Profession vs Ethics
* Dr. Hossein Sadri
Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture at Girne American University
E mail: [email protected]
A B S T R A C T
This article studies the process of professionalization in general an
legal ethics case digest
labor case digest
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Uy Kheytin vs Villareal, 42 Phil 892Full description
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a.) The charge of malversation – Interworld Assurance
Garciano vs Sebastian 231 SCRA 329
Corporation (IAC) delivered 4 checks of Php3,000 each March 30, 1994
issued in the name of MTC of Paranaque as satisfaction
Note: I did not make this as detailed as I wanted it to
for its bond liability from 11 criminal cases against it.
be. It is highly recommended that you read the whole
Evidence shows that it was deposited to the personal
account of respondent judge. 2 of the checks were dishonored. Hence, IAC is deemed to have paid only
Facts of the case:
6thou. At first, respondent said that he did not receive
Judge Jose R. Sebastian of Metropolitan Trial Court, Br. 78, Parañaque, is administratively charged with malversation, falsification of public document, and maintaining a common fund among others.
vehemently denied that he pocketed the 6thou and it was proven that he did not do so since the 2 checks were merely dishonored. But the point is that he swore in court that he did not receive any of the checks nor deposited it in his account when the truth as shown by
evidence is that he did. He even presented an affidavit He is accused of paying Php6,000 only to the
from the Interworld Officers wherein the latter said that
Judiciary Development Fund out of the Php12,000 paid
they only paid 6thou. The respondent made an effort to
mislead the investigation and even employed others to
distort the truth. Hence, he violated the oath that he
cases(misappropriation of public funds). It is also
took as a lawyer to "do no falsehood nor consent to the
alleged that Sebastian made it appear that the trial
doing of any in court."
fiscal participated in the dismissal of criminal cases numbers 65628-30 when the minutes for hearing of
He violated Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct,
November 10, 1988 shows that no party appeared in
that "[a] judge should avoid impropriety and the
the hearing(falsification of public document.) He is also
appearance of impropriety in all activities.” If the checks
accused of pocketing money he collected for civil
in question were not issued in the name of the Supreme
marriages he conducted and maintaining a common
Court, then they should have been returned to
Interworld with instructions that new checks be made
appropriated for himself. He was found guilty in RTC for
payable to the Supreme Court. Respondent judge
the 3 mentioned charges and all the other cases were
should not have taken it upon himself to cause the
dismissed. Investigating RTC judge recommended that
encashment of said checks. While he may not have
respondent judge be suspended without pay for a
benefitted in this particular instance, his action casts
period of six (6) months.
doubts as to the integrity of his j udicial actions.
SC remanded the case to the Office of the Court
b.) The charge of falsification of public document – It
Administrator since it was not satisfied with the
was found that he did not maliciously intend to falsify
investigation conducted by the investigating RTC judge.
the order particularly the portion wherein the fiscal voiced no objections for the dismissal of the case since
Issue: WON Sebastian is administratively liable for the
it was his branch clerk of court who made the order
charge against him.
Respondent judge signed the order without reviewing
the work of the clerk of court. It does not make him
In its evaluation, the Office of the Court Administrator
respondent as follows:
liable for falsification in the absence of malice or evil motive on his part. Respondent judge's failure to exert due diligence in handling Crim. Cases Nos. 65628-30 similarly constitutes a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, particularly the judge's duty to "diligently
discharge his administrative responsibilities"(Rule 3.08,
failed to measure up to stringent judicial standards. His
Canon 3, Code of Judicial Conduct) and "maintain
lack of candor, gross misconduct and careless discharge
professional competence in court management.”
of his administrative duties, and worse, leading his subordinates
c.) The charge of maintaining a common fund – Respondent judge is also found to be administratively liable as regards the charge that he has ordered his staff to collect money from litigants to be placed in a socalled common fund. The keeping of a fund, financed directly by litigants and other persons dealing with the Court and by "extra fees" collected by the sheriffs and process servers, such fund being at the disposal of the judge for the private and personal benefit of the employees
unauthorized solicitations from litigants and private parties,
administration of justice. As rightly perceived by the Office of the Court Administrator, his transgressions when considered together are grave and cannot be countenanced. Violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct are serious offenses which call for dismissal from the service. Respondent judge's breach of the provisions of the Code clearly manifests his unfitness to remain any minute longer in office.
condemnable. The respondent judge did not only condone unlawful solicitation; he organized it as a part
WHEREFORE, for (1) his gross violation of the lawyer's
of the day's work and as a ready source of income. He
oath and of Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct ; (2)
thus defiled his noble office, indeed his entire Court, by
his violation of Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct
infecting it with desire for private gain and profit. More
and, (3) his gross misconduct and violation of Sec. 7,
tragic than that, Judiciary as a whole, before the people
par.(d), of R.A. 6714 and of Canons 1 and 2 of the Code
in respondent's town, was placed in disrepute. As
of Judicial Conduct , respondent JUDGE JOSE R.
observed in Junio vs. Judge Rivera, Jr., A.M. No. MTJ-91-
565, August 30, 1993, a municipal judge is the most
is DISMISSED from the service with prejudice to
visible living representation of the country's legal and
reinstatement or appointment to any public office
judicial system. He is the judicial officer who on a day-
to-day basis deals with the disputes arising among
corporations, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits
simple, rural people who comprise the great bulk of our
population. He is the judicial officer who comes into closest and most frequent contact with our people. The judiciary as a whole and its ability to dispense justice are inevitably measured in terms of the public and private acts of judges in the "grass roots" level. The herein respondent judge did not just engage in a solitary instance of solicitation. He instituted a system of contribution by what he considered as his public, the very people who seek justice in his court, of money for the use, as unabashedly admitted, of the employees of the court. His act constituted an utter disregard of the public trust character of a public office. While every office in the government service is a public trust, no position
righteousness and uprightness of an individual than a seat in the judiciary. Hence, judges are strictly mandated to abide with the law, the Code of Judicial Conduct and with existing administrative policies in order to maintain the faith of our people in the administration of justice. Respondent judge miserably
Sec. 37 of BP 129 states that Metropolitan Trial
BENJAMIN C. UY petitioner, vs. HON. RENATO S.
