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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
 

   
August-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1651 August 4, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ESTRADA v. SOLEDAD S. ESCRITOR

  • G.R. No. 138924 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISANTO D. MANAHAN

  • G.R. No. 139767 August 5, 2003 - FELIPE SY DUNGOG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140868-69 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZARIO B. BUATES

  • G.R. No. 142691 August 5, 2003 - HEIRS OF AMADO CELESTIAL v. HEIRS OF EDITHA G. CELESTIAL

  • G.R. No. 144317 August 5, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL A. MONTE

  • G.R. No. 148848 August 5, 2003 - JACINTO RETUYA, ET. AL. v. SALIC B. DUMARPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152611 August 5, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEVERINO LISTANA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 152845 August 5, 2003 - DRIANITA BAGAOISAN, ET AL. v. NATIONAL TOBACCO ADMINISTRATION

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1502 August 6, 2003 - ANASTACIO E. GAUDENCIO v. EDWARD D. PACIS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1675 August 6, 2003 - ELENA F. PACE v. RENO M. LEONARDO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1545 August 6, 2003 - ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. BAYANI S. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 133926 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN H. DALISAY

  • G.R. Nos. 137256-58 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO V. ERNAS

  • G.R. No. 142740 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO A. TAMPOS

  • G.R. No. 142843 August 6, 2003 - OCTAVIO ALVAREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144428 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN M. ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 144595 August 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE ILAGAN

  • G.R. Nos. 145383-84 August 6, 2003 - RUDY M. VILLAREÑA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1627 August 7, 2003 - CARIDAD RACCA, ET AL. v. MARIO C. BACULI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127210 August 7, 2003 - ALVIN TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138956 August 7, 2003 - LOADSTAR SHIPPING CO., ET AL. v. ROMEO MESANO

  • G.R. No. 146341 August 7, 2003 - AQUILA LARENA v. FRUCTUOSA MAPILI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146382 August 7, 2003 - SYSTEMS PLUS COMPUTER COLLEGE OF CALOOCAN CITY v. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN CITY

  • G.R. No. 148557 August 7, 2003 - FELICITO ABARQUEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149075 August 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO P. BALLENO

  • G.R. No. 151833 August 7, 2003 - ANTONIO M. SERRANO v. GALANT MARITIME SERVICES

  • G.R. No. 153087 August 7, 2003 - BERNARD R. NALA v. JESUS M. BARROSO

  • G.R. No. 154183 August 7, 2003 - SPS. VICKY TAN TOH and LUIS TOH v. SOLID BANK CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134241 August 11, 2003 - DAVID REYES v. JOSE LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139177 August 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. 00-3-48-MeTC August 12, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY OF CASES IN THE MTC OF MANILA, BR. 2

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1388 August 12, 2003 - FELISA TABORITE, ET AL. v. MANUEL S. SOLLESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1588 August 12, 2003 - RUBY M. GONZALES v. ALMA G. MARTILLANA

  • G.R. No. 120474 August 12, 2003 - ANICETO W. NAGUIT, JR. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133796-97 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNANDINO M. ALAJAY

  • G.R. No. 133858 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMINIANO SATORRE

  • G.R. No. 133892 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO B. LLAVORE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137792 August 12, 2003 - SPS RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL. v. SPS ALFONSO and LOURDES SUBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145951 August 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 151908 & 152063 August 12, 2003 - SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 152807 August 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF LOURDES SAEZ SABANPAN, ET AL. v. ALBERTO C. COMORPOSA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4650 August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. 00-6-09-SC August 14, 2003 - RE: IMPOSITION OF CORRESPONDING PENALTIES FOR HABITUAL TARDINESS, ETC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1631 August 14, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JAIME F. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 126627 August 14, 2003 - SMITH KLINE BECKMAN CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140023 August 14, 2003 - RUDY LAO v. STANDARD INSURANCE CO.

  • G.R. Nos. 140034-35 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO B. ZABALA

  • G.R. No. 144402 August 14, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO ECLERA, SR.

