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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-2014 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-14-3222 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI NO. 11-3609-P), August 12, 2014 - PRESIDING JUDGE JOSE B. LAGADO AND CLERK OF COURT II JOSEFINA C. EMPUESTO, BOTH OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, MAHAPLAG, LEYTE, Complainants, v. CLERK II BRYAN ANTONIO C. LEONIDO,, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204729, August 06, 2014 - LOURDES SUITES (CROWN HOTEL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION), Petitioner, v. NOEMI BINARAO,, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203775, August 05, 2014 - ASSOCIATION OF FLOOD VICTIMS AND JAIME AGUILAR HERNANDEZ, Petitioners, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ALAY BUHAY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, INC., AND WESLIE TING GATCHALIAN,, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 196117, August 13, 2014 - KRYSTLE REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, WILLIAM C. CU, Petitioner, v. DOMINGO ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY: BEATRIZ A. TORZAR, VIRGINIA A. TARAYA, ROSARIO A. MARCO, JESUS A. ALIBIN, AND JAY ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS CHILDREN, NAMELY: JAYNES ALIBIN, JAY ALIBIN, AND JESUS ALIBIN, JR., Respondents.; [G.R. NO. 196129] - CARIDAD RODRIGUEZA, AS SUBSTITUTED BY RUFINO RODRIGUEZA, Petitioner, v. DOMINGO ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY: BEATRIZ A. TORZAR, VIRGINIA A. TARAYA, ROSARIO A. MARCO, JESUS A. ALIBIN, AND JAY ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS CHILDREN, NAMELY: JAYNES ALIBIN, JAY ALIBIN, AND JESUS ALIBIN, JR., Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 7766, August 05, 2014 - JOSE ALLAN TAN, Complainant, v. PEDRO S. DIAMANTE, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8000, August 05, 2014 - CHAMELYN A. AGOT, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 171212, August 20, 2014 - INDOPHIL TEXTILE MILLS, INC., Petitioner, v. ENGR. SALVADOR ADVIENTO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193681, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff, MALAYAN INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. AND HELEN Y. DEE, Private Complainants-Petitioners, v. PHILIP PICCIO, MIA GATMAYTAN, MA. ANNABELLA RELOVA SANTOS, JOHN JOSEPH GUTIERREZ, JOCELYN UPANO, JOSE DIZON, ROLANDO PAREJA, WONINA BONIFACIO, ELVIRA CRUZ, CORNELIO ZAFRA, VICENTE ORTUOSTE, VICTORIA GOMEZ JACINTO, JUVENCIO PERECHE, JR., RICARDO LORAYES, PETER SUCHIANCO, AND TRENNIE MONSOD,, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 189629, August 06, 2014 - DR. PHYLIS C. RIO, Petitioner, v. COLEGIO DE STA. ROSA-MAKATI AND/OR SR. MARILYN B. GUSTILO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193652, August 05, 2014 - INFANT JULIAN YUSAY CARAM, REPRESENTED BY HIS MOTHER, MA. CHRISTINA YUSAY CARAM, Petitioner, v. ATTY. MARIJOY D. SEGUI, ATTY. SALLY D. ESCUTIN, VILMA B. CABRERA, CELIA C. YANGCO, AND OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. P-14-3232 (Formerly: A.M. No. 14-4-46-MTCC), August 12, 2014 - Re: REPORT OF JUDGE RODOLFO D. VAPOR, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES [MTCC], TANGUB CITY, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL, ON THE HABITUAL ABSENTEEISM OF FILIGRIN E. VELEZ, JR., PROCESS SERVER, SAME COURT.

