Philippinel Legal Profession_part 1 IV. THE PHILIPPINE LEGAL PROFESSION Introduction
The Supreme Court has settled the constitutionality of the creation of the Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) in a per curiam Resolution in Administrative Case No. 526, In the Matter of the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines, January 9, 1973, pursuant to Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution, which gave the Supreme Supre me Court the power to Aprom Apromulgate ulgate rules ru les concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of [email protected]
. (See also Rule 139-A, Rules of Court). Prior to the ruling of the Supreme Court in Adm. Matter No. 526, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos had signed into law R.A. No. 6397 on September 17, 1971. The law provided for the integration of the Philippine Bar within two years from its approval. In commanding the integration of the Bar, the Supreme Court expressly adopted the principle of Amaximum Bar autonomy aut onomy with minimum supervision and regulation by the Supreme Supre me [email protected]
The resolution noted the survey conducted by the Commission on Bar Integration among 15,090 lawyers which showed that 96.45 percent of the lawyers were in favor of o f bar integration. The general purposes of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines are as follows: 1. Assist in the administration of justice; 2. Foster and maintain on the part of its members high ideals of integrity, learning, professional competence, public service and conduct; 3. Safeguard the professional interests of its members; 4. Cultivate among its members a spirit of cord iali iality ty and brotherhood; brot herhood; 5. Provide a forum for the discussion of law, jurisprudence, law reform, pleading, practice and procedure, and the relations of the Bar to the Bench and to the public, and to publish information relating thereto; 6. Encourage and foster legal education; 7. Promote a continuing program of legal research in substantive and adjective law, and make reports and recommendations thereon; and 8. Enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility effectively. effectively.
The Supreme Court held that integration of the Bar will, among other things, make it possible for the legal profession to: 1. Render more effective assistance in maintaining the t he Rule of Law; 2. Protect lawyers and litigants against the abuse of tyrannical judges and prosecutin prosecut ing g officers; o fficers; 3. Discharge, fully and properly, its responsibility in the t he disciplining and/or a nd/or removal of incompetent and unworthy judges and prosecuting officers; 4. Shield the judiciary, which traditionally cannot defend itself except within its own forum, from the assaults that politics and self-interest may level at it, and assist it to maintain its integrity, impartiality and independence; 5. Have an effective role ro le in the selection of judges and prosecuting officers; 6. Prevent the unauthorized practice pract ice of law, and break up any monopoly of o f local practice maintained through influence or positi po sition; on; 7. Establish welfare funds for families of disabled and deceased lawyers; 8. Provide placement services, and establish legal aid offices and set up lawyer reference services throughout the country so that the poor may not lack competent legal service; 9. Distribute educational and informational materials that are difficult to obtain in many of our provinces; 10. Devise and maintain a program of continuing legal education for practising attorneys in order to elevate the standards of the professi profession on throughout t hroughout the country; 11. Enforce rigid ethical standards, and promulgate pro mulgate minimum fees schedules; 12. Create law centers and establish law libraries for legal research; 13. Conduct campaigns to educate educat e the people on o n their legal rights and obligations, o n the importance of preventive legal advice, and on the functions and duties dut ies of the Filipino lawyer; and 14. Generate and maintain pervasive and meaningful country-wide involvement of the lawyer population in the solution of o f the multifarious multifarious problems that t hat afflict the nation. The Supreme Court noted that bar integration in England, Canada and the United States had yielded the following benefits: 1. Improved discipline among the members of the Bar; 2. Greater influence and ascendancy of the Bar;
3. Better and more meaningful participation of the individual lawyer in the act ivi ivities ties of the Integrated Bar; 4. Greater Bar facilities and services; 5. Elimination of unauthorized practice; 6. Avoidance of o f costly membership campaigns; 7. Establishment of an official status for the Bar; 8. More cohesive professi pro fession; on; and 9. Better and more effective discharge by the Bar of its obligations and responsibilities to its members, to the courts, and to the t he public. In its Resolution, dated August 3, 1978, in A.M. No. 1928, In the Matter of the IBPMembership Atty. Marcial A. Edillion (IBP Adm. Case No. MDD-1), the Supreme Court Dues Delinquency of A reiterated the constitutionality of the Integrated Bar of the Philippine and disbarred the respondent for nonpayment of his IBP annual dues. It ruled that Athe matters of admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation and supervision have been and are indisputably recognized as inherent judicial functions and [email protected]
responsibili [email protected]
(citing In Re Sparks, 267 Ky. 93, 101 S.W. 2d 194). The Integrated Bar shall be strictly non-political , and every activity tending to impair this basic feature is strictly prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. No lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall be eligible for election of appointment to any position in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his position as of the moment he files his certificate of candidacy for any elective public office or accepts appointment to any judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality instrumentality thereof. t hereof. (Sec. 13, Rule 139-A). Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the collection from each Chapter shall be set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the Chapter and the t he compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof. (Sec. 9, Rule 139-A). Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of Rule 139-A, default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in the Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys. (Sec. 10, 1 0, Rule 139-A). A member may terminate his membership by filing a written notice to that effect with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar, who shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court. Forthwith he shall cease to be a member and his name shall be stricken by the
Court from the Roll of Attorneys. Reinstatement may be made by the Court in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Court. (Sec. 11, Rule 139-A). The Board of Governors shall provide in the By-Laws for grievance procedures for the enforcement and maintenance of discipline among all the members of the Integrated Bar, but no action involving the suspension or disbarment of a member or the removal of his name from the Roll of Attorneys shall be effective without the final approval of the Supreme Court. (Sec. 12, Rule 139-A. See also Rule 139-B, re: the power of the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline to conduct hearings on administrative cases filed against lawyers). All voluntary Bar associations now existing or which may hereafter be formed may co-exist with the Integrated Bar but shall not operate at cross-purposes therewith. (Sec. 17, Rule 139-A). In connection with the delegated power of the IBP to investigate and discipline (less than suspension) Filipino lawyers for misconduct and other grounds, the relevant provisions of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court are reproduced below: SECTION 1. H ow Instituted . C Proceedings for the disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu propio, or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts. The IBP Board of Governors may, motu propio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person, initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government service. (Sec. 1, Rule 139-B). Sec. 12. Review and decision by the Board of Governors.
a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator with his report. The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing and shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is based. It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the Investigator's Report. b) If the Board, by the vote of a 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 forthwith be 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 than 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. d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties through their counsel. A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court. (Sec. 12, Rule 139-B). Sec. 15. Suspension of attorney by Supreme Court . CAfter receipt of respondent's answer or lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme Court, motu propio, or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Investigator, may suspend an attorney from the practice of his profession for any of the causes specified in Rule 138, Section 27, during the pendency of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme Court.
Sec. 16. Suspension of attorney by the Court of . CThe Court of A ppeals or a Regional Trial Court Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in Rule 138, Section 27 2, until further action of the Supreme Court in the case. Sec. 17. U pon suspension by Court of A ppeals or Regional Trial Court, further proceedings in Supreme Court . CUpon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial 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 the same was based. Upon receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the case and
may revoke, shorten or extend the suspension, or disbar the attorney as the facts may warrant. against Sec. 18.Confidentiality. CProceedings attorneys shall be private and confidential. However, the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases. The nine (9) IBP regions are:
(a) Northern Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Abra, Batanes, Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, La Union, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. (b) Central Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales; (c) Greater Manila, consisting of the City of Manila and Quezon C ity; (d) Southern Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon, and Rizal; (e) Bicolandia, consisting of the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon; (f) Eastern Visayas, consisting of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte; (g) Western Visayas, consisting of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Romblon, and Siquijor. (h) Eastern Mindanao, consisting of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur; an (i) Western Mindanao, consisting of the cities of Basilan and Zamboanga, and the provinces of Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato, Sulu, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur. In the event of the creation of any new province, the Board of Governors shall, with the approval of the Supreme Court, determine the Region to which the said pro vince shall belong. A Chapter of the Integrated Bar shall be organized in every province. Except as provided in Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court, every city shall be considered part of the province within which it is geographically situated. (Sec. 4, Rule 139-A). A separate Chapter shall be organized in each of the following political subdivisions or areas; (a) The sub-province of Aurora; (b) Each congressional district of the City of Manila; (c) Quezon City; (d) Caloocan City, Malabon and Navotas;
(e) Pasay City, Makati, Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte (now Pasay Paranaque Las Pinas Muntinlupa); (f) Cebu City; and (g) Zamboanga City and Basilan City. (Sec. 4, Rule 139-A)
Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular Chapter, a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the province, city, political subdivision or area where his office, or, in the absence thereof, his residence is located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter. (Sec. 4, Rule 139-A). Each Chapter shall have its own local government as provided for by uniform rules to be prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Supreme Court, the provisions of Section 19 of this Rule notwithstanding. (Sec. 4, Rule 139-A). Chapters belonging to the same Region may hold regional conventions on matters and problems of common concern. (Sec. 4, Rule 139-A). The Integrated Bar shall have a House of Delegates of not more than one hundred twenty members who shall be apportioned among all the Chapters as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective members, but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate. On or before December 31, 1974, and every four years thereafter, the Board of Governors shall make an apportionment of Delegates. (Sec. 5, Rule 139-A). The term of the office of Delegate shall begin on the date of the opening of the annual convention of the House and shall end on the day immediately preceding the date of the opening of the next succeeding annual convention. No person may be a Delegate for more than two terms. (Sec. 5, Rule 139-A). The House shall hold an annual convention at the call of the Board of Governors at any time during the month of April of each year for the election of Governor, the reading and discussion of reports including the annual report of the Board of Governors, the transaction of such other business as may be referred to it by the Board, and the consideration of such additional matters as may be requested in writing by at least twenty Delegates. Special conventions of the House may be called by the Board of Governors to consider only such matters as the Board shall indicate. A majority of the Delegates who have registered for a convention, whether annual or special, shall constitute a quorum to do business. (Sec. 5, Rule 139-A). The Integrated Bar shall be governed by a Board of Governors. Nine Governors shall be elected by the House of Delegates from the nine Regions on the representation basis of one Governor from each Region. Each Governor shall be chosen from a list of nominees submitted by the Delegates from the Region, provided that not more than one nominee shall come from any Chapter. The President and the Executive Vice President, if chosen by the Governors from outside of themselves as provided in Section 7 of this Rule, shall ipso facto become members of the Board. (Sec. 6, Rule 139-A).
The members of the Board shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. No person may be a Governor for more than two terms. (Sec. 6, Rule 139-A). Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, the Board shall adopt By-Laws and promulgate Canons of Professional Responsibility for all members of the Integrated Bar. The By-Laws and the Canons may be amended by the Supreme Court motu propio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors. (Sec. 6, Rule 139-A). The Integrated Bar shall have a President and an Executive Vice President who shall be chosen by the Governors immediately after the latter's election, either from among themselves or from other members of the Integrated Bar, by the vote of at least five Governors. Each of the regional members of the Board shall be ex officio Vice President for the Region which he represents. (Sec. 7, Rule 139-A). The President and the Executive Vice President shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have duly qualified. The Executive Vice President shall automatically become the President for the next succeeding full term. The Presidency shall rotate from year to year among all the nine Regions in such order or rotation as the Board of Governors shall prescribe. No person shall be President or Executive Vice President of the Integrated Bar for more than one term. (Sec. 7, Rule 139-A). The Integrated Bar shall have a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such other officers and employees as may be required by the Board of Governors, to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board, and to hold office at the pleasure of the Board or for such terms as it may fix. Said officers and employees need not be members of the Integrated Bar. (Sec. 7, Rule 139-A). Except as may be specifically authorized or allowed by the Supreme Court, no Delegate or Governor and no national or local Officer or committee member shall receive any compensation, allowance or emolument from the funds of the Integrated Bar for any service rendered therein or be entitled to reimbursement for any expense incurred in the discharge of his functions. (Sec. 14, Rule 139-A). A. Geographical Distribution of Filipino Lawyers 1. Luzon
As of 1999 there were 40,461 lawyers in the Philippines, according to the records of the national office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The lawyers were spread in nine (9) IBP regional chapters and eighty (80) IBP provincial and city chapters.
The IBP city chapters which geographically located in Metro Manila had a total membership of 18,234 lawyers as of the end of 1999, representing a huge 44.54 percent of the total number of lawyers in the Philippines. In other words, two (2) out of every five (5) Filipino lawyers either reside or practice law in Metro Manila,showing a lopsided distribution of lawyers in the P hilippines. There are five (5) IBP regions in Luzon: Greater Manila (11,645), Southern Luzon (9,093), Central Luzon (3,751), Northern Luzon (2,705), and Bicolandia (1,659).Visayas and Mindanao each has only two (2) IBP regions. There were 28,853 lawyers from Luzon (which included those registered as members of various Metro Manila chapters), as of the end of 1999, representing 71.31 percent of the total number of lawyers in the Philippines. Two (2) out of every three (3) Filipino lawyers either reside or practice law in Luzon. This shows the lopsided distribution of Filipino lawyers in favor of Luzon. The top three (3) IBP regions in the Philippines in terms of registered membership, as of the end of 1999, were the IBP Greater Manila Region (11,645), the IBP Southern Luzon Region (9,093), and the IBP Central Luzon Region (3,751). In the IBP Northern Luzon Region, with a regional membership of 2,705 lawyers, the IBP Baguio City-Benguet Chapter ranked first among the thirteen (13) chapters in the region, with 631 lawyers (23.33 percent of the regional total), followed by the IBP Ilocos Norte Chapter (358), and the IBP Ilocos Sur Chapter (263). The provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur accounted for 621 lawyers (22.96 percent of the regional total). One (1) out of four (4) lawyers in Northern Luzon resides or practices law in the Baguio City-Benguet Area and roughly the same number of lawyers in Northern Luzon resides or practices law in the Ilocos Area. In the IBP Central Luzon Region, with a regional membership of 3,751 lawyers, the IBP Pangasinan Chapter ranked first among the seven (7) chapters in the region, with 1,013 lawyers (27 percent of the regional total), followed by the IBP Bulacan Chapter (918), and the IBP Pampanga Chapter (593). One (1) out of four (4) lawyers in Central Luzon resides or practices law in the Pangasinan or in Bulacan. In the IBP Southern Luzon Region, with a regional membership of 9,093 lawyers, the IBP Makati City Chapter ranks first among the 12 chapters in the region, with 2,499 lawyers (27.48 percent of the regional total), followed by the IBP Pasay Paranaque Las Pinas Muntinlupa (PPLM) Chapter with 1,061 lawyers (11.67 percent of the regional total), and the IBP Kalookan Malabon Navotas Valenzuela (Kamanava) Chapter with 889 lawyers (9.78 percent of the regional total).
Roughly one (1) out of every three four (4) lawyers in the region either resides or practices law in Makati City. In the IBP Bicolandia Region, with a regional membership of 1,659 lawyers (the lowest in Luzon) andwith six (6) provincial chapters, the IBP Camarines Norte Sur Chapter (136) and the IBP Camarines Sur Chapter (651) accounted for a total of 787 lawyers or 47.43 percent of the regional total, followed by the IBP Albay Chapter with 442 lawyers or 26.64 percent of the regional total. One (1) out of every two (2) lawyers in the region resides or practices law in the Camarines Area and one (1) out of every five (5) lawyers in the region resides or practices law in Albay. 2. Metro Manila
As earlier stated, the IBP city chapters geographically located in Metro Manila Area had a total membership of 18,0234 lawyers, representing a huge 44.54 percent or roughly one-half of the total number of lawyers in the Philippines. In other words, roughly one (1) out of every two (2) Filipino lawyers resides or practices law in Metro Manila. This shows the acutely lopsided distribution of private law practitioners in the Philippines. The outdated circa-1970s regional categorization system of the IBP officially includes only the cities of Manila and Quezon City in the IBP AGreater [email protected]
and excludes the rest of the highly urbanized cities and component municipalities of Metro Manila from the said region. Manila and Quezon City had a membership of 11,645 as of the end of 1999 (28.78 percent of the total IBP membership in the Philippines). The IBP Quezon City Chapter had the biggest number of membership (6,233), followed by the four (4) IBP chapters in M anila (5,412), the IBP Makati City Chapter (2,499), and the IBP Pasay Paranaque Las Pinas Muntinlupa (PPLM) Chapter (1,061). The huge nine (9) Metro Manila cities and municipalities of Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Kalookan, Malabon, Navotas, Pasig, and Marikina are still classified under the IBP ASouthern [email protected]
Region. These cities, with a total IBP membership of 6,378 as of 1999, represented 70.14percent of the total membership of the said region (9,093).
If we removed the IBP membership of these nine (9) Metro Manila cities and municipalities from the total membership count of the IBP Southern Luzon Region, the region would be left with a net membership of only 2,715 (29.86 percent), which was almost equal to that of the IBP Northern Luzon Region (2,705) and much lesser than those of the IBP Central Luzon Region (3,751), the IBP Eastern Visayas Region (3,651), and the IBP Western Visayas Region (3,378).
In Visayas there are only two (2) IBP regions, namely,the IBP Eastern Visayas Region and the IBP Western Visayas Region, each w ith nine (9) provincial chapters. The IBP Eastern Visayas Region had a regional membership of 3,651 lawyers as of the end of 1999. The IBP Cebu Provincial Chapter and the IBP Cebu City Chapter accounted for 1,953 members or a huge 53.49 percent of the total regional membership. The IBP Cebu City Chapter alone had 1,306 members or 35.77 percent of the regional membership. In other words, one (1) of every two (2) Eastern Visayan lawyers resides or practices law in Cebu. As in the case of Metro Manila, the distribution of lawyers in Visayas is lopsided. The IBP Western Visayas Region had a regional membership of 3,378 lawyers as of the end of 1999 (lesser than the membership of the IBP Eastern Visayas Region by only 273). The top two (2) provincial chapters in the IBP Western Visayas Region were Negro Occidental (1,026) and Iloilo (984), with a difference of only 42 lawyers. Negros Occidental occupied 30.37 percent of the regional membership while Iloilo occupied 29.12 percent. Their combined total accounted for 59.50 percent of the regional lawyer population. In other words, one (1) out of every three (3) lawyers in Western Visayas resides or practices law either in Negros Occidental or in Iloilo. 4. Mindanao
In Mindanao there are only two (2) IBP regions: the IBP Eastern Mindanao Region (with provincial chapters) and the IBP Western Mindanao Region (witheight  provincial chapters). The IBP Eastern Mindanao Region had a regional membership of 2,362 lawyers as of the end of 1999. The IBP Davao City Chapter, with a membership of 878 lawyers, accounted for 37.17 percent of the region. It was followed by the IBP Misamis Oriental Chapter, with a membership of 596 or equivalent to 25.23 percent of the region. If we combined the membership of the IBP Davao City Chapter (878) with those of the three (3) Davao provinces, namely, the IBP Davao del Norte Chapter (123), the IBP Davao de Sur Chapter (125), and the IBP Davao Oriental Chapter (59), their combined total would reach 1,185, representing a huge 50.16 percent of the membership of the region. In other words, one (1) of every two (2) lawyers in Eastern Mindanao resides or practices law in the geographical Davao Area; one (1) out of every three (3) lawyers in Eastern Mindanao resides or practices law in Davao City; and one (1) out of every four (4) lawyers in Eastern Mindanao resides or practices law in Misamis Oriental. The IBP Western Mindanao Region had a regional membership of 2,217 lawyers as of the end of 1999. The IBP Basilan-Zamboanga City-Sulu Chapter, with a membership of 354
lawyers, accounted for 15.97 percent of the region. It was followed by the IBP Cotabato Chapter, with a membership of 323 or equivalent to 14.57 percent of the region. If we combined the numbers of lawyers inZamboanga City, Zamboanga del Note and Zamboanga del Sure, their total would reach 818, representing 36.90 percent of the membership of the region. In other words, one (1) of every three (3) lawyers in Western Mindanao resides or practices law in the geographical Z amboanga Area. B.
