Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1984 > December 1984 Decisions > A.C. No. 1858 December 26, 1984 - ANATALIO SOLIDUM v. CESAR STA. MARIA:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[A.C. No. 1858. December 26, 1984.]

ANATALIO SOLIDUM, Complainant, v. CESAR STA. MARIA, Respondent.


SYLLABUS


LEGAL ETHICS; ATTORNEYS; FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT THE INTEREST OF HIS CLIENT, COUNSEL WAS SUSPENDED FOR THREE MONTHS FROM PRACTICE OF LAW; CASE AT BAR. — Respondent Sta. Maria committed error of judgment in allowing the case to be compromised in the amount of P8,000 which was not all paid in cash. He should not have consented to the final dismissal since the sum of P4,000 was to be paid in installment without any security. His primary duty was to prosecute Pellos. The civil liability may be compromised but not the criminal action (Art. 2034, Civil Code: Art. 23. Revised Penal Code). The affidavit of desistance, wherein Solidum was made to admit that Pellos did not commit crime in connection with the vehicular accident. which resulted in his daughter’s death, was really a device for compromising the case for homicide through reckless imprudence. (See People v. Caruncho, Jr., G.R. No. 57804, January 23, 1984 127 SCRA 16). It turned out to be prejudicial to Solidum. The settlement was lopsided because while Pellos was exonerated, Solidum was not paid the P2,500. A more circumspect lawyer would not have placed his client in such a disadvantageous position.


D E C I S I O N


AQUINO, J.:


Anatalio Solidum asked that disciplinary action be taken against Cesar Sta. Maria for not having explained to him properly the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" (affidavit of desistance) dated October 8, 1973. The affidavit was the basis for the dismissal by the city court of Quezon City of Criminal Case No. V-44593 for homicide and lesiones leves through reckless imprudence against the accused Pedro H. Pellos. That case involved the death of Solidum’s daughter, Luzviminda Solidum.

Sta. Maria appeared in that case as private prosecutor in August, 1973. Solidum executed the affidavit of desistance in consideration of P8,000, P4,000 of which was paid in cash and the balance of P4,000 to be paid in installments (Exh. 5). Said affidavit reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"SINUMPAANG SALAYSAY

"AKO, si ANATALIO SOLIDUM, may sapat na gulang, Pilipino, kasal kay PRUDENCIA OSORIO, at naninirahan sa 1-B, Scout Santiago St., Roxas District, Quezon City, matapos sumumpa ng ayon sa batas, ay malaya at kusang loob na nagsasalaysay ng mga sumusunod:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Na ako ang ama ni LUZVIMINDA SOLIDUM na namatay sa Quezon City noong ika-30 ng Nobyembre 1969;

Dahil sa pagkamatay ng aking nasabing anak, si Pedro Pellos y Herrera ng Bo. Tambo, Indang, Cavite ay inihabla ng "Homicide with Physical Injuries Through Reckless Imprudence" sa "City Court of Quezon City, Br. V" sa Criminal Case No. 44593," "People of the Philippines, plaintiff versus Pedro Pellos y Herrera, Accused" ;

Na matapos kong maliwanagang lahat ng bagay ukol sa nasabing sakuna mula sa panig ni Pedro Pellos at paliwanag ng aking mga abogado na si Attys. Cesar Sta. Maria at Atty. Elizer Manikan, ako ay naniniwala na ang pagkamatay ng aking nasabing anak na si LUZVIMINDA SOLIDUM ay isang aksidente lamang at walang kasalanan dito si Pedro Pellos y Herrera ang napahabla sa nasabing asunto;chanrobles.com : virtual law library

Na ako ay naniniwala na siya ay hindi dapat managot sa pagkamatay ng aking nasabing anak at kaya hinihiling ko sa Piskal ng Quezon City na nangangasiwa sa nasabing asunto, na hingin sa Hukuman na pawalan na ng saysay ang nasabing asunto;

Ibinibigay ko ang sinumpaang salaysay na ito bilang ama ng nasabing LUZVIMINDA SOLIDUM ng malaya, at kusang loob at ako ay hindi tinakot o pinilit ninuman.

SA KATUNAYAN NA LAHAT, nilagdaan ko ang salaysay na ito dito sa Lungsod ng Quezon ngayong ika 8 ng Oktubre 1973."cralaw virtua1aw library

When Pellos failed to pay the installments, Sta. Maria, in behalf of Solidum, sued him in 1975 in the Manila municipal court. The case was compromised in 1977 (Exh. 5). Pellos paid P1,000 and promised to pay the balance of P3,000 in three installments with the right of Solidum to secure execution in case any installment was not paid. Pellos paid P500 but failed to pay the balance of P2,500.

We find that Sta. Maria committed an error of judgment in allowing the case to be compromised in the amount of P8,000 which was not all paid in cash. He should not have consented to the final dismissal since the sum of P4,000 was to be paid in installments without any security.