  • G.R. No. 200746, August 06, 2014 - BENSON INDUSTRIES EMPLOYEES UNION-ALU-TUCP AND/OR VILMA GENON, EDISA HORTELANO, LOURDES ARANAS, TONY FORMENTERA, RENEBOY LEYSON, MA. ALONA ACALDO, MA. CONCEPCION ABAO, TERESITA CALINAWAN, NICIFORO CABANSAG, STELLA BARONGO, MARILYN POTOT, WELMER ABANID, LORENZO ALIA, LINO PARADERO, DIOSDADO ANDALES, LUCENA ABESIA, AND ARMANDO YBAÑEZ, Petitioners, v. BENSON INDUSTRIES, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204911, August 06, 2014 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MIKE STEVE Y BASMAN AND RASHID MANGTOMA Y NONI, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 201111, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALFREDO CERDON Y SANCHEZ, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 200250, August 06, 2014 - UPSI PROPERTY HOLDINGS, INC., Petitioner, v. DIESEL CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 182908, August 06, 2014 - HEIRS OF FRANCISCO I. NARVASA, SR., ANDHEIRS OF PETRA IMBORNAL AND PEDRO FERRER,REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MRS. REMEDIOS B. NARVASA-REGACHO, Petitioners, v. EMILIANA, VICTORIANO, FELIPE, MATEO, RAYMUNDO, MARIA,AND EDUARDO, ALL SURNAMED IMBORNAL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 204651, August 06, 2014 - OUR HAUS REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. ALEXANDER PARIAN, JAY C. ERINCO, ALEXANDER CANLAS, BERNARD TENEDERO AND JERRY SABULAO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 207376, August 06, 2014 - AIDA PADILLA, Petitioner, v. GLOBE ASIATIQUE REALTY HOLDINGS CORPORATION, FILMAL REALTY CORPORATION, DELFIN S. LEE AND DEXTER L. LEE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201483, August 04, 2014 - CONRADO A. LIM, Petitioner, v. HMR PHILIPPINES, INC., TERESA SANTOS-CASTRO, HENRY BUNAG AND NELSON CAMILLER, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191015, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. JOSE C. GO, AIDA C. DELA ROSA, AND FELECITAS D. NECOMEDES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210619, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHARLES REYES Y MARASIGAN, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 184982, August 20, 2014 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. JOSE T. LAJOM, REPRESENTED BY PORFIRIO RODRIGUEZ, FLORENCIA LAJOM GARCIA-DIAZ, FRANCISCO LAJOM GARCIA, JR., FERNANDO LAJOM RODRIGUEZ, TOMAS ATAYDE, AUGUSTO MIRANDA, JOSEFINA ATAYDE FRANCISCO, RAMON L. ATAYDE, AND BLESILDA ATAYDE RIOS, Respondents.; [G.R. NO. 185048] - JOSE T. LAJOM, REPRESENTED BY PORFIRIO RODRIGUEZ, FLORENCIA LAJOM GARCIA-DIAZ, FRANCISCO LAJOM GARCIA, JR., FERNANDO LAJOM RODRIGUEZ, TOMAS ATAYDE, AUGUSTO MIRANDA, JOSEFINA ATAYDE FRANCISCO, RAMON L. ATAYDE, AND BLESILDA ATAYDE RIOS, Petitioners, v. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 170139, August 05, 2014 - SAMEER OVERSEAS PLACEMENT AGENCY, INC., Petitioner, v. JOY C. CABILES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 206368, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEONARDO BATTAD, Accused-Appellant, MARCELINO BACNIS, Accused.

