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Legal ethics

  1. 1. LEGAL ETHICS
  2. 2. Preliminary Sources of Legal Ethics  Canons of Professional Ethics  Canons were framed by the American Bar Association in 1908 and the Revised Canons were adopted in the Philippines in 1946.  Supreme Court Decisions  Statutes  Sources of legal ethics in Civil Code (Art 1491 (5), Art 2208), RPC Art 209.  Constitution  Promulgate rules on the Admission to the Bar Art. VIII Section 5(5) of the Constitution.  Treatises and publications  Cited by courts as Standards and guidelines on the right conduct in the practice of law.
  3. 3. Definition and Forms  LEGAL ETHICS It is the branch of moral science which treats of the duties which an attorney owes to the court to his client as embodied in the Constitution, Rules of Court, The Code of Professional Responsibility, Canons of Professional Ethics, Jurisprudence, moral law and special laws.  BAR ADMISSION Act by which one is licensed to practice before courts of a particular state or jurisdiction after satisfying certain requirements such as bar examinations, period or residency or admission on grounds of reciprocity after period of years as member of bar of another jurisdiction.  PRACTICE OF LAW Any activity, in or out of court which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill (Cayetano v. Monsod, 201 SCRA 210).
  4. 4. Definition and Forms  ATTORNEY-AT-LAW/COUNSEL-AT-LAW/ATTORNEY/COUNSEL/ ABOGADO/BOCEROS: That class of persons who are licensed officers of the courts, empowered to appear, prosecute and defend; and upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities, and liabilities are developed by law as a consequence (Cui v. Cui, 120 Phil. 729).  ATTORNEY IN FACT An agent whose authority is strictly limited by the instrument appointing him, however, he may do things not mentioned in his appointment but are necessary to the performance of the duties specifically required of him by the power of attorney appointing him, such authority being necessarily implied. He is not necessarily a lawyer.  COUNSEL DE OFICIO A counsel, appointed or assigned by the court, from among members of the Bar in good standing who, by reason of their experience and ability, may adequately defend the accused. Note: In localities where members of the Bar are not available, the court may appoint any person, resident of the province and good repute for probity and ability, to defend the accused. Sec. 7, Rule 116, Rules of Court.
  5. 5. Definition and Forms  ATTORNEY AD HOC Person named and appointed by the court to defend an absentee defendant in the suit in which the appointment is made (Bienvenu v. Factor’s of Traders Insurance Cp., 33 La.Ann.209)  ATTORNEY OF RECORD One who has filed a notice of appearance and who hence is formally mentioned in court records as the official attorney of the party. Person whom the client has named as his agent upon whom service of papers may be made. (Reynolds v. Reynolds, Cal.2d580).  OF COUNSEL To distinguish them from attorneys of record, associate attorneys are referred to as “of counsel” (5 Am. Jur. 261).  LEAD COUNSEL The counsel on their side of a litigated action who is charged with the principal management and direction of a party’s case.
  6. 6. Definition and Forms  TITULO DE ABOGADO It means not mere possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but membership in the Bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice of law.  AMICUS CURIAE An amicus curiae (literally, "friend of the court"; plural, amici curiae) is someone who is not a party to a case and may or may not have been solicited by a party and who assists a court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case; and is typically presented in the form of a brief. The decision on whether to consider an amicus brief lies within the discretion of the court. The phrase amicus curiae is legal Latin.  INTEGRATION OF THE BAR Means the official unification of the entire lawyer population, and this requires membership and financial support of every attorney as condition sine qua non to the practice of law and the retention of his name in the Roll of Attorney of the Supreme Court.
  7. 7. What is the importance of legal profession? The legal professionals make a significant contribution to the preservation of these rights and duties, and thereby act as social engineers. The primary allegiance of the lawyer is to the Court, where his duty is to assist the Court in justice dispensation.
  8. 8. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6713 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES, TO UPHOLD THE TIME-HONORED PRINCIPLE OF PUBLIC OFFICE BEING A PUBLIC TRUST, GRANTING INCENTIVES AND REWARDS FOR EXEMPLARY SERVICE, ENUMERATING PROHIBITED ACTS AND TRANSACTIONS AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
  9. 9. R.A 6713  Section 2. Declaration of Policies. — It is the policy of the State to promote a high standard of ethics in public service. Public officials and employees shall at all times be accountable to the people and shall discharge their duties with utmost responsibility, integrity, competence, and loyalty, act with patriotism and justice, lead modest lives, and uphold public interest over personal interest.
