Ui vs Bonifacio

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Ui vs. Bonifacio
Adm. Case No. 3319, June 8, 2000

Facts:

Complainant Lesli Ui found out that her husband Carlos Ui was carrying out an illicit relationship with respondent Atty. Iris Bonifacio with whom he begot two children. Hence, a complaint for disbarment was filed by complainant against respondent before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on the ground of immorality, more particularly, for carrying on an illicit relationship with the complainant’s husband. It is respondent’s contention that her relationship with Carlos Ui is not illicit because they were married abroad and that after June 1988, when respondent discovered Carlos Ui’s true civil status, she cut off all her ties with him. Respondent averred that Carlos Ui never lived with her.  

Issue: 

Whether or not she has conducted herself in an immoral manner for which she deserves to be barred from the practice of law.  
Held: 

The complaint for disbarment against respondent Atty. Iris L. Bonifacio, for alleged immorality, was dismissed.  All the facts taken together leads to the inescapable conclusion that respondent was imprudent in managing her personal affairs. However, the fact remains that her relationship with Carlos Ui, clothed as it was with what respondent believed was a valid marriage, cannot be considered immoral. For immorality connotes conduct that shows indifference to the moral norms of society and the opinion of good and respectable members of the community. Moreover, for such conduct to warrant disciplinary action, the same must be “grossly immoral,” that is, it must be so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree.

1. Disbarment of lawyer for grossly immoral conduct

Ui v. Atty. Bonifacio
A.C. No. 3319. July 8, 2000. 333 SCRA 35
PONENTE: De Leon
FACTS: A complaint for disbarment was filed against Bonifacio on the ground of immorality for having illicit...
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