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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.M. No.

3360 January 30, 1990 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, complainant vs. ATTY. FE T. TUANDA, respondent.

for insufficiency of funds. Notwithstanding receipt of the notice of dishonor, respondent made no arrangements with the bank concerning the honoring of checks which had bounced and made no effort to settle her obligations to Ms. Marquez. Consequently, four (4) informations were filed against respondent with the Regional Trial Court of Manila: (a) one for estafa, docketed as Criminal Case No. 85-38358; and (b) three (3) for violation of B.P. Blg. 22, docketed respectively as Criminal Cases Nos. 85-38359, 8538360 and 85-38361. In due time, after trial, the trial court rendered a decision dated 25 August 1987 which: (a) acquitted respondent of the charge of estafa; and

PER CURIAM: In a Motion to Lift Order of Suspension dated 12 July 1989, respondent Fe T. Tuanda, a member of the Philippine Bar, asks this Court to lift the suspension from the practice of law imposed upon her by a decision of the Court of Appeals dated 17 October 1988 in C.A.-G.R. CR No. 05093. On 17 December 1983, respondent received from one Herminia A. Marquez several pieces of jewelry, with a total stated value of P36,000.00, for sale on a commission basis, with the condition that the respondent would turn over the sales proceeds and return the unsold items to Ms. Marquez on or before 14 February 1984. Sometime in February 1984, respondent, instead of returning the unsold pieces of jewelry which then amounted to approximately P26,250.00, issued three checks: (a) a check dated 16 February 1984 for the amount of P5,400.00; (b) a check dated 23 February 1984 also for the amount of P5,400.00; and (c) a check dated 25 February 1984 for the amount of P15,450.00. Upon presentment for payment within ninety (90) days after their issuance, all three (3) checks were dishonored by the drawee bank, Traders Royal Bank,

(b) convicted respondent of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 in all three (3) cases, and sentenced respondent to pay a fine of P6,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to indemnify the complainant in the amount of P5,400.00 in Criminal Case No. 8538359; to pay a fine of P 6,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to indemnify the complainant in the amount of P5,400.00, in Criminal Case No. 85-38360; and to pay a fine of P16,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to indemnify the complainant in the amount of P15,450.00, in Criminal Case No. 85-38361, and to pay the costs in all three (3) cases. On appeal, the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CR No. 05093 affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court but, in addition, suspended respondent Tuanda from the practice of law. The pertinent portion of the decision read as follows:

For reasons above stated and finding the evidence sufficient to sustain the conviction, the judgment is hereby AFFIRMED subject to this modification. It appearing from the records that the accused Fe Tuanda is a member of the Bar, and the offense for (sic) which she is found guilty involved moral turpitude, she is hereby ordered suspended from the practice of law and shall not practice her profession until further action from the Supreme Court, in accordance with Sections 27 and 28 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. A copy of this decision must be forwarded to the Supreme Court as required by Section 29 of the same Rule. SO ORDERED.
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that suspension from the practice of law is indeed a harsh if not a not painful penalty aggravating the lower court's penalty of fine considering that accusedappellant's action on the case during the trial on the merits at the lower court has always been motivated purely by sincere belief that she is innocent of the offense charged nor of the intention to cause damage to the herein plaintiff-appellee. We read the above statement as a claim by the respondent that, she had not violated her oath as a member of the Philippine Bar upon the ground that when she issued the checks which bounced, she did not intend to cause damage to complainant Ms. Marquez. The Court affirms the suspension from the practice of law imposed by the Court of Appeals upon respondent Tuanda. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that "the offense [of] which she is found guilty involved moral turpitude." We should add that violation of B.P. Blg. 22 is a serious criminal offense which deleteriously affects public interest and public order. In Lozano v. Martinez, 2 the Court explained the nature of the offense of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 in the following terms: xxx xxx xxx

On 16 December 1988, respondent filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals, in a Resolution dated 9 January 1989, noted respondent's Notice of Appeal and advised her "to address her Notice of Appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court, the proper forum." On 1 February 1989, respondent filed with this Court a Notice of Appeal. In a Resolution dated 31 May 1989, the Supreme Court noted without action respondent's Notice of Appeal and declared that the Court of Appeals' decision of 17 October 1988 had become final and executory upon expiration of the period for filing a petition for review on certiorari on 16 December 1988. In that Resolution, the Court found that respondent had lost her right to appeal by certiorari when she posted with this Court a Notice of Appeal instead of filing a petition for review on certiorari under Section 1, Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court within the reglementary period. In the instant Motion to Lift Order of Suspension, respondent states:

The gravamen of the offense punished by B.P. Blg. 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. . . . The thrust of the law is to prohibit under pain of penal sanctions, the making of worthless checks and putting them in circulation. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest, the practice is prescribed by the law. The law punishes the act not as an offense against property but an offense against public order.

xxx xxx xxx The effects of the issuance of a worthless check transcends the private interests of the parties directly involved in the transaction and touches the interests of the community at large. The mischief it creates is not only a wrong to the payee or holder, but also an injury to the public. The harmful practice of putting valueless commercial papers in circulation, multiplied a thousandfold, can very well pollute the channels of trade and commerce, injure the banking system and eventually hurt the welfare of society and the public interest. 3 (Italics supplied) Respondent was thus correctly suspended from the practice of law because she had been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. Sections 27 and 28 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court provide as follows: Sec. 27. Attorneys renewed or suspended by Supreme Court on what grounds. A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court of any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or wilfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. (Italics supplied)

Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. (Italics supplied) We should add that the crimes of which respondent was convicted also import deceit and violation of her attorney's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility under both of which she was bound to "obey the laws of the land." Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude might not (as in the instant case, violation of B.P. Blg. 22 does not) relate to the exercise of the profession of a lawyer; however, it certainly relates to and affects the good moral character of a person convicted of such offense. In Melendrez v. Decena, 4 this Court stressed that: the nature of the office of an attorney at law requires that she shall be a person of good moral character. This qualification is not only a condition precedent to an admission to the practice of law; its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law. 5 ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to DENY the Motion to Lift Order of Suspension. Respondent shall remain suspended from the practice of law until further orders from this Court. A copy of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the Bar Confidant and to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and spread on the record of respondent. Fernan, C.J., Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes and Grio-Aquino, JJ., concur.

Gutierrez, Jr., Medialdea and Regalado, JJ., in the result.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.C. No. 289 November 29, 1962 and PEDRO

MERCEDES AGDOMA, EUGENIA AGDOMA AGDOMA, petitioners, vs. ATTY. ISAIAS A. CELESTINO, respondent. PADILLA, J.:

On or after 16 August 1955 Isaias A. Celestino filed in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan an ex-parte petition in behalf of the late Julian Agdoma. In said petition he represented that his late grandfather was alive and that the latter's copy of original certificate of title No. 62507 had been burned by fire that razed to the ground his (Julian's) house in San Vicente, Alcala, Pangasinan and prayed that the Register of Deeds in and for the province of Pangasinan be directed to issue another duplicate copy thereof. (Exhibit E-1). The respondent supported the petition by an affidavit purportedly subscribed and sworn to by the deceased Julian Agdoma on 16 August 1955 before him (the respondent) as notary public (Exhibit E-2). On 17 August 1955 Judge Jesus P. Morfe of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan entered an order granting the petition and directing the Register of Deeds in and for the province of Pangasinan to issue another owner's duplicate of certificate of title No. 62507 (Exhibit F). Two days before the respondent filed the ex parte petition asking for a new copy of original certificate of title No. 62507, it was made to appear that for and in consideration of P1,000 Julian Agdoma had sold the lot described in the original certificate of title No. 62507 to the respondent in a deed of absolute sale (Exhibit C) purportedly acknowledged before notary public Julio B. Pequet who, however, turned out to be a fictitious or nonexistent notary public in and for the province of Pangasinan (Exhibits I and J). By virtue of said sale, on 17 August 1955 the Register of Deeds in and for the province of Pangasinan cancelled original certificate of title No. 62507 in the name of Julian Agdoma and in lieu thereof issued transfer certificate of title No. 18925 in the name of respondent Isaias A. Celestino (Exhibit H). Afterwards, the respondent mortgaged the parcel of land for P425 to the Dagupan City branch of the Philippine National Bank. Until now the loan still is unpaid. On 14 February 1957 the complainants filed in this Court a complaint praying for the disbarment of Isaias A. Celestino. On 19 February 1957 this Court ordered the respondent to answer the

This is a disbarment proceeding against Isaias A. Celestino for malpractice and misconduct as a lawyer and notary public. The complainants Mercedes Agdoma, Eugenia Agdoma and Pedro Agdoma are aunts and uncle of respondent Isaias A. Celestino, his deceased mother Eulogia Agdoma being the sister of the former. Both the complainant and the respondent, in representation of his late mother Eulogia, are the heirs of the late Julian Agdoma, the complainants' father and the respondent's grandfather. Julian Agdoma left a parcel of land situated in barrio San Juan, Alcala, Pangasinan, registered in his name under original certificate of title No. 62507. On 23 July 19 Julian Agdoma died in Lambayong, Cotabato (Exhibits B-1 and B-2). On 9 March 1956 Anastasia Cabatic, Julian's wife, died in Alcala, Pangasinan (Exhibit C).