  • G.R. No. 156039 August 14, 2003 - KARINA CONSTANTINO-DAVID, ET AL. v. ZENAIDA D. PANGANDAMAN-GANIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1401 August 15, 2003 - ARSENIA LARIOSA v. CONRADO B. BANDALA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115925 August 15, 2003 - SPS. RICARDO PASCUAL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127128 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROEL C. MENDIGURIN

  • G.R. No. 133841 August 15, 2003 - CAROLINA P. RAMIREZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135697-98 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRITO C. ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137520-22 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO BAROY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138074 August 15, 2003 - CELY YANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138862 August 15, 2003 - MANUEL CAMACHO v. RICARDO GLORIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139895 August 15, 2003 - CIPRIANO M. LAZARO v. RURAL BANK OF FRANCISCO BALAGTAS (BULACAN), INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143258 August 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. JOSELITO PASCUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144618 August 15, 2003 - JORGE CHIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147662-63 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 148222 August 15, 2003 - PEARL & DEAN (PHIL.) v. SHOEMART, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151941 August 15, 2003 - CHAILEASE FINANCE CORP. v. SPS. ROMEO and MARIAFE MA

  • G.R. Nos. 153714-20 August 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO K. ESPINOSA

  • G.R. No. 154448 August 15, 2003 - PEDRITO F. REYES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154920 August 15, 2003 - RODNEY HEGERTY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1744 August 18, 2003 - ROBERT M. VISBAL v. ROGELIO C. SESCON

  • A.C. No. 5299 August 19, 2003 - ISMAEL G. KHAN v. RIZALINO T. SIMBILLO

  • G.R. No. 138945 August 19, 2003 - FELIX GOCHAN AND SONS REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO BABA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144331 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISTITO LATASA

  • G.R. No. 145930 August 19, 2003 - C-E CONSTRUCTION CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147246 August 19, 2003 - ASIA LIGHTERAGE AND SHIPPING, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148877 August 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGELITO B. BAGSIT

  • G.R. No. 149724 August 19, 2003 - DENR v. DENR REGION 12 EMPLOYEES

  • G.R. No. 150060 August 19, 2003 - PRIMARY STRUCTURES CORP. v. SPS. ANTHONY and SUSAN T. VALENCIA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1437 August 20, 2003 - JAIME E. CONTRERAS v. EDDIE P. MONSERATE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1473 August 20, 2003 - MYRA M. ALINTANA DE PACETE v. JOSEFINO A. GARILLO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1745 August 20, 2003 - UNITRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. JOSE F. CAOIBES, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125799 August 21, 2003 - DANILO CANSINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148864 August 21, 2003 - SPS EDUARDO and EPIFANIA EVANGELISTA v. MERCATOR FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149495 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150590 August 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIE A. ALMEDILLA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1673 August 25, 2003 - LOUIE TRINIDAD v. SOTERO S. PACLIBAR

  • G.R. No. 114172 August 25, 2003 - JUANITA P. PINEDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129368 August 25, 2003 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129961-62 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO CAABAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137326 August 25, 2003 - ROSARIO TEXTILE MILLS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138334 August 25, 2003 - ESTELA L. CRISOSTOMO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 142856-57 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO NEGOSA

  • G.R. No. 151026 August 25, 2003 - SOLIDBANK CORP. v. CA, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 152221 August 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JACINTO B. ALVAREZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. 01-4-133-MTC August 26, 2003 - RE: ELSIE C. REMOROZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1492 August 26, 2003 - DOMINGO B. MANAOIS v. LAVEZARES C. LEOMO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1504 August 26, 2003 - FELICITAS M. HIMALIN v. ISAURO M. BALDERIAN

  • G.R. Nos. 146097-98 August 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN CARIÑAGA

  • A.C. No. 5474 August 28, 2003 - REDENTOR S. JARDIN v. DEOGRACIAS VILLAR

  • A.C. No. 5535 August 28, 2003 - SPS. STEVEN and NORA WHITSON v. JUANITO C. ATIENZA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1506 August 28, 2003 - PABLO B. MABINI v. LORINDA B. TOLEDO-MUPAS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1507 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ROLANDO SAA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1579 August 28, 2003 - LETICIA L. NICOLAS v. PRISCO L. RICAFORT

  • A.M. No. P-02-1631 August 28, 2003 - RENATO C. BALIBAG v. HERMITO C. MONICA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1659 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. LIZA MARIA E. SIRIOS

  • A.M. No. P-03-1710 August 28, 2003 - EDGARDO ANGELES v. BALTAZAR P. EDUARTE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1676 August 28, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. GUILLERMO R. ANDAYA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1786 August 28, 2003 - ALFREDO Y. CHU v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 134604 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO HUGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138295 August 28, 2003 - PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORP. v. NTC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143826 August 28, 2003 - IGNACIA AGUILAR-REYES v. SPS. CIPRIANO and FLORENTINA MIJARES

  • G.R. No. 146501 August 28, 2003 - FLORDELIZA RIVERA v. GREGORIA SANTIAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149810 August 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRISPIN T. RUALES

  • G.R. No. 154049 August 28, 2003 - RAMON P. JACINTO, ET AL. v. FIRST WOMEN’S CREDIT CORP.

