You are on page 1of 184

The Legal Profession

A. Supervision and Control

Const. Art VIII, Sec. 5(5)


Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice,
and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance
to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy
disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase,
or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain
effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

Const. Art XII, Sec. 14(c)


The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases
prescribed by law.

In Re:Cunanan, 94 Phil. 534

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

Resolution March 18, 1954

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL., petitioners.

Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo, and Antonio Enrile Inton for petitioners.
Office of the Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag for respondent.

DIOKNO, J.:

In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as Republic Act No. 972,
popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953." Under the Rules of Court governing admission to the bar, "in
order that a candidate (for admission to the Bar) may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he
must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any
subject." (Rule 127, sec. 14, Rules of Court). Nevertheless, considering the varying difficulties of the different bar
examinations held since 1946 and the varying degree of strictness with which the examination papers were graded,
this court passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an average of only 72 per cent in
1946, 69 per cent in 1947, 70 per cent in 1948, and 74 per cent in 1949. In 1950 to 1953, the 74 per cent was raised
to 75 per cent.

Believing themselves as fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by this court, and feeling
conscious of having been discriminated against (See Explanatory Note to R.A. No. 972), unsuccessful candidates
who obtained averages of a few percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar agitated in Congress for, and
secured in 1951 the passage of Senate Bill No. 12 which, among others, reduced the passing general average in
bar examinations to 70 per cent effective since 1946. The President requested the views of this court on the bill.
Complying with that request, seven members of the court subscribed to and submitted written comments adverse
thereto, and shortly thereafter the President vetoed it. Congress did not override the veto. Instead, it approved
Senate Bill No. 371, embodying substantially the provisions of the vetoed bill. Although the members of this court
reiterated their unfavorable views on the matter, the President allowed the bill to become a law on June 21, 1953
without his signature. The law, which incidentally was enacted in an election year, reads in full as follows:
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972

AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM NINETEEN HUNDRED
AND FORTY-SIX UP TO AND INCLUDING NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress


assembled:

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section fourteen, Rule numbered one hundred twenty-seven
of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate who obtained a general average of seventy per cent in any bar
examinations after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six up to the August nineteen hundred and fifty-
one bar examinations; seventy-one per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-two bar examinations;
seventy-two per cent in the in the nineteen hundred and fifty-three bar examinations; seventy-three per cent
in the nineteen hundred and fifty-four bar examinations; seventy-four per cent in the nineteen hundred and
fifty-five bar examinations without a candidate obtaining a grade below fifty per cent in any subject, shall be
allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar: Provided,
however, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall be considered as
one and included as part of the next whole number.

SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of seventy-five per cent in any subject in any bar
examination after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six shall be deemed to have passed in such
subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing general average
that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may take.

SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Enacted on June 21, 1953, without the Executive approval.

After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar invoking its
provisions, while others whose motions for the revision of their examination papers were still pending also invoked
the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others who have sought simply the
reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the law in question. To avoid injustice to individual
petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of whether or not they had invoked
Republic Act No. 972. Unfortunately, the court has found no reason to revise their grades. If they are to be admitted
to the bar, it must be pursuant to Republic Act No. 972 which, if declared valid, should be applied equally to all
concerned whether they have filed petitions or not. A complete list of the petitioners, properly classified, affected by
this decision, as well as a more detailed account of the history of Republic Act No. 972, are appended to this
decision as Annexes I and II. And to realize more readily the effects of the law, the following statistical data are set
forth:

(1) The unsuccessful bar candidates who are to be benefited by section 1 of Republic Act No. 972 total 1,168,
classified as follows:

1946 (August) 206 121 18


1946 (November) 477 228 43
1947 749 340 0
1948 899 409 11
1949 1,218 532 164
1950 1,316 893 26
1951 2,068 879 196
1952 2,738 1,033 426
1953 2,555 968 284
TOTAL 12,230 5,421 1,168
Of the total 1,168 candidates, 92 have passed in subsequent examination, and only 586 have filed either motions for
admission to the bar pursuant to said Republic Act, or mere motions for reconsideration.

(2) In addition, some other 10 unsuccessful candidates are to be benefited by section 2 of said Republic Act. These
candidates had each taken from two to five different examinations, but failed to obtain a passing average in any of
them. Consolidating, however, their highest grades in different subjects in previous examinations, with their latest
marks, they would be sufficient to reach the passing average as provided for by Republic Act No. 972.

(3) The total number of candidates to be benefited by this Republic Acts is therefore 1,094, of which only 604 have
filed petitions. Of these 604 petitioners, 33 who failed in 1946 to 1951 had individually presented motions for
reconsideration which were denied, while 125 unsuccessful candidates of 1952, and 56 of 1953, had presented
similar motions, which are still pending because they could be favorably affected by Republic Act No. 972, —
although as has been already stated, this tribunal finds no sufficient reasons to reconsider their grades

UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972

Having been called upon to enforce a law of far-reaching effects on the practice of the legal profession and the
administration of justice, and because some doubts have been expressed as to its validity, the court set the hearing
of the afore-mentioned petitions for admission on the sole question of whether or not Republic Act No. 972 is
constitutional.

We have been enlightened in the study of this question by the brilliant assistance of the members of the bar who
have amply argued, orally an in writing, on the various aspects in which the question may be gleaned. The valuable
studies of Messrs. E. Voltaire Garcia, Vicente J. Francisco, Vicente Pelaez and Buenaventura Evangelista, in favor
of the validity of the law, and of the U.P. Women's Lawyers' Circle, the Solicitor General, Messrs. Arturo A. Alafriz,
Enrique M. Fernando, Vicente Abad Santos, Carlos A. Barrios, Vicente del Rosario, Juan de Blancaflor, Mamerto V.
Gonzales, and Roman Ozaeta against it, aside from the memoranda of counsel for petitioners, Messrs. Jose M.
Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo and Antonio Enrile Inton, and of petitioners Cabrera, Macasaet and
Galema themselves, has greatly helped us in this task. The legal researchers of the court have exhausted almost all
Philippine and American jurisprudence on the matter. The question has been the object of intense deliberation for a
long time by the Tribunal, and finally, after the voting, the preparation of the majority opinion was assigned to a new
member in order to place it as humanly as possible above all suspicion of prejudice or partiality.

Republic Act No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who suffered
from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation. Quoting a portion of the Explanatory Note of the
proposed bill, its author Honorable Senator Pablo Angeles David stated:

The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade is the tremendous handicap which students
during the years immediately after the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the insufficiency of
reading materials and the inadequacy of the preparation of students who took up law soon after the
liberation.

Of the 9,675 candidates who took the examinations from 1946 to 1952, 5,236 passed. And now it is claimed that in
addition 604 candidates be admitted (which in reality total 1,094), because they suffered from "insufficiency of
reading materials" and of "inadequacy of preparation."

By its declared objective, the law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who
confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as was exactly found by this Tribunal in
the aforesaid examinations. The public interest demands of legal profession adequate preparation and efficiency,
precisely more so as legal problem evolved by the times become more difficult. An adequate legal preparation is
one of the vital requisites for the practice of law that should be developed constantly and maintained firmly. To the
legal profession is entrusted the protection of property, life, honor and civil liberties. To approve officially of those
inadequately prepared individuals to dedicate themselves to such a delicate mission is to create a serious social
danger. Moreover, the statement that there was an insufficiency of legal reading materials is grossly exaggerated.
There were abundant materials. Decisions of this court alone in mimeographed copies were made available to the
public during those years and private enterprises had also published them in monthly magazines and annual
digests. The Official Gazette had been published continuously. Books and magazines published abroad have
entered without restriction since 1945. Many law books, some even with revised and enlarged editions have been
printed locally during those periods. A new set of Philippine Reports began to be published since 1946, which
continued to be supplemented by the addition of new volumes. Those are facts of public knowledge.

Notwithstanding all these, if the law in question is valid, it has to be enforced.

The question is not new in its fundamental aspect or from the point of view of applicable principles, but the
resolution of the question would have been easier had an identical case of similar background been picked out from
the jurisprudence we daily consult. Is there any precedent in the long Anglo-Saxon legal history, from which has
been directly derived the judicial system established here with its lofty ideals by the Congress of the United States,
and which we have preserved and attempted to improve, or in our contemporaneous judicial history of more than
half a century? From the citations of those defending the law, we can not find a case in which the validity of a similar
law had been sustained, while those against its validity cite, among others, the cases of Day (In re Day, 54 NE 646),
of Cannon (State vs. Cannon, 240 NW, 441), the opinion of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1932 (81 ALR
1061), of Guariña (24 Phil., 37), aside from the opinion of the President which is expressed in his vote of the original
bill and which the postponement of the contested law respects.

This law has no precedent in its favor. When similar laws in other countries had been promulgated, the judiciary
immediately declared them without force or effect. It is not within our power to offer a precedent to uphold the
disputed law.

To be exact, we ought to state here that we have examined carefully the case that has been cited to us as a
favorable precedent of the law — that of Cooper (22 NY, 81), where the Court of Appeals of New York revoked the
decision of the Supreme court of that State, denying the petition of Cooper to be admitted to the practice of law
under the provisions of a statute concerning the school of law of Columbia College promulgated on April 7, 1860,
which was declared by the Court of Appeals to be consistent with the Constitution of the state of New York.

It appears that the Constitution of New York at that time provided:

They (i.e., the judges) shall not hold any other office of public trust. All votes for either of them for any
elective office except that of the Court of Appeals, given by the Legislature or the people, shall be void. They
shall not exercise any power of appointment to public office. Any male citizen of the age of twenty-one
years, of good moral character, and who possesses the requisite qualifications of learning and ability, shall
be entitled to admission to practice in all the courts of this State. (p. 93).

According to the Court of Appeals, the object of the constitutional precept is as follows:

Attorneys, solicitors, etc., were public officers; the power of appointing them had previously rested with the
judges, and this was the principal appointing power which they possessed. The convention was evidently
dissatisfied with the manner in which this power had been exercised, and with the restrictions which the
judges had imposed upon admission to practice before them. The prohibitory clause in the section quoted
was aimed directly at this power, and the insertion of the provision" expecting the admission of attorneys, in
this particular section of the Constitution, evidently arose from its connection with the object of this
prohibitory clause. There is nothing indicative of confidence in the courts or of a disposition to preserve any
portion of their power over this subject, unless the Supreme Court is right in the inference it draws from the
use of the word `admission' in the action referred to. It is urged that the admission spoken of must be by the
court; that to admit means to grant leave, and that the power of granting necessarily implies the power of
refusing, and of course the right of determining whether the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications
to entitle him to admission.

These positions may all be conceded, without affecting the validity of the act. (p. 93.)

Now, with respect to the law of April 7, 1860, the decision seems to indicate that it provided that the possession of a
diploma of the school of law of Columbia College conferring the degree of Bachelor of Laws was evidence of the
legal qualifications that the constitution required of applicants for admission to the Bar. The decision does not
however quote the text of the law, which we cannot find in any public or accessible private library in the country.
In the case of Cooper, supra, to make the law consistent with the Constitution of New York, the Court of Appeals
said of the object of the law:

The motive for passing the act in question is apparent. Columbia College being an institution of established
reputation, and having a law department under the charge of able professors, the students in which
department were not only subjected to a formal examination by the law committee of the institution, but to a
certain definite period of study before being entitled to a diploma of being graduates, the Legislature
evidently, and no doubt justly, considered this examination, together with the preliminary study required by
the act, as fully equivalent as a test of legal requirements, to the ordinary examination by the court; and as
rendering the latter examination, to which no definite period of preliminary study was essential, unnecessary
and burdensome.

The act was obviously passed with reference to the learning and ability of the applicant, and for the mere
purpose of substituting the examination by the law committee of the college for that of the court. It could
have had no other object, and hence no greater scope should be given to its provisions. We cannot suppose
that the Legislature designed entirely to dispense with the plain and explicit requirements of the Constitution;
and the act contains nothing whatever to indicate an intention that the authorities of the college should
inquire as to the age, citizenship, etc., of the students before granting a diploma. The only rational
interpretation of which the act admits is, that it was intended to make the college diploma competent
evidence as to the legal attainments of the applicant, and nothing else. To this extent alone it operates as a
modification of pre-existing statutes, and it is to be read in connection with these statutes and with the
Constitution itself in order to determine the present condition of the law on the subject. (p.89)

xxx xxx xxx

The Legislature has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of admission, that has simply
prescribed what shall be competent evidence in certain cases upon that question. (p.93)

From the foregoing, the complete inapplicability of the case of Cooper with that at bar may be clearly seen. Please
note only the following distinctions:

(1) The law of New York does not require that any candidate of Columbia College who failed in the bar examinations
be admitted to the practice of law.

(2) The law of New York according to the very decision of Cooper, has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over
the question of admission of attorney at law; in effect, it does not decree the admission of any lawyer.

(3) The Constitution of New York at that time and that of the Philippines are entirely different on the matter of
admission of the practice of law.

In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement
of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been disputably a judicial function and
responsibility. Because of this attribute, its continuous and zealous possession and exercise by the judicial power
have been demonstrated during more than six centuries, which certainly "constitutes the most solid of titles." Even
considering the power granted to Congress by our Constitution to repeal, alter supplement the rules promulgated by
this Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, to our judgment and proposition that the admission,
suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of the attorneys at law is a legislative function, properly belonging to
Congress, is unacceptable. The function requires (1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete facts,
whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals. and (3) decision as to whether these facts are governed
by the rules and principles; in effect, a judicial function of the highest degree. And it becomes more undisputably
judicial, and not legislative, if previous judicial resolutions on the petitions of these same individuals are attempted to
be revoked or modified.

We have said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting, suspending,
disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly judicial. A comprehensive
and conscientious study of this matter had been undertaken in the case of State vs. Cannon (1932) 240 NW 441, in
which the validity of a legislative enactment providing that Cannon be permitted to practice before the courts was
discussed. From the text of this decision we quote the following paragraphs:
This statute presents an assertion of legislative power without parallel in the history of the English speaking
people so far as we have been able to ascertain. There has been much uncertainty as to the extent of the
power of the Legislature to prescribe the ultimate qualifications of attorney at law has been expressly
committed to the courts, and the act of admission has always been regarded as a judicial function. This act
purports to constitute Mr. Cannon an attorney at law, and in this respect it stands alone as an assertion of
legislative power. (p. 444)

Under the Constitution all legislative power is vested in a Senate and Assembly. (Section 1, art. 4.) In so far
as the prescribing of qualifications for admission to the bar are legislative in character, the Legislature is
acting within its constitutional authority when it sets up and prescribes such qualifications. (p. 444)

But when the Legislature has prescribed those qualifications which in its judgment will serve the purpose of
legitimate legislative solicitude, is the power of the court to impose other and further exactions and
qualifications foreclosed or exhausted? (p. 444)

Under our Constitution the judicial and legislative departments are distinct, independent, and coordinate
branches of the government. Neither branch enjoys all the powers of sovereignty which properly belongs to
its department. Neither department should so act as to embarrass the other in the discharge of its respective
functions. That was the scheme and thought of the people setting upon the form of government under which
we exist. State vs. Hastings, 10 Wis., 525; Attorney General ex rel. Bashford vs. Barstow, 4 Wis., 567. (p.
445)

The judicial department of government is responsible for the plane upon which the administration of justice
is maintained. Its responsibility in this respect is exclusive. By committing a portion of the powers of
sovereignty to the judicial department of our state government, under 42a scheme which it was supposed
rendered it immune from embarrassment or interference by any other department of government, the courts
cannot escape responsibility fir the manner in which the powers of sovereignty thus committed to the judicial
department are exercised. (p. 445)

The relation at the bar to the courts is a peculiar and intimate relationship. The bar is an attache of the
courts. The quality of justice dispense by the courts depends in no small degree upon the integrity of its bar.
An unfaithful bar may easily bring scandal and reproach to the administration of justice and bring the courts
themselves into disrepute. (p.445)

Through all time courts have exercised a direct and severe supervision over their bars, at least in the
English speaking countries. (p. 445)

After explaining the history of the case, the Court ends thus:

Our conclusion may be epitomized as follows: For more than six centuries prior to the adoption of our
Constitution, the courts of England, concededly subordinate to Parliament since the Revolution of 1688, had
exercise the right of determining who should be admitted to the practice of law, which, as was said in Matter
of the Sergeant's at Law, 6 Bingham's New Cases 235, "constitutes the most solid of all titles." If the courts
and judicial power be regarded as an entity, the power to determine who should be admitted to practice law
is a constituent element of that entity. It may be difficult to isolate that element and say with assurance that it
is either a part of the inherent power of the court, or an essential element of the judicial power exercised by
the court, but that it is a power belonging to the judicial entity and made of not only a sovereign institution,
but made of it a separate independent, and coordinate branch of the government. They took this institution
along with the power traditionally exercise to determine who should constitute its attorney at law. There is no
express provision in the Constitution which indicates an intent that this traditional power of the judicial
department should in any manner be subject to legislative control. Perhaps the dominant thought of the
framers of our constitution was to make the three great departments of government separate and
independent of one another. The idea that the Legislature might embarrass the judicial department by
prescribing inadequate qualifications for attorneys at law is inconsistent with the dominant purpose of
making the judicial independent of the legislative department, and such a purpose should not be inferred in
the absence of express constitutional provisions. While the legislature may legislate with respect to the
qualifications of attorneys, but is incidental merely to its general and unquestioned power to protect the
public interest. When it does legislate a fixing a standard of qualifications required of attorneys at law in
order that public interests may be protected, such qualifications do not constitute only a minimum standard
and limit the class from which the court must make its selection. Such legislative qualifications do not
constitute the ultimate qualifications beyond which the court cannot go in fixing additional qualifications
deemed necessary by the course of the proper administration of judicial functions. There is no legislative
power to compel courts to admit to their bars persons deemed by them unfit to exercise the prerogatives of
an attorney at law. (p. 450)

Furthermore, it is an unlawful attempt to exercise the power of appointment. It is quite likely true that the
legislature may exercise the power of appointment when it is in pursuance of a legislative functions.
However, the authorities are well-nigh unanimous that the power to admit attorneys to the practice of law is
a judicial function. In all of the states, except New Jersey (In re Reisch, 83 N.J. Eq. 82, 90 A. 12), so far as
our investigation reveals, attorneys receive their formal license to practice law by their admission as
members of the bar of the court so admitting. Cor. Jur. 572; Ex parte Secombre, 19 How. 9,15 L. Ed.
565; Ex parteGarland, 4 Wall. 333, 18 L. Ed. 366; Randall vs. Brigham, 7 Wall. 53, 19 L. Ed. 285;
Hanson vs. Grattan, 48 Kan, 843, 115 P. 646, 34 L.R.A. 519; Danforth vs. Egan, 23 S. D. 43, 119 N.W.
1021, 130 Am. St. Rep. 1030, 20 Ann. Cas. 413.

The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it having
been so generally held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the judgment of the
court, and an attempt as this on the part of the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most
exceedingly uncommon, it seems clear that the licensing of an attorney is and always has been a purely
judicial function, no matter where the power to determine the qualifications may reside. (p. 451)

In that same year of 1932, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, in answering a consultation of the Senate of that
State, 180 NE 725, said:

It is indispensible to the administration of justice and to interpretation of the laws that there be members of
the bar of sufficient ability, adequate learning and sound moral character. This arises from the need of
enlightened assistance to the honest, and restraining authority over the knavish, litigant. It is highly
important, also that the public be protected from incompetent and vicious practitioners, whose opportunity
for doing mischief is wide. It was said by Cardoz, C.L., in People ex rel. Karlin vs. Culkin, 242 N.Y. 456, 470,
471, 162 N.E. 487, 489, 60 A.L.R. 851: "Membership in the bar is a privilege burden with conditions." One is
admitted to the bar "for something more than private gain." He becomes an "officer of the court", and ,like
the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the end of justice. His cooperation with the court is due
"whenever justice would be imperiled if cooperation was withheld." Without such attorneys at law the judicial
department of government would be hampered in the performance of its duties. That has been the history of
attorneys under the common law, both in this country and England. Admission to practice as an attorney at
law is almost without exception conceded to be a judicial function. Petition to that end is filed in courts, as
are other proceedings invoking judicial action. Admission to the bar is accomplish and made open and
notorious by a decision of the court entered upon its records. The establishment by the Constitution of the
judicial department conferred authority necessary to the exercise of its powers as a coordinate department
of government. It is an inherent power of such a department of government ultimately to determine the
qualifications of those to be admitted to practice in its courts, for assisting in its work, and to protect itself in
this respect from the unfit, those lacking in sufficient learning, and those not possessing good moral
character. Chief Justice Taney stated succinctly and with finality in Ex parte Secombe, 19 How. 9, 13, 15 L.
Ed. 565, "It has been well settled, by the rules and practice of common-law courts, that it rests exclusively
with the court to determine who is qualified to become one of its officers, as an attorney and counselor, and
for what cause he ought to be removed." (p.727)

In the case of Day and others who collectively filed a petition to secure license to practice the legal profession by
virtue of a law of state (In re Day, 54 NE 646), the court said in part:

In the case of Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall, 333, 18 L. Ed. 366, the court, holding the test oath for attorneys to
be unconstitutional, explained the nature of the attorney's office as follows: "They are officers of the court,
admitted as such by its order, upon evidence of their possessing sufficient legal learning and fair private
character. It has always been the general practice in this country to obtain this evidence by an examination
of the parties. In this court the fact of the admission of such officers in the highest court of the states to
which they, respectively, belong for, three years preceding their application, is regarded as sufficient
evidence of the possession of the requisite legal learning, and the statement of counsel moving their
admission sufficient evidence that their private and professional character is fair. The order of admission is
the judgment of the court that the parties possess the requisite qualifications as attorneys and counselors,
and are entitled to appear as such and conduct causes therein. From its entry the parties become officers of
the court, and are responsible to it for professional misconduct. They hold their office during good behavior,
and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by the judgment of the court after
opportunity to be heard has been afforded. Ex parte Hoyfron, admission or their exclusion is not the exercise
of a mere ministerial power. It is the exercise of judicial power, and has been so held in numerous cases. It
was so held by the court of appeals of New York in the matter of the application of Cooper for admission. Re
Cooper 22 N. Y. 81. "Attorneys and Counselors", said that court, "are not only officers of the court, but
officers whose duties relate almost exclusively to proceedings of a judicial nature; and hence their
appointment may, with propriety, be entrusted to the court, and the latter, in performing his duty, may very
justly considered as engaged in the exercise of their appropriate judicial functions." (pp. 650-651).

We quote from other cases, the following pertinent portions:

Admission to practice of law is almost without exception conceded everywhere to be the exercise of a
judicial function, and this opinion need not be burdened with citations in this point. Admission to practice
have also been held to be the exercise of one of the inherent powers of the court. — Re Bruen, 102 Wash.
472, 172 Pac. 906.

Admission to the practice of law is the exercise of a judicial function, and is an inherent power of the court.
— A.C. Brydonjack, vs. State Bar of California, 281 Pac. 1018; See Annotation on Power of Legislature
respecting admission to bar, 65, A.L. R. 1512.

On this matter there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative departments
of the government.

The distinction between the functions of the legislative and the judicial departments is that it is the province
of the legislature to establish rules that shall regulate and govern in matters of transactions occurring
subsequent to the legislative action, while the judiciary determines rights and obligations with reference to
transactions that are past or conditions that exist at the time of the exercise of judicial power, and the
distinction is a vital one and not subject to alteration or change either by legislative action or by judicial
decree.

The judiciary cannot consent that its province shall be invaded by either of the other departments of the
government. — 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, p. 229.

If the legislature cannot thus indirectly control the action of the courts by requiring of them construction of the
law according to its own views, it is very plain it cannot do so directly, by settling aside their judgments,
compelling them to grant new trials, ordering the discharge of offenders, or directing what particular steps
shall be taken in the progress of a judicial inquiry. — Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 192.

In decreeing the bar candidates who obtained in the bar examinations of 1946 to 1952, a general average of 70 per
cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject, be admitted in mass to the practice of law, the disputed law is
not a legislation; it is a judgment — a judgment revoking those promulgated by this Court during the aforecited year
affecting the bar candidates concerned; and although this Court certainly can revoke these judgments even now, for
justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this Court, and not the legislative nor executive department, that
may be so. Any attempt on the part of any of these departments would be a clear usurpation of its functions, as is
the case with the law in question.

That the Constitution has conferred on Congress the power to repeal, alter or supplement the rule promulgated by
this Tribunal, concerning the admission to the practice of law, is no valid argument. Section 13, article VIII of the
Constitution provides:

Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of
the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading,
practice and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the
power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal,
alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the
practice of law in the Philippines. — Constitution of the Philippines, Art. VIII, sec. 13.

It will be noted that the Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal responsibilities
concerning the admission to the practice of law. the primary power and responsibility which the Constitution
recognizes continue to reside in this Court. Had Congress found that this Court has not promulgated any rule on the
matter, it would have nothing over which to exercise the power granted to it. Congress may repeal, alter and
supplement the rules promulgated by this Court, but the authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension,
disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law and their supervision remain vested in the Supreme Court. The
power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules does not signify nor permit that Congress substitute or take the
place of this Tribunal in the exercise of its primary power on the matter. The Constitution does not say nor mean that
Congress may admit, suspend, disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to
the practice of law. Its power is limited to repeal, modify or supplement the existing rules on the matter, if according
to its judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession requires it. But this power does not relieve this
Court of its responsibility to admit, suspend, disbar and reinstate attorneys at law and supervise the practice of the
legal profession.

Being coordinate and independent branches, the power to promulgate and enforce rules for the admission to the
practice of law and the concurrent power to repeal, alter and supplement them may and should be exercised with
the respect that each owes to the other, giving careful consideration to the responsibility which the nature of each
department requires. These powers have existed together for centuries without diminution on each part; the
harmonious delimitation being found in that the legislature may and should examine if the existing rules on the
admission to the Bar respond to the demands which public interest requires of a Bar endowed with high virtues,
culture, training and responsibility. The legislature may, by means of appeal, amendment or supplemental rules, fill
up any deficiency that it may find, and the judicial power, which has the inherent responsibility for a good and
efficient administration of justice and the supervision of the practice of the legal profession, should consider these
reforms as the minimum standards for the elevation of the profession, and see to it that with these reforms the lofty
objective that is desired in the exercise of its traditional duty of admitting, suspending, disbarring and reinstating
attorneys at law is realized. They are powers which, exercise within their proper constitutional limits, are not
repugnant, but rather complementary to each other in attaining the establishment of a Bar that would respond to the
increasing and exacting necessities of the administration of justice.

The case of Guariña (1913) 24 Phil., 37, illustrates our criterion. Guariña took examination and failed by a few points
to obtain the general average. A recently enacted law provided that one who had been appointed to the position of
Fiscal may be admitted to the practice of law without a previous examination. The Government appointed Guariña
and he discharged the duties of Fiscal in a remote province. This tribunal refused to give his license without
previous examinations. The court said:

Relying upon the provisions of section 2 of Act No. 1597, the applicant in this case seeks admission to the
bar, without taking the prescribed examination, on the ground that he holds the office of provincial fiscal for
the Province of Batanes.

Section 2 of Act No. 1597, enacted February 28, 1907, is as follows:

Sec. 2. Paragraph one of section thirteen of Act Numbered One Hundred and ninety, entitled "An Act
providing a Code of Procedure in Civil Actions and Special Proceedings in the Philippine Islands," is hereby
amended to read as follows:

1. Those who have been duly licensed under the laws and orders of the Islands under the sovereignty of
Spain or of the United States and are in good and regular standing as members of the bar of the Philippine
Islands at the time of the adoption of this code; Provided, That any person who, prior to the passage of this
act, or at any time thereafter, shall have held, under the authority of the United States, the position of justice
of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of First Instance, or judge or associate judge of the Court of Land
Registration, of the Philippine Islands, or the position of Attorney General, Solicitor General, Assistant
Attorney General, assistant attorney in the office of the Attorney General, prosecuting attorney for the City of
Manila, city attorney of Manila, assistant city attorney of Manila, provincial fiscal, attorney for the Moro
Province, or assistant attorney for the Moro Province, may be licensed to practice law in the courts of the
Philippine Islands without an examination, upon motion before the Supreme Court and establishing such fact
to the satisfaction of said court.

The records of this court disclose that on a former occasion this appellant took, and failed to pass the
prescribed examination. The report of the examining board, dated March 23, 1907, shows that he received
an average of only 71 per cent in the various branches of legal learning upon which he was examined, thus
falling four points short of the required percentage of 75. We would be delinquent in the performance of our
duty to the public and to the bar, if, in the face of this affirmative indication of the deficiency of the applicant
in the required qualifications of learning in the law at the time when he presented his former application for
admission to the bar, we should grant him license to practice law in the courts of these Islands, without first
satisfying ourselves that despite his failure to pass the examination on that occasion, he now "possesses the
necessary qualifications of learning and ability."

But it is contented that under the provisions of the above-cited statute the applicant is entitled as of right to
be admitted to the bar without taking the prescribed examination "upon motion before the Supreme Court"
accompanied by satisfactory proof that he has held and now holds the office of provincial fiscal of the
Province of Batanes. It is urged that having in mind the object which the legislator apparently sought to
attain in enacting the above-cited amendment to the earlier statute, and in view of the context generally and
especially of the fact that the amendment was inserted as a proviso in that section of the original Act which
specifically provides for the admission of certain candidates without examination. It is contented that this
mandatory construction is imperatively required in order to give effect to the apparent intention of the
legislator, and to the candidate's claim de jure to have the power exercised.

And after copying article 9 of Act of July 1, 1902 of the Congress of the United States, articles 2, 16 and 17 of Act
No. 136, and articles 13 to 16 of Act 190, the Court continued:

Manifestly, the jurisdiction thus conferred upon this court by the commission and confirmed to it by the Act of
Congress would be limited and restricted, and in a case such as that under consideration wholly destroyed,
by giving the word "may," as used in the above citation from Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, or of any Act of
Congress prescribing, defining or limiting the power conferred upon the commission is to that extent invalid
and void, as transcending its rightful limits and authority.

Speaking on the application of the law to those who were appointed to the positions enumerated, and with particular
emphasis in the case of Guariña, the Court held:

In the various cases wherein applications for the admission to the bar under the provisions of this statute
have been considered heretofore, we have accepted the fact that such appointments had been made as
satisfactory evidence of the qualifications of the applicant. But in all of those cases we had reason to believe
that the applicants had been practicing attorneys prior to the date of their appointment.

In the case under consideration, however, it affirmatively appears that the applicant was not and never had
been practicing attorney in this or any other jurisdiction prior to the date of his appointment as provincial
fiscal, and it further affirmatively appears that he was deficient in the required qualifications at the time when
he last applied for admission to the bar.

In the light of this affirmative proof of his defieciency on that occasion, we do not think that his appointment
to the office of provincial fiscal is in itself satisfactory proof if his possession of the necessary qualifications
of learning and ability. We conclude therefore that this application for license to practice in the courts of the
Philippines, should be denied.

In view, however, of the fact that when he took the examination he fell only four points short of the
necessary grade to entitle him to a license to practice; and in view also of the fact that since that time he has
held the responsible office of the governor of the Province of Sorsogon and presumably gave evidence of
such marked ability in the performance of the duties of that office that the Chief Executive, with the consent
and approval of the Philippine Commission, sought to retain him in the Government service by appointing
him to the office of provincial fiscal, we think we would be justified under the above-cited provisions of Act
No. 1597 in waiving in his case the ordinary examination prescribed by general rule, provided he offers
satisfactory evidence of his proficiency in a special examination which will be given him by a committee of
the court upon his application therefor, without prejudice to his right, if he desires so to do, to present himself
at any of the ordinary examinations prescribed by general rule. — (In re Guariña, pp. 48-49.)

It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to this
Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities say, merely
to fix the minimum conditions for the license.

The law in question, like those in the case of Day and Cannon, has been found also to suffer from the fatal defect of
being a class legislation, and that if it has intended to make a classification, it is arbitrary and unreasonable.

In the case of Day, a law enacted on February 21, 1899 required of the Supreme Court, until December 31 of that
year, to grant license for the practice of law to those students who began studying before November 4, 1897, and
had studied for two years and presented a diploma issued by a school of law, or to those who had studied in a law
office and would pass an examination, or to those who had studied for three years if they commenced their studies
after the aforementioned date. The Supreme Court declared that this law was unconstitutional being, among others,
a class legislation. The Court said:

This is an application to this court for admission to the bar of this state by virtue of diplomas from law
schools issued to the applicants. The act of the general assembly passed in 1899, under which the
application is made, is entitled "An act to amend section 1 of an act entitled "An act to revise the law in
relation to attorneys and counselors," approved March 28, 1884, in force July 1, 1874." The amendment, so
far as it appears in the enacting clause, consists in the addition to the section of the following: "And every
application for a license who shall comply with the rules of the supreme court in regard to admission to the
bar in force at the time such applicant commend the study of law, either in a law or office or a law school or
college, shall be granted a license under this act notwithstanding any subsequent changes in said rules".
— In re Day et al, 54 N.Y., p. 646.

. . . After said provision there is a double proviso, one branch of which is that up to December 31, 1899, this
court shall grant a license of admittance to the bar to the holder of every diploma regularly issued by any law
school regularly organized under the laws of this state, whose regular course of law studies is two years,
and requiring an attendance by the student of at least 36 weeks in each of such years, and showing that the
student began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897, and accompanied with the usual proofs of good
moral character. The other branch of the proviso is that any student who has studied law for two years in a
law office, or part of such time in a law office, "and part in the aforesaid law school," and whose course of
study began prior to November 4, 1897, shall be admitted upon a satisfactory examination by the examining
board in the branches now required by the rules of this court. If the right to admission exists at all, it is by
virtue of the proviso, which, it is claimed, confers substantial rights and privileges upon the persons named
therein, and establishes rules of legislative creation for their admission to the bar. (p. 647.)

Considering the proviso, however, as an enactment, it is clearly a special legislation, prohibited by the
constitution, and invalid as such. If the legislature had any right to admit attorneys to practice in the courts
and take part in the administration of justice, and could prescribe the character of evidence which should be
received by the court as conclusive of the requisite learning and ability of persons to practice law, it could
only be done by a general law, persons or classes of persons. Const. art 4, section 2. The right to practice
law is a privilege, and a license for that purpose makes the holder an officer of the court, and confers upon
him the right to appear for litigants, to argue causes, and to collect fees therefor, and creates certain
exemptions, such as from jury services and arrest on civil process while attending court. The law conferring
such privileges must be general in its operation. No doubt the legislature, in framing an enactment for that
purpose, may classify persons so long as the law establishing classes in general, and has some reasonable
relation to the end sought. There must be some difference which furnishes a reasonable basis for different
one, having no just relation to the subject of the legislation. Braceville Coal Co. vs. People, 147 Ill. 66, 35
N.E. 62; Ritchie vs. People, 155 Ill. 98, 40 N.E. 454; Railroad Co. vs. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 17 Sup. Ct. 255.

The length of time a physician has practiced, and the skill acquired by experience, may furnish a basis for
classification (Williams vs. People 121 Ill. 48, II N.E. 881); but the place where such physician has resided
and practiced his profession cannot furnish such basis, and is an arbitrary discrimination, making an
enactment based upon it void (State vs. Pennyeor, 65 N.E. 113, 18 Atl. 878). Here the legislature
undertakes to say what shall serve as a test of fitness for the profession of the law, and plainly, any
classification must have some reference to learning, character, or ability to engage in such practice. The
proviso is limited, first, to a class of persons who began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897. This
class is subdivided into two classes — First, those presenting diplomas issued by any law school of this
state before December 31, 1899; and, second, those who studied law for the period of two years in a law
office, or part of the time in a law school and part in a law office, who are to be admitted upon examination in
the subjects specified in the present rules of this court, and as to this latter subdivision there seems to be no
limit of time for making application for admission. As to both classes, the conditions of the rules are
dispensed with, and as between the two different conditions and limits of time are fixed. No course of study
is prescribed for the law school, but a diploma granted upon the completion of any sort of course its
managers may prescribe is made all-sufficient. Can there be anything with relation to the qualifications or
fitness of persons to practice law resting upon the mere date of November 4, 1897, which will furnish a basis
of classification. Plainly not. Those who began the study of law November 4th could qualify themselves to
practice in two years as well as those who began on the 3rd. The classes named in the proviso need spend
only two years in study, while those who commenced the next day must spend three years, although they
would complete two years before the time limit. The one who commenced on the 3rd. If possessed of a
diploma, is to be admitted without examination before December 31, 1899, and without any prescribed
course of study, while as to the other the prescribed course must be pursued, and the diploma is utterly
useless. Such classification cannot rest upon any natural reason, or bear any just relation to the subject
sought, and none is suggested. The proviso is for the sole purpose of bestowing privileges upon certain
defined persons. (pp. 647-648.)

In the case of Cannon above cited, State vs. Cannon, 240 N.W. 441, where the legislature attempted by law to
reinstate Cannon to the practice of law, the court also held with regards to its aspect of being a class legislation:

But the statute is invalid for another reason. If it be granted that the legislature has power to prescribe
ultimately and definitely the qualifications upon which courts must admit and license those applying as
attorneys at law, that power can not be exercised in the manner here attempted. That power must be
exercised through general laws which will apply to all alike and accord equal opportunity to all. Speaking of
the right of the Legislature to exact qualifications of those desiring to pursue chosen callings, Mr. Justice
Field in the case of Dent. vs. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 121, 9 S. Ct. 232, 233, 32 L. Ed. 626, said: "It is
undoubtedly the right of every citizen of the United States to follow any lawful calling, business or profession
he may choose, subject only to such restrictions as are imposed upon all persons of like age, sex, and
condition." This right may in many respects be considered as a distinguishing feature of our republican
institutions. Here all vocations are all open to every one on like conditions. All may be pursued as sources of
livelihood, some requiring years of study and great learning for their successful prosecution. The interest, or,
as it is sometimes termed, the "estate" acquired in them — that is, the right to continue their prosecution —
is often of great value to the possessors and cannot be arbitrarily taken from them, any more than their real
or personal property can be thus taken. It is fundamental under our system of government that all similarly
situated and possessing equal qualifications shall enjoy equal opportunities. Even statutes regulating the
practice of medicine, requiring medications to establish the possession on the part of the application of his
proper qualifications before he may be licensed to practice, have been challenged, and courts have
seriously considered whether the exemption from such examinations of those practicing in the state at the
time of the enactment of the law rendered such law unconstitutional because of infringement upon this
general principle. State vs. Thomas Call, 121 N.C. 643, 28 S.E. 517; see, also, The State ex rel. Winkler vs.
Rosenberg, 101 Wis. 172, 76 N.W. 345; State vs. Whitcom, 122 Wis. 110, 99 N.W. 468.

This law singles out Mr. Cannon and assumes to confer upon him the right to practice law and to constitute
him an officer of this Court as a mere matter of legislative grace or favor. It is not material that he had once
established his right to practice law and that one time he possessed the requisite learning and other
qualifications to entitle him to that right. That fact in no matter affect the power of the Legislature to select
from the great body of the public an individual upon whom it would confer its favors.

A statute of the state of Minnesota (Laws 1929, c. 424) commanded the Supreme Court to admit to the
practice of law without examination, all who had served in the military or naval forces of the United States
during the World War and received a honorable discharge therefrom and who (were disabled therein or
thereby within the purview of the Act of Congress approved June 7th, 1924, known as "World War Veteran's
Act, 1924 and whose disability is rated at least ten per cent thereunder at the time of the passage of this
Act." This Act was held |unconstitutional on the ground that it clearly violated the quality clauses of the
constitution of that state. In re Application of George W. Humphrey, 178 Minn. 331, 227 N.W. 179.

A good summary of a classification constitutionally acceptable is explained in 12 Am. Jur. 151-153 as follows:

The general rule is well settled by unanimity of the authorities that a classification to be valid must rest upon
material differences between the person included in it and those excluded and, furthermore, must be based
upon substantial distinctions. As the rule has sometimes avoided the constitutional prohibition, must be
founded upon pertinent and real differences, as distinguished from irrelevant and artificial ones. Therefore,
any law that is made applicable to one class of citizens only must be based on some substantial difference
between the situation of that class and other individuals to which it does not apply and must rest on some
reason on which it can be defended. In other words, there must be such a difference between the situation
and circumstances of all the members of the class and the situation and circumstances of all other members
of the state in relation to the subjects of the discriminatory legislation as presents a just and natural cause
for the difference made in their liabilities and burdens and in their rights and privileges. A law is not general
because it operates on all within a clause unless there is a substantial reason why it is made to operate on
that class only, and not generally on all. (12 Am. Jur. pp. 151-153.)

Pursuant to the law in question, those who, without a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, have obtained a
general average of 69.5 per cent in the bar examinations in 1946 to 1951, 70.5 per cent in 1952, 71.5 per cent in
1953, and those will obtain 72.5 per cent in 1954, and 73.5 per cent in 1955, will be permitted to take and subscribe
the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar, notwithstanding that the rules require a minimum general
average of 75 per cent, which has been invariably followed since 1950. Is there any motive of the nature indicated
by the abovementioned authorities, for this classification ? If there is none, and none has been given, then the
classification is fatally defective.

It was indicated that those who failed in 1944, 1941 or the years before, with the general average indicated, were
not included because the Tribunal has no record of the unsuccessful candidates of those years. This fact does not
justify the unexplained classification of unsuccessful candidates by years, from 1946-1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955.
Neither is the exclusion of those who failed before said years under the same conditions justified. The fact that this
Court has no record of examinations prior to 1946 does not signify that no one concerned may prove by some other
means his right to an equal consideration.

To defend the disputed law from being declared unconstitutional on account of its retroactivity, it is argued that it is
curative, and that in such form it is constitutional. What does Rep. Act 972 intend to cure ? Only from 1946 to 1949
were there cases in which the Tribunal permitted admission to the bar of candidates who did not obtain the general
average of 75 per cent: in 1946 those who obtained only 72 per cent; in the 1947 and those who had 69 per cent or
more; in 1948, 70 per cent and in 1949, 74 per cent; and in 1950 to 1953, those who obtained 74 per cent, which
was considered by the Court as equivalent to 75 per cent as prescribed by the Rules, by reason of circumstances
deemed to be sufficiently justifiable. These changes in the passing averages during those years were all that could
be objected to or criticized. Now, it is desired to undo what had been done — cancel the license that was issued to
those who did not obtain the prescribed 75 per cent ? Certainly not. The disputed law clearly does not propose to do
so. Concededly, it approves what has been done by this Tribunal. What Congress lamented is that the Court did not
consider 69.5 per cent obtained by those candidates who failed in 1946 to 1952 as sufficient to qualify them to
practice law. Hence, it is the lack of will or defect of judgment of the Court that is being cured, and to complete the
cure of this infirmity, the effectivity of the disputed law is being extended up to the years 1953, 1954 and 1955,
increasing each year the general average by one per cent, with the order that said candidates be admitted to the
Bar. This purpose, manifest in the said law, is the best proof that what the law attempts to amend and correct are
not the rules promulgated, but the will or judgment of the Court, by means of simply taking its place. This is doing
directly what the Tribunal should have done during those years according to the judgment of Congress. In other
words, the power exercised was not to repeal, alter or supplement the rules, which continue in force. What was
done was to stop or suspend them. And this power is not included in what the Constitution has granted to Congress,
because it falls within the power to apply the rules. This power corresponds to the judiciary, to which such duty been
confided.

Article 2 of the law in question permits partial passing of examinations, at indefinite intervals. The grave defect of
this system is that it does not take into account that the laws and jurisprudence are not stationary, and when a
candidate finally receives his certificate, it may happen that the existing laws and jurisprudence are already different,
seriously affecting in this manner his usefulness. The system that the said law prescribes was used in the first bar
examinations of this country, but was abandoned for this and other disadvantages. In this case, however, the fatal
defect is that the article is not expressed in the title will have temporary effect only from 1946 to 1955, the text of
article 2 establishes a permanent system for an indefinite time. This is contrary to Section 21 (1), article VI of the
Constitution, which vitiates and annuls article 2 completely; and because it is inseparable from article 1, it is obvious
that its nullity affect the entire law.

Laws are unconstitutional on the following grounds: first, because they are not within the legislative powers of
Congress to enact, or Congress has exceeded its powers; second, because they create or establish arbitrary
methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; and third, because their purposes or effects violate the
Constitution or its basic principles. As has already been seen, the contested law suffers from these fatal defects.

Summarizing, we are of the opinion and hereby declare that Republic Act No. 972 is unconstitutional and therefore,
void, and without any force nor effect for the following reasons, to wit:

1. Because its declared purpose is to admit 810 candidates who failed in the bar examinations of 1946-1952, and
who, it admits, are certainly inadequately prepared to practice law, as was exactly found by this Court in the
aforesaid years. It decrees the admission to the Bar of these candidates, depriving this Tribunal of the opportunity to
determine if they are at present already prepared to become members of the Bar. It obliges the Tribunal to perform
something contrary to reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a manifest encroachment on the constitutional
responsibility of the Supreme Court.

2. Because it is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of this Court on the petitions of these 810 candidates,
without having examined their respective examination papers, and although it is admitted that this Tribunal may
reconsider said resolution at any time for justifiable reasons, only this Court and no other may revise and alter them.
In attempting to do it directly Republic Act No. 972 violated the Constitution.

3. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules on
admission to the Bar. Such additional or amendatory rules are, as they ought to be, intended to regulate acts
subsequent to its promulgation and should tend to improve and elevate the practice of law, and this Tribunal shall
consider these rules as minimum norms towards that end in the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of lawyers to the Bar, inasmuch as a good bar assists immensely in the daily performance of judicial
functions and is essential to a worthy administration of justice. It is therefore the primary and inherent prerogative of
the Supreme Court to render the ultimate decision on who may be admitted and may continue in the practice of law
according to existing rules.

4. The reason advanced for the pretended classification of candidates, which the law makes, is contrary to facts
which are of general knowledge and does not justify the admission to the Bar of law students inadequately
prepared. The pretended classification is arbitrary. It is undoubtedly a class legislation.

5. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the Constitution enjoins,
and being inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the entire law is void.

6. Lacking in eight votes to declare the nullity of that part of article 1 referring to the examinations of 1953 to 1955,
said part of article 1, insofar as it concerns the examinations in those years, shall continue in force.

RESOLUTION

Upon mature deliberation by this Court, after hearing and availing of the magnificent and impassioned discussion of
the contested law by our Chief Justice at the opening and close of the debate among the members of the Court, and
after hearing the judicious observations of two of our beloved colleagues who since the beginning have announced
their decision not to take part in voting, we, the eight members of the Court who subscribed to this decision have
voted and resolved, and have decided for the Court, and under the authority of the same:
1. That (a) the portion of article 1 of Republic Act No. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952, and (b) all
of article 2 of said law are unconstitutional and, therefore, void and without force and effect.

2. That, for lack of unanimity in the eight Justices, that part of article 1 which refers to the examinations subsequent
to the approval of the law, that is from 1953 to 1955 inclusive, is valid and shall continue to be in force, in conformity
with section 10, article VII of the Constitution.

Consequently, (1) all the above-mentioned petitions of the candidates who failed in the examinations of 1946 to
1952 inclusive are denied, and (2) all candidates who in the examinations of 1953 obtained a general average of
71.5 per cent or more, without having a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, are considered as having passed,
whether they have filed petitions for admission or not. After this decision has become final, they shall be permitted to
take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar on the date or dates that the chief
Justice may set. So ordered.

Bengzon, Montemayor, Jugo, Labrador, Pablo, Padilla, and Reyes, JJ., concur.

ANNEX I

PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972

A resume‚ of pertinent facts concerning the bar examinations of 1946 to 1953 inclusive follows:

August, 19461
Board of Examiners: Hon. Pedro Tuason, Chairman, Prof. Gerardo
Florendo, Atty. Bernardino Guerrero, Atty. Joaquin Ramirez, Atty. Crispin
Oben, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty. Jose Perez
Cardenas, and Hon. Bienvenido A. Tan, members.
Number of candidates 206
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 12
73'S 6
72'S 6
Number of candidates who passed 85
Number of candidates who failed 121
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 18
Percentage of success (per cent) 41.62
Percentage of failure (per cent) 58.74
Passing grade (per cent) 72
November, 1946
Board of Examiners: The same as that of August, 1946, except Hon. Jose
Teodoro who was substituted by Atty. Honesto K. Bausan.
Number of candidates 481
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 19
(72 per cent and above 73 per cent ---
Minutes of March 31, 1947)
Number of candidates who passed 249
Number of candidates who failed 228
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 43
Percentage of success (per cent) 52.20
Percentage of failure (per cent) 47.80
Passing grade (per cent) 72
(By resolution of the Court).
October, 1947
Board of Examiners: Hon. Cesar Bengzon, Chairman, Hon. Guillermo B.
Guevara, Atty. Antonio Araneta, Atty. Simon Cruz, Hon. Sixto de la Costa,
Atty. Celso B. Jamora, Hon. Emilio Peña, Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty.
Carlos B. Hilado, Members.
Number of candidates 749
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 43
70.55 per cent with 2 subject below 50 per 1
cent
69 per cent 40
68 per cent 2
Number of candidates who passed 409
Number of candidates who failed 340
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 972
Percentage of success (per cent) 54.59
Percentage of failure (per cent) 45.41
Passing grade (per cent) 69
(by resolution of the Court).

