MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) has reconsidered a lawyer’s suspension after the latter cited undue hardships brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19) pandemic.
In a resolution recently made available online, SC’s Special Second Division modified its earlier resolution against lawyer John Nathaniel Marasigan, deleting its earlier order of suspension for three months.
Marasigan was meted out a three-month suspension on October 14, 2020 for violating Section 20(d), Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and Rules 10.02 and 10.03, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).
In lieu of the suspension, the SC reprimanded Marasigan and sternly warned that a repetition of the same or a similar offense will warrant the imposition of a more severe penalty.
“The Court is not unaware of the severe economic hardships and health risks brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. With this in mind, the Court exhibited a degree of leniency in respondent’s case,” the court said.
The Court ruled last year that Marasigan knowingly misrepresented the contents of an Ombudsman resolution, dated Nov. 5, 2007, when he stated in a motion filed before the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office that no public officer was indicted in a particular criminal case when in truth, a certain Engr. Zoilo Gudin was criminally charged.
The respondent repeated the misrepresentation when he filed for a motion of reconsideration in August 2011.
In appealing his suspension, the lawyer acknowledged his guilt and sought leniency, citing that the pandemic has already adversely affected his private practice and he is at a loss how he will provide for his family’s basic needs if he serves the three-month suspension. (PNA)