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RULES OF COURT
3 October 2000
Powers and Duties of Courts and Judicial Officers
Section 1. Courts always open; justice to be promptly and impartially administered.— Courts of justice shall always be open, except on legal holidays, for the filing of any pleadings, motion or other papers, for the trial of cases, hearing of motions, and for the issuance of orders or rendition of judgments. Justice shall be impartially administered without unnecessary delay.
Sec. 2. Publicity of proceedings and records.— The sitting of every court of justice shall be public, but any court may, in its discretion, exclude the public when the evidence to be adduced is of such nature as to require their exclusion in the interest of morality or decency. The records of every court of justice shall be public records and shall be available for the inspection of any interested person, at all proper business hours, under the supervision of the clerk having custody of such records, unless the court shall, in any special case, have forbidden their publicity, in the interest of morality or decency.
Sec. 3. Process of superior courts enforced throughout the Philippines.— Process issued from a superior court in which a case is pending to bring in a defendant, Or for the arrest of any accused person, or to execute any order or judgment of the court, may be enforced in any part of the Philippines.
Sec. 4. Process of inferior courts.— The process of inferior courts shall be enforceable within the province where the municipality or city lies. It shall not be served outside the boundaries of the province in which they are comprised except with the approval of the judge of the Regional Trial Court of said province, and only in the following cases:
(a) When an order for the delivery of personal property lying outside the province is to be complied with;
(b) When an attachment of real or personal property lying outside the province is to be made;
(c) When the action is against two or more defendants residing in different provinces; and
(d) When the place where the case has been brought is that specified in a contract in writing between the parties, or is the place of the execution of such contract as appears therefrom.
Writs of execution issued by inferior courts may be enforced in any part of the Philippines without any previous approval of the judge of first instance.
Criminal process may be issued by a justice of the peace or other inferior court, to be served outside his province, when the district judge, or in his absence the provincial fiscal, shall certify that in his opinion the interests of justice require such service.
Sec. 5. Inherent powers of courts.— Every court shall have power:
(a) To preserve and enforce order in its immediate presence;
(b) To enforce order in proceedings before it, or before a person or persons empowered to conduct a judicial investigation under its authority;
(c) To compel obedience to its judgments, orders and processes, and to the lawful orders of a judge out of court, in a case pending therein;
(d) To control, in furtherance of justice, the conduct of its ministerial officers, and of all other persons in any manner connected with a case before it, in every manner appertaining thereto;
(e) To compel the attendance of persons to testify in a case pending therein;
(f) To administer or cause to be administered oaths in a case pending therein, and in all other cases where it may be necessary in the exercise of its powers;
(g) To amend and control its process and orders so as to make them conformable to law and justice;
(h) To authorize a copy of a lost or destroyed pleading or other paper to be filed and used instead of the original, and to restore, and supply deficiencies in its records and proceedings.
Sec. 6. Means to carry jurisdiction into effect.— When by law jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer; and if the procedure to be followed in the exercise of such jurisdiction is not specifically pointed out by law or by these rules, any suitable process or mode of proceeding may be adopted which appears conformable to the spirit of said law or rules.
Sec. 7. Trials and hearings; orders in chambers.— All trials upon the merits shall be conducted in open court and so far as convenient in a regular court room. All other acts or proceedings may be done or conducted by a judge in chambers, without the attendance of the clerk or other court officials.
Sec. 8. Interlocutory orders out of province.— A judge of Regional Trial Court shall have power to hear and determine, when within the district though without his province, any interlocutory motion or issue after due and reasonable notice to the parties. On the filing of a petition for the writ of habeas corpus or for release upon bail or reduction of bail in any Regional Trial Court, the hearings may be had at any place in the judicial district which the judge shall deem convenient.
Sec. 9. Signing judgments out of province.— Whenever a judge appointed or assigned in any province or branch of a Regional Trial Court in a province shall leave the province by transfer or assignment to another court of equal jurisdiction, or by expiration of his temporary assignment, without having decided a case totally heard by him and which was argued or an opportunity given for argument to the parties or their counsel, it shall be lawful for him to prepare and sign his decision in said case anywhere within the Philippines. He shall send the same by registered mail to the clerk of the court where the case was heard or argued to be filed therein as of the date when the same was received by the clerk, in the same manner as if he had been present in court to direct the filing of the judgment. If a case has been only in part, the Supreme Court, upon petition of any of the parties to the case and the recommendation of the respective district judge, may also authorize the judge who has partly heard the case, if no other judge had heard the case in part, to continue hearing and to decide said case notwithstanding his transfer or appointment to another court of equal jurisdiction.
Court Record and General Duties of Clerks and Stenographers
Section 1. Arms and great seal of court.— The arms and great seal of the Supreme Court are these:
“Arms—Paleways of two pieces azure and gules super-imposed a balance or center with two tablets containing the commandments of God or on either side; a chief argent with three mullets or equidistant from each other, in point of honor, avoid argent over all the sun rayonnant or with eight major and minor rays.”
“The great seal of the Supreme Court shall be circular in form, with the arms as described in the last preceding paragraph and a scroll argent with the following inscriptions: Lex Populusque, and surrounding the whole a garland of laurel leaves in or around the garland the text ‘Supreme Court, Republic of the Philippines.’”
“The arms and seal of the Court of Appeals shall be the same as that of the Supreme Court with the only difference that in the seal shall bear around the garland the text ‘Court of Appeals, Republic of the Philippines.’”
“The arms and seal of the Regional Trial Court shall be the same as that of the Supreme Court with the only difference that the seal shall bear around the garland the text ‘Regional Trial Court, the name of the province, Republic of the Philippines.’” (As amended by Resolution of the Supreme Court, dated Nov. 10, 1967.)
Sec. 2. Style of process.— Process shall be under the seal of the court from which it issues, be styled “Republic of the Philippines, Province of_____________________” to be signed by the clerk and bear date the day it actually issued.
Sec. 3. Clerk’s office.— The clerk’s office, with the clerk or his deputy in attendance, shall be open during business hours on all days except Sundays and legal holidays. The clerk of the Supreme Court and that of the Court of Appeals shall keep office at Manila and all papers authorized or required to be filed therein shall be filed at Manila.
Sec. 4. Issuance by clerk of process.— The clerk of a superior court shall issue under the seal of the court all ordinary writs and process incident to pending cases, the issuance of which does not involve the exercise of functions appertaining to the court or judge only; and may, under the direction of the court or judge, make out and sign letters of administration, appointments of guardians, trustees and receivers, and all writs and process issuing from the court.
Sec. 5. Duties of the clerk in the absence or by direction of the judge.— In the absence of the judge, the clerk may perform all the duties of the judge in receiving applications, petitions, inventories, reports, and the issuance of all orders and notices that follow as a matter of course under these rules, and may also, when directed so to do by the judge, receive the accounts off executors, administrators, guardians, trustees, and receivers, and all evidence relating to them, or to the settlement of the estates of deceased persons, or to guardianships, trusteeships, or receiverships and forthwith transmit such reports, accounts, and evidence to the judge, together with his findings in relation to the same, if the judge shall direct him to make findings and include the same in his report.
Sec. 6. Clerk shall receive papers and prepare minutes.— The clerk of each superior court shall receive and file all pleadings and other papers properly presented, endorsing on each such paper the time when it was filed, and shall attend all of the sessions of the court and enter its proceedings for each day in a minute book to be kept by him.
Sec. 7. Safekeeping of property.— The clerk shall safely keep all records, papers, files, exhibits and public property committed to his charge, including the library of the court, and the seal and furniture belonging to his office.
Sec. 8. General docket.— The clerk shall keep a general docket, each page of which shall be numbered and prepared for receiving all the entries in a single case, and shall enter therein all cases, numbered consecutively in the order in which they were received, and, under the heading of each case and a complete title thereof, the date of each paper filed or issued, of each order or judgment entered, and of each other step taken in the case, so that by reference to a single page the history of the case may be seen.
Sec. 9. Judgment and entries book.— The clerk shall keep a judgment book containing a copy of each judgment rendered by the court in order of its date, and a book of entries of judgments containing at length in chronological order entries of all final judgments or orders of the court.
Sec. 10. Execution book.— The clerk shall keep an execution book in which he or his deputy shall record at length in chronological order each execution, and the officer’s return thereon, by virtue of which real property has been sold.
Sec. 11. Certified copies.— The clerk shall prepare, for any person demanding the same, a copy certified under the seal of the court of any paper, record, order, judgment, or entry in his office, proper to be certified, for the fees prescribed by these rules.
Sec. 12. Other books and duties.— The clerk shall keep such other books and perform such other duties as the court may direct.
Sec. 13. Index; separating cases.— The general docket, judgment book, entries book and execution book shall each be indexed in alphabetical order in the names of the parties, and each of them. If the court so directs, the clerk shall keep two or more of either or all of the books and dockets above mentioned, separating civil from criminal cases, or actions from special proceedings, or otherwise keeping cases separated by classes as the court shall deem best.
Sec. 14. Taking of record from the clerk’s office.— No record shall be taken from the clerk’s office without an order of the court except as otherwise provided by these rules. However, the Solicitor General or any of his assistants, the provincial fiscal or his deputy, and the attorneys de oficio shall be permitted, upon proper receipt, to withdraw from the clerk’s office the record of any cases in which they are interested.
Sec. 15. Unprinted papers.— All unprinted documents presented to the superior courts of the Philippines shall be written on paper of good quality twelve and three eight inches in length by eight and one-half inches in width, leaving a margin at the top and at the left-hand side not less than one inch and one-half in width. Papel catalan, of the first and second classes, legal cap, and typewriting paper of such weight as not to permit the writing of more than one original and two carbons at one time, will be accepted, provided that such paper is of the required size and of good quality. Documents written with ink shall not be of more than twenty-five lines to one page. Typewritten documents shall be written double-spaced. One side only of the page will be written upon, and the different sheets will be sewn together, firmly, by five stitches in the left-hand border in order to facilitate the formation of the expedients, and they must not be doubled.