  10. 10. R.A 6713 Section 4. Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees. — (A) Every public official and employee shall observe the following as standards of personal conduct in the discharge and execution of official duties: a) Commitment to public interest b) Professionalism c) Justness and sincerity d) Political neutrality e) Responsiveness to the public f) Nationalism and patriotism g) Commitment to democracy h) Simple living
  11. 11. R.A 6713 Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. — In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful: a) Financial and material interest b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto c) Disclosure and/or misuse of confidential information d) Solicitation or acceptance of gifts
  12. 12. R.A 6713 As to gifts or grants from foreign governments, the Congress consents to: a) The acceptance and retention by a public official or employee of a gift of nominal value tendered and received as a souvenir or mark of courtesy; b) The acceptance by a public official or employee of a gift in the nature of a scholarship or fellowship grant or medical treatment; or c) The acceptance by a public official or employee of travel grants or expenses for travel taking place entirely outside the Philippine (such as allowances, transportation, food, and lodging) of more than nominal value if such acceptance is appropriate or consistent with the interests of the Philippines, and permitted by the head of office, branch or agency to which he belongs. The Ombudsman shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this subsection, including pertinent reporting and disclosure requirements.
  13. 13. Correlation of R.A 6713 with R.A 6770  R.A 6770 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Under R.A 6770 Section 15 Powers, Functions and Duties. — The Office of the Ombudsman shall have the following powers, functions and duties: (1) Investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient. It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of this primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases;
  14. 14. Correlation of R.A 6713 with R.A 6770  Under R.A 6713 Section 8. Statements and Disclosure All public officials and employees required under this section to file the aforestated documents shall also execute, within thirty (30) days from the date of their assumption of office, the necessary authority in favor of the Ombudsman to obtain from all appropriate government agencies, including the Bureau of Internal Revenue, such documents as may show their assets, liabilities, net worth, and also their business interests and financial connections in previous years, including, if possible, the year when they first assumed any office in the Government.
  15. 15. Correlation of R.A 6713 with R.A 6770 The Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth and the Disclosure of Business Interests and Financial Connections shall be filed by: (1) Constitutional and national elective officials, with the national office of the Ombudsman; (2) Regional and local officials and employees, with the Deputy Ombudsman in their respective regions; (3) Officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, with the Office of the President, and those below said ranks, with the Deputy Ombudsman in their respective regions;
  16. 16. Correlation of R.A 6713 with Civil Service Commission Executive Order No. 292 INSTITUTING THE “ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1987”
  17. 17. Correlation of R.A 6713 with Executive Order No. 292 Under E.O No. 292 SECTION 35. Ethics in Government.—All public officers and employees shall be bound by a Code of Ethics to be promulgated by the Civil Service Commission.
  18. 18. Related Provision of R.A 6713 and the Civil Service Commission  Under R.A 6713  Section 4. Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees (B) The Civil Service Commission shall adopt positive measures to promote (1) Observance of these standards including the dissemination of information programs and workshops authorizing merit increases beyond regular progression steps, to a limited number of employees recognized by their office colleagues to be outstanding in their observance of ethical standards; and (2) Continuing research and experimentation on measures which provide positive motivation to public officials and employees in raising the general level of observance of these standards.
  19. 19. Related Provision of R.A 6713 and the Civil Service Commission  Under R.A 6713  Section 8. Statements and Disclosure (5) All other public officials and employees, defined in Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, with the Civil Service Commission. (B) Identification and disclosure of relatives. — It shall be the duty of every public official or employee to identify and disclose, to the best of his knowledge and information, his relatives in the Government in the form, manner and frequency prescribed by the Civil Service Commission.
  20. 20. Related Provision of R.A 6713 and the Revise Penal Code  Under R.A 6713  Section 4. Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees (c) Justness and sincerity. — Public officials and employees shall remain true to the people at all times. They must act with justness and sincerity and shall not discriminate against anyone, especially the poor and the underprivileged. They shall at all times respect the rights of others, and shall refrain from doing acts contrary to law, good morals, good customs, public policy, public order, public safety and public interest. They shall not dispense or extend undue favors on account of their office to their relatives whether by consanguinity or affinity except with respect to appointments of such relatives to positions considered strictly confidential or as members of their personal staff whose terms are coterminous with theirs.