His primary duty was to prosecute Pellos. The civil liability may be compromised but not the criminal action (Art. 2034, Civil Code; Art. 23, Revised Penal Code). Thus, the following dictum was enunciated in Velez v. Ramas, 40 Phil. 787, 791:chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

"By the universal consensus of judicial opinion in all ages it has been considered contrary to public policy to allow parties to make agreements designed to prevent or stifle the prosecution for crime. It is self-evident that the law cannot sanction an engagement which is subversive of the law itself or which tends to weaken the foundation of human society. The machinery for the administration of justice cannot be used to promote the unlawful purpose."cralaw virtua1aw library

The affidavit of desistance, wherein Solidum was made to admit that Pellos did not commit any crime in connection with the vehicular accident, which resulted in his daughter’s death, was really a device for compromising the case for homicide through reckless imprudence. (See People v. Caruncho, Jr., G.R. No. 57804, January 23, 1984, 127 SCRA 16). It turned out to be prejudicial to Solidum.

The settlement was lopsided because while Pellos was exonerated, Solidum was not paid the P2,500. A more circumspect lawyer would not have placed his client in such a disadvantageous position.

WHEREFORE, respondent Sta. Maria is suspended from the practice of law for three months for his failure to protect the interest of complainant Solidum in the criminal case.

SO ORDERED.

Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Escolin and Cuevas, JJ., concur.

Abad Santos, J., I vote for suspension from practice for three (3) months.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





December-1984 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-26969 December 19, 1984 - CARPIO PHUA, ET AL. v. BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

  • G.R. Nos. 55245-46 December 19, 1984 - JESUS A. RAMOS v. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, BRANCH I, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 55684 December 19, 1984 - CHRYSLER PHILIPPINES CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 60015 December 19, 1984 - PATRICK CHUA PENG HIAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 66782 December 20, 1984 - ELIODORO PONIO, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 1613 December 26, 1984 - ANDRES B. MORALES, ET AL. v. DIONISIO MANEJA, JR.

  • A.C. No. 1741 December 26, 1984 - AGUSTIN S. VITUALLA, SR. v. WENCESLAO I. PONFERRADA

  • A.C. No. 1858 December 26, 1984 - ANATALIO SOLIDUM v. CESAR STA. MARIA

  • G.R. No. L-27735 December 26, 1984 - LAMBERTO TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. L-30805 December 26, 1984 - DOMINGO ANG v. COMPAÑIA MARITIMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-37652 December 26, 1984 - VIRGINIA B. PRADO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38308 December 26, 1984 - MILAGROS DONIO-TEVES, ET AL. v. CIPRIANO VAMENTA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-42505 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANGEL MANALO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43280 December 26, 1984 - FLORENTINO R. MATTA v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43554 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45292 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PRUDENTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-47940 December 26, 1984 - HEIRS OF MORO BALABAGAN, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48070 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MEDARDO C. CASTELO

  • G.R. No. L-48669 December 26, 1984 - PERFECTO DE VERA v. EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-49395 December 26, 1984 - GREEN VALLEY POULTRY & ALLIED PRODUCTS, INC. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 50340 December 26, 1984 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 51084 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLITO F. DUNCA

  • G.R. No. 52064 December 26, 1984 - JULIANA CARAGAY-LAYNO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 52305 December 26, 1984 - ANGELA MARTIR VDA. DE GUANZON v. ODON C. YRAD, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 55252 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL ABUCAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 55950 December 26, 1984 - LOURDES R. RAMOS, ET AL. v. OUR LADY OF PEACE SCHOOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 58530 December 26, 1984 - CONCORDIA ASTORGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 59221 December 26, 1984 - ENGINEERING EQUIPMENT, INC. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 59664 December 26, 1984 - PATROCINIO SANTULAN, ET AL. v. HECTOR C. FULE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 59758 December 26, 1984 - ADVERTISING ASSOCIATES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 60092 December 26, 1984 - ENCARNACION C. LUMANTAS, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 61623 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE’S HOMESITE & HOUSING CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 62095 December 26, 1984 - ELIGIO C. DAJAO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 62925 December 26, 1984 - MANILA BANKING CORP. v. TMBC EMPLOYEES COUNCIL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 63510 December 26, 1984 - AURELIO ALEMAN v. MELECIO GENATO

  • G.R. No. 64261 December 26, 1984 - JOSE BURGOS, SR., ET AL. v. CHIEF OF STAFF, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 65334 December 26, 1984 - MUNICIPALITY OF ANTIPOLO v. AQUILINA ZAPANTA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 65424 December 26, 1984 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANSELMO GERMINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 67145 December 26, 1984 - AUREA M. NERONA, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

  • G.R. No. 68568 December 26, 1984 - GIMENEZ STOCKBROKERAGE AND CO., INC. v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ET AL.