Note.--In passing the 2 whose grades were 68.95 per cent and 68.1
per cent respectively, the Court found out that they were not
benefited at all by the bonus of 12 points given by the Examiner in
Civil Law.
August, 1948
Board of Examiners: Hon. Marceliano R. Montemayor, Chairman Hon. Luis
P. Torres, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Sr., Atty. Federico
Agrava, Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Hon. Jesus G. Barrera, Hon. Rafael
Amparo, Atty. Alfonso Ponce Enrile, Members.
Number of candidates 899
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 64
71's 29
70's 35
Number of candidates who passed 490
Number of candidates who failed 409
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 11
Percentage of success (per cent) 62.40
Percentage of failure (per cent) 37.60
Passing grade (per cent) 70
(by resolution of the Court).
August, 1949
Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Fernando Jugo,
Hon. Enrique Filamor, Atty. Salvador Araneta, Hon. Pastor M. Endencia,
Atty. Federico Agrava, Hon. Mariano H. de Joya, Hon. Felipe Natividad,
Atty. Emeterio Barcelon, Members.
Number of candidates 1,218
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 55
(74's)
Number of candidates who passed 686
Number of candidates who failed 532
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 164
Percentage of success (per cent) 56.28
Percentage of failure (per cent) 43.72
Passing grade (per cent) 74
(by resolution of the Court).
August, 1950
Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo,2 Chairman, Hon. Guillermo B.
Guevara, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Marcial P. Lichauco, Atty. Carlos B.
Hilado, Atty. J. Antonio Araneta, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Hon. Francisco
A. Delgado, Hon. Antonio Horrilleno, Members.
Number of candidates 1,316
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 38
(The grade of 74 was raised to 75 per cent by recommendation and
authority
of the examiner in Remedial Law, Atty. Francisco Delgado).
Number of candidates who passed 432
Number of candidates who failed 894
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 26
Percentage of success (per cent) 32.14
Percentage of failure (per cent) 67.86
Passing grade (per cent) 75
August, 1951
Board of Examiners: Hon. Guillermo F. Pablo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Hon. Manuel Lim, Hon. Felipe Natividad,
Hon. Vicente Albert, Atty. Arturo Alafriz, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Hon.
Alfonso Felix, Members.
Number of candidates 2,068
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 112
(74's)
Number of candidates who passed 1,189
Number of candidates who failed 879
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 196
Percentage of success (per cent) 57.49
Percentage of failure (per cent) 42.51
Passing grade (per cent) 75
August, 1952
Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Hon. Emilio
Peña, Atty. Emilio P. Virata, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Atty.
Macario Peralta, Sr., Members.
Number of candidates 2,738
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 163
(74's)
Number of candidates who passed 1,705
Number of candidates who failed 1,033
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 426
Percentage of success (per cent) 62.27
Percentage of failure (per cent) 37.73
Passing grade (per cent) 75
August, 1953
Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Jr., Hon. Emilio
Peña, Atty. Jose S. de la Cruz, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad,
Hon. Mariano L. de la Rosa, Members.
Number of candidates 2,555
Number of candidates whose grades were raised 100
(74's)
Number of candidates who passed 1,570
Number of candidates who failed 986
Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 284
Percentage of success (per cent) 61.04
Percentage of failure (per cent) 38.96
Passing grade (per cent) 75

A list of petitioners for admission to the Bar under Republic Act No. 972, grouped by the years in which they took the
bar examinations, with annotations as to who had presented motions for reconsideration which were denied (MRD),
and who filed mere motions for reconsideration without invoking said law, which are still pending, follows:

PETITIONER UNDER THE BAR FLUNKERS' LAW


Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.
Av.
MRD- 1. Agunod, Filemon L. 66 71 61 76 80 83 73 75 71.4
MRD- 2. Cunanan, Albino 76 72 74 75 70 70 65 72 71.45
MRD- 3. Mejia, Flaviano V. 64 64 65 68 83 74 68 80 69.85
1948
MRD- 4. Orlina, Soledad R. 71 68 66 75 63 75 70 88 69.9
MRD- 5. Vivero, Antonio Lu. 75 73 73 65 63 66 65 80 69.95
MRD- 6. Gatchalian, Salud 72 66 71 75 78 68 65 50 69.65
1949
7. Abaya, Jesus A. 69 79 75 75 71 89 55 75 70.8
MRD- 8. Advincula, David D. 76 80 62 86 81 72 60 65 70.5
9. Agraviador, Alfredo L. 63 85 70 77 80 81 65 80 71.8
10. Alacar, Pascual C. 61 63 83 79 71 85 65 80 72.05
11. Amog, Pedro M. 75 66 76 78 81 74 55 85 72.2
12. Apolinario, Miguel S. 75 84 78 78 70 70 60 75 71.95
13. Aquino, Maximo G. 82 77 71 77 76 77 60 75 73.15
14. Asinas, Candido D. 75 83 69 80 81 83 55 85 72.65
15. Baldivino, Jose B. 75 65 72 82 82 69 60 80 71.95
16. Balintona, Bernardo 75 80 64 78 74 67 65 70 70
17. Banawa, Angel L. 78 70 70 75 81 83 60 60 72.3
18. Bandala, Anacleto A. 66 80 66 71 93 72 55 70 69.6
19. Bandon, Alawadin L. 74 79 69 77 91 73 60 80 73.35
20. Baquero, Benjamin 76 79 64 77 85 72 65 75 72.5
21. Blanco, Jose 75 75 70 75 77 76 60 90 72.5
22. Buenaluz, Victoriano T. 75 71 72 78 67 82 60 75 70.85
23. Canda, Benjamin S. 75 72 75 82 76 77 65 75 73.55
24. Canon, Guillermo 77 86 67 88 75 69 70 85 73.9
25. Carlos, Estela S. 75 81 81 79 72 73 65 70 73.8
26. Cerezo, Gregorio O. 69 76 76 79 71 80 55 80 70.4
27. Clarin, Manuel L. 75 82 76 81 73 69 70 75 73.95
28. Claudo, Conrado O. 76 62 78 77 73 72 60 70 71.4
29. Condevillamar, Antonio 68 65 74 80 85 75 60 75 71.65
V.
MRD- 30. Cornejo, Crisanto R. 72 75 69 82 83 79 65 80 73.4
31. Corona, Olvido D. 68 76 73 81 81 72 60 75 71.15
32. Dizon, Marcial C. 76 86 69 83 75 74 65 80 73.1
33. Enriquez, Agustin P. 75 77 70 81 81 77 65 80 73.75
34. Espiritu, Irineo E. 80 88 69 75 76 77 65 75 73.8
35. Fernandez, Macario J. 63 82 76 75 81 84 65 75 72.95
36. Gallardo, Amando C. 78 79 67 77 76 75 60 65 70.95
37. Garcia, Freidrich M. 76 80 66 75 72 70 60 75 69.7
38. Garcia, Julian L. 64 77 68 82 89 77 65 75 72.15
39. Garcia, Leon Mo. 77 86 71 80 60 82 65 75 71.85
40. Garcia, Pedro V. 76 82 73 81 74 83 60 85 73.6
41. Garcia, Santiago C. 62 91 79 75 72 75 65 80 71.8
42. Genoves, Pedro 75 83 70 78 87 76 55 80 72.7
43. Gonzales, Amado P. 75 71 71 75 86 75 60 75 72.65
44. Guia, Odon R. de 77 76 66 81 74 76 60 75 70.9
45. Fernandez, Simeon 62 68 71 80 74 90 65 75 70.85
46. Jakosalem, Filoteo 82 83 73 82 61 87 65 70 73.6
47. Jesus, Felipe D. de 75 83 67 79 78 85 60 75 72.45
48. Jocom, Jacobo M. 77 77 74 77 74 64 55 85 70.65
49. Juares, Nicolas 77 84 56 76 73 82 60 85 70
50. Kalalang, Remigio 65 75 74 80 70 70 65 85 70.3
51. Layumas, Vicente L. 67 84 65 75 89 66 60 80 70.3
52. Leyson, Amancio F. 69 83 75 76 81 75 65 75 73.15
53. Libanan, Marcelino 71 83 61 77 80 81 65 85 71.75
54. Lim, Jose E. 77 77 72 76 72 64 65 70 71.15
55. Lim, Jose F. 70 75 62 83 80 71 65 80 70.4
56. Linao, Mariano M. 66 84 76 78 80 75 60 75 71.75
57. Lopez, Angelo P. 67 81 75 72 79 81 55 80 71
58. Lopez, Eliezar M. 77 75 60 75 77 85 60 75 70.7
59. Lopez, Nicanor S. 72 71 70 78 77 84 60 75 71.55
60. Manoleto, Proceso D. 72 70 65 78 81 90 60 80 71.95
61. Mancao, Alfredo P. 67 64 71 83 76 76 65 80 70.95
62. Manera, Mariano A. 75 78 75 75 68 79 60 65 71
63. Mercado, Arsenio N. 67 64 71 83 76 76 65 80 70.95
64. Miranda, Benjamin G. 76 81 67 82 74 77 65 80 72.55
65. Manad, Andres B. 77 75 68 82 69 72 65 75 71.15
1948
66. Orosco, Casimiro P. 72 84 69 81 70 82 65 75 71.9
67. Padua, Manuel C. 76 76 68 80 79 79 50 75 70.1
68. Palang, Basilio S. 71 75 82 71 55 87 55 75 69.6
69. Palma, Cuadrato 62 75 69 93 80 79 55 80 69.5
70. Pañganiban, Jose V. 67 83 61 81 91 74 60 75 70.6
71. Pareja, Felipe 66 71 75 81 67 74 60 70 68.75
72. Patalinjug, Eriberto 73 77 78 73 78 71 55 75 71.25
73. Paulin, Jose C. 66 69 71 77 83 82 65 75 72.1
74. Pido, Serafin C. 72 78 63 80 71 85 70 80 72.05
75. Pimentel, Luis P. 77 75 76 81 76 68 55 80 71.6
76. Plantilla, Rodrigo C. 72 78 68 89 79 81 65 85 73.55
77. Regalario, Benito B. 72 80 64 80 75 81 55 80 69.55
78. Robis, Casto P. 62 77 74 73 68 80 70 80 70.9
79. Rodil, Francisco C. 68 69 70 81 76 75 65 75 70.75
80. Rodriguez, Mariano I. 80 75 69 80 72 80 65 80 73.35
81. Romero, Crispulo P. 78 75 66 77 76 83 65 75 72.85
82. Saez, Porfirio D. 75 75 72 81 69 77 60 75 71
83. Saliguma, Crisogono D. 79 79 74 78 69 65 65 70 71.8
84. Samano, Fortunato A. 75 84 72 77 70 82 60 75 71.9
85. Santos, Faustina C. 71 68 68 76 75 85 55 75 69.5
86. Santos, Josefina R. 68 69 76 71 77 82 65 75 72.3
87. Seludo, Ananias G. 75 80 69 79 77 82 65 75 73.25
88. Semilia, Rafael I. 68 85 55 83 89 79 65 80 71.25
89. Telan, Gaudencio 77 79 70 75 70 75 60 75 70.85
90. Tesorero, Leocadio T. 75 71 63 75 82 62 65 63 69.65
91. Torre, Valentin S. de la 85 81 71 76 69 65 55 70 70.4
92. Torres, Ariston L. 78 71 72 81 61 84 55 85 70.4
93. Veyra, Zosimo C. de 70 75 71 79 65 80 65 80 70.65
94. Viado, Jose 67 70 74 75 75 90 55 80 70.7
95. Villacarlos, Delfin A. 73 87 71 82 69 70 75 85 73.85
96. Villamil, Leonor S. 73 81 76 86 86 73 55 85 73.6
97. Zabala, Amando A. 76 70 67 75 76 76 60 75 70.6
1950
MRD-98. Cruz, Filomeno de la 70 71 78 81 76 72 64 96 73.4
99. Española, Pablo S. 71 78 55 76 85 69 65 93 70.2
100. Foronda, Clarencio J. 60 78 68 79 84 88 62 93 71.9
101. Hechanova, Vicente 59 76 75 75 69 68 75 96 71.3
MRD- Peñalosa, Osias R. 80 78 61 76 61 77 66 85 70.2
102.
103. Sarmiento, Floro A. 65 86 63 82 89 72 60 72 70.15
MRD- Torre, Catalino P. 75 85 68 78 69 67 65 69 70.25
104.
105. Ungson, Fernando S. 61 87 75 70 57 85 83 82 72.8
1951
106. Abasolo, Romulo 77 70 64 65 76 70 76 64 71.7
107. Adeva, Daniel G. 75 59 74 65 69 51 78 67 70.4
108. Aguilar, Vicente Z. 73 63 68 75 70 69 75 75 71.25
109. Amodia, Juan T. 75 76 66 75 76 60 77 76 72.35
MRD- Añosa, Pablo S. 76 78 63 75 74 61 75 79 71.6
110.
111. Antiola, Anastacio R. 68 76 75 70 71 70 81 66 73.05
112. Aquino, S. Rey A. 70 71 71 60 74 62 76 77 71.1
113. Atienza, Manuel G. 71 78 68 80 86 51 82 75 73.85
114. Avanceña, Alfonso 71 71 65 75 70 72 78 80 71.8
MRD- Balacuit, Camilo N. 75 73 75 70 72 65 75 76 73.25
115.
116. Barinaga, Jeremias L. 68 69 73 70 74 50 80 79 71.2
MRD- Barrientos, Ambrosio D. 76 60 67 55 74 63 77 62 70.25
117.
MRD- Benitez, Tomas P. 67 75 75 60 73 72 75 78 72.2
118.
119. Biason, Sixto F. 73 82 67 65 66 72 77 68 71.25
MRD- Briñas, Isagani A. 71 69 74 70 76 52 79 72 71.95
120.
121. Buela, Arcadio P. 72 77 61 70 71 58 79 71 69.75
122. Cabilao, Leonardo S. 73 50 75 75 75 60 71 79 71.25
123. Cabrera, Ireneo M. 75 66 70 65 72 81 70 79 72.4
124. Cacacho, Emilio V.
125. Calilung, Soledad C. 64 73 73 80 73 57 75 59 69.65
MRD- Calimlim, Jose B. 64 73 73 80 73 57 75 59 69.65
126.
127. Calimlim, Pedro B. 66 82 69 60 69 52 83 75 70
128. Camello, Sotero H. 70 77 63 65 75 66 84 64 71.55
129. Campos, Juan A. 71 88 70 75 64 69 71 62 70.15
130. Castillo, Antonio del 78 78 70 60 79 67 69 76 72.65
MRD- Castillo, Dominador Ad. 75 61 72 75 74 71 67 66 71.1
131.
MRD- Castro, Jesus B. 72 86 72 75 65 75 76 71 72.85
132.
133. Casuga, Bienvenido B. 75 72 72 70 69 61 75 60 70.95
134. Cabangbang, Santiago 77 67 61 80 73 59 83 76 72.2
B.
135. Cruz, Federico S. 69 74 75 75 68 65 76 70 71.65
136. Dacanay, Eufemio P. 70 73 62 75 72 69 85 71 72.05
137. Deysolong, Felisberto 66 62 72 75 70 62 83 62 70.85
MRD- Dimaano, Jr., Jose N. 78 79 63 75 73 75 81 59 73.5
138.
139. Espinosa, Domingo L. 78 63 58 70 70 67 87 63 71.6
MRD- Farol, Evencia C. 80 78 66 75 81 72 62 73 72.25
140.
141. Felix, Conrado S. 71 71 75 65 70 58 75 69 70.75
142. Fernan, Pablo L. 67 88 66 85 73 68 78 75 72.35
143. Gandioco, Salvador G. 64 58 66 65 76 70 89 75 72.1
144. Gastardo, Crispin B. 70 69 68 75 78 66 86 72 73.9
145. Genson, Angelo B. 75 57 73 65 67 54 78 56 69.55
146. Guiani, Guinald M. 68 60 75 65 74 67 75 77 71.5
147. Guina, Graciano P. 66 69 67 60 78 52 83 61 69.6
MRD- Homeres, Praxedes P. 74 74 75 75 71 69 75 71 73.35
148.
149. Ibarra, Venancio M. 60 75 74 70 74 70 80 75 71.9
150. Imperial, Monico L. 72 78 75 75 72 56 82 77 73.7
MRD- Ibasco, Jr., Emiliano M. 71 70 63 85 71 60 85 53 70.85
151.
152. Inandan, Fortunato C. 77 77 67 53 73 75 79 57 72.5
153. Jimenez, Florencio C. 75 70 70 75 72 61 75 78 72.05
154. Kintanar, Woodrow M. 70 83 72 65 76 73 75 69 72.95
155. Languido, Cesar V. 63 71 63 85 70 61 85 79 70.55
156. Lavilles, Cesar L. 61 89 75 55 73 63 75 78 70.55
157. Llenos, Francisco U. 64 70 65 60 72 65 92 75 71.75
158. Leon, Marcelo D. de 63 73 60 85 75 75 90 70 72.75
159. Llanto, Priscilla 72 68 60 65 76 67 84 68 71.35
160. Machachor, Oscar 68 59 78 70 67 57 75 75 70.15
MRD- Magsino, Encarnacion 77 66 70 70 76 71 75 61 72.75
161.
MRD- Maligaya, Demetrio M. 70 61 75 65 75 50 91 51 72.3
162.
163. Manio, Gregorio 67 67 69 80 71 67 75 75 70.65
164. Puzon, Eduardo S. 72 82 60 60 69 70 68 72 62.05
MRD- Marcial, Meynardo R. 66 75 74 70 75 67 81 75 73.15
165.
166. Martin, Benjamin S. 68 72 63 75 69 63 84 62 70.1
MRD- Monterroyo, Catalina S. 70 80 75 80 76 66 82 51 73.95
167.
MRD- Montero, Leodegario C. 73 67 66 80 81 65 81 75 73.75
168.
169. Monzon, Candido T. 70 72 74 75 67 70 77 69 72.05
170. Natividad, Alberto M. 73 79 68 65 73 69 75 79 72.2
MRD- Navallo, Capistrano C. 70 72 68 85 81 66 71 74 72.1
171.
172. Nisce, Camilo Z. 66 66 75 65 79 68 85 62 73.5
MRD- Ocampo, Antonio F. de 75 81 76 65 74 67 75 69 73.75
173.
174. Olaviar, Jose O. 72 70 69 55 66 70 77 75 70.5
MRD- Perez, Cesario Z. 75 76 66 80 72 63 82 69 72.95
175.
176. Pogado, Causin O. 70 66 65 70 75 64 75 70 69.95
177. Ramos-Balmori, Manuela 75 73 62 65 78 59 75 66 70.2
178. Recinto, Ireneo I. 73 76 68 75 74 68 80 53 72.3
MRD- Redor, Francisco K. 62 77 73 75 69 64 76 69 70
179.
MRD- Regis, Deogracias A. 76 74 68 65 65 65 88 75 73.35
180.
181. Rigor, Estelita C. 67 78 61 80 71 77 79 65 70.9
MRD- Rimorin-Gordo, Estela 70 72 62 60 88 66 67 79 70.15
182.
183. Rosario, Prisco del 70 64 70 70 72 73 85 57 72.65
184. Rosario, Vicente D. del 75 91 65 75 68 68 79 62 72.2
185. Saavedra, Felipe 73 80 63 75 76 73 68 62 70.35
186. Salazar, Alfredo N. 66 72 73 75 67 68 77 69 70.85
187. Salem, Romulo R. 77 81 72 65 73 60 76 75 73
188. Foz, Julita A. 75 72 75 75 65 70 76 64 72.5
189. Santa Ana, Candido T. 77 69 65 75 81 75 70 75 73
190. Santos, Aquilino 72 66 69 65 68 70 81 71 71.7
191. Santos, Valeriano V. 76 72 75 75 68 62 76 79 73.1
192. Suico, Samuel 73 79 72 75 71 59 84 65 73.3
193. Suson, Teodorico 74 68 66 80 66 59 79 67 70.35
194. Tado, Florentino P. 64 76 67 65 76 72 76 53 69.7
195. Tapayan, Domingo A. 69 72 69 70 76 73 82 79 73.75
MRD- 67 60 71 75 79 67 84 60 72.7
Tiausas, Miguel V.
196.
197. Torres, Carlos P. 68 71 71 70 70 63 82 71 71.6
198. Tria, Hipolito 69 72 75 60 69 54 78 66 70.05
199. Velasco, Avelino A. 65 72 75 75 71 67 78 76 72.1
200. Villa, Francisco C. 65 80 73 75 68 79 65 75 70.2
201. Villagonzalo, Job R. 78 67 74 65 72 51 69 71 70.25
202. Villarama, Jr., Pedro 75 74 75 55 75 66 67 75 71.45
1952
203. Abacon, Pablo 75 72 78 81 78 72 64 55 72.7
MRP- Abad, Agapito 73 76 73 85 75 63 62 75 70.95
204.
MRP- Abella, Ludovico B. 70 81 76 81 70 66 77 58 72.7
205.
MRP- Abellera, Geronimo F. 75 79 79 87 76 51 63 70 71.7
206.
MRP- Abenojar, Agapito N. 71 72 78 84 70 75 69 70 72.9
207.
208. Alandy, Doroteo R. 64 83 93 91 68 59 60 60 71.2
209. Alano, Fabian T. 70 83 61 83 72 87 72 70 71.9
MRP- Alcantara, Pablo V. 71 79 80 81 73 70 72 62 73.65
210.
211. Arcangel, Agustin Ag. 75 85 71 73 76 65 68 65 71.85
212. Acosta, Dionisio N. 75 81 78 87 56 65 77 70 72.8
MRP- Abinguna, Agapito C. 66 85 80 84 75 58 76 75 73.65
213.
214. Adove, Nehemias C. 76 86 78 77 66 78 69 62 73.55
215. Adrias, Inocencio C. 75 83 61 88 76 67 79 75 73.4
216. Aglugub, Andres R. 75 83 73 88 72 62 72 62 72.65
217. Andrada, Mariano L. 76 85 66 87 63 77 75 77 73.
MRP- Almeda, Serafin V. 72 72 75 81 61 67 73 65 70.75
218.
219. Almonte-Peralta, 73 71 72 91 75 67 65 53 70.7
Felicidad
MRP- Amodia, Juan T. 75 79 68 85 62 64 75 78 71.4
220.
MRP- Antonio, Felino A. 71 76 81 83 79 52 72 70 73.3
221.
MRP- Antonio, Jose S. 75 92 90 68 65 64 68 60 73.75
222.
223. Añonuevo, Ramos B. 71 87 78 81 64 63 74 76 72.7
224. Aquino, S. Rey A. 67 77 57 78 69 70 69 80 67.7
225. Arteche, Filomeno D. 78 83 50 89 76 77 70 70 70.8
MRP- Arribas, Isaac M. 75 78 70 81 73 70 67 78 72.2
226.
MRP- Azucena, Ceferino D. 72 67 78 89 72 67 77 65 73.95
227.
228. Atienza, Ricardo 72 87 70 79 66 55 75 75 70.85
229. Balacuit, Camilo N. 75 78 89 75 70 54 66 75 73.3
MRP- Baclig, Cayetano S. 77 84 83 80 69 70 61 65 73
230.
231. Balcita, Oscar C. 75 77 79 90 64 60 67 50 70.65
232. Barilea, Dominador Z. 71 67 82 77 64 61 65 80 70.5
MRP- Banta, Jose Y. 75 80 77 81 75 63 71 75 73.95
233.
MRP- Barrientos, Ambrosio D. 76 70 67 80 67 65 70 81 70.7
234.
235. Batucan, Jose M. 66 76 78 88 62 76 67 78 71.2
236. Bautista, Atilano C. 70 82 84 85 58 61 71 62 71.25
237. Bautista, Celso J. 71 68 63 87 80 67 80 70 72.75
238. Belderon, Jose 76 81 76 92 70 66 67 62 72.65
MRP- Belo, Victor B. 76 77 64 73 75 71 76 76 72.85
239.
MRP- Bejec, Conceso D. 79 80 73 82 63 77 75 50 73.15
240.
MRP- Beltran, Gervasio M. 72 75 81 73 75 57 75 80 73.95
241.
MRP- Benaojan, Robustiano O. 74 84 77 84 75 63 68 62 72.85
242.
MRP- Beriña, Roger C. 70 80 79 79 68 72 64 78 71.85
243.
MRP- Bihis, Marcelo M. 75 86 65 92 64 64 84 75 73.45
244.
MRP- Binaoro, Vicente M. 73 69 78 83 73 59 70 82 72.75
245.
MRP- Bobila, Rosalio B. 76 86 76 83 68 59 71 78 73.05
246.
247. Buenafe, Avelina R. 78 80 75 75 70 55 72 80 72.75
248. Bueno, Anastacio F. 73 78 71 78 71 67 71 60 71.15
249. Borres, Maximino L. 67 85 62 91 72 63 76 80 70.9
MRP- Cabegin, Cesar V. 72 71 76 75 74 70 71 60 72.2
250.
MRP- Cabello, Melecio F. 72 78 78 89 58 70 67 71 70.5
251.
MRP- Cabrera, Irineo M. 79 88 53 91 71 85 75 76 73.3
252.
253. Cabreros, Paulino N. 71 79 83 84 60 62 71 50 70.85
254. Calayag, Florentino R. 69 79 66 88 69 75 68 76 70.6
MRP- Calzada, Cesar de la 76 72 80 67 62 71 66 62 70.85
255.
256. Canabal, Isabel 70 82 81 77 78 51 75 75 73.7
MRP- Cabugao, Pablo N. 76 87 69 80 58 64 78 75 71.8
257.
258. Calañgi, Mateo C. 73 93 71 87 70 66 69 62 71.8
259. Canda, Benjamin S. 72 71 77 90 62 75 66 82 71.95
260. Cantoria, Eulogio 71 80 71 89 70 55 72 75 71
261. Capacio, Jr., Conrado 67 78 71 90 65 75 72 60 70.65
262. Capitulo, Alejandro P. 75 70 53 87 78 63 76 91 71.2
MRP- Calupitan, Jr., Alfredo 75 93 81 76 64 75 68 56 73.15
263.
MRP- Caluya, Arsenio V. 75 86 70 87 77 52 77 82 73.9
264.
MRP- Campanilla, Mariano B. 80 75 78 77 73 71 63 76 73.65
265.
MRP- Campos, Juan A. 66 85 83 84 67 61 80 57 73.25
266.
267. Cardoso, Angelita G. 78 71 73 76 79 56 69 60 71.8
268. Cartagena, Herminio R. 71 72 65 89 64 73 80 70 71.65
MRP- Castro, Daniel T. 65 75 77 76 85 60 75 69 73.15
269.
270. Cauntay, Gaudencio V. 70 78 72 73 77 69 64 80 71.2
271. Castro, Pedro L. de 70 68 69 87 76 75 72 70 73.35
272. Cerio, Juan A. 75 82 75 86 60 54 76 75 71.75
273. Colorado, Alfonso R. 68 75 80 74 77 66 67 80 72.6
274. Chavez, Doroteo M. 73 65 79 84 73 69 66 84 73.1
275. Chavez, Honorato A. 77 76 79 86 74 53 71 75 73.65
MRP- Cobangbang, Orlando B. 69 81 74 82 76 61 78 80 73.85
276.
277. Cortez, Armando R. 78 60 88 86 60 66 69 64 73.1
278. Crisostomo, Jesus L. 76 87 74 76 62 55 76 66 71.45
MRP- Cornejo, Crisanto R. 68 87 78 86 79 50 80 60 73.7
279.
MRP- Cruz, Raymundo 75 81 79 85 72 57 68 75 72.95
280.
MRP- Cunanan, Jose C. 78 92 63 83 76 72 68 65 72.4
281.
282. Cunanan, Salvador F. 70 82 64 92 67 75 73 76 71.45
283. Cimafranca, Agustin B. 71 76 76 80 70 71 75 71 73.35
284. Crisol, Getulio R. 70 91 78 85 68 55 71 50 70.8
MRP- Dusi, Felicisimo R. 76 82 69 82 66 62 80 71 72.85
285.
MRP- Datu, Alfredo J. 70 75 72 86 80 55 68 79 71.5
286.
287. Dacuma, Luis B. 71 67 87 83 71 50 65 70 71.25
MRP- Degamo, Pedro R. 73 80 82 74 80 67 67 57 73.65
288.
289. Delgado, Vicente N. 70 84 82 84 77 52 73 50 72.65
MRP- Diolazo, Ernesto A. 75 83 86 73 54 54 75 75 72.25
290.
291. Dionisio, Jr., Guillermo 73 84 64 89 71 78 75 66 72.8
MRP- Dichoso, Alberto M. 71 77 71 81 69 75 80 70 73.65
292.
MRP- Dipasupil, Claudio R. 70 76 82 73 79 70 72 56 73.9
293.
MRP- Delgado, Abner 75 84 63 67 64 60 70 72 68.35
294.
MRP- Domingo, Dominador T. 70 69 81 82 68 63 71 75 72.2
295.
296. Ducusin, Agapito B. 70 78 53 88 75 77 62 76 68.05
MRP- Duque, Antonio S. 75 77 78 86 76 72 64 75 73.9
297.
298. Duque, Castulo 75 80 73 83 66 67 65 66 70.65
299. Ebbah, Percival B. 70 80 85 76 66 63 76 75 73.95
300. Edisa, Sulpicio 65 77 75 89 75 62 75 65 72
301. Edradan, Rosa C. 70 75 84 84 71 59 69 86 73.4
MRP- Enage, Jacinto N. 66 70 88 93 72 67 65 75 73.2
302.
MRP- Encarnacion, Alfonso B. 75 86 73 81 63 77 69 75 72.65
303.
304. Encarnacion, Cesar 65 78 58 68 66 64 75 78 67.1
305. Estoista, Agustin A. 78 76 74 86 58 67 70 76 71.7
MRP- Fabros, Jose B. 66 75 80 82 80 71 67 70 73.05
306.
MRP- Fajardo, Balbino P. 77 69 82 83 65 60 75 75 73.9
307.
308. Fajardo, Genaro P. 70 79 77 79 79 50 73 75 72.5
309. Evangelista, Felicidad P. 75 75 72 87 63 63 77 70 72.15
310. Familara, Raymundo Z. 68 75 87 83 64 65 68 65 71.85
311. Fariñas, Dionisio 70 78 89 66 65 75 70 50 72.75
312. Favila, Hilario B. 71 84 74 70 75 67 73 59 72.2
MRP- Feliciano, Alberto I. 71 69 70 85 69 81 72 70 72.25
313.
MRP- Fernando, Lope F. 73 77 86 79 70 76 64 50 73
314.
MRP- Flores, Dionisio S. 78 72 77 83 67 60 68 73 72.05
315.
MRP- Fortich, Benjamin B. 70 82 70 70 78 65 64 75 70.35
316.
MRP- Fuente, Jose S. de la 76 88 72 74 60 71 79 79 73.55
317.
318. Fohmantes, Nazario S. 72 79 71 77 68 61 76 60 70.9
MRP- Fuggan, Lorenzo B. 76 81 74 69 71 71 73 60 72.85
319.
320. Gabuya, Jesus S. 70 83 82 83 70 63 75 65 73.75
321. Galang, Victor N. 69 83 84 76 70 57 71 60 71.95
322. Gaerlan, Manuel L. 73 87 77 90 67 61 72 75 73.15
323. Galem, Nestor R. 72 79 86 78 60 61 75 70 73.05
324. Gallardo, Jose Pe B. 75 88 75 75 63 70 70 65 71.85
MRP- Gallos, Cirilo B. 70 78 84 91 80 51 65 70 72.85
325.
326. Galindo, Eulalio D. 70 89 87 65 78 71 62 62 73.4
327. Galman, Patrocinio G. 72 72 80 85 71 56 70 53 71.15
328. Gamalinda, Carlos S. 76 79 81 86 67 63 69 55 72.55
329. Gamboa, Antonio G. 71 67 70 72 76 60 75 68 70.95
330. Gannod, Jose A. 69 80 75 81 68 62 73 68 71.25
MRP- Garcia, Matias N. 67 78 74 90 79 59 76 65 72.8
331.
MRP- Ganete, Carmelo 75 87 77 82 74 57 68 81 73.3
332.
333. Gilbang, Gaudioso R. 75 67 80 82 67 57 64 70 70.5
334. Gofredo, Claro C. 68 78 72 86 78 52 70 76 70.9
335. Gomez, Jose S. 71 76 71 81 76 63 69 62 70.85
MRP- Gosiaoco, Lorenzo V. 68 93 85 78 64 69 70 54 72.35
336.
MRP- Gonzales, Rafael C. 77 75 71 89 55 70 70 60 70.05
337.
MRP- Gracia, Eulalia L. de 66 68 90 84 77 59 69 65 73.3
338.
339. Grageda, Jose M. A. 70 85 72 67 70 60 73 73 70.75
340. Guzman, Juan de 75 86 69 84 64 79 75 76 73.6
MRP- Guzman, Mateo de 76 79 79 73 72 69 68 80 73.9
341.
342. Guzman, Salvador B. 71 61 74 72 61 66 78 75 70.75
343. Guzman, Salvador T. de 75 84 64 81 74 61 78 58 71.75
344. Habelito, Geronimo E. 71 76 71 87 73 60 67 55 69.65
345. Hedriana, Naterno G. 75 68 84 76 66 58 76 60 72.9
346. Hernandez, Quintin B. 67 75 72 81 72 72 66 76 70.6
1952
347. Homeres, Agustin R. 73 84 65 86 70 77 63 76 70.7
348. Ines, Leonilo F. 65 88 71 88 77 73 61 70 70.55
349. Jamer, Alipio S. 68 75 83 89 80 61 65 50 72
MRP- Ibasco, Jr., Emiliano M. 75 65 68 85 76 70 83 54 73.8
350.
MRP- Jardinico, Jr., Emilio 73 86 72 78 82 67 67 64 72.8
351.
MRP- Jaen, Justiniano F. 76 75 78 84 71 66 70 77 73.85
352.
353. Jaring, Antonio S. 72 77 79 70 72 57 71 50 70.75
MRP- Javier, Aquilino M. 75 84 79 78 77 61 66 66 73.05
354.
355. Jomuad, Francisco 75 75 72 88 78 58 76 43 72.4
MRP- Jose, Nestor L. 78 61 64 73 68 76 64 80 69.7
356.
357. La Q, Jose M. 75 71 75 72 70 67 81 59 73.5
358. Leon, Brigido C. de 67 75 78 91 78 51 72 80 72.55
359. Leones, Constante B. 68 81 79 84 73 60 77 60 73
360. Liboro, Horacio T. 72 69 80 87 73 62 70 61 72.4
361. Llanera, Cesar L. 77 81 80 78 64 59 75 63 73
362. Lomontod, Jose P. 75 76 69 70 73 76 74 75 73.2
363. Luna, Lucito 70 75 69 83 59 53 74 75 68.4
MRP- Luz, Lauro L. 76 90 78 88 64 58 75 77 73.95
364.
MRP- Macasaet, Tomas S. 73 81 72 83 66 75 72 70 72.5
365.
366. Magbiray, Godofredo V. 80 67 84 76 70 62 65 68 73.05
367. Majarais, Rodolfo P. 70 62 64 82 88 75 71 79 72.85
MRP- Makabenta, Eduardo 75 90 77 83 59 71 72 78 73.3
368.
MRP- Malapit, Justiniano S. 74 83 74 89 58 60 72 76 71.1
369.
370. Maloles, Iluminado M. 70 87 73 76 77 50 76 76 72.3
371. Maniquis, Daniel R. 75 80 73 91 69 71 65 70 72.1
372. Maraña, Arsenio 65 79 60 72 73 51 75 86 67.9
373. Marasigan, Napoleon 75 71 83 75 69 62 69 70 72.75
MRP- Marco, Jaime P. 75 67 74 76 64 75 75 57 71.9
374.
MRP- Martir, Osmundo P. 70 86 76 78 72 71 75 53 72.95
375.
MRP- Masancay, Amando E. 73 87 75 77 72 50 78 80 73.2
376.
MRP- Mati-ong, Ignacio T. 62 87 72 79 73 76 69 77 71.3
377.
378. Mara, Guillermo L. 70 78 78 89 75 67 66 65 72.35
MRP- Mercado, Felipe A. 73 77 82 82 78 52 69 85 73.9
379.
MRP- Miculob, Eugenio P. 70 82 73 86 77 52 79 65 72.8
380.
381. Mison, Rafael M. Jr., 79 78 73 75 71 68 69 53 71.95
MRP- Monponbanua, Antonio 79 79 68 88 64 78 69 83 73.1
382. D.
MRP- Montero, Leodegario C. 72 89 69 89 70 68 70 75 72.15
383.
384. Morada, Servillano S. 75 76 67 71 65 66 75 76 70.9
385. Mocorro, Generoso 78 84 78 84 60 73 68 70 73
MRP- Mosquera, Estanislao L. 75 78 75 85 72 55 77 66 73.15
386.
387. Motus, Rodentor P. 80 78 70 94 72 75 70 57 73.75
388. Macario, Pedro R. 70 67 74 86 78 63 72 66 72.15
MRP- Nadela, Geredion T. 72 64 64 81 73 50 75 75 69.15
389.
MRP- Nazareno, Romeo P. 67 70 71 76 76 79 75 57 72.05
390.
391. Nieto, Benedicto S. 69 79 77 77 72 62 76 76 72.9
MRP- Noguera, Raymundo 71 86 81 80 73 56 72 70 73.15
392.
MRP- Nodado, Domiciano R. 70 70 69 73 57 37 64 72 63.6
393.
394. Nono, Pacifico G. 67 77 78 67 75 59 71 76 71.35
MRP- Nuval, Manuel R. 78 72 67 90 72 68 78 67 73.65
395.
396. Ocampo, Augusto 75 90 77 72 69 55 65 67 60.7
397. Oliveros, Amado A. 72 75 68 72 84 50 75 79 71.9
398. Opiña, Jr., Pedro 76 77 74 67 73 66 68 70 71.85
MRP- Olaviar, Jose O. 70 62 85 81 74 50 68 79 71.8
399.
MRP- Olandesca, Per O. 70 91 76 87 72 66 70 79 73.45
400.
401. Orden, Apolonio J. 72 65 84 86 66 50 72 68 71.45
402. Ortiz, Melencio T. 71 75 78 81 66 67 70 78 72.1
MRP- Pablo, Fedelino S. 72 64 76 86 72 61 76 75 72.95
403.
404. Pacifico, Vicente V. 76 79 69 80 76 52 72 80 71.95
MRP- Paderna, Perfecto D. 75 69 72 75 78 58 75 70 72.6
405.
406. Padlan, Crispin M. 71 66 76 79 68 67 74 66 71.65
407. Padilla, Jose C. 70 65 67 82 78 75 78 75 73.3
408. Padilla, Jr., Estanislao E. 71 88 78 86 59 75 78 50 72.95
MRP- Palma, Bartolome 67 81 80 82 71 75 69 75 73.25
409.
MRP- Papa, Angel A. 75 72 85 85 77 59 63 71 73.45
410.
MRP- Parayno, Mario V. 71 88 74 89 69 66 76 73 73.65
411.
412. Pariña, Santos L. 70 87 85 77 64 67 63 76 71.85
MRP- Pasion, Anastacio 63 80 68 81 82 79 76 58 72.55
413.
414. Pastrana, Rizal R. 69 76 71 76 68 63 77 83 71.65
MRP- Paulin, Jose O. 70 66 80 87 75 50 65 80 70.9
415.
MRP- Pelaez, Jr., Vicente C. 79 87 73 83 69 71 68 65 73.2
416.
417. Peña, Jesus 75 75 75 62 75 70 60 66 70.4
418. Perez, Toribio R. 71 64 81 92 69 58 67 70 71.25
419. Pestaño, Melquiades 77 81 74 87 59 68 76 75 73.2
MRP- Pido, Serafin C. 77 81 72 82 69 71 60 75 71.15
420.
421. Pinlac, Filemon 67 76 74 86 65 79 65 72 70.55
422. Poblete, Celso B. 72 79 82 76 66 64 74 50 72.15
MRP- Piza, Luz 68 70 75 87 74 67 64 75 70.8
423.
424. Puzon, Eduardo S. 72 80 81 69 72 53 67 70 71.05
425. Quetulio, Josefina D. 75 90 60 93 64 78 76 83 72.9
MRP- Quipanes, Melchor V. 69 88 79 82 65 62 71 66 71.55
426.
MRP- Quietson, Bayani R. 73 75 76 77 70 81 71 53 72.85
427.
428. Racho, Macario D. 68 75 81 82 78 53 66 54 70.55
429. Ramirez, Sabas P. 71 80 73 87 62 62 75 80 71.65
MRP- Raffiñan, Jose A. 80 83 79 79 62 72 68 65 73.25
430.
MRP- Ramos, Patricio S. 75 87 76 75 72 72 61 75 72.25
431.
MRP- Ramos-Balmori, Manuela 78 84 76 90 48 75 80 65 73.45
432.
MRP- Raro, Celso 75 81 76 67 75 77 55 77 71.4
433.
MRP- Rayos, Victor S. 75 86 79 91 71 67 67 70 73.9
434.
435. Revilla, Mariano S. 75 78 81 90 70 54 69 81 73.35
436. Reyes, Abdon L. 72 64 81 78 76 73 69 53 72.85
437. Reyes, Domingo B. 72 87 78 83 72 75 62 70 72.7
438. Reyes, Francisco M. 75 85 84 68 75 71 68 50 73.9
439. Reyes, Lozano M. 80 57 78 79 78 65 64 79 73.35
MRP- Reyes, Oscar R. 75 75 82 82 76 64 68 60 73.65
440.
441. Rigonan, Cesar V. 71 85 65 86 75 70 76 70 72.7
442. Rivera, Honorio 71 56 70 90 71 65 75 71 71.2
MRP- Rivero, Buenaventura A. 72 88 72 94 68 73 66 80 72.6
443.
MRP- Robles, Enrique 75 77 75 77 82 64 69 70 73.7
444.
445. Rodriguez, Orestes 76 75 76 63 69 77 65 78 72.25
Arellano
446. Roldan, Jose V. 67 80 79 83 73 71 75 70 73.9
447. Rosario, Adelaida R. del 80 75 65 70 68 72 80 70 73.15
448. Rosario, Restituto F. del 75 75 79 90 68 65 66 63 72.1
MRP- Sabelino, Conrado S. 71 81 69 75 77 71 75 70 72.95
449.
450. San Juan, Damaso 77 86 72 89 59 76 65 72 71.6
451. Sañiel, Felix L. 72 93 76 80 67 75 66 62 72.1
452. Samaniego, Jesus B. 75 80 76 72 60 67 68 70 70.6
MRP- Sandoval, Emmanuel M. 75 83 70 83 77 67 77 60 73.95
453.
MRP- Sanidad, Emmanuel Q. 71 75 81 90 62 64 76 68 72.95
454.
455. Santiago, Jr., Cristobal 75 76 84 93 63 65 59 70 71.8
456. Santillan, Juanito Ll. 76 89 83 83 63 58 65 52 71.25
MRP- Santos, Rodolfo C. 75 75 78 82 73 76 66 70 73.7
457.
MRP- Santos, Ruperto M. 67 54 69 76 63 64 71 60 66.75
458.
MRP- Santos, Aquilino C. 72 71 73 79 73 79 71 85 73.8
459.
MRP- Santos, Rufino A. 75 81 79 85 74 72 66 54 73.3
460.
461. Suanding, Bantas 75 67 67 92 79 59 76 76 73.1
MRP- Sulit, Feliz M. 76 79 76 78 72 75 68 67 73.5
462.
463. Songco, Felicisimo G. 70 68 82 84 60 69 76 65 73.35
464. Soriano, Aniceto S. 64 79 77 80 80 53 70 65 70.7
465. Suarez, Pablo D. 73 85 70 87 76 70 64 70 71.9
MRP- Sybico, Jesus L. 79 70 70 72 75 75 72 60 73.05
466.
467. Tabaque, Benjamin R. 69 68 77 79 74 68 72 60 71.85
MRP- Tan Kiang, Clarita 81 79 72 80 62 75 73 80 73.95
468.
MRP- Tando, Amado T. 71 82 78 83 71 61 71 60 72
469.
470. Tasico, Severo E. 71 69 75 89 70 75 67 63 71.65
471. Tiburcio, Ismael P. 73 82 72 93 76 57 68 54 71.15
MRP- Tiongson, Federico T. 70 70 76 84 77 75 75 50 73.45
472.
MRP- Tolentino, Jesus C. 75 89 63 84 85 73 73 50 73.4
473.
474. Torrijas, Alfredo A. 77 66 67 83 68 75 71 63 71.3
MRP- Tobias, Artemio M. 69 58 74 81 71 55 65 57 67.55
475.
MRP- Trillana, Jr., Apolonio 76 86 76 86 70 68 75 50 73.8
476.
MRP- Trinidad, Manuel O. 66 91 83 75 63 66 67 65 70.8
477.
478. Trinidad, Pedro O. 66 78 78 85 78 51 64 75 70.8
MRP- Udarbe, Flavio J. 80 82 77 82 67 56 68 75 72.6
479.
480. Umali, Osmundo C. 68 75 81 80 71 69 68 60 71.7
481. Umayam, Juanito C. 77 75 87 85 56 56 66 60 71
MRP- Usita, Gelacio U. 75 72 75 74 73 76 71 70 73.55
482.
483. Valino, Francisco M. 72 81 80 84 62 78 71 75 73.7
484. Varela, Dominador M. 67 75 81 86 72 57 81 70 73.85
485. Vega, Macairog L. de 78 62 79 87 70 70 71 65 73.8
MRP- Velasco, Emmanuel D. 71 80 74 85 60 66 76 76 71.85
486.
487. Velez, Maria E. 73 70 89 80 56 50 72 67 71.05
MRP- Venal, Artemio V. 78 91 58 67 76 55 75 73 73.65
488.
489. Venus, Conrado B. 69 81 74 85 62 66 72 77 77.05
MRP- Verzosa, Federico B. 75 79 72 88 76 68 74 59 73.7
490.
MRP- Villafuerte, Eduardo V. 75 83 70 76 64 64 75 65 71.2
491.
MRP- Villanueva, Cecilio C. 75 85 79 88 66 77 67 70 73.95
492.
493. Villar, Custodio R. 73 69 70 88 76 66 69 50 70.75
MRP- Villaseñor, Leonidas F. 80 85 67 77 62 75 76 73 73.15
494.
495. Viterbo, Jose H. 80 77 65 93 70 65 65 65 70.65
496. Yaranon, Pedro 70 77 76 85 72 50 75 75 71.85
MRP- Yasay, Mariano R. 75 75 72 76 63 77 70 60 71.1
497.
MRP- Ygay, Venancio M. 73 80 83 84 62 59 72 77 72.65
498.
499. Yulo, Jr., Teodoro 73 82 78 75 60 81 75 75 73.95
500. Zamora, Alberto 70 65 76 79 62 77 69 82 71.3
501. Rigonan, Felipe C. 70 79 69 89 76 62 71 64 71.2

A list of those who petitioned for the consolidation of their grades in subjects passed in previous
examinations, showing the years in which they took the examinations together with their grades and
averages, and those who had filed motions for reconsideration which were denied, indicated by the initials
MRD, follows:

PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 72

Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.


Av.
1. Amao, Sulpicio M.
1946 68 67 76 76 73 73 49 50 66.5
1950 59 80 67 77 62 80 71 57 67.4
2. Baldo, Olegario Ga.
1951 65 76 58 55 59 63 75 72 64.9
1952 65 68 75 84 72 59 73 57 69.75
1953 57 74 68 68 76 52 71 76 66.7
3. Blanco, Jose B.
MRD-1949 75 75 70 75 77 76 60 90 72.15
1951 64 71 58 65 68 70 75 71 66.95
4. Condeno, Mateo
1950 71 80 62 75 75 81 55 92 69.3
1951 70 60 61 65 77 64 67 81 67.85
5. Ducusin, Agapito B.
MRD-1949 69 70 76 73 76 71 55 60 68.65
1950 60 71 55 67 67 75 56 89 68.1
6. Garcia, Manuel N.
MRD-1949 60 70 82 79 70 69 60 80 69.25
1950 57 65 51 69 54 85 56 84 60.3
7. Luna, Lucito A.
1946 63 53 69 76 75 76 57 69 66.55
1952 70 75 69 83 59 53 74 75 68.4
8. Maraña, Arsenio s.
1949 72 68 68 75 75 72 60 75 69.35
1952 65 79 60 72 73 51 75 86 67.9
9. Montano, Manuel M.
1951 61 60 58 60 70 63 75 64 64.8
1952 70 77 65 79 66 52 70 50 66.4
1953 78 64 66 68 81 50 71 78 70.65
10. Peña, Jesus S.
1950 25 75 45 75 45 52 46 71 46.2
1951 70 77 65 79 66 52 70 50 66.4
1952 75 75 75 62 75 70 60 66 70.4
11. Placido, Sr., Isidro
1950 68 78 70 75 69 70 58 69 67.75
1951 65 62 75 60 73 57 75 71 66.8
12. Rementizo, Filemon S.
1949 65 75 72 75 60 75 55 85 66.65
1951 68 57 48 60 91 66 55 75 64.05
1952 68 53 68 67 58 56 75 64 65.7
13. Amao, Sulpicio M.
1952 67 80 51 69 69 77 73 53 66.35
1953 65 67 78 74 75 62 69 80 70.9
14. Rodulfa, Juan T.
1951 67 60 70 65 68 56 75 66 67.75
1952 70 71 67 78 67 75 71 70 70.1
15. Sanchez, Juan J.
1948 39 69 82 75 76 72 55 50 63.5
MRD-1949 67 56 69 75 72 77 60 75 68
1951 70 59 55 60 68 57 78 67 65.8
16. Santos, Constantino
1952 62 76 54 82 72 77 66 65 66.65
1953 73 71 70 65 78 64 65 78 70.4
17. Santos, Salvador H.
1951 60 64 55 70 68 52 70 75 62.85
1952 75 64 70 81 76 55 61 75 69.1
1953 70 71 79 65 72 54 66 80 70
18. Sevilla, Macario C.
MRD-1948 50 64 76 66 66 69 60 52 63.1
MRD-1949 47 66 78 64 71 86 65 85 68
1950 35 65 40 75 63 57 27 49 45
MRD-1951 68 59 72 55 69 65 75 75 69.3
1953 70 73 74 70 81 56 69 71 71.05

Finally, with regards to the examinations of 1953, while some candidates--85 in all--presented motions for
reconsideration of their grades, others invoked the provisions of Republic Act No. 972. A list of those candidates
separating those who filed mere motions for reconsideration (56) from those who invoked the aforesaid Republic
act, is as follows:

1953 PETITIONERS FOR RECONSIDERATION

Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.


Av.
1. Acenas, Calixto R. 73 70 68 62 82 51 67 77 73.45
2. Alcantara, Pedro N. 67 70 75 85 87 54 71 80 72.8
3. Alejandro, Exequiel 67 72 71 75 80 76 75 77 73.4
4. Andres, Gregorio M. 70 73 86 58 79 50 71 78 72.7
5. Arnaiz, Antonio E. 66 80 76 58 79 68 77 81 73.4
6. Asis, Floriano U. de 66 78 75 81 77 55 73 69 71.25
7. Bacaiso, Celestino M. 71 65 76 68 76 50 75 70 70.95
8. Bala, Florencio F. 64 82 47 70 82 58 75 82 67
9. Baldo, Olegario A. 57 74 68 68 76 52 71 76 66.7
10. Barrios, Benjamin O. 65 71 76 75 80 62 83 73 73.95
11. Buhay, Eduardo L. 73 76 71 91 76 61 74 78 73.35
12. Burgos, Dominador C. 72 80 89 61 66 37 69 68 70.05
13. Cariño, Eldo J. 79 81 60 75 74 74 76 74 73
14. Casar, Dimapuro 67 73 84 79 77 61 71 74 73.35
15. Castañeda, Gregorio 70 73 80 71 75 70 73 78 73.95
16. Estrellado, Benjamin R. 67 79 64 73 82 62 71 74 70.2
17. Fabunan, Edilberto C. 70 72 68 69 77 60 76 74 71.1
18. Feril, Domingo B. 75 71 84 65 70 60 65 70 71.6
19. Fernandez, Alejandro G. 65 75 87 80 81 63 61 80 72.8
20. Gapus, Rosita S. (Miss) 76 80 86 77 64 74 66 69 73.9
21. Garcia, Rafael B. 70 86 70 75 73 63 73 75 71.65
22. Gracia, Miguel L. de 73 68 75 59 80 51 72 71 71
23. Gungon, Armando G. 68 76 76 84 77 57 77 83 73.6
24. Gutierrez, Antonio S. 68 77 66 70 72 59 71 74 69.1
25. Ilejay, Abraham I. 77 70 76 77 81 62 70 68 73.7
26. Leon, Benjamin La. De 66 66 75 70 77 55 71 82 70.35
27. Lugtu, Felipe L. 62 70 78 65 78 56 69 81 69.9
28. Lukman, Abdul-Hamid 76 64 67 69 73 59 73 75 70.45
29. Maloles, Jr., Benjamin G. 77 76 68 68 71 51 75 78 70.85
30. Maloles, Julius G. 77 71 60 71 79 62 68 72 69.75
31. Mandi, Santiago P. 65 76 70 61 79 68 75 72 71.1
32. Margete, Rufino C. 70 76 66 75 85 73 71 75 72.75
33. Melocoton, Nestorio B. 70 81 73 78 83 52 72 75 72.35
34. Molina, Manuel C. 75 78 70 61 75 63 66 85 70.95
35. Muñoz, Mariano A. 75 80 86 67 74 57 68 76 73.75
36. Navarro, Buenaventura M. 80 75 65 75 83 55 73 79 73
37. Nodado, Domiciano R. 60 67 67 50 70 50 56 75 61.7
38. Papas, Sisenando B. 65 62 71 61 70 56 66 67 66
39. Pagulayan-Sy, Fernando 63 75 71 62 83 67 70 72 70.4
40. Padula, Benjamin C. 70 77 54 62 74 78 75 68 69.05
41. Pasno, Enrique M. 78 72 66 54 71 58 72 78 69.85
42. Peña, Jr., Narciso 70 95 81 78 67 66 67 73 72.55
43. Peralta, Rodolfo P. 70 70 52 81 68 63 59 69 63.7
44. Pigar, Leopoldo R. 76 75 78 61 72 72 71 79 73.75
45. Publico, Paciano L. 68 69 76 76 70 59 74 67 70.6
46. Radaza, Leovigildo 75 78 76 61 77 50 71 86 72.2
47. Ramos, Bernardo M. 64 62 75 93 81 52 66 80 70.1
48. Rabaino, Andres D. 68 72 75 73 78 55 69 76 70.65
49. Ravanera, Oscar N. 70 77 80 71 82 62 69 78 73.6
50. Renovilla, Jose M. 65 75 80 68 79 52 62 78 69.5
51. Sabaot, Solomon B. 69 73 80 69 82 69 69 79 73.85
52. Sumaway, Ricardo S. 66 76 69 76 74 56 72 68 69.1
53. Torrefiel, Sofronio O. 70 77 74 75 73 50 68 72 69.55
54. Vera, Federico V. de 60 61 47 77 69 50 67 77 60.9
55. Viray, Venancio Bustos 65 67 67 52 73 64 71 65 67.15
56. Ylaya, Angela P. (Miss) 63 70 56 75 68 54 70 77 64.5

PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972

Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen.


Av.

1. Ala, Narciso 70 71 73 59 73 74 81 77 73.5


2. Alcantara, Pedro N. 67 70 75 85 87 54 71 80 72.8
3. Arellano, Antonio L. 74 66 73 60 78 63 78 72 72.9
4. Buhay, Eduardo L. 73 76 71 91 76 61 74 78 73.35
5. Calautit, Celestino R. 71 78 84 75 75 61 68 72 73.2
6. Casuncad, Sulvio P. 61 73 82 69 81 68 71 84 73.05
7. Enriquez, Pelagio y 84 69 76 75 82 50 58 79 72.05
Concepcion
8. Estonina, Severino 80 74 64 89 81 56 68 82 72.4
9. Fernandez, Alejandro Q. 65 75 87 80 81 63 61 80 72.8
10. Fernandez, Luis N. 70 75 77 75 78 67 72 73 73.35
11. Figueroa, Alfredo A. 70 75 87 78 75 50 68 68 72.3
12. Formilleza, Pedro 65 75 89 68 83 51 70 75 73.25
13. Garcia, Manuel M. 69 68 83 83 73 62 62 70 71
14. Grospe, Vicente E. 68 75 78 66 79 61 69 82 71.6
15. Galema, Nestor R. (1952) 72 79 86 78 60 61 75 70 73.05
16. Jacobo, Rafael F. 76 76 75 74 76 50 72 76 72.3
17. Macalindong, Reinerio L. 67 77 79 79 74 72 68 77 72.75
18. Mangubat, Antonio M. 70 70 78 61 80 74 62 70 71.45
19. Montano, Manuel M. 78 64 66 68 81 50 71 78 70.65
20. Plomantes, Marcos 73 67 74 58 68 70 76 71 71.6
21. Ramos, Eugenio R. 70 80 76 67 72 69 72 79 72.6
22. Reyes, Juan R. 71 73 77 76 81 59 72 74 73.2
23. Reyes, Santiago R. 65 78 83 60 76 75 70 70 72.9
24. Rivera, Eulogio J. 65 67 78 74 75 62 69 80 70.9
25. Santos, Constantino P. 73 71 70 65 78 64 65 78 70.4
26. Santos, Salvador H. 70 71 79 65 72 54 66 80 70
27. Sevilla, Macario C. 70 73 74 70 81 56 69 71 71.05
28. Villavicencio, Jose A. 78 75 70 67 69 77 64 77 73.2
29. Viray, Ruperto G. 76 73 76 73 80 58 68 83 73.25

There are the unsuccessful candidates totaling 604 directly affected by this resolution. Adding 490 candidates who
have not presented any petition, they reach a total of 1,094.

The Enactment of Republic Act No. 972

As will be observed from Annex I, this Court reduced to 72 per cent the passing general average in the bar
examination of august and November of 1946; 69 per cent in 1947; 70 per cent in 1948; 74 per cent in 1949;
maintaining the prescribed 75 per cent since 1950, but raising to 75 per cent those who obtained 74 per cent since
1950. This caused the introduction in 1951, in the Senate of the Philippines of Bill No. 12 which was intended to
amend Sections 5, 9, 12, 14 and 16 of Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, concerning the admission of attorneys-at-law
to the practice of the profession. The amendments embrace many interesting matters, but those referring to sections
14 and 16 immediately concern us. The proposed amendment is as follows:

SEC. 14. Passing average. — In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed the examinations
successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in
any subject. In determining the average, the foregoing subjects shall be given the following relative weights:
Civil Law, 20 per cent; Land Registration and Mortgages, 5 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal
Law, 10 per cent; Political Law, 10 per cent; International Law, 5 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal
Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent; Social Legislation, 5 per cent; Taxation, 5 per cent. Unsuccessful
candidates shall not be required to take another examination in any subject in which they have obtained a
rating of 70 per cent or higher and such rating shall be taken into account in determining their general
average in any subsequent examinations: Provided, however, That if the candidate fails to get a general
average of 70 per cent in his third examination, he shall lose the benefit of having already passed some
subjects and shall be required to the examination in all the subjects.

SEC. 16. Admission and oath of successful applicants. — Any applicant who has obtained a general
average of 70 per cent in all subjects without falling below 50 per cent in any examination held after the 4th
day of July, 1946, or who has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall be allowed
to take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office. (Arts. 4 and 5, 8, No. 12).