  21. 21. Related Provision of R.A 6713 and the Revise Penal Code  Under R.A 6713  Section 11. Penalties (a) Any public official or employee, regardless of whether or not he holds office or employment in a casual, temporary, holdover, permanent or regular capacity, committing any violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine not exceeding the equivalent of six (6) months' salary or suspension not exceeding one (1) year, or removal depending on the gravity of the offense after due notice and hearing by the appropriate body or agency. If the violation is punishable by a heavier penalty under another law, he shall be prosecuted under the latter statute. Violations of Sections 7, 8 or 9 of this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or a fine not exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000), or both, and, in the discretion of the court of competent jurisdiction, disqualification to hold public office.
  22. 22. Related Provision of R.A 6713 and the Revise Penal Code  Under R.A 6713  Section 11. Penalties (b) Any violation hereof proven in a proper administrative proceeding shall be sufficient cause for removal or dismissal of a public official or employee, even if no criminal prosecution is instituted against him. (c) Private individuals who participate in conspiracy as co-principals, accomplices or accessories, with public officials or employees, in violation of this Act, shall be subject to the same penal liabilities as the public officials or employees and shall be tried jointly with them. (d) The official or employee concerned may bring an action against any person who obtains or uses a report for any purpose prohibited by Section 8 (D) of this Act. The Court in which such action is brought may assess against such person a penalty in any amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000.00). If another sanction hereunder or under any other law is heavier, the latter shall apply.
  23. 23. Latest Jurisprudence LEGAL ETHICS
  24. 24. Latest Jurisprudence PRACTICE OF LAW It is clear that when Atty. Lozada appeared for and in behalf of her husband and actively participated in the proceedings therein within the two (2)-year suspension, she, therefore, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Atty. Lozada would have deserved a harsher penalty, but this Court recognizes the fact that it is part of the Filipino culture that amid an adversity, families will always look out and extend a helping hand to a family member, more so, in this case, to a spouse. Disbarment of lawyers is a proceeding that aims to purge the law profession of unworthy members of the bar. It is intended to preserve the nobility and honor of the legal profession. While the Supreme Court has the plenary power to discipline erring lawyers through this kind of proceedings, it does so in the most vigilant manner so as not to frustrate its preservative principle. ALVIN S. FELICIANO vs. ATTY. CARMELITA BAUTISTA-LOZADA, A.C. No. 7593, March 11, 2015
  25. 25. Latest Jurisprudence DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LAWYER Atty. Paguia filed a complaint for dishonesty with the IBP against Atty. Molina for giving erroneous legal advice. Atty. Molina alleged that the complaint does not specify the offense charged. The Court, siding with Atty. Molina stated that bare allegations in the complaint do not suffice the holding of administrative liability. The presumption of good faith still applies absent any evidentiary proof otherwise. ATTY. ALAN F. PAGUIA vs. ATTY. MANUEL T. MOLINA, A.C. No. 9881, June 4, 2014, C.J. Sereno
  26. 26. Latest Jurisprudence SUSPENSION, DISBARMENT AND DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS Atty. Ramos is the counsel of Quiachon in a labor case. Atty. Ramos failed to notify Quiachon of the status of the case as well as to appeal the adverse ruling of the RTC. Quiachon filed then a disbarment case but subsequently withdrew it. The complainant in a disbarment case is not a direct party to the case, but a witness who brought the matter to the attention of the Court. There is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor in disciplinary proceedings against lawyers. The real question for determination in these proceedings is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges of a member of the bar. Public interest is the primary objective. ADELIA V. QUIACHON vs. ATTY. JOSEPH ADOR A. RAMOS, A.C. No. 9317, June 4, 2014, C.J. Sereno
  27. 27. Latest Jurisprudence NOTARIAL PRACTICE Atty. Felipe was administratively charged for violation of notarial Law. The court ruled that while seemingly appearing to be a harmless incident, Atty Felipe’s act of notarizing documents in a place outside of or beyond the authority granted by his notarial commission, partakes of malpractice of law and falsification. FELIPE B. ALMAZAN, SR. vs. ATTY. MARCELO B. SUERTE-FELIPE, A.C. No. 7184, September 17, 2014, J. PerlasBernabe
  28. 28. Latest Jurisprudence CANONS OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS Cristobal engaged in the services of Atty. Renta. However, the latter has failed to file petition to the court because such was misplaced. The court ruled that once a lawyer agrees to handle a case, it is that lawyer’s duty to serve the client with competence and diligence. Here, it is beyond doubt that Atty. Renta breached his duty to serve complainant with diligence and neglected a legal matter entrusted to him. He himself admits that the petition for recognition was not filed, seeks forgiveness from the Court and promises not to repeat his mistake. MARIANO R. CRISTOBAL vs. ATTY. RONALDO E. RENTA, A.C. No. 9925, September 17, 2014, J. Villarama Jr.
