Problem Areas in Legal Ethics

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JOVITO OLAZO v. JUSTICE DANTE TINGA (Ret.)
AM. NO. 10-5-7-SC, December 7, 2010
FACTS: This is a disbarment case against retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Dante O. Tinga (respondent) filed by Mr. Jovito S. Olazo (complainant). In March 1990, the complainant filed a sales application covering a parcel of land situated in Barangay Lower Bicutan in the Municipality of Taguig. To implement Proclamation No. 172, Memorandum No. 119 was issued by then Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig, creating a Committee on Awards whose duty was to study, evaluate, and make a recommendation on the applications to purchase the lands declared open for disposition. The Committee on Awards was headed by the Director of Lands and the respondent was one of the Committee members, in his official capacity as the Congressman of Taguig and Pateros (from 1987 to 1998); the respondent’s district includes the areas covered by the proclamations.
The complainant claimed that the respondent abused his position as Congressman and as a member of the Committee on Awards when he unduly interfered with the complainant’s sales application because of his personal interest over the subject land. The complainant alleged that the respondent exerted undue pressure and influence over the complainant’s father, Miguel P. Olazo, for the latter to contest the complainant’s sales application and claim the subject land for himself. The complainant also alleged that the respondent prevailed upon Miguel Olazo to accept, on various dates, sums of money as payment of the latter’s alleged rights over the subject land. The complainant further claimed that the respondent brokered the transfer of rights of the subject land between Miguel Olazo and Joseph Jeffrey Rodriguez, who is the nephew of the respondent’s deceased wife. As a result of the respondent’s abuse of his official functions, the complainant’s sales…...

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