(This motion has been excised of its privileged communication contents; persons interested in the full-text of the document can read the original record from the Supreme Court).
Respondent JOSE C. CAMANO, by himself most respectfully avers:
1 That respondent Jose C. Camano and his family have migrated to the United States in April 2000 and since then he and his family have been living in the United States for long five years now;
2. That the Honorable Supreme Court promulgated on August 9, 2005, a Resolution suspending Atty. Camano from the practice of law for a period of one year;
3. That the said Resolution was received in respondent’s house at 19 Kalaw Ledesma Circle, Tierra Verde, Tandang Sora, Quezon City, Philippines on September 9, 2005 and forthwith, respondent’s son who happened to be on vacation for one month in the Philippines with his newly-wed wife, phoned respondent who is residing at 6210 Kenilworth St., Dearborn, MI. 48126, USA about the Resolution;
4. That Atty. Camano took exception to the findings of the Honorable Supreme Court, on recommendation of the IBP, that he committed infractions of the code of professional ethics for “Technical Extortion” and “Acts Tending to Degrade the Law Profession.”
Subsequent to the closure of the investigation conducted by the IBP, certain incidents transpired without the knowledge of Atty. Camano. First and foremost of which is the recommendation by the IBP that he be suspended for six months for alleged infractions of the professional code of conduct listed as follows:
1. He received money (P5,000 then P1,000) from the adverse party purportedly for attorneys fees and for reimbursement of sheriff’s expenses. Such act of accepting funds from the adverse party in the process of implementing a writ, borders on technical extortion particularly in light of the factual circumstances as discussed.
2. He gave unsolicited advice to the adverse party in suggesting the filing of an Affidavit of Ownership over the levied properties, a suggestion evidently in conflict with [the interest of] his own client, supposedly, the Genitos’s. He failed to turn over the gas stove to either party thereby casting doubt as to the procedure of the levy.
Such recommendation was never furnished to the herein respondent. The IBP Board of Governors modified the recommendation and made the suspension for one year instead of six months, reasoning inter alia:
“x x the Investigating Commissioner’ finding the recommendation fully supported by the evidence on record and the applicable laws and rules, with modification, and for accepting funds from adverse party in the process of implementing a writ borders on technical extortion, for giving unsolicited advice to the adverse party a suggestion evidently in conflict with [the interest of] his own client and for casting doubts to the procedure of the levy, Atty. Jose C. Camano is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for one (1) year, likewise, Atty. Oscar Inocentes is hereby REPRIMANDED for he exercised command responsibility over the case inasmuch as he received periodic reports either by phone or in person.
Further the IBP said: “That Atty. Camano’s act of giving unsolicited advice to complainant is a culpable act because the advice conflicted with the interest of his clients, the spouses Genito. The rule on conflicting interests’ established in Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, deals with conflicts in the interests of an attorney’s actual clients among themselves, of existing and prospective clients, and of the attorney and his clients. It states that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
Said recommendation modifying the suspension for six months to one year has never been furnished to Atty. Camano.
Respondent Atty. Inocentes has filed a misleading pleading with this Court which in the language of the Court:
“On the other hand, Atty. Inocentes seeks to distance himself from the events that transpired and the reprimand resulting there from by asserting that he was incorrectly punished for Atty. Camano’s acts when his mere participation in the fiasco was to refer complainant and his mother to Atty. Camano.
Respondent Atty. Inocentes did not furnish Atty. Camano of this pleading despite his knowledge that Atty. Camano has long ceased to be his associate, and whom he knew could be reached at his residence at Tierra Verde, Tandang Sora, Quezon City. Only the Honorable Supreme Court had deemed it an essential requirement of due process to furnish the respondent herein with the copy of its Resolution dated August 9, 2005 at his residence and law office.
With the foregoing background, Atty. Camano could hardly fault this Honorable Court in accepting the recommendation of the IBP for his suspension for one year. For in the mind of the Court, Atty. Camano who failed to respond to these subsequent incidents, pleadings and betrayal could only indicate an admission of guilt. Far from it though for if this Court would only reread the records, it could easily sift through the rubbles and see the incontrovertible proof that Atty. Camano has acted within the bounds of decency and the law.
