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CASE 2019-0007:  JUSTICE FERNANDA LAMPAS-PERALTA, JUSTICE STEPEHN C. CRUZ AND JUSTICE RAMON PAUL L. HERNANDO VS. ATTY. MARIE FRANCES E. RAMON
(A.C. NO. 12415. MARCH 5, 2019, PER CURIAM) (SUBJECT/S: DISBARMENT) (BRIEF TITLE: JUSTICE F.L. PERALTA VS ATTY RAMON)

 

 DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, Atty. Marie Frances E. Ramon is GUILTY of violating the Lawyer’s Oath, Canons 1, 7, and 10, and Rules 1.01, 1.02, 7.03, 10.01, 10.02, and 10.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and Grave Misconduct. For reasons above stated, she is DISBARRED from the practice of law and her name stricken off the Roll of Attorneys, effective immediately, without prejudice to the civil or criminal cases pending and/or to be filed against her.

 

Let a copy of this Decision be furnished to the Office of the Bar Confidant to be entered into Atty. Marie Frances E. Ramon’s records. Copies shall likewise be furnished the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Office of the Court Administrator for circulation to all courts concerned.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

 SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS OF THIS COURT IN THIS CASE?

 

The Decision states:

 

“The Court finds that complainants have established by substantial evidence that respondent: ( 1) drafted a fake decision of the CA acquitting Fajardo; (2) falsely and shamelessly included the names of complainants in the fake decision even though the criminal case was raffled to another division and handled by a different Justice; (3) maliciously represented that she can influence Associate Justices of the CA to acquit an accused; ( 4) fraudulently presented this fake decision to her clients in exchange for a hefty monetary consideration; ( 5) exacted exorbitant fees from her clients in the amount of Pl,000,000.00; and (6) was caught red-handed by the NBI operatives when she received the marked money from her client for the fake decision of the CA. As discussed above, these acts constitute violations of the Lawyer’s Oath, and Canons 1, 7, and 10, and Rules 1.01, 1.02, 7.03, 10.01, 10.02, and 10.03 of the Code. Respondent is guilty of grave misconduct because her transgression showed her clear intent to violate the law and disregard the Code.”

 

WHAT IS THE REASON FOR DISCIPLINING A LAWYER WITH SUSPENSION OR DISBARMENT?

 

THE REASON IS: THE PRACTICE OF LAW IS A PROFESSION, A FORM OF PUBLIC TRUST, THE PERFORMANCE OF WHICH IS ENTRUSTED TO THOSE WHO ARE QUALIFIED AND WHO POSSESS GOOD MORAL CHARACTER.

 

HOW TO DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE PENALTY?

 

THE APPROPRIATE PENALTY FOR AN ERRANT LAWYER DEPENDS ON THE EXERCISE OF SOUND JUDICIAL DISCRETION BASED ON THE SURROUNDING FACTS.

  

IS THERE A SIMILAR CASE?

 

YES. THE COURT SAID:

 

In Taday v. Atty. Apoya, Jr.,  the Court disbarred a lawyer for authoring a fake court decision, which was considered a violation of Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code. The lawyer therein even delivered and misrepresented the fake decision to his client. The Court held that the lawyer “committed unlawful, dishonest, immoral[,] and deceitful conduct, and lessened the confidence of the public in the legal system.”

 

 TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2019-0007-JUSTICE FERNANDA LAMPAS-PERALTA ET AL VS. ATTY. MARIE FRANCES E. RAMON

 

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CASE 2019-0006: GIOS-SAMAR, INC. REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRPERSON GERARDO M. MALIANO VS. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION AND CIVIL AVIATION ATHORITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. NO. 217158. MARCH 12, 2019, JARDELEZA, J.) (SUBJECT/S: GUIDELINES IN THE EXERCISE OF COURT;S POWER OF JUDICIAL REVIEW) (BRIEF TITLE: GIOS-SAMAR INC VS DOTC ET AL)

 

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the petition is

DISMISSED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

 SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

WHAT ARE THE PILLARS OF LIMITATION OF JUDICIAL REVIEW BASED ON U.S. CASES?

 

THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

 

  • THAT THERE BE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF DECIDING A CASE;

 

  • THAT RULES OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SHALL BE FORMULATED ONLY AS REQUIRED BY THE FACTS OF THE CASE;

 

  • THAT JUDGMENT MAY NOT BE SUSTAINED ON SOME OTHER GROUND;

 

  • THAT THERE BE ACTUAL INJURY SUSTAINED BY THE PARTY BY REASON OF THE OPERATION OF THE STATUTE

 

  • THAT THE PARTIES ARE NOT IN ESTOPPEL;

 

  • THAT THE COURT UPHOLDS THE PRESUMPTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY.

 

WHAT ARE PARALLEL GUIDELINES ADOPTED BY THIS COURT?

 

THEY ARE:

 

ACTUAL CASE OR CONTROVERSY CALLING FOR THE

EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL POWER;

 

THE PERSON CHALLENGING THE ACT MUST HAVE

“STANDING” TO CHALLENGE; HE MUST HAVE A

PERSONAL AND SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN THE CASE

SUCH THAT HE HAS SUSTAINED, OR WILL SUSTAIN,

DIRECT INJURY AS A RESULT OF ITS ENFORCEMENT;

 

THE QUESTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY MUST BE

RAISED AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY;

 

THE ISSUE OF CONSTITUTIONALITY MUST BE THE

VERY LIS  MOTA OF THE CASE.

