Supreme Court disbars prosecutor for insulting justices, Bar Confidant
MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has disbarred a prosecutor for her negative remarks against the Justices and insulting the Bar Confidant.
In a 16-page per curiam (anonymous) decision made public by the SC’s Public Information Office, disbarred from the practice of law, Atty. Perla D. Ramirez for violating the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR).
The SC ordered that her name be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys, effective immediately.
Ramirez was previously suspended following complaints by employees of an apartment condominium in Makati City. They mentioned Ramirez’ unruly behavior toward other residents and employees, citing various incidents from 1990 to 2007.
Instead of disbarment, the SC suspended Ramirez from the practice of law for six months with a stern warning that a repetition or similar acts would be meted with a more severe penalty.
Eventually, Ramirez requested the lifting of the suspension. She was advised by then Bar Confidant, Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa to file the necessary motion and submit a sworn statement that she did not practice law during the period of her suspension.
Ramirez questioned the authority of the Bar Confidant, claiming that the requirements did not apply to her. Due to her non-compliance, the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) recommended that her request be denied, which was adopted by SC.
On March 15, 2017, Ramirez went to OBC to follow up on her request. Layusa explained the dispositive portion of the SC’s decision. In reaction, Ramirez berated Layusa. The SC ruling quoted Ramiriez saying: “Bruha ka; Oo, Bruha ka; P***ng I** Mo; You are a disgrace to the legal profession; konting brains naman; Clerk ka lang; you don’t know your work; you don’t know your job; XXX”
(You witch; Yes, you’re a witch; you son of a b**ch; You are a disgrace to the legal profession; how about using your brain; you are just a clerk; you do’t know your work; you don’t know your job.)
Ramirez further said: “Are those justices passers under R.A. 1080 (Act declaring the Bar and Board Examinations as Civil Service Examinations)? The SC said her outburst was witnessed by OBC personnel and a member of the SC Security Division.
The SC, in a resolution dated April 19, 2017, required Ramirez to comment on the incident report. But instead of complying, she submitted a letter requesting for the lifting of her suspension. The Court then referred the case to the OBC, who recommended that she be disbarred.
In adopting the OBC’s recommendation, the SC said that “the practice of law is not a right, but a mere privilege which is subject to the inherent regulatory power of this Court.”
“Lawyers should always guard their language because any careless remark can promote distrust in the administration of justice, undermine the people’s confidence in the legal profession, and erode public respect for it,” the SC said.
The SC said, “her actions warrant the ultimate penalty of disbarment based on several grounds.” First, the SC called as “brazen” her remarks against Atty. Layusa.
“Maligning the Bar Confidant is not only an ad hominem attack on the Bar Confidant’s person but an affront to the SC as an institution which Ramirez vowed to honor and respect. In addition, Ramirez also made disparaging remarks against the SC Justices during her outburst at the OBC,” the SC said.
Second, the SC said Ramirez refused to confirm or deny the incident report, nor was there any manifestation of apology or remorse for what happened.
Third, the SC said the incident at the OBC was not her first offense.
“Unabashed, Atty. Ramirez maligned not only officers of this Court but the Court itself as an institution with her erratic outburst in the confines of this office. Evidently, Atty. Ramirez had shown a penchant for being arrogant and disrespectful in her dealings, whether in her private or professional life, pompously using her title ‘Atty.’ as a license to belittle and mock others, who do not follow her suit. To the mind of this Court, her actions do not merit judicial empathy,” the SC said.