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PETITION FOR LEAVE TO RESUME PRACTICE OF LAW, BENJAMIN M.

DACANAY

FACTS:
petitioner was admitted to the Philippine Bar in March 1960
practiced law until he migrated to Canada in 1998 to seek medical attention for his
ailments
applied for Canadian citizenship to avail free medical aid and was approved in May 2004
On July 2006, pursuant to RA 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of
2003) petitioner reacquired citizenship: same day, he took oath of allegiance as a
Filipino citizen before the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, Canada
He returns to the PH and intends to resume law practice

ISSUE:
WON Benjamin Dacanay lost his membership in the Philippine Bar when he gave up his
Philippine citizenship in May 2004

HELD:
Section 2, Rule 138 of Rules of Court (Attorneys and Admission to the Bar)
Every applicant for admission as a member of the bar must be a:
citizen of the Philippines
at least 21 years of age
of good moral character
a resident of the Philippines
no charges against him involving moral turpitude have been filed or pending in any court
Applying the provision, Office of the Bar Confidant opines that by re-acquisition of
Philippine citizenship in 2006, petitioner has again met ALL the qualifications and none
of the disqualifications for membership in the bar recommends that he be allowed to
resume the practice of law
CONDITION: he retake his lawyers oath to remind him of the duties and responsibilities
SC approves recommendation with modifications
Practice of law is affected with public interest that it is both a power and duty of the State
to control and regulate it in order to protect and promote public welfare adherence to
the standards in the highest degree is of importance
mental fitness
morality
faithful observance of the rules of legal profession
compliance with the mandatory continuing legal education requirement
payment of membership fees
Any breach may make him unworthy of the trust and confidence that the courts and
clients repose on him
Section 1, Rule 138 of Rules of Court
Any person heretofore duly admitted as a member of the bar, or thereafter admitted as
such in accordance with the provisions of this Rule, who is in good and regular standing,
is entitled to practice law
Various Phases of Admission to the Bar:
Satisfactory proof of educational, moral, and other qualifications
passing the bar examination
taking of Lawyers Oath
signing the Roll of Attorney
receiving from the clerk of Court a certificate of the license to practice
Members in good standing means:
continued membership
payment of annual membership dues in the IBP
payment of annual professional tax
compliance with the mandatory continuing legal education requirement
faithful observance of the rules and ethics of the legal profession
being continually subject to judicial disciplinary control
GIVEN SITUATION: No, a lawyer who has lost his Filipino citizenship cannot still
practice law in the Philippines
Constitution: provides that the practice of all professions in the PH shall be limited to
Filipino citizens
loss of citizenship terminates membership in the Bar and to engage in the practice of law
EXCEPT: when citizenship is lost by reason of naturalisation in another country but
subsequently reacquired pursuant to RA 9225
a Filipino lawyer who becomes a citizen of another country is deemed to never have lost
PH citizenship if he REACQUIRES IT IN ACCORDANCE TO RA 9225
membership to PH bar is not deemed to have terminated BUT no automatic right ti
resume law practice accrues
PETITION GRANTED BUT WITH CONDITIONS
PROCEDURE:
He should apply with the proper authority for a license or permit to engage in such
practice
Conditioned on:
updating and payment in full of the annual membership dues in IBP
payment of professional tax
completion of at least 36 credit hours of mandatory continuing legal education to refresh
applicants knowledge of PH laws and update him of legal development
retake lawyers oath