complaint within ten days from notice. On 15 March the respondent in his behalf filed an answer denying all the material averments of the complaint. On 18 March this Court passed a resolution referring the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation. On 30 April, the Solicitor General forwarded the case to the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan for investigation, report and recommendation. The Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan set the hearing of the case for 26 April 1957, which was postponed to 9 May 1957. At the hearing held on 9 May, the respondent did not appear. The officer serving summons and notices certified that the respondent refused to sign the notice. The fiscal considered such refusal as a waiver by the respondent of his right to be present at the investigation. When the fiscal was preparing a report on case based on the evidence presented by the complainants, Attorney Cipriano V. Abenojar of Urdaneta, Pangasinan, on 10 June 1957 formally entered his appearance for the respondent and requested that the case be immediately set for hearing. The respondent expressed in writing his consent to the appearance of and motion by Attorney Abenojar to set the case for hearing. The fiscal granted request and set the hearing for 26 July 1957 with a warning that no further postponement would be granted. At the hearing held on 26 July, neither the respondent nor his counsel appeared. Instead, the latter filed a motion for postponement, alleging that the respondent and the complainants, being blood relatives, might settle amicably. This last motion was granted and the fiscal set the investigation for 20 August 1957 with a warning of no further postponement. Again, the respondent or lawyer did not appear at the hearing on 20 August. Forthwith, the fiscal rendered a report finding the respondent Isaias A. Celestino guilty of malpractice an commending to the Solicitor General that the corresponding charges for disbarment be filed against him (respondent Celestino). On 22 June 1959, the Solicitor General filed in Court a formal complaint against Isaias A. Celestino malpractice and breach of

professional ethics. Letters and communications sent by this Court to the respondent directing him to answer the complaint filed by the Solicitor General were all returned undelivered or unserved, because the respondent could not be located at his given address at San Vicente, Alcala, Pangasinan. His attorney of record in the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan also required to answer, but instead of answering, he requested that he be relieved as counsel for the respondent. At the oral argument of the case before this Court on 14 December, Attorney Cipriano V. Abenojar appeared the respondent. The Court ordered the respondent self to submit a memorandum in lieu of oral argumentation. The oral and documentary evidence points unerringly to the guilt of respondent Isaias A. Celestino as charged. The ex-parte petition wherein he sought another owner's duplicate of original certificate of title No. 62507 and presented himself as counsel for Julian Agdoma, his grandfather, whom he knew had been dead since 23 July 1945, and the affidavit which he (the respondent) represented to have been subscribed and sworn to by Julian Agdoma before him (the respondent) as notary public, thus making it appear that his late grandfather was alive, and which he used to support the exparte petition, are clear evidence that the respondent Isaias A. Celestino had committed a wanton falsehood in court. And this wanton disregard for truth and honesty is aggravated by his forging or simulating a deed of sale of the parcel of land described in original certificate of title No. 62507 executed in his favor by his deceased grandfather Julian Agdoma when he (the respondent) knew that his grandfather had been dead ten years before and therefore could not have executed the deed of sale. To lend to this concoction a semblance of legality, the respondent made it appear that Julian Agdoma, appeared and acknowledged the sale before one Julio B. Pequet supposedly a notary public. But it clearly has been shown that said Julio B. Pequet was a non-existent or fictitious notary public. The residence certificate No. A-3609899 issued at Alcala, Pangasinan, on 14 February 1955, which the respondent attributed to pertain to and to have been exhibited by the late

Julian Agdoma in swearing before him (the respondent) supporting affidavit to the ex-parte petition seeking an owner's duplicate of the original certificate of title No. 62507 and in acknowledging the deed of sale before the fictitious notary public Julio B. Pequet is another evidence showing the respondent's propensity to commit falsehood, because the said residence certificate does not belong to Julian Agdoma but to one Mrs. Angela Eslava of Alcala, Pangasinan (Exhibit A). The clinching evidence of the respondent's guilt is the fact that after the ownership to the parcel of land had been transferred to him, he mortgaged it for P425 to the Philippine National Bank, Dagupan City branch. The respondent avoided attending the hearings conducted by the Provincial Fiscal of Pangasinan. Even in this Court, his whereabouts are totally unknown. His knowledge that a disbarment proceeding had been file pending against him imposes upon him the duty to make himself or his presence available to this Court for a trial. That he could not be located at his known address without making his whereabouts known implies that he had chosen to waive every right and opportunity to put up his defense. THEREFORE, the respondent Isaias A. Celestino is barred from the practice of the legal profession. Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur.

discovered, on April 4, 1961, that complainant was pregnant by another man; and that she filed the present charges out of spite for him, in view of his refusal to marry her.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Upon investigation conducted by the Solicitor General, to whom the matter was referred, the latter submitted his report finding respondent guilty as charged, and then filed the corresponding complaint for his disbarment.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In his answer thereto, respondent reiterated, in effect, the allegations and defenses made and set up in his previous answer. He, moreover, averred that, while the matter was being investigated in the Office of the Solicitor General, complainant had filed an affidavit stating that he (respondent) is not the father of her child and a motion withdrawing her complaint.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Respondent having, moreover, expressed the wish to introduce additional evidence, the Court dated its Legal OfficerInvestigator for the reception thereof, after which the latter submitted his report concurring in the findings of the Solicitor General, although recommending merely the suspension of respondent herein. After furnishing him with a copy of this report, the case was set for hearing, at which a representative of the Solicitor General and counsel for respondent appeared and were given a period to file their respective memoranda in lieu of oral argument.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The record shows that respondent was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 1957 and has been engaged in the practice of law in Manila. After meeting the complainant then about 23 years of age - in Mauban, Quezon - of which their families are residents sometime in December, 1958, respondent courted her by correspondence. Presently, they became sweethearts. Complainant

Adm. Case No. 481

February 28, 1969

IN RE: DISBARMENT PROCEEDING AGAINST ARTURO P. LOPEZ. VIRGINIA C. ALMIREZ assisted by her father, AGAPITO ALMIREZ complainants, vs. ARTURO P. LOPEZ, Respondent. CONCEPCION, C.J.: chanrobles virtual law library Respondent Arturo P. Lopez is sought to be disbarred upon the ground of immorality. Complainant Virginia C. Almirez, assisted by her father Agapito Almirez, charges him with having succeeded in having carnal knowledge of her, under promise of marriage, which he failed and refused to fulfill, despite a child begotten in consequence thereof.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In his answer, respondent denied having ever had or solicited any sexual relation with the complainant, but affirmed that they had agreed to be married as soon as he became financially stable; that he could not carry out his part of the agreement having

having come to Manila in November, 1960 and operated therein a store, in partnership with others, respondent used to visit her. Although he had told the complainant, as early as May 1960, of his intent to marry her, it was understood that the wedding would take place upon consummation of a given deal in which he expected to make a big amount of money. From November, 1960 to April, 1961, they had carnal knowledge of each other, several times, in various hotels in Manila, particularly the Palo Alto Hotel, the Springfield Hotel, and the Shanghai Hotel. On December 31, 1960, complainant informed respondent that her menstruation was overdue, whereupon he caused her to be examined by a lady physician, who found that she was in the family way. Thereupon, he gave her some pills, to be taken three (3) times a day, for the alleged purpose of hastening the flow of her menstruation. Then, he called her up, day and night, to inquire about her menses and, when the same did not eventually come, he urged her to see another lady doctor, who could perform an abortion. Complainant was averse thereto, but, respondent was so insistent that she went to the clinic of said physician. The operation was not performed, however, for neither the latter nor complainant were agreeable thereto. On August 22, 1961, complainant gave birth to a baby boy, Francisco Arnold, at the Maternity and Children's Hospital in Manila.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Prior thereto, or late in February, 1961, their respective applications for a marriage license were filed and their marriage license was issued on March 13, but, the wedding, scheduled for March 18, 1961, did not take place, owing to the absence of the Mayor who was to solemnize it. On April 6, 1961, complainant learned, from her sister-in-law, that respondent had confided to the latter his unwillingness to marry her (complainant). When, soon thereafter, complainant asked him for his reason therefor, respondent blamed her for refusing to undergo an abortion. Thereupon, or on April 18, 1961, she filed the complaint herein.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library

It further appears that on September 25, 1962, while this case was pending in the Office of the Solicitor General a motion signed by the complainant, withdrawing her complaint, was filed with said office. The reason given was that the complaint was "a result of serious misunderstanding" and had been filed "in the heat of anger" and that it would be unjustified to proceed further on account of complainant's belief in his innocence. This motion was, however, withdrawn by her, on November 25, 1963, for the reason that respondent had secured her signature thereto upon the assurance that he would thereupon marry her and that he did not only fail to do so, but, also, married another woman. In fact, respondent and one Evelyn Orense were married in January, 1963.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Upon the other hand, respondent would have us believe that complainant had freely and voluntarily signed her aforesaid motion to withdraw her complaint. In fact, he added, she made the affidavit, Exhibit 34, stating that he is not the father of her child. In rebuttal, complainant testified, however, that she signed said motion and a blank sheet of paper, which is now the affidavit Exhibit 34, he having convinced her that they would be married soon thereafter.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library He, likewise, tried to prove, through his testimony that it was complainant who asked him to take her nightclubbing in Manila, which he did; that it was she who asked him, at the Bayside Nightclub, on December 31, 1960, to marry her; that she reiterated this request in January, 1961, for fear that her father may call her back to Mauban; that she having brought up the same subject in February, 1961, they signed the necessary applications late in February, 1961, and got the corresponding marriage license sometime later, although the wedding, scheduled for March 18, had to be postponed indefinitely because of the absence of the officer, who was to solemnize it; that after a drinking spree in Manila, in the evening of April 4, 1961, he felt it would be unwise for him to drive

his car home to Quezon City, in view of which he decided to spend the night at the Shanghai Hotel; that while there, he remembered having an appointment with complainant, whom he, accordingly, called by telephone to apologize to her and informed her of his condition and whereabouts; that soon later, complainant arrived unexpectedly at the hotel and asked permission to sleep with him there, stating that she had quarreled with her sister-in-law; that after switching off the light and undressing herself, complainant started massaging his head, for he had a slight headache; that as complainant kissed him, he noticed that she was pregnant and told her so; that after saying that she merely had a stomach ache, complainant eventually confessed that another man had abused her; that angered by this revelation, respondent dressed up and prepared to step out, but, before he left the hotel, she asked his forgiveness and promised to behave thereafter; that she went to his office, the next day, but he refused to talk to her; that as she insisted upon talking with him privately, they went to an ice cream parlor where she begged him to marry her and save her honor, suggesting that their marriage would be in name only and that they need not live together, if he did not want to; that complainant even said that her father 1 would give P5,000 if he married her, but he rejected the offer and volunteered to prosecute the man responsible for her condition, if she would identify him; and that, when respondent still refused to marry her, complainant threatened to bring disbarment proceedings against him.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Upon a review of the record, we agree with the solicitor, who first investigated this case, and the Legal Officer-Investigator, before whom additional evidence were introduced, that respondent's version is unworthy of credence. Indeed, despite the averments in his answers to the effect that he had never solicited or had carnal relations with the complainant, his very testimony shows that they had met in a hotel room under conditions attesting to a condition of intimacy clearly revealing past extra-marital relations between them. Then, too, respondent's promise to marry

complainant has been, not only admitted by him, but, also, bolstered up by their applications for a marriage license and the marriage license actually secured by them.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The breach of such promise on his part is thus patent. What is more, when her pregnancy was confirmed by a physician, respondent firstly persuaded the complainant to take some pills for the avowed purpose of hastening the flow of her "menstruation", and, eventually, urged her to have an abortion, to which she did not agree. Worse still, when this case was pending in the office of the Solicitor General, respondent prevailed upon her to sign a motion withdrawing her complaint, under the false allegation that he is innocent of the charges preferred against him, as well as to sign a blank sheet of paper - which now appears to be her aforementioned affidavit Exhibit 34 under - promise to thereupon marry her, without the slightest intention to keep it, because, instead he married another woman soon later.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library WHEREFORE, respondent Arturo P. Lopez is hereby found guilty of gross immoral conduct rendering him unfit to continue a member of the Bar, 2 for which reason he is hereby barred from the practice of law, and his name ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys. It is so ordered.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Fernando, Capistrano, Teehankee and Barredo, JJ., concur. Castro,