While the IBP has coined the term “technical extortion” it is not entirely inappropriate for respondent Camano to coin another term, “denial of extended due process of law for deliberate failure of the IBP and respondent Inocentes to furnish copies of self-serving claims imputing alleged unethical behavior by Atty. Camano. That had he been seasonably informed of these incidents, Atty. Camano could have disputed those allegations and could have put everything in the right perspective.
Atty. Camano has the highest regards for this Court and it was already appreciative of its effort to furnish him copy of the Resolution dated August 9, 2005 and of knocking off from the table one of the alleged ethical violations of the respondent; that of “giving unsolicited advice to a party opponent resulting in a position that conflicted with the interest of the client”. Atty. Camano wishes to add though that clients come and go but one institution remains immutable and that is the law. More than anything else, it is this institution which demands highest fealty and loyalty from every lawyer. It was under this ideal that Atty. Camano has given the distraught George to “execute an affidavit and provide proof of his ownership of the chattels” because George had invoked the law by claiming ownership of the chattels and Atty. Camano had simply provided him the structure on how he could give the law its life.
Thus only the “Technical Extortion” and Acts “Tending to Degrade The Law Profession” remain as the alleged “infractions” committed by Atty. Camano which merited his suspension from the practice of law for one year.
These ISSUES will be addressed and disputed accordingly herein below. Atty. Camano and his family are now living in the United States and his suspension does not affect in any least his capacity to earn in the US. But respondent considers his good name his wealth and an heirloom worthy to bequeath to his children. If respondent’s name is tarnished, such blemish is worst than death itself.
That the moment respondent was informed of the Resolution of the Honorable Court suspending him from the practice of law for ethical violations, he was both embarrassed and depressed. Embarrassed because the Resolution was read by his daughter-in-law who could have drawn an impression that her in-law DAD is some kind of a crook and a despicable person.
Depressed because an institution as the IBP came up with the most ridiculous accusation and rapped one of its members for “Technical Extortion” and had invented a twisted concept of “conflict of interest” violation never known in the law and the canon of professional ethics books before.
Respondent begs this Court to take a second pass of the records and the evidence and see through the monumental spin, the lies and distortion of the IBP that scurrilously malign the good name of the respondent and for this Honorable Court to find that Atty. Camano has acted appropriately and decently in dealings with the complainant and in the service of his clients, Sps. Andres and Ludivina Genito.
DISCUSSSION OF ISSUES
Losing litigants have always an ax to grind. Most would conveniently become knights in moral shining armors riding those mythical white and imposing horses armed with lances and swords to rid the legal profession of scumbags and scoundrels that degrade the law profession and erode the public faith in the law.
Overnight, George, became one of such crusaders to camouflage his vengeful spirit and disturbed soul and would vanish from the practice of law, Attys. Camano and Inocentes who were chiefly responsible for his grief and misery. He considered them roaches that must be expurgated from the law profession. To his credit and his lawyer, they were able to convince the IBP to find Atty. Camano guilty of unethical behavior.
The Resolution of this Court was accessed by Atty. Camano from the internet which explains why he could argue the points raised thereat but he could not access his own records from his house in Quezon City without loss of time and expense of sending those records to the US. And this pleading had been sent as an email attachment and electronically signed by Atty. Camano to his nephew with instruction to print it and file it with this Honorable Court.
THE FACTS AND INCIDENTS
Gliceria Solatan was served with summons and copy of the complaint at the subject unit of the Genito Apartments. She was already abroad at the time of service but her mother, Elvira and brother George who one after the other had occupied the unit after Gliceria had left, never informed the court about this important and crucial detail. A default judgment was rendered by the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City and at the time a notice to vacate and to pay the judgment debt was served on whoever occupied the premises, the unpaid rentals had already ballooned to P60,000 more or less.
Elvira and George went to respondent Inocentes at 19 Marunong St., Diliman, Quezon City after the notice to vacate was served by the deputy sheriff. George, according to Atty. Inocentes was so arrogant that he refused to talk to him and his mother. They were referred to respondent Camano who was holding office at another location in Aurora Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City.
