Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > October 1984 Decisions > B.M. No. 139 October 11, 1984 - PROCOPIO S. BELTRAN, JR. v. ELMO S. ABAD:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[B.M. No. 139. October 11, 1984.]

RE: ELMO S. ABAD, 1978 Successful Bar Examinee, ATTY. PROCOPIO S. BELTRAN, JR., President of the Philippine Trial Lawyers Association, Inc., Complainant, v. ELMO S. ABAD, Respondent.


SYLLABUS


1. REMEDIAL LAW; ADMISSION TO THE BAR; A SUCCESSFUL BAR EXAMINEE FOUND IN CONTEMPT OF COURT AND PENALIZED FOR UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW; CASE AT BAR. — In a comprehensive and well-documented Report the Clerk of Court concluded that the documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the report of the National Bureau of Investigation, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of the Supreme Court of March 28, 1983 which held the respondent in contempt of court for unauthorized practice of law. The Report has found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts. This aspect opens the respondent to a charge for perjury. Elmo S. Abad is ordered to pay a fine of P2,000.00 within ten (10) days from notice, failing which he shall be imprisoned for twenty (20) days. He is also warned that if he persists in the unauthorized practice of law he shall be dealt with more severely. The Court Administrator is directed to circularize all courts in the country that the respondent has not been authorized to practice law, a copy of which to be sent to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. The Clerk of Court is directed to file with the City Fiscal of Manila an appropriate complaint for false testimony against the Respondent.

2. ID.; ATTORNEYS; LAWYER HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR COLLABORATING IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW WITH ONE WHO IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE BAR; CASE AT BAR. — The Report of the Clerk of Court reveals that Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels for Antonio S. Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (Exhibit D). Atty. Jacobe is required to explain within ten (10) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for collaborating and associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is not a member of the bar.


D E C I S I O N


ABAD SANTOS, J.:


On March 28, 1983, this Court held respondent ELMO S. ABAD in contempt of court for unauthorized practice of law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case he failed to pay the fine. (121 SCRA 217.) He paid the fine.

On May 5, 1983, Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL METRO MANILA COURTS THE FACT THAT ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW.chanrobles law library

Asked to comment on the Motion, Mr. Abad opposed it. He denied the allegation in the Motion that he had been practicing law even after our Decision of March 28, 1983.

Because the Motion and the Opposition raised a question of fact, in Our resolution of April 10, 1984, We directed "the Clerk of Court to conduct an investigation in the premises and submit a report thereon with appropriate recommendation."cralaw virtua1aw library

In a comprehensive and well-documented Report which is hereby made a part of this Resolution, the Clerk of Court concluded:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of this Court of March 28, 1983."cralaw virtua1aw library

The Clerk of Court makes the following recommendations:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"a. imposed a fine of P2,000.00 payable within ten (10) days from receipt of this resolution or an imprisonment of twenty (20) days in case of non-payment thereof, with warning of drastic disciplinary action of imprisonment in case of any further practice of law after receipt of this resolution; and

b. debarred from admission to the Philippine Bar until such time that the Court find him fit to become such a member.

"It is further recommended that a circular be issued to all courts in the Philippines through the Office of the Court Administrator that respondent Elmo S. Abad has not been admitted to the Philippine Bar and is therefore not authorized to practice law."cralaw virtua1aw library

We find the Report to be in order and its recommendations to be well-taken. However, the latter are not sufficiently adequate in dealing with the improper activities of the Respondent.

The Report has found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts. This aspect opens the respondent to a charge for perjury.

The Report also reveals that Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels for Antonio S. Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to account for his association with the Respondent.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

WHEREFORE, Elmo S. Abad is hereby ordered to pay a fine of P2,000.00 within ten (10) days from notice, failing which he shall be imprisoned for twenty (2) days. he is also warned that if he persists in the unauthorized practice of law he shall be dealt with more severely.

The Court Administrator is directed to circularize all courts in the country that the respondent has not been authorized to practice law. A copy of the circular should be sent to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

The Clerk of Court is directed to file with the City Fiscal of Manila an appropriate complaint for false testimony against the Respondent.

Finally, Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe is required to explain within ten (10) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for collaborating and associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is not a member of the bar.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, Makasiar, Aquino, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Relova, Gutierrez, Jr., De la Fuente and Cuevas, JJ., concur.

Fernando, C.J. and Concepcion, Jr., J., are on leave.

Guerrero, J., took no part.




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