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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
 

   
November-2006 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG vs ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR

  • A.C. No. 7280 - DAHLIA S. GACIAS vs ATTY. ALEXANDER BULAUITAN

  • A.M. No. 06-4-219-RTC - RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY

  • A.M. No. 2004-15-SC - PROSECUTOR AGAPITO B. ROSALES vs ENGR. CELERINO BUENAVENTURA

  • A.M. No. 2005-26-SC - RE: LOST CHECKS ISSUED TO THE LATE RODERICK ROY P. MELLIZA, ETC.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1503 - NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION vs JUDGE LUISITO T. ADAOAG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1660 - Formerly A.M. No. OCA IPI 04-1519-MTJ - SPOUSES TREFIL AND LINA A. UMALE vs JUDGE NICOLAS V. FADUL, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1731 - PNB MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs CARMELO CACHERO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1737 - Formerly OCA IPI No. 01-1250-P - NICOLAS PACLIBAR vs RENAN V. PAMPOSA

  • A.M. No. P-05-2092 - ATTY. PERFECTO A.S. LAGUIO, JR. vs MILA AMANTE-CASICAS

  • A.M. No. P-05-1979 - JUDGE LEONARDO P. CARREON vs ERIC ANTHONY S. ORTEGA

  • A.M. No. P-06-2109 - LIGAYA V. REYES vs MARIO PABLICO

  • A.M. No. P-06-2204 - NYDIA S. SERVINO vs MA. MAWILYNN CONCEPCION B. ADOLFO

  • A.M. No. P-06-2266 - ENCARNACION FLORES vs ROMEO S. GATCHECO, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2257 - SPS. ARTHUR and LEONORA STILGROVE vs ERIBERTO R. SABAS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2268 - BIENVENIDO L. PUNZALAN vs RUMEL M. MACALISANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1901 - FORTUNE LIFE INSURANCE, COMPANY, INC. vs JUDGE JIMMY H. F. LUCZON, JR.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-06-2002 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. vs JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR.

  • G.R. No. 74269 & 92137 - SOLID HOMES, INC., ET AL. vs HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127636 - E. ROMMEL REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs STA. LUCIA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 126890 - UNITED PLANTERS SUGAR MILLING COMPANY, INC. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129820 - PNOC-ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs EMILIANO G. VENERACION, JR.

  • G.R. No. 132834 - RUPERTO LUCERO, JR., ET AL. vs CITY GOVERNMENT OF PASIG

  • G.R. No. 135817 - REYNALDO RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. vs CONCORDIA ONG LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 140371-72 - DY YIENG SEANGIO, ET AL. vs AMOR A. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140833 - LACEPI T. MAGNANAO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 141480 - CARLOS B. DE GUZMAN vs TOYOTA CUBAO, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142351 - ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOMES vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143219 - ASIAN TERMINALS, INC. vs RENATO P. VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143382 - SECURITY BANK and TRUST COMPANY vs MAR TIERRA CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144062 - THE BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ET AL. vs ELPIDIO UY

  • G.R. No. 146707 - ERNESTO DUMLAO, JR., ET AL. vs RODOLFO PONFERRADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148090 - STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. vs NEMESIO S. FELIX, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148490 - 7K CORPORATION vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148500-01 - TIMES TRANSPORTATION CO. INC. vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148839-40 - NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA PICOP RESOURCES, INC. - SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES FEDERATION OF LABOR (NAMAPRI - SPFL), ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148971 - ALBERTO GARONG vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 149633 - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GABRIEL S. CASAL, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 149748 - JANG LIM, ET AL vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149753 - Miguel Cosme, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. NO. 149764 - PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION vs ENRIQUE GUTIERREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150253 - DAVAO LIGHT AND POWER CORPORATION, INC. vs ANTONIO G. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150402 - EPARWA SECURITY AND JANITORIAL SERVICES, INC. vs LICEO DE CAGAYAN UNIVERSITY