Sec. 16. Printed papers.— All papers required by these rules to be printed shall be printed with black ink on unglazed paper, with pages six inches in width by nine inches in length, in pamphlet form. The type used shall not be smaller than twelve point. The paper used shall be of sufficient weight to prevent the printing upon one side from being visible upon the other.
Sec. 17. Stenographer.— It shall be the duty of the stenographer who has attended a session of a court either in the morning or in the afternoon, to deliver to the clerk of court, immediately at the close of such morning or afternoon session, all the notes he has taken, to be attached to the record of the case; and it shall likewise be the duty of the clerk to demand that the stenographer comply with said duty. The clerk of court shall stamp the date on which notes are received by him. When such notes are transcribed the transcript shall be delivered to the clerk, duly initialed on each page thereof, to be attached to the record of the case.
Whenever requested by a party, any statement made by a judge of first instance, or by a commissioner, with reference to a case being tried by him, or to any of the parties thereto, or to any witness or attorney, during the hearing of such case, shall be made of record in the stenographic notes.
Sec. 18. Docket and other records of inferior courts.— Every municipal or city judge shall keep a well-bound book labeled “docket,” in which he shall enter for each case:
(a) The title of the case including the names of all the parties;
(b) The nature of the case, whether civil or criminal, and if the latter, the offense charged;
(c) The date of issuing preliminary and intermediate process including orders of arrest and subpoenas, and the date and nature of the return thereon;
(d) The date of the appearance or default of the defendant;
(e) The date of presenting the plea, answer, or motion to quash, and the nature of the same;
(f) The minutes of the trial, including the date thereof and of all adjournments;
(g) The names and addresses of all witnesses;
(h) The date and nature of the judgment, and, in a civil case, the relief granted;
(i) An itemized statement of the costs;
(j) The date of any execution issued, and the date and contents of the return thereon;
(k) The date of any notice of appeal filed, and the name of the party filing the same.
A municipal or city judge may keep two dockets, one for civil and one for criminal cases. He shall also keep all the pleading and other papers and exhibits in cases pending in his court, and shall certify copies of his docket entries and other records proper to be certified, for the fees prescribed by these rules. It shall not be necessary for the municipal or city judge to reduce to writing the testimony of witnesses, except that of the accused in preliminary investigations.
Sec. 19. Entry on docket of inferior courts.— Each Metropolitan Trial judge shall, at the beginning and in front of all his entries in his docket, make and subscribe substantially the following entry:
“A docket of proceedings in cases before __________, municipal judge (or city judge) of the municipality (or city) of __________ in the province of __________, Republic of the Philippines.
Witness my signature,
“Municipal (or Metropolitan Trial Judge)”
Disqualification of Judicial Officers
Section 1. Disqualification of judges.— No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the civil law, or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in which he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered upon the record.
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.
Sec. 2. Objection that judge disqualified, how made and effect.— If it be claimed that an official is disqualified from sitting as above provided, the party objecting to his competency may, in writing, file with the official his objection, stating the grounds therefor, and the official shall thereupon proceed with the trial, or withdraw, therefrom in accordance with his determination of the question of his disqualification. His decision shall be forthwith made in writing and filed with the other papers in the case, but no appeal or stay shall be allowed from, or by means of, his decision in favor of his own competency, until after final judgment in the case.
Attorneys and Admission to Bar
Section 1. Who may practice law.— Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or thereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of this rule, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law.
Sec. 2. Requirements for all applicants for admission to the bar.— Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-one years of age, of good moral character, and a resident of the Philippines; and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him, involving moral turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines.
Sec. 3. Requirements for lawyers who are citizens of the United States of America.— Citizens of the United States of America who, before July 4, 1946, were duly licensed members of the Philippine Bar, in active practice in the courts of the Philippines and in good and regular standing as such may, upon satisfactory proof of those facts before the Supreme Court, be allowed to continue such practice after taking the following oath of office:
“I, __________, having been permitted to continue in the practice of law in the Philippines, do solemnly swear that I recognize the supreme authority of the Republic of the Philippines; I will support its Constitution and obey the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein; I will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; I will not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid nor consent to the same; I will delay no man for money or malice, and will conduct myself as a lawyer according to the best of my knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to my clients; and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.”
Sec. 4. Requirements for applicants from other jurisdictions.— Applicants for admission who, being Filipino citizens, are enrolled attorneys in good standing in the Supreme Court of the United States or in any circuit Court of Appeals or district court therein, or in the highest court of any State or Territory of the United States, and who can show by satisfactory certificates that they have practiced at least five years in any of said courts, that such practice began before July 4, 1946, and that they have never been suspended or disbarred, may, in the discretion of the Court, be admitted without examination.5
Sec. 5. Additional requirements for other applicants.— All applicants for admission other than those referred to in the two preceding sections shall, before being admitted to the examination, satisfactorily show that they have regularly studied law for four years, and successfully completed all prescribed courses, in a law ,school or university, officially approved and recognized by the Secretary of Education. The affidavit of the candidate, accompanied by a certificate from the university or school of law, shall be filed as evidence of such facts, and further evidence may be required by the court.
No applicant shall be admitted to the bar examination unless he has satisfactorily completed the following courses in a law school or university duly recognized by the government: civil law, commercial law, remedial law, criminal law, public and private international law, political law, labor and social legislation, medical jurisprudence, taxation and legal ethics.
Sec. 6. Pre-Law.— No applicant for admission to the bar examination shall be admitted unless he presents a certificate that he has satisfied the Secretary of Education that, before he began the study of law, he had pursued and satisfactorily completed in an authorized and recognized university or college, requiring for admission thereto the completion of a four-year high school course, the course of study prescribed therein for a bachelor’s degree in arts or sciences with any of the following subjects as major or field of concentration: political science, logic, English, Spanish, history and economics.2
Sec. 7. Time for filing proof of qualifications.— All applicants for admission shall file with the clerk of the Supreme Court the evidence required by section 2 of this rule at least fifteen (15) days before the beginning of the examination. If not embraced within sections 3 and 4 of this rule they shall also file within the same period the affidavit and certificate required by section 5, and if embraced within sections 3 and 4 they shall exhibit a license evidencing the fact of their admission to practice, satisfactory evidence that the same has not been revoked, and certificates as to their professional standing. Applicants shall also file at the same time their own affidavits as to their age, residence, and citizenship.
Sec. 8. Notice of applications.— Notice of applications for admission shall be published by the clerk of the Supreme Court in newspapers published in Filipino, English and Spanish, for at least ten (10) days before the beginning of the examination.
Sec. 9. Examination; subjects.— Applicants, not otherwise provided for in sections 3 and 4 of this rule, shall be subjected to examinations in the following subjects: Civil Law; Labor and Social Legislation; Mercantile Law; Criminal Law; Political Law (Constitutional Law, Public Corporations, and Public Officers); International Law (Private and Public); Taxation: Remedial Law (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence); Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (in Pleading and Conveyancing).
Sec. 10. Bar examination, by questions and answers, and in writing.— Persons taking the examination shall not bring papers, books or notes into the examination rooms. The questions shall be the same for all examinees and a copy thereof, in English or Spanish, shall be given to each examinee. Examinees shall answer the questions personally without help from anyone.
Upon verified application made by an examinee stating that his penmanship is so poor that it will be difficult to read his answers without much loss of time, the Supreme Court may allow such examinee to use a typewriter in answering the questions. Only noiseless typewriters shall be allowed to be used.
The committee of bar examiners shall take such precautions as are necessary to prevent the substitution of papers or commission of other frauds. Examinees shall not place their names on the examination papers. No oral examination shall be given.
Sec. 11. Annual examination.— Examinations for admission to the bar of the Philippines shall take place annually in the City of Manila. They shall be held in four days to be designated by the chairman of the committee on bar examiners. The subject shall be distributed as follows: First day: Political and International Law (morning) and Labor and Social Legislation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Third day: Mercantile Law (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Remedial Law (morning) and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (afternoon).
Sec. 12. Committee of examiners.— Examinations shall be conducted by a committee of bar examiners to be appointed by the Supreme Court. This committee shall be composed of a Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall act as chairman, and who shall be designated by the court to serve for one year, and eight members of the bar of the Philippines, who shall hold office for a period of one year. The names of the members of this committee shall be published in each volume of the official reports.
Sec. 13. Disciplinary measures.— No candidate shall endeavor to influence any member of the committee, and during examination the candidates shall not communicate with each other nor shall they give or receive any assistance. The candidate who violates this provision, or any other provision of this rule, shall be barred from the examination, and the same to count as a failure against him, and further disciplinary action, including permanent disqualification, may be taken in the discretion of the court.
Sec. 14. Passing average.— In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the average, the subjects in the examination shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 15 per cent; Labor and Social Legislation, 10 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law, 10 per cent: Political and International Law, 15 per cent; Taxation, 10 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent.
Sec. 15. Report of the committee; filing of examination papers.— Not later than February 15th after the examination, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the committee shall file its report on the result of such examination. The examination papers and notes of the committee shall be filed with the clerk and may there be examined by the parties in interest, after the court has approved the report.
Sec. 16. Failing candidates to take review course.— Candidates who have failed the bar examinations for three times shall be disqualified from taking another examination unless they show to the satisfaction of the court that they have enrolled in and passed regular fourth year review classes as well as attended a pre-bar review course in a recognized law school.
The professors of the individual review subjects attended by the candidates under this rule certify under oath that the candidates have regularly attended classes and passed the subjects under the same conditions as ordinary students and the ratings obtained by them in the particular subject.