With the bill was an Explanatory Note, the portion pertinent to the matter before us being:

It seems to be unfair that unsuccessful candidates at bar examinations should be compelled to repeat even
those subjects which they have previously passed. This is not the case in any other government
examination. The Rules of Court have therefore been amended in this measure to give a candidate due
credit for any subject which he has previously passed with a rating of 75 per cent or higher."
Senate Bill No. 12 having been approved by Congress on May 3, 1951, the President requested the comments of
this Tribunal before acting on the same. The comment was signed by seven Justices while three chose to refrain
from making any and one took no part. With regards to the matter that interests us, the Court said:

The next amendment is of section 14 of Rule 127. One part of this amendment provides that if a bar
candidate obtains 70 per cent or higher in any subject, although failing to pass the examination, he need not
be examined in said subject in his next examination. This is a sort of passing the Bar Examination on the
installment plan, one or two or three subjects at a time. The trouble with this proposed system is that
although it makes it easier and more convenient for the candidate because he may in an examination
prepare himself on only one or two subjects so as to insure passing them, by the time that he has passed
the last required subjects, which may be several years away from the time that he reviewed and passed the
firs subjects, he shall have forgotten the principles and theories contained in those subjects and remembers
only those of the one or two subjects that he had last reviewed and passed. This is highly possible because
there is nothing in the law which requires a candidate to continue taking the Bar examinations every year in
succession. The only condition imposed is that a candidate, on this plan, must pass the examination in no
more that three installments; but there is no limitation as to the time or number of years intervening between
each examination taken. This would defeat the object and the requirements of the law and the Court in
admitting persons to the practice of law. When a person is so admitted, it is to be presumed and
presupposed that he possesses the knowledge and proficiency in the law and the knowledge of all law
subjects required in bar examinations, so as presently to be able to practice the legal profession and
adequately render the legal service required by prospective clients. But this would not hold true of the
candidates who may have obtained a passing grade on any five subjects eight years ago, another three
subjects one year later, and the last two subjects the present year. We believe that the present system of
requiring a candidate to obtain a passing general average with no grade in any subject below 50 per cent is
more desirable and satisfactory. It requires one to be all around, and prepared in all required legal subjects
at the time of admission to the practice of law.

xxx xxx xxx

We now come to the last amendment, that of section 16 of Rule 127. This amendment provides that any
application who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without failing below 50 per
cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and
subscribe the corresponding oath of office. In other words, Bar candidates who obtained not less than 70 per
cent in any examination since the year 1946 without failing below 50 per cent in any subject, despite their
non-admission to the Bar by the Supreme Court because they failed to obtain a passing general average in
any of those years, will be admitted to the Bar. This provision is not only prospective but retroactive in its
effects.

We have already stated in our comment on the next preceding amendment that we are not exactly in favor
of reducing the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent to govern even in the future. As to
the validity of making such reduction retroactive, we have serious legal doubts. We should not lose sight of
the fact that after every bar examinations, the Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not only
admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general average grade, but also rejecting and
denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed. The present amendment would have the
effect of repudiating, reversing and revoking the Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting the
petitions of those who may have obtained an average of 70 per cent or more but less than the general
passing average fixed for that year. It is clear that this question involves legal implications, and this phase of
the amendment if finally enacted into law might have to go thru a legal test. As one member of the Court
remarked during the discussion, when a court renders a decision or promulgate a resolution or order on the
basis of and in accordance with a certain law or rule then in force, the subsequent amendment or even
repeal of said law or rule may not affect the final decision, order, or resolution already promulgated, in the
sense of revoking or rendering it void and of no effect.

Another aspect of this question to be considered is the fact that members of the bar are officers of the
courts, including the Supreme Court. When a Bar candidate is admitted to the Bar, the Supreme Court
impliedly regards him as a person fit, competent and qualified to be its officer. Conversely, when it refused
and denied admission to the Bar to a candidate who in any year since 1946 may have obtained a general
average of 70 per cent but less than that required for that year in order to pass, the Supreme Court equally
and impliedly considered and declared that he was not prepared, ready, competent and qualified to be its
officer. The present amendment giving retroactivity to the reduction of the passing general average runs
counter to all these acts and resolutions of the Supreme Court and practically and in effect says that a
candidate not accepted, and even rejected by the Court to be its officer because he was unprepared,
undeserving and unqualified, nevertheless and in spite of all, must be admitted and allowed by this Court to
serve as its officer. We repeat, that this is another important aspect of the question to be carefully and
seriously considered.

The President vetoed the bill on June 16, 1951, stating the following:

I am fully in accord with the avowed objection of the bill, namely, to elevate the standard of the legal
profession and maintain it on a high level. This is not achieved, however, by admitting to practice precisely a
special class who have failed in the bar examination, Moreover, the bill contains provisions to which I find
serious fundamental objections.

Section 5 provides that any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects
without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall
be allowed to take and subscribed the corresponding oath of office. This provision constitutes class
legislation, benefiting as it does specifically one group of persons, namely, the unsuccessful candidates in
the 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 bar examinations.

The same provision undertakes to revoke or set aside final resolutions of the Supreme Court made in
accordance with the law then in force. It should be noted that after every bar examination the Supreme
Court passes the corresponding resolution not only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing
general average but also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed.
The provision under consideration would have the effect of revoking the Supreme Court's resolution denying
and rejecting the petitions of those who may have failed to obtain the passing average fixed for that year.
Said provision also sets a bad precedent in that the Government would be morally obliged to grant a similar
privilege to those who have failed in the examinations for admission to other professions such as medicine,
engineering, architecture and certified public accountancy.

Consequently, the bill was returned to the Congress of the Philippines, but it was not repassed by 2/3 vote of each
House as prescribed by section 20, article VI of the Constitution. Instead Bill No. 371 was presented in the Senate. It
reads as follows:

AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM 1946 UP TO AND
INCLUDING 1953

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate
who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any bar examinations after July 4, 1946 up to the August
1951 Bar examinations; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in the 1953 bar examinations;
73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; 74 per cent in 1955 bar examinations without a candidate
obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the
corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar; Provided, however, That 75 per cent passing
general average shall be restored in all succeeding examinations; and Provided, finally, That for the purpose
of this Act, any exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the
next whole number.

SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any bar examination after
July 4, 1945 shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be
included in computing the passing general average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent
examinations that he may take.

SEC. 3. This bill shall take effect upon its approval.


With the following explanatory note:

This is a revised Bar bill to meet the objections of the President and to afford another opportunity to those
who feel themselves discriminated by the Supreme Court from 1946 to 1951 when those who would
otherwise have passed the bar examination but were arbitrarily not so considered by altering its previous
decisions of the passing mark. The Supreme Court has been altering the passing mark from 69 in 1947 to
74 in 1951. In order to cure the apparent arbitrary fixing of passing grades and to give satisfaction to all
parties concerned, it is proposed in this bill a gradual increase in the general averages for passing the bar
examinations as follows; For 1946 to 1951 bar examinations, 70 per cent; for 1952 bar examination, 71 per
cent; for 1953 bar examination, 72 per cent; for 1954 bar examination, 73 percent; and for 1955 bar
examination, 74 per cent. Thus in 1956 the passing mark will be restored with the condition that the
candidate shall not obtain in any subject a grade of below 50 per cent. The reason for relaxing the standard
75 per cent passing grade, is the tremendous handicap which students during the years immediately after
the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy
of the preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation. It is believed that by 1956 the
preparation of our students as well as the available reading materials will be under normal conditions, if not
improved from those years preceding the last world war.

In this will we eliminated altogether the idea of having our Supreme Court assumed the supervision as well
as the administration of the study of law which was objected to by the President in the Bar Bill of 1951.

The President in vetoing the Bar Bill last year stated among his objections that the bill would admit to the
practice of law "a special class who failed in the bar examination". He considered the bill a class legislation.
This contention, however, is not, in good conscience, correct because Congress is merely supplementing
what the Supreme Court have already established as precedent by making as low as 69 per cent the
passing mark of those who took the Bar examination in 1947. These bar candidates for who this bill should
be enacted, considered themselves as having passed the bar examination on the strength of the established
precedent of our Supreme Court and were fully aware of the insurmountable difficulties and handicaps which
they were unavoidably placed. We believe that such precedent cannot or could not have been altered,
constitutionally, by the Supreme Court, without giving due consideration to the rights already accrued or
vested in the bar candidates who took the examination when the precedent was not yet altered, or in effect,
was still enforced and without being inconsistent with the principles of their previous resolutions.

If this bill would be enacted, it shall be considered as a simple curative act or corrective statute which
Congress has the power to enact. The requirement of a "valid classification" as against class legislation, is
very expressed in the following American Jurisprudence:

A valid classification must include all who naturally belong to the class, all who possess a common disability,
attribute, or classification, and there must be a "natural" and substantial differentiation between those
included in the class and those it leaves untouched. When a class is accepted by the Court as "natural" it
cannot be again split and then have the dissevered factions of the original unit designated with different
rules established for each. (Fountain Park Co. vs. Rensier, 199 Ind. 95, N. E. 465 (1926).

Another case penned by Justice Cardozo: "Time with its tides brings new conditions which must be cared for
by new laws. Sometimes the new conditions affect the members of a class. If so, the correcting statute must
apply to all alike. Sometimes the condition affect only a few. If so, the correcting statute may be as narrow
as the mischief. The constitution does not prohibit special laws inflexibly and always. It permits them when
there are special evils with which the general laws are incompetent to cope. The special public purpose will
sustain the special form. . . . The problem in the last analysis is one of legislative policy, with a wide margin
of discretion conceded to the lawmakers. Only in the case of plain abuse will there be revision by the court.
(In Williams vs. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 286 U. S. 36, 77 L. Ed. 1015, 53 Sup. Ct. 431). (1932)

This bill has all the earmarks of a corrective statute which always retroacts to the extent of the care of
correction only as in this case from 1946 when the Supreme Court first deviated from the rule of 75 per cent
in the Rules of Court.

For the foregoing purposes the approval of this bill is earnestly recommended.
(Sgd.) PABLO ANGELES DAVID
Senator

Without much debate, the revised bill was passed by Congress as above transcribed. The President again asked
the comments of this Court, which endorsed the following:

Respectfully returned to the Honorable, the Acting Executive Secretary, Manila, with the information that,
with respect to Senate Bill No. 371, the members of the Court are taking the same views they expressed on
Senate Bill No. 12 passed by Congress in May, 1951, contained in the first indorsement of the undersigned
dated June 5, 1951, to the Assistant Executive Secretary.

(Sgd.) RICARDO PARAS

The President allowed the period within which the bill should be signed to pass without vetoing it, by virtue of which
it became a law on June 21, 1953 (Sec. 20, Art. VI, Constitution) numbered 972 (many times erroneously cited as
No. 974).

It may be mentioned in passing that 1953 was an election year, and that both the President and the author of the Bill
were candidates for re-election, together, however, they lost in the polls.

Separate Opinions

LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:

The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court, because
lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission thereto in the
interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is
used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the power to promulgate rules which regulate
admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the Constitution to the
Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the holding of examination,
the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the scope of the legislative power. But the power
to determine when a candidate has made or has not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with
this Court.

I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of the
congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average of 72 per
cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955 should be considered as having passed the examination,
is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass
candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is necessary to show that it is
an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as discriminatory. Why
should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing
grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?

I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rule-making power of
Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members thereof, and because
it is discriminatory.

PARAS, C.J., dissenting:


Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed his
examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling
below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has always been adhered to, with certain exception presently
to be specified.

With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates included only
those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, 12
candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of
December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946 the list first released containing the names of
successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion
for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of
March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average
of 73 per cent or more but below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates
had been released, and on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were
allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948, in
addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or
more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed petitions for
reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect
made 69 per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being
noticed perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.

Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly ranged from
69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but
said motions were uniformly denied.

In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys,
presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a bill
providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent,
retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President mainly in view of an
unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo. In 1953, the Congress
passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference that in the later
bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of
law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners
before the holding of the examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid
by bar applicants, were eliminated. This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the
President by merely not signing it within the required period; and in doing so the President gave due respect to the
will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first vetoed by him.

Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any
examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in 1953
bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without
obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar
candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination after July 4, 1946, shall be
deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the
passing in any subsequent examinations.

Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No. 972 and
failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions, praying that they be
admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the
general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a
hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized representatives of bar associations, were
invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing being that some doubt
had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations
and the matter" involved "a new question of public interest."

All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law is
inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in Article VII,
section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure
in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same
grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice,
and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the
Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or
supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law
in the Philippines.

Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning the
admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules. Little
intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to
the practice of law is concurrent.

The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held prior to its
approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the
practice of law the various petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my
opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the
finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court expressly fix certain periods after which they
become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by
flunkers in any give year, are subject to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the
motion were filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and
admission to the practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be
entrusted, under the Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function
involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word, because bar examinations and the admission to the
practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other
examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only when
they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny due process and
equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post facto enactment, does not impair any
obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no one the right to due process and equal protection of the
law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the
adoption by this Court of different passing general averages in certain years.

Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because we no
longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance that 75 per cent
had always been the passing mark during said period. It may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates
similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the matter of classification, the
reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the Congress held public
hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative judgment
derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.

As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative
Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by the
Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at
protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for
the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three branches of the
Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided by the Court in favor
of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the previous resolutions passing bar
candidates who had obtained the general average prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be
objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would provide that those who have been admitted to the bar
after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be allowed to practice law, because said
statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court, namely, the bar
admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent.

Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred by the
Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing average to 70 per
cent, effective several years before the date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to
pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who
obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, it
in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the examinations held in August 1947 and
August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at 75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to
reason, if we are to admit that the Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the
admission to the practice of law, that the latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general
average.

Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, since this
Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and 70 per cent for the
1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is
addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many instances had doubted the propriety of legislative
enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that ground.

To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest, is to
assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not considered by the
Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators,
loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the circumstances into account before
passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress, representing the people who
elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972 as an
expression of the will of the people through their duly elected representatives.

I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent power to
repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary
or capricious manner, in the same way that this Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a
democracy, where we can and should only hope that the right men are put in the right places in our Government.

Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its entirety.

Separate Opinions

LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:

The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court, because
lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission thereto in the
interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is
used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the power to promulgate rules which regulate
admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the Constitution to the
Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the holding of examination,
the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the scope of the legislative power. But the power
to determine when a candidate has made or has not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with
this Court.

I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of the
congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average of 72 per
cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955 should be considered as having passed the examination,
is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass
candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is necessary to show that it is
an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as discriminatory. Why
should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing
grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?

I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rule-making power of
Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members thereof, and because
it is discriminatory.
PARAS, C.J., dissenting:

Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed his
examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling
below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has always been adhered to, with certain exception presently
to be specified.

With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates included only
those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, 12
candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of
December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946 the list first released containing the names of
successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion
for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of
March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average
of 73 per cent or more but below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates
had been released, and on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were
allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948, in
addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or
more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed petitions for
reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect
made 69 per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being
noticed perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.

Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly ranged from
69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but
said motions were uniformly denied.

In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys,
presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a bill
providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent,
retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President mainly in view of an
unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo. In 1953, the Congress
passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference that in the later
bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of
law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners
before the holding of the examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid
by bar applicants, were eliminated. This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the
President by merely not signing it within the required period; and in doing so the President gave due respect to the
will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first vetoed by him.

Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any
examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in 1953
bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without
obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar
candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination after July 4, 1946, shall be
deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the
passing in any subsequent examinations.

Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No. 972 and
failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions, praying that they be
admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the
general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a
hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized representatives of bar associations, were
invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing being that some doubt
had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations
and the matter" involved "a new question of public interest."

All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law is
inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in Article VII,
section 13, provides as follows:

The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure
in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same
grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice,
and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the
Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or
supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law
in the Philippines.

Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning the
admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules. Little
intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to
the practice of law is concurrent.

The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held prior to its
approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the
practice of law the various petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my
opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the
finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court expressly fix certain periods after which they
become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by
flunkers in any give year, are subject to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the
motion were filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and
admission to the practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be
entrusted, under the Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function
involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word, because bar examinations and the admission to the
practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other
examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only when
they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny due process and
equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post facto enactment, does not impair any
obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no one the right to due process and equal protection of the
law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the
adoption by this Court of different passing general averages in certain years.

Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because we no
longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance that 75 per cent
had always been the passing mark during said period. It may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates
similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the matter of classification, the
reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the Congress held public
hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative judgment
derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.

As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative
Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by the
Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at
protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for
the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three branches of the
Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided by the Court in favor
of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the previous resolutions passing bar
candidates who had obtained the general average prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be
objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would provide that those who have been admitted to the bar
after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be allowed to practice law, because said
statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court, namely, the bar
admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent.

Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred by the
Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing average to 70 per
cent, effective several years before the date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to
pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who
obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, it
in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the examinations held in August 1947 and
August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at 75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to
reason, if we are to admit that the Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the
admission to the practice of law, that the latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general
average.

Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, since this
Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and 70 per cent for the
1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is
addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many instances had doubted the propriety of legislative
enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that ground.

To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest, is to
assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not considered by the
Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators,
loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the circumstances into account before
passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress, representing the people who
elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972 as an
expression of the will of the people through their duly elected representatives.

I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent power to
repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary
or capricious manner, in the same way that this Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a
democracy, where we can and should only hope that the right men are put in the right places in our Government.

Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its entirety.

B. Power to intergrate the Philippine Bar

In Re: IBP,1973

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

January 9, 1973

IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES.

RESOLUTION
PER CURIAM:

On December 1, 1972, the Commission on Bar Integration1 submitted its Report dated November 30, 1972, with the
"earnest recommendation" — on the basis of the said Report and the proceedings had in Administrative Case No.
5262 of the Court, and "consistently with the views and counsel received from its [the Commission's] Board of
Consultants, as well as the overwhelming nationwide sentiment of the Philippine Bench and Bar" — that "this
Honorable Court ordain the integration of the Philippine Bar as soon as possible through the adoption and
promulgation of an appropriate Court Rule."

The petition in Adm. Case No. 526 formally prays the Court to order the integration of the Philippine Bar, after due
hearing, giving recognition as far as possible and practicable to existing provincial and other local Bar associations.
On August 16, 1962, arguments in favor of as well as in opposition to the petition were orally expounded before the
Court. Written oppositions were admitted,3 and all parties were thereafter granted leave to file written memoranda.4

Since then, the Court has closely observed and followed significant developments relative to the matter of the
integration of the Bar in this jurisdiction.

In 1970, convinced from preliminary surveys that there had grown a strong nationwide sentiment in favor of Bar
integration, the Court created the Commission on Bar Integration for the purpose of ascertaining the advisability of
unifying the Philippine Bar.

In September, 1971, Congress passed House Bill No. 3277 entitled "An Act Providing for the Integration of the
Philippine Bar, and Appropriating Funds Therefor." The measure was signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos on
September 17, 1971 and took effect on the same day as Rep. Act 6397. This law provides as follows:

SECTION 1. Within two years from the approval of this Act, the Supreme Court may adopt rules of
court to effect the integration of the Philippine Bar under such conditions as it shall see fit in order to
raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar
to discharge its public responsibility more effectively.

SEC. 2. The sum of five hundred thousand pesos is hereby appropriated, out of any funds in the
National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to carry out the purposes of this Act. Thereafter, such
sums as may be necessary for the same purpose shall be included in the annual appropriations for
the Supreme Court.

SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

The Report of the Commission abounds with argument on the constitutionality of Bar integration and contains all
necessary factual data bearing on the advisability (practicability and necessity) of Bar integration. Also embodied
therein are the views, opinions, sentiments, comments and observations of the rank and file of the Philippine lawyer
population relative to Bar integration, as well as a proposed integration Court Rule drafted by the Commission and
presented to them by that body in a national Bar plebiscite. There is thus sufficient basis as well as ample material
upon which the Court may decide whether or not to integrate the Philippine Bar at this time.

The following are the pertinent issues:

(1) Does the Court have the power to integrate the Philippine Bar?

(2) Would the integration of the Bar be constitutional?

(3) Should the Court ordain the integration of the Bar at this time?

A resolution of these issues requires, at the outset, a statement of the meaning of Bar integration. It will suffice, for
this purpose, to adopt the concept given by the Commission on Bar Integration on pages 3 to 5 of its Report, thus:

Integration of the Philippine Bar means the official unification of the entire lawyer population of the
Philippines. This requires membership and financial support (in reasonable amount) of every
attorney as conditions sine qua non to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of
Attorneys of the Supreme Court.

The term "Bar" refers to the collectivity of all persons whose names appear in the Roll of Attorneys.
An Integrated Bar (or Unified Bar) perforce must include all lawyers.

Complete unification is not possible unless it is decreed by an entity with power to do so: the State.
Bar integration, therefore, signifies the setting up by Government authority of a national organization
of the legal profession based on the recognition of the lawyer as an officer of the court.

Designed to improve the position of the Bar as an instrumentality of justice and the Rule of Law,
integration fosters cohesion among lawyers, and ensures, through their own organized action and
participation, the promotion of the objectives of the legal profession, pursuant to the principle of
maximum Bar autonomy with minimum supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court.

The purposes of an integrated Bar, in general, are:

(1) Assist in the administration of justice;

(2) Foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity, learning, professional
competence, public service and conduct;

(3) Safeguard the professional interests of its members;

(4) Cultivate among its members a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood;

(5) Provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, practice and
procedure, and the relations of the Bar to the Bench and to the public, and publish information
relating thereto;

(6) Encourage and foster legal education;

(7) Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law, and make
reports and recommendations thereon; and

(8) Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility effectively.

Integration of the Bar will, among other things, make it possible for the legal profession to:

(1) Render more effective assistance in maintaining the Rule of Law;

(2) Protect lawyers and litigants against the abuse of tyrannical judges and prosecuting officers;

(3) Discharge, fully and properly, its responsibility in the disciplining and/or removal of incompetent
and unworthy judges and prosecuting officers;

(4) Shield the judiciary, which traditionally cannot defend itself except within its own forum, from the
assaults that politics and self-interest may level at it, and assist it to maintain its integrity, impartiality
and independence;

(5) Have an effective voice in the selection of judges and prosecuting officers;

(6) Prevent the unauthorized practice of law, and break up any monopoly of local practice
maintained through influence or position;

(7) Establish welfare funds for families of disabled and deceased lawyers;
(8) Provide placement services, and establish legal aid offices and set up lawyer reference services
throughout the country so that the poor may not lack competent legal service;

(9) Distribute educational and informational materials that are difficult to obtain in many of our
provinces;

(10) Devise and maintain a program of continuing legal education for practising attorneys in order to
elevate the standards of the profession throughout the country;

(11) Enforce rigid ethical standards, and promulgate minimum fees schedules;

(12) Create law centers and establish law libraries for legal research;

(13) Conduct campaigns to educate the people on their legal rights and obligations, on the
importance of preventive legal advice, and on the functions and duties of the Filipino lawyer; and

(14) Generate and maintain pervasive and meaningful country-wide involvement of the lawyer
population in the solution of the multifarious problems that afflict the nation.

Anent the first issue, the Court is of the view that it may integrate the Philippine Bar in the exercise of its power,
under Article VIII, Sec. 13 of the Constitution, "to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in
all courts, and the admission to the practice of law." Indeed, the power to integrate is an inherent part of the Court's
constitutional authority over the Bar. In providing that "the Supreme Court may adopt rules of court to effect the
integration of the Philippine Bar," Republic Act 6397 neither confers a new power nor restricts the Court's inherent
power, but is a mere legislative declaration that the integration of the Bar will promote public interest or, more
specifically, will "raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the
Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively."

Resolution of the second issue — whether the unification of the Bar would be constitutional — hinges on the effects
of Bar integration on the lawyer's constitutional rights of freedom of association and freedom of speech, and on the
nature of the dues exacted from him.

The Court approvingly quotes the following pertinent discussion made by the Commission on Bar Integration pages
44 to 49 of its Report:

Constitutionality of Bar Integration

Judicial Pronouncements.

In all cases where the validity of Bar integration measures has been put in issue, the Courts have
upheld their constitutionality.

The judicial pronouncements support this reasoning:

— Courts have inherent power to supervise and regulate the practice of law.

— The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege; a privilege, moreover, clothed with public
interest, because a lawyer owes duties not only to his client, but also to his brethren in the
profession, to the courts, and to the nation; and takes part in one of the most important functions of
the State, the administration of justice, as an officer of the court.

— Because the practice of law is privilege clothed with public interest, it is far and just that the
exercise of that privilege be regulated to assure compliance with the lawyer's public responsibilities.

— These public responsibilities can best be discharged through collective action; but there can be
no collective action without an organized body; no organized body can operate effectively without
incurring expenses; therefore, it is fair and just that all attorneys be required to contribute to the
support of such organized body; and, given existing Bar conditions, the most efficient means of
doing so is by integrating the Bar through a rule of court that requires all lawyers to pay annual dues
to the Integrated Bar.

1. Freedom of Association.

To compel a lawyer to be a member of an integrated Bar is not violative of his constitutional freedom
to associate (or the corollary right not to associate).

Integration does not make a lawyer a member of any group of which he is not already a member. He
became a member of the Bar when he passed the Bar examinations. All that integration actually
does is to provide an official national organization for the well-defined but unorganized and
incohesive group of which every lawyer is already a member.

Bar integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not
attend the meetings of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its elections as he
chooses. The body compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues.

Otherwise stated, membership in the Unified Bar imposes only the duty to pay dues in reasonable
amount. The issue therefore, is a question of compelled financial support of group activities, not
involuntary membership in any other aspect.

The greater part of Unified Bar activities serves the function of elevating the educational and ethical
standards of the Bar to the end of improving the quality of the legal service available to the people.
The Supreme Court, in order to further the State's legitimate interest in elevating the quality of
professional services, may require that the cost of improving the profession in this fashion be shared
by the subjects and beneficiaries of the regulatory program — the lawyers.

Assuming that Bar integration does compel a lawyer to be a member of the Integrated Bar, such
compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. The legal profession has long
been regarded as a proper subject of legislative regulation and control. Moreover, the inherent
power of the Supreme Court to regulate the Bar includes the authority to integrate the Bar.

2. Regulatory Fee.

For the Court to prescribe dues to be paid by the members does not mean that the Court levies a
tax.

A membership fee in the Integrated Bar is an exaction for regulation, while the purpose of a tax is
revenue. If the Court has inherent power to regulate the Bar, it follows that as an incident to
regulation, it may impose a membership fee for that purpose. It would not be possible to push
through an Integrated Bar program without means to defray the concomitant expenses. The doctrine
of implied powers necessarily includes the power to impose such an exaction.

The only limitation upon the State's power to regulate the Bar is that the regulation does not impose
an unconstitutional burden. The public interest promoted by the integration of the Bar far outweighs
the inconsequential inconvenience to a member that might result from his required payment of
annual dues.

3. Freedom of Speech.

A lawyer is free, as he has always been, to voice his views on any subject in any manner he wishes,
even though such views be opposed to positions taken by the Unified Bar.

For the Integrated Bar to use a member's due to promote measures to which said member is
opposed, would not nullify or adversely affect his freedom of speech.
Since a State may constitutionally condition the right to practice law upon membership in the
Integrated Bar, it is difficult to understand why it should become unconstitutional for the Bar to use
the member's dues to fulfill the very purposes for which it was established.

The objection would make every Governmental exaction the material of a "free speech" issue. Even
the income tax would be suspect. The objection would carry us to lengths that have never been
dreamed of. The conscientious objector, if his liberties were to be thus extended, might refuse to
contribute taxes in furtherance of war or of any other end condemned by his conscience as
irreligious or immoral. The right of private judgment has never yet been exalted above the powers
and the compulsion of the agencies of Government.

4. Fair to All Lawyers.

Bar integration is not unfair to lawyers already practising because although the requirement to pay
annual dues is a new regulation, it will give the members of the Bar a new system which they
hitherto have not had and through which, by proper work, they will receive benefits they have not
heretofore enjoyed, and discharge their public responsibilities in a more effective manner than they
have been able to do in the past. Because the requirement to pay dues is a valid exercise of
regulatory power by the Court, because it will apply equally to all lawyers, young and old, at the time
Bar integration takes effect, and because it is a new regulation in exchange for new benefits, it is not
retroactive, it is not unequal, it is not unfair.

To resolve the third and final issue — whether the Court should ordain the integration of the Bar at this time —
requires a careful overview of the practicability and necessity as well as the advantages and disadvantages of Bar
integration.

In many other jurisdictions, notably in England, Canada and the United States, Bar integration has yielded the
following benefits: (1) improved discipline among the members of the Bar; (2) greater influence and ascendancy of
the Bar; (3) better and more meaningful participation of the individual lawyer in the activities of the Integrated Bar;
(4) greater Bar facilities and services; (5) elimination of unauthorized practice; (6) avoidance of costly membership
campaigns; (7) establishment of an official status for the Bar; (8) more cohesive profession; and (9) better and more
effective discharge by the Bar of its obligations and responsibilities to its members, to the courts, and to the public.
No less than these salutary consequences are envisioned and in fact expected from the unification of the Philippine
Bar.

Upon the other hand, it has been variously argued that in the event of integration, Government authority will
dominate the Bar; local Bar associations will be weakened; cliquism will be the inevitable result; effective lobbying
will not be possible; the Bar will become an impersonal Bar; and politics will intrude into its affairs.

It is noteworthy, however, that these and other evils prophesied by opponents of Bar integration have failed to
materialize in over fifty years of Bar integration experience in England, Canada and the United States. In all the
jurisdictions where the Integrated Bar has been tried, none of the abuses or evils feared has arisen; on the other
hand, it has restored public confidence in the Bar, enlarged professional consciousness, energized the Bar's
responsibilities to the public, and vastly improved the administration of justice.

How do the Filipino lawyers themselves regard Bar integration? The official statistics compiled by the Commission
on Bar integration show that in the national poll recently conducted by the Commission in the matter of the
integration of the Philippine Bar, of a total of 15,090 lawyers from all over the archipelago who have turned in their
individual responses, 14,555 (or 96.45 per cent) voted in favor of Bar integration, while only 378 (or 2.51 per cent)
voted against it, and 157 (or 1.04 per cent) are non-commital. In addition, a total of eighty (80) local Bar association
and lawyers' groups all over the Philippines have submitted resolutions and other expressions of unqualified
endorsement and/or support for Bar integration, while not a single local Bar association or lawyers' group has
expressed opposed position thereto. Finally, of the 13,802 individual lawyers who cast their plebiscite ballots on the
proposed integration Court Rule drafted by the Commission, 12,855 (or 93.14 per cent) voted in favor thereof, 662
(or 4.80 per cent) vote against it, and 285 (or 2.06 per cent) are non-committal.5 All these clearly indicate an
overwhelming nationwide demand for Bar integration at this time.
The Court is fully convinced, after a thoroughgoing conscientious study of all the arguments adduced in Adm. Case
No. 526 and the authoritative materials and the mass of factual data contained in the exhaustive Report of the
Commission on Bar Integration, that the integration of the Philippine Bar is "perfectly constitutional and legally
unobjectionable," within the context of contemporary conditions in the Philippines, has become an imperative means
to raise the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge
its public responsibility fully and effectively.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court, by virtue of the power vested in it by Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution, hereby
ordains the integration of the Bar of the Philippines in accordance with the attached COURT RULE, effective on
January 16, 1973.

Concepcion, C.J., Makalintal, Zaldivar, Castillo, Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra,
JJ., concur.

Footnotes

1 Created by Supreme Court Resolution of October 5, 1970 "for the purpose of ascertaining the
advisability of the integration of the Bar in this jurisdiction," the Commission is composed of Supreme
Court Associate Justice Fred Ruiz Castro (Chairman), Senator Jose J. Roy, retired Supreme Court
Associate Justice Conrado V. Sanchez, Supreme Court Associate Justice (then Court of Appeals
Presiding Justice) Salvador V. Esguerra, U. P. Law Center Director Crisolito Pascual, Ex-Senator
Tecla San Andres Ziga, and San Beda Law Dean and Constitutional Convention Delegate Feliciano
Jover Ledesma (Members).

2 Filed on July 11, 1962 (by a Committee composed of Jose W. Diokno, Roman Ozaeta, Jose P.
Carag, Eugenio Villanueva, Jr. and Leo A. Panuncialman), the petition represented the unanimous
consensus of 53 Bar Associations (from all over the Philippines) reached in convention at the Far
Eastern University Auditorium in Manila on June 23, 1962.

3 Written oppositions were submitted by Attys. Cesar Fajardo and Vicente L. Arcega, the Camarines
Norte Lawyers League, Atty. Fructuoso S. Villarin, the Camarines Sur Bar Association and the
Manila Bar Association.

4 The Petitioners and the Negros Occidental Bar Association submitted memoranda in favor of Bar
integration, while the Manila Bar Association submitted a memoranda opposing Bar integration.

5 All figures are as of January 8, 1973.

II. Practice of Law (Rule 138)

A. Concept

People v. Villanueva
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-19450 May 27, 1965
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
SIMPLICIO VILLANUEVA, defendant-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Magno T. Buese for defendant-appellant.
DECISION
PAREDES, J.:
On September 4, 1959, the Chief of Police of Alaminos, Laguna, charged Simplicio Villanueva with the
Crime of Malicious Mischief before the Justice of the Peace Court of said municipality. Said accused was
represented by counsel de officio but later on replaced by counsel de parte. The complainant in the same
case was represented by City Attorney Ariston Fule of San Pablo City, having entered his appearance as
private prosecutor, after securing the permission of the Secretary of Justice. The condition of his
appearance as such, was that every time he would appear at the trial of the case, he would be considered
on official leave of absence, and that he would not receive any payment for his services. The appearance
of City Attorney Fule as private prosecutor was questioned by the counsel for the accused, invoking the
case of Aquino, et al. vs. Blanco, et al., 79 Phil 647, wherein it was ruled that “when an attorney had been
appointed to the position of Assistant Provincial Fiscal or City Fiscal and therein qualified, by operation of
law, he ceased to engage in private law practice.” Counsel then argued that the JP Court in entertaining the
appearance of City Attorney Fule in the case is a violation of the above ruling. On December 17, 1960 the
JP issued an order sustaining the legality of the appearance of City Attorney Fule.
Under date of January 4, 1961, counsel for the accused presented a “Motion to Inhibit Fiscal Fule from
Acting as Private Prosecutor in this Case,” this time invoking Section 32, Rule 27, now Sec. 35, Rule 138,
Revised Rules of Court, which bars certain attorneys from practicing. Counsel claims that City Attorney Fule
falls under this limitation. The JP Court ruled on the motion by upholding the right of Fule to appear and
further stating that he (Fule) was not actually engaged in private law practice. This Order was appealed to
the CFI of Laguna, presided by the Hon. Hilarion U. Jarencio, which rendered judgment on December 20,
1961, the pertinent portions of which read:
The present case is one for malicious mischief. There being no reservation by the offended party of the civil
liability, the civil action was deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action. The offended party had,
therefore, the right to intervene in the case and be represented by a legal counsel because of her interest
in the civil liability of the accused.
Sec. 31, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court provides that in the court of a justice of the peace a party may
conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with
the aid of an attorney. Assistant City Attorney Fule appeared in the Justice of the Peace Court as an agent
or friend of the offended party. It does not appear that he was being paid for his services or that his
appearance was in a professional capacity. As Assistant City Attorney of San Pablo he had no control or
intervention whatsoever in the prosecution of crimes committed in the municipality of Alaminos, Laguna,
because the prosecution of criminal cases coming from Alaminos are handled by the Office of the Provincial
Fiscal and not by the City Attorney of San Pablo. There could be no possible conflict in the duties of Assistant
City Attorney Fule as Assistant City Attorney of San Pablo and as private prosecutor in this criminal case.
On the other hand, as already pointed out, the offended party in this criminal case had a right to be
represented by an agent or a friend to protect her rights in the civil action which was impliedly instituted
together with the criminal action.
In view of the foregoing, this Court holds that Asst. City Attorney Ariston D. Fule may appear before the
Justice of the Peace Court of Alaminos, Laguna as private prosecutor in this criminal case as an agent or
a friend of the offended party.
WHEREFORE, the appeal from the order of the Justice of the Peace Court of Alaminos, Laguna, allowing
the appearance of Ariston D. Fule as private prosecutor is dismissed, without costs.
The above decision is the subject of the instant proceeding.
The appeal should be dismissed, for patently being without merits.
Aside from the considerations advanced by the learned trial judge, heretofore reproduced, and which we
consider plausible, the fallacy of the theory of defense counsel lies in his confused interpretation of Section
32 of Rule 127 (now Sec. 35, Rule 138, Revised Rules), which provides that “no judge or other official or
employee of the superior courts or of the office of the Solicitor General, shall engage in private practice as
a member of the bar or give professional advice to clients.” He claims that City Attorney Fule, in appearing
as private prosecutor in the case was engaging in private practice. We believe that the isolated appearance
of City Attorney Fule did not constitute private practice within the meaning and contemplation of the Rules.
Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions, 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, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as
customarily or habitually holding one’s self out to the public, as customarily 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. The following observation
of the Solicitor General is noteworthy:
Essentially, the word private 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 a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services.
For one thing, it has never been refuted that City Attorney Fule had been given permission by his immediate
superior, the Secretary of Justice, to represent the complainant in the case at bar, who is a relative.
CONFORMABLY WITH ALL THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from should be, as it is hereby
affirmed, in all respects, with costs against appellant..
Bengzon, C.J., Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., and Zaldivar,
JJ., concur.
Bautista Angelo, J., took no part.

Cayetano v. Monsod

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991

RENATO CAYETANO, petitioner,


vs.
CHRISTIAN MONSOD, HON. JOVITO R. SALONGA, COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENT, and HON.
GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management, respondents.

Renato L. Cayetano for and in his own behalf.

Sabina E. Acut, Jr. and Mylene Garcia-Albano co-counsel for petitioner.

PARAS, J.:

We are faced here with a controversy of far-reaching proportions. While ostensibly only legal issues are involved,
the Court's decision in this case would indubitably have a profound effect on the political aspect of our national
existence.

The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:


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. (Emphasis supplied)

The aforequoted provision is patterned after Section l(l), Article XII-C of the 1973 Constitution which similarly
provides:

There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and eight Commissioners who
shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age
and holders of a college degree. 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.' (Emphasis supplied)

Regrettably, however, there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice of law as a legal
qualification to an appointive office.

Black defines "practice of law" as:

The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to
serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting
in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions
and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all
legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected
with the law. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-
an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney, counseling clients in legal matters,
negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services
rendered by his associate. (Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd ed.)

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. (Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. v. Dworken, 129
Ohio St. 23, 193 N.E. 650) A person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he:

... for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms, associations or corporations
as to their rights under the law, or appears in a representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings
pending or prospective, before any court, commissioner, referee, board, body, committee, or commission
constituted by law or authorized to settle controversies and there, in such representative capacity performs
any act or acts for the purpose of obtaining or defending the rights of their clients under the law. Otherwise
stated, one who, in a representative capacity, engages in the business of advising clients as to their rights
under the law, or while so engaged performs any act or acts either in court or outside of court for that
purpose, is engaged in the practice of law. (State ex. rel. Mckittrick v..C.S. Dudley and Co., 102 S.W. 2d
895, 340 Mo. 852)

This Court in the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v.Agrava, (105 Phil. 173,176-177) stated:

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of
pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the management of such actions
and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general,
all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services,
assessment and condemnation services contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the
foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and
conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to
constitute law practice, as do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done
involves the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions. (5 Am. Jr. p.
262, 263). (Emphasis supplied)

Practice of law under modem conditions consists in no small part of work performed outside of any court and
having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces conveyancing, the giving of legal advice
on a large variety of subjects, and the preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an extensive
field of business and trust relations and other affairs. Although these transactions may have no direct
connection with court proceedings, they are always subject to become involved in litigation. They require in
many aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide experience with men and affairs, and great capacity for
adaptation to difficult and complex situations. These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at law
bear an intimate relation to the administration of justice by the courts. No valid distinction, so far as concerns
the question set forth in the order, can be drawn between that part of the work of the lawyer which involves
appearance in court and that part which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his office. It is of
importance to the welfare of the public that these manifold customary functions be performed by persons
possessed of adequate learning and skill, of sound moral character, and acting at all times under the heavy
trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys. (Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. 3
[1953 ed.] , p. 665-666, citing In re Opinion of the Justices [Mass.], 194 N.E. 313, quoted in Rhode Is. Bar
Assoc. v. Automobile Service Assoc. [R.I.] 179 A. 139,144). (Emphasis ours)

The University of the Philippines Law Center in conducting orientation briefing for new lawyers (1974-1975) listed
the dimensions of the practice of law in even broader terms as advocacy, counselling and public service.

One may be a practicing attorney in following any line of employment in the profession. If what he does
exacts knowledge of the law and is of a kind usual for attorneys engaging in the active practice of their
profession, and he follows some one or more lines of employment such as this he is a practicing attorney at
law within the meaning of the statute. (Barr v. Cardell, 155 NW 312)

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." (111 ALR 23)

The following records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that it has adopted a liberal interpretation of the
term "practice of law."

MR. FOZ. Before we suspend the session, may I make a manifestation which I forgot to do during our
review of the provisions on the Commission on Audit. May I be allowed to make a very brief statement?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir).

The Commissioner will please proceed.

MR. FOZ. This has to do with the qualifications of the members of the Commission on Audit. Among others,
the qualifications provided for by Section I is that "They must be Members of the Philippine Bar" — I am
quoting from the provision — "who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years".

To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the Bar who are now employed in the
COA or Commission on Audit, we would like to make the clarification that this provision on qualifications regarding
members of the Bar does not necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law outside the COA We have to
interpret this to mean that as long as the lawyers who are employed in the COA are using their legal knowledge or
legal talent in their respective work within COA, then they are qualified to be considered for appointment as
members or commissioners, even chairman, of the Commission on Audit.

This has been discussed by the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies and we deem it important
to take it up on the floor so that this interpretation may be made available whenever this provision on the
qualifications as regards members of the Philippine Bar engaging in the practice of law for at least ten years is taken
up.

MR. OPLE. Will Commissioner Foz yield to just one question.

MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.


MR. OPLE. Is he, in effect, saying that service in the COA by a lawyer is equivalent to the requirement of a
law practice that is set forth in the Article on the Commission on Audit?

MR. FOZ. We must consider the fact that the work of COA, although it is auditing, will necessarily involve
legal work; it will involve legal work. And, therefore, lawyers who are employed in COA now would have the
necessary qualifications in accordance with the Provision on qualifications under our provisions on the
Commission on Audit. And, therefore, the answer is yes.

MR. OPLE. Yes. So that the construction given to this is that this is equivalent to the practice of law.

MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.

MR. OPLE. Thank you.

... ( Emphasis supplied)

Section 1(1), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution, provides, among others, that the Chairman and two
Commissioners of the Commission on Audit (COA) should either be certified public accountants with not less than
ten years of auditing practice, or members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years. (emphasis supplied)

Corollary to this is the term "private practitioner" and which is in many ways synonymous with the word "lawyer."
Today, although many lawyers do not engage in private practice, it is still a fact that the majority of lawyers are
private practitioners. (Gary Munneke, Opportunities in Law Careers [VGM Career Horizons: Illinois], [1986], p. 15).

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 attorneyscalled "associates." (Ibid.).

The test that defines law practice by looking to traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous, unhelpful
defining the practice of law as that which lawyers do. (Charles W. Wolfram, Modern Legal Ethics [West Publishing
Co.: Minnesota, 1986], p. 593). The practice of law is defined as the performance of any acts . . . in or out of court,
commonly understood to be the practice of law. (State Bar Ass'n v. Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., 145 Conn. 222,
140 A.2d 863, 870 [1958] [quoting Grievance Comm. v. Payne, 128 Conn. 325, 22 A.2d 623, 626 [1941]). Because
lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental realm, such a definition would
obviously be too global to be workable.(Wolfram, op. cit.).

The appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly familiar role for lawyers as
well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer. Most lawyers spend little time in courtrooms, and a large
percentage spend their entire practice without litigating a case. (Ibid., p. 593). Nonetheless, many lawyers do
continue to litigate and the litigating lawyer's role colors much of both the public image and the self perception of the
legal profession. (Ibid.).

In this regard thus, the dominance of litigation in the public mind reflects history, not reality. (Ibid.). Why is this so?
Recall that the late Alexander SyCip, a corporate lawyer, once articulated on the importance of a lawyer as a
business counselor in this wise: "Even today, there are still uninformed laymen whose concept of an attorney is one
who principally tries cases before the courts. 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 desccribe[d] as business counseling
than in trying cases. The business lawyer has been described as the planner, the diagnostician and the trial lawyer,
the surgeon. I[t] need not [be] stress[ed] that in law, as in medicine, surgery should be avoided where internal
medicine can be effective." (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).
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. And even within a narrow specialty such as tax practice, a lawyer will shift from one legal
task or role such as advice-giving to an importantly different one such as representing a client before an
administrative agency. (Wolfram, supra, p. 687).

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 counselling, advice-giving, document drafting, and
negotiation. And increasingly lawyers find that the new skills of evaluation and mediation are both effective for many
clients and a source of employment. (Ibid.).

Most lawyers will engage in non-litigation legal work or in litigation work that is constrained in very important ways,
at least theoretically, so as to remove from it some of the salient features of adversarial litigation. Of these special
roles, the most prominent is that of prosecutor. In some lawyers' work the constraints are imposed both by the
nature of the client and by the way in which the lawyer is organized into a social unit to perform that work. The most
common of these roles are those of corporate practice and government legal service. (Ibid.).

In several issues of the Business Star, a business daily, herein below quoted are emerging trends in corporate law
practice, a departure from the traditional concept of practice of law.

We are experiencing today what truly may be called a revolutionary transformation in corporate law practice.
Lawyers and other professional groups, in particular those members participating in various legal-policy
decisional contexts, are finding that understanding the major emerging trends in corporation law is
indispensable to intelligent decision-making.

Constructive adjustment to major corporate problems of today requires an accurate understanding of the
nature and implications of the corporate law research function accompanied by an accelerating rate of
information accumulation. The recognition of the need for such improved corporate legal policy formulation,
particularly "model-making" and "contingency planning," has impressed upon us the inadequacy of
traditional procedures in many decisional contexts.

In a complex legal problem the mass of information to be processed, the sorting and weighing of significant
conditional factors, the appraisal of major trends, the necessity of estimating the consequences of given
courses of action, and the need for fast decision and response in situations of acute danger have prompted
the use of sophisticated concepts of information flow theory, operational analysis, automatic data
processing, and electronic computing equipment. Understandably, an improved decisional structure must
stress the predictive component of the policy-making process, wherein a "model", of the decisional context
or a segment thereof is developed to test projected alternative courses of action in terms of futuristic effects
flowing therefrom.

Although members of the legal profession are regularly engaged in predicting and projecting the trends of
the law, the subject of corporate finance law has received relatively little organized and formalized attention
in the philosophy of advancing corporate legal education. Nonetheless, a cross-disciplinary approach to
legal research has become a vital necessity.

Certainly, the general orientation for productive contributions by those trained primarily in the law can be
improved through an early introduction to multi-variable decisional context and the various approaches for
handling such problems. Lawyers, particularly with either a master's or doctorate degree in business
administration or management, functioning at the legal policy level of decision-making now have some
appreciation for the concepts and analytical techniques of other professions which are currently engaged in
similar types of complex decision-making.

Truth to tell, many situations involving corporate finance problems would require the services of an astute
attorney because of the complex legal implications that arise from each and every necessary step in
securing and maintaining the business issue raised. (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11,
1989, p. 4).
In our litigation-prone country, a corporate lawyer is assiduously referred to as the "abogado de campanilla."
He is the "big-time" lawyer, earning big money and with a clientele composed of the tycoons and magnates
of business and industry.

Despite the growing number of corporate lawyers, many people could not explain what it is that a corporate
lawyer does. For one, the number of attorneys employed by a single corporation will vary with the size and
type of the corporation. Many smaller and some large corporations farm out all their legal problems to
private law firms. Many others have in-house counsel only for certain matters. Other corporation have a staff
large enough to handle most legal problems in-house.

A corporate lawyer, for all intents and purposes, is a lawyer who handles the legal affairs of a corporation.
His areas of concern or jurisdiction may include, inter alia: corporate legal research, tax laws research,
acting out as corporate secretary (in board meetings), appearances in both courts and other adjudicatory
agencies (including the Securities and Exchange Commission), and in other capacities which require an
ability to deal with the law.

At any rate, a corporate lawyer may assume responsibilities other than the legal affairs of the business of
the corporation he is representing. These include such matters as determining policy and becoming involved
in management. ( Emphasis supplied.)

In a big company, for example, one may have a feeling of being isolated from the action, or not
understanding how one's work actually fits into the work of the orgarnization. This can be frustrating to
someone who needs to see the results of his work first hand. In short, a corporate lawyer is sometimes
offered this fortune to be more closely involved in the running of the business.

Moreover, a corporate lawyer's services may sometimes be engaged by a multinational corporation (MNC).
Some large MNCs provide one of the few opportunities available to corporate lawyers to enter the
international law field. After all, international law is practiced in a relatively small number of companies and
law firms. Because working in a foreign country is perceived by many as glamorous, tills is an area coveted
by corporate lawyers. In most cases, however, the overseas jobs go to experienced attorneys while the
younger attorneys do their "international practice" in law libraries. (Business Star, "Corporate Law Practice,"
May 25,1990, p. 4).

This brings us to the inevitable, i.e., the role of the lawyer in the realm of finance. To borrow the lines of
Harvard-educated lawyer Bruce Wassertein, to wit: "A bad lawyer is one who fails to spot problems, a good
lawyer is one who perceives the difficulties, and the excellent lawyer is one who surmounts them." (Business
Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).

Today, the study of corporate law practice direly needs a "shot in the arm," so to speak. No longer are we
talking of the traditional law teaching method of confining the subject study to the Corporation Code and the
Securities Code but an incursion as well into the intertwining modern management issues.

Such corporate legal management issues deal primarily with three (3) types of learning: (1) acquisition of
insights into current advances which are of particular significance to the corporate counsel; (2) an
introduction to usable disciplinary skins applicable to a corporate counsel's management responsibilities;
and (3) a devotion to the organization and management of the legal function itself.

These three subject areas may be thought of as intersecting circles, with a shared area linking them.
Otherwise known as "intersecting managerial jurisprudence," it forms a unifying theme for the corporate
counsel's total learning.

Some current advances in behavior and policy sciences affect the counsel's role. For that matter, the
corporate lawyer reviews the globalization process, including the resulting strategic repositioning that the
firms he provides counsel for are required to make, and the need to think about a corporation's; strategy at
multiple levels. The salience of the nation-state is being reduced as firms deal both with global multinational
entities and simultaneously with sub-national governmental units. Firms increasingly collaborate not only
with public entities but with each other — often with those who are competitors in other arenas.
Also, the nature of the lawyer's participation in decision-making within the corporation is rapidly changing.
The modem corporate lawyer has gained a new role as a stakeholder — in some cases participating in the
organization and operations of governance through participation on boards and other decision-making roles.
Often these new patterns develop alongside existing legal institutions and laws are perceived as barriers.
These trends are complicated as corporations organize for global operations. ( Emphasis supplied)

The practising lawyer of today is familiar as well with governmental policies toward the promotion and
management of technology. New collaborative arrangements for promoting specific technologies or
competitiveness more generally require approaches from industry that differ from older, more adversarial
relationships and traditional forms of seeking to influence governmental policies. And there are lessons to be
learned from other countries. In Europe, Esprit, Eureka and Race are examples of collaborative efforts
between governmental and business Japan's MITI is world famous. (Emphasis supplied)

Following the concept of boundary spanning, the office of the Corporate Counsel comprises a distinct group
within the managerial structure of all kinds of organizations. Effectiveness of both long-term and temporary
groups within organizations has been found to be related to indentifiable factors in the group-context
interaction such as the groups actively revising their knowledge of the environment coordinating work with
outsiders, promoting team achievements within the organization. In general, such external activities are
better predictors of team performance than internal group processes.

In a crisis situation, the legal managerial capabilities of the corporate lawyer vis-a-vis the managerial mettle
of corporations are challenged. Current research is seeking ways both to anticipate effective managerial
procedures and to understand relationships of financial liability and insurance considerations. (Emphasis
supplied)

Regarding the skills to apply by the corporate counsel, three factors are apropos:

First System Dynamics. The field of systems dynamics has been found an effective tool for new managerial
thinking regarding both planning and pressing immediate problems. An understanding of the role of
feedback loops, inventory levels, and rates of flow, enable users to simulate all sorts of systematic problems
— physical, economic, managerial, social, and psychological. New programming techniques now make the
system dynamics principles more accessible to managers — including corporate counsels. (Emphasis
supplied)

Second Decision Analysis. This enables users to make better decisions involving complexity and
uncertainty. In the context of a law department, it can be used to appraise the settlement value of litigation,
aid in negotiation settlement, and minimize the cost and risk involved in managing a portfolio of cases.
(Emphasis supplied)

Third Modeling for Negotiation Management. Computer-based models can be used directly by parties and
mediators in all lands of negotiations. All integrated set of such tools provide coherent and effective
negotiation support, including hands-on on instruction in these techniques. A simulation case of an
international joint venture may be used to illustrate the point.

[Be this as it may,] the organization and management of the legal function, concern three pointed areas of
consideration, thus:

Preventive Lawyering. Planning by lawyers requires special skills that comprise a major part of the general
counsel's responsibilities. They differ from those of remedial law. Preventive lawyering is concerned with
minimizing the risks of legal trouble and maximizing legal rights for such legal entities at that time when
transactional or similar facts are being considered and made.

Managerial Jurisprudence. This is the framework within which are undertaken those activities of the firm to
which legal consequences attach. It needs to be directly supportive of this nation's evolving economic and
organizational fabric as firms change to stay competitive in a global, interdependent environment. The
practice and theory of "law" is not adequate today to facilitate the relationships needed in trying to make a
global economy work.
Organization and Functioning of the Corporate Counsel's Office. The general counsel has emerged in the
last decade as one of the most vibrant subsets of the legal profession. The corporate counsel hear
responsibility for key aspects of the firm's strategic issues, including structuring its global operations,
managing improved relationships with an increasingly diversified body of employees, managing expanded
liability exposure, creating new and varied interactions with public decision-makers, coping internally with
more complex make or by decisions.

