Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1

JOSELANO GUEVARRA vs. ATTY.

JOSE EMMANUEL EALA


(A.C. No. 7136, August 1, 2007)

Per Curiam
Nature: Administrative case in the Supreme Court for disbarment

Legal Doctrines:
Committing adultery is a grossly immoral conduct.
Administrative cases for disbarment only require preponderance of evidence.
An administrative case for disbarment could proceed despite the pendency of civil and criminal proceedings.

Facts:

Complainants wife Irene and respondent, also married to a Marianne Tantoco were being alleged as having an
adulterous relationship based on the following occurrences:
o Messages like I love you, I miss you and Meet you at Megamall are being sent by respondent to Irene
during the latters marriage to the complainant
o Irene habitually goes home late or sometimes does not even go home at all and claims to be sleeping at her
parents house
o Irene left their conjugal house after complainant confronted her and respondent because complainant already
saw the two together for two occasions.
o An I love you card dated on the same date as that of Irene and the complainants wedding date was found,
wherein respondent professes his love to Irene and even says that not even the piece of paper (referring to
marriage contract) could stop him from loving Irene
o Complainant saw the respondent and Irenes cars constantly parked in a place in New Manila. Later, he found
out that Irene was already pregnant and that when she gave birth, she named respondent as the babys father.
The complaint contains the following allegations:
o Respondent and Irene are flaunting their adulterous relationship.
o Respondent, for his adulterous relationship with Irene and for abandoning and neglecting his family, has
demonstrated his gross moral depravity.
o Respondent flaunted his aversion to the institution of marriage, calling it a piece of paper
Respondent stated the following in his answer:
o That they never flaunted their adulterous relationship. Their relationship is only low profile and is only known
to immediate family members.
o That he is still in a civil, cordial and peaceful relationship with his wife
o That he was not averse to marriage as an institution but to the marriage of Irene to the complainant
Respondent moved to dismiss the complaint due to the pendency of complainants annulment case with Irene, and of
the pendency of a criminal complaint for adultery against him and Irene.

Issue:

1. Whether respondent committed acts that are grossly immoral or which constitute serious moral depravity that would
warrant his disbarment or suspension from the practice of law?
2. Whether the administrative complaint could be dismissed in lieu of the pending civil and criminal cases?

Held:

1. YES
2. NO

Ratio:

1. There is more than clearly preponderant evidence which support the accusation of complainant against the respondent.
The answer made by respondent, that they are on a low profile relationship that is neither scandalous nor
tantamount to grossly immoral conduct, is an admission that there is indeed a special relationship between him and
Irene and proves that there was indeed an illicit relationship between the two of them. Moreover, respondent did not
even deny his paternity to Irenes daughter, Samantha. Respondent merely denied not flaunting the relationship but he
does not deny the existence of the illicit relationship. He also denied having personal knowledge of the Birth Certificate
of Samantha but not being her father. Thus, his denials are just a negative pregnant because he just denied the
qualifying circumstances but admitted the fact itself. As to the birth certificate, the hospital records custodian even
testified that Irene gave respondents name as the father of Samantha. Given all these, the requirement for clearly
preponderant evidence in an administrative case has already been satisfied.

Since the illicit affair and sexual relations between respondent and Irene was one that is outside marriage, it manifests a
deliberate disregard of the sanctity and the marital vows protected by the Constitution and affirmed by our laws. Based
on jurisprudence, it is a grossly immoral conduct and indicative of an extremely low regard for the fundamental ethics
of the legal profession. The respondents acts constitute a violation of Rules 1.01 and 7.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.

2. That the marriage between complainant and Irene was declared void ab ibnitio is immaterial because the acts that are
being complained of took place before the marriage was declared as such. Likewise, the withdrawal of the complainants
petition for review of the criminal case of adultery filed against respondent and Irene is not a bar to the administrative
proceedings. As a matter of fact, the DOJs reversal of the QC Prosecutor Offices decision to dismiss the criminal case
because of totality of evidence speaks all too eloquently of the unlawful and damning nature of the respondents
adulterous acts.

Disposition: Petition GRANTED. Atty. Eala is DISBARRED for grossly immoral conduct.