This is a sample "motion for disqualification" of a government lawyer who engages in the private practice of law without the formal authority to engaged in the private practice of law issued by the proper government department head. We are sharing this pleading for legal research purposes of our readers/followers.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
FOURTH JUDICIAL REGION
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
Xxx x x x, Inc.
Civil Case No. xxx
- Versus -
xxx AND ALL OTHER PERSONS
UNDER THEIR EMPLOY, DIRECTION,
CONTROL AND SUPERVISION,
FOR DISCLOSURE AND
DISQUALIFICATION OF COUNSEL
THE DEFENDANTS, by counsel, respectfully state:
1. It has recently come to the knowledge of the defendants that the counsel for the plaintiff, Atty. xxx, is an employee of the local government of xxx, xxx, classified as confidential and coterminous employee reportedly with a salary of Eighteen Thousand Pesos (P18,000.00) monthly.
2. A government lawyer employed in a local government unit is prohibited from engaging in private law practice unless duly authorized in writing by the chief executive of such local government unit, the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the President.
3. The record shows that the counsel for the plaintiff is a name partner of the private law firm xxx xxx & xxx LAW OFFICES with offices as xxx, xxx, xxx.
4. The record of this case does not show that the counsel for the plaintiff has been duly authorized in writing to engage in private law practice by the chief executive of the local government of xxx, xxx, the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the President.
5. There is a need for the counsel for the plaintiff to DISCLOSE to the Court and to the defendants the true facts related to the foregoing issue and the proofs thereof.
6. If the counsel for the plaintiff does not possess a formal authority to engage in private law practice duly issued in writing by the chief executive of the local government of Xxx, Xxx, the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the President, in the interest of the civil service, it is just and proper that the counsel for the plaintiff be DISQUALIFIED from continuing to engage in private law practice in connection with this case as such counsel for the plaintiff.
7. The herein defendants-movants do not have any malicious intent to malign the good name of the counsel for the plaintiff or to offend his sensibilities in filing this motion.
7.1. This motion is being filed by them, with all due respect to the counsel for the plaintiff, solely in the spirit of truth, fairness and justice and to insure that the laws and jurisprudence on public service and on public and legal ethics are duly complied with by all parties concerned.
8. The case of FELIPE E. ABELLA, Complainant, vs. ATTY. ASTERIA E. CRUZABRA, Respondent, A.C. No. 5688, June 4, 2009, is relevant and on all fours to this motion, to wit:
“x x x.
Felipe E. Abella (complainant) filed a complaint for violation of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Section 7(b)(2) of Republic Act No. 6713 (RA 6713) or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees against Atty. Asteria E. Cruzabra (respondent). In his affidavit-complaint  dated 8 May 2002, complainant charged respondent with engaging in private practice while employed in the government service.
X x x.
Section 7(b) (2) of RA 6713 provides:
Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. - In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
x x x
(b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto. - Public officials and employees during their incumbency shall not:
x x x
(2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions; or
x x x
Memorandum Circular No. 17 of the Executive Department allows government employees to engage directly in the private practice of their profession provided there is a written permission from the Department head. It provides:
“The authority to grant permission to any official or employee shall be granted by the head of the ministry or agency in accordance with Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules, which provides:
Sec. 12. No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business, vocation, or profession or be connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural, or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the head of Department; Provided, That this prohibition will be absolute in the case of those officers and employees whose duties and responsibilities require that their entire time be at the disposal of the Government: Provided, further, That if an employee is granted permission to engage in outside activities, the time so devoted outside of office hours should be fixed by the chief of the agency to the end that it will not impair in any way the efficiency of the other officer or employee: And provided, finally, That no permission is necessary in the case of investments, made by an officer or employee, which do not involve any real or apparent conflict between his private interests and public duties, or in any way influence him in the discharge of his duties, and he shall not take part in the management of the enterprise or become an officer or member of the board of directors,
Subject to any additional conditions which the head of the office deems necessary in each particular case in the interest of the service, as expressed in the various issuances of the Civil Service Commission”. (Boldfacing supplied)
It is clear that when respondent filed her petition for commission as a notary public, she did not obtain a written permission from the Secretary of the DOJ. Respondent’s superior, the Register of Deeds, cannot issue any authorization because he is not the head of the Department. And even assuming that the Register of Deeds authorized her, respondent failed to present any proof of that written permission. Respondent cannot feign
ignorance or good faith because respondent filed her petition for commission as a notary public after Memorandum Circular No. 17 was issued in 1986.