Courts except those in NCR, Municipal Trial Courts and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts have authority to conduct 154 SCRA 567
preliminary investigation of crimes alleged to have been committed
September 30, 1987
jurisdictions and cognizable by the Regional Trial Courts. Facts of the Case:
Art. 360 of the RPC as amended provides that, where
Municipal Trial Court Judge Renato S. Mercado of Cabarrogue, Quirino Province is administratively charged with abuse of judicial power and discretion and gross ignorance of the law. Mambabatas Pambansa Orlando C. Dulay of Quirino Province filed a libel complaint
Benjamin Uy with others because of an article published in Tempo implicating Dulay and company with the cr ime of robbery in band. Dulay and company were charged with the said crime before the Provincial Fiscal of Cavite.
one of the offended parties is a public officer, the action shall be filed in RTC of the province or city where he holds office at the time of the commission of the offense or of the province or city where the libelous article was printed and first published. It is also provided that preliminary investigation of criminal actions for written defamations shall be conducted by the provincial or city fiscal of the province or city, or by the municipal court of the city or capital of the province where such actions may be instituted in accordance with the provisions of the above article. Hence, the proper court to hear the libel case in this instance, was
either the court in Quezon City where former MP
investigation and issued a warrant of arrest for Uy on
Orlando C. Dulay held Office, or the court in Manila
the same day without any evidence or proof that there
where the allegedly libelous matter was printed and
was immediate necessity of placing the accused under
custody of the court and without proof or evidence to warrant a conclusion that the accused may frustrate the ends of justice by their non-appearance in the trial. Uy was arrested in the vicinity of the City Hall in Quezon City and was detained in Cabbaroguis, Quirino Province. Uy alleged that the judge erred in taking cognizance of the complaint since the proper jurisdiction and venue of the case is Quezon City, where former MP Orlando C. Dulay held office or in Manila where the allegedly libelous article was printed and first published. Respondent stated that there was probable
Judge Mercado conducted the preliminary investigation and issued the warrant of arrest on the same
preliminary investigations should secure the innocent against hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecution to protect him from public accusation of crime, from the trouble, expense and anxiety of public trial and to protect
prosecutions. He also did not make sure that venue is properly laid and jurisdiction legally acquired before taking cognizance of the case and issuing the warrant of
cause for the issuance of the warrant according to his
arrest. Even if the issue of venue and jurisdiction was
preliminary examination and what he has gleaned from
raised by Uy giving respondent judge to rectify this
the article. The judicial determination of probable cause
error, he still refused to dismiss the case when it was
is final and conclusive and that whether probable cause
clear that the court had no jurisdiction. This action
exists or not is discretionary for the court. He asks for
placed his integrity under a heavy cloud, leading the
the dismissal of the administrative complaint.
Court to believe that he went "out of his way" to accommodate and favor the then influential and
Issue: WON Mercado is administratively liable. Held: YES.
misconduct or at least, gross ignorance of t he law.
FERNANDO T. COLLANTES, complainant,
(2) Yes, the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to government service in the discharge of their official
VICENTE C. RENOMERON respondent.
tasks (Canon 6). The Code forbids a lawyer to engage in 200 SCRA 584
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1.01, Code of Professional Responsibility), or delay any
August 16, 1991
man’s cause “for any corrupt motive or interest” (Rule Facts: This complaint for disbarment is relative to the administrative case filed by Atty.
counsel for V& G Better Homes Subdivision, Inc. (V&G),
The acts of dishonesty and oppression which
against Atty. Renomeron, Register of Deeds of Tacloban
Attorney Renomeron committed as a public official
City, for the latter’s irregular actuations with regard to
have demonstrated his unfitness to practice the high
the application of V&G for registration of 163 pro forma
and noble calling of the law (Bautista vs. Judge
Deed of Absolute Sale with Assignment (in favor of
Guevarra, 142 SCRA 632; Court Administrator vs.
GSIS) of lots in its subdivision.
Rodolfo G. Hermoso, 150 SCRA 269). He should therefore be disbarred.
Although V&G complied with the desired requirements, respondent
documents with certain “special conditions” between them, which was that V&G should provide him with weekly round trip ticket from Tacloban to Manila plus P2,000.00 as pocket money per trip, or, in lieu thereof, the sale of respondent’s Quezon City house and lot by V&G or GSIS representatives. Eventually, respondent formally denied the registration of the documents. He himself elevated the question on the
Administrator Bonifacio (of the National Land Titles and Deeds
Administrator then resolved in favor of the registrability of the documents. Despite the resolution of the Administrator,
registration thereof but demanded from the parties interested the submission of additional requirements not adverted in his previous denial. Issues: (1) WON the respondent, as a lawyer, may also be disciplined by the Court for his malfeasance as a public official, and (2) WON the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to government service in the discharge of official tasks. Held: (1) Yes, a lawyer’s misconduct as a public official also constitutes a violation of his oath as a lawyer. The lawyer’s oath imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no man for money or malice. The lawyer’s oath is a source of obligations and its violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action.