- Comelec chair’s wife urged SC to disbar UST law dean, dissolve his law firm
- She said Divina and his firm liable for unethical conduct, connivance with estranged husband
- Counsel said Bautista himself admitted to having received commissions for referrals
MANILA, Philippines – The estranged wife of Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista is seeking the disbarment of UST law dean Nilo Divina and 20 other lawyers of his firm over their alleged practice of soliciting referrals from elections chief.
Patricia Bautista, who filed her complaint before the Supreme Court, said Divina and his firm should be held liable for breaking the Code of Professional Responsibility since they took advantage her husband’s position as a public official to obtain clients.
“We are doing what we said we will do which is to use other avenues and other venues to allow these documents to come to light, the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted her as saying.
Divina is currently under scrutiny over his fraternity Aegis Juris’ role in the death of UST law freshman Horacio Castillo.
Mrs. Bautista also urged the high tribunal to consider dissolving Divina’s law firm for its alleged questionable practices.
“Although I was informed that clamor for the dissolution of a partnership must be brought up before the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is out of concern to inform this Honorable Court that there really are law firms in this country who engage in highly dubious transactions yet make it appear as if their activities are without any hint of illegality,” she said.
For her part, petitioner’s counsel Atty. Lorna Kapunan said their complaint had basis insofar as the Comelec chair himself admitted to having received commissions from the law firm.
“Sabi niya he received them earlier [He said he received them earlier], not when he was Comelec commissioner but we have documents to show that he received them close to the elections, and we also have cancelled checks paid by Divina Law not only to Bautista but to his sister Susan, to the mother and father,” she said.