Monday, February 01, 2016

In Re: Benjamin M. Dacanay (Petition for Leave to Resume Practice of Law), 540 SCRA 424, 2007

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner's reacquisition of Philippine citizenship pursuant to RA No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003) automatically restore the privilege to practice law

RULING: No. A Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country is deemed never to have lost his Philippine citizenship if he reacquires it in accordance with RA 9225. Nevertheless, although he is also deemed never to have terminated his membership in the Philippine bar, no automatic right to resume law practice accrues. Before he can resume his law practice, he must first secure from the Court authority to do so, conditioned on: 1) the updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in the IBP; 2) the payment of professional tax; 3) the completion of at least 36 credit hours of mandatory continuing legal education; this is especially significant to refresh the applicant/petitioner's knowledge of Philippine laws and update him of legal developments and 4) the retaking of the lawyer's oath which will not only remind him of his duties and responsibilities as lawyer and as an officer of the Court, but also renew his pledge to maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.

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