  

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2019-0006-GIOS-SAMAR, INC. VS. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION ET AL

 

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CASE 2019-0005: NEPTALI P. SALDECO VS. THE HONORABLE THIRD DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. NOS. 223869-960,  FEBRUARY 13, 2019, PERALTA J.) (SUBJECT/S: SPEEDY TRIAL; WHEN WILL A CASE BE DISMSSED BECAUSE OF VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL) (BRIEF TITLE: SALCEDO VS SANDIGAN)

  

DISPOSITIVE:

 

“WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari is DENIED. The assailed January 23, 2015 and the February 12, 2016 Resolutions issued by the Special Third Division of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Cases Nos. SB-13-CRM- 0001to0046 and SB-13-CRM-0047 to 0092 are AFFIRMED.

 

SO ORDERED.”

 

 SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

 

PETITIONER WAS INDICTED BY THE OMBUDSMAN AFTER A PERIOD OF 2 YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS AND 28 DAYS OF PRELIM INVESTIGATION. WAS THERE VIOLATION OF HIS RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL?

 

NO BECAUSE IT APPEARS, HOWEVER, THAT ACCUSED WERE MERELY AFFORDED SUFFICIENT OPPORTUNITIES TO VENTILATE THEIR RESPECTIVE DEFENSES IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE, DUE PROCESS AND FAIR INVESTIGATION. A REASONABLE DEFERMENT OF THE PROCEEDINGS MAY BE ALLOWED OR TOLERATED TO THE END THAT CASES MAY BE ADJUDGED ONLY AFTER FULL AND FREE PRESENTATION OF THE EVIDENCE BY ALL THE PARTIES.

  

IS THE CASE OF TATAD VS SANDIGANBAYAN APPLICABLE TO PETITIONER?

 

NO. THE CAUSES OF THE DELAY IN THE TATAD CASE CLEARLY SHOW THAT  TATAD’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL WAS VIOLATED. SAID THE COURT:

 

In Tatad v. Sandiganbayan, we held that the long delay of three years in the termination of the preliminary investigation by the Tanodbayan was violative of Tatad’s constitutional right to due process and right to speedy disposition of cases against him because: (1) political motivation played a vital role in activating and propelling the prosecutorial process; (2) there was blatant departure from the established procedures prescribed for the conduct of a preliminary investigation; and (3) the long delay in the conclusion of the proceedings could not be justified on the basis of the records.

 

HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF DUTERTE VS SANDIGANBAYAN? IS IT APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE?

 

NO. IN THE DUTERTE CASE THE PETITIONERS WERE DENIED THEIR RIGHT TO PRELIM INVESTIGATION BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER INFORMED ABOUT IT. SAID THE COURT:

 

The petitioners in Duterte v. Sandiganbayan were denied the right to a preliminary investigation altogether. They were not served with copies of the complaint-affidavits and were merely directed to comment on a civil complaint against them and on a special audit report of the Commission on Audit. Petitioners were clueless that a preliminary investigation was being conducted against them and, thus, could not have urged the speedy resolution of their case.

 

HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF CONSOLLUELA VS SANDIGANBAYAN? IS IT APPLICABLE TO THIS CASE?

 

NO.  IN THE CONSOLLUELA CASE THE PETITIONERS WERE INFORMED OF THE RESOLUTION AND INFORMATION AGAINST THEM ONLY AFTER 6 YEARS. THE COURT SAID:

 

Similarly in Coscolluela v. Sandiganbayan, the petitioners could not have urged the speedy resolution of their case because they were unaware that 1the investigation against them was still on-going. They were only informed of the March 27, 2013 Resolution and Information against them only after the 1lapse of six long years, or when they received a copy of the latter after its filing with the Sandiganbayan on June 19, 2009. In this regard, they could 1have reasonably assumed that the proceedings against them have already been terminated. The foregoing serves as a plausible reason as to why they never followed-up on the case altogether.

 

HOW ABOUT THE CASE OF ANCHANGCO JR VS OMBUDSMAN? IS THIS CASE APPLICABLE HERE?

 

NO. ANGCHANGCO FILED SEVERAL MOTIONS FOR EARLY RESOLUTION BUT DESPITE THESE MOTIONS IT TOOK THE OMBUDSMAN MORE THAN 6 YEARS TO RESOLVE THE CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST HIM. AS A RESULT HE WAS DEPRIVED OF RECEIVING HIS RETIREMENT BENEFITS. SAID THE COURT:

  

In Angchangco, Jr. v. Ombudsman, the Court dismissed the criminal complaints for failure of the Office of the Ombudsman to resolve the criminal charges against petitioner for more than six years despite the fact that Angchangco, Jr had filed several omnibus motions for early resolution. Angchanco, Jr. even filed a motion to dismiss. Sadly, however, the Office of the Ombudsman failed to act on the said motions. For the past six years, petitioner remained under a cloud, and since his retirement in September 1994, he has been deprived of the fruits of his retirement after serving the government for more than forty-two years all because of the inaction of the  respondent Ombudsman.

 

IN SUMMARY HOW DO YOU COMPARE THE INSTANT CASE WITH THE CASES OF TATAD, DUTERTE, COSCOLLUELA AND ANGCHANGCO, JR.?

 

IN THE CASE OF TATAD AND THE OTHER CASES THE DELAY WAS MANIFESTLY OPPRESSIVE AND ARBITRARY. THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT PETITION DO NOT EVINCE VEXATIOUS, CAPRICIOUS AND OPPRESSIVE DELAY IN THE CONDUCT OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION.

  

TO READ THE DECISION, JUST CLICK/DOWNLOAD THE FILE BELOW.

 

SCD-2019-0005-NEPTALI P. SALDECO VS. THE HONORABLE THIRD DIVISION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

 

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