Greed bringing down The Firm, says nemesis

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Former Solicitor General Frank Chavez: Enough is enough. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Greed, arrogance and impunity.

These traits, according to former Solicitor General Frank Chavez, could mean the requiem for the Villaraza Cruz Marcelo & Angangco, or CVC Law Office, often described as the most powerful law firm in the country.

Chavez, a known critic and nemesis of “The Firm,” as the CVC Law Office is referred to, was reacting to an Inquirer report on the imminent breakup of the law firm. The report said a “government bloc” composed of 15 senior and junior partners led by Avelino Cruz and Simeon Marcelo have threatened to bolt the firm, leaving the faction led by chairman and CEO F. Arthur “Pancho” Villaraza and  Raoul Angangco with eight partners.

“This implosion would only augur well for the law profession and the judiciary system which they treated like their playground. It only shows that no one law firm can forever dominate the legal landscape,” said Chavez in a phone interview.

Inquirer sources claimed the squabbling among the senior partners involved “management directions” but had reached the point of discussing the dissolution of the company and the sale of the firm’s posh new office building in Taguig City.

“The strength of a partnership is gauged by the weakness of its leading lights. If the leading lights are motivated in the practice of law beyond the cases they are handling and are captured by considerations of greed, arrogance and an unguided feeling of impunity in their acts, then an implosion of the firm is bound to happen,” said Chavez.

Chavez accused The Firm of engaging in “political lawyering” in its heyday in the Ramos and Arroyo administrations.

His attacks against The Firm a few years ago earned him 11 libel suits. At least five have been dismissed and Chavez said he expects the rest to “die a natural death.”

According to Chavez, CVC Law began in 1980 among cronies of then President Ferdinand Marcos and Makati City Mayor Nemesio Yabut.

“They started out as an ordinary law firm until they made the government their client during the time of President Fidel Ramos, who was a relative of founding partner Antonio Carpio,” said Chavez.

He claimed The Firm started the movement to oust President Joseph Estrada. “They contributed singly or as a firm to the campaign kitty of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. And when she took over, it was a sort of recognition and awards day for them—they got juicy posts in her administration.”

“But during the time that Noynoy Aquino was leading, they started positioning themselves for various posts and that was when I put my foot down. Enough is enough,” said Chavez.

When news leaked out last week of the troubles at The Firm, the Inquirer contacted CVC Law managing partner Bienvenido I. Somera Jr. but he replied in a text message that he “can’t comment at the moment.” Several attempts to reach Villaraza through an intermediary yielded the same result. Marcelo did not return the Inquirer’s calls.—Gil C. Cabacungan

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • rickysgreyes

    There probably is so much money, the partners do not know how to divide profits. In Kindergarten, this kid says “I want that”, other kid says “No, I want more!”, while other kid says “I desrve this!”. Pathetic.

  • Brix Villapando

    mas masarap pa rin ang solo practce..kahit madalas e maliit ang kita o walang kita ok lang….money is not everything…u cannot bring that with u when u travel beyond this dimension.

    • http://www.facebook.com/iyen.dev Iyen Dev

      Their favorite song, ‘We run the Money!’.

  • ernievictory

    si tom cruize ba nag bolt na rin ?

  • http://www.pulisnapogi.blogspot.com/ Pulis Na Pogi

    may matino bang abogado?

  • wawa2172

    Solo or partnership, the law profession is always synonymous to greed. The judiciary is not exempted from this. Even Chavez made a killing with his law profession during the time of President Cory as solicitor general where he has to deal and arrange win-win solutions with the Marcoses and cronies. Now he is on the trail with PNoy as president and she handled the lucrative Titay controversial or scandalous cases. Justice Carpio ascent as chief justice was derailed because of his connection with The Firm where he is a founding member. They grabbed millions of peso projects with the government at kahit ngayon with PNoy admin si Cruz and Marcelo kaya titiwalag na sila sa CVC para wala nang kahati.

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    GREED – a deadly sin equal to ENVY…

  • Albert Einstien

    it’s LAW of the JUNGLE….and law firms are lions, they are NO
    EXCEPTION…in fact ..there is a concept.. .” MONEY is my COUNTRY,
    MONEY is my GOD… “- by filthy rich TRAITORS..

  • http://www.facebook.com/iyen.dev Iyen Dev

    Let’s kill all the Lawyers!Chavez should hang himself.Do we still need the service of the lawyers?Fuck you Lawyers, you can suck my Dick!

  • http://www.facebook.com/iyen.dev Iyen Dev

    Lawyers are born from ‘Original Sin’, and it is always a continuing Sin.

  • damiranda126

    Ito ang naging solicitor general na pinaka walang kwenta! Another dog of Cory Aquino. I wonder if his blood is also yellow? He’s the great dog of the traitors.

  • disqus_WIkXYUshrh

    Let THE FIRM die the natural way. It is inflicted by an incurable cancer called stage 4 GREED.

    It deserve to die.

  • Marian Cosner

    Di ba nga’t P33 milyon ang inutang ni Rene Cayetano sa law firm ni JPE pero hanggang ngayon di pa nababayaran. Magbayad na kayo uy!

    • reyzel Lasdi

      Di ba’ t P64milyon ang kinita ni Rene Cayetano sa BW scam noong 2011. Pero di na-media yun dahil sinuhulan niya ang mga networks.

      • etomacq

        Cayetano siblings mga duhapang sa kapangyarihan..

  • jelina samuel

    A reminded to the Cayetanos: “Ang utang is utang at dapat bayaran. Di pwedeng thank you na lang.” – Enrile

    • Hellomr

      Itong si enrile ay pinamimigay ang pera ng bayan sa mga kaayado niya…wala man lang sumisita.. Dahil sobra ng kapal ng mukha nitong si enrile… Kaya itong si jack enrile ay isa rin bull shitter…..kaya ito gustong tumakbo para meron siyang power protectionan ang sarili at hindi protectionan ang taong bayan…

  • $14334231

    greed, power, greed, power, greed, power…….it’s the name of game, lawyers or not…..

  • klepto

    lawyers are the first one to break the laws.

    • GustoKoHappyKa

      yup yup…and pati mga secretary nyan tinitira pa

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    The ‘firm’, like this country Philippines, greed is bringing it down. Greed by high government officials control jueteng, smuggling at BOC. corruptions in all branches of government even in the Supreme court and Dept. of Foreign Affairs.

  • TinimbangNgunitKulang

    Akala mo kung magsalita si Chavez eh hindi nangurakot at nagpayaman ng siya ay Solicitor General. Tarantado ka rin Frank!

    • Adam_d_langgam

      totoo ka bro … used to admire chavez. pero ang kumag na ‘to ay binansagan .. atty.-no-win-case. mahilig pumapel …. greed and arrogance. typical characterestics of phil politicians/media grabbers ..
      gusto lang maging senador ni chavez… eh sa talo naman palagi.

  • Sarkasmos

    “It only shows that no one law firm can forever dominate the legal landscape,” said Chavez.

    I’m pretty sure that Chavez would not complain if his law firm was the one dominating the legal landscape.

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