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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
October-1995 Jurisprudence                 

  • Adm. Case No. 3745 October 2, 1995 - CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA v. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO

  • G.R. No. 94702 October 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLITO ACUÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97143 October 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO FIGUEROA

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1325 October 4, 1995 - PABLO ESPAÑOLA v. VINCENT EDEN C. PANAY

  • G.R. No. 102672 October 4, 1995 - PANAY ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118533 October 4, 1995 - PABLO R OLIVAREZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • Adm. Case No. 4405 October 6, 1995 - BIENVENIDO SANCHEZ v. GALILEO P. BRION

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-972 October 6, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MA. GORGONIA L. FLORES

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1006 October 6, 1995 - LERMA CHUA MARTINEZ v. ALDO MUÑOZ

  • G.R. No. 76490 October 6, 1995 - ISAGANI SABINIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104604 & 111223 October 6, 1995 - NARCISO O. JAO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110634 October 6, 1995 - RUFINO O. ESLAO v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. Nos. 111206-08 October 6, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR.

  • G.R. No. 116183 October 6, 1995 - RICARDO T. GLORIA v. SALVADOR P. DE GUZMAN, JR.

  • G.R. No. 117092 October 6, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO C. LAO

  • G.R. Nos. 118712 & 118745 October 6, 1995 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 120319 October 6, 1995 - LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK v. ASS’N. OF LUZON DEV’T. BANK EMPLOYEES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-93-1033 October 10, 1995 - MARIBETH CORDOVA, ET AL. v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 117732 October 10, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS C. SALILING

  • G.R. No. 93915 October 11, 1995 - AUGUSTO EVANGELISTA v. NLRC

  • G.R. No. 99049 October 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO A. BARQUILLA

  • G.R. No. 117009 October 11, 1995 - SECURITY BANK & TRUST COMPANY, ET AL., v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118013-14 October 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99263 October 12, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PACIFICO R. LAZARO

  • G.R. Nos. 119987-88 October 12, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • Adm. Case No. 4380 October 13, 1995 - NICANOR GONZALES, ET AL., v. MIGUEL SABACAJAN

  • G.R. No. 103911 October 13, 1995 - EDGARDO E. LOPEZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. 109373 & 112991 October 13, 1995 - PACIFIC BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES ORG., ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110015 October 13, 1995 - MANILA BAY CLUB CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 107101 October 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLO S. RODICO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108515 October 16, 1995 - LUIS BALANTAKBO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110053 October 16, 1995 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 110544 October 17, 1995 - REYNALDO V. TUANDA, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 105649 October 18, 1995 - FLORO ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111634 October 18, 1995 - KOMATSU INDUSTRIES (PHIL.), INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116062 October 18, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERTO BANTISIL, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 116462 October 18, 1995 - RENO FOODS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116910 October 18, 1995 - INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL SERVICES, INC., ET. AL. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114841-42 October 20, 1995 - ATLANTIC GULF AND PACIFIC CO. OF MANILA, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103915 October 23, 1995 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. TELEFUNKEN SEMICONDUCTOR PHIL., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106477 October 23, 1995 - GLOBE GENERAL SERVICES AND SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC

  • G.R. No. 111837 October 24, 1995 - NEW YORK MARINE MANAGERS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112969-70 October 24, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO PADRE-E

  • G.R. No. 118584 October 24, 1995 - AURELIA S. GOMEZ v. PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120823 October 24, 1995 - HADJI HAMID PATORAY v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-92-716 October 25, 1995 - MA. BLYTH B. ABADILLA v. JOSE C. TABILIRAN, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-892 October 25, 1995 - SAN MANUEL WOOD PRODUCTS, INC. v. RAMON B. TUPAS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-907 October 25, 1995 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. JOSELITO SD. GENEROSO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-979 October 25, 1995 - EMERITO M. AGCAOILI v. ADOLFO B. MOLINA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1081 October 25, 1995 - VIRGINIA E. BURGOS v. JOSEFINA R. AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 95573 October 25, 1995 - GSIS v. NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99058 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIXBERTO FRANCISCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102976 October 25, 1995 - IRON AND STEEL AUTHORITY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 110815-16 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY SINATAO

  • G.R. No. 111688 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO @ "FELITOY" BRIOL, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 112713 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TAMPARONG, JR.

  • G.R. No. 108115 October 27, 1995 - PHILIPPINE SOAP BOX DERBY, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117083 October 27, 1995 - LAZARO V. KAVINTA v. PRUDENCIO ALTRE CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112448 October 30, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO LOPEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115455, 115525, 115543, 115544, 115754, 115781, 115852, 115873 & 115931 October 30, 1995 - ARTURO M. TOLENTINO v. SECRETARY OF FINANCE, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    Adm. Case No. 3745   October 2, 1995 - CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA v. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [Adm. Case No. 3745. October 2, 1995.]

    CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA, Complainant, v. ATTY. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO, Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    LEGAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; LOYALTY TO CLIENT SUBSIST EVEN AFTER THE TERMINATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. — The Court reiterates that an attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also after the relation of attorney and client has terminated as it is not good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case other person against his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct from, and independent of the former case. It behooves respondent not only to keep inviolate the client’s confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. The relation of attorney and client is one of confidence and trust in the highest degree. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. An attorney not only becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client’s cause, but also learns from his client the weak and strong points of the case. No opportunity must be given attorneys to take advantage of the secrets of clients obtained while the confidential relation of attorney and client exists. Otherwise, the legal profession will suffer by the loss of the confidence of the people. Respondent’s plea for leniency cannot be granted. We note that respondent is new in the profession as he was just admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10, 1990, when the breach of his oath of office occurred more than a year after. Having just hurdled the bar examinations which included an examination in legal ethics, surely the precepts of the Code of Professional Responsibility to keep inviolate the client’s trust and confidence even after the attorney-client relation is terminated must have been still fresh in his mind. A lawyer starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must start right and dutifully abide by the norms of conduct of the profession. This will ineluctably redound to his benefit and to the upliftment of the legal profession as well.


