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Engr. Tumbokon v Atty. Pefianco A.C. No. 6116 (August 21, 2012 !

ACT"# Complainant filed an administrative complaint for disbarment against respondent for grave dishonesty, gross misconduct constituting deceit and grossly immoral conduct. Complainant narrated that respondent undertook to give him 20% commission, later reduced to 10%, of the attorney's fees the latter would receive in representing ps. !ap, whom he referred, in an action for partition of the estate of the late "en#amin !ap. $espondent failed to pay notwithstanding the 1%% attorney&s fees of the total estate of '0(. $espondent told complainant that the ps. !ap assumed to pay the amount after respondent agreed to reduced fees. Complainant further alleged that respondent has not lived up to the high moral standards re)uired of his profession. $espondent abandoned his legal wife, (ilagros *ilado, with whom he has two children, and cohabited with (ae +lor ,alido, with whom he has four children. Complainant also accused respondent of engaging in money-lending business without authori.ation from the "angko entral ng /ilipinas. 0n his defense, respondent e1plained that he accepted the case in a 22% contingent fee basis and the letter of ps. !ap stating that they will pay the complainant&s commission is a forgery. 3he court referred the case to 0"/ wherein the commissioner recommended that the respondent be suspended for one 415 year from the practice of law for violation of the 6awyer&s 7ath, $ule 1.01, Canon 18 $ule %.09, Canon % and $ule :.02, Canon : of the Code of /rofessional $esponsibility. $espondent moved for reconsideration but was denied. $""%E# ;hether or not respondent is guilty. &E'(# !< . 3he practice of law is considered a privilege bestowed by the tate on those who show that they possess and continue to possess the legal )ualifications for the profession. Clearly, respondent has violated $ule :.02, Canon : of the Code which prohibits a lawyer from dividing or stipulating to divide a fee for legal services with persons not licensed to practice law. +urthermore, respondent did not deny the accusation that he abandoned his legal family to cohabit with his mistress with whom he begot four children. 3he settled rule is that betrayal of the marital vow of fidelity or se1ual relations outside marriage is considered disgraceful and immoral as it manifests deliberate disregard of the sanctity of marriage and the marital vows protected by the Constitution and affirmed by our laws. *owever, C finds the charge of engaging in illegal money lending not to have been sufficiently established. 3he lending of money to a single person without showing that such service is made available to other persons on a consistent basis cannot be construed as indicia that respondent is engaged in the business of lending. 3hus, the C deems it appropriate that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one 415 year as recommended.

"antos )entura &ocorma !oun*ation, $nc. v Atty. +ic,ar* !unk A.C. No. -0-. (August 1/, 2012

