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A.M. No.

001 Sept 26, 2000


Atty X, petitioner
vs.
POTP, repondent

Before the Court is a consolidated case of a criminal case filed by Mr.Y against
Atty. X for violating Batas Pambasa Blg. 22 (B.P. 22) docketed respectively as Criminal
Case No. 96-0001 and _______ for illegal dismissal, the antecedents of whch are
detailed as follows:

The Facts
On May 23, 1989, Ms. Y started to work in the Atty. Xs law office as
secretary/paralegal with a salary of P5,000.00 per month. On October 1, 1990,
respondent received the petitioner lawyer a check dated September 25, 1990 for the
amount of P10,000.00 as his salary from August-September 1990.
Upon presentment for payment within 10 days after issuance, the check was
dishonored by the drawee bank, A bank, for being a closed account. When the
petitioner learned it, petitioner lawyer issued again another check with was again
dishonor by the drawee bank.
Despite notice of dishonor and demands for payment, said petitioner failed and
refused to redeem the check or to make arrangement for payment in full by the drawee
of such check within 5 banking days after receiving the notice of dishonor.
When the respondent talked to the petitioner lawyer about this matter, the
respondent was told by the petitioner that her service is no longer needed in the office.
Then on September 20, 1990 respondent was illegally dismissed from work as
the petitioners secretary. She alleged that the dismissal was no just and authorized
cause. She further alleged that she tried to talk to the petitioner about this matter but the
latter refused to settle the same and just told her not to report for work.
Consequently, the repondent filed against petitioner before the MTTC for
violation of B.P. 22, and a complaint for illegal dismissal before Labor Arbiter- DOLE
Regional Office.
After trial, the MTCC rendered a decision dated June 25, 1993 which:
Convicted petitioner of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 and sentenced her to pay a fine of
P10,000.00 and to pay her civil liability to the respondent in the sum of
P10,990.00,P10,000.00 as attorneys fees, P575.00 as reimbursement of the filing fees.
SO ORDERED.
Labor Arbiter and NLRC held that the reposdent Ms. Y was illegally dismissed
from work by the petitioner Atty. X.
The petitioner appealed, but the RTC affirmed the conviction.
By petition for review, the petitioner appealed to the CA, stating that:
(a) the RTC erred in affirming the conviction and in not finding instead that
the pros did not establish her guilt beyond reasonable doubt; and
(b) the conviction was contrary to existng laws and jurisprudnce
(c) the respondent was not illegally dismissed from work because she
resigned as the secretary of the petitioner
On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.
The petitioner then appeal on the Supreme Court. The SC affirmed the decision
of the MTCC, RTC and CA with modications. The pertinent decision read as follows:
For the reasons above stated and finding the evidence sufficient to sustain the
conviction,the judgment is hereby AFFIRMED subject to this MODIFICATIONS.
It appearing from the records that the petitioner Atty. Y is a member of the Bar,
and the offense for which he is found guilty involved moral turpitude, he is hereby
ordered and suspended from practice of law and shall not practice his profession until
three years after the promulgation of this decision in accordance with Sections 27 and
28 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.
The criminal action for violation of [BP] 22 shall be deemed to include the
corresponding civil action. No reservation to file such civil action separately shall be
allowed.
Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions, the offended party
shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check involved, which shall be
considered as the actual damages claimed. Where the complaint or information also
seeks to recover liquidated, moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, the
offended party shall pay additional filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. If
the amounts are not so alleged but any of these damages are subsequently awarded by
the court, the filing fee based on the amount awarded shall constitute a first lien on the
judgment.
Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not yet
commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon application with the
court trying the latter case. If the application is granted, the trial of both actions shall
proceed in accordance with section 2 of this Rule governing consolidation of the civil
and criminal actions.
DOCTRINE FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL, BP 22,
PRATICE OF LAW
Wherefore, the Petition Dismissed. The assailed Order is Affirmed. Atty. X is
guilty beyong reasonable doubt of violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 and hereby
ordered to pay a fine of P10,000.00; P8,000.00 as civil liability; P10,000.00 as attorneys
fees; and P575.00 as reimbursement of the filing fee. Repondent Ms. Y is illegally
dismissed from work.Petitioner is hereby suspended from the practice of law for 3
years. Costs against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

VIOLATED
CRIMINAL
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code on deceit/swindling (estfa) provides any person
who shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned therein shall be punished by
the penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum
period, if the amount of the fraud is over 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000
pesos, and if such amount exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this
paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional
10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty
years; provided that the fraud be committed by By means of any of the following false
pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of
the fraud:
(a) By using fictitious name, or falsely pretending to possess power, influence,
qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or by
means of other similar deceits.
a. By post-dating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation
when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein
were not sufficient to cover the amount of check. The failure of the drawer
of the check to deposit the amount necessary to cover his check within
three (3) days from receipt of notice from the bank and/or the payee or
holder that said check has been dishonored for lack of insufficiency of
funds shall be prima facie evidence of deceit constituting false pretense or
fraudulent act. (As amended by Republic Act No. 4885, approved June 17,
1967.)

Further, B.P. Blg. 22 (Bouncing Checks Law) provides:
Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value,
knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the
drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is
subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or
would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid
reason, ordered the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by imprisonment of not
less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by fine of not less than but not
more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two
Hundred Thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the
court.
CIVIL
LABOR
Article 282 of the Labor Code considers any of the following acts or
omission on the part of the employee as just cause or ground for terminating
employment:

(a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of
the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with
his work;

(b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;

(c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in
him by his employer or duly authorized representative;

(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the
person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his
duly authorized representatives; and

(e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing. (Emphasis
supplied)

In Lim v. National Labor Relations Commission, the Court considered
inefficiency as an analogous just cause for termination of employment under
Article 282 of the Labor Code:

We cannot but agree with PEPSI that gross inefficiency
falls within the purview of other causes analogous to the
foregoing, this constitutes, therefore, just cause to terminate an
employee under Article 282 of the Labor Code. One is analogous to
another if it is susceptible of comparison with the latter either in general
or in some specific detail; or has a close relationship with the latter.
Gross inefficiency is closely related to gross neglect, for both
involve specific acts of omission on the part of the employee resulting in
damage to the employer or to his business. In Buiser vs. Leogardo, this
Court ruled that failure to observed prescribed standards to inefficiency
may constitute just cause for dismissal.


PRACTICE OF LAW
Friends, nasa government office ba ung lawyer? Kung nasa government, eto pwede:
Rule 3.03 - Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdraw from the firm and his name
shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows him to practice law concurrently.