SC disbars lawyer who abandoned family

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
SC disbars lawyer who abandoned family
This file photo shows the Supreme Court of the Philippines in Manila.
Philstar.com / EC Toledo

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has disbarred a lawyer who abandoned his legal family and lived with another woman, even displaying on social media their illicit affair.

In a 10-page decision made public on Feb. 19, the SC found Vincenzo Nonato Taggueg guilty of gross immorality, in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability, for his “scandalous and immoral conduct.”

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by his wife in December 2016 before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD).

The complainant said Taggueg abandoned her and their child and cohabited with another woman despite the subsistence of their marriage.

After a few months, police found Taggueg living in Bulacan with his mistress.

Taggueg’s legal wife discovered the other woman using his surname on social media.

Taggueg and his mistress got married on Feb. 20, 2015.

In August 2020, the IBP-CBD recommended Taggueg’s disbarment “for abandoning his legitimate family, contracting a bigamous marriage with another woman.”

The IBP Board of Governors modified the recommendation by lowering the penalty to indefinite suspension and imposing a fine of P20,000.

The high court adopted the IBP’s findings, but elevated the penalty to disbarment.

While photos and the reservation slip of the alleged wedding ceremony were not enough to prove that Taggueg entered into a bigamous marriage, the SC noted that he “exhibited a reproachable conduct by engaging in an extramarital affair with a woman and flaunting their illicit relationship in public.”

Taggueg’s transgression was even worse as he flaunted his illicit relationship on social media, the SC added.

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