>fter antos died. 3he foundation later refused to pay >tty. >s a defense. he had an obligation not to use any knowledge he ac)uired during that relationship. sound public policy dictates that he be prohibited from representing conflicting interests or discharging inconsistent duties. thus he severed his ties with *ocorma. it is undeniable that >tty. a suggestion that the foundation followed. 'a0aro et a1 A. in all these. !ears after terminating his relationship with the foundation. . $ule 12. 2012 . and trustee of the foundation from 1:=9 to 1:=2. +unk contended that he was hired by (abalacat 0nstitute by ?on 3eodoro antos in 1:=2 to serve as director and legal counsel. respondent was elected /resident of (abalacat 0nstitute. $""%E# . +unk was to collect all e1penses for the property transfer from *ocorma +oundation out of funds that antos provided. +unk.(August 22. $espondent moved for reconsideration but was denied. >fter hearing. the Court >++0$( the resolution of the "oard of the 0"/ @ /<A? >tty. $ichard +unk from the practice of law for one year effective immediately. +o*ica v Atty. he filed a complaint against it on behalf of another client without the foundation&s written consent. >tty. 0t was antos& intention since 1:20 to give the land to (abalacat 0nstitute free of rent and e1penses. Complainant alleged that respondent filed an action for )uieting of title and damages against *ocorma on behalf of (abalacat institute using information he ac)uired while with the foundation. 3he reason for this is that a lawyer ac)uires knowledge of his former client&s doings. +unk betrayed the trust and confidence of a former client in violation of the C/$ when he filed several actions against such client on behalf of a new one. +our years later.C. +unk was formerly the legal counsel of *ocorma +oundation. -2/. that he would ordinarily not have ac)uired were it not for the trust and confidence that his client placed on him in the light of their relationship. +unk&s suspension from the practice of law for one year. he filed a suit against *ocorma. chief e1ecutive officer. counsel. antos suggested to the complainant his inclusion in that board. when he sued the foundation. the attorney-client relationship was always between antos and him.*<$<+7$<. 3hus. >n attorney owes his client undivided allegiance. 3he C"? recommended >tty. 3he trial court. +unk also claimed that he was authori.!ACT"# *ocorma +oundation filed a complaint for disbarment against respondent. $ule 12. antos left for >merica to get medical treatment. 3he former and >tty.09 of the 4C/$5 with the aggravating circumstance of a pattern of misconduct consisting of four court appearances against his former client. *e was more of antos& personal lawyer than the lawyer of *ocorma +oundation. including the fact that the property under litigation e1isted at all.ed to advise *ocorma and follow up with it antos& sale or donation of a 2-hectare land in /ampanga to (abalacat 0nstitute.hether or not >tty. "ecause of the highly fiduciary nature of their relationship. >ccording to >tty. *e emphasi. $espondent collected attorney&s fees from the foundation. 0t alleged that respondent used to work as corporate secretary. >tty.09 of the C/$ provides that a lawyer cannot represent conflicting interests e1cept by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. +unk agreed that the latter would be paid for his legal services out of the properties that antos donated or sold to the *ocorma +oundation. the Committee on "ar ?iscipline 4C"?5 found >tty. &E'(# Canon 12.ed that. *ere. +unk&s fees. the *ocorma +oundation. whether documented or not. *e also served as its counsel in several criminal and civil cases. C> and C decided in favor of the respondent. +unk to have violated Canon 12. >tty.