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC DECISION November 28, 1989 A.M. No. 1334 ROSARIO DELOS REYES, complainant, vs. ATTY. JOSE B. AZNAR, respondent. Federico A. Blay for complainant. Luciano Babiera for respondent. , J.: This is a complaint for disbarment filed against respondent on the ground of gross immorality. Complainant, a second year medical student of the Southwestern University (Cebu), alleged in her verified complaint that respondent Atty. Jose B. Aznar, then chairman of said university, had carnal knowledge of her for several times under threat that she would fail in her Pathology subject if she would not submit to respondent's lustful desires. Complainant further alleged that when she became pregnant, respondent, through a certain Dr. Gil Ramas, had her undergo forced abortion. In compliance with the Resolution of the Court dated July 9, 1974,

respondent filed his Answer denying any personal knowledge of complainant as well as all the allegations contained in the complaint and by way of special defense, averred that complainant is a woman of loose morality. On September 2, 1974, the Court Resolved to refer the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation. The findings of the Solicitor General is summarized as follows: EVIDENCE FOR THE COMPLAINANT Complainant Rosario delos Reyes testified that: 1) she was a second year medical student of the Southwestern University, the Chairman of the Board of which was respondent Jose B. Aznar (pp. 11, 15, tsn, June 6, 1975); 2) she however failed in her Pathology subject which prompted her to approach respondent in the latter's house who assured her that she would pass the said subject (pp. 15,16, 26, 33, tsn, June 6, 1975); 3) despite this assurance, however, she failed (p. 33, tsn, June 6, 1975); 4) sometime in February, 1973, respondent told her that she should go with him to Manila, otherwise, she would flunk in all her subjects (pp. 42, 50, tsn, June 6, 1975); ... ... ... ; 5) on February 12, 1973, both respondent and complainant boarded the same plane (Exh. "A") for Manila; from the Manila Domestic Airport, they proceeded to Room 905, 9th Floor of the Ambassador Hotel where they stayed for three days (Exhs. "K", "K-1" to "K-6"; p. 55, tsn, June 6, 1 975);

6) after arriving at the Ambassador Hotel, they dined at a Spanish restaurant at San Marcelino, Malate, Manila for around three hours (pp 56-57, tsn, June 6, 1975); 7) they returned to the hotel at around twelve o'clock midnight, where respondent had carnal knowledge of her twice and then thrice the next morning (p. 59, tsn, June 6, 1975; pp. 154, 155 & 157, tsn, July 18, 1975); 8) complainant consented to the sexual desires of respondent because for her, she would sacrifice her personal honor rather than fail in her subjects (p.6l, tsn, June 6, 1975); ... ... ...; 9) sometime in March, 1973, complainant told respondent that she was suspecting pregnancy because she missed her menstruation (p. 76, tsn, July 17, 1975); ... ... ...; 10) later, she was informed by Dr. Monsanto (an instructor in the college of medicine) that respondent wanted that an abortion be performed upon her (p.82, tsn, July l7, 1975); ... ... ... ; 11) thereafter, Ruben Cruz, a confidant of respondent, and Dr. Monsato fetched her at her boarding house on the pretext that she would be examined by Dr. Gil Ramas (pp. 87-88, tsn, July 17, 1975); 12) upon reaching the clinic of Dr. Ramas she was given an injection and an inhalation mask was placed on her mouth and nose (pp. 88-90, tsn, July 17, 1 975); 13) as a result, she lost consciousness and when she woke up, an abortion had already been performed upon her and she was weak, bleeding and felt pain all over her body (pp. 90-91, tsn, July 17, 1975); ... ... ... (Rollo, pp. 38-40) Monica Gutierrez Tan testified that she met complainant and a man whom complainant introduced as Atty. Aznar in front of the

Ambassador Hotel (pp. 183-184, tsn, Sept. 10, 1975; Rollo, p. 41). Dr. Rebecca Gucor and Dr. Artemio Ingco, witnesses for the complainant, testified that abdominal examinations and x-ray examination of the lumbro-sacral region of complainant showed no signs of abnormality (Rollo, p. 42) r0Kp7kz8. The evidence for the respondent as reported by the Solicitor General is summarized as follows: Edilberto Caban testified that: 1. In December, 1972, respondent Atty. Aznar stayed at Ambassador Hotel with his wife and children; respondent never came to Manila except in December, 1972; (pp. 8-9,. tsn, Nov. 24, 1977); 2. He usually slept with respondent everytime the latter comes to Manila (p. 13, tsn, Nov. 24, 1977; Rollo, pp. 42-43). Oscar Salangsang, another witness for the respondent stated that: 1. In February, 1973, he went to Ambassador Hotel to meet respondent; the latter had male companions at the hotel but he did not see any woman companion of respondent Aznar; 2. He usually slept with respondent at the Ambassador Hotel and ate with him outside the hotel together with Caban (pp. 8-9, 13-15, tsn, Jan. 13, 1978; Rollo, p. 43). The Court notes that throughout the period of the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General, respondent Aznar was never presented to refute the allegations made against him. In his Answer, respondent Aznar alleges that he does not have any knowledge of the allegations in the complaint. As special defense,

respondent further alleged that the charge levelled against him is in furtherance of complainant's vow to wreck vengeance against respondent by reason of the latter's approval of the recommendation of the Board of Trustees barring complainant from enrollment for the school year 1973-1974 because she failed in most of her subjects. It is likewise contended that the defense did not bother to present respondent in the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General because nothing has been shown in the hearing to prove that respondent had carnal knowledge of the complainant. Contrary to respondent's averments, the Solicitor General made a categorical finding to the effect that respondent had carnal knowledge of complainant, to wit: From the foregoing, it is clear that complainant was compelled to go to Manila with respondent upon the threat of respondent that if she failed to do so, she would flunk in all her subjects and she would never become a medical intern (pp. 42, 50, tsn, June 6, 1975). As respondent was Chairman of the College of Medicine, complainant had every reason to believe him. It has been established also that complainant was brought by respondent to Ambassador Hotel in Manila for three days where he repeatedly had carnal knowledge of her upon the threat that if she would not give in to his lustful desires, she would fail in her Pathology subject (Exhs. "A", "K", "K-1" to "K-6" pp. 51, 52, 55-59, tsn, June 6, 1975); xxx xxx xxx On the other hand, respondent did not bother to appear during the hearing. It is true that he presented Edilberto Caban and Oscar Salangsang who testified that respondent usually slept with them every time the latter came to Manila, but their testimony (sic) is not much of help. None of them mentioned during the hearing that they

stayed and slept with respondent on February 12 to February 14, 1973 at Ambassador Hotel. ... ... ... Besides, Edilberto Caban testified that respondent stayed at Ambassador Hotel with his wife and children in December, 1972. The dates in question, however, are February 12 to 14, 1973, inclusive. His (Caban's) testimony, therefore, is immaterial to the present case" (Rollo, pp. 43-44). In effect, the Solicitor General found that the charge of immorality against respondent Aznar has been substantiated by sufficient evidence both testimonial and documentary; while finding insufficient and uncorroborated the accusation of intentional abortion. The Solicitor General then recommends the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for a period of not less than three (3) years. On March 16, 1989, the Court Resolved to require the parties to Move in the premises to determine whether any intervening event occurred which would render the case moot and academic (Rollo, p. 69). On April 12, 1989, the Solicitor General filed a manifestation and motion praying that the case at bar be considered submitted for decision on the bases of the report and recommendation previously submitted together with the record of the case and the evidence adduced (Rollo, p. 75). After a thorough review of the records, the Court agrees with the finding of the Solicitor General that respondent Aznar, under the facts as stated in the Report of the investigation conducted in the case, is guilty of "grossly immoral conduct" and may therefore be removed or suspended by the Supreme Court for conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar (Sec. 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court) 4LNW. Respondent failed to adduce evidence sufficient to engender doubt as to his culpability of the offense imputed upon him. With the

exception of the self-serving testimonies of two witnesses presented on respondent's behalf, the records are bereft of evidence to exonerate respondent of the act complained of, much less contradict, on material points, the testimonies of complainant herself. While respondent denied having taken complainant to the Ambassador Hotel and there had sexual intercourse with the latter, he did not present any evidence to show where he was at that date. While this is not a criminal proceeding, respondent would have done more than keep his silence if he really felt unjustly traduced. It is the duty of a lawyer, whenever his moral character is put in issue, to satisfy this Court that he is a fit and proper person to enjoy continued membership in the Bar. He cannot dispense with nor downgrade the high and exacting moral standards of the law profession (Go v. Candoy, 21 SCRA 439 [1967]). As once pronounced by the Court: When his integrity is challenged by evidence, it is not enough that he denies the charges against him; he must meet the issue and overcome the evidence for the relator (Legal and Judicial Ethics, by Malcolm, p. 93) and show proofs that he still maintains the highest degree of morality and integrity, which at all times is expected of him. ... In the case of United States v. Tria, 17 Phil. 303, Justice Moreland, speaking for the Court, said: An accused person sometimes owes a duty to himself if not to the State. If he does not perform that duty, he may not always expect the State to perform it for him. If he fails to meet the obligation which he owes to himself, when to meet it is the easiest of easy things, he is hardy indeed if he demand and expect that same full and wide consideration which the State voluntarily gives to those who by reasonable effort seek to help themselves. This is particularly so when he not only declines to help himself but actively conceals from the State the very means by which it may