This whole exercise drives home the thesis that knowing corporate law is not enough to make one a good
general corporate counsel nor to give him a full sense of how the legal system shapes corporate activities.
And even if the corporate lawyer's aim is not the understand all of the law's effects on corporate activities, he
must, at the very least, also gain a working knowledge of the management issues if only to be able to grasp
not only the basic legal "constitution' or makeup of the modem corporation. "Business Star", "The Corporate
Counsel," April 10, 1991, p. 4).

The challenge for lawyers (both of the bar and the bench) is to have more than a passing knowledge of
financial law affecting each aspect of their work. Yet, many would admit to ignorance of vast tracts of the
financial law territory. What transpires next is a dilemma of professional security: Will the lawyer admit
ignorance and risk opprobrium?; or will he feign understanding and risk exposure? (Business Star,
"Corporate Finance law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).

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.

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 a 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. (p. 124, Rollo)

After graduating from the College of Law (U.P.) and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod worked in the law office of
his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-1970), Monsod worked as an operations officer for about
two years in Costa Rica and Panama, which involved getting acquainted with the laws of member-countries
negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic, and project work of the Bank. Upon returning to the Philippines
in 1970, he worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief executive officer of an investment bank and
subsequently of a business conglomerate, and since 1986, has rendered services to various companies as a legal
and economic consultant or chief executive officer. As former Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman
(1987) of NAMFREL. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable in election law. He appeared for NAMFREL in
its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as
former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's Conference for Human Development, has worked with the
under privileged sectors, such as the farmer and urban poor groups, in initiating, lobbying for and engaging in
affirmative action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal
knowledge as a member of the Davide Commission, a quast judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings
(1990) and as a member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987), and Chairman of its Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers, for which he was cited by the President of the Commission, Justice Cecilia Muñoz-
Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with individual freedoms and public
accountability and the party-list system for the House of Representative. (pp. 128-129 Rollo) ( Emphasis supplied)

Just a word about the work of a negotiating team of which Atty. Monsod used to be a member.
In a loan agreement, for instance, a negotiating panel acts as a team, and which is adequately constituted to
meet the various contingencies that arise during a negotiation. Besides top officials of the Borrower
concerned, there are the legal officer (such as the legal counsel), the finance manager, and an operations
officer (such as an official involved in negotiating the contracts) who comprise the members of the team.
(Guillermo V. Soliven, "Loan Negotiating Strategies for Developing Country Borrowers," Staff Paper No. 2,
Central Bank of the Philippines, Manila, 1982, p. 11). (Emphasis supplied)

After a fashion, the loan agreement is like a country's Constitution; it lays down the law as far as the loan
transaction is concerned. Thus, the meat of any Loan Agreement can be compartmentalized into five (5)
fundamental parts: (1) business terms; (2) borrower's representation; (3) conditions of closing; (4)
covenants; and (5) events of default. (Ibid., p. 13).

In the same vein, lawyers play an important role in any debt restructuring program. For aside from
performing the tasks of legislative drafting and legal advising, they score national development policies as
key factors in maintaining their countries' sovereignty. (Condensed from the work paper, entitled "Wanted:
Development Lawyers for Developing Nations," submitted by L. Michael Hager, regional legal adviser of the
United States Agency for International Development, during the Session on Law for the Development of
Nations at the Abidjan World Conference in Ivory Coast, sponsored by the World Peace Through Law
Center on August 26-31, 1973). ( Emphasis supplied)

Loan concessions and compromises, perhaps even more so than purely renegotiation policies, demand
expertise in the law of contracts, in legislation and agreement drafting and in renegotiation. Necessarily, a
sovereign lawyer may work with an international business specialist or an economist in the formulation of a
model loan agreement. Debt restructuring contract agreements contain such a mixture of technical language
that they should be carefully drafted and signed only with the advise of competent counsel in conjunction
with the guidance of adequate technical support personnel. (See International Law Aspects of the Philippine
External Debts, an unpublished dissertation, U.S.T. Graduate School of Law, 1987, p. 321). ( Emphasis
supplied)

A critical aspect of sovereign debt restructuring/contract construction is the set of terms and conditions
which determines the contractual remedies for a failure to perform one or more elements of the contract. A
good agreement must not only define the responsibilities of both parties, but must also state the recourse
open to either party when the other fails to discharge an obligation. For a compleat debt restructuring
represents a devotion to that principle which in the ultimate analysis is sine qua non for foreign loan
agreements-an adherence to the rule of law in domestic and international affairs of whose kind U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said: "They carry no banners, they beat no drums;
but where they are, men learn that bustle and bush are not the equal of quiet genius and serene mastery."
(See Ricardo J. Romulo, "The Role of Lawyers in Foreign Investments," Integrated Bar of the Philippine
Journal, Vol. 15, Nos. 3 and 4, Third and Fourth Quarters, 1977, p. 265).

Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". particularly the modern concept of law
practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty.
Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, 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.

Besides in the leading case of Luego v. Civil Service Commission, 143 SCRA 327, the Court said:

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. (emphasis supplied)

No less emphatic was the Court in the case of (Central Bank v. Civil Service Commission, 171 SCRA 744) where it
stated:
It is well-settled that when the appointee is qualified, as in this case, and all the other legal requirements are
satisfied, the Commission has no alternative but to attest to the appointment in accordance with the Civil
Service Law. The Commission has no authority to revoke an appointment on the ground that another person
is more qualified for a particular position. It also has no authority to direct the appointment of a substitute of
its choice. To do so would be an encroachment on the discretion vested upon the appointing authority. An
appointment is essentially within the discretionary power of whomsoever it is vested, subject to the only
condition that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. ( Emphasis supplied)

The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar, consists of four (4) stages: (1) nomination;
(2) confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; (3) issuance of a commission (in the Philippines, upon
submission by the Commission on Appointments of its certificate of confirmation, the President issues the
permanent appointment; and (4) acceptance e.g., oath-taking, posting of bond, etc. . . . (Lacson v. Romero, No. L-
3081, October 14, 1949; Gonzales, Law on Public Officers, p. 200)

The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the
Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) Sub-Article C, Article IX of the Constitution which provides:

The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the
Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed,
three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three
years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the
predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion, suffice it to say that his definition of the practice of law is
the traditional or stereotyped notion of law practice, as distinguished from the modern concept of the
practice of law, which modern connotation is exactly what was intended by the eminent framers of the 1987
Constitution. Moreover, Justice Padilla's definition would require generally a habitual law practice, perhaps
practised two or three times a week and would outlaw say, law practice once or twice a year for ten
consecutive years. Clearly, this is far from the constitutional intent.

Upon the other hand, the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my written opinion, I made use of a
definition of law practice which really means nothing because the definition says that law practice " . . . is what
people ordinarily mean by the practice of law." True I cited the definition but only by way of sarcasm as evident from
my statement that the definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous" or
defining a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being defined.

Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations, most individuals, in making
use of the law, or in advising others on what the law means, are actually practicing law. In that sense, perhaps, but
we should not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Monsod is a lawyer, a member of the Philippine Bar, who has been
practising law for over ten years. This is different from the acts of persons practising law, without first becoming
lawyers.

Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of the Philippines, say, on
the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. This matter, I greatly doubt. For one thing, how can an action or
petition be brought against the President? And even assuming that he is indeed disqualified, how can the action be
entertained since he is the incumbent President?

We now proceed:

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.
Additionally, consider the following:

(1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President, may the Supreme Court reverse
the Commission, and thus in effect confirm the appointment? Clearly, the answer is in the negative.

(2) In the same vein, may the Court reject the nominee, whom the Commission has confirmed? The answer
is likewise clear.

(3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U.S. Congress) decides to confirm a
Presidential nominee, it would be incredible that the U.S. Supreme Court would still reverse the U.S. Senate.

Finally, one significant legal maxim is:

We must interpret not by the letter that killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life.

Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah. Once, the procurator of Judea asked Delilah (who was
Samson's beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Delilah agreed on condition that —

No blade shall touch his skin;

No blood shall flow from his veins.

When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured, the procurator placed an iron rod burning white-hot two or
three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. This blinded the man. Upon hearing of what had happened to her
beloved, Delilah was beside herself with anger, and fuming with righteous fury, accused the procurator of reneging
on his word. The procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his skin? Did any blood flow from his veins?" The
procurator was clearly relying on the letter, not the spirit of the agreement.

In view of the foregoing, this petition is hereby DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED.

Fernan, C.J., Griño-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.


Feliciano, J., I certify that he voted to dismiss the petition. (Fernan, C.J.)

Sarmiento, J., is on leave.

Regalado, and Davide, Jr., J., took no part.

Separate Opinions

NARVASA, J., concurring:

I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. Justice Paras, albeit only in the result; it does not appear to
me that there has been an adequate showing that the challenged determination by the Commission on
Appointments-that the appointment of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections should, on
the basis of his stated qualifications and after due assessment thereof, be confirmed-was attended by error so gross
as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently merits nullification by this Court in accordance with the
second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution. I therefore vote to DENY the petition.

PADILLA, J., dissenting:

The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at bar, I voted not only to
require the respondents to comment on the Petition, but I was the sole vote for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order to enjoin respondent Monsod from assuming the position of COMELEC Chairman, while the Court
deliberated on his constitutional qualification for the office. My purpose in voting for a TRO was to prevent the
inconvenience and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the Court to finally decide for respondent
Monsod's disqualification. Moreover, a reading of the Petition then in relation to established jurisprudence already
showed prima facie that respondent Monsod did not possess the needed qualification, that is, he had not engaged
in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.

After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment, I am even more convinced that the constitutional
requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not been met.

The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because, ultimately, the core issue
to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the constitutional provision requiring a majority of the
membership of COMELEC, including the Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the practice of law for at least
ten (10) years." (Art. IX(C), Section 1(1), 1987 Constitution). Questions involving the construction of constitutional
provisions are best left to judicial resolution. As declared in Angara v. Electoral Commission, (63 Phil. 139) "upon
the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining
constitutional boundaries."

The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Among these are that he
must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." It is the bounden duty of this Court to
ensure that such standard is met and complied with.

What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood, "practice" refers to the actual performance or
application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of knowledge; it connotes
an active, habitual, repeated or customary action.1 To "practice" law, or any profession for that matter, means, to
exercise or pursue an employment or profession actively, habitually, repeatedly or customarily.

Therefore, a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks of a nursing aide, cannot be
said to be in the "practice of medicine." A certified public accountant who works as a clerk, cannot be said to
practice his profession as an accountant. In the same way, a lawyer who is employed as a business executive or a
corporate manager, other than as head or attorney of a Legal Department of a corporation or a governmental
agency, cannot be said to be in the practice of law.

As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. Villanueva:2

Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary actions, 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, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as
customarily or habitually holding one's 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.) ... (emphasis supplied).

It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Memorandum it prepared, enumerated
several factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes "practice of law." It states:

1. Habituality. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually holding one's 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 Paño, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988
ed., p. 8 citing People v. People's 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. 356-359)

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).3

The above-enumerated factors would, I believe, be useful aids in determining whether or not respondent Monsod
meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at least ten (10) years at the time of his appointment as
COMELEC Chairman.

The following relevant questions may be asked:

1. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of law?

2. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually?

3. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually, did he do so HABITUALLY FOR AT LEAST TEN (10)
YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman?

Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the records, I am persuaded that if
ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the practice of law, he did not do so HABITUALLY for at least
ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.

While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be latitudinarianly considered activities
peculiar to the practice of law, like the drafting of legal documents and the rendering of legal opinion or advice, such
were isolated transactions or activities which do not qualify his past endeavors as "practice of law." To become
engaged in the practice of law, there must be a continuity, or a succession of acts. As observed by the Solicitor
General in People vs. Villanueva:4

Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in
the activeand continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to
the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services.

ACCORDINGLY, my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as not qualified for the
position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his
appointment to such position.
CRUZ, J., dissenting:

I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just the same. There are
certain points on which I must differ with him while of course respecting hisviewpoint.

To begin with, I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the respondent simply because his
nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. In my view, this is not a political question that
we are barred from resolving. Determination of the appointee's credentials is made on the basis of the established
facts, not the discretion of that body. Even if it were, the exercise of that discretion would still be subject to our
review.

In Luego, which is cited in the ponencia, what was involved was the discretion of the appointing authority
to choosebetween two claimants to the same office who both possessed the required qualifications. It was that kind
of discretion that we said could not be reviewed.

If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for lack of the required
qualifications, I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an appointee simply because he has passed the
Commission on Appointments.

Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an appropriate proceeding
notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less than the enfranchised citizenry. The reason is that
what we would be examining is not the wisdom of his election but whether or not he was qualified to be elected in
the first place.

Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent, I fear that the ponencia may have been too sweeping in
its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the qualification practically toothless. From the numerous
activities accepted as embraced in the term, I have the uncomfortable feeling that one does not even have to be a
lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of some law, however
peripherally. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the realtor could come under the definition as they
deal with or give advice on matters that are likely "to become involved in litigation."

The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is another business and he
interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such business. That covers every company organized under
the Corporation Code and regulated by the SEC under P.D. 902-A. Considering the ramifications of the modern
society, there is hardly any activity that is not affected by some law or government regulation the businessman must
know about and observe. In fact, again going by the definition, a lawyer does not even have to be part of a business
concern to be considered a practitioner. He can be so deemed when, on his own, he rents a house or buys a car or
consults a doctor as these acts involve his knowledge and application of the laws regulating such transactions. If he
operates a public utility vehicle as his main source of livelihood, he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of
law because he must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory Board.

The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the "performance of any acts ... in or out
of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law," which tells us absolutely nothing. The decision goes on to
say that "because lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental realm, such a
definition would obviously be too global to be workable."

The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to be engaged in the practice of
law even if he does not earn his living, or at least part of it, as a lawyer. It is enough that his activities are incidentally
(even if only remotely) connected with some law, ordinance, or regulation. The possible exception is the lawyer
whose income is derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting wrinkled ladies with pubescent pretensions.

The respondent's credentials are impressive, to be sure, but they do not persuade me that he has been engaged in
the practice of law for ten years as required by the Constitution. It is conceded that he has been engaged in
business and finance, in which areas he has distinguished himself, but as an executive and economist and not as a
practicing lawyer. The plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions listed in his resume by virtue of his
experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an attorney-at-law whose principal attention is focused on the
law. Even if it be argued that he was acting as a lawyer when he lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform,
served in the NAMFREL and the Constitutional Commission (together with non-lawyers like farmers and priests) and
was a member of the Davide Commission, he has not proved that his activities in these capacities extended over
the prescribed 10-year period of actual practice of the law. He is doubtless eminently qualified for many other
positions worthy of his abundant talents but not as Chairman of the Commission on Elections.

I have much admiration for respondent Monsod, no less than for Mr. Justice Paras, but I must regretfully vote to
grant the petition.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:

When this petition was filed, there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a qualification for public office
would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive terms. Unfortunately, this was not the result.

Of the fourteen (14) member Court, 5 are of the view that Mr. Christian Monsod engaged in the practice of law (with
one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave but not expressing his clear stand on the matter); 4
categorically stating that he did not practice law; 2 voting in the result because there was no error so gross as to
amount to grave abuse of discretion; one of official leave with no instructions left behind on how he viewed the
issue; and 2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision.

There are two key factors that make our task difficult. First is our reviewing the work of a constitutional Commission
on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the qualifications of persons appointed to high office. Even if
the Commission errs, we have no power to set aside error. We can look only into grave abuse of discretion or
whimsically and arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. Monsod possesses superior qualifications in terms of
executive ability, proficiency in management, educational background, experience in international banking and
finance, and instant recognition by the public. His integrity and competence are not questioned by the petitioner.
What is before us is compliance with a specific requirement written into the Constitution.

Inspite of my high regard for Mr. Monsod, I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. He has never engaged in the
practice of law for even one year. He is a member of the bar but to say that he has practiced law is stretching the
term beyond rational limits.

A person may have passed the bar examinations. But if he has not dedicated his life to the law, if he has not
engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail to see how he can claim to have been
engaged in the practice of law.

Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also for appointment to the
Supreme Court and all lower courts. What kind of Judges or Justices will we have if there 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?

The Constitution uses the phrase "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 one's 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.

I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod to the Commission on
Appointments, the latter has not been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. In fact, if appears that Mr.
Monsod has never practiced law except for an alleged one year period after passing the bar examinations when he
worked in his father's law firm. Even then his law practice must have been extremely limited because he was also
working for M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania during that period. How could
he practice law in the United States while not a member of the Bar there?

The professional life of the respondent follows:

1.15.1. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in 1961 consist of the
following:
1. 1961-1963: M.A. in Economics (Ph. D. candidate), University of Pennsylvania

2. 1963-1970: World Bank Group — Economist, Industry Department; Operations, Latin American
Department; Division Chief, South Asia and Middle East, International Finance Corporation

3. 1970-1973: Meralco Group — Executive of various companies, i.e., Meralco Securities Corporation,
Philippine Petroleum Corporation, Philippine Electric Corporation

4. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group — President, Fil-Capital Development Corporation and affiliated companies

5. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila — Chief Executive Officer

6. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies — Chief Executive Officer

7. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission — Member

8. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup Attempt — Member

9. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following companies:

a. ACE Container Philippines, Inc.

b. Dataprep, Philippines

c. Philippine SUNsystems Products, Inc.

d. Semirara Coal Corporation

e. CBL Timber Corporation

Member of the Board of the Following:

a. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines

b. First Philippine Energy Corporation

c. First Philippine Holdings Corporation

d. First Philippine Industrial Corporation

e. Graphic Atelier

f. Manila Electric Company

g. Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc.

h. Philippine Electric Corporation

i. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises

j. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation

k. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation

l. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo, pp. 21-22)


There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent Monsod has given the
lawenough 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 oneadvice and
those services as an executive but not as a lawyer.

The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate "engaged in the practice of law"
with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor such as commerce, industry, civic work, blue ribbon
investigations, agrarian reform, etc. where such knowledge would be helpful.

I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term, which even an ordinary layman accepts as having a
familiar and customary well-defined meaning. Every resident of this country who has reached the age of
discernment has to know, follow, or apply the law at various times in his life. Legal knowledge is useful if not
necessary for the business executive, legislator, mayor, barangay captain, teacher, policeman, farmer, fisherman,
market vendor, and student to name only a few. And yet, can these people honestly assert that as such, they are
engaged in the practice of law?

The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." It is not satisfied with
having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least ten years."

Some American courts have defined the practice of law, as follows:

The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with litigation but also services
rendered out of court, and it includes the giving of advice or the rendering of any services requiring the use
of legal skill or knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract or other instrument, the legal effect of which,
under the facts and conditions involved, must be carefully determined. People ex rel. Chicago Bar Ass'n v.
Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d 693; People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State
Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176 N.E. 901, and cases cited.

It would be difficult, if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what constitutes the practice of
law. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing as an attorney or counselor at law according to the
laws and customs of our courts, is the giving of advice or rendition of any sort of service by any person, firm
or corporation when the giving of such advice or rendition of such service requires the use of any degree of
legal knowledge or skill." Without adopting that definition, we referred to it as being substantially correct
in People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176 N.E. 901.
(People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773, 776)

For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be activities peculiar to the work
of a lawyer, they should also be performed, habitually, frequently or customarily, to wit:

xxx xxx xxx

Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. He was asked whether or not
he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-estate transactions where he was not the procuring agent.
He answered: "Very seldom." In answer to the question as to how many times he had prepared contracts for
the parties during the twenty-one years of his business, he said: "I have no Idea." When asked if it would be
more than half a dozen times his answer was I suppose. Asked if he did not recall making the statement to
several parties that he had prepared contracts in a large number of instances, he answered: "I don't recall
exactly what was said." When asked if he did not remember saying that he had made a practice of preparing
deeds, mortgages and contracts and charging a fee to the parties therefor in instances where he was not the
broker in the deal, he answered: "Well, I don't believe so, that is not a practice." Pressed further for an
answer as to his practice in preparing contracts and deeds for parties where he was not the broker, he finally
answered: "I have done about everything that is on the books as far as real estate is concerned."

xxx xxx xxx


Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a lawful right to do any legal
work in connection with real-estate transactions, especially in drawing of real-estate contracts, deeds,
mortgages, notes and the like. There is no doubt but that he has engaged in these practices over the years
and has charged for his services in that connection. ... (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773)

xxx xxx xxx

... An attorney, in the most general sense, is a person designated or employed by another to act in his stead;
an agent; more especially, one of a class of persons authorized to appear and act for suitors or defendants
in legal proceedings. Strictly, these professional persons are attorneys at law, and non-professional agents
are properly styled "attorney's in fact;" but the single word is much used as meaning an attorney at law. A
person may be an attorney in facto for another, without being an attorney at law. Abb. Law Dict. "Attorney."
A public attorney, or attorney at law, says Webster, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified to
prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. "The principal duties of an attorney are
(1) to be true to the court and to his client; (2) to manage the business of his client with care, skill, and
integrity; (3) to keep his client informed as to the state of his business; (4) to keep his secrets confided to
him as such. ... His rights are to be justly compensated for his services." Bouv. Law Dict. tit. "Attorney." The
transitive verb "practice," as defined by Webster, means 'to do or perform frequently, customarily, or
habitually; to perform by a succession of acts, as, to practice gaming, ... to carry on in practice, or repeated
action; to apply, as a theory, to real life; to exercise, as a profession, trade, art. etc.; as, to practice law or
medicine,' etc...." (State v. Bryan, S.E. 522, 523; Emphasis supplied)

In this jurisdiction, we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a succession of acts. Thus, we stated
in the case of People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 [1965]):

xxx xxx xxx

... Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions, a succession of
acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42
LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or
habitually holding one's self out to the public, as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services. ... . (at p. 112)

It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a required component of the
meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and issued by it, to wit:

l. Habituality. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding one's self out to the public as
a lawyer (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Bryan, 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. Noy
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 1 09 citing
State v. Cotner, 1 27, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864)." (Rollo, p. 115)

xxx xxx xxx

While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge, the use of
such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated activities which do not fall under the denomination of
practice of law. Admission to the practice of law was not required for membership in the Constitutional Commission
or in the Fact-Finding Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Any specific legal activities which may have been
assigned to Mr. Monsod while a member may be likened to isolated transactions of foreign corporations in the
Philippines which do not categorize the foreign corporations as doing business in the Philippines. As in the practice
of law, doing business also should be active and continuous. Isolated business transactions or occasional, incidental
and casual transactions are not within the context of doing business. This was our ruling in the case of Antam
Consolidated, Inc. v. Court of appeals, 143 SCRA 288 [1986]).
Respondent Monsod, corporate executive, civic leader, and member of the Constitutional Commission may possess
the background, competence, integrity, and dedication, to qualify for such high offices as President, Vice-President,
Senator, Congressman or Governor but the Constitution in prescribing the specific qualification of having engaged in
the practice of law for at least ten (10) years for the position of COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be
confirmed for that office. The Constitution charges the public respondents no less than this Court to obey its
mandate.

I, therefore, believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in confirming the
nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.

I vote to GRANT the petition.

Bidin, J., dissent

Separate Opinions

NARVASA, J., concurring:

I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. Justice Paras, albeit only in the result; it does not appear to
me that there has been an adequate showing that the challenged determination by the Commission on
Appointments-that the appointment of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections should, on
the basis of his stated qualifications and after due assessment thereof, be confirmed-was attended by error so gross
as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently merits nullification by this Court in accordance with the
second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution. I therefore vote to DENY the petition.

Melencio-Herrera, J., concur.

PADILLA, J., dissenting:

The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at bar, I voted not only to
require the respondents to comment on the Petition, but I was the sole vote for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order to enjoin respondent Monsod from assuming the position of COMELEC Chairman, while the Court
deliberated on his constitutional qualification for the office. My purpose in voting for a TRO was to prevent the
inconvenience and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the Court to finally decide for respondent
Monsod's disqualification. Moreover, a reading of the Petition then in relation to established jurisprudence already
showed prima facie that respondent Monsod did not possess the needed qualification, that is, he had not engaged
in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.

After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment, I am even more convinced that the constitutional
requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not been met.

The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because, ultimately, the core issue
to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the constitutional provision requiring a majority of the
membership of COMELEC, including the Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the practice of law for at least
ten (10) years." (Art. IX(C), Section 1(1), 1987 Constitution). Questions involving the construction of constitutional
provisions are best left to judicial resolution. As declared in Angara v. Electoral Commission, (63 Phil. 139) "upon
the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining
constitutional boundaries."

The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Among these are that he
must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." It is the bounden duty of this Court to
ensure that such standard is met and complied with.

What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood, "practice" refers to the actual performance or
application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of knowledge; it connotes
an active, habitual, repeated or customary action.1 To "practice" law, or any profession for that matter, means, to
exercise or pursue an employment or profession actively, habitually, repeatedly or customarily.

Therefore, a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks of a nursing aide, cannot be
said to be in the "practice of medicine." A certified public accountant who works as a clerk, cannot be said to
practice his profession as an accountant. In the same way, a lawyer who is employed as a business executive or a
corporate manager, other than as head or attorney of a Legal Department of a corporation or a governmental
agency, cannot be said to be in the practice of law.

As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. Villanueva:2

Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary actions, 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, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as
customarily or habitually holding one's 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.) ... (emphasis supplied).

It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Memorandum it prepared, enumerated
several factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes "practice of law." It states:

1. Habituality. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually holding one's 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 Paño, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988
ed., p. 8 citing People v. People's 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. 356-359)

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).3

The above-enumerated factors would, I believe, be useful aids in determining whether or not respondent Monsod
meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at least ten (10) years at the time of his appointment as
COMELEC Chairman.

The following relevant questions may be asked:

1. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of law?
2. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually?

3. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually, did he do so HABITUALLY FOR AT LEAST TEN (10)
YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman?

Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the records, I am persuaded that if
ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the practice of law, he did not do so HABITUALLY for at least
ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.

While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be latitudinarianly considered activities
peculiar to the practice of law, like the drafting of legal documents and the rendering of legal opinion or advice, such
were isolated transactions or activities which do not qualify his past endeavors as "practice of law." To become
engaged in the practice of law, there must be a continuity, or a succession of acts. As observed by the Solicitor
General in People vs. Villanueva:4

Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in
the activeand continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are available to
the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his said services.

ACCORDINGLY, my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as not qualified for the
position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior to his
appointment to such position.

CRUZ, J., dissenting:

I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just the same. There are
certain points on which I must differ with him while of course respecting hisviewpoint.

To begin with, I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the respondent simply because his
nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. In my view, this is not a political question that
we are barred from resolving. Determination of the appointee's credentials is made on the basis of the established
facts, not the discretion of that body. Even if it were, the exercise of that discretion would still be subject to our
review.

In Luego, which is cited in the ponencia, what was involved was the discretion of the appointing authority
to choosebetween two claimants to the same office who both possessed the required qualifications. It was that kind
of discretion that we said could not be reviewed.

If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for lack of the required
qualifications, I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an appointee simply because he has passed the
Commission on Appointments.

Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an appropriate proceeding
notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less than the enfranchised citizenry. The reason is that
what we would be examining is not the wisdom of his election but whether or not he was qualified to be elected in
the first place.

Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent, I fear that the ponencia may have been too sweeping in
its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the qualification practically toothless. From the numerous
activities accepted as embraced in the term, I have the uncomfortable feeling that one does not even have to be a
lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the application of some law, however
peripherally. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the realtor could come under the definition as they
deal with or give advice on matters that are likely "to become involved in litigation."

The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is another business and he
interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such business. That covers every company organized under
the Corporation Code and regulated by the SEC under P.D. 902-A. Considering the ramifications of the modern
society, there is hardly any activity that is not affected by some law or government regulation the businessman must
know about and observe. In fact, again going by the definition, a lawyer does not even have to be part of a business
concern to be considered a practitioner. He can be so deemed when, on his own, he rents a house or buys a car or
consults a doctor as these acts involve his knowledge and application of the laws regulating such transactions. If he
operates a public utility vehicle as his main source of livelihood, he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of
law because he must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory Board.

The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the "performance of any acts . . . in or out
of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law," which tells us absolutely nothing. The decision goes on to
say that "because lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental realm, such a
definition would obviously be too global to be workable."

The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to be engaged in the practice of
law even if he does not earn his living, or at least part of it, as a lawyer. It is enough that his activities are incidentally
(even if only remotely) connected with some law, ordinance, or regulation. The possible exception is the lawyer
whose income is derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting wrinkled ladies with pubescent pretensions.

The respondent's credentials are impressive, to be sure, but they do not persuade me that he has been engaged in
the practice of law for ten years as required by the Constitution. It is conceded that he has been engaged in
business and finance, in which areas he has distinguished himself, but as an executive and economist and not as a
practicing lawyer. The plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions listed in his resume by virtue of his
experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an attorney-at-law whose principal attention is focused on the
law. Even if it be argued that he was acting as a lawyer when he lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform,
served in the NAMFREL and the Constitutional Commission (together with non-lawyers like farmers and priests) and
was a member of the Davide Commission, he has not proved that his activities in these capacities extended over
the prescribed 10-year period of actual practice of the law. He is doubtless eminently qualified for many other
positions worthy of his abundant talents but not as Chairman of the Commission on Elections.

I have much admiration for respondent Monsod, no less than for Mr. Justice Paras, but I must regretfully vote to
grant the petition.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:

When this petition was filed, there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a qualification for public office
would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive terms. Unfortunately, this was not the result.

Of the fourteen (14) member Court, 5 are of the view that Mr. Christian Monsod engaged in the practice of law (with
one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave but not expressing his clear stand on the matter); 4
categorically stating that he did not practice law; 2 voting in the result because there was no error so gross as to
amount to grave abuse of discretion; one of official leave with no instructions left behind on how he viewed the
issue; and 2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision.

There are two key factors that make our task difficult. First is our reviewing the work of a constitutional Commission
on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the qualifications of persons appointed to high office. Even if
the Commission errs, we have no power to set aside error. We can look only into grave abuse of discretion or
whimsically and arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. Monsod possesses superior qualifications in terms of
executive ability, proficiency in management, educational background, experience in international banking and
finance, and instant recognition by the public. His integrity and competence are not questioned by the petitioner.
What is before us is compliance with a specific requirement written into the Constitution.

Inspite of my high regard for Mr. Monsod, I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. He has never engaged in the
practice of law for even one year. He is a member of the bar but to say that he has practiced law is stretching the
term beyond rational limits.

A person may have passed the bar examinations. But if he has not dedicated his life to the law, if he has not
engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail to see how he can claim to have been
engaged in the practice of law.
Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also for appointment to the
Supreme Court and all lower courts. What kind of Judges or Justices will we have if there 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?

The Constitution uses the phrase "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 one's 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.

I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod to the Commission on
Appointments, the latter has not been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. In fact, if appears that Mr.
Monsod has never practiced law except for an alleged one year period after passing the bar examinations when he
worked in his father's law firm. Even then his law practice must have been extremely limited because he was also
working for M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania during that period. How could
he practice law in the United States while not a member of the Bar there?

The professional life of the respondent follows:

1.15.1. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in 1961 consist of the
following:

1. 1961-1963: M.A. in Economics (Ph. D. candidate), University of Pennsylvania

2. 1963-1970: World Bank Group — Economist, Industry Department; Operations, Latin American
Department; Division Chief, South Asia and Middle East, International Finance Corporation

3. 1970-1973: Meralco Group — Executive of various companies, i.e., Meralco Securities Corporation,
Philippine Petroleum Corporation, Philippine Electric Corporation

4. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group — President, Fil-Capital Development Corporation and affiliated companies

5. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila — Chief Executive Officer

6. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies — Chief Executive Officer

7. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission — Member

8. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup Attempt — Member

9. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following companies:

a. ACE Container Philippines, Inc.

b. Dataprep, Philippines

c. Philippine SUNsystems Products, Inc.

d. Semirara Coal Corporation

e. CBL Timber Corporation

Member of the Board of the Following:


a. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines

b. First Philippine Energy Corporation

c. First Philippine Holdings Corporation

d. First Philippine Industrial Corporation

e. Graphic Atelier

f. Manila Electric Company

g. Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc.

h. Philippine Electric Corporation

i. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises

j. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation

k. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation

l. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo, pp. 21-22)

There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent Monsod has given the
lawenough 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 oneadvice and
those services as an executive but not as a lawyer.

The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate "engaged in the practice of law"
with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor such as commerce, industry, civic work, blue ribbon
investigations, agrarian reform, etc. where such knowledge would be helpful.

I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term, which even an ordinary layman accepts as having a
familiar and customary well-defined meaning. Every resident of this country who has reached the age of
discernment has to know, follow, or apply the law at various times in his life. Legal knowledge is useful if not
necessary for the business executive, legislator, mayor, barangay captain, teacher, policeman, farmer, fisherman,
market vendor, and student to name only a few. And yet, can these people honestly assert that as such, they are
engaged in the practice of law?

The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." It is not satisfied with
having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least ten years."

Some American courts have defined the practice of law, as follows:

The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with litigation but also services
rendered out of court, and it includes the giving of advice or the rendering of any services requiring the use
of legal skill or knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract or other instrument, the legal effect of which,
under the facts and conditions involved, must be carefully determined. People ex rel. Chicago Bar Ass'n v.
Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d 693; People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State
Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176 N.E. 901, and cases cited.

It would be difficult, if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what constitutes the practice of
law. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing as an attorney or counselor at law according to the
laws and customs of our courts, is the giving of advice or rendition of any sort of service by any person, firm
or corporation when the giving of such advice or rendition of such service requires the use of any degree of
legal knowledge or skill." Without adopting that definition, we referred to it as being substantially correct
in People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176 N.E. 901.
(People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773, 776)

For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be activities peculiar to the work
of a lawyer, they should also be performed, habitually, frequently or customarily, to wit:

xxx xxx xxx

Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. He was asked whether or not
he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-estate transactions where he was not the procuring agent.
He answered: "Very seldom." In answer to the question as to how many times he had prepared contracts for
the parties during the twenty-one years of his business, he said: "I have no Idea." When asked if it would be
more than half a dozen times his answer was I suppose. Asked if he did not recall making the statement to
several parties that he had prepared contracts in a large number of instances, he answered: "I don't recall
exactly what was said." When asked if he did not remember saying that he had made a practice of preparing
deeds, mortgages and contracts and charging a fee to the parties therefor in instances where he was not the
broker in the deal, he answered: "Well, I don't believe so, that is not a practice." Pressed further for an
answer as to his practice in preparing contracts and deeds for parties where he was not the broker, he finally
answered: "I have done about everything that is on the books as far as real estate is concerned."

xxx xxx xxx

Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a lawful right to do any legal
work in connection with real-estate transactions, especially in drawing of real-estate contracts, deeds,
mortgages, notes and the like. There is no doubt but that he has engaged in these practices over the years
and has charged for his services in that connection. ... (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773)

xxx xxx xxx

... An attorney, in the most general sense, is a person designated or employed by another to act in his stead;
an agent; more especially, one of a class of persons authorized to appear and act for suitors or defendants
in legal proceedings. Strictly, these professional persons are attorneys at law, and non-professional agents
are properly styled "attorney's in fact;" but the single word is much used as meaning an attorney at law. A
person may be an attorney in facto for another, without being an attorney at law. Abb. Law Dict. "Attorney."
A public attorney, or attorney at law, says Webster, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified to
prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainer of clients. "The principal duties of an attorney are
(1) to be true to the court and to his client; (2) to manage the business of his client with care, skill, and
integrity; (3) to keep his client informed as to the state of his business; (4) to keep his secrets confided to
him as such. ... His rights are to be justly compensated for his services." Bouv. Law Dict. tit. "Attorney." The
transitive verb "practice," as defined by Webster, means 'to do or perform frequently, customarily, or
habitually; to perform by a succession of acts, as, to practice gaming, ... to carry on in practice, or repeated
action; to apply, as a theory, to real life; to exercise, as a profession, trade, art. etc.; as, to practice law or
medicine,' etc...." (State v. Bryan, S.E. 522, 523; Emphasis supplied)

In this jurisdiction, we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a succession of acts. Thus, we stated
in the case of People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 [1965]):

xxx xxx xxx

... Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions, a succession of
acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42
LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or
habitually holding one's self out to the public, as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services. ... . (at p. 112)
It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a required component of the
meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and issued by it, to wit:

l. Habituality. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding one's self out to the public as
a lawyer (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Bryan, 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. Noy
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 1 09 citing
State v. Cotner, 1 27, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864)." (Rollo, p. 115)

xxx xxx xxx

While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge, the use of
such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated activities which do not fall under the denomination of
practice of law. Admission to the practice of law was not required for membership in the Constitutional Commission
or in the Fact-Finding Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Any specific legal activities which may have been
assigned to Mr. Monsod while a member may be likened to isolated transactions of foreign corporations in the
Philippines which do not categorize the foreign corporations as doing business in the Philippines. As in the practice
of law, doing business also should be active and continuous. Isolated business transactions or occasional, incidental
and casual transactions are not within the context of doing business. This was our ruling in the case of Antam
Consolidated, Inc. v. Court of appeals, 143 SCRA 288 [1986]).

Respondent Monsod, corporate executive, civic leader, and member of the Constitutional Commission may possess
the background, competence, integrity, and dedication, to qualify for such high offices as President, Vice-President,
Senator, Congressman or Governor but the Constitution in prescribing the specific qualification of having engaged in
the practice of law for at least ten (10) years for the position of COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be
confirmed for that office. The Constitution charges the public respondents no less than this Court to obey its
mandate.

I, therefore, believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in confirming the
nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.

I vote to GRANT the petition.

Bidin, J., dissent

Footnotes

1 Webster's 3rd New International Dictionary.

2 14 SCRA 109

3 Commission on Appointments' Memorandum dated 25 June 1991 RE: WHAT CONSTITUTES PRACTICE
OF LAW, pp. 6-7.

4 14 SCRA 109.
Ulep v. Legal Clinic

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

Bar Matter No. 553 June 17, 1993

MAURICIO C. ULEP, petitioner,


vs.
THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC., respondent.

R E SO L U T I O N

REGALADO, J.:

Petitioner prays this Court "to order the respondent to cease and desist from issuing advertisements similar to or of
the same tenor as that of annexes "A" and "B" (of said petition) and to perpetually prohibit persons or entities from
making advertisements pertaining to the exercise of the law profession other than those allowed by law."

The advertisements complained of by herein petitioner are as follows:

Annex A

SECRET MARRIAGE?
P560.00 for a valid marriage.
Info on DIVORCE. ABSENCE.
ANNULMENT. VISA.

THE Please call: 521-0767 LEGAL 5217232, 5222041 CLINIC, INC. 8:30 am— 6:00 pm 7-Flr.
Victoria Bldg., UN Ave., Mla.

Annex B

GUAM DIVORCE.

DON PARKINSON

an Attorney in Guam, is giving FREE BOOKS on Guam Divorce through The Legal Clinic beginning
Monday to Friday during office hours.

Guam divorce. Annulment of Marriage. Immigration Problems, Visa Ext. Quota/Non-quota Res. &
Special Retiree's Visa. Declaration of Absence. Remarriage to Filipina Fiancees. Adoption.
Investment in the Phil. US/Foreign Visa for Filipina Spouse/Children. Call Marivic.

THE 7F Victoria Bldg. 429 UN Ave., LEGAL Ermita, Manila nr. US Embassy CLINIC, INC.1 Tel. 521-
7232; 521-7251; 522-2041; 521-0767

It is the submission of petitioner that the advertisements above reproduced are champterous, unethical, demeaning
of the law profession, and destructive of the confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of the bar
and that, as a member of the legal profession, he is ashamed and offended by the said advertisements, hence the
reliefs sought in his petition as hereinbefore quoted.

In its answer to the petition, respondent admits the fact of publication of said advertisement at its instance, but
claims that it is not engaged in the practice of law but in the rendering of "legal support services" through paralegals
with the use of modern computers and electronic machines. Respondent further argues that assuming that the
services advertised are legal services, the act of advertising these services should be allowed supposedly
in the light of the case of John R. Bates and Van O'Steen vs. State Bar of Arizona,2 reportedly decided by the United
States Supreme Court on June 7, 1977.

Considering the critical implications on the legal profession of the issues raised herein, we required the (1)
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), (2) Philippine Bar Association (PBA), (3) Philippine Lawyers' Association
(PLA), (4) U.P. Womens Lawyers' Circle (WILOCI), (5) Women Lawyers Association of the Philippines (WLAP), and
(6) Federacion International de Abogadas (FIDA) to submit their respective position papers on the controversy and,
thereafter, their memoranda. 3 The said bar associations readily responded and extended their valuable services
and cooperation of which this Court takes note with appreciation and gratitude.

The main issues posed for resolution before the Court are whether or not the services offered by respondent, The
Legal Clinic, Inc., as advertised by it constitutes practice of law and, in either case, whether the same can properly
be the subject of the advertisements herein complained of.

Before proceeding with an in-depth analysis of the merits of this case, we deem it proper and enlightening to present
hereunder excerpts from the respective position papers adopted by the aforementioned bar associations and the
memoranda submitted by them on the issues involved in this bar matter.

1. Integrated Bar of the Philippines:

xxx xxx xxx

Notwithstanding the subtle manner by which respondent endeavored to distinguish the two
terms, i.e., "legal support services" vis-a-vis "legal services", common sense would readily dictate
that the same are essentially without substantial distinction. For who could deny that document
search, evidence gathering, assistance to layman in need of basic institutional services from
government or non-government agencies like birth, marriage, property, or business registration,
obtaining documents like clearance, passports, local or foreign visas, constitutes practice of law?

xxx xxx xxx

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) does not wish to make issue with respondent's foreign
citations. Suffice it to state that the IBP has made its position manifest, to wit, that it strongly
opposes the view espoused by respondent (to the effect that today it is alright to advertise one's
legal services).

The IBP accordingly declares in no uncertain terms its opposition to respondent's act of establishing
a "legal clinic" and of concomitantly advertising the same through newspaper publications.

The IBP would therefore invoke the administrative supervision of this Honorable Court to perpetually
restrain respondent from undertaking highly unethical activities in the field of law practice as
aforedescribed.4

xxx xxx xxx

A. The use of the name "The Legal Clinic, Inc." gives the impression that respondent corporation is
being operated by lawyers and that it renders legal services.

While the respondent repeatedly denies that it offers legal services to the public, the advertisements
in question give the impression that respondent is offering legal services. The Petition in fact simply
assumes this to be so, as earlier mentioned, apparently because this (is) the effect that the
advertisements have on the reading public.

The impression created by the advertisements in question can be traced, first of all, to the very name
being used by respondent — "The Legal Clinic, Inc." Such a name, it is respectfully submitted
connotes the rendering of legal services for legal problems, just like a medical clinic connotes
medical services for medical problems. More importantly, the term "Legal Clinic" connotes lawyers,
as the term medical clinic connotes doctors.

Furthermore, the respondent's name, as published in the advertisements subject of the present
case, appears with (the) scale(s) of justice, which all the more reinforces the impression that it is
being operated by members of the bar and that it offers legal services. In addition, the
advertisements in question appear with a picture and name of a person being represented as a
lawyer from Guam, and this practically removes whatever doubt may still remain as to the nature of
the service or services being offered.

It thus becomes irrelevant whether respondent is merely offering "legal support services" as claimed
by it, or whether it offers legal services as any lawyer actively engaged in law practice does. And it
becomes unnecessary to make a distinction between "legal services" and "legal support services,"
as the respondent would have it. The advertisements in question leave no room for doubt in the
minds of the reading public that legal services are being offered by lawyers, whether true or not.

B. The advertisements in question are meant to induce the performance of acts contrary to law,
morals, public order and public policy.

It may be conceded that, as the respondent claims, the advertisements in question are only meant to
inform the general public of the services being offered by it. Said advertisements, however,
emphasize to Guam divorce, and any law student ought to know that under the Family Code, there
is only one instance when a foreign divorce is recognized, and that is:

Article 26. . . .

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated


and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating
him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under
Philippine Law.

It must not be forgotten, too, that the Family Code (defines) a marriage as follows:

Article 1. Marriage is special contract of permanent union between a man and


woman entered into accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family
life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature,
consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation,
except that marriage settlements may fix the property relation during the marriage
within the limits provided by this Code.

By simply reading the questioned advertisements, it is obvious that the message being conveyed is
that Filipinos can avoid the legal consequences of a marriage celebrated in accordance with our law,
by simply going to Guam for a divorce. This is not only misleading, but encourages, or serves to
induce, violation of Philippine law. At the very least, this can be considered "the dark side" of legal
practice, where certain defects in Philippine laws are exploited for the sake of profit. At worst, this is
outright malpractice.

Rule 1.02. — A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the
law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.
In addition, it may also be relevant to point out that advertisements such as that shown in Annex "A"
of the Petition, which contains a cartoon of a motor vehicle with the words "Just Married" on its
bumper and seems to address those planning a "secret marriage," if not suggesting a "secret
marriage," makes light of the "special contract of permanent union," the inviolable social institution,"
which is how the Family Code describes marriage, obviously to emphasize its sanctity and
inviolability. Worse, this particular advertisement appears to encourage marriages celebrated in
secrecy, which is suggestive of immoral publication of applications for a marriage license.

If the article "Rx for Legal Problems" is to be reviewed, it can readily be concluded that the above
impressions one may gather from the advertisements in question are accurate. The Sharon Cuneta-
Gabby Concepcion example alone confirms what the advertisements suggest. Here it can be seen
that criminal acts are being encouraged or committed
(a bigamous marriage in Hong Kong or Las Vegas) with impunity simply because the jurisdiction of
Philippine courts does not extend to the place where the crime is committed.

Even if it be assumed, arguendo, (that) the "legal support services" respondent offers do not
constitute legal services as commonly understood, the advertisements in question give the
impression that respondent corporation is being operated by lawyers and that it offers legal services,
as earlier discussed. Thus, the only logical consequence is that, in the eyes of an ordinary
newspaper reader, members of the bar themselves are encouraging or inducing the performance of
acts which are contrary to law, morals, good customs and the public good, thereby destroying and
demeaning the integrity of the Bar.

xxx xxx xxx

It is respectfully submitted that respondent should be enjoined from causing the publication of the
advertisements in question, or any other advertisements similar thereto. It is also submitted that
respondent should be prohibited from further performing or offering some of the services it presently
offers, or, at the very least, from offering such services to the public in general.

The IBP is aware of the fact that providing computerized legal research, electronic data gathering,
storage and retrieval, standardized legal forms, investigators for gathering of evidence, and like
services will greatly benefit the legal profession and should not be stifled but instead encouraged.
However, when the conduct of such business by non-members of the Bar encroaches upon the
practice of law, there can be no choice but to prohibit such business.

Admittedly, many of the services involved in the case at bar can be better performed by specialists in
other fields, such as computer experts, who by reason of their having devoted time and effort
exclusively to such field cannot fulfill the exacting requirements for admission to the Bar. To prohibit
them from "encroaching" upon the legal profession will deny the profession of the great benefits and
advantages of modern technology. Indeed, a lawyer using a computer will be doing better than a
lawyer using a typewriter, even if both are (equal) in skill.

Both the Bench and the Bar, however, should be careful not to allow or tolerate the illegal practice of
law in any form, not only for the protection of members of the Bar but also, and more importantly, for
the protection of the public. Technological development in the profession may be encouraged
without tolerating, but instead ensuring prevention of illegal practice.

There might be nothing objectionable if respondent is allowed to perform all of its services, but only if
such services are made available exclusively to members of the Bench and Bar. Respondent would
then be offering technical assistance, not legal services. Alternatively, the more difficult task of
carefully distinguishing between which service may be offered to the public in general and which
should be made available exclusively to members of the Bar may be undertaken. This, however,
may require further proceedings because of the factual considerations involved.

It must be emphasized, however, that some of respondent's services ought to be prohibited outright,
such as acts which tend to suggest or induce celebration abroad of marriages which are bigamous
or otherwise illegal and void under Philippine law. While respondent may not be prohibited from
simply disseminating information regarding such matters, it must be required to include, in the
information given, a disclaimer that it is not authorized to practice law, that certain course of action
may be illegal under Philippine law, that it is not authorized or capable of rendering a legal opinion,
that a lawyer should be consulted before deciding on which course of action to take, and that it
cannot recommend any particular lawyer without subjecting itself to possible sanctions for illegal
practice of law.

If respondent is allowed to advertise, advertising should be directed exclusively at members of the


Bar, with a clear and unmistakable disclaimer that it is not authorized to practice law or perform legal
services.

The benefits of being assisted by paralegals cannot be ignored. But nobody should be allowed to
represent himself as a "paralegal" for profit, without such term being clearly defined by rule or
regulation, and without any adequate and effective means of regulating his activities. Also, law
practice in a corporate form may prove to be advantageous to the legal profession, but before
allowance of such practice may be considered, the corporation's Article of Incorporation and By-laws
must conform to each and every provision of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Rules
of Court.5

2. Philippine Bar Association:

xxx xxx xxx.

Respondent asserts that it "is not engaged in the practice of law but engaged in giving legal support
services to lawyers and laymen, through experienced paralegals, with the use of modern computers
and electronic machines" (pars. 2 and 3, Comment). This is absurd. Unquestionably, respondent's
acts of holding out itself to the public under the trade name "The Legal Clinic, Inc.," and soliciting
employment for its enumerated services fall within the realm of a practice which thus yields itself to
the regulatory powers of the Supreme Court. For respondent to say that it is merely engaged in
paralegal work is to stretch credulity. Respondent's own commercial advertisement which
announces a certain Atty. Don Parkinson to be handling the fields of law belies its pretense. From all
indications, respondent "The Legal Clinic, Inc." is offering and rendering legal services through its
reserve of lawyers. It has been held that the practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in
court, but includes drawing of deeds, incorporation, rendering opinions, and advising clients as to
their legal right and then take them to an attorney and ask the latter to look after their case in
court See Martin, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1984 ed., p. 39).

It is apt to recall that only natural persons can engage in the practice of law, and such limitation
cannot be evaded by a corporation employing competent lawyers to practice for it. Obviously, this is
the scheme or device by which respondent "The Legal Clinic, Inc." holds out itself to the public and
solicits employment of its legal services. It is an odious vehicle for deception, especially so when the
public cannot ventilate any grievance for malpractice against the business conduit. Precisely, the
limitation of practice of law to persons who have been duly admitted as members of the Bar (Sec. 1,
Rule 138, Revised Rules of Court) is to subject the members to the discipline of the Supreme Court.
Although respondent uses its business name, the persons and the lawyers who act for it are subject
to court discipline. The practice of law is not a profession open to all who wish to engage in it nor can
it be assigned to another (See 5 Am. Jur. 270). It is a personal right limited to persons who have
qualified themselves under the law. It follows that not only respondent but also all the persons who
are acting for respondent are the persons engaged in unethical law practice.6

3. Philippine Lawyers' Association:

The Philippine Lawyers' Association's position, in answer to the issues stated herein, are wit:

1. The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law;

2. Such practice is unauthorized;


3. The advertisements complained of are not only unethical, but also misleading and patently
immoral; and

4. The Honorable Supreme Court has the power to supress and punish the Legal Clinic and its
corporate officers for its unauthorized practice of law and for its unethical, misleading and immoral
advertising.

xxx xxx xxx

Respondent posits that is it not engaged in the practice of law. It claims that it merely renders "legal
support services" to answers, litigants and the general public as enunciated in the Primary Purpose
Clause of its Article(s) of Incorporation. (See pages 2 to 5 of Respondent's Comment). But its
advertised services, as enumerated above, clearly and convincingly show that it is indeed engaged
in law practice, albeit outside of court.

As advertised, it offers the general public its advisory services on Persons and Family Relations
Law, particularly regarding foreign divorces, annulment of marriages, secret marriages, absence and
adoption; Immigration Laws, particularly on visa related problems, immigration problems; the
Investments Law of the Philippines and such other related laws.

Its advertised services unmistakably require the application of the aforesaid law, the legal principles
and procedures related thereto, the legal advices based thereon and which activities call for legal
training, knowledge and experience.

Applying the test laid down by the Court in the aforecited Agrava Case, the activities of respondent
fall squarely and are embraced in what lawyers and laymen equally term as "the practice of law."7

4. U.P. Women Lawyers' Circle:

In resolving, the issues before this Honorable Court, paramount consideration should be given to the
protection of the general public from the danger of being exploited by unqualified persons or entities
who may be engaged in the practice of law.

At present, becoming a lawyer requires one to take a rigorous four-year course of study on top of a
four-year bachelor of arts or sciences course and then to take and pass the bar examinations. Only
then, is a lawyer qualified to practice law.

While the use of a paralegal is sanctioned in many jurisdiction as an aid to the administration of
justice, there are in those jurisdictions, courses of study and/or standards which would qualify these
paralegals to deal with the general public as such. While it may now be the opportune time to
establish these courses of study and/or standards, the fact remains that at present, these do not
exist in the Philippines. In the meantime, this Honorable Court may decide to make measures to
protect the general public from being exploited by those who may be dealing with the general public
in the guise of being "paralegals" without being qualified to do so.

In the same manner, the general public should also be protected from the dangers which may be
brought about by advertising of legal services. While it appears that lawyers are prohibited under the
present Code of Professional Responsibility from advertising, it appears in the instant case that legal
services are being advertised not by lawyers but by an entity staffed by "paralegals." Clearly,
measures should be taken to protect the general public from falling prey to those who advertise legal
services without being qualified to offer such services. 8

A perusal of the questioned advertisements of Respondent, however, seems to give the impression
that information regarding validity of marriages, divorce, annulment of marriage, immigration, visa
extensions, declaration of absence, adoption and foreign investment, which are in essence, legal
matters , will be given to them if they avail of its services. The Respondent's name — The Legal
Clinic, Inc. — does not help matters. It gives the impression again that Respondent will or can cure
the legal problems brought to them. Assuming that Respondent is, as claimed, staffed purely by
paralegals, it also gives the misleading impression that there are lawyers involved in The Legal
Clinic, Inc., as there are doctors in any medical clinic, when only "paralegals" are involved in The
Legal Clinic, Inc.

Respondent's allegations are further belied by the very admissions of its President and majority
stockholder, Atty. Nogales, who gave an insight on the structure and main purpose of Respondent
corporation in the aforementioned "Starweek" article."9

5. Women Lawyer's Association of the Philippines:

Annexes "A" and "B" of the petition are clearly advertisements to solicit cases for the purpose of gain
which, as provided for under the above cited law, (are) illegal and against the Code of Professional
Responsibility of lawyers in this country.