Sec. 17. Admission and oath of successful applicants.— An applicant who has passed the required examination, or has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office.
Sec. 18. Certificate.— The Supreme Court shall thereupon admit the applicant as a member of the bar for all the courts of the Philippines, and shall direct an order to be entered to that effect upon its records, and that a certificate of such record be given to him by the clerk of court, which certificate shall be his authority to practice.
Sec. 19. Attorneys’ roll.— The clerk of the Supreme Court shall keep a roll of all attorneys admitted to practice, which roll shall be signed by the person admitted when he receives his certificate.
Sec. 20. Duties of attorneys.— It is the duty of an attorney:
(a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines.
(b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers;
(c) To counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law;
(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to him, such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and never seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of fact or law;
(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client’s business except from him or with his knowledge and approval;
(f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged;
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding, or delay any man’s cause, from any corrupt motive or interest;
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed;
(i) In the defense of a person accused of crime, by all fair and honorable means, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, to present every defense that the law permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by due process of law.
Sec. 21. Authority of attorney to appear.— An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in court for his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the authority under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to any issue, the name of the person who employed him, and may thereupon make such order as justice requires. An attorney wilfully appearing in court for a person without being employed, unless by leave of the court, may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official transactions.
Sec. 22. Attorney who appears in lower court presumed to represent client on appeal.— An attorney who appears de parte in a case before a lower court shall be presumed to continue representing his client on appeal, unless he files a formal petition withdrawing his appearance in the appellate court.
Sec. 23. Authority of attorneys to bind clients.— Attorneys have authority to bind their clients in any case by any agreement in relation thereto made in writing, and in taking appeals, and in all matters of ordinary judicial procedure. But they cannot, without special authority, compromise their client’s litigation, or receive anything in discharge of a client’s claim but the full amount in cash.
Sec. 24. Compensation of attorneys; agreement as to fees.— An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney. No court shall be bound by the opinion of attorneys as expert witnesses as to the proper compensation, but may disregard such testimony and base its conclusion on its own professional knowledge. A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.
Sec. 25. Unlawful retention of client’s funds; contempt.— When an attorney unjustly retains in his hands money of his client after it has been demanded he may be punished for contempt as an officer of the Court who has misbehaved in his official transactions; but proceedings under this section shall not be a bar to a criminal prosecution.
Sec. 26. Change of attorneys.— An attorney may retire at any time from any action or special proceeding, by the written consent of his client filed in court. He may also retire at any time from an action or special proceeding, without the consent of his client, should the court, on notice to the client and attorney, and on hearing, determine that he ought to be allowed to retire. In case of substitution, the name of the attorney newly employed shall be entered on the docket of the court in place of the former one, and written notice of the change shall be given to the adverse party.
A client may at any time dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his place, but if the contract between client and attorney has been reduced to writing and the dismissal of the attorney was without justifiable cause, he shall be entitled to recover from the client the full compensation stipulated in the contract. For the payment of such compensation the attorney shall have a lien upon all judgments for the payment of money, and execution issued in pursuant of such judgments, rendered in the case wherein his services had been retained by the client. (As amended by Rep. Act No. 636.)
Sec. 27. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court, grounds therefor.— A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a wilful disobedience appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice.
The disbarment or suspension of a member of the Philippine Bar by a competent court or other disciplinatory agency in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also been admitted as an attorney is a ground for his disbarment or suspension if the basis of such action includes any of the acts hereinabove enumerated.
The judgment, resolution or order of the foreign court or disciplinary agency shall be prima facie evidence of the ground for disbarment or suspension. (As amended by SC Res. dated Feb. 13, 1992.)
Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court.— The Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.
Sec. 29. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court, further proceedings in Supreme Court.— Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending the suspension, or removing the attorney from his office as such, as the facts warrant.
Sec. 30. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension.— No attorney shall be removed or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to appear and answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte.
Sec. 31. Attorneys for destitute litigants.— A court may assign an attorney to render professional aid free of charge to any party in a case, if upon investigation it appears that the party is destitute and unable to employ an attorney, and that the services of counsel are necessary to secure the ends of justice and to protect the rights of the party. It shall be the duty of the attorney so assigned to render the required service, unless he is excused therefrom by the court for sufficient cause shown.
Sec. 32. Compensation for attorneys de oficio.— Subject to availability of funds as may be provided by law the court may, in its discretion, order an attorney employed as counsel de oficio to be compensated in such sum as the court may fix in accordance with section 24 of this rule. Whenever such compensation is allowed, it shall not be less than thirty pesos (P30) in any case, nor more than the following amounts: (1) Fifty pesos (P50) in light felonies; (2) One hundred pesos (P100) in less grave felonies; (3) Two hundred pesos (P200) in grave felonies other than capital offenses; (4) Five hundred pesos (P500) in capital offenses.
Sec. 33. Standing in court of persons authorized to appear for Government.— Any official or other person appointed or designated in accordance with law to appear for the Government of the Philippines shall have all the rights of a duly authorized member of the bar to appear in any case in which said government has an interest direct or indirect.
Sec. 34. By whom litigation conducted.— In the court of a municipality a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.
Sec. 35. Certain attorneys not to practice.— No judge or other official or employee of the superior courts or of the Office of the Solicitor General, shall engage in private practice as a member of the bar or give professional advice to clients.
Sec. 36. Amicus curiae.— Experienced and impartial attorneys may be invited by the Court to appear as amici curiae to help in the disposition of issues submitted to it. (As amended by Resolution of the Supreme Court, dated May 20, 1968.)
Sec. 37. Attorneys’ liens.— An attorney shall have a lien upon the funds, documents and papers of his client, which have lawfully come into his possession and may retain the same until his lawful fees and disbursements have been paid, and may apply such funds to the satisfaction thereof. He shall also have a lien to the same extent upon all judgments for the payment of money, and executions issued in pursuance of such judgments, which he has secured in a litigation of his client, from and after the time when he shall have caused a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court rendering such judgment, or issuing such execution, and shall have caused written notice thereof to be delivered to his client and to the adverse party; and he shall have the same right and power over such judgments and executions as his client would have to enforce his lien and secure the payment of his just fees and disbursements.
Law Student Practice Rule
Section 1. Conditions for Student Practice.— A law student who has successfully completed his 3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school’s clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court, tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law school.
Sec. 2. Appearance.— The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be under, the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs, memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervening attorney for and in behalf of the legal clinic.
Sec. 3. Privileged communications.— The Rules safeguarding privileged communications between attorney and client shall apply to similar communications made to or received by the law student, acting for the legal clinic.
Sec. 4. Standards of conduct and supervision.— The law student shall comply with the standards of professional conduct governing members of the Bar. Failure of an attorney to provide adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for disciplinary action. (SC Circular No. 19, prom. Dec. 19, 1986.)
Disbarment or Suspension of Attorneys3
Section 1. Motion or complaint.— Proceedings for the removal or suspension of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court on its own motion or upon the complaint under oath of another in writing. The complaint shall set out distinctly, clearly, and concisely the facts complained of, supported by affidavits, if any, of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and shall be accompanied with copies of such documents as may substantiate said facts.
Sec. 2. Service or dismissal.— If the complaint appears to merit action, a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent, requiring him to answer the same within ten (10) days from the date of service. If the complaint does not merit action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court that the complaint is not meritorious, the same shall be dismissed.
Sec. 3. Investigation by Solicitor General.— Upon the issues raised by the complaint and answer, or upon failure of the respondent to answer, the case shall be referred to the Solicitor General for investigation to determine if there is sufficient ground to proceed with the prosecution of the respondent. In the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General, the respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself, to produce witnesses on his own behalf, and to be heard by himself and counsel. However, if upon reasonable notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed ex parte.
Sec. 4. Report of the Solicitor General.— Based upon the evidence adduced at the hearing, if the Solicitor General finds no sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent, he shall submit a report to the Supreme Court containing his findings of fact and conclusion, whereupon the respondent shall be exonerated unless the court orders differently.
Sec. 5. Complaint of the Solicitor General. Answer of respondent.— If the Solicitor General finds sufficient ground to proceed against the respondent, he shall file the corresponding complaint, accompanied with all the evidence introduced in his investigation, with the Supreme Court, and the respondent shall be served by the clerk of the Supreme Court with a copy of the complaint with direction to answer the same within fifteen (15) days.
Sec. 6. Evidence produced before Solicitor General available.— The evidence produced before the Solicitor General in his investigation may be considered by the Supreme Court in the final decision of the case, if the respondent had an opportunity to object and cross-examine. If in the respondent’s answer no statement is made as to any intention of introducing additional evidence, the case shall be set down for hearing, upon the filing of such answer or upon the expiration of the time to file the same.
Sec. 7. Commissioner to investigate and recommend. Rules of evidence.— Upon receipt of the respondent’s answer, wherein a statement is made as to his desire to introduce additional evidence, the case shall be referred to a commissioner who, in the discretion of the court, may be the clerk of the Supreme Court, a judge of the Regional Trial Court, or an attorney-at-law for investigation, report, and recommendation. The Solicitor General or his representative shall appear before the commissioner to conduct the prosecution. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself, to produce additional evidence in his own behalf, and to be heard by himself and counsel. However, if upon reasonable notice the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed ex parte. The rules of evidence shall be applicable to proceedings of this nature.
Sec. 8. Report of commissioner and hearing.— Upon receipt of the report of the commissioner, copies of which shall be furnished the Solicitor General and the respondent, the case shall be set down for hearing before the court, following which the case shall be considered submitted to the court for its final determination.
Sec. 9. Procedure in Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court.— As far as may be applicable, the procedure above outlined shall likewise govern the filing and investigation of complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals or in Regional Trial Court. In case of suspension of the respondent, the judge of Regional Trial Court or Justice of the Court of Appeals shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which same is based.
