LAWYER-activist Argee Guevarra slammed his former law firm partner Trixie Cruz-Angeles as a “poser and a swindler” after she was suspended for three years as a lawyer by the Supreme Court.
The high court suspended Angeles for three years after finding her guilty of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility for accepting P350,000 in legal fees despite failing to render legal services to a former client who had engaged Angeles’ services to obtain an annulment.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Cleo Dongga-as, a client of Angeles who accused her and co-respondent Wylie Paler, of refusing to refund of paid fees after the two lawyers failed to secure an annulment for him.
Angeles, who is known for her former ties to the Magdalo group and for lawyering for former Iglesia Ni Cristo members Lowell Menorca and road rage shooter Vhon Tanto, is no stranger to controversy, having been accused in the past by Guevarra of swindling funds in the course of her legal and professional engagements.
Guevarra earlier raised the Dongga-as issue against Angeles in online articles.
Aside from refusing to refund Dongga-as, Angeles and Paler also charged their client an additional P45,000 in extra charges as “consultants.”
Guevarra said in connection with the suspension that “as far as I know, she even set-up her partner (who has long been based overseas) to take the fall with her.”
After an investigation, the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline meted out a four-month suspension, which was upgraded by the SC to a three-year suspension.
According to SC Public Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te, “despite constant follow-ups, respondents were unable to produce a petition for annulment, with various reasons being given by respondents for their failure to do so, including that there was no record of marriage (which was a false statement as verified by complainant).”