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Salcedo vs. Hernandez [G.R. No. L-42992. August 8, 1935]

16 Oct

Ponente: DIAZ, J.

FACTS:

Attorney Vicente Francisco, representing the petitioner-appellant, inserted alleged contemptuous paragraph in his motion for reconsideration read as follows:

We should like frankly and respectfully to make it of record that the resolution of this court, denying our motion for reconsideration, is absolutely erroneous and constitutes an outrage to the rights of the petitioner Felipe Salcedo and a mockery of the popular will expressed at the polls in the municipality of Tiaong, Tayabas. We wish to exhaust all the means within out power in order that this error may be corrected by the very court which has committed it, because we should not want that some citizen, particularly some voter of the municipality of Tiaong, Tayabas, resort to the press publicly to denounce, as he has a right to do, the judicial outrage of which the herein petitioner has been the victim, and because it is our utmost desire to safeguard the prestige of this honorable court and of each and every member thereof in the eyes of the public. But, at the same time we wish to state sincerely that erroneous decisions like these, which the affected party and his thousands of voters will necessarily consider unjust, increase the proselytes of “sakdalism” and make the public lose confidence in the administration of justice.

The court required him to show cause, if any, why he should not be found guilty of contempt, giving him a period of ten days for that purpose. In his answer Atty. Francisco, far from regretting having employed the phrases contained in said paragraph in his motion, reiterated them several times contending that they did not constitute contempt because, according to him it is not contempt to tell the truth.

ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent-appellee is guilty of contempt.

HELD:

YES. Atty. Francisco ordered to pay a fine of P200.00 in ten days and reprimanded.

RATIO:

As a member of the bar and an officer of this court, Attorney Vicente J. Francisco, as any attorney, is in duty bound to uphold its dignity and authority and to defend its integrity, not only because it has conferred upon him the high privilege, not  right (Malcolm, Legal Ethics, 158 and 160), of being what he now is.

It is right and plausible that an attorney, in defending the cause and rights of his client, should do so with all the fervor and energy of which he is capable, but it is not, and never will be so for him to exercise said right by resorting to intimidation or proceeding without the propriety and respect which the dignity of the courts require. The reason for this is that respect of the courts guarantees the stability of their institution. Without such guarranty, said institution would be resting on a very shaky foundation.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Case Digests, Legal Ethics

 

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