assist him (Quingwa SCRA 439 [1967]) Jg7O0OQ. The Solicitor General recommends that since the complainant is partly to blame for having gone with respondent to Manila knowing fully well that respondent is a married man ,with children, respondent should merely be suspended from the practice of law for not less than three (3) years (Rollo, p. 47). On the other hand, respondent in his manifestation and motion dated April 18, 1989 alleges that since a period of about ten (10) years had already elapsed from the time the Solicitor General made his recommendation for a three (3) years suspension and respondent is not practicing his profession as a lawyer, the court may now consider the respondent as having been suspended during the said period and the case dismissed for being moot and academic. We disagree. Complainant filed the instant case for disbarment not because respondent reneged on a promise to marry (Quingwa v. Puno, supra). More importantly. complainant's knowledge of of respondent's marital status is not at issue in the case at bar. Complainant submitted to respondent's solicitation for sexual intercourse not because of a desire for sexual gratification but because of respondent's moral ascendancy over her and fear that if she would not accede, she would flunk in her subjects. As chairman of the college of medicine where complainant was enrolled, the latter had every reason to believe that respondent could make good his threats. Moreover, as counsel for respondent would deem it "worthwhile to inform the the Court that the respondent is a scion of a rich family and a very rich man in his own right and in fact is not practicing his profession before the court" (Rollo, p. 70), mere suspension for a limited period, per se, would therefore serve no redeeming purpose. The fact that he is a rich man and does not practice his profession as a lawyer, does not render respondent a

person of good moral character. Evidence of good moral character precedes admission to bar (Sec.2, Rule 138, Rules of Court) and such requirement is not dispensed with upon admission thereto. Good moral character is a continuing qualification necessary to entitle one to continue in the practice of law. The ancient and learned profession of law exacts from its members the highest standard of morality (Quingwa v. Puno, supra). Under Section 27, Rule 138, "(a) member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, ... " In Arciga v. Maniwang (106 SCRA 591, [1981]), this Court had occasion to define the concept of immoral conduct, as follows: A lawyer may be disbarred for grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. A member of the bar should have moral integrity in addition to professional probity St3aQX. It is difficult to state with precision and to fix an inflexible standard as to what is grossly immoral conduct or to specify the moral delinquency and obliquity which render a lawyer unworthy of continuing as a member of the bar. The rule implies that what appears to be unconventional behavior to the straight-laced may not be the immoral conduct that warrants disbarment. Immoral conduct has been defined as 'that which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community' (7 C.J.S. 959). Where an unmarried female dwarf possessing the intellect of a child became pregnant by reason of intimacy with a married lawyer who

was the father of six children, disbarment of the attorney on the ground of immoral conduct was justified (In re Hicks 20 Pac. 2nd 896) SPYvHObE. In the present case, it was highly immoral of respondent, a married man with children, to have taken advantage of his position as chairman of the college of medicine in asking complainant, a student in said college, to go with him to Manila where he had carnal knowledge of her under the threat that she would flunk in all her subjects in case she refused. WHEREFORE, respondent Jose B. Aznar is hereby DISBARRED and his name is ordered stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Feliciano, Padilla, Gancayco, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes, Grio-Aquino, Medialdea and Regalado, JJ., concur. Fernan (C.J.), took no part. Melencio-Herrera, J., is on leave. . Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC

A.C. No. 1512 January 29, 1993 VICTORIA BARRIENTOS, complainant, vs. TRANSFIGURACION DAAROL, respondent. RESOLUTION

PER CURIAM: In a sworn complaint filed with this Court on August 20, 1975, complainant Victoria C. Barrientos seeks the disbarment of respondent Transfiguracion Daarol, ** a member of the Philippine Bar, on grounds of deceit and grossly immoral conduct. After respondent filed his answer (Rollo, p. 12), the Court Resolved to refer the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation (Rollo, p. 18). As per recommendation of the Solicitor General and for the convenience of the parties and their witnesses who were residing in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the Provincial Fiscal of said province was authorized to conduct the investigation and to submit a report, together with transcripts of stenographic notes and exhibits submitted by the parties, if any (Rollo, p. 20). On November 9, 1987, the Office of the Solicitor General submitted its Report and Recommendation, viz.: Evidence of the complainant: . . . complainant Victoria Barrientos was single and a resident of Bonifacio St., Dipolog City; that when she was still a teenager and first year in college she came to know respondent Transfiguracion Daarol in 1969 as he used to go to their house being a friend of her sister Norma; that they also became friends, and she knew the respondent as being single and living alone in Galas, Dipolog City; that he was the General Manager of Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZANECO) and subsequently transferred his residence to the ZANECO compound at Laguna Blvd. at Del Pilar St., Dipolog City (pp. 109-111, tsn, September 30, 1976).

That on June 27, 1973, respondent came to their house and asked her to be one of the usherettes in the Mason's convention in Sicayab, Dipolog City, from June 28 to 30, 1973 and, she told respondent to ask the permission of her parents, which respondent did, and her father consented; that for three whole days she served as usherette in the convention and respondent picked her up from her residence every morning and took her home from the convention site at the end of each day (pp. 112-114, tsn, id.). That in the afternoon of July 1, 1973, respondent came to complainant's house and invited her for a joy ride with the permission of her mother who was a former classmate of respondent; that respondent took her to Sicayab in his jeep and then they strolled along the beach, and in the course of which respondent proposed his love to her; that respondent told her that if she would accept him, he would marry her within six (6) months from her acceptance; complainant told respondent that she would think it over first; that from then on respondent used to visit her in their house almost every night, and he kept on courting her and pressed her to make her decision on respondent's proposal; that on July 7, 1973, she finally accepted respondent's offer of love and respondent continued his usual visitations almost every night thereafter; they agreed to get married in December 1973 (pp. 115-119, tsn, id.). That in the morning of August 20, 1973, respondent invited her, with the consent of her father, to a party at the Lopez Skyroom; that at 7:00 p.m. of that day respondent fetched her from her house and went to the Lopez Skyroom (pp. 119-121, tsn, id); that at about 10:00 p.m. of that evening they left the party at the

Lopez Skyroom, but before taking her home respondent invited her for a joy ride and took her to the airport at Sicayab, Dipolog City; respondent parked the jeep by the beach where there were no houses around; that in the course of their conversation inside the jeep, respondent reiterated his promise to marry her and then started caressing her downward and his hand kept on moving to her panty and down to her private parts (pp. 121-122, tsn. id.); that she then said: "What is this Trans?", but he answered: "Day, do not be afraid of me. I will marry you" and reminded her also that "anyway, December is very near, the month we have been waiting for" ([p], 122, tsn, id.), then he pleaded, "Day, just give this to me, do not be afraid" (ibid), and again reiterated his promise and assurances, at the same time pulling down her panty; that she told him that she was afraid because they were not yet married, but because she loved him she finally agreed to have sexual intercourse with him at the back seat of the jeep; that after the intercourse she wept and respondent again reiterated his promises and assurances not to worry because anyway he would marry her; and at about 12:00 midnight they went home (pp. 122-124, tsn, id.). After August 20, 1973, respondent continued to invite her to eat outside usually at the Honeycomb Restaurant in Dipolog City about twice or three times a week, after which he would take her to the airport where they would have sexual intercourse; that they had this sexual intercourse from August to October 1973 at the frequency of two or three times a week, and she consented to all these things because she loved him and believed in all his promises (pp. 125127, tsn, id.).

Sometime in the middle part of September, 1973 complainant noticed that her menstruation which usually occurred during the second week of each month did not come; she waited until the end of the month and still there was no menstruation; she submitted to a pregnancy test and the result was positive; she informed respondent and respondent suggested to have the fetus aborted but she objected and respondent did not insist; respondent then told her not to worry because they would get married within one month and he would talk to her parents about their marriage (pp. 129-132, tsn, id.). On October 20, 1973, respondent came to complainant's house and talked to her parents about their marriage; it was agreed that the marriage would be celebrated in Manila so as not to create a scandal as complainant was already pregnant; complainant and her mother left for Manila by boat on October 22, 1973 while respondent would follow by plane; and they agreed to meet in Singalong, Manila, in the house of complainant's sister Delia who is married to Ernesto Serrano (pp. 132-135, tsn, id.). On October 26, 1973, when respondent came to see complainant and her mother at Singalong, Manila, respondent told them that he could not marry complainant because he was already married (p. 137, tsn, id.); complainant's mother got mad and said: "Trans, so you fooled my daughter and why did you let us come here in Manila?" (p. 138, tsn, id.). Later on, however, respondent reassured complainant not to worry because respondent had been separated from his wife for 16 years and he would work for the annulment of his marriage and, subsequently marry complainant (p. 139, tsn, id.); respondent told

complainant to deliver their child in Manila and assured her of a monthly support of P250.00 (p. 140, tsn, id.); respondent returned to Dipolog City and actually sent the promised support; he came back to Manila in January 1974 and went to see complainant; when asked about the annulment of his previous marriage, he told complainant that it would soon be approved (pp. 141-142, tsn, id.); he came back in February and in March 1974 and told complainant the same thing (p. 142, tsn, id.); complainant wrote her mother to come to Manila when she delivers the child, but her mother answered her that she cannot come as nobody would be left in their house in Dipolog and instead suggested that complainant go to Cebu City which is nearer; complainant went to Cebu City in April 1974 and, her sister Norma took her to the Good Shepherd Convent at Banawa Hill; she delivered a baby girl on June 14, 1974 at the Perpetual Succor Hospital in Cebu City; and the child was registered as "Dureza Barrientos" (pp. 143-148, tsn, id.). In the last week of June 1974 complainant came to Dipolog City and tried to contact respondent by phone and, thru her brother, but to no avail; as she was ashamed she just stayed in their house; she got sick and her father sent her to Zamboanga City for medical treatment; she came back after two weeks but still respondent did not come to see her (tsn. 48-150, tsn, id.); she consulted a lawyer and filed an administrative case against respondent with the National Electrification Administration; the case was referred to the Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative (ZANECO) and it was dismissed and thus she filed the present administrative case (pp. 150-151, tsn, id.). Evidence for the Respondent

The evidence of the respondent consists of his sole testimony and one exhibit, the birth certificate of the child (Exh. 1). Respondent declared substantially as follows: that he was born on August 6, 1932 in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte; that he married Romualda Sumaylo in Liloy in 1955; that he had a son who is now 20 years old; that because of incompatibility he had been estranged from his wife for 16 years; that in 1953 he was baptized as a moslem and thereby embraced the Islam Religion (pp. 173-180 tsn, Jan. 13, 1977); that he came to know complainant's father since 1952 because he was his teacher; likewise he knew complainant's mother because they were former classmates in high school; that he became acquainted with complainant when he used to visit her sister, Norma, in their house; they gradually became friends and often talked with each other, and even talked about their personal problems; that he mentioned to her his being estranged from his wife; that with the consent of her parents he invited her to be one of the usherettes in the Masonic Convention in Sicayab, Dipolog City held on June 2830, 1973 (pp. 185-192, tsn, id.); that the arrangement was for him to fetch her from her residence and take her home from the convention site; that it was during this occasion that they became close to each other and after the convention, he proposed his love to her on July 7, 1973; that (sic) a week of courtship, she accepted his proposal and since then he used to invite her (pp. 193-194, tsn, id.). That in the evening of August 20, 1973, respondent invited complainant to be his partner during the Chamber of Commerce affair at the Lopez Skyroom; that at about 10:00 p.m. of that evening after the affair, complainant complained to him of a headache,

so he decided to take her home but once inside the jeep, she wanted to have a joy ride, so he drove around the city and proceeded to the airport; that when they were at the airport, only two of them, they started the usual kisses and they were carried by their passion; they forgot themselves and they made love; that before midnight he took her home; that thereafter they indulged in sexual intercourse many times whenever they went on joy riding in the evening and ended up in the airport which was the only place they could be alone (p. 195, tsn, id.). That it was sometime in the later part of October 1973 that complainant told him of her pregnancy; that they agreed that the child be delivered in Manila to avoid scandal and respondent would take care of expenses; that during respondent's talk with the parents of complainant regarding the latter's pregnancy, he told him he was married but estranged from his wife; that when complainant was already in Manila, she asked him if he was willing to marry her, he answered he could not marry again, otherwise, he would be charged with bigamy but he promised to file an annulment of his marriage as he had been separated from his wife for 16 years; that complainant consented to have sexual intercourse with him because of her love to him and he did not resort to force, trickery, deceit or cajolery; and that the present case was filed against him by complainant because of his failure to give the money to support complainant while in Cebu waiting for the delivery of the child and, also to meet complainant's medical expenses when she went to Zamboanga City for medical check-up (pp. 198-207, tsn, id.).