  • G.R. No. 181541, August 18, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARISSA MARCELO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 208469, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SAMUEL “TIW-TIW” SANICO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 205870, August 13, 2014 - LEI SHERYLL FERNANDEZ, Petitioner, v. BOTICA CLAUDIO REPRESENTED BY GUADALUPE JOSE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194390, August 13, 2014 - VENANCIO M. SEVILLA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198367, August 06, 2014 - OSG SHIPMANAGEMENT MANILA, INC., MERCEDES M. RAVANOPOLOUS, OSG SHIPMANAGEMENT (UK) LTD. & M/T DELPHINA, Petitioners, v. JOSELITO B. PELLAZAR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 192304, August 13, 2014 - ANCHOR SAVINGS BANK (now EQUICOM SAVINGS BANK), Petitioner, v. PINZMAN REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, MARYLIN MAÑALAC AND RENATO GONZALES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 177845, August 20, 2014 - GRACE CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRINCIPAL, DR. JAMES TAN, Petitioner, v. FILIPINAS A. LAVANDERA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200191, August 20, 2014 - LOURDES C. FERNANDEZ, Petitioner, v. NORMA VILLEGAS AND ANY PERSON ACTING IN HER BEHALF INCLUDING HER FAMILY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206366, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. EDUARDO BALAQUIT Y BALDERAMA, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014 - WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., AND REGINALDO OBEN/WALLEM SHIPMANAGEMENT LIMITED, Petitioners, v. DONNABELLE PEDRAJAS AND SEAN JADE PEDRAJAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 181723, August 11, 2014 - ELIZABETH DEL CARMEN, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES RESTITUTO SABORDO AND MIMA MAHILUM-SABORDO, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-14-2390 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 12-3923-RTJ), August 13, 2014 - JOSEPHINE JAZMINES TAN, Petitioner, v. JUDGE SIBANAH E. USMAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 28, CATBALOGAN CITY, SAMAR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212689, August 11, 2014 - ECE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT, INC., Petitioner, v. HAYDYN HERNANDEZ,, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 208828-29, August 13, 2014 - RICARDO C. SILVERIO, SR., Petitioner, v. RICARDO S. SILVERIO, JR., CITRINE HOLDINGS, INC., MONICA P. OCAMPO AND ZEE2 RESOURCES, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 171626, August 06, 2014 - OLONGAPO CITY, Petitioner, v. SUBIC WATER AND SEWERAGE CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 162230, August 12, 2014 - ISABELITA C. VINUYA, VICTORIA C. DELA PEÑA, HERMINIHILDA MANIMBO, LEONOR H. SUMAWANG, CANDELARIA L. SOLIMAN, MARIA L. QUILANTANG, MARIA L. MAGISA, NATALIA M. ALONZO, LOURDES M. NAVARO, FRANCISCA M. ATENCIO, ERLINDA MANALASTAS, TARCILA M. SAMPANG, ESTER M. PALACIO, MAXIMA R. DELA CRUZ, BELEN A. SAGUM, FELICIDAD TURLA, FLORENCIA M. DELA PEÑA, EUGENIA M. LALU, JULIANA G. MAGAT, CECILIA SANGUYO, ANA ALONZO, RUFINA P. MALLARI, ROSARIO M. ALARCON, RUFINA C. GULAPA, ZOILA B. MANALUS, CORAZON C. CALMA, MARTA A. GULAPA, TEODORA M. HERNANDEZ, FERMIN B. DELA PEÑA, MARIA DELA PAZ B. CULALA, ESPERANZA MANAPOL, JUANITA M. BRIONES, VERGINIA M. GUEVARRA, MAXIMA ANGULO, EMILIA SANGIL, TEOFILA R. PUNZALAN, JANUARIA G. GARCIA, PERLA B. BALINGIT, BELEN A. CULALA, PILAR Q. GALANG, ROSARIO C. BUCO, GAUDENCIA C. DELA PEÑA, RUFINA Q. CATACUTAN, FRANCIA A. BUCO, PASTORA C. GUEVARRA, VICTORIA M. DELA CRUZ, PETRONILA O. DELA CRUZ, ZENAIDA P. DELA CRUZ, CORAZON M. SUBA, EMERINCIANA A. VINUYA, LYDIA A. SANCHEZ, ROSALINA M. BUCO, PATRICIA A. BERNARDO, LUCILA H. PAYAWAL, MAGDALENA LIWAG, ESTER C. BALINGIT, JOVITA A. DAVID, EMILIA C. MANGILIT, VERGINIA M. BANGIT, GUILERMA S. BALINGIT, TERECITA PANGILINAN, MAMERTA C. PUNO, CRISENCIANA C. GULAPA, SEFERINA S. TURLA, MAXIMA B. TURLA, LEONICIA G. GUEVARRA, ROSALINA M. CULALA, CATALINA Y. MANIO, MAMERTA T. SAGUM, CARIDAD L. TURLA, et al. in their capacity and as members of the “Malaya Lolas Organizations,” Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO G. ROMULO, THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DELIA DOMINGO-ALBERT, THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ, AND THE HONORABLE SOLICITOR GENERAL ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO,, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 173082, August 06, 2014 - PALM AVENUE HOLDING CO., INC., AND PALM AVENUE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. SANDIGANBAYAN 5TH DIVISION, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG), Respondent.; [G.R. No. 195795] - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT, Petitioner, v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, PALM AVENUE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND PALM AVENUE HOLDING COMPANY, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. Nos. 212536-37, August 27, 2014 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE AND COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, Petitioners, v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212953, August 05, 2014 - JOSE TAPALES VILLAROSA, Petitioner, v. ROMULO DE MESA FESTIN AND COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211049, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROMEO CLOSA Y LUALHATI, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 177616, August 27, 