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GIZALE O. TUMBAGA , complainant, vs . ATTY. MANUEL P.

respondent. A.C. No. 5573. November 21, 2017
Case # 32
This is an administrative case against Atty. Manuel P. Teoxon charging him with gross immorality,
deceitful and fraudulent conduct, and gross misconduct.

• Complainant’s Arguments
o In a verified complaint dated October 9, 2001 filed directly with the Court, complainant
narrated that she met respondent sometime in September 1999.
o He was then the City Legal Officer of Naga City from whom complainant sought legal
o After complainant consulted with him a few times, he visited her often at her residence and
brought gifts for her son, Al Greg Tumbaga.
o Respondent even volunteered to be the godfather of Al Greg.
o In view of respondent's persistence and generosity to her son, complainant believed his
representation that he was eligible to marry her.
o Complainant averred that on December 19, 1999, she moved in with respondent at the
Puncia Apartment in Naga City.
o In April 2000, she became pregnant.
o Respondent allegedly wanted to have the baby aborted but complainant refused.
o After the birth of their son, Billy John, respondent spent more time with them. He used
their apartment as a temporary law office and he lived there for two to three days at a time.
o After Billy John was baptized, complainant secured a Certificate of Live Birth from the
Office of the Civil Registrar of Naga City and gave it to respondent to sign.
o He hesitantly signed it and volunteered to facilitate its filing. After respondent failed to file
the same, complainant secured another form and asked respondent to sign it twice.
o On February 15, 2001, the Certificate of Live Birth was registered.
o Thereafter, complainant related that respondent rarely visited them.
o she decided to work in a law office in Naga City. However, respondent compelled her to
resign, assuring her that he would take care of her financial needs.
o As respondent failed to fulfill his promise, complainant sought assistance from the Office
of the City Fiscal in Naga City on the second week of March 2001.
o In the early morning of the conference set by said office, respondent gave complainant an
affidavit of support and told her there was no need for him to appear in the conference.
o On May 2001 the respondent issued a promissory note to support the complainant but once
again failed to honor it
o On June 2001 the complainant moved out from the Punicia Apartment as the respondent
allegedly failed in paying the rental of the said apartment.
o In the evening of September 9, 2001, respondent raided complainant's new residence,
accompanied by three SWAT members and his wife. Visibly drunk, respondent threatened
to hurt complainant if she will not return the personal belongings that he left in their
previous apartment unit.
o As respondent barged into the apartment, complainant sought help from the SWAT
members and one of them was able to pacify respondent. Respondent's wife also tried to
attack complainant, but she too was prevailed upon by the SWAT members. The incident
was recorded in the police blotter.

• Respondent’s Arguments
o Respondent denied the allegations in the complaint. He asserted that complainant merely
wanted to exact money from him.
o Respondent alleged that he became the godfather of complainant's son, Al Greg, but he
was only one of four sponsors. He began to visit complainant's residence to visit his godson.
o He also denied being the father of Billy John
o Complainant allegedly used Al Greg to extort money from Alfrancis Bichara, the former
governor of Albay, with whom complainant also had a sexual relationship.
o Respondent denied that he lived together with complainant at the Puncia Apartment since
he was already married. As complainant was his kumadre, he would pass by her house
whenever he visited the house of Representative Sulpicio S. Roco, Jr. Respondent was then
a member of Representative Roco's legislative staff.
o Respondent also claimed that complainant falsified his signature in the Certificate of Live
Birth of Billy John
o Respondent accused complainant of taking the pictures in order to use the same to extort
money from him.
Issue: Whether or not Teoxon is guilty of immorality and thus face the sanction of disbarment?
Yes, Teoxon is guilty of immorality but does not face the sanction of disbarment. Since, to warrant an
administrative penalty, a lawyer's immoral conduct must be so gross as to be "willful, flagrant, or
shameless," so much so that it "shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable
members of the community." Grossly immoral conduct must be an act that is "so corrupt and false as to
constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree."

The Court Finds respondent Atty. Manuel P. Teoxon GUILTY of gross immorality and is hereby
SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of three (3) years effective upon notice hereof, with
a STERN WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be punished with a more
severe penalty.

The court found Atty. Teoxon Guilty of gross immorality as he blatantly attempted to deceive the courts
and the IBP with regards to his true relationship with the complainant. Furthermore, with regards to the
pictures which the complainant presented and was denied by the respondent, the respondent claimed that
the pictures were taken secretly and was used to extort money from him. However, as these pictures were
examined, it was clear that he was aware of the picture and was facing on the angle from where the
picture was taken. Their body language and smiles also displayed the closeness of the two.

Moreover, it is not proven that Billy John is an illegitimate child of the respondent.