FINDING OF FACTS From the evidence adduced by the parties, the following facts are not disputed: 1. That the complainant, Victoria Barrientos, is single, a college student, and was about 20 years and 7 months old during the time (July-October 1975) of her relationship with respondent, having been born on December 23, 1952; while respondent Transfiguracion Daarol is married, General Manager of Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative, and 41 years old at the time of the said relationship, having been born on August 6, 1932; 2. That respondent is married to Romualda A. Sumaylo with whom be has a son; that the marriage ceremony was solemnized on September 24, 1955 at Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte by a catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Anacleto Pellamo, Parish Priest thereat; and that said respondent had been separated from his wife for about 16 years at the time of his relationship with complainant; 3. That respondent had been known by the Barrientos family for quite sometime, having been a former student of complainant's father in 1952 and, a former classmate of complainant's mother at the Andres Bonifacio College in Dipolog City; that he became acquainted with complainant's sister, Norma in 1963 and eventually with her other sisters, Baby and Delia and, her brother, Boy, as he used to visit Norma at her residence; that he also befriended complainant and who became a close friend when he invited her, with her parents' consent, to be one of the usherettes during the Masonic Convention in Sicayab, Dipolog City

from June 28 to 30, 1973, and he used to fetch her at her residence in the morning and took her home from the convention site after each day's activities; 4. That respondent courted complainant, and after a week of courtship, complainant accepted respondent's love on July 7, 1973; that in the evening of August 20, 1973, complainant with her parents' permission was respondent's partner during the Chamber of Commerce affair at the Lopez Skyroom in the Dipolog City, and at about 10:00 o'clock that evening, they left the place but before going home, they went to the airport at Sicayab, Dipolog City and parked the jeep at the beach, where there were no houses around; that after the usual preliminaries, they consummated the sexual act and at about midnight they went home; that after the first sexual act, respondent used to have joy ride with complainant which usually ended at the airport where they used to make love twice or three times a week; that as a result of her intimate relations, complainant became pregnant; 5. That after a conference among respondent, complainant and complainant's parents, it was agreed that complainant would deliver her child in Manila, where she went with her mother on October 22, 1973 by boat, arriving in Manila on the 25th and, stayed with her brother-in-law Ernesto Serrano in Singalong, Manila; that respondent visited her there on the 26th, 27th and 28th of October 1973, and again in February and March 1974; that later on complainant decided to deliver the child in Cebu City in order to be nearer to Dipolog City, and she went there in April 1974 and her sister took her to the Good Shepherd Convent at Banawa Hill, Cebu City; that on June 14, 1974, she delivered a baby girl at the Perpetual Succor Hospital

in Cebu City and, named her "Dureza Barrientos"; that about the last week of June 1974 she went home to Dipolog City; that during her stay here in Manila and later in Cebu City, the respondent defrayed some of her expenses; that she filed an administrative case against respondent with the National Electrification Administration; which complaint, however, was dismissed; and then she instituted the present disbarment proceedings against respondent. xxx xxx xxx In view of the foregoing, the undersigned respectfully recommend that after hearing, respondent Transfiguracion Daarol be disbarred as a lawyer. (Rollo, pp. 28-51). After a thorough review of the case, the Court finds itself in full accord with the findings and recommendation of the Solicitor General. From the records, it appears indubitable that complainant was never informed by respondent attorney of his real status as a married individual. The fact of his previous marriage was disclosed by respondent only after the complainant became pregnant. Even then, respondent misrepresented himself as being eligible to remarry for having been estranged from his wife for 16 years and dangled a marriage proposal on the assurance that he would work for the annulment of his first marriage. It was a deception after all as it turned out that respondent never bothered to annul said marriage. More importantly, respondent knew all along that the mere fact of separation alone is not a ground for annulment of marriage and does not vest him legal capacity to contract another marriage.

Interestingly enough. respondent lived alone in Dipolog City though his son, who was also studying in Dipolog City, lived separately from him. He never introduced his son and went around with friends as though he was never married much less had a child in the same locality. This circumstance alone belies respondent's claim that complainant and her family were aware of his previous marriage at the very start of his courtship. The Court is therefore inclined to believe that respondent resorted to deceit in the satisfaction of his sexual desires at the expense of the gullible complainant. It is not in accordance with the nature of the educated, cultured and respectable, which complainant's family is, her father being the Assistant Principal of the local public high school, to allow a daughter to have an affair with a married man. But what surprises this Court even more is the perverted sense of respondent's moral values when he said that: "I see nothing wrong with this relationship despite my being married." (TSN, p. 209, January 13, 1977; Rollo, p. 47) Worse, he even suggested abortion. Truly, respondent's moral sense is so seriously impaired that we cannot maintain his membership in the Bar. In Pangan v. Ramos (107 SCRA 1 [1981]), we held that: (E)ven his act in making love to another woman while his first wife is still alive and their marriage still valid and existing is contrary to honesty, justice, decency and morality. Respondent made a mockery of marriage which is a sacred institution demanding respect and dignity. Finally, respondent even had the temerity to allege that he is a Moslem convert and as such, could enter into multiple marriages and has inquired into the possibility of marrying complainant (Rollo, p. 15). As records indicate, however, his claim of having embraced the Islam religion is not supported by any evidence save that of his self-serving testimony. In this regard, we need only to quote the finding of the Office of the Solicitor General, to wit:

When respondent was asked to marry complainant he said he could not because he was already married and would open him to a charge of bigamy (p. 200, tsn, January 13, 1977). If he were a moslem convert entitled to four (4) wives, as he is now claiming, why did he not marry complainant? The answer is supplied by respondent himself. He said while he was a moslem, but, having been married in a civil ceremony, he could no longer validly enter into another civil ceremony without committing bigamy because the complainant is a christian (p. 242, tsn, January 13, 1977). Consequently, if respondent knew, that notwithstanding his being a moslem convert, he cannot marry complainant, then it was grossly immoral for him to have sexual intercourse with complainant because he knew the existence of a legal impediment. Respondent may not, therefore, escape responsibility thru his dubious claim that he has embraced the Islam religion. (Rollo, p. 49). By his acts of deceit and immoral tendencies to appease his sexual desires, respondent Daarol has amply demonstrated his moral delinquency. Hence, his removal for conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar on the grounds of deceit and grossly immoral conduct (Sec. 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court) is in order. Good moral character is a condition which precedes admission to the Bar (Sec. 2, Rule 138, Rules of Court) and is not dispensed with upon admission thereto. It is a continuing qualification which all lawyers must possess (People v. Tuanda, 181 SCRA 682 [1990]; Delos Reyes v. Aznar, 179 SCRA 653 [1989]), otherwise, a lawyer may either be suspended or disbarred. As we have held in Piatt v. Abordo (58 Phil. 350 [1933], cited in Leda v. Tabang, 206 SCRA 395 [1992]):

It cannot be overemphasized that the requirement of good 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 (People v. Tuanda, Adm. Case No. 3360, 30 January 1990, 181 SCRA 692). As aptly put by Mr. Justice George A. Malcolm: "As good character is an essential qualification for admission of an attorney to practice, when the attorney's character is bad in such respects as to show that he is unsafe and unfit to be entrusted with the powers of an attorney, the court retains the power to discipline him (Piatt v. Abordo, 58 Phil. 350 [1933]). Only recently, another disbarment proceeding was resolved by this Court against a lawyer who convinced a woman that her prior marriage to another man was null and void ab initio and she was still legally single and free to marry him (the lawyer), married her, was supported by her in his studies, begot a child with her, abandoned her and the child, and married another woman (Terre vs. Terre, Adm. Case No. 2349, July 3, 1992). Here, respondent, already a married man and about 41 years old, proposed love and marriage to complainant, then still a 20-year-old minor, knowing that he did not have the required legal capacity. Respondent then succeeded in having carnal relations with complainant by deception, made her pregnant, suggested abortion, breached his promise to marry her, and then deserted her and the child. Respondent is therefore guilty of deceit and grossly immoral conduct. The practice of law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to the exacting standards of mental and moral fitness. Respondent having exhibited debased morality, the Court is constrained to impose upon him the most severe disciplinary action disbarment.

