Despite lack of direct proof of affair, SC suspends abogado for one month for sharing bed with married woman
Even without direct proof of an affair or a sexual encounter, the Supreme Court (SC) has suspended abogado Berardo Faundo, Jr., for inviting a married woman to his house and sleeping in the same bed as her.
In a recent 10-page decision, the SC 1st Division ordered Faundo’s one-month suspension for behaving in a scandalous manner, a violation of Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
The late complainant Oliver Fabugais accused Faundo of having illicit and immoral relations with his wife Annaliza Lizel Fabugais.
The court gave weight to the Fabugais spouses’ daughter, who was 10 years ago when she stayed with her mother and two other female companions in Faundo’s house in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, sometime in October 2006.
The daughter said Annaliza and Faundo shared the same bed that night, with the abogado embracing the woman.
The following morning, Faundo supposedly walked out of the shower clad only in a towel and made the daughter and the companions step outside the room so he could be with Annaliza alone.
The SC acknowledged that the daughter’s testimony did not establish “raw or explicit sexual immorality” between Faundo and Annaliza.
But, Faundo’s behavior “can in no wise or manner be argued… [as] par for the course for members or the legal profession,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.
Even assuming that he did not carry on an affair, the SC stressed that lawyers “must moreover also be seen or appear to live a life in accordance with the highest moral standards of the community.”
The SC called him out for having “no qualms or scruples about being seen sleeping in his own bed with another man’s wife, his arms entwined in tender embrace with the latter.”
“The acts complained or in this case might not be grossly or starkly immoral in its rawness or coarseness, but they were without doubt condemnable,” read the decision.