SC disbars Makati prosecutor for insulting court exec, justices
The Supreme Court has disbarred a prosecutor from Makati City for “brazenly” insulting an officer of the court and making derogatory remarks against the tribunal’s justices.
In a resolution dated Feb. 21 but announced only on Thursday, the court removed Perla Ramirez from the Roll of Attorneys, citing her history of dishing out verbal abuse.
Ramirez was first suspended from practicing law for six months in 2014 for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR), the court said. She was then the subject of a complaint that recalled how she berated her neighbors in Makati on several occasions between the 1990s and 2007.
In 2016, she requested the lifting of her suspension but was advised by the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) to file the necessary motion and a sworn statement that she did not practice law during the period of her suspension.
Outburst at OBC
According to the high court, Ramirez maintained that such requirements were no longer needed and questioned the authority of Cristina Layusa, the bar confidant at the time. This prompted Layusa to recommend the denial of Ramirez’s request, a recommendation that the tribunal later accepted.
On March 15, 2017, Ramirez went again to the OBC and berated Layusa as the latter explained to her the court’s resolution.
An OBC report of the encounter said Ramirez’s outburst was witnessed by several employees and a member of the Supreme Court Security Division.
Those witnesses later attested to Ramirez’s foul language as directed at Layusa, as well as her sardonic question as to whether “those justices [were] passers of RA 1080.’’
Republic Act No. 1080 is also known as “An Act Declaring the Bar and Board Examinations as Civil Service Examinations.”
In having Ramirez disbarred, the Supreme Court stressed that “the practice of law is not a right, but a mere privilege which is subject to the inherent regulatory power of this Court.”
The court said her conduct was a gross violation of the CPR when she “brazenly insulted the Bar Confidant, an official of the Court” and when she made “disparaging remarks against the Supreme Court justices during her outburst at the OBC.”
“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,” it added.