Republic of the Philippines
August 15, 1961
IN RE: PETITION OF ARTURO EFREN GARCIA for admission to the Philippine Bar without taking the examination. ARTURO EFREN GARCIA, petitioner.
R E S O L U T I O N
Arturo E. Garcia has applied for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar examinations. In his verified petition, he avers, among others, that he is a Filipino citizen born in Bacolor City, Province of Negros Occidental, of Filipino parentage; that he had taken and finished in Spain, the course of "Bachillerato Superior"; that he was approved, selected and qualified by the "Instituto de Cervantes" for admission to the Central University of Madrid where he studied and finished the law course graduating there as "Licenciado En Derecho"; that thereafter he was allowed to practice the law profession in Spain; and that under the provision of the Treaty of Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish state, he is entitled to practice the law profession in the Philippines without submitting to the required bar examinations.
After due consideration, the Court resolved to deny the petition on the following grounds:
(1) the provisions of the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State can not be invoked by applicant. Under Article 11 thereof;
The Nationals of each of the two countries who shall have obtained recognition of the validity of their academic degrees by virtue of the stipulations of this Treaty, can practice their professions within the territory of the Other, . . .. (Emphasis supplied).
from which it could clearly be discerned that said Treaty was intended to govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice their profession in Spain, and the citizens of Spain desiring to practice their professions in the Philippines. Applicant is a Filipino citizen desiring to practice the legal profession in the Philippines. He is therefore subject to the laws of his own country and is not entitled to the privileges extended to Spanish nationals desiring to practice in the Philippines.
(2) Article I of the Treaty, in its pertinent part, provides .
The nationals of both countries who shall have obtained degree or diplomas to practice the liberal professions in either of the Contracting States, issued by competent national authorities, shall be deemed competent to exercise said professions in the territory of the Other, subject to the laws and regulations of the latter. . . ..
It is clear, therefore, that the privileges provided in the Treaty invoked by the applicant are made expressly subject to the laws and regulations of the contracting State in whose territory it is desired to exercise the legal profession; and Section 1 of Rule 127, in connection with Sections 2,9, and 16 thereof, which have the force of law, require that before anyone can practice the legal profession in the Philippine he must first successfully pass the required bar examinations; and
(3) The aforementioned Treaty, concluded between the Republic of the Philippines and the Spanish State could not have been intended to modify the laws and regulations governing admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, for the reason that the Executive Department may not encroach upon the constitutional prerogative of the Supreme Court to promulgate rules for admission to the practice of law in the Philippines, the lower to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being reserved only to the Congress of the Philippines. (See Sec. 13, Art VIII, Phil. Constitution).
Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Labrador, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, De Leon and Natividad, JJ., concur.
Bautista Angelo, J., on leave, took no part.
Concepcion, J., took no part.
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