  29. 29. Case Digest (1) FIO, Office of the ombudsman vs Alvaro (G.R No. 212994, Feb 2015) (2) Carabeo vs CA (G.R No. 07300) and 078003, December 04, 2009 (3) Navarro vs Ombudsman, GR 210128 Aug 17, 2016 (4) Ombudsman vs Raneho, Jan 31, 2011 (5) Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 201 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano)
  30. 30. Facts Divina Patacsil Alvaro (respondent) was a revenue Officer III of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Revenue District Officer (FIO), Office of the Ombudsman (petitioner) charged respondent with violation of Section 8 in relation to Section 11 of RA 6713 and for Dishonesty, Gross Neglect of Duty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. The charges stemmed from the alleged failure of respondent to file her statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) corresponding to the years 1996 and 2003 as gathered from the certifications issued by Cordillera administrative Division, Revenue Region 2 of the BIR, the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, and the Integrated Records Management Office (IRMO) of the Civil Service Commission (CSC). Case Digest FIO, Office of the ombudsman vs Alvaro (G.R No. 212994, Feb 2015)
  31. 31. Facts Respondent denied the charges claiming that the certification issued by the BIR Revenue Region 2 did not categorically state that she did not file her SALN. Moreover, she did not receive any call-up order in accordance with the standard operating procedure in case a government personnel fails to file a SALN for a particular year. Case Digest FIO, Office of the ombudsman vs Alvaro (G.R No. 212994, Feb 2015)
  32. 32. Issue Whether or not respondent Divina Patacsil is guilty of violation of section 8 in relation to section 11 of R.A 6713. Case Digest FIO, Office of the ombudsman vs Alvaro (G.R No. 212994, Feb 2015)
  33. 33. Ruling of the Court No, Under CSC Resolution no. 1300174 “Heads of agencies/offices who fail to comply with the provisions of CSC Resolution No. 06-231 dated Feb 1, 2006, as amended shall be liable for Simple Neglect of Duty, which shall be punishable by suspension of one (1) month and one (1) day to six months for the first offense, and dismissal from the service for the second offense, Issue a compliance order. It is only when petitioner fails to comply with the order of her superior to submit the required SALN that she be issued a show cause order to which she could comment or submit her SALN for the years in question Case Digest FIO, Office of the ombudsman vs Alvaro (G.R No. 212994, Feb 2015)
  34. 34. Ruling of the Court She should have been given the opportunity to submit the same. Consequently, in the absence of the compliance order, the charge filed against petitioner is considered premature. The fact that CSC Resolution became effective several years after respondent already failed to file her SALN for 1996 and 2003 is not material. What is significant is that there is yet no compliance/show cause order when complaint was filed in May 20, 2008. Case Digest FIO, Office of the ombudsman vs Alvaro (G.R No. 212994, Feb 2015)
  35. 35. Case Digest Carabeo vs CA (G.R No. 07300) and 078003, December 04, 2009 Facts On 8 July 2005, the Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS), composed of private respondents Troy Francis Pizarro, Joel Apolonio, Reynalito L. Lazaro, Ismael Leonor, and Melchor Piol, filed a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against Carabeo, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Office of the Treasurer of Parañaque City. The complaint pertinently alleged: Failure to disclose his and his spouse's ownership of the foregoing Tagaytay property and vehicles in the pertinent SALNs amounts to a violation of Section 7 of RA 3019 and Section 8(A) of RA 6713 requiring him to file under oath the true and detailed statement of his assets as well as those of his spouse.
  36. 36. Case Digest Carabeo vs CA (G.R No. 07300) and 078003, December 04, 2009 Facts The DOF-RIPS prayed that the Office of the Ombudsman issue an order: (a) filing the appropriate criminal informations against Carabeo for violation of Republic Act (RA) Nos. 3019,5 6713,6 and 13797 and the Revised Penal Code; (b) instituting the appropriate administrative cases against Carabeo for the same violations, for dishonesty and grave misconduct; (c) commencing forfeiture proceedings against Carabeo's unlawfully acquired properties including those illegally obtained in the names of his spouse, children, relatives and agents; and (d) placing Carabeo under preventive suspension pursuant to Section 24 of RA 6770.8
  37. 37. Case Digest Carabeo vs CA (G.R No. 07300) and 078003, December 04, 2009 Issue Whether or not Carabeo committed grave abuse of discretion for not proper filing of his SALN tantamount to the violation of Section 10 of RA 6713 which entitles Carabeo to be informed beforehand and to take the necessary corrective action.
