Lawyer charged in court for annulment ‘anomaly’

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Monday, January 30, 2012


A LAWYER from Cebu City is facing a criminal case in court for allegedly issuing a fake court decision to his client who sought annulment of her marriage in 2008.

Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Rodulph Joseph Val Carrillo found Luis Diores Jr. liable for estafa for duping one Aileen Colina Bell by giving her the bogus annulment decision in exchange for P60,000.

Diores’ indictment came after he failed to submit his counter-affidavit to refute the allegations.

In April 2010, Judge Ester Veloso convicted Diores of estafa for a separate case.
Diores was sentenced to a minimum of four years and maximum of 20 years imprisonment for duping a couple of about P1.4 million.

He failed to appear during his promulgation, and it is still unclear whether he already served his penalty.

The Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor recommended P24,000 bail for Diores’ temporary freedom.

Bell, a resident of Mandaue City, charged Diores with estafa through falsification of public documents before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

She sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas in filing the complaint.

In the complaint, Bell said, she went to Diores’ law office in November 2008 and sought legal assistance on the annulment of her marriage.

Diores offered to facilitate the annulment of Bell’s marriage and asked from her P60,000 as fees.

The lawyer asked P40,000 as down payment to facilitate the issuance of the annulment decision within one week.

Bell returned to Diores’ office on Nov. 11, 2008 and was given a photocopy of the supposed court decision of her annulment supposedly issued by Judge Olegario Sarmiento.

When Bell asked for the original of the court decision, Diores reportedly told her that the original one was sent to the National Statistics Office.

Diores allegedly told Bell not to show the decision to anyone since he might be questioned about the “fast-track” resolution of the case.

But, Bell insisted on getting the original decision. She went to the sala of Judge Sarmiento hoping to get the original, but she was told that no such annulment case was filed in the Regional Trial Court Branch 24.

Diores’ office received a copy of the subpoena but failed to submit his counter-affidavit.

In the resolution, Carrillo said Diores has to be tried in court for estafa.

“Estafa was committed by deceit when respondent (Diores) represented to complainant that he could facilitate the case, and have a decision within one week when the evidence shows that he did not possess the qualification or intention to comply,” said Carrillo.

The misrepresentation by the respondent-lawyer, said Carrillo, deceived Bell into giving her money.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 30, 2012.

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