MANILA, Philippines — The estranged wife of Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista has filed a disbarment case towards University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Civil Law dean Nilo Divina and 21 different attorneys earlier than the Supreme Court and likewise requested that their law agency be dissolved.
At the identical time, Patricia Bautista’s lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, cautioned the Comelec chairman towards “gloating” over the dismissal of the impeachment criticism filed towards him by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, which was dismissed by the House of Representatives’ committee on justice for being inadequate in type.
Kapunan stated Divina and the opposite attorneys violated their career’s codes of ethics duty by giving so-called “referral fees” to the Comelec chairman.
As a lot was admitted by Bautista after his wife accused him of amassing as a lot as P1 billion in supposed hidden wealth.
These admissions, and paperwork she stated have been submitted to the National Bureau of Investigtion, stated Kapunan, are the premise of the disbarment criticism.
Among the purchasers of Divina’s law workplace is Smartmatic, the provider of vote counting machines utilized in elections.
Aside from checks to Bautista, Kapunan stated there have been additionally others issued within the names of members of Bautista’s household, together with his kids.
“Chairman Bautista stated he acquired referral charges, his personal phrases. Sabi niya hindi ito (He stated these aren’t) commissions, referral ito (these are referrals). We have paperwork to present that not solely did he obtain them, he acquired (them) shut to the elections. We even have checks paid by Divina Law, not solely to Chairman Bautista but additionally to his sister, his son, his mom and father. So we now have stated earlier than these aren’t mere allegations,” Kapunan stated.
She defined that she filed the case earlier than the excessive courtroom and never the Integrated Bar of the Philippines as a result of it concerned national curiosity.
And whereas acknowledging that the opposite attorneys might not have recognized in regards to the alleged collusion between Bautista and Divina, Kapunan stated the criticism concerned the Code of Professional Responsibility, over which the excessive courtroom has jurisdiction.
“Not only Divina, (the complaint) includes 21 lawyers — partners, senior partners, and associates. And there is also a prayer, because of this practice which is contrary to our Code of Ethics, there is also a prayer to dissolve the law firm. Almost one-third of the law firm. We have not invented the names, the documents. It is tragic that it has to involve associates, partners who probably don’t know the entire criminal conspiracy of Divina and Bautista,” she stated.
Patricia stated the disbarment case was additionally “doing what we said we will do, to use other avenues to allow these documents to come to light.”
“It is time for Divina Law and (its) lawyers to answer these allegations,” Kapunan stated.
Meanwhile, Kapunan stated the rejection of the impeachment criticism by the House justice committee didn’t spell its doom.
“The House committee voted to dismiss not on substance but in form … and Chairman Bautista gloating and confusing the public that there is no (more) complaint,” she stated.
But Kapunan stated the committee report will nonetheless be tackled in plenary the place, she added, they’re assured a 3rd of the chamber’s membership will vote to reverse the justice panel’s resolution.