Patricia Baustista files disbarment complaint vs UST law dean

By , on September 26, 2017


Lawyer Nilo Divina is also the dean of the Faculty of Civil Law in University of Santo Tomas (UST). (Photo: Divina Law website)
Lawyer Nilo Divina is also the dean of the Faculty of Civil Law in University of Santo Tomas (UST). (Photo: Divina Law website)

The estranged wife of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista seeks the disbarment of lawyer Nilo Divina, managing partner of the Divina Law Firm.

Patricia Bautista, accompanied by her legal spokesperson Lorna Kapunan filed a disbarment complaint against Divina and other 20 members of Divina Law Firm at the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday namely Alfonso Verzosa, Estrella Elamparo, Alden Francis Gonzales, John Michael Galauran, Jessie Matibag, Isaiah Asuncion III, Camille Khristine Aromas, Ismael Sarangaya Jr, Jay-r Ipac, Janna Mae Tecson, Lourdes Anifel Caspe, Paula Danica Landayan, Ian Jerny De Leon, Rchel Marie Felices, Ciselie Marie Gamo-Sisayan, Jemimah Grace Garcia, Anna Katrina Singcol, Rhegine Peralta, Benito Cataran, and Dara Acusar.

According to Baustista, Divina Law Firm is giving commissions and had issued payslips to her husband for referring companies such as Smartmatic, Basesco and United Planters Bank.

“We have documents to show that not only did he receive them; he received them close to the [2016] elections. We also have canceled checks paid by DivinaLaw Offices not only to Chairman Bautista but to his sister Susan and to the mother and the father,” Kapunan told reporters.

“These are not mere allegations; the documents will speak for themselves,” Kapunan added.

The filed complaint came after when the impeachment complaint against the poll chief was dismissed by the House of Representatives for being insufficient in form.

The issue stemmed after Mrs. Bautista accused the poll chief of having unexplained wealth in his bank accounts which she claimed that she discovered passbooks and property documents at their home which are not included in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN).

[READ: Baustista ready to face possible impeachment]

“We are doing what we said we will do which is to use other avenues and other venues to allow these documents to come to light,” Mrs. Bautista told reporters after filing the complaint at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Divina said in a text message to reporters said, “I have always acted in accordance with law and the ethical demands of the law profession. I am not worried at all about any threat of disbarment. I have not read the complaint. We will respond accordingly.

“They are probably sour that their impeachment complaint was dismissed,” Divina added.

Divina is also the dean of the Faculty of Civil Law in University of Santo Tomas (UST) and a former member of Aegis Juris fraternity which has been controversial lately due to the hazing-related killing of UST freshman law student Horacio Castillo III.