LAWYER’S DUTY TO THE SOCIETY
Before promulgation of the Code, the Supreme Court promulgated Rule 139-B (Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys) of the Revised Rules of Court, which granted the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) the concurrent power to investigate its members, with the final authority to suspend and disbar to the Supreme Court. It was in 1980 when the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR) was drafted by the IBP Committee on Responsibility, Discipline and Disbarment, as chaired by Dean Irene Cortes, later appointed as Associated Justice of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court approved and promulgated it on June 21, 1988. Code binding on all lawyers
The Code is binding all lawyers in the country since it was promulgated in the exercise of the constitutional authority of the Supreme Court concerning the admission to the practice of law, Art. VIII, Section 5, i.e. “Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: xxx
5. Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.” It then follows that the Canons like the Rules of Court has the force and effect of law and any breach will construe liability for disciplinary action for professional misconduct. Duties of Attorneys Spread in the Code of Professional Responsibility The duties of the attorney as provided in the Rules of Court are expressed implied or incorporated in the Code as shown: (a) To maintain allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the Philippines; (Canon 1) (b) To observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers: (Cannon 11) (c) To counsel and maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law; (Rule 15.05)
(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 of an artifice or false statement of fact or law; (Canon 3 and 10)
(e) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his clients, and to accept on compensation in connection to his clients business except from him or with his knowledge and approval; (Canon 21 and Rule 20.03)
(f) To abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor of reputation of a patty or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause to with which he is charged; (Canon 8 and Rule 8.01)
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or continuance of an action or proceeding or delay any man’s cause, from the corrupt motive or interest; (Rule 1.03)
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed; (Rule 2.01)
(i) In the defense of a person accused of a crime, by all fair and honourable 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. (Rule 14.01 and Rule 19.01)
The Code has imposed other duties and obligations on the part of the members of the Bar based on law, jurisprudence and time-honored principles of justice and equity.
II. CANON 1. A LAWYER HALL UPHOLD...