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Ali vs. Atty.

Bubong
(A.C. No. 4018. March 8, 2005)

Facts:
A verified petition for disbarment was filed against Atty. Mosib Ali Bubong for
having been found guilty of grave misconduct while holding the position of
Register of Deeds of Marawi City

The petition was based on an administrative case filed by the complainant,


where in the said case, complainant charged respondent with illegal exaction;
incriminate issuance of Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-2821 in favor of his
relatives; and manipulating the criminal complaint filed against Hadji Serad
Bauduli Datu and others for the violation of the Anti-Squatting Law.

The LRA, in its inquiry, was resolved in favor of the respondent and
recommended that the complaint be dismissed for lack of merit.
The case was then forwarded to the Department of Justice, where the
respondent was exonerated from the charges of illegal exaction and infidelity in
the custody of documents, however he was found guilty of grave misconduct
for imprudent issuance of TCT No. T-2821 and manipulating the criminal case
for violation of the Anti-Squatting Law institutes against Hadji Bauduli Datu. As
a result it was recommended that respondent be dismissed from service

Then Pres. Fidel V. Ramos issued AO No. 41 adopting in toto the conclusion
reached by the Secretary of Justice.

On the basis of the administrative case a disbarment proceeding has been filed
by the complainant.

The complainant claims that it has become obvious that respondent had
proven himself unfit to be further entrusted with the duties of an attorney and
that he poses a serious threat to the integrity of the profession
Respondent maintains that 1.) there is no irregularities with the
issuance of the TCT NO. T-2821, it was his ministerial duty as
Register of Deeds on the basis only of the documents presented
by the applicants, and nothing in the documents warranted
suspicion, hence, he was duty bound to issue the TCT; 2.) he also
insist that he had nothing to do with the dismissal of the
complaint for the violation of the Anti-Squatting Law. He
explained that his participation in said case was only a result of
the two subpoenas duces tecum issued by the investigating
prosecutor who required him to produce the various land titles
involved in said disputes.

The IBP, through a resolution, commenced with the investigation.


It was held that the respondent was found guilty of grave
misconduct.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondent may be disbarred for grave
misconduct committed while he was in the employ of the
government.

Ruling:
The SC ruled on the affirmative
General rule: a lawyer who holds government office may not be
disciplined as a member of the bar for infractions he committed as a
government official, he may, however (exception), be disciplined as a
lawyer if his misconduct constitutes a violation of his oath as a
member of the legal profession
Thus, where a lawyer misconduct as a government official is of such
nature as to affect his moral qualification as a lawyer or to show moral
deliquency , then he may be discplined as a member of the bar on
such grounds.
Rule 6.02. A lawyer in the government office shall not use his
public position to promote or advance his private interest, nor
allow the latter to interfere with his public duties.

In the case at bar, respondent, by taking advantage of his


office as the Register of Deeds of Marawi City and employing
his knowledge of the rules governing land registration for the
benefit of his relatives, respondent clearly demonstrated his
unfitness not only to perform the functions of a civil servant
but also to retain his membership in the bar.
Pimentel vs. Attys. Llorente and
Salayon

(A.C. No. 4680. August 29, 2000)

Facts:
A complaint for disbarrment against respondents for gross
misconduct, serious breach of trust, and violation of the
lawyers oath in connection with the discharge of their duties
as member of the Pasig City Board of Canvassers in the May
8, 1995 elections
Complainant alleges that respondents: 1.) tampered with the votes
received by him, with the result that, as shown in the Statement of
Votes and Certificate of Canvass; 2.) in 101 precincts, Enriles
votes were in excess of the total number of voters who actually
voted; 3.) the votes from the 22 precincts were twice recorded in
18 Statement of Votes.
Complainant maintains that by signing the the SoVs and CoC
despite respondent knowledge that some entries were false, the
latter committed a serious breach of public trust and of their
lawyers oath.
Respondents denied the allegations, and alleged that the errors
pointed out could be attributed to honest mistake, oversight,
and/or fatigue
The IBP to which the matter was referred to, recommended the
dismissal of the complaint for lack of merit.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondents be guilty of misconduct

Held:
The SC ruled in the affirmative
In disciplinary proceedings against members of the bar, only
clear and preponderance of evidence is required to establish
liability
Respondents do not dispute the fact that massive irregularities
attended the canvassing of the Pasig City election returns.
Defense of honest mistake, human error, and-or fatigue on the
part of the members has a limit to what can be construed as
honest mistake or oversight due to fatigue.
The sheer magnitude of the error, not only in the total number of
votes garnered by the aforementioned candidates as reflected in
the CoC and SoVs, which did not tally with that reflected in the
election returns, but also in the total number of votes credited for
senatorial candidate Enrile which exceeded the total number of
voters who actually voted in those precincts renders the defense
of honest mistake or oversight due to fatigue, as incredible and
simply unacceptable.
Rule 1.01. A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,
immoral or deceitful conduct
In addition they likewise violated their oath of office as lawyers to
do no falsehood.
And such acts of participation in irregularities herein reflects on
the legal profession, in general, and on lawyers in the
government.
Huyssen vs. Atty. Gutierrez

(A.C. No. 6707 March 24, 2006)

Facts:
Complainant alleged that in 1995, while respondent was still
connected with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation
(BID), she and her three sons, all American citizens, applied
for a Philippine Visas.
Respondent told them that in order that their visa application
will favorably acted upon by the BID they needed to deposit
a certain sum of money for a period of one year which could
be withdrawn within 1 year.
Complainant acting on a belief that it is required by law,
deposited a total amount of $20,000.00.
The respondent issued receipts as proof that he received it
however refused to give the complainant copies of official
receipts despite her demands.
After one year complainant demanded from the respondent the
return of the $20,000.00, but failed to return the amount.
The World Mission for Jesus, which the complainant was a
member sent a demand letter, but yet again failed to comply,
which prompt the former to issue another demand letter.
The respondent replied explaining the delay and enclosed two
blank postdated checks. When the complainant was about to
deposit on the due date, the same was dishonored because
respondent had stopped payment.
Issue:
Whether or not the respondent is guilty of gross
misconduct

Held:
The SC ruled in the affirmative.
It is undisputed that respondent admitted that he received
$20,000.00, on the false representation that it was needed in
complainants application.
Respondent denied he misappropriated the money and
delivered it to Atty. Mendoza, but failed to substantiate that
fact.