You are on page 1of 1

CARMELITA I. ZAGUIRRE vs. ATTY.

ALFREDO CASTILLO
A.C. No. 4921. March 6, 2003.
PER CURIAM

Facts:

Atty. Alfredo Castillo was already married with three children when he had an affair with
Carmelita Zaguirre. This occurred sometime from 1996 to 1997, while Castillo was reviewing
for the bar and before the release of its results. Zaguirre then got pregnant allegedly with
Castillo’s daughter. The latter, who was already a lawyer, notarized an affidavit recognizing the
child and promising for her support which did not materialize after the birth of the child. The
Court found him guilty of Gross Immoral Conduct to which Castillo filed a motion for
reconsideration.

The IBP commented that until Castillo admits the paternity of the child and agrees to support
her. In his defense, the latter presented different certificates appreciating his services as a
lawyer and proving his good moral character. His wife even submitted a handwritten letter
stating his amicability as a husband and father despite the affair. More than a year since the
original decision rendered by the Court, Castillo reiterated his willingness to support the child to
the Court and attached a photocopy of post-dated checks addressed to Zaguirre for the months
of March to December 2005 in the amount of Php 2,000.00 each.

Issue:

Whether or not Atty. Alfredo Castillo is guilty of gross immoral conduct, making him punishable
of Indefinite Suspension.

Ruling:

Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that the respondent, Atty. Alfredo Castillo, is guilty of gross
immoral conduct and should be punished with the penalty of Indefinite Suspension. The attempt
of respondent to renege on his notarized statement recognizing and undertaking to support his
child by Carmelita demonstrates a certain unscrupulousness on his part which is highly
censurable, unbecoming a member of a noble profession, tantamount to self-stultification.

The Code of Professional Responsibility provides:

Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

CANON 7 - A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession,
and support the activities of the Integrated Bar.

Rule 7.03 - A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice
law, nor should he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
discredit of the legal profession.

The Court found that Castillo’s show of repentance and active service to the community is a just
and reasonable ground to convert the original penalty of indefinite suspension to a definite
suspension of two years. Furthermore, the Court noted that Zaguirre’s further claim for the
support of her child should be addressed to the proper court in a proper case.,,