In Yumol, Jr. v. Ferrer Sr., we suspended a lawyer employed in the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for failing to obtain a written authority and approval with a duly approved leave of absence from the CHR. We explained:
Crystal clear from the foregoing is the fact that private practice of law by CHR lawyers is not a matter of right.
Although the Commission allows CHR lawyers to engage in private practice, a written request and approval thereof, with a duly approved leave of absence for that matter are indispensable.
In the case at bar, the record is bereft of any such written request or duly approved leave of absence.
Neither written authority nor approval of the practice and approved leave of absence by the CHR was ever presented by respondent. Thus, he cannot engage in private practice.
As to respondents act of notarizing documents, records show that he applied for commission as notary public on 14 November 2000, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Fernando, Pampanga, Branch 42. This was granted by RTC Executive Judge Pedro M. Sunga, Jr., on 01 December 2000. However, the CHR authorized respondent to act as notary public only on 29 October 2001. Considering the acts of notarization are within the ambit of the term practice of law, for which a prior written request and approval by the CHR to engage into it are required, the crucial period to be considered is the approval of the CHR on 29 October 2001 and not the approval of the RTC on 04 December 2000. 
In Muring, Jr. v. Gatcho,  we suspended a lawyer for having filed petitions for commission as a notary public while employed as a court attorney. We held:
Atty. Gatcho should have known that as a government lawyer, he was prohibited from engaging in notarial practice, or in any form of
private legal practice for that matter. Atty. Gatcho cannot now feign ignorance or good faith, as he did not seek to exculpate himself by providing an explanation for his error. Atty. Gatcho's filing of the petition for commission, while not an actual engagement in the practice of law, appears as a furtive attempt to evade the prohibition. 
Under the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, engaging in the private practice of profession, when unauthorized, is classified as a light offense punishable by reprimand. 
WHEREFORE, we find Atty. Asteria E. Cruzabra guilty of engaging in notarial practice without the written authority from the Secretary of the Department of Justice, and accordingly we REPRIMAND her. She is warned that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future shall merit a more severe sanction.
X x x.”
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that:
1. An Order be issued commanding the counsel for the plaintiff to file a FORMAL DISCLOSURE with the Court on the foregoing legal issues; and
2. If the counsel for the plaintiff discloses that he is indeed a salaried employee of the local government of Xxx, Xxx and if he is unable to prove that he is in possession of a FORMAL AUTHORITY ISSUED IN WRITING TO ENGAGE IN PRIVATE LAW PRACTICE duly issued by the chief executive of the local government of Xxx, Xxx, the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Office of the President, in the interest of the civil service, an Order be issued DISQUALIFYING THE COUNSEL FOR THE PLAINTIFF from further engaging in private law practice in relation to this case.
FURTHER, the defendants respectfully pray for such and other reliefs as may be deemed just and equitable in the premises.
Las Pinas City, November 25, 2016.
Counsel for Defendants
Unit 15, Star Arcade, C. V. Starr Ave.
Philamlife Village, Las Pinas City 1740
Tel. Nos. 8725443 & 8462539
X x xx .
NOTICE OF HEARING
BRANCH CLERK OF COURT
RTC xxx xxx
Counsel for the Plaintiff
Greetings of peace!
We shall submit the foregoing Motion to the Court on December 2, 2016, at 8:30 AM, a previously scheduled hearing, for its kind consideration and approval. Thank you.
Counsel for the Plaintiff
LCB Express/Reg. Rec. No.
Copies hereof are served on the Court and on the opposing counsel via LBC Express/registered mail due to the lack of field staff of undersigned counsel at this time, due to the urgency of filing the same, and due to the great distances of their respective offices from the law office of the undersigned counsel.
X x x x.