Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1982 > May 1982 Decisions > Adm. Case No. 797 May 31, 1982 - LYDIA CABATU v. EDGARDO C. DOMINGO

199 Phil. 324:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[Adm. Case No. 797. May 31, 1982.]

LYDIA CABATU, Complainant, v. EDGARDO C. DOMINGO, Respondent.

SYNOPSIS


A complaint for disbarment was filed against she respondent for having contracted a second marriage notwithstanding the fact of his valid and subsisting marriage with the complainant. The case was referred to the Solicitor General for investigation and report. Subsequently, a recommendation for the dismissal of the complaint was submitted for the reason that from the time the complaint was filed in 1967 up to the present time, there has been no move on the part of the complainant to pursue her complaint, despite her receipt of the order setting the case for hearing, clearly showing her loss of interest to pursue the complaint against the respondent who had already moved to the U.S.A.

The Supreme Court adopted the recommendation of the Solicitor General and dismissed the complaint.


SYLLABUS


LEGAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; DISBARMENT; DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT FOR COMPLAINANT’S LACK OF INTEREST TO PURSUE THE SAME. — A complaint for disbarment against the respondent for having contracted a second marriage while his first marriage was still valid and subsisting is dismissed where from the time the complaint was filed in 1967 up to the time the same was submitted to the Office of the Solicitor General for investigation and report, there has been no move on the part of the complainant to pursue her complaint, clearly a showing of her loss of interest to pursue the same.


D E C I S I O N


FERNANDO, C.J.:


The fitness of respondent Edgardo C. Domingo to remain a member of the Philippine Bar was assailed in this complaint for disbarment filed by Lydia Cabatu. It was alleged that notwithstanding the fact that his marriage with complainant was valid and subsisting, he contracted a second marriage with one Florecita A. Pe Aguirre on September 16, 1967. Respondent was required to answer. All he said was that he was without knowledge of such allegation. The case was then referred to the Solicitor General 1 for investigation, report, and recommendation. Such report was submitted on January 18, 1982.

The case has to be set for hearing on three occasions, the first two not taking place as subpoenas for both complainant and respondent were returned unclaimed. The Report went on to state: "Despite receipt by complainant and her counsel of the order setting the case for hearing on October 13, 1981, neither one appeared. Indeed, from the time the complaint was filed in 1967 up to the present time, there has not been any move on the part of complainant to pursue her complaint. It is fairly evident that she has lost interest in prosecuting the case." 2 As for the respondent, the record disclosed that the registered letter addressed to him was received "with the notation on the envelope: ‘addressee moved to USA, no forwarding address.’" 3

The recommendation was understandably for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment.

WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed. No costs.

Aquino, Guerrero, De Castro and Escolin, JJ., concur.

Barredo, J., I vote with Justice Abad Santos.

Concepcion, J., is on leave.

Abad Santos, J., I vote for provisional dismissal.

Endnotes:



1. Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza was assisted by Assistant Solicitor General Eduardo Montenegro and Solicitor Oswaldo D. Agcaoili.

2. Report, 3.

3. Ibid.




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