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Monday, May 20, 2024

Ex-Customs director disbarred over estafa

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The Supreme Court has ordered the disbarment of lawyer Jorge Monroy, a former director of the Bureau of Customs, for engaging in fraudulent activities related to the sale of state-confiscated vehicles.

Monroy was found guilty of breaching some provisions in the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability (CPRA) and has been stripped of his license to practice law.

The SC also imposed a P20,000 fine on him for disregarding orders from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Court documents reveal Monroy’s involvement in a deceitful transaction dating back to July 2000. Using his position as one of the directors within the financial services unit of the BOC, Monroy purported to sell a Toyota Land Cruiser to Julieta Co for P1.4 million.

Assuring her of the transaction’s legality, Monroy convinced Co to proceed with the purchase. Co handed over a check for P150,000 as a down payment, with Monroy insisting on cash payment for the balance.

Despite assurances, the vehicle’s release was repeatedly delayed, leading to suspicions. Monroy eventually admitted to Co that the money had been misappropriated.

In addition to his disbarment, Monroy faces criminal charges for violating anti-graft laws and estafa. Despite being found guilty also by the Sandiganbayan, he remains at large.

“The Court ruled that the totality of evidence presented clearly proved that Monroy miserably failed to live up to the high moral standards required of members of the legal profession,” the SC said, in a statement.

The SC emphasized the gravity of Monroy’s actions, labeling them as a flagrant violation of legal standards.

The high court noted Monroy’s abuse of his position within BOC to perpetrate the scheme, demonstrating a clear lack of moral character expected from legal professionals.

Further, Monroy’s refusal to comply with legal proceedings and orders from the IBP underscores his unfitness to practice law.

The court upheld the penalty imposed by the IBP Board of Governors, solidifying its stance against such egregious violations within the legal profession.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline “Supreme Court disbars former Customs director over graft, estafa.”

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