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A.C. No. 11095 [Formerly CBD Case No.

11-3140], September 20, 2016

EUFEMIA A. CAMINO, Complainant, v. ATTY. RYAN REY L. PASAGUI, Respondent.

DECISION

PER CURIAM:

Before us is a Disbarment Complaint1 dated July 13, 2011 filed by Eufemia A. Camino against respondent
Atty. Ryan Rey L. Pasagui before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-
CBD), docketed as CBD Case No. 11-3140, now A.C. No. 11095.

The facts are as follows:

Complainant Eufemia A. Camino (Camino) is the vendor of a lot covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
chanRoblesvirtualLaw libra ry

(TCT) No. T-70247,2 still registered under the name of the Heirs of Camino's father. Respondent Atty. Ryan
Rey L. Pasagui (Atty. Pasagui) was allegedly the lawyer of Congresswoman Mila Tan (Tan) who was in
charge of handling the payments for the property which Camino sold to Tan in 2010. Camino narrated that
sometime after the election, Atty. Pasagui offered her Tan's payment in the amount of Thirty Thousand
Pesos (P30,000.00). However, Camino refused to accept the same as she wanted to have the payment in
full and added that she also returned to Atty. Pasagui the postdated check amounting to Two Million Pesos
(P2,000,000.00) which Tan previously issued.

Atty. Pasagui then advised her to this effect, "maupay ngani na war ay mo karawta, kay magrerecall man
ngani diri ka na mababaydan kay war ay na hi Congresswoman Mila Tan kwarta. Pamiling nala hin iba na
buyer ibabalik nato it kwarta ha iya ngan maghihimo nala ako hin demand letter na kinahanglan na
maimpasan kay kun diri makahatag, ibabalik nala an iya nahatag" (Good that you did not accept it because
there will be a recall and Congresswoman Mila would not have enough money to pay you. Look for another
buyer and we'll return her money. I will prepare a demand letter that she must pay you or else you will just
pay her back the amount she has paid). Camino further alleged that Atty. Pasagui assured her that he will
take care of everything and encouraged her to look for another buyer and advised her to set its price at
Seven Million Pesos (Php7,000,000.00).

Few weeks after, Camino informed Atty. Pasagui that she has a buyer but the latter wanted to have a clean
title of the property since said property is still under the names of all the heirs of her father. Atty. Pasagui
then asked for the title to make the verifications and facilitate the transferring of the title under her name
considering that she has paid her siblings with their respective shares. Atty. Pasagui then told her that the
transfer of the title in her name will cost about Seven Hundred Thousand Pesos (P700,000.00) or more and
that the said amount would be enough because he can ask for discounts from his friend at the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR).

Sometime in January 2011, Atty. Pasagui told Camino that they will proceed with the sale to another buyer
since Tan did not give any payment yet even after sending her the demand letter. Atty. Pasagui, however,
failed to show Camino the said demand letter.

Convinced by Atty. Pasagui's assurance that she could still sell the property to another buyer, she consented
to his proposition and told him that she will look for a sufficient amount of money necessary for the
processing of the transfer of the title.

In the evening of February 3, 2011, Camino informed Atty. Pasagui that she already has the amount of
P120,000.00 to start the processing of the transfer of title in her name. However, on the day they were
supposed to meet, Atty. Pasagui failed to meet her and instead sent his mother, Susie Pasagui, to receive
the P120,000.00.3 chanrobleslaw

Thereafter, Atty. Pasagui advised Camino to apply for a loan at Perpetual Help Credit Cooperative, Inc.
(PHCCI), Alang-alang, Leyte, using her residential house and lot at V & G as collateral. The proceeds thereof
will then be used for the necessary expenses in transferring the title in Camino's name. He claimed that the
loan can be released in one (1) week.

Thus, Camino and her husband, Perpetuo P. Camino, executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA)4 in favor of
respondent Atty. Pasagui, authorizing the latter to obtain a loan in their behalf with PHCCI to be secured by

