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Case Digest

ROGELIO R. SANTOS, SR., complainant, vs. ATTY. RODOLFO C. BELTRAN,


respondent.

Parties for the case:

Complainant: Rogelio Santos is the complainant in this disbarment case against


respondent attorney, on the basis of gross misconduct and malpractice. He filed the
case in the the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-
CBD), alleging among others, that respondent notarized the subject Deed of Donation.

Respondent: Atty Rodolfo Beltran is the respondent in this case, subject for disbarment
proceedings before the IBP.

Facts:

Spouses Filomeno Santiago Santos, Sr. and Benita Roxas Rodriguez had ten children,
including the complainant. After the death of Filomeno, Benita donated their two
residential lots including the ancestral house situated thereon, in favor of the nine
children, except complainant. Respondent lawyer notarized the Deed of Donation.
Benita Rodriguez died. Complainant and his brother, Alberto, were appointed
administrators in the intestate proceeding for the settlement of the spouses estate, filed
before the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City Complainant filed a verified
complaint against respondent the IBP.

The complainant alleged that there were some irregularities in the notary of the Deed of
Donation. Complainant further alleged that respondent appeared as private prosecutor
in Criminal for falsification of public documents without being engaged by him or
authorized by the court; that respondent represented conflicting interest when he
entered his appearance as defense counsel in an ejectment case in which his former
client through insidious machination acquired the titles of two residential lot.
Respondent on the other hand argued on the contrary. Respondent denied the
allegations. He confirmed the due execution of the Deed of Donation. Respondent
argued that complainants siblings may still acquire properties in the Philippines through
hereditary succession even though they were already American Citizen Respondent
denied having represented complainant in a criminal case when he appeared as private
prosecutor Respondent denied having acquired any property under litigation.
Arguments:

The complainant seeks the disbarment of the respondent for allegedly notarizing a
Deed of Donation without the affiants personally appearing before him. The respondent
by way of defense invoked a motion a motion for reconsideration of the foretasted
Resolution, which was denied by the Board on the basis that it has lost jurisdiction
thereof upon its endorsement to this Court

Issue:

Whether or not the IBP correct in recommending the penalty to be imposed to the
respondent.

Holding:

Yes there was a clear violation Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
which provides: A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written
consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.There is conflict of
interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing
parties. Also, there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will
require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in any
matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new
relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection.

Relevance to the Course:

The case at bar is an ruling where it emphasizes that practitioners of law shall not
practice when there is a conflict of interest between the parties. The exception of this
rule is that when the concerned parties gave their consent after a full disclosure. Conflict
of interest may prejudice one or more of the opposing parties and thus, their rights
might be impaired. Hence in order to avoid such, it is the obligation of the counsel to
reveal that he render services which conflict of interest might exist.