Sec. 10. Confidential.— Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential, except that the final order of the court shall be made public as in other cases coming before the court.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines
Section 1. Organization.— There is hereby organized an official national body to be known as the “Integrated Bar of the Philippines,” composed of all persons whose names now appear or may hereafter be included in the Roll of Attorneys of the Supreme Court.
Sec. 2. Purposes.— The fundamental purposes of the Integrated Bar shall be to elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively.
Sec. 3. Regions.— The Philippines is hereby divided into nine Regions of the Integrated Bar, to wit:
(a) Northern Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Abra, Batanes, Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, La Union, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino;
(b) Central Luzon, consisting of the province of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales;
(c) Greater Manila, consisting of the City of Manila and Quezon City;
(d) Southern Luzon, consisting of the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon, and Rizal;
(e) Bicolandia, consisting of the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon;
(f) Eastern Visayas, consisting of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte;
(g) Western Visayas, Consisting of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Romblon, and Siquijor;
(h) Eastern Mindanao, consisting of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur; and
(i) Western Mindanao, consisting of the cities of Basilan and Zamboanga, and the provinces of Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato, Sulu, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur.
In the event of the creation of any new province, the Board of Governors shall, with the approval of the Supreme Court determine the Region to which the said province shall belong.
Sec. 4. Chapters.— A Chapter of the Integrated Bar shall be organized in every province. Except as hereinbelow provided, every city shall be considered part of the province within which it is geographically situated.
A separate Chapter shall be organized in each of following political subdivisions or areas:
(a) The subprovince of Aurora;
(b) Each congressional district of the City of Manila;
(c) Quezon City;
(d) Caloocan City, Malabon and Navotas;
(e) Pasay City, Makati, Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte;
(f) Cebu City; and
(g) Zamboanga City and Basilan City.
Unless he otherwise registers his preference for a particular Chapter, a lawyer shall be considered a member of the Chapter of the Province, city, political subdivision or area where his office or, in the absence thereof, his residence is located. In no case shall any lawyer be a member of more than one Chapter.
Each Chapter shall have its own local government as provided for by uniform rules to be prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Supreme Court, the provisions of Section 19 of this Rule notwithstanding.
Chapters belonging to the same Region may hold regional conventions on matters and problems of common concern.
Sec. 5. House of Delegates.— The Integrated Bar shall have a House of Delegates of not more than one hundred twenty members who shall be apportioned among all the Chapters as nearly as may be according to the number of their respective members, but each Chapter shall have at least one Delegate. On or before December 31, 1974, and every four years thereafter, the Board of Governors shall make an apportionment of Delegates.
The term of the office of Delegate shall begin on the date of the opening of the annual convention of the House and shall end on the day immediately preceding the date of the opening of the next succeeding annual convention. No person may be a Delegate for more than two terms.
The House shall hold an annual convention at the call of the Board of Governors at any time during the month of April of each year for the election of Governors, the reading and discussion of reports including the annual report of the Board of Governors, the transaction of such other business as may be referred to it by the Board, and the consideration of such additional matters as may be requested in writing by at least twenty Delegates. Special conventions of the House may be called by the Board of Governors to consider only such matters as the Board shall indicate. A majority of the Delegates who have registered for a convention, whether annual or special, shall constitute a quorum to do business.
Sec. 6. Board of Governors.— The Integrated Bar shall be governed by a Board of Governors. Nine Governors shall be elected by the House of Delegates from the nine Regions on the representation basis of one Governor from each Region. Each Governor shall be chosen from a list of nominees submitted by the Delegates from the Region, provided that no more than one nominee shall come from any Chapter. The President and the Executive Vice President, if chosen by the Governors from outside of themselves as provided in Section 7 of this Rule, shall ipso facto become members of the Board.
The members of the Board shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. No person may be a Governor for more than two terms.
The Board shall meet regularly once every three months, on such date and at such time and place as it shall designate. A majority of all the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum to do business. Special meetings may be called by the President or by five members of the Board.
Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, the Board shall adopt By-Laws and promulgate Canons of Professional Responsibility for all members of the Integrated Bar. The By-Laws and the Canons may be amended by the Supreme Court motu proprio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors.
The Board shall prescribe such other rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry out the purposes of the Integrated Bar as well as the provisions of this Rule.
Sec. 7. Officers.— The Integrated Bar shall have a President and an Executive Vice President who shall be chosen by the Governors immediately after the latter’s election, either from among themselves or from other members of the Integrated Bar by the vote of at least five Governors. Each of the regional members of the Board shall be ex officio Vice President for the Region which he represents.
The President and the Executive Vice President shall hold office for a term of one year from the date of their election and until their successors shall have duly qualified. The Executive Vice President shall automatically become the President for the next succeeding full term. The Presidency shall rotate from year to year among all the nine Regions in such order of rotation as the Board of Governors shall prescribe. No person shall be President or Executive Vice President of the Integrated Bar for more than one term.
The Integrated Bar shall have a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such other officer and employees as may be required by the Board of Governors, to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board, and to hold office at the pleasure of the Board or for such term as it may fix. Said officers and employees need not be members of the Integrated Bar.
Sec. 8. Vacancies.— In the event the President is absent or unable to act, his duties shall be performed by the Executive Vice President; and in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the President, the Executive Vice President shall serve as Acting President during the remainder of the term of the office thus vacated. In the event of the death, resignation, removal, or disability of both the President and the Executive Vice President, the Board of Governors shall elect an Acting President to hold office until the next succeeding election or during the period of disability.
The filling of vacancies in the House of Delegates, Board of Governors, and all other positions of Officers of the Integrated Bar shall be as provided in the By-Laws. Whenever the term of an office or position is for a fixed period, the person chosen to fill a vacancy therein shall serve only for the unexpired term.
Sec. 9. Membership dues.— Every member of the Integrated shall pay such annual dues as the Board of Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. A fixed sum equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the collections from each Chapter shall be set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the Chapter and the compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof.
Sec. 10. Effect of non-payment of dues.— Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule, default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of members in the Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys.
Sec. 11. Voluntary termination of membership; reinstatement.— A member may terminate his membership by filing a written notice to that effect with the Secretary of the Integrated Bar, who shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the Supreme Court. Forthwith he shall cease to be a member and his name shall be stricken by the Court in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board of Governors and approved by the Court.
Sec. 12. Grievance procedures.— The Board of Governors shall provide in the By-Laws for grievance procedures for the enforcement and maintenance of discipline among all the members of the Integrated Bar, but no action involving the suspension or disbarment of a member or the removal of his name from the Roll of Attorneys shall be effective without the final approval of the Supreme Court.
Sec. 13. Non-political Bar.— The Integrated Bar shall be strictly non-political, and every activity tending to impair this basic feature is strictly prohibited and shall be penalized accordingly. No lawyer holding an elective, judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall be eligible for election or appointment to any position in the Integrated Bar or any Chapter thereof. A Delegate, Governor, Officer or employee of the Integrated Bar, or an officer or employee of any Chapter thereof shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his position as of the moment he files his certificate of candidacy for any elective public office or accepts appointment to any judicial, quasi-judicial, or prosecutory office in the Government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof.
Sec. 14. Positions honorary.— Except as may be specifically authorized or allowed by the Supreme Court, no Delegate or Governor and no national or local Officer or committee member shall receive any compensation, allowance or emolument from the funds of the Integrated Bar for any service rendered therein or be entitled to reimbursement for any expense incurred in the discharge of his functions.
Sec. 15. Fiscal matters.— The Board of Governors shall administer the funds of the Integrated Bar and shall have the power to make appropriations and disbursements therefrom. It shall cause proper Books of Accounts to be kept and Financial Statements to be rendered and shall see to it that the proper audit is made of all accounts of the Integrated Bar and all the Chapters thereof.
Sec. 16. Journal.— The Board of Governors shall cause to be published a quarterly Journal of the Integrated Bar, free copies of which shall be distributed to every member of the Integrated Bar.
Sec. 17. Voluntary Bar associations.— All voluntary Bar associations now existing or which may hereafter be formed may co-exist with the Integrated Bar but shall not operate at cross-purposes therewith.
Sec. 18. Amendments.— This Rule may be amended by the Supreme Court motu proprio or upon the recommendation of the Board of Governors or any Chapter of the Integrated Bar.
Sec. 19. Organizational period.— The Commission on Bar Integration shall organize the local Chapters and toward this end shall secure the assistance of the Department of Justice and of all Judges throughout the Philippines. All Chapter organizational meetings shall be held on Saturday, February 17, 1973. In every case, the Commission shall cause proper notice of the date, time and place of the meeting to be served upon all the lawyers concerned at their addresses appearing in the records of the Commission. The lawyers present at the meeting called to organize a Chapter shall constitute a quorum for the purpose, including the election of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and five Directors.
The Commission shall initially fix the number of Delegates and apportion the same among all the Chapters as nearly as may be in proportion to the number of their respective members, but each chapter shall have at least one Delegate. The President of each Chapter shall concurrently be its Delegate to the House of Delegates. The Vice President shall be his alternate, except where the Chapter is entitled to have more than one Delegate, in which case the Vice President shall also be a Delegate. The Board of Directors of the Chapter shall in proper cases elect additional as well as alternative Delegates.
The House of Delegates shall convene in the City of Manila on Saturday, March 17, 1973 for the purpose of electing a Board of Governors. The Governors shall immediately assume office and forthwith meet to elect the Officers of the Integrated Bar. The Officers so chosen shall immediately assume their respective positions.
Sec. 20. Effectivity.— This Rule shall take effect on January 16,1973.
Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys
Section 1. How Instituted.— Proceedingsfor the disbarment, suspension, or discipline of attorneys may be taken by the Supreme Court motu proprio, or by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) upon the verified complaint of any person. The complaint shall state clearly and concisely the facts complained of and shall be supported by affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts therein alleged and/or by such documents as may substantiate said facts.
The IBP Board of Governors may, motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person, initiate and prosecute proper charges against any erring attorneys including those in the government service: Provided, however, That all charges against Justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, and Judges of the Court of Tax Appeals and lower courts, even if lawyers are jointly charged with them, shall be filed with the Supreme Court: Provided, further, That charges filed against Justices and Judges before the IBP, including those filed prior to their appointment in the Judiciary, shall immediately be forwarded to the Supreme Court for disposition and adjudication. (As amended by Bar Matter No. 1960, May 1, 2000.)
Six (6) copies of the verified complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the IBP or the Secretary of any of its chapters who shall forthwith transmit the same to the IBP Board of Governors for assignment to an investigator.
A. Proceedings in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
Sec. 2. National Grievance Investigators.— The Board of Governors shall appoint from among IBP members an Investigator or, when special circumstances so warrant, a panel of three (3) investigators to investigate the complaint. All Investigators shall take an oath of office in the form prescribed by the Board of Governors. A copy of the Investigator’s appointment and oath shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court.
An Investigator may be disqualified by reason of relationship within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity to any of the parties or their counsel, pecuniary interest, personal bias, or his having acted as counsel for either party, unless the parties sign and enter upon the record their written consent to his acting as such Investigator. Where the Investigator does not disqualify himself, a party may appeal to the IBP Board of Governors, which by majority vote of the members present, there being a quorum, may order his disqualification.
Any Investigator may also be removed for cause, after the hearing, by the vote of at least six (6) members of the IBP Board of Governors. The decision of the Board of Governors in all cases of disqualification or removal shall be final.
Sec. 3. Duties of the National Grievance Investigator.— The National Grievance Investigators shall investigate all complaints against members of the Integrated Bar referred to them by the IBP Board of Governors.
Sec. 4. Chapter assistance to complainant.— The proper IBP Chapter may assist the complainants) in the preparation and filing of his complaint(s).
Sec. 5. Service or dismissal.— If the complaint appears to be meritorious, the Investigator shall direct that a copy thereof be served upon the respondent, requiring him to answer the same within fifteen (15) days from the date of service. If the complaint does not merit action, or if the answer shows to the satisfaction of the Investigator that the complaint is not meritorious, the same may be dismissed by the Board of Governors upon his recommendation. A copy of the resolution of dismissal shall be furnished the complainant and the Supreme Court which may review the case motu proprio or upon timely appeal of the complainant filed within 15 days from notice of the dismissal of the complaint.
No investigation shall be interrupted or terminated by reason of the desistance, settlement, compromise, restitution, withdrawal of the charges, or failure of the complainant to prosecute the same.
Sec. 6. Verification and service of answer.— The answer shall be verified. The original and five (5) legible copies of the answer shall be filed with the Investigator, with proof of service of a copy thereof on the complainant or his counsel.
Sec. 7. Administrative counsel.— The IBP Board of Governors shall appoint a suitable member of the Integrated Bar as counsel to assist the complainant or the respondent during the investigation in case of need for such assistance.
Sec. 8. Investigation.— Upon joinder of issues or upon failure of the respondent to answer, the Investigator shall, with deliberate speed, proceed with the investigation of the case. He shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths. The respondent shall be given full opportunity to defend himself, to present witnesses on his behalf, and be heard by himself and counsel. However, if upon reasonable notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall proceed ex parte.
The Investigator shall terminate the investigation within three (3) months from the date of its commencement, unless extended for good cause by the Board of Governors upon prior application.
Willful failure to refusal to obey a subpoena or any other lawful order issued by the Investigator shall be dealt with as for indirect contempt of court. The corresponding charge shall be filed by the Investigator before the IBP Board of Governors which shall require the alleged contemnor to show cause within ten (10) days from notice. The IBP Board of Governors may thereafter conduct hearings, if necessary, in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Rule for hearings before the Investigator. Such hearing shall as far as practicable be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its commencement. Thereafter, the IBP Board of Governors shall within a like period of fifteen (15) days issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations, which shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action and if warranted, the imposition of penalty.
Sec. 9. Depositions.— Depositions may be taken in accordance with the Rules of Court with leave of the investigators).
Within the Philippines, depositions may be taken before any member of the Board of Governors, the President of any Chapter, or any officer authorized by law to administer oaths.
Depositions may be taken outside the Philippines before a diplomatic or consular representative of the Philippine Government or before any person agreed upon by the parties or designated by the Board of Governors.
Any suitable member of the Integrated Bar in the Place where a deposition shall be taken may be designated by the Investigator to assist the complainant or the respondent in taking a deposition.
Sec. 10. Report of Investigator.— Not later than thirty (30) days from the termination of the investigation, the Investigator shall submit a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations to the IBP Board of Governors, together with the stenographic notes and the transcript thereof, and all the evidence presented during the investigation. The submission of the report need not await the transcription of the stenographic notes, it being sufficient that the report reproduce substantially from the Investigator’s personal notes any relevant and pertinent testimonies.
Sec. 11. Defects.— No defect in a complaint, notice, answer, or in the proceeding or the Investigator’s Report shall be considered as substantial unless the Board of Governors, upon considering the whole record, finds that such defect has resulted or may result in a miscarriage of justice, in which event the Board shall take such remedial action as the circumstances may warrant, including invalidation of the entire proceedings.
Sec. 12. Review and decision by the Board of Governors.—
(a) Every case heard by an investigator shall be reviewed by the IBP Board of Governors upon the record and evidence transmitted to it by the Investigator with his report. The decision of the Board upon such review shall be in writing and shall clearly and distinctly state the facts and the reasons on which it is based. It shall be promulgated within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the next meeting of the Board following the submittal of the Investigator’s Report.
(b) If the Board, by the vote of a majority of its total membership, determines that the respondent should be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred, it shall issue a resolution setting forth its findings and recommendations which, together with the whole record of the case, shall forthwith be transmitted to the Supreme Court for final action.
(c) If the respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition, reprimand, or find) it shall issue a decision exonerating respondent or imposing such sanction. The case shall be deemed terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested party filed with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Board’s resolution, the Supreme Court orders otherwise.
(d) Notice of the resolution or decision of the Board shall be given to all parties through their counsel. A copy of the same shall be transmitted to the Supreme Court.
B. Proceedings in the Supreme Court
Sec. 13. Supreme Court Investigators.— In proceedings initiated motu proprio by the Supreme Court or in other proceedings when the interest of justice so requires, the Supreme Court may refer the case for investigation to the Solicitor General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court, in which case the investigation shall proceed in the same manner provided in sections 6 to 11 hereof, save that the review of the report of investigation shall be conducted directly by the Supreme Court.
Sec. 14. Report of the Solicitor General or other Court designated Investigator.— Based upon the evidence adduced at the investigation, the Solicitor General or other Investigator designated by the Supreme Court shall submit to the Supreme Court a report containing his findings of fact and recommendations together with the record and all the evidence presented in the investigation for the final action of the Supreme Court.
C. Common Provisions
Sec. 15. Suspension of attorney by Supreme Court.— After receipt of respondent’s answer or lapse of the period therefor, the Supreme Court, motu proprio, or at the instance of the IBP Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Investigators, may suspend an attorney from the practice of his profession for any of the causes specified in Rule 138, Section 27, during the pendency of the investigation until such suspension is lifted by the Supreme Court.
Sec. 16. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court.— The Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court may suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in Rule 138, Section 27, until further action of the Supreme Court in the case.
Sec. 17. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Regional Trial Court, further proceedings in Supreme Court.— Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or a Regional Trial Court shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make a full investigation of the case and may revoke, shorten or extend the suspension, or disbar the attorney as the facts may warrant.
Sec. 18. Confidentiality.— Proceedings against attorneys shall be private and confidential. However, the final order of the Supreme Court shall be published like its decisions in other cases.
Sec. 19. Expenses.— All reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in relation to disciplinary and disbarment proceedings are lawful charges for which the parties may be taxed as costs.
Sec. 20. Effectivity and Transitory Provision.— This Rule shall take effect on June 1, 1988 and shall supersede the present Rule 139 entitled “DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF ATTORNEYS.” All cases pending investigation by the Office of the Solicitor General shall be transferred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors for investigation and disposition as provided in this Rule except those cases where the investigation has been substantially completed. (Bar Matter No. 356, Resolution April 13, 1988.)
Discipline of Judges of Regular and Special Courts and Justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan
Section 1. How instituted.— Proceedings for the discipline of Judges of regular and special courts and Justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan may be instituted motu proprio by the Supreme Court or upon a verified complaint, supported by affidavits of persons who have personal knowledge of the facts alleged therein or by documents which may substantiate said allegations, or upon an anonymous complaint, supported by public records of indubitable integrity. The complaint shall be in writing and shall state clearly and concisely the acts and omissions constituting violations of standards of conduct prescribed for Judges by law, the Rules of Court, or the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Sec. 2. Action on the complaint.— If the complaint is sufficient in form and substance, a copy thereof shall be served upon the respondent, and he shall be required to comment within ten (10) days from the date of service. Otherwise, the same shall be dismissed.
Sec. 3. By whom complaint investigated.— Upon the filing of the respondent’s comment, or upon the expiration of the time for filing the same and unless other pleadings or documents are required, the Court shall refer the matter to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report, and recommendation or assign the case for investigation, report, and recommendation to a retired member of the Supreme Court, if the respondent is a Justice of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan, or to a Justice of the Court of Appeals, if the respondent is a Judge of a Regional Trial Court or of a special court of equivalent rank or, to a Judge of the Regional Trial Court if the respondent is a Judge of an inferior court.
