Thursday, March 08, 2012

Adez Realty Inc. vs. CA

Facts: On 30 October 1992 the Court found movant, Atty. Benjamin M. Dacanay, guilty of intercalating a material fact in a decision of the Court of Appeals, which he appealed to this Court on certiorari, thereby altering the factual findings of the Court of Appeals with the apparent purpose of misleading this Court in order to obtain a favorable judgment. Consequently, Atty. Dacanay was disbarred from the practice of law. 

He claimed that the inserted words were written by his client, the President of Adez Realty, Inc., in the draft of the petition to be filed before the Supreme Court and unwittingly adopted by movant's secretary when the latter formalized the petition. He manifested that he would not risk committing the act for which he was found guilty considering that he was a nominee of the Judicial and Bar Council to the President for appointment as regional trial judge. 

Dacanay filed a Motion to Lift (Disbarment) stating that he was already 62 years old, has learned his lesson from his mistake, was terribly sorry for what he had done, and in all candor promised that if given another chance he would live up to the exacting demands of the legal profession. He appended to his motion certifications of good moral character from: Fr. Celso Fernando, Parochial Vicar, Parish of St. Michael Archangel, Marilao, Bulacan; Fr. Lauro V. Larlar, OAR, Rector, San Sebastian College-Recoletos; Sis. Aniceta B. Abion, EMM, Chairperson, Center for Housing and Ecology Development Foundation, Inc.; Dean Rufus B. Rodriquez, College of Law, San Sebastian College-Recoletos; Judge Pedro T. Santiago, Executive Judge, RTC, Quezon City; Judge Teodoro P. Regino, RTC-Br. 84, Quezon City; Judge Antonio P. Solano, RTC-Br. 86, Quezon City; and Judge Gregorio D. Dayrit, MTC-Br. 35, Quezon City 

Issue: Should the disbarment be lifted? 

Held: The disbarment of movant Benjamin M. Dacanay for three (3) years has, quite apparently, given him sufficient time and occasion to soul-search and reflect on his professional conduct, redeem himself and prove once more that he is worthy to practice law and be capable of upholding the dignity of the legal profession. His admission of guilt and repeated pleas for compassion and reinstatement show that he is ready once more to meet the exacting standards the legal profession demands from its practitioners. Accordingly, the Court lifts the disbarment of Benjamin M. Dacanay. However he should be sternly warned that — 

[T]he practice of law is a privilege burdened with conditions. Adherence to the rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest degree of morality and faithful compliance with the rules of the legal profession are the conditions required for remaining a member of good standing of the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law. The Supreme Court, as guardian of the legal profession, has ultimate disciplinary power over attorneys. This authority to discipline its members is not only a right, but a bounden duty as well . . . That is why respect and fidelity to the Court is demanded of its members . . . 

WHEREFORE, the disbarment of BENJAMIN M. DACANAY from the practice of law is LIFTED and he is therefore allowed to resume the practice of law upon payment of the required legal fees. This resolution is effective immediately. 

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