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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

Integrated Bar of the Philippines
Commission on Bar Discipline
Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City

NILAD GENERAL MERCHANDISE,
Complainant
AC NO. 12345
- versus-

ATTY. JOHN CENA JR.,
Respondent
x--------------------------------------------x

MEMORANDUM

COMES NOW THE COMPLAINANT, through the undersigned
counsel, and unto this Honorable Court most respectfully submits
and presents this Memorandum in the above-titled case and
aver that:
I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This is a complaint for the disbarment of ATTY. JOHN CENA
JR., Respondent Attorney, who represented MARVIN MARS in a
complaint for illegal dismissal. Respondent maliciously gave a
false date as a ground for his client’s illegal dismissal. He acted
in violation of canon 1 and canon 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
II. STATEMENT OF FACTS
1. FENYLYN LIWANAG, liason officer of the complainant, of legal
age, with postal address at Kurap Building 242 Sevilla Street
comer Jaboneros Street, Binondo, Manila, was duly authorized
by NILAD GENERAL MERCHANDISE to institute the complaint
against the Respondent, ATTY. JOHN CENA JR.
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2. Respondent Cena, Jr. represents himself as a member of the
Philippine Bar with Roll No 12345, He acted as counsel of Marvin
Mars, a former employee of Complainant, After Mar's dismissal
for dishonesty, he filed a labor case against Complainant.
Respondent Cena Jr., acted as counsel of Mars in the labor
case.
3. Mars was an employee of Complainant. One of the tasks of Mars
was to buy diesel fuel for the store generator. On June 22, 2013,
he went to Laguda Gas Station to buy diesel fuel, While at the
station, he instructed the gas station attendant that "pwede ma
syndicato yung resibo. E carga mo lang sa container P1,500.00
at eresibo mo ng P2,000.00 "
4. This embezzlement was reported by the gas station attendants,
cashier, and owner to Complainant in a letter dated June 25,
2013. A part of the letter reads:
"Such that, last June 22, 2013 (Saturday) in the afternoon, a
certain Mr. Marvin brought two (2) containers to be filled up with
diesel fuel. According to our cashier, Mr. Calapati said "pwede
ma syndicato yung resibo. Ecarga mo lang sa container P1,500.
00 at eresibo mo ng P2,000.00 " He was turned down by my
cashier because we don't tolerafe or practice that in our
establishment "
5. The letter was signed by Mr. Guillermo P, Laguda, Jr., owner of
the gas station, and his employees namely: Mr. Johnny Babao
(cashier), Mr. Rocelier Sildura (pump attendant), and Ms. Elena
Marcelo (pump attendant). A copy of the letter is attached as
Annex "B” hereof. The affidavit of Mr. Laguda, Jr. and affidavit of
Mr, Babao, Mr. Sildura, and Ms Marcelo are attached as
Annexes "C" and "D" hereof.
6. Complainant investigated the incident. It issued a Notice to
Explain directing Mars to explain his involvement in the
embezzlement. A copy of the Notice to Explain dated July 1,
2013 is attached as Annex "E” hereof.
7. Complainant also arranged a meeting/hearing between Mars
and the Personnel of the gas station. The meeting took place on
July 1, 2013.
8. Mars submitted his explanation in a letter dated July 1, 2013. The
explanation was entirely handwritten and dated as "07-01-13" by
Mars, a copy of the letter is attached as Annex "F" hereof.

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9. Complainant dismissed Mars in a notice of termination. The
notice of termination was made on July 11, 2013, however, it was
erroneously dated as "June 11 2013". A copy of the notice of
termination is attached as Annex “G" hereof,
10. The embezzlement incident was also reported to the police. A
copy of the police blotter is attached as Annex "H" hereof.
11. The termination of Mars was also reported to the Department of
Labor and Employment on July 12, 2013. In the Establishment
Termination Report, the effectivity date of the termination was
indicated as "July 12, 2013". A copy of the Establishment
Termination Report is attached as Annex "I” herein.
12. On July 22, 2013, Mars filed a Complaint for illegal dismissal
before the National Labor Relations Commission in Bacolod City.
He was assisted by counsel, Respondent John Cena Jr. A copy
of the Complaint is hereto attached as Annex "J".
13. In the sworn Complaint Mars alleged that he was illegally
dismissed by Complainant Nilad General Merchandise. He
indicated "July 11, 2013" under the date of dismissal. In the prayer
for relief, he prayed for "unpaid salary for the period July 1-11,
2013". Respondent Mars was assisted by a person
knowledgeable with the law, his lawyer, Respondent John Cena
Jr., The complaint was signed by Respondents Mars and Cena
Jr.
14. With malice and deliberate intent, Respondent Cena Jr. argued
in the Position Paper filed before the NLRC that Mars was
dismissed on June 12, 2013, not on July 12, 2013. The Position
Paper was signed by Respondent Cena Jr. A copy of the Position
Paper is attached as Annex "K”.
15. Apparently banking on the erroneously dated Notice of
Termination, Respondent Cena Jr. maliciously argued in the
Position Paper that Mars was dismissed on June 12, 2013.
Respondent Cena Jr. argued that at the time of the alleged
dismissal on June 12, 2013, there was yet no just cause for the
termination of his client Mars, since the embezzlement incident
happened only on June 22, 2013, to wit:
“The respondents have failed to discharge this duty. As
narrated earlier, when complainant was dismissed on an alleged
attempt to bribe a gasoline station cashier on June 12, 2013,
respondents had nothing to support their claim. In fact, the
alleged bribery could not have justified the ground for dismissal
because respondents themselves alleged that it took place only

