Sunday, March 18, 2012

Misamin vs. San Juan (Adm Case 1418 August 31, 1976)

Facts: Herein respondent admits having appeared as counsel for the New Cesar’s Bakery in the proceeding before the NLRC while he held office as captain in the Manila Metropolitan Police. Respondent contends that the law did not prohibit him from such isolated exercise of his profession. He contends that his appearance as counsel while holding a government position is not among the grounds provided by the Rules of Court for the suspension or removal of attorneys.

Issue: Whether or not the administrative case against the defendant should prosper

Held: The court ruled in the negative. The court ruled that the matter is to be decided in an administrative proceeding as noted in the recommendation of the Solicitor General. Nonetheless, the court held that while the charges have to be dismissed, still it would not be inappropriate for respondent member of the bar to avoid all appearances of impropriety. Certainly, the fact that the suspicion could be entertained that far from living true to the concept of a public office being a public trust, he did make use, not so much of whatever legal knowledge he possessed, but the influence that laymen could assume was inherent in the office held not only to frustrate the beneficent statutory scheme that labor be justly compensated but also to be at the beck and call of what the complainant called alien interest, is a matter that should not pass unnoticed. Respondent, in his future actuations as a member of the bar should refrain from laying himself open to such doubts and misgivings as to his fitness not only for the position occupied by him but also for membership in the bar. He is not worthy of membership in an honorable profession who does not even take care that his honor remains unsullied.

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