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6585, APRIL 21, 2005) FACTS: Petitioner, Office of the Court Administrator, files a case for disbarment on grounds for grave misconduct, to Atty. Daniel B. Liangco,, including dismissal from service as judge of the Municipal Trial Court and forfeiture of all his retirement benefits and accumulated leave credits . Respondent Judge issued a resolution without informing the affected party, Hermogenes Gozun,, granting the municipality of San Luis to order the PNP to effect the eviction of Gozun, and all other person claiming an right under the lot in question on the previous Civil Case initiated by respondent judge himself. Later on, agents of the municipality did demolished the area, using such resolution. Gozun and other public teachers went to office of respondent Judge to ask about the issued resolution; however, respondent answered, Your God is Mayor Bondoc, and you should talk to him. Thus, leading to the filing of this administrative complaint with the OCA, averring that the issuance of such resolution tantamount to gross misconduct, inefficiency and incompetence. He further accused the municipal mayor for bribing the respondent judge. Respondent, on his reply, prayed for understanding that the court would allow him to continue practicing as a lawyer since his actions were not attended by malice or bad faith, and the practice is his only means of livelihood to support his family. IBP Commission recommends the disbarment of the respondent based on the facts of the case, that there was clear, convincing and satisfactory evidence to warrant the disbarment.

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENT SHOULD BE DISBARRED FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW AND HIS NAME BE STRICKEN OF THE ROLLS OF ATTORNEY FOR GROSS MISCONDUCT HELD: YES, the Court affirms the findings and recommendations of the IBP. In the case of Donato vs. Assuncion, this Court explained that gross misconduct is any inexcusable, shameful or flargrant unlawful conduct on the part of a person concerned with the administration of justice. In the case at bar, respondent acted upon the Petition filed by Sangguniang Bayan of Pampanga without the mandatory notice to Gozun. Furthermore, respondent quickly disposed the petition of Gozun by issuing a Resolution same date from the receipt of such petition. The undue haste with which the respondent acted on the petition negates good faith on his part. The testimonial evidence on record also indicates that he maintained close relation with the municipal mayor.

His testimony is also a clear violation of Canon 1 of the New Code of Judicial conduct which requires the observance of judicial independence and its protection from undue influence, whether from private or public interests. Hence, the Court resolved to disbar the respondent for gross misconduct and inexcusable ignorance of the law.


FACTS: Private respondent, Catalina Neval Vda. De Ebuiza, filed a case for the recovery of a parcel of land against petitioner, Atty. Roman R. Villalon. The property involved was also the subject of a disbardment case previously filed by the same private respondent, charging petitioner with falsification of a deed of absolute sale on the property in question. In the course of trial, petitioners introduced testimonies of some private respondents in the disbarment case for the purpose of impeaching their testimonies in the civil case. Private respondent filed a Motion to Strike, which the lower court granted. The Trial court opined that the admission of the contested evidence would only violate Section 10, Rule 139 of Rules of Court that proceedings against lawyers shall be private and confidential. When their motion for reconsideration was also denied, the petitioners resorted to a petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus before the respondent, Appelate Court to nullify the Order and allow the impeaching evidence to remain in the records of Civil case, which the IAC denied. Petitioners now avail this Petition for Review on Certiorari, praying among others, for the annulment of the respondent Appellate Courts Decision, which sustained the Trial Court Orders, for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.


HELD: YES. Petitioners introduce the testimonies of private respondents witnesses in the Disbarment Case for purposes of impeaching their credibility in the Civil Case. By issuing its Order to strike, the Trial Court deprived petitioners of their right to impeach the credibility of their adverse parties witnesses by proving the inconsistency in adverse parties testimonies. The subject matter involved in the disbarment proceeding is also the same issue raised in the Civil Case wherein the annulment of absolute deed of sale is sought. While proceedings against attorneys should indeed be private and confidential, exception for the final order which shall be made in public, such confidentiality is a privilege which may be waived by the very

lawyer in whom and for the protection of whose personal/professional reputation is vested, unless such waiver is contrary to public policy. Hence, the Court sets aside respondents Decision and directed the RTC to allow testimonies of private respondents in the Disbarment case of the petitioner.