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1. AFURONG vs.

AQUINO [1999]

FACTS: P a r a l u m a n B . A f u r o n g f i l e d a c o m p l a i n t f o r e j e c t m e n t a g a i n s t Victorino Flores for nonpayment of rentals and the court rendered judgment in favor of petitioner Paraluman Afurong and the court issued a writ of execution. Facing eviction, Flores sought help from Citizens Legal Assistance Office and they assigned Atty. Angel G Aquino to his case. He filed two petitions. When the court set a pre-trial, he filed an Urgent Motion for Postponement and signed his name as counsel for Flores and indicated the address of Citizens Legal Assistance Office as his office address notwithstanding the fact that he was separated from Citizens Legal Assistance Office at that time. In the aforesaid motion, he stated that he could not attend the pre-trial conference because he had to attend the hearing of a Habeas Corpus Case before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court that same day and hour. But the Clerk of Court of the JDR Court certified that a decision had been rendered on the aforementioned special proceedings case and that there was no hearing. Thus, Afurong filed a verified letter-complaint for disbarment against Aquino, for filing frivolous harassment cases to delay the execution of a final d e c i s i o n , c o m m i t t i n g f a l s e h o o d i n a n U r g e n t M o t i o n f o r P o s t p o n e m e n t , a n d misrepresenting himself as an attorney for the Citizens Legal Assistance Office. Atty. Aquino denied the charges against him and contended that such acts had been done without malice.In a Reply, complainant asserted that Atty. Aquino was declared guilty of contempt of court and correspondingly fined by this Court for making false allegations in his Urgent Motion for Postponement. The IBP Commission on Bar Discipline submitted a Report finding that Aquino failed to perform his duties expected of an attorney as provided under the existing Canons of Professional Ethics and Sec. 20 of Rule 138 of the ROC in force at the time of the commission of the acts in question. They recommended that he be penalized with 6 months suspension. Board of Gov. of the IBP resolved to adopt and approve the report and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner

ISSUE: WON Aquino failed to perform his duties expected of an attorney as provided under the existing Canons of Professional Ethics and Sec. 20 of Rule 138 of the ROC in force at the time of the commission of the acts in question RULING: provides that it is the duty of an attorney to counsel or maintain such actions or proceedings only as appear to him to be just, and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable under the law. petition for certiorari considering that there was no apparent purpose for it than to delay the execution of a valid judgment. attend the hearing of a special proceedings case the s a m e d a y a s t h e p r e - t r i a l o f t h e C i v i l C a s e . S u c h a c t v i o l a t e s t h e C a n o n s o f Professional Ethics which obliges an attorney to avoid

the concealment of the truth from the court. A lawyer is mandated not to mislead the court in any manner. Lower court correctly declared respondent in contempt of court for c o n d u c t t e n d i n g , d i r e c t l y o r i n d i r e c t l y , t o i m p e d e , o b s t r u c t , o r d e g r a d e t h e administration of justice, in violation of Section 3 (d), Rule 71 of the Revised Rules of Court. o purposely allowed the court to believe that he was still employed with the Citizens Legal Assistance Office when in fact he had been purged from said office. The Court hereby finds respondent Atty. Angel G. Aquino guilty of m a l p r a c t i c e a n d S U S P E N D S h i m f r o m t h e p r a c t i c e o f l a w f o r s i x ( 6 ) m o n t h s commencing upon receipt of notice hereof.

--NANGATIK NA APIL XA SA Citizens Legal Assistance Office BISAG DILI GANI. UG NAGFILE UG MOTION FOR POSTPONEMENT KAY NAA DAW XA ATENDAN NA KASO PERO WALA DIAE.. SUSPEND 6 MONTHS