  • G.R. No. 152258 - ROGELIO P. ANTALAN vs ANIANO DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 152984 - WILLIAM G. KWONG vs ATTY. RAMON GARGANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 154006 - STAR PAPER CORPORATION vs CARLITO ESPIRI TU, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 154565 - REMEDIOS RAMOS vs TESSIE PABAS

  • G.R. No. 154685 - METROPOLITAN BANK and TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. vs MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN

  • G.R. No. 155574 - TIMOTEO A. GARCIA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 156294 - MELVA THERESA ALVIAR GONZALES vs RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION

  • G. R. No. 156888 - PEDRO R. SANTIAGO vs SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY

  • G.R. No. 156903 - SPOUSES CARLOS and TERESITA RUSTIA vs EMERITA RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 157107 - ALPINE LENDING INVESTORS, ET AL. vs ESTRELLA CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 157117 - COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. vs DEPARTMENT OF LABOR and EMPLOYMENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 157236-45 - ROMEO D. LONZANIDA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 157906 - JOAQUINITA P. CAPILI vs SPS. DOMINADOR CARDAÑA and ROSALITA CARDAÑA,

  • G.R. No. 158676 - BPI-FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC. vs SPS. ZENAIDA DOMINGO & ABUNDIO S. DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158707 - COMMUNITY RURAL BANK OF SAN ISIDRO (N.E.), INC. vs YSAGANI V. PAEZ

  • G.R. NOS. 157294-95 - JOSEPH VICTOR G. EJERCITO vs SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158960 - LORNA FRANCES FILIPINO vs F. WALTER R. MACABUHAY

  • G.R. No. 159373 - JOSE R. MORENO, JR. vs PRIVATE MANAGEMENT OFFICE

  • G.R. No. 159991 - CARMELINO F. PANSACOLA vs COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 159734 and G.R. NO. 159745 - ROSARIO V. ASTUDILLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 160347 - ARCADIO and MARIA LUISA CARANDANG vs HEIRS OF QUIRINO A. DE GUZMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160618 - DENNIS D. SY vs METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 160805 - SPOUSES ADIEL DE LA CENA and CARIDAD AREVALO DE LA CENA vs SPOUSES JOSE BRIONES and HERMINIA LLEDO BRIONES

  • G.R. No. 161086 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION vs COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 161136 - WILFREDO VAGILIDAD, ET AL. vs GABINO VAGILIDAD, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161115 - DOLE PHILIPPINES, INC. vs MEDEL ESTEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162037 - Heirs of Enrique Diaz v. Elinor A. Virata

  • G.R. No. 162243, G.R. No. 164516 & G.R. No. 171875 - HEHERSON ALVAREZ vs PICOP RESOURCES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 162308 - G & M PHILIPPINES, INC. vs ROMIL V. CUAMBOT

  • G.R. No. 162331 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. vs WMC RESOURCES INT L. PTY. LTD., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162366 - FEDERICA M. SERRANO, ET AL. vs SPOUSES ANSELMO GUTIERREZ AND CARMELITA GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 163735 - GREEN ASIA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163712 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs JOSE B. TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163763 - MALAYAN REALTY, INC. vs UY HAN YONG

  • G.R. No. 164300 - SPOUSES BENJAMIN AND AGRIFINA SIM vs M.B. FINANCE CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 164321 - SKECHERS, U.S.A., INC. vs INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164545 - LORBE REBUCAN y BALTAZAR vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 165038 - HEIRS OF EMILIO R. DOMINGO AND FELICIDAD CORNEJO, ET AL. vs THE HEIRS OF CLARITA D. MARTIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164858 - HENRY P. LANOT vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 165724 - ZAMORA REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165879 - MARIA B. CHING vs JOSEPH C. GOYANKO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166403 - BENZON O. ALDEMITA vs HEIRS OF MELQUIADES SILVA

  • G.R. NOS. 166143-47 and G.R. NO. 166891 - ABDUSAKUR M. TAN, ET AL. vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166496 - JOSEFA BAUTISTA FERRER vs SPS. MANUEL M. FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166501 - ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR. vs HON. BAYANI F. FERNANDO

