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[A.C. No. 6210. December 9, 2004.

[G.R. No. 169079. August 28, 2007.]

FEDERICO N. RAMOS, complainant, vs. ATTY. PATRICIO A.


NGASEO, respondent.

FRANCISCO RAYOS, petitioner, vs. ATTY. PONCIANO G.


HERNANDEZ, respondent.

SYLLABUS:
1.

2.
3.
4.

-Motion for Reconsideration dated 16 March 2007 filed by respondent


Atty. Ponciano G. Hernandez, seeking a modification of the Decision
CIVIL LAW; SALES; LAWYERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM dated 12 February 2007.
ACQUIRING THE PROPERTY OR RIGHTS OF HIS
guilty of violation of the attorney's oath and of serious
CLIENT WHICH ARE THE SUBJECT OF THE
professional misconduct and shall be SUSPENDED from
LITIGATION DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE CASE.
the practice of law for six (6) months and WARNING
Under Article 1491(5)
entitled to attorney's fees 35%) of the total amount
ID.; ID.; ID.; CONSUMMATED WITH THE ACTUAL
awarded to petitioner in a civil case
TRANSFER OF THE LITIGATED PROPERTY.
returnP290,109.21which he retained in excess of what we
ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; MERE DEMAND FOR DELIVERY OF
herein declared as fair and reasonable attorney's fees, plus
THE LITIGATED PROPERTY NOT A PROHIBITED
legal interest
TRANSACTION.

LEGAL ETHICS; DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF


(retained the amount of P557,961.21 and P159,120.00 out of the
ATTORNEYS; THE POWER TO DISBAR OR SUSPEND
P1,219,920.00successfully defended petitioner's case )
MUST BE EXERCISED WITH GREAT CAUTION.

FACTS:
-complaint for suspension of respondent Atty. Patricio A. Ngaseo for
violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Article 1491 of
the Civil Code
-demanding from his client, complainant Federico N. Ramos, the
delivery of 1,000 square meters of land, a litigated property, as payment
for his appearance fees.
-counsel in a case 1 involving a piece of land
-Complainant alleges that he did not promise to pay the respondent 1,000
sq. m. of land as appearance fees.
-after the case has been decided, complainant received a demand-letter
from the respondent asking for the delivery of the 1,000 sq. m. piece of
land which he allegedly promised as payment for respondent's
appearance fee.
-threatened to file a case in court if the complainant would not confer
with him and settle the matter within 30 days.
--IBP Commissioner Rebecca Villanueva-Maala found the respondent
guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a lawyer in
violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended
that he be suspended from the practice of law for 1 year.
-IBP Board of Governors adopted
Alleged:
-Complainant, who was deaf and could only speak conversational
Tagalog haltingly, was assisted by his brother Dionisio. Respondent
agreed to handle the case for an acceptance fee of P60,000.00 plus an
appearance fee of P3,000.00 per hearing. Complainant told him that he
would consult his siblings on the matter.
-Six months later, assisted by one Jose Castillo, offered, in lieu of
P3,000.00 per appearance, 1,000 sq. m. of land from the land subject
matter of the case, if they win, or from another piece of property, if they
lose.
-claims that after the trial court dismissed Civil Case No. SCC 2128, he
filed a timely notice of appeal and thereafter moved to be discharged as
counsel because he had colon cancer, but complainant offer to double the
1,000 sq. m. piece of land earlier promised just to continue the case.
made a written commitment
-Court of Appeals rendered a favorable decision ordering the return of the
disputed 2-hectare land to the complainant and his siblings. ( became
final and executory )
- argues that he did not violate Article 1491 of the Civil Code because
when he demanded the delivery of the 1,000 sq. m. of land which was
offered and promised to him in lieu of the appearance fees, the case has
been terminated
SC:
-no actual acquisition of the property in litigation since the respondent
only made a written demand for its delivery which the complainant
refused to comply.
-Mere demand for delivery of the litigated property does not cause the
transfer of ownership, hence, not a prohibited transaction within the
contemplation of Article 1491.
-find the recommended penalty of suspension for 6 months too harsh and
not proportionate to the offense committed by the respondent.
-IBP does not clearly specify which acts of the respondent constitute
gross misconduct or what provisions of the Code of Professional
Responsibility have been violated.
-REPRIMANDED with a warning that repetition of the same act will be
dealt with more severely.

-prays that the penalty of suspension of six months imposed upon him be
reduced to a fine, invoking his almost 15 years of patient, devoted,
complete and successful professional services rendered to petitioner; for
the bad faith of the latter in dismissing him as counsel without justifiable
cause; and his good faith in retaining the money "contingently" with the
view of winning petitioner's cause.
SC:
Motion for Reconsideration is partly GRANTED suspension of six
months is DELETED, and in lieu thereof a fine of P20,000.00
consider the following circumstances:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

spend 15 years in defending petitioner's cause


his efforts an devotion at defending their cause
respondent's advanced age
his is the first time that respondent has been found
administratively liable per available record
respondent's good faith in retaining what he sincerely believed
to be his contingent fee.