  • G.R. No. 133733 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO AQUINDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136299 August 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 137010 August 29, 2003 - ARK TRAVEL EXPRESS v. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142383 August 29, 2003 - ASIAN TRANSMISSION CORP. v. CANLUBANG SUGAR ESTATES

  •  





     
     

    A.C. No. 4650   August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [A.C. No. 4650. August 14, 2003.]

    ROSALINA BIASCAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ, Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    This administrative case stems from a verified complaint 1 for disbarment, filed on October 4, 1996, by complainant Rosalina Biascan against respondent Atty. Marcial F. Lopez for alleged fraud or misrepresentation, breach of his duty as an officer of the court, and betrayal of his oath as a lawyer amounting to gross misconduct, which renders him unfit to continue in the practice of law.cralaw : red

    Subject of the complaint is a 600-square meter lot located between Constancia and Miguelin Streets in Sampaloc, Manila. Said property was originally covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 34127 in the name of Florencio Biascan. The latter died intestate, leaving behind two parcels namely: the lot in Sampaloc, Manila, and another parcel in Novaliches, Quezon City, covered by TCT No. 87068.

    In her complaint, Rosalina Biascan avers that she is the court-appointed administratrix of the estate of her deceased father, Florencio Biascan. That estate is the subject of Special Proceedings No. 98037 entitled "In the Matter of the Intestate Estate of the Deceased Timotea Zulueta and Florencio Biascan," pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 4. Pursuant to her appointment, she filed her Inventory and Appraisal 2 Report sometime in November 1975.

    In August 1977, respondent entered his appearance in the intestate proceedings as counsel for an oppositor, Maria Manuel Biascan (now deceased). 3

    In an Order 4 dated April 2, 1981, the RTC declared complainant and her brother, German Biascan, heirs of the late Florencio. Maria Manuel Biascan then filed a Motion for Reconsideration 5 on June 6, 1981, but the trial court denied said motion on April 30, 1985. 6 Meanwhile, in complete disregard of the intestate proceedings and without knowledge and approval of the lower court or complainant and her brother, Maria Manuel Biascan executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication 7 on June 20, 1983 where she falsely represented herself as the sole heir of the late Florencio Biascan. On July 12, 1983, she then presented the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication to the Register of Deeds of Manila, as a result of which TCT No. 34127 was cancelled and TCT No. 155384 issued in her name.

    Complainant further averred that on July 24, 1990, without the approval of the intestate court and taking advantage of the aforementioned fraud, respondent Lopez registered with the Register of Deeds a Deed of Assignment, 8 dated December 22, 1977, which Maria Manuel Biascan had executed in his favor. In that deed, Maria Manuel Biascan ceded to respondent 210 square meters of the 600-square meter land now covered by TCT No. 155384. Thereafter, the Register of Deeds of Manila issued TCT No. 193790 covering the ceded 210 square meters in respondent’s name. 9

    On June 15, 1992, respondent sold the 210-square meter lot covered by TCT No. 193790 to the Spouses Danilo and Corazon Arganoza in whose favor TCT No. 208601 was issued. 10

    According to complainant, all the foregoing transfers occurred while Special Proceedings No. 98037 was still pending, but she discovered the transfers only in February 1993 after inquiries on her behalf were made with the Registries of Deeds of Manila and Caloocan. 11 Suits for the recovery of the properties are pending with the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Caloocan. 12

    In his Comment/Answer 13 filed on November 17, 1998, respondent Lopez denies committing any fraud, misconduct, or breach of duty to the court, and asserts he acted in good faith. According to him, what complainant Rosalina Biascan reported in her Inventory and Appraisal report was a parcel of land covered by TCT No. 24127 and not the Sampaloc property covered by TCT No. 34127. Also, his acquisition of subject property and the resulting issuance of TCT No. 193790 in his name was valid because the land was payment for his legal services under a valid contingent fee contract. Respondent claims that Maria Manuel Biascan offered to pay him 35% of the area of TCT No. 155384 for his legal services. Since there was no notice of lis pendens on TCT No. 155384, he accepted the offer and the Deed of Assignment was executed between them. 14

    Respondent further asserts that complainant is guilty of laches, as she failed to act swiftly to protect her alleged interest over the subject property. He points out that from June 2, 1975, the date complainant filed the petition for settlement and administration of the intestate estate of Florencio Biascan, up to May 28, 1983 or for approximately eight (8) years, complainant failed to assert her rights as owner of the property by either registering a claim to the subject property or filing a case for recovery thereof.