  • G.R. No. 166649 - ROBERT B. CABUYOC vs INTER-ORIENT NAVIGATION SHIPMANAGEMENT, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166833 - FELIXBERTO CUBERO, ET AL. vs LAGUNA WEST MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166837 - LIGAYA S. ORBETA vs RUBEN P. ORBETA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167680 - SAMUEL PARILLA, ET AL. vs DR. PROSPERO PILAR

  • G.R. No. 167723 - CLUB FILIPINO, INC. vs ROMEO ARAULLO

  • G.R. No. 167743 - HILARIO P. SORIANO vs OMBUDSMAN SIMEON V. MARCELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167844 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168035 - MELANIE M. MESINA, ET AL. vs GLORIA C. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 168718 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs FARIDA T. LUCERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168694 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs SAIDAMIN MACABALANG y MALAMAMA

  • G.R. No. 169193 - SPOUSES ILUMINADA CAPITLE and CIRILO CAPITLE vs FORTUNATA ELBAMBUENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 169295-96 - REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION vs ERLINDA CASTANEDA

  • G.R. No. 169341 - City of Cebu v. Vicente B. Del Rosario

  • G.R. No. 169578 - TERESITA DIO vs ST. FERDINAND MEMORIAL PARK, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169698 - LUPO ATIENZA vs YOLANDA DE CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 169891 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS vs ETHEL BRUNTY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170220 - JOSEFINA S. LUBRICA, ET AL. vs LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 170522 - CELSO LOPEZ OCATE vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170829 - Perla G. Patricio v. Marcelino G. Dario III, et al.

  • G.R. No. 171102 - ATP TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC. vs MICRON PRECISION PHILS., INC.

  • G.R. No. 170840 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs GREGORIO CARPIO @ "GORIO"

  • G.R. No. 171144 - SANTOS L. NACAYTUNA vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. NOS. 171322-24 - MARIANITO S. VICTORIANO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 172274 - ROMEO D. CABARLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G. R. No. 171447 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs FEDERICO ARNAIZ y ARMONIO

  • G.R. No. 173290 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA vs JUDGE RALPH S. LEE, ET AL.

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    Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG  vs  ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR

      Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG vs ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [ADM. CASE NO. 7252 : November 22, 2006
    [CBD 05-1434]

    JOHNNY NG, Complainant, v. ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR, Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N

    AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:

    Before the Court is Resolution No. XVII-2006-223 dated April 27, 2006 of the IBP Board of Governors, to wit:

    RESOLVED to ADOPT and APPROVE, as it is hereby ADOPTED and APPROVED, with modification, the Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner of the above-entitled case, herein made part of this Resolution as Annex "A"; and, finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules, and considering Respondent's propensity to resort to undeserved language and disrespectful stance, Atty. Benjamin C. Alar is hereby REPRIMANDED with a stern Warning that severe penalties will be imposed in case similar misconduct is again committed. Likewise, the counter complaint against Atty. Jose Raulito E. Paras and Atty. Elvin Michael Cruz is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

    A verified complaint1 dated February 15, 2005 was filed by Johnny Ng (complainant) against Atty. Benjamin C. Alar (respondent) before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD), for Disbarment.

    Complainant alleges that he is one of the respondents in a labor case with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) docketed as NLRC NCR CA No. 040273-04, while respondent is the counsel for complainants. The Labor Arbiter (LA) dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the NLRC rendered a Decision2 affirming the decision of the LA. Respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Inhibit (MRMI),3 pertinent portions of which read:

    x x x We cannot help suspecting that the decision under consideration was merely copied from the pleadings of respondents-appellees with very slight modifications. But we cannot accept the suggestion, made by some knowledgeable individuals, that the actual writer of the said decision is not at all connected with the NLRC First Division.

    x x x Why did the NLRC, First Division, uphold the Labor Arbiter in maintaining that the separation pay should be only one half month per year of service? Is jurisprudence on this not clear enough, or is there another reason known only to them?cralawlibrary

    x x x If this is not grave abuse of discretion on the part of the NLRC, First Division, it is ignominious ignorance of the law on the part of the commissioners concerned.