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on June 22, 2013 or ten days after the date of effectivity of the
dismissal."
16.
To debunk the false allegations of Respondent Cena,Jr. in
the Position Paper, Complainant filed an
Appeal
Memorandum,
A copy of the Appeal Memorandum is
attaohed as Annex "L".
17. That the date of "June 11, 2013" indicated in the Notice of
Termination was a mere typographical error is clear from the
evidence and even Mar's own earlier allegation as contained in
the Complaint filed before the NLRC As the lawyer for Mars
Respondent Cena Jr., is aware of the truth that Mars was
dismissed effective July 12, 2013, not June 11, 2013. Respondent
Cena Jr. even assisted his client when he filed the Complaint
claiming that the dismissal was on "July 11, 2013".
18. Respondent Cena Jr. is knowledgeable about the facts
surrounding the dismissal of his client. In fact, Respondent Cena
Jr., even submitted evidence in his client’s Position Paper proving
that the date of dismissal effective on July 12, 2013, This fa is
supported by the following evidence:
a) Respondent Mars’ own Complaint filed before the NLRC in which
he sworn under oath that he was dismissed on "July 11, 2013".
b) Respondent Mars’ prayer for unpaid salary for the period "July 111, 2013" as indicated in his sworn Complaint before the NLRC.
c) Notice to Explain dated July 1, 2013.
d) Respondent Mars’ own handwritten explanation dated "0701.13"
e) Establishment Termination Report indicating the date of
termination as "July 12, 2013".
19. From the argument of the Respondent Cena Jr., in the position
paper, it is clear that the falsehood was deliberately and
intentionally made to thwart the truth. The false date of dismissal
was the basis of the argument for Illegal dismissal as a member
of the Bar, Respondent Cena Jr. owes candor, fairness, and
good faith to the court.
20. Respondent Cena Jr. is an officer of the court, called upon to
assist in the administration of justice. He should act as vanguard
of our legal system. protecting and upholding truth and the rule
of law. He is expected to act with honesty in all his dealings,
especially with the court. Verily, the Code of Professional
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Responsibility enjoins lawyers from committing or consenting to
any falsehood in court or from allowing the courts to be misled
by any artifice. Moreover, they are obliged to observe the rules
of procedure and not to misuse them to defeat the ends of
justice.
21. Evidence clearly shows that Respondent Cena Jr. made a false
statement when he argued that Mars was dismissed on "June 12,
2013". The alleged dismissal made an "June 12, 2013" was belied
by Mars own complaint filed before the NLRC in which he was
assisted by Respondent Cena Jr. Respondent Cena Jr., signed
the Complaint which alleged that Mars was dismissed an "July
11, 2013" and prayed for unpaid salary for the period "July 1-11,
2013".
22. Respondent Cena Jr. deliberately perpetrated this falsehood as
counsel of Mars. The false date of dismissal was the main and
only argument of Respondent Cena Jr. for illegal dismissal.
Respondent Cena Jr. argued that without the aid and legal
advise of Respondent Cena Jr., Mars would have perpetrated
this falsehood. From the very start when Mars filed the Complaint
before the NLRC, Respondent Cena Jr. was already assisting him
as legal counsel. Respondent Cena Jr. is aware of the truth that
Mars was dismissed effective July 12, 2013 but he aided Mars to
make false statement and taking advantage of an erroneously
dated Notice of Termination. Respondent Cena Jr. should be
disbarred from the practice of law in accordance with the ruling
in Isidra Ting-Duma v. Atty. Rolando S. Torres.
III. ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent attorney should be disbarred on
the ground that he violated Canon 1 and 10 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.