Annex "A" of the petition is not only illegal in that it is an advertisement to solicit cases, but it is illegal
in that in bold letters it announces that the Legal Clinic, Inc., could work out/cause the celebration of
a secret marriage which is not only illegal but immoral in this country. While it is advertised that one
has to go to said agency and pay P560 for a valid marriage it is certainly fooling the public for valid
marriages in the Philippines are solemnized only by officers authorized to do so under the law. And
to employ an agency for said purpose of contracting marriage is not necessary.

No amount of reasoning that in the USA, Canada and other countries the trend is towards allowing
lawyers to advertise their special skills to enable people to obtain from qualified practitioners legal
services for their particular needs can justify the use of advertisements such as are the subject
matter of the petition, for one (cannot) justify an illegal act even by whatever merit the illegal act may
serve. The law has yet to be amended so that such act could become justifiable.

We submit further that these advertisements that seem to project that secret marriages and divorce
are possible in this country for a fee, when in fact it is not so, are highly reprehensible.

It would encourage people to consult this clinic about how they could go about having a secret
marriage here, when it cannot nor should ever be attempted, and seek advice on divorce, where in
this country there is none, except under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws in the Philippines. It is
also against good morals and is deceitful because it falsely represents to the public to be able to do
that which by our laws cannot be done (and) by our Code of Morals should not be done.

In the case (of) In re Taguda, 53 Phil. 37, the Supreme Court held that solicitation for clients by an
attorney by circulars of advertisements, is unprofessional, and offenses of this character justify
permanent elimination from the Bar. 10

6. Federacion Internacional de Abogados:

xxx xxx xxx

1.7 That entities admittedly not engaged in the practice of law, such as management consultancy
firms or travel agencies, whether run by lawyers or not, perform the services rendered by
Respondent does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that Respondent is not unlawfully practicing
law. In the same vein, however, the fact that the business of respondent (assuming it can be
engaged in independently of the practice of law) involves knowledge of the law does not necessarily
make respondent guilty of unlawful practice of law.

. . . . Of necessity, no one . . . . acting as a consultant can render effective service


unless he is familiar with such statutes and regulations. He must be careful not to
suggest a course of conduct which the law forbids. It seems . . . .clear that (the
consultant's) knowledge of the law, and his use of that knowledge as a factor in
determining what measures he shall recommend, do not constitute the practice of
law . . . . It is not only presumed that all men know the law, but it is a fact that most
men have considerable acquaintance with broad features of the law . . . . Our
knowledge of the law — accurate or inaccurate — moulds our conduct not only when
we are acting for ourselves, but when we are serving others. Bankers, liquor dealers
and laymen generally possess rather precise knowledge of the laws touching their
particular business or profession. A good example is the architect, who must be
familiar with zoning, building and fire prevention codes, factory and tenement house
statutes, and who draws plans and specification in harmony with the law. This is not
practicing law.

But suppose the architect, asked by his client to omit a fire tower, replies that it is
required by the statute. Or the industrial relations expert cites, in support of some
measure that he recommends, a decision of the National Labor Relations Board. Are
they practicing law? In my opinion, they are not, provided no separate fee is charged
for the legal advice or information, and the legal question is subordinate and
incidental to a major non-legal problem.

It is largely a matter of degree and of custom.

If it were usual for one intending to erect a building on his land to engage a lawyer to
advise him and the architect in respect to the building code and the like, then an
architect who performed this function would probably be considered to be
trespassing on territory reserved for licensed attorneys. Likewise, if the industrial
relations field had been pre-empted by lawyers, or custom placed a lawyer always at
the elbow of the lay personnel man. But this is not the case. The most important
body of the industrial relations experts are the officers and business agents of the
labor unions and few of them are lawyers. Among the larger corporate employers, it
has been the practice for some years to delegate special responsibility in employee
matters to a management group chosen for their practical knowledge and skill in
such matter, and without regard to legal thinking or lack of it. More recently,
consultants like the defendants have the same service that the larger employers get
from their own specialized staff.

The handling of industrial relations is growing into a recognized profession for which
appropriate courses are offered by our leading universities. The court should be very
cautious about declaring [that] a widespread, well-established method of conducting
business is unlawful, or that the considerable class of men who customarily perform
a certain function have no right to do so, or that the technical education given by our
schools cannot be used by the graduates in their business.

In determining whether a man is practicing law, we should consider his work for any
particular client or customer, as a whole. I can imagine defendant being engaged
primarily to advise as to the law defining his client's obligations to his employees, to
guide his client's obligations to his employees, to guide his client along the path
charted by law. This, of course, would be the practice of the law. But such is not the
fact in the case before me. Defendant's primarily efforts are along economic and
psychological lines. The law only provides the frame within which he must work, just
as the zoning code limits the kind of building the limits the kind of building the
architect may plan. The incidental legal advice or information defendant may give,
does not transform his activities into the practice of law. Let me add that if, even as a
minor feature of his work, he performed services which are customarily reserved to
members of the bar, he would be practicing law. For instance, if as part of a welfare
program, he drew employees' wills.

Another branch of defendant's work is the representations of the employer in the


adjustment of grievances and in collective bargaining, with or without a mediator.
This is not per se the practice of law. Anyone may use an agent for negotiations and
may select an agent particularly skilled in the subject under discussion, and the
person appointed is free to accept the employment whether or not he is a member of
the bar. Here, however, there may be an exception where the business turns on a
question of law. Most real estate sales are negotiated by brokers who are not
lawyers. But if the value of the land depends on a disputed right-of-way and the
principal role of the negotiator is to assess the probable outcome of the dispute and
persuade the opposite party to the same opinion, then it may be that only a lawyer
can accept the assignment. Or if a controversy between an employer and his men
grows from differing interpretations of a contract, or of a statute, it is quite likely that
defendant should not handle it. But I need not reach a definite conclusion here, since
the situation is not presented by the proofs.

Defendant also appears to represent the employer before administrative agencies of


the federal government, especially before trial examiners of the National Labor
Relations Board. An agency of the federal government, acting by virtue of an
authority granted by the Congress, may regulate the representation of parties before
such agency. The State of New Jersey is without power to interfere with such
determination or to forbid representation before the agency by one whom the agency
admits. The rules of the National Labor Relations Board give to a party the right to
appear in person, or by counsel, or by other representative. Rules and Regulations,
September 11th, 1946, S. 203.31. 'Counsel' here means a licensed attorney, and
ther representative' one not a lawyer. In this phase of his work, defendant may
lawfully do whatever the Labor Board allows, even arguing questions purely legal.
(Auerbacher v. Wood, 53 A. 2d 800, cited in Statsky, Introduction to Paralegalism
[1974], at pp. 154-156.).

1.8 From the foregoing, it can be said that a person engaged in a lawful calling (which may involve
knowledge of the law) is not engaged in the practice of law provided that:

(a) The legal question is subordinate and incidental to a major non-legal problem;.

(b) The services performed are not customarily reserved to members of the bar; .

(c) No separate fee is charged for the legal advice or information.

All these must be considered in relation to the work for any particular client as a whole.

1.9. If the person involved is both lawyer and non-lawyer, the Code of Professional Responsibility
succintly states the rule of conduct:

Rule 15.08 — A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation concurrently with the
practice of law shall make clear to his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.

1.10. In the present case. the Legal Clinic appears to render wedding services (See Annex "A"
Petition). Services on routine, straightforward marriages, like securing a marriage license, and
making arrangements with a priest or a judge, may not constitute practice of law. However, if the
problem is as complicated as that described in "Rx for Legal Problems" on the Sharon Cuneta-
Gabby Concepcion-Richard Gomez case, then what may be involved is actually the practice of law.
If a non-lawyer, such as the Legal Clinic, renders such services then it is engaged in the
unauthorized practice of law.

1.11. The Legal Clinic also appears to give information on divorce, absence, annulment of marriage
and visas (See Annexes "A" and "B" Petition). Purely giving informational materials may not
constitute of law. The business is similar to that of a bookstore where the customer buys materials
on the subject and determines on the subject and determines by himself what courses of action to
take.
It is not entirely improbable, however, that aside from purely giving information, the Legal Clinic's
paralegals may apply the law to the particular problem of the client, and give legal advice. Such
would constitute unauthorized practice of law.

It cannot be claimed that the publication of a legal text which publication of a legal
text which purports to say what the law is amount to legal practice. And the mere fact
that the principles or rules stated in the text may be accepted by a particular reader
as a solution to his problem does not affect this. . . . . Apparently it is urged that the
conjoining of these two, that is, the text and the forms, with advice as to how the
forms should be filled out, constitutes the unlawful practice of law. But that is the
situation with many approved and accepted texts. Dacey's book is sold to the public
at large. There is no personal contact or relationship with a particular individual. Nor
does there exist that relation of confidence and trust so necessary to the status of
attorney and client. THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL OF LEGAL PRACTICE — THE
REPRESENTATION AND ADVISING OF A PARTICULAR PERSON IN A
PARTICULAR SITUATION. At most the book assumes to offer general advice on
common problems, and does not purport to give personal advice on a specific
problem peculiar to a designated or readily identified person. Similarly the
defendant's publication does not purport to give personal advice on a specific
problem peculiar to a designated or readily identified person in a particular situation
— in their publication and sale of the kits, such publication and sale did not
constitutes the unlawful practice of law . . . . There being no legal impediment under
the statute to the sale of the kit, there was no proper basis for the injunction against
defendant maintaining an office for the purpose of selling to persons seeking a
divorce, separation, annulment or separation agreement any printed material or
writings relating to matrimonial law or the prohibition in the memorandum of
modification of the judgment against defendant having an interest in any publishing
house publishing his manuscript on divorce and against his having any personal
contact with any prospective purchaser. The record does fully support, however, the
finding that for the change of $75 or $100 for the kit, the defendant gave legal advice
in the course of personal contacts concerning particular problems which might arise
in the preparation and presentation of the purchaser's asserted matrimonial cause of
action or pursuit of other legal remedies and assistance in the preparation of
necessary documents (The injunction therefore sought to) enjoin conduct constituting
the practice of law, particularly with reference to the giving of advice and counsel by
the defendant relating to specific problems of particular individuals in connection with
a divorce, separation, annulment of separation agreement sought and should be
affirmed. (State v. Winder, 348, NYS 2D 270 [1973], cited in Statsky, supra at p.
101.).

1.12. Respondent, of course, states that its services are "strictly non-diagnostic, non-advisory. "It is
not controverted, however, that if the services "involve giving legal advice or counselling," such
would constitute practice of law (Comment, par. 6.2). It is in this light that FIDA submits that a factual
inquiry may be necessary for the judicious disposition of this case.

xxx xxx xxx

2.10. Annex "A" may be ethically objectionable in that it can give the impression (or perpetuate the
wrong notion) that there is a secret marriage. With all the solemnities, formalities and other
requisites of marriages (See Articles 2, et seq., Family Code), no Philippine marriage can be secret.

2.11. Annex "B" may likewise be ethically objectionable. The second paragraph thereof (which is not
necessarily related to the first paragraph) fails to state the limitation that only "paralegal services?" or
"legal support services", and not legal services, are available." 11

A prefatory discussion on the meaning of the phrase "practice of law" becomes exigent for the proper determination
of the issues raised by the petition at bar. On this score, we note that the clause "practice of law" has long been the
subject of judicial construction and interpretation. The courts have laid down general principles and doctrines
explaining the meaning and scope of the term, some of which we now take into account.

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedures,
knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are
characteristic of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give advice or render any kind of service that
involves legal knowledge or skill. 12

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes legal advice and counsel, and the
preparation of legal instruments and contract by which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may
not be pending in a court. 13

In the practice of his profession, a licensed attorney at law generally engages in three principal types of professional
activity: legal advice and instructions to clients to inform them of their rights and obligations, preparation for clients of
documents requiring knowledge of legal principles not possessed by ordinary layman, and appearance for clients
before public tribunals which possess power and authority to determine rights of life, liberty, and property according
to law, in order to assist in proper interpretation and enforcement of law. 14

When a person participates in the a trial and advertises himself as a lawyer, he is in the practice of law. 15 One who
confers with clients, advises them as to their legal rights and then takes the business to an attorney and asks the
latter to look after the case in court, is also practicing law. 16 Giving advice for compensation regarding the legal
status and rights of another and the conduct with respect thereto constitutes a practice of law. 17 One who renders
an opinion as to the proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is, to that extent, practicing law. 18

In the recent case of Cayetano vs. Monsod, 19 after citing the doctrines in several cases, we laid down the test to
determine whether certain acts constitute "practice of law," thus:

Black defines "practice of law" as:

The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and
technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or
advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and
other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal
instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients
and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law.

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases on court.(Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. v. Dworken ,
129 Ohio St. 23, 193N. E. 650). A person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he:

. . . . for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms, associations or
corporations as to their right under the law, or appears in a representative capacity as an advocate
in proceedings, pending or prospective, before any court, commissioner, referee, board, body,
committee, or commission constituted by law or authorized to settle controversies and there, in such
representative capacity, performs any act or acts for the purpose of obtaining or defending the rights
of their clients under the law. Otherwise stated, one who, in a representative capacity, engages in
the business of advising clients as to their rights under the law, or while so engaged performs any
act or acts either in court or outside of court for that purpose, is engaged in the practice of law.
(State ex. rel. Mckittrick v. C.S. Dudley and Co., 102 S. W. 2d 895, 340 Mo. 852).

This Court, in the case of Philippines Lawyers Association v. Agrava (105 Phil. 173, 176-177),stated:

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the
preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the
management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in
addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters
connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services
contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement of
a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in
attachment, and in matters or estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice, as
do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves the determination
by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions. (5 Am. Jr. p. 262, 263).

Practice of law under modern conditions consists in no small part of work performed outside of any
court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces conveyancing, the
giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects and the preparation and execution of legal
instruments covering an extensive field of business and trust relations and other affairs. Although
these transactions may have no direct connection with court proceedings, they are always subject to
become involved in litigation. They require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide
experience with men and affairs, and great capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations.
These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at law bear an intimate relation to the
administration of justice by the courts. No valid distinction, so far as concerns the question set forth
in the order, can be drawn between that part of the work of the lawyer which involves appearance in
court and that part which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his office. It is of importance
to the welfare of the public that these manifold customary functions be performed by persons
possessed of adequate learning and skill, of sound moral character, and acting at all times under the
heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys. (Moran, Comments on the Rules o
Court, Vol. 3 [1973 ed.], pp. 665-666, citing In Re Opinion of the Justices [Mass], 194 N. E. 313,
quoted in Rhode Is. Bar Assoc. v. Automobile Service Assoc. [R.I.] 197 A. 139, 144).

The practice of law, therefore, covers a wide range of activities in and out of court. Applying the aforementioned
criteria to the case at bar, we agree with the perceptive findings and observations of the aforestated bar
associations that the activities of respondent, as advertised, constitute "practice of law."

The contention of respondent that it merely offers legal support services can neither be seriously considered nor
sustained. Said proposition is belied by respondent's own description of the services it has been offering, to wit:

Legal support services basically consists of giving ready information by trained paralegals to laymen
and lawyers, which are strictly non-diagnostic, non-advisory, through the extensive use of computers
and modern information technology in the gathering, processing, storage, transmission and
reproduction of information and communication, such as computerized legal research; encoding and
reproduction of documents and pleadings prepared by laymen or lawyers; document search;
evidence gathering; locating parties or witnesses to a case; fact finding investigations; and
assistance to laymen in need of basic institutional services from government or non-government
agencies, like birth, marriage, property, or business registrations; educational or employment
records or certifications, obtaining documentation like clearances, passports, local or foreign visas;
giving information about laws of other countries that they may find useful, like foreign divorce,
marriage or adoption laws that they can avail of preparatory to emigration to the foreign country, and
other matters that do not involve representation of clients in court; designing and installing computer
systems, programs, or software for the efficient management of law offices, corporate legal
departments, courts and other entities engaged in dispensing or administering legal services. 20

While some of the services being offered by respondent corporation merely involve mechanical and technical
knowhow, such as the installation of computer systems and programs for the efficient management of law offices, or
the computerization of research aids and materials, these will not suffice to justify an exception to the general rule.

What is palpably clear is that respondent corporation gives out legal information to laymen and lawyers. Its
contention that such function is non-advisory and non-diagnostic is more apparent than real. In providing
information, for example, about foreign laws on marriage, divorce and adoption, it strains the credulity of this Court
that all the respondent corporation will simply do is look for the law, furnish a copy thereof to the client, and stop
there as if it were merely a bookstore. With its attorneys and so called paralegals, it will necessarily have to explain
to the client the intricacies of the law and advise him or her on the proper course of action to be taken as may be
provided for by said law. That is what its advertisements represent and for the which services it will consequently
charge and be paid. That activity falls squarely within the jurisprudential definition of "practice of law." Such a
conclusion will not be altered by the fact that respondent corporation does not represent clients in court since law
practice, as the weight of authority holds, is not limited merely giving legal advice, contract drafting and so forth.
The aforesaid conclusion is further strengthened by an article published in the January 13, 1991 issue of the
Starweek/The Sunday Magazine of the Philippines Star, entitled "Rx for Legal Problems," where an insight into the
structure, main purpose and operations of respondent corporation was given by its own "proprietor," Atty. Rogelio P.
Nogales:

This is the kind of business that is transacted everyday at The Legal Clinic, with offices on the
seventh floor of the Victoria Building along U. N. Avenue in Manila. No matter what the client's
problem, and even if it is as complicated as the Cuneta-Concepcion domestic situation, Atty.
Nogales and his staff of lawyers, who, like doctors are "specialists" in various fields can take care of
it. The Legal Clinic, Inc. has specialists in taxation and criminal law, medico-legal problems, labor,
litigation, and family law. These specialist are backed up by a battery of paralegals, counsellors and
attorneys.

Atty. Nogales set up The Legal Clinic in 1984. Inspired by the trend in the medical field toward
specialization, it caters to clients who cannot afford the services of the big law firms.

The Legal Clinic has regular and walk-in clients. "when they come, we start by analyzing the
problem. That's what doctors do also. They ask you how you contracted what's bothering you, they
take your temperature, they observe you for the symptoms and so on. That's how we operate, too.
And once the problem has been categorized, then it's referred to one of our specialists.

There are cases which do not, in medical terms, require surgery or follow-up treatment. These The
Legal Clinic disposes of in a matter of minutes. "Things like preparing a simple deed of sale or an
affidavit of loss can be taken care of by our staff or, if this were a hospital the residents or the
interns. We can take care of these matters on a while you wait basis. Again, kung baga sa hospital,
out-patient, hindi kailangang ma-confine. It's just like a common cold or diarrhea," explains Atty.
Nogales.

Those cases which requires more extensive "treatment" are dealt with accordingly. "If you had a rich
relative who died and named you her sole heir, and you stand to inherit millions of pesos of property,
we would refer you to a specialist in taxation. There would be real estate taxes and arrears which
would need to be put in order, and your relative is even taxed by the state for the right to transfer her
property, and only a specialist in taxation would be properly trained to deal with the problem. Now, if
there were other heirs contesting your rich relatives will, then you would need a litigator, who knows
how to arrange the problem for presentation in court, and gather evidence to support the case. 21

That fact that the corporation employs paralegals to carry out its services is not controlling. What is important is that
it is engaged in the practice of law by virtue of the nature of the services it renders which thereby brings it within the
ambit of the statutory prohibitions against the advertisements which it has caused to be published and are now
assailed in this proceeding.

Further, as correctly and appropriately pointed out by the U.P. WILOCI, said reported facts sufficiently establish that
the main purpose of respondent is to serve as a one-stop-shop of sorts for various legal problems wherein a client
may avail of legal services from simple documentation to complex litigation and corporate undertakings. Most of
these services are undoubtedly beyond the domain of paralegals, but rather, are exclusive functions of lawyers
engaged in the practice of law. 22

It should be noted that in our jurisdiction the services being offered by private respondent which constitute practice
of law cannot be performed by paralegals. Only a person duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter
admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, and who is in good and regular standing,
is entitled to practice law. 23

Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to those individuals found duly qualified in education and
character. The permissive right conferred on the lawyers is an individual and limited privilege subject to withdrawal if
he fails to maintain proper standards of moral and professional conduct. The purpose is to protect the public, the
court, the client and the bar from the incompetence or dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law and not subject
to the disciplinary control of the court. 24
The same rule is observed in the american jurisdiction wherefrom respondent would wish to draw support for his
thesis. The doctrines there also stress that the practice of law is limited to those who meet the requirements for, and
have been admitted to, the bar, and various statutes or rules specifically so provide. 25 The practice of law is not a
lawful business except for members of the bar who have complied with all the conditions required by statute and the
rules of court. Only those persons are allowed to practice law who, by reason of attainments previously acquired
through education and study, have been recognized by the courts as possessing profound knowledge of legal
science entitling them to advise, counsel with, protect, or defend the rights claims, or liabilities of their clients, with
respect to the construction, interpretation, operation and effect of law. 26 The justification for excluding from the
practice of law those not admitted to the bar is found, not in the protection of the bar from competition, but in the
protection of the public from being advised and represented in legal matters by incompetent and unreliable persons
over whom the judicial department can exercise little control.27

We have to necessarily and definitely reject respondent's position that the concept in the United States of paralegals
as an occupation separate from the law profession be adopted in this jurisdiction. Whatever may be its merits,
respondent cannot but be aware that this should first be a matter for judicial rules or legislative action, and not of
unilateral adoption as it has done.

Paralegals in the United States are trained professionals. As admitted by respondent, there are schools and
universities there which offer studies and degrees in paralegal education, while there are none in the
Philippines. 28As the concept of the "paralegals" or "legal assistant" evolved in the United States, standards and
guidelines also evolved to protect the general public. One of the major standards or guidelines was developed by
the American Bar Association which set up Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs
(1973). Legislation has even been proposed to certify legal assistants. There are also associations of paralegals in
the United States with their own code of professional ethics, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants,
Inc. and the American Paralegal Association. 29

In the Philippines, we still have a restricted concept and limited acceptance of what may be considered as paralegal
service. As pointed out by FIDA, some persons not duly licensed to practice law are or have been allowed limited
representation in behalf of another or to render legal services, but such allowable services are limited in scope and
extent by the law, rules or regulations granting permission therefor. 30

Accordingly, we have adopted the American judicial policy that, in the absence of constitutional or statutory
authority, a person who has not been admitted as an attorney cannot practice law for the proper administration of
justice cannot be hindered by the unwarranted intrusion of an unauthorized and unskilled person into the practice of
law. 31 That policy should continue to be one of encouraging persons who are unsure of their legal rights and
remedies to seek legal assistance only from persons licensed to practice law in the state. 32

Anent the issue on the validity of the questioned advertisements, the Code of Professional Responsibility provides
that a lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information
or statement of facts. 33 He is not supposed to use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. 34 Nor shall he
pay or give something of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to
attract legal business. 35 Prior to the adoption of the code of Professional Responsibility, the Canons of Professional
Ethics had also warned that lawyers should not resort to indirect advertisements for professional employment, such
as furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments, or procuring his photograph to be published in connection with
causes in which the lawyer has been or is engaged or concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the
interest involved, the importance of the lawyer's position, and all other like self-laudation. 36

The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without
violating the ethics of his profession. advertise his talents or skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his
goods. 37 The prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the
fundamental postulate that the that the practice of law is a profession. Thus, in the case of The Director of Religious
Affairs. vs. Estanislao R. Bayot 38 an advertisement, similar to those of respondent which are involved in the present
proceeding, 39 was held to constitute improper advertising or solicitation.

The pertinent part of the decision therein reads:


It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a flagrant violation by the respondent of the
ethics of his profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the public. Section 25 of Rule
127 expressly provides among other things that "the practice of soliciting cases at law for the
purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice." It is highly
unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is a
profession and not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and
adopts the practices of mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public. As a
member of the bar, he defiles the temple of justice with mercenary activities as the money-changers
of old defiled the temple of Jehovah. "The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even
for a young lawyer, . . . . is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity
and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct."
(Canon 27, Code of Ethics.).

We repeat, the canon of the profession tell us that the best advertising possible for a lawyer is a well-merited
reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of character and
conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a way of publicizing itself and
catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service which is right and proper. A good
and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it and to magnify his success. He easily sees the
difference between a normal by-product of able service and the unwholesome result of propaganda. 40

Of course, not all types of advertising or solicitation are prohibited. The canons of the profession enumerate
exceptions to the rule against advertising or solicitation and define the extent to which they may be undertaken. The
exceptions are of two broad categories, namely, those which are expressly allowed and those which are necessarily
implied from the restrictions. 41

The first of such exceptions is the publication in reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards of
conduct imposed by the canons, of brief biographical and informative data. "Such data must not be misleading and
may include only a statement of the lawyer's name and the names of his professional associates; addresses,
telephone numbers, cable addresses; branches of law practiced; date and place of birth and admission to the bar;
schools attended with dates of graduation, degrees and other educational distinction; public or quasi-public offices;
posts of honor; legal authorships; legal teaching positions; membership and offices in bar associations and
committees thereof, in legal and scientific societies and legal fraternities; the fact of listings in other reputable law
lists; the names and addresses of references; and, with their written consent, the names of clients regularly
represented." 42

The law list must be a reputable law list published primarily for that purpose; it cannot be a mere supplemental
feature of a paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical which is published principally for other purposes. For that
reason, a lawyer may not properly publish his brief biographical and informative data in a daily paper, magazine,
trade journal or society program. Nor may a lawyer permit his name to be published in a law list the conduct,
management or contents of which are calculated or likely to deceive or injure the public or the bar, or to lower the
dignity or standing of the profession. 43

The use of an ordinary simple professional card is also permitted. The card may contain only a statement of his
name, the name of the law firm which he is connected with, address, telephone number and special branch of law
practiced. The publication of a simple announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in the partnership,
associates, firm name or office address, being for the convenience of the profession, is not objectionable. He may
likewise have his name listed in a telephone directory but not under a designation of special branch of law. 44

Verily, taking into consideration the nature and contents of the advertisements for which respondent is being taken
to task, which even includes a quotation of the fees charged by said respondent corporation for services rendered,
we find and so hold that the same definitely do not and conclusively cannot fall under any of the above-mentioned
exceptions.

The ruling in the case of Bates, et al. vs. State Bar of Arizona, 45 which is repeatedly invoked and constitutes the
justification relied upon by respondent, is obviously not applicable to the case at bar. Foremost is the fact that the
disciplinary rule involved in said case explicitly allows a lawyer, as an exception to the prohibition against
advertisements by lawyers, to publish a statement of legal fees for an initial consultation or the availability upon
request of a written schedule of fees or an estimate of the fee to be charged for the specific services. No such
exception is provided for, expressly or impliedly, whether in our former Canons of Professional Ethics or the present
Code of Professional Responsibility. Besides, even the disciplinary rule in the Bates case contains a proviso that the
exceptions stated therein are "not applicable in any state unless and until it is implemented by such authority in that
state." 46 This goes to show that an exception to the general rule, such as that being invoked by herein respondent,
can be made only if and when the canons expressly provide for such an exception. Otherwise, the prohibition
stands, as in the case at bar.

It bears mention that in a survey conducted by the American Bar Association after the decision in Bates, on the
attitude of the public about lawyers after viewing television commercials, it was found that public opinion dropped
significantly 47 with respect to these characteristics of lawyers:

Trustworthy from 71% to 14%


Professional from 71% to 14%
Honest from 65% to 14%
Dignified from 45% to 14%

Secondly, it is our firm belief that with the present situation of our legal and judicial systems, to allow the publication
of advertisements of the kind used by respondent would only serve to aggravate what is already a deteriorating
public opinion of the legal profession whose integrity has consistently been under attack lately by media and the
community in general. At this point in time, it is of utmost importance in the face of such negative, even if unfair,
criticisms at times, to adopt and maintain that level of professional conduct which is beyond reproach, and to exert
all efforts to regain the high esteem formerly accorded to the legal profession.

In sum, it is undoubtedly a misbehavior on the part of the lawyer, subject to disciplinary action, to advertise his
services except in allowable instances 48 or to aid a layman in the unauthorized practice of law. 49 Considering that
Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales, who is the prime incorporator, major stockholder and proprietor of The Legal Clinic, Inc. is
a member of the Philippine Bar, he is hereby reprimanded, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar
acts which are involved in this proceeding will be dealt with more severely.

While we deem it necessary that the question as to the legality or illegality of the purpose/s for which the Legal
Clinic, Inc. was created should be passed upon and determined, we are constrained to refrain from lapsing into an
obiter on that aspect since it is clearly not within the adjudicative parameters of the present proceeding which is
merely administrative in nature. It is, of course, imperative that this matter be promptly determined, albeit in a
different proceeding and forum, since, under the present state of our law and jurisprudence, a corporation cannot be
organized for or engage in the practice of law in this country. This interdiction, just like the rule against unethical
advertising, cannot be subverted by employing some so-called paralegals supposedly rendering the alleged support
services.

The remedy for the apparent breach of this prohibition by respondent is the concern and province of the Solicitor
General who can institute the corresponding quo warranto action, 50 after due ascertainment of the factual
background and basis for the grant of respondent's corporate charter, in light of the putative misuse thereof. That
spin-off from the instant bar matter is referred to the Solicitor General for such action as may be necessary under
the circumstances.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to RESTRAIN and ENJOIN herein respondent, The Legal Clinic, Inc., from
issuing or causing the publication or dissemination of any advertisement in any form which is of the same or similar
tenor and purpose as Annexes "A" and "B" of this petition, and from conducting, directly or indirectly, any activity,
operation or transaction proscribed by law or the Code of Professional Ethics as indicated herein. Let copies of this
resolution be furnished the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Office of the Bar Confidant and the Office of the
Solicitor General for appropriate action in accordance herewith.

Narvasa, C.J., Cruz, Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin, Griño-Aquino, Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon, Bellosillo, Melo and
Quiason, JJ., concur
Alawi v. Alauya
THIRD DIVISION

[A.M. SDC-97-2-P. February 24, 1997]

SOPHIA ALAWI, complainant, vs. ASHARY M. ALAUYA, Clerk of Court VI, Shari'a District Court,
Marawi City, respondent.

DECISION
NARVASA, C.J.:

Sophia Alawi was (and presumably still is) a sales representative (or coordinator) 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.
It appears that through Alawi's agency, a contract was executed for the purchase on installments
by Alauya of one of the housing units belonging to the above mentioned firm (hereafter, simply Villarosa
& Co.); and in connection therewith, a housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the National Home
Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).
Not long afterwards, or more precisely on December 15, 1995, Alauya addressed a letter to the
President of Villarosa & Co. advising of the termination of his contract with the company. He wrote:

" ** I am formally and officially withdrawing from and notifying you of my intent to terminate the
Contract/Agreement entered into between me and your company, as represented by your Sales
Agent/Coordinator, SOPHIA ALAWI, of your company's branch office here in Cagayan de Oro City, on the
grounds that my consent was vitiated by gross misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, dishonesty and abuse of
confidence by the aforesaid sales agent which made said contract void ab initio. Said sales agent acting in bad
faith perpetrated such illegal and unauthorized acts which made said contract an Onerous Contract prejudicial to
my rights and interests."

He then proceeded to expound in considerable detail and quite acerbic language on the "grounds which
could evidence the bad faith, deceit, fraud, misrepresentation, dishonesty and abuse of confidence by
the unscrupulous sales agent ** ;" and closed with the plea that Villarosa & Co. "agree for the mutual
rescission of our contract, even as I inform you that I categorically state on record that I am terminating
the contract **. I hope I do not have to resort to any legal action before said onerous and manipulated
contract against my interest be annulled. I was actually fooled by your sales agent, hence the need to
annul the controversial contract."
Alauya sent a copy of the letter to the Vice-President of Villarosa & Co. at San Pedro, Gusa,
Cagayan de Oro City. The envelope containing it, and which actually went through the post, bore no
stamps. Instead at the right hand corner above the description of the addressee, the words, "Free
Postage PD 26," had been typed.
On the same date, December 15, 1995, Alauya also wrote to Mr. Fermin T. Arzaga, Vice-President,
Credit & Collection Group of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) at Salcedo
Village, Makati City, repudiating as fraudulent and void his contract with Villarosa & Co.; and asking for
cancellation of his housing loan in connection therewith, which was payable from salary deductions at
the rate of P4,338.00 a month. Among other things, he said:

" ** (T)hrough this written notice, I am terminating, as I hereby annul, cancel, rescind and voided, the
'manipulated contract' entered into between me and the E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd., as represented by its
sales agent/coordinator, SOPHIA ALAWI, who maliciously and fraudulently manipulated said contract and
unlawfully secured and pursued the housing loan without my authority and against my will. Thus, the contract
itself is deemed to be void ab initio in view of the attending circumstances, that my consent was vitiated by
misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, dishonesty, and abuse of confidence; and that there was no meeting of the
minds between me and the swindling sales agent who concealed the real facts from me."

And, as in his letter to Villarosa & Co., he narrated in some detail what he took to be the anomalous
actuations of Sophia Alawi.
Alauya wrote three other letters to Mr. Arzaga of the NHMFC, dated February 21, 1996, April 15,
1996, and May 3, 1996, in all of which, for the same reasons already cited, he insisted on the
cancellation of his housing loan and discontinuance of deductions from his salary on account
thereof.a He also wrote on January 18, 1996 to Ms. Corazon M. Ordoez, Head of the Fiscal
Management & Budget Office, and to the Chief, Finance Division, both of this Court, to stop deductions
from his salary in relation to the loan in question, again asserting the anomalous manner by which he
was allegedly duped into entering into the contracts by "the scheming sales agent." b
The upshot was that in May, 1996, the NHMFC wrote to the Supreme Court requesting it to stop
deductions on Alauya's UHLP loan "effective May 1996," and began negotiating with Villarosa & Co.
"for the buy-back of ** (Alauya's) mortgage, and ** the refund of ** (his) payments."c
On learning of Alauya's letter to Villarosa & Co. of December 15, 1995, Sophia Alawi filed with this
Court a verified complaint dated January 25, 1996 -- to which she appended a copy of the letter, and
of the above mentioned envelope bearing the typewritten words, "Free Postage PD 26."[1] In that
complaint, she accused Alauya of:

1. "Imputation of malicious and libelous charges with no solid grounds through manifest ignorance and evident
bad faith;"

2. "Causing undue injury to, and blemishing her honor and established reputation;"

3. "Unauthorized enjoyment of the privilege of free postage **;" and

4. Usurpation of the title of "attorney," which only regular members of the Philippine Bar may properly use.

She deplored Alauya's references to her as "unscrupulous, swindler, forger, manipulator, etc."
without "even a bit of evidence to cloth (sic) his allegations with the essence of truth," denouncing his
imputations as irresponsible, "all concoctions, lies, baseless and coupled with manifest ignorance and
evident bad faith," and asserting that all her dealings with Alauya had been regular and completely
transparent. She closed with the plea that Alauya "be dismissed from the service, or be appropriately
disciplined (sic) ** "
The Court resolved to order Alauya to comment on the complaint. Conformably with established
usage that notices of resolutions emanate from the corresponding Office of the Clerk of Court, the
notice of resolution in this case was signed by Atty. Alfredo P. Marasigan, Assistant Division Clerk of
Court.[2]
Alauya first submitted a "Preliminary Comment" [3] in which he questioned the authority of Atty.
Marasigan to require an explanation of him, this power pertaining, according to him, not to "a mere
Asst. Div. Clerk of Court investigating an Executive Clerk of Court." but only to the District Judge, the
Court Administrator or the Chief Justice, and voiced the suspicion that the Resolution was the result of
a "strong link" between Ms. Alawi and Atty. Marasigan's office. He also averred that the complaint had
no factual basis; Alawi was envious of him for being not only "the Executive Clerk of court and ex-officio
Provincial Sheriff and District Registrar," but also "a scion of a Royal Family **."[4]
In a subsequent letter to Atty. Marasigan, but this time in much less aggressive, even obsequious
tones,[5] Alauya requested the former to give him a copy of the complaint in order that he might comment
thereon.[6] He stated that his acts as clerk of court were done in good faith and within the confines of
the law; and that Sophia Alawi as sales agent of Villarosa & Co. had, by falsifying his signature,
fraudulently bound him to a housing loan contract entailing monthly deductions of P4,333.10 from his
salary.
And in his comment thereafter submitted under date of June 5, 1996, Alauya contended that it was
he who had suffered "undue injury, mental anguish, sleepless nights, wounded feelings and untold
financial suffering," considering that in six months, a total of P26,028.60 had been deducted from his
salary.[7] He declared that there was no basis for the complaint; in communicating with Villarosa & Co.
he had merely acted in defense of his rights. He denied any abuse of the franking privilege, saying that
he gave P20.00 plus transportation fare to a subordinate whom he entrusted with the mailing of certain
letters; that the words: "Free Postage PD 26," were typewritten on the envelope by some other person,
an averment corroborated by the affidavit of Absamen C. Domocao, Clerk IV (subscribed and sworn to
before respondent himself, and attached to the comment as Annex J); [8] and as far as he knew, his
subordinate mailed the letters with the use of the money he had given for postage, and if those letters
were indeed mixed with the official mail of the court, this had occurred inadvertently and because of an
honest mistake.[9]
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.
He pleads for the Court's compassion, alleging that what he did "is expected of any man unduly
prejudiced and injured."[10] He claims he was manipulated into reposing his trust in Alawi, a classmate
and friend.[11] He was induced to sign a blank contract on Alawi's assurance that she would show the
completed document to him later for correction, but she had since avoided him; despite "numerous
letters and follow-ups" he still does not know where the property -- subject of his supposed agreement
with Alawi's principal, Villarosa & Co. -- is situated;[12] He says Alawi somehow got his GSIS policy from
his wife, and although she promised to return it the next day, she did not do so until after several
months. He also claims that in connection with his contract with Villarosa & Co., Alawi forged his
signature on such pertinent documents as those regarding the down payment, clearance, lay-out,
receipt of the key of the house, salary deduction, none of which he ever saw. [13]
Averring in fine that his acts in question were done without malice, Alauya prays for the dismissal
of the complaint for lack of merit, it consisting of "fallacious, malicious and baseless allegations," and
complainant Alawi having come to the Court with unclean hands, her complicity in the fraudulent
housing loan being apparent and demonstrable.
It may be mentioned that in contrast to his two (2) letters to Assistant Clerk of Court Marasigan
(dated April 19, 1996 and April 22, 1996), and his two (2) earlier letters both dated December 15, 1996
-- all of which he signed as "Atty. Ashary M. Alauya" -- in his Comment of June 5, 1996, he does not
use the title but refers to himself as "DATU ASHARY M. ALAUYA."
The Court referred the case to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and
recommendation.[14]
The first accusation against Alauya is that in his aforesaid letters, he made "malicious and libelous
charges (against Alawi) with no solid grounds through manifest ignorance and evident bad faith,"
resulting in "undue injury to (her) and blemishing her honor and established reputation." In those letters,
Alauya had written inter alia that:

1) Alawi obtained his consent to the contracts in question "by gross misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, dishonesty
and abuse of confidence;"

2) Alawi acted in bad faith and perpetrated ** illegal and unauthorized acts ** ** prejudicial to ** (his) rights
and interests;"

3) Alawi was an "unscrupulous (and "swindling") sales agent" who had fooled him by "deceit, fraud,
misrepresentation, dishonesty and abuse of confidence;" and

4) Alawi had maliciously and fraudulently manipulated the contract with Villarosa & Co., and unlawfully
secured and pursued the housing loan without ** (his) authority and against ** (his) will," and "concealed the
real facts **."

Alauya's defense essentially is that in making these statements, he was merely acting in defense
of his rights, and doing only what "is expected of any man unduly prejudiced and injured," who had
suffered "mental anguish, sleepless nights, wounded feelings and untold financial suffering,"
considering that in six months, a total of P26,028.60 had been deducted from his salary.[15]
The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA
6713) inter alia enunciates the State policy of promoting a high standard of ethics and utmost
responsibility in the public service.[16] Section 4 of the Code commands that "(p)ublic officials and
employees ** at all times respect the rights of others, and ** refrain from doing acts contrary to law,
good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public interest." [17] More than
once has this Court emphasized that "the conduct and behavior of every official and employee of an
agency involved in the administration of justice, from the presiding judge to the most junior clerk, should
be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. Their conduct must at all times be
characterized by, among others, strict propriety and decorum so as to earn and keep the respect of the
public for the judiciary."[18]
Now, it does not appear to the Court consistent with good morals, good customs or public policy,
or respect for the rights of others, to couch denunciations of acts believed -- however sincerely -- to be
deceitful, fraudulent or malicious, in excessively intemperate. insulting or virulent language. Alauya is
evidently convinced that he has a right of action against Sophia Alawi. The law requires that he exercise
that right with propriety, without malice or vindictiveness, or undue harm to anyone; in a manner
consistent with good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, supra; or otherwise stated, that
he "act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith." [19] Righteous
indignation, or vindication of right cannot justify resort to vituperative language, or downright name-
calling. As a member of the Shari'a Bar and an officer of a Court, Alawi is subject to a standard of
conduct more stringent than for most other government workers. As a man of the law, he may not use
language which is abusive, offensive, scandalous, menacing, or otherwise improper. [20] As a judicial
employee, it is expected that he accord respect for the person and the rights of others at all times, and
that his every act and word should be characterized by prudence, restraint, courtesy, dignity. His radical
deviation from these salutary norms might perhaps be mitigated, but cannot be excused, by his strongly
held conviction that he had been grievously wronged.
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.[21] 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.
Alauya says he does not wish to use the title, "counsellor" or "counsellor-at-law," because in his
region, there are pejorative connotations to the term, or it is confusingly similar to that given to local
legislators. The ratiocination, valid or not, is of no moment. His disinclination to use the title of
"counsellor" does not warrant his use of the title of attorney.
Finally, respecting Alauya's alleged unauthorized use of the franking privilege, the record contains
no evidence adequately establishing the accusation.
WHEREFORE, respondent Ashari M. Alauya is hereby REPRIMANDED for the use of excessively
intemperate, insulting or virulent language, i.e., language unbecoming a judicial officer, and for usurping
the title of attorney; and he is warned that any similar or other impropriety or misconduct in the future
will be dealt with more severely.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., Melo, Francisco, and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

B. Qualifications
1. Legal Education

Pre-Law: Rules of Court, Rule 138, Sec. 6


Pre-Law - No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a
certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of law, he
had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college,
requiring admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study
prescribed therein for a bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as
major or field of concentration: political science, logic, english, Spanish, history and economics.

Law Proper: Rules of Court, Rule 138, Sec. 5


Additional requirements for other applicants. – All applicants for admission other than those referred
to in the two preceding sections shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show
that they have regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed
courses, in a law school or university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and
further evidence may be required by the court.
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the
following courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law,
commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor
and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.
RA 7662 – Legal Education Reform Act
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7662

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR REFORMS IN THE LEGAL EDUCATION, CREATING FOR THE PURPOSE, A LEGAL
EDUCATION BOARD AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Legal Education Reform Act of 1993."

Section 2. Declaration of Policies. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to uplift the standards of legal
education in order to prepare law students for advocacy, counselling, problem-solving, and decision-making, to
infuse in them the ethics of the legal profession; to impress on them the importance, nobility and dignity of the legal
profession as an equal and indispensable partner of the Bench in the administration of justice and to develop social
competence.

Towards this end, the State shall undertake appropriate reforms in the legal education system, require proper
selection of law students, maintain quality among law schools, and require legal apprenticeship and continuing legal
education.

Section 3. General and Specific Objective of Legal Education. - (a) Legal education in the Philippines is geared to
attain the following objectives:

(1) to prepare students for the practice of law;

(2) to increase awareness among members of the legal profession of the needs of the poor,
deprived and oppressed sectors of society;

(3) to train persons for leadership;

(4) to contribute towards the promotion and advancement of justice and the improvement of its
administration, the legal system and legal institutions in the light of the historical and contemporary
development of law in the Philippines and in other countries.

(b) Legal education shall aim to accomplish the following specific objectives:

(1) to impart among law students a broad knowledge of law and its various fields and of legal
institutions;

(2) to enhance their legal research abilities to enable them to analyze, articulate and apply the law
effectively, as well as to allowthem to have a holistic approach to legal problems and issues;

(3) to prepare law students for advocacy, counselling, problem-solving and decision-making, and to
develop their ability to deal with recognized legal problems of the present and the future;

(4) to develop competence in any field of law as is necessary for gainful employment or sufficient as
a foundation for future training beyond the basic professional degree, and to develop in them the
desire and capacity for continuing study and self-improvement;

(5) to inculcate in them the ethics and responsibilities of the legal profession; and

(6) to produce lawyers who conscientiously pursue the lofty goals of their profession and to fully
adhere to its ethical norms.
Section 4. Legal Education Board; Creation and Composition. - To carry out the purpose of this Act, there is hereby
created the Legal Education Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board, attached solely for budgetary purposes and
administrative support to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.

The Board shall be composed of a Chairman, who shall preferably be a former justice of the Supreme Court or
Court of Appeals, and the following as regular members: a representative of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
(IBP); a representative of the Philippine Association of Law Schools (PALS); a representative from the ranks of
active law practitioners; and, a representative from the law students' sector. The Secretary of the Department of
Education, Culture and Sports, or his representative, shall be an ex officio member of the Board.

With the exception of the representative of the law students' sector, the Chairman and regular members of the
Board must be natural-born citizen of the Philippines and members of the Philippine Bar, who have been engaged
for at least ten (10) years in the practice of law, as well as in the teaching of law in a duly authorized or recognized
law school.

Section 5. Term of Office; Compensation. - The Chairman and regular members of the Board shall be appointed by
the President for a term of five (5) years without reappointment from a list of at least three (3) nominees prepared,
with prior authorization from the Supreme Court, by the Judicial and Bar Council, for every position or vacancy, and
no such appointment shall need confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Of those first appointed, the
Chairman and the representative of the IBP shall hold office for five (5) years, the representatives of the PALS and
the PALP, for three (3) years; and the representative from the ranks of active law practitioners and the
representative of the law students' sector, for one (1) year, without reappointment. Appointments to any vacancy
shall be only for the unexpire portion of the term of the predecessor.

The Chairman and regular members of the Board shall have the same salary and rank as the Chairman and
members, respectively, of the Constitutional Commissions: Provided, That their salaries shall not be diminished
during their term of office.

Section 6. Office and Staff Support. - The Department of Education, Culture and Sports shall provide the necessary
office and staff support to the Board, with a principal office to be located in Metropolitan Manila.

The Board may appoint such other officers and employees it may deem necessary in the performanceof its powers
and functions.

Section 7. Powers and Functions. - For the purpose of achieving the objectives of this Act, the Board shall havethe
following powers and functions:

(a) to administer the legal education system in the country in a manner consistent with the provisions of this
Act;

(b) to supervise the law schools in the country, consistent with its powers and functions as herein
enumerated;

(c) to set the standards of accreditation for law schools taking into account, among others, the size of
enrollment, the qualifications of the members of the faculty, the library and other facilities, without
encroaching upon the academic freedom of institutions of higher learning;

(d) to accredit law schools that meet the standards of accreditation;

(e) to prescribe minimum standards for law admission and minimum qualifications and compensation of
faculty members;

(f) to prescribe the basic curricula for the course of study aligned to the requirements for admission to the
Bar, law practice and social consciousness, and such other courses of study as may be prescribed by the
law schools and colleges under the different levels of accreditation status;
(g) to establish a law practice internship as a requirement for taking the Bar which a law student shall
undergo with any duly accredited private or public law office or firm or legal assistance group anytime during
the law course for a specific period that the Board may decide, but not to exceed a total of twelve (12)
months. For this purpose, the Board shall prescribe the necessary guidelines for such accreditation and the
specifications of such internship which shall include the actual work of a new member of the Bar.

(h) to adopt a system of continuing legal education. For this purpose, the Board may provide for the
mandatory attendance of practicing lawyers in such courses and for such duration as the Board may deem
necessary; and

(i) to perform such other functions and prescribe such rules and regulations necessary for the attainment of
the policies and objectives of this Act.

Section 8. Accreditation of Law Schools. - Educational institutions may not operate a law school unless accredited
by the Board. Accreditation of law schools may be granted only to educational institutions recognized by the
Government.

Section 9. Withdrawal or Downgrading of Accreditation. - The Board may withdraw or downgrade the accreditation
status of a law school if it fails to maintain the standards set for its accreditation status.

Section 10. Effectivity of Withdrawal or Downgrading of Accreditation. - The withdrawal or downgrading of


accreditation status shall be effetive after the lapse ofthe semester or trimester following the receipt by the school of
the notice of withdrawal or downgrading unless, in the meantime, the school meets and/or upgrades the standards
or corrects the deficiencies upon which the withdrawal or downgrading of the accreditation status is based.

Section 11. Legal Education Fund. - There is hereby created a special endowment fund, to be known as the Legal
Education Fund, which shall be under the control of the Board, and administered as a separate fund by the Social
Security System (SSS) which shall invest the same with due and prudent regard to its solvency, safety and liquidity.

The Legal Education Fund shall be established out of, and maintained from, the amounts appropriated pursuant to
paragraph 2, Section 13 hereof, and from sixty percent (60%) of the privilege tax paid by every lawyer effective
Fiscal Year 1994; and from such donations, legacies, grant-in-aid and other forms of contributions received by the
Board for the purposes of this Act.

Being a special endowment fund, only the interests earned on the Legal Education Fund shall be used exclusively
for the purposes of this Act, including support for faculty development grants, professorial chairs, library
improvements and similar programs for the advancement of law teaching and education in accredited law schools.

The Fund shall also be used for the operation of the Board. For this purpose, an amount not exceeding ten percent
(10%) of the interest on the Fund shall be utilized.

The Board, in consultation with the SSS, shall issue the necessary rules and regulations for the collection,
administration and utilization of the Fund.

Section 12. Coverage. - The provisions of this Act shall apply to all schools and colleges of law which are presently
under the supervision of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. Hereafter, said supervision shall be
transferred to the Board. Law schools and colleges which shall be established following the approval of this Act shall
likewise be covered.

Section 13. Appropriation. - The amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) is hereby authorized to be charged
against the current year's appropriation of the Contingent Fund for the initial expenses of the Board.

To form part of the Legal Education Fund, there shall be appropriated annually, under the budget of the Department
of Education, Culture and Sports, the amount of Ten Million Pesos (P10,000,000.00) for a period of ten (10) years
effective Fiscal Year 1994.
Section 14. Separability Clause. - If any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or the application thereof
to any person, circumstance or transaction is held invalid, the validity of the remaining provisions of this Act and the
applicability of such provisions to other persons, circumstances and transactions shall not be affected thereby.

Section 15. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executie orders, rules and regulations, issuances or parts thereof
inconsistent with this Act is hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

Section 16. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of its publication in
the Official Gazette or in any two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Approved: 23 December 1993.

2. Citizenship

Const. Art XII, Sec. 14 (2)


The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases
prescribed by law.
RA 9225 – Dual Citizenship Act

Congress of the Philippines


Twelfth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun held in Metro Manila on Monday, the twenty-eighth day of July, two thousand three.

Republic Act No. 9225 August 29, 2003

AN ACT MAKING THE CITIZENSHIP OF PHILIPPINE CITIZENS WHO ACQUIRE FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP
PERMANENT.
AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE COMMONWEALTH ACT. NO. 63, AS AMENDED AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Short Title – this act shall be known as the "Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003."

Section 2. Declaration of Policy - It is hereby declared the policy of the State that all Philippine citizens of another
country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship under the conditions of this Act.

Section 3. Retention of Philippine Citizenship - Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born
citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired
Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic:

"I _____________________, solemny swear (or affrim) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the
Republic of the Philippines and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted
authorities of the Philippines; and I hereby declare that I recognize and accept the supreme authority of the
Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; and that I imposed this obligation upon myself
voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion."
Natural born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of this Act, become citizens of a foreign country shall
retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath.

Section 4. Derivative Citizenship - The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen
(18) years of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of this Act shall be deemed
citizenship of the Philippines.

Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities - Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship under
this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under
existing laws of the Philippines and the following conditions:

(1) Those intending to exercise their right of surffrage must Meet the requirements under Section 1, Article V
of the Constitution, Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of
2003" and other existing laws;

(2) Those seeking elective public in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for holding such public office
as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy,
make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer
authorized to administer an oath;

(3) Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the Republic of
the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office: Provided, That they
renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath;

(4) Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the proper authority for a
license or permit to engage in such practice; and

(5) That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised
by, or extended to, those who:

(a) are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they are naturalized
citizens; and/or

(b) are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the
country which they are naturalized citizens.

Section 6. Separability Clause - If any section or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid, any other
section or provision not affected thereby shall remain valid and effective.

Section 7. Repealing Clause - All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of
this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 8. Effectivity Clause – This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in theOfficial
Gazette or two (2) newspaper of general circulation.

Approved,

FRANKLIN DRILON JOSE DE VENECIA JR.


President of the Senate Speaker of the House of
Representatives

This Act, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2130 and House Bill No. 4720 was finally passed by the the
House of Representatives and Senate on August 25, 2003 and August 26, 2003, respectively.
OSCAR G. YABES ROBERTO P. NAZARENO
Secretary of Senate Secretary General
House of Represenatives

Approved: August 29, 2003

GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
President of the Philippines

Petition to Re-Acquire The Privilege to Practice Law by Epifanio Muneses

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

B.M. No. 2112 July 24, 2012

IN RE: PETITION RE-ACQUIRE THE PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES, EPIFANIO B.
MUNESES, Petitioner,

RESOLUTION

REYES, J.:

On June 8, 2009, a petition was filed by Epifanio B. Muneses (petitioner) with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC)
praying that he be granted the privilege to practice law in the Philippines.