2014 - HEIRS OF SPOUSES JOAQUIN MANGUARDIA and SUSANA MANALO, namely: DANILO MANGUARDIA, ALMA MANGUARDIA, GEMMA MANGUARDIA, RODERICK MANGUARDIA, MADELINE MANGUARDIA, joined by her husband, RODRIGO VILLARANTE, ALAN MANGUARDIA, ROSE MANGUARDIA, joined by her husband, LEOPOLDO ADRID, JR., RONALD MANGUARDIA, JOEBERT MANGUARDIA, and RANDY MANGUARDIA; HEIRS OF SPOUSES LEONARDO ARAZA and REBECCA ARROYO, namely: MARY MAGDALENA ARAZA,* joined by her husband CARLITO VILLANUEVA, NENITA ARAZA, joined by her husband, LEONARDO BADE, ANTONIO ARAZA, and the children of ENECITA ARAZA- VARGAS, namely: GADFRY VARGAS, GINA VARGAS, JOEL VARGAS, MARY GRACE VARGAS, ANA MAE VARGAS, and the minor JUNAR VARGAS, represented by his guardian ad litem MAGDALENA ARAZA-VILLANUEVA, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF CAPIZ, Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO VALLES and MARTA VALLES, represented by GRACIANO VALLES, SULPICIO VALLES, TERESITA VALLES, joined by her husband, LEOPOLDO ALAIR, and PRESENTACION CAPAPAS-VALLES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193791, August 02, 2014 - PRIMANILA PLANS, INC., HEREIN REPRESENTED BY EDUARDO S. MADRID, Petitioner, v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198342, August 13, 2014 - REMEDIOS O. YAP, Petitioner, v. ROVER MARITIME SERVICES CORPORATION, MR. RUEL BENISANO AND/OR UCO MARINE CONTRACTING W.L.L., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208170, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PETRUS YAU A.K.A. “JOHN” AND “RICKY” AND SUSANA YAU Y SUMOGBA A.K.A. “SUSAN”, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 207992, August 11, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROBERTO HOLGADO Y DELA CRUZ AND ANTONIO MISAREZ Y ZARAGA, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 171836, August 11, 2014 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, REPRESENTED BY HON. NASSER C. PANGANDAMAN, IN HIS CAPACITY AS DAR-OIC SECRETARY, Petitioner, v. SUSIE IRENE GALLE, RESPONDENT., G.R. NO. 195213 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. SUSIE IRENE GALLE, SUBSTITUTED BY HER HEIRS, NAMELY HANS PETER, CARL OTTO, FRITZ WALTER, AND GEORGE ALAN, ALL SURNAMED REITH, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 196040, August 26, 2014 - FE H. OKABE, Petitioner, v. ERNESTO A. SATURNINO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203048, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUSTY BALA, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014 - FRANCIS H. JARDELEZA, Petitioner, v. CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO, THE JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 200987, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONALDO BAYAN Y NERI, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 207348, August 20, 2014 - ROWENA R. SOLANTE, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, CHAIRPERSON MA. GRACIA PULIDO-TAN, COMMISSIONER JUANITO G. ESPINO, JR., COMMISSIONER HEIDI L. MENDOZA, AND FORTUNATA M. RUBICO, DIRECTOR IV, COA COMMISSION SECRETARIAT, in their official capacities, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 166944, August 18, 2014 - JUANITO MAGSINO, Petitioner, v. ELENA DE OCAMPO AND RAMON GUICO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 175689, August 13, 2014 - GEORGE A. ARRIOLA, Petitioner, v. PILIPINO STAR NGAYON, INC. AND/OR MIGUEL G. BELMONTE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 189061, August 06, 2014 - MIDWAY MARITIME AND TECHNOLOGICAL FOUNDATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT PHD IN EDUCATION DR. SABINO M. MANGLICMOT, Petitioner, v. MARISSA E. CASTRO, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 199420, August 27, 2014 - PHILNICO INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE, Respondent.; G.R. NO. 199432 - PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE, Petitioner, v. PHILNICO INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 195432, August 27, 2014 - EDELINA T. ANDO, Petitioner, v. DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200645, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. WENDEL OCDOL Y MENDOVA, EDISON TABIANAN, AND DANTE BORINAGA, ACCUSED. WENDEL OCDOL Y MENDOVA, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 172404, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE’S TRANS-EAST ASIA INSURANCE CORPORATION, A.K.A. PEOPLE'S GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. DOCTORS OF NEW MILLENNIUM HOLDINGS, INC., Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2227 [Formerly A.M. No. 06-6-364-RTC], August 19, 2014 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. ATTY. MARIO N. MELCHOR, JR., FORMER CLERK OF COURT VI, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 16, NAVAL, BILIRAN (NOW PRESIDING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, CALUBIAN-SAN ISIDRO, LEYTE), Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 207253, August 20, 2014 - CRISPIN B. LOPEZ, Petitioner, v. IRVINE CONSTRUCTION CORP. AND TOMAS SY SANTOS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 200538, August 13, 2014 - CITY OF DAVAO, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS AND BENJAMIN C. DE GUZMAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 188289, August 20, 2014 - DAVID A. NOVERAS, Petitioner, v. LETICIA T. NOVERAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203655, August 13, 2014 - SM LAND, INC., Petitioner, v. BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA, ESQ., IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BCDA, Respondents.

