You are on page 1of 5

Republic of the Philippines

Office of the Bar Confidant


SUPREME COURT - En Banc
Manila
Atty. Ma. Denise Jolyn T. Eisma
Complainant,
- versus -

Administrative Case No. 1218


For : Disbarment

Judge Juan Guro


Respondent
x--------------------------------------x
COMPLAINANTS POSITION PAPER
Unto this Honorable Court, I, the undersigned petitioner, most respectfully submit this
position paper, and state:
STATEMENT OF THE FACTS
Judge Guro, the incumbent Municipal Trial Court Judge of Quezon Province, Branch 1,
committed the following acts:
1. That the defendant accepted money bribe from a litigant;
2. That the defendant is maintaining an illicit relationship with a woman not his lawful wife,
with whom he sired three children;
3. That the defendant has a backlog of pending cases within his court and failed to fulfill
his ministerial duties
ISSUE
Whether or not the respondent judge is still fit to be a member of the Bar.
DISCUSSIONS
ON ACCEPTING MONEY BRIBE
-------------------------------------------The respondent committed a reprehensible act in accepting the money from a litigant,
regardless of the intent, circumstances or situation he was in. Any person, especially a party to
a case, should be able to look at a tribunal void of impartiality and wrongdoing. Be it the
plaintiff or the defendant, every party deserves a fair, just and speedy trial and not a court that
can be bought or easily swayed. It is for this reason that we stress the independence of the
judiciary in ruling on its cases. The opinions of the outside world, partisan considerations,
reward or profit must be far removed from the mind of the judge the moment he wears his
robe.
Time and again, we are bound to remind our colleagues who taint with dishonour the
good name of our legal profession that lawyering is a privilege, and not a right enjoyed by
many. In Canlas vs. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held:

The practice of law is not a commercial enterprise; but that does not furnish an excuse for
plain lust for material wealth, more so at the expense of another. Law advocacy, we reiterate,
is not capital that yields profits. The returns it births are simple rewards for a job done or
service rendered.
To be deaf and blind by sustaining the wrong act is tantamount to putting the integrity of
the judiciary at risk. There should be no room for bribery in the halls where justice resides.
When an attorney puts his interests above service his clients, it becomes a downward spiral
from thereon. Further, our courts deserve the utmost respect and confidence and not be
doubted upon because of the ill mistakes or acts by some of our fellow members.
Stated in the Code of Professional Responsibility are provisions strictly demanding of
clear conscience and moral integrity.
CANON 4 - A LAWYER SHALL PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
LEGAL SYSTEM BY INITIATING OR SUPPORTING EFFORTS IN LAW REFORM AND IN
THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
Court;
CANON 17 - A LAWYER OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE
SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.
In view of the law, Judge Guro should be charged of direct bribery, a crime involving
moral turpitude. It is well-settled jurisprudence that administrative cases against lawyers
belong to a distinct and unique class of their own. Such cases may proceed independently
from the criminal proceedings. As recently ruled by the Supreme Court en banc in the
disbarment case of former Dagupan City assistant prosecutor Joselito Barrozo, who was
caught accepting P20,000 bribe in the estafa cases assigned to him. The High Court ordered
Barrozos name be stricken from the roll of attorney. The facts before us present the same
issue. Thus, we call upon the attention of this Court to issue the same judgment against Judge
Guro. If the charges prayed for would merit a conviction of direct bribery, it would be a crime
involving moral turpitude, under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court.
ON THE IMMORAL CONDUCT
-------------------------------------------No less than the Constitution had declared in Section 2 of Article XV (The Family), the
sanctity of marriage and importance of the family as the basic unit of society and significant
role in nation-building.
Section 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the
family and shall be protected by the State.
Further, the Family Code (Executive Order No. 209), fortifies the marital obligations between
the husband and the wife to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and
render mutual help and support. The main article from the same Code alone highlights its
permanency and exclusivity.
Article 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a
woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It
is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences,
and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage
settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this
Code.
2