The petitioner alleged that he became a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on March 21, 1966;
that he lost his privilege to practice law when he became a citizen of the United States of America (USA) on August
28, 1981; that on September 15, 2006, he re-acquired his Philippine citizenship pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) No.
9225 or the "Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003" by taking his oath of allegiance as a Filipino
citizen before the Philippine Consulate General in Washington, D.C., USA; that he intends to retire in the Philippines
and if granted, to resume the practice of law. Attached to the petition were several documents in support of his
petition, albeit mere photocopies thereof, to wit:

1. Oath of Allegiance dated September 15, 2006 before Consul General Domingo P. Nolasco;

2. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship of same date;

3. Order for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship also of same date;

4. Letter dated March 13, 2008 evidencing payment of membership dues with the IBP;

5. Attendance Forms from the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).

In Bar Matter No. 1678, dated December 17, 2007, the Court was confronted with a similar petition filed by Benjamin
M. Dacanay (Dacanay) who requested leave to resume his practice of law after availing the benefits of R.A. No.
9225. Dacanay was admitted to the Philippine Bar in March 1960. In December 1998, he migrated to Canada to
seek medical attention for his ailments and eventually became a Canadian citizen in May 2004. On July 14, 2006,
Dacanay re-acquired his Philippine citizenship pursuant to R.A. No. 9225 after taking his oath of allegiance before
the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, Canada. He returned to the Philippines and intended to resume his
practice of law.
The Court reiterates that Filipino citizenship is a requirement for admission to the bar and is, in fact, a continuing
requirement for the practice of law. The loss thereof means termination of the petitioner’s membership in the
bar;ipso jure the privilege to engage in the practice of law. Under R.A. No. 9225, natural-born citizens who have lost
their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are deemed to have re-
acquired their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance to the Republic.1 Thus, a Filipino lawyer who
becomes a citizen of another country and later re-acquires his Philippine citizenship under R.A. No. 9225, remains
to be a member of the Philippine Bar. However, as stated in Dacanay, the right to resume the practice of law is not
automatic.2 R.A. No. 9225 provides that a person who intends to practice his profession in the Philippines must apply
with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such practice.3

It can not be overstressed that:

The practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions. It is so delicately affected with public interest that it is
1âw phi 1

both the power and duty of the State (through this Court) to control and regulate it in order to protect and promote
the public welfare.

Adherence to rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree of morality, faithful observance of
the legal profession, compliance with the mandatory continuing legal education requirement and payment of
membership fees to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) are the conditions required for membership in good
standing in the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law. Any breach by a lawyer of any of these conditions
makes him unworthy of the trust and confidence which the courts and clients repose in him for the continued
exercise of his professional privilege.4

Thus, in pursuance to the qualifications laid down by the Court for the practice of law, the OBC required the herein
petitioner to submit the original or certified true copies of the following documents in relation to his petition:

1. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship;

2. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship);

3. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines;

4. Identification Certificate (IC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration;

5. Certificate of Good Standing issued by the IBP;

6. Certification from the IBP indicating updated payments of annual membership dues;

7. Proof of payment of professional tax; and

8. Certificate of compliance issued by the MCLE Office.

In compliance thereof, the petitioner submitted the following:

1. Petition for Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship;

2. Order (for Re-Acquisition of Philippine citizenship);

3. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines;

4. Certificate of Re-Acquisition/Retention of Philippine Citizenship issued by the Bureau of Immigration, in


lieu of the IC;

5. Certification dated May 19, 2010 of the IBP-Surigao City Chapter attesting to his good moral character as
well as his updated payment of annual membership dues;
6. Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) for the year 2010;

7. Certificate of Compliance with the MCLE for the 2nd compliance period; and

8. Certification dated December 5, 2008 of Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, Coordinator, UC-MCLE Program,
University of Cebu, College of Law attesting to his compliance with the MCLE.

The OBC further required the petitioner to update his compliance, particularly with the MCLE. After all the
requirements were satisfactorily complied with and finding that the petitioner has met all the qualifications and none
of the disqualifications for membership in the bar, the OBC recommended that the petitioner be allowed to resume
his practice of law.

Upon this favorable recommendation of the OBC, the Court adopts the same and sees no bar to the petitioner's
resumption to the practice of law in the Philippines.

WHEREFORE, the petition of Attorney Epifanio B. Muneses is hereby GRANTED, subject to the condition that he
shall re-take the Lawyer's Oath on a date to be set by the Court and subject to the payment of appropriate fees.

Furthermore, the Office of the Bar Confidant is directed to draft the necessary guidelines for the re-acquisition of the
privilege to resume the practice of law for the guidance of the Bench and Bar.

SO ORDERED.

BIENVENIDO L. REYES
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Senior Associate Justice
(Per Section 12, R.A. 296, The Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended)

PRESBITERO J. VELASCO, JR. TERESITA J. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO


Associate Justice Associate Justice

(On Leave)
DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
ARTURO D. BRION*
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

LUCAS P. BERSAMIN MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO


Associate justice Associate Justice

ROBERTO A. ABAD MARTIN S. VILLARAMA, JR.


Associate Justice Associate Justice

(On Leave)
JOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ
JOSE CATRAL MENDOZA**
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

MARIA LOURDES P.A. SERENO ESTELA M. PERLAS-BERNABE


Associate Justice Associate Justice
3. Bar Examinations
Rules of Court, Rule 138, Secs. 7-18

Section 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications. — All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the
Supreme Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of
the examination. If not embraced within section 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same period
the affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a
license evidencing the fact of their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that the same has not been
revoked, and certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own
affidavits as to their age, residence, and citizenship.

Section 8. Notice of Applications. — Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the
Supreme Court in newspapers published in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days before the
beginning of the examination.

Section 9. Examination; subjects. — Applicants, not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule,
shall be subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation;
Mercantile Law; Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public Officers);
International Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and
Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (in Pleadings and Conveyancing).

Section 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing. — Persons taking the examination shall
not bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees
and a copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee. Examinees shall answer the
questions personally without help from anyone.

Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to
read his answers without much loss of time., the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in
answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.

The committee of bar examiner shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers
or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral
examination shall be given.

Section 11. Annual examination. — Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place
annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be disignated by the chairman of the
committee on bar examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International
Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation
(afternoon); Third day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial Law
(morning) and legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon).

Section 12. Committee of examiners. — Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to
be appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court, who
shall act as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year, and eight members of the
bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The names of the members of this
committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports.

Section 13. Disciplinary measures. — No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee,
and during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any
assistance. The candidate who violates this provisions, or any other provision of this rule, shall be barred from
the examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and further disciplinary action, including
permanent disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the court.

Section 14. Passing average. — In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations
successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50
per cent in any subjects. In determining the average, the subjects in the examination shall be given the following
relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per
cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent: Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial
Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.

Section 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers. — Not later than February 15th after the
examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its report on the result of such
examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with the clerk and may there be
examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report.

Section 16. Failing candidates to take review course. — Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for
three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show the satisfaction of the court
that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review
course in a recognized law school.

The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule shall certify under
oath that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as
ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject.

Bar Matter No. 1153


Bar Matter No. 1153
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated March 9, 2010
"B.M. No. 1153 (Re: Letter of Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza Proposing Reforms in the Bar Examinations Through
Amendments to Rule 138 of the Rules of Court). - The Court Resolved to APPROVE the proposed amendments
to Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138, to wit:
SEC. 5.Additional Requirement for Other Applicants. — All applicants for admission other than those referred
to in the two preceding sections shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they
have successfully completed all the prescribed courses for the degree of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent
degree, in a law school or university officially recognized by the Philippine Government or by the proper
authority in the foreign jurisdiction where the degree has been granted.
No applicant who obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in this jurisdiction shall be admitted to the bar
examination unless he or she has satisfactorily completed the following course in a law school or university
duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private
international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.
A Filipino citizen who graduated from a foreign law school shall be admitted to the bar examination only upon
submission to the Supreme Court of certifications showing: (a) completion of all courses leading to the degree
of Bachelor of Laws or its equivalent degree; (b) recognition or accreditation of the law school by the proper
authority; and (c) completion of all the fourth year subjects in the Bachelor of Laws academic program in a law
school duly recognized by the Philippine Government.
SEC. 6.Pre-Law. — An applicant for admission to the bar examination shall present a certificate issued by the
proper government agency that, before commencing the study of law, he or she had pursued and satisfactorily
completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion
of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in arts or
sciences.
A Filipino citizen who completed and obtained his or her Bachelor of Laws degree or its equivalent in a foreign
law school must present proof of having completed a separate bachelor's degree course.
The Clerk of Court, through the Office of the Bar Confidant, is hereby directed to CIRCULARIZE this
resolution among all law schools in the country."

Reforms in the Bar Examination


Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

BAR MATTER No. 1161

RE: PROPOSED REFORMS IN THE BAR EXAMINATIONS

RESOLUTION
ON
REFORM IN THE BAR EXAMINANTIONS

WHEREAS, pursuant to its Constitutional authority to promulgate rules concerning the admission
to the practice of law, the Supreme Court en banc item in its Resolution of 21 March 2000, created
a "Special Study Group on Bar Examination Reforms" to conduct studies on steps to further
safeguard the integrity of the Bar Examinations and to make them effective tools in measuring the
adequacy of the law curriculum and the quality of the instruction given by law schools";

WHEREAS, the Special Study Group, with Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) Chancellor
Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera as a chairperson and retired Justice Jose Y. Feria and
retired Justice Camilo D. Quiason as members, submitted to the Supreme Court its Final Report,
dated 18 September 2000, containing its findings and recommendations;

WHEREAS, on 21 August 2001, the Supreme Court en banc referred, for further study, report and
recommendation, the Final Report of the Special Study Group to the Committee on Legal
Education and Bar Matters (CLEBM) headed by Justice Jose C. Vitug;

WHEREAS, in connection with the discussion on the proposed reforms in the bar examinations,
Justice Vicente V. Mendoza, then a Member of the CLEBM, submitted a Paper, entitled "Toward
Meaningful Reforms in the Bar Examination" with a Primer, proposing structural and administrative
reforms, changes in the design and construction of questions, and the methodological reforms
concerning the marking anf grading of the essay questions in the bar examination;

WHEREAS, proposals and comments were likewise received from the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines, the Philippine Association of Law Schools, the Philippine Association of Law
Professors, the Commission on Higher Education, the University of the Philippines College of Law,
Arellano Law Foundation, the Philippine Lawyers Association, the Philippine Bar Association and
other prominent personalities from the Bench and the Bar;
WHEREAS, considering her Memorandum to the Chief Justice on "Proposed Technical Assistance
Project on Legal Education," dated 27 February 2003, Program Director Evelyn Toledo-Dumdum
of the Program Management Office (PMO) was invited to a meeting of the CLEBM;

WHEREAS, under the auspices of the PMO, the CLEBM conducted fur (4) regional round-table
discussions with the law deans, professors, the students and members of the Integrated Bar of he
Philippines for (a) the National Capital Region, at Manila Diamond Hotel on 19 November 2003;
(b) Mindanao, at the Grand Regal Hotel Davao City on 23 January 2004; (c) the Visayas, at the
Montebello Hotel in Cebu City on January 2004; and (d) Luzon, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Manila
on 6 February 2004.

WHEREAS, in a Special Meeting of the CLEBM at the Pan Pacific Hotel on 23 April 2004, the
Committee heard the views of Ms. Erica Moeser, the Chief Executive Officer and President of the
National Conference of Board Examiners in the United States of America on a number of proposed
bar reforms;

WHEREAS, the CLEBM, after extensive deliberation and consultation, has arived at certain
recommendations for consideration by the Supreme Court and submitted its report , dated 21 May
2004, to the Court en banc;

NOW, THEREFORE, the Court, sitting en banc, hereby RESOLVES to approve and adopt the
following Bar Examination Reforms:

A. For implementation within one (1) up to two (2) years:


1. Initial determination by the Chairman of admission to the bar examinations of
candidates (on the merits of the each case) to be passed upon by the Court en banc.
2. Submission by law deans of a certification that a candidate has no derogatory record
in school and, if any, the details and status thereof.
3. Disqualification of a candidate after failing in three(3) examinations, provided, that
he may take a fourth and fifth examination if he successful completes a one (1) year
refresher course for each examination; provided, further, that upon the effectivity of
this Resolution, those who have already failed in five(5) or more bar examinations
shall be allowed to take only one (1) more bar examination after copleting (1) year
refresher course.
4. Promulgation of disciplinary measures for those involved in (a) attempts to violate or
vitiate the integrity and confidentiality of the bar examination process; (b) improper
conduct during the bar examination; and (c) improper conduct of "bar
examinations."
5. Disqualification of a Bar Examination Chairperson:
a. kinship with an examinee who if his or her spouse or relative within the third
civil degree of consanguinity;
b. having a member of his or her office staff as an examinee, or when the
spouse or child of such staff member is an examinee; and
c. being a member of the governing board, faculty or administration of a law
school.
6. Desirable qualifications of Examiners:
a. membership in good standing in the Philippine Bar;
b. competence in the assigned subject;
c. a teacher of the subject or familiarity with the principles of test construction;
and
d. commitment to check test papers personally and promptly pending the
creation and organization of the readership panels provided for in item B(6)
below
7. Disqualifications of Examiners:
a. kinship with an examinee who is his or her spouse or relative within the third
civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;
b. having a member of his or her office staff as an examinee; or when the
spouse or child of such staff member is an examinee;
c. being a member of the governing board, faculty or administration of a law
school
d. teaching or lecturing in any law school, institution or review center during
the particular semester following the bar examinations;
e. having any interest or involvement in any law school, bar review center or
group; and
f. suspension or disbarment from the practice of law or the imposition of any
other serious disciplinary sanction.
8. Personal preparation, by handwriting or using a typewriter, of fifty (50) main
questions, excluding subdivisions, and their submission to the Chairperson in sealed
envelope at least forty-five (45) days before the schedule examination on any
particular subject; examiners should not use computers in preparing questions;
9. Apportionment of examination questions among the various topics covered by the
subject;
10. Burning and shredding of rough drafts and carbon papers used in the preparation of
questions or in any other act connected with such preparation;
11. Publication of names candidates admitted to take the bar examinations;
12. Disqualification of a candidate who obtains a grade below 50% in any subject;
13. Fixing at June 30 of the immediately preceding year as the cut-off date for laws and
Supreme Court decisions and resolutions to be included in the bar examinations; and
14. Consideration of suggested answers to bar examinations questions prepared by the
U.P. Law Center and submitted to the Chairperson.
B. For implementation within two (2) years up to five (5) years:
1. Adoption of objective multiple-choice questions for 30% to 40% of the total number
of questions;
2. Formulation of essay test questions and "model answers" as part of the calibration of
test papers;
3. Introduction of performance testing by way of revising and improving the essay
examination;1awphil.net
4. Designation of two(2) examiners per subject depending on the number of examinees
;
5. Appointment of a tenured Board of Examiners with an incumbent Supreme Court
Justice as Chairperson;
6. Creation and organization of readership panels for each subject area to address the
issue of bias or subjectivity and facilitate the formulation of test questions and the
correction of examination booklets; and
7. Adoption of the calibration method in the corrections of essay questions to correct
variations in the level of test standards.1awph!l.ñêt
C. For implementation within five(5) years and beyond is the further computerization or
automation of the bar examinations to facilitate application, testing, and reporting
procedures.
D. Items not covered by this resolution, such as those that pertain to a possible review of
the coverage and relative weights of the subjects of the bar examinations, are
maintained.
E. For referral to the Legal education Boards:
1. Accreditation and supervision of law schools.
2. Inclusion of a subject on clinical legal education in the law curriculum, including an
apprenticeship program in the Judiciary, prosecution service, and law offices.
3. Imposition of sanctions on law schools that fail to meet the standards as may be
prescribed by the Legal Education Board.
4. Mandatory Law School Admission Test.

This resolution shall take effect on the fifteenth day of July 2004, and shall be published in two
newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.

Promulgated this 8th day of June 2004.

(Sgd.) HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.


Chief. Justice

(Sgd.) REYNATO S. PUNO (Sgd.) JOSE C. VITUG


Associate Justice Associate Justice

(Sgd.) ARTEMIO V. (Sgd.) LEONARDO A


PNGANIBAN QUISUMBING
Associate Justice Associate Justice

(Sgd.) CONSUELO YNARES- (Sgd.) ANGELINA


SANTIAGO SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ
Associate Justice Associate Justice

(Sgd.) MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-


(Sgd.) ANTONIO T. CARPIO
MARTINEZ
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

(On leave) RENATO C. (Sgd.) CONCHITA CARPIO-


CORONA MORALES
Associate Justice> Associate Justice

(Sgd.) ROMEO J. CALLEJO,


(Sgd.) ADOLFO S. AZCUNA
SR.
Associate Justice
Associate Justice

(Sgd.) DANTE O. TINGA


Associate Justice
2010 Bar Matter No. 2265

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

NOTICE

Sirs/Mesdames:

Please take notice that the Court en banc issued a Resolution dated FEBRUARY 8,
2011, which reads as follows:

"B.M. No. 2265 (Re: Letter of Justice Roberto A. Abad Proposing Changes for
Improving the Conduct of the Bar Examinations). - The Court Resolved to NOTE the
Letter dated January 28, 2011 of Justice Roberto A. Abad re: Amendment to Section
11, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court (Annual Examination), incident to the
implementation of B.M. No. 2265 (Reforms in the 2011 Bar Examinations).

The Court further Resolved to APPROVE the Amendment to Section 11, Rule 138
of the Rules of Court, to wit:

"Section 11. Annual examination. - Examinations for admission to the bar of the
Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four
days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners. The
subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law,
and Labor and Social Legislation (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Second day:
Civil Law (morning) and Mercantile Law (afternoon); Third day: Remedial Law, and
Legal Ethics and Forums (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Trial
Memorandum (morning) and Legal Opinion (afternoon)". (adv107)

Very truly yours,

(Sgd.)ENRIQUETA E. VIDAL
Clerk of Court

Honorable Roberto A. Abad (x)


Associate Justice and Chairperson
2011 Committee on Bar Examinations
Supreme Court

Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa (x)


Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant
Supreme Court

Bar Matter No. 2502


BAR MATTER NO. 2502 – Re: Reforms for the 2012 Bar Exams
Acting on the Memorandum dated March 5, 2012 of Associate Justice Martin S.
Villarama, Jr., Chairperson, 2012 Bar Examinations, the Court resolves to NOTE the
said memorandum and APPROVE, upon his recommendation, the proposal that the
2012 Bar Examinations be held at the University of Sto. Tomas, España Blvd.,
Manila on the four Sundays of October 2012, with the different examination dates
being distributed as follows:
First day - Political and International Law (morning) and Labor and Social
Legislation (afternoon);
Second day - Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon);
Third day - Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon);
Fourth day - Remedial Law (morning) and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises
(afternoon).
Also, as part of the continuing reforms in the conduct of the Bar Examinations, the
Court further resolves:
(a) to APPROVE Justice Villarama's recommendation that the exam for each subject
in the 2012 Bar Examinations be composed of 60% multiple-choice questions and
40% essay questions, to be corrected electronically insofar as the multiple-choice
questions are concerned and manually by the examiner assigned for the subject
insofar as the essay questions are concerned, with each component having the said
weights;
(b) to APPROVE Justice Villarama's recommendation that in determining a
candidate's general average, the results in the examination be given the following
relative weights: Political and International Law, 15%; Labor and Social Legislation,
10%; Civil Law, 15%; Taxation, 10%; Mercantile Law, 15%; Criminal Law, 10%;
Remedial Law, 20%; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5%; and
(c) to DIRECT that the Practical Exercises portion of the last exam be in the form of
a Trial Memorandum Writing Test.

Bar Matter no. 1722

On 22 September 2003, the day following the bar examination in Mercantile Law,
Justice Jose C. Vitug, Chairman of the 2003 Bar Examinations.
Committee, was apprised of a rumored leakage in the examination on the subject.
With this, the court decided to nullify mercantile law examination and hold another
examination in place of this.
However, petitions were filed because of the emotional, physical and financial
burden to the barristers. The petitions were granted and the court decided to just
spread the percentage of mercantile law exam to the remaining 7 bar subjects.
The court appointed 3 retired justices into a Committee to investigate the leakage
issue. The investigating Committee was tasked to determine and identify the source
of leakage, the parties responsible therefore or who might have benefited therefrom,
recommend sanctions against all those found to have been responsible for, or who
would have benefited from, the incident in question and to recommend measures to
the Court to safeguard the integrity of the bar examinations.
Cecilla Carbajosa, a bar examinee found the leakage when she obtained a copy of the
leaked questions and found that they were very similar to the questions in the bar
exam. Upon meeting with the investigators, she provided a xerox of the leaked
questions. The copy was delivered to Justice Vitug, he found that 82% from
examiner Atty. Balgos was included in the leakage. He also received reports that
Atty. Danilo de Guzman was the source of the leakage, as he faxed the questions to
his fraternity brother, Ronan Gravida four days before the bar exams.
Atty. Balgos,71 years old, does not know how to use computer except to type. His
secretary Cheryl Palma formatted the test, printed it and was also the keeper the
Balgos’ computer password. Balgos didn’t know his computer was linked to 16
computer of his employees.
Balgos interrogated Silvestre Atienza,, who interconnected the computers in the
office. He, like Atty. De Guzman, is a member of the Beta Sigma Lambda fraternity.
It was proven that Balgos indeed prepared the questions and that they came from his
computer. His legal assistant, Atty. De Guzman, actually admitted downloading the
questions and faxing them to his frat brothers Garvida, Arlan, And Erwin Tan.
Garvida then faxed it to his brothers in MLQU (Inigo and Bugain), who then pass
copies to another, and most illustrious brother, Ronald Collado who then spread it to
the MLQU brothers of the fraternity.
The following were alleged, with the recommendation of De Guzman’s disbarment:
“Attorney Danilo De Guzman’s act of downloading Attorney Balgos’ test questions
in mercantile law from the latter’s computer, without his knowledge and permission,
was a criminal act of larceny. It was theft of intellectual property by the Bill of
Rights of our Constitution. He transgressed the very first canon of the lawyers’ Code
of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall uphold the
Constitution, obey the laws of the land, and promote respect for law and legal
processes.’
“By transmitting and disturbing the stolen test questions to some members of the
Beta Sigma Lambda Fraternity, possibly for pecuniary profit and to give them undue
advantage over the other examiners in the mercantile law examination, De Guzman
abetted cheating or dishonesty by his fraternity brothers in the examination, which is
violative of Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, as well as Canon 7 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility for members of the Bar, which provide:
“De Guzman was guilty of grave misconduct unbecoming a member of the Bar. He
violated the law instead of promoting respect for it and degraded the noble profession
of law instead of upholding its dignity and integrity. His actuations impaired public
respect for the Court, and damaged the integrity of the bar examinations as the final
measure of a law graduate’s academic preparedness to embark upon the practice of
law.”
Also, it was alleged that others were also liable, such as Balgos himself, who was
negligent and failed to prevent the leakage, as well as the other fraternity brothers
who took part in the leakage.

Issues:
1. Should De Guzman be disbarred? – YES
2. Is De Guzman the only one liable for the leakage? – NO

Held: (Recommendation of the Court)


1. Atty. De Guzman should be disbarred and should write a public apology, as
well as pay damages to the Supreme Court.
2. Atty. Balgos should be reprimanded and also made to issue a written
apology and FURTHER INVESTIGATION of Danilo De Guzman, Cheryl
Palma, Silvestre Atienza, Ronan Collado, and Allan Guiapal by the National
Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police, with a view to
their criminal prosecution as probable co-conspirators in the theft and
leakage of the test questions in mercantile law.
4. Good Moral Character as a Prerequisite to Bar Admission

In Re: Argosino

IN MATTER OF THE ADMISSION TO THE BAR AND OATH-TAKING OF


SUCCESSFUL BAR APPLICANT AL C. ARGOSINO

DOCTRINES:

 The practice of law is a high personal privilege limited to citizens of good


moral character, with special education qualifications, duly ascertained and
certified.
 Requirement of good moral character is of greater importance so far as the
general public and proper administration of justice is concerned.
 All aspects of moral character and behavior may be inquired into in respect
of those seeking admission to the Bar.
 Requirement of good moral character to be satisfied by those who would
seek admission to the bar must be a necessity more stringent than the norm
of conduct expected from members of the general public.
 Participation in the prolonged mindless physical beatings inflicted upon
Raul Camaligan constituted evident rejection of that moral duty and was
totally irresponsible behavior, which makes impossible a finding that the
participant was possessed of good moral character.
 Good moral character is a requirement possession of which must be
demonstrated at the time of the application for permission to take the bar
examinations and more importantly at the time of application for admission
to the bar and to take the attorney's oath of office.

FACTS:

On February 4, 1992 ,Argosino, together with 13 others, was charged with the crime
of homicide in connection with the death of one Raul Camaligan. The death of
Camaligan stemmed from the affliction of severe physical injuries upon him in
course of "hazing" conducted as part of the university fraternity initiation rites. On
February 11, 1993, the accused were consequently sentenced to suffer imprisonment
for a period ranging from two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4)
years.
Eleven (11) days later, Mr. Argosino and his colleagues filed an application for
probation with the lower court. The application was granted on June 18 1993. The
period of probation was set at two (2) years, counted from the probationer's initial
report to the probation officer assigned to supervise him.

Less than a month later, Argosino filed a petition to take the bar exam. He was
allowed and he passed the exam, but was not allowed to take the lawyer's oath of
office.

On April 15, 1994, Argosino filed a petition to allow him to take the attorney's oath
and be admitted to the practice of law. He averred that his probation period had been
terminated. It is noted that his probation period did not last for more than 10 months.

ISSUE: Whether Argosino should be allowed to take the oath of attorney and be
admitted to the practice of law

HELD:

Mr. Argosino must submit to this Court evidence that he may now be regarded as
complying with the requirement of good moral character imposed upon those who
are seeking admission to the bar. He should show to the Court how he has tried to
make up for the senseless killing of a helpless student to the family of the deceased
student and to the community at large. In short, he must show evidence that he is a
different person now, that he has become morally fit for admission to the profession
of law.

He is already directed to inform the Court, by appropriate written manifestation, of


the names of the parents or brothers and sisters of Camaligan from notice.

In the Matter of Disqualification of Bar Examinee Haron S. Maling in


the 2002 Bar Examinations
EN BANC

[B.M. No. 1154. June 8, 2004]

IN THE MATTER OF THE DISQUALIFICATION OF BAR


EXAMINEE HARON S. MELING IN THE 2002 BAR
EXAMINATIONS AND FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AS
MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE SHARIA BAR,
ATTY. FROILAN R. MELENDREZ, petitioner,

RESOLUTION
TINGA, J.:

The Court is here confronted with a Petition that seeks twin reliefs,
one of which is ripe while the other has been rendered moot by a
supervening event.
The antecedents follow.
On October 14, 2002, Atty. Froilan R. Melendrez (Melendrez) filed
with the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) a Petition[1] to disqualify
Haron S. Meling (Meling) from taking the 2002 Bar Examinations and to
impose on him the appropriate disciplinary penalty as a member of the
Philippine Sharia Bar.
In the Petition, Melendrez alleges that Meling did not disclose in his
Petition to take the 2002 Bar Examinations that he has three (3) pending
criminal cases before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities
(MTCC), Cotabato City, namely: Criminal Cases Noa. 15685 and 15686,
both for Grave Oral Defamation, and Criminal Case No. 15687 for Less
Serious Physical Injuries.
The above-mentioned cases arose from an incident which occurred
on May 21, 2001, when Meling allegedly uttered defamatory words
against Melendrez and his wife in front of media practitioners and other
people. Meling also purportedly attacked and hit the face of Melendrez
wife causing the injuries to the latter.
Furthermore, Melendrez alleges that Meling has been using the title
Attorney in his communications, as Secretary to the Mayor of Cotabato
City, despite the fact that he is not a member of the Bar. Attached to
the Petition is an indorsement letter which shows that Meling used the
appellation and appears on its face to have been received by the
Sangguniang Panglungsod of Cotabato City on November 27, 2001.
Pursuant to this Courts Resolution[2] dated December 3, 2002, Meling
filed his Answer with the OBC.
In his Answer,[3] Meling explains that he did not disclose the criminal
cases filed against him by Melendrez because retired Judge Corocoy
Moson, their former professor, advised him to settle his misunderstanding
with Melendrez. Believing in good faith that the case would be settled
because the said Judge has moral ascendancy over them, he being their
former professor in the College of Law, Meling considered the three cases
that actually arose from a single incident and involving the same parties as
closed and terminated. Moreover, Meling denies the charges and adds that
the acts complained of do not involve moral turpitude.
As regards the use of the title Attorney, Meling admits that some of
his communications really contained the word Attorney as they were,
according to him, typed by the office clerk.
In its Report and Recommendation dated December 8, 2003, the OBC
disposed of the charge of non-disclosure against Meling in this wise:

The reasons of Meling in not disclosing the criminal cases filed against
him in his petition to take the Bar Examinations are ludicrous. He should
have known that only the court of competent jurisdiction can dismiss
cases, not a retired judge nor a law professor. In fact, the cases filed
against Meling are still pending. Furthermore, granting arguendo that
these cases were already dismissed, he is still required to disclose the same
for the Court to ascertain his good moral character. Petitions to take the
Bar Examinations are made under oath, and should not be taken lightly by
an applicant.

The merit of the cases against Meling is not material in this case. What
matters is his act of concealing them which constitutes dishonesty.

In Bar Matter 1209, the Court stated, thus:

It has been held that good moral character is what a person really is, as
distinguished from good reputation or from the opinion generally
entertained of him, the estimate in which he is held by the public in the
place where he is known. Moral character is not a subjective term but one
which corresponds to objective reality. The standard of personal and
professional integrity is not satisfied by such conduct as it merely enables
a person to escape the penalty of criminal law. Good moral character
includes at least common honesty.

The non-disclosure of Meling of the criminal cases filed against him


makes him also answerable under Rule 7.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which states that a lawyer shall be answerable for
knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact in
connection with his application for admission to the bar.[5]

As regards Melings use of the title Attorney, the OBC had this to say:

Anent the issue of the use of the appellation Attorney in his letters, the
explanation of Meling is not acceptable. Aware that he is not a member of
the Bar, there was no valid reason why he signed as attorney whoever may
have typed the letters.

Although there is no showing that Meling is engaged in the practice of


law, the fact is, he is signing his communications as Atty. Haron S. Meling
knowing fully well that he is not entitled thereto. As held by the Court in
Bar Matter 1209, the unauthorized use of the appellation attorney may
render a person liable for indirect contempt of court.[6]
Consequently, the OBC recommended that Meling not be allowed to
take the Lawyers Oath and sign the Roll of Attorneys in the event that he
passes the Bar Examinations. Further, it recommended that Melings
membership in the Sharia Bar be suspended until further orders from the
Court.[7]
We fully concur with the findings and recommendation of the
OBC. Meling, however, did not pass the 2003 Bar Examinations. This
renders the Petition, insofar as it seeks to prevent Meling from taking the
Lawyers Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys, moot and academic.
On the other hand, the prayer in the same Petition for the Court to
impose the appropriate sanctions upon him as a member of the Sharia Bar
is ripe for resolution and has to be acted upon.
Practice of law, whether under the regular or the Sharia Court, is not a
matter of right but merely a privilege bestowed upon individuals who are
not only learned in the law but who are also known to possess good moral
character.[8] The requirement of good moral character is not only a
condition precedent to admission to the practice of law, its continued
possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law.[9]
The standard form issued in connection with the application to take
the 2002 Bar Examinations requires the applicant to aver that he or she has
not been charged with any act or omission punishable by law, rule or
regulation before a fiscal, judge, officer or administrative body, or indicted
for, or accused or convicted by any court or tribunal of, any offense or
crime involving moral turpitude; nor is there any pending case or charge
against him/her. Despite the declaration required by the form, Meling did
not reveal that he has three pending criminal cases. His deliberate silence
constitutes concealment, done under oath at that.
The disclosure requirement is imposed by the Court to determine
whether there is satisfactory evidence of good moral character of the
applicant.[10] The nature of whatever cases are pending against the
applicant would aid the Court in determining whether he is endowed with
the moral fitness demanded of a lawyer. By concealing the existence of
such cases, the applicant then flunks the test of fitness even if the cases are
ultimately proven to be unwarranted or insufficient to impugn or affect the
good moral character of the applicant.
Melings concealment of the fact that there are three (3) pending
criminal cases against him speaks of his lack of the requisite good moral
character and results in the forfeiture of the privilege bestowed upon him
as a member of the Sharia Bar.
Moreover, his use of the appellation Attorney, knowing fully well that
he is not entitled to its use, cannot go unchecked. In Alawi v.
Alauya,[11] the Court had the occasion to discuss the impropriety of the use
of the title Attorney by members of the Sharia Bar who are not likewise
members of the Philippine Bar. The respondent therein, an executive clerk
of court of the 4th Judicial Sharia District in Marawi City, used the title
Attorney in several correspondence in connection with the rescission of a
contract entered into by him in his private capacity. The Court declared
that:

persons who pass the Sharia Bar are not full-fledged members of the
Philippine Bar, hence, may only practice law before Sharia courts. While
one who has been admitted to the Sharia Bar, and one who has been
admitted to the Philippine Bar, may both be considered counselors, in the
sense that they give counsel or advice in a professional capacity, only the
latter is an attorney. The title 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.[12]

The judiciary has no place for dishonest officers of the court, such as
Meling in this case. The solemn task of administering justice demands that
those who are privileged to be part of service therein, from the highest
official to the lowliest employee, must not only be competent and
dedicated, but likewise live and practice the virtues of honesty and
integrity. Anything short of this standard would diminish the public's faith
in the Judiciary and constitutes infidelity to the constitutional tenet that a
public office is a public trust.
In Leda v. Tabang, supra, the respondent concealed the fact of his
marriage in his application to take the Bar examinations and made
conflicting submissions before the Court. As a result, we found the
respondent grossly unfit and unworthy to continue in the practice of law
and suspended him therefrom until further orders from the Court.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED insofar as it seeks the
imposition of appropriate sanctions upon Haron S. Meling as a member of
the Philippine Sharia Bar.Accordingly, the membership of Haron S.
Meling in the Philippine Sharia Bar is hereby SUSPENDED until further
orders from the Court, the suspension to take effect immediately. Insofar
as the Petition seeks to prevent Haron S. Meling from taking the Lawyers
Oath and signing the Roll of Attorneys as a member of the Philippine Bar,
the same is DISMISSED for having become moot and academic.
Copies of this Decision shall be circulated to all the Sharia Courts in
the country for their information and guidance.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-
Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-
Morales, Callejo, Sr., and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

Sec. 1, Rule 138, Rules of Court


Section 1. Who may practice law. — Any person heretofore duly admitted
as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with
the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is
entitled to practice law.

In Re: Ching

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

BAR MATTER No. 914 October 1, 1999

RE: APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO THE PHILIPPINE


BAR,

vs.

VICENTE D. CHING, applicant.

RESOLUTION

KAPUNAN, J.:
Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino
mother and an alien father validly elect Philippine citizenship fourteen
(14) years after he has reached the age of majority? This is the question
sought to be resolved in the present case involving the application for
admission to the Philippine Bar of Vicente D. Ching.

The facts of this case are as follows:

Vicente D. Ching, the legitimate son of the spouses Tat Ching, a Chinese
citizen, and Prescila A. Dulay, a Filipino, was born in Francia West,
Tubao, La Union on 11 April 1964. Since his birth, Ching has resided in
the Philippines.

On 17 July 1998, Ching, after having completed a Bachelor of Laws


course at the St. Louis University in Baguio City, filed an application to
take the 1998 Bar Examinations. In a Resolution of this Court, dated 1
September 1998, he was allowed to take the Bar Examinations, subject to
the condition that he must submit to the Court proof of his Philippine
citizenship.

In compliance with the above resolution, Ching submitted on 18


November 1998, the following documents:

1. Certification, dated 9 June 1986, issued by the Board of


Accountancy of the Professional Regulations Commission
showing that Ching is a certified public accountant;

2. Voter Certification, dated 14 June 1997, issued by


Elizabeth B. Cerezo, Election Officer of the Commission
on Elections (COMELEC) in Tubao La Union showing that
Ching is a registered voter of the said place; and

3. Certification, dated 12 October 1998, also issued by


Elizabeth B. Cerezo, showing that Ching was elected as a
member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Tubao, La Union
during the 12 May 1992 synchronized elections.

On 5 April 1999, the results of the 1998 Bar Examinations were released
and Ching was one of the successful Bar examinees. The oath-taking of
the successful Bar examinees was scheduled on 5 May 1999. However,
because of the questionable status of Ching's citizenship, he was not
allowed to take his oath. Pursuant to the resolution of this Court, dated 20
April 1999, he was required to submit further proof of his citizenship. In
the same resolution, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was
required to file a comment on Ching's petition for admission to the bar and
on the documents evidencing his Philippine citizenship.

The OSG filed its comment on 8 July 1999, stating that Ching, being the
"legitimate child of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother born under the
1935 Constitution was a Chinese citizen and continued to be so, unless
upon reaching the age of majority he elected Philippine citizenship" 1 in
strict compliance with the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 625
entitled "An Act Providing for the Manner in which the Option to Elect
Philippine Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person Whose Mother is a
Filipino Citizen." The OSG adds that "(w)hat he acquired at best was only
an inchoate Philippine citizenship which he could perfect by election upon
reaching the age of majority." 2 In this regard, the OSG clarifies that "two
(2) conditions must concur in order that the election of Philippine
citizenship may be effective, namely: (a) the mother of the person making
the election must be a citizen of the Philippines; and (b) said election must
be made upon reaching the age of majority." 3 The OSG then explains the
meaning of the phrase "upon reaching the age of majority:"

The clause "upon reaching the age of majority" has been


construed to mean a reasonable time after reaching the age
of majority which had been interpreted by the Secretary of
Justice to be three (3) years (VELAYO, supra at p.
51 citing Op., Sec. of Justice No. 70, s. 1940, Feb. 27,
1940). Said period may be extended under certain
circumstances, as when a (sic) person concerned has
always considered himself a Filipino (ibid., citing Op. Nos.
355 and 422, s. 1955; 3, 12, 46, 86 and 97, s. 1953). But
in Cuenco, it was held that an election done after over
seven (7) years was not made within a reasonable time.

In conclusion, the OSG points out that Ching has not formally elected
Philippine citizenship and, if ever he does, it would already be beyond the
"reasonable time" allowed by present jurisprudence. However, due to the
peculiar circumstances surrounding Ching's case, the OSG recommends
the relaxation of the standing rule on the construction of the phrase
"reasonable period" and the allowance of Ching to elect Philippine
citizenship in accordance with C.A. No. 625 prior to taking his oath as a
member of the Philippine Bar.

On 27 July 1999, Ching filed a Manifestation, attaching therewith his


Affidavit of Election of Philippine Citizenship and his Oath of Allegiance,
both dated 15 July 1999. In his Manifestation, Ching states:

1. I have always considered myself as a Filipino;

2. I was registered as a Filipino and consistently declared


myself as one in my school records and other official
documents;

3. I am practicing a profession (Certified Public


Accountant) reserved for Filipino citizens;
4. I participated in electoral process[es] since the time I was
eligible to vote;

5. I had served the people of Tubao, La Union as a member


of the Sangguniang Bayan from 1992 to 1995;

6. I elected Philippine citizenship on July 15, 1999 in


accordance with Commonwealth Act No. 625;

7. My election was expressed in a statement signed and


sworn to by me before a notary public;

8. I accompanied my election of Philippine citizenship with


the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the
Government of the Philippines;

9. I filed my election of Philippine citizenship and my oath


of allegiance to (sic) the Civil Registrar of Tubao La
Union, and

10. I paid the amount of TEN PESOS (Ps. 10.00) as filing


fees.

Since Ching has already elected Philippine citizenship on 15 July 1999,


the question raised is whether he has elected Philippine citizenship within
a "reasonable time." In the affirmative, whether his citizenship by election
retroacted to the time he took the bar examination.

When Ching was born in 1964, the governing charter was the 1935
Constitution. Under Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution, the
citizenship of a legitimate child born of a Filipino mother and an alien
father followed the citizenship of the father, unless, upon reaching the age
of majority, the child elected Philippine citizenship. 4 This right to elect
Philippine citizenship was recognized in the 1973 Constitution when it
provided that "(t)hose who elect Philippine citizenship pursuant to the
provisions of the Constitution of nineteen hundred and thirty-five" are
citizens of the Philippines. 5 Likewise, this recognition by the 1973
Constitution was carried over to the 1987 Constitution which states that
"(t)hose born before January 17, 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority" are Philippine
citizens. 6 It should be noted, however, that the 1973 and 1987
Constitutional provisions on the election of Philippine citizenship should
not be understood as having a curative effect on any irregularity in the
acquisition of citizenship for those covered by the 1935 Constitution. 7 If
the citizenship of a person was subject to challenge under the old charter,
it remains subject to challenge under the new charter even if the judicial
challenge had not been commenced before the effectivity of the new
Constitution. 8
C.A. No. 625 which was enacted pursuant to Section 1(3), Article IV of
the 1935 Constitution, prescribes the procedure that should be followed in
order to make a valid election of Philippine citizenship. Under Section 1
thereof, legitimate children born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine
citizenship by expressing such intention "in a statement to be signed and
sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to
administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The said
party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance
to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines."

However, the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time
period within which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made.
The 1935 Charter only provides that the election should be made "upon
reaching the age of majority." The age of majority then commenced upon
reaching twenty-one (21) years. 9 In the opinions of the Secretary of
Justice on cases involving the validity of election of Philippine citizenship,
this dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the decisions of
this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these
decisions, the proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in
turn, based on the pronouncements of the Department of State of the
United States Government to the effect that the election should be made
within a "reasonable time" after attaining the age of majority. 10 The
phrase "reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean that the election
should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of
majority. 11 However, we held in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice, 12 that
the three (3) year period is not an inflexible rule. We said:

It is true that this clause has been construed to mean a


reasonable period after reaching the age of majority, and
that the Secretary of Justice has ruled that three (3) years is
the reasonable time to elect Philippine citizenship under the
constitutional provision adverted to above, which period
may be extended under certain circumstances, as when the
person concerned has always considered himself a
Filipino. 13

However, we cautioned in Cuenco that the extension of the option to elect


Philippine citizenship is not indefinite:

Regardless of the foregoing, petitioner was born on


February 16, 1923. He became of age on February 16,
1944. His election of citizenship was made on May 15,
1951, when he was over twenty-eight (28) years of age, or
over seven (7) years after he had reached the age of
majority. It is clear that said election has not been made
"upon reaching the age of majority." 14

In the present case, Ching, having been born on 11 April 1964, was
already thirty-five (35) years old when he complied with the requirements
of C.A. No. 625 on 15 June 1999, or over fourteen (14) years after he had
reached the age of majority. Based on the interpretation of the phrase
"upon reaching the age of majority," Ching's election was clearly beyond,
by any reasonable yardstick, the allowable period within which to exercise
the privilege. It should be stated, in this connection, that the special
circumstances invoked by Ching, i.e., his continuous and uninterrupted
stay in the Philippines and his being a certified public accountant, a
registered voter and a former elected public official, cannot vest in him
Philippine citizenship as the law specifically lays down the requirements
for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election.

Definitely, the so-called special circumstances cannot constitute what


Ching erroneously labels as informal election of citizenship. Ching cannot
find a refuge in the case of In re: Florencio Mallare, 15 the pertinent
portion of which reads:

And even assuming arguendo that Ana Mallare were (sic)


legally married to an alien, Esteban's exercise of the right
of suffrage when he came of age, constitutes a positive act
of election of Philippine citizenship. It has been established
that Esteban Mallare was a registered voter as of April 14,
1928, and that as early as 1925 (when he was about 22
years old), Esteban was already participating in the
elections and campaigning for certain candidate[s]. These
acts are sufficient to show his preference for Philippine
citizenship. 16

Ching's reliance on Mallare is misplaced. The facts and circumstances


obtaining therein are very different from those in the present case, thus,
negating its applicability. First, Esteban Mallare was born before the
effectivity of the 1935 Constitution and the enactment of C.A. No. 625.
Hence, the requirements and procedures prescribed under the 1935
Constitution and C.A. No. 625 for electing Philippine citizenship would
not be applicable to him. Second, the ruling in Mallare was an obiter
since, as correctly pointed out by the OSG, it was not necessary for
Esteban Mallare to elect Philippine citizenship because he was already a
Filipino, he being a natural child of a Filipino mother. In this regard, the
Court stated:

Esteban Mallare, natural child of Ana Mallare, a Filipina, is


therefore himself a Filipino, and no other act would be
necessary to confer on him all the rights and privileges
attached to Philippine citizenship (U.S. vs. Ong Tianse, 29
Phil. 332; Santos Co vs. Government of the Philippine
Islands, 42 Phil. 543, Serra vs. Republic, L-4223, May 12,
1952, Sy Quimsuan vs. Republic, L-4693, Feb. 16, 1953;
Pitallano vs. Republic, L-5111, June 28, 1954). Neither
could any act be taken on the erroneous belief that he is a
non-filipino divest him of the citizenship privileges to
which he is rightfully entitled. 17
The ruling in Mallare was reiterated and further elaborated in Co
vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, 18 where we held:

We have jurisprudence that defines "election" as both a


formal and an informal process.

In the case of In re: Florencio Mallare (59 SCRA 45


[1974]), the Court held that the exercise of the right of
suffrage and the participation in election exercises
constitute a positive act of election of Philippine
citizenship. In the exact pronouncement of the Court, we
held:

Esteban's exercise of the right of suffrage


when he came of age constitutes a positive
act of Philippine citizenship. (p. 52:
emphasis supplied)

The private respondent did more than merely exercise his right of
suffrage. He has established his life here in the Philippines.

For those in the peculiar situation of the respondent who


cannot be excepted to have elected Philippine citizenship
as they were already citizens, we apply the In Re Mallare
rule.

xxx xxx xxx

The filing of sworn statement or formal declaration is a


requirement for those who still have to elect
citizenship. For those already Filipinos when the time to
elect came up, there are acts of deliberate choice which
cannot be less binding. Entering a profession open only to
Filipinos, serving in public office where citizenship is a
qualification, voting during election time, running for
public office, and other categorical acts of similar nature
are themselves formal manifestations for these persons.

An election of Philippine citizenship presupposes that the


person electing is an alien. Or his status is doubtful
because he is a national of two countries. There is no doubt
in this case about Mr. Ong's being a Filipino when he
turned twenty-one (21).

We repeat that any election of Philippine citizenship on the


part of the private respondent would not only have been
superfluous but it would also have resulted in an absurdity.
How can a Filipino citizen elect Philippine citizenship? 19
The Court, like the OSG, is sympathetic with the plight of Ching.
However, even if we consider the special circumstances in the life of
Ching like his having lived in the Philippines all his life and his consistent
belief that he is a Filipino, controlling statutes and jurisprudence constrain
us to disagree with the recommendation of the OSG. Consequently, we
hold that Ching failed to validly elect Philippine citizenship. The span of
fourteen (14) years that lapsed from the time he reached the age of
majority until he finally expressed his intention to elect Philippine
citizenship is clearly way beyond the contemplation of the requirement of
electing "upon reaching the age of majority." Moreover, Ching has offered
no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine citizenship. The
prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a
tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to
execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter,
file the same with the nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and
unexplained delay in making his election cannot be simply glossed over.

Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be


claimed when needed and suppressed when convenient. 20 One who is
privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such
citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm
and promptitude. Sadly, in this case, Ching slept on his opportunity to
elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result. this golden privilege slipped
away from his grasp.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the Court Resolves to DENY Vicente


D. Ching's application for admission to the Philippine Bar.

SO ORDERED.

Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban,


Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes and Ynares-
Santiago, JJ., concur.
In Re: Petition of Ramon Quisumbing

In Re: Petition of Ramon Quisumbing for Admission to the Bar


Bar Matter No. 419
Facts:
Ramon Quisumbing, a citizen and resident of the Philippines who obtained his
degree in law from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. who
took and passed the bar examinations of the District of Columbia and State of
Virginia and has been admitted to the practice of law in various jurisdictions in
the United States including the Federal Supreme Court, applies for admission to
the practice of law without need of taking the bar examinations. The petition
made on his behalf replied on the following grounds:
1. Section 4, Rule 138, of the Rules of court;
2. Comity or reciprocity, with the state of NY; and
3. The case of In Re Shoop, 41 Phil. 213
Issue:
WON, from the foregoing averments, petitioner may be admitted to the
Philippine bar without having to take the bar examinations.

Held:
The requirements under Section 4, Rule 138, are not met.
The provision reads:
Sec 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions –
applicants for admission who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled
attorneys in good standing in the SC of U.S. or in any Circuit Court of
Appeals or District Court therein, or in the highest court of any State or
territory of the U.S., and who can show by satisfactory certificates that
they have practiced at least 5 years in any courts, and that such practice
began before July 4,1946, and that they have never been suspended or
disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without
examination.
In his petition, the applicant admits that he does not satisfy the requirement that
practice in the foreign jurisdiction must have commenced prior to July 4,1946.
However, he insists that given his qualifications and experience, he should
nevertheless, “in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without examination.”
The correct application of the aforecited Rule is that discretion to admit one to
the bar may be exercised only after it is shown that the applicant has complied
with all the requirements thereunder.
Moreover, there is at present no Philippine rule authorizing the admission to the
Philippine bar because of reciprocity or comity.
Reciprocity or comity does not operate in the abstract. A local law governs and
regulates the extent by which recipcrocity may be invoked as the source of a
right or privilege. The Rules of Court promulgated by the SC which under the
1987 Constitution as the sole power to promulgate rules concerning admission to
the practice of law in the Philippines, makes no provision for admission to the
bar on the basis of reciprocity. The Court notes that Rule 520.9 of the Rules of
the New Your Court of Appeals does not impose reciprocity as a condition for
admission of foreign trained lawyers who may be admitted to the NY bar without
examination.
The limited application of comity as a ground for admission to the Philippine bar
is embodied in Rule 138, Sec. 4. Sine the conditions therein were not met by the
applicant, then he cannot claim the benefits under the rule.
Applicant himself admits that In Re Shoop “may no longer be binding
precedent.” Said case was decided under the old rules of examination of
candidates for admission to the practice of law, which became effective on July
1, 1920, but which had been long superseded by the 1964 Rules of Court.
The court acting on earlier similar applications for admission to law practice by
Filipino citizens who obtained their law degree abroad denied them and required
their taking of the bar examinations for admission to the Philippine bar.
In view of the above considerations, the Court denied the petition of the
applicant to the practice of law without taking and passing the bar
examinations.

In Re: Application of Adriano M. Hernandez

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-26868 February 27, 1969

IN THE MATTER OF ATTORNEY LOPE E. ADRIANO Member of the


Philippine Bar. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
REMIGIO ESTEBIA, accused-appellant.

SANCHEZ, J.:

Once again, this Court is confronted with the unwanted task of ascertaining
whether certain acts and conduct of a member of the Bar deserve disciplinary
action.
The problem arose because of facts that follow:

One Remigio Estebia was convicted of rape by the Court of First Instance of
Samar, 1 and sentenced to suffer the capital punishment. His case came up
before this Court on review.

On December 14, 1966, Lope E. Adriano, a member of the Bar, was


appointed by this Court as Estebia's counsel de oficio. In the notice of his
appointment, Adriano was required to prepare and file his brief within thirty
days from notice. He was advised that to enable him to examine the case,
the record would be at his disposal. Adriano received this notice on
December 20, 1966. On January 19, 1967, Adriano sought for a 30-day
extension to file appellant's brief in mimeographed form. On February 18,
Adriano again moved for a 20-day extension (his second). This was followed
by a third filed on March 8, for fifteen days. And a fourth on March 27, also
for fifteen days. He moved for a "last" extension of ten days on April 11. On
April 21, he even sought a special extension of five days. All these motions
for extension were granted. The brief was due on April 26, 1967. But no brief
was filed.

On September 25, 1967, Adriano was ordered to show cause within ten days
from notice thereof why disciplinary action should not be taken against him
for failure to file appellant's brief despite the lapse of the time therefor.
Adriano did not bother to give any explanation.

For failing to comply with the September 25, 1967 resolution, this Court, on
October 3, 1968, resolved to impose upon him a fine of P500 payable to this
Court within fifteen days from notice with a warning that upon further non-
compliance with the said resolution of September 25, 1967 within the same
period of fifteen days, "more drastic disciplinary action will be taken against
him." Still, counsel paid no heed.

Finally, on December 5, 1968, this Court ordered Adriano to show cause


within ten days from notice thereof why he should not be suspended from the
practice of law "for gross misconduct and violation of his oath of office as
attorney." By express order of this Court, the resolution was personally
served upon him on December 18, 1968. He ignored the resolution.

Upon the facts just narrated, we now pass judgment.

1. By specific authority, this Court may assign an attorney to render


professional aid to a destitute appellant in a criminal case who is unable to
employ an attorney. Correspondingly, a duty is imposed upon the lawyer so
assigned "to render the required service." 2 A lawyer so appointed "as counsel
for an indigent prisoner", our Canons of Professional Ethics demand, "should
always exert his best efforts" in the indigent's behalf. 3

No excuse at all has been offered for non-presentation of appellant's brief.


And yet, between December 20, 1966, when he received notice of his
appointment, and December 5, 1968, when the last show cause order was
issued by this Court, more than sufficient time was afforded counsel to
prepare and file his brief de oficio. The death sentence below imposed was
upon a plea of guilty. The record of the proceedings leading to the lower
court's sentence consists of but 31 pages. Counsel had the record since
January 19, 1967. In fact, in his third motion for extension of time, he
manifested that the drafting of apellant's brief "is more than half-way through"
and that "additional time is needed to review, effectuate the necessary
corrections, put in final form and print the said brief." In his motion for fourth
extension, he intimated that the preparation of the brief "is almost through"
and that "additional time is needed to redraft and rehash some significant
portions of said brief and have the same stencilled and mimeographed upon
completion of a definitive text." His motion for last (fifth) extension of time
came with the excuse that he "suddenly got sick (influenza) in the course of
redrafting and rehashing some significant portions of said brief, which ailment
hampered and interrupted his work thereon for sometime." Finally, in his
"Special Extension of Time" to file brief, he claimed that he needed only five
days from April 21, 1967 to put said brief in final form and have the same
stencilled and mimeographed. lawphi 1.nêt

In the face of the fact that no brief has ever been filed, counsel's statements
in his motions for extension have gone down to the level of empty and
meaningless words; at best, have dubious claim to veracity.

It is true that he is a court-appointed counsel. But we do say that as such


counsel de oficio, he has as high a duty to the accused as one employed and
paid by defendant himself. Because, as in the case of the latter, he must
exercise his best efforts and professional ability in behalf of the person
assigned to his care. His is to render effective assistance. The accused
defendant expects of him due diligence, not mere perfunctory representation.
We do not accept the paradox that responsibility is less where the defended
party is poor. It has been said that courts should "have no hesitancy in
demanding high standards of duty of attorneys appointed to defend indigent
persons charged with crime." 4 For, indeed, a lawyer who is a vanguard in the
bastion of justice is expected to have a bigger dose of social conscience and
a little less of self interest. Because of this, a lawyer should remain ever
conscious of his duties to the indigent he defends.

