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Sereno accuser suspended from law practice over dilatory tactics in GSIS case


The Supreme Court (SC) has suspended a lawyer who it found to have resorted to delaying tactics to slow down the Government Services and Insurance System's (GSIS) forfeiture of two of his pieces of property due to unsettled loans.

Voting 8-0, the high tribunal found that Attorney Eligio Mallari had violated two canons in the Lawyers' Oath pertaining to candor, fairness, good faith to the court, and to the speedy administration of justice, according to a press statement from the SC.

He has also been found to breach three rules in the Code of Professional Responsibility, which each bind lawyers to observe rules of procedure, refrain from filing multiple actions from the same cause, and not to unduly delay a case.

Mallari recently made news after he filed complaints against high-level public officials, including Sereno, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Carandang, and Senator Risa Hontiveros.

According to the Supreme Court, Mallari skirted the GSIS' forfeiture of two  properties of his after he allegedly failed to settle two loans worth P34,000 by resorting to legal remedies whose proceedings spanned decades. 

The 10-page decision, dated January 10 but released by the Supreme Court on Friday, was written by Justice Francis H. Jardeleza. 

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Samuel Martires, and Alexander Gesmundo concurred with Jardeleza's ponencia.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Justices Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Noel Tijam, and Andres B. Reyes, Jr. did not take part.

Mallari called on the House justice committee to include new evidence against Sereno for allegedly sitting on his petitions before the SC in relation with a land dispute case with the Philippine National Bank.

Sereno has denied the charge, but Mallari now apparently wants to testify in the House impeachment hearings against her.

To recall, the impeachment rap the VPC and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption filed against Sereno was dismissed. —NB, GMA News