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RUTHIE LIM-SANTIAGO vs ATTY.

CARLOS SAGUCIO
A.C. No. 6705 March 31, 2006
FACTS:
Respondent, atty Sagucio was a former Personnel manager and Counsel of Taggat Industries
Inc. Thereafter in 1992, he was appointed as Asst. Provincial prosecutor of Tuguegarao
Cagayan . Employees of Taggat filed criminal charges against the complainant who took over
the management and control of Taggat, withheld the payment of their wages and salaries
without a valid cause. The complainant charges respondent with the engaging in private
practice of law while working as a government prosecutor and for violation of Rule 15.03 of
CPR.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the respondent violated Rule 15.03 of CPR.
2. Whether or not being a former lawyer of Taggat posits conflict of interests with his work as
Asst. Provincial Prosecutor
HELD:
The Court finds that there is no conflict of interest on the part of the respondent when he
handled the preliminary investigation of the criminal charges filed by the Taggat Employees. The
issue of the matter of the criminal complaint was pertaining to the withholding of the wages and
salaries of the Taggat employees which occurred from April 1, 1996 to July 15, 1997. Evidently,
the respondent was no longer connected with the Taggat Inc during such period since he is
working as Assistant Provincial Prosecutor since 1992. Should there be apparent conflict of
interest, it must be supported by sufficient evidence that Taggat, respondents former client,
used any confidential information from his preceding employment with Complainant in resolving
the filed criminal complaint.
As the former Personnel Manager and Retained Counsel of Taggat together with the case he
handled as government t prosecutor was labor-related case which fact, is not a sufficient basis
to charge respondent for representing conflicting interests.
The Court emphasized that a lawyers absolute duty to his former client does not cover
transactions that...