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Case # 30: Cynthia Advincula v. Atty. Ernesto M. Macabata (A.C. No.

7204 )
Facts:
Cynthia Advincula filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Ernesto Macabata,
charging the latter with grossly immoral conduct. Advincula sought legal advice from the
latter about the possibility of filing a complaint against Queensway Travel and Tours for
not settling their accounts as demanded.
Atty. Macabata offered Advincula a ride on two ocassions. On February 10, 2005, he
sent Advincula home and gave her a kiss on the cheek and embraced her very tightly.
On March 2005, Atty. Macabata allegedly kissed Advincula forcefully while his other
hand was holding her breast.
The two texted each other after the said incident, which were used by Advincula as the
evidence of guilt against the latter.
Atty. Macabata admitted that he kissed Advincula on two ocassions because Advincula
offered her lips to him. He also argued that the corner of Cooper Street and Roosevelt
Avenue in Quezon City, where he dropped her off was a busy street, makes it impossible
to commit the acts imputed to him.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Macabata committed grossly immoral acts that would warrant his
disbarment or suspension from the practice of law
Ruling:
No, the acts of Atty. Macabata would not suffice to warrant a disbarment or suspension
from the practice of law. The term "grossly immoral" is referred to acts, (1) so corrupt as
to constitute a criminal act or; (2) so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high
degree or; (3) committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock
the common sense of decency.
Although Atty. Macabata had admittedly kissed Advincula, it is not sufficient as to warrant
a grossly immoral act. Also, Advincula failed to present substantial evidence against Atty.
Macabata, proving the latter showed grossly immoral conduct.
However, the Court found Atty. Macabata guilty of an isolated act of misconduct of a
lesser nature. Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that 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.
Wherefore, the complaint for disbarment against Atty. Macabata is hereby dismissed.
However, he is hereby reprimanded to be more prudent and cautious in his dealing with
his clients with a stern warning that a more severe sanction will be imposed on him for
any repetition of the same or similar offense in the future.