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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
 

   
September-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137538 September 3, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. HON. FRANCISCO B. IBAY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1249 September 4, 2001 - PHIL. GERIATRICS FOUNDATION, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUERUBIN LAYOSA

  • A.M. No. P-00-1373 September 4, 2001 - ELIZABETH A. TIONGCO v. ROGELIO S. MOLINA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1501 September 4, 2001 - JOSEPHINE D. SARMIENTO v. ALBERT S. SALAMAT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1502 September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO

  • A.M. No. P-99-1357 September 4, 2001 - SHERWIN M. BALOLOY v. JOSE B. FLORES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1651 September 4, 2001 - PROSECUTOR LEO C. TABAO v. JUDGE FRISCO T. LILAGAN

  • G.R. No. 125359 September 4, 2001 - ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO and HECTOR T. RIVERA v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 126859 September 4, 2001 - YOUSEF AL-GHOUL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127181 September 4, 2001 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132709 September 4, 2001 - CAMILO L. SABIO, ET AL. v. INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134490 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOEL BRAGAT

  • G.R. Nos. 135356-58 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELECIO SAGARINO

  • G.R. No. 138923 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANITA AYOLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1344 September 5, 2001 - LYDIO ARCILLA, ET AL. v. LUCIO PALAYPAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128145 September 5, 2001 - J.C. LOPEZ & ASSOCIATES v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133886 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. OSCAR PARBA

  • G.R. No. 134101 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELINO O. LLANITA

  • G.R. No. 136054 September 5, 2001 - SEVERINA SAN MIGUEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132714 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LALINGJAMAN

  • G.R. Nos. 139064-66 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ARCE

  • G.R. No. 140529 September 6, 2001 - JOSE P. LOPEZ v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141400 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EVANGELINE GANENAS

  • Admin. Case. No. 4863 September 7, 2001 - URBAN BANK v. ATTY. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 114858-59 September 7, 2001 - COLUMBUS PHILIPPINES BUS CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 126352 September 7, 2001 - GSIS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127261 September 7, 2001 - VISAYAN SURETY & INSURANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129644 September 7, 2001 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131805 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO HERMOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132064 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAGANI BAYENG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132320 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO OJERIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135402-03 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IAN GONZAGA

  • G.R. No. 136779 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 142065 September 7, 2001 - LENIDO LUMANOG v. HON. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 142875 September 7, 2001 - EDGAR AGUSTILO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144877 September 7, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. VERONICA AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1506 September 10, 2001 - GEORGE S. BICBIC v. DHALIA E. BORROMEO

  • G.R. Nos. 104769 & 135016 September 10, 2001 - AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118943 September 10, 2001 - MARIO HORNALES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130362 September 10, 2001 - INT’L FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES (PHIL.) v. MERLIN J. ARGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138485 September 10, 2001 - DR. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 141970 September 10, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK v. FLORO T. ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 145588 September 10, 2001 - ESPERIDION LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140398 September 11, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA MERCED, ET AL. v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121877 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ERLINDA GONZALES

  • G.R. Nos. 138431-36 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSCORA M. ARABIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140903 September 12, 2001 - HENRY SY v. COMMISSION ON SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-1-4-03-SC September 13, 2001 - RE: REQUEST FOR LIVE RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A.M. No. 00-4-188-RTC September 13, 2001 - REQUEST OF MR. OSCAR T. LLAMAS FOR RE-ASSIGNMENT OSCAR T. LLAMAS v. EMMANUEL LACANDOLA AND ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 120009 September 13, 2001 - DOLE PHILIPPINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 122095 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DOMINGO DAWISAN

  • G.R. No. 127913 September 13, 2001 - RCBC v. METRO CONTAINER CORP.

  • G.R. No. 132354 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOMEDES IGLESIA

  • G.R. Nos. 136840-42 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 137250-51 September 13, 2001 - PABLO MARGAREJO v. HON. ADELARDO ESCOSES

  • G.R. No. 138972-73 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO B. MARQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140512 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PETER PELERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142043 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON BITUON

  • G.R. No. 142430 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE QUINICIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142444 September 13, 2001 - OFELIA D. ARTUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142649 September 13, 2001 - ANTONIO C. SAN LUIS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143702 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 129212 September 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO LACUESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1575 September 17, 2001 - ISAGANI RIZON v. JUDGE OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. RTJ 99-1498 September 17, 2001 - VICENTE P. LIM v. JUDGE JACINTA B. TAMBAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111584 September 17, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES SALVADOR Y. CHUA and EMILIA U. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 135644 September 17, 2001 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. SPOUSES GONZALO and MATILDE LABUNG-DEANG

