* This refers to the title editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on March 2007 entitled 'First Boor,' referring to Jose Miguel Arroyo after he challenged to a fight a defense lawyer who was cross-examining him during the trial of one of the several libel cases he has filed against the media. The full editorial is located here.
(Check the Introduction)
26. When the Respondent Arroyo and Vicky Toh scandal erupted, Respondent contacted petitioner warning her that sh~ would be the next~ target of Panfilo Lacson~s group.
b. Respondent then convincingly coerced petitioner to fly to the United States (US) to escape the Ping Lacson group as she might be used also against GMA who was running for reelection.
28. Petitioner was naturally worried and concerned about her and her family’s safety.
29. Respondent promised petitioner that he would support her in the US and take care of her family here in the Philippines. Hence, petitioner left the country believing Respondent would support her and her farrilly when she is gone.
29.1 When petitioner rang Respondent to ask for the support, Respondent promised that it would be deposited in the bank account of Petitioner. However, he renege on his promise.
29.2 Left with no recourse, petitioner had to mortgage her car for her family’s support.
29.3 Petitioner lived like a mendicant in the US, transferring from one friend’s house to another and living on dole outs. Her life was like this for six (6) embarrassing months.
30. Petitioner returned to the country after the presidential elections and waited for Respondent to fulfill his promise for another eight (8) excruciating months.
respondent would not have anything to do of the petitioner anymore as Respondent’s spouse had already been elected nd there is no more use for petitioner.
31. Petitioner was living peacefully without any financial difficulty when Respondent told her to leave for the
S. By acceding to Respondent’s subtle coercions, petitioner’s life was left in ruins. She was not able to work in he US in her six (6) months stay there and eight (8) onths after her return to the country. The proximate cause f all of his was the deception by Respondent perpetrated 3gainst petitioner.
B. ACTS CONSTITUTIVE OF GRAFT AND CORRUPTION
I. The Rice Cartel/Import AlllocationS
32. During the recent liaisons of Petitioner with Respondent, the latter had bragged about his influence and power over the rice importation quota allocations of the country, via the government-to-government purchase of rice through the National Food Authority (NFA).
32.1 Petitioner came to know from “acquaintances”, the li~zes of ~ ~ most of a~
32.2 In one instance, Petitioner tried to ask Respondent if he could help her friend,
a rice importer who had been a regular NFA supplier, with the rice importation quota allocation. Respondent refused to do so and narrated to Petitioner that he was given $5 to $6 per metric ton of importation as commission. Thus, a mere request would not suffice. Furthermore, Respondent would allegedly have to deal with a certain~~ ~ Ngu Yien of Southern Foods Supplies in Ho Chi Mm from Vietnam. A copy of the Affidavit of ~
_________ is attached hereto as Annex”X” and made an integral part hereof in support of the herein affirmative allegations.
IL The diversion of Campaign Funds
33. The acts constitutive of corruption by Respondent did not only extend to public funds but to the campaign funds of the President herself, then a candidate during the recent election.
33.1 When Respondent tried to convincingly coerced th~ petitioner to leave for the United States to avoid an election scandal, Respondent assured petitioner that he will divert campaign funds” far the four(4) Mi~danao~sQJ?ns and send the funds to her in L./ the United States.’ ~This promise was done in the presence of no less than ~ A copy of the Affidavit executed by -~ is attached as Annex “Y” hereof.
C ACTS DETRIMENTAL TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
I. The 737 Bush St., property
34. In view of the fact that petitioner was in the United States and because of her relationship with the Respondent, she was able to gather documents and elicit testimonies that showed the transfer of the real estate property of Respondent to Ignacio Arroyo, Respondent’s younger brother was made after the “Pidal” testimony of Ignacio Arroyo, This was confirmed by no less than Respondent itself to petitioner while Respondent was trying to woo petitioner sometime in January of 2005. In fact, Respondent even bragged to petitioner that he was forced to do so by no less than GMA herself and he totally resents this. A copy of the Deed of Transfer is hereto attached as Annex “Z” hereto and made an integral part hereof.
35. The Respondent also told petitioner that his relationship with Vicky Toh has run afoul hence he cannot just ask Vicky Toh to divert the proceeds of the “Pidal” account; ~hich is now deposited in a bank in A copy of the ~ 1~j~
st tement in the name of Respondent and GMA is attached as Annex “AA” and made an integral part hereof.
II. THE “FIGARO” PROPERTY
35 The ultimate depravity and display of senseless immorality cannot be overemphasized in the blatant display of extravagant wealth while in the cudgels of the power of the Philippine Presidency contrasted by the anguish of the poor majority in suffering the present economic crunch. This is tantamount to the most cruel of crimes one can ever commit. In her conscience, petitioner must admit that the vileness of Respondent’s act cannot be left unpunished.
35.1 Sometime in December of 2004 Respondent purchased a real property at the Marina Area in San Francisco, U.S.A. in the whooping and unconscionable amount of One Hundred Twenty Five Million US Dollars ($ 125 Million). The property was registered in the name of FIGARO (apparently the name really stands for First Gentleman Arroyo). In her desolate abandonrnent by .the Respondent, petitioner was constrained to secure documents of the sale and sworn statements from members of ~ attesting to the presence of Respondent during the payment of the price of t .e property and the instructions by the respondent o register the property in his Acronym- FIGARO. A copy of the Deed and the corresponding swo n statements are attached hereto as Annexes “B et.seq.
36, Definitely, this is the last straw that broke t e camel’s back so to speak. Thee facts enumerated ther in will readily show that Respondent should not e allowed to remain as a Member of the Integrated Bar and as an Officer of the Court. His kind has no place in the annals of the Philippine Bar.
GROUNDS FOR DISBARMENT
36. In view of the facts stated herein, it is very cle r that Respondent violated the following provisions of t e Code of Professional Responsibility:
“Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral
or deceitful conduct.”
CANON 7 — A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and support the activities of the Integrated Bar.
Rule 7.03 — A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects - on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave ina scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.”
37. Respondent’s cohabitation with petitioner renders him liable for concubinage. Such conduct is not only unlawful but grossly immoral as well. Moreover, such conduct is inconsistent with the good moral character that is required for the continued right to practice law as a member of he Philippine bar. It imports moral turpitude and is a public