SC planning to DISBAR or cite new attys in contempt?

It’s a piece of advice – or a warning – from an elder to the more than 1,700 new lawyers who took their oath yesterday: be careful when criticizing the courts or you may get disbarred. xxx

While there was not much fanfare or shouting at yesterday’s oath-taking ceremony, some of the new lawyers were seen wearing a purple ribbon around their wrist.
Last week, Bersamin issued a notice pertaining to the proper behavior in the oath-taking ceremony. NEWS SOURCE: SC justice warns Bar passers: Court critics may be disbarred; Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2018 - 12:00am; Read more at

Audrey Ng took her oath as a new lawyer, and she did so rather daringly, as she tied a purple ribbon on her hands and risked being held in contempt of the Supreme Court.

The warning made days ahead was ominous: do not disturb decorum, or you will face contempt.

Moments before they recited their lawyer's oath, Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin's threat sounded even more severe: criticize the Court outside "guidelines" and "lose your privilege of membership in the Bar."

"The fact of the matter is, the Supreme Court has just unseated its own Chief Justice after openly, albeit passive-aggressively, calling for her resignation," Ng said.

Indeed it was an oath-taking in the strangest of times. The Supreme Court's quo warranto ouster of former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno led a United Nations prober to declare the country's judicial independence as under attack. NEWS SOURCE: New lawyers risk contempt with purple ribbon at Supreme Court rites; Lian Buan @lianbuan Published 9:56 AM, June 02, 2018 Updated 9:58 AM, June 02, 2018;
Section 1. Direct contempt punished summarily. — A person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near a court as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same, including disrespect toward the court, offensive personalities toward others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness, or to subscribe an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so, may be summarily adjudged in contempt by such court and punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand pesos or imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) days, or both, if it be a Regional Trial Court or a court of equivalent or higher rank, or by a fine not exceeding two hundred pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) day, or both, if it be a lower court. (Rule 71 of the Rules of Court)

Section 2. Remedy therefrom. — The person adjudged in direct contempt by any court may not appeal therefrom, but may avail himself of the remedies of certiorari or prohibition. The execution of the judgment shall be suspended pending resolution of such petition, provided such person files a bond fixed by the court which rendered the judgment and conditioned that he will abide by and perform the judgment should the petition be decided against him. (Rule 71 of the Rules of Court)
Section 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after charge and hearing. — After a charge in writing has been filed, and an opportunity given to the respondent to comment thereon within such period as may be fixed by the court and to be heard by himself or counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may be punished for indirect contempt:

(a) Misbehavior of an officer of a court in the performance of his official duties or in his official transactions;
(b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, process, order, or judgment of a court, including the act of a person who, after being dispossessed or ejected from any real property by the judgment or process of any court of competent jurisdiction, enters or attempts or induces another to enter into or upon such real property, for the purpose of executing acts of ownership or possession, or in any manner disturbs the possession given to the person adjudged to be entitled thereto;
(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt under section 1 of this Rule;
(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice;
(e) Assuming to be an attorney or an officer of a court, and acting as such without authority;
(f) Failure to obey a subpoena duly served;
(g) The rescue, or attempted rescue, of a person or property in the custody of an officer by virtue of an order or process of a court held by him. (Rule 71 of the Rules of Court)

While most agree that the right to criticize the judiciary is critical to maintaining a free and democratic society, there is also a general consensus that healthy criticism only goes so far. Many types of criticism leveled at the judiciary cross the line to become harmful and irresponsible attacks. These potentially devastating attacks and unjust criticism can threaten the independence of the judiciary. The court must "insist on being permitted to proceed to the disposition of its business in an orderly manner, free from outside interference obstructive of its functions and tending to embarrass the administration of justice." (A.M. No. 10-10-4-SC; March 8, 2011)