    The NLRC wants proof from the complainants that the fire actually resulted in prosperity and not losses. xxx Respondents failed to prove their claim of losses. And the Honorable Commissioners of the First Division lost their ability to see these glaring facts.

    x x x How much is the separation pay they should pay? One month per year of service - and all of it to the affected workers - not to some people in the NLRC in part.

    x x x They should have taken judicial notice of this prevalent practices of employers xxx. If the Honorable Commissioners, of the First Division do not know this, they are indeed irrelevant to real life.

    x x x we invite the Honorable Commissioners of the First Division to see for themselves the evidence before them and not merely rely on their reviewers and on the word of their ponente. If they do this honestly they cannot help seeing the truth. Yes, honesty on the part of the Commissioners concerned is what is lacking, not the evidence. Unfair labor practice stares them in the face.

    If labor arbiter Santos was cross-eyed in his findings of fact, the Honorable Commissioners of the First Division are doubly so - and with malice thrown in. If the workers indeed committed an illegal strike, how come their only "penalty" is removing their tent? It is obvious that the Labor Arbiter and the Honorable Commissioners know deep in their small hearts that there was no strike. This is the only reason for the finding of "illegal strike". Without this finding, they have no basis to remove the tent; they have to invent that basis.

    x x x The union in its "Union Reply To The Position Paper Of Management" and its Annexes has shown very clearly that the so called strike is a myth. But Commissioner Dinopol opted to believe the myth instead of the facts. He fixed his sights on the tent in front of the wall and closed his eyes to the open wide passage way and gate beside it. His eyes, not the ingress and egress of the premises, are blocked by something so thick he cannot see through it. His impaired vision cannot be trusted, no doubt about it.

    Commissioner Dinopol has enshrined a novel rule on money claims. Whereas, before, the established rule was, in cases of money claims the employer had the burden of proof of payment. Now it is the other way around. x x x For lack of a better name we should call this new rule the "Special Dinopol Rule". But only retirable commissioners are authorized to apply this rule and only when the money claims involved are substantial. When they are meager the ordinary rules apply.

    x x x how Commissioner Dinopol is able to say that the pay slips proved that the sixteen (16) claimants were already paid their service incentive leave pay. This finding is copied verbatim from the cross-eyed decision of Labor Arbiter Santos x x x .

    The evidence already on record proving that the alleged blocking of the ingress and egress is a myth seem invisible to the impaired sight of Commissioner Dinopol. He needs more of it. x x x

    Commissioner Dinopol by his decision under consideration (as ponente [of] the decision that he signed and caused his co-commissioners in the First Division to sign) has shown great and irreparable impartiality, grave abuse of discretion and ignorance of the law. He is a shame to the NLRC and should not be allowed to have anything to do with the instant case any more. Commissioner Go and Chairman Señeres, by negligence, are just as guilty as Dinopol but, since the NLRC rules prohibit the inhibition of the entire division, Chairman Señeres should remain in the instant case and appoint two (2) other commissioners from another division to sit with him and pass final judgment in the instant case.4 (Emphasis supplied)cralawlibrary

    In his Answer with Counter-Complaint dated April 6, 2005, respondent Alar contends that the instant complaint only intends to harass him and to influence the result of the cases between complainant and the workers in the different fora where they are pending; that the Rules of Court/Code of Professional Responsibility applies only suppletorily at the NLRC when the NLRC Rules of Procedure has no provision on disciplinary matters for litigants and lawyers appearing before it; that Rule X of the NLRC Rules of Procedure provides for adequate sanctions against misbehaving lawyers and litigants appearing in cases before it; that the Rules of Court/Code of Professional Responsibility does not apply to lawyers practicing at the NLRC, the latter not being a court; that LAs and NLRC Commissioners are not judges nor justices and the Code of Judicial Conduct similarly do not apply to them, not being part of the judiciary; and that the labor lawyers who are honestly and conscientiously practicing before the NLRC and get paid on a contingent basis are entitled to some latitude of righteous anger when they get cheated in their cases by reason of corruption and collusion by the cheats from the other sectors who make their lives and the lives of their constituents miserable, with impunity, unlike lawyers for the employers who get paid, win or lose, and therefore have no reason to feel aggrieved.5

