WILLIAMS v. ENRIQUEZ
A.C. No. 6353; February 27, 2006
Respondent (Atty. Rudy T. Enriquez)
· Is the counsel of record of plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 13443 pending in RTC Dumaguete
· Charged Marissa Williams with falsification of public documents
· Marissa Williams and spouse David Williams bought the subject lot in Civil Case No. 13443
· Transfer Certificate Title: Marissa is a “Filipino, married to David W. Williams, an American Citizen”
· Disciplinary action against respondent for engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral and deceitful acts
· Respondent cited outdated material in his complaint affidavit against Marissa and knowingly applied the same in
perverse fashion to argue that Marissa lost her Filipino citizenship when she married David
· Article IV, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution provides that she would not lose her citizenship through marriage unless she renounces the same in a specific act
· Atty. Enriquez quotes the more outdated law, declaring that her act of marrying was equivalent to renouncing her
· As a retired judge, respondent should know that the false charge against petitioners will not prevail
· The complaint for disbarment was a mere tactic to divert attention from the criminal charges against the complainants
· The charges against him have no factual basis
· Marissa was no longer a citizen of the Philippines as a result of her marriage to David Williams
IBP Commissioner’s Findings (Rebecca Villanueva-Maala)
· Respondent was guilty of gross ignorance of the law and should be suspended for six months
· There is no evidence shown by the respondent that complainant has renounced her Filipino citizenship.
· Lawyers must keep themselves abreast of legal developments (Canon 5).
· Canon 5 requires that a lawyer be updated in the latest news and jurisprudence.
· As a retired judge, respondent should have known that it is his duty to keep himself well-informed of the latest rulings of the Court on the issues and legal problems confronting a client.
· In this case, the respondent misconstrued no less than the Constitution, the basic law of the land.
· The penalty recommended by the Commissioner is too harsh; the power to disbar or to suspend must be exercised
with great caution.
· The penalty of reprimand will suffice.
“A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal developments, participate in continuing legal education programs, support efforts to achieve high standards in law schools as well as in the practical training of law students and assist in disseminating information on the law and jurisprudence.”