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    A.C. No. 8000, August 05, 2014 - CHAMELYN A. AGOT, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA, Respondent.

      A.C. No. 8000, August 05, 2014 - CHAMELYN A. AGOT, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA, Respondent.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    A.C. No. 8000, August 05, 2014

    CHAMELYN A. AGOT, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N

    PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

    For the Court’s resolution is a Complaint-Affidavit1 dated August 30, 2008 filed by complainant Chamelyn A. Agot (complainant) against respondent Atty. Luis P. Rivera (respondent), charging him of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) and the lawyer’s oath for misrepresentation, deceit, and failure to account for and return her money despite several demands.

    The Facts

    In her Complaint-Affidavit, complainant alleged that she was invited as maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding on December 9, 2007 at the United States of America. To facilitate the issuance of her United States (US) visa, complainant sought the services of respondent who represented himself as an immigration lawyer. Thus, on November 17, 2007, they entered into a Contract of Legal Services (Contract),2 whereby respondent undertook to facilitate and secure the release of a US immigrant visa in complainant’s favor prior to the scheduled wedding. In consideration therefor, complainant paid respondent the amount of P350,000.00 as downpayment and undertook to pay the balance of P350,000.00 after the issuance of the US visa.3 The parties likewise stipulated that should complainant’s visa application be denied for any reason other than her absence on the day of the interview and/or for records of criminal conviction and/or any court-issued hold departure order, respondent is obligated to return the said downpayment.4 However, respondent failed to perform his undertaking within the agreed period. Worse, complainant was not even scheduled for interview in the US Embassy. As the demand for refund of the downpayment was not heeded, complainant filed a criminal complaint for estafa and the instant administrative complaint against respondent.5cralawred

    In his Comment6 dated December 5, 2008, respondent claimed that his failure to comply with his obligation under the Contract was due to the false pretenses of a certain Rico Pineda (Pineda), who he had believed to be a consul for the US Embassy and to whom he delivered the amount given by the complainant. Respondent elaborated that he had a business relationship with Pineda on the matter of facilitating the issuance of US visas to his friends and family, including himself. He happened to disclose this to a certain Joseph Peralta, who in turn referred his friend, the complainant, whose previous US visa application had been denied, resulting in the execution of the Contract. Respondent claimed that Pineda reneged on his commitments and could no longer be located but, nonetheless, assumed the responsibility to return the said amount to complainant.7 To buttress his claims, respondent attached pictures supposedly of his friends and family with Pineda as well as electronic mail messages (e-mails) purportedly coming from the latter.8cralawred

    The IBP’s Report and Recommendation

    In a Report and Recommendation9 dated April 17, 2010, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Investigating Commissioner found respondent administratively liable, and accordingly, recommended that he be meted the penalty of suspension for a period of four (4) months, with a warning that a repetition of the same would invite a stiffer penalty.10cralawred