  38. 38. Case Digest Carabeo vs CA (G.R No. 07300) and 078003, December 04, 2009 The ruling of this court Yes Carabeo committed grave abuse of discretion for not proper filing of his SALN it was gleaned from the evidence on record, the deliberate failure of respondent Carabeo to disclose all of his supposed properties in his SALN, particularly the vehicles which are registered in his name involves dishonesty which, if proven, warrant his corresponding removal from the government service. The same is true with respect to the 1,000 square meter residential lot located at Tagaytay City which he failed to disclose in his SALN for 2001 and 2002, respectively.
  39. 39. Case Digest Navarro vs Ombudsman, GR 210128 Aug 17, 2016 Facts In 1980, CPA-lawyer Navarro began his employment at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as Revenue Examiner I with an annual gross salary of P11,904.00. He then became the Revenue District Officer (RDO) of Baguio City and was later designated as Chief Revenue Officer IV (CRO IV) with an annual salary of P246,876.00. The Department of Finance-Revenue Integrity Protection Service (DOF-RIPS), a division of the Department of Finance (DOF) tasked to conduct investigations on allegations of corrupt practices of officials and employees of offices attached to or supervised by the DOF, received a complaint against Navarro. Acting thereon, the DOF- RIPS investigated Navarro and opined that based on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN), he had been steadily amassing landholdings in Baguio City since his appointment as the RDO there and had constructed three (3) structures on some of the parcels of land.
  40. 40. Case Digest Navarro vs Ombudsman, GR 210128 Aug 17, 2016 Facts The DOF-RIPS, filed their Joint Complaint-Affidavit before the Ombudsman against Navarro, for acts and omissions that are deemed illegal, unjust, improper, and/or otherwise irregular or immoral.8 It was averred hi the said complaint that Navarro did not properly declare his assets in his SALNs; that Navarro did not own any real property prior to his employment with the BIR in 1980; that he acquired his real properties, including a resort and commercial buildings, in Baguio City and La Union; That, even assuming they were declared under "Improvements," the amounts declared in his SALN were miniscule, as the improvements constructed were two (2) multi-storey buildings and a two-storey building;9 and that he overstated his liabilities to decrease his networth and failed to disclose his engagement in other forms of businesses. For said reason, it was the conclusion of the DOF-RIPS that "his substantial real property ownership is manifestly out of proportion to his lawful income."
  41. 41. Case Digest Navarro vs Ombudsman, GR 210128 Aug 17, 2016 Issue Whether or not Navarro guilty of dishonesty, grave misconduct and violation of R.A. No. 6713 and meted out the penalty of dismissal from the service with its accessory penalties.
  42. 42. Case Digest Navarro vs Ombudsman, GR 210128 Aug 17, 2016 Ruling of the court No, Navarro did not committed any violation under R.A 6713 The Court has once emphasized that a mere misdeclaration in the SALN does not automatically amount to dishonesty. Only when the accumulated wealth becomes manifestly disproportionate to the income or other sources of income of the public officer/employee and he fails to properly account or explain his other sources of income, does he become susceptible to dishonesty. Although there appeared to have a prima facie evidence giving rise to the presumption of accumulation of wealth disproportionate to his income, Navarro was able to overcome such presumption by coming out with documentary evidence to prove his financial capacity to make the subject acquisitions and to prove that the amounts he stated in his SALNs were true. It should be understood that the laws on SALN aim to curtail the acquisition of unexplained wealth. Where the source of the undisclosed wealth can be properly accounted for, then it is "explained wealth" which the law does not penalize.
