Complainants, Relying On The Assurance Of The Respondent That The Second Real Estate Mortgage Was But A Formality

General Law

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A. M. No. 2104 August 24, 1989 NARCISO MELENDREZ and ERLINDA DALMAN, complainants, vs. ATTY. REYNERIO I. DECENA, respondent. PER CURIAM: In a sworn complaint 1 dated 25 September 1979, the spouses Erlinda Dalman and Narciso Melendrez charged Reynerio I. Decena, a member of the Philippine Bar, with malpractice and breach of trust. The complainant spouses alleged, among others, that respondent had, by means of fraud and deceit, taken advantage of their precarious financial situation and his knowledge of the law to their prejudice, succeeded in divesting them of their only residential lot in Pagadian City; that respondent, who was their counsel in an estafa case against one Reynaldo Pineda, had compromised that case without their authority. In his answer dated 18 March 1980, respondent denied all the charges levelled against him and prayed for the dismissal of the complaint. By resolution dated 14 April 1980, the administrative complaint was referred to the Office of the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation. Accordingly, the Solicitor General forthwith deputized the City Fiscal of Pagadian City, Jorge T. Almonte, to conduct the necessary investigation, with instructions to submit thereafter this report and recommendation thereon. Fiscal Almonte held several hearings on the administrative case until 15 July 1982, when he requested the Solicitor General to release him from the duty of investigating the case. On 10 September 1982, the Solicitor General granted Fiscal Almonte’s request and in his stead appointed the Provincial Fiscal of Zamboanga del Sur, Pedro S. Jamero, who resumed hearings on 15 June 1983. Respondent filed with this Court on 9 June 1987, a motion seeking to inhibit Fiscal Jamero from hearing the case followed by an urgent motion for indefinite postponement of the investigation. Both motions were denied by…

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