During the meeting with respondent Camano at the said office, Elvira never introduced herself as the mother of Gliceria. Atty. Camano assumed, although erroneously, that inasmuch as she came for the case of Gliceria and had introduced herself as Ms. Solatan, this visitor must be Gliceria and George the brother.
Both offered to liquidate the unpaid rentals provided they be allowed to stay in the apartment. Such offer firmed up the erroneous assumption of Atty. Camano that Elvira was Gliceria. For after all why offer to settle the arrears when she was not duty-bound to pay them? And even if she did introduce herself as Elvira, the mother and not Gliceria, the absconding lessee, such would not detract from the fact that they were there to offer to pay the judgment debt.
Whereupon they were told that as long as they were willing to pay the judgment debt, they would remain in the premises. The terms of the proposed agreement were discussed and both agreed to abide by it. During this meeting, the issue of lease renewal to George and Elvira over the same unit never came about although during the IBP hearing, George and Elvira claimed that they had asked Atty. Camano for a new lease. That even if they did, Atty. Camano would not have consented to a new lease because of the enormity of the unpaid rents. Any lawyer worth his name would require a substantial payment of the arrears before any subsequent lease on the same unit could be agreed upon because a new lease would in effect render the judgment to vacate the unit ineffective.
The claim therefore that a new lease was requested and Atty. Camano has agreed to it was not true. And even if he has agreed to it, he could renege on it because George did not honor the part of his own bargain to pay the arrears.
To hold off the ejectment and levy, respondent Camano had asked George if he could pay the attorney”s fee and the cost of sheriff’s services. He offered to pay 50 per cent of the adjudged attorney’s fee and the cost of sheriff’s services. He dutifully paid the foregoing amount and he never was coerced nor extorted by Atty. Camano to come up with the payment. He also promised to pay the arrears. The amount of P1,000 was transmitted to the Deputy Sheriff to cover the cost of his services.
The attorney’s fee paid by George was shared by respondent Camano with Atty. Inocentes as per agreement with Inocentes and his clients the spouses Ludivina and Andres Genito. Respondent Camano honestly believe that inasmuch as he has rendered professional hours in the preparation and filing of the case in court including the ex-parte trial, he is entitled to the share in the attorney’s fee adjudged by the trial court.
George had reneged on his promise to pay the arrears. Respondent Camano had pursued the levy and execution which was temporarily postponed. After the deputy sheriff levied the properties and tried to evict George and his mother, George came begging respondent Camano to stay the levy and execution as he was then ready to pay the judgment debt according to what he had promised during the first meeting with Atty. Camano. It was during this second encounter with George and Elvira that the latter finally admitted that Gliceria had long vacated the unit and that she and George now and in the past occupied the premises. But inasmuch as they were trying to come up with the payment, again respondent asked the deputy sheriff to postpone the execution.
So to effectuate his promise to pay the unpaid rents, George issued four postdated checks in the amount of P3,400.00 each check to cover the current rentals and the arrears. These checks were turned over to the accountant of the landlords.
Three of these checks bounced for reason of closed account. Finding George unreliable and infidel to his words, Atty. Camano decided to eject George and his mother. (The second check bounced for account closed, so the 3rd and 4th checks would bounce for similar reason).
It is worth emphasizing that the enforcement of the order to vacate the premises and to pay the debt was triggered by George’s “closed account” checks.
The properties inside the unit which had already been previously levied were scheduled for auction by the deputy sheriff but before the auction date, George, using the darkness of the night as a cover, stashed away the levied chattels. The caretaker of the apartment, Mr. Esberto Recto called the police and George was brought to the precinct for questioning. He was distraught, he was angry, he was furious. Someone must pay for his embarrassment.
Thus it was convenient for George to institute the instant complaint.
The foregoing are the facts of the case and the narration of the Honorable Court of the facts as culled from the recommendation of the IBP, quoted herein below while it may have some semblance of truth, was not entirely truthful. It was so loaded to favor George.