    Finally, respondent prayed for the suspension of the instant administrative case on the ground that the recovery suits pending before the RTCs of Manila and Caloocan raise issues that must first be resolved before the instant complaint can proceed; otherwise, there might be conflicting findings between said lower courts and this Court.

    In our Resolution 15 of March 1, 1999, we referred the instant complaint to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report, and recommendation.

    On August 3, 2002, the IBP Board of Governors passed Resolution No. XV-2002-394, the full text of which reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED, the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case, herein made part of this Resolution/Decision as Annex "A" ; and, finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules, and considering that it has been established that respondent committed acts of misconduct which have caused damage and prejudice to complainant and her brother, respondent is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three (3) years. 16

    This Resolution is now before this Court for confirmation.

    At the outset, we note that there appears to be some confusion between the parties on whether the original TCT covering the property in question was TCT No. 24127 or TCT No. 34127. Resort to the records show, however, that both parties are in fact referring to the lot located between Constancia and Miguelin Streets in Sampaloc, Manila.

    On the issue of respondent’s liability, this Court agrees with the findings of the IBP Board of Governors.

    It is clear from the records that when respondent entered his appearance in Special Proceedings No. 98037 as counsel for Maria Manuel Biascan in August 1977, complainant had already filed her Inventory and Appraisal Report dated November 22, 1975, which listed the realty covered by TCT No. 34127, as one of the properties forming part of the Estate of Florencio Biascan. As counsel for an oppositor, respondent must have gone over the records of Special Proceedings No. 98037, which included the aforesaid Inventory and Appraisal Report. Also, the Deed of Assignment itself stated that TCT No. 34127 was registered in Florencio Biascan’s name and was the subject of Special Proceedings No. 98037. Clearly therefore, when Maria Manuel Biascan executed the Deed of Assignment in December 22, 1977 to cover respondent’s contingent fees, respondent had actual knowledge that the lot subject of said deed formed part of the estate of Florencio Biascan. Notwithstanding this and the fact that Special Proceedings No. 98037 was still pending, 17 respondent registered the Deed of Assignment in his favor on July 24, 1990 and caused the transfer of title over the part of the land Maria Manuel Biascan assigned to him. In so doing, the respondent transgressed Article 1491 18 of the Civil Code expressly prohibiting a lawyer from acquiring property or rights that may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession.

    Respondent’s assertion that the assignment was made pursuant to a contingent fee contract will not exonerate him. True, a contract for a contingent fee is generally not covered by Article 1491 and is valid because the transfer or assignment of the property in litigation takes effect only after the finality of a favorable judgment. 19 However, as aforesaid respondent caused the transfer of the subject property in his name during the pendency of Special Proceedings No. 98037. Thus, the prohibition in Article 1491 clearly applies. 20 Respondent is, therefore, liable for malpractice. 21

    As a member of the bar, respondent is strictly mandated to comply with the Attorney’s Oath as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility, 22 both of which require him to obey the laws as well as the legal orders of duly constituted authorities. The transgression of any provision of law by a lawyer is a reprehensible act, which the Court will not countenance. 23

    Likewise, respondent defied the tenor and intent of the trial court’s Order of April 2, 1981 when on July 24, 1990, he proceeded to register the Deed of Assignment and caused the issuance of a new TCT in his name. Note that respondent proceeded with such registration of property included in the Estate of Florencio Biascan, despite the fact that the trial court had ruled that aside from Maria Manuel Biascan, complainant and her brother were legal heirs of Florencio Biascan. That the Order dated April 2, 1981 was the subject of an appeal and had not become final at the time he acquired title to the property does not change the fact that there is such an Order. As a lawyer and an officer of the court, respondent should have respected said Order 24 and refrained from doing any act, which would have rendered such Order ineffectual. It bears repeating that a lawyer should uphold the dignity and authority of the court. 25 His actions violate Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility that requires every member of the bar to promote respect for law and legal processes. 26