Sec. 4. Hearing.— The investigating Justice or Judge shall set a day for the hearing and send notice thereof to both patties. At such hearing, the parties may present oral and documentary evidence. If, after due notice, the respondent fails to appear, the investigation shall, proceed ex parte.
The Investigating Justice or Judge shall terminate the investigation within ninety (90) days from the date of its commencement or within such extension as the Supreme Court may grant.
Sec. 5. Report.— Within thirty (30) from the termination of the investigation, the investigating Justice or Judge shall submit to the Supreme Court a report containing findings of fact and recommendation. The report shall be accompanied by the record containing the evidence and the pleadings filed by the parties. The report shall be confidential and shall be for exclusive use of the Court.
Sec. 6. Action.— The Court shall take such action on the report as the facts and the law may warrant.
Sec. 7. Classification of charges.— Administrative charges are classified as serious, less serious, or light.
Sec. 8. Serious charges.— Serious charges include:
1. Bribery, direct or indirect;
2. Dishonesty and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law (R.A. No. 3019);
3. Gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct;
4. Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment or order as determined by a competent court in an appropriate proceeding;
5. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
6. Willful failure to pay a just debt;
7. Borrowing money or property from lawyers and litigants in a case pending before the court;
9. Gross ignorance of the law or procedure;
10. Partisan political activities; and
11. Alcoholism and/or vicious habits.
Sec. 9. Less Serious Charges.— Less serious charges include:
1. Undue delay in rendering a decision or order, or in transmitting the records of a case;
2. Frequent and unjustified absences without leave or habitual tardiness;
3. Unauthorized practice of law;
4. Violation of Supreme Court rules, directives, and circulars;
5. Receiving additional or double compensation unless specifically authorized by law;
6. Untruthful statements in the certificate of service; and
7. Simple Misconduct.
Sec. 10. Light Charges.— Light charges include:
1. Vulgar and unbecoming conduct;
2. Gambling in public;
3. Fraternizing with lawyers and litigants with pending case/cases in his court; and
4. Undue delay in the submission of monthly reports.
Sec. 11. Sanctions.—
A. If the respondent is guilty of a serious charge, any of the following sanctions may be imposed:
1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine, and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office, including government-owned or controlled corporations: Provided, however, that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits;
2. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months; or
3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40.000.00.
B. If the respondent is guilty of a less serious charge, any of the following sanctions shall be imposed:
1. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less than one (1) nor more than three (3) months; or
2. A fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00.
C. If the respondent is guilty of a light charge, any of the following sanctions shall be imposed:
1. A fine of not less than P1,000.00 but not exceeding P10,000.00 and/or;
4. Admonition with warning.
Sec. 12. Confidentiality of proceedings.— Proceedings against Judges of regular and special courts and Justices of the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan shall be private and confidential, but a copy of the decision or resolution of the Court shall be attached to the record of the respondent in the Office of the Court Administrator.
Section 1. Payment of fees.— Upon the filing of the pleading or other application which initiates an action or proceeding, the fees prescribed therefor shall be paid in full. (n)
Sec. 2. Fees as lien.— Where the court in its final judgment awards a claim not alleged, or a relief different from or more than that claimed in the pleading, the party concerned shall pay the additional fees which shall constitute a lien on the judgment in satisfaction of said lien. The clerk of court shall assess and collect the corresponding fees. (n)
Sec. 3. Persons authorized to collect legal fees.— Except as otherwise provided in this rule, the officers and persons hereinafter mentioned, together with their assistants and deputies, may demand, receive, and take the several fees hereinafter mentioned and allowed for any business by them respectively done by virtue of their several offices, and no more. All fees so collected shall be forthwith remitted to the Supreme Court. The fees collected shall accrue to the general fund. However, all increases in the legal fees prescribed in amendments to this rule as well as new legal fees prescribed herein shall pertain to the Judiciary Development Fund as established by law. The persons herein authorized to collect legal fees shall be accountable officers and shall be required to post bond in such amount as prescribed by law. (1a)
Sec. 4. Clerks of the Court of Appeals and of the Supreme Court.—
(a) For filing an action, proceeding, appeal by notice or record on appeal when required, entering appearance of the parties, entering orders of the court, filing and docketing all motions, docketing of case on all proper dockets, and indexing the same, entering, recording and certification of judgment and remanding of records to the lower court, taxing and costs, administering all necessary oaths or affirmations in the action or proceeding, recording the opinion of the court, and issuing all necessary process in the action or proceeding not herein otherwise provided for, each action or special proceeding, five hundred (P500.00) pesos;
(b) For the performance of marriage ceremony, including issuance of certificate of marriage, three hundred (P300.00) pesos;
(c) For furnishing transcripts of the record or copies of any record, judgment, or entry of which any person is entitled to demand and receive a copy, for each page, four (P4.00) pesos;
(d) For each certificate not on process, thirty (P30.00) pesos;
(e) For every search for anything above a year’s standing and reading the same, fifteen (P15.00) pesos;
(f) For a commission on all money coming into his hands by these rules or order of the court and caring for the same, two and one-half (2.5%) percent on all sums not exceeding four thousand (P4,000.00) pesos and one and one-half (1.5%) percent upon all sums in excess of four thousand P4,000.00 pesos and one (1%) percent on all sums in excess of forty thousand (P40.000.00) pesos. (2a)
Sec. 5. Fees to be paid by the advancing party.— The fees of the clerk of the Court of Appeals or of the Supreme Court shall be paid him at the time of the entry of the action or proceeding in the court by the party who enters the same by appeal, or otherwise, and the clerk shall in all cases give a receipt for the same and shall enter the amount received upon his book, specifying the date when received, person from whom received, name of action in which received, and amount received. If the fees are not paid, the court may refuse to proceed with the action until they are paid and may dismiss the appeal or the action or proceeding. (3a)
Sec. 6. Fees of bar candidates.—
(a) For filing the application for admission to the bar, whether admitted to the examination or not, one thousand seven hundred fifty (P1,750.00) pesos for new applicants and for repeaters, plus the additional amount of two hundred (P200.00) pesos multiplied by the number of times the applicant has failed in the bar examinations;
(b) For admission to the bar, including oath taking, signing of the roll of attorneys, the issuance of diploma of admission to the Philippine Bar, one thousand and seven hundred fifty (P1,750.00) pesos;
(c) Other Bar Fees.— For the issuance of:
|1. Certification of admission to the Philippine Bar…………………………||P50.00|
|2. Certificate of good standing (local)………………………………………||50.00|
|3. Certificate of good standing (foreign)……………………………………||100.00|
|4. Verification of membership in the bar……………………………………||50.00|
|5. Certificate of grades in the bar examinations……………………………||50.00|
|6. Other certification of records at the Bar Office, per page………………||15.00|
|7. A duplicate diploma of admission to the Philippine Bar………………||500.00|
For services in connection with the return of examination notebooks to examinees, a fee of thirty (P30.00) pesos shall also be charged. (6a)
Sec. 7. Clerks of Regional Trial Courts.—
(a) For filing an action or a permissive counter-claim or money claim against an estate not based on judgment, or for filing with leave of court a third-party, fourth-party, etc. complaint, or a complaint in intervention, and for all clerical services in the same, if the total-sum claimed, exclusive of interest, or the stated value of the property in litigation, is:
|1. Less than P100,000.00………………………………………………………||P500.00|
|2. P100,000.00 or more but less than P150,000.00…………………………||800.00|
|3. P150,000.00 or more but less than P200,000.00…………………………||1,000.00|
|4. P200,000.00 or more but less than P250,000.00…………………………||1,500.00|
|5. P250,000.00 or more but less than P300.000.00…………………………||1,750.00|
|6. P300,000.00 or more but less than P350,000.00…………………………||2,000.00|
|7. P350,000.00 or more but not more than P400,000.00……………………||2,250.00|
|8. For each P1,000.00 in excess of P400,000.00……………………………||10.00|
(b) For filing:
|1. Actions where the value of the subject matter cannot be estimated……||P600.00|
|2. Special civil actions except judicial foreclosure of mortgage which shall be governed by paragraph (a) above…………………………||600.00|
|3. All other actions not involving property………………………………………||600.00|
In a real action, the assessed value of the property, or if there is none, the estimated value, thereof shall be alleged by the claimant and shall be the basis in computing the fees.
(c) For filing requests for extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate or chattel mortgage, if the amount of the indebtedness, or the mortgagee’s claim, is:
|1. Less than P50,000.00…………………………………………………………||P275.00|
|2. P50,000.00 or more but less than P100,000.00……………………………||400.00|
|3. P100,000.00 or more but less than P150,000.00…………………………||500.00|
|4. P150,000.00 or more but less than P200,000.00…………………………||650.00|
|5. P200,000.00 or more but less than P250,000.00…………………………||1,000.00|
|6. P250,000.00 or more but less than P300,000.00…………………………||1,250.00|
|7. P300,000.00 or more but less than P400,000.00…………………………||1,500.00|
|8. P400,000.00 or more but less than 500,000.00……………………………||1,750.00|
|9. P500,000.00 or more but less than P1,000,000.00…………………………||2,000.00|
|10. For each P1,000.00 in excess of P1,000,000.00……………………………||10.00|
(d) For initiating proceedings for the allowance of wills, granting letters of administration, appointment of guardians, trustees, and other special proceedings, the fees payable shall be collected in accordance with the value of the property involved in the proceedings, which must be stated in the application or petition, as follows:
|1. More than P100,000.00 but less than P150,000.00…………………………||P2,000.00|
|2. P150,000.00 or more but less than P200,000.00……………………………||2,250.00|
|3. P200,000.00 or more but less than P250,000.00……………………………||2,500.00|
|4. P250,000.00 or more but less than P300,000.00……………………………||2,750.00|
|5. P300,000.00 or more but less than P350.000.00……………………………||3,000.00|
|6. P100,000.00 or more but not more than P400,000.00………………………||3,250.00|
|7. For each P1,000.00 in excess of P400,000.00………………………………||10.00|
If the value of the estate as definitely appraised by the courts is more than the value declared in the application, the difference of fee shall be paid; provided, that a certificate from the clerk of court that the proper fees have been paid shall be required prior to the closure of the proceedings.
