SC reduces suspension of lawyer

Human Rights

The Supreme Court has reduced the suspension of a lawyer to one year from two, after the counsel showed sincere remorse.

In a resolution uploaded online April 13, the court granted the motion by lawyer Ely Galland Jumao-as’ motion to reduce the penalty imposed on him to a period of one year instead of the original two-year suspension imposed by the tribunal in its original Dec. 9, 2020 decision on the case.

The court cited the lawyer’s “speedy initiative to make amends”, saying he had “expended extraordinary efforts to straighten out the corporate scuffles involving him and the complainant” in the administrative case.

“Grave though his transgressions may have been, the sincerity of Atty. Jumao-as’ remorse is reflected in his words and actions, which impresses this court,” the tribunal said.

The court had originally found the lawyer liable for having represented conflicting interests.

He had facilitated the incorporation of the complainant Adelita Villamor’s lending company AEV VIllamor Credit, Inc. (AEV). He then persuaded Villamor to borrow money from one Debbie Yu to beef up AEV’s Capital. He subsequently left AEV to join Yu’s own lending company, 3E’s Debt Equity Grant Co.

He then incited the transfer of AEV’s collectors to join 3R’s and told collectors to remit their collections to 3E since Villamor owed Yu. He then sent a demand letter to Villamor on behalf of Yu demanding that Villamor pay the amount owed to Yu.

During the administrative proceedings, Jumao-as admitted his faults and pointed out that he was a new lawyer at the time and has since realized his mistakes.

“(T)he Court finds good reason in jurisprudence and in fact to reconsider its previous administrative sentence of suspension for two years upon Atty. Jumao-as. He shall remain suspended from the practice of law, but for the shorter period of one year,” it said.

The lawyers’ Code of Professional Responsibility requires lawyers to observe candor, fairness, and loyalty in all their dealings and transactions.

Its Rule 15.03 specifically prohibits lawyers from representing conflicting interests, except by written consent of all parties.

Source: Philippines News Agency