IV. ARGUMENTS
The respondent must be disbarred on the ground that he
violated Canon 1 and 10 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
Canon 1 and 10 of the Professional Responsibility provides that:
Canon 1 - A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws
of the land and promote respect for the law and legal process.
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest and
immoral or decelfful conduct.

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xxxx
Canon 10 - A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith
to the court.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall do no falsehood, nor consent to the
doing of any in Court, nor shall he mislead or allow the Court
to be misled by an artifice.
In Isidra Ting-Duma v. Atty. Rolando S. Torres. (A.C. 5161, April
14, 2004), the Supreme Court disbarred a lawyer for assisting his
cIient to commit a falsehood, to wit:
"The respondent allowed Marcelina to commit a crime by
giving false testimony in court, and he never corrected the
same despite full knowledge of the true facts and
circumstances of the case. Moreover, in knowingly offering in
evidence such false testimony, he himself may be punished as
guilty of false testimony. "Moreover, under Canon 10 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer owes candor,
fairness, and good faith to the court. He shall "not do any
falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; nor shall
he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice." This
Rule was clearly and openly violated by the respondent when
he permitted Marcelina to falsely testify that she had no siblings
aside from Felicisima and when he offered such testimony in
the petition for reconstitution of the title involving Lot 1605.
"The respondent must have forgotten that as an attorney he is
an officer of the court called upon to assist in the administration
of justice. Like the court itself he is an instrument to advance its
cause. For this reason, any act on his part that obstructs and
impedes the administration of justice constitutes misconduct
and justifies disciplinary action against him.
"It may not be amiss to mention that to further support the
reconstitution, he offered in evidence an Affidavit of Loss,
which was executed by Marcelina and notarized by him
During the hearing of this administrative case, Marcelina
admitted that her statement in that affidavit that the title was
in her possession was false, as she was never in possession of
the title and would not, therefore, know that the same was lost.
"Moreover, in a letter dated 20 November 1996 addressed to a
certain Mrs. Ong, the respondent requested the release of 50%
of the remaining balance for the sale of Lot 1605, relaying to
Antel Holdings, Inc., through Mrs. Ong that he was assured by
the Clerk of Court that the order directing the reconstitution of
title for Lot 1605 would be released within the month.
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Respondent’s information was misleading because he
presented evidence only on 12 August 1997, or almost a year
after he sent the letter. Such act, therefore, shows lack of
candor and honesty on the part of the respondent.
"Respondent’s acts or omissions reveal his moral flaws and
doubtless bring intolerable dishonor to the legal Profession.
They constitute gross misconduct for which he may be
disbarred or suspended pursuant to Section 27, Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court, which provides:
"Sec. 27, Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme
Court; grounds therefor. - A member of the bar may be
disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the
Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by
reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or
for any violation of the oath which he is required to take before
the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience of any
lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or willfully
appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without
authority to do so. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the
purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or
brokers, constitutes malpractice.
"In the determination of the imposable disciplinary sanction
against an erring lawyer, we take into account the primary
purpose of disciplinary proceedings, which is to protect the
administration of justice by requiring that those who exercise
this important function shall be competent, honorable, and
reliable men in whom courts and clients may repose
confidence. While the assessment of what sanction may be
imposed is primarily addressed to our sound discretion the
sanction should neither be arbitrary or despotic, nor motivated
by personal animosity or prejudice. Rather, it should ever be
controlled by the imperative need to scrupulously guard the
purity and independence of the bar.
"Thus, the supreme penalty of disbarment is meted out only in
clear cases of misconduct that seriously affect the standing
and character of the lawyer as an officer of the court and
member of the bar. We will not hesitate to remove an erring
attorney from the esteemed brotherhood of lawyers where the
evidence calls for it. Verily, given the peculiar factual
circumstances prevailing in this case, we find that
respondent’s gross misconduct calls for the severance of his

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privilege to practice law for life, and we therefore adapt the
penalty recommended by the Investigating Cammissiafter."

PRAYER
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed
that the respondent, ATTY. JOHN CENA JR. be disbarred.
Petitioner also prays for other reliefs as may be deemed
just and equitable in the premises.
Respectfully submitted.
Metro Manila, April 11, 2016.

ZAPATOS LAW OFFICE
Cherry Building, 5th floor, Rm. 411,
Muntinlupa City

BY:

ZARI CHARISAMOR V. ZAPATOS
Counsel for Petitioner
Cherry Building, 5th floor, Rm. 411,
Muntinlupa City
IBP. NO. 123600
PTR NO. 3498157
ROLL OF ATTORNEYS NO. 1239
MCLE Compliance No. 681876

Copy Furnished:
ATTY. MICHELLE DUGUIL
Counsel for Respondents
Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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