Worth remembering is the 1905 case of In the matter of Jose Robles


Lahesa. 5 He was counsel de oficio before the Supreme Court in two cases:
one for robo en cuadrilla and the other for homicide. He failed to take any
action in behalf of the defendants in both eases. This Court imposed upon
him a fine of P200. Significant is the pronouncement we there made that:
"This court should exact from its officers and subordinates the most
scrupulous performance of their official duties, especially when negligence in
the performance of those duties necessarily result in delays in the
prosecution of criminal cases and the detention of accused persons pending
appeal." The validity of the foregoing observation remains to the present
day. 6 It applies to the present case.

Here, appellant was without brief since December 20, 1966. The effect of this
long delay need not be essayed. We, therefore, find that Attorney Lope E.
Adriano has violated his oath that he will conduct himself as a lawyer
according to the best of his "knowledge and discretion".

2. An attorney's duty of prime importance is "[t]o observe and maintain the


respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers. The first Canon of the
Code of Ethics enjoins a lawyer "to maintain towards the Courts a respectful
attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but
for the maintenance of its supreme importance." By the oath of office, the
lawyer undertook to "obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly
constituted authorities." In People vs. Carillo, 8 this Court's pointed
observation was that as an officer of the court, it is a lawyer's "sworn and
moral duty to help build and not destroy unnecessarily that high esteem and
regard towards the courts so essential to the proper administration of justice."

Here, we have a clear case of an attorney whose acts exhibit willful dis-
obedience of lawful orders of this Court. A cause sufficient is thus present for
suspension or disbarment. 9 Counsel has received no less than three
resolutions of this Court requiring compliance of its orders. To be recalled is
that on September 25, 1967, this Court directed him, in ten days from notice,
to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for his
failure to file appellant's brief despite the lapse of the time therefor. Nothing
was done by counsel for over a year. To impress upon counsel the gravity of
his repeated failure to obey this Court's orders, on October 3,1968, a fine of
P500 was clamped upon him. He was directed to pay that fine in ten days.
He was in that order also required to file his brief in fifteen days. He was
warned that more drastic disciplinary action would be taken upon his failure
to do either. Still he remained unmoved. Then, this Court issued the
peremptory order of December 5, 1968 commanding him to show cause
within ten days from notice thereof why he should not be suspended from the
practice of law for gross misconduct and violation of his oath of office. The
Court made it certain that this order would reach him. He personally
acknowledged receipt thereof. He has not paid the fine. He has done nothing.

This is 1969. No brief has as yet been filed. And this, inspite of the fact that
as early as March 27, 1967, when he moved for a fourth extension of time to
file his brief de oficio, he represented to this Court that all that was needed
was to redraft and to rehash some significant portions of the brief which was
almost through and to have the same stencilled and mimeographed upon
completion of a definitive text.

Disrespect is here present. Contumacy is as patent. Disciplinary action is in


order.

Controlling here is the 1961 decision In the Matter of Atty. Filoteo Dianala
Jo. 10 There, as here, counsel failed to file appellant's brief (in a criminal case)
despite extensions of time granted him by this Court. Likewise, this Court
issued a show-cause order why disciplinary action should not be taken
against him. The explanation was considered unsatisfactory. This Court
imposed a fine of P50 payable in ten days from notice. Attorney Dianala Jo
did not pay that fine. Came the subsequent resolution of this Court advising
him to pay the fine, otherwise, he would be arrested and confined to jam.
This warning was not heeded. On November 18, 1960, the Court resolved to
give him ten days from notice within which to explain why he should not be
suspended from the practice of law. Despite receipt of this notice, he did not
care to explain his behaviour which this Court considered as "consumacy
and unwillingness to comply with the lawful orders of this Court of which he is
an officer or to conduct himself as a lawyer should, in violation of his oath of
office." He was suspended from the practice of law for three months.

In the present case, counsel's pattern of conduct, it would seem to us,


reveals a propensity on the part of counsel to benumb appreciation of his
obligation as counsel de oficio and of the courtesy and respect that should be
accorded this Court.
For the reasons given, we vote to suspend Attorney Lope E. Adriano from the
practice of law throughout the Philippines for a period of one (1) year.

Let a copy of this resolution be attached to the personal record, in this Court,
of Lope E. Adriano as member of the Bar. So ordered.

Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Castro,


Fernando, Capistrano, Teehankee and Barredo, JJ., concur.

Tan v. Sabandal

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

B.M. No. 44 February 24, 1992

EUFROSINA Y. TAN, complainant,


vs.
NICOLAS EL. SABANDAL, respondent.

SBC No. 609 February 24, 1992

MOISES B. BOQUIA, complainant,


vs.
NICOLAS EL. SABANDAL, respondent.

SBC No. 616 February 24, 1992

HERVE DAGPIN, complainant,


vs.
NICOLAS EL. SABANDAL, respondent.

Nelbert T. Paculan for respondent.

Moises B. Boquia for himself and Herve Dagpin.

RESOLUTION

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:

On 29 November 1983, * this Court sustained the charge of


unauthorized practice of law filed against respondent Sabandal and
accordingly denied the latter's petition to be allowed to take the
oath as member of the Philippine Bar and to sign the Roll of
Attorneys.

From 1984-1988, Sabandal filed Motions for Reconsideration of the


aforesaid Resolution, all of which were either denied or "Noted
without action." The Court, however, on 10 February 1989, after
considering his plea for mercy and forgiveness, his willingness to
reform and the several testimonials attesting to his good moral
character and civic consciousness, reconsidered its earlier
Resolution and finally allowed him to take the lawyer's oath "with
the Court binding him to his assurance that he shall strictly abide by
and adhere to the language, meaning and spirit of the Lawyer's
Oath and the highest standards of the legal profession" (Yap Tan v.
Sabandal, 10 February 1989, 170 SCRA 211).

However, before a date could be set for Sabandal's oath-taking,


complainants Tan, Dagpin and Boquia each filed separate motions
for reconsideration of the Resolution of 10 February 1989. These
were acted upon in the Resolution of 4 July 1989 hereunder
quoted, in part, for ready reference:

On 7 April 1989, Complainant Herve Dagpin in SBC


No. 616, and Complainant Moises Boquia in SBC No.
609 also filed a Motion for Reconsideration of our
Resolution allowing respondent to take his oath. They
alleged that respondent had deliberately and
maliciously excluded them in his Petition of 28 June
1988. That, of course, is without merit considering
that in his Petition of 28 June 1988, respondent had
discussed said cases quite lengthily.

On 27 April 1989, Complainant Tan also manifested


that Complainant Benjamin Cabigon in BM No. 59
and Complainant Cornelio Agnis in SBC No. 624, had
passed away so that they are in no position to submit
their respective Comments.

One of the considerations we had taken into account


in allowing respondent to take his oath, was a
testimonial from the IBP Zamboanga del Norte
Chapter, dated 29 December 1986, certifying that
respondent was "acting with morality and has been
careful in his actuations in the community."

Complainant Tan maintains that said IBP testimonial


was signed only by the then President of the IBP,
Zamboanga del Norte Chapter, Atty. Senen O.
Angeles, without authorization from the Board of
Officers of said Chapter; and that Atty. Angeles was
respondent's own counsel as well as the lawyer of
respondent's parents-in-law in CAR Case No. 347,
Ozamiz City. Attached to Complainant's Motion for
Reconsideration was a Certification, dated 24
February 1989, signed by the IBP Zamboanga del
Norte Chapter President, Atty. Norberto L. Nuevas,
stating that "the present Board of Officers with the
undersigned as President had not issued any
testimonial attesting to the good moral character and
civic consciousness of Mr. Nicolas Sabandal."

In his Comment, received by the Court on 27 March


1989, respondent states that the IBP testimonial
referred to by Complainant Tan must have been that
signed by the former IBP Zamboanga del Norte
Chapter President, Atty. Senen O. Angeles,
addressed to the Chief Justice, dated 29 December
1986, and that he himself had not submitted to the
Court any certification from the IBP Zamboanga del
Norte Chapter Board of Officers of 1988-1989.

Under the circumstances, the Court has deemed it


best to require the present Board of Officers of the
IBP, Zamboanga del Norte Chapter, to MANIFEST
whether or not it is willing to give a testimonial
certifying to respondent's good moral character as to
entitle him to take the lawyer's oath, and if not, the
reason therefor. The Executive Judge of the Regional
Trial Court of Zamboanga del Norte is likewise
required to submit a COMMENT on respondent's
moral fitness to be a member of the Bar.

Compliance herewith is required within ten (10) days


from notice.

Pursuant to the aforesaid Resolution, Judge Pelagio R. Lachica,


Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Zamboanga del
Norte, filed his Comment, dated 4 August 1989, and received on 25
August 1989, pertinently reading:

The undersigned, who is not well acquainted


personally with the respondent, is not aware of any
acts committed by him as would disqualify him from
admission to the Bar. It might be relevant to mention,
however, that there is Civil Case No. 3747 entitled
Republic of the Philippines, Represented by the
Director of Lands, Plaintiff, versus Nicolas Sabandal,
Register of Deeds of Zamboanga del Norte and Rural
Bank of Pinan, (Zamboanga del Norte), Inc., for
Cancellation of Title and/or Reversion pending in this
Court in which said respondent, per complaint filed by
the Office of the Solicitor General, is alleged to have
secured a free patent and later a certificate of title to a
parcel of land which, upon investigation, turned out to
be a swampland and not susceptible of acquisition
under a free patent, and which he later mortgaged to
the Rural Bank of Pinan (ZN) Inc. The mortgage was
later foreclosed and the land sold at public auction
and respondent has not redeemed the land until the
present. (Emphasis Supplied)

The IBP Zamboanga del Norte Chapter also submitted a


Certification, dated 2 February 1990, signed by its Secretary Peter
Y. Co and attested to by its President Gil L. Batula, to wit:

This is to certify that based on the certifications issued


by the Office of the Clerk of Court—Municipal Trial
Court in the City of Dipolog; Regional Trial Court of
Zamboanga del Norte and the Office of the Provincial
and City Prosecutors, Mr. Nicolas E. Sabandal has
not been convicted of any crime, nor is there any
pending derogatory criminal case against him. Based
on the above findings, the Board does not find any
acts committed by the petitioner to disqualify him from
admission to the Philippine Bar.

We required the complainants to comment on the aforesaid IBP


Certification and to reply to Executive Judge Pelagio Lachica's
comment in our Resolution of 15 February 1990.

On 17 April 1990, after taking note of the unrelenting vehement


objections of complainants Tan (in BM 44) and Boquia (in SBC
616) and the Certification by Executive Judge Lachica, dated 4
August 1989, that there is a pending case before his Court
involving respondent Sabandal, this Court resolved to DEFER the
setting of a date for the oath-taking of respondent Sabandal and
required Judge Lachica to inform this Court of the outcome of the
case entitled Republic v. Sabandal, (Civil Case 3747), pending
before his "Sala" as soon as resolved.

In the meantime, on 18 April 1990, the Court received another


Comment, dated 13 March 1990, by complainant Herve Dagpin in
SBC 609, vehemently objecting to the oath-taking of respondent
Sabandal and describing his actuations in Civil Case 3747 as
manipulative and surreptitious. This comment was Noted in the
Resolution of 22 May 1990.

In a letter, addressed to the Chief Justice, dated 15 August 1990,


complainant Tan in Bar Matter 44, informed the Court that her
relationship with Sabandal has "already been restored," as he had
asked forgiveness for what has been done to her and that she finds
no necessity in pursuing her case against him. Complainant Tan
further stated that she sees no further reason to oppose his
admission to the Bar as he had shown sincere repentance and
reformation which she believes make him morally fit to become a
member of the Philippine Bar. "In view of this development," the
letter stated, "we highly recommend him for admission to the legal
profession and request this Honorable Court to schedule his oath-
taking at a time most convenient." This letter was Noted in the
Resolution of 2 October 1990, which also required a comment on
Tan's letter from complainants Boquia and Dagpin.

Moises Boquia, for himself, and complainant Dagpin, in their


comment, dated 5 November 1990, stated thus:

Eufrosina Yap Tan's letter dated 15 August 1990 is a


private personal disposition which raises the question
whether personal forgiveness is enough basis to
exculpate and obliterate these cases. On our part, we
believe and maintain the importance and finality of the
Honorable Supreme Court's resolutions in these
cases. . . .

It is not within the personal competence, jurisdiction


and discretion of any party to change or amend said
final resolutions which are already res judicata.
Viewed in the light of the foregoing final and
executory resolutions, these cases therefore should
not in the least be considered as anything which is
subject and subservient to the changing moods and
dispositions of the parties, devoid of any permanency
or finality. Respondent's scheming change in tactics
and strategy could not improve his case.

The above was "Noted" in the Resolution of 29 November 1990.

In compliance with the Resolution of 2 October 1990, Judge


Pacifico M. Garcia, Regional Trial Court Judge of Branch 8, Dipolog
City (who apparently succeeded Judge Pelagio Lachica, the latter
having availed of optional retirement on 30 June 1990) submitted to
this Court, on 17 December 1990, a copy of the "Judgment," dated
12 December 1990, in Civil Case 3747, entitled "Republic of the
Philippines v. Nicolas Sabandal et al" for Cancellation of Title
and/or Reversion, which, according to him, was already considered
closed and terminated.

Said judgment reveals that an amicable settlement, dated 24


October 1990, had been reached between the principal parties,
approved by the Trial Court, and conformed to by the counsel for
defendant Rural Bank of Pinan.
Briefly, the said amicable settlement cancelled the Original
Certificate of Title under Free Patent in Sabandal's name and the
latter's mortgage thereof in favor of the Rural Bank of Pinan;
provided for the surrender of the certificate of title to the Register of
Deeds for proper annotation; reverted to the mass of public domain
the land covered by the aforesaid Certificate of' Title with defendant
Sabandal refraining from exercising acts of possession or
ownership over said land; caused the defendant Sabandal to pay
defendant Rural Bank of Pinan the sum of P35,000 for the loan and
interest; and the Rural Bank of Pinan to waive its cross-claims
against defendant Nicolas Sabandal.

Judge Pacifico Garcia's letter and the afore-mentioned Judgment


were NOTED in our Resolution of 29 January 1991. In the same
Resolution, complainants Tan, Boquia and Dagpin were required to
comment on the same.

Upon request of Sabandal, a certification, dated 20 December


1990, was sent by Executive judge Jesus Angeles of the RTC of
Zamboanga del Norte, certifying that Sabandal has no pending
case with his Court and that he has no cause to object to his
admission to the Philippine Bar. This was "Noted" in the Resolution
of 26 February 1991.

Meanwhile, Sabandal reiterated his prayer to be allowed to take the


lawyer's oath in a Motion dated 8 June 1991. In our Resolution of 1
August 1991, we deferred action on the aforesaid Motion pending
compliance by the complainants with the Resolution of 29 January
1991 requiring them to comment on the letter of Judge Pacifico M.
Garcia.

To date, only complainant Tan has complied with the said


Resolution by submitting a Comment, dated 29 August 1991,
stating that the termination of Civil Case No. 3747 is "proof of
Sabandal's sincere reformation, of his repentance with restitution of
the rights of complainants he violated," and that "there is no more
reason to oppose his admission to the Bar." This was "Noted" in the
Resolution of 24 September 1991.

In a Manifestation, dated 6 December 1991, Sabandal reiterates his


plea to be allowed to take the Lawyer's Oath.

His plea must be DENIED.

In our Resolution of 10 February 1989, Sabandal was allowed to


take the oath, ten (10) years having elapsed from the time he took
and passed the 1976 Bar examinations, after careful consideration
of his show of contrition and willingness to reform. Also taken
cognizance of were the several testimonials attesting to his good
moral character and civic consciousness. At that time, we had not
received the objections from complainant Tan to Sabandal's taking
the oath nor were we aware of the gravity of the civil case against
him.

It turns out that Civil Case No. 3747 entitled "Republic of the
Philippines v. Nicolas Sabandal" was instituted by the Government
in 1985 and was brought about because of respondent's
procurement of a certificate of free patent over a parcel of land
belonging to the public domain and its use as security for a
mortgage in order to obtain a loan. At that time, Sabandal was an
employee of the Bureau of Lands. He did not submit any defense
and was declared it default by order of the RTC dated 26
November 1986. The controversy was eventually settled by mere
compromise with respondent surrendering the bogus certificate of
title to the government and paying-off the mortgagor, "to buy peace
and forestall further expenses of litigation incurred by defendants"
(Rollo, Judgment in Civil Case No. 3747). The Office of the Solicitor
General interposed no objection to the approval of the said
amicable settlement and prayed that judgment be rendered in
accordance therewith, "as the amicable settlement may amount to
a confession by the defendant" (Rollo, supra). It must also be
stressed that in 1985, at the time said case was instituted,
Sabandal's petition to take the lawyer's oath had already been
denied on 29 November 1983 and he was then submitting to this
Court motions for reconsideration alleging his good moral character
without, however, mentioning the pendency of that civil case
against him.

In view of the nature of that case and the circumstances attending


its termination, the Court now entertains second thoughts about
respondent's fitness to become a member of the Bar.

It should be recalled that Sabandal worked as Land Investigator at


the Bureau of Lands. Said employment facilitated his procurement
of the free patent title over property which he could not but have
known was public land. This was manipulative on his part and does
not speak well of his moral character. It is a manifestation of gross
dishonesty while in the public service, which can not be erased by
the termination of the case filed by the Republic against him where
no determination of his guilt or innocence was made because the
suit had been compromised. Although as the Solicitor General had
pointed out, the amicable settlement was tantamount to a
confession on his part. What is more, he could not but have known
of the intrinsic invalidity of his title and yet he took advantage of it
by securing a bank loan, mortgaging it as collateral, and
notwithstanding the foreclosure of the mortgage and the sale of the
land at public auction, he did not lift a finger to redeem the same
until the civil case filed against him was eventually compromised.
This is a sad reflection on his sense of honor and fair dealing. His
failure to reveal to this Court the pendency of the civil case for
Reversion filed against him during the period that he was
submitting several Motions for Reconsideration before us also
reveal his lack of candor and truthfulness.

There are testimonials attesting to his good moral character, yes.


But these were confined to lack of knowledge of the pendency of
any criminal case against him and were obviously made without
awareness of the facts and circumstances surrounding the case
instituted by the Government against him. Those testimonials can
not, therefore, outweigh nor smother his acts of dishonesty and lack
of good moral character.

That the other complainants, namely, Moises Boquia (in SBC 606)
and Herve Dagpin (in SBC 619) have not submitted any opposition
to his motion to take the oath, is of no moment. They have already
expressed their objections in their earlier comments. That
complainant Tan has withdrawn her objection to his taking the oath
can neither tilt the balance in his favor, the basis of her complaint
treating as it does of another subject matter.

Time and again, it has been held that the practice of law is not a
matter of right. It is a privilege bestowed upon individuals who are
not only learned in the law but who are also known to possess good
moral character:

The Supreme Court and the Philippine Bar have


always tried to maintain a high standard for the legal
profession, both in academic preparation and legal
training as well as in honesty and fair dealing. The
Court and the licensed lawyers themselves are vitally
interested in keeping this high standard; and one of
the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the
practice of this noble profession only those persons
who are known to be honest and to possess good
moral character. . . . (In re Parazo, 82 Phil. 230).

Although the term "good moral character" admits of broad


dimensions, it has been defined as "including at least common
honesty" (Royong v. Oblena, Adm. Case No. 376, April 30, 1963, 7
SCRA 859; In re Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399 [1928]). It has also been
held that no moral qualification for bar membership is more
important than truthfulness or candor (Fellner v. Bar Association of
Baltimore City, 131 A. 2d 729).

WHEREFORE, finding respondent Sabandal to be unfit to become


a member of the BAR, this Court's Resolution, dated 10 February
1989 is RECALLED and his prayer to be allowed to take the
lawyer's oath is hereby denied.
SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin,


Griño-Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero and
Nocon, JJ., concur.

C. Admission to the Bar


In Re: Cunanan
In Re: Lanuevo

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975

IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO, former Bar Confidant and Deputy Clerk


of Court, respondent.

A.C. No. 1163 August 29, 1975

IN RE: RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E. GALANG, 1971 Bar


Examinee, respondent.

A.M. No. 1164 August 29, 1975

IN RE: HON. BERNARDO PARDO, HON. RAMON PAMATIAN, ATTY.


MANUEL TOMACRUZ, ATTY. FIDEL MANALO and ATTY. GUILLERMO
PABLO, JR., Members, 1971 Bar Examining Committee, respondent.

MAKASIAR, J.:

Administrative proceedings against Victorio D. Lanuevo — for disbarment;


Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang — for disbarment; Hon. Bernardo
Pardo, Hon. Ramon Pamatian, Atty. Manuel C. Tomacruz; Atty. Manuel G.
Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo and Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr. — for
disciplinary action — for their acts and omissions during the 1971 Bar
Examinations.

In his request dated March 29, 1972 contained in a confidential letter to the
Court for re-correction and re-evaluation of his answer to the 1971 Bar
Examinations question, Oscar Landicho — who flunked in the 1971, 1968
and 1967 Bar Examinations with a grade of 70.5%, 65.35% and 67.55%,
respectively — invited the attention of the Court to "The starling fact that the
grade in one examination (Civil Law) of at least one bar candidate was raised
for one reason or another, before the bar results were released this
year" (Confidential Letter, p. 2. Vol. I, rec.). This was confirmed, according to
him, by the Civil Law Examiner himself (Hon. Ramon C. Pamatian) as well as
by Bar Confidant Victorio D. Lanuevo. He further therein stated "that there
are strong reasons to believe that the grades in other examination notebooks
in other subjects also underwent alternations — to raise the grades — prior
to the release of the results. Note that this was without any formal motion or
request from the proper parties, i.e., the bar candidates concerned. If the
examiners concerned reconsidered their grades without formal motion, there
is no reason why they may not do so now when proper request answer
motion therefor is made. It would be contrary to due process postulates.
Might not one say that some candidates got unfair and unjust treatment, for
their grades were not asked to be reconsidered 'unofficially'? Why the
discrimination? Does this not afford sufficient reason for the Court en banc to
go into these matters by its conceded power to ultimately decide the matter
of admission to the bar?" (p. 2, Confidential Letter, Vol. I, rec.).

Acting on the aforesaid confidential letter, the Court checked the records of
the 1971 Bar Examinations and found that the grades in five subjects —
Political Law and Public International Law, Civil Law, Mercantile Law,
Criminal Law and Remedial Law — of a successful bar candidate with office
code No. 954 underwent some changes which, however, were duly initialed
and authenticated by the respective examiner concerned. Further check of
the records revealed that the bar candidate with office code No. 954 is one
Ramon E. Galang, a perennial bar candidate, who flunked in the 1969, 1966,
1964, 1963, and 1962 bar examinations with a grade of 67.55%, 68.65%,
72.75%, 68.2%, 56.45% and 57.3%, respectively. He passed in the 1971 bar
examinations with a grade of 74.15%, which was considered as 75% by
virtue of a Court of 74.15%, which was considered as 75% as the passing
mark for the 1971 bar examinations.

Upon the direction of the Court, the 1971 Bar Examination Chairman
requested Bar Confidant Victorio D. Lanuevo and the five (5) bar examiners
concerned to submit their sworn statements on the matter, with which
request they complied.

In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, said Bar


Confidant admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of Ramon
E. Galang, alias Ramon E. Galang, back to the respective examiners for re-
evaluation and/or re-checking, stating the circumstances under which the
same was done and his reasons for doing the same.

Each of the five (5) examiners in his individual sworn


statement admitted having re-evaluated and/or re-checked the notebook
involved pertaining to his subject upon the representation to him by Bar
Confidant Lanuevo that he has the authority to do the same and that the
examinee concerned failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the
borderline of passing.

Finding a prima facie case against the respondents warranting a formal


investigation, the Court required, in a resolution dated March 5, 1973, Bar
Confidant Victorio Lanuevo "to show cause within ten (10) days from
notice why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys" (Adm.
Case No. 1162, p. 34, rec.). Considering that the re-evaluation of the
examination papers of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang,
was unauthorized, and therefore he did not obtain a passing average in the
1971 bar examinations, the Court likewise resolved on March 5, 1971 to
requires him "to show cause within ten (10) days from notice why his name
should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys" (Adm. Case No. 1163, p.
99, rec.). The five examiners concerned were also required by the Court "to
show cause within ten (10) days from notice why no disciplinary action
should be taken against them" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 31, rec.).

Respondent Tomacruz filed his answer on March 12, 1973 (Adm. Case No.
1164, p. 70, rec.). while respondents Pardo, Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo
and Lanuevo filed theirs on March 19, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 60-63,
32-35, 40-41, 36-39 and 35-38, rec.). At the hearing on August 27, 1973,
respondent Lanuevo filed another sworn statement in addition to, and in
amplication of, his answer filed on March 19, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp.
45-47, rec.). Respondent Galang filed his unverified answer on March 16,
1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.). He was required by the Court
to verify the same and complaince came on May 18, 1973 (Adm. Case No.
1163, pp. 106-110,) rec.).

In the course of the investigation, it was found that it was not respondent
Bernardo Pardo who re-evaluated and/or re-checked examination booklet
with Office Code No. 954 in Political Law and Public International Law of
examinee Ramon Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, but Guillermo Pablo, Jr.,
examiner in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercise, who was asked to help in
the correction of a number of examination notebooks in Political Law and
Public International Law to meet the deadline for submission (pp. 17-24, Vol.
V, rec.). Because of this development, Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr. was likewise
included as respondent in Administrative Case No. 1164. Hon. Bernardo
Pardo remainded as a respondent for it was also discovered that another
paper in Political Law and Public International Law also underwent re-
evaluation and/or re-checking. This notebook with Office Code No. 1662
turned out to be owned by another successful candidate by the name
of Ernesto Quitaleg. Further investigation resulted in the discovery of another
re-evaluation and/or re-checking of a notebook in the subject of Mercantile
Law resulting in the change of the grade from 4% to 50% This notebook
bearing Office Code No. 110 is owned by another successful candidate by
the name of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz and the latter's
father were summoned to testify in the investigation.

An investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation upon


request of the Chairman of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee as
Investigation Officer, showed that one Romy Galang y Esguerra, alias
Ramon E. Galang, a student in the School of Law of Manuel L. Quezon
University, was, on September 8, 1959, charged with the crime of slight
physical injuries in the Municipal Court of Manila committed on Eufrosino F.
de Vera, another student of the same university. Confronted with this
information at the hearing of August 13, 1973 (Vol. V, pp. 20-21, 32, rec.),
respondent Galang declared that he does not remember having been
charged with the crime of slight physical injuries in that case. (Vol. VI, pp. 45-
60, rec.).

Respondent Galang, in all his application to take the bar examinations, did
not make mention of this fact which he is required under the rules to do.

The joint investigation of all the cases commenced on July 17, 1973 and was
terminated on October 2, 1973. Thereafter, parties-respondents were
required to submit their memoranda. Respondents Lanuevo, Galang and
Pardo submitted their respective memorandum on November 14, 1973.

Before the joint hearing commenced, Oscar Landicho took up permanent


residence in Australia, where he is believed to be gainfully employed. Hence,
he was not summoned to testify.

At the joint investigation, all respondents, except respondent Pablo, who


offered as evidence only his oral testimony, submitted as their direct
evidence only his oral testimony, submitted as their direct evidence the
affidavits and answers earlier submitted by them to the Court. The same
became the basis for their cross-examination.

In their individual sworn statements and answer, which they offered as their
direct testimony in the investigation conducted by the Court, the respondent-
examiners recounted the circumstances under which they re-evaluated
and/or re-checked the examination notebooks in question.

In His affidavit dated April 11, 1972, respondent Judge (later Associate
Justice of the Court of Appeals) Ramon C. Pamatian, examiner in Civil Law,
affirmed:

2. That one evening sometime in December last year, while I


was correcting the examination notebooks, Atty.
Lanuevo, Bar Confidant, explained to me that it is the practice
and the policy in bar examinations that he (Atty. Lanuevo)
make a review of the grades obtained in all subjects and if he
finds that candidate obtained an extraordinary high grade in
one subject and a rather low one in another, he will bring
back the latter to the examiner concerned for re-evaluation
and change of grade;

3. That sometime in the latter part of January of this year, he


brought back to me an examination booklet in Civil Law for
re-evaluation, because according to him the owner of the
paper is on the borderline and if I could reconsider his grade
to 75% the candidate concerned will get passing mark;

4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was
really the practice and policy of the Supreme Court to do so in
the further belief that I was just manifesting cooperation in
doing so, I re-evaluated the paper and reconsidered the
grade to 75%;

5. That only one notebook in Civil Law was brought back to


me for such re-evaluation and upon verifying my files I found
that the notebook is numbered '95;

6. That the original grade was 64% and my re-evaluation of


the answers were based on the same standard used in the
correction and evaluation of all others; thus, Nos. 3 and 4 with
original grades of 7% each was reconsidered to 10%; No. 5
with 4% to 5%; No. 7 with 3% to 5%; and No. 8 with 8% to
10% (emphasis supplied).
His answer dated March 19, 1973 substantially reiterated his allegations in
his April 11, 1972 affidavit with following additional statements:

xxx xxx xxx

3. ... However the grades in Nos. 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10, were not


reconsidered as it is no longer to make the reconsideration of
these answers because of the same evaluation and standard;
hence, Nos. 1, 2 and 10 remainded at 5% and Nos. 6 and 9
at 10%;

4. That at the time I made the reconsideration of examination


booklet No. 951 I did not know the identity of its owner until I
received this resolution of the Honorable Supreme Court nor
the identities of the examiners in other subjects;

5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and


under the belief that I am authorized to do so in view of the
misrepresentation of said Atty. Lanuevo, based on the
following circumstances:

a) Since I started correcting the papers on or


about October 16, 1971, relationship between
Atty. Lanuevo and myself had developed to
the point that with respect to the correction of
the examination booklets of bar candidates I
have always followed him and considered his
instructions as reflecting the rules and policy
of the Honorable Supreme Court with respect
to the same; that I have no alternative but to
take his words;

b) That considering this relationship


and considering his misrepresentation to me
as reflecting the real and policy of the
Honorable Supreme Court, I did not bother
any more to get the consent and permission
of the Chairman of the Bar Committee.
Besides, at that time, I was isolating myself
from all members of the Supreme Court and
specially the chairman of the Bar Committee
for fear that I might be identified as a bar
examiner;

xxx xxx xxx

e) That no consideration whatsoever has been received by


me in return for such recorrection, and as proof of it, I
declined to consider and evaluate one booklet in Remedial
Law aforesaid because I was not the one who made the
original correction of the same (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-
35, rec.; emphasis supplied).
Then Assistant Solicitor General, now CFI Judge, Bernardo Pardo, examiner
in Political Law and Public International Law, confirmed in his affidavit of April
8, 1972 that:

On a day or two after the Bar Confidant went to my residence


to obtain from me the last bag of two hundred notebooks
(bearing examiner's code numbers 1200 to 1400) which
according to my record was on February 5, 1972, he came to
my residence at about 7:30 p.m. riding in a Vokswagen panel
of the Supreme Court, with at least two companions. The bar
confidant had with him an examinee's notebook bearing code
number 661, and, after the usual amenties, he requested me
if it was possible for me to review and re-examine the said
notebook because it appears that the examinee obtained a
grade of 57, whereas, according to the Bar Confidant, the
said examinee had obtained higher grades in other subjects,
the highest of which was 84, if I recall correctly, in remedial
law.

I asked the Bar Confidant if I was allowed to receive or re-


examinee the notebook as I had submitted the same
beforehand, and he told me that I was authorized to do so
because the same was still within my control and authority as
long as the particular examinee's name had not been
identified or that the code number decode and the examinee's
name was revealed. The Bar Confidant told me that the name
of the examinee in the case present bearing code number
661 had not been identified or revealed; and that it might
have been possible that I had given a particularly low grade
to said examinee.

Accepting at face value the truth of the Bar Confidant's


representations to me, and as it was humanly possible that I
might have erred in the grading of the said notebook, I re-
examined the same, carefully read the answer, and graded it
in accordance with the same standards I had used throughout
the grading of the entire notebooks, with the result that the
examinee deserved an increased grade of 66. After again
clearing with the Bar Confidant my authority to correct the
grades, and as he had assured me that the code number of
the examinee in question had not been decoded and his
name known, ... I therefore corrected the total grade in the
notebook and the grade card attached thereto, and properly
initia(l)ed the same. I also corrected the itemized grades
(from item No. 1 to item No. 10) on the two sets of grading
sheets, my personal copy thereof, and the Bar Confidant
brought with him the other copy thereof, and the Bar
Confidant brought with him the other copy the grading sheet"
(Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 58-59; rec.; emphasis supplied)

In his answer dated March 17, 1973 which he denominated as "Explanation",


respondent Bernardo P. Pardo adopted and replaced therein by reference
the facts stated in his earlier sworn statement and in additional alleged that:

xxx xxx xxx


3. At the time I reviewed the examinee's notebook in political
and international law, code numbered 661, I did know the
name of the examinee. In fact, I came to know his name only
upon receipt of the resolution of March 5, 1973; now knowing
his name, I wish to state that I do not know him personally,
and that I have never met him even up to the present;

4. At that time, I acted under the impression that I was


authorized to make such review, and had repeatedly asked
the Bar Confidant whether I was authorized to make such
revision and was so assured of my authority as the name of
the examinee had not yet been decoded or his identity
revealed. The Bar Confidant's assurance was apparently
regular and so appeared to be in the regular course of
express prohibition in the rules and guidelines given to me as
an examiner, and the Bar Confidant was my official liaison
with the Chairman, as, unless called, I refrained as much as
possible from frequent personal contact with the Chairman
lest I be identified as an examiner. ...;

5. At the time the Bar Confidant came to see me at about


7:30 o'clock in the evening at my residence, I felt it
inappropriate to verify his authority with the Chairman. It did
not appear to me that his representations were unauthorized
or suspicious. Indeed, the Bar Confidant was riding in the
official vehicle of the Supreme Court, a Volkswagen panel,
accompanied by two companions, which was usual, and thus
looked like a regular visit to me of the Bar Confidant, as it was
about the same hour that he used to see me:

xxx xxx xxx

7. Indeed, the notebook code numbered 661 was still in the


same condition as when I submitted the same. In agreeing to
review the said notebook code numbered 661, my aim was to
see if I committed an error in the correction, not to make the
examinee pass the subject. I considered it entirely humanly
possible to have erred, because I corrected that particular
notebook on December 31, 1971, considering especially the
representation of the Bar Confidant that the said examinee
had obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of
which was 84% in remedial law, if I recall correctly. Of course,
it did not strike me as unusual that the Bar Confidant knew
the grades of the examinee in the position to know and that
there was nothing irregular in that:

8. In political and international law, the original grade


obtained by the examinee with notebook code numbered 661
was 57%. After review, it was increased by 9 points, resulting
in a final grade of 66%. Still, the examinee did not pass the
subject, and, as heretofore stated, my aim was not to make
the examinee pass, notwithstanding the representation that
he had passed the other subjects. ...

9. I quite recall that during the first meeting of the Bar


Examiners' Committee consensus was that where an
examinee failed in only one subject and passed the rest, the
examiner in said subject would review the notebook. Nobody
objected to it as irregular. At the time of the Committee's first
meeting, we still did not know the names of the candidates.

10. In fine, I was a victim of deception, not a party to it. It had


absolutely no knowledge of the motives of the Bar Confidant
or his malfeasance in office, and did not know the examinee
concerned nor had I any kind of contract with him before or
rather the review and even up to the present (Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 60-63; rec.; emphasis supplied).

Atty. Manuel Tomacruz, examiner in Criminal Law, affirmed in his affidavit


dated April 12, 1972:

1. xxx xxx xxx

2. That about weekly, the Bar Confidant would deliver and


collect examination books to my residence at 951 Luna
Mencias, Mandaluyong, Rizal.

3. That towards the end when I had already completed


correction of the books in Criminal Law and was helping in
the correction of some of the papers in another subject, the
Bar Confidant brought back to me one (1) paper in Criminal
Law saying that that particular examinee had missed the
passing grade by only a fraction of a percent and that if his
paper in Criminal Law would be raised a few points to
75%then he would make the general passing average.

4. That seeing the jurisdiction, I raised the grade to 75%, that


is, giving a raise of, if I remember correctly, 2 or 3 points,
initialled the revised mark and revised also the mark and
revised also the mark in the general list.

5. That I do not recall the number of the book of the examinee


concerned" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 69, rec.; emphasis
supplied).

In his answer dated March 12, 1973, respondent Tomacruz stated that "I
accepted the word of the Bar Confidant in good faith and without the slightest
inkling as to the identity of the examinee in question who up to now remains
a total stranger and without expectation of nor did I derive any personal
benefit" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.; emphasis supplied).

Atty. Fidel Manalo, examiner in Remedial Law, stated in his affidavit dated
April 14, 1972, that:

xxx xxx xxx

2. Sometime about the late part of January or early part of


February 1972, Attorney Lanuevo, Bar Confidant of the
Supreme Court, saw me in my house at No. 1854 Asuncion
Street, Makati, Rizal. He produced to me an examinee's
notebook in Remedial Law which I had previously graded and
submitted to him. He informed me that he and others (he
used the words "we") had reviewed the said notebook. He
requested me to review the said notebook and possibly
reconsider the grade that I had previously given. He
explained that the examine concerned had done well in other
subjects, but that because of the comparatively low grade
that I had given him in Remedial Law his general average
was short of passing. Mr. Lanuevo remarked that he thought
that if the paper were reviewed I might find the examinee
deserving of being admitted to the Bar. As far as I can recall,
Mr. Lanuevo particularly called my attention to the fact in his
answers the examinee expressed himself clearly and in good
enough English. Mr. Lanuevo however informed me that
whether I would reconsider the grades I had previously given
and submitted was entirely within my discretion.

3. Believing fully that it was within Mr. Lanuevo's authority as


Bar Confidant to address such a request to me and that the
said request was in order, I, in the presence of Mr. Lanuevo,
proceeded tore-read and re-evaluate each and every item of
the paper in question. I recall that in my re-evaluation of the
answers, I increased the grades in some items, made
deductions in other items, and maintained the same grades in
other items. However, I recall that after Mr. Lanuevo and I
had totalled the new grades that I had given after re-
evaluation, the total grade increased by a few points, but still
short of the passing mark of 75% in my subject.

xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 74-75, rec.; emphasis
supplied).

In his answer (response) dated March 18, 1973, respondent Manalo


reiterated the contents of his sworn statement, adding the following:

xxx xxx xxx

5. In agreeing to re-evaluate the notebook, with resulted in


increasing the total grade of the examinee-concerned in
Remedial Law from 63.75% to 74.5%, herein respondent
acted in good faith. It may well be that he could be faulted for
not having verified from the Chairman of the Committee of
Bar Examiners the legitimacy of the request made by Mr.
Lanuevo. Herein respondent, however, pleads in attenuation
of such omission, that —

a) Having been appointed an Examiner for the


first time, he was not aware, not having been
apprised otherwise, that it was not within the
authority of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme
Court to request or suggest that the grade of a
particular examination notebook be revised or
reconsidered. He had every right to presume,
owing to the highly fiduciary nature of the
position of the Bar Confidant, that the request
was legitimate.
xxx xxx xxx

c) In revising the grade of the particular


examinee concerned, herein respondent
carefully evaluated each and every answer
written in the notebook. Testing the answers
by the criteria laid down by the Court,
and giving the said examinee the benefit of
doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevo's representation
that it was only in that particular subject that
the said examine failed, herein respondent
became convinced that the said examinee
deserved a higher grade than that previously
given to him, but that he did not deserve, in
herein respondent's honest appraisal, to be
given the passing grade of 75%. It should also
be mentioned that, in reappraising the
answers, herein respondent downgraded a
previous rating of an answer written by the
examinee, from 9.25% to 9% (Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 36-39, rec.; emphasis supplied).

Atty. Manuel Montecillo, examiner in Mercantile Law, affirmed in his affidavit


dated April 17, 1972:

xxx xxx xxx

That during one of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners'


Committee after the Bar Examinations were held, I was
informed that one Bar examinee passed all other subjects
except Mercantile Law;

That I informed the Bar Examiners' Committee that I would be


willing to re-evaluate the paper of this particular Bar
candidate;.

That the next day, the Bar Confidant handed to me a Bar


candidate's notebook (No. 1613) showing a grade of 61%;

That I reviewed the whole paper and after re-evaluating the


answers of this particular Bar candidate I decided to increase
his final grade to 71%;

That consequently, I amended my report and duly initialed the


changes in the grade sheet (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 72, rec.;
emphasis supplied).

In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Montecillo restated the
contents of his sworn statement of April 17, 1972, and

xxx xxx xxx

2. Supplementary to the foregoing sworn statement, I hereby


state that I re-evaluated the examination notebook of Bar
Candidate No. 1613 in Mercantile Law in absolute good faith
and in direct compliance with the agreement made during one
of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners Committee that
where a candidate fails in only one subject, the Examiner
concerned should make a re-evaluation of the answers of the
candidate concerned, which I did.

3. Finally, I hereby state that I did not know at the time I made
the aforementioned re-evaluation that notebook No. 1613 in
Mercantile Law pertained to bar examine Ramon E. Galang,
alias Roman E. Galang, and that I have never met up to this
time this particular bar examinee (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp.
40-41, rec.; emphasis supplied).

In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, Bar Confidant Lanuevo stated:

xxx xxx xxx

As I was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in


the grading sheets and the posting on the record of ratings, I
was impressed of the writing and the answers on the first
notebook. This led me to scrutinize all the set of notebooks.
Believing that those five merited re-evalation on the basis of
the memorandum circularized to the examiners shortly earlier
to the effect that

... in the correction of the papers, substantial


weight should then be given to clarify of
language and soundness of reasoning' (par.
4),

I took it upon myself to bring them back to the respective


examiners for re-evaluation and/or re-checking.

It is our experience in the Bar Division that immediately after


the release of the results of the examinations, we are usually
swarmed with requests of the examinees that they be shown
their notebooks. Many of them would copy their answers and
have them checked by their professors. Eventually some of
them would file motions or requests for re-correction and/or
re-evaluation. Right now, we have some 19 of such motions
or requests which we are reading for submission to the
Honorable Court.

Often we feel that a few of them are meritorious, but just the
same they have to be denied because the result of the
examinations when released is final and irrevocable.

It was to at least minimize the occurrence of such instances


that motivated me to bring those notebooks back to the
respective examiners for re-evaluation" (Adm. Case No.
1162, p. 24, rec.; emphasis supplied).

In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Lanuevo avers:


That he submitted the notebooks in question to the examiners
concerned in his hotest belief that the same merited re-
evaluation; that in so doing, it was not his intention to forsake
or betray the trust reposed in him as bar confidant but on the
contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned; that neither
did he act in a presumptuous manner, because the matter of
whether or not re-evaluation was inorder was left alone to the
examiners' decision; and that, to his knowledge, he does not
remember having made the alleged misrepresentation but
that he remembers having brought to the attention of the
Committee during the meeting a matter concerning another
examinee who obtained a passing general average but with a
grade below 50% in Mercantile Law. As the Committee
agreed to remove the disqualification by way of raising the
grade in said subject, respondent brought the notebook in
question to the Examiner concerned who thereby raised the
grade thus enabling the said examinee to pass. If he
remembers right, the examinee concerned is one surnamed
"de la Cruz" or "Ty-de la Cruz".

Your Honors, respondent never entertained a notion that his


act would stir such serious charges as would tend to
undermine his integrity because he did it in all good faith.

xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 35, rec.; emphasis
supplied).

On August 27, 1973, during the course of the investigation, respondent


Lanuevo filed another sworn statement in addition to, and in amplification of,
his answer, stating:

xxx xxx xxx

1. That I vehemently deny having deceived the examiners


concerned into believing that the examinee involved failed
only in their respective subjects, the fact of the matter being
that the notebooks in question were submitted to the
respective examiners for re-evaluation believing in all good
faith that they so merited on the basis of the Confidential
Memorandum (identified and marked as Exh. 1-Lanuevo,
particularly that portion marked as Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo)which
was circulated to all the examiners earlier, leaving to them
entirely the matter of whether or not re-evaluation was in
order,

2. That the following coincidence prompted me to pry into the


notebooks in question:

Sometime during the latter part of January


and the early part of February, 1972, on my
way back to the office (Bar Division) after
lunch, I though of buying a sweepstake ticket.
I have always made it a point that the moment
I think of so buying, I pick a number from any
object and the first number that comes into my
sight becomes the basis of the ticket that I
buy. At that moment, the first number that I
saw was "954" boldly printed on an electrical
contribance (evidently belonging to the
MERALCO) attached to a post standing along
the right sidewalk of P. Faura street towards
the Supreme Court building from San
Marcelino street and almost adjacent to the
south-eastern corner of the fence of the
Araullo High School(photograph of the
number '954', the contrivance on which it is
printed and a portion of the post to which it is
attached is identified and marked as Exhibit 4-
Lanuevo and the number "954" as Exh. 4-a-
Lanuevo).

With this number (954) in mind, I proceeded


to Plaza Sta. Cruz to look for a ticket that
would contain such number. Eventually, I
found a ticket, which I then bought, whose last
three digits corresponded to "954". This
number became doubly impressive to me
because the sum of all the six digits of the
ticket number was "27", a number that is so
significant to me that everything I do I try
somewhat instinctively to link or connect it
with said number whenever possible. Thus
even in assigning code numbers on the
Master List of examinees from 1968 when I
first took charge of the examinations as Bar
Confidant up to 1971, I either started with the
number "27" (or "227") or end with said
number. (1968 Master List is identified and
marked as Exh. 5-Lanuevo and the figure "27"
at the beginning of the list, as Exh. 5-a
Lanuevo; 1969 Master List as Exh. 6-Lanuevo
and the figure "227" at the beginning of the
list, as Exh. 6-a-Lanuevo; 1970 Master List as
Exh. 7-Lanuevo and the figure "227" at the
beginning of the list as Exh. 7-a-Lanuevo; and
the 1971 Master List as Exh. 8-Lanuevo and
the figure "227" at the end of the list as Exh.
8-a-Lanuevo).

The significance to me of this number (27)


was born out of these incidents in my life, to
wit: (a) On November 27, 1941 while with the
Philippine Army stationed at Camp Manacnac,
Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, I was stricken with
pneumonia and was hospitalized at the Nueva
Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result. As will be
recalled, the last Pacific War broke out on
December 8, 1941. While I was still confined
at the hospital, our camp was bombed and
strafed by Japanese planes on December 13,
1941 resulting in many casualties. From then
on, I regarded November 27, 1941 as the
beginning of a new life for me having been
saved from the possibility of being among the
casualties;(b) On February 27, 1946, I was
able to get out of the army byway of
honorable discharge; and (c) on February 27,
1947, I got married and since then we begot
children the youngest of whom was born on
February 27, 1957.

Returning to the office that same afternoon


after buying the ticket, I resumed my work
which at the time was on the checking of the
notebooks. While thus checking, I came upon
the notebooks bearing the office code number
"954". As the number was still fresh in my
mind, it aroused my curiosity prompting me to
pry into the contents of the notebooks.
Impressed by the clarity of the writing and
language and the apparent soundness of the
answers and, thereby, believing in all good
faith on the basis of the aforementioned
Confidential Memorandum (Exh. 1-Lanuevo
and Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo) that they merited re-
evaluation, I set them aside and later on took
them back to the respective examiners for
possible review recalling to them the said
Confidential Memorandum but leaving
absolutely the matter to their discretion and
judgment.

3. That the alleged misrepresentation or deception could


have reference to either of the two cases which I brought to
the attention of the committee during the meeting and which
the Committee agreed to refer back to the respective
examines, namely:

(a) That of an examinee who obtained a


passing general average but with a grade
below 50% (47%) in Mercantile Law(the
notebooks of this examinee bear the Office
Code No. 110, identified and marked as Exh.
9-Lanuevo and the notebook in Mercantile
Law bearing the Examiner's Code No. 951
with the original grade of 4% increased to
50% after re-evaluation as Exh. 9-a-Lanuevo);
and

(b) That of an examinee who obtained a


borderline general average of 73.15% with a
grade below 60% (57%) in one subject which,
at the time, I could not pinpoint having
inadvertently left in the office the data thereon.
It turned out that the subject was Political and
International Law under Asst. Solicitor
General Bernardo Pardo (The notebooks of
this examinee bear the Office Code No. 1622
identified and marked as Exh. 10-Lanuevo
and the notebook in Political and International
Law bearing the Examiner's Code No. 661
with the original grade of 57% increased to
66% after re-evaluation, as Exh. 10-a-
Lanuevo). This notebook in Political and
International Law is precisely the same
notebook mentioned in the sworn statement of
Asst. Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo(Exh. --
----- Pardo).

4. That in each of the two cases mentioned in the next


preceding paragraph, only one (1) subject or notebook was
reviewed or re-evaluated, that is, only Mercantile Law in the
former; and only Political and International Law in the latter,
under the facts and circumstances I made known to the
Committee and pursuant to which the Committee authorized
the referral of the notebooks involved to the examiners
concerned;

5. That at that juncture, the examiner in Taxation even


volunteered to review or re-check some 19, or so, notebooks
in his subject but that I told the Committee that there was very
little time left and that the increase in grade after re-
evaluation, unless very highly substantial, may not alter the
outcome since the subject carries the weight of only 10%
(Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.).

The foregoing last-minute embellishment only serves to accentuate the fact


that Lanuevo's story is devoid of truth. In his sworn statement of April 12,
1972, he was "led to scrutinize all the set of notebooks" of respondent
Galang, because he "was impressed of the writing and the answers on the
first notebook "as he "was going over those notebooks, checking the entries
in the grading sheets and the posting on the record of ratings." In his affidavit
of August 27, 1973, he stated that the number 954 on a Meralco post
provoked him "to pry into the contents of the notebooks" of respondent
Galang "bearing office code number '954."

Respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, asserted, among


others;

1. That herein respondent is not acquainted with former


BarConfidant Victorio Lanuevo and never met him before
except once when, as required by the latter respondent
submitted certain papers necessary for taking the bar
examinations.

xxx xxx xxx

4. That it has been the consistent policy of the Supreme


Court not to reconsider "failure" cases; after the official
release thereof; why should it now reconsider a "passing"
case, especially in a situation where the respondent and the
bar confidant do not know each other and, indeed, met only
once in the ordinary course of official business?

It is not inevitable, then, to conclude that the entire situation


clearly manifests a reasonable doubt to which respondent is
richly entitled?

5. That respondent, before reading a copy of this Honorable


Court's resolution dated March 5, 1973, had no knowledge
whatsoever of former Bar Confidant Victorio Lanuevo's
actuations which are stated in particular in the resolution. In
fact, the respondent never knew this man intimately nor, had
the herein respondent utilized anyone to contact the Bar
Confidant Lanuevo in his behalf.

But, assuming as true, the said actuations of Bar Confidant


Lanuevo as stated in the Resolution, which are evidently
purported to show as having redounded to the benefit of
herein respondent, these questions arise: First, was the re-
evaluation of Respondent's examination papers by the Bar
Examination Committee done only or especially for him and
not done generally as regards the paper of the other bar
candidates who are supposed to have failed? If the re-
evaluation of Respondent's grades was done among those of
others, then it must have been done as a matter of policy of
the Committee to increase the percentage of passing in that
year's examination and, therefore, the insinuation that only
respondent's papers were re-evaluated upon the influence of
Bar Confidant Lanuevo would be unjustifiable, if not far
fetched. Secondly, is the fact that BarConfidant Lanuevo's
actuations resulted in herein Respondent's benefit an
evidence per se of Respondent's having caused actuations of
Bar confidant Lanuevo to be done in former's behalf? To
assume this could be disastrous in effect because that would
be presuming all the members of the Bar Examination
Committee as devoid of integrity, unfit for the bar themselves
and the result of their work that year, as also unworthy of
anything. All of these inferences are deductible from the
narration of facts in the resolution, and which only goes to
show said narration of facts an unworthy of credence, or
consideration.

xxx xxx xxx

7. This Honorable Tribunal's Resolution of March 5, 1973


would make this Respondent Account or answer for the
actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as well as for the
actuations of the Bar Examiners implying the existence of
some conspiracy between them and the Respondent. The
evident imputation is denied and it is contended that the Bar
Examiners were in the performance of their duties and that
they should be regarded as such in the consideration of this
case.

xxx xxx xxx (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.).
I

The evidence thus disclosed clearly demonstrates how respondent Lanuevo


systematically and cleverly initiated and prepared the stage leading to the re-
evalation and/or recorrection of the answers of respondent Galang by
deceiving separately and individually the respondents-examiners to make the
desired revision without prior authority from the Supreme Court after the
corrected notebooks had been submitted to the Court through the respondent
Bar Confidant, who is simply the custodian thereof for and in behalf of the
Court.

It appears that one evening, sometime around the middle part of December,
1971, just before Christmas day, respondent Lanuevo approached Civil Law
examiner Pamatian while the latter was in the process of correcting
examination booklets, and then and there made the representations that as
BarConfidant, he makes a review of the grades obtained in all subjects of the
examinees and if he finds that a candidate obtains an extraordinarily high
grade in one subject and a rather low one on another, he will bring back to
the examiner concerned the notebook for re-evaluation and change of
grade(Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 55-56; Vol. V, pp. 3-4,
rec.).

Sometime in the latter part of January, 1972, respondent Lanuevo brought


back to respondent-examiner Pamatian an examination booklet in Civil Law
for re-evaluation, representing that the examinee who owned the particular
notebook is on the borderline of passing and if his grade in said subject could
be reconsidered to 75%, the said examine will get a passing average.
Respondent-examiner Pamatian took respondent Lanuevo's word and under
the belief that was really the practice and policy of the Supreme Court and in
his further belief that he was just manifesting cooperation in doing so, he re-
evaluated the paper and reconsidered the examinee's grade in said subject
to 75% from 64%. The particular notebook belonged to an examinee with
Examiner's Code Number 95 and with Office Code Number 954. This
examinee is Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang. Respondent
Pamatian did not know the identity of the examinee at the time he re-
evaluated the said booklet (Exhs. 1-Pamatian, 2-Pamatian, and 3-Pamatian,
Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-33, 55-56, 57; Vol. V, pp. 3-4, rec.).

Before Justice Pamatian made the revision, Examinee Galang failed in seven
subjects including Civil Law. After such revision, examinee Galang still failed
in six subjects and could not obtain the passing average of 75% for
admission to the Bar.