1. Congestion in the Courts
In 1991, 254, 976 cases were pending in the lower courts of the Philippines. During that year 330,171 new cases were filed. By the end of 1991, 255, 523 remained pending. The case disposition rate for 1991 was 39.70 percent. In 1992, the case disposition rate for lower courts was 37.94 percent. In 1993, it was 36.20 percent. Three years later, in 1996, the courts could only manage to dispose of only 27.45 percent of their pending cases. In 1999, 771, 337 cases were pending with the lower courts. With 558, 649 new cases to deal with in 1999, the lower courts managed to disposed of only 25.50 percent of their pending cases. In 2000, the caseload of lower courts was 801, 625 cases. Former Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo attributed the congestion to Athe increased volume of new cases being filed and the large number of vacant [email protected]
(Justice Alfredo L. Benipayo, AThe Fair Cost of [email protected]
, speech delivered at the Annual National Convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines [IBP] 14th House of Delegates held at Crown Peak Garden Hotel, Subic, Olongapo City on May 27, 2000, 19 pp.). The Philippines now needs 731 judges, distributed as follows: Regional Trial Courts - 192 Judges; Municipal Trial Courts - 33 Judges; Municipal Circuit Trial Courts - 263 Judges; Shar=ia District Courts - 3 Judges; and Shar=ia Circuit Courts - 32 Judges Sen. Franklin Drilon has filed a bill exempting the salaries of judges from the Salary Standardization Law. It is aimed at increasing the salaries of judges to entice good private trial lawyers to join the judiciary. It may be approved into law anytime this year. (A. Calica, ADrilon : 731 Judges=Positions [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , Feb. 22, 2002, p. 1). Figures from the Court Management Office of the Supreme Court=s Office of the Court Administrator showed that as of December 31, 2001, 33.94% of the total number of first and second level courts was vacant.( http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph). First level courts include the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), MTC, Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) and Shari==a Circuit Court (SCC). Second level courts include the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and Shari==a District Court (SDC). (Id.).
The vacancy rate in the RTC in the same period was at 18.63%, with 177 of the 950 RTCs vacant, while four of the five SDCs were vacant. Meanwhile, 26.83% of the MeTC, 26.14% of the MTCC, 43.72% of the MTC and 56.21% of the MCTC were vacant. In the SCC, 62.75% or 32 of the 51 courts were vacant. (Id.). Some 830,000 cases were gathering dust in the courts due to lack of personnel as of the end of 2001. Since 1998, only 123,842 of the 946,295 pending cases in different courts were resolved by lower courts. The culprits had always been the lack of judges and court personnel and their low salaries. The basic monthly salaries of judges from the Shari=a District Court (SDC) up to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) now range from P29,241.00 to P36,083.00. (Aurea Calica, AShortage of Court Personnel Stalling 830,000 Cases - [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , March 2, 2002, p. 7). In 1999 the share of the judiciary from the national budget was 1.07 percent (P6.25 Billion). In 2000, it went down to 0.95 percent (P6.27 Billion). (Benipayo, supra, p. 16). For 2002, its budget in peso terms is P7.11 Billion.( www.congress.gov.ph/ga, the website of the House of Representatives). The low budget of the judiciary explains the low salaries of judges. In 2000, the gross monthly salary of a first-level judge (MTCs), inclusive of all allowances, was P33,599.00, while that of a second-level judge (RTCs) was P41,960.33. (Benipayo, supra, p. 1112). Compare this with the starting salary offered by huge law firms and private business corporations to a young associate from a prestigious law school, which was about P30,000.00/month in 2000, and one readily sees the great disparity. (Id., p. 10). Benipayo has advocated to double the gross salaries of first-level judges from P33,599.00 to P75,000.00 and those of the second-level judges from P41,960.33 to P80,000.00, which would mean exempting the judicial personnel from the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and which would translate to P1.01 Billion in expenditure. ( Id., pp. 15-16). To date, a number of government owned and controlled corporations enjoy exemption from the SSL, e.g. Government Service Insurance Corp. (GSIS), National Power Corp. (Napocor), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC). (id ., p. 17). The dearth of judges has been a major problem of the Philippine justice system for many years. The editorial of the Philippine Star on February 23, 2002 reflected the public mood on the matter: ANo wonder there is such a backlog of court cases. Records of the Department of Justice show that there are 731 vacancies for judges nationwide, with 263 needed for municipal circuit trial courts alone and 192 for regional trial courts. Even the Islamic Shar=ia courts need judges. Combined with delaying tactics routinely resorted to by lawyers, you can see why the wheels of justice grind excruciatingly slow in this country. Senate President Franklin Drilon, a former
secretary of justice, thinks he knows the main reason for the dearth of judges: low pay. Drilon said the Senate is rushing approval of a bill that will exempt members of the judiciary from the Salary Standardization Law covering government workers. Many of the nation=s best and brightest enter the law profession, and a significant number of our national leaders are lawyers. The ranks of those who opt to enter public service, however, have dwindled over the years, due mainly to the unattractive pay. Law is not an easy course. You need four years of pre-law, another four years of law proper, and then another year for the bar examinations. Those nine years don=t come cheap. If a family scrimps to send at least one member to law school, that family will expect a return on investment as soon as the law student passes the bar exam. A career in the judiciary may look glamorous, but the pay scales generally can=t compete with those offered by the private sector. The poor pay makes members of the judiciary vulnerable to bribery. A few weeks=delay or a temporary restraining order can be highly profitable for a judge. There have been numerous reports that TROs are for sale even in higher courts. So-called hoodlums in robes compound the slow dispensation of justice, further eroding the credibility of the judiciary. This lack of faith in the judicial system is one reason Filipinos often prefer to take matters into their own hands, resorting to violence to settle grievances. The judiciary clearly needs to be strengthened and improved. If raising the pay of judges is one way of doing it, then that Senate bill must be passed as soon as [email protected]
(Editorial, ADearth of Judges @, The Philippine Star , February 23,2002. See: http://philstar.com/philstar/index.htm). In 2000 the Integrated Bar of the Philippines adopted a resolution complaining about the great delay in the adjudication of hundreds of cases pending with the Sandiganbayan, especially in its First Division, headed by its Presiding Justice. (Delon Porcalla, ALawyers Group Slams Sandigan for Delays in [email protected]
Philippine Star , August 12, 2000, page 2). The Supreme Court ordered a judicial audit of the docket of the Sandiganbayan. It resulted in the relief of the Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francis Garchitorena in November 2001. The ruling of the Supreme Court is extensively reproduced below: ARE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN THE CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN, A.
M. No. 00-8-05-SC, November 28, 2001. We consider ex mero motu the Resolution of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) as an administrative complaint against Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena for Aserious delays in the decision of cases and in the resolution of motions and other pending incidents before the different divisions of the Sandiganbayan,@ amounting to incompetence, inefficiency, gross neglect of duty and misconduct in office. We find no need to conduct a formal investigation of the charges in view of the admission of Justice Francis E. Garchitorena in his compliance of October 20, 2000, that there are indeed hundreds of cases pending decision beyond the reglementary period of ninety (90) days from their submission. In one case, he not only admitted the delay in deciding the case but took sole responsibility for such inaction for more than ten (10) years that constrained this Court to grant mandamus to dismiss the case against an accused to give substance and meaning to his constitutional right to speedy trial. The issues presented are the following: (1) What is the reglementary period within which the Sandiganbayan must decide/resolve cases falling within its jurisdiction? (2) Are there cases submitted for decision remaining undecidedby the Sandiganbayan or any of its divisions beyond the afore-stated reglementary period? (3) Is Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 1094 applicable to the Sandiganbayan? 1. Period To Decide/Resolve Cases.-- There are two views. The first view is that from the time a case is submitted for decision or resolution, the Sandiganbayan has twelve (12) months to decide or resolve it. The second view is that as a court with trial function, the Sandiganbayan has three (3) months to decide the case from the date of submission for decision.
Article VIII, Section 15 (1) and (2), of the 1987 Constitution provides: "Sec. 15.(1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission to the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for a ll other lower courts. A(2) A caseor matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading,brief ormemorandum requiredby the Rules of Court or by the court [email protected]
The above provision does not apply to the Sandiganbayan. The provision refers to regular courts oflower collegiate level that in the present hierarchy applies only to the Court of Appeals. The Sandiganbayan is a special court of the same level as the Court of Appeals and possessing all the inherent powers of a court of justice, with functions of a trial court. Thus, the Sandiganbayan is not a regular court but a special one.] The Sandiganbayan was originally empowered to promulgate its own rules of procedure. However, on March 30, 1995, Congress repealed the Sandiganbayan=s power to promulgate its own rules of procedure and instead prescribed that the Rules of Court promulgated by the Supreme Court shall apply to all cases and proceedings filed with the Sandiganbayan. Special courts are judicial tribunals exercising limited jurisdiction over particular or specialized categories of actions. They are the Court of Tax Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, and the Shari=a Courts. Under Article VIII, Section 5 (5) of the Constitution ARules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supr eme [email protected]
In his report, the Court Administrator would distinguishbetween cases which the Sandiganbayan has cognizance of in its original jurisdiction,] and cases which fall within the appellate jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Court Administrator posits that since in the first class of cases, the Sandiganbayan acts more as a trial court, then for that classification of cases, the three (3) month reglementary period applies. For the second class of cases, the Sandiganbayan has the twelve-month reglementary period for collegiate courts. We do not agree. The law creating the Sandiganbayan, P. D. No. 1606 is clear on this issue. It provides: ASec. 6. Maximum period for termination of cases - As far as practicable, the trial of cases before theSandiganbayan once commenced shall be con-tinuous until terminated and the judgment shall be rendered within three (3) months from the date the case was submitted for [email protected]
On September 18, 1984, the Sandiganbayan promulgatedits own rules, thus: ASec. 3 Maximum Period to Decide Cases - The judgment or final order of a division of the Sandiganbayan shall be rendered within three (3) months from the date the case was submitted for decision (underscoring ours)[email protected]
Given the clarity of the rule that does not distinguish, we hold that the three (3) month period, not the twelve (12) month period, to decide cases applies to the Sandiganbayan. Furthermore, the Sandiganbayan presently sitting in five (5) divisions, functions as a trial court. The term [email protected]
is used in its broad sense, meaning, it allows introduction of evidence by the parties in the cases before it. The Sandiganbayan, in original cases within its jurisdiction, conducts trials, has the discretion to weigh the evidence of the parties, admit the evidence it regards as credible and reject that which they consider perjurious or fabricated. In Department of A grarian Reform Adjudication Board (D A R A B) v. Court of A ppeals,
the Court faulted the DARAB for violating its own rules of procedure. We reasoned that the DARAB does not have unfettered discretion to suspend its own rules. We stated that the DARAB Ashould have set the example of observance of orderly [email protected]
Otherwise, it would render its own Revised Rules of Procedure uncertain and whose permanence would be dependent upon the instability of its own whims and caprices. Similarly, in Cabagnot v. Comelec, this Court held that the Commission on Elections ought to be the first one to observe its own Rules. Its departure from its own rules constitutes Aarrogance of [email protected]
tantamount to abuse.Such inconsistency denigrates public trust in its objectivity and dependability. The Court reminded the Comelec to be more judicious in its actions and decisions and avoid imprudent volte-face moves that undermine the public's faith and confidence in it. The ratio decidendi in the afore-cited cases appliesmutatis mutandis to the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan ought to be the first to observe its own rules. It cannot suspend its rules, or except a case from its operation. 2. Undecided Cases Beyond the Reglementary Period.-We find that the Sandiganbayan has several casesundecided beyond the reglementary period set by the statutes and its own rules, some as long as more than ten (10) years ago. According to the compliance submitted by the Sandiganbayan, three hundred and forty one (341) cases were submitted for decision but were undecided as of September 15, 2000. A number of the cases were submitted for decision as far back as more than ten (10) years ago. xxxx. The Sandiganbayan is a special court created Ain an effort to maintain honesty and efficiency in the bureaucracy, weed out misfits and undesirables in the government and eventually stamp out graft and [email protected]
We have held consistently that a delay of three (3) years in deciding a single case is inexcusably long. We can not accept the excuses of Presiding Justice Sandiganbayan Francis E. Garchitorena that the court was reorganized in 1997; that the new justices had to undergo an orientation and that the Sandiganbayan relocated to its present premises which required the packing and cratingof records; and that some boxes were still unopened.
We likewise find unacceptable Presiding Justice Garchitorena=s excuse that one case alone] comprises more that fifty percent (50%) of the First Division=s backlog and that the same has been set for promulgation on December 8, 2000. As we said, a delay in a single case cannot A para muestra, basta [email protected]
(for an example, one button suffices).It is be tolerated, admitted that there are several other cases submitted for decision as far back as ten (10) years ago that have remained undecided by the First Division, of which Justice Garchitorena is presiding justice and chairman. Indeed, there is even one case, which is a simple motion to withdraw the information filed by the prosecutor. This has remained unresolved for more than seven (7) years (since 1994). The compliance submitted by the Sandiganbayan presiding justice incriminates him. The memorandum submitted by the Court Administrator likewise testifies to the unacceptable situation in the Sandiganbayan. Indeed, there is a disparity in the reports submitted by the Sandiganbayan presiding justice and the OCA. xxxx. We find that Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena failed to devise an efficient recording and filing system to enable him to monitor the flow of cases and to manage their speedy and timely disposition. This is his duty on which he failed. 3. Applicability of SC Adm. Circular No. 10-94.-- Supreme Court Circular No. 10-94 applies to the Sandiganbayan. x x x. We reiterate the admonition we issued in our resolution of October 10, 2000: AThis Court has consistently impressed upon judges (which includes justices) to decide cases promptly and expeditiously on the principle that justice delayed is justice denied. Decision making is the primordial and most important duty of the member of the bench. Hence, judges are enjoined to decide cases withdispatch. Their failure to do so constitutes gross inefficiency that warrants disciplinary sanction, includingfine, suspension and even dismissal.The rule particularly applies to justices of the Sandiganbayan. Delays in the disposition of cases erode the faith and confidence of our people in the judiciary, lower its standards, and bring it into disrepute. Delays cannot be sanctioned or tolerated especially in the anti-graft court, the showcase of the nation=s determination to succeed in its war against graft (underscoring ours)[email protected]
In Yuchengco v. Republic, we urged the Sandiganbayan to promptly administer justice. We stated that the Sandiganbayan has the inherent power to amend and control its processes and orders to make them conformable to law and justice. The Sandiganbayan as the nation=s anti-graft court must be the first to avert opportunities for graft, uphold the right of all persons to a speedy disposition of their cases and avert the prec ipitate loss of their rights.
At this juncture, the Court cites the case of Canson v. Garchitorena. In that case, we admonished respondent Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena. General Jewel F. Canson, Police Chief Superintendent, National Capital Region
Command Director, complained of deliberate delayed action of the Presiding Justice on the transfer of Criminal Cases Nos. 23047-23057 to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, depriving complainant of his right to a just and speedy trial.Due to a finding of lack of bad faith on the part of respondent justice, we issued only a warning. However, the dispositive portion of the decision cautioned respondent justice that Aa repetition of the same or similar act in the future shall be dealt with more severely. @ Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena sits as the Chairman, First Division, with a backlog of cases pending decision. At least seventy-three cases have been unassigned for the writing of the extended opinion, though submitted for decision. It may be the thinking of the Presiding Justice, Sandiganbayan that an unassigned case is not counted in its backlog of undecided cases. This is not correct. It is the duty of the Presiding Justice and the Chairmen of divisions to assign the ponente as soon as the case is declared submitted for decision, if not earlier. If he fails to make the assignment, he shall be deemed to be the ponente. The Constitution provides that a case shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself. In Administrative Circular No. 28, dated July 3, 1989, the Supreme Court provided that AA case is considered submitted for decision upon the admission of the evidence of the parties at the termination of the trial. The ninety (90) days period for deciding the case shall commence to run from submission of the case for decision without memoranda; in case the court requires or allows its filing, the case shall be considered submitted for decision upon the filing of the last memorandum or the expiration of the period to do so, whichever is earlier. Lack of transcript of stenographic notes shall not be a valid reason to interrupt or suspend the period for deciding the case unless the case was previously heard by another judge not the deciding judge in which case the latter shall have the full period of ninety (90) days from the completion of the transcripts within which to decide the [email protected]
The designation of a ponente to a case is not a difficult administrative task. Administrative sanctions must be imposed. A Mora reprobatur in [email protected]
Again, we reiterate the principle that decision-making is the most important of all judicial functions and responsibilities. In this area, Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena, as the ponente assigned to the cases submitted for decision/resolution long ago, some as far back as more than ten (10) years ago, has been remiss constituting gross neglect of duty and inefficiency. As we said in Canson, unreasonable delay of a judge in resolving a case amounts to a denial of justice, bringing the Sandiganbayan into disrepute, eroding the public faith and confidence in the judiciary. Consequently, Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena should be relieved of all trial and administrative work as Presiding Justice and as Chairman, First Division so that he can devote himself full time to decision-making until his backlog is cleared. He shall finish this assignment not later than six (6) months from the promulgation of this resolution. We
have, in cases where trial court judges failed to decide even a single case within the ninety (90) day period, imposed a fine ranging from five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to the equivalent of their one month =s salary. According to the
report of the Sandiganbayan, as of September 26, 2000, there were three hundred forty one (341) cases submitted for decision before its first division headed by the Presiding Justice. In the memorandum of the OCA, there were one hundred ninety eight (198) cases reported submitted for decision before the First Division. Even in the updated report, there are one hundred thirty eight (138) cases still undecided in the First Division. In fact, Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena admitted that he has a backlog. He claimed that one (1) case alone comprises fifty percent (50%) of the backlog. We find this claim exaggerated. We cannot accept that a backlog of three hundred forty one (341) cases in the First Division could be eliminated by the resolution of a single consolidated case of one hundred fifty six (156) counts. A consolidated case is considered only as one case. The cases referred to were consolidated as Criminal Case Nos. 9812-9967, People v. Corazon Gammad-Leaño, decided on December 8, 2000. What about the one hundred eighty five (185) cases that unfortunately remained undecided to this date? Worse, the motion for reconsideration of the decision in said cases, submitted as of January 11, 2001, has not been resolved to this date. The First Division has only thirty (30) days from submission to resolve the same. It is now ten (10) months from submission. The expediente and the motion were transmitted to the ponente, Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena, on that date, but to this day the case remains unresolved. Unfortunately, even other divisions of the Sandiganbayan may be following his example. In the first report of the Court Administrator, he indicated a total of one hundred ninety five (195) criminal cases and three (3) civil cases, or a total of one hundred ninety eight(198) cases submitted for decision as of December 21, 2000. Almost a year later, as of November 16, 2001, there are still one hundred thirty eight (138) cases undecided submitted long ago. For almost one year, not one case was decided/resolved by the Presiding Justice himself. WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the Court resolves: (1) To IMPOSE on Presiding Justice Francis E.Garchitorena a fine of twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00), for inefficiency and gross neglect of duty.
