Licensed lady killer?
This is in reaction to the letter titled “Roque and the Speaker’s ‘open secret’” (Opinion, 4/19/17), where the writer drew a line between House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s extramarital affair and Sen. Leila de Lima’s own dalliance. He stressed that Alvarez is still very much married to another woman, while De Lima is not anymore—although her inamorato was very much so at the time she was canoodling with him. Seriously?
In Dantes vs Dantes (2004), the Supreme Court disbarred a lawyer due to his extramarital affairs. Said the Court: “Lawyers are expected to abide by the tenets of morality, not only upon admission to the Bar, but also throughout his legal career, in order to maintain their good standing in this exclusive and honored fraternity. They may be suspended from the practice of law or disbarred for any misconduct, even if it pertains to (their) personal activities, as long as it shows (them) to be wanting in moral character, honesty or probity.” The forbidden debauchery cuts either way: A married man and any woman other than his wife; or an unmarried woman with a married man.
In most cases, a complaint for disbarment is commenced by a scorned spouse whose fury no hell hath known. He/she is expected to provide evidence of his wife’s or her husband’s mortal sins and irredeemable unfitness to remain a member of that “exclusive and honored fraternity” (or sorority?). But disbarment is an administrative matter which the Supreme Court can motu proprio initiate without any formal accusation lodged by anyone.
In the likely cases against Alvarez and De Lima, their very public confessions and admissions are definitely inculpatory enough. Talk about self-incrimination and being hoist by one’s own petard.
But, hey, what about lawyer Rodrigo Duterte who constantly brags about his peccadillos and sexcapades with different women? Sure he is no longer married to the original missus, but how can he measure up to the very high moral and ethical bar set for all members of the Bar? Well, being this country’s top honcho and presently immune from any suit, I guess he is practically “licensed to kill” any lady in sight, ha?
GEORGE DEL MAR, firstname.lastname@example.org
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