A.C. No. 879 September 27, 1939
PEDRO DE GUZMAN, complainant, vs. TOMAS B. TADEO, Respondent.
Office of the Solicitor-General Ozaeta, Assistant Attorney Amparo, and Pedro de Guzman for complainant.
This is an administrative case for malpractice filed with this court by the complainant Pedro de Guzman against Attorney Tomas B. Tadeo.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
It appears that the complainant filed with this court his complaint under date of August 15, 1938, charging the respondent, Attorney Tomas B. Tadeo, with five counts: (1) representing conflicting interests relating to a civil case instituted by him in the justice of the peace court of Mangaldan, Pangasinan; (2) collecting subscriptions for membership of an association named "Landowners Association," which he failed to return to the contributors, notwithstanding the abandonment of the purposes for which the collections were made; (3) undue delay in prosecuting a land registration case; (4) failure to pay his debt to the Rural Agricultural Cooperative Credit Association of Mangaldan, Pangasinan; and (5) failure to render services for the collection of a certain claim, notwithstanding that advanced payment for his fees for such services had already been made.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
By resolution of this court of September 19, 1938, the respondent attorney was required to answer the complaint within ten days from receipt thereof. Under date of October 1, 1938, the respondent submitted his answer denying under oath each and every material allegation and refuting each and every one of the charges. Under date of October 19, 1938, the complainant submitted his reply to the answer of the respondent.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
By resolution of this court of October 25, 1938, the case was referred to the Solicitor-General for action under the appropriate rules. The Solicitor-General conducted the investigation of the charges preferred against the respondent and for this purpose availed of the services of the provincial fiscal of Pangasinan.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Under date of March 10, 1939, the Solicitor-General submitted his report wherein he finds charges Nos. 2, 4 and 5 preferred against the respondent to be unfounded, but finds charges Nos. 1 and 3 to be supported by sufficient evidence. For this reason, he filed with this court a formal complaint against the respondent, the pertinent part of which reads as follows:
On March 14, 1939, this court ordered that the respondent be served with a copy of the complaint and was at the same time required to answer the same within 15 days from the receipt thereof. The respondent submitted his answer on March 31, 1939.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
This court by its resolution promulgated on April 5, 1939, appointed the Honorable Alfonso Felix, judge of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, as commissioner to whom this case was referred for investigation, report and recommendation. The commissioner conducted the investigation and submitted his report under date of July 11, 1939, in which he recommends the exoneration of the respondent from the charges preferred against him.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
The case was set for hearing and thereafter both parties were allowed to file their respective memoranda.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
In the memorandum filed by the Solicitor-General in support of the complaint filed by him in behalf of the complainant herein Pedro de Guzman, he contends that the commissioner erred:
We do not find it necessary to discuss in detail the evidence presented with reference to the two charges which are made the subject matter of the assignment of errors of the Solicitor-General, supra. The only proof which tends to show that the respondent betrayed the confidence bestowed on him by his client, the Agricultural Credit Association, was his intervention as notary public in the execution of the deed by Juan and Lourdes, both surnamed Biagtan, in favor of Emeterio Valenzuela, conveying their interest in a parcel of land belonging to their parents, Felix Biagtan and Rufina Biaskan. We find, however, that the decision rendered by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan in favor of the Agricultural Credit Association was not against the administrator of the estate of Felix Biagtan and that the said property conveyed by said heirs was neither attached nor encumbered to answer for the satisfaction of said judgment. And the records fail to show that any property of the estate of the late Felix Biagtan had been involved or affected to insure the execution or satisfaction of the judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance in said civil case No. 6274.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
And with reference to the alleged delay in the presentation of the application for registration, we find that it was caused by the defect of the plan and that the applicants were aware of that fact. There is no evidence that the respondent had purposely delayed the prosecution of the case to gain pecuniary interest and advantage.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
The power to suspend or disbar ought to be exercised with great caution and only for the most weighty reasons. The two charges preferred against the respondent are not supported by convincing evidence, and it is the rule that disciplinary action against a member of the bar must be predicated upon proof of guilt that satisfies the court with reasonable certainty.
The charges against the respondent, Attorney Thomas B. Tadeo, are hereby dismissed. So ordered.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library
Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Concepcion, and Moran, JJ., concur.
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