(2) Effective December 1, 2001, to RELIEVE Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena of his powers, functions and duties as the Presiding Justice, Sandiganbayan, and from presiding over the trial of cases as a justice and Chairman, First Division, so that he may DEVOTE himself exclusively to DECISION WRITING, until the backlog of cases assigned to him as well as cases not assigned to any ponente, of which he shall be deemed the ponente in the First Division, are finally decided. There shall be no unloading of cases to other divisions, or to the First Division inter se. In the interim, Associate Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario, as the most senior associate justice, shall TAKE OVER and exercise the powers, functions, and duties of the office of the Presiding Justice, Sandiganbayan, u ntilfurther orders from this Court. (3) To DIRECT Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena and t he associate justices of the Sandiganbayan to decide/resolve the undecided cases submitted for decision as of this date,
within three (3) months from their submission, and to resolve motions for new trial or reconsiderations and petitions for review within thirty (30) days from their submission. With respect to the backlog of cases, as hereinabove enumerated, the Sandiganbayan shall decide/resolve all pending cases including incidents therein within six (6) months from notice of this resolution. (4) To ORDER the Sandiganbayan to comply with Supreme Court Administrative Circular 1094, effective immediately. (5) To DIRECT the Sandiganbayan en banc to adopt not later than December 31, 2001 internal rules to govern the allotment of cases among the divisions, the rotation of justices among them and other matters leading to the internal operation of the court, and thereafter to submit the said internal rules to the Supreme Court for its approval. This directive is immediately [email protected]
(End of Quote). ------ * ------2. Speeding Up the Quality of Justice
Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, Chairman of the Supreme Court Committee on Public Information, has classified the causes of judicial delays into systemic and man-made.(Artemio V. Panganiban, ASpeeding Up the Quality of [email protected]
, Manila Bulletin, Augut 20, 2000, page 11 and 18). According to Justice Panganiban, the systemic causes of court delays may be attributed to the following: 1. The very nature of our adversarial system requires due process and deliberation before judicial decisions can be rendered. ADue process, translated into court mechanics, require among others: (a) the proper issuance and service of summons and subpoenas, (b) the grant of fixed periods within which to answer complaints and charges, (c) the conduct of trials with the assistance of lawyers, (d) the tedious process of examining and cross-examining witnesses in open court, (e) the formulation of a set of rules to determine the admissibility and the weight of evidence, and (f) the rendering of neatly composed decisions which must be personally written by judges and which must state the facts and the law upon which they are based. All these mechanics take [email protected]
(id., p. 11). 2. During judicial proceedings great care is observed in safeguarding the constitutional rights of the parties.AThus, evidence, even if it incriminates the accused, cannot be admitted or accepted if procured with the use of force, fraud, fear or instigation. Our system of criminal justice recognizes the Miranda doctrine, e specially the rights to remain silent during custodial investigation by police authorities and to be assisted at all times by competent and independent counsel. Due process and constitutional rights are essential ingredients of quality justice and cannot be dispensed with, unless voluntarily waived by the party they are intended to [email protected]
(id., pp. 11 and 18).
3. Our appellate system is open-ended. ATaking advantage of this liberality, litigants refuse to surrender and tenaciously pursue their appeals all the way up to the Highest Court. Sometimes reaching the Supreme Court is the review of cases involving the collection of even a few hundred pesos, the ejectment of a persistent tenant, the illegal dismissal of a clerk, the slander by a cantankerous woman, or the election protest of a barangay [email protected]
(id ., p. 18). 4. Due to Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 22, the Bouncing Checks Law, collection cases flood our first-level courts.ABanks, financial institutions and even ordinary creditors make use of our criminal law system as an agency for the collection of bounced checks. Because of this, it is not uncommon to find a trial court saddled with 6,000 pending cases of rubber checks [email protected]
(id.). 5. The automatic appeals to the Supreme Court of death penalties imposed by trial courts Anumber about 1,500 at present, and [email protected]
The High Tribunal cannot refuse appeals of criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. The total number of appeals pending in the Supreme Court involving death penalties, reclusion perpetua and life imprisonment is 3,000. (id.). 6. Apart from reviewing lower court decisions, the Supreme Court also handles appeals of decisions issued by other constitutional bodies like the Commission on Elections, Commission on Audit and the Ombudsman. (id.). 7. In addition to hearing and deciding judicial cases, the Supreme Court also adjudicates complaints against lower court magistrates and lawyers. Under the Constitution, it has administrative power over all courts and lawyers. (id.).
According to Justice Panganiban, the man-made delays are sourced from (1) the judges, (2) the litigants, or (3) the court officials supervising judges and other judicial personnel: 1. Some judges who are Aunfamiliar with the rules of procedure or evidence are unable to control proceedings in their salas, resulting in unnecessary recourse to higher courts, judt for the correction of simple [email protected]
For example, Aerroneous grants and denials of bail in capital offenses or erroneous dismissals due to simple lapses in procedure tend to unduly clog appellate dockets and delay the final disposition of the merits of the cases [email protected]
(id.). 2. Sometimes delays are caused by Alazy and inept, not to say corrupt, judges who frequently absent themselves from work, arrive in their salas late, or fail to issue orders and judgments within the reglementary [email protected]
(id.). 3. Also contributing to the delay in no small measure are the unfilled vacancies in the judiciary. About 33 percent of all trial court salas are vacant because of the lack of qualified applicants. ABrilliant, ethical and diligent lawyers oftentimes shun appointments as magistrates because of the pitifully low compensation and the sometimes unstable peace and order condition in outlying [email protected]
(id.). 4. The litigants themselves, particularly lawyers, also cause delays. They are able Ato use, misuse and [email protected]
the Rules of Court to defeat the very objective of our legal system which is
fair, speedy and adequate justice for all. AKnowing that their cases are weak, they resort to all sorts of dilatory tactics in the hope of tiring out, discouraging or bankrupting their [email protected]
(id.). Justice Panganiban has made the following recommendations to solve the problem of judicial delay: 1. Reforms in law schools, law school curricula, and bar examinations. - ALaw students must be well-prepared by law schools, which, in turn, must be manned by competent and dedicated professors and [email protected]
According to Justice Panganiban, the Supreme Court plans to set up a private foundation to recruit and adequately compensate full-time law professors who will teach in various law schools, as well as to provide scholarships to deserving but poor law students. The Court has created a standing Committee on Legal Education and a Study Group on Bar Reforms made up of retired justices to recommend changes in the admission of new lawyers. (id.). 2. The need to select the best and the brightest lawyers for appointment to the judiciary. - The Constitution mandates the Judicial and Bar Council to screen and then recommend applicants for judicial appointment by the President of the Philippines. AThe JBC has gone to great lengths, within its limited resources, to ensure the selection of qualified nominees, free of political [email protected]
After appointment to their respective posts, Ajudges still need continuing education, both intellectual and [email protected]
Hence, the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) was established by Republic Act No. 8557. It is headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera. It sponsors week-long seminars at its still-inadequate facilities in Tagaytay City. It needsAsome P500 Million to construct its physical plant and to enable it to conduct year-long judicial courses, not just short [email protected]
Incidentally, under the PHILJA charter (R.A. 8557), Aeffective January 1, 2001, applicants for appointment or promotion to the judiciary must, before being screened by the JBC, satisfactorily pass a PHILJA Pre-Judicature [email protected]
3. Judicial compensation must be rationalized and judicial fiscal independence preserved . - To rationalize judicial compensation, the judiciary needs to be Afreed from the Salary Standardization Law, which was intended mainly for officers and employees of the executive [email protected]
Further, there is a need toAaccord the judiciary real fiscal [email protected]
It may be realized by granting the Supreme Court Aa lumpsum appropriation of a fixed percentage of the national budget (say, two percent) to be allocated in detail, no longer by Congress, but by the Court [email protected]
The normal budgetary share of the judiciary is about one percent of the national budget. The Supreme Court has to Alobby yearly in Congress to be able to keep up with the price increases due to [email protected]
4. The need to look into the judicial disciplinary process. - From 1998 to 2000, the Supreme Court has dismissed Amore than 40 judges for corruption, gross misconduct, dishonesty and other serious [email protected]
It has also Asuspended or fined judges twice that number for lesser [email protected]
While an administrative case is pending, a judge is ineligible for promotion or retirement benefits. Low compensation and unduly long and strict disciplinary
process, Awherein both frivolous and meritorious complaints are treated [email protected]
, are debilitating to judges. (id.). In connection with the efforts of the Supreme Court to aggressively address the perceived corruption in the judiciary by ridding its ranks of corrupt, incompetent and inefficient members, Ismael G. Khan Jr., the assistant court administrator and chief public information officer of the Supreme Court, has reported that from 1999 until early2002, Aa total of 352 judges have already felt the wrath of the Supreme [email protected]
; and that during the said period, A22 had been dismissed from the service, including an associate justice of the Court of Appeals, 19 had been relieved or suspended, including two Sandiganbayan justices, 43 had been reprimanded, and 189 had been [email protected]
Khan added that the Supreme Court Agives no quarters in its fight against graft and corruption to purge the Bench and the Bar of abusive members because the Filipino people certainly deserve nothing less than a clean and efficient [email protected]
He further stated that Athe Supreme Court, through its Action Program for Judicial Reform (APJR), is actively pursuing farreaching measures to reform the judicial system so that it may function effectively to enhance the citizenry=s trust and confidence in the judicial system and its [email protected]
(Ismael G. Khan Jr., ASupreme Court Battling [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , July 29,2002, p.A10). Executive Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, in his article entitled AReforming Our Justice [email protected]
(The Philippine Star , March 13, 2002, page 6), had the occasion to share his views on the issues of judicial delay and corruption: A... For honor and integrity should be the bedrock of a public official=s character, much more in the courts and in particular the highest court. For true and honorable public servants are those who put character and virtue above lucre or loot, who cannot be bought or cowed, who stand for honor and principle at all time no matter how old fashioned or unpopular. In the Supreme Court and the lower courts, character must indeed go hand in hand with erudition and learning. For all of us here, the time is long overdue to clean up the judicial system=s augean stable and to put a stop to incompetents and crooks in the courts. ...To safeguard judicial appointments from lobbying that attends major political appointments, the 1987 Charter created a Judicial and Bar Council...whose principal function is to recommend nominees to the judiciary. (Sections 8 and 9, Article VIII, 1987 Constitution). ...Consider the World Bank Report (issued in late 2000), on the Philippines which notes that>there is widespread concern, domestically and internationally, that Philippine courts do a poor job of upholding the rule of law, and thereby debilitate efforts to improve development policy framework=. Two issues B in the World Bank=s view Bwarrant national attention: lengthy delays in resolving civil and criminal cases (the court backlog increased from about 300,000 in 1992 to about 650,000 cases in 1998); and>unpredictable results when a decision is finally reached=. ...Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty
and [email protected]
( Article XI, Accountability of Public Officers, 1987 Constitution. See also Art. VIII)[email protected]
At this point, perhaps it is useful to state the Alaw is a mystery to many [email protected]
This complex situation gave rise to the need to "popularize the law". In the 1980s the UP Law Center launched a series of "programs in legal literacy, street law, or practical law" in cooperation with women's non-governmental organizations (NGOs), student organizations, and the local barangays (barangay legal education seminars). Certain sectors of society have urged the Filipinization of the law (curriculum, textbooks, laws, court decisions). In other countries the popularization of laws in the native tongues was a normal rule, such as, for instance, in Indonesia where its national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is the official medium of instruction in law schools, and where "the enshrinement of customary law is part of the legal system". In the words of former Supreme Court Justice Irene Cortez, who once served as the dean of the UP College of Law: "Where law is written and taught in a foreign language, it becomes more esoteric, its concepts more difficult to assimilate and retain. If it is difficult for those who undergo the professional training for lawyers, it would be even more difficult for the ordinary citizen. There are those of us in the Philippines who have begun to give serious thought to using our own language in legal education". (Justice Irene R. Cortez, AEducation in the Law: Philippines Experience" in Coquia, Jose R. The Legal Profession. Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993ed., pp. 21-29). C. Economic Difficulties Faced by Filipino Law Practitioners
The Philippine economy is too small and undeveloped a market as to allow Filipino legal professionals, especially the solo law practitioners and small to medium law firms, to achieve and enjoy a truly progressive, prosperous and financially rewarding law practice on a level that produces the benefits of the economies of scale. Competition is fierce among urban-based solo practitioners and between and among small to medium law firms, on one hand, and the big full-service law firms, on the other, especially those located in Metro Manila and other major cities, like Cebu City in Visayas and Davao City in Mindanao. Inflationary pressures on overhead costs and related professional expenses of law firms and solo practitioners have compelled them to increase their professional fees such that even middleincome Filipinos in the cities can hardly afford to retain the legal services of city lawyers to serve the routine and special legal needs of their businesses, professions and families. (Based on the personal experience of the author as a private trial lawyer, law professor, director of the IBP Pasay Paranaque Las Pinas Muntinlupa [PPLM] Chapter, and convenor-president of the Las Pinas City Bar Association, considering the high law office overhead costs and case management costs at present, it appears that a Metro Manila-based solo practitioner=s or a small law firm=s current minimum billing at the trial court levelfor acceptance fee averages at P50,000.00 per case,which is normally paid in cash or paid on installment basis within 30 to 60 days from the date of engagement of the legal services of the lawyer or law firm, plus
anappearance fee, the current minimum amount of which averages at P3,000.00 per hearing, exclusive (a) of filing and docket fees and other incidental official court fees and assessments, which, incidentally, have likewise increased pursuant to the recent amendments to Rule 141 of the Revised Rules of Court adopted by the Supreme Court in 2000, and (b) an additional premium fee of 10 percent of the recovery in some instances,depending on the terms and conditions of the specific fee agreement with the client, e.g., where such a premium fee is justified and covenanted by the lawyer and the client because the case is perceived to be complex, novel or difficult, the case is controversial and might reduce the prospects of new business for the lawyer or law firm, the case involves a huge amount, the nature and results of the case are of great importance to the personal and business priorities of the client, the lawyer or law firm has a good reputation for wide experience, competence and excellence, or additional specialized support office staff and field personnel and costly equipment, technology or materials are expected to be utilized by the lawyer or law firm in the course of the legal representation). It appears that the Philippines, which has a population of roughly 80 million and about 41,500 lawyers, has a ratio of one lawyer for every 1,950 Filipinos, and that Metro Manila, which has a population of roughly 10 million and about 18,250 lawyers (representing 44.54 of all lawyers in the country), has a ratio of one lawyer for every 548 Filipinos. And yet it is morally anomalous and paradoxical that there are still certain rural towns and barangays in the Philippines, including those that may even be classified as>suburbs= of component cities in the provinces, notably those situated in Visayas and Mindanao, which are without any private law practitioner or private trial lawyer who could directly serve their day-to-day legal needs and litigation requirements, for which reason the people in such areas are constrained to rely heavily on the law personnel of the local trial courts, the local government units, and the provincial political and business leaders, for some form of limited assistance to fulfill such legal needs. It is noted that the presence of law and human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in these areas appears to be limited for lack of funds and personnel Bdespite the efforts of the private corporate sector to expand its financial support to such NGOs in line with the prevailing philosophy of Acorporate [email protected]
B unlike in the case of Metro Manila, Cebu City and Davao City where such presence is highly visible. The unspectacular economic performance of the Philippine economy at present and the currently anemic performance of the world economy and the Asian regional economy, which followed the devastating and widely publicized terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001, have aggravated the fierce competition among Filipino law professionals and have generally contributed to their diminished income due to reduced volume of legal business and increased overhead and operating costs. Moreover, the recently published Philippine economic data as of the end of the first quarter of 2002, infra, have been discouraging to the legal services sector (and to all economic sectors, for that matter). The prevailing domestic political instability, weak civil-service governance, communist and Muslim insurgency problem, kidnappings, high crime rate, lack of foreign investor confidence, poor physical and technological infrastructures, graft and corruption, labor unrest, unsatisfactory and inadequate delivery o f basic social services, economic oligarchy, inequitable wealth distribution, undeveloped middle class, huge foreign debt, and low purchasing power of Filipinos
due to widespread poverty have aggravated the economic problems being faced by selfemployed Filipino legal professionals. For instance, as of the end of the first quarter of 2002, published Philippine economic data showed that the national unemployment rate was 13.9 percent (4.87 million Filipinos out of a total labor force of 35.1 million); that the unemployment rate in Metro Manila was a 20.3 percent (equivalent to one million unemployed Filipinos in Metro Manila); that the national underemployment rate was 19.6 percent (equivalent to 5.9 million Filipinos); that the said high unemployment and underemployment rates occurreddespite a 3.8 percent growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the said quarter (showing that the national economy has failed to produce enough jobs for its rapidly expanding labor force, whose number of new entrants annually increases by about 600,000 considering our annual population growth rate of 2.3 percent, lending credit to the argument that the distribution of economic wealth in the country is skewed and inequitable due to the age-old concentration of corporate wealth and political influence in the hands of a very few multi-billionaire oligarchic families and their foreign partners); and that, for the said quarter, the services sector grew by 4.8 percent, the agriculture sector by 4.4 percent, and the industry sector by a 1.9 percent. (Doris Dumlao, A4.87M Filipinos Have No Jobs [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 18, 2002, page A2; Ted P. Torres, AGovernment to Cut Expenditures to Meet Budget Deficit [email protected]
, The Philippine Star , June 20, 2002, page B-1). The national government posted a budget deficit of P82.694 Billion in the first four months of 2002, around 64 percent of its full-year 2002 budget deficit target of P130 Billion; that the external debt of the country as of the end of the said quarter was US $53.4 Billion, 65.4 percent of which consisted of public sector debt; that although the balance of payment for the said quarter showed a surplus of US $2.157 Billion, a great part of which was actually attributable to dollar remittances from overseas Filipino workers, and that although the current account yielded a surplus of US $2.323 Billion and the gross international reserves reached nearly US $17.4 Billion, export receipts for the same period dropped by 6.4 percent and import receipts by 7.9 percent . (Doris C. Dumlao, AExternal Debt Up $1B to $53.4B in Q1", Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 22, 2002, p. B2; and Clarissa S. Batino, ABOP Surplus Posts Surplus of [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 22, 2002, p. B2). Although the National Statistics Office (NSO) has reported that the country=s key manufacturing output surged by 17 percent in April 2002 from a year ago to post the best performance in five years, reversing the 1.6 percent contraction recorded in March 2002 and suggesting a rebound in the industrial sector that was hit hard by the US-led global downturn in 2001, at the same time, the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) have reported that investments registered with their offices had plunged sharply in the first five months of 2002 as investor confidence in the country continued to wane. The BOI reported that registered investments dropped 64.26 percent to P11.81 Billion from January to May 2002 from P33.04 Billion during the same period in 2001. The PEZA had a bigger investment tally than the BOI registered during the period but this was 20.43 percent lower than the P18.6 Billion chalked up in 2001. (Doris C. Dumlao, AManufacturing Growth Hits 5-Year [email protected]
, Philippine Daily
Inquirer , June 28, 2002, page B1; Gil C. Cabacungan Jr., ABOI, PEZA Investments Down in First Five [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 28, 2002, page B1).