The ancient and learned profession of law exacts from its members the highest standard of morality. The members are, in fact, enjoined to aid in guarding the Bar against the admission of candidates unfit or unqualified because deficient either moral character or education (In re Puno, 19 SCRA 439, [1967]; Pangan vs. Ramos, 107 SCRA 1 [1981]). As officers of the court, lawyers must not only in fact be of good moral character but must also be seen to be of good moral character and must lead a life in accordance with the highest moral standards of the community. More specifically, a member of the Bar and an officer of the Court is not only required to refrain from adulterous relationships or the keeping of mistresses but must also behave himself in such a manner as to avoid scandalizing the public by creating the belief that he is flouting those moral standards (Tolosa vs. Cargo, 171 SCRA 21, 26 [1989], citing Toledo vs. Toledo, 7 SCRA 757 [1963] and Royong vs. Oblena, 7 SCRA 859 [1963]). In brief, We find respondent Daarol morally delinquent and as such, should not be allowed continued membership in the ancient and learned profession of law (Quingwa v. Puno, 19 SCRA 439 [1967]). ACCORDINGLY, We find respondent Transfiguracion Daarol guilty of grossly immoral conduct unworthy of being a member of the Bar and is hereby ordered DISBARRED and his name stricken off from the Roll of Attorneys. Let copies of this Resolution be furnished to all courts of the land, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Office of the Bar Confidant and spread on the personal record of respondent Daarol. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Feliciano, Padilla, Bidin, GrioAquino, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon, Bellosillo, Melo and Campos, Jr., JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.C. No. 516 June 27, 1967

motion for a bill of particulars, he filed his answer on 29 May 1962 and this Court accordingly referred the case to the Solicitor-General for investigation, report and recommendation. In turn, the Solicitor General referred the case to the Provincial Fiscal of Agusan. The fiscal conducted an investigation. The petitioner adduced evidence, but not the respondent, because on the date set for hearing, on 25 July 1964, following several postponements, the respondent failed to attend, despite due notice, for which reason the investigating fiscal considered the respondent as having waived his right to present evidence. Thereafter, the fiscal forwarded the record of the investigation to the Solicitor General. On the basis thereof, the Solicitor General filed his report and a complaint with this Court, recommending the disbarment of the respondent, for gross misconduct. No evidence having been submitted by the respondent, the following facts are either unrebutted or admitted: On 17 January 1959, respondent Esteban Degamo, as an applicant to the position of Chief of Police of Carmen, Agusan, subscribed and swore to a filled-out "Information Sheet" before Mayor Jose Malimit of the same municipality. The sheet called for answers about name, personal circumstances, educational attainment, civil service eligibility and so forth. One item required to be filled out reads: Criminal or police record, if any, including those which did not reach the Court. (State the details of case and the final outcome.)" to which respondent answered, "None." Having accomplished the form, the respondent was appointed by the mayor to the position applied for. However, on the day the respondent swore to the information sheet, there was pending against him, and two (2) other co-accused, a criminal case in the

TRANQUILINO O. CALO, JR., petitioner, vs. ESTEBAN DEGAMO, respondent. Teodoro O. Calo, Jr. for complainant. Office of the Solicitor General Arturo A. Alafriz and Solicitor Pedro A,. Ramirez for investigators. REYES, J.B.L., J.: Disbarment proceedings against the respondent Esteban Degamo upon a verified letter-complaint of the petitioner, Tranquilino O. Calo, Jr., filed with this Court on 2 March 1962, and charging the former with "having committed false statement under oath or perjury" in connection with his appointment as Chief of Police of Carmen, Agusan.
1

On 12 March 1962, this Court required the respondent to file "an answer (not a motion to dismiss.) After interposing an unsuccessful

Court of First Instance of Bohol (No. 2646) for illegal possession of explosive powder.2 Prior to the commencement of this administrative case, the respondent was also charged in an information, dated 23 September 1960, for perjury, in the Court of First Instance of Agusan, docketed as Criminal Case No. 2194, on the same facts upon which he is now proceeded against as a member of the Philippine bar. In his defense, the respondent claims that his answer "None" to the aforequoted questionnaire was made in good faith, it being his honest interpretation of the particular question (heretofore quoted) that it referred to a final judgment or conviction and that Criminal Case No. 2646 was not a criminal or police record.1wph1.t The defense is plainly untenable. The questionnaire was simple, couched in ordinary terms and devoid of legalism hence, it needed no interpretation. It only called for simple information. That it asked for records "which did not reach the Court" entirely disproves respondent's technical twist to the question as referring to final judgments or convictions. Petitioner's letter-complaint was filed on 2 March 1962 while the act of the respondent complained of was committed on 17 January 1959. Without explaining how and upon what authority, respondent invokes the defense of prescription. This defense does not lie; the rule is that The ordinary statutes of limitation have no application to disbarment proceedings, nor does the circumstance that the facts set up as a ground for disbarment constitute a crime, prosecution for which in a criminal proceeding is barred by limitation, affect the disbarment proceeding, . . . (5 Am. Jur. 434).

Nor is the pendency of Criminal Case No. 2194 (for perjury) a prejudicial question, since the ground for disbarment in the present proceeding is not for conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude but for gross misconduct. A violation of a criminal law is not a bar to disbarment (6 Moran 242, 1963 Ed., citing the case of In re Montagne and Dominguez, 3 Phil. 577), and an acquittal is no obstacle to cancellation of the lawyer's license. (In re Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399). Respondent Degamo stresses that there is no cause of action against him because the information sheet is not required by law but only by the Civil Service Commission. This argument is beside the point. The issue is whether or not he acted honestly when he denied under oath the existence against him of any criminal or police record, including those that did not reach the court. In this, he did not tell the truth. He deliberately concealed it in order to secure an appointment in his own favor. He, therefore, failed to maintain that high degree of morality expected and required of a member of the bar (Toledo vs. Toledo, Adm. Case No. 266, 27 April 1963; Mortel vs. Aspiras, Adm. Case No. 145, 28 Dec. 1956; Bolivar vs. Simbol, Adm. Case No. 377, 29 April 1966 **), and he has violated his oath as a lawyer to "do no falsehood". It needs no reiteration that the ethical standards applicable to a member of the bar, who thereby automatically becomes a court officer, must necessarily be one higher than that of the market place. The facts being clear and undisputed, respondent's insistence upon patent technical excuses disentitle him to leniency from his Court. For the foregoing reasons, respondent Esteban Degamo is hereby disbarred, and his name ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys. So ordered. Concepcion, C.J., Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez and Castro, JJ., concur.

be investigated; and later he submitted a report recommending that Diao's name be erased from the roll of attorneys, because contrary to the allegations in his petition for examination in this Court, he (Diao) had not completed, before taking up law subjects, the required pre-legal education prescribed by the Department of Private Education, specially, in the following particulars: (a) Diao did not complete his high school training; and (b) Diao never attended Quisumbing College, and never obtained his A.A. diploma therefrom which contradicts the credentials he had submitted in support of his application for examination, and of his allegation therein of successful completion of the "required pre-legal education". Answering this official report and complaint, Telesforo A. Diao, practically admits the first charge: but he claims that although he had left high school in his third year, he entered the service of the U.S. Army, passed the General Classification Test given therein, which (according to him) is equivalent to a high school diploma, and upon his return to civilian life, the educational authorities considered his army service as the equivalent of 3rd and 4th year high school. We have serious doubts, about the validity of this claim, what with respondent's failure to exhibit any certification to that effect (the equivalence) by the proper school officials. However, it is unnecessary to dwell on this, since the second charge is clearly meritorious. Diao never obtained his A.A. from Quisumbing College; and yet his application for examination represented him as an A.A. graduate (1940-1941) of such college. Now, asserting he had obtained his A.A. title from the Arellano University in April, 1949, he says he was erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of Quisumbing College, in his school records.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.C. No. 244 March 29, 1963

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR DISBARMENT OF TELESFORO A. DIAO, vs. SEVERINO G. MARTINEZ, petitioner. BENGZON, C.J.: After successfully passing the corresponding examinations held in 1953, Telesforo A. Diao was admitted to the Bar. About two years later, Severino Martinez charged him with having falsely represented in his application for such Bar examination, that he had the requisite academic qualifications. The matter was in due course referred to the Solicitor General who caused the charge to

Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this stipulation of facts. 1wph1.t This explanation is not acceptable, for the reason that the "error" or "confusion" was obviously of his own making. Had his application disclosed his having obtained A.A. from Arellano University, it would also have disclosed that he got it in April, 1949, thereby showing that he began his law studies (2nd semester of 1948-1949) six months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree. And then he would not have been permitted to take the bar tests, because our Rules provide, and the applicant for the Bar examination must affirm under oath, "That previous to the study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the required pre-legal education(A.A.) as prescribed by the Department of Private Education," (emphasis on "previous"). Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but due to his false representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he hurdled the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally essential.. The Clerk is, therefore, ordered to strike from the roll of attorneys, the name of Telesforo A. Diao. And the latter is required to return his lawyer's diploma within thirty days. So ordered. Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur.

On July 10, 1961, the Solicitor General submitted his report on the case with the recommendation that the respondent "be permanently removed from his office lawyer and his name be stricken from the roll of attorneys". The pertinent part of the report reads as follows: The complainant testified that after lunch on August 5, 1958, Cecilia Angeles, her foster mother, left her alone in their house and went down to the pig sty to feed the pigs. At about 1:00 p.m., while she" (complainant) was ironing clothes on the second floor of the house the respondent entered and read a newspaper at her back. Suddenly he covered her mouth with one hand and with the other hand dragged her to one of the bedrooms of the house and forced her to lie down on the floor. She did not shout for help because he threatened her and her family with death. He next undressed as she lay on the floor, then had sexual intercourse with her after he removed her panties and gave her hard blows on the thigh with his fist to subdue her resistance. After the sexual intercourse, he warned her not to report him to her foster parents, otherwise, he would kill her and all the members of her family. She resumed ironing clothes after he left until 5:00 o'clock that afternoon when she joined her foster mother on the first floor of the house. As a result of the sexual intercourse she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby on June 2, 1959 (pp. 4-8, 21, 23, 26, 27, t.s.n., hearing of Aug. 5, 1959). She admitted that had she shouted for help she would have been heard by the neighbors that she did not report the outrage to anyone because of the threat made by the respondent; that she still frequented the respondent's house after August 5, 1959, sometimes when he was alone, ran errands for him, cooked his coffee, and received his mail for him. Once, on November 14, 1958, when respondent was sick of influenza, she was left alone with him in his house

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.C. No. 376 April 30, 1963

JOSEFINA ROYONG, complainant, vs. ATTY. ARISTON OBLENA, respondent. BARRERA, J.: In a verified complaint filed with this Court on January 14, 1959, complainant Josefina Royong charged the respondent Ariston J. Oblena, a member of the Philippine Bar, with rape allegedly committed on her person in the manner described therein. Upon requirement of this Court, the respondent filed his answer denying all the allegations in the complaint and praying that he be not disbarred. On February 3, 1959, this Court referred the case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation.