  43. 43. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Facts The April 1, 2005 Joint Order of the Ombudsman found respondent Nieto A. Racho (Racho) guilty of dishonesty and ordered him dismissed from the service with forfeiture of all benefits and perpetual disqualification from public office. The assailed CA Decision, however, found Racho guilty of negligence only and reduced the penalty to suspension from office for six months, without pay. From the records, it appears that DYHP Balita Action Team (DYHP), in a letter dated November 9, 2001, reported to Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, Primo Miro, a concerned citizen’s complaint regarding the alleged unexplained wealth of Racho, then Chief of the Special Investigation Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Cebu City.5 To support the allegation, the complainant attached copies of bank certifications, all issued in June of 1999, by Metrobank Cebu (Tabunok Branch),6 BPI Cebu (Mango Branch),7 and PCI Bank (Magallanes Branch).8 In total, Racho appeared to have an aggregate bank deposit of ₱5,798,801.39.
  44. 44. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Facts Acting on the letter, the Ombudsman launched a fact-finding investigation and directed the BIR to submit Racho’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 1995 to 1999. BIR complied with the order and gave copies of Racho’s SALN. Soon, the Ombudsman found that Racho did not declare the bank deposits in his SALN, as mentioned in the DYHP’s letter. Accordingly, the Ombudsman filed a Complaint for Falsification of Public Document under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code (OMB-V-C-02-0240-E) and Dishonesty (OMB-V-A-02-0214E) against Racho. Racho appealed the said order of dismissal to the CA. On January 26, 2004, the CA reversed the Ombudsman’s ruling and ordered the reinvestigation of the case.15
  45. 45. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Facts In the appreciation of the said documents, the Ombudsman and the CA took opposing views. The Ombudsman did not give weight to the SPA due to some questionable entries therein. The CA, on the other hand, recognized the fact that Racho never denied the existence of the bank accounts and accepted his explanation. Accordingly, the CA decreed that although Racho was remiss in fully declaring the said bank deposits in his SALN, the intent to make a false statement, as would constitute dishonesty, was clearly absent.
  46. 46. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Issue Whether or not Racho’s non-disclosure of the bank deposits in his SALN constitutes dishonesty.
  47. 47. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Rulings Yes, the SC rule in favor of the Office of the Ombudsman. Section 7 and Section 8 of Republic Act (R.A.) 3019 explain the nature and importance of accomplishing a true, detailed and sworn SALN. Complimentary to the above-mentioned provisions, Section 2 of R.A. 1379 states that "whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property, said property shall be presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired."
  48. 48. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Rulings By mandate of law, every public official or government employee is required to make a complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities and net worth in order to suppress any questionable accumulation of wealth because the latter usually results from non-disclosure of such matters. Hence, a public official or employee who has acquired money or property manifestly disproportionate to his salary or his other lawful income shall be prima facie presumed to have illegally acquired it
  49. 49. Case Digest Office of the Ombudsman vs Nieto A. Racho, Jan 31, 2011 G.R. No. 185685 Rulings It is a malevolent act that puts serious doubt upon one’s ability to perform his duties with the integrity and uprightness demanded of a public officer or employee.53 Section 52 (A)(1), Rule IV of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in Civil Service treats dishonesty as a grave offense the penalty of which is dismissal from the service at the first infraction.
  50. 50. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Facts From 1986 to 2006, Sereno served as a member of the faculty of the University of the Philippines-College of Law. While being employed at the UP Law, or from October 2003 to 2006, Sereno was concurrently employed as legal counsel of the Republic in two international arbitrations known as the PIATCO cases, and a Deputy Commissioner of the Commissioner on Human Rights. The Human Resources Development Office of UP (UP HRDO) certified that there was no record on Sereno’s file of any permission to engage in limited practice of profession. Moreover, out of her 20 years of employment, only nine (9) Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) were on the records of UP HRDO. In a manifestation, she attached a copy of a tenth SALN, which she supposedly sourced from the “filing cabinets” or “drawers of UP”. The Ombudsman likewise had no record of any SALN filed by Sereno. The JBC has certified to the existence of one SALN. In sum, for 20 years of service, 11 SALNs were recovered.
  51. 51. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Facts On August 2010, Sereno was appointed as Associate Justice. On 2012, the position of Chief Justice was declared vacant, and the JBC directed the applicants to submit documents, among which are “all previous SALNs up to December 31, 2011” for those in the government and “SALN as of December 31, 2011” for those from the private sector. The JBC announcement further provided that “applicants with incomplete or out-of-date documentary requirements will not be interviewed or considered for nomination.” Sereno expressed in a letter to JBC that since she resigned from UP Law on 2006 and became a private practitioner, she was treated as coming from the private sector and only submitted three (3) SALNs or her SALNs from the time she became an Associate Justice. Sereno likewise added that “considering that most of her government records in the academe are more than 15 years old, it is reasonable to consider it infeasible to retrieve all of those files,” and that the clearance issued by UP HRDO and CSC should be taken in her favor. There was no record that the letter was deliberated upon. Despite this, on a report to the JBC, Sereno was said to have “complete requirements.” On August 2012, Sereno was appointed Chief Justice.