Loans extended by commercial banks grew by only 0.40 percent or P5.83 Billion in April 2002 from the previous month=s level. The P2.418 Trillion lent by banks in April 2002 was still 2.2 percent short of the P1.45 Trillion extended by banks in the same month of 2001. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has said that the banks= high level of soured loans was holding them back from lending more actively. The banks had to preserve their Aasset [email protected]
given their huge non-performing loans. The bad loans o f commercial banks as of April 2002 stood at 18.23 percent. Bank lending remained low despite the prevailing low rate environment brought about by the cut in the BSP=s overnight borrowing and lending rates in March 2002 to their 10-year lows of 7 percent and 9.25 percent, respectively. The BSP has also reported that the local industries= huge spare capacity, particularly in the manufacturing sector, curbed demand for fresh bank financing. The average capacity utilization by the manufacturing sector stood at 75.6 percent as of March 2002. (Clarissa S. Batino, ABanks Still Reluctant to [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 26, 2002, page B5). The world economic outlook for 2002-2003 does not appear to be dramatically encouraging, too. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has reported in June 2002 that the world economic recovery, while stronger than expected in January 2002, would be slow and uneven and could be set back by conflicts in the middle East and Asia. Helped by strong growth in a resurgent United States, the world=s economy would grow about 1.75 percent in 2002 and 3.25 percent in 2003. In2001 the world economy grew by only 1.3 percent, the lowest in a decade. The UN warned that recovery in 2002-2003 would not be as fast or widespread. It also reported that world trade, measured as the volume of exports across the world, would also recover in 2002, growing 2.25 percent in 2002 and 6 percent in 2003. It added that in terms of gross domestic product, developed countries could expect only modest recovery this year, while economies in transition would see continued lower growth rates. (Reuters, AGlobal Economic Recovery Will Be Slow, Uneven B [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 28, 2002, page B17). It is not surprising, therefore, that the results of a survey conducted in March-April 2002 by Pulse Asia showed that the number of Filipinos who wanted to migrate overseas had increased during the past decade and that one in very five Filipinos now wants to join the exodus because he sees no hope in the country, compared to 14 percent prior to June 2001. The impulse to migrate is stronger among the ABC socio-economic class (31 percent), compared to 12 percent in the poorest and least educated E class. The feeling of hopelessness is highest in Metro Manila at 26 percent, or 7 percentage points higher that the national average. This despite the good news that the inflation rate in the country averaged at 3.6 percent in the first five months of 2002, which was well within the target of 4.5 to 5.5 percent for the year. (Editorial, Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 27, 2002, page A6; Clarissa S. Batino,ABSP Expects June Inflation to Remain Stable at 3.4 - 3.7%@, Philippine Daily Inquirer , July 5, 2002, p. B5). In May-June 2001 Prof. J. V. Abueva of the University of the Philippines published the findings of a survey he had conducted in November 2001. One important result stood out in that survey. A high percentage of Filipinos (43 percent) disagreed with the statement that they are satisfied with the way democracy works in the country, with only 34 percent agreeing. While 72 percent
of the respondents agreed that democracy Ais the best political system in all [email protected]
, 72 percent also were concerned about Athe possibility that Filipinos will completely lose faith in peaceful means of promoting [email protected]
After two EDSAs (people power revolts) and four post-Marcos presidents, AFilipinos are still [email protected]
(Id.). It is estimated that there are about 7.4 million Filipinos living overseas, either as contract workers or permanent migrants. (Id.). The Commission on Filipino Overseas has reported that, according to its 2000 survey, there were 4.8 million Filipinos deployed overseas. Close to 2,500 Filipinos leave the country everyday to seek employment or to migrate elsewhere, according to the Department of Labor and Employment. They have become a big source of foreign exchange for the country. In 2001, they remitted some US $6.2 Billion into the country. Because of the inability of the local economy to absorb its huge labor force, the Philippine Government appears to have encouraged the export of Philippine labor, despite the social costs. ( AAsia Pulse Survey 19% of Pinoys Want to Leave, Says RP [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 26, 2002, page 1). On the same day that the foregoing statistics appeared in the newspapers, 63 Filipinos were being deported back to the Philippines by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service for violation o f US immigration laws. (Tonette Orejas, ASad Homecoming for 63 Filipinos Deported by [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , page 1). The Commission on Population (POPCOM) has reported that the present population of the Philippines is 80 million and that 32 million (40 percent) thereof are considered poor, that is, earning less than P38.00 a day, the poverty threshold set by the government. (APopcom Report: RP Population Hits 80M; 32M are [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , July 5, 2002, pp. A1, 19). A survey conducted in May-June 2002 by the Social Weather Station (SWS) showed that only one out of three Filipinos was satisfied with the way democracy was working in the country. The 35 percent satisfaction rating was the lowest since the SWS started monitoring in 1992 the people=s satisfaction with the workings of Philippine democracy. The survey showed, however, that 74 percent of the respondents said they were Avery [email protected]
to be Filipinos, up from 68 percent in March 2002, and 91 percent said they would still choose to be Filipino citizens even if given the chance to choose their nationality. (Blanche S. Rivera, AOnly 1 of 3 Pinoys Satisfied with RP Democracy B [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , July 5, 2002, p. A1, 19). In the long run, the Filipinos= ambivalent, low, self-defeating perception of themselves and of the Philippine democracy and economy will show their demoralizing and injurious socio psychological and political implications to the legal profession, the rule of law and the administration of justice in the country. D. The Internet and the Filipino Lawyer 1. Poor Presence in the Internet
Despite the passage of the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (E-Commerce Act) and the 2001 Rules of Electronic Evidence, the Philippine legal profession appears to lag behind its counterpart in America insofar as the use of and investment in modern information and communication technology, law software and the Internet are concerned in effectively marketing
its services to Filipino and international consumers of legal services, improving the internal operations, case management systems and document and information database systems of Philippine law firms, developing a body of cost-effective, systematic, speedy, accountable, transparent and responsive litigation management practices, and providing the general public with transactional or interactive pro bono and speedy legal advice and assistance through the modern information superhighway. The Philippine Government apparently has a poor presence in the Internet, which is an effective, cost-effective and modern technological tool to reach the people, render prompt services and information, and improve transparency, accountability and responsiveness in public administration. It must be remembered that the National Government, being the main producer, source,disseminator, evaluator, custodian , implementor and protector of the law, must take the lead in the optimal use of modern information and communication technology (ICT) in line with the philosophy of good, accountable, and transparent governance and as a major facet of its constitutionally mandated mission to promote the rule of law and the administration of justice in the country. Under the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, the three branches of Government were given two years from the passage of the law Ato install an electronic online network, the RPWeb and a domestic internet exchange system to implement the shift to electronic technology...so that they would all be linked to one another for greater coordination and [email protected]
(Belinda OlivaresCunanan,AGovernment Offices Way Below Par in [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 3, 2002, p. A9). A survey conducted by the National Computer Center in 2001 revealed that Athere were still 112 our of 399 national government agencies with no Web presence [email protected]
An independent study made in April 2002 by the Digital Phils., Inc. on E-Government in the Philippines revealed Athat of the 140 national government web sites examined, there was no transactional government website; that 14 percent or 20 of the web sites were unreachable; and that only 19 percent or 27 could be considered [email protected]
(id.). 2. E-Courts
It has been reported in 2000 that as part of the vision of the Supreme Court to improve the performance of the judiciary, it was exploring the idea of applying for a World Bank loan to finance the construction of halls of justice in the Philippine municipalities and cities, install modern information and communication technology in the courts, and other judicial reforms, provided, that the conditionalities thereof would not compromise theindependence of the judiciary. (Donna S. Cueto, AHigh Court Eyes WB [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , March 13, 2000, page 7). Assigned to liaison with the World Bank and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for the purpose was Justice Artemio V. Panganiban. (Id.). It has been reported, too, that by 2005 the Supreme Court shall have adopted and installed technological innovations and equipment in the lower courts:
1. Voice or speech recognition, whereby in place of stenography, software and hardware that recognize spoken words converting them into printable or electronic format will be used instead; 2. Electronic data interchange or paperless communication, where orders and writs, as well as pleadings, will be electronically exchanged a mong the courts, lawyers and parties; 3. Electronic information kiosks, wherein case-calendaring will be made available via the Internet, which displays terminals installed in public places like city halls, malls and houses of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and 4. Video teleconferencing, whereby detention prisoners, physically handicapped witnesses or victims of psychologically wounding crimes will be shielded from the trauma of courtroom appearances. (id.). In the early part of 2002 it was reported that Apilot electronic courts (or Aecourts)@ would be set up by the Supreme Court by the middle of the year. ( Philippine Daily Inquirer , February 18, 2002, p. A7). One pilot electronic court would be set up in the cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Caloocan, Quezon, and Cebu. The features of the e-courts would include: a) computer-aided transcription machines; b) video rooms; c) trial court websites; and d) computer link-up to the Supreme Court.It was envisioned that lawyers and litigants would be able to visit the websites of the pilot e-courts to download copies of decisions, orders, and transcripts of the cases pending with the e-courts. The initial budget for the pilot project was P20 Million, one-half of which would come from the Countryside Development Fund (CDF) of Sen.Aquilino Pimentel. To date, no implementing rules have been issued yet by the Supreme Court on the Aelectronic [email protected]
of pleadings with the proposed e-courts. (id.). 3.
E-Commerce Act of 2000
Republic Act No. 8792 (Electronic Commerce Act of 2000; or AECA 2000") declares the following state policy: Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. - The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology (ICT) in nation-building; the need to create an information-friendly environment which supports and ensures the availability, diversity and affordability of ICT products and services; the primary responsibility of the private sector in contributing investments and services in telecommunications and information technology; the need to develop, with appropriate training programs and institutional policy changes, human resources for the information technology age, a labor force skilled in the use of ICT and a population capable of operating and utilizing electronic appliances and computers; its obligation to facilitate the transfer and promotion of adaptation technology, to ensure network security, connectivity and neutrality of technology for the national benefit; and the need to marshal, organize and deploy national information infrastructures, comprising in both telecommunications network and strategic information services, including their interconnection to the global information networks, with the necessary and appropriate legal, financial, diplomatic and technical framework, systems and facilities.
ECA 2000 provides that Ainformation shall not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the grounds that it is in the data message purporting to give rise to such legal effect, or that it is merely referred to in that electronic data [email protected]
(Sec. 6). It accords legal enforceability to electronic documents by providing that Aelectronic documents shall have the legal effect, validity or enforceability as any other document or legal writing, and (a) Where the law requires a document to be in writing, that requirement is met by an electronic document if the said electronic document maintains its integrity and reliability and can be authenticated so as to be usable for subsequent reference, in that (i) The electronic document has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any endorsement and any authorized change, or any change which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display; and (ii) The electronic document is reliable in the light of the purpose for which it was generated and in the light of all the relevant circumstances. (b) Paragraph (a) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the document not being presented or retained in its original form. (c) Where the law requires that a document be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an electronic document if (i) There exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the document from the time when it was first generated in its final form; and (ii) That document is capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to be presented: Provided, That no provision of this Act shall apply to vary any and all requirements of existing laws on formalities required in the execution of documents for their [email protected]
(Sec. 7). For evidentiary purposes, Aan electronic document shall be the functional equivalent of a written document under existing [email protected]
(Id.; see also the 2001 Rules of Electronic Evidence,downloadable from www.supremecourt.gov.ph). The law provides that Aan electronic signature on the electronic document shall be equivalent to the signature of a person on a written document if that signature is proved by showing that a prescribed procedure, not alterable by the parties interested in the electronic document, existed under which (a) A method is used to identify the party sought to be bound and to indicate said party=s access to the electronic document necessary for his consent or approval through the electronic signature;
(b) Said method is reliable and appropriate for the purpose for which the electronic document was generated or communicated, in the light of all the circumstances, including any relevant agreement; (c) It is necessary for the party sought to be bound, in order to proceed further with the transaction, to have executed or provided the electronic signature; and (d) The other party is authorized and enabled to verify the electronic signature and to make the decision to proceed with the transaction authenticated by the [email protected]
(Sec. 8). It provides that: A(1) Where the law requires information to be presented or retained in its original form, that requirement is met by an e lectronic data message or electronic document if: (a) the integrity of the information from the time when it was first generated in its final form, as an electronic data message or electronic document is shown by evidence aliunde or otherwise; and (b) where it is required that information be presented, that the information is capable of being displayed to the person to whom it is to be presented. (2) Paragraph (1) applies whether the requirement therein is in the form of an obligation or whether the law simply provides consequences for the information not being presented or retained in its original form. (3) For the purposes of subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1): (a) the criteria for assessing integrity shall be whether the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the addition of any endorsement and any change which arises in the normal course of communication, storage and display; and
(b) the standard of reliability required shall be assessed in the light of the purpose for which the information was generated and in the light of all relevant circumstances @. (Sec. 10). Section 11 of the Act provides: AThe person seeking to introduce an electronic data message and electronic document in any legal proceeding has the burden of proving its authenticity by evidence capable of supporting a finding that the electronic data message and electronic document is what the person claims it to [email protected]
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, Athe integrity of the information and communication system in which an electronic data message or electronic document is recorded or stored may be established in any legal proceeding (a) By evidence that at all material times the information and communication system or other similar device was operating in a manner that did not affect the integrity of the electronic data
message and/or electronic document, and there are no other reasonable grounds to doubt the integrity of the information and communication system; (b) By showing that the electronic data message and/or electronic document was recorded or stored by a party to the proceedings who is adverse in interest to the party using it; or (c) By showing that the electronic data message and/or electronic document was recorded or stored in the usual and ordinary course of business by a person who is not a party to the proceedings and who did not act under the control of the party using the [email protected]
(Sec. 11). In any legal proceedings, Anothing in the application of the rules on evidence shall deny the admissibility of an electronic data message or electronic document in evidence a. on the sole ground that it is in electronic form; or b. on the ground that it is not in the standard written form and electronic data message or electronic document meeting, and complying with the requirements under Sections 6 or 7 hereof shall be the best evidence of the agreement and transaction contained [email protected]
(Sec. 12). In assessing the evidential weight of an electronic data message or electronic document, Athe reliability of the manner in which it was generated, stored or communicated, the reliability of the manner in which its originator was identified, and other relevant factors shall be given due [email protected]
(Sec. 12). The requirement in any provision of law that certain documents be retained in their original form is satisfiedAby retaining them in the form of an electronic data message or electronic document which a. Remains accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference; firm b. Is retained in the format in which it was generated, sent or received, or in a format which can be demonstrated to accurately represent the electronic data message or electronic document generated, sent or received; c. Enables the identification of its originator and addressee, as well as the determination of the date and the time it was sent or [email protected]
(Sec. 13). Sections 27 and 28 of the Act regulate electronic transactions in Government: SEC. 27. Government Use of Electronic Data Messages, Electronic Documents and Electronic Signatures. - Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, within two (2) years from the date of the effectivity of this Act, all departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the government, as well as all government-owned and-controlled corporations, that pursuant to law require or accept the filing of documents, require that documents be created, or retained and/or submitted, issue permits, licenses or certificates of registration or approval, or provide for the method and manner of payment or settlement of fees and other obligations to the government, shall -
(a) accept the creation, filing or retention of such documents in the form of electronic data messages or electronic documents; (b) issue permits, licenses, or approval in the form of electronic data messages or electronic documents; (c) require and/or accept payments, and issue receipts acknowledging such payments, through systems using electronic data messages or electronic documents; or (d) transact the government business and/or perform governmental functions using electronic data messages or electronic documents, and for the purpose, areauthorized to adopt and promulgate, after appropriate public hearing and with due publication in newspapers of general circulation, the appropriate rules, regulations, or guidelines, to, among others, specify (1) the manner and format in which such electronic data messages or electronic documents shall be filed, created, retained or issued; (2) where and when such electronic data messages or electronic documents have to be signed, the use of a electronic signature, the type of electronic signature required; (3) the format of an electronic data message or electronic document and the manner the electronic signature shall be affixed to the e lectronic data message or electronic document; (4) the control processes and procedures as appropriate to ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic data messages or electronic documents or records or payments; (5) other attributes required of electronic data messages or electronic documents or payments; and (6) the full or limited use of the documents and papers for compliance with the government requirements: Provided, That this Act shall by itself mandate any department of the government, organ of state or statutory corporation to accept or issue any document in the form of electronic data messages or electronic documents upon the adoption, promulgation and publication of the appropriate rules, regulations, or [email protected]
ASEC. 28. RPWEB To Promote the Use Of Electronic Documents and Electronic Data Messages In Government and to the General Public. - Within two (2) years from the effectivity of this Act, there shall be installed an electronic online network in accordance with Administrative Order 332 and House of Representatives Resolution 890, otherwise known as RPWEB, to implement Part IV of this Act to facilitate the open, speedy and efficient electronic online transmission, conveyance and use of electronic data messages or electronic documents amongst all government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices down to the division level and to the regional and provincial offices as practicable as possible, government owned and controlled corporations, local government units, other public instrumentalities, universities, colleges and other schools, and universal access to the general public.
The RPWEB network shall serve as initial platform of the government information infrastructure (GII) to facilitate the electronic online transmission and conveyance of government services to evolve and improve by better technologies or kinds of electronic online wide area networks utilizing, but not limited to, fiber optic, satellite, wireless and other broadband telecommunication mediums or modes. To facilitate the rapid development of the GII, the Department of Transportation and Communications, National Telecommunications Commission and the National Computer Center are hereby directed to aggressively promote and implement a policy environment and regulatory or non-regulatory framework that shall lead to the substantial reduction of costs of including, but not limited to, lease lines, land, satellite and dial-up telephone access, cheap broadband and wireless accessibility by government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, government owned and controlled corporations, local government units, other public instrumentalities and the general public, to include the establishment of a government website portal and a domestic internet exchange system to facilitate strategic access to government and amongst agencies thereof and the general public and for the speedier flow of locally generated internet traffic within the Philippines. The physical infrastructure of cable and wireless systems for cable TV and broadcast excluding programming and content and the management thereof shall be considered as within the activity of telecommunications for the purpose of electronic commerce and to maximize the convergence of ICT in the installation of the [email protected]
Section 33 of the Act defines the punishable acts and the imposable penalties: (a) Hacking or cracking which refers to unauthorized access into or interference in a computer system/server or information and communication system; or any access in order to corrupt, alter, steal, or destroy using a computer or other similar information and communication devices, without the knowledge and consent of the owner of the computer or information and communications system, including the introduction of computer viruses and the like, resulting in the corruption, destruction, alteration, theft or loss of electronic data messages or electronic document shall be punished by a minimum fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and a maximum commensurate to the damage incurred and a mandatory imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years; (b) Piracy or the unauthorized copying, reproduction, dissemination, distribution, importation, use, removal, alteration, substitution, modification, storage, uploading, downloading, communication, making available to the public, or broadcasting of protected material, electronic signature or copyrighted works including legally protected sound recordings or phonogram or information material on protected works, through the use of telecommunication networks, such as, but not limited to, the internet, in a manner that infringes intellectual property rights shall be punished by a minimum fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) and a maximum commensurate to the damage incurred and a mandatory imprisonment of six (6) months to three (3) years;
(c) Violations of the Consumer Act or Republic Act No. 7394 and other relevant or pertinent laws through transactions covered by or using electronic data messages or electronic documents, shall be penalized with the same penalties as provided in those laws; (d) Other violations of the provisions of this Act, shall be penalized with a maximum penalty of one million pesos (P1,000,000.00) or six (6) years [email protected]
The data appearing in this section were provided by the office staff of Atty.Jaime Vibar, National Executive Director for Operations, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The author had requested Atty. Vibar to provide the author with statistics on the number of pending and adjudicated IBP administrative cases involving lawyers for unethical solicitation of cases or lawyers advertising, the copies of the minutes of the IBP committee that helped prepare the draft of the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility, the minutes of the meetings of the IBP National Board of Governors on the issue of law firm marketing and unethical lawyer advertising, opinion survey reports, if any, conducted by the IBP on the public perception of lawyers and the state of the Philippine legal profession and the Philippine justice system, but unfortunately the office of Atty. Vibar did not respond to the request of the aut hor.