while her aunt Briccia Angeles left for Manila to buy medicine (pp. 11, 14-18, 24, t.s.n., hearing of August 5, 1959). The respondent on the witness stand denied that he raped the complainant (p. 3, t.s.n., hearing of March 25 1960). He testified that after lunch on August 5, 1958, he went to the Commission Of Civil Service to follow up his appointment as technical assistant in the office of the mayor of Makati, Rizal, and read the record of the administrative case against Buenaventura Perez (pp. 23, 24, 34, t.s.n., hearing of March 25, 1960, Exhs. 1 and 2). The respondent, however, admitted that he had illicit relations with the complainant from January, 1957 to December, 1958, when their clandestine affair was discovered by the complainant's foster parents, but to avoid criminal liability for seduction, according to him, he limited himself to kissing and embracing her and sucking her tongue before she completed her eighteenth birthday. They had their first sexual intercourse on May 11, 1958, after she had reached eighteen, and the second one week later, on May 18. The last intercourse took place before Christmas in December, 1958. In all, they had sexual intercourse about fifty times, mostly in her house and sometimes in his house whenever they had the opportunity. He intended to marry her when she could legally contract marriage without her foster parents' intervention, 'in case occasion will permit ... because we cannot ask permission to marry, for her foster parents will object and even my common-law wife, will object.' After the discovery of their relationship by the complainant's foster parents, he confessed the affair to Briccia, explaining that he wanted to have a child, something she (Briccia) could not give him. (pp. 14-16, 19-25, t.s.n., hearing of March 25, 1960). xxx xxx xxx

FINDINGS AND COMMENT There is no controversy that the respondent had carnal knowledge of the complainant. The complainant claims she surrendered to him under circumstances of violence and intimidation, but the undersigned are convinced that the sexual intercourse was performed not once but repeatedly and with her consent. From her behaviour before and after the alleged rape, she appears to have been more a sweetheart than of the victim of an outrage involving her honor .... But the foregoing observations notwithstanding, the undersigned cannot in conscience recommend respondent's exoneration. The respondent tempted Briccia Angeles to live maritally with him not long after she and her husband parted, and it is not improbable that the spouses never reconciled because of him. His own evidence shows that, tiring of her after more than fifteen years of adulterous relationship with her and on the convenient excuse that she, Briccia Angeles, could not bear a child, he seduced Josefina Andalis, then 17 or 18 years of age, resulting in her pregnancy and the birth of a child, on June 2, 1959. The seduction was accomplished with grave abuse of confidence and by means of promises of marriage which he knew he could not fulfill without grievous injury to the woman who forsook her husband so that he, respondent, could have all of her. He also took advantage of his moral influence over her. From childhood, Josefina Andalis, treated him as an uncle and called him 'tata' (uncle), undoubtedly because he is the paramour of a sister of her mother. Considering her age (she was 17 or 18 years old then), it is not difficult to see why she could not resist him. The evidence further shows that on July 22, 1954, the respondent filed a sworn petition dated May 22, 1954 alleging "that he is a person of good moral character" (Par. 3)

and praying that the Supreme Court permit him "to take the bar examinations to be given on the first Saturday of August, 1954, or at any time as the Court may fix.." But he was not then the person of good moral character he represented himself to be. From 1942 to the present, he has continuously lived an adulterous life with Briccia Angeles whose husband is still alive, knowing that his concubine is a married woman and that her marriage still subsists. This fact permanently disqualified him from taking the bar examinations, and had it been known to the Supreme Court in 1954, he would not have been permitted to take the bar examinations that year or thereafter, or to take his oath of office as a lawyer. As he was then permanently disqualified from admission to the Philippine Bar by reason of his adulterous relations with a married woman, it is submitted that the same misconduct should be sufficient ground for his permanent disbarment, unless we recognize a double standard of morality, one for membership to the Philippine Bar and another for disbarment from the office of a lawyer. xxx xxx xxx

living adulterously with Briccia Angeles at the same time maintaining illicit relations with the complainant Josefina Royong, niece of Briccia, thus rendering him unworthy of public confidence and unfit and unsafe to manage the legal business of others, and praying that this Court render judgment ordering "the permanent removal of the respondent ... from his office as a lawyer and the cancellation of his name from the roll of attorneys." In his answer to this formal complaint, respondent alleged the special defense that "the complaint does not merit action", since the causes of action in the said complaint are different and foreign from the original cause of action for rape and that "the complaint lacks the necessary formalities called for in Sec. 1, Rule 128 of the Rules of Court." Respondent prayed that after due notice and hearing for additional evidence, the complaint be dismissed. On September 13, 1961, this Court designated the Court Investigators to receive the additional evidence. Accordingly the case was set for hearing of which the parties were duly notified. On September 29, 1961, respondent asked leave to submit a memorandum which was granted, and on October 9, 1961 the same was filed, alleging the following: 1) That the charge of rape has not been proven; 2) That no act of seduction was committed by the respondent; 3) That no act of perjury or fraudulent concealment was committed by the respondent when he filed his petition for admission to the bar; and 4) That the respondent is not morally unfit to be a member of the bar. Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this stipulation of facts. 1wph1.t At the hearing on November 16, 1961, respondent presented his common-law wife, Briccia Angeles, who testified as follows:

RECOMMENDATION Wherefore, the undersigned respectfully recommend that after due hearing, respondent Ariston J. Oblena be permanently removed from his office as a lawyer and his name be stricken from the roll of attorneys. In view of his own findings as a result of his investigation, that even if respondent did not commit the alleged rape nevertheless he was guilty of other misconduct, the Solicitor General formulated another complaint which he appended to his report, charging the respondent of falsely and deliberately alleging in his application for admission to the bar that he is a person of good moral character; of

... Respondent is her common-law husband (t.s.n. 23). She first met respondent on December 16, 1941 at Cavinti, Laguna (t.s.n. 23). She and her sister Cecilia Angeles-Royong were evacuated to Cavinti by the Red Cross (t.s.n. 23). She was already married (to Teodoro Arines) at the time (t.s.n. 24). She and Arines are from Iriga, Camarines Sur (t.s.n. 24). Respondent and one Mr. Flores registered them (t.s.n. 24) as evacuees. When Mr. Flores asked her about her status she told him she was 'single' (t.s.n. 25). She and her sister, Cecilia, were then told to stay at respondent's house, respondent courted her (t.s.n. 26). Respondent asked her if she was married and she told him 'we will talk about that later on' (t.s.n. 26). She told respondent she was married (to Arines) when she and respondent were already living together as 'husband and wife', in 1942( t.s.n. 26). Respondent asked her to marry him, when they were living as husband and wife (t.s.n. 27). Her sister Cecilia left Cavinti 2 months after their arrival thereat, but she did not go with her because she and respondent 'had already a good understanding'(sexual relations) [t.s.n. 27]. Later, she left Cavinti and went to her hometown in Iriga, Camarines Sur, because respondent was already reluctant to live with her and he told her it was better for her to go home to Iriga (t.s.n. 25). Arriving at Iriga, she met her legitimate husband (Arines), who told her he had already a wife, named Conching Guevara (t.s.n. 28-29). She then went back to Cavinti (in 1943), with her father, and lived with respondent (t.s.n. 29). Respondent eventually agreed that she live with him (t.s.n. 35); in fact, she is still presently living with respondent (t.s.n. 35) [Report of Court Investigators, March 6, 1962, pp. 5-6]." Thereafter, respondent requested permission to submit an affidavit at a later date, which request was also granted. The affidavit was filed on December 16, 1961, the respondent averring, among others, the following:.

... That he never committed any act or crime of seduction against the complainant, because the latter was born on February 19, 1940, and his first sexual intercourse with her took place on May 11, 1958, when she was already above 18 years of age; that he had been living with his common-law wife, Briccia Angeles, for almost 20 years, but from the time he began courting her, he 'had no intention to alienate' her love for her husband, Arines, or to commit the crime of adultery; that he courted Briccia on October 16, 1941, and was shortly thereafter accepted by her; that on February 21, 1942, he found Briccia alone in his house, who told him that her sister, Cecilia, had gone to Pagsanjan with the other evacuees; that from said date (February 21), to the present, he and Briccia had been living together as common-law husband and wife; that 2 or 3 weeks thereafter, he asked Briccia to marry him, but she confessed she was already married, and maybe her husband (Arines) was still living in Iriga; that he could not then drive Briccia away, because she was a stranger in the place, nor could he urge her to join her sister Cecilia, as the latter had left Pagsanjan; that in 1943 she told Briccia to separate from him and to return to Iriga, and urged her never to see him again; that contrary to his expectations, Briccia returned to Cavinti 3 months thereafter; that Briccia strongly insisted to live with him again, telling him that she cannot separate from him anymore, as he was ashamed; that Briccia's father told him that Briccia's husband (Arines) had agreed not to molest them as in fact he (Arines) was already living with another woman; that he had 'no choice but to live with her' (Briccia) again; that when he filed his petition to take the bar examinations in 1954, he 'did not have the slightest intention to hide' from this Court the fact of his 'open cohabitation with a married woman' (Briccia Angeles); that he did not state said fact in his petition, because he did not see in the form of the petition being used in 1954 that the fact must be stated; and that since his birth, he thought and believed he was a man of good moral

character, and it was only from the Solicitor General that he first learned he was not so; and that he did not commit perjury or fraudulent concealment when he filed his petition to take the bar examinations in 1954." (Report of the Court Investigators, pp. 6-8, March 6, 1962). After hearing, the investigators submitted a report with the finding that: 1) Respondent used his knowledge of the law to take advantage by having illicit relations with complainant, knowing as he did, that by committing immoral acts on her, he was free from any criminal liability; and 2) Respondent committed gross immorality by continuously cohabiting with a married woman even after he became a lawyer in 1955 to the present; and 3) That respondent falsified the truth as to his moral character in his petition to take the 1954 bar examinations, being then immorally (adulterously) in cohabitation with his common-law wife, Briccia Angeles, a married woman. The investigators also recommended that the respondent be disbarred or alternatively, be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year. Upon the submission of this report, a copy of which was served on respondent, through his counsel of record, the case was set for hearing before the Court on April 30, 1962. Respondent asked leave to file his memorandum in lieu of oral argument. This was granted and the corresponding memorandum was duly filed. It is an admitted and uncontroverted fact that the respondent had sexual relations with the complainant several times, and as a consequence she bore him a child on June 2, 1959; and that he likewise continuously cohabited with Briccia Angeles, in an adulterous manner, from 1942 up to the present. The main point in issue is thus limited illicit relations with the complainant Josefina Royong the and the open cohabitation with Briccia Angeles, a married woman, are sufficient grounds to cause the respondent's disbarment.

