SC disbars lawyer for Lapid family

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — One of the lawyers for the family of slain radio broadcaster Percy Lapid has been disbarred by the Supreme Court (SC) for posting on social media a draft complaint for plunder in 2019.

In a resolution made public on Wednesday, the SC ordered the disbarment of Berteni Causing, who was found guilty of violating the lawyer’s oath and the code of professional conduct for legal practitioners.

The disbarment case stemmed from a complaint filed by Jackiya Lao, a social welfare officer in Mindanao, whom Causing accused of plunder.

Causing admitted posting on his Facebook account in 2019 a draft of the plunder complaint, which he had yet to file against Lao and others.

Causing argued that he prepared the complaint based on investigative news reports, adding that his Facebook posts are “an exercise of the freedom of the press and of expression.”

In 2020, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines recommended to the SC that Causing be suspended for six months over the incident.

But the high court said prior suspensions meted out on Causing did not deter him from committing unethical acts that violate statutes governing the legal practice.

The SC ordered the Office of the Bar Confidant to remove Causing’s name from the roll of lawyers.


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