    Attached to the Counter-Complaint is the affidavit of union president Marilyn Batan wherein it is alleged that Attys. Paras and Cruz violated the Code of Professional Responsibility of lawyers in several instances, such that while the labor case is pending before the NLRC, respondents Paras and Cruz filed a new case against the laborers in the Office of the City Engineer of Quezon City (QC) to demolish the tent of the workers, thus splitting the jurisdiction between the NLRC and the City Engineer's Office (CEO) of QC which violates Canon 12, Rules 12.02 and 13.03; that although Ng signed the disbarment complaint against Alar, respondents Paras's and Cruz's office instigated the said complaint which violates Canon 8; that Ng's company did not pay income tax for the year 2000 allegedly for non-operation due to fire and respondents consented to this act of the employer which violates Canon 19, Rule 19.02; and that when the case started, there were more or less 100 complainants, but due to the acts of the employer and the respondents, the number of complainants were reduced to almost half which violates Canon 19, Rule 19-01, 19-02 and 19-03.6

    In Answer to the Counter-Complaint dated April 14, 2005,7 respondents Paras and Cruz alleged: At no time did they file multiple actions arising from the same cause of action or brook interference in the normal course of judicial proceedings; the reliefs sought before the CEO has nothing to do with the case pending before the NLRC; the demolition of the nuisance and illegal structures is a cause of action completely irrelevant and unrelated to the labor cases of complainant; the CEO was requested to investigate certain nuisance structures located outside the employer's property, which consist of shanties, tents, banners and other paraphernalia which hampered the free ingress to and egress out of the employer's property and present clear and present hazards; the Office of the City Engineer found the structures violative of pertinent DPWH and MMDA ordinances; the pendency of a labor case with the NLRC is completely irrelevant since the holding of a strike, legal or not, did not validate or justify the construction of illegal nuisance structures; the CEO proceeded to abate the nuisance structures pursuant to its power to protect life, property and legal order; it was not their idea to file the disbarment complaint against respondent Alar; they merely instructed their client on how to go about filing the case, after having been served a copy of the derogatory MRMI; Canon 8 should not be perceived as an excuse for lawyers to turn their backs on malicious acts done by their brother lawyers; the complaint failed to mention that the only reason the number of complainants were reduced is because of the amicable settlement they were able to reach with most of them; their engagement for legal services is only for labor and litigation cases; at no time were they consulted regarding the tax concerns of their client and therefore were never privy to the financial records of the latter; at no time did they give advice regarding their client's tax concerns; respondent Alar's attempt at a disbarment case against them is unwarranted, unjustified and obviously a mere retaliatory action on his part.

    The case, docketed as CBD Case No. 05-1434, was assigned by the IBP to Commissioner Patrick M. Velez for investigation, report and recommendation. In his Report and Recommendation, the Investigating Commissioner found respondent guilty of using improper and abusive language and recommended that respondent be suspended for a period of not less than three months with a stern warning that more severe penalty will be imposed in case similar misconduct is again committed.

    On the other hand, the Investigating Commissioner did not find any actionable misconduct against Attys. Paras and Cruz and therefore recommended that the Counter-Complaint against them be dismissed for lack of merit.

    Acting on the Report and Recommendation, the IBP Board of Governors issued the Resolution hereinbefore quoted. While the Court agrees with the findings of the IBP, it does not agree that respondent Alar deserves only a reprimand.

    The Code of Professional Responsibility mandates:

    CANON 8 - A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.

    Rule 8.01 - A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper.

    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.

    Rule 11.03 - A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or behavior before the Courts.

    Rule 11.04 - A lawyer shall not attribute to a Judge motives not supported by the record or have no materiality to the case.

    The MRMI contains insults and diatribes against the NLRC, attacking both its moral and intellectual integrity, replete with implied accusations of partiality, impropriety and lack of diligence. Respondent used improper and offensive language in his pleadings that does not admit any justification.

    In Lacurom v. Jacoba,8 the Court ratiocinated as follows:

    Well-recognized is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as a citizen, to criticize in properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges. However, even the most hardened judge would be scarred by the scurrilous attack made by the 30 July 2001 motion on Judge Lacurom's Resolution. On its face, the Resolution presented the facts correctly and decided the case according to supporting law and jurisprudence. Though a lawyer's language may be forceful and emphatic, it should always be dignified and respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal profession. The use of unnecessary language is proscribed if we are to promote high esteem in the courts and trust in judicial administration.

    In Uy v. Depasucat,9 the Court held that a lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or behavior before the Courts.

    It must be remembered that the language vehicle does not run short of expressions which are emphatic but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating but not offensive.10 A lawyer's language should be forceful but dignified, emphatic but respectful as befitting an advocate and in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession.11 Submitting pleadings containing countless insults and diatribes against the NLRC and attacking both its moral and intellectual integrity, hardly measures to the sobriety of speech demanded of a lawyer.

    Respondent's assertion that the NLRC not being a court, its commissioners, not being judges or justices and therefore not part of the judiciary; and that consequently, the Code of Judicial Conduct does not apply to them, is unavailing. In Lubiano v. Gordolla,12 the Court held that respondent became unmindful of the fact that in addressing the NLRC, he nonetheless remained a member of the Bar, an oath-bound servant of the law, whose first duty is not to his client but to the administration of justice and whose conduct ought to be and must be scrupulously observant of law and ethics.13

    Respondent's argument that labor practitioners are entitled to some latitude of righteous anger is unavailing. It does not deter the Court from exercising its supervisory authority over lawyers who misbehave or fail to live up to that standard expected of them as members of the Bar.14

    The Court held in Rheem of the Philippines v. Ferrer,15 thus:

    2. What we have before us is not without precedent. Time and again, this Court has admonished and punished, in varying degrees, members of the Bar for statements, disrespectful or irreverent, acrimonious or defamatory, of this Court or the lower courts. Resort by an attorney - in a motion for reconsideration - to words which may drag this Court down into disrepute, is frowned upon as "neither justified nor in the least necessary, because in order to call the attention of the court in a special way to the essential points relied upon in his argument and to emphasize the force thereof, the many reasons stated in the motion" are "sufficient," and such words "superfluous." It is in this context that we must say that just because Atty. Armonio "thought best to focus the attention" of this Court "to the issue in the case" does not give him unbridled license in language. To be sure, lawyers may come up with various methods, perhaps much more effective, in calling the Court's attention to the issues involved. The language vehicle does not run short of expressions, emphatic but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating but not offensive.

    To be proscribed then is the use of unnecessary language which jeopardizes high esteem in courts, creates or promotes distrust in judicial administration, or which could have the effect of "harboring and encouraging discontent which, in many cases, is the source of disorder, thus undermining the foundation upon which rests that bulwark called judicial power to which those who are aggrieved turn for protection and relief." Stability of judicial institutions suggests that the Bar stand firm on this precept.

    The language here in question, respondents aver, "was the result of overenthusiasm." It is but to repeat an old idea when we say that enthusiasm, or even excess of it, is not really bad. In fact, the one or the other is no less a virtue, if channeled in the right direction. However, it must be circumscribed within the bounds of propriety and with due regard for the proper place of courts in our system of government.16

    Respondent has clearly violated Canons 8 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. His actions erode the public's perception of the legal profession.

    However, the penalty of reprimand with stern warning imposed by the IBP Board of Governors is not proportionate to respondent's violation of the Canons of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Thus, he deserves a stiffer penalty of fine in the amount of P5,000.00.

    Anent the Counter-Complaint filed against Attys. Paras and Cruz, the Court finds no reason to disturb the following findings and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner, as approved by the IBP Board of Governors, to wit:

    The Counter-complainant Batan failed to submit any position paper to substantiate its claims despite sufficient opportunity to do so.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    At any rate, it must be noted that the alleged case with the Office of the City Engineer really partakes of a different cause of action, which has nothing to do with the NLRC case. The decision was made by the city engineer. Respondent's remedy should be to question that decision, not bring it to this Commission which has no jurisdiction over it. We can not substitute our judgment for the proper courts who should determine the propriety or sagacity of the city engineer's action.

    Furthermore, parties are not prohibited from availing themselves of remedies available in law provided; these acts do not exceed the bounds of decency. In supporting the action against respondent's conduct, no such abuse may be gleaned. Indeed, it is the attorney's duty as an officer of the court to defend a judge from unfounded criticism or groundless personal attack. This requires of him not only to refrain from subjecting the judge to wild and groundless accusation but also to discourage other people from so doing and to come to his defense when he is so subjected. By the very nature of his position a judge lacks the power, outside of his court, to defend himself against unfounded criticism and clamor and it is the attorney, and no other, who can better or more appropriately support the judiciary and the incumbents of the judicial positions. (Agpalo, p. 143 citing People v. Carillo, 77 Phil. 572 (1946); Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribel, 31 SCRA 1 (1970); see Cabansag v. Fernandez, 102 Phil. 152 (1957) Whether the disbarment complaint was filed by Ng or by his lawyers is therefore not of great import, what is more apropos would be the contents of the complaint and whether the same is sufficient to consider disciplinary sanctions.

    Likewise, the tax case is a different matter altogether. Since the respondent lawyers have already stated that they were not engaged as counsels to take care of their client's tax problems, then they cannot be held accountable for the same. If any wrongdoing has been committed by complainant Ng, he should answer for that and those lawyers who were responsible for such acts be held liable jointly. There is no showing [that] attorneys Paras and Cruz were responsible for that tax fiasco.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Finally, while it may be true that Batan's group has been greatly diminished from about 100 claimants to less than half the number is not by itself an actionable misconduct. Lawyers are duty bound to foster amicable settlement of cases; litigation and adversarial proceedings while a necessary part of the practice is not encouraged, because it will save expenses and help unclogged [sic] the dockets. If the compromise is fair then there is no reason to prevent the same. There is nothing in the counter-complaint which shows that the compromise agreement and waivers executed appear to be unfair, hence no reason to hold lawyers liable for the same. Besides, a "compromise is as often the better part of justice as prudence the part of valor and a lawyer who encourages compromise is no less the client's champion in settlement out of court than he is the client's champion in the battle in court." (Curtis, The Advocate: Voices in Court, 5 (1958); cited in Agpalo's Legal Ethics, p. 86, 1980 ed.) What is therefore respondent Alar[']s beef with the execution of these waivers if these were executed freely by his clients?cralawlibrary

    All told, we do not find anything actionable misconduct against Attorneys Paras and Cruz; hence the dismissal of the counter-complaint against them is proper for absolute lack of merit.17

    ACCORDINGLY, we find respondent Atty. Benjamin C. Alar GUILTY of violation of Canons 8 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is imposed a fine of P5,000.00 with STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.

    The Counter-Complaint against Atty. Jose Raulito E. Paras and Atty. Elvin Michael Cruz is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

    SO ORDERED.

    Endnotes:


    1 Rollo, pp. 1-8.

    2 Penned by Commissioner Ernesto Dinopol, id. at 17.

    3 Id. at 11-17.

    4 Id. at 12-16.

    5 Id. at 22-30.

    6 Id. at 32-33.

    7 Id. at 114-119.

    8 Lacurom v. Jacoba, A.C. No. 5921, May 10, 2006.

    9 455 Phil. 9 (2003).

    10 Id. at 20-21.

    11 Hueysuwan-Florido v. Florido, A.C. No. 5624, January 20, 2004, 420 SCRA 132, 136-137.

    12 201 Phil. 47 (1982).

    13 Id. at 51.

    14 Id. at 52.

    15 G.R. No. L-22979, June 26, 1967, 20 SCRA 441.

    16 Id. at 445-446.

    17 Report and Recommendation, pp. 13-14.

    Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG  vs  ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR


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