“Complainant was occupying the subject apartment when he learned of the judgment rendered against his sister. On 10 May 1988, prior to the implementation of a writ to execute the judgment, complainant and his mother, Elvira Solatan, approached Atty. Inocentes at his home office. Complainant informed Atty. Inocentes of his desire to arrange the execution of a lease contract by virtue of which complainant would be the new lessee of the apartment and thus make possible his continued stay therein. Atty. Inocentes referred complainant and his mother to his associate, Atty. Camano, the attorney in charge of the ejectment cases against tenants of the Genito apartments. After the exchange, complainant went to Atty. Camano at the satellite office of Atty. Inocentes’ firm. From here on out, events quickly turned sour. Different versions of subsequent events were presented. The facts reproduced hereunder are by and large culled from the findings of the IBP Investigating Commissioner, Siegfred B. Mison. “During the meeting with Atty. Camano, a verbal agreement was made in which complainant and his mother agreed to pay the entire judgment debt of Gliceria Solatan, including fifty percent of the awarded attorney’s fees and One Thousand Six Hundred Pesos (P1,600.00) as costs of suit provided that Atty. Camano would allow complainant’s continued stay at Door 10, Phase B of the Genito Apartments. As partial compliance with the agreement, complainant issued in the name Atty. Camano a check for Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) representing half of the P10,000.00 attorney’s fees adjudged against complainant’s sister. Complainant and his mother failed to make any other payment. Thus, the sheriff in coordination with Atty. Camano and some policemen, enforced the writ of execution on 22 June 1988 and levied the properties found in the subject apartment. An attempt at renegotiation took place at the insistence of complainant, resulting in Atty. Camano.s acquiescence to release the levied properties and allowing complainant to remain at the apartment, subject to the latter’s payment of costs incurred in enforcing the writ of execution and issuance of postdated checks representing installment rental payments. Complainant, thus, issued four (4) checks drawn on Far East Bank and Trust Company dated the fifteenth (15th) of July, August, September, and October 1988 each in the amount of Three Thousand Four Hundred Pesos (P3,400.00). Half of the amount represented complainant’s monthly rental, while the other half, a monthly installment for the payment of Gliceria Solatan’s judgment debt.
In an attempt to portray George in shining armor, the IBP did not mention the fact that the checks issued by George for the payment of the rentals both current and arrears, were dishonored for reason of “closed account” except the first check which was honored and paid. It has conveniently omitted to mention too that the “closed account” checks of George had triggered the enforcement of the writ to vacate. Because George who claimed to be an accountant could not justify his shining armor posture if the IBP would have mentioned the “closed account” status of his checking account.
George had agonized over the roaches in the legal profession but he was comfortable with misbehavior in the accountancy profession, for after all, the lawyers’ code of conduct must be above the standard set for accountants and Atty. Camano recognizes this fully well. George admitted having occupied the unit with his mother and their efforts to settle the obligation was but a confirmation that they were the ones indebted to the Genito couple because they were the ones who lived thereat and derived benefit there from after Gliceria had left, otherwise they could have simply allowed the landlords to repossess the unit and have it leased to new tenants who are more than willing to pay the rents.
After consulting with his own lawyer, Atty. Umali, George must have been advised that inasmuch as the judgment was against Gliceria, the judgment may not have legal effect on them and they can forget the fact that they were actually the ones residing in the unit and make use of the amenities thereat and for years provided roof over their heads. Thus George became combative in a wrong sense. It was strange that respondent was on the receiving end when the other lawyer should have been.
THE IBP FOR ITS OWN REASON
COULD NOT UNDERSTAND THE
MEANING OF CUSTODIA LEGIS
The IBP made the following findings of fact:
“An attempt at renegotiation took place at the insistence of complainant, resulting in Atty. Camano’s acquiescence to release the levied properties and allowing complainant to remain at the apartment, subject to the latter’s payment of costs incurred in enforcing the writ of execution and issuance of postdated checks representing installment rental payments.”
