Lawyer disbarred for failing to honor housing mortgage deal

Lawyer disbarred for failing to honor housing loan deal

MANILA – A lawyer who failed to honor his promise to take over the payment of a house he bought from a government employee has been disbarred by the Supreme Court (SC).

In a 10-page decision dated Oct. 6 and released Tuesday, the court en banc found Glicerio A. Sampana guilty of misconduct and ordered his disbarment.

Sampana had been named in a complaint filed by Wilfredo Caballero, an employee of the National Food Authority (NFA), who transferred to Sampana his rights to a low-cost housing unit he obtained under a real estate loan from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in 1997.

Due to financial constraints, Caballero agreed to have Sampana acquire the property for PHP60,000 with the condition that the lawyer would assume the obligation of paying the remaining monthly amortizations.

Despite several demands, Sampana failed to honor his side of the deal and in 2014, the GSIS issued its final demand on Caballero informing him that his unpaid obligations now amounted to PHP2.98 million.

Caballero then initiated an administrative complaint against Sampana.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), finding respondent’s conduct violative of ethical standards, initially ruled to impose on him the penalty of suspension from the practice of law for six months.

In dealing with the harsher penalty of disbarment, the court noted that it was not the first infraction made by the lawyer who had once been suspended for one year for his part in a double sale of a parcel of land.

Less than a year later, he was again penalized for irregularities in an annulment and adoption case he was handling.

“Considering his previous infractions, respondent should have adhered to the tenet of his profession with exceptional vigilance, He did not. On the contrary, his recent transgression is indicative of his propensity to commit unethical and improper acts that diminish the public’s trust and confidence in lawyers in general,” the court said. (PNA)