    The Investigating Commissioner found respondent guilty of engaging in deceitful conduct for: (a) misrepresenting himself as an immigration lawyer; (b) failing to deliver the services he contracted; and (c) being remiss in returning complainant’s downpayment of P350,000.00. The Investigating Commissioner did not lend credence to respondent’s defense anent his purported transactions with Pineda considering that the latter’s identity was not proven and in light of respondent’s self-serving evidence, i.e., photographs and e-mails, which were bereft of any probative value.11cralawred

    In a Resolution dated December 14, 2012, the IBP Board of Governors unanimously adopted and approved the aforesaid report and recommendation with the modification increasing the period of suspension to six (6) months and ordering respondent to return the amount of P350,000.0012 to complainant within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice, with legal interest from the date of demand.13cralawred

    The Issue Before the Court

    The essential issue in this case is whether or not respondent should be held administratively liable for violating the CPR.

    The Court’s Ruling

    After a judicious perusal of the records, the Court concurs with the IBP’s findings, subject to the modification of the recommended penalty to be imposed upon respondent.

    As officers of the court, lawyers are bound to maintain not only a high standard of legal proficiency, but also of morality, honesty, integrity, and fair dealing.14 In this regard, Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the CPR, provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    CANON 1 – A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES.

    Rule 1.01 – A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

    In the instant case, respondent misrepresented himself as an immigration lawyer, which resulted to complainant seeking his assistance to facilitate the issuance of her US visa and paying him the amount of P350,000.00 as downpayment for his legal services. In truth, however, respondent has no specialization in immigration law but merely had a contact allegedly with Pineda, a purported US consul, who supposedly processes US visa applications for him. However, respondent failed to prove Pineda’s identity considering that the photographs and e-mails he submitted were all self-serving and thus, as correctly observed by the Investigating Commissioner, bereft of any probative value and consequently cannot be given any credence. Undoubtedly, respondent’s deception is not only unacceptable, disgraceful, and dishonorable to the legal profession; it reveals a basic moral flaw that makes him unfit to practice law.15cralawred

    Corollary to such deception, respondent likewise failed to perform his obligations under the Contract, which is to facilitate and secure the issuance of a US visa in favor of complainant. This constitutes a flagrant violation of Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the CPR, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    CANON 18 – A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.

    Rule 18.03 – A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.

    Under Rule 18.03, Canon 18 of the CPR, once a lawyer takes up the cause of his client, he is duty-bound to serve the latter with competence, and to attend to such client’s cause with diligence, care, and devotion whether he accepts it for a fee or for free. He owes fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed upon him.16 Therefore, a lawyer’s neglect of a legal matter entrusted to him by his client constitutes inexcusable negligence for which he must be held administratively liable,17 as in this case.

    Furthermore, respondent violated Rules 16.01 and 16.03, Canon 16 of the CPR when he failed to refund the amount of P350,000.00 that complainant paid him, viz.:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    CANON 16 – A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS POSSESSION.

    Rule 16.01 – A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.

    x x x x

    Rule 16.03 – A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. x x x.

    Verily, the relationship between a lawyer and his client is highly fiduciary and prescribes on a lawyer a great fidelity and good faith.18 The highly fiduciary nature of this relationship imposes upon the lawyer the duty to account for the money or property collected or received for or from his client.19 Thus, a lawyer’s failure to return upon demand the funds held by him on behalf of his client, as in this case, gives rise to the presumption that he has appropriated the same for his own use in violation of the trust reposed in him by his client. Such act is a gross violation of general morality as well as of professional ethics.20cralawred

    Anent the proper penalty for respondent’s acts, jurisprudence provides that in similar cases where lawyers neglected their client’s affairs and, at the same time, failed to return the latter’s money and/or property despite demand, the Court imposed upon them the penalty of suspension from the practice of law. In Segovia-Ribaya v. Lawsin,21 the Court suspended the lawyer for a period of one (1) year for his failure to perform his undertaking under his retainership agreement with his client and to return the money given to him by the latter. Also, in Jinon v. Jiz,22 the Court suspended the lawyer for a period of two (2) years for his failure to return the amount his client gave him for his legal services which he never performed. In this case, not only did respondent fail to facilitate the issuance of complainant’s US visa and return her money, he likewise committed deceitful acts in misrepresenting himself as an immigration lawyer, resulting in undue prejudice to his client. Under these circumstances, a graver penalty should be imposed upon him. In view of the foregoing, the Court deems it appropriate to increase the period of suspension from the practice of law of respondent from six (6) months, as recommended by the IBP, to two (2) years.