This is preposterous and erroneous because never at one time during the period aforementioned that Atty. Camano had authorized the release of the levied personal properties of George or Gliceria. What he did was to make representation with the deputy sheriff to postpone the writ of execution upon the representation of George and Elvira that they would pay the judgment debt. The properties were released only in favor of George after he had executed an affidavit with receipts and proof that these chattels were in his name and the release was made by the deputy sheriff and not by Atty. Camano and this came about much latter after George was arrested and questioned by the police about those chattels and that the verbal agreement to amortize the arrears on installment had been totally abrogated and abandoned by virtue of the foregoing circumstances.
Atty. Camano was never in possession of the levied chattels; HENCE, he could not authorize nor acquiesce in the release thereof. Only the sheriff can, and as in fact did release the chattels to George. This has been the consistent position of Atty. Camano during the IBP investigation, but for reason of its own, the IBP has chosen to ignore this incontrovertible legal truth.
THERE WAS NO EXTORTION
Atty. Camano was implementing the writ of execution through the court’s sheriff and the persons who were served with the Order offered to pay the judgment debt by installment which resulted to Atty. Camano’s receiving the sum of P5,000 as partial payment for the adjudged attorney’s fee of P10,000 and sheriff’s cost of P1,000. George and his mother, in order to avoid being thrown out of the premises voluntarily offered to be allowed to pay on installment which offer was accepted by the landlords through Atty. Camano. To claim that respondent Camano has to arm-twist George to cough up the partial payments and to justify the charge of “technical extortion” was ridiculous. Or that he has committed “technical extortion” because as a result of implementing a lawful process, he received partial payments from the other party, was also preposterous. George became a substitutable adverse party by admitting that he was actually using the apartment and would not want to be ejected there from by offering payments of the arrears. Lawyers representing a litigant may accept money from the adverse party as a settlement for the judgment and only when the lawyer has failed to turn over such money judgment to his clients that he becomes professionally liable thereto. George and IBP did not accuse Atty. Camano of pocketing the money of his clients. Neither Andres nor Ludivina Genito had put Atty. Camano to task for absconding with their money. Somebody else was, but not Atty. Camano. And on the contrary, the spouses have remained trustful of Atty. Camano as explained in the latter part of this pleading.
The court’s order was sufficient for the sheriff to throw out George and his mother from the premises and auction off any chattels in the premises to answer for the debt. And on the contrary, it was respondent Camano who saved George and Elvira from being thrown out of the apartment outright because he and his mother had promised that they would pay the judgment debt of Gliceria, and had shown an initial willingness to pay when George paid one half of the adjudged attorney’s fee, the cost of the sheriff’s fee and later had issued 4 postdated checks, though as earlier pointed out, three of these checks had bounced. To claim that respondent Camano “technically extorted” George because he had received partial amount of the judgment debt from George is to misapply the meaning of “extortion”.
Extortion occurs when a person obtains money, behavior, or other goods and/or services from another by wrongfully threatening or inflicting harm to his person, reputation, or property. Atty. Camano was implementing a lawful eviction order and an order to collect the unpaid rent through the deputy sheriff. It was strange that the IBP has chosen to ignore the contradiction between a lawful process and unlawful act of extortion, technical or otherwise.
Or it has seen the difference, which explains why it has tried in vain to embellish or convolute it with the adjective “technical” rather than simply calling it extortion. But what is “technical extortion”? It is a high sounding term incongruous and incomprehensible. At least, a kindergarten student knows the basic that you cannot add apples and oranges. These IBP lawyers are confused and thought it cute to invent the term “technical extortion”.
Atty. Camano agrees with anyone who claims that the law profession is littered with charlatans, scoundrels and incompetents that deserve to be purged from the profession. It is time now that the IBP looks no further than the four corners of its walls in Ortigas Office Complex. Or it can start with the members of its Board of Governors.
The IBP or its lawyers were incorrigibly slow and exceedingly picayune not to realize that if a chattel was levied upon, it has been brought under the jurisdiction of the court and it is known in law as in “custodia legis”. Atty. Camano was never at one time or another in possession of the chattel in question but the sheriff or the court. George demanded the return of all the chattels from the sheriff and not from Atty. Camano after he had executed an affidavit of ownership with corresponding receipts. The deputy sheriff had examined the affidavit and the receipts accompanying thereof and did not find proof that the stove belonged to George.