yet. Pasagui went directly to the room of Tan and spent almost thirty minutes inside. Pasagui's house to inquire about the status of the loan application. When they got out of the room. At that time. to the pension house where Tan was staying. Camino alleged that sufficient time have elapsed already.000.00) was released on February 15. Upon securing a copy of the application.000. there had been no transaction filed in connection with the transfer of the ownership of the property. Pasagui get in touch with her after their meeting. Pasagui then gave her a signal to accept the said amount. T-70247. on June 6. 2011. She accepted the money from Tan who also promised her the full payment on April 28.000. Camino have yet to confront Atty. the IBP-CBD found Atty. Camino discovered that the loan was already approved and that the proceeds thereof amounting to One Million Pesos (P1.11chanrobleslaw In its Report and Recommendation12 dated July 10. however. Camino then decided to check the status of the title of the property at the Register of Deeds.00). Camino also went to Atty. Pasagui guilty of violating Rule 1. the IBP-CBD ordered Atty. admitted that he had indeed applied for a loan with PHCCI but insisted that the same was personal to him.000.00 when she thought that Atty. T-35197. the undersigned is already facilitating for the release of your documents from Perpetual Help Credit Cooperative. Camino wrote Atty. Pasagui already received the proceeds of the loan. he will also be the one to personally pay for it. Atty. Pasagui advised her to refuse payment from Tan should she attempt to hand over an amount less than Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200. Pasagui to follow up on Tan's payment but he did not answer her call. Camino personally went to PHCCI and asked for the copy of his loan application. she demanded from him to account and turn-over the proceeds of the real estate loan from the PHCCI and to return back to her all pertinent documents and papers which were entrusted to him. Pasagui neither processed the transfer of the title in her name nor paid the necessary fees for its transfer. She was then told that the application was still in process and the maximum loanable amount was only Seven Hundred Thousand Pesos (P700. to wit As of the moment.000. thus. When they reached the pension house. Camino went to Atty. On April 28. 6 Camino mentioned that she was able to secure a printout of the loan interest worksheet and that it was reflected therein that Atty.00. Alang-alang Branch. As to your pertinent documents relative to Transfer Certificate of Title No.00) and that the release will be on a staggered basis. 2011. Camino recalled that Atty. Camino then wondered why Tan would still offer her payment of P200. Pasagui. Pasagui's house to inquire about Tan's promise of payment but he was not around.7 chanrobleslaw In his Answer8 dated June 16. Inc. the IBP-CBD notified the parties to appear before the Commission for the mandatory conference. He further alleged that he is not under any obligation to report or account to Camino where the proceeds of the loan went because it is he.000. thus. Confused. Pasagui.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers which is a mandate for lawyers to desist . 2011. 2014. Leyte. Francis Peter Camino.5 chanrobleslaw A month after. Tan handed to her an envelope containing the amount of P150.. the same is not within my possession as those documents are in the possession of the person who bought the same real properly way back in the year 2009. even after several inquiries and verification from the Register of Deeds and other government agencies concerned. Pasagui already told her that the sale of the property will no longer push through. Alang-alang. Atty. 2011. Neither did Atty. Sometime in April 2011. Camino tried to call Atty. Pasagui and reminded him of their agreement that he will be the one to facilitate and secure a loan with PHCCI in order to finance the payment of the necessary expenses for the transfer of the title in her name. On October 12. Camino added that she tried to get in touch with Atty. in his Answer10 dated September 21. Pasagui about her discovery that he already collected the loan proceeds from PHCCI as she was hoping that he would be the one to tell her himself.9 chanrobleslaw Atty. Doubtful. Pasagui but the same was futile. Pasagui to submit his Answer to the complaint. 2011. 2011. Who will pay it anyway. 2011. Atty. 2011. She found out that Atty. with the assistance of a lawyer.their own property covered by TCT No. On August 12. Atty. together with his parents invited complainant and her son. On the way to the pension house. himself. Pasagui explained.

