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Zaguirre vs Castillo

Rule 7.03 | 6 March 2003 | Per Curiam

ISSUE/S & RATIO:


1. WON Castillo violated the Code? YES.
The Court agrees with the findings of the IBP.
Nature of Case: Petition for Disbarment
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that
Petitioner: Carmelita Zaguirre
adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should
Respondent: Atty. Alfredo Castillo
he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous
SUMMARY: Petition for Disbarment was filed by complainant Zaguirre
manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
against Atty. Castillo on the ground of Gross Immoral Conduct.
Immoral conduct that conduct which is so willful, flagrant,
or shameless as to show indifference to the opinion of good
DOCTRINE:
and respectable members of the community.
Siring a child with a woman other than his wife is a conduct
FACTS:
way below the standards of morality required of every
A Petition for Disbarment was filed by complainant Zaguirre
lawyer.
against Atty. Castillo on the ground of Gross Immoral Conduct.
The attempt of the Castillo to renege on his notarized
Complainant Zaguirre and Respondent Atty. Castillo were
statement recognizing and undertaking to support his child
officemates at NBI.
by Carmelita demonstrates a certain unscrupulousness on
Castillo courted her and promised to marry her while
his part which is highly censurable, unbecoming a member
representing himself to be single.
of a noble profession, tantamount to self-stultification.
They soon had an intimate relationship that lasted for a year
It cannot be said that it is unknown to him than a applicant
During the affair, Castillo was preparing for the Bar exams which
for admission to membership in the bar must show that he
he passed
possesses good moral character a continuing requirement.
Zaguirre eventually learned that Castillo was already married
when his wife confronted her in her office.
Zaguirre executed an affidavit, admitting his relationship with
RULING: INDEFINITELY SUSPENDED until such time that respondent is
Castillo and recognizing the unborn child she was carrying as
able to show, to the full satisfaction of the Court that he had instilled in
his. Zaguirre gave birth to Aletha Jessa.
himself a firm conviction of maintaining moral integrity and
Castillo started to refuse to recognize the child.
uprightness required of every member of the profession.
Castillo's defense: What transpired bet them was nothing but
mutual lust and desire. Men, by nature, are polygamous.
Zaguirre is 10 years older than him and she knew that he was
NOTE:
married. The child was not his because she was seeing other
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely
men at the time of their affair. He only executed the affidavit to
reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should he, whether in
save her from embarrassment.
public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
IBP Commission of Bar Discipline: Guilty of gross immoral
discredit of the legal profession.
conduct and recommends indefinite suspension.