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Foodsphere, Inc. vs. Atty. Melencio L. Mauricio, Jr. A.C. No.

7199,

July 22, 2009

FACTS:

This is a disbarment case against Atty. Melanio L. Mauricio, Jr.,

popularly known as “Batas Mauricio” by Foodsphere, Inc. (complainant

under the brand name “CDO after a certain Alberto Cordero purportedly

bought a can of CDO Liver spread discovering a colony of worms in it.

He filed a lawsuit and asked CDO to pay Php150,000 on a conciliation

done by BFAD but CDO refused and instead offered to pay the actual

medical and incidental expenses of Mr. Cordero. He brought the matter to

the media where Atty Mauricio threatened CDO that he would publish

and air in his TV and Radio programs the re the said issue. After a

KASUNDUAN was made between Atty Maurcio as witness and the

Corderos of a money settlement of Php 50,000 including placing paid

advertisements in the tabloids and television program where Atty.

Mauricio is working, respondent (Mauricio) still not satisfied with the

offer threatened to proceed with the publication of the articles/columns.

He then made several libellous write ups and comments about CDO.

Complainant thus filed criminal complaints against respondent for Libel

and Threatening to Publish Libel under Articles 353 and 356 of the

Revised Penal Code. The complaints were pending at the time of the
filing of the present administrative complaint but Atty Mauticio didn’t

stop from making write ups and comments about the matter and

questioned the integrity of the prosecutor’s office using coarse languages.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty. Mauricio has violated:

1. Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which

provides: “A lawyer [s]hall [o]bserve and [m]aintain [t]he [re]spect

[d]ue [t]o [t]he [c]ourts [a]nd [t]o [j]udicial [o]fficers [a]nd

[s]hould [i]nsist [o]n [s]imilar [c]onduct [b]y [o]thers.”

2. Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest,

immoral or deceitful conduct.

3. Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public statements in the

media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion

for or against a party.

4. CANON 8 - A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy,

fairness and candor toward his professional colleagues, and shall

avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.


5. Rule 8.01 – A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use

language which is abusive, offensive or otherwise improper,

6. CANON 7 - A Lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and

dignity of the legal profession

RULING:

Yes Atty. Melanio Mauricio violated the lawyer’s oath and has

committed a breach of ethics of the legal profession as embodied in the

Code of Professional Responsibility mentioned above and is

therefore SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three years effective

upon his receipt of this Decision. He is WARNED that a repetition of the

same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

Samala vs. Palaña (Adm. Case No. 6595, April 15, 2005

FACTS:
This is a complaint filed by Joseph Samala against respondent Atty.

Antonuitti K. Palaa for alleged fraudulent activities that violate the Code

of Professional Responsibility. Due to the personal representations and

assurances of respondent, complainant joined the company of First

Imperial Resources, Inc. (FIRI), believing that it is a reputable company

based in the Virgin Islands which has been in the foreign exchange

business for 13 years. Subsequently, complainant decided to pull out his

investment and sent FIRI a letter requesting the withdrawal of his

investment amounting to US$10,000 and giving FIRI 10 days to prepare

the money. He was given a check w/c was dishonoured because it was

DAIF. He was reassured over and over again that it will be funded but

was disappointed. Complainant filed for Estafa against FIRI’s President

Paul Desiderio but such person identity was identified to be fictitious.

Respondent was instrumental in the issuance of the check signed by the

alleged President of FIRI, Paul Desiderio, whose whereabouts could not

be located and whose identity was unknown for respondent was the one

who handed personally to the herein complainant the check which was

dishonored due to insufficient funds, when it was the very respondent,

Atty. Palaa, who allegedly assured that the check was funded.

Respondent was also one of those alleged officers of FIRI who assured

complainant that his investment was directly placed in a reputable

company.
ISSUE:

Whether or not Atty Mauricio has violated Rule 7.03 of Canon 7 of the

Code of Professional Responsibility, which states:

Rule 7.03 ' A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects

on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private

life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal

profession.

RULING:

Respondent Atty. Antonuitti K. Palaa is found GUILTY of violating Rule

7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and

hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of three (3)

years effective from receipt of this Resolution, with a WARNING that a

repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

It is clear that the representations of respondent as legal officer of FIRI

caused material damage to complainant. In so doing, respondent failed to

uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and lessened the

confidence of the public in the honesty and integrity of the same.