Sep 15, 2020 @ 13:16

Ex-Iloilo councilor gets disbarred for fathering child with client’s wife, threatens editor for publishing news

Former Iloilo City councilor Plaridel Nava has threatened to “beat up” the editor-in-chief of local paper Daily Guardian for publishing a news report about his recent disbarment for fathering a child with the wife of his former client.

Daily Guardian published in its Facebook page the threatening messages sent by Nava to Francis Allan Angelo via Messenger a few hours after it ran the story about his disbarment online.

LOOK: Threatening messages sent by Plaridel Nava to Daily Guardian Editor-in-Chief Francis Allan L. Angelo via Facebook…

Posted by Daily Guardian on Sunday, September 13, 2020

According to a translation by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Dava said: “Hey stupid. That is an old news which you reported only now. There is a child involved that could be embarrassed in school. You should have considered that.”

Dava threatened: “I will beat you up when I see you. You are out of line.”

NUJP noted that the Supreme Court (SC) posted its January 7 decision on its website on August 17, with the names of parties being disclosed to the public.

An hour after Daily Guardian made his threatening message public, Nava said in a Facebook post that he “should refrain from issuing statements in public in relation to the said case because we have yet to receive the official decision and thus it has not become final and executory.”

Nava’s statement was wrong. The SC declared that his disbarment would be “effective upon receipt of this Decision.”

The former abogado insisted that he “should protect the interest of the child involved, now 10 years of age, who is innocent about her paternal origin.”

He admitted to having an affair and said he was “sure we only had a one-night stand.”

Taking a swipe at Daily Guardian, Nava said: “Sinadya na mga kontra ko! Yehey!” He added that RMN Iloilo and Bombo Radyo got wind of the SC decision earlier but had “the decency” to get his side before reporting about it.

Nava’s disbarment arose from a complaint filed by his former client Rene Hierro, whose wife Annalyn gave birth to the former abogado’s child.

Annalyn admitted to having an affair with Nava. On top of this, Nava’s wife Cecilia Lim-Nava swore under oath that he admitted about the affair to her.

Thus, the SC found Nava guilty of conflict of interest and gross immorality in violation of Rules 15.03 and 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).

The SC disregarded Nava’s argument that the criminal case for adultery filed against him and Annalyn was dismissed by the prosecutor. It stressed that administrative cases are sui generis and not affected by the result of criminal proceedings.

“In keeping with the high standards of morality imposed upon every lawyer, Atty. Nava should have desisted from the illicit relationship with Annalyn not only for the reason that she is married, but also because her husband was his client,” the SC said.

The SC also held Nava liable for conflict of interest for representing Annalyn in her petition for the issuance of a temporary protection order (TPO) against her husband.

The TPO case tried to show that Hierro had a tendency to be violent, and Nava even cited the grave threats, grave coercion, falsification, perjury and estafa cases previously filed against him.

But, Hierro was Nava’s former client; the SC noted that the latter advocated for the innocence of the former before turning on him.

“In effect, he is implying that there is merit in these cases which is diametrically opposed to his position as defense counsel of Hierro. This clearly violates the rule against conflict of interest,” the SC said. #

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