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G.R. NO.

100113 SEPTEMBER 3, 1991

CAYETANO, petitioner VS. MONSOD, respondents

PARAS, J.:

Article IX – C Section 1 (1) - "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."

1973 constitution Article XII – C, Section 1 (1) - "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 al least ten years”

Problem with PRACTICE OF LAW there is no jurisprudence as to what constitutes the practice of law

Land Title Abstract and Trust Co V. Dworken – A person is considered to be in practice of law when he engages in the
business of advising personalities as to their rights under the law, or appear as their representatives before any court.
They are also, in representative capacity, perform any act for the purpose of defending or obtaining rights of their clients
under the law

Philippines Lawyers Association V. Agrava – That the practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in
court, it includes the preparation, the trial, and the post trial itself. This also involves any serviceable action which
necessitates a degree of knowledge of the law.

University of the Philippines Law Center - 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

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge,
training and experience.

Records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission adopted a liberal interpretation of the practice of law

"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.

Private practice – an individual engaged in the business of delivering legal services. Group of lawyers are called firms

There is this departure of notion that lawyers are commonly seen as those who are in court rooms, where in fact, most
lawyers are outside of it conducting legal counsel.

Also, the nature of the lawyer's participation in decision-making within the corporation is rapidly changing. The modern
corporate lawyer has gained a new role as a stockholder — 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.
FACTS of the case:

Respondent Christian Monsod was appointed by Pres. Corazon Aquino, as Chairman of the COMELEC

Petitioner Renato Cayetano opposes the nomination on the grounds that Monsod does not have the required 10 years
of the practice of law

Facts about Christian Monsod:

 Worked in the law office of his father


 Worked as an operations officer for the WB for 2 years in Costa Rica and Panaman which involved getting
acquainted to the laws of those countries
 Worked as CEO of an investment bank (1970)
 Since 1986 has rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant
 Working for NAMFREL, which involved being knowledgeable in election law.
 Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's Conference for Human Development, which among other things,
work involving the urban poor, affirming the agrarian reform law etc
 Member of the Constitutional Commission of 1986-1987
 Among others

Issue: WON the respondent satisfies the 10 years “practice of law”

Judgement:

The court finds that, considering the liberal construction intended by the framers of the constitution with regards to the
“practice of law”, and considering the work experience of Monsod as Lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, lawyer-
entrepreneur, etc the requirement for the appointment is duly satisfied.

 The Commission has no authority, if the nominee satisfies all the requirements, to revoke an appointment on
the ground that another person is qualified for the position. The appointment is essentially within the
discretionary power of whomsoever it is vested