(e) For filing petitions for naturalization or other modes of acquisition of citizenship, two thousand (P2,000.00) pesos;
(f) For filing petitions for adoption, support, annulment of marriage, legal separation and other actions or proceedings under the Family Code, two hundred (P200.00) pesos;
If the proceedings involve separation of property, an additional fee corresponding to the value of the property involved shall be collected, computed in accordance with the rates for special proceedings.
(g) For all other special proceedings not concerning property two hundred (P200.00) pesos;
(h) For the performance of marriage ceremony including issuance of certificate of marriage, three hundred (P300.00) pesos;
(i) For filing an application for commission as notary public, five hundred (P500.00) pesos;
(j) For certified copies of any paper, record, decree, judgments or entry thereof for each page, four (P4.00) pesos and fifteen (P15.00) pesos for certification;
(k) For a commission on all money coming into the clerks’ hands by law, rule, order or writ of court and caring for the same, one and one-half (1.5%) per centum on all sums not exceeding forty thousand (P40,000.00) pesos, and one (1%) per centum on all sums in excess of forty thousand (P40,000.00) pesos;
(l) For any other services as clerk not provided in this section, one hundred and fifty (150.00) pesos shall be collected. (7a)
Sec. 8. Clerks of Courts of the First Level.—
(a) For each civil action or proceeding, where the value of the subject matter involved, or the amount of the demand, inclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and costs, is:
|1. Not more than P20,000.00…………………………………………………………||P150.00|
|2. More than P20,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00…………………………||500.00|
|3. More than P100,000.00 but not more than P200,000.00…………………………||1,250.00|
|4. More than P200,000.00 but not more than 300,000.00…………………………||1,750.00|
|5. More than P300,000.00 but not more than P400,000.00…………………………||2,500.00|
In a real action, other than for forcible entry and unlawful detainer, the assessed value of the property or if not declared for taxation purposes, the assessed value of the adjacent lots, or if there is none, the estimated value thereof shall be alleged by the claimant and shall be the basis in computing the fees.
(b) For initiating proceedings for the allowance of wills, granting of letters of administration and settlement of estates of small value, where the value of the estate is:
|1. Not more than P20,000.00…………………………………………………………||P150.00|
|2. More than P20,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00…………………………||500.00|
|3. More than P100,000.00 but not more than P200,000.00…………………………||1,250.00|
|4. For each proceeding other than the allowance of wills (probate), granting a letter of administration, settlement of estate of small value, two hundred (P200.00) pesos;|
(c) For forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, one hundred and fifty (P150.00) pesos;
(d) For appeals in all actions or proceedings, including forcible entry and detainer cases, taken from courts of first level, two hundred (P200.00) pesos;
(e) For the performance of marriage ceremony, including issuance of certificate of marriage, three hundred (P300.00) pesos;
(f) For taking affidavit, twenty-five (P25.00) pesos;
(g) For taking acknowledgment, thirty (P30.00) pesos;
(h) For taking and certifying depositions, including oath, per page, eight (P8.00) pesos;
(i) For certified copies of any record, per page, ten (P10.00) pesos;
(j) For stamping and registering books as required by Articles nineteen and thirty-six of the Code of Commerce, each book, thirty (P30.00) pesos;
(k) For performing notarial acts for which fees are not specifically fixed in this section, the same fees which notaries public are entitled to receive. (8a)
Sec. 9. Sheriffs and other persons serving processes.—
(a) For serving summons and copy of complaint, for each defendant, sixty (P60.00) pesos;
(b) For serving subpoenas in civil action or proceeding, for each witness to be served, twenty-four (24.00) pesos;
(c) For executing a writ of attachment against the property of defendant, sixty (P60.00) pesos;
(d) For serving a temporary restraining order, or writ of injunction, preliminary or final, of any court, sixty (P60.00) pesos;
(e) For executing a writ of replevin, sixty (P60.00) pesos;
(f) For filing bonds or other instruments or security in provisional remedies, for each bond or instrument, fifty (P50.00) pesos;
(g) For executing a writ or process to place a party in possession of real estates, one hundred and fifty (P150.00) pesos;
(h) For advertising a sale, besides cost of publication, seventy-five (P75.00) pesos;
(i) For taking inventory of goods levied upon when the inventory is ordered by the court, one hundred and fifty (P150.00) pesos per day of actual inventory work;
(j) For levying on execution on personal or real property, seventy-five (P75.00) pesos;
(k) For issuing a notice of garnishment, for each notice, thirty (P30.00) pesos;
(l) For money collected by him by order, execution, attachment, or any other process, judicial or extrajudicial, the following, to wit:
1. On the first four thousand (P4,000.00) pesos, five (5%) per centum;
2. On all sums in excess of four thousand (P4,000.00) pesos, two and one-half (2.5%) per centum.
In addition to the fees hereinabove fixed, the party requesting the process of any court, preliminary, incidental, or final, shall pay the sheriffs expenses in serving or executing the process, or safeguarding the property, levied upon, attached or seized, including kilometrage for each kilometer of travel, guards’ fees, warehousing and similar charges, in an amount estimated by the sheriff, subject to the approval of the court. Upon approval of said estimated expenses, the interested party shall deposit such amount with the clerk of court and ex officio sheriff, who shall disburse the same to the deputy sheriff assigned to effect the process, subject to liquidation within the same period for rendering a return on the process. Any unspent amount shall be refunded to the party making the deposit. A full report shall be submitted by the deputy sheriff assigned with his return, and the sheriffs expenses shall be taxed as costs against the judgment debtor. (9a)
Sec. 10. Stenographers.— Stenographers shall give certified transcript of notes taken by them to every person requesting the same upon payment of (a) six (P6.00) pesos for each page of not less than two hundred and fifty words before the appeal is taken and (b) three pesos and sixty centavos (P3.60) for the same page, after the filing of the appeal: Provided, however, That one-third of the total charges shall be paid to the court and the remaining two-thirds to the stenographer concerned. (10a)
Sec. 11. Notaries.— No notary public shall charge or receive for any service rendered by him any fee, remuneration or compensation in excess of those expressly prescribed in the following schedule:
(a) For protests of drafts, bills of exchange, or promissory notes for nonacceptance or nonpayment, and for notice thereof, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(b) For the registration of such protest and filing or safekeeping of the same, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(c) For authenticating powers of attorney, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(d) For sworn statement concerning correctness of any account for other document, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(e) For each oath of affirmation, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(f) For receiving evidence of indebtedness to be sent outside, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(g) For issuing a certified copy of all or part of his notarial register or notarial records, for each page, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos;
(h) For taking depositions, for each page, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos; and
(i) For acknowledging other documents not enumerated in this section, thirty-six (P36.00) pesos. (11a)
Sec. 12. Other officers taking depositions.— Other officers taking depositions shall receive the same compensation as above provided for notaries public for taking and certifying depositions. (10)
Sec. 13. Witness fees.— (a) Witnesses in the Supreme Court, in the Court of Appeals and in the Regional Trial Courts, either in actions or special proceedings, shall be entitled to one hundred (P100.00) pesos per day inclusive of travel time;
(b) Witnesses before courts of the first level shall be allowed fifty (P50.00) pesos per day;
(c) Fees to which witnesses may be entitled in a civil action shall be allowed, on the certification of the clerk of court or judge of his appearance in the case. A witness shall not be allowed compensation for his attendance in more than one case or more then one side of the same case at the same time, but may elect in which of several cases or on which side of a case, when he is summoned by both sides, to claim his attendance. A person who is compelled to attend court on other business shall not be paid as witness. (11a)
Sec. 14. Fees of appraisers.— Appraisers appointed to appraise the estate of a ward or of a deceased person shall each receive a compensation of one hundred (P100.00) pesos per day for the time actually and necessarily employed in the performance of then duties and in making their reports, which fees, in each instance, shall be paid out of the estate of the ward or deceased person, as the case may be. Any actual and necessary traveling expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of such appraisers may likewise be allowed and paid out of the estate. (12a)
Sec. 15. Fees of commissioners in eminent domain proceedings.— The commissioners appointed to appraise land sought to be condemned for public uses in accordance with these rules shall each receive a compensation of one hundred (P100.00) pesos per day for the time actually and necessarily employed in the performance of their duties and in making their report to the court, which fees shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the proceedings. (13a)
Sec. 16. Fees of commissioners in proceedings for partition of real estate.— The commissioners appointed to make partition of real estate shall each receive a compensation of one hundred (P100.00) pesos per day for the time actually and necessarily employed in the performance of their duties and in making their report to the court, which fees shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the proceedings. (14a)
Sec. 17. Fees, and the account thereof.— The clerk, under the direction of the judge, shall keep a book in which shall be entered the items of fees which have accrued for the transaction of business covered by the provisions of this rule, for which fees are payable, specifying for what business each time of fees has accrued. Receipts shall be given for all fees received and they shall be accounted for in the manner provided in relation to the fees of clerks of court in actions. The book of fees kept by the clerk shall be subject to the inspection of auditing officers and others interested therein. (15)
Sec. 18. Indigent litigants exempt from payment of legal fees.— Indigent litigants (a) whose gross income and that of their immediate family do not exceed four thousand (P4,000.00) pesos a month if residing in Metro Manila, and three thousand (P3,000.00) pesos a month if residing outside Metro Manila, and (b) who do not own real property with an assessed value of more than fifty thousand (P50,000.00) pesos shall be exempt from the payment of legal fees.