Thereafter, about the latter part of January, 1972 or early part of February,
1972, respondent Lanuevo went to the residence of respondent-examiner
Fidel Manalo at 1854 Asuncion Street, Makati, Rizal, with an examinee's
notebook in Remedial Law, which respondent Manalo and previously
corrected and graded. Respondent Lanuevo then requested respondent
Manalo to review the said notebook and possibly to reconsider the grade
given, explaining and representing that "they" has reviewed the said
notebook and that the examinee concerned had done well in other subjects,
but that because of the comparatively low grade given said examinee by
respondent Manalo in Remedial Law, the general average of said examinee
was short of passing. Respondent Lanuevo likewise made the remark and
observation that he thought that if the notebook were reviewed, respondent
Manalo might yet find the examinee deserving of being admitted to the Bar.
Respondent Lanuevo also particularly called the attention of respondent
Manalo to the fact that in his answers, the examinee expressed himself
clearly and in good English. Furthermore, respondent Lanuevo called the
attention of respondent Manalo to Paragraph 4 of the Confidential
Memorandum that read as follows:

4. Examination questions should be more a test of logic,


knowledge of legal fundamentals, and ability to analyze and
solve legal problems rather than a test of memory; in the
correction of papers, substantial weight should be given to
clarify of language and soundness of reasoning.

Respondent Manalo was, however, informed by respondent Lanuevo that the


matter of reconsideration was entirely within his (Manalo's) discretion.
Respondent Manalo, believing that respondent Lanuevo, as Bar Confidant,
had the authority to make such request and further believing that such
request was in order, proceeded to re-evaluate the examinee's answers in
the presence of Lanuevo, resulting in an increase of the examinee's grade in
that particular subject, Remedial Law, from 63.25% to 74.5%. Respondent
Manalo authenticated with his signature the changes made by him in the
notebook and in the grading sheet. The said notebook examiner's code
number is 136, instead of 310 as earlier mentioned by him in his affidavit,
and belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1 & 2-
Manalo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 36-39, 74-75; Vol. V, pp. 50-53, rec.).

But even after the re-evaluation by Atty. Manalo, Examinee Galang could not
make the passing grade due to his failing marks in five subjects.

Likewise, in the latter part of January, 1972, on one occasion when


respondent Lanuevo went to deliver to respondent Guillermo Pablo, Jr. in the
latter's house a new batch of examination papers in Political Law and Public
International Law to be corrected, respondent Lanuevo brought out a
notebook in Political Law bearing Examiner's Code Number 1752 (Exh. 5-
Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 66, rec.), informing respondent Pablo that
particular examinee who owns the said notebook seems to have passed in all
other subjects except in Political Law and Public International Law; and that if
the said notebook would be re-evaluated and the mark be increased to at
least 75%, said examinee will pass the bar examinations. After satisfying
himself from respondent that this is possible — the respondent Bar Confidant
informing him that this is the practice of the Court to help out examinees who
are failing in just one subject — respondent Pablo acceded to the request
and thereby told the Bar Confidant to just leave the said notebook.
Respondent Pablo thereafter re-evaluated the answers, this time with
leniency. After the re-evaluation, the grade was increased to 78% from 68%,
or an increase of 10%. Respondent Pablo then made the corresponding
corrections in the grading sheet and accordingly initialed the charges made.
This notebook with Office Code Number 954 also belonged to Ramon E.
Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Vol. V, pp. 43-46, rec.).

After the re-evaluation by Atty. Pablo, Jr., examinee Galang's general


average was still below the passing grade, because of his failing marks in
four subjects.

Towards the end of the correction of examination notebooks, respondent


Lanuevo brought back to respondent Tomacruz one examination booklet in
Criminal Law, with the former informing the latter, who was then helping in
the correction of papers in Political Law and Public International Law, as he
had already finished correcting the examination notebooks in his assigned
subject — Criminal Law — that the examinee who owns that particular
notebook had missed the passing grade by only a fraction of a percent and
that if his grade in Criminal Law would be raised a few points to 75%, then
the examinee would make the passing grade. Accepting the words of
respondent Lanuevo, and seeing the justification and because he did not
want to be the one causing the failure of the examinee, respondent
Tomacruz raised the grade from 64% to 75% and thereafter, he initialed the
revised mark and also revised the mark in the general list and likewise
initialed the same. The examinee's Examiner Code Number is 746 while his
Office Code Number is 954. This examinee is Ramon E. Galang, alias
Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1, 2 & 3-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 65,
66 and 71; Vol. V, pp. 24-25, 60-61, rec.).

Respondent Tomacruz does not recall having been shown any memo by
respondent Lanuevo when the latter approached him for this particular re-
evaluation; but he remembers Lanuevo declaring to him that where a
candidate had almost made the passing average but had failed in one
subject, as a matter of policy of the Court, leniency is applied in reviewing the
examinee's notebook in the failing subject. He recalls, however, that he was
provided a copy of the Confidential Memorandum but this was long before
the re-evaluation requested by respondent Lanuevo as the same was
received by him before the examination period (Vol. V, p. 61, rec.).

However, such revision by Atty. Tomacruz could not raise Galang's general
average to a passing grade because of his failing mark in three more
subjects, including Mercantile Law. For the revision of examinee Galang's
notebook in Mercantile Law, respondent Lanuevo neatly set the last phase of
his quite ingenious scheme — by securing authorization from the Bar
Examination Committee for the examiner in Mercantile Law tore-evaluate
said notebook.

At the first meeting of the Bar Examination Committee on February 8, 1972,


respondent Lanuevo suggested that where an examinee failed in only one
subject and passed the rest, the examiner concerned would review the
notebook. Nobody objected to it as irregular and the Committee adopted the
suggestion (Exhs. A & B-Montecillo, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp.
41, 72, 63; Vol. Vi, p. 16, rec.).

At a subsequent meeting of the Bar Examination Committee, respondent


Montecillo was informed by respondent Lanuevo that a candidate passed all
other subjects except Mercantile Law. This information was made during the
meeting within hearing of the order members, who were all closely seated
together. Respondent Montecillo made known his willingness tore-evaluate
the particular paper. The next day, respondent Lanuevo handed to
respondent Montecillo a bar candidate's notebook with Examiner's Code
Number 1613 with a grade of 61%. Respondent Montecillo then reviewed the
whole paper and after re-evaluating the answers, decided to increase the
final grade to 71%. The matter was not however thereafter officially brought
to the Committee for consideration or decision (Exhs. A& B-Montecillo, Adm.
Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, 70-71; Vol. V, pp. 33-34, rec.).

Respondent Montecillo declared that without being given the information that
the particular examinee failed only in his subject and passed all the others,
he would not have consented to make the re-evaluation of the said
paper (Vol. V, p. 33, rec.).Respondent Montecillo likewise added that there
was only one instance he remembers, which is substantiated by his personal
records, that he had to change the grade of an examinee after he had
submitted his report, referring to the notebook of examinee Ramon E.
Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, with Examiner's Code Number 1613 and
with Office Code Number 954 (Vol. V, pp. 34-35, rec.).

A day or two after February 5, 1972, when respondent Lanuevo went to the
residence of respondent-examiner Pardo to obtain the last bag of 200
notebooks, respondent Lanuevo returned to the residence of respondent
Pardo riding in a Volkswagen panel of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
with two companions. According to respondent Lanuevo, this was around the
second week of February, 1972, after the first meeting of the Bar
Examination Committee. respondent Lanuevo had with him on that occasion
an examinee's notebook bearing Examiner's Code No. 661. Respondent
Lanuevo, after the usual amenities, requested respondent Pardo to review
and re-examine, if possible, the said notebook because, according to
respondent Lanuevo, the examine who owns that particular notebook
obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of which is 84% in
Remedial Law. After clearing with respondent Lanuevo his authority to
reconsider the grades, respondent Pardo re-evaluated the answers of the
examine concerned, resulting in an increase of grade from 57% of 66%. Said
notebook has number 1622 as office code number. It belonged to examinee
Ernesto Quitaleg (Exhs. 1 & 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 58-63; Vol.
V, pp. 12-24, 29-30, rec.).

II

Re: Administrative Case No. 1162, Victorio D. Lanuevo, respondent.

UNAUTHORIZED RE-EVALUATION OF THE ANSWERS OF EXAMINE


RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E. GALANG, IN ALL FIVE (5) MAJOR
SUBJECTS.

Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having requested on his own


initiative the five examiners concerned to re-evaluate the five notebooks of
Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, that eventually resulted in the
increase of Galang's average from 66.25% to the passing grade 74.15%, or a
total increase of eight (8) weighted points, more or less, that enabled Galang
to hurdle the 1971 Bar examinations via a resolution of the Court making
74% the passing average for that year's examination without any grade
below fifty percent (50%) in any subject. Galang thereafter took his lawyer's
oath. It is likewise beyond dispute that he had no authority from the Court or
the Committee to initiate such steps towards the said re-evaluation of the
answers of Galang or of other examinees.

Denying that he made representations to the examiners concerned that


respondent Galang failed only in their respective subjects and/or was on the
borderline of passing, Respondent Lanuevo sought to justify his actuations
on the authority of the aforequoted paragraph 4 of the Confidential
Memorandum(Exhs. 1 and 1-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Cases Nos. 1162 & 1164, p.
51, Adm. Case No. 1162; Vol. VII, p. 4, rec.) distributed to the members of
the Bar Examination Committee. He maintains that he acted in good faith and
"in his honest belief that the same merited re-evaluation; that in doing so, it
was not his intention to forsake or betray the trust reposed in him as
BarConfidant but on the contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned;
and that neither did he act in a presumptuous manner because the matter of
whether or not re-evaluation was in order was left alone to the examiners'
decision ..." (Exh. 2-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 35-37, rec.).

But as openly admitted by him in the course of the investigation, the said
confidential memorandum was intended solely for the examiners to guide
them in the initial correction of the examination papers and never as a basis
for him to even suggest to the examiners the re-evaluation of the examination
papers of the examinees (Vol. VII, p. 23, rec.). Any such suggestion or
request is not only presumptuous but also offensive to the norms of delicacy.

We believe the Examiners — Pablo, Manalo, Montecillo, Tomacruz, Pardo


and Pamatian — whose declarations on the matter of the misrepresentations
and deceptions committed by respondent Lanuevo, are clear and consistent
as well as corroborate each other.

For indeed the facts unfolded by the declarations of the respondents-


examiners (Adm. Case No. 1164) and clarified by extensive cross-
examination conducted during the investigation and hearing of the cases
show how respondent Lanuevo adroitly maneuvered the passing of
examinee Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang in the 1971 Bar
Examinations. It is patent likewise from the records that respondent Lanuevo
too undue advantage of the trust and confidence reposed in him by the Court
and the Examiners implicit in his position as BarConfidant as well as the trust
and confidence that prevailed in and characterized his relationship with the
five members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee, who were thus
deceived and induced into re-evaluating the answers of only respondent
Galang in five subjects that resulted in the increase of his grades therein,
ultimately enabling him to be admitted a member of the Philippine Bar.

It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent


Lanuevo's well-studied and well-calculated moves in successively
representing separately to each of the five examiners concerned to the effect
that the examinee failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the
borderline of passing. To repeat, the before the unauthorized re-evaluations
were made, Galang failed in the five (5) major subjects and in two (2) minor
subjects while his general average was only 66.25% — which under no
circumstances or standard could it be honestly claimed that the examinee
failed only in one, or he was on the borderline of passing. In fact, before the
first notebook of Galang was referred back to the examiner concerned for re-
evaluation, Galang had only one passing mark and this was in Legal Ethics
and Practical Exercises, a minor subject, with grade of 81%. The averages
and individual grades of Galang before and after the unauthorized re-
evaluation are as follows:

BAI

1. Political Law Public


International Law 68% 78% = 10 pts.
or 30 weighted points

BAI
Labor Laws and Social
Legislations 67% 67% = no re-
evaluation made.

2. Civil Law 64% 75% = 1 points


or 33 weighted points.

Taxation 74% 74% = no re-


evaluation made.

3. Mercantile Law 61% 71% = 10 pts.


or 30 weighted points.

4. Criminal Law 64% 75% = 11 pts. or


22 weighted points.

5. Remedial Law 63.75% (64) 75.5% (75%) =


11 pts. or 44 weighted points.

Legal Ethics and Practical


Exercises 81% 81% = no re-
evaluation made.
————————————

General Weighted Averages 66.25% 74.15%

Hence, by the simple expedient of initiating the re-evaluation of the answers


of Galang in the five (5) subjects under the circumstances already narrated,
Galang's original average of 66.25% was increased to 74.15% or an increase
of 7.9 weighted points, to the great damage and prejudice of the integrity of
the Bar examinations and to the disadvantage of the other examinees. He did
this in favor only of examinee Galang, with the possible addition of
examinees Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. But only one
notebook was re-evaluated for each of the latter who — Political Law and
Public International Law for Quitaleg and Mercantile Law for Ty dela Cruz.

The Office of the Bar Confidant, it must be stressed, has absolutely nothing
to do in the re-evaluation or reconsideration of the grades of examinees who
fail to make the passing mark before or after their notebooks are submitted to
it by the Examiners. After the corrected notebooks are submitted to him by
the Examiners, his only function is to tally the individual grades of every
examinee in all subjects taken and thereafter compute the general average.
That done, he will then prepare a comparative data showing the percentage
of passing and failing in relation to a certain average to be submitted to the
Committee and to the Court and on the basis of which the Court will
determine the passing average, whether 75 or 74 or 73, etc. The Bar
Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of the examinees and
cannot assume the functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the
Examiners concerned. He is not the over-all Examiner. He cannot presume
to know better than the examiner. Any request for re-evaluation should be
done by the examinee and the same should be addressed to the Court,
which alone can validly act thereon. A Bar Confidant who takes such
initiative, exposes himself to suspicion and thereby compromises his position
as well as the image of the Court.
Respondent Lanuevo's claim that he was merely doing justice to Galang
without any intention of betraying the trust and confidence reposed in him by
the Court as Bar Confidant, can hardly invite belief in the fact of the
incontrovertible fact that he singled out Galang's papers for re-evaluation,
leaving out the papers of more than ninety (90) examinees with far better
averages ranging from 70% to 73.9% of which he was fully aware (Vol. VI,
pp. 46-47, 101, rec.), which could be more properly claimed as borderline
cases. This fact further betrays respondent Lanuevo's claim of absolute good
faith in referring back the papers of Galang to the Examiners for re-
evaluation. For certainly, as against the original weighted average of 66.25%
of Galang, there can hardly be any dispute that the cases of the aforesaid
more than ninety (90) examinees were more deserving of reconsideration.
Hence, in trying to do justice to Galang, as claimed by respondent Lanuevo,
grave injustice was inflicted on the other examinees of the 1971 Bar
examinations, especially the said more than ninety candidates. And the
unexplained failure of respondent Lanuevo to apprise the Court or the
Committee or even the Bar Chairman of the fact of re-evaluation before or
after the said re-evaluation and increase of grades, precludes, as the same is
inconsistent with, any pretension of good faith.

His request for the re-evaluation of the notebook in Political Law and
International Law of Ernesto Quitaleg and the notebook in Mercantile Law of
Alfredo Ty dela Cruz to give his actuations in the case of Galang a
semblance of impartiality, hoping that the over ninety examinees who were
far better situated than Galang would not give him away. Even the re-
evaluation of one notebook of Quitaleg and one notebook of Ty dela Cruz
violated the agreement of the members of the 1971 Bar Examination
Committee to re-evaluate when the examinee concerned fails only in one
subject. Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz failed in four (4) and three (3) subjects
respectively — as hereinafter shown.

The strange story concerning the figures 954, the office code number given
to Galang's notebook, unveiled for the first time by respondent Lanuevo in his
suplemental sworn statement(Exh. 3- Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-
47. rec.) filed during the investigation with this Court as to why he pried into
the papers of Galang deserves scant consideration. It only serves to picture a
man desperately clutching at straws in the wind for support. Furthermore, it
was revealed by respondent Lanuevo for the first time only on August 27,
1973 or a period of more than five 95) months after he filed his answer on
March 19, 1973(Exh. 2-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 35-36, rec.),
showing that it was just an after-thought.

REFERRAL OF EXAMINEE ALFREDO TY DELA CRUZ NOTEBOOK IN


MERCHANTILE LAW TO RAISE HIS GRADE OF 47% TO 50% TO
EXAMINER MANUEL MONTECILLO AND OF EXAMINEE ERNESTO
QUITALEG'S NOTEBOOK IN POLITICAL LAW TO EXAMINER BERNARDO
PARDO FOR RE-EVALUATION, RESULTING IN THE INCREASE OF HIS
GRADE IN THAT SUBJECT FROM 57% TO 66%.

Likewise, respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having referred back the


aforesaid notebooks on Mercantile Law and Political Law respectively of
Alfredo Ty dela Cruz and Ernesto Quitaleg to the Examiners concerned.
The records are not clear, however, under what circumstances the notebooks
of Ty dela Cruz and Quitaleg were referred back to the Examiners
concerned. Respondent Lanuevo claimed that these two cases were officially
brought to the Bar Examination Committee during its first meeting (Vol. VI,
pp. 50-51, rec.) and the latter decided to refer them back to the Examiners
concerned for re-evaluation with respect to the case of Quitaleg and to
remove the disqualification in the case of Ty dela Cruz(Vol. VI, pp. 33-39, 84-
86, rec.). Respondent Lanuevo further claimed that the date of these two
cases were contained in a sheet of paper which was presented at the said
first meeting of the Committee (Vol. VI, pp. 39-43, 49-51, rec.). Likewise a
record of the dates of every meeting of the Committee was made by
respondent Lanuevo (Vol. VI, p. 28, rec.). The alleged sheet containing the
date of the two examinees and record of the dates of the meeting of the
Committee were not presented by respondent Lanuevo as, according to him,
he left them inadvertently in his desk in the Confidential Room when he went
on leave after the release of the Bar results (Vol. VI, pp. 28, 41-45, rec.). It
appears, however, that the inventory conducted by officials of the Court in the
Confidential Room of respondent Lanuevo did not yield any such sheet of
record (Exh. X, Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 74, rec.; Vol. VIII, pp. 11-13, 20-22,
29-31, rec.).

Respondent Examiner Montecillo, Mercantile Law, maintained that there was


only one notebook in Mercantile Law which was officially brought to him and
this is substantiated by his personal file and record (Vol. VI, pp. 34-35, rec.).
According to him, this notebook's examiner code number is 1613 (Vol. V,
p.35, rec.) and is owned by Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang. It
appears, however, that the original grade of 47% in Mercantile Law of Ty
dela Cruz was changed to 50% as appearing in the cover of the notebook of
said examinee and the change is authenticated with the initial of Examiner
Montecillo. He was present when respondent Lanuevo presented in evidence
the notebook of Ty dela Cruz bearing Examiner code number 951 and Office
Code Number 110 as Exhibit 9-Lanuevo in Administrative Case No. 1162,
and the figures 47 crossed out, replaced by the figures 50 bearing the initial
of Examiner Montecillo as Exhibit 9-a-Lanuevo (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 48,
rec.; Vol. VI, pp. 23-24, Vol. VIII, p. 4, rec.); but Atty. Montecillo did not
interpose any objection to their admission in evidence.

In this connection, respondent Examiner Pardo testified that he remembers a


case of an examinee presented to the Committee, who obtained passing
marks in all subjects except in one and the Committee agreed to refer back
to the Examiner concerned the notebook in the subject in which the
examinee failed (Vol. V, pp. 15-16, rec.). He cannot recall the subject, but he
is certain that it was not Political Law (Vol. V, p. 16, rec.).Further, Pardo
declared that he is not aware of any case of an examinee who was on the
borderline of passing but who got a grade below 50% in one subject that was
taken up by the Committee (Vol. V, pp. 16-17, rec.).

Examiner Montecillo testified that it was the notebook with Examiner Code
Number 1613 (belonging to Galang) which was referred to the Committee
and the Committee agreed to return it to the Examiner concerned. The day
following the meeting in which the case of an examinee with Code Number
1613 was taken up, respondent Lanuevo handed him said notebook and he
accordingly re-evaluated it. This particular notebook with Office Code
Number 954 belongs to Galang.
Examiner Tomacruz recalled a case of an examinee whose problem was
Mercantile Law that was taken up by the Committee. He is not certain of any
other case brought to the Committee (Vol. V, pp. 59-61, rec.). Pardo declared
that there was no case of an examinee that was referred to the Committee
that involved Political Law. He re-evaluated the answers of Ernesto Quitaleg
in Political Law upon the representation made by respondent Lanuevo to him.

As heretofore stated, it was this consensus at the meeting on February 8,


1972 of the members of the Committee that where an examinee failed in only
one subject and passed all the others, the Examiner in whose subject the
examinee failed should re-evaluate or recheck the notebook (Vol. V, p. 16,
rec.: Exh. 2-Pardo, allegation No. 9, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 60-63, Exh. A-
Montecillo, Allegation No. 2, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, and Exh. B-
Montecillo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 72, rec.).

At the time the notebook of Ernesto Quitaleg in Political Law with a grade of
57% was referred back to Examiner Pardo, said examinee had other failing
grades in three (3) subjects, as follows:

Labor Laws 3%

Taxation 69%

Mercantile Law 68%

Ernesto Quitaleg's grades and averages before and after the re-evaluation of
his grade in Political Law are as follows:

BA

Political Law 57% 66% = 9 pts. or 27


weighted points
Labor Laws 73% 73% = No reevaluation
Civil Law 75% 75% = "
Taxation 69% 69% = "
Mercantile Law 68% 68% = "
Criminal Law 78% 78% = "
Remedial Law 85% 85% = "
Legal Ethics 83% 83% = "
————————————————

Average (weighted) 73.15% 74.5%

(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27; Exhs. 10 and 10-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, rec.)

Alfredo Ty dela Cruz, at the time his notebook in Mercantile Law was referred
to Examiner Montecillo to remove the disqualification grade of 47% in said
subject, had two (2) other failing grades. These are:

Political Law 70%


Taxation 72%

His grades and averages before and after the disqualifying grade was
removed are as follows:
BA

Political Law 70% 70% = No reevaluation


Labor Laws 75% 75% = "
Civil Law 89% 89% = "
Taxation 72% 72% = "
Mercantile Law 47% 50% = 3 pts. or 9
weighted points
Criminal Law 78% 78% = no reevaluation
Remedial Law 88% 88% = "
Legal Ethics 79% 79% = "
—————————————————

Weighted Averages 74.95% 75.4%

(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27, rec.).

The re-evaluation of the answers of Quitaleg in Political Law and the answers
of Ty dela Cruz in Mercantile Law, violated the consensus of the Bar
Examination Committee in February, 1971, which violation was due to the
misrepresentation of respondent Lanuevo.

It must be stated that the referral of the notebook of Galang in Mercantile


Law to Examiner Montecillo can hardly be said to be covered by the
consensus of the Bar Examination Committee because even at the time of
said referral, which was after the unauthorized re-evaluation of his answers
of four (4) subjects, Galang had still failing grades in Taxation and Labor
Laws. His re-evaluated grade of 74.5% in Remedial Law was considered
75% under the Confidential Memorandum and was so entered in the record.
His grade in Mercantile Law as subsequently re-evaluated by Examiner
Montecillo was 71%.

Respondent Lanuevo is therefore guilty of serious misconduct — of having


betrayed the trust and confidence reposed in him as Bar Confidant, thereby
impairing the integrity of the Bar examinations and undermining public faith in
the Supreme Court. He should be disbarred.

As to whether Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz should be disbarred


or their names stricken from the Roll of Attorneys, it is believed that they
should be required to show cause and the corresponding investigation
conducted.

III

Re: Administrative Case No. 1163, Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.


Galang, respondent.

The name of respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, should


likewise be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys. This is a necessary
consequence of the un-authorized re-evaluation of his answers in five(5)
major subjects — Civil Law, Political and International Law, Criminal Law,
Remedial Law, and Mercantile Law.
The judicial function of the Supreme Court in admitting candidates to the
legal profession, which necessarily involves the exercise of discretion,
requires: (1) previous established rules and principles; (2) concrete facts,
whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals; and (3) a decision
as to whether these facts are governed by the rules and principles (In re:
Cunanan — Flunkers' Petition for Admission to the Bar -- 94 Phil. 534, 544-
545). The determination of whether a bar candidate has obtained the
required passing grade certainly involves discretion (Legal and Judicial
Ethics, Justice Martin, 1969 ed., p. 13).

In the exercise of this function, the Court acts through a Bar Examination
Committee, composed of a member of the Court who acts as Chairman and
eight (8) members of the Bar who act as examiners in the eight (8) bar
subjects with one subject assigned to each. Acting as a sort of liaison officer
between the Court and the Bar Chairman, on one hand, and the individual
members of the Committee, on the other, is the Bar Confidant who is at the
same time a deputy clerk of the Court. Necessarily, every act of the
Committee in connection with the exercise of discretion in the admission of
examinees to membership of the Bar must be in accordance with the
established rules of the Court and must always be subject to the final
approval of the Court. With respect to the Bar Confidant, whose position is
primarily confidential as the designation indicates, his functions in connection
with the conduct of the Bar examinations are defined and circumscribed by
the Court and must be strictly adhered to.

The re-evaluation by the Examiners concerned of the examination answers


of respondent Galang in five (5) subjects, as already clearly established, was
initiated by Respondent Lanuevo without any authority from the Court, a
serious breach of the trust and confidence reposed by the Court in him as
Bar Confidant. Consequently, the re-evaluation that enabled respondent
Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations and to be admitted to the Bar is a
complete nullity. The Bar Confidant does not possess any discretion with
respect to the matter of admission of examinees to the Bar. He is not clothed
with authority to determine whether or not an examinee's answers merit re-
evaluation or re-evaluation or whether the Examiner's appraisal of such
answers is correct. And whether or not the examinee benefited was in
connivance or a privy thereto is immaterial. What is decisive is whether the
proceedings or incidents that led to the candidate's admission to the Bar
were in accordance with the rules.

Section 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964, in connection,


among others, with the character requirement of candidates for admission to
the Bar, provides that "every applicant for admission as a member of the Bar
must be ... of good moral
character ... and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory
evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him involving
moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the
Philippines." Prior to 1964, or under the old Rules of Court, a bar applicant
was required to produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory testimonials
of good moral character (Sec. 2, Rule 127). Under both rules, every applicant
is duty bound to lay before the Court all his involvement in any criminal case,
pending or otherwise terminated, to enable the Court to fully ascertain or
determine applicant's moral character. Furthermore, as to what crime
involves moral turpitude, is for the supreme Court to determine. Hence, the
necessity of laying before or informing the Court of one's personal record —
whether he was criminally indicted, acquitted, convicted or the case
dismissed or is still pending — becomes more compelling. The forms for
application to take the Bar examinations provided by the Supreme Court
beginning the year 1965 require the disclosure not only of criminal cases
involving moral turpitude filed or pending against the applicant but also of all
other criminal cases of which he has been accused. It is of course true that
the application form used by 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. But as already intimated, implicit in his task to show
satisfactory evidence or proof of good moral character is his obligation to
reveal to the Court all his involvement in any criminal case so that the Court
can consider them in the ascertainment and determination of his moral
character. And undeniably, with the applicant's criminal records before it, the
Court will be in a better position to consider the applicant's moral character;
for it could not be gainsaid that an applicant's involvement in any criminal
case, whether pending or terminated by its dismissal or applicant's acquittal
or conviction, has a bearing upon his character or fitness for admission to the
Bar. In 1963 and 1964, when respondent Galang took the Bar for the second
and third time, respectively, the application form provided by the Court for
use of applicants already required the applicant to declare under oath that
"he has not been accused of, indicted for or convicted by any court or tribunal
of any offense involving moral turpitude; and that there is no pending case of
that nature against him." By 1966, when Galang took the Bar examinations
for the fourth time, the application form prepared by the Court for use of
applicants required the applicant to reveal all his criminal cases whether
involving moral turpitude or not. In paragraph 4 of that form, the applicant is
required under oath to declare that "he has not been charged with any
offense before a Fiscal, Municipal Judge, or other officer; or accused of,
indicted for or convicted by any court or tribunal of any crime involving moral
turpitude; nor is there a pending case against him" (Adm. Case No. 1163, p.
56, rec.). Yet, respondent Galang 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.

All told, respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, is guilty of


fraudulently concealing and withholding from the Court his pending criminal
case for physical injuries in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971;
and in 1966, 1967,1969 and 1971, he committed perjury when he declared
under oath that he had no pending criminal case in court. By falsely
representing to the Court that he had no criminal case pending in court,
respondent Galang was allowed unconditionally to take the Bar examinations
seven (7) times and in 1972 was allowed to take his oath.

That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar


examinations of the fact that he had been charged with, or indicted for, an
alleged crime, is a ground for revocation of his license to practice law is well
— settled (see 165 ALR 1151, 7 CJS 741). Thus:

[1] It requires no argument to reach the conclusion that the


respondent, in withholding from the board of law examiners
and from the justice of this court, to whom he applied for
admission, information respecting so serious a matter as an
indictment for a felony, was guilty of fraud upon the court
(cases cited).

[2] It is equally clear that, had the board of law examiners, or


the judge to whom he applied for admission, been apprised of
the true situation, neither the certificate of the board nor of the
judge would have been forthcoming (State ex rel. Board of
Law Examiners v. Podell, 207 N — W — 709 — 710).

The license of respondent Podell was revoke and annulled, and he was
required to surrender to the clerk of court the license issued to him, and his
name was stricken from the roll of attorneys (p. 710).

Likewise in Re Carpel, it was declared that:

[1] The power to admit to the bar on motion is conferred in the


discretion of the Appellate Division.' In the exercise of the
discretion, the court should be informed truthfully and frankly
of matters tending to show the character of the applicant and
his standing at the bar of the state from which he comes. The
finding of indictments against him, one of which was still
outstanding at the time of his motion, were facts which should
have been submitted to the court, with such explanations as
were available. Silence respecting them was reprehensible,
as tending to deceive the court (165 NYS, 102, 104;
emphasis supplied).

Carpel's admission to the bar was revoked (p. 105).

Furthermore, respondent's persistent denial of his involvement in any


criminal case despite his having been apprised by the Investigation of some
of the circumstances of the criminal case including the very name of the
victim in that case(he finally admitted it when he was confronted by the victim
himself, who was called to testify thereon), and his continued failure for about
thirteen years to clear his name in that criminal case up to the present time,
indicate his lack of the requisite attributes of honesty, probity and good
demeanor. He is therefore unworthy of becoming a member of the noble
profession of law.

While this aspect of the investigation was not part of the formal resolution of
the Court requiring him to explain why his name should not be stricken from
the Roll of Attorneys, respondent Galang was, as early as August, 1973,
apprised of his omission to reveal to the Court his pending criminal case. Yet
he did not offer any explanation for such omission.

Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias


Roman E. Galang, was allowed to take the Bar examinations and the highly
irregular manner in which he passed the Bar, WE have no other alternative
but to order the surrender of his attorney's certificate and the striking out of
his name from the Roll of Attorneys. For as WE said in Re Felipe del Rosario:

The practice of the law is not an absolute right to be granted


every one who demands it, but is a privilege to be extended
or withheld in the exercise of sound discretion. The standards
of the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which
merely enables one to escape the penalties of the criminal
law. It would be a disgrace to the Judiciary to receive one
whose integrity is questionable as an officer of the court, to
clothe him with all the prestige of its confidence, and then to
permit him to hold himself as a duly authorized member of the
bar (citing American cases) [52 Phil. 399-401].

What WE now do with respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.


Galang, in this present case is not without any precedent in this jurisdiction.
WE had on several occasions in the past nullified the admission of successful
bar candidates to the membership of the Bar on the grounds, among others,
of (a)misrepresentations of, or false pretenses relative to, the requirement on
applicant's educational attainment [Tapel vs. Publico, resolution of the
Supreme Court striking off the name of Juan T. Publico from the Roll of
Attorneys on the basis of the findings of the Court Investigators contained in
their report and recommendation, Feb. 23, 1962; In re: Telesforo A. Diao, 7
SCRA 475-478; (b) lack of good moral character [In re: Peralta, 101 Phil.
313-314]; and (c) fraudulent passing of the Bar examinations [People vs.
Romualdez -- re: Luis Mabunay, 57 Phil. 151; In re: Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399
and People vs. Castro and Doe, 54 Phil. 42]. In the cases of Romualdez
(Mabunay) and Castro, the Court found that the grades of Mabunay and
Castro were falsified and they were convicted of the crime of falsification of
public documents.

IV

RE: Administrative Case No. 1164, Assistant Solicitor General Bernardo


Pardo (now CFI Judge), Judge Ramon Pamatian(Later Associate Justice of
the Court of Appeals, now deceased)Atty. Manuel G. Montecillo, Atty. Fidel
Manalo, Atty. Manuel Tomacruz and Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr., respondents.

All respondents Bar examiners candidly admitted having made the re-
evaluation and/or re-correction of the papers in question upon the
misrepresentation of respondent BarConfidant Lanuevo. All, however,
professed good faith; and that they re-evaluated or increased the grades of
the notebooks without knowing the identity of the examinee who owned the
said notebooks; and that they did the same without any consideration or
expectation of any. These the records clearly demonstrate and WE are of the
opinion and WE so declare that indeed the respondents-examiners made the
re-evaluation or re-correcion in good faith and without any consideration
whatsoever.

Considering however the vital public interest involved in the matter of


admission of members to the Bar, the respondents bar examiners, under the
circumstances, should have exercised greater care and caution and should
have been more inquisitive before acceding to the request of respondent Bar
Confidant Lanuevo. They could have asked the Chairman of the Bar
Examination Committee, who would have referred the matter to the Supreme
Court. At least the respondents-examiners should have required respondent
Lanuevo to produce or show them the complete grades and/or the average of
the examinee represented by respondent Lanuevo to have failed only in their
respective and particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing to
fully satisfy themselves that the examinee concerned was really so
circumstances. This they could have easily done and the stain on the Bar
examinations could have been avoided.
Respondent Bar examiners Montecillo, Pamatian, and Manalo claimed and
so declared under oath that the answers of respondent Galang really
deserved or merited the increased grades; and so with respondent Pardo in
connection with the re-evaluation of Ernesto Quitaleg's answers in Political
Law. With respect to respondents Tomacruz and Pablo, it would appear that
they increased the grades of Galang in their respective subject solely
because of the misrepresentations of Respondent Lanuevo. Hence, in the
words of respondent Tomacruz: "You brought to me one paper and you said
that this particular examinee had almost passed, however, in my subject he
received 60 something, I cannot remember the exact average and if he would
get a few points higher, he would get a passing average. I agreed to do that
because I did not wish to be the one causing his failure. ..." (Vol. V, pp. 60-
61, rec.; see also allegations 3 and 4, Exh. 1-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No.
1164, p. 69, rec.; emphasis ours). And respondent Pablo: "... he told me that
this particular examinee seems to have passed in allot her subject except this
subject and that if I can re-evaluate this examination notebook and increase
the mark to at least 75, this particular examinee will pass the bar
examinations so I believe I asked him 'Is this being done?' and he said 'Yes,
that is the practice used to be done before to help out examinees who are
failing in just one subject' so I readily acceded to his request and said 'Just
leave it with me and I will try to re-evaluate' and he left it with me and what i
did was to go over the book and tried to be as lenient as I could. While I did
not mark correct the answers which were wrong, what I did was to be more
lenient and if the answers was correct although it was not complete I raise
the grade so I had a total of 78 instead of 68 and what I did was to correct the
grading sheet accordingly and initial the changes" (Vol. V, pp. 44-45, rec.;
emphasis supplied).

It could not be seriously denied, however, that the favorable re-evaluations


made by respondents Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Pardo
notwithstanding their declarations that the increases in grades they gave
were deserved by the examinee concerned, were to a certain extent
influenced by the misrepresentation and deception committed by respondent
Lanuevo. Thus in their own words:

Montecillo —

Q And by reason of that information you made


the re-evaluation of the paper?

A Yeas, your Honor.

Q Would you have re-evaluated the paper of


your own accord in the absence of such
information?

A No, your Honor, because I have submitted


my report at that time" (Vol. V, p. 33, rec.; see
also allegations in paragraphs 2, 3, 4 & 5,
Affidavit of April 17, 1972, Exh. B-Montecillo;
allegation No. 2, Answer dated march 19,
1973, Exh. A-Montecillo, Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 40-41, and 72, rec.).
Pamatian —

3. That sometime in the later part of January of this year, he


brought back to me an examination booklet in Civil Law for
re-evaluation because according to him the owner of the
paper is on the borderline and if I could reconsider his grade
to 75% the candidate concerned will get passing mark;

4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was
really the practice and policy of the Supreme Court to do so
and in the further belief that I was just manifesting
cooperation in doing so, I re-evaluated the paper and
reconsidered the grade to 75%; ..." (Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm.
Case No. 1164, p. 55, rec.); and

5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and


under the belief that I am authorized to do so in view of them
is representation of said Atty. Victorio Lanuevo, ..." (Exh. 1-
Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 33-34, rec.).

Manalo —

(c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee


concerned, herein respondent carefully evaluated each and
every answer written in the notebook. Testing the answer by
the criteria laid down by the Court, and giving the said
examinee the benefit of the doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevo's
representation that it was only in that particular subject that
said examinee failed, herein respondent became convinced
that the said examinee deserved a higher grade than that
previously given him, but he did not deserve, in herein
respondent's honest appraisal, to be given the passing grade
of
75%. ..."(allegation 5-c, p. 38, Exh. 1-Manalo, rec.; emphasis
supplied).

Pardo —

... I considered it entirely humanly possible to have erred,


because I corrected that particular notebook on December
31,1971, considering especially the representation of the Bar
Confidant that the said examinee had obtained higher grades
in other subjects, the highest of which was 84% in Remedial
Law, if I recall
correctly. ... (allegation 7, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No.
1164, p. 62, rec.; emphasis supplied).

With the misrepresentations and the circumstances utilized by respondent


Lanuevo to induce the herein examiners to make the re-evaluation adverted
to, no one among them can truly claim that the re-evaluation effected by
them was impartial or free from any improper influence, their conceded
integrity, honesty and competence notwithstanding.
Consequently, Galang cannot justifiably claim that he deserved the increased
grades given after the said re-evaluations(Galang's memo attached to the
records, Adm. Case No. 1163).

At any rate, WE are convinced, in the light of the explanations of the


respondents-examiners, which were earlier quoted in full, that their
actuations in connection with the re-evaluation of the answers of Galang in
five (5) subjects do not warrant or deserve the imposition of any disciplinary
action. WE find their explanations satisfactory. Nevertheless, WE are
constrained to remind herein respondents-examiners that their participation
in the admission of members to the Bar is one impressed with the highest
consideration of public interest — absolute purity of the proceedings — and
so are required to exercise the greatest or utmost case and vigilance in the
performance of their duties relative thereto.

Respondent Atty. Victorio D. Lanuevo, in his memorandum filed on


November 14, 1973, claimed that respondent-examiner Pamatian "in bringing
up this unfounded cause, or lending undue assistance or support thereto ...
was motivated with vindictiveness due to respondent's refusal to be
pressured into helping his (examiner's) alleged friend — a participant in the
1971 Bar Examinations whom said examiner named as Oscar Landicho and
who, the records will show, did not pass said examinations (p. 9, Lanuevo's
memo, Adm. Case No. 1162).

It must be stated that this is a very serious charge against the honor and
integrity of the late Justice Ramon Pamatian, who passed away on October
18, 1973 and therefore cannot refute Lanuevo's insinuations. Respondent
Victorio D. Lanuevo did not bring this out during the investigation which in his
words is "essential to his defense. "His pretension that he did not make this
charge during the investigation when Justice Pamatian was still alive, and
deferred the filing of such charge against Justice Pamatian and possibly also
against Oscar Landicho before the latter departed for Australia "until this
case shall have been terminated lest it be misread or misinterpreted as being
intended as a leverage for a favorable outcome of this case on the part of
respondent or an act of reprisal", does not invite belief; because he does not
impugn the motives of the five other members of the 1971 Bar Examination
Committee, who also affirmed that he deceived them into re-evaluating or
revising the grades of respondent Galang in their respective subjects.

It appears, however, that after the release of the results of the 1971 Bar
examinations, Oscar Landicho, who failed in that examinations, went to see
and did see Civil Law examiner Pamatian for the purpose of seeking his help
in connection with the 1971 Bar Examinations. Examiner Pamatian advised
Landicho to see the Chairman of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee.
Examiner Pamatian mentioned in passing to Landicho that an examination
booklet was re-evaluated by him (Pamatian) before the release of the said
bar results (Vol. V, pp. 6-7, rec). Even though such information was divulged
by respondent Pamatian after the official release of the bar results, it remains
an indecorous act, hardly expected of a member of the Judiciary who should
exhibit restraint in his actuations demanded by resolute adherence to the
rules of delicacy. His unseemly act tended to undermine the integrity of the
bar examinations and to impair public faith in the Supreme Court.
VI

The investigation failed to unearth direct evidence that the illegal machination
of respondent Lanuevo to enable Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations
was committed for valuable consideration.

There are, however, acquisitions made by Respondent Lanuevo immediately


after the official release of the 1971 Bar examinations in February, 1972,
which may be out of proportion to his salary as Bar Confidant and Deputy
Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.

1. On April 5, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife


acquired from the BF Homes, Inc. a house and lot with an
area of 374 square meters, more or less, for the amount of
P84,114.00. The deed of sale was dated March 5, 1972 but
was notarized only on April 5, 1972. On the same date,
however, respondent Lanuevo and his wife executed two
(2)mortgages covering the said house and lot in favor of BF
Homes, Inc. in the total amount of P67,291.20 (First
mortgage — P58,879.80, Entry No. 90913: date of instrument
— April 5, 1972, date of inscription — April 20, 1972: Second
mortgage — P8,411.40, Entry No. 90914: date of instrument
— April 5, 1972, date of inscription — April 20, 1972). [D-2 to
D-4, Vol. III, rec.]. Respondent Lanuevo paid as down
payment the amount of only P17,000.00, which according to
him is equivalent to 20%, more or less, of the purchase price
of P84,114.00. Respondent Lanuevo claimed that P5,000.00
of the P17,000.00 was his savings while the remaining the
P12,000.00 came from his sister in Okinawa in the form of a
loan and received by him through a niece before Christmas of
1971 in dollars ($2000) [Vol. VII, pp. 41-48; Vol. VIII, pp. 2-3,
rec.]

It appears, however, that his alleged P5,000.00


savings and P12,000.00 loan from his sister; are not fully
reflected and accounted for in respondent's 1971 Statement
of Assets and Liabilities which he filed on January 17, 1972.

In said 1971 statement, respondent Lanuevo listed under


Assets a bank deposit in the amount of only P2,000.00. In his
1972 statement, his bank deposit listed under Assets was in
the amount of P1,011.00, which shows therefore that of the
P2,000.00 bank deposit listed in his 1971 statement under
Assets, only the amount of P989.00 was used or withdrawn.
The amount of P18,000.00 receivable listed under Assets in
his 1971 statement was not realized because the transaction
therein involved did not push through (Statement of Assets
and Liabilities of respondent Lanuevo from 1965 to 1972; Vol.
VIII, pp. 47-48, rec.).

Likewise, the alleged December, 1971 $2000 loan of


respondent from his married sister in Okinawa is extremely
doubtful. In the first place, said amount of $2000
(P12,000.00) is not reflected in his 1971Statement of Assets
and Liabilities filed on January 17, 1972. Secondly, the
alleged note which he allegedly received from his sister at the
time he received the $200 was not even presented by
respondent during the investigation. And according to
Respondent Lanuevo himself, while he considered this a
loan, his sister did not seriously consider it as one. In fact, no
mode or time of payment was agreed upon by them. And
furthermore, during the investigation, respondent Lanuevo
promised to furnish the Investigator the address of his sister
in Okinawa. Said promise was not fulfilled as borne out by the
records. Considering that there is no showing that his sister,
who has a family of her own, is among the top earners in
Okinawa or has saved a lot of money to give to him, the
conclusion, therefore, that the P17,000.00 of respondent
Lanuevo was either an ill-gotten or undeclared income is
inevitable under the foregoing circumstances.

On August 14, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife


mortgaged their BF Homes house and lot to the GSIS for the
amount of P65,000.00 (Entry No. 4992: August 14, 1972 —
date of instrument; August 23, 1972 — date of inscription).
On February 28, 1973, the second mortgage in favor of BF
Homes, Entry No. 90914, was redeemed by respondent and
was subsequently cancelled on March 20,1973, Entry No.
30143. Subsequently, or on March 2, 1973 the first mortgage
in favor of BF Homes, Entry No. 90913 was also redeemed
by respondent Lanuevo and thereafter cancelled on March
20, 1973, (See D-2 to D-4, Vol. III, rec.). Hence, only the
mortgage in favor of GSIS remains as the encumbrance of
respondent's house and lot. According to respondent
Lanuevo, the monthly amortization of the GSIS mortgage is
P778.00 a month, but that since May of 1973, he was unable
to pay the same. In his 1972 Statement of Assets and
Liabilities, which he filed in connection with his resignation
and retirement (filed October 13, 1972), the house and lot
declared as part of his assets, were valued at P75,756.90.
Listed, however, as an item in his liabilities in the same
statement was the GSIS real estate loan in the amount
of P64,200.00 (1972 Statement of Assets and Liabilities).

2. Listed as an asset in his 1972 Statement of Assets and


Liabilities is a 1956 VW car valued at P5,200.00. That he
acquired this car sometime between January, 1972 and
November, 1972 could be inferred from the fact that no such
car or any car was listed in his statement of assets and
liabilities of 1971 or in the years previous to 1965. It appears,
however, that his listed total assets, excluding receivables in
his 1971 Statement was P19,000.00, while in his 1972 (as of
November, 1972) Statement, his listed total assets, excluding
the house and lot was P18,211.00, including the said 1956
VW car worth P5,200.00.

The proximity in point of time between the official release of


the 1971 Bar examinations and the acquisition of the above-
mentioned properties, tends to link or tie up the said
acquisitions with the illegal machination committed by
respondent Lanuevo with respect to respondent Galang's
examination papers or to show that the money used by
respondent Lanuevo in the acquisition of the above properties
came from respondent Galang in consideration of his passing
the Bar.

During the early stage of this investigation but after the Court had informed
respondent Lanuevo of the serious irregularities in the 1971 Bar
examinations alleged in Oscar Landicho's Confidential Letter and in fact,
after Respondent Lanuevo had filed on April 12, 1972 his sworn statement on
the matter, as ordered by the Court, respondent Lanuevo surprisingly filed his
letter or resignation on October 13, 1972 with the end in view of retiring from
the Court. His resignation before he was required to show cause on March 5,
1973 but after he was informed of the said irregularities, is indicative of a
consciousness of guilt.

It must be noted that immediately after the official release of the results of the
1971 Bar examinations, respondent Lanuevo went on vacation and sick
leave from March 16, 1972 to January 15, 1973, obtaining the case value
thereof in lump sum in the amount of P11,000.00. He initially claimed at the
investigation that h e used a part thereof as a down payment for his BF
Homes house and lot (Vol. VII, pp. 40-48, rec.), which he bought on April 5,
1972.

Criminal proceedings may be instituted against respondent Lanuevo under


Section 3 (a & e) in relation to Section 9 of Republic Act No. 1379 (Anti-Graft
Law) for:

(a) Persuading inducing or influencing another public officer


to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and
regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an
offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or
allowing himself to be presented, induced, or influenced to
commit such violation or offense.

xxx xxx xxx

(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the


Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted
benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his
official administrative or judicial functions through manifest
partiality, evidence bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices
or government corporations charged with the grant of
licenses or permits or other concessions.

Section 8 of said Republic Act No. 3019 authorizes the dismissal or removal
of a public officer once it is determined that his property or money "is
manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee
and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired
property ... " (Sec. 2, Rep. Act 1379; Sec. 8, Rep. Act 3019).

It should be stressed, however, that respondent Lanuevo's aforementioned


Statements of Assets and Liabilities were not presented or taken up during
the investigation; but they were examined as they are part of the records of
this Court.

There are likewise circumstances indicating possible contacts between


respondent Ramon E. Galang and/or his father and respondent Victorio D.
Lanuevo before the latter become the bar Confidant.

1. Respondent Ramon E. Galang was a beneficiary of the G.I Bill of Rights


educational program of the Philippine Veterans Board from his high school
days — 1951 to 1955 — up to his pre-law studies at the MLQ Educational
Institution (now MLQ University) — 1955 to 1958. From 1948 to 1958,
respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo was connected with the Philippine Veterans
Board which is the governmental agency entrusted with the affairs of our
veterans including the implementation of the Veterans Bill of Rights.
From 1955 to 1958, Respondent Lanuevo successively held the position of
Junior Investigator, Veterans Claims Investigator, Supervising Veterans
Investigator and Veterans Claims Investigator (Service Record, p. 9, Adm.
Case No. 1162). During that period of time, therefore, respondent Lanuevo
had direct contacts with applicants and beneficiaries of the Veterans Bill of
Rights. Galang's educational benefits was approved on March 16, 1954,
retroactive as of the date of waiver — July 31, 1951, which is also the date of
filing (A, Vol. IV, rec.).

It is alleged by respondent Ramon E. Galang that it was his father who all the
time attended to the availment of the said educational benefits and even
when he was already in Manila taking up his pre-law at MLQ Educational
Institution from 1955 to 1958. In 1955, respondent Galang was already 19
years old, and from 1957 to 1958, he was employed as a technical assistant
in the office of Senator Roy (Vol. V, pp. 79-80, 86-87, rec.).[Subsequently,
during the investigation, he claimed that he was the private secretary of
Senator Puyat in 1957 (Vol. VI, pp. 12-13, rec.)]. It appears, however, that a
copy of the notice-letter dated June 28, 1955 of the Philippine Veterans
Board to the MLQ Educational Institution on the approval of the transfer of
respondent Galang from Sta. Rita Institute to the MLQ Educational Institution
effective the first semester of the school year 1955-56 was directly addressed
and furnished to respondent Ramon E. Galang at 2292 Int. 8 Banal St.,
Tondo, Manila (A-12, Vol. IV, rec.).

Respondent Ramon E. Galang further declared that he never went to the


Office of the Philippine Veterans to follow up his educational benefits and
claimed that he does not even know the location of the said office. He does
not also know whether beneficiaries of the G.I. Bill of Rights educational
benefits are required to go to the Philippine Veterans Board every semester
to submit their ratings (Vol. V, p. 86, rec.). But respondent Galang admits that
he had gone to the GSIS and City Court of Manila, although he insists that he
never bothered to take a look at the neighboring buildings (Vol. V, pp. 93-94,
rec.). The huge and imposing Philippine Veterans Building is beside the
GSIS building and is obliquely across the City Court building.

2. Respondent Lanuevo stated that as an investigator in the Philippine


Veterans Board, he investigated claims for the several benefits given to
veterans like educational benefits and disability benefits; that he does not
remember, however, whether in the course of his duties as veterans
investigator, he came across the application of Ramon E. Galang for
educational benefits; and that he does not know the father of Mr. Ramon E.
Galang and has never met him (Vol. VII, pp. 28, 49, rec.).

3. Respondent Lanuevo, as a member of the USAFEE, belonged to the 91st


Infantry operating at Zambales and then Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, shortly
before the war (Vol. VII, pp. 48-49, rec.). Later he joined the guerrilla
movement in Samar.

He used to be a member of the Philippine Veterans Legion especially while


working with the Philippine Veterans Board(Vol. VII, p. 49, rec.).

He does not know the Banal Regiment of the guerrillas, to which Galang's
father belonged. During the Japanese occupation, his guerrilla outfit was
operating in Samar only and he had no communications with other guerrilla
organization in other parts of the country.

He attended meetings of the Philippine Veterans Legion in his chapter in


Samar only and does not remember having attended its meeting here in
Manila, even while he was employed with the Philippine Veterans Board. He
is not a member of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (Vol. VII, p.51,
rec.).

On November 27, 1941, while respondent Lanuevo was with the Philippine
Army stationed at Camp Manacnac, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, he was
stricken with pneumonia and was hospitalized at the Nueva Ecija Provincial
Hospital as a result and was still confined there when their camp was
bombed and strafed by Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 (Sworn
statement of respondent Lanuevo dated August 27, 1973, Adm. Case No.
1162, p. 46, rec.).

German Galang, father of respondent Galang, was a member of the Banal


Guerilla Forces, otherwise known as the Banal Regiment. He was
commissioned and inducted as a member thereof on January 16, 1942 and
was given the rank of first lieutenant. His unit "was attached and served into
the XI-Corps, US Army; XIII-C US Army, 43rd Div., US Army, stationed
headquarters at Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija and with the 38th Division, US army
stationed at Corregidor in the mopping-up operations against the enemies,
from 9 May 1945 date of recognition to 31 December 1945, date of
demobilization"(Affidavit of Jose Banal dated December 22, 1947, Vol. IV, A-
3, rec.).

It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected
notebooks to the Bar Confidant, the same cannot be withdrawn for any
purpose whatsoever without prior authority from the Court. Consequently,
this Court expresses herein its strong disapproval of the actuations of the bar
examiners in Administrative Case No. 1164 as above delineated.

WHEREFORE, IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1162, RESPONDENT


VICTORIO D. LANUEVO IS HEREBY DISBARRED AND HIS NAME
ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS; AND IN
ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1163, RESPONDENT RAMON E. GALANG,
alias Roman E. GALANG, IS HEREBY LIKEWISE DISBARRED AND HIS
NAME ALSO ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS.
Makalintal, C.J., Castro, Fernando, Barredo, Esguerra, Muñoz Palma and
Aquino, JJ., concur.

Teehankee, J., concurs in the result.

Antonio, J., is on official leave.

Concepcion and Martin, JJ., took no part.

D. Appearance of Non-Lawyers
Law Student Practice (Rule 138-A)

RULE 138-A

Law Student Practice Rule

Section 1. Conditions for student practice. — A law student who has


successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed
law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's clinical legal
education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without
compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial
court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by
the legal clinic of the law school.

Section 2. Appearance. — The appearance of the law student authorized


by this rule, shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member
of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school.
Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be
filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and in behalf of the
legal clinic.

Section 3. Privileged communications. — The Rules safeguarding


privileged communications between attorney and client shall apply to
similar communications made to or received by the law student, acting for
the legal clinic.

Section 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. — The law student shall


comply with the standards of professional conduct governing members of
the Bar. Failure of an attorney to provide adequate supervision of student
practice may be a ground for disciplinary action. (Circular No. 19, dated
December 19, 1986).