Countless cases of disbarment have been decided on the ground of grossly immoral
conduct, Section 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. The most controversial case
falling squarely on the facts involving Judge Guro was the case of former lawyer and Philippine
Basketball Association Commissioner Jose Emmanuel Noli M. Eala. Apart from the
aforementioned ground, Mr. Ealas title was revoked likewise because of violation of his oath of
office, and violation of Canon 1, Rule 1.01 and Canon 7, Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.
Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his
fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a
scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
Pursuant therefore to the above provision and jurisprudence, Judge Guro should suffer
the same fate. Even if the acts committed were private and personal in nature, we hold him
liable for irresponsibility. A person admitted to the bar must mirror what the law upholds sacred
and not be a walking contradiction by being the first to violate its rules. By no stretch of
imagination or illusion can we conceive of an idea that maintaining an extra-marital affair is
being faithful to the laws and the Constitution. It is nothing but a lustful and selfish surrender to
sexual desires and too often oblivious of a mans obligations. We find him unworthy to carry his
title because of such scandalous affair. The respondents perverted ways, without conscious
effort to redeem his honor, arises not from ignorance of what the legal profession exacts, but
an unmindful disregard duties and functions. He did not only betray his spouse, his family. He
openly disrespected the practice. There should be no dichotomy of personality in all his
undertakings. The uprightness and professionalism expected of him whenever he sits as the
court judge should be the same decency we can count on even in his private life. This is the
stiff standard members of the Bar pay for to be admitted. We are measured the same and it is
one image we cannot compromise.
On Failure to Act on Pending Cases
---------------------------------While we believe that the omission or inaction on the pending cases should amount only
to disciplinary actions or suspension, taken as a whole and in view of the other facts the
respondent grossly violated, we are moved to consider the matter as grave misconduct
unbecoming of a privileged member of the Bar. We cannot afford to view this as first offense
where only a warning or a penalty is imposed. For one, it is the thrust of the Supreme Court
and its lower court that mandates speedy disposition of cases. As the saying goes, justice
delayed is justice denied. When a man seeks relief from court because of the injury he
suffered, he should not bear further anguish and misery by experience impediments. In the
spirit of fair trial, courts should be committed to offer solutions. We hold that the provisions of
Section 15(1)[17] of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution and Canon 3, Rule 3.05 [18] of the Code
of Judicial Conduct view those backlogs as violations.
Section 15(1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be
decided or resolved within twenty-four (24) months from date of submission for the Supreme
Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve (12) months for all collegiate courts,
and three (3) months for all other lower courts.
[18]

Rule 3.05. A judge shall dispose of the courts business promptly and decide cases within
the required periods.

On a final note, we close with a quote from one of the Courts decisions...
The practice of law is a privilege accorded only to those who measure up to certain rigid
standards of mental and moral fitness. For the admission of a candidate to the bar, the Rules
of Court not only prescribe a test of academic preparation but require satisfactory testimonials
of good moral character. These standards are neither dispensed with nor lowered after
admission: the lawyer must continue to adhere to them or else incur the risk of suspension or
removal.[1]
In re Gutierrez, Adm. Case No. L-363, July 31, 1962, 5 SCRA 661.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing facts and premises considered, it is most


respectfully prayed for that the respondent judge be disbarred.
City for Manila, December 18, 2015.

Atty. DENISE EISMA


Petitioner
Room 143, Faculty of Civil Law
University of Santo Tomas
City of Manila, Philippines
P.T.R. No. 1234567 * Quezon City * Jan. 21, 2015
I.B.P No. 1234567 * Pasig City * March 17, 2015
MCLE No. IV 1234567 * Pasig City * May 15, 2014
Roll No. 47673

EXPLANATION
A copy of this position paper is being furnished to respondents counsel not by personal
service but by registered mail due to time constraint.

DENISE EISMA

VERIFICATION
I, DENISE EISMA, of legal age and Filipino, after having been duly sworn to in
accordance with law, depose and state THAT:
I am one of the defendants in the above entitled case; I have caused the preparation of
the foregoing document and I have read the same and the contents of which are true and
correct of my own knowledge and/or on the basis of authentic documents.
AFFIANT SAYETH NAUGHT.
In witness whereof, I hereunto affix my signature this December 18, 2015.

DENISE EISMA
Affiant
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
MANILA

SS.

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this September 2, 2015; affaint exhibiting to


me his TIN I.D. No. 107-945-748-00.
WITNESS MY HAND AND SEAL this September 2, 2015.
DOC. NO._______
PAGE NO._______
BOOK NO._______
SERIES OF 2015.

NOTARY PUBLIC

Copy furnished by registered mail


Registry Receipt No.__________
Mandaluyong Post Office
Date: September 2, 2015
Atty. ANTONIO ESCOBER
Counsel for the Plaintiff
3rd floor AZPHI Bldg.
2840 Ma. Aurora corner E. Zobel Sts.
Poblacion, Makati City
Canlas v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-77691, 8 August 1988, 164 SCRA 160, 174.
A lawyer is reposed of the trust and a trust he swear to uphold, by law and to the Constitution.
Good moral character

Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pools, Inc. v. Atty. Naldoza,[48] held:


Administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their
own. They are distinct from and they may proceed independently of civil and
criminal cases.
5