Posted by Philippine Laws and Cases - Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr. at 7:46 PM Philippine Legal Profession _ part 2 Continuation of the excerpts from my 2000 Ll.M. thesis.
E. Legal Education of the Filipino Lawyer 1. Poor Pre-Law Education Assailed
It appears that there is so much to be desired in the quality of the high school and collegiate prelaw education of the Filipino lawyer. An indication of the low quality of pre-law education in the Philippines is the fact that the annual passing average in Philippine Bar Examinations is roughly 20 percent only (compared to about 70 percent in the USA). In a recent editorial, the Philippine Daily Inquirer commented on the poor state of high school and college education in the Philippines as follows: A...But colleges and universities are hobbled by the uneven and even sub-par quality of graduates of basic education. The problem has given rise to understandable calls for the
restoration of Grade 7 and short of that, the introduction of a pre-baccalaureate program either in high school or college that will winnow graduating high school students and sort them out either for full college program or a vocational-technical course. In some instances, the failure of the education department to come up with reforms to decisively address the problem of quality has given rise to calls in higher education to increase the number of educational units required for graduation, effectively adding another year to the regular fouryear college [email protected]
(Editorial - AFatal [email protected]
, Philippine Daily Inquirer , June 18, 2002, page A8). 2. History of Philippine Legal Education
Since the introduction by Spain of legal education in the Philippines in 1733, or 266 years ago, when the University of Santo Tomas opened its Faculty of Civil Law and a Faculty of Canon Law, the professional education of the Filipino lawyer has faced many challenges, questions and changes. Filled with the nationalistic confidence that the Filipinos themselves were prepared to educate their own future lawyers, the "Indios" of the ilustrado class, aspired to compete with the "Peninsulares" and the clergy from Spain,by establishing in 1898 the Universidad Literia Filipinas in Malolos, Bulacan which offered courses in law and notary public. In 1899 Don Felipe Calderon (author of the 1899 Malolos Constitution) founded the Escuela de Derecho de Manila, which in 1924 was renamed the Manila Law School. The Americans who replaced the Spaniards in 1899, imbued with the so-called "divine mission" to enlighten the "uneducated" Filipinos on the concepts of democracy and modern civilization, inspired the ilustrados to join them in the intellectual enlightenment of the natives. Thus, in 1910 the College of Law of the University of the Philippines opened with 50 Filipino and American students. The first dean was Justice Sherman Moreland of the Philippine Supreme Court. He was replaced by George A. Malcolm, who later became a Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court. Other law schools followed: Philippine Law School, 1915; University of Manila College of Law, 1918; Far Eastern University Institute of Law, 1934; Southern College of Law, 1935; Arellano Law College, 1938; and Francisco Law School, 1940. Under the First Philippine Commission (1899) and the Second Philippine Commission (1900), laws were passed requiring the inspection of private schools, e.g. Act No. 74, which created the Department of Public Instruction; Act No. 459, or the Corporation Law; Act No. 2706; Act No. 3075. Under the Commonwealth Government, C.A. No. 180 was passed which created the Office of Private Schools (later called the Bureau of Private Schools). After World War II,, R.A. No. 74 was passed providing additional budget for the supervision of private schools.
Under the present dispensation, the latest law on legal education is R.A. No. 7662, also known as the "Legal Education Reform Act of 1993", which, inter alia, created the Board of Legal Education (BLE). 3.
Legal Education Requirements
In 1911 the only educational requirements to be a lawyer were a high school degree (as pre-law degree) and a 3-year law course. Later the pre-law requirement was raised to two years of college work (associate in arts degree) in addition to a high school degree. In 1960, Sec. 6 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court was amended by the Supreme Court increasing the pre-law requirement to a 4-year bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) and increasing the law course to 4 years (Bachelor of Laws). This resulted in a dramatic decrease in law enrollment in 1960. For instance, at the University of the Philippines, from an enrollment of 196 students in 1959, it dropped to 28 in 1960. The University of the Philippines started the law aptitude test and interview by a screening committee as requirements for entry into its College of Law. In the 1960s to the 1980s the 4-year law course (Ll.B.) was made up of 122 units which emphasized the bar subjects listed in Sec. 6, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court: civil law, criminal law, remedial law, legal ethics and legal forms, commercial law, political law, tax law, labor law, public corporation and public officers, and international law. The course included non-bar subjects: legal history, legal bibliography, statutory construction, jurisprudence, trial techniques, thesis and legal research, legal medicine, and practice court. 4. Sources of Philippine Legal Education
The sources of Philippine legal education are (a) Spain, which gave it the Roman civil law and the canon law, (b) the United States, which gave it the English common law, and (c) Indonesia (thru the Majapahit Empire and the Shri Visaya Empire), which gave it the Islamic law. In 1988 the University of the Philippines launched a "core-elective curriculum" which allowed law students to enroll up to 20 percent of elective subjects. It hoped to lead to specialization in legal education. In 1989 the Department of Education, Culture and Sports adopted a revised model law curriculum for the 4-year Bachelor of Laws degree composed of 51 subjects (124 units) which took effect in 1990. It offered more subjects on the legal profession, legal ethics, legal counseling, legal research and legal writing. 5. Law Schools in the Philippines
From 1950 to 1960, 35 new law schools were opened. In 1972, there were 80 law schools in the country. In 1982 the number decreased to 45 law schools, 35 percent of which were located in Metro Manila. In the same year, there were 3 state-supported law schools:
University of the Philippines College of Law, Mindanao State University, and Don Mariano Marcos University College of Law. The law schools accreditation system proposed by the Standing Committee on Legal Education and Bar Administration of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is still pending with the Supreme Court for final action. In 1964 R.A. No. 3870 created the University of the Philippines Law Center to conduct continuing legal education programs and legal research and publications. 6. Legal Education Reform Act of 199 3
Under R.A. No. 7662 (Legal Education Reform Act of 1993), the focus of legal education are: advocacy, counseling, problem solving, decision making, ethics and nobility of the legal profession, bench-bar partnership, and social commitment, selection of law students, quality of law schools, the law faculty, and the law curriculum, mandatory legal apprenticeship, and continuing legal education. 7. The Crucial Role of the Law Teacher
The average law teacher is 51-55 years of age, married, male, with Bachelor of Laws degree as his highest degree, has been teaching for less than 10 years, has a load of 10 to 12 hours a week, teaches Civil Law, derives less than 5 percent of his income from law teaching, teaches in a private law school, and has not published. More than 80 percent of the law faculty is made up of part-time law teachers. They are underpaid even in a highly subsidized state university such as the University of the Philippines. "A person who embraces teaching as a career takes the vow of poverty". Despite the financial constraints that the law teacher faces, he plays a noble and important role in the training of future lawyers. And he has fundamental professional and ethical duties to fulfill: "xxx The law teachers to be effective must endeavor for deeper understanding of the law, thru research and reflection. Through critical study, they also identify emerging trends and areas for reform and contribute towards making law an instrument of social development. Law teachers must principally assume the critical and predictive functions in the legal profession xxx." 8. British Legal Education
In the case of United Kingdom, according to Prof. Thomas G. Lund, the requisites for admission to the English Bar are as follows: (a) "a test of general education (of approximately the same standard as that required for entry into a university)"; (b) "fulfilled certain conditions of fitness and respectability"; (c) "keep a certain number of terms (generally twelve, which now involves nothing more than dining in hall on a number of days in each term, 4 terms in a year"; (d) "pass a qualifying examination of a largely theoretical nature" ("the examination approximates to those for a university law degree, and Bar students frequently keep their terms while at the
university"); (e) as to citizenship, a barrister "may be of any nationality" while a solicitor "must be a British subject". The official association of the solicitors is "The Law Society", organized in 1823 by Royal Charter. Membership in the society is voluntary. In 1951, out of 22,000 solicitors, only 16,000 were members thereof. The society has been entrusted by the Parliament with many powers, obligations and duties with respect to the legal profession. The required legal education for a solicitor is as follows: (a) "to serve a period under articles of clerkship (or apprenticeship) with a solicitor engaged in the active practice of law" (the term is normally five years but is reduced to three years for university graduates, whether in law or arts); (b) "to pass a preliminary examination on general knowledge, an intermediate and a final examination in law and an examination in bookkeeping and trust accounts"; (c) before he can "enter into articles he must obtain the consent of the Law Society and must satisfy the Society of his character, suitability and fitness to do so". The clerk pays his principal a fee for clerkship, which in 1952 was 300 pounds. The management and control of examinations for solicitors were placed by the Parliament in the hands of the Law Society which was "empowered to make regulations governing the syllabus, the appointments of examiners, and other kindred matters. These regulations, however, must be approved by the Master of the Rolls, the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Chief Justice". Before taking the final examination, "the articled clerk must have attended a course of legal education at a school of law provided or approved by the Law Society". The required course of legal education is of one year's duration, either part-time at the approved law schools or full-time at the Law Society's School of Law. The license of the solicitor is renewed yearly by the Law Society. 9. Performance in the
Generally, between 20 to 25 percent of bar examinees pass the bar exams annually. A sample of the passing percentage is as follows: 1946, 19.39%; 1957, 19.85%; 1962, 19.39%; 1969, 28.00%; 1974, 35.02%; 1979, 49.51%; 1984, 22.55%; 1989, 21,26%; and 1991, 17.85%. The number of bar examinees has been increasing: 1973, 1,631; 1978, 1,890; 1983, 2,455; 1988, 2,824; and 1991, 3,196. In 1954, there were 14,000 Filipino lawyers; in 1977, 28, 000; and in 1992, 34,922. From 1946 to 1953, the passing percentage of most law schools was below the 50% level of the national passing percentage. The Philippine annual bar exams are administered every September by a committee created by the Supreme Court composed of one justice as chair and 8 lawyers, with a term of office of one year. The bar examinee must be at least 21 years of age, a Filipino citizen and a resident of the Philippines, of good moral character, has completed the required 4-year law course (Ll.B.) in a law school recognized by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (now by the Commission on Higher Education and the Board of Legal Education).
It seems that the 1960 rule imposed by the Supreme Court which required a 4-year pre-law AB or BS degree as a prerequisite for enrolling in the degree of Bachelor of Laws (Ll. B.) did not have a dramatic effect in increasing the passing rate of the annual bar examinations. For many decades up to the present, the average passing rate has ranged from 20 to 30 percent.(Coquia, Jose R. The Legal Profession. Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993, pp. 3, 81-82, 231-232). And it appears that the passing rate of a great majority of law schools in the Philippines is below 50 percent of the total number of their respective student-examinees. (id., p. 13). A Philippine jurist, Ernani Cruz Pano, has commented that Aalthough the bar examination is far from being a precise and accurate gauge of the effectiveness of legal education, the figures on bar examination results suggest an urgent need for reforms in legal [email protected]
(Ernani Cruz Pano, Judiciary and the Bar , Manila: Rex Book Store, 1995, p. 111). Of the 42 bar examinations conducted by the Supreme Court from 1946 to 1986, Ait was only in eleven bar examinations that more than one-half of the candidates [email protected]
In 31 bar examinations, the mortality rate was Amore than 50 [email protected]
From 1982 to 1986 the passing rate ranged from 18.8 percent (1986) to 26.69 percent (1985). (id.). In the 1986 bar examination, 60 law schools sent 2,600 candidates. Sixteen of the law schools failed to have any of their candidates pass the bar exam. Of the 2,600 candidates, 491 passed the bar exam (18.8 percent national passing rate). Of this number, 41 percent were from Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, and San Beda College of Law. The rest of the successful candidates were from 41 other law schools whose passing rate ranged from 2.63 percent to 28 percent. (id., p. 112). Pano recommends a review of the contents and coverage of the bar exams. He proposes the exclusion of taxation law and labor law from the exams and the increase of the number of units allotted for these subjects in the law curriculum. He recommends the appointment of bar examiners for a longer term, rather than the present ad hoc arrangement, to allow for much preparation. He proposes a consideration of the idea of establishing a quota system in the law profession, that is, the fixing of a limit on the number of candidates that a law school should send to the bar exams, proportionate to the number of successful examinees graduating from these schools. (id., p. 118). It is noteworthy to quote the comments of Justice Pano on the what the real purpose of the bar exams should be: AThere are sectors which doubt any connection between the results of bar examinations and the level of formal education; they question the effectiveness of bar examinations as an instrument to test professional competence and success in law practice. But everyone agrees that until a more effective method of law school supervision is devised, the bar examination provides stimulus to these schools to do their best in legal education. It is for the moment the only means by which the Supreme Court may check on the performance of these law schools. xxxx.
One may then view the bar examination either as a necessary evil or an inevitable compromise, but it is here definitely to stay for a while. It would then be useless to argue that legal education should not be >bar oriented=. The law student must be able to pass the scrutiny of the examiner appointed by the Supreme Court to test the proficiency and capacity of the law student aspiring for admission to the bar. Legal educators agree that the bar examinations should not merely be conducted for the purpose of testing information, memory or experience. The computer would be better lawyers if the gauge of admission would be the capacity to store information and the possession of a photographic memory. The law student is also without any experience to be tested. Rather, the bar examination should test the candidate=s ability to reason logically, to analyze accurately the problems presented to him and to exhibit a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of law and their application. xxx. Is this task being performed by our law schools? Judging on the results of the bar examinations, it would appear that except for perhaps three or even five law schools, the rest have failed miserably in developing among its students the needed orientation, language capacity, analytical proficiency and the capacity to pass judgments which would enable the students to pass the bar examination and be professionally competent in law [email protected]
(Id ., pp. 112-114). The relevant provisions of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court on bar examinations and admission to the Bar are reproduced below: ASec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar . C Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines. Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the U nited States of America. C Citizens of the United States of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after taking the following oath of office:
I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct
myself as a lawyer according to the best of may knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well as to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God. Sec. 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions. C Applicants for admission who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit court of appeals or district court therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States, and who can show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five years in any of said courts, that such practice began before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without examination. Sec. 5. Additional requirements for other applicants. C All applicants for admission other than those referred to in the two preceding section shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and further evidence may be required by the court. No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examinations unless he has satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics. Sec. 6. Pre-Law. C No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor's degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science, logic, english, spanish, history and economics. Sec. 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications. C All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of the examination. If not embraced within section 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same period the affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked, and certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to their age, residence, and citizenship. Sec. 8. Notice of A pplications. C Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in Pilipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days before the beginning of the examination.
Sec. 9. Examination; subjects. C Applicants, not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public Officers); International Law (Private and Public); Taxation; Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (in Pleadings and Conveyancing). Sec. 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing . C Persons taking the examination shall not bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee. Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone. Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to read his answers without much loss of time., the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used. The committee of bar examiner shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral examination shall be given. Sec. 11. Annual examination. C Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be disignated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners. The subjects shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon). Sec. 12. Committee of examiners. C Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall act as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year, and eight members of the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The names of the members of this committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports. Sec. 13. Disciplinary measures. C No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance. The candidate who violates this provisions, or any other provision of this rule, shall be barred from the examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and further disciplinary action, including permanent disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the court. Sec. 14. Passing average. C In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subjects. In determining the average, the subjects in the
examination shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law; 10 per cent: Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent. Sec. 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers. C Not later than February 15th after the examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its report on the result of such examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with the clerk and may there be examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report. Sec. 16. Failing candidates to take review course. C Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show the satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school. The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule shall certify under oath that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular [email protected]
(Rule 138, Rev. Rules of Court). 10. 1989 Survey by the
of Higher Education
In 1988-1989 the Bureau of Higher Education (which was replaced by the Commission on Higher Education) conducted a survey of law schools in the Philippines to evaluate the quality and state of legal education in the country. It was funded by the Asia Foundation. (Bureau of Higher Education,State of Legal Education in the Philippines, 1989. Manila: Department of Education, Culture and Sports, 111 pp.). The survey had influenced the adoption of the Legal Education Reform Act of 1993 (R.A. No. 7662). The respondents included 57 law deans, 360 law faculty members, 3,036 students, and 365 law graduates. It concluded that Athe quality of instruction given by the law schools leaves much to be [email protected]
It proposed future analytical study of the law students, the law faculty, the validity and reliability of the bar examinations, and a comparative study of law schools. In 1989 there were almost 20,000 law students. There were 40 law schools distributed as follows: Metro Manila, 16; Central Visayas, 8; West Visayas, 4; East Visayas, 4; Bicol, 4; Southern Mindanao, 4. (at p. 3). Almost one-half of all law schools were situated in Metro Manila and Cebu. The survey found that 70.28 percent of the law faculty members were practicing lawyers; that 51.67 percent of the faculty had four to six years of teaching experience; that 50.83 percent had no formal training in teaching methods; that the number one teaching method used was the recitation method, followed by lecture method; that 54.72 percent did not give out written course syllabi to students; that 69.17 percent were not revising/updating their syllabi; that 85
percent of the faculty were males; that 49.72 percent was between 45 to 49 years old; that 89.72 percent took their Ll. B. degree in private law schools; and that the pre-law degree of 65.28 percent faculty was in the field of social sciences. The survey studied the admission policies of law schools. It discovered that 29.6 percent of law schools based their admission solely on interviews of the students and that 17.58 percent considered the pre-law grades of the students. The survey described the profile of a law student as follows: that 55.77 percent of law students were between the ages 25 and 29; that 62.91 percent were male; that 59.29 percent were single; that 44.56 percent finished a degree in social sciences and 30.73 percent in business; that 86.63 percent took their pre-law in private schools; that 62.25 percent were working; that 43.05 percent owned textbooks in all subjects; that 94 percent of law students were enrolled in private law schools; that 50 percent of the students were enrolled in Metro Manila; that the national survival rate at law schools was 36 percent and 50.82 percent in Metro Manila; that 40.70 percent of law graduates were from Metro Manila; The survey established that from 1978 to 1987 the average passing rate in the bar examinations was 31.15 percent; that the average passing rate of the University of the Philippines for the period was 77.32 percent; that the average passing rate of private law schools for the period was 27.13 percent; and that the common reasons given by respondents for failure in the bar examinations were English language deficiency, poor preparation, inadequate pre-bar review, lack of pre-bar review materials, poor teaching methods, absenteeism of faculty, extensive coverage of the bar exams, and the grading system of the bar exams. The survey commented on the law schools and the law faculty as follows: ALawyers are not professionally trained to be teachers and most likely, are not imbued with the mission for teaching. In all probability, they have diverse motivations for joining the ranks of teachers, ranging from the materialistic to the idealistic. Law deans seem to have supervisory problems with faculty who regard teaching not as a mission but merely as a additional source of income. It is a fact that almost all law schools are staffed by part-time faculty, who are either active in practicing the law profession or are employed on a full-time basis in private or government agencies. They cannot devote much time to their responsibilities as teachers, such as syllabi preparation, conferences with students having academic problems, and other duties which they leave to the administration to handle. Because of their tight schedule, the part-time faculty excuse themselves from faculty meetings and the usual assignments given to full-time faculty. In view of the part-time status of most law faculty, as well as their apparent independence from certain administrative expectations and requirements, law school deans are constrained from undertaking a program of faculty development. Considering the type of law faculty and their heavy schedules in their regular jobs it does not seem possible to have law faculty participate in
faculty development programs, except in short in-service training programs to enhance their teaching competencies. Due to time constraints, administrators and law faculty do not have enough opportunities for developing ideal relationships between them. Contacts are few and often are confined to general faculty assemblies and big university functions which do not allow for close [email protected]
(id., pp. 78-79). F. Continuing Legal Education 1. Few are Active Practitioners
In a 1976 survey among lawyers conducted by the UP Law Center, it was discovered that only 23.4 percent were engaged in active private practice and that the rest were either employed in the government (32.2 percent) or private sector (38.6 percent). In 1962, 25 percent of lawyers were in active private practice. It appears that only one out of every five Filipino lawyers is actively engaged in private law practice and that the rest are employed either in the government or in the private sector or an engaged in private business. Most of the practitioners are located in the cities and are mostly solo practitioners or belong to small to medium law firms. In a 1982 survey conducted by the UP Law Center, it was established that 55 percent of Filipino lawyers were employed with the government. Of those in private practice, 78 percent were based in Metro Manila; all in all, 89 percent of lawyers were based in major cities throughout the Philippines; and 18 percent of the respondents was made up of independent (solo) practitioners, 7 percent were employed in law firms, and 7 percent was employed in private companies. (Manuel Bonifacio and Merlin M. Magallona, "Survey Of the Legal Profession", in Coquia, supra, pp. 308-353). Sixty-eight (68) percent of the respondent-lawyers felt that their legal training in law school was Anot [email protected]
Ninety-seven (97) percent recommended continuing legal education (CLE) for all law practitioners. But the subject of legal ethics occupied only the fifth rank among the various subjects that the respondents recommended for inclusion in the CLE programs. The top ranks for the CLE subjects the respondents recommended pertained to pragmatic, trial-oriented, and business-related subjects. (id .). 2. Law is Complex
Law practice is complex and it requires specialization. Under the martial law regime alone (1972-June 12, 1978), there were 1,473 presidential decrees, 708 letters of instructions, and 62 general orders. As of the end of 1911, under the regime of the Philippine Commission, there were 2,092 statutes. As of the end of 1970, there were 10,078 statutes (Republic Acts [RAs], Philippine Commission Acts [Acts], Commonwealth Acts [CAS]). The figures excluded local ordinances and administrative rules and regulations. 3.
