SC suspends real estate firm’s lawyer gone rogue
The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the 1-year suspension of abogado Romeo Roxas, who allegedly made legal moves on behalf of Republic Real Estate Corporation (RREC) without the company’s authorization.
In a recent 7-page decision, the SC 2nd Division said Roxas “clearly disregarded” Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), which states that “a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.”
In his complaint, RREC president Juan Paolo Villonco said Roxas still filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution on a P10.93-million award involving reclaimed land in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex.
This was despite the RREC board of directors’ instruction for him to defer the filing of the motion. The writ secured by Roxas fom the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ended up being nullified by the Cout of Appeals (CA).
Roxas later filed a serious misconduct complaint against three CA justices and a petition assailing the constitutionality of Presidential Decree Number 774. This he did on RREC’s behalf wiithout authorization.
The company first tried to make him voluntarily withdraw as counsel and later terminated his retainer agreement. However, Roxas continued to appear in court and argue for the company.
The SC, however, sided with RREC and said its termination of Roxas’s services was “proper and justified.”
“A client may absolutely discharge his lawyer at any time, with or without cause, and without need of the lawyer’s consent or the court’s approval. He may, at any time, dismiss his attorney or substitute another in his stead,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta.
The SC opted to impose a serious penalty on Roxas, citing his “constant display of contumacious attitude” because he had already been found guilty of indirect contempt in 2007.