Divina dismisses disbarment raps

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UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina has dismissed the disbarment case filed against him by Patricia Bautista, estranged wife of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista.

“They are probably sour that their impeachment complaint was dismissed,” Divina told the Varsitarian.

Divina was referring to the impeachment complaint against the Comelec chief which was junked by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Justice last Sept. 20 on a technicality.

Patricia filed the disbarment case at the Supreme Court on Tuesday against Divina and 20 members of his firm DivinaLaw, for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Last month, Patricia went public on her dispute with her husband, and claimed that the elections chief received illegal commissions from DivinaLaw. Patricia wants her share of her husband’s assets, after separating those that she claims were ill-gotten.

Patricia accused her husband of hiding nearly P1 billion in assets.

Divina said he had yet to read the disbarment case but said his law office would act “in accordance with law and ethical demands of the profession.”

Disbarment cases, filed by any person, are heard and decided by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Supreme Court.

Divina earlier denied that his law firm gave illegal commissions to the Comelec chairman. “None [of the accusations] are true. [I’m] sure I did not do anything wrong [and that] I did not do anything unethical,” Divina told the Varsitarian in a phone interview last Aug. 7.

Patricia claimed in a sworn affidavit last Aug. 1 that she had discovered several checks and commission sheets issued by DivinaLaw to the Comelec chairman.

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