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
Bar Matter No. 850, promulgated by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2000 and amended on October 2, 2001, contains the Rules on the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The rules were recommended by the IBP, endorsed by the Philippine Judicial Academy, and reviewed and passed upon by the Supreme Court Committee on Legal Education. The rules took effect on September 15, 2000, following its publication in two newspapers of general circulation. The MCLE Committee of the Supreme Court, assisted by the IBP national office, implements and evaluates this national activity. ( Bar Matter No. 850, Sec. 2, Rule 2).
Continuing legal education is now required of all Filipino lawyers (IBP members) to ensure that throughout their career, they keep abreast with law and jurisprudence, maintain the ethics of the profession and enhance the standards of the practice of law. ( Id ., Sec. 1, Rule 1). Members of the IBP not exempt under Rule 7 of the Rules shall complete every three (3) years at least thirty-six (36) hours or credit units of continuing legal education activities approved by the MCLE Committee. Of the 36 hours: (a) At least six (6) hours shall be devoted to legal ethics equivalent to six (6) cred it units. (b) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to trial and pretrial skills equivalent to four (4) credit units. (c) At least five (5) hours shall be devoted to alternative dispute resolution equivalent to five (5) credit units. (d) At least nine (9) hours shall be devoted to updates on substantive and procedural laws, and jurisprudence equivalent to nine (9) credit units. (e) At least four (4) hours shall be devoted to legal writing and oral advocacy equivalent to four (4) credit units. (f) At least two (2) hours shall be devoted to international law and international conventions equivalent to two (2) credit units. (g) The remaining six (6) hours shall be devoted to such subjects as may be prescribed by the MCLE Committee equivalent to six (6) credit units. ( Id., Sec. 2, Rule 2). Members may participate in any legal education activity wherever it may be available to earn credit unit toward compliance with the MCLE requirement. (Id ., Sec. 2, Rule 3). Please see Figure 2, infra, for the list of the accredited MCLE service providers as of March 2002 (cf.www.ibp.org.ph, website of the IBP national office). Credit units are either participatory or non-participatory. (Bar Matter No. 850, Sec. 1, Rule 5). Participatory credit units may be claimed for:
(a) Attending approved education activities like seminars, conferences, conventions, symposia, in-house education programs, workshops, dialogues or rou nd table discussion. (b) Speaking or lecturing, or acting as assigned panelist, reactor, commentator, resource speaker, moderator, coordinator or facilitator in appro ved education activities. (c) Teaching in a law school or lecturing in a bar review class. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 5). Non-participatory credit units may be claimed per compliance period for: (a) Preparing, as an author or co-author, written materials published or accepted for publication, e.g., in the form of an article, chapter, book, or book review which contribute to the legal education of the author member, which were not prepared in the ordinary course of the member=s practice or employment. (b) Editing a law book, law journal or legal newsletter. (Id ., Sec. 3, Rule 5). The following members of the Bar are exempt from the MCLE requirement: (a) The President and the Vice President of the Philippines, and the Secretaries and Undersecretaries of Executive Departments; (b) Senators and Members of the House of Representatives; (c) The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, incumbent and retired members of the judiciary, incumbent members of the Judicial and Bar Council and incumbent court lawyers covered by the Philippine Judicial Academy program of continuing judicial education; (d) The Chief State Counsel, Chief State Prosecutor and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of Justice; (e) The Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitors General; (f) The Government Corporate Counsel, Deputy and Assistant Government Corporate Counsel; (g) The Chairmen and Members of the Constitutional Commissions; (h) The Ombudsman, the Overall Deputy Ombudsman, the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman; (i) Heads of government agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions; (j) Incumbent deans, bar reviewers and professors of law who have teaching experience for at least ten (10) years in accredited law schools;
(k) The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Corps of Professors and Professorial Lecturers of the Philippine Judicial Academy; and (l) Governors and Mayors. (Id ., Sec. 1, Rule 7). The following Members of the Bar are likewise exempt: (a) Those who are not in law practice, private or public. (b) Those who have retired from law practice with the approval of the IBP Board of Governors. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 7). A member may file a verified request setting forth good cause for exemption (such as physical disability, illness, post graduate study abroad, proven expertise in law, etc.) from compliance with or modification of any of the requirements, including an extension of time for compliance, in accordance with a procedure to be established by the MCLE Committee. (Id., Sec. 3, Rule 7). Subject to the implementing regulations that may be adopted by the MCLE Committee, continuing legal education program may be granted approval in either of two (2) ways: (1) the provider of the activity is an accredited provider and certifies that the activity meets the criteria of Section 2 of this Rule; and (2) the provider is specifically mandated by law to provide continuing legal education. ( Id., Sec. 1, Rule 8). All continuing legal education activities must meet the following standards: (a) The activity shall have significant current intellectual or practical content. (b) The activity shall constitute an organized program of learning related to legal subjects and the legal profession, including cross profession activities (e.g., accounting-tax or medical-legal) that enhance legal skills or the ability to practice law, as well as subjects in legal writing and oral advocacy. (c) The activity shall be conducted by a provider with adequate professional experience. (d) Where the activity is more than one (1) hour in length, substantive written materials must be distributed to all participants. Such materials must be distributed at or before the time the activity is offered. (e) In-house education activities must be scheduled at a time and location so as to be free from interruption like telephone calls and other d istractions. (Id ., Sec. 2, Rule 8). Accreditation of providers shall be done by t he MCLE Committee. (Id ., Sec. 1, Rule 9). Any person or group may be accredited as a provider for a term of two (2) years, which may be renewed, upon written application. All providers of continuing legal education activities, including in-house providers, are eligible to be accredited providers. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 9).
Each IBP member shall secure from the MCLE Committee a Compliance Card before the end of his compliance period. He shall complete the card by attesting under oath that he has complied with the education requirement or that he is exempt, specifying the nature of the exemption. Such Compliance Card must be returned to the Committee not later than the day after the end of the member=s compliance period. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 11). Each member shall maintain sufficient record of compliance or exemption, copy furnished the MCLE Committee. The record required to be provided to the members by the provider pursuant to Section 38 of Rule 9 should be a sufficient record of attendance at a participatory activity. A record of non-participatory activity shall also be maintained by the member, as referred to in Section 3 of Rule 5. (Id ., Sec. 2, Rule 11). The following shall constitute non-compliance by the IBP members: (a) Failure to complete the education requirement within the compliance period; (b) Failure to provide attestation of compliance or exemption; (c) Failure to provide satisfactory evidence of compliance (including evidence of exempt status) within the prescribed period; (d) Failure to satisfy the education requirement and furnish evidence of such compliance within sixty (60) days from receipt of non-compliance notice; (e) Failure to pay non-compliance fee within the prescribed period; (f) Any other act or omission analogous to any of the foregoing or intended to circumvent or evade compliance with the MCLE requirements. ( Id., Sec. 1, Rule 12). Members failing to comply will receive a Non-Compliance Notice stating the specific deficiency and will be given sixty (60) days from the date of notification to file a response clarifying the deficiency or otherwise showing compliance with the requirements. Such notice shall contain the following language near the beginning of the notice in capital letters: IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE MCLE REQUIREMENT BY (INSERT DATE 60 DAYS FROM DATE OF NOTICE), YOU SHALL BE LISTED AS A DELINQUENT MEMBER AND SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ADEQUATE PROOF OF COMPLIANCE IS RECEIVED BY THE MCLE COMMITTEE. Members are given sixty (60) days to respond to a Non-Compliance Notice may use this period to attain the adequate number of credit units for compliance. Credit units earned during this period may only be counted toward compliance with the prior compliance period requirement unless units in excess of the requirement are earned, in which case the excess may be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement. (Id., Sec. 2, Rule 12)
A member who, for whatever reason, is in non-compliance at the end of the compliance period shall pay a non-compliance fee. (Id., Sec. 1, Rule 13) A member who fails to comply with the requirements after the sixty (60) day period for compliance has expired, shall be listed as a delinquent member of the IBP upon the recommendation of the MCLE Committee. The investigation of a member for non-compliance shall be conducted by the IBP=s Commission on Bar Discipline as a fact-finding arm of the MCLE Committee.( Id., Sec. 2, Rule 13). Membership fees shall continue to accrue at the active rate against a member during the period he/she is listed as a delinquent member. (Id., Sec. 3, Rule 13). The involuntary listing as a delinquent member shall be terminated when the member provides proof of compliance with the MCLE requirement, including payment of non-compliance fee. A member may attain the necessary credit units to meet the requirement for the period of noncompliance during the period the member is on inactive status. These credit units may not be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement. Credit units earned during the period of non-compliance in excess of the number needed to satisfy the prior compliance period requirement may be counted toward meeting the current compliance period requirement. ( Id., Sec. 1, Rule 14). The termination of listing as a delinquent member is administrative in nature AND it shall be made by the MCLE Committee. (Id ., Sec. 2, Rule 14). Figure 2 List of MCLE Service Providers as of March 2002
MandatoryContinuingLegalEducation MCLE LIST OF ACCREDITED PROVIDERS as of March 2002 Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz Offices (ACCRA Law) ACCRA Building, 122 Gamboa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati ADDRESS City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Francis Ed. Lim - Senior Partner TELEPHONE 830-8000 TELEFAX NUMBER 816-0119 / 812-4897 APPLICATION DATE 2001-09-28 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-27 Angeles City Lawyers League, Inc. ADDRESS 1282 Miranda Street, 2009 Angeles City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Ricardo Bermudo - President, (ACLL) TELEPHONE (045) 888-3736 TELEFAX NUMBER (045) 332-3306
APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-16 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-15 Arellano Law Foundation Inc. ADDRESS Menlo & Donado Sts. Corner Taft Avenue, Pasay City CONTACT PERSON Mr. Mariano Magsalin Jr. - Executive Director TELEPHONE 521-4690 / 510-2856 to 57 TELEFAX NUMBER 521-4691 APPLICATION DATE 2001-10-29 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-10-28 Ateneo de Manila School of Law Center for Continuing Legal Education ADDRESS Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Camilo Miguel Montesa - Executive Director TELEPHONE 899-7691 to 96 loc. 2310/2311 TELEFAX NUMBER 899-7697 APPLICATION DATE 2001-08-24 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-08-23 Bureau of Internal Revenue BIR National Office Building, BIR Road, East Triangle, Diliman, ADDRESS Quezon City Atty. Edmundo P. Guevarra - Deputy Commissioner, Legal and CONTACT PERSON Inspector Group TELEPHONE 928-5833 TELEFAX NUMBER 928-4744 APPLICATION DATE 2002-01-11 EXPIRATION DATE 2004-01-10 Calamba City Lawyers League ADDRESS 132 Elepañño I, Calamba City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Emilio Capulong - President, CCLL TELEPHONE (049) 545-1245 TELEFAX NUMBER APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-16 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-15 Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. ADDRESS Rm. 107, Port of Manila Building, South Harbor, Manila CONTACT PERSON Alvin Gutierrez - Training Director TELEPHONE 527-6801 TELEFAX NUMBER 527-5340 / 527-1980 APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-09 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-08 Cosmopolitan Review Center Suites 800, 805-809, Ermita Center Building, 1350 Roxas ADDRESS Boulevard, Ermita, Manila CONTACT PERSON Dean Ricardo L. Sadac - President and Bar ReviewDirector
TELEPHONE TELEFAX NUMBER APPLICATION DATE EXPIRATION DATE
526-2079 / 526-4859 None 2002-02-13 2004-02-12
Disini & Disini Law Office ADDRESS #35 Buchanan Street, North Greenhills, San Juan Metro Manila CONTACT PERSON Atty. Jesus M. Disini Jr. - Managing Partner TELEPHONE 725-2799 / 727-1437 TELEFAX NUMBER 722-2167 APPLICATION DATE 2001-08-24 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-08-23 IBP Baguio-Benguet Chapter ADDRESS Rm. 317, Justice Hall, 2600, Baguio City Atty. Abelardo C. Estrada - President (IBP BaguioBenguet CONTACT PERSON Chapter) TELEPHONE TELEFAX NUMBER (074) 442-8937 APPLICATION DATE 2001-09-28 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-27 IBP Cagayan Chapter ADDRESS IBP Library, Hall of Justice, Tuguegarao, Cagayan CONTACT PERSON Atty. Raymund R. Lauigan - Chapter President TELEPHONE (078) 844-1221 TELEFAX NUMBER (078) 844-5499 APPLICATION DATE 2002-02-13 EXPIRATION DATE 2004-02-12 IBP Central Luzon Suite 3-E (3rd Floor) Maryville Square Building., Mc. Arthur ADDRESS Highway, Saluysoy, Meyc, Bulacan CONTACT PERSON Atty. Pedro S. Principe - Gov. IBP Central Luzon TELEPHONE (044) 935-2555 TELEFAX NUMBER (044) 721-1085 APPLICATION DATE 2002-02-01 EXPIRATION DATE 2004-01-31 IBP Greater Manila Region Rm. 235, Hall of Justice Building, City Hall Compound, Quezon ADDRESS City CONTACT PERSON Gov. Santos V. Catubay Jr. - Gov. IBP-Greater ManilaRegion TELEPHONE 925-7183 TELEFAX NUMBER 925-7183 APPLICATION DATE 2001-09-11 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-10
IBP Makati City Chapter ADDRESS CONTACT PERSON TELEPHONE TELEFAX NUMBER APPLICATION DATE EXPIRATION DATE
UG 39, Cityland Dela Rsa Condminium, Dela Rosa Street, Makati City, Metro Manila Atty. Aileen Duremdes - Chairman, Legal EducationCommittee 813-4744 813-4744 2001-09-28 2003-09-27
IBP Misamis Oriental Chapter ADDRESS Capitol Compound Cagayan de Oro City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Manuel Ravanera - President (IBP-MisamisOriental Chapter) TELEPHONE (088) 858-6143 TELEFAX NUMBER (088) 858-6143 APPLICATION DATE 2001-09-28 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-27 IBP National Office IBP Building, 15 Doñña Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, ADDRESS Pasig City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Teofilo S. Pilando Jr. - President, IBP National TELEPHONE 634-4697 TELEFAX NUMBER 634-4697 APPLICATION DATE EXPIRATION DATE IBP Pangasinan Chapter Judge Jose R. De Venecia Sr., Memorial Hall, Bonuan Tondaligan, ADDRESS 2400 Dagupan City Atty. Vicente Marteja Jr. - Chairman of ContinuingLegal CONTACT PERSON Education TELEPHONE TELEFAX NUMBER (075) 552-5891 APPLICATION DATE 2001-10-11 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-10-10 IBP Pasay-Parañaque-Las Piñas-Muntinlupa Chapter ADDRESS 2nd Floor, Pasay City Hall, FB Harrison, Pasay City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Patricia A. Bunye - President, PPLM TELEPHONE TELEFAX NUMBER 831-1477 APPLICATION DATE 2001-09-11 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-10 Institute of Continuing Legal Studies and Education Inc. 2nd Floor, Ocampo Heritage Building, 214 Wilson Street, ADDRESS Greenhills, San Juan Metro Manila
CONTACT PERSON Atty. Eliseo Ocampo - Executive Chairman TELEPHONE 725-1481 / 724-0595 TELEFAX NUMBER 722-0432 APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-09 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-08 Intellectual Property Office, Department of Trade and Industry ADDRESS 351 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Emma C. Francisco - Director General TELEPHONE 752-5450 to 65 TELEFAX NUMBER 897-1724 APPLICATION DATE 2001-10-01 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-30 Las Piñas City Bar A ssociation (LPB A ) c/o the Laserna Cueva-Mercader Law Offices. Unit 15, Star ADDRESS Arcade, C.V. Starr Avenue, Philamlife Village, Las Piñas City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr. - President, LPBA TELEPHONE 874-2539 / 872-5443 TELEFAX NUMBER 874-2539 / 872-5443 APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-16 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-15 National Prosecutors League of the Philippines ADDRESS Department of Justice, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila ACP Armando C. Velasco - Assistant City Prosecutor,P.R.O., CONTACT PERSON NPLP TELEPHONE 527-5228 / 527-8202 TELEFAX NUMBER 527-5228 / 527-8702 APPLICATION DATE 2002-02-13 EXPIRATION DATE 2004-02-12 Office of the Government Corporate Counsel ADDRESS 3rd Floor, MWSS Building, Katipunan Road, Quezon City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Belsie C. Sy - Government Corporate Attorney IV TELEPHONE 436-3779 TELEFAX NUMBER APPLICATION DATE 2001-07-30 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-07-29
Palawan State University ADDRESS CONTACT PERSON TELEPHONE TELEFAX NUMBER APPLICATION DATE EXPIRATION DATE
Manalo Street, Puerto Princesa City Roy Joseph Rafols - Dean, Palawan School of Law (048) 4336142 / 818-32-11 (048) 433-5303 2001-09-14 2003-09-13
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Law Center 3rd Floor, Gusaling Katipunan, General Luna Street, Intramuros, ADDRESS Manila CONTACT PERSON Dean Ernesto Pineda - Dean PLM TELEPHONE 527-8229 TELEFAX NUMBER 521-9019 APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-09 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-08 Philippine Association of Law Professors (PALP) Don Anton Building, No. 3 Gen. Lim Street, nr. cor. Quezon ADDRESS Avenue, Quezon City, 1104 CONTACT PERSON Justice Hector L. Hofileña - Seminar Director TELEPHONE 372-1227 TELEFAX NUMBER 372-4752 APPLICATION DATE 2001-12-07 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-12-06 Philippine Judicial Academy - (PhilJA) ADDRESS 3rd Floor of the Supreme Court Building, Taft Avenue, Manila CONTACT PERSON Chan. Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera TELEPHONE 523-9075 / 522-3249 TELEFAX NUMBER 523-9075 / 525-8939 APPLICATION DATE EXPIRATION DATE Philippine Securities Consultancy Corporation ADDRESS Suite 906 SEC Building, EDSA Greenhills, Mandaluyong City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Josefina Pasay-Paz - President, PSCC TELEPHONE 727-09-93 TELEFAX NUMBER 726-9560 APPLICATION DATE 2002-02-01 EXPIRATION DATE 2004-01-31 PhilSEC Institute Foundation Inc. ADDRESS SEC Building, EDSA Greenhills, Mandaluyong City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Jose P. Aquino - Director, Market RegulationDepartment TELEPHONE 725-3702 TELEFAX NUMBER 726-1593 APPLICATION DATE 2002-02-01 EXPIRATION DATE 2004-01-31 Quisumbing Torres Law Office 11th Floor, Pacific Star Building, Makati Avenue, cor Sen. Gil ADDRESS Puyat, Makati City Atty. Rodrigo Lope S. Quimbo - Partner, QuisumbingTorres Law CONTACT PERSON Office
TELEPHONE 811-5925 to 36 TELEFAX NUMBER 811-5640 to 41 APPLICATION DATE 2001-11-16 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-11-15 Sycip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan ADDRESS 105 Paseo De Roxas, Makati City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Ricardo P. G. Ongkiko - Partner TELEPHONE 817-9811 to 20 TELEFAX NUMBER 817-3896 / 817-3145 APPLICATION DATE 2001-08-16 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-08-15 University of the Philippines School of Law, Institute o f Judicial Administration ADDRESS UP Law Center, Bocobo Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Concepcion Jardeleza - Law Education Specialist TELEPHONE 929-7137 TELEFAX NUMBER 929-7137 APPLICATION DATE EXPIRATION DATE Women Trial Lawyers Organization of the Philippines ADDRESS #45 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City CONTACT PERSON Atty. Yolanda Javellana - President, WTLOP TELEPHONE 426-0273 TELEFAX NUMBER 426-0328 APPLICATION DATE 2001-10-01 EXPIRATION DATE 2003-09-30 Source: IBP website, www.ibp.org.ph G. Law Firm Marketing and Law Practice Management 1. Overview
