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Juan Azor v. Atty.

Eustaquio Beltran
Adm. Case no. 1054 March 24, 1975
Second Division

Facts: A complaint for malpractice and gross misconduct was filed against
respondent, Eustaquio Beltran, for taking or causing to be detached from the
rollo of Special Proceeding No. 667 of the Court of First Instance of
Camarines Sur, the financial report of complainant, Juan Azor, executor of a
will, as well as the court order terminating the same; for filing a motion
requiring complainant to render an accounting and to deliver the property left
in the will to the beneficiaries; and for having instructed his clients Lorelie
Bornales and her mother Aniana Sadol-Escriba to enter forcibly a parcel of
land forming part of the estate, knowing the same as having been previously
sold. The Solicitor General, Estelito Mendoza and assistant Solicitor General
Alicia Sempio-Diy to whom the matter was referred conducted a thorough
investigation of the parties and their witnesses. They found the charges
baseless and without sufficient support in evidence. A dismissal of the
complaint was therefore recommended.

Issue: Whether or not the Supreme Court must accept the recommendation of
the Solicitor General or not regarding the disbarment case?

Held: Yes. The Supreme Court accepted the recommendation of the Solicitor
General and dismissed the case for it was based on thorough analysis of the
evidence presented:

1. ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGES; FORMAL INVESTIGATION AGAINST A
MEMBER OF THE BAR: ASSUMPTIONS COMPLAINT FOR MALPRACTICE
AND GROSS MISCONDUCT. The records are entirely bereft of any direct
and positive evidence to support the charge that respondent detached official
records from the Office of the Clerk of Court particularly the financial report in
the case the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur attesting to the fact that
the records of the Special Proceeding No. 667 including the alledgely missing
financial report and order are all intact and unaltered. Mere assumptions,
without sufficient evidence in support of the same, cannot be the basis of any
finding against a member of the bar, who, as an official of the court, is
presumed to act with the utmost decorum and cannot be altered by the
complaints mere assumptions and imputation without any evidence to support
it.

2. IMPUTATION TO DISCREDIT A LAWYERS ZEAL AND CONCERN OVER
CLIENTS CAUSE, NOT FAVORED. there are intimations in the record that
that the ill-will of the complainant was aroused by the respondent coming into
possession of the information that did cause of the discharge of his trust as
executor. Apparently what motivated complainant in filing this case is the zeal
of the respondent to his client and the Supreme Court does not look with favor
upon accusations arising from dissatisfaction and resentment at the mode in
which a lawyer diligently and tenaciously prosecutes matters entrusted to him
for instead of being condemned under the circumstances, counsel should be
commended.

3. ADMONITION TO CAREFULLY EXAMINE RECORDS. A member of the
bar is called upon to be much more careful and meticulous in examining the
records of a case and noting every pleading, even if as has happened in not a
few cases, the papers are not kept in as orderly a manner as is both proper
and desirable.