Atty. fairness and straight-forwardness. he shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful fees and disbursements. cheat. which states that "[a] lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his possession. Pasagui be suspended from the practice of law for one (1) year for violation of Rule 1. dishonest. A lawyer may be disciplined for misconduct committed either in his professional or private capacity. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his clients. The test is whether his conduct shows him to be wanting in moral character." It recommended that Atty. There was likewise no explanation as to why the Caminos would allow such set up of applying a loan for the personal benefit of Atty. A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client. Pasagui as attorney-in-fact was for the purpose of obtaining a loan with the PHCCI to finance the expenses of the transfer of title in Camino's name." "Unlawful" conduct does not necessarily imply the element of criminality although the concept is broad enough to include such element.01. Rule 16. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. honesty. artifice or device that is used upon another who is ignorant of the true facts. while conduct that is "deceitful" means the proclivity for fraudulent and deceptive misrepresentation."15 chanrobleslaw Any act or omission that is contrary to. Pasagui using their own property as collateral. Atty. Thus. to the prejudice and damage of the party imposed upon. probity. A lawyer shall keep the funds of each client separate and apart from his own and those of others kept by him. Pasagui be reprimanded with a warning that a repetition of the same infraction will result in the imposition of a more severe penalty." Furthermore: ChanRoblesVirtua l awlibrary Rule 16. It is then plausible that the true intention of the Caminos in designating Atty. demands of an attorney an absolute abdication of every personal advantage conflicting in any way. with the interest of his client. In the absence of any agreement between the parties. integrity in principle. by his failure to make good of their agreement to use the proceeds of the loan for the transfer of the title in Camino's name. The failure of Atty.02. immoral or deceitful conduct. be unworthy.0. pledges himself not to delay any man for money or malice and is bound to conduct himself with all good fidelity to his clients. disobedient to. Pasagui failed to provide an explanation as to why he used Camino's property as collateral.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.03. 2014. If it were true that it was a personal loan to him. To be "dishonest" means the disposition to lie. The profession. We sustain the findings of the IBP-CBD except as to the penalty.16 chanrobleslaw In the instant case. Instead. or disregards the law is "unlawful.14 chanrobleslaw Rule 1. Pasagui failed to measure up to the exacting standard expected of him. deceive. He shall also have a lien to the same extent on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court. Pasagui to inform Camino of the status of the transfer of title despite the release of the loan to finance the transfer of the title. or in defiance of. lacking in integrity.from "dishonest. Pasagui clearly shows that the application of the loan with PHCCI was in behalf of the Caminos and that the property mortgaged was likewise the property of the latter. under his oath. probity. or whether it renders him unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. Atty. or prohibited or unauthorized by. the IBP-Board of Governors resolved to adopt and approve with modification as to the penalty the Report and Recommendation of the IBP-CBD. XXI-2014-93813 dated December 14. is a clear indicium that he converted the money for his own use and constituted a gross violation of professional ethics and betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession. as in this case. Rule 16. He should not commingle it with his private property or use it for his personal . it does not make sense that the Caminos would allow their own residential property to be mortgaged in order to finance something that will not be of benefit to them. Pasagui's guilt is undisputed.17 He violated Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is obligated to report promptly the money of his client that has come into his possession. However." It is well established that a lawyer's conduct is "not confined to the performance of his professional duties. Pasagui not only betrayed the trust and confidence reposed upon him but he is also guilty of engaging in dishonest and deceitful conduct. Atty. In Resolution No. without prejudice to the filing by the complainant of an appropriate action in court. A lawyer shall deliver the funds and property of his client when due or upon demand. Atty. In this case. A lawyer. defraud or betray. honesty. therefore. Pasagui's defense that the loan was personal to him fails to convince. immoral or deceitful conduct. giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. A lawyer is duty-bound to observe candor. provides that "[a] lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. A perusal of the Special Power of Attorney issued by Camino and her husband to Atty. and good demeanor. directly or indirectly. it recommended that Atty.

