In a 2010 Supreme Court case, a wife (Maelotisea) filed a disbarment case for gross immorality against her husband (Atty. Angel), a lawyer and another lawyer (Atty. Romana).

She claimed that her husband, Angel, contracted another marriage in Hong Kong with Atty. Romana sometime in 1978. She was also able to secure a copy of a birth certificate of Angeli Ramona stating among others that she was the daughter of Atty. Angel and Atty. Romana. In 1993, Atty. Angel decided to leave the conjugal home and live with Romana at the latter’s residence. Since then, Angel failed to give Maelotisea her needed financial support to the prejudice of their children who stopped schooling because of financial constraints

In his defense, Atty. Angel admitted, among others, that before his marriage with Maelotisea, he has an existing marriage with Constancia. He admitted that he left Constancia because he will be pursuing his law studies.  That was the time when he met Maelotisea. They got married thereafter and have six children.  As a defense therefore he argued that his marriage with Maelotisea was void and that the alleged immoral conduct was committed before he became a member of the Philippine Bar in 1979.

The Supreme Court disbarred him (and Atty. Valencia).

“Atty. xxx admitted that he left Constancia to pursue his law studies; thereafter and during the marriage, he had romantic relationships with other women. He had the gall to represent to this Court that the study of law was his reason for leaving his wife; marriage and the study of law are not mutually exclusive.” says the Court

See: CASE BrieF NO. 2010-0097 (Garrido vs. Attys. Garrido and Valencia)

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