  • G.R. No. 135912 September 17, 2001 - ODIN SECURITY AGENCY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138219 September 17, 2001 - GERARDO V. TAMBAOAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138943-44 September 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY ALMAZAN

  • G.R. No. 141209 September 17, 2001 - ANTONIA HUFANA, ET AL. v. WILLIAM ONG GENATO

  • A. C. No. 5043 September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 135936 September 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GUALBERTO MIRADOR alias "GOLING"

  • G.R. No. 144400 September 19, 2001 - DOMINGO O. IGNACIO v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1369 September 20, 2001 - GUILLERMA D. CABAÑERO v. JUDGE ANTONIO K. CAÑON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1371 September 20, 2001 - ATTY. NESCITO C. HILARIO v. JUDGE ROMEO A. QUILANTANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472 September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG

  • A.M. No. P-01-1483 September 20, 2001 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. ISABELO LAVADIA

  • G.R. No. 116938 September 20, 2001 - LEONILA GARCIA-RUEDA v. REMEDIOS A. AMOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127405 September 20, 2001 - MARJORIE TOCAO and WILLIAM T. BELO v. COURT OF APPEALS and NENITA A. ANAY

  • G.R. No. 130399 September 20, 2001 - PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT v. HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA

  • G.R. Nos. 135068-72 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 137674 September 20, 2001 - WILLIAM GO KIM HUY v. SANTIAGO GO KIM HUY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139410 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SILVERIO AGUERO

  • G.R. No. 140898 September 20, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1289 September 21, 2001 - JUDGE NAPOLEON S. DIAMANTE v. ANTHONY A. ALAMBRA

  • G.R. Nos. 119609-10 September 21, 2001 - PCGG v. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128876 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO FELIZAR y CAPULI

  • G.R. No. 132384 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARLON GADIA

  • G.R. No. 134596 September 21, 2001 - RAYMUND ARDONIO v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 142889 September 21, 2001 - EXECUTIVE LABOR ARBITER RICARDO N. OLAIREZ v. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 145416 September 21, 2001 - GOLDEN HORIZON REALTY CORPORATION v. SY CHUAN

  • A.M. No. 99-6-79-MTC September 24, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1512 September 24, 2001 - TERESITA H. ZIPAGAN v. JOVENCIO N. TATTAO

  • G.R. Nos. 132442-44 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BERNARDINO ARANZADO

  • G.R. Nos. 135524-25 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO AGUSTIN

  • G.R. No. 141897 September 24, 2001 - METRO CONSTRUCTION v. CHATHAM PROPERTIES

  • G.R. No. 144404 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 127759-60 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PO3 NOEL FELICIANO

  • G.R. Nos. 134527-28 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SERAPIO REY alias APIONG

  • G.R. Nos. 136867-68 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO GALVEZ y JEREZ

  • G.R. No. 137612 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FRANCISCO ANTINERO BERIARMENTE

  • A.C. No. 4497 September 26, 2001 - MR. and MRS. VENUSTIANO G. SABURNIDO v. ATTY. FLORANTE E. MADROÑO

  • A.C. No. 4990 September 26, 2001 - ELENA ZARATE-BUSTAMANTE and LEONORA SAVET CATABIAN v. ATTY. FLORENTINO G. LIBATIQUE

  • G.R. No. 122824 September 26, 2001 - AURORA F. IGNACIO v. VALERIANO BASILIO,

  • G.R. No. 123058 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NAPUD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 129107 September 26, 2001 - ALFONSO L. IRINGAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS , ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129530-31 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILFREDO OLARTE

  • G.R. Nos. 138308-10 September 26, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PABLO SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142564 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HILGEM NERIO y GIGANTO

  • G.R. Nos. 143108-09 September 26, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Case. No. 5505 September 27, 2001 - SEVERINO RAMOS v. ATTY. ELLIS JACOBA and ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO JACOBA

  • G.R. No. 131864-65 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SHERJOHN ARONDAIN and JOSE PRECIOSO

  • G.R. Nos. 134963-64 September 27, 2001 - ALFREDO LONG and FELIX ALMERIA v. LYDIA BASA

  • G.R. No. 137676 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ATTY. ROBERTO DIONISIO

  • G.R. No. 144035 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE M. BASQUEZ