Not only did he degrade himself but as an unfaithful lawyer he besmirched the fair name of an honorable profession. Ryan Rey L. 2013. the Court finds that the suspension for one (1) year recommended by the IBP-Board of Governors is not sufficient punishment for Atty. and not intrinsically linked to his professional engagement. Pasagui is instead meted the penalty of DISBARMENT. Clearly. but at the same time when it seemed that he could get a higher price from another buyer. in this case. for violation of the lawyer's oath and/or for breach of the ethics of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility. in general. However. the P120.19 chanrobleslaw PENALTY A member of the Bar may be penalized." The appropriate penalty for an errant lawyer depends on the exercise of sound judicial discretion based on the surrounding facts.000. he should promptly account to the client how the money was spent. Resolution No. XXI-2014-938 dated December 14. like Caesar's wife. malpractice and gross misconduct. and manifests unethical practice of law. As lawyer of the buyer. they owe fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in them. for the purpose of facilitating the transfer of the title in the name of the complainant with the corresponding payment of legal interest as pronounced in the case of Nacar v. The acts of the respondent constitute malpractice and gross misconduct in his office as attorney.22 Once lawyers agree to take up the cause of a client. as in this case. the courts and society render him unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed on him.21True. He is likewise ORDERED to RETURN all other documents pertinent to the loan obtained from PHCCI and those received from complainant. When a lawyer collects or receives money from his client for a particular purpose (such as for filing fees. must not only keep inviolate their client's confidence. Pasagui GUILTY of violation of Rule 1. was guilty of deceit. 2013 until fully paid.23 chanrobleslaw WHEREFORE. then the professional employment is established. In such cases. Respondent Atty.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION as to the penalty.00 and to pay legal interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum computed from the release of the loan on February 15. it should not involve his civil liability for moneys received from his client in a transaction separate. in disciplinary proceedings against lawyers. Tan. Accordingly. even disbarred or suspended from his office as an attorney. 2014 of the IBP-Board of Governors which found respondent Atty. he encouraged Camino to cancel the sale in favor of Tan. but must also avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing. the public.20 chanrobleslaw Here. Ryan Rey L. Atty. if a person. If he does not use the money for its intended purpose. The receipt of the moneys was not by virtue of a personal transaction between the complainant and respondent. Pasagui's unacceptable acts and omissions. Pasagui's act of propositioning himself as a lawyer of Tan and Camino who have opposing interests as one being the seller and the other one. the only issue is whether the officer of the court is still fit to be allowed to continue as a member of the Bar. transportation and office expenses). and six percent (6%) per annum from July 1. For the practice of law is "a profession. by converting the money of his client to his own personal use without her consent. consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional advice or assistance. His incompetence and appalling indifference to his duty to his client. Atty. he facilitated the buyer's payments to Camino. it appeared that the Caminos entrusted the task of facilitating the transfer of the title by virtue of respondent's legal expertise. and the Office of the Court Administrator for . Pasagui demonstrated not just a negligent disregard of his duties as a lawyer but a wanton betrayal of the trust of his client and.000. distinct. 2013 until fully paid. is deplorable. Attorneys.18 Respondent. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.000. Pasagui are tantamount to double-dealing and conflict of interest. Gallery Frames. the buyer. the performance of which is entrusted to those who are qualified and who possess good moral character.00 received for the purpose of transferring the title in the name of the complainant and to pay legal interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum computed from receipt of the amount on February 3. and six percent (6%) per annum from July 1. for only then can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is of paramount importance in the administration of justice. Respondent is further ORDERED to immediately RETURN the loan proceeds amounting to P1. 2011 up to June 30. The Court also deems it appropriate to order the return of the moneys which respondent received as attorney-in-fact. Furthermore. 2011 up to June 30. as well as. 2013. registration fees.purposes without his client's consent. Let a copy of this Decision be furnished to the Office of the Bar Confidant. and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces with the consultation. the Court's only concern is the determination of respondent's administrative liability. such actuations of Atty. a form of public trust. in respect to business affairs or troubles of any kind. he must immediately return it to the client. After all. to be appended to the personal record of respondent.

240. 569. on official leave.. at 15. . 379. at 12-13. Perez. 2014. 23 Aromin v. at 236-237. 6 Id. 19 Suntay v. 358. A. 12 Id. 8 Id.. 48 Phil. 178 (1948). chanroblesvirtuallawl ibrary Sereno. 267 (2013). 21 716 Phil. Brion. 9 Id. 3 Id. Jr. Perlas-Bernabe. Reyes. 10548 . Leonen. Francisco. J. Francisco. Moreno. 18 Belleza v. Jr.. 16 Jimenez v. at 51-57.. 744 SCRA 215. Atty. 13 Id. Atty. 1. Carpio. 482. 2-7. Mendoza. 568 Phil. 14 Barnachea v. Atty. 633 Phil. 435 Phil. 725 Phil. Boncavil. 230. 84 Phil. Endnotes: 1 Rollo.J. 2014. Atty. 11 Id.circulation to all courts in the country for their information and guidance. Atty. David. This Decision shall be immediately executory. at 39. at 59. Gonzales. 190 (2009).C. 15 Navarro. at 238-239. 17 Villanueva v.C. at 8. No. 611 Phil. Leonardo-De Castro. at 166. 367 (2014). 22 Hilado v. Velasco. Del Castillo. 447 Phil. 576 (1949). Atty. 67. C. Suntay. v. 75 (2003). 386 (2008). 5 Id. JJ. Atty. SO ORDERED. 2 Id. Peralta. pp. at 9-10.. No. Jardeleza. December 10. Bersamin. at 16. 4 Id. 492-493 (2002). 20 Jimenez v. 612. Solidum. Macasa. 373 Phil. 7 (2010). A. concur. December 10. et al. 7 Id.. 10548. Quiocho. 618 (1999). 744 SCRA 215. 179. citing In re Nueno. citing Roa v. and Caguioa. 10 Id.