-DISBARRED and his name is ORDERED STRICKEN


[A.C. No. 1109. April 27, 2005.]
MARIA ELENA MORENO, complainant, vs. ATTY. ERNESTO
ARANETA, respondent.
SYLLABUS:
1.

2.

LEGAL ETHICS; LAWYERS; ISSUANCE OF WORTHLESS


CHECKS CONSTITUTES GROSS MISCONDUCT-mischief it creates is not only a wrong to the payee or holder,
but also an injury to the public, contrary to accepted and
customary rule of right and duty, justice, honesty or good
morals.
MORAL TURPITUDE; DISBARMENT IS THE
APPROPRIATE PENALTY FOR CONVICTION BY FINAL
JUDGMENT OF A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL
TURPITUDE; CASE AT BAR.-- previously committed a
similarly fraudulent act, and that this case likewise involves
moral turpitude

A.C. No. 4515, July 14, 2008


Cecilia Agno vs Atty. Marciano Cagatan
-complaint for disbarment filed by Cecilia A. Agno against respondent Atty.
Marciano J. Cagatan for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
-respondent was the President of International Services Recruitment
Corporation (ISRC), a corporation engaged in the recruitment of Filipino
workers for overseas employment.
-license was cancelled byDOLEfor violation of labor law provisions and
subsequentlywas forever banned from participating in overseas recruitment.
-appealed with the Office of the President
-resolved in respondents favor, set aside the order and directed DOLE and
OEA to renew the recruitment license of ISRC subject to the payment of a
guarantee bond

-during the pendency of license renewal, respondent entered into a


Memorandum of Agreement with U.A.E.national, Mr. Khalifa H. Juma, the
husband of herein complainant, Cecilia A. Agno. (the corp will be jointly
-complaint for disbarment against Atty. Ernesto S. Araneta for deceit and owned by the herein parties on a 50-50 basis.)

FACTS:

nonpayment of debts (1972)


-complaint on two causes of action
-1st-dishonored Treasury Warrant No. B-02997354 issued by
the Land Registration Commission in favor of Lira, Inc., and indorsed by
Araneta, purportedly as president of the said corporation, to Moreno
-2nd nonpayment of debts in the amount of P11,000 borrowed
from her and issued two Bank of America checks which were dishonored
defense:
-denied borrowing any amount from Moreno.
Moreno who sought to borrow-reason he endorsed to her the
Treasury Warrant
admitted that he issued the two undated checks in her favor
upon her request, so she could show the bank where she was
working that she "had money coming to her."
warned her that the checks belonged to the unused portion of a
closed account and could not be encashed.
check for P11,000 "belonged" to the Philippine Leasing
Corporation, which she managed when her father passed away.
igned the check in blank sometime in 1969 when she fell
seriously ill and gave them to Araneta who was then helping
her in the management of the corporation.
Araneta falsely filled up the check "in a desperate bid to turn
the tables on her.

-IBP Board of Governors increased recommended period of suspension


from three (3) months to 6 months (not disbarment since):
no evidence to prove that she saw him sign it.
the signature are the words Lira, Inc. above the word
president
ocular examination of said signature in relation to the
signature on the checks Exhibits "G" and "H" do not show
definitely that they were the signatures of one and the
same person, so there is no basis to form the conclusion
that the respondent did sign the treasury warrant as
president of Lira, Inc.

-ten years later, IBP Director for Bar Discipline Victor C. Fernandez,
transmitted records of this case back to this Court
-the Office of the Bar Confidant filed a Reportregarding various
aspects of the case.
-The Report further made mention of a Resolution dated October 17,
1977 suspending the respondent for having been convicted by final
judgment of estafa through falsification of a commercial document.
-appears that in the intervening time between herein respondent's last
filed pleading on this case t between himself and Moreno, Araneta had
been found guilty and convicted by final judgment of a crime involving
moral turpitude, and indefinitely suspended.

- 3 years after, found out from records of SEC showing that the Board of
Directors, officers and stockholders of ISRC remained unchanged and her
name and that of her husband did not appear as officers and/or stockholders
thereof. From the POEA, on the other hand, the complainant learned that
ISRCs recruitment license was yet to be reinstated.
-found out that it has also pending cases in POEA

