In Re: Garcia

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IN RE: PETITION OF ARTURO EFREN GARCIA for admission to the Philippine Bar without taking the examination. ARTURO EFREN GARCIA,ย petitioner.

2 SCRA 984
August 15, 1961


Under the Treaty on Academic Degrees and the Exercise of Professions between the Philippines and Spain, nationals of each of the two countries who have obtained the required degrees can practice their professions within the territory of the other. Efren Garcia, a Filipino, finished law in the University of Madrid, Spain and was allowed to practice the law profession therein. He invokes the treaty in order for him to be allowed to practice in the Philippines without taking the bar examinations.


WON the Treaty can modify regulations governing admission to Philippine Bar.


No. It is clear, under Article 1 of the Treaty, that the privileges provided therein 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 Philippines he must first successfully pass the required bar examinations. Moreover, the Treaty was intended to govern Filipino citizens desiring to practice their profession in Spain, and the citizens of Spain desiring to practice their profession 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. 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 power to repeal, alter or supplement such rules being reserved only to the Congress of the Philippines.

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