WILFREDO M. CATU, complainant vs. ATTY. VICENTE G. RELLOSA, respondent A. C. No. 5738 (February 19, 2008) This is an administrative case filed by the complainant claiming that the respondent committed an act of impropriety as a lawyer and as public officer when he stood as counsel for the defendants despite the fact that he presided over the conciliation proceedings between the litigants as punong barangay.. Facts:Complainant Wilfredo M. Catu is a co-owner of a lot and the building erected thereon located in Manila.
His mother and brother, Regina Catu and Antonio Catu, contested the possession of Elizabeth C.
Diaz-Catu2 and Antonio Pastor of one of the units in the building. The latter ignored demands for them to vacate the premises. Thus, a complaint was initiated against them in the Lupong Tagapamayapa of Barangay Respondent, as punong barangay, summoned the parties to conciliation meetings. Hence, respondent issued a certification for the filing of the appropriate action in court for failure of the parties to arrive at an amicable settlement Thereafter, Regina and Antonio filed a complaint for ejectment against Elizabeth and Pastor in the MTC of Manila.
Respondent entered his appearance as counsel for the defendants in that case. Hence, this instant administrative complaint was filed. Issues: Whether or not ATTY. VICENTE G. RELLOSA (respondent) violates the Code of Professional Responsibility specifically Canon 1(Rule 1. 01) and Canon 7. Whether or not the respondent violates Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules. Held: The court ruled that indeed the respondent was found guilty of professional misconduct for violating Canons 1 and 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules.
Rule 1. 01 of the CPR provides, “A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. For not living up to his oath as well as for not complying with the exact ethical standards of the legal profession, respondent failed to comply with Canon 7, “A Lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules provides also that , “A civil service officer or employee whose responsibilities do not require his time to be fully at the disposal of the government can engage in the rivate practice of law only with the written permission of the head of the department concerned”. In the case at bar, respondent not only engaged in the unauthorized practice of law but also violated civil service rules. WHEREFORE, respondent is GUILTY and SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six months. TOMAS P. TAN, JR. , complainant vs. ATTY. HAIDE V. GUMBA, respondent A. C. No. 9000 (October 5, 2011) Before us is an administrative complaint for disbarment filed by complainant Tomas P. Tan, Jr. gainst respondent Atty. Haide B. Vista-Gumba for gross unethical conduct. Facts: Complainant, a self-made businessman with a tailoring shop in Naga City, filed a verified Complaint against respondent before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Camarines Sur Chapter. Pursuant to Section 1, Paragraph 3, Rule 139-B of the Revised Rules of Court, as amended, the said Chapter forwarded the complaint to the IBP Board of Governors for proper disposition. Complainant narrated that respondent asked to be lent ? 350,000. 00.
Respondent assured him that she would pay the principal plus 12% interest per annum after one year and offered by way of security a parcel of land located in Naga City registered in her father’s name. Respondent showed complainant a (SPA) executed by respondent’s parents, and verbally assured complainant that she was authorized to sell or encumber the entire property. Complainant consulted Atty. Raquel Payte and was assured that the documents provided by respondent were valid. Thus, respondent executed in complainant’s favor an “open” Deed of Absolute Sale over the said parcel of land, attaching thereto the SPA.
Respondent, however, defaulted on her loan obligation and failed to pay the same despite complainant’s repeated demands. Left with no recourse, complainant went to the Register of Deeds to register the sale and find out that respondent deceived him since the SPA did not give respondent the power to sell the property but only empowered respondent to mortgage the property solely to banks. Hence, this present petition was brought up. Issue: Whether or not the respondent violates Canon 1(Rule 1. 01) and Canon 7of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Held: The court found respondent guilty of violating Canon 1(Rule 1. 1) and Canon 7of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Verily, Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates all lawyers to uphold at all times the dignity and integrity of the legal profession. Lawyers are similarly required, under Rule 1. 01, Canon 1 of the same Code, not to engage in any unlawful, dishonest and immoral or deceitful conduct. In the case at bar, respondent’s actions clearly show that she deceived complainant into lending money to her through the use of documents and false representations and taking advantage of her education and complainant’s ignorance in legal matters.
As manifested by complainant, he would have never granted the loan to respondent. Wherefore, respondent Atty. Haide B. Vista-Gumba is found administratively liable for grave misconduct and suspended from the practice of law for six months. DAHLIA S. GACIAS, complainant, vs. ATTY. ALEXANDER BULAUITAN, respondent A. C. No. 7280 (November 16, 2006) Before the Court is a complaint for disbarment instituted by the herein complainant Dahlia S. Gacias against Atty. Alexander Bulauitan on grounds of dishonesty and grave misconduct. Facts: Respondent, Atty. Alexander Bulauitan, owned a parcel of land located at Tuguegarao City.
The parties entered into an agreement for the purchase, on installment basis at a unit price of P3,500. 00 per square meter. Out of the total consideration of P322,000. 00, complainant initially paid respondent, as down payment, US$3,100. 00 (P82,000. 00). Subsequent installment payments were remitted All told, complainant had, as of November 1996, paid the respondent, in cash and in kind. She asked for the copy of the title but respondent can’t produce. Respondent’s inability to produce the desired title impelled her not to complete the payment and to return the amount she had already paid.
Complainant further alleged that the respondent agreed, but has not made good his undertaking, to make reimbursement. Hence, this present complaint was filed. Issue: Whether or not respondent, Atty. Alexander Bulauitan, violates Canon 7 (Rule 7. 03) of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Held: The court found respondent guilty of dishonesty and grave misconduct. The Code of Professional Responsibility enjoins a lawyer from engaging in unlawful, dishonest or deceitful conduct. The complementing Rule 7. 3 of the Code provides that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law. In the case at bar, respondent had shown, through his dealing with the complainant involving a tiny parcel of land, a want of professional honesty. Such misdeed reflects on the moral stuff which he is made of. His fitness to continue in the advocacy of law and manage the legal affairs of others are thus put in serious doubt too. Wherefore, herein respondent, Atty. Alexander Bulauitan is found guilty of gross misconduct and dishonesty and suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year.
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