  52. 52. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Facts On August 2017, an impeachment complaint was filed by Atty. Larry Gadon against Sereno, alleging that Sereno failed to make truthful declarations in her SALNs. The House of Representatives proceeded to hear the case for determination of probable cause, and it was said that Justice Peralta, the chairman of the JBC then, was not made aware of the incomplete SALNs of Sereno. Other findings were made: such as pieces of jewelry amounting to P15,000, that were not declared on her 1990 SALN, but was declared in prior years’ and subsequent years’ SALNs, failure of her husband to sign one SALN, execution of the 1998 SALN only in 2003
  53. 53. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Issue Whether or not Sereno chronically failed to file her SALNs and thus violated the Constitution, the law, and the Code of Judicial Conduct.
  54. 54. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Ruling of the Court In Sereno’s 20 years of government service in UP Law, only 11 SALNs have been filed. Sereno could have easily dispelled doubts as to the filing or non-filing of the unaccounted SALNs by presenting them before the Court. Yet, Sereno opted to withhold such information or such evidence, if at all, for no clear reason. The Doblada case, invoked by Sereno, cannot be applied, because in the Doblada case, there was a letter of the head of the personnel of the branch of the court that the missing SALN exists and was duly transmitted and received by the OCA as the repository agency. In Sereno’s case, the missing SALNs are neither proven to be in the records of nor was proven to have been sent to and duly received by the Ombudsman as the repository agency. The existence of these SALNs and the fact of filing thereof were neither established by direct proof constituting substantial evidence nor by mere inference. Moreover, the statement of the Ombudsman is categorical: “based on records on file, there is no SALN filed by [Sereno] for calendar years 1999 to 2009 except SALN ending December 1998.” This leads the Court to conclude that Sereno did not indeed file her SALN.
  55. 55. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Ruling of the Court For this reason, the Republic was able to discharge its burden of proof with the certification from UP HRDO and Ombudsman, and thus it becomes incumbent upon Sereno to discharge her burden of evidence. Further, the burden of proof in a quo warranto proceeding is different when it is filed by the State in that the burden rests upon the respondent. In addition, contrary to what Sereno contends, being on leave does not exempt her from filing her SALN because it is not tantamount to separation from government service. The fact that Sereno did not receive any pay for the periods she was on leave does not make her a government worker “serving in an honorary capacity” to be exempted from the SALN laws on RA 6713.
  56. 56. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Ruling of the Court Neither can the clearance and certification of UP HRDO be taken in favor of Sereno. During the period when Sereno was a professor in UP, concerned authorized official/s of the Office of the President or the Ombudsman had not yet established compliance procedures for the review of SALNs filed by officials and employees of State Colleges and Universities, like U.P. The ministerial duty of the head of office to issue compliance order came about only on 2006 from the CSC. As such, the U.P. HRDO could not have been expected to perform its ministerial duty of issuing compliance orders to Sereno when such rule was not yet in existence at that time. Moreover, the clearance are not substitutes for SALNs. The import of said clearance is limited only to clearing Sereno of her academic and administrative responsibilities, money and property accountabilities and from administrative charges as of the date of her resignation.
  57. 57. Case Digest Rep of the Phil vs Serrano GR no. 237424(28), May 11, 2018 (Quo Warranto Proceeding against C.J Serrano) Ruling of the Court Neither can Sereno’s inclusion in the matrix of candidates with complete requirements and in the shortlist nominated by the JBC confirm or ratify her compliance with the SALN requirement. Her inclusion in the shortlist of candidates for the position of Chief Justice does not negate, nor supply her with the requisite proof of integrity. She should have been disqualified at the outset. Moreover, the JBC En Banc cannot be deemed to have considered Sereno eligible because it does not appear that Sereno’s failure to submit her SALNs was squarely addressed by the body. Her inclusion in the shortlist of nominees and subsequent appointment to the position do not estop the Republic or this Court from looking into her qualifications. Verily, no estoppel arises where the representation or conduct of the party sought to be estopped is due to ignorance founded upon an innocent mistake

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