Thereupon, all the levied items were returned by the sheriff to George except the unserviceable gas range, which proof of ownership, George has failed to produce. In fact George had never bothered to present any proof of ownership over the stove because either it was no longer serviceable or that it could have really belonged to the absconding lessee, his sister, Gliceria.
But in any event, respondent Camano was never in possession of the chattel in question, malicious insinuation on the contrary, notwithstanding. The claim of the IBP that respondent had kept it and refused to turn it over to either party for personal gain was contrary to the records that Mr. Esberto Recto, the apartment caretaker has it in his possession.
x x x (privileged communication contents, excised).
It is ironic though that the plea of the herein respondent for non-culpability would free Atty. Inocentes of any wrongdoing as a consequence. x x x.
George, in tattered moral armor harbored ill-feelings toward respondent Atty. Camano because he was thrown out of the unit through the efforts of the respondent. He saw the alleged corrupt character of respondent Camano but he failed to see his own face on the mirror. For after seeking refuge, shelter and comfort from the apartment and enjoying the amenities there from for years, and recognizing that he had such an obligation to pay the arrears, he tried to run away from the obligation and attempted to vanish into the wilderness of the night with his chattels in tow. Virtues become a rarity nowadays. Though respondent does not claim to any single saintly virtue in his vein, he has tried at least to be true to himself and claim with certainty that he can look at George, Attys. Umali, Inocentes and Mison and the whole members of the Board of IBP Governors and the Justices of the Supreme Court right into their eyes without blinking and be willing to be weighed in the moral scales with anyone of them.
In a biblical sense, respondent would wish to be stoned only by those without sins.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the Resolution of this Honorable on August 9, 2005 suspending Atty. Jose C. Camano for one year from the practice of law be reconsidered and set aside and a Resolution be issued by this Court absolving him from alleged act of “technical extortion” and from acts tending to degrade the law profession.
Dearborn, Michigan, USA, September 12, 2005
Atty. Inocentes filed a Comment on the Motion
COMMENT AND MANIFESTATION
To the MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION dated September 12, 2005 filed by ATTY. JOSE C. CAMANO (hereinafter referred to as ATTY. CAMANO for brevity) under the following declarations and asseverations, to wit:
1. Last September 27, 2005, the undersigned counsel received a copy of the MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION filed by ATTY. CAMANO regarding the judgment of this Honorable Court in the above-captioned case affirming the sanction meted out against ATTY. CAMANO;
2. And that while the undersigned counsel no longer seeks to question the ruling of this Honorable Court insofar as admonishment made upon him by this Honorable Court, there are however certain allegations aired out by ATTY. CAMANO in his MOTION FOR RECONSIDRATION which the undersigned counsel feels merits an immediate comment if only to correct any inaccuracies in the narration of facts and also to prevent any wrongful impressions which this Honorable Court may have in resolving ATTY. CAMANO’s motion for reconsideration;
3. In this regard, it is important for this Honorable Court to take note of the admission of ATTY. CAMANO that his reconstruction of the facts surrounding the instant case was made without the benefit of actual records and by simply relying on his limited memory and naturally flawed recollection of events that transpired years ago; 4. With this in mind, it may be understandable why ATTY. CAMANO may have been reckless in some of his statements especially those statements made in page 4 of his motion for reconsideration whereby he accused the undersigned counsel of having “stabbed him in the back”.
