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Legal Profession

2nd semester, A.Y.
2014-2015
Canon 1

Guevarra v. Eala
AC No. 7136
Ponente: Per Curiam
Date: August 1, 2007
Petitioner: Joselano Guevarra
Respondent: Atty. Jose Emmanuel Eala
FACTS:
Guevarra filed a Complaint for Disbarmant before IBP against Noli Eala for “grossly immoral conduct and
unmitigated violation of the lawyer’s oath”
First met respondent in January 2000 when his then fiancée, Irene Noje introduced Noli to him as her
friend who was married to Marianne Tantoco with whom he had three children.
After marriage to Irene, complainant notied that Irene had been receiving from respondent calls and
messages which read “I love you”, “I miss you” or “Meet you at Megamall.”
Irene also habitually went home very late at night or early in the morning or did not go home from work.
Her reasons was that she slep at parent’s house in Binangonan or she was busy with her work.
Complainant saw Irene and Noli together in 2 occasions. On second occasion, he confronted them
following which Irene abandoned the conjugal house.
Complainant went uninvited to Irene’s birthday celebration at which he saw her and respondent with
friends and family celebrating. He left immediately.
Irene went to their conjugal house and hauled off her personal belongings, pieces of furnitures, share in
household appliances.
Complainant found a card from complainant to Irene. It contained a letter, a vow of eternal love, dated
October 7, 2000, the day of the wedding of Irene and complainant.
(called the marriage a mere piece of paper)
Complaintant saw the cars of the two lovers parked together along New Manila, where they live together.
Learned that Irene was already pregnant.
Defense of complainant:
Special relationship with Irene is neither scandalous nor tantamount to grossly immoral conduct. He never
flaunted the relationship and known only to immediate family and friends
IBP Commissioner: recommended disbarment for violating Rule 1.01 and Rule 7.03
IBP Board of Governors: Annulled and set aside the recommendation and DISMISED for lack of merit
ISSUE1: WON Atty. Noli Eala committed grossly immoral conduct
HELD/RATIO1:

IBP gave no reason for the dismissal of the case.

True that the love letter and news item in Manila Standard are not sufficient. There are other
pieces of evidence that support the claim that they are indeed having an adulterous affair.
Respondent admitted this himself. Also the Certificate of Live Birth of Samantha Louise Irene Moje
sufficiently prove that there was indeed an illicit relationship. (stated that respondent is the father
of the child). Indeed, respondent does not deny that he is the father of Samantha. Also stated that
father is a lawyer and indicates “NOT MARRIED”

Respondent’s denial is a negative pregnant. “A denial preganant with admission of the substantial
facts in the pleading responded to which are not squarely denied. In effect, an admission of the
averments it was directed at.” Qualifying circumstances alone are denied while the fact itself is
admitted.

RESPONDENT NEVER DENIED THAT HE IS THE FATHER OF THE CHILD.

Adulterous relationship between them has been sufficiently proven by more than clearly
preponderant evidence.

Grossly immoral conduct. Whether a lawyer’s sexual congress with a woman not his wife or
without the benefit of marriage should be characterized as ‘grossly immoral conduct’ depends on
Batac, Endaya, Lingat, Santos, Saturnino, Villafuerte, Yee

1

 Even if acquitted in the criminal case for adultery. Santos. o Family Code  Note: marriage of complainant to Irene was annulled by RTC during the pendency of the case.  Violations: o Lawyer’s oath o Canon 1 o Constitution Sec 2. Indeed. it would not have been a bar to the present administrative complaint. Article XV. 2014-2015 Canon 1 the surrounding circumstances.  Betrayals of the marital vow of fidelity. Deliberate disregard of the sanctity of marriage. Endaya. Marriage. Saturnino. A. respondent has been carrying on an illicit affair with a married woman. Villafuerte.Legal Profession 2nd semester. respondent himself was married. The case at bar involves a relationship between a married lawyer and a married woman who is not his wife. DISPOSITION: DISBARRED. However. as an inviolable social institution is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State. Lingat.Y. a grossly immoral conduct and indicative of an extremely lowe regard for the fundamental ethics of his profession. Batac. Immaterial whether the affair was carried out discreetly. Yee 2 .