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Court orders arrest of disbarred lawyer

MANILA, Philippines - A Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) has ordered the arrest of a disbarred lawyer following his indictment for falsification of public documents and use of falsified documents.

In a two-page order received by the Department of Justice last Monday, Judge Anne Perpetual Rivera-Sia of Manila MTC Branch 12 directed the Biñan police to arrest Bede Tabalingcos and set the bail bond at P12,000 for each of the cases.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Uniwide Sales Warehouse Club Inc. (Uniwide), which alleged that Tabalingcos filed a petition before the Court of Appeals (CA) without the authority or approval of its chairman Jimmy Gow.

It was also alleged that the former lawyer falsified the signatures of Eleonor Padagdag of Woodworth Realty Co. in a supposed “special power of attorney” to authorize lawyer Tomas Caspe to file the petition and forged the signature of Caspe in a petition for review filed with the CA – acts that reportedly prejudiced the interest of Uniwide.

Assistant City Prosecutor Nestle Go said in his resolution that there is enough evidence to charge Tabalingcos for the crimes, citing the existence of records and the certifications that confirmed the falsity.

“Since the documents falsified by respondent... have been duly notarized and the petition for review was submitted before the Court of Appeals, these documents are classified as public documents. It therefore necessarily follows that their falsification constitutes violation of public trust and the falsifier should be held accountable,” the resolution stated.

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City prosecutor Edward Togonon affirmed Go’s findings.

Uniwide also said that Tabalingcos continued to represent himself as a licensed lawyer in 2013 even when the Supreme Court ordered his disbarment on July 10, 2012. – With Jose Rodel Clapano

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