5. The undersigned counsel never stabbed anyone in the back because all the undersigned counsel did was to narrate the truth concerning the accusations imputed against them by complainant by complainant George Solatan and the circumstances surrounding the same and this .truth. was sufficient in itself to convince the investigating authorities:
6. Further, it was error for ATTY. CAMANO to give the impression to this Honorable Court that the undersigned counsel kept the former in the dark;
7. On the contrary, it was the undersigned counsel who furnished this Honorable Court the last known address of ATTY. CAMANO;
8. Besides, even ATTY. CAMANO’s allegations are true, the undersigned counsel should not be faulted by the failure on the part of ATTY. CAMANO to receive any pleadings, orders and/or resolutions because he himself admitted, he left for the United States without informing the IBP Board of Governors and the undersigned counsel who was a correspondent neither did he leave behind any mailing address nor any contact number;
9. Furthermore, I take serious exception to the allegation he made in the last paragraph of page 15 of Atty. CAMANO’ s motion for reconsideration;
10. I NEVER RECEIVED ANY SHARE FROM ATTY. CAMANO CONCERNING ANY ATTORNEY.S FEE which was allegedly paid to him by the complainant SOLATAN; 11. (x x x reference to a privileged communication content was excised) 12. ( x x x , same)
13. As to the alleged “SHOOTING INCIDENT” involving my former associate ATTY. JOSE B. JOSON, I knew of no such incident and the best person to speak on the matter would be ATTY. JOSE B. JOSON himself and not ATTY. CAMANO;
14. In closing, inasmuch as ATTY. CAMANO saw fit to compare himself with Mary Magdalene, the biblical character who was caught by the Jewish authorities in flagrant delicate, it is rather apropos because while he was saved by Christ from being stoned to death, she was likewise admonished by the Our Lord to “go and sin no more”.
15. Thus, while I am not inclined to throw the first stone at ATTY. CAMANO, I am however admonishing him to go and sin no more.
WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed that the foregoing comments and manifestation be noted by this Honorable Court and that the same be made part of the record of the above-captioned case.
Other reliefs as are just and equitable are likewise prayed for Respectfully submitted this 4th day of October, 2005, at Quezon City for Manila.
OSCAR A. INOCENTES
Atty. Camano filed a rejoinder on the Comment of Atty. Inocentes:
MOTION WITH LEAVE OF COURT TO ADMIT REJOINDER
Respondent Atty. Jose C. Camano, by himself most respectfully requests leave of court to admit this Rejoinder to the Comment and Manifestation filed by co-respondent Atty. Oscar A. Inocentes dated October 4, 2005 which was received by the undersigned on October 26, 2005 here in the United States in order to aid this Court in the resolution of his Motion for Reconsideration of the above case.
Respondent Atty. Camano does not derive any distinct pleasure in defending his honor by trashing someone else’s he finds it excruciatingly painful and distasteful that to protect his honor he has to put someone else’s honor down. To ease such difficulty, he has compared himself to a biblical character, Mary Magdalene, the “sinner” who was spared by Jesus Christ from being stoned to death by the equally sinning mobsters. This way, Atty. Camano, unlike his accusers, George and Atty. Inocentes, would not sound pious and self-righteous.
In rebutting the biblical allusion, Atty. Inocentes said:
“Thus, While I am not inclined to throw the first stone at Atty. Camano, I am however admonishing him “to go and sin no more”.
What a self-righteous admonition! Atty. Inocentes would like to put himself in the category of Jesus Christ and has the nerve to “admonish” Atty. Camano to “go and sin no more”. (privileged communication content, excised).
But enough of the biblical metaphors and allusions. x x x (privileged communication content, excised)
Atty. Inocentes went to an extra length of filing a comment with the Supreme Court “distancing himself”, to quote this Court, from Atty. Camano and would plead non-liability for the “fiasco” committed by his associate, and for which he did not participate, then made a sudden turn around by accepting the admonition meted out by the Supreme Court after Atty. Camano filed his motion for reconsideration. (privileged communication, excised x x x). So the trick is for this Court to hurry up and consider the case closed for fear that any further comment by Atty. Camano might convince this Honorable Court to order a wider scale of investigation about his allegations.
It was never the intention though of respondent Camano to open up another front in the investigation involving this incident. This case has dragged on for so long and it needs closure. If ever the issue of character has been raised against Atty. Inocentes, it was only to prove that the later does not enjoy moral superiority over Atty. Camano and of late, it was blasphemous enough for Atty. Inocentes to tell someone to “go and sin no more”.
It certainly is not an argument that because Atty. Camano does not have his records of the case, that his narrations of facts involving his character was flawed and limited. It has asked this Court that his narrations be compared with whatever records the Court has on the case to find out if his narrations are truthful and credible. And if one’s honor is involved, no matter how long the case had been, his recollections of those details remain etched and fresh in his memory. His only limitation is being able to cite with definiteness the paragraph numbers and the date of the pleadings where such facts were contained.