    Finally, respondent’s contention that the result of the recovery suits should be awaited before any action is taken on the instant Complaint fails to persuade us. What is addressed in this case is whether respondent knowingly acquired an interest over property subject of Special Proceedings No. 98037 to the damage and prejudice of the persons lawfully entitled to said property as legal heirs and in violation of respondent’s oath as a lawyer and his duty as an officer of the court. The question of whether complainant herein is entitled to recovery is not in issue. Thus, the outcome of the recovery suits has no bearing in the instant case.

    On the matter of the imposable penalty, however, this Court is unable to agree with the recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors, it being too harsh and not in accord with jurisprudence. In Valencia v. Cabanting, 27 Bautista v. Gonzales, 28 and Ordonio v. Eduarte 29 all involving violations of Article 1491 of the Civil Code, this Court imposed the penalty of suspension of six (6) months on the respondents therein. Considering the nature of the acts of professional misconduct respondent committed, and the facts and circumstances of this case, the Court finds sufficient grounds to suspend respondent from the practice of law for six (6) months.

    WHEREFORE, respondent ATTY. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ is declared LIABLE for SERIOUS MISCONDUCT as a lawyer. He is ordered SUSPENDED from the practice of law for SIX (6) MONTHS, effective upon receipt of this Resolution, with a STERN WARNING that any future misconduct on respondent’s part will be dealt with more severely. Let copies of this Resolution be circulated soonest to all courts, tribunals, and quasi-judicial agencies of the country for their information and guidance, and spread in the personal record of respondent, Atty. Marcial F. Lopez.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Austria-Martinez and Tinga, JJ., concur.

    Callejo, Sr., J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 1–7.

    2. Id. at 10–11.

    3. Id. at 2.

    4. Id. at 12–18.

    5. Id. at 19–21.

    6. Id. at 24.

    7. Id. at 22–23.

    8. Id. at 30–32, 127.

    9. Id. at 4, 33–34.

    10. Id. at 4, 35–38.

    11. Id. at 5.

    12. Ibid.

    13. Id. at 113–120.

    14. Id. at 117.

    15. Id. at 122.

    16. Id. at 124.

    17. Id. at 5, 115.

    18. ART. 1491. The following persons cannot acquire by purchase, even at a public or judicial auction, either in person or through the mediation of another:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) The guardian, the property of the person or persons who may be under his guardianship;

    (2) Agents, the property whose administration or sale may have been entrusted to them, unless the consent of the principal has been given;

    (3) Executors and administrators, the property of the estate under administration;

    (4) Public officers and employees, the property of the State or of any subdivision thereof, or of any government owned or controlled corporation, or institution, the administration of which has been entrusted to them; this provision shall apply to judges and government experts who, in any manner whatsoever take part in the sale;

    (5) Justices, judges, prosecuting attorneys, clerks of superior and inferior courts, and other officers and employees connected with the administration of justice, the property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective functions; this prohibition includes the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to lawyers, with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession (italics for emphasis).

    (6) Any others specially disqualified by law.

    19. Director of Lands v. Ababa, G.R. No. L-26096, 27 February 1979, 88 SCRA 513, 520.

    20. See Director of Lands v. Ababa, supra, at 519 citing Vda. de Laig v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-26882, 21 November 1978, 86 SCRA 641.

    21. See Valencia v. Cabanting, A.C. Nos. 1302, 1391 & 1543, 26 April 1991, 196 SCRA 302, 308.

    22. Gamilla v. Mariño, Jr., A.C. No. 4763, 20 March 2003, p. 14.

    23. Bautista v. Gonzales, A.M. No. 1625, 12 February 1990, 182 SCRA 151, 160.

    24. De Leon v. Torres, 99 Phil. 462, 466 (1956).

    25. Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, G.R. No. L-27072, 9 January 1970, 31 SCRA 1, 16–17.

    26. CANON 1. — A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes. See also CANON 11. — A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.

    27. Supra, note 21 at 311.

    28. Supra, note 23 at 165.

    29. A.M. No. 3216, 16 March 1992, 207 SCRA 229, 233.

    A.C. No. 4650   August 14, 2003 - ROSALINA BIASCAN v. MARCIAL F. LOPEZ


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