    R E S O L U T I O N


    FRANCISCO, J.:


    Complainant Cynthia B. Rosacia, president of Tacma, Phils., Inc., a duly registered corporation, filed a complaint for disbarment dated October 25, 1991, against herein respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao. Acting on the complaint, the Court in a resolution dated February 24, 1992, resolved to refer the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation. Commissioner Victor C. Fernandez, the IBP investigating commissioner, found that respondent breached his oath of office and accordingly recommended respondent’s suspension from the practice of law for three (3) months. 1 In a resolution dated July 30, 1994, the IBP Board of Governors resolved to adopt and approve the commissioner’s report and recommendation. 2

    As found by the IBP, the undisputed facts are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "On June 1, 1990, by virtue of a written Agreement (Exh. "3-a"), respondent Atty. Benjamin B. Bulalacao was hired as retained counsel of a corporation by the name of Tacma Phils., Inc.

    "On October 31, 1990, the lawyer-client relationship between the respondent and Tacma Phils., Inc. was severed as shown by another agreement of even date (Exh. "3-b").

    "On July, 1991, or after almost nine (9) months from the date respondent’s retainer agreement with Tacma, Phils., Inc. was terminated, several employees of the corporation consulted the respondent for the purpose of filing an action for illegal dismissal. Thereafter, he agreed to handle the case for the said employees as against Tacma, Phils., Inc. by filing a complaint before the National Labor Relations Commission, and appearing in their behalf." 3

    The sole issue to be addressed is whether or not respondent breached his oath of office for representing the employees of his former client, Tacma, Phils., Inc., after the termination of their attorney-client relationship. We agree with the findings of the IBP that respondent breached his oath of office. Respondent does not now dispute this. In fact, in his motion for reconsideration, respondent admitted that he "did commit an act bordering an grave misconduct, if not outright violation of his attorney’s oath." 4 However, respondent is pleading for the Court’s compassion and leniency to reduce the IBP recommended three months suspension to either fine or admonition with the following proffered grounds: that he is relatively new in the profession having been admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10, 1990 at the age of 46 when the complained conduct was committed on August 1991; that he is a humble beginnings and his suspension will deprive his family of its only source of livelihood he being the sole bread winner in the family; that he has fully realized his mistake and the gravity of his offense for which he is fully repentant; that he has severed his attorney-client relationship with the employees of Tacma, Phils., Inc. by inhibiting himself and withdrawing his appearance as counsel in the labor case against Tacma, Phils., Inc.; and that he pledges not to commit the same mistake and to henceforth strictly adhere to the professional standards set forth by the Code of Professional Responsibility.

    The Court reiterates that an attorney owes loyalty to his client not only in the case in which he has represented him but also after the relation of attorney and client has terminated as it is not good practice to permit him afterwards to defend in another case other person against his former client under the pretext that the case is distinct from, and independent of the former case. 5 It behooves respondent not only to keep inviolate the client’s confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double dealing for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. 6 The relation of attorney and client is one of confidence and trust in the highest degree. 7 A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he ought to be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. 8 An attorney not only becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his client’s cause, but also learns from his client the weak and strong points of the case. No opportunity must be given attorneys to take advantage of the secrets of clients obtained while the confidential relation of attorney and client exists. Otherwise, the legal profession will suffer by the loss of the confidence of the people. 9

    Respondent’s plea for leniency cannot be granted. We note that respondent is new in the profession as he was just admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 10, 1990, when the breach of his oath of office occurred more than a year after. Having just hurdled the bar examinations which included an examination in legal ethics, surely the precepts of the Code of Professional Responsibility to keep inviolate the client’s trust and confidence even after the attorney-client relation is terminated 10 must have been still fresh in his mind. A lawyer starting to establish his stature in the legal profession must start right and dutifully abide by the norms of conduct of the profession. This will ineluctably redound to his benefit and to the upliftment of the legal profession as well.

    ACCORDINGLY, respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three months. Let this resolution be attached to respondent’s record in the office of the Bar Confidant and copies thereof furnished to all courts and to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

    Regalado, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

    Narvasa, C.J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Report and Recommendation, April 29, 1994.

    2. Resolution No. XI-94-146.

    3. Report, supra, pp. 1-2.

    4. Motion for Reconsideration, October 10, 1994, p. 1.

    5. Sumangil v. Santo Roman, 84 Phil. 777 (1949); San Jose v. Cruz, 57 Phil. 792 (1933).

    6. Hilado v. David, 84 Phil. 569 (1949).

    7. Tiania v. Ocampo, 200 SCRA 472 (1991); Grino v. Civil Service Commission, 194 SCRA 458 (1991).

    8. Canon 17, Code of Professional Responsibility.

    9. Hilado, supra; U.S, v. Laranja, 21 Phil. 500 (1912).

    10. Canon 21, Code of Professional Responsibility.

    Adm. Case No. 3745   October 2, 1995 - CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA v. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO


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