinary action against him. (Cantorne vs. Ducasin 57 Phil, 23 [1932]; De los
Santos vs. Sagalongos 69 Phil. 406 [1940]).


Acts which amount to obstruction in the administration of justice may take many
forms. They include such acts as instructing a complaining witness in a criminal
action not to appear at the scheduled hearing so that the case against the client,
the accused, would be dismissed. (Cantorne vs. Ducasin supra) asking a client to
plead guilty to a crime which the lawyer knows his client did not commit, (Nueno v.
Santos, 58 Phil. 557 [1933]) advising a client who is detained for a crime to
escape from prison, (Cf. Medina v. Yan, G.R. No. 30978, Sept. 30, 1974)
employing dilatory tactics to frustrate satisfaction of clearly valid claims, Pajares
vs. Abad Santos, G.R. No. 29543, Nov. 29, 1969, 30 SCRA 748) prosecuting
clearly frivolous cases or appeals to drain the resources of the other party and
compel him to submit out of exhaustion (Samar Mining Co. vs. Arnado, G.R. No.
22304. July 30, 1968) and filing multiple petitions or complaints for a cause that
has been previously rejected in the false expectation of getting favorable action.
(Gabriel vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 43757, July 30, 1976, 72 SCRA 173;
Ramos vs. Potenciano, G.R. No. 27104, Dec. 20, 1976, 74 SCRA 345; Macias v.
Uy Kim, G.R. No. 31174, May 30, 1972, 45 SCRA 251) Acts of this or similar
nature are grounds for disciplinary action." Agpalo Legal Ethics, U.P. Law Center,
1980 Edition, pp. 405-406)
Facts: Private respondent Hector Laguda is the registered owner of a residential land
where petitioner and her late husband, Dr. Ramon Bacaling, constructed a residential
house. Unable to pay the lease rental an action for ejectment. The filing of said case
spawned various court suits such as petition for certiorari, which further prolong the
litigation process.
Issue: Should the petitioners counsel deserved condemnation before SC.

Yes. The present petition smacks of a dilatory tactic and a frivolous attempt resorted
to by petitioner to frustrate the prompt termination of the ejectment case and to
prolong litigation unnecessarily. Such conduct on the part of petitioner and her
counsel deserves the vigorous condemnation of this Court, because it evinces a
flagrant misuse of the remedy of certiorari which should only be resorted to in case of
lack of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion by a inferior court. A recourse of this
kind unduly taxes the energy and patience of courts and simply wastes the precious
time that they could well devote to really meritorious cases.
There is something more to be said about the nature and apparent purpose of this
case which has its genesis in the case for illegal detainer (Civil Case No. 6823)
brought before the Iloilo City Court. What transpired therein presents a glaring
example of a summary proceeding which was deliberately protracted and made to
suffer undue delay in its disposal. It was originally filed on September 13, 1960; 31 it
reached the appellate courts five (5) times, twice before the Court of Appeals 32, Once
before the Court of First Instance of Iloilo 33, and twice before this Court. 34 The
present petition smacks of a dilatory tactic and a frivolous attempt resorted to by
petitioner to frustrate the prompt termination of the ejectment case and to prolong
litigation unnecessarily. Such conduct on the part of petitioner and her counsel
deserves the vigorous condemnation of this Court, 35 because it evinces a flagrant
misuse of the remedy of certiorari which should only be resorted to in case of lack of
jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion by a inferior court. A recourse of this kind
unduly taxes the energy and patience of courts and simply wastes the precious time
that they could well devote to really meritorious cases.