an >merican. >tty. +inding trong to be believable and trustworthy. 0n her Complaint. 0t was discovered that trong&s arrest was made pursuant to an 0nterpol $ed Aotice8 and that trong is wanted in "ra.aro et al. to secure the services of a lawyer. >tty. (oreover.E >side from her bare assertions. trong subse)uently left the /hilippines and $odica filed with the $3C a motion effectively withdrawing her complaint. 3an orchestrated trong&s arrest and that >tty. $odica alleged that after the deportation of trong and the withdrawal of the $3C case. 3he respondents denied the allegations.aro 6aw 7ffice. 3an. $odica filed the instant administrative case.aro 6a w 7ffice collected e1orbitant fees from her. >tty. and the burden of proof rests upon the complainant to clearly prove her allegations by preponderant evidence. <spe#o claimed that he did all of these out of his good intention to help and assist $odica in making the "oracay property more saleable by freeing it from any pending claims. and violation of the C/$. (anuel called up >tty. allegedly heard it from >tty. 0n her complaint. (anuel. (anuel agreed to handle his case. *e admitted to acceding to $odica&s re)uests to put the name of the 6a. 3an relative to the deportation proceedings or the $3C case. trong denied any participation. +or his part. 6a. 3an threatened to do something bad against $odica and her family8 and that >tty. she claimed to be an astute businesswoman who even has some . the totality of evidence presented by $odica failed to overcome the said presumption of innocence. it would appear from her own narration that $odica is not someone who is naGve or ignorant. 3an asserted that the allegations against him are Ddouble hearsayE because the same were based on information allegedly relayed to $odica by >tty. 7n (ay 2. 0n his Comment. >postol referred him to >tty. 3hereafter. (anuel proposed the withdrawal of the $3C case to facilitate the deportation of trong. *e disclosed that he and $odica had been trying to sell the "oracay property but could not find buyers because of the said case. >tty. a friend and neighbor.!ACT"# 3his is a Complaint for disbarment filed by $odica against >tty. she claimed that the 6a. 0n fact. $""%E# . trong sought the assistance of >postol.000. 3an also pointed out that it would be inconceivable for him to participate in trong&s arrest as he had already obtained a favorable ruling Don the meritsE for his clients in the $3C case even before trong was arrested and incarcerated. without the prior knowledge and consent of the other senior lawyers of the firm. the records belie her claims. 3an admitted having initiated the immigration case8 that >tty. deceit.00 should the said law office be able to e1pedite his release from detention as well as his departure from the /hilippines. trong casually mentioned that he has a property in "oracay and that he suspected his neighbors as the persons who caused his arrest. in turn. $odica&s assertions that >tty. and is not e)uivalent to proof. trong offered to pay a success fee of @ B100. 3an demanded for $odica to withdraw the $3C case as part of a settlement package.hether the allegations in $odica&s Complaint merit the disbarment or suspension of respondents. (anuel. 7ne of the respondent attorneys claimed that the $odica begged him to prepare the said motion. *<6?F 6awyers en#oy the presumption of innocence. D3he basic rule is that mere allegation is not evidence.aro 6aw 7ffice and that she was deceived into causing the withdrawal of the $3C case. who. +urther. his live-in partner $odica filed a Complaint before the $3C of Calibo. >klan. against *illview for recovery of possession and damages. $odica failed to present even an iota of evidence to prove her allegations. >ccording to trong. $odica alleged that >tty. was arrested and detained by the operatives of the "ureau of 0mmigration. 2011. the names of its partners. grossly immoral conduct. >tty. malpractice. 3an. 3he latter initially declined but agreed to take the case later on. 0n the present case. who is a partner at 6a.aro 6aw 7ffice communicated with >tty. (anuel contended that none of the lawyers of the 6a. as well as his name . for gross and serious misconduct.aro 6aw 7ffice. (anuel allegedly informed $odica that >tty. >tty. she heard nothing from the 6a.aro 6aw 7ffice. 3hinking that she was deceived. trong. he claimed that she is a client of the 6a. are mere allegations without proof and belied by the records of the case. in the motion and into signing the for various Crimes.

>tty. .*<$<+7$<.aro 6aw 7ffice. we deem it proper to warn him to be more circumspect and prudent in his actuations. Considering that >tty.aro 6aw 7ffice as well as his name and the names of >tty. we cannot say the same as regards >tty . <spe#o is .ithdraw (otion for $econsideration indicating therein the firm name of the 6a. the more reason we cannot lend credence to her claim that she was tricked into believing that the withdrawal of the $3C case was only preliminary to the complete settlement of all her differences with her perceived adversaries. *e admitted drafting $odica&s (anifestation an d (otion to . <spe#o already e1pressed remorse and sincere apologies to the $3C for wrongly employing the mime of the 6a. pain. he is e1pected to maintain a high standard of honesty and fair dealings and must conduct himself beyond reproach at all in "arcelona. the instant Complaint for disbarment against respondents is ?0 (0 <?. <spe#o that before being a friend to $odica. (ichelle without the knowledge and consent of his superiors. 3here is likewise no merit in $odi ca&s allegation that the 6a.aro 6aw 7ffice lawyers for disclaiming that she is their client. he is first and foremost an officer of the court. premises considered. >tty. $odica also faulted the 6a.>$A<? to be more circumspect and prudent in his actuations. . <spe#o is newly admitted to the "ar 420105. *ence. *owever. and in likewise affi1ing his signature thereon. 3hus. 0t is well to remind >tty. <dwin (.aro 6aw 7ffice e1torted from her more than /% million for alleged professional and legal fees and penalties relative to trong&s immigration case. (anuel and >tty. <spe#o.