-claimed that respondent used for his own personal benefit the
P500,000.00 that she and her husband invested in ISRC.
-issued a bank check which was dishonored for being drawn against a closed
account.
--hence they filed a disbarment case, BP 22
defense:
entered into a Memorandum of Agreement because the latter offered to buy
shares of stock of ISRC in order to finance the then pending appeal for the
reinstatement of the ISRC license
respondent sold and assigned his own shareholdings in ISRC for P500,000.00
to Khalifa as evidenced by a Deed of Assignment (as they were in a hurry to
start the business operation)
respondent, in turn, issued a check in the amount of P500,000.00, which was
not intended to be encashed but only to guarantee the reimbursement of the
money to Khalifa
justified the non-submission of copies of the Memorandum of Agreement,
Deed of Assignment and complainants appointment as Acting Treasurer with
the SEC because of the cancellation of ISRCs license to recruit and the
pendency of the appeal for reinstatement since 1989.
IBP-SUSPENDED from the practice of law in the maximum period
prescribed by law and to return the money received from the complainant.
(approved by Board of Governors of the IBP)
ISSUE: whether respondent employed fraud, deceit or misrepresentation when
he entered into the Memorandum of Agreement with Khalifa and received
from the latter a sum of money
SC:
deceit and misrepresentation employed by the respondent when he entered
into the MOA concerning the joint ownership and operation of ISRC with the
complainants husband, knowing fully well that he could not do so without the
consent of and/or authority from the corporations Board of Directors.
non-compliance with the terms of the MOA (making khalif treasurer)
failed to apprise the complainant as to the true state of ISRCs affairs
(that the reinstatement of the corporations recruitment license would require
not only a favorable action by the Office of the President on ISRCs appeal and
the payment of a surety bond but also ISRCs clearance or exoneration in its
other cases for recruitment violations pending with the POEA)

violated the Code of Professional Responsibility as well as his attorneys


oath. (emphasize the high standard of honesty and fairness expected of a
SC:
though Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 had not yet been passed at that time, the lawyer not only in the practice of the legal profession but in his personal
dealings as well.)

IBP correctly found this act "abhorrent and against the exacting standards
of morality and decency required of a member of the Bar," which
guilty of gross misconduct for issuing a worthless check.
"belittles the confidence of the public in him and reflects upon his
SUSPENDED FOR ONE (1) YEAR and ONE (1) MONTH
integrity and morality."
-Considering that he had previously committed a similarly fraudulent act, considering that this is respondents first administrative offense.
and that this case likewise involves moral turpitude, we are constrained
to impose a more severe penalty.

[A.C. No. 7494. June 27, 2008.]


[A.C. No. 5738. February 19, 2008.]
WILSON CHAM, complainant, vs. ATTY. EVA PAITA-MOYA, WILFREDO M. CATU, complainant, vs. ATTY. VICENTE G.
respondent.
RELLOSA, respondent.
Complaint for disbarment filed by complainant Wilson Cham against -Regina Catu and Antonio Catu (mother and brother of complainant
respondent Atty. Eva Paita-Moya, who he alleged committed deceit in Wilfredo M. Catu) contested the possession of Elizabeth and Pastor of
occupying a leased apartment unit and, thereafter, vacating the same one of the units in the building co owned by the complainant.
without paying the rentals due.
respondent entered into a Contract of Lease
complainant is the pres of Greenville Realty and Development Corp.
(GRDC)
8k/month term of 1year
respondent informed the complainant that she would no longer renew
the same but requested an extension of her stay at the apartment unit until
30 June 2000 with a commitment that she would be paying the monthly
rental during the extension period.
Approved but increased the rental rate to P8,650.00 per month
a report reached complainant's office that respondent had secretly
vacated the apartment unit, bringing along with her the door keys (w/o
paying rentals and electric bills)
did not heed complainant's repeated written demands

-Respondent, as punong barangay of Barangay 723, summoned the parties


to conciliation meetings. When the parties 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 (mother and brother of complainant
Wilfredo M. Catu) filed a complaint for ejectment against Elizabeth and
Pastor.
Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendants in that
case
administrative complaint, claiming that respondent 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.

Alleged:
Defense:
paid her monthly rentals and had not vacated the apartment unit
surreptitiously.
transferred to another place because she was given notice by the
complainant to vacate the premises to give way for the repair and
renovation of the same
wanted to ask that complainant to account for her deposit and return
the key but she could not do so since she did not know complainant's
address or contact number.
-IBP:DISMISSAL of the above-entitled case for lack of merit.
SC:

-as punong barangay he performed his task with utmost objectivity,


without bias or partiality towards any of the parties.
He acceded to the defendants' request for free because she was
financially distressed.
IBP: IBP suspension of 1month
SC:
punong barangay, respondent was not forbidden to practice his profession.
However, he should have procured prior permission or authorization from
the head of his Department, as required by civil service regulations.

-review of the records would reveal that respondent is, indeed, guilty of
17 Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules
willful failure to pay just debt. (letters of demand presented)
-respondent did not expressly deny receipt of both letters of demand
-As punong barangay, respondent should have therefore obtained the prior
Rule 8 of the Rules of Court: who pleads payment has the burden of written permission of the Secretary of Interior and Local Government
before he entered his appearance as counsel for Elizabeth and Pastor.
proving it.
-failure to comply constitutes a violation of his oath as a lawyer
-respondent failed to discharge the burden of proving payment, for she breach of CANON 1Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional
was unable to produce receipts or any other proof of payment of the Responsibility and CANON 7:
suspended 6 months wit warning
rentals due for the period of 1 July to 20 September 2000.
violative of the Code of Professional Responsibility, particularly Canon
I and Rule 1.01
high degree of good moral character, not only as a condition precedent
to admission, but also as a continuing requirement for the practice of law.
SUSPENDED for one month from the practice of law with WARNING