Headlines Skinning Left, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Headlines ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Bautista’s wife seeks disbarment of UST law dean

Patricia Cruz filed a disbarment complaint before the Supreme Court against Divina, managing partner of the Divina Law firm, and the other lawyers for alleged violation of the code of professional responsibility for lawyers. AP/Aaron Favila, File

MANILA, Philippines — The estranged wife of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista yesterday sought the disbarment of University of Santo Tomas law dean Nilo Divina and 20 other lawyers of his firm whom she accused of paying commissions to the Comelec chief.

Patricia Cruz filed a disbarment complaint before the Supreme Court against Divina, managing partner of the Divina Law firm, and the other lawyers for alleged violation of the code of professional responsibility for lawyers.

She also sought the dissolution of the law firm tapped by Smartmatic, the technology provider of the automated polls last year, citing Article 180 (3) of the Civil Code. 

“Although I was informed that clamor for the dissolution of a partnership must be brought up before the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is out of concern to inform this honorable court that there really are law firms in this country who engage in highly dubious transactions yet make it appear as if their activities are without any hint of illegality,” read the complaint Cruz showed to the media. 

Cruz said she chose to file the complaint with the SC and not with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, saying Divina has strong ties with the leadership in the IBP that “may cause bias and partiality in the investigation.” 

She said the SC is the proper forum to take cognizance of the complaint, considering the issue she had raised is “of transcendental importance.”

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Cruz said the SC, under Section 1 of Rule 139 B of the Rules of Court, could initiate an investigation on erring lawyers upon the filing of the complaint. 

Cruz accused her husband of receiving commissions from the law firm for assisting its clients with the Comelec, including Smartmatic.

Bautista previously denied the allegations, saying the payment he had received from Divina was for the two condominium units purchased from him. 

Divina also denied Patricia’s claim and played down the disbarment charges.

“I have always acted in accordance with law and the ethical demands of the law profession. I am not worried at all about any threat of disbarment,” he said in a statement.

Divina believes the House of Representative justice panel’s junking of the impeachment complaints against Bautista prompted the disbarment complaint against him. 

“Once we receive the complaint, we will respond appropriately. They are probably sour that their impeachment complaint against Chairman Bautista was dismissed,” he said.

The House committee on justice dismissed last week the impeachment complaint against Bautista for insufficiency in form. – With Janvic Mateo

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Healines Skinning Right, pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1