    Finally, the Court sustains the IBP’s recommendation ordering respondent to return the amount of P350,000.00 he received from complainant as downpayment. It is well to note that “while the Court has previously held that disciplinary proceedings should only revolve around the determination of the respondent-lawyer’s administrative and not his civil liability, it must be clarified that this rule remains applicable only to claimed liabilities which are purely civil in nature – for instance, when the claim involves moneys received by the lawyer from his client in a transaction separate and distinct [from] and not intrinsically linked to his professional engagement.”23 Hence, since respondent received the aforesaid amount as part of his legal fees, the Court finds the return thereof to be in order.

    WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Luis P. Rivera (respondent) is found guilty of violating Rule 1.01 of Canon 1, Rules 16.01 and 16.03 of Canon 16, and Rule 18.03 of Canon 18 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, he is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years, effective upon the finality of this Decision, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

    Furthermore, respondent is ORDERED to return to complainant Chamelyn A. Agot the legal fees he received from the latter in the amount of P350,000.00 within ninety (90) days from the finality of this Decision. Failure to comply with the foregoing directive will warrant the imposition of a more severe penalty.

    Let a copy of this Decision be attached to respondent’s record in this Court as attorney. Further, let copies of this Decision be furnished to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Office of the Court Administrator, which is directed to circulate them to all the courts in the country for their information and guidance.

    SO ORDERED.

    Carpio,** Velasco, Jr., Leonardo-De Castro, Brion, Peralta, Bersamin, Del Castillo, Villarama, Jr., Perez, Mendoza, Reyes, Perlas-Bernabe, and Leonen, JJ., concur.
    Sereno, C.J., on leave.

    Endnotes:


    ** Acting Chief Justice per Special Order No. 1743 dated August 4, 2014.

    1Rollo, pp. 1-3.

    2 Id. at 4-5.

    3 Id. at 4.

    4 Id. at 5.

    5 See id. at 2-3 and 98-99.

    6 Id. at 15-24.

    7 See id. at 16-21 and 99.

    8 Id. at 36-37, 46, and 47-50.

    9 Id. at 98-102. Penned by Commissioner Oliver A. Cachapero.

    10 Id. at 102.

    11 See id. at 100-101.

    12 Please take note that in a Resolution dated November 20, 2013, the Court noted the Notice of Resolution No. XX-2012-536 dated December 14, 2012 (erroneously dated as December 14, 2014) of the IBP Board of Governors (see id. at 103-104). However, the indicated amount of P300,000.00 to be returned to complainant, as mentioned in the said Resolution, was a pure typographical/clerical error, as it is clearly shown in the said IBP Board of Governor’s Notice of Resolution that the recommended amount is P350,000.00 (see id. at 97).

    13 See Notice of Resolution; id. at 97.

    14Tabang v. Gacott, A.C. No. 6490, July 9, 2013, 700 SCRA 788, 804.

    15 See Sps. Olbes v. Atty. Deciembre, 496 Phil. 799, 809-813; citations omitted.

    16Lad Vda. de Dominguez v. Agleron, Sr., A.C. No. 5359, March 10, 2014; citations omitted.

    17 See Figueras v. Jimenez, A.C. No. 9116, March 12, 2014 and Nebreja v. Reonal, A.C. No. 9896, March 19, 2014. See also Abiero v. Juanino, 492 Phil. 149 (2005).

    18Bayonla v. Reyes, A.C. No. 4808, November 22, 2011, 660 SCRA 490, 499.

    19 See Navarro v. Solidum, A.C. No. 9872, January 28, 2014, citing Belleza v. Atty. Macasa, 611 Phil. 179, 190 (2009).

    20Adrimisin v. Atty. Javier, 532 Phil. 639, 645-646 (2006).

    21 A.C. No. 7965, November 13, 2013.

    22 A.C. No. 9615, March 5, 2013, 692 SCRA 348.

    23 See Pitcher v. Gagate, A.C. No. 9532, October 8, 2013.

    A.C. No. 8000, August 05, 2014 - CHAMELYN A. AGOT, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA, Respondent.


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