The legal fees shall be a lien on any judgment rendered in the case favorably to the indigent litigant, unless the court otherwise provides.
To be entitled to the exemption herein provided, the litigant shall execute an affidavit that he and his immediate family do not earn a gross income abovementioned, nor they own any real property with the assessed value aforementioned, supported by an affidavit of a disinterested person attesting to the truth of the litigant’s affidavit.
Any falsity in the affidavit of a litigant or disinterested person shall be sufficient cause to strike out the pleading of that party, without prejudice to whatever criminal liability may have been incurred. (16a) (Read also RAs 6034 and 6035, App.)
Sec. 19. In addition to the fees imposed in the preceding sections, a victim compensation fee of five (P5.00) pesos pursuant to Rep. Act No. 7309 shall be assessed and collected for the filing of every complaint or petition initiating an ordinary civil action, special civil action or special proceeding in the trial courts including civil actions impliedly instituted with criminal actions under Rule 111, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure where a filing fee is likewise collected. All sums collected shall be remitted to the Department of Justice every quarter by the Clerk of Court concerned. (18-A) (Read RA 7309, App.)
Sec. 20. Other fees.— The following fees shall also be collected by the clerks of Regional Trial Courts or courts of the first level, as the case may be:
(a) In estafa cases where the offended party fails to manifest within fifteen (15) days following the filing of the information that the civil liability arising from the crime has been or would be separately prosecuted:
|1. Less than P100,000.00…………………………………………………………………||P500.00|
|2. P100,000.00 or more but less than P150,000.00……………………………………||800.00|
|3. P150,000.00 or more but less than P200,000.00……………………………………||1,000.00|
|4. P200,000.00 or more but less than P250,000.00……………………………………||1,500.00|
|5. P250,000.00 or more but less than P300,000.00……………………………………||1,750.00|
|6. P300,000.00 or more but less than P350,000.00……………………………………||2,000.00|
|7. P350,000.00 or more but no more than P400,000.00………………………………||2,250.00|
(b) For motions for postponement after completion of the pre-trial stage, one hundred (P100.00) pesos for the first, and an additional fifty (P50.00) pesos for every postponement thereafter based on that for the immediately proceeding motion: Provided, however, That no fee shall be imposed when the motion is found to be based on justifiable and compelling reason;
(c) For bonds by sureties in criminal and civil cases, three hundred (P300.00) pesos;
(d) For applications for and entries of certificates of sale and final deeds of sale in extrajudicial foreclosures of mortgages, three hundred (P300.00) pesos;
(e) For applications for and certificates of sale in notarial foreclosures:
1. On the first four thousand (P4.000.00) pesos, five (5%) percent;
2. On all sums in excess of four thousand (P4.000.00) pesos, two and one-half (2.5%) percent. (A.M. No. 99-8-01-SC, Sept. 14, 1999.)
Sec. 21. Government exempt.— The Republic of the Philippines, its agencies and instrumentalities, are exempt from paying the legal fees provided in this rule. Local governments and government-owned or controlled corporations with or without independent charters are not exempt from paying such fees. (19) (As amended by Adm. Memo. No. 00-2-01-SC, and it took effect on the 1st day of March 2000.)
Section 1. Costs ordinarily follow results of suit.— Unless otherwise provided in these rules, costs shall be allowed to the prevailing party as a matter of course, but the court shall have power, for special reasons, to adjudge that either party shall pay the costs of an action, or that the same be divided, as may be equitable. No costs shall be allowed against the Republic of the Philippines unless otherwise provided by law.
Sec. 2. When action or appeal dismissed.— If an action or appeal is dismissed for want of jurisdiction or otherwise, the court nevertheless shall have the power to render judgment for costs, as justice may require.
Sec. 3. Costs when appeal frivolous.— Where an action or an appeal is found to be frivolous, double or treble costs may be imposed on the plaintiff or appellant, which shall be paid by his attorney, if so ordered by the court.
Sec. 4. False allegations.— An averment in a pleading made without reasonable cause and found untrue shall subject the offending party to the payment of such reasonable expenses as may have been necessarily incurred by the other party by reason of such untrue pleading. The amount of expenses so payable shall be fixed by the judge in the trial, and taxed as costs.
Sec. 5. No costs for irrelevant matters.— When the record contains any unnecessary, irrelevant, or immaterial matter, the party at whose instance the same was inserted or at whose instance the same was printed, shall not be allowed as costs any disbursement for preparing, certifying, or printing such matter.
Sec. 6. Attorney’s fees as costs.— No attorney’s fees shall be taxed as costs against the adverse party, except as provided by the rules of civil law. But this section shall have no relation to the fees to be charged by an attorney as against his client.
Sec. 7. Restriction of costs.— If the plaintiff in any action shall recover a sum not exceeding ten pesos as debt or damages, he shall recover no more costs than debt or damages, unless the court shall certify that the action involved a substantial and important right to the plaintiff in which case full costs may be allowed.
Sec. 8. Costs, how taxed.— In inferior courts, the costs shall be taxed by the municipal or city judge and included in the judgment. In superior courts, costs shall be taxed by the clerk of the corresponding court on five days’ written notice given by the prevailing party to the adverse party. With this notice shall be served a statement of the items of costs claimed by the prevailing party, verified by his oath or that of his attorney. Objections to the taxation shall be made in writing, specifying the items objected to. Either party may appeal to the court from the clerk’s taxation. The costs shall be inserted in the judgment if taxed before its entry, and payment thereof shall be enforced by execution.
Sec. 9. Costs in municipal or city courts.— In an action or proceeding pending before a municipal or city judge, the prevailing party may recover the following costs, and no other:
(a) For the complaint or answer, two pesos;
(b) For the attendance of himself, or his counsel, or both, on the day of trial, five pesos;
(c) For each additional day’s attendance required in the actual trial of the case, one peso;
(d) For each witness produced by him, for each day’s necessary attendance at the trial, one peso, and his lawful traveling fees;
(e) For each deposition lawfully taken by him and produced in evidence, five pesos;
(f) For original documents, deeds, or papers of any kind produced by him, nothing;
(g) For official copies of such documents, deeds or papers, the lawful fees necessarily paid for obtaining such copies;
(h) The lawful fees paid by him for service of the summons and other process in the action;
(i) The lawful fees charged against him by the judge of the court in entering and docketing and trying the action or proceeding.
Sec. 10. Costs in Regional Trial Courts.— In an action or proceeding pending in a Regional Trial Court, the prevailing party may recover the following costs, and no other:
(a) For the complaint or answer, fifteen pesos;
(b) For his own attendance, and that of his attorney, down to and including final judgment, twenty pesos;
(c) For each witness necessarily produced by him, for each day’s necessary attendance of such witness at the trial, two pesos, and his lawful traveling fees;
(d) For each deposition lawfully taken by him, and produced in evidence, five pesos;
(e) For original documents, deeds, or papers of any kind produced by him, nothing;
(f) For official copies of such documents, deeds, or papers, the lawful fees necessarily paid for obtaining such copies;
(g) The lawful fees paid by him in entering and docketing the action or recording the proceedings, for the, service of any process in action, and all lawful clerk’s fees paid by him.
Sec. 11. Costs in Court of Appeals and in Supreme Court.— In an action or proceeding pending in the Court of Appeals or in the Supreme Court, the prevailing party may recover the following costs, and no other:
(a) For his own attendance, and that of his attorney, down to and including final judgment, thirty pesos in the Court of Appeals and fifty pesos in the Supreme Court;
(b) For official copies of record on appeal and the printing thereof, and all other copies required by the Rules of Court the sum actually paid for the same;
(c) All lawful fees charged against him by the clerk of the Court of Appeals or of the Supreme Court, in entering and docketing the action and recording the proceedings and judgment therein and for the issuing of all process;
(d) No allowance shall be made to the prevailing party in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals for the brief or written or printed arguments of his attorney, or copies thereof, aside from the thirty or fifty pesos above stated;
(e) If testimony is received in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals not taken in another court and transmitted thereto, the prevailing party shall be allowed the same costs for witness fees, depositions, and process and service thereof as he would have been allowed for such items had the testimony been introduced in a Regional Trial Court;
(f) The lawful fees of a commissioner in an action may also be taxed against the defeated party, or apportioned as justice requires.
Sec. 12. Costs when witness fails to appear.— If a witness fails to appear at the time and place specified in the subpoena issued by any inferior court, the costs of the warrant of arrest and of the arrest of the witness shall be paid by the witness if the court shall determine that his failure to answer the subpoena was willful or without just excuse.
Sec. 13. Costs when person cited for examination in probate proceedings.— When a person is cited, on motion of another, to appear before the court to be examined in probate proceedings, the court may, in its discretion, tax costs for the person so cited and issue execution therefor, allowing the same fees as for witnesses in Regional Trial Court.
Applicability of the Rules
These rules shall not apply to land registration, cadastral and election cases, naturalization and insolvency proceedings, and other cases not herein provided for, except by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient.
These rules shall take effect on January 1, 1964. They shall govern all cases brought after they take effect, and also all further proceedings in cases then pending, except to the extent that in the opinion of the court their application would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former procedure shall apply.
5 Resolution of the Court en banc dated July 27, 1993, provides that beginning next year (1994), the Court will not allow graduates of foreign law schools to take the bar examinations. An applicant who desires to take the bar examinations must not only have studied law in a local school but has to present the certifications required under Sections 5 and 6 of Rule 138 (Rules of Court) in order to take the bar examinations. Since graduates of foreign law schools cannot submit said certifications, they shall henceforth not be allowed to take the bar examinations. (S.C. Res. issued August 3, 1993.)