It is argued by the respondent that he is not liable for disbarment notwithstanding his illicit relations with the complainant and his open cohabitation with Briccia Angeles, a married woman, because he has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude. It is true that the respondent has not been convicted of rape, seduction, or adultery on this count, and that the grounds upon which the disbarment proceedings is based are not among those enumerated by Section 25, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court for which a lawyer may be disbarred. But it has already been held that this enumeration is not exclusive and that the power of the courts to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the profession is inherent; it is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice; it may be exercised without any special statutory authority, and in all proper cases unless positively prohibited by statute; and the power may be exercised in any manner that will give the party be disbarred a fair trial and a fair opportunity to be heard. (1 Francisco, Rules of Court [1958 ed.] 698, citing In Re Pelaez, 44 Phil. 567). Although it is a well settled rule that the legislature (or the Supreme Court by virtue of its rule-making power) may provide that certain acts or conduct shall require disbarment, the accepted doctrine is that statutes and rules merely regulate the power to disbar instead of creating it, and that such statutes (or rules) do not restrict the general powers of the court over attorneys, who are its officers, and that they may be removed for other than statutory grounds (7 C.J.S. 734). In the United States, where from our system of legal ethics is derived, "the continued possession of a fair private and professional character or a good moral character is a requisite condition for the rightful continuance in the practice of law for one who has been admitted, and its loss requires suspension or disbarment even though the statutes do not specify that as a ground of disbarment". The moral turpitude for which an attorney may be disbarred may consist of misconduct in either his professional or non-professional activities (5 Am. Jur. 417). The tendency of the decisions of this Court has been toward the conclusion that a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from office as a lawyer for other than statutory grounds. Indeed, the rule is so phrased as to be

broad enough to cover practically any misconduct of a lawyer (In Re Pelaez, 44 Phil. 567). In the case at bar, the moral depravity of the respondent is most apparent. His pretension that before complainant completed her eighteenth birthday, he refrained from having sexual intercourse with her, so as not to incur criminal liability, as he himself declared and that he limited himself merely to kissing and embracing her and sucking her tongue, indicates a scheming mind, which together with his knowledge of the law, he took advantage of, for his lurid purpose. Moreover, his act becomes more despicable considering that the complainant was the niece of his common-law wife and that he enjoyed a moral ascendancy over her who looked up to him as her uncle. As the Solicitor General observed: "He also took advantage of his moral influence over her. From childhood, Josefina Andalis (Royong), treated him as an uncle and called him 'tata' (uncle), undoubtedly because he is the paramour of a sister of her mother. Considering her age (she was 17 or 18 years old then), her inexperience and his moral ascendency over her, it is not difficult to see why she could not resist him." Furthermore, the blunt admission of his illicit relations with the complainant reveals the respondent to be a person who would suffer no moral compunction for his acts if the same could be done without fear of criminal liability. He has, by these acts, proven himself to be devoid of the moral integrity expected of a member of the bar. The respondent's misconduct, although unrelated to his office, may constitute sufficient grounds for disbarment. This is a principle we have followed since the ruling in In Re Pelaez, 44 Phil. 567, where this Court quoted with approval the following portion of the decision of the Supreme Court of Kansas in the case of Peyton's Appeal (12 Kan. 398, 404), to wit:. The nature of the office, the trust relation which exists between attorney and client, as well as between court and attorney, and the statutory rule prescribing the qualifications

of attorneys, uniformly require that an attorney be a person of good moral character. If that qualification is a condition precedent to a license or privilege to enter upon the practice of the law, it would seem to be equally essential during the continuance of the practice and the exercise of the privilege. So it is held that an attorney will be removed not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his profession, but also for gross misconduct not connected with his professional duties, which shows him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which his license and the law confer upon him. (Emphasis supplied). Respondent's conduct though unrelated to his office and in no way directly bearing on his profession, has nevertheless rendered him unfit and unworthy of the privileges of a lawyer. We cannot give sanction to his acts. For us to do so would be as the Solicitor General puts it recognizing "a double standard of morality, one for membership to the Philippine Bar, and another for disbarment from the office of the lawyer." If we concede that respondent's adulterous relations and his simultaneous seduction of his paramour's niece did not and do not disqualify him from continuing with his office of lawyer, this Court would in effect be requiring moral integrity as an essential prerequisite for admission to the bar, only to later on tolerate and close its eyes to the moral depravity and character degeneration of the members of the bar. The decisions relied upon by the respondent in justifying his stand that even if he admittedly committed fornication, this is no ground for disbarment, are not controlling. Fornication, if committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as have proven in this case, as to shock common sense of decency, certainly may justify positive action by the Court in protecting the prestige of the noble profession of the law. The reasons advanced by the respondent why he continued his adulterous relations with Briccia Angeles, in that she helped him in some way finish his law studies, and that his "sense of propriety and Christian charity" did not allow him to

abandon her after his admission to the bar after almost 13 years of cohabitation, are hardly an excuse for his moral dereliction. The means he employed, as he stated, in order to extricate himself from the predicament he found himself in, by courting the complainant and maintaining sexual relations with her makes his conduct more revolting. An immoral act cannot justify another immoral act. The noblest means he could have employed was to have married the complainant as he was then free to do so. But to continue maintaining adulterous relations with a married woman and simultaneously maintaining promiscuous relations with the latter's niece is moral perversion that can not be condoned. Respondent's conduct therefore renders him unfit and unworthy for the privileges of the legal profession. As good character is an essential qualification for admission of an attorney to practice, he may be removed therefrom whenever he ceases to possess such character (7 C.J.S. 735). The respondent further maintains that the Solicitor General exceeded his authority in filing the present complaint against him for seduction, adultery and perjury, as it charges an offense or offenses different from those originally charged in the complaint of January 14, 1959 for rape, and cites as authority Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 128 of the Rules of Court, which state:. SEC. 4. Report of the Solicitor General. Based upon the evidence adduced at the hearing, if the Solicitor General finds no sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent, he shall submit a report to the Supreme Court containing his findings of fact and conclusion, whereupon the respondent shall be exonerated unless the court orders differently. SEC. 5. Complaint of the Solicitor General. Answer of the respondent. If the Solicitor General finds sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the corresponding complaint, accompanied with all the evidence introduced in his investigation, with the Supreme Court, and

the respondent shall be served by the clerk of the Supreme Court with a copy of the complaint with direction to answer the same within fifteen days. The contention is devoid of merit. Nothing in the language of the foregoing rules requires the Solicitor General to charge in his complaint the same offense charged in the complaint originally filed by the complainant for disbarment. Precisely, the law provides that should the Solicitor General find sufficient grounds to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the corresponding complaint, accompanied by the evidence introduced in his investigation. The Solicitor General therefore is at liberty to file any case against the respondent he may be justified by the evidence adduced during the investigation.. The respondent also maintains that he did not falsify his petition to take the bar examinations in 1954 since according to his own opinion and estimation of himself at that time, he was a person of good moral character. This contention is clearly erroneous. One's own approximation of himself is not a gauge to his moral character. Moral character is not a subjective term, but one which corresponds to objective reality. Moral character is what a person really is, and not what he or other people think he is. As former Chief Justice Moran observed: An applicant for license to practice law is required to show good moral character, or what he 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. As has been said, ante the standard of personal and professional integrity which should be applied to persons admitted to practice law is not satisfied by such conduct as merely enables them to escape the penalties of criminal law. Good moral character includes at least common honesty (3 Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, [1957 ed.] 626, citing In Re Weinstein, 42 P. [2d] 744 B.L.D., Cooper v. Greeley. 1 Den. [N.Y.] 3447; In Re Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399; and People v. Macauley, 82 N.E. 612). Respondent, therefore, did not possess a good moral character at

the time he applied for admission to the bar. He lived an adulterous life with Briccia Angeles, and the fact that people who knew him seemed to have acquiesced to his status, did not render him a person of good moral character. It is of no moment that his immoral state was discovered then or now as he is clearly not fit to remain a member of the bar. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby entered striking the name of herein respondent, Ariston J. Oblena, from the roll of attorneys. Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Paredes, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur. Padilla, Reyes, J.B.L., and Dizon, JJ., took no part.

Republic SUPREME Manila EN BANC

of

the

Philippines COURT

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.

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.

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

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 reevaluation 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, partiesrespondents 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)

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).

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

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).

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 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

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).

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).

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.

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 reevaluation believing in all good faith that they so merited on the basis of the Confidential Memorandum (identified and marked as Exh. 1Lanuevo, 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 southeastern 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-aLanuevo) 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 reevaluation 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 reevaluated, 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 reevaluation 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 reevaluated 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. 2Pamatian, 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 reevaluated the said booklet (Exhs. 1-Pamatian, 2-Pamatian, and 3Pamatian, 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 & 2Manalo, 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. 2Pardo, 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& BMontecillo, 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 reexamine, 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. A

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 reevaluation 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 respondentsexaminers (Adm. Case No. 1164) and clarified by extensive crossexamination 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 International Law or 30 weighted points BAI Labor Laws Legislations 67% evaluation made. 2. Civil Law 64% or 33 weighted points. Taxation 74% evaluation made. 3. Mercantile Law or 30 weighted points. 74% 61% 67% and = = = 71% = no 1 no 10 Social repoints repts. 68% Law 78% = Public 10 pts.

4. Criminal Law 22 weighted points.

64%

75% (64) and

11

pts. (75%)

or =

5. Remedial Law 63.75% 11 pts. or 44 weighted points. Legal Ethics Exercises 81% 81% evaluation

75.5%

Practical no remade.

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 reevaluated 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

75%

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 reevaluation 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. B 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 reevaluation 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 Taxation 72% Law 70%

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 reevaluation 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.

A 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 reevaluation 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 reevaluation 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. B 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].

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 reevaluation 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 respondentsexaminers should have required respondent Lanuevo to produce or show them the complete grades and/or the average of the examinee

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 475478; (b) lack of good moral character [In re: Peralta, 101 Phil. 313314]; and (c) fraudulent passing of the Bar examinations [People vs. Romualdez -- re: Luis Mabunay, 57 Phil. 151; In re: Del Rosario, 52

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 reevaluations 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. 2Pamatian, 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.).

influence, their notwithstanding.

conceded

integrity,

honesty

and

competence

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 respondentsexaminers 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. V

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 reevaluation adverted to, no one among them can truly claim that the reevaluation effected by them was impartial or free from any improper

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. A 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 1971 Statement 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.

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. B 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

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).

a technical assistant in the office of Senator Roy (Vol. V, pp. 79-80, 8687, 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, Muoz Palma and Aquino, JJ., concur. Teehankee, J., concurs in the result. Antonio, J., is on official leave. Concepcion and Martin, JJ., took no part. The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation