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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-2009 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6672 - Pedro L. Linsangan v. Atty. Nicodemes Tolentino

  • A.C. No. 5955 - John Christen S. Hegna v. Atty. Goering G.C. Paderanga

  • A.C. No. 7297 - Imdelda Bides-Ulaso v. Atty. Edita Noe-Lacsamana

  • A.C. No. 7435 - Rey C. Sarmiento, et al. v. Atty. Edelson G. Oliva

  • A.C. No. 7547 - Gregory U. chan v. NLRC Commissioner Romeo L. Go, et al.

  • A.C. No. 7910 - Wen Ming W. Chen a.k.a. Domingo Tan v. Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay

  • A.M. No. 01-1-04-SC-PHILJA - Re: Further clarifying and strengthening the organization strcture and administrative set-up of the Philippine Judicial Academy

  • A.M. No. 06-3-07-SC - Request for the approval of the revised qualification standard for the chief of MISO

  • A.M. No. 2009-04-SC - Complaint of Atty. Wilhelmina D. Geronga againts Mr. Ross C. Romero, driver, shuttle bus no. 5 for reckless driving

  • A.M. No. CTA-05-2 - Office of the Court Administrator v. Concepcion G. Espineda, etc.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1623 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1635-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1624 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1636-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1625 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1630-MTJ, A.M. NO. MTJ-06-1627 Formerly OCA IPI No. 04-1661-MTJ, A.M. NO. P-09-2693 Formerly OCA IPI

  • A.M. No. P-05-2046 Formerly No. 05-6-159-MCTC - Office of the Court Administrator v. Clerk of Court Fe P. Ganzan, MCTC, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental

  • A.M. No. P-06-2264 Formerly OCA I.P.I Nos. 05-2136-P and 05-2137-P - Atty. Lelu P. Contreras v. Teresita O. Monge, Clerk IV, Rigional Trial Court - Office of the Clerk of Court, Iriga City

  • A.M. No. P-07-2332 Formerly OCA I.P.I No. 07-2511-P - Dr. Salome U. Jorge v. Carlos P. Diaz, Deputy Sheriff, RTC, Branch 20, Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat

  • A.M. No. P-08-2433 Formerly OCA IPI No. 07-2667-P - Judge Jenny Lind Aldecia-Delorino v. Marilyn De Castro Remigio-Versosa, Clerk III, Regional Trial Court, Branch 137, Makati City

  • A.M. No. P-08-2570 Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2547-P - Leticia Sales v. Arnel Jose A. Rubio, Sheriff IV, RTC, OCC, Naga City

  • A.M. No. P-09-2685 OCA-IPI No. 08-2839-P - P/Supt. Rene Macaling Orbe v. Marcos U. Digandang, Process Server, Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Cotabato City

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1650 Formerly OCA IPI No. 01-1195-RTJ - Margie Corpus Macias v. Mariano v. Mariano Joaquin S. Macias, Presiding Judge, Branh 28, Regional Trial Court, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte

  • A.M. No. RTJ-07-2089 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2659-RTJ and A.M. NO. RTJ-0921-99 Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 07-2698-RTJ- Land Bank of the Philippines v. Judge Ernesto P. Pagayatan

  • G.R. No. 132826 - Rolando Saa v. Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Commissoion on Bar Discipline, Board of Governors, Pasig City and Atty. Freddie A. Venida

  • G.R. NOS. 140743 & 140745 and G.R. NOS. 141451-52 - City Government of Tagaytay v. Hon. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, etc. et al.

  • G.R. No. 146534 - Spouses Hu Chuan Hai and Leonica Lim Hu v. Spouses Renato Unico and Maria Aurora J. Unico

  • G.R. NOS. 147026-27 - Carolina R. Javier v. Sandiganbayan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 148444 - Associated Bank (now United Overseas Bank [Phils.]) v. Spouses Rafael and Monaliza Pronstroller/Spouses Eduardo and Ma. Pilar Vaca (Intervenors)

  • G.R. No. 149588 - Francisco R. Llamas, et al. v. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 150664 - Vicente Dacanay, in his capacity as administrator of the Testate Estate of Tereso D. Fernandez v. Hon. Raphael Prastora Sr., etc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 151969 - Valle Verde Country Club, Inc., et al. v. Victor Africa

  • G.R. No. 152101 - Emcor, Incorporated v. Ma. Lourdes D. Sienes

  • G.R. No. 152614 - Salvador A. Fernandez v. Cristina D. Amagna

  • G.R. No. 154720 - Juan Balbuena and Teodulfo Retuya v. Leona Aparicio Sabay, et al.

  • G.R. No. 156164 - Sps. Leonardo and Milagros Chua v. Hon. Jacinto G. Ang, et al.

  • G.R. No. 157901 - Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Corporation v. M/V "PILAR-I" and Spouses Ernesto Dy and Lourdes Dy

  • G.R. No. 157952 - Jowett K. Golango v. Jone B. Fung

  • G.R. No. 158630 and G.R. No. 162047 - Joyce Y. Lim, represented by her attorney-in-fact Bernardo M. Nicolas

  • G.R. No. 159116 - Sps. Nestor and Felicidad Dadizon v. Hon. Court of Appeals and Sps. Dominador and Elsa Mocorro

  • G.R. No. 159710 - Carmen A. Blas v. Spouses Eduardo and Salud Galapon

  • G.R. No. 161902 - Edgar Mercado v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 162104 - R Transport Corporation v. Eduardo Pante

  • G.R. No. 163270 - Eduardo M. Tomada, Sr. v. RFM Corporation-Bakery Flour Division, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164104 - Philippine National Bank v. Gregorio B. Maraya, Jr. and Wenefrida Maraya

  • G.R. No. 164205 - Oldarico S. Trave o, et al. v. Bobongon Banana Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, et al.

  • G.R. No. 164435 - Victoria S. Jarillo v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 164549 - Philippine National Bank v. Spouses Agustin and Pilar Rocamora

  • G.R. No. 164815 - Sr. Inspector Jerry Valeroso v. Court of Appeals and People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 165141 - Peregina Mistica v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 166516 - Emma Ver Reyes and Ramon Reyes v. The Register of Deeds of Cavite, et al.

  • G.R. No. 166857 - D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, inc. v. Freyssinet Philippines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 167330 - Philippine Health Providers, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

  • G.R. No. 167569, G.R. No. 167570 & G.R. No. 171946 - Carlos T. Go., Sr., v. Luis T. Ramos

  • G.R. No. 167955 Formerly G.R. No. 151275 - People of the Philippines v. Armando Padilla y Nicolas

  • G.R. No. 167995 - Julita V. Imuan, et al. v. Juanito Cereno, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168151 - Regional Container Lines (RCL) of Singapore and Shipping Agency v. The Netherlands Insurance Co. (Philippines) Inc.

  • G.R. No. 168446 Formerly G.R. NOS. 144174-75 - People of the Philippines v. Ernesto Cruz, Jr. y Concepcion, et al.

  • G.R. No. 168927 - Arsenio F. Quevedo, et al. v. Benguet Electric Cooperative Incorporated, et al.

  • G.R. No. 169228 - The Alexandra Condominium Corporation v. Laguna Lake Development Authority

  • G.R. No. 169364 - People of the Philippines v. Evangeline Siton y sacil, et al.

  • G.R. No. 169641 - People of the Philippines v. Richard O. Sarcia

  • G.R. No. 169889 - Spouses Simon Yap and Milagros Guevarra v. First e-Bank, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 169919 - B.D. Long Span Builders, Inc. v. R.S. Ampeloquio Realty Development Inc.

  • G.R. No. 169940 - Univeristy of Santo Tomas v. Samahang Manggagawa ng UST (SM-UST)

  • G.R. No. 170072 - Joaquin P. Obieta v. Edward Cheok

  • G.R. No. 170342 - Allan Dizon v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 170482 - Manila Electric Company v. Aguida Vda. De Santiago

  • G.R. No. 171018 - People of the Philippines v. Elly Naelga

  • G.R. No. 171260 - Amparo Robles Cabreza v. Ceferino S. Cabreza Jr., et al.

  • G.R .No. 171491 - Dr. Castor C. De Jesus v. Rafel D. Guerrero III, Cesario R. Pagdilao and Fortuna B. Aquino

  • G.R. No. 171681 - Kei Marie and Bianca Angelica both surnamed Abrera, minors, represented by their parents Evelyn C. Abrera, et al. v. Hon. Romeo F. Barza, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati City and College Assu

  • G.R. No. 171984 - Bandila Maritime Services, Inc. and/or Tokomaru Kaiun Co., Ltd. v. Rolando Dubduban

  • G.R. No. 172217 - Spouses Lydia Flores-Cruz, et al. v. Spouses Leonardo and Iluminada Goli-Cruz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 172447 & G.R. No. 179404 - Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF), Inc. v. Nataniel B. Juane/Nataniel B. Juane v. Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF), Inc.

  • G.R. No. 174116 - Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 175064 - Province of Camarines Sur, represented by Governor Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. v. Hon. Court of Appeals and City of Naga, represented by Mayor Jesse M. Robredo

  • G.R. No. 175172 - Cresencia Achevara, Alfredo Achevara and Benigno Valdez v. Elvira Ramos, John Arnel Ramos and Kristine Camille Ramos

  • G.R. No. 175528 - PO3 Benito Sombilon, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 175490 - Ileana Dr. Macalino v. Bank of the Philippines Islands

  • G.R. No. 176014 - Alice Vitangcol and Norberto Vitangcol v. New Vista Properties, Inc., et al.

  • G.R. No. 176040 - Casa Cebuana Incoporada, et al. v. Ireneo P. Leuterio

  • G.R. No. 176364 - Juanito R. Rimando v. Commission on Elections and Norma O. Magno

  • G.R. No. 176546 - Felicitas P. Ong v. The People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 176700 - Romero Montederamos v. Tri-Union International Corporation

  • G.R. No. 177056 - The Office of the Solicitor General v. Ayala Land Incorporated, et al.

  • G.R. No. 177066 - Joselito Musni Puno (as heir of the late Carlos Puno) v. Puno Enterprises, Inc., represented by Jesusa Puno

  • G.R. No. 177456 - Bank of the Philippine Isalands v. Domingo R. Dando

  • G.R. No. 177531 - Civil Service Commission v. Fatima A. Macud

  • G.R. No. 177705 - Kimberly-Clark Philippines, Inc. v. Nora Dimayuga, et al.

  • G.R. No. 177753 - People of the Philippines v. Benjamin Ocampo

  • G.R. No. 177836 - Edwino A. Torres (deceased), represented and substitute by Alfonso P. Torres III, et al.

  • G.R. NOS. 177857-58, G.R. NO. 178193 and G.R. NO. 180705 - Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED), Manuel V. Del Rosario, Domingo P. Espina, et al. v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 178034, G.R. No. 178117 and G.R. NOS. 186984-85 - Andrew Jame Mcburne v. Eulalio Ganzon, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178485 - People of the Philippines v. Mariano Sapigao, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 178529 - Equitable PCI Bank, Inc (now known as Banco De Oro-EPCI, Inc.) v. Heirs of Antonio C. Tiu, et al.

  • G.R. No. 178543 - People of the Philippines v. Aristo Villanueva

  • G.R. No. 178933 - Recardo S. Silverio, Jr. v. Court of Appeals and Nelia S. Silverio-Dee

  • G.R. No. 179103 and G.R. NO. 180209 - National Power Corporation v. Premier Shipping Lines, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 179213 - People of the Philippines v. Nicolas Gutierrez y Licunan

  • G.R. No. 179313 - Makil U. Pundaodaya v. Commission on Elections, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179319 - Eugene C. Firaza v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 179475 - People of the Philippines v. Daniel Sibunga y Agtoca

  • G.R. No. 179502 - Progressive Trade & Service Enterprises v. Maria Milagrosa Antonio

  • G.R. No. 179583 - Jimmy L. Barnes a.k.a. James Barnes v. Teresita C. Reyes, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179799 - Zenaida R. Gregorio v. Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179862 - Land Bank of the Philippines v. Heirs of Asuncion Anonuevo Vda. Santos, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179944 - People of the Philippines v. Antonio Ortiz, et al.

  • G.R. No. 179985 - Pdilon L. Martinez v. B&B Fish Broker and/or Norberto M. Lucinario

  • G.R. No. 180274 - Virgilio C. Crystal and Glynna F. Cystal v. Bank of the Philippines Islands

  • G.R. No. 180453 - Republic of the Philippines v. Dante C. Abril, represented by his Attorney-in-fact, Manuel C. Blaco, Jr.

  • G.R. No. 180478-79 - The Heritage Hotel of Manila v. National Labor Relations Commission, Rufino C. Ra on II, and Ismael C. Villa

  • G.R. No. 180508 - People of the Philippines v. Antonio v. Antonio Ramos y Viray

  • G.R. No. 180693 - Bonifacio Dolera y Tejada v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 180863 - Angelita Valdez v. Republic of the Philippines

  • G.R. NOS. 180880-81 and G.R. NOS. 180896-97 - Keppel Cebu Shipyard, Inc. v. Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation

  • G.R. No. 180888 - Rolando Placido and Edgardo Caragay v. National Labor Relations Commission and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Incorporated

  • G.R. No. 180992 - Elmer Diamante y Sioson, et al. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 181081 - People of the Philippines v. Roldan Arcosiba alias "Entoy"

  • G.R. No. 181300 - Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. v. Jardine Davies Transport Services, Inc. and Asian Terminals, Inc.

  • G.R. No. 181303 - Carmen Danao Malana, et al. v. Benigno Tappa, et al.

  • G.R. No. 181503 - Bio Quest Marketing Inc. and/or Jose L. Co v. Edmund Rey

  • G.R. No. 181613 - Rosalinda A. Penera v. Commission on Elections and Edgar T. Andanar

  • G.R. No. 181629 - People of the Philippines v. Elizardo Cabiles alias "SARDO"

  • G.R. NOS. 181999 & G.R. No. 182001-04 and G.R. NOS. 182020-24 - Ofelia Caunan v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182185 - Joaquin Ga, Jr., et al. v. Spouses Antonio Tabungan, et al.

  • G.R. No. 182320 - Tacloban Far East Marketing Corporation, et al. v. The Court of Appeals, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183088 - People of the Philippines v. Donato Capco y Sabadlab

  • G.R. No. 183141 - Edgardo H. Catindig v. People of the Philippines, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183142 - Rosita A. Montanez v. Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), et al.

  • G.R. No. 183387 - Simeon M. Valdez v. Financiera Manila Inc.

  • G.R. No. 183457 - People of the Philippines v. Roel Arbalate, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183546 - Wilson A. Go v. Harry A. Go

  • G.R. No. 183646 - Great Southern Maritime Services Corp., et al. v. Leonila Surigao, et al.

  • G.R. No. 183656 - Gilbert Zalameda v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 183802 - Alexander Tam Wong v. Catherine Factor-Koyoma

  • G.R. No. 183965 - Joanie Surposa Uy v. Jose Ngo Chua

  • G.R. No. 184037 - Antonio Lopez y Dela Cruz v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. No. 184225 - Spouses Rogelio F. Lopez and Teotima G. Lopez v. Samuel R. Espinosa and Angelita S. Espinosa

  • G.R. No. 184252 - China Banking Corporation v. Sps. Wenceslao & Marcelina Martir

  • G.R. No. 184268 - Ernesto Batalla v. Commission on Elections and teodoro Bataller

  • G.R. No. 184285 - Rodolfo "Rudy" Canlas, et al. v. Iluminada Tubil

  • G.R. No. 184735 - Miriam B. Elleccion vda. De Lecciones v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al.

  • G.R. No. 184958 - People of the Philippines v. Anthony C. Domingo and Gerry Domingo

  • G.R. No. 185001 - Ronnie H. Lumayna, et al. v. Commission on Audit

  • G.R. No. 185203 - People of the Philippines v. Domingo Araojo

  • G.R. No. 186138 - People of the Philippines v. Loreto Daria y Cruz

  • G.R. No. 186497 - People of the Philippines v. Hasanaddin Guira y Bansil

  • G.R. No. 187043 - People of the Philippines v. Lorenzo Oliva y Rosela

  • G.R. No. 187156 - People of the Philippines v. Melody Gutierrez y Lauriada

  • G.R. No. 187503 - People of the Philippines v. Tecson Lim y Chua and Maximo Flores y Viterbo

  • G.R. No. 188456 - Harry L. Roque, et al. v. Commission on Election, et al.

  •  





     
     

    A.C. No. 7910 - Wen Ming W. Chen a.k.a. Domingo Tan v. Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay

      A.C. No. 7910 - Wen Ming W. Chen a.k.a. Domingo Tan v. Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [A.C. NO. 7910 : September 18, 2009]

    WEN MING W CHEN, a.k.a. DOMINGO TAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. F.D. NICOLAS B. PICHAY, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N

    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

    On March 1, 2006, a complaint was filed by Wen Ming W Chen, also known as Domingo Tan, before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) against Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay for (1) violation of Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility when he allegedly extorted money from the complainant; (2) gross misconduct amounting to gross inexcusable ignorance of the law when he filed complaints for damages before the Department of Justice (DOJ); and (3) violation of Rule 10.3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility when he filed a motion before the Regional Trial Court seeking the inclusion of complainant's name in the hold departure list of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID).

    Atty. Pichay is the legal counsel of American Security Systems International (ASSI), an intellectual property consultancy firm incorporated under Philippine laws. ASSI is engaged in investigating and prosecuting violations of the intellectual property rights of its clients which include Guccio Gucci S.P.A. (Gucci) and Louis Vuitton (LV).

    In February 2006, Branch 24 of the Manila Regional Trial Court issued six warrants upon the application of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which included the search of the residence of Caili Zhen, a.k.a. Susan Chua, and herein complainant, located at Unit 15, Juan Luna Garden, 988 Juan Luna Street, Tondo, Manila. The application was based on the investigation previously conducted by the NBI on alleged rampant selling of counterfeit Gucci and LV items. On February 6, 2006, said search warrants were implemented and thousands of counterfeit Gucci and LV items were seized from complainant's residence.

    At this point, the parties' respective versions of the events diverge materially.

    Complainant alleged that on February 14, 2006, respondent requested a meeting during which he demanded P500,000 from complainant in return for not filing criminal charges against the latter. When complainant rejected respondent's proposal, the latter filed two complaints for damages before the DOJ. According to complainant, respondent ought to know that the DOJ has no jurisdiction over civil actions for damages.

    Finally, complainant alleged that respondent applied for the issuance of a hold departure order against complainant despite the absence of a criminal case filed with the Regional Trial Court.

    On the other hand, respondent alleged that after the implementation on February 6, 2006 of the search warrant and the seizure of the counterfeit Gucci and LV items, he received a call from Atty. Jose Justo Yap, Chief of the NBI Intellectual Property Rights Division, informing him that David Uy who is allegedly a friend of herein complainant is requesting a meeting. As relayed by Uy, complainant wanted to propose a settlement regarding the seized items. After conferring with representatives of Gucci and LV, respondent agreed to meet complainant and Uy, provided Atty. Yap would sit in as observer.

    On February 14, 2006, at around 2:00 p.m., respondent arrived at the coffee shop of the Diamond Hotel and was introduced by Atty. Yap to his companion, Atty. Saldana, and David Uy. Another man was also seated in their table but he could no longer recall his name.

    During the meeting, Uy informed respondent that he was attending the meeting on behalf of complainant as the latter could not communicate well in English or Filipino. When asked if Tan was present, Uy informed respondent that the former was not around.

    Uy then proceeded to ask respondent about Gucci and LV's proposals but respondent replied that since the meeting was initiated by Uy, then it would be more appropriate if he would be the one to submit proposals. Uy inquired if Gucci and LV would require payment of damages, to which respondent answered that based on previous experience, the two entities would require payment of damages. Uy then asked how much damages would Gucci and LV demand, but respondent replied that he was only authorized to receive proposals but not to suggest provisions for settlement. He informed Uy though that based on previous settlements, the damages would range from P500,000 to P1Million, depending on the quantity of the counterfeits seized. Uy also inquired whether the confiscated items would be returned to complainant but respondent informed him that the return of the seized items was non-negotiable.

    There being no settlement reached, respondent filed two complaints before the DOJ upon instructions of Gucci and LV. Also, in good faith and in order to protect the interests of his clients, respondent filed a motion before the Regional Trial Court of Manila for the inclusion of complainant's name in the hold departure order list.

    Respondent vehemently denied extorting money from complainant in exchange for Gucci's and LV's desistance. He emphasized that the meeting was not of his own initiative but upon the request of complainant and David Uy. He also insisted that until now, he never met complainant personally. As regards the cases filed before the DOJ, respondent explained that Gucci and LV intended to have the civil aspect of the case instituted along with the criminal aspect. In fact, the DOJ complaints both pray that damages be awarded "after trial on the merits" and "for such other equitable reliefs and remedies which the Honorable Court may deem just and equitable." According to respondent, these are indications of his awareness of the limited jurisdiction of the DOJ. Even conceding that he erred in this regard, respondent maintained that such does not warrant his disbarment.

    As regards the filing of the motion for inclusion of complainant's name in the hold departure list, respondent argued that the filing was done to protect the interests of his client moreso because complainant had been previously blacklisted and ordered for deportation by the BID. Besides, it was up to the trial court whether to grant the same or not. Respondent asserted that it would be absurd and highly oppressive if a lawyer would be subjected to administrative sanctions every time he commits mistakes albeit unintentional and in good faith.

    Complainant thereafter filed his Reply reiterating his earlier arguments, but did not rebut respondent's allegations that David Uy, Atty. Saldana and Atty. Yap were likewise present during the meeting. As regards the allegation that he was not even present during the meeting, complainant claimed that "whether respondent has or has no knowledge of the presence of complainant in the said meeting does not change the circumstances of the case."

    Thereafter, the parties submitted their respective position papers. For the first time, complainant admitted that he met respondent on February 14, 2006 accompanied by David Uy; however, he did not make any comment on Atty. Yap's presence thereat; he insisted that respondent extorted money from him; that respondent abused the rules of procedure when he filed actions for damages before the DOJ and erroneously applied for the issuance of a hold departure order before the Regional Trial Court.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    In his Position Paper, respondent attached the affidavit of Atty. Yap, Chief of the Intellectual Property Rights Division of the NBI, who admitted that he was present during the February 14, 2006 meeting. At the same time, he corroborated in all material respects respondent's narration of what actually transpired during the said meeting.

    On January 29, 2008, Investigating Commissioner Rebecca Maala of the IBP submitted her Report with recommendation that respondent be suspended for a period of four months "from the practice of law and as a member of the Bar." According to Maala, respondent's filing of two cases before the DOJ seeking for an award of damages demonstrates ignorance of the law and illustrates his intention to harass complainant; that the erroneous application for the hold departure order likewise exemplifies his ignorance of the law considering that no Information has been filed in Court. As regards the alleged extortion, Maala found that "no sufficient evidence was presented by both parties as to which of them is telling the truth."

    By Resolution No. XVIII-2008-122, the IBP Board of Governors adopted Maala's findings with modification that respondent's period of suspension be increased to one year.

    Hence this petition.1 Respondent submits that at the heart of this case is the rancor of a disgruntled opponent who has been investigated for and charged with unfair competition or selling counterfeit items bearing the trademarks of Gucci and LV; a resident alien who has been blacklisted and previously ordered for deportation by the BID.

    We find merit in the petition.

    We cannot agree with Maala's findings that there is no evidence on record to disprove complainant's allegation of extortion. Interestingly, Maala never mentioned in her Report the Affidavit of Atty. Justo Yap, Chief of the Intellectual Property Rights Division of the NBI which substantially corroborated respondent's narration of what actually transpired during the February 14, 2006 meeting. At any rate, even without Atty. Yap's affidavit, we find it hard to believe complainant's well-crafted tale of extortion.

    First, we cannot lend credence to complainant's allegation that it was respondent who requested a meeting. The facts show that it was complainant who was in quandary after the implementation of the search warrants in his residence, where thousands of counterfeit items were seized. Complainant never denied ownership of the seized items or that he wanted them back. Clearly, he has more reason to seek the help of respondent and thus initiate the meeting.

    Second, complainant failed to mention in his complaint and in his Reply to respondent's Answer the presence of David Uy during the meeting. He only admitted for the first time in his Position Paper the presence of Uy during the February 14, 2006 meeting. We find this odd considering that it was Uy who acted as his representative. Also, he could have submitted Uy's affidavit to substantiate his claim but did not.

    Third, notwithstanding the several opportunities given him, complainant did not rebut or categorically deny the presence of Atty. Yap during the meeting. He also failed to deny the allegations of Atty. Yap in his affidavit. Complainant's silence means admission that indeed Atty. Yap was present during said meeting.

    Fourth, there was no allegation that respondent was acquainted to complainant or David Uy prior to the meeting. Thus, we find it highly inconceivable for respondent who allegedly met complainant for the first time, to immediately demand money from him, moreso in the presence of the NBI Chief of the Intellectual Property Rights Division.

    Fifth, complainant did not bother to present Uy to corroborate his version of the event.

    Finally, we find it hard to believe that respondent, as counsel for ASSI, could unilaterally decide to desist from filing criminal charges against herein complainant without consultation or prior approval of his clients, Gucci and LV.

    Viewed against complainant's bare and self-serving allegation that respondent extorted money from him, the foregoing clearly prove that no such extortion took place.

    Next, we cannot subscribe to Maala's findings that the DOJ complaints were intentionally filed to harass herein complainant. As previously stated, there was no reason for respondent to harass herein complainant, considering that the search warrants were successfully implemented and the counterfeit items were seized from complainant's residence. By filing the DOJ complaints, respondent was only taking the next step which in his opinion was the most logical remedy in protecting the interests of Gucci and LV.

    Even assuming that the cases filed were civil actions for damages, the same does not merit respondent's disbarment or suspension. There is nothing on record to show that the filing of the cases was done for the purpose of harassment. The conclusion that the filing of the DOJ complaints was to harass complainant has no basis. If at all, it was an error of judgment sans bad faith. It has been held that not all mistakes of members of the Bar justify the imposition of disciplinary actions. An attorney-at-law is not expected to know all the law. For an honest mistake or error, an attorney is not liable.2 The alleged errors are not of such nature which would warrant the imposition of the penalty of suspension for one year.

    Records show that on April 14, 2008, the DOJ resolved in I.S. No. 2006-192 to charge respondents therein, including herein complainant with Unfair Competition under Section 168.3(a) in relation to Section 170 of R.A. 8293. The corresponding Information has been filed in the Regional Trial Court of Manila docketed as Criminal Case No. 08264729.

    WHEREFORE, the instant complaint filed against Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay is DISMISSED for lack of merit.

    SO ORDERED.

    Endnotes:


    1 Pursuant to Section 12 (b) &(c) of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court, as well as Section 1, as amended & Section 2(e), Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar Discipline, Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

    Sec. 12 (b) & (c) of the Rules of Court provide:

    Sec. 12. - View and decision by the Board of Governors.

    x x x

    (b) If the Board, by the vote of majority of its total membership, determines that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred, it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which, together with the whole record of the case, shall be forthwith transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action.

    (c) If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less that suspension or disbarment (such as admonition, reprimand, or fine) it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing such sanction. The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Board's resolution, the Supreme Court orders otherwise.

    Section 1, as amended by Bar Matter No. 1755 - Re: Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar Discipline, and Section 2(e), Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Bar Discipline, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, provide:

    Section 1. Pleadings. The only pleadings allowed are verified complaint, verified answer and verified position papers.

    Sec. 2. Prohibited Pleadings. - The following pleadings shall not be allowed, to wit:

    x x x

    e. Motion for Reconsideration.

    2 Mendoza v. Mercado, A.C. No. 1484, June 19, 1980, 98 SCRA 45, 47.

    A.C. No. 7910 - Wen Ming W. Chen a.k.a. Domingo Tan v. Atty. F.D. Nicolas B. Pichay


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