  • A.M. No. P-00-1391 September 28, 2001 - LIBRADA D. TORRES v. NELSON C. CABESUELA

  • G.R. No. 122425 September 28, 2001 - FLORDELIZA H. CABUHAT v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 124535 September 28, 2001 - THE RURAL BANK OF LIPA CITY, ET AL. v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125154 September 28, 2001 - DIGNA VERGEL v. COURT OF APPEALS and DOROTEA-TAMISIN GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 125442 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO ARELLANO y ROBLES

  • G.R. No. 127232 September 28, 2001 - GOLDENROD v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PATHFINDER HOLDINGS (PHILIPPINES)

  • G.R. No. 127241 September 28, 2001 - LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE, ET AL. v. NLRC , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134128 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GERARDO DE LAS ERAS y ZAFRA

  • G.R. No. 134928 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140789-92 September 28, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIPIO CARBONELL and DIONISIO CARBONELL

  • G.R. No. 145371 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BEN AQUINO and ROMEO AQUINO

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    A. C. No. 5043   September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [A. C. No. 5043. September 19, 2001.]

    ABEDIN L. OSOP, Complainant, v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    BUENA, J.:


    In a verified complaint filed on April 15, 1999, complainant Abedin Limpao Osop charged Atty. V. Emmanuel C. Fontanilla with Grave Misconduct in connection with Civil Case No. 6381 entitled, "Abedin Limpao Osop v. Macapado Muslim and Virgilio Ramos" for Injunction with Prayer for Writ of Preliminary Injunction/Temporary Restraining Order, Damages and Attorney’s Fees with the Regional Trial Court at General Santos City, Branch 22.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On July 24, 1998, the respondent, Atty. Fontanilla, suggested that Abedin Limpao Osop write a letter of reconsideration to Macapado Muslim, Chancellor of the Mindanao State University at General Santos City, one of the defendants in the case. Atty. Fontanilla represented on record that Mr. Muslim was his classmate/contemporary at MSU and that he could possibly convince the latter to reconsider.

    During the hearing held on July 27, 1998, Atty. Fontanilla once again urged Mr. Osop to write the letter of reconsideration so that the negotiations could begin. At first Atty. Virgilio Alconera (counsel for the complainant) opposed the suggestion but eventually gave in by saying that if the court would direct his client to write a letter, he (Mr. Osop) would do so. On this basis, the court issued an order suggesting that Mr. Osop write the chancellor a letter of reconsideration without prejudice to the continuation of the hearing on the petition for a temporary restraining order should the latter be not receptive to the request. Based on the order of the court, and upon advise of his counsel, Mr. Osop wrote the letter of reconsideration on the same day. He furnished a copy to Atty. Fontanilla on even date and to the office of the chancellor the following day, July 28, 1998.

    On July 30, 1998, Atty. Fontanilla filed a Manifestation praying for the dismissal of the case without prejudice in new of the Indorsement by defendant Macapado Muslim of Mr. Osop’s letter to the University President for appropriate disposition, and in conjunction with the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedy.

    The following day, Atty. Fontanilla manifested in court that he was not able to convince Mr. Muslim to agree to a settlement and apologized to the complainant and his counsel.

    On August 6, 1998, respondent Atty. Fontanilla filed a motion to dismiss the civil case on the grounds of, among others, non-exhaustion of administrative remedies and forum-shopping on account of the letter of reconsideration written and filed by Mr. Osop.

    Abedin Limpao Osop claimed, among other things, that in filing the "Manifestation" and "Motion to Dismiss," Atty. Fontanilla had breached the trust and faith that he and his counsel have reposed in the latter; that the act of Atty. Fontanilla in soliciting the letter of reconsideration and using the same letter against him was a betrayal of trust; that it was Atty. Fontanilla who caused the creation of the administrative forum by soliciting the letter of reconsideration; that Atty. Fontanilla had committed a gross malpractice of law that constituted the administrative offense of grave misconduct.

    In response, Atty. V. Emmanuel C. Fontanilla admitted that he made the suggestion to Mr. Osop and his counsel in good faith and in order for the parties to settle their dispute amicably; and that Mr. Osop was ably represented by counsel at the time the suggestion to write the letter of reconsideration was made. He denied misleading or misinforming the court or deceiving Mr. Osop and Atty. Alconera when he filed the manifestation and the motion to dismiss; that he raised the issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies even before the court approved his suggestion of a letter of reconsideration; and that he was merely complying with his duties as an officer of the court by bringing to the court’s attention the fact that the issues raised by the complainant were being treated in two separate fora. He emphasized that the complainant suffered no damage because the case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and not due to the writing of the letter of reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The main issue to be resolved is whether or not Atty. Fontanilla committed misconduct as a member of the bar when he solicited the said letter of reconsideration and later on using it to support his arguments for the dismissal of the civil case.

