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Chua v. Mesina, AC No. 4904, Aug.

12, 2004
Facts: Complainants Ana Alvaran Chua and Marcelina Hsia administratively charged
respondent Atty. Simeon M. Mesina, Jr., for breach of professional ethics, gross
professional misconduct, and culpable malpractice.
Complainants were lessees of the property of respondent's mother. Respondent's
mother defaulted in paying a loan that she obtained in a bank, thus respondent
convinced complainants to help her mother if paying the said obligation, to which
the complainants acceded. It was agreed among that that in consideration for the
act of complainants, the property which they are leasing will be transferred to their
name. The complainants complied with the terms of the agreement. A deed of sale
concerning such property was executed.
However, to evade liability for paying capital gains tax, respondent instructed
complainants to execute another deed of sale which will be antedated 1979,
wherein the capital gains tax was not yet in effective.
Subsequently, after the execution of the deed of sale, respondents instructed his
clients [complainants] to execute a simulated deed of sale which will reflect that the
property was re-conveyed to his mother.
The cunning acts of respondent did not end there. Respondent went to the house of
complainants and got the owners certificate of title of the said property which is still
under the name of her mother. he promised to the complainants that he will process
the transfer of the property to their name. Years passed, but respondent never
returned the said title to the complainants.
Meanwhile, another lessee file a criminal case against the complainants and
respondents for falsification. He claims that was also given the promise that the
property will be offered to him before it will be sold to another, but respondents sold
it to complainants without offering to him. Because of the foregoing circumstances,
complainants filed an administrative case against respondent.
Issue:
Whether or not respondent is guilty of gross misconduct.
Held:
Yes, said the Court- "This Court finds that indeed, respondent is guilty of gross
misconduct.
First, by advising complainants to execute another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated
to 1979 to evade payment of capital gains taxes, he violated his duty to promote
respect for law and legal processes, and not to abet activities aimed at defiance of
the law; That respondent intended to, as he did defraud not a private party but the
government is aggravating.
Second, when respondent convinced complainants to execute another document, a
simulated Deed of Absolute Sale wherein they made it appear that complainants
reconveyed the Melencio property to his mother, he committed dishonesty.

That the signature of “Felicisima M. courts carefully watch these transactions to assure that no advantage is taken by a lawyer over his client. Thus. Hence. for gross misconduct. JR. into turning over to him the owner’s copy of his mother’s title upon the misrepresentation that he would.” Business transactions between an attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged by the policy of the law. have a deed of sale executed by his mother in favor of complainants. Valdez As a rule. Respondent ATTY. he likewise committed dishonesty. a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. 1990 respondent inveigled his own clients. hereby DISBARRED. the issue there being one of ownership while that in the case at bar is moral fitness. The measure of good faith which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his client is a much higher standard that is required in business dealings where the parties trade at “arms length. is. Respondent having welched on his promise to cause the reconveyance of the Melencio property to complainants. SIMEON M. in four months. when on May 2. no presumption of innocence or improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorney’s favor. MESINA. by virtue of his office. the Chua spouses. Melencio” in the 1985 document and that in the 1979 document are markedly different is in fact is a badge of falsification of either the 1979 or the 1985 document or even both.Third. an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client. consideration of whether he should be ordered to honor such promise should be taken up in the civil case filed for the purpose. This rule is founded on public policy for. . A propos is this Court’s following pronouncement in Nakpil v.