1. How instituted. - Proceedings for disbarment, suspension or
of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio, or
by the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any
The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of
and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal
of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may
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Board of Governors may, motu proprio or upon referral by the
Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance of any
initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys
those in the government service; Provided, however, that all
against Justices of the Court of Tax Appeals and the Sandiganbayan,
and Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals and lower courts, even if
are jointly charged with them, shall be filed with the Supreme Court; Provided,
further, that charges filed against Justices and Judges before the IBP,
including those filed prior to their appointment in the Judiciary,
immediately be forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and
Six (6) copies of the
verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP
or the Secretary of any of its chapters who shall forthwith transmit
same to the IBP
Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator.
amended by Bar Matter No. 1960).
Sec. 2. National
Investigator. - The Board of Governors shall appoint from among IBP
members an Investigator or, when special circumstances so warrant, a
of three(3) investigators to investigate the complaint All
shall take an oath of office in the form prescribed by the Board of
A copy of the Investigator's appointment and oath shall be transmitted
to the Supreme Court.
An Investigator may be disqualified
by reason of relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity or
affinity to any of the parties or their counsel, pecuniary interest,
bias, or his having acted as counsel for either party, unless the
sign and enter upon the record their written consent to his acting as
Investigator. Where the Investigator does not disqualify himself, a
may appeal to the IBP Board of Governors, which by majority vote of the
members present, there being a quorum, may order his disqualification.
Any Investigator may also be
removed for cause, after due hearing, by the vote of at least six (6)
of the IBP Board Governors. The decision of the Board of Governors in
cases of disqualification or removal shall be final.
Sec. 3. Duties of the
National Grievance Investigator. - The National Grievance
shall investigate all complaint against members of the Integrated Bar
to them by the IBP Board of Governors.
Sec. 4. Chapter assistance
to complainant. - The proper IBP Chapter may assist the
in the preparation and filing of his complaint(s).
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Sec. 5. Service or
- If the complaint appears to be meritorious, the Investigator shall
that a copy thereof be served upon the respondent, requiring him to
the same within fifteen (15) days from the date of service. If the
does not merit action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of
Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious, the same may be
by the Board of Governors upon his recommendation. A copy of the
of dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Supreme Court
may review the case motu proprio or upon timely appeal of the
filed within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the complainant.
No investigation shall
interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance, settlement,
restitution, withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the complainant
prosecute the same.
Sec. 6. Verification
and service of answer. - The answer shall be verified. The original
and five (5) legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the
with proof of service of a copy thereof on the complainant or his
Sec. 7. Administrative
counsel. - The IBP Board of Governors shall appoint a suitable
of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the complainant or the
during the investigation in case of need for such assistance.
Sec. 8. Investigation.
- Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the respondent to answer,
Investigator shall, with deliberate speed, proceed with the
of the case. He shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer
oaths. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend
to present witnesses on his behalf and be heard by himself and counsel.
However, if upon reasonable notice, the respondent fails to appear, the
investigation shall proceed ex parte.
The Investigator shall
the investigation within three (3) months from the date of its
unless extended for good cause by the Board of Governors upon prior
Willfull failure or
to obey a subpoena or any other lawful order issued by the Investigator
shall be dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. The
charge shall be filed by the Investigator before the IBP Board of
which shall require the alleged contemnor to show cause within ten (10)
days from notice. The IBP Board of Governors may thereafter conduct
if necessary, in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Rule
hearings before the Investigator. Such hearing shall, as far as
be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its commencement.
the IBP Board of Governors shall within like period fifteen (15) days
a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations, which
forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action and if
the imposition of penalty.
Sec. 9. Depositions.
- Depositions may be taken in accordance with the Rules of Court with
of the investigator(s).
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Within the Philippines,
depositions may be taken before any member of the Board of
the President of any Chapter, or any officer authorized by law to
Depositions may be taken
outside the Philippines before a diplomatic or consular representative
of the Philippine Government or before any person agreed upon by the
or designated by the Board of Governors.
Any suitable members of
the Integrated Bar in the place where a deposition shall be taken may
designated by the Investigator to assist the complainant or the
in taking a deposition.
Sec. 10. Report of
- Not later than thirty (30) days from the termination of the
the Investigator shall submit a report containing his findings of fact
and recommendations to the IBP Board of Governors, together with the
notes and the transcripts thereof and all the evidence presented during
the investigation. The submission of the report need not await
transcription of the stenographic notes, it being sufficient that the
reproduce substantially from the Investigator's personal notes any
and pertinent testimonies.
Sec. 11. Defects.
- No defect in a complaint, notice, answer, or in the proceeding or the
Investigator's Report shall be considered as substantial unless the
of Governors, upon considering the whole record, finds that such defect
has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice, in which event
the Board shall take such remedial action as the circumstance may
including invalidation of the entire proceedings.
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Sec. 12. View and decision
by the Board of Governors. -
(a) Every case heard
an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon
record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator with his
The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing and
clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is
It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days
from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the
(b) If the Board, by
vote of a majority of its total membership, determines that the
should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred, it shall
a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which,
with the whole record of the case, shall forthwith be transmitted to
Supreme Court for final action.
(c) If the respondent
exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is
than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition, reprimand, or fine)
it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing such
The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of the
or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen
days from notice of the Board’s resolution, the Supreme Court orders
(d) Notice of the
or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties through their
A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court.
Sec. 13. Supreme
Investigators. - In proceedings initiated motu proprio by
Supreme Court in other proceedings when the interest of justice so
the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor
General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower
in which case, the investigation shall proceed in the same manner
in Sections 6 to 11 hereof, save that the review report of the
shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
Sec. 14. Report of the
Solicitor General or other Court designated investigator. - Based
the evidence adduced at the investigation, the Solicitor General or
Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall submit to the
Court a resolution containing his findings of fact and recommendations
together the record and all the evidence presented in the investigation
for the final action of the Supreme Court.
Sec. 15. Suspension
attorneys by Supreme Court. - After receipt of respondent's answer
or lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme Court, motu proprio,
or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors upon the
of the Investigator, may suspend an attorney from the practice of his
for any of the causes specified in Rule 138, Section 27, during the
of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme
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Sec. 16. Suspension of
attorney by the Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court. - The
of Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from
for any of the causes named in Rule 138, Section 27, until further
of the Supreme Court in the case.
Sec. 17. Upon suspension
by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court, further proceedings in
Court. - Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or a Regional
Court shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of
the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which
same was based. Upon receipt of such certified copy and statement, the
Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the case and may
shorten or extend the suspension, or disbar the attorney as the facts
Sec. 18. Confidentiality.
- Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential.
the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its
in other cases.
Sec. 19. Expenses.
- All reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in relation to
and disbarment proceedings are lawful charges forthwith the parties may
be taxed as costs.
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Sec. 20. Effectivity
and Transitory Provision. - This Rule shall take effect on June 1,
1988 and shall supersede the present Rule 139 entitled "DISBARMENT OR
OF ATTORNEYS". All cases pending investigation by the Office of
Solicitor General shall be transferred to the Integrated Bar of the
Board of Governors for investigation and disposition as provided in
Rule except those cases where the investigation has been substantially
Matter No. 356, Resolution dated April 13, 1988).