It certainly would not help Atty. Inocentes to claim that he did not benefit from the attorney’s fee given to Atty. Camano by George. Atty. Camano had no foreknowledge of Atty. Inocentes’ selective amnesia and had he known it, he could have asked Atty. Inocentes to sign for a receipt of the P2,500.00. (privileged communication excised). But even assuming that Atty. Camano made use of the entire sum of P5,000.00, which he believed he had worked for as a lawyer, no professional infractions should be imputed to him because he had precisely accepted the amount denominated as attorney’s fee.
Lastly, Atty. Inocentes claimed that he should be credited for informing this Court of the last known address of Atty. Camano so the resolution of this Court could be sent thereto. Atty. Camano has always maintained the same residence and law office after he had left the office of Atty. Inocentes and even after he has migrated to the US. Atty. Inocentes knew about this address. While he has appreciated the fact that Atty. Camano must somehow be informed of the subsequent incidents in this case, he himself did not furnish Atty. Camano of his own pleadings nor extended Atty. Camano the courtesy of transmitting to him the recommendation of the IBP suspending Atty. Camano from the practice of law for one year despite his knowledge that Atty. Camano had long ceased to be his associate.
Had he done so, Atty. Camano could have responded thereto and brought to the attention of the Honorable Court the real issues in this case. He wanted Atty. Camano to receive the final resolution of the Supreme Court in an almost “fait accompli” status and he stand to benefit there from by offering Atty. Camano as the “sacrificial goat” and satisfy the IBP’s officialdom’s lust for “blood”.
And he is now telling this Honorable Court to consider the case closed by accepting the admonition imposed upon him by the Court, hoping that in doing so, he could foreclose any avenue available for Atty. Camano for the lifting of his suspension and prevent him from further communicating with this Court. And yet, Atty. Inocentes would deny not having less noble intention towards his former associate.
Respondent Camano would wish to add that most of the chattels found at the subject apartment belonged to George because he has treated and considered the apartment his personal leasehold already and not of his sister Gliceria. And if one has to consider that Gliceria had long vacated the premises and the rental arrears has ballooned to P60,000 at the time of notice to vacate was served on George, excluding interest over an apartment unit being leased at P1,300 a month, then George had occupied the apartment for a period of almost 4 years without paying the rents.
And when ejected, he has the temerity to complain about his being ejected from the premises. He accused Atty. Camano of moral depravity and considered himself wronged by the conduct of Atty. Camano.
For this Honorable Court to give credence to this grotesque pretension is to defy all reasons and put to doubt the capacity of our institutions to survive the forces of darkness and our ability to sift through the rubbles of falsehood and deception.
This whole exercise would not improve Atty. Camano’s paltry fortunes, but he would defend with all the energy he could muster, to protect his good name and honor. This pleading has taken so much of his productive endeavor in the U.S., but Atty. Camano could not in conscience, sit idly by and let falsehood and lies go unchallenged.
This Court should take notice also that the pleadings of Atty. Inocentes do not go beyond attempt at self-preservation and he refused to elevate the discussion of the case to a level that it justly deserve.
He refused to confront George as a purveyor of falsehood and deception. (privileged communication excised).
As a parting note Atty. Camano offers his prayer for the soul of Atty. Florendo A. Umali. “May the good Lord Bless his soul”.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the Resolution of August 9, 2005 issued by this Court suspending Atty. Camano from the practice of law for one year be set aside and a new resolution be issued clearing his name from any wrongdoing.
That it is further prayed that though the Resolution becomes final as far as Atty. Inocentes is concerned, the effect of the new resolution, if forthcoming, be extended to Atty. Inocentes as respondent Camano’s offer of peace and embrace of a brother in the profession.
Dearborn, Michigan, USA, October 28, 2005.
The Supreme Court denied the motion in a minute resolution dated February 6, 2006.
Atty. Camano filed a second motion for reconsideration.