In Re: Petition for Extraordinary Mercy of Edmundo Macarrubo
Problem Areas in Legal Ethics – Reinstatement to the Bar – Judicial Clemency Guidelines
In February 2004, Edmundo Macarrubo was disbarred for having contracted two bigamous marriages (gross immorality). He filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied. In June 2012, Macarrubo filed a petition for extraordinary mercy with the Supreme Court averring that he is now a reformed man; that he continued to provide support to his children in all three marriages; that after his disbarment he went to his hometown (Enrile, Cagayan) where he tended to an orchard; that he took care of his mom until her death in 2008; that he is working for the local government there; that he also teaches in a local college there; that he is active in socio economic activities helping those who are in need.
He presented several documents to prove that he is reformed, i.e., affidavits by respected people from his locale attesting to his civic works, certifications from the barangay and NBI as well as other local organizations/agencies. The local church also certified that Macarrubo has been complying with the doctrines of the church. Further, the local IBP chapter supports his reinstatement.
ISSUE: Whether or not Macarrubo should be reinstated to the Roll of Attorneys.
HELD: Yes. He sufficiently proved that he is reformed. At 58 years old, Macarrubo can still contribute to the upliftment of the law profession and the betterment of the society. He still has productive years ahead of him. The Supreme Court also notes the guidelines in granting judicial clemency, to wit:
1. There must be proof of remorse and reformation. These shall include but should not be limited to certifications or testimonials of the officer(s) or chapter(s) of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, judges or judges associations and prominent members of the community with proven integrity and probity. A subsequent finding of guilt in an administrative case for the same or similar misconduct will give rise to a strong presumption of non-reformation.
2. Sufficient time must have lapsed from the imposition of the penalty to ensure a period of reform.
3. The age of the person asking for clemency must show that he still has productive years ahead of him that can be put to good use by giving him a chance to redeem himself.
4. There must be a showing of promise (such as intellectual aptitude, learning or legal acumen or contribution to legal scholarship and the development of the legal system or administrative and other relevant skills), as well as potential for public service.
5. There must be other relevant factors and circumstances that may justify clemency.
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