    We find that Atty. V. Emmanuel C. Fontanilla is guilty of misconduct.

    Misconduct, as defined in the case of Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative v. NLRC, 1 is improper or wrong conduct. It is the transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, willful in character, and implies wrongful intent and not mere error in judgment (Emphasis supplied).

    We can not find fault with Atty. Fontanilla’s desire to have the case amicably settled. To this end he made the suggestion that Mr. Osop write the letter of reconsideration to serve as the starting point for the negotiation.

    In open court, Atty. Fontanilla intimated that Chancellor Muslim had the power to reconsider the termination of Mr. Osop’s services in MSU General Santos City and made it clear that he could probably convince the chancellor to reconsider his decision if a letter of reconsideration is written.

    The Indorsement made by Chancellor Muslim to the University President indubitably showed that it is the latter who is the proper authority to resolve the letter of reconsideration.

    The act of Atty. Fontanilla in rushing to court and filing the Manifestation the minute he got the Indorsement brings out in the open his not being totally bent on the idea of negotiation even if he was the one who broached the idea and his desire to have the case dismissed at the expense of Mr. Osop. Furthermore, since it is the University President who would decide on complainant’s letter, it would have been prudent of Atty. Fontanilla to preserve the status quo and wait for the resolution on the said letter.

    It is deplorable that the letter written by Mr. Osop in good faith and upon the solicitation of respondent was used against him as ammunition to have his case dismissed. And that this unconscionable act was done by a member of the Philippine Bar.

    Atty. Fontanilla’s employment of the said letter against the interest of Mr. Osop, after he had actively solicited the same, was not proper and revealed his lack of candor and absence of good faith in his dealings with Mr. Osop.

    Moreover, Atty. Fontanilla conveniently omitted to state in his motion to dismiss that the letter of reconsideration was written at his solicitation to facilitate a possible settlement. The said omission is not only unfair to Mr. Osop but had a tendency to mislead the court as to the true circumstances material to resolving the incident.

    Forum-shopping exists when the petitioner files multiple petitions or complaints involving the same issues in two or more tribunals or agencies. 2

    It is highly unfair of Atty. Fontanilla to accuse Mr. Osop of forum-shopping solely on the basis of the letter of reconsideration, as complainant did not file multiple petitions or complaints involving the same issues in two or more tribunals or agencies. In the case at bar, Mr. Osop had only harbored the idea of seeking relief before the courts. Hence, the filing of Civil Case No. 6381.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Even if the case was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction, it does not excuse Atty. Fontanilla’s actuation of imputing forum-shopping and non-exhaustion of administrative remedies when the same are baseless.

    While we find that there is a clear case of misconduct, as Atty. Fontanilla has not been candid and fair in his dealings with the complainant, the penalties of either suspension or disbarment are too harsh to be imposed upon him.

    It has been said that charges meriting disciplinary action against a member of the Bar generally involve the motives that induced him to commit the act or acts charged and that, to justify disbarment or suspension, the case against him must be clear and free from doubt, not only as to the act charged but as to his motive. As punishment by disbarment or suspension will deeply affect a lawyer’s professional life, neither should be imposed unless (the) case against him is free from doubt not only as to the acts charged but as to his motive. 3 There is nothing in the record to clearly show the motivation which induced Atty. Fontanilla to do what he did.

    The actuation of Atty. Fontanilla, although improper, was mitigated when he apologized to Mr. Osop and Atty. Alconera in open court and by the absence of material damage caused to the complainant. Moreover, the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline finds: that there is no evidence on record of past misconduct attributed to herein Respondent.

    WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, respondent Atty. V. Emmanuel C. Fontanilla is hereby REPRIMANDED. He is further WARNED that any repetition of the same or similar infractions would be dealt with more severely. Let this judgment be entered in respondent’s personal record as a member of the Bar.

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Quisumbing and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. 309 SCRA 233 [1999].

    2. Domingo, Jr. v. Commission on Elections, 313 SCRA 311 [1999].

    3. Toquib v. Tomol, Jr., 32 SCRA 167 [1970]

    A. C. No. 5043   September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA


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