The biggest law firms in the Philippines, according to Hieros Gamos, a leading US Internet law website, are: Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz, 112 lawyers; Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (minus Sen. Edgardo Angara), 77; Oporto Law, 61; Bengzon Narciso Cudala Jimenez Gonzales & Liwanag, 42; Quasha Asperilla Pena & Nolasco, 40; Siguion Reyna Montecillo & Ongsiako, 40; Puno & Puno, 40; Carpio Villaraza & Cruz (now Villaraza & Angangco), 38; Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose, 37; and Ponce Enrile Reyes Manalastas, 34. (http://www.hierosgamos.org/hg). ( Author - The law firm of Romulo Mabanta De los Angeles, with approximately 40 lawyers,should be added to the list). To the knowledge of the author, no in-depth survey or study has been done on the state, scope and nature of ethical law firm marketing activities and productive law practice management techniques of Philippine lawyers and law firms, although the issue of lawyer advertising has been raised in the Philippine legal circles in the past. Justice Ernani Cruz Pano, former Court
Administrator, for instance, had initiated an academic discussion to review the present Philippine ethical ban against lawyer advertising. (See; Ernani Cruz Pano, Judiciary and the Bar , Manila: Rex Book Store, 1995, 312 pp.). The rule in the Philippines is that a lawyer is Anot permitted to actively seek out clients for [email protected]
Lawyers are Anot allowed to publicize and advertise their availability, as lawyers might tend to exaggerate their abilities and stir up litigation, thereby bring disrepute to the law [email protected]
The principle is that Athe reputation of the lawyer is his best [email protected]
In one case, Aa lawyer who distributed cards advertising his services was suspended for one [email protected]
(Pano, id., p. 120, citing In Re: Tagorda, 53 Phil. 38. See also: Sec. 27, Rule 138, Rules of Court; Canon 28, 1917 Philippine Code of Professional Ethics, modeled after the 1908 ABA Code of Professional Ethics ). It has been suggested, however, that in many cases the clients are Abenefitted by solicitation, especially in suits for personal injuries in which there is often immediate pressure for settlement, unfamiliarity with methods of securing legal services and a lack of facilities for expert investigation of the facts relating to the [email protected]
(id., citing Note, A Critical Analysis of Rules A gainst Solicitation by Lawyers, 25 U. Chicago L. Rev. 674 ). Justice Pano wrote that Athose who argue for a limited form of advertising and publicity for lawyers say that the public has a >need to know= who are the qualified and competent [email protected]
The traditional passive standard has been criticized Aas being appropriate only for lawyers who have established practice and for clients who have the sophistication to recognize their legal problems and the ability to locate competent attorneys to represent [email protected]
(Id ., pp. 126-127). The ban against solicitation and advertising is Adeemed inappropriate for lawyers without established clientele and for most lower and middle-income clients who may be unaware of their needs for legal [email protected]
The ban has also been attacked Aas anticompetitive and in conflict with the consumers= need to receive information about lawyers and their [email protected]
(id., p. 127). It has also been argued that Alawyers are primarily economic actors, men and women who perform a service, for [email protected]
and that the public and the consumers Aare best served if there is true competition among lawyers for their [email protected]
(Id ., p.127, citing Justice Steward, AProfessional Ethics for the Business lawyer: The Morals of the [email protected]
, 31 Bus. Law Rev., 463-467 ). Price advertising of Aroutine legal [email protected]
is considered as protected commercial speech and non-censurable misconduct in the US. In Bates vs. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977), the US Supreme Court Astruck down a state law of Arizona prohibiting lawyer advertising and it held that the State of Arizona may not prevent the publication in a newspaper of the lawyers= truthful advertisement concerning the availability of routine legal services and that the flow of such information may not be [email protected]
In Bates, Justice Blackman noted that Athe ban on advertising originated as a rule of etiquette and not as a rule of ethics in the days of the early British lawyers who viewed the law as a form of public service and looked down on >trade= as
Justice Blackman argued that since the belief Athat lawyers are somehow above trade has become an anachronism, the historical foundation for the advertising restraint has [email protected]
(Id ., p. 128). Further, Pano stated that in Bates, supra, the Supreme Court had made it clear that its decision was a Anarrow [email protected]
and that Aadvertising by attorneys may not be subjected to >blanket suppression= but it did not hold that advertising by attorneys may not be [email protected]
Thus, Afalse, deceptive or misleading advertising was subject to [email protected]
He added that Aboth the bar and the Philippines would do well to consider these views in order to improve the quality of legal services available to the [email protected]
(Id ., pp. 129-130).
Cortez, Irene R. "Legal Education in a Changing Society", in Coquia, supra, 240.
"The Filipino Legal Education", in Coquia, Jorge, The Legal Profession, Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993, 5.
id.; see also Flerida Ruth Romero, "The Challenges to Legal Education in the Philippines", in Coquia, supra, 78. 
Cortes, Irene R. "Education in the Law: Philippine Experience", in Coquia, supra, 24.
Coquia, The Legal Profession, Manila: Rex Book Store, 1993, 2, 8.
Cortez, 22. In another article, Cortez placed the number of law schools as of 1980 at 69.
Secs. 2 - 3, R.A. No. 7662.
Sec. 7 (e), R.A. No. 7662.
Secs. 7 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) of R.A. No. 7662.
Sec. 7 (g), R.A. No. 7662.
Sec. 7 (h), R.A. No. 7662.
Coquia, 3. In Japan, Thailand and Germany, no bar exams are required to be a lawyer.All that is needed are academic training and apprenticeship. See Cortes, 235-236. The same rule applies in Indonesia. 
10; Coquia, 10; Romero, 72
Rule 138, Rules of Court; R.A. No,. 7662; see also the law creating the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). 
Philippine Legal Profession _ Part 3 Final excerpts from my 2000 Ll.M. thesis, for research purposes of the readers.
x x x.
2. Rules 138, Rules of Court
a. Duties of Attorneys
Section 20, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court enumerates the duties of attorneys, thus: (a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines. (b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers; (c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. (d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law; (e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's business except from him or with his knowledge and approval; (f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged; (g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man's cause, from any corrupt motive or interest; (h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed; (i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law. (Sec. 20, Rule 138).
A court may assign an attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case, if upon investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ
an attorney, and that the services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of the attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown. (Sec. 31, Rule 138).
b. Malpractice; Solicitation of Cases A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any d eceit, malpractice, or other gross miscon duct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willful appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. (Sec. 27, Rule 138). The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises. (Sec. 28, Rule 138). Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Court of First Instance shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension, or removing the attorney from his office as such, as the facts warrant. (Sec. 29, Rule 138). No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte. (Sec. 30, Rule 138; see also: Rule 139 and 139-A, Rules of Court).
c. Rights of Attorneys to Fair Compensation An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may disregard such testimony and base
its conclusion on its own professional knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable. (Sec. 24, Rule 138). However, when an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded, he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions; but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution. (Sec. 25, Rule 138). An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding, by the written consent of his client filed in court. He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding, without the consent of his client, should the court, on notice to the client and attorney, and on hearing, determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. In case of substitution, the name of the attorney newly employed shall be entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one, and written notice of the change shall be given to the advance party. (Sec. 26, Rule 138). A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his place, but if the contract between client and attorney has been reduced to writing and the dismissal of the attorney was without justifiable cause, he shall be entitled to recover from the client the full compensation stipulated in the contract. However, the attorney may, in the discretion of the court, intervene in the case to protect his rights. For the payment of his compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgment, rendered in the case wherein his services had been retained by the client. (I d. d.). Subject to availability of funds as may be provided by the law the court may, in its discretion, order an attorney employed as counsel d e oficioto oficioto be compensates in such sum as the court may fix in accordance with section 24 of this rule. Whenever such compensation is allowed, it shall be not less than thirty pesos (P30) in any case, nor more than the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50) in light felonies; (2) One hundred pesos (P100) in less grave felonies; (3) Two hundred pesos (P200) in grave felonies other than capital offenses; (4) Five Hundred pesos (P500) in capital offenses. (Sec. 32, Rule 138. Note the outdated amounts fixed by the Rules). An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments, which he has secured in a litigation of his client, from and after the time when he shall have the caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court rendering such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have the caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the adverse party; and he shall have the same right and power over such judgments and executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure the payment of his just fees and disbursements. (Sec. 37, Rule 138).
3. Jurisprudence on Law Firm Marketing
a. Law is Not a Trade The practice of law is not a vested right but a privilege. It is clothed with public interest. A lawyer owes duties not only to his client but also to his in the profession, to the courts, and to the nation. He takes part in one of the most important functions of the state, which is the administration of justice, as an officer of the court. Hence, it is the right and duty of the state to supervise, control and regulate the selection of candidates for admission to the Bar, as well as the exercise of that privilege to assure compliance with the lawyer=s public responsibilities. (Diaz v . Martinez, 119 Phil . 490, 7 SCRA 475 ). ) . The right to practice is not a natural or constitutional right nor an absolute right d e j ure but is a privilege. The right to practice is not a property. It cannot be assigned or inherited but must be earned by hard study and good conduct. (Ernami Cruz Pano, su pra, citing In re, Gibbs, 278 p. 371; In re Manuero, 66 SCRA 245 ; In re ethics, 203 p. 957; In re Miller, 244 p. 376; In re Cliffton, 155 So. 324). Lawyers play an important role in society. Depending on the circumstances, the lawyer may lead in making policy as well as in resolving conflict. He is often a scholar or a philosopher seeking to refine the analysis by which lawyers live, or to propose new solutions for problems new or old. (I d d., ., at p. 43). For the achievement of its objective of dedicated service to society, the ancient and learned profession of law exacts from its members the highest standard of morality. Trusted with the confidential affairs of their clients, attorneys are sworn to subordinate their personal interests to those of the people they represent. They should strive at all times to uphold the honor and maintain the dignity of the legal profession, which is higher than that of the market place. (I d . , at p. 44, d., citing Canon 29, Canons of Professional Ethics; Calo v . Degamo, 20 SCRA 447 1967). ( 1967). After passing the bar examinations and taking the lawyer=s oath, the lawyer is considered authorized to practice law before all courts in the Philippines. However, the first duty that he has to perform is not to his client, as popularly believed, but to assist in the administration of justice. (I d ., pp. 48-49, citing Rule d ., 138, Sec. 20 [b]). As the practice of law is not a right granted to anyone who seek it, it is accorded only to those who meet specific standards of mental and moral fitness. (I n re Del Rosario, 52 Phil . 399; I n re Gutierrez, 52 O .G. 24). 24). For this reason, failure on the part of the lawyer to maintain a high standard of morality may result in disbarment. (I d d., ., pp. 52-53, citing Belivar v . S umibol, 16 SCRA 623 . Tole d o v . Toled o, o, A.C . no. 266, April 27, 1963). 1963 ). The proscription against lawyer advertising and solicitation of cases lawyers aim to preserve the dignity of the legal profession. A lawyer cannot advertise his talent as a shopkeeper advertises his wares. ( I n re: Tagor d a da, , 54 Phil . 37 ; Director of Religio us Affairs v . Bayot, 74 Phil . 579 ( 1944); 1944); R ule 138, Sec . 27, RRC; Jayme v . Bualan, 58 Phil . 422).
A lawyer is a member of an honorable profession whose primary purpose is to render public service and help secure justice and in which remuneration is a mere incident ( Canon Canon 12, Cod e of Professional Ethics) . Such professional consideration makes a lawyer radically different from a shopkeeper, a trader, a manufacturer or a money changer whose primordial aim is private gain and whose principal tool to sell his product or service is advertising . To allow a lawyer to advertise his talent or skill is to commercialize the practice of law, lower the profession in public confidence, and lesser its ability to render efficiently that higher character of service to which every member of the bar is called. (I d. d.). Advertising inescapably involves self-praise. If competitive advertising among lawyers were permitted, the conscientious and ethical will unavoidably be at the mercy of the braggart. (I n Re Rothman, 97 A 2 d ) . It d 627, 39 ALR 2 d d 1032 ). will undoubtedly increase lawsuits and needless litigations. (I n re Tagor d a, su pra; d a, Director of Religio us Affairs v . Bayot, su pra).
b. 1917 Code of Professional Ethics Section 21 of the old Code of Civil Procedure, as amended in 1919 by Act 2828, provided that Athe practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes [email protected]
malpracti [email protected]
Section 27 of Rule 138 of the 1964 Revised Rules of o f Court maintained the provision. Sections 27 and Section 28 of the 1908 American Bar Association's Code of Professional Ethics and the 1917 Philippine Bar Association=s Code of Professional Ethics were identical in their provisions, to wit: Sec . 27 . Advertising, Direct or Indirect . - The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with his brother lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced, but must be the outcome of character and conduct. The publication publicatio n or circulation of ordinary simple business cards, being a matter of personal taste or local custom, and sometimes of convenience, is not per se improper. But solicitation of business by circular or advertisements, or by personal communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations, is unprofessional. It is equally unprofessional to procure business by indirection through touters of any kind, whether allied real estate firms or trust companies advertising to secure the drawing of deeds or wills or offering retainers in exchange for executorships or trusteeships to be influenced by the lawyer. Indirect advertisement for business by furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interest involved, the importance of the lawyer=s position, and all other like self-laudation, defy the traditions and lower the tone of our high calling, and are [email protected]
Section 28 . Stirring Up Litigation, Directly or Through Agents . - It is
unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring a lawsuit, except in rare cases where ties of blood, relationship or trust make it his duty to do so. Stirring up strife and litigation is not only unprofessional, but it is indictable at common law. It is disreputable to hunt up defects in titles or other causes of action and inform thereof in order to be employed to bring suit, or to breed litigation by seeking out those with claims for personal injuries or those having any other grounds of action in order to secure them as clients, or to employ agents or runners for like purposes, or to pay or reward directly or indirectly, those who bring or influence the bringing of such cases to his office, or to remunerate policemen, court or prison officials, physicians, hospital attaches or others who may succeed, under the guise of giving disinterested friendly advice, in influencing the criminal, the sick and the injured, the ignorant or others, to seek his professional services. A duty to the public and to the profession devolves upon every member of the bar having knowledge of such practices upon the part of any practitioner immediately to inform thereof to the end that the offender may be [email protected]
Under Sec. 27 of the 1917 Code of Professional Ethics the only methods of lawyer advertising allowed were the business cards and reputable law lists or lawyers= directories. The use of an ordinary simple professional card was permitted. ( AB A Opinion No. 11, May 11, 1927 ). A lawyer engaged in a particular brand of law available to act as an associate of other lawyers in that specific branch of legal service may send to local legal journals a brief dignified announcement of his availability to inform other lawyers in connection therewith.( Canon 46, CPE; A B A Opinion No. 194, April 22,1939). If warranted by personal relations, a lawyer may solicit employment ( Canon 27, CPE ). The phrase Apersonal [email protected]
included personal friends and relatives ( AB A Opinion No. 7, April 28, 1925). A lawyer may write legal articles for publication in which he gives information upon the law but he should not accept employment from such publication. ( Canon 40, CPE . See also: Ruben Agpalo, Legal Ethics. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Law Center, 1983 edition, pp. 110-120). In the US, the activity of an association for the purpose of promoting group legal representation, as a mode of collective expression of the beliefs of a social sector and for meaningful access to courts by the members of such sector, was deemed to be protected by the US Constitution (freedom of expression and freedom of association) and could ethically be undertaken. ( NACCP v . Button, 371 U .S . 415 ( 1963); Unite d Transp. Union v . State Bar of Michigan, 401 U .S .576 ( 1971); United Mines Workers v . I llinois Bar Association, 389 U .S . 217 ( 1967); Brotherhood of R .R . Trainmen v . Virginia State Bar, 377 U .S . 1 ( 1961)). Similarly, the offer of legal services to the indigent, even when broadcast over the radio or tendered through circulation of printed matter to the general public, offended no ethical rule. ( AB A Opinion No . 148, Nov . 1935 ).
c. 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility Canon 2, Rule 2.03 of the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility specifically provides that Aa lawyer shall not do or permit to be done any act d esigned primarily to solicit legal b [email protected]
Canon 3 of the Code further contains specific rules on the subject of lawyer advertising, to wit:
CANON 3 C A LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY TRUE, HONEST, FAIR, DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OR STATEMENT OF FACTS.
Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. Rule 3.02 C In the choice of a firm name, no false, misleading or assumed name shall be used. The continued use of the name of a deceased partner is permissible provided that the firm indicates in all its communications that said partner is deceased. Rule 3.03 C Where a partner accepts public office, he shall withdrawal from the firm and his name shall be dropped from the firm name unless the law allows him to practice law currently.
Rule 3.04 C A lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business.
(See in general: Ernesto Pineda, Legal and Judicial Ethics. Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc, 1995 ed.; Ricardo Teruel, Practical Lawyering in the Philippines. Quezon City: Central Lawbook Publishing Co. Inc., 1997 ed.).
The 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility imposes an absolute and total ban on lawyer advertising. It was basically patterned after the circa-1970s ABA Code of Professional Responsibility before the advent of the Bates decision of the US Supreme Court, su pra, which had held that an absolute ban against lawyer advertising was a violation of the lawyers= constitutional freedom of commercial speech (First Amendment rights).
Following the US experience in the 1970s, and even in the Philippines at present, there have been bar objections to the rules prohibiting advertising or
solicitation. (See, in general: Ernani Cruz Pano, The J ud iciary and the Bar, su pra). The usual and frequent objection is that advertising or solicitation interferes only with small or solo practitioners, precluding then from making themselves known to prospective clients, while big practitioners or large law firms not only are constantly in the public eye but by because of their social and political connections are able to meet and become intimate with leaders in business as potential clients. It is also argued that legal counsel should be made available to the poor and the least educated and relaxing the restriction on advertising would stimulate an interest in demand for legal assistance from these groups in favor of small law firms and solo practitioners (see, for example: 81 Yale L . J . 1244, et . Seq. , May 1972). There are always honest differences of opinion as to what is ideal or improper advertising or solicitation of business. The line is a question of good faith and good taste. ( People ex . Rel . Chicago Bar Ass=n v . Baker, 142 NE 534, 31 ALR 737 ) .
Prof. Pineda has argued that it is not unprofessional for a lawyer to make known his legal services. However, he must do so only by using true, honest fair, dignified and objective information or state of facts. He must not resort to false and misleading information, and even if known it must not be undignified. (Ernesto Pineda,Legal and Judicial Ethics. Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc, 1995 ed., pp. 56-64, citing Canon 3, 1988 CPR).
It is important to mention the other relevant provisions of the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility in respect of a lawyer=s relationship with his clients and with the society in general, to wit:
CANON 2 - A LAWYER SHALL MAKE HIS LEGAL SERVICES AVAILABLE IN AN EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT MANNER COMPATIBLE WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROFESSION.
Rule 2.01 C A lawyer shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed. Rule 2.02 C In such cases, even if the lawyer does not accept a case, he shall not refuse to render legal advice to the person concerned if only to the extent necessary to safeguard the latter's rights. Rule 2.04 C A lawyer shall not charge rates lower than those customarily prescribed unless the circumstances so warrant. CANON 7 C A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR.
Rule 7.01 C A lawyer shall be answerable for knowingly making a false statement or suppressing a material fact in connection with his application for admission to the bar. Rule 7.02 C A lawyer shall not support the application for admission to the bar of any person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute. Rule 7.03 C A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession. CANON 9 C A LAWYER SHALL NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ASSIST IN THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.
Rule 9.01 C A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the bar in good standing. Rule 9.02 C A lawyer shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law, except: a) Where there is a pre-existing agreement with a partner or associate that, upon the latter's death, money shall be paid over a reasonable period of time to his estate or to persons specified in the agreement; or b) Where a lawyer undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer; or c) Where a lawyer or law firm includes non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan even if the plan is based in whole or in part, on a profit sharing agreement.
CANON 15 C A LAWYER SHALL OBSERVE CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND LOYALTY IN ALL HIS DEALINGS AND TRANSACTIONS WITH HIS CLIENTS.
Rule 15.01. C A lawyer, in conferring with a prospective client, shall ascertain as soon as practicable whether the matter would involve a conflict with another client or his own interest, and if so, shall forthwith inform the prospective client. Rule 15.03. C A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
Rule 15.04. C A lawyer may, with the written consent of all concerned, act as
mediator, conciliator or arbitrator in settling disputes. Rule 15.05. C A lawyer when advising his client, shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client's case, neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case. Rule 15.06. C A lawyer shall not state or imply that he is able to influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body.
Rule 15.07. C A lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness. Rule 15.08. C A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation concurrently with the practice of law shall make clear to his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity.
CANON 16 - A LAWYER SHALL HOLD IN TRUST ALL MONEYS AND PROPERTIES OF HIS CLIENT THAT MAY COME INTO HIS PROFESSION. Rule 16.01 C A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Rule 16.02 C A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. Rule 16.03 C A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. However, he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. Rule 16.04 C A lawyer shall not borrow money from his client unless the client's interest are fully protected by the nature of the case or by independent advice. Neither shall a lawyer lend money to a client except, when in the interest of justice, he has to advance necessary expenses in a legal matter he is handling for the client. CANON 20 - A LAWYER SHALL CHARGE ONLY FAIR AND REASONABLE FEES. Rule 20.01 - A lawyer shall be guided by the following factors in determining his fees. a) the time spent and the extent of the service rendered or required; b) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
c) The importance of the subject matter; d) The skill demanded; e) The probability of losing other employment as a result of acceptance of the proffered case; f) The customary charges for similar services and the schedule of fees of the IBP chapter to which he belongs; g) The amount involved in the controversy and the benefits resulting to the client from the service; h) The contingency or certainty of compensation; i) The character of the employment, whether occasional or established; and j) The professional standing of the lawyer.
Rule 20.02 C A lawyer shall, in case of referral, with the consent of the client, be entitled to a division of fees in proportion to the work performed and responsibility assumed. Rule 20.03 C A lawyer shall not, without the full knowledge and consent of the client, accept any fee, reward, costs, commission, interest, rebate or forwarding allowance or other compensation whatsoever related to his professional employment from anyone other than the client. Rule 20.04 C A lawyer shall avoid controversies with clients concerning his compensation and shall resort to judicial action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. Publications in reputable law lists, in manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canon, of brief biographical and information data, is allowable. Modest announcements in newspapers, periodicals or magazines about the opening of a law office or stating the name of the lawyers and the address of the law frm is not improper. Any self-laudatory statements in newspaper advertisements or professional cards disgrace and abuse the lawyer and his profession. Worse, if the advertisements are affected through the radios and televisions. An advertisement bearing the name of the lawyer, his address, and the remarks Aadvice [email protected]
is an improper solicitation ( Pined a, su pra, pp. 4954, citing Bartor v. State Bar of California, 20 Cal. 677). A radio program of a lawyer, advertising, his skills and receiving phone questions about the law and which he answers in the form of legal advice is likewise improper and reprehensible. However, a legal aid program as a public service is
d. Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Bar Matter No. 553, June 17, 1993 In Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Bar Matter No. 553, June 17, 1993, the respondent placed a series of newspaper advertisements, which read as a follows: Secret Marriage? P 560.00 for a valid marriage. Info on Divorce, Absence, Annulment, Visa The Legal Clinic Inc. Please call: 521-0767 521-7232, 522-2041 8:30 A.M. B 6:00 P.M. 7th Flr., Victoria Bldg., U.N. Ave., Manila. Guam Divorce Don Parkinson An attorney in Guam is giving Free Books on Guam Divorce through The Legal Clinic beginning Monday to Friday during office hours. Guam Divorce, Annulment of Marriage, Investigation Problems, Visa Extensions, Quota/Non-Quota, Resident And Special Retiree=s Visa, Declaration of Absence, Remarriage to Filipina Fiancee, Adoption, Advertisement in the Philippines, US/ Foreign Visas for Filipina Spouse/Children. Call Marivic. The Legal Clinic Inc. 7F Victoria Bldg., 429 UN Ave. Ermita, Manila near U.S. Embasy Tel. 521-7232, 521-7251, 522-2041, 521-0767. In its answer to the position, respondent admitted the fact of publication of said advertisements at its instance, but claimed that it was not engaged in the practice of law but in the rendering Alegal support [email protected]
through paralegals with the use of modern computers and electronic machines. Respondent further argued that assuming that the services advertised were legal services, the act of advertising these services should be allowed in the light of the case of Bates and Van O=Steen vs . State Bar of Arizona decided by the US Supreme Court in 1977. The Supreme Court ruled that the then prevailing Philippine ethical standards of the legal progression condemned the lawyers= advertisement of their services. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession, advertise his talents
or skills in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The proscription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental postulate that the practice of law is a profession. The Court held that it was undeniable that the advertisement in question was Aa flagrant violation by the respondent of the ethics of the legal profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the [email protected]
The Rules of Court expressly provides among other things that Athe practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally as thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes [email protected]
It is Ahighly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skills as a merchant advertise his wares as law is a profession and not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practices of merchants by advertising his services or offering them to the [email protected]
As a member of the Bar, Ahe defiles the temple of justice with mercenary activities as the money-changers of old defiled the temple of [email protected]
(See also Ter uel, su pra, pp. 67-69). The Court cited a past survey in the US where the public perception of US lawyers had reportedly deteriorated because of aggressive lawyer advertising in the mass media. The Court also held that Awith the present situation of our legal and judicial systems, to allow the publication of advertisements of the kind used by respondent would only serve to aggravate what is already a deteriorating public opinion of the legal profession whose integrity has consistently been under attack lately by media and the community in [email protected]
The Court held that the 1988 Code of Professional Responsibility did not Aexpressly or [email protected]
allow lawyer advertising of any kind. The Court also held that Aunder the present state of our law and jurisprudence, a corporation cannot be organized for or engage in the practice of law in this [email protected]
and that Athis interdiction, just like the rule against unethical advertising, cannot be subverted by employing some so-called paralegals supposedly rendering the alleged support [email protected]
Speaking of paralegals, the Court held that Ain our jurisdiction the services being offered by private respondent cannot be performed by [email protected]
and that Aonly a person duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice [email protected]
The Court held that Awhatever may be its [email protected]
, the matter of the adoption of the US concept of paralegals as an occupation separate from the law profession be adopted in the Philippines is Aa matter for judicial rules or legislative action, and not of unilateral adoption as the respondent has [email protected]
(At present, the Philippines does not have a law or judicial rules on the accreditation or licensing of paralegals). Reputation is the lawyer=s best advertisement. This concept however poses practical competition-related problems to many newly admitted solo practitioners and small and medium law firms. As Teruel, puts it:AReputation is really hard to earn and it takes a great effort and a long time to establish it. Although already earned but eventually lost, it is hard to recover. When destroyed, it is very difficult
to [email protected]
(Teruel, su pra, p. 123). e. Practical Marketing Reputation and personal contacts account for 85 percent of the clients= reasons for selecting their lawyers. (Teruel, su pra, p. 122-123, citing a 1963 Missouri BarPrentice Hall Survey, A Complete Gui de to Profitable Law Practice, Vol. I, 1996 ed., p. 9). In the Philippines, case referrals to lawyers emanate from personal recommendations by friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, existing clients, other lawyers and professionals, court personnel, law directories, and law journals. (Teruel, su pra, pp. 118-121). It is useful for a lawyer to establish and maintain his own local and international professional, business and social networks as part of building his law practice. ( I d .). The viability and continuity of the life of law firms depend on the revenues that they generate. The revenues are as high or as low as the number and quality of clients that are attracted to and patronize the firm. Client development tools are the life-blood of the law firms: law firms continue to exist because of the clients patronizing them. (I d. , p. 72). Filipino lawyers and law firms faces the conservatism of Philippine legal ethics in the matter of reaching out to the consumers of legal services and giving the consumers factual information on the best available, competitive and costeffective legal services that they can use. To quote Teruel: Public relations firms are accepted as client development tools in America as no ethical rules are infringed by their use. Although it can be admitted that public relations firms can play an important role in helping the law firm gain the public=s notice, acceptance and confidence, there are very strong ethical constraints for their use in our country. This position is buttressed by Canon 3 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prescribing that: AA lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of [email protected]
Employment of public relations firms is lightly objectionable because under Rule 3.04 B AA lawyer shall not pay or give anything of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business. Paid advertising is considered a major factor in may lawyers= client development programs. While in the United States of America attorneys can now use a variety of advertising media which may include television, radio, newspapers, magazines, trade publications, telephone book yellow pages, and direct mail, it is very doubtful whether advertising by television and radio would be allowed in Philippines without the lawyers running afoul with the ethics of the profession in the country. While our American brother lawyers can advertise in any manner by whatever means without restraints nor constraints as they wish as [email protected]
individuals, their Filipino counterparts are still very conservative, cautious and
consciously dignified in using advertising as a tool for client development. The press releases of the law firm are marketing tools used by many. News release do not per se result in the acquisition of new clients. However, news releases build law firm awareness, cost very little and improves the image and prestige of the lawyers composing the firm and the firm itself. (Teruel, su pra, pp. 62-63, 64-65, 72). That is why the euphemistic cover of social interaction, which is in reality Aface to face selling and [email protected]
, is the favorite client development tool or law firm marketing technique of Filipino lawyers and law firms. (I d ., p. 59). As Teruel bluntly puts it, Ain marketing or selling, it is not what you know, but who you know that [email protected]
He adds that Amost lawyers who know so many people and some who made special efforts to meet them are successful in the [email protected]
(I d.). In addition, Filipino lawyers and law firms, who can afford the expenses,generate business through any or all of the following subtle methods: political exposure, pro bono involvement in bar associations and in social, civic, academic, fraternal and religious organizations, free legal aid clinics and human rights cases, brochures, law firm stationaries, free legal seminars, free legal lectures, publication of legal articles, newspaper columns, radio-TV talk shows, book writing, free legal newsletters, ethical press releases, charitable activities, law teaching, invitations to prospective clients to attend special social events in the law office, and similar public-relations activities. ( I d., p. 72). Some Internetsavvy Filipino lawyers and law firms participate in law-related or public policyoriented electronic chats, message boards or communities or open their own Internet web pages. A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law ( Canon 9, CPR). He shall not divide or stipulate to divide a fees for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law. ( Ru le 9.02, CPR). [See also: Pineda, su pra, pp. 98-103, citing PAFLU v. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., 42 SCRA 207]. It is thus unethical for a lawyer to split fees with, for example, brokers, adjusters, or accountants. (For further reading, see also: Meriam Defensor-Santiago, R ules of Court Annotated . Quezon City: Central Professional Books, Inc., 1999, annotating Rule 138 and citing Arrieta v. Llosa, 282 SCRA 248 (1997); Bongalonta v. Castielo, 240 SCRA 310 (1995); Maligsa v. 272 SCRA 408 (1997); Ulep v. Legal Clinic, 223 SCRA 378 (1993); Villanueva v. Sta. Ara, 245 SCRA 707(1995; Tan v. Sabandal, 206 SCRA 473 (1992); Roque v. Clemencio, 212 SCRA 618 (1992); Igna v. Javier, 254 SCRA 416 (1996); F. David Ent. v. IBAA, 197 SCRA 516 (1990); IMSC v. Roxas, 256 SCRA 229 (1996); Bautista v. Gonzales, 182 SCRA 151 (1990); Tabillo v. IAC 195 SCRA 28 (1991)]. Moreover, the pragmatic financial and management aspects of the law practice of the Filipino lawyer is bound by the constitutional power of the Supreme Court to admit, control and supervise the Bar, to discipline members of the Bar for unethical acts, to control and reduce the fees of lawyers, where warranted by the
circumstances, and to regulate even their private life and behavior insofar as the same may affect their standing in the Bar. [See Rule VIII, 1987 Constitution. See also: Defensor-Santiago, i d., pp. 978-1024, citing Sumaoay v. RTC, 215 SCRA 136 (1992); TRB. EUI v. NLRC, 269 SCRA 733 (1997); Radiowealth Finance vs. ICB, 182 SCRA 862 (1990); Lizaro v. Amante, 198 SCRA, (1991); Bautista v. Gonzales, 182 SCRA 151 (1990); Constantino v. Sanchez, 228 SCRA 233 (1993); Manaquil v. Villegas, 189 SCRA 335 (1990); Co v. Bernardino, 285 SCRA 102 (1998); Ngayan v. Tugade, 193 SCRA 779 (1991)].
H. Reiterating the Ethical Doctrines Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. One is admitted to the bar for something more than private gain. He becomes an officer of the court and, like the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the ends of justice. (Manuel V. Moran, Comments on the R ules of Court , Vol. VI. Manila: Pasicola Books Service, 1980 ed., p. 221, citing People ex rel, Karlin v. Culkin, 248 N.Y. 465, 162 N.E. 487, 50 A.L.R. 851). Under Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, a member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by season of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience to any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willfully appearing as as attorney for a party to a case without authority to do so, or for soliciting cases. (I d. , pp. 251-252, citing In re Pelacy, 44 Phil. 583). The practice of law is not a matter of right but merely a privilege bestowed upon individuals who are not only learned in the law out who are also known to posses good moral character (I d. , citing Tan vs. Sabandal, 206 SCRA 473). It is not a money-making venture (I d. , citing Candas v. CA, 164 SCRA 160). Law advocacy is not a capital that yields profits. It is a calling that, unlike mercantile pursuits which enjoy a greater deal of freedom from government interference, is impressed with public interests, to which it is subject to strictl regulation (I d. , citing MBTC v. CA, 181 SCRA 377). It is reserved only to those who are academically trained in law and possessed of good moral character not only at the time of their admission to the Bar but even more so thereafter to remain in good standing to practice law. (I d. , citing People v. Decana, 176 SCRA 622). (See also: Pineda, supra, pp. 18-19). In an attorney is a public office. He occupies what may be called a quasi- judicial office. He is, figuratively speaking, a priest of justice. [Ruben E. Agpalo, Legal Ethics. Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines Law Center, 1983 ed., citing Re 151, National savings Bank v. Ward, 100 U.S. 195, 25 L. ed. 621 (1880); Berman v. Coakley, 137 NE 667 26 ALR 92 (1923)]. Membership in the bar, an ancient noble fellowship, accords the lawyer with the status of officer of the court and a Aminister of the temple of [email protected]
, a privilege burdened with conditions (Bereguer v. Carranza, 26 SCRA 673; Ledesma v.