Lawyer Bonifacio Alentajan suspended for 3 months, columnist claims

The Supreme Court (SC) has suspended trial lawyer Bonifacio Alentajan for 90 days, columnist Victor Agustin said in his Facebook page ‘Money-Go-Round.’

In his column’s bit-section Heard Through the Grapevine, Agustin disclosed that Alentajan was suspended by the high court for three months due to forum shopping.

This, after Alentajan allegedly filed an identical land titling case before two branches in the Quezon City regional trial court.

In Yap v. Chua [G.R. No. 186730, June 13, 2012, 672 SCRA 419], the SC explained the nature of forum shopping, to wit:

Forum shopping is the institution of two or more actions or proceedings involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, on the supposition that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition.

Forum shopping [is] resorted to by any party against whom an adverse judgment or order has been issued in one forum, in an attempt to seek a favorable opinion in another, other than by appeal or a special civil action for certiorari.

Alentajan’s past clients includes former Ilocos Sur governor and now Narvacan town Mayor Chavit Singson, actress Sunshine Cruz, and former Tourism secretary Vince Carlos.

The lawyer’s suspension reportedly stemmed from a disbarment case filed by Cocolife Insurance Company, which supposedly foreclosed the property of Alentajan’s client. #

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