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MORENO V. ARANETAA.C. NO.

1109 (27 APRIL 2005)FACTS:



Petitioner is a manager of Philippine Leasing Corporation while Respondent is a lawyer and
president of Lira, Inc.;

On 25 September 1972, petitioner filed a complaint against respondent with the Supreme Court
on two causes of action: (a) the dishonor of respondent’s endorsement of Treasury Warrant
No.B-02997354 amounting to Php2,177; and (b) nonpayment of debts amounting to
Php11,000which resulted from respondent’s issuance of checks that were subsequently
dishonored because the account was closed;

Respondent contended on the first allegation that it was petitioner who borrowed from him
theamount of Php2,500 to which he issued the said Treasury Warrants and additional cash
of Php323.

On the second allegation he admitted that he issued undated checks in her favor and warned
her that the checks belonged to the unused portion of a closed account and could not be
encashed and that to protect himself, he asked petitioner to issue check amounting to
Php11,000to offset the borrowed checks.

On 01 December 1972, the case was referred to the Solicitor General for investigation, report
and recommendation. The case was heard on 22 January 1973 but was reset to 23 and 24
January1973 due to respondent’s absence;

On 24 January 1973, an ex-parte hearing was conducted. It was later scheduled on 27
Februaryand 28 May but was postponed by respondent;

On 14 September 1988, records of the case were forwarded to the IBP Commission on
Bar Discipline. On 02 November 1988, a hearing was scheduled to which neither of the parties
came;

On 28 December 1988, IBP Commissioner submitted a decision declaring: (1) The
issuance of the Treasury Warrants was an act of Lira, Inc. and not of respondent and (2) The
issuance of thetwo checks was an act of connivance of the respondent with the petitioner to
make use of useless scommercial documents to deceive the public. The commission further
stated that “the act of therespondent as a lawyer is abhorrent and against exacting standards
of morality and decency required of a member of the Bar.”
Respondent was recommended to be suspended for 3 monthsto take effect upon notice of the
decision. The IBP Board of Governors increased the period fromthree to six months suspension
;

On 15 October 2002, IBP Director for Bar Discipline transmitted records of the case to the SC.
On 8 July 2003, the office of the Bar Confidant filed a report attaching Resolution from the
SC,indefinitely suspending respondent for having convicted by final judgment of estafa through
falsification of commercial document;
ISSUE
: Whether or not issuance of useless commercial documents and falsification constitutes a
crime involving moral turpitude?

HELD:
Issuance of worthless checks constitutes gross misconduct, as the effect transcends the private
interest of the parties directly involved in the transaction…xxx

Thus, the act of a person issuing a check knowing at the time of the issuance that he or she
does not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the drawee bankfor the payment of the check
in full upon its presentment is also a manifestation of moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude includes everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or
good morals.It involves an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a
man owes his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule
of right and duty between manand woman, or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty,
or good morals.xxx…

Disbarment is the appropriate penalty for conviction by final judgment of crime involving
moralturpitude,

thus in the case